Links 6/16/16

Our nation can’t afford past-its-sell-date economic orthodoxy The Hill (ES).

US Recession Odds Hit 55% According to Deutsche Bank Model MishTalk

Gold is no safe port in this storm FT

Government Manipulating Hydro Finances, Says Former Civil Servant The Tyee

Turnbull sucked into bribery scandal Macrobusiness. New Zealand, Canada, Australia… What is it with the Five Eyes, these days?

Home Depot Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Visa, MasterCard WSJ

Airbnb gets $1 billion debt facility from U.S. banks: source Reuters

Africa’s largest oil producer might be facing a new threat Business Insider


Investors Flee Banks in U.K. and Europe, as Brexit Jitters Mount WSJ

Out, and into the world — The Spectator backs Brexit Spectator

British Fashion Takes a Stand Against Brexit NYT

Brexit: how a fringe idea took hold of the Tory party Guardian

A weekend in Marseille AFP. Football hooligans.


China Dumping More Than Treasuries as U.S. Stocks Join Fire Sale Bloomberg

China’s Students Are Sharing Their Secrets … In English Foreign Policy


America manages to infuriate both Sunni and Shia FT

Police State Watch

New Report: FBI Can Access Hundreds of Millions of Face Recognition Photos EFF

FACE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY FBI Should Better Ensure Privacy and Accuracy (PDF) GAO. (Tweet storm by Alvaro Bedoya.)

Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can’t audit it) Boing Boing (and see this from 2010).

Barbaric Conditions That Led to a Detainee’s Death Are Laid Bare in CIA Reports Vice

Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager East Bay Express


Democratic senators begin filibuster over gun control McClatchy. In an election year, when they have no power to pass legislation. Wow.

A filibuster in favor of gun control is probably doomed, but the real fight is in the states Yahoo News

What Gun Control Advocates Can Learn From Abolitionists Salon. One would think that the parallel between human sale in the form of slavery and human rental in the form of waged labor would have occurred to the (liberal) author, but no.

It’s An Honor To Continue Being Valued Over Countless Human Lives The Onion


That Time I Went To A Trump Rally tressie mc. Today’s must read. Note especially that Trump has poor advance work, and the writer’s description of the demographics of the attendees.

Negative views of Donald Trump just hit a new campaign high: 7 in 10 Americans WaPo. “[Trump’s] standing has also worsened among two key voting groups: independents and white Americans who do not have a four-year college degree.” The story doesn’t say why.

This Looks Like the DNC’s Hacked Trump Oppo File Gawker

The Latest: Gawker posts anti-Trump playbook; is it DNC’s? AP. Trump loses another news cycle. And there are X number until the election.

How Donald Trump Is Actually Winning Over the Republican Donor Class Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine. Interesting and if true, Trump and Clinton’s favorables should start to converge (one way or the other).

Trump: Obama ‘was more angry at me than he was at the shooter’ CNN

Donald Trump’s Fear Factor NYT. Rhetorical forms seem to be having a moment; here, apophasis (NC, 2011-07-24).

Hill Republicans despondent over Trump Politico

Ted Cruz Plots Comeback at Conservative Dinner WSJ

Trump adds new twist to immigration proposals, but legal doubts persist Reuters. John Yoo sighting!

Most Voters Don’t Really Care That Obama Endorsed Clinton HuffPo

USA TODAY interview: Clinton says she’ll call Trump unfit to handle economy USA Today

44 Percent of DEMOCRATS Want Sanders to Make an Independent Run for the White House

Sanders, the Windows 95 of Progressive Politics? NYT. “But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.”

Bernie Sanders Not Being Vetted as Hillary Clinton’s Running Mate WSJ. No duh!

Will Hillary Clinton Get Favored Treatment? Ray McGovern, Consortium News

Top Democratic Lawyer Pushed Pentagon to End U. of Phoenix Suspension HuffPo

Can Zephyr Teachout Win a Seat in Congress? The Nation. (Yves interviews Teachout, when Teachout was running for Governor.)

Guillotine Watch

Only in Silicon Valley could Elizabeth Holmes lose $4.5 billion she never had to begin with Quartz. I still remember the hagiography on Holmes from The New Yorker. Weren’t they supposed to have a fact-checking department?

Class Warfare

economic reductionism, again Fredrik deBoer

Review – The Inner Lives of Markets Gillian Tett, FT

Chin up Carl Beijer

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Steve H.


    “What we refer to as British government is increasingly no such thing. It involves the passing of laws written by people whom no one in Britain elected, no one can name and no one can remove.”

    Looks like Rodrik’s Trilemma is starting to resolve…


  2. jmkiru

    “[Sanders]… His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.”

    Supporting policies that are Actually Progressive over those “Certified Progressive!” by DC centrists?

    In keeping with the win95 metaphor: that’s a feature, not a bug.

    1. Kokuanani

      The author of this tripe was slammed 100 ways from Sunday in the comments. They’re worth a read.

      And one pointed out who funds/supports “New America,” the perch from which the author chirps.

        1. allan

          Matt Bruenig (fired from Demos) engages Mark Schmitt at close quarters:

          The Bernie Platform

          In the New York Times, Mark Schmitt argues that Bernie Sanders’s policy proposals are out of date because they do not align with those favored by liberal think tanks. Schmitt’s piece contains a number of odd claims worth responding to.

          Concerning health care, Schmitt writes that “single-payer is an all-or-nothing proposition that creates few openings for legislators who want to do something incremental that could lead to a bigger goal.”

          This is simply not true. …

          If one wishes to be taken seriously in the Veal Pen, one doesn’t use that tone of voice.

      1. Bev


        Support a 100% People-Funded Online News Outlet, Phase 1
        by Sibel Edmonds
        (Sibel too has met her kickstarter fundraising goal, like Lambert–so great. She is still fundraising to add sooner another journalist)

        CHART of who supports “progressive” media :

        Here is a very worthy organization and person to fund, who has never had to fundraise in 33 years. Please donate to Gene Sharp whose writings have helped ordinary people worldwide recover their democracies, just like we are attempting to do in America now. We may need him, and he is so well respected that there is a annual Gene Sharp day in Boston, MA.

        His FREE On-line book:

        FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation
        by Gene Sharp
        Look at back Index for 200 Non-violent Actions to Recovery Democracy

        Become a supporter — 14 days left

        pledged per month of our $8,000 goal



        This year, three of our largest donors have suffered misfortunes beyond their control. Without their support, we have lost the majority of our annual income, and we will not be able to sustain our operations through the summer.

        At the same time our work is in greater demand than ever. We are receiving requests for our workshops, consultations, and publications from activists throughout the world on a daily basis–from pro-democracy groups in the Congo to anti-corruption activists in Brazil and those working to put an end to violence in Yemen and many, many more.

        We have also been active in promoting strategic nonviolent action among new audiences. Last month we held our first extensive workshop for top climate change activists in the United States, and just last week, our Executive Director, Jamila Raqib’s, official TED Talk premiered on PBS. See:

        And, the worst part is, those who are abusing human rights throughout the world would love nothing better than for us to close our doors. Today in Angola, fifteen young people are serving jail sentences of between five to eight years just for reading our books. Our work in particular is being targeted by many authoritarian regimes throughout the world.

        Needless to say–we can’t let them win.

        We are hoping that enough people like you will get behind our mission and help to save this Institution. For the first time in our 33-year history, we are asking individuals to become ongoing supporters by making monthly pledges (of $5 or more). This is the kind of grassroots support that can make our work succeed. As you will see below, we are offering a variety of gifts to show our gratitude for your support.

        Monthly Donations Levels and Thank-You Gifts:
        Large Gifts
        We invite you to contact our Executive Director, Jamila Raqib, if you wish to discuss a larger contribution.
        Jamila Raqib
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        Or you may mail a check payable to:
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        Spread the word and Please Donate to Trust Vote to rescue our democracy with Cliff Arnebeck’s and Bob Fitrakis’s upcoming RICO lawsuit against fraudulent voting machine companies and a complicit media for forcing exit polls to match voting machine fraud:

Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck and Lori Grace

        The GOPs New Plan for Voter Suppression

        To keep up to date with the RICO racketeering lawsuit:
        These projects need your financial support
        – California Exit Polls
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        Comedian and Social Commentator Lee Camp has been spreading the word:

        BREAKING: This Lawsuit Might End Hillary’s Run & Prove Election Fraud!
        Redacted Tonight Lee Camp

      2. Bev

        Gene Sharp is an authentic progressive working for Democracy around the world and needs help for the first time:

        His FREE On-line book:

        FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation
        by Gene Sharp
        Look at back Index for 200 Non-violent Actions to Recovery Democracy

        Become a supporter — 14 days left

        pledged per month of our $8,000 goal



        This year, three of our largest donors have suffered misfortunes beyond their control. Without their support, we have lost the majority of our annual income, and we will not be able to sustain our operations through the summer.

        At the same time our work is in greater demand than ever. We are receiving requests for our workshops, consultations, and publications from activists throughout the world on a daily basis–from pro-democracy groups in the Congo to anti-corruption activists in Brazil and those working to put an end to violence in Yemen and many, many more.

        We have also been active in promoting strategic nonviolent action among new audiences. Last month we held our first extensive workshop for top climate change activists in the United States, and just last week, our Executive Director, Jamila Raqib’s, official TED Talk premiered on PBS. See:

        And, the worst part is, those who are abusing human rights throughout the world would love nothing better than for us to close our doors. Today in Angola, fifteen young people are serving jail sentences of between five to eight years just for reading our books. Our work in particular is being targeted by many authoritarian regimes throughout the world.

        Needless to say–we can’t let them win.

    2. DJG

      This sentence is eat-brioche-ism.

      As Wiki explains it: “Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d’une grande princesse à qui l’on disait que les paysans n’avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit: Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (“Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: ‘Let them eat brioche'”).

      Rousseau. Who’da thunkit?

      1. Yves Smith

        Marie Antoinette has been badly used. Per Wikipedia:

        The phrase “Let them eat cake” is often attributed to Marie Antoinette, but there is no evidence she ever uttered it, and it is now generally regarded as a “journalistic cliché”.[205] This phrase originally appeared in Book VI of the first part (finished in 1767, published in 1782) of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s putative autobiographical work, Les Confessions: “Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d’une grande princesse à qui l’on disait que les paysans n’avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit: Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (“Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: ‘Let them eat brioche'”). Apart from the fact that Rousseau ascribes these words to an unknown princess, vaguely referred to as a “great princess”, the purported writing date precedes Marie Antoinette’s arrival in France. Some think that he invented it altogether.

        Marie Antoinette actually did a lot of work with the poor, IIRC in hospitals. See:

        Lady Antonia Fraser, author of a biography of the French queen, believes the quote would have been highly uncharacteristic of Marie-Antoinette, an intelligent woman who donated generously to charitable causes and, despite her own undeniably lavish lifestyle, displayed sensitivity towards the poor population of France.

        However, she was a major cause of her undoing:

        While sole fault for the financial crisis did not lie with her, Marie Antoinette was the biggest obstacle to any major reform effort. She had played a decisive role in the disgrace of the reformer Ministers of Finance, Turgot (in 1776), and Jacques Necker (first dismissal in 1781). If the secret expenses of the queen were taken into account, the expense of the court was much higher than the official estimate of 7% of the state budget.

    3. SpringTexan

      Amen! That’s exactly WHY his supporters are enthusiastic He has genuinely helpful proposals, like public funding of public education and government-financed job programs, that people will support and that will work, instead of garbage like “public-private partnerships.”

      Down with DC centrists!

    4. vidimi

      look at the photo they chose for the piece. they’re making him look too small for the pulpit.

      coronation of the $hildebeest won’t be enough for them. bernie must be destroyed and stomped into the ground along with his dangerous ideas.

    5. Carla

      My comment on this NYT story was buried in the middle of hundreds, but here it is:

      Carla Cleveland, OH 19 hours ago

      Mr. Schmitt is missing something big: neither Hillary Clinton nor Senator Edward Kennedy ever had the personal credibility that Bernie Sanders has. Nor does any other prominent individual on the national political stage, except perhaps for a few untested neophytes, such as Warren. The consistency of Sanders’ views, along with his never having enriched himself at the public’s expense in 3 decades of political life, counted for a lot with voters of all ages. And these qualities will matter greatly to voters in the future, if only candidates of any party can be found who embody them.


      1. Emma

        Oh, you don’t understand Carla! The embodiment of perfection lies in a grunting Neanderthal with a “no spin” rant against a polished Klinker and an “all spin” chant. Because both cause no end of spin and that’s what makes their MSM world go round and round and round.

        The rest of us are simply hostile heathens with a collective malaise. We’re Edmund Burke’s ‘swinish multitude’ power gum-balled into the global village. Then downsized into cans of spam and shipped offshore to Chittagong. That’s our S&M world. It’s sub-par Spamalot. Not Slumdog Millionaires. Just one big hot dog burp of disgust, and that’s all folks!

        You see, what we’re seeing in US politics today is the professionalization of doxosophers. And Trumpty-Dumpty and Flinton are the epitome of an avocado-free guacamole doxosophing crust. Well-to-made well-‘breads’, not well-hearted well-borns. They’re well-off emperical realists surrounded by double-dealing devotees. And their affronts to any resemblance of normality hamstring society and the RoW. It’s these qualities that greatly matter to the people who matter Carla. That’s all that counts.

        But oh woe and oh, does it piss-off Neanderthal and Klinker, why we all love Bernie Sanders! And why do we take such platonic idealists with all their perversions, yes, the friendly-looking Bernie bros, the millennial babes in the woods, the very virgin vegans, the little gay lambs, and the unschooled subversives over Neanderthals and Klinkers? Because all these platonic idealists are in the Green Zone. They don’t make shit up so our heads won’t explode!

        Duh! It’s as easy as ABC………and with a bonus pee!!

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Some lovely language in here, congrats: “hostile heathens with a collective malaise” “one big hot dog burp of disgust” “Avocado-free guacamole”
          Let’s just be clear though: this is Us versus Them. Us being 99.5% of the citizenry, Them being the god/awful machine that spews The Orange-Haired Buffoon and the Coiffed Pathological Liar War Criminal at us and tells us all to genuflect, or else.

        1. Synoia

          means = means.

          There is but one Bernie, unfortunately, and he appears unique in Congress.

  3. Uahsenaa

    If Neera Tanden (from CAP) is the future of the left, [flying spaghetti monster] help us all.

    I suppose even the laudable NYT is not above deploying the latest dumb meme.

    1. Uahsenaa

      The real progressive agenda has moved well beyond [breaking up the banks] to focus on raising and strengthening capital requirements, or the amounts that banks are required to keep as cash or safe investments.


      I clearly have no idea what “progressive” even means anymore. From now on, I’ll call myself a pinko.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Like everything else, the term ‘progressive’ has been crapified.

        Comrade Pinko!

      2. craazyboy

        The real progressive agenda has embraced what Volker and the Group of 30 recommended 8 years ago……

        There. Fixed it. The progressive agenda must be getting crowded with stuff the powers that be don’t wanna do.

      3. perpetualWAR

        “I clearly have no idea what ‘progressive’ even means anymore. From now on, I’ll call myself a pinko.”

        LOL. That comment blew tea outta my nose! Thank you?

    2. DJG

      Uahsenaa: And as I was paging through the latest New Yorker, the one with the portrait of Hillary Clinton as a likeness of Susan Sarandon (curiouser and curiouser), I realized that the New Yorker isn’t going to save liberals, let alone the left. David Remnick referred to Bernie Sanders’s “sugar high” from the adulation of crowds.

      At least David Remnick’s damage is largely confined to The New Yorker, which is worried about ad sales to the white upper-middle class. Neera Tanden is odious, and presenting her as a leftist is laughable.

      1. Steve C

        Remnick adores Obama and his agenda-free centrism. “Everyday I get up and think about what I can do today to help the American people.” No agenda. How about fire most of his Cabinet? Remnick cited that remark on Charlie Rose to say what a great guy Obama is.

      2. Uahsenaa

        I was watching an Intelligence [sic] Committee hearing this morning, while I was making breakfast, and it was remarkable to me how Feinstein went out of her way to try and get Brennan to agree with her that somehow encryption or really any form of digital privacy is tantamount to aiding and abetting terrorism.

        I’m far less worried about who’s going to save the liberals so much as who’s going to save us from the liberals.

        1. polecat

          Yeaah……she’s f*ckin scary……

          …a treasonous old harpy…with a bad case of projection !!

    3. DJG

      The Schmitt mess in the NYT:

      “They would reduce the gains at the top — such as by putting some meaningful constraints on executive pay — but also make sure that workers got a greater share of the profits, not only in the form of money, but also time, flexibility and predictable scheduling. If the initial distribution of benefits and money is badly skewed, it will be hard to use tax and transfer policies alone to redistribute it.”

      What a load of tripe. Let’s see: Reduce executive salaries to only 15 million dollars a year. Offer comp time to the person at the french-fryer. Does predictable scheduling mean to truly enforce wage-and-hours laws? Why am I seeing Marie Antoinette as more politically savvy than these clowns?

      1. Pat

        I have a meaningful constraint on executive pay: 30 per cent employer taxes each for Social Security and Medicare on executive pay (salary, bonuses and perks) that is more than 100 times that of the following calculation: hourly wage and benefits of the lowest paid employee times forty times 52. AND 90% personal income taxes on that same portion of overpayment for the individuals receiving it.

        Watch the lowest paid employees get a significant raise so fast your head would spin. Because as we well know it is not shareholder value that most executives are working towards but their own compensation.

      2. jrs

        enforce and EXPAND wage and hours laws because enforcement is really not enough when too many people are salaried. Eliminate the salaried designation entirely.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Do we not “get” that “enforcement” is a fokking myth? That “the law” as a constraint on and guide to acceptable behavior in the political economy is also the fading shadow of a myth?

          That the mechanisms of “enforcement” have steadily been corrupted and bought out and decimated, the ranks of the agencies filled with people who have either been vetted and selected for “loyalty,” or are so fearful for their “positions” and solicitous of their futures as higher-order subservients, that they will submerge any shreds of rectitude they ever might have possessed? Cops? Judges? State’s and US Attorneys, and Attorneys General federal and state? Eveer heard the phrase “enforcement discretion?” And that “the laws” are constantly tilted and eroded, so the standards of proof and bars to standing are always increasing, the elements of felony crimes (of the sort that “apply” to our Betters) are either complicated out of effect or changed so there’s no personal exposure and liability on the part of the Betters, the sentencing is rigged as are the actual discomforts of incarceration for those who can afford “Sentencing Consultants” who have mastered the Sentencing Guidelines and the tricks to send the Shirts only to the best facilities for the shortest periods?

          There’s lots more where that came from…

          Deepest apologies to Paul Simon:

          When I think back
          On all the crap I learned in law school
          It’s a wonder
          I can think at all (any more)
          And though my surfeit of education
          Has hurt me every day
          I can read the writing on the wall

          They give us those nice bright colors
          They give us the greens of summers
          Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
          I got a Nikon camera
          With a bunch of fuzzy filters
          So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away…

  4. ProNewerDeal

    This editorialist fool M Schmitt says Sanders’ advocacy of social democracy policies is “outdated Win95”? Social democracy that have empirically proven to work better than US status quo policies in other nations, & enjoy majoritarian support – 58% of USians support MedicareForAll.

    M Schmitt claims that Team D insiders like Congressmen & “progressive” think tanks (funded by whom?) are the future? If so I would say these Team D insiders are Win10, an unproven Crapified OS that many users avoid if at all possible, sticking with their existing at-least-it-works-decently Win7.

    M Schmitt, stupid or evil?

    1. voteforno6

      It is a curious remark for him to make, since part of the Clinton “appeal” is selling her as a throwback to the wonderful times that we had in the ’90s.

    2. Arizona Slim

      I feel fortunate to be typing this comment with a Win7 machine that won’t run Win10. Reason: The processor is too old.

      What the heck. It still processes. So, I’m keeping this machine.

  5. Peter Falk

    “The Time I Went To A Trump Rally” I agree this is a must read.

    “We should be careful in understanding the Trump moment to point out that “good” and “bad” are not dichotomies. Good people believe some horrid ideologies and bad people can have some great political platforms. When we confuse those constructs we make enemies of people and forget to do the hard work of politics.”

    “The media has styled Trump as some masterful orchestrator of collective emotional experience. I have felt collective effervescence. This was not that, at all. Patrick Blachfield puts it well when he says it is more like “a interpersonal resonance of individual alienation, rage and grievance”. People were angry. Trump doesn’t amplify or direct that anger. He merely calls on it. And even when Trump does call on it, he does not do a good job of shaping it into a symphonic whole. “

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thank you. Again, “The Time I Went to the Trump Rally” is a must-read. Worth more than all the inside baseball stuff stenography.

      Great portrait of what’s going on ten miles either side of the Acela tracks, too.

  6. Otis B Driftwood

    Just scanned the Reader’s picks in the comments section of the dreck offered in the NYT. Devastating in their contempt for this writer and the paper that publishes him. Nothing is quite so pathetic as someone trying to use technology as metaphor as awkwardly as Schmitt has done with his Win95 comparison. It just makes the Times and its editors and this poor excuse for a writer look absolutely foolish.

    In any case, it reconfirms my commitment to leave the Democratic Party and never, ever again, vote for these phonies.

    None of the Above in 2016.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sanders voters have been leaving the D party for years.

      And they are leaving and going to leave.

      Bernie joined last year and is still there.

      Hopefully, not for long.

      Sanders, listen to your supporters.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        If Bernie really wants a legacy he should go third-party, split the Dem vote, which would give Donald a chance, which could then start the long controlled demolition of the “Dem” Party.

        1. Yves Smith

          *Sigh*. Na ga happen. He is absolutely not willing to help The Donald. He’s quite clear that he loathes him. You have to vote for Stein or stay home or vote for Trump if you want to do that. I suggest voting for gridlock on your Congressional votes, regardless.

      2. Arizona Slim

        I started losing interest in the Dems during the 1980s. That was when they started catering to the yuppies.

        Re-registered as an Independent in 1992. Stayed that way until Bernie’s presidential campaign. Had to (ugh) become a Dem so I could vote for him in the AZ primary.

        Day after that stolen primary, I went back to being an indie.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One day, they will never stop talking about Sanders leading an exodus of enslaved former Democrats out of that locusts-infested party to the promised Green Garden of Eden.

  7. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Dems do nothing to pass meaningful gun control measures in 2009-10.

    Now they filibuster to pass National Security State legislation (terror watch list) that none of the recent armed assailants were on when they purchased a gun, is riddled with people who should not be on it, and has been criticized by Dems in the past.

    When Rep. Pete King is on CNN smiling about passing a bill along with the Dems, something is terribly, terribly wrong. I guess it was too much to filibuster a return to the assault weapons ban.

    1. Praedor

      The assault weapon ban wasn’t.

      They were still available. The ones for sale DURING the ban were modified slightly (non-removable flash hider as if a flash hider matters one fuck), pistol grip formed into an ugly uni-stock. That’s pretty much it. You could still buy pre-ban rifles (for a premium…the ban turned them into a nice investment). I myself own a pre-ban rifle (Bought “cheap” from a cop for $1400 after the ban expired – not an AR-15 type, too common for my taste – DURING the ban it would have cost 3-4x as much. A NEW ban would launch the value of it back up at least 4x, turning it into a nice investment again). A good gun holds its value for YEARS. A banned one grows in value many fold.

      AR-15 sales in Florida have already tripled just recently on a monthly basis just because of renewed talk of bans, etc. Expand this to the entire country and people are currently buying them like crazy. They will remain legal even after a renewed or new assault weapon ban – NO one would even try to pass a gun confiscation bill. Talk about civil war…plus no red state would enforce it. In any case, I’m not in the market for a new rifle, this one is fine, so pass a ban if ya’ll want. It wont affect me at all but WILL guarantee me a nice profit when/if I ever decide to sell it. Add to it a small stack of full-length magazines (20-round, not the 30-round of all AR-15 type guns) with talk of restricting magazine size to 10 rounds (I have 2 x 10-round mags) and there’s money in my gun. The mags cost about $6 each. Ban them and they jump to $20 or so each.

    2. jgordon

      Yet another interesting knock on effect:

      People know about the “Streisand Effect”. I think these misguided attempts to ban guns are causing a parallel situation: the more people think someone is trying to grab guns, the more they want to go out and buy them. Hell, I don’t even have a gun myself, nor do I feel any pressing need to buy one normally, but whenever I see some politician running their mouth about the important need to ban buns I suddenly have to suppress a strong urge to run out and spend all my savings on weapons, especially the ones they want to ban. Damn!! These Democrats must be in league with the NRA; I hate being manipulated like that.

      1. Skippy

        The world is going to end…. buy gold… or bitcone

        Disheveled Marsupial…. supernatural metaphysics….

        1. jgordon

          No. I took a cue from Dmitry Orlov and bought a sailboat. Best thing to do is just float away whent the SHTF.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Live on an all-sushi diet.

            What about vegetables? How many cans? How long will they last?

            1. JTMcPhee

              There ain’t much in the way of fish out there any more, and how many can live and navigate like Bernard Moitessier or Joshua Slocum, base simplicity and wooden hulls and canvas sails and hemp lines, they still needed canned food and barrels of flour and the rest. And they needed sheet copper or somethiing to keep the teredos from eating the bottom out of the boat. The arcane aluminum wingmasted racing trimaran vessel The Mariner sailed about on Waterworld would have been eaten by corrosion and UV degradation long before the mythical tale. And there ain’t hardly any place to go where you are welcome with your Yanqui Yacht, unless you have $$$$ in quantity. Venezuela used to be nice, and Costa Rica which now has a large US Imperial military presence…

              I lived on a boat with the dream of being able to “float away” myself, until age surprised me. A guy down the dock was early-retired ex-CIA or something, mumbled about deep knowledge of how it’s all headed off the rails and over the cliff, was going to try to live out his life in sunnier (than FL?) climes nearer the equator (this was 8 years ago and global heating did not seem quite so immanent to even us tree huggers) and he and his wife had this 52-footer and would not indicate where they were going (“none of your damn business!”) when they quietly left before the Bon Voyage party we dock dwellers and prospective Leavers were going to give.

              Funny part, Tampa Bay is shallow, their boat drafted 7 feet, they found a 5-foot spot before they could even get past the Sunshine Skyway toll bridge, and the Towboat US or whichever “Captain” they radioed to pull them off somehow managed to get the tow line into their propellor, which torqued the running engine off its mounts and dropped them into the boatyard for $15 or $20,000 in repairs. “Accident and error.” Murphy rules, and rust never sleeps, and water is the universal solvent, and innately corrosive when laden with dissolved salts and minerals.

              All of us humans, I think, want to live happy (for some that includes owning everything and crushing everyone else.) For as long as we live. And hopefully not die idiotically and in great pain and fear. .. How many of us will work with our fellow humans to let decent people (if there are such, really) have a chance at that pacific time? (I see more articles about how the Rich Shits are paying the Techs to make it possible for “people” — just themselves, actually — to live forever. Victoria Nuland and Clintonia and Cheney and the rest, forever? Really?)

              No Exit.

    3. jrs

      If they thought it wouldn’t be unpopular (there are a lot of people out there that like guns) they would probably ban them, as it’s a good culture war issue that doesn’t really offend the ruling class except for the gun industry, which I’m not sure is a big contributor to Dems anyway.

      What really offends the ruling class is that peons are given anything, even a crumb, that’s what will never be allowed (this is not an extreme statement, Sanders is not some extreme leftist and social democracy was regarded with utter horror and as a threat that must be stopped by any means possible). So an economy in which the 99s aren’t driven nuts and a small number nuts enough to kill is what will never be allowed.

  8. fresno dan

    Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager

    The scandal is unprecedented: According to multiple sources close to the department and the city of Oakland, and documents obtained by the Express, at least fourteen Oakland police officers, three Richmond police, four Alameda County sheriff’s deputies, and a federal officer took advantage of the teenager. (The Express is not publishing her real name because she was a minor when her abuse began.)

    Three Oakland police officers committed statutory rape of Guap when she was under-age. By the state’s legal definition, they engaged in human trafficking. The victim says every law-enforcement agent who had sex with her knew she was a sex worker.
    Even state officials’ eyes are now on Oakland and the East Bay. “The allegations of misconduct, if true, are disturbing and reflect a serious breach of the trust placed in law enforcement by the communities we are sworn to serve,” said Kristin Ford, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “There must be swift accountability for any wrongdoing.”

    But OPD has dragged its feet. Multiple department supervisors knew about Guap’s abuse by Oakland cops last year, yet did not report it. In fact, according to interviews with the victim and other city and OPD sources, department higher-ups repeatedly failed to report Guap’s exploitation.

    There is far, far more trust placed in the police than an objective reading of the facts would support.

    1. Jim Haygood

      This is the definition of a two-track “justice” system: prompt, harsh punishment for Mundanes; “foot-dragging” leading to no charges for the cops, clintons, etc. who enjoy legal impunity.

      You could also describe this scandal as the “workingman’s Lolita Express.” A suit by several Jane Does to re-open Epstein’s case is in its eighth year of mysterious “foot dragging.”

          1. nony mouse

            if you had met as many in person as a native does (well, some natives), you would know the attitude of the OPD–full on impunity, and itching to go. there’s a real tough, macho cowboy thing going on, and they don’t really behave with a lot of consideration or concern for the rest of the public. they act as though they belong to a special, private club which allows them behaviors that in civilians would be egregious. and i did not encounter these folks by being the focus of their law enforcement activities. these were purely social, public contacts out mingling in the community. if an OPD talks to you, you quickly get the impression that you had better listen, or they will find a way to f*&! your sh*^ up.

            but what do i know. these are just anecdotes…

    2. different clue

      How long before terminally disgruntled citizens begin suggesting uttlerly illegal things like “reaching out and touching” the individual police officer persons involved in these sorts of offenses?

      1. reslez

        In terms of ridiculing and shunning the miscreant officers? Well, when former police Lt Mike Davis pepper-sprayed a bunch of seated, nonviolent protestors in the face at UC Davis, he was awarded $38k in workers’ comp for the suffering he experienced as a result of behaving like a thug. “More than 17,000 angry or threatening e-mails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters were sent to Pike”. The SFGate article goes on to say:

        Pike was suspended with pay afterward. According to a database of state worker salaries, he earned $119,067 in 2011, the last year for which figures are available.

        Not a bad racket if you have no soul.

  9. Roger Smith

    Regarding Gates and his Chickens…

    Cluck you: Bolivia rejects Bill Gates’ donation of hens [Guardian]

    “How can he think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce?” the Bolivian development minister, César Cocarico, told journalists. “Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia.”

    Hah! Good for Bolivia.

    1. Roger Smith

      I sent this to Lambert but I wanted to add here:

      There is something tragically poetic about a clueless billionaire offering to save people with cheap range animals. The irony is completely lost on Bill.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Or his equally odious effort to get everybody in Nigeria and elsewhere to sign up for a MasterCard: the “Better-Than-Cash” Alliance

    2. sd

      The Bolivian development minister should send Gates an iPhone as a gift. You know, to introduce him to technology.

  10. craazyboy

    “Hill Republicans despondent over Trump Politico”

    My gut senses the peal clutching among the Rs, the press, the Ds, is reaching a new fevered high.

      1. clinical wasteman

        No, it’s a Happy Accident. Who wouldn’t want to think of Rs, press & Ds clutching at the peal of the bells that toll for them?

    1. pretzelattack

      i saw an article on yahoo, about a female evangelist pushing trump as the “lesser of 2 evils”.

  11. fresno dan

    Top Democratic Lawyer Pushed Pentagon to End U. of Phoenix Suspension HuffPo

    Lawyer Jamie Gorelick, who served in the Bill Clinton Administration as general counsel of the Department of Defense and later as Deputy Attorney General, this year successfully pressed the Pentagon on behalf of the nation’s biggest for-profit college, the University of Phoenix, to lift a suspension of the school for alleged recruiting abuses directed at U.S. military service members.
    Hillary Clinton has made clear that as president she would be tough on abuses by for-profit colleges, telling the audience at her first campaign event last year, an April 14 education roundtable discussion in Monticello, Iowa
    Clinton’s strong stance in favor of protecting students sharply contrasts with GOP candidate Donald Trump, who ran the fraudulent, unlicensed, unaccredited Trump University. But however bad that phony Trump school was, in some respects the harms caused by accredited for-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix are worse: Student debt levels can be much higher than from Trump’s school, and, because accredited schools are eligible for federal student grants and loans, American taxpayers can be left with much of the bill.
    What has not been disclosed until now is that Gorelick, according to government officials, served as the attorney for the University of Phoenix as it managed, behind the scenes, to free itself from penalties imposed by the Department where she once was the top lawyer.

    A Pentagon spokesman, Matthew Allen, citing DoD policy, declined to provide me with information regarding meetings and communications between DoD and the University of Phoenix related to DoD’s decision to end the suspension. He even declined to confirm what I already knew: that Gorelick served as Phoenix’s lawyer in the matter. (While federal law requires lobbyists to file regular disclosure forms identifying clients and payments with respect to activities aimed at affecting legislation or regulation, attorneys engaged in an adjudication don’t have to make such disclosures.)
    I find it hard to equate Trump’s private “college” exploitation with Gorelick’s – Gorelick’s is much, much worse. It encompasses a comment I made a few days ago, where the Washington Post lobbied to keep such institutions from being effectively regulated because most of the Post’s profits came from the private school (Kapland) that they owned – that is, the Post ensured not just exploitation by one college, but a whole industry of exploitation, all done by virtue of the measured, quiet, Davos man speak in the back rooms of law drafting. As well as the vomit inducing hypocrisy of the dems endless yammering about how such colleges will be regulated, when in fact the laws designed to regulate such entities are always written to be completely ineffective.

    And of course, this is just one more small example of how the preachment’s of Hillary are always 180 degrees from the actual intent. (I find it not credible that she is that unaware of how ineffective her “reforms” are, and what her “friends” are doing)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m convinced Donald’s primary motivation was “Jeb and Hillary? You’ve got to be kidding me! If they can be President, anyone can.”

      1. low integer

        IIRC Obama made fun of Trump about being a birther/conspiracy nut in his annual press speech in 2015, before Trump had decided to run for president. Trump was in the audience and it looked like being the subject of Obama’s joke and the resulting laughter from the rest of the crowd really annoyed him. I’ve occasionally wondered if a little part of his decision to run for president was to knock Obama down a peg or two.

        1. jgordon

          I believe that becoming a birther was prep work for Trump’s plan to take over the Republican Party.

    2. afisher

      There is some good news on the education front : The U.S. Department of Education has recommended the termination of a controversial accreditor, which could threaten access to federal financial aid for 243 institutions — many of them for-profits — that enroll more than 800,000 students.
      The department’s extraordinary recommendation to eliminate the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, a large national accreditor that was the gatekeeper for $4.76 billion in federal aid spending last year, follows widespread criticism of ACICS’s oversight of Corinthian Colleges.

      I don’t know if U. of Phoenix uses them, but a lot will lose funding – which is a very good thing, IMO.

  12. Jim Haygood

    “Gold is no safe port in a storm,” intoned the FT yesterday — just before it busted out to a 16-month high today (15 min delayed chart):

    I don’t always invest in gold. But when I do, you can be sure that frayed-collar journo-clowns will be writing hit pieces about it.

    1. craazyboy

      What kind of gold?

      1) Paper gold
      2) Chinese gold plated tungsten bars
      3) The real kind from a dealer that is required to register your transaction – and then you have to put it somewhere safe that nobody knows about.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Paper gold, if you’re not a “stacker” (those are the guys with “furnished basements” and the perimeter defenses to protect them).

        We can easily run a “pet rock vs fools tales” contest, using IAU (long) vs. DGZ (short).

        Unlike most short ETFs, which get chopped to pieces by daily volatility drag, DGZ only rebalances once a month. So you can short the sh*t out of gold, and actually make some coin (that’s a pun) if you’re right.

      2. bronco

        It’s pretty easy to buy physical gold with over a counter with cash money . There is plenty of it on ebay for that matter if you prefer paypal .

        If you buy a kilo then maybe it gets registered but buy a sack of wedding bands from a jeweler with cash and no one is going to be writing anything down.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If not gold, what else?

      Cash? It will be banned.

      Everything else is in a bubble

      Real Estate

  13. apber

    Even though I am a veteran and quite familiar with many weapons, I never had one in my home until there came the hateful rhetoric seeking to divide all segments of the population. Black vs white; gay vs heterosexual; men vs women; Christians vs all religions; anti-Semitism; fly-over country vs coastal; Repub vs Dem; liberal vs conservative It’s become a constant meme; promulgated by the MSM, and the politicians. But it’s certainly not PC to mention it, or the fact that it’s purposeful. There’s an agenda that wants to divide this country, set us against each other, because of course a divided country becomes weaker and weaker with each passing day. It is obvious, to me anyway, that we are headed for a major crash, far worse than the recession we’ve been in since the turn of the century. We’ve never had a recovery, and factoring in true inflation, there have been scant quarters that actual GDP has been positive. And economic reports get progressively worse. There will be a day when the banks close, the ATMs won’t work, and the grocery store shelves are barren. Not dissimilar from the current situation in Venezuela. There will be riots, looting and martial law. I could care less about the pro gun or anti gun arguments. When the SHTF, I will protect my family and my neighbors as I know how.

  14. Jim Haygood

    The Daily Caller sharpens its accusations against the Clinton Foundation:

    “It is long past time for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations,” Hillary Clinton declared.

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has given the Clinton Foundation an unspecified amount between $10 million and $25 million, according to the nonprofit’s records.

    The State of Kuwait has donated between $5 million and $10 to the Clinton Foundation.

    The State Of Qatar has given the Clinton Foundation between $1 million and $5 million.

    A substantial portion of these contributions came while HIllary was Secretary of State, with a role in approving the record-setting level of arms exports under the Obama administration.

    This is pure bribery, just like the Clintons’ pardon sales in their final year in the White House. Where is Loretta “see no evil” Lynch? Probably preparing for a lateral move to the Clinton Foundation next year.

    “All in the family” — it’s the Clinton Way.

    1. Carolinian

      Clearly Obama took the lesson of the Clintons and Janet Reno and made sure his Attorneys General would never stray off the reservation. Bill Clinton, who the press hated at the time, probably thought he couldn’t be quite so bold.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Damn, you messed up Prince Salman’s visit:

        It was billed by Riyadh’s state media as a trip for Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince to meet with President Barack Obama and other senior U.S. officials. But now that Prince Mohammed bin Salman has arrived in Washington, it’s still unclear if the president or any White House officials will meet with him, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

        The absence of any scheduled meetings with even National Security Adviser Susan Rice is fueling speculation among Gulf experts about a diplomatic snub.

        “Very unusual for the Saudis to come out saying he is meeting with Obama and White House not confirming it,” said David Ottaway, a Saudi expert at the Wilson Center in Washington. “They certainly knew he was coming.”

        Evidently, even 0zero can’t stomach meeting with our head-chopping radical Islamic “ally” after the past week’s orgy of violence.

  15. jfleni

    RE: Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine.

    Never trust Intel! Use AMD processors with Linux, or let it ALL hang out!

    1. hunkerdown

      Or, break Intel’s arms by switching to ARM-based systems, such as the Chromebook or one of the Pi boards, or any of these little numbers ( Bonus: almost impervious to mainstream remote code execution vulns.

      That clinches it: I’m done with Intel. They’re dumb-rabid and need put down.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I tried a Chromebook earlier this year. Pretty solid little machine. I may buy one at some point.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Despite crude oil having nearly doubled from its low early this year, in today’s report the CPI mustered only a feeble 1.0% year-on-year increase, a rate basically unchanged from the last couple of months.

    In response, yield on the 10-year Treasury has plummeted to 1.53%. That’s only ten bips (0.1%) above its lowest level in U.S. history — 1.43% on 25 July 2012.

    To J-Yel’s horror, it looks like Treasury yields are going to take a run at their old record low. This is big — really big.

    Contrary to the FT’s fools tales, gold likely will serve as a safe harbor, both because it thrives on falling real yields, and also because the deathly chill settling over global bond markets increases the likelihood of flat-out central bankster panic.

    1. MikeNY

      The 10-year got my attention, too. That makes it really hard to adopt a more hawkish stance, huh? What do you think is next in the CB bag of tricks?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Oof … that’s a tough one. Unlike some of its foreign counterparts (e.g., BOJ), the Fed can’t legally buy equities.

        Lopping off last December’s ill-timed quarter point hike is an obvious move, but would damage fragile central bankster egos.

        Since this is really a job for fiscal policy — frozen till 2017 in an election year — probably J-Yel’s best move at this point would be to plead with regional Fed presidents to “maintain radio silence.”

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “The Fed can’t buy equities” perhaps true…so what they do is sell the VIX futures and the algos buy the equities for them, same effect.
          This stuff is not that hard to figure out.
          With CBs around the world (Japan, Switz, Denmark, others) hopping on the equities train we have an entirely different morphology emerging for money and markets.
          It’s the last money transmission channel available to the CBs in a world already stuffed to the gills with debt.
          Of course it fits nicely with the desires of their constituencies, as 85% of stock market gains go to 5% of the population. Trickle down some brioche, and massage therapists and valets on minimum wage in Easthampton get a few crumbs.

      2. craazyboy

        If Janet is really scaring herself, she could sell some of the $4.5 trillion in treasuries the Fed bought during 4 QEs. We may discover what the 10 year rate really is.

        No, Janet buying used stock isn’t what ‘Murica needs either.

        I imagine we’ll be treated to more of the same – Janet will do near daily reports on the fed fund rate outlook. The sun rises in the morning – Janet decides to keep the fed fund rate unchanged at near zero.

        1. MikeNY


          It’s true, all this endless speculation and talk for the last 4 years about will she, or won’t she? has been pretty much all sound and fury, told by idiots, signifying nothing…

        2. Praedor

          OR…she could simply retire the treasuries. Digital money owed to the government that issued the digital money is irrelevant.

          1. craazyboy

            But that would mean $4 trillion in cash is owned somewhere by rich people, and if they ever spend it all on congressmen, presidents and think tanks we could get high inflation – which is really bad for the middle class and poor if you can’t get a raise from rich people.

            So first, the government needs to destroy the rich people money. Our dollars will thank us, and keep their value.

      3. Jim Haygood

        First hint of official panic in response to the deflationary chill gripping the bond market:

        Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Thursday warned China not to revert to past foreign-exchange policy in which it kept its currency artificially low to boost its exports.

        “Any reversion to the foreign exchange policies and export-led growth model of the past, within the current context of weak global growth, would trigger a new round of tension between our two countries,” Lew said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute after returning from talks with top Chinese officials in Beijing earlier in the month.

        Lew’s comments come as the yuan overnight touched its weakest level against the dollar in more than five years, in part due to MSCI’s decision not to include mainland shares in its indexes.

        Meanwhile, US Steel has a “nuclear option” bid before the ITC to ban Chinese steel imports.

        The US can have a pegged yuan or a ban on Chinese steel imports … but not both.

        If America goes all Smoot-Hawley on China, the enraged Chinese will pull the plug on the yuan peg, and let the sucker slide (and let the Deity sort it all out).

        1. craazyboy

          The Treasury can call China a failed currency manipulator, if they can’t maintain a peg because the huge trade surplus that funded the peg and blew the USofA back to the bronze age got cut off because either we put back the 40% import duty or American consumers ran out of credit lines and can’t afford any more Chinese stuff.

          It’s hard to put a 20 year old omelet back together. Betcha the Deity doesn’t have a clue either.

    2. Pookah Harvey

      I’m not that financially literate but it was my understanding that gold is usually a hedge in an inflationary environment. As we seem to be in a deflationary era isn’t the dollar a better hedge than gold?

      1. Jim Haygood

        There’s not a reliable correlation between gold and inflation. In the deflationary 1930s for instance, gold stocks (a proxy, since Frank Roosevelt had seized physical gold) were a superb safe haven.

        From Aug. 1929 (just before the crash) to Feb. 1936, Homestake Mining delivered an eleven-bagger, as its revenues exploded higher while its costs of production evaporated.

        A combination of negative real rates, plus safe haven status when all fiat currencies are suspect, would be the rationale for gold under our contemporary, anchor-free monetary chaos.

          1. Jim Haygood

            One reason is that the quantity of monetizable debt can vary from zero percent of GDP to several hundred percent of GDP.

            As an analogy, if you are empowered to buy property for nothing down, you could buy a $100,000 condo, or a $100 million penthouse on Park Avenue. Within orders of magnitude, there is no effective constraint.

            1. reslez

              That sounds like hand-waving to me. There are plenty of constraints on getting loans for $100k or $100 million under fiat. Maybe what goldbugs actually miss is the lack of sophistication in finance 100 years ago, not gold. The crooks and computers we have today would create an equal amount of chaos under gold.

        1. craazyman

          why don’t they let gold fly to the sun where it belongs.

          It should be a free bird. this reminds me of Lynrd Skynrd “Free Bird”.

          they chain the gold bird with the iron links of deceit and perdition.

          when will it break the chains. if it does, I’m ready to go in BIG. But I’m not sure just when. it lookd today in fact like it was about to fly but they smacked it hard. This reminds me of when I tried to hit on Yves a few years back after drinking quite a lot of beer. It was a smack down. Like they smack gold down.

          Just let it fly. It just wants to go to the sun. Is that so bad?

          Could we see $200 gold in one year. It may be YES but you could also see $110 gold in 3 seconds. It”s hard for me to lose even 1% of my capital on paper even. I feel like that’s a tragedy and an immolation. It makes it hard to get rich quick. Or even slow. It’s amazing that someone who wants to get rich quick as badly as me has no interest at all in doing any investment analysis. It’s SO BORING its hard to describe how boring it is. It’s more boring than staring at sandpaper. It’s more boring than reading the New York Times. It’s more boring than political campaigns. It’s more boring than dried spaghetti in a box. It’s hard to believe, but it’s even more boring than a poetry reading. That’s why you have to get lucky, without doing any real work or any analysis at all. When Gold flies to the sun, you just wanna be there fore the ride. Then you lay around doing nothing forever.

    3. MLS

      Watch your time periods Jim. Yes oil is up 100% from the lows earlier this, but it’s still down 22% over the past year. That figure should be compared with the CPI number you gave, which is Y/Y also. If oil stays where it is today (~$46) we’ll be flat Y/Y in November.

      The U.S. 10 year is chasing the Bund and JGB towards negative territory, which is by necessity flattening the yield curve. That undoubtedly has Janet spooked.

      1. Jim Haygood

        From the CPI release of Feb. 19th (a week after crude bottomed on Feb. 11th) through today’s CPI release, the year-on-year change has been stuck at 1.0 percent, plus or minus a tenth.

        It’s not terribly surprising, given that energy and energy services are only one tenth of CPI, while shelter is one third of it.

        But since energy often serves as a leading indicator, this result hints unpleasantly that deflationary forces are deeply entrenched, as bonds are telling us also.

  17. Take the Fork

    @ the Trump Rally: I am unsurprised that there are Chinese and Indian and Pakistani-Americans who support Trump. But I am a little surprised that they would do so publicly. For anyone with eyes to see, the whole “People of Color” shtick is obviously a pile of horse-hockey… But will any of this make a difference in November?

    1. Michael

      As someone with Chinese and South Asian friends — their parents are profoundly racist and abusive. TRUMP is right up their alley.

      1. Carolinian

        Thanks for the denunciation of prejudice–clearly no ethnic stereotyping coming from your direction.

        That was sarc btw.

        And here’s the Storify writer’s big windup.

        If you don’t vote this election it may be the last election you can vote in.

        Clearly some fresh thinking there! Vote for Hillary or else.

        1. reslez

          Uhm that was a quote from a Republican speaking at the rally. But it’s not like Twitter makes reading comprehension easy.

    2. vidimi

      some of the most muslim-hating people i know are east-asian, though i’m surprised about the pakistanis

    3. PlutoniumKun

      In my experience, Chinese people in particular are fascinated by him. They love the whole ‘big man’ thing. And you’ll find that first generation immigrants are often the most anti-immigration. I’m not surprised at all that he has a big following among various asian-american groups – many in particular find the mealy-mouthedness among their supposed ‘liberal’ allies to be quite pathetic.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You get Chinese people angry at other Chinese in China.

      And you have Americans angry at other Americans in America.

      Then, you find out it is 99% Americans (Chinese) angry at 0.01% Americans (Chinese), justifiably.

      It is not surprising then that there are Chinese Americans who support Trump’g get-tough-on-China position.

      Who is not shocked, to say the least, to see college students with million-dollar mansions bought by their rich and well-connected parents?

    5. Anon

      So I read it and saw the tweets, and I feel as if she overplayed the “being in danger” part, but perhaps that’s just me.

      Also, despite being local, she makes no mention as to how much of a haul Richmond is, commuting-wise, especially on a Friday night where you have to contend with all of the govt. workers commuting back in from DC and what have you, which would probably explain the small-ish crowd.

      The main takeaway being that the crowds are more diverse and appear more affluent than what the MSM would have one believe.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Other takeaways being: 1) Trump’s awful advance work* and 2) Trump’s inability to whip up a crowd (we’re not talking H. and fervor here, which really does seem to me to be a key element in F. appeal). I’m sure there are other details readers will see. Very different from the hot takes, pearl-clutching and so on. In some ways more concerning, because one wonders how a successful demagogue would do, one with real technical skills. (I have a vague memory of H. practicing his gestures and facial expressions before a mirror, perhaps for hours; now we’re talking narcissism!)

        * Elton John and opera? WTF?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Reinforces my belief that Trump has no chance in the general, even against a Biden/Kerry ticket if Hil destructs. So Bernie’s plan needs to be “save America by blowing up the so-called Democratic Party” and not “save America from Trump”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There is a saying – what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

            “Thank you, Bernie. The party is stronger now. With all my love.”

  18. Buttinsky

    Re the DNC hack and the anti-Trump report posted by “Guccifer 2.0”:

    Seeking confirmation that the purported hacker is authentic, I went searching for some word from Wikileaks. Five hours ago they posted this on their Twitter feed:

    DNC ‘hacker’ releases 200+ page internal report on Trump, says gave WikiLeaks the all rest

    Don’t they know if they got DNC documents from somebody?

    1. Yves Smith

      They would not want to release donor lists, even from a fundraiser. And it’s not hard to believe that the DNC’s computers were not well secured.

  19. Detroit Dan

    Paul McCulley, former chief economist and managing director of PIMCO, is now MMT in all but name.

    I’ve had it with my profession, macroeconomics…

    Yes, fiscal deficits need to be dramatically bigger, so as to lift economy-wide spending, with the Federal Reserve at the ready to thwart any fear-mongering by Wall Street about the “evil” risk of associated upward pressure on inflation and thus, interest rates.

    The only way that interest rates would “need” to go up in the wake of debt-fueled fiscal expansion would be if such fiscal action were to “work,” generating robust aggregate demand and fostering an “overheated” economy, most importantly in jobs…

    It is beyond me that our political leaders don’t recognize the latitude they have to spend money they putatively don’t have. They do have it!

    The Federal Reserve, which is a creature of Congress, can and does create money out of thin air. The moral question — which is the foundation of politics in a democracy — is: for whom and for what? …

    Democracies will not long tolerate a government that celebrates its self-imposed impotence, while genuflecting to the rich. …

    1. craazyboy

      We used to call that Keynesian. If you call it Keynesian, it’s not even a newfangled idea from Kansas.

      1. clinical wasteman

        But now Bill ‘gross’ Gross has claimed retrospective (as in: “everything I ever said was wrong, but listen to me this time“!) Keynesianism as his own, so perhaps McCulley’s JobCentre+ advisors advised him to look for another Personal Brand.

  20. dcblogger

    Sanders, the Windows 95 of Progressive Politics? NYT. “But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.”

    which tells you much more about Democratic stink tanks than it does Sanders.

  21. Detroit Dan

    Of course, Paul Krugman predicted all this. Oh wait…

    The crisis won’t come immediately. For a few years, America will still be able to borrow freely, simply because lenders assume that things will somehow work out.

    But at a certain point we’ll have a Wile E. Coyote moment. For those not familiar with the Road Runner cartoons, Mr. Coyote had a habit of running off cliffs and taking several steps on thin air before noticing that there was nothing underneath his feet. Only then would he plunge.

    What will that plunge look like? It will certainly involve a sharp fall in the dollar and a sharp rise in interest rates. In the worst-case scenario, the government’s access to borrowing will be cut off, creating a cash crisis that throws the nation into chaos.

    [Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10/14/2003 ]

    Exactly the opposite has happened, with interest rates plunging rather than soaring as he predicted.

    1. craazyboy

      I don’t fault Kuggie for the inability to predict:

      1) Central banks bought $20 trillion or so sovereign debt around the world.
      2) The 1% came to hold 90 something percent of the world’s wealth – and sovereign debt is the only “guaranteed” investment. (even “safe” dollars are only in FDIC accounts up to $250K. If you have more than that, you have to buy “zero risk” Treasuries. Or have a lotta, lotta savings accounts at many banks.)

      I didn’t know back in 2003 that could happen either. ‘Course Kuggie still wants to pretend it didn’t happen.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        1%/90% number is concentrating fast, right now 50% of all of America’s wealth is held by 60 people, whereas five years ago it was 400 people.
        When it gets to be just one guy we can strangle him in the bathtub and distribute evenly, starting from the bottom up. The real economy would soar.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is that right – just 60?

          The Spartans needed at least 300 to defend Thermypolae.

  22. allan

    Can’t find a home in Seattle? Airbnb rentals may be to blame

    In Seattle’s worsening housing crunch, can we afford to have 1,000 units taken off the market?
    That’s exactly what’s happening, according to a new study of Airbnb’s impact on Seattle’s apartment supply. …
    there were 2,817 listings for whole units, or entire houses or apartments (there were also 1,353 private or shared rooms in Seattle). Most of these are placed by folks renting out their own home to make some extra cash while they’re away. But 1,003 of these units — 36 percent — were listed by hosts who did not reside there. These are properties, according to the study, that could be housing local renters rather than Airbnb vacationers.
    The reason property owners opt for Airbnb instead of a long-term tenant is simple: It’s more lucrative. And that profit motive has turned Airbnb into something of a cottage industry.

    “It’s gotten much more sophisticated,” Greenwich said. “There are startups that have emerged. Their sole purpose is to help you either manage your Airbnb units, or to find your investment opportunities as Airbnbs … They can show you houses currently for sale in Seattle and how much you can make on them as short-term rentals.”

    That’s what the vulture capitalists call `growing the ecosystem’.
    Oddly (or not, as Lambert likes to say), there is astroturfed pressure from Airbnb hosts for the city to look the other way. Because disruption.

    Airbnb, other short-term rental hosts speak against proposed Seattle rules

    Dozens of people who list homes on short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb showed up en masse Wednesday at City Hall to speak out against new regulations proposed by Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray.

    The short-term rental hosts warned council members the rules would prevent them from making money they use to pay their mortgages and send their children to college and would stop them from providing inexpensive accommodations to visitors, sometimes to see relatives hospitalized with illnesses.

    Think of the children. Think of the families. Think of the valuation.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      But 1,003 of these units — 36 percent — were listed by hosts who did not reside there. These are properties, according to the study, that could be housing local renters rather than Airbnb vacationers.

      If someone is renting out the whole unit, he/she doesn’t reside there. I don’t see how these 1,003 units are different from the other ones.

      And how does it imply they are not renting out to local renters?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      there were also 1,353 private or shared rooms in Seattle

      I have heard of someone who rents a whole house (from the owner of the house, who is probably not aware of the plan) and turns it into a boarding house by renting each bedroom out, plus the family room, the garage, the living room, and supplement that with Airbnb.

      “If you can’t make money here, you are not trying hard enough.”

      Not sure about zoning violations though.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I think that just happened down the street from me. Absentee landlord rented his property, and before too long, a whole bunch of people had moved in.

        They came to the attention of the Tucson Police Department at least once. And, I think, the landlord was brought into the loop.

        He was at the house late last week and so was a moving van.

        Much smaller group living there now, thank goodness.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Here in Pima County, Arizona, the tax assessor got wise to our local Airbnbs.

      And do you know what that nasty assessor did? Well, he re-classified those residences as rentals, that’s what! Meaning that they are now taxed at a higher rate.

      What a meanie.

  23. vidimi

    re: brexit

    yesterday saw two rival flottilae converging on the thames. one advocating brexit, led by nigel farage; the other championing bremain, led by bob geldof. stuart heritage argues geldof broke the napoleonic rule of warfare and interrupted his enemy when he was making a mistake. too bad, that slippery nigel farage photograph could have been the winner.

    1. James Levy

      I wish the choice was clear to me (yes, I’m an American but I went to school in the UK and have a Ph.D. in British History). The economic benefits of getting out are unlikely to become manifest because the country is run by people who believe in austerity as much as the Germans. And the threat to civil liberties (those that remain) of not having any appeal to laws or courts other than those in the UK is, to me, staggering. The British elite want to turn the UK into a Panopticon Police state. And Parliament is a de facto elected dictatorship–it has all the powers of a legislature and all the powers of a monarch and no viable check on either (because the courts are packed with the uncles, brothers, and cousins of the people sitting in Parliament, the Executive, and the Boardrooms of the Realm and MI5 has a file on every one of them if they ever even imagined not playing ball and refusing to stay On Side).

      On principle, I’m probably for leaving, but practically speaking, it’s a toss-up.

        1. James Levy

          Where will the UK be? I have no idea. My guess is that the entire West and much of the world (China specifically) will be in dire shape because the people who own and run things are more interested in holding on to their control than maintaining the systems that keep civilization running (other than coercive forces, of course). They don’t care if people or nations flourish, or even survive at their current state of development, so long as those with the cheese hold onto it. My only thought is that Britain is a lot like Japan–no serious person really doubts that perhaps 20,000 people own and control the place and everything else is just window dressing. If I thought for a minute the British people were actually going to wrest the place from the oligarchy, I’d be all for Brexit. But from what I know of the elite that is entrenched there, perhaps domination by far-away technocrats who don’t give a damn isn’t such a bad thing.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            James, James, slouching towards the wrong conclusion again, lesser-evilism and phlegmatic pragmatism getting in the way of positive action again.
            So Britain should stay because Brexit will not entirely throw out the 20,000 oligarchy? Suggest you view Brexit: The Movie, well done and it shines some light on the related myths of Brexit.
            Matthew 7:16 By their fruits ye shall know them
            I mean look at who is in the Stay camp: Bank of England, Citi, Goldman, and the IMF. Surely you don’t believe this rogues gallery has the best interests of England and her citizens in mind?

            1. vidimi

              if you look at the remain camp, it’s just as odious. every noxious millionnaire celebrity has voiced their support for the remain camp. presumably to avoid paying duty on their villas in saint-tropez.

              as someone living in france, i am leaning towards supporting a brexit because the UK is one of the more reactionary lobbying forces in the union, hence the promoter of some of the most toxic ideas, and also because a brexit would be a more likely catalyst of a democratization process in the EU than remaining would be. but let’s not pretend that this is an obvious choice for anyone.

          2. clinical wasteman

            Don’t mean to repeat points I already tried to make the other day, but for one thing thank you James for the thoughtful and generally spot-on assessment. I’d only add that, even for someone who has loathed the EU managerial machine since that was a ‘crank’ position on the left, the prospect of unfettered rule by the English elite (and English they will be, before and after Scotland secedes) feels scarier than a toss-up. As DJG also said a couple of days ago, the leaders of the ‘leave’ campaign are angry at the EU for not pushing what most at NC agree are its own worst functions to the very limit. How dare they restrict weekly working hours?! Why didn’t the Services Directive go through with all claws and fangs intact?! The ‘concessions’ that Cameron tried to wring from Germany were all about the right to make the current treaties even worse here, probably in the hope that Schaeuble et al would eventually trample the constitutional pedants and catch up. To which the answer of the ‘Brexit’ side was: no, not enough, we want it even worse than that.
            Apart from national preference — which looks both absurd and frightening a) as a permanent immigrant, b) where the working class is truly multinational, as in London, and c) where the ‘nation’ on offer is already foreign to many ‘natives’ (Scotland, Wales, much of Northern Ireland) — I hope I share more principles with the many anglo-English poor who want to slap their overlords’ heads off the gap where their spines should be than I do with insufferable ‘remain’ campaigners who go on about ‘boosting our economy’, speak of falling house prices as a bad thing and generally spout ‘diversity’ as in ‘lots of restaurants’. But ‘principle’ starts to seem a luxury when it’s clear that the worthy head-slappers will gain nothing but flattered patriotic feelings from a redistribution of overlord powers, whereas workers (or the 90%, or 80, 70, whatever) outside that national bracket (i.e. inside most urban areas) will face — at best — several years of even more precarity and material discrimination than we do now (sorry, can’t rent you this room, don’t know what your immigration status will be in 2019, etc.). A recent piece of pious gloating in the Guardian was headlined something like ‘Brexit is the only way the working class can make itself heard’. In other words, the only authentic working class voice is the one that expels the other half of the working class. If not from the country, at least from the class. J.Gould would be proud. And the Guardian writer, like the ‘leave’ and remain campaigns both at once, endorsed the sentiment by defining ‘working class’ that way. Careless (or malicious) use of “We” has a lot to answer for.

            1. vidimi

              agreed. the leave campaign wants to leave for all the wrong reasons. even the populist stuff like removing the fish quotas imposed by the EU. sure, that would help hard-working fishermen…for about a couple of years before the fish stock becomes catastrophically depleted. the quotas as they are are unsustainable but the leave campaign wants them done away with. they seem to want to transform britain into the planet of the apes within their lifetimes.

      1. Bernard

        that sounds just like America? Ownership of the system for and by the %1. shows that taxation with representation doesn’t work either!

        1. clinical wasteman

          If ‘representation’ is what the “take our country back” (i.e. from people like me) brigade think they’ll get under untrammelled ‘sovereignty’ of Rotten Boroughs plus Lords Corporate (politically appointed), Hereditary (a few still clinging on) and Spiritual (actual bishops with full political powers), then yes that’s the point. ‘Representation’ doesn’t work if it only represents what at least since the Putney Debates of 1647 has been called ‘an interest in the country’, i.e. property, preferably ‘real’. Whereas ‘masterless men’ (the sort disowned even by some of the Levellers at Putney) are equally disposable everywhere. “The worker has no country” is a matter of a lot of people’s personal experience before it becomes a political theory.

      2. vidimi

        i agree. it’s a tough choice with different winners and losers depending on the outcome and, probably, unforeseen consequences both good and bad as well.
        we saw AEP arguing from the conservative side why he’s for brexit; here is George Monbiot arguing from the left on why he’s for remaining in Europe.

        however, in doing so, he makes a pretty powerful argument for why the rest of the EU should want britain out:

        It was British lobbying that sank Europe’s soil framework directive and the financial transactions tax. Without a mandate from either parliament or people, the British trade minister wrote secretly to the European commission insisting that investor-state dispute settlement should remain in the TTIP. Wherever barriers to the power of money are being kicked over, there you will find David Cameron’s bootprint.

        and here’s giles frasier arguing from the left why he’s for brexit:

        i find that i can agree with all of their positions. this isn’t an easy decision. that’s the main reason why i think the remain side will leave: when choices require a lot of deliberation, people tend to go with the status quo. if the brexit side wanted to win, they would need to somehow frame their position as the default option, but it would be a tough sell.

  24. Jim Haygood

    So, the Guccifer2 leak of top DNC donors includes:

    SEIU COPE … $1,000,000
    Laborers Union … $1,000,000
    Painters Union … $1,000,000
    UAW Educ Fund … $1,200,000
    Air Traffic Controllers PAC … $1,250,000
    Amer. Fed. Teachers … $1,500,000
    Plumbers & Pipefitters … $2,965,000

    Looting working folks’ union dues to fund corrupt neolib politicians — PRICELESS!

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        As Bubba said “where are they going to go?”
        Bernie needs to do the honorable thing and excise himself from the cancerous mass, even if Trump is then the “chemo” the outcome for the eventual health of the patient will be worth it.

        1. JE

          Agreed — if Sanders doesn’t jump he’ll be forgotten, ignored, shown the door before you can say “Where’d he go?”. Whatever happens in the convention will be swallowed whole by a police driven crackdown outside and a media blackout within.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      They aren’t dues. They are voluntary political contributions. No looting. Perhaps poor judgment.

  25. flora

    re: Trump oppo research release. (?)
    This doesn’t quite add up. But it would be a very clever way to put Trump oppo out there, for everyone to read, public service and all….. (and just happens to suck oxygen out of any other reporting about Trump or about Hillary’s basement server).
    Now if they want to put out Hillary’s emails …..

    1. Yves Smith

      It does not make sense to release it so far ahead of the last 6 weeks before the election, when most people make up their minds. Reuters’ latest poll shows 30% still undecided. They would want to hold back their most damaging oppo till then, so it would be fresh and give Hillary material to use in the debates.

      The only reason to pull out the best ammo against Trump now is if the Dems hope the Rs will go into full bore revolt and try to unseat him before their convention.

      1. Kokuanani

        So Hillary thinks she can more easily defeat a slate of “replacement Republicans” than Trump?

  26. vidimi

    British labour MP Jo Cox died from her injuries today after being shot and stabbed earlier in the day by what appears to be a british nationalist.

    here’s jeremy corbin’s tribute:

    The whole of the Labour party and Labour family – and indeed the whole country – will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today.

    Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity. She worked both for Oxfam and the anti-slavery charity, the Freedom Fund, before she was elected last year as MP for Batley and Spen – where she was born and grew up.

    Jo was dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises to support the developing world and strengthen human rights – and she brought those values and principles with her when she became an MP.

    Jo died doing her public duty at the heart of our democracy, listening to and representing the people she was elected to serve. It is a profoundly important cause for us all.

    Jo was universally liked at Westminster, not just by her Labour colleagues, but across Parliament.

    In the coming days, there will be questions to answer about how and why she died. But for now all our thoughts are with Jo’s husband Brendan and their two young children. They will grow up without their mum, but can be immensely proud of what she did, what she achieved and what she stood for.

    We send them our deepest condolences. We have lost a much loved colleague, a real talent and a dedicated campaigner for social justice and peace. But they have lost a wife and a mother, and our hearts go out to them.

    1. William C

      If it is true that Jo Cox was murdered for her support for the Remain campaign, then I think the Leave campaign is dead.

      1. James Levy

        Perhaps, but in the long run my guess is that Orlando will help, not hurt, Trump; that doesn’t mean he put anyone up to it or it was some kind of a staged event. Sometimes terrible things just happen.

        1. polecat

          My point was that there are many entities (Security State/Military, Lagacy Political Parties, Big Media, etc.) who benefit with slight-o-hand, the chaos these events can produce, via omission, and obsfucation, of facts that may be of germane interest to Joe & Jane Public, but for reasons of malice and corruption, prefer to push an alternate story, to instill manufactured consent among the mostly inattentive plebs.

          Sooooo……………..who to trust for a fair appraisal these events??? Certainly not the former vaunted Institutions we all once looked to for answers.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Ever since the Reichstag fire (re maybe even before that), no one can be sure of anything.

            1. pretzelattack

              remember the maine. hell, i think the romans ginned up provocations to expand their empire.

      2. gonzomarx

        June Surprise but it’s a little early for all that…but it seems he was a loner who lived with his mum…

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Condolences to the family.

        Over at Marketwatch, it is said that the Brexit campaigning is on hold. Not sure about the vote itself.

        Coincidentally, the Dow is up now. Not worrying about Brexit anymore?

        1. William C

          The saddest thing about this IMO is that Jo Cox by all accounts was a truly wonderful woman as well as a mother of two small children, dearly loved by many people. She worked a good few years as head of research for Britain’s largest charity and was making a considerable mark as a new MP by leading the work to try to help the Syrian refugees. Clearly a woman of deep compassion.

          As I have two daughters who work for charities I feel I have a sense for the sort of person she was. I confess to being deeply upset.

          I find it sickening to be writing on politics on these circumstances but there is no doubt that the Leave campaign have too often strayed towards xenophobia and racism in their arguments. This of course runs the risk of stirring up the crazies, which on this occasion appears to be what happened. They will have to live with the consequences.

          1. vidimi

            she really seemed like one of the good ones. for what it’s worth, i hope her death will inspire others to follow in her footsteps and not intimidate.

    1. vidimi

      it does strike me as odd that someone who presumably wants britain to exit the EU would do something that would jeopardize his cause as much as anything possibly could (not to mention extinguish the life of another human being).

    1. craazyboy

      I imagine in October, Obama pardons Hillary and the Trump Campaign declares bankruptcy, wiping out half a billion in debt. Then we go to the polls in November.

      1. polecat

        …at which time the U.S. gov abruptly defaults on all it’s debts….wherein the polls close shop, leaving the plebs to pound sand!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, and so the Republican establishment is squeezing Trump’s gonads and waiting for him to yelp, so they know how much money he really has. (He’s having a fundraiser in Phoenix, AZ soon IIRC. Seems a little late in the day.)

  27. UDO

    The Vice story is a little puff of smoke from the Convention Against Torture follow-up wildfire. UN member nations and special procedures view US government torture as a serious crime of concern to the international community. CIA’s torture gulag meets the legal criteria for crimes against humanity, according to the ‘most highly qualified publicists’ cited as authorities in ICJ Statute Article 38(1d). Under these circumstances the Committee Against Torture has confidential examination powers and the option to publish its findings. The legal exposure involves universal-jurisdiction law, the Convention Against Torture, and the ICCPR.

    The treaty body’s confirmation of widespread and systematic torture puts the US government’s death camps squarely in the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has already turned its attention to systematic torture by the closest US ally and opened an investigation of US government CIDT in Aghanistan.

    The US may have to decide if it wants to use its Security Council veto to escape the law. And if the US were to run from the ICC, formal condemnation from UN organs would become customary international law in the World Court, which has decided to consider the rights of individual victims.

    Under state responsibility principles for internationally wrongful acts, US legal responsibility may include satisfaction in the form of criminal prosecution. Any CIA torturer is subject to prosecution or extradition with no statute of limitations, anywhere in the world. So there’s nothing special about Matthew Zirbel, commandant of the death camp where CIA tortured Gul Rahman to death. But early on, as a newbie, he was considered as a candidate for scapegoat. Eventually CIA shipped him off to Saudi, where he could feather his nest and preserve his impunity. But now Brennan needs to throw a virgin into the volcano. Ideally it will be a hillbilly contractor. But in a pinch, Zirbel might have to pay to protect Brennan and David Margolis.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      LOL the idea of any prosecution or consequences for the US for war crimes LOL
      That’s a good one
      Do you also do stand-up?

  28. Synoia

    Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can’t audit it) Boing Boing (and see this from 2010).

    Litigation Futures.

    Server IPs are commonly static. Any additional process in the chip would have to have driver for all possible Ethernet chips used with the CPU chip (hard) and probably have to get a dynamic IP address.

    The extra IP address would have been noticed by some security minded IT person (the not security minded IT people work at McDonalds), and done some investigation.

    The there would be a discussion with the Boss….

    “Boss do you know we have some Trojan in that machine, can I check to see if there are others?”


    “Boss over half our machine have weird Trojans….can we speak to our vendor?”

    “and turn off the dynamic address server in the data center, and block all IP addresses except the one we have explicitly set up in our machines, and deny all outgoing connections (if possible) from the data center?”


    Boss to Vendor – “Now your and out techs have established we have weird Trojans in our machines, and even after completely re-imaging one and only having a new copy of the OS on the machine, it still has a weird Trojan….”

    “We need to discuss your next large order (on hold), and your contract and your warranty and your liability, and I have to talk to our legal department, who will have to talk to your legal department…”

    “Complete replacement in on the table, buy you at your expense with machines which do not have weird Trojans, and your competitor will also be asked to bid, and your company will be paying the costs…”

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      or buy machines with AMD chips to start with that do not include this dangerous tomfoolery

  29. clinical wasteman

    That’s a very powerful antidote. Two kākāpō ( on Naked Capitalism!
    All fellow despisers of Things as They Are and dwellers in the leftward Margin for Error should be glad to see a creature that has repeatedly defied announcements of its own extinction.
    Nor did I know there was anyone else here — apart from Richard Smith (thanks for those reports, btw.) — in or from Aotearoa. Tēnā koe or Tēnā koutou, as the case may be.
    I’ve never seen a Kākāpō (or ‘owl parrot’) but then neither has almost anybody else. Although a close friend likes to ask people: what’s the rarest animal you were ever bitten by?, so that she can trump (sorry) them with: a takahē (!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for that information.

      Looking forward to photos of tuatara – the only living dinosaur.

  30. MDBill

    According to USA today, Hillary doesn’t think Trump is competent to handle the US economy? Not sure I’d disagree, but this does seem like an interesting tack for someone who has already admitted she was going to get her hubby to handle that part of the job. Maybe Trump could convince Bill to handle it for him, if he wins (FSM save us).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Only if Trumps marries Bill.

      That’d be another first in the history of the world.

  31. optimader

    … to my contention a few days ago why being able to shoot 100 ppl in a room w/ a legally arranged AR-15 shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone.

    Will saw through anything in a nightclub, other than the odd iron pipe.

  32. UDO

    re 4:36, Robert Lady or Sabrina de Souza are not laughing. Do you know who they are? The outside world is rolling up the small fry to turn them, just like you do for any other mafia. Italy’s convicted 23. The rest are fugitives too. Bush had to scurry home from Switzerland, remember?

    1. vidimi

      robert lady won’t face any punishment but de souza might. she was the one who had objections to the problem and treated the prisoners humanely. so, as usual, it will be the least guilty who get the punishment.

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