Links 8/15/16

Officials Spent Big on Olympics, but Rio Natives Are Paying the Price New York Times

U.S. Swimmers Including Ryan Lochte Robbed in Rio de Janeiro Bloomberg

For those displaced in historic Louisiana floods, an uncertain future CNN

Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it LA Times

Brexit/UK fallout

Brexit May Be Delayed as U.K. Struggles to Set Up New Ministries Bloomberg

Hedge Funds Make Record Bearish Pound Bets on Brexit Pessimism Bloomberg

The High Court’s judgment won’t stop Jeremy Corbyn winning The New Statesman. And I quote: “That might mean a change of approach for the Corbynsceptics after he wins. Currently ascendant is what one politician described as the ‘we have to call him a c**t every day until he f****s off” school of thought.'” Good strategy.

Exclusive: Some shell companies sidestep new UK transparency rules Reuters. H/t Richard Smith, who adds: Well, not *that* exclusive.

Businesses call for rethink of UK Uber rules Financial Times

How Silicon Valley’s Palantir wired Washington Politico

TPG to Buy RCN, Grande Communicationsfor About $2.25 Billion Wall Street Journal

Liberals rally to sink Obama trade deal The Hill

Big banks unprepared for accounting shake-up Financial Times


For millennial voters, the Clinton vs. Trump choice ‘feels like a joke’ Washington Post

Hillary Clinton’s Edge in a Donald Trump-Centric Race Has Liberals Wary New York Times

RNC considers cutting cash to Trump Politico

In Key States, The Trump Campaign Still Lags Badly BuzzFeed

Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief New York Times

How We Killed the Tea Party Politico Magazine. Fascinating.

Challenger hits Wasserman Schultz for ‘pro-corporate record’ The Hill

Imperial Collapse Watch

Police try to disperse Milwaukee crowds after one person shot during protests Reuters

A New York Community Is Struggling To Understand Why Two Muslims Were Killed BuzzFeed

Travis County sheriff Sgt. Craig Hutchinson’s death ruled a suicide Austin American-Statesman. He was in foreclosure.

Saudis say suspect in police killing linked to Islamic State Washington Post

Senators consider vote to block US arms deal to Saudi Arabia – report The Guardian

The Drone Presidency by David Cole The New York Review of Books

In Bungled Spying Operation, NSA Targeted Pro-Democracy Campaigner The Intercept

Tacoma union local first in nation to represent workers in the recreational cannabis industry Tacoma News Tribune

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: the BuzzFeed hit piece on Trump—of course, it’s easy to round up innumerable former GOP hacks (eg the one that used to work for Mitt Romney) and assemble a lot of evidence that the Trump campaign doesn’t look or act like the usual campaign. He is not the usual candidate. That’s why he blew through his sixteen republican opponents despite massive opposition from all these big-time GOP operatives. Jeb Bush had lots of money, lots of experienced “operatives”, great organization—and no votes. Can BuzzFeed even admit that Trump must have done something right to win the nomination?
    His campaign is mom-and-pop, that’s true. What will win it for him, if he does win, is the debates. They don’t cost any money, and don’t require a fantastic organization.
    All this piece proves is that the GOP regular hacks are miffed at The Donald. Yes, we already knew that. Who cares?

    1. clarky90

      It will come down to the “joyless” voting for Hillary Clinton and the “joyful” voting for Donald Trump. Trump is funny, Clinton is not.

      Hillary Clinton is the saddest sort of joyless, foolish, old person. Jeeesh, she is spending the end of her life (she is old and unwell) on a futile battle for MONEY and POWER. A conscious human being, in her shoes, would be focused only on restoring their good mental and physical health. They would be spending their days and nights, burnishing their precious, Immortal Soul.

      1. ambrit

        You have made several assumptions about the lady that many here would take issue with. No one that I know is immune from vanity. It isn’t called a sin for nothing.

        1. Carolinian

          I have to agree. Rumors about her health problems (and Yves talked about those at the very beginning of the campaign) are not the same as facts–not that we can depend on the MSM to give us those facts. As to why she is running, you could argue that anyone would be crazy to want the job. Indeed Trump doesn’t seem to be too sure about wanting it himself.

          It’s HRC’s ideas that we should be worried about but they are the ideas of most of the US establishment as is becoming clear.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Recall FDR’s 1944 run for re-election. The man was obviously in failing health and should have passed on that fourth term. But he didn’t.

            1. Carolinian

              In the middle of WW2? I’d say he made the right decision. Where he screwed up was picking Truman for VP.

          2. Katharine

            I also agree. Among other things, the assumption she is old (and should just spend the rest of her days thinking on eternity!) when she hasn’t even reached seventy is ridiculous. Despite whatever health problems she may have, she might last another fifteen or twenty years, and be productive, for good or ill, in many of them. I don’t admire her or support her candidacy, but that ageist nonsense is not useful.

            1. NYPaul

              She may, simply be running on inertia. I’m quite sure she began this campaign for the Presidency the minute Obama beat her in ’08. She was much more vibrant and energetic then, and its hard to stop a freighter once its gotten a full head of steam going. Also, I’m assuming a lot of her soliciting for the Foundation was predicated on her becoming President eventually.

              We do know she’s had fainting spells, blood clots, and concussions. What we don’t know is how severe they were (are) nor, whether she has other health issues. Certainly, no one wishes ill health for her, but, from our history of serious hidden health problems with past Presidents its not something that should be kept from the voting public.

                1. NYPaul

                  Thank you for that.

                  Actuarially, a female who attained 65 years of age in 2012 could expect, on average, to live to be 85+ years old.

                  And, on a personal note, since I’ve recently qualified for Medicare I’d like to meet the punk who’d tell me to my face that I’m at, ” the brink of the grave.”

                  1. Aneducatedfool

                    Have you seen what happens to heathy people in there 40s and 50S who are president? They do not sleep and age quickly. People over 70 should not pursue a job that requires that kind of grind for 4 years plus the campaign.

                    1. NYPaul

                      Oh, I agree. My comment was for information only, not a recommendation.

                      My second paragraph, well, I was raised in the Bronx.

                  2. Joe Hunter

                    I have this to say. In a month I will begin my eighth year. Generally good health except for the Lymphoma, but the doctors tell me that something else will kill me. We know that the human body is a remarkable work of evolution, but we also know that the body begins to die at birth. So, if you were the member of the board of a multinational, mainline, company, would you vote hire or promote a early seventies human to manage that company? I know what it is like to put my feet on the floor in the mornings and to look forward to enjoying life and it ain’t about going to an office. The Clintons are old. Face it. She is doing the nation a disservice. I don’t think she will make it to the end and by not making it, the people face further turmoil. She has everything she needs for the golden years. Why make those years Hell? Now I wait for destiny. For myself and the rest of you.

                2. CRLaRue

                  We came, We saw, He died (sodomized)!
                  This women is SICK! Anyone that would support this
                  monster is also SICK!!!

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    So sick that only a crude politician would bring it up in a national debate, adding a bit of reality to our surreal political world…

                  2. NYPaul

                    You know what makes it even sicker? The “take” that resulted in the video that’s been shown far and wide was actually the second take. The article I read explaining this stated that the first take was actually quite serious, even somber. But, when reviewed by Hillary, or her staff, they chose to do the interview over, a second time, and resulted in the, IMO, unspeakable, demented, and sadistic display almost everyone has seen.

                    (I wish I could recall where I read this, but I remember it was a well regarded publication. I’ll search my drive and supply a link if I find it)

            2. ggm

              There is some ageism in the comment. That said, neither Clinton nor Trump seem particularly healthy for their ages. There are plenty of septuagenerians with the mental and physical stamina to lead effectively. These two were out of shape and led high-stress lives throughout their middle years. That matters as the aging process becomes more aggressive and bad habits catch up to you, so I think the criticism is valid here.

            3. ewmayer

              @Katharine: “she might last another fifteen or twenty years.”

              Yep! Just look at how long the PTB have been keeping neocon ghouls like Kissinger and Cheney alive past their natural expiry dates. It’s kinda like Sauron and the ringriders in LOTR – their former human selves have long since vanished, leaving just a pure-evil wraith sustained by the forces of darkness.

              1. Procopius

                I’m 79. The guy that I envy is a former Prime Minister, general, former Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, still chairman of the King’s Privy Council. “Pa” Prem Tinsulanonda is 96 and still a force to be reckoned with in the Royalist faction and the Armed Forces. He is held in the greatest respect by every serving officer. He created the plan that led to the end of two Communist insurgencies that had been simmering for 20 years. Amazing good health.

            4. clarky90

              I am speaking from the perspective of someone who is also in their late 60s. “Old age is not for the faint hearted”. For me, sustaining good health requires daily time in the gym, the wild, and the garden. The same writers of MSM political misinformation, are giving us awful health advice (IMO). Unwell, medicated people are docile. Bad health is baked into the “wholesome cake” unless we are vigilant and proactive.

          3. Optimader

            As a point of clarification, the rumors are a out what here health problems are, not if she has them.
            Should be made public like oh so many things

              1. optimader

                Looky here, an extra little “a” and one too many “e” and you’ve got gobbledygook !

                Missing b and extra e.. my frailty typing while taking atrain.. taking a train….make that,,,taking the A Train (hat tip Duke Ellingtion
                As a point of clarification, the rumors are about what her(e) health problems are, not if she has them.
                Should be made public like oh so many things

                Meaning, I could care a less if she has piles, I do think if she has a disease issue/impairment affecting cognitive function, this is relevant information about a candidate in a POTUS election.

                Good for the Goose is good for the Gander relative to Trump as well..

      2. EndOfTheWorld

        Right, this is the question America has been asking. Why the hell is she even running in the first place? The lady does has health problems. She can’t give a press conference. Huma, in one of the e mails, stated that Hill has to be watched closely, because she gets “confused.” And who the hell is this doctor that follows her around and told her to “keep talking”?

        The press is apparently ignoring her health, since nobody said anything about FDR or JFK. But this is a different time period, and she’s not gonna get away with keeping her health issue secret, IMHO.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Loyalty and vanity. After 2014, how would a former up and Comer such as DWS advance? She was laughed at when she tried to run statewide this cycle. Then the real Clinton creatures. Without Clinton patronage, how many Clinton critters would be off TV? Donna Brazille shouldn’t be allowed near Democratic campaigns after 2000 and 2004, and here she is. Then of course there is the Slush Fund. It’s an open money laundering scheme. All of those people need protection.

          At the same time, there is a myth the Clintons won in a tough time for Democrats when the Clintons were largely responsible for the tough time, but Obama has been a disaster as President. No one can really conclude otherwise. Too many Democrats are looking for a savior in Hillary and a chance to roll back the clock to select “experience” because the wife of a lousy President means “experience.” No one will have to show her where the bathrooms are.

          1. Carolinian

            Yes she was flattered into it–mostly especially, one suspects, by her husband. Penance for all that fooling around?

            Also Hillary sees herself as some kind feminist pioneer according to Thomas Frank.

            But the above is speculation and what’s the point really? It’s really the system that produces these flaky candidates.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Bill is worried about his legacy. The debate with 23 year old demonstrates this. Obama basically beat him, and Obama was basically a pretty boy who can read aloud well.

              Bill will be a footnote among awful Presidents outside of American politics classes which will focus on 1994 ultimately. This eats at him.

              Even now, Bill has noticed the absence of Bill Clinton books in book stores, and even he isn’t the draw he use to be on the campaign trail. Everyone really wishes he would just go away.

              1. different clue

                Footnote? No . . . . I think Clinton will eventually be accorded his just reputational deserts for NAFTA, WTO membership, MFN for China, the Telecommunications Reform Act, repealing Glass-Steagall, etc. More than just a footnote, a whole dark chapter at the very least.

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              I still say this was supposed to be a clinton-bush show–a relatively easy, predictable glide path to maintain the status quo until the next generation of elite aspirants like corey booker, marco rubio and paul ryan was fully cooked.

              The establishment tremendously misjudged the natives’ restlessness, and now it’s all hands on deck to save the clinton Titanic. Not because she’s the “strongest” choice, but because she’s all that’s left.

              Getting her over the finish line could be a Pyrhhic victory, though, with the republican party being the first major casualty and more sure to come.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Whatever happened to ’70 is the new 50?’

              Many 60 year olds had dreams of going back to the future when they would be 50 again.

            2. beth

              Steve, all of us get old. Some of us see doctors so that we don’t look as old as we are, but we all get old. May I ask that the wrinkles we get not be referred to as lizard scales?

              I understand your frustration with HRC, but I look on my older friends as looking wonderful in those crinkles. I may not prefer them on myself but nature rules.

              Also, I think those doctored photos only impugn us, not her.

              1. Waldenpond

                The fact is that the millenials (defined as under 34) now outnumber boomers. Would be nice if the focus could be on policy but there’s too much profit in the fake divisions. Bashing the youngs and blaming the olds is a classic.

              2. Steve H.

                I’ve earned my own wrinkles, and view them as the grain in the wood. Compare Beckett, brow carved in thought, to the shark grin in the Clinton photo.

                More of concern is something around the eyes, as tho the burning ambition has melted the glue. It is not the wrinkles that are the lizard scales, but with imagination, that the skin is sealed onto the lizard scales underneath. And her right eye looks like is has a contact lens over a horizontal slit, a pupil shape which includes some frogs and toads, the Japanese vine snake, and the common octopi.

                Perhaps I go to far in my musings. I do not agree that she was pushed by her husband, or that it is but vanity or anyone’s agenda but her own. For every identity she claims, she stirs discontent, and of her own she does as if to say, “I make all use of it, for I use it only.”

            3. Let's be fair

              I’m a former Bernie volunteer who is very skeptical of Clinton. But that photo is more a demonstration of the sharpening filter in Photoshop than a fair reflection of her health. And the video snippets that have been posted about her – the coughing during a grueling speaking schedule, the silly reaction when a reporter startled her with a question in her blind spot, the secret service agent who reassured her when she was frightened by an angry protester, etc – are all easily justified and explained.

              Let’s focus on the Clinton Foundation, which deserves rigorous investigation. Ad hominem attacks just decrease our credibility.

              1. Lambert Strether

                I agree. The country elected Reagan a second time, when IIRC his Alzheimers was already an unspoken truth in Washington, so it’s not like health isn’t an issue.

                But most of the evidence I’ve seen so far is digital, of poor provenance, and partisanly sourced. I wouldn’t hang a dog on digital evidence. What we know is what happened to her some years ago (which I’ve said looks like a stroke to me). But what we don’t know is what’s happening now. If somebody could point me to a piece that marshalls all the evidence and evaluates it, I’d welcome it, but for now all we’ve got is “ZOMG!!!! Did you see that picture?!?!?!?” It’s just as bad as the Putin crapola, just from a different faction.

                1. Steve H.

                  Refining the intent: I disagree with the notion that others are the driving motive behind her campaign. She displays, to me, the same ravenous hunger for power that I saw in James Baker and Dick Cheney, both in deeds and pictures.

                  Even so, I agree the evidence should focus on policy, and appearances can be deceiving. Especially with at least two people talking about the picture being ‘shopped.

                  The question I’ll put is, how to reconcile that with the ‘came, saw, died’ video? It’s the most effective piece of evidence I’ve found for people to see her as I see her. But evidence of what? For most people it is the emotional reaction to her laugh, but she is making a policy statement. And those few seconds does more to change opinion than a ruined dinners worth of conversation.

              2. Praedor

                None of your blind support for Hillary can erase the obvious seizures, the fainting spells, inability to navigate simple stairs, inability to hold press conferences because of fear that a spaz attack will hit at an inopportune moment.

                She IS ill and is NOT fit in any way, shape, or form, to be President. Her run is a trick to put Bill into control again, and even HE is clearly wasting away (about damn time).

            4. different clue

              That photo makes her look tough and hard-eyed . . . like a mean old snapping turtle. Just the face we want sitting across the table from Putin . . . if spun correctly. That could actually be a valuable and effective campaign-face, if sold correctly.

        2. Pat

          Unlike FDR and JFK, whose health issues were limited to physical mobility, Clinton’s seem to be farther reaching than that. Her issues may be closer to Reagan’s or Wilson’s, something that could very well mean they should not be anywhere near the job as they could be incapable of doing it, and the Presidency will be in the hands of unelected caretakers. Which really makes the press ignoring it even more insidious.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Right, she’s screwed up mentally. I think this will come out a lot more during the debates. During the Bernie debates she was still “among friends”.
            Although she did take a long time for that one bathroom break which was weird and nobody should believe whatever reason they try to fob off on us as an explanation.
            The e mail debacle also shows she’s really not playing with a full deck.

            1. different clue

              Does anyone here think Trump is intelligent enough to bring out any mental problems Clinton might have? I mean by being so coherently challenging that Clinton is forced to try ( and fail) in being equally coherent right back at a coherent Trump?

              Does anyone really expect that from Trump? Really? Reeeeallllly?

              1. aab

                I think he is intelligent in EXACTLY the way that might fluster her, by pushing her buttons and undercutting her ability to flip to her practiced word salad evasions.

                Being coherent is not the way to trigger her.

          2. Arizona Slim

            After Woodrow’s stroke, Edith Wilson ran the country. Which means that we’ve already had a woman president.

            Yes, I know. She wasn’t elected. Neither was Gerald Ford.

    2. neo-realist

      Jeb Bush had lots of money, lots of experienced “operatives”, great organization—and no votes.

      But Jeb had the baggage of a disastrous GWB administration and of being “Jeb”, a twit totally lacking in George’s political touch for the Middle American Goober.

  2. paul

    “That might mean a change of approach for the Corbynsceptics after he wins. Currently ascendant is what one politician described as the ‘we have to call him a c**t every day until he f****s off” school of thought.’”

    I’m afraid that is all they’ve got, so expect it to continue, maybe with a little extra ‘house of unlabour activities’ revelations thrown in.

    Blairites are hardly the most intellectually agile of people.

    Scotland’s still clogged up with these politically undead wandering about, expecting somehow to return to life.

    1. Clive

      Plus the mainstream media willing to give the semi-housetrained name callers endless airtime. As I think Lambert pointed out in the context of the Democrats when Bernie looked like he had a chance and Trump, both of whom refused to play the conventional media you-scratch-our-backs-and-we’ll-scratch-yours game, a lot of rice bowls will end up broken if we don’t go back to politics-as-usual.

      As an example, I saw a piece on the TV news over the weekend about he Liberal Democrats – the Liberal Democrats for cryin’ out loud – doing a meaningless exercise in sod all in their toe-hold in Scotland. It was presented like they’d freed the slaves of something. Of course, they, unlike Corbynites, happily play the media access game…

      1. ambrit

        The Blairites sound like an order of anchorites ensconsed in some bleak section of the Scottish Highlands, maybe near Balmoral. The propaganda is obvious even over here in the Colonies. I’m expecting Mz May to show up on Page Three next. Heaven forfend that America does similarly.

          1. ambrit

            Ere now. Can’t be having the tiddlers seeing that stuff. (Do the ‘elites’ really think everyone else is a somewhat backwards yob?)
            Speaking of scorchers, it’s hovering around 90F and 60% humidity today here. That humidity reading cannot be right. We’re having scattered thunderstorms and a nearly saturated feeling atmosphere. (I started sweating before I got to the car from the house this morning.)

      2. pretzelattack

        there was a lot of media blas against goldwater in 1964, and against mcgovern to a lesser extent in 1968, but i don’t think it was as blatant as this. and there are more platforms and channels now. behold the mighty wurlizter and despair.

        1. Chromex

          McGovern was 1972. His biggest problems were the young people who supported him were turned off by “necessary” DNC changes they “made” him do as there was a great deal of polarization and all-or-nothing at the time, resulting a large-scale abandonment of the “peace” candidate by the young ( for many 18-21 year olds is the first election they were allowed to vote in, the lowering of the voting age taking place the following year) AND the successful Nixon/Buchanan fearmongering and “southern strategy”. The antiwar “hippies” were simply not inclined to participate in the system to the degree necessary to register and vote for a non-“pure” candidate.IT was the dawn of media being terribly influential- “The Making of the President” came out of that campaign. The “behind my vp candidate a thousand percent” did not help much either with undecideds. Certainly the media was deserving of the “fear and Loathing” it received from Hunter Thompson’s excellent recount of the 1972 campaign but it did not have the same influence it has now.

          1. Carolinian

            “A thousand dollars and a thousand percent” was McGovern’s explanation for his loss. Much was made of his thousand dollar guaranteed income plan.

            1. pretzelattack

              the acid abortion and amnesty meme was widely publicised too. eagleton didn’t help. i’m gonna blame age for the mistake about the year. it’s gotta be good for something.

      3. paul

        I remember them!
        1 MEP
        1 WAM
        5 MSPs
        and a whopping
        8 MPs in westminster, one of which:

        on 2 June, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner launched an investigation into his conduct, under sections 10, 14 and 16 of the Code of Conduct.
        On 9 December it was decided that although he had told a “blatant lie” in a TV interview, it had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that he had committed an “illegal practice”and he was allowed to retain his seat.
        In February 2016 his application for costs was rejected, leaving him £150,000 out of pocket.
        Party leader Willie Rennie contributed £750 towards his costs. Carmichael was awarded £50,000 towards the costs from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

        Yet the media still treat them as the UK’s third party.

        Charlie Kennedy (RIP) is still a better politician than Tim Farron.

  3. MikeNY

    Well, props to Rand Paul and Chris Murphy for taking the beginnings of a principled stance on Saudi Arabia. However, It seems that our government’s plan is to continue to support and arm the repressive, corrupt Wahabi regime until it collapses of its own internal rot — at which time, the weapons we’ve sold them will undoubtedly be used against us, and we will run wildly and passionately into Iran’s embrace.

        1. cwaltz

          Heh, nahgonnahappen. We’re the world’s largest arms exporter and I don’t get the impression that those in charge are interested in changing from exporting destruction to exporting things that productively make the world better(It’d also cost the almighty dollar to create a brand new model where our children are taught to be collaborative rather than competitive and then fostered to believe that through adulthood- good luck with that when the basic premise of capitalism is competition.)

          After all, why do things like work to make the world a better place when it so much fun to wring your hands and exclaim things like they hate us for our freedoms!

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “Stopping” arms sales and the war machine in America is equivalent to saying “let’s shut down the American economy”. JFK however wanted to re-direct the Cold War to the Space Race, we need the same kind of rethink, where we channel “nation building” (blow up a nation, then spend wildly to try and rebuild it) back to US shores. Parts of Detroit already look like Aleppo…you’d think we could muster the interest to rebuild our own country before we just select even more nations for the patented American “democracy” treatment

    1. Harry

      The problem is a can’t live with them, can’t live without them type problem. If you didn’t have the Al Sauds, you would just have some other heachoppers. Maybe the best you can do is split it into Mecca and Medina and let them do what comes naturally.

      1. Vatch

        It would be easier to live without them if fewer people were driving fuel guzzling SUVs. Instead, sales of SUVs and pickup trucks have been rising, probably because fuel prices are temporarily low. See this:

        I don’t know how accurate the numbers are in this article, but if they are close to the truth, a lot of people are committing themselves to many years of wasteful fuel usage.

        1. Antifa

          It is always possible to reduce the number of cylinders your internal combustion engine uses, if you wish to save on gas. If you drive a big V8, you can have a mechanic stop the fuel feed to four of the pistons. Each of those pistons still gets oil to lubricate it, but burns no fuel.

          You’re gonna notice the difference right away if you encounter something enormous on the highway, like a hill, or a traffic bump, or a pedestrian, but you’ll dang sure save a lot on fuel.

          If you reduce your piston count to two, your F-350 will handle more like an Amish buggy than the roaring symbol of American omnipotence you paid $65,000 for, but it will still get you from here to there, in a local sense.

          This will all covered in my new book, “Surviving the Neo-conpocalypse.”

  4. ambrit

    Re Louisiana floods: Our middle daughter and her family were mandated to evacuate from their home in Walker, Louisiana, just east of Baton Rouge. They live next to the retention pond at the end of their street. They had constant rain for four days. The water level rose eight feet in two days. The draining of the area will take two or three days yet, she informed our son through a VOIP connection. All phone communications are out in the effected area. Locals there are reported as saying that this is the worst flooding in memories that goes back sixty years. This area is a catchment area that feeds into upper Lake Maurepas, which flows into lake Pontchartrain, the big lake north of New Orleans. There is a lot of property damage, and some deaths. To say that local denizens were not prepared for this is an understatement. A sixty mile section of the Interstate 12 was closed because water was flowing over it in multiple places. Some supplies were helicoptered in to groups of motorists stranded on high spots of the Interstate highway.
    Welcome to the New Weather Normal.

    1. pretzelattack

      i’m not sure how much south lousiana was affected by the flood of 1927; my older relatives never mentioned anything like this. on the other hand, before the levees were built, sometimes they had to get around by boat. earlier this year, south texas had some flooding due to incredible amounts of rain. the new normal indeed. an older cousin said the area she lives in, a bit east of baton rouge along the airline highway, had escaped the worst of the rain so far, but things would be worse today.

      1. christy

        Where is Obama on this? He’s been noticeably absent, as Bush was during Katrina. Oh well, IMO he’s not much better than him anyways.

          1. Vatch

            Bush declared a state of emergency early in the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. Declaring an emergency is easy; actually helping people takes leadership and administrative skills. In this crisis, Obama has yet to show whether he is better than Bush. If Obama says “Craigie, you’re doing a heck of a job!”, we’ll know that there’s a huge problem.

            (W. Craig Fugate is the FEMA administrator)

        1. ambrit

          I haven’t heard the acronym FEMA yet. Perhaps FEMA is too busy organizing their “Relocation Centres” to be bothered with a mere natural disaster.

          1. Jess

            FEMA’s raison d’etre is relocation centers. It was originally established as the administrative arm of COG – Continuity of Government. But they soon realized that the organization needed a cover identity and a cover mission for all that time waiting for the need to activate its main mission.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          If it’s flooded, he can’t hit the links, and it’s way too humid to golf in the South right now. I don’t golf, but it’s too humid to do much.

      2. ambrit

        If she lives between the I10/I12 merge and Gonzales, she might have a chance. The rain pummeled as far north as the State line, all the way to the east of St Tammany Parish, and west past Lafayette. Flooding is affecting all of Southern Louisiana. Even flood watches in Saint Charles! This has not only broken most rainfall records for Louisiana, it also showed up the inadequacy of planning and zoning for the state.
        Luckily, the rain has today defaulted to its’ new normal victim area, Houston and East Texas. If that front sags down to the Gulf and a new low pressure cell moves in off of the Gulf, we could see August Floods 2.0.

        1. pretzelattack

          yeah that’s the area she lives in–i’m not sure where prairieville stops and gonzalez starts to be honest.

          1. ambrit

            “I’m not sure where Prairieville stops and Gonzalez starts,” neither are the locals. Most here would say that they are between Laplace and BR. Good luck to your people.
            Our daughter says the water has crested in South Walker with the maximum water level being two inches below the top of their house slab. They saw this personally this morning. Once the ‘officials’ let them in, (they had to prove they lived in the neighbhourhood,) the two of them kayaked in to see what had happened to their house. Gonzalez and Prairieville should crest this evening or tomorrow morning. Some cell phone coverage is restored.
            Watch the flood zone maps be redrawn after this. (That’s what happened after Katrina.)

    2. Jim Haygood

      Found a photo yesterday in The Advocate taken in my old neighborhood, just off I-10 at Siegen Lane. They were doing boat rescues in streets with 3 feet of water. If I recall correctly, my slab elevation was 30 feet above sea level … a hundred miles inland. That ain’t much slope!

      One of the geographical oddities of Baton Rouge is that the highest elevation land is on a bluff bank north of the capitol, beside the river, where Standard Oil (now Exxon Mobil) built a refinery in 1909 on the ironically named “Scenic Highway” (I’m not making this up). The neighborhoods adjacent to it are mostly African-American. We used to eat lunch at one nameless place whose sign read “Hot Biscuits 5:30 AM” and also offered “hambeggers.”

      As Baton Rouge changed from a little college / state capitol town of 30,000 in Huey Long’s day to a metro area of 830,000, its suburbs spread to the south and east … to land that gets progressively lower in elevation, till you hit a bayou and can’t go no farther.

      My next-door neighbors in BR had emigrated from Buras in Plaquemines Parish, a little town that got wiped off the map in Hurricane Camille in 1969. All that was left of their former house was the bare concrete slab and one framed photo they found in the wreckage. They felt safe from hurricanes, farther inland in Baton Rouge. They were older folks, probably long since moved to a senior home or passed away. I’m glad they didn’t have to see their home flooded out.

      1. ambrit

        Heavens, there was flooding in Zachary, north of Baton Rouge too!
        All the old assumptions about the geography of Louisiana are in need of serious reappraisal.
        That Camille reference is just like what we experienced in Katrina. Except that our house sort of survived the hurricane; one of few which did so in our town. Moving inland to escape storms sounds exactly right for the circumstances as well. We fled up to 200 feet above sea level. Baton Rouge, indeed, lots of Louisiana south of Lake Pontchartrain and along the river valleys is near sea level for long distances ‘inland.’
        What happens when the New Orleans levees finally fail for good? No one I can see is planning for the relocations of the coastal populations to higher ground on a permanent basis. Too ‘long term’ for today’s grads to bother with?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Scenic Highway…like Greenland.

        A little truth in advertisement would have gone a long way.

        1. ambrit

          Who wants to live in Swamp Acres Subdivision? Now, Alligator Crossing has a little cachet to it.

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline…
        They’re trying to wash us away…”

    1. ambrit

      Ah ha. Now Wired is running an anti ad blocking program. Either pay up to block ads or “whitelist” the site. As Phyllis said recently after discarding all the begging letters we get daily now; “Everyone wants your money. Will they send us any when we need it? I don’t think so.”
      On wind, didn’t Cousteaus’ people build a wind turbine powered catamaran boat?

    2. diptherio

      The Wyoming wind tax is not “anti-wind.” They aren’t trying to kill the projects, they are trying to get a little something for the people who will be effected by a massive industrial power project that is being created for the benefit of coastal residents.

      You want to generate your power (by whatever means) in someone else’s backyard? You better be willing to cut them in on the proceeds. And anybody who thinks massive wind farms don’t create their own externalities hasn’t been around one. Renewable energy companies are still energy companies, and we shouldn’t forget that. Good for Wyoming.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I thought it was somewhat similar to Alaska’s program where the state taxes the oil companies and distributes the revenue to all the citizens which sounds like a good idea.

        This sounds like an ambitious program – article says some studies say Wyoming could provide half the nation’s wind power.

        I’m all for wind power in theory but I’m not convinced industrial scale wind farms are the way to go. In my state they built one on the side of a mountain and it turns out it’s not actually that windy there and the turbines mostly sit idle according to friends who live in the area.

        I’d rather see small scale windmills on the roof of a house, similar to solar panels, all putting excess energy into the grid with larger wind or solar farms to pick up the slack. I expect the big energy companies to fight that ideas tooth and nail though as they already have been in places like AZ.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Small scale wind energy makes no sense because of the square cubed law (the power output of a turbine is proportional to the square of the blade length). Bigger turbines produce far more power, and most importantly they produce it over a much wider range of wind conditions. The latest generation of super sized turbines have capacity factors in many areas of well over 50% (i.e. they will produce over a year more than 50% of their rated maximum capacity – smaller turbines are usually only capable of 20% or so), and they can be built in relatively low wind environments. They are also generally more bird friendly as the lowest sweep of the blades is higher than the usual flight height of most of the most vulnerable species of ground cruising birds.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Thanks for the info – I wasn’t aware of that power law.

            Any idea how much energy might be lost trying to transmit it from WY to CA? I’ve read in the past that quite a bit of energy is lost during transmission and in this case the end users are quite a distance away from where the power is generated.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I think a very rough general rule of thumb you lose about 1% of power per hundred miles. You lose less if you convert to DC, but there is a loss in the conversion, so DC lines only make sense for very long distance transmission.

              Perhaps the biggest single obstacle to renewables in the US is the highly fragmentary nature of the transmission system. It is a nonsense that it seems to make financial sense to export wind power from Wyoming to the Californian coast, rather than integrate it locally, but that’s the reality.

              I can’t find the link right now, but I believe that in 2008 Obama was very enthusiastic about the idea investing in a national ‘smart’ DC grid to enable renewables – he saw it as a potential legacy issue. But Christina Romer apparently persuaded him it would take too long to get it up and running so it would not work as a Keynesian boost to the economy. Which among many other things is why economists should never be consulted when it comes to strategic engineering projects.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                1% per 100 miles is better than I thought. A bit over 1000 miles from WY to CA so losses aren’t that atrocious (depending on how close to a straight line the transmission lines are).

                Sounds like Romer is one of those types only concerned with the next quarter’s profits. I’m tired of this ‘it will take too long’ argument for any number of things. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ comes to mind.

          2. ChrisPacific

            Which unfortunately makes them very conspicuous. Seeing a series of hillsides covered with them can be quite startling. They don’t look bad, precisely, but they are a very evident sign of human technology all over what was previously a pristine landscape (at least to look at). I don’t blame locals for being grumpy about them.

            1. Punta Pete

              Agree. Just think of the way that cell phone towers have obliterated any scenic beauty along the country’s Interstates.

            2. aletheia33


              there are some people in vt who are furious and up in arms
              against the turbines on the ridgelines
              and near their homes. for one thing, they are noisy.
              the noise would drive me crazy.
              i sympathize with them.

              shumlin is relentlessly proceeding with installing them.
              the towns are given no say in it.
              peter galbraith in his campaign for governor said vt does not need wind farms to sell power out of state to corporate interests.
              i agree with him.
              cui bono?

              too many of those who would save the earth these days
              feel the end justifies any means.
              those who disagree they casually brush off and brand
              as rubes whose opinions doesn’t count.

              as the archdruid has pointed out, great way to win friends and influence people.

        2. Uahsenaa

          It should be noted that an idle windmill is not necessarily indicative of anything. They are mostly used in an on demand fashion, so as power needs increase, more turbines are put into service, but when they decrease, the turbines can sit idle. One of the major advantages of wind power is that it can be cycled up and down with greater granularity than, say, a coal fired plant or nuclear reactor, which produce power in much larger quanta.

        3. Isolato

          Don’t ever put a small wind turbine on your roof (speaks the sad voice of experience!). They are loud, dangerous, and unsightly. To get an effective constant airflow you need to get up much higher than your rooftop. Due to gyroscopic effects a varying wind speed makes the wind turbine precess, that is, rotate out of the wind! This “hunting” reduces power output to nearly zero. In excessive wind you must either tether the blades to a standstill or hope that it doesn’t self destruct. The power generated goes up by the square of the wind velocity and you can easily overgenerate. Trust me, this is not something you want to do at home. We are misled by the image of rural windmills that were used to pump water mechanically, a completely different proposition!

      2. PlutoniumKun

        The problem with the ‘wind tax’ is that with ideologically anti-wind politicians it can be increased at any time, which could wipe out the investment. No investor in any form of energy will make an investment with that sort of political/financial risk over it. This is why all oil and mineral companies agree tax and royalty arrangements with governments before they invest, not after. The only way a wind tax can be applied fairly is if tax rates are fixed as a binding contract before the investment, but clearly this is not what Wyoming is seeking to do. The tax is intended to kill wind energy, which just so happens to benefit the established coal industry.

        As it happens, I know the area around Rawlings (where that thousand turbine windfarm is proposed), and I know just how windy it is because I’ve cycled through it. The area is quite beautiful in a certain way, but it is already degraded badly through overgrazing and small scale oil extraction and uranium mining and is very sparsely populated. That landscape can easily absorb 1000 turbines without any significant environmental impact so long as they are sited intelligently.

        1. Bill Smith

          California can decrease the amount of tax they charge the consumers at their end to make up for any increase in tax at Wyoming’s end.

      3. Ignim Brites

        Wind farms are horrendous and the people promoting them will within a decade or two be regarded as the greediest, filthiest, and basically lowest form of humanity. Sorry. Things change. Sometimes with pyroclastic rapidity.

    3. Katharine

      Thanks for those links! The 150m industrial tower mentioned in the Guardian article would still be an eyesore, but the 13m ones sound much more tolerable than existing wind farms, and should have much more diverse application, besides being a lot better for wildlife.

    1. tegnost

      absolutely afisher, i meandered through the google trying to find who these people are endorsing for pres. ESAFund makes no endorsement,hmm…Right Way also makes no endorsement I can find but this article from conservative review say’s this about the candidate Right Way is funding…”In comes his opponent, Ray Strauss, who is struggling to find a rationale for challenging such an indefatigable conservative fighter. So when he is interviewed by the press, he uses the same catch-phrases that other establishment challengers have used. Without tipping his hand that he’d be a shill for K Street and a reliable vote for Ryan and McCarthy, Strauss promises to be “more effective,” “persuasive,” mutually respectful,” and not “caustic” or “ineffective.” – See more at:
      The funniest thing about your link is that these people are backing clinton, but are loathe to admit it.
      FTA…” Kirchick and Kagan have joined numerous right-wing pundits in endorsing Clinton for president. Max Boot, a hard-line war hawk and self-declared “American imperialist,” lauded Clinton in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times in May. “Clinton would be far preferable to Trump,” Boot wrote, describing her as “a centrist Democrat who is more hawkish than President Obama and far more principled and knowledgeable about foreign affairs than Trump, who is too unstable and erratic.”
      So clinton backers should be not so secretly happy that these groups are trying to get more centrist candidates that respond to the status quo, rather than rocking the boat.
      What the heck is going on here I’m obviously confused maybe you could put up some signposts for me, as I am completely lost trying to figure out who”good people” are supposed to vote for?
      I also missed this politico link that I stumbled on over at jesses, sorry if it’s been previously posted, a liitle busy lately:
      short version…you’ll get the tpp and like it. this whole left/right thing is passe’, it’s top and bottom now.

      1. clarky90

        “this whole left/right thing is passe’, it’s top and bottom now”.

        This one of the best comments ever! Thanks!

  5. barutanseijin

    It’s convenient for a true believer such as Jossey to blame the TeePartei’s fizzle on scamsters and insiders, but it just isn’t very convincing. How many people believe that Big Gummint & Hi-Taxes are the source of all their problems that Adherence to The Constitution as interepreted by antebellum slave staters is the One True Answer? It doesn’t help that the TeePartei was carrying water for the Kochs & other plutocrats. Jossey would rather hunt down traitors to the movement than take an honest account of the failures of American conservatism.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the problem with discussions about the Tea Party is they ignore what the “Tea Party” was which was an attempt by the GOP elites (41-Mittens types) to control the GOP voters before the voter picked a candidate they didn’t like. Mittens was the supposedly “moderate” governor of evil Massachusetts. How do you sell that to the people who went “Alaskan Barracuda! Wow!”? The Boston “Tea Party.” You pull half remembered history lessons for a branding campaign and hail the elites playing rubes as the people’s choice.

      Here is the basic problem. Gingrich and his congressional cronies were the original revolvers against the 41 elites besides Reagan. Gingrich unlike Reagan controlled congressional and local recruitment for years. The Tea Party membership already runs Congress. The need to remake the GOP didn’t really exist, and all the Tea Party branding did was embolden anti-41 types in the Congress and result in the loss of pro-TARP Republicans including the majority leader. Oh yeah, I forgot. The GOP followers won the House in 2010 two short years after Democrats held Tom Delay and Danny Hastert’s seat.

      The Tea Party was dropped because it wouldn’t help Mittens. The Tea Party style voters couldn’t agree on a candidate until it was too late, but in this cycle, the great white hope of the Bush crime family never broke 10% against a race that resulted in Trump and Cruz as the front runners, both anti-41 candidates, or selected by the people the Tea Party branding was meant to control.

      The Tea Party membership is alive and well at all levels of government.

      1. Plenue

        As far as I can tell the Tea Party was in large part a genuine populist revolt, however asinine most of the ‘problems’ they were rebelling against were, and however quickly it was co-opted by rich vested interests. Is not Trump’s rebellion a direct continuation of it? If the GOP is filled with people who genuinely think the Tea Party went away, they only demonstrate precisely why it hasn’t, and why someone like Trump was inevitable.

        1. cwaltz

          Initially, the reason they were created wasn’t asinine. They were founded as a result of the bailouts of banks that the majority of the country opposed from BOTH sides of the aisle.

          They were co opted though and quickly became something utilized by the right to government bash and create more opportunities for glibertarians like the Kochs and more “public private” partnerships that cost the taxpayers more but are real boons for the investment class. It’s ironic when you think about it since the Fed and it’s alliance with the banking sector is one of the original public private partnerships.

          1. Skip Intro

            The Tea party was fabricated from whole cloth by the Koch brothers and Fox News, with website and branding already pre-positioned when Rick Santelli’s ‘spontaneous’ rant went down. The fact that it captured and focused popular resentment against Obama was not a coincidence or an organic grassroots occurrence, but its entire purpose.

  6. crittermom

    The link seemed bad to the article about Travis County Sgt Craig Hutchinson.
    This should work:

    They’ve ruled it a suicide now, but I don’t understand this statement supporting that:
    “The bullet went through Hutchinson’s left palm and then went into the left side of his head”

    Doesn’t quite make sense. Who shoots them self through their hand when committing suicide?

    That part seems strange, but if it was a suicide due to foreclosure, I totally get it.
    I wish they’d expanded on the ‘foreclosure’ part a bit more. They mention he went on anti-depressants and suffered from PTSD, and go on to say that suicides for public safety workers is 3 times other workers.

    I wish they’d expanded on the foreclosure/PTSD/suicide correlation a bit deeper.
    He was in no way the first to be completely overwhelmed by a foreclosure, and I doubt will be the last, unfortunately.

    1. Katharine

      It’s surely also a little strange that he had been investigating a prowler on his property at the time he was shot, having radioed a report ten minutes before he was found. There is something not being told here.

    2. Jagger

      “The bullet went through Hutchinson’s left palm and then went into the left side of his head”

      The pistol would have to be in your right hand to shoot through your left palm. If the pistol is in your right hand, why would you shoot yourself on the left side of the head? Physically, right hand means right side of head. Definitely doesn’t add up.

    3. mk

      I thought it meant that he tried to make it look like it was not a suicide, he shot himself with his right hand while holding his left hand between the gun and the left side of his head, making the left hand injury look like a defensive wound. That way his family would get the benefits.

      That was probably the assumption they made at first, before the autopsy.

  7. PhilU

    Evidence against the media narrative that Trump isn’t doing amazing with the poor:
    He hasn’t scared off the entire GOP base would be a better narrative. The income brackets don’t match perfectly but the trend is clear. $0-25 +10ish points from where GOP was trending, $25-560k +15ish
    GOP base was much richer to begin with.

  8. crittermom

    The WP article was good about millennial voters, but I think it describes the sentiments of the majority of voters this election, not just millennials.
    It’s sad to read how after getting so many of them excited about voting originally, their enthusiasm has now disintegrated given the final choices of candidates, with some saying they will now not even bother to vote.

    Clinton vs Trump “feels like a joke” to many of us, for sure.
    What a shame that so much of our country feels much the same way and should be uniting in an effort for something/someone better, yet in many ways, it almost seems to be further dividing us and leaving our youth so disenchanted with the system they now don’t care to participate in it at all.
    Not good. They’re the future (if there’s one to be had and we’re not nuked into oblivion by one candidate or the other)

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Yeah that was my take too. My own reaction is very little different from that described as typical of ‘Millenials’ is this article.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Well the propaganda out of the Grey Lady yesterday is that Manafort was the on Yanukovych government payroll, the ones Nuland hit with the coup. And then by association so was Trump even though the coup took place before Trump’s campaign ever started. But somehow that crafty Yanukovych knew ahead of time that a blowhard reality TV personality would sweep the Republican field a few years later.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          That’s just revolting, we all know that the CIA were all over manipulations and coups from Arbenz through to Allende and Australia…but treating entire nations as their playthings, Joe Biden’s son’s gas contracts, all with the shadow of a nuclear WWIII looming is just…stunning. And I’m pretty hard to stun these days.

        1. ambrit

          “For now we see through a scanner, darkly;…”
          If Uncle Vlad hasn’t managed to purge the Politburo of Chicago School alums, then yes, we can say that Trump, indeed all of the American Nomenklatura, are related ideologically to the Russian ‘Brotherhood.’ Rather than accuse Trump of being an agent of Moscow, better to accuse both of being tools of the Neo.
          Do industrial robots dream of byte sized profit sharing?

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief New York Times

    Funny, not, how these “secrets” are so easily found, embellished and unquestioningly disseminated when they benefit TPTB. This is big news this morning, apparently representing “evidence” that the entire Trump campaign is the united states satellite campus of the KGB.

    No mention of hunter biden, victoria nuland or natalie jaresko, the american-born former state department economic savior of Ukraine and Moldova, who is poised, according to RT, to become not only the carlos slim of Ukrainian telecom, but possibly its next prime minister as well.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      So, Trump works for Russia.

      And Hillary works for Ukraine? And Ukraine is spying on America?

      We need evidence, so we can get to the bottom of this, and protect America which is already great.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Hadn’t seen your link when I posted a similar one above. That Yanukovych must be a clairvoyant, paying off Trump’s campaign chair a few years before Trump even ran for president so he could then befriend Putin, the enemy of everything good.

      The NYT has quite a detailed account of all the shell companies involved and they seem to have put quite a bit of effort into this. I can only assume the next article from these intrepid gumshoes will concentrate on the Clinton Foundation.

    3. Carolinian

      But Trump was a Putinsymp long before he hooked up with Manafort. Or did Putin tell Trump to hook up with Manafort?

      Meanwhile back in the real world it has been pointed out that all ‘intelligence’ coming out of Ukraine should be regarded as not believable–their ‘proof’ about the downed airliner that they themselves probably downed being an example. The Times with their love of shady unnamed sources is a disgraceful newspaper.

      1. Lambert Strether

        It’s a two-fer:

        1) Beats the war drums

        2) Prepares the ground Democrats purging the left after (making assumptions) a Clinton victory. “Trump sympathizers,” donchya know.

  10. allan

    Hedge Funds Are Losing Endowments After Exodus of Pensions [Bloomberg]

    Following the lead of pensions, some U.S. endowments and foundations are souring on hedge funds.

    Hedge fund fees and lagging performance are cause for concern for nonprofit investors, who are reducing their allocation, according to a survey published Monday by NEPC, a Boston-based consulting firm …

    “These survey results are by no means indicating a mass exodus from hedge funds, but they do point to greater pressure being felt by the industry as a whole,” Konicki said. …

    A quarter of survey respondents said they have asked for reduced fees or have been offered them by managers within the last six months.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One single payer retirement plan for all.

      If that’s Social Security for everyone, many hedge funds will be out of business.

  11. ekstade

    This quote from Milwaukee:
    “There is a curfew that will be more strictly enforced tonight for teenagers,” Barrett told a news conference. “So parents, after 10 o’clock your teenagers better be home or in a place where they’re off the streets.”

    I wonder how such a statement would fly in a white, middle-class, suburban neighborhood. Or how a well-behaved, decent kid of any color would feel about themselves if they weren’t trusted to be outdoors in August at night.

  12. ewmayer

    Tacoma union local first in nation to represent workers in the recreational cannabis industry | Tacoma News Tribune — That caused me to think back to the cult film Fast times at Ridgemont High for an inspiring (as in ‘yes, I did inhale’) initialism for a future international union here: the Society for Pickers, Irrigators and Cannabis Cultivators Of Labor-International Solidarity (SPICCOLIS). Dude, I am so wasted, erm, I mean medicated.

  13. rich

    Claire’s Corners Bondholders With $800 Million Debt Swap Plan

    Apollo-backed company’s proposed exchange sends notes tumbling
    ‘Bondholders are vulnerable, should they not agree to this’

    Claire’s Stores Inc. is turning to its creditors to help it avoid becoming the latest mall chain to succumb to a mountain of debt.

    The tween jewelry chain that’s bounced along the bottom of the junk-debt market since its 2007 buyout by Apollo Global Management, is asking bondholders to swap almost $800 million of securities for a smaller amount of new loans. The deal would chip away at the retailer’s almost $2.5 billion debt load and give it more time to boost earnings after it lost more than $500 million in three years as mall traffic declined and competition intensified from online and specialty stores.

    Claire’s joins a number of national retailers confronting a wall of debt, including Sports Authority Inc., Aeropostale Inc. and the Fairway Group Holdings Corp. supermarket chain, all three of which filed for bankruptcy this year amid sluggish sales and a shift to e-commerce.

    “Bondholders are vulnerable, should they not agree to this,” said Steven Ruggiero, head of research at RW Pressprich & Co. “Apollo has given them an exchange offer that values some of the issues at more than what the notes would be worth in a bankruptcy. They have them over a barrel.”

    like it was managed to thrive?..remember NC wrote:

    Claire’s Stores: Private Equity Broker-Dealer Violations in Action
    Posted on January 21, 2014 by Yves Smith

    In May 2007, a fund controlled by Apollo Global Management bought Claire’s Stores, Inc. Those with young daughters may be know this chain of 3,500 stores, which sell mostly hair accessories and very inexpensive jewelry aimed primarily at children. This was a height-of-the-bubble PE deal that barely escaped bankruptcy. Apollo took Claire’s private for a $3.1 billion purchase price and financed the deal by loading Claire’s with $2.4 billion of debt.

    The deal was aggressive, not only in its very high leverage ratio, but also in the way Apollo “papered it up.” At the closing, Claire’s executed a “Management Services Agreement” with Apollo, where the company agreed to pay Apollo and its co-investors $3 million a year for ten years as payment for nebulously defined services purportedly to be provided by its PE overlords. In addition, the company agreed to pay Apollo $20 million in the form of what the agreement referred to as a “transaction fee.” (see section 2.3 in the embedded document).

  14. Daryl

    > How We Killed the Tea Party

    > What began as an organic, policy-driven grass-roots movement

    Tea-party was astroturfing from the start. Actually remarkable that they collected donations from average folks (which they then spent on silly stuff, like that lady’s salary).

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