Links 7/5/16

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Nation’s Dogs Vow To Keep Their Shit Together During 4th Of July Fireworks Onion (David L). Did yours?

Without Government Intervention, Self-Driving Cars Could Make Our Lives Worse Motherboard (resilc). Glad someone has figured that out!


UKIP leader Nigel Farage stands down BBC

Standard Life shuts property fund amid rush of Brexit withdrawals Guardian (George P)

Britain is plunging towards an economic nightmare, and it isn’t just because of Brexit. Business Insider

Brexit and memories of the Somme Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Brexit Is a Lehman Moment for European Banks Bloomberg. This is not accurate. The Italian banks already needed a bailout. We wrote about that months ago. Brexit might somewhat accelerate the inevitable, but no one was going to provide equity to them at an affordable price with Europe’s nutty bail-in rules in place. The issue for the banks ex the Italians is whether they are facing funding stress in the interbank markets and/or deposit flight. And as much as Deutsche is fabulously undercapitalized, it is Germany’s Citigroup squared: too big and way too connected to be allowed to fail.

After ‘Brexit,’ Finding a New London for the Financial World to Call Home The New York Times

IMF Changes Tune On Brexit: Prior Fearmongering Suddenly a “Better Opportunity for Reform” Michael Shedlock

Brexit voters are not thick, not racist: just poor Spectator (Carla)

Britain turns to private sector for complex Brexit talks Financial Times. Lordie. First, I doubt they have the right expertise (or to the extent they do, it is siloed by industry group). Second, note that they are making clear that the government will be second priority and will pay top dollar.

Theresa May under fire for threatening to deport EU migrants after Brexit Independent (Bruce K)

Conservative Leadership Contest: Andrea Leadsom In ‘Car Crash’ Performance At First Hustings Huffington Post (Bruce K). Gove is expected not to make it to the short list, but Leadsom may manage to get herself removed from the running earlier.

David Cameron’s fatal mistake? Two years ago, he sacked Michael Gove New Statesman (Chuck L)


S&P scoffs at ‘Armageddon’ warnings for Britain Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. This is astonishing, as in reminiscent of giving AAA ratings to subprime CDOs in 2006. S&P says no UK recession in the works! First, as we posted the day after the Brexit vote, the UK did not get an export lift when sterling fell in the crisis. So the devaluation assumption is all wet. Second, the UK will not get passporting without accepting freedom of movement (see the link below for further confirmation). In addition, the ECB lost a case at the European Court of Justice trying to deny UK firms the right to engage in euroclearing. The ECB lost because it was not allowed to discriminate against a member of the EU. If the UK leaves, it would seem to allow the ECB to pull this set of products out of London, forcing UK banks to obtain licenses and hire staff in the EU. Put it another way, the Tories that are scheming on putting the Brexit genie back in the bottle expect a recession by year end merely due to the impact of the dreaded “uncertainty”.

Angela Merkel takes tough stance on Brexit negotiations Financial Times

BREXIT – Part 4 Bill Black. Black turns to Paul Krugman.

The three steps that mean Brexit may never happen Financial Times

UPDATE 2-ECB asks Italy’s Monte dei Paschi to slash bad loans CNBC

Exclusive: Banks saw unprecedented step up in market supervision around UK vote Reuters

Brexit-style referendum in Denmark looking less likely Politico

Banche, Renzi: soluzioni di mercato in rispetto regole Ue Reuters. Renzi denies a report in the Financial Times that he will defy EU rules and bail out Italian banks.


Yuan fix hits new low, capital flight intensifies MacroBusiness. Important. This is tantamount to exporting deflation.

China spends more on economic infrastructure annually than North American and Western Europe combined Barry Ritholtz

Floods in China kill almost 130, wipe out crops Reuters (resilc)

S&P threatens Australian downgrade on fiscal “gridlock” MacroBusiness. The austerity enforcers flex their muscle.

28,000 People Missing in Mexico in the last Decade: Report teleSUR (resilc)


Suicide bomber strikes near Prophet’s Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Medina France 24 (resilc)

How ISIL’s attacks on Saudi Arabia aimed at Undermining the Monarchy’s Legitimacy Juan Cole (resilc)

‘I was wrong in my presumption that Israel desired peace” – Chas Freeman, Mondoweiss (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Big Brother is listening as well as watching Christian Science Monitor (furzy)

He Was a Hacker for the NSA and He Was Willing to Talk. I Was Willing to Listen. Intercept (Chuck L)

Trade Traitors

Did Turnbull Just Torpedo The TPP? New Matilda (Sean L). This would be delicious…

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

Wikileaks publishes Clinton war emails The Hill

Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch just made Hillary’s email problems even worse Washington Post. From July 1, but still germane. Note it, like most accounts, fails to mention that Bill is a potential target, since if Hilary was indeed selling favors out of the State Department in return for Clinton Foundation donations or speaking gigs by Bill, he would be implicated. My pet theory is the “social” visit was to tell Lynch what Bill’s health problem is (Parkinsons?), as in “You know, I don’t play golf as much as I used to because of…”.

Huma Abedin admits that Clinton burned daily schedules New York Post. In case you missed this.

‘President Hillary Clinton?’ She Wants Progress on Immigration and to Drink With G.O.P. New York Times. I had this in Links yesterday, but due to not being well, I only looked at the intro which needless to say, would induce nausea even in someone who was feeling OK. So I missed the key bit: “Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch, the nation’s first black woman to be attorney general, who took office in April 2015.”

How is this not a bribe? Between the Bill-Lynch visit, the burned schedule, and this alone, the Clintons have handed the Presidency to Trump if he wants it.


Clinton’s lead shrinks to 5 points in national poll The Hill (resilc)

Immigration boosts Trump far from border Financial Times

How the Clinton-Trump Bloodbath Could Get Even Nastier Vanity Fair (resilc)

Making Greater Possibilities Inconceivable: Another Thought or Two on the Logic of Lesser Evilism Counterpunch (resilc)

Donald Trump Finds Himself Playing Catch-Up in All-Important Ohio New York Times

The truth (so far) behind the 2016 campaign PolitiFact (JL)

The TPP And The Democratic National Convention DownWithTyranny!

Millennials are ripe for socialism: A generation is rising up against neoliberal oppression Salon (resilc)

The Survivors Peter Frase (martha r). On Sanders and Corbyn.


At least 32 reportedly shot in Chicago so far on Fourth of July weekend Fox (furzy)

After 10 years and billions in fines, the UK has convicted precisely five people for rigging interest rates Quartz (resilc). That is still a better fines to conviction ratio by far than the US had for mortgage abuses by big banks.

Why oil is still headed as low as $10 a barrel A. Gary Shilling, Bloomberg. Very much contrary to the Oil Price consensus.

Class Warfare

The Wolves of Silicon Valley: how megalomaniacs in hoodies became tech’s answer to Wall Street Telegraph (rich). Cults are a very effective business model. Goldman and Bain are examples.

Robot Lawyer Successfully Appeals 160,000 London and New York Parking Tickets Michael Shedlock

Teamsters pensioners still looking at pennies on dollar in retirement – StarTribune (steve h)

America’s suicide epidemic is getting so bad there’s now a ‘suicide belt’ Foreign Policy (Dr. Kevin).

Let’s make retirement great again – by bringing back a pension system Guardian

The mysteries of women’s health Daily Kos (furzy). One example from an endocrinologist: 1/3 of the women who are on antidepressants have low testosterone, and getting their testosterone to normal levels would in a very high percentage of the cases clear up the depression. But women are just about never tested for testosterone.

The New Ruling Class Hedgehog Review (guurst). A must read.

A Stark Nuclear Warning New York Review of Books (Keith H). Another must read. Note given its status as an Acela corridor read, it puts the risks of our confrontation with Russia at the end, which many will miss.

Antidote du jour (Bob K):

cute terrier links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think that’s related to why we don’t have a mixture of Republicans, Independents, Progressives and Democrats in the Executive branch non-cyclically, but always.

      Instead, we get victories, not infrequently landslide victories, that swing things back and forth.

  1. Marco

    Nothing about the Chilcot report tomorrow? Who’s toast? Corbyn or Blair? It’s amazing how so much still pivots around Iraq…and the reason I’ll never vote for Hillary.

    1. Roger Smith

      What is the story regarding the Chilcot report? I have seen that phrase appear a few places, but with no background on it.

      1. nippersdad

        The Chilcott Report is the long awaited final draft overview of a Parliamentary investigation into the means by which Britain got into the Iraq war and what they did while they were there. Last I heard they are recommending prosecution of troops but that Blair, et al, lie outside their remit.

        Throwing the little people under the bus whilst holding the perps unaccountable (where have we seen this dynamic before?) is going to be extremely unpopular, so expect to hear a lot more about it in the future.

      2. JustAnObserver

        I think Marco should have emphasized *the long delayed* Chilcot report. Its been kicked into touch so many times I’m surprised anyone can actually find it anymore. Of course now they’re finally forced to publish its post-Brexit time so it’ll add yet another thing to the current boiling stew of UK politics.

  2. Rww

    Brexit is a “Lehman moment” in exactly the same way Lehman was. Both blamed for a crisis that was already underway and unavoidable

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I differ in that “Lehman moment” really was a single discrete decision that set off an explosive reaction. The political decision had been clearly made not to bail out any financial firm after Bear (too much complaining) yet its was obvious that Lehman, UBS, and Merrill were next in line, CDS were the problem, and no one did anything to understand how big that problem was. We said repeatedly at the time that the authorities should have gone on an international “all hands on deck” effort to get their arms around the problem. Instead, after Bear, they went into “Mission Accomplished” mode.

      This is the unravelling of an order if the UK does not wind this back. I keep being told the Tories intend to do that by people who claim to have the inside skinny, but I don’t see how they can save at pretty high political cost.

      If Brexit does happen, the unravelling will be much slower than with Lehman, and the damage will roll out more gradually too. On the market and real economy side, this is more likely to resemble a car bumping down a steep hill than shooting off a cliff. But yes, either way, the car gets totaled.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I think there are SOME parallels, though you’re correct that it’s a shaky analogy. Lehman itself gets too much credit as there were a number of events happening right around the same time like Fannie/Freddie receivership, WaMu rescue, Wachovia rescue and the BofA shotgun merger/rescue with Merrill and the Citi rescue all within weeks.

        One of the big differences with Lehman was that all the other contemporary rescues that I just listed was the message that said “shareholders won’t be spared pain like they were with Bear”. Lehman’s non-rescue said, “yes, and money market debt instruments can face losses, too”. That introduced major uncertainty among institutional investors. Remember the huge run on treasuries that happened from the fall through the end of 2008.

        None of this should minimize your point about the holy hell unleashed in the CDS markets, which was clearly extinction-level stuff for all major financial players.

        My point above is that, like with Lehman, much additional uncertainty has just been added. Things that weren’t ‘on the table’ just got put on there, even if you’re correct that it’s much more likely to be a slow-motion event. However, don’t underestimate the ability of the EU authorities to make things worse, and quickly. These are the people who brought you the ‘bail-in’, after all!

        Also, Yves, how did you let this howler slip by?!?!!?!?

        “America sorted its banks out swiftly after the 2008 credit crisis. Balance sheets were recapitalized, the value of distressed assets was written down and the new regulatory framework was put in place. Europe didn’t do the same. It should now seize this second chance that fortune has dropped into its lap — otherwise, it risks turning the Brexit crisis into a financial catastrophe.”

        Wha…..what?!!?!? When did America do that??? I remember a lot of stress-free stress tests and half-baked solutions designed to fix liquidity problems, restore ‘confidence’, re-work accounting standards, and take solvency off the table (or back off the table like it was pre-Lehman).

        Distressed assets written down??? There were still foreclosure backlogs 5 years later!!!

        New Regulatory framework???? You mean like Dodd-Frank, and the Volcker Rule (and money market reform) which are STILL in the process of being implemented or delayed? What’s this bizarre use of the past tense that Gilbert is doing here?!?!?

        1. JohnnyGL

          Also, someone should tell Gilbert that you will be forever bailing out banks if the underlying real economy continues to suffer. You pretty much can’t have solvent banks when the underlying fundamentals of the economy are still worsening.

          It’s like repeatedly suppressing the cough and ignoring the tuberculosis that’s causing it.

          Look at the chart of bad loans in Italy, they start rising with the recession in 2008-9 and keep rising steadily. That’s not a banking problem….that’s an economy problem.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Deutsche, Italy, Lehman. We need to get away from the idea that banks and governments are somehow distinct and separate entities. They used to be, but they are certainly not any more.
              It’s a club, and you ain’t in it.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          I can’t comment on every bit of hype in every article I link to. I’d never get anything done.

          It is still true the US did more to clean up its banks than the Europeans did.

    2. Skippy

      Many seem to forget the two bespoke firms that imploded two[?] years previously, believe even frontline had a story on it….

      This might be relative… heads up someone gave me…

      John R Zaller’s book “The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion”.

      “Zaller’s argues public opinion on issues is unreliable, primarily because elite sources of information provide competing or multiple considerations causing public opinion polls to measure whatever recent elite message an individual has stored in their short term memory.”

      Disheveled Marsupial…. how time fly’s maybe….

      1. DarkMatters

        So if I have this right, public opinion is unreliable because the elite can’t condition the public in real time. I guess the problem is that we’re not downloading the propaganda releases frequently enough. And I’d have thought that web technologies like Twitter would have done the trick. So disheartening,

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Not really – the UK, and Europe in general is for all sorts of reasons regular NC readers know is in a sort of slow motion crisis – but Brexit is a discreet event which will in the medium term be absolutely devastating. It is simply not yet fully appreciated just how unbelievably complex the disentangling process will be, especially if the Conservatives vote for a right winger such as May (which seems inevitable). The potential disruption through financial and manufacturing supply chains will have a paralysing influence for years. In fact, we’ll be lucky if its just ‘paralysing’ – it could well set off all sorts of catastrophes, from bank collapses to political collapses.

    1. Steve C

      “For Corbynistas, in contrast, the fact that he is in no sense a rabble rouser, that he doesn’t seem to particularly want to be prime minister, but is nonetheless willing to pursue the goal for the sake of the movement, is precisely his highest qualification.”

      In the US, it never was about Bernie. It was about resting control from the oligarchs.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Agreed. Bernie has shown fantastic discipline in not making it about him,
        despite the personality-driven goggles of US politics.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Exactly. People are, in fact, smart enough to rally around a person who looks very unlikely to make it “all about them”. It’s only the media who constantly try to make the whole thing personal. In Sanders’ case, the media and party elite think he’s a traitor because he’s not ‘delivering’ his supporters for Clinton and giving her, at best, a lukewarm endorsement. Likewise, Corbyn didn’t ‘deliver’ his supporters for the ‘remain’ camp, and gave the campaign, at best, a lukewarm endorsement. This is traitorous to the Blairites and the PLP, and the media, but pretty much no one else.

    2. EmilianoZ

      Interesting article, thanks. I had never heard of this “Momentum” movement. The Brits seem way ahead of us. Maybe that’s the reason why Corbyn succeeded where Sanders failed (that and the massive rigging which the Brit elite dont seem capable of doing). Sandernistas should consider building the equivalent of this “Momentum” thingy in the US.

  3. allan

    The New Ruling Class: a very interesting read, but it, too, suffers from the `last chapter problem’ that the author describes. It’s hard to take the end seriously:

    The task of reforming our present elite ought to be entrusted to someone with a feeling for what is good in it. For all its flaws, this elite does have many virtues. Its moral seriousness contrasts favorably with the frivolousness of certain earlier generations, and its sense of pragmatism, which can sometimes be reductive, can also be admirably brisk and hard-nosed. …

    Moral seriousness? Sense of pragmatism? Was this ghost written by David Brooks?
    When you look at the horror-show, foreign and domestic, that the present elite has created
    and is currently doubling-down on, the only reasonable conclusion is that it needs to be replaced
    from the ground up.

    1. Frank Shannon

      Yeah I feel like it doesn’t really belong as a must read. The sociology of the nascent aristocracy would only be relevant if they had a future. Since they are all going to be killed, and their works destroyed, by the barbarians they are now busily creating there is no prospect of turning them into something worthwhile.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Since they are all going to be killed, and their works destroyed, by the barbarians they are now busily creating there is no prospect of turning them into something worthwhile.

        I’d say this, is a more accurate assessment;

        Since we are all going to be killed, and our works destroyed, by the barbarians we are now busy creating there is no prospect of turning us into something worthwhile.

        The harshest truth as regards our illusory meritocracy, is that we are so steeped in it’s arrogant philosophy as to be blind to both our own membership in, and collusion with the worst aspects of it’s global momentum.

        We may not like to admit it, but we are not outsiders, watching the decline of the ‘other’, we are actually mostly ‘insiders’, if only cogs, commenting on our own decline.

        We’ve all made accommodations with the borg so as to continue to keep a roof over our heads, and feed our children.

        This is our collective excuse for our collective guilt.

        1. Quentin

          ‘Cogs’. Yes, ‘peasants’, that’s what almost all of us are. In the worst cases, ‘indentured servants’ or maybe even ‘slaves’.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Not going to be destroyed, they just make a “strategic rearward advance to previously prepared positions ”

        What I am curious about is the passivity of those people manifesting in death as the “Suicide Belt.” The Middle East suicide belters at least take a bunch of perceived “enemies” with them when they go. You’d think, given Buffetts snarkily acknowledged Class Warfare And His Class Is Winning, Big time! that some mopes would turn depression and despair to that other thing.

        Or maybe it happens and just doesn’t get reported, for some reason…

          1. hunkerdown

            And besides, who’d want ’em, other than a harem-keeping alpha male god projection? Whatever happened to competence?

    2. tegnost

      yeah, moral seriousness among atheists, ok, got it….compared to frivolousness of certain others (who?)…I wonder how these same will respond to the majority treating them in a brisk and hard nosed fashion…I share your reasonable conclusion.

      1. Plenue

        “yeah, moral seriousness among atheists, ok, got it…”

        And what, exactly, is this supposed to mean? I’m perfectly capable of moral judgement without needing to resort to an invisible sky father.

        1. tegnost

          buddhists don’t have sky fathers, atheism is a belief system,as is every other ism, a belief specifically in “no sky father”, and amongst those who most loudly proclaim their a theism is a strong belief in me ism, and morality for better or worse rarely springs forth from the self but rather from the need to coexist. The bible and the I Ching are both social contracts, what social contract guides the atheist? as a moral is a standard of conduct, where in our culture is there a code that could be considered moral? This is tangentially related to our cleary two tiered justice system as clearly evidenced today. My issue here is more about making a claim to a morality that doesn’t exist and not a plug for any particular religion, sorry if I insulted yours.

          1. Plenue

            “what social contract guides the atheist”

            Just for being an atheist? None. Because atheism isn’t a belief system. You’re contradicting yourself. Atheism simply means not believing in a god. Outside of that, there are as many different kinds of atheists with as many different kinds of opinion as any other arbitrarily defined group. You might as well ask “what social contract guides fans of Adam Sandler?”. It’s inherently a nonsensical question.

            No doubt there are plenty of atheists, especially on the internet, who have elevated secularism into a kind of religion (complete with Saints). They’re ideologues who preach to their own choir and are blissfully unaware of the irony. But they don’t somehow represent everyone who doesn’t believe in the supernatural.

      2. Subgenius

        I am still looking for signs of moral seriousness in massive swaths of the publicized Christians…

        1. tegnost

          and vast numbers of others as well…I and Thou? I’ll reiterate that I’m not claiming morality myself, I’m objecting to someone else who claims a morality with no guide lines. What is the basis of the “moral seriousness” that is referenced above? Sounded pretty self congratulatory to me that’s all. Is it “morally serious” to be obsessed with creating self driving trucks that will disrupt the top means of self support in 29 of 50 states? Is it moral to say “there’s going to be winners and losers” while knowing the game is rigged and the winners just created an unfair advantage for themselves?

          1. hunkerdown

            If morality is driven by the need to coexist, then what value is Very Seriousness in morality, other than just another tired power play by men? It seems that peaceful coexistence itself should be the measure of performance. In practice, so-called morality codes only give people reasons to hurt or kill others who don’t see fit to comply with all the legalistic cultural fossils and self-sacrifices to the idea of being owned and controlled by some imaginary friend.

            So maybe codes of behavior are the very cause of the problem they purport to solve (once all the refuseniks have been righteously killed, natch).

    3. Carolinian

      This is an excellent article and agreed about the last chapter problem. But then it’s hard to come up with a solution for human nature itself.

      Perhaps the author is correct that hierarchies are inevitable and if so one solution may be to at least limit their size. Therefore our modern dilemma may be gigantism–one super power leading a global elite. If power corrupts then the more power the more corruption. The US founders seemed to understand this with all their checks and balances. Their work was then subverted in recent times as the political system became more like tweedledum and tweedledee and direct democracy was deprecated as much as possible.

      Perhaps there is no solution other than disaster, followed by retrenchment.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      …….. the public had come to trust that the government was full of people who knew what they were doing. Interference that would have never been tolerated in the bad old days of jobbery was now justified by the national government’s (largely meretricious) mystique as a repository of intelligence.

      A perfect explanation of our current american “meritocrats.”

      And so we are confronted with a relentless parade of “high-IQers,” earnestly spewing reams of stupefyingly incoherent bullshit like “R2P” and “humanitarian war,” while at the same time being dazed and confused by the ambiguity of increasing opioid addiction, suicide and deteriorating “women’s health” in the idyllic world their “intelligent” stewardship has created for the rest of us less cerebrally endowed.

      If the smartest people in the world are confused, it must be REALLY confusing.

      1. voteforno6

        One thing that has become very apparent to me is that the ruling classes aren’t actually smarter than the rest of us.

        1. Romancing the Loan

          In many if not most ways they are significantly dumber, having been protected from dissonant ideas their entire lives.

          1. Quentin

            Obviously there is now adult in this room. Call on the best and the smartest (gotta love it) to straighten out the mess, for instance, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They never seem to tire of telling us how ‘smart’ the are.

            1. voteforno6

              I have to disagree with you a little bit, because they never tell us how smart they are…that’s just not done, darlings. Instead, they leave it to their sycophants to tell us how smart they are.

            2. Watt4Bob

              First you have to understand a little history;

              Up until WWII, the ruling class was mostly a hereditary clique, old money, Ivy League-schooled rich folk ruling their inferiors.

              Whether propaganda or no, the post war period spawned a new mythology, that we would be governed by the “Best and Brightest”, supposedly chosen without regard as to social class, and thus making our system of government much more ‘democratic’, ‘egalitarian’, or closer to a ‘meritocracy’ if you will.

              From then on when idealistic students questioned the governments actions, their parents would pipe up; “So, you think you’re smarter than those folks in Washington?”

              Evidently, the PTB decided that the sheeple who had started to question the policies championed by the Old-Money clique, would better accept being led by “Best and Brightest”.

          2. JTMcPhee

            So not smart are the kleptomeritocras that they rule and own and are ruining practically everything, while having their every pleasure center tickled to the max and getting to run their carriages over the children in the streets, without even tossing a coin to the bereft parents…

            Yah, they are not so smart… And “we,” the great unwashed rest of “us,” many of whom are either in the lesser reaches of great wealth or lusting after achieving that status to join the rulers in Acadia, can talk among ourselves smartly, but apparently do not have much of a clue how to bring about anything different, that might produce a political economy that would generate the outcomes that “we” might find more copacetic…

        2. JTMcPhee

          Then how come they are ruling and looting the rest of us, hmmmm?

          Satisfying to create a meme of superiority maybe, but who owns all the butter and all the guns?

      2. Watt4Bob

        The whole “Best and Brightest” meme goes back a long time.

        It should be remembered that Robert S. McNamara was in charge of targeting strategic bombing during WWII, and was responsible for the plan that fire-bombed Tokyo resulting in between 100-200,000 deaths.

        Robert S. McNamara, (the ‘S’ stands for Strange BTW) could be considered the first of the “Best and Brightest”, he certainly was considered such by the time he joined the Kennedy Administration and started building our country’s strategy for Viet Nam.

        Kennedy’s staff was regularly described as “Best and Brightest”, and if you ask me, that’s when the meme really took hold and has, until now never really been refuted effectively.

          1. Watt4Bob

            Hope I didn’t leave the impression that the “Best and the Brightest” as a meme, was in need of a beat down.

            What I’m thinking of is a change in the culture of our intel services, from a mostly east-coast oriented, old money “academic/intellectual”, style, that saw the world and its people as a sort of anthropological chart with different categories of peoples, each of which, annotated with different rationalizations as to why it was just and proper to loot their country’s resources.

            The new style, which would be sold as more technically sophisticated, and science-based, if you will, using only the most modern mathematical techniques to produce a dispassionate analysis of all the intelligence data so as to come up with more, even better rationalizations for looting.

            I’m thinking the masters of the universe control a well oiled machine for producing consensus, which they once staffed with a very intelligent gang of extremely educated rich kids, but they gradually changed their style to focus on recruiting very intelligent, extremely educated kids from other classes.

            I think they paid lip service to putting the “best and the brightest” on the job so as to get the best analysis and thus the best “can-do” plan to handle our country’s challenges.

            What I am thinking now, is that they found the new recruits more politically reliable, as well as easier to manipulate with money and titles.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      I thought it was a great read, but what I got from the ending is that the author accepts that the ‘last chapter problem’ is not a problem of the writer, but the fact that there is no solution – aristocracies either replace themselves, or are replaced by another one, whatever we do. The powerful will always game the system. The notion that we instead look at ‘nudging’ (yeah, I know thats a loaded term) the system to keep whats good of existing elites instead of just fighting a losing battle is reasonable. Not that it particularly convinced me, I’m still a ‘string them up from a lamppost’ person, but I think she expressed her argument very well.

      An example she didn’t use, but I think is a good example, is Japan in the 1940’s. The US occupation authorities were convinced that the aristocratic landowning elite of Japan were the cause of militarism, and essentially dismantled that element of society. In reality, it was the layer below, the bureaucratic class who were the real problem. But in attacking the wrong target, they arguably made things worse, by destroying an element of society that acted in some ways as a counterbalance to the business/government nexus that really controlled Japan (and still does). You need to know your enemy before you fight.

    6. Ed

      While I bookmarked this, I agree that this falls into the awkward middle ground of being too long over too simple a point for an essay, and to give historical example after historical example would require a book.

      The short takeaway is that the wealthy and well connected will game any conceivable recruitment system to benefit their children, and if its difficult to game eventually they will be able to do away with it altogether. The Northcote-Trevalyn reforms were good reforms, but a century and a half is actually pretty long for these things to last. I don’t think the answer is to not try for meritocracy, its just that if you succeed you get a century and a half of good government at the most. Then there has to be another big reform or revolution.

      You get this in Chinese history all the time, which is clearer because of the sequence of long lived dynasties. Dynasties are able to actually recruit from merit for the first century or so of their existence. However, the exact details of the system used kept changing because there was an effort by each new dynasty to avoid the errors of the last dynasty. Then inevitably the new system would get subverted.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Good point about the Chinese system, it managed to be both meritocratic while also being deeply hierarchical and unequal. There is, ultimately, no such thing as a way of ensuring a genuinely meritocratic society, someone will always find a way to game it.

    7. Left in Wisconsin

      Agreed. But a fascinating read regardless.

      I see the “last chapter problem” as a (liberal) unwillingness to accept the argument just proven – that, in filling relatively scarce “good jobs,” there is no justification for “merit” hiring/promotion practices. And the reason for unwillingness to accept that argument is that THEY ALL HAVE CHILDREN WHO DESERVE GOOD JOBS, and as parents they are determined to do everything they can to ensure that their children end up with such. (And when such is, in due course, achieved, it will be “deserved.”)

      Of course, there are two different approaches to “solving” the problem of who gets the good jobs. The liberal solution is, always, “fairer” ways of allocating scarce good jobs. Which always gets back to “merit.” The socialist solution (OK, in theory anyway) is “more good jobs” or, at best, “good jobs for all.” That is why socialism must be off the table.

  4. abynormal

    re: Suicide rate hiking…”This stark, disturbing rise in self-harm comes in the context of a world that just keeps getting safer.” i d o t s

    Y’all gotta check this study out!!:
    In all world regions, despite country-specific particularities, the relative risk of suicide associated with unemployment was elevated by about 20–30% during the study period.
    The impact of a change in unemployment on suicide was stronger in countries with a lower rather than with a higher pre-crisis unemployment rate.
    The study also shows that the rise in the suicide rate preceded the unemployment rate by around six months.

    1. Raven on a Coyote

      I am living below the poverty line, and I can tell you, in the last ten years, the world has not gotten safer to me. Maybe they mean to say “In a world that just keeps getting safer for the oligarchs”?

      1. abynormal

        me too. last yr there was ‘blip’ on morning radio warning a man had just traveled down 400 (known as the south’s autobahn) entrance ramp onto head on traffic. later another ‘blip’ reported no drugs or alcohol were found in his system. no further reports about this ‘accident’. i asked a few family members & friends about it and they had heard nothing. i also asked them what they thought it took to wipe out so many innocent people on their way to work?…no feedback not even the crickets.

    2. voteforno6

      That is certainly true…I recently lost a good friend to suicide, and it was definitely employment related.

    3. Softie

      Did Heiminhway paint his brain on the wall with a shotgun because he couldn’t find any meaningful employment? You ain’t seem nothin’ yet. It’s only suicide in workplace that marks China’s modernity

      1. Alex morfesis

        Not to sound too foilee but Hemingway was a bit talkative and all his security clearance stuff…there were some who thought his mouthing off about ernie lynch and el caballo might not fit into the long term plans for cuba…

        one does need to have an enemy you know…


        uninspired by his last wife, instead of doing his usual happy feet routine and finding a new warm body to have some drinks with, he decided to reach out with his thumb and leave us with not the man…just the memory…

        not so easy for me to accept….

      2. ewmayer

        Actually, there is credible evidence that Hemingway suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (cf. rash of former NFL player suicides) … if you read the classic Carlos Baker bio. there are described several serious head traumas related to small-plane crashes while on Safari, one desribed as leaving the author with meningeal fluid leaking down his face. In his 50s and leading up to his death he is decribed as increasingly frustrated by his inability to write like he was used to doing – despair at losing the one thing which gave his life meaning and purpose led to suicide. So, indeed a kind of “unemployment”-related suicide.

        1. Subgenius

          +1. Glad to see that there are still some capable of paying attention and connecting the dots. It’s increasingly uncommon, apparently.

  5. Carla

    Ashoka Mody says: “Don’t panic. Britain’s economy can survive just fine outside the European Union.”

    I would like to believe him. However, when Mody precedes an accurate assessment of how awful and counter-productive currently proposed “trade deals” are with this: “For heaven’s sake, Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, opposes trade treaties”, it undermines the credibility of his entire argument, in my view. Sigh.

  6. crittermom

    Regarding the self-driving cars of Google, ANY self-driving cars scare the hell outta me, for reasons including those problems stated in the article.
    While Google prefers to tout a better safety record–when those cars are used among other self-driven cars, thereby in a ‘controlled environment’, it’s comparing apples to oranges as the U of M findings are of worse safety records when mixed with ‘regular’ cars.
    Personally, for me, It’s bad enough when a computer crashes, but the word “crash” takes on a whole new meaning when you’re talking vehicles. No steering wheel? No brakes? No ‘override’? No, thanks!

    One of the first questions I’ve had all along is regarding liability when that computer-driven vehicle causes a crash? Now we know: “The answer, according to the NHTSA, is that the driver is the car itself, and that Google’s cars “will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years.”

    Uh, huh. Soooo……….if a Google car malfunctions & crashed into you, is Google liable? Are individuals going to have to stand up against Google’s unlimited monetary resources in court (much like homeowners against the banks)? Will the car just be allowed to carry on, perhaps with a big bonus (like maybe a personalized plate or something), while admitting no wrongdoing?

    I would very much like to hear the insurance industry’s stand on self-driving vehicles.
    It seems that would be very telling.

    1. begob

      David Timoney covers it all:
      The trend is toward strict liability attaching to the car, with the cost of insurance absorbed into the ticket price. Manufacturers will dominate using google’s system, and get into the insurance biz same way as they got into vendor financing.

      1. crittermom

        Manufacturers in the insurance biz?
        Swell. Can we now expect to pay additional premiums for coverage against driverless cars, perhaps? *moan*

        Ummm……who’s David Timoney?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I have yet to hear a persuasive argument, or ANY argument, on the necessity of developing “self-driving” cars. I continue to view it as a “solution” in search of a problem.

      Or maybe more accurately, a “solution” that will create a number of currently unknown, avoidable problems.

      1. Roger Smith

        Innovation! Technology!

        What more do you need? It is a no-brainer!

        Meanwhile, what about all these homeless people?

      2. sd

        If Google and Facebook want little driverless cars zipping around their campuses, go for it. But regards public streets, no thank you. I also don’t want drones flying over my head, looking in my windows, and delivering packages to me.

      3. That Which Sees

        The major predicted markets:
        1) Elderly who can keep their own home, but can no longer drive.
        2) Parents who need to dispatch the elder, but below driving age, child to an event while staying with the younger child.
        3) Various forms of DUI/DWI avoidance.
        4) Low speed freight in certain traffic bottlenecks areas. The automation can “gang” multiple loads together to make better use if the limited tarmac space. Most notably Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

        As for new problems…. there’s a good funny at XKCD

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You think O.J. could have sent out five or ten of his self-driving, self-driven cars and the police would not know which one to chase after?

          1. That Which Sees

            The police have IR cameras. Telling empty from occupied Broncos would have been easy. So no help to OJ.

            However, there are issues and risks that need well thought out controls.

            Right now there is a huge impediment on vehicle bombings. The delivery vehicle has to be driven into position by a human. Self driving vehicles could be used as “land drone” technology by IS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamic Terorist groups…….

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Equally terrifying – rich kids send out their dads’ self-driving cars throughout the metro areas, just for multi-tasking fun.

              It’s like a reality video-game.

      4. Skip Intro

        Google wants to build a network of self-driving cars. Then they will build an app that lets you summon a ride in one of these cars, and call it Goober.

      5. cwaltz

        People are largely responsible for car accidents. When they are tired or distracted they cause problems that lead to accidents.

        I completely understand the desire for self driving cars. I’m just not convinced they aren’t going to potentially mean an entirely different set of problems instead of the same old ones.

        1. begobs

          The first problem will be the instant collapse of the petrol distribution network. Analogue drivers of vintage cars will be in the middle of filling the tank when the pump gives out a death rattle. I say! We’re not even half way to Brighton.

      6. NotTimothyGeithner

        Most technology consumers use is a time saving device and less labor intensive device. If It worked, it would have advantages, but simply the infrastructure and programming are so far beyond the resources available it’s just a pipe dream, probably to defraud investors.

        People are still obsessed with jet packs.

      7. Goyo Marquez

        – Safer
        – faster
        – cheaper
        – more fuel efficient
        – think of it as customized public transportation
        – Everyman his own Acela
        The major obstacle right now is ideological. The problems would be a lot easier to solve with government interference, rules, standards, regulations, just as we have for every form of transportation. Had both vehicles in the Florida crash been required to have transponders which report data to local traffic computer, the accident would probably been avoided.

        1. tegnost

          you think it’s cheaper to replace every motor vehicle with a self driving car? How much fuel, other energy, and commodities in general will it take to make all those cars? How many cars are there now? What happens when the computer is down? Will you be getting rid of motorcycles, classic cars for the occasional spin on 4th of July? What if you want to tow something? They will en masse of course have some ridiculous engineering flaw like almost every other refrigerator, toy drone, dishwasher or car and of course like your i phone no fixing or personal enhancement ala your teen sons civic. Not likely to be your own acela, but I will note that the acela currently and effectively transports passengers and freight at an economy I don’t expect your fleet of self driving cars can match in their idealized future. Yes, if only the computer had more data to the central scrutinizer these unfortunate accidents would theoretically not have happened.

          1. hunkerdown

            How much fuel, other energy, and commodities in general will it take to make all those cars?

            Google’s more or less just bolting sensors and actuators to a stock automobile chassis and body. There is no reason a shade-tree mechanic couldn’t do the same, just as or more easily than they might an electric drive conversion, though each installation ought to be subject to the same sort of inspections and certifications for roadworthiness as a condition of operation on public roadways as any other car.

  7. Fool

    “Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Ms. Lynch, the nation’s first black woman to be attorney general, who took office in April 2015.”

    It is bribery! In the New York Times! Who offers a bribe in the New York Times?! Between this and Bill’s stunt, it would seem like they’re provoking Lynch into issuing the indictment. The only way this makes any sense to me is if HRC knows the indictment is coming anyway. This way she can fall back on, “Well, see, I was indicted for being an asshole.”

    1. John Wright

      There is a problem with Lynch being satisfied the bribe terms will be honored.

      What is to prevent Clinton from deciding to replace Lynch with someone else after the election?

      Lynch could lose in many ways, if her actions are seen as covering up for the Clintons, her reputation could suffer, hurting her future revolving door employment possibilities outside government.

      If Lynch gets the AG job, she might believe she has a four year opportunity to undo any Lynch reputation damage done by her “taking one for the team” by going easy on Clinton

      But if HRC retracts the job-offer, then loyal foot soldier Lynch could follow the path of another loyal AG, Bush appointee Alberto Gonzales, into relative, and probably low paid, obscurity.

      Exactly how does Lynch ensure HRC will honor her part of the deal?

      1. Watt4Bob

        “Exactly how does Lynch ensure HRC will honor her part of the deal?”

        Isn’t it long past time that we all start to accept the fact that ‘deals’ cut with Clintons amount to fooling one’s self, or worse.

        Like making deals with mobsters, you must understand that demanding that they ‘honor’ their part of the deal is dangerous.

      2. cyclist

        I would be willing to trade my salary for whatever Gonzales is now making, without having any clue as to what obscure position he now holds.

        1. John Wright

          Per Wikipedia,

          “In 2008, Gonzales began a meditation and consulting practice. Additionally, he taught a political science course and served as a diversity recruiter at Texas Tech University. Gonzales is currently the Dean of Belmont University College of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he currently teaches Constitutional Law, Separation of Powers, National Security Law and First Amendment Law. He is also counsel at a Nashville-based law firm, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, where he advises clients on special matters, government investigations and regulatory matters. He often writes opinion pieces for national newspapers”

          One can wonder if “meditation” should be “mediation”.

          TPTB will take care of their (fallen) own, probably partially to influence the behavior of those who are currently in power.

          Gonzales got the low budget severance package, with no connection to powerful think tanks or powerful politicians.

          But it is probably at a good salary.

    2. pretzelattack

      but lynch is very, very unlikely to issue an indictment. i won’t believe that till i happens.

    3. Oregoncharles

      No indictment.
      Comey called her actions “extremely careless,” but without criminal intent.

      My understanding was that criminal intent wasn’t necessary – certainly wasn’t in some other cases (Kiriakou). I wonder what they offered Comey?

  8. Steve in Flyover

    A minor issue, not mentioned in the whole Clinton-Lynch meeting/bribe fiasco.

    Was there a TFR active at Sky Harbor, while this little meeting was going on? I’m betting that nobody bothered to even ask.

    Wouldn’t have affected the airlines. But it would have affected every other movement, especially private aircraft/corporate jets. Nothing would illustrate his contempt for even well off citizens better than making them cool their heels in a holding pattern, while he strolls over and has a little chat with the AG.

    In other words, another example of the Clinton’s belief that “rules are for little people”. Little people, in this case, including the people who fly around in corporate jets.

    Hillary vs. Trump. If this is the best they can come up with, what more do you need to prove that both political parties are corrupt and disfunctional?

    Of course, this could just be prep work to cover for his future fiascos as “First Husband” (and who doubts that he will be doing shady stuff monthly, if not weekly?). Like seeing a shrink before you commit a crime, then plead insanity. If they play their cards right, it could generate a huge “poor Hillary” turnout.

      1. Romancing the Loan

        I suspect it will be to say that the investigation has concluded and no charges will be forthcoming. But wouldn’t it be delicious if he resigned in protest instead?

        1. Pat

          It is either going to be that OR my preferred version. The FBI appreciates the Secretary taking time to be interviewed. It is a key part of an ongoing investigation. There is no clear time table as to when the investigation will conclude. The FBI knows that after the AG was put in a position where she could no longer be considered impartial by the public and thus she has placed a great responsibility on them to make sure that justice and the interests of the people are met by giving them the final decision on whether any indictments that might arise from this investigation. It has meant that they must be particularly diligent in making sure that nothing has been missed before either closing the investigation or calling for indictment(s) and preparing the prosecution.

          IOW, turn the knife, guys. Help tighten the noose on Lynch and blast the ‘it’s over’ garbage from the Clintons. But then I was sure Sanders was going to win California….oh wait….

          1. James Levy

            Comey, it turns out, is a Republican and his dad was in real estate. He went to William and Mary and Chicago.

            So, is he rich enough and secure enough to do what he thinks best, or is he angling for his next job and worried that if he rocks the boat the elite will stonewall him? He’s got 5 kids, so my guess is he won’t rock the boat (unless someone in his circle has assured him that a very grateful Republican establishment will make sure that like Bybee and the other dude who signed off on the legality of torturing people that he, Comey, will be taken care of).

            1. pretzelattack

              typical obama appointment. i fully expect to be disappointed again, but would love to be proven wrong.

            2. DarkMatters

              If you behave properly in the term given you, you’ll find your reward in the afterlife.

            3. Anon

              I think “the other dude” who signed off on torture was the originator of the memo: John Yoo. (He has since returned to his sinecure at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall law school. He’s generally unrepentant, by the way.) Bybee, of course, was given a lifelong federal judgeship in Las Vegas, NV.


                Thank you! I could not for the life of me remember Yoo’s name. Another pair of unindicted criminals who made out fine, Republican variant.

    1. Butch In Waukegan

      I didn’t know what a TFR is. Looking it up it is “A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) . . . defines an area restricted to air travel due to a hazardous condition, a special event, or a general warning for the entire FAA airspace.”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Did he or his (or her) people have prior knowledge of where Lynch would be, that she would be there in Phoenix at the particular time?

    3. Jim Haygood

      Comey bails; confirms “Clinton’s belief that rules are for little people.”

      HRC already is preparing “endorsed by the FBI” and “she’s a friend of law enforcement” campaign commercials.

      Morning in Nigeria …

      p.s. Comey’s “no obstruction” claim is jaw-dropping. As is non-prosecution for the per se crime of transmitting top secret SAP info (confirmed by FBI’s investigation), regardless of intent.

      How did they get to him?

      1. Rhondda

        This is just too much to bear. The corruption is so thick you can slice it with a knife and Col. Komey Klink sees nuthink? I will have to invent new cuss words.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Milken got out early, long ago. I think the judge who apparently let him loose, sua sponte and over some objections, was Kimba Woods.

      2. phred

        Ummm, after the Hospital Hero folded like a cheap tent in the Bush administration, you expected better this time?

        No one needed to “get to” a miserable hack like that, he volunteers his whitewashing services knowing his efforts will be repaid by his criminal superiors.

        So maybe the question becomes, who can prosecute DoJ for chronic obstruction of justice???

      3. pretzelattack

        comey was gotten to a long time ago. just because he protected his boss, once, doesn’t mean he has integrity in other situations.

      1. Anon

        My guess is that an FAA report for that day would have text about any TFR. There is also a website that tracks plane movements that probably would note flight restrictions.

      2. grayslad

        There was no TFR in Arizona on that day. Here is the FAA listing for the most recent two week period.

      3. grayslady

        I posted this earlier, but I guess the link in the comment caused it to be moderated out of existence. The FAA report for TFRs shows that there was no Arizona TFR on the day(s) in question.

  9. Pat

    Pravda for Clinton,aka the New York Times, is spinning overtime with that article on Ohio. Turn what it says upside down and Trump is even or ahead in a state carried by Obama despite being despised by its popular governor, having few people on the ground and being hit with a negative advertising campaign by his presumed opponent. Oh and she has already set up a big field office there. So that from behind thing can only be that he might waste a lead there he shouldn’t have according to those that matter if he doesn’t defend it by their methods.

    I particularly love the continued common wisdom of the Beltway on display that women and moderate Republican male voters particularly non white voters are ripe to be plucked by Clinton.

    All ignoring the severe hit her ratings have probably taken in the last week.

    Bubbles, gotta love ’em.

  10. Carolinian

    Re Motherboard and self drive cars: A Google car in my neighborhood, where people routinely roll through stop signs, would clearly be involved in many real end collisions as it obediently stops and obeys the traffic laws. But seriously this article typifies much other hand wringing as it takes some still preliminary R and D–which necessarily happens out in public view–and makes large assumptions about technological viability.

    That said, some car companies testing self-drive have made the practical and probably necessary decision of conspicuously labeling their vehicles on the outside as automated. I know I read that Mercedes does this. So perhaps all self-drive cars will have to be painted orange so that human drivers will be fully prepared for robocars’ law abiding “car body english.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There will be a lot of honking at those unmarked self-driving, self-driving cars.

      Anti-noise-polluters should be greatly concerned about this.

  11. ScottW

    It is interesting how very little is being written about Lynch’s actual conflict of interest in heading the Clinton email investigation. Lynch’s former boss is a potential subject of the criminal investigation and his wife is under active investigation. Lynch is obviously under consideration for the A.G. slot if Hillary is elected. Lynch’s personal interest is clearly having this whole matter go away with no indictment.

    Lynch failing to appoint a special prosecutor was just plain stupid. Just like it was spending 30 mins. with Bill on her plane, 5 days before Hillary’s interview. Spotting potential and actual conflicts of interest is obvious to first year law students.

    There is no graceful way out of the legal end of the email debacle. If the FBI refuses to recommend an indictment the conclusion will be it is all politics. If the FBI recommends some kind of indictment, Lynch claiming she will listen to her non-political subordinates’ recommendation is akin to admitting she has a conflict. Of course, the decision will ultimately be hers and made in the shadows of continuing her career in the AG’s office, or retiring. What kind of deal can be made sparing both Hillary and Lynch’s careers.

    On something as basic as a conflict of interest, the highest level legal officer is make a huge mistake. The Clintons seem to cause everyone around them to loose their sense of right and wrong.

    1. James Levy

      Since Kennedy appointed his brother AG and Congress let him get away with it the position has lacked all credibility.

    2. Carolinian

      There was an interesting link yesterday that said in effect the Clintonoids hate Sanders supporters because they remind them of what sellouts they are. Which is to say the Clinton supporters themselves know that the things Sanders says about HRC are true but feel they have to support because she’s a woman, Trump is scary or some other reason.

      So yes if Hillary gets in we’ll be back to the situation during the first Clinton administration….lots of progressives constantly asking themselves, “why am I defending this person?”

      1. sid_finster

        I do not remember these progressives.

        The progressives that I remember defended Bill zealously and gleefully, zigging whenever he zigged and then spinning the inevitable zag.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The only ones not defending Bill, but in fact were exposing him arduously, were those evil right-wingers.

      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        an interesting link yesterday that said in effect the Clintonoids hate Sanders supporters because they remind them of what sellouts they are.

        That’s been said in comments here at NC as well. It certainly explains the hysterical edge in the recent writings of men like Paul Krugman. He is by all appearances, a man who truly cares about the distinction between right and wrong. He is prominent enough to remember, but there are a number of MSM comments pages that have been thronged with similar vituperative commentary. I suspect for a similar reason.

  12. nippersdad

    I’m finding it very difficult to keep up with banking in Europe. Last week I read that Italy was given the go-ahead to bail out its’ banks, now it looks like there is no official approval for it but it will happen anyway because legal proceedings would take such a long time as to be pointless in the event. Under the existing ISDS laws, I thought it was a given that all significant banks were to be bailed out now (after a bail-in due to Basel II) regardless of whom might or might not approve because there will always be a sufficiently powerful creditor who demands it; kind of the whole point of the ISDS exercise. If Italian banks represent the Lehman that will make the bailout of such as Deutsche Bank (and subsequent contagions elsewhere) ultimately necessary, why is this even an issue?

    Are these conflicting reports just a diversionary Chinese fire drill for public consumption?

  13. crittermom

    Regarding the article “After 10 years and billions in fines…”, this statement in it left me momentarily confused: “The US has convicted a similar number of people for rigging Libor (paywall), and together with Britain there are charges pending for more than a dozen others.”
    My first thought was who was convicted?
    Then I realized after further research they were referring to bankers in other countries & only LIBOR.

    The US still fails to convict or hold responsible any of its ‘own’. The only US citizen I’m aware of who received any jail time was Lorraine Brown of LPS/DocX, a low-hanging fruit compared to the bankers behind it all.
    A pretty light sentence & fine, I’ve always felt her conviction was meant to appease we victims & looking back at this statement in the ruling today only makes me moan: “The investigation of sophisticated mortgage and corporate fraud schemes continues to be a priority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as such criminal activities have a significant economic impact on our community,” said Special Agent in Charge Klimt.”

    It’s become obvious that investigation continues to ignore those higher up. As Yves stated in reference to the UK article, “That is still a better fines to conviction ratio by far than the US had for mortgage abuses by big banks.”


    I’m now anxiously awaiting the findings of the FBI regarding HRC–in 27 months. *eye roll*

  14. tegnost

    unfortunately the gov’t intervention into self driving cars here is implied to be, get rid of all non self driving cars all at once and publicly fund the infrastructure on which these privately held car companies rely. No need for bus or light rail investment. People are so inconvenient to robots, except when the uber robot needs a passenger, oops, consumer.(consumer, you have not accessed the uber portion of your basic income guarantee, remember that walking will cause you to need fewer medical services and is not allowed, we have been tracking your i wallet and it seems you spend too much time away from product dispensaries, you will be visited by a re education team. Remain in place until they reach your location or they will be required to vaporize you for non consumption) It’s a dystopian future that I have made myself reasonably unpopular among my unicorn farming friends by insisting that due to not just resource constraints, but also sheer unpopularity, will never happen. They are so detached from the lives of real people and you can see from elite dems that they basically detest us for not going along. I’m sure that hillary and the overlords have a plan for this, but like everything else they can’t say what it is or no one would vote for them except those who plan to increase their ill gotten gains through a command control economy achieved through control fraud. I don’t want a self driving car, I like public transportation as an option. Hey how bout let’s get on the self driving motorcycle and get the feel of freedom…sure thing i just can’t wait….

  15. nippersdad

    Guns, drugs, suicides, subsidizing chronic disease through the food production system (for those who aren’t starving) and wars aren’t thinning the herd fast enough, and AGW hasn’t really kicked in yet, so Google came up with an app for that! It’s disruptive! Unfettered capitalism will find a way to monetize its’ more unfortunate side effects through yet another Government program designed to make the victims pay for their own losses, and Zuckerberg can watch the pile-ups from his helicopter on his daily commute. It’s all good, though, as he will be giving the proceeds to a self directed tax exempt charity that will disburse its’ largesse some time in his grandchildren’s future……..If we buy the stock now we can avoid the crush before the ISDS cases go to court or our savings are bailed-in to protect hedge funds from profligate Italian bankers.

    The news reads like an updated version of Candide these days; replete with the potential for Bill Clinton to be chasing women through the White House rose garden in a monkey suit.

    1. abynormal

      FACEBOOK’S small tax bill means it is eligible for a range of benefits for people on low incomes, it has emerged.

      After paying just £4,327 in tax, suggesting an income of around £20,000, the company says it is struggling to make ends meet and has been forced to apply for housing benefit, winter heating allowance and a bus pass.

      Founder Mark Zuckerberg said: “I should get £700 a year in working tax credits. That may not sound much, but it’s a lifesaver when you’re on a low income.

      “It felt odd going to a food bank but I’m glad I did because there was probably 15 quid’s worth of food in the box, which is not to be sneezed at.”
      when Cake Ain’t Enuff…
      Zuckerberg said Facebook had also received a hardship loan from the Job Centre, several thousand free eye tests for its employees and a reconditioned fridge from a local charity.

      Facebook user Donna Sheridan said: “I’ve set up a Facebook page called ‘Give some money to Facebook’. It’s the least I can do after they let me put up all those pictures of cakes.”

      1. James Levy

        Don’t worry, Trump has told us all that we are the most taxed people in the world and he is going to cut our taxes so that companies like Facebook can have an even greater competitive edge after he renegotiates those trade treaties to fleece the foreigners and makes America great again. But if Hillary wins, Trump supporters have assured me, she will tax us all and give the money to layabout blacks and Hispanics. What she will do, of course, is keep everything the way it is with no oversight and a maximal wink and nod to her campaign contributors to keep cheating like crazy.

        We are screwed.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Britain is plunging towards an economic nightmare, and not just because of Brexit.

    Question: What country (exiting, entering or staying put) is not?

    1. James Levy

      Well, some countries already are an economic nightmare and a few (Russia, Canada, and perhaps a few others with low population densities that can feed themselves) may make it through more or less intact if they keep their heads and adjust quickly.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Criminal chargers, yes, but that was never going to happen. The other consequences will play out, and I would bet will keep playing out, even after the election.

        Key point: The focus was not on the private mails.

        1. Sam Adams

          Goodbye Democrats. Comedy described gross negligence and then says no reccomendation to prosecute? File as there are two different laws for the powers and for everyone else. Just another plank in the scaffold being built.

          1. neo-realist

            And Karl Rove helped out a CIA agent for the Bush Cheney Junta—-no indictment for him w/ scads of evidence–from a GOP prosecutor. Didn’t crash the broader GOP power dynamic. Same laws for both parties.

  17. Pat

    Well that was a mixed bag.

    He destroyed most of what the Clintonites have been saying. There was mishandling of classified information. There was every chance her server(s) were breeched. Still no indictment. Although he also indicated there should be administrative sanctions if it was the little people. Unfortunately I think it does insulate her on this from Congress. Doesn’t do anything on any thing with the Foundation although I think the Supreme Court took care of that problem in the last couple of weeks.

    Not going to change anyone’s mind. Although I think it did still destroy some of her inroads with those ‘moderate’ Republicans she has probably been courting.

    1. voteforno6

      That makes sense…the most likely administrative sanctions for the little people would involve the loss of his/her job and security clearance. Neither one of those would really impact Clinton. Of course, that would be traumatic for a little person.

      1. cwaltz

        I’m pretty sure the President NEEDS to have some kind of security clearance.

        If she was a little people she would never have been recommended for a promotion that would require a clearance for which she would not qualify

        1. Pat

          I’m a great believer her security clearance should have been stripped while she was Secretary of State and the President informed that she needed to be fired because she was now incapable of doing her job. But then that would have meant that the same standards applied to everyone. Now the American people can be said to have been informed that she is careless, unthinking, arrogant and unconcerned with the security of the United States and still vote for her.

          The thing is, and as we well know I have been wrong often in fact even this morning, I’m not so sure America is going to vote for her. Our choices are hideous, but I’m pretty damn sure that the main group that Clinton is counting on supporting her just got a wake up call about her.
          Good Dems are already running with the nothing burger meme, and the only reaction to Comey’s less than flattering description of her actions are that he is a CONSERVATIVE!!!! But all those moderate Republicans who are being driven from Trump are not going to dismiss what he said because of that, and it is not going to go over well.

          1. cwaltz

            Oh absolutely.

            Obama should have managed her much better too.

            It’s ironic he’s endorsing her when placing her as part of his administration was clearly one of his biggest mistakes.

            1. neo-realist

              Obama doesn’t manage, he spins, he puts rose colored optics out for the purpose of soothing and anesthetizing the public whenever elite wrong doing is involved.

            2. Pat

              I’d really really love to know what kind of deal the Clintons’ made with Obama back in 2008, and what leverage they hold over him today – beyond the whole legacy thing. Although I suppose that may explain it, simple as it is.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Maybe they have kept his real birth certificate in a vault somewhere?

              2. aab

                I really think there is no other explanation for Obama than amoral bagman for Chicago FIRE. I had come to that conclusion previously (after volunteering, et al. for him in ’08 — in part to keep the Clintons out of the White House), but at this point you really have to stick your fingers in your ears, hum, and close your eyes to think anything positive about him. He’s some toxic combination of weak, lazy, amoral and corrupt.

                To blame the Clintons for his behavior is one of the very few things I think it is unfair to blame the Clintons for. Just like he doesn’t actually play 11th dimensional chess, Bill and Hillary are not personally and solely responsible for all the corruption and illegal behavior among our ruling elite.

  18. Stephen Gardner

    Well the fix is in! Comey just recommended that Hillary not be indicted. Slap on the wrist for all. It’s official: she is above the law. The famously free press is busy saying it was a “stern rebuke”. What a crock!! A stern rebuke would have a jail sentence attached if it were not one of the faithful employees of the real owners.

  19. Anne

    “No charges are appropriate” in the Clinton email hairball. But Comey had harsh words for her carelessness. Media is not calling this a victory for Clinton.

    Did anyone really think indictments were coming? I didn’t.

    Does this mean her numbers on being trustworthy and honest start climbing? I don’t think so. Pretty sure the Clinton/Lynch tete-a-tete on the tarmac ensures that most will believe the fix was in.

    I have no idea why anyone wants this person in the WH; if “not Trump” is the best reason for her election, that doesn’t say much for the quality of her candidacy or her fitness for office.

      1. rich

        Peak FBI Corruption? Meet Bryan Nishimura, Found Guilty For “Removal And Retention Of Classified Materials”What is even more shocking is that according to Comey, “we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts.”

        Well, we did. Here is the FBI itself, less than a year ago, charging one Bryan H. Nishimura, 50, of Folsom, who pleaded guilty to “unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials” without malicious intent, in other words precisely what the FBI alleges Hillary did (h/t @DavidSirota):

        just saying….

      2. Aumua

        Exactly. It’s not a choice at all. I will not be coerced into voting for someone I really can’t stand.. just to stick it to someone I can’t stand a little more. Of course, this news from the FBI makes me hate Clinton even more. Like Anne said, I just can’t see how she is even seriously in the running. Lots of people apparently think she’s just hunky dory. It obviously says something about the U.S. that is.. not flattering and even downright scary.

        I’m still not voting for goddamned Donald Trump. You can’t make me.

    1. James Levy

      It’s very hard to unlearn what we know from this site and others, but most people aren’t really conscious of what Clinton and Trump do, or even say: they are symbols for them.

      For me, the two main memes seem to be “experience” versus “gets things done.” Clinton’s experience is that she’s spent a hell of a lot of time in various posts (First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State) doing nothing well and enriching herself at every turn. What Trump seems to have “gotten done” is rip off a bunch of problem gamblers, localities that gave him tax breaks, many of his investors, some students, and walked away from all of it with a pot of cash. Supporters of neither candidate will look these realities square on and yell at you if you mention them. Clinton is certainly a criminal and Trump likely one (unless, as Black points out, we want to redefine white collar crime as not really crime).

      My point being, detractors of both have plenty of ammo but to introduce said ammo would open the door to admitting that this isn’t all a symbolic contest but about facts. And the essential fact is that neither of these people should ever be president.

      1. Vatch

        the essential fact is that neither of these people should ever be president.

        So true! I saw a bumper sticker this weekend that said:

        Giant Meteorite 2016

  20. That Which Sees

    Chancellor George Osborne lays out UK’ s negotiating stance with the EU.

    One strategy we should use to loosen their resolve is to give the EU an idea of what an excluded Britain on the edge of the market might look like. And one potential answer to that is obviously: a giant tax haven.

    This is not my idea of a grand vision for our economy. But the option needs to be on the table if we’re going to get a good deal.

    And more bluntly:

    The underlying message it sends to the EU is a harsher one: if you wilfully lock us out of your market, you leave us only one way to compete. And you won’t like it.

    Junker and Merkel tried hard ball. Osborne responds even harder ball……

    From an unfortunately title Telegraph article: George Osborne is threatening the EU with a giant tax haven right on its doorstep

  21. Take the Fork

    On the the coming Millennial Socialist Workers’ Paradise:

    “Indeed, the criticism most heard against the millennial generation’s evolving attachment to socialism is that they don’t understand what the term really means, indulging instead in warm fuzzy talk about cooperation and happiness. But this is precisely the larger meaning of socialism, which the millennial generation—as evidenced in the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements—totally comprehends.”

    Shivani is a better than this. Maybe he should have stuck to shredding the Creative Writing Industrial Complex, something he know more about.

    I don’t have any problem with Millennials questioning the current dispensation. I welcome it. Leaving aside the point that if we want the US to look more like Norway then the US is probably going to have to look more like Norway, I have seen very little evidence that Millennials understand very much about very much, capitalism or socialism. From what I’ve seen in the workplace, I doubt most of them could change a flat tire. If you can’t unclog your own toilet, how will you ever be able to build socialism? No fault of their own, but they’ve been utterly misprepared for the nation-state they will inherit. And Senator Sanders won’t live long enough to build it for them.

    “Cooperation and happiness” – And why should anyone suppose that such Aquarian Age themes be any more successful among Millennials than it was their Boomer parents? Please. Most apples don’t fall that far from most trees most of the time. Had Occupy shown any spine whatsoever I might be more encouraged. And (Some) Black Lives Matter? Please. If they could organize community policing in a single location, say, Chicago… but that requires steady effort and is not as emotionally satisfying… both conditions of actually existing socialism.

    1. steafane

      Such prognostication is difficult. For those that are not Millennials, it can be difficult to understand the challenges uniquely faced by this generation. Which is not to say Millennials should blame Boomers or vice-a-versa — both have been negatively affected by neoliberal policies and austerity. Rather, it is important to maintain empathy for others, and to perhaps realize that things are worse for Millennials in many respects (education, housing, jobs) than past generations through no fault of their own.

      As for what the future holds, again it is difficult to know. Learned helplessness is certainly a possibility. More and more people are dropping out of the electoral process. But there are ways we can make things better in our daily lives, while still supporting positive governmental policies and candidates. Longer term (say 10-15 years), there will be significant changes to policies. Increasing numbers of refugees entering Europe are arriving from sub-Saharan Africa, rather than from the Middle East or Libya. Such migration will only increase as the effects of climate change intensify. Hopefully, the world will react positively to these coming challenges.

    2. polecat

      ‘little lords of the flies’ ……..

      …”Who will join ‘our’ tribes ….?”

    3. marym

      The original gathering at Zuccotti Park was September 17. On November 15 they were violently evicted by the NYPD, as were most of the other encampments that sprung up around the country. In the process, food, shelter, clothing, medical and first aid supplies, electronics, books, and everything else was destroyed. Maybe people with more “spine” would have brought guns, but the violent evictions would no doubt have started sooner. I don’t know whether tires were changed, but people prepared and served meals several times a day, established alternate energy sources for limited use in keeping warm or charging batteries, one site was doing radio broadcasts, some were building winter shelter, they set up lending libraries and first aid services. Regardless of whether it would have been effective if the violent disruption hadn’t occurred, they developed a common set of principles, communications, and an approach to deliberations. Former occupiers went on to Occupy the SEC, Occupy Sandy, and the successful effort to take Boston out of the running for the 2024 land grab gentrification Olympics.

      As far as Black Lives Matter, prioritizing those lives that are being eliminated by police seems reasonable. In addition, in Chicago where I’m a little familiar with some of the activism, there’s multiple, mutually supportive work – against all aspects of police violence and torture, and organizing around health care and education issues. I’m sure that’s true elsewhere.

      None of the above, limitations or some successes, has anything much to do with whether cooperation is an answer, or happiness is a goal, but having both those concepts in the mix as alternatives to rigged competition, greed, and corruption, is good, not bad.

      1. apotropaic

        Thanks for pushing back. The CW on occupy is absorbed and touted so easily by even thoughtful people. It is disheartening.

      2. Take the Fork

        My point precisely: a single instance of coordinated evictions and… that’s it? And then to divide your movement among an ever-shifting constellation of priorities and grievances? When your opponents see that you’ve shifted from Occupy Them to Occupy Sandy, they enjoy a good night’s sleep.

        Wall Street is THE target. Why not an attempt to continually re-occupy the same space, over and over and over?

        I think the SBLM effort was completely misdirected. If it was lives that actually mattered, focusing on the police seems to be willfully ignorant. Only True Believers fail to see this – and pointing this out is not racist. Moreover, violence against police appears to have risen in response – at least it is being portrayed that way. Unless you are willing to go all the way with that, it’s completely counterproductive. America isn’t a Third World country yet: when it comes to being assaulted, robbed or raped, most people in this country are far more afraid of their neighbor than they are the police. And, although it doesn’t jibe with The SJW Narrative, the Ferguson Effect appears to be very real.

        Crunch the numbers: a community whose activist-age males are “eliminating” themselves at a rate 100 times greater than elimination at the hands of “the system” will NEVER have the cohesion necessary to offer significant resistance to anything except the average lifespan of its own members, much less aid in any mutually supportive efforts, to say nothing of building socialism. Moreover, appearing to claim exclusive rights to the issue of police militarization only serves to introduce a divisive racialist element that the larger SJW coalition cannot afford.

        In the end this is about power: who has it, how and when it is wielded, and to what ends. It has never been otherwise. And, yes, this may means guns. The threat of force, of disruption, backed by the means to make good on it, MAY result in concessions from the owners. Anything less than that, and all you’ll get is divide-and-conquer tokenism: trickle-down affirmative action, maybe a monument or two, expansion of an unresponsive and ineffectual bureaucracy — basically just more of what we’ve seen for the past half-century.

        1. marym

          OWS in NY most certainly did try repeatedly to reoccupy the same space, as did groups in other locations. To my knowledge BLM doesn’t claim exclusive ownership of the issue of police violence. More noticeable is people outside that community’s experience trying to tell them what is or isn’t important and how to achieve it, including what risks other they should be willing to incur. In Chicago we’re quite aware of what happens to armed black political dissidents occupying even their own homes.

          We can only hope to build solidarity by showing it, not by withholding it. Distracting reference to black-on-black crime and dismissive use of the term SJW aren’t helpful.

    4. Left in Wisconsin

      No one has any credible vision of what a future socialist world might look like. The fact that so many young people embrace the term is a function of dissatisfaction with current arrangements. Yes, a socialist world would require development of new skills on a massive scale. But that is hardly an insoluble problem compared to the “problem” of “fixing” the current meritocratic global capitalist kleptocracy.

    5. Anon

      And Senator Sanders won’t live long enough to build it for them.

      Umm, I don’t recall Sanders ever saying he was the center/maker of anything. And millenials were not the only folks who supported his thoughts on political revolution.

      Anecdotal remarks on the attitude and ability of a whole generation are rarely helpful, or edifying. Some folks can change tires, other folks can change the arc of history, others are just too sedentary to fix anything.

    6. Lambert Strether

      Generations don’t have agency. Ergo, sentences like “Millenials questioning the current dispensation” are literally meaningless.

      “Millenial” is a marketing category, designed to classify consumers. That is why, as a category, it is permitted to exist and indeed encouraged.

      1. Aumua

        I agree that generations don’t have agency, but.. are Boomers the only ones who get to talk about ‘their generation’? Millennial might be a marketing term, but I think it’s more than that. As a GenXer I’m alternatively disgusted and amused by the squabble between the surrounding generations. It turns out that we aren’t as important as you all seem to be. I think we always kind of knew that though and generally were ok with it.

        1. cwaltz

          Heh, fellow Gen Xer here

          I always find it interesting that we hear about how tough the millennials have it. It begs the question is it worse to have the American Dream within your grasp and then have it stolen from you(our generation) or to never believe in a Dream to begin with.

          Personally, I think our generation is screwed because we believed the oligarchy when they told us that if we went to school and worked hard that we’d be able to succeed or because we believed them when they told us that if we paid more that we’d be able to retire like our grandparents and it is now fairly obvious that they had no intent of honoring any of that if it meant the oligarchy actually have to honor any commitments made.

    1. Lambert Strether

      That’s funny. I was going to use the word “skate” myself, then decided on neutral phrasing.

      That said, let’s not descend to armchair cynicism. There are many ways that Clinton did not skate — for example, so far as I can tell, the investigations focused only on “work-related” mail, and not the mail about Clinton’s yoga lessons and Chelsea’s wedding [*** cough ***].

      For another, for a political candidate the (highly unlikely) criminal indictment would be dispositive, but Comey was very careful to leave to door for administrative sanctions open. That alone will keep the story alive over the summer.

      1. Take the Fork

        “Descend to armchair cynicism”?

        In my case, armchair cynicism would require an ascent… :)

        “That alone will keep the story alive over the summer.”

        I hope you are right.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump and the GOP will be on the offensive all Summer, and every Republican who voted support for Hillary is done.

        As far as the Democrats, what is their pitch? It’s going to be a brutal Summer. I spoke to a kid registering votes and I had to chase her off with a stick because I was the first nice person she spoke too. They weren’t having much success; although, they were in a terrible location.

        Can you imagine the convention?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      To have believed that she would be “indicted,” you would have to also believe that the system is NOT rigged.

      I’m with Bernie and Trump on that one. RIGGED all the way.

      1. James Levy

        I saw George W. Bush be interviewed and admit that he had authorized electronic surveillance without reference to the FISA court (clearly illegal, and stupid, as FISA would have given him anything he wanted after 9/11) and get himself not indicted but re-elected.

        You are absolutely right–the system is rigged. But Clinton is only the latest beneficiary of this atrocious condition. The most important thing we can do is catalogue the maleficence without prejudice and bear witness to it.

  22. Jim Haygood

    Ten-year Treasury note falls to a record low — lowest in U.S. history — of 1.37% this morning.

    German 10-year bunds are at minus 0.18%, while Netherlands and France are just above zero yield at 0.02% and 0.13% respectively.

    Welcome to the New Abnormal, comrades. Or as the eminent economist Nancy Pelosi says, “Embrace the suck.”

    1. NeqNeq

      Where are the ‘government should be run like a household’ folks when you need them? With rates this low we should be doing a refi on our debts! Maybe Rocket can help with their ‘push button, get money’ app!

  23. Lambert Strether

    It’s almost like all the players were reasoning backward from the known Clinton campaign schedule: Obama on Air Force One with Clinton later today, Comey’s presser just now, the Lynch bribe over the weekend, and the meeting with Lynch on the tarmac before that.

    Obama “I’m not getting on a plane with Hillary if she’s gonna be indicted.” Obama can be effective when he wants to…

    1. Heliopause

      It’s been a surreal week or so. All that leverage applied on Lynch, then Comey comes out of nowhere and does this. Why would he stick his neck out?

      And I’m still waiting for an explanation of how Bryan Pagliano fits into all this.

        1. Heliopause

          I’m not going to speculate on anything like that, what I want to know is this; today’s announcement dealt with the handling of classified info, Pagliano presumably would have no direct connection to that, yet he is in some sort of jeopardy. Why?

            1. Heliopause

              Again, this doesn’t answer the question. Today’s announcement was solely about the handling of classified info, and Pagliano presumably had no direct relation to that issue. He reportedly set up and maintained the server. So what’s he in jeopardy for?

    2. Alex morfesis

      Comey takes the sword…his gramps just opened a beer with his old prohibition friends on the river styx…but sadly for me, neither booze nor other items much help inebriate…

      Ole pyrates yes they rob I…
      Sold I to the merchant ship…
      Minutes after they took I…
      From the bottomless pit….

  24. Vatch

    The FBI whitewashes the Clinton email scandal. No charges.

    To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
    As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

    All righty, nothing to see here, move along.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Twenty years ago:

      In December 1996, CIA director John Deutch resigned after it was discovered that he had stored highly classified documents on his home computer, which was connected to the Internet.

      After a criminal investigation, Deutch agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $5,000 fine. But before the prosecutors could file the papers in federal court, President Bill Clinton pardoned him on his last day in office.

      Free John Deutch!

  25. Rhondda

    OK. That’s it. The Clintons’ corruption and criminality is just being rubbed in our faces.

    Stern rebuke! I may hurt myself with maniacal, crazed laughter.

    The whole effing thing is RIGGED from stem to stern. I’m done with it. I’m done with bullshit voting and bullshit news and bullshit experts.


    1. Jim Haygood

      I reached the same conclusion in October 2001.

      Elections held under martial law aren’t legitimate.

      Shun them.

      1. Vatch

        Rhondda and Jim, your frustration is justified. Please don’t shun the elections, though. Please vote for third party candidates as a rebuke to the Republican/Democrat Duopoly. As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, if a third party Presidential candidate gets 5% of the vote, that candidate or the candidate’s party qualifies for federal grant money.

        1. polecat

          So…if they’re above the law …why shouldn’t we be held to the same standard?’

          The faith in those who ‘govern’ us has dropped a hundred fold !!

        2. Jim Haygood

          “if a third party Presidential candidate gets 5% of the vote, that candidate or the candidate’s party qualifies for federal grant money.”

          This itself is part of the unconstitutional takeover of voting by the Depublicrat duopoly.

          In effect, they make the Special Olympians compete in the regular Olympics, then jeer at them for never winning or even getting their scores reported.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Should it be 1%, instead of 5%?

            Maybe all parties get federal grant money?

            1. Vatch

              For now, the rule is 5%. To get a lower threshold, we need one or two viable third parties which actually have a small number of successfully elected Representatives, or at the very least, several candidates who successfully alter the chances of some Democrats or Republicans. Without some clout, the rules will remain heavily biased against those of us who dislike the Duopoly.

              So be sure to vote in November, and vote for someone who’s neither D nor R.

        3. Roger Smith

          The fix is in and third parties will not save us. They aren’t allowed to compete, they are junior varsity.

          We are headed for implosion created by all these zombies. They’ve sealed all the exits and pushed everyone into a corner. If there is even a chance it is going to get better, it’s going to get a lot worse first.

          1. cwaltz

            I wonder who will get to pen the 20th century version of the Declaration of Independence and if I’ll be around to see it?

            1. Jim Haygood

              In the 1776 original, substitute “U.S. fedgov” for “King George,” update the list of usurpations and travesties, and it writes itself.

          2. Tvc15

            I think this just provides another blatant example of the rigged system. Playing by their rules and hoping for a third party candidate to gain traction seems hopeless to me at this point. I don’t continue playing a board game when someone is cheating hoping for a better result next time. It’s time to flip the game board upside down.

            1. Roger Smith

              Exactly, the pieces are meaningless, the board is rigged. People need to choose to stop playing. This is only one iteration of potential realities.

          3. DarkMatters

            I pessimistically agree. Except during irrational bouts of optimism, I feel that resistance is all we have left. But I’ll pick up whatever tool is at hand, so I’ll vote, not because I expect to be effective, but out of sheer anger at the corruption. This time, if I can’t stop H with Trump, I’ll add to the third party votes, if for no other reason than to show the rest of the world that our democratic values aren’t. Have a nice day :-).

            1. Roger Smith

              Speaking of optimism, it is funny being on the other end of Sander’s campaign. I was the same critical surveyor as I was before he came around, but for a time I actually thought things had a chance of changing positively (the right direction/kind of solutions/the right application–instead of the bloody revolution I feel we are heading for, as all other exits are paved over). Now that we are post-Sander’s campaign I can see how overly optimistic that belief was.

              Looking at all of our terrible decisions and corruption, we are now in the most logical place on our slow descent as we circle the drain–the two most disliked presidential candidate ever, blatant voter fraud and legalized political corruption. It fits the historical pattern so well.

            2. Vatch

              so I’ll vote, not because I expect to be effective

              If your third party candidate gets at least 5% of the vote, you will have been effective, even though the candidate isn’t elected. One step at a time.

              1. aab

                I know I’m a broken record on this, but that’s naive. Getting some third party a little funding in a system where we now know voting barely matters is pointless.

                You think they’ll allow the Greens to actually “win” anything that could even slow them down? Trump barely has a shot, and that would be as the Republican nominee, with a skilled election rigger in his corner.

                I hope the Greens get 5% and funding. But we really need to crowdsource this election so as to — if it is possible at all — keep Clinton out of the White House. My offspring is pretty young. Actual revolutions don’t just take out the evil and culpable. I’m sorry to sound melodramatic, but we seem to be hurtling in that direction.

  26. allan

    Sorry, Mr. Franklin. We weren’t able to.

    Edit: On the bright side, how many undecideds will this bring into the fold?

    1. allan

      Josh Marshall – Straight Out of Veal Pen:

      We Have the Final Word; And It Was Friggin’ Obvious

      So now we have our answer: there won’t be any charges against Hillary Clinton or anyone else in the ’email server scandal’ which has played such a huge role to date in the 2016 election. It is important to understand what James Comey said. The relevant statutes are broad enough that lots of people could conceivably charged under them. And there are occasional cases where prosecutors do use that expansive nature to charge people they really have no business charging. But as Comey said “no reasonable prosecutor would bring” charges in such a case. …

      All this said, this was 99.9% predictable and 100% obvious. It’s a mammoth press failure that for various reasons this reality was concealed from the public.

      This person has a Ph.D. in American History from Brown.

      1. pretzelattack

        oh dear, just had a longtime friend/hrc supporter make a similar argument about the failure to prosecute banksters. “no prosecutor would want to take on these complex white collar criminal cases”.

      2. voteforno6

        What’s amusing is watching how the Clintonistas are twisting this into claiming that she did nothing wrong.

        1. Anne

          Yes, Kevin Drum: “Hillary Clinton Innocent” is his headline. He concludes:

          Bottom line: Hillary Clinton screwed up. She’s admitted this repeatedly. Other investigators have come to the same conclusion. If you want to criticize her for this, that’s fine. She deserves it. But there was no criminal intent and essentially no chance that a jury would have convicted her. We’ve known this for months now. Now we know it officially.

          I’m sure there’s more out there just like it.

          Funny, I didn’t see anything in his post mentioning the fact that she’s been lying to the world about sending/receiving classified e-mails via her non-government server.

          1. allan

            And Amanda Marcotte:

            Not defending Clinton here. Just saying anyone who has cursed out loud when their password expires can probably understand her mistake.

            Who among us has not hired white-shoe lawyers to e-shred 30,000 government emails?

            1. cwaltz

              It wasn’t a mistake. A mistake was once, this was done repeatedly for the sake of her convenience.

            2. voteforno6

              A mistake would be writing down that password, then losing it. What Clinton did was with deliberate intent. I would hope that Ms. Marcotte would understand the difference, but she has already demonstrated that she’s one of the less-talented Clinton media hacks.

            3. Anne

              “Her mistake?” Oh, right, Marcotte has to stick to the script, the one where Clinton herself said it was a mistake to use the private server – calling it a mistake makes it a benign act, devoid of malice or intent to undermine the security of the nation.

              Way too reminiscent of the “mistakes were made” construction, that lacks any agency whatsoever.

              Really, don’t we all know that this was entitlement rearing its ugly head? A sense of belief that her own importance allowed her to forgo security protocols out of convenience? and look at how many underlings enabled it and participated in it? Did no one ever say, “uh, Madame Secretary, I don’t think this is a good idea?”

              It really does make one wonder what else she’s short-cutted, what other things she’s done because she believed that because she was the one doing it, it was okay? And how do you trust someone like this to hold the highest office in the land?

              I seriously have no idea how someone like this gets elected, but you can be sure that if she does, it’s going to be a mega-millions-size bonanza for the lawyers on all sides and for all parties; it will be a miracle if there is any governance at all. It’s going to be one investigation after another, with impeachment front-and-center from the moment she takes the oath.

              1. Pat

                It also willfully ignores the real purpose of the email server AND that one of her mistakes was she pretty much committed perjury regarding the existence of work emails in that she wanted NOTHING on the record regarding her work process. It was clearly a means of controlling all that, particularly in regard to FOIA. And to do that she was willing to expose the security of the United States.

                Same with the Dems who call it a nothing burger and think Clinton should not be held to the same standards as the average Lieutenant in the military regarding handling classified material, or the average employee of the Smithsonian in having to answer to the public about what they do. It truly misses mind-blowing levels of arrogance and entitlement.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  Again, if Clinton were the CEO of a small non-profit, her board would give her the chop directly. (I’m using this example because it speaks directly to the professional women in Clinton’s base; at least in the great state of Maine, those CEOs are disproportionately female and Democrat.)

            4. Oregoncharles

              I thought Marcotte was a good columnist (most of the time) till Salon hired her as Joan Walsh’s replacement. She’s one of those obsessed with the “first woman president” schtick.

              The campaign derangement is strong with this one. Stop reading her till after the election.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Marcotte’s identity politics pervade all she writes; they’re only grossly amplified by the campaign. We seem to have the concept that our pundits “return to normal” after a campaign. They don’t.

          2. cwaltz

            There is a higher standard usually for national security for a reason. Peoples lives depend on the people tasked with seeing it to not be careless or negligent.

            It’s not an oopsie if you are a military member or someone in the government who engages in clandestine activity and rely on government to effectively protect you. It’s effectively giving them the finger to not charge her and recommend she be promoted.

            1. anon

              I don’t expect it to happen, but it would be lovely if the NSA, FBI, CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all issued a joint statement that stripped Clinton and her aides of their security clearances and stated for the record that unfortunately this would be standard procedure for anyone so grossly negligent with classified information. And no that will not change if she is elected President so the Democrats better choose a VP who can actually run the country as she will never be given a security briefing, military briefing or even allowed at Langley.

              Like I said, it is never going to happen, but unless they want to make a mockery of their supposed standards it should.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Perhaps safe to assume the FBI will not do that.

                In any case, Hillary is probably looking to have her own people at those agencies.

            2. James Levy

              I always find those “secrecy” claims overblown. My problem with this is that it was an obvious attempt to avoid oversight and to do private Clinton Foundation business on the government’s dime. I don’t think for a second this had anything to do with “national security” and everything to do with hiding her activities. Clinton didn’t want to be accountable for her actions, and that’s unacceptable for any official in a republic.

              1. cwaltz

                I’m going to guess then you’ve never had someone you loved sent to a hostile country.

                I have.

                1. James Levy

                  For the record, my dad fought the Japanese and my cousin arrived In Country just in time for the Tet Offensive, so, if you consider those, I’d say hostile country would certainly fit. However, I don’t think anything Clinton was handling at her level was actionable intelligence, the only kind that for me matters. And since I thought that Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange were doing much more good than harm, I’d be a hypocrite to turn around and bitch about Hillary and secrecy. My oft-state complaint against Clinton is still the one I stand by: using her position, public time, and an illegal server to avoid oversight and accountability and perform private business.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    It’s not a matter of “actionable intelligence”. Comey misapplied the standard. The records didn’t need to rise to the level of putting people at risk for her handling to have been a criminal violation. Moreover, he argued that you needed to show intent. He didn’t. And there’s no way he didn’t know that. So he was pressured not to apply the proper standard, and the best Solomonic solution he could come up with was not recommend indictment but trash her conduct.

                    Look, Obama endorsed Clinton BEFORE the FBI completed its investigation. That means there was no way Comey would be allowed to recommend an indictment. I have no idea what leverage they had over him, but the Administration clearly knew he could be brought to heel.

                    1. James Levy

                      Yves, I never said it was. I said that what she did was illegal, as in, “illegal server” (direct quote). But what ticks me off was not all the secrecy jazz, which I think is overblown and used to shut down dissent, but using her position to feather her nest in the Clinton Foundation on government time and trying to circumvent FOIA. Nowhere here have I said she didn’t act illegally.

  27. Anne

    The Guardian has the full text of Comey’s statement. Just reading it now, but have no idea how one doesn’t recommend any charges after saying this, among other things:

    From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

    And this:

    Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

    For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

    None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

    The nut graph:

    Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

    In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

    So, let me see if I have this right: if you blow the whistle on government activity that is in violation of laws and the constitution, you can spend time in prison, but if you are just an average, careless head of a major cabinet department, sending classified material on personal e-mail accounts, you’re good, no worries.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received.”

      This is a per se offense — no intent required:

      BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (May 27, 2016) — A Navy sailor has pleaded guilty to charges alleging that he illegally retained photos he took with his cellphone of classified areas and equipment inside a nuclear attack submarine based in Connecticut.

      Federal prosecutors say 29-year-old Kristian Saucier of Arlington, Vermont, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Bridgeport to unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

      The photos were on a phone that was found at a waste transfer station in Connecticut.

      Little people — they think they can play fast and loose with our nation’s security. :-(

      1. allan

        Also, too: Hero Marine Nailed for Secret Email: What Did He Do That Hillary Didn’t?

        Meanwhile, a decorated Marine officer who has deployed four times faces being discharged from the corps he loves because he used his personal email to send a single classified report as an urgent warning when lives were at stake.

        The stateside message from Marine Reserves Major Jason Brezler to Forward Operating Base Delhi in Now Zad, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, went unheeded. Three young Marines were shot to death as they worked out in a gym by an Afghan teen brought on the base by the same corrupt and double-dealing pedophile police chief whom Brezler had declared to be an immediate threat.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Strength in numbers.

        A dollar or ten dollars a month, from a billion customers, can make you a very rich person.

        Thus, it’s important to catch all the myriad little lawbreakers.

        “The Little People should never think they can get away with not paying their parking tickets or rolling-stop citations.”

    2. grayslady

      I have the same reaction to Comey’s statement as I did to the Supreme Court decision about its interpretation of bribery: we can no longer depend on the current justice system to prosecute wrongdoers or to use common sense in determining which actions constitute crimes.

      1. Roger Smith

        In the last week the justice system had bottomed out. We are headed towards more bloody revolution at top speeds, all because of these ignorant and selfish fools.

      2. Anne

        People of means have known for a long time that they get a different kind of justice than people who have nothing. People of means and power also now know that if they are part of some critical industry, they are protected in order to maintain the very infrastructure they’ve been benefiting from; we saw this after the 2008 crash, when Justice Department and SEC lawyers quailed at the prospect of bringing to justice those responsible for it, lest the nation be plunged into a genuine depression. Too Big to Jail.

        Apparently, that kind of thinking has spread to government and politics and been blessed up the chain; Supreme Court decisions are making it legal and giving cover to those who can’t bear to bite the hand that feeds them.

        It’s about 17 kinds of disgusting; I just feel sick inside.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Un-indicted wrongdoer.

        I think Trump will, if Sanders will not, repeat that till, at least, November.

      4. polecat

        From now on, refer it it as ‘JUST THEM’….because that ,unequivocally, is what it is all about, in this dying republic of ours.

        The Ghouls Have Won…and you no longer need the special shades to see that !

    3. Carolinian

      See today’s Bill Black on how these days law enforcement is treated as something only appropriate for street crime. In fairness deciding to prosecute in this case would be a huge deal in light of the election. What’s needed is for an honest press corps to lay out all the facts including those involving the shady foundation and let the voters render their own verdict. That they probably won’t do so means it’s not just HRC that is the problem.

    4. Roger Smith

      Comey: ” All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”

      This was obviously willful mishandling and intentional! What are these people smoking??

  28. August West

    David Axelrod in response to Trump’s tweet, paraphrasing:It’s dangerous to say the system is rigged or fixed somehow. I’m sure the credentialed democrat mouthpieces got togeather over beers, brats, and yachts to agree on the “dangerous” meme? Is that the best they got? Wow.

  29. Carolinian

    Pam Martens has some important facts and questions about the tarmac meeting. For example Bill Clinton was in town to meet with a real estate executive, not to golf. Also Lynch unusually flew into town the night before her scheduled appearance and that’s when when she met Bill. The news report that uncovered the meeting didn’t appear until the day after Lynch was asked about it at a news conference. Was it temporarily suppressed? And why did the FBI agents guarding Lynch insist on no pictures or recording of the encounter?

    1. grayslady

      This article addresses some questions, but it leaves out others. For example, I just tried to check Lynch’s schedule for the month of June on her department’s .gov site. No go. The calendars are filled with blanks for all the days of the month of June. There are a few press releases for Lynch activities during June, but there is no way a normal person could determine precisely where Loretta Lynch was going to be at a particular time on a particular day. So how did Bill Clinton know? And who provided him with the information? The FBI and Secret Service aren’t supposed to discuss these details, and, from what I can tell, they don’t. So who did tell Bill? And who told the reporter, Christopher Sign, far enough in advance for him to check with an additional source and gather a mobile news team, that a meeting was going to take place at Sky Harbor? Who stood to benefit from major news publication of this story? None of these questions have been answered yet, or even addressed by the news media.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have been wondering about that the whole weekend and posted the question at 10;36 am earlier today.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        My understanding, and I confess to not having followed this all that closely, is that Sign did not hear about the meeting until a day or two after it happened. Where did you get the news that he had a mobile news team on site at the time of the meeting?

        1. grayslady

          I listened to an interview Sign gave to Fox News. He explained about receiving the call that he should go to Sky Harbor airport; that before haring off to Sky Harbor he called a source of his and received confirmation from the source on the details provided in the original phone call; and that he received approval from his network (ABC) to take a mobile unit to the airport.

  30. Tom

    Whatever happened to the FBI investigation into the nexus between Clinton’s State Department tenure and Clinton Foundation donors? Comey was curiously silent on that score.

    1. tyrese93

      That investigation no longer matters. The Supreme Court recently legalized bribery, ruling there can be no criminal act unless there is an explicit quid pro quo. Only the dumbest politicians engage in explicit discussions.

    2. Jim Haygood

      “The FBI Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.”

      Any questions?

    3. Pat

      Please the Supreme Court took care of that on June 27th. I mean just change a few things in Roberts statement and you have ““There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns donation bundling, expensive speaking fees, and multimillion dollar donations to a useless charity,” Roberts wrote. “It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute.”

      Not to mention this jewel: “Conscientious public officials arrange meetings for constituents, contact other officials on their behalf, and include them in events all the time,” the chief justice wrote. “The basic compact underlying representative government assumes that public officials will hear from their constituents and act appropriately on their concerns — whether it is the union official worried about a plant closing or the homeowners who wonder why it took five days to restore power to their neighborhood after a storm.”

      He said the government’s position “could cast a pall of potential prosecution over these relationships” if the union or group made some show of gratitude.

      Nope, they have pretty much destroyed the idea that officials can be or will be influenced by largesse and thus such largesse should not be allowed or even that seeming to beg for that largesse is or can be corruption. If it isn’t money in a briefcase delivered in a back alley…No not even then, since they can’t determine what an “official act’ is, there is none. That ruling pretty much put the final government for sale to the highest bidder sign on the doors of every elected or appointed official in the US.

      And by the way it was unanimous. There is no way they can indict Clinton on the selling of influence with the Foundation although anyone with half a brain can connect the dots.

  31. Titus Groaned

    Around ten years ago, I held a low level (GS-5) clerical position at a VA Hospital. Upon arrival to work one day, I was called into a department-wide “emergency meeting” in which the manager announced that every VA employee would soon be required to undergo further training in the principles and practices of cyber-security.

    Seems that a couple of days earlier, a VA employee in Maryland had brought home a workplace laptop in order to do some outside-the-office work on a project. When his home was subsequently burglarized, the laptop – with the unencrypted names and social security numbers of some 20,000 veterans – wound up among the stolen items.

    Predictably, the political fallout was fast and furious. Congressional hearings, the resignation of several highly placed VA officials, and an entire workforce (myself included) subjected to hours of tedious instruction. All of it devised to send the message that the Veterans Administration – nay, the entirety of the US Government – regarded cyber-security as of the utmost priority and that any federal employee who failed to treat is as such (whether intentionally or not) would be subject to swift and severe punishment.

    Although a great national scandal at the time, that episode now barely rates notice as a footnote in recent US history. But I found my mind hearkening back to it as I watched Comey’s announcement today. Either times have changed and the US Government no longer takes cyber security as seriously as it did as recently as ten years ago or [fill in the blank]


  32. Elizabeth Burton

    “One example from an endocrinologist: 1/3 of the women who are on antidepressants have low testosterone, and getting their testosterone to normal levels would in a very high percentage of the cases clear up the depression. But women are just about never tested for testosterone.”

    Which makes me wonder whether the swing to vegetarianism and veganism, with a concurrent heavy reliance on soy protein, needs to be reviewed in light of this finding. It’s known to those of us who have bothered to do more than read the “moral reasons” for giving up meat that soy is proto-estrogenic, meaning it can screw up the estrogen balance in women if eaten in large quantities. I’m constantly warning women who tell me they’re eating soy to be careful of the amount they ingest. Maybe I should add this to my list of possible negative outcomes.

    1. grayslady

      Estrogen levels are independent of testosterone levels. Estrogen imbalance has to do with the level of estrogen relative to the level of progesterone. During menopause, it is actually the level of progesterone relative to estrogen that determines whether or not a woman experiences hot flashes. No woman should attempt to self-medicate when it comes to hormones. Blood tests reviewed and monitored by a physician with a strong background in hormones is critical to implementing a worthwhile approach.

      As for testosterone levels, each woman knows intrinsically what level is correct for her, because too much or too little testosterone definitely affects personality. As someone who used supplemental testosterone for a number of years following menopause, I can definitely say that too little meant feeling overwhelmed by the most insignificant issues and too much meant feeling mean and aggressive.

      Most doctors who treat women have been so terrified of prescribing synthetic hormones for women that they also write-off the idea of treating women with bio-identical hormones, including testosterone. According to my hormone doctor, big pharma has a huge stake in convincing more women to take anti-depressants rather than bio-identicals, which are compounded and, thus, outside of big pharma.

  33. dingusansich

    Clintons + Obamas, friends 4ever!

    Now scrutinize that Comey statement like the love child of Clarence Darrow and Cleanth Brooks:

    Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.

    How big a truck ya got? Pretty much any size can get through “intentionally or in a grossly negligent way.” Apparently it’s roomy enough even for Comey’s own characterization: “extremely careless.”

    But wait, Cleanth is tapping me on the shoulder and whispering, Could it be that Comey’s statement is meant to be read ironically?

    In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

    Because, hey, wait a minute, every single clause in that litany seems to apply right here! Oh, a quibbler might say, “Now, hang on, you can’t accuse La Clinton of ‘disloyalty.'” Or is Comey backhandedly implying something about State’s subversion of policy in, say, Libya or Syria?

    I will now step slowly away from my bookshelf on the hermeneutics of suspicion …

    1. cwaltz

      I got the impression this statement was more of a give me to Loretta Lynch than it was to Hillary Clinton.

      He pretty much made it clear that she broke the law. He also made it pretty clear that most prosecutors wouldn’t go after her because she isn’t a “little people.”

      Apparently my Navy rights and responsibilities classes had it all wrong. Rank has its privileges but not because it comes with greater responsibility. No, the higher up you are the more likely you’ll be able to do things the little people would not do and get away with it.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I guess it’s up to the Republicans whether or not to bring impeachment against her, should she make it this November.

      2. dingusansich

        Addendum to “disloyalty” re your Navy stint: We hear a lot about exposure of assets and methods by improper handling of classified documents. What’s the accusation Clinton and her ilk throw around about Snowden and Wikileaks? Such recklessness gets people killed. Some are even Americans. Is that recklessness tantamount to disloyalty? James?

        1. cwaltz

          The statement pisses me off less from my own personal stint than it does from my perspective as the wife of someone who had a top secret clearance. My husband was an ET and acted as a communicator for the SEAL teams back in the 90s. There were times our country sent him to places that were unfriendly. His life was reliant on those same people who sent him there to not be reckless and careless with HIS life. Indeed, OUR lives(we had children) were reliant on them not being reckless or careless with information.

          That the standard is lowered for people like Clinton is a dangerous precedent.

          I guess their thought process is they always have the draft. I know I certainly wouldn’t volunteer to serve under someone who was too lazy to secure data that could impact my life.

      3. sid_finster

        Um, yeah?

        The “greater privileges because you see greater responsibilities” is just another one of those ways sociopaths justify their deeds to the little people.

        1. cwaltz

          The wheels are coming off the bus.

          At some point the “little people” are going to resent being held to a different standard than the entitled.

          It’s kind of the basis for our own revolution.

    2. ira

      I thought Obama and the Clintons hated each other. Wasn´t Bill recorded, thinking the mic was off, saying something akin to, ´I hate that man [Obama] more than anyone in the world.]

      Maybe it´s a case of the crimes of high office bind.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Legacy. Obama set a low bar. Who can burnish his image? A Republican probably, but he’s already overseen the destruction of Team Blue everywhere else. The correct answer is Hillary and Team Clinton.

  34. Knifecatcher

    Security or administrative sanctions.

    Meaning, loss of security clearance? That would seem to be … oh, I don’t know … a problem as President?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The executive departments work for the President and are required to answer his questions in writing. The government can’t be classified from the President. To do otherwise would would be to subvert the constitutional order.

          1. cwaltz

            The whole entire government isn’t the executive branch.

            Some of the problems with the system is the compartmentalization of the system.

            Although it appears Obama should have asked way more questions in writing to his State Department and we might not have had this mess to begin with.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Article II. Section 2. Clause 1.

              The laws governing the bureaucracy do not replace the Constitutional arrangement. The President can read the names and addresses of the FBI witness list out loud and face no legal repercussions. The Congress could impeach and remove him, but he would face no classic judicial repercussions.

              The President is not a soldier or a bureaucrat. His job is outlined in the Constitution. Laws don’t dictate his job performance.

              1. cwaltz

                We differ on what we believe would happen legally.

                I don’t believe the President is not above the law and yes they can be charged with treason. Impeachment is the vehicle you use to remove them so that they can be charged(and yes I believe someone who read the names of FBI agents in public would rightfully be charged with treason.) The President is not above the law.

                If I remember correctly Clinton lost his law lisence as a result of his perjury charge, by the way which very much is a legal consequence.

                1. pretzelattack

                  bush/cheney got away with exposing valerie plame. maybe if the president does something that hurts powerful people there would be repercussions, but plame and her husband were better placed than most of us to fight back.

                  1. cwaltz

                    Libby took the fall. He’s got a nice cushy six figure income at a think tank.

                    That being said, it’s absurd to suggest there aren’t laws on the books that protect assets and that those laws wouldn’t apply to a President(as in he could read the names and addresses of those assets and not have consequences.)

                    In theory, no one is supposed to be above the law, not even a President.

                    (In practice, it’s becoming more apparent that laws are not being applied even close to equally.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the movie, Tora, Tora, Tora, FDR was removed from the Ultra list – no security clearance to read intercepted Japanese ’emails of that era.’

  35. cwaltz

    I just contacted Senator Sanders office to let him know that I would be disappointed if he endorsed a person who engaged in criminal activity for President. Comey may have determined she is too big to face criminal charges, that doesn’t mean she did not break the law and it certainly does not mean she deserves a promotion.

        1. James Levy

          Hell, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were, so in the spirit of bipartisanship that Obama always loved to invoke, why not Clinton?

          1. Kevin Hall

            You do realize that they are all crooked cops so to speak, right?

            Some are ok being the bad cop, the other half plays at being your friend. Neither group is working for your best interest or mine.

            You say above (facetiously I hope) that in the spirit of bipartisanship they should all be free from the consequences of their actions. I prefer the inverse of that and were we living in a just land, they would all be held accountable and punished appropriately.

            1. James Levy

              I was absolutely being facetious but should have been more clear. The whole thing is appalling. I’m just pointing out that this is not a new development, but the playing out of what has become an established script at least since they dodged impeaching Reagan over Iran/Contra and buried his “October Surprise” illegality (treason?). The ouster of Nixon opened up a door to Executive accountability that was immediately slammed shut by the Ford pardon. We’ve just been sailing deeper and deeper into the abyss ever since.

  36. Pat

    Bill Bratton recently went off on NYC saying that by abandoning its enforcement of quality of life infractions it was encouraging law breaking. Personally, having just had someone tell me if they could walk into a bank and rob without consequence much in the same way that government or big corporations essentially rob the public with false tickets or ridiculously high charges for nothing, they would do it without a second thought, I’m of the belief that by legalizing theft and NOT prosecuting those who abuse their positions of trust, or who buy or sell government, or just steal people’s homes because they aren’t required to meet the same standards of documentation as the average person is supposed to meet that they are encouraging wide spread law breaking and disrespect for the law.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For that same reason, we need to hire more cops and militarize our police departments.

  37. dcblogger

    “And so the interesting question is, how do we characterize politicians like them? I’d suggest that they are best summarized as survivors. They are people who lived through a period of reaction, during which their leftist peers generally burned out, faded away, or reinvented themselves as neoliberal hacks. Whereas people like Sanders and Corbyn managed to hold on to something resembling traditional social democratic politics, while remaining in proximity to the highest reaches of power within the capitalist state. They managed to survive a period of reaction without either being driven out of politics or becoming reactionaries themselves”
    mebbe Sanders is Dubcek and we are still waiting for Havel

  38. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China spending more on economic infrastructure..

    Combined with military infrastructure spending and artificial atoll-building in the South China Sea, it should be plenty, but we are asking this: why is China still exporting deflation?

  39. crittermom

    It’s been mere days since the FBI told Loretta Lynch they needed another 27 mths to go over the emails, wasn’t it?

    I find the fact it took HRC two years to even honor the ‘request’ by the FBI to turn over her server should be grounds for an indictment all by itself. The fact she then admittedly erased thousands of emails before doing so would have put the final nail in the coffin of any of us ‘little people’.

    Wow. There are just no words for the disgust I feel.
    Maybe we should all change our name to HRC for a few years & then ignore any laws we choose to?
    That way, if caught, we could just say “Ha, ha. Look at my name. You can’t touch me. I’m special.”

    Time to go commune with nature. It seems to be the only place I can find honesty these days to nourish my soul (with the exception of the coyote–the trickster).

    But please, no suggestions on a new name for HRC, such as Clinton the Coyote.
    I hold coyotes in too high of a regard to associate them with such a…………………….once again, at a loss for words.

  40. Bea Braun

    Re Chilcot report
    A number of MPs led by Alex Salmond are expected to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister when the Chilcot report comes out on Wednesday.
    Indications are that Labour leader Corbyn will go further, and ask for Blair to be tried in the Hague for war crimes. As Labour leader, Corbyn can make the call under parliamentary immunity, without risking legal action (e.g. by Blair’s lawyers).

  41. robert lowrey

    As to self-driving cars making our lives worse, that is not a future event. Although horses must be driven, modern cars are self-driving, that’s why they’re called automobiles. They are self-driven, needing a pilot only to steer them, so any car with cruise control is already a self-driving car, as it is the engine that drives it forward, not the occupant. What the author was referring to should more accurately be referred to as auto-piloted cars.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In that case, we are not driving cars.

      We are piloting.

      “I will drive you home.”

      “Hey, taxi driver!”

      They should be changed to:

      “I will pilot you home in my car.”

      “Hey, taxi pilot.”

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