Links 5/9/16

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Five islands in Solomons submerged due to sea-level rise Digital Journal

Panama Papers:

Panama Papers report alleges New Zealand prime place for rich to hide money Reuters

Panama Papers Data Leak : King of Saudi Arabia sponsored Netanyahu’s campaign Al-Masdar News

Is Pro-Business Reform Pro-Growth? Evan Soltas

Powerful Policy Maker Believes the Fed’s on the Right Track NYTimes

Middle-Class Families Feel More Squeezed by Rising U.S. Rents WSJ

Robert McChesney: Capitalism Is a Bad Fit for a Technological Revolution Truthout


Few stand in Trump’s way as he piles up the Four-Pinocchio whoppers Washington Post

Facebook Confirms it Will Sponsor Trump’s Republican Convention Fortune

Veterans call on Trump to show respect The Hill. I’m wary of saying that anything will really hurt Trump, given the evidence of the past year. But stiffing vets might.

Dem convention host: Sanders supporters better ‘behave themselves’ when he loses The Hill

Financial Sector Gives Hillary Clinton a Boost WSJ

Administration tightens ObamaCare sign-up rules The Hill

White House aide Ben Rhodes responds to controversial New York Times profile Politico


Thousands take to streets in Greece ahead of reform vote

Greece Passes Austerity Measures As Creditors Remain Deadlocked Over Bailout Terms WSJ

Blacklisted workers win £10m payout from construction firms The Guardian

China foreign exchange trading moves into shadows as Beijing tightens screws Reuters

Turkey stages cross-border operations against PKK and ISIL in Iraq and Syria Hurriyet Daily News

Italy may be the next big migrant route Washington Post

Trade Minister disappointed at Labour’s TPP vote NZ Herald News

Our Benevolent Tech Overlords

Prop 1 fails, marking defeat for Uber and Lyft in Austin Uber and Lyft spent over $8 million to wiggle out of city council-passed regulations and lost. They’re now claiming they will pull out of the city. I give it a week.

Lenders Get Burned Betting on Ivy Leaguers WSJ. Hahaha. Online lenders haven’t figured out the Ivy kids are a bigger risk to default, because they can afford to take risks, as they have a built in safety net from generations of wealth. Better tweak that lending algorithm.

Blacks See Gains in Life Expectancy NY Times

San Diego district attorney reverses course and releases video of officer-involved shootings LA Times

ABC News Says That Spending 0.03 Percent of GDP on Fixing Lead Pipes Is “Colossal” Cost Dean Baker, Beat the Press

Fans brawl at wheelchair basketball game BBC

[Aristotle], On Trolling Journal of the American Philosophical Association (h/t Henry F)

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. reader

    The commentary on the ivy league loans is exactly opposite to what the article discusses – almost like it wasn’t read . “Online lenders haven’t figured out the Ivy kids are a bigger risk to default, because they can afford to take risks, as they have a built in safety net from generations of wealth. Better tweak that lending algorithm.” – that entire article is about prepayments, not defaults.

    Here’s a quote

    “High prepayments are leaving some investors at risk of receiving less in interest payments than initially expected, adding to pressure on some bond prices. Some SoFi bonds have fallen by as much as 2% since last summer, according to Interactive Data Corp., a firm that provides fixed-income valuations. While not a large amount compared with other investments, losing anything is notable for what is often billed as a low-risk bond.”

  2. Skippy

    Ref – Panama Papers report alleges NZ prime place for rich to hide money

    NZ deal started almost 15 years ago, with setting it up as a bug out destination or island bunker / playground for the well heeled…. ME / 9-11 and other stuff…. tho in the end there is no such place as Galts Gulch…. anymore…

    Disheveled Marsupial…. sometimes I wonder if the Mighty Wurlitzer emits a Ketamine sub wave… in its broad cast…..

    1. Optimader

      …. setting it up as a bug out destination or island bunker / playground for the well heeled…. ME / 9-11 and other stuff….

      Hopefully being built by enterprising NZ contractors in the “geologically active” areas to rhe north? In the theme of the first rocket ship off the planet in Hitchikers Guide

      1. Skippy

        Sadly Opti it was all front run largely by financiers out of Singapore, so it was a one trip phony. Now that things have been cooling down in Oz all the labours from NZ have been on a Exodus back home to seek family support. Now with the TJN findings – pan rattling and our own Richard Smiths spelunking –

        NZ is selling off to the Chinese seeking assets whilst it watches its VoM multipliers through flow of funds in tax trusts go poof….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. but hay…. we have 50B to sink on subs from France to ward off boat people… and its 30C in Rugby season…. might have to change the ‘sub’ tropics thingy….

        1. optimader

          Well, my an acquaintances from Tasmania claim it’s nicer than NZ, on the short list for me to visit, never been there., … Unfortunately OZ and its little siblings will probably go the Vancouver and become Chinese Provinces.. Human Entropy. I find it interesting that Chinese are so proud of their countries culture/advancements that they cant wait to secure the toll fee get the fck out?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Hairball is a mad hairball, who, I just heard on radio, was talking about taxing the rich and raising min. wage – taking a page out of Bernie’s play book, or just more random thoughts of his???

      And a snubbed hairball, even with billions in assets and liabilities, as Ryan in congress wouldn’t deign to talk to him directly.

      1. hreik

        What he really needs to do instead of dissing Mexicans is level with his supporters. Explain that it is NAFTA, corporations that’ve gone overseas that’ve taken their jobs. Not the Mexicans.

        1. Jess

          Unfortunately, you’re wrong about the Mexicans part. Go to virtually any part of the country and you will see a traditional stronghold of blue collar jobs — the construction trades — dominated by illegal immigrants. And wages have fallen accordingly. Not just relative to inflation but in real dollar terms.

          1. Lumpenproletariat

            How about granting a mass amnesty (mass deportations would do the trick too, but are a lot more cruel) and then institute a much higher living wagw, higher job protections, and actually enforce these laws?

            I can’t get angry at the illegal immigrants because they’re the most exploited ones. Plus they are disproportionately here because the US government has either bombed, or bribed their home countries into being compliant domicile for US corporations.

            1. Jess

              A higher minimum wage or raising current wages above the new, higher minimum wage does not solve the problem of too many people competing for the same number of limited jobs. The idea of a Basic Income Guarantee or a Universal Jobs Guarantee (where you get the money but must do some kind of civic work) has been discussed here frequently. But the idea of paying people who don’t work (BIG) or to do work that is not absolutely necessary (UJG) requires a mammoth adjustment to the traditional American “work ethic”. And you will only be able to sell the general public on either of those ideas if you first stop the population increase due to illegal immigration. No one in their right mind is going to support a BIG for anyone who wants to come here. Just not gonna happen. And the idea of uncontrolled immigration is at odds with a UJG because, at some point, we’ll run out of things for people to do. (Unless we adopt the old military punishment technique of forcing people to dig holes only to fill them in again.)

              1. zapster

                If we give them the same wage and hour protections as any other worker, the ‘illegal advantage’ disappears.

          2. Adams Eran

            Sorry, Mexican real incomes declined 34% after NAFTA. They’re economic refugees, not job stealers.

          3. myshkin

            Are you making the argument that illegal migrant workers are responsible for low wage jobs in the US? With all the systemic downward pressures exerted on wages over the past few decades, the coincidence of IMs and low wages is not cause and effect.
            Low wages likely have more to do with the neo liberalism and the rigged nature of our socio-economic unbalancing act.

          4. cwaltz

            The irony is the Hispanic community has been instrumental in fighting for worker rights. They aren’t the problem. It’s employers that are taking advantage.

          5. Dana

            Trades? Nope. Laborers for sure. But the undocumented immigrants working there now, have replaced citizens who worked under the table. Undocumented work, not undocumented workers, is the problem.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s correct.

          Neoliberalism and adventures abroad lead to refugees.

          If he can get the US out of the ME, undo the chaos we have sown, there will be way fewer people on the move.

      2. reslez

        Wait 30 mins and he’ll contradict himself again. He’s a con artist. Not like wages are anything important — unless you are trying to survive in this country, I mean.

        Asked “should the federal government set a floor” – a national minimum wage – Trump replied: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do.

        “And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other.”

        Trump calls for end to federal minimum wage as views shift

        He’s advocating a race to the bottom, just like all the other billionaires.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          This is the latest from Trump (via Marketwatch):

          Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may be right his theory that the U.S. can avoid a default by just printing money but the results would be disastrous, leading experts say.

          In an interview on CNN on Monday, Trump said the U.S. could never default on its debt because the U.S. prints the money.

          “You never had to default because you print the money,” Trump said.

          One observer said Trump was “out of his mind.”

          As far as I know, by this, he has beaten Sanders in unveiling MMT to the public.

          1. cwaltz

            Okay, I’ve got to give Trump some points for this.

            The guy is dropping fiscal reality left and right. Between this statement and his statement that he can force bondholders to take a haircut(which is what they are attempting to do to Social Security) he’s probably making conventional DCs head explode.

            The guy is a mad man but he isn’t completely wrong on how fiscal policy works.

  3. ArkansasAngie

    I won’t vote for Hillary
    I don’t want to vote for Trump.
    I will vote for trump if he is the only thing standing in the way of Hillary.

    So … Gary Johnson?

    Notice how there is no talk of third parties … still.

    1. cwaltz

      I’d vote for Gary if Jill is not in the mix.

      I fundamentally disagree with him on government regulation of business, however, he at least, is a consistent libertarian. He doesn’t think the government belongs telling us what medical procedures we can have or who we can marry either. That’s a sight better than the Paul family who are incredibly inconsistent in who exactly needs regulation.

  4. Pat

    So the administration is addressing the Insurance industry’s complaints that the public can game the system. Where are the new rules tightening regulations that allow the Industry to game the system against the public like limits on the size of the networks say cannot be less than 75% the size of your largest network say, or relabeling the administration costs they allowed to be “medical” accurately so they are the correct side when figuring the medical loss ratio. Oh wait only systemic administrative wise gaming of the system can be allowed, individual consumers acting in their own best interests, never.

    1. katiebird

      Also, it’s not a game! We deserve access to health care. And that the President and his minions keep referring to the situation in dismissive terms by comparing our very lives to a “game” makes me sick!

      How many times have we heard Obama justify high premiums, co-pays & deductibles by saing that we must have “skin in the game” … As if our lives & heath aren’t skin enough.

      And now “gaming the system” like we’re trying to sneak into a movie.

      When can we start electing people who think we deserve to live? (Feeling the bern, please)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m astonished Democrats aren’t in a full blown panic over ACA and Healthcare costs. They’ve probably lied to themselves for so long they really expect one more Friedman unit to turn everything around. Healthcare and the real economy will have greater determination on the election than anything.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “The extra periods allow people to sign up for insurance outside of the regular enrollment period if they move.”

      Are these people seriously suggesting some meaningful number of uninsured americans are changing residences, with all that involves, instead of waiting six or eight months for the next open enrollment period? I’ve read that moving is one of the most traumatic life experiences there is and, having done it many times myself, I would agree.

      One of the “selling points” of this miserable program was supposed to be “portability.” So much for that. Now, instead of being tied to a job for coverage, you’re tied to your address.

      Quite the “innovation.”

      1. Pat

        I haven’t looked into it, but I really don’t get that either. I don’t know if changing addresses within in a region counted for a new enrollment period, but moving to another town or region is a big deal if you are facing a medical crisis – think of the doctor changes as well. Admittedly if you haven’t had regular care what is what new doctor to another, but still. And then there is the loss of the personal support system (friends and family left at the old location).

        And yes that doesn’t even address the normal trauma of packing, finding a place to live, security deposits or home sales, and the massive costs involved in moving.

        But beyond all that, I’m still appalled that what is probably a small segment of manipulating a system for your own reward is being addressed before the shrinking networks and drug classification that are being done on large scales by the insurance companies.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          You’re right.

          In this bizarro world, the cunning, grifting “little people” are the unscrupulous villains, and the filthy rich behemoth corporations the innocent victims.

          In this world, cheating mortgage borrowers outwit poor, unsuspectng, colossally profitable banks, and scheming “healhcare” hogs take advantage of insurance companies just trying to get along and take care of their shareholders.

          I guess this is what oligarchy looks like in practice, mind blowing though it is. I don’t doubt that this would be glaringly obvious to a responsible press if such a thing existed.

          Look no further than this when attempting to explain Trump.

  5. allan

    China curbs Baidu healthcare ads business after student’s death [Reuters]

    Chinese regulators imposed limits on the lucrative healthcare adverts carried by Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) on Monday following the death of a student who underwent experimental cancer treatment he found via China’s biggest search engine.

    Baidu’s shares fell by 5 percent in pre-market trading in New York following the move, as healthcare provides 20 to 30 percent of the company’s search revenue, analysts at Nomura and Daiwa said. Search revenues represented some 84 percent of the firm’s total sales in 2015.

    Baidu shares have fallen since the controversy over the death of student Wei Zexi erupted at the start of the month and had lost 10.5 percent of their value by last week’s close.

    The restrictions mean the company must clean up in-search healthcare adverts and paid-for search adverts of any kind cannot only be based on the highest bidder, a statement from the internet, industry and health regulators which was posted on the website of the Cyberspace Administration of China said.

    This sounds suspiciously like government regulators actually doing their jobs. Apparently, unlike Lanny Breuer, the Chinese folks don’t lay awake at night worrying about the “collateral damage in the form of bad press and political fallout” of their regulatory actions.

    1. Nick

      Political fallout might be a prime motivator of this. The hospital where the procedure occurred is just one in a network that has made a lot of money in recent decades for some in govt. This event furthers the image of that group as a bit scammy, and playing this incident up in media, with accompanying regulation, may open up space in healthcare $$ for others (in govt) to seize.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Indeed nice to see some hints of regulation, but what would be really swell would be for those crazy pinko commies to eliminate the whole problem by giving free healthcare to all of their citizens.

  6. Carolinian

    Re Ben Rhodes/the Iran deal–Rhodes says

    we did not have any serious prospect of reaching a nuclear deal until after the election of Hassan Rouhani in 2013

    but in fact a similar deal negotiated by Brazil and Turkey had been reached in 2010 and rejected by the US

    Jacqueline Shire, senior analyst at the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said: “I think that the US, and others, assumes – clearly incorrectly – that the process would not work. The full story has not been told. I’ve read that Turkey and Brazil clearly believed they were keeping the US fully in the loop and negotiating on their behalf.” Henry Precht, a former US State Department official with expertise on Iran, described Washington’s response to the fuel swap deal as “irritated, blustering, threatening, captious and surly”.

    Just speculating one wonders if the real regime change was the departure of Hillary Clinton from the State Dept. With his hawkish secretary gone Obama seems to be seeking some last minute image burnishing as a peacenik through the Iran and Cuba initiatives (while in typically confused fashion warmongering elsewhere and even undermining his own Iran deal with new missile claims).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I wonder if it was more Kerry grasping for his own legacy. Since the problems with Cuba and Iran are entirely on our end, they are easy fixes.

      There have been rumors that European businesses were planning to lobby against Iran sanctions and that the Pope indicated he would demand an end to he sanctions on his Cuba trip. Obama had to act to avoid embarrassment.

    2. Pat

      While I believe that the US is still far too ‘captious and surly’ and continues to have a burr up its ass about quite a few things in the Mid East and regarding Russia, there has been a significant difference in our foreign policy post Hillary Clinton. Unmistakable if you are really examining it.

      That is just one of the reasons I cannot possibly imagine supporting putting Clinton back in any position in the federal government again.

    3. RabidGandhi

      Not so sure how much HRC/Kerry had to do with the Cuba timing. The Obama Administration’s détente with Cuba came just before the 7th Summit of the Americas. At the 6th Summit, ALBA (the Latin American alternative to the OAS [Organisation of American States]) had threatened to boycott if Cuba was not admitted. A boycott would have effectively signaled the end of the OAS, and the isolation of the US and Canada from the region. Thus ALBA effectively forced the US to make a decision: either begin normalisation with Cuba or say goodbye to your pet project the OAS. The timing of the switch in US Cuba policy coincided perfectly with this.

      Then again, with the current wave of conservative backlashes in the region (Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela), if Obama had waited they may have been able to continue torturing Cuba as before.

  7. Steve H.

    – Panama Papers Data Leak : King of Saudi Arabia sponsored Netanyahu’s campaign

    “In March 2015, King Salman has deposited eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign via a Syrian-Spanish person named Mohamed Eyad Kayali.”

    That would be a lot of money in an American campaign, Scaled up for population, that’s nearly 3 Billion (B) dollars!

    When does treachery meet the definition of treason? Lest we forget:

    1. Rhondda

      Saudi king also (according to Wm Engdahl) “gifted” Turkey with $10 billion at the time of Erdogan’s 2014 prez campaign.

      I poked around a bit into who the “biznizman’ (cough***money launderer***cough) was…Teddy Sagi. Quite a piece of work, that guy. Involved in those binary options/forex fraud businesses that were linked to on NC some weeks back, online gambling and porn. Seems like mafia stuff to me.

      It figures. It’s what I’d expect of Bibi. But the money came from the Saudi’s…? Like with Erdo, what were they buying?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Did he gift the country or the campaign?

        Could win the Peace prize gifting the country, and inspire many kings and billionaires to do the same.

      2. Steve H.

        One insufficient answer: American resources aimed at Iran.

        General Wesley Clark: “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

        That memo was from 2001. They’re a little behind schedule.

    2. Dr. Roberts

      The idea of a Saudi-owned Israeli PM is a bit difficult to wrap one’s head around. It will be interesting to see what kind of play this factoid gets in the Israeli press, which from my limited impressions is as divided and partisan as Israeli politics. There has been controversy about his financial backers before, but that’s been mostly Israeli oligarchs or American Jews. The Saudi King backing him with such a huge sum should be much more controversial in Israel. This may be enough to weaken him terminally.

      1. polecat

        Saudi Arabia & Israel………..the Bobbsey Twins……. from Hell…….

        ….and their little pet…Turkey……

        1. paul

          I think its perfectly in character for him to boldly do the right thing…..especially if there’s a few bob left in the slush fund.

      2. cwaltz

        The impression I’m getting is the Saudis are the ME version of us. They completely want to control the region. That’s why they threw a hissy fit when we wouldn’t go after Syria or Iran for them.

        It also explains why Saudis and Israelis have been on the same page when it comes to Iran as a threat.

    3. Left in Wisconsin

      Website is now saying the story is not true – source of the story says he never said such a thing.

        1. thoughtful person

          However the links to the moseca files still are posted. I did not check them out. So story could still be true.

    4. cassandra

      Isaac Herzog, to whom the story was attributed, has told Al-Masdar News that his quote was fabricated. Sure, that kind of claim is innocently but mistakenly fabricated all the time. But are there other corroborations?

  8. GlobalMisanthrope

    Regarding Uber and Lyft defeat in Austin

    I was really happy about this defeat, especially because it was won on the basis of preserving democratic control over policy rather than on the underlying security issues related to the disputed background checks. HOWEVER, the companies are apparently already lobbying the Legislature for an end run around the local rules, just like with fracking bans. I’m not hopeful.

    1. EGrise

      Unfortunately the Lege has a long tradition of passing laws tailored specifically to whack Austin. So yeah, I’m not hopeful either.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “Don’t Californicate Austin” … oops, too late!

        It’s not weird no more.

        1. ambrit

          Some of Phyllis’ relatives lived in Austin a decade ago. Even then, they would call the process then ongoing “yuppification.”
          One mentioned an old joke that had been adapted to the town:
          “If you have to ask how much the rent is, you don’t belong here.”

    2. Carla

      Yes, as long as we allow corporations to have constitutional “rights,” we will continue to have to fight these battles one at a time. On that basis, in aggregate, We the People will always lose. A lot of history has been hidden from most of us, but here’s a taste:

      “The American colonists did not revolt simply over a tax on tea.
      The laborers, small farmers, traders, artisans, seamstresses,
      mechanics and landed gentry who sent King George III packing,
      feared corporations. As pamphleteer Thomas Earle was to write in
      1823: “Chartered privileges are a burden, under which the people
      of Britain, and other European nations, groan in misery.”

      While American volunteers were routing the king’s armies, they
      vowed to put corporations under democratic command. After the
      revolution, people were determined to keep investment and
      production decisions local and democratic. They believed
      corporations were neither inevitable nor always appropriate.

      Many colonial citizens argued that under the Constitution, no
      business could be granted special privileges. Others worried that
      once incorporators amassed wealth, they would use their corporate
      shields to control jobs and production, buy off the press and
      dominate elections and the courts…

      …Having thrown off British rule, the revolutionaries delegated
      their elected state legislators to issue corporate charters on the
      people’s behalf. For 100 years after the signing of the
      Declaration of Independence, citizen vigilance and activism forced
      legislators to keep corporations on a short civic leash…

      …States limited corporate charters to a set number of years.
      Citizen authority clauses dictated rules for issuing stock, for
      shareholder voting, for obtaining corporate information, for
      paying dividends and for keeping records. They limited corporate
      capitalization, debts, land holdings and sometimes profits. They
      required a company’s books to be turned over to a legislature upon

      …Charter Revocation

      In 19th-century America, many citizens believed that it was
      society’s inalienable right to abolish an evil. The penalty for
      abuse or misuse of corporate charters, therefore, was not simply a
      plea bargain or corporate fine, as in International Paper’s case.
      It was revocation of the charter and dissolution of the

      Accordingly, revocation clauses were written into Pennsylvania
      charters as early as 1784. The first revocation clauses were added
      to insurance company charters in 1809, and to banking charters in
      1814. During the 1840s and 1850s, states revoked charters
      routinely. In Ohio, Pennsylvania and Mississippi, banks lost
      charters for activities that ‘were likely to leave them in an
      insolvent or financially unsound condition,’ according to business
      scholar Edwin M. Dodd. Massachusetts and New York revoked turnpike
      charters when corporations were found guilty of ‘not keeping their
      roads in repair.'”

      — Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation by Grossman and
      Adams. The 32-page booklet is available for $5 from POCLAD, Box 246,
      S. Yarmouth, MA 02664.

      For a constitutional amendment, search either “move to amend” or “legiscan” and “hjr-48.” Providing the links would send this into moderation.

      1. Dave

        If corporations are “people”, why is it that they get to write off their interest payments against their taxes, while people cannot?

        Can I just incorporate myself so as to be able to write off my personal interest payments?

        Oh, and copy write myself so as to make data-miners pay me royalties?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Probably $800 a year fee to the franchise tax board as a corporation.

          Then file for the corporation, every April.

          And file for oneself.

          Two separate fillings.

          1. Jess

            Actually file for the corporation by March 15th, and then your personal return by April 15th.

      2. diptherio

        Thanks for that quote. It’s good to remember that we used to understand some of these things. I’ve been on about revoking corporate charters forever. How can you create an entity that is, for all practical purposes, immortal and un-jailable and then expect that it’s not going to take over the world?

        1. Carla

          You’re welcome! I think the late Richard Grossman was the gold standard re: the history of corporate personhood, and POCLAD continues his work.

  9. Alex morfesis

    Will hillary do a tom glavine (circa 2007) & lose the nomination at the last moment…it is starting to feel like september 2007…drip drip drip….

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Glavine is a hall of fame who pitched pretty well given his age and mileage on the season. 13 wins is solid, and the Cardinals, the Red Sox, or Tampa Bay was going to win anyway. So who cares? Hillary is more like a player with great talent but refuses to read scouting reports or sit in the film room and is confused when showing up after a night of hard drinking isn’t working anymore. No, I’m not comparing her to Manziel. He was never going to be anything except a world class clip board carrier.

      Seriously, Mets fans need to get over this. He wasn’t a Braves double agent.

      1. Jess

        What I remember most about Glavine is the year he went 7-15, didn’t like the team’s salary offer for the coming year, went to arbitration and got a $3 mil raise. (No, I’m not making this up.)

    2. neo-realist

      As a Met fan, I thought that Glavine, for the most part, pitched well for us and that there were no underhanded intentions on his part:).

  10. D.R.

    re : Uber defeat in Austin

    I worked in the campaign against Uber/Lyft. Uber was the heavy and dragged Lyft along in tandem. One of the things that sank them was their monumental corporate arrogance and hubris. The average voter probably received 20 direct mail pieces from them and was exposed to hundreds of TV and internet messages, yet in the end they pissed off most of the city. Most of the news media, which started out neutral, turned against them because their campaign consisted of an endless series of bellicose threats and ridiculous lies. One of their main ad claims was that if their company written ordinance passed, “it would guarantee comprehensive national background checks”—which omitted the fact that their ordinance specifically prohibited fingerprint background checks for their drivers. They had a million sprightly slogans, but their essential message boiled down to “Give us everything we want, or we’re leaving.” We pointed out that fingerprinting, which they claimed was intolerable to their “business model” in Austin, was a requirement they had accepted and operated under in New York and Houston. It was a repulsive performance. They paid $50,000 to an ex Mayor to act as their local campaign chair. He neglected to mention that fact until reporters caught him. Thereafter much of the local media took to referring to him as “a paid agent” of Uber/Lyft. Their campaign employed much of Obama’s team by the way, led by David Plouffe, with Axlerod’s old firm doing the media. The general consensus among the local consulting team that organized against them was that it was a poorly conceived, poorly executed campaign, both strategically and tactically.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Sound like Axelrod thought Silly Valuations glibertarian talking points were portable to Austin without alteration. Either that, or he was just pandering to the execs, who believe that stuff. Crime makes you stupid, I guess.

  11. Kurt Sperry

    I’m not entirely sure that the notion that Trump must grease the TV press with a billion dollars of bought media time to be competitive is entirely correct in this election cycle. A dramatic narrative that will bring in viewers and sell ad time requires not only a protagonist, but a foil for that protagonist as well. And the story doesn’t work if the foil isn’t developed within the narrative. The media petulantly ignoring Trump in the absence of his forking over cubic f**ktons of Tubmans may not work the way they envision. If the media are seen as overly partial in the coming race it could perhaps do them more damage than it does Trump. People are already skeptical of big media’s impartiality. If I were in Trump’s camp I might just forego the billion dollar ad campaign and dare the media to do their worst. They can’t very well Sanders him by ignoring him when there are only two figures left to write about. Well not, and sell their product too.

    1. optimader

      The MSM news”folk”may have sown the seeds of their own doom relative to the now historically expected huge media buys –by treating Trump as inexpensive production cost Sideshow Bob filler.

      Once they established their “news services” as having no monetary value (by giving Trump tons of free media impressions) it will be a slog to convince him that it now has some huge value. But how can MSM not cover 1 of 2 candidates equally without becoming irrelevant??
      Ditto for the HRC juggernaut re: media buys if they have any sense.. (which I suspect they don’t.) Interestingly, when Clinton, Inc. starts buying huge blocks of commercial time unilaterally, will it be fuel the bought & captured by Wall St meme?,

      If I were Trump I would not be in a hurry to buy media, and rather I’d spend it on a ground campaign.

      Incidentally I just saw a big Trump campaign bus blasting south on I294 “to Indiana” near ohare a couple hours ago. Public events, force media coverage? maybe the smart play.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If it takes two men to bring down a woman, so be it.

      We do what we have to do.

      1. ambrit

        My problem with that is that the Clinton Hagiographers are running a campaign to have her viewed as a “Goddess.” No mere ‘woman’ is she now. If the Roman Senate could declare an Emperor a God, why not equal opportunity today?
        (I would love to see a lobbying group on ‘K’ Street named “Vox Populi.”)

        1. craazyboy

          Saint Bill worships Hillary too!

          This is really turning into the “Fiction is stranger than the truth” campaign.

          1. polecat

            “Claudius….Caligula was here”…..”He,he said he wouldn’t ma, ma, make me a Goddess …. he said I would stew in Hell !!!”

            ……..”Please Claudius……don’t let me stew in Hell………I want to be a Goddess”………!!

  12. timbers

    I do like how Trump trashes the framing and conventional wisdom. At least he forces these guys called reporters to have to work a little bit dealing with someone like Trump (below is loosely rephrased the dialogue is fast and furious):

    “I’ve talked about trade not the totally innapropriate thing you brought up at the being of the interview….Clinton approved NAFTA…it’s just sucked the jobs it’s just sucked everything out of this country….it has just destroyed manufacturing”

    Chris Cuomo: “Hillary didn’t sign NAFTA, Bush did….”

    Trump: “Who signed NAFTA? Clinton signed NAFTA….”

    Lost more very entertaining.

    1. RabidGandhi

      WSJ is now reporting on the Brazilian Kolotoumba:

      Waldir Maranhão, the acting president of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, on Monday decided to overturn the body’s April 17 decision to send the impeachment process to the Senate for a possible trial.

      Monday’s news upends an already tumultuous process that was expected to see Ms. Rousseff suspended from office later this week. It is still not clear whether Mr. Maranhão’s decision could affect a Senate vote that had been expected to take place this week. Senate leadership couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

      The decision by Mr. Maranhão could mean that the Chamber will have to vote again on whether to support impeachment proceedings against Ms. Rousseff. The Chamber voted overwhelmingly last month to recommend that the president be tried on allegations that she violated budget laws. Ms. Rousseff has denied the allegations.

      Mr. Maranhão said in a note that many deputies had announced their votes ahead of time, depriving Ms. Rousseff of a fair hearing. He said that Ms. Rousseff also was deprived of a final chance to defend herself before the vote.

      It should be noted that Maranhão is a member of the Progressive Party (PP) and an erstwhile ally of both Rousseff and her arch-enemy Eduardo Cunha, who was just ousted from Congress after leading the impeachment. Puzzle me that one, Batman.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Seems to be a problem with the link, but here’s O Globo on the subject:

      Today the Interim President of the Chamber of Deputies, Waldir Maranhão, annulled the continuance of impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Their commencement was approved by the full House on 17 April.

      Prepared by the Attorney General, the application for suspension was seeking the annulment of the sessions held on 15, 16 and 17 April, according to a statement issued by the press office of the presidency of the Chamber.

      From the Attorney General’s application, Maranhão considered that “some defects occurred that have rendered the [parliamentary] session in question null and void,” as the text states.

      It’s like a coup or something … oh wait, that’s the Rousseff defenders’ word.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Trump this morning on CNN:

    “Let me just tell you: if interest rates go up and bonds go down, you can buy debt — that’s what I’m talking about. So here is the story, if we have an opportunity where interest rates go up and you can buy back debt at a discount. I always like to be able to do that if you can do that.”

    Trump is speaking from a business point of view. Most businesses, most of the time, are profitable and have cash reserves.

    Unfortunately, neither is true of Big Gov. It runs at a chronic loss, and lives hand to mouth with weekly infusions of T-bill borrowing and monthly note sales.

    At best, Treasury could issue some 50 or 100 year bonds, and use the proceeds to buy back some outstanding debt of shorter tenor (or simply let it mature).

    1. craazyboy

      In the same interview Trump said “print money”, so I guess now the Fed chief does what the Prez wants? Or maybe it always did. I never get the “top secret” memos.

      We probably should list the step by step process, like the South Park Treasury Bond Gnomes most certainly would.

      Step 0: ???????
      Step 1 : Make long term interest rates go up / bond prices go down
      Step 2 : Have the Federal Reserve print oodles of money
      Step 3 : Buy the cheap Treasuries
      Step 4: ??????

      I hate to say to say it, but Step 0 could be the $18 trillion dollar 1 oz. Platinum coin.

      1. optimader

        fck platinum..milk chocolate wrapped in gold flashed aluminum foil. IIRC, back in napoleon’s day, aluminum was more valuable than platinum. In these matters, Its all worth what tptb say it’s worth.

      2. sd

        Now there’s a Trump trophy, an $18 trillion dollar coin with his face on it. You know, I’d stand in line and pay to see it.

    2. reslez

      The U.S. Treasury hasn’t issued callable securities since 1985. If Trump wants to “buy back debt” he’ll have to get in line behind everyone else who wants to own T-bills or bonds. Doing that while QE continues would certainly be an interesting state of affairs.

    3. cwaltz

      It also has assets coming in, since it can and does collect taxes. What would prevent President Trump from using tax dollars to buy back that debt at a discount?

      Would that kind of behavior be risky? Sure. I’m betting businessman Donald is a risk taker though.

      C’mon lucky seven!

    4. I Have Strange Dreams

      You are clueless: the US does not need to “borrow” to function. If the US needs dollars, it just prints them. Bam! Like magic. Except it’s just plain lod monetary operations. Do us all a favor and read up on modern monetary procedures because you’re boring the pants off the rest of us who have, and misleading those who have not – which I guess is your intention.

  14. Nick

    Such a wonderfully helpful article in the NYT explaining (read: whitewashing) what is sure to be a major loss for Hillary in West Virginia. I am looking forward to the post-primary explanations as to why Bernie scored another “upset” in California, where he is sure to win since independents can take part as well.

    The best line is:

    “It’s unclear whether these voters sincerely support Mr. Sanders.”

    NYT is easily Clinton’s best Super PAC

    1. cwaltz

      Meh, she’s polling under 10 behind him there. I hope it’s a rout but I suspect that if she performs where she’s poling we’re all going to hear how she’s a “winner” despite losing like they did in Indiana.

      1. Nick

        Exactly, he’s only polling about 6 points ahead because they’re only polling likely voters, wheras he has a broader appeal and is likely to draw lots of independent and maybe even republican voters (just like in Indiana and what is sure to happen in California) because it isn’t a closed primary – hence the whitewashing article dismissing the significance of the vote. My guess is that it will be a total blowout. But the media will nonetheless dutifully stick to its “it doesn’t change the math” narrative.

  15. Howard Beale IV

    Kashkari tells Schafer he knew what he was doing: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
    The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis next week will have its second symposium on what to do about the risk of having to bail out a bank that is still too big to fail. Its president, Neel Kashkari, says he thought the initiative would make a splash. Instead, banks are “trying to throw every criticism at us.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From South China Morning Post:

    More than 8,000 taxi hailing app drivers suspended in Shenzhen in review after killing of woman passenger

  17. cwaltz

    This is interesting…….apparently the FBI is connecting the dots on the Clinton Foundation too.

    From the FBI agent Conway,

    “She has been asked to provide all of that traffic and there have been instances during the course of the investigation that maybe she didn’t hand over all those documents, all of that email traffic. Could that be an obstruction of justice? Interesting to see. Were emails destroyed? That is a violation of the law in terms of destruction of evidence. So, there are a lot of problems here. I think there is a gross negligence of the handling of classified information that protects our national security.”


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