Links 5/10/16

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Police notice alligator foot dangling out of Florida man’s car dash, and bust him for killing it Boing Boing

71-million-year-old fossils: Antarctica yields clues to last of the dinosaurs Christian Science Monitor (furzy)

NOAA looks for answers in the mysterious Mariana Trench Christian Science Monitor (furzy)

Canada’s Fort McMurray wildfire is so massive, you can see it from space Boing Boing

Mossack Fonseca

Panama Papers affair widens as database goes online BBC (Chuck L)

Guide to Legal Tax Evasion YouTube (Gabriel U)


U.S. Warship Sails Near Chinese-Claimed Island in Challenge to Beijing Wall Street Journal

China’s debt: It’s worse than you think CNBC

China Continues to Prop Up Its Ailing Factories, Adding to Global Glut Wall Street Journal

Can Europe compete with China in post-Sanction Iran? Will the US Let it? Juan Cole


David Cameron: Brexit could lead to Europe descending into war Telegraph (Li). The officaldom must be very worried about the vote to be resorting to arguments like this.

Big banks wary on UK as Brexit vote looms Financial Times. Quelle surprise!


Greek Debt Talks Enter Familiar Summer Tumult New York Times

Greece will be ‘failed state’ without debt relief Telegraph. Ahem, how long have we been saying mere continued austerity will reduce Greece to a failed state? It’s amazing Greece is still functioning at all, and appears to be due to its strong family structures.

Midnight Reversal Puts Brazil Impeachment Drive Back on Track Bloomberg

The Sinaloa Cartel Has More Planes Than Mexico’s Biggest Airline Motherboard


U.S. Role in Afghanistan Turns to Combat Again, With a Tragic Error New York Times (reslic)

U.S. Role in Afghanistan Turns to Combat Again, With a Tragic Error New York Times (resilc)

What Next for Turkey After Erdogan Power Play? Global Voices

Turkey, At Energy Crossroads, Sliding Towards Authoritarianism OilPrice

Saudi King Salman Financed Netanyahu’s Campaign. Panama Papers Leak Global Research

Did Pakistan poison a senior CIA official? Christian Science Monitor (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

FBI Told Cops to Recreate Evidence From Secret Cell-Phone Trackers Intercept (Wat)

Location Trackers Reveal Where Your E-Junk Really Ends Up Wired (resilc)

Could children one day sue parents for posting baby pics on Facebook? Guardian

Police State Watch

America’s courts are going dark Boing Boing (resilc)

Lawyer says ‘outrageous’ RCMP grilling violated London tax hacker’s rights London Free Press. Frosty Zoom: “Are y’all sure you want to come to Canada?!?”

Researcher arrested after reporting pwnage hole in elections site The Register

No Backspace: NYPD Raids Won’t Solve NYCHA’s Violence Problem City Limits (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

THE BARRETT BROWN REVIEW OF ARTS AND LETTERS AND PRISON Dean Rusk Also Missing, Feared Dead Intercept (resilc). A terrible title for a very good article about Kissinger’s record.

How Bad Leadership Destroys Institutions American Conservative

Clinton E-mail Hairball

State Dept.: Clinton IT aide’s email archive is lost The Hill (Li). Notice State trying to claim that an RNC court filing was inaccurate. But that was in a press statement while the RNC used language that tracks FOIA responses I have received. So one is left wondering whether the RNC’s filing was accurate based on the information it had at the time. And the State Dept. fallback is pretty lame.

2016. All the news ex the Clinton e-mail scandal seems to be about Trump….

Donald Trump, in Switch, Turns to Republican Party for Fund-Raising Help New York Times

Trump names Christie as transition chief Financial Times

Small Business Owners Have a Thing for Donald Trump Helaine Olen, Slate

Is Paul Ryan trying to get booted from GOP convention chair? Christian Science Monitor

Donald Trump Gets Something Right: The US Can Avoid Defaults by Printing Money Benamjim Studebaker (Jeff W)

Bush Wrecked the GOP Long Before Trump Appeared American Conservative. Resilc: “Not Reagan?”

Trump Headstone in Central Park: Mystery Solved New York Times (David L)

Donald Trump Says New London Mayor Could Be Exception to His Ban on Muslims New York Times. Trump is not backing down on the Muslim issue….

13,533,000 Reasons Trump and Sanders Are Doing Well Sic Semper Tyrannis

Who loves Bill Clinton? Barbara Bush does USA Today

Wall Street Money: Barney Frank To Oversee Democratic Platform While Running Big Bank International Business Times (martha r)

What Bernie Sanders is doing to help Hillary Clinton Beverly Mann, Angry Bear. I am posting this only because I am just about certain this is wrong. Mann is almost certainly correct on her opening point, Sanders will help on downticket Democratic party races, but I assume he will help only ideologically aligned Dems, not the remaining Blue Dogs. But if these Congresscritters are to the left of Clinton, they could serve to keep her honest (or more accurately, less dishonest) rather than “help” her. But I am certain she is wrong about her getting an anti-Trump DNC message via Bernie sharing his list with her. First, I am told by someone in the Sanders operation that Sanders will not do that (although there is the risk that his list is hacked or stolen). Second, I have given to Sanders via ActBlue and have gotten no such message. Third, as a blogger, I have gotten DNC propaganda upon occasion, including solicitations, before I gave to Sanders (and I haven’t given to anyone save a couple of locals via check since I gave a mere $20 to Obama as a result of seeing Palin’s acceptance speech). Every time I unsubscribe. Mann has written often about Clinton and Sanders, so I suspect she got added to the list that way.

The White House is trying to put out an enormous fire surrounding one of its top aides Business Insider

How to read David Samuels’ profile of Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes Slate. Resilc: “Now a victim….”

The U.S. president never has to say he’s sorry Japan Times

I ran Ralph Nader’s campaigns. A political revolution is vital — and much harder than you think Vox (steve h). Notice the assumption: “Of course, most Sanders supporters wouldn’t think for a nanosecond of voting for Donald Trump.” This also makes the mistake, that I have repeatedly called out, of focusing on Presidential elections. A third party would wield a great deal of power if captured 3-5 Senate seats. It would become the critical bloc on a lot of legislation.

Study Reveals That Giving Poor People Health Insurance Reduces Their Medical Debt New York Magazine. From last month. As in Medicaid expansion helped….but they still have medical debt!

California Braces for Unending Drought New York Times (David L)

U.S. Denies Permit for Coal Terminal in Washington State New York Times

A New Albany High School Bans Amnesty International Atlantic


American toddlers have shot 23 people so far this year Boing Boing (resilc)

Lew warns time running out in Puerto Rico Financial Times

Solar Shares Plunge Even More Than Coal Bloomberg

Hedge Funds Faced Choppy Waters in 2015, but Chiefs Cashed In New York Times

Every State Should Own Their Own Depository Institution TruthOut (Judy B)

Banking’s New Normal New Yorker

Banks see more pain despite crude’s rally Financial Times

Fed Watch: June Fades Away Tim Duy

Helicopters on a Leash Project Syndicate (David L)

Class Warfare

Newspaper chain sending IT jobs overseas Computerworld (Chuck L)

Uber for Tractors – Website Rents Farm Equipment Popular Mechanics

The Collapse of the Middle-Class Job Truthout (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

chipmunk links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    “Artist Bartholomaus Traubeck designed and built a record player that “reads” the texture and color variations of tree rings and interprets them as music. Because every tree has its own configuration of rings, every tree has its own song. By doing this, Traubeck has essentially created the infinite library of records. You must love the time we live in.

    If you think Nature would sound like crackling and random noises, think again. This is actually beautiful.”

      1. hpschd

        An artist that I know has a clavichord with the following (in Latin) on the inner lid:
        “In life was I silent
        In death do I sing”
        I assume this refers to the wood in the instrument.

      2. Synapsid


        We could. Most of the work done with tree rings uses cores, taken by hollow drills, that can be stored in soda straws. The ring patterns are read without cutting the tree down, and the coring itself amounts to about the same as taking a blood sample, as regards harm to the tree.

    1. Optimader

      Hi Aby

      a library of congress program to preserve old recordings. Technology concieved at the lawrence berkely National Labs , inspired by Miky Hart who IIRC quietly kicked in technical resources as a recording engineer to get it going. Good example of how tax dollars should be spent at national labs

      If you were to search on laser turntables you will find an interesting project that was a startup in the late 1970’s that was crushed by a confluence of the untimely introduction of CD’s and a recession.
      Still a viable concept, i am suprised with the resurgence of vinyl some enterprising retired EE, shadetree inventor ( Craszyboy?) doesnt start knocking them out? The legoblock technology bits should be available off the shelf these days

      Unrelated but interesting. I do know a quite successful musician that has had episodes of this (seeing music in color. Crazy backstory in Tibet for another thread.

      1. lightningclap

        I thank you both for these “alternate” antidotes in my area of interest.

      2. abynormal

        Hi Opti, Thanks for the WoW. i will investigate this color sound…don’t forget to share me the backstory/juice!

        got a mantra for you…i backed into it a couple weeks ago and thought of you but couldn’t time the post.
        speaking of timing…the trio creeps thru an atom here

        zen bow myFriend

  2. abynormal

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough [toddlers] stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ― George Orwell, with the twisted Aby

  3. Roger Smith

    Who loves Bill Clinton? Barbara Bush does

    Man, poor Jeb just can’t catch a break. His own mother is more proud of her non-offspring Clinton than him.

    She also thinks Clinton saw Bush as a father figure. RED FLAG!

    1. RabidGandhi

      Thanks for clearing that up. I had always thought that Babs was the matriarch of the Bushlinton dynasty– you know, like George Cinq and the Kaiser being 1st cousins. Do you think we could run a haemophilia test on Prescott Walker Bush just to be sure?

    2. flora

      Pretty sure Sanders and Trump are not trying to please an absent father or father figure.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Every time, I go wow, “no one can be worse than Republican X as a potential endorser of Hillary,” Clinton Inc. manages to impress me.

      At this rate, Clinton surrogates will fly to rural Argentina to seek out potential endorsements in the next two weeks.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Not sure what your gripe is with these backwaters, but as one resident of rural Argentina, for me the Clintons and their attendant sock-suckers are certainly personae non gratae here.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Oh I was referring to immigrants from central Europe who keep a low profile given the events of the mid 20th century.

          1. RabidGandhi

            Mostly Italians and Jews here. I’m Greek myself. We all try to keep a low profile so the IMF doesn’t come back.

            1. optimader

              Looks like a great place to drop anchor.. Never been in that geography. Saltians probably get tired of hearing it compared to old Spain.

              1. RabidGandhi

                I’ve yet to hear that complaint. It’s not very Spain-like here. More like Arizona in the south and mountains (desert with vivid colours), or like inland Carolina in the valleys (sugar cane, tobacco and rain forest).

  4. allan

    Newspaper chain sending IT jobs overseas

    The letter received by McClatchy IT employees from CEO Talamantes begins by telling them the company is “pleased to unveil our new IT Transformational Program, a program designed to provide improved service to all technology users, accelerated development and delivery of technology solutions and products, variable demand-based technology resources and access to modern and cutting-edge skills and platforms.”

    That there is some Palin-level word salad.

    If Sanders’ campaign people know what they’re doing, Bernie should be on a plane to CA this afternoon
    to hold a rally on the steps of The Sacramento Bee. If he doesn’t, you can bet Trump will.

    1. SoCal Rhino

      “Transformation” is so last year, they must be hiring second string consultants. They should be disrupting their IT and getting excited about Bitcoin and uberizing their support model in preparation for machine-learning AI and something about virtual reality.

      1. allan

        No mention on the Politics page of the Washington Post. Strange. /sarc

        In fact, the word `Sanders’ does not appear anywhere on that page, except in one item:

        How Donald Trump is running to the left of Hillary Clinton

        On trade, military policy and more, the GOP candidate has praise for Bernie Sanders.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Beware of those bearing gifts of praise.

          When your opponent praises you, he/she tries to look magnanimous.

          Perhaps Sanders can praise back about, not his personality, but Trump’s ideas.

          Don’t be out-praised.

  5. Steve H.

    : U.S. Role in Afghanistan Turns to Combat Again, With a Tragic Error New York Times

    – “the only sounds audible were the sounds of crickets,”

    – “significant fighting for approximately 51 hours,” the report said. He had hardly slept.

    – It had the right coordinates, but its targeting system malfunctioned.

    And that’s how a high-tech military really functions in practice.

  6. abynormal

    watching now…freaking me out!: The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.

  7. Jim A

    Re Paul Ryan….He already has one thankless, impossible hell job. Why wouldn’t he try to get out of a second one….

    1. YankeeFrank

      Aww, poor granny-starver Paul Ryan. There is a way out of your troubles Paul. Kill yourself.

      1. Praedor

        Yes. I’d like to suggest Ryan visit the the Aokigahara Forest mentioned in the previous post. Maybe it will inspire him to do “something” really great for humanity.

        End himself.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I don’t think that is a nice idea.

          We don’t suggest people go down that path, especially when they ‘take others with them.’

    2. Optimader

      Some context on what constitutes a hell job would help.
      As far as jobs that really have no more responsibility than one is interested in taking go, seems like he is in the cat bird seat.
      Just need to desensitize any aversion to lying and the world is your oyster!

  8. mad as hell.

    Trump names Christie as transition chief. Financial Times.

    While Christie may not have an expertise about building bridges he does know about them.

    1. abynormal

      To make a long story short
      I leave all my possessions
      to the Municipal Slaughterhouse
      to the Special Unit of the Police Department
      to Lucky Dog Lotto

      So now if you want you can shoot”
      ― Nicanor Parra

    1. jgordon

      I think that this is just the beginning everywhere. The old order has failed, and yet doesn’t have the common decency to remove itself. Nuts taking over and helping them out the door is only to be expected.

      Also, the links today were particularly depressing! It looks like there is a systemic inability for anyone to do the right thing. Everyone in the west with even a tiny bit of authority seems to be creepy, immoral, or just downright criminal. No one has any integrity or common sense any more. If we aren’t at the point of complete degeneration and dysfunction of the system already, we’re pretty close! Ergo Trump etc.

      1. EmilianoZ

        Yep, and in France that means Martine Le Pen, prez elections to he held next year. Curiously France hasnt produced a Bernie. Consequently Le Pen has captured a sizeable portion of the youth vote (about a third at least).

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Socialists didn’t run a terrible campaign the last go around. Hollande was a disaster once in office, so in a way, they are at the 2012 point with Obama. In the UK, Brown and Milliband both lost, and now Corbyn has seized power. Blair was a disaster. Why didn’t Corbyn grab leadership then?

          Without knowing the personalities or state of the back benchers, I wonder if France’s older socialists are too connected to Mitterand to propose something different. Corbyn and Sanders are pre-Thatcher and Reagan party members in good standing. It seems to me that the French socialists would be fairly dominated by Mitterand’s embrace of privatization to rage against the system. Anyone from Sanders and the Corbyn era in France would be too assimilated into 1980’s madness.

          LePen unlike Trump has been at this for a while, and she has been railing against the system for so long that many people who would join a Sanders style revolt will never consider it because LePen takes up too much oxygen.

        2. Praedor

          The French THOUGHT they were getting a Bernie with Hollande. Turned out he was a Clinton instead. Once bitten, twice shy.

          1. Massinissa

            Eh, some parts of the American Left thought we were getting a bernie with Obama. Probably why at least a few around here kept insisting Bernie MUST be a sheepdog

      2. B1whois

        I agree about the depressing nature of the links today. I posted 3 to Facebook, all with a comment about the failure of our democracy. (Amnesty international in high school, courts going dark and Barney Frank, lover of bankers, leading development of the democratic party platform)
        I’m now officially calling today “Democracy Failure Tuesday”.
        My poor fb friends, at least they got to see Bernie live in Sacramento yesterday….

        1. jgordon

          I’m willing to bet that facebook “curated” your links away so that none of your “friends” would have a bummer day because of them.

        2. allan

          From your keyboard to the Senate calendar:

          Senate GOP Launches Inquiry Into Facebook’s News Curation

          The US Senate Commerce Committee—which has jurisdiction over media issues, consumer protection issues, and internet communication—has sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg requesting answers to questions it has on its trending topics section. …

          The letter asks that Facebook “arrange for your staff including employees responsible for trending topics to brief committee staff on this issue.” The letter was signed by Chairman for the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator John Thune from South Dakota….

  9. Bill Smith

    “Every State Should Own Their Own Depository Institution”

    Interesting idea, but that bank’s deposits are not insured by the FDIC. And what is the definition they are using for Return on Investment?

    1. polecat

      … about “Every State Should Have It’s Own Currency And Exchange Rate”…..

  10. Brooklin Bridge

    David Cameron: Brexit could lead to Europe descending into war Telegraph (Li). The officaldom must be very worried about the vote to be resorting to arguments like this.

    They should take a lesson from the US.

    Mark box (A) to vote for Clinton
    Mark box (B) to vote against Sanders

    1. Pavel

      Speaking of voter fraud… Doug Johnson Hatlem at CounterPunch is starting to investigate possible fraud in the Democrat primaries:

      CounterPunch has a history, even if I do not personally agree in every case, of rejecting big United States conspiracy theories from those surrounding John F. Kennedy’s assassination to 9/11 trutherism. I have spent weeks investigating election fraud claims including interviewing multiple exit pollsters, veteran hackers, academic experts on United States elections, and elections officials and workers in multiple states. These include the Edison exit pollster interviewed by Holland along with a spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Elections. Over the course of several articles, I will be attempting to debunk election fraud allegations where they can be, or, alternatively, to provide the best explanations for why things seem amiss in so many different primaries and caucuses in the race between Clinton and Sanders.

      I began with a set of factors to help determine which states required most attention for investigation:

      1-Candidate Beats the First Full Wave of Exit Polls by 7.0% or more + 1 Other Factor
      2-Evidence Suggesting Substantial Election Fraud Without Significant Rebuttal
      3-3 or more of Factors 4-9 Below
      4-Candidate Outperforms First Full Wave of Exit Polls by between 3.5% and 7.0%
      5-Actual Evidence of Substantial Election Fraud With Some Rebuttal
      6-Actual Evidence of Some Election Fraud Without Significant Rebuttal
      7-Substantial Areas of State Use Voting or Tabulation Machines Proven to be Hackable or to Miscount
      8-Candidate Strongly Outpolls Pre-Election Polls with No Obvious Explanation
      9-State Uses All or Majority Voting or Tabulation Machines Greater Than 10 Years Old

      Any one of the factors in numbers one through three means a particular state requires significant attention to explain what went wrong, though, for instance, a single good explanation for why exit polling is so bad would knock out most cases.

      I will be saying more about the various factors over the course of the series. For now, the first factor, one that has drawn a decent amount of attention in some spheres already, is comparison to exit polls. I’ve already noted that when countries with governments the United States does not like hold elections, exit polling is taken as fairly authoritative in establishing the possibility of election fraud.

      Hillary Clinton Versus Bernie Sanders: Taking Election Fraud Allegations Seriously (Part 1)

      Glad to see someone is approaching this so methodically.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        10. To compare any of 1-9 this year versus all prior elections. Has it been more ‘corrupt’ in 2016, or just business as usual? Will we have to invalidate prior election results?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          2016: the year Americans figured out their elections are rigged (delayed reaction from the year 2000 global fiasco).
          2016: the year Americans figured out their media is rigged (delayed reaction from Rand Corporation media purchases after the Vietnam War).

          2016: the year Americans figured out their finances are rigged (several key dates, 1913, 1971, then the watershed after 2008).

          2016: the year Americans figured out their foreign policy is rigged (a wealth of dates here, 1958 in Iran, 1973 in Chile, 1975 CIA coup in Australia, all the way up to 2014 in the Ukraine)

          2016: the year Americans figured out their health care is rigged (Nixon meeting with Kaiser on how to turn a right into a profit center, Bush’s Medicare Part Five, then the wonderful ACA).

          It’s the time lags that are unbearable

          1. aet

            All in good time, and time never hurries – for from time to time – it’s only us mortals who must hurry, or who there seek to tarry.

  11. Seas of Prometheum

    No less than Ted Rall spouts the “weak and helpless Obama” meme:

    He even cooperated with the Republicans who approved of torture to pressure other countries not to file charges against U.S. torturers.

    Uh, no. That was 100% backroom coercion with no Republican officials involved. It happened before the 2010 midterms so there wasn’t even any part of the government in Republican hands. That buck stops with Obama alone, Ted.

  12. cnchal

    The Collapse of the Middle-Class Job

    . . . As jobs are downsized, profits are maximized. Apple makes over $500,000 per employee . . .

    Officially, Apple has 115,000 employees. In reality, Apple has 1,150,000 employees when their Chinese labor force that actually makes Apple products is recognized, and when they are factored in, Apple still makes an astounding $51,500 per employee.

    Now, if one looks at the wages of Apple’s Chinese labor force, it’s a fraction of $51,500 per year, somewhere near $5,000 per year.

    That spread, between $51,500 and the $5,000 made by Apple’s uncounted Chinese labor force, roughly $46,000 annually per worker, looks suspiciously like a middle class wage, here.

    Globalization is a disaster for everyone, except the perpetraitors, the awful elite.

      1. Praedor

        The only answer possible: Guaranteed Basic Income.

        Why work unless you really really want to? Why work unless employers offer better pay and benefits than you can get for NOT working.

        This IS what the future was supposed to be anyway as robots took over menial labor, etc. It was SUPPOSED to leave humans with leisure to follow their dreams.

        Guaranteed Basic Income. Job optional.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            To resist in the Age of Robots, you need be one with the Force.

            Zazen, not Soma.

        1. HopeLB

          With some of our free time we should be digging up lawns and planting new climate change resistant forests .

        2. HBE


          Robots + basic income guarantee is about the worst possible outcome ever, when current human tendencies are taken into account (rampant consumerism).

          Imagine to yourself a world where 9 billion plus all have the ability to sit back and consume while robots make more consumables. That is a fast track to global ecological and environmental collapse.

          Before that could ever happen there would need to be universal global population controls in place and a recreation of the global education and society that raises internal enrichment on a pedestal over current external consumptive habits. This would be absolutely wonderful if world population was 2 billion, 7+ not so much.

          Robots + current human tendencies + guaranteed basic income = bad times.

          1. nihil obstet

            The desire for products far in excess of needs or even possible use is promoted by a political and economic system that emphasizes and encourages rampant consumerism. There’s always some desire on some people’s part for always more things, but the creation of massive desire developed as an industry in the 20th c. to keep capitalism growing. It was joined after World War II by eternal warfare as an economic necessity of an advanced economy. Without the continued psychological creation of desire, we might well see consumption crater sufficiently to allow us to live on the planet.

            1. jrs

              Environmental waste often correlates to lack of free time and things like recycling go up with more free time. Of course a BIG is not just reduced work hours (which would undeniably be good) but a different world. But the world of work all the time is almost certainly leading to more economic waste. There isn’t time to do the right thing environmentally.

              Also if you are lucky enough to have a disposable income about the only thing this society offers is stuff and so it takes an almost superhuman will to resist. It is a severely time-crunched, and lonely and alienating society. But yea in a better world much advertising would be banned.

          2. jrs

            I suppose guaranteed necessities might work better. Guaranteed housing, food, healthcare.

      2. James Levy

        I have said in the past it’s a race: will ecological and systemic collapse come before the computerized panopticon takes control, or not? My money is still on collapse before the computers and robots take control. In a way, humanity will do better with collapse, because I still see virtue in human kindness and human products like artisan bread or mulched beds of tubers. I see little hope for a decent life under computers and rampant automation.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Under that scenario (humanity better with collapse), the question then is, what or who will bring faster collapse?

          For example, in this presidential election cycle, we can ask, which candidate will bring about the fastest collapse?




          Dr. Stein?

    1. Pavel

      iPhone sales price: ~$650
      iPhone cost (to manufacture): ~$350
      Apple Inc cash stashed overseas and untaxed: ~$200,000,000,000+

      Apparent Chinese labor cost per iPhone: ~$5

      Anything wrong with this picture, Tim “Human Rights” Cook?

      1. cnchal

        Anything wrong with this picture . . .

        There seems no logical connection between the $350 production cost and $5.00 Chinese labor cost per phone.

        What’s wrong with the picture is that the elite don’t want to pay workers here or there, and then keep the profits of exploitation for themselves, tax free.

        Yes, the Chinese are currency manipulators, but the Chinese elite are co conspirators with Apple and by oppressing labor and smashing any notion of labor unrest, profit just as much or more than Apple.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          But Apple is the only who holds all the straws. They are the most profitable, they sanctimoniously preach about human rights, and they can set the terms for their production. They could easily leave Foxconn or China itself, but they don’t. They don’t even pay their retail workers properly.

          1. cnchal

            . . . They could easily leave Foxconn or China itself, but they don’t. . . .

            I disagree. Apple shackled themselves to China. Over 40% of their suppliers are there, and combined with the rest of Asia, over 80%.

            Where are they going to go? Tanzania or Ghana? Back to the US?

            Working conditions in China are illegal in the US, and even if they could get away with paying minimum wage for production workers, it would be multiples of what Chinese workers receive.

            It’s ‘just business’ covers a lot of moral depravity. Apple executives are masterful hypocrites that operate on the principle of all for me, as little as possible for thee, so not paying their retail workers properly comes naturally.

            What the Chinese workers fail to realize is how much power they actually have, if they were able to organize themselves, but the Chinese government would shoot them if they tried that. The Chinese elite are in on the looting of labor.

            1. Lumpenproletariat

              At this point, Apple could go ANYWHERE and they could always make money. They would be profitable in the highest wage, most unionized locale in Germany for example. Instead they financially “engineer” for share buy backs.

              Wages are only one factor in the cost of production. Chinese wages aren’t even particularly low anymore. You could read up on the work of Carey, Simon Patten, Friedrich List, etc. to see the rationale behind production locations.

              The funny thing is, the workers in China are pretty militant. I say this because I have witnessed protests and strikes in Dongguan. China is also one of the few places where workers incomes have outpaced the rate of inflation. Can’t say that about most other places, including both developed and developing nations.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Chinese militant workers are not exceptional.

                We have to recognize that workers everywhere can be 100% like them.

                But credit scores, 24/7 cable TV, bad diet (engineered on purpose by the rich), all contribute to reduce worker militancy wherever you encounter it.

                On the other hand, state brutality might work for a while, but it never stops the workers.

                Thus, we have to be wary of credit scores, TV, etc.

                1. Lumpenproletariat


                  In America, the dominant narrative assumes that China’s overwhelming exploitation/economic competitiveness is a result of ultra low wages/environmental degradation. But these issues are obvious and pro-worker and pro-environment militancy is strong.

                  The bigger, mostly unaddressed issues come in the former of urban land speculation. The oligarchs and corrupt apparatchiks make the most money (at the expense of greater society) from this. So far heavier capital gains taxes and a land rent tax have not been implemented.

                  For the lower 99% in China, the bigger problem is the weak social safety net. It is now wealthy enough to implement universal health care, pensions, and tertiary education.

                  As for American worker militancy; I haven’t seen it in my lifetime. There is no need for hired goons/National guard to fire on Ludlow miners. It’s a lot more insidious now.

                  A high unemployment rate cowers workers
                  A wholesale destruction/co-optation of unions
                  Threats to outsource to non-union states/overseas
                  Playing off various worker ethnicities against each other
                  Propagating Ayn Rand’s retarded theories

                  Thus workers are either demoralized or are compelled to go against their own best interests.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              40% plus in China and over 80% in Asia?

              In light of the news from North Carolina, businesses are moving out.

              All sounding very morally indignant.

              That’s all good and needed.

              But where have they been post-Tiananmen, as in, where have they been in the past 30 to 40 years?

              Why, they have rushed to invest there.

              In fact, repressive regimes never stop any of the corporations making noise about North Carolina.

              1. Lumpenproletariat

                Why would you invest in industrial capitalism in America when old industrial sites provide huge profits when they are redeveloped into yuppie lofts?

                Oh wait, you mean profits and additional capital were diverted into stock buy backs instead of capital goods and labor?

      2. polecat

        He doesn’t care……he gets to prance on stage…wearing a hip, black turtleneck… front of a huuuge screen!

          1. Lumpenproletariat

            Tim Cook. He has that same cult of personality. Just be glad their products are no longer innovative. Gas I despise celebrity CEOS.

    2. Seas of Promethium


  13. RabidGandhi

    WSJ has its panties in a wad because Evil China is not following the WSJ playbook for downturns/recessions and is… (neoliberal trigger warning) protecting its populations’ jobs! O, the humanity won’t someone stop this madness? Two samples of the garment tearing:

    While U.S. energy companies shed staff, China’s by and large haven’t. Refining giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. , whose net profit fell by 30% in 2015, told the Journal no employees have been laid off since late 2014 when oil prices began to fall, and that it had “no plan for any future layoffs.”

    We’re torturing our population, why in the name of Margaret Thatcher aren’t you?

    One beneficiary, Aluminum Corp. of China, said one of its units would shut down a roughly 500,000-ton-per-year smelter as it struggled to make profits. Executives prepped for thousands of layoffs. Then Gansu officials slashed the plant’s electricity bill by 30%, employees say, and the factory was saved. Although a portion of capacity was taken offline, most is operational.

    But what could possibly be driving this madness?

    “The government’s aim is to help maintain social stability,” the official said.

    Ah so it all makes sense now. When will those totalitarian commies learn to be unresponsive to their populations like the advanced Western democracies?

    1. Cry Shop

      It’s part of the pact of paying most of the workers $5 a day, so that their oligarchy can sweep huge profits and grow income disparity at a rate that makes the Koch Brothers drool.

      The CCP has done massive country-wide layoffs with no social safety net in the 80’s and 90’s, which wasn’t so painful as it sounds because the workers had farmland to return to, they wouldn’t starve, and being unemployed was considered better than being forced through another cultural revolution. This time large swaths of families were driven off their farmland and into resettlement where there is no way to grow food. The social security costs of keeping these workers alive at US$2.50 per day is being born by the state, for now, as it’s hardly any more expensive to keep them at their posts than to put them on the dole. It serves an additional advantage of keeping the workers under discipline instead of out doing mischief to the party. The downside is these workers are kept from making any transition to some other job, and perhaps one day the system will not be able to pay even their keep.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Agreed that the CCP needs to undo Deng’s privatisations, provide universal healthcare, hugely bolster social safety nets, smash the oligarchical inequality, eliminate internal migration restrictions…. But the WSJ’s solution of mass layoffs to satisfy their Thatcherite agenda would move in the opposite direction of all of those goals, putting downward pressure on wages and squelching domestic demand.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          One tip: The WSJ ALWAYS parrots both the US oligarchs and neoliberal perspectives.

          If the WSJ had its way, China’s banks, natural resources, utilities, railways, and subways would be privatized and run for maximum profitability. At least they’d no longer whine about debt and inefficiency.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not just to smash oligarchical inequality, but to repatriate all that money in real estate in Vancouver, Australia and other ex British colonies (why is that?), and other assets.

          When the housing bubble in Vancouver bursts, many future home buyers there will be eternally grateful.

          1. Lumpenproletariat


            I’m a Vancouver resident. Right now the media whines about increasing unaffordability yet still infinitely extrapolates infinite house price inflation. It doesn’t help when they interviewed FIRE industry experts (aka co-opted shill.)

            When the prices crash, the few thousand all-cash Chinese oligarchs will see it as a cost of doing business in a tax haven. I’m not as sanguine about the much higher number of people who will be stuck with hugely expensive underwater mortgages.

            I’m listening to a local radio station now. They run unending ads for:

            Home equity loans
            Low down payment “luxury” developments
            Bankruptcy trustees
            No money down auto sales

            And yeah, the media is completely co-opted, credulous, complicit, culpable.

            People don’t realize the oligarchs never suffer. It’s the nobodies who try to gamble like the oligarchs yet get burned–They are the ones looking at indentured servitude.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Can we just acknowledge “how” China is managing all this: they create money from thin air and pass it out.
            Q1 2016 they conjured an additional $1 *trillion* in state-decreed “credit”.
            That should continue to work very well, right up until the moment that it doesn’t.

            1. RabidGandhi

              As opposed to other countries which make money out of what? Fed Pixie Dust? Draghi Droppings? Surplus Emoji?

            2. Massinissa

              Uh. What RG said. All fiat money is created ‘from thin air’. Are you proposing a Gold Standard or something? Im not really sure what youre trying to get at.

  14. JSM

    One dislikes having become so reflexively skeptical, but with the story of the Doctors Without Borders strike on its third attempted telling, one wonders just why this new retelling should be uncritically accepted. Of course, 2/3 of the report are redacted and along with all of the soldiers’ names, so there seems to be little hope of any independent corroboration. In this telling, our guys were under impossible attack by a Taliban group the likes of which had never been seen. It would make a great movie.

    ‘On their way into the compound, they hit a trip wire that set off a roadside bomb and were then attacked by a Taliban suicide car bomber. But no one was injured by the bombs, and a lull in the fighting ensued, giving them time to take up defensive positions.’

    The targeting system malfunctioned, with the right coordinates, then immediately refunctioned with the wrong coordinates, but the new function was in fact the wrong function.

    ‘The gunship was also struggling to find the building. It had the right coordinates, but its targeting system malfunctioned. It pointed the aircraft to an empty field. The crew members, however, spotted a building nearby that they and the Green Berets on the ground concluded was the N.D.S. building.’

    In any case, the message is clear. It was just a mix-up and penalties have been imposed. As Seymour Hersh as said, letters of reprimand have been issued that will be removed from the personnel records upon honorable discharge.

    1. vidimi

      yeah, they even used words like “miraculously, none of the americans were hurt”

      if that doesn’t trigger your bullshit detector, i don’t know what will.

      if it’s that unbelievable you have to resort to calling it miraculous, it’s probably bullshit.

      also, no mention of MSF’s repeated pleas to stop the assault that lasted 30-40 minutes. i guess the equipment was malfunctioning then, too.

  15. portia

    re election:

    Ryan traced the mistaken purge to a Department of Investigations report published at the end of 2013 that criticized the BOE for “leaving too many people on the rolls.”
    The Brooklyn office identified voters who hadn’t voted in a long time, and conducted a purge,” Ryan said, adding that “the proper procedure wasn’t followed.”

    …As for the contingent of concerned voters that lodged complaints to the Board over the past two weeks, Ryan cast off their concerns as part of an organized group with a specific agenda.

    “We were warned in advance that there were folks out there that don’t like the New York primary system, and were going to advance a narrative,” Ryan said. “And they were well in the process of advancing that narrative and trying to make their pitch for why the process should be open primary like other states and not a closed primary.”

    Could that “agenda” be exposing BOE fraud?

    1. jrs

      Not voting for a long time doesn’t even seem a valid criteria for purging as opposed to deceased or moved.

  16. allan

    Columbia Professor’s ties raise questions amid Cuomo probe [Gannett]

    An Ivy League professor with longstanding ties to a lobbyist at the center of a federal probe has deep connections to some of the economic-development projects and key players currently under investigation.

    In 2013, William Eimicke, a Columbia University professor and former aide to then-Gov. Mario Cuomo, joined a key contracting board controlled by SUNY Polytechnic Institute. The same year, he served as a paid consultant to COR Development, a Syracuse-area developer that sought and received a lucrative contract from a closely related board. …

    A review of public records shows Eimicke has frequently performed consulting work for COR, a client of Todd Howe, the lobbyist and former Cuomo aide whose work is being scrutinized as part of Bharara’s investigation into the governor’s major upstate economic-development initiatives. …

    Glenn Hubbard. Fred Myshkin. William Eimicke. Columbia truly has an accomplished faculty.

  17. Cry Shop

    Bloomberg also has a “new” energy investment arm, which backed solar in many countries. It’s not just Musk and Buffett slugging it out in Nevada.

    Musk’s home power lithium battery factory makes more sense now, having seen the Boomberg report, as the cost numbers never came out good. Further, new battery technology already in pilot projects could render any lithium battery/high energy bomb plant obsolete before it was finished being built. My guess is the plant was a sweetener to waive at the utilities commission in Nevada.

  18. John Wright

    re: David Cameron: Brexit could lead to Europe descending into war

    Possibly David Cameron should suggest that Britain took the wrong approach in WWII.

    Britain should have simply surrendered in the interest of unifying Europe under Berlin control, rather than the current Brussels control.

    It simply took the leadership of Britain 70 years to realize this.

  19. ScottW

    How does Hillary maintain her security clearance in light of the private email server scandal? It is undisputed she maintained about 2,000 confidential records on her basement private server, 22 of which were top secret. Can anyone seriously argue had any other government official created the same email system, she would maintain a security clearance?

    The criminal case and FOIA issues are interesting, but they give Hillary cover for not having to address her reckless handling of State Dept. communications as Secretary of State. When Trump attacks her, she will resort to that strained comedic laugh she employs when caught in a lie or other wrongdoing.

    1. Brindle

      Corporate media is saying emails “lost” or “missing”—makes it sound like someone accidentally put them in the garbage, rather than the obvious deleted or scrubbed by someone in the Clinton circle.
      The level of propping up of Hillary that the MSM does is a story they won’t report.

    2. voteforno6

      Senior officials rarely get punished for mishandling of government communications, classified or otherwise. Not being sanctioned for this certainly isn’t unique to Hillary Clinton.

      1. PhilK

        Indeed, rules and laws are for the peasantry.

        [Bill Clinton] argued that prosecuting his wife over her emails is akin to prosecuting someone for driving a car in a 50-mile-per-hour zone at 40 mph because the police have arbitrarily and without notice changed the speed limit to 35 mph.

        The implication in his argument is that Mrs. Clinton’s emails were retroactively classified as confidential, secret or top-secret after she received or sent them and therefore she had no notice of their sensitivity.

        His argument is unavailing for two reasons. The first is that it is untrue. Emails are confidential, secret or top-secret at the time they are created, whether marked or not.

        The second reason is that Mrs. Clinton signed an oath on her first full day as secretary of state — after she received a two-hour tutorial from two FBI agents on the proper care and lawful handling of state secrets. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had an obligation to recognize and protect state secrets on the basis of the sensitive nature of the information contained in them — whether they bore classified warnings or markings or not.

        Hillary’s Secret Weapon

        1. Anne

          Oh, Bill Clinton can just bite me; he and his wife are just two more ultra-wealthy grifters who think they are so special they don’t need to worry about the rules. They can come up with all the analogies they want, but it’s all in service to her just up and deciding she was going to do what she wanted and everyone else could just kiss off. Galling that she’s pretty much getting away with it; that they don’t understand why this bothers people is just one more reason we’d like to keep her out of the halls of power.

          The grifting and corruption will continue apace if she is elected, we know that. We will have more war, for sure. Progress that has been made in matters of privacy will be lost. There will be more “discussion” about “fixing” Social Security. The insurance industry will continue its stranglehold on people’s wallets and lives. We will get bad trade policy, bad environmental policy, and but for a crumb or two now and again, we will have trouble telling the difference between her and a Republican. I do not even believe her SC nominations will be much better than what we’d get from a Republican president.

          Every time I think about these Clintons being back in power I want to throw something.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Reminds me of flying out of Bangor International Airport (really!) with other locals. Literally, the only well-fed, cheerful people in the line were the DHS people (in natty uniforms, too). Also the only ones standing erect and not bowed down with care. “You’re doing well for yourselves,” I said to myself. Of course, this was the depths of the recession, but still.

    1. Light a Candle

      Contrast this ABC “news story” on Sanders’ huge Sacramento rally with the US Uncut one (link in comment immediately above).

      The ABC “story” doesn’t show the jam packed stadium of 20,000+ enthusiastic supporters. It doesn’t mention another 10,000 supporters who were outside the stadium or and it doesn’t show the long lines of Bernie fans who waited 4+ hours to see him.

      I always knew MSM was biased but it was this primary that really opened up my eyes to the relentless propaganda and corporate control of mainstream “media”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What if post-Hillary nomination Sanders can still draw big crowds?

        Should he go Independent?

          1. vidimi

            why not? he was independent before running for president. he’s only a democrat because it was the best way to win

    2. Vatch

      That’s good news. I hope those thousands of California citizens are registered to vote, and are eligible to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Here’s some information and deadlines:

      Vote-By-Mail Ballot Mailing Period May 9 – May 31, 2016
      Last Day to Register to Vote May 23, 2016
      New Citizen (sworn in after May 23, 2016) Voter Registration Period May 24 – June 7, 2016
      Last Day to Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot May 31, 2016

      A voter must be registered as a Democrat or as No Party Preference to vote in the Democratic primary. (A voter must be a registered Republican to vote in the Republican primary.)

      No Party Preference Information
      Voting in Presidential Primary Elections

      Voters who registered to vote without stating a political party preference are known as No Party Preference (NPP) voters. NPP voters were formerly known as “decline-to-state” or “DTS” voters.

      For presidential elections: NPP voters, unless they choose otherwise (see below), will receive a “non-partisan” ballot that does not include presidential candidates. A nonpartisan ballot contains only the names of candidates for voter-nominated offices and local nonpartisan offices and measures.
      Voting in the June 7, 2016, Presidential Primary Election

      An NPP voter will receive a non-partisan ballot, which will have no presidential candidates listed.

      However, upon request, an NPP voter can instead vote the presidential ballot of the following parties:

      American Independent Party
      Democratic Party
      Libertarian Party

      Why? Each political party has the option of allowing NPP voters to vote in their presidential primary election. 135 days before the election, political parties must notify the Secretary of State’s office whether or not they will allow NPP voters to vote in their presidential primary election. The above three parties notified the Secretary of State that they will allow NPP voters to request their party’s presidential ballot for the June 7, 2016, Presidential Primary Election.

  20. Lumpenproletariat

    That CNBC link was so stunningly stupid, it read like an Onion parody. The guests were affiliated with the Peterson institute, the HSBC b-school, and the American Enterprise Institute. TheI economic mindset is so extreme, their logic favors the laissez Faire response to the Irish Potato Famine. Worse yet were the dim bulb monetarists/Hayekians/xenophobes in the comments section. Apparently no one is cognizant of Civil War reconstruction, the Marshall plan, Keynes himself. But they are apparently OK with bailing out Wall St.

  21. RabidGandhi

    Brazil’s Maranhão: “J/K!”

    O Globo (the rabidly anti-Rousseff media monopoly) reports that the newly-installed Chamber President did a totally gnarly 180° when his own party slipped a horsehead into his new São Paulo Speaker’s Chair:

    …Maranhão’s abrupt change was due to his party, the conservative Progressive Party (PP), having threatened to expel him if he continued in his position of rejecting Rousseff’s political trial. The President of the Chamber of Representatives then sent a letter last night to the senate revoking his annulment of the trial, but without explaining his reasons for doing so.

    Meanwhile, Senate President Renan Calheiros accused Maranhão of “screwing with democracy”, at which point irony died a sudden gory death.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Windsock” Maranhão — the Joe Biden of Brazil. :-)

      Somebody made him a better offer …

  22. armchair

    America’s Courts Going Dark just makes my blood boil. I have a good perspective on the other side of this issue. If a landlord initiates an eviction without proper legal grounds, that will not stop the tenant from being dinged by credit and tenant screening services. The screening services are not sophisticated enough to analyze every eviction proceeding and determine if the landlord brought a proper claim. It just goes against your record for the next seven years. An affiliation of do-gooder tenant attorneys tried to ask for the right to petition the Clerk to redact the name of a tenant who has had an improper eviction brought against them. Here’s the case.

    The Supreme Court felt that this information was too precious to risk being lost to the public. Granted, the case would still be accessible, just not the name of the tenant who was burdened with false allegations. So, we continue to stomp on the poor with high and mighty principles of the public’s right to know, while in the shadows the privileged get their cases sealed and the government can cook up a warrantless wiretap in a jiffy. Fun times.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Your medical information is private.

      Your credit information is not.

      Because otherwise how can banks loan?

      In a better world, this is not so.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      They should have asked that the case be vacated. That means the court says it never should have been filed in the first place. Credit services will remove vacated legal actions.

  23. ProNewerDeal

    Question for those knowledgeable on the US Constitution

    Would it be possible for a VP (such as Sen. E Warren) to be openly hostile to a President (such as H Clinton) once in office? Imagine a scenario where H Clinton wins the D nomination, & then selects E Warren as VP. E Warren spends the campaign as an “attack dog” on Trump, but not commenting publicly on her opinion on H Clinton policies. In Jan 2017 VP Warren, now elected, periodically holds a press conference, whenever she strongly disagrees with H Clinton on a major policy. For example, Warren holds a press conference declaring that legislation for MedicareForAll or at least Medicare Pt O Public Option must be advanced within 6 months, & if H Clinton does not support it, E Warren will endorse a pro-MedicareForAll primary challenger in 2020.

    Has such a scenario ever occurred in US history? Could H Clinton remove E Warren, as 0bama did for Sec Defense Hagel? Or would a VP E Warren be “safe” for the remainder of the 4-yr elected term? Would E Warren’s stating her independent policy stance, be an impeachable offense? If so, do you think H Clinton would be able to convince enough of the US Senate to impeach E Warren?

    Thanks in advance for any reply. Cheers!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The VP is a constitutional office. The constitution dictates the job, not tradition or lesser statutes. The cabinet is glorified staff empowered to act on behalf of the President which is why the Senate gets to consult. VPs have two jobs. Casting the tie breaking vote (the filibuster want part of the Founders intent), and replacing the President if the President Is incapacitated in some fashion. Oh whatever “President of the Senate” means. I think the Senators can’t meet as the Senate and exclude the VP if the VP wanted to participate in any fashion except voting.

      The only “impeachable” offense is being unpopular enough to not run out the clock of a four year term. Congress could impeach the President for smoking while Congress sent tax subsidies to Phillip Morris if it wanted to. “High crimes and misdemeanors” means whatever you want it to mean. “Light and transient” is a pretty good indicator of what will be hailed as a revolution and what will be called a coup. Barry could replace the Easter Egg hunt with a human hunt and not be impeached, but if he was popular, no one would touch him.

      Mr. Jefferson was John Adams Vice President. Of course, they weren’t running mates, but they despised each other at that point in their lives. Mr. Jefferson was largely MIA from government for the last three years.

    2. geoff

      Certainly there have been a lot of modern Presidents/ Vice Presidents who were not at all friendly with each other (Eisenhower/ Nixon, JFK/LBJ, Reagan/ Bush for example) but it’s really “not done” for a V.P. to publicly oppose a sitting President’s policies (Joe Biden’s “gaffes” to the contrary). Clinton would have no means to legally remove Warren (not that there’s any way they’ll run together in the first place) and quite frankly she is going to have her own problems with impeachment proceedings from a GOP House which will (as they did Obama) target her from day one of her term in office. This time, though, I’m afraid they’ll have a lot more to work with.

      1. geoff

        More to the point, there’s no way in hell Mrs. Clinton would cross her friends at GS and Citi by appointing their worst enemy in Washington to ANY kind of post in her administration. (See also today’s Water Cooler story “Dems See Clinton and Warren as Dream Team”– spoiler, actually they despise Warren.)

        (Also, thanks NTG for giving a much more straightforward answer!)

  24. Nick

    Here’s a poll from Quinnipiac that shows Sanders beating Trump in three swing states by a greater margin than Clinton. Of course, the MSM is only framing it as Clinton and Trump essentially tied in three swing states.

    The fact that Sanders performs better in PA (PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton 43 – Trump 42; Sanders 47 – Trump 41) leads me to believe that Sanders likely would have won Penn had it had an open primary. In Ohio, Clinton loses to Trump whereas Sanders wins. So for all the talk about Trump being the worst person in the world, he’s apparently better than Sanders in the opinion of the MSM.

  25. Jim Haygood

    Vacuum the files!

    The State Department said today it can’t find Bryan Pagliano’s emails from the time he served as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior information technology staffer during her tenure there.

    Pagliano would have been required to turn over any official communications from his work account before he left the government. State Department officials say he had an official email account, but that they can’t find any of those records he would have turned over and continue to search for them.

    “It’s hard to believe that an IT staffer who set up Hillary Clinton’s reckless email server never sent or received a single work-related email in the four years he worked at the State Department,” the RNC’s Deputy Communications Director, Raj Shah, said in a statement to ABC News.

    How do four years of emails go missing from the official system, which for damned sure is backed up and archived out the wazoo?

    Pagliano’s emails likely would include correspondence with Hillary about her private server. They might even feature a ‘smoking gun,’ describing how to circumvent protection of classified messages on the official system, so they could be sent to

    But conveniently, this evidence is mysteriously missing. Which is utterly consistent with Hillary’s long-established profile of disappearing documents:

    (Jan 5, 1996) The White House said this evening that it had unexpectedly discovered copies of missing documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s law firm that describe her work for a failing savings and loan association in the 1980’s.

    Federal and Congressional investigators have issued subpoenas for the documents since 1994, and the White House has said it did not have them. The originals disappeared from the Rose Law Firm, in which Mrs. Clinton was a partner, shortly before Mr. Clinton took office.

    Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, Republican of New York, tonight called the discovery of the copies of the records “the second miraculous discovery within the past 24 hours.”

    Mr. D’Amato, who is chairman of the Senate Whitewater committee, was referring to the disclosure on Thursday of a two-year-old memorandum written by a former Presidential aide. The memorandum said that Mrs. Clinton had played a far greater role in the dismissal of employees of the White House travel office than the Administration has acknowledged.

    “How many more times?” as ol’ Robert Plant used to sing. Face it: the grifter granny is an habitual obstructor of justice.

    1. portia

      It seems they found one email

      However, an email already released by the State Department does show an email from Pagliano to Clinton at Clinton’s address, the email that Pagliano himself set up:

      In the email, Pagliano wishes Clinton a “Happy Birthday” and “many more!” Rather than responding to Pagliano, however, Clinton forwarded the email to then-Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, Robert Russo, with a curt “Pls. respond.”

      It is unclear why Secretary Clinton did not respond directly to the birthday greeting.

      If that does not show intent, I don’t know what does

      Hillary: I thought I told you never to email me here!

    2. Lambert Strether

      IIRC, the Rose Law Firm billing records suddenly and mysteriously appeared on a chair in the Clinton’s White House quarters.

      So maybe Pagliano’s mail will materialize on a sofa in Chappaqua!

  26. jawbone

    Re: Alberta wildfire — Smoke from the fire is making its way south and eastward. Coming to a state near you? Already there? What are readers seeing?

    Maps of smoke plumes:

    May 8

    May 9

    CNN article on effects of climate change on this and other wildfires:

    1. Jim Haygood

      Recently I saw a slide featuring a tree ring core from a western forest analyzed by Thomas W. Swetnam, Professor of Dendrochronology at U. of Arizona.

      During the 19th century, it showed a repeating pattern of low-intensity fires that cleared brush from the forest floor, without killing the tree. From the late 19th century on, after human settlement and fire fighting took hold, 107 more years went by without a single fire, as the forest became unnaturally thick with saplings and underbrush.

      Plenty of ax grinders (such as in the CNN article) have seized on Fort McMurray’s disaster to harp on their climate change theme. But people who actually risk their lives fighting those fires will talk about fuel as a primary factor in fire intensity, and the one which we have the most control over.

      Well, gotta out and clear some brush from the back forty. Learn not to burn! :-)

        1. tegnost

          seems like a jobs guarantee could provide a lot of forestry work, which would probably yield some resources like timber, rocks, … trail crew was a job you could actually get, back in the day…

  27. Antifa

    Yeehaww,we got ourselves a real old timey feud goin’ on down in North Carolina! It’s all about who gets to pee where.

    What? No, no, this isn’t about which tree the boys will use at this month’s Scout Jamboree. This here is about state’s rahts, and nuthin’ but.

    The US Justice Department gave NC until 5 PM yesterday to repeal their new law which forbids anyone in the state from using a public bathroom not matching the gender on their birth certificate. In short, all trangender persons in North Carolina are facing State sponsored gender discrimination, which is specifically spelled out in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as illegal. It also violates the EEOC. It also violates updates to the Civil Rights Act made in 1972 to include gender discrimination. Ya can’t do that.

    The Federal law in question outlaws discrimination based on “gender identity.” Yet our Governor finds this wording “confusing.” Probably because he’s well paid to find it confusing.

    So now the Tea Party patriots and True Believers in our gerrymandered legislature are taking the position that the Justice Department is in “blatant overreach” of their authority, and is writing law in the place of Congress. Our Governor sued the Justice Department in Federal Court today, and our Legislature sued them in a separate Federal Court, all of this in an attempt to send the whole mess to Congress to get them to rewrite the Civil Rights Act with some proper Jim Crow language. Some wiggle room for state’s rahts, that’s all.

    The Federal Government has sued the State right back.

    The State’s lawsuits also seek to stop the Justice Department from ordering Federal education and highway funds from flowing to North Carolina — $4.5 billion every year. Without that monthly $375 million from Uncle Sam, we won’t have highways worth driving on, won’t have teachers or have public schools safe to enter, and worst of all, the idiots in our legislature will lose their phony-baloney jobs on November 7th. The state has already lost $500 million in business and tourism in the first month of this awful transgender bill. We clearly can’t afford our bigotry, but these politicians won’t back down. They can’t.

    They can’t because the campaign funds to get elected or reelected in NC come from or through Art Pope, a multimillionaire Tea Party Christian zealot. He got his fortune from his chain of copycat ‘Dollar Stores’ selling cheap crap in very poor neighborhoods. The Koch Brothers also contributed heavily to the 2010 takeover of our legislature by Tea Party candidates. Their subsequent extreme gerrymandering of our legislative and Congressional districts give these clowns an automatic 10% lead on any non-Tea Party challenger, so they feel very safe in office, and very safe to keep on being crazier than the next guy. It’s apparently a lot of fun. The state is 55% solidly liberal, but all the Democrats get squeezed into ridiculously drawn districts that span half the state, leaving the rural districts entirely to the Tea Party.

    They also can’t back down because getting elected or reelected in these ‘safely red’ districts depends on pleasing the heavily evangelical rural voters of the state. Stand up for Leviticus, and you’re gonna be just fine. “To hell with the Civil Rights Act — I get reelected by pleasing the godly folk, and by checking with Art Pope every morning on how I should vote today.”

    The dedicated Christian attorneys who wrote HB2, and who have pushed similar anti-transgender bills in all fifty state legislatures, are to be found at the Alliance Defending Freedom ( A couple dozen states have either passed or are considering passing ADF’s bill. Just copy and paste the text, call it your own, and be a hero to the Tea Party in your state.

    The ADF’s goal has been to get this question of gender identity into the courts, and have it declared outside the bounds of sexual discrimination statutes and regulations. They view trangender issues as a lifestyle choice, or a mental illness, not an inborn trait. They would also rejoice if they could get the law rewritten by Congress more to their liking. Then they could exclude homosexuals of all kinds from the protections of the Civil Rights Act. That’s also a lifestyle choice, a mental aberration, a criminal habit. It’s right there in the Bible.

    If these people do not get what they believe is right and true this time around, they will simply try again. Expect it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are people with life style choices who should still be protected.

      The Amish, for example, generally speaking (and not 100% all the time like that), do not use electricity.

      That’s a choice. (And to secularists or those who take religion out of politics, a lifestyle choice).

      Still, we have to protect them equally from Electro-Magnetic field cancer risks.

    2. JustAnObserver

      The OP wrote: “Their subsequent extreme gerrymandering of our legislative and Congressional districts”

      This is no hyperbole. For anyone who’s never looked at this stuff checkout the map at the top of:

      I bring to your attention esp. districts 1, 4, 9, 12, 13.

      How is this ludicrous mockery in any way legal ? Are there no Federal laws putting some kind of limits on this crazed nonsense ?

    3. vidimi

      am i crazy for thinking that art pope and the kochs are doing this to play right into clinton’s grubby hands? this is the ideal kind of culture war issue that can get people flocking to team hilz against the crazy repugs in november.

  28. JustAnObserver

    Clinton IT guys “lost” email archive: Interesting questions are

    (1) whether that hacker guy, Guccifer, got hold of these emails before they were “lost” ?

    (2) He must have realized he’d got hold a crate of serious political dynamite so, being a smart hacker, where in the remote corners of the deep web, did he put his insurance copies ?

    (3) What are the release criteria for these copies ?

    If I were him I would have given encrypted copies to a number of sympat journos so that all that has to happen under #3 is a small, difficult to stop in time, email gets sent containing the decryption key(s).

    1. Jim Haygood

      Guccifer hasn’t claimed to have hacked Bryan Pagliano’s email.

      Now that Bryan has been granted immunity, the FBI is going to ask whether he wiped his emails from the official State Dept archive on HIllary’s instructions (to disappear all their correspondence about the Clinton email server).

      Bryan Pagliano: the Rose Mary Woods of Hillary Milhous Clinton. Inflation has turned an 18-1/2 minute gap into a four-year gap.

      1. Anne

        Also, NBC, in its new show – “On Assignment” – Cynthia McFadden interviewed Guccifer at the prison where he is serving time, and made a not-very-subtle effort to neutralize anything he claimed with respect to the Clinton hack. To the point where I wondered which member of the Clinton team dictated the talking points and interview questions – much the way they more or less wrote the op-ed that appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that ripped Bernie Sanders to shreds.

        You watch and listen and read enough of this stuff, and eventually, patterns emerge.

      2. JustAnObserver

        Hi Jim,

        I realise G hasn’t got Mr Fall Guy’s (*) emails from the source end @ State. But are there any from him, using his State email address, at the destination end in the Hillary trove ? And what do they contain … other than Birthday greetings.

        (*) the bus is revving up as we speak.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Don’t know. Probably any emails from Pagliano at were deleted along with the ones about “Chelsea’s wedding, family vacations, yoga routines, the other things you typically find in inboxes.”

          Which would be clear obstruction of justice, if the FBI succeeding in recovering the deleted emails from the server hard drive.

    2. mk

      maybe the “lost” emails are part of a deal to help cover up for Clinton. maybe the fbi and doj don’t want to indict her.

  29. cenobite

    > Notice the assumption: “Of course, most Sanders supporters wouldn’t think for a nanosecond of voting for Donald Trump.”

    Sorry, Yves. It’s no stretch at all to say more than 50% (“most” not “no”) of Sanders voters won’t consider Trump, simply on “I’m not a racist” grounds.

  30. JTFaraday


    “It’s been extremely common for news accounts to portray Donald Trump’s candidacy as a “working-class” rebellion against Republican elites. There are elements of truth in this perspective: Republican voters, especially Trump supporters, are unhappy about the direction of the economy…. (but) as compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off.

    The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.”

    1. flora

      I read the article. According to Wikipedia, the middle quintile household income range is $50k – $75k. (less than25, 25-50, 50-75, 75-100, more than100) That’s the middle-class or working class household income level, depending on the definition used. I’m not sure what Silver is trying to accomplish.

      1. tegnost

        Looks to me like he’s trying to make hillary look better by averaging the income of both of their demographic, like get a hundred people, one person has a hundred dollars, 99 have nothing, but the average is $1 each, he;s laundering her wall st. donations through sanders $27 installments. Small ball billy martin style we’re gonna win this thing you watch… . nate should go back to baseball.

  31. no one


    James Levy’s comment from another posting seems relevant:

    “Although I’m supposed to, I guess, keep up with this stuff (military historians do pay more attention to contemporary developments in our chosen field of study than most academics) I was taken aback by the stress on a relatively new idea–force protection–that kept popping up during the Second Gulf War. This notion is, I believe, pernicious: that one of the prime responsibilities of officers is to the safety of their men. Call me crazy, or just extremely old fashioned, but to my mind soldiers (and cops) accept the risk when they take the King’s coin and sign up. The idea that an officer (or cop) would let civilians be killed in order to “protect” himself or his men is vile to me. The honor in service comes from risking your life for the community. If you shoot first and ask questions later, you dishonor yourself and anyone who puts up with such disgraceful behavior.”

    Something is seriously rotten in Denmark.

    1. Antifa

      When on-duty soldiers or cops come to the conclusion that there are no “civilians,” there are only thugs and thieves and terrorists, the notion of protecting their lives before your own goes right out of the picture.

      What brings them to this conclusion can be bitter experience, or just the common culture of their workplace. But this Us Against Them mindset is universal with out military and police now.

      That’s how calling in a suicide threat brings the SWAT team to your door to shoot you. For being a threat to them going home safe and sound for dinner.

  32. ewmayer

    Re. Cameron and Brexit: Well, the fearmongering worked quite nicely in the recent Scots independence referendum – why change a tried and proven strategy?

  33. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for continuing to prominently feature links to the Panama Papers revelations.

    A conference on offshore corruption, tax havens and their role in fostering inequality is getting underway tomorrow in London. Infuential economists including Thomas Piketty and Angus Deaton have signed a letter warning that there is no economic justification for allowing tax havens to continue.

    … “Tax havens don’t just happen. The British Virgin Islands did not become a tax haven through its own efforts. These havens are the deliberate choice of major governments, especially the United Kingdom and the United States, in partnership with major financial, accounting, and legal institutions that move the money.”  —Jeff Sachs

    Interesting that this conference is being sponsored by the UK government. Suggests increasing political traction for a policy shift toward money launderers and tax havens.


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