Links 7/19/16

For 90 years, lightbulbs were designed to burn out. Now that’s coming to LED bulbs. BoingBoing (Dr. Kevin)

A Bizarre New Zika Infection in Utah Atlantic (resilc)

Abort, Retry, Fail – Billionaire Bill Gates Opines, Sans Evidence, on … the Efficacy of Hepatitis C Treatment? Health Care Renewal


Housing is key to post-Brexit Britain Financial Times

Brexit could cut London house prices by more than 30%, says bank Guardian

German central bank: Economy should grow despite Brexit CNBC

Brexit ‘worse than Lehman’ for top UK finance execs CNN

Frankfurt tries to tempt the bankers fleeing a post-Brexit Britain Guardian

Scots cannot veto Brexit: May Australian (subscription only). The reverse of Nicola Sturgeon’s claim yesterday.

Germany’s Central Bank Urges Reforms to Euro Area Governance Wall Street Journal

Italy rescues Veneto Banca after EU bailout plea fails Financial Times

EU Approves $166 Billion Liquidity Guarantee for Italy Banks Bloomberg. Not to a substitute for bailouts

Independent report: The Seven Errors of IMF in Greek Program Keep Talking Greece


The China Debate Money & Banking

It’s raining helicopter money in China MacroBusiness

Raw Data: The US Trade Deficit ex China ex Oil Kevin Drum, Mother Jones. Suggests picture is worse than that, since Chinese companies overinvoice to evade capital controls.

China’s yuan slips to new 5-1/2-year low, state banks sell dollars CNBC

Aboard US Carrier, Cambodian Brass Survey South China Sea VOA. Lambert: “Cambodia closest to US in ASEAN.”


Turkey government seemed to have list of arrests prepared: EU’s Hahn Reuters (Bill B)

Turkey Feature: Erdogan Pledges Purge of State Institutions EA WorldView (resilc)

Turkey’s response to the coup could herald a permanent break with the West Telegraph (Sid S)

The H-Bombs in Turkey New Yorker

Merkel tells Erdogan death penalty not compatible with EU membership Reuters (resilc)


Iraqi Shi’ite Cleric Tells Followers to Target US Troops AntiWar

Misinvoicing of commodities costs billions to developing world Financial Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

USG Wants Law to Require US Companies to Disclose Data to Foreigners… /@techdirt @cryptomeorg (guurst)

Why Google wants your medical records BBC


Bernie Sanders will launch organizations to spread progressive message USA Today

Giving the Thumbs Down on the Democratic Platform OpEd News (Phil U). A report from a delegate to the platform committee

Republican convention puts down ‘Never Trump’ revolt Des Moines Register

Congressman Steve King: whites aided civilization more than any ‘sub-groups’ Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Republican National Convention: Trump introduces wife Melania, who says ‘Donald will get things done’ Washington Post. Lambert: “No crazier than usual.”

The Trump-Pence logo is undeniably erotic. Can it be accidental? Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

We’re going to win so big,’ Trump tells GOP convention crowd Cleveland Dispatch

Sweet: Getting to know Donald Trump Chicago Sun-Times

Voters deserve responsible nationalism not reflex globalism Larry Summers, Defend Democracy. The neoliberals are getting nervous.

There Will Be No Second American Revolution: The Futility of an Armed Revolt Rutherford Institute (Chuck L). As we and quite a few members of the commentariat have been saying for some time…

BARTENDERS have a more dangerous job than cops h/t @VanguardVivian @ninjaeconomics

​Peru’s Elections May Signal What’s Ahead for the United States in November Nation (Sid S)

Ailes’ future in the balance at Fox News Financial Times

Anthem-Cigna Deal: Seeking Merger Approval, Anthem Makes Major Donations To State Political Groups David Sirota, International Business Times

Honeywell Internal Email Shows Airplane Boom Time Over, More Layoffs Coming Michael Shedlock

Why Central Banks and Markets Are Getting Out of Sync Wall Street Journal (margarita). The whole premise that central banks should be attentive to financial markets, which was Greenspan’s fixation, is what got us into this mess….

Class Warfare

Exclusive: U.S. and Chinese labor groups collaborated before China Wal-Mart strikes Reuters (EM)

Hundreds Sleeping On Queens’ Street For Shot At Plumbers Union Program CBS (resilc)

Mass Incarceration Is Making Infectious Diseases Worse Atlantic (resilc)

Why U.S. Companies Suddenly Love Workers Atlantic. Resilc; “Comic section.”

Antidote du jour. Margarita: “Peacocks are mascots for the Slovak spa town of Piešťany.”

pea family links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Steve C

      I told someone the other day I thought a gun served the same purpose to an NRA type as a peacock feather, a gaudy display.

    2. fresno dan

      speaking of iridescent birds

      So I don’t know how they see things when they’re flying, but I know when I’m sitting at my monitor with a feeder right outside the window, they’re giving me the evil eye, staring at me as if they’re saying give us some more of the white powder (in liquid form) decrepit old man…
      There’s a half dozen feeders, but they all have to squabble over the same one…

      1. Steve H.

        Wonderful! Wonderful birds, wonderful experiment.

        As far as I know, they still have not been bred in captivity. In my youth, I spoke with a kind person at the Lincoln Park Zoo about that. I probably wanted an iridescent ioun stone. Nowadays they’d just use a quadricopter. But what could be cooler than a bonded hummingbird as a guardian?

        1. different clue

          I remember several decades ago being at the big zoo in Philadelphia. That zoo had a smallish walk-through “hummingbird building/room” with many different kinds of hummingbirds being kept alive in there. I remember seeing a hummingbird sitting on a nest on a branch on one of the little trees in that hummingbird room. I don’t know if that nest-sitting bird ever produced any young or not. But Philadelphia Zoo might be the people to ask if there are any records that it did. And if any other hummers have ever bred in captivity.

      2. Steve H.

        All politics is local.

        The article seems focused on right-wing militias, and specific to overthrowing ‘the’ government.

        For those more concerned about their own locus of control, there are many successful examples. Ecological niches where the risk/reward calculations mean the top-down controls just look elsewhere. Balkanization is a successful strategy. Pablo Escobar is a case of do’s and don’ts that has been studied. The favelas of Rio are about to get serious scrutiny. And the U.S. military pretty much skittered out of Somalia.

        As Simon Phoenix said: “See, I told the city, I said “Look, nobody comes down here.” Postmen figured it out. Policemen figured it out. But the goddamned bus drivers just wouldn’t listen.”

        1. Steve H.

          (sorry, comment earelephant hear, duplicate from below, I tried to kill it but like these dam fleas it just won’t squish)

      3. skylark

        My neighbor had the same problem. Lots of feeders but hummers having ‘swordfights’ over the same one.

      4. ambrit

        The flying jewels are finally showing up at our feeders here. No fights yet. Last year, about dusk, the air about our feeders on the front porch was full of miniature WW1 aerial dogfights. Curiously, Phyllis swears that she is seeing a different species of hummingbird this year, in addition to the usual Ruby throats. We have supposedly “solved” the territoriality problem by setting up three feeder spots at different places around the perimeter of the house.

          1. Cat's paw

            When we lived in New Mexico I set up a humming bird feeder right off the deck as I had seen them around. Just perfect for viewing and sure enough within a day or two we had one. However, she was not “friendly” at all which was cool at first b/c I had never seen humming bird duels before. After a while it was annoying though.

            She had a sixth sense; could be away all day, no sign of her whatsoever, a colorful male would show up to feed and she’d run him off within minutes of his arrival. Everyone once in a while she seemed to abide a random male at her feeder, but other females? Forget it. She was not a good sharer.

            Pro tip: if you live/hike/walk in known humming bird habitat wear a red shirt. You’ll attract fly-bys. So close that you can feel the hum of their wings as they realize at the very last second you are not actually the most giant, luscious flower they’ve ever seen…

            1. fresno dan

              Cat’s paw
              July 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

              I am pretty sure they are buzzing me for being too slow with the sugar juice, even without a red shirt. I’m hanging the feeder on a limb and they are alighting on one of the perches! They really are quite bold!

      5. polecat

        Just plant a bunch of flowering perennials, scattered around the abode, might allow for less confrontation……plus, you get a floral show too!

        i know….they’re hummers!

        1. fresno dan

          July 19, 2016 at 1:03 pm

          I just planted three trumpet vines. I have to say though, I remember that those things grew like weeds when I was a child – I guess it takes them longer to get established than I imagined…
          Plus, I have a half dozen lavender and a bunch of ….Oh, what do you call that? LANTANA – the second “L” flower threw me off – I like the lazy man’s flowers.

      6. Oregoncharles

        Once, when I was up on a ladder cleaning the gutter, one of them flew up, looked me straight in the eye from about 2 feet, then flew away.

        I suppose if I had a dagger on my face, I’d be pretty bold, too. They sound like little motors flying by.

        No feeders, just a lot of flowers.

  1. EndOfTheWorld

    Re: the Getting to Know Trump piece: “You see the Clinton-should-be-in-prison theme here.” I agree that she should be in prison. I hope Judge Sullivan will make her take the fifth on YouTube—soon. It’s good that there is still enough freedom of speech in the US that the republicans can casually wave “Hillary for Prison” signs and wear “Hillary for Prison” t-shirts. I myself have had a “Hillary Clinton for Prison” bumper sticker on my house for some time. It’s still hard to believe TPTB is just giving her a pass on her criminal acts.

    1. Bubba_Gump

      True she should be in jail, or have her security clearance revoked at minimum. However, this Sanders supporter is very very very nervous about the prospect of having Trump in the WH. I wish the Never Trump move yesterday had succeeded.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        I don’t understand why people are “nervous” about Trump. HRC is much more hawkish than Trump, who has stated he wants to turn Syria over to the Russians, which is common sense. Of course, like all politicians, he may do a complete one-eighty once elected, but he is saying he wants to be friends with the Russians. What exactly makes you nervous about Trump?

        1. Bob

          Hillary’s domestic policy would likely be better for women, especially regarding abortion rights. As a Hoosier, I’m glad we won’t have him as our governor for a second term. But as VP he really is just a heartbeat away from the presidency. And he would clearly be worse on both domestic and international policy. Please, no more ultrareligious Presidents.

          1. Bob

            (should have reread my post…meant to say “glad we won’t have Pence as our governor for a second term”).

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              I guess Trump had to throw a bone to the republican party bigshots, but the veep slot is a very big bone, as you point out. That was bad, but Trump himself has been liberal on abortion. But they have to have some kind of a unified show at the convention. AFTER the convention Trump should go back to speaking his mind, which is interesting and gets him free press sometimes.

          2. NYPaul

            Donald Trump is surrounded by intelligent, attractive, women in his family, and many in his businesses. From what I’ve gleaned they all seem to be quite independent in their thinking, and I don’t detect any forces from above attempting to suppress their ambitions. What a candidate says in his/her primary race, hopefully, has little to do with how they will govern.

            As to the “doomsday” prophesies we’ve seen bandied about, let me just say, I’m a lifelong New Yorker who’s followed The Donald for many, many years. I’ve even been in the same room with him negotiating real estate deals. Nothing ever gave me the feeling that he’s a suicidal maniac bent on self destruction. “I’m a lover, not a fighter” is a more appropriate meme for him than is “Dr. Strangelove.”

            Iraq, Syria, Libya, Honduras, Haiti, Egypt/Muslim Brotherhood/ISIS, are just a few of the disasters directly associated with Mrs. Clinton’s “vast foreign affairs experience.”
            With the NeoCon advisors she’ll surround herself with as President we’ll have a real existential, world obliteration to look forward to. Can there be any misinterpreting her inexplicable taunting of Russia & China?

            Thanks, but, no thanks; I’d much rather take my chances with a potentially bombastic Donald than a sure-thing Hillary.

          3. Dave

            The remaining women who have not been vaporized and are dying of third degree burns or radiation poisoning in a Hillary Clinton caused war with Russia, probably won’t have abortion rights on their mind.

            1. harry

              After the nuclear war, I think Hillary will never have her willingness to wipe out all life on earth to avoid backing down to the ex soviet menace questioned again.

        2. James Levy

          What makes me nervous about Trump are his climate change denial, tax cut proposals, his balanced budget proposals, his obvious desire to target Muslim Americans, and his statements about torture and killing the families of suspected terrorists. When you add in the way we’ve all seen him speak to a Mexican reporter and a handicapped person, his bizarre lies about Ted Cruz’s dad being involved in the assassination of JFK, and his list of possible Supreme Court appointments, it all adds up to one awful candidate.

          1. jgordon

            Oh. Well what makes me nervous about Hillary is that she is a bloodthirsty psychotic lunatic who could end all life on earth. And lest you think I’m overstating the case, there aren’t many people here who’d argue with any if that, even in these parts where people are particular about rhetorical accuracy.

            1. Aumua

              Repeating something (that we should vote for Trump because Clinton is going to destroy the Earth) over and over and over and over doesn’t make it any more true. And now there seem to be more people around here repeating it over and over and over and over, but that still doesn’t make it any more true. It just makes it louder.

              I’m curious to know where this particular meme is coming from, actually. Besides from Clinton’s own actions I mean. She is no prize, I know, but this is definitely a ‘talking point’ of some opposition to her.

          2. clarky90

            I am a father and grandfather living on the other side of the World (NZ). I like people, even if I do not agree with them, when I sense that they are good-hearted, big hearted people. I avoid, like the plague, sociopaths, even when they are nice and friendly (They usually are) and say the “correct” things. They are travelling a path with no heart.

            I do not agree with Donald Trump on everything, but I like him. I think his heart is in the right place. He seems like an immensely sociable, friendly person to me.

            Which brings me back to my two darling grand children.

            The USA is intent on goading the Russians AND the Chinese into a nuclear conflagration. It is a relentless bullying, humiliation by the USA. Now they are attempting to exclude the Russians from the Olympics. A nuclear war will throw the entire ecosystem of Earth into disarray. Much of all life will die or evolve. The climate will change a lot (nuclear winter).

            Hillary Clinton gives me the heebeegeebees. I think she is a dangerous sociopath.
            “Organisational sociopaths: rarely challenged, often promoted. Why?”

            It is obvious (to me), that Hillary is attracting other sociopaths, from the Democratic Party, from the Republican Party to her call. She is surrounded by them. They are itching for nuclear mayhem.

            Which brings me back again and again and again to my grandchildren

            1. clinical wasteman

              An immensely friendly, sociable person like John Key?
              I don’t mean to start commenting now on the US election — and I agree entirely about Clinton and the actual end of the world (which I’d probably countenance before ever voting for her) — but Clarky, I was raised in NZ in the 70s/80s and I remember day-to-day teenage dread of Nuclear Winter, but I also remember David Lange spouting nice nuke-free sentiments while Waihopai/Five Eyes stayed in place and Douglas/Prebble ran lab tests on hyperthatcherism. As a 13-year-old No Tour zealot (excuse the local references, everyone else) I was as charmed by Lange as I’m not by the real estate guy in NY or the Merrill Lynch guy in Wellington, but the point is: personal ‘charm’, so what? Lange seems to have died distraught at what he presided over, and a vote for Trump or Key tells nonwhite US residents or, say, DPB beneficiaries that you think the candidate’s Nice Guy status outweighs — respectively — his proposal that those people Go Die or his attempt to starve them into it. Sure, Trump’s statements to that effect are only symbolic so far (whereas Key’s sexual-economic policing is real and beyond despicable), but that sort of a vote still implies having to explain to the people directly threatened why you happen to know those threats don’t really matter.

              1. clarky90

                Greetings CW from NZ. Norman Kirk, NZ PM 1972-1974 was a big hearted, sociable, friendly politician.

                “He was the fourth Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. Kirk had a reputation as the most formidable debater of his time and once famously said that people don’t want much, just “Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for””

                I cried tears of joy when Obama was elected 8 years ago. Now I cringe, listening to all the beautiful things that Michelle promised her hubby would deliver, but he never did.

                I pray to God that Donald Trump is a Norman Kirk, not a John Key.

        3. habenicht

          Here is another reason Trump is a better choice for president:

          If he were elected president and began to drift too far off of “what is appropriate”, there would be all sorts of outrage from the left for the mere fact that he is a republican engaging in outrageous acts.

          A big problem if Hillary Clinton is elected (and the same is true of Obama) is that the left will buy whatever excuse is used by a democratic president when they engage in the same or worst “inappropriate” acts. In this case the democrats rationalize the bad behavior when originated (or continued) by democrats and essentially legitimize the “inappropriate” acts.

          I kinda recall that Greenwald had several articles about this regarding drones, endless foreign wars, torture. Conniptions from the left when Bush did it, but resigned acquiescence when Obama did it.

          So from this standpoint, I think Hillary is much more dangerous because she is so “disarming” and can get away with so much more.

    2. afisher

      The problem, as some here seem to ignore is what comes with Trump, which will be a GOP Senate and House. Don’t want Social Security – okey doke.
      Don’t want Medicare – you got it
      Privatize VA – done
      Appoint SCOTUS to overturn Woman’s Right and EPA – not a problem.
      Eliminate all LGBT rights – done, better yet, GOP will attempt to make these people guilty of some crime.

      Where was it yesterday: Mises institute – let’s privatize the Police, just like all the private contractors doing the DOD jobs.

      And I am not a HRC fan, but neither am I willing to commit suicide.

      1. For Fawkes Sakes

        And how is the neo-liberal wing of New Democrats working to preserve this laundry list of progressive ideals? They hold sit ins in support of Orwellian police states these days.

        The SCOTUS argument? You are aware of the Lochner era, are you not? Wouldn’t HRC and her like return us to an anti-labor America? We are well on our way with Kagan, aren’t we? She may support the right to choose, but where does she stand on maternity leave?

        Eliminate all LGBT rights? As a proud gay man, I am less interested in being able to marry, than I am in feeding the hungry children and elderly in my community.

        Privatization? That’s a bipartisan issue.

        Choosing identity politics is also a form of suicide. Albeit, a suicide managed by the DNC.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I’ve not seen any indication that the Dems including the present Oresident have done squat to rein in the neoliberal oligarchy. Seems to me most are looters too.

        1. James Levy

          Correct, to a point, but if you have Trump combined with a Republican House and Senate, well, as Jolson used to say, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”.

            1. ilporcupine

              I am sure with you, here. I cringed every time some “pundit” was pontificating about our “do-nothing” congress. I think I prefer the status quo to the “solutions”, at least for the last several decades. Besides, the worst legislation is being passed unimpeded at state and local level, already.
              Doomed, I tellya.

          1. cwaltz

            You probably won’t have a Republican House and Senate though.

            The GOP has to defend 24 seats, the Democrats have 10.

            Out of those 34 seats, 11 have been considered toss ups. Only 1 of those toss ups is a Democrat, Harry Reid’s seat.

            Additionally as of now the Democrats are polling well enough in Wisconsin and Illinois to be considered the predicted winners.


        2. sd

          That’s the issue. Obama came into office WITH a Democratic majority. He’s leaving WITH a Republican majority. Feature, not a bug.

      3. jrs

        We get a lot of these probably with RIABN (Republican in all but name) HIllary. Social Security probably on the cutting block (don’t want that? Well as far as POTUS Bernie was far and away the best chance to stop it, that’s one reason Bernie winning actual mattered… but that’s all over now for now, the real hope was lost).

        The police at this point have become a problem regardless of privatization or not (we already have private prisons, weren’t the Clinton’s getting private prison money for awhile until they stopped?). With prisons already somewhat privatized with guaranteed occupation rates,private law enforcement would just be the cherry on top. Actually I don’t think even most libertarian positions call for private law enforcement but profiteers call for whatever is profitable, and whose pocket Mises Institute is in now I don’t know.

      4. Dave

        I will take my chances with Trump, thank you!

        Social Security Privatizer Larry Fink of Giant Asset Manager BlackRock is a Clinton Treasury Secretary in Waiting
        Posted on March 3, 2016 by Yves Smith

        David Dayen at The Intercept has ferreted out that Larry Fink, CEO of the giant asset manager BlackRock, is keen to become Treasury Secretary, and has positioned himself accordingly. He’salready has such a strong influence on Hillary’s Clinton’s thinking to the degree that even Andrew Ross Sorkin has taken note of how she closely she echoes on financial service industry matters: “…“could have been channeling Laurence D. Fink.” This might seem to be a happy coincidence were not it not for the way Fink has curried favor with as having strong ties to Treasury by virtue of having hired former staffers. Per Dayen:

        Fink’s most telling hire, however, is Cheryl Mills, arguably Clinton’s most trusted confidante. Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, was deputy White House counsel in the Bill Clinton administration, and is on the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation. Fink hired Mills for the BlackRock board of directors in October 2013, in what observers mused was a ploy to insinuate himself into the Clinton inner circle.

          1. aab

            I’m clinging to the fact that Trump took support for TPP out of the platform and put in reinstating Glass Steagall. Not that the Republican Party would ever reinstate Glass Steagall, mind you. But it does seem to me that if Trump really does run on stopping TPP and he wins, that might scare enough Republicans to refuse to carry Obama’s water in the lame duck.

            Given that Hillary clearly wants more wars, Social Security cutting, militarized police, et al., if Trump’s election means no TPP, that seems like real, positive progress to me. Right? Right? (Wipes forehead while hyperventilating.)

      5. hunkerdown

        afisher, are you apologizing for your own active role in constraining our choices to your corporation or the other? If not, why should I not hope Trump destroys every special interest in your senile misfit coalition?

        1. James Levy

          Yes, those misfits on Medicare ought to all be left to die. And the LGBT folks, railroad cars to camps in Utah–gas the misfits!

          My, you are one Tough Guy Leftist, aren’t you.

          1. hunkerdown

            James, are you defending clientelism? aka FUIGM?

            Given the utter disdain for those outside the Democratic Party, why don’t you tell me why I should help them take the public interest from us? What part of “collaborator” are you trying to circumlocute, here?

  2. fresno dan

    BARTENDERS have a more dangerous job than cops h/t @VanguardVivian @ninjaeconomics

    As well as 17 other occupations (who knew collecting garbage was so dangerous???) – but the narrative of our hero garbage men necessitating that we cut down our wasteful packaging and generate less trash…..unimaginable. And of course, improvements in OSHA are also unimaginable.
    But the narrative of ever more law enforcement for an ever more dangerous world…sure generates eyeballs for the TV…

    I actually wonder how many videos of people dying at mundane jobs there are – funny how these occupational deaths are NEVER discussed and NEVER shown.

    1. jrs

      well if you show that work is literally killing people which it sometimes is (sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly) then people might demand OSHA or even a start talking about a BIG.

  3. fresno dan

    Why Central Banks and Markets Are Getting Out of Sync Wall Street Journal (margarita). The whole premise that central banks should be attentive to financial markets, which was Greenspan’s fixation, is what got us into this mess….

    For people who supposedly believed in “markets” they seem never to have heard of such things as “Profit and LOSS” or “Moral HAZARD”

    Is or is not the central bank model to subsidize the wealthiest, most imprudent, and criminal people in society, i.e., financiers? What is most disconcerting is that they GENUINELY seem to believe that this should work….

  4. ProNewerDeal

    It’s been over 3 days since the redacted “28 pages” Sep 11 report was “dumped” on Fri Jul-15.

    Is even 1 of the 535 Congresspersons asking for a judicial investigation into the named Saudi nationals in the 28 pages accused of financing or operationally supporting the Sep 11 hijackers?

    Can we get at least that, if not the elite Saudi Gov’t officials accused by imprisoned “Al Qa3da Bookeeper” Zacarias Moussaoui, including the current Saudi king.

    “The silence is deafening”. I can’t take any US Pol talking about the War on Terra TM, or even “defending Murica” or pro-MIC spending advocates, seriously if they ignore this issue.

    US BigPols & BigMedia seemingly have no sense of proportion or perspective.

      1. Steve H.

        That’s delightful! Also marvelous how they inserted Michelle and Donald dancing into the Rick Astley video they embedded!

      2. Pat

        So when is she is going to be accused of plagiarizing Astley and the songwriter?

        Or are the cliches just most obvious when they have become part of a joke.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is really no freedom of speech.

        They tell you you can’t use bad words. And enforce that via peer pressure.

        They then tell you you can’t use bad grammar. Why not? Not giving up their nastiness, they insult and defame you in order to make you give up your bad grammar.

        Naturally, they demand that you can’t use clichés without their permission.

        “You can’t say that.”

        “You can’t say it that way.”

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          MLTPB, who is “they”? Peer pressure is much different than legal stricture. We still have more freedom of speech than most countries. If you’re talking about “in the workplace”, then that’s different—the employer has the right to lay down some rules, and fire you if you break them.

          If you don’t like the peer pressure, you may need to find some different peers.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Sorry, it took a while…hard to recall what had been long repressed.

                Teachers, parents, siblings, friends, morally superior people, etc.

      4. Skippy

        Used Rick Astley’s song not a fortnight ago at Macrobusiness and find it quite apropos…. you just have to keep the – Less than Zero – to the periphery of your vision thingy….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. the prodigy of the 80s having a flash back – ????? – I don’t think Julian’s Death will be so melancholy this time…

      1. Carolinian

        But I think we can pretty much assume Melania didn’t write it. The MSM frenzy over this silly business merely demonstrates why we despise them.

        Elsewhere in the sober and serious WaPo: Kardashian v Taylor Swift.

        1. James Levy

          If Clinton did it, you’d be all over her.

          Excuses for stupid behavior we don’t need.

          1. cwaltz

            Not really.

            At this point most of us would not be surprised that Clinton was engaging in scripted behavior. We pretty much expect it. It’s not like most at this point believes she even knows how to be genuine.

          2. aab

            You see no difference between the immigrant wife of the candidate for whom English is not her first language and who has never claimed to be a writer or intellectual, versus the actual candidate who was valedictorian of her Seven Sister college, worked as a lawyer, has been in public life for decades, and is claiming to be the most prepared candidate for President in history?


            As someone who watched Hillary Clinton literally word for word plagiarize speech elements, talking points, and actual tweets from Bernie Sanders for months without a peep from the courtier press, I found the pile-on over Melania Trump really distasteful. I didn’t think Hillary Clinton should be expected to bake cookies as First Lady, either. Some commentary on what this might mean about the behind the scenes process, fine. But this gleeful mockery instead of, oh, I don’t know, covering the Saudi 28 pages, or the newest bombings from Obama, or even focusing on Steve King’s vile racism — but they apparently downplayed King, because he uncomfortably demonstrates that Trump isn’t some new, greater evil in the Republican Party, which can’t be discussed since all these people party together and summer together and golf together. So let’s gang up on the trophy wife. That’s not misogynist at all.

      2. bronco

        I’m having trouble believing that Melania Trump would rickroll herself. In fact I’m having trouble believing she knows there is such a thing as rickrolling . Rickrolling was a thing about 3 internet generations ago .

        My money is on a speechwriter that tried to make her look stupid who couldn’t resist embedding a rickroll as a self-indulgent pat on his own back .

        1. ilporcupine

          I am genuinely curious about this, as it is beyond my experience, can you all enlighten me?
          I have been connected to the “Internet” since around 1993, and only heard of Rickrolling during the second Obama term. Most of these “internet” memes/tropes/whatever seem to be more of the “social media” than of the “internet”. I have never heard most of it until years later, because I do not subscribe to social media platforms. Unless you visit “herd” websites, where would you even hear of these things? If your internet use is, like mine, all “pull” and no “push”, these things will never enter your sphere.
          Sometimes, I feel that despite many hours spent online, all the stuff which is ” common knowledge” never enters my world, at all.

          1. ilporcupine

            Just to clarify, I AM aware Rickrolling was primarily an Email phenomenon. Still, if your email contacts were not of the sort who send prank emails, how would you ever have known of this?

    1. sd

      There is too much blatant media manipulation going on and I’m starting to instantly knee jerk and doubt what’s being reported. Is anyone else experiencing a similar reaction?

      I read,numerous headlines about plagiarism but had difficulty finding a side by side comparison of speeches. I settled on FOX who I expected to ignore the plagiarism accusations but weighed in also.

      “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son,” Trump said.

      And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

      Michelle Obama, on August 25, 2008:

      “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

      And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and to pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

      We were stuck picking up our car from the mechanic who had CNN on in the waiting room. So we got to watch some of the RNC. Scott Baio was interviewed, and quite honestly, made almost the same remarks and hit the same points – unscripted. “Work hard, struggle, values” struck me as a Republican talking point (before the plagiarism accusations started flying around).

      So I am wondering how many other political speeches use the same basic premise and structure?

      1. ambrit

        I’m with you on the cerebral degradation the being assaulted with ‘cable news’ feeds causes. That’s one of the reasons we got rid of cable over a decade ago. The manipulative bent of the ‘official’ news was always there. The difference now is the blatancy of the ‘paternal guidance’ imposed. For the record, we were first ‘clued in’ to the evil underbelly of cable by watching Disney along with our children. Watching the obvious psychological indoctrination employed by the minions of ‘The Mouse Kingdom’ first alerted us to the pure evil of commercial broadcast and video. Weaning the children from the happy brainwashing of Mickey, Hillary and Miley et al was not easy.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I agree. This is silly. I’d need to look at the entire speech v the Michele Obama speech, but unless the entire structure or more than a handful of bromides resembled Michelle’s, this is just stretching for any grounds to throw mud at Trump.

      Plus the FT headline (and I assume other media outlets) accused Melania, when she didn’t write the speech. So it’s also off base to attack her, as opposed to the speechwriter, even if theres is a real beef here.

      1. DJG

        I suspect that where the plagiarism accusations come from is that the Democrats want to run the campaign based on condescension and snobbery. After the “success” of Bernie Bros as a meme, they now want to make it seem important that a candidate First Lady give a speech. (Suddenly, the Democrats are not concerned about her immigrant / multicultural credentials.)

        On the other hand, we all know that serving as First Lady is one of HRC’s claims to fame / competence. So one must have a competent First Lady who can deliver the foofaraw with real emotion and meaning.

        Sheesh. It’s the Dem Fan Club versus the Rep Fan Club. Where is Annette Funicello when we need her?

        1. Jess

          “Where is Annette Funicello when we need her?”

          Unfortunately, deceased, as of April 8, 2013. A victim of Multiple Sclerosis.

      2. barrisj

        Quick a.m. check of cable-“news” channels shows that CNBC, MSNBC, and CNN hitting the “plagiarism” angle hard, with FoxNews and FoxBusiness on to another round of Clinton/Obama perfidies stories…no surprise here.

        1. polecat

          Thank HeyZeuz I don’t have a TV to passively stare at !!!


          no wonder Americans, by large, are an ignorant bunch………

      3. NYPaul

        Of course it’s silly. My interpretation of plagiarism has always been associated with receiving monetary gain, or, it’s equivalence, without giving attribution to an original author. But, that’s just my street definition. The Grammar police may differ.

        So, Next time I’m out with friends, looking for a restaurant, and one of them suggests a place, can I still blurt out, “Nah, “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded?” Or, will I have to send a check to the Yogi Foundation?

      4. Anon

        Melania gave the typical yada-yada known as the Horatio Alger myth and the “American Dream” speech. Just how many ways can one word it?

      5. Elizabeth Burton

        In the last few days, the number of memes on Facebook with the semi-nude photos of Melania suddenly increased noticeably. There was one a few months back, but now there have been at least three; and all with the same slut-shaming theme that she’s not suitable to be first lady. And then, just in time to divert everyone’s attention from the civilians, mostly women and kids, who were slaughtered by US-backed militia in Syria, comes the Great Plagiarism Scandal.

        All of which has prompted women who have been screaming “misogyny” at the least criticism of HRC, even when based on verifiable facts, to go after this young woman like a pack of rabid wolverines. Not to mention attacking anyone who dares suggest they aren’t justified in doing so. The rote response to said criticism is “They’ve been attacking Michelle Obama for eight years,” which apparently means behaving like mean girls in the middle school playground is fine.

        I posted on Facebook I would be removing all reference to the alleged plagiarism, and within 15 minutes someone posted a link to that very subject as a comment. When I deleted it, and DM’d her to explain why, she accused me of saying she wasn’t informed (I gather because I said I had chosen not to engage in that discussion based on knowledge and research). And then she all but accused me of racism for not being properly chastened.

        So, my attempt to be courteous and explain why I’d removed the link was twisted into my condescending to her because she was a person of color. And my head hurts.

        1. low integer

          [Something about facebook, discussing politics, and a George Bernard Shaw quote that begins with “I learned long ago, never to…”]

  5. Code Name D

    Re: Sanders Institute
    Well I am not impressed.

    Granted, the USA Today article hardly contains enough information to make a true opinion. And in the world of activism, the line between politics and education is very blurred.

    “The Sanders Institute will help raise awareness of “enormous crises” facing Americans.”

    Raise awareness to who? To average Americans? They already know what the issues are. What they don’t know is how to solve these problems or how to get the government or the media to take these issues seriously. Hell, mispresenting the solutions is as much of a problem as the problems themselves.

    “The Our Revolution political organization will help recruit, train and fund progressive candidates’ campaigns. And a third political organization may play a more direct role in campaign advertising.”

    I am sorry, but this has already been tried and already has a record of failure. It’s practically a DNC scripted response to insure such “revolutions” never manage to acquire any real power, and even overtime are slowly taken over and integrated into the establishment support structure. Move-on and DFA are two such examples.

    What I fear is that when all is said and done, the only thing the Sanders Institute will be able to do is print a few pamphlets that candidates can hand out any time they shake hands with the voters, and maybe pass along some campaign funds. As if this is somehow a novel or innovative form of political reform.

    Here is what – at a minimum, needs to happen.

    One, have the ability to define, author, publish, defend, and maintain a “Progressive agenda.” To do so while adhering to strict academic standards. And to do so beyond the influence of corrupting agents such as the Democratic Party.

    Two, have the ability to communicate this platform with the general population and higher academia. The ability to internalize valid feedback and criticism of the platform. This information needs to be processed and submitted for the purpose of further maintaining and refining the platform.

    Three, have the ability author “legislative ready” bills for local, state, and federal governments to consider, and have resources made available to promote and defend said legislation at public hearings. This will also include “run ready” platforms which candidates and politicians can adopt.

    Four, have the ability to grade, endorse, reject, and constructively criticize both candidates and legislative agendas for compliance or opposition to said platform, and to do so in an objective and systematic manner. And to publish these findings.

    And five, have the ability to strategize, recruit, harness, and rapidly mobilize the general public (volunteers) for public activism and demonstrations to best advance the responsibilities of the previous four initiatives.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Count me as another one who isn’t impressed. However, it will be interesting to watch Our Revolution and Zack Exley’s Brand New Congress compete fight over the same donor pool.

      Recall that Exley is a former Sanders campaign staffer. He was the Zack in those Claire and Zack fundraising emails.

        1. Spring Texan

          Agree. I like the point about draft legislation being a possible direction, though. But yes it’s too early to tell.

          1. Eureka Springs

            Dennis Kucinich has draft legislation on all the Sanders issues in a few old boxes somewhere. That was one of the things which impressed me most when he ran for pres., every single issue he touched upon he had a draft bill… if it wasn’t already submitted. I’m sure he could help out the Sanders peeps with all the drafts they need in one afternoon.

            I always thought it was funny Sanders peeps didn’t even have a draft “party platform”.

    2. grizziz

      Thanks for the 5 points. I’ll offer them up at the Green Party convention and see if any lights go on.

    3. Binky

      Critique of points one and two: the academics sold out. See: Krugman.
      Three: absolutely right.
      Four: objective and systematic are not what builds passionate political organizations.
      Five: Cartman said to say there will be punch and pie. He’s not wrong on that point. Activism for its own sake loses to Netflix etc.

    4. Lambert Strether

      I like your points, and we’ll have to see the actual structures that are proposed (and beat on Sanders if they aren’t up to snuff). “Raising awareness” is the very essence of liberal virtue signalling. What gives me hope is that Sanders did run a policy-focused campaign.

    5. Patricia

      It’s early days. Plus USA Today.

      Good list of some essentials—would you be willing to send it on to them?

      I disagree about the public’s knowledge. Citizens know things are a mess and see the corruption, but have little idea about what’s what. Propaganda galore and accurate information is generally only found within the chaos of the internet. If we were reasonably knowledgeable, we wouldn’t so often vote against our interests.

      In a recent NC post on early 1900’s North Dakota*, Morris pointed to the importance of education. Even though the effort fell apart eventually, intellectual clarity remained and is still influencing public policy. We’re not talking academics, as such, but community learning. For eg, we are severely economically ignorant and need lots of Bill Black and Stephanie Kelton. We need NC site linked into a central hub.


      to add: community learning is nothing like “raising awareness”.

    6. JTMcPhee

      Looks like the Kochs and their pet ALEC are already hitting most of those benchmarks. With the added ability to buy legislators and regulators and other faux-legitimizers of fokk-the-mopes “policy.”

    7. Elizabeth Burton

      “Two, have the ability to communicate this platform with the general population and higher academia. The ability to internalize valid feedback and criticism of the platform. This information needs to be processed and submitted for the purpose of further maintaining and refining the platform.”

      And once again the arbiters of professionalism get to decide what’s best for the rest of us. We have enough “experts” defining the rules in the DNC. The whole point of a grassroots program is that it’s generated, you know, down at the grass roots. And assuming those people down there can’t manage to organize sufficiently to become a viable political force, is just as condescending as what we’ve had to deal with already.

      Action is already underway to recruit candidates for office. So is action to create programs to educate people on the political process and, sadly, perhaps even the basic knowledge of how our governments are supposed to work. Because what you have to keep in mind is there are a whole lot of otherwise educated young people who have never had a civics class, to whom until this year politics was boring, and whose knowledge of history has been diluted to the emphasize right-wing interpretations and ignore important matters like the labor movement.

      On the other hand, those who feel they have expertise might want to find out what’s going on and offer to pitch in. Otherwise, this is a bit like that thing everyone says every year at election time: If you didn’t vote, you don’t get to complain.

    8. Code Name D

      To whom it may interest; I have started a blog so that this can be further discussed and refined. Not to worry, I have been wanting to start this blog for a while now, this seemed like as good excuse as any to get started.

      If you want to discuses this further as the topic drops off the NC post list.


      Good list of some essentials—would you be willing to send it on to them?

      They have already been sent. This is a subject I have been pushing for years now and I have sent party representatives similar summaries in the past. But I have likely never gotten past the filters (No big, its just how it works.) But by all means, send them on and use them if you find them useful.

      I disagree about the public’s knowledge. Citizens know things are a mess and see the corruption, but have little idea about what’s what. Propaganda galore and accurate information is generally only found within the chaos of the internet. If we were reasonably knowledgeable, we wouldn’t so often vote against our interests.

      This is fairly close to what I said. A layperson is usually knowledgeable about their immediate situation , but tends to lack perspective on the larger picture. Academics tend to be knowledgeable about the big picture, but now about individual circumstances and their immediate consequences.

      One of the functions of a political party is to be the intermediary between the lay person and the academic to exchange knowledge and to help fill in the gaps in useful ways. I often describe it as a three sided table, with the layperson/citizen at one end, the technician/expert/academic/scientist at the second, and the politician/social worker/government agent at the third. The political party is the meeting place where the table itself can be found.

      As you said, if we were reasonably knowledgeable, we wouldn’t be voting against our own best interests. On the other hand, if the experts were like wise reasonably knowledgeable, we wouldn’t be in this fix in the first place.


      Looks like the Kochs and their pet ALEC are already hitting most of those benchmarks. With the added ability to buy legislators and regulators and other faux-legitimizers of fokk-the-mopes “policy.”

      Precisely. And yes, I am using think tanks such as ALEC as a starting point. And the ability to “buy” legislators is practically part of their mission statement. But the thing they do not do is use academic standers to righteously test and verify their information is accurate. In fact, the whole point of the think tank is to isolate itself from the academic standers usually insisted on by universities.

      Think tanks have been around for so long and have become so numerous that they have even established their own pseudo-academia, complete with “research”, computer models, “pear-reviewed” journals (better read as like minded idelogs), publications and white papers. In fact, must of this pseudo-academia is foundational to “classical” post-Keynesian economics and “identity politics” which informs Democratic political strategy.

      Elizabeth Burton

      And once again the arbiters of professionalism get to decide what’s best for the rest of us. We have enough “experts” defining the rules in the DNC. The whole point of a grassroots program is that it’s generated, you know, down at the grass roots. And assuming those people down there can’t manage to organize sufficiently to become a viable political force, is just as condescending as what we’ve had to deal with already.

      > Bangs head agents desk < Argh! Comments like these drive me crazy.

      No. Professionals are not deciding “what's best for us.” That is the main reason we are in our current state of affairs and is not what I am promoting here.

      The “experts” in the DNC are not actual experts. Hell, they barely qualify as scholars. As Steve Keen likes to say about Ben Bernanke, “He is not an expert in what cause the Great Depression. He is an expert in the neo-classical version of the Great Depression.”

      What “academics” get to “decide” is the our best understanding of the real observable world. There is the real world, which operates outside our control, and our ability to understand the rules by which that world operates. The better and more complete our understanding is, the better our decisions will be regarding our self governance. The real world is vast, complex, and frequently counter intuitive. So we need professional academics that specialize in the study of that world, and the testing of our conclusions to insure our understanding of that world is accurate. Bernanke is what you get when this fails to happen.

      What I am advocating is their inclusion in our political system to advise us, the citizen/layperson on the crafting of policy regarding our common governance.

      As I told Patricica, “A layperson is usually knowledgeable about their immediate situation , but tends to lack perspective on the larger picture. Academics tend to be knowledgeable about the big picture, but now about individual circumstances and their immediate consequences.” The degree of that knowledge and in which direction it primarily flows depends both on the subject and the question.

      For example, for education I suspect that the public would offer more information to the academic in regards to how our education system should be structured as well as its current difficulties. Indeed, most of public educations problems have little to do with the education system itself. They have to do with issues related to poverty, race, budget cuts, security, infrastructure, transportation, even nutrition.

      Case in point, teenage girls have been getting pregnant and having children sense time-immemorial, and yet our high schools still to be astonished this is an issue and integrate daycare for students more as an afterthought, if at all. And the Progressive's “solution” is to teach girls how to put condoms onto dill pickles. No, the problem is that some students need DAYCARE services so that their children can be cared for as they continue to take classes.

      However, you have the other side of the issue, such as climate change. This is where the “processionals” really do know what's best because they are the only ones that can even perceive the problem. That is not to say that the common person has nothing to say about the subject. But by its nature this is a global issue involving physics and chemistry that few understand. Here, the scientist has every right to lecture us on the issues. Their inflexibility is a direct reflection of the fact that physics is also inflexible.

      The decisions should still be in the hands of the people, but in terms of climate change at least, this is one area where the best decision would be to simply let the experts handle it as best as they can.

      But what this does NOT mean is that we have to surrender our skepticism to the experts. The whole point of being an academic is defending their conclusions. In fact, this what they spend the majority of their time doing, defending there conclusions against other academics – who score points for each academic conclusion they take down. Defending their conclusions from attacks from the general public should be child's play – if they are right. But its rarely that simple, debating these issues with the public is not the same as debating in a conference with peers. It's almost as if scientist and the layperson speak different languages. Hell, even the word “theory” means two different things.

      Again, this must be one of the primary functions of a political party, to serve as the translator between the two.

  6. Code Name D

    The Trump-Pence logo is erotic? And a big, giant “H” being penetrated by an arrow isn’t?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Not just erotic, UNDENIABLY erotic. No ambiguity here.

      Rumor has it that it was bill clinton who notified the troops of this obvious and egregious depravity. Can you imagine how tragic it would be for our great country to elect a president who is led around by his dick?

      1. ambrit

        I believe your metaphor is inexact. I would suspect, from what I have read about “Mr Oral Office” Bill, that his libido, exemplified by his turgid member, does the leading. If the NC commentariat’s general view that Mr Bill is a sociopath has merit, then the people around him, whether there is any connection to the appendage that is gripping his appendage or not, have no ‘agency’ and therefore exert absolutely no influence on his actions. Bills ‘Presidential stature’ is doing the leading, not the admonitional tugging would be manipulator.

    2. Roger Smith

      This whole thing was overblown from the start. An utterly pathetic display.

      If anyone else had said that about a different candidate they would have been punished for being “childish”.

      see how meaningless it is?

    3. sd

      I don’t understand why anyone finds the Trump Pence logo erotic. It screams toilet paper. “TP to clean up the sh*t.”

      Hillary Clinton’s logo breaks borders and is “a missile into the future”

      I like Sanders logo “riding a political wave”

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If one is egoistical, one sees ego in everyone.

      That is, one sees, manifested everywhere, what one’s obsessed with.

      In this particular case, we need to know more about the accuser.

      1. dots

        >> That is, one sees, manifested everywhere, what one’s obsessed with.

        The Law of the Instrument (Maslow’s Hammer)

        My vote for comment of the day!

    5. Optimader

      Looks more like an eastcoast clothing brand logo.
      Personally i would add a littke wavy to the stripes but maybe that would be more thread/ink?
      As far as HRC logo, i’m thinking I wonder if Bill came up with that witha more literal than erotic subconcious message?

      Further thought, I wonder if HRC will rejigger the impaled H logo to include reference to a running mate, or just stick with the OCD all about her theme?

      Speaking of OCD, and stylized flags

      1. DJG

        The Trump logo suffers from two problems:
        1. It was obviously done by committee and in haste. There were probably six Deciders, one of whom was waving around a swatch of cloth from his or her drapes for a color match. (Yes, I’ve heard stories of that but have not dealt with it first-hand.)
        2. There is no limit to middle-class dirty-mindedness. All of these upstanding citizens suddenly in a dither about sexuality. (See the Democrats’ furors about Melania Trump’s modeling fotos.)

        So you have a bunch of conservatives (who are not the most visually oriented in the world) sparring with a bunch of “liberals,” who can’t control the condescension.

        The rest of this year is going to be yumlicious, I say.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s time to move past their campaign logo to campaign song.

        They need a hummable tune.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The flight explains the disappearance of the bumblebee, and others insects similarly, I believe.

            Does this song (by bringing attention to the oppressed insects), plus dying his hair green, make Trump a green candidate?

      3. Jim Haygood

        Interlocking letter logos were wildly popular … a century ago.

        They are still the “heighth of fashion” among local plumbers, who like to create interlocking letters with their initials, often including a pipe wrench for good measure.

        Check out this baroque horror from the St. Louis Cardinals:

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What about the interlocking symbol for the modern Olympic Games?

          Anything there not suitable a Victorian period reader?

        2. optimader

          Interlocking letter logos were wildly popular … a century ago.

          I’m just guessing that some advisor ponce (son in law?) looked at his Singapore tailored bespoke shirt cuff while waiting for the catered lunch?

      1. optimader

        An H impaled with an arrow and a P w/ a T staked through it is what IC.
        Maybe this is a bit of a Rorschach test for the viewer.

          1. optimader

            nor did I mean to imply such…, Rorschach once removed.

            The most intriguing aspect of either logo to me is what was invoiced against them as professional service fees!
            Pathetically I would not be surprised if it cost the equivalent of a four yr scholarship in commercial graphics/industrial design for someone that actually knows what the fk they are doing

  7. JTMcPhee

    Nice selection of links today. These all seem to give Futilitarian, which I am well on the way to being one of, still more reasons to relax and glide along.

    I’d note that the piece on “no second American Revolution” missed making a mention of one piece of the lockdown net that I personally became familiar with. Known as “Garden Plot,” then REX84, now CONPLAN 2502, it’s the off the shelf plan to put US military and police assets into play when the mopes start getting bumptious. The rulers unlimbered it in 1968 to deploy the troops to stop the “insurrection” around the Chicago Democrat Convention. As a Troop in ’68, just back from Vietnam, assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Fr. Hood, TX, I and thousands of others were given brief riot control training and lined up to fly to O’Hare (another miserable ride in a C-130) and shoot some Hippies.

    Land of the Free, home of the Brave. Yeah, right.

    1. MtnLife

      Shooting at unarmed hippies is one thing but the article talked a lot about right wing militias which are often heavily comprised of veterans. Not only does this up their fighting prowess but also means active duty members will be that much less likely to shoot at their own and possibly defect (possibly after sabotage). It’s also easier to respond to a single incident. Would they have been shipping you to Chicago if there had been 3-5 incidents across Texas and every other state? We are taking about a military that can barely keep its current planes in the air. America’s war power is mostly based on our ability to supply our troops. America covers vast land distances making resupply a challenge – especially if you blow a few key bridges here and there. We can’t lockdown Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Vietnam, or any other tiny county (comparatively) and they are going to lock down the whole US? Long term, getting an outside supporter or denying outside resupply will probably determine the outcome along with whether or not daily life is interrupted (are people still going to work at the munitions factory?). The national guard being a factor is a crapshoot. Its members will either be part or the insurrection or quite likely quickly overwhelmed by the militias stocked with well trained veterans, especially in rural states like Montana, the Dakotas, Vermont, and Maine. I also think the triggering event will have a major effect on the outcome – a wiki leaks cable showing how the government is screwing Americans vs exit polls showing trump winning by 6% and Hillary then winning by 5%. One is the entire populace vs a polarized populace.

    2. Optimader

      Protestor composition was more compkwx than just hippies, although that may well be how it was characterized to you at Ft Hood.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I and the other troops who declined to obey those orders, and there were hundreds of us, pretty much all Vietnam vets, mostly black, knew pretty well the composition of the protesters, the alignment of forces, all that. Anyone wants to do some research on US troop mutinies could look at

        We mopes can hope that the all-volunteer military, despite all the indoctrination the troops get and the selection process that brings them into the “service,” will also say “Sir,NO SIR!”

        1. Optimader

          Iirc there was a national guard instruction toshoot to kill, as well as the more commonly known Daley order to CPD.

          In the protester crowd there were some prtty seriously asshly folk as well

          1. JTMcPhee

            Some of those asshly folks were agents provocateur.

            We humans are just fokked as a general matter. And we 2nd Armored troops were to have live ammo, and “by whatever means…”

    3. optimader

      assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Fr. Hood, TX,
      BTW.. as for me, I was assigned to a Bresslers Ice Cream shop to lick a cone of orange sherbet after a day of heroic swimming at the local public pool.
      I sat there in a funk as a preteenager contemplating the commuter train station…. I really wanted to go downtown to see the hippy chicks. :o/

    4. Oregoncharles

      Revolutions succeed, when they do, because the security forces either switch sides or stand aside – Bolivia was a recent example. You notice the army wasn’t much of a factor in the French Revolution. The “scepter was rolling in the gutter.” Fully functioning governments don’t get overthrown.

      Unfortunately, last I heard, the US military was dominated by religious right and right-wing types. Still, they’re basically proles, so appeals to family self-interest might do the job, once things get to that level.

  8. HBE

    Rutherford Institute article.

    That a bunch of armed “militia” could ever challenge any government let alone the militarized USG is the ultimate fantasy. It cows those armed from doing anything to actually challenging the status quo with a false sense of power, that as long as they have a gun they have the power to shift the tables.

    The history of guerrilla movements shows that they require outside assistance (us revolution, Vietnam etc) or the support of the military. To think that a “militia” alone, armed with AR 15s could ever do much of anything to challenge any government is delusional.

    It makes a subset of the population feel they have some control and power over larger things when in fact they have none.

    This is not aimed at gun owners but those that believe a gun grants them any control at the macro level.

    1. Steve H.

      All politics is local.

      The article seems focused on right-wing militias, and specific to overthrowing ‘the’ government.

      For those more concerned about their own locus of control, there are many successful examples. Ecological niches where the risk/reward calculations mean the top-down controls just look elsewhere. Balkanization is a successful strategy. Pablo Escobar is a case of do’s and don’ts that has been studied. The favelas of Rio are about to get serious scrutiny. And the U.S. military pretty much skittered out of Somalia.

      As Simon Phoenix said: “See, I told the city, I said “Look, nobody comes down here.” Postmen figured it out. Policemen figured it out. But the goddamned bus drivers just wouldn’t listen.”

    2. Roger Smith

      Thinking about it post read one thought that occurred to me: Just look at how much the recent police murders have been overblown in relation to the murders (and long term socioeconomic [racial] inequality) that sparked them. From my observations killing police is far more of a problem then the police killing civilians.

      Everyone is being trained and refortified to ignore causal relations and dynamic thinking. “It’s all their fault!” “No, it’s theirs!” “Wait a second! What about those guys over there!?”

    3. Unorthodoxmarxist

      Any successful revolution would require either A.) the disintegration of the state and its armed forces coupled with (likely armed) uprising from the population or B.) a portion of the state’s armed forces breaking with it and supporting the popular revolution.

      This has been the only logical route for more than a century. See the Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese revolutions as examples among others.

    4. sid_finster

      Militias seem to have done pretty well at challenging the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq, to name but two.

      1. inode_buddha

        Vietnam. That is why I think I can safely ignore the defeatist arguments about how a successful armed revolution is impossible in the US. Vietnam shows that it is *very* possible, and very posssibly successful.

        1. Anon

          The peasant farmers of Vietnam endured massive death and decimation (~1-4million killed). I don’t see that kind of fortitude in the American citizen. Turn off the electricity and limit food and folks will stop resisting immediately.

          1. Jake

            Leave the electricity and food off long enough and they will toughen up, at least the survivors will. A lot depends on the carrot.

      2. nowhere

        I suppose if that is the metric then, sure, spending all of your time moving from cave to cave under the constant threat of a drone attack can be successful. I don’t think this in any way is a challenge to the State or makes wresting the levers of power away from the PTB.

  9. dan

    Re: the futility of armed revolt. I think the Whitehead piece, and this general perspective, demonstrates a basic lack of understanding regarding what advocates of violence have been saying for a long time (cf., for example, works like Ward Churchill’s “Pacifism as Pathology”, Peter Gelderloos’ “How Nonviolence Protects the State” and “The Failure of Nonviolence”, and Derrick Jensen’s “Endgame”, but also histories that explore the use of violence in resistance to the American State — books like “We Will Shoot Back” and “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns made the Civil Rights Movement Possible”). That is, no one from these movements thinks that anyone can wage a successful war against the police state. However, they do think that violence can be used effectively as a tactic at certain opportune moments or places in order to advance certain agendas (Jensen’s agenda is particularly pessimistic but not without its own logic: ie the American State, along with civilization itself, is doomed to collapse in a particularly disastrous manner; the longer this process takes, the more disastrous it will be; therefore, we should hasten this collapse through acts of violence so that, hopefully, the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t also produce the end of life as we know it). However, amongst (relatively) more optimistic voices, violence is viewed as one tactic amongst many deployed by folks resisting state oppression. When used in this way, violence can end up strengthening the voices of those who take other positions within the resistance. Nonviolent actors, for example, receive a whole lot more credibility and attention and potential to create change, when there are violent actors. If violent actors are absent, nonviolent actors are easily ignored — the State would have cared a lot less about MLK and his talk about peace and love if other black folks weren’t also picking up guns (this is where advocates of violence tend to get frustrated with the dogmatism of pacifists because those favouring violence see that history reflects more success when a true diversity of tactics is being deployed). And, of course, there are other one off acts of violence that, although not producing total victory, are still worthwhile. Churchill and Gelderloos both mention an uprising in one of the death camps during WWII. Ultimately, the uprising was crushed and everyone who participated killed, but before that happened the people had managed to damage and destroy buildings in the camp and this slowed the rate at which the camp was able to kill people. This is far from victory. But still (imo) a goal worth fighting for along the way.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      MLK’s underlying message was it was his way or violence was inevitable. It didn’t make his victory “I have a dream” lap speech, but it was everywhere else even in his mundane claims to be a Moses figure. Pharaoh experienced the wrath of God. There wasn’t a turn the other cheek garbage. Gandhi too. He worked with Nehru and his 4 million men under arms until they split over views on how they should approach World War II. JFK made a similar point about peaceful change being made impossible even if he was referring to far away lands and certainly not America.

      Obama ran on “change” and proceeded to make sure government worked for the rich who don’t need the government as they are already rich. Obama’s focus on false compromise has made violence inevitable, and there isn’t anyone of sufficient stature anymore to rally around. Hillary had her chance with her celebrity but she is still Hillary. She won’t at 69 magically become a different person.

    2. jrs

      Yea rather beside the point. You likely can’t overthrow the U.S. government but the police state wins isn’t at all certain. Doesn’t this type of stuff go in cycles: oppressive social structure -> retaliatory citizen imitated violence ->police state crackdowns on violence. As with the union movement, as with the civil rights movement. The crackdown is almost predictable but the crackdown isn’t the final word and isn’t the sum of what movements achieve. Did violence bring about some prefect solution via a path of: 1) violence 2) something 3) utopia. No but violence was undeniably part of larger movements that DID accomplish something.

    3. Dave

      I don’t think that most gun lovers are planning to overthrow or resist the government.

      From what I’ve heard from men, and a surprising number of women, in hardware stores, coffee shops and school athletic events, their guns are more to protect themselves or their families and property from people who want to hurt and steal from them when things really fall apart.

      Remember the Korean shop owners during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles? The were left alone. Funny how that works.

    4. Plenue

      “Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying.” – Iain Banks

      I have no interest in, and even less respect for, anyone who advocates violence as a solution to anything. Even if it could have a positive effect, it wouldn’t be beneficial to the people you murder in the process. And it never has a positive effect. All you do is give the authorities propaganda fodder to label you a terrorist and justify an even harsher crackdown.

      1. dan

        Why is violence being equated with murder? I think folks agree that the Weather Underground were violent, but they never murdered anyone (just one random example… spiking trees to destroy logging machinery and preventing old growth forests from being logged might be another example… de-arresting someone at an action is a third example that involves physical contact between people… and on and on it goes).

        But, to carry on with your point, why are people even supposed to be concerned if violence has a positive effect on those who have made a life for themselves living off of the blood of others? We can’t kill the 0.01% — that would have no positive effect for them! (To which one appropriate response might be: “That’s kinda part of the point…”) And the sad fact of history is that the Tsar’s whole family had to go in order to ensure Tsarism was eradicated. That Dessalines had to come after L’Ouverture in Haiti also illustrates this — I take no joy in these conclusions, but they are hard to escape.

        The blanket statement that violence *never* has a positive effect is just false. The sources I mentioned above provide a multitude of examples to the contrary (and I think the Haitian revolution was also a good thing).

        As for fears of reprisals, well, that’s kinda like telling a person being assaulted that they shouldn’t fight back because then the assailant might hurt them even more. Crackdowns are not justified now and they are not justified if people fight back. Oppressive systems don’t suddenly become justified in their use of force just because people fight back. Blaming those who fight back for the abuses perpetrated by the authorities is victim blaming and left splitting.

        Also, there is a false premise underlying a lot of those who argue against violence. This is the assumption that nonviolence is a possibility. It’s not. Violence is structured into the bones of our world, it’s how things like capitalism and settler colonialism work, but we simply don’t see a lot of it (use a smart phone? own a computer? live on stolen land? you can’t be nonviolent — and just because you will, say, peacefully get cuffed by the cops instead of fighting to get away doesn’t make you nonviolent [Zizek’s book re: subjective vs objective violence is useful here]). Nonviolence isn’t really an option, and pursuing it, within our world as it is, is kinda like a slave owner thinking s/he can be free from complicity in slavery by being a lot nicer to his/her slaves than other slave owners. That doesn’t really work so well. What is needed, in that context is for slavery to go. And for slavery to go, some people had to fight (even though, as I said above, the fighting tends to be most meaningful in a context where diverse parties were employing a diversity of tactics).

        1. Plenue

          “the sad fact of history is that the Tsar’s whole family had to go in order to ensure Tsarism was eradicated.”

          Because what followed was such an improvement!

  10. Parker Dooley

    2016 re Melania speech uproar: Trump leaves “The Apprentice” and moves to “Family Feud”?*

    *I watched Morning Joe so you wouldn’t have to.

  11. m

    Not sure at this point what google medicine app can offer that present EMRs and MDs cannot do. EPIC is very private & greedy and will never let any google app piggyback on their system. I am sure Cerner would be the same.
    How can this google app compete with uptodate medical history & tests
    Unless ultimate goal is to get rid of MDs at some point in the future

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We’ve written a ton on EMRs in the US. They impede patient care, and have actually been found to represent a major risk in hospital settings. They short reason is they were developed by MBAs and accountants for billing and have nada to do with what doctors need. So the NHS effort may be a way to develop a system they can then peddle in the US. And of course, there is also making it easier for the NSA to know everything about you.

      1. m

        They can already monitor everything about you. There are presently two major EMRs, Cerner & EPIC. Any business (third party) can purchase access-read only in real time.
        After Ebola there was an upgrade to monitor travel, now another upgrade to monitor firearms in the home.
        There are many algorithms they study & use to remove duties from MDs and have APRNs, PAs or nurses do these functions.
        I agree about the dangers and that healthcare providers have had little to do with ease of use of the programs. I am not sure after the huge sums spent since 2008 to be in compliance that hospitals can afford a switch. And no matter how awful some of these programs are d/t the agreements they will simply create their own apps, rather than let Google in.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Getting rid of MDs.

      And all other human jobs as well.

      Even guard dogs are at risk to being made obsolete by robot dogs.

      “What is a giant menace to doctors is all but a small threat to humanity and nature, in the overall scheme of things.”

    3. curlydan

      Because Google…

      Seriously, though, I guess the rich guys at Google and their super-duper-Go playing computer and their multi-million server farms might just be able to take a huge data set or two, crank through it using Hadoop or some fancy, big data technology, and find a few thousand correlations (that the mere mortals at Cerner and EPIC couldn’t find) and hope 3-4 turn out to be causations.

      The really crazy and unethical thing is giving any medical data that isn’t “anonymized”. But even then the anonymity of the data could be in question I think. Many “anonmymous” data sets have later shown not to be anonymous.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When a computer can finally defeat a human 11 dimensional chess grand master, then we will see.

        Until then, leave the big, important stuff to human masters.

      2. m

        I am sure some day someone will design a user friendly program that does more than capture costs and collect data. But after the huge sums put out to purchase this garbage, MDs and hospitals cannot afford it. Some day these systems will turnover and someone will make millions.
        The privacy issue is troubling because these two companies are in offices, pharmacies, clinics & hospitals. Maybe I will use planned parenthood, they are so underfunded probably still using pen & paper. As far as NSA spying, that is possible now. Both CEOs are close to Obama & Dems, huge donors. Judy Faulkner is also head of committee in charge of meaningful use, her private company has made a bundle since ’08.’ EPIC and these other programs are a nightmare to use, especially in an emergency.
        Years ago Cox 2 inhibitors hit the market. Some cardiologists found that people taking them had serious cardiac complications. They went through the data for confirmation, Judy/EPIC gave herself a huge pat on the back, but a human found the link. Reported it to the FDA, that MD in turn pushed it up the ladder, I can’t remember if he was demoted or fired.
        Medicine is a racket.

  12. jgordon

    The Opednews report from the delegate at the Olando platform committee was quite an indictment against the Democratic Party. Contrast that to how casually the never Trump brigade was dispensed and you have quite an interesting mix going into the general election.

    Also, the armed rebellion article fails to account for how a few thousand lightly armed cavemen in Afghanistan managed to defeat the most powerful empire on earth. Simply looking at who has the biggest guns and declaring a winner is not a very inteligent way to conduct a battle, is it? Why is this awful idea always being trotted out then?

    1. pretzelattack

      i’ve wondered about that, too. the us military doesn’t have a stellar record in combatting insurgencies. course maybe winning wars isn’t the point, and they could shock and awe us assuming they are willing to attack their hometowns.

    2. Gareth

      Contrast the resilient fighters in Afghanistan, tempered by a hard life, united in faith, with the morbidly obese gun-twiddlers who fancy themselves as militia in the US. Where will the snacks come from when the fighting starts?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe they can make up by incorporating female militia fighters here in the US, whereas the Afghans deprive themselves of more fighting power by refusing to admit them?

        “Strength by throwing away the burka…or at least better vision by taking it off.”

        1. sid_finster

          When revolution comes, I can guarantee that very few of the folks here at NC will like what they get.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What about Sanders’ revolution?

            Many here liked it (and some still do).

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I suspect as much.

                But there is no doubt, probably unlike the recent event in Turkey, the pillow fight was not staged.

      2. barrisj

        Gareth: Where will the snacks come from when the fighting starts?

        Not to mention sex toys and erotic literature (see the Malheur “occupation” for details). Right-wing militias: such fanciful nonsense.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not enough free love in the world?

          The recent tragedies due to some guys unlucky in love?

          Can we be more like Bonobo apes? They settle insults and arguments by resorting to carnal knowledge. And apparently, many single male Bonobo apes get lucky in bars by arguing with female Bonobo apes.

          “Hey honey. Wanna start an argument?”

      3. pretzelattack

        i dont think it will be those guys. one of whom tried, and failed, with the old rope made of sheets prison escape recently. more like the zetas in mexico.

      4. jgordon

        I have noticed that overbroad generizations are usually discouraged at NC. Are logical fallacies only frowned upon when it’s the wrong side making them?

        Also society and government are complex and frequently unstable systems. Outside of a few general parameters (many of which are already out of tolerance in the US), it can not be known ahead of time what will cause them to fly apart. Trying to centralize all authority and capacity for violence into a single entity is like chaining a bunch of people to a leaky dingy and forcing them to bail water with the threat of a sea burial if they don’t bail hard enough. But then there’s a storm.

    3. ambrit

      Remember, those ‘cave dwellers’ also defeated the second or third most powerful empire on earth as well. That was done with some semi clandestine ‘help’ from America. Then America left the successful anti Soviet ‘rebels’ in the lurch. I don’t blame the Afghanis for holding a grudge. That war could have been won by either Russia or America. The costs of that were judged to be too high to justify. So one ’empire’ cut and ran, and the other settled for an endless war of attrition at a low level of effort.
      The role of religion in many revolts is under appreciated.

      1. jgordon

        There is an argument that says that those with the best weapons and best technoly and most people must win because they are stronger than their adversaries. By logic, I only needed to point out one counter-example to disprove this idea.

        Yes, there was a lot of other stuff going on as well, but every situation has multiple unique factors mixed into it, whether known factors, known unknown factors, or unknown unknown factors. Unlike the simplistic mental maps that we make of the world and that we live our lives by, reality is nonlinear and chaotic.

    4. hunkerdown

      The exceptional American mind operates by reenacting and projecting the glorious confabulated past into the present and future. Pitched battle is all it can understand.

      The exceptional American mind also can’t think beyond its own next move. Doesn’t need to, because it reserves the right to call the game because they’ve won before.

      Then, back in the real world…

  13. Pat

    I have to say ‘giving the thumbs down on the Democratic Platform’ was highly interesting. That includes the history of the Democratic Florida political machine as fostered at university, even if somewhat self serving to the author. I’m sure some of it is not new to people who followed the platform process closely, but I only saw the results not the process.

    It is truly more evidence that the Democratic Party is as shaken as the Republicans in this election. And are making every stupid move possible witness that the author states their choices in this actually alienated platform delegates from the Sanders camp enough to reject Clinton (and the party). They make think they can survive without them, but…

    1. sd

      When given a brief moment to act democratically, the platform members sided with the Sanders members. That was the fascinating part. Left to their own devices, the platform could have been a very exciting departure from the staid status quo.

      Alas. Too many interests have paid too much money to allow that to happen.

  14. Eureka Springs

    Giving the Thumbs Down on the Democratic Platform

    Sans the long winded description of an nearly empty bar I do wish many uninitiated would read this piece about mechanization’s of the anti-democratic party.

    I would be truly embarrassed to think of myself as a member…much less think it worthy of a takeover.

    The Frat boy/girl analogy was particularly apt. And how all the Hillary delegates seemed to have no clue as to what their most basic positions were until one or two authoritarians told them how to vote. One of those Hillary authoritarians being former (ousted) Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. A miserable excuse for a human being.

    Also the irony of how the Sanders peeps were most upset by the proposal to enter Hillary’s name throughout the platform, yet we read elsewhere today the Sanders camp is naming their entire feckless new organization after Sanders.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Sanders Organization?

      The idea of eponymous entity naming – like naming your company The Trump Organization – is someone plagiarizing that idea?

      Are we in the Age of Plagiarism?

  15. Vatch

    Abort, Retry, Fail – Billionaire Bill Gates Opines, Sans Evidence, on … the Efficacy of Hepatitis C Treatment? Health Care Renewal

    That article is an example of the cluelessness of Bill Gates (even though he is a very intelligent person). Here’s another example of his cluelessness:

    I decided to share my optimism about Africa’s future—to explain why I think the continent has the potential to change faster in the next generation than any continent ever has.

    It’s because Africa is the world’s youngest continent, and youth can go hand in hand with a special dynamism.

    What this means is that Africa has a huge number of people either in their early childbearing years, or approaching their childbearing years. Already impoverished Africa is going to become even more impoverished as people continue to have large numbers of babies. One would think that Gates would understand this; he even says something about this in his article:

    And because rates of poverty and malnutrition aren’t shrinking as fast as the population is growing, the number of people who are poor or malnourished has actually gone up since 1990.

    But he’s optimistic about Africa because the population is young. Why isn’t he able to connect the dots?

    1. Roger Smith

      “Innovation!” All those young, bright kids have young, bright minds that will create youthful and vibrant solutions to their problems…

      …because chickens!

    2. JTMcPhee

      Does gates know about the young bright minds of Boko Haram? Biafra? Uganda? The Oil Delta?

  16. none

    via reddit:

    “Saudi whistle-blower Mujtahid, who is believed to be a member of or have a well-connected source in the royal family, dislosed that senior government officials in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi had been informed of the coup in Turkey long before it took place.”

    “Mujtahid wrote on his twitter page on Monday that the UAE leaders had played a role in the coup and the Turkish spy agencies have come to decode this involvement, adding that the UAE leaders had also alerted the Saudis about the impending coup.”

    There’s more and it looks interesting.

  17. F900fixr

    Honeywell………once again, Mish uses a little bit of info to come to a conclusion that is in line with his worldview.

    Honeywell’s aviation business sucks, because the way Honeywell runs their business sucks. Just ask any end-user of any of their aviation products (engines and avionics).

    And it sucks wholly because their suits are typical of everybody other suit “managing” US manufacturing. Product support is overhead to be minimized. Engineering is to be farmed out to the lowest bidder.

    Want a good laugh? Have a few hours to kill? Call their aerospace “800” number for tech support. See how long it takes you to get someone on the phone who isn’t in a New Dehli call center. Then picture yourself as a overworked (and underpaid) mechanic who has a broke airplane that has to fly in an hour……

    The only reason their business hasn’t tanked totally is because RockwellCollins is only marginally better, and retrofitting Garmin G5000 stuff is problematic in older airplanes

  18. Jim Haygood

    Health insurer mergers hit a glitch:

    U.S. antitrust officials are poised to file lawsuits to block Anthem Inc.’s takeover of rival health-insurer Cigna Corp. and Aetna Inc.’s deal to buy Humana Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Justice Department officials are concerned that the deals, which would transform the health-insurance industry by turning its five biggest companies into three, would harm customers.

    In addition to the Justice Department’s antitrust division, state attorneys general also have raised concerns about the mergers and may join any Justice Department challenge, two people said.

    The $48 billion combination of Anthem and Cigna would create the biggest U.S. health insurer by membership, topping UnitedHealth Group Inc., with total revenue of about $117 billion.

    Aetna’s $37 billion takeover of Humana would make it the biggest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, the government insurance program for the elderly. The combined company would have about 25 percent of that market, according to Bloomberg, with about half its $115 billion in revenue coming from Medicare plans, Aetna has said.

    Looks like the Justice Dept isn’t down with Nancy Pelosi’s approach of “just approve it to find out what’s in it.” Why won’t they embrace the suck? :-(

  19. Goyo Marquez

    This, from the fun, Giving The Thumbs Down, article was quite shocking. A vote for Trump,is two votes against Hillary, and the neoliberal destruction of America.

    “But to truly get a sense of the deepening divide within the Democratic Party one should not look to the obvious votes: the Democrats’ rejection of cost of living increases for seniors, the expansion of social security, the opposition to the TPP, the rejection of fracking, or the advocacy of single payer health care. While they may tell the same story they do not portray it in as stark a light as the fate of two completely unexpected and obscure amendments that would otherwise be overlooked.”

  20. Pelham

    Re the futility of armed revolt: I’m not so sure. After all, resisters in Iraq armed with only light weapons and improvised explosive devices did a pretty good job of driving out the world’s most formidable military.

    1. jrs

      i suspect they didn’t really care about winning there, they cared about getting hold of the oil reserves etc., though I’m not sure even that succeeded. So dream of revolution to overthrow the government? Not really, even though yes we need changes in the basic form of government to be less oligarchic. But know that violence is part of all social justice struggles when things get bad enough … yea probably, and we’re living in interesting times.

  21. Left in Wisconsin

    Voters deserve responsible nationalism not reflex globalism Larry Summers, Defend Democracy. The neoliberals are getting nervous.

    Very interesting that the entire Summers screed is built around a big lie. He writes:

    A new approach has to start from the idea that the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good.

    But the old/current approach to free trade was not built around “an abstract concept of the global good.” It was built around the very concrete argument that “free trade” agreements would be an overall good for the U.S., full stop. In fact, the argument went further, explicitly claiming that if “Mexico” or “China” was dumb enough to subsidize domestic production, that would lower costs to U.S. end-users even more, resulting in even better outcomes for the U.S.

    Why am I not surprised?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That (less costing imports) works because the elites get good-anywhere-in-the-world fiat money for free.

      But if you have to have a job, if you don’t have basic income or some income, you can’t buy nothing (because if X is what you can buy, and Y is how much money you have, and Z is the price of import, then, it doesn’t matter if Z is lower, when Y is zero – because X = Z over Y).

    2. cnchal

      Not quite a mea culpa from Larry. That he calls it “a new approach” that the government is to maximise the welfare of citizens means Larry knows squat about history.

      Globalization was sold to us as a way to have our cake and eat it. The elite were more that happy to let the economists lie to us that everyone would benefit. The story went like this. Globalization would generate so much surplus that the people here that were harmed by globalization would be helped. It was clearly a flat out lie. Lots of surplus was generated, which was grabbed by the elite, and not even a crumb fell off their table.

      While there is a strong case that the US is better off than it would have been if the North American Free Trade Agreement had been rejected, the most extravagant predicted benefits have not materialised. And it is fair to say that claims that China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation would propel political liberalisation have not been borne out. The willingness of people to be intimidated by experts into supporting cosmopolitan outcomes appears for the moment to have been exhausted.

      Now it’s official, every expert has a bad name.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Raining helicopter money in China:

    This is an economy well advanced into “helicopter money” as the government orders banks to lend to infrastructure projects with the support of the central bank (notwithstanding new avenues for bond financing)

    The 5th costliest non-US weather disaster, or the 2016 floods of China – I wonder if covering everything with asphalt, through infrastructure projects, in the upper and mid-sections of the Yangtze has anything to do with it.

    “Raining helicopter money leads to flooding?”

    1. cnchal

      Know where else it’s raining Chinese helicopter money?

      Vancouver, Toronto, San Fransisco and where ever else the Chinese elite flee to.

      I ask, where can the wage earners in those cities swindle tens of millions of dollars to compete? Unintended consequences of globalization perhaps?

      Quite the racket. People here lost their jawbs because they couldn’t work as cheaply as a Chinese peasant, and the Chinese elite steal the wealth generated by those peasants to buy up properties here, that the local people can’t afford due to their wages being beaten down by Chinese peasants. Viscous circle here. We can thank the experts like Larry.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Well, er:

      What happened on the convention floor later that day was anything but normal as the Never Trump delegates wanted a roll call vote to change the rules and the party chair blatantly knocked them down resulting in boos, catcalls and delegate walkouts. That’s not something we’ve seen at a political convention since the 70s at least. But then Trump’s whole campaign is a throwback to that era so it isn’t surprising.

      Granted, the 2016 Nevada Democrat caucus was not a “political convention” per se. But it’s odd the parallel was not too striking to ignore.

  23. Pookah Harvey

    Just read this in The Hill. Headline reads: Poll: Trump within 1 of Clinton nationally .

    Clinton has 46 percent support to Trump’s 45 percent, the poll found. Last week’s version of the poll showed Clinton up by 3 points.

    When Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included, Trump leads, with 40 percent to Clinton’s 39 percent; Johnson has 10 percent support and Stein has 5 percent.

    This is the first poll I’ve seen that has Trump ahead in the real life contest with third parties included. I would have thought the correct headline should have read: Poll: Trump Leads Clinton By !% .And as many of the commenters point out Hillary has been outspending Trump by 30 to 1.

    I’m sure glad the Democrat political machine has picked the strongest candidate to beat Trump.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In fairness to Sanders, he has made Hillary a stronger candidate.

      “Made better via competition” – the central dogma of neoliberaism.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I mean, when Clinton loses in November, they can not and should not blame it on Sanders for weakening her.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m all sorts of ready to have them blame Sanders supporters for her loss. I intend to remind them that they told us they didn’t need Independants to win the election. Then I’ll say next time don’t rig the primaries to exclude voters. Your bad.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I also think Sanders has made the D party stronger.

        (This relates to yesterday’s comments about F*** you, Sanders vs. F*** you, the D party – if you want to F*** you, the D party, it’s stronger now).

        1. Oregoncharles

          the best available source, polling, has Democrats at about 29% – not exactly a major party. It will be very interesting to see what those polls say the next time around. About 15% of Dems who supported Bernie say they won’t vote for Hilary; will they also not call themselves Democrats?

          the extremely low membership numbers are the underlying reason the parties are so insane this year.

        2. aab

          I don’t see how Sanders has made the Democratic Party stronger. I don’t think many of the people who registered as Democrats just for him are going to stick, and I don’t think I’m the only lifelong Democrat who has or will leave the party before the end of this month in disgust.

          If he and Jeff Weaver really do campaign actively for Hillary through the fall, I’m pretty confident he will merely tarnish his own brand and legacy. Will he be able to herd some portion of the disaffected to vote for her if he goes through with this? Probably. But I don’t see how that makes the party stronger. I don’t see them happily getting with the Clintonian tribal identity, and if she manages to get into the White House and do her Hillary thing, I don’t see them being happy with her or the party. Logically, the party is weaker after this primary, not stronger. Some portion has left, and some other portion is staying but disgruntled. How much of that would have happened anyway just with Clinton being herself, I have no idea. But I don’t see how he has made the party stronger. Unless you mean in the “undiluted” sense. That, I would agree with.

          If you’re referring to her as a candidate, I concede he forced to wake up a little bit and pretend to be progressive to some degree. That will probably help her going into the general as opposed to the swanning around she was planning on. But she’s still going to run right, it looks like, so I’m not sure how much even that helped her really.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        Hillary’s swing to a more progressive rhetoric has made her a stronger candidate but her policies haven’t really changed as the platform committee has shown. .. I just wish I could figure out which is the lesser evil: an egomaniac who is knowledge-free or the head of a well-oiled political machine with close ties to the banks and the military-industrial complex.

        Jill Stein has my vote. Remember 5% is a win for any third party as they can then get matching funds, and apparently the Libertarians will get that this election.

        If Hillary wins and the Libertarians divide the Repubs I’m guessing that the Clintons can lock the Democrats up in neoliberalism for 8 more years. It will take a lot of pressure from progressives, both inside and outside the party, to keep that from happening.
        If Trump wins who the hell knows what will happen? At least the world won’t take American leadership seriously.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          She becomes stronger, maybe even enough to overcome Trump, by conceding some empty words plagiarized from Sanders’ revolution.

          That’s very smart indeed.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Peru and what’s ahead for the US in November:

    Adam Gopnik, in The New Yorker, sums up the need to support Clinton in terms very similar to the Peruvian left’s support of Kuczynski: “Hillary Clinton is an ordinary liberal politician. She has her faults, easily described, often documented…. No reasonable person, no matter how opposed to her politics, can believe for a second that Clinton’s accession to power would be a threat to the Constitution or the continuation of American democracy. No reasonable person can believe that Trump’s accession to power would not be.”

    Are we more democratic now than 8 years ago?

    Is the Constitution more protected now than 8 years ago?

    1. voteforno6

      Trump won the Republican nomination fair and square, through Democratic means. How does that make him a threat to democracy?

      1. Roger Smith

        But it is different because he is like Hitler, or did you not know that yet?

        By the way, you should be very very smug and humorously angry and Melania Trump because “she” (the non-native English speaker) coped Michelle Obama, Michelle! That strong, proud woman you love! So tweet and post non-stop about it all day please. Also tune into CNNs live coverage of reactions as you finish setting up your noose in the rafters.

        I seriously cannot take this crap anymore. It has gotten ridiculously out of hand. And I knew it would happen too the first time I heard M. Trump speak. I thought, “Oh god, she has very little clue what she is getting into and she will be made fun of for it.” Her life is a millionaire’s vanity, shopping, poolside drinks, and galas. While that lifestyle is a problem unto itself, I sympathize with her being thrust into this to be beaten on by liberal dogs.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I believe ideas do not belong to any one human.

          Ideas live in the Realm of Ideas – they have always been there, before any of us humans was born.

          How, then, can humans steal ideas?

          1. Jess

            Ideas, you’re right. It’s the specific expression of those ideas that is individual and able to be protected by copyright.

            You have an idea for a book about a Russian sub commander who wants to defect to the U.S. Great! Go write it. Just don’t copy THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.

        2. jrs

          MLK plagiarized though didn’t he? Melania and Michelle you are no MLK! It’s not that big a deal taken in context. There are far worse sins than plagerizing, like warmongering.

          Plagiarizing a bunch of dumb stuff noone relates to anyway. No my family did not raise me to believe anything was possible if you just worked hard or something. F that. Family members survived the Great Depression, they knew external circumstances mattered. And Melania hasn’t worked hard in years, she married rich period, which I suspect actually is how many people are raised rather than to “work hard”, which is a suckers game afterall.

  25. Dave

    “Why American Companies Suddenly Love Workers
    Something interesting happens when the labor market tightens: Chief executives sing the benefits of higher wages, in unison.”

    Wonder what would happen to the average persons pay in America if President Trump passed an executive order that only companies using E-Verify were allowed to deduct employee wages from income?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s an old idea – if you love someone, you may think about marrying that someone

      Today, it’s more like ‘partnership.’

  26. Bill Smith

    “With a few hours and the right tools and training, you could open one of NATO’s nuclear-weapons storage vaults, remove a weapon, and bypass the PAL inside it.”

    Um, no. Dork with the PAL too much and the weapon becomes inop.

    Note that the PAL has a mode that can be used to disable the weapon by the owner before capture. This actually damages the bomb so that it can’t be trigger a nuclear chain reaction. However who knows if that would be carried out.

    “Within seconds, you could place an explosive device on top of a storage vault, destroy the weapon, and release a lethal radioactive cloud.“

    Once the vaults where opened which may take some time if they were closed by explosives, it is possible to blow the bomb apart to release radiation. Exactly how much is unknown but not a lot. However 50 of them would add up.

    Having any nuclear weapons in Turkey certainly sounds unwise. But the author, the guy who wrote “Command and Control” a dry but pretty good read, goes a little off the deep end on in this article.

  27. barrisj

    Merkel tells Erdogan death penalty not compatible with EU membership

    Erdogan to Merkel: Fick dich ins Knie, du promi-schlampe!

    1. Alex morfesis

      Sultan erdo tells mutti :

      “considering how you were so kind to my cousins in greece, you can keep frankfurt…

      besides my people are in negotiations with david Sherlock to buy into monty python…

      figure another 25 thousand people and I will be fully qualified for a position in the ministry of silly walks…

      and then a reboot on the web…

      nutflyx vs same-izon vs wholoo…

      someone will pay the big bux”

    2. Oregoncharles

      Turkey will never be in the EU, nor should it be. It isn’t a European country, culturally nor, really, geographically.

      Historically, it’s the very definition of Asia, as the Greeks meant the word.

  28. kareninca

    I would think that a “second American revolution” could only happen if the people who wanted it invited in an outside force. When an outside force comes in (and locals help them), big nation states can fall. When locals are wildly frustrated and cannot rebel effectively on their own (due to the crushing power of their own police state), they can do desperate things. In that case having armed locals would make a difference. I’m not expecting or desiring any of this; it would be hell on earth.

  29. Jay M

    I walked into the house (we had bought an above average house, the LW special) and the LED lights seemed to be bulging out of their sockets. I figured I forgot to take some meds today. Anyways, settled down to do a little reading, got a few tomes from the library. Luckily we are so interconnected. I had never noticed that the Lazy Boy was smart, or that there were ankle and wrist restraints, cleverly hidden. After the guardians had broken in it converted into one of those stretchers that interface with ambulances. Well, at least I wasn’t rolling around ending up with a broken neck. Much more humane than a beheading, dontcha think?
    Anyway, to make a long story short, the bar code was corrupted on my book and they thought I was reading the Communist Manifesto. Isn’t it fabulous that the computer at the library is talking to my lightbulbs and Lazy Boy? We will surely defeat the enemy with technology.

  30. Roland

    The people don’t arm because they want to start a war. But if the people are armed, they can at least fight back a bit when they get attacked. Sometimes we have to focus more on the process than on the result.

    It’s not about the winning. It’s about whether or not there is anything you’re ever going to fight over. Is there no limit to the indignities which you will allow your rulers impose on you?

    Warrior aristocrats of old would boast, Nemo me impune lacessit. i.e. “nobody provokes me without paying the price.”

    Now I think those words would never be the motto of so unmartial a class as the modern proletariat. As a prole, I think that aristocratic pride comes with too high a mortality rate. Proles can’t toe the line at every bell; we can’t send our seconds to demand satisfaction for every affront.

    However it is funny, in the mind’s eye, to think about the expression on an investment banker’s face, when the prole whose job got rightsized turns to him and asks, “So when we meet tomorrow at dawn, would you prefer sabres or pistols?”

    Kidding aside, in all earnest, even a prole might eventually cry, Don’t Tread on Me. Note the difference in meaning between that motto, and the aristo’s motto I mentioned above.

    When it comes time for the lowly, crawling, oft-trodden prole to finally hiss and bite, it helps to have some venom. That’s why the people should never relinquish their arms.

    American proles are lucky to have the political legacy infrastructure of their old revolution. If the BoBos accuse you of “clinging” to the Second Amendment, you just flash a big smile and reply, “Damned straight!”h

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