Links 6/21/16

Cont-roo-ception: Hormone implants bring kangaroos under control New Scientist (Emma)

The Israeli Company Sending 500 Million Bees and Mites to Russia Atlas Obscura (resilc)

The Delicious Mystery Surrounding the First Woman to Circum-Bike the World Adventure Journal (resilc)

No One Knows What Will Happen A Wealth of Common Sense

Elon Musk Is Wrong. We Aren’t Living in a Simulation Motherboard (resilc)

Scientists Hope to Cultivate an Immune System for Crops New York Times (David L)

For More Children, Puberty Signs Start at 8 Wall Street Journal. !!!!

Free Meals Influence Doctors’ Drug Prescriptions, Study Suggests Wall Street Journal. As we’ve said repeatedly, gifts as small as a can of soda will predispose the recipient to a sales pitch.


The US Will Not Allow China to Reduce Its Strategic Vulnerability Pepe Escobar, Russia Insider

The Ghosts of Fukushima New Republic (resilc)

The Resistible Rise of the Far Right in Europe The Bullet (Sid S)

The European Dead End Counterpunch (reslic)

Hollande Capitulates to EU Pressure on Labor Laws, Risking His Own Presidency Real News Network (Sid S)


Tiny Tilt in ‘Brexit’ Polls Roils Global Financial Markets Wall Street Journal

Brexit supporters say they’re worried about immigration. The real problems are deeper. Vox. Predictably, makes being anti-immigration all about being intolerant of diversity, as opposed to the “unskilled and semi-skilled workers” who are one of the groups that strongly favor “Leave” suffer the most from competition from migrants. It it also the neoliberal agenda that has driven deindustrialization. So the Brexit vote is the closest proxy for a vote on the neoliberal project…and many of the groups and regions that have been hurt by it are in the Leave camp.

Greece’s Asylum Appeals Committees denounce changes to facilitate mass deportations to Turkey Keep Talking Greece


Time to Move the 5th Fleet? How US Appeasement Is Undermining Bahrain’s Stability Defense One. Resilc: “Saudis want us there, so we stay. USA, USA, open for bids. Has the check cleared at the Clintoon foundation?”

Israeli Intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria AMN (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

After Orlando, Democrats and Republicans Clamor for Expanded Police State Counterpunch

Imperial Collapse Watch

Air Force Wants New Plane to Replace A-10, Fight ISIS Defense One. Resilc: “Never enough DoD welfare.”

Australian support for US alliance slips Financial Times. Trump worries.

Our Impulsive Foreign Policy Establishment American Conservative (resilc)

The Pentagon is Developing A New Suite of Tools to Fight the Lone Wolf Problem Defense One (resilc)

The Problem with the State Department Dissenters Geopolitical Futures (furzy)

Clinton E-mail Hairball

After delay, Clinton IT aide to testify in email case The Hill (furzy)

The Lawyers Who Could Take Down Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Daily Beast


Bernie Sanders May Have Lost to Hillary, But Here’s 1 Way He’s Changing the Democratic Party Forever Independent Journal Review

Wisniewski speaks out about being booted from DNC Politico (martha r)

Sanders wins Wash. state party endorsement KIRO (martha r)

California Democrats call for elimination of caucuses, most super-delegates Los Angeles Times

13 State Conventions Have Voted to Abolish or Reform Superdelegate System SandersForPresident/reddit (martha r)

Wisniewski speaks out about being booted from DNC Politico (Emma)

Poverty activist Cheri Honkala plans stinky protest for Hillary Clinton’s DNC speech Philadelphia Inquirer (martha r)

Wall Street Threatens to Abandon Clinton if She Picks Warren Vanity Fair (martha r) As if anyone in the know didn’t know that already. We said from the beginning that this idea was a non-starter, and it seems to be intended to snooker Warren and keep the noise from Sanders voters down pre-convention. Surprised Wall Street had to “threaten”. The head-fakery must have started looking too real for comfort.

Brock resigns from Hillary Clinton PAC Politico

Ohio Politics Now: A look at Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s ground game here Columbus Dispatch

Why Trump Ousted Corey Lewandowski New York Magazine

Manafort Wins Trump Camp’s Game of Thrones Bloomberg

Behind the scenes: Angst in Trump’s campaign The Hill (furzy)

Special: United States of Trump – How Donald Trump Took Over the Republican Party NBC

Donald Trump Is Broke Kevin Drum/ From a strongly leftist political expert (both in terms of his age and the extent of his study) commented, “Hysterical pro-Clinton nonsense in my opinion.” Update: A key point I neglected to add, due to this e-mail coming in right before I turned in: this source is very much anti-Trump.

Disruptive Robocalling Global Guerillas (resilc). Important if you are in the US.

FBI Releases Full Transcript of 911 Calls from Orlando Massacre NBC

The Weird Logic Behind Yard Signs in Politics Atlas Obscura (resilc)

Before Omar Mateen Committed Mass Murder, The FBI Tried To ‘Lure’ Him Into A Terror Plot Smirking Chimp (Judy B)

Supreme Court Ruling Limits Constitutional Protections Against Searches Wall Street Journal

Supreme Court rejects challenge to decision throwing out tobacco judgment Reuters (EM)

It’s Not Just Millennials Who Aren’t Buying Homes Big Picture (resilc)

Oklahoma governor suspends use of controversial card readers Fox (furzy)


Senate Rejects Four Gun-Control Proposals After Orlando Shooting Wall Street Journal. Quelle surprise!

Senate votes down closing ‘terror loophole’ The Hill

Oil bust leaves Texas, other states with massive well cleanup Associated Press (guust). “These landowners are chained to a corpse.”

Inventory Drawdowns Won’t Boost Oil Prices OilPrice

What the Heck’s Going on in Global Stocks? Wolf Richter (EM)

Class Warfare

Why it’s so hard for students to have their debts forgiven The Conversation. Good recap of the legislative and legal history.

Will self-driving cars fuel urban sprawl? TreeHugger

The Growing Case for Massive Taxes on the Rich TruthOut (resilc)

Can Big Business Dismantle the Joint Employer Standard? American Prospect. Resilc: “Workers can get a chicken from Bill Gates later….”

Why Did White Workers Leave the Democratic Party? Jacobin (guurst)

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

a8930-honeybee links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    Before Omar Mateen Committed Mass Murder, The FBI Tried To ‘Lure’ Him Into A Terror Plot …hmm could this be the reason he’s not being referred to as a Terrorist?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Eight days ago Trump said this about obama’s refusal to refer to Mateen as a terrorist:

      ‘He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other,’ the GOP’s presumptive nominee said.

      The punditocracy ripped him a new one for his “insinuations.”

      Obama did not respond to Trump directly but made this statement:

      “As far as we can tell right now, this is certainly an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been so concerned about for a very long time,” Obama said. “It also appears that he was able to obtain these weapons legally because he did not have a criminal record that in some ways would prohibit him from purchasing these weapons.”


      1. Pavel

        Following on abynormal’s comment, I wonder if Obama has noticed that many if not most cases of “homegrown extremism” over the last decade in fact have been nurtured and fertilised by the FBI?

        The report is based on more than 215 interviews with people charged with or convicted of terrorism-related crimes, members of their families and their communities, criminal defense attorneys, judges, current and former federal prosecutors, government officials, academics, and other experts.

        In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act. Multiple studies have found that nearly 50 percent of the federal counterterrorism convictions since September 11, 2001, resulted from informant-based cases. Almost 30 percent were sting operations in which the informant played an active role in the underlying plot.

        In the case of the “Newburgh Four,” for example, who were accused of planning to blow up synagogues and attack a US military base, a judge said the government “came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles,” and had, in the process, made a terrorist out of a man “whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.”

        The FBI often targeted particularly vulnerable people, including those with intellectual and mental disabilities and the indigent. The government, often acting through informants, then actively developed the plot, persuading and sometimes pressuring the targets to participate, and provided the resources to carry it out.

        “The US government should stop treating American Muslims as terrorists-in-waiting,” Prasow said. “The bar on entrapment in US law is so high that it’s almost impossible for a terrorism suspect to prove. Add that to law enforcement preying on the particularly vulnerable, such as those with mental or intellectual disabilities, and the very poor, and you have a recipe for rampant human rights abuses.”

        [my emphasis]
        — Human Rights Watch: US: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion–Investigations, Trials of American Muslims Rife with Abuse (2014 Report)

        Cf also this Greenwald piece from 2015: Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?

        So the domestic agencies create the “homegrown” terrorists whilst the US foreign policy has for decades been creating foreign born terrorists. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

        1. Enquiring Mind

          Thank you for my morning laugh! It was good to know about a judge able to cut through the issues. One hopes,and votes, for more of those on the bench to uphold an independent judiciary.

          made a terrorist out of a man “whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.”

          1. Pavel

            Ha ha, I loved that line as well. Though I’m not sure if Shakespeare’s various buffoons at their most buffoonish could match the collection of bums, stooges, and idiots that populate US politics and federal agencies.

    2. none

      So they said he was radicalized by the internet, but he was actually radicalized by the FBI? Great.

  2. Roger Smith

    RE: After delay, Clinton IT aide to testify in email case [The Hill]

    I am failing to reconcile this application of the fifth amendment. My understanding is that people ‘invoke’ the fifth amendment so as not to incriminate themselves by answering questions, and that this is acceptable in courts generally.

    One: this is still an admission of guilt, just a broader one that seems to look less favorably on the witness than whatever the specific crime might be.

    Two: How can courts work effectively when witnesses are allowed to withhold testimony? This seems to be a really flighty practice. It is especially questionable in a civil watchdog suit. “Sorry the public, he doesn’t want to talk.”

    1. Watt4Bob

      Mike Connell, Karl Rove’s IT guru was slated to testify before a congressional committee curious about what he might know about electronic vote tampering by republicans in the 2008 elections.

      This was back in 2008, that is, before his private plane crashed and he was killed instantly.

      Bryan Pagliano is attempting to navigate an obstacle course that is feared to have cost the life of at least one contestant.

      1. Roger Smith

        Having been involved with the Clinton’s has to be one of the worst feelings ever. A grease you can never wash off.

      2. Teejay

        An insinuation that won’t die like how Vince Foster really died? I read the NTSB report. There were also other pilots reporting of icing on their wings.

        1. Watt4Bob

          From that NTSB report you say you read;

          While flying the approach, Connell had inquired about reports of icing and ATC responded it had none.

          So if my comment qualifies as an insinuation, how shall I describe yours?

    2. Bill Smith

      Somewhat different rules for criminal and civil court cases. Plus Clinton’s IT guy doesn’t have blanket immunity in regard to any possible criminal case.

    3. Pat

      If I understand the situation correctly from someone who explained to me that there different types of immunity deals this is my guess. The deal he has with the DOJ is limited. And we do know that just like his former boss he has committed criminal acts with regards the handling of classified material. Unlike his boss, he faces prosecution, prison, etc (that lovely two tiered system in the US). He testifies in another venue and the DOJ can ignore that immunity deal and use that testimony against him. And rather than being a tool he gets to be the patsy under the bus. Solving a big problem for his former boss AND possibly one for the DOJ who are now facing scrutiny because of their boss and his backing of the real criminal in all this. Personally I don’t think it does help the DOJ, because we all know who ordered his hiring and decided how this was to be done, so prosecuting low level drone is not going to do it. But with the way these guys read human nature and public reaction, I wouldn’t risk it if I were Pagliano either.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        HIs immunity extends only to the any DoJ cases, not liability in civil cases. And any damaging testimony he makes in a civil case could still be used in a criminal case, I believe (can lawyers in the house opine?)

        1. sleepy

          The use of any statements outside those made to the invesigators depends on the sort of immunity he was granted. If he has transactional immunity, he can’t be prosecuted period, regardless of whether he makes incriminating statements in a separate civil proceeding.

          If he has use immunity, any statements made to the investigators can’t be used. Statements made in a separate civil proceeding might be used in a subsequent criminal prosecution depending how far outside the “scope” of the initial immunized statements they were.

          A prosecution based on that would be difficult since the prosecution has to show that absolutely no leads or avenues of investigation stemmed from the original immunized statements. That’s how Ollie North got off.

          But if he only has use immunity he is free to take the 5th amendment at any civil proceeding.

          1. Sam Adams

            … and more importantly it keeps his mouth shut in a proceeding the Obama administration has no control over and which might jeopardize the decision not to prosecute the presumptive pantsuited Nominee.
            The solution to every administration problem is better controlled propaganda!

        2. Antifa

          Immunity from prosecution for admitted crimes comes in two flavors — conditional and unconditional. Unconditional means a blanket pardon. Conditional means, “the more help you are to the prosecutors, the more immunity we’ll grant.” That’s what Paglioano has.

          Any testimony you give under oath in any civil courtroom is admissible as is in a criminal court. If you try to alter or walk back that sworn civil case testimony, you’re in trouble for perjury with the civil case judge, or are suspected of perjury in the criminal case. Better to say nothing than open a fresh can of worms.

          But conditional immunity of Pagliano raises a real Gordian knot for Hillary, and the government. To wit: none of her staff had the security clearance to see any of the classified emails that were freely circulated around Hillary’s office. For her aides, just looking at classified information is a crime, much less discussing it with her and one another, and sending it out on unsecured Blackberries to other people with no security clearance. Her friend Mr. Blumenthal had no security clearance to be advising her on Libya, or hearing her thoughts about it, or the whereabouts of diplomats, or the location of planned drone strikes.

          But then, no one was ever supposed to know about how Hillary and her staff handled her emails. It’s not a crime if you don’t get caught, right Madam Secretary? Unfortunately, Hillary and her aides are caught.

          So as these “Clinton aide” transcripts drip, drip, drip out to the public during June, the FBI, the DOJ, and Obama himself have a real problem. Not prosecute Hillary, but prosecute her aides? They all improperly handled classified documents and information with the intent to pass it on to persons without the clearance to see it. Those are all straight up Espionage Act violations, times hundreds. That goes way beyond simple “gross negligence” in handling classified information.

          How does Obama pardon Hillary, but not her aides? How does he pardon the whole pirate crew? Wonderful legacy for his 8 years in office — handing over the keys to a totally corrupt politician who should be in prison. How does the DOJ let Hillary slide, and yet go after her aides?

          The Espionage Act, and the rules for handling classified information, do not have any slack in them at all. The single most inflexible and unforgiving law in America is to knowingly pass classified information to a party not cleared to see it. It’s called spying.

          But this was the daily routine at Hillary’s office. How many thousands of times did she step out of her secured State Department office so she could use her unsecured Blackberry in the hallway to send classified info to people who had no business seeing it? Her stepping out into the hallway is proof that she knew the rules, and was knowingly not following them.

          It’s not hard to grasp why the CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA and Pentagon are so furious about her. They live or die by those rules she blithely threw out the window, thinking, “No one will ever know.”

          1. sd

            Immunity seems like a logical and practical matter regarding Pagliano. He provided, handled, and managed a server with classified information on it while not holding security clearances. It just seems like from the word go, he would have been on very shaky grounds. Add to that the unreported payments while on State payroll, it just gets uglier and uglier for Pagliano.

            Isn’t the big question in all of this whether or not, Clinton deliberately conspired to withhold access to her State Department communications? And that in turn those communications would implicate her in what was essentially a bribery scheme passed off as her husbands “speaking engagements?”

            1. Antifa

              Oh, my — Pagliano is the aide least in trouble. All he did was set up a server for email, acting as an employee of Clinton personally, or of the Clinton Foundation. Later, he was rewarded with a highly paid appointment to the State Department IT Department, where he had no real input, duties, or tasks other than cashing his paycheck and keeping the “secret” email server running. He was set up to be a fall guy from the first.

              The real question is racketeering. During her SoS tenure, the Clinton’s earned something like $300 million between them, and gathered in about $2 Billion in donations to the Clinton Foundation — most donations or speaking fees closely tied to contracts, waivers, favors, etc from the State Department. The FBI is discussing whether the best approach to this mess is to prosecute all three Clintons under RICO — the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statutes.

              Then you have Hillary guilty of the easily-proven charge of “gross negligence” in the handling of classified information and documents, a couple of thousand times. Then you have her, and every one of her aides, and several close advisers, sharing and forwarding and discussing Hillary’s classified info and memos on purpose. Not by accident. With intent to do so. When none of these people were cleared to even look at this info. That proves intent to share classified data with persons known to hold no security clearance to see it.

              It is that intent to share with non-cleared people that must be proven for the harsh Espionage Act to apply. Hillary did exactly this many hundreds of times with every member of her staff. That is called spying.

              There are several million Americans with varying levels of security clearance. Every one of them gets an annual one or two-day class on all the rules and regs of handling classified information, be it written or spoken. They are warned in detail of the dire consequences for whomever violates these rules, and must sign a pledge that they have understood and will follow these rules.

              Hillary got these annual classes. She never followed the rules because she was too clever to ever get caught. Let her off the hook, and then try explaining that to the several million citizens who follow these rules, who are not careless spies letting their emails be read by any script kiddie in the world. That’s a voting bloc of several million people, all of whom will feel like fools for following the law.

              An unsecured Microsoft Exchange email server is about as hard to crack as a locked car door with the window rolled down. Really. It’s a beginner’s level challenge for the nerds at your local junior high school.

          2. Pookah Harvey

            Biden was very critical of Clinton on Libya on the Charlie Rose Show.

            Biden replied that he had “argued strongly” within the White House “against going … to Libya,” a stance that put him at odds with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, whom the vice president endorsed earlier this month after she crossed the threshold of necessary delegates.

            “My — my question was, ‘OK, tell me what happens?,'” Biden recalled. “‘He’s gone. What happens? Doesn’t the country disintegrate? What happens then? Doesn’t it become a place where it becomes a — Petri dish for the growth of extremism? Tell me. Tell me what we’re gonna do.”

            Rose responded, “And it has.”

            “And it has,” Biden said

            Doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for Hillary. Is Biden smelling blood on the water?

            1. polecat

              One could say the same of the Ukraine clusterfuck…you know.. the one where Biden’s son ‘Cokehead Hunter’ slid, with the help of Dad, ………into a front-row seat at the ‘brand new’ Ukraine nat-gas production table!!!

              ….so Ole Joe is either a Big Pot… or he’s smokin some…….

  3. allan

    Hedge Funds Still Can’t Figure Out a Way to Avoid a $25 Billion Tax Bill

    The deadline they face is Dec. 31, 2017. That’s when a loophole closes, and hedge-fund managers will have to pay taxes on performance fees parked offshore. Some have brought the money home, taking the hit, but others have waited to benefit from the magic of tax-deferred compounding. And in the hope that clever advisers would come up with a workaround for a total that some estimates put at $100 billion — at least.

    Time to pull out the world’s tiniest violin.

  4. Expat

    Manzotti and Smart miss the point of Musk’s position. They are right in saying a simulated apple can never feed anyone “real”. A simulated apple feeds a simulated person. And while we might be able to distinguish between a hyper-realistic game, the characters in the game might not.

    I suppose the only point they make that is logical is that if we are in a simulation, then that is our reality, but it does not necessarily make it Musk’s base reality, whatever that might be.

    I wonder how God would figure into a simulation? Which is to say, if we are indeed living in a simulation, would God be simulated? Or is there an uber-God above him who is real?

    Extending Musk’s argument really gets us nowhere. If the odds of living in a simulation are near enough 100% (which is what he suggests), then the odds of that simulation being the product of a simulation are also extremely high. Musk should argue that not only are we in a simulation, but likely in a very deep and very layered Russian nesting doll or simulations.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It is really silly for humans with our limited cognitive capacity to think we can understand how the universe works. Nevertheless, given the reality of death, we are all very prone to speculate.

      I think eternity is probably boring and fragmenting God-ness into all sorts of experiments with different rule constraints is a form of entertainment. Earth is a horrible E-Ticket ride. There are other planes of existence that are better ordered. But maybe the horribleness leads to some interesting, if primitive, art.

      1. Quentin

        Let him go without food or water for a few a days and then see how he deals with his fancy theoretical reality. Only all his gutsy cash let’s him play these games and get publicity about them.

        1. Expat

          Well, when Musk talks about it, the media bother to listen. When theoretical physicists talk about it, everyone yawns. It’s not lunacy even though it is theoretical.

          As for eternity, hard to say what that even is. As a concept, it makes sense, but as a physical thing, it might be no more useful than Plato’s ideals. What is eternity without time? Makes no sense or has no significance.
          I am not sure what other planes of existence are better ordered, but I agree that humans have a hard time understanding reality. Every layer we peal seems to present new mysteries. We are middle of the road beings who cannot grasp the very small, the very large, the very long, or the very fast.

          Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in any other existence than this fleeting E-ticket. Honestly, if this is the best a god could do, I have no need for that god.

          1. vidimi

            agree with most of your post except the last bit. earth is pretty bloody awesome, and i’ve only seen but a small sliver of it. the way its organisms interact with each other and with their environment is poetry. only human beings are pretty shitty to it and to each other but, for every hillary clinton and donald trump, we get a bach or mozart. while clinton and trump may make things suck for a while, a bach or mozart add a bit of awesomeness to it for a very long time.

            1. Emma

              Don’t think so vidimi….
              Animals thrashing the Game of Thrones theme tune or singing ‘What a wonderful world’ does it for me. Either that, or Debussy and Wagner. Definitely not Mozart or Bach!

        2. Plenue

          Musk is an idiot. There, end of discussion.

          To go further his nonsense is based on a naive assumption of endless tech advancement, when it is far more likely the whole sordid, exploitative affair is likely to crash spectacularly, probably within the next few decades.

      2. Take the Fork

        “Earth is a horrible E-Ticket ride.”

        Then why bother? (rhetorical)

        Get out of town and sleep under some stars. They’re still up there. And all this will be here, just as it is, if not more so, when you get back.

          1. Ulysses

            John Twelve Hawks rocks!!! I think that it’s very cool the way fans of his work volunteer to read it at bookstores to help preserve his anonymity.

      3. Plenue

        And yet it isn’t really silly to speculate on other planes of existence and the universe being a giant time-filler distraction for…something? At least science tries to base itself on evidence.

    2. craazyboy

      Elon Musk is Mr. Smith. Jeff Bezos is Mr. Smith. Mark Zuckerberg is Mr. Smith. Pete Peterson is Mr. Smith. The Koch Bros are Mr. Smith. Warren Buffet and especially Charlie Munger are Mr. Smith. Bill Gates is Mr. Smith. Carlos Slim is Mr. Smith. George Soros is Mr. Smith. The House of Saud is a house full of Mr. Smiths. Even Larry Ellison is Mr. Smith.

      I could go on, but you catch the drift.

      1. Roger Smith

        Why craazyboy, why? Why do you persist!?

        (I actually see Agent Smith as a more tragic character, flawed and morally “bad” yes, but he wants essentially what the humans want, freedom)

      2. fresno dan

        You know where Smith has Morpheus, and Smith gives Morpheus the speech about humans being a virus?
        Yeah, I’m thinking the good guy was….Smith…uh, good software…

    3. vidimi

      the multiverse theory is the simulation theory put in slightly different terms. it’s not something i would rule out.

      sometimes i get the most incredible déjà vus which, like a glitch in the matrix, make me want to almost swear i had been through it before.

      1. pretzelattack

        yeah like the whole lesser of 2 evils choice in this election. deja vu all over again.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Cats are very intuitive about things like this.

        They can sense whether we are simulated or not

        If they say we are, you can bet we are.

    4. boltzmann brain

      who does this Musk guy think he is? or any of you for that matter?

      i am you and you are me and that is all there is

    5. TheCatSaid

      It was odd he only went back to the Greeks. What about Buddhism, which has a lot to say about “reality”? And other traditions?

      Then there’s the experiential. There is an abundance of evidence that our “five senses” approach to reality is mistaken. Many people have first-hand experience of this, with practical, visible results and validation. There are many books on the subject, coming from a wealth of perspectives.

      To limit oneself to what consensus science currently accepts seems like a kind of mass blindness which we persist in inculcating into the young generations. Once a person has personal experience of how vast reality is beyond five-senses form there is no going back. Multiple dimensions, multiple realities–many people I know have practical, recurrent useful experiences of this. It is nothing new and doesn’t require being “special”. We’ve just forgotten how to use those “muscles” and capabilities consciously, so they have atrophied in terms of what we are consciously aware of. >

      Life sometimes offers us opportunities to reawaken an expanded range of functionality, depending on what our personal balance is ready to sustain. It’s a natural process.

  5. Ulysses

    I must confess that I felt Chris Hedges was far too dismissive of Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning the nomination. Yet, having witnessed the massive election fraud [ ] the DNC establishment was willing to commit, he was probably right all along.

    This dreary prediction, that Chris H. made the other day, thus seems all too likely:

    “The race will be devoid of content. Clinton and Trump, in this world of political make-believe, will say whatever their listeners want to hear. They will furiously compete for “undecided” voters, essentially the apolitical segment of the population. And once the election is over, one of them will go to Washington, where corporations, rich donors and lobbyists—who they represent—will continue with the business of governing.

    After November, our role will be over. We will no longer be asked to answer polling questions designed to elicit certain responses. We will no longer be asked to play a walk-on part in the tawdry drama called democracy. The political carnival on television will be replaced by other carnivals. The corporate state will claim democratic legitimacy. We will remain in bondage.

    The real face of the corporate state, and the evidence that our democracy has been extinguished, will be on display during the party conventions in the streets of Cleveland and Philadelphia. The blocks around the convention halls will be militarized and flooded with police. There will be restricted movement. Pedestrians will be stopped at random and searched. Helicopters will hover overhead.”

      1. craazyboy

        Once again, Ben Carson proves he’s the dumbest brain surgeon known to science.

        Uncanny how GWB did seem to know what would happen. Like he had this plan or sumthin’.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      My son and his friends voting in the California primaries (the first election in the presidential process for many in their cohort) came away with the impression that their votes did not count. That makes for interesting discussions as they see the fraud and incompetence issues play out.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Speaking of California, the link above mentions the ideas of the Democrats here to eliminate caucuses and most super delegates.

        The first would have (besides historical and above-historical election fraud) benefited Hilary, while the second would have deprived her of her near inevitability early on, while at the end, she does win a majority of pledged delegates (and actually counters Sanders’ argument, made in the last few weeks, that Hillary needed to win 51% of the total delegates – pledged and super delegates combined – with pledged delegates, alone, since Sanders’ argument was that we couldn’t count them before the convention………This is much harder than if there were no super delegates at all).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Election fraud, for sure.

      There has always been election fraud. Was it more, this time, much much more, that it would have made a difference at the end?

      I am not so sure.

      I keep reading lesson for Hillary, lesson for the DNC, etc.

      We profit if we reflect on what lessons we have learned from this past 6 months.

      One lesson is there are many obstacles (even after accounting for more-than-normal election fraud.)

      Another lesson is this – you have to plan months and months, even years ahead.

      And you have to be persistent, one more lesson.

      We have to learn.

      Forget about whether Hillary learns anything or not.

      If it is the underlying assumption, we should dispense with it now – We are not superior when others have to learn from us. We are just making them, our opponents in this case, stronger. And if our friends learn from, we are merely and humbly sharing what we have ourselves learned.

      “I am going to teach you a lesson,’ says the ego.

      1. TheCatSaid

        I don’t know if the amount of fraud this year is “much much more” than in the past. It seems likely that fraud has existed in abundance in the past, we were just not aware of it in many cases and the methods used varied greatly from one location to another. While past and present fraud has been richly documented and remarked on by experts (including a number of academic studies and reports), the MSM dialogue has been limited to discussing relatively limited (though still sometimes disastrously effective) localized exploits, while bringing on a host of election officials talking about how important it is that we maintain “trust” in our elections.

        If you check out the “Fraction Magic” report on BlackBoxVoting dot org you’ll see that what’s recently come to light is code that was inserted (clearly on purpose and deliberately hidden into the database structure) into the 2001 central counting computers in much of the country–and still in use today–was designed to facilitate election manipulation. Harris & Smith also uncovered evidence of this exploit having been used. They are in the midst of documenting the most recent occurrences in the 2016 primaries.

        This code made it possible since 2001 to do more widespread fraud in many locations, offering the possibility of finely detailed skewing for specific local demographics or groups to avoid the appearance of fraud, and to fly under the radar of various states’ laws governing the conditions for partial audits.

        Fraud occurred on a large scale before then, but the mechanisms were different. Even now what is typical is a blend of multiple mechanisms.

        “The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft” is a new book just out by Fitrakis and Wasserman that addresses this phenomenon and documents it. Here’s a book review which is a useful overview.

        The free “Black Box Voting” book by Harris documents both recent and historical mechanisms. Sad to say they are still in use. “Hacking Democracy” is one of several excellent documentaries on this subject. There’s nothing like seeing real people in real courtrooms and seeing how legal mechanisms are being used to obstruct democracy.

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Donald Trump Is Broke Kevin Drum

    So now a pile of campaign “contributions” and a massive, well-oiled political machine is a GOOD thing?

    I’d imagine mittens romney is wondering why he couldn’t get him some of that big money love in 2012.

    It’s the political equivalent of the Downing Street Memo, paraphrased: the narrative is being fixed around the desired result.

    1. Roger Smith

      This is exactly how I have responded to this news. Clinton has more large donors and special interest money (Yay!). Why is this a good thing? I am tired of faux arguments for necessary evils and necessary lesser-than evils.

      Sanders did it. He raised (more than Clinton?) enough money to contend legitimately for President in our broken system. There is no excuse other than conspiracy to justify doing things the corporate money way,

      1. Vatch

        Sanders did it. He raised (more than Clinton?)

        I think Sanders raised $224 million though the end of May, and Clinton raised $239 million in the same period. If we include Super PAC and other dark money, she’s probably about $100 million ahead of Sanders.

        1. sd

          There’s always that little question…how much of Clinton’s financial support came from foreign sources?

    2. Pat

      Yeah, I looked at it and it struck me as someone making a prediction and hoping to cash out at the end with a big jackpot. “See I told you! He Can’t Win because he hasn’t got the money!”

      I admit I haven’t been following the we can get rid of Trump at the convention thing. The 400 delegates he mentioned, are they or were they pledged to Trump? Even though the Republicans can change the rules on a dime for an upcoming convention, I don’t see them letting pledged delegates decide willy nilly they aren’t going to vote the way they are required to vote. Someday that might come back to bite one of them in the ass. And if they weren’t Trump delegates what does it matter. Am I missing some aspect of this that makes this less whining about not getting their way and more about a realistic situation?

      1. Carolinian

        The story I read said that even if the committee votes for the rule change the entire convention would have to affirm it. This isn’t inconceivable since the delegates are mostly traditional Repub fat cats and insiders but it would be the entire Republican party saying screw you to democracy. Even the Washington Post might have a hard time spinning that one.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I have really no idea about the 400 delegates. As we were “schooled” during the primaries, these are “private” parties and they can do what they want to do.

        But I have to admit, this furious “hysteria” over Trump’s campaign organization and finances strikes me as more than a little odd, coming, as it does, from DEMOCRATS and BEFORE the republican convention. And this Drum article was unvarnished, bullet-pointed “hysteria.”

        It would seem that they would welcome the chance to run against a candidate who, by their own account, is so fatally ill-equipped to take on the clinton machine, especially considering how flawed a candidate SHE is. And they would shut up about it until after he is nominated.

        Instead they seem intent on derailing his NOMINATION, as if they’re far more afraid of running against him than they let on.

        I’m still thinking about this, but it just makes more sense to keep your powder dry until the REAL fight starts. If you’ve actually got some powder to protect, that is.

        1. Carolinian

          If the Repubs reject Trump it would be a donnybrook that would almost guarantee a Dem victory. You can’t blame the Dems for declaring “confusion to the French!”

          But I think Versailles on the Potomac is very worried about Trump.

            1. fresno dan

              one down, one to go!
              California vote tally, email hairball gets coughed up…..could still happen!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Trump does not build.

            He throws money wrenches into the (neoliberal) machinery.

            Sometimes, you get a wrecking chief and a construction manager in one…a two fer.

            Sometimes, you first hire the wrecking ball, and send out bids for the construction contractor separately.

            People will suffer no doubt. Is it inevitable? I don’t know. Is Global Warming inevitable? All I know is we have to be prepared…but life is like that, full of surprises and unpleasantness.

            If we are lucky, we get something like the new Hearst Building in New York, something new on top of something good and old below.

          2. polecat

            Why don’t we just dispense with the notion of ‘Parties’ and call them what them really are…..CLUBS! ……u know…the ones we ain’t in…

        2. Pat

          Now I admit I thought this was a self-serving, I’ll tell you why it is Trump Titanic and I’m right this time! article. But let’s suppose this was a Clinton/DNC suggested piece (as per the recent hacker release). So what might THEY want from it.

          Perhaps, just perhaps, we need to couple this with the problems in the Clinton Super Pac article. Their pool of big bucks donors is not expanding and may even be contracting. We know that Clinton called the Bush backers personally. The problem with that idea is that those people are not likely to read Drum or Mother Jones, but it does get the story out into the ether. And possibly gives them a new method of approach for the Republican money bags.

          Or it might be that someone has noticed that for someone who is supposed to be a lock with large demographic groups across America, Trump is not that far behind. He didn’t lose that much ground with either the judge or Orlando. And Clinton only got a 2 point bounce from declaring herself the nominee. The negative onslaught of media is not working as quickly as they might like and they feel the need to come at ‘numbers’ and ‘support’ from a different direction. He doesn’t have the ‘numbers’/’dollars’ to win. And in the comments was added that since it is a big grift (only for Donald not for Hillary) he is going to make out from any money donors send. Reminded me of the Sanders is committing fraud by taking money from small donors when he can’t win meme only even more embellished.

          But then see I don’t think the Republicans are going to replace Trump. I believe that most of them know they do that they are destroyed as a party. They are now just hoping to clean up after him. And I don’t think the Clintonites think he is going to be replaced either. And that being the case they need him destroyed as soon as possible because Hillary Rodham Clinton is possibly the most successful massively bad candidate the world has ever seen. She much prefers a campaign where she really doesn’t have to campaign. If she has to, she blows it. Bill blows it. No matter what one thinks of Trump when it comes to campaigning he runs rings around her. Her field organization is better organized and more knowledgeable regarding the rules and ground operations, but he is the one that gets people excited to vote. And they may not be as delusional as I believe most of her supporters are – they know head to head she is likely to find herself staring at the camera after Trump says the 2016 equivalent of ‘there you go again’. They need him crippled coming into the REAL fight.

          But all of this is a guess. Maybe it is as simple they really think they would do better against Cruz or Rubio, if only because they actually had campaign plans for that.

          1. Carolinian

            Hillary Tina Clinton. And yes Trump is a moving target which must be worrying for a plodder like Hill. Why the man might come out in favor of single payer.

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump like many others is an enemy of the junior high establishment of Washington. Trump might worship New York a day the corporate establishment, but much like Nader, Sanders, the Green Party, the libertarians and so forth he is a challenge not just to the “other” party but to the “meritocracy” of “enlightened” government In Washington.

          Trump as a clown decided to play the game and humiliated Jeb, then Romney, and Ryan. Order must be restored, or it might catch on for more than just Clinton v. Trump. Hillary is as big as a sitting President. She might be safe from Trump, but if Jeb isn’t, no one else is. A teabagger sits in a seat once held by majority leader Eric Cantor who largely represented suburban Republicans, proto fascists and the people the Clinton campaign wants to convert, and farmers he took care of. Cantor was ousted by a crank.

          The problems extend to more than just politicians but media members.

  7. Ulysses

    Apologies if this was already linked here on the site, but it is critically important that this information doesn’t fly below the radar:

    “U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman today (June 20) said the Obama administration is drafting the implementing bill and other reports required for a potential lame-duck vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership under the fast-track law. He said the lame duck represents the earliest window of opportunity given Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) opposition of a vote before the election.”

    “According to the fast-track law, the president must submit to Congress a copy of the final legal text of the agreement; a draft statement of administrative action (SAA) proposed to implement the agreement; and a plan for implementing and enforcing the agreement thirty days prior to formal submission of the draft TPP implementing bill to Congress.

    “At the same time, he must also submit to the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance committees three reports that spell out how the deal will impact U.S. employment, labor rights in the U.S. and FTA partners, and the environment. USTR has said earlier this year that these reports will promptly be made available to the public ‘to the maximum extent possible.’

    1. Pat

      “maximum extent possible” is a bullshit statement. The reports are either available to the public as soon as they are finished or they are not. There is no reason to hold them back, or shouldn’t be. If they are accurate and positive, you want the public support that would bring. If they are unintentionally inaccurate you should want that caught so it can be corrected. If, otoh, they are not positive you should not be doing the deal. And there is the crux of the matter – they should not be doing the deal. Because the people who do benefit from this are few, far between and big campaign donors, hirers of lobbyists and really really love speeches by ex government officials the last part is being ignored by all involved.

    2. TheCatSaid (aka "TheCatSquid")

      Thank you for this info. Who do you recommend we contact? Our state Rep? Senator? Clinton? Others?

      1. Ulysses

        We need to make it very clear to all of the members of both houses of Congress that passing TPP would be their final betrayal of the American people, as elected representatives. This is most effective in the House, because everyone is up for re-election this November. Those Senators up for re-election, therefore, should be especially targeted in our massive anti-TPP campaign!

        We could exhort Clinton to publicly denounce the TPP during the summer and fall, but as a well-known serial liar any pledges she makes, prior to the election, can be discounted as worthless.

  8. Pat

    The Politico article on Brock resigning turned out to be very interesting. Brock is accusing other members of Priorities of being behind the NY Times “hit piece” on the groups in his fiefdom.
    I realize this is Politico, and if it was written in the above NY Times it would read differently. Still I wonder who leaked the resignation letter, because unless there is some actual old school Democratic mole in there I don’t think it worked the way they thought it would.

    The in-fighting is an ominous sign. It calls to mind the squabbles that helped sink Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. It, too, was regarded as an unrivaled cash juggernaut, but feuding among cliques of supporters stymied efforts to launch a planned big-money outside effort in time to neutralize a surprisingly robust insurgent primary challenge from Barack Obama.

    This time around, her allies tried to pre-empt the sectarianism by cross-pollinating the various groups to keep everyone on the same page and minimize competition. Granholm is on the boards of both Priorities and Ready for Hillary, while Brock joined the board of Priorities, and longtime Clintonite James Carville has been paid by American Bridge for assistance with fundraising and strategic advice.

    But there also are more groups competing for big checks from rich Clinton backers than there were in 2008.

    Oopsie. Funny how when the environment is all about ‘what’s in it for me!’ these things happen so regularly…

    1. Arizona Slim

      And recall that Obama’s 2008 campaign was noted for its lack of infighting.

      Harmony matters. It’s how you win elections.

    2. vidimi

      clinton promised a lot of things to a lot of different people. i wonder what will happen when some of them start to realize that they’re not likely to be the recipients of the largesse they imagined.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        People hate to walk away from investments. The ones most likely to panic are outfits expecting volunteers and small but regular donors first. State parties will be the first to panic when their legislative candidates demand to know when they will repay the loans the candidate made to the campaign. Retiring campaign debt as a loser isn’t easy. With Hillary being so unpopular, the best chance for Democratic volunteer efforts is through coordinated offices of local candidates. If they are dropping or not operating, this will be a hit on statewide candidates.

        Corporate interest types will fight each other later. They usually don’t drop money until late (with the exceptions of the Koch brothers which is why they are powerful), but they dropped money on Hillary early this cycle. They might expect a return early if the story about Wall Street threatening Hillary over the Warren to the VP slot is to be believed.

    3. Amateur Socialist

      It’s also important to think about Brock’s own backstory. He was fine taking money from wingnuts trying to dig up crap on the Clintons while the checks cleared. As he acknowledges in his own (hillaryously trashy imo) biography. It was only after his own smeary rice bowl looked uncertain that he realized he was working for the wrong side.

      The story I read laid it own fairly plainly. He got upset because “his” donors were paying a bigger comission than other HRC front orgs. They were cutting in on his action. Tony Soprano wouldn’t put up with it either.

    4. ProNewerDeal

      I heard Brock is hiring new internet trolls for smearing of rival HRC hacks: Correct the “Corrected” Record.

  9. Cry Shop

    “Wall Street Threatens to Abandon Clinton if She Picks Warren”
    Vanity Fair would be pleased as punch if we all started assuming their reports speak for all (or even a plurality) of Wall Street.

    Now, let’s see what’s a bigger headache for Wall Street? —

    * Senator Warren on the banking committee,
    * V.P. Warren pounding a gavel to call the whole Senate to order and breaking rare ties.^^
    * Justice Warren of the SCOUS

    ^^Curious, anyone know has Joe Biden even gotten a chance to vote to break a tie in the Senate in 8 years?

    1. James Levy

      I think you underestimate just how petty and vindictive these Wall Street types are. They don’t want to see Warren “rewarded” for her “bad behavior.” The obvious structural issues you mention don’t likely cross their minds because it is Warren’s attitude they don’t like; they don’t fear that she will actually get any of her more rational legislative agenda passed.

      I believe they think the same way about Trump. It’s not what he’ll do that worries them so much (his tax, interest rate, and budget plans are well within Republican norms), it’s his attitude and the fact that he hasn’t kissed their rings.

      1. AnEducatedFool

        It is another puff piece. The best way to neutralize Warren is to make her VP.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, see the Scott Adams tweet today. He reads Hilary’s statement that the most important criterion for picking a VP is that they could step into the Presidential role immediately as an admission of her health issue.

          Hilary is what, 67 and she looks older than Trump (70) when women normally age better than men. She’s had at least one stroke, is on coumadin, and passes out with some frequency.

          Whoever is Clinton’s VP has real odds of becoming President.

          1. Cry Shop

            Forgot that one. Hill-Billy is a mess, that platena of the undead isn’t just a sign of invulnerability to human concerns and emotions. Bill is showing signs of losing it, so he might just add to the burden of the job than be a relief. Just a clot/embolisms standing between Warren & POTUS/command of the Dept of Justice/FBI has to give the undead of Wall Street a real sweat at night.

            My feeling is if Warren wanted to leave the Sentate, she’d rather be a judge, removed from being stabbed in the back every 6 years. She’s certainly able to live with being over-ridden by her peers after she’s delivered her opinion. SOCUS seems like a finer bully pulpit with much less time restriction. I also suspect banking/finance cases are likely to become a bigger issue with the way the system is rotting so rapidly. I may be wrong, I often am. Lots of issues dear to her neo-liberal mindset are also on the way, more re-visits of abortion rights, etc.

  10. vidimi

    i don’t know if anyone’s come across this, but we’re getting close to a smoking gun

    Berta Cáceres, the murdered environmental campaigner, appeared on a hitlist distributed to US-trained special forces units of the Honduran military months before her death, a former soldier has claimed.

    Lists featuring the names and photographs of dozens of social and environmental activists were given to two elite units, with orders to eliminate each target, according to First Sergeant Rodrigo Cruz, 20.

    Cruz’s unit commander, a 24-year-old lieutenant, deserted rather than comply with the order. Cruz – who asked to be identified by a pseudonym for fear of reprisal – followed suit, and fled to a neighbouring country. Several other members of the unit have disappeared and are feared dead.

    “If I went home, they’d kill me. Ten of my former colleagues are missing. I’m 100% certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army,” Cruz told the Guardian.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      That is our School of the Americas at work. The US policy apparatchiks have done such a bang-up job in the middle east that their colleagues tasked with the western hemisphere must’ve gotten jealous. Their handiwork will be seen in migrant flows for quite a while.

      1. vidimi

        saying these are US-trained special forces makes it sound more inoccuous than it really is. it creates an atmosphere of distance where none exists. basically, the US special forces are the commanders issuing the orders but not carrying them out personally to maintain deniability, unplausible though it may be. so they train these death squads and give them the tools to carry out their heinous missions, but it doesn’t stop there. they also give the marching instructions.

      1. vidimi

        their main beat is anti-corruption, which is the great issue of our time as it drives to the heart of neoliberalism. they lean left on economics but are eurosceptic and generally negative to immigration, hence, the right accusations.

        from their wikipedia page:

        The M5S is considered populist,[14][15][16][17] anti-establishment,[14][18][19][20] environmentalist, anti-globalist[21] and Eurosceptic.[22] Grillo himself provocatively once referred to it as “populist”.[23] Its members stress that the M5S is not a party but a “movement” and it may not be included in the traditional left-right paradigm. The “five stars” are a reference to five key issues for the party: public water, sustainable transport, sustainable development, right to Internet access, and environmentalism. The party also advocates E-democracy, direct democracy,[24] the principle of “zero-cost politics”,[25] degrowth,[26] and nonviolence.[27] In foreign policy, the M5S have condemned military interventions of the West in the Greater Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq,[28] Libya) as well as any notion of American intervention in Syria.[29]

        so, basically, everything i would want to vote for.

      2. DJG

        They started as a kind of vehicle for Beppe Grillo, who was determined to drive Berlusconi out of office. They have experimented with direct democracy, everything from the ground up, which means that they have eaten some of their own. They are socially “liberal” (well beyond U.S. liberals). Economically, they are populist. They have had occasional bizarre public meltdowns, and there has been a cult of personality around Beppe Grillo.

        Winning Torino and Roma was a major step in coming of age. A friend of mine just sent a link that Chiara Appendino, the new mayor of Torino, appointed a leader of a local LGBT group as assessore for human rights and equal opportunity. This is a big deal, in that City Hall in Italy has a lot of powers.

        On the other hand, Appendino is replacing Fassino, who was well known as being competent. (So all politics is local, and Torino is an exceptional place.)

        In some respects, they are a centrist-leftist movement that still hasn’t figured out how to operate as a movement and how to govern once it has won an election.

  11. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Interesting article on lawn signs; they are definitely a tricky thing. I’ve run my own campaigns and managed others where we have spent *far* too much on two-sided sheets of corrugated plastic and metal stands; it costs about $400 for 100 signs.

    That being said, what has struck me is:

    – having lawn signs doesn’t necessarily help a candidate win, but not having them telegraphs a message that your campaign isn’t serious/doesn’t have cash or support.

    – it takes between 3-5 times of seeing a name before a person remembers it, at least in the context of political ads. If you’re running a local race where ad buys make no sense (city council, county legislature) then lawn/window signs are your ad buys.

    – supporters love signs, and they love to be able to show they support your campaign. It’s swag… and yes they do get stolen (here in Albany, NY it’s long been a common practice by the Democratic machine to steal lawn signs from opponents en masse a few days before the election.

    – I wouldn’t spend money on signs until the last 30 days of an election (unless you have gobs of cash on hand). Even then, if you have other things to spend money on and a tight budget, forget them. Use that $400 on a mailing to the regular voters in your district instead.

    1. fresno dan

      June 21, 2016 at 9:32 am
      Makes me wonder how many people will vote for Trump, but would never, ever advertise the fact with a lawn sign…

      1. Unorthodoxmarxist

        Probably a lot, especially in cities and blue areas of states where having a Trump sign is likely to get you accosted or shunned. Though the same is probably true of Clinton signs in rural areas/suburbs and red districts.

        1. fresno dan

          By the way, I find it amazing that those signs cost 4$ a piece. What makes them so (relatively) expensive?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            This seems high, but

            -location and local cost of labor; it’s a political campaign. You can’t shop around and use Amazon or Wal Mart.
            -local sign maker availability and union bugs
            -what signs you actually use; paper versus plastic
            -how many metal brackets, you already have laying around. The local committees or whoever picked them up often have them.
            -everyone wants signs at the same time. Free markets.
            -what information is conveyed on the sign. Special election dates.

            1. Unorthodoxmarxist

              You can get cheaper signs; the kind that are essentially plastic bags that fit over metal stakes can be a bit cheaper but they are flimsy and prone to blow away in bad weather.

              Yes, if you have a lot of leftover metal legs/brackets you can bring down your cost a bit.

              I wouldn’t doubt that there is a cartel in corrugated plastic, too.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Virginia’s prices are probably down because we have off year elections. The bracket suppliers are probably happy for the business.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump just mouths off many things people are not supposed to say.

        You can’t make people change their hearts and minds (easily or in a short time), even if you can make people not say things.

        Many of his supporters are vocal and in-your-face and many of his other supporters are less vocal but will still vote for him.

        The silver lining is this: We will see how much further we have to go to make the society more progressive by the result of this election and stop deluding ourselves just because people can’t publicly say what they feel inside.

  12. fresno dan

    Brexit supporters say they’re worried about immigration. The real problems are deeper. Vox. Predictably, makes being anti-immigration all about being intolerant of diversity, as opposed to the “unskilled and semi-skilled workers” who are one of the groups that strongly favor “Leave” suffer the most from competition from migrants. It it also the neoliberal agenda that has driven deindustrialization. So the Brexit vote is the closest proxy for a vote on the neoliberal project…and many of the groups and regions that have been hurt by it are in the Leave camp.

    I agree.
    It is the worship of GDP, and how trade is an unalloyed good. And of course, the MSM can never ever breach the subject that can never, ever be uttered – distribution of the fruits of all this globalization.
    Mere coincidence that the Davos man crafters of globalization have carefully designed it themselves – I might think that, but I am just a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nut. Funny, if not carefully designed, why does it take a 5,544 page law* (is it really that big??? who knows, it has to be leaked to be seen – who knows if anything is left out) to further implement it? The puke inducing hypocrisy that it is done by the yammers of deregulation only reaffirms the intellectual dishonesty of all of it.

    When one sees what has happened to Greece, my view is that it is sheer insanity to continue to associate oneself with such a cabal. Can somebody with a straight face put forward the proposition that the EU has made things better???
    The only thing these people seem competent at is generating ever more excuses for failure – which more and more can be distilled to “the riff raff don’t know how lucky they are”


    I find it kind of ironic that the proponents of “deregulation” need soooooo many pages to….deregulate.

  13. craazyboy

    Israeli Intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria AMN (resilc)

    Well, that’s that then.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      A bit of honesty slips out.

      And by way of deduction, if Israel doesn’t want to defeat ISIS, and the Israeli lobby exerts considerable influence over US foreign policy …

        1. Pat

          It would be irresponsible not to…

          For instance, just consider Clinton’s recent pledge of allegiance to Israel in a speech we have a transcript for.

      1. Eureka Springs

        It’s not speculation to notice simultaneously with the intelligence chiefs declaration congress and the pres are about to give Israel a foreign aid raise to $40 billion over the next ten years. Israel, Saudi, Turkey and USA are ISIS.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Except the clickbait headline is a rather tortured paraphrase of the actual quote in the piece.

      1. craazyboy

        Somehow you have to get this into a headline?

        Israeli intelligence Chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, said that the last three months have been the most difficult for ISIS since its inception. In a speech delivered at “Herzliya” conference yesterday , Halevy explicitly said “Israel” does not want the situation in Syria to end with the defeat of ISIS “, the Israeli NRG site reported. “Withdrawal of the super powers from the region and letting Israel alone in front of Hezbollah and Iran that possess good abilities Will make “Israel” in a hard position” . Therefore, we’ve to do all we can so as not finding ourselves in such situation”, the Israeli chief intelligence added.

  14. craazyboy

    “Will self-driving cars fuel urban sprawl?”

    Nope. There will be a big pile of crashed cars and 18 wheelers on the freeways and no one is going anywhere.

      1. craazyboy

        You can clean up the whole mess with just one big tow truck!

        Used to be difficult when they had those 30 – 50 car pileups on the freeway.

      1. craazyboy

        Not necessary. I think they have yet to analyze Brownian motion and Inertial motion effects in a freeway speed traffic stream with different braking characteristics of cars and 18 wheel trucks.

  15. Stephanie

    Thasks for the link to the Jacobin article; the headline does not do it justice. That history of racial relations in unions does go against the conventional wisdom, and also what I imbibed from older relatives in unions (in MN so admittedly far from Birmingham).

    Question: can anyone point me to resources on the history of organizing across language diversity? I’ve long thought my industry’s record of hiring first-gen immigrants was motivated at least in part by the desire to disrupt worker communication through lack of a common language.

  16. fresno dan

    After Orlando, Democrats and Republicans Clamor for Expanded Police State Counterpunch

    “In the immediate aftermath of the heinous slaughter in Orlando, the neoconservative-neoliberal chimera known as Hillary Clinton predictably called for an expansion of surveillance and the police state. Less than 48 hours after the attack, in a speech in Cleveland, Clinton proclaimed:

    We already know we need more resources for this fight. The professionals who keep us safe would be the first to say we need better intelligence to discover and disrupt terrorist plots before they can be carried out. That’s why I’ve proposed an ‘intelligence surge’ to bolster our capabilities across the board, with appropriate safeguards here at home.

    As with all things Hillary, one must carefully deconstruct the statement to unravel the distortions and empty rhetoric, and distill her actual proposal. The first part of her statement is instantly suspect as the US has already grossly inflated its intelligence budget. According to the Federation of American Scientists, the 2017 intelligence budget will reach nearly $70 billion, with $50 billion being spent on the National Intelligence Program (NIP). One would have to seriously question the logic in Clinton’s statement, namely the implied consensus about the need for more resources. How much more exactly will prevent incidents like the one in Orlando? Perhaps another $50 billion would do the trick?

    The second fallacy embedded in the torrent of misinformation that is a Hillary Clinton speech excerpt is the specious argument that “better intelligence” would “discover and disrupt terrorist plots before they can be carried out.” This vacuous statement must be dismissed out of hand after one considers the fact that the alleged Orlando killer, Omar Mateen, was investigated, followed, and interviewed by the FBI multiple times (he was also introduced to FBI informants whose responsibility was likely to keep tabs on him).
    Think about that figure for a second: 70 percent of the intelligence budget goes to outsourcing. In other words, government expenditure on surveillance and intelligence is an indirect subsidy to private corporations. This should come as no surprise considering similar indirect subsidies to energy companies, private mercenaries, and even big retail corporations.

    Of course, Clinton knows all this perfectly well. So when she calls for an intelligence surge what she’s actually doing is making clear to her military-industrial-surveillance complex cronies that she will make sure to feed the goose that continues to lay the golden eggs. Just like her speeches to Goldman Sachs served to reassure Wall Street that she was their lady, so too does Clinton use the tragic events in Orlando to give a wink and a nod to Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI International, and the rest.”


    Of course, there were plenty of comments yesterday, and the day before, ad infinitum, about the MICC (military industrial congressional complex) and how it is fed, nurtured, and EVOLVES – any disaster feeds it – I fully expect that once global warming is acknowledged, proposals to nuke our way out of global warming will arise immediately thereafter.

    And the most frustrating aspect, the total failure of its goals which are than rewarded with MO MONEY, MO MONEY, MO MONEY!!!!! Funny how poverty can NEVER be solved by throwing money at it….but security problems can ONLY be solved by throwing money at them…
    What ever happened to realism? That not ever crime can be prevented or solved, and that includes terrorism. And that running around like a chicken with its head cut off just encourages such acts.

    And of course, the irony that the one constitutional right that must be defended is gun ownership, unimpeded by the all encompassing surveillance of everybody but gun owners….

  17. Marco

    6/21/16 – Trump / Clinton Online Front-Page Ratios:

    11 / 4 – New York Times
    48 / 14 – Daily Kos
    32 / 10 – The Guardian (US)
    45 / 6 – Talking Points Memo
    24 / 2 – Washington Post
    13 / 4 – USA Today

    1. fresno dan

      Will the print media collapse if Trump goes away?
      I wonder if Trump loses, how many NYT editorials saying that Trump must start a third party to advance his “legitimate” points will there be?

      Trump is to the media what boobs are to topless bars…hmmmm, actually the opposite. Trump has to be covered for the media to survive, and boobs have to be uncovered for topless bars to survive….

    2. TheCatSaid

      Didn’t Trump say he’d be delivering a major speech about Clinton on Monday? Did it happen?

  18. fresno dan

    The Pentagon is Developing A New Suite of Tools to Fight the Lone Wolf Problem Defense One (resilc)

    Irony….another article at the link is: “Why Lone Wolf Attacks are so Hard to Predict” (if it were honest, it would say “impossible to predict”). But never let doing something that is impossible get in the way of fat, juicy grants….

    The article (uh, the lone wolf one):
    Official concern about an inability to predict so-called lone wolf attacks belies a certain level of frustration and impatience, and an assumption that law enforcement simply didn’t use all the tools at their disposal. If Amazon can predict what you’ll buy next, if Google Now knows when you’ll arrive at your destination, if Facebook can infer when your relationship is going to tank, why can’t law enforcement anticipate when someone like Abdulazeez will commit an act of murder? Let’s take a look.
    A person’s Google search history can reveal pathway and fixation behavior. Blog posts, profile facts and group membership roles can reveal identification (among other things). Arrests, human resource records or disciplinary notes and weapons purchases can speak to novel aggression. Geo-location data can provide data on stalking behavior (though going to Jordan does not constitute a threatening activity). Social media and blog posts are by definition leakage. Direct threat communication and last-resort behaviors are overt.

    In other words, with every digital interaction, Abdulazeez was creating the information that authorities could have used to predict his attack, but it was spread across a variety of digital services and devices. Most of it would have been password-protected or outside of easy, or legal, open-source collection. One day, it may be possible to create an engine that scours all digital information for evidence of the above eight behaviors by one person. Until that happens, merging these disparate pieces of data together to fuel a global, real-time threat screener that can be applied to the population at large will remain impossible for all practical purposes. A 2013 paper from the Swedish Defense Research agency makes that point explicitly:

    “To produce fully automatic computer tools for detecting lone wolf terrorists on the Internet is, in our view, not possible, both due to the enormous amounts of data (which is only partly indexed by search engines) and due to the deep knowledge that is needed to really understand what is discussed or expressed in written text or other kinds of data available on the Internet, such as videos or images.”

    not to mention, maybe searching every single person’s entire internet history would be expensive, time consuming, and give you …O, about 60 million suspects to surveil.

    1. vidimi

      we need more pre-crime units. cops need to shoot more and swat teams need to do more raids. maybe make them random so the public have to keep on guessing. that will keep ’em on their toes.

  19. financial matters

    David Stockman has a good analysis of our interesting combination of debt deflation and household inflation.

    He talks about how lack of good employment is contributing to our industrial downturn while the focus is on the health of the FIRE system leading to household inflation.

    Janet Whiffs Again

    “”Consumer goods production is still 9% below its November 2007 level, but all is supposedly well. Virtually every measure of industrial production is heading south.

    Most of America has been hammered by the four horsemen of household inflation–food, energy, housing and medical costs–to the tune of 3.1% annually for two decades running.””

    and indications that the debt bubble is continuing

    “”Anyone who can scratch an application signature has been given a student loan and all who can fog a rearview mirror have been loaned 120% of the cost of a new car.””

  20. vidimi

    a british kid tried to assassinate donald trump at a rally with a police officer’s gun. all the pop culture tropes about going back in time to kill hitler must have made an effect on him as that’s what looks like was going through his mind. here was his opportunity to stop a horrible history from unfolding and, by jove, he wasn’t going to not do his part.

    we often accuse republican and right wing media of spreading hate and fear but, clearly, good democrat media have been doing the same with trumparanoia.

    1. jrs

      Well but can anyone deny picking off a few members of the ruling class including Trump and Hills would be a net positive? Although with backlash.

  21. tegnost

    Holy cow there’s a couple of “correct the records” over at rolling stone talking about how if cali flips to bernie there will be a revolt! And one seriously mean spirited moron who is just throwing out the nasty as fast as he can type it—funny how they don’t come here…. What really strikes me, though, is the mean spiritedness-just that, no vote for hillary because he is for x or y, just you’d better or else. Lowest common denominator and hilarious that all that hate is somehow better than trump. F$$$ing hilarious.

    1. cm

      Link, please? I don’t think you’re talking about Matt Taibbi’s article… And can I say how absolutely sick I am of hearing the trope that Nader threw the election to Bush. Had Gore carried his own home state he would have won.

      1. Arizona Slim

        During the 2000 election campaign, I worked with a guy who was a Nader supporter. He was NOT going to vote for Gore. Absolutely not.

        He and his Nader-friends were like that. They weren’t about to jump on the Gore ship. Uh-uh.

        So, in short, those votes were never Gore’s. Ever.

        1. nippersmom

          Just like many of Sanders’ votes were never Clinton’s, but the DNC sheep will never comprehend that.

          1. craazyboy

            You mean Independents aren’t pre-registered Clinton voters?

            Egads – someone alert the election officials!!!!!

  22. allan

    I love the smell of revisionist history in the morning. It smells like, like … the Washington Monthly:

    Renewed attention to the causes of the financial crisis has been sparked by the film The Big Short, adapted from Michael Lewis’s 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, as well as by candidate Bernie Sanders inveighing against all things Wall Street. The book, the movie, and the candidate all assert or imply that the financial crisis was largely propelled by fraud. … Many critics have bought the story. … A trio of economists for the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and Atlanta have exploded most of these fraud-based theories, but it’s a mythology that fits in so well with popular predilections (the “Wall Street vs. Main Street” mantra) that it will probably never go away.

    The piece is titled The Boy in the Bubble. The author, who worked at Citi, is referring to himself,
    but it’s a better description of the inside-the-Beltway editor who would publish this tripe.

    1. fresno dan

      Of course, the only other plausible explanation is that it was overwhelming sheer stupidity. Of course, that would beg the question why all of these people haven’t been fired, and why do they get paid so much, and why O why can’t that market mechanism known as LOSS be allowed to work its magic on the CEOs and CFOs of all the banks, mortgage companies, and bond rating companies. Maybe the fact these guys knew they had the system scammed lead to all this moral hazard.

      And there have been the 500 year hurricane explanation – that somehow mortgages, CDO’s and MBS’s are just some kind of natural phenomenon that just go kablooey due to no human cause what so ever. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, rain gotta fall, and MBS’s gotta implode kind of thing.

      Of course, Davos man is clever, and patient, so that new, fraudulent and profit making grifts can be pedaled and huge bonuses generated, it is best to establish a paper trail saying, HEY, most people agreed that there was NO FRAUD. And you know what? No convictions essentially. Hmmmm, makes me think OH was innocent (Sarc)

      by the way, here is the 3 economists version of events

      There is reason that one of the reforms of the great depression was limiting buying stocks on margin (i.e., borrowing money to buy stocks).

      The other nonsense taken for granted by these guys is the “homo economicus” man – the completely rational person who looks at graphs of home prices, interest rates, and understands that new financial instruments affects upon the supply of housing credit, and can logically anticipate unjustified increases in house prices, and therefore foregoes buying a house for a decade to wait for “frothy” house prices to return to trend line. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

      These clowns seem unable to understand that the history of finance, bank, insurance, corporations and stock markets is law (with accompanying regulation) is a necessary part of the market, (if there is no contract law, there is no contracts) and that without it there are no markets.

    2. Jay M

      A trio of economists for the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and Atlanta have exploded most of these fraud-based theories . . .

      By a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which then undergirded and drove a more focused and hard-nosed Fed led anti- fraud process the financial system is proved not to have shitted itself.

  23. fresno dan

    It’s Not Just Millennials Who Aren’t Buying Homes Big Picture (resilc)

    Kind of amazing that of all the criteria examined in the article, income and/or wealth is left out.
    Owning a home is expensive, and taxes, ‘special’ assessments, garbage collection, water, insurance, and on and on, keep going up. Taking care of the yard…
    I think people have figured out that a house is a terrible ‘investment’. If you want one, that’s fine, but don’t be so silly as to think its a money making proposition. I’m actually surprised home ownership hasn’t fallen much further than it has…

    1. jrs

      And homeownership didn’t just suddenly become affordable, it’s been that way for a while. Although if it was merely Gen X being affected they were ignored, but if millennials are it somehow is a very important issue all of a sudden. Go figure.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Here’s a thought: House prices have been going up, up, and UP for a long time. However, workers’ incomes (in real terms) have been flat since the 1970s.

      Which means that a lot of people have decided that homeownership isn’t worth it.

      1. sd

        Can’t afford it. Historically, we have made a decent annual income, but buying a home is just way outside of our financial reach.

    3. craazyboy

      It’s become like buying art. It’s worth what you can sell it for. But people prefer to believe it’s worth whatever a Chinese businessman paid for one in the real estate comps. So Americans need one rich Chinese businessman per American homeowner to buy them out. It’s the “new chicken in every pot”. Except you have to sell the pot. Then move somewhere with your chicken.

      1. craazyboy

        Well, thinking on it some more, it’s more like a rooster now that we have ZIRP forevah.

        Even metaphors and analogies are getting tougher in today’s world.

      2. fresno dan

        If your in a real estate transaction, and you don’t know who the chicken is, it means your the chicken….and you’ll end up in the pot ;)
        (sorry, you give me a straight line like that and its irresistible)

    4. polecat

      the advantage about owning (outright) a home is that one doesn’t have to ‘pound on the walls’ to get the other tenants to tone it down! Another plus is that one’s yard or surrounds can be utilized for food production, rather then for status…which is what we do! I will concede that maintenance, taxes, utilities, etc, are the negatives…..but still, at least here where we live, it’s an advantage over renting!

      1. fresno dan

        Oh I agree – I own my home – its 5 acres, but I can still see my neighbors. I keep waiting for those Martian colonies…

        1. ambrit

          The way the climate is shifting, we might all soon have to build our own “Martian Colonies” right here on Earth!
          Reminds me of the Dread Lord Cthulhus’ mentioning that global warming is making the climate just right for him and the other “Ancient Old Ones.”

  24. Norello

    As google censorship has been a frequent topic here, I thought I would mention an interesting example that I just experienced. When watching videos on youtube, which is owned by google, the quality has been terrible for me recently. So I tried disabling html5 and it fixed the issue of low fps and jittery quality. Where it gets interesting I did a google search for “html5 terrible” and it came up with curious results. The first result was a quora link which was merely had a link on which the resulting page was a long article blaming internet service providers for poor quality videos.

    The second google search link was a video with only 255 views, it gave a more neutral view but still was defensive of html5. A video with only 255 views is more relevant than support forum topic with over 28,000 views ( The third google search link is to an article from an “expert” that is more or less saying how great it is. What really caught my attention is the seventh link down was “Adobe Flash is terrible, here’s how to uninstall it forever”, which clearly is not even remotely what I was searching for.

    On every other search engine I tried for “html5 terrible”, the first link shown was,, which was exactly my issue. Also, many of the following links were about low fps when watching youtube with html5. Going through ten pages of search results for yahoo did not show any of the top three links google had, furthermore there was only one search result that was positive of html5, yet even then it mentions video quality problems with it.

    As for googles motivation with html5, it seems it is about market share or something. This article gives some insight, Google appears to have gotten to the point they feel comfortable manipulating search results any way they see fit to advance their agenda.

    1. sd

      Google search has deteriorated into a very poor product. Sad. It used to be a great resource.

    2. TheCatSaid

      Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Curiously perhaps, some of the supposedly more secure search engines are built on google but supposedly deliver privacy. It’s good to be reminded that Google is not necessarily a good search platform to build on, if one wants good search results.

      1. jrs

        I imagine a search engine optimized neither to get work done nor to sell things but optimized to what people at play really want from the ‘net. It would prioritize above all delivering *interesting* results from your search. It used to be more this way, you’d search and were on a random blog. There was an element of discovery and surprise. The internet is just not very much fun anymore! It’s too corporate and too organizational (organizations like wikipedia – yea it has it’s uses but …), it’s never just someone’s original thoughts.

        Does it even make sense to use one search engine (yes of course I’ve tried many- but most have a favorite they default to), shouldn’t there be multiple search engines depending on what one is optimizing the search for?

        1. TheCatSaid

          “Optimizing to what people at play really want”–what a great idea. Monetizing things (including search engine programming) can really degrade their usefulness and effectiveness.

    1. pretzelattack

      is this the one where she claims trump would rig the economy in favor of wall street? just kill me now.

      1. Roger Smith

        I cannot recall off hand if she made that comment, but the entire tone was “I know better, let me tell you…” and pretty much everything warranted banging a blunt object against your head.

        Not sure why but the transcript still is not up//but video is.

        1. AnEducatedFool

          Clinton’s marketing and message are her experience and understanding of policy. If Trump is able to break that message during debates or ads then she is left with nothing.

          The feminist card does not work on women under 35 maybe 40.

          Identity politics does not work well with people under 35-40. White working class voters are also moving away from identity politics.

          Clinton needs a way to motivate voters. If Trump is ever able to get his foot out of his mouth then he should have a legit shot at the White House.

          I would personally attack her on Honduras.

  25. allan

    Europe’s Robots to Become ‘Electronic Persons’ Under Draft Plan

    Europe’s growing army of robot workers could be classed as “electronic persons” and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution. …

    It also suggested the creation of a register for smart autonomous robots, which would link each one to funds established to cover its legal liabilities. …

    The report added that robotics and artificial intelligence may result in a large part of the work now done by humans being taken over by robots, raising concerns about the future of employment and the viability of social security systems.

    its legal liabilities. Not those of its makers or owners. Ok ….

    1. Jim Haygood

      Paying social security for robots … what this tells you is that the tax collectors for the welfare state have gotten really desperate.

      Maybe the social security tax can be extended to children, pets and household appliances. They have feelings too.

      *thumps the balky toaster*

      1. hunkerdown

        Why shouldn’t robots earn their keep in a mixed society? Why do you hate human welfare so much?

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      You could really fight the high European youth unemployment figures, just leave the machine plugged in over in the corner and you can add one more to the “employed” tally.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      Could robot independent status including its legal liability be a way of deflecting responsibility away from the robot makers and owner-lords?

      One of the tricky things that is costing more legal time than the software developers are charging to make the damned things a reality is how to avoid all legal liability for the actions or mis-actions of robots one builds and or rents and or sells WHILE at the same time retaining the rights to software contracts (à la John Deere – or is it dear john?) and even more to the massive amounts of data being sent back to ze moder ship.

      I imagine data collection would be less of an issue in giant industrial applications which will be more of a collaboration among thieves than a land-lord/renter relationship where the owner gets to insert all sorts of legal mischief the renter can’t argue about (and often isn’t even aware of), but that still leaves a lot of space where legal separation is needed.

      1. ambrit

        One of our neighbours found that out the hard way last week. His John Deere lawnmower packed it in, and he found out that it was only serviceable at JD dealers. Anything else voided the warranty.

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