Links 5/4/16

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Rube Goldberg machine built entirely from HTML form elements Boing Boing (furzy)

There’s a new thing called ‘fog computing’ and no, we’re not joking Business Insider (David L)

Wildfire Empties Fort McMurray in Alberta’s Oil Sands Region New York Times (furzy)

IBM opens the first quantum computer cloud – Business Insider

Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Begins Today (furzy)

Climate protesters invade UK’s largest opencast coalmine Guardian (martha r)

‘A silent catastrophe’: Chilean fishermen protest failure to mitigate toxic ‘red tide’ Guardian (martha r)

This disease has killed a million trees in California, and scientists say it’s basically unstoppable Washington Post (martha r)

The Secret Culprit in the Theranos Mess Vanity Fair (Li)


China Warns Economists, Analysts, Reporters About “Overly bearish” Remarks Michael Shedlock (furzy). The Chinese have not gotten the memo that browbeating the Confidence Fairy does not work.

Beijing taps emergency pork reserves Financial Times

In China’s Northeast, a Daily Jostle for Jobs Produces Mostly Despair New York Times (martha r)

Young Somali woman sets herself alight in Australian detention CNN. See the Immigration Minister’s remarks. Ugly.

Unemployment: Troubles Ahead for Emerging Markets IMFdirect


Brexit: sovereignty is not the same as power Martin Wolf. Sorry, I don’t buy Wolf’s beliefs about what constitutes sovereignity. If you don’t control your environmental and banking regulations, how can you consider yourself to be sovereign? As we pointed out with Greece in 2015, much to many readers’ consternation, the Eurozone treaties explicitly state that member nations cede certain aspects of national sovereignity to Eurozone/EU level institutions. But Wolf does admit the sun has set on Britain as a world power.

Poll: U.K. Voters Fear Scottish Secession More Than Brexit U.S. News

The geography of the Brexit vote – what difference will turnout make? British Politics and Policy at LSE

German Anti-Immigrant Leader Fined Over Facebook Post New York Times (furzy)

King Felipe of Spain Dissolves Parliament, Clearing Way for New Elections New York Times (martha r)

Proposed Irish government to prioritise spending over tax cuts – document Reuters

Brazil prosecutors file 30 billion pounds lawsuit against Vale, BHP for dam spill Reuters (martha r)


Islamic State kills U.S. Navy SEAL in northern Iraq Reuters (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Inside the Assassination Complex: Whistleblowing Is Not Just Leaking — It’s an Act of Political Resistance Edward Snowden, Intercept. Today’s must read.

Trade Traitors. Notice lack of discussion (yet) as to whether the TTIP leaks have ramifications for the TTP talks.

TTIP expected to fail after US demands revealed in unprecedented leak ars technica (martha r)

TTIP has been kicked into the long grass … for a very long time Guardian

ANALYSIS. After Years of Negotiations, Is TTIP Dying a Slow Death? France24

Selling the Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal New York Times. The mighty Wurlitzer…


George Will Is A Haughty Dipshit Gawker Trust me, you will thank me for making you read this.

Sanders: Clinton team thinks race ‘is over. They’re wrong’ Associated Press (martha r)

Sanders wins Indiana, keeping his movement alive Los Angeles Times

5 Reasons Bernie Sanders Wins Big With Cruz Dropout Huffington Post. Qrys: “I disagree with his first point …the MSM is too in bed with the Hillary Campaign to suddenly decide to cover Bernie more, and have proven capable of under-reporting just about all of his wins; but the rest of the points seem to be worth mentioning.” Note also the forecast we linked to last night proved correct.

Bloomberg Tells Michigan Grads They Must Defeat Bernie’s Plan to Jail Wall Street Felons Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

What did we learn today? Corey Robin. More warning signs re Clinton, in case you had any doubts.

Clinton Campaign Made Payments to Hard Drive and Document Destruction Company Washington Free Beacon (Selva)

Now That Trump Is The Nominee, These Republicans Say They’re Voting For Hillary ThinkProgress (martha r)

Cruz Saw No Path to G.O.P. Nomination New York Times (Li)

Cruz’s ex-roommate celebrates his campaign’s end: ‘Either there is no God or he reeeeally doesn’t like Ted’ Raw Story (furzy)

The Sarah Palin of 2016’: Twitter mercilessly mocks Carly Fiorina after Cruz’s crushing Indiana loss Raw Story. Actually worse since Palin was in the media spotlight much longer and got a well-paid TV gig, which I doubt is in the offing for Fiorina.

Mattis versus Trump Voltairnet (Wat). Important. And while I have to confess to not have read Trump’s foreign policy speech, two people whose judgment I trust have and said it was a fine speech and the observations were sound.

Medical error now third-largest cause of death in US: researchers Agence France-Presse (furzy)

Prominent Democratic Consultants Sign Up to Defeat Single Payer in Colorado Intercept (martha r). Notice ties to Clinton campaign

So much corruption, stuffed into one Chicago tour Reuters (EM)

Detroit teachers expected back in class after pay assurances: union Reuters (furzy)

Why Oil Prices Will Likely Drop Below $40 Soon OilPrice

Seven big banks settle U.S. rate-rigging lawsuit for $324 million Reuters

New Federal Reserve push to limit fallout from bank failures Financial Times. This sounds like whistling past the graveyard. No one is going to be able to examine a big derivatives book in 48 hours, particularly because the failed institution’s risk measures and controls will be suspect. Lehman had its derivatives spread across lots of systems and didn’t even know how many positions it had to within +/-10%. The Bear purchase by JP Morgan was subsidized precisely due to the lack of other buyers and JP Morgan arguably knowing the positions better by virtue of clearing them. Even so, the Fed had to subsidize the purchase, precisely due to the credit default swaps unknowns. The Fed fortunately does not have to worry about Deutsche, but by all accounts it is an even worse systems mess.

Guillotine Watch

US Prosecutors Consider More Charges Against Ex-CEO Shkreli Reuters (furzy)

Class Warfare

The Supreme Court Just Refused to Shield Corporate America From a $15 Minimum Wage. What Happens Now? Think Progress (furzy)

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Seattle minimum wage law Reuters (EM)

Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired after creating this cartoon KCCI (Chuck L)

The Iremonger books are new kid lit classics about the evils of capitalism Vox (furzy)

Antidote du jour. Steve L, from the Alberta Wildlife FB Page:

moose links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Kokuanani

    The Washington Post is doing the journalistic equivalent of putting its fingers in its ears and hollering “la, la, la, la, la.”

    It refuses to acknowledge that Bernie won Indiana, limiting its coverage to a small box showing results, and “papering” the rest of its pages with stories about Trump.


    1. Sam Adams

      A lot of media and pundit begging bowls are going to be broken. Don’t be too hard an them. Think of the BMW and Nantucket rental markets.

      1. Christopher Fay

        If you’re buying BMW, you’re renting Martha’s Vineyard, buddy. Nantucket rentals are another stratosphere up

        1. cnchal

          Know what BMW means? Beat My Wallet.

          There should be good used ones coming up for sale, but stay away. It might cost $7,000 to fix the blinker on a 750 iL, which only a hedge fund manager making a million dollars an hour can afford.

          1. portia

            Are used Mercedes Benz’s still a good bet? I heard long ago they were used in the ME for taxis. They seem to last forever. My first BF had a vintage that was awesome. Of course, that was eons ago

    2. HotFlash

      And the LATimes story linked above begins, “Sen. Bernie Sanders remains on track to lose the Democratic nomination race, but he nonetheless managed to keep his agenda at the center of it with a victory in Indiana over the front-runner, Hillary Clinton. ”

      OK, Sen Sanders, another $27 for you.

      Why not, “Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains on track to lose the presidential race, but she nonetheless managed to keep her fund-raising at the center of it against a victory in Indiana by the self-funded over-all vote-winner, Donald Trump. Bernie who?”

      1. GlennF

        On Democracy Now yesterday, Jeremy Scahill pointed to some military oriented Bernie issues most people haven’t heard. Here are a couple of quotes from the transcripted link below: “first of all, Hillary Clinton is one of the sort of legendary Democratic hawks in modern U.S. history” and “But Bernie Sanders, in a way, has been given a sort of pass on these issues.” He describes in great detail the votes Bernie has on record around war issues.

        1. portia

          Some people seem to hold Bernie to some sort of pacifist standard–this is incorrect. He is a true pragmatist when it comes to contributing troops and defense, he doesn’t just wrap himself in it to preserve the status quo of the MIC. He totally understands where we are now. It makes me wild sometimes when people try to use that against him. He is a long game player, and can not be boxed as far as issues–he treats each as its own issue, and sees how they interplay. He belongs to no one faction. Simplistic propagandizing where Bernie is concerned is bullshit.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Very few politicians are completely free of neo-cons’ ‘expert advice.’

          When you see one, he/she is the next Maitreya.

    3. Dave

      Saw a “Bernie Or Trump” pastiche bumper sticker yesterday on a workman’s truck in a 7-11 parking lot.

      Other symbols, Marine Corps, N.R.A., kid’s little league team and apartment complex parking permit and best of all, the remnants of an Obama sticker.

      Curious, I struck up a conversation as I ostensibly went in to buy something.

      “Hey man, I like your choices”
      “The Bernie and Trump ones”

      “Oh yeah, I like Sanders’ health plan and Trump’s defending us against the Chinese manipulating their foreign exchange rate.”

      “?” (This guy didn’t look that educated, but was articulate about offshoring and especially about NAFTA and all its unemployment consequences.)

      So would you vote for Hillary?

      “Fuck that bitch and her Wall Street handlers!”
      (Seething anger on his face)

      It’s going to be an interesting election. The future of the Democratic Party is questionable. The guy told me he’s fourth generation Democrat.

      1. portia

        thanks for helping bust the myth of the ignorant voter who therefore should not be allowed to vote. I really appreciate your comment!

        1. LifelongLib

          According to his platform, he favors repeal of Obama care followed by “free market” reforms. Basically a Republican type on health care and other government spending issues.

    4. Paul Tioxon

      At the age of 74, it’s kind of late for Bernie to build a cult of personality. That’s why you will see him talk about things such as a 50 state strategy for the Democratic Party. Bernie would like to take over the Oval Office, but what he has been planning all along is taking over the Democratic Party. Changing the agenda of the Democratic Party, displacing the Professional Class of Meritocrats with policy actualized Democrats is the prize he has his eyes on. As people who have out fund raised Hillary can see, the small taste of power they digest let’s them know of the potential they can feast upon. As a Superdelegate himself, Bernie understands exactly what will or won’t happen for him. But what can definitely happen, is that the 18 year olds from 2016 will never forget how they shook the world. Not much different than the 18 year olds who were shot and killed on May 4th, 1970 on the college campus of Kent State Ohio.

      A whole generation disillusioned and swore vengeance on the system that was turned against them. By being younger, most of us simply had to outlast the Nixon Police State. Pot, now legalized in several states and medically available in 24 states, including just last month in the state of Pennsylvania. Don’t expect Reagan Democrats, they split with the party en masse, they’re called registered republicans now, don’t expect a Silent Majority, they not silent and not a majority anymore. Don’t expect a Rust Belt malcontent, the rust belt that started almost 50 years ago has been replaced with Technology and Innovation Business Incubation Centers. Everything has changed beyond recognition, even the GOP-Trump party. Well, almost everything has changed, the Democratic Party is next. Toast the last yuppie hurrah. Bernie wants whole lot more than the White House for 8 years, he wants institutional policy power over the Federal Government of the people, by the people, for the people, A Political Revolution.


      Bernie Sanders only sees a “narrow path to victory,” and his wife, Jane Sanders, has now said the “political revolution” will continue after his campaign. In an interview with “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Jane spoke about what Bernie plans to accomplish if he fails to win the nomination.

      “What we really want to do is change the agenda of the Democratic Party.”

      Maddow asked Jane if she sees an “organization being formed out of the Sanders-centered movement that’s sprung up around his campaign” if Bernie loses the nomination.

      “That’s always been the intent. Right from the beginning, it’s been a two prong approach: run for president–and the most important thing is not electing Bernie president–the most important thing is starting a political revolution. Bernie said that since the day he announced.

      … If he’s not the nominee and he’s not the president, then that becomes even more important.”

      Watch the full segment on Bernie from last night’s “Rachel Maddow Show”:

  2. Nick

    Very excited about the Sanders win last night. I suspect and hope that if he can win in the three states before June 7, he should be in a good position to score a landslide in California. All of the polls showing Clinton a few points ahead in California are only based on likely voters (meaning registered democrats), which is essentially the polling equivalent of a closed primary, only California doesn’t have a closed primary.

    I agree with Yves that the MSM will continue to ignore him, but with a bit of “momentum,” (three straight wins before June 7) and a landslide in California (i.e. a victory of ten points or more), then it will be VERY difficult for the MSM to ignore him.

    Aside from obviously being an infinitely better choice for the US and the world and meaning a brighter future, a Sanders victory would be some serious egg in the face of the MSM. Some seriously delicious eggs.

    1. hemeantwell

      I’m cheered, too. Arriving here I’m even able to stop retching after seeing that the local newspaper, which usually has the final primary results on its front page, had nothing about Sanders and devoted 2/3 of the page to the advent of the next Star Wars installment, next year. Coverage of this election’s turmoil has thoroughly exposed the dampening, stupefying effects of the MSM, they’re like the sedating IV drip of popular political discourse.

      1. portia

        LOL. I grew up in IL and went to IU, and was pleasantly surprised that Bernie won. MSM response does not surprise me, but eff them.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The week of the California primary is also finals week (at least at UCLA, where I checked).

      Will that impact student turnout?

      Also, California has benefited from trade (unlike Indiana) and $15 min law has already been signed.

      1. Nick

        I suspect that turnout will hinge quite a bit on how well Sanders does in the WV, OR, and KY, which in turn will either make California exciting or not from the media’s perspective. Also, if students are jazzed up, no finals will stop them from voting.

        He seems to have a lock on WV since its an open primary, and on OR just because it’s so “liberal,” but I have no idea about Kentucky (the last poll from there seems to be from last June). I sort of just assume that as long as Bernie more or less ties or at least doesn’t get slaughtered there (just for the sake of optics), then California will seem like a big deal and the media will make it another NY-style showdown, but this time Bernie will win.

        California may have benefited from trade and have a $15 min wage, but it also has about 30% independent voters who may well vote for Sanders now that Trump is the R nominee.

        Really, no matter how you look at it, a big win in California just can’t be ignored the same way that they’re ignoring the Indiana win.

        1. MojaveWolf

          As I’ve said before, I live here and know people all over Southern & Northern Cali inhabiting every part of the socioeconomic strata except the genuinely rich (knew some of those back in the 90’s but long out of touch), and I simply don’t believe the polls. I’m sure some people are for her but I have never living anywhere in my lifetime heard such lopsided opinions in favor of one candidate in a national political race, including Reagan/Mondale when I lived in AL in ’84. Of people voting democratic , it’s overwhelmingly Bernie. (just as its been overwhelmingly Trump throughout on the GOP side). If people don’t give up & there’s not blatant cheating (which I’m not ruling out; I was supposed to be vote by mail but have been changed to “poll” but with no official polling place yet when last I checked my registration, which has me a wee bit nervous but still plenty of time to fix this & maybe I’m just not understanding the site and my mail ballot is still on the way), I think he wins by 20.

  3. MikeNY

    I couldn’t help myself (I like a little Schedenfreude now and then) and I watched Cruz’s ‘concession’ speech last night. He was sour, base, grudging and vile. One day after Carly fell offstage, Cruz fell offstage, but no one laughed. Buh-bye to this despicable creature.

    1. Clive

      How, I often mused (usually a combination of “bemused” and “amused”) to myself from this side of the Atlantic would it be feasible to come up with a worse candidate than Donald Trump ? I doubted such a marvel would ever be possible. Maybe if they dredged the Hudson or something, that always looked to me like it might contain grotesque sea monsters which might as-yet be undiscovered to science. Or perhaps living in LA’s concrete canyons there could be some poor, pitiable soul who’s mind had been destroyed by watching too much Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker due to parental neglect when they were a child.

      Even if such a person existed, I theorised, they couldn’t possibly end up being in the later stages of the Republican primaries. People would have been so horrified and perturbed by the sight of such a being, dragging themselves around, they’d get knocked out in the early stages and consigned to the purgatory of being a pundit on Fox News.

      No, I concluded, Donald Trump was the worst that the U.S. political swamp could wretch up at a weary world until you have to force yourself to think about Hillary Clinton.

      That was until I heard of Senator Ted Cruz. My gosh, they certainly grow them big in Texas don’t they ? Still, he leaves us with his one, unquestionable, contribution to the political scene: Inverse Identity Politics. This is the art of annoying and alienating every single sub-group of the population to such a degree that only your mother would vote for you. I can think of no other political figure in recent history who has managed to be so transformative and innovative in their campaigning and policy frameworks — in the wrong ways — that they manage to be uninspiring to everyone. Carly, whatever did you see in him ? Unfortunately for Cruz (but I guess luckily for you folks there) he can now exit stage left, never to be seen again*.

      *Until 2020 comes round. And I thought the same about Joe Biden a decade or two ago, which shows how much I know.

      1. mad as hell.

        The lesser of two evils?
        When it comes to these two choices.
        Trump or Clinton?
        You can’t get any lower than the ninth circle of hell.
        “Last floor everybody out”!

      2. Optimader

        Cruz was heinous and Trump is no prom queen, that said you dont have to look very deep to see a legion of R candidates ( or D for that matter) to spill a drum of ink on that have been potentially worse than Trump!

      3. inode_buddha

        “How, I often mused (usually a combination of “bemused” and “amused”) to myself from this side of the Atlantic would it be feasible to come up with a worse candidate than Donald Trump ? ”

        Quie easily — remember Bush?

        Actually to take a serious try at your question, I think its because the younger Republicans know something’s wrong in America, just like the Progressives do. I also know (anecdotally) that true Conservatives are disgusted with the neo-cons regarding the size of Government. Both of those groups would like an “outlet” when their Party usually doesn’t provide one. So Trump is basically the only “socially acceptable” protest vote available to the Right. And even then, most of them have to hold their noses particularly re: immigration.

        Last time anyone on the Right (especially Conservatives) had a “protest outlet” like this, I think it was Perot.

        All just IMHO.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          So the Right protesting Big Government, the Left protesting Big War and Big Corruption, and the Middle protesting Big Trade Deals.
          Nothing would give me more satisfaction than watching Hilary go down, not just in defeat, but in ignominious, lie-exposing, subpoena-answering, Obama-repudiating, Vichy Left unmasking, Bush policy smashing, vile, corrupt, soulless, and hypocritical brain death of the entire Clinton/Obama legacy.

      4. inode_buddha

        “How, I often mused (usually a combination of “bemused” and “amused”) to myself from this side of the Atlantic would it be feasible to come up with a worse candidate than Donald Trump ? ”

        Quie easily – remember Bush?

        Actually to take a serious try at your question, I think its because the younger Republicans know something’s wrong in America, just like the Progressives do. I also know (anecdotally) that true Conservatives are disgusted with the neo-cons regarding the size of Government. Both of those groups would like an “outlet” when their Party usually doesn’t provide one. So Trump is basically the only “socially acceptable” protest vote available to the Right. And even then, most of them have to hold their noses particularly re: immigration.

        Last time anyone on the Right (especially Conservatives) had a “protest outlet” like this, I think it was Perot.

        All just IMHO.

        1. fresno dan

          Glenn Beck: In a fiery rally speech for Ted Cruz on Sunday night, Glenn Beck expressed his belief that God has sent us Cruz as “a man who was raised for these times,” and that God has deliberately prolonged the GOP primary season so that every state in the union will be forced to choose between “good or evil.”

          Hmmmmm….best as I can figure, until Boehner reminded God that Cruz was Satan incarnate, God had forgotten that for this election, each party was allowed only one demon candidate…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Instead expressing what he believed God had done, he should have the decency to let God speak for himself.

        2. Clive

          Doh! (slaps head) — how could I forget Bush! I promise to write out “mission accomplished” a hundred times before bedtime.

      5. portia

        In the chemical soup of the Hudson, I guess anything is possible

        grotesque sea monsters which might as-yet be undiscovered to science

        1. craazyboy

          Well, I don’t know if anyone has been brave enough to dredge the Thames these last 2000 years.

          1. portia

            If they did, they could find that treasure that was dumped by the last survivor from The Sign of the Four! ;-)

    2. Christopher Fay

      Will his wife now lose her job at Goldmine Sachs as there is no need to buy access there? Has she didn’t a leave of absence to campaign and now will not be invited back?

      1. Cry Shop

        He’s still Senator for Texas Cruze, no? She’s plenty employable for now.

        Some time ago they wanted to run me for governor, but I knew what that meant. It meant two or perhaps four years in the State House, and then relegation to the shade of a has been. I like politics, I like to fight for measures, and my position as State Senator suits me exactly; and I believe I can hold it for a number of years to come.

        …… State Senator Talcom from the novel “Bolanyo”.

        It’s a toss up as to which offers more chances for corruption and patronage, state or national senator.

  4. voteforno6

    RE: George Will

    This quote just about sums up everything that is wrong with the establishment media:

    “Will and his cocktail party ilk are under the remarkably mistaken impression that only THEY understand the ins and outs of this process, all because they went to a Bob Woodward key party.”

    These people seem determined to not understand that Trump is just as much a repudiation of them as he is for the party.

    1. Carolinian

      Yes if they keep telling people not to vote for him they will make him president. Every now and then the elites need to be reminded that the people are sovereign and they are just ink stained drudges. This may lead to disaster but the alternative (Hillary) will almost certainly lead to disaster.

      1. pretzelattack

        and even if it’s a disaster it will shake things up, which the disaster of a clinton presidency assuredly won’t.

        1. Carolinian

          The Dems are idiots not to nominate Sanders. It is the year of the outsider. People are fed up.

          1. fresno dan

            I would ask this question about our country:
            Are the crimes that Richard Nixon committed more serious than the crimes Hillary Clinton is accused of committing?
            Gore Vidal famously said that if Richard Nixon strangled his wife on live nationwide TV, there would still be people who believed him innocent.

            Taking out the conspiracy charges (I have a tough time with conspiracy as a crime as I feel it gives way too much free reign to prosecutors on nebulous grounds) you basically have an underling who countenanced burglary in the Nixon case. Serious in my view not because of the underlying crime, but because it revealed that the president had no limits with regard to lying and was dishonorable.

            Now you have Hillary, who HERSELF committed these acts. Now I happen to believe that an awful lot of classified stuff is pure crap that, if it fell into our adversaries hands, would probably hinder them more than help them. Be that as it may, Hillary will reveal the total supercilious pretense of “equal justice under law” – there is no conspiracy to obstruct justice because no one in the Justice department believes in taking ANY action against anyone Federal management defacto renders immune from consequences, a status conveyed by enough status/money.
            It was said with Nixon that the cover up was the crime. With Hillary, the saying “rex non potest peccare” is updated to “pecunia non potest peccare”

            1. Optimader

              All that, as well i feel hrc would be the one to throw the torch on the bonfire to burn someone else at the stake for doing precisely what she did if she smelled a whiff of political or financial gain
              Jusstice is relative to who is in the dock, this much is clear.

            2. James Levy

              You are forgetting the prolongation of the Vietnam War which he knew was lost the day he took office and the bombing and invasion of Cambodia and the Christmas Bombing of 1972. These are certainly worse than anything Clinton herself has done, and unlike Nixon Clinton could not have done it alone. She may have badgered Obama into stupid, illegal actions, but he’s the president and she couldn’t drop a bomb or fire a missile without his consent.

              1. Pat

                No, she didn’t do it alone. But as a record of her bad judgment regarding these items it is indicative that she WILL do it alone. It is clear that regime change in the Middle East is largely disastrous. But some multinational corporation wants a pipeline, she’ll go there. She has before, she will again.

                I’m not defending Nixon here, but his choices while hideously wrong cannot be attributed mostly to political ambition or support of corporate donors. Hers largely can. Do you really want to find out how far she would go if given the power to make AND follow through on her choices?

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  There is a narrow path to our victorious salvation – After coronation, she steps down to heal herself.

                  Then, she will not have a chance to do it alone.

            3. myshkin

              “Are the crimes that Richard Nixon committed more serious than the crimes Hillary Clinton is accused of committing?”

              I wonder whether you mean only the crimes Nixon was going to face impeachment for? Getting Nixon for the cover up of the break in was similar to Capone going to jail for tax evasion when considered against Nixon’s career as a pathological liar and incidental mass murderer much of which our criminal code wouldn’t consider crimes.

              With Anna Chennault and Kissinger he conspired to sabotage the Paris peace talks to win election in 1968, leading to hundreds of thousands of more deaths in Vietnam including the already mentioned bombings in Cambodia and Laos.

              Then there is the CIA, Nixon and Kissinger’s linkage to the Pinochet coup, death squads in Chile.

              More than a passing relation to mass murder and perhaps genocide in Bangladesh.

              The red smears of Voorhis and Douglas.

              Nixon was a career criminal and his career was magnitudes more harmful than Hillary Clinton’s, though her’s may be mid career at this point.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            The partisan Dems who care about winning should. The DLC style Democrats need Hillary. Obama played out tokenism and appeals to false bipartisanship. Lefty critics of Obama’s approach to health insurance certificate were labeled as racists with white privilege.

            The Team Blue elite is another matter altogether. Their time is running out. Can Corey Booker win? His views on education will kill him with young people and teachers. Unions won’t blindly support and DLC Democrat because there will be no sheen of inevitability. How would Tim Kaine respond to questions about his tenure at the DNC. Whining about 2010 being a tough year won’t sit well or inspire confidence. A Sanders nomination will put these people under the microscope. They either show loyalty or risk opposing the President. The President is Caesar incarnate, and I doubt the DLC democrats will be Sanders go to guys. Tulsi Gabbard becomes a rising star. Warren becomes entrenched.

            Challenging the President without control of the state means being done.

          3. sid_finster

            Google the Iron Law of Institutions.

            After this much fraud and manipulation, Team D insiders cannot just throw their hands up and “say, OK, you win fair and square.”

      2. Brindle

        I’ve been curious about the Trump phenomenon so I watched a few of his rallies on Youtube—without any media framing. Yes he is arrogant and appeals to bias against undocumented immigrants. He also brings up the Carrier layoffs talks about NAFTA and TPP as being bad deals.. The foreign policy views are kind of a mish-mash but at least he talks about the U.S. not being the world’s policeman and the need to concentrate on infrastructure at home. Liberals and journos are disparaging of those who vote for Trump as the losers—those who with white privilege still couldn’t succeed.
        I think this election in Nov. will be a lot closer than the MSM thinks it will be.

        1. Brindle

          Blame the poors…

          —“It is perhaps easiest to understand the Disaffecteds as a case of failed integration. As the children and grandchildren of the old postwar U.S. white industrial working class, they have followed a trajectory, and fallen into ways of thinking, that are strikingly similar to those of some unsuccessful low-income immigrant groups in Europe: a low educational-attainment rate, lack of entrepreneurial success, reverse social mobility across generations, a tendency to self-segregate into ethnic enclaves and self-policed neighbourhoods, and, now, an increasing tendency to vote for extremist politics. They have not literally immigrated into America but rather have landed in a postindustrial, cosmopolitan economy, and resisted any effort to assimilate, instead choosing to turn against more successfully integrated American newcomers.—”

          1. James Levy

            There is a kernel of truth in that, just as there is a kernel of truth in conservative attacks on the bad choices (especially out of wedlock children) among the black poor. But it misses the big picture: many people are not cosmopolitan and many more are not suited to the boutique economy people like this take as natural but is in fact ahistorical. Most people throughout history lived in relatively homogeneous farming communities. Before that, for tens of thousands of years, we lived and died in hunter-gatherer bands of a few dozen to a few score people. We worked with our hands; we did not manipulate abstractions. Most of the disgruntled voters this person sniffs at are neither intellectually or temperamentally suited to the kind of economic activity this author accepts as natural and TINA. And there is no room for these millions of people in that economy–hell, half of the Ph.D.’s coming out of American universities are never going to have tenured jobs.

            We need to promote/design an economy into which the population fits. It’s a fantasy to believe that 320 million people fit into a “postindustrial” economy.

            1. Brindle

              + 100
              So true—“But it misses the big picture: many people are not cosmopolitan and many more are not suited to the boutique economy people like this take as natural but is in fact ahistorical. Most people throughout history lived in relatively homogeneous farming communities.”

              Most of human history involves community as the dominant operational structure—not the “we are all individual entrepreneurs” TINA propaganda.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              320 million postindustrial jobs?

              Free college education just discriminates against anyone wishing to become a hair stylist, carpenter, chef, fashion model, surfer, marijuana grower or auto mechanic.

              They don’t get free career training with the proposed free-college-tuition.

              But if you want to design derivatives, your education is free.

              1. portia

                this is as yet undetermined. Community colleges may offer these trainings. some now offer cosmetology training

                They don’t get free career training with the proposed free-college-tuition.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Still, we have to fight for other career choices.

                  Will future yoga instructors get their training for free?

                  If just one choice is overlooked, that one more discrimination victim.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Thanks, but I have my own ulterior motive.

                      One day, I hope I will be able to teach zen meditation to partially fund my retirement.

                      But first, I have to have training.

                  1. Optimader

                    I hope to get training to teach proper technique for floating different specific gravity irish beers atop each other in proper pint glasses.

                    My goal is more modest than funding retirement, ill settle for consuming my art.

                    I also hope that training never ends.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      That’s cool.

                      Wonder if you can do the same with different specific gravity teas. (Imagine that with molecular gastronomy).

                      I have to check if tea-layering is taught in any (male or female) geisha schools, the Way of Tea being one of the key arts to master.

                2. cwaltz

                  They also often offer culinary arts, photography, and they definitely offer auto maintenance so I’m not sure how they discriminate.

                    1. portia

                      that requires a degree? really? and who taught the first meditation teacher? you must think creatively, if you wish to fleece the confused.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I don’t know if pastors all meditate.

                      Most pastors preach.

                      And get their degrees from seminary schools.

                      Then, they go fleecing the flock.

                      Though some attend without getting a degree. They go straight to preaching.

        2. marym

          For another perspective re Sanders, Trump, Carrier

          “His own clothes come from China,” Staples [11-year Carrier employee] said. “He’s talking about American workers. There’s 1,400 people losing their jobs at Carrier. He could employ 1,000 people making his clothes. Bring his company to Indiana. Bring something that’s not going to fail to Indiana. Everything he’s ever ran has [fallen]. His airline fell. He got kicked out of his own Miss America pageant. I mean, come on. The Apprentice fell. He’s a reality star.”

          All he wanted, though, was to see the man he met just days ago at a campaign stop in West Lafayette.

          “Bernie, hell of a guy,” Staples said. “He came to me and he said, ‘You’re a steelworker.’”

          “Yeah,” Staples said to Sanders on Wednesday.

          “You have a rally on Friday,” Sanders told Staples. “I’ll be there.”

          “That means something,” Staples said. “He’s not getting on T.V. like Trump is and speaking about Carrier. He’s doing this at all these little rallies.”

          The Carrier employees I interviewed said that, in Bernie, they see an authentic and consistent advocate for workers like them.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            From the same Politico article:

            But Staples also recognizes, like Trump himself, that there is no such thing as bad publicity. “Don’t get me wrong, the more they talk about it, the more this stays in the light, that’s what we want.”

            You use me.

            I use you.

            Who will cast the first stone?

            The article will be (even more) objective if that is pointed out – people use each other, and there are no saints in politics.

            NO ONE.

      3. fresno dan

        May 4, 2016 at 8:06 am

        Ever since the prospect of a contested convention raised its head, I’ve been defending the right of a political party to make its own rules and select its own nominee—regardless of what happens in the primaries. The nomination of each party is, in the end, a party process, not a public process. The leaders of that party—the senators, governors and congressman—have to run on the ticket with the presidential candidate and they have to govern with the eventual president. So they have a deep and serious interest in who the nominee of their party is. As Cruz tried to move to an inside game, he needed them and they just weren’t there with him.

        “The nomination of each party is, in the end, a party process, not a public process.”
        So now we know that those Brookings elites don’t give much truck to the “people” who apparently should have nothing to do with pickings the real choices, but just participate in a big inconsequential plebiscite.
        Yes, I know the dangers of mob rule and the limitations of the majority. But we have had, despite the propaganda otherwise, remarkable consensus about making the rich richer, and being the “indispensable nation” by BOTH parties going on 40 years, and it has been demonstrably disastrous to the 90%.
        I agree with you – the total Dunning-Kruger effect displayed by the media and elites show that the elites employ a very effective filter at removing any independent thought that doesn’t buy the elite self justification.

        “This may lead to disaster but the alternative (Hillary) will almost certainly lead to disaster.”
        We’re in the pot being slowly boiled (I’d say we’re overcooked now), and it ain’t gonna stop. Hopping out is scary, and it is fraught with uncertainty and real danger. Everyone will have to choose for themselves: Do I hop or do I stay?

        1. Carolinian

          If we had many diverse parties you could certainly say that, yes, the party has a right to choose who they want and to not even hold primaries. But given that our republicrats have done everything in their power to maintain the duopoly it becomes very poor “democracy theater” if they don’t let the public in on the process. Clearly the Repubs are moving from denial to acceptance on Trump because of this–because of the optics. After all if one followed Brookings’ logic both parties could nominate the same person in the name of getting things done.

          And given that the ultimate goal is to gain power the Rs will be making a wise move by giving into their voters. The Dems on the other hand have cooked up a rigged process that may in and of itself sink HRC.

          As for Nixon, in the long view impeachment may have been a mistake. Certainly things have gotten worse for the left since that happened. The notion of scandalizing a government out of office has taken off and now we are seeing it everywhere–the Ukraine coup, Brazil, Honduras. “Delegitimization” is the latest weapon of the neocons in their war against messy democracy.

          1. Jim Haygood

            ‘impeachment may have been a mistake. Certainly things have gotten worse for the left since that happened’

            Impeachment is a factual judgment, not a strategic calculation.

            Commitment to the rule of law means impeaching if the facts warrant it.

            Reducing it to a calculation of partisan benefit is Clintonian logic.

            1. Carolinian

              So you are saying that Clinton’s impeachment wasn’t partisan? That what is now happening in Brazil arises from disinterested pursuit of the law by their legislature? Nixon himself said he didn’t do anything that LBJ and Kennedy didn’t do. Perhaps there’s some truth to that. The Pentagon Papers was another big scandal of the day and it was mostly about events that happened long before NIxon. Should Ike have been impeached given what we now know about the Dulles Brothers? My point is not that lawbreaking should be ignored but that applying the ultimate sanction not only punishes the guilty politician but also negates the selection of the millions of people who voted for him. That being the case it of course will always have a partisan component. Certainly the left of the time was mighty pleased to see the backside of Tricky Dick. Meanwhile the Repubs plotted revenge (and got it).

              1. portia

                ugh. I’m with you, but wrong is wrong, political component or no. there’s just so much wrong. when “everybody’s doing it” it just gets easier to parse.

        2. polecat

          well…I, for one, am hopping mad…as…hell !!!**

          If Mr. Sanders wins the nom., that I’ll be elated……however, if he doesn’t, due to dnc, dccc fraud/malfeasance, ……….then I’ll feel compelled to vote for Mr. Trump…… a mark of revenge!

          ** X tens of millions

        3. jonboinAR

          Since the guy believes the parties should be allowed to make their own rules, I would say that voting ballots should all be 100% write in, just a blank line. (All though, then, I can’t envision the point of a primary, exactly).

    2. Steve H.

      – Gefter: But how can seeing a false reality be beneficial to an organism’s survival?

      (Hat tip, John Merryman in yesterdays Water Cooler.)

    3. Optimader

      Will has been a sanctimonious dullard posing as the smartest guy in the room for decades. So whats news about that? Has he suddenly gotten more dull?

      1. Ivy

        Will is having a brief resurgence given his self-professed infatuation with a new baseball season. He peaks for that, like sap rising.

      2. cassandra

        He’s not supposed to be incisive or informative. Like most MSM pundits, he’s not there to make cogent analytical arguments, but rather to provide us with the proper viewpoint of the issue du jour, i.e., how we should be thinking.

        1. optimader

          That’s about it.
          What secretly annoys me about columnists like Geo Will or Tom Freidman is what have they ever really accomplished beyond spilling gallons of ink offering their opinions on stuff..
          So what distinctive competence differentiates their not particularly insightful opinions as more noteworthy than anyone else’s? Because some entity is subsidizing them?
          Not good enough for me.

          He peaks for that, like sap rising.
          I like that. The seasonal irrigation of Will’s brainstem.

        2. ekstase

          “A convention’s sovereign duty is to choose a plausible nominee who has a reasonable chance to win, not to passively affirm the will of a mere plurality of voters recorded episodically in a protracted process.”

          Yes, sir, Sir. At one time, I recall, he was described as “one of the most eligible bachelors in Washington D.C.” Is it any wonder we’re very near the end of civilization?

    4. jrs

      Noone really fully understands the Trump phenomena. Oh I’m sorry you want us to buy a story, the propaganda, about how it’s all economic issues. And why should I? Precious little evidence. And p.s. there’s not a single prejudiced person in all of America so that can’t possibly play any part (sarc).

      Because with the left it always has to be about economic issues. Well one might want it that way (the left seems to have it’s own little Marxist version of economic man), but I’m way less convinced that means it actually IS that way. That that is always how people vote even if it should be. Precious little evidence.

  5. Steve H.

    – Medical error now third-largest cause of death in US: researchers Agence France-Presse (furzy)

    Link didn’t work so I searched the headline. Agence France-Presse, Guardian, South China News, Times of India… and Minnesota.

    – “But death by medical error is not captured by government reports because the US system for assigning a code to cause of death, the international classification of disease (ICD), does not have a label for medical error.”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Not sure what your issue is. The link is correct and takes you to a an Agence France-Presse story syndicated at Raw Story. I alway try to list the source of a story if syndicated, not where it ran. So if a Bloomberg story appears at the New York Times, I’ll list it as Bloomberg,

      1. Steve H.

        I’m still getting ‘Page Not Found’, but the broader issue is, no NYT, WaPo, MSM in general. The study seems a decent extrapolation, has worldwide press, but seems submerged in the U.S. Except Minnesota.

        This goes to coverage of our ‘Health Care’ System. The article linked on May 1 may have done for my wife, in her profession, what Morningside and Stauber did for my understanding of what happened to environmental organizations. She’s a nurse and was working cancer treatment before JCAHO mandated pain control, and was hugely relieved when patients could stop being in agony. So it turns out it was a corrupt decision to help sell Oxy.

        The MSM failure to cover the burning train wreck of our health being rented to the FIRE sector is a political decision in an election year. NC sources worldwide media, and does it well.

      2. Carla

        This is what I got:
        “Page Not Found
        The page you are looking for doesn’t seem to exist.”

      3. Cry Shop

        AT first I also could not load the link the first two tries, but then I searched the terms on their site search engine and the link it served up worked just find. Both links are identical in the bar, but when I cuts and past (see below), something is off either with the askii/Unicode & addresses.

        url bar address after directing from NC link, cut and pasted from browser after failing to load.

        url bar address cut and pasted after loading successfully from link offered by Rawstories search engine.

        probably rawstorie is using this code to track users, and it causes a conflict with cookies on other users browsers.

      4. ChiGal

        Link took me to Raw Story but no specific article, when I opened and scrolled through Science tab I found it

    2. ChiGal

      But note the article also says 100 other countries use the same system, recommended by the WHO, and other “developed” nations likely have the same rate of iatrogenic deaths, with underdeveloped countries likely even worse.

  6. the blame/e

    About the Reuters report regarding ISIS killing a U.S. soldier in Iraq; I have a few questions. First, did the U.S. soldier die with their boots on? Secondly, Reuters report that the U.S. soldier killed was a Navy Seal begs a few questions. Is this a purposeful hit against the other branches of the U.S. military by Reuters? Is Reuters inferring that since Navy Seals killed Bin Laden (a special “bonus” question?), Navy Seals are now the only branch of the service qualified to fight? Logically follows the next question: A Marine doesn’t die as well or as gloriously or as well-read as a Navy Seal? Just asking. Not looking to cause offense. My boots are off.

    1. cwaltz

      My question would be more along the lines of is the story we are getting real. Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch…’s not like the DoD doesn’t have a history of concocting fairy tales.

      I’m not sure why you think Reuters reporting it as a Navy SEAL as anything other than the guy was a Navy SEAL? It’s not exactly a secret that the military has chosen to expand their ranks and use them to fight terrorism.

      For the record, the military tried to teach Marines to act with the same surgical precision of the SEALS. It didn’t go well. The Marine Corp training is more rigid and when planning covert operations it’s imperative to be able to adapt to the situation. You don’t storm the front gates with guns blazing when it is more heavily manned instead of going in the back way(which, yes, was what the marines did.) If you do, your operation is no longer COVERT.

    2. BondsOfSteel

      I believe what Reuters is trying to say is that the Marine was killed with indirect fire (artillery), while the Seal was killed in direct combat. There is of video on the interwebs showing the Seals fighting against IS yesterday:

      I don’t believe this was intentional, the IS attack was a surprise. Interestingly, IS used 3 robotically controlled vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) to start the attack. It was also the first time the US used the Apaches in combat too.

  7. rich

    Private equity titans warn attendees to expect lower returns
    “It’s tough out there,” Mr. Black said.

    Even so, Apollo invested $5 billion in private equity — $3 billion from funds and $2 billion from co-investments — in the first quarter, he noted.

    Mr. Nelson said that Providence Equity executives focus on companies likely to grow faster than gross domestic product.

    “’Priced to perfection’ is a nice way of saying overpriced,” Mr. Nelson said.

    The presidential election is also a factor in the private equity market, Mr. Rubenstein said.

    The markets have “built in a presumption that Hillary Clinton wins” the presidency, Mr. Rubenstein said; if another candidate wins, the markets will be “spooked.”

    Meanwhile, private equity returns that had been an average of 15% historically are down to 12%, Mr. Rubenstein said: “I suspect that is where returns will stay.”

    Most private equity firms already have sold all the companies they can over the past two years, Mr. Black said.

    “We are at the planting and building stage” which means distributions will be lower than in the past few years, Mr. Black said.

    All the panelists agreed that sovereign wealth funds are changing the private equity landscape.

    Public pension funds are not as significant investors now as sovereign wealth funds, which are committing more capital than general partners have ever gotten before, Mr. Rubenstein said.

    Sovereign wealth funds “want an enormous amount of co-investment,” and are happier with lower returns than other types of investors like public pension funds, Mr. Rubenstein said.

      1. Synoia

        We are at the planting and building stage

        Pillage and loot has limits? Who could have known?

  8. the blame/e

    About the Iowa cartoonist that got fired. The point here is how you can either have your “free speech” (which means STFU), or you can have your job. The cartoonist’s editor, Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer, and John Deere have already won the argument. Now go away John Friday, starve to death and leave the rest of us alone. Just saying. Since when did drawing the face of Citizens United draw the same consequences as drawing the face of some God? Pathetic.

    1. diptherio

      I addressed this general issue in a recent blog, although I had some other examples in mind when I wrote it. The biggest threat to civil liberties comes not from the government, but from our fellow citizens.

      Political equality as codified in the Bill of Rights means very little if we do not live that equality out in our daily lives, which means making a committment to support our allies in expressing and living out their freedoms, whatever particular form that might take.

      Let’s hope there is a backlash by the public, supporting this guy. He definitely deserves it.

    2. ambrit

      Drawing my own conclusions draws me to the conclusion that Capitalism’s God is “Money.” Drawing the ‘Face’ of Money will get you put in prison in about every nation in the world.

  9. the blame/e

    Not mentioned in today’s very good list of recent developments was Reuters’ stirring the pot. China has requested that Americans “think rationally” about the consequences of voting for Trump might be, and what a Trump presidency might mean to the relationship between China and the U.S.

    First of all, China warning the American people about who they choose for a president almost guarantees a Trump win; if you are still so inclined as to believe that voting has anything to do with it, anymore.

    More importantly, as an American, it was my belief that having to buy all the stuff that use to be “Made In America” from the Chinese, was consequence enough.

    I don’t see how the Chinese, being a communist country and all that, I don’t see how the Chinese can be anything but excited about how the United States government has already joined China on “the dark side” — what with its “Patriot Act(s),” its fully militarized police forces, its NSA, its fully rigged, manipulated and controlled financial and political system, its closed and closing society. The United States is already a Nazified, Fascist, and fully war-mongered Reich. All the United States needs is Trump to come into office, turn to our fully dysfunctional Congress and Senate, and say: “You’re Fired!” And boom. The United States becomes China.

    After the presidencies of Clinton (both of them), Bush (Cheney), Obama (Hope-ium and Change-em), I would think the Chinese would be eagerly awaiting the full-on crazy of a Trump presidency.

    1. flora

      The Chinese govt has been reportedly supporting the Clintons since 1996. From Wikipedia:
      “The 1996 United States campaign finance controversy was an alleged effort by the People’s Republic of China to influence domestic American politics prior to and during the Clinton administration and also involved the fund-raising practices of the administration itself. … China’s alleged role in the affair first gained public attention when Bob Woodward and Brian Duffy of The Washington Post published a story stating that a United States Department of Justice investigation into the fund-raising activities had uncovered evidence that agents of China sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) before the 1996 presidential campaign. ”
      Well, old history. You can lookup Wiki story under “1996 United States campaign finance controversy.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump will rush in to exploit where Sanders has hesitated to tread.

        Look for an all-out battle.

  10. Cry Shop

    China Warns Economists, Analysts, Reporters About “Overly bearish” Remarks Michael Shedlock (furzy).

    In the domestic Chinese market, up til now browbeating the Confidence Fairy has worked (which is why arbitrage between HK and Shanghai forced trade limits/stops be put in place), but not in the way one might expect. In an authoritarian system like China’s it has traditionally been seen by the people as an indication of government will, and in a market heavily manipulated by the government that means something. One day this bubble of belief that the government can manipulate the market when hard driven to do so will be burst, but til now it’s been a bad investment to go against the government. The Chinese retail market has been both rumor and chartist driven market, ie momentum is everything. The one thing this market hates is slow, even slow growth – a rapid decline is preferable to slow growth because it augers** a bounce. Unfortunately, because trustworthy data does not exist, either in the system, or in any PLC audit report, “professional fund” managers in China are little better.

    ** augury in deed. I know there are quite a few China domestic investors who get their investment decisions made by peering at the guts of a freshly slaughtered chicken, or by tossing joss sticks. Every bank or local street front broker shop has loads of terminals on a wall, and retain customers sit there all day waiting for a lucky number drawn by a bird from a street fortune tellers pot, or for the slightly more sophisticated, a movement in a stock that is a sign to pile in or jump out. PE ratios mean almost nothing, … but come to think of it, most western PE ratios are probably near fictions as well.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      During the Ming dynasty, many commonplace books (biji) recorded sightings of dragons.

      I think we will see some soon, if chickens fail to deliver.

  11. fresno dan

    Mattis versus Trump Voltairnet (Wat). Important. And while I have to confess to not have read Trump’s foreign policy speech, two people whose judgment I trust have and said it was a fine speech and the observations were sound.

    So here is the Trump speech:

    Contradictions? Yup. Inconsistencies? Yup.
    Not nearly as polished as caveat laced Washington speak? Yup.

    But what it does represent is a definitive and certain break with the “indispensable nation” crap that pervades both major US parties. It is sad that it took Trump to say the emperor has no clothes. That the BI-PARTISAN policy of US hegemony over the entire WORLD is not doing us, or the world any good.

    Say what you will about Trump, but how is it out of 535 national representatives, there is not a substantive credible challenger to the US foreign policy as constituted by dint of both parties? That there is such a consensus to pursue policies that are so empirically failures? That such a massive portion of the US electorate desires can be so massively IGNORED. A cynic (just like never looking back, our establishment thinks the worst thing on earth is a cynic) would posit a MSM/military/foreign policy establishment cabal that simply sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil, and BROOKS no contrary points of view as ….NON-SERIOUS.

    1. sleepy

      Then there’s Trump’s endorsement of the expansion of Israeli settlements.

      That might be a rhetorical break with US bipartisan policy, but it’s effectively the same.

      Combined with his recent statement that he would shoot down Russian jets that approached US navy vessels, “if diplomacy fails”, he seems to fit right in with the neocon policy of sabre-rattling against Russia.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It seems the neo-conseratives might have offered a deal that ‘I know how to make deals’ Trump couldn’t refuse.

  12. JohnnyGL

    Re: IMF article, this was good, too. Shorter version for those who don’t want to listen to a 13 min podcast:

    In countries that are less efficient as building infrastructure (more wasteful on a bang-for-your-buck basis) it’s often true that they have LESS infrastructure over all, and because of that, often times the ROI is higher for a given infrastructure project. The example given was Mexico vs. Malawi.

    Lesson for development economists? Don’t be a purist about corruption or waste on a given infrastructure project. Do it anyway, because the payoff is often huge.

  13. Synoia

    Cruz Saw No Path to G.O.P. Nomination

    Cruz cannot be a Christian. He does not believe in miracles.

  14. Synoia

    But Wolf does admit the sun has set on Britain as a world power.

    That make him a bit slow (I’m English, given to understatement).

    Some of us were very aware of that in the early ’60s. Approximately when we were pre-teen.

    1. Jim Haygood

      In other news, Spain has lost its New World colonies.

      U.S. GDP exceeded Britain’s in the 1870s.

      A half century later as World War I ended, American economic dominance was becoming more evident. Britain’s lost decade of the 1920s, after it restored sterling convertibility at the prewar parity, made its relative decline vs. the U.S. plain to all.

  15. Jim Haygood

    More trouble in the Bolivarian Workers Paradise:

    Venezuelan bonds tumbled Tuesday after IPD Latin America said the country’s oil production fell more than investors had expected.

    The yield on the country’s benchmark dollar bond due in 2027 rose to 25.1 percent. The bond’s price fell to 41.07 cents on the dollar.

    Output slid 188,000 barrels a day in the first quarter of the year to 2.59 million barrels a day, Miami-based energy consultancy IPD said in an e-mailed statement, adding that it’s the first time since 2008 that oil output has fallen across all regions in the country.

    Factors contributing to the decline in output include drilling and well maintenance difficulties due to restriction of field services and theft, IPD said, noting that well completion now takes as long as 60 days compared to a previous average of around 15 days.

    “They have not kept up on maintenance and it is showing everywhere: oil production, electricity problems,” Ray Zucaro, the chief investment officer at RVX Asset Management in Miami, said. “The place is falling apart. There’s no beer for god’s sake!”

    You’d think that having flown in thirty-six 747 cargo planeloads of freshly-printed bolivars, the country would be booming. /sarc

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Imagine if they back the Bolivar not with oil, but with marijuana.

      All marijuana transactions must be in that currency, so the new hegemon proclaims.

      You think they can’t run trade deficits as much as they want?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Pronto, their inflation is gone.

        Milk and honey pour in from Manhattan, Seattle, San Francisco and other major American cities.

  16. Nick

    Just as side note on Ted Cruz’s speech last night: I like how he still had the “Text ‘donate’ to…” sign on the podium. Nothing like a last minute appeal to those bilk those potential suckers at home.

  17. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Re: oil sands region fires

    As the residents eventually return to their charred, ruined city, I wonder if they will connect their fate with global warming, increased C02 and the massive rape of the earth that the oil sands industry represents.

    Or will they hide behind a bunch of “we will rebuild!” rah-rah, cheered on by the local politicians and media?

    1. Antifa

      Or declare trees the enemy, and clear a hundred miles of forest around “our town.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We have been warring with trees for a long, long time.

        “We have to build up our All Nature Conquering Army. Make Homo Not-So-Sapiens great again.”

    2. Ottawa

      Give it a rest, eh? It’s bad policy to piss on people whose city got hit by a spring firestorm!

      Besides, I’m willing to wager the average Northern Albertan knows a lot more about forest fires than most. And I highly doubt any Northern Albertan is gonna think that the oilsands caused climate change by itself, like if they hadn’t exploited, the weather patterns would’ve been different.

      You’re right about the political me-toos that are gonna be annoying when they rebuild the burned parts of the city, for sure. The leader of the Wildrose party is gonna try to make a ton of hay off this, in particular. Just don’t mistake their bullshit for everyone else’s. Even on the CBC web comments, some idiots are pouring scorn on Albertans and its not classy, to say the least.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Agreed. When a ‘firestorm’ breaks out, it’s often the result of decades of well-intentioned fire suppression. Spared from the natural cycle of smaller fires every 7 years or so, the forest grows dense with brush and small trees. When a monster fire breaks out amidst all that fuel load, it’s a horror and a tragedy for all concerned.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sounds like you are talking about pruning legacy political parties.

  18. JustAnObserver

    Who in the Sanders & Trump camps are writing the post primary thank-you notes to Carrier?

  19. Gaylord

    Wildfire empties Fort McMurray — a portent of what is to come: catastrophic firestorms. And here we are fiddling with Economics while Rome burns. We need to shut down civilization now.

    Fort McMurray is the hub of Alberta’s oil sands region. Cognitive dissonance alert: “Alberta’s premier Rachel Notley’s new energy policy includes plans to clean up tar sands and shut down coal-fired power plants… Rachel Notley supports a switch to clean energy to help Canada’s biggest oil-producing province move beyond fossil fuels within a century.” How ignorant and stupid can people be? We don’t have a remaining century.

    “Russell Thomas, a resident and former municipal councillor, said he had left the town around noon for work and things had looked “perfectly fine”. By the time he attempted to return, he said, it was “like the apocalypse”.”

    “It’s chaos on the roads. People are panicking. It’s gridlock on the roads. Flames are right next to a gas station,” said Carina Van Heerde on radio station KAOS.

    Meanwhile, the latest “good news” : Auto sales have a record-high April as buyers flock to SUVs and trucks —

    America’s love of trucks and SUVs helped push the auto industry to its best April ever, with most automakers reporting healthy increases.

    Human extinction is right around the corner, and it is well deserved.

    1. polecat


    2. Jess

      I would be leery of all-encompassing sales reports on “SUVs” as a broad category. It is my understanding that this includes all the smaller versions and the “crossover” types built on car platforms. IOW, what most of us grew up calling “station wagons”. Great for hauling the full family, esp. to Little League, vacation, the mall, camping, etc.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Auto sales are reported when the vehicles are delivered to dealers.

      They have not been sold necessarily to any end users.

      That’s my understanding.

  20. rich

    Stratton Oakmont Memories Resurrected in New Scam

    The brokers and promoters pumped the stock at investor conferences and in the media, according to prosecutors. One of them, Herschel Knippa III, discussed the company in 2014 on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” Knippa got kickbacks from July 2014 to March 2015 for promoting the stock, prosecutors said.

    According to the indictment, when Knippa was asked on “Varney & Co.” whether he owned shares of ForceField, he lied and said: “You bet I do. I put my money where my mouth is.”

    The stock promotion and market manipulation ended up costing investors $131 million, prosecutors said.
    The arrests of the alleged squad of brokers followed charges brought last year against Richard St-Julien, the former chairman of the purported lighting provider.

    U.S. officials accused him of scheming to boost the company’s share price in part by making secret payments to conspirators through a firm based in Belize.

    have to love those financial networks for playing their part….from Belize to Panama?

  21. portia

    the instant I saw “fog computing” I word-associated “fog of war”. is it just my interwebz-warped brain?

    Whether fog thrives or dies, we can’t help point out the karmic implications in the name.

  22. knowbuddhau

    Thanks for the link about the largest civil disobedience in the history of the environmental movement. I’m looking at one of the targets right now.

    May 13-15 in the Pacific Northwest (Anacortes, Washington): The Shell and Tesoro refineries just north of Seattle are the largest unaddressed source of carbon pollution in the Pacific Northwest and refine nearly half of all the gas and diesel consumed in the region; this system must change—within years, not decades. Thousands of people will converge upon the March Point refineries in Anacortes, Washington. Hundreds of people will risk arrest by engaging in peaceful civil disobedience on land and sea on May 13th, 14th and 15th as part of a mass action to Break Free from Big Oil and hasten the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

    The EPA just announced a $720K fine for failing to provide clear emergency plans. Seven people were killed there in a blast in 2010, resulting in a separate, $2.4M state fine, which Tesoro is now in the fifth year of appealing. They also dispute the recent fine. The reports aren’t specific as to whether or not changes have been made while the appeals are litigated.

    Maybe a change at the pump, like a sticker detailing the number of humans sacrificed per gallon, would help cut consumption. Probably not. If us Americans had a problem with sacrificing humans for oil, we wouldn’t be going to war for it on a daily basis.

    I should look in the local cemeteries for headstones that say, “Here Lies Externality 12,345,678. Shut Up and Get Back to Work.”

    Some locals are quick to point to the fact that the protesters will be driving there. As if having to participate in doing the wrong thing precludes rejecting it. I drive more than I’d like to, and that’s precisely why I’ll be going.

    The whole refinery complex looks like the kind of place only Saruman or Sauron could love. That can’t be good.

    Oh and the BNSF railroad spur that supplies the refinery? Straight up stolen from the Swinomish. BNSF stole the land by building their railroad without federal, state, or tribal permission. A couple miles of stolen property lying in plain site, and not a damn thing can be done about it. But I suppose, since I use the ground, I shouldn’t complain.

    1. polecat

      and just HOW are those thousands of people going to convey to said March Point…..hummmm……..

      Oh…I know…lets all DRIVE or CARpool…right??

      …or is everyone going to just pull off into the I-5 median…and walk the remaining distance to show how GREEN they all are?

      1. polecat

        and if the good citizens of the Puget Sound wanted to do the right thing, they would be voting a mandate for widespread mass transit, while shedding their autos…..prius’s included……..

  23. Jess

    Re: the antidote. I can’t figure out if that moose is caught mid-jump going over the fence or if he is just contentedly resting on the fence, surveying his domain.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Queen’s royalists would be wise to sit those hedgie-barons down and make sure the Little People don’t pay more for gas , at least not before November.

  24. Antifa

    The petition to boycott all Target stores because of their welcoming stance on transgender bathroom use has passed a million signatures. Now the Christian hate group American Family Association is purposely sending bearded men (some wearing dresses) into the Women’s room in various Target stores nationwide, in hopes of provoking a heated response from either Target management or the public. They are getting neither. Shoppers just shake their heads in wonderment, and continue shopping.

    What did they expect? They are basically inviting the public to come take a prurient interest in #1 and #2. This is like giving people a tour of your home, starting with the bathroom. Nobody wants to see or hear or discuss any such thing.

    Target has not responded in any media or social forum to the campaign, despite a solid drop to their stock value. In Target stores, shoppers respond with laughter to men entering the ladies room. If women are in there when men enter, they quickly leave. The most reaction any such “male missionary” has received is one store manager asking a man to please leave the store, this after he spent half an hour repeatedly following women into their bathroom. From coast to coast, no cops have been called, no fistfights, no shootings, no name calling, just giggles and stares. “What is this world coming to?”

    So far 28 states have introduced or passed versions of this anti-transgender bill. It may interest you to learn that the source of every one of these bills is a Christian lawyer’s organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom. They carefully crafted the text of the bill to give it the best chance of passing Constitutional muster on a new basis — that preventing Christians from discriminating freely and openly against homosexuals is actually government hostility toward religion, not the strict neutrality it is supposed to observe. Therefore, no laws prohibiting such religious behavior may be passed in America. It is unconstitutional to stop a Christian from hating on homosexuals or transgender persons.

    The Wikipedia page on the Alliance Defending Freedom explains the organization succinctly, and they are self-evidently a bigoted hate group. But they are all lawyers, and they have a budget of $45 million a year, and every one of those lawyers devotes several hundred hours every year to local litigation for their cause, so the issue of the Christian right to discriminate is not likely to go away any time soon.

    1. craazyboy

      Now I’m confused. I thought that bearded men, wearing dresses or not, are supposed to use the urinal room?

      1. craazyboy

        Also, is a kilt considered a dress? craazyman may know. They’re his people.

  25. portia

    I really like that Intercept article by Snowden. But he never gets to the part where there’s all that money to be made by keeping the MIC and spy stuff going. Regime change, corp interests. Maybe the people in NSA, CIA, etc do not want to admit it to themselves, it would take away their “mission”. Maybe they really do not want to think about who they are really working for.

  26. PaulHarveyOswald

    Regarding the Somali woman on Nauru… I don’t know anything about Somalia, but I do know a little about Nauru. Nauru was once rich in phosphate–essentially bird poop–that was mined so aggressively that the island was basically uninhabitable. But, the island got stinky rich. Which they proceeded to squander (which is too gentle a way to put it) and now the island is broke. So, now Nauru trying its luck as a tax haven. OK, that’s the back story of the modern culture. Not ideal. I lived on a small pacific island (by choice) for a couple years and I can understand the claustrophobia. There is no where to go. Even if you have a boat it is essentially suicide to attempt the open ocean. Nauru was certainly seen as severe punishment for this woman, not “detention”. OK, self immolation is extreme. But I get it.

    1. low integer

      It is not just that the refugees are being held in detention, it is that they are being held in indefinite detention, in appalling conditions. This combination of physical hardship and psychological hopelessness is breaking people who have no doubt already successfully weathered some pretty shocking experiences. This is not to mention any of the cases in which the detention center staff have acted improperly, of which there have been numerous incidents, including at least one rape of an asylum seeker. I think it has turned into one of those toxic situations where the only people willing to work on the security/enforcement side of things in these detention centers are exactly the types that shouldn’t be there to begin with.

      Australia really took a turn for the worse when our selfish and/or ignorant majority voted for Abbott, who then went on to appoint Dutton as the imigration minister. Two peas in a pod, they are.

      Refugees don’t self-harm because of me, Peter Dutton, they self-harm because of you

      Peter Dutton photo goes global after he demands it be deleted from internet

  27. ChrisPacific

    I got a chuckle out of the headline about China tapping emergency pork reserves. I think the last time the US did that was when they wanted to get the TARP passed.

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