Links 8/7/16

Beautiful flower or noxious weed? Queen Anne’s Lace exploding in Iowa Des Moines Register

By ‘packaging’ the Olympics, NBC insults viewers, and the athletes themselves WaPo

‘We are close in distance, but far away’: Rio’s slum-dwellers are forced to watch the glittering opening ceremony standing on the roofs of their run-down homes Daily Mail

Brazil’s Political Drama Grinds On During Olympics WSJ

More Than 1,000 U.S. Spies Protecting Rio Olympics CNBC (CL).

Experts Quit Panama’s Transparency Committee Over Lack of Transparency ICIJ

A Surreal Life on the Precipice in Puerto Rico NYT

Opa-locka turned public utility into extortion racket Miami-Herald. The water department…

Chris Christie Administration Will Cut Pension Investments In Hedge Funds After Fee Controversy David Sirota, IBT

1MDB: High flyer brought Low FT

Hacking America Pacific Standard (CL).


South China Sea ruling won’t improve regional security East Asia Forum

How China’s New $2.8 Billion Chip Maker Will Affect The Global Semiconductor Industry Forbes

Technician shortage in China ‘threatens nuclear plant safety’ South China Morning Post

Japan calls for end of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima anniversary Press-Herald


Syria’s rebels unite to break Assad’s siege of Aleppo Guardian. The article includes a handy “list of factions” at the end. Apparently the leading rebel faction is Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), a reconstituted al-Qaida franchise. Pass the victory gin.

Obama Expands the ISIS Bombing Campaign to a 4th Country, the Media Barely Notice The Nation

As Turkey’s coup strains ties with West, detente with Russia gathers pace Reuters

Kerry to visit Turkey amid strained ties after failed coup St Louis Post Dispatch

Saudi Economic Woes Leave Indian, Pakistani Workers Stranded Bloomberg

Jeremy Corbyn’s media strategy is smarter than his critics realise New Statesman. Much to ponder here for the left.

The Tories’ intellectual decline Stumbling and Mumbling


Following the money behind Tim Kaine Sunlight Foundation

Spinning Hillary: a history of America and Russia’s mutual meddling Guardian

There’s a Reason People Think the Democratic Primary Was Unfair and Undemocratic: It Was 34Justice

This is not a moment, it’s a movement: More at stake for Sanders supporters than merely the 2016 election Salon

How did Marist, Monmouth, Suffolk and Quinnipiac get known for political polling? WaPo

New Voting Restrictions in Place for 2016 Presidential Election Brennan Center

Obama warns Trump not to spread details of security briefings Reuters (EM).

Russia, Trump and Manafort: A Test of the News The National Interest (SH).

Trump is right: He didn’t kick a baby out of a campaign rally WaPo

How Paul Krugman Made Donald Trump Possible Daily Beast. Crying wolf.

Trump’s Indecent Proposal Corey Robin

Even the White Working Class Is Abandoning Trump Mother Jones

Don’t count on voter outrage to trip up Donald Trump FT

Trump Campaign Turns to ‘Psychographic’ Data Firm Used by Cruz National Review. The firm is said to be owned by squillionaire hedgie Robert Mercer.

Donald Trump Is No One-Hit Wonder, and Other Takeaways From Republican Divisions WSJ

Donald Trump’s chaotic use of metaphor is a crucial part of his appeal The Conversation

Third-party candidates lose legal fight to get into presidential debates WaPo. Well, that’s appalling.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Uncovering the Chicago Police Cover-Up Editorial Board, NYT

Imperial Collapse Watch

Obama releases drone strike ‘playbook’ Politico. “The president also is called upon to approve drone strikes against permanent residents of the U.S.” There’s good news tonight!

Edward Snowden Is Not Dead: ‘He’s Fine’ Says Insider After Cryptic Code Tweet, Dead Man’s Switch Scare Inquisitr

Class Warfare

The Price of Access The Intercept

Saving lives with the minimum wage: A different way to think about an old policy fight Salon

A Greek top oligarch admits that robots are taking the jobs! unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens (CS).

ECRI Claims “Recovery is Focused on Those Without High School Diploma” MishTalk (EM). Debunked.

Intellectuals are Freaks The Smart Set (MT)

Research Into How Children Experience Animal Abuse Shows Why Domestic Violence Shelters Should Allow Pets Pacific Standard (CL).

Self-serve kiosks, table service and unlimited french fries: Inside Missouri’s McDonald’s of the Future… and it looks a lot like Panera Daily Mail. McDonald’s often serves as a social center; I wonder if this rebranding will affect that?

Globalization and its New Discontents Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I doubt it.

      -It’s far more likely Erdogan woke up from the “Turkey in the EU” dream and was planning a purge to move away from the West. NATO friends within Turkey were probably on the lists
      -a hasty coup was launched. Whether it was in response to the purge or something more organic because elements bought the defenders of secularism BS is anyone’s guess.
      -Erdogan has a free hand to clean house.
      -I believe his meeting with Putin this week predates the coup. I’m not sure.
      -the pilot who shot down the Russian plane and the head of IRIS fighting fighting in Turkey were arrested and killed during the coup clean up.
      -Maybe the Russians warned Erdogan. I imagine they are listening to Turkish signal intercepts very closely at the moment.
      -Gulen was a bit of an ally with Erdogan in the early days against the Kemalists until 2013. It would start date to reason they would promote their people ahead of the Kemalists.
      Turkey is leaving the Western sphere, maybe even NATO, but many people will have a hard time recognizing the EU is a dead end for Turkey at large as they have emotional or personal financial interests at stake.

      Conspiracy theorists much like American exceptionalists only believe U.S. citizens are capable of agency.

      1. timbers

        Does anyone think someone with an ego like Ergogan would tolerate taking orders from the 1%’er micro-managing bankster dictators Eurocrats who run the EU? Where did that fairy tale come from? Greece is next door he need only look there to see his future.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s part of the little foreign people narrative pervasive to our society. Nothing can happen without U.S. say so. It makes everyone even the paranoid feel secure.

          Racism is endemic to the U.S. It’s part of everything. In the last few decades, we’ve morphed from skin color to a new Roman Citizenship but our society still thinks so little of foreigners we can’t possibly imagine they have their own thoughts and feelings.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Geez have a look at a map, what is Turkey supposed to do, serve as the next proxy battlefield for WWIII against Russia, serve the World Alpha Bully 6,000 miles away, serve the Eurocrat lapdogs of said Bully (see: Greece), or try and keep a few options open WRT Russia?
          The policy geniuses at The Department of Conflict Assurance (oops I mean State) and places like Stratfor must be burning the midnight oil, might be a clever time for the US to quietly move the nukes out of Incirlik instead of just leaving them there as additional bargaining chips for Erdogan’s “leverage”. The “foreign enemies” narrative has Erdogan covered domestically, if I were him I would be seeking to have fewer fronts to fight on, the US playing footsie with the Kurds doesn’t help. US policy has been too clever by half, more like 9/10ths, assuming the serf nations will keep quiet and go along forever

    2. low integer

      Count me as one who expects this article contains more truth than fiction. To my mind, the shooting down of the Russian jet and Gulen’s involvement give the plan away.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s excellent by Taibbi:

      People forget that when it comes to labor relations, America had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, in the direction of the civilized world. Attempts to ban child labor in this country failed repeatedly, and we didn’t actually pass a federal child labor law that stuck until 1938. Airlines in America were still firing flight attendants for getting married through the mid-eighties.

      Now all that work spent to get even past those most basic problems is at risk. In the global economy, employers can look at their business models as one giant arbitrage.

      You do your banking in the laissez-faire havens of the Caribbean, build factories in slave-labor capitals like China or Indonesia, buy swaps in less-regulated financial atmospheres in London, sell your products in America and Europe, etc.

      You also arrange your corporate structures so that you pay the smallest amount of tax possible, often by threatening to move until you receive subsidies and exemptions. This leads to bizarre situations like Boeing making $26 billion in U.S. profits over a five-year period and receiving a U.S. federal tax refund of $401 million over the same time.

      This whole situation has raised profound questions that nobody has ever bothered to try to answer for ordinary voters, as in: What are nation-states for, in a global economy?

      Exactly. (And while we’re on Taibbi, I cannot forbear to link to the definitive Friedman takedown, also by Taibbi.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You do your banking in the laissez-faire havens of the Caribbean, build factories in slave-labor capitals like China or Indonesia, buy swaps in less-regulated financial atmospheres in London, sell your products in America and Europe, etc.

        If it’s not on thing, it’s another.

        The other is when they ‘build factories in slave-labor capitals like America or Europe, and sell products in China and Indonesia.”

        That’s what us humans do. And one day, when those little green men from Mars finally take over, they do well to put us in separate cages.

        Because we have a relatively large brain, some of us will sell others out to curry favors with our Martian overlords. Animals with smaller brains, like, for example, dogs, aren’t smart enough to know to do that.

    1. paul

      I remember the chocolate nobel economist used to be very impatient with ‘fact free economics’, he does not seem to extend that to his opinionisating stuff.

      Hillary is great because hillary is good!

    2. James Levy

      You and I reject that claim because you and I know that she’s full of wild blueberry muffins. Clinton will govern as a “hard Obama”, breaking the same way he does but more sharply. Krugman wants to pretend that she is telling the truth and that her party platform means something. She isn’t and it doesn’t. Where we seem to part company is that I believe exactly the same about the Republican candidate and the Republican platform.

      1. timbers

        “….she’s full of wild blueberry muffins…” You’re too kind – if only! I’d gladly take a Hillary full of muffins but instead she’s full of deceit plus a huge does of “more effective evil” with a deliberate lethal dose of human rights destroying TPP which she & Obama & fellow corprocrats know full well will make you Me & the rest bow down before the corporate Gods TPP will create. If Republicans like Mitt Romney say corporations are people, you ain’t seen nothin yet – Dems like like Clinton & Obama have trumped (no pun intended) the Mittster in spades with TPP by making corporations Gods and stripping people of most/all of their rights. Throw in trillions on new nukes “so we can use them” & WW3 with Russia & Hillary has paid back
        a respectable amount of all those donations from weapons manufacturers & Wall Street she’s indebted to paying off.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          She’s a much better smooth operator.

          With Hillary – her own genius at obfuscation (credit where credit is due) and her MSM ‘friends’ (all it takes is one phone call from the DN) – , we are less likely to know, or slower to learn, what disaster she has gotten us into.

          If you believe the first few minutes, hours or days are critical to containing a problem, you want Trump there, over Hillary (we will be told of his mistake quickly).

      2. polecat

        you shouldn’t denigrate blueberries like that, Mr. levy !

        now, if you had used as an example of, say, durian fruit …….well…that would have perhaps been more fitting….

          1. Skippy

            Remember PIE Lambert….

            The observation leading to this phrase was first made by the character of Dr. Horrible/Billy (Neil Patrick Harris) in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” in reference to Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), as shown below.
            Penny: At first I thought he was kind of cheesy–
            Billy: Trust your instincts.
            Penny: But, he turned out to be totally sweet. Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface.
            Billy: And sometimes there’s a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one.
            Penny: Huh?
            Billy: Like with pie.

            Disheveled Marsupial…. Hillary is like pie…. not that the whole political – econnomic circus is not one big pastry…

        1. low integer

          Perhaps something more along the lines of one, or a combination, of these.

          Warning: do not look at this link if you are about to eat, have just eaten, or ever wish to eat again.

      3. sd

        I have extremely low expectations of both legacy parties. What I am currently trying to determine is how best to avoid war with Russia and will vote (or not) accordingly.

        1. Isotope_C14

          All the evidence that I can find is that H-> is vastly pro-war, and that makes sense due to the falling in line of neo-cons behind neo-liberals. Clinton Foundation gets gobs of money from the biggest defense contractors, and now Clinton is tied up with the french company Lafarge that seems to have a hand in procuring money for ISIS.

          Trump doesn’t know what to do, and if Assange can get H-> in real trouble, though I don’t know if he can, Trump will do whatever puppetmaster comes in to hold his hand, probably Rumsfeld.

          Jill Stein and Gary Johnson won’t be for war at all. They are the best bets to disrupt this election.

          Rumor has it that certain mainstream media polls are not recording results from the younger voters so as to prevent Jill from appearing in debates which would make H-> look like Liebermann. I’d be shocked if she was really polling at 3% when all the Bernie or Busters scream Jill not Hill loudly all over the interwebs.

        2. Jagger

          If you don’t want war, you vote against the neocons. Currently, the neocons have abandoned the repubs and moved en mass to the Hillary camp. Although I have no doubt, a few have been assigned to remain behind in the Trump camp to cover all bases.

    3. pretzelattack

      which is unabashedly vague about passing some form of the tpp. and will be roundly ignored if she wins.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      I like “unabashedly.” It’s just that I can’t think of an example of where Clinton has been “abashed” about anything.

      Trump, too, of course, but I came up as a Democrat, and I still, and very foolishly, expect more from them.

      1. john k

        This blog has helped me understand that the dem party is, and has been since Bill won with minorities, a neolib organization that competes with the reps for who can do the most for corporations and moneyed interests, particularly banks, while totally ignoring their traditional constituencies. Where’ve you been?

        The choice is to start a new party or take over an existing one. Bernie tried with the dems, but was unwilling to really attack the neolibs Clinton and Obama, and presumably thinks they are the lesser evil. But takeover is demonstrable very difficult given the opposition of the corporation owned media while a neolib dem is a sitting president, which is why I think she who must be obeyed must be defeated or we will not get another chance for at least eight years.

        But there is more involved than just neolib policies that are crushing individuals and economies everywhere, we would be remiss to not mention wars, past, present, and future… it is also my view that trump is a cautious individual who really thinks we should not be involved in foreign adventures. Hillary can’t wait to show just how much more manly she is than Obama.

          1. Isotope_C14

            You can always check out Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and figure out if they fit your flavor.

            I like Jill personally for a variety of reasons. She’s a pretty good speaker, she slices up Ben Jealous pretty well, so she’d be solid on debates. She’s becoming very well known in the Black Lives Matter community as well, now that Sanders backed H->


  1. abynormal

    W A T E R : One woman admitted to police that she agreed to have sex with him to keep the water running in her home. But the charges were dropped against Willie Smalls, the meter reader, after witnesses began to back off. He is still working for the city.

    they are coming for us at the most inopportune time!
    Familiar mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank, among others, are consolidating their control over water. Wealthy tycoons such as T. Boone Pickens, former President George H.W. Bush and his family, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Philippines’ Manuel V. Pangilinan and other Filipino billionaires, and others are also buying thousands of acres of land with aquifers, lakes, water rights, water utilities, and shares in water engineering and technology companies all over the world.

    The second disturbing trend is that while the new water barons are buying up water all over the world, governments are moving fast to limit citizens’ ability to become water self-sufficient (as evidenced by the well-publicized Gary Harrington’s case in Oregon, in which the state criminalized the collection of rainwater in three ponds located on his private land, by convicting him on nine counts and sentencing him for 30 days in jail). Let’s put this criminalization in perspective:

    Billionaire T. Boone Pickens owned more water rights than any other individuals in America, with rights over enough of the Ogallala Aquifer to drain approximately 200,000 acre-feet (or 65 billion gallons of water) a year. But ordinary citizen Gary Harrington cannot collect rainwater runoff on 170 acres of his private land.

    1. abynormal

      Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf (don’t forget Japan & China) countries are scooping up farmland in drought-afflicted regions of the U.S. Southwest, and that has some people in California and Arizona seeing red.
      But not everyone likes the trend. The alfalfa exports are tantamount to “exporting water,” because in Saudi Arabia, “they have decided that it’s better to bring feed in rather than to empty their water reserves,” said Keith Murfield, CEO of United Dairymen of Arizona, a Tempe-based dairy cooperative whose members also buy alfalfa. “This will continue unless there’s regulations put on it.”

    2. James Levy

      Very glad for your post. My only caveat is that water rights in the American West are unique and totally screwy. They are very different in most places. If Rivers of Empire and Cadillac Desert are accurate, the whole edifice of modern law relating to water was invented in the arid areas of the American West in the 19th century. So wacky laws in Oregon may be a regional anomaly. I just don’t know. But the precedent is frightening.

      1. abynormal

        i got a CNBC piece in mod regarding 2016 China, Japan & Saudi Arabia buying up CA & AZ land/water…it must be huge to be under our nose and out of sight

    3. low integer

      I have this sneaking suspicion that if one were to look, one would find very few conflicts of interest between these entities and their respective water “interests” and the fracking industry. That would certainly be odd, wouldn’t it? Especially considering so much other groundwater is getting “fracked up”. Hmmm.

      1. Synapsid

        low integer,

        Well, water shortage is one thing, at least, that can’t be blamed on fracking. The world center of fracking is Texas and fracking there uses less than 1% as much water as agriculture does, and 0.3% of the state’s water consumption.

        Remember, the fracking companies (Halliburton of Cheney fame is the biggest) have to buy the water they use; they can’t just pump out the rivers. If people want to stop fracking in an area, it’s the ones who own the water rights who can do so, or at least make it more difficult. In Texas, at least, the land owners have the power, not the O&G industry–and the courts will back them up.

        Golf courses, now…

        1. low integer

          I was thinking along the lines of the IP protected, signature blends of highly toxic fracking fluid seeping down through the earth and into aquifers, poisoning stores of below ground water, rather than simply the quantity of water used by fracking companies.

          1. low integer

            Adding: think of collectors who own one of two remaining copies of a certain artifact e.g. a stamp, and then buy and destroy the only other copy in existence, so as to increase the value of their collectible by increasing its scarcity. This does happen btw. I’m thinking this principle could be extended to clean water sources by the same kind of people who are desperately trying to patent the world’s seed, and therefore food, supply using patented GMO’s.

            Me, cynical of TPTB’s intentions? Never.

        2. abynormal

          “its the ones that own the water rights who can do so”…April 2015 “Despite the calls by experts to place restrictions on business, last Tuesday the State Water Resources Control Board furthered emergency drought regulations that target solely consumers, leaving agribusiness untouched. Local water districts must restrict lawn watering to twice weekly, among other tepid reductions in consumers’ water usage.”

          the boards just custom a bigger bed

      2. redleg

        In ND about 6-8 years back, well development people were fighting the Corps of Engineers to use Missouri river water for fracking and were repeatedly denied. This despite near- record reservoir volume at Stanley. So they were forced to use groundwater instead. Total volume of fracking water would have lowered the reservoir by approximately 1-2 feet per year (source- Midwest Regional Groundwater Conference 2012).

        Groundwater permitting in ND has only 2 or 3 staffers for the whole state. Completing the permit process takes a year, more or less. You are allowed to drill a well and test pump it without a permit because aquifers there are so hit & miss in both quantity and quality. So drillers would construct a well, “test pump” it into waiting tankers (ka-ching!) until it was dry, and wait for it to recover. If it did, more test pumping ensued. When a well didn’t recover it was sealed and called a “failed well”. No permit needed for a failed well.

        As I was part of the well siting part, I have no idea how the water was billed or how the developers paid for it. But there was a lot of water mining going on, mostly unregulated, for fracking when river water would have been the more sustainable and eco friendly (what that’s worth) source.

        As soon as I figured out what was going on my team bailed out as fast as we could.

        1. abynormal

          There Ya Go…Thanks RedLeg! hope things are working out for you…i know what its like to have to bail on a THIS IS BEYOND WRONG construct job and nothing lined up but your integrity.

          1. redleg

            At the aforementioned groundwater conference, I asked the ND DNR commissioner about unpermitted water appropriations at a public round table Q&A session and he denied that was happening. I think he was sincere in saying that too, since they were so backlogged they probably never saw any of that happen.

        2. Synapsid


          The more this sort of thing is made public, the better. Thanks for this.

          There is nothing more important than water. When we don’t, or won’t, monitor its use we pay a terrible price.

    4. Enquiring Mind

      Desalination should be a new Manhattan project, with some catchy name. Please don’t let it become a public-private partnership.

      1. abynormal

        you mean like the one in San Diego?…”This is going to be the pig that will try for years to find the right shade of lipstick,” said Marco Gonzalez, an Encinitas attorney who sued on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups to try to stop construction. “This project will show that the water is just too expensive.”

        And its price tag is at least four times the cost of obtaining “new water” from conservation methods — such as paying farmers to install drip irrigation, or providing rebates for homeowners to rip out lawns or buy water-efficient toilets.

        “We look out and see a vast ocean. It seems obvious,” said Heather Cooley, water director for the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Oakland. “But it’s cost prohibitive for most places in California.”

        In Carlsbad, two gallons of seawater will be needed to produce each gallon of drinking water. And to remove the salt, the plant will use an enormous amount of energy — about 38 megawatts, enough to power 28,500 homes — to force 100 million gallons of seawater a day through a series of filters. The process, known as reverse osmosis, removes salt and other impurities by blasting the water at six times the pressure of a fire hose through membranes with microscopic holes.

        The authority will pay from $2,014 to $2,257 an acre foot for the water, depending on how much it buys. The agency, which provides water to 3.1 million people in San Diego County, signed a 30-year contract agreeing to buy at least 48,000 acre feet a year.

        With that guarantee, Poseidon and its investors were able to sell bonds to finance the project. The company will be guaranteed a rate of return between 9 and 13 percent, depending on operating costs.

        Critics say the agency is getting a raw deal.

        “It’s not a public-private partnership,” Gonzalez said. “It’s corporate welfare.”

        1. abynormal

 COME JOIN US And you’ll be moving desal forward in Texas by supporting TexasDesal’s work —

          Advocating on behalf of desalination and water recycling before the Texas legislature and regulatory agencies.
          Educating decision-makers at the state level about the need to incorporate desalination and recycling into long-term water supply planning.
          Tracking all Texas and Federal legislation and regulatory activities and potential rule changes that impact desalination, water use, and water re-use in Texas.
          Working to streamline state agency permitting processes as they pertain to desalination and recycling water.

          Don’t miss a single opportunity! Be on the inside for what’s happening now!…T H E F T

        2. Jess

          It is my understanding that a by-product of desal is a huge mass of brine with an enormous salt content that you have to find some way of disposing of, which can be both difficult and costly. Sort of akin to the nuclear waste problem from nuclear power.

          1. abynormal

            we had that problem while dredging the Savannah River Plant area for the new mega ships…we just dumped the acid rain mud on South Carolina. worked until SC decided Charleston jutted out further than our dock and wanted the traffic…then republican governors went to battle. all i know so far is the wildlife around Savannah is suffering badly…like even the raccoons have left or died.
            (…Louisianan better lookout)

            1. Carolinian

              So you’re the one who dumped all that toxic mud.

              It’s ok because Charleston is going to be the east coast megaport for traffic fron the Panama Canal expansion. Take that Savannah.

              1. abynormal

                i can’t believe they thought they’d get away with it BUT don’t forget someone(s) in your state sold the land for dumping…they even trucked in the middle of the night.

                on behalf of the Deliverances, i do apologize

              2. abynormal

                oh & btw, the Chinese are building larger ports of SA coast…bypassing boofus. and don’t you need a few more hwys to handle that shipping traffic…that should come at a nice price (specially if it not even needed).

            2. ambrit

              Not to worry cher. When dat nasty ol sea level, she comes up like a alligator to bite us in the butt, all those underground gasoline tanks, dey start leaking out an popping up out of that there ground. Hoo boy! Toxic pollution all over the place!! Don eat none of dem crabs or ersters or speckled trout, or red fish, or; you get the picture.

    5. Carolinian

      criminalized the collection of rainwater in three ponds located on his private land,

      No offense Aby but I had to turn to Google for an account of what really happened. This was not a case of someone taking rainwater off the roof of their house as has been subject to fines in Colorado but rather of damming public water that flowed through his property which is a persistent conflict in the west. Of course all water is rainwater in some sense but stream control is a very different issue from cisterns or ponds that come from underground springs or wells.

      Also your Global Research article is from 2012 so may not be the latest trend.

      1. abynormal

        there is a 2016 update in the article. No offense taken…the facts & truth is what matters. so i ponder how many public water flows Pickens will be damming?

      2. abynormal

        Carolina, maybe the video has been removed i’m still looking…The website,, includes a petition to the state of Oregon to reverse Harrington’s July 11 guilty verdict.

        Harrington has solicited a videographer to film footage showing that his reservoirs don’t have creeks flowing into them. He intends to post it and other information about his defense that he wasn’t allowed to present in court, he says.

        1. Katharine

          Perhaps the absence of visible creeks flowing in is not the issue. If the water falling on the land would, before dams, have entered streams, then I imagine the state has a case that he has disrupted the natural process.

        2. Carolinian

          The Oregonian story I linked said the ponds have dams and a sluice gate, therefore a creek. That’s a pretty big thing to be wrong about.

          1. abynormal

            i noticed Harrington admitted to opening/closing the dam(s) at will…he’s gone of the rails.

    6. Dave

      This is why San Francisco, with it’s own municipally owned water system at Hetch Hetchy in the Sierras, which also generates all the power the city needs for public buildings and electric buses and streetcars, is so progressive.

      Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge also owns its own virgin watershed, although there’s no power generated.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Gee, don’t look at the history of southern CA water districts and the drowning of Hetch Hetchy. “We need to look forward, not backward.”


  2. James Levy

    The Lind article is interesting but needed a bit more historical context.

    Cosmopolitanism was a response to the rabid nationalism of Wilhelmine Germany, Dreyfus-era France, and Boer War Britain. It was intimately married to socialism, as in the socialist international (and its once-famous anthem). It was heavily influenced by Jews, who looked askance at the new nationalism and nation-state ideology of the 19th century because in most places it vividly and dramatically excluded them from the volk gemeinschaft. Thus when Stalin in the late 1940s was railing against “rootless cosmopolitans” everyone knew that was code for “those damned Jews.”

    I can still remember when I was a teenager realizing that, deep down, I’m a Menshevik. I’m pre-1914 SPD. Part of what those people, Marx, and I all take for granted is that workers everywhere share the same economic and political disadvantages and have more in common with each other than they do with the plutocrats who run their countries. Thus part of being a socialist was being an internationalist. I contrast this with being for globalization, which is a capitalist project that I do not support. But I refuse to be a chauvinist. I refuse the psychological comfort and boost of being an American Exceptionalist (which is why I reject both major party candidates). I will not succumb to the “us” versus “them” dichotomy if I have to include the Clintons and the Trumps in the “us” and relegate workers from other countries to the “them.”

    1. Felix_47

      +++ We should Demand that the UAW organize Mexican and Chinese Auto production. That should be part of these trade agreement. The IBEW should be allowed to organize Foxconn. What about international do our Wing tipped Harvard lawyer negotiators not understand? Instead they focus Patent rights for Disney and the rapacious drug manufacturers.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Hillary’s big bounce, cited in Krugie’s piece. The new Reuter’s poll has Hill at only a three percent lead. People aren’t deaf, dumb, and blind. By the time the election rolls around, they will realize they don’t want this brain-damaged criminal sociopath to be their prez, and will vote for somebody else.

    1. inode_buddha

      They may not be deaf dumb and blind; rather they may be academics. Seriously why is it that every academic I know of offhand is pulling for Hillary? They can’t all be this stupid….

      1. Roger Smith

        Maybe all those credentials are meaningless after all.

        Thomas Frank makes a good historical story in “Listen, Liberal” that, while they once used to be separate consultancy to society, once they got a taste of special attention they liked it and became a political body.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Well, one day, these same academics will be teaching tuition-free students.

        Will that finally (we have to square things) be ‘you get what you pay for’ education?

      3. clarky90

        Most academics know which side of their toast is buttered. My University has been promoting the crooks and sacking the “truth seekers” for decades. It is a project that they take very seriously-They just need time and patience.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Just watch Hedges annihilate Robert Reich in this interview. It’s just great, Hedges smashes Reich over and over again and Reich does nothing but fall to the baloney line “fear Trump”.

          Well, they had a D candidate that wasn’t scandal plagued and nationally reviled, but apparently it’s not that important to “defeat Trump”

    2. EndOfTheWorld

      Aug 7 LA Times poll has Hill up only 1%. Looks like the “bounce” isn’t lasting long.

      1. Isotope_C14

        I read somewhere that they stopped using the words “None of the Above” in the standard polling language and that increases her rating.

        Perhaps the LA Times didn’t change the wording?

  4. Greycat

    I went to the Reuters link about Trump’s security briefing and at the top of the page it announced breaking new: Wikileaks releases DNC audio recordings… But now I can’t find a link. Sorry!

    1. Roger Smith

      It is probably the batch that came out a week or two ago. There wee about 20-30 messages that all seemed to be garbage from my perusal.

  5. fresno dan

    Harriet Hardiman was ‘a cat’s meat man.’ That is, she went out most days with a handcart full of chopped meat on skewers to sell to cat owners. So, just to emphasize, meat for cats, not of cats. Specifically, horsemeat—gnarly leftovers collected from nearby slaughterhouses. In Victorian-era London, there were hundreds of cat’s meat men (and women and, sometimes, kids), with beats in poor neighborhoods as well as posh ones. Hardiman would have had regular routes, regular customers, as well as regular cats padding behind her as she made her rounds, attracted by the scent of her cart.

    I know about Hardiman because she lived at 29 Hanbury Street in Spitalfields, and it was at 29 Hanbury Street where, early one morning, in 1888, the body of Jack the Ripper’s second victim, Annie Chapman, was discovered, lying against the steps at the house’s back entrance.

    So….that’s how cats used to be fed…

  6. DNCIA

    Kaine has one additional and crucial source of support. Like Bush, Clinton, and Obama, he’s another spook gone to ground at home to be a agent of influence for CIA.

    CIA is not just stuffing gerontocratic cadre Hillary up your butt. They’re moving their next figurehead into position. No one gets near the presidency without CIA vetting and grooming. It’s all very simple if you forget about your grade-school civics and remember the US government has one branch, CIA.

    1. human

      Hear, hear. As Michael Ruppert was fond of saying, “The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA.”

    2. low integer

      Hard to argue with that after witnessing the shameful spectacle that was the (cough) Democratic (cough) convention.

      1. low integer

        Also, I notice from the linked article that Kaine is a Harvard trained lawyer, which is really not surprising. Maybe he and Mr. Khan, also a Harvard trained lawyer, used to go out drinking together back in the day hahaha.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I read the piece. It’s certainly suggestive — the aroma is strong — but it really boils down to the last sentence:

      What does Tim Kaine say? Maybe someone should ask him.

      Has anybody?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Well, I mean he was down there in that part of the world when there was a lot of action down there. If he just wanted to be a do-gooder he could have worked in the slums in Kansas City, where he’s from.
        Has somebody asked him? The reporters who have access to him won’t ask an uncomfortable question. Besides he’s already answered: he loves being a do-gooder.
        If he had some connection to intelligence as a youngster that doesn’t mean he has sworn eternal loyalty to them, BTW. The more important things are what he’s done lately, and what he plans for the future.

    1. pretzelattack

      neither yves nor lambert have glossed over anything about trump. nor clinton. what’s the problem?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Well, what do you want? All the presidents end up with financial advisors from the world of finance. John Paulson, who made money betting against sub-prime mortgages, is much preferable to HANK Paulson, a different person altogether who extorted a cool trillion out of Congress.

        1. James Levy

          Um, this kind of undermines your position on Trump as being independent of these establishment advisors. All you can really say going forward is that trump ,must believe in that supply-side crap because he’s surrounded himself with supply-side advocates. and the implications for his foreign policy that stem from your statement about who you end up with as advisers is also not reassuring.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            I think Trump’s record indicates that he is less likely to be controlled by his advisors than the typical politician. He’s accustomed to being the boss. It’s possible to get advice from advisors without doing everything they tell you to do. As far as supply-side, Trump has made it clear he wants to cut taxes. But I don’t see anybody from Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, et al on his advisors, so he might actually try to re-instate Glass-Steagall. He should try to get the US better trade deals, or none at all, if that’s the best deal he can get.

            1. cnchal

              . . . he is less likely to be controlled by his advisors . . .

              The way I see it, the only thing controlling Trump is his narcissistic personality disorder. It’s an affliction and he can’t help himself. What the psychopaths at the top fear is that they won’t be able to control Trump the way they controlled Bill

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                He can be controlled by manipulating his thin skin.

                The really dangerous humans are thick skinned. They could care less what others think.

            2. carycat

              It’s not the tax rates on the books that matter, it is the effective tax rate. Do you want a 35% top tax rate on the books where Boeing with all its profits can pay no federal taxes or a 15% top tax rate where Boeing actually pays 15%?
              As far as the lack of “big name” economics advisers on Trumps team, this is all about their perception on what their odds are in getting on the gravy train. If Trump gets elected, watch them spin their research data, assuming their pronouncements are even remotely (non-cherry picked) fact based, to get a turn at the gov/private revolving door.

            3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Is he just licensing their names,or a little more?

              Gotta have people who know how the financial world works to explain the details (so you know how your goals can be achieved).

              1. EndOfTheWorld

                I don’t see any Goldman or Citibank names on there, although some of them may be alumni. Trump talks about bringing back Glass Steagall, whereas the dems don’t even consider this a possibility. If you’re looking for a deficit hawk, I guess maybe vote for Gary Johnson. Hill or Trump will get into more red ink.

                1. EndOfTheWorld

                  OK, I see one former Bear Sterns economist, Malpass. BTW, Trump tried to get Carl Icahn, supposedly, but Icahn wasn’t interested.

        2. Alejandro

          Un-challenged repetition transmutes into psittacism, hence the circus. “U.S. of Amnesia” indeed…Hank “extorted”, so Johns “bets” could be covered, i.e., it was an “inside job”… to be clear, he didn’t “make money”, “it” was extracted …unwitting apologetics for a system that disproportionately compensates predators at the expense of millions losing their homes, jobs and having their lives irrecoverably ruined. In case you haven’t noticed, ws banksters didn’t give a shit then, and don’t give a shit now about you! So the question remains-“CAN you, and if so, HOW do you vote to subdue their disproportionate power?”

          It’s been eight years, yet almost seems like a lifetime ago…

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            I admit to less than an encyclopedic knowledge of WS shenanigans, but if John Paulson shorted the subprime mortgage business he is much less guilty than the banks that gave people these mortgages in the first place IMHO.

            1. Alejandro

              I disagree..shades of “guilt” does not alleviate the immiseration…lessons not learned and the dysfunction continues seemingly unabated…parasitic beneficiaries posturing as benefactors…

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Did your totally good faith effort include the idea we were on the payroll?

      Adding, assigning NC staff work is against site policy. Nothing whatever prevents you from contributing a link on either candidate’s horrid and corrupt economic team, thereby adding value to the site.

    3. tegnost

      It’s a distinction without a difference. All of my wealthy hillary acceptable (i wouldn’t really call it support as that implies being for something)friends claim that trickle down works…basic supply side theory. Thoughts? Bailing the banks was supply side, globalisation is supply side, even and especially the tpp is supply side, and we’re supposed to like the tpp because it’s us in aggregate who allegedly benefit most because we supply the intellectual framework and the demand from foreign workers will trickle through our own economy supposedly bettering the lives of those who were once the demand side, but are now living in chinese manufactured tents under the decaying infrastructure known as “bridges”

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        We already have the biggest form of supply-side trickle down imaginable in our current regime, no need to somehow fear Trump more in this regard.
        Our central bank manufactures credit that it passes to commercial banks so they can manufacture money. It is then shunted along to the banks’ favorite destinations: back to the Fed to earn some risk-free interest, into markets for speculation fun and games. Fees and bezzle all around. If there’s anything left over credit gets extended to businesses, for businesses to buy back equity (feeding the equities bezzle). If there’s anything left over from that they funnel it to consumer mortgage credit (to feed the housing bezzle), to students for indentured servitude, or payday loans at 19%.
        It’s the same problem as ever with “supply side”: if you’re not very close to the supply spigot, no soup for you.

    4. Yves Smith

      1. The Pritzker family is one of Obama’s longest-standing supporters. Obama, Michelle, and Valerie Jarrett were the black faces of the effort to redevelop South Chicago, which basically meant taking black neighborhoods and making the residents move three miles south. Penny Pritzker is Obama’s Commerce Secretary. Hillary’s two top picks for Treasury Secretary, Larry Fink of Blackrock and Tony James of Blackstone, are long-standng donors. So please don’t pretend that the Democrats are free of patronage.

      If you want to object to Trump’s team, there are plenty better grounds, like Steve Feinberg of Cerberus has destroyed a lot of companies and hurt the very sort of

      2. The Politifact article is on a tax plan that was dead as of its publication date.. It’s as of May 20 when there are tons of press stories that Trump was rewriting his tax plan as of May 11 to among other things have lower tax cuts for the rich. So Politifact is beefing about the plan that Trump had already scuppered.

      There is a lot to find wrong with Trump, yet the media is full-bore “any stick to beat a dog” mode with him and regularly making stuff up (for instance, the complete distortion of his questions and comments on nuclear weapons) when they should hammer on his many bona fide problems, starting with his refusal to release his tax returns.

  7. Carolinian

    So, Corey Robin compares Trump to Joe McCarthy at the very time that Trump is under McCarthy style attacks from the Democrats. This is a truly stupid column from the perfesser. One doesn’t need to defend every hasty and insensitive Trump remark to also feel disgust at the muddled good versus evil mental landscape of many so called liberals. Doubtless Hillary and Obama think of themselves as quite “decent” while they are blasting people in the name of R2P. And for precursors to the rise of right populism point not just to the ideology of the Republican Party but also to the Democrats who so willingly let them do it and indeed shared many of the same views. The real difference is that the Repubs wear their ruthlessness on their sleeves while the Dems act the same while pretending to be sensitive and “decent.”

    1. James Levy

      As is so often the case in this election cycle, the two may not be mutually exclusive. A man can be a nasty McCarthyite thug and be the object of vicious McCarthyite smears. Trump is under assault for the most idiotic of reasons (his stance on détente with Russia). The assault is completely unfair and groundless. But that speaks to the venality and obsession with the status quo of the MSM. It says nothing about Trump the person or the candidate. We’ve got to get away from reducing this to “four legs good, two legs bad” and try to formulate our response to the evil, rotten policies these two major party candidates embody. If you identify with one or the other, you lose sight of the real struggle, which is against rule by plutocrats like Clinton and Trump and their “pro-business” anti-human ideologies.

      1. Carolinian

        McCarthy put people in jail, ruined careers, had the support of business, Hollywood, the press. All Trump has done is run his mouth and in the process often said things that even liberals like Corey Robin should approve. The only way to know whether Trump is really a “thug” would be to put him in office and see what happens. But to compare Trump to McCarthy is simply to pile on the hysteria. It is itself “McCarthyite.” Without a doubt there are many reasons not to vote for Trump and can’t say I plan to do so myself but worth remembering that during the McCarthy period the media were very much a driver of his success. The fact that they are all now pulling for Hillary is what should really give Corey Robin pause.

        1. bob

          “The fact that they are all now pulling for Hillary is what should really give Corey Robin pause.”

          Who’s “they”? The reds?

              1. low integer

                Still not understanding.

                That you are not understanding the point being made, whether purposefully or due to general obtuseness wrt to the US political “system”, is very clear. Also, throwing words like “loser” in the direction of people who clearly understand a great deal more than you is emblematic of a significant amount of the problems we, as a species, are facing.

                1. bob

                  This is a truly stupid comment from low integer.

                  *no offense, please re-read, just a demonstration. Does it give you any pause that I called the comment, and not the person stupid? Don’t tell us or you will be struck down and put with they, even with your claim to speak for we, as a species.

                  Probably unrelated at this point, but there was a post by Corey Robin at crooked timber, you (they? we? it?) should read it.


        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          McCarthy could not have done it all by himself.

          The media at the time, and people already conditioned, or, educated.

          It took a whole village.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I didn’t take the article as Trump=McCarthy, more that the republican party=McCarthy.

      1. tegnost

        My take on that one was that the democrats went along and self guided themselves to the right in the same way as now, appointing merrick garland for instance, or even elena kagan who is pretty corporatist imo, don’t have a feel for sotomeyer but i somehow doubt she’s the reincarnation of thurgood marhall. I think we’re facing the same dynamic. Bernie asked if they have no decency and they replied “no, we don’t…”

      2. Carolinian

        Yes but he’s also saying that sometime Democrat Trump is emblematic of that party even while being at war with much of that party. He seems to think the Khans were a Joseph Welch moment for Trump which, besides being a poor historical analogy, is also stale thinking. It’s a very shallow plumbing of the depths.

        1. bob

          You completely misrepresent the post, and then accuse that misrepresentation of being “stale”.


          “It’s a very shallow plumbing of the depths.”

          The plumbing is all yours, and yes, “shallow”.

          1. Carolinian

            Stale because he is making points about Cleland, Sheehan etc that I have already read elsewhere. Shallow because the McCarthy analogy, which he accepts while broadening it, is accepted unthinkingly despite–in my opinion and of course everything here is our opinions including yours–being completely inappropriate. What Trump said was not “evil,” it was just a stupid offhand remark being amplified into evil by a media that quite clearly is out to sink him by any means possible. The reason I find Robin’s post ridiculous is that it’s a little early to be pulling out the Hannah Arendt. If you disagree, fine. I won’t call you names.

            1. bob

              Still confused. This is the first time you said anything about Arendt. What about what Robin said?

            2. bob

              “If you disagree, fine. I won’t call you names”

              So now you seem to be taking the same road you accuse Hillary of taking.

              “The real difference is that the Repubs wear their ruthlessness on their sleeves while the Dems act the same while pretending to be sensitive and “decent.””

              Very confusing. Are there two of you? More than that? Which one is claiming the victimhood? The decency?

              Pot, kettle, black.

      3. Donald


        Political arguments are getting really weird. The same article that offends Carolinian for being hostile to Trump is being attacked by Clintonites in the Crooked Timber comment section for being too kind to Trump.

        And I don’t get the Trump sympathy of some lefties. You can argue about who is the less effective evil, but Trump is a vicious nasty person who openly encourages Islamophobia. Corey’s point is that Republicans have been playing with racist or bigoted dog whistles for decades and Trump is the natural extension of that tradition.

        Clinton, incidentally, plays with racist dog whistles herself when she says the BDS movement is antisemitic. In other words, anyone using standard nonviolent methods to pressure Israel over Palestinian human rights must be motivated by Jew hatred, because no one could possibly think Palestinian rights ( and our complicity with Israel in violating them) could matter.

        Anyway, I understand differences of opinion on how to vote, but not the whitewashing of either Trump or Clinton.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not only are political arguments getting weird in the abstract world, but politicians are revealing themselves to be weird in the physical realm as well.

          How else to explain those Republicans endorsing Hillary?

        2. tgs

          Trump is a vicious nasty person who openly encourages Islamophobia

          Our media both entertainment and news has been encouraging Islamophobia for some time now. Muslims in general and Arabs in particular are go to villains in movies, tv series, msm talk shows etc., Many Americans have gotten the message and no doubt wondered why no one was doing something about it. Along comes Trump who obviously hammered this point home crudely.

          Our government has been killing Muslims non-stop for over a decade and running interference for the Israelis do carry out a brutal ethnic cleansing. But of course Trump is the Islamophobe.

          I will not vote for Trump but the hypocrisy of many of the attacks on hims are astounding.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      To me, the key point is that Joseph Welsh had already bent to McCarthy by not hiring the young lawyer who McCarthy later attacked, the attack to which Welsh’s riposte was the famous “have you no decency” that Clinton apparatchiks appropriate.

      The analogy would be if Trump attacked Matt Bruenig, and Neena Tanden — who got Bruenig fired — came to Bruenig’s defense with a similar riposte. Liberals would, of course, cheer Tanden’s integritude, blah blah blah.

      So things aren’t quite so simple, suggests Robin.

    4. bob

      ” And for precursors to the rise of right populism point not just to the ideology of the Republican Party but also to the Democrats who so willingly let them do it and indeed shared many of the same views.”

      You should READ the post by Robin, he discusses this.

  8. Katharine

    Lind makes a strange statement:

    Universal national service would be a bad idea; the working class majority is hard-pressed enough without being required to perform unpaid labor.
    Why equate national service with unpaid labor? When there was a draft, soldiers were paid.

    More problematic, to my mind, is how you would get around the constitutional ban on involuntary servitude. I don’t know how the draft law did, or whether an argument that justified it could be generalized to non-military service. Is there a constitutional lawyer in the house?

    1. Steve H.

      This sentence is clearer:

      “But it might not hurt if every professor, opinion journalist, and foundation expert, as a condition of career advancement, had to spend a year or two working in a shopping mall, hotel, hospital, or warehouse.”

      That’s pretty much what the Red Guard enforced. Well, there is was ‘working in the fields’ but you get the idea.

      1. Katharine

        No, that sentence is what he offers as an alternative after saying universal national service is a bad idea. What I don’t see is how he can justify saying it’s a bad idea, if all he offers is its allegedly being unpaid. I offered the constitutional caveat to help get him off the hook, but if the advocates of universal service have a way around it he needs a stronger argument than he gave.

    2. Jess

      “National service” is often a nice way of saying, “the rich and middle class kids will get to do something comfortable while the poor become cannon fodder.” The real answer is two years mandatory unavoidable compulsory military service, with combat assignments and foreign deployments chosen by random draw. When not serving in harm’s way, soldiers can then be assigned to a vast array of beneficial domestic activities such as cleaning up our waterways, assisting teachers, resurrecting poor neighborhoods, etc. In fact, some soldiers could be deployed overseas in civilian clothes to do the kind of work the Peace Corps was famous for.

      1. subgenius

        …or you could follow the Constitution and just simply not have a standing army….which would simultaneously disempower the mic.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Draftees and enlisted like myself were paid as I recall $236 a month and yes, shitty barracks and carbo meals and the duty to pick up cigarette butts and peel potatoes and wash officers cars and paint rocks that bordered walkways a nice white. Not a nickels worth of value added to a healthy sustainable political economy, marking time until the could go kill wogs or “die for their Fokking country” in wars that are simply racketeering.

      There are lots of infra structures still standing and in use that were built by people employed in national service way back when. And the present reality of convict labor has been well covered in this space, speaking of indenture and slavery snd the 13th Amendment and the rest of that quaint document that is so clearly no longer operative if it ever really was except as a framework for looting.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I still think Clinton privatizing her email server is huge. Hence, her remarks on that topic are not fibs, but huge lies.

      If all official communications can be placed outside FOIA — and that is what Clinton accomplished — then how do we hold them accountable?

      If we define corruption as the use of public goods for private gain, then what Clinton has done is show how to move all communications over to the private side of the line, making corruption undetectable.

      Things are bad enough as they are, but Clinton has set a precedent to make them far worse.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        What about her health problems? She looks very bad lately. She CAN’T give a press conference. Every appearance she makes is carefully scripted. She had a brain injury of some kind. They say concussion, but there could have been a stroke. Stress bothers stroke victims. We will see how she stands up to debating The Donald.
        You’d think some of the rats would leave the sinking ship. What kind of presidency do her underlings think she will have, if she IS elected? Either impeached or forced to resign for health reasons. Then it will be Timmy Kaine.

        1. Jim Haygood

          “She CAN’T give a press conference.”

          But Hillary still summons her last reserves of strength to run a daunting gauntlet of back-to-back fundraisers:

          With that rasping crow’s croak, she sounds like a cross between a gangster’s gun moll and a crusty old matron who smokes three packs a day of unfiltered Camels, while treating her sore throat with shots of Ketel One.

      2. hreik

        could not agree more about being huge lies. Even Kristof reports that some were lies “or worse”… yeah a lot worse.

        yeah, praying for gridlock. yikes

      3. 3.14e-9

        What’s a little fib among friends? Not that it should come as any surprise, but the 1100+ comments seem to be largely pro-Hillary (judging by Readers’ Picks), with all the usual arguments, e.g, “She did nothing wrong,” “Comey said she told the truth,” “The emails weren’t classified when she sent them,” etcetera ad nauseam.

        The puzzling part is the number of comments claiming that whenever Trump tells a whopper, the media play it down, while if Clinton says something even remotely suspect, they turn it into a huge news story. I’d hazard a guess that these folks aren’t in the Fox News demographic, so what media are they talking about?

        1. low integer

          These folks are almost certainly Correct the Record types desperately trying to create an illusion of consensus among the masses in the hope that weak minded individuals will be persuaded to discard their intuition in favor of feeling like a part of the group. This “inversion of reality” tactic, clearly designed to make people doubt their own lying eyes and ears, is just so ridiculous, yet I am seeing more and more of it. I actually view it as a positive sign because it means Clinton’s reality distortion team have run out of ideas and have reverted to a “I know you are, but what am I” type of discourse. Hahaha.

          Unfortunately, there also exists the more sinister possibility that the Clinton camp has already decided to rig the election and are trying to pre-emptively legitimize the “victory” by creating an internet wide illusion that she has a lot of support. Nothing would surprise me these days, and in the last 24 hours or so I have seen 0bama saying that it was crazy to think that the US election could possibly be rigged. I mean, if 0bama feels the need to publicly make a statement about an issue, my thinking is that there is a much greater than 50% chance that the exact opposite is true.

          1. 3.14e-9

            I should have guessed. But dang, people I know have gone off the deep end, too. This new brand of Kool-Aid must be odorless, tasteless, and colorless, rendering it undetectable in tap water.

            From what I read, Obama’s comment wasn’t out of the blue but was in response to a question at a press conference. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a distinct possibility.

      4. clarky90

        “… Clinton has show(n) how to move all communications over to the private side of the line, making corruption undetectable”.

        What an insite! The penny drops

        This is Exceptional INNOVATION by Hillary C! How could we not vote for her? (sarc)

      5. Pat

        I believe there was a recent ruling that defeats Clinton’s purpose with the private server. One where the ruling declared that communications on private email accounts were still subject to FOIA requests. I’ll try to find the link.

        That said, of course the whole purpose of her account was to avoid compliance with a well established federal law, which in it itself should be considered criminal, beyond anything to do with the classified information or the Foundation corruption. Although some of my response on that is, I admit, driven by my reaction to her obvious belief that she is above the law, in word and intent, AND that she should not and will not be subject to public oversight.

        1. Pat

          Yup, DC Court of Appeals, and I quote Politico’s account:

          “If a department head can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to by the simple expedient of maintaining his departmental emails on an account in another domain, that purpose is hardly served. It would make as much sense to say that the department head could deprive requestors of hard-copy documents by leaving them in a file at his daughter’s house and then claiming that they are under her control,” Judge David Sentelle wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Harry Edwards.


          and Bezo’s Central:

  9. Uahsenaa

    I like Queen Anne’s Lace personally, and I have to agree with the ISU professor that regarding it as invasive is a little silly.

    Case in point, I was driving out to my sister-in-law’s house a few weeks back and instead of perfectly mowed grass in the ditches and along the curbs, I saw those little white flowers rising above lavender and goldenrod, there were day lilies and rusty stalks of wild amaranth, yellow daisies and purple coneflowers, as well as prairie grasses just beginning to yellow. On the occasional mile marker there sat a cardinal or a red wing blackbird, and I could see some of the most massive swallowtails I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I’d rather that than a vast, flat green nothing, but, then again, I hate grass.

    1. fresno dan

      August 7, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Same here as far a hating grass – the energy, money, and water to maintain a lawn. Must be some kind of conformity thing.

      1. polecat

        ….then there’s GMO Corn to consider………

        one of the worst weeds if there ever was one!

      2. frosty zoom

        i think that back in the day only a duke or baron or something could afford to waste land on nothing but green grass just because and it became a status symbol, a medieval version of a hummer..

        so, pigeons humans being humans, as soon as people got a little money, it was time to waste away, covering every available space with grass in a race to the top!

        1. JTMcPhee

          I recall in France that many houses that had front yards at all had them in kitchen gardens. That was in my one visit, Paris to Bretagne by car.

          My French teacher in high school offered that the French verb for “spend” is “depenser,” which she archly parsed as “to not think…” “Penser” being the verb for “to think.”

      3. carycat

        I wonder how much of this lawn thing is bullying from the Home Owner’s Associations (they are all from Hell). I’ve had personal run-ins with my HOA about not edging my measly frontage and letting the grass grow a little long (I do work for a living and mow my own lawn; but that is not high on my list of must-do-first).

        1. jgordon

          If you do keep a lawn, which I don’t recommended, you need to be sure to mow it at least once a week in the growing season. Whenever about more than one third of a plant is removed it’ll go into shock and likely die. Improper mowing is one of the leading causes of patchy, ugly lawns.

          If you don’t like doing lawn maintenance, move to a place without one if those despicable HOAs.

          1. low integer

            That is very interesting and I know someone with a patchy lawn who does not mow it very often. I will pass this info on to them. Lawns are ubiquitous in suburban Australia, though after having read here for so long, I will most likely go against this trend if I can ever afford a house in the stupid and essentially rigged Australian property market.

              1. low integer

                My impression is that most people don’t even think about these sorts of things. They just have a lawn because everyone else does.
                Although this is a field I don’t know much about, I do know, without any doubt, that we as a species are not giving nature anywhere near the amount of respect she deserves, and it breaks my heart.

              2. EndOfTheWorld

                Does permaculture result in an increase in insects? Just asking. Also, it looks too much like work.

                1. Steve H.

                  Insects, yes, and their predators. Isn’t impacted the way monoculture is.

                  – Also, it looks too much like work.

                  Mollison talked about substituting control functions for power functions (possible paraphrase). Fruit and nut trees were a major part of the early work in Permaculture I & II. iirc, he was inspired by the indigenous creation of microclimates in the desert which could be productive, an engineered hunting and gathering rather than agriculture as we think of it.

    2. Katharine

      I agree about the unmowed ditches. They are so much more beautiful! Presumably they are also a lot better for pollinators and other wildlife, and a big help when there are torrential rains. Even in my back yard, the low area that was grass when I came here used to have standing water for days after a big rain, but since I planted suitable wildflowers a few years ago it has been healthier and more interesting.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Yes. I like both Queen Anne’s lace and Black-Eyed Susans because they remind me of my Midwestern childhood, where there were fields and fields of both (and especially the roadside ditches). And yes, they are great for pollinators.

    3. so

      Queen Annes Lace, Sumac, and Golden Rod are just a few of natures wonders that create incredible color on wood and cloth. The greatest epiphany of my life was the realization that in order to find Beauty I would have to take from the past, present and future technologies. It’s sad to me that our modern culture can’t accept inconsistency.(the Ultimate Beauty)

    4. JCC

      I read about this guy years ago and completely related to his attitude:

      Mr. Benner knew he didn’t want a grass lawn, having spent his youth in Ardmore, Pa., glumly mowing huge swaths of grass for his father.

      Another Connecticut homeowner I knew years ago stopped fighting the moss and embraced it by taking chunks of moss out of his lawn, running it through a low speed blender, and then spreading it all around his front lawn.

      He told me the first year he did it his neighbors gave him much grief, which he ignored since he was saving a small fortune in lawn mower maintenance, repairs, and gas, not to mention time.

      By the third year his next door neighbor realized the bennies and joined in (First they fight you, then…) He now has a small business, like the gentleman in the above link, selling moss.

      I took his advice when I moved to a small property in Upstate NY and made sure all my moss remained healthy and let it spread like wildfire. The pink slip notices on my door from the County informing me that I mow my lawn or they would disappeared within a couple of years.

      1. Uahsenaa

        I would love a natural lawn, but the city ordinances won’t let you get away with it. There was even a horticulture professor from the U who tried to do it a few years back, and the city just showed up, knocked the vegetation down to within the six inch limit (the ordinance states that any ground cover plant has to be kept below a max height of six inches), and then charged him for doing it. He complained to the city council, but that went nowhere.

        If I had my druthers I’d prefer something like a really shady lawn with lots of old growth trees and ground cover plants like pachysandra and myrtle, hell maybe even ginseng, if I could swing it.

    5. 3.14e-9

      Queen Anne’s Lace is classified as a Class C noxious weed in Washington State. Here’s their justification:

      It out competes native grasses for resources. It can taint milk if dairy cows ingest large amounts. It may be mildly toxic to livestock. Wild carrot may cause poor seed production with commercial varieties through hybridization. Wild carrot (except where commercially grown) was changed from a Class B to a Class C noxious weed in 2013.

      Fortunately, eradication is not required in my part of the state.They’re lovely in wildflower bouquets.

      Here’s the full list of plants classified as noxious weeds in Washington:

  10. SpringTexan

    Sorry, I DO have to rejoice if the siege of Aleppo, one of Assad’s many atrocities, is broken, no matter who it is. It matters. Yes I hope it will not be taken advantage of, but maybe people will be able to eat.

    1. HBE

      What? You want the largely secular Assad regime to be defeated by radical wahhabis, funded by Saudi Arabia and the US among others, and the entire country of Syria turned into a destabilized H/ll hole for all the people of Syria not just allepo (think Libya x10), I find that a disgusting thing to rejoice over.

      Aleppo wouldn’t be under any siege at all if the US and Gulf states weren’t funding these groups.

      You know what would make me rejoice, is if the US would stop funding and supplying these groups, the war would have been over years ago and the people of Aleppo would be eating right now.

      You want groups like this to control Syria, really?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        In the future, someone will time-travel back and put Moses on a cruise ship and send him and his followers to Tahiti.

        And that whole region will be secular.

        (I wonder if someone has already written that sci-fi).

    2. HBE

      What? I find it disgusting you rejoice over US and Gulf funded wahhabis, destroying the largely secular Assad regime.

      The people of Aleppo wouldn’t even be starving in the first place if the US and Gulf states were not funding these groups in the first place.

      So you rejoice at turning Syria into another Libya and turning the whole country into an Aleppo, what a humanitarian.

    3. HBE

      What? I find it disgusting that you would rejoice over US and Gulf funded wahhabis destroying the largely secular Assad regime and turning the whole country into an islamist Aleppo.

      The people of Aleppo would not be starving in the first place if the US and Gulf states were not funding these groups. I am so glad you rejoice over the destruction of the Syrian state and it’s inevitable decline into the instability and misery of Libya I’m sure the Syrian people would rejoice in the same manner you are when that happened

        1. frosty zoom

          you know, i spent a long time staring at that post wondering just what to make of it. it feels like it was cut and pasted from a samantha powers speech or from ms. clinton’s hollow point bullet points.

          • we paid
          • they terrorized
          • we pipelined!


    4. ggm

      Yes, I’m sure this will be the round of neoliberal nation-building that finally takes. Go team IMF! Grab those resources and get that financially engineered utopia underway. Let them eat loans and privatizations. It’s going to be great. No way this ends with a massively impoverished populous becoming radicalized or anything. Not this time.

    5. Plenue

      You have it backwards. The ‘rebels’ are attempting to start a siege. The media has always reported on Aleppo as if the entire city were in the hands of one party or other. The reality is that the jihadis only ever controlled eastern Aleppo, while the government never lost control of the western half of the city. East Aleppo has been mostly depopulated for who knows how many months, while hundreds of thousands of civilians were safe in the west. The militants are now attempting to reverse the recent government lock-down of eastern Aleppo into an isolation of the government held portion of the city. Assad’s government is the one that has been protecting and taking care of hundreds of thousands of people in Aleppo, for years, not besieging them. Behold the wonders of garbage western MSM reporting, ladies and gentlemen. Making people believe the exact opposite of reality.

      “no matter who it is”.

      Head-choppers as good guys. The victims of 9/11 are rolling in their graves.

      I wouldn’t want to be in the corridor the jihadists have created around the Ramosa artillery academy. Russia is going to turn it into a bloodbath. This could be the pivotal turning point in the whole war. This offensive has to be broken here and now.

    6. tgs

      Your view (Spring Texan) is truly ill-informed and morally disgusting. Others can supply the details – but one point of interest, you have objectively put yourself on the side of al Quaeda.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Pension wars:

    The American Academy of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries Monday abruptly disbanded its longtime joint Pension Finance Task Force, objecting to a task force paper challenging the standard actuarial practice of valuing public pension plan liabilities.

    “This paper (is) being censored by the AAA” and SOA, said Edward Bartholomew, who was a member of the former task force, in an interview. “They didn’t want it to get out.”

    The paper, written by four members of the task force, including Mr. Bartholomew, calls for measuring public plan liabilities using risk-free interest rates. Current public plan practice uses the long-term investment return of assets to value liabilities.

    A financial economics approach using a risk-free rate, for example, of 30-year Treasury securities at a 2.5% yield compared to the current standard actuarial practice using a general 7.5% rate would add significantly to the liabilities of public pension plans, members of the former task force said.

    Last week I referred to defenders of the 7.5% assumed return standard as “cornered rats” who will go to any lengths to cover up the extent of underfunding they preside over.

    This desperate rearguard action by actuarial societies to gag their members from revealing the truth isn’t going to work, because the truth is already out there in the Andonov, Bauer and Cremers paper, “Pension Fund Asset Allocation and Liability Discount Rates” — too late!

    Just to sharpen the point on our critical lance, take a 76% funded pension scheme such as Calpers with an assumed 20 years of equal-payment liabilities discounted at 7.5%. Now discount the payments at 2.5% — the present value of liabilities rises by 53%, while the funded ratio sinks to 50%.

    As ol’ Jimi Hendrix used to say … “Yeah, get on with it, baby. That’s what I’m talking ’bout.”

  12. Jesper

    Apparently people no longer wish for financial security:

    younger workers are not motivated by the same factors as previous generations, such as a job for life, but instead value a good work-life balance and a sense of purpose beyond financial success.

    I suppose that we should be grateful for the current state of affairs…… Or maybe these younger workers will change their mind once they start thinking about paying back student loans, the costs of raising a family etc?

    1. Foppe

      Sure, they have ‘other priorities’, but it’s more likely to be a combination of not being too worried, believing in TINA, and having resigned themselves to the status quo. Don’t forget that we’re talking about the UK, where job security doesn’t exist and hasn’t existed since Maggie’s reign. Note further that they’ve polled (fin sector) “knowledge workers”, who are in a far less precarious situation than most people are, making extrapolation from this data (such as it is) problematic.

    2. temporal

      Good paying jobs with pensions, pensions having been the main reason to stick with a company for life, are currently not on the menu. Might as well pretend that what you can’t change as an individual is a personal decision.

      If all you can find are blue jeans might as well put them on and call them yours.

      1. rich

        Why worry…everybody is in Uber……who knew getting rich was this easy.

        Investors have placed a one-way bet on Uber

        Uber, which declined to be interviewed for this story, raised an impressive $2.7 billion in its first five years. The financing came from an increasingly feverish crowd of Silicon Valley venture capital firms, as well as individual technologists like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and US private equity funds. But that has been nothing compared with the 18 months since. The figures are not definitive because of Uber’s opacity, but, with its latest haul of leveraged debt and equity provided to Didi Chuxing, it has raised approximately $13.5 billion since the end of 2014, which accounts for 83% of the money attracted in its seven-year history, while increasing its valuation by 50%.

        This leap for Uber has been funded by a new kind of investor. Uber had its last orthodox fundraising round—involving mainly VCs and private equity funds—in December 2014. Since then, its cash has come largely from the sale of debt and investments by either the well-heeled clients of investment banks or petro-state sovereign wealth funds. Qatar invested an undisclosed sum. Saudi Arabia put up a whopping $3.5 billion, and Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman has thrown in $200 million.

        Recently, Uber has been funded by a new kind of investor. But that is not all. More cash has come via Uber’s push into subprime lending. In May, Uber raised $1 billion from Goldman Sachs and five other banks to create a subsidiary called Xchange, a car-leasing firm for drivers otherwise unqualified to receive an auto loan. To obtain a car through Xchange, Uber drivers pay 11.6% interest, almost five times the standard US rate. When drivers do not keep up payments, Xchange hires repo men to collect the cars.

        The creation of Xchange injects a new dimension of financial risk into Uber’s business, one endemic to subprime lending, and a reputational one as well. At once, it is not only the sleek and courteous ride-hailing business of its legendary early years, but now one that repossesses cars from deadbeats.
        In most successful investments, everyone earns a very good return, from the early, visionary risk-takers forward. So it will likely be with Uber, whose early investors seem poised to make a phenomenal profit in an IPO. If you invested $10,000 in the Series A round in February 2011, it would be worth about $10 million if Uber were to go public at today’s valuation.

  13. Carolinian

    On Hiroshima weekend Diana Johnstone describes how Harry Truman and local SC politician Jimmy Byrnes enthusiastically dropped the atomic bomb and also may have caused the Cold War

    The decision to use the atom bombs was a purely political decision taken almost solely by two politicians alone: the poker-playing novice President and his mentor, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes.

    President Harry S. Truman was meeting with Churchill and Stalin in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam when secret news came that the New Mexico test of the atomic bomb was a success. Observers recall that Truman was “a changed man”, euphoric with the possession of such power. While more profound men shuddered at the implications of this destructive force, to Truman and his “conniving” Secretary of State, James Byrnes, the message was: “Now we can get away with everything.”[…]

    The demonstrated possession of such a weapon gave Truman and Byrnes such a sense of power that they could abandon previous promises to the Russians and attempt to bully Moscow in Europe. In that sense, the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only gratuitously killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. They also started the Cold War.[…]

    Stalin was told that Russia could take reparations only from the largely agricultural eastern part of Germany under Red Army occupation. This was the first step in the division of Germany, which Moscow actually opposed.

    Since several of the Eastern European countries had been allied to Nazi Germany, and contained strong anti-Russian elements, Stalin’s only condition for those countries (then occupied by the Red Army) was that their governments should not be actively hostile to the USSR. For that, Moscow favored the formula “People’s Democracies” meaning coalitions excluding extreme right parties.

    Feeling all-powerful, the United States sharpened its demands for “free elections” in hope of installing anti-communist governments. This backfired. Instead of giving in to the implicit atomic threat, the Soviet Union dug in its heels. Instead of loosening political control of Eastern Europe, Moscow imposed Communist Party regimes – and accelerated its own atomic bomb program. The nuclear arms race was on.

    She is saying that the notion of American Exceptionalism may have started with the Bomb which led to the Cold War and the resulting fury when the USSR got one of their own. Now all these years later the same crazy power dance is starting up again.

    I walk by what was once Jimmy Byrnes’ house every day. Piece of history.

    1. Jim Haygood

      South Carolina also contains the boyhood home of a prominent American economist, Ben “Bubbles” Bernanke:

      DILLON, S.C. — Young banker Travis Jackson just bought Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s childhood home at a foreclosure sale.

      Mr. Bernanke’s family sold the property more than a decade ago. It ended up on the block late last year after its former owners fell behind on their mortgage payments.

      In an interview, Mr. Bernanke declined to speak publicly about the fate of his hometown or boyhood home, which is set amid tall, scraggly pines on East Jefferson Street.

      They just couldn’t keep young Ben dwelling under the palmettos, after he’d seen Hahhhhhhvid.

      1. Carolinian

        Don’t forget great Hollywood director Stanley Donen and the ever popular John C. Calhoun.

        Donen later claimed he couldn’t get out of SC fast enough–faced antisemitism growing up in Columbia.

    2. Jagger

      Since several of the Eastern European countries had been allied to Nazi Germany, and contained strong anti-Russian elements, Stalin’s only condition for those countries (then occupied by the Red Army) was that their governments should not be actively hostile to the USSR. For that, Moscow favored the formula “People’s Democracies” meaning coalitions excluding extreme right parties.

      Is that correct or just words to disguise actual intent? Certainly does not sound like Stalin or historical precedent or the actual historical results nor does it correlate with the ideological goals of international communism. And if it was Stalin’s only official condition, what are the chances he was actually serious. Have to check into that.

      1. Carolinian

        There’s much more at the Counterpunch link. She says Stalin’s quarrel with Trotsky was that Stalin did not seek to export the revolution…that he took international agreements seriously even while playing the dictator at home.

        1. Jagger

          Thanks, I will check it out. And yes, Trotsky was the internationalist. But then, I am curious about the early WW2 occupation of the Baltic states, the war against Finland and the invasion of Poland. In each successful military invasion, Stalin installed communist governance and same after WW2 in eastern Europe. Maybe not an internationalist in the mold of Trotsky but the same results. I guess I should break down and read a book about Stalin but that idea is not very appealing. I suspect he was much more of a typical, plain vanilla, ruthless, authoritarian dictator than any sort of ideologue. Not sure what lessons there are to learn from reading about him.

          1. James Levy

            He forced the Rumanians to cede Bessarabia and the Finns to give up Karelia, but in neither case did he push for “regime change” and it came back to bite him on the ass, as both countries became active military allies of Nazi Germany.

            1. Jagger

              There was also the extensive support to the republicans during the Spanish Civil War. The communists pretty much took over that war effort and suppressed/eliminated the leadership of the anarchists and socialists. Not to mention accepting the Spanish Gold reserves.

              did not seek to export the revolution

              It is getting a little vague now but IIRC the internationalists wanted active support of workers movements around the world which would ultimately overthrow the capitalist system everywhere. Yet, clearly Stalin would support rebellions and would install communist governance through military conquest and annexation. Perhaps the disagreement between Stalin and the internationalists was over the degree of early active support of workers movements around the world. Didn’t take much policy disagreement among the various communist groups to lead to a fight to the death.

          2. Micky9finger

            Well there is the fact that he was probably the largest mass murderer and commiter of genocide in history.
            Hitler is considered a piker in comparison.

          3. JTMcPhee

            Let us not forget what us USians did in places like Italy and Korea after McArthur intoned “These proceedings are concluded” on the deck of that battleship…

            Interestingly Google does not link to any pages on the us interference in Korea after WW II. At least not in the first 15 or so pages of links.

  14. ekstase

    Truman really gets glossed over by most Americans, if they think of him anymore at all. But what a horrifying description of a man’s reaction to the bomb. Perhaps it’s true that normal people do not want power. It’s hard when someone who doesn’t want it, like Sanders, is pitted against people who do. Not sure what the solution is to this, (probably,) age-old problem.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Power dilution.

      Devolve it.

      4 co-emperors – that was a solution by the Romans at one time.

      More is possible.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      United States Senator is a pretty powerful position in today’s scheme of things.

    3. low integer

      Reluctant leaders are better suited to leadership roles than eager leaders, imo. In general, reluctance to take any kind of leadership role is a natural consequence of an understanding of the magnitude and complexity involved in leading a group of people to a somewhat optimum outcome for all involved.
      Those who actively seek power, however, usually have their mind fixated on the benefits that they will be able to accrue for themselves, and perhaps the little superiority complex riddled groups that they consider themselves to be a part of, while in the leadership role. As such eager leaders are not particularly interested in serving those who they consider common.
      My reading of this dynamic is that sensible people are usually willing to let eager leaders bumble along and self indulgently gratify their desire to feel important, but once things get too bad all bets are off and one starts to see reluctant leaders step up. This is usually simply due to their intuitive understanding that if they don’t sort this out, nobody will. Sanders was cut from this type of cloth imo.
      This dynamic, and the possibility of being shown up for the frauds they really are, should give eager leaders cause for concern because their fragile egos are just not ready to hear what the people really think about them, especially as they have generally consigned the masses to being “stupid”. Little do they know what lays beneath the surface.

    1. craazyman

      evidently he had warrant out for him anyway.

      it wasn’t cause he hailed the cruiser drunk.

      but still you have to wonder — cops posing as taxi drivers putting a sting on drunks with outstanding warrants. You wonder how they know a random person on the street is drunk in the first place. You could drive around all day pretending you’re a cab in your police car passing hundreds of people, thousands even, and you wouldn’t fool very many — especially people with outstanding warrants for their arrest. It seems inefficient as a crime fighting technique. The few people who hailed you maybe need you as a police officer, not a cab driver. You’d have to blow your cover and get back to job 1.

      You could go undercover too, in a fake taxi. Then if a drunk got in you’d have to ask for his license, or her license if it was a woman. They might be drunk enough to give it to you, and then you’d have to sit there waiting for the report to come back over the radio. Even a drunk might get suspicious. They’d say “Could I have my license back please?” Then what would you do. You’d have no probably cause.

      I’m not a lawyer but this sounds too complicated to be effective crime fighting.

      I would think a republican would look at this and see wasted public budget money. A democrat would look at this and see a lobbying opportunity. I would look at it and it would make me think of a ways of wasting time — just like this.

  15. ekstase

    Trump’s “chaotic” use of metaphor is interesting. Metaphors help us equate the values or emotional weights of things that can’t be directly spelled out.

    But when they are mixed up:

    “When he said in May that China is ‘raping our country’ it certainly caught people’s attention. But then in the next line of the speech he said, ‘we have the cards, don’t forget it’.”

    It kind of suggests that, to the speaker, these two things are of equal weight. Shocking, perhaps even funny if you don’t really mean it. But it suggests something about the speaker’s value system that is stunningly off. He’s ear-catching. But under that, good lord.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Underneath is excellently covered up by most politicians.

      He is just not as polished.

      Not sure to be thankful or to give Hillary a point here.

    1. Pat

      I can’t say it took my breath away, but I can say that my monitor got very very blurry.

      Thank you.

      1. Vatch

        he’s been bouncing among friends’ apartments and Airbnb rentals.

        That’s very luxurious compared to Diogenes of Synope (the Cynic), who lived in a large ceramic jar or barrel in the marketplace.

    2. fresno dan

      August 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      thank you for that – beautiful sentiments elegantly written

  16. petal

    An article in our local newspaper about the ACA and insurance costs/market in NH. It is rather long.

    “Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurance company, projected a 5.6 percent increase in premiums for its individual policies sold on the Marketplace.

    The biggest increases — all double-digit percentages — came from two nonprofit cooperatives set up under provisions of the ACA intended to promote competition in a young market: Minuteman Health Inc. of Boston and Maine-based Community Health Options.

    Behind those double-digit rate increases lay a little-noticed tale of unintended consequences and unexpected complexity that began with passage in 2010 of the ACA, and the development of government-sponsored markets for health insurance.”

  17. Jim Haygood

    Not that one should believe a word from the Arkansas idiot Tom “King” Cotton. But the hypothesis he offers should be investigated by responsible people:

    Hillary Clinton recklessly discussed, in emails hosted on her private server, an Iranian nuclear scientist who was executed by Iran for treason, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Sunday.

    “I’m not going to comment on what he may or may not have done for the United States government, but in the emails that were on Hillary Clinton’s private server, there were conversations among her senior advisors about this gentleman,” he said on “Face the Nation.” Cotton was speaking about Shahram Amiri, who gave information to the U.S. about Iran’s nuclear program.

    Iran confirmed on Sunday that Amiri had been hanged for treason. “Through his connection with the United States, Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy,” a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said.

    She typed, she sent, he died.

    1. frosty zoom

      Presidential candidate and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton described actions that led to Libby’s conviction as part of a larger effort by the White House to silence critics of the war in Iraq.

      “Today’s decision is yet another example that this administration simply considers itself above the law,” said Clinton of Bush’s decision to commute Libby’s sentence. “This case arose from the administration’s politicization of national security intelligence and its efforts to punish those who spoke out against its policies.

      “Four years into the Iraq war, Americans are still living with the consequences of this White House’s efforts to quell dissent. This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.”

      •• hahaha, she said “trump competence”.

  18. Donald

    Thanks for linking to that 34justice post. I hadn’t heard of that blog, but after reading some articles there I am going to be a regular reader.

    What impresses me is that he and the other posters are obviously committed to social justice, yet they try to be scrupulously honest as best I could tell. That’s pretty rare in politics.

  19. Oregoncharles

    “Beautiful flower or noxious weed? Queen Anne’s Lace exploding in Iowa”

    I’ve heard from two different sources that Queen Anne’s Lace seeds are an effective oral contraceptive (for women). I know nothing about dose, etc., so you’d need to research it before trying to use it.

    Supposedly, the name comes from Queen Anne using the seeds to avoid her chief duty, which was producing an heir to the throne. It was a big issue in English history at one point.

    It’s very common here, too; I was told it’s the reason you can’t grow carrot seeds here – they’ll cross with the wild plant. Has a large, deep root, so probably a soil improver.

  20. TedWa

    I personally don’t get it. Why all this demonizing of Trump? Can’t he be a decent man underneath and one wanting to do the right thing for this country? He’s talking peace and no trade agreements that don’t favor American workers. What’s wrong with that? We know Hellery will take us down the path to fascism and endless war because if it’s a democrat fkng us, it’s okay (see Obama). But if it’s a republican fkng us, will the democrats not stand up? Or will they accelerate the downward spiral? That’s the question facing us. Will a Trump presidency force the democrats to stand with “we the people” or will they allow their true intentions to be exposed to the people? Either we have 2 viable parties or we have 1. Voting Hellery will not expose that and will allow worse and worse atrocities across the globe and in America (because if it’s a democrat doing it – it’s okay). Voting Trump would expose that and/or make the democrats re-think their whole neoliberal neocon strategy as it’s not working. As noted in the article yesterday, Trump won because Democracy won, Hellery won because she has the undemocratic system (plutocracy) working on her behalf. Hellery scares me much more than Donald. You want to keep having lesser evil choices every 4 years and the pretense of a 2 party system blared across the airways 24/7 for the next 8 years? I can take Trump for 4 years more than I can take Hellery for 8.

    1. Roger Smith

      I think the best way to weaken the Democrats is to elect Trump. I don’t think they will personally react any positive ways, I’d predict they double down even more, but I think it will help the public see them more for what they are. A lot of it depends on MSM rhetoric and access to news too however.

      When I say double down, I imagine congressional hissy fits, a la gridlock, which is good. The more GOP talking heads turn against Trump the better option he becomes. We need this uncertain political pocket to last as long as it can if we want the structure to change or gain anything meaningful.

      1. TedWa

        Hi Roger : To me, to put things in perspective, Hellery is Wall Streets Godzilla with a known history of wreaking havoc around the world and enriching their brand above all others, and Trump could be considered Wall Streets poodle, without any real power unless the democrats give it to him, which is unlikely. The choices they gave us are a known grifter vs a used car salesman whose politics hasn’t hurt anyone. Some choices.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        0bama reversed the polarity of US politics, everything that was roundly hated and discredited from the Bush program (endless war, free pass for bank crime, domestic spying, big pharma giveaways) all of a sudden were “Dem” policies because a smooth-talking brother was doing them.
        Electing Hilary will lock this coup into place, whereas President Trump at least would give Dems something to be against once again.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Can’t he be a decent man underneath

      Unlikely in the nature of the case. I’d love to dig out what Trump said about the Somalis in Portland, but unfortunately I can’t find a full transcript and I can’t trust the press to quote accurately. But assume the worst imaginable bigotry. In what way is that comparable to Clinton’s Libya debacle? Which is more decent? The two don’t seem commensurate, at least in our discourse.

      1. TedWa

        I don’t think he’s as big a bigot as the media portrays him – and like it or not, there’s some in everyone. More in those that lost their jobs to outsourcing or to immigrants. I take everything he says with a grain of salt and don’t see him as posing any danger unless the dems let him (if elected). That would be on the dems imo. He’s got a pretty good sense of humor and can see both sides of the issues, Hellery no sense of humor or at best a macabre one, and with Hellery, there is only 1 side. Grain of salt.

        1. Isotope_C14

          There are just too many coincidences revolving around him running for president that strongly suggest he’s there to make H-> win. All the photos of the families together, the phone calls, who better to hire than a reality show star for a staged election?

          On top of that, I bet he was asked to be the biggest bigot possible. Say whatever awful thing for that hefty check he got which makes it why he can’t release his tax returns. It all adds up better than Quiz Show. (21).

          Indeed, H-> is *not* funny. Reminds me of an old Dr. Katz episode about nuns…

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            No, that’s a REALLY far-out conspiracy theory. When Trump started his campaign, nobody but nobody believed he had a Chinaman’s chance (is that “racist”?) to win. Especially not the establishment politicos like Hill’s handlers. So this agreement would have had to start quite recently, after The Donald finally nailed down the nomination.
            It’s true that many Republicans now want HRC to win, but Trump is not one of them.

    3. clarky90

      IMO, Trump is putting together a coalition of the 99% (Evangelicals, unemployed Black youth, working poor, unemployed, middle class, upper middle class, PeaceNiks….). In response, the 1% and their lackies (employees) are scrambling. (Throwing the proverbial, solid-gold kitchen sink)

    1. frosty zoom

      wow, just think, if the democrats take back the house, it’ll be like 2009 all over again!!!

    2. Jim Haygood

      Way back in 1973, Walter Karp explained in his book Indispensable Enemies how the D and R parties collaborate to maintain their status-quo, anti-reform duopoly by not contesting elections that they could easily win.

      Four and a half decades on, nothing has changed, as the Down With Tyranny blogger ably demonstrates.

      The DCCC’s refusal to support progressive candidates mirrors Karp’s description of the party’s modus operandi in the pre-civil rights 1960s. Even as it collected votes from northern urban voters, the Democratic Party explained to them (wiping away a crocodile tear) that troglodyte Southern committee chairmen — members of the very same Democratic party — wouldn’t allow any civil rights legislation to the floor for a vote.

      Constituencies have changed, but the game remains the same. It is simply idle, and counter-historical, to view either the D or R party as a vehicle for reform of any kind. Blocking reform is their reason for existence.

      They showed Bernie. And they’ll show you.

      1. Ulysses

        “It is simply idle, and counter-historical, to view either the D or R party as a vehicle for reform of any kind. Blocking reform is their reason for existence.”

        Very true!! It is well past time for both “major” parties to go the way of the Whigs.

  21. Fruitless Cosmopolitans

    Lind in that Drexel literary magazine: lousy example of intellectual freakishness, that eggheads think of themselves as citizens of the world. There’s another word for people who consider themselves global citizens: the majority.

    51% of all countries surveyed. Even trapped inside the USA-USA-USA! propaganda miasma, 43% feel like global citizens. But then that’s apt to happen when your state has degenerated into a repressive banana republic.

    Lind tries to equate world citizenship with migration. But when you ask the world citizens, they overwhelmingly tell you it means rule of law.

  22. Kim Kaufman

    re Joseph Stiglitz. From Democracy Now 7/28 from the DNC convention. He was/is still? an advisor to Clinton. Amy takes an uncharacteristically hard line of questioning him about the TPP. He assures her that Clinton is now against it and has spoken out against it being passed in the Lame Duck. I must have missed that last part. He also said that although the DNC fought back hard against explicitly putting “No TPP” in the platform, the requirements for trade agreements in the platform are not in alignment with TPP or NAFTA so therefore she is against the TPP.

    There’s also a transcript if you don’t want to watch it. But Stiglitz’s body language on Hillary’s support of TPP is interesting.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        Notwithstanding what Isotope says, I do think he was lying. He has this phony smile he uses to, perhaps, soften what he’s saying. He smiled super super much during the TPP part. I had heard this on the radio when it was broadcast. But to get the link to post it here, I watched the video to see if what I thought I heard (making it up) I also heard when I saw it. At any rate, I’m here to get the link again to send to someone because I just realized I know someone who was on the platform committee and I want to ask him if he knows anything about a “no lame duck” in the platform.

        What happens to comments a day and a half later? I guess I’m spitting in the wind here.

    1. Isotope_C14

      Thanks much for the link!!!

      I have to say that his “body language” is very indicative.

      People shake their head when they mean no, and he does that while saying yes a bit. Once when his reasoning was for “not embarrassing Obama” being reasoning for supporting the TPP in the D platform, he also shakes his head no about judging the VP reasoning of choice of Kaine. He also shakes his head when he says Trump would be a horrible choice. Interesting…

      He’s not a professional liar, that’s for sure.

      I’ve read Globalization and its Discontents and enjoyed his points in the past, I’m a bit surprised that he’s been tapped for anything in a MIC administration.

      I think he really thinks she’s going to listen to him. I doubt that will come to pass though.

    1. Pat

      I can’t wait for Clinton and the DNC to turn this around and blame Wikileaks. Yes, I know it doesn’t really make sense, but what else do they have. They can’t really blame Russia. And their dismay at Iran’s actions won’t deflect from her complicity. They have to do something, so what else…

      It wasn’t that we were talking about this, it was that it was published. Wikileaks is evil, Hang Assange!

  23. Plenue

    “The Tories’ intellectual decline”

    Hah. You can’t decline from something that was pants-on-head stupid and blatantly selfish to begin with. And I don’t just mean the British Tories. I mean all conservatives, everywhere, regardless of time and place.

    Note that this doesn’t mean that anyone coming along with the intent of destroying the status quo is automatically a good guy. The arrogant narcissism of Communist Vanguardism shows that abundantly. “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” just means “We’ve replaced one aristocracy with a new one. The actual people will have no input or say, and shouldn’t, because they’re all dumb rubes. Now listen to us elites, because we know best. And if you don’t listen we’ll censor, then imprison, then, if needed, murder you.”

    Here, I’ll make another sweeping judgement: Communists of all stripes are simply wrong. You start from objectively nonsensical foundations (‘the SCIENCE of Marxism-Leninism’), and everything you build on that foundation is worthless. Stalinists and Trotskyites continuing to engage in their asinine feud is the very definition of pathetic. All the ‘wonders’ of religious dogma and heretic burning with none of the…well I was going to say none of the metaphysics, but what are most of Marxisms tenets other than baseless supernatural assertions about the nature of reality?

  24. Kim Kaufman

    Researchers or Corporate Allies?
    Think Tanks Blur the Line

    Think tanks are seen as independent, but their scholars often push donors’ agendas, amplifying a culture of corporate influence in Washington.

    AUG. 7, 2016

    Should be no shocker alert over here at NC. I imagine Lambert’s first response would be “Think tanks seen as independent… by who?” My question: who will the NY Times use as authorities to get quotes from now? However, the article details, in fact, much worse abuses than (I) suspected.

    1. Pat

      Cynical me, is sure this will be forgotten by the Times by, well now. Tomorrow at the latest.

  25. ewmayer

    Singapore Unveils “Real” Self-Driving Taxis (No Steering Wheel, No Pedal) Dateline 2019 | MishTalk

    Mish deploys his favorite rhetorical tactic, a phrase along the lines of ‘no one with half a brain can possibly dispute that…’ preceding a claim which is in fact highly debatable. In this case, the wording is ‘anyone with an ounce of sense understands that automation can handle adverse conditions better than humans.’ The science here is completely settled, folks! Only a delusional Luddite denialist would dare dispute these well-established facts! A small subregion of Singapore’s capital, with its crazy-flat terrain, insanely mild weather and rampaging anarchic legions of street people, is clearly a punishing Real World™ test!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Did he forget to say ‘it’s mathematically impossible’ to be otherwise?

      That always scares the heck out of me.

    2. Plenue

      As a libertarian he’s convinced that everyone else is an idiot, and he’ll brook no debate or dispute of that assumption.

    3. cnchal

      Only around 15 percent of Singapore residents own a car, in large part owing to the high taxes and pricey fees that make car ownership in the city-state wildly expensive. The population thus needs—and is clamoring for—more effective and inexpensive public transportation options. A jaunt in a self-driving taxi is projected to cost about a third of a regular cab ride.

      The fix is in. Everything becomes automated. Even Mish can be replaced by an algorithm.

  26. Skippy

    One for the X files…


    More on my favorite topic: Current account and Capital Account imbalances.
    Look in any Economics Textbook and you’ll find explanations of the relationship between the Current Account and the Capital Account
    such as:

    The balance of payments always balances.

    Goods, services, and resources traded internationally are paid for; thus every movement of products is offset by a balancing movement of money or some other financial asset.
    If a U.S. retailer imports $1 million of Japanese televisions, there is a corresponding or balancing movement of money to the Japanese producer.
    A surplus in the Current account is by definition offset by a deficit in the Capital account.
    Another way to think of this is that if we export goods and services, then we import financial assets of the foreigners who purchased those goods and services.
    Similarly, a deficit in the Current account must be offset by a surplus in the Capital account.

    OK straight forward stuff, nothing complex nothing to get caught up on BUT what happens if these two accounts do not balance?
    Might seem like a ridiculous question, because the answer in the definition…..hmmm trouble is I’m finding discrepancies, large discrepancies, and I’m bothered by this nagging thought that Derivatives are not properly included in this definition.
    I’m certain those with a classic Economics education will simply say @#$% Derivatives! they’re just not that significant. Frankly I’m a numbers guy so if I only have 3 choices then what’s not in Bin A or Bin B must therefore be in Bin C. Suggesting that all the errors I’m finding must be in this Derivatives Account,

    I get the feeling the world of international finance has out grown the 19th century accounting concepts that underly these Current/Capital account models and is making complete fools of those countries that didn’t get the memo.

    August 7, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Kinda hard for some to evaluate a system when they don’t even have a functioning model of it, seems existential philosophic musings cover everything.

    Disheveled Marsupial…. which is made even more curious when only a hand full of people understood Derivatives pre GFC, currently scratching heads about the shadow sector…..

    Disheveled Marsupial…. whats really going to be a treat is this human template is over laid on another, where as the latter is becoming better understood the prior becomes increasingly the opposite, seemingly by design or folly… it matters not… save the conclusion….

  27. ewmayer

    Local evening Channel 5 (non-NBC) nitwitness n00z just did their sunday-wrapup sports report. Not a word about anything that happened at the Olympics, just the medal count. USA! USA! USA!

  28. Roland

    The thing I’m a bit worried about in post-coup Turkey is that once Erdogan has asserted his control over a purged officer corps, the possibility looms of a direct Turkish armed force intervention in the Syrian War sometime in 2017.

    I don’t believe there is any real rapprochement going on between Turkey and Russia. Erdogan might be the one doing the political maskirovka.

    Erdogan has the NATO alliance in his back pocket. No matter what the Western gov’ts might think about the manner in which the Turkish president has consolidated his power, there is no way whatsoever that NATO would dare to let Turkey down in any possible confrontation with Russia. NATO is stuck in the old “credibility trap,” so Erdogan can wag the dog as much as he wants.

    If Clinton wins the US election, then of course that dog wants to get wagged anyway.

    As for Turkish ties to the EU: after the integration efforts were frustrated, the Turks learned the truth: you don’t need to be integrated in a stifling political bloc to enjoy a flourishing trade. One of the reasons Erdogan’s party keeps winning elections is that the Turkish economy isn’t all that bad.n

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