Links 8/16/16

Laid-Back Sloths Are the Masters of Slow Scientific American

Scots firms fronting for global financial betting websites condemned as ‘scam’ The Herald. More from Richard Smith!

The SEC has questions about a company with no revenue, $1,000 in the bank, and a $35 billion market cap Business Insider

U.S. Said to Uncover Evidence of Criminal Acts in VW Probe WSJ

Shadow Banking Reemerges, Posing Challenges to Banks and Regulators (pdf) Dallas Fed

The Bank of Japan’s Unstoppable Rise to Shareholder No. 1 Bloomberg

Why Australia’s luck may be running out FT

A Debt Collector Came After Me for $36 of Girl Scout Cookies Yahoo News

Two Lingering Suspicions About Economic Statistics Bloomberg


How the Europeans’ creation of Iraq, Syria and Libya contributed to today’s chaos Minnesota Post

New Yemeni Government Ready To Accept Al-Saud’s Capitulation Moon of Alabama

US nukes at Turkey base at risk of seizure: report AFP

War Drums

The dangerous alliance between Hillary Clinton’s Democrats and neocons: Fear of Trump is cementing a strange relationship NY Daily News

Overreaction to False Reports of Gunfire at JFK Airport Reveals the Depths of America’s Fear Culture Alternet. “The cheering and clapping of people watching the Olympics at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was falsely reported as gunfire and fighting, touching off panic and an aggressive multi-agency ‘counter-terror’ response.”

Violence flares in Ukraine flashpoint after Crimea claims AFP

Russia vows ‘exhaustive’ Ukraine measures FT

Donald Trump Calls for a New War on Terror WSJ. Jumping the shark?

He was one of the most respected intel officers of his generation. Now he’s leading ‘Lock her up’ chants. WaPo. Just to make it clear what’s going on, the front page teaser to this story reads: “Nearly the entire national security world has rejected Trump — except for one man.” But that might suggest that “the entire national security establishment” can’t really claim a track record of success.

The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Medium

Yes, the System Is Rigged Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative


The Summer of the Shill Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. Ha.

A porous ethical wall between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department WaPo. Mealy-mouthed.

Clinton Super-PAC Going Dark in Colorado and Pennsylvania Bloomberg

Clinton leads Trump by 30 points in New York, Siena poll finds Buffalo News. I know I shoudn’t focus on individual polls, but that’s rather a lot.

In Key States, The Trump Campaign Still Lags Badly Buzzfeed.

NBC Poll : Do You Want Bernie Sanders Back In The Race? NBC. Online poll, but still….

This Democrat Isn’t Challenging Her Opponent To A Debate. She’s Challenging A Donor To His Super PAC. HuffPo. Cut out the middleman!

Hillary Clinton’s Conundrum: Keeping Left Happy, Pursuing Opening on Right WSJ:

As that suggests, there now are in a sense three political parties in the U.S.: The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren liberals; the Donald Trump angry populists; and the socially liberal, fiscally conservative centrists searching for a place to go. (Ideological conservatives are the odd folks out right now, left to either [join the Democrats,] make their peace with the Trump version of the Republican or hope they can get the party back when he is done using it.)

The Overton Prism?

Beware the Hillary Clinton-Loathing, Donald Trump-Loving Useful Idiots of the Left Daily Beast. Fabricating a list for the show trials. Chelsea’s on the board of the Daily Beast’s parent company; maybe somebody should ask her about this?

McMullin gets on Utah’s state ballot The Hill. Electoral college shenanigains?

Ballot box uncertainties cloud US election FT

Economists: Clinton, Trump pledges should be greeted with skepticism USA Today. Sounds legit.

Milwaukee burning Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News

Police chief was surprised by violence after fatal shooting AP

Historic Flood Event in Louisiana From 20-30 Inches of Rain Weather Underground

Here’s how you can help the Louisiana flood victims Daily Dot. Via crowd-funding. We’ve made so much progress since Katrina.

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘Shadow Brokers’ Claim to be Selling NSA Malware, in What Could Be Historic Hack Foreign Policy

Guillotine Watch

Buying a Multi-Million Dollar Condo is the Only Way to Get into These Exclusive Restaurants Mansion Global

Class Warfare

This Republican mayor has an incredibly simple idea to help the homeless. And it seems to be working. WaPo. Rather like a jobs guarantee.

Twelve Charts That Show a Massive Divide in How Americans See the Economy Bloomberg

Everything Wrong With How Our Justice System Treats Poor People, In One Awful Case Think Progress

Meet the robot who will give you a glimpse of the future of retail Mercury-News. I prefer not to.

Burn bright, fade fast: The many risks of blogging on Facebook Pando. Agnotology.

The lost infrastructure of social media. Medium. More agnotology.

As legacy news organizations cut back, local sites are cropping up to fill the void Poynter Institute

Just Thinking About Exercise Can Trick Your Body Into Believing It’s Worked Out New York Magazine. There’s good news tonight!

The Horrifically Contemporary World of Hieronymus Bosch Der Speigel. Think positive!

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. allan

    Aetna had previously said they were putting the brakes on further ACA expansion,
    but now is shifting into reverse:
    Aetna to Pull Back From Public Health Care Exchanges [NYT]

    In a blow to President Obama’s health care law, Aetna, one of the nation’s major insurers, said Monday that it would sharply reduce its participation in the law’s public marketplaces next year.

    Aetna said it would no longer offer individual insurance products on the exchanges in about two-thirds of the 778 counties where it now provides such coverage. …

    Educated healthcareinsurance consumers embrace change, right?

    1. Anne

      When you build something on a crumbling foundation, eventually, whatever you built comes crashing down.

      CareFirst is seeking a larger increase than the one it originally asked the MD Insurance Commission:

      Baltimore-based CareFirst, the region’s dominant health insurer, initially requested a 12 percent increase for HMO plans and 15.3 percent hike for PPOs. The insurer later refiled its request after seeing an increase of “morbidity rates,” or the frequency with which a disease occurs in patients, in new data. The refiling requests a 27.8 percent rate increase for HMO plans and a 36.6 percent increase for PPOs.

      The increased morbidity rates are a product of the growing cost of health insurance, Burrell said on Monday. As it has become more expensive to stay insured, healthy individuals have terminated their policies and only those with a constant need for insurance have stayed or joined, leaving the pool “older, sicker and poorer.” CareFirst has also said the proposed hikes come as it continues to absorb losses covering individual Affordable Care Act members in Maryland. Burrell said CareFirst has lost hundreds of millions of dollars over the past three years in the individual market.

      “We are in a situation, all of us, where the rules of the game have largely been prescribed in federal law and regulation as per how we are to offer what we can offer and how it is to be priced,” Burrell said.

      CareFirst is one of six health insurers operating in Maryland to request rate increases for individual and small group health plans for the coming year.

      Here is their rationale

      According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), qualified health plans such as CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), must post a notification on its website explaining the necessity of rate increases.

      The primary factors driving CareFirst’s proposed premium rate changes are:

      An increase in the cost of medical care. This includes cost increases for specific medical services and goods, as well as increases related to rising utilization of those services and goods.

      An increase in the health insurer fee that is imposed on health insurers such as CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

      Fewer healthy members in ACA plans. As expected, less healthy members moved from the small group market to the individual market after changes were made to employer health plans.

      CareFirst submits proposed rates to the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), Virginia Bureau of Insurance (VBOI) and the Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) for approval. Once these agencies complete their review process and make a final decision on any rate filings, a summary of the results are posted on their websites.

      For more information about the ACA and how it affects you, download CareFirst’s Guide to Health Care Reform

      Honestly, if there’s anyone who didn’t see this coming, it can only be because their eyes were glued shut.

      1. Katharine

        Reminds me of the year they said the increase was due to rising costs and use of benefits by members. Evidently they hadn’t anticipated the latter.

        1. Anne

          They want us to have insurance, to pay for our insurance, they just would prefer, I think, that we don’t actually use it.

          “Dang it! If you people would just stop using your insurance, we wouldn’t have to keep raising the premiums!”

          If having insurance means people aren’t seeking care because the co-pays, deductibles, out-of-network charges and balance billing make it prohibitive, what you have is a system where insurance doesn’t facilitate care, it impedes it.

          1. polecat

            Exactly! ….. Feel the Churn…..

            This is why we put what would be applied to the ‘sickcare’ industry, into our fruit trees 7 other fruiting plants, small veg gardens,chickens ,bees, cord wood for winter…and home repair & maintenance …

            on an annual basis, this is much more to our benefit…than ANY crapified..uh…’insurance’.

              1. oh

                That with aerobic exercise, losing weight, breathing exercise, meditation (managing a garden is a form of meditation) and eating right.

                Blood pressure medication only reduces the symptom….

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I wish that once – just once – the people who put a policy in place were held to account when it fails.
              Iraq, the Fed, ACA, Syria, homeowner relief…the list is endless. We live in the Age of Impunity.
              Next up of course is the TPP, many voices are shouting that it’s a terrible idea. When it hollows out employment even further and substitutes corporate sovereignty for national sovereignty we the serfs will just have to sit by and swallow the consequences.
              Until what? Until the whole nation goes Milwaukee?

          2. cwaltz

            And the idiocy of the logic is if people put off care their care then the care becomes more expensive as problems acerbate and start to affect more than one system( or even worse acerbate to the point where someone needs to be hospitalized.)

            Our system should be encouraging people to see a doctor if they have a problem, not putting off treatment because it’s cost prohibitive to treat that problem.

      2. allan

        Insurer Exits From Obamacare Turn Few Choices Into None

        Later this year, residents of Pinal County, Arizona, who go shopping for health insurance under Obamacare will face a peculiar dilemma — they’ll have to buy a product that may not exist.

        The 400,000-population county southeast of Phoenix currently doesn’t have a single health insurer offering coverage next year on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, where Americans can shop for the insurance they’re required to have under the law. With the impending pullout of major health insurers — including Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., and Humana Inc. — Pinal County is just one place around the country where Americans will be left with few, if any, choices for coverage. …

        In the spirit of the namesake of Romneycare, shouldn’t these lucky duckies get a loan from their parents
        and start their own insurance company?

  2. pretzelattack

    re: the girl scout cookie debt collector.

    we let financial criminals loot billions? trillions? we fund their bonuses. guy gets scammed by a con artist with a yen for girl scout cookies, we go after him with the full majesty of the law. i keep shaking my head, but i can’t make this go away.

    1. abynormal

      Scared money can’t win and a worried man can’t love.

      ~ All the Pretty Horses

      hang in there Buddy…………here…have a cookie Luv

    2. Don Midwest USA

      Thom Hartmann points out how much more corporate crime costs than robberies

      Found an article on it

      The FBI estimates, for example, that burglary and robbery — street crimes — costs the nation $3.8 billion a year.

      The losses from a handful of major corporate frauds — Tyco, Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron — swamp the losses from all street robberies and burglaries combined.

      Health care fraud alone costs Americans $100 billion to $400 billion a year.

      The savings and loan fraud — which former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called “the biggest white collar swindle in history” — cost us anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion.

      And then you have your lesser frauds: auto repair fraud, $40 billion a year, securities fraud, $15 billion a year — and on down the list.

      This is from point #20 in the article. Here is point #19

      19. Corporate crime is often violent crime.

      Recite this list of corporate frauds and people will immediately say to you: but you can’t compare street crime and corporate crime — corporate crime is not violent crime.

      Not true.

      Corporate crime is often violent crime.

      The FBI estimates that, 16,000 Americans are murdered every year.

      Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products, and hospital malpractice.

      These deaths are often the result of criminal recklessness. Yet, they are rarely prosecuted as homicides or as criminal violations of federal laws.

      And so on down the list.

      And Obama and the oligarchs are pushing for TPP to provide more support for the crimes of the owners

      Twenty Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime:
      Did you know that corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined? This and 19 more amazing facts about the state of corporations in America

    3. Katharine

      What I find amazing is that Girl Scouts of Utah–and their lawyer!–evidently didn’t grasp that when a deposited item is rejected for reason of account closed there is a strong probability of fraud by someone other than the original account holder. Surely they could have asked their bank to do a little research for them before they started that expensive quest for what they failed to collect. The other bank might even have been able to produce confirmation of a bad signature, which would have saved everyone a lot of time, money, and trouble.

      1. Dave

        Girl Scout Cookies are made by the cheapest national bidder bakery of GMO and pesticide residue contaminated junk food.
        Only a fool would eat that crap.
        If you want to support the girl scouts, or the Boy Scouts, just hand them a donation and skip the chemical byproducts.

        1. polecat

          I avoid the girl scouts selling their products……

          the ‘cookies’ are to …… ‘die’ for……

          Hey…….maybe they can compete with Nuland Cookies Inc. for sales within the Ukraine!

          1. polecat

            all kidding aside……I think the GSA MEMBERS would benefit greatly if they teemed-up with the FFA, selling local foods…or crafts, rather than the crappy pseudo-food they currently halk? onto the public!

  3. Benedict@Large

    Very bad news for ObamaCare. Aetna probably has been the best prepared participant in the exchanges, and has had the most positive outlook. If they are souring, it’s almost certain the whole thing is imploding.

    1. Arizona Slim

      It’s time to pass HR 676 – Medicare for All. Could Bernie Sanders lend a hand in the Senate?

        1. Eureka Springs

          Bernie dropped the ball when he had the most power on ACA. He (like Kucinich in the House) could have voted no and explained why almost certainly with much press attention since he was a much needed vote.

          And true to character he dropped the ball again by dropping out in a powerful position long before the last day of the convention this year. He has a good voice on many issues, but he is not a leader… anywhere except down that veal pen rabbit hole. All that and much much less for a quarter billion dollar campaign.

          Now be sure and sign his next petition!

          1. NYPaul

            Let’s be fair; we don’t know what the Clintons “offered” Bernie to drop out when he did. For a long time I subscribed to the idea that the Clintons were liars, cheaters, and utterly corrupt. But, I stopped short of believing they would stoop to violence. Now, I’m not as certain as I once was. Without any credible insider information, all I have to go on is that pathetic image/picture of Bernie at the Convention, a picture of a thoroughly beaten down man.

            I owned several clubs and bars in NY, and, as such, I interacted with “organized crime” as a normal routine. They were vendors, as well as customers, and the faction I was familiar with was mostly involved with gambling. Anyway, I never had any problem with them, and I did get a close up view of the not-so-subtle way they had of sending a message. Something as innocuous as asking, “so, Hymie, tell me again, how long you been married? Cynthia, that the Mrs.’ name, right?”

            Once, a friend of mine ruffled some feathers when he sold a piece of property for a tidy profit, and refused to share said profits with his one-time mob partner. You see, just because my friend had bought out his gangster partner long before he sold the property, under mob protocol, selling that property later for a large profit still obligated him to share with his one time partner. I hope you “get” the implication here. Anyway, my friend still refused to share so, one day two guys come into my bar, guys with 24″ necks and hands like anvils. They sit my friend down and one of them stands behind him while the other one leans into him and makes his “offer.” The “offer” consisted of him clenching his hand into a fist, with a large ring protruding out from his middle finger. He placed the ring against my friends forehead, exerted some slight pressure, rotated his fist somewhat, just enough to draw a light bead of blood that trickled down from his forehead to his jaw. Nothing more. As they were leaving they turned and told my friend, “oh, don’t wipe your forehead till you get home.”then, they left.

            They were at the lawyer’s the following morning splitting up the profits of the aforementioned property sale.

            In my, now paranoid mind, Bill Clinton’s “chance meeting” with L.Lynch on the tarmac had that same, “how’s your family doing?” foreboding from my past. It was beyond brazen, it was “up yours, you, the FBI, Obama, and all the horses you rode in on.”

            Have I lost it?

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Simply wrong. Sanders held out for the best deal, which turned out to be funding that got 20 million more poor people funded under Community Health Centers. When you deliver concrete material benefits, people vote for you, as they should.

            Purity testing gets tiresome. Consider giving it up. I’ve got nothing against dragging Sanders left, but the ad hom is just a dumb way to do that, besides being offensive. I think the GP would be better served if it abandoned strategic hate management against Sanders, which they are neither skilled at nor funded to achieve.

            1. Indrid Cold

              It should also be remembered that Bernie is no spring chicken. if he looked beaten down, it’s just as likely (keeping our rhetorical razors handy) that it was due to total physical exhaustion. We see it in Hillary now- she’s got handy leads in the polls but she looks like she’s ready to throw an aneurysm.

                1. pretzelattack

                  i think the post was meant as a reply to nypaul, re the speculation about bernie being threatened.

              1. NYPaul

                Indrid….Of course, it could just be fatigue, but, my senses picked up something else. It’s why I told my Mafia story. If you haven’t experienced existential fear, or, faced immovable, mortal danger then you could perceive his appearance in many different ways.

                I sensed utter capitulation, surrender, complete submission. I’m a Viet Nam vet. Before some hot engagements there’s a look of fear, apprehension, sometimes, even exhilaration on my fellow comrade’s faces. However, when the enemy is greatly superior in number, or ferocity, or armaments, the look becomes one of dread. There’s quite a difference. In the first, you might be killed, in the last, you’re probably going to die.

                But, then again, it could just be fatigue.

            2. Eureka Springs

              What’s also tiring is the purity meme. It’s downright Kosian. Nothing pure about health care of human beings. But I’m talking about at least the design and intent of a system to provide health care to all… Bernie talks like it, but clearly was not interested. You can’t be against ACA or Clinton, if you vote for it/her. If that’s purist… then where’s my halo?

              I don’t know how you can write all you have over these years on these matters and call what bernie did a best deal.

              Best deal for whom? We all know the answer and it was not our health care.

      1. Vatch

        I’m sure he will help, if the bill passes the House and is sent to the Senate. In 2013, he introduced S.1782 – the American Health Security Act of 2013, which included Medicare for all provisions.

        In 2015 and 2016, he was somewhat busy with other things. Maybe he’ll do more after he’s had a few weeks to recover from the Presidential primary campaign, although that’s really pointless at this stage. Nothing like this will pass the Congress in 2016. It’s probably better to wait until 2017.

      2. andyb

        Agree that Medicare for all might be a worthwhile solution but the original agenda of the elites in passing Obominable Care would not be satisfied; i.e. totalitarian control and decimation of the middle class which is always the last bulwark against tyranny.

  4. Roger Smith

    New Yemeni Government Ready To Accept Al-Saud’s Capitulation Moon of Alabama

    Cam anyone elaborate more on the Hadi election in 2012, why he is Saudi supported, and why the Saudi’s got involved with this in the first place?

    As Saleh’s VP was Hadi and Saleh seemingly chose him as the replacement, I am failing to connect the dots between the two-ish factions. There is something I am missing.

      1. Roger Smith

        Wow… amazing article. Thank you for sharing. I am still riffing through it but the site allows you to download a pdf which is great.

        tl:dr — it appears that this atrocity is the result of fools on both sides and an oblivious U.S. middle man making lucrative weapons deals in the middle. From what I can gather the people here have no sensible guiding administrative voice or alternative options.

        1. hunkerdown

          Ground report: Speaking of oblivious US middlemen, a billboard popped up a week or two ago along I-94, showing a deep twilight desert metropolis and bragging about Western Union’s ability to send money to Yemen. Now that’s timing.

    1. afisher

      Perhaps a better read is from John Dolan, circa 2009.

      The Saudis are mixed up in Yemen right up to their noses. Typically for them, the goddamn morons, they were a lot better at stirring up Islamic crazies than controlling them once they were riled up. Saudi Arabia has been trying to keep Yemen off-balance for most of the twentieth century. The last thing they want to see is a strong, united Yemen on their southern borders. They’re afraid of the Yemenis-and for good reason. The Saudis have every hi-tech weapon money can buy, but they don’t have any soldiers worth a damn. The Yemenis are fiercer, smarter, and quicker by far. They’ve been warring against each other for decades. They’d go through the fat, phony Saudi Army like a mongoose through a dairy cow.

      And that’s why trying to pull off a “regime change” in Yemen won’t be easy. These people can fight. More importantly, they can fight without getting orders from a central source, unlike the Iraqis. And they can handle any amount of chaos we throw at them. They thrive on it. And as for setting up a “regime change” — there ain’t no “regime” in Yemen in the first place! As my high-school guidance counselor used to say, “That’s the root of the whole problem!” The big vacuum where a state would be is what makes Yemen the preferred destination for every Arab radical on the run.

      The history of Yemen is uncommonly fucked-up, even by the standards of the Arabian Peninsula. And that’s sayin’ somethin’!

      I’m no expert, but I do read…a lot.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      My general sense is the primary Saudi foreign policy is protecting the Saudi tribe. 140 years ago, the Ottomans and Egyptians sent armies to exterminate half the Saudi tribe. They were thugs then. The Saudi policy of the last two decades has been the destruction of Islamic governments especially Arab ones and preventing Democratic processes such as in Egypt well before the Revolution of recent years. Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Egypt, but Israel goes untouched as long as they keep the Muslims down. Turkey is too big and too distant and too popular versus Iran in the West.

      From a high angle view of Yemen, it’s basically three city states and a frontier created by currents which allow commerce between them and isolation because of the Arabian desert. Mecca and Medina are too far to rule or be ruled by Yemen. For example, Egypt’s borders for the last five thousand years are basically where you need to switch out horses for camels because a horse can’t last two days in the desert. This stuff matters.

      Hadi at least before the conflict could run Aden. The Saudi clan needs Western backing to maintain their lifestyle and dress up games, they are plantation overseers not ministers of cabinet departments. They can’t just poison the wells in Yemen. They need a Ptomekin village to show the West which is Aden, the only place anyone In Washington, London, Paris, and Berlin even know exists. Hadi is the type that would love to rule over rabble. I don’t know about Saleh, but Sanaa isn’t as relevant to the Western humanitarian missile crowd. It’s not on a cruise route.

      Then there are internal issues with the Saudi clan. The group that ran the country basically through the 20th century don’t approve of the recent lavishness and gluttony of the current group in power. The ruling wing needs to keep the army far away from Riyadh before a group of Colonels get any ideas. The Saudi clan only has about 2,000 men who can’t bug out and are of fighting age which isn’t very many to preserve the regime.

      Stealing oil and gas is a normal response too, but the great fear of the Sauds would be a functional Arab Democracy.

  5. Ulysses

    I find myself nearly always vehemently opposed to Patrick Buchanan’s answers to the major problems we face here in the U.S. Yet I can’t deny he has asked exactly the right question in the piec linked above:

    “Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for “regime change” in faraway lands whose rulers displease us.

    How do we effect “regime change” here at home?”

    Buchanan also has his eyes wide open as to the high stakes involved, nothing less than the preservation of any sort of accountability to voters:

    “If TPP is revived at the insistence of the oligarchs of Wall Street, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — backed by conscript editorial writers for newspapers that rely on ad dollars — what do elections really mean anymore?”

    The political classes, including wannabe Donald Trump, could care less what happens to ordinary Americans. They’ve got their cash stashed in the Caymans, and that’s all that matters. We desperately need regime change here at home, and fast.

    I’m all for trying to elect decent, responsible reformers like Zephyr Teachout and Tim Canova to Congress. That would be a great start! Yet if our current regime remains in power, they are merely impotent Cassandras, telling truths to powers that refuse to listen.

    1. Starveling

      I have a soft spot in my heart for Paleocons. They don’t trigger the raging impulse to do harm that neocon interventionists and global neoliberal types do. I don’t share their domestic agenda, true, but their foreign policy, immigration, and trade agendas? I’m close.

      1. pretzelattack

        i don’t remember buchanan questioning the vietnam war, or questioning enabling genocide in latin america, though. i think part of his motivation is opposing wars that benefit israel, but strange days; i’m agreeing with pat buchanan and advocating voting for trump in swing states. what a screwed up system we have.

        1. Starveling

          Buchanon himself has plenty of bad in his history, no doubt. I’m just used to seeing him as the old man railing against NAFTA.

          Strange days indeed, though.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Railing against NAFTA is a Good Thing.

            Who almost blocked the bailouts in 2008? The “extreme right.” They did the right thing, while the Democrats helped Bush get it through (and Obama whipped the CBC for it).

            Actually going into the room where the TPP is kept, reading the part on ISDS, and disclosing the text in the Senate? That would be Jeff Sesssions. I’m not sure which brand of conservative he is, but paleo seems to fit his demographic.

            1. Jason Boxman

              Indeed. As with Obama, under a Clinton presidency the far right of the Republican party is the only thing that will save Democrats from themselves. Fun times.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Will the poorer women fare worse under Hillary’s first woman presidency, with rich women better (if that even happens)?

            2. flora

              The Congressional Tea Party caucus derailed Obama/Bohner’s “grand bargain” to cut SS. They have my thanks for that.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                US politics have become a Klein bottle: a one-sided surface which, if traveled upon, could be followed back to the point of origin while flipping the traveler upside down.
                This requires a great amount of agility by the real progressive voter. so If someone supports your core position then you support him/her despite any (now meaningless) labels (Republican, Tea Party, fascist). Likewise the label “Democrat” is no longer a signpost of progressive action, often quite the opposite.

                1. polecat

                  that’s a rather interesting interpretation ……’Livin in a Klein Bottle’

                  …and I think your right about political ‘labels’…they seem ever less applicable going forward ……as we plunge farther down the rabbit hole…

        2. Carolinian

          Buchanan was a staunch anti-communist and favored the Vietnam war and other such interventions. Now that communism is kaput he has softened up considerably. He was always opposed to the Bush wing of the Repubs and these days Trump is his man. An article was posted here not long ago suggesting that Trump is running the Buchanan playbook with his nativist policies.

    2. MikeNY

      Killer quip from Buchanan. He’s right.

      Re: Teachout. She won the Dem primary — I’m in her district. Here’s hoping for November.

    3. Unorthodoxmarxist

      Check out Matt Funiciello, the Green baker running for Congress a few districts north of Teachout. He got 11% of the vote in 2014 and beat the Democrat in several districts. This year he’s running against a terrible incumbent Republican and a Blue Dog Dem:

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Regime change at home? Why Uncle Sugar is the rightful king of the world!

      From the link above about useful idiots, I almost puked when I read this bit:

      “Finally, there is the Russia factor. There exists no greater challenger to American global hegemony today than Vladimir Putin’s regime…”

      The author just takes it for granted that the US is and should be in perpetuity the global hegemon deciding how things are going to be for everyone else. And he isn’t alone – this seems to be the opinion of pretty much the entire establishment.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I wish someone – anyone – would list for me all of the despicable and horrible actions Putin has taken that threaten America.
        Was it the Crimea “annexation”? You mean the one where a fair plebiscite was taken, 82% voted to rejoin Russia, and not a shot was fired in the transition? Perhaps it was the Malaysian airliner he “shot down”, you know, the one where we never got to hear the cockpit or control tower tapes or the contents of the black box? Or maybe it was the poison gas attacks by his proxy Assad?
        We are really back in the McCarthy era, maybe Hilary can go to a pumpkin patch and “discover” some microfilms. Really, folks, how gullible can you get?

  6. temporal

    Once there are few enough insurers in an exchange the meager rate controls fall away. Parts of Texas are apparently looking at as much as a 53% increase next year because of this. This is just a trickier way of doing what major petroleum retailers did a long time ago but with a twist. Build a bunch of non-competing territories, established companies withdrawing as necessary, so that prices can be pushed up. The twist here is that once prices are pushed up, insurers will probably return because of “market conditions”. Average rate increases next year projected to be around 24%.

    This is not a bug, this is a feature. Rise, wash, repeat.

    I wonder if the Heritage Foundation gets a cut?

    1. m

      That is one of the loopholes, exceeding a certain percentage of income. Let the rates go up. More people won’t sign on or pay the penalty. Your income must be in the toilet for a subsidy-they don’t help at all.

  7. abynormal

    re: R-Mayor Homeless Jobs…game changer for the party IF he keeps the ‘big money looking for a place to land’ at bay. could also strengthen state & local agencies. St. Martins Behavioral & Mental Health…addressing drug abuses would insure a solid base.…makes me nervous

    The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not. ~All the Pretty Horses

  8. MikeNY

    Thanks for the link on sloths. They’re my favorite animal (at least since I saw them in CR). Adorable, and they share my view on how to take life.

        1. abynormal

          WicKeD FlaShBacK! my dad use to tune these guys in along with the lone ranger and various other radio shows…get us urchins to bed. means a lot Lambert, Thanks

        2. Eclair

          So funny! I grew up listening to the duo on, what, WBZ? WEEI?

          Had to check out Youtube to see what other Bob and Ray goodies were available, and found the interview with the CEO of the Great Lakes Paper Clip Company, whose business model is based on paying low wages; really really low wages. Seems like they were an early and gently humorous pre-cursor to NC.

    1. ewmayer

      Bradypodidae (lit. Greek for ‘slow foot”) – themed Tom Swifty:

      “Your mother’s a sloth,” he taunted lazily.

  9. furious anger

    Russian banker immured in concrete, left to die in boiling sun

    Back then, Novoselsky was kidnapped by the criminals who later immured him waste deep in a barrel with concrete.

    He was then abandoned and spent over a week outside a country house in the boiling sun, the network reported.

    “Novoselskiy died a long and painful death in a barrel that stood in the sun for a week. After that – on Aslan Gagiev’s order – the barrel was thrown into the Moskva Canal in the Dmitrovsky District (of Moscow Region), at the bottom of which it remained for about 10 years,” the police source said.

    Hope this captures your imagination Lloyd, Timothy, Hank et al.

  10. Nate

    reposted from a commenter on the Buchanan article:

    “Hillary won the Democratic primaries by four million votes, despite Sanders’ “mammouth crowds.” And now, if the polls are correct, she is poised to beat Trump even more decisively. With the voters. So, what gives here? What is “rigged?” What is “fraudulent?” Apparently, more folks really do want to stay the Obama course than want the kind of change that either Sanders or Trump is offering. What’s wrong with that? How does it show that there is anything wrong with our democracy? “Peaceful revolution” is not “impossible,” it is merely, so it seems, not what the American public actually wants. If, as seems likely, the “majority” votes for Hillary, then all of this rhetoric rings hollow. Perhaps Trump, and, to a lesser extent, Sanders, were simply not the right vehicles for change. (It sure looks that way with Trump, whose problems are beyond counting.) Perhaps the right person is out there, and will win in 2020. Perhaps not. But, either way, what’s with this “bad moon rising” stuff? Trump has his shot, just as Sanders did. If Hills beats him, at the ballot box, then what is there to “protest?””

    …about sums it up. I really don’t think we should do away with all of America’s democratic institutions because other people don’t agree with you.

    1. tylerpet

      Hillary won the primary by excluding (independent and young) voters from participation, and to claim that somehow this represents a clear mandate is propaganda. Furthermore, given a choice between Sanders and Hillary, polls have shown the population (beyond just the remaining sycophants of the Democrat Party) overwhelmingly favor Sanders.

      Our “democratic” institutions do not allow us to vote for the candidates we want. How do candidates for congress or local representatives even get the chance to run? They are selected in shady backrooms, far from any democratic input from the population. It is filled with the children of the already wealthy and connected. The American democracy is in a crisis, and is rapidly losing legitimacy amongst the population.

      1. cwaltz

        The plurality of the country is independent and yet we are to believe excluding them from primaries is democratic? Needless to say, I’m not sure this commenter understands what the term democracy means.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Assumes, of course, a whole lot of “facts” that are not only “not in evidence,” but clearly impeached and contradicted by a whole lot of actual facts…”

      Nate, as in “Nate Silver?”

    3. nippersmom

      What you and the commenter both neglect to consider is the systemic and documented election fraud and rigging of the playing field that occurred throughout the Democratic primary and caucus season. If Hillary Clinton had legitimately defeated Sanders at the polls without the DNC and the media conspiring to sabotage Sanders campaign, without the voter roll purging, closing of precincts at the last minute, rule changes mid-caucus, dissemination of incorrect information to voters and delegates, blocking of access to polls, voting machine rigging , etc., you might have a point. As it is, all she’s proven is how effectively she can cheat and escape responsibility.

    4. Carolinian

      What is “rigged?” What is “fraudulent?”

      Uh, the New York Times? The Washington Post? The two major establishment dailies are running a concerted campaign accusing Trump of being agent or in cahoots with a foreign power that is our “enemy” (according to them). Other news organizations and cable tv often follow the Times/Post lead. So in Trump’s case these two papers have decided that Trump must not win and in the Times Jim Rutenberg even wrote an article saying explicitly that since Trump was an unconventional candidate they were going to throw their usual pretense of “on the other handism” out the window. Of course Trump is helping this along–perhaps consciously–by saying some stupid things but other things he says are deliberately exaggerated or misinterpreted.

      As for Sanders the game was rigged by mostly ignoring him.

      You are perhaps correct to say that Trump was destined to lose this election in any case because of his controversial image and Sanders because of his low profile “socialist” background, but please don’t pretend that the game isn’t rigged. The elites at the top don’t like democracy much for all their talk about it. They like TINA a lot.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right.

        In one case, the rigging is in the ignoring by the media.

        In the other case, the rigging is in media stories, as of 8/16/2016 about Hilary’s inevitable November victory.

        “One phone call from the master. That’s all it takes.”

    5. IDG

      Assumes the average voter is informed and has access to information. Assumes there was no rigging in the Democratic primaries either.

      Politics will change when mainstream media dies for good and is replaced by ‘something better’, or at least harder to manipulate (or a more ‘chaotic’ environment).

      1. afisher

        The ex-Sanders team has moved on, They have created a group. It appears that many are more content to carry on about what has happened in the past and not moved past their vision that for right or wrong reasons didn’t connect with voters.
        Like many, I endured huge disappointments during the Dem Primary for Bernie. Blame who ever you want and you fall into the RW trap that has been set for you. (ignore the headline and read the infomation, please, you can even hate the source, but that too is a RW game, just spend a couple of minutes and read…and think)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Don’t blame.

          Learn, from the opponent.

          It took one phone, looking at the past.

          It still takes one phone call, moving past it..forward.

        2. cwaltz

          It’s not a “right wing trap” to blame the DNC, which by the way WAS CAUGHT OUTRIGHT acting as an arm of the Clinton campaign. It’s not a “right wing trap” to blame the media when the media was CAUGHT OUTRIGHT coordinating with the DNC for Hillary Clinton.

          I’m going to guess that you didn’t bother reading the leaked emails if you are insisting the collusion didn’t really exist and it’s all some right wing conspiracy theory. Deny reality if you like, just don’t bother calling what occurred “democratic” when what really happened was the rigged oligarchy on the Democrat side picked a candidate and then colluded to ensure that her competitor didn’t have an equal playing board.

    6. Roger Smith

      Okay… going along with this “will of the voters” idea… than why isn’t Trump (or Stein or Johnson or whomever else is out there) afforded the same electoral/political respect that Clinton is? All we hear non-stop, daily, is how “bad” Trump is and how he “cannot” win or be allowed to win. But he won his party’s primary (and he did not cheat–as far as we know and not likely). He beat what, 16 other candidates, including a Bush! And I do not are what anyone else says, the real zealot in this election was Ted Cruz, whom Trump also squashed.

      I guess in Trump’s case “respect”=letting him keep running so we can all laugh and boost telecomm’s CEOs year end bonuses. Again, the feeling that all of these pundits and the people feeding off of them are in bizarro world is alive and well. We have no solid idea whether or not people will vote for Trump at this point–and I am not so sure we will until Judgement Day arrives.

      1. Ashley W

        Because as frightening as it sounds… all the megaphones have been purchased by a nefarious few.

        We are bombarded with Globalist views.. .and Trump is a nationalist..

        Nationalism is for knuckle draggers according to Silicon Valley and Google, Amazon and your other friendly neighborhood stores

    7. AnEducatedFool

      Is this a serious post? Clinton stole the election. Clinton crushed Sanders in districts and states w/ known hackable voting machines. Any district w/o a paper trail went heavily to Clinton while Bernie either won or held his ground in districts w/ paper ballots.

      The DNC did not follow its own charter.

  11. Unorthodoxmarxist

    McMullin only needed 1000 signatures in 7-ish days to get on the Utah ballot. Not impossible but I’m sure he hired petitioners the first day (or perhaps before he announced) to do it.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Milwaukee burning Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News

    So this is what passes for “informed” political comment these days–gratuitous linking of Donald Trump, whose “rallies have sparked violence and unrest wherever he goes,” and his “shunning of black voters,” to the social upheaval of the moment. And, of course, Trump’s virulent and over-arching racism is always lurking in the background.

    Talk about an “oversimplified narrative.”

    More salient, I think, would be a discussion of how these incidents are happening with increasing frequency after eight years of a black president and two black attorneys general, who have all but abandoned certain inconvenient constituencies. “Constituencies” whose votes were wooed with promises of kinship and solidarity.

    Or, in the particular case of Milwaukee, perhaps a discussion of local policy “choices” would have been more “appropriate.” Like the decision to hand $250 million in state money to three new york billionaires, take $47 million from the city of Milwaukee, and bind the cash-strapped Milwaukee County to annual payments of $4 million for the construction of a new, more luxurious arena for a professional basketball team. Not to mention the tortured rationale of those expenditures being for the “public good” that such blatant cronyism involves.

    Instead, we get a version of the rahm emmanuel playbook–never let a crisis go to waste when you can bash Donald Trump with it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I’m still plugging for a long round of “Chuck Norris”-style Donald Trump jokes, on the following format:

      When Donald Trump passes gas, it’s actually secret communication with Putin.

      When Donald Trump has his hair combed over, Putin makes sure the Mind Control Wave is in place.

      When the boogeyman goes to bed at night, he checks to be sure Donald Trump and Putin are not in his closet or under the bed.

      And on and on…

      The Trumpification and other memes work because they work. Says a lot about the state of the species. And of course a little corruption of the Sacred Balloting Process never hurt…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Arena for a pro basketball team.

      At least you don’t have to water the arena.

      Here in California, the local water district is notifying residents here of the latest from gov Brown – water your lawn only 3 days a week – Mon, Wed and Fri, olny.

      Meanwhile, the infield at Chavez Ravine looks as green as ever (not astro turf).

      “Frack only 3 days a week?”

  13. JCC

    I checked out the NBC poll on Sanders… the comments are generally awful (you have to vote to see them).

    1. Ashley W

      That poll raised the hairs on my neck. This appears to be a test of the waters .. should Hillary drop out ..or worse.

      Disclaimer… I’m new here. I have been lurking for over a year, getting up the courage to comment – because

      1. I don’t like Clinton.
      2. I don’t like Bush/Cheney/McCain/Romney/or the GOP neocons
      3. I love Trump
      4. Before you start tossing F bombs at me.. I admire the minds on this site, but for the visceral hatred of all things Trump. I read the threads more than the stories because this site has some of the best commentary on the web.

      However – This poll AND the concomitant news mix this morning – reaffirms that the atmosphere is poisonous – dangerous – and “similar to” when Rabin was assassinated. Scary

      I don’t like her… don’t trust her.. or Bubba… but I don’t want her dead.

      There is something wrong with her health. At the risk of inflaming the locals… rumor has it that nobody is allowed to bring flash cameras into her rallies because they prompt the seizures. I didn’t watch the debates but learned in the You Tube composites on her trips, falls, and “spells”… that she was gone off the stage for what should have been a questionable length of time. The head bobbing and the dazed interruption when she was wearing the red suit with the top open… was pretty damning

      Matt Taibbi [whom I love, but disagree with on Trump] … said something very profound this morning.

      “reporters are quietly promising themselves they’ll go back to being independent and above the fray in November, after we’re past the threat of a Trump presidency.”

      Our national dialogue now resembles North Korea or Pravda.. with Pravda showing more integrity.

      Each time I read that the press is biased… there is always that disclaimer that Bias and Condemnation are necessary to the survival of the nation.

      Every day another media star is trotted out to tell us Trump is a sociopath… Streep, Sheen, DeNiro and some rapper yesterday.

      Then a “former GOP official” of some stripe or administration tells us TRUMP WILL NUKE CANADA .. or some such tripe.

      There is at least one poll putting H ahead by [pick a %] …. and last and least the “insider” tip that the campaign is in meltdown.

      Then Ellen comes on and whispers to the audience that even the GOP hates him… she gives a SUV to an immigrant family… and a new home to the single mother of 8… and the crowd goes wild.

      This gives new meaning to the definition of PILING ON…is unhealthy…. dishonest….

      Trump isn’t the little guy with the Moe haircut and funny mustache.

      I fear that if Hillary’s health is going downhill as fast as the videos suggest…. she might fall victim to her own team … the country wouldn’t be the wiser… and Trumpets would be demonized, vilified and banished from the political arena.

      Please don’t start lobbing rotten tomatoes… I am NOT the enemy, but an independent without a party.

      1. Starveling

        Honestly we need a Trump. If he is as bad as the journos all seem to think, wouldn’t it be wonderful to get him into office and see the entire apparatus of the Imperial Presidency dismantled?

        Why should the executive be something that any one man could bring the nation to ruin by holding?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump is also causing Hillary’s health to deteriorate, by stressing her out.

        That alone should disqualify him, but outrageously, he’s piling on with more egregious acts…like, by not dropping out already.

        But at least, Trump is not spending much on TV ads attacking her. So, he is evil, but not 100% evil…yet.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          So heaping scorn for not dropping out, like the scorn heaped on Bernie, and what if he does? Then the Poli-Opticon would be there for all to see, with just one choice at the ballot box in November, she wins in a landslide of course, 100% of the vote, and then we can all just get back to the serious business of killing the world’s people and stealing everyone’s money.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        I would love some sort of reasonably well sourced aggregation/timeline of Clinton’s health issues, even or perhaps especially from a blog.

        Does anybody know of one?

        1. Arizona Slim

          I don’t know of a timeline, but I can offer a starting point for the serious health problems: The blood clots in the legs while she was the FLOTUS. Connie Mariano described them in her book, White House Doctor.

        2. Ashley W

          There are a bunch… usually on Youtube… but, er, you aren’t going to find an honest discussion on this on Daily Kos, Alternet or Huffpo….

          and you get mad at me if I link to sites that are abhorrent to progressive sensibilities.

          But the only way to get to the truth of this discussion is from the OPPOSITION .. as crazy as they sound.

          This week 2 SS officers made contact with someone at a right wing site…. said Clinton’s cars are outfitted specially for her “problems”….. and they are coming forward because they fear the “machine” is just trying to keep a lid on the enormity of the problem til after the election.

          This is a travesty of trust if true. I’m sorry, Trump is NOT Hitler, Stalin or Hussein… he is a threat to some very comfortable internationalists… and some K street parasites. Other than that, we can nit pick over a lifetime of Manhattan business practices… but the Clinton University scandal is/was way bigger than the Trump thing… what? 3 people out of how many?

          I think too many people on the left are just wedded to the propaganda machine. His employees love him… they trot out all day .. but never invited to CNN or MSNBC….

          If we want to know more about this .. you’ll have to enter “enemy” territory… that doesn’t preclude truth… it just means OPPOSITION to firmly held beliefs.

          This is an impossible place for independents who hate the left and the right. I’m pro choice, live among Latinos who don’t want the Gangs coming in… I hate the 1% but consider myself a populist, nationalist… and NO I do not want Muslim immigration.

          Does anyone here spend any time in Europe? IT’s a catastrophe.

          that said.. Yes Lambert… I can show you … maybe tomorrow… but you gotta promise not to freak out at the sources.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > you get mad at me if I link to sites that are abhorrent to progressive sensibilities.

            Please don’t attribute emotions to me that I may not feel. After 13 years of moderation, I’m pretty clinical.

            The source I objected to was a supporter of the Greek fascist party, Golden Dawn. See here at “EuroFascist” for Naked Capitalism’s views on Golden Dawn. I quote conservative sources with regularity.

            > you gotta promise not to freak out

            Don’t assign NC moderators tasks.

      4. lyman alpha blob

        “I admire the minds on this site, but for the visceral hatred of all things Trump.”

        Maybe you missed some commenters on this site taking their ball and going home recently claiming there was too much of a Trump lovefest going on.

        Anyhoo, to each their own. And a pox on all their houses if you ask me.

        1. Carolinian

          Really. News to me. One of the nice things about this site is that flame wars are rare. People are free to hate whoever they want (except each other?)

      5. cwaltz

        Why would I throw f bombs at you?

        Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I believe you’re a horrible person. It means I disagree with you.

        I won’t be voting for Trump. I don’t like him. I believe he’s a hypocrite, I believe he’s an egomaniac and I don’t believe he’s honest. However, I do understand that people might view him differently than I do. You have every right to take your chances voting for him. I do caution though that while he does not have a public record, he does have a business record and it is far from a stellar one(it’s one filled with excuse making for benefitting from exploiting people for his own benefit.)

        Welcome to the community.

      6. optimader

        2. I don’t like Bush/Cheney/McCain/Romney/or the GOP neocons
        You presumably do not like neocons in general. GOP is unnecessary specificity.

        Understand that neocons are ideological parasites that move to the most reliable political hosts.they are Party Agnostic. Understand they first dropped anchor in the democrat party.

        HRC is a neocon tool..

    1. Don Midwest USA

      Since you mention web site, here is the comment below the one you linked.

      It is by Pluto whose main contributions are in foreign policy. She had over 30,000 comments on the dailykos web site before she was run off. Dailykos is now all in for the coronation of Hillary, and runs like a branch of the DNC. People like myself were long time contributors and the daily BernieNewsRoundup which went for over a year kept me going there. Here is the promised comment from one of the many people who have been run off dailykos. (These days not so many left to be run off, they just figure out the BS and check out)

      The start of her comment refers to the original post with “Bantaan death march to Nov” which involves killing off the left as Hillary lurches to the election

      This cracked me up.

      1. Isotope_C14 is doing the same thing, deleting non-HRC supporters.

        Best way to get eliminated fast is to suggest that Trump is the lesser evil. They don’t mind you talking about Jill Stein though, since they know that the poll corporation won’t let a left candidate in to the debates.

  14. Louis

    The article about the retail robot says that the jobs lost due to this robot could be offset by jobs maintenance. Considering that one mechanic can maintain multiple robots, the question is: how many new jobs will realistically be created versus destroyed?

    I don’t profess to know the answer to that question for this robot, or automation in general; however, it may not be a 1:1 ratio, at least with respect for those replaced by technology. In other words, it’s far from guaranteed that everyone replaced by robots, or some other form of automation, will easily be able to find jobs doing some thing else.

    The issue, which few people want to confront, is what we should we do with those who are, for all intents and purposes, rendered obsolete.

    1. cnchal

      . . . what we should we do with those who are, for all intents and purposes, rendered obsolete.

      Give them money to stay alive.

      The real question is do we want a rip roaring economy for all or a life sustaining planet.

  15. Jerry

    Why can’t I find that Baton Rouge sorority chapter on Google? The one in the Daily Dot story about how to donate to flood victims in Louisiana via their Go Fund Me page. I suspect fraud but don’t know how to verify it. They have raised nearly $5,000 already

  16. Buzz Meeks

    Hillary Leads by 30 Points. Buffalo News, the only paper in town, is owned by Warren Buffet. I haven’t been able read it for a number of years now. Really exists as a legal way for Buffet to print his own money as they have squeezed the last dime out of ever increasing advertising rates. Most of the “think” pieces and columns are syndicated from Pravda on Potomac or NY Slimes. The two alternative weeklies do a much better and much more accurate job reporting on very limited resources.

    Buzz Meeks

    1. Ivy

      Your Buffalo News experience is repeated in scores of small towns where the last paper was purchased by Buffett or similar extractors. Those monopolists know a thing or two about how to squeeze a buffalo, and how to include or exclude what is deemed to be news selectively. They have local advertisers over a barrel.

      1. Ashley W

        All the megaphones are compromised. Wealth and power buy up all the TV, internet and print media.. at an enormous cost and operate them at a loss…

        These powerful Megaphones are then used to sack political enemies, influence policy, AND increase market share for the profitable enterprises that underwrite the black holes they purchased.

        Oh, and they eliminate competition.

        I’m concerned that Democrats are being very short sighted… because THEIR candidate is the beneficiary — for the moment.

        It reminds me of the old Russian saying…

        “Worst Government?… Bad Czar. Best Government? GOOD Czar.” That’s what you want?

        The spit and glue that holds the Democratic Party together is collective hatred for all things conservative.

        What do Catholic Latinos have in common with Muslims?

        What do Feminists have in common with Catholic Latinos?

        What do inner city blacks have in common with OPEN BORDERS that flood a 10 dog, 8 bone economy with an endless supply of entry level workers?

        Gays will find they have little in common with Muslims when they find themselves in a cage at the bottom of their lap pools when Islam exerts political muscle in a few years.

        And Bernie Bots will be up to their piercings in $12000 a year East Indians when PROGRESSIVE Silicon Valley calls in their note to the Clinton Machine. Those student loans are not negotiable.

        This is an identity politics formula for cannibalism, but for the designated enemy… Mr. Trump

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I’m not entirely sure what you are arguing here. You did manage to string together a lot of odd stereotypes.

          Your notion that the Democratic Party is held together by hatred of all things conservative seems off the mark. I think the Democratic Party is remarkably conservative — so I don’t understand what you mean by conservative.

          What do you mean by your close?
          “This is an identity politics formula for cannibalism, but for the designated enemy… Mr. Trump.”
          Donald Trump has made quite a few flamboyant statements which I think might be fit into the realm of identity politics.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m glad I’m not the only one who found that comment odd.

            I think it’s interesting that this person thinks that all Bernie supporters are gay pierced millenials with student loans.

            I’m an almost 50 year old former vet with 4 children, zero piercings and no student loans at all.

            I’ve been dealing with the Christian Taliban exerting it’s political muscles for years. It might be nice to give them a little competition with Islamic political muscle. Who knows? Maybe as a result of the infighting for political power, we’ll end up with a system that believes that one religious philosophy does not get to have super special status and we can get back to the belief that your personal belief set does not belong dictating other people’s life decisions.

      2. ambrit

        I was talking with the ‘shift manager’ at our local paperette a few months ago when an old lady came into the office ‘fit to be tied.’ It seems that the chain that bought the paper had started charging, I think it was ten dollars, for obituary notices. The old lady actually said, “What is this country coming to?”

  17. Pat

    The sooner ACA implodes the better. And Aetna is just helping United lead the way on that happening.

    Unfortunately it has also made addressing the problem of health care access in America something our political class is avoiding like the minefield it is. Truly addressing it means upsetting a lot of the biggest corporate entities in America, along with a lot of other only rich people – not just the obscenely rich. Add to that, our political class has now set up the false conundrum of it all being about ACA. You are either for ACA or against all government intervention in health care insurance. Sanders is one of the few outliers.

    One thing, this news should have Clinton shaking in her boots. I know they may think the current boogey man offense of Trump is making them invulnerable, but losing even more coverage and paying even more for it (both through the exchanges and with employer provided insurance) is going to sour people on her more than Trump.
    And most people are not going to know the extent of this until just before the election. This is one of those things where Clinton is going to take a hit.

    1. Anne

      I can almost not even discuss this abominable, unconscionable, completely predictable situation, that’s how mad it makes me.

      Since it should be eminently obvious to anyone with a mere quorum of brain cells that insurance does not equal care, the only reason to continue to conflate insurance with care and to keep making it about how things will just be peachy if we can get everyone insured, is to be able to continue to aid and abet the insurance industry, its disgustingly-overpaid executives and its stockholders, in the wholesale theft from the pockets of the American people.

      But that couldn’t be why they’re doing it, could it?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I honestly don’t think this ludicrous pretense that obamacare is the “solution” to the nation’s “healthcare” access problems can be kept up for much longer.

      What I wonder is, when there are no more insurance companies willing to participate, if they will still impose the penalty for being “uninsured.”

      I’d guess yes, because citizens must have skin in the game.

      1. Anne

        I do believe they will be extolling its virtues even as the entire rotting hulk sinks below the waterline, taking everything anywhere near it under as well.

      2. polecat

        To expand slightly on your question….Why even file at the end of the year if you know you’re still gonna git it good an hard……..for…absolutely…nothing ??!

    3. Louis

      Pat wrote:

      The sooner ACA implodes the better. And Aetna is just helping United lead the way on that happening.

      Unfortunately it has also made addressing the problem of health care access in America something our political class is avoiding like the minefield it is.

      Be careful what you wish for.

      The collapse of the ACA isn’t ikely to result in a single-payer system but rather will be used as an example by critics of why the government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare policy–yes I know that any realistic program to provide universal healthcare or insurance requires some degree of government intervention–which could result in setting back the push for healthcare reform for a long time.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s one view, certainly, and no doubt the Democrat view. My personal view is that this is a counsel of despair, an ever-downward spiral of half a loaf, then half that loaf, then half the remaining loaf, down to the crumbs.

        1. Louis

          When you say “council of despair” I’m not entirely sure what it is you’re referring to: e.g. consumers, insurance companies, etc.

          One things for sure though and that is that the healthcare spending isn’t sustainable–the ACA has improved it somewhat–but something is still going to eventually have to give. It could be for the better (i.e. most people covered) or it could be for the worse: i.e. growing numbers of people without insurance or access to healthcare.

          1. RabidGandhi

            One things for sure though and that is that the healthcare spending isn’t sustainable–the ACA has improved it somewhat–but something is still going to eventually have to give. It could be for the better (i.e. most people covered) or it could be for the worse

            Note how you have conflated two issues– spending on healthcare and insurance– just as the ACA debate does.

            The problem is ridiculously high healthcare costs, exacerbated by a rent-seeking industry in the middle (insurance companies) that provide no healthcare whatsoever. The Obama/Heritage Foundation solution is to provide these middlemen with more subsidies and do nothing that would lower costs.

          2. Pat

            We currently have a growing situation where a significant and growing proportion of the population has insurance but lack the further funds needed for any health care. Kaiser has already released a study showing that less people are receiving health care after ACA. This is only going to grow as the few remaining companies on the exchanges raise premiums.

            Although there is a shake up coming as more and more people qualify to ignore the mandate because the premiums are too high. (And more find out about that percentage of income out.)

      2. Pat

        The whole point of ACA was to do that. At least for most of the architects. Otherwise they would have used every trick available to make it less about having insurance and more about making sure people had access to health care no matter how much that enraged Insurance Companies, Pharma, and Private Hospitals.

        Instead they chose to let Insurance Companies write the bill.

        1. cwaltz

          The irony was after Obama colluded with them behind closed doors(while Congress held kabuki theater for the pretense of pretending we still have a democracy) that the insurance industry stabbed him in the back and made him look like a liar with his “if you like your insurance you can keep it” line.

          I wish I thought that he learned something from that but based on the behind closed doors meetings on TPP with multinationals, I’d say it’s a no, he didn’t learn a darn thing.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Clinton will take a hit.

      With her, no lead is safe…especially those polled in mid-August.

      Can she go the distance or will we see a monumental collapse?

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      I have a crazy idea I’ll toss out.

      Medical doctors (and dentists) have very strong labor unions — guilds actually. As the cost for medical care skyrockets, especially specialist care, the golden hallow of honor and respect doctors enjoy grows dim — even tarnished. If someone with deep pockets at the state level — like the big hospital chains — pushed hard to change licensing laws to make it easier for foreign medical doctors to obtain license to practice — and if states passed laws enabling more freedom to practice to nurse practitioners and pharmacists … who would cry in sympathy with the poor AMA and ADA and all the poor deserving medical doctors and dentists?

      Medical school has become so very expensive and grows more expensive. How many young doctors will be able to start into private practice? — especially if large banks cut back on the loans the new doctors will need to open a practice. And what if the number of independent practices where young doctors might once have started out is reduced and bought up by big hospital chains?

      It starts to look like a move to capture the medical profession and set them into corporate offices — just another hired gun to cover with corporate overheads. As the consolidation of the Medical Industrial Complex continues the medical profession could be one of the casualties. Nurses are already captive employees.

      The Medical Industry could position itself to extract phenomenal monopoly rents. By controlling standards of practice for doctors they could eliminate attempts to substitute less expensive cures. Once the TPP, TTIP and TISA pass the Medical Industry would benefit from the decline in pollution controls and work-place safety regulations.

      Paranoid delusions? As things have evolved and the direction for the future becomes more clear perhaps not. I’m not affiliated with the medical profession in any way — which disclaimer is made to beg forbearance of my ignorance. I have a deeply troubling feeling — an intuition of sorts — that much more is going on than just the motions I watch the right hand making. What is the left hand doing?

    6. different clue

      The Country Club-Wall Street Republicans and the Catfood Clintonites will have the Obamacare replacement ready to go if/when Obamacare finally dies.

      And that replacement will be purified straight-up Heritagecare.

  18. Katharine

    This part of the article on how the Europeans created the Mideast mess seems lazy at best, counterfactual at worst:

    I’ll never fully understand why the Shiite Arabs who predominate in southern Iraq and the Sunni Arabs who predominate in central Iraq can’t get along, but they never really have since the birth of Iraq as the brainchild of the Anglo-French mapmakers. It seems that the denominational divide is as powerful as the ethnic/nationality divides elsewhere. The perpetual crisis of Iraq in the post-Saddam era seems substantially about that denominational divide, which seems to have taken on the flavor of an actual ethnic/national/language divide.

    For contrast, try this interview from a couple of years ago:

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ……… the three that have disintegrated so completely as to raise doubt that they will ever again exist as functioning states — Iraq, Syria and Libya — are all members of that small list of Arab countries created by Western imperial powers in the early 20th century.

      Yep, they just “disintegrated.” With a little help from a public “servant” in everyone’s favorite peace and democracy loving indispensable nation named hillary rodham clinton.

  19. fresno dan

    So, this is for 16 to 64 employed in Japan. What are we to make of this, that the rate of employment is so much higher than the US? In the US, GDP is practically a religion. Of course, one can NEVER speak of how the GDP is divided and who is getting it, but that is the filter (the shadow on the wall) that we are indoctrinated with.

    Here is the wiki link that gives the employment for most countries

  20. William

    I think Mr. Taleb’s article is very interesting, and makes me eager to find out more about systems theory-I’m guessing that is his grounding for this essay- but I feel his conclusion may be a tad facile, taking an intuitively obvious conclusion where a much more complex analysis of social change be called off.

  21. Tim

    Apologies if this is a duplicate

    The link at Bloomberg:
    Arellano’s claim against CCCS under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was sold for $250. The buyer? None other than CCCS.
    A few months later, CCCS asked a federal judge to dismiss the fair-debt collection claim on the theory that CCCS didn’t want to sue itself.

    New ways to loot might be on the way.

  22. cojo

    One counter argument to your point is that the masses can and are easily manipulated. Ample evidence of that with the DNC email leaks…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How many jobs will disappear and how much the economy will suffer (oh no) when the masses are taught brain-washing self-defense???

      Luckily, our schools graduate mostly easily-manipulated students.

  23. Chauncey Gardiner

    Wow!… So the central bank of Japan’s has bought huge amounts of stock in Japanese corporations listed on the Nikkei with money it creates out of thin air! Ditto other central banks that are also buying corporate stocks and corporate bonds.

    It has been reported that the Swiss National Bank has acquired significant ownership positions in 15 large US corporations. While it is of little wonder that financial market prices are rising as a result of such purchases, why is ownership of corporate stocks and corporate bonds by central banks considered to be sound public policy? I don’t recall any public debate about such a policy, nor whether purchases of stock in U.S. companies by foreign central banks is in the public interest.

    1. financial matters

      It just seems like it supports bad governance.

      Doesn’t seem like it deals with the problems of short term exploitation of rising stock prices and poor investment, employment and wage growth.

    2. Skippy

      Large cap Corporations = GDP = a plethora of absurd incentives to keep the Red Giant expanding or face the consequences…

  24. Victoria

    Re: Clinton Leads Trump in New York. We in New York know and loathe Donald Trump from way back; even my most tea party friends can’t stomach him. They hate Clinton, of course, so probably just won’t vote.

  25. ewmayer

    o Hillary Clinton’s Conundrum: Keeping Left Happy, Pursuing Opening on Right | WSJ: As that suggests, there now are in a sense three political parties in the U.S…. — The folks at the Urinal conveniently left out the War Party and the Money Party (yes, big overlap there!), which are the ones that actually run things, including – of course – the MSM.

    o Police chief was surprised by violence after fatal shooting AP — “They normally welcome us with cheering crowds and girls handing out flower garlands for shooting them.” Oh wait, that was the Iraqis.

    o Just Thinking About Exercise Can Trick Your Body Into Believing It’s Worked Out | New York Magazine — I presume that includes thinking about sex. Finally, an exercise program most people can stick with! I wonder which burns more fat, though – two minutes mental naughtiness, or two minutes hate, Ingsoc-style?

  26. Roland

    Quote from the Kirchick piece:

    “…anarchic libertarian nihilist contrarianism of the Antipodean sex pest…”

    In James Kirchick, the Clintonites have finally found something they sorely needed: a man inspired by the words of…Spiro Agnew!

    But mere nattering nabobs were nowhere near as big a threat to America, as today’s nihilistic antipodean Slav-loving sex pests!

    We can be proud that James Kirchick rises to the occasion of defending America’s exceptional bodily fluids.i

  27. ambrit

    Ah ha! Another begging letter from the DNCC yesterday. This one under the aegis of Barak Obama. As mentioned some days ago, I printed out a campaign article from Trump/Pence about the imminent collapse of the ACA. This is enclosed with the ‘donations page’ where I wrote in, next to ‘Other,’ the Null sign. Under where the envelope exhorted the faithful to use their own stamp to save the Committee postage I wrote, “Ask the Clinton Foundation.” I’m now off to run errands and mail the meretricious missive.

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