Links 7/14/16

Happy Bastille Day, to all our readers in France! A toast to you!

Has the ISS captured footage of a UFO? Nasa cuts live feed from space station as mysterious object appears Daily Mail (Ryan R)

American Pravda: The Legacy of Sydney Schanberg Unz Review (Chuck L)

Pokémon GO Players Are Facing Unexpected, Sometimes Dangerous Situations Farmington Hills Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer (Chuck L)

Pokemon GO fans told not to play in U.S. Holocaust Museum Reuters (EM)

Organic Farmers Leave Organic Trade Association over GMO Labeling Betrayal Sustainable Pulse (Bill C)

One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana Washington Post (Dr Kevin)

Brexit. Dear UK based readers, we Americans very much need your help in making sense of Theresa May’s cabinet picks, most of all Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary and David Davis as “Secretary of State for Exiting the EU”. These choices would seem to contradict the theory of my contact (whose intel BTW I have doubted because he has remained insistent despite this being what Lambert calls an overly dynamic situation), that the Tories plan not to go ahead with Brexit. May has said no second referendum (as we anticipated). Putting prominent Leavers in such key positions would make it even harder to retreat, unless the intent it to make them do a “Nixon goes to China”. But Boris is so shameless I can’t imagine him thinking a walkback would ever be necessary, no matter what information presents itself.

How Brexit will hit Europe hard MacroBusiness

Theresa May’s cabinet: Who’s in and who’s out? BBC

Theresa May, the UK’s spy queen and new prime minister ars technica (Dan K)

‘Maybe the Brits are just having us on’: the world reacts to Boris Johnson as foreign minister Guardian (Richard Smith)

Known for jokes and insults, Boris Johnson takes helm of British diplomacy Reuters (furzy)

The World According to Boris, New Foreign Secretary of Britain Bloomberg (Richard Smith)

A Short History of Boris Johnson Insulting Foreign Leaders Atlantic

Sending Boris Johnson to the Foreign Office is bad for Britain, good for Theresa May New Statesman (Richard Smith)

David Davis: Trade deals. Tax cuts. And taking time before triggering Article 50. A Brexit economic strategy for Britain Conservative Home. Richard Smith. “Brexiter but not the racist kind AFAIK. Has published a Brexit plan that is meant to be taken seriously (unlike Boris’s).”

Liam Fox Wikipedia (Richard Smith)

Labour donor to legally challenge Jeremy Corbyn’s automatic inclusion on leadership ballot International Business Times

Global trade slowdown worse than thought Financial Times (David L). As you would know if you have been following Lambert’s stats watch!

Post-Brexit European Commission Playbook power matrix Politico

Financing vs. Spending Unions: How to Fix the Euro Zone’s Original Sin Social Europe

Refugee Crisis

Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs Pew Research Center (guurst)


China’s Challenge to the Law of the Sea Project Syndicate (David L)

EU demands Chinese steel plant closures Politico


NATO and Putin’s “Threats” to the Baltics Defend Democracy

IRISH ARREST WARRANT APPROACHES FOR CYPRUS LEADER, AFTER CYPRUS PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES MEETS US ENVOY NULAND, THEN RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN John Helmer. It occurred to me only now (!!!) that the bail-in of Cyrus banks was an economic sanction against Russia. Cyrus was the gateway for in-bound medium and large-scale investment into Russia because investors wanted the benefit of English law (which you got by going through Cyrus and not if you invested directly in Russia).


Obama’s Syria plan teams up American and Russian forces – The Washington Post. Lambert: “Obama’s certainly gotten more creative on foreign policy since Clinton left…”

CIA Chief Says Saudi Arabia Must Adapt Society to 21st Century Bloomberg/ Resilc; “I cannot stop laughing.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Sharing Your Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO Go Password Is Now a Federal Crime Alternet

Computing DARPA Hopes Automation Can Create the Perfect Hacker MIT Technology Review (David L)

Tor Project, a Digital Privacy Group, Reboots With New Board New York Times. Bill B:

Recall that Bruce Schneier is also on the advisory council of the Open Technology Fund

Which is funded by the Broadcast Board of Governers (BBG)

Which is linked to the… a drumroll please, the CIA!

Imperial Collapse Watch

CIA director says he would resign if ordered to resume waterboarding Reuters

U.S. arms sales approvals on track to reach nearly $40 billion Reuters (EM)

Clinton E-mail Hairball

State Department will release deleted Clinton emails The Hill (furzy)

The Clintons & a Crime Far Worse Than Missing Emails or Votes! ReaderSupportedNews (Judy B)

More Proof the Fix Was in at the FBI PJ Media (furzy)

FBI agents signed NDA for matters involving Hillary’s emails New York Post (martha r). Wowsers

FBI Agents Believe An ‘Inside Deal’ Protected Hillary Clinton Federalist (martha r)


Is Bernie Sanders Still Running For President? Senator Withholding Email List From Hillary Clinton International Business Times (martha r)

Really?! Giving up when the race has not yet been won? We’re better than that! caucus99percent. Martha r: “Shorter: “Don’t mourn; organize.”

In the Lair of the Bernie Holdouts Politico (furzy)

“Twist her tits off”: the origin of a smear (UPDATED) Carl Beijer (martha r)

Sanders Didn’t Lose the Black Vote: He Never Had It, and Never Asked Why Black Agenda Report

Pahrump woman arrested for falsifying party affiliations on voter registrations Las Vegas Review-Journal (martha r)

Philly airport workers vote to strike during the DNC Philly (martha r)

An Interview With Michael T. Flynn, the Ex-Pentagon Spy Who Supports Donald Trump Intercept (resilc)

Flynn’s Warped Worldview and Russia American Conservative (resilc)

Guccifer 2.0 releases new DNC docs The Hill (furzy)

Obama’s Big Flip-Flop to Save Obamacare New Republic

Gretchen Carlson’s Contract Could Shroud Her Case in Secrecy New York Times (Dan K)

Police State Watch

Delrawn Small: The Police Shooting Victim You Didn’t Hear About Last Week Patch (Selva)

Former Black Panther Wins Settlement, Released From Solitary Confinement teleSUR

Civil Rights Leaders and Activists Speak About Meeting with President on Policing C-SPAN (Kevin C)

New York Council Won’t Vote on Police Reform Bills, but Agency Agrees to Changes New York Times (martha r)

Likely hack of U.S. banking regulator by China covered up: probe Reuters (Chuck L)

Gretchen Morgenson on covering the mortgage crisis (video) New York Times. A series of monthly interviews with whistleblowers. On Facebook, so not paywalled (Steve)

Class Warfare

Warren joins call for Airbnb probe The Hill (furzy)

Jaime Dimon Is Milking Publicity From Puny Raise New York Magazine

Cash Strapped Towns Are Unpaving Roads They Can’t Afford to Fix (Selva)

Antidote du jour. Chet G: “A leaf-cutter bee on birdsfoot trefoil blossoms:”

a9652-leaf-cut-bee-26jun16 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. MikeNY

    Re: Medical marijuana. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that if something is bad for Big Pharma, it’s good for the rest of the world.

    S&P futures surging higher again this a.m. Just to confound the wisdom that this rally is overdone…?

    1. Jim Haygood

      … and in Germany, the DAX index is back over 10,000.

      Brexit is the end of Europe as we know it … and they feel fine!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sometimes, what is bad for the Republicans is only good for the Democrats, and not the rest of us.

      So, it could be that, and I am just guessing wildly now, in some cases, what is bad for Big Pharma may be good for, say, lawyers only (or politicians, etc), and no one else.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sorry, Mike.

          We used to be able to work the blues off by chasing butterflies and bumblebees, but they have left us. Luckily, we still have the two sacred medicinal herbs.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Tobacco, I believe, which is under attack, while the other seems to be more in vogue.

              Both, I believe, when over used, can have second-hand smoking risk factors.

              In San Francisco, I read some time ago, fearing getting lung cancer, tenants voted to ban tobacco smoking for all renters in their shared-air-ducts apartments

              Will that extend to banning indoor (the other herb that is being legalized) smoking in one’s own apartment one day? I don’t know.

              1. MikeNY

                Thanks, Beef. When I’m in SF, I smell a lot more ganj than I do regular cancer sticks. In my apartment building, too… sadly, I’ve never experienced a second-hand buzz.

                1. diptherio

                  Your neighbors will probably share if you ask nicely. Especially if they’re already blazed…stoners tend to be pretty generous. Good way to make friends too.

                2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Does anyone know that second hand smoking (and free too!) is enough?

                  Or is it all downside (second hand smoking and lung cancer) and no upr or high side?

              2. aet

                Cannabis is not tobacco; unlike the latter, the evidence proves that smoking cannabis does not cause cancer, no matter what you may “sensibly think”. See here:


                ..and that’s VERY old news, from 2006.

                So what’s the demonstrable harm from using cannabis? None.
                So why is it illegal?

                Maybe a few calculations may reveal something about the situation:
                Colorado sales of cannabis totaled $117 million dollars in April 2016 –


                …as Colorado has a population of 6 million of so… with a US population of 300 million, using those sales numbers, that’s a monthly market of (300 divided by 6 times 117 =) 5,850 million , or 5.85 BILLION dollars a month, 72 BILLION dollars a year. For comparison, the movie business, in an all-time record, took in $38 billion for all of 2016:


                So who’s been getting all those monies for the past 40 years!? It ALL flowed from the pockets of Americans, and NONE of it was taxed!

                Cynicism would say it’s most likely that those who profited so mightily from an easily-grown plant ( and who would no longer be able to do so in the absence of zealous, high-cost prohibition by Government agents) may be giving/funneling money to politicians and law enforcement, so as to keep the trade in this harmless and beneficial material illegal, high-priced and very profitable in their violent and lawless hands!

                The prohibition against cannabis is coming to an end: but it won’t be done by politicians (why not? I wonder…), but by the public itself, in a series of referendums, as permitted by State Constitutions; for a super-majority of the public wants cannabis legalized now, and America is yet a democracy.

                By the way, is Trump running on an anti-weed platform? Is Clinton? I don’t know, but it’s likely neither wants to legalize cannabis. Why not?

                1. aet

                  Gee, I just noticed that total Hollywood box office number for 2015 includes China…. and that in North America alone, they took in “11 billion dollars plus”.

                  So using Colorado’s cannabis sales number for April, extrapolated over the entire US population over the time of one year, literally dwarfs the record Hollywood North American box office take!

                2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  The scientific method is based on induction.

                  One new piece of data or evidence and the old theory is gone.

                  Intuitively, I’d like to see more studies of the effects of putting smoke of any kind (from burning herbs to books to paper money, etc) in one’s lung, not to mention the green gas emission contribution to global warming (is it too late anyway, so let’s not worry)?

                  Perhaps weed is more like alcohol. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t smoke and drive either???

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Or maybe the time has come for jgordon’s idea.

                    Ban cars and driving, but keep weed.

                3. Procopius

                  I have always thought the big donations against pot were from the distilleries and breweries, as well as Big Pharma. Thanks for reminding me that some also come from less respectable sources.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                  A little bit of Trump, a little of Stein, a little of Hillary and a little bit of Sanders.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Depends on what kind of liberty.

                      The Secretary of State should not be at liberty to set up a private server at home.

                  1. jrs

                    The only one I’m having a hard time with is a little bit of Hillary, what is the good part of Hillary to salvage? Trump might be correct as often as a stopped clock but I’m not sure we can even say that about Hillary.

                    1. aet

                      To be honest, I think either would be OK. The President only has a veto over domestic law, and that can be over-ridden, to boot.
                      Without a war, who gives a damn about the Presidency? It is the Houses of Congress that matter for the domestic laws of the USA; the President only puts them into effect.
                      No wonder U.S. Presidents like war – it’s the only time the Constitution gives them power unsullied by Congress or the Courts!
                      It also helps to explain why a standing army is/was ALWAYS considered a threat to the liberties of all Americans, like the Founding Fathers never tired of stating. The existence of such simply gives a President too much power, and takes it from Congress.

  2. abynormal

    Atlanta GA police are loading their bikes on trucks and heading to GOP Convention next week. DuckDuckGo shows pages of cities all over the US sending their police to the convention.

    i’m guessing the Military would look too obvious? how effective are cops on bikes?…leading the marching band??

    1. jgordon

      I was working in a government building during the 2012 Republican convention–and it just so happened that the myriad police forces that had assembled for it from across America had their operations headquartered there.

      Long story short. These people were nuts. Extreme paranoia combined with extreme self righteousness. I sat and listened to the guy in charge of the police operations with open-mouthed astonishment as he explained to me why it was necessary for his officers to knock down and injure old ladies who flashed their undergarments.

      There were about 4,000 police brought in for it altogether, according to him. The most protesters I saw at one time were about 20. He was pointing out to me via the secrity monitors the whole while which of the protesters were his men, about 1/4 of the total number. Meanwhile those protesters were entirely surrounded by police in riot gear.

      Of course, not being crazy myself I had to seriously go along with everything this guy was saying and doing. But my God you have no idea just how out there and warped these people are until you’ve spent some time around them.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I hope “we” all pay attention to testimonies like this. Maybe “we” can keep it always in mind that as a general rule, nothing is ever what “we” think it is, the reality if such a thing exists is so far different from what “we” think “we” know, and so much more is going on…

        1. abynormal

          Thanks JGordon…future (very near future) conventions should see a wee bit more ‘action’. for example the other day i saw the bloods & the crips holding hands…they’re hinting at hooking up with the ‘black powers / new panthers’. gangs underground economies aren’t flourishing like they use to…nothing to lose among this crowd will be as dangerous as anything to date.

          1. ambrit

            If the Crips and Bloods up there can find common ground, the dynamics of large metropolitan regions will shift. It also suggests that the previous power centres are not filling the needs of the people.
            The ‘smart’ “crooks” in many parts of the world have learned the power of “good works” to ease their existential burdens. Watch for the “Thug Underground” to start, if they are not already doing so, sponsoring play grounds, health clinics, hood watch posses, etc. When you see that happening, it means that the central authorities have lost legitimacy.

      2. HotFlash

        Yup. Officer Bubbles from the G20 happened a few blocks from my house, my neighbours are in the video. Don’t know the bubbly young lady, but many of the faces are familiar, and I even have names for a few. Here is a first-person report of the aftermath from Mandy Hiscocks. Some stuff the cops did was even more brutal,

        IMHO, the whole G20 was an excuse for Police from around the continent (world?) to get together and talk shop, plan plans, make connections and try out strategies. We had some enquiries here, they mostly disappeared into mumble mumble land.

        So, what ya think gonna happen at the two conventions? A word of advivce: make sure your incurance is paid up to date, and does not include a “civil insurrection” opt-out.

        1. divadab

          Ya I was visiting my brother in TO just prior to the G20 and we drove by the “Detention Centre” the police had setup at the old Woodbine track site. What we saw? A ring of police, all keyed up, from all over the country, loaded for bear and eager to try out all their new toys on the “rioters”. I had planned to hang around and check out the action the next day but decided rather to leave town and go to the cottage.

          It turned out that the whole shitshow was mostly a police riot – with most damage probably caused by police actions and massive imposition of force on citizens just going about their business. And so far only a couple of low-level police held accountable.

          The worst part of it is that Bill Blair, Toronto Police chief at the time and as such mostly responsible for the terrible behavior of the police, has been put in charge of the national marijuana legalization process. Not a good sign.

    2. That Which Sees

      Bicycles like horses have their uses.
      — A team of officers can carry their bicycles up staircases and over barriers. Once clear of the obstacle, they can begin moving quickly again. For those that like military terms, think flanking maneuvers.
      — It allows officers to coexist with walking groups. Taking a motorcycle into a pedestrian area brings all sorts of risks, such as burning someone with an exhaust pipe. Bicycles can safely negotiate moderately dense pedestrian areas with fairly low risk.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Can I just remark how sad and depressing this conversation is, law-abiding and peace-loving citizens of a nation that chest-beats about “freedom” around the globe (and rains bombs down if you don’t comply), reduced to running and hiding or just worrying about getting shot (or disappeared) for the crime of peaceful assembly.

      1. neo-realist

        Thinking about this bicycle cop deployment—they’re not bullet proof like tanks are. I could see them being very effective in a situation with non armed protesters, but with numerous groups coming to the convention with guns, I could potentially see a few casualties happening, particularly in close contact encounters, e.g., a bike cop bumps a protestor with a gun or vice versa, either the protestor or the cop gets upset and or antsy and fires a round or a few.

        I could see army in tanks being far more of a deterrent to gun violence than the use of Bicycle cops…….unless for political reasons they don’t want to deter the violence.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Federal agents are not funded by us though.

          Why can’t they send those guys instead? Give us some free stuff.

      1. jgordon

        I was told by someone involved that the policing portion of the 2012 Republican convention cost about 12 million dollars, mostly paid for by the Party itself.

      2. Goyo Marquez

        I’m sure the Democratic Party must be paying for it since, as we’ve been repeatedly reminded when questioning the manner of candidate selection, they’re a private organization.

        1. ambrit

          The City of Cleveland has ‘invested’ millions of their own money because they expect to reap several hundred millions in “extra” business tied to the convention. The Federal Government gave Cleveland a grant, in the tens of millions, to defray the costs of security, etc. The political party itself has raised 58 million dollars, but wanted 64 million dollars.
          For some figures from 2012s’ conventions see:

    3. savedbyirony

      I tried to add a link to the story yesterday but it never made it thru. My niece attends Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She is living on campus this summer while working and attending a class. Earlier this week, the students and faculty were notified that around 1,900 police officers will be housed (with their weapons kept there as well) on campus during the GOP convention, disturbing both campus housing for students and class schedules.

  3. paul

    CIA director says he would resign if ordered to resume waterboarding ….
    To make way for someone who would?
    I thought torture was illegal, so he could just ignore the order.

    1. dk


      It’s keep-cake-and-eat-desert-elsewhere, because steadfast defiance is a career-killer. Oh the bravery.

    2. MRLost

      CIA Director says …

      If Obama had prosecuted the torturers in the first place, we would not be having this conversation. By failing – utterly – to uphold the law and prosecute law-breakers, Obama ensured that we will eventually be torturing suspected shoplifters to obtain confessions.

    3. lb

      Imagine the actual retort to such an order was “We never stopped, it was just moved to black sites nobody knows about to keep things quiet.” Resigning to avoid saying this to your boss and/or to avoid culpability would then seem a hell of a lot less noble.

      (I have no particular reason to believe the practice of waterboarding is ongoing, but I do try to find ways to read statements like this as technically true but abjectly misleading).

  4. vlade

    Re Boris – Boris is an equivalent of political weathervane. If it looks that the talks are failing, that nothing that can be even remotely sold as success is likely, he WILL move 180 degrees in a blink of an eye, if he believes there’s gain in it.

    I’d be willing to put a (small) bet on this being eat-your-own-dogfood, then use that to bat for softest Brexit possible – another reason is, that all three of them will have to cooperate effectively to be able to do something.

    Which, with Tories (and one of the being Boris, compulsive limelight hugger and headline stealer) is as likely as throwing a bunch of cats, mice and dogs into a box and expecting them to live together peacefully. It could have been made worse only by selecting Gove for one of those posts instead, but that would have been too obvious.

    TBH, I’m also actually starting to think it may be a pretty sharp win-win strategy for May. If they fail, as long as the don’t fail too spectacularly (as in basically EU throwing UK out), she can use it as a good “see, useless brexiters, I need to clean the mess now” strategy. If they succeed (and here any success would be pretty spectacular), she’s the leader who picked them and let them do it blah blah blah.

    If they were allowed to sit on sidelines, they could snipe at her, gaining popularity as the hard yards of EU negotiation drag on. I bet suspect if she could, she would offer Farage a job – exactly for these reasons.

    1. notabanker

      FWIW, spoke to a life long 50 something Londoner last night who called May being PM day one. His view was there will be a brexit, and the new agreement will look remarkably like the current EU membership. Will be having dinner with him later and will ask about the Boris thing specifically.

      1. RabidGandhi

        I recommend you invite Angela Merkel and Jean Claude Juncker to the dinner as well. Might spice up the conversation a bit.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Like the current EU membership – does it include submitting to rulings from the continent?

      3. That Which Sees

        Glad to see people saying it:

        “there will be a brexit, and the new agreement will look remarkably like the current EU membership”

        The EuroZone currency area is teetering on the edge of full-blown crisis. Europe needs the UK far more than the UK needs Europe. Merkel and her operatives (Schauble, Gauck, and Juncker) have been trying to talk the UK into doing something incredibly stupid, prematurely filing Article 50. The appointment of Boris makes it quite clear that the UK is not going to destroy its economy to shift value into the EU.

        If Merkel wants the German/EU economy to survive, she has to find some way to come to the table with the goal of:
        — Keeping trade in both goods and services flowing with minimal disruptions
        — Giving the exiting UK and ongoing EU members states more national control over permanent migration (refugees, workers, etc.).
        Given how locked she is to her own dogma, I’m not expecting this to happen any time soon. More painful lessons like the appointment of Boris will be required.

        1. RabidGandhi

          At least since last year’s crushing of the Greeks we have heard incessantly of all the things Ms Merkel must do to keep the Euro from its inevitable relegation to the rubbish bin of history. Democratise the Commission, stop austerity, Eurobonds, full monetary union… And of course, she has consistently done the opposite. Yet for some reason there is a Fantasy Island between France and Ireland that thinks it will be the exception to the rule– that it will be the one to make the insane Eurocrats come to their senses.

          The EU will be destroyed in order to save it. The UK deludes itself if it thinks it has any more bargaining power than Ms Merkel’s previous victims. And this idea of a Britain outside the EU with the same “friends with benefits” arrangement should be put out to pasture with the rest of the sparkle ponies.

          1. That Which Sees

            So your argument is that Germany’s ability to run roughshod over tiny Greece gives it the power to run over the UK?

            Germany has a small, relatively under-equipped military. And, it is built up to resist (or more likely be run over by) a land invasion from the East. The UK military can easily begin sending German merchant traffic to the bottom of the Baltic Sea if that is what it takes to force Germany to fold.

            German/EU “sparkle lemmings” are at the edge of what could easily be a fatal cliff. And, Merkel as head lemming is dragging her people over the edge. Glad I get to watch from a distance.

            1. RabidGandhi

              I agree about the German/EU lemmings heading over the cliff, but your point is predicated upon the lemmings seeing that there is such a cliff and having a basic understanding of gravity– something that the Eurocrats have amply demonstrated not understanding. Greece was not forced to prostration by a military threat but rather by economic hardball, something Merkel et al excel in, even when it is to their own detriment.

              The idea that the UK would threaten Germany militarily in the face of the EU maintaining its stated position on trade is just silly. The fantasy that the Leave politicians sold was that Britain has a fungible to use as blackmail in negotiations with the EU, when it doesn’t. A parallel would be the Sanders supporters who thought they could get all kinds of concrete concessions from Clinton in exchange for their support. The problem is, in negotiations if you have nothing your counterparty wants, you have no leverage. The only thing Berlin wants from London is the same thing HRC wants from the Sanders supporters: for them to go away.

              1. That Which Sees

                Germany wants to sell stuff to the UK, notably autombiles. Far more than the UK wants to sell things to Germany. Also, if UK-German negotiations go badly and the EU economy slips the Euro Zone house of cards could start to collapse: Italian banks fail –> Contagion –> Spanish Banks fail —> More Contagion –> Portuguese banks fail –> Euro currency fails.

                Both of these issues give the UK massive, non-military leverage over Germany. It is clear that the EU is much weaker than the UK. If something could push Merkel to the table, this could be resolved relatively quickly. If not, the next opportunity for constructive German engagement is after Germany’s SEPT-2017 elections.

                As to use of force “tail risk”:

                The UK has collective Fear and Guilt over 1930’s appeasement of Germany leading Hitler’s rise and ultimately WW II. Given Germany’s aggressive stance to date their position could easily be perceived as a threat, “Germany Demands Appeasement!” even if the German leadership does not see it in that context. If Germany terrifies the UK, and they are already way too close to the edge ……. History shows that most wars started via accident, mistake, and poor circumstances. It is rarely a truly rational decision.

                A good analogy that I heard is “Merkel is throwing lit matches into a Fireworks Factory.” I wish I could remember the source.

                1. RabidGandhi

                  Here’s the issue: for this to work you don’t need to show that the UK has a fungible that can hurt the EU (eg, buying BMWs); rather what you need to show is that Merkel et co. care enough about said fungible not to resort to their usual method of cutting off their nose to spite their face. Punishing Greece was by far a net loser for the EU in so many ways, but it appealed to the Eurocrats’ sense of Following the Rules.

                  Your argument assumes rational actors, something all sides involved have thoroughly shown themselves not to be.

                  1. That Which Sees

                    We may be approaching something close to accord on the “most likely” and desirable case.

                    How about:
                    — After successfully steamrollering Cyprus and Greece, Merkel does not grasp that the UK is a much more determined and formidable foe.
                    — Merkel is so weak at home she is highly unlikely to be re-elected.
                    — Given that immigration will be a prime reason for her displacement, the next German government is highly likely to be flexible on this issue.
                    — Therefore, if both sides stay calm and the situation doesn’t blow up in the next 15 months, there is an opportunity for a mutually beneficial agreement.

                    Where I think we disagree is on the how bad it could be if the situation goes into the much less likely “tail risk” case. Probably have to “Agree to Disagree” and move on.{*}

                    IMHO, there is substantial danger as Merkel is weak and simultaneously misunderstands the situation. I can envision her intentionally trying to provoke a “controllable” mini-crisis to get her numbers up. A purely accidental provocation is also possible.

                    In the face of re-unified Germany and 1910-1940’s history, collectively the UK is also less than rational on anything that could be construed as “appeasment”. Abject fear means that there is no bright line separating non-violent and use of force options. A Merkel provocation, even an unintentional one, could easily cross that psychological grey line. This could result in an “uncontrollable” FUBAR before reaching German elections.

                    {*} I reserve the right to be incredibly petty and if the World burns, I will post here “I told you so!” If I have to go out, I’m going to go out being right. Shallow maybe, but right.

                    ; «P

                    For those who like image based commentary, this is an excellent replacement for the proverbial thousand words:


                    1. Yves Smith Post author

                      I hate to tell you, this is more Tory derangement syndrome. Even if you are not a Tory, you have bought their PR hook, line, and sinker.

                      1. The UK is not in a strong position. It is very vulnerable by virtue of the passporting. The Continent will take a huge bite out of the City. And regardless, a Brexit means loss of Eurocleaaring which will diminish the stature of UK banks enormously and thus force them to set up more robust operations on the Continent (over my pay grade as to what they’d need to do). The ECB already tried to bar Euroclearing in the UK and failed, and the sole reason was that the ECB lost in the ECJ because the ECJ ruled the ECB could not discriminate against a member for the EU. No EU membership, the problem is solved.

                      2. The German public is deeply opposed to giving the UK breaks. Even if Merkel does not survive, it will make no difference in the German posture. Only 9% of voters support allowing the UK to cherry pick and members of the Bundestag have made statements supporting Merkel. Other countries show similarly low approval levels (low teen,s but not as low as Germany). Some like the very influential Wolfgang Schauble are even harder line. So Continental politicians have the full backing of their voters in standing up to the UK. Indeed, it would be political suicide not to.

                      3. Unlike the Eurozone, where the Germans are much better positioned to call the shots by virtue of their economic heft, the Germans cannot push the EU around. Indeed, many scenarios of how this will play out would require Parliamentary approvals for the new treaty arrangements.

                      4. The EU members and the EC are unifies on the UK having to take immigrants if it is to have access to the single market. They regard this as a fundamental principle. Moreover, the European leaders regard being soft with the UK as encouraging separatists, which will ultimately produce much higher costs to the EU than if they hang tough with the UK.

                      5. The UK has more immigrants from outside the EU than inside the EU. And the UK recruits immigrants for many positions, such as NHS nurses. How do you propose to operate the economy when 3 million EU immigrants, some in essential roles, are booted?

                      The Tories (or at least the Tories doing the messaging) have not figured out that there is no way the UK wins out of that. The Eurocrats, by contrast, recognize that this is lose/lose.

                    2. That Which Sees


                      You are sitting up straw man in a very disingenuous manner, misrepresenting both the UK position and what I have written. For example:

                      How do you propose to operate the economy when 3 million EU immigrants, some in essential roles, are booted?

                      Neither I, nor the UK, have stated that the goal is immigration = zero. In fact, the UK will continue to bring in necessary, skilled, English speaking migrants.

                      The immigration goals under discussion are:

                      -1- Preventing unassimilatable, unskilled, non-English speaking, often criminal/rapist, economic immigrants being forced on the UK as “refugees”. Many EU countries, most notably Hungary, share this position with the UK.

                      In fact, 60%+ of German citizens poll as sharing this view for their country. Merkel is in a definite minority.

                      -2- Avoiding welfare migrants travelling to the UK to obtain public assistance. To avoid being a magnet, the UK will only pay recent migrants the assistance they would receive in their home country. Again, this polls well in many EU countries, though not as high #1.

                      -3- Avoiding wage suppression and labour exploitation by firms using foreign citizens to replace or bring down wages of UK citizens. This will be the hardest to negotiate, but the UK should be able to obtain a fair amount of what the need on this front.

                      So to summarize the German/EU position:
                      -1- The UK must accept violent criminals and rapists posing as refugees.
                      -2- The UK must either slash benefits to UK Citizens or go bankrupt providing those benefits to 27 other countries.
                      -3- The UK must allow the exploitation of their most vulnerable citizens by forcing them to compete with uncontrolled migrant flooding from less developed / lower wage nations.

                      Merkel is so totally egomaniacal and detached from reality that she believes that a demand for Appeasement from the UK on these goals will work. The reality is that Appeasement is not on offer and it should not be.

                    3. Yves Smith Post author

                      I suggest you do you homework on why Leave workers voted Leave, particularly the excellent long story in the Guardian based on a lot of interviews (some in Wales, the rest in the north).

                      UKIP made a big deal about the Syrian refugees but that was not the issue for the Leave voters. It was the Eastern European immigrants who had lowered wages. This was not about welfare migrants.

                      So while you treat #3 as “nice to have,” that was a “must have” for many and I would hazard most Leave voters, given both interview data (other good journalistic reports were in line with the Guardian story) and the strong correlation with educational levels.

                      And you keep wanting to make this about Merkel. You have this dead wrong. This is a unified position by the EU. Merkel has actually made more measured statements about the EU’s position than most of her peers.

                      Your writings continue to show that you’ve swallowed Tory propaganda and do not understand at all what the EU stance is. They’ve said access to the free trade zone means freedom of movement. They have made it clear they are not negotiable on this issue. You can put fingers in your ears and say “nyah nyah nyah” all you want to. It will have no impact on how these negotiations play out.

                    4. That Which Sees


                      I do not doubt that you are accurately reflecting the positions of the German and EU elites who are currently in charge. Forward progress will be almost impossible until new leaders emerge, as the current EU/German uber-dogma is anchored in the belief that their innate superiority gives them the right to dominate lesser countries, which they falsely assume includes the UK. I do feel sorry that you and many others have bought into this dogma.

                      There are reasons for optimism though — There are upcoming opportunities for voters to get rid of those uber-elites.

                      Italy — ~Oct 16 — Renzi has staked his leadership on the upcoming constitutional referendum. If he has to step down, Five Star will gain many seats. If they can reach 40%, the Italian bonus seat system could give them a complete win (difficult but possible).

                      France — Apr/May 17 — Hollande (Socialist Party) has so offended his own base there are Labour protests in the streets. If National Front is part of the new coalition, that would be best case for the UK. Still waiting to see who steps up on the ‘right’, perhaps Sarkozy again?

                      Germany — Sep/Oct 17 — Merkel (CDU) has badly damaged relations with long standing allied party (CSU). Head of the CSU, Horst Seehofer quote:

                      … we have to establish a quota for that. I have identified the number of 200,000 per year, which correlates to our population share and economic strength in the EU. But once this number has been reached, we have to reject people at the border.


                      Reading between the lines. Will the infighting be so bad that both the CSU and CDU lose seats making a Merkel coalition impossible? Even if the math theoretically allows it — What would Merkel have to concede on immigration to bring CSU into coalition? Can she give that much?

                      Chances of Mekel retaining power after the elections are very slim. One would expect the CDU to maneuver her out to run a more credible candidate, however the CDU bench is a bit thin.

              2. clinical wasteman

                Complete agreement RG on all points, from a standpoint of complete indifference to British negotiation ‘success’. No not indifference come to think of it but outright dread, given that the sort of ‘concessions’ the Little Englanders have always tried to wrest from the EU are things that would make the existing treaties even worse, hard though that is to imagine: keep ‘our’ trade and financial sector ‘passporting’, but get rid of those pesky (and in fact largely mythical) rights lavished on workers, welfare claimants, foreigners, criminal suspects etc. Above all: unlimited air miles for capital, goods and services, while shackling labour firmly to the ground. The first person plural in a slogan like “take back our country” refers to BAe Systems, BP, Barclays, Nissan (Sunderland) and hereditary landowners.
                The conundrum around here is not ‘London versus Berlin/Brussels’, but living in geographical London (with nowhere to run) while wanting political ‘London’ to go away.
                Leads me to wonder … how tough are Argentinean visa rules right now for … let’s just say … penniless/overeducated NZers with German partners?
                (Yeah that’s what I thought. Never mind.)

                1. That Which Sees

                  For wealthier Londoners who want “run” options, citizenship and travel documents are on sale with minimal checks from the isle of Saint Kitts. This offer started back in the 1980’s, as I understand initially to fight depopulation. Currently around $250,000 USD cash up front.

                  If you want to research, you can probably find a table summarizing all of the buyable citizenship opportunities. Probably over 20 nations.

                2. RabidGandhi

                  Funny you should ask.

                  The Argentine constitution stipulates that Argentina has been founded for all men (sic) of the world. So there are no technical legal barriers such as kinship or economic resources. Then again the current neoliberal government has made it clear that not even most Argentines are welcome here, so there’s that. Either way from my perspective you’re more than welcome!

                  1. clinical wasteman

                    Thank you RG, I may just end up taking you up on that. And yes, the Macri rollback was largely the point of my final pessimistic aside. “Not welcome even at ‘home’ (outside a certain asset-ownership bracket)” seems to be default policy most everywhere right now, which is why I go on tediously insisting that all those on the ‘wrong’ side of that barbed wire — immigrants/emigrants and local piqueteros alike — have more in common with each other than with same-nation patrons of the vulture class.
                    And thanks — I guess? — That Which Sees, but you do understand, right, that there’s such a thing as a non-wealthy Londoner? I said ‘penniless’ and meant it, but said so in full awareness that the good luck to avoid a negative-pennies condition (i.e. to survive without debit, let alone credit, cards, let alone mortgage, along with no assets nohow, just an anachronistic part-time junior clerical wage) = relatively outrageous fortune here.
                    I can’t even afford a British passport (if I wanted such a dirty book), let alone an auctioned Maltese one, and about half the population of my city (that’s the immigrant usage of ‘my’, which doesn’t extend to notional Nations) is worse off than that. Apparently though, the dole queue in Dalston is all made up of Metropolian Elites.
                    Forgive me for citing my own pseudonymity, but:

    2. dk

      I think you nailed it with the last one, better Boris inside the ring than catcalling from the bleachers. Especially in a position where he can easily humiliate himself if he goes off his leash.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I don’t know much about Boris, and had no idea he was a conservative, but when he is described as ‘known for jokes and insults,’ does it mean he is blunt about others of the establishment?

        1. norm de plume

          He basically called Hillary Nurse Ratched. A ‘sadistic nurse’. A joint presser with those two would be tasty. His maneuvring to swing American support behind a favourable British outcome in Brexit negotiations next year (via some twisting of European arms) might meet with the same fate as Randle McMurphy’s dream of watching the World Series. ‘Now Boris, we have to consider the wishes of the other patients… even if they are comatose and on life support’

          Bojo also called Dubya a ‘cross-eyed Texan warmonger’, while his schoolboy limerick about Recip Erdogan almost guarantees Ankara will not be on his itinerary, despite his having a dash of Turkish blood via a grandfather.

      2. JohnnyGL

        I think these comments may well be close to the mark…..”keep your enemies closer”, as they say. We’ve seen Obama use that one more than once.

        My question is why would Boris Johnson take the job? Does he think he can accomplish much in it? Perhaps he himself is on board with the “Nixon goes to China” move (as Yves suggests), already?

        1. vlade

          This may be part of the brilliance of the move (if it was intentional). Boris can’t and won’t refuse. Won’t because of his ego, and can’t because it would be really really hard to refuse if, as a top Brexiter, you’re offered a top role in implementing the Brexit.

          For the other two same applies, but more of can’t than won’t (fortunately, only few people have ego of Boris size).

        2. a different chris

          Doesn’t matter what the job is for these types — name another job available to Boris that would provide this type of time in front of the TV cameras.

          And he doesn’t personally care whether Brexit happens or not, which is an additional bonus for Ms May. Just the most recent parade he could get out in front of…

    3. Clive

      I spoke with a (very) longstanding figure in Conservative Brexit heartland East Dorset, here’s a summary about the May cabinet and Johnson in particular.

      May had to do something with Johnson. If he’d been left out completely, he’d have just been a troublemaker with nothing to lose. In government, he has to abide by collective cabinet decisioning. He has the ego the size of a planet, so he wouldn’t have taken anything less than one of the perceived “top” positions. And Foreign Secretary was closest to his area of (ah-hem) “expertise” — at least, it was going to touch on the whole Brexit can of worms.

      But May has shown her political nous. Big chunks of the Foreign office remit have been hived off to David Davis (Cabinet minister for Brexit means he’ll tread all over Boris’ toes), Liam Fox (note the “international” aspect of his International Trade Secretary post) and above all, remember what Obama did to “reward” Hillary: Gave her Secretary of State.

      The reasons are the same in May’s appointment of Johnson to Foreign Secretary. You’re kept out the country for a long time — you can be sent anywhere on any pretext of needing to present the UK in some overseas capacity. You’re tired all the time from the travelling and busy too, an infinite number of time-stealing engagements. It is probably the most showbiz position in the top cabinet jobs — lots of speeches, photo ops. But very little real domestic powerbase. May is channelling Obama’s 11-dimentional chess playing abilities in the Johnson appointment.

      Back to the broader question of Brexit. My local party source said this all went down very well in the swivel eyed (she didn’t say that, but that’s what they are) ultra-separatists. Anything less than a convincing Brexit strategy — although the local activists are watching like hawks for any wriggling — would have got serious blowback. But May was always going to campaign for the leadership (it wasn’t necessary, in the event) on a Brexit-means-Brexit platform. And unlike the London big-finance / big-business centric Tories, the provincial ones are implacably opposed to some sort of “we’ll leave, but not really” fudge. The shire counties (okay, Dorset isn’t really a shire, but it’s cut from the same cloth) have a disporortionate influence on Conservative party strategy because they really are the heartlands. It is they which send 100 to 150 guaranteed, you can bet the house on it, MPs back to Westminster, decade in, decade out. Metropolitan Conservative MP’s seats are far more marginal, by and large. So always be aware of this power dynamic when considering what the Conservative Party Really Thinks.

      Finally, any discussion with any Conservative Party source (the one I was talking to included) should be framed in what I heard described, esoterically speaking, as their exhibiting “the divine right of kings personally exalted“. The best approximation I can come up with in plainer English is, the Conservative party and its members (and the sense gets stronger the higher up in the party you go) genuinely believes it has an inherent right to rule the country. And within that right (as perceived) goes an even greater arrogance in the higher echelons that they don’t need to defer to anyone in terms of policy. So someone can think something and, within their own narrow echo chamber, sincerely believe it to be a) true and b) be) preordained. But the constituency parties — the grass roots supporters — do act as a power base when they make a concerted enough effort to do so. This is the case with Brexit. They genuinely believe May will deliver a full-monty Brexit. And they will happily dispatch her — as they did with Thatcher, and if they can do it to Thatcher they can do it to anyone — should she try any backsliding.

      1. paul

        1 Brexit will replace austerity as a rationale for looting/impoverishment
        2 Brexit will amount to replacing euro rules with bilateral ones to accomplish 1
        3 Brexit allows the dumping of professed fiscal targets to aid 1
        4 Brexit will be very complex,very delicate
        5 Brexit will take a long time due to 3

        6 Everyone will be told that 1-5 is what you voted for, after all, so if you don’t like it, lump it

        7 Conservative Human Resource policies are an internal affair and not of great importance to the eternal goal of 1

        I haven’t spoken to anyone, but that’s how it looks to me

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          In the spirit of “Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste”, I think that you have identified the next phase. Austerity for hoi polloi will be not alleviated, but rather intensified. It’s a Full Blown Crisis now, so the dearly-cherished degradation of anything resembling a Social Democracy, you know, the thing that the Conservatives love to hate, will be on in spades.

          Sort of like 9/11 was exploited here in the US as an opportunity to fully roll outthe Security State, Brexit will be utilized to inflict grinding austerity, and put a bullet in the head of Social Democracy in the UK. Not only do the Conservatives hate the imposition of Social Democrat ideas and practices via the EU, they hate those same ideas and practices when they come from citizens of the UK. This is their golden opportunity to put paid to these ideas and practices, regardless of their origin. I can hear it now, “You didn’t like the centralizing Big State when it came from the EU, why not reject it in the UK, too”. It’ll be like taking candy from a baby.

          May and her accomplices smell an opportunity; why else are they so avid to expedite the break?

      2. A52percenter

        Best quote I heard today to describe May’s policy on creating a cabinet :

        “You BREXIT, you own it”

        All BREXIT-relevant depts went to leave-supporters. She’s canny.

        1. Strategist

          Agreed – I heard that one as “tha brexit, tha eawns it”, which works perfectly in a Yorkshire accent.

          When the gung-ho pro-Brexiters totally fail to come back with the deal they said they could get, they will rightly get the blame, and they will not be able to cry “traitors!”.

          (That pleasure will belong to Nigel Farage, refreshed after a break and ready for a comeback)

    4. m-ga

      This seems about right to me.

      The foreign secretary position, usually thought of as the third most important UK role (after PM and chancellor) has effectively been split, with Davis in charge of Brexit and Johnson the Foreign Office. Keeping Johnson close to the action looks at first glance like an acknowledgement of Brexit voters’ wishes.

      It might have made more sense to make Johnson the Brexit secretary. The problem with this is Johnson’s apparent lack of competence to actually draw up a Brexit plan. Johnson comes across as more of a frontman than a policy wonk. For example, his Telegraph column the weekend after the Brexit result revealed that he doesn’t even have a solid grasp of the policy issues. This will no doubt change, but he’s coming to the subject very late on.

      Davis’s piece for Conservative Home (one of the links in the original story), on the other hand, does show an understanding of the issues. Reading it, Davis comes across as optimistic of the type of deal he’ll be able to get. But, unlike Johnson’s Telegraph piece, Davis does at least outline a post-Brexit policy (an increase of UK exports) with supporting arguments. The arguments aren’t particularly strong, and his case would seem to collapse if just a few things fail to go as expected. But at least there is a plan. Davis hints that UK manufacturing would increase (which the UK sorely needed) and suggests that current worker rights should be maintained.

      Davis refers to consultancy taking place over the next couple of months. He might be referring to companies such as KPMG and EY, whose involvement was suggested in the FT last week. Perhaps this has already been commissioned, under Letwin, Davis’s Brexit-managing predecessor, who is presumably out of the role after only a couple of weeks. Davis also suggests that the UK will begin trade negotiations with non-EU partners immediately, which seems very aggressive.

      What I suspect will happen is that, in the final months of the year, it will become apparent to May/Davis/Hammond whether there is a viable route out of the EU. If there is, then Brexit might well happen.

      If indications are that Brexit should be abandoned, then May/Davis/Hammond (this group sounds increasingly like the ex-Top Gear presenters!) get Johnson to explain the change of direction to those who voted for Brexit. Perhaps the U-turn is softened by first selling the public on a stalling strategy, with the coup de grace to Brexit delivered by a future UK government. If Johnson can’t or won’t play ball, then they can make him the scapegoat for the entire mess. Johnson has finally made it to the most senior level of government. But, he looks to be in a compromised position, and with a gun to his head.

      1. vlade

        I have less faith in Davis than you. Say he seemed to think you can negotiate separate trade deals with different EU countries, which tells me he has no idea how EU works. Which is a bad start, since it means he has some preconceived notions which are generally hard to shake.

        I say that Fox is the best suited for his role, because at least he shown he can make a deal and sell stuff, especially services (for US readers – Fox had to resign because he was taking lobbyist – paid not even by UK interests! – mate of his on state trips and into confidential department of defence meetings)

        1. paul

          I think he was slightly more than a mate, which is strange considering liam’s opposition to same sex marriages….

      2. Epistrophy

        A good summary – but I do not think that failure is on the cards. My concern is that ‘Brexit’ has not been clearly defined. So the final form could be full exit or something much more subtle – this is a matter of finesse for the May government.

        Nonetheless, the Brexit press (ie the Sun and Telegraph amongst others) are going to be watching carefully. This is going to reduce their scope of maneuver.

        In contrast to many of the comments here, I think PM May has put together a strong team that can get the job done – that being Johnson, Davis and Fox. I am cautiously optimistic – as Yves would say – perhaps Panglossian.

        1. paul

          Very panglossian
          Fox – ferociously sycophantic neo con
          Johnson – Lazy and callous beyond his needs re narcissistic supply
          Davis – OK on civil liberties, hard right on everything else

        2. BruceK

          Theresa May has sacked a lot of people for a Prime Minister with a tiny majority in Parliament. Therefore, I suspect there will be an election soon, while Labour is in chaos -maybe in the autumn, maybe in the spring of next year.

          Otherwise, I am not sure May has a firm long term plan at the moment, beyond making sure that if something goes wrong the buck can be stopped before it gets to her and that she has no internal rivals.

          So, of the 3 senior ministers she brought into the cabinet, David Davis is 67 and Fox has had to resign because of a leadership scandal. Also, he came dismally last in the recent leadership election. Neither is a potential leader. Furthermore, Fox and Davis can’t stand each other, and nor can Johnson and Rudd (the new Home Secretary).

          Splitting the foreign office takes the negotiations away from a strongly Europhile department. This suggests she does intend to take the country out of the EU, but how long the plan will survive contact with the enemy who knows?

          1. Epistrophy

            Interesting insights – the issue of a strongly Europhile foreign office never crossed my mind.

            Following Obama’s ‘back of the queue’ threat – the US Congress does not agree – they are putting forward legislation to continue existing trade agreements in any case:

            A bill to lock down current trading arrangements, and fire the starting gun on a bilateral deal, was introduced to the US Senate yesterday.

            The United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act mandates the US to keep trading on exactly the same terms after Britain leaves the EU.

  5. Pavel

    Top story on the NYT this morning is the poll where Trump is now tied with HRC, and most of the article is about the aftermath of the FBI/DOJ email decisions. Payback is a bitch.

    Over at Daily Kos, the Hillbots regularly refer to the email scandal as a “nothingburger” that nobody cares about. They are so delusional (or just in denial).

    If I were the Dems at the convention, I’d think long and hard if they want Hillary to be their candidate. And where are those Goldman speech transcripts, by the way?

    Can you imagine, Trump tied with Clinton in the national polls?!

    Hillary Clinton has emerged from the F.B.I. investigation into her email practices as secretary of state a wounded candidate with a large and growing majority of voters saying she cannot be trusted, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    As Mrs. Clinton prepares to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination at the convention in Philadelphia this month, she will confront an electorate in which 67 percent of voters say she is not honest and trustworthy. That number is up five percentage points from a CBS News poll conducted last month, before the F.B.I. released its findings.

    Mrs. Clinton’s six-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters.

    Mr. Trump is also distrusted by a large number of voters — 62 percent — but that number has stayed constant despite increased scrutiny on his business record and falsehoods in his public statements and Twitter messages.

    But Mrs. Clinton’s shifting and inaccurate explanations of her email practices at the State Department appear to have resonated more deeply with the electorate.

    Just 28 percent of voters said they had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton, compared with 33 percent last month. Asked if her email practices were illegal, 46 percent of voters said yes, compared with 23 percent who said using a private server was improper but not illegal. Twenty-four percent said she did nothing wrong.

    NYT: Poll Finds Emails Weighing on Hillary Clinton, Now Tied With Donald Trump

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Russian Czar thought Alaska was a big nothingburger and gave that away to us.

      So, the HIllbots can give away all the nothingburgers they want.

      A green, sustainable political machine does not waste nor throw away things.

  6. skippy

    I don’t know… between the – Has the ISS captured footage of a UFO? Nasa cuts live feed from space station as mysterious object appears Daily Mail – and whole – Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary – thingy… I find it serendipitous that David Icke was on prime time Australian morning MSM news… cough… entertainment…

    Disheveled Marsupial… we must consult the magic 8 ball of NC and ask for crazzymans divine introspection…

      1. Skippy

        I will accept no substitutes for cheap alcohol and recreational Xanax….

        Disheveled Marsupial… have we learned nothing from the cracks in the ground… tradition… attent pour toi mon amour

        1. ambrit

          The cheap booze and zanies will present you with the substitutes; substitute perceptual realities.

          1. Skippy


            Rabbit holes that make Alice’s place look like their cousins the Sunday school felt board…

            Disheveled Marsupial… I thought intellectualism was based on something other than mental felt… even if the meta burns…

            1. ambrit

              So, you also ascribe to the Alice books a hyper Freudian sexualized subtext?
              And, “intellectualism?” How about ‘intellectuality?’ (Any time I see something characterized as an “ism,’ Red Flags, and not the Fourth International kind either, go up.)
              I can feel the ‘mental felt’ burn. No Fedoras today.

            2. Pirmann

              WTF is disheveled marsupial, and why do you keep repeating it?

              Some kind of Pokemon Go game for blog posts?

              1. Massinissa

                Its just something Skippy does. Hes been doing it, or something similar, here for years. Maybe its some kind of personal signature.

                1. skippy

                  Sign off… a la roger and out…

                  Ambrit… concede to your point on ism or ology which imo more accurately expresses my intent…

                  Disheveled Marsupial… used to sign off as Skippy… changed it to reflect the results of years of experience – interaction with AnCaps, AET, neoclassical+ bolt ons and a plethora of rainbow colored mishmash of ideological cults..

                    1. Skippy

                      Used too for years, tons of economic or philosophical sites, cut it down to Post Keynesian and a few sites like NC…

                      Especial after working with some very knowledgeable, experienced, and adept people that went one – flew over the cuckoos nest – wrt to Clinton…

                      Disheveled Marsupial…. one minute their anti neoliberal and refuting all the schools – agency’s which ushered it in and the next minute becoming Clinton apparatchiks because of choice opportunity…. not too happy about me pointing out Clinton’s pivotal agency in neoliberalism… or neocon activity’s…

          2. Skippy

            Sorry but DNA and Anthro make a mockery of 90+ of this stuff….

            Disheveled Marsupial…. its like EU Nazis not understanding the Adam Y thingy…

            1. ambrit

              Sadly, I must agree. I have not met in the flesh any levitating perfect masters.
              DNA I can go along with, but as for Anthro… consider the source.
              Adam-Y!!! No EU anythings needed here. Most people don’t get that. (The NC crowd probably will. Wider intellectual horizons in general for them.) The theory is fine, as long as the Toba ‘bottleneck’ of 74,000 years ago is factored in. Being reduced to at best, 10,000 breeding females will severely limit a species genetic diversity. (That 10,000 figure is the upper limit to the ‘estimates’ of post Toba Homo sapiens populations. Some ‘estimates’ go as low as under a hundred breeding females.) What side lines of the genus Homo were made extinct by the Toba eruption that might otherwise have carried on to ‘mongrelize’ the later Homo populations?
              For the Toba bottleneck see:

              1. skippy

                Seems the – Races of Men – is making a final stage appearance…

                Disheveled Marsupial… all the marbles are in and its for keepers now… sigh..

                  1. ambrit

                    Well, since the Toba ‘bottleneck’ limited the H sap genotype severely, a huge congeries of variant sub species went extinct. As the article linked to explained, the apes and chimps survived the ‘bottleneck’ with a much greater pool of diverse sub species.
                    One could think of H Neanderthal and H Denisova as rivals of H sap, but really, H sap contains genetic contributions from both of these. The Concept of Race refers to miniscule variations in one species, H sap. Without the Toba bottleneck, we might be coexisting with a Homo variant similar to the situation involving Chimpanzees and Bonobos.
                    All the marbles might be in, but Jacks are wild.

    1. craazyman

      I find it shocking to see some real news on NC links. Usually it’s just yada yada about stuff people make up in their heads like money or economics. Total fantasies that exist only in imaginations. People are so delusional they think money is like baseballs or birds that fly around and collect in heaps. Then, without even realizing the absurdity of total metaphorical conflict, they think of money as having “liquidity”, as if golf balls and birds dissolve and flow like water. What is it? A solid object or a liquid? They don’t even realize how delusional they are.

      But this is real stuff here. It could be the Chinese satellite or it could be a space animal lit up in bright sunlight. Space animals are animals that float around in outer space and live off sunlight. They’re rarely seen, but only because there aren’t very many people in outer space to see them. It’s funny how that works. When people don’t look they don’t see.

      1. Skippy

        Yeah like when something dies… what kinda observer bias is that – !!!! – when all it is… is another shift in energy – matter distribution with in the Universe…

        Dishevel Marsupial…. its just how it happens that get to some… in your sleep or by drone… chortle…

      2. Jim Haygood

        Speaking of total fantasies that exist only in imagination, on Planet Japan they are seriously discussing “helicopter money” in the wake of a visit by Bubbles Ben Bernanke.

        A Reuters article today quotes Japanese officials, denying that it’s legally possible. I take this as confirmation that they will proceed, under the principle that nothing is official until it’s officially denied.

        The photo of the BOJ in the article brought back memories of strolling that very sidewalk in Tokyo. In a country with few prewar buildings (other than old wooden houses in Kyoto), it’s jarring to see old, gray classically styled buildings from another era.

        How are they going to do helicopter money, when that old pile has no landing pad on the roof?

        1. Harry

          So they mean literally using helicopters. Great idea! Although I vote for ice cream vans. That we we can see both kids and adults going crazy when they hear that music!

        2. skippy

          Kinda strange that QTM has two distinct poles – gold or positive money and let the butterfly’s loose…

          On the gold side….

          The Golden Dilemma

          Claude B. Erb TR

          Campbell R. Harvey

          Duke University – Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

          May 4, 2013

          Financial Analysts Journal, vol. 69, no. 4 (July/August 2013) 10-42.

          Gold objects have existed for thousands of years but for many investors gold has only recently become a tradable investment opportunity. Gold has been described as an inflation hedge, a “golden constant”, with a long run real return of zero. Yet over 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 year investment horizons the variation in the nominal and real returns of gold has not been driven by realized inflation. The real price of gold is currently high compared to history. In the past, when the real price of gold was above average, subsequent real gold returns have been below average. Given this situation is it time to explore “this time is different” rationalizations? We show that new mined supply is surprisingly unresponsive to prices. In addition, authoritative estimates suggest that about three quarters of the achievable world supply of gold has already been mined. On the demand side, we focus on the official gold holdings of many countries. If prominent emerging markets increase their gold holdings to average per capita or per GDP holdings of developed countries, the real price of gold may rise even further from today’s elevated levels. As a result investors in gold face a daunting dilemma: 1) embrace a view that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, there is a “golden constant” and the purchasing power of gold is likely to fall or 2) embrace a view that “this time is different” and the “golden constant” is dead.

          And on the other…


          The paper presents a post-Keynesian interpretation of the consequences of financial liberalization (FL) programmes in less developed countries (LDCs). The interpretation advanced here incorporates the new-Keynesian concepts of adverse selection and credit rationing into a post-Keynesian framework. It is argued that FL can lead to a particular kind of development, ‘speculation-led economic development’, which is characterized by a preponderance of risky investment practices and shaky financial structures. In addition, FL is likely to induce an increase in directly unproductive profit-seeking activities, a greater likelihood of financial crises, a misallocation of credit and, ultimately, diminished rates of real sector economic growth. Given the likelihood of these outcomes (as well as their realization in LDCs that have implemented FL), FL programmes are argued to be a poor foundation for stable and sustained real-sector economic growth, especially in the context of resource-scarce LDCs.

          Disheveled Marsupial …. most of this stuff can be addressed with two points of reference… the Milgram experiment and Uptons hard to get people to understand when their pay packet is at risk…

      3. dk

        birds are actually mostly water.
        and nobody knows what golf balls are made of, not really.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Golf balls: Content information protected by the law that gets enforced, with sanctions — intellectual property-trade secrets. All the rest of it? “Civil Rights Act”? The anti corruption statutes that have not yet been cleaned up by the “lobbyists?” Not.

      4. Uahsenaa

        To take up the metaphor confusion, it is worth noting that solid bodies quite often liquefy when they undergo putrefaction. So, thinking about the analogy, liquidity would be the idea of money rotting away. A sobering thought.

        Also, soil can liquefact, generally leading to the collapse of anything built upon it. Another sobering thought, if you apply the analogy.

        1. Christopher Fay

          Greenspan already achieved that with his transformation of our money from solid to liquid tech bubble shares to gas derivatives that exploded. Sadly any money that remained solid rests in the hands of the liquid bubble blowers and gas derivatives inflators.

      5. craazyman

        This should certainly be a link tomorrow.

        This is real news, not delusional imagination news like monetary liquidity and velocity and economic data. People just make that stuff up and believe it!

        But this is real. I tried to post this yesterday as a peanut gallery community service but for some reason it got eaten and never showed up.

        I don’t make this stuff up, even though it seems like I might. But it’s all real.

        This is the Maryland newspaper story about the 12 foot tall ape man scaring people to death in the middle of the night south of Baltimore.

    2. Optimader

      Re: UFO
      It’s DT’s running mate coming in a little early to adjust to the time change, gravity and summer weather in GA.

      Before anyone bitches about nationality he-she-it was born here over 200yrs ago (an assexual bifurcation… will cover that detail later at the convention),butsuffice it to say, Amurkn longer than any of us primates furiously tapping away on keyboards

        1. optimader

          Podesta is in charge of the air mixture in the Clinton reality-based community bubble.

          Clinton pledged, again, to release whatever information the government had that could be released.

          The Clintons wiping the constituency bowl with a stale crust of bread for whomever they can pick up.

          But they remain compulsive parsers.
          Wouldn’t ….whatever information the government had that could be released have already have been released??

          Maybe there should fewer Lawyers in elective office??

  7. ProNewerDeal

    fyi, this article “Obama’s Big Flip-Flop to Save Obamacare” is written by David Dayen, & is an interesting article.

    Cliff Notes version: It appears that now hospital chains actually want a Public Option insurance to exist, to lessening the negotiating strength of a post-mergered 3-mega-company insurance oligopoly.

    I remained disgusted with 0bama Reagan Jr for his 2009 original betrayal/killing of the Public Option.

    IIRC as Lambert said, any US health insurance should be contrasted with Canadian MedicareForAll as a benchmark, as US Medicare has been Crapified & partially privatized. In other words, IMHO a Public Option would have to be contrasted with MedicareForAll, & not merely be better than the low bar of being better than a Crapified ACA private oligopolist insurer policy.

    1. Roger Smith

      Regarding this article generally: How on Earth is a public option for people 55-65 any kind of solution? That still means that you (or your parents) need to pay for your own corporate hack plan for a majority of your life. I do not see this as flip flopping, Obama was working to maintain control for insurance companies and this is just more of the same–damage control.

      Unless he comes out and says we all have the right to life which includes universal healthcare, he can keep his mouth shut. He has(n’t) done enough.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        Roger, I agree re “right to life” & support Canada-style MedicareForAll as a human right.

        But to be clear, if I understand the new 0bama policy correctly, it is a Public Option available for purchase, presumably at actuarial cost, for USians of ANY age under 65, “in counties which lack competition”. This Public Option would be an alternative to “corporate hack plan”.

        OTOH, H Clinton is offering “Medicare Buy In” for the age 55-64 cohort, & the new 0bama-esque Public Option in ANY/ALL counties. IMHO it is bizarre that H Clinton wouldn’t just consolidate these 2 “plans” as “Medicare Buy In” for any age under 65.

        Disclaimer: trying to ascertain the policies of habitual liar Flip-Floppers & neoliberal campaign-funder-owned pols like 0bama & H Clinton is an inexact uncertain guesstimate.

        1. Roger Smith

          Maybe I misunderstood his version. I am going to go back later and re-read.

          I enjoyed your disclaimer! Maybe that should have been written into the DNC platform.

        2. Anne

          My – relatively uneducated – guess is that with private insurance companies wailing about how much it’s costing them to insure anyone and everyone under the ACA mandates, there may be pressure being brought to bear by them to offload into Medicare and/or public option the folks they see as being drivers of increased costs.

          In other words, this may be less about some beneficent change of heart or magnanimous gesture to the masses on the part of the president and Candidate Clinton, and more about the profit margins of private insurance companies.

          1. marym

            Also an excuse for employers to drop coverage for older workers (that is if there are still older workers left who still have jobs that still have benefits…. )

        3. ambrit

          If any of the candidates offered to abolish the age 55 to 64 Medicaid Estate Recovery mandate, and tie that to a subsidized Medicare Buy-in program, the older ‘consumers’ would flock to them. The present dismal state of the economy guarantees an ever expanding cohort of below the poverty line oldsters. There’s a demographic that votes proportionally highly waiting to be scooped up. Don’t mention AARP in this context. That organization is now a marketing business aimed at the ever shrinking ‘middle class’ older population. Of greater utility would be an American Association of Impoverished Retired Persons (AAIRP.)

          1. JTMcPhee

            AAIRP would undergo the same transmogrification that AARP underwent. Capture by neoliberal advance. Nothing but a shill for various fleece-the-consumer marketeers. Can’t even “fight” for Medicare as it is — the meme is “desultory efforts to minimize the harm to some current recipients,” Fokk the rest of “us.”

            Please forgive the armchair cynicism. Seen this movie before.

        4. Steve C

          Good thing they’re making it as complicated as possible. It wouldn’t be the Democrats otherwise.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I’m glad they’re not considering hardening anti-trust “laws” for “healthcare” insurers with swift, strict, and unequivocal enforcement.

        It might actually work to prevent monopolies.

        Having allowed insurance companies to write a “law” institutionalizing themselves as the only means of accessing “healthcare,” I’d guess obama feels a responsibility to “insure” their continued financial success.

        1. Pat


          But then when have they really hardened or even regularly used the current anti-trust laws in the last decade or even two. This is just possibly the most egregious recent example of ignoring the responsibility to prevent monopolies or near monopolies.

          One disagreement, I think the law was all about “insuring” their continued financial success from the beginning, and was all about stemming the rising percentage of the population who were no longer paying premiums either personally or as an employee benefit (although it was spun about them being without insurance).

          1. skippy

            The shift in anti-trust was based on “seeking profit” ™ e.g. monopolies are earned and as such the government has no right to diminish profit accrued through success.

    2. Pat

      Thank you for noting that. Dayen was a must read commenter on the whole process of the ACA production and passage imo, I’ll be interested to see what he has to say. I might not have clicked otherwise.

    3. Lambert Strether

      The so-called “public option” is another neoliberal scam, put to good use whenever single payer gets traction.

      For the dystopian version of it, imagine an online “Retirement Marketplace,” with a bunch of privatized offerings and Social Security as “the public option” for retirement. Do you think Wall Street wouldn’t love that? Or for any public service to be delivered like that?

  8. harry

    Well of course I am a cynic, but in getting PM job, TMay will have done some deals. Her sponsor was Cameron and he will have the advantage of all the briefings. So I suggest there are only two possibilities. Brexit is a done deal and TMay needs to shore up the base behind her. Not a tough thing for her to do cos she is exactly what the Tory heartland loves. Dim as ditchwater, and utterly convinced of the rightness of her little england cause. That said, Jeremy Heywood is Cab Sec and he is very far from Dim as ditchwater. I suspect and continue to suspect the second outcome – which is that having seen the briefing papers there really is no alternative but to go back begging to the EU. In which case who better to stitch up for that job than Boris?

    I note with interest that Gove was shoved.

  9. Epistrophy

    Yves – I think your indication of a High Tory Plot was invalid. It is now emerging that a number of Tory Remainers were only of that stance because they wanted to keep their position – rather than of conviction. A number of those were in cabinet and have now lost their post – this according to the BBC this morning. There is speculation that PM May was of that category.

    Today the BBC interviewed the Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski who has just returned from a meeting with the French Parliament in Paris. He has reported a very cordial and open discussion where the French have indicated a great concern to protect the Euro 12 billion trade surplus that France runs with the UK. Further there were cordial discussions to protect the strong inward investment of French companies in Britain.

    I have no doubt now that PM May is very serious about her repeated statements “Brexit means Brexit and We’re going to make a success of it”.

    Not only has there been substantial bloodletting within the Cabinet but she has created new cabinet departments to re-emphasize the need to develop a more bi-lateral approach to trade agreements.

  10. windsock

    My view from the UK:

    Put Boris in the Foreign Office to do what he did best as London Mayor – sell off the UK, assets and people, to the Chinese, Russian, Indian and Middle Eastern oligarchs. Keep him out of the country as much as possible. Make him responsible for any cock ups with Brexit. May is guarding her back. If he’s beside her on the front bench in Parliament, he can’t stab her from behind as he could if he were a back bencher. Putting Brexiters in charge is a way of doubley protecting herself – she was an unenthusiastic Remainer. If Brexit fails, she can say “I told you so”; if it succeeds, she can say “I kept my promise to the people of Britain”. Win/Win.

    And if you think that we are escaping the neo-liberal clutches of th EU – well, we may leave the EU but we’ll become even more the neo-liberal poster child with Liam Fox back in government and Philip Hammond as our new Chancellor. Read about him here:

    1. Epistrophy

      I o not agree with this conclusion. PM May specifically addressed that the UK must give much greater scrutiny to proposed takeover/merger activity from overseas – she specifically referenced Astra Zeneca as an example.

      I understand that the new head of the Tory party is an ex-Miner. The Notting Hill boys were decimated.

        1. BruceK

          Theresa May is not an ex-miner!

          The new Conservative party chairman is an ex-miner. He refused to take part in the miners’ strike in the mid 80’s and became an MP a year or so after it ended (in 1986). His new job is mainly party admin, fund raising and going round the country giving speeches to local party members.

          1. Epistrophy

            The head of the Tory Party is the Conservative Party Chairman. From BBC:

            Patrick McLoughlin leaves his role as transport secretary to become Conservative Party chairman and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

            An MP since 1986, the former miner also served as chief whip, after being appointed to the role in David Cameron’s first cabinet.

            May is the Prime Minister, not the Party Chairman.

          2. Epistropy

            Yes – should have said Chairman of Tory Party, not the Head of the Tory Party. Haste and carelessness on my part …

          3. clinical wasteman

            The correct term for a strike-averse miner of 1984 is a bit like ‘scarab’ but without one of the syllables.

    2. visitor

      we may leave the EU but we’ll become even more the neo-liberal poster child

      So the brexit is actually good for the EU, since the most ferocious neo-liberals will leave?

  11. Carolinian

    Thanks for Larison AC link on Flynn. If this account of his views on Russia and Iran is accurate then clearly Antiwar’s Raimondo–a Flynn defender–has some ‘splainin’ to do.

    However Larison’s attack continues to be sole sourced to that book with the nutty Ledeen. The Foreign Policy article Larison himself links says this

    But Flynn’s career has taken an unexpected turn since being fired by the Obama administration in 2014 after waging — and losing — a bureaucratic turf war. He signed up as a talking head on RT, formerly known as Russia Today, a Kremlin-funded, English-language news organization that pushes pro-Moscow and pro-Vladimir Putin viewpoints presented as objective news.

    Flynn even traveled to Moscow in December to attend a gala celebrating the 10th anniversary of the organization, where he sat at the head table just two seats away from the Russian president, a stunning turn of events for a man who just a year earlier was one of America’s top intelligence officials.

    While Flynn has appeared on Moscow’s English-language television mouthpiece, his former colleagues in the military and the intelligence community — including the U.S. military’s top-ranking officer, Gen. Joseph Dunford — have described Russia as America’s biggest threat.

    Flynn offered no public criticism of Russia’s role in Syria when interviewed last year by RT, despite Moscow’s backing of the Damascus regime and its bombing of some U.S.-backed rebels. “We’ve got to look at both sides here,” Flynn said in one interview, saying Moscow and Washington should look for ways to cooperate in Syria.

    So maybe it is Larison who once again should be explaining. Plus he links to FP site, which approvingly quotes foaming at the mouth Dunford, and even they think Flynn is a Putin lover.

    1. apber

      Regardless of the true motivations of Flynn, the incessant anti-Russian propaganda emanating from the State Department and Nuland, indicates that the elites, oligarchs, or TPTB desire a military confrontation with Putin. A wet dream that becomes a reality in a Clinton Presidency. I wonder how Americans would react if Russia anchored nuclear weapons on our borders with Canada or Mexico. Oh wait. There was that Cuban missile thingey in 1962.

    2. RabidGandhi

      My parallel universe FP:

      He signed up as a talking head on CNN, formerly known as Cable News Network, a corporate-funded, English-language news organization that pushes pro-Washington and pro-Obama viewpoints presented as objective news….

      He offered no public criticism of the US’s role in Syria when interviewed last year by CNN, despite Washington’s backing of the Al-Qaeda-linked rebels and their bombing of some Russian-backed forces. “We’ve got to look at both sides here,” he said in one interview, saying Moscow and Washington should look for ways to cooperate in Syria.

    3. Andrew Watts

      General Flynn is a complicated person to talk about. He recognizes the reality that the empire is in decline and things are not going in a way that are to America’s advantage, Which includes the war in Yemen that his branch of the American military thought it was winning, While denying the reality that America is an empire in the first place. This leads to ridiculous assertions like Cuba and Venezuela are an existential threat to the US and China/Russia are allied to jihadists in a global alliance to bring the country down.

      I’ll probably get around to reading his book sometime and will follow this comment up.

  12. Richard Cottrell

    Opening excerpt from my new book Weimar Britain
    Richard Cottrell Tory Euro MP 1979-89
    Author GLADIO Nato’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe (Amazon Com)

    When the New Age Began
    On July 13th, 2016, Theresa May became prime minister of the United Kingdom in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. David Cameron had resigned shortly after the narrow victory for the Leave campaign was announced. Mrs. May, the nation’s second female prime minister, took part in a brief campaign among Tory MP’s in which the fall guys were eliminated, thanks chiefly to a staged walk-on appearance by a token rival of her own sex. Her rapid ascendency as the skittles fell one by one ensured she was spared an extended campaign trail to win the support of Tory party supporters.
    It was a cold and brutal putsch, with parts in the unfolding drama reserved for the foolish and innocent, the artful – and the ruthless.
    Mother Theresa’s post victory shopping list was an uncanny echo of Oswald Mosley in his nativity as an independent, a Tory and then a socialist. It was those three strands that he drew together to introduce fascism into the English climate. May laid out an agenda that must have the old boy sticking out his right arm up there in the astral regions. The risk is her limb may develop a life of its own and fly into play at Question Time or the Lord’s Mayor banquet. Like Dr Strangelove, she’ll have to bolt it down for safety’s sake. The victory speech was soaked with neo-national socialist peons and symbolism, the strange religiosity of the promises addressed to the poor for example, the patrician beaming on the working classes as Hitler and Mussolini used to do. She knew that the Tory party could not risk another Douglas-Home, still less a mealy-mouth Heath. Or a mindless PR confection like Cameron. So, setting out an agenda that starts at the ground level and works up is a clever ruse to reconstruct the party in her own image.
    May is the first Tory since Mosley’s brief flit across the skies to set out a stall which may be safely described as the Populist Right: she knows she can count on the middle classes who are already in the bag, the nobs can be taken for granted. Now she needs the mattress, so to speak: this is precisely how Hitler and Mussolini built their respective power bases. ‘Look’, she says to the lower orders, ‘we feel your pain. And we will cure your pains.’ Its not a party that Mother Theresa seeks to lead, it’s a Movement. To that end she has to sharecrop the Labour vote, so the Blairites see where the power is: power is what matters in politics. All else is a diversion. One-party-time is the aim and the intention.
    May has a ruthless tenacity about her which will appeal strongly as her premiership unfolds, and like all authoritarians, it will have her image stamped all over it, plain to see. The fates could not have designed a better a better moment for her First Coming. Labour on the rocks, any promises they make to the lower orders, or the middle classes, can’t be cashed at any time in the future. Or for that matter, probably ever. She ruled the Home Office with an iron hand. She made immigration a racial issue on which she could go the country, over the heads of intellectuals whom she regards in any event as sloppy appeasers. She is perfectly capable of undertaking a mass expulsion not seen since the English Jews were evicted in the middle ages. She sees herself as nothing less than a cleanser, with the race to defend.
    We have arrived at the British Weimar Moment. The old party system is breaking up like ice floes. There is no competent opposition, except in Scotland. And that too is an issue the Fuherina will settle on her own score. Scots may not like her way of going about it. The Labour party is highly unlikely to heal its wounds. In any case, we remember how Hitler carefully assembled the National Socialist movement with a calculated appeal to both Left and Right, and of course across the social spectrum. May says she will introduce worker directors to company boards, which uninformed scribes say she lifted from the EU prayer book. Untrue: the father of that deed was Hitler as he went about his steely work of connecting labour power to state corporatism.
    So what about the majority she inherited from the tragic Dave? Frankly it doesn’t matter. She can use the existing special statutory instruments to push through contentious legislation, as indeed The Dave did on auto pilot. She will have a problem there – and in other areas too – with the ornery House of Lords. Take it as a given that the House of Peers will be curbed and not many in the UK will give a damn.
    And she’ll spend. Oh how she will spend, while scissoring a photograph of Osborne into tiny little snippets. There’ll be public works all over the show, just like Nazified Germany. She’ll borrow as they say, ‘what it takes.’ This is a once in a lifetime power grab, and there is no time to lose. Dig in quick and deep. There will be more oppressive legislation – much more – slashing at civil liberties, where she is already the established Leaderene. As in Germany and Italy before WWII that will not stir the vital juices of the populace with any effect at all. Bread and butter for all, will.
    But the corporates should not run away with the notion she is their prisoner. She is no-one’s prisoner. She is easily the most intelligent woman ever to reach the top floor of public life in the UK, save Barbara Castle, to whom I pay tribute shortly. What about Mrs. Thatcher you say? The answer to that is the following. Maggie was always One of Herself. Thatcherism was not a movement, it was a way of describing and cataloguing what she did, as an individual. It was portable, and became Blairism. It is that brand that Theresa May has now seized upon to fashion a state of an autocratic nature. Remember Maggie believed sincerely in the principal of permanently entrenched Conservatism. She used to claim she had ‘defeated’ socialism. She did.
    And Brexit? The prime minister is not in favour of Brexit, any more than she is in favour of Scexit north of the border. I have the very strong feeling that the issue will be allowed to drift, slowly, and boringly, into the netherworld. Objections will be found to this, that and the other. The ‘Europeans’ will talk to her. They talked easily enough to Margaret Thatcher – who by the way, largely got what she demanded. It is not to say that it will not, in the end, happen. After all Mrs. May is going through all the motions to indicate that it will. But she does not believe that leaving the EU is in the nation’s interests. She has plenty of bargaining time and power. And she’ll rule her government and cabinet with iron will. They will do exactly what they are told to do.
    Even Maggie in her finest hours could not count on that.
    Opening from my draft new book Weimar Britain.

        1. Optimader

          Large airconditioned robot camels, and tents, a lot more tents

          And more refreshing drink recipes made with sweet and delicious crude. CHlite tm (Pro tip: best served with asphalt brownies)

        1. Harry

          Maybe the next batch of executions could have the star wars “imperial March” being played

      1. Dave

        Don’t be silly, a new computer controlled guillotine for beheading apostates. Each chopee can be shown on a special youtube feed making his or her last minute confessions. The process can become a live feed on monitors in the new subway stations and at gas stations where Ferraris are fueled.

    1. sid_finster

      They need to stock up on the newest cluster munitions.

      And guess who just happens to have some for sale!

  13. dk

    A footnote to the Tor board reboot:

    … researchers at MIT have been working on a new anonymity network that they say is more secure than Tor.

    … a new anonymity scheme [Riffel] that provides strong security guarantees but uses bandwidth much more efficiently than its predecessors.

    As long as one server in the mixnet remains uncompromised by an adversary, Riffle is cryptographically secure.

    1. NeqNeq

      Thanks for the link!

      Thankfully, the cryptography doesn’t matter to people who have an uncontrollable physiological reaction at the mention of TOR. Otherwise I would not have as many examples of the ‘Guilt by Association’ fallacy (which is easily disguised in ‘follow the money’ arguments) to use in my classes.

  14. Crapwallah

    Project Syndicate has officially joined Wisner’s Wurlitzer: they’re catapulting foreign-sourced US propaganda. By putting CIA’s words in an Indian’s mouth, we avoid the essential awkwardness of whining about China’s disregard for the law of the sea. When American apparatchiks hyperventilate like that, they have to bend like pretzels to avoid admitting that the US has not even bothered to ratify UNCLOS. Note also the cheap trick Chellaney pulls: giving you China’s statement in Chinese. If you don’t click around, you won’t notice that China’s arguments are legal arguments about procedure. There’s nothing arbitrary there.

    You can certainly argue with the Chinese standpoint but the US does exactly the same thing when it argues over which treaties take precedence, premised on the relationship between general and specific law. Difference is, when US government legal hacks try it they usually crash in humiliating flames, as they did most hilariously in Questions of Interpretation and Application of the 1971 Montreal Convention arising from the Aerial Incident at Lockerbie (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya v. United States of America).

    In its statement China affirms UN Charter principles of pacific dispute resolution. If you’re genuinely worried about countries crapping on the rule of law, China is not the first country you think of. You think first of serial aggression, widespread and systematic torture, bad-faith suspension of non-derogable human rights, and duplicitous proceedings against diplomatic relations: USA! USA! USA!

  15. Jolly Tommo

    Re: Boris and other Cabinet Picks,

    Boris’s appointment is entirely political and nothing to do with his merits and abilities.

    It signals inclusivity and reassurance to the Brexiteer wing of the Tories, whilst at the same time putting Boris in a job where the two most likely outcomes are that a) he blows himself up with one of his many gaffes and therefore can be removed or b) he does a decent sort of job in an office that barely registers on the radar much of the time.

    It is effectively sending him to a political backwater where as one pundit said a few minutes ago, ‘his main role will be to entertain the Americans and try not to offend the Chinese’.

    You could also throw in ‘keeping your enemies close’ and ‘better to have him in the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in’: Boris will either have to take the doctrine of collective Cabinet responsibility seriously and not play around – perhaps in the hope of rehabilitating himself with a great deal of the British public – or he’ll get the chop. May has already shown that she’ll be ruthless when she thinks it’s called for.

    The appointment confirms that the role of foreign secretary isn’t the great office of state it once was, even more so given that responsibility for Brexit is being placed with David Davies, generally considered a safe and sober pair of hands.

    The other theme of May’s appointments would seem to be a complete clear out of the ‘Notting Hill Set’ from any seat of power. This is a coterie of chums around Cameron, overhelmingly Eton educated, some, such as Oliver Letwin, wielding enormous influence across the whole of Government without any real accountability. Would take too long to describe all the characteristics of this group but ‘patrician’ would have to come near the top of the list and my sense of Theresa May is that she has little time for that sort of thing.

  16. rich

    HOW PRIVATE EQUITY FOUND POWER AND PROFIT IN STATE CAPITOLS Private equity firms have been rapidly expanding their influence since the 2008 financial crisis and have assumed a pervasive, under-the-radar role in daily American life, Ben Protess, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Rachel Abrams report in The New York Times. A Times investigation found that they used sophisticated political maneuvers, winning government contracts, shaping public policy and deploying former public officials to lobby for them, to achieve that aim. As this has happened, public awareness of these activities has remained low.

    Private equity firms often have not engaged directly with legislators and regulators, using the companies they control instead.

    And their interests are so diverse that they can interact with governments as contractors and partners on public projects as well as through lobbying.

    Fortress Investment Group is a prime example. It controls the nation’s largest nonbank collector of mortgage payments. It is building one of the country’s few private passenger railroads. It helps oversee a company that manages public golf courses in several states. And it controls Springleaf Financial Services, a huge provider of subprime loans to borrowers with few other options aside from payday lenders.

    The Times investigation has shed light on how companies like these have reshaped laws that hindered their growth. In Texas, Springleaf helped persuade lawmakers to allow for higher administrative fees. It forged close ties with lawmakers in Arizona, where state legislators passed a law making it easier to charge interest of 36 percent to borrowers living in the financial margins.

    Wesley Edens, a former Lehman Brothers partner who helped found Fortress and is now its co-chairman, emphasized the positive effects of Fortress’s companies across the American economy. He pointed out that it had replaced poorly performing banks and funded projects that no government could afford. He also said that Fortress did not create Springleaf’s lobbying campaign but supported it. Some public agencies applaud Fortress for creating jobs and investing in fields that others abandoned.

    Today, six other private equity firms are publicly traded, and over 7,500 are in operation worldwide, according to the data provider Preqin — more than ever before. Private equity firms “are ubiquitous, they are everywhere,” said Eileen Appelbaum, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research who studies private equity.

    Everywhere includes the government. The amount the private equity industry spent on lobbying in 2015 was more than triple what it had spent a decade earlier, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. At the peak of the financial crisis, the figure was even higher. Political donations have increased nearly sixfold.

    Former House Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff is now president of the industry’s lobbying group.

    Read more about the Times investigation and how private equity firms have ingrained themselves in daily American life here.

    Ramifications of Power

    But wealth expressed in figures gives a wholly inadequate picture of the allies’ power. Their wealth is dynamic. It is wielded by geniuses in combination. It finds its proper expression in means of control. To comprehend the power of the allies we must try to visualize the ramifications through which the forces operate.

  17. mle detroit

    That Black Agenda Report link is vital reading. It contains a capsule summary of Adolph Reed on what Lambert casually derides as “the black misleadership class.” Reed identifies them as “brokers” — who like all brokers are more driven by their own opportunities for commissions than by the needs of their clients. Also, Bruce Dixon of BAR is going Green.

    I do wish the Working Families Party could carpe diem — they have such an appealing name, and apparently more organizing chops but still on a much smaller scale.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Working families is exclusionary. How about single people or families where jobs were lost?

      Historically, single, young mothers are dumped on the most. Why can’t they find a husband? Where is there family? Did she take off again because the kid was sick. This leads to let’s help the deserving families. “Hard working families” was a phrase put forth by Bob Shrum, so you know it’s awful. Who isn’t a working family? Welfare Queens and sluts.

      The Working Families Party is usually full of wonderful people but the name is right wing garbage. It makes you feel good by invoking the nobility of work and not being specific, but with automation and other technology advances, we should be working less. It’s how welfare reform was pitched.

      1. Roger Smith

        Why can’t they find a husband?

        This is one thing recent events had me thinking about. Answer: The police killed them.

        Better question these fools should ask: Why does it matter if she has a husband? Will we ever cast away the 1950s?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Working families” was always pushed because they can’t say sluts, witches, or welfare queens anymore. Single, young mothers are the weakest people in society. They can’t fight back without putting their kids at risk. Older mothers have kids who are old enough to fight back or survive without mom.

          The phrase sounds innocuous, but it was pushed by the same people who used “super predator. ” It’s best to drop the name.

        2. Optimader

          Answer: The police killed them.
          I dont think that is supported by the data.
          Hyperbolic assumptions can be satisfying but generally dont deliver results.

          Unplanned or poorly considered pregnancies are not a very efficacious path to self sufficiency.

          1. ambrit

            The urge to procreate is universal and ‘hardwired’ in most species.
            Human abstinence from copulation, or birth control in general is a learned behaviour. So, why are the worlds young women either uneducated about fertility or denied the resources to control their fertility? That is the pertinent question. Once that question is roughly answered, then further courses of action can be debated. (A real feminist would argue, I suspect, that those young women must seize that information and those resources. This side steps the fact that, in many parts of this world, such actions will get a woman killed.)

            1. optimader

              They’ve been incarcerated in large numbers

              Yes, well in the spirit of reality based public policy, pls provide a link that establishes the preponderance of single, young mothers in the United States are a result of incarceration, (police) shootings, or for that matter a profound lack of birth control information and available contraception alternatives.

            2. Harry

              Quite so. Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking the dusky folk are trapped by impulses into self harming behavior.

              That’s more the province of white day traders.

              1. optimader

                That’s more the province of white day traders
                I though the last of those lambs were eaten and left as bleached bones in their basement offices next to their 15min delayed trading terminals???

                As far your “dusky folk”, it would be reasonable to backup that characterization single, young mothers as a impulse driven will-less cohort.

                1. harry

                  I prefer “neoliberal rational Ladies of color”. Only a fool would marry a feckless young man who is likely to end up in prison or getting shot by the police.

                  And having children is a common human aspiration. I pity the poor young white ladies who are desperately holding out for an investment banker husband to divorce. I hope they find a dot com hubby to support them their kids and nannys but they are in thin supply.

                  Thats the problem with neoliberalism. Its no enviroment to raise kids in.

          2. Roger Smith

            I do not mean to imply that is a main cause of anything. It was just something that popped into my head. The three men I know of that were killed needlessly last week by police were all raising children. Their partners just went from “working family” to “welfare queen whores” and the onus will still remain on the victims. Shouldn’t have been low income (or black). It is no different than hippie punching.

            And do you seriously question the correlation between incarceration and pressure on low income (and largely black) families? I will admit I have no known specific sources to cite at the moment but that, to my knowledge, it is standard fare.

            Even more so with birth control knowledge and access. Woman require a prescription for birth control, which requires a doctor’s office visit, which requires insurance and money to pay for it or just a ton of money. It is a needlessly complicated process and casts a stigmatic spotlight on women. Consider the general social stigma on consensual sex in the first place. We cannot even get public schools to teach sex education well, where do you expect this information to come from? Most of these people are not going to make an informed decision to take a trip to a clinic (which might not even be remotely close to their home- thus more $$$) and that cannot really be passed to them as a personal fault (the same way citizens that practice Islam cannot be responsible for policing their own).

          3. Alex morfesis

            Self sufficiency ?? A noble society would praise and fully fund motherhood and give a child a guaranteed safe and secure upbringing as a right…

            all we have today is the he-man women haters club insisting that sperm has a right to trespass in a womans uterus and trying to cloak it under the idea an inception gets a 9 month warranty and once the gestation is done it has to find its way thru “self sufficiency”

            Barf humbug…

            1. cwaltz

              How dare you impugn our pull yourself up by your own bootstraps mentality!

              Look how successful it’s been at reducing poverty and breaking the dysfunctional cycle that so many families face(it’s better to remain struggling, broken and alone than admit you need help)

              (tongue firmly in cheek)

    2. gsinbe

      I also recommend the article – an interesting pivot about half-way through that looks to the Green Party as a possible vehicle for social change.

      1. Montanamaven

        Bruce has been a Green for years. Works hard at a local level in Atlanta . He’s from Chicago and knew all about the young Obama. He and glen ford are awesome. Glenn was on the radio with Petey Green in DC the night MLKjr was shot. He is one of the most profound minds I’ve personally come across.

      2. cwaltz


        The poor and disenfranchised know better than anyone else that if something isn’t working that you try something else(and yes people of color are disproportionately poor and disenfranchised.)

        The Greens are their something else.

        I guess Cornel West wasn’t impressed with what he saw while working on the DNC platform committee, he also has endorsed Stein.

        The upside is it easier to co opt an organization that is not up to par organizationally(heck Stein is practically begging for some other smart people to HELP her) and that any corruption is not likely entrenched. So the Greens would be way easier to fix than the Democrat Party. The Left just has to have the will to work to change it and make it a viable option to the DNC.

    3. diptherio

      I got a chance to talk to a WFP lead organizer in NYC shortly after they came out for Cuomo. I asked him what the heck they thought they could gain. His answer was so naive and so typical of political insiders who want, more than anything, to be accepted as an equal by the “serious people”…like Cuomo. My take-away was that the WFP has some serious leadership issues, and is functioning essentially as a sheep-dog for the Wall Street wing of the Democrats. Sad.

        1. Jim Haygood

          As the punchline of an old joke about three guys in a diving airplane with only two parachutes goes … “You think we got time?”

    4. Anne

      “Working Families” is not a label that has much appeal for me; it implies that one’s value as a human being is linked to whether one is gainfully employed.

      The reality is that people need a voice – all kinds of people who don’t currently have one: those who are working, those who aren’t, single people with and without children, married people with and without children, older people looking to retire someday who aren’t fond of cat food, younger people burdened with student loan debt.

      So – what if not “Working Families?” Voice of the People? Hear Us, See Us, Respect Us (HSR-US)?
      Visible, Vocal, Viable?

      As long as labels enable those who don’t fit them to be marginalized out of whatever benefits accrue, those who think that’s acceptable will continue to find ways to do just that.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      This time honored vision of black leadership must always demand “unity” to protect its own legitimacy. It must also aggressively suppress divergent points of view in the name of the “black unity” which is the excuse for the leaders’ existence. As Reed points out, it’s a fundamentally top-down and anti-democratic model of politics and political action, one that places no particular value on bottom-up organizing, nor upon broad democratic participation in decision making, or of accountability of leadership to followers.

      A cogent and insightful analysis.

      What struck me is how similar a circumstance it is to that other “traditional democratic constituency”–“organized” labor, the leaders of which repeatedly sell out the membership in return for a seat at a less pedestrian, more lavishly set table while wielding the club of strength in “solidarity.”

      1. tongorad

        What struck me is how similar a circumstance it is to that other “traditional democratic constituency”–“organized” labor, the leaders of which repeatedly sell out the membership in return for a seat at a less pedestrian, more lavishly set table while wielding the club of strength in “solidarity.”

        Or perhaps unity/solidarity is not the biggest bug-bear, but rather allegiance to shitty policy. Yours for the one big union. The biggest issue is a divided working class. We need solidarity.

  18. RabidGandhi

    Juncker to China: Please fire more workers, as we’re running out of workers to fire ourselves:

    Juncker’s demand for action in China’s giant steel sector, accounting for more than half of global output, comes only days after the EU won increased anti-dumping firepower to protect manufacturing industries against unfairly cheap Chinese imports.

    So essentially, we, the market economies, are protecting our industry (anti-free market) until you close your steel mills (impose free market) so we can accept you into the club of free-market economies.

    Reiterating the EU’s leitmotif: socialism for me, free market for thee.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe they are better off closing laminated flooring factories and drywall plants.

      More regulation pays off in those areas.

  19. rich

    There’s been an explosion of Berners coming in through every portal of the campaign, and it’s really exciting:
    Donations to Jill Stein Explode Nearly 1000% Since Sanders’ Endorsement of Clinton
    Tom Cahill | July 13, 2016

    Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party presidential nominee, is seeing an unprecedented surge of energy for her campaign in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

    Stein, who is running her second presidential campaign in four years, said donations to her campaign have increased tenfold in just over 24 hours, obviously due to Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton and a resulting fallout from the Democratic Party.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hope she takes advantage of this opportunity of more money and perhaps even manpower.

      “Stein or split’ can be as exciting as ‘Bernie or bust.’

    2. Lambert Strether

      This is the actual link. From the article:

      Throughout her campaign, Stein has run as a third-party alternative to the left of Sen. Sanders, carefully toeing the line between driving a wedge between Sanders’ followers and the Green Party, and gently reaching out to bring them over to her campaign. She added that the Greens are the only national party not “poisoned by corporate money, lobbyists, and Super PACs.”

      So, we’ll see how this plays out.

  20. Skippy


    Did anyone ask the royalty….

    Disheveled Marsupial… or are we pretending that is not in play anymore…

    1. ambrit

      The Old Buggerers Network is still threatening to expose Eddies son as being Jack the Ripper. What next, “The Hound of the Brexiteers?” A Spectre is haunting Westminster, the Shade of Mercantilism. Sherlock Holmes should be called in. Call this “The Convolutedly Curious Case of the Conspiratorially Conflicted Continental Capitalists.”

      1. Optimader

        Well i think it is reasonably speculated that the redhaired one was sired by his moms stable dude. I suppose everyone quietly acquiesces to the fresh genetic material being a welcome addition?

        1. ambrit

          *Chuckles maniacally.*
          Philip Jose Farmer speculated freely in parts of his work that many of the semi super heroes of yesteryear were the offspring of a select group of notables who were strongly irradiated by a meteor crashing to earth near their stagecoach in very early industrial revolution era England.
          A wonderful conceit, and it allows cross fertilization between many pulp era and earlier ‘hero’ tales.
          It’s referred to as the “Wold Newton Family” series.
          Farmer could get truly ‘out there’ when he wanted to.

          1. optimader

            Ill have to order that up at the library. I hope a audiobook version exists..

            don’t neccesarily endores it but nonethe less Hoyle was a :”fertile” thinker
            Rejection of Earth-based abiogenesis[edit]

            In his later years, Hoyle became a staunch critic of theories of abiogenesis used to explain the origin of life on Earth. With Chandra Wickramasinghe, Hoyle promoted the hypothesis that the first life on Earth began in space, spreading through the universe via panspermia, and that evolution on Earth is influenced by a steady influx of viruses arriving via comets. His belief that comets had a significant percentage of organic molecules was well ahead of his time, as the dominant views in the 1970s and 1980s were that comets largely consisted of water-ice, and the presence of organic matter was then highly controversial. Wickramasinghe wrote in 2003: “In the highly polarized polemic between Darwinism and creationism, our position is unique. Although we do not align ourselves with either side, both sides treat us as opponents. Thus we are outsiders with an unusual perspective—and our suggestion for a way out of the crisis has not yet been considered”.[26]

            Hoyle and Wickramasinghe advanced several instances where they say outbreaks of illnesses on Earth are of extraterrestrial origins, including the 1918 flu pandemic, and certain outbreaks of polio and mad cow disease. For the 1918 flu pandemic they hypothesized that cometary dust brought the virus to Earth simultaneously at multiple locations—a view almost universally dismissed by experts on this pandemic. In 1982 Hoyle presented Evolution from Space for the Royal Institution’s Omni Lecture. After considering what he thought of as a very remote probability of Earth-based abiogenesis he concluded:

            If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of…

            Cosmic Life-Force 1st American ed Edition
            by Fred Hoyle (Author), Chandra Wickramasinghe (Author)

            Interesting book that can be read as factual speculation o asr fiction depending on your sentiment…..and the price is right.

              1. optimader

                Cs and Hs and Os and Ns and Ps playing loud music and having unprotected sex.

                Well, ok maybe you can’t hear loud music in space. But maybe you can inside a comet!

              2. Subgenius

                Life is the POINT of the universe. It’s the yang to entropy’s yin, as it were…

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Is that point really a point, and not a string or a loop (or a doughnut or donut)?

    2. abynormal

      good damn question! Gotha’s (cough) Windsor’s has to be losing title mileage. last i read the royals were doing everything to stay under the radar, maintain their ‘god given right’ to anything left of the commoners.

      another question… do Emperor’s really retire? why doesn’t Akihito have a semi groomed heir somewhere in the closet?? i want to know the new norms of the globes lucky sperm swimmers.

      1. ambrit

        I do notice that the male offspring of the “Windsor” family are groomed to be War Leaders. (Just keeping the old skills set properly sharpened.)

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        With the rise of the Diet and the military power before modern Japan, the Japanese emperor doesn’t qualify as an “imperator” anymore. Under the English system of rights, duties, and privileges, the only “right” is the right to not be king. You can abdicate and not be punished or expected to give answers or orders. The new king could command you take command of the fleet, but he can’t expect you to be the king. Trump could win and simply not take the job. It’s truthfully the only right you have. I could be drafted. I had to sign up for selective service to participate in society, but the only thing I can’t ever be coerced or imprisoned for not doing is being President (the other constitutional offices).

        Theodosious retired.

  21. Roger Smith

    DNC Goons ripping signs out of Bernie supporters' hands and then trying to look innocent.— Shay (@LiberalLaChick) July 13, 2016

    This one is ridiculous. No words (“polite” ones at least). Saw this via a Gaius retweet. For objectivity: I don’t know for certain who this guy is but I highly doubt anyone else was their wearing a nicely pressed suit besides security. He could just be some rabid sycophant.

      1. Roger Smith

        No the comments I sifted through were not to helpful with any details. I really wish Twitter videos were linked through youtube or some other source so they could be more easily shared and informative.

        When did the #StrongerTogether movement start? Those signs were present. To my knowledge that started Tuesday (but I cannot keep up with Clinton’s ever changing mottos)

  22. mk

    FYI re: Clinton DCCC fundraising, I received three emails yesterday:

    Email #1: from Julie Ager, subject: begging you, july 13 8:10am

    When Bernie Sanders called for unity yesterday, we expected Democrats to…well…unify. But grassroots Democrats’ support just isn’t coming in. After Bernie’s call to action, the entire world is watching to see if the Democratic Party can unite. We can’t mess this up. I’m so sorry to beg, but I REALLY hope there’s a chance you can step up. It’s the only way Democrats can win the White House and Congress. Will you answer Bernie’s call and chip in $1?

    Email #2: from URGENT (via DCCC), subject: DEVASTATING defeat, july 13 11:12 am
    We’re confused…
    After Bernie Sanders’ inspiring call to unity, we thought at long last Democrats would…well…unify. But sadly that’s not what’s happened. Grassroots Democrats just haven’t stepped up. The entire world is watching to see if the Democratic Party can unify today. And frankly, we’re questioning whether that will happen. We’re sorry to plead, (my name), but is there any chance you can help? We will lose out on our chance to win the White House and Congress otherwise. Will you answer Bernie’s call and chip in $1?

    Email #3: from UPDATE (via DCCC), subject: Bernie Sanders (important), july 13 2:55 pm

    So… we’re having a rough day.
    We expected a surge of support after Bernie Sanders’ call for unity yesterday. But even after Democratic all-stars agreed to triple match gifts, that support hasn’t come through. The problem is, the entire world is looking at the Democratic Party now to see if we can unify. So we really can’t blow this. Our chance at a Democratic White House and Congress would be over. We hate to keep annoying you with emails, but is there any way you can help out?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These emails are so aggravating, not one question as to why they’re not getting what they want. They think they can just take, take, take and we’ll keep giving, giving, giving. I guess they thought wrong.

    EFF them.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          From $27 to just $1?

          That’s better discount than a lot of ‘Going Out of Business’ sales!!!

          I know a lot of people (including members of my family) who go, ‘I have to buy. It is 50% off.’

        2. EndOfTheWorld

          I can tell you one way to get rid of the dems—go down to the relevant authorities in your area and change your registration to Republican. That’s what I did—now I receive nothing from the Democratic Party, nor the repugs either.

    1. skippy

      In a bizarre twist bernie could set up whole dNC by voters by non conformance by his base thingy….

      Disheveled Marsupial…. or when thoughts transcend individual political identities…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You never really know.

        One of Hillary’s backers, Congressman Gerry Connolly, has been quoted in politico pieces basically saying he’s really impressed by Bernie but expects the energy and money to just carry over. As someone who knew him when he was just the chair of the county board of supervisors, he surrounded himself with yes people and brown nosers. He had this one woman* who followed him around. She laughed at his jokes. If she was younger than he was, I would swear she had to be his mistress, but she just wanted to be close to power. Let me be clear, Gerry Connolly doesn’t doesn’t use look like a toad. He is one, but he has found people who will laugh at his jokes. I can assure you he isn’t funny, and yes, he laughs at his own “quips. ”

        These people really are deluded, and I think they are panicking.

    2. Jen

      Please tell me you’re not paraphrasing, because this made my day. I might actually have to re-subscribe.

        1. Light a Candle

          Thanks for posting. Those DNC emails are surreal.

          Hmmmmm. So Bernie didn’t concede, his “endorsement” reads as satire and HRC is sliding downwards in the polls . . . . maybe he will be the Democratic nominee?! A loooooong shot but not impossible.

          1. Code Name D

            And yet, the lefty-pendants were going on about the latest NYT poll which says 85% of Bernie supporters were going to vote for Clinton.

            Isn’t that odd.

        2. Jen

          If I weren’t in my office right now I’d be, literally, on the floor laughing.

          DCCC: “But…but…they have to unify now! Don’t they know There Is No Alternative?”

          Bernie supporters respond with the digital salute.

        3. Mudduck

          I got the same three emails — they’re all too authentic. I posted them in yesterday’s Links and Water Cooler — glad to see them noticed here. They are unbelievably obtuse.

          The DCCC is notorious for recruiting ex-Republicans and Republicrats to run for Congress, while working actively against liberal candidates. Their joy at Sanders’ “endorsement” was excessive, their abject disappointment at the results is revealing.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Those mood swings…something the Big Pharma might be able to take advantage of, sorry, help…

          2. Mudduck

            New DCCC email today:

            We were worried that Democrats wouldn’t come together. But YOU proved us wrong!!!

            8O,179 grassroots Democrats showed everyone that our party is united like never before.

            Wow. 80,179! And, in gratitude, they’ll send a free sticker with a profile of Trump saying “Stop Bigotry!”

            1. Jen

              80,000 “Grassroots Democrats” divided by 8,000,000 individual Sanders contributions = .01%

              Make of this what you will.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              For people into projecting, 80,179 in a morning projects to millions and millions in a few months.

              Or perhaps they are treating the number like they are the undecided – the undecided who decide elections are not necessarily large in number. Sometimes a few thousand or a few hundred undecided can change history.

              1. pretzelattack

                the number of bernie supporters not contributing have to be much larger. and this is the big bounce.

              2. aab

                I just realized — that 80,179 isn’t from Bernie’s list. It’s been confirmed he hasn’t given it to her. That money is coming from their normal donor list.

                So it really tells us nothing. The DCCC’s normal mode of fundraising messaging is scaremongering. They just used the endorsement as a fresh pressure point on their usual marks.

                Poor things.

        4. Medbh

          I can’t believe those are real messages. It made me laugh. Oh, the delicious schadenfruede. I too might have to resubscribe just for the chuckles.

    3. sid_finster

      I am not here to unify Team D.

      I am here to hijack it and barring that, to burn it down.

    4. AnnieB

      I received an email with that message as well. At the end it says approved by the DNC. But that doesn’t mean it’s authentic. Pretty funny, in any case. I asked to be unsubscribed.

    5. pretzelattack

      The problem is, the entire world is looking at the Democratic Party now to see if we can unify.”

      oh i didn’t realize that. well we can’t disappoint the world, now can we.

    6. Epistrophy

      the entire world is looking at the Democratic Party now to see if we can unify

      hee hee . . .

  23. Butch In Waukegan

    Re American Pravda: The Legacy of Sydney Schanberg

    I will never view the black POW flag in the same way again. I doubt if one in a million who see it now, on all the city halls and motorcycles, know the full story behind POWs in Vietnam. And there’s a prediction we might hear tapes of McCain’s Vietnam broadcasts.

    Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity. — Marshall McLuhan

    1. Ivy

      Sydney Schanberg may have been one of the last of a dying breed and will be missed. The Vietnam misadventures ruined so many lives, and were based on so many lies such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident. About the only positive from that baleful incident was that two senators voted against the resolution. Where are the principled senators these days?
      The POW story is yet another reason to reinforce opinions about McCain. Here’s hoping that the Arizona voters deny him another term!

    2. Plenue

      From the article:

      “I was reading what might rank as “the story of the century,” a scandal vastly greater and more gripping than the sordid political abuses of Watergate or Iran-Contra”

      Greater and ‘more gripping’ than the ‘political abuses’ of Iran-Contra? We sold weapons to one side in a war in which a million people died, and used the money to illegally fund South American terrorists who murdered people by the hundreds of thousands. That is vastly more horrific than a few hundred POWs abandoned to the enemy.

    1. abynormal

      that Lee is one hell of a mothafukr cm…SARC “After the first couple of hours, Sean, the white leftist from New Orleans, was able to get the number of the National Lawyers Guild in Baton Rouge. I have been a major critic of the NLG, the Institutional Left group that was founded by communist attorneys and that has protected people and groups that I find repugnant.

      That being said: in this case, thank God for the National Lawyers Guild.

      Do I wish there was a conservative, pro-liberty legal group out there that I could’ve called? You’re darn right I do, but there was no such group involved in what was going on in Baton Rouge.

      Once again, I want to say that I am grateful beyond words to the entire team at Breitbart News, and I thank both executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon and CEO Larry Solov for not just having my back, but reaching out to my wife, Lauren, several times and making sure she was okay.”

      …he doesn’t like BLM b/c they want to overthrow Capitalism? speechless

    2. abynormal

      my comment prolly shouldn’t come out of moderation. i am repulsed at Lee’s audacity to refer to the NLG as communist and then wish the republicans had a group like that. if he had any spine he would repay NLG for putting up his bond…NOT HIS EMPLOYER THAT DIDN’T TELL HIM TO GO GET ARRESTED…but that’s a free marketeer for ya! P U K E

  24. philnc

    What was most interesting to me about the thread that began with the story of Schanberg’s reporting on the POWs held back due to our reneging on the US side of Nixon’s secret deal to end the Vietnam War is not that both McCain and Kerrey’s wartime records were whitwashed, but that their political parties were so eager to have them run for office. Both were clearly damaged goods and surely some in the leadership knew the truth. Seems to me that’s proof of that a lot of the political class are in fact sociopaths.

    As for the headline screaming that sharing your Netflix password is now/may be crime I call bullsh*t. That’s not what the court held and, given page 6 of the majority opinion, cannot be inferred from what the court wrote. Hyperbole may sell magazines (or draw eyes to a page), but is a disservice to an often credulous public. I’m not sure if the original source for the interpretation given in the article is a lawyer, but if they are they’re not a very good one.

  25. so

    The article on Sidney Schanberg……..Just when you thought it couldn’t get any darker…
    Rambo was right. The USA is done…Circling the drain. I couldn’t get any more cynical and that’s something.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      RE: Schanberg piece—Is that really true about John McCain–he was like Tokyo Rose? I don’t really know the whole story, I guess. What I had heard was he was given special privileges simply because his dad was an admiral, but if he was a complete traitor, that’s news to me.

      1. jo6pac

        It’s real he is a traitor. There was a book out about the time he ran for potus. It was written by former prisoners of Hanoi Hilton.
        Look up accident on the USS Forrester aircraft carrier

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          He [Schanberg] said he hoped that someday there might be a U.S. President willing to tell the American people the truth of what had actually happened.

          And who is the only person who has come within spitting distance of the presidency that has ever dared to criticize the “distinguished” service of john mccain?

          Why that would be the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Donald J. Trump.

  26. Bill

    “Happy Bastille Day, to all our readers in France! A toast to you!”

    Le jour de Gloire est arrivee………

  27. samhill

    I am not in the UK and my short uninformed take is that lately every time a Tory pol is asked about Brexit the ubiquitous drone is, “the will of the people must be respected”. I’d say the plans are for no Brexit.

  28. JTMcPhee

    I feel the need to re-post something I reported late last night as the force of yesterday’s Water Cooler was spent:

    “In Japan in 1979 I ran into some naval officers from three US ships doing a port call in Beppu. The encounter was in a public bath at the Suginoi Hotel. These were weapons officers. This port call was a big deal because it had become known the ships were carrying nuclear warheads, on surface to surface missiles. These officers noted that in a confrontation with Soviet ships, the horizon time from detection of an incoming Russkie nuke anti ship missile to impact was only a matter of several minutes. They stated that as a result, they had authority to launch their nuke weapons, to use rather than lose. At a level far below where Obama and the SECDEF sit, with zero chance of civilian control.

    Maybe this was just chest puffing for a fellow naked gaijin among all the Japanese soaking in the buff. But similar weapons are aboard US surface ships and subs (and Israeli too, and Russian.) And tactically, that sure was convincing.

    I enlisted in 1966 partly as a result of the Gulf of Tonkin idiocy.

    What could possibly go wrong?”

    1. polecat


      1. ambrit

        Kind of one dimensional dude, in a “Flatland” sort of way. Seek help from a higher dimension.

        1. Vatch

          Are you requesting a crossword puzzle or a scrabble game?

          I wonder whether Obama plays 11 dimensional scrabble?

  29. Brian

    re brexit; What if London is falling financially? What if the City is the last hope to get enough scratch to pay interest on the national debt to make it appear as though they are solvent? We have numerous entities that are doing that here. Fannie or Freddie shut off payments to investors, and all the input goes to paying for the bezzle and the interest on the debt.
    And 2nd, how did the vote get 52% if the Tories didn’t vote to leave? Scotland, the bastion of the labour vote said no because they want to stay in euro more favorable to them than being in the UK.
    It is all theater, and whinge is in vogue. Brexit was not a surprise.

    1. sd

      At this point, I think we are all trapped in a global ponzi scheme. The best one can do is stand far away from the exit and hope not to great crushed.

  30. Vatch

    I’m sure many have seen the reports that the socialist French President Francois Hollande’s haircuts cost about $11,000 per month. Supposedly the hair stylist is on call 24/7. I wonder how much Donald Trump spends to keep his hair the way it is?

    1. Optimader

      Well, you can be sure Hollande’s are on the public tab, but how is it even possible????

      I hope at least his daily haircut has a happy ending! Maybe GWB would have been less of an agitated dry (?) drunk if he was getting a daily haircut?

      So time to probe into the Clinton foundation annual haircut budget..

      1. Vatch

        I suspect Bush was a little buzzed while he was swaying to the music at the Dallas memorial ceremony this week.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How many hairs on his head?

        That is, how much is that per hair?

        I think, on that basis, it could be even more hair-raisingly outrageous.

          1. optimader

            I’m guessing further south

            Happy Bastille Day Mr. Preeeeesident, Happy Bastille Day to Youuu..

    2. sd

      I would guess that most offices of the President carry a full time hair and makeup person for the President so that they can appear on camera at any time. This seems like one of those things that taken out of context, looks like an extravagant expenditure, when compared to other countries is likely a norm.

  31. Ranger Rick

    I wouldn’t be so skeptical of Bruce Schneier joining Tor’s board. He’s one of the biggest names in the computer security field and a frequent critic of security theater.

    It’s just particularly unfortunate that money for computer security research is typically (and almost universally) provided by governments, although some people claim to make their living hunting bug bounties.

  32. bwilli123

    Re: China’s Challenge to the Law of the Sea Project Syndicate

    Dateline 1905 – the USA has been trying to bully its way to dominance in Asia for years. And it seems that not even an international tribunal in The Hague is going to stand in its way.
    The USA has rebuffed the landmark ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which knocked the bottom out of expansive USA territorial claims in the Pacific and held that some of the country’s practices were in violation of international law. Recognizing that there is no mechanism to enforce the PCA’s ruling, the USA does not intend to give even an inch on its claims to everything that falls within its unilaterally drawn “nine-dash line.”
    Clearly, the USA values the territorial gains – which provide everything from major oil and gas reserves to fisheries (accounting for 12% of the global catch) to strategic depth – more than its international reputation. Unfortunately, this could mean more trouble for the region than for the USA itself.
    Via its occupation of the Hawaii and the Philippines the USA is not just aiming for uncontested control in the Northern Pacific Ocean; it is also working relentlessly to challenge the territorial status quo in the East China Sea and the Celebes Sea and to re-engineer the cross border flows as far as South America via its control of Panama. In its leaders’ view, success means reducing Southeast Asian countries to tributary status – and there seems to be little anyone can do to stop them from pursuing that outcome.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting dispatch…

      Some professor interviewed on NPR a day or two ago who stated that the Chinese fantasy was based on their Ming dynasty experience in that area.

      Ming dynasty was from the 1300s to the 1600s…400 to 700 yeas ago.

      And those fantasizing Chinese should see mental doctors, I think something like that was mouthed.

      But I believe some exceptional territorial claims go back at least 2,000 years.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Then, we can start finishing the work of that professor interviewed by NPR – compile a list of age-old claims.

          I didn’t know there was profitable or fruitful academic work to be done and let’s credit the good professor for his initial insight.

  33. Butch In Waukegan

    Every week or so I check out the in-the-tank-for-Hillary Huffington Post. This morning there were two articles about the tight polling. One, the NYT poll, calling Clinton and Trump even.

    A few articles down these there was a story with this headline: PHANTOM MENACE: THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN BARELY EXIST (their caps).

    I wonder how many readers make the connection between all these articles.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The best of two worlds – one world of ‘we need you money to stop Attila’ and the other world of ‘We are invincible to non-existing giant rabbit enemies.’

  34. Oregoncharles

    Returning to a topic from a couple of days ago, I just came across this, in an interesting article about the Stuxnet weaponized virus (

    ” One thing I heard last night was they’re now teaching people in the Navy how to navigate by sextant again. The reason being that they figure during a conflict all the sophisticated electronic communications will be jammed or shut down or compromised by malware, and they’ll need to go back to the old school.”

    The subject the other day was the ways IT comes back to bite us, starting with the difficulty of exiting the Euro. There is also, of course, the Archdruid’s “Retrotopia.” Or Frank Herbert’s Butlerian Jihad. One would hope we could keep the advantages, like the Internet as a communications medium, while conquering the disadvantages, like “code as law.” But that may not be possible.

  35. allan

    Like ex-BP CEO Tony Hayward, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants his life back:

    Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday appointed a former BP America official who managed public relations in the company’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to run his troubled Department of Environmental Quality. …

    Grether was a registered lobbyist for BP America in Lansing from 1993 to 2008, state records show.

    From May 2010 to March 2014, Grether worked on external communications for BP America’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill accident response and restoration in the Gulf of Mexico …

    Because no one knows environmental quality like a Big Oil lobbyist and PR flak.

  36. Jim Haygood

    Justice Ginsburg is back on her meds:

    (CNN) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday she regrets remarks she made earlier this week to CNN and other news outlets criticizing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” Ginsburg said in a statement. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

    Trump is probably right that her mind is shot. Xanax may have stopped her ranting. But it’s not going to restore the lost cognitive function.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why do we overwork our elderly wise men and women so much?

      Is it possible even the sharpest, after a certain age, know not when to relinquish their media empires or seats on the Supreme Court?

      It’s not a sign of respect in any civilized society to say to any worker ‘Work till you drop (in your sleep on a hunting trip.)’

      1. Harry

        They probably know the value of accruing extra years of service for their federal pensions. Hers must be fantastic!

    2. tegnost

      my eleventy dimensional on that is she wanted to be able to recuse in the event of a scotus challenge to the election and avoiding a 4-4 tie along with allowing her to sleep at night because she doesn’t care for either one.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Not until her and hill’s private jets get parked next to each other on a boiling tarmac, and she skips across the asphalt and bounds up the stairs (I hear she’s pretty spry for her age) for a protracted chat about those amazing grandkids.

          And her golf game.

          Come to think of it, I’m not sure even that would do it. No “intent.”

          1. cwaltz

            I’m going with Ginsberg was possessed by the spirit of her late colleague Antonin Scalia, who had absolutely no problem with running his yap and showing his bias.

    1. abynormal

      Good. something tells me our govt didn’t have it in mind for him to be addressing our constitution gaps: “appointed as the U.N.’s special rapporteur in 2011 following strong advocacy by the United States to create the mandate. His mission to the United States will culminate in a report that will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council next year and will address gaps in First Amendment protections between U.S. law and policy and international standards.”

  37. Jim Haygood

    Fifteen years — is that a long time? From CNN:

    Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the “28 pages” report will be posted online soon.

    “The House Intelligence Committee will get the redacted report today or tomorrow,” Schiff said. “The Senate and House intel committees should then give the formal go ahead to release the report since they originally produced it.”

    For most of the past 15 years, the few Members of Congress who actually read the 28 pages weren’t even allowed to take notes.

    Meanwhile, Congress has funded wars and spent trillions on security and defense, without even knowing all the available facts.

    How reckless and irresponsible can they get?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Ding, ding, ding — the bell has rung for recess!

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is out for a seven-week recess.

      The House never did a budget, a major embarrassment.

      Done and signed into law — the bison is now the official mammal of the United States.

      I know — sounds like a parody. But it’s not.

      1. cwaltz

        Personally I think we should just demote them to naming park benches, national animals and congratulating the individuals tasked with protecting their sheltered backsides. It’s safer for the rest of us that way. When they are “accomplishing things” it usually means Joe and Jane Average are about to be screwed over.

  38. robnume

    Were I arguing for Ms. Carlson in court I’d certainly point out to the presiding jurist that Mr. Ailes was acting as an individual person when sexually harassing Ms. Carlson and that as such, the incident had nothing to do with her employment contract, therefore, the contract and its arbitration clause are moot points in this particular instance.

  39. norm de plume

    ‘Labour donor to legally challenge Jeremy Corbyn’s automatic inclusion on leadership ballot’

    With enemies like this, who needs friends? To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, etc etc

    What with the awesomely undemocratic moves to rule out recently registered members unless they pay a significant fee, the Blairites are kicking more own goals than the Corbynistas are managing to score.

  40. Dark Matters

    CIA Director John Brennan should be well aware that Saudi Arabia and other influential segments of the the Islamic community likely have ideas quite inconsistent with his suggestion: “The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

    That quote is from an Explanatory Memorandum that was discovered during the Holy Land Foundation trial, which exposed many of the Brotherhood’s efforts and programs in America. Notably, although CAIR, the high-profile Council on American Islamic Relations, was declared to be an unindicted co-conspirator in this trial in 2006, they continue to promote Brotherhood interests. Interestingly, in 2011, CAIR sent a letter
    to then Deputy Director of Homeland Security, none other than John Brennan himself, objecting to the FBI training which profiled Islamic fundamentalists with radical terrorists, on the grounds that such training promoted Islamophobia.

    Brennan and the administration obliged. Security failures caused by this compliance have been documented by whistleblowers Steven Couglin and Philip Haney, as well as other independent investigators such as Robert Spencer. (Quarantine warning: don’t read what they have to say if you fear intellectual contamination by Islamophobes).

    Also in 2011, Hillary Clinton signed on for US in the UN for the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights. Its final Article 25 states: “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.” No Doubt Huma Abedin, Hillary’s aide whose parents are editors of a Muslim Brotherhood Publication, offered valuable assistance in this endeavor. But the point is that Article 25 undercuts any objection of Brennan’s about Sharia practices in Saudi Arabia.

    Since “moderate” members of Islam are often silenced by social intimidation, or persecuted outright by ISIS or Islamic regimes, their numbers are unclear, their influence is limited, and their plight unenviable. So while moderates have my sympathy, my worries are with the militants.

    After all this history, with Brennan so near its center, his recent statement comes across as mind-numbingly naive. Here is yet another example where difficult decisions are called for, to be guided by open discussion and considered action. Instead we find inexplicable incompetence and/or corruption entwined in an emotional morass of inaction, covered by a lather of impotent PC anguish and hand-wringing. We’re being treated to a lot of that these days.

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