Links 4/8/16

1 Tiny Dog Holds A Big Toy, But Watch Who His Tug-Of-War Opponents Are... Little Things (furzy)

Trump Catches Self Briefly Believing Own Campaign Rhetoric Onion (David L)

Eons Of Darwinian Evolution Somehow Produce Mitch Onion (David L)

A key ingredient for life on Earth may have crash landed here from space Washington Post (David L)

Ritual slaughter: Why so many early human societies practiced violent human sacrifice PsyPost (Chuck L)

Millimeters-Thick Metal Foam Armor Obliterates Incoming Bullets PopSci (Robert M)

Copyright Troll Tries To Silence Anti-Troll Blogger With Law Enforcement Threats Techdirt

Retired Astronaut Scott Kelly Reveals Physical Setbacks From Time in Space ABC (martha r)

Sweet drug clears cholesterol, reverses heart disease—and was found by parents ars technica

Nuclear Expert: “I’ve learned there’s a huge spike in death rates in Fukushima for young children”… Officials are covering up data — Gov’t committing inhuman acts on their own people — Doctor’s who treat patients suffering from radiation illness are being put out of business (AUDIO) enNews (furzy)

Radioactive boars run wild around Fukushima reactors Straits Times (furzy)

Mossack Fonseca

What the Panama Papers Tell Us Global Guerrillas

David Cameron’s EU intervention on trusts set up tax loophole Financial Times. Li: “David Cameron, hypocrite.”

Global Tax Haven Network Means Americans Can Hide Wealth At Home Real News (Sid S)

Refugee Crisis

From Right to Favor Nation (guurst)

ECB’s Mersch warns on devaluation CNBC

Adjusting to new realities – banking regulation and supervision in Europe European Central Bank


BREXIT : A New Crisis Acronym Brooklyn Rail (Chris G)

Corbyn to the rescue in Tories’ Brexit storm Politico

Britain’s manufacturing sector lies in ruins Business Insider. This is news?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Edward Snowden’s talk in Vancouver had an ‘electric quality’ Globe and Mail (Sid S)


Bush-41’s October Surprise Denials Consortiumnews

Who is Winning the “Great Balancing Game” Between Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, and Iran? EA WorldView (resilc)

The Failure of the Libyan War and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ American Conservative (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Media Unmoored from Facts Consortiumnews (furzy)

Pro-War Dead-enders and Our Unending Wars American Conservative (resilc)


Goodbye Wisconsin Nice, Hello Big Apple Brawl US News

NY Election Boards Inundated With Calls From Voters “Pissed Off” About Registration Issues Gothamist (furzy)

How ‘Citizens United’ is helping Hillary Clinton win the White House Center for Public Integrity (furzy)

Hillary Clinton Rode The New York City Subway Huffington Post. Li: “Hillary desperation watch.” Moi: the five swipes is a tell to locals she’s never used a MetroCard before.

Protesters interrupt Bill Clinton at rally for his wife Associated Press

Bill Clinton Spars With Protesters Who Say He Destroyed Black Communities Huffington Post (Bob K). Notice difference in headlines.

Don’t blame Bernie – of course the banks can be broken up Stephen Diamond (bt)

Clinton admits she failed to do her homework, and therefore misunderstood, when she stated at the February debate that Dodd-Frank already authorizes the Treasury Dept. to force too-big-to-fail banks to pare down and that therefore no further legislation authorizing it is necessary. That’s quite an admission by her, and the New York Daily News editorial board (and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza) should take note. Angry Bear

Bernie Sanders doubles down on ‘unqualified’ attack Washington Post

Bernie’s Right: Wall Street’s Business Model Really Is Fraud Alternet

What Qualifies A Politician? Moon of Alabama (Wat)

Facing new challenges, Trump reorganizes campaign, with role for Paul Manafort Washington Post (furzy). Reorganaiztions midstream are never a good sign.

Trump Empire Finds Its Roots In Seattle KUOW (Doug S)

Giuliani: I’m voting for Trump Politico (furzy)

Mish Projection: Trump Wins Nomination with 1,246 Delegates (9 More than Needed) Michael Shedlock. Heads will explode.

How Much Should State Legislators Get Paid? FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Ex-EPA scientist publishes Wyoming fracking study that agency abandoned ars technica


Former chancellors of research universities warn their future is in peril Hechinger Report (James R)

How Effective Regulation Can Help Reduce the Too-Big-To-Fail Problem Anat Admati, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Conference (guurst)

US government to fight MetLife ruling Financial Times

US Credit Card Debt Nears $1 Trillion VoA (Randy K)

Gundlach: Negative rates are backfiring CNBC

The Second Wave Sell-Off: Private Equity In The Craft Beer Market Spells Upheaval Within A Decade Forbes (Qyrs)

The Unraveling of a Wall Street Scion Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Unionizing Pays Big Dividend for Professors at Regional Public Universities Chronicle of Higher Education. Furzy: “This is pretty sad…”

Why people are crowdfunding their funerals New Statesman

$370bn of deals aborted on Obama’s watch Financial Times. I wanted to write about this but lacked time. Unseemly corporate whinging because they can’t increase monopoly power, engage in better tax games, and/or use mergers to create the appearance of growth in mature industries. This at a time when corporate profits are at a record level of GDP and even the staunchly neoliberal Economist is saying the US is being hurt by monopoly/oligopoly power.

CEO Pay Shrank 3.8% Last Year, the Biggest Decline Since the Financial Crisis Wall Street Journal

Antidote du jour. Windsock: “Fergus and Oscar don’t get to go fishing much in London. TV is the only opportunity they get.”

Cats'n'fish 2 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. allan

      Beat me to it. Krugman Over the Edge.

      Besides the `tone’, there is the substance:

      … But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?

      Many analysts concluded years ago that the answers to both questions were no. Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller, non-Wall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big. And the financial reform that President Obama signed in 2010 made a real effort to address these problems.

      To borrow one of Prof. K’s favorite phrases, many liberal policy wonks would disagree.

      1. MikeNY

        Countrywide, which of course became BofA. And PK seems to have ‘forgotten’ about securitization.

        1. James Levy

          Securitization was the whole thing. It turned a discrete 800 billion dollar problem into a multi-trillion dollar game of pass the potato. If he doesn’t know that then he is an idiot. If he does know that and fails to mention it then he is a cad and a disgrace.

          1. Carla

            If this, PK is an idiot. If that, he is a cad and a disgrace.

            I don’t see why we have to choose… ;-)

          2. voteforno6

            If I remember this correctly, a number of major financial institutions were using the mortgage-backed securities as collateral on the repo market, which led to serious problems for them as well.

          3. fresno dan

            agree one squillion precent!
            Krugman has a tendency to “forget’ the most important and relevant facts when it upsets his applecarts….
            I hereby declare Krugman persona non serious

        1. optimader

          News flash
          Needles are the cause of drug addiction

          Pathetic, PK must see a cabinet appointment vaporizing? He cant be this ignorant. Talk about falling on a sword for no reason. jeez

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            His column is at risk which is what gives him status as a celebrity. Given youth support for Sanders, what good is Krugman as a columnist? The NYT is a paper of record and faux liberal social status, but it’s still a newspaper with subscribers, advertisers, and a bottom line. Many of the NYT readers read it for local news or read it for status, not the content. Any columnist in the NYT will have celebrity status conferred upon them. Krugman is an economist. Even he can’t be blind to this reality.

            1. optimader

              PK has reduced himself to clickbait, which maybe that’s all the NYT has devolved to wanting of him at this juncture?
              Not withstanding, one might think he would have a friend/colleague who would take him out and say.. “come on Paul.. it’s ok , even good, to have ideological opinions, but…Really, this?”

              1. Jim Haygood

                ‘PK has reduced himself to clickbait.’

                In the case of the hairy-handed Krugthulhu, it’s spelled ‘klikbate’.

                *wields silver cross as Krugthulhu flees into the darkness*

            2. TomD

              It was just a few months ago when Krugman was writing articles about how we needed massive infrastructure investment, and not too long ago when he was saying we should be reaching for single payer or a minimum a public option.

              What happened to that Krugman?

              Of course his demonizing of Republicans was never useful and designed just so that professional class Democrats could pat themselves on the back for how enlightened they are about gay marriage, climate change, etc.

              1. optimader

                Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride?

                I don’t know the guy so maybe that’s a bit harsh, so just pick any two from the menu and move along!
                (My choices would be (political)Lust and Pride. I think he’s trolling for a job not money.)

        2. allan

          To a Reputation Dying Young

          The time you won your Nobel race
          We chaired you through the Efficient Market-place;
          Man and boy stood cheering by,
          And home we brought you shoulder-high.

          Today, the road all pundits come,
          Shoulder-high we bring you home,
          And set you at duplex threshold down,
          Townsman of a shilling town.

          Smart lad, to slip betimes away
          From economic fields where glory does not stay,
          And early though the laurel grows
          It withers quicker than the Rose (Law Firm).

          Eyes the shady night has shut
          Cannot see globalization’s track record cut,
          And silence sounds no worse than cheers
          After your commenters have stopped their ears.

          Now you will swell the rout
          Of lads that wore their honours out,
          Runners whom renown outran
          And the name died before the man.

      2. RabidGandhi

        “Made a real effort”

        Such a barfy Democrat phrase. They’re always out there “fighting for”, “making real efforts”, “standing up for”… gag me with an entire dinner set.

        The party of “Yes We Can’t”

      3. JohnnyGL

        The idea that Lehman could be called a “shadow” bank is beyond comprehension.

        Also, he’s completely airbrushed away the customized bailouts that both BofA and Citigroup needed when backdoor bailouts through TARP and Fed ZIRP didn’t provide a big enough firehose of cash to save their sinking ships.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          And Lehman wasn’t even necessarily that big according to PK!

          So why exactly did this tiny little bank (and who knows, maybe it was just a local rural farmer’s credit union with just one branch after all!) pose a systemic risk to the entire global financial system?!?!?!?!?!?!

          Hacktastic Paul!

      4. TedWa

        When todays bank account for 40% + of GDP, then yes they are too big. And to stay that big they have to commit crimes, like money laundering for terrorists and drug dealers. The bigger they get the more crimes they have to get involved in, or create.

    2. Donald

      I particularly liked the part where an apology for Iraq excuses Clinton. The great foreign policy expert voted for an unjust war that killed hundreds of thousands, created millions of refugees and laid the foundations for ISIS, and she apologized, so everything is fine and she deserves to be President. .

      Krugman has studiously avoided talking about her warmongering–he last mentioned Iraq a couple of months back, saying she voted for it because it was a crazy time. Certainly a person who makes extremely bad decisions when times are crazy is exactly who we want in the White House.

      1. RabidGandhi

        And that was the one bona fide Krugman had going for him, his opposition to the Iraq invasion (no one would read him for his shoddy monetarist blatherings). Now in hopes of buttering up to HRC he has flushed that down the loo as well.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That was a Vote of Infamy.

          Surprised not a single dissenting senator resigned in protest.

          I think some officers did (if I recall correctly).

          1. Procopius

            Officers — you mean military officers? I doubt it. They usually loyally obey the “lawful” orders of their Commander In Chief. If they really disagree they retire with a nice six figure pension plus a free house and additional perks depending on what weapons systems they were able to order. They may complain afterward about how terrible the short-sighted mismanagement, etc. etc., but I don’t know of a single flag officer who has resigned since World War II. Love to hear of one.

      2. quentin

        Who exactly did Hillary Clinton apologize to anyway? The US people or the Iraqi people or just to her fan club? And let’s not even start talking about Iraq where she is probably even more personally culpable. I read yesterday in a comment thread that she negotiated with Obama that she’d get job as SoS in return for her amicable withdrawal from the nomination race and her support. Does anyone know anything about this? I was always baffled why Obama would choose her despite all that shit about his channeling Ol’ Abe and keeping his enemies close. By the way, he’s even worse than a hoax. The Panama Papers have all of sudden woken him to the phenomenon of massive unpaid taxes. Give me a break, pretty please.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          State is as relevant as the President makes it. The DoD, the NSC, and telephones in the Oval Office handle our most important relationships.

          Yes, there is power at State especially given Obama’s disinterest in governing, but since the cabinet reorganization act and rise of NATO and even the DHS, the position is a bit of a throw away spot with old time grandeur.

          She was fairly popular. She couldn’t be ignored as the major differences between Obama and Hillary were personality based and Obama having voted for a resolution as a State Senator while being wishy washy on Iraq and foreign policy at best.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Having an ex-president that refuses to go away as a spouse, and a multi-billion dollar, globally-influential foundation peddling favors in any and every corner of the planet, significantly changes the “old time grandeur” calculus.

            The clinton tag team is unprecedented in american history, and the implications for the concentrated exercise of personal power are almost overwhelming.

            Combined with the democratic party’s neoliberal pivot, engineered by a clinton and virtually unrecognized until it was too late, the position of SoS would seem to have been, for clinton at least, far more than a ceremonial “throwback.”

            Agree that “State is as relevant as the President makes it.” And obama made it pretty damn relevant with his deliberate refusal to recognize the extreme conflicts of interest represented by the clinton foundation.

            1. James Levy

              From the Obama/insider perspective Clinton doing favors for multinational corporations and pushing them down the throats of foreigners was a big success. That it also benefitted her “foundation” was just gravy. She used her post to make powerful Americans richer and feather her own nest. This is exactly how Washington operates. If she was more overt and flagrant in the process, well, that was considered excusable and a sop for her not getting the Big Chair. It’s both disgusting and business as usual.

              1. Procopius

                Well, certainly. The Marshall Plan was a masterpiece of enlightened self-interest, getting our former enemies out of starvation as quickly as possible plus restoring the ability of our allies to buy stuff from us. Many people on the right at the time failed to realize, all that money was coming straight back to American businesses. That’s been the State Department’s main goal at least since the McKinley administration

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He also kept other ‘enemies’ close by putting them at the Treasury Dept and the Fed.

          Everyone plays 11 dimensional chess, but you have to admire a grand-master when you see one.

        3. lyman alpha blob

          Why did stausquObama choose her?

          Probably something to do with the old saw – ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’.

      3. Vatch

        Hillary Clinton made lots of bad decisions when she was in the Senate. In addition to her vote for the wasteful and destructive Iraq war, she:

        1. Voted for the nasty bankruptcy “reform” act of 2001. It didn’t pass, but it was very similar to the bad bill which did become law in 2005. She wasn’t available for the 2005 vote because of a family issue, but she would have supported it.

        2. Voted for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

        3. Voted for the Patriot Act.

        4. Voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act in 2005.

        5. Voted to bail out the criminally reckless banks (TARP).

        She’s done too much harm. She must apologize, of course, but after that she should enter a monastery to perform penance. I don’t care whether it’s Buddhist, Catholic, or something else. Just not the White House.

        1. Jim Haygood

          It’s called Danbury FCI. And it’s convenient to NYC, so “Bill” and Chelsea can come to visit.

        2. fresno dan

          Thanks for bringing that up.
          Really, if you just looked at policy, there is not a dime’s worth of difference between her and Cheney….

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            She can be defeated on policy alone.

            Is it a trap to get bogged down by distractions as such ‘tone,’ dress, they way she laughs, etc?

      4. Adam Eran

        I’ve got it: The model for penal reform. Sure, we have a prison system now, which, if we were in an average country would release four out of five people in jail, but Hillary’s provided the perfect solution!

        [To murderer]: You are convicted of first degree murder.
        [Murderer]: But I’m sorry.
        [To murderer]: OK, then you’re free to go.

        Problem solved!

      5. montanamaven

        I found it rather shocking to call her vote a “misstep”. I can’t imagine what the families of the dead and wounded in the US military and the citizens of Iraq and Syria think of those deaths being “a misstep”. It’s kind of like she said, “My bad”. And, yes, who did she apologize too and when?

        I especially like your observation that in crazy times we don’t need bad decision makers , but steady cool headed people who will do anything to keep us out of war. I think that’s why the Russian people are so solidly behind Putin and Lavrov. They seem level headed and determined to find diplomatic solutions and coalitions while being surrounded by hysteria and fear mongering and troops at their borders.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Should she apologize? Should Obama apologize? Should Cheney apologize? Should Greenspan apologize? Should Bush apologize?

          In love, all is fair. Strangely, that applies to war as well… And so, we know that’s next. “You mean men are again just beating up on her, because she’s a woman…picking on her alone.’

          “Why don’t you ask The-Buck-Stops-Here boss to apologize first?”

          I believe we need apologies and reparations.

          And morally, reparations (and perhaps student debt jubilee) before free college tuition.

          1. polecat

            with the democrats….EVERYTHING is off the table!

            ……tiptoes around the floor trying to avoid any sharp faux social issue shards……

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              And the Republicans refuse to be out-done by the Democrats in that respect.

          2. optimader

            Should she apologize? Should Obama apologize? Should Cheney apologize? Should Greenspan apologize? Should Bush apologize?


              1. optimade

                Anyone that took an Oath of Office that took us down that road to perdition, damaged & killed oh so many people, and fairly permanently vandalized a Country.

                To the person, I am aware of no one that took an oath of office who’s made an unqualified apology, acknowledging the unending damage we did to the Iraqi people and their Country.

                Bush made his “apology” to the American people for a “Costly war” and his heart was in the right place, so all good I guess?

                How about the Iraqi’s? They remain just cannon fodder.

                Hell, just the depleted uranium shells. Skip the notion of any explosive damage, can you even IMAGINE the trauma and cleanup effort if just one of those shells were aerosolized in Central Park or DC?

                What we did to Iraq is despicable, and again there is no practical cleanup, we just embedded that DU in their Country as micron size particles to be carried in the wind for the next little bit (4.5 billion years for uranium-238 and 700 million years for uranium-235 half life’s).
                The immoral deflection is that it has only 40% of the radioactivity of natural uranium (ore in the ground)! This does not account for that fact that as a finely dispersed powder, as an Alpha emitter, if it enters ones body you are basically fkd, as are one’s unborn progeny that will have inherited mutated DNA/RNA.

                The presentation on radiation risk has long irritated me. Uranium and for that matter dreaded Plutonium theoretically present low risk of acute radiation poisoning because they are alpha emitters, easily shielded, unlike gamma emitters. The ISSUE is if you ingest a spec, that is what is going to kill you, unless you, say, step out infront of the driverless car first.
                A way to think of it, would you rather have 1,000lbs of asbestos tile imbedded in plastic sitting on a pallet in your basement, or 1 lb of micronized asbestos circulating in your HVAC system?

                So yeah, real apologies would be nice.

                With this in perspective, when it comes to the Circuses of Greenspan, if he just took a moment of reflection and said something like “.. in retrospect I clearly didn’t know what I was doing so much as I thought I did. It all got away from me and I apologize for that…..” would satisfy me.

        2. JustAnObserver

          Recalls that (slightly re-engineered) Kipling line “… when you can keep your head when all around you are heading into swamps of neocon crazy-land … you’ll be a statesman my son”.

        3. Procopius

          See, it’s the “clearances.” They get these “security” clearances to read intelligence that is very, very, very secret and that misleads them into thinking it is very, very, very accurate. Since it’s from sources they trust when they shouldn’t it usually misleads them into making policy choices that turn out badly. See also Henry Kissinger, Cambodia.

    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      Comments are no longer ‘developing nicely’. It’s only 9:30 AM on the west coast and the Times has had to shut down the comments’ section.

      1. hunkerdown

        The default comment filter is “NYT Picks” rather than “All” (with predictable results). When did that happen? Yay “nudge” theory.

  1. Ruben

    Regarding the Dutch non-binding but legally valid (quorum reached despite low funding from gov’t) referendum that rejected the association treaty between the EU and Ukraine, you might be interested to know that a similar initiative is now on course to call for a referendum on the TTIP

    1. Lemmy Caution

      I hear Fukushima roast boar is served in Tokyo restaurants and gets glowing reviews!

    2. hidflect

      ENEWS should be disbelieved at every opportunity. I was in Tokyo when it all went down and that alarmist site sprang to attention. Almost every claim they made that I further researched was spurious or false. Please don’t waste any time on it.

  2. James Levy

    My inner sense of what’s going on at Fukushima is that it’s either less of a problem than I had feared or such a huge problem that every effort is being exerted to prevent us from knowing that nothing can be done. I don’t see any in between. The Japanese government has been so dishonest and incompetent it beggars the imagination. The US and Russian governments, along with perhaps the Chinese, have to know via signals intelligence, spy satellites, and paid informers what’s going on, but they, too have been awfully mum. I just don’t know, and fear I will never be told.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      IIRC, during the first week of the crisis, the Japanese government kept downplaying that there was a serious problem until passing satellites took aerial photos showing the tops blown off the reactor buildings. If I had to bet the ant farm, I’d guess they are flushing the radioactivity into the Pacific as fast as they can — Soon to show up in tuna cans everywhere.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I try to get only tuna from the Atlantic side, but they are expensive, especially those in glass jars.

        Apparently, canned mackerel is considered a gourmet delicacy in Spain, but I am not certain if the cans are not line with BHA, the inside is white and looks un-metallic.

      2. neo-realist

        And the West Coast Sushi Bars. Know one nephew of a friend who lives in So Cal and is a voracious sushi eater. He might be a test case.

        Let see what the cancer rates are out here in another 5-10 years. They’re telling us the radiation is little to none and is being washed away.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What about black rain?

          Our moonbeam governor has been performing rain dance for a while now, praying for more radioactive storms from the Pacific, agh…

          “Give me Made-in-America drought, not Japanese radioactive rain.”

    2. uahsenaa

      Given the extreme levels of harassment experienced by Japanese journalists who even try to find out what’s going on, I would say “nothing to be done” is more likely than “not a problem.”

    3. apber

      Fukushima will ensure that Gates and Rockefeller will see their wishes come true that the global population will be reduced by 2/3. Neither West Coast US or Pacific Islanders have been alerted that they are likely to get life threatening cancers within 10 years. Already there has been a massive decimation of Pacific Ocean marine life, but nothing in the MSM. Our leaders know this of course, but those contributions from the nuke industry eliminate a lot of conscience. I suggest NC readers go to to see what the radiation level is in your community. Note that any reading over 50 “used to be” grounds for evacuation.

    4. RabidGandhi

      Oddly enough, even the Japanese government fumbling of Fukishima may have HRC’s slimy pawprints on it. I just read Vijay Prashad call the 2010 resignation of Yukio Hatoyama a “soft coup” instigated by Madame Secretary:

      The next year, she played a key role in the resignation of Yukio Hatoyama, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Japan. Hatoyama had won a mandate to remove the U.S. military base at Okinawa. She travelled to Japan as Hatoyama tried to fulfil his pledge. She lobbied against the removal of the base, stoking up discontent among the political class. One of Hatoyama’s allies broke away. He resigned a few weeks after Hillary Clinton left Japan. It was a soft coup.

      Of course only Vishnu knows if Hatoyama would have been able to spearhead a better reaction to the disaster, but it would seem to jive with the Clintons’ Midas-like ability to turn everything they touch to shyte.

      1. Jim Haygood

        While Okinawans have resented the heavy-handed U.S. presence for decades, what really galvanized the effort to expel their U.S. occupiers was a notorious incident in 1995, in which three U.S. servicemen kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old Japanese girl.

        Hillary — supporting women’s rights our troops, worldwide!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          She also failed to remove our colleges, in addition to failing to remove our base at Okinawa – no woman, supporting women’s right or not, can really feel safe in either place.

      2. Phase-One

        I wouldn’t be shocked if Washington were the driving force behind the cover-up. It goes beyond Japan obviously–and Tokyo isn’t strong enough to engineer a cover-up outside Japan’s borders.

        The motive isn’t hard to imagine–good luck ramming through the TPP in Japan if the Japanese public knew that they’d been nuked by a known lemon reactor design that the U.S. basically forced on them in order to fatten G.E.’s bottom line.

      3. ewmayer

        @RabidGandhi: t would seem to jive with the Clintons’ Midas-like ability to turn everything they touch to shyte.

        Actually, I believe the reference you want is to the mythological King Merdas, who is often confused with the fellow who starved to death in a banquet hall full of food-turned-gold.

    5. B Tilles

      Mr. Levy,

      You raise an excellent question about the severity of Fukushima. Simply in terms of spent reactor fuel on the site itself there were approx. 1600 tons. This includes reactor 3 which had about 88 tons of mixed oxide fuels (a fancy term for plutonium). In addition the reactor cores themselves contained supposedly “less than” 100 tons of enriched uranium. Much of this 100 tons melted through its fuel rods and ignited the accumulated hydrogen and destoyed several reactor buildings. The fuel itself remains “hot” and probably remains fissionable. The seawater is probably to cool the still hot fuel and avoid “small” nuclear explosions from further dispersals. This is a brief and probably inadequate response to your question. My personal belief here? Worse than you can possibly imagine.

      1. James Levy

        Thank you. It’s the passivity of all involved that bewilders me. It’s as if after the Kanto earthquake in 1923 the Japanese government had simply given up and left the whole Tokyo basin in ruins and left the population to starve. I keep returning to this post-Katrina sense that governments everywhere have lost the ability to respond to disasters. They seem paralyzed in the face of any setback. Even something as seemingly minor as the blowout in the Gulf took the US government weeks to respond to, and then ineffectively. And we’re rich, powerful, and abundantly blessed with resources. My greatest fear is that if a pandemic hit in say, India or Saudi Arabia or Indonesia the whole world would be devastated before anything like an adequate response was put in place.

        1. Gaianne

          “I keep returning to this post-Katrina sense that governments everywhere have lost the ability to respond to disasters.”

          Your perceptions are fine. It’s your assumption–that governments will consider the public safety and respond, as they used to do–that is the problem.

          We are in a new age of the world. Governments no longer do that.

          (Corporations won’t either–as they never did. I only say this to assure you I am no libertarian!)


        2. different clue

          I have raised the question before: if the Global OverClass wanted to kill 6 or 7 billion people over the next hundred years and make it look like an accident, how would they do it?

          Fostering the conditions under which mass pandemics can circle the world would be one such way to do it. And carefully degrading governments down to the level of inability to respond to globe-spanning pandemics would be a way to foster pandemicogenic conditions.

    6. cassandra

      Apologies that the following story is admittedly apocryphal and that details are cloudy. But it bears on your speculation, and I’ll testify to it being substantially true. A few months after the main Fukushima event, the Boise newspaper Idaho Statesman, in a side column, reported that radioactivity levels in rainwater (NB: NOT tap water) were 300 times the safe drinking level. The reason turned out to be that there’s an eddy in the generally westerly jet stream that sits right above southern Idaho in something like a holding pattern, so air-borne particles from across the Pacific can linger for a while and precipitate. My curiosity having been aroused, I started watching the gamma readings reported by EPA/RadNet on line. This morbid entertainment was frustrated after a week or two, in the midst of anomalously high readings, when the operators declared that they were removing the station because its results were no longer needed. So maybe not “EVERY effort is being exerted”, but it seems that at least some are. BTW, most of the folks I mentioned this to said that there must have been some good reason for the closedown; I imagine so.

    7. Gaianne

      By April of 2011 it was clear to many, including the Japanese government, that things were seriously out of control and that there were two options:

      1) Evacuate the northern 2/5 of the main island of Honshu, including the city of Tokyo.
      2) Lie about everything.

      Within a year or so it was obvious that option 2) had been taken.

      As to the question that interests all of us: Can humans actually live and reproduce in the radiation zone? Well, that is not actually known: It may be that humans can indeed reproduce before they die of cancer, and it may be that their children are not sufficiently deformed to preclude reproducing in turn (before they die of cancer). So this is an intensely interesting scientific question which the Japanese are going to (secretly) study as the 21st century unfolds.

      While lying about it.


  3. rich

    Sanders campaign says GE CEO ‘should take a good look in the mirror’

    “If the CEO of General Electric (GE) wants to know how his company is destroying the fabric of America, he should take a good look in the mirror,” Warren Gunnels, policy director for the Sanders campaign, told CNN on Thursday.

    The Sanders team criticized GE CEO Jeff Immelt over his retirement package, which it claimed was worth tens of millions of dollars, and for being a leader of “a business group lobbying Congress to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” That’s likely a reference to Immelt being involved in Fix the Debt, a group pushing Congress to reduce the debt by cutting spending and raising taxes.

    General Electric has been throwing American workers out on the street and moving to China and other low-wage countries,” the Sanders campaign said Thursday.

    His campaign also suggested that Americans may stop buying GE products as word gets out about the company shipping jobs abroad.

    King Jeff: “Slave in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space, through wind and darkness I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face.”

    Wonder if the mirror responds Sanders?

    1. Brindle

      Pope Francis to endorse Sanders?…popes don’t endorse but this comes as close to one as possible.

      —-“I think the Vatican has been aware of the fact that, in many respects, the pope’s views and my views are very much related,” Sanders said. “He has talked in an almost unprecedented way about the need to address income and wealth inequality, poverty and to combat the greed that we’re seeing all over this world, which is doing so much harm to so many people. … For me, it is an extraordinary honor to receive this invitation.”—–

      1. grayslady

        I saw this in the NY Times. I wonder if Naomi Klein explained to Pope Francis that Bernie is the best hope for people who care about climate change.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Going to the Vatican is a great move by the Sanders campaign at this particular juncture. Leaving Hill and her shills to fight down and dirty in the gutters of NY and now all of a sudden there’s nobody there to sling mud at. He’s showing the whole world that he’s way way above the nasty shenanigans of the lowly dem machine politicians, which is the reason WHY he never was a member of the dem party for his entire political career.

          1. James Levy

            Perhaps good, perhaps not meaningful. I went to Catholic schools for 12 years on Long Island and so know a thing or two about your classic Irish/Italian lower middle class voter. Most are Republican and so aren’t voting in the primary. When the general comes along they will likely say, “the Pope’s a good guy, but he lives in a palace with his head in the clouds. Sanders is probably a good guy, but he lives in the hills were it snows and they make cheese (the three things New Yorkers know about Vermont) and has his head in the clouds, too. I’m voting for Trump”. As for how much the Pope’s wink and nod will help with blacks and Jews (two critical Democratic constituencies in NY) it probably won’t mean much.

          2. Jeff W

            Going to the Vatican is a great move by the Sanders campaign at this particular juncture.

            The timing is stunning. Sanders is going on Friday 15 April and returning on Saturday 16 April to close out the New York primary that is occurring that Tuesday. That means that, not only will Hillary have no one to sling mud at—and do you really want to sling mud at someone who’s meeting with the Pope, anyway?—but Sanders will dominate the news cycle (one hopes) right on the eve of the New York primary. Sanders is playing—and beating—the corporate media, which loves spectacle, celebrity, and “events,” at its own game. (The Vatican could not have been unaware of the timing and the optics—if anything, its cooperation heightens any tacit endorsement of Sanders.)

            Kvelling doesn’t even describe it.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I wonder how the other side will turn this into separation of church and state issue.

              1. Jeff W

                Ha, yeah. Well, given that (1) Sanders is (nominally) Jewish (and Jews in the US have long been among the strongest supporters of separation of church and state in the US) and (2) basically every President since Eisenhower has met with the Pope, that argument might be kind of tough. Still, if asked, Clinton might say something like “He’s for separation of church and state, as far as I know.”

                Not to give ammunition to the other side but, if I were Clinton, I might employ the frame, one way or the other, of “I’m here with you voters in New York while my opponent is off gallivanting halfway around the globe.” Sure, it rings completely hollow but that hasn’t exactly troubled the other side before. Really, anything she says that is at all negative ends up looking like Pope envy.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  The visual of going to the Vatican, not meeting somewhere neutral, just before a primary election…I just think it’s something the other guy/gal will take advantage of.

            1. meeps

              I don’t know if it will alienate. I didn’t like it when Obama got all chummy with the Pope and I don’t care much for Sanders doing it either, but as long as it doesn’t turn into pandering or policy and the focus stays on reducing greed, it might be tolerated. Maybe Bernie can bring the Pope up to speed on women’s rights.

      2. TedWa

        It’s not just an audience with the Pope, it’s also to give a speech at the Vatican. Amazing.

    2. JohnnyGL

      He might just snag himself a few Trump voters at this rate. There’s too many of them for all of them to be tagged as just a bunch of racists.

    3. sleepy

      I wonder if the Sanders campaign will bring up Obama’s appointment of Immelt to his economic recovery advisory boad in 2009, you know, to figure out ways to avoid repeating the 08 collapse?

  4. Cry Shop

    “Britain’s manufacturing sector lies in ruins — Business Insider.” Sort of good news hiding really bad news.

    This how the UK was able reduce it’s carbon footprint by about 7% total over a 8 year period from 2008 to 2014. Only roughly, very optimistically, 0.1% of those reductions were gained by using low carbon sources to power the electric grid. The rest were achieved by sending the jobs and manufacturing to China, who’s carbon emissions soared by 3 to 8 times (depending on who’s asked). Mean while we’ve got a fellow who want to excuse a consumerist lifestyle by celebrating the 0.1% reduction.

      1. hunkerdown

        The water, too. It’s my understanding that St. Clair County (Michigan) has/had the highest cancer rate of any US county. Being just down the river from Sarnia, that’s not too surprising. Cheers!

    1. optimader

      Bill Clinton advanced the BS of NAFTA replacing the unglamorous dirty bits of the manufacturing sector with high value “information processing” jobs!

      How’d that work out once the inertia took over and the legislated benefits of offshoring was institutionalized?

      A manufacturing sector is what feeds a middle class, like it or not that is historic reality. We have our population of people that are suited and content to be running screw machines as much as the next country while making a living wage, instead of pressing fast-food register icons in what should be HS student part time jobs.

      So 20 years on, we have a bureaucracy populated with people that largely have no real grasp of the importance of a manufacturing infrastructure, or even what manufacturing should consist of (file under: not weapons system subcontracting–the Spice of Congressional District Corporate Welfare -OR- 3D printing Nested Dolls in a rented loft building!)

      ..but we are where we are.

      What we need a new program!. Well, maybe what we actually need is to unwind the legislated incentives that moved jobs out of this country in the first place?.. but that would be a big ouch

  5. ahimsa

    *Breaking News* Bernie Sanders to visit Vatican City days before NY primary (CNN)

    Looks like the potential for a lot of media coverage and serious momentum next week:

    Wednesday April 13th – High profile rally in Washington Square Park
    Thursday April 14th – Debate with HRC in Brooklyn
    Friday April 15th – Sanders gives speech at Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences “on social, economic, and environmental issues”

          1. hunkerdown

            If only they’d gotten a proper recording, the noise could have been filtered/subtracted out.

        1. frosty zoom


          the so-called “static noise” was actually a verbatim translation of ms. cliton’s speech into “pobrese” so as to provide the passing riff raff with the opportunity to delight in ms. clinton ever wondrous wisest of words, a service provided free of charge by “Master Blasters for America, P.A.C.K.”.

        2. optimader

          It’s bizarre actually, Ah.. free media?
          Oh, right my bad, Trump has proven that doesn’t work…

      1. hidflect

        re: What’s he building in there? Thanks. It was brilliant. I forwarded it off immediately.

    1. nycTerrierist

      This is brilliant. Socialist Jew and the Pope: allies against the depredations of capitalism.

      Pope fans who don’t know Bernie will be impressed. He could pick up some crucial NY votes.

      This NY Jew is kvelling. I feel like we are witnessing karma in action here.

      1. Qrys

        What Would Bernie Sanders Do?

        – Overturn tables in the Vatican gift shop?
        – Demand reparations to families of Catholic descent for centuries of misbegotten indulgences?
        – Begin his epic speech on income inequality with Cum nimis absurdum

      2. Jim Haygood

        If the pope beatifies him, we will be addressing Bernie as Saint Bernard of Burlington.

        1. frosty zoom

          and if ringo starr beatlefies him, we will be addressing mr. sanders as saint bernsie of burnley.

    2. EndOfTheWorld

      Go, Bernie. And PLEASE try to tell me one more time why I just HAVE TO vote for HRC if she gets the dem nomination, because I’m registered as a democrat. In my case, if she gets the nomination, I will immediately change my registration to repug—-there, that make you feel better?

    3. Anne

      Hillary will now have to have a one-on-one with God in order to one-up Bernie, lol.

      I can hear her teeth gnashing from here.

      1. Jim Haygood

        At this point, Hillary’s esteemed colleague Lucifer can be of greater practical aid.

        “My soul for the presidency!”

        1. optimader

          Angel Heart (1987)

          Louis Cyphere: No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, your reflection always looks you straight in the eye

          The flesh is weak, Johnny. Only the soul is immortal.
          And yours belongs to ME.

      2. craazyboy

        The “Special Place in Hell” is starting to sound like an idle threat. I believe Bernie Gals can sleep more soundly now.

  6. Alex morfesis

    Julie annie speaks…isnt he/she/it the jeb of 2008 ?? El foldo ?? Didn’t he help kill at least 1000 people on 911 because he refused fireman union request for specialized mountain climbing training to deal with high rise fires…refused to supply the fire dept with working comunication radios…refused to fund specialized helicoptors for rescues…refused to fund drones so firemen could assess situations before they arrive at a fire…refused to pay for research on specialized and lighter weight fire equipment and oxygen tanks…refused to provide rolling robots to enter quickly with cameras to allow critical assessments…this is someone who makes Henry Kissinger look like a candidate for sainthood…the man who was arranging photo shoots while rome was burning…no dust on his face or clothes…
    Even dictators dont seem to like him…

    Dear el donaldoes kidz…make dad Run away from Julie Annie…save the brand while you still can…

  7. Anon

    Re: Bill Clinton Spars with Protestors

    So, reading the article, it says that the super-predators line was debunked, linking to a WaPo article that says that researchers came up with the idea, which still doesn’t excuse her from saying it.

    1. flora

      I watched the video in story. When he waggled his finger at the crowd my reaction was, “Ewww. Don’t waggle that thing at me. Who knows where its been.” ;)

      1. Qrys


        If Hillary pulls off the nom, d’ya think Bill and The Donald will square off in a absurd display of hands?

      2. Peter Pan

        He loves to waggle his finger at the little people when he’s lying.

        Example: (waggling) I did not have sex with that woman! (waggling).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      She said super predators.

      He said ‘living in a ghetto.’

      African Americans are mostly for her.

      White people are mostly for him.

      It’s like we are living in the 50’s.

      Except we say, you people are not in the progressive camp.

  8. RabidGandhi

    I found myself unpersuaded by Robert Parry’s claims that the MSM has suddenly become Unmoored From Facts.

    Is the MSM dominated by unthinking neocon editors? Absolutely.
    Do the media act as stenographers for government lies? Indubitably.
    Is this a departure from journalism past? Not so clear.

    In their conversation, Sy Hersh and Parry seem to be glossing over the disastrous role the media have played in every US war since (at least) 1898. Was there a critical voice of the government’s Gulf of Tonkin claims? Of its “justification” for attacking Panama or Grenada? Of its clearly manufactured picture of the Korean War? etc etc. And this is not to mention perhaps the most egregious example: Nicaragua, where the press was uniformly uncritical of US aggression to a degree that would make Pravda jealous.

    As I see the evidence, there seems to be more critical voices out there now thanks to the internet and alternative media platforms (eg one “Naked Capitalism”). These alternatives paint a stark contrast with the traditional media who are still in their usual “Unmoored From Facts” mode, but this contrast did not exist in the past.

    Bibliography: Knightley, Philip The First Casualty on how closely war coverage inevitably follows the government line.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Yeah that was 1968. The US invasion of South Vietnam began in 1962, after at least 8 years of covert war. Even Hersh’s My Lai story came out over a year after the massacre happened (not Hersh’s fault per se). So the “antagonistic” press was roughly 14 years late to the party.

        By contrast, there were skeptical stories about Iraq WMD from the get go, even in major outlets like McClatchy.

        That said, I don’t want to diminish Parry’s main point, to wit: Fred Hiatt is a whore.

      2. RabidGandhi

        And just another note: Cronkite’s skepticism was as to whether the US would be as effective as it claimed at “winning” the war. I can’t recall any example of him questioning the party line as to the morality of destroying 3 Indochinese countries in order to save them.

        1. Brian

          news didn’t allow personal opinion as it does today. Today, opinion first, facts come during the commercial.

          1. RabidGandhi

            I’m not so sure. The Cronkite volte-face that Timothy Geithner didn’t mention above was Cronkite “editorialising” and there was, as you say, a delineation between what was labeled as the news segment and what was opinion. But even the hard news sections were completely infused with the US government-approved opinion that they were attacking South Vietnam to halt communism– dominoes and what not. (actually I should revise that: the US media is so dominated by the government narrative that there is no such thing as a “US attack on South Vietnam”).

            So sure, I agree that the line between what is overt editorial opinion and what is labeled as news has been blurred in recent years, but the suffusion of official opinion in the news has always been there, and that is what I think Parry and Hersh are missing.

            1. fresno dan

              I always think of it in term of who and which questions are “allowed” – the questions I would ask never get asked.

              Scott Ritter accurately assessed the WDM situation in Iraq – so it could be done.
              We spend billions, IF NOT TRILLIONS, on “intelligence”
              1. So WHO got fired for being incompetent, stupid, and venal?
              2. So WHO decided that this overwhelming government ineptitude is insignificant?
              3. So WHO decided none of the above in newsworthy….or more accurately, would imperil the profits of the MSM?

            2. Carolinian

              Cronkite was also the managing editor of the CBS news broadcast over all those years and after Tet they had some fairly hard hitting stuff on the disintegration of the war effort. Yes, in the beginning he was anything but antiwar but you have to remember that his entire generation had a WW2 “good war” mindset. As a newsman he was very much a straight arrow and said the only thing broadcasters like him had to sell was their credibility.

              Needless to say this is completely different from our Pravda/Izvestia press corps of today. They are only out to maintain their viability in the context of Versailles and it’s various satellite locations.

              1. RabidGandhi

                Carolinian: the Tet Offensive was beaten back and was, at least in military terms, a victory for the US. By 1968 though, the US had already achieved its main war goal (“checking communist aggression” by pummeling South Vietnam to a pulp– thus discouraging the ‘Super Dominoes’ of Japan and Indonesia from seeking an independent course). What Tet did do, however, was lay bare the fact that keeping the Thieu regime in power was not going to be the cakewalk the military claimed it would be.

                In addition to this added military cost, by that time, the domestic costs of the war had become too high, and business leaders in the US establishment had begun to sour on the war. So when Cronkite made his ‘stand’ he was actually, once again, voicing the establishment view: not that the war was immoral (as a majority of the population believed), but rather that it was not effective, it was not possible to achieve the secondary war objective of keeping a puppet regime in power. Thus his news stories were exactly what you said: on the collapse of the US war effort; never about the destruction of the Vietnamese people or the rampant war crimes being committed.

                This to me is not that different from our current MSM: adhering scrupulously to the party line, only voicing the opinions of those in power, and squelching any deviations therefrom. Or to use your analogy, he never left Versailles.

                1. Carolinian

                  Respectfully I believe you are wrong about him being the same as the current crew. My interpretation is that Cronkite was upset because Tet proved the government had been lying about the progress of the war and all those dead Vietnamese reported in their famous body counts. It was not a moral issue but a truth issue and for him credibility was important.

                  And IMO that’s how it should be. It was not Cronkite’s job to judge the war. His role was to report it. The problem with the current MSM is not their rightwing opinions but their lies. I don’t care if they, say, hate Putin as long as they just report the facts. They claim to still adhere to the old standards of objectivity but shade everything to a certain point of view.

                  So, no, one shouldn’t take an overly rosy view of past journalism but surely our current bunch represent some kind of nadir. Even hack journalists of the Front Page days cared about scoops and getting the story out. These days everything is spin.

                  1. RabidGandhi

                    Likewise respectfully… in fact since it’s you I’m disagreeing with I’m thinking there must be something wrong with my logic!
                    That said, I think where we disagree is where you say

                    It was not Cronkite’s job to judge the war. His role was to report it.

                    The journalistic sin I see Parry complaining about is this faux objectivity… Today’s media like to think they are objective, when in fact they are merely spouting the government’s highly subjective position, and then officialising it with the imprimatur of “objective journalism” that shows both sides: both Country and Western!

                    This obviously makes the press– past and present– highly allergic to facts, because as Versailles courtesans their role is to sing the tunes the King finds pleasing. Thus Cronkite’s reporting was not all that different, in that its selection of which facts to present and which to ignore was in no way objective. Quite to the contrary, they were carefully culled (eg, by ignoring North Vietnamese sources) to skirt the blatant truth that the war was the worst genocide since WWII. If said genocide had been perpetrated by anyone else (esp. an official enemy) the facts Cronkite selected to report would have been completely different– and one would assume more complete. (Here I’m tempted to look up how he reacted to say Prague Spring or other enemy atrocities.).

                    Of course, I agree with you that he was pissed at the military for misleading the public about how effective their strategy was– he wasn’t pissed about the government lying about the war’s morality but rather about its effectiveness. And ultimately his being upset just happened to be timed when most of the establishment had already decided the war was no longer worth the costs, so I find it hard to say he’s any more brave w/r/t publishing controversial facts than today’s journalists who have likewise blown with the prevailing wind and are now anti-Iraq war.

                    Lastly I hope you’re right that the current lot are the nadir– that would mean things are going to improve!

    1. HopeLB

      Can’t we the citizens and jour ournalist cohorts (and maybe Ralph Nader) band together in a class action suit that demonstrates that Big Media is preventing the Republic from having an informed citizenry; that Big Consolidated Media is coercing and constraining knowledge and inhibiting objective, democratic decision making? Couldn’t we demand citizens get free computers with net nuetral internet access in order that the citizens have access to information and therefore that voters are informed or at least have the capability to be? What a great trial it would be! Demonstrations of all of those stories that were buried and a full vetting of the new law allowing propagandizing of US citizens!

  9. human

    United States Government Accountability Office

    Testimony Before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. Senate

    For Release on Delivery
    Expected at 10:30 a.m. ET
    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    FISCAL YEAR 2015


    Just in case it was missed…

  10. Bill

    Ritual slaughter: Why so many early human societies practiced violent human sacrifice

    With the current crop of GOP candidates, one longs for those good ole days of yore !

    1. diptherio

      Today we have “signature strikes” and “targeted killings,” which we are told are necessary for our survival as a nation, much like the sacrifice of war prisoners was necessary for the continuation of the Aztec empire. Things never change, and they never get better — they just get bad in different ways.

      1. polecat

        uhh…….you forgot to mention the plethora of all things zombie, as portrayed in the current popular culture…

        we definitely need more……brains!

    2. knowbuddhau

      Great to see that I’m not alone in seeing the industrial-scale human sacrifice inherent in our system. A way of life that is, net, a way of death, can’t last long. Cf. the Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Naqoyqatsi trilogy.

      From Wikipedia:

      According to Hopi Dictionary: Hopìikwa Lavàytutuveni, the Hopi word koyaanisqatsi (Hopi pronunciation: [kojɑːnisˈkɑtsi])[24] is defined as “life of moral corruption and turmoil” or “life out of balance”.[25] The prefix koyaanis– means “corrupted” or “chaotic”, and the word qatsi means “life” or “existence”,[26] literally translating koyaanisqatsi as “chaotic life”.[25] The film also defines the word as “crazy life”, “life in turmoil”, “life disintegrating”, and “a state of life that calls for another way of living”.[27]

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Also industrial-scale chicken sacrifice, and industrial-scale pig sacrifice.

        Any basic research on their mental state as they march toward the slaughterhouse? Which of our higher learning, research institutions is the best rated in that animal psychology field?

        1. sillybill

          I don’t know about that kind of research but an autistic woman named Temple Grandin played an important part in developing techniques for slaughter houses to reduce fear and stress in animals. Her autism perhaps made her more sensitive to the emotions and inner life of animals (not sure how that works, I’m pretty ignorant about autism) anyway she figured out how to change things in slaughter facilities so that things would go more smoothly, the animals wouldn’t get all freaked out, etc.

          1. hunkerdown

            Among other effects, autism makes one less susceptible to social pressure. Unlike sociopathy, it doesn’t incline one to a lack of empathy or insensitivity to others; rather the opposite, it inclines one to not internalize social conceits that would desensitize one to the state of others. Life inside the autistic mind is really intense, but not pegged to extremes as in bipolarity.

            (Speaking for myself, anyway, but it seems that others’ lived experiences are not dissimilar.)

  11. NotTimothyGeithner

    Ruh roh, there is chatter that the protests at 10 Downing Street might be rather large tomorrow.

    1. Peter Pan

      Here’s hoping they bring torches, pitch forks, a crocodile & a guillotine under the leadership of Captain Hook.

      1. sillybill

        Crocodiles might be hard to find in jolly old England but I’ll bet someone brings a pig’s head for dear old Dave.

    1. windsock

      Ooh spooky – there’s also Risk there, out of shot. Now I understand I have been conditioned to be this person who reads Naked Capitalism by the games I have played!

    2. Skippy

      Ditto for me too…. pair of cats watching a poisonous frog with intent between… would you like to play a little game…

    1. fresno dan

      I would have put in Freddie Kruger for a Lennox furnace….
      Oh, and I think the advil would be 70K, not just 7K

  12. Jim Haygood

    Atlanta Fed, comrades — they keep bringing us down:

    The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.1 percent on April 8, down from 0.4 percent on April 5.

    So what are they gonna do about it? Rather alarmingly, J-Yel & Co. have scheduled a special meeting on April 11th to review “advance and discount rates”:

    Are we going back to ZIRP so soon, having just left it last December? One clue is that J-Yel’s liquidationist sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer seems to have been locked in a windowless broom closet in the Eccles Bldg since his unfortunate outbursts last winter.

    Zeroes fighting zero with zero … it’s not supposed to make sense.

    1. fresno dan

      Yellen: “We are coming close to our assigned congressional goal of maximum employment,” Yellen said Thursday in New York on a panel with three of her predecessors. Many measures of unemployment, she said, “really suggest a labor market that is vastly improved.”

      I got the impression that the FED thinks everything is hunky dorey, unless…its not….or THEY think its not….or somethin’
      I saw the past 4 FED wizards on Bloomberg….and it was elucidating…..NAH…it was just more CO2 pumped into the atmosphere for no benefit.

      1. frosty zoom

        Yellen: “We are coming close to our assigned congressional goal of maximum employment,” Yellen said Thursday as she thanked her 17,353,498 gardeners for their fine work at her North Watusi Shore home. Many measures of unemployment, she said, “confuse me.”

        1. Foy

          Nearly ‘maximum employment’ with 45 million on food stamps Janet? How the hell does she reconcile that? She needs to leave her ivory tower and go for a walk or perhaps a bit a drive to see what’s going on in the countryside.

          The BS continues to flow…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Labor market…unemployment…employment.

        Employment is not necessarily work.

        And work can be done without employment.

        Sitting in a cafe, scribbling tales of wizards and magic, can be work, even if you have not been paid in years, and are not likely for a few more.

        Your wife can cut your hair for free, and it’s not in the GDP.

        You go across the street, and pay your wife’s boss to have your wife cut your hair, that’s contributing to the GDP.

        “You have been awarded a silver GDP star for your bravery in the service of all-nature conquering GDP army.”

  13. gary headlock

    RE: White noise blasting during Hillary Fundraiser, of course, how else are large US corporations supposed to protect their IP??

    1. HotFlash

      That wasn’t white noise, that was her speech. Same one she gave x 3 for Goldman: “Blah blah blah blah fighting for you.”

  14. fresno dan

    Pro-War Dead-enders and Our Unending Wars American Conservative (resilc)

    It is almost never mentioned now, so it is easy to forget that many Libyan war supporters initially argued for intervention in order to save the “Arab Spring.” Their idea was that the U.S. and its allies could discourage other regimes from forcibly putting down protests by siding with the opposition in Libya, and that if the U.S. didn’t do this it would “signal” dictators that they could crush protests with impunity. This never made sense at the time. Other regimes would have to believe that the U.S. would consistently side with their opponents, and there was never any chance of that happening. If it sent any message to them, the intervention in Libya sent other regimes a very different message: don’t let yourself be internationally isolated like Gaddafi, and you won’t suffer his fate. Another argument for the intervention was that it would change the way the U.S. was perceived in the region for the better. That didn’t make sense, either, since Western intervention in Libya wasn’t popular in most countries there, and even if it had been it wouldn’t change the fact that the U.S. was pursuing many other policies hated by people throughout the region. It was on the foundation of shoddy arguments such as these that the case for war in Libya was built.
    Liberal hawks will complain that the Iraq war was run incompetently (and it was), but they don’t give up on the idea of preventive war or the belief that the U.S. is entitled to attack other states more or less at will in the name of “leadership.” Neoconservatives will fault Obama for not doing more in Libya after the regime was overthrown, but it would never occur to them that toppling foreign governments by force is wrong or undesirable. There remains a broad consensus that the U.S. “leads” the world and in order to exercise that “leadership” it is free to destabilize and attack other states as it sees fit.

    It is hard to look at what is happening and come to the conclusion that only makes sense if:
    1. people who lead the US just love war – as Madeline Albright said, what is the point of all these nifty killing gadgets if you can’t vaporize people????
    2. some people are making a ton of money
    3. Americans leaders are stupid, and through a fine system of intricate vetting and evaluation, the very stupidest are chosen to formulate the US’s foreign policy. In the greatest example EVAH of Dunning-Kruger effect, a Confederacy of dunces runs the US foreign policy. Maybe that is unkind – at least for the first time in a long time, both parties have a candidate that is substantively challenging the ever more involvement meme that the very serious people understand must be done by the US…

  15. Jim Haygood

    From antidote (April 4th “dog pilot”) to aviator in four days flat:

    IT MIGHT sound barking mad, but it turns out dogs can fly.

    A New Zealand dog trainer who taught RSPCA dogs to drive has done the unthinkable and managed to train dogs how to pilot a plane in a bid to prove just how capable rescue dogs can be.

    In a world first, Mr Vette was able to successfully train three rescue dogs, Reggie, Shadow and Alfie, to fly a plane, and even perform tricks, including a figure of eight manoeuvre.

    Well, that escalated fast …

    1. fresno dan

      Well, I’m thinking that dogs could run the US foreign policy…hopefully much, much, much, much (did I say much) better than the current curs (I was gonna say b*tch, but that would be too mean an insult to female dogs everywhere…..)
      Of course, I set too high a bar – I’m sure earthworms would do a much better job as well.

      Earthworm President: There is a crisis in Lebanon – what should we do?
      Earthworm Secretary of State: Well, I am going to do what I always do – stay here in the warm, damp earth eating sh*t and fu*king myself (earthworms are hermaphrodites, they can do that) – and just like 40 years ago, and forty years into the future, there will be crises-es in Lebanon….

      1. frosty zoom

        curs, indeed. with mustaches and wax.

        and one day, earthworms will indeed do a better job.

        lebanon is too hot and dry for earthworms, anyway.

    1. cwaltz

      Uh oh, maybe that means we forgot to leave the great big bags of money we usually give them to be our bestest buddies.

  16. Jess

    Being, as I am, uninitiated in the rites and procedures for offshore hiding of wealth, I wonder if someone (Jim Haygood?) could walk me through it. Say you (or I) are an American with ultra high income. What are the mechanics of moving that money offshore and thus avoiding taxes? I assume that it varies depending on your type of income. For instance, a pro athlete in a team sport gets paid by check or direct deposit from the team, and he or she may get endorsement money from sponsors. How do they minimize or avoid taxes through an offshore company? Perhaps dividends and payouts from investments are the monies that get hidden, rather than their base income?

    And what about high net-worth investors and their ilk? Investments made through offshore entities so the profits also go to those entities? But how does that money get laundered back to the owner in a way that they can use it in everyday commerce without reporting it or paying taxes on it? How does that person use sheltered offshore funds to buy a Bentley or a vacation home or a bauble for his mistress?


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I imagine you set up a shell company offshore.

      You wire your investment abroad.

      That shell company can then do business with other shell companies you own secretly. The tax-haven profits from those secret shell companies are only known to you and your lawyer.

      That’s my guess.

      If I really knew, I’d be rich.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘What are the mechanics of moving that money offshore and thus avoiding taxes?’

      There’s nothing illegal about holding money offshore and avoiding (as opposed to ‘evading’) tax.

      But Americans can’t avoid tax simply by going offshore, owing to a megalomaniacal, extreme-outlier provision in the U.S. tax code which taxes citizens on their worldwide income (and obliges them to report all their overseas accounts).

      With our FinCEN overlords having gone global, the days of using overseas banks to evade tax are over. What we see happening on our end provides a clue: foreign buyers purchasing property through anonymous corporate vehicles.

      Unlike bank accounts, FinCEN doesn’t receive automated global reporting of deed registries. But they’re probably working on it! Data = Control. Are you in compliance, comrade?

    3. Alex morfesis

      First you create your IP or brand, if you can…then you tie it to your family members and hand off the ownership but keep control by either the power of direction to the trust or non revocable proxy for the corporation….barry bonds set up early his entities so when the prosecutors said they would make him “lose” all his money if he didnt surrender and plea bargain…he laughed…it wasnt “his” money..and the structures were too old and grandfathered to be subject to any clawback threat…brittany spears set up similar structures but her parents and manager decided she would not be allowed to escape so they conveniently had her “classified” and were thus able to wrestle control of her assets by getting control of the children…sad…very sad…

      Dealmaking richie richs form sequences of entities for most transactions…stripping apart the different aspects into various structures…one owns the property…one gets a land lends on the landlease…one rents the structure in the landlease…one buys the parts/chattel to allow enhanced and compartmentalized depreciation…one has an option to purchase the depreciated assets and then lease it again sans depreciation…one provides inventory financing…one provides services…one rents the management to the entity…there is usually limited equity/basis going into a new structure or enterprise…there are certain accounting gaap etc rules for the first couple of years until an enterprise gets out of its speculative phase…

      The panama papers from what I see only describe corporate structures…trusts are another avenue and despite all the noise, in europe if a trust has a corporation as the beneficiary…no cross border reporting…

      Those with just an idea for an emergency escape outside usa set up accounts but do not fund them with enough money to trigger a reporting requirement and said reporting requirement can be as long as 18 months after the funds have been placed ex-usa…

      Caveats…personal real estate and funds below a certain threshold can stay below the radar…trusts or corps or entities now basically require full reporting…but as long as one is not ignoring the us tax code…not a problem…the us tax code is designed to make the rich wealthy…so anyone with material assets is not worried about cheating uncle sam…they just need to get a better tax accountant…

  17. optimader

    RE: HRC “Misstep”

    1. A misplaced or awkward step.

    2. An instance of wrong or improper conduct; a blunder.

    Hillary is thinking 1, because she is a Sociopath and doesn’t get that her position on the Iraq war is more than her feeling some inconvenience.

    I am thinking 2. because she is a Sociopath and seemingly doesn’t recognize right from wrong –improper conduct. Rather it is all about burying her foreign policy debris field. All about her image in the moment.

    She just doesn’t get that calling it a “misstep” will be interpreted by a normal person as a trivialization of perhaps the most heroically fkd up foreign policy blunder the US has made in decades.

    She participated from a front row seat, had the opportunity in terms of being influential, more than most, to do the right thing at the time and she didn’t.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Compared with what Trump said:

      “The Iraq War was a disaster. It was a big, fat mistake.”

      And Mr. The-Buck-Stops-Here? What is his view?

      Sanders voted against it. How does he describe the war – we know from his action, “I am against it.” – but does he say that it was a disaster? What does he say now? He must have said more than “I am against it.” I am sure he has said more than that about the Iraq War, but on that alone, that is as sterile as Hillary’s misstep, compared to Trump’s more visceral ‘ disaster or big, fat mistake.’

      And apologies, from the commander(s) – past and present -, and senators and congress persons (for being part of the institution, or resigning was always a possibility), are good, but what about reparations?

      1. Vatch

        Of course Sanders has said more than “I am against it”:

        I voted against the war in Iraq, and knew it was the right vote then, and most people recognize it was the right vote today. The only mission President Bush and his neo-conservative friends accomplished was to destabilize an entire region, and create the environment for al-Qaeda and ISIS to flourish.

        (I added the highlighting.)

        13 years ago:

        Mr. Speaker, in the brief time I have, let me give five reasons why I am opposed to giving the President a blank check to launch a unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq and why I will vote against this resolution. One, I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed. As a caring Nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause. War must be the last recourse in international relations, not the first. Second, I am deeply concerned about the precedent that a unilateral invasion of Iraq could establish in terms of international law and the role of the United Nations. If President Bush believes that the U.S. can go to war at any time against any nation, what moral or legal objection could our government raise if another country chose to do the same thing?

        Third, the United States is now involved in a very difficult war against international terrorism as we learned tragically on September 11. We are opposed by Osama bin Laden and religious fanatics who are prepared to engage in a kind of warfare that we have never experienced before. I agree with Brent Scowcroft, Republican former National Security Advisor for President George Bush, Sr., who stated, “An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counterterrorist campaign we have undertaken.”

        Fourth, at a time when this country has a $6 trillion national debt and a growing deficit, we should be clear that a war and a long-term American occupation ofIraq could be extremely expensive.

        Fifth, I am concerned about the problems of so-called unintended consequences. Who will govern Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed and what role will the U.S. play in ensuing a civil war that could develop in that country? Will moderate governments in the region who have large Islamic fundamentalist populations be overthrown and replaced by extremists? Will the bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority be exacerbated? And these are just a few of the questions that remain unanswered.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Good to hear that, but not surprising at all, consistently with his actions.

          Now will he say Obama has been doing a good job impersonating Bush? Will he say he is weak?

          Given all that he has said, what does he think with regards to reparations?

          1. Vatch

            I think he wants to be elected. He can’t win the nomination if he offends the Obots. And he can’t win the general election if he offers to give huge sums of money to a foreign country that many Americans perceive to be hostile. I’m not defending this; I’m just pointing out what I consider to be a political reality.

            1. TomD

              There is an obsession with some on this site that the way to win the Democratic nomination is to run against Obama despite him being the most popular politician in the country. It’s ridiculous.

              Of course we do send large sums of money to Iraq and have every year since the invasion. How does that factor into “reparations”?

              1. Vatch

                Regarding reparations: yeah, I guess the U.S. government did already send shrink wrapped bundles of hundred dollar bills to Iraq. So that’s probably okay with lots of voters, but I don’t think they would like it if the bundles of money were called “reparations”.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  What is in a name?

                  Will Hillary give us a not-apology apology?

                  By the way, Tom, I did not know we are still sending cash over to Iraq every year. Thanks for that information.

                  I hope it gets directly to the victims and their families (that we somehow identify and track down), and not for the Iraqi government to spend freely.

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I admit to having that obsession.

                Maybe running as an independent gives him more maneuvering room against the most popular politician in the country (that’s quite a miracle, turning weak water into sweet Barolo, again and again).

  18. polecat

    Regarding the Second Wave Selloff/ Forbes article………

    so due to the wonders of private equity…..we’ll soon go from craft beer, to crap beer…….

    jeez…who woulda thunk it !!

    I’ll continue to brew my own, thank you very much.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When all the boys want craft beer, then that’s where all the girls go.

      Or is it, when all the girls want craft beer, then that’s where all the boys go?

      Oh, the folly of man.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I like to make home made (no brand, not underground popular) beer one day.

          Yes, you can say that’s GDP-draft dodging…not contributing to the GDP (except the ingredient part, but that still hurt the GDP).

          1. cnchal

            Your comment reminds me of a post from a long time ago, from a studious young economist from Germany if memory serves correctly, that we should wash each others cars to boost GDP. I still laugh at that one. Some useless eaters are pretty good comedians.

    1. cnchal

      For about 700 of the American shell companies, the corporate officers are business entities rather than people, meaning no individual is linked to the Nevada firm in state records.

      The registered agent for all of the companies in Nevada is M.F. Corporate Services (Nevada) Ltd., a one-employee operation located in an unassuming Las Vegas office suite.

      Talk about productivity and efficiency, finally a human.

  19. financial matters

    I just finished reading a very thought provoking book by artist Adam Grossi describing how he used yoga to help in his personal challenge with bipolar disorder. This is an example of his writing from ‘Wind Through Quiet Tensions’.

    “I like to consider that over the last several billion years, this extraordinary planet evolved without the help of any of us. There were no human engineers to create the delicate atmospheric conditions necessary for life, no chemists to invent photosynthesis, no think tanks to propose evolutionary advances for the ecstatic variety of non-human organisms. Whether you choose to believe in divinity or not, we can all agree that there is an extraordinary intelligence pervading this world and it is beyond the scope of human invention.”

    1. gordon

      It’s fun to see the panspermia idea come back again without, of course, any reference to Fred Hoyle or other early advocates. Sort of like the way we are now getting critical of international finance capitalism without ever mentioning Lenin.

      1. Gaianne

        Fred Hoyle was a real physicist with a wonderful ability to embarrass the received intellectual wisdom.

        His science fiction novels were fun, too.


    2. Foy

      I would highly recommend going on an autoimmune protocol diet for 30 days for anyone who has bipolar/depression and inflammation issues and has been unable to get it treated properly. There’s a number studies that show that bipolar, depression may be autoimmune inflammation related. After 30 days you then add food groups back one at a time to find out which one(s) your body/gut has a problem with, and eradicate them for good.

      In this case study of one (me) the changes I’ve experienced from the autoimmune protocol diet are nothing short of profound, after the last 15 years of feeling like an experimental test dummy by being put on every drug known to man to treat it (unsuccessfully, often made things worse). I had also done mindfulness meditation and yoga (still do) which improved things for a while but then they had their downsides as well and didn’t slay the beast. The only word for the changes I experienced from the AI protocol diet is profound. I only wish I’d known about this 15 years ago…Maybe this helps somebody…

  20. RWood

    From this:
    Bush-41’s October Surprise Denials Consortiumnews

    George H.W. Bush came from the bosom of the American ruling class at a time when it was rising to become the most intimidating force on earth. He was the grandson of a powerful Wall Street banker, the son of an influential senator, and a director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    To this:
    What the Panama Papers Tell Us Global Guerrillas:

    There’s nothing new in tax evasion through parking one’s financial assets “offshore.” That’s been around for a very long time. Instead, what’s truly stunning here is the routinization and systematizing of these nefarious practices. It reminds me of the leap from a pogrom to the Holocaust: a massacre you can attempt to blame on particular circumstances, timing, leaders, etc., but a genuine effort at genocide is something operating on an entirely different level. The former, because it’s short-lived, can be sustained by emotion, but the latter, because it takes years of consistent effort, requires something far worse – a truly deformed sense of morality.
    I concur.
    This is the same reason I found the financial crisis of 2007-2016 so troubling (others found it troubling too since it launched both the Tea party and Occupy):
    This financial crisis demonstrated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the entire US system from Wall Street to Washington is an elaborate fraud.
    A morally bankrupt system we can’t (read: won’t) dismantle because it has become routine and accepted.
    A system that is actively destroying the socioeconomic fabric of the US and strangling our future.
    A truly deformed sense of morality that has become disturbingly pervasive.

    With the Clintons between, and Obama “looking forward” — as we all are.

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