Links 5/21/16

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Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs Wired. Resilc: “So peak code is here when they starting training all the serfs.”

You probably haven’t even noticed Google’s sketchy quest to control the world’s knowledge Washington Post (furzy). I most assuredly noticed Google Books and didn’t like it. My book is copyrighted and they have no business publishing even as much of it as they have.

Google’s Making Its Own Chips Now. Time for Intel to Freak Out Wired (resilc)

One surgeon says you need an operation. Another says you don’t. Here’s why that happens Vox. I don’t entirely buy this. I have found orthopedists to be way too surgery-happy.

The Plan to Avert Our Post-Antibiotic Apocalypse Atlantic (furzy)

World Bank launches $500 million insurance fund to fight pandemics Reuters


Playing Chicken in the South China Sea New York Times. Editorial.

China builds Africa’s biggest railway CNN

China’s latest idea for cleaning up air pollution could be horrible for climate change Vox

Nigerian Oil Output Falls 800,000 Barrels As Militants Step Up Attacks OilPrice. From resilc’s friend there: “Gas lines every day. We used to have about 20 airlines. Now about 8 left.”

How democratic is the European Union? The Conversation

A New Inflation Riddle for the ECB Wall Street Journal

ECB weighs a helicopter money-drop program to stoke euro economy Globe and Mail


Delivering Brexit: Can BRIC Nations Compensate UK For EU Split? Forbes

George Osborne: A Brexit could see the value of homes fall by a fifth Telegraph


Greece’s creditors eye IMF debt deal Financial Times. I have competing responsibilities and so can’t properly write this up, but I read this as a bribe to get the IMF to stay in. The IMF gets bought out of its existing loans to a meaningful degree, and puts new money in to the third bailout. The argument presumably is, “Look, the trade is we are reducing your net exposure to keep you around managing the program. If you left, you’d still face losses on your loans. Even if you are right and we are wrong, you come out better this way.” Does that appear to be accurate?


EU Expected to Extended Russian Economic Sanctions World Affairs


Iraqi security forces use live fire to break up protests in Green Zone Washington Post. Holy shit. And see this:

“We were holding roses and flags,” said Haider Hashm, 40, sitting on the curb of a bridge to the Green Zone and struggling to speak because of the effects of tear gas. “But while we were giving them roses, they gave us tear gas and bullets.”

Dan Simpson: Mideast myopia Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Dronebuster will let you point and shoot command hacks at pesky drones ars technica (martha r)

The Internet of Things: it’s arrived and it’s eyeing your job Sydney Morning Herald (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Can America Ever Escape Its Failing Foreign Policy? National Interest (resilc)

The Submission of America’s Elites American Conservative (resilc)

Harwood and Stanley, Policing the Dystopia TomDispatch

Trade Traitors

Free Trade vs. the Republican Party American Conservative (resilc)


First, Do Some Harm: How to Smear a Disfavored Candidate on NYT’s Front Page FAIR (martha r)

KING: Here’s why I’m leaving the Democratic Party New York Daily News (martha r)

Sanders campaign down to less than $6 million in cash Associated Press. I just gave more $ because I am SO pissed about Nevada, not just the event but the media coverage. This was also shortly after his big spend and loss in NY, which dented momentum, so the campaign may be in better shape now. Or you can call California voters this weekend, see here. May 23 is the deadline.

And of course, contrast the Big Media, “Sanders is barely hangin’ on,” with this: Bernie Sanders tops Hillary Clinton in fundraising for fourth straight month Washington Times. But I thought she barely beat him in April. It looks like a later count changed who came out first.

The Hidden Importance Of The Sanders Voter FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Hillary loses two major endorsements in Puerto Rico in one day Daily Kos (martha r)

The Year of the Political Troll New Yorker (furzy). Lambert re the author:

Guy’s an expert on China. “You gotta know the territory” — The Music Man

He doesn’t.

For example, he doesn’t mention Brock’s “Correct the Record” at all.

Correct The Record will invest more than $1 million into Barrier Breakers 2016 activities, including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram. Barrier Breakers 2016 is a project of Correct The Record and the brainchild of David Brock, and the task force will be overseen by President of Correct The Record Brad Woodhouse and Digital Director Benjamin Fischbein. The task force staff’s backgrounds are as diverse as the community they will be engaging with and include former reporters, bloggers, public affairs specialists, designers, Ready for Hillary alumni, and Hillary super fans who have led groups similar to those with which the task force will organize.

Of course, this is “online messsaging,” not trolling. So that’s alright then.

Democrats Consider New Rules to Avoid Convention Chaos NBC (martha r)

Nancy Pelosi Defends Bernie Sanders Amid Suggestions He’s Damaging the Party Alternet. It may be only someone as powerful as Pelosi who does not feel compelled to kiss the Clinton ring. And she may be positioning herself to negotiate the truce, assuming Team Clinton gets out of its ego trip and realizes that is what needs to happen. But notice the continued falsehoods from the Clinton operatives.

Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé Counterpunch

The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump New Yorker (furzy). The histrionics really undermine the piece. For instance: “He’s not Hitler, as his wife recently said? Well, of course he isn’t. But then Hitler wasn’t Hitler—until he was.” Huh? Hilter was what he was long before he became Chancellor. Mein Kampf was published in 1925. If we want the media to be accurate re Sanders, we also have to subject discussions of Trump to the same standards. There is plenty wrong with him as a candidate. The over-egging of the pudding seems to be a function of elite recognition that is at risk and has plenty of dirty laundry of her own.

Trump Isn’t the Campaign Media’s First Mistake Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. Aside from the key points that Taibbi makes, note that Nate Silvers still believes that correlation is causation.

US Analysis: Trump Is Symptom of America’s “Decline” Crisis EA WorldView (resilc)

Donald Trump is going to make sure we hear a lot about that old rape allegation against Bill Clinton New Republic (resilc). I remember reading the Wall Street Journal op ed by the victim, Juanita Brodderick, and it sounded credible.

Public Lands, National Parks Under Threat of Privatization Charles Pierce, Esquire. Ugh.

Fired general who sent ‘sexually suggestive’ emails allowed to keep rank at retirement Washington Post. Resilc: “Elites can do anything.”

Business Insider CEO: ‘There Are No Must-Read Publications Any More’ Der Spiegel (resilc). Do you agree?

Establishment Dems Fight to Defeat ‘Medicare-for-All’ in Colorado Common Dreams (Judy B)

Haslam allows Tennessee to sue feds over refugeesm Tennessean (martha r)

Arrest of ousted board chair threatened and retirement of executive director announced at board meeting of ailing pension system Kentucky Chamber (Chris Tobe). You need to read this. This is government at the barrel of a gun. The state attorney general ruled the governor’s executive order to remove the board chairman to be illegal. That meant the state troops were acting in violation of the law. Moreover, the board failed to show solidarity and reject the governor’s coup. Even if the board chairman needed to go, this was not the way to do it.


Cramer: Yellen could sink stocks CNBC. And Hillary.

US banks shine after more hawkish Fed Financial Times. Insiders say the banks have been pushing hard for a rate rise.

US companies’ cash pile hits $1.7tn Financial Times. Infuriating and wrong. Conflates cash holdings with booking profits offshore for tax purposes, which has nada to do with where cash is actually held. And there is no evidence that any of these companies booking profits offshore pay a tax cost to invest in the US, charitably assuming they had any desire to do so.

Yahoo ad revenues vs Google, Facebook Business Insider (furzy)

Goldman investors revolt over executive pay Financial Times

Class Warfare

Tom Cotton Says the US Should Put More People in Prison Charles Pierce, Esquire

Bipartisan Senate coalition unveils bill to boost affordable housing Housing Wire. Meeps: “This bill doubles the tax credit for the capital/rentier class, no? So, development reaches a “deeper level of affordability.” that is expected to trickle down? I haven’t parsed the text of the bill yet. Perhaps NC readers could have a go at it?”

Antidote du jour (@shutup_2558):

lemurs riding links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Playing Chicken in the South China Sea—-This is something that has been gradually increasing for years. A few years ago China locked on to a US jet and forced it to land. China has been increasingly flexing its military muscles in various ways. I lay the blame squarely on the ignoramus George W. Bush, who decided to waste all our military power on abject failure in the Middle East. Our military is now in a beaten-down state, which China monitors and acts accordingly. The failure of W in Iraq was bluntly acknowledged by Trump, and this helped him run off Jeb and win the nomination. OTOH, HRC has not acknowledged the horrible failure of W, who she disgustingly hugged at Reagan’s funeral. IMHO, China’s bellicose posturing is more worrisome in the light of possible economic difficulty in the near future for the huge country, hinted at by various financial prognosticators. Countries often lash out militarily when things are not going well at home.

    1. b

      What please is “China’s bellicose posture” in the South *China* Sea ?

      What is the U.S. doing there, several thousand miles away from its coast, anyway?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        China’s bellicose posturings in the South China Sea are many. They built an artificial island solely for military purposes. They are disputing the Philippines and Vietnam for the Spratley Islands. The US has some allies there it wants to protect—principally Taiwan, the Philippines, S. Korea, and Japan. But you may have a point—perhaps Uncle Sam should pull in his horns completely and withdraw militarily from Asia. Would be no skin off my nose.

        1. Ignim Brites

          Without a globalist enemy like international communism it will be difficult for D.C. to maintain domestic interest in maintaining the Pax Americana. To be sure, radical Islam, is globalist in its orientation but it hardly comes close to the Soviet Union in its capacity to inspire existential anxiety. Without a challenge to the idea of the Pax Americana all the US can look forward to is a desultory series of step backs as each power projection becomes a domestic political piñata.

        2. shargash

          “They are disputing the Philippines and Vietnam for the Spratley Islands. ”

          Wouldn’t that make the Phillipines and Vietnam bellicose too, even if China wasn’t involved? IMO, it all depends on whether China owns the islands or not, something which has not been ruled on by any international court, IIRC. If they own them, then it isn’t the US’s business whether they build up some reefs for military bases. Maybe if the US didn’t routinely send spy planes and warships past the islands, China would be in less of a hurry to build bases there. It is pretty odd to hear the US calling anyone else bellicose.

          In any case, the islands are going to be gone in a few years from sea level rise, so let them waste the money, I say.

          1. Gaianne

            “It is pretty odd to hear the US calling anyone else bellicose.”



            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              800 bases around the world with military troops stationed in 120 different nations is not enough! USA! USA!
              And Hey Look! Those pesky yellow fellows are daring to protect their own local interests right offshore their own country. Can’t have that.
              Imagine for a minute if the Chinese had troops in San Diego and Boston and Nashville. Now do you get it?
              Yankee Go Home..and take your drone bombs with you. Better yet, take them straight to The Hague and put them in the “Evidence” locker.

          2. cwaltz

            The Philipines should already have a base there they can use- you know the one WE built that they kicked us out of because they didn’t want us stationed there anymore.

            Am really tired of these countries complaining they don’t want our military there because of all the complications having them there causes while wanting all the conveniences our military might offers.

            It’s an either/or as far as I am concerned. You want our military help then deal with the fact that any population is going to have less than desirable elements. Either that or defend your own darn self.

              1. cwaltz

                How are you not sure how to reconcile it?

                The reality is these countries need to decide for THEMSELVES whether or not they want us to help protect them. If THEY choose to have us come in there then they need to recognize that it’s going to be like any choice, it’s going to have benefits and risks. The PI essentially kicked out the US military off the base (and yes, it costs money to do these things)we once occupied because…..sailors. Well, here we are a few years later ,and they are back to begging us to come protect them. Going back there and establishing a presence isn’t going to be free and it isn’t helpful that these places one minute don’t want us there because……military…….and then one minute later want us there because……..threats to sovereignty exist.

                I, personally don’t want to be a hall monitor but if these places want us doing so and our government manages to convince the citizens that there is some sort of benefit for us to do so then I really don’t want to hear these places whine about the military that they invited to keep them safe being too much of an inconvenience.

                Disclaimer: I was stationed in the PI for a year and a half back in 1987-1988. I enjoyed my time there but completely understood why they didn’t particularly want us there(the male half of the species definitely could behave like pigs in a country where impoverished women essentially ended up selling their bodies), however, I always thought it was strategically foolish of them to ditch our alliance considering they really don’t have a military.

                1. low integer

                  Thanks for the reply.
                  The arrow of time dictates that the present is the sum total of all past actions.
                  It was these two statements that caught my eye:

                  I really don’t want to hear these places whine about the military that they invited to keep them safe being too much of an inconvenience.


                  [A]nd by democratic, I mean acting in OUR interests even if that conflicts with the interests of the citizenry of the region because everything must benefit our 1% overlords.

                  I am not even sure that what we end up reading about what the Filipines’ wants wrt the US military returning is coming from a unified majority, as opposed to the connected Filipino political class. It is also clear that the US uses proxies to achieve their goals, such as using Ukraine to disrupt Russia.
                  My guess that China’s island base building is an act of defiance towards the US, and not intended as an act of aggression towards their neighbours, and I think it is probably the US who wants back into the Filipines, not the other way around.

                  1. low integer

                    Oops, I note “Philippines” the country is spelled differently from “Filipino” the people. Sorry about that.

          3. Am Expat in Mindanao

            To see how extreme are the claims China is making in the South China Sea, one need only do a Google search to view a map of where they are drawing their line. The Chinese are claiming domain over territory as far away as Malaysia, more than a thousand miles from their shore. In waters west of the Philippine province of Palawan, they are blocking Filipino fisherman from fishing in areas that are considered Filipino through custom and international law. I think is true for Vietnam too. Whatever your global view, there is no other way of looking at this IMO than it being a giant land, or in this case, water grab. And granted the reefs, lagoons and islands, such as they are, may well be gone in a generation or two, the oil, gas and other resources beneath the waves will still be there.

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              Right , Expat, China is playing the bully in the region vis a vis its much smaller neighbors. My original point was that defending these small countries would be a much wiser use of American military power than invading the Middle East. For those who retorted that American military power ANYWHERE is abhorrent, that view is understandable but not realistic.

        3. myshkin

          China may have created an island in international shipping lanes amid likely oil reserves off their coast, but it is their coast. What is the context for the US sailing war ships through it?
          How does that arrangement work off US coasts? Cuba, missile crisis, etc. Yeah, we all know the history but let’s recall; the US is projecting power in places it has no business. Or is that we have business everywhere.
          I have no belief that the Chinese are democratizing the South China Sea or anywhere else, I also don’t trust the US and their strategy of polarizing every geo political sphere they encounter, creating enemies and allies where their may just be regional neighbors. What China is doing is geographically more local than what we’re up to with Diego Garcia and the other 6-700 US bases around the world.

      2. cwaltz


        Haven’t you heard we’re the equivalent of the world’s hall monitor?

        Nevermind that apparently we’re not that good at real democracy here, we’re going to police OTHERS to ensure they are sufficiently “democratic”(and by democratic, I mean acting in OUR interests even if that conflicts with the interests of the citizenry of the region because everything must benefit our 1% overlords.)

    2. timbers

      I’m more afraid what the the US is doing right now and will be do, than China.

      Not saying China is an angle who’s bombing 7 or more nations, has created “the greatest immigration crisis since WWII” killing hundreds of thousands and displacing tens of millions and overthrowing governments at break neck speed, bombing doctors hospitals patients schools power plants water plants civilians pregnant woman children infrastructure?

      Is China doing that is it the US? And would the US do all these regime change events in China and Russia if it could and is China not correct to defend itself against US aggression?

  2. Samuel Conner

    Re: the ECB helicopter drop and “theoretically raising prices, employment and wages”. One wonders if the ordering of the effects in this way reflects a “quantity of money” theory of inflation. In Europe’s present situation, presumably the the order of effects would be to increase employment, and at some point thereafter to increase wages (if the labor market became sufficiently tight) and after that point to increase prices.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The problem if you don’t subscribe to the “quantity of money” thesis is then you need a different thesis. The alternate thesis seems to be that “quantity” is not important, that something representing stored labor can be conjured with no labor required without adverse consequences.

      An investor in Google must first acquire the money to buy their GOOG shares via some kind of productive activity. But the Swiss central bank (now a very large holder of GOOG equity) is exempt from this requirement, when the Swiss want to buy more GOOG shares they press “Enter” on their computer and the required value is materialized from nothing. Assuming this is a fair exchange, doesn’t this mean that GOOG shares are also worth nothing? Or do some shareholders have to do work in order to acquire ownership, but others do not? And what happens when 100% of the shares of a company are owned by an entity that materialized the money to “buy” them with? On the current track the BOJ will own 100% of Japanese stock ETFs by 2017. Surely we will not try and base all of capitalism on some kind of conjuring trick?

      The answer seems to be that we already regulate investment funds, which must hold a certain amount of equity to remain solvent, make transparent disclosures, limit issuance of new fund units, etc., so perhaps we need to regulate central banks as the hedge funds they have become. Otherwise the “investor” in central bank money has no idea what he/she is holding. It’s just another Ponzi scheme.

      And yes, I understand that all “modern” money is a conjuring trick. The problem with conjuring tricks is that eventually someone looks behind the curtain and sees there’s no wizard there, just a huckster pulling levers and making smoke come out.

      Follow the Yellow Brick Road.

  3. Cry Shop

    Further to “China’s latest idea for cleaning up air pollution could be horrible for climate change”

    China’s solar plants so far have turned into another ecological boondoggle. A sale engineer from the largest international OEM of inverters confirmed and expanded upon my observation that none of China’s solar plants were connected to the 500 kV national grid. The engineer said that of these plants only dispatch at 35kV because there’s no government subsidy to build the BOP (balance of plant) 35 kV to 200kV transformers (nor for 500 kV for that matter)and the local grids that operate all the 200kV and below distribution lines don’t have demand to handle more that a few % dispatch from them.nor do they have the power capacity and capacitance in their local area to handle the instability. All the peak-lopping, large scale capacitance is located far away economic heartland of in the Southern Grid.

    All the incentive has been to build solar (and wind) to support the OEMs but there has been no incentive to run these plants or build the mundane infrastructure necessary to make them work (This supports my observation from driving past many of them that most win turbines in China break-down within 3 years and often are left in that state).

    There has been very slow progress in building the 500kV ac and 800 kV D/C to these areas, most of the money has gone to building distribution to Nuclear, Hydro and Coal projects closer to the markets. This means the carbon emissions (as well as the toxic semi-conduction chemicals used) to produce these plants has seen little in return.

    This is hearsay — I’m not going to disclose the source, but some news organs covering China’s energy market could fairly easily have run down this story already. That they have not is a good indication of how much fear of being kicked out of the China market is affecting the boots on the ground.

    1. Clive

      I wish my knowledge was more up-to-date (there’s a risk here that technology may make my information obsolete) but I remember my Dad (who was an electrical engineer and understood a lot of the principles of electricity and the laws (like Ohms law, not judicial ones) which it follows) telling me that, in HV distribution systems, small-scale effects which aren’t usually discernible in residential / light commercial installations start to become apparent and must be solved by very careful design of the grid and the generation capacity.

      For example, here in England, London is obviously a big load centre. But no-one in the Home Counties wants a power station nearby — so most are located in the coastal belt (nuclear) or the industrial north (coal, gas and hydro). But the supergrid connecting this generation capacity to the loads becomes unstable if the loads and the generation plant is too far distant. This led to the building of a small, not very efficient, power station in the south of England to counter the effect. I won’t trouble readers with the technicalities — in brief, over short distances, an electrical cable only presents a resistance but over long distances such as power lines or even in motor windings it presents an impedance (i.e. it starts to act like a capacitor). As an aside, I suspect this is the cause of the electrical gremlins in Yves’ building — a not-to-current-standard motor or else a group of motors that are okay but wired in the wrong way at a distribution board — I’ve seen this in an A/C chiller plant in a datacentre so I’d be starting my investigations in the plant room if the building has a chilled water system.

      Anyhow, I’m digressing — yes, if the Chinese planners are not being really careful in the layout of their supergrid, the positioning of generation in relation to load and putting in countermeasures, they are heading for a lot of problems. In Britain, the National Grid engineers discovered a lot of the problems the hard way and only found practical solutions by trial and error. It’s not like you just go out and buy an off-the-shelf ready tested supergrid. Every one is unique and custom built. And constantly in flux (there’s an engineering in-joke in that last sentence).

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I myself am not in favor of a war with China. I have no say in the matter, unless there is a semi-peace candidate I can vote for, such as Ron Paul or Bernie. I am all for peace but I am saying the possibility exists there might be a war. Right now it’s a game of chicken, like the article says.

      1. myshkin

        My knowledge is banked somewhere in a distant and incomplete rendering.
        I do recall thinking that the best application for solar and wind was decentralized, localized application. Much electricity is lost in transmission. Transformers step down and then step up the juice in some manner. Much better perhaps for houses to have panels and a nearby wind farm than pushing electricity through miles of line. But not so good for the power companies who want to centralize the technology and thereby profit from it.

      2. Synoia

        A long distance power line has resistance, capacitance and incuctance and is a transmission line.

        The small power station in the example you quote is for power factor correction, and optimizes the losses on an AC transmission line.

    2. Synoia

      capacitance does not mean what you believe it means.

      The “grid” to which you refer is more complex than you believe. There may be no need to from 35kV (area or local distribution) to 500 KV (national level) distribution, because solar generation is effective at the area level.

      500 kV transmission lines are for giant, for example 500 MW, electric plants, not tens or hundred of kW for local consumption.

      This is hearsay And the problem with hearsay is the lack of details and specific information, including reporting bias on the part of the “sayers”.

      1. Cry Shop

        and I’m a professional engineer who works in power generation and distribution for a living, but I’ll bow before the might of your will, though nature won’t give a damn.

      2. Zephyrum

        Synoia, I’m an electrical engineer and Cry Shop’s account shows more knowledge than your reply. High-power transmission lines require distributed capacitance for stability. Long lines are modeled as a series of resonant circuits that are designed to have matched impedance, where segments of inductive power lines are balanced by parallel capacitors. Changes in current flow combined with impedance variation over distance can cause massive voltage and current swings that can take a long time to damp out–if they do before arcing and current surges destroy equipment. Clouds can cause rapid changes in solar generation that need to be accommodated in the design so you avoid this. Third world countries, similar to 1930s rural US, often don’t have enough capacitors to match impedance well enough to accommodate rapid solar variation. We’re spoiled in the US that the distribution network works as well as it does; makes it seem simple when it is not.

      3. Clive

        No. The distribution grid is called a grid for a reason. Unless you isolate one part of it from another (like a DC interconnector) the supply is aggregated and the demand is aggregated across the entire grid.

        What you seem to be saying is:

        Both Town A and Town B are connected to a grid
        Assuming there are is no other generating capacity or load in the grid
        If Town A is “supplied” by a, say, 100MW solar farm and is drawing 90MW
        Town B is “supplied” by a, say, 100MW solar farm and is drawing 120MW
        Only Town B will need demand reduction imposed

        Incorrect !

        Both Town A and Town B will need demand reduction. You can’t stop the electricity from flowing to Town B from Town A’s generating assets.

        You could disconnect Town B entirely from the grid, then Town A will not need any demand reduction. However, you then wouldn’t have a grid system. And this would make the demand reduction measures required from Town B more drastic. Instead of only a net 10MW shortfall in a system with an installed generating capacity of 200MW (i.e. 5%), which would be fairly easily managed, you have a 20% shortfall just in Town B — which isn’t easily managed at all.

        And solar generation is not anything like conventional generation. Gensets in coal, gas or even windfarm supply assets have momentum. They are very good at gracefully handling transient peaks which only last a few seconds or so. The frequency is allowed to drop and this provides resilience.

        Solar generation does not have this feature. Supply must be much more carefully matched to demand and the quality of loads must be higher — loads that “dump” themselves onto the grid instantaneously like resistance (“strip”) heat, arc welding and so on are bad news for a solar-only grid.

        Put it this way nowhere — not a single country on earth — has successfully created a large scale (50-100GW+) grid which is heavily (e.g. 50%+) supplied with solar generating assets. Until someone manages to do it, it remains a theoretical possibility not a practical worked example.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Solar generation does not have this feature. Supply must be much more carefully matched to demand and the quality of loads must be higher — loads that “dump” themselves onto the grid instantaneously like resistance (“strip”) heat, arc welding and so on are bad news for a solar-only grid.

          This is a big problem, but not necessarily confined to solar power (its more the small scale of scattered solar panels thats the problem, rather than solar power per se). Wind power has the same issue to an extent. But there are already viable technologies being used to handle the transition to those ‘dump’ loads – flywheel storage. In Ireland, because of the small size and relatively low density nature of the grid, they are currently investing in flywheel storage systems in some power stations which are intended to provide a ‘bridge’ between the power generators and other storage/generating systems.

          1. Clive

            Pumped storage is another obvious solution to the problem of high-starting-current loads. You can also ban the worst offenders such as Sweden did with resistance heat. It’s not impossible, but it does need coherent planning to avoid running into tricky to solve snags.

            And I agree with you below about China’s “let’s just build it and forward fix later” approach — it’s all just fine and dandy but vulnerable to fat-tail “events”. A malinvestment problem (like a power plant in the wrong place) never looks that way to begin with, only later does it stand out as an obvious white elephant. Like Knock airport!

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I’ll have you know its called Connacht Regional now and its very successful (on the few days its not closed due to mist and rain)!

              Yes, pumped storage is very useful for small isolated grids (its no coincidence Ireland built the first major pumped storage facility in the world). I’m no expert on power systems, but my understanding is that pumped storage can’t cut in fast enough for some loads, hence a new investment in flywheels – again, Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to adopt them commercially – they are to be used to bridge the gap between slumps in wind farm output, thermal stations and short term peaking plants (in Ireland, these are essentially kerosene fueled retired jet engines, fired up if there is a sudden shortfall).

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Yes, I read about that, its a really interesting idea for short term storage, which will be essential if renewables are to take more than 40% or more of a grids capacity.

              When I first read it I couldn’t help thinking they missed a trick by siting it in a desert. In a rainy mountain top, they could use water as the weight instead of lead, and fill them up at the top with mountain springs.

        2. bob

          You seem to be confusing distribution with transmission. They are two very different things.

          Transmission is town to town. Locally, it’s called distribution. Anything “connecting” town A to town B is Transmission, More properly, connecting the sub-stations in town A and and town B.

          From the substation down is distribution.

          1. Clive

            In the UK it’s much more nebulous and harder to draw hard and fast distinctions between “transmission” and “distribution”. For example the utility which serves me, Western Power Distribution handles both connections to generation assets, “transmission” to substations and “distribution” to consumers’ premises. But they lump all their activities under a “distribution” description. This regional utility only operates the network up to 132kV. That network does both transmission and distribution but as the same wires are used for both, you can’t say that this- or that- part of their infrastructure is pure “transmission” or pure “distribution”.

            National Grid owns the stuff beyond that voltage at 275 or 400kV. Their network is more purely defined as “transmission” — but that still doesn’t quite get round the instances where, for example, a railway taps directly into (say) a 275kV “transmission” line and steps it down to 25kV for over head line electric traction trains. Is that 275kV line then “transmitting” or “distributing”?

    3. PlutoniumKun

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there were problems like that – the Chinese dragged their feet on building long distance DC lines mostly for political reasons (most infrastructure spending is in the hands of provinces and they are less keen on investments that seem to benefit far away provinces). This mismatch between generation and grid capacity is a constant problem where you have a system which favours one side over another (i.e the seemingly permanent battle between those in charge of the power lines and those in charge of the power stations).

      To a certain extent, the Chinese do have an attitude of ‘build the key stuff, we will sort out the technical details later’, which can certainly work – the problem may be that if the economy heads for a slowdown, they may not have the cash to do it.

      1. Cry Shop

        Exactly. One of those problems they “intend” to solve later is the huge environmental damage inflicted, particularly by rare-earth extraction, metal refining and semi-conductor assembly. The old truth that a mistake costs 1 dollar to fix at the design stage for every 1000 it costs to fix it only the assembly line doesn’t reflect the scale up of costs to fix what’s been done to the environment, which is something like 10×7 power (if not much higher). If I wasn’t nearing the end of my own design life, then like the Saudis and even China I’d be buying up well located farmland in the USA, Canada, even the Ukraine, etc. “Safe” food (and to a lesser extent water) is going to be the growth industry.

        Everyone keeps thinking that cheap “clean” energy is going to save the world, one of the few issues I had with the otherwise very interesting “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom” by Cory Doctorow. It’s just shoving one problem off onto another, and making that one worse. ie: Remove the energy cost restraint from consumers and they’ll simply consume everything else even faster (as China’s clearly demonstrated) Maybe it is the influence of religion on culture, but humans keep forgetting they are part of and governed by the Universe and it’s nature. One can’t write the entropy equation for open systems here, otherwise that’s how I’d sign out this comment.

    4. jgordon

      In the future all electricity, if we have electricity at all which is not looking too likely at the moment, will involve a couple of solar panels and a battery. Our days of brute-forcing anything and everything with energy ate over. In the future, and I’m being optimistic here that we won’t be living in caves, it’s all going to be about intelligent design and excruciatingly precise management and exploitation of energy, including among others solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, and biological/chemical energy. The profligate way we squander energy today with this nuts grid systems will end soon. And you all had better be working towards the small scale alternatives today, before it does end. If you are relying on the government or somebody else to do it for you–well you’re screwed. Have fun being a cave dweller, if you survive.

  4. nippersdad

    Re: Nancy Pelosi. This just looks like her usual modus operandi; make nice sounds until it is convenient to stick in the knife, as with the TPA. I thought that last sentence was pretty insightful. When she says that she sees all of that exuberance as something to be channeled, I read it as something that she believes needs to be veal penned. Not really the same thing, though, is it?

    1. Pat

      No, it isn’t. It appears to me that Pelosi is smarter than the average corporate hack Dem. She may get that you really can’t veal pen a group that has stampeded and knocked down the containers and so is trying to stop the stampede that the party and the Clinton campaign seem determined to start. It took quite a while for the Republicans to get that they really did not get much say over the passionate base they thought they had penned. This is only beginning to even be a nagging suspicion for the more aware of the Third Way crowd.

      1. nippersdad

        Agreed. She is a smart one. She has done this schtick before, when she successfully coordinated the accountability in government campaign during the Bush Administration that got them back their majorities. No one can pen veal like Nancy Pelosi. This looks like a slowing of the herd maneuver.

        1. Dikaios Logos

          Pelosi is almost certainly among the most of savy of the big-time Democrats and for all her current status as a plutocrat with a rolodex, she does come from the D’Alesandros, a family of outsiders who successfully challenged an entrenched Southern establishment in Baltimore.

          I’d also wager a guess that she, unlike most of the other women on the Hill, is a something of a red-meat eating alpha and that there has been a time or two where Billary rubbed her wrong that she has not forgotten.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Or it could be Sanders has agreed to cooperate and this is to pacify the supporters.

          Be a gracious winner.

          That would be the spin and what do we really know? What are these 11 dimensional chess players really thinking?

    2. Cry Shop

      Indeed! Sen and Mr. Polosi are like Hill-Billy with just a very slight touch more decorum in how they feed off the public weal.

      I also see this as an experienced congressional thug looking to maximize her payback. She knows Clinton has some serious issues which will come due close to the election, when Polosi’s seat on the “intelligence committee” may come in handy to delay/suppress as containing “sensitive information” any FBI reports on Clinton emailing confidential cables to her for-profit buddies, Bill chowing down on a feast Sec. Clinton set up, etc. . Showing bi-partisanship for the Republican leg of the and for the Liberal leg of the (anti-)Democratic party could be both just buying cover for when she sell-out as well as reminding Hill-Billy she won’t be cheap. After all, Hill-Billy have been creaming off what should rightly be her bankster gravy train.

      1. local to oakland

        I wrote another comment before reading this. But I don’t see anything more nefarious here than the survival instinct of a very experienced and cagy congresswoman. The Sanders voters are talking about Primary challengers for neocon democrats. She doesnt want to be first on their list of targets.

        1. sleepy

          Wasserman’s already got one in Tim Canova. That primary is a month after the dem national convention. Too bad it’s not a week before–and she loses.

          1. hunkerdown

            Presumably she’ll always have a place in the superpredator superdelegate gallery.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The secret to the Tea Party’s success.

          Let the primary challenges begin!!!

    3. JaaaaayCeeeee

      Pelosi could also be thinking of how she looks to the voters in her state, not just after Barbara Boxer could only troll and pearl clutch (I feared for my physical safety was useful for Clinton from someone retiring). Why get written off as another glass ceiling for me but not for thee I just need you to bend before me, like poor Steinham and Albright.

      I’m sure I don’t know the half of the team and individual efforts, what with the DNC allowing elected officials a pet progressive policy, the need to make Sanders look bad but occasionally have a Biden, Pelosi, Obama, etc., keep voters hoping, the need to help Clinton, and their own images and what if’s.

  5. the blame/e

    Re: Tom Cotton on placing more people in prison.

    The United States of America has more prisons than any other nation, and more people (human beings) behind bars than any other country on the face of the planet. Ever. More than the Soviet Gulags. More than Nazi Germany and their vaunted Concentration Camps. More than Jolly Old England did when they took over a whole continent (Australia) just to get rid of their undesirables. The United States of America has them all beat. Once again we should hold our heads up high. “The West is the Best.” And all that.

    And if this isn’t enough our feckless government wants ” moar ! ! ! ” Our government is actually privatizing the whole deal. Handing the fate of human beings over to Capitalism. Soon we will have prison barons incarcerating human beings for profit.

    On the bright side any number of re-used euphemisms will be used to cover-up any embarrassment our polite society might possibly feel over having to even talk about “prisons.” Our feckless government will not even have to bring the subject up. There will be (if there aren’t already), “Internment Camps” and “Re-education Camps” as though we have already forgotten what we did with American citizens who just happened to be Japanese when the old country went nuts.

    “Are there no prisons? Are there no work houses?”

    1. cnchal

      Of course there should be more prisoners. Let the potheads out and replace them with banksters.

      Then they could see what their handiwork, prisons for profit, looks like from the inside.

      1. nippersdad

        Don’t forget the war criminals!

        It would be nice to see Bush cutting brush on the right of way outside his ranch with Kissinger, Clinton, Cheney and Kagan. Get the whole crew back together and have Trump make a reality series out of it. They could call it the Known unknowns; “Did Victoria Nuland stick a shiv in Madeleine Albright over a banana? Is there a special hell in store for women who steal other womens’ bananas? Tune in next week….. ”

        That might be worth getting cable to watch.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Tom Cotton, an Arkansas boy who graduated from … you guessed it, Harvard (A.B., J.D.) — the school for sociopathic elites.

      Young Tom needs to go back and collect a third degree from KSOG ( Kennedy School o’ Gubment), where our brilliant DefSec Asshat “KSOG’s Klown” Carter taught.

      All in the family!

      1. Felix_47

        One of the problems with the Ivy League is that once a child gets in they think they are a genius and that all their ideas and opinions are right and as a result we get Iran in 1952 (Yale), Viet Nam (McNamara and Bundy and many other Ivy Leaguers), Lewinsky (Yale), Deregulation (Yale, Harvard) Iraq (Yale/Harvard) Afghanistan (Yale Harvard) and the economic meltdown in 2008 (pretty much Harvard). Maybe it is the arrogant attitude of these graduates. What would improve it would be randomization of admissions. That way those who got in would not think they are any smarter than those that did not. My impression when I looked at my first year class was that they were no smarter than the next couple of hundred that were turned down.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Genius-inequality or IQ-inequality is as bad as wealth inequality.

          And more so than wealth, IQ is invariably not earned.

          One is born with it.

    3. Benedict@Large

      Tom is a southern boy. He believes in slavery. The Constitution provides that prisoners in the US can be used as slaves.

      What Tom is saying is that he has more work for slaves to do.

  6. sleepy

    Gary Johnson, the Libertarian party’s presumptive nominee for president, is getting a lot of exposure on television these days. Makes one wonder what the political landscape would look like if there was a leftist party now with the viability and ballot access that the libertarians were able to acquire.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      After the big 2 parties, there are just 3 organized political parties with a reach into 10 or more states. The Libertarian Party is #3 in 33 states, The Green Party #4 in 21 states and The Constitution Party in 13 states. After that, there are dozens of political parties in only 1 state and a precious 3 separate parties in more than 1: 2 in 4 states and 1 in 2 states. I suppose if you were motivated enough, you could probably find an alternative up and running in your state. Whether you agree with the politics or the people in it is another matter. However, this link will provide you enough fodder to look into quite a number of states that Ballotpedia covers. So, the party’s website link is provided and you can also investigate your state’s electoral rules and regs with the links provided, in case you want to launch your own party. The coverage includes some news about the alternative parties, although they do tend to generate much less attention, you will find out about the goings on here in minute detail more so than elsewhere.

      What is amazing to me, at least, is just how many people feel fed up as measured by the thankless task of forming any kind of political party at all. While there are many who thinks it’s a waste of time and effort, it certainly is better than joining Amway or some other commercial cult for a social life. The Green Party is more to my liking as far as consequential efforts go. They get some traction in my area and keep adding states. It is important to understand that while it always seems like a waste of time to do anything that does NOT produce results in any reasonable time, aka in my short lifespan, the time put into building up a Libertarian or Green party may pay off by simply being ready to take power when the alternatives are collapsing. The last person standing gets to pick up whatever the pieces are that are left. And while you may not be alive to see any of this happen, you are still alive and kicking now and the time will pass between now and death no matter what it is that you are doing. You might as well do something that you believe in, makes you feel good about yourself and gives you a social life with other people who can make your life worth living at all.

      1. RabidGandhi

        From an outsider’s perspective, I think alot of the problem there is there are no smaller component civil communities/organisations that can form parties in the requisite time to challenge the Red/Blue monopoly.

        For example, here in Argentina political parties are generally comprised of smaller movements, most of which are labour unions or neighbourhood associations. These associations form alliances (usually shortlived) that coalesce into larger political parties. But in the US, since unions have been decimated and local level solidarity is the exception, I don’t see how you skip this stage and head straight to a Green Party that has the might to challenge the status quo.

        One of the manifestations of this in the politics is that platforms in the US tend to be very divorced from what anyone actually cares about in their everyday lives: identity politics like bathroom wars and abstract philosophical concepts like free marketeerism are headlined, but things most people really want– like a living wage– barely make the list. Here on the other hand, the smaller political movements escalate their concerns up the hierarchy (eg, give us teachers a raise dammit). My US friends see this as clientelism: just people looking for their own needs and not caring about the “big picture”, but I would assert that it is precisely that “big picture” focus that allows the Dem/Repubs to stay in power vs. any third party threats.

      2. fresno dan

        Thanks for that.
        If nothing else, we have such a paucity of choices because we allow ourselves to have such limited choices. If this election does nothing else other than cause people to ask, “How did we get in a situation where our only two viable choices were Trump and Clinton” than maybe some good can come from it.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The core issue is the electoral system. Most countries have at least 4 or 5 viable national parties because they have parliamentary systems and (mostly) some variant on proportional representation or transferable votes. Its the UK, its one person one vote system restricted Parliament to three significant national parties only, until the foundation of the European Parliament led to one vote using proportional representation – the immediate result was to make a number of micro parties viable. As a result of which, the UKIP (right wing) and the Greens have a small but significant presence. It really does come down the electoral system. Much of the problems in US democracy come down to the Founders having been so obsessed with checks and balances they forgot to ensure reasonable proportionality.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


          From thinking short term…just like a lot of our corporations.

          A long time ago, when we were not too distant from living in caves, humans did things beyond mere one generation of life span. That was how long term phenomenons like the procession of the planet of appx. 26,000 years was discovered (or so claimed by some). Knowledge passed down from generation to generation.

          And so, victory today is not the only objective.

          To build a foundation for something longer, sometimes you have to forgo short term expediencies.

          You confront the last 8 weak years, for example. And you don’t appease.

          It may cost you short term, but your powerful opponents
          1. never give up (NAFTA or Bank bail, try and try again, even though failing at first)
          2. plan, for decades, to become the president.

          How could we do less?

    2. ProNewerDeal

      I wonder if the “Never Trump” Establishment Rs would back G Johnson heavily (e.g. Koch Brothaz type owners/”funders” level funding) to win a few states & obtain enough EVs to preclude H Clinton or Trump from obtaining 270 EVs.

      Then as per the 12th Amendment, the R-majority House of Reps would select G Johnson as Pres.

      Has anyone written on this possibility?

      1. RabidGandhi

        I’m pretty sure the R establishment would much rather have a Trump, who has no fixed positions and who has clearly shown himself to be open to persuasion, than they would a True Believer like Gary Johnson who would smash all manner of MIC and prison industry rice bowls.

        1. DrBob

          Gary Johnson is very much a friend of the privatized prison industry:

          The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics
          [by Mark Ames]

          “Johnson’s drug-legalization cant provided the perfect PR distraction from his real record on crime, which came down to this: privatizing half the prison population, harsh ‘three strikes you’re out’ sentencing laws, and wetting his beak with campaign donations from the same private prison corporation, Wackenhut [renamed Geo’ Group’], that Johnson picked to run New Mexico’s private prisons.”

          1. Vatch

            Thanks for this. I have respect for genuine libertarians, even though I disagree with them on some important issues. But I don’t think that anyone who supports private prisons can be considered a libertarian. Private prisons have a financial incentive to deprive people of their liberty. Remember the “Kids for Cash” scandal in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania?


            I hope the Libertarians choose someone besides Gary Johnson.

        2. Massinissa

          Not sure why you think a guy backed by Kochs would break ANYBODY’s ricebowls…

          Or at least, not anybody important to the capitalist class…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I always ask for broken rice when ordering Vietnamese.

            Technically, then, it would be broken rice bowls.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It won’t happen. Trump is the leader of the GOP base. Perot was possible because 41 was never their leader. The GOP rank rank a a file selected Reagan over the responsible 41, (despite bizarre claims about Hillary) possibly the most qualified Presidential candidate in the modern era. The GOP rank and file loved Jeb precisely because he was a black sheep who seemed to turn his life around and became governor in his own right against a towering figure in Ann Richards versus Jeb, the chosen one. The hyperventilating over Trump when he isn’t that different from the average Republican except for being better on foreign policy and trade will only entrench his place. If the Romney and Clinton establishment hate Trump, how bad can he be? This is the math of the GOP voter and many independents and even Democrats. Negative campaigns from an unpopular establishment wont work against Trump. Team Blue types were only a month ago giving themselves high fives when polling showed Trump was unpopular in Utah. Well, that dip is over.

        Trump has more legitimacy with the GOP voter than any state wide leader, no matter how popular. Romney was never the official leader and thus dismissed despite having 61 million votes. The GOP rank and file shopped around, but overcoming Romney’s early lead and sheepdogs was a high hurdle. Outside of Republicans who have lost their place because of Trump, the GOP will unite around him.

        A hard right Christian such as Cruz is the best option to throwing the electoral college into disarray in a low turnout election. The libertarians I have known seem like they would be Trump supporters.

        1. fresno dan

          interesting analysis.
          Both parties paint their bases as following the party line (they very well couldn’t say we’re the party that ignores what our partisans want), while the objective evidence is that the will of the majority plays precious little part in the policy machinations of the parties.

    3. dcblogger

      The Green Party has ballot access is almost every state and actually elects candidates in places like Richmond California and Madison Wisconsin.

      1. LifelongLib

        Voted for them here in Hawaii in 2012. They had a county council seat in the 90’s and early 2000’s, though not currently.

    1. fresno dan

      great line: “Hand-wringing over party unity misses the point. No one cares about your precious parties.”

      Party interests and American interests are not synonymous.

      1. nippersdad

        The Gilens and Page Princeton study proved that beyond a doubt; pity that Sanders never made of point of publicizing it. And, right on cue, the White House has answered the petitions for recounts/revotes in Arizona by saying that it is a Justice Department/state issue and they cannot get involved lest they seem to be tipping the scales.

        Just a coincidence, I guess, that they have so little power over their own Justice Department that it can run wild not prosecuting their friends and there is nothing they can do about it.

        1. JaaaaayCeeeee

          I remember being excited that Gilens and Page were due out with another study, that they said would come out I think at the end of 2014, and even noticed Robert Reich anticipating it, and then NOTHING.

          Maybe it’s like when Obama said income inequality is the challenge of our time in I think his 2011 SOTU and big donors and media went nuts so the Democratic party turned to ladders of opportunity, other pap, to today’s Clinton fighting to bring down barriers for you!

          It’s ever more amazing what is and is not fit for public debate, let alone action.

      2. Benedict@Large

        The Democratic Party’s party interests are the Clinton’s interests, which at this point appear to be to better position their slush fund. Want something from the US? Drop off some ten$ of million$ in Hillarys’ little piggy. Ka-Ching! One day, Her Highness hopes to break the glass ceiling, becoming America’s first billionaire from political graft, or, as she would prefer to call it, speeches.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If enough people say, ‘I am leaving the Democratic Party for good,’ it will be no more.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      No wonder she’s not on MSNBC any more. For awhile, but not in the last year or so, she was on all the time. She has the best name for a pundit, though I’m not sure what her parents were thinking.

  7. craazyman

    I think computers have people trained like dogs. You see them on the bus trance-like picking at their iPhones. At 7:45 am! WTF? Don’t they have something better to do? Like space out?

    The young women are the worst. Strained faces and fingers and thumbs flying, pecking like pigeons peck the sidewalk, somewhere between a furious intensity and a desperate addiction at 7:45 a.m. for dozens of minutes at a time? Oh well, maybe it’s social “about last night”. OK. But every day?

    The guys seem more relaxed. Sometimes you see them with books, or even better, with blank vacant faces and nothing at all, and some women too. It’s not absolute it’s just a relative observation.

    Does money define man or does man define money? Fuk what a dumb question. As if it has one answer. Actually it has one answer “Both”. And every single person has to choose. Mostly their choices are irrelevant at a macro level, but the summation of micro level choices does in fact create the macro level. That’s a bit odd, to think like that, but it’s truer than true. What’s the equation for that? That’s an interesting question, actually, and I do think there is one, I just haven’t figured it out yet. But that’s what riding the bus is for, thinking about shlt like that without a computer.

    1. ambrit

      Thinking, what a wonderful idea. As for computers, well, ‘they’ don’t call it ‘programming’ for nothing, do they.

    2. Kokuanani

      Contemplating my “success” in training the various dogs that have lived with our family over the years, I’m not too optimistic about getting computers to follow directions.

      Do they like pieces of hot dog & chicken?

      1. aletheia33

        yes, training dogs is very hard work, requires outstanding talent and skill to do effectively, and even then often does not result in consistent behavior. …of course that’s not really what they mean. why do i keep being so literal?

    3. portia

      the young women, IMO are experiencing separation anxiety and the phone connects the hive mind. it is horrifying. “presence in the moment” at least where you are physically in the body is to be avoided at all costs these days especially when you are not at a party or shopping. time to just put the brain in a jar with a life support mechanism, and have virtual adventures.

      1. Michael

        Who wants to be present in a body that is owned by rape culture? People cope with life in the ways they know how.

        1. portia

          I agree. and the Nature-free dead spaces created by cities, where people are forced to be in proximity with strangers constantly, and deafening noise. yet these same people would be doing the same thing on their phones even in paradise, IMO. they are completely separated from their bodies except to decorate them and give them food. then when they get cancer or something, it’s a confusing experience, like something outside themselves that has to be beaten.

    4. cnchal

      but the summation of micro level choices does in fact create the macro level. . . What’s the equation for that?

      1+1+1+1+1+1……………= infinity.

      I though I heard a rumor that the Fed ordered a few Cray supercomputers to handle all the zero’s they’re dishing out.

    5. Jim Haygood

      Speaking of the macro level, the hawkish threats of the Yellenites have not been favorable for the Craazyman Fund, but it retains some gains.

      Since March 2nd, Craazyman Fund has returned 3.13%, versus 2.14% for its benchmark (50% SPY, 50% AGG).

      All three of its components show gains, with high yield bonds up 6.23%, while emerging markets and gold show modest rises of 1.23% and 0.75% respectively.

      An interruption of the US dollar’s slide, as the Yellenites once again fantasize about tightening while the rest of the world plots helicopter drops, didn’t help emerging markets and gold. But the dollar’s bounce likely is temporary, as Fed Groundhog Day replays the events of last December.

      1. craazyman

        it sounds like it needs some leverage.

        at 300 to 1, it almost could have been a 10-bagger by now!

        In hindsight, it was so obvious :-)

    6. fresno dan

      I found it astounding that communicating via screen has supplanted communicating with a live human right next to you…

      1. skylark

        Because real live friends aren’t as reliable a source of dopamine as our ‘precious’ is.

    7. craazyboy

      My computer begs. Software keeps asking me to upgrade. They want more than doggie treats, however.

      1. craazyman

        Do you think Clive wears an ascot and drinks sherry by the fire at a large country house? I’m tempted to think so, but frankly if I had to put some money down I’d say “no”. Probably an ascot is too much. But the country house? Probably. And the fire. Probably. Here in New York Clive it’s pretty low rent. You’d be amazed and probably shocked. it’s like the dude driving the bus where you live, you probably never think about what’s in his mind as he stares at the road ahead.

        I started wearing a pocket square recently, because I was influenced by this men’s style blog I read and they always show pocket squares in the photos, but I felt sort of “dandyish”, which certainly isn’t me. That was my problem, for years I was so un-dandyish that no matter what clothes I put on I looked like an incomprehensible slob. Once I went to meet a recent girlfriend for a Saturday museum outing and I had nothing to wear but a raggy brown suede blazer and stained green khakis and old tennis shoes. I convinced myself I looked “hip and cool” but after a few minutes of silence walking down the avenue I could see her shaking with anger. Oh man. She said I looked so bad she was angry and embarrassed to be seen with me! I’m not kidding. She said the museum guard even looked at her like “What are you doing with this loser?” I’m not kidding. At the time I thought she was hysterical and I nearly told her to go F–K herself. I almost did. But instead I told her she looked like a screaming peasant holding a raw chicken in some Shanghai market. She did. I could see it in a photograph in my mind. Somehow we got over it, I only guess because I was buff and she wanted to get laid. The next day she politely asked me to go shopping to men’s stores. She assured me it didn’t need to be expensive, just clean and neat. For me, it wasn’t the money. It was the implied authority. Frankly I found a way to never go shopping to the men’s stores. I think she meant well, in her own way. She had good atttributes but gentleness was not one. Looking back on the whole event, I can now see her point. I did look like shlt. Like shlt! I should have been embarrassed to be seen in public like that but I wasn’t. It seems amazing to me, now, that I wasn’t. The pocket square may be a step too far though, an ascot would certainly be a giant leap too far. But something relaxed from a Saville Row tailor with Edward Green shoes and the right kind of custom made Levis selvedge denim jeans would probably be OK. I’d wear that now for sure. But the pocket square. Fuk it. I think it’s history. Unless I get invited to Clive’s country house of course. Then I’ll be sure to look respectable

        1. craazyboy

          You’re almost making me feel embarrassed at how simple my life is. I’m still wearing my swim suit from being out at the pool this afternoon. Barefoot too. I don’t even have pockets, let alone a pocket square.

          But I do have a growing radio control Air Force. I’ve been learning to fly RC planes lately. I now have a 5ft wingspan plane and a 3ft wingspan flying wing that goes fast as hell. Then I’m building another quadcopter. This one is a small “racing” quad. These you fly “FPV” – they carry a small camera with a real time video transmitter and you wear these big funky goggles with a video receiver and antenna sticking outta your head! You can then see out the quad cam in real time and fly around like the birds do it. In fact, I did a test flight yesterday and got chased by two big hawks. But the goggles are definitely not fashion eyeware, so women will probably run screaming the other direction thinking you’re an alien space monster. They are funny that way.

          Life always gets complicated one way or the other.

        2. August West

          Somehow I imagine Clive in a smoking jacket at the country house, sitting by the fire. Seems more apropos somehow. I really like the name Clive.

        3. OIFVet

          I like wearing a pocket square, so long as it has polka dots. My SO loves polka dots and that’s my surefire way to get her in a frisky mood. She has appropriated three polka dot shirts from my closet, frankly they look great on her and I am not sure what that says about me but I get extremely frisky seeing her in them. Just got some BR polka dot shorts too, since pocket squares are unsuitable beachwear. I wouldn’t wear a pocket square to Clive’s country house either, though. I have seen too many Brits in their country estates in Bulgaria, and frankly they all dress like bums, even the ones who own horses. What if Clive dresses the same way in his country house? I wouldn’t want to show him off… On second thought, I would probably wear a pocket square on the beach, just to spite the drunken Brits who put firecrackers up their bums in Sunny Beach and vomit every time they open their mouths. How they ever ran an empire with such degenerate human material is a mystery that will likely never be solved…

        4. inode_buddha

          What’s this bullshit “pocket square”? it’s called a “handkerchief” (OK maybe i’m just being and old codger) but back in the day it was normal and expected, and not just among the upper classes either.

    8. dots

      Yes, and human beings are beautiful too. Your words remind me of this…

      “There is the bad work of pride. There is also the bad work of despair — done
      poorly out of the failure of hope or vision.

      Despair is the too-little of responsibility, as pride is the too-much.

      The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally
      betray Creation. They are wastes of life.

      For despair there is no forgiveness, and for pride none. Who in loneliness can

      Good work finds the way between pride and despair.

      It graces with health. It heals with grace.

      It preserves the given so that it remains a gift.

      By it, we lose loneliness:

      we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who
      come after us;

      we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,

      and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a dance,

      and the larger circle of all creatures, passing in and out of life, who move also
      in a dance, to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears it except in

      – from the essay by Wendell Berry, What are people for?
      (found on brainpickings)

      1. dots

        I really can’t follow all the comments here, although the knowledge bombs that get dropped are sweet. I think there’s just way too much other stuff that I don’t follow. I’m definitely not wired the way the rest of you are, but I wish you peace and many blessings.

  8. ambrit

    It is curious how the Skynet Flagellation System can sent otherwise rational beings into madness. Oh well, try, try again.
    Thinking, what an exhilarating concept.
    As for tapping away on ones’ hand held devices, well, ‘they’ don’t call it programming for nothing.

  9. Synoia

    Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs

    To which I can only say, “Oh Shit.”

    Dogs are perpetual 2 year olds. And show one some affection.

  10. Alex morfesis

    Antibiotics apocalypse ? can’t remember the last time I took any…once in the last 15 years ?
    Hot and sour soup, singapore style street noodle/mei fun and juice…
    I let my body figure it out and trust it to win…

  11. tongorad

    I’m afraid to click on the National Parks Privatization link. Our Parks system is my favorite thing about this rotten country.
    It makes grim sense that they are under attack.

    1. diptherio

      Wha?…but, but…campaign promises! She’s evolved on faux, er free trade deals. Surely we can trust a politician to stay evolved, right? Especially if they’ve told us a few times how evolved they’ve become. (How is it that politicians opinions are always “evolving” while the politicians themselves show no signs of growth, progress, or even the basic critical thinking skills that are assumed to come packaged with an enlarged prefrontal cortex….weird….How do your ideas evolve while you yourself remain a troglodyte? (no offense meant to actual cave-dwellers) ).

      1. fresno dan

        “Surely we can trust a politician to stay evolved, right?”
        You don’t stop evolution. Whatever resistance Hillary “evolved” to TPP “inducements”, apparently the dose of “inducements” (I suspect in the form of Tubmans) wielded by the TPP has overcome Hillary’s “resistance.”

        1. craazyboy

          I have a mental picture of Hillary The Caterpillar traversing a Mobius Strip. Maybe waving a few of her legs at onlookers. Hillary finally reaches her starting point. Hillary never becomes a butterfly.

          BTW, I think that has good potential to be fashioned into a poem. But I’m too lazy today.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Picturing Clinton’s First 100 Days with a Democrat Senate:

      1) TPP

      2) Grand Bargain

      3) New war

      Positing a Democrat Senate, would Trump be a more effective evil?

    3. Benedict@Large

      Why was this ever in question? She wrote the damned treaty. Of course she supports it. Only our dead-brained press could get that wrong.

  12. portia

    George Osbourne is concerned? about People? which people is he concerned about?

    “If we leave the European Union there will be an immediate economic shock that will hit financial markets,” Mr Osborne told the BBC. “People will not know what the future looks like. And in the long term the country and the people in the country are going to be poorer.

    “That affects the value of people’s homes and the Treasury analysis shows that there would be a hit to the value of people’s homes by at least 10 per cent and up to 18 per cent. And at the same time first-time buyers are hit because mortgage rates go up, and mortgages become more difficult to get. So it’s a lose-lose situation.

    So why are stars such as Ricky Gervais and Jamie Oliver struggling to sell?

    They can blame Chancellor George Osborne, who’s increased stamp duty for high-end houses, which could add more than a million to the price in some cases. For houses over £1.5 million the stamp duty rate is 12 per cent.

    The changes mean that if you buy a house for £11 million, you’ll pay £1.2 million in stamp duty, or £1.5 million if it’s your second home.

    According to independent buying agent Henry Pryor: ‘The top end of the market has been severely undermined by the Government’s actions over the past 18 months. It means that properties over £1 million suffer from “transaction friction” — they are harder to sell than they were.

    ‘Buyers are trying to pass the increased stamp duty bill on to the seller by getting them to drop the price.’

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It seems like he is not concerned about those rich people buying million-pound plus houses.

      “They are rich. They can afford the stamp duty.”

      1. portia

        to Osbourne, I think the stamp duty is tax money flowing to the govt, therefore good. if home prices went down so would the stamp duty tax, that’s bad. I don’t get where he assumes interest rates on mtgs will automatically go up enough to really hurt people, but I am sure he has a good reason.

  13. local to oakland

    Pelosi faces re-election every two years. I’m taking her refusal to condemn Sanders as good news re his support in California.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Millenials supposedly are the most liberal generation ever and have virtually no connection to Team Blue. The emerging Democratic majority depended on young people becoming Democrats. After the tantrums Democrats threw over Nevada, it’s likely booing will be a major part of elected Democrats futures.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        King: I am leaving the Democratic Party.

        To effect change, it can’t be just temporary (and re-register before the next election).

        The D Party will remain forever status quo, if more people simply rush to join (so they can be disenfranchised).

        I think a call to boycott the CA primary can be pretty earthshaking.

        “I will not take part in this year-long rigged process.”

  14. fresno dan

    We’ve also been engaged in the Middle East because of our alliance with Israel. It continues to request $3 billion or more in military aid from the United States each year, but it also exported $5.7 billion in 2015 in military gear, indicating that it no longer relies on the United States for its defense. (((Our MIC must be Wholesale and Israel’s is RETAIL – explains a lot)))

    As it stands now in the Middle East, America has armed forces stationed or fighting in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. (((to save pixels, we should only list where we don’t have troop – -crickets)))

    Still, it is clear that our military involvement in these countries is far out of proportion to the level of American interests they represent. It is utterly crazy that we have thousands of troops in an area of relatively low, decreasing interest to the United States. It costs money, and it puts the lives of our forces at risk for little potential return.

    It also puts our troops in support of some of the most dubious, unrepresentative governments on earth. These include the monarchies of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi and the United Arab Emirates. American wars and alliances in the region have illustrated that we’ve not applied our principles there. The Arab Spring became an expression best forgotten when Mr. Obama embraced the Egyptian dictator, ex-Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as he overthrew an elected president in 2013.

    It would seem to me that the expansive interventionist view that every squabble in the world has to have the US poking its nose in it is something that is opposed by a substantial majority of US citizens who intuitively understand the costs and risks provide little benefit – yet despite the yammering about the will of the people, democracy, our “representative government,” all highly touted to the level of braggadocio, the most salient feature of our political system is that it so effectively manages to thwart the will of the majority

    But than again, how could it be anything but??? – what government propaganda has ever extolled how oppressive the government was?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Despite all the bases you mentioned, there is still a gap in our Maginot Line.

      Shouldn’t we also have a presence in Jerusalem or Gaza?

  15. diptherio

    People are starting to get bitchy about their deductibles…about 1/3 of polled ACA individual enrollees, according to HuffPo:

    As of early this year, nearly 13 million people had signed up for coverage on the exchanges, which consumers know as or state-specific marketplaces like Covered California. It’s a major reason the number of uninsured Americans has fallen to historic lows. And, according to Kaiser’s poll, the majority of consumers getting private coverage through one of the exchanges have positive feelings about it — with 54 percent saying their insurance is “good,” according to the poll, and another 14 percent rating it “excellent.” Just 16 percent said it was “not so good,” while 13 percent called their insurance “poor.”

    Those figures represent a slightly more negative take on coverage, compared with what the Kaiser Foundation found in 2014 and 2015, when it asked the same questions. Even so, more than two-thirds are giving their new insurance high marks. These numbers are more or less the same for people who buy the newly regulated plans directly from insurers, outside of the exchanges.

    But deeper in the poll are signs that, even with government assistance, consumers are growing weary of what they are paying for their insurance and their health care. A slim majority of exchange consumers (51 percent) say the value of their plans is “only fair” or “poor.” This is a reversal from the previous two years, when majorities said the value of their plans was “good” or “excellent.”

    The big problem doesn’t seem to be choice of doctor and hospital, despite all the media attention to “narrow networks” in the new plans. Large majorities of customers said they were satisfied with those choices. Rather, the two largest sources of dissatisfaction, according to the survey, were premiums and deductibles

    Note the 10% overlap (at least) of people who say their plan is good or great and those who say that their plan value is only fair or poor…interesting cognitive dissonance.

    There’s a lot they are leaving out in this piece: narrow networks and deductible/out-of-pocket expenses are directly related, as anything out-of-network doesn’t even count against your deductible. Also, no mention of the recent poll finding that 2/3 of Americans would have trouble coming up with $1000 in an emergency, medical or otherwise. Why is it that no one connects that lack of cash and bronze plan deductibles (you know, the one’s for po’ people) of $5-6,000+

    Bronze plans, the most frequently purchased plan off-exchange, averaged a $5,181 deductible for individuals, up from $5,081 in 2014. The 2015 average amount is 326% higher than the average deductible documented for employer-sponsored health plans. Silver plans, the most frequently purchased plans on-exchange, averaged $2,927 as the deductible amount for individuals. The average deductible amount for families was $10,545 and $6,010 for bronze and silver plans respectively.

    Silver plans have, on average, a deductible that is over three times the amount of dough that most people have ready access to. The problem here should be obvious — and it is, just not to the very serious people doing the reporting — but no one dares put 2 and 2 together. Goddess forbid! News stories must not be allowed to interact with one another, lest they give birth to critical thinking. Can’t have that now, can we? What would the neighbors say?

    1. DJG

      Diptherio: But but but why are you letting the perfect be the enemy of the good? (As the Regular Democrats kept repeating during the ACA debate and breakfast-a-thon with Olympia Snowe.)

      I have been “kicked out” of two plans in three years for these reasons. Anyone you know who is self-employed, owns a shop, or runs another small business has the same problem: The insurance companies are capricious, to put it politely. And you didn’t even mention that in many policies, an emergency room visit is not covered. 500 bucks, then and there.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Sanders is a sideshow. The wildest fantasies of Hillary insiders about the mean Bernie Bros will be tame compared to what ACA brings.

  16. Starveling

    I swear elites everywhere are too out of touch. The same way most of their attack ads end up bolstering Trump support among us proles, the British elite seem hellbent on pushing the young away from the EU toward Brexit. If someone told me that getting out of a trade deal would make housing 20% more affordable I’d laugh heartily and push for all of my friends to do the same.

    I’m guessing the folks who fret when homes become more affordable are on the ‘already owns an estate’ side of the equation, though.

      1. sleepy

        You may already know about it, but this is a great blog on southern California real estate insanity:

        “For $300 a month you can basically live in a van in Venice. I love the ad:

        “The van is not to be driven. It’s for sleeping and being quite so neighbors don’t even know anyone is living in it.”

        “So while someone looking to buy is paying $1 million plus for crap shacks in Venice the block is going to have shadow renters living in tinted vans. How great is that? You can also shower at the local L.A. Fitness and brush your teeth by the ocean. You get 50 full square feet of living space here. I like that they have to qualify that there is no laundry on site.”

          1. sleepy

            Next up–“rent to own” the van complete with bundled contracts sold as securities!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Pooling $300 each together (and trading in the van for a fixer-upper dinghy), two people could probably also afford a slip in Marina Del Rey and live on that small boat.

  17. afisher

    Just sharing a bit of information. Bernie needs to stay in the contest.
    AP facts are based on his April report and makes the reader assume that there have been no donation during the month of May – which, according to my credit card details, the AP is spreading outdated information…but I donated today anyway.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is Quebracho a Quecha word as well?

        It’s one of my favorite trees. The name means ‘axe breaking,’ I believe.

        And what poetic justice! An axe-breaking tree.

        “You want to break me? No, I break you!’

  18. dots

    from /*the end of code*/ Wired

    “If you control the code, you control the world,” wrote futurist Marc Goodman. (In Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul Ford was slightly more circumspect: “If coders don’t run the world, they run the things that run the world.” Tomato, tomato.)… Over the past several years, the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley have aggressively pursued an approach to computing called machine learning.

    It’s driven by the same people who control a substantial portion of U.S. cash.

    Does a small group do better than a large group for stewarding a resource? How you interpret it depends on your understanding of dynamic systems and what you believe your personal stake is. Does it prevent a “Tragedy of the Commons”? How does this differ from the Pre-Gutenberg era when the priestly class controlled the written word? How does egalitarianism fit?

    from A third of all cash is held by 5 U.S. Companies USAToday

    Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Oracle (ORCL) are sitting on $504 billion, or 30%, of the $1.7 trillion in cash and cash equivalents held by U.S. non-financial companies in 2015, according to an analysis released Friday by ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. That’s even more cash concentration than in previous years, as these five companies held 27% of cash in 2014 and 25% in 2013. Apple alone is holding more cash and investments than eight of the 10 entire industry sectors.

  19. diptherio

    You probably haven’t even noticed Google’s sketchy quest to control the world’s knowledge Washington Post

    How insulting is that headline? Hey, I just noticed something that’s been apparent for the better part of a decade…you probably didn’t either, huh? It’s not just me, right? Say it’s not just me!

    There’s a reason why Google’s “don’t be evil” slogan has been the butt of so many sarcastic jokes, but apparently Ms. Dewey is just now catching on…and accusing the rest of us of being just as dense as she is (on this topic, leastways — I’m sure she’s super smart in some things, just not seeing through corporate PR BS).

    1. RabidGandhi

      Sparkle pony alert.

      Kazakis makes a great case that Greece should not be in the Euro but provides no exit plan to overcome the logistical nightmare of switching currencies.

      Then he jumps the Aegean sharks:

      Secondly, there will be a lot of capital that is currently parked in the eurozone, which will seek a “safe haven” and to flee the increasingly unstable euro. Greece’s new currency, which will be outside of the forex system and not traded in the international marketplace, will be one such “safe haven.” As a result, it is quite possible — and indeed, the most likely scenario — to see upward pressures on the value of the new currency of Greece.

      And making the already decimated Greek economy into rentier central is healthy how?

    2. Alex morfesis

      Dilbert popped too many blue pills, downed it with too much greek coffee…not metrio, sketo…with a shot of tsipouro to help the pills go down…and then ran off to greece…I

      there is a reason no one hires greek economists around the globe…when was the last time someone ventured into the world with a greek university PhD and got a job based on its value…

      He actually does not advocate going back to the drachma but just a greek currency…but somehow his economics background has convinced him that if greece repudiated its debt and set up its own currency, it would suddenly become a safe heaven and money would rush into greece…also that those electronic blips on a computer screen that he imagines are assets he can seize to hold greece over for five years…he probably does not realize no one holds stocks and bonds physically anymore…and even if you did, the transfer agent might be hit by injunctions and have any sales frozen…

      But he used to be a left wing version of rush Limbaugh on greek radio…but when he went and exclaimed there was media manipulation, he got bounced…also he has loudly and in public stated the famous left wing mikis theodorakis…the greek moral equivalent of noam Chomsky, is funded by the cia via the national endowment for democracy…

      He also stated ” new democracy” when it was in power, contracted in late 2012, with academi(xe/ the old blackwater), to inbed private mercs with police in case the local police got squeamish when forced to deal with protesters…

      His EPAM has never scored even 1% in a parliamentary election…

      Dimitris needs to get a new gig…has said life in cuba today is better than life in greece…guessing he has not seen what would happen to him in cuba if he denounced the govt and media there the way he does in greece…

      As the saying goes…

      Three greeks in a room, five arguments…

      1. kanenas

        Alex, as a fellow Greek i humbly suggest some moderation on your writing would be prudent. You write like a born again right winger, adapting the German propaganda of Greeks drinking coffe and ouzo.

        I don’t agree with Mr. Kazaki. Nevertheless the dead-end direction of the current situation is clearly visible, and something will be done one (planned) way or another (unplanned).

        Taking under consideration the absence of any (economics) logic in the current direction and the overall desperation of the population, it is very probable that there will be a voter movement to even more fringe parties in the next elections. Considering the alternatives, EPAM is one of the more reasonable ones and i expect it’ll have an uplift in votes. Remember SYRIZA was, 2 years ago, at 4% before rocketing up by nearly 10 times.

        Concerning your tidbit about Greek university PhDs, i happen to be an academic and i can assure you that even though the state funding for education has diminished, the quality of the studies and students is still superb (due to inertia). The main problem that i see at universities is completely the opposite of the one that you present. Most of the students finish their studies and leave Greece to work in other countries. I know many students who were headhunted, directly after their PhDs, from companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. This has happened without any other university degrees than the Greek degrees.

        As i also have knowledge of the German education system (due to a company i co-founded there), the quality of the studies in Germany is not that much better compared to Greece [*].

        [*] In my opinion the German education system is too biased towards “practical” knowledge (due to the strong industry-university links), which creates one-sided skill-sets.

        1. Alex morfesis

          I am sure the A-O will be pleased that you imagine I have given up hunting them and forgiven them for the Nazi murder of my grandmothers brother…

          The one I am named after…

          And as for the headhunting…now I understand what happened to google and microsoft…

          Speaking directly about the issues with hellas is important…hellas truly is a twilight zone…who else on the planet calls Istanbul Constantinoupoli ??? How will there ever be a solution to Cyprus when there are very few greeks who are honest enough to explain Greece pulled a coup in Cyprus and was rounding up turkish cypriots and even when the junta was forced to begin civilian adjustments, even karamanlis refused to remove the greek coup elements in cyprus…with only then the un giving turkey a nod and a wink to do what they had to…

          One needs to be forthcoming to get to a point of success…Hellas has been running on three cylinders for 25 years…

          I have joined the green party finally, but the last presidential candidate had as her running mate a statement not a viable vp…the campaign could go nowhere because that was an unrealistic choice…

          Making silly statements when the situation is as critical as it is in hellas is a sad state of affairs…bluster from bafoons about how the world will run to a country that renounces its debt just leaves most capital managers with mandates falling all over themselves to avoid not only hellas but any nearby countries that may end up with collateral economic damage…

          Being a proud greek does not feed nor keep the children warm in the winter….

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Exactly. When an headline calls out the Republicans for something it’s a safe bet it applies equally or nearly so to the Democrats and it’s just part of some partisan kayfabe. If it were an honest attempt at exposition or journalism, it wouldn’t lean on the partisan angle.

    1. meeps

      dcblogger @ 11:12 am

      “Using those findings, ending homelessness in the United States would likely require about .01 percent of next year’s likely military expenditures. The government could even purchase a $1 million home for every homeless person in the United States with the budget, and it would still have money leftover.”

      Priorities. Did the study include expenditures for those metal Punji sticks to defend our public spaces from the homeless? /sarc

  20. Qrys

    Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs Wired. Resilc: “So peak code is here when they starting training all the serfs.”

    This is sorta true now. You tell the computer to roll over, and it poops on your files…

    1. hunkerdown

      The scary part about this is that the artifacts produced by such training are inscrutable to the point they’re a single, opaque “write-only” unit and not effectively editable by humans outside the training milieu. If you don’t like poop on your files, you get to train a new frontal lobe all over again and put up with whatever idiosyncrasies the neural net decides are adaptive this time around.

      1. Massinissa

        Sort of reminds me of raising children though. Just real children don’t usually cost millions of dollars.

    1. Lambert Strether

      True. I’ve never understood why hoarding Kleenex boxes or old newpapers is considered a mental illness, and hoarding capital is considered a virtue.

      1. cnchal

        Big pants hoarding.

        Get this quote about Apple.

        Apple has more than 90 percent of its money located outside of the U.S., according to its most recent filings. Moody’s said in its report that “we expect that overseas cash balances will continue to grow unless tax laws are changed to encourage companies to repatriate money.”

        Hmmm. Seems like secular stagnation is going to get worse and worse.

        Lets suppose tax laws were changed and they brought their loot home. Would any of it touch a peasant?

        Apple’s true motto: We loot the world and get away with it.

  21. NLK

    Funny how all those liberals who brayed about believing the rape victim are all of sudden so non chalant about Juanita Broaddrick’s allegations. I believe we should give credence to the rape victim and investigate allegations with the full seriousness it deserves. Clinton supporters are a bunch of rape enabling hypocrites.

    1. JustAnObserver


      I just wish that occasionally he could tone down the “we’re doomed, doomed I tell you. We’re all gonna die” stuff as, for me at least, it detracts from the analysis which is spot on and the fictions of the future which seems all too likely.

      1. polecat

        Apparently you haven’t read his blog posts, because he doesn’t convey what you imply….

        You sir, are a thought stopper!

      2. Massinissa

        He says we are doomed, yeah. But he always says its over a long timescale. Hes not one of those people saying we are doomed in 20 years or less. If you think that’s what hes saying, that isn’t what hes saying.

        Also, he doesn’t think Human Extinction is going to be a thing, and has written about that multiple times too.

  22. ProNewerDeal

    re “Establishment Dems Fight to Defeat ‘Medicare-for-All’ in Colorado Common Dreams (Judy B)”

    This editorial is appropriate, perhaps you may consider it for the next day’s newslinks

    From Welsh’s editorial

    “A man like Obama or Bill Clinton (or, in the future a woman like Hillary Clinton) is far more likely to ruin your life than Osama bin Laden ever was. Bill Clinton pushing through Welfare “Reform” harmed millions of the poorest weakest people in America. Repeal of Glass-Steagall allowed the financial crisis to happen.

    Unless you are an oligarch, or a retainer who is on the gravy train, people like Clinton and Obama and Blair and Cameron and Thatcher are your enemies. They are a direct threat to your well-being, welfare and even life.”

    *stands up, claps vigorously* Thank you, Mr. Welsh.

    It appears the Team D Machine pols/staff in Colorado is trying to harm USians, far more than 1SIS or whomever the T3rr0r1st Boogeyman Du Jour is, could ever dream of doing.

  23. Propertius

    Given that it disrupts GPS signals, I wonder of the “Dronebuster” would also be effective against autonomous cars and trucks. It looks like something that would be relatively trivial to fabricate from readily-available components.

    We’re in for interesting times.

  24. DJG

    Antidote of the day: Indri lemurs. Fantastic. I recently did some research on them and found that they, too, are threatened, even though being one of the more common lemur species. Too bad that Madagascar can’t seem even to make the news.

  25. DJG

    On the use of Hitler metaphors. I have noticed that the Hitler metaphor is one that the Regular Democrats like these days, now that the Bernie Bro turns out to be imaginary. (And the lumbersexual, which may have generated the imaginary Bernie Bro, turns out to be too risqué.)

    But there are dangers in invoking the rise of Hitler and the elections of 1932 and 1933 and attempting to slap that historical metaphor on Trump. The first is that Trump is many things, but he is more of a Poujadiste populist in the mold of Marine Le Pen, who is regularly quoted delivering what could be called trumpisms.

    The second is that the elections of 1932 and 1933 hinged on the weaknesses of the ineffectual Paul Von Hindenburg. But we all know that our ultra-effective president, who is also ultra-cool, and who has such a great legislative record, can never be compared metaphorically to Von Hindenburg. People want metaphors, but they want the metaphors only to shore up their points of view.

    It is going to be very difficult for the Democrats, if they remain on their current trajectory as the Hillary Clinton Fan Club, all civility all the time, to win an election through bad metaphors and condescension. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Lambert Strether

      It’s been awhile since I looked through the checklists for fascism, but I’m thinking it would be hard to find Trump’s combination of a narrative of national greatness with anti-militarism on any one of them.*

      And last I checked, crushing #BlackLivesMatter in St Louis and Occupy in 17 cities, both using militarized police forces, was done by Democrats, and all the security state apparatus necessary for a really swell fascist regime to operate was installed on a thoroughly bipartisan basis.

      So it’s like both parties, working together, got the recipe for Fascist Frosted Cake, bought all the ingredients, pre-heated the stove, mixed the ingredients together, cracked in an egg**, spread the mixture in the pan, and set the pan in the, er, oven to bake.

      45 minutes later, Trump blows in, opens the oven, pulls out the cake, and the Democrats scream “ZOMG!!! Fascist Cake!!!”

      Democrats and Republicans then round up all the leftists they can, puree them, and frost the cake with the puree.

      Mission accomplished!

      NOTE * Expanding, I don’t see how Trump could walk back trashing Bush (and, soon, Clinton) for Iraq. He did it in South Carolina, and it’s a popular line with the troops, who aren’t dumb. I could see Trump trying his own version of Obama’s “smart wars,” but there are issues Trump is consistent on, and this is one of them.

      NOTE ** Because you can’t bake a fascist cake without breaking an egg.

      1. DJG

        Lambert: I see that you are very big on metaphoring today, although, somehow, cake seems awfully benign, except for red-velvet cake, which is an abomination. Now, back to metaphoring, if we take the reactions by our pusillanimous overlords to the attacks on the World Trade Center (better known by the trademark “9/11”) as a kind of metaphor for the Reichstag Fire, we can see that a crisis of their own making was used to strip away the liberties of the populace. How clever of our bipartisan leadership to use an attack by right-wing terrorists on a right-wing administration as a means of getting more dollars to war profiteers, more repression of free speech, more centralization of repressive functions in such deparatments as Homeland, and then to get all of those decisions *reinforced* by the Obama administration.

        Of course, all of this, even the baking metaphors, is Chelsea Manning’s fault. (And I am eagerly awaiting the pardon for Manning and for Snowden, due any second, even as the cake is baking, from Obama…) And it also Thomas Frank’s fault, because the title of his new book, Listen, Liberal, really has their lingerie in a knot. Ergo: Trump is Hitler.

        1. inode_buddha

          “….Lambert: I see that you are very big on metaphoring today, although, somehow, cake seems awfully benign, except for red-velvet cake, which is an abomination. Now, back to metaphoring,….”

          Verbing weirds metaphors.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      As Yves has pointed out, the completely over the top scaremongering about Trump is counterproductive. People will just stop listening. There is little of the fascist in Trumps posturing. He is in the mould of many African and Latin American ‘big man’ leaders – big on posturing and bold statements and scapegoating, but with actual policies which might (or might not) be pragmatic. Nobody who has read 20 Century European history would be foolish enough to put Trump in the same category of Hitler, etc. Its a completely different context.

      1. nihil obstet

        The scaremongering is all the Clinton supporters seem to have. Running up your adversaries’ negatives has been a big part of campaigning since the 70s and maybe forever, but I’ve never seen a candidate whose supporters were so incapable of giving positive reasons for support. It’s all “Trump is a racist bigot fascist, Bernie is either a leader of Berniebros crude sexists or a predator on the idealism of the stupid deluded youth, and if you don’t know why you should vote for Hillary, you’re an idiot.” And when I ask, as I have at one or two decent blogs, “OK, I’m an idiot. So inform me”, I can get hundreds of comments, of which maybe one or two will actually cite a position. It’s all “Clinton’s enemies are attacking her again.”

  26. PlutoniumKun

    The Submission of America’s Elites American Conservative

    Superb essay, a must read for me. I’ve often thought that the fundamental misreading of foreign policy errors in the Middle East is based on the assumption (by both right and left) of the primacy of US agency. In fact, to me what seems obvious is that the gulf rulers, the Saudi’s in particular, have been absolutely brilliant in manipulating all outside forces, most particularly the US, for their own domestic and geopolitical ends. Scarcely a Saudi or EUA or Kuwaiti or Bahraini has died in the past few decades in wars and conflicts – it has all been outsiders, including US soldiers. The US military command in the ME is essentially an extension of the SA military, in the same way that the Egyptian army is. The proof of this is Yemen. The US has absolutely no strategic interest in the way in Yemen, SA is currently funding islamic terrorists around the world and trying to destroy the US petroleum industry and yet what happens? The US military is aiding the SA government in bombing Yemeni civilians.

    1. fresno dan

      It was a good article.
      Again and again, I try to find some logical self interest that compels the US establishment to get involved in the ME, when it has been demonstrated time and again our “allies” are working against us.
      I finally realized that like the medieval church, the policy and strategy of the church was justified by fantasy, and promulgated by graft. And how many church functionaries were true believers, and how many who just wanted a secure, well paying job, and protected from depredations of the church?

      From the article:
      Gulf Arab petro-nobility donate tens of millions to elite American universities and leading think tanks. The think tanks, of course, are well positioned to directly shape U.S. policy. “It is particularly egregious because with a law firm or lobbying firm, you expect them to be an advocate,” Joseph Sandler, an attorney and expert on foreign influence, told the New York Times’ Eric Lipton. “Think tanks have this patina of academic neutrality and objectivity, and that is being compromised.” For his investigative journalism into this foreign influence, Lipton won a Pulitzer Prize in 2015. Later that year, Saudi influence was flaunted in the face of human rights activists when Saudi Arabia was appointed to the UN Human Rights Council. Hillel Neuer of UN Watch said at the time: “Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights. This UN appointment is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief.”

      1. HotFlash

        justified by fantasy, and promulgated by graft

        Fascinating, appropriate and very useful tool. Thank you, sir, I am sure I will find wide application for it.

  27. Jeff W

    Nate Silver finally wakes up to the importance what Gaius Publius was saying all along. The dek says “Many of them are independents, and they could be key to Clinton’s general election success” but a more accurate frame would be that they are more likely, based on the polls right now, to be the key to Clinton’s Clinton’s general election failure.

    As I alluded to in a comment yesterday, those identifying as independents now make up a higher percentage (39%) of the electorate than either those identifying as Democrats (32%) or Republicans (23%) (which, as an aside, is an indication to me how much the electorate hates the two parties). Silver says, of this large segment of the electorate, “ In the Fox News poll, only 30 percent of independents went for Clinton, and in the SurveyMonkey poll, just 36 percent did.”

    This Reuters poll, looking at just the Democratic candidates, which Silver doesn’t mention, is far worse than that for Clinton: only 18% of registered independents likely to vote say they will vote Clinton; a third more (30%) would rather not vote at all. (Just over half, by contrast, would vote for Sanders.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thus, it’s not how many, but how ardent or persistent.

      If 30% do not vote this time and did not vote previously, the tortoise voters who always turn out always prevail.

      And if Independents are 39% of the electorate, some talented guy or gal will eventually come and make a party out of them.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, it seems an obvious fact, conveniently overlooked. Its a cliche to say that the best candidate is always the one who appeals across a wider spectrum than the party, but its true, and the results show clearly that Sanders does that. I think part of the problem is the assumption that Independents are ‘centrists’, when there is plenty of evidence that this isn’t true – they cover a wide range of views, they just don’t like the big two parties (very sensibly).

      It also seems common sense to know that its much easier to persuade independents to vote for you, than signed up members of the opposite party. And yet Clinton seems to thing thats the best thing to do. I suspect she, and the Dems, will be sorely disappointed if thats the strategy.

      On the wider point, Nate Silver has been a terrible disappointment. He has made a huge fool of himself this election cycle, he’s just another partisan hack now.

      1. JustAnObserver

        A (once) respected political polling analyst fails to spot the importance of the independents and we’re supposed to accept this as an excuse !?

        Better explanation: 538 is now owned by ESPN and has succumbed to the crapification powers of the corporate Tubman.

        1. flora

          I agree whole heartedly with your point. However, beware the derisive reference to “Tubmans”, even in a sarcastic remark about The Powers That Be. The Powers That Be would love to eliminate physical currency. A comment that deprecates any physical currency, in any form, only helps their plans. At least that’s my take. Interesting that Obama started the derisive reference. The PTB would love to eliminate physical currency.

      2. Jeff W

        Its a cliche to say that the best candidate is always the one who appeals across a wider spectrum than the party…

        Yeah, even if 100% of a third of the people who will vote in an eventual contest choose you but none of other two-thirds of the people will vote for you, you’re not exactly a winning candidate, no matter how much that one-third loves you. That’s one of the reasons why the argument as to how many x millions of votes Clinton got over Sanders—which I’ve been seeing—is kind of aside the point.

    3. susieQ

      There is more current data than the Pew research you quoted. The latest numbers I’m aware of come from Gallup (2015), which shows 42% independents, 29% Democrats and 26% Republicans, significantly less for the legacy parties than your stats show.

      And considering the Gallup data is from 2015, I would guess things have gotten even worse for the Ds and Rs as the primaries have devolved.

      1. Jeff W

        Thank you! That’s good to know. (Not that it excuses anything but I was going off of an article that appeared three days ago in The Nation—you’d think someone writing an article in a weekly magazine specifically about independents would find out the latest data.)

        1. susieQ

          If you split the Independents into two, assuming they are equally liberal and conservative (big assumption, I guess) they would each get 21%. And if you assume the trend of people bailing on the legacy parties has continued since the 2015 Gallup poll, as the favorability ratings of establishment candidates like Hillary have continued to tank, those split shares should be getting close to approaching the chunks of Ds and Rs. Ignoring so many disenfranchised voters is a setup for defeat, imo.

    4. cwaltz

      Hello? Geez, he’s just figuring this out NOW? It’s been the argument the whole entire primary cycle.

      Clinton is NOT the pragmatic choice when you consider the electorate as a WHOLE, not just the Democratic base. You know the people who actually can and will vote in a general election.

      Most of the Clinton supporters argue they don’t need independants because they won without them in 2008 and 2012. The biggest difference, of course, being they had the YOUTH vote who are not always enthusiastic but did turn out for Obama. Guess who owns that demographic Nate? It ain’t Clinton.

      If Clinton wins many of these excited youngsters working for Bernie stay home(after all they are pie in the sky unrealistic idealists who aren’t very smart after all) and many indies either stay home( I mean the Democrats don’t need us or they would have let us participate in their primary or not done their abject best to disenfranchise us in AZ, NY and many other states) or vote Trump(because he is ALSO an outsider candidate and everyone is tired of DC politicians.)

      The Democrats are going to lose AND they are going to deserve it.

      1. PNW_WarriorWoman

        I agree with you. Except. We know which party has the in-place and now operative voter flip and switch op going, right? It’s Hills. The GOP likely doesn’t have one this round.

        1. cwaltz

          I think she’s going to lose.

          I think Trump’s supporters are enthusiastic and the DNC isn’t going to be able to cheat like they’ve done this primary season.

          I think they are underestimating how much baggage she has, how much someone who really knows how to fight dirty really will latch onto and exploit that baggage, and how little some of us really care about the DNC “winning” this contest even if it means a Trump presidency.

          I’m willing to go with crazy over corrupt and I consider myself an incredibly pragmatic person. I’m that sick of the Democrat Party.(And no that doesn’t mean I’ll be voting for him but I sure as heck have no intent of pulling the lever for her either even if it means she loses.)

          1. aab

            I haven’t dug into the articles addressing the research, because it’s all too depressing. But I did see a pull quote that the Governor can steal, basically. In the primaries, it makes sense that the ability to do this goes lower down the food chain — Grimes in Kentucky, the Chicago machine in IL. But in the General, there is no way Grimes will be in the position to steal for Clinton. I can imagine Kasich helping Clinton, but it seems less likely with the party consolidating around Trump. I think the Democrats will suffer in yet another way for abandoning the states, in that with fewer states under their control, election theft in the General will be harder. If you look at the clear instances of outright theft (rather than suppression) in the Democratic primaries, it’s been mostly machine states or states with someone like Grimes deeply embedded in state power. I don’t think the Western states with corrupt Democratic leaders have been harder to steal just because they’re more left wing. I think the machinery isn’t in place do it, for one reason or another. I believe they’re still point shaving, but it’s harder to prove.

            In any case, if Trump places nice with Republican power brokers, I don’t see the Rs helping the Clintons steal Ohio or Florida. It isn’t clear to me Hickenlooper CAN steal Colorado. It looks like Reid won’t be able to use his machine to steal Nevada. Etc., etc. We’ll see. But Clinton’s awfully pissed about how long this has dragged out. If she could have stolen more, she would have. So there’s an outer bound, it seems to me — even in the primaries.

          2. cwaltz

            Most of this primary season’s problems seem to congeal around “eligibility” to vote and purging independants and Democrats who support Sanders of their right to have a voice in our democracy. In AZ we saw party affiliation changes, in NY we saw hundreds of thousands purged from voter rolls, in NV they stripped delegates for “party affiliation.”

            While machines may indeed be problematic, a lot of those problems were pre empted by the DNC deciding they wanted their private club and doing their best to keep the rabble(taxpaying voters) from actually having a say in the process

            1. aab

              It does seem to be both. The exit polls have been off in almost every Democratic Primary by a significant margin, and not on the Republican side. My understanding is that the United States itself uses exit poll discrepancies to determine if elections in other countries are fraudulent.

  28. fresno dan

    The comment from Matt Bruenig, who wrote about philosophy and political economy at liberal think tank, Demos, came after a Twitter back-and-forth between Bruenig and Joan Walsh, a writer for The Nation, on a piece Walsh wrote, which is entitled, “Bernie Sanders is hurting himself by playing the victim.”

    Walsh tweeted that she rejects “the moral superiority of a coalition led by white men vs. the will of black, brown and female voters” while linking to the article.

    Irony – thy name is Walsh…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like a hard-core Hillary supporter who will never vote Bernie.

    2. flora

      The corporate laissez-faire wing of the Dem party took total control 25-30 years ago. They aren’t about to surrender any fragment of control back to the New Deal Keynsian wing of the party. Rahm openly mocks the New Deal wing with comments like “f**king ret**ds” and “idiot hippies”. Well, *that’s* a good way to win friends and influence people. /s

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Wonder if more will follow King and leave the D party?

        I think it will worsen the Greenhouse Gas problem, otherwise it would be a pretty loud statement to organize a fire-department supervised (to make it’s safe) burning of party membership cards.

        1. cwaltz

          I wonder how many they’ve already lost and the lag in time before the party realizes it?

          I’ve heard I’m going to switch my affiliation after the primary many, many times this cycle.

          It should be interesting to see if the DNC can make their base as small as the GOP base and give the independently affiliated folks not just a plurality but a majority.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Identity politics* in pure form. And they’re doubling down on it.

      IPolitics = Credentialism + Clientelism + Corruption + Class Interest

      Or words to that effect.

      1. Emma

        Lambert – You forgot the C for Craftiness. If they actually concerned themselves with Equality politics instead, they wouldn’t need to play dressing up for role-play. Ultimately the social costs arising from such an Identity politics approach, bite back. As we’re now seeing not just within the US, but elsewhere.

  29. ewmayer

    A comment and a few more links which will hopefully be of interest:

    o Re: The Internet of Things: it’s arrived and it’s eyeing your job |

    A snippet, with a few value-added inline annotations in []:

    New jobs will be created by the Internet of Things, too of course. We just don’t know yet exactly where they will be [or how dismally few and poorly paying they will be]. A look at what might happen in the transport industry gives us a taste.
    Driverless vehicles means job losses for professional drivers, and there are a lot of them. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that there were 18 million vehicles on the road last year. About 3.5 million or 19 per cent were commercial vehicles of one kind of another. Job losses in that market alone could dwarf those suffered by the manufacturing sector in recent years. [However, it should be noted that most of the laid-off manufacturing workers were quickly able to secure higher-paying work by retraining for exciting new careers as financial advisers, realtors™ and Big Data software engineers, according to Professor Nia Librul-Schiller, head of the University of Cantberra’s renowned Department of Theoclassical Economic Studies].

    There will be job gains [but not for you] as companies exploit the technology, too. Driverless cars will also free up corporate cash for investment [and more importantly, higher CEO pay] as wages are saved, and self-driving, self-monitoring vehicles will boost vehicle efficiency and drive down transportation costs. The productivity gains will flow more slowly than the job losses, however. [But at least we know with 100% assurance in which direction they will flow].’

    o Is Elizabeth Warren a Luddite (or Does She Simply Belong in France)? | MishTalk

    Curiously, I’ve seen precious few Mish posts on the inevitability (and desirability!) of robots coming for the few remaining well-paying dogma-spewing econo-blogger jobs.

    o Apple unveils new store design in San Francisco | Reuters

    If they really want to ‘give shoppers the experience of setting foot in the company headquarters’, they should open the doors for 30 minutes around 8am and then close them, forcing said shoppers to remain until the doors reopen at 8pm. The hours in between would be filled with endless ‘purchase planning’ meetings and threats to revoke all future shopping privileges for alleged lack of zeal.

    o Billionaire Steven Cohen wins dismissal of ex-wife’s fraud case | Reuters

    I do so enjoy a juicy oligarch-douchebag-couple shitfight. Ever since the marital-money suitfest between oil baron Harold Hamm (Continental Resources CEO) and his ex-wife ended last year with the courts ruling against the Missus, my life has been empty, empty! I say.

    o March 2016 California Sierra Nevada Snowpack Readings Come in at 87% of Average

    Forgot to forward this when it broke at beginning of April … slightly below long-term historical average, but infinitely better – literally – than 2015’s zero-snow state. And cool and spotty rain today in the SF Bay area, this kind of weather this late in the year was unheard-of the last 5 years. Of course, as with real estate, all weather is local…

    o 7-Eleven worker becomes first woman to climb Everest seven times | Reuters

    ‘During her necessarily brief stay at the summit, Lakhpa engaged in a 7-Eleven corporate promotion and emptied a pair of large liquipacks into the summit snowpack in order to dye the top of the peak bright red and green to resemble a giant Slurpee, the flagship frozen drink of her employer.’ [OK, I admit I completely made that up. But it would have been pretty funny.]

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China, Africa’s biggest railway.

    Will it allow humans to go deeper into the forest, deeper into the wild, and impact the same way as the Kinshasa Highway?

    1. cnchal

      . . . The railway is being built by the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation

      One wonders how many hundreds of millions or even billions out of the $13 billion will be swindled by the naked officials in charge?

      Will the concrete poured in Africa be any better than the concrete poured in China?

      Would a train derailment per day be covered under warranty by China?

  31. VietnamVet

    A basic problem with party Democrats is that they have cognitive dissonance. As Matt Taibbi wrote, enormous numbers of increasingly disenfranchised voters have been ignored by the media, pundits and politicians. In Hillary Clinton’s best of all possible worlds, they do not exist. Angry, these Americans are voting for Donald Trump. If Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump votes are added together, it is 46% of the votes cast (16 million of the total of 35 million votes in March).

    If Americans who are losing their livelihood and rights can unite, the establishment will be overthrown democratically.

    1. cwaltz

      One of my favorite parts of this poll was this- Among Trump’s backers, 44 percent say they are casting an affirmative vote for the Republican, while 53 percent say their motivation is to oppose Clinton.

      That’s right, keep insulting the electorate, Democrat party geniuses. Maybe you can get him another 5 to 10 percent in support in opposition of your stellar candidate.

      Also noted in this poll- Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has given Clinton a stiff challenge in the contest for the Democratic nomination, enjoys the most positive rating of the three. Among registered voters, Sanders is net positive — 49 percent to 41 percent — and has seen his image improve steadily the longer he has been a candidate.

      Pssst Nate Silver, this is something Sanders supporters have been pointing out forever buddy. It’s nice that you’ve awoken from sleep predicting the primaries and NOW see that Clinton is the weaker candidate. *face palm*

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