Links 8/24/16

Dear patient readers,

We are a bit short of links at launch time. I had several meetings yesterday. I’ll add a few more, but also feel free to supply more in the comments section.

Storms devastate monarch butterflies’ forest habitat in Mexico Guardian (David L) :-(

‘Human sacrifice’ staged at Cern, home of the God Particle Independent. Chuck L: “Geek humor out of control.”

20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel WinBeta (Chuck L)

Overselling A.D.H.D.: A New Book Exposes Big Pharma’s Role New York Times (martha r)

Holding Clean Energy Hostage Jacobin (martha r)


U.K. Labour’s Smith Would Oppose Brexit Trigger Without New Vote Bloomberg

Stiglitz: The days of the euro are numbered Yahoo. Bugs Bunny: “He makes the points from his book about needed treaty changes but then veers way off course at the end prescribing a digital currency and abolishing paper money as part of the solution. Fits into your “you can’t just flip a switch to leave the euro” mantra. I wonder how much Stiggy gets out these days.”

Germany’s new problem border: Poland Politico

Assets of Scottish shell firm seized amid probe in to allegedly corrupt Ukrainian MP Herald Scotland

Slovakia will send more soldiers to Cyprus Slovak Spectator


Acceptable Losses Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s (martha r)

Assad May Have Kept Chemical Weapons Daily Beast. Resilc: “BS from DC.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Government Uses FISCR Fast Track to Put Down Judges’ Rebellion, Expand Content Collection Marcy Wheeler (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Provoking Nuclear War by Media Counterpunch (resilc)

Trade Traitors

The national security case against TPP The Hill (Emma). Key section:

By facilitating the further offshoring of America’s manufacturing base, the trade pact would actually undermine America’s military readiness and global economic standing. TPP would hurt our national security interests more than it would help.

Aviation experts laugh off Trump’s claim that Boeing will move jobs to China McClatchy. Resilc: “1965, the Japanese make cars???? Ha ha ha ha ha.”


American journalism is collapsing before our eyes New York Post

A Clinton Family Value: ‘Humanitarian’ War Consortiumnews (resilc). As one of my buddies said, “Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.” More proof of that thesis.

Donald Trump says ‘close the Clinton Foundation’, but its work is crucial Guardian (resilc). I am sure readers will have fun with this.

Michigan’s newest political party gets certified today Michigan Radio (martha r). Ten minute podcast.

Herhold: How ballot questions for bonds mislead voters Mercury News (EM)


Obamacare is Rapidly Becoming the Poster Child for American Inequality Michael Krieger (Chuck L). “The best thing about Obama (from an oligarch’s perspective), is his uncanny ability to push through upward redistributive wealth policies while still maintaining a phony aura of caring about the little guy amongst so many of his apparently lobotomized supporters.”

Tennessee clears steep Obamacare rate hikes Washington Examiner. Martha r: “BCBS rate hike is 62 percent…Cigna 46 percent, Humana 44 percent.”

A Tale of Two Standoffs Jacobin (martha r). “The federal response to Lakota protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline couldn’t be more different than their reaction to this year’s Bundy occupation.”

Officials Pull Water Supply as Dakota Access Protest Swells in Number and Spirit Common Dreams (martha r)

FBI Allowed Informants To Commit More Crimes In 2012 Than Year Before Huffington Post (Chuck L)

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Disaster: Activity, New Orders, Shipments Plunge Michael Shedlock (EM)

Swedroe: Research Highlights Active Mgmt Shortcomings The conclusion is hardly new, but this piece gives a good, layperson friendly summary of the most authoritative research on this issue.

Hedge Fund Manager Profited From Death Arbitrage Matt Levine, Bloomberg (Emma). From last week, missed this morbid piece by being on the road…

How did an EpiPen get to costing $600? Vox (resilc)

There’s no yield, and Citi isn’t going to take it anymore FT Alphaville (Emma)

The CEO’s Great Advice About Whistleblowers Never Mentions Them Bill Black (martha r)

Class Warfare

Today’s Economic Hard Times Are the Culmination of a Long Series of Crises TruthOut (martha r)

The average American family had the same amount of wealth in 2013 as it did in 1989 World Economic Forum (Emma)

Los Angeles County Seeks “Millionaires’ Tax” To Fund Homeless Programs For The Poor MintPress (martha r)

Redefining criminality Center for Crime and Justice Studies (Emma)

Judge orders $15 minimum wage to be put on Mpls. ballot StarTribune (martha r)

Antidote du jour (martha r):

kingfisher links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    /Many Donors to Clinton Foundation Met with Her at State | RealClearPolitics.webarchive

    More than half? Of the people who got face time with Hill? Paid?

    1. johnnygl

      I find myself wondering who all of the people were that got meetings WITHOUT a donation and how they pulled that off.

      1. Benedict@Large

        Visa, Master Card, or American Express?

        One can assume the Clinton’s were not so shortsighted to have limited their fellow grifters to a single payment option?

        1. Tom

          I believe the Clintons issued E-Z passes to foundation donors so they could pay everytime they pulled in for a meeting.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Future Ambassadors? So Obama donors? She might still have to meet with people to demonstrate she was sort of doing a job.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hillary digs a deeper hole for herself:

      [Her] spokesman, Brian Fallon, said the AP report does not account for more than half her tenure leading the State Department and “omits more than 1,700 meetings she took with world leaders … while serving as secretary of state.”

      This is what AP said yesterday about HRC’s meetings with world leaders:

      “Clinton met with representatives of at least 16 foreign governments that donated as much as $170 million to the Clinton charity, but they were not included in AP’s calculations because such meetings would presumably have been part of her diplomatic duties.”

      It’s hard to follow AP’s logic. Certainly meeting with foreign leaders was part of Hillary’s job. But where else on earth are foreign ministers running their own foundations and collecting “contributions” on the side? $170 million in foreign govt contributions seems even more per se damning than Hillary’s compensated dating [to invoke a Japanese euphemism] with private donors.

      Trump is going for the jugular:

      “Hillary Clinton is totally unfit to hold public office,” he said at a rally Tuesday night in Austin, Texas. “It is impossible to figure out where the Clinton Foundation ends and the State Department begins. It is now abundantly clear that the Clintons set up a business to profit from public office. The specific crimes committed to carry out that enterprise are too numerous to cover in this speech.”

      Brutal … but true. The Clintons are running a racketeering enterprise with legal impunity granted by the FBI, and are seeking to take over and subvert the US govt. Wake up, America.

      1. Vatch

        Clearly, HRC is unfit for office. That’s why the Democrats nominated someone else for President — in an alternate universe, of course. In our universe, we’re stuck with our Democrats, and HRC for President.

        1. perpetualWAR

          Yeah, no. If my state is even close, I am pulling the lever for Trump. Otherwise, it is a 3rd party. I don’t believe our nation will hire her, I don’t.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A second chance in one calendar year to stop Hillary at the voting booth.

        Don’t miss it.

        (Even if we are confronted with a potential presidential pardon on top of the recently granted FBI legal impunity).

      3. NYPaul

        I have a question:

        How do, or, will The Clintons benefit personally from the hundreds of millions “donated” to their various “charities?” I understand it gives them the pretext for opening doors and introducing them to influential (and wealthy) individuals. But, has anyone done some research on how that money flows to them personally?

        1. Kfish

          Anyone who runs a family trust, charity or company can milk it for ‘expenses’. The charity pays for travel, bodyguards, food, clothing, lawyers – anything that can remotely be connected to the expenses of running a business. Openly handing over sums of cash is the least subtle form of quid pro quo.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      EOTW, there is a saying (in French, I think, who borrowed it from us) – follow the money.

      What we need is another Deep Throat…under the table.

    4. afisher

      Think! If HRC was directing traffic to The Clinton Foundation, then she was doing a piss poor job of lining the family pockets as the income from them was only $10 M.

      Not to mention that DTrump also donated cash to TCF. Are we supposed to ignore that as well? What was he “buying”?

  2. Don Midwest USA

    But, but Hillary contributed to charities ….

    $1 million to the charity Clinton Foundation

    $42K to Desert Classic Charities (which contributed $700 K to Clinton Foundation)

    Another example of how the tax code works for the oligarchs

    Clinton: More emails & donations

    1. fresno dan

      Don Midwest USA
      August 24, 2016 at 7:33 am

      thanks for that!
      If every dictionary on the planet doesn’t revise their definition of Smarmy to read “like a Clinton charity grift” than we will know that the elite have captured the very language and we’re all in the power of Big Dictionary.

      I would have to say that is illegal….but I’m sure Comey will find that there was no intent….

        1. fresno dan

          liar’s poker

          I remember reading an interview years ago with the author (I used to know his name, but the brain holes are getting ever larger and more numerous) where young readers weren’t outraged, but wanted to know how to get into the game….

    2. Don Midwest USA

      A bargain! Only $50K to be with Hillary

      The price of entry to see Hillary Clinton on Sunday evening was $50,000 per person, a sum that got you an al fresco meal of tomato and mozzarella salad, lobster, strawberry shortcake and an intimate conversation with the possible next president of the United States.

      “It was the easiest event I’ve ever done,” said Elaine Schuster, a longtime Clinton friend who hosted the soiree at her waterfront home on Cape Cod, Mass. “Everyone wanted to come.”

      Inside the exclusive events helping to fund Clinton and the Democratic Party

    3. Sam Adams

      Amazing! Clintoon News Netwerk couldn’t ignore the pay-for-play and has moved onto how wonderfully and marvelously the Clinton Foundation helps the waifs and children and should be forgiven all transgressions.

      1. Emma

        Look, what solutions are there for this fiasco?
        Cannot all the money from the donations for “doing good” (Carville) be redirected elsewhere to any number of other foundations (within the US or abroad) unaffiliated with the Clintons? That way all the “poor people” (Carville) who benefit from the Clinton Foundation won’t suffer……..
        Unless of course the reason for giving the money in the first place wasn’t for “doing good” with good taste after all……..
        Given this controversy over the Clinton Foundation donations, perhaps in place of donations, the Clintons could increase their paid speech activity which isn’t open to discussion, to help the “poor people” instead?

        1. cyclist

          Maybe the Clinton Foundation could demonstrate good will by liquidating itself and giving the assets to some charities which make a real impact, like Partners In Health or Doctors Without Borders?

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I love the one where Money for Healthy Kids Initiative came from Coke and Pepsi LOLOLOL

        2. LMS

          Funny, isn’t it, that the donations are directed to the Clinton Foundation instead of to other charities?

          “Four oil-rich Arab nations, all with histories of philanthropy to United Nations and Middle Eastern causes, have donated vastly more money to the Clinton Foundation than they have to most other large private charities involved in the kinds of global work championed by the Clinton family.

          Since 2001, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates gave as much as $40 million to the Clinton Foundation. In contrast, six similar non-governmental global charities collected no money from those same four Middle Eastern countries; the International Committee of the Red Cross was given $6.82 million.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The best Kangxi blue and white pieces are said to be from the middle period of his reign and the blue is said to be ‘kingfisher blue.’

      1. tegnost

        wow, a charles olsen ref,
        my fave among many in this work is
        “When the attentions change / the jungle
        leaps in
        even the stones are split
        they rive”
        now it’s a good morning for sure, I’ll spend the day thinking about how what is valuable today can be worth nothing tomorrow…thanks
        next up john ashbery
        “These lacustrine cities grew out of loathing
        Into something forgetful, although angry with history.
        They are the product of an idea: that man is horrible, for instance,
        Though this is only one example.”
        one might figure he’s speaking of chicago but I think ashbery wrote on a sidewalk typewriter in front of a new york publishing house…pleasantly surprised to find him still alive and in ratchesta

        1. tegnost

          maybe frank o’hara was the typer in the street can’t remember or find a link, but they were acquainted so maybe both of them

          1. clinical wasteman

            Whichever of those two it was, the mention of both is definitely day-improving (though it’s actually night) here.
            As far as I recall O’Hara was more given to scrawling on scraps of paper, so perhaps the typist was his close friend Ashbery (who is not just alive, he’s still writing things like this:
            A story I do remember though is that O’Hara wrote the nerve-rendingly lovely ‘Sleeping on the Wing’ ( in 10 minutes, for a bet.

      2. clinical wasteman

        Kingfishers are fierce and beautiful things (seen at the extremities of two hemispheres).
        Likewise: opening NC and finding Charles Olson!
        Led me to open Maximus at random …
        first thing I saw was:
        “…the mocking bird
        drove me hard (mocking
        me? if he mocks 28
        different sorts of
        song does a mocking bird not also mock
        the living person? such curiosity
        to looking in on
        the secrets of
        my cabinet as well
        as the songs of
        his companion
        birds) …”

    1. voxhumana

      Ravel’s Kingfisher song – one of the greats!

      “Le martin-pêcheur”, from Histoires naturelles

      Ça n’a pas mordu, ce soir,
      mais je rapporte une rare émotion.

      Comme je tenais ma perche de ligne tendue,
      un martin-pêcheur est venu s’y poser.

      Nous n’avons pas d’oiseau plus éclatant.
      Il semblait une grosse fleur bleue
      au bout d’une longue tige.
      La perche pliait sous le poids.
      Je ne respirais plus, tout fier d’être pris
      pour un arbre par un martin-pêcheur.

      Et je suis sûr qu’il ne s’est pas envolé de peur,
      mais qu’il a cru qu’il ne faisait que passer
      d’une branche à une autre.

      (Nothing bit this evening,
      but I felt once more a rare emotion.

      As I held my pole with line out,
      a kingfish landed on it.

      There is no more striking bird.
      It seemed like a giant blue flower
      at the end of a long stem.
      The pole bent under its weight.
      I dared not breathe, proud to have been taken
      for a tree by a kingfisher.

      And I was certain that he did not take off from fear,
      but because he believed he was only passing
      from one branch to another.)

      sung here by Gerard Souzay:

      Ravel created a one-of-a-kind tempo marking for this… “On ne peut plus lent” – One can not go more slowly or it’s not possible to do more slowly.


        1. abynormal

          isn’t it tho!…never know what treasured musings The NC will plant.

          There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.
          Michel de Montaigne

  3. Don Midwest USA

    Corruption of political parties is easy to expose

    Won’t see this 8 minute video on corporate media as they rake in billions from the “election”, or better yet, it is a “selection”

    Obama Is Pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership So Clinton Won’t Have To (Video)

    President Obama is rushing to pass the sovereignty-crushing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the lame duck session of Congress in order to save Hillary Clinton from revealing that she supports it, which she’ll have to do if she wins the White House, says Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks.”

    Both Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump came out against the deal in the primary season. Critics, including Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, say the TPP enables corporations to sue signatory governments that pass laws, rules and regulations that cut into their profits by protecting workers, the public or the environment.

    1. pretzelattack

      he’s with her. or she’s with him, or something. at this point, i’m expecting they will get it done but hoping not. how will we disentangle ourselves without paying huge bucks to corporations? i know that’s a feature, not a bug.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The rich work very hard (in their own unique style, not measurable in hours or days). They think, daydream, night dream about more money and power all the time.

      That kind of hard work.

      With TTP out of the way before November, perhaps Hillary can concentrate on other, grander projects (otherwise not possible).

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      I myself was homeless in Santa Cruz many years ago. I was issued a ticket for sleeping in the park. I appeared at my court date but didn’t have $25 to pay the ticket. The judge sentenced me to one day in jail. (I have no idea if if it was legal for him to do this.)

      They put me in the holding cell. There were a bunch of guys in this holding cell waiting to be sentenced. They had already been convicted; they were awaiting their sentences and were eager to go to a real prison where life was better than in the small jail where they had been housed.

      They were in for Murder One, Armed Robbery— stuff like that. They asked me what I was in for. “Sleeping in the park.”

      That judge was trying to tell me something. He was the best friend I ever had. Not long after that I joined the US Army.

      1. pretzelattack

        joining the army isn’t an option for most people, and the rents are through the roof. the only option seems to be what this woman and her kids did. there’s not another california to go to anymore, to escape this crisis. they can be homeless someplace cheaper, maybe, a reverse dust bowl migration.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Back in those days, you could go into the army and not go to war. It’s a different world now.

          1. JTMcPhee

            EOTW, I think that bit about “not go to war” is pretty wrong. The vast majority of military personnel never experience combat. Less than 5%, as far as I can tell. Hard to find a hard answer, this one is less than convincing but jibes with my own Vietnam-era experience:

            Of course if one defines “go to war” as “put on the uniform,” and take part in the supply and procurement and maintenance and deployment and logistics chains, I guess it fits…

            Let me add another couple of insights I ran across for this: “Why Soldiers Fight,” (hint: not to Save Democracy) –

            And this disgusting smart from 0bombaland: “Military Skills For America’s Future: Leveraging Military Service And Experience To Put Veterans and Military Spouses Back To Work,

            And this little snippet: “FBI Announces That Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military,” , just like prisons and neighborhoods, eh?

            Of course it all works out, because Xtian Fundamentalists are boring in from other directions, bringing the Gospel of Revelation to the Troops and Airmen and Marines — all part of Necessary Indoctrination:

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              This is the old metric to make it seem like the army is safe, but agent orange, ieds, depleted uranium, etc, have radically changed the risks.

            2. EndOfTheWorld

              Right, you could enlist right now in a non combat MOS, and maybe never see combat. But during the Iraq debacle they were using any warm body to drive on the convoys, and these were the people getting killed or crippled with IED’s. So anything is possible.

              Back in the eighties when I joined I was pretty sure there were no wars on the horizon, since VietNam had just ended and we had “learned our lesson.”

              1. fresno dan

                August 24, 2016 at 9:48 am

                I tend to agree. When I got out in 1980, I didn’t enlist in the reserves caused it just seemed like the waste of a good weekend – EVERYBODY back than thought you joined the reserves to GET OUT of going to war zones. I was astounded to learn that reservists actually were sent to Iraq.
                Just another example of how the zeitgeist has changed in the course of my life.

        2. jrs

          well if they have a job in california (some homeless work) somewhere cheaper only makes sense if they can get a job there (and there is no guarantee of that not because the job market in Cali is great but just because it’s not great in Cali or most elsewhere), but for unemployed homeless with nothing, I always wonder why they don’t go somewhere cheaper as well, the answer given is they have family and friends locally, family and friends are good in theory, but if their family and friends are letting them sleep on the streets then one should reconsider if one even wants to maintain a relationship with them. They are fair weather family and friends for sure, staying somewhere to see a dependent child (after a divorce or something) is different of course.

      2. Benedict@Large

        Sorry, but that story is a nonsense on so many levels. Prisons simply do not work like that.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            At that time, the jail was on one side of the river, the courthouse was on the other side of the river. There was a tunnel going under the river. So these guys were waiting to go to the courthouse to be sentenced.

            This was almost forty years ago. I’m going from memory. But the incident stuck in my mind.

        1. pretzelattack

          it’s a county jail, though, i think they house all types of alleged offenders together. and they do keep people in jail if they can’t pay the fine, “working” off so much of the amount per day.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            The thing is, I wasn’t sleeping all night in the park. (I had a place back in the woods for that.) It was daytime when I was apprehended. I wasn’t even asleep. So I was ticketed for relaxing in a park, with my eyes closed.

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              Could be they just put me in the holding cell because there were no standard cells available. They just kept me there a few hours. But I’ve always believed the judge threw me in with these hardened criminals to tell me something.

              Slightly OT, but did you hear about the guys that burglarized the viagra factory?… They were hardened criminals.

        2. Romancing the Loan

          What about his story strikes you as implausible?

          I am a criminal defense lawyer currently practicing and it sounds fine to me.

        3. Otis B Driftwood

          Jails certainly do. I had the pleasure of spending a night in the Cook County jail in Chicago in the early 80’s. Pretty much the same experience as described by EOW, although I was there for different reasons (a stupid friend I was with that night mouthed off to a Chicago cop).

          Anyway, it reinforced my resolve to finish school (and find better friends).

          1. Mark P.

            County jail in the 1980s worked exactly as EndOf The World describes.

            I had traffic/moving violations worth $1000 in three different Bay Area counties in the and turned myself in to get ‘credit for time served,’ which was automatic then and would wipe that $1000 away. Last jail I went to was in Berkeley and I sat waiting to see the judge alongside murderers brought in from Santa Rita state jail to get sentenced.

    2. afisher

      As people rage about this and that, have they forgotten that after the 2008 Wall Street Meltdown, that Hedge Funds bought up huge swaths of homes, jacked up the price and are now raking in the profit from buying cheap and renting as high as possible.

      That is the capitalism that unfortunately, many in the mainstream want to remain and the outsiders are ignoring or blaming only some of the Real Estate Brokers and giving others in the same business a lily-white hall pass.

      1. tegnost

        who appointed ben bernanke to continue to head the fed? Who appointed Tim “foam the runway” Geithner to treasury? Can you say Quantitative Easing? Who has endlessly supported non prosecution of “too big to fail” bank crimes? Spare me.

  4. Steve H.

    – A Tale of Two Standoffs

    This article is a bit confused. The only thing that puts it together is this statement: “Yet myths can be stronger than reality. The people who most benefited from state intervention now claim that the West was won by rugged individualists freed from governmental control.” And only if, in that case, the gist is that Cliven’s group was a sad case of myth-induced delusion.

    But that does not seem to be the case. To say “enforcement agents shot and killed a man who pulled a gun on them” (which he did not) without the name of the man, Lavoy Finicum, furthers dehumanization and lowers the integrity of the article.

    1. pretzelattack

      well, the clivens were benefitting from the state, and ripping off the taxpayers. granted it was a smaller scale grift, but they were on the whole treated much better than some other protestors. one guy got shot, at the end, and he did have a gun in his hand, unlike many other people the cops have shot.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        It’s my understanding the Cliven ancestors were indeed the first white men to settle the area and start raising cattle, and because of that there’s a little bit of a gray area about the land rights. That’s why left them alone the first time.Then they went too far by taking over the fed building.

        Of course, the Indians were there before the Clivens, but they probably signed some crooked treaty giving up everything for beads and blankets.

        1. sleepy

          I don’t know about Oregon but the Nevada constitution states that:

          That the people inhabiting said territory do agree and declare, that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States; and that lands belonging to citizens of the United States, residing without the said state, shall never be taxed higher than the land belonging to the residents thereof; and that no taxes shall be imposed by said state on lands or property therein belonging to, or which may hereafter be purchased by, the United States, unless otherwise provided by the congress of the United States.

          There’s been an amendment but it’s not effective until the US cedes ownership to Nevada.

      2. LifelongLib

        My sister lives in an agricultural area that would be practically uninhabitable without Federal dam and irrigation projects, but says that anti-government sentiment there is widespread. Yet another example of people not realizing the importance (for good or ill) of governance.

    2. Eclair

      I admit that I am a bit confused by your comment, Steve H. Are you disagreeing with the premise that so many people in the US, especially in the Western part of the continent, believe in so strongly; the narrative that ‘the West was won by stalwart individuals who, on their own, conquered the land and made it productive and now ‘own’ it?

      Or are you pissed because police shot and killed a white guy?

      You certainly have a right to be angry.

      But, you might want to re-read the article and listen to the author’s argument that shreds the ‘individualist’ narrative; settlers had the backing of the US Government all the way. From ‘free’ land, to extermination of Indigenous peoples by the US Cavalry, to Treaties imposed, by force, on the various tribes, that herded them into areas of the West that were away from the migration routes and that had not yet caught the eye of the Government or of various ‘entrepreneurs’ as being worthy of exploitation.

      And, that narrative, of ‘Go West’ and get yourself a piece of land, is now even more harmful than it was 200 years ago. In 1850, there was a ‘West’ of unpolluted rivers, thousands of bison and games birds, hundreds of miles of prairie. The fact that these lands, the rivers, the mountains were already inhabited by nations of people who relied on the bison and the fish and the fruits of the prairies for their whole existence, was immaterial. They were not white and they were not christian, therefore, by Papal Degree, they did not exist.

      Now, there is no more ‘West’ to go to. The Settlers have spread like a creeping mold from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fouling the water and the air, exterminating bison, fish and fowl. People like Cliven Bundy are dinosaurs; they are clinging to an outmoded myth, as useless in today’s gasping planet, as the Greek myths of Zeus’ thunderbolts and spiteful river nymphs. The idea that we can continue to exist as a human species by buying up pieces of the earth and preceding to plunder it … of grass, of water, of minerals or of oil, is more than dangerous; it is suicidal.

      The Lakota and Sioux do not have a word that expresses individual ownership of a piece of the earth; I do not think that traditional belief even separates the individual from the rocks, the trees, the mountains, the water. A few years ago, a NC commenter mentioned a book, “Blackfoot Physics”, by theoretical physicist, F. David Peat. It is an amazing journey into a different way of seeing the world. Our Western world view, bolstered by the myths celebrating the separateness and power of humans over the rest of the world, has brought the planet, well the human part of it, to the brink of destruction. If we want to survive, perhaps we should consider a world view whose myths embed the human into the world around us; aware that the molecules of our being were and will become part of the molecules of the river, the earth, the bacteria, the bison and humans as yet unborn.

          1. Eclair

            Nice link, Tom. Thanks. And, Three Quarks Daily: Science, Literature, Arts, Politics and ….
            yea!….. Gossip.

  5. DorothyT

    SEC fines Apollo

    (Note that Apollo is highly involved with CalPERS. This article is also relevant to Yves’ posting today regarding CalPERS.)

    The settlement resolves accusations that Apollo misled its investors — about two different issues — and separately failed to supervise a senior executive suspected of misconduct. The executive, who was not named or charged in the S.E.C. case, was twice caught “improperly charging personal items and services” to Apollo’s funds and, by extension, its investors, the S.E.C. said.

      1. DorothyT


        Even more interesting is the long history in California with Apollo. As detailed in the complaint you linked, the defendents are the Apollo private equity funds that were created when then CA Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi placed CA domiciled Executive Life Insurance Co. in conservation (1991). It’s assets were ‘sold in a highly disputed auction’ to Leon Black who created Apollo to house them, then the world’s largest junk bond portfolio, which he’d helped create at Drexel. Black was Michael Milken’s #2 guy at Drexel. Drexel was in bankruptcy at this time; Milken was in prison.

        An honest broker at the then CA Atty. Gen’s office filed this complaint against Apollo, Black and others. Said honest broker suddenly ‘took an early retirement.’ The Insurance Commissioner fought successfully to have the A.G.’s suit dismissed. It has been said by the NAIC (Nat’l Assn of Insurance Commissioner) and others that Executive Life was never insolvent. The fortune that Apollo made off transacting that portfolio is ample proof of that.

        For interesting reading, here’s the A.G.’s press release. The link to his complaint is attached. 360,000 insurance policyholders had their policy values and annuity payments decimated: more than a $7B loss as of 2005.

        Oh, the A.G. went on to become CA Treasurer. On CalPERS board for years. Apollo became a prime investment advisor to CalPERS, including hiring an insider as a “placement agent” for Apollo securities. The sinister beauty of this relationship was that CA state employees and retirees were rewarding Apollo a second time on this portfolio that Leon Black had wrested from under the noses of 360,000 insurance policyholders.

        1. andy silton

          Dorothy — yes, Apollo and CalPERs have a long and checkered history. CalPERS was also an important “keystone” client that made it “safe” for other institutions to commit huge sums to Apollo’s funds over the years. And despite all the “sophistication” of institutional investors, it took an SEC audit to unearth problems.

    1. Hana M

      Maurice, your Guardian link about the ice free Arctic chimed with this story from Singapore’s Business Times about a giant cruise ship that will sail through the once impassable Northwest Passage “The Crystal Serenity, which set off from Seward, Alaska on August 16 with nearly 1,000 passengers, is scheduled to dock in New York on September 17.

      The voyage marks the first time a passenger ship this size sails the storied Northwest Passage where warmer temperatures and melting ice are opening the Arctic – one of the most pristine places on Earth – for business.

      Passengers on board the US$350 million vessel paid between US$22,000 and US$120,000 for the journey, which took three years of planning and preparation to avoid any mishaps, including a repeat of the Titanic.”

      One part of me is deeply jealous and longs to be on that cruise….the other half sides with Will Oremus at Slate who writes “It is a historic voyage, one that marks the opening of one of Earth’s last frontiers. It is also an abomination – a massive, diesel burning, waste-dumping, ice-destroying, golf-ball-smacking middle finger to what remains of the planet.”

      1. JTMcPhee

        Speaking of chiming and rhyming, remember the bit in Michale Moore’s “Roger and Me” where the wealthy privileged elite of Flint, MI (yeah, THAT Flint) paid to get to spend a pretend night as “prisoners” (with room service, of course) in the new jail the city fathers built to house all the new criminals created by GM’s offshoring of 30,000 jobs and closing a profitable manufacturing operation in Flint.

        This summary of the movie ought to ring lots of bells for the rest of us mopes facing further decimation and decline to please the Ruling Elites:

        Roger Smith had recently been appointed chairman of General Motors, which was doing spectacularly well at the time, and Flint was prosperous and happy. That is, until Moore decided his only allegiance was to the fat cats who own General Motors, and not to the people who’d worked for it for decades. It didn’t help that the mid-’80s was also a boom period for corporate downsizing (the partial subject of Moore’s later “The Big One”). In a very short time in 1986, Smith laid of 30,000 workers in Flint, closing down factories and completely destroying a way of life — and very nearly destroying the city. They opened plants instead in Mexico, where workers are paid much less.

        In a short time, people were evicted from their homes; no jobs were available — all those plant closures and layoffs — and so many had to leave Flint that the local truck rental companies simply ran out of trucks. Instead of the city government having the balls to criticize General Motors, they launched into desperate-sounding but hopeless boosterism. A huge hotel was built downtown, along with a vast shopping mall and the “amusement” park AutoWorld. All of them went out of business in short order.

        Money Magazine listed Flint as the worst city to live in of all American cities, which roused a lot of short-lived indignation on the part of Flint residents. The crime rate soared so rapidly that when a much larger city jail was built, it was instantly filled.

        Moore was shocked by all this, and decided to scrape together enough money to shoot a documentary about GM’s devastating impact on his home town. Initially, he planned to cover everything in much the matter of most documentaries — interviews with locals, pro and con, views of the crumbling city, and interviews with GM executives, including, of course, Roger Smith. Naively, Moore assumed that he could saunter into GM corporate headquarters in jeans, a windbreaker and a baseball cap, in great need of a haircut and a diet. He was honest and straightforward, however — enough so that every attempt to get to Smith was rebuffed.

        This gave him a new structure for the documentary. More than he’d originally planned, Moore himself became the central figure, and the structure was his endless quest to get an interview with Smith (hence the ironic title). He still did interview Michiganders famous and unknown, from game show host Bob Eubanks (who unguardedly tells an anti-Semitic joke) to laid-off factory workers, and a disarming/distrubing woman who advertises bunnies and rabbits for sale — for pets or food. To Moore’s surprise, she killed and butchered a bunny while he watched, filming the whole disquieting event. In the commentary track (as opposed to his narration), Moore is still amazed and appalled by this — a woman in modern America who has to do work you’d associate with the poor in a Third World country.

        “Roger & Me” at first seems to be a breezy, ironic stroll through a collapsing economy, but there’s plenty of information here. A visit to a post office reveals that during the period the film covers (about two and a half years), there were at least 82,000 changes of address filed. Flint wound up with the highest unemployment rate in the United States — and it needn’t have happened. GM closed down the plants when it was prosperous, not hemorrhaging money. In the commentary track, recorded in May, 2003, Moore reveals that after the time of the film, there were even more job losses. From a high of employing 82,000 citizens of Flint, GM now employs only $15,000. And, he says, all this happened while a Democrat, not a Republican, was President of the United States.

        Although he couldn’t get to Smith, Moore was given surprising access to other aspects of financially-devastated Flint. Wealthy women out for a morning of golf blithely say that laid-off workers should just get other jobs as they tee off. The opening of the jail is celebrated by a kind of jail night, with wealthy Flint residents paying for the “honor” of staying a night in the slammer. A “Great Gatsby” party for the millionaires of Grosse Pointe is staffed with laid-off factory workers who’re hired to play human statues. Guests at the party freely chat with Moore, expressing more clearly than a narrator ever could the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor in this country that stresses equality.

        1. Mopey van Kalika

          A similar event, the “Escape from Angola” triathlon in Louisiana, was shut down this year due to numerous loud complaints from those who were amazed that this sort of thing is still (or was ever) being organized. The planners seemed genuinely shocked by the backlash. One of the perks was that the runners got to spend a night on an old death row cell block. As the article linked below mentions Angola is “also home to the state’s death row, where a federal appeals court ruled this summer that inmates weren’t entitled to access to air conditioning. Several death row inmates sued in 2013 after heat indices reached as high as 172 degrees in their cells. “I feel like I’m on fire,” one testified.”

        2. JamesG

          ” Although he couldn’t get to Smith …”

          There’s a documentary out there the entirety of which I watched years ago. I was by two Canadians who began as admirers of Moore but who changed their minds as they got to know him.

          The final scene was an interview with the then-retired Roger Smith who came across as a typically-honest naive Midwesterner. The essence of the filmed interview: he had agreed to meet with Moore and a long interview had actually been held. Simple, honest Roger Smith could not understand why anyone would tell such an outrageous lie, let alone construct a film based on it.

          1. Vatch


            Moore rejected allegations he successfully managed to interview Roger Smith and then left that footage on the cutting room floor, telling the Associated Press: “Anyone who says that is a fXXXing liar.” The filmmaker accepted having had a “good five minutes of back-and-forth” with Smith about a tax abatement issue after ambushing him at a shareholders’ meeting in 1987, but maintained this specific questioning occurred before work began on Roger & Me and was not connected to the film. “Any exchange with Roger Smith would have been valuable,” said Moore, before suggesting that if he truly had landed an interview with Smith during production and then suppressed the footage, General Motors would have publicized the details to discredit him. “I’m so used to listening to the stuff people say about me, it just becomes entertainment for me at this point. It’s a fictional character that’s been created with the name of Michael Moore.”

            Documentary maker John Pilger wrote that, far from being an impartial portrait of the filmmaker, Manufacturing Dissent “appears to have been timed to discredit, if not Sicko, then Moore himself”, assailing him “with a blunderbuss of assertions and hearsay”

            As so often happens, I have no idea what the truth is.

            1. JTMcPhee

              JamesG — do you have any factual disputes with any of the factual stuff Moore laid out in his documentary? The crushing of a city political economy by “executive fiat,” moving “production” offshore to increase profits ? Rich sh!ts whooping it up at a First Night Opening in a new jail built to house all the new criminals created by the crushing of that political economy? The arrogance of GM executives, or their typicality of the effing breed? The acceleration of inequality? Destruction of even “opportunity,” of housing stock, of utilities and infrastructure? Leading at last to the last poke in the eye with a sharp stick, the eff-you pumping of acidic water into a lead-pipe public water distribution system, that other thing that has fled across the idiot screen of consciousness?

              And got any impeachment to serve up regarding “Sicko!” And “Where To invade Next?” Any factual impeachment, that is?

              But let us continue the fine art of ninja impeachment and drive-by insinuendo, that wonderful portmanteau by the old Mayor Daley. All part of the great decline into entropy, albeit with pleasure centers fully engaged for the very few and the people who hang out with them, hoping for an extra ration of crumbs…

              FUD. What too many of us are so terribly good at generating. In case you forget what it means, and in case you are maybe just parroting what the Narrative has been stuffing us up with to discredit critics like Moore

          2. a different chris

            “Simple, honest Roger Smith”. OMG. Because that’s what it takes to become head of what at the time was nearly if not was for sure the world’s largest corporation.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Mythical or a story orally transmitted down from a previous global-warming period?

          Probably mythical, I think..

      2. polecat

        Wouldn’t it be ironic if, in making the Passage, it got caught in one of those nasty low pressure systems that frequent the Arctic Sea…..

        “…..there’s got to be a morning after………”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Or a giant iceberg near by suddenly breaks up.

          Less likely, though, is a pole-reversal. In that case, I wonder if all the self-driving cars will all go in reverse…at the same time.

            1. Skippy

              Ha.. Clive used to live next door to an old mate in Denver, back in the day, affable and knowledgeable bloke.

              Disheveled Marsupial… bed time story’s for middle aged men… easy reading with pow pow…

              PS. still waiting for the hoards from Indonesia to descend on Oz…

              1. optimader

                Fun braincandy as recorded books when commuting/traveling Shrewd guy having co-authors putting ink to pulp. always fun stuff

          1. polecat

            They’ll just spin and do multiple 360’s …… burning all that rubber …… down to the rims! ;’)

      1. TalkingCargo

        Well it might be a downer if I actually believed it. But McPherson is predicting a ~6 C rise in temperature by 2026 and he calls this a “conservative” estimate. That _might_ be possible, but it
        seems very unlikely. I think of posts like this as “Chicken Little” posts – designed to convince people
        that the sky is falling. There always seems to be a lot of them around.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        Ask him if he’ll sign over home and all his other property to be yours after fifteen years from today. He has no reason to say no if he believes in his own rhetoric. I’d bet real money he makes some lame excuse to weasel out instead.

        This works on unmasking all doomers and end of worlders stupid enough to set a date.

        1. Milton

          Yea, he’s definitely the oppo of a climate denier. The Chris Hedges of climate, if you will. I guess his hypotheses is easily verifiable – if we’re still around in 20 years it’s all poppycock.

          Good idea about the quit claim on his home. He lives in Encinitas – a nice beach town up the road. I wouldn’t mind spending my retirement years up there.

        2. pretzelattack

          well the scientists do set some ranges, based on likelihood, which is all they can do since politics enters into it. i believe a few have won bets with climate deniers about it continuing to get hotter. i haven’t seen any predicting a 6 degree rise by 2026.

        3. pretzelattack

          the sad thing is the climate change deniers call people like james hansen doomers, etc.

          1. polecat

            well, it IS the mostly the supposedly conservative
            religious folk, you know, the ones who believe in the great flood…and are just iching to visit that rich mans ark in where, Pennsylvania ?! yeah…doomers!

        4. a different chris

          Ummm, – share your skepticism but he has plenty of reason to say “no”, this is an econ site after all. To wit:

          Why should he sign it over to you if I offer him a buck for that piece of paper that he can spend today, and why should he sign it to me if say Lambert would offer him 2 bucks, and so on. To eventually come to enough money that he can enjoy the “remaining” 15 years in better style than he currently expects.

          And why would anybody give him that?

      3. clarky90

        “This figure shows climate change over the last 65 million years. The data are based on a compilation of oxygen isotope measurements (δ18O) on benthic foraminifera by Zachos et al. (2001) which reflect a combination of local temperature changes in their environment and changes in the isotopic composition of sea water associated with the growth and retreat of continental ice sheets”.

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        McPherson does come off as something of a nutter. As for signing over his house and property — I’m not sure you’d want it — he sold the house he lived in before becoming a climate doomer and moved to someplace out in the New Mexico desert and tried to start a commune if I recall correctly — and not around Taos, Sante Fe or Albuquerque. While ~6 degrees by 2026 is relatively pessimistic for a temperature increase of ~6 degrees is within the possible for a couple of the IPCC “business-as-usual” scenarios. Do you really feel better if it happens in 2090 instead of 2026?

        I recently listened to one of the podcasts at CounterPunch from 4/11/2016 [] which featured the climate scientist Kevin Hester in its second hour (if you’re a Sanders backer like me you might have some trouble getting through the first hour interview of Paul Street). Hester commented how he also thought McPherson was overreacting until he made a close reading of the pre-peer-reviewed version of the latest paper by Hansen et. al. [Hester characterized the differences between the pre-peer-reviewed and the peer-reviewed as little more than a series of word substitutions added to tone down the conclusions of the paper — for example Hansen’s exponential rate of temperature increase became a non-linear rate of temperature increase. Part of McPherson’s sky-is-falling is based on modeling what happens when various scenarios for methane release are added in. From what I could gather from the Hester interview — the Hansen paper postulates a potential tipping point where a huge amount of methane gas is suddenly released. [I still haven’t read the Hansen paper and will have to make the effort although I found it tough going the first time I made an attempt.]

        What bothers me about all this is that we don’t need a 6 degree Centigrade (the prediction is Centigrade) temperature increase to experience major catastrophes — like the recent storm in Louisiana, the drought and fires in California, the Category 5 hurricane which hit Fiji a while back. All we should require to experience a downer would be enough change in weather and weather patterns to adversely affect our farming production or the supply of fresh water like the problems facing Sao Paulo Brazil or Rio.

        I did follow the Wiki reference to the diagram showing the climate change for the last 65 million years. The climate change shown was stated in terms of oxygen 18 concentrations in benthic foraminifera but I have no idea what point I’m supposed to takeaway from that. How many million years ago did giant crocodiles hunt in the warm arctic seas? I have a feeling the house where I’m sitting right now would have been under a fair amount of warm water — or might not have risen from the depths by that time.

        1. polecat

          Well ok then …… here’s to the future evolution of the human race …… last one to grow a blow hole is a rotten… er… egg-laying marsupial !

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I moderate a board dominated by Brits and there is a strain of poster that quite palpably delights in gleefully spinning post-brexit doom scenarios, and who will no doubt be crushed if those scenarios never come to pass.

    1. fresno dan

      Only a cynic (moi?!) could suggest that the FBI has an inordinate amount of perverts who use the site to satisfy their own lusts….

    2. pretzelattack

      and they say government bureaucrats can’t run a business. why look at the cia and heroin. usa!

  6. rich

    Hillary Blasts For-Profit Colleges, but Bill Took Millions From One

    ‘Here for Good’

    According to tax returns released by the Clinton campaign, the Clintons earned a total $22 million from for-profit education companies. Laureate’s paychecks to Bill Clinton made up the bulk of that, with $17.6 million going to Clinton in his role as honorary chancellor from 2010 to 2015. He quit that role 12 days before Hillary Clinton announced her run for president. A spokesperson told NBC News Tuesday that his five-year contract expired at that time.

    The education company and the ex-president maintain ties that go back years, with former appointees in Clinton’s administration in high positions at the company. Walden’s current President, Jonathan Kaplan, worked in Clinton’s administration, serving as special assistant to the president for economic policy. One of Walden’s colleges, the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, is named for Richard Riley, former secretary of the US Dept. of Education under Clinton and a former board member at Laureate.

    Laureate’s CEO, Douglas Becker, is a longtime Democratic donor and friend to the Clintons. Laureate has donated between $1 and $5 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, and has partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative on several projects, including a commitment to the charity to offer scholarships to teachers around the world.

    1. Anne

      I had done some reading not too long ago about the Laureate Education/Bill Clinton connections, and am glad to see it surfacing again – the linked article was pretty much a print version of what NBC Nightly News aired last night.

      Listening to some of the students talk with McFadden about how much money they had spent, how many years they kept borrowing money to get the degrees they wanted, how deeply in debt they got, and contrasting that – or perhaps, connecting the dots – with how much money is being paid to Laureate executives, it’s clear that, much like the Clinton Foundation is a corrupt organization packaged to look like a charity, Laureate/Walden exists to make money and does so under cover of being an educational institution. Oh, it confers degrees, and as the article shows, some students were very happy with their educational experience (maybe not so much with the high cost to them of getting it).

      The student loan industry is part and parcel of the whole skeezy operation – it’s the oil that lubricates the engine and it’s hugely financially rewarding for everyone but the students:

      The federal student loan program has been good to Walden University. According to several studies, Walden students carry some of the highest student loan debts in the country. A 2015 Brookings Institution study found that by 2014 Walden students had accumulated $9.8 billion in debt, second only to the University of Phoenix. A 2015 study by the Center for American Progress found that Walden students received the most federal graduate loans in the 2013-2014 academic year, with over $756 million. The 2012 Senate investigation found that over 70 percent of the school’s revenue came from federal financial aid programs.

      Of course Bill Clinton was “pleased to support their mission to expand access to higher education, particularly in emerging markets” – why wouldn’t he be? They were paying him millions of dollars!

      What a cesspool of greed and corruption – and if elected, that’s the sensibility Hillary Clinton will bring to the WH; she will have expanded her market for personal wealth and power. I can’t vote for that, I just can’t. These people need to be ridden out of town post haste.

        1. Anne

          If I had wanted to make a case for Trump being different, I would have. I have no interest in making that case, or defending his actions. If he was the only choice in this election, I would not vote for him.

          But your question is disturbing because it ignores the fact that it actually is possible just to discuss what a particular person or persons did or are doing without framing it in terms of what anyone else did or is doing. I’m not interested in making a case for which of these grifters is worse, or resting my arguments in the land of well-it-isn’t-illegal-so-what’s-the-big-deal?

          Both the Clintons and Trump seem to have made a career out of using everything at their disposal to steer money and power their way – and regardless of which of them is elected, that isn’t going to change. It’s just who they are” it’s always, always about them.

  7. fresno dan

    The average American family had the same amount of wealth in 2013 as it did in 1989 World Economic Forum (Emma)

    Not a problem because there has been such a small, small, insignificant amount of inflation since then (need I say “sarc”)

    To paraphrase Mish, “Things you need to live have plenty of inflation, crap you don’t need to live is getting cheaper”
    If only I could live in a flat screen TV…

      1. abynormal

        While the poor people sleepin’
        With the shade on the light
        While the poor people sleepin’
        All the stars come out at night
        S. Dan

      2. fresno dan

        August 24, 2016 at 10:32 am

        The best “toy” I ever had as a child is the cardboard box our washing machine came in when I was about ?6? years old, as we switched from a wringer washing machine to the square kind.
        I loved that box. Sitting in it out in the Fresno sun when it was 105 degrees….and if sometimes my comments seem asparagus Zeus taffy it may be due to a few fried neurons…..

          1. fresno dan

            so…played by “The mighty Johnsons”
            I wonder what they’re getting at?
            Unfortunately, Netflix does not have them….

            1. McKillop

              Round our home ‘asparagus’ was named ‘bird’s kiss’ by my eldest son when he was a wee tyke. Still known as bird’s kiss 18 years later.

    1. cm

      Trader Joes is now advertising roses by the 9. Remember when they used to be sold by the dozen? Same price of course…

      Good thing there’s no inflation!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Instead of composing epic love poems, would-be Romeos are just churning out short haikus.

        “Nine roses to go with my lovely seventeen syllables.”

      2. fresno dan

        August 24, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        and don’t get me started on the number of petals…or what they smell (or don’t smell) like anymore….

      3. ewmayer

        9 … a.k.a. “a banker’s dozen”. Of course that euphemistic conversion ration needs to be revised downward every few years, because of the too-low-flation, dontchaknow.

    2. John k

      Problem is that the average includes the 1% that have been beneficiary of upward wealth transfer… Better metric would be average of the bottom 80%.

  8. JTMcPhee

    TPP and “national security:” Consider that the global armaments sector is already global in nature, thanks in part to corruption and with legal cover from artful Dodgers and facilitation from existing “trade agreements”) with pretty free movement of technology and actual bombs and aircraft and infantry toys and armor, and pretty much immune to any kind of regulation, let alone fiscal constraints, (old news, there’s lots more if one searched “global arms industry”). “We” (that is, nominal “US” corporations) happily skim a book able profit from “selling to the enemy” and “selling into conflict) and “our” military procurementeers happily buy weapons made in other “sovereignties” by corporations that like “ours,” are supra-trains-post-national. With zero “loyalty” or adherence (except in marketing materials) to the Sacred Homeland.

    And the armaments and related sectors are the beneficiaries of what there is in the way of MMT in the larger political economy, somehow the deciders of “policy” always find the money to pay for whatever the latest idiotic manufactured-threat “requirement” is, and find a way to “make it all nice and legal.”

    So the quoted statement about the TPP and other trade agreements being a threat to the “national security” is sort of nonsensical. Especially when applied to a “nation” where the Rulers have already committed to the present and long term disappearance of national sovereignty that already has been largely decimated by the free-form “war of choice” uninhibited by the niceties of “national borders” and without any kind of statement of “the national interest” (arguably impossible to make, given the realities) that has been ongoing and expanding for several decades.

    But hey, if the formulation has legs, and might help defeat the effing Corporatist Coup, go for it!

    “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

  9. DJG

    From the Baffler, a good analysis of the Green Party’s convention in Houston as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the party:

    The issue isn’t being a spoiler. The issue is knocking down rotten lumber without bringing the whole house down, which is feasible: The Constitution of the U.S. doesn’t foresee or condone party politics. And the author quotes a number of down-ballot candidates, which is also positive. The problem on the left is the fractiousness–to be part of a movement means not getting one’s way all the time. No one has the one big truth. (As we see with the Libertarians, white boys who don’t want to pay taxes and who think that some Market God will fix everything, just as the god of monotheism did, eh.)

  10. abynormal
    In May, New Zealand’s government announced that it was making 41 million dollars (US $30m) available to pay for 3,000 emergency housing places such as Alisia’s motel unit.
    There’s been confusion over the new policy – and over who will end up paying for the accommodation. There are reports that some families are running up debts as high as $50,000 with WINZ for their emergency housing, with little ability to ever repay the loans.

    The government social agency, Work and Income New Zealand or WINZ, paid 1,300 dollars (US $935) for her first week in the motel. They will recover this money by deducting 10 dollars (US $7) a week from her weekly 358 dollars (US $258) single parent’s benefit for the next two-and-a-half years. Two thirds of her weekly benefit is deducted before she sees it, to cover existing unpaid fines and loans, leaving her with just 120 dollars (US $85) a week for food for the family and petrol for the car.

    me n da crickets: No Comment

  11. hemeantwell

    Overselling A.D.H.D.: A New Book Exposes Big Pharma’s Role New York Times

    The article cites CBT as an alternative therapy. Less superficial therapy also works. A child being distraction-prone can arise from struggling with anxiety or anxiety mixed with depression. Unfortunately, there are many sources for those problems. Being a child is confusing and difficult, and an approach that incentivizes self-control without knowing what the child believes is out of control can amount to an inadequate bandaid.

    1. hunkerdown

      Or, the simple fact that Western civilization is crap. Children can read humans very well before they’re broken of the habit by authoritarian adults who want to keep lying to elevate themselves.

  12. abynormal

    HolySheetsBatman!: Bourne is a trained assassin, serving the system that has crafted him and is second nature to him.

    His immediate bosses are all corrupt and he outwits them all – and as he fights the good fight his boyish innocence translates into a false moral rectitude for an otherwise deeply amoral imperium that at the end of every “election” cycle will only offer the world the horror of a Hillary Clinton if it wishes to be saved from the nightmare of its Donald Trump.

    By the next election cycle, Bourne, as the rest of his generation, cannot remember one from the other. BAHAHAHAAAA

    1. fresno dan

      August 24, 2016 at 9:11 am

      It was Matt Damon himself who initially began a cogent comparison between Bond and Bourne. “I like Bourne better than Bond,” he says. “Bourne has today’s values; Bond has the values of the 1960s … whereas Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist – and he’s tortured by the things he’s done and feels empathy and compassion for other people.”
      The best description of Bourne is by A O Scott of The New York Times – that he is an “amnesiac assassin”. With that, Scott gives the best description of Bourne as the supreme simulacrum of US imperialism, without knowing it: “A man who runs on pure survival instinct as he tries to figure out who is after him and why…” This is George W Bush and his neo-con cabal, neurotically suspicious of a world they scarcely understand.

      “Bourne has today’s values; Bond has the values of the 1960s … whereas Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist…
      Hmmmm….is Damon being deeply ironic??? I note, with only the exception of that poor (so much irony?) girl coated in gold, that at least the women that Bond f*cked did not have to die to keep the movie franchise going….
      With Bourne, all the women he f*cks end up truly f*cked …..
      I think if I was a woman I’d go with the boozing, gambling, flippant, promiscuous Brit, instead of the serious, virtuous, and buff American…

      “…..and he’s tortured by the things he’s done and feels empathy and compassion for other people, (((especially babies tossed out of incubators)))” OK, OK I added the part in parenthesis….
      Which in movieland is always what compels so much ass whupping….

      1. polecat

        This is the very same Matt Damon …who’s ALL IN with…Her……”GAG”!

        checkmarking ANOTHER celeb to be tossed off into polecat’s garbage file !!!

        1. abynormal

          @ Polecat, i’m still smarting over Denzel Washington throwing her a party last night.
          Mattie narrated a 08 crash porn that wasn’t too bad…anything’s better than nothing for people still lost on the fact it happened. anywho, the flick ends with Matt “and as our economy recovers blah blah blah” …my ears pricked, caught fire and i was pissed! Matt, known for being laid back, harvard-‘smart’, a people kinda guy…placed future ecnomic blame squarely on the people paying for his life!
          fuck him an the rest!

      2. Emma

        Fresno Dan – It seems to have eluded Damon that neither Bourne or Bond are the domesticated types at all. They don’t erect floating shelves with a power drill, do they? So if Damon resorts to drivel like this to get a few extra inches in the press, then it’s high time Hollywood gave the world a female Bond or Bourne. Yeah, a woman with a lethal weapon to nail stereotypical poppycock like this!

        1. fresno dan

          August 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm

          “Salt” with Angelina Jolie

          Not a franchise though. Lousy movie or lousy actress I couldn’t say.
          I have to say, I just don’t care for Angelina.

          “Lucy” doesn’t make any sense, but Scarlett does a good ass whupping job

          The Girl with the Dragoon tatoo (the initial foreign version) shows a tough, resilient babe. Her getting even with her parole officer is worth the price of admission….

          For an “artsy” kick ass teen female film

  13. TarheelDem

    Does no one remember who was so adamant in the Senate about the state insurance regulators having control of the regulation of the system in their states implementing the Affordable Care Act? I remember it from the process then but cannot find a reference to which Senator it was. I’m thinking it was Kent Conrad, but I could be wrong.

    These price increases in Tennessee are at the state regulatory level in a state that from the beginning has wanted Obamacare to fail. They might have their wish.

    It is so nice that insurance company greed is putting healthcare reform back on the political table whether the politiicans like it or not. We now have clear evidence (as if we lacked it from other programs) that public-private systems institutionalize grifting.

    The options before the American people other than an continuing expensive, broken system are: Veterans Administration Health Care for all (classic UK National Health Service) and Medicare for All (what the code words “single-payer” are about). Despite Congress’s attempt to break the VA, it still has popularity among veterans; even conservative veterans will try to drive to a good VA hospital to get the benefits they earned in the military.

    Any single-payer system must eliminate the micro-managed fee-for-service accounting that allows stacking of charges, deductibles, co-pays, and balance billing that still stick even Medicare patients with large bills.

    Thanks, Tennessee regulators. Wonder when the Presidential candidates will be asked about our failing healthcare system and healthcare finance system.

    1. abynormal

      follow up on Getting Stung: a problem has emerged if Congress plans to follow the usual script and call Bresch to Capitol Hill next month to explain her company’s justification for raising the price on the life-saving allergy shot.

      As Bloomberg writes this morning, that could be awkward, since she’s the daughter of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

      This means that any hearing would likely reveal that close lobby ties between pharma companies and the US government: as Bloomberg adds, congressional anger may be fueled by the company’s tactics in pushing legislation that helped boost the use of EpiPens. Mylan spent about $4 million in 2012 and 2013 on lobbying for access to EpiPens generally and for legislation, including the 2013 School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Office of the Clerk for the House of Representatives. Mylan also was the top corporate sponsor of a group called Food Allergy Research & Education that was the key lobbyist pushing for the bill encouraging schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors, of which EpiPen is by far the leading product.
      ZH: Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a co-sponsor of the 2013 schools bill, asked Bresch in a letter Monday to explain the “shocking price increases.”

      However, in an interview Tuesday, he was less eager to talk about Bresch herself or the prospect that she might soon be testifying to the committee.

      He initially answered during one telephone call that he was unaware that she had any direct involvement in the pricing. Then, in a follow-up call, Blumenthal responded when asked again about the possibility of her coming before Congress by saying, “I am just not going to comment on that.”

      Ross Baker, who Bloomberg writes is a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said Tuesday that he assumes Bresch’s father, Manchin — who is not on the Judiciary Committee — would recuse himself “and put a lot of distance between himself and any investigation” into the matter. “He’d be unwise to rise to the defense of Mylan,” Baker said.

      As such, the populist freak out of Epipen may be cut short, as the Senate seeks to quickly sweep the scandal under the rug. The wheels appears to already be in motion: a spokeswoman for committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, said that as of Tuesday afternoon no hearing was scheduled. “And no comment beyond that,” said the spokeswoman, M.J. Henshaw.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Ain’t it amazing how the wheels of due process suddenly and mysteriously grind to a halt when Important People get caught up in them?

        They just circle the wagons, hunker down, and wait for the media caravan to roll on.

    2. fresno dan

      August 24, 2016 at 9:26 am

      American reform:
      1. all problems are caused by the rich not making enough money
      2. all solutions consist of making sure the rich get much, much more money
      3. occasionally, reforms have to be amended to make sure that the huge increases in money to the rich are revised to make sure ginormous increases in money to the rich are guaranteed….

  14. Tom

    Here’s another astonishing example of Clinton influence peddling, again courtesy of Judicial Watch. I’ve excerpted heavily, so go read the entire well-documented article. It’s not that long, but it is a doozy:

    Hillary State Dept. Helped Jailed Clinton Foundation Donor Get $10 Mil from U.S. for Failed Haiti Project

    The 725 pages of Clinton emails recently released by Judicial Watch shows that the State Department gave special access to top Clinton Foundation donors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. One egregious example is the case of a shady Miami businessman serving a 12-year prison sentence after scamming the government out of millions. His name is Claudio Osorio, a Clinton Foundation donor who got $10 million from the government after the Clinton State Department reportedly pulled some strings.
    Osorio got the money from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a federal agency that operates under the guidance of the State Department, to build houses in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. It appears that the Clinton State Department helped him get $10 million—which will never be repaid—because he was a Clinton Foundation donor.
    Some particularly damning evidence is in a document (go to pg. 3, 3rd graph) that shows an OPIC official recommending funding for Osorio’s Haiti project.

    In the document, the OPIC official writes that Osorio’s company had “U.S. persons of political influence that are able to assist in advancing the company’s plans.” It continues: “For instance, former President Bill Clinton is personally in contact with the Company to organize its logistical and support needs,” the document states. “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made available State Department resources to assist with logistical arrangements.” Additionally, the Clinton Global Initiative had “indicated that it would be willing to contract to purchase 6,500 homes in Haiti from InnoVida within the next year.”

    Less than 24 hours after the OPIC official submitted the recommendation, OPIC approved Osorio’s $10 million loan to build homes in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Osorio’s “Haiti project” was supposed to build 500 homes for displaced families in the aftermath of the earthquake. Instead, the project never broke ground and Osorio used the money to finance his lavish lifestyle and fund his illicit business ventures. Not one of the planned 500 homes was ever built and no one has been held accountable for giving the crooked businessman millions of taxpayer dollars.

    It’s all laid out in damning details by Judicial Watch. Any reputable news organization would pick up on the work they’ve done and be off to the races putting together a bombshell expose.

      1. Tom

        Indeed. The document dumps provide X-ray-like clarity as to how Clinton corruption has metastasized throughout the body politic. I’m no expert, but it looks like Stage IV to me.

    1. flora

      Oddly enough, the job of Inspector General for the State Department (an independent watchdog position) was left vacant while Hillary was Sec. of State.

      1. abynormal

        dang i forgot about that flora, HT! maybe Americans aren’t necessarily ignorant or indifferent but Overwhelmed with the Abundant Corruption….hate it when my projector heats up. i was abducted by the C.R.A.F.T. Club around 2010 :/

        1. Tom

          The scope of the corruption does seem overwhelming. In fact, it seems like a fundamental operating principal of the Clinton dynasty since the Little Rock days. And the resulting administrative by-product of conducting all that corruption — the staggering number of documents, letters, memos, emails sent, forwarded, revised or deleted, faxes, wire transfers, phone calls, text messages, appointments, meetings convened, rescheduled or cancelled, deposits, withdrawals, dead drops, cut outs, payoffs, etc. — create what is probably an impenetrable tangle of evidence that would break any prosecutor. Hell, the FBI spend a year and who knows how many person-hours just trying to figure out Clinton’s email scheme.

          1. frosty zoom

            no, the fbi spent a year trying to figure out how to avoid having to do anything about scheming ms. clinton’s email scheming.

            1. tom

              You’re right, of course — thanks for the correction. Brings to mind this old quote:

              “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

              1. polecat

                replace the word ‘grifting politician’ for ‘man’ …and you have a more concise statement.

  15. Katharine

    I came across this this morning:

    It includes a link to their statement of preliminary findings, the full report being due out next month. I strongly recommend the official statement. The treatment of children is only a small part of the whole. It is interesting to see how much more visitors notice than our own media, even allowing for the visitors’ special expertise.

  16. Benedict@Large

    New from John Pilger: Provoking nuclear war by media

    The article begins with a very interesting history of the overthrow of the Milosevic government, including:

    Albright delivered an “offer” to Milosevic that no national leader could accept. Unless he agreed to the foreign military occupation of his country, with the occupying forces “outside the legal process”, and to the imposition of a neo-liberal “free market”, Serbia would be bombed. This was contained in an “Appendix B”, which the media failed to read or suppressed. The aim was to crush Europe’s last independent “socialist” state.

    Aside from being just one more reason to detest Hillary’s cozying up to Albright, can anyone confirm Pilger’s version of this in general? I know from Hedges (a reporter there at the time) and one of the State Department envoys who resigned in protest that there were a number of questionable circumstances surrounding this bit of Clinton’s foreign policy, but I’ve never heard this version before.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “The Nato attack was both a fraud and a war crime.” — John Pilger

      It was all that, but it was also an important precedent: NATO’s first “out of area” operation, by an alliance whose treaty terms are strictly defensive. Yugoslavia was not a member. NATO had no grounds in international law for getting involved in Yugoslavia’s internal conflicts.

      Bill Clinton’s subversion of NATO paved the way for George W. Bush to involve NATO — equally illegally — in Afghanistan. At last month’s NATO summit in Warsaw, an even more grandiose vision was announced, of NATO supporting military buildups in eleven “partner” countries — Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – most of them brutal, medieval dictatorships.

      NATO is an anachronistic rogue organization which has grossly overstepped the legal bounds defined in its founding treaty. NATO’s pure militaristic lawlessness is arguably an imminent threat to human survival. Depending on just how lawless NATO really is, it could be a threat to Donald Trump’s personal survival as well.

      1. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        August 24, 2016 at 11:40 am
        Forget it Jake…uh, Jim….it’s NATOtown

        Hmmmm…as Chinatown was directed by John Huston….might as well throw in Treasure of Sierra madre:
        Badges?! Badges!! We don’t need no stinkin badges!!!

        1. steelyman

          FYI Chinatown was directed by Roman Polanski. John Huston was cast in the role of the villain Noah Cross.

          1. fresno dan

            August 24, 2016 at 9:17 pm

            Thanks! Your exactly right!
            See my post at August 24, 2016 at 1:58 pm
            to account for my mental shortcomings……(I have a feeling that post is gonna be very handy)

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Albright was one of the leading proponents of NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999, so much so that many referred to the operation as “Madeleine’s War.” Sound familiar?

      And after she destroyed the country, justified as a “humanitarian” effort against the “war criminal” Milosevic, she and other american notables like wesley clark attempted to profit from the neo-liberal “free market” that Milosevic had refused to accept. Serbia was considered “socialist.”

      “So why did Albright participate in these war crimes? Apparently, to share in the spoils of war. Many former top Clinton officials swooped into war-torn Serbia and secured millions of dollars in contracts ironically designed to help “rebuild” Serbia and the new nation they helped to create, Kosovo.

      As the New York Times put it, “So many former American officials have returned to Kosovo for business — in coal and telecommunications, or for lobbying and other lucrative government contracts — that it is hard to keep them from colliding.”

      Watch the video with this link where a protest at a book signing prompts her to spit out the epithet, “Disgusting Serbs!”

      albright was born in the Czech Republic. She, like other notable eastern european immigrants such as z. brzezinski, managed to find her way into the halls of american government, where she could use american power to fight her “old country” battles and profit from them as well. R2P.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In the land between two great rivers (upper or lower reaches), the name of the goddess who will be queen and empress is Isthar.

    3. Jake Mudrosti

      The linked article contains many jaw-dropping examples of history denial, as did an earlier Milosevic-related article posted in NC links some days ago. On the day of that earlier NC link, I mentioned a documentary (“Freedom From Despair” — recognized by Amnesty International and other groups), which disproves the article’s false history in its totality of interviews, historical records, footage, etc. Yet somehow, I still got criticized in the NC comments.

      NC has extremely useful links and discussion on many issues, but at least for the time being NC links and comments have some astoundingly bad info on Milosevic and Balkan history. Pick the worst American political “experts” and pundits, and consider the distortions they’d report with straight faces regarding, say, the Iraq war. When cherished narratives operate as a substitute for actual regional knowledge, you get the current attempts to rehabilitate Milosevic’s name.

      To take a different tack, consider Kissinger. The historical record of tragedies in Cambodia is clear. Yet you’ll see endless commentaries that treat the historical record as Play Doh to be shaped to suit. The result is that Kissinger gets applauded on the Colbert Report.

      1. RabidGandhi

        I can only assume you decided not to include any examples of the “jaw-dropping history denial” in Pilger’s article because there are none.

        1. Jake Mudrosti

          I referenced a documentary, because of — to quote myself here — “its totality of interviews, historical records, footage, etc.”

          The fact that that particular documentary has been recognized by Amnesty International is also a matter of public record, and was mentioned so that readers would at least investigate further before replying with challenges to furnish sources in yet another forum.

          To phrase this another way, you pretend that it’s my job to use an economics website’s comments section to directly hand over evidence, or mountains of links, so that you may be the self-appointed judge of their quality. However if you can’t be bothered, on your own, to search YouTube for ’90s aerial footage of, say, Vukovar in the aftermath, then this is all clearly quite pointless.

          It should be noted that this is precisely the sham debate that science deniers often try to stir up in internet forums, even regarding well-established evidence. Even when scientists gamely engage with deniers in such forums, the eventual end of the comment chain is invariably cited by the denier as proof that the scientist has admitted defeat in the face of the denier’s fantastic arguments. The fact that similar things are brewing here at NC with general support from other commenters should be very disconcerting.

          1. RabidGandhi

            Vukovar is in Croatia. Pilger’s article makes no mention of the war in Croatia.

            I am more than willing to have a facts based conversation with you, so you should begin by citing the parts of the article to be “draw dropping historical denial” and we can proceed from there. I would add that I should hope that you would reject as evidence a Serbian documentary about how awesome Milosevic was– with or without Amnesty’s imprimatur. The same should hold true vice-versa.

            Lastly, I’m not sure I follow your science-denier point. Are you saying that pointing out that people should provide evidence to substantiate their accusations is a sign of being anti-scientific?

            1. Jake Mudrosti

              You honestly feel that you must inform me of my own geography — the geography of friends’ and family’s lives ended and destroyed. Please, I hope others take note of this exchange, since it proves my underlying point about the harm caused by poorly chosen articles regarding Milosevic, and the ease with which they can be seized upon to twist both current events and history.

              I’m tempted to put a photo on of the inside of the Klub Vukovaraca room in central Zagreb (where, for example, issues regarding the internally displaced people were dealt with and strategies discussed), taken by me in the summer of ’94, complete with its peeling water-damaged paint. People who were there would say, “yes, that’s immediately recognizable. That’s it.” But I know from past experience that it’s a tragically futile exercise to endlessly supply proof, when literally no proof would satisfy the deniers.

              I specifically mentioned Vukovar since it is a clean example of the history denial in the article for which you specifically demanded evidence. This relates to my earlier point about the unconscionable efforts to rehabilitate Milosevic’s name. That is straight out of the article, and straight out of this current exchange. This couldn’t possibly be clearer. With the Vukovar aftermath videos viewable online right now, you continue to protest that I’m not steering you to them.

              My point about science deniers should also be tragically clear: when someone such as you is committed to a specific conclusion (or what I referred to earlier with the phrase “cherished narratives”) at the outset, there is literally no proof that is deemed satisfactory by the self-appointed judge of evidence — at the same time that such a person subjects their own beliefs to exactly zero scrutiny.

              Thank you, I guess, for a perfect self-contained example of the harm wrought by such poor articles.

              1. RabidGandhi

                Bummer. I was hoping we might have a fact-based conversation, but after 4 posts you have yet to cite a single quote from the article that you claim is wrong.

                Good luck in your future endeavours.

    4. Benedict@Large

      I would also note that the story of Milosevic’s exoneration has not appeared in the US press. Now, stories like this are routinely omitted from our news media’ offerings, but there is a particular problem with their choice to do so with this story. Namely, that the offending party; the one who committed a war crime by attacking Milosevic’s government, was none other than Bill Clinton, whose own wife, Hillary, is now running for the same Presidency that he held. Note how the stories tangle.

      We know that Hillary was often involved in Presidential decision-making during her husband’s administration, and have good reason to believe she was involved in this one. We knew that Hillary also has strong ties to Madeline Albright, who was then selected as the deadly messenger to Milosevic. We know that the attack on Yugoslavia was used as the US’s excuse to not intervene in the Rwandan genocide, when it is now obvious that the two decisions were totally unrelated. And we know that Hillary is increasing her ties to the same sort of Neoliberal mentality that says it’s a good idea to bomb the crap out of a civilian population simply because you don’t like some of the rules of its marketplaces.

      The press won’t report this. Instead of war crimes by former and future Presidents, we’re supposed to be worried about an orange clown who calls people nasty names. And the same press doing this has the gall to call voters stupid?

  17. jfleni

    “20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel”

    Translation: BILLY boy and his ignorant shills do no know or care. That’s what
    happens when you lock yourself in a billionaires “walled garden” with no way out!

    1. Jim Haygood

      A majority of three-letter month abbreviations also are or were valid stock ticker symbols. For instance, NOV = National Oilwell Varco.

      Excel will “helpfully” convert these tickers into dates without telling you.

      When a copying a row of formulas down the sheet with the fill handle, a non-formula numerical entry (such as “1”) is “helpfully” incremented higher in each succeeding row (2, 3, 4, etc) if you fail to notice that it’s not a formula like the other cells.

      I could go on.

      Microsoft products are filled with bizarre, intrusive, dysfunctional, undisclosed default settings that can cause serious induced errors. Personally I believe that Microsoft’s coders should be deported back to their own planets … and that every extant copy of Word should be piled up and crushed by a bulldozer, for the sake of humanity.

      1. fresno dan

        There is not a better example of how the preeminent capitalist, Gates, worked to prevent competition and the market functioning efficiently than Microsoft ploys using licensing agreements with computer makers that made a complete farce of competion and the “market”…

        To paraphrase Samuel Johnson: Why do we hear the loudest yelps for the free market from the most outrageous monopolists???

      2. fresno dan

        There is not a better example of how the preeminent capitalist, Gates, worked to prevent competition and the market functioning efficiently than Microsoft ploys using licensing agreements with computer makers that made a complete farce of competition and the “market”…

        To paraphrase Samuel Johnson: Why do we hear the loudest yelps for free enterprise from the most outrageous monopolists???

        AND – economists always go on about slowing productivity – how much of that is due to Microsoft’s crappy, crappy, crappy….did I say crappy??? products. Anybody who has worked in an office in American has undoubtedly spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to fix, print, change, repair or do something because of the total lack of quality omitted from Microsoft products.
        I suspect like so much in America nowadays, criticism of a billionaire is an unwise career move….

      3. hunkerdown

        Excel was its own Free State within Microsoft. To give you some idea of bizarre, intrusive and dysfunctional those people were, Joel Spolsky, who headed the group for some time, explains why they wrote their own C compiler rather than dogfood Microsoft’s. (Spoiler: psychotic narcissism)

        Of course, if you know better than Joel & company, which you almost certainly do, you can always set the default type in the column properties.

  18. Grizziz

    Clinton Foundation, it’s a platform! Like any broker they need to take 11-20% of the top to keep the lights on. Then on to the Clinton Global Iniative for another haircut. After a while it seems more like a UN aid initiative…OMG another horror, the Clintons might be trying to monopolize global aid. Why would they want to stop that, even temporarily.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Clinton personal graft aside, Clinton Democrats have always bemoaned the professional organization of the GOP started/organized by Newt in the 1980’s. Nobody actually buys an Ann Coulter book at a store, but a donor buys them to keep the message going. For a time, I thought Bill was trying to create his own welfare operation for Democratic “strategists” under the guise of charity especially Bill’s otherwise unemployable in a sane society friend.

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    The link “Provoking Nuclear War …” by John Pilger greatly disturbs me. It’s one thing to mistrust the MSM and suspect its pronouncements and quite another to read an enumeration of their lies and their complicity in supporting governments and leaders — our governments and leaders in plainly criminal acts. “Criminal” doesn’t really capture the evil Pilger describes. How do our Power Elite sleep at night? And how do we sleep at night? Complacency, lack of power and sense of defeat mitigate but do not absolve our guilt as a Nation or individually.

    With all the other potential crises our world faces how can it be we must also worry about more war — possibly nuclear war promoted by our own Power Elite? This is beyond insane.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “This is why America’s warmongering liberal establishment hates him. Trump’s racism and ranting demagoguery have nothing to do with it. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s record of racism and extremism can out-trump Trump’s any day. (This week is the 20th anniversary of the Clinton welfare “reform” that launched a war on African-Americans). As for Obama: while American police gun down his fellow African-Americans the great hope in the White House has done nothing to protect them, nothing to relieve their impoverishment, while running four rapacious wars and an assassination campaign without precedent.”

      And this is why Trump MUST be elected.

      Although I seriously doubt that, were he to actually be elected, he would be allowed to take office. This pit of psycho vipers cannot risk it. The crimes are too monumental, the stakes too high, and the payoff too enormous.

      I suspect that Donald Trump is coming to realize that.

      1. JTMcPhee

        The German High Command understood that bit about doubling down (while looting, on a vast scale, mostly portable stuff like gold from the teeth of the Ultimate Solution numbered and “fine art” and preparing their exit routes to escape any consequences or switch horses to ride the US imperium through the ends of their misbegotten lives… I know, one is not supposed to point to the “N” word in political discourse, but hey, if the shoe fits, and the demolition and theft is on the same order of magnitude, put the shoe on ‘I’m, I say…

  20. Greg Taylor

    The fact that passive/index funds outperform may indicate a free-rider effect. Active shares provide the costly management controls while passive owners typically free ride and vote pro-management.

    1. a different chris

      Maybe. And maybe the “active share” people have lots of data that they fool themselves with – there is a big difference between data and actual information. Sure looks that way to me.

  21. JimTan

    Overselling A.D.H.D.: A New Book Exposes Big Pharma’s Role New York Times

    ADHD is real. That said, the book NYT reviews doesn’t mention that ADHD drug treatments are highly addictive and chemically similar to street methamphetamine:

    Like opiates, I suspect addiction drives a meaningful portion of the demand for these drugs.

    1. Katharine

      I can accept that it is real, but I often wonder how many of the kids on prescription meds really just suffered from a lack of opportunity to run around like normal kids. So many now seem grossly constrained, I’m really sorry for them.

      1. jrs

        It’s real only they eat the junkiest diet almost in the history of the planet, lacking necessary nutrients including for brain development, hopped up with sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and maybe even caffeine etc.. One of the worst diets in the world in fact. Then they are often totally neglected by the adults around them, not had their nurturing and/or intellectual needs met, sometimes been abused and lived in violent environments, spend all their time with electronic babysitters and the chronic overstimulation they produce. Forced to be sedentary, not allowed to move, sometimes dumped into classes with kids almost a year more mature, bright kids often bored, etc. etc. Mental illness is a social disease.

  22. DrBob


    — How corruption and fraud created a failed state in Iraq—and led directly to the rise of ISIS.

    “The causes of America’s devastating misadventure in Iraq remain an enduring source of debate. How could the United States, after spending an estimated $1.7 trillion in tax dollars and deploying more than 115,000 soldiers to topple Saddam Hussein and rebuild the country, wind up with a failed state that has given rise to a brutal new brand of terrorism? Was it a failure of military strategy, or of political will? Did we end the war too soon, or wait too long to get out? Did we spend too little on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, or target our aid in the wrong places?

    “The answer may be far simpler, and ultimately more humiliating: The men we placed in charge of Iraq robbed us blind. If American resources had been used as mandated, rather than pocketed by our allies, ISIS as we know it would not exist.

    “Looting American aid and contracts has enabled Iraq’s elite to enjoy lavish lifestyles more suited to Beverly Hills than Baghdad. Private McMansion-style neighborhoods protected by armed guards have popped up across the country, and freshly minted aristocrats navigate the potholed streets in foreign-made luxury cars, dining at restaurants where the cuisine rivals that found in Western capitals. Corrupt officials and businessmen have moved vast sums to offshore havens in Jordan, Dubai, and Singapore, and into London real estate. According to the Commission of Integrity, $6 billion in funds belonging to the Iraqi government was recently discovered in a basement in Lebanon, and another $14 billion was illegally sent to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, the United States, and various European countries. Last October, Adil Nuri, a member of parliament and spokesman for the integrity commission, announced that ten former ministers—including those responsible for defense, oil, interior, transportation, and commerce—had committed acts of massive fraud. ‘We have ministers who are accused of taking $900 million,’ Nuri said. “Some fake ministry contracts are worth $1.5 billion.’”

    1. Steve H.

      – But corruption also extends to the Kurdish north, where the family of Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government since 2005, has looted a massive cut of government revenues. Another prominent Kurdish political leader, Barham Salih, lived modestly in Maryland before the U.S. invasion in 2003.

      juxtaposed with:

      – Instead, corrupt officials in the Iraqi ministries of interior and defense sold the arms to ISIS, which is using them to kill Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

      So Barzani & friends are selling out those of common ancestry. As per recent conversations, ‘Kurds’ is close to meaningless as a political category. Perhaps it can be correlated with dialects, but Kurdish institutions and enclaves range from full Marxist to Cash-Only Corrupt.

    2. a different chris

      No, it was even more humiliating than the TNR can accept: it couldn’t be done. I could argue that the fact that we were going to get ripped off massively was built into the cake, but why bother. We were strangers in a strange land and there was no way we were going to be able to figure it out.

      Literally blowing the top off of the political machine, ugly as it was, created the failed state. The rest was trying to stop a redirected river with mops.

      1. pretzelattack

        billions of dollars in cash went missing, iirc. on pallets. the whole operation was mind numblingly corrupt and incompetent.

  23. JohnnyGL

    “Swiss banking giant UBS also ramped up contributions to the Foundation after Secretary Clinton had intervened to solve a knotty tax problem in 2009. After she had arranged a tentative settlement, UBS paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million in speaking fees.”

    Me: I know those Clinton defenders demand evidence of specific “quid pro quo” and say there’s nothing to see if it can’t specifically be proven, but it seems like we’re getting awfully close to that level. This UBS thing is obnoxious….

    “Then {WSJ} reporters James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus lay out how UBS helped the Clintons. “Total donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation grew from less than $60,000 through 2008 to a cumulative total of about $600,000 by the end of 2014, according to the foundation and the bank,” they report. “The bank also joined the Clinton Foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs, through which it lent $32 million. And it paid former president Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann, making UBS his biggest single corporate source of speech income disclosed since he left the White House.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “It lent $32 million!!!!!!!”

      Please, people, you little people, let him go back to the business of governing the nation or – in this case – saving the world (from inner-city under-lending)

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “It lent $32 million!!!!!!!”

        Reminds me of Thomas Frank’s discussion in Listen, Liberal of “microlending,” the theory of economic “empowerment” to which hillary is dedicated, and which is an abject failure.

        “These are fine, sterling sentiments, but they suffer from one big problem: microlending doesn’t work. As strategies for ending poverty go, microlending appears to be among the worst that has ever been tried, just one step up from doing nothing to help the poor at all.”

        All it creates are debtors. And fine, generous and noble feelings about the enablers and lenders themselves. In their own minds. And, apparently, in the “minds of james carville and robbie mook.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I also want to add to the ‘nothing to see here’ approach.

      In Marketwatch today, there is an article about Hillary’s strategy of running out the clock (didn’t she use that in the primary phase). From the article in Marketwatch:

      That’s the attitude being taken by the Hillary Clinton campaign in the stretch run leading up to the presidential vote in November, according to Politico. Clinton aides say they plan to “run out of the clock” and bank on their large lead in the polls to win the election instead of spending time trying to refute the latest allegations.

      A successful field marshal must coordinate his/her armies.

      So, on the one hand, nothing to see here.

      Elsewhere, in synchronization, you create a virtual reality of a large lead in the polls, with help from your friends.

      Then, you can say, ‘we don’t have to respond to these allegations.’

      That is, ‘we are doing this out of over-confidence, not desperation.’

      Everything is under control here.

      The coordination is beautiful, as her Judo is devastating.

  24. kgw

    Strong earthquake in the Central Apennines,my condolences to all in the region…Some of Italy’s best red wine is produced here.

  25. Chauncey Gardiner

    According to a number of news websites, including Reuters, the Defense Department’s Inspector General in June reported a total $6.5 trillion (Yes, that’s a “T”) in unsupported accounting adjustments by the US Army for fiscal year 2015.

    While this reported amount clearly overstates the magnitude of the adjustments involved as it is many times the annual budget for the entire federal government, about 1/3 of the nation’s entire annual GDP, and the Army is just one branch of the military within the Defense Department which reportedly had a total 2016 budget of $573 billion, the report points to a huge problem. An Army spokesman said the total amount of the adjustments net out to about $62.4 billion, which is still a very material amount.

    There are clearly significant IT, security, accounting and auditing issues involved. More than 16,000 financial data files reportedly vanished from the The Defense Finance and Accounting Services computer system. This cries for Congressional investigation.

  26. Zephyrum

    Regarding the “crucial” Clinton Foundation. A close friend has had a long career in non-profits, raising money for many years and giving away money to carefully-vetted foundations for the last decade or so. He is well-known and highly regarded in those circles. I emailed to ask if he’d looked into the Clinton Foundation and he replied, “This foundation is complete [BS], to put it politely. It is beautiful example of institutionalized corruption. If a private operating foundation of less, er, influence, ran their operation this way the IRS would be down their throat.” FWIW.

  27. PlutoniumKun

    Re: ‘Acceptable Losses’ by Andrew Cockburn in Harpers

    Excellent and thoroughly depressing article about the Yemen war. It explains the background more clearly than any other article I’ve read so I’d consider it essential reading.

    It does seem that the main reason the US is supporting such a pointless war is… money. Quite simply, its all about selling arms and the manner in which the Saudi’s have insinuated themselves into the military industrial complex. They’ve been funding ‘off-book’ wars for the Pentagon (in Bolivia, among other places), so the deaths of thousands of Yemini’s are seen as a price worth paying.

    In terms of deaths and destruction and displacement Yemen is likely to dwarf Syria in the next year or so – the Saudi’s are resorting pretty much to carpet bombing, if not the deliberate targeting of civilians, all using US cluster bombs. Its appalling, and I suspect one reason the media is not giving it much attention is SA money and its influence right through the western world.

    1. Mark P.

      Cockburn is good and knows where the bodies are buried, mostly. And, yes, these pointless wars are about money.

      In particular, the revival of enmity with Russia is an opportunity to revive ‘big platform’ weapons systems spending for the MIC. The GWOT isn’t making it for them. They need more aircraft carriers, tanks, fancy futuristic destroyers with aluminum superstructures that will burn down to the waterline the first time they’re hit but that cost billions of dollars.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Big platforms like carriers and tanks are not effective against small mobile urban units against which we have to fight.

        But they are, against other countries shown on the world map.

    2. Ray Phenicie

      I can’t read about Yemen anymore-I get too upset. So a client state fights our wars for us with our weaponry. JRR Tolkien would not have been able to dream up worse villanry.

  28. Oregoncharles

    “A Tale of Two Standoffs:” (at the Lakota occupation in N. Dakota) “Organizers insist that new protesters enter the site unarmed.”

    This raises an extremely awkward question: Is the difference in the federal response to the two standoffs because the Bundys are white – or because they were armed and convincingly threatened to defend themselves? (having committed major crimes, they are now in the process of going to prison – where they will doubtless recruit more adherents.)

    There is also a big difference in the interests being defended: on the one hand, good land management; on the other, the oil industry.

    An occupation by the Sioux (using what seems to be the most inclusive term) also raises some “ancient” history that I’m sure the FBI remembers vividly: the American Indian Movement, which was armed, and the deaths of 2 FBI agents who invaded the AIM encampment. It was a long, complicated story, and AIM ultimately lost, but FBI agents very seldom get killed in the line of duty. That history is probably one reason the present encampment is pointedly unarmed – but it sure makes the Fibbies nervous.

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Resilc: “1965, the Japanese make cars???? Ha ha ha ha ha.”

    And bare-foot soldiers taking on general Westmoreland?

    Good luck.

    1. Steve Gunderson

      I am amazed at how the article omits:

      1) The South Carolina Boeing facility is a non-union, non-pension facility

      2) Boeing pushed all of its contractors for the 787 to outsource part of their work to Chinese manufacturing partners

      3) China is the biggest growing market in the world

      1. neo-realist

        Boeing will do a slow bleed out of work from WA State to the right to work states like SC and eventually the Far East. Good for buying enough time to extract more Fort Knox sized subsidies/bribes from the WA State legislature in exchange for insincere promises to keep Boeing Jobs in the Puget Sound.

  30. ekstase

    -Cern said that it doesn’t “condone this type of spoof” because it can “give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work”.-

    Yes, well, faked human sacrifice can really make people misunderstand you.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      People who have trouble with 6-legged creatures in the house should befriend 8-legged and 24-legged critters (a variety of centipede).

      As for plants — I have all kinds of spider plants. My son’s second grade teacher gave him a baby spider plant. Now my son’s out of the house but that spider plant is still here and keeps on multiplying. I already gave away one plant that had grown too big to keep inside my little place.

      1. pretzelattack

        i’m not overly fond of spiders, but i leave them alone and they leave me alone. i try not to destroy their webs when cleaning.

  31. Skippy

    We interrupt your regularly scheduled reading to bring you this….

    ““The private sector will never recover, it will never multiply money again,” he told Epoch Times in an interview. His main theme is the “declining return on humans,” which means that in today’s digital world, normal humans don’t grow productivity fast enough to justify more jobs and higher wages as the machines are taking over.
    It takes time to line up machines, and this time we are replacing humans altogether.
    — Viktor Shvets, global strategist, Macquarie Group

    “There is no productivity on a global basis. Secular stagnation, technological shifts, monetary policy, all are suppressing productivity growth rates,” he says. But what about technology making humans more productive? Shvets says this was true in the first and second industrial revolution where displaced jobs such as horse-cart drivers eventually morphed into higher tech and higher productivity ones like the taxi driver.

    However, in this, the third industrial revolution, machines are not augmenting humans, they are replacing them. The self-driving car will completely eliminate the driver. And even in the previous more mechanical industrial revolutions, it often took decades for productivity growth to recover and for jobs to come back, only after higher productivity sectors dominated the majority of the economy.

    “We are now on the sharp end of the technology S curve. It started in the late 1970s, it’s picked up in the last 5-10 years, productivity growth rates go down not up. It takes time to line up machines, and this time we are replacing humans altogether,” he said.

    And not only lower skilled jobs like taxi drivers are concerned. Just look at the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where you can barely see a human “specialist” trader anymore. The machines in New Jersey have taken over the trading.” – snip

    Granted its the Epoch Times and that comes w/ anti-communist bias and the ever present gold buggery, but I wanted to focus on Viktor Shvets perspective. Read it with the appropriate caveats.

  32. Ray Phenicie

    Where School District Borders Are Invisible Fences
    A new report ranks the 50 most segregating borderlines in the country.
    I live about three miles northwest of the Detroit boundary in what is now an older suburb. There is a dramatic difference in the scenery across the dividing line. At some other points along Eight Mile, the drive into the city is actually like driving into leftover sets from Saving Private Ryan

  33. anonymous II

    Obamacare is Rapidly Becoming the Poster Child for American Inequality I should probably go over to Liberty blitzkrieg and comment but I’m here.

    The problem with ObamaCare is the steep tapering off into the low income realm that starts at around 150% of food stamp eligibility-say around $21,000/yr. Because at that level the cost sharing is prohibitive. The best plans are the silver level where cost sharing is optimized with premiums. But having say a premium of $275/mo for a single person age 54 with say deductible of $700, Out of Pocket Maximum (OOPM) of $2800 makes the plan unaffordable. And here’s the kicker; the American public has no idea and individuals have no idea what those terms mean.

    Cost sharing? Dropped into the middle of the nebulae was I.
    OOPM ? Huh? The shafting of low income people is complete with ACA.

    But to be complete we have to note the phenomena of ‘get coverage and run.’ People sign up for one or two months, drop out but meanwhile run in and get expensive procedures. Just loading a plan into the plan’s customer service app has a cost. Then top that off with expensive services backed up by two months premiums? Whooeee. Underwriting nightmare.

    1. anonymous II

      And actually the numbers above are an educated guess. That is the problem: none of us know how expensive these plans are for low income (coming in just under 180% of the official poverty line). It’s a state secret. The Russian government in the Stalin ere could not have kept more closely guarded secrets than the ACA administrators do

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