Links 5/3/16

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Prospect Park Goes to the Goats New York Times

DNA secrets of Ice Age Europe unlocked BBC (martha r)

Scientists build world’s tiniest engine Financial Times (David L)

Physicists Abuzz About Possible New Particle as CERN Revs Up NBC (David L)

How to Pick Music for People on LSD, From a Scientist Whose Job That Is Motherboard (resilc). How does one get included in these studies?

Breast cancer: Scientists hail ‘very significant’ genetic find BBC (furzy)

Quaker Oats Faces Lawsuit Over 100% Natural Claims Fortune (martha r)

Taliban Is Unimpressed With McDonald’s Food – Grub Street (resilc)

Mossack Fonseca

Tax Justice Focus – The Corruption Issue Tax Justice Network (Richard Smith)


China Looking To Secure Oil Supplies By Buying Stake In Rosneft OilPrice

China’s factory activity contracts again in April CNBC

Refugee Crisis

Nearly 90,000 unaccompanied minors sought asylum in EU in 2015 Reuters (martha r)

Connecticut governor honored for welcoming Syrian refugees Reuters (EM)

Draghi blames Germany for savings glut Financial Times

NATO mulls fortifying eastern Europe to deter Russia DW


Brexit ‘could boost eurozone GDP’ Financial Times

UK ‘anti semitism’ witch hunt Craig Murray (chris g)


How to Beat ISIS: Blow Up the Money NBC. Bill B: “We have bankers that do this sort of work here in the states.”

Saudi Arabia: Foreign Workers Burn Buses After Massive Layoffs Juan Cole (resilc)

Syria Daily: Kerry — “Both Opposition and Regime Have Contributed to Chaos” EA WorldView. Resilc: “But never Obomba and I.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Delegate Freitas Speech Regarding SFC Martland YouTube (Chuck L)

Stage Hands American Interest (Richard Smith). On London Kleptocracy Tours, but implications are clear….

The CIA is tweeting the 2011 bin Laden raid in ‘real time’ The Verge (resilc)

The War Delusion National Interest (resilc)

on christos ikonomou and the current greek government debt crisis 3AM Magazine (Catherine C)

Trade Traitors

After the leaks today showing just what it really stands for, this could be the end for TTIP Independent


Donald Trump’s Foes Fear Indiana Primary Could Be Decisive Blow New York Times

In defense of America First The Week (resilc)


HuffPost Says It’s Time For Hillary Clinton To Concede To Bernie Sanders INQUISITR (martha r). A contrarian view.

The Real Danger in 2016 American Conservative

Hillary Clinton outraises Bernie Sanders in April Financial Times. Before CA is not the time to give up!

America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny New York Magazine

Republicans Don’t Want to Know Costs of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Intercept (resilc)

Bergdahl defense can access classified information, court rules Reuters (EM)

Horizon ‘knowingly’ underpaid patient claims, former exec charges in lawsuit (martha r)

South Dakota Wrongly Puts Thousands in Nursing Homes, Government Says New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal in shareholder suit against BP Reuters (EM)

Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’ New York Times

Abortion Clinics In Blue States Are Closing, Too FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

An Ex-Marine Killed Two People in Cold Blood. Should His PTSD Keep Him From Death Row? Mother Jones

State Treasurer Cowell mars her record by joining corporate boards News & Observer

Colorado Supreme Court voids two city voter-approved fracking bans Reuters

Whose Water Is It Anyway? Tehalka (Randy K)

Puerto Rico Defaults on Principal of $422 Million Debt Payment New York Times

Is Anemic Wage Growth Stifling the Economy? Michael Shedlock. EM: “This should provoke quite a lively discussion amongst the commentariat.”

Executive pay crackdown by Norway’s huge public fund BBC

Class Warfare

Oxford student Ntokozo Qwabe refused tip leading hundreds to donate £2k to white waitress Daily Mail (Bob V)

A Portrait of Coal Town on the Brink of Death Vice (resilc)

The Rise of Mexican Black Tar Vice (resilc)

Rise of the robots is sparking an investment boom ​Financial Times (Dr. Kevin)

Evictions soar in Alameda County as rents rise Mercury News

Antidote du jour (@planetpics via Richard Smith):

vole in flower links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    Puerto Rico defaults. They probably feel they will ultimately be bailed out by somebody. I guess we got CA, IL and maybe a few other states probably intending to follow suit. They probably also feel they will eventually be bailed out by somebody.

    1. ambrit

      Why not bail out the States and Territories? The banks were bailed out. “It’s our turn now.”

      1. craazyboy

        Except it’s not “us” getting bailed out. It’s the bondholders. In the case of PR, the bondholders have been getting a “high risk” return, but there was that obscure law passed in the 80s that made it illegal for PR to go into bankruptcy, so this supposedly makes the dollar denominated bonds zero risk. Then, to make the investment more appealing, they made it tax exempt too. Cool! Unfortunately, I missed the good decades on this investment opportunity. Now we’ll have to see if the M. Hudson Rule will apply – “debt that can’t be repaid, won’t be.”

        But if the gubmint does the bailout, at least it will be with MMT money – which doesn’t cost anything, or isn’t worth anything, or the gubmint didn’t borrow it, or there is no Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the re-payment of debt by US taxpayers, or sumthin like that.

        1. ambrit

          I take your point about ‘bondholders.’ However, I wonder what percentage of that group is comprised of ‘retirement’ oriented funds? Being a ‘no risk’ type of investment, I would assume that it was of special interest to ‘conservative’ investment entities. Chasing yield is one thing; putting ‘all the eggs in one basket’ is quite another. (Most ‘retirement’ funds would have equally ‘conservative’ investment parameters in place, eh?) To the extent that Puerto Rico bonds were considered ‘conservative’ in nature, the proportion of retirement funds invested in them would be larger than usual. Since these ‘retirement’ funds will have to be ‘backed up’ by public funds in the event of a debacle, “we” are indeed ‘on the hook’ for the Puerto Rico bond defaults.
          My corollary to the M. Hudson Rule is: “Debt that can’t be repaid (by the Market,) will be repaid (by the State.)” It’s the essence of Corporatism.

          1. craazyboy

            Yes, well, they’ll let anyone with money be a bondholder. So the mix could run the gamut from bond vulture funds to little old ladies.

            There are all sorts of “retirement funds” too. The 401K ones can lose money – take my word for it. Then there is the Federal Pension Guarantee Fund which picks up the retirement funds of failed corporations – sometimes (I think it has to do with union political clout).

            There are Federal employee retirement funds. These debts are guaranteed to be paid.

            There are State & Local retirement funds. We hear they are very much underfunded. But I’ve had conversations with people employed in this manner, and they seem to assume the state or city will just raise taxes and keep their retirement “whole”. This is when I start thinking again about which country I will escape to with my ZIRP bank account and whittled down SS, if and when I ever get old enough to collect it. But all these other countries are f*cked too.

          2. Sam Adams

            Exactly the same logic employed by Congress to eliminate the Statute of Limitations in StudentLoan Debt and to make it non-dischargable in Bankruptcy. Monetize the prole, extract rent and leave the consequences to the next generation in a game of musical chairs.

          3. BondsOfSteel

            Aren’t all securities ‘retirement’ oriented? Since the Vanguard S&P500 fund is the most widely held fund in 401ks… and Exxon is it’s 3rd largest holding…. should we bail out Exxon?

            Congress should let PR should just go into chapter 9… it’s was designed for municipal bankruptcies. Anything else would be a bailout.

          4. Left in Wisconsin

            Well, someone is paying for political – sorry I meant “independent advocacy” – ads here in Wisconsin asking us to tell our legislators not to let those Puerto Rican drifters off the hook. My guess is it’s not a pension fund.

    2. Alejandro

      “Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be paid” and the vexing question has always been “how won’t they be paid”. Chapter 9 is NOT a “bailout”.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Simultaneous with the Puerto Rico trouble, the US dollar has been losing its luster against other currencies, gold is going up etc. Coincidence? Maybe not. Maybe the other nations of this wonderful world see the bankruptcy (for all intents and purposes) of our territory, to be followed before long by the defaults of some large states as well, as truly the beginning of the end of King Dollar.

        1. Alejandro

          “gold”? Not going down that rabbit hole…”money IS debt”.

          I was responding to the notion of “bailouts”. Debts become unpayable as a matter of math, all the time, and this has been known for a long long time. This is a “risk” that creditors assume when extending credit, acquiring bonds etc., but when this “risk” is realized, none accept the “paper” losses and look for anyone and everyone to make them “whole” and don’t give a shit whose lives are destroyed. A “bailout” is the political power to pass the losses on to the “taxpayer”, where chapter 9 by definition does not involve the “taxpayer”.

          How the Creditor-Debtor power relationship is defined, both legally and morally, from my POV seems to be a major driver of worsening inequality.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It doesn’t have to be gold.

            Stock up on water, canned goods, gemstones, cigarettes, gold, warm clothes, silver, kitchen knives, high SPF sunscreen lotions, maybe even video games, etc.

            You never know what the kind of stranger may depend on, at the end of the world.

        1. Alejandro

          Even the “mafia” is subject to Michael Hudsons axiom, and having the power to subjugate doesn’t change the math. Perpetuating the myth that all debts can be paid just makes a fair and orderly restructuring that much more difficult.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They only don’t collect if they lack the muscle to do it.

            The other way is if you make an offer they can’t refuse.

            1. Alejandro

              Even the most muscle bound can’t collect what’s not there. It’s not about refusing, it’s about not having.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                This is the barbaric part.

                They collect the victim’s life.

                Now, the debt is settled. The borrow does pay back.

                1. Alejandro

                  Barbaric indeed…life reduced to the ‘value’ of a debt…not even a remnant of a pretense of a fair and just society…its been said that the fear motive is twice as effective as the greed motive but half as efficient…the dead are no longer afraid and can no longer feed the greed…but the living can decide that enough is enough.

                  1. Chauncey Gardiner

                    Agree. Once again it’s: “Nice little island / country / state / city / house / business / etc. you’ve got here. It’d sure be a shame if something were to happen to it. Know what I mean?”

                    Given the broad and deep violations of trust and related wealth extractions, may be time to revise the old meme to: “Clever use of debt you’ve got here. Would sure be a shame if someone were to disrupt it.”

    3. Jim Haygood

      Hon. Thomas P. Griesa could help:

      A group of investors, mainly hedge funds, have bought distressed Puerto Rican debt betting that they can get higher payouts through regular courts than through U.S. bankruptcy courts.

      Remaining in legal and financial limbo would likely push the island’s economy into even steeper economic turmoil. The courts could also rule that Puerto Rico is legally obligated to pay all its bonds, forcing the government to cut basic services.

      Are the bond indentures creditor friendly? Somebody thinks so. See y’all in court …

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Even if Puerto Rico gains independence, she will still be liable for those bonds.

        That was how it worked for Russian Tsarist era bonds.

        The only way is for one to renounce one’s citizenship and move to another country to be free of the per-capita burden.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Unfortunate. I believe he is correct that neoliberal market-based allocation of water rights is a tragedy waiting to happen, if we let it. Stay tuned for water derivatives, water-backed securities, and water mortgages.

  2. ambrit

    The antidote is ‘cute,’ but somehow wrong. We have some of those flowers growing next door, and they are super fragile. Our variety smells like skunk though.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Skunky Iris? Well I never.

      I must have 25 varieties blooming now, totaling over a thousand bulbs. Each and every color/variety does have a unique aroma.

      1. ambrit

        Ah! 25 varieties! I can only find five varieties in our neigbhourhood. Two of which are dark purple no less. (Both being versions of Louisiana Iris.)
        Now, amaryllis, that’s a different matter. We have a red with white star heart variety that practically grows ‘wild’ around here. Not to mention both coral and yellow ‘Spider Amaryllis’ varieties.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Zone and lilly envy from up along the AR/MO border in NWA with far more rock than soil. Of course neither of us will ever get sympathy from Lambert…)

          1. ambrit

            We took a trip up through Arkansas a few years ago. You aren’t kidding about the ‘rock’ part. Sympathy from ‘Lambert’ about horticulture? What an interesting idea. I’m wondering if hard feelings about the disparity in growing seasons might have been one of the precipitating factors for “The War Between The States.” I really will feel sorry for the Northrons if the Gulf Stream ever shuts down.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is the little fellow dreaming of the many things in heaven and earth?

      “Wake up, Horatio!!!”

    3. portia

      those mice don’t weigh anything. if you goggle “mice in flowers” you will see all kinds of things.

  3. timbers


    Trump is polling ahead of Hillary in Rasmussen polls. Yes ti’s Rasmussen but still.

    1. JoeK

      I have yet to read the Huffpo article but off the top of my head, emailgate, the every-more-likely exposure of primary voting fraud, and the better odds Trump has against HRC vs. against Sanders make a compelling case for her to concede. Not that she gives a goddam about any of the above or about her party or country if those interests conflict with her ambitions.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If the Establishment Democrats want a Kamikaze candidate, why not let them bring down their own tent?

        Is it worthy saving? 50 righteous Establishment Democrats!!! Just give us 50!!1

  4. allan

    Fizzled Goldman Sachs Cases Put S.E.C. in Harsh Light

    When the time came to finally decide who to sue, those involved in the investigation were split about suing anyone at Goldman above Mr. Tourre. In the end, Robert S. Khuzami, the enforcement director at the time, said that “the lack of consensus among our group is itself, for me, confirmation” that others should not be named.

    No mention of Mr. Khuzami’s previous or future employment. All the news that’s not fit to print …

    1. fresno dan

      May 3, 2016 at 8:16 am

      My gosh!!!! Your not insinuating that our markets are less than the freest, most open, transparent, and lawful markets in the world, are you!?!?!?!!!!! Why, why….its almost as if you think there was some kind of quid pro quo where the noble and honorable Mr. Khuzami didn’t do anything….because of MONEY! Of course he didn’t do it for money…..he did it for the things money can buy.

      I am shocked, shocked and appalled to learn that illicit activity occurs at Goldman Sachs….

      And as I said in another post, we in America never look back if it means a squillionaire would be prosecuted.

  5. Pavel

    Re the Indiana “showdown” between Trump and Cruz: I’m bemused how the DC punditocracy and the #NeverTrump crowd actually think the Republican primary voters would go for a man who is apparently universally detested among the pundits and DC insiders themselves. I’m not sure if it is more insulting or more naïve to think the voters would accept that.

    Adding Carly to the Cruz team does have it’s added moments of hilarity, however — I saw a clip earlier of Carly literally falling off the stage and Cruz ignoring her to shake hands with the crowd. Priceless!

    1. fresno dan

      He (Cruz) keeps his pitchfork in a case out on the campaign trail, so he knew she wouldn’t be impaled….until after the election.
      I hope she can get Daniel Webster as a lawyer….

      1. ambrit

        “The DNC and Daniel Webster.” Or, she could do a ‘drag’ version of the film, “The Devils’ Disciple.”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As a VP candidate, she has to walk a step behind Cruz, the man.

      That’s not a nice visual.

    3. JustAnObserver

      Cruz, detested though he may, is IMHO a scientific experiment being conducted by the RNC to get a measure of the size and distribution of the “Rapture Vote” fraction of the Southern Strategy ((C) R. Nixon).

  6. hemeantwell

    The CIA is tweeting the 2011 bin Laden raid in ‘real time’ The Verge (resilc)

    So much leftist fun could be had with this! We could tweet the assassination of Lumumba, the Bay of Pigs, plotting against Allende, the colonel’s coup in Greece. Lots better than the doleful, drop in the river of time commemoration of so many political crimes.

  7. Pavel

    Wow, encouraging words in the Indie article on the TTIP leaks:

    The European Commission slapped a 30-year ban on public access to the TTIP negotiating texts at the beginning of the talks in 2013, in the full knowledge that they would not be able to survive the outcry if people were given sight of the deal. In response, campaigners called for a ‘Dracula strategy’ against the agreement: expose the vampire to sunlight and it will die. Today the door has been flung open and the first rays of sunlight shone on TTIP. The EU negotiators will never be able to crawl back into the shadows again.

    The leak of the TTIP text comes at a time when senior politicians across Europe have already begun to distance themselves from the increasingly toxic deal. President Hollande announced this weekend that France will veto any TTIP agreement that could endanger the country’s agricultural sector. Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has also spoken publicly of TTIP collapsing, and has pointed the finger at US intransigence as the cause. When politicians start playing the blame game in this way, you know they are already preparing their exit strategies. The writing is on the wall.

    Probably not good news for the Bremain camp, as all the EU skullduggery and secrecy around the negotiations removes another plank from that “EU is protecting you” campaign platform against Brexit.

    1. Praedor

      A major part of the problem with ALL “trade deals” would be alleviated by BANNING ISDS and all similar setups for corporate extralegal rule. Simply declare that ALL trade disputes involving regulations and laws concerning safety, environment, labor must be worked out in jury courts. Also must state the obvious: profit is not guaranteed nor a right in business – you merely have the right to TRY to succeed. If you fail, that’s business.

      1. Alex morfesis

        The hubris of american corps has to do maybe because most americans do not realize the ucc (uniform commercial code) is the original isds framework…if one reads the fine print in the ucc…you notice its “interpretations” come from a private “editing” committee of standard corporate lawyers who get to over ride any judicial trends of “misinterpretation” & get to over ride judges and rulings by their own private “consensus”….

        1. Jess

          You have a link or a citation for that info on the UCC? Not doubting you, just want it to refer to and use in arguments on my own. It might even find its way into a book I’m writing.


          1. JTMcPhee

            Hammurabi’s Great Code, and relation to UCC? Here you go:

            Another lawgiver a long time ago wrote an early version of the UCC in cuneiform, “written in stone…” The majority of what survives of the Code is about regulation of commerce:, and here’s one translation: Note how control fraud fares under Hammurabi’s approach, and the duties people owe to mitigate and pay for, big time, the externalities they cause…

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That ancient code was about commerce and paying back what was owed.

              It’s still the same today.

              The tsars had been long gone, long live the revolution, but the Tsarist bonds still had to be paid.

              The old code lives on.

              But no jubilee, though, sadly.

              The king could afford to forgive, for he could not tax dead or starving subjects, but could continue his luxury living from new taxes collected from re-invigorated subjects.

              Today, if a retired pensioner forgives his/her muni bonds, he or she would himself/herself die of starvation, just to give one example.

          2. Alex morfesis

            Just type in “permanent editorial board” & ucc…also if you play a bit and type in:

            ucc private editorial committee

            you end up with other roads to open

            gotta confuse those algoze to get what you need sometimes

            happy trails….

    2. perpetualWAR

      The incredibly sick thing about the TTIP negotiations is that now that the people in Europe see the poison from US agriculture which is trying to be literally crammed down their throats, the Europeans are threatening their governments. Yet, every day the US is allowing this poison upon their own citizens and we sit and watch TV, preferably a football game.

      1. Pavel

        The French and other Europeans actually care what they put in their mouths… fancy that!

        I found this via Zero Hedge, but it is actually from the AP, so is getting wide coverage:

        President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that France “will never accept” challenges to its farming and culture in exchange for better access to U.S. markets.

        “That’s why at this stage, France says no,” the Socialist leader said at a conference on left-wing politics.

        Earlier Tuesday, French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl told Europe-1 radio that negotiations “are totally blocked” and that a halt to talks “is the most probable option.” He insisted on better farming and environmental protections, adding that “in its current state, France cannot sign it.”

        “Europe is giving a lot … but receiving very little in return,” he said.

        European officials appear to be toughening their rhetoric after Greenpeace leaked large amounts of confidential negotiating documents that suggest the EU is coming under U.S. pressure to weaken consumer protections in key sectors.

        The EU chief negotiator said several Greenpeace conclusions were “false” while U.S. Trade representative spokesman Trevor Kincaid said the interpretations were misleading and sometimes wrong.

        Still, EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero said Monday that major disagreements remain between the two sides following the 13th round of talks last week. The U.S. election campaign is complicating negotiations, making it increasingly unlikely that President Barack Obama can achieve a deal before leaving office.

        France and some other European countries with rich culinary and farming traditions are particularly concerned about U.S. policies that give greater freedom to trade in genetically modified food, chlorine-rinsed poultry and hormone-treated beef.

        France is also protective of subsidies to its film industry, fearing eventual domination by deep-pocketed Hollywood.

        France threatens ‘no’ to US-EU trade zone, amid new tensions

        Where’s Michelle Obama who cares so much about nutrition and food quality, I wonder?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We need free, organic (which are non-genetically modified automatically) food before free college education.

          Maybe English and philosophy courses should be free, but never genetically modified food science nor Fracking 101.

          And MBA courses should never be free.

          We don’t want to buy the excitement of young voters with free courses in how to design the next generation surveillance hardware.

      2. cwaltz

        I don’t know why it’s surprising, businesses poisoned and tested on third world nations before and we aren’t that far from being one these days.

    3. Benedict@Large

      Trade deals are written to advance the interests of the writers at the expense of all who are not there to protect their interests. Corporations are present, so their interests will be advanced and protected. Labor is not present, so its interests will be sacrificed. Elected politicians are not present, so the interests of the people through their governing bodies will be sacrificed.

      Really, you don’t need to even read these (corrupt) documents. All you have to know is who’s at the table and who’s not. Those present are being fed; those not are being turned into the food.

  8. timbers


    This eye popper over at Down With Tyranny:

    “…of the 30 districts with a Latino population of 25% or more currently held by Republicans, the DCCC goes into the cycle having written off at least 22 of them. Get your head around that. Ten Trumps could be running but as long as Nancy Pelosi insists on putting her corrupt, incompetent cronies in as DCCC chairs, the Democrats will never take back the House. The Democrats were handed a gift in the form of Trump… and they already blew it.”

    1. portia

      they are all making too much money. can’t have people voting. the “mob” can’t be allowed to screw things up.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Well, you gotta remember that this is coming from “Impeachment is off the table” Pelosi. You expect her and her cronies to pop a sweat, or incur any risks? This would imply that these intestinal parasites would even consider such a course of action. They’re burrowed in, and feeding. Hillary has already informed us that they don’t think changes are desirable, maybe not even possible; so until such time as we citizens apply a vermifuge, there will be no changes.

  9. fresno dan

    The War Delusion National Interest (resilc)

    I am now the only Republican remaining in Congress of the six in the House who voted against going to war in Iraq.

    It has been both fascinating and surprising to me that what was certainly the most unpopular vote I ever cast has very slowly become possibly the most popular.

    The night before that 2002 vote I was told of a poll in my district that showed 74 percent of my constituents supported the war, with 17 percent undecided. Only 9 percent opposed the war.

    I had voted for the first Gulf War in 1991 after attending briefings by Gen. Colin Powell, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and other high-ranking officials that made Saddam Hussein sound like the Second Coming of Hitler.

    I then watched Hussein’s so-called “elite” troops surrender to CNN camera crews and empty tanks. I realized then that the threat had been greatly exaggerated.

    Consistency with principals is a rare, rare thing – and unappreciated.
    And of course, the scamsters of both parties love that “always look forward, never look back” slogan so that they can pull their evil, grifting activities without consequence.
    Their shouldn’t have been a federal representative left in congress who voted for the Iraq invasion, and that was 10 years ago.
    The fact that the dem candidate voted for Iraq and is the nominee says something is very wrong with the political process. This is THE MOST QUALIFIED person on the dem side?????????
    Amazingly, the ossified system cracked first with the repubs, where out of their million or so candidates, only one clearly and unequivocally said at the start that it was a mistake. Of course, his success can NEVER, EVER be attributed to that….NO, can’t be that.

    (SARC) Serious foreign policy people all agree that we should keep up the good job over there… And Bush kept us safe…

    1. Jim Haygood

      ’74 percent of my constituents supported the war’

      Prolly a lot less now. But public opinion makes no difference to our ruling military-intelligence cabal and their permanent war:

      US Defense Secretary Asshat Carter says an American service member has been killed in Iraq. A statement from the US-led forces in Iraq added the fatality was “a result of enemy fire.”

      “It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss,” the senior official told reporters at a press conference in Germany.

      The serviceman was hit by direct enemy fire about 32 kilometers from the city of Mosul, said Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve was launched by Washington against Islamic State in 2014.

      Another brilliant military op by Airman Obama the drone assassin, as 535 Kongress Klowns suck their thumbs on the sidelines.

      Do I sound disgusted?

      1. fresno dan

        I never, ever in my life back in 1970’s could have imagined that we would be in a foreign “police action” in TWO countries (well, far more than TWO, but those are ancillary, contingent and other quisling terms to disguise our 1/2 world war) and that has been going on for over a decade, and undoubtedly will go on for a score, hell – a century…if it ever ends.

      2. RP

        Another citizen sacrifices himself for an Oligarchy that cares not whether he lives or dies, so long as he and his descendants make their payments

  10. TsWkr

    Voting in Indiana today. Previewing the down-ballot options on the democratic side was worse than I expected. Half the candidates for the house seat (unlikely to beat the incumbent Republican) talk about restoring the constitution, so I’m left with someone who doesn’t even talk about issues on her campaign site, but seems to have a good background and is organized enough to possibly challenge the seat.

    Meanwhile, the state senator with a near-perfect voting record from the AFL-CIO is getting a challenge from a “progressive” running on an infrastructure bank, public-private partnerships, and securing the ‘attainable’ $8/hour min wage vs. $15 of the incumbent.

    1. Carla

      Thank you for the inside info on Indiana. As your Ohio neighbor, it’s all too familiar, and I surely feel yah.

  11. Roger Smith

    “Hillary Clinton outraises Bernie Sanders in April”

    For anyone who has access to read this, how much did Clinton embezzle last month?

    1. JohnnyGL

      Re: 1st link, If I had a dollar for every time the media held a funeral for the Sanders campaign….

      They were neck and neck for fundraising in April if you read between the lines. She only managed to beat him with her Clooney-sponsored money laundering to get around FEC rules on campaign finance.

      1. Roger Smith

        Wow… talk about misleading. Less than a million dollars more raised. Talk about a no win situation for Sanders. He raises a ton of money. more money than her, oh well not a big deal. He raises a little less, “ZOMG catastrophic crash and decline in Sander’s campaign contributions!”

        Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

      2. Vatch

        I was thinking the same thing. Without the Clooney extravaganza, Sanders would have raised more than Clinton in April. Money laundering is a good description of that event; thank you for saying that.

      3. Qrys

        If Clinton is curtailing spending in the remaining primaries (and I think I read somewhere her SuperPAC isn’t spending either) then it really doesn’t matter how much she has sitting around waiting for the General, now does it?

        The Clinton campaign is no longer airing advertisements in the Democratic presidential contest, according to ad-spending data from SMG Delta, reflecting how the campaign is pivoting more and more to the general election.

        Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in the upcoming primary states of California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while Bernie Sanders’ campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is she holding at Dunkirk and preparing for operation Barbarosa before the start of winter?

        2. JohnnyGL

          This is why Bernie’s all-out assault on NY bothers me (monday morning QB-ing, I know). If he’d held his fire somewhat on that one, knowing it was going to be repressed/closed off/rigged, he should have just tried to limit the damage and spent more money on the May and June states.

          In retrospect, NY was a trap for him. He rallied tons of people but they were all locked out of the polls (or disappeared even when they were registered).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sounds like Stalingrad.

            The leader refused to order retreat when trapped.

    2. ScottW

      Now there’s reason to celebrate. Special interest money is finally starting to overtake the small People’s donations. Order is being restored. Only in America. No, literally, only in America.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I’m curious: what happens to “unspent” campaign contributions? I know there are many categories and a plethora of legalisms that obfuscate the ka-ching flows and deposits and expenditures, but does HillBilly get to keep for personal use the odd billion or two likely to be left over when all is said and done? Bearing in mind the elastic notions of what constitutes “personal spending” for the Power Couple?

        Pretty clear that like the Gates duo and the rest of the Big Swingers, they will be helping build the walls of the Bastille and the excesses of Versailles for themselves and their little ones. Interesting— one can only ride in one private jet or limousine, or inhabit one room, or wear one suit of clothes at a time, or eat at most five or six meals a day, drink only so much really expensive wine or booze, all that. What does one get for controlling all the excess? How much of an empty space can a single person’s ego contain?

        And might I also ask, who gives a FOKK that Obama’s special child has decided to accept the bid from Harvard? Now THERE’s some affirmative action for you! While crowds at places like Daily Kos busily and idiotically construct new myths to puff out the bullish!t presentations about Obama’s Legacy, coming to a propaganda source near you soon?

  12. fresno dan

    Is Anemic Wage Growth Stifling the Economy? Michael Shedlock. EM: “This should provoke quite a lively discussion amongst the commentariat.”

    Why not broaden the discussion?

    So we have patents, trademarks, copyrights, and on and on, and on (and I note in a notorious example, completely and totally manipulated by that mickey mouse company). Why all the rules? Why is the rule for wages such a hindrance, but all the other rules so important???? And I note, these “protections” for capital ALWAYS expanding? If deregulation is so great, why not abolish them???

    One small example, if you live overseas medicare won’t pay.

    Now, medical care is, as far as I know, always much cheaper overseas, and generally of equivalent if not better quality. So if the free market is so wonderful, and freedom to travel and live where you want is so important, HOW IS IT that the benefits one “earns” OR just has (I don’t want to get in a dispute about whether medicare is earned, or is merely a contingent benefit) can’t be used overseas? Shouldn’t consumers/patients be free to seek out the BEST MARKET price – as all we ever hear is how wonderful the market price is???? And if the BEST MARKET PRICE is overseas, why not go????? SO WHY HINDER THE MARKET PRICE????? Why hinder freedom of movement – most of these people are all for unlimited immigration (or at least as many H4B tech workers as they need to crush tech salaries…)
    Undoubtedly, it would probably save the government a GOOD DEAL of money! So how does it make sense not to allow its use overseas??????
    Yet it doesn’t happen…..doctors anyone? Hospitals anyone? Pharmaceuticals anyone? (all those price controlled and formularies subject to !gasp! – competition!!!!!) Medical devices anyone?

    To me the above is just a tiny, tiny, TINY example of rules, regulations, laws, etcetera that contradict all the endless blather about markets. Now I happen to enjoy the Mish website, but like a lot of ideologies, is it really looking at the issue completely and objectively? We have had 40 years of well documented wage stagnation and growing inequality. The supposed justification for markets is to make practically everyone more prosperous. I would posit (others can hypothesize that a market system is inherently corrupt and unreformable) that the market has been thoroughly captured by those at the very, very top who in almost countless ways, use the most obscure and subtle mechanisms to advance their own prosperity at the expense of the rest of the society. How with ever more and better propaganda will it ever be possible to effectively reform it????

    And one other point – again, I read the point where a “liberal” (in the Post – Richard Cohen) says that Trump CAN’T bring back jobs from China. NOW, it may not be wise, it may in fact REDUCE GDP, BUT it is NOT a law of NATURE, it is a policy of humans – – – BUT on the other hand, I would take lower GDP for greater equality.

    The fact that the indoctrination of “efficiency” and GDP growth (it has always been growing – WHO MADE THE LAW THAT THE BOTTOM 99% DOESN’T GET ANYTHING UNTIL GROWTH REACHES 4%???!?!?!?!?) is not EVEN DISCUSSED is really incredible….

  13. YankeeFrank

    “America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny” – Andrew Sullivan

    So this is what passes for “thought” in elite circles these days. His arguments are paper thin in almost every way. And ironically, he seems to bemoan all this crazy social equality that’s sprung up around us as, according to that ancient seer Plato, the sure sign that tyranny is here. Perhaps Sullivan has forgotten that he’s homosexual and able to live openly as such and yet maintain his cushy well paying “journalism” gigs due to exactly that dangerous equality.

    Ugh. To cite just a couple examples of his mealy-brained thinking, he claims Obama won as an insurgent with small donations backing him just like Sanders has. Of course this line has been largely debunked countless times over the past 8 years, but hey, why quibble with conventional wisdom when you’re paid not to rock the boat.

    And then he claims that Sanders’ campaign refutes its own claims that our system is bought and utterly corrupted, conveniently ignoring the very singular circumstances that have allowed Sanders to rise, and even more conveniently ignoring how his candidacy has been mostly crushed by a corrupt press and campaign infrastructure.

    But then Sullivan is doing what he does best: confirming the self-gratifying opinions of the corrupt and uncaring petite bourgeois class he belongs to. We are becoming more ripe for revolution every day with these people in charge. Their arrogance and rank provincialism are anything but smart, no matter how much they continually flatter themselves otherwise.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      Don’t forget that Sully single-handedly led the charge of promoting Charles Murray’s racist polemic “The Bell Curve’ and doesn’t apologize one whit for it.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Get that man a fainting couch….judging by the Rasmussen poll, you’d better do it fast, too!!!

    3. sleepy

      Tyranny has existed in many communities for years now. Nice to see the likes of Sullivan feeling threatened, though I suspect he’s just flapping his mouth on the concern du jour of the “serious” folks.

      Having said that, I liked this observation of his:

      Much of the newly energized left has come to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to “check his privilege” by students at Ivy League colleges. Even if you agree that the privilege exists, it’s hard not to empathize with the object of this disdain. These working-class communities, already alienated, hear — how can they not? — the glib and easy dismissals of “white straight men” as the ultimate source of all our woes. They smell the condescension and the broad generalizations about them — all of which would be repellent if directed at racial minorities — and see themselves, in Hoffer’s words, “disinherited and injured by an unjust order of things.”

      1. YankeeFrank

        The irony of this paragraph is that, while true in a narrow sense, the people supporting Bernie Sanders that I’ve been hobnobbing with on facebook largely come from that same class or quite close to it. They are largely white (though also many hispanics and blacks) men and women, young and old, working 2-3 mcjobs, and I haven’t seen very much disdain for Trump supporters among them. I’ve seen a lot of disdain for Trump though, which is understandable from a Bernie supporter. These people don’t mock the white working class because they largely are the white working class. The “privileged” moniker being slapped on Bernie supporters is just dead wrong. Sure there are some people of privilege in the Bernie camp, but he has a big tent as they like to say in politics. He brings in people from all across the class and political spectrum.

        Political writers inside the establishment are simplifiers. And in doing so they make their own analyses less than useless.

        1. sleepy

          Maybe it’s my pro-Sanders bias, but I didn’t take Sullivan’s jab as aimed at Sanders supporters, but more at dem elites.

          But also, it easily could have been aimed at the National Review types who savaged Trump supporters as losers in a column awhile back.

          Of course both those groups have much in common.

      2. portia

        that “check your privilege” remark–I had it used on me in another blog where GMOs and gene-splicing were being “discussed”. this blogger thought I was overboard on my arguments against GMOs. So it is too much to ask these days to know about your food. He assumed I was a white “dude” for the purposes of shutting me down. (I am not “portia” there, but androgynous, it’s a tech site, and I know better than to be female in comments there).

        1. flora

          The “check your privilege” remark is the modern version of robber baron Jay Gould’s statement “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half. “

      1. Mark P.

        You’re talking about the likes of Darwin, Macauley, James Maxwell, and H.G. Wells, so I don’t think Sullivan quite rates in that company.

    4. JustAnObserver

      Wonderful! Quoting from Classical Greece’s shill for the oligarchy to make the case for their 21st century descendants. PR dressed up as political philosophy is clearly not a new game in town.

      All we’ve succeeded in doing in 2500 years is to substitute economists for philosophers to give support for the status quo ?

      1. RP

        One is reminded of the title of a collection of Bradbury short stories and remembrances:

        “Too soon from the cave, too far from the stars”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe political philosophy courses should not be included in the list of free college classes.

        Why should we give future PR men and women free training?

    5. ChrisPacific

      And then he claims that Sanders’ campaign refutes its own claims that our system is bought and utterly corrupted

      I think the Sanders campaign has maybe succeeded in removing the ‘utterly’ from that sentence.

  14. YankeeFrank

    Way better than my comment, here is one copied directly from the NYMag comments section on Sullivan’s article:

    DF.lamont 28 minutes ago

    Sullivan is an articulate gadfly and ideological windsock without any moral centre. In the 80s he loved Thatcher and Reagan and George W. Bush before becoming a cheerleader for Obama. Now he is “concern-trolling” democracy and suggesting that the system itself is to blame – not the decades of neoliberal trickle-down policies designed to make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else by politicians he whole-heartedly endorsed .

    For Sullivan, the problem with inequality is not that the masses are in crisis, but that the rich are under attack. But he doesn’t even know what fascism is. Fascism is equated with totalitarianism or a police state, but the accurate definition is control of the state by and for private interests. Fascism was in part a theoretical and political response to socialism and specifically to the communist revolutions, and it equated democracy not just with communism but mob rule.

    As others noted, the problem with the U.S. is not that it is too democratic, but that it is being pulled apart by too much inequality, which is the result of decisions by political and economic elites to engage in self-dealing and rigging the system in countless ways. One is campaign finance, but the role of gerrymandering and voter suppression is also crystal clear. The Democrats wins the popular vote in Congressional elections, but loses because of gerrymandering.

    The argument that “democracies end when they are too democratic” is an old argument steeped in fascism and authoritarianism, but it also has an important historical context, which is that the French Revolution and American revolutions took place at the same time, and the French Revolution was followed by a reign of terror and the rise of Napoleon. This was not taken as a one-off, but as a lesson as to how all democracies will end up. (Tyrannies are more likely in Presidential systems than parliamentary ones).

    The focus on hot-button social issues has completely ignored economic ones, because people who describe themselves a “fiscal conservatives but social liberals” are generally well-off, know people who want to get gay married or have abortions, but don’t know any poor people.

    He is correct in one sense, which is that there is a crisis in authority, because authority has brought it on themselves because they have not only been horribly wrong, but that the people who were wrong or who have thrived from others’ misery are still thriving. Like Andrew Sullivan.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Thought Joe Biden had trademarked that term.

        Maybe it’s in the public domain now.

  15. Christopher Fay

    At the moment Rahm’s and Obama’s prospects are hitting their peaks, IL and Chi-town prospects are sleeping down a steep hill. Color me paranoid, but I suspect Obama is too looking forward to to cashing it in not to rock the boat too much about the overtly corrupt Hillary. He’ll lose his chance at the golden ring, though the second it won’t be as lucrative as what the Clinton’s grabbed.

  16. nobody

    Leicester City clinched the Premier League title yesterday when Chelsea came back from 2-0 to draw Tottenham Hotspur. 5000 to 1 odds at the start of the season. The greatest story in sports history, they say. We’ll never see the likes of it in sport again. Dilly ding dilly dong.

    “I swear to fucking god I love this team,” Danny Simpson has tweeted. “You don’t understand. No one does. Fucking unreal. I don’t know what to do.”

    The Guardian’s epic liveblog has just come to a close:

    1. Pavel

      Not a great football fan to say the least but I really enjoyed reading your comment here. I lived enough years in England to understand what this sort of thing means and what a feat it was. Bravo Leicester City! And bravo all the underdogs of the world!

      Thank you.

    2. Tom Bradford

      For God’s sake this Leicester business led the main New Zealand TV news for at least five minutes last night, and the hyperbole was appalling – “greatest story in all sporting history” stood out for me as the most ridiculous statement possible.

      I was 11-years-old and a supporter of Ipswich Town when, under Alf Ramsey in 1962, the town won the League Championship in their first ever season in the First Division – a quite remarkable achievement when teams like Manchester United and the Spurs were at their peak.

      So well done the Foxes, but it will only be the greatest achievement in history until the press can find the next mildly unlikely event.

  17. diptherio

    Re: Mexican black tar

    Up in San Antonio, all the pretty people know,
    They better stay off of the West Side, where the black tar flows.
    They hide in their sheltered enclaves, up around Olmos Park
    They go their own policemen so they can stay out way past dark.

    And down in Piedras Negras, the children play with dirt.
    We keep our pistols loaded, so we won’t get hurt.

    ~from Safeside by James McMurtry

    1. Beth

      Mexican black tar

      To follow the black tar sold to white addicts in the U.S., read Sam Quinoes book DREAMLAND. He traces the sales of black tar to users of OxyContin (Perdue Pharma) to white folks who became addicted to oxy then switched to cheaper black tar sold by Nayarit Mexico farm boys using a pizza delivery system that prevented their detection by DEA and other law enforcement for a very long time.

      Quinones shows their success in selecting medium and small cities that experienced the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. They would usually start giving away black tar near addiction clinics. The young former sugar cane farmers were told to sell only to whites.

      Their system would not have worked if these people were not already addicted to OxyContin, which was marketed as not being additive.

      Then compare and contrast how the the nation views U.S. drug dealers vs Mexican drug dealers. See the links below for the Sackler brothers(Mortimer, Raymond, Arthur) and compare them to El Chapo.

      If you wiki each of the Sacklers you will see them honored for philathopy while El Chapo, well you know.

      Purdue Pharma fined $634 million for OxyContin deaths; executives punished news

      The OxyContin Clan: The $14 Billion Newcomer to Forbes 2015 List of Richest U.S. Families

      How did the Sacklers build the 16th-largest fortune in the country? The short answer: making the most popular and controversial opioid of the 21st century — OxyContin.
      Purdue, 100% owned by the Sacklers, has generated estimated sales of more than $35 billion since releasing its time-released, supposedly addiction-proof version of the painkiller oxycodone back in 1995.
      The family also has an extensive philanthropic legacy, highlighted by large gifts to museums (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art , the Guggenheim, the Smithsonian, the Tate Gallery and the Louvre) and numerous universities, including Harvard, Oxford, Columbia,Tufts, NYU and the University of Edinburgh.

  18. ScottW

    Is the FBI dragging its feet in completing the private server email investigation? One would think a quick resolution would be in everyone’s interest, especially a decision not to refer the matter to the D.O.J. Unless–the evidence is pointing to the inescapable conclusion that charges against Clinton and her staff have to be filed. Even a Petreas like slap on the wrist would kill her candidacy and she can’t go forward without a security clearance.

    If that is the case, the strategy could be to wait until after the convention so that Sanders has no chance of being the nominee. Biden could then step in as the nominee.

    Far fetched? This case seems pretty straightforward consisting of mostly documents (21 top secret, thousands classified) and not that many witnesses. How much time does it really take to interview them?

    1. YankeeFrank

      I think what’s happening is its not just the email server they’re going after (not to minimize it — there is clear evidence of serious criminal acts there). They’ve extradited that hacker Guccifer who first uncovered that server. He likely has all of Hillary’s emails including the 30,000 she deleted. Those emails contain proof of Clinton Foundation donations from defense contractors and foreign governments that were in fact payments for arms deals.

      My guess is that the FBI leadership, having learned form all the failed piecemeal investigations of the Clintons over the years (some of which Comey was personally involved in back in the 90’s where he saw what liars and criminals the Clintons actually are) know that they need to load for bear as they say, and are preparing a massive enough case that covers as many fronts as possible so the Clinton spin machine cannot possibly counter it all. Because if they don’t, it will be their asses on the line come a Hillary victory in November. And mind you, I’m not saying the cases are political. The Clintons clearly committed serious criminal violations both of the email server and in receiving payments for arms deals. But the FBI will not recommend indictment before making sure they have the most comprehensive case they can muster. And that takes a while.

      1. sleepy

        Either that, or the opposite case could be made. They exonerate her, and in their defense say that the investigation was lengthy, thorough, and time-consuming.

        I hope you’re right.

        1. YankeeFrank

          I think I am. Given Comey’s past and the culture of the FBI, there is no love for the Clintons there. On top of that, the rank and file FBI will rebel if they try to whitewash her actions and will likely leak the evidence against her to the press, blowing it up anyway and tainting the FBI and DOJ leadership in the process. The Clintons have made MANY enemies over the decades. And frankly, the corrupt and illegal acts they’ve engaged in over the past 8 years dwarf the crimes they committed in the 90’s.

          If we look at it cynically then for Comey and Lynch, the question they have to ask themselves is whether they want to tie themselves to the Clinton machine with all that entails. I know what my answer would be.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The FBI ranks should be filled with people who watched the X-Files. Applications soared in the late 90s. Organizations self select over time. The FBI has been the good guys versus intelligence outfits in popular culture.

            The people who join up would love to uncover a conspiracy and stop the bad guys. It’s why they joined the FBI. There would be leaks if Comey was pressuring agents. Even Hoover looked for conspiracies everywhere. Teapot Dome is still in the textbooks.

            I wonder if the emails name intermediaries or lead to them, the kinds of outfits who might pay 250k for a speech.

        2. Christopher Fay

          And budget for FBI during Hillary years will increase five-fold and asked to take the lead on the domestic side of the war against terrorism

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            This is the likely outcome. TPTB don’t like kerfuffles once they’ve decided who will win our votes.

      2. Bill Smith

        The mishandling of classified information is a lot wider than just Hillary. She received about 2,000 emails and sent about 100 that contained classified information.

        A number of Clintons’ top aides at the State Department also had email accounts on Hillary’s private server. Do we know if they also had (unlike Hillary) State Department email accounts?

        It is not clear that Guccifer hacked the Clinton email server. He certainly hacked Sidney Blumenthal’s email account. I am pretty sure that at least some of the emails and attachments between Blumenthal’s and Hillary were not released as they were classified. Guccifer sent a bunch of what he hacked to various journalists, among others journalists at RT. I wonder if anyone has compared all he stuff he sent out to what got released due to the FOIA stuff. This would likely be part of the reason for the FBI’s damage assessment.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Good points. Its not clear but I believe its assumed Guccifer likely did hack her email server. Or if he didn’t, he disseminated information that allowed foreign governments (e.g., Russia), to hack it. After all, once he had the email domain for Hillary’s email server (from the Blumenthal emails) its a simple matter to find its IP address. And once he had that, lets just say that for a hacker with even limited skills the average home/office email server is not difficult to hack. Especially Hill’s where I’ve read the contents weren’t even encrypted.

          1. Pat

            One of the many reasons I’ve thought the claims that unlike the State Department Clinton’s server had never been hacked to be. well so much manure. I realize that is the assessment of the gentleman who ran her server, but I’m not sure he would know if it had or hadn’t. I consider all those claims to be like the one’s that equate Powell and Rice’s partial use of private email to be the same as absolutely refusing to follow security protocol and use the government provided server leaving her blackberry in the safe – propaganda that only partisan hacks and fangirls believe.

    2. voteforno6

      I have my doubts that she will ever be indicted, for anything. It may not even need to happen in order to irreparably harm her. An indictment of one or two of her aides may be almost as harmful.

      I also have my doubts that having the server itself would, or should result in any charges. I think the real problem for her is the Clinton Foundation. Do we know for sure that the FBI is investigating that?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’ve wondered what the recent attempts by Obama to push the story about how he single handedly saved the economy were really about. Sitting on a huge scandal would forever tarnish his image.

    3. HotFlash

      Now here’s interesting: was Hillary Clinton’s security clearance revoked? I don’t know anything about how security clearances work, but it seems that there must be some agency that does the vetting and that it has established policies and procedures? I looked at Wiki but couldn’t find out the rude mechanics, but it appears that *somebody* is in charge of OK’ing security clearances, that there is a policy, and that the current last word on how it is to be done is Executive Order 12968. Which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Ahem.

      So, my question is, what agency is in charge of revoking security clearances, have they done so in Ms Clinton’s case, and if not why not?

      1. Bill Smith

        The word is that it has not. The reason given is that if they revoked her security clearance the FBI could not discuss with her anything about the 2000+ classified emails they found on her server.

        Sounds like a lot of circular BS to me.

        1. HotFlash

          Thanks for the info! Does sound like BS, but surely they have had this sort of situation arise before. Anyone know, did they revoke Thomas Drake’s or Jeffrey Sterling’s prior to their court cases?

          This is the govt, there have to be procedures, and functionaries to carry them out.

    4. Antifa

      Pardon, but much of the delay is because the FBI un-deleted the 31,000 “personal” emails Hillary wiped off her server before handing it over. The entire original contents of that server has been available for 7 months now.

      This undeletion was done last September.

      That doubled the workload, which led to dozens more FBI agents hitting the case, and led to delays into this spring, which finally led to one of the Federal judges telling the FBI to wrap everything up by June 1.

      There are still lingering questions about how the FBI undeleted every one of those emails. Usually, a genuinely forensic recovery only gets “most” of the deleted bits in readable form, depending on how well the data was overwritten. To have recovered every email, as they say they did, means someone kept a copy, most likely. Perhaps one of the server farms she used, or Guccifer.

      Or, whoever did the deletions did nothing but delete. No wiping. Which does nothing. It’s the equivalent of putting the dirty laundry in the closet and telling Hillary the washing’s all done.

      That ‘deleting only’ trick was either extremely dumb, or extremely clever. Hillary and her lawyers originally testified before the Benghazi committee that they did a quick keyword search to determine which emails were business and which were personal. Then they deleted all the personal ones.

      Months later, they all said that in the week between the server being subpoenaed and them handing it over, they had carefully examined and read all 31,000 personal emails before deleting them.

      “. . . the elaborations of a bad liar.” ~ Hannibal Lector

    5. cassandra

      The FBI is in the position of a vampire killer, wondering whether the stake will kill the vampire, or get it really pissed off. Yes, the crime is obvious and prosecution should be pursued. But if she slips the net somehow, she’s also your next boss. Decisions, decisions….

      1. Jim Haygood

        Long memories:

        The White House travel office controversy, sometimes referred to as Travelgate, was the first major ethics controversy of the Clinton administration. It began in May 1993, when seven employees of the White House Travel Office were fired.

        This action was unusual because although theoretically staff employees serve at the pleasure of the President and could be dismissed without cause, in practice, such employees usually remain in their posts for many years.

        Hillary Clinton gradually came under scrutiny for allegedly having played a central role in the firings and making false statements about her role in it.

        ‘Neutron Hillary’ — cross her at your peril!

  19. diptherio

    Re: Mish and wage growth.

    One commenter nails it and provides a better analysis of the Mish’s charts in one sentence than Mish does in multiple paragraphs.

    Let me suggest that “wage growth causes recessions” is actually “wage growth causes the central bank to smite mightily the economy”.

    Since the Fed, you know, talks endlessly about how they’re trying to keep wages…erm, inflation…under control…

    But Mish — poor, poor Mish — can’t seem to get over his “blame the victim” mentality here. I wonder what level of wage growth Mish deems acceptable for workers (you know, the people who actually create stuff) so that capitalists like himself can get rich? Will we ever hear Mish complaining about excess profit levels? Forgive me if I don’t hold my breath….

    According to Mish, any worker who asks for a raise is working towards the destruction of our economy. Not exactly on the side of the angels there….but don’t get me wrong, some people’s wages are definitely too high — and most all of them wear suits and inhabit C-suite offices.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Of course, this comparison is only valid if one believes the CPI, and most economists do.

      Of course.

      As per usual, the devil is in the “assumptions.”

      1. diptherio

        Most economists also believe that banks are simply intermediaries between borrowers and depositors. You would think that Mish would know that anytime “most economists” think something, it’s almost bound to be bass-ackwards.

        Does CPI include interest payments on student loan, credit card, or other personal debt? Not that I know of. Up-front costs are counted, but I don’t see allowance made for interest payments. Seems like that might be important….just sayin’.

    2. cnchal

      I remember him complaining that taxes were going to be raised on earners making as little as $400,000 yearly when some tax holiday was set to expire.

      For you and me asking for a 10 cent an hour raise is deadly to the economy, himself chowing down on whatever he makes as an inwestment adwisor is just what he deserves.

      From yesterday’s Water Cooler and the hedge fund article Lambert linked to

      The two-decade explosion of hedge funds translates into manager triumphs regardless of returns: 2 percent off the top of the $2.7 trillion invested in 2015 is $54 billion. As author Les Leopold puts it, top managers routinely make a million dollars an hour. A bit of that wealth goes into philanthropy, and plenty more into ostentatious shows of privilege—mansions, yachts, private jets. But significant amounts get poured into the political system, much of it to retain a lax regulatory environment and build a force field around those profits.

      Practically tax free to boot, but not inflationary.

      1. diptherio

        Sickening, isn’t it? But what can we possibly do? Those million-dollar-per-hour fund managers are the “white blood cells of our economy,” to quote one of them. They’re the job creators.

        ….Of course, more jobs means lower unemployment, and lower unemployment means higher wages, and higher wages mean….DOOM! So maybe they are the bad guys after all….ugh, it’s all so confusing!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The most important technological innovation we desperately need is to perfect robot hedge fund managers and robot CEOs.

          Forget about new particles at CERN.

          Robot CEOs will free humanity. We really need to put all our money into developing and perfect it.

        2. cwaltz

          They aren’t the job creators though. Job enablers maybe. Creators? Not.

          Consumers are the job creators. Demand creates jobs, not money. Without something that consumers want or need all you have is a big pile of money without a thing to do.

        3. cnchal

          . . . But what can we possibly do?. . .

          Get Bernie in the White House for starters.

          I think that “white blood cells” comments was part of the “Billions” script. They are actually a cancer at the top of society, and Dave Dayen demolishes them.

          HEDGE FUNDS ACTUALLY SPRANG from the widening of a small loophole in New Deal reforms meant to stop companies that trade on behalf of investors from ripping off their clients and threatening economic stability. The Investment Company and Investment Advisers Acts of 1940 prohibited firms operating with pools of investor money from engaging in risky practices like short sales (bets that a stock will go down instead of up), leverage (investing with borrowed funds to amplify returns and heighten risk), and corporate takeovers. Meanwhile, investment companies had to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), disclosing their portfolios and their corporate structures.
          . . . . .
          These rules remain in place for the $30 trillion mutual-fund industry, which also invests large pools of client funds. But wealthy families secured a loophole in the 1940 Acts for their own private investment managers. The law exempted advisors with fewer than 100 clients who didn’t offer services to the general public from complying with the regulations.
          . . . . .
          Jones also invented the compensation structure used by modern hedge funds: an annual fee of 2 percent of all assets under management, and a 20 percent take of all profits above a certain threshold. Jones claimed he came to this figure because Phoenician sea captains paid themselves one-fifth of the profits after a successful voyage. In reality, that was a fiction to cover a tax dodge; by taking a share of investment profits, Jones could justify the earned income as capital gains, which had a far lower tax rate in 1949 (the top rate on capital gains then was 25 percent; the top marginal income tax rate was 82.13 percent). Today, the same dodge still operates, allowing hedge fund income to be taxed at lower capital gains rates.
          . . . . .
          But institutional investors, like university endowments and pension funds, wanted to get in on the action. They were attracted by the prospect of earning alpha, and they saw value in alternative investments uncorrelated with market performance. If hedge funds can go up even when the market drops, it diversifies their portfolios.

          In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the National Securities Markets Improvement Act (NSMIA), which overhauled state and federal responsibility for securities market oversight. It was part of a series of market deregulations in the Clinton era, advanced with broad Wall Street support and almost no resistance in Congress: After bipartisan agreement, the House and Senate finalized NSMIA with a voice vote. “We bring the financial markets of this country into the 21st century,” said lead bill sponsor Representative Jack Fields, who shortly thereafter left Congress to found a corporate lobbying shop.

          Section 209 of NSMIA, largely unnoticed at the time, expanded the number of clients hedge funds could handle while escaping the 1940 Acts’ rules, from 99 to an unlimited number of “qualified purchasers.” This included individuals with $5 million in investments, and more important, institutional investors with assets of $25 million or more. While the SEC wanted to raise that threshold, Congress “believed that investor protections could be maintained” at $25 million, according to a statement from conferee Representative John Dingell. Clinton didn’t even refer to this part of the law in his signing statement. But hedge funds salivated at the prospect of an entirely new funding source, including tens of billions in retirement savings from ordinary workers.

          It explains very clearly how we got here. So, how is the 21st century financial market working out now? A predators feast, and the ordinary workers are the appetizers.

        4. optimader

          They’re the job creators.
          fwiw the leukocyte (WB Cell) function is to kill stuff off, not create anything good

      2. craazyboy

        “A bit of that wealth goes into philanthropy”

        More than a bit. For instance, Pete Peterson and Michael Milken are “philanthropists” whom have created IRS approved “Foundations”. Economic and policy “think tanks” where they figure out all that stuff for us. Even complicated, hard to get right, heady, highbrow, and very important foreign policy things too!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Heard today on radio – non-profit hospitals are the most profitable.

          When one invest for retirement, inside or outside of IRA or 401K, in order not to starve to death at old age, it is all non-profit.

          When one works and gets paid to put food on the table, it’s, again, non-profit.

          Why are we not treating these activities as non-profit?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Only you greedy swap meet sellers, trying to take advantage of non-savvy buyers, are for profit.

          Very uncultured.

          Very un-recherche.

    3. fresno dan

      I had a great comment…well, …. a comment. But either my link put me in moderation heck, or at my age, I forgot to hit the “post comment” button….

      Anyway, the point was one tiny little thing – you can’t use your medicare overseas, where medical care is much, much cheaper. Now, if freedom and deregulation is so great, why can’t one use one’s benefit where one wants?
      Pharmaceutical companies? (heaven forbid you buy drugs from a formulary subject to competition)
      Medical device companies?

      Not to mention how trademarks, patents, and copyright have been outrageously extended way beyond any logical rationale…..Walt Disney isn’t gonna create any more mickey mouse crap.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When I looked into retirement countries, I thought I read one could access Medicare in some countries.

        1. fresno dan

          my original post finally ended up posted. It has the US News and World report link.
          fresno dan
          May 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

          Also, this is from the Medicare site:
          Medicare coverage outside the United States is limited.
          In most situations, Medicare won’t pay for health care or supplies you get
          outside the U.S. The term “outside the U.S.” means anywhere other than the 50
          states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands,
          Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. This fact sheet
          explains some of the exceptions that would allow you to get coverage outside
          the U.S. under Original Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare
          Part B (Medical Insurance).
          When does Medicare cover health care services in a
          foreign hospital?
          There are 3 situations when Medicare may pay for certain types of health care
          services you get in a foreign hospital (a hospital outside the U.S.):
          1. You’re in the U.S. when you have a medical emergency, and the foreign
          hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your illness or
          2. You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable delay by the most
          direct route between Alaska and another state when a medical emergency
          occurs, and the Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital
          that can treat your illness or injury. Medicare determines what qualifies as
          “without unreasonable delay” on a case-by-case basis.
          3. You live in the U.S. and the foreign hospital is closer to your home than the
          nearest U.S. hospital that can treat your medical condition, regardless of
          whether it’s an emergency.
          Remember, in these situations, Medicare will pay only for the Medicare covered
          services you get in a foreign hospital

    4. cwaltz

      And the part that pisses me off is these people will never admit that the “resource” aspect from which workers come are PART OF THE FREAKIN MARKET. Business owners and capital seem to believe they are the market and therefore they, and they alone, should set wages. However, without consumers or workers, they are nothing more than an idea with financial backing. If I believe my work merits $15 an hour than I have every right to ask for that. I have every right to make it known to consumers and fight for that wage.

    5. reslez

      Mish is a big fan of deflation. His economic theory is as follows:

      Step 1: Misery and job losses for everyone (in the 99%)!
      Step 2: Suffer more
      Step 3: Still suffering?
      Step 4: ???
      Step 5: Economy magically improves

      Five minutes of empirical observation contradicts this baloney.

      Mish doesn’t like bailouts for anyone but especially not the 99%. If you live in this economy by golly, you will suffer for the sins of the 1%. Only through starvation and poverty can we expiate the sins of people who took out too much debt. Under Mish’s version of Austrian economics when enough jobs, businesses, lives, and demand are destroyed the economy will somehow turn around on its own (the government is always idiots and incapable of ever improving anything, also unions must be destroyed). He seems to think the economy exists in a vacuum where politics doesn’t exist, and doesn’t know or care that if things got as bad as he wants, the result would be popular revolt and fascism followed by heavy government intervention (for himself and his investment buddies to profit from, I suppose).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think his main obsession is that he should say something before another person.

        “I said it first and I can document that.”

        The other obsession is quoting stuff he himself wrote years ago.

  20. ScottW

    “What Everyone With a Top Security Clearance Knows–Or Should Know.”

    Peter Van Buren wrote this article on Aug. 3, 2015. From Van Buren, who had a top secret security clearance at State for 24 years, addressing Clinton’s claim material was classified after the fact:

    “The problem for Clinton may be particularly damaging. Every email sent within the State Department’s own systems contains a classification; an employee technically cannot hit “send” without one being applied. Just because Clinton chose to use her own hardware does not relieve her or her staff of this requirement.

    Some may say even if Clinton committed security violations, there is no evidence the material got into the wrong hands – no blood, no foul. Legally that is irrelevant. Failing to safeguard information is the issue. It is not necessary to prove the information reached an adversary, or that an adversary did anything harmful with the information for a crime to have occurred. See the cases of Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Jeff Sterling, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou or even David Petraeus. The standard is “failure to protect” by itself.

    None of these laws, rules, regulations or standards fall under the rubric of obscure legalities; they are drilled into persons holding a security clearance via formal training (mandatory yearly for State Department employees), and are common knowledge for the men and women who handle America’s most sensitive information. For those who use government computer systems, electronic tools enforce compliance and security personnel are quick to zero in on violations.”

    9 months later still no resolution. Why not?

    1. diptherio

      Why not? You’re joking, right? Hillary is a member of our privileged elite. Privilege literally means “private law.” Hillary is abiding by the private law of the oligarchs: do what thou will and let PR handle the fallout.

    2. Synoia

      1. They are waiting to see if Hillary gets elected, and then pardons herself
      2. Obama plans his last act as a pardon for Hillary
      3. No one has yet offered the FBI the deal it wants
      4. No one has yet offered Comey enough money to look the other way
      5. The Mills of God Grind slow, but they grind exceeding small (Legal Process)

      Other suggestions?

      1. craazyboy

        The FBI found 29,999 matzo ball recipes exchanged between Hillary and Blumenthal.

        The 30,000th email was Blumenthal informing Hillary that the Libyan headshrinker called informing him Kaddafi’s shrunken head was ready, and where did Hillary want it shipped? But that’s not classified information.

    3. fresno dan

      You know that the phrase
      “equal justice under law” ????
      – is merely a branding exercise and in no way is meant to convey an ACTUAL enforcement policy for those at the very top?*

      * for reference, please see all the banksters who were not investigated, prosecuted, or convicted due to the afore mentioned policy….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        He was in the show, On the Road Again. For foodies, I think, Spain is a very nice place as an emigration destination.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Most restaurants do not operate that way in the US and your waitron will get the whole tip directly which they are then responsible for distributing to the rest of the staff. At larger restaurants servers will tip out their busperson and bartender and if they’re smart they’ll drop the kitchen and the front desk a little cash too. If a waitron tips out the rest of the staff generously they will usually walk out with about 60-65% of their total take.

    1. August West

      Ughh Inquiring minds….. Didn’t get to the edit in time. I only know how to spell some of the time!!

    2. rcthweatt

      dunno…. the music sounds alot like ‘Charlie Parkers’ Private Hell'(Greg Larson cartoon); my first thought would be music field tested over decades on millions of test subjects, albeit admittedly not in a ‘laboratory type setting’.

  21. Left in Wisconsin

    Stage Hands American Interest (Richard Smith). On London Kleptocracy Tours, but implications are clear….

    Outstanding read.

    1. RMO

      I could only get as far as: “in the West we have a genuine, institutionalized rule of law”

  22. allan

    The U.S. Government Has Been Outsourcing The Gitmo Trials [BuzzFeed(!)]

    The Defense Department has farmed out to a private company much of the criminal investigation and trial of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to federal records and sources affiliated with the trials who spoke to BuzzFeed News.

    What’s more, the government has hired the same firm, SRA International, to serve both the prosecution and defense teams, sparking concerns of a conflict of interest that could undermine the integrity of one of the most significant terrorism cases in modern history. …

    The Defense Department has paid SRA almost $39 million over the last five years, U.S. government contracting records show, for the cases of just seven accused terrorists — those charged in the 9/11 attacks and two others charged in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen.

    The parent company CSRA trades on the NYSE. Is this a great country or what?

  23. Synoia

    NATO mulls fortifying eastern Europe to deter Russia

    1. Russia wants to sell its Gas. Europe is a set of Good Customers.
    2. If trouble happens, Russia will just cut off the Gas. Why invade.
    3. The Baltic states will come to resemble archipelagoes due to sea level rise from Climate Change, as will the whole of the Norther European Plain.

    Russia is less of a threat than the US DoD’s hydrocarbon consumption. The US Air force is the largest single consumer of petroleum on the planet.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Saudi Arabia…foreign workers.

    A lot of foreign workers are catholic, from the Philippines, I believe. And they are not allowed to build churches in the kingdom, for the obvious reason.

    Religious intolerance, it is charged.

    The related question, one may inquire, is, can one build Buddhist temples inside the Vatican?

    Is the question moot because they are smart enough to not hire many cheap Buddhist housemaids and laborers? Instead, they only import tall, healthy-looking catholic Swiss young men to guard the state?

  25. John k

    Clinton made a total mockery of our security laws/regs, those officials must hate that, even dems.
    Comey is a rep.
    He got bush to back down by threatening to resign.
    If Obama/lynch refuse to indict in face of massive charges he, and likely others, would resign, with charges leaked. Rep committees would spring into action with subpoena powers. Ugly stain on big O’s legacy…
    Comey would be a rep hero if he takes her down, could likely start political career in VA.
    He would look a fool if this blows over after all the fuss.
    So why the delay?
    Hopefully spreading to selling state favors in exchange for donations to fake charity adding time…
    Five weeks to CA primary…
    Would be nice to see an avalanche of charges before then…

    1. Code Name D

      The old saying goes, if you only have one bullet, you wait for a clean shot. Assuming politics isn’t at work here (hard to think that it isn’t), then he needs an iron clad case before coming out with what he has. This may be harder to do if the charges are ambiguous, so they may be trying to build this on a novel legal approach. Not unlike how All Capone was brought down for tax evasions.

      But politics is likely at work here. My bet is that he is waiting until after the convention, then go public.

      1. craazyboy

        If it’s after the convention, Bernie can always throw his hat back in the ring and at least make the DNC go thru the embarrassing defense of explaining why they passed over someone whom got a substantial number of votes for, say, a Biden, Chelsea or even Romney, none of whom didn’t even run in the primaries.

  26. August West

    Wow, the citizens of Colorado are getting screwed lately what with the healthcare industry fighting their attempt at single payer insurance and now this

    Who needs the TPP when our own courts are overruling the peoples vote for the corporate overlords! Is it me? The news today is making me feel as if, we the people, are losing every battle and are facing insurmountable odds? For some reason the name ALEC comes to my mind while reading this.

    I need some good news! I hope Bernie wins Indiana! Go Bernie!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe he has said that this is not about him, and the people have to do it themselves.

      1. cwaltz

        Well what he’s said, is that we have to fight TOGETHER.

        He’s willing to do his best, but he won’t be able to do it alone. One way or another people need to stop it with the white knight syndrome. In democracy, the people have to fight for what they want, one person isn’t going to be able to do it alone.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Yes, It is, and for that reason, we people have to do it. Here, we count everyone in the people, including politicians (though some denounce them as lacking humanity – the truth is, many good ones are indeed people, humans).

              1. JTMcPhee

                Yes, they are humans, all right– indeed, people. A category that includes Jack the Ripper, Dickless Cheney, Maggie Thatcher, Vlad the Impaler, Douglas MacArthur, Jeffrey Dahmer, Lorena Bobbitt, Pol Pot, the Koch creatures, and many many more that display so very well the true “normal variation,” as the physiologists put it, of “humanity.”

                It’s a bit of a fraud we pull on ourselves, us humans, to use the word “humanity” in the sense of decency, kindness, charity, generosity, and the rest… The “weight of history,” and even most people’s experience, would seem to be on the side of the scale that says the most active and present parts of our brains and souls indeed have scales and tails and claws and rending bloody teeth…

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  You have an excellent point.

                  Let’s not forget we as a species are capable of doing.

                  “Turkey, you are born guilty, condemned to death on Thanksgiving. Once in a while, a nice, decent human, or someone looking to appear as nice and decent, might come along and ‘pardon’ you.”

                2. Jess

                  “A category that includes Jack the Ripper, Dickless Cheney, Maggie Thatcher, Vlad the Impaler, Douglas MacArthur, Jeffrey Dahmer, Lorena Bobbitt, Pol Pot, the Koch creatures,”

                  That, sir, is a truly amazing amalgamation of undesirable humans. Thank you. I shall probably borrow it at some point in the future.

  27. Antifa

    NATO Mulls Fortifying Eastern Europe . . . with 4,000 troops? Did anyone tell those kids they’re just targets out there on the steppe? Aww, they’ll figure it out.

    Russia doesn’t want Latvia, Lithuania, or Estonia or any of the other rust belt Eastern European nations. Doesn’t want the Ukraine. Wants an independent Ukraine. Doesn’t want war with NATO. But Russia is aware that NATO is intent on provoking Russia into aggressive defenses of its air, sea and land space, and NATO wants and intends to park missiles and air bases and troops right on the Russian border. This Russia does not want, any more than we want Russians armies on the Mexican border.

    NATO wants the Cold War back, but not too cold — turning off the gas that heats Western Europe every winter would be ungentlemanly of you Russians — let’s just get face to face across a fence and threaten each other a lot like we did in the good old days, m’kay? Man, that was profitable. There was money for anything in those days.

    What’s really happening between the USA and Russia is that Russia is persistently constantly working through diplomatic channels to create a “basket of currencies” that can begin to replace the petrodollar in international trade. Create an alternative to the dollar as the global currency.

    If that is accomplished, the USA will have to shut down its worldwide network of military bases, withdraw unto itself, and look after its own citizens, infrastructure, and affairs instead of trying to run the whole planet while every road and bridge back home is falling to pieces from neglect. But unseating the dollar has got to be done carefully. Trying to remove the petrodollar from its high throne has been cause for preemptive “wars of self defense” upon several oil producing nations in the last couple decades. America likes its empire.

    The entire reason there’s an oil glut — which looks likely to continue into the indefinite future — is to hurt the Russian economy, and Iran’s. It’s most definitely working, by the way, but it is also surely hastening the day when the dollar loses its place as the default global currency. Seems the more you ride people, the more they want out from under your fat bottom.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Which candidate is more likely to stand down this NATO Grande Armee?

      That’s an important question for voters.

    2. JTMcPhee

      “The USA” is not a “thing.” It’s a mythology and a lot of parts connected by geography and fortuity. Like Russia. Both of which contain a lot of ordinary people who generate a huge amount of wealth that the ones among them who know how to grab the handles get to divert into idiot channels that make life really grand and large for a very insulated, protected few, and precarious and fokked up for the vast majority of us. I’m betting that the generals and contractors who run the NATO scam would actually like to see the Rooskies mount up on their armor and rush the Plains of Europe, give them a chance to use the tactical battlefield nukular weapons they are developing and deploying and all the other war toys. Finally see who’s toughest, in the end-game of beer-muscle macho.

      And of course the “US” Troops are just triggers. In so many senses. The War Department spent billions trying to find and field a “tech” response to IEDs and manufactured mines. The program was the JOINT IED Defeat Task Force, the “JIEDDO Knights.” It’s another entrenched line item in the unauditable War Budget (sic) that now has a big staff, ongoing moving self-generated targets for further advancement and expenditures, and the Grand Conclusion these poobahs apparently have come to, after all the gyrating, is that the Troops have to rely on their six senses to detect those danged asymmetric “No Fair! You are supposed to just wilt before our World’s Most Fearsome Fighting Force (sic)” weapons, by either spotting the tiny tells of concealed explosives, or better yet from the standpoint of keeping the Game going, stepping on or driving over or tripping the big BOOM! and generating casualties that become the self-sustaining casus belli of the whole shootin’ match. “What is the mission, Soldier?” “To find, fix, and kill The Enemy, SIR! OORAH!” “And who is The Enemy, Soldier?” “The Hajji Towelhead who killed my buddy, SIR!”

      It is hard to keep track of the pieces and the players, isn’t it? So much easier to just go with the Narrative, hang with your tribal buddies, cover each others’ sixes and all that…

  28. Katniss Everdeen

    OK, off-the-wall comment time.

    Andrea Mitchell just did an “exclusive” interview of hillary on msnbs from West Virginia. I’m sure it will be replayed ad nauseum.

    hillary looks terrible. As in unwell. As in more than just a bad-hair day.

    I couldn’t help remembering a recent Links post by Camille Paglia which mentioned that hillary had a possible goiter in her neck. I don’t know if goiters occur other places but whatever. hillary was wearing an odd, fussy, nehru-collared contraption that obscured her neck. As she answered Mitchell’s questions, she appeared to have noticeable difficulty swallowing. Continuously. I’ve never noticed this before. Andrea was having no such difficulty.

    I don’t know if this is anything meaningful. But if you get a chance to see it, watch. See what you think.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As president, she will get the best medical care in the world, not available to even the son of a sitting vice president.

    2. Anne

      First thing I noticed was how bad she looked – drawn, tired, a little gray-ish. Her voice was weak, made me want to clear my own throat a little.

      But, hey, she probably never stops talking, and that thing she does where she bellows out her latest sound bite – that’s gotta take a toll on the vocal chords. But she just doesn’t look well to me, overall. Sanders doesn’t look like that, and for sure Donald Trump doesn’t, either. Ted Cruz is wearing a human suit, so of course, he looks just fine – plus he’s a lot younger. Haven’t spotted Kasich in weeks, so I don’t know what he’s looking like these days besides irrelevant.

      But if she looks like this now, not even through the primary season, she’s going to look like death on a cracker by Labor Day.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘But, hey, she probably never stops talking’

        Extrapolate that habit over four years, and we’re talking serious collective trauma.

        ‘Cutting the cord’ from cable TV would accelerate into an avalanche.

        At least President O-what’s-his-name exiles himself to the golf course.

        One shudders to think what Hillary does to relax.

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A portrait of coal town on the brink of death.

    And of fracking town.

    And old forest lumber jack town.

    Will each Enlightenment come quickly, so quickly that there is no time for retraining, re-education, that we, compassionately, embrace Basic Income?

    “We pay you not to cut down Amazonian trees?”

  30. NLK

    I have no idea why you posted a link to that New York Magazine article about tyranny. It is filled to the brim with false premises. Seriously, it’s one of the worst articles I’ve read this year. Unbelievable, someone would argue that we have MORE democracy than, say, fifty years ago. What we have is a plutocracy dressed up as democracy.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      As it is – wisely – said, “Know thy enemy”. Look for and learn their half-truths, even more than their falsehoods. It is far, far easier to poison the discourse through a half-truth than through a more readily discernible lie. The former burrows its way into your worldview, and distorts what you can perceive, subtly, slyly, and with malice aforethought.

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Time for Hillary to concede?

    I would first settle for releasing those speeches and missing emails

    What is concession without a truth-about-neoliberalism and reconciliation committee?

  32. Antifa

    Sergeant Martland will be allowed to remain in the US Army. He did not win approval from the Army brass for beating up the local Afghan police commander to punish him for serial rape. No, they just happened to discover “technical irregularities” in his disciplinary process which voided any discipline. Poof, it all went away, right after it went public. Leaving lots of questions.

    Rape of young boys is so innate to Afghan culture that they have a popular proverb about it, to the effect that even geese flying overhead keep one wing always covering their bottoms. The cultural stance is that boys and girls are both considered girls, which is to say incomplete humans, until they achieve adult status. The girls stay home until they marry and become property of a man; the boys go to school and grow up until they can and do defend themselves. Until they are adults, rape is considered part of growing up for boys, no more serious than a good whipping. Toughens them up for the real world.

    And now the Pentagon has to come up with some regs for the field manual about how to respond to the ubiquitous sexual abuse that is so much a part of Afghan culture. By the time a couple paragraphs on the subject gets polished and published a couple years from now, the troops on the ground will have long since worked out a variety of solutions to such situations. Sergeant Markland may not be promoted as far as he once could have hoped, but the message his case sends to the troops is clear — you won’t get the boot for laying down the law. John Wayne lives.

    The other message our troops will get is ‘do what you need to do, but keep it to yourself.’

    The local Afghan authorities will get the message: US troops used to be on a leash, but you can’t count on that anymore, so watch your step. Might be safer altogether to leave the boys alone.

    In Vietnam it was endemic corruption and treason. Working for the other side. Wiseguys stealing food and medicine we brought in for the villagers, either to sell it on the black market or give to their local cadre. Or my personal favorite, walking into a hut to find a couple of farmers sharpening little piles of punji sticks.

    People like that could be told to leave the village, leave the province, and stay gone. If they didn’t, well, they did anyway. There’s no good reason to put up with that behavior, not when it’s ruining lives, and no good reason to get caught doing something about it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      To my thinking and in my personal experience, there is some things wrong with the gist of your comment. “The other side” according to WHOM? The Brass in Saigon? The Dulles scum? Or just the reality of identification, when one is crammed in a uniform (or black pajamas) and confronted with people who are trying hard to kill you? All of which can be avoided if only us mopes at the bottom could disempower the Game of Throne-ers at the top…

      Corruption? How about the supply sergeant who was selling captured VC trophy weapons (the ones we had to deposit under lock and key in the Supply Tent, for the Brass’s justifiable fear they would be diverted to fragging) back to the “gooks,” along with other bits of the company’s movable stuff? Who finally got his throat slit by “somebody?” My high school classmate who I ran into, post-Vietnam, driving an XKE with a neat blonde in the passenger seat, who allowed he had done remarkably well as an E-4 Military Policeman working at the Saigon Main PX (military Walmart) and in “currency transactions,” trading US currency very illegally on the street market, into piasters at 6 times the official exchange rate, to redeposit in a Bank of America account to wire-transfer to the US, where family would re-convert and send back another stack of $50 and $100 bills? And those punji sticks, , a kind of simple “IED,” the folks who were making them turned out to, I guess, be PATRIOTS, much like the Minutemen and Rogers’ Raiders and so forth,

      So “we” told “those people” to leave the village and be gone, or “somebody” killed them. What the hell were “we” doing there in the first place, and what gave “us” the right to tell them anything at all about how to structure their political economy? So extra-legal murder and other violence is OK then, if it is done to keep some “bad guys” from “ruining lives?” and to get a pass for doing that, like of course so much stuff that happens in every war activity, and gets justified post hoc or just buried?

      Phoenix operations often aimed to assassinate targets, or resulted in their deaths through other means. PRU units often anticipated resistance in disputed areas, and often operated on shoot first basis.[20] Innocent civilians were also sometimes killed. William Colby claimed that the program never sanctioned the “premeditated killing of a civilian in a non-combat situation,” and other military personnel stated that capturing NLF members was more important than killing them.[13][21][22][23] Lieutenant Vincent Okamoto, an intelligence-liaison officer for the Phoenix Program for two months in 1968 and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross said the following:[24][25]

      The problem was, how do you find the people on the blacklist? It’s not like you had their address and telephone number. The normal procedure would be to go into a village and just grab someone and say, ‘Where’s Nguyen so-and-so?’ Half the time the people were so afraid they would not say anything. Then a Phoenix team would take the informant, put a sandbag over his head, poke out two holes so he could see, put commo wire around his neck like a long leash, and walk him through the village and say, ‘When we go by Nguyen’s house scratch your head.’ Then that night Phoenix would come back, knock on the door, and say, ‘April Fool, motherfucker.’ Whoever answered the door would get wasted. As far as they were concerned whoever answered was a Communist, including family members. Sometimes they’d come back to camp with ears to prove that they killed people.

      The Wiki article includes bits claiming the activities were “quite successful.” Too bad those little Asian people had a better overall game than the Empire did, on their home turf, though our “US corporations” that have zero national attachment and loyalty to the US are among the entities that are now using Vietnamese labor at 50 cents an hour to make the nice clothes you can buy from under the “rollback Smiley Faces” at Walmart now… Quite successfully.)

      1. Antifa

        All that you describe and more goes on in any war zone. That’s what they’re for.

        Some of the very worst stuff gets done under direct orders; has to be, or no one will do it. Orders and authority are supposed to ease your conscience. They don’t. Rules of war? The only rule when you’re terrified out of your mind is stay alive. Right and wrong have only to do with doing the right thing to stay alive, not the wrong thing.

        If you’re lucky, you come home, and have a lot of time to sort it.

  33. Archie

    Wow, Tyler Pedigo’s forecast of the Indiana primary is almost exact! Good job sir.

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