Links 7/30/16

Botanists Sniff at Mystery of Smelly Corpse Flowers’ Blooming Wall Street Journal

Plastic bag use plummets in England BBC

Australia Has Moved 1.5 Metres, So It’s Updating Its Location For Self-Driving Cars Slashdot (Dr. Kevin)


Hinkley Point: ‘I am prime minister, this is my method,’ says May Financial Times. This looks like a Brexit tit for tat. Hollande took a tougher line with May but also said he regarded the Hinkley Point project as important.

The Frenchman who will negotiate Brexit Financial Times

Study Exposes BBC’s Deep Anti-Corbyn Bias Jonathan Cook (Catherine A)

Monte Paschi Capital Wiped Out in European Bank Stress Test Bloomberg

Monte dei Paschi board backs private sector rescue plan Financial Times. Details of how the bailout works too fragmentary to post on it. Even the comments at the FT are making best guesses.

French PM: ‘France needs new relationship with Islam’ The Local (Mark Twain)

Italy’s broken banks – the spectre haunting Europe MoneyWeek. From earlier in the month, but a good overview.

Anglo trial: Three ex-bankers jailed over €7bn fraud Irish Times (Neal R)

Scottish firm behind global ‘essay mills’ offering to write students’ work for cash Herald Scotland. Note that there’s an essay mill in the US.

Brussels Briefing: IMF’s Athens Hangover FT Alphaville

Goldman Sachs Subpoenaed by U.S. Agencies for Documents Related to 1MDB Wall Street Journal

Provoking Russia Le Monde Diplomatique (Sid S)

Erdogan to drop ‘insult’ lawsuits BBC. Guess he wants to make nice to Merkel.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Dark Patterns are designed to trick you (and they’re all over the Web) ars technica (Dan K)

Court ruling shows the internet does have borders after all CSO Online (Dan K). Stunning that techies ever thought otherwise. Did they not understand that Wikileaks has its servers in Sweden for a reason?

Imperial Collapse Watch

Despite Objections, Pentagon Takes Step Toward Buying New Nuclear Weapons Defense One

Chelsea Manning faces discipline for prison suicide attempt: lawyers Reuters (EM)


Fake Unity at the DNC – Reserved seats for actors vidme (Chuck L)

Understanding why populist fires are still ‘Berning’ The Hill

To Win, Hillary Should Be Like Bernie, New Poll Suggests Huffington Post (Li)

10 reasons why #DemExit is serious: Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough Salon (Steve C)

How Hillary Survived a Gauntlet of Saboteurs and Scoundrels New Republic. More punching of Sanders supporters.

At the DNC, the debate over drug prices gives way to charcuterie and cheese Stat (Timotheus)

Exclusive: FBI probes hacking of Democratic congressional group – sources Reuters

Clinton Campaign Says Hackers Accessed Data Program It Used Bloomberg

US election: Are the Democrats too confident? BBC. The screechiness about Putin sure doesn’t look confident.

Campaigns Eye Pennsylvania Prize Wall Street Journal. Major spin. Pennsylvania is a blue state, so the fact that is in play is a sign that Clinton is wobbly.

Mike Pence Walks 10 Nuns Out of the Voting Booth Reader Supported News (furzy)

Republicans, Democrats and the disunited states Financial Times

Could Trump be Good for Peace? Counterpunch (Mark Twain)

Donald Trump says he’s ‘taking the gloves off’ as party conventions wrap Guardian. Lambert: “Buried lead. Trump comes out against fracking in Colorado.” Yves. Is this a play for New York? The state is assumed to be solidly blue, but NYC is about half the state’s population, and Long Island and upstate are pretty red. Hlllary did bupkis for the state as Senator, and fracking is very unpopular upstate.

An uncomfortable conversation we need to have: Is the U.S. spending too much money on the elderly? Salon (Dr. Kevin). Moi: “Die faster!” Lambert: “Could barely wait till after they were done with the convention to start selling the Grand Bargain.”

The ‘smoking gun’ proving North Carolina Republicans tried to disenfranchise black voters Washington Post (Dan K)

Two Onondaga County men accused of running check cashing ring Syracuse. Bob: “More small frys for Schneiderman. Like he’d go after the real big guys.”

Six more Michigan employees charged with misconduct in Flint water crisis Washington Post (Dan K)

U.S. economy disappoints with 1.2% growth CNN

US economy ‘close to stagnant for almost a year’ as growth shudders Telegraph

U.S. in Weakest Recovery Since 1949 Wall Street Journal


Fed’s Williams downplays GDP weakness, sees rate hikes Reuters

What More Has to Happen Before the Fed Concludes That This Looks Like Yet Another Failed Interest-Rate Liftoff? Brad DeLong

Speed Traders Invade Sleepy Corner of England, Locals Bristle Bloomberg (Randy K)

Class Warfare

Uber Can’t Force Arbitration Over Pricing Antitrust Claim Bloomberg. This may be important as a more general blow against arbitration clauses. Judge threw it out because Uber didn’t provide adequate notice. No “gotcha” clauses buried in long agreements.

One Mother’s Story: How Overemphasis on Standardized Tests Caused Her 9-Year-Old to Try to Hang Himself Alternet

Everything is Broken Medium. Today’s must read. Brian C: “In light of the recent hacking stories in the news, I thought it would be a good time to share one of my favorite blog posts of all time. I have been reading about information technology and working with it since about 1974, and I have never found a narrative that so perfectly captures my personal observations of the state of computer technology today.”

Antidote du jour. Alan T: “Our new tiny Pomeranian. Chewing on a toy and a plastic coat hanger. Perfect dog. Instinctively loves to sit in laps. Doesn’t bark. Doesn’t shed (?Yet). 7 mos old, about 3 lbs. Parents were 4 and 6 pounds.”

pomeranian puppy links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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        1. RMO

          A question for anyone here with in depth knowledge of the U.S. prison system: I’ve heard that concerts for prisoners, such as in the Cash link, are no longer permitted. True? True for some prisons but not others?

  1. allan

    Zika is spreading explosively in Puerto Rico, report says

    The widespread Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico is exploding at an alarming rate, with the number of people infected jumping by nearly nine times between February and June, according to a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    CDC officials said the rapid rise could lead to hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly or other severe birth defects in the coming year. …

    Letting part of the US revert to third world status because creditors has consequences. Who knew?
    Just to add to the bumper crop of good news ….

    1. Don

      We should be a little skeptical of claims that a virus causes microcephaly: Think about who stands to gain if microcephaly is caused by a virus, and who stands to lose if it’s caused by pesticides and poverty. It doesn’t matter if “science” says that the evidence is clear: they’ve been searching so hard for a virus, and looking so little at pesticides, that of course “it’s a virus!”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If it’s from pesticides, how or to what do we correlate the nine times jump from Feb to June?the

        Is it the virus, poverty or pesticides…or something totally different? Do we know?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            From the article:

            Consider, for example, the infamous tale of how the mongoose got to the Hawaiian Islands. The sleek carnivore was imported in the 1880s as part of a plan by the sugar industry to subdue the rats that wouldn’t stop gnawing through stalks of sugar cane.

            At the time, we can be (probably) sure, that it was the best logical explanation of the day.

            Until a better logical explanation came along.

            In any case, typically human, they implemented their partial knowledge nevertheless.

            Don’t blame Logic.

            Blame logicians.

    2. m

      How did this virus come completely out of nowhere? Many in South East Asia & some countries in South America had it for years, but no microcephaly.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Re: “Suddely ZIKA!” — Maybe it’s the result of some “random mutation” spread by those little now globalized particles of chemical code, plasmids, that pathogens are now using to share virulence (as against humans) and malignity amongst themselves?

        And dare one consider that if random mutations WERE the actual mechanism, what might “look at what I can do, Emily!” “reprogramming” of genetic material by tinkerers (it gets cheaper and easier every day, like GOLLY WOW! 3-D printing and Pokemon GO! and Schwarzenegger’s latest, “Mobile Strike!”) and propagation into the wider world via CRISPR and similar “new toys” manage to effectuate?

        I mean, given the linked article on how Fokked the whole computer-and-code substrate of our blessed lifestyle is, what could possibly be going wrong where “we,” the ubiquitous mercurial evanescence inchoate “we,” can’t and won’t and don’t care to look? “We” just go blithely about our daily lives, some to the Utah workspaces where All Is Daily Gathered In And Everything Is Penetrated, some to obscure rooms where innate human malevolence generates the Code that facilitates extortion and theft and disruption on grand scales, some to sweatshops called “medical facilities,” some to idle indulgence of great wealth, the result of prior huge thefts (or the result of being the victim of those thefts)…

        Who is “we”, again?

        And what outcomes do “we” want from “our” political economy?

        Stupid fokking species, with a death wish, now coming to a planet near you…

        1. giantsquid

          Viruses don’t carry or transfer plasmids (bacteria and archaea do; they’re not a human invention) and CRISPR itself already exists in the wider world where it serves as a sort of immune system for many species of bacteria and archaea. CRISPR has been adapted by humans to introduce targeted mutations; for instance, it’s been used to inactivate targeted HIV genes in lab animals.

          1. JTMcPhee

            So, giantsquid, we mopes should rest easy that plasmids are “natural” and not a human invention? And ignore the indication that resistance to antibiotics can, like other “wild” coding, be spread from one species to another very different one by “wild” plasmids? And that plasmids would, oh no, never ever be turned to intentional human “economic” use, or pick up intentional human modifications of code that are “intended” to do something, in the limited understanding of the living systems that our curiosity and incompetence and greed impel us to mess around with…

            And “viruses” don’t need plasmids to collect and transfer deadly genetic messages to the wider world — they directly invade healthy cells, like that HIV you hint could be “fixed” by Magic CRISPR “in the lab.” “Flu virus hijacking tactics revealed by scientists, paving way for new treatments,”

            And is the claim that CRISPR, that “all natural” process that humans have “adapted,” like the adaptations of “natural processes” to grow large amounts of “biological weapons” that NObody would ever ever use on account of those “treaties” and all, except there’s this “history” of such use including experimental and developmental and “defense testing” use against “Americans,” is just good for “doing good,” like maybe being able to “inactivate targeted HIV genes in lab animals”? “Back off,man — I’m a Scientist!”

            “An immune system for bacteria and archaea”? Is this study what you had in mind, which seems to flag a lot of questions that might give pause to a cautious policy person? “Dangerous weapons: a cautionary tale of CRISPR defence,”

            And a fair number of thinking people are noting that CRISPR application, ever wider and more easily accessible to just about anyone with a few bucks, carries a lot of risks of “unintended consequences” or malevolent uses: “How to weigh enormous promise, potential danger of CRISPR/Cas9 technology,”

            The original US environmental and other laws regarding chemical exposure and discharges were posited on the notion that the burden of proof that a chemical substance or technology was on the people planning to profit from peddling it — like the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and food and drug acts:

            (d) At a hearing involving issuing, amending, or revoking a regulation or order relating to the safety or effectiveness of a drug, device, food additive, or color additive, the participant who is contending that the product is safe or effective or both and who is requesting approval or contesting withdrawal of approval has the burden of proof in establishing safety or effectiveness or both and thus the right to approval. The burden of proof remains on that participant in an amendment or revocation proceeding.

            Except, of course, that the definitions of safety and effectiveness have been watered down in practice, by lobbying and regulatory capture, and somehow the burden of proof has subtly been shifted to the mopes who dare to challenge any new! Improved! Profitable! application or introduction of a substance into the wider world. Because, of course, MARKETS!

            The default position and hard rule ought to be that one doesn’t get to mess with living systems or engineering structures, hardware or code unless one proves there will be no deleterious consequences, and as a proponent seeking profit or fame, test all possible pathways by which Murphy could insist on the application of his universally applicable law. If you don’t understand it, you don’t mess with it. And yes, antibiotics are great! until MARKET applications = overuse including animal feeds and head colds and all of a sudden those plasmids and CRISPR “natural world” elements defeat “Progress!”

            Doing the PR corporate “apologies” dance after the fact, and manning the corporate walls with phalanxes of lawyers and “paid scientists” to resist the imposition of economic consequences (at least) on the corporation or the government agency or lab, is not any kind of substitute for the simple maxim “Do No Harm.”

      2. apber

        I fear that this latest fear mongering is a red herring. The preponderance of Brazilian cases occurred in an area with high use of pesticides in conjunction with GMO crops. I have yet to see proof that Zika has caused microcephaly in any European or American births from American or European mothers. Monsanto’s propaganda division must be working 24/7.

      3. Felix_47

        Well if the population has already had it they don’t get it again……and it is possible that they did not put it together the way they did in Brazil this time…….but microcephaly is no joke and I suspect most of them will end up in the USA or Europe for life time care at many millions of dollars per capita since in the endemic areas there is no social and economic support for the severely disabled. We are already seeing that in our inner city hospitals and I would not be surprised it they are seeing it in Germany as well.

      4. BondsOfSteel

        Most people who lived where the virus was endemic got infected when they were too young to be pregnant. Now, the virus has a new reservoir of hosts of all ages with no immunity from previous infections… new complications arise.

        1. m

          They are talking about spraying again with those chemicals from Silent Spring. On NPR no less. Before we start spraying that garbage we need a better understanding and less fear-mongering. With this heat how can there even be stagnant water anywhere, hasn’t all evaporated?

      5. uncle tungsten

        From my reading it was transferred in a human from a south pacific island conference of international attendees. One carried the virus back to South America and it was rapidly disseminated by the local host mossies that had feasted on the infected persons blood.

        I read that the epidemiologists had mapped it with a high degree of certainty. Epidemiology is one of the most vital sciences we have.

        I gather that is a fairly normal vector providing the host mossie in the destination country has a similar genotype to the originating mossie.

    3. allan

      What We Know about Zika Virus Effect on Human Tissue [Rayne@Emptywheel]

      Because unproven claims persist that chemical exposure — specifically the pyridine-based pesticide pyriproxyfen — causes the birth defects seen in children born to women exposed to Zika virus, I am bringing out the dead, laying out the bodies.

      By ‘bodies’ I mean sharing here pictures of cells you see in the embedded photos from a peer-reviewed study published this May.

      In these images you’ll see the damage done to human tissue in lab conditions.

      No pyriproxyfen was present.

      1. Don

        Again, they’re looking SO HARD for Zika that of course it’s Zika! It’s a win-win: no problem with pesticides (more than just pyriproxyfen) and poverty and by the way, a new vaccine is coming that you simply must get!

        “Science” is being sold to the highest bidder, and it sure ain’t the people who say “let’s look harder at the living conditions of the people in the affected areas.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps it’s or perhaps it’s not due to the virus.

          But scientists are the losers here. Only by holding themselves to a higher standard, and lowering their down from the pedestal others have put them on (and which they have gladly enjoyed) can they restore public faith.

          “I am just like you. Don’t call me a physicist. I am only curious about Nature…curious to try to comprehend, to understand, to perceive and feel, but humble enough to know not to impose my partial knowledge of today’s best explanation, not to ask for life time tenure…unless every worker has the same tenure right (call it the Bodhisattva brotherhood principle – I will not enter Nirvana until everyone is in it…but, but, but, which Bodhisattva goes before other Bodhisattvas – that is an all together different question).”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The one who enters last, after all other Bodhisattvas have entered – he or she is called the Bodhisattva of Bodhisattvas….like the holy of holies, king of kings, etc.

        2. DJG

          Sorry, Don (who has already posted climate-change “skeptic” stuff) and those below. As climate change happens, things turn up:

          Further, like the outbreaks of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Guinea, human entrance into the jungle has brought back “bugs” that are harmful. Climate change has only made the situation worse.

          Further, viruses are often quite sensitive to temperature range. So as global mean temperatures rise, we may have entered the optimal zone for Zika.

          But then you were denying that atmospheric carbon dioxide can cause climate change. (This issue is separate from CO2 as a greenhouse gas, because the greenhouse effect regulates temperature in the atmosphere.)

          Stealing a squib from Wikipedia: “Human activities since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (taken as the year 1750) have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, from 280 ppm in 1750 to 400 ppm in 2015.[6][7] This increase has occurred despite the uptake of a large portion of the emissions by various natural “sinks” involved in the carbon cycle.[8][9] Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (i.e. emissions produced by human activities) come from combustion of carbon-based fuels, principally coal, oil, and natural gas, along with deforestation, soil erosion and animal agriculture.[10]

          It has been estimated that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the present rate, Earth’s surface temperature could exceed historical values as early as 2047, with potentially harmful effects on ecosystems, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people worldwide.[11]”

          There is a reason that Lambert Strether regularly posts the word Agnotology on this blog.

          1. m

            Zika has been around the equator forever. People have been exposed and in past caused harmless flu-like symptoms. Now in this same environment we are experiencing birth defects. What changed? Sure due to climate change mosquitoes can thrive outside the hot zones. This is a huge spike in microcephaly, for the most part in Brazil. Why?

            1. reslez

              Viruses mutate all the time and cause different symptoms to appear. It’s called evolution. There is nothing mysterious about it.

            2. DJG

              So was HIV. And then, as reslez says, evolution. Change in the host. Change in vector-host-cycle. Any number of things. Read up on Ebola, too.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Yaas, there may be no proof that pyriproxyfen (proof of the negative, which is nigh on impossible) “causes” microcephaly. And no “proof” that any of the other shIt that gets pumped for profit into our environment causes any of the many problems manifesting in humans and other animals and plants thanks to profit-driven, “Better Living Through Chemistry, Without Chemicals There Would Be No Life” industry. “232 toxic chemicals found in 10 newborns,” (But hey, those chemicals are present in such teeensy, tiny amounts that what are you worried about, people? NO PROOF THAT THE STUFF CAUSES ANY HARM because no one has looked at all the pathways and exposures and synergistic effects and linear studies are so imprecise and uncontrollable and and nobody believes anecdotes and where’s your PROOF, your Scientific Proof, you chicken Littles? Look carefully at exactly what studies have actually been done on most of the cchemicals we are routinely exposed to, Lots of question marks and assumptions, And waiting around for epidemiological punches to the head to “indicate a need for further study,” while the profits roll in and the damage and dispersion and bioaccumulation and all that chug along…

        And who should bear that “burden of proof?” The original Toxic Substances Control Act was drafted with the presumption, sort of marginally still present in food, drug and cosmetic laws and regulations, that the burden of proof of “safety” and no bad effects was on the mothertruckers who wanted to profit from adding to the chemical stew that “we” mopes all live with. The same assignment of burden of proof was supposed to be in the other environmental and human-health-protection legislation. Over the years that burden has largely been ignored or officially turned around — now it’s “prove my profitable crap is going to sicken or kill, or let me Market because THAT”S MY RIGHT!”

        In addition to the stuff in the industrial sewer, the Externality Sump, that’s called “the air we breathe and the water we drink and the dirt our food grows in” and milk and chicken and dead cows and pigs, and cigarettes, and asbestos and “white lead” in paints and coatings, and oh-well-what-can-“we”-do about it food additives. And medications that turn out to have been fraudulently snuck through “FDA approval” despite the corporate knowledge they would kill and sicken but hey, “Blockbuster Drug With Huge Profit Margins! so get it out there and let the lawyers fend off the “unproven claims.”

        Ooooh, pictures of damaged cells! That’s PROOF that pyriproxyfen and the other sh!t that impact humans and the environment (that massively fraudulent disconnect) don’t cause that and other cell damage, defects in nucleic material and cellular material replication and life! So see? It’s Nature doing it, not humans, nothing to be done about it.

        Hey, allan! How’s your sperm count? “Environmental factors and semen quality.”

      3. JE

        The full results of a Colombian study will soon be available. There, clinicians have followed the rate of microencephalic births in three subgroups (clinically established infection at first, second and third trimesters). See
        To date, no increase in the rate has been documented for those infected in the second and third trimesters (not really a surprise). The last subgroup of ~500 infected in the first trimester are now coming due.
        Given Colombia has does not use pyriproxyfen (at least, that the claim), the results should provide useful evidence
        (disclaimer, I worked as a molecular biologist in biotech for 20 years and am not convinced Zika is the etiologic agent responsible)

  2. abynormal

    In an exclusive March 18 interview with Defense News, Jamie Morin, head of the Pentagon’s office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), indicated similar doubts that the fund would be a game-changer for the department’s budget.

    “The strategic deterrent fund could be moderately useful to the department, but our real issue is not the fund but funding,” Morin said. “The fund may have some authorities or acquisition tools that could come with it that could provide some modest savings, and that would be fine.

    But the real question is do we have the resources to do that modernization additive to the rest of the requirements of the department, or will we have to squeeze out other high priorities, and those will be the national decisions that have to be made in coming years.”
    Today’s link: A group of 10 senators, all Democrats, have called on the Obama administration to scale back its plans for new nuclear weapons and the bombers and submarines that will carry them. The senators specifically called for canceling LRSO, saying it could save taxpayers $20 billion.

    …they don’t have the technology for the upgrade but it’ll cost 20B? i don’t understand.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Force for global good” /sarc:

      In a sign of changing times for the American military, the Navy plans to name a ship for Harvey Milk, the gay rights leader and San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated in 1978.

      Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy, has notified Congress that he will name a fleet oiler for Mr. Milk, the first openly gay elected official in a major American city. The notice was reported by USNI News on Thursday and was confirmed Friday by a Navy official.

      The move comes five years after President Obama ended the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

      Mabus & 0bama: tolerant, gender-neutral, orientation-blind American exceptionalists, committed to invading foreign countries and killing militants males aged 16 to 60.

      Somehow one doubts that Harvey Milk would be bloody amused by these diversity-embracing militarist thugs’ posthumous exploitation of his name.

      1. voxhumana

        I remember when the Mormon Church was busted for “baptizing” Jews posthumously… except that the gay “community” will never protest the way the Jewish community did.

        Indeed, now that gays are allowed to kill and be killed in our wars of choice and aggression, naming this ship after Milk will likely be celebrated, especially by the faux-progressive organizations and think-tanks which get all the attention and all the money.

        OT – Yesterday I heard on NPR that, because Hillary, soon we might even have a transgender president….

        maybe Caitlin Jenner, who offered to be Ted Cruz’s ambassador to the transgender community…

        oh joy…

      2. Carolinian

        Judging from your NYT link it’s unclear what Milk would have thought but we probably shouldn’t be expecting a USS Chelsea Manning any time soon. Lifestyles are now tolerated–dissent not so much.

        1. HBE

          Tolerated as long as they can be exploited, for identity politics.

          Here is a theoretical, if trump was a member of the LGBTQ community or his skin color wasn’t white, do you think the dems wouldn’t have subtley (or not subtley) insinuated these were negatives to drive a wedge between him and certain voters? As the dnc wanted to do with Bernie’s religious beliefs (how “tolerant” and “liberal” of them).

          Some of the most “tolerant” people I have encountered are only tolerant because they live in a protective bubble and only have to interact with those others they are so “tolerant” of within their protective bubble, where they maintain power and a sense of control over the “others”.

          You would be surprised how quickly that tolerance disappears when those interactions occur with those “others” outside the protective bubble.

          1. polecat

            you mean ‘tolerant’ people like….Rachel Maddow and Lindsey Graham for instance……….??

            I perceive those two as examples of …exploiters…….not the opposite!

      3. polecat

        Too bad Robert Arneson is no longer with the living……….He’d have a field day !!


      4. Ralph Reed

        I was a famous gay lefty ex-airman back in 1993 who purposefully stopped publishing, or even mentioning the gay and ex-airman identifiers except privately on rare occasion, when Clinton upon inauguration put forward his “Gays in the Military” wedge to prevent the conversion of industrial policy away from the defense sector. The horror at Waco underlined that the New Democrats were beneath contempt, as if gay feds or CIA trans would mitigate a state legitimating violence with a lack of utility beyond the neocolonial farce of “Shock and Awe.”

    2. craazyboy

      “they don’t have the technology for the upgrade but it’ll cost 20B? i don’t understand.”

      I’ve seen the entire cost of the program estimated at a $trillion.

      $20B wouldn’t even be a respectable cost overrun.

  3. Cherenkov Blue

    Provoking Russia. This article convinced me: the US government is going to war.

    The dogged insistence of the Big-Lie wurlitzer has reached the same intensity as the run-up to Iraq. Back then I thought, nobody’s that stupid. And I was wrong. Now, thinking like a psychopath, you can put yourself in the command structure’s shoes. US standing and influence is leaking away. Their bloc is cracking up, politically and economically. Russia leapfrogged the US in military preparedness simply by not being terminally corrupt – sure the USG spends ten times more but 95% of it they piss away on CPFF looting and unauditable graft. Their only hope of hanging on is war.

    And if it goes nuclear, what the hell. COG has been in place since 9/11, CIA has spread out to the fusion centers to hide behind the civilian population and they’ll crawl out of the rubble and take over. Anyway, global warming entails a 60-95% reduction in population capacity worldwide; the sooner they get it over with, the easier it’s going to be.

    It’s almost impossible to accept this unless (1) you’ve seen how compartmentation works at the collateral level; and (2) you then got out and absorbed the research and the independent foreign reports. Paul Craig Roberts is a high-profile example. Others with that background: please tell me this is wrong.

  4. low integer

    Allow me to share a short paragraph from the Guardian’s Donald Trump taking the gloves off article.

    “The Republican nominee also complained about Nato and US military aid to overseas allies. In particular, Trump expressed his discontent that “we pay rent for our base to Saudi Arabia”. The US closed its main military base in Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan Air Base, in 2003.”

    The truth is purposely blurred here to the point I consider it a straight up lie. By contrasting Trump’s statement with the closing of a base a nondiscerning reader would simply assume this is another one of crazy old Trump’s irrelevant statements from the borders of rationality. Of course if it is irrelevant, you have to wonder why the corporate press are desperate to dishonestly present these kinds of points to anyone who will listen. In reality, the US has multiple military bases in Saudi Arabia, and the closing of one base does not refute this fact. Trump’s statement is valid and the press are discrediting themselves.
    I wrote yesterday that the last approx. 24 hours have felt really important for some reason, and I think it is because the neoliberal/neoconservative corporate juggernaut is panicking and has just dialled it all up to a new level in response, probably due to the hilariously and transparently disasterous convention. Or maybe it is just me.

    1. low integer

      Also, comparing the above, a blatant hit piece, with this article by the Guardian, which fawns over Clinton’s white pantsuit with the sincerity of a fashion designer commentating on a celebrity’s Oscar night fashion choices, makes it crystal clear what they are trying to do. Shameless.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They have brainwashed, sorry, educated people to appreciate the superficial for generations; so, of course, the thinking at the Ministry is to make Clinton superficially or fashionably more attractive.

        That will appeal to our ‘educated’ (not brainwashed, I repeat) voters.

    2. Steve H.

      It’s not you…

      The DNC debacle was notable not just for the explicit crushing of dissent, but that the dissenters were prepared and organized. T-shirts that were colored so they couldn’t be green-screened. The Democrats are going to have three months of a cartoon fight with fists coming out of a cloud and feathers falling.

      With both R & D establishment explicitly backing Clinton, the question is now “How will she weasel her way out of having at least one debate?” The moderators would be in the bag for Clinton, but Trump‘ll push them off the stage too.

      1. low integer

        a cartoon fight with fists coming out of a cloud and feathers falling.

        Nice imagery. I can only imagine Hillary’s reaction to Bill falling asleep during her big speech. Hilarious, and they deserve each other.
        I’ve been a big fan of the honey badger (the animal) for a long time now. Always makes me smile to see one, and yes, that is certainly Trump to a tee.
        Adding: that video is funny.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks, I didn’t know about Bill falling asleep during her big speech.

          “It was so painful. Can’t you feel my pain (listening to her)?”

                1. RWood

                  Brief comment, bracketed by the Conelrad interrupters:
                  I liked the distinct contrast between the white suit and the dark soul.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To be fair and honest, I am glad we didn’t see Hillary Youth goose-stepping past the convention center.

        Sometimes, people, that is, critics, can be over-imaginative.

    3. John Candlish

      Or maybe it is just me.

      The narrative framing must represent hundreds of millions of revenue for the media majors.

      Two or three quarters after the election feeding frenzy and the big media players will probably be fairly desperate for new clients with something to sell.

      Has Hillary promised to make up that shortfall going forward? Does surveillance pay better than advertising?

      1. HBE

        I think you may have hit a small part of the issue on the head, Trump is not spending even close to the amount of money on ads hillary is, a very small part of the media favoring hillary, may revolve around the fact she is a bigger paycheck for them. Although trump draws in the numbers, but direct client revenue is always more attractive.

      2. low integer

        It is worrying to me because unless the corporate media are totally blind, which is certainly a distinct possibility, they must know they are squandering their remaining credibility at an ever increasing rate. I guess the Clinton’s pretty much break everything they touch, so why not the corporate media?

        1. inode_buddha

          Depends whats the going rate for credibility? The bottom line is all that matters to them, credibility be damned as long as they’re making $$$. And that is what I *LOVE* about the internet…. it gives us an alternative to propaganda.

          1. John Candlish

            You’re dreaming.

            An inode is a physical representation of a virtual thing, Mr Buddha.

          2. Kurt Sperry

            The obvious reason that ad buys and rigged media are demonstrably doing their job as they reliably did in the recent past is almost 100% down to the internet and the ability of people to easily fact check on their phone or desk and to avail themselves of a less monocultural ideological environment. Obviously not everyone does this, but those who don’t or can’t are selected against. You look like the dumb one at work if you are spouting opinions that can easily be falsified via a phone app. Narratives, which are one of the principal ways culture is communicated, are built up out of parts and when enough parts are discovered to be unsound, the narrative can suddenly collapse with no obvious proximate cause. The change and its causes are invisible from inside the narrative and only become visible when the cultural narrative is cast off, and so can’t really be accurately dealt with and countered from within it either. I don’t even know how one might contain it, you see it happening across the Western world right now.

            The status quo’s high definition reality distortion field is starting to show artifacts and pixelations and disbelief can only be suspended so long. There will be a new narrative born from the old, it won’t be completely different but it will significantly so. I think we are authoring that new narrative right here and now, and aren’t even really consciously aware we are doing it. Social media snobs might not appreciate the collective power of stuff like Facebook and Twitter, and of course many more, that are fundamentally interactive in a way popular media hasn’t been in a very long time. Media, from the early printing press to newspaper to television and movies, were always essentially a one way pipe easily controlled at a few nodes. It’s orders of magnitude more complicated today and until some new equilibrium is achieved it’ll spawn all sorts of cultural dissonances.

    4. Carolinian

      It’s not just you. Liberals who spend so much time worrying about totalitarianism should worry a lot about our media lockstep. In fact this has been true for some time as seen in the Iraq invasion etc. Worries about what HRC might do with this sort of unthinking support are not just fantasies.

      1. Whine Country

        You raise an excellent point. I’m a 70 year old retired CPA. Drummed into our heads during our training wast the concept of independence. One cannot fairly and objectively report on a client’s operations without independence (which included even the appearance of a lack of independence). During my career, I watched as the concept taught and adhered to in my youth eroded to the point that it became almost laughable. Unfortunately that has become true of all of the professions. In the case of my profession, it was not hard to meet the primary rule, there could be no direct ownership interest in the client entity. But it became common practice for CPA firms of all sizes to bid the audit portion of the client engagement at cost, and sometimes below cost, in order to gain the additional business that accompanied the audit work. In my experience, the audit portion was a very small fraction of the overall business from the client. So to is it with the media. The millions of dollars raised by the candidates goes to [pause for effect] the media. In addition, access to the media in order to do their job of reporting is controlled by the candidates. Consequently you have created a well designed incentive system which pretty much assures that you get what you pay for. Speak badly about a candidate, and expect a note inviting you to a meeting with your editor. Or worse, the candidate just excludes you from the inner circle who is being spoon fed the news. The sad truth is that, as the business models for all of the professions has morphed into a commodity driven system with certain very bad incentives built in, so to has our media. One will never correct the media problem by just moralizing about the fact that they have sold out. Until we can grapple with the larger issue of when someone who represents themselves as a true professional crosses over to nothing more than a seller of commodities, we will have what we have. Our media are now not much more than contract PR providers and the fourth branch of government has been crapified like most else we get now.

      2. inode_buddha

        It has been my experience that US liberals have no problem with practicing totalitarianism themselves, and can be just as intolerant as anyone. Much like the GOP, its only a problem when the “other guy” is doing it.

    5. RabidGandhi

      I agree with the consensus here: it’s not just you. I have followed politics rather closely for decades, and I agree completely that there has been a major shift over the last few weeks. For me, as per usual, the bellweather is the NYT, which is currently in the midst of a valiant effort to see if its Trump/Putin coverage can outdo its 2002 Iraq WMD hysteria, and they are largely succeeding.

      Exhibit A: today’s latest front page, fact-free, anonymous source based stenography, “Russian Spies Said to Hack Systems Used in Clinton’s Run”

      Exhibit B: new Times Public Editor Liz Spayd addressed the issue of the Times Red Scare coverage not by questioning the lack of proof in articles by Lichtblau, David Sanger and others, but rather by saying

      “Matt Purdy, a deputy executive editor of The Times, said that he viewed this line of coverage as important, but that it was competing for attention during a very newsy period. He also noted that the first story on Putin and Trump got prominent play. “We have lots of reporting assets on this,” he said.

      That’s good to hear — and I hope that continues to be true.”

      Instead of doing her job and snuffing out the NYT’s gaslighting, Spayd gives them more fuel for the fire.

      Exhibit C: Timothy Egan:The Real Plot Against America. I actually clicked on this thinking against hope that it might be an antidote to the hysteria. No such luck. Moar “Russians under every bed”.

      The hysteria has been dialed up to 11 and, when combined with the dissent crushing tactics we’ve seen from the Dems around their convention, and Lambert’s Ohio/Mississippi river analogy, it is clear we are suddenly in a new ominous place, eerily reminiscent of the Wilsonian or Eisenhower Red Scares.

      1. sleepy

        It’s impossible now to distinguish between much of the media narrative and the campaign talking points. Within days, it seems this Putin hacker political drama has become national security issue number one, disregarding experts who say otherwise and Trump’s words himself which imho were clearly sarcastic.

        As you mention, much of the disinformation is reminiscent to the build up to the Iraq War and the flag-waving, Hillary-is-more-patriotic-than-Trump theme of the convention seemed an effort to whitewash Hillary’s support for that war.

        The speech by the father of the military son who was killed in the mideast was revealing. While the speech slammed Trump for his anti-muslim bigotry, there was no mention of the neocon policy that got us into those wars and actually got his son killed. And I have yet to see one pundit mention this obvious fact.

        Ok to protest war death as long as the protest is based on identity politics, but mentioning actual foreign policy as a cause appears a no-no.

        1. Carolinian

          Certainly nothing anti-Muslim about Hillary voting for an Iraq war that would get half a million (or more) Muslims killed–no siree.

          1. RabidGandhi

            In her defence, while HRC has actively helped destroy at least three muslim majority countries (Iraq, Libya, Syria), she has also done her fair share to overthrow democratically elected governments in Christian majority countries such as Honduras, Paraguay and Venezuela.


            1. lyman alpha blob

              And don’t forget the Ukraine! (w/some help from Kerry) It’s not just Catholic nations – the Orthodox are fair game too.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        War is the bedrock of the American economy, not just to Raytheon and Halliburton, but to Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Amazon, and Federal Express. Stopping the flow of New Wars into the economy would jeopardize the very lifeblood of the system.
        Ground war with tanks and jets against goat herders in the mountains (The War on Terra) got tiresome and is long in the tooth. So SNW (Shiny New War) is imperative, and the entire society must be mobilized to make sure it happens. The state propaganda organs (WaPo, NYT, WSJ) must sing in unison; Hollywood needs to do their part (for a while movie villains were Muslim but now they’re Slavic again). Dollars must continue to flow unimpeded for electronic space rail guns and any and all new means of causing death, no matter how far-fetched or expensive. All dangerous talk about rapprochement, dialogue, rethink, diplomacy, or peace must be crushed immediately.

        1. bdy

          Shiny New War = battlefield nukes over Eurasia.

          “Shiny? It’ friggin’ glowing, man!”

    6. DJG

      low integer (and others): It isn’t you. The problem has become progressively worse and is being aggravated by our post-modern / baroque conditions. I keep this quote around the house:

      The confounding of truth and lies, making it almost impossible to maintain a distinction, and a labour of Sisyphus to hold on to the simplest piece of knowledge…[marks] the conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power.

      –Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections from a Damaged Life

      The book by Adorno is structured as related notes. I recommend it, although Adorno isn’t what you would call a laff riot. (And like many intellectuals of his time, he had weird, unpardonable problems with women.) On the other hand, as the child of an assimilated Jew (converted to Protestantism) and a Catholic Italian/Corsican, he was forced into exile and had a tumultuous, damaged life. One must have compassion.

      1. low integer

        It is a great quote. I’ll try and remember the name, though I have a busy few months starting on Monday. Unfortunately my reading (and commenting at NC) time will be greatly, although only temporarily, reduced :(

    7. low integer

      The more I look at the paragraph from the Guardian I quoted, the more out of place the last sentence seems. Almost like someone has gone through someone else’s article and purposely injected confusion into sensitive topics. I also note that if one were to fact check that last sentence it would stand up, even though it is irrelevant.

      1. Katharine

        Deceit by shrewd concatenation of literal truths is an ancient art. I’m not even sure how ancient. Is there a classicist in the house? Egyptologist? Anyway, it’s one of the many reasons we need to be so darn careful when we read “news” these days.

      2. bdy

        Indeed, calling foriegn bases anything other than “occupation” is a lie of the first order. Occupied Germany, Occupied Japan, Occupied S Korea, Occupied Saudi Arabia, the Occupied Phillipines, Occupied Pakistan, Occupied Afghanistan and so on and on . . . . Naturally all line up behind US global interests, although some get a better deal than others.

        It’s always the unspoken answer to the unanswered question, “Why regime change for this ‘brutal dictatorship’ and not that one?”

        Because we already took that one over, duh! Just look for the bases.

        Given conditions on the ground, the Saudis and everyone else should be paying tribute. We’re Rome and they are not. (I say close the bases, come home and let other states choose their own paths, but good luck finding a candidate who agrees)

  5. Skippy

    Saw the other day that there was a bit of a drama about Greer, suffice to say, you have seen one Berado you have seen them all…

    Reminiscent of a literary equivalent of the Grateful Dead, where musical complexity becomes anything that the listener wants it to be or thinks that, but, in the end it becomes a business under the guise of something else…

    Grateful Dead Concerts Made $52 Million, Set Record for Biggest Music PPV Event Ever

    Disheveled Marsupial…. the crazypants part is the money comes mostly from the very people that the music rails against… reminiscent of going to a reggae concert in a little known amphitheater in Beverly Hills.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Only one day since the big GDP miss, and already two Fed groundhogs have bravely ventured out of their burrows:

    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams played down a “low” reading on second-quarter U.S. growth and said the economy could still warrant as many as two interest-rate increases this year — or none.

    “There’s definitely a data stream that could come through in the next couple of months that I think would be supportive of two rate increases,” Williams told reporters Friday.

    Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, who also spoke Friday, echoed Williams’ wait-and-see attitude, saying he wouldn’t “overreact to one data point.”

    When I see groundhogs brazenly gamboling on the front lawn, I reach for my varmint rifle.

      1. sd

        Fwiw, we are having a very strange year. Work keeps getting cancelled or jobs leave the area at the last minute. Yet, we keep hearing, everything is busy. Which competes directly with the anecdotes of restaurant suppliers who say business is way down. At first glance, recent industry stats looked rosey. But a closer look and understanding of what industry specific numbers actually mean revealed an addition of only 150 jobs.

        Perhaps how well or not well someone is doing just depends on which economy someone falls are in. For the 1%, life is good and the restaurants are busy. For the proles, life is precarious.

  7. MartyH

    Everything’s Broken … and it’s not all about privacy, snoopery, intrusions. It’s also about the gazillions of imperfections that rob us of seconds to days of useful life messing with technologies that are busted one way or another. We have a team of thirteen working to clean up a tiny corner of this mess and the end is not in sight 17 years later.

    1. QuarterBack

      Exactly. Information technology is a tangled mess at all levels. Just wait for the ‘Internet of Things’ to really take stride. It will be more like the ‘Internet of Tchotchkes’

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We will be adding many, many (if not most) self-driving cars, and who knows what else, to the technology/internet mix.

      But what else are all those bright people going to do with all the degrees from Stanford and MIT?

      “You graduate them and billions, trillions of wealth will come.”

      Have more people, from all over the world, compete for admission, to ensure we get the best prospects and maintain our leadership position in supplying human parts to the Technology Machine.

      1. craazyboy

        They’ll need to carefully design everything so everything breaks one day after the warranty period ends.

      1. low integer

        If it comes to that, I hope it is a Nikon F or a 1960’s vintage Leica M instead, and someone has some B&W film and developing equipment stored somewhere.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Scottish firm behind global ‘essay mills’ offering to write students’ work for cash Herald Scotland. Note that there’s an essay mill in the US.

    Well, Yves’ note about the us “essay mill” made me want to do some investigatin’.

    So, I searched on the address noted in the article––and found that it was “for sale.” But there were paid ads, so I went to one of them–

    The testimonials from satisfied customers were pure comedy gold. A few gems:

    Customer #4005 writes: First but not last! Thank you for my coursework, I already thought that I’d fail. You successfully completed my 15 page coursework on Ethics and I have more to come. I do believe that your professional writers are capable to do anything.

    “Ethics” class.

    Customer #2240 writes: You saved my time! I am always so bored to write essays, but you changed my life. You provide high quality essays and no hassle with the process. I like your site and how friendly it is. I think I will order my term paper with you next month.

    Customer #4237 writes: My paper did not have any grammatical mistakes and was really done by the format. I like the way writer followed Harvard style, it was the first time my tutor did not correct anything. I only added my name to the title page. Thank you again for an excellent paper.

    “Harvard style.”

    Our future “credentialed” meritocrats. In their “own words.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Harvard style”

      It’s “gangnam style” with bigger words and no music … but retaining the hokey bow tie.

      1. petal

        There was a big scandal in Australia 1-2 years ago about essay writing factories. You can dig deeper if you search for MyMaster, Australia, etc. It was amusing reading the Aussie news every day and seeing it bloom. It was geared toward Chinese students whose language and academic skills weren’t up to snuff, or didn’t want to put in the effort. Sadly, my old study abroad uni Newcastle U, was hit the most, it seems. From the students I come across in academia, it’s(inadequate English language skills or laziness) also an issue here in the US.

        1. low integer

          I had quite a few Chinese friends/acquaintances during my earlier engineering studies (I’m Australian), though only one who I became close enough friends with (catching up outside of uni for drinks etc) that he gave me a glimpse into the world of the student visa carrying Chinese in Australia. It is a tightly sealed world yet even before my suspicions were confirmed I was pretty sure these kinds of things were going on, and I was surprised how much of it was attributed to parental pressure by my friend. I guess it makes sense. Like you mention, some were effectively learning English and the normal mechanical engineering curriculum simultaneously, and I have borne the brunt of this at times when I ended up working in groups with these types. All good though. All of this would have annoyed me much more if they were Australian citizens, though the majority who did this sort of thing would return to China after studying. I guess they had connections.

          The worst thing I saw though, which I was informed is fairly common, was people who had never had a driver’s license coming to Australia to study, having their relatives send them a fake Chinese driver’s license from China, then using the fake license to acquire a temporary Australian driver’s license. Evidently there may be something to the ‘Asians are bad drivers’ meme, at least in some places. The friend I talked about above did this, and then his parents bought him a brand new Honda Accord to drive for the few years he was in Australia! He was a Han from the north of China (I think), and I assume had very wealthy parents.

          1. petal

            Thank you for sharing, low integer!
            Oh, the stories I could tell about my Chinese roommate(especially regarding driving/licensing) and neighbours(we are in uni housing)! It’s been fascinating and educational talking with this person and observing. Has been a great insight into things. Also, have Vietnamese-American friend (born and raised in the US to Vietnamese parents) who regularly complains about the driving of other Asians in LA. It’s pretty funny. Have had my own scary experiences here in this part of the country, as well. Cheers!

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Hey let’s have an Australian NC meetup, with or without Yves. Reply to the thread if you’re in AUS and want to meet for a beer and a rant.

              1. low integer

                I’d definitely be up for it. Unfortunately I’ll be pretty busy for the next few months, starting Monday, and I assume I would have to fly to the east coast. This would not be a problem once I have some time again.

                1. norm de plume

                  I would be keen for a brew too.

                  I used to work for a big Uni and was successively secretary to the committee dealing with student appeals against exclusion and then in charge of exams. Stories, I have a few.

                  Some of you might recall this Chinese cheating story from a few years ago:

                  ‘By late afternoon, the invigilators were trapped as students pelted the windows with rocks. Outside, more than 2000 people had gathered, smashing cars and chanting: ”We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.”

                  1. dk

                    There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.

                    Indeed, it’s the mainstay of credentialism. I mean, how can one think one knows something from reading it in a book? Books are great for reference and starting points for exploration, but they’re not always correct or complete. But real skill can be difficult to asses, it can take an expert to recognize another expert.

                    We cheat death every day. So far so good, right?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There are many language schools here in S. California who take in Chinese students who just pay (to get that student visa) and never (or once a month or something like that) show up at school.

          Maybe Trump needs to put a wall around that as well.

          (Technologically, the best kind of wall is a human-energy shield-wall – one that utilizes humans to enforce existing laws and regulations….and a (law enforcing) job creating, economy-stimulating wall).

    2. scotty_mack

      In the early and mid nineties I wrote dozens of senior theses for the business majors of a public university in North Carolina. A staggering amount of them had no choice but to buy their work since they had no ability to write, read and process information, or argue about anything that didn’t involve dollars. Oh how many times I heard the refrain “I can’t write a 15 page paper! I’m a business major! I buy low and sell high! How do I write about that for 15 pages?!?!” I was all to happy to help, both because I was paying my own way through school, and because I loved the idea of stocking the business world with incompetent frauds. Two of those former customers are now important mucketty-mucks at Bank of America Headquarters in Charlotte NC.

      1. low integer

        and because I loved the idea of stocking the business world with incompetent frauds

        Ha! That is pretty funny. I like you cynicism.

      2. Milton

        If you have the proof that you did indeed write articles for the high mucky-muck gentlemen that are heading the large, aforementioned, banks I see no reason why you cannot name them.

        1. scotty_mack

          I didn’t write articles for them, I wrote papers for them during their senior years in college. And they don’t head the banks, but two have achieved decently high up positions at BoA (probably on the backs of others). I have no desire to out them entirely; they and all the others helped pay for my schooling ($500 per paper in 1990’s dollars), and I wouldn’t want BoA checking up on them and replacing them with more competent people.

    3. hunkerdown

      The smart yuppies pay the interns at work to write fourth grade essays for their children. Happened to a friend of mine. This use of other people as instruments to get their way training starts young.

    4. MtnLife

      I have some friends who “tutor” (read: does all outside class work for) Ivy League students and they make enviable money at it. You don’t even have to be all that intelligent, just more so than the spoiled idiot you are doing the work for. Daddy Dollars doesn’t want his precious affluenza addled offspring to actually have to work or even learn anything from the couple hundred thousand he just spent to educate them (roughly equal parts tuition and “tutoring”). Just get your shiny diploma covered in those coveted credentials, make those lifelong priceless friendships/networks, and go out into already allotted job slot to live out your elite destiny!

  9. FreeMarketApologist

    “…and fracking is very unpopular upstate.”

    Not sure I’d totally agree with that. There’s a substantial divide, with significant support from a large number of old-line farmers (because they can sell their mineral rights, and make the old homestead financially viable, or can then afford to send the kids to college), and residents who don’t have a lot of other employment options, but could find some work in the trucking, construction, or support areas. On the other hand, there’s an older cohort, many of whom are “1st generation” upstaters (moved from NYC in the late 1960s or 70s’) who are active in environmental issues, and want to preserve the ‘unspoiled’ rural character of the area, with strong support from business leaders who see tourism as a way to revitalize significantly depressed communities (i.e., sell the rundown houses to 2nd homeowners who will renovate them and bring $$ into the community).

    The current fuss is at least the second time that minerals have been viewed as an economic savior for marginally viable farmlands: The county deed books are full of mineral leases written in the 1960s.

    I see this morning that the Constitution Pipeline is listed as one of the sponsors of the Delaware County Fair. (

    (Disclosure: I’m one of those 2nd homeowners.)

    1. Ulysses

      Yep. You only have to drive a few minutes south of Ithaca to see that what you say is true. Although some of my friends in Schuyler, Broome, and Tioga counties tell me that a significant number of people have soured on the economic potential of fracking, and are now more excited at the prospect of more casinos, expanded auto-racing, “eco-tourism,” etc. In other words, they want the city slickers to come on up and spend money like water!

      1. inode_buddha

        Or just keep going westward to Erie and Niagara counties, then hook the 90- soutbound towards PA. Even opening a McDonalds makes headlines about JOBS!!!!!

  10. ambrit

    Being in the age cohort that will be effected severely by any “Grand Bargain” makes me both angry and amused by the Zepp tirade pushing a “get out of the way” meme.
    The entire piece rests on a misdirection. It assumes the present dysfunctional medical system to be the base line from which all else is measured. There is no mention at all of reform of the system itself. No hints at the economies of scale possible with a true all encompassing ‘Single Payer’ system. No mention at all of the distortions of the cost curve by ‘for profit’ medical provider groups. No mention is made of the increasing burdens placed upon the ‘charity’ part of the medical system by the ever expanding income inequality in our society.
    What the Zepp screed reminded me of was one of those infomercials one encounters on the internet trying to sell the viewer some shady product. The last minute of the piece enunciated a list of neoliberal themes. At that point I recognized the apostolism at the heart of the video. Zepp is promoting a saecular religion, Neo Liberalism. Here, the Spokesperson is claiming the Faith for the young by predicting doom for the young if the old aren’t ‘taught their proper place,’ Underground.

    1. low integer

      Divide and conquer is going into overdrive. There is one thing that the elites must resist at all costs, and that is a sense of shared purpose that transcends labels such as young and old, progressive or conservative, (cough) Democratic (cough) party or Republican party. There are some societal systems for which it is in almost everybody’s interest to have functioning kindly, honestly, and efficiently, and I’m not talking about the sort of efficiency which hollows out the quality of the job done or the satisfaction of job. The only people who have any interest in these systems being dysfunctional or nonexistent is those that wish to loot the public via privatzation. Robust public healthcare sits at the top of this list of systems, imo, and once people cut through the obfuscation it would seem hard to not agree that it is in everyone’s best interests. FWIW I’m in my mid 30’s.

      1. ambrit

        Agreed. The infamous AARP pursues a similar ‘divide and rule’ strategy, with distinct overtones of rent extraction, from the other side of the ‘false’ distinction.

      2. low integer

        There is one thing that the elites must resist at all costs, and that is a sense of shared purpose that transcends labels

        Unless of course war is the purpose(?) that they are “bringing the population together” for. Ugh.

    2. fresno dan

      These dudes are too clever by half: now that there is global warming, there won’t be any ice floes to put the old folks on…

  11. Pavel

    I actually watched a Youtube version of Trump’s Colorado Springs speech for about an hour — it was the first time I watched him speak for any length of time. His delivery seems better and he was in a good mood and fairly amusing at times. Apart from his comments on NATO (which weren’t as “anti” as they have been at times), he came out very forcefully against TPP and condemned NAFTA. For that alone, kudos.

    He’s a disaster in so many ways, but I could at least listen to him for the 60 minutes whilst I could only stand Hillary for 3 minutes (due to her voice and delivery and most of all hypocrisy).

    I see the Daily Kos Hillbots are suggesting Trump will weasel out of the debates, but I think it’s far more likely that HRC will somehow justify not doing them — she’s got more to lose. And is she finally going to release the Goldman Sachs transcripts?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Trump’s “believe me” verbal tic is worrisome. Trustworthy individuals don’t constantly say “believe me” (but car salesmen and stock brokers do). He’s a flake … but an entertaining flake.

      Whereas the ‘beest, with her ragged “caw caw caw” crow’s voice and haughty lecturing: for every man, she is the noisome archetype of the nagging fishwife. Every second of exposure is pure torture.

        1. ambrit

          Why, yes, of course Comrade Joe.
          Any female opinions on H Clintons’ voice and delivery out there? Being a MCP in both myth and fable, a balancing appraisal would be of therapeutic value.
          In H Clintons case, a few bricks lobbed through the ‘Glass Curtain’ is de rigueur.

          1. flora

            Her voice, imo, sounds like she’s tried to speak in a lower register and more forcefully than is natural for her, and for too many years. Starting out in the 70’s and 80’s it may have been a tactic to sound more serious so to be listened to instead of dismissed in her professional life. (Remember the women’s wide shoulder-padded suit jackets? Quite the fashion back then. I digress.) I think decades of this straining to sound serious by vocal quality instead of content has left her voice sounding strained and scratchy and is imo very unpleasant. Chalk on a blackboard, in a low register. I could get past her voice if she wasn’t a neoliberal pushing for TPP and other awful programs. I really can’t listen to her.

            1. Clive

              Margaret Thatcher had the same voice coaching foist on her by media advisors. Had a similar effect, not quite in the same way as Hillary but her voice ended up becoming a parody and quite unnatural sounding.

          2. Patricia

            Bernie often sounded like something being scraped over the ground but it was a source for affection. Hilary’s aggressive tense scratchiness offers banalities and deceit, thus unbearable. I can’t listen to her for more than 3 minutes.

            Couldn’t listen to Obama either; his voice was pleasant.

            Jim, you might want to update that cliche. Fishwife, really?

          3. Liberal Mole

            Long time female liberal democrat here. I remember being noncommittal at the time while watching one of the early debates and then thinking “Wow, will the american public really vote to listen to that for 4 years?” and getting worried.

          4. Optimader

            I have a human opinion of her voice. Pandering punctuated with awkwardly insane cackling

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              My fellow countrymen (and countrywomen, plus city-ladies), my friends, folks, trust me, believe me, Hillary is worse.

      1. low integer

        Yep. I’d much rather have a beer with Trump than Clinton, though Bernie would be my first choice out of the three.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Zanders made a big mistake when he stopped pounding on the Goldman Sachs transcripts. It’s something pretty much anyone can connect with, and draws in so many other issues. Of course it will also fit in nicely with Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” moniker.

      As to what is in them that Hillary couldn’t survive? The best suggestion I’ve heard is Hillary using the GOP’s former talking point for why the 2008 crash occurred: Minorities taking on mortgages they couldn’t afford. Obviously that’s a stupid answer, but it exonerates Wall Street, and was a very popular answer on the Street for that reason. And also for that reason, I could easily image Hillary using it at a talk with that donor base.

        1. xformbykr

          saw two youtube videos that made me feel better, from comedian jimmy dore;

          has jimmy dore and ralph nader saying that bernie set hillary up for ‘betrayal’ (of the ideals of bernie’s campaign).

          has jimmy dore analysing hillary’s expressions during bernie’s endorsement speech; she looks tense while bernie is saying that ‘ hillary understands …’

          it’s the best light in which i’ve seen his campaign since the endorsement.

    3. dcblogger

      somehow I think the Goldman Sachs transcripts or a video will make its way into the public.

    4. afisher

      Just a reminder: NAFTA was negotiated by G HW Bush and approved by mostly Republicans in 1993.

      From the 1992 debate: Perot, Bush and Clinton:

      BUSH: Well, Carole, the thing that saved us in this global economic slowdown is in our exports. And what I’m trying to do is increase our exports. And if, indeed, all the jobs were going to move South because of lower wages, there are lower wages now and they haven’t done that. And so I have just negotiated with the President of Mexico; the North American Free Trade Agreement; and the Prime Minister of Canada, I might add, and I’m — I want to have more of these free trade agreements. Because export jobs are increasing far faster than any jobs that may have moved overseas; that’s a scare tactic because it’s not that many. But anyone that’s here, we want to have more jobs here and the way to do that is to increase our exports.

      Anyone here who wants to say that the way to have the possibility of a functional president is to immediately Veto and po the Congress… is not thinking clearly.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think that was why Perot got in there – neither Clinton nor Bush was going to oppose NAFTA.

        Had Perot been able to take over the Republican party like Trump was able to, it would have been Perot vs. the Comeback Kid.

        Now, we get a second strike (only the elites get those) – this time, it’s Trump vs. Clinton.

      2. GregoryC

        H.R. 3450 (103rd Congress) passed 234-200, November 17, 1993, with 102 Democrats voting Aye. Among those Democrats voting for NAFTA were Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, Ron Wyden and Maria Cantwell. 16 of the 34 Democrats who voted Aye were defeated in 1994.

    5. EndOfTheWorld

      In my case, I can listen to Trump for about thirty seconds, whereas I can’t even stand to look at a picture of Hill.

      1. sd

        Clinton comes off as insincere. It’s just words. Trump “believes” what he says when he says it. But that doesn’t mean it will be followed by action. On the other hand, he’s now loudly repeated his criticism of NAFTA enough times to believe he has it in the cross hairs.

    6. no one

      It’s amazing that the Dems and Hillary supporters think they can get people to believe that Trump will weasel out of the debates. Do they believe people have already forgotten that Trump is the nominee because of his debate performance?
      Far more likely that Hillary wants out, because Trump 1) has been in media for decades and 2) knows a thing or two about rattling his opponents and/or provoking them.
      Hillary is no fool, but she will be hard put to answer Trump’s jibes without alienating some of her supporters. It seems unlikely, also, that she would under those circumstances be able to win over undecideds, still less Trump supporters.
      I could be wrong, but nothing in Hillary’s 20+ years of public appearances suggests otherwise.

      1. Pavel

        Hell, she’s not even doing any press conferences, and her press spokesman wouldn’t commit to her doing any until after the election!

        PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager can’t guarantee that the Democratic presidential nominee will hold a press conference between now and the presidential election and laughed off questions about why she doesn’t gather with reporters.

        Speaking at a luncheon hosted by The Wall Street Journal, campaign manager Robby Mook burst out laughing when asked if Clinton would hold court with members of the media before Election Day.

        “We’ll see,” he said.
        Clinton has still not held a press conference this year.

        According to a count by The Washington Post, it has been more than 230 days since Clinton last held one — Dec. 4, 2015.

        When Washington Post editorial board editor Ruth Marcus asked if the press conference blackout would continue into a Clinton administration, Mook again laughed it off.

        “I will not speculate about anything after the election because I’ll be on vacation,” he said.

        — The Hill: Clinton camp laughs off questions about press conference blackout

        I honestly think she’ll find a way to bail out of the debates, and blame it on Trump of course. Given the way the MSM have treated the “Russian hacking” story, no doubt they’ll defend her.

        1. Skip Intro

          I’m sure she’d do a presser for the customary fee. I mean, she can’t just give it away. The Brock/Kos axis is transparently addicted to inoculation / projection, they are just warming up the Trump-blaming memes for when Hillary cancels all the debates.

    7. uncle tungsten

      I have to do this. #canthackHillary.
      I cant hack her lies
      I cant hack her faux ignorance of IT security
      I cant hack her unbelievability
      I cant hack her attacks on any challenger
      I cant hack the cloth she didn’t use to wipe her server
      I cant hack the way she puts USA security at risk to protect her “private” shenanigans
      I cant hack her capacity to corrupt any decent process associated with democray
      I cant hack her network of “get out of jail free cards”
      I cant hack her transparent deceptions
      I cant hack her associates
      I cant hack her war criminal mentors
      I cant hack her media admirers and shills
      I cant hack her Wall Street buddies
      I cant hack her mate Obama

      Is there anyone out there who can hack Hillary?

  12. Carolinian

    Google–all things to all people.

    Despite the dispute with Russia over Crimea, Ukrainian officials had been clear that the street names on the peninsula should be changed too. The new names would reflect the names of Crimean Tatar origin, and Google changed dozens of place names For example, Krasnoperekopsk was renamed as “Yany Kapu” and Kirovskoe was called “Islyam-Terek

    Then they changed it back

    Google had attempted to sidestep any similar controversies by displaying different maps to different countries. While showed American users an image of Ukraine with a dotted line by Crimea, a nod to the countries disputed status, showed a Ukrainian audience a map of Ukraine with Crimea clearly a part of it. Meanwhile, Russian Google users visiting would find the peninsula was marked a part of Russia.

    Seems “don’t be evil” can be a bit slippery at times.

    1. Daryl

      Seems like any kind of map making in the internet era is going to run into this problem. Every country has their pet border disputes and it’s more important not to offend your customers than it is that the maps have a 1:1 relationship with reality.

      1. low integer

        And then we have the Australian continental plate, drifting at 1/5th of an inch (5mm in my preferred language) a year, and messing up GPS systems. Ha!

        1. norm de plume

          In several million years we won’t need to be import to China, we will be part of it!

      2. HotFlash

        Yup, and despite the decades of, oh, say, voting districts, taxation districts, school boards, fire districts and many other working definitions, there are still twilight zones.

  13. Otis B Driftwood

    I don’t have a Twitter account, but I’ll check out the main feed now and then to get a sense of the mood of the twitterati.

    This morning, there’s a rather shallow but fun trending topic: #3WordHillary.

    For those who know that Twitter blocks trending topics to favor HRC, it’s a case study in how a topic mutates once the general population grows aware. So, something that started with clever tweets like “Will Beat Trump” and “I’m with Her” is now dominated with the likes of “World War Three” and “Lies Cheats Steals”, etc.

    Be interesting to see how soon this disappears as the top-trending topic. File under our Famously Unbiased Media.

    1. low integer

      Wow. She is getting hammered. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

      Servant of Satan.
      Selected not elected.
      Stole billions, Haiti.
      Neoliberalism is failure.
      Not a human.

      They just keep going!

    2. afisher

      There are funnier ones:

      Trump responds to Khazir Khan and whines: I made sacrifices: #Trump Sacrifices
      Trump on access to national security #fakeTrumpIntelligenceBriefing

      Even conservatives attack Ann Coulter for her nasty remark to Khazir Khan.

        1. ambrit

          What caught me off guard was the overt militarism in how the convention was run, not just the themes trotted out. Putting ‘Reserved’ signs on the “good” seats to deny Sanders delegates visibility is akin to the military tactic of denying the enemy usable territory. Denying the Sanders delegates any dissent after the “Endorsement”, (no anti TPP signs,) is pure top down authoritarianism. My favourite “hurl” item is named after an old Soviet Political Commissar.

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      As expected, it didn’t take long for the Clinton social media liaison to make a call to their guy at Twitter to remove #3WordHillary as a trending topic. But not before uber-sycophant Peter Dauo lamented:

      Hashtag Hijacked Again


  14. Lambert Strether

    Kaine clashes with Clinton on abortion funding The Hill.

    Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is doubling down on his opposition to using federal money to fund abortions — a position that clashes with Hillary Clinton’s.

    In an interview with CNN on Friday, the Virginia senator reaffirmed his support for the Hyde Amendment, which bans Medicaid and all other federal programs from funding abortions.

    “I have been for the Hyde Amendment, I haven’t changed my position on that,” Kaine said.

    That was fast.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Bye bye…Supreme Court argument.

      I know Kaine didn’t commit the greatest sin of my lifetime, the Iraq War, but there is no one I despise more than Kaine. Even when I worried about the awful things Republicans would say, there wasn’t a Republican who was so enraging.

      Perhaps Warner seems worse as a Senator, but I would vote for Warner to be governor again. He takes too much credit, but he was pretty solid.

      Kaine practically danced on the grave of Emily Couric (Katie’s sister) because it cleared the way for a statewide nomination. One wonders if Kaine would happily sabotage 2016 for a shot at the big job in 2020. Kaine was a Lieberman supporter in 2004, and Joe did everything he could to help Al lose in 2000 for his own shot. Haha…does anyone remember when Lieberman was the front runner for the 2004 nomination?

      1. John Wright

        It seems to me that Kaine would prefer to ride in with Hillary and then quietly push for HRC’s impeachment.

        Then there is the question of HRC’s health.

        Either way might be easier than sabotaging 2016 and having to wait while keeping his name in play for 4 more years.

        I expect him to be a faithful and enthusiastic HRC supporter at least through the inauguration.

        Maybe Kaine already knows something?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Kaine is a snake and Lieberman endorser.

          If we are discussing impeachment for actions prior to becoming President, the VP can’t survive. The VP will be gone or a lame duck. It’s simple framing, “how can we really trust someone who was never selected by voters in a practical way?”

          Hillary will lose in 2020. Even the projected “blowout” wins are by small margins in the electoral college. With four years of Hillary, she isn’t going to climb in any poll, so where will she be? If Kaine could challenge her in a primary, why didn’t he run now? The answer is he lacks the celebrity to avoid scrutiny in the early states. In 2024, who will care about 66 year old Timmy Kaine? The answer is no one.

          Kaine succeeded on the coattails of Mark Warner, a popular governor, and was the beneficiary of the Dean DC flooding Virginia with resources. His Senate win with Obama on the ballot was a tight one. He polls under 45% in Virginia which is code for Senators to find new jobs. He isn’t going to stay in the news in a positive way, and he doesn’t have the Obama production value.

          The only way is to to find a way to tank Hillary while still holding on to the centrists while the left is still disorganized. Running against Presidnet Trump will make Kaine look much less repulsive.

          Of course, he and Clinton Inc are probably just idiots.

          1. neo-realist

            To whom? A Free market Ayn Randie loon like Paul Ryan will will work to totally eliminate the safety net and give Americans a voucher or a tax cut to seek health care on the open market because it gives them “freedom”? or other Republicans who will in all likelihood initiate worse versions of Hillary policies.

            Republicans can gerrymander and cheat their way into congressional majorities in the States, but who can they get elected in 2020 that can get a majority of Americans to buy into their pro corporate, pro-war, anti-safety net, anti-diversity and anti-abortion views?

            1. Alex morfesis

              Ah…ayn rand…the great soviet spy…reality mugged…stalins gift to america…almost as great as his other gift to america…the john bircher koch family…

              Paul ryan is just a fragment of his infatuation…

              fear not…2018 is just around the corner and with enough votes everyone can be impeached…

              and removed…

              the supreme court stands as it does since people do not realize they can be removed…

              there is only so far the clowns can lead the parade…

              circus and bread all the way around…

        2. ambrit

          If so, then the Speaker of the House would become Vice President, Paul Ryan! I smell a “cunning Plan” a hatching.
          Two religious zealots ‘running’ the country?

    2. Roger Smith

      Remember when PP endorsed Clinton over Sanders despite many member complaints? ha ha ha ha

    3. Elliott

      No more Roman Catholics anywhere near the cogs of democracy — Supreme Court, on the Hill, or just outside the Oval Office. Leave our bodies alone!

      1. DJG

        Elliott: The U.S. Constitution forbids religious tests for offices. You might give that document a look.

        Or should we go back to the glory days of Methodists leading us all into Prohibition (two amendments to the U.S. Constitution to fix that religious-inspired mess) and the days of the numerus clausus as applied to Jews?

        1. hunkerdown

          Any Abrahamic religion renders its believers presumptively unfit and incompetent to maintain a public trust in a heterogeneous society, as we have seen in practice for quite some time. We all can test Presidents against whatever standard we feel like, regardless of what the American Bible says otherwise.

          1. Vatch

            That seems a bit harsh. I’m not religious, but I have no problem with religious people in government office, so long as they are not hard line fundamentalists or fanatics. I do have a problem with both Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.

          2. different clue

            Sounds like you just proposed an anti-Constitutional religious test of your own right there.

  15. hemeantwell

    Study Exposes BBC’s Deep Anti-Corbyn Bias Jonathan Cook (Catherine A)

    Cook’s very good, thanks for linking. His piece from a while ago recalling how the British military threatened to overthrow Harold Wilson was a stunner. Very useful to keep in mind as we go through a period of, er, expanding political options.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Venezuela reintroduces the corvée:

    President Nicolás Maduro signed a decree at the end of last week that gives powers to the labor ministry to order “all workers from the public and private sector with enough physical capabilities and technical know-how” to join a government drive aimed at increasing food production.

    They can be required to work in the agricultural sector for a 60-day period that can be extended for another 60 days “if the circumstances require it.”

    Antonio Pestana, chief of Venezuela’s farming association, told reporters last month that only 25 percent of agricultural land is actually being farmed.

    This is how the pyramids were built, comrades. :-)

    1. ambrit

      Yes, but, as in the days of the Pharaohs, the project helped to feed the populace. All those Egyptian toilers on the Pyramid Project sent badly needed foodstuffs home during the slack season. Hopefully, the Corveeistas will help feed the nation during its’ time ‘under siege’ by the international monied class. When Maduro drafts the young men and women of Venezuela into the army so as to go imposing Venezuelan Values on other countries around the world, then complain comrade. (Instead of being “Brothers In Arms,” some would rather be “Brothers In Shovels.”)

    2. voxhumana

      not really germaine, but you’ve reminded me of Tom Lehrer’s song about George Murphy:

      “…at last we have a Senator who can really sing and dance….

      Should Americans pick crops? George says “no”
      ‘Cause no one but a Mexican would stoop so low
      And after all even in Egypt the pharaohs
      had to import Hebrew braceros…

    3. polecat

      well yes……at least the Egyptian workers got their quotient of date beer and onions!

      …who knows what Comrade Maduro will provide ?

      1. ambrit

        I’m tempted to say that Venezuela is confronting a problem that will bedevil the entire world soon; food resource insufficiency. Eventually, the American mid west aquifers and California aquifers will run down and force cutbacks in the acreage under cultivation. It’s probably a similar case in the East. As factory food production stalls, because of the unaffordable costs of input resources, regionalism will have to pick up the slack. Food will become scarcer and as a consequence, more expensive. The time to reestablish regional agriculture is now, to supply enough lead time to have local food production up and running before the supply shock kicks in. Otherwise, there will be civil unrest on a scale not seen here since the War Between the States.
        Maduro and his government are acting rationally. Faced with a supply shortage coming mainly from a financial interpretation of food production and distribution, Maduro has used a Socialist tactic to try and solve the problem. He being Socialist in philosophy, there should be no surprise. From a nationalist perspective, this action is utterly rational. The “Pueblo” must be preserved and protected. The financiers can wait their turn in the queue.

        1. Jim Haygood

          When food is priced by state edict at a tenth or a quarter of input costs, farmers stop growing food except for their own families (as indicated by only 25% of ag land in production).

          Putting subsidies “on budget” instead of fruitlessly trying to compel farmers to produce at a swingeing loss (or press-ganging labourers) would fix this overnight.

          I think they’re all bozos on Maduro’s bus.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t crush that country, hand me the pliers.
            That’s when the State has to step up and provide the ‘resources’ needed. The farmers supply the labour. Can it be cruel and unjust? Of course it can be so. What happens to a country where food supply falls below demand? Chaos and collapse happen. What happens to a society where money loses its’ ability to procure necessities? Reorganization happens to it. Control of the rebuilding after the systemic shock is the road to power. Who should better know what a collapsed society needs to rebuild robustly? Those who suffered through the hard times. No amount of meritocratic theory can equal the lessons of hard times.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              +1000 for the Firesign Theatre reference, I relistened recently to “Dwarf” and concluded they were absolute soothsayers for their commentary, released in 1970.
              And per the above one is reminded of all of the “aid” agencies, parachuting in bags of free rice and wheat that just eviscerate the markets for any locally-grown foodstuffs.

              1. ambrit

                I was just replying to Jims reference to Firesigns’ “We’re All Bozos’ On This Bus.” Go on, squeeze the wheeze. Their skewings of ‘popular culture’ were way ahead of their time. (One of them studied under Spike Milligan.)
                Ordinary people gingerly feel around the inflamed wound that is our society. Comedians rip the scab off!

    4. hunkerdown

      So much good. I hope he starts with a list of caprileros. Dragging lazy right-wing bourgies out into the fields and making them work may help develop character.

      1. different clue

        But will it grow food? Food growing is a skill and an art. Only a credentialist-chauvinist Liberal would refer to farm work as “unskilled labor”.

    5. zapster

      Sounds like the draft which Americans still have to register for, and iirc, lasts 2 years if you’re inducted. At least they won’t be blown to bits in the process. And they do need the food.

      It’s ok if we do it to kill people, but it’s OMG COMMUNISM!!! if it’s to deal with a national emergency.

  17. allan

    GMO wheat found in Washington state could affect US trade

    Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. …

    Federal officials said they were working with the farmer to ensure that none of the modified wheat is sold. Out of caution, the agency said it is holding and testing the farmer’s full wheat harvest, but so far it has not found GMOs.

    The plants are a type of wheat that had been evaluated in limited field trials in the Pacific Northwest from 1998 to 2001 but never commercialized, Monsanto said in a statement. It said the type found in Washington state is similar to the one discovered in Oregon three years ago; it has the same inserted DNA but in a different location. …


    But on the bright side, Monsanto does not appear to be suing the farmer for IP infringement.

    1. polecat

      Washington State should sue Monsanto into oblivion !

      What say you TPP Sentators’ Cantwell, Murray…and ‘where’s waldo’ Representative Kilmer ???


      I hear crickets…….

  18. Qrys

    Powerball jackpot grows to $478 million, but mania is nowhere to be found

    There are no lines of dreamers, no harried convenience store clerks struggling to keep up with ticket sales. Despite the pretty penny — the eighth largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history — pretty much all there is at local lottery outlets this week are “ho-hums.”

    Blame January’s world-record $1.586 billion Powerball drawing for what lottery officials are calling “jackpot fatigue.”

    “Now when people see these amounts, it’s almost like it’s Monopoly money,” California Lottery spokesman Mike Bond said. “They think, ‘We are gonna wait until it really gets up there until we play'”

    But up where? $1 billion? $2 billion?

    The “hopium” of the working class must be very wrung out indeed. Is it ‘jackpot fatigue’, or could it be that fewer and fewer Americans can even afford to place a small bet?

  19. Don Midwest USA

    Just found out about Google’s deletion of an entire blog and all its history

    Julian Assange has said that Google is a bigger threat than NSA. I have not read his book but recall this statement.

    The spectacles of life, sex and death are the mainstay of Dennis Cooper’s blog, DC’s Blog. I never know what to expect when I read it, but I always know I will be provoked, challenged and intrigued. Over the years, Mr. Cooper, an artist and writer, has curated any number of collections of ideas and images, revealing an inexhaustible curiosity about art and the human condition. He has unfailingly championed small-press writers, and particularly those who experiment with language, narrative and form.

    I am especially drawn to Mr. Cooper’s posts on sex, death and violence — the things we do with and to human bodies. Often times, the work he shares is grotesque but impossible to ignore. Twice a month, he posts personal ads from international male escorts, young men detailing what they like to do sexually, what they will allow to be done to them, a display that is hypnotic and disturbing.

    That was from NY Times article linked here

    The Blog That Disappeared

    And there is also a New Yorker article


    I apologize in advance if this has already been covered here at NC

    1. habenicht

      Not to be foily, but do you think that could happen to bank customers who only bank on line and have no paper-statement / paper-trail?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        What I do is take a screenshot from time to time showing balances and transactions, probably would not hold up in court but perhaps better than nothing…

    2. Michael

      Weird, makes no sense. Let’s be honest, content-wise there are far more offensive blogs, even if you are the type of person to be offended by the stuff he was writing about it.

      Thanks for sharing.

    3. low integer

      Google might have done it to distract attention from Clinton, and then, to allow the world to see them as the heroes that they are so sure they are, will shortly cave to public pressure to give people the impression that they have a voice and that google is really for internet neutrality and freedom.

  20. RabidGandhi

    Call back the helicopters, Abe-san

    Richard Koo: “If money starts falling from the sky, sellers will refuse to accept it as payment for their products.”

    And of course the reason is there’s a specter haunting Japan, right Dick?

    “The risk is that with helicopter money already in the system, inflation may pick up quickly eventually spiralling out of control”

    If and when the economy picks up

    [RG: snicker] and liquidity has to be drained, the BoJ will not be able to sell [its soverieng bonds] since no one in the private sector would be stupid enough to buy them.

    So we can’t improve Japan’s deflation because inflation=Zimbabwe.

  21. ChrisAtRU


    #FakeUnity – Well is it a WiFi antenna or not?! The thread on that post is hilarious. I suspect it is a WiFi antenna (not “white noise generator”), but the seat blocking was legit.

    #HillBeMoreLikeBernie – I’ve not had coffee yet this morning, so pardon me if this is the first thing that popped into my head: … also: Obviously!

    #DemHackathon – Has anyone else wondered if the the #FauxHack narrative will pretty much turn self-fulfilling prophesy?! I mean, we have a bonafide cultural antihero hacker permeating the airwaves in #MrRobot. I’d give a coin flip’s worth of credence to the notion that any of the systems have been actually or properly secured despite all the hullaballoo. Somewhere, there’s a 5kr1ptK144y … also: “Everything Is Broken” – QED

  22. RabidGandhi

    I’d call that Stat article, “At the DNC, the debate over drug prices gives way to charcuterie and cheese” a must read.

    A few pericopes:

    “I’ve not really gotten any blowback about the industry at receptions,” one lobbyist for a major drug company said. “But hopefully, people would realize that’s rude at a party.”
    Another representative for a top firm also shrugged. “I really haven’t noticed it.”

    Nothing that can’t be cured for a few crumbs for the starving

    For the most part, though, drug and biotech lobbyists were as welcome in Philadelphia as anyone else. BIO has been handing out water bottles from a small truck it has been parking throughout the city — a clever branding strategy with temperatures soaring to 90 degrees and higher in the first couple of days of the convention.
    The marketing professionals manning the truck told STAT they’d had no hecklers. Who’s going to turn down free water in this weather?
    It is a reminder that, despite the rhetoric on the trail this year, drug companies have maintained their standing in Washington because they enjoy broad bipartisan support. Public frustration over drug costs hasn’t erased that.

    Besides, we’re all one big happy family

    “You know, corporations employ Democrats, too, so the people who are here from the corporations tend to be Democrats, and I think they see our perspective.”


    1. low integer

      “But hopefully, people would realize that’s rude at a party.”

      Yes because being rude is the ultimate sin. Fuck these people! This prick should see what has happened to jerks at some of the parties I’ve been to.

  23. flora

    re:”Clinton Campaign Says Hackers Accessed Data Program It Used”

    Hillarious. Clinton and the DNC and the DCCC are incompetent when it comes to IT security, but they know exactly how they were hacked and by whom?

    1. abynormal

      MY EYES MY EYES…YOU cannot be trusted!

      “”We believe it is offensive because of the depiction of a near-naked woman, not on the basis of disrespect to Hillary Clinton, in accordance with the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007,” he said.

      Wall said local police had been asked to urgently provide their opinion on the mural, adding that the council intended to issue a notice to the building’s owner to remove it within 10 days.

      Lushsux accused the council of being out of control, and said the mural was “on par offence-wise” with a deodorant ad.”

      yall got ‘naked’ issues as bad as us in the bible belt…who nu

      1. low integer

        Our religious right has been on the back foot lately. Cardinal Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic priest, who currently a key figure in the Vatican audit, has been accused of systematic abuse of young boys, and it has been all over the msm. The Aus. police are now involved. Tony Abbott protected this scumbag during his reign and it is not a good look. I haven’t bothered to link to this but if you are interested you will easily find the info. They religious right are the most despicable creatures, imo, cruel and ignorant, yet they are organised, and they seem to wield a lot of power over Turnbull. Turnbull has proved himself to be very weak in a very short time btw. The only thing I will give Turnbull credit for is that he seems to have taken the pressure off the media; Abbott was relentless in censoring to protect his allies no matter their actions, and planting false info to punish those who disagreed with him.

      2. ambrit

        The “eye candy” is on the side of an antiques shop! Ouch. Double shot!
        Next, the Donald in a speedo.

        1. Synapsid


          I read not long ago that one term for a speedo in Australia is “budgie smuggler.”

          1. uncle tungsten

            One of their most stupid prime ministers loved to appear in his budgie smugglers for the press. Not the current pm, who also has a high stupid rating.

              1. ambrit

                Shouldn’t that be Hermes Aphrodite non suit? “Vote for Malcom and get Two For One!”

          1. inode_buddha

            I wonder what Janet Reno would look like in that. *shrug* not much from the internet bothers me anymore (except some politics….)

  24. fresno dan

    Everything is Broken Medium. Today’s must read. Brian C: “In light of the recent hacking stories in the news, I thought it would be a good time to share one of my favorite blog posts of all time. I have been reading about information technology and working with it since about 1974, and I have never found a narrative that so perfectly captures my personal observations of the state of computer technology today.”

    “As our desires conflict with the IC, we become less and less worthy of rights and considerations in the eyes of the IC. When the NSA hoards exploits and interferes with cryptographic protection for our infrastructure, it means using exploits against people who aren’t part of the NSA just doesn’t count as much. Securing us comes after securing themselves.
    In theory, the reason we’re so nice to soldiers, that we have customs around honoring and thanking them, is that they’re supposed to be sacrificing themselves for the good of the people. In the case of the NSA, this has been reversed. Our wellbeing is sacrificed to make their job of monitoring the world easier. When this is part of the culture of power, it is well on its way to being capable of any abuse.”

    The people, serving as canon fodder in new and novel ways.

  25. Kim Kaufman

    From a few days ago:

    Why some towns are un-paving their roads
    By Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar
    July 25, 2016 | 12:56 PM

    “Some towns in the U.S. don’t have the cash to fix their pot-hole laden paved roads. So instead, they’re ripping them up and replacing them with gravel. Aarian Marshall is a staff writer at Wired and wrote about the benefits and downsides. Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal talked to her about the practice.”

    To accompany the story, for your listening pleasure, the Truth about De-evolution by Devo:

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Slow down, walk (instead of driving) and smell the flowers along the way.

      Enjoy life in the Tortoise Lane.

      Say no to asphalt jungle…not in your back yard.

    2. RabidGandhi

      It’s more of an aesthetic decision. The unpaved roads just match better with the collapsing bridges and the lack of high speed rail.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Plus, once the helicopter money starts flowing, the unemployed can be hired to rake lines into the gravel like a Japanese Zen garden.

        1. Katharine

          They’ll have to be employed for something. Gravel roads are not low-maintenance! Or rather, where they are, the responsible county or township generally puts up a warning sign, presumably to avoid liability if someone is careless enough to skid or bounce over the eroded margin into the ditch.

          On the good side, less pavement means less polluted runoff into streams, but giving up paving sounds like a desperate measure.

    3. abynormal

      rjs (my smartest guy in the room) published Mark’s Mein Kampf…300 pages, bound with beehive nails.

      ex uno: explaining GDP to the wall street journal…

      from rj to

      “U.S. consumer spending rose 4.2% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter of the year”


      U.S. consumer spending grew at a 6.1% rate in current dollars in the 2nd quarter, but once the inflation adjustments were made with the 1.9% annualized increase in the PCE price index, real PCE, which represents the change in the quantity of goods and services provided to consumers, rose at 4.2% rate in the 2nd quarter

    4. HotFlash

      ‘Scuse, me, I bicycle. And I have to suck up (*very* physically) the shocks of potholes, gravel, road construction, yada. But I pay the same taxes — local property taxes fund roads incl repair and maintenance in my city. Whether you own or rent, the taxes are exacted.

      Meanwhile, trucks from Outter Town pay zero dollars and even SUV’s from Right-Effin-Here pay the same rates as me, assuming they live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). But gee, my less than 50-lb Mommy Bike, plus me (under 200 lbs, and exact is none of your business) do not create potholes. Although my property taxes pay to fix them.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m not sure I like the idea that we should only pay for the services we use, if I have understood your point correctly.

        I don’t have kids, but the ginormous property taxes I pay go primarily to the schools. Still, that was the deal when those parents moved here, and I guess it’s the deal now.

        1. HotFlash

          I don’t have kids, but the ginormous property taxes I pay go primarily to the schools. Still, that was the deal when those parents moved here, and I guess it’s the deal now.

          Why yes, I think you may in fact misunderstand me. Perhaps you have mistaken me for an Arizona Libertarian retiree or something? True, I have no children. However, not only do I not whine about “ginormous”* school taxes which (‘scuse me!) benefit us all and which I pay happily, but I work as a volunteer for my local schools — planting and caring for school gardens, fixing bikes, and other stuff.

          Again, ‘scuse me, cars are not kids. Kids, anyone’s kids, are our future. Therefore, schools, parks, daycare, community centres, health programmes, special needs programmes. OOh, and before I hit “submit”, I want to say seniors’ programmes, community gardens, libraries, historical programmes, arts programmes, music programmes, driver education, food server education.

          Cars and trucks, OTOH, provide minimal community benefits and eat maximal community resources. Have you ever considered how much real estate, esp public real estate, is devoted to cars? Roads, carparks, places you can’t play ball or street hockey? Not to mention the people and animals who die by car.

          In addition, in my part of the world, road maintenance etc has been “downloaded” from Federal to provincial and thence to local governments. So, cities and towns are now maintaining 400-level (that’s like the Interstates in your part of North America) highways as well as arterial and local roads and streets. And that means property taxes, since we don’t have local income taxes — as if that mattered — are paying for infrastructure repairs, maintenance and new work that is more heavily used by (heh) heavy vehicles. That is commercial vehicles, which are largely out-of-town and do not pay local taxes. And MMT does not apply at the local level. So it’s property taxes.

          Now, I decided long time since (10, 15 years? I forget) that cars are not sustainable in any civilization I’d like to live in. Since we occasionally require a biggish beast to haul the occasional thing for business, we joined a car-share coop and that’s how we get big stuff from A to B when required. The rest of the time we bike, summer and winter.

          In fine, I am not advocating that “we should only pay for the services we use”. Well, actually I am, and I maintain (and I maintain strongly!) that schools benefit everyone in the community, and probably in the world, and lots of other services are common benefits as well, but rather that *they* should pay *in full* for their use of publicly supplied infrastructure.

          EG Frito Lay trucks ***CORNCHIPS!!!***

          * Don’t know what your mill rates are there in ME, but I bet mine are higher. You have my email, if you want, lemme know and I’ll send you my most recent tax bill.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They are making him the most feared man in at least the last, I don’t know how many years.

      It’s as if he threatens them like no others…independent or third party.

      When backed up by facts, it’s one thing.

      When not, some curious souls will ask why.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Friends look the other way when their friends are crooks because they know them and don’t want to lose friends. This is the best protection in a small town such as Washington.

        Trump has no real friends in Washington and can’t be controlled through shunning. What does Trump care if he can nail Bezos to the wall at this point?

        There is no guarantee Trump would act this way, but Obama let crime run amok and never repealed the Patriot Act. Trump would have plenty of opportunities to throw red meat to the voters. They fear Trump because anyone could be on the chopping block. They simply don’t know.

    2. Pavel

      I’m waiting for The Grauniad’s front page expisé of Hillary’s links to those Freedom Living Friends the Saudis (© Harry Shearer of course).

    3. Buck Eschaton

      Are we getting into psyop territory now? This linking in people’s minds of Russia and that devil Trump. Is this just more preparing people for war with Russia?

      1. m

        Yes, I guess all the more reason not to vote for these crazies. Good to see the citizens aren’t falling for this garbage anymore after Iraq/Afghanistan.
        Too many young people came back without limbs, PTSD & traumatic brain injuries.

      2. Tom Allen

        Hillary Clinton’s “first key task” in her presidency would be to become more confrontational in Syria against Assad (and by extension Russia) according to one of her foreign policy advisors, Jeremy Bash. She already has been calling for no-fly zones, which presumably would extend to shooting down Russian planes that crossed into them (though she dodged that question during the debates.)

  26. Dave

    Re Dark patterns of fraud

    The simplest solution is NOT to sit on hold for 45 minutes and listen to wallpaper music.

    Call your credit card company and tell them it’s a fraudulent charge and you want it reversed. Those of us who apply corporate morals to ourselves can of course include a “service charge” to the offender, perhaps getting back the entire purchase price into which the Dark charges have been added.

    “Thou Shall Not Steal” does not apply to corporations, therefore it does not apply to our relations with them. In simple language, steal whatever you can and want to from big (not family owned legal entity) corporations with no moral compunctions.

    1. HBE

      Best way to get something cleared up with bank charges when you have to call.

      Never press through the multiple choice buttons on customer service calls immediately say “agent” and you will get to a real person in under 2 mins.

  27. flora

    re: One Mother’s Story: How Overemphasis on Standardized Tests Caused Her 9-Year-Old to Try to Hang Himself

    Mentally brutalizing children in the name of neoliberal market ideology. o.m.g. Thanks for this post. Glad it includes opt-out info links parents may want to read.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The competition is even tougher, with standardized national college entrance examination to determine admission and placement, in Confucian countries, like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and even China.

      Many tragic suicides in those nations.

      Not sure about India or countries in Europe.

      Here, in the US, the standardized national test, the SAT (and later on, for those lucky enough, maybe GRE, MCAT, etc) is not the sole determinant for admission.

      Still, it traumatizes too.

      Not sure if we should keep the SAT. And why we react differently to the SAT (which is a standardized test) and other standardized tests???????

      1. flora

        I think (my opinion only) that the standardized tests we took long ago, which didn’t affect our progress thru school (that was determined by our grades) or affect our teacher’s livelihood (that was determined by the school board), or our school’s economic situation (that was determined by local and state taxes and revenue sharing), those tests were entirely different in purpose and effect than many of the standardized “no child left behind” tests being given today.

        The SAT is in essence an entrance exam for college. Not at all the same as flogging 3rd graders to perform on a “pass or the teacher gets it” test. imo.

        It’s also interesting to me that the more we flog grade schoolers to perform on external metric tests of questionable value, the worse they do in comparison to other countries’ students in maths and science. (Yes, grade schoolers do science.) Could it be that fear is not a great learning incentive?

  28. Gaylord

    Chelsea Manning — If Obama doesn’t pardon her, he will have earned my utmost contempt forever.

    1. two beers

      If you think there’s even the remotest chance of Obama pardoning Manning, you really haven’t been paying attention.

    2. ewmayer

      I’m sure 0bama would love to pardon Manning, but wouldn’t you know it, Bill Clinton used up all the remaining pardon slips on his last day in office, and got his pals in the private equity world to leveraged-buyout the sole-source printshop for those and shutter them. It’s not 0bama’s fault – he inherited this problem, just like he did the klepto-dismal™ economy, the imperial wars, the domestic surveillance, the killer kop epidemic, and the post-constitutional state of law. But he said some nice things about gays in the military!

      Fortunately at least our Dear Elite Criminal Class has a priori legal immunity, hence will never need silly paper pardons as above, thus explaining the non-urgency by the FedGov to get the printing service back online. Why go to all that trouble when simple non-prosecution will suffice?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Has any progressive candidate made that or Snowden an issue?



      That would stand out a lot.

  29. Ugga Bugga

    Quite enlightening to have a UN special rapporteur take up the white man’s burden and teach the downtrodden American natives that the state repression they put up with fails to meet the civilized world’s binding minimal legal standards. Assembly permits? Not in compliance with the supreme law of the land.

    Heartrending, when you think of what the poor wretches of the Democrat party submit for their fake democracy. It gives me white tears.

  30. petal

    Obama signs bill requiring GMO labeling and it pre-empts Vermont law that took effect earlier this month.

    “President Obama has signed the legislation passed by Congress. The move requires a majority of food packages to have a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone that indicates whether the food contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.”

    1. Pavel

      More transparency from The Most Transparent™ Administration ever.

      But that really sucks. The Vermont law did what we need; the version signed is a cave-in to Big Ag especially Hillary’s friends at Monsanto.

      1. petal

        I was over at the King Arthur Flour store in Vermont yesterday(baking supplies), and on the bottom of some of the boxes they were labeled as being made with GMO ingredients, and it was in plain English. Made it super easy.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Yes, at State she brought the hammer down bigtime on an entire country (Sweden) for not embracing Monsanto poison, doing so on a piddly little US state is child’s play compared to that

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Was that like putting a wall around Sweden?

          Would you say that was quietly doing her neoliberal job without unduly alarming the world, unlike that loudmouth Trump who says a lot, but hasn’t done that much (yet)?

    2. polecat

      Ah yes……..’smart phone indicators’

      but for PROGRESS…..

      CONgress = F#ckin Morons

      1. Dave

        This actually is a good thing. From now on, just assume that ALL food packaging contains GMOs, unless

        It is labeled “Organic*”,
        bears the “GMO Free” organization label,
        Or states in plain English, “Contains No GMOs”.

        All other food in all other packaging should be boycotted.

          1. Pavel

            Perhaps consumers could buy a bunch of barcoded items and then go to the till and kindly say to the cashier “I’m sorry, I don’t have a phone, could you please tell me which of these contains GMOs?” If enough people did it the stores would refuse those labels.

            (Somehow “Alice’s Restaurant” is coming to mind here… I’ll need to remind myself why…)

            1. ambrit

              Big Boxx stores can mount a few scanners on columns throughout the store as many now do for price scanners. Smaller, more budget constrained businesses might train cashiers and other employees to actively discourage scan requests in the interests of “efficiency.”

    3. Vatch

      The purpose of this law is to make it harder for people to determine whether food has GMOs or not. From the text of the law:

      In promulgating regulations under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that—

      “(1) on-package language accompanies—

      “(A) the electronic or digital link disclosure, indicating that the electronic or digital link will provide access to an Internet website or other landing page by stating only ‘Scan here for more food information’, or equivalent language that only reflects technological changes; or

      “(B) any telephone number disclosure, indicating that the telephone number will provide access to additional information by stating only ‘Call for more food information.’;

      In other words, the text on the food label doesn’t have to say whether the food has GMOs. It just has to say something like this: “Lookie here for more information” or “For a good time, call this number”. Not very helpful for the average person.

      1. Pavel

        And god forbid — gasp! — one goes shopping without one’s smartphone to read the bar codes. Or — yikes! — one doesn’t own one to begin with.

        And what are the chances they won’t store your purchase information requests in some database for marketing purposes?

    4. different clue

      So, Obama signed the bill? I am reminded again of that comment I found once saying that if/when that bill got signed . . . that people who didn’t like it should bring every prospective food item they “might” want to buy up to the register . . . . and then ask the cashier to scan the little mark and report what it says. If the cashier won’t scan it for the customer, or “can’t” scan it because heeshee “doesn’t have” a cell phone or other scanner-reporting device; then the customer should leave the item behind as “unwanted”.
      If enough millions of customers each do that enough hundreds of times apiece, eventually stores will get “codereaders” for their cashiers.

      Once all the checkout line cashiers have codereaders, because enough millions of customers have left enough hundreds of millions of items behind at the checkout lines when they discover the cashier doesn’t have a codereader . . . then the customers can move on to leaving behind every item whose code reveals the item to contain GMOs when its code is read by the cashier with herms’ handy codereader.

      1. Dave

        I like the way you think! I used to do something like that when I was fighting the use of Styrofoam in San Francisco. I’d order a complicated coffee drink and then when they put it up on the counter I’d say,
        “Styrofoam?” That crap causes cancer, chokes wildlife and is not recyclable…” You keep it. I will be back when you have paper cups.”

        Those merchants eventually switched to paper. Foam cups, wrappers and inserts are now illegal in San Francisco, one of the only sane and decent things the Board of Supervisors has done in the last twenty years.

      2. Pavel

        Ha ha! See my comment just posted above along the same lines (though in not so much detail).

  31. will

    Regarding the Erdoğan story: It’s legally unclear whether this forgiveness (which is just a one-time thing, leaving the law in place, as the BBC story mentions) will actually nullify all the cases, since Erdoğan is not the plaintiff in many of them. Most of them are not civil but criminal cases pursued by the state prosecutors.

    More important than this bit of political circus, Erdoğan’s regime has been responding to S&P’s downgrading by pointing to its fine record of economic neoliberalism (see for example Erdoğan’s interview with German ARD). The regime is now shoving down the throat of Turkey some truly astounding bits of financial capital pillaging:

    – Of course, as would be expected, the regime is seizing the properties of Gülenist associations and affiliated organizations and businesses.

    – The “Making Peace with Wealth” (Varlık Barışı) measure has been introduced (again) into parliament, which will allow the movement of large assets into Turkey without taxation, everything from gold bullion to local and foreign currency to private yachts and ships.

    – Last, and most importantly: the creation of a new “Wealth Management Fund” (Varlık Yönetim Fonu), which will begin with 200 billion dollars in its coffers. Where will this money come from, you ask? But of course, by transferring from the state’s unemployment and pension programs and selling off public land and assets to privatization. I’m not shitting you.

    This “Wealth Management Fund” will be available to transnational companies involved in some of AKP’s “super” / “crazy” projects, like the construction of new bridges and tunnels across the Bosporus.

    It will not be available to the unemployed textile worker down the street or her retired father.

    In the stories on Turkey that are reaching Western media, it’s unfortunate that not more attention is being paid to the class warfare of AKP. There are some great stories looking at the rift between the regime and Gülen, or between the regime and the secularists, but there is not enough attention being paid to the neoliberal, transnational nightmare that AKP is forcing upon the workers and the public property of Turkey.

  32. Jeremy Grimm

    Could Trump be Good for Peace? He can’t be worse for peace than Hillary.

    It’s my intuition that Trump’s power base is the local tiers of the power elite. That best fits his business life and background. Hillary’s power base is the national and now international power elite. The local tiers have taken a hit from the collapse of state and local budgets — arguably at the expense of the federal austerity measures beneficial to the national and international elite. The local elite also suffers from the trade agreements and military expenditures and adventures. If he remains true to his base I believe Trump would indeed be better for peace.

    I will not vote for Trump on this basis — but it makes it easier to leave my ballot an undercount for President. I suppose these notions could salve the conscience of a Jill Stein voter as well.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Paragraph 2: That’s how I feel. His power base is local oligarchs; think big car dealers, construction firms, and so on. For their own reasons, they don’t want their communities to wither on the vine, either. I don’t imagine many of them read the New York Times or the Washington Post.

      The other thought I’ve had is that the choice between a nationalist neoliberal government that can at least be voted out of office (one hopes) and an internationalist neoliberal network that cannot be voted out of office — because the ISDS system doesn’t contemplate that — is not an enviable one.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thanks! I was afraid I was seeing something in Trump that wasn’t really there. All I have is a feeling.

        Reminding me of the ISDS system and the “trade” deals Hillary seems to favor only weakens my resolve not to vote for Trump. I better be careful. If the election ends up in a dead heat I may vote for Trump — as the lesser of two evils — a position I hate.

    2. craazyboy

      Exactly. Trump isn’t one of the cool kids.

      I think ISDS cements “one world government” – except it’s only the western world. I also don’t like giving the S&P 500 the power to sue 50 US states for profits. I mean, how stupid do you want to be?

        1. Pavel

          Or Bilderberg?

          Interesting how the NYT and other MSM (barely) report on the Bilderberg annual meetings now (The Guardian being an exception, with quite detailed coverage) after years of claiming that it was a conspiracy theory?

          I believe both Hillary and Bill have attended, along with the rest of the world’s oligarchs and power elite.

  33. Uahsenaa

    Now, I’m convinced the Jill Stein anti-vaxxer story is oppo. This is the second time I’ve seen exactly this argument with exactly the same sourcing.

    I guess this is to discourage Sanders voters from jumping ship?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Have no fear. Bernie Sanders supports will probably be drawn to Jill Stein because of the anti-vaxxer story. Speaking for other Bernie supporters — we aren’t stupid and we share with Trump voters a positive attraction toward whatever the MSM attempts to slur with silly tripe like suggesting Jill Stein is an anti-vaxxer.

      As for sympathizing with anti-vaxxers — I sympathize with them. That doesn’t mean I agree with them. They are expressing one symptom of the more general public distrust of the Medical Industrial Complex and our Government regulatory agencies. That distrust may take them to silly and dangerous positions but I fully share their mistrust.

      1. HotFlash

        As for sympathizing with anti-vaxxers — I sympathize with them. That doesn’t mean I agree with them.

        Thanks for this useful distinction, I was having trouble explaining in my real life before. Sympathize, not agree, yes. TY again.

        1. dk

          Agreed. But it means we’re nuts, as far as the establishment is concerned. It’s anti-social to question the credentialled.

    2. Katharine

      My thought exactly! I hadn’t seen this till it appeared in the Guardian, and I was struck by the anonymity of the accusations, as well as the headline that leads one to suppose there might be substance behind them. When you read the direct quotations, it appears she is just being appropriately careful not to make sweeping statements for or against anything. Kind of like–dare I say it?–a grown-up.

      Of course we have no proof, but if they will go acting that way….

      1. Uahsenaa

        They also expect you not to actually read the linked to WaPo article, in which it’s pretty clear she’s making an argument against the FDA, how regulatory panels are stacked with corporate types, and how that leads to people being distrustful of government oversight. Anti-vaxxers is just one example of that distrust.

  34. low integer

    There are some (cough) Democratic (cough) party campaign advisers in Australia for some reason. They are on Australian TV they look despondent. I would guess these types look at Australia as a kind of a litmus test, because in general Australian’s just automatically assume the (cough) Democratic (cough) party is sane and the Republican party is insane. They are getting some hard questions on the DNC and they just look scared and tired. They are trying to say Sanders made Clinton a stronger candidate. What?
    One of the hosts then showed them a graph of the number of baby girls named Hillary in the US by year and it precipitously drops off a cliff at around 1990. One of the Hillary shills replied by talking about how much Clinton’s close friends like her.

    “More qualified than anyone since Jefferson!”

  35. ProNewerDeal

    I am surprised that the conventions finished, & Trump & H Clinton are the nominees.

    I had guesstimated there was a good chance at least 1 of these 2 would not have made it to nominee. I figured it was likely the R Establishment would rig the rules to somehow force 1 of their own like P Ryan as nominee. With H Clinton, I thought she might have been indicted for her home email server. In addition, with the Wikileaks DNC emails on Sun Jul-24, I figured it might cause a combination of Sanders delegates’ protest & D Establishment reluctance to force a “compromise” candidate like E Warren or JoeTheBiden as nominee.

    I was wrong, & now we really are going to have the 2 most popular nominees in history, where the record goes back to 1980 IIRC. Both Trump at HClinton at 55% disapproval rate. Perhaps this election will have the lowest voter participation rate since at least through 1980 as well.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s interesting that democracy goes on without missing any voters getting off the bus, just life goes on without you, me or him/her.

      I wanted to say, without missing anyone for the short term at least, but it seems, that has been going on for a long time.

  36. nothing but the truth

    “we spend too much on the elderly”

    on what?

    on healthcare.

    therefore, we spend too much on healthcare. now that makes sense.

  37. bob

    Everything is Broken Medium

    Oh, the cognative dissonance!

    “Sec spoiler alert: Everything’s got 0days, everyone’s tracked, all the data leaks, all the things are vulnerable. It’s all fucking pwned.”

    But wait…what happened when the FBI showed up to investigate her boyfriend, Aaron Swartz?

    She got a better paying job, more profile, and a pulpit to yell this BS from.

    Breathe it in-

    “I am a journalist of hackers. They are my beat and my friends, so I’d seen people harassed and persecuted. Some piece of research or conference presentation would suddenly become an investigation, phone calls and meetings with lawyers. We came to expect raids, surveillance, and threats from powerful men who couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad in my world. ”

    Apparently, with all the pwnage going on, they still needed a witness to go up against Swartz. She was that witness. Does anyone else have a hard time finding that bit in her account of things?

  38. Jason Boxman

    The post on software is a true story. If anyone remembers Heartbleed vulnerability, here we had a critical piece of software (OpenSSL) that virtually everyone was blindingly relying on for SSL/TLS “secure” Web traffic, with its source code available for anyone to audit. Clearly, few enough people have the time or skill to actually audit even simple OTS Open Source software, let alone something as complex and crucial as OpenSSL is.

    Happy surfing!

  39. Plenue

    “Could Trump be Good for Peace?”


    No caveats or conditions either. Especially with regards to Russia, where his position is that Putin is a guy he can talk with. Actually meaningfully talking about things is something that has been completely absent from US policy towards Russia for years. Of course the media has fear-mongered this, because Putin is a Neue Hitler, a ruthless dictator hellbent on conquering Europe, donchaknow. As evidenced by his…not conquering Europe, and in fact not having a military even structured to accomplish that goal. Clearly our greatest foe on the planet is the country with a tenth our annual military budget.

    1. ambrit

      Even I draw the line at “efflorescent effluvium.” (Maybe you would prefer “pistils at dawn.”) How about a perusal of the dreaded “Necrologinomicon”? It may not be the fungi from Yuggoth, but it will cure you. (Blast! I’m getting a headache from peering at this infernal monitor screen for too long.)
      On a more political note; “Miasma of Evil invades White House after Inauguration. Corpse Flower denies involvement.”

        1. ambrit

          Yes, the candidates are up there in age.
          Also, isn’t Corpse Flower the name of the Chinese representative to the TPP negotiations?

  40. Roger Smith

    Interesting. I just saw an anti-Clinton YouTube ad from super pac Rebuilding America Now. It’s dialogue was comprised entirely of Bernie Sander’s comments on her speeches from a rally of his.

    On that note Bernie’s social media accounts have been posting an incongruous mixture of truth and Clinton/Democrat shlock.

    1. aab

      People are saying that the @BernieSanders account has been taken over by Clinton/DNC. Given what’s been sent on that account the last few days, this seems likely. His Senate account sounds like him (or his people/staff).

  41. Pat

    Late to note that the antidote is adorable and makes me very happy. Puppy!! That is a face that could get away with a lot. Thanks for sharing, AlanT.

  42. Bob

    I see the billionaires coming out for Hill – Bloomberg, Cuban and now the Kochs. I guess since they have spent millions buying her they now want to make sure they get a return on their investment. The only thing billionaires hate more than the lower classes is losing money.

  43. a different chris

    Ok guys, didn’t anybody catch this in the Speed Traders Invade column? A freaking Leave lawmaker is hot on building not only a high speed, but the highest speed possible link between London and Frankfurt. Seems like hard money is conflicting with the theory that Britain will simply be kicked out of Europe like a unwanted pet.

    Brexit isn’t gonna happen. It was just BS for the masses which has gotten a bit unexpectedly tricky but they will tamp that down eventually. It’s the second largest economy in the EU, for chrissakes.

    That’s a mindset the companies are trying to change, while local lawmaker Craig Mackinlay and his staff are trying to leverage Richborough’s location. Mackinlay, who backed Britain leaving the European Union in last month’s referendum, is acting as a go-between to put the “best deal possible on the table”

  44. Micky9finger

    That Salon article is garbage. Is this a test?
    First is the issue of soc sec and Medicare being sustainable. Strictly neo-liberal. RE: MMT- taxes for do not pay for gov spending, also the sovereign currency issuing country can pay for anything denominated in its own currency.
    Also the author loses all credibility when he says that 1/3 of 30% of 500 billion is 50 million. I know it’s only an “m” instead of a “b” but they’re not right next to each other on the keyboard.

    Further more: Abynormal’s quoted article- “But the real question is do we have the resources to do that modernization additive to the rest of the requirements of the department, or will we have to squeeze out other high priorities, and those will be the national decisions that have to be made in coming years.” Same argument as above.
    This is neo- liberal economics. We need to get past these zombie ideas. Go back and read pertinent blogs of Bill Mitchell and MMT articles on New Economic Perspectives.

  45. petal

    Has anyone else seen the Priorities USA anti-Trump ad that accuses him of being a rapist? The “I bet you look pretty going down on your knees” ad? It’s horrific. I would try to find it and post a link to it, but it has triggered me and I don’t dare go near it again. It came up as a youtube ad after I hit play for an episode of something.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      *Sigh* This story started two weeks ago. If its the same one, it’s one of the sex slaves on Lolita Express from the early 1990s. This was an underage girl, banged by lots of men, with no access to media whatsoever and probably drugged a lot of the time too.

      At least ten, and more like 20 years later, she realizes one of them was Trump?

      Mind you, Bill Clinton rode 26 times on the Lolita Express, including a visit with Jerry Epstein to an island that he has stocked with sex trafficked girls.

      And Trump goes for women with big boobs….

      My limited data set is that women who are sexualized early can be utterly crazy. And my one case was from someone in vastly better circumstances that anyone on Lolita Express. I can’t begin to imagine what they went through.

      The woman I knew totally fabricated abuse charges against her husband. And she was totally convinced of them. The cops would come when she’d call accusing him. The cops would haul her away to the drunk tank, and later to the psych ward when they got a better idea of what was going on with her.

      Everyone had warned him against marrying her, but he was going through bankruptcy and so was vulnerable and she was sleeping regularly on his couch, introduced via Apple contacts while she was trying to gin up business in NYC. There was no doubt she was great sex, but even before they got married, I heard multiple tales from level headed male friends of her bursting out in rages as well as taking all her clothes off in front of them (!!!).

      Before I was told she was a stage 4 alcoholic (which means your odds of 5 year survival are 20%, her MRI s showed clear signs of alcohol-induced brain damage), the hubby would fob her off on me and I not knowing any better, would open a bottle of wine. Her personality would change much for the worse after 2 glasses.

      One time, she came over in the summer, wearing a short-sleeved shirt. After her 2 drinks, she took her clothes off (only on her bottom) to show me a massive bruise on the back of her butt. She insisted it was the result of a beating

      First, I’ve known the guy for years, and he is one of the most calm, unpreurbable people on the planet, and dealt for years with a schizophrenic brother (as in regularly had to talk him out of jumping off the roof) as well as had to manage a ton of extremely high maintenance tech guys (he specialized in the high talent, wound too tight drama queens that no one else could manage). So he was very very experienced in handling extreme personalities and letting their high drama slough off him.

      Second, she was pale and blond. You don’t get into a fight and have a monster bruise only on your butt. You’d have bruises in front, on your arms and legs. It was clear she’d gotten drunk, fallen, and somehow bruised her butt badly, didn’t remember what happened, and blamed it on him.

      She had her first abortion at 13 and was drinking then or earlier.Never got the story of why she was having sex so young, but I don’t think it was the usual abuse by a relative. My impression was she was sexually active vey very early in adolescent rebellion. She managed to figure out how to get her father’s employer, Aramco, to send her away to school in Switzerland, and she had a lot of antipathy for both parents.

      Last I heard of her, she was homeless.

      1. petal

        Thank you for elaborating, Yves. I’m sorry you were..dragged into that awful situation.
        The ad was so offensive-it was disgusting and shocking. I cannot believe things have gotten this bad. I messaged Priorities USA and told them so, and that I’d never vote for their candidate(s).

        1. petal

          It is also another one of those signs that makes me think her campaign is extremely desperate and panicking.

    1. low integer

      This chilling story got what I would consider its fair share of coverage in Australia.

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