Links 9/14/16

Pneumonia Virus Terrified After Remembering What Clintons Capable Of Onion (David L)

How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children Nature

Scotland Waves Hello to the World’s First Tidal Power Farm MIT Technology Review (David L)

Paying Taxes Is a Lot Better Than Phony Corporate Courage, Apple’

Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet Lawfare (Lulu)


China Ups the Game in the South China Sea Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch

US ambassador slams Chinese bribes MacroBusiness

Hanjin Brings One of World’s Busiest Shipping Terminals Close to Standstill Bloomberg

NAM and NaMo: Skipping the Summit Is a Miss for India The Wire. J-LS: “Look behind the oblique headline: interesting summary of state of play of the non-aligned movement and Indian diplomacy.”


EU’s Juncker warns UK on single market BBC. As we’ve been saying…

British Brexiters shocked to find out they might have to get permission to travel to Europe BoingBoing (Randy K)

Parliament may have to ratify Brexit legislation – Davis Reuters

David Davis admits possibility of UK exiting EU without trade deal Guardian

Michael Pettis Calls Surplus Trade Statements by German Finance Minister “Utter Lunacy” Michael Shedlock (EM)

David Cameron ‘ultimately responsible’ for Libya collapse and the rise of Isis, Commons report concludes Independent. J-LS:: “No wonder he quit yesterday.”

Parliament calls for carbon capture to revive British industry and slash climate costs Telegraph (David L)

Erdoğan’s Tragic Choice Project Syndicate (David L)


Israel will reportedly get a record $38 billion in military aid from the US Vice. Joe H: “Obama’s parting gift to Netanyahu.”

Details of Syria Pact Widen Rift Between John Kerry and Pentagon New York Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

The U.S. military has a huge problem with obesity and it’s only getting worse Military Times (resilc)


Clinton’s Medical Mistrust Wall Street Journal. J-LS:: “Two in a row– another WSJ op/ed bullseye. Is the Journal changing, or am I losing it?” Moi: Clinton is serving up such obvious material for attack that even the Journal opinion page can get it right.

Hillary Became Unelectable Long Ago Ilargi

Clinton emails – The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse failed evolution

After Donating 4 Times to Hillary’s Campaign, Fed Governor Tries to Prop up the “Financial Markets” Wolf Richter (Li)

Trump Has 5-Point Lead in Bloomberg Poll of Battleground Ohio Bloomberg

Trump Foundation under investigation for suspected ‘impropriety’ BBC

New Campaign Team Recasts Trump’s TV Image Wall Street Journal

Kellyanne Conway gets Trump under control Financial Times. So the supposedly sexist Trump is taking orders from a woman when he wouldn’t from men….

Gov. Brown Signs Farmworker Overtime Bill Fox40 (EM)

Dakota Access Pipeline Would Lock In Emissions of 30 Coal Plants EcoWatch (Glenn F)

Appeals court skeptical of New Hampshire’s ballot-selfie ban Reuters (EM)

FDA’s sharing of grand jury information comes under criticism Reuters (EM)

Security Firm Guarding Dakota Access Pipeline Also Used Psychological Warfare Tactics for BP Steve Horn

EpiPen Maker Dispenses Outsize Pay Wall Street Journal. Roy Poses at Health Care Renewal has made this point regularly, albeit not in this detail.

Wells Fargo Can Make Pivot Needed in Wake of Scandal, CFO Says Bloomberg. Resilc: “Pivot to the Crips?”

Obama pledges protections for credit-card users Press Democrat. You cannot make this stuff up.

Berkshire is accused in New York lawsuit of workers’ compensation ‘siphoning’ Reuters (EM)

The Reserve: The Dollar, the Renminbi, and Status of Reserve GMO. Good discussion of the role of reserve currencies.

U.S. Household Income Grew 5.2 Percent in 2015, Breaking Pattern of Stagnation New York Times

Carl Icahn: ‘I think it’s very dangerous’ in the market CNBC (fuzzy). Notice how CNBC later changed the title (see v. URL).

Are bonds and equities a bubble? Wrong question… MacroBusiness

Guillotine Watch

Divorce in the land of the super rich Politico

Class Warfare

Income gains in 2015 don’t reverse long-run trend toward greater inequality Economic Policy Institute

Goldman Sachs Isn’t That Worried About Technology Destroying Your Job Bloomberg

Antidote du jour (Philip P):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Obama pledges protections for credit-card users Press Democrat. You cannot make this stuff up.

    “He disagreed with that case and believed that more needed to happen,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said of Obama.

    Robert Gibbs. This article is from 2009.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The part of this link that jumped out at me was Obama’s statement: “… and greater enforcement so that violators feel the full weight of the law.”

  2. Cry Shop

    US ambassador slams Chinese bribes MacroBusiness

    Sounds like US Amb. to Australia John Berry has sour grapes. (ex Sen.) Max Baucus was given the job of money bagman (ie: Ambassador) for Obama as a reward for steering PPACA through Congress (as doing so made him almost un-electable). In typical Chicago style,just like Jarrett and Michelle O before, he gets to cream off the top of all the delayed benefits the Chinese are sending Obama’s way. Berry must have been furious — the Australian’s, who’s idea of the weight of bribe is very small, need lessons to raise their game and not sell too cheap.

    Bill Clinton has take over 10 Million in speaking fees in China, together both Bush have done nearly as well, and early this Condi Rice has really cleaned up with Macao money, pulling in nearly 2 million for one day’s appearance (plus pointing out “things”).

  3. Roger Smith

    Re: Kellyanne Conway gets Trump under control Financial Times.

    Assuming Conway is responsible as this article claims, it is clear that Trump has had someone who is extremely good helping him think in the past few weeks (not to discredit his own potential input, maybe his is mostly in lead, who knows).

    His play to earn black voters at the Baptist Church in Detroit was the most amazing political move I have seen so far. Unprecedented. He went into “enemy” territory and sought to bridge together two groups of people no one else would have ever thought to (as far as I know historically) and in a way no one else would have thought: Bring together the conservative Christians with the older, devout Christian African Americans… It seems so obvious now but in this world of ‘Democrats owning the black vote’ I didn’t even see it.

    Even though I don’t give a damn about religion nor do I particularly follow conservatism, you can actually see Trump trying to bring people together and in new ways. I was floored when I first saw the clip of his speech there. Clinton and the Democrats (legacies in general) on the other hand divides people up by color and parts, then calls other people “deplorables”. Huh, go figure. Trump’s move was brilliant (whether ultimately successful or not) as was his recent behavior that has followed. He is on fire.

          1. rich

            Or just vote Republican…Maestro says:

            Greenspan Worries That ‘Crazies’ Will Undermine the U.S. System

            Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan voiced concern that the U.S. economic and political system could be undermined by what he called “crazies.”

            Greenspan repeated his concern on Tuesday that increased government spending on social security and healthcare are crowding out private investment and leading to slower economic growth. He bemoaned the fact that neither presidential candidate was talking about reining in those expenditures.

            “Nobody wants to discuss it” for fear of a political backlash, he said.

            In the past, Republican administrations on average countenanced bigger expansions in these entitlement outlays than Democrats, Greenspan said. In that regard,

            former Democratic President Bill Clinton — Hillary’s husband —

            “turned out to be the best Republican,” he said.


            Mr. Moral Hazard’s lights are blinking?

            1. cwaltz

              Greenspan should be forced to remain in his room to the end of his days.

              He’s the guy who essentially started the housing mess with his praise of the private sector’s “creative” loans.

            2. Procopius

              I wonder what “the class of ’43” thinks is being crowded out by “increased government spending on social security and healthcare.” I guess there is some increased government spending on healthcare, but what private investment is it “crowding out?” And what “increased government spending on social security” is he seeing? That’s some great stuff he’s smoking there. Really, this is as bad as thinking that banks would police themselves because their reputations are so important to them.

    1. tony

      About Trump’s alleged sexism, I don’t think this disproves anything. I find it rather common in older couples who follow the old patriarchal patterns that the wife is the dominant party.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Trump has also had female construction managers which is unheard of pretty much anywhere in commercial real estate and in particular in NYC. Those are extremely well paid jobs with a lot of responsibility.

        I had a client who should have been in the Forbes 400 at the time and was delighted not to be, a heavyweight NY developer/syndicator who had a law degree from a good school. Talked like a pig to me despite clearly valuing my advice and paying me good fees (as in once accused me of speaking so often with my immediate contact at his firm that we must be having sex …in front of someone from my bank, when the guy in question was actually a closeted gay!). At least in NYC, developers culturally seem to need to talk like louts to deal with the construction side of the business and it really isn’t personal. That does not mean that Trump might not be a sexist, but it is normal for guys in NY commercial real estate to talk in a totally politically incorrect manner.

        1. ambrit

          Curiously, the “rough trade construction workers” usually encountered by myself have been lower level functionaries. The “upper level” apparatchiks I have encountered have been usually fairly well educated and ‘civilized’ individuals. The “let’s get ‘er done” ethos is generally associated with total balls ups on the jobs I’ve worked on.
          The “let boys be boys” vulgarity you mention has been, from my perspective, a masking tactic. The “tough guy” persona projected through rough language has a limited effective sphere of action. As an aspect of bullying behaviour, such language works up until someone challenges it or ridicules it. The really self confident people I have encountered had no reason to be vulgar. Bullying was not needed by such individuals. Their egos were stable and strong; self contained comes to mind to describe the phenomenon.
          I’m sorry you had to put up with such behaviour.

        1. OIFVet

          “Trump is gross, just plain gross.” That’s variation of “girls have cooties,” and more specifically, of Trump’s “Megyn Kelly has cooties.” Yep, let’s communicate at 2nd-grade level.

        2. jgordon

          Megyn Kelly was attacking Trump at the time, probably with the intention of pushing him out of the presidential race. I’m personally annoyed that he went so easy on her.

        3. Lambert Strether

          It’s contradictory. On the one hand, we’ve got the grossness. On the other, we’ve got Trump giving women positions of real power. Isn’t the latter a very good thing indeed?

          I guess micro-aggression doesn’t automatically translate into anything more?*

          * I just realized that’s my problem with the Democrat “bully” theme. It translates micro-aggression in small group settings (like families and classes and the workplace) into macro-aggression. It’s a category error on the lines of “government is like a household” (and Lakoff with the daddy and the mommy parties** perpetrates the same sort of error.)

          ** Considering Lakoff in his own terms, he doesn’t even take into account the possibility of a Bad Mother.

    2. Robert Hahl

      Whether he could get any votes in Detroit or not, Trump has to think about his brand for after the election, which means countering the charge that he is truly a racist.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Assume “racism,” whatever the term means in any given instant and instance. Is it possible that some people somehow become ‘not racists’? by some kind of experience or revelation or just doing what “we” are all told to do in getting rid of other bad habits, doing the other thing for a few weeks or months? Some people become “not smokers,” and “not drinkers,” and even “not bad drivers,” via some combination of self-awareness, self-training, and stick-to-it-ivity. And a whole lot of people do a pretty good job of faking change, of course, but I personally don’t care if it’s faked, as long as the effect externally is real and persists and drives others toward what I would consider more decent behavior. “You are what you do,” my mother used to say…

        Of course RACIST is a power word for elevating the claims of some folks, and demonizing and dividing other folks. Wonderfully adaptable tool. Too bad what ought to be a minatory word and concept, that ought to incline people of remaining conscience, with some bits of altruism and notions of the utility of comity, salted among the combusto-consumption schmear, inclind “us” toward what many of “us” would feel is “better behavior,” is instead just another club for the mob to pick up and wield, and yes, I’ve lived long enough and seen enough to know that “racism” is a thing, it is ugly, it is widespread, and even the most “pure” among “us” have it in our makeup. Along with all the other sh@tpiles and shining stars of motivations and perceptions and actions that make up “our” all too common humanity…

      2. hunkerdown

        Another “won’t someone please think of the moderates” plea? Seriously?

        Projecting your morals and beliefs onto others is a dangerous mistake in wartime. If you’re liberal, please keep right on doing what you’re doing, treating “racism” as a synonym of “undeserving poor”. Socialists will thank you in 5-10 years.

    3. Aneducatedfool

      People on NC have routinely pointed out that older black voters are ideologically similar to southern white voters but that racial tensions separates the two voting blocs. If anyone can pull together conservative hispanics, conservative black voters and conservative white voters then you have a legit national coalition. These groups are socially conservative Christians and are powerful demographics in every state.

          1. AnEducatedFool

            Gay black men are proportional to gay men in the general population. I hate to use the term but America’s black cultures like other conservative cultures force gay men to maintain a straight lifestyle in public. Effeminate men are forced out and they are loud but other gay men do not join them.

      1. crittermom

        “If anyone can pull together…”

        I sense we as a nation, regardless of color or religion, share many of the same issues.

        Start with the victims of any wide-spread injustice as a base and build from there. (Such as the 8+ million who lost their homes to illegal foreclosures, with Blacks and Latinos especially targeted)
        Find a common cause to build from.

        Victims are the most passionate and likely to act, come together, and cause change.

    4. cwaltz

      It wasn’t unprecedented. Sanders headed to Liberty University when he came to Virginia. He straight out admitted to the young there that there were things they didn’t agree on straight out the gate. He earned quite a bit of respect from what I understand just by treating them like human beings and allowing them to see that he, too, is human.

  4. demexit


    I live in Ohio. Before Bernie was backstabbed in June, the Dems sent me two separate surveys asking for input. I told them Hillary wouldn’t win in Ohio. They haven’t contacted me again. I like how the article notes that angry white men are expected to make up a larger share of voters than in 2008 and 2012. Oopsie. Guess Robbie Mook didn’t see that coming.

    I wash my hands of all of this. On the plus side, at least the press is trying to hold Trump accountable which is a novel thing. That hasn’t happened since FDR it seems. In contrast a Hillary victory means the death of civil society (independent press, PACs, etc). Obama’s election had a soporific effect on liberals and the left. In contrast, a Trump victory might just rejuvenate debate and activism in this country. And we buck the Clintons finally.

  5. timbers


    Does anyone else think there have been fewer big public campaign rallies from the Presidential candidates than in the past? Trumps problems holding peaceful rallies and Clinton’s health and preference for exclusive fundraising with rich donors could explain that, but is it too early to tell? Sometimes I feel if I blink it will be over and wake up to find Clinton President as I ask “when does the campaigning start?”

    1. Roger Smith

      I am not sure how it typically looks but I remember Trump getting flack about a month ago because he was still holding rallies and because of the states he was choosing to visit. It sounds like one of those “no one’s ever happy” things.

      1. Benedict@Large

        My simple comment on Facebook:

        Remember back when Bernie was still in the race, and people were talking about issues?

        … drew a very quick 50 Likes. (I average a couple on ordinary posts.) Seems a lot of people are very uncomfortable with this campaign.

        1. Roger Smith

          I totally agree. Any real campaign went out the window as soon as he left. I was referring more to the pundits and associated “know it alls”.

            1. Jason Boxman

              I’m hardly surprised. After scores of dead children and no legislation, just hand wringing, I knew gun control was dead forever. So I expected nothing after Orlando and that’s what we got!

            2. Michael

              The gun control debate was over after Sandy Hook. White people will bear any burden to sustain their hateful fantasies.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                How was the Brady Bill passed when there was relatively more hateful white people? Your argument seems to be specious.

                Could it be the lack of Democratic leadership and it’s just a campaign ploy for thugs such as Hillary or would require actual lobbying on the part of someone such as Obama?

                After Sandy Hook, did Obama even suggest legislation? Why weren’t expanded background checks even introduced?

                Or why wasn’t it done in 2007? Of course, Blacksburg is in Southwest, Virginia, so they probably are deplorables. I know grilling baseball players was really important, but gosh, they just seemed to cry and move on.

              2. Kurt Sperry

                The lack of gun control legislation has nothing to do with voters–white or any other color. Even NRA members when polled support tightening some restrictions. Voters in general overwhelmingly support tighter gun control measures. Arms makers are big business, and big business runs the legislative branch. Like nearly everything else rotten in American politics, the root cause is corruption and bribes, not democracy or voters.

            3. JohnnyGL

              The issues in the race (in no particular order) are:

              1) “-isms” and “phobias”
              2) PUTIN!!!
              3) “UNFIT FOR OFFICE!!!”
              4) Foundations, donations and pay-to-play
              5) emails
              6) medical conditions and health records
              7) There is a sprinkle of talk of tax deductions for day-care for 10-20%ers with credentials. It’s telling that Ivanka’s the only one talking about kitchen-table issues, here.

    2. Anne

      Funny, as I regularly wonder if the campaigning will EVER end – it’s already been going on for the better part of two years.

      And rather than fear if I blink it will be over, I feel like someone has glued my eyelids open and I am unable to avoid looking at it.

      Daily, I wish I were one of those people who could move through life blissfully unaware of anything other than what is happening in my immediate world, and could believe that Facebook memes are the equivalent of critical thinking. We wonder sometimes why it is our children don’t have better critical thinking skills, but I see daily evidence that their parents can’t teach what they don’t know.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @Anne – “We wonder sometimes why it is our children don’t have better critical thinking skills, but I see daily evidence that their parents can’t teach what they don’t know.”

        Nailed it!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          One of the local Dems tried to assure me that he thinks Obama was shown the real Kennedy footage after haplessly trying to explain how great Obama was and stumping for Kaine’s senate race at the time. I asked this retired professor why he was still participating in the political process if the shadow government ran things when he could just enjoy such a pleasant day. He didn’t like having the lies he tells himself pointed out to him.

          He is 75 and was a history professor at an okay school and clearly was unable to think critically, just a reactionary searching for a magic spell that might appease me.

      2. timbers

        September 14, 2016 at 8:38 am

        “And rather than fear if I blink it will be over, I feel like someone has glued my eyelids open and I am unable to avoid looking at it.”

        Funny… like watching a slow motion train wreck.

        BTW seeing head lines Trump up 5% …. Get ready for some serious D.C. grifter panic. Is that why Hillary recovered from “pneunomia” so quickly? Anyone know about pneumonia enough to comment if that is a reasonable amount of time to recover from?

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          No, timbers, pneumonia takes a lot of rest and steady antibiotics to get over. HRC didn’t have pneumonia. Pneumonia is diagnosed by x-rays which show the spot on the lung. When did she get her x-rays? This would be a question they should ask her. Oh–I forgot– only the softest of softball questions can be posed to Her Highness.

        2. jgordon

          Well judging by the symptoms she’s had this bout of pneumonia for at least several years now, so maybe she’s just learned to live with it.

          1. cwaltz

            If she was only diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, it hasn’t even been a week……I feel fairly confident she’d not even be done with the antibiotics in that time period.

            Yet again, another foolish choice on her part.

        3. JTMcPhee

          I have a coffee table book of Wisconsin historical photos. Quite a number of them are of staged train wrecks — at the state fair and other grand agrarian gatherings, tracks would be run into the space between grandstands, then a couple of brave engineers would fire up old locomotives from opposite ends, aiming for a head-on collision square in the middle of the cheering masses (engineers hopped off the moving trains, sometimes at 35 or 30 mph, before the wreck). The best events were apparently the ones where the boilers exploded, which went well beyond the simple smashing of large masses of metal, both audibly and visually.

          Note that an enterprising entrepreneur nationalized the show, buying up “throwaway engines” and staging well over 100 such events.

          Says a lot about “human nature…” Maybe all this concern about preserving our species and “making life better” is in the wider amoral universe just a lot of profitable homocentricity hoooey . “We” don’t know who we are or what “we” want, in the way of outcomes, it would seem — though a few of “us” are pretty good at stripping and looting for personal pleasure, and foisting the consequences off on the looted and stripped…

          GO NASCAR! And Figure “8” Racing!

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Maybe in this case “human nature” = testosterone. I can think of lots of more damaging ways to get a thrill than crashing old locomotives together. (Call me amoral but it sounds like a totally awesome spectacle.)

            For that matter, I am still conflicted on American football. On the one hand, it’s barbaric. On the other, the amount of testosterone it sops up is staggering, and I’m not sure we have enough good, less damaging alternatives available.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Salt Peter in the water, or maybe all the estrogen-simulating hormonal toxins the Moderne World is insinuating into our environment…

          2. crittermom

            I know a man who makes big bucks crashing trains into each other, or into propane trucks sitting on the tracks, etc.
            He’s a safety engineer and says it really is pretty cool to do.

          1. Anne

            Ah, yes, but we have only their word that (1) it actually was pneumonia that triggered whatever that was on Sunday and (2) if it really was pneumonia, that it was only just diagnosed on Friday; given her penchant for, well, let’s just say, trying to only divulge as much information as needed to get people to stop talking about whatever it is she doesn’t want us to know, can we really be sure that (1) and (2) are even true?

            I think it’s entirely possible that on Friday, she got a lecture from her doctor that if she didn’t start getting more rest, the pneumonia she was diagnosed with much earlier was going to take that much longer to resolve, and it wasn’t until she had her medical event on Sunday that she was forced to sit out a couple of days.

            One of these days, I’d love to hear some member of the media say, “So, Madame Secretary, can we just skip the hours and days of your slowly releasing information and changing the facts and just have you tell us what this is all about?” But that would have to be someone ready to retire, because the cost of being so impertinent would be full-on denial of access and no more cocktail weenies.

            When and if more medical records are released, how long will it take for people to speculate that they have been – pardon the pun – doctored? I can picture them right now “adjusting” the records to make sure there is a pneumonia diagnosis in her records, and it was made on 9/9/2016.

            And why wouldn’t I think something like this, when it took her and her spokespeople hours and hours to tell us what “really” happened?

            I am no alt-right, right-wing nut – I am a dyed-in-the-wool, die-hard leftist – what we used to call a liberal, when there was no silent “neo” attached to it.

            1. fosforos

              You can’t fool me. David Brock and the rest of us Hillabots know you’re really one of those alt-right, right-wing nuts conspiring to get us to vote Trumpe-l’oeil by pretending to support Dr. Jill Stein (just the way you got all those old folks to vote for Bush in 2000 by pretending to support Buchanan).

            2. cwaltz

              I’m still calling myself liberal- the neo liberals can pull the label from my cold dead hands.

              I feel the same way with the term Christian- Christ doesn’t deserve to be associated with a bunch of uneducated, judgmental cherry pickers.

              1. hunkerdown

                If the shoe fits, by all means wear it. If you believe that humans have an inborn debt to humanity (c/o liberalism), that some people are more deserving than others, and that competitiveness is not a mental illness, then it’s probably the right label for you. If you don’t, then you’re misleading people.

                1. cwaltz

                  Where in the definition of liberal do you see the belief that “some people are more deserving than others?”

                  Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.[1][2][3] Whereas classical liberalism emphasises the role of liberty, social liberalism stresses the importance of equality.[4] Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

                  Webster’s to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values:

                  I’m not misleading anyone. You are.

        4. Bob

          “Pneumonia” is probably best diagnosed by chest Xray. We were never told she had one. But sometimes the term “pneumonia” is used in a looser way, to describe what is more likely a bad case of bronchitis. She recovered rather quickly for a pneumonia. And she was never on oxygen supplementation, which is often required for a significant pneumonia. (I think the term “walking pneumonia” is often used for a bad bronchitis, often accompanied by a fever. It allows the doctor to give more time off for his patient to rest and the patient is justified for feeling terrible.)

          She didn’t feel well at the 9/11 tribute, and felt faint. Perhaps she also ran a slight fever. She looked well a few hours later. I find it hard to make much of this.

          1. Vatch

            Could pneumonia be diagnosed if the doctor or nurse hears gurgling when the stethoscope is positioned at the lower part of the patient’s lung?

          2. katiebird

            I have had 6 chest x-rays in recent years for suspected pneumonia, but it’s always been bronchitis. Sometimes it’s taken 3 different antibiotics to cure it. When it gets that bad (suspected pneumonia) it always takes a full week before I can imagine doing anything (even reading at first) and a full six weeks before I feel fully human.

            Twice the doc said it was pneumonia but x-ray would verify. So I don’t think listening is enough. I have never had pneumonia.

            It seems to be under control now that I wear a mask when I knit. Haven’t had it since around New Years.

          3. kareninca

            “She didn’t feel well at the 9/11 tribute, and felt faint. Perhaps she also ran a slight fever. She looked well a few hours later. I find it hard to make much of this.”

            Hillary has a long history of covering up health problems. She kept her 1998 blood clot secret from her staff (; she let them think it was a pulled muscle. Oh, at that time she had a “plain clothes” nurse follow her around – without her staff knowing what was up.

            She was tossed into that van like a Raggedy Ann doll, by people who expected to have to do that sort of tossing; who had done it before and were not surprised.

          4. crittermom

            I was diagnosed with pneumonia three times in my life, and acute bronchitis more times than I can remember.
            I finally figured out, with recurring bronchitis, I was working in a ‘sick building’ as others often fell ill, as well. I found a different job.
            Haven’t suffered either in decades, since leaving what I remain convinced was a sick building.

            Each of those times required much more time than the 90 minutes in which she disappeared, to recover. Much longer.

        5. DanB

          Actually, there is a case to be made -because Hillary is so cold and lacking in even a pretense of charisma- that the less the public sees of her, the better her chances of winning. She could play the sick role for a week or so to advantage; then she’s got to get back out there and tell everyone she’s rejuvenated, blah, blah. I view her health issues and how they are obfuscated as an allegory of the crumbling legitimacy of our political system.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Little noticed was the formulation in Donald’s military speech, he made a special point to emphasize the wording: “Peace Through Strength”.
          First thing to note is that initial word: “Peace”.
          (For those of you who grew up without it and are not familiar with the word, and have certainly never heard it uttered even in passing by the Democratic candidate, this “peace” condition is where countries refrain from bombing and invading their neighbors. It’s a state where people are allowed to live, trade, travel, hug their kids, pretty much do anything without fear that a soldier or a flying bomb will kill them. It’s really great).
          Donald says we should aspire to this blissful state, and his idea on how to do that (it’s a retread of Reagan logic) is to have a military so large and capable that nobody dares attack us. This is also clever because one of the very thorny problems of moving from our current state of Permanent Global War-Making is the fact that you have to find jobs for hundreds of thousands of former NATO protectors and other military personnel we currently maintain at 900 bases in 128 countries. It could be very disruptive adding this large group of men and women trained in the use of automatic weapons to the current ranks of the unemployed.
          Maintaining a large deterrent military contingent on US soil has the additional benefit of steering their economic activity to American businesses, and away from restaurants in Frankfurt and brothels in Thailand. Since we can use flying robots at a moments notice to project force anywhere on the planet there is little need to pay staff sergeants $100K per year to sit at a desk in Guam and push papers, even if it is nice that they can go to the beach and retire at age 50.
          So I urge you to include this unfamiliar word in your political discussions and thinking: peace. Now.

          1. jrs

            Eventually those soldiers will be used against Americans as needed. So you thought a standing army was harmless …

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      A big reason for cutting down on the Trump rallies is the danger of violence. That would be really damaging, particularly now that we are past Labor Day.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I hate to point this out, but when Trump campaigned in CA, there were aggressive attacks against people coming to his rallies. Trump loses if there is any violence at his events, no matter who instigates it.

  6. ProNewerDeal

    the US/Russia “Syria deal” sounds good. I have to give 0bama the proverbial “1 prop” for this one (not “props” in the plural).


    US/Russia will jointly air-bomb 1SIS & Al-Nusra. Other groups (presumably including the Kurds & “moderate” Sunni rebels) will have a 7 day cease fire.

    Perhaps BigMedia can ask HClinton & Trump
    1 Do you support this US/Russia Syria deal
    2 Can you briefly describe this HClinton & Trump deal

    My guess is both would be “No” on #1. Trump would definitely Fail #2, but perhaps HClinton would similarly Fail. It appears HClinton “intelligent” “wonk” perception is marketing hype; Brad Delong’s comment posted in NC comments on HClinton’s 90s health policy project suggests HClinton is an incurious incompetent lightweight empty suit, coasting off “brand recognition” of the Clinton name.

    Hopefully this 0bama/Kerry deal will survive past Jan 2017 & the new Pres occupant.

    In contrast, hopefully 0bama’s raging passion for implementing the TPP & the Grand Ripoff will NOT survive past Jan 2017.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Don’t give Obama more than 1 prop. Much like the Iran deal, his team starts getting practical only when he’s in grave danger of being completely outmaneuvered and cut out of the deal.

      1) Iran deal came together because the writing was on the wall with Russia and China (and maybe India?) about to drop sanctions regardless of the outcome. That meant the US had to get a face-saving deal done. The narrative of the sanctions “bringing Iran to the table” seems completely backward in my view. It’s the US that stopped throwing tantrums and acted reasonable once it looked like Iran was about to wriggle free of the sanctions. Washington had to do a deal to avoid looking like they’d lost the ability to keep the rest of the world onside. In a way, the whole thing was pure PR because Iran isn’t trying to get a nuke. Even the US and Israeli intelligence agencies have said so.

      2) The Syria deal is getting done because Turkey looked like it was going to flip and cut a deal with the Russians, again, USA risked being cut out of the loop and had to get a face-saving deal done. I hope it holds this time. Patrick Cockburn thinks it might.

      1. cwaltz

        I think the best thing to happen to our foreign policy was a switch from Clinton to Kerry. He seems to push back against the Pentagon, which is what a diplomacy position should be doing.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Kerry has been better than i expected. Not that it’s saying much, but a definite improvement from Clinton.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        As Churchill said “the Americans can be counted on to do the right thing, after trying all other available options”.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The “right thing,” he may have said, but should have added only for “the Americans” that includes the rulers he hung with and the rest of the colonialists and imperialists…

          Americans” sure have tried every other “thing” I can think of, from overthrowing governments to shoving the dollar into first place to neoliberalism to imperialism to slavery to the nuclearization of the planet, on and on … When doe “the Americans” get to “the right thing,” Winnie?

  7. ArkansasAngie

    Re — After Donating 4 Times to Hillary’s Campaign, Fed Governor Tries to Prop up the “Financial Markets” Wolf Richter (Li)

    “This New Normal has five “key features,” she said, and they’re the “major reasons for caution” in raising rates,”

    Lord … I don’t like the new normal and I don’t accept this as being the correct policy chose. I am in fact biased.

  8. tongorad

    Too Poor to retire and too young to die

    At the wise age of 79, Dolores Westfall knows food shopping on an empty stomach is a fool’s errand. On her way to the grocery store last May, she pulled into the Town & Country Family Restaurant to take the edge off her appetite.

    Westfall — 5 feet 1 tall, with a graceful dancer’s body she honed as a tap-dancing teenager — is as stubborn as she is high-spirited. But she finds herself these days in a precarious place: Her savings long gone, and having never done much long-term financial planning, Westfall left her home in California to live in an aging RV she calls Big Foot, driving from one temporary job to the next.

    She endures what is for many aging Americans an unforgiving economy. Nearly one-third of U.S. heads of households ages 55 and older have no pension or retirement savings and a median annual income of about $19,000.

    A growing proportion of the nation’s elderly are like Westfall: too poor to retire and too young to die.

    79 and still needing to work, after a lifetime of work… the extreme cruelty of our neoliberal age.

    1. Anne

      If insurance premiums weren’t so high, I’d retire tomorrow, but I’m hanging in until I qualify for Medicare in 2 years. Then it’s going to be a question of whether I go ahead and start my SS or wait until I’m 66 to get the full benefit. I’m leaning toward just giving up the 3.5% more I would get if I waited a year – it’s not that much money, really. I’m lucky in that I do contribute to a 401(k) and my firm makes a 6% contribution every year, as well. So, while I will be 65 in August of 2018, I will need to work through the end of the year to get the contribution for 2018.

      There are a lot of people like me – and because we’re sitting on jobs longer than ever, we’re not making room down the line for younger people – we’re depressing the job market, I think. We’re taking jobs at both ends of the spectrum – the low-wage, menial-but-necessary jobs as well as the high-wage-and-benefits jobs. In some cases, people let go from the top end, are going back to work at the bottom end.

      It really doesn’t have to be that way, but suggesting that it could be solved by increasing SS benefits and allowing people access to Medicare at a younger age – among other things – just sends the elites into a tizzy.

      1. crittermom

        Be aware that some/all(?) of the supplemental programs you pay extra for once on Medicare, must be paid into for a full year before coverage begins.

        My neighbor found out the hard way after biting into a burger and breaking a molar.
        He went to the dentist for a crown ($1,600) and turned it into his supplemental insurance company for payment.

        He was denied. He was one week shy of his ‘full year’ of paying into the plan, so had to pay it out-of-pocket.

        Apparently that’s just one of those ‘little facts’ they fail to tell you. Wow.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Just a quick Note on What’s Possible.
      Australia implemented a retirement savings scheme in the 1980’s that required employers to contribute cash (currently 9% of earnings) to a retirement savings account solely owned and invested by the employee (this is on top of “the pension” which is a last-ditch poverty alleviation program when all else fails). This program was implemented in the face of fierce opposition by the business community, which insisted it would “destroy the economy”.
      Australia has just marked its 25th year without recession, and mostly as a result of this program it is in fourth place globally in wealth per capita, after Monaco, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.

    3. crittermom

      Gads, I can only wish I were getting $19,000 a year!
      I will be living on $8,440 a year SS (forced to draw early at 62 when the only ‘work’ around closed down) when I turn 65 next month and $122 a month is taken out of my current $9,000+ yr SS. (Yes, I’m applying and should qualify for programs to help pay that $122, but it will be until at least January until that takes effect, I’m told).

      Women made only 75 cents per hour compared to every dollar for men (now up to 79 cents, I believe), and I stayed home as a wife and mother until our son started school, and worked for over 2 years for my husband for free (now long divorced). Self-employed in later years, not paying in.
      Even collecting off my ex, that’s still all I receive.

      My ‘retirement’ plan included the B&B I’d gotten approval for back in ’92 and put my money into remodeling for, trying to plan ahead for now. (My home was in prime hunting/fishing country, with few places to stay)
      I lost my future income as well as my equity (hundreds of thousands) when the bank stole my ranch.
      So even planning ahead didn’t help me.

      Wow. With an income of $19,000 yr maybe I could even afford to rent a place with a flush toilet? (No, I’m not joking. No septic where I currently live, but it’s all I can afford now).

      Turning 65 next month. Yeah. Ain’t life grand in this ‘new world’?
      I’ve NEVER been this poor in my life. Stuck here, as I can’t find any other place I can afford. Going on 5 years now. (I never thought I’d see using a public restroom with a flush toilet as a ‘luxury’)

      My biggest splurge is getting a $5.75 lunch special at a Chinese restaurant every few months that I can get 3 meals out of.
      This economy cannot sustain.

  9. RabidGandhi

    Wow I didn’t even know India was skipping NAM. This is a big blow.

    Interesting notes from the article:

    1. The whole article has the underlying assumption that China is India’s #1 rival, and it uses this assumption to justify Modi’s kowtowing to the US.

    2. This statement is absolutely false:

    As for Latin America, a few leftist governments may have bit the dust but right-wing leaders in the continent are not exactly lining up to curry favour with the US.

    As the first thing the Temer and Macri administrations did upon taking power was rush to Washington (not to mention the Venezuela opposition’s incestuous ties to Tío Sam). But by claiming this, the author is again providing cover for Modi’s groveling.

    3. Modi snubbing the NAM and the internal politics described in the article makes it look like the Congress Party is some sort of Subcontinental Bolivarian alternative, but that is not at all how I remember the reign of Manmohan Singh. Either way both parties are a far cry from the solidarity the Indians showed for Palestine and Latin America in the 60s and 70s. Sad!

  10. HBE

    Wow, Bruce Schneier only took one paragraph to through in a “the Russians did it!”

    When will we get to the point where every fact free article headline ends with a “the Russians did it!”

    Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, here is how the Russians did it!

    Bill Clinton caught molesting an intern, here is why she is a Russian spy!

    Clinton foundation accused of corruption, after the Russians force Clinton to take Saudi money for arms.

    Clinton calls quarter of America deplorable, after being incited by a Russian in the audience.

    US starts another surge in Iraq, because Russia!

    It seems ridiculous, but I think we might get to this point soon enough.

    1. Roger Smith

      I don’t know if anyone else here watches Blacklist but it is an excellent show. I just finished rewatching the first two seasons to prepare for the third that just came out (I watch as the blurays come out).

      The difference in the world today and the first time I watched (last year when it came out) the second season is astounding and the show almost tells the story of our current world. It was incredible to watch in the perspective of this year with the pegboard walls starting to come down.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Quite so, but the people who should really be pissed about this are ISIS, seeing as their whole long-term gameplan is based on claiming responsibility for every murder, no matter how tangential their relationship to the actual perpetrators.

      This naturally leads to the obvious question: how can we monetise the blame-laying game? Any silicon valley innovators out there disruptive enough to come up with a Scapegötz app?

      1. polecat

        Please !! …. Don’t give the Shives of Silicon Valley any more ideas ….. they’ve had WAY too much playtime as it is !

    3. DanB

      After Victoria Nuland was recorded saying “F—- the EU,” the official State Dept PR flack -a woman whose name I forget- actually said Nuland learn to swear in English from some Russians she was exposed to as a young woman or child.

    4. vidimi

      from schneier:

      What can we do about this? Nothing, really. We don’t know where the attacks come from. The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with. On the other hand, it’s possible to disguise the country of origin for these sorts of attacks. The NSA, which has more surveillance in the Internet backbone than everyone else combined, probably has a better idea, but unless the U.S. decides to make an international incident over this, we won’t see any attribution.

      this pretty much tells me it wasn’t russia for, if it were, you could bet there would be no concern over making an international incident.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …and it would never be the case that “our” Cyberwarfare Imperial Corps are the ones doing all this, would it? “The NSA knows,” but the people there won’t tell, on account of who is in bed with whom and likely to survive the Internet Full Stop and in position to do the Mafia thing and control the distribution and demand protection money and all that…

        Ripe field for Action Fiction Thriller writers…

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Remember that Hilary stated that cyber attacks will now receive retribution counter-attacks by America up to and including military attack.
        Casus belli indeed. It used to be you had to invade in order to receive the awful brunt of American War. Then it was you had to be on the list of governments where we didn’t like your politics or where we didn’t like who you might have elected as your leader. Now if a little piece of code comes across the wire we can say it was from you and the bombs can start flying.

        1. crittermom

          I’ve no doubt Hellary would hold off on any military attacks if she were paid enough by the perpetrators.

    5. curlydan

      I thought I heard strains of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” in the background while reading Bruce Schneier’s article. As if the U.S. would NEVER test the Internet backbone defenses of another country!! As if some greedy hackers (OK, maybe they’re Russian) would NEVER try a DDoS attack on a company in order to get a ransom.

    6. lulu

      My takeaway was that he suspected the Chinese, but the article was sufficiently vague to make me wonder if the link would be posted. My thought was that it was an indication of what might be in store, and that there are parties interested in this pursuit, though I suspect this kind of thing goes on constantly.
      The article is also published at his own blog and some of the comments there are interesting. A few attribute the attacks to the USA for various reasons like defending the internet by determining weakness, or devising an “internet kill switch.”
      If war ever breaks out, it seems likely that it may be beyond our expectations, involving scenarios disrupting daily life in this country, much as previous wars did to Russia or China. The internet would seem to be an important choke point, especially in terms of commerce (and not just Wall Street) and infrastructure, e.g. the electrical system, water supplies and hospitals.
      James Spader is great in The Blacklist !

      1. jonboinAR

        To this and the other The Blacklist references: I had a lot of fun watching that show, but what the heck does The Blacklist have to do with anything? The ridiculous dark premise of overarching conspiracy with all-powerful, all-knowing controlling figures? Come on! I believe there is a good deal of something like that, that “Shrub” was basically manipulated by Cheney and other figures in the WH, for example, and the neoliberal agenda that went into overdrive during the Clinton years but began long before was advanced by important, largely behind-the-scenes figures, that Clinton may have also been bought off, essentially, cheaply, by the Chinese, but The Blacklist type of skullduggery is not really too much of how it happens. That James Bond super-ultra-competent spy crap is about as realistic as the high noon shootout tradition in 20th Century Westerns was.

        1. jonboinAR

          Now, for a good spy show, find and watch The Night Manager. But it’s based on a John LeCarre novel, I believe.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      When Hillary said “the deplorables,” she meant anyone who doesn’t recognize her as empress. Wasn’t it Ted Kennedy who said Bill said a few years ago Obama would have been serving them drinks? I imagine a protestant with the last name “Clinton” trying to express elite solidarity with an Irish Catholic from Boston probably didn’t go over well.

      1. Expat

        An Irish Catholic son of the head of Boston mob! Frankly, I don’t think Obama could have brought whiskey fast enough to keep Ted happy.

  11. Ignacio

    Michael Pettis Calls Surplus Trade Statements by German Finance Minister “Utter Lunacy” Michael Shedlock (EM)

    The graphics inside the article sadly show that the EU hasn’t do ANYTHING to resolve its imbalances. This paves the way for EU breakup sooner or later. Brexit is nothing compared with what’s coming up.

    1. Benedict@Large

      The EU effectively bribed (via go in exchange rate) Germany to insure it would join, putting Germany in a superior position from the start. This was shortly thereafter further insured when Germany was not penalized for exceeding its federal spending allowance. The rest of the EU never recovered from this biasing of the alliance, and this is now leading to the EU’s insured collapsed. But make no mistake. The collapse was built in from the start. All it was waiting for was an asymmetric financial shock like 2008, and the destruction of the EU would begin. And unless we see (and we won’t) a MAJOR concession by Germany, the EU is toast.

      1. Synoia

        The EU effectively bribed (via go in exchange rate) Germany to insure it would join, putting Germany in a superior position from the start.

        Nonsense. The whole purpose of the ECSA and then the Common Market was to prevent another German-French war.

        1. OIFVet

          And that gave Germany what two world wars could not: complete domination over the continent. Without firing a single shot.

        2. hunkerdown

          Synoia, how are those statements mutually exclusive? They’re not. Power is the ability to coerce others into implementing planned outcomes against their will. Why would you suppose that people who have power would tell the truth about their actual desires, especially when their actual desires are rather more one-sided and disadvantageous to us, and to do so lifts the air of status on which their power rests? It seems perverse to treat anything they say as any more relevant to human life than neckbeards playing D&D in a basement in the Hamptons.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Here’s the thing, you’re clearly right that the EZ was doomed from the get-go, but give the Maastricht Mafia credit for making the quicksand so utterly consuming that it is thoroughly unclear how any of its victims can possibly extricate themselves. This ensures that it will be later rather than sooner, and that when the system does collapse it will be with a boom rather than a whimper.

      With each kicking of the can down the road, further exacerbating the imbalances, the situation of countries like Italy and Greece gets more desperate, and as they get more desperate, the more dire would be the effects of their leaving the EZ, as we clearly saw with Greece. That said, any ministry of finance that does not have at least an in-depth multi-year contingency plan for leaving the Euro is guilty of gross negligence.

      1. fosforos

        An omelette cannot be unscrambled. But pump a little hot [monetary] gas into it, to go with its own inherent decay products, and it *will* explode.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Israel to get $38 billion U.S. aid over ten years. To put this in perspective, recall that Israel joined the OECD “rich countries” club in 2010.

    There is no example of rich countries aiding rich countries, except for the sole pathological case of the US and Israel. This is simply the corrupt result of a foreign lobby (which doesn’t even deign to register under FARA, the Foreign Agent Registration Act) extracting loot from the U.S. because it can.

    Israel’s looting might be “tolerable waste” were it not the world’s last apartheid state, whose 20 percent ethnic minority population is treated as second class citizens by a panoply of over fifty Jim Crow laws.

    In that sense, this exorbitant giveaway is a most appropriate gesture for Barack Oreobama.

    1. Benedict@Large

      A small correction regarding “second class citizens”. Palestinians, even if born in Israel proper, are not granted Israeli citizenship. They are instead granted a residential permit, a permit which can be withdrawn for any number of marginal reasons, and once withdrawn, cannot be restored..

      1. mark

        ” Palestinians, even if born in Israel proper, are not granted Israeli citizenship. ”

        Where did you get this information? It’s wrong.

        “Arab citizens of Israel or Arab population of Israel are non-Jewish Israeli citizens, whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab. The majority of the Arabs in Israel are Muslim but some are Christian or Druze. Many identify as Palestinian and commonly self-designate themselves as Palestinian citizens of Israel.”


          1. Mark

            your article boils down to the fact that Jews from around the world have the right to Israeli citizenship. Hardly a discrimination against Palestinians born in Israel.

    2. Joe Hunter

      Jim Haygood:
      You are so correct and also brave in your posting. No American politician will face up to this give away to Israel for fear from the Israel Lobby and their constant flouting of our lack of humanity during WW II, Now we have Senator Charles Schemer becoming the Democratic Party leader in the Senate. This man is a shill for Israel and the banking, financial institutions. No hope for honesty and balance in our Republic, which we, the ordinary people no longer control.

      1. Jim Haygood

        As Detroit MI, Stockton CA, San Bernardino CA, Puerto Rico, and others have learned to their sorrow, states and cities are on their own when they get into financial trouble. The US govt does not guarantee or bail out their debt.

        What a contrast to a certain exorbitantly privileged state:

        In January 2012, Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Nides and Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin announced that the United States would be extending by three years its $9 billion loan guarantees to Israel, first established in 2003. Today, the balance of loan guarantees Israel can take, before offsets, is $3.8 billion.

        All 51 U.S. states are equal. But some are more equal than others. :-0

        1. Optimader

          Its not like $38B over 10 years of aid would have much impact in Detroit oh wait…they could threaten airstrikes in neihgboring States if the dont cough up tractortrailer loads of random!

          As you unpack these Israel “Aid” packages you will see they are in Basically weapons mfgr corporate welfare give away projects that help manipulate weapon program overheads by diluting unit fixed cost overheads.

          So as sn abused taxpayer, how do I opt out in participating in “aid” programs that I find yo be immoral? This is the essence of taxation without representation.
          Cui bono?

  13. DJG


    Borrowing from Wikipedia:

    furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto

    an ancient pond / a frog jumps in / the splash of water

    Basho [1686]

    I prefer the translations that use “the sound of water,” because a frog is too much a part of the water to make a “splash.”

    1. Katharine

      It is amazing what a difference translation makes. I first found Basho in an anthology and was so enchanted I bought a book devoted to his work. Unfortunately the translator of the latter had a tin ear as compared with the former and the enchantment was lost. If you can recommend a translation you value, I’d appreciate it.

        1. Katharine

          Thank you!

          (This is the third time in the past hour or so I have tried to post this. I hope this one works, as I do like to give thanks where due. And I hope even more that my previous efforts don’t all suddenly appear at once, which would be about par and I foresee may yet get me identified as spam.)

    1. Benedict@Large

      The Pentagon’s strategic planning unit has been listing climate change as a severe MILITARY threat for many years. Of primary concern are massive population migrations, such as when once habitable lands like northern Europe become inhabitable as the North Atlantic Conveyor shuts down.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The mission statements for our military have included all sorts of missions some of which seemed very different from what I think of as fitting missions for a military. In light of this past latitude I would like to see new verbiage in the next mission statements.

      Global Warming and the attendant changes in the climate should not be treated as threats in the usual sense. They are threats to all humankind. Our military is uniquely capable of providing real aid and help when climate changes have “impact”. Instead of more tanks we need to outfit our army with more water carriers and water purifiers, more generators to maintain emergency services and more unclassifed communications systems to fill in where existing systems are down or where none existed before. We need to stock more MREs and more bulk food and augment the cook-staffs. Our military could bring civil order with food and water and medical care while our diplomatic service — we desperately need a diplomatic service — works to find places for displaced populations.

      I believe missions such as I sketched would do far more to provide for the defense and security of this nation than all the bombs and shells and bullets we’ve spent in the past. The future will require that we share much more of what we have taken from the world in the past.

      1. JTMcPhee

        All that missioning and doctrine-ing, and even the pre-positioning of “assets” and the initiation of “interoperability” between imperial forces and and local armies and national police forces, has already been done, it’s in off the shelf planning documents the Fokking military machine has been working up for decades. At least the Defense Science Board and other organs have been keeping honest track of the data and climate science. All to be used as an excuse to make the Global US Battlespace come out as the Big Everything that will do it all (including “managing” population displacement), all part of creating opportunities for imperial @business interests.” Here’s the text, for those who want to allow in the badness of it all:

        “We’ve got this…”

        No, not to worry, it’s all just CT, right?

      2. Optimader

        Humanitarian aid SHOULD NOT be a form of mission creep for the military.

        The military should be right sized to the role of providing for the defense of the Country, and any part or all the resources clawed back could be wisely used to efficiently support the missions you describe.
        ( No you fo not need humanitarian support vessels built to MilStnd).

        The military budget should be considered an insurance premium allocation to support the resources reqd to DEFEND our country and thats it.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Good luck selling that notion. That train left the station likely before you were born.

          One wonders what “we” are going to do to “fix it.” TBTRI–too big to rein in…

    1. Benedict@Large

      Everything suggested during ObamaCare’s writing as a way to improve things had been tried before by insurers, and had failed. The insurers, in it for themselves (as was everyone even allowed in those rooms — remember Baucus’ arrests), never bothered to tell anyone this because no one was paying them to.

  14. RabidGandhi

    Brazil’s Temer to Improve Economy with Massive Privatisations [CNBC/Reuters]

    Brazil’s new government on Tuesday launched a sweeping plan to auction off licenses to operate oil and gas, electricity and infrastructure projects in an attempt to boost investment and pull the economy out of the deepest recession in eight decades.

    President Michel Temer is selling assets and pushing for a series of austerity steps to narrow a record budget deficit and control debt that cost the country its investment-grade rating and marred investor confidence in the once-booming economy. He has vowed to shift away from the interventionist economic policies of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.

    “We need to open up to the private sector because the state cannot do everything,” Temer told ministers in a meeting to discuss the plan dubbed “Project Growth.”

    Sell off everything to woo the Confidence Fairy to make the economy better. Why didn’t anyone try this before? Oh wait…

    Argentina Enjoying Stable Economy, New Global Role [WaPo, 1991]

    [Argentine President Carlos Saúl] Menem has pushed ahead with a privatization program to sell off money-losing state enterprises. Government spending is more under control than it has been in years. A foreign debt of nearly $60 billion remains, but negotiations with agencies such as the International Monetary Fund have gone well and seem likely to bear fruit. A series of measures announced two weeks ago may have the effect of throwing the Argentine economy more open to foreign competition than even conservatives had dreamed.

    “I can guarantee . . . that the momentum we have given Argentina will continue indefinitely,” Menem said in a meeting with Washington Post editors.

    Crônica de uma Morte Anunciada

    1. Jim Haygood

      During the great U.S. Internet bubble of the late 1990s, Argentina’s economy was slowly contracting. It didn’t have a tech sector. As for its internationally competitive agricultural products, global commodity prices were sinking toward 1930s levels in real terms.

      Argentina’s plight, yoked to the strong US dollar, was not unlike Greece’s experience in the eurozone: first a bubble of inbound capital flow, then a plunge into overindebted economic contraction, without the ability to “export their way out of it.”

      Menem’s calculation that the one-to-one peso would stop Argentina’s corrosive inflation proved correct. He didn’t foresee a global commodity depression; neither did I. In retrospect, the best he could have done would have been to stop Argentina’s excessive accumulation of debt, as its brief experiment with una moneda seria led creditors to shower capital on it.

      But that would be asking too much, as the procyclical behavior of governments everywhere demonstrates.

      In other news, after years of running a ranch in Salta as an absentee landowner, Bill Bonner decided to pull the plug. Foreign capital is not treated well in Argentina.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Your analysis is off because it assumes a static level of industrialisation/ commodity dependency, which is the exact opposite of what impoverished Argentina under Menem.

        While commodities are important to the Argentine economy, just how important they are and what percentage of the economy they represent (thus making us more affected by external bubbles) is the #1 issue in Argentine history. Typically a grain/livestock exporter, several governments tried to reduce this dependency and focus instead on industrialisation and internal demand. These governments include Yrigoyen (1916), Perón (1946) and the Kirchners (2003). All of them were followed by right wing governments (mostly via coups) that reversed the industrialisation process.

        The case of Menem may be the most extreme. Fixing the peso to the dollar had two drastic effects: one, it immediately resolved hyper-inflation, and two it decimated industry in the medium/long term. Imports suddenly became as cheap as domestic products, so people opted for them instead, throwing millions of factory workers out of their jobs (unemployment jumped from 11% to 25% in the 90s).

        This had nothing to do with a global commodities depression, but everything to do with a policy that destroyed internal demand. For a good example of this, just look at current events. Global commodities began their current downswing in 2012-13. The countries with higher commodity dependencies (eg. Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil) felt the effects immediately. Argentina, on the other hand, had spent a decade building her industry and did not go into recession. (Thanks to the Macri regime we now have new official stats on recent years, and the new INDEC confirms that the economy grew 2.5% last year.)

        But as soon as the new administration took power, they did what the right wing always does here: reverse course on industrialisation. Massive layoffs and an instant 40% devaluation + brutal utility hikes meant that real wages decreased by 11%. This has been murder for small businesses which are shuttering at a 1990s-like pace, and industrial activity is plummeting. Meanwhile, the government reversed all of the export policies in order to favour the rich landowners. Thus we have one government that grew during the commodity downturn, and another that plowed into recession in the same cycle.

        So these are clear economic policy decisions that have bupkis to do with global commodity prices, and their message is crystal clear: de-industrialise the economy and export more soy.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Import substitution has been tried in LatAm since the 1950s, and never worked very well. Does the right wing really want to reverse industrialisation? Hard to believe.

          A late-Sixties French auto design, the Peugeot 504, continued to be manufactured in Argentina until 1999, sixteen years after it was phased out in France. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But there’s zero possibility of exporting obsolete tech. It’s purely a local wheeze, as are the screwdriver assembly plants for imported electronic goods way down in Ushuaia.

          Argentina is the only country I know of where one searches out the limited quantities of “made in China” manufactured items, because they exceed the local goods in quality.

          As compared to “Hecho in Mexico” [made in Mexico], Argentina persists with marking its manufactured goods “Industria Argentina.” Bad idea: it sounds like a state-owned company. Indeed, that’s what I thought when I looked around in stores and went, “Mira, this Industria Argentina conglomerate makes everything here.” But it only means “made in Argentina.” Badly.

          1. RabidGandhi

            So essentially your point is import substitution doesn’t work because it means consumers get inferior products.

            As it turns out, supply is not the only part of economy, there is also demand. The people who make those crappy Argentine items you didn’t want to buy get paid in a salary that they use to purchase products and services from small, medium and large businesses. Now that we have laid everyone off here, businesses are closing all over because they have no clients to sell products to (whether made in Argentina, China or whatever).

            Yes it’s bad to have a consumer with an inferior product, but the solution is not to eliminate the consumers; it’s rather to develop industry to provide them with better products.

            Lastly does the right wing really want to deindustrialise? Well, look at the policies they always demand (and are now implementing at lightning speed): decrease export tariffs on grains, increase utilities 400% on SMEs, mass layoffs of potential consumers… They may not want to get to total deindustrialisation but they’re doing their damndest to get there ASAP.

      2. JohnnyGL

        Let’s keep in mind Brazil’s devaluation in 1999 put the final nail in the coffin for the 1-to-1 currency board in Argentina. The brief spell of growth in the 1990s was built entirely on piling up foreign debt and selling off all the assets it had to fund chronic CA deficits. There was barely any increase in investment and little evidence of gains in productivity. If Menem had tried to stop piling up foreign debt sooner, then it would have plunged the country into depression sooner.

        Macri and Temer both seem to know that they won’t last long, so they’re doing as much plundering as they can while they have the chance. Full shock doctrine stuff.

        The details in that Reuters/CNBC link look awful. Airports get sold in March, followed by toll roads, sewage, electricity, and mining. Let’s hope Congress keeps stalling until Temer has to leave.

        1. Jim Haygood

          You’re quite right about Brazil’s 1999 devaluation, a shock which was transmitted to Argentina via Mercosur.

        2. José

          Plus, there is the worrisome situation of an administration committing itself to further cuts in public expenditures and higher taxes in the middle of a slump worse than the 1930s depression – because “the deficit and the public debt are too high”, and “we cannot afford” such a large public sector. This in a country that issues its own currency under a flexible exchange rate regime and whose public sector is a net creditor in dollars to boot!

          Just yesterday alarming figures for retail sales came out: a YoY drop of 5.3 %. The Brazilian recession/depression seems to be far from over and the announced contractionary fiscal policy will likely make it even worse. Sadly, one vainly searches for sane voices in the public sphere warning against the current fiscal madness.

          1. RabidGandhi

            This is important to remember; it was not the sickeningly corrupt Temer who started the austerity, but rather the uncorrupt “leftist” Dilma.

            And ironically, impeachment has had the exact opposite result of what the Brazilian people wanted. Rousseff became vastly unpopular as she slashed the budget. The Brazilian right wing used her lack of popularity to impeach her, and now the austerity has increased to a fever-pitch.

        3. Foy

          “Airports get sold in March, followed by toll roads, sewage, electricity, and mining.”

          Confessions of an Economic Hitman and A Game As Old As Empire right there…different country, same play…

      3. Alejandro

        “bubble of inbound capital flow…the best he could have done would have been to stop Argentina’s excessive accumulation of debt, as its brief experiment with una moneda seria led creditors to shower capital on it.”

        No mention of the effects of compounding interest on the “bubble of inbound [NOMINAL] capital flow” AND the “creditors” lack of diligence in extending “credit”(blowing)?

        Lew Rockwell? Really? The few regrettable moments spent on his site, mostly seemed like anecdotes of the “Robinson Crusoe” variety, followed by “buy gold!”…today’s gem tells a story of how the natives wouldn’t cooperate with the notion of rent extraction…of course future “trade” deals would make this “risk” irrelevant, and future Mr. Bonner “investors” can just sue for UNEARNED “profits”…

        1. RabidGandhi

          Just to add to this, since taking office Macri has more than doubled Argentina’s foreign dollar-denominated debt, adding $24 bn in less than a year. Meanwhile, this has not increased our reserves, which are at the same level as when CF Kirchner left office.

    1. kgw

      “Of late it has been almost comical to watch as Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who displays little capacity to grasp anything more complex than a John Wayne western, follows Kerry’s path — to East Asia, to Europe, to the Middle East — in incessant attempts to sabotage Kerry’s diplomatic undertakings.”

      Carter acts like a junior-high school bully…Painful to watch, so I don’t much.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        If we had a functioning president, it’s his job to step in and sort out squabbles like this. We can rely on the Pentagon to push military options (Curtis LeMay and Kennedy) just as we should rely on State to push diplomatic ones. But it’s Mr. President who should be the final referee, a la Patton’s dismissal.

  15. Synoia

    EU’s Juncker warns UK on single market

    The man who would be King?

    Really unwise without making the EC Executive answerable to the EU Parliament, eliminating the Sovereignty of the ECB, and reconciling the differences between Anglo Saxon Law and the Code Napoleon.

  16. Pat

    I have not read the report on David Cameron and Libya, but I see from various sources that it was only those feckless Europeans, again America was not at the center of stupidity regarding war and regime change. Although apparently the ability for logical thinking did not short circuit enough to miss that this is going to something Trump can use to pommel Clinton.

    Really does anyone think David Cameron and Britain would have initiated regime change in Libya without America?

    Look I get that Obama realized that it was a huge mistake and was smart enough to never listen to Clinton again on these kind of things. I also give you that Kerry is a vast improvement, as in he wants to start with diplomacy. That doesn’t change that America was the prime mover of this debacle, and someone should be held responsible.Unfortunately we won’t get a detailed study that delineates American failure and who was behind it, but the British study does NOT exonerate America it merely documents where and how Britain and its leaders failed.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I actually think France and Italy would have intercede at some level, perhaps not regime change but a real no fly zone. Besides Sarkozy being corrupt, I believe there was a genuine fear of a refugee crisis being caused which happened anyway. Where would the refugees go? The currents take them to France and Italy.

      I’m convinced the Pentagon only went along because they didn’t want France and Italy to succeed without American patronage before people went, “hey what about French and Italian defense contractors instead of American.”

      1. Pat

        You may have a point about France and Italy, as I agree about your concerns. I’m just not sure how far they could go on their own. But Britain?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          They could have done it on their own. Libya is essentially on their border. It is not a logistical nightmare, and the French already have bases all over North Africa, and there is a major air base in Sicily. As far so Britain goes, it’s a country of thugs. They aren’t as vile as the French. Part of the reason the British Empire was so large was the British were a better option than French overseers. If there is a war, those Viking descendants will be on it.

          1. Andrew Watts

            They could have done it on their own. Libya is essentially on their border. It is not a logistical nightmare, and the French already have bases all over North Africa,

            I beg to differ. The bombing of Libya would’ve never happened without American logistical support. There wasn’t enough bombs in the British/French arsenal and a shortage of aircraft as well. The aircraft shortage was due to the fact that NATO countries had to use airplanes of American origin to be compatible with the American-made munitions being supplied.

            I’d wager the US had to loan it’s tanker fleet and other air support assets given the small number of aircraft in play They’d have to go in with a full load to make the impact they did which means increased fuel consumption and reduced range / time over target.

            Source: NATO runs short on some munitions in Libya (Washington Post)

  17. bob k

    i was not aware that President Obama had my back on the usurious interest rates and late fees and other forms of debt extraction that was par for the course for credit cards! i have not noticed anything appreciably different, but as I only have an American Express card and i pay the balance monthly, and a bank debit card which is essentially cash, i guess i’ve missed out on the many benefits of Obama’s staunch consumer protection! Well done, Mr. President!

    1. flora

      ‘ “I trust that those in the industry who want to act responsibly will engage with us in a constructive fashion, and that we’re going to get this done in short order,” Obama said, delivering a pointed message to leading executives of credit-card issuing companies after a closed-door White House meeting.” ‘-Obama

      Sounds just like the ACA/Health Insurance Execs deal. What could go wrong?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        LOL, maybe if Obama’s “Justice” Department was putting the screws on Wells Fargo instead of the CFPB. You don’t have to look very far to find tea leaves that are highly readable.

  18. allan

    Hippie punching will never go out of style. In case you had any doubts:

    President Obama on Tuesday said he does not always agree with Democrats, even as he laid out the case for why they should lead the country after his term ends.

    “Look, I recognize I am the head of the Democratic Party and that necessarily makes me a partisan,” he said at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) fundraiser in New York City on Tuesday night.

    “But I’m not actually someone who bleeds Democrats. I think back to 2008, and I meant what I said. I don’t think any party traditionally has a monopoly on what’s right.” …

    1. Jim Haygood

      I, me, mine:

      Barack Obama was out stumping for the ailing Hillary Clinton today, but that didn’t stop him from talking about himself.

      A lot.

      The president rallied with Clinton supporters in Philadelphia and when doing so, managed to mention himself 137 times.

      At one point, after running down a list of what he considered accomplishments of his presidency, someone in the audience shouted out about lower gas prices.

      “Thank you for reminding me,” he replied. “Thanks, Obama,” he said to himself.

      Schizophrenia, narcissism, or both? You decide …

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama isn’t just the object of devotion for his followers. He is the biggest Obot of them all.

        The greatest sin one commit is to embarrass Obama. Putin is public enemy number one for this reason alone.

        I don’t believe he fired Shinseki (who was allowed to resign) right away because it would have implied Obama might have made a mistake and Obama can’t be mistaken, he’s the chosen one.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That was his double who said ‘Thanks, Obama.’

          If you wanted proof, there was your proof right there.

          That guy was an imposter.

      2. OIFVet

        I had to watch the video just to make sure that this is not some kind of Onion satire. It wasn’t. What came to mind, then, was to paraphrase a quote from Larry Flynt: “You guys read Playboy 0bama? Did you enjoy this month’s article on how to hook up your quadraphonic stereo system? Did you follow their advice on how to make a perfect martini? Who is this magazine for, anyway? I mean, it’s like if you don’t make -plus a year you don’t jerk off. Seven million people buying it, and nobody’s reading it. Gentlemen, Playboy 0bama is mocking you.”

      3. voteforno6

        That brings to mind something that always kind of bothered me about him early in his first term – whenever he talked about a cabinet secretary, he always referred to him or her as “my” Treasury, Defense, Secretary, etc., instead of “the” Treasure Secretary. Maybe I’m quibbling, but I think that it’s a non-trivial distinction.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Eat your peas.”

          “Turn off the television” – channeling Cosby in his famed speech on race

          Obama has always used “father knows best” language. He fancies himself as a Pater Familias for the country. One of his books was about searching for his father’s family and being disappointed when they didn’t live up to his expectations and his admiration of the father’s of the other boys who wore suits.

        2. Oregoncharles

          (Splitting linguistic hairs, here) It may be a tell, but in English it isn’t a significant difference. We often use the possessive case to indicate association. When we refer to “my country,” most of us don’t mean we own it.

          In this case, “my” would distinguish between officials in his administration vs. other admins.

          This was actually an issue in the Women’s Movement – as in, “my” wife or “my” husband. The symmetry shows it doesn’t indicate ownership. We also use “my” for parents, nephews, etc.

          1. crittermom

            I quit using the term ‘my’ govt some years back. Now it’s just ‘the’ (#$%^#@!) govt.
            To me, there’s a big difference.

      4. Pat

        WTF, he is claiming that an oil glut and OPEC going, no if everyone else isn’t going to cut production we aren’t going to be the ones to take the hit, which later became a strategy to kill the fraking industry in America was the result of his brilliant leadership? No, if any person or group deserves thanks for lower gas prices it is OPEC. Even more ironic is my belief that if he could have found a way to stop that drop, he would have.

      5. diptherio

        I thought it was the Saudis trying to hamstring Iranian, Russian and US producers…but it was Obama, huh? Or is he only responsible for the slight decline in prices at the pump, but not for the decline in oil prices on the global market? I’m confused. Little help?

  19. Vatch

    Carl Icahn: ‘I think it’s very dangerous’ in the market CNBC (fuzzy). Notice how CNBC later changed the title (see v. URL).

    I won’t spoil the fun for other people by revealing the new title. It’s hard to believe that the replacement title is for the same article!


  20. Robert Hahl

    “The Reserve: The Dollar, the Renminbi, and Status of Reserve (GMO)” has an intriguing footnote:

    For an incredible account of the currency and monetary affairs during the summer of 1914, I highly recommend William Silber’s “When Washington Shut Down Wall Street,” Princeton University Press, 2007.

    About $5 on alibris.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the GMO link:

      ■ The historically high debt levels of the US are not an impediment to maintaining
      reserve status, as the country issues its debt in its own currency. Indeed, the scale and
      liquidity of the Treasury market is a necessary condition to maintaining its reserve
      currency status.

      That scale and liquidity and the reserve currency status – is that a ‘which came first’ question?

      A. Because yours is the reserve currency, you will be able to borrow a lot, and there will be many players in the market for that.

      Or is this the case:

      B. Because you can borrow a lot, and there are many players in that market, your currency is the reserve one.

      1. Robert Hahl

        I think if you have lots dollars, like China does, you ask the U.S. to pay some interest on it, which is done by moving the money into an interest bearing account at the Fed. This move is characterized as the U.S. “borrowing” its own money but it’s really a case of the U.S. paying countries to continue holding dollars.

  21. Synoia


    After the hearing, Vote Leave Watch warned that reverting to WTO rules could be disastrous for British industry, particularly the car industry, which would face a 10% tariff on its exports to the EU. Other products facing high tariff barriers would be clothing, at 12%, and lamb, at 40%.

    1. The money is recovered on import tariffs
    2. Produce clothes in the UK
    3. Eat all you own lamb

    The whole point of Brexit is to disengage from the Neoliberal trade order and loss of sovereginity. There appears to be no understanding that one cannot both have your cake and eat it.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China ups the game in the South China Sea.

    The South China Sea…The English Channel.

    But the English Channel is also known by other names, la Manche by the French, for example. We suspect from that the channel is not England’s alone.

    The South China Sea is called the East Sea by Vietnam. To call it the South China Sea pre-supposes a Chinese perspective, just as we don’t expect an English language article to use la Manche, but mostly in French language articles.

      1. Optimader

        If your not getting Beef’s larger point, how about just leaving soveriegn country names out of international waters naming protocol, eoildnt that make sense?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            While driving to work, after posting the comment, I realized I left out the real point.

            OIFVet is right. The Portuguese added China to the name, though it could only be south of one country (immediately, that is – it is south of Russia, Korea and Japan, for example, just not immediate south), and that country was Ming China (at the time when the Portuguese showed up in that area of the world).

            We got that name through the British who got it from the Portuguese, presumably.

            And like the American Dollar is the international reserve currency (see one of today’s links), English is the ‘reserve language. And so, the name ‘the South China Sea’ that implies the Chinese perspective (through the Portuguese, the British and now us) is the commonly used on in the world today.

            But just as we now say the city is called ‘Beijing,’ and not ‘Peking’ (China either demanded, asked, or informed the world that they preferred that name), can Vietnam demand, ask or inform the world that the name be ‘East Sea’ from now on?


            When Vietnam becomes the next global hegemon….then, your money is welcome everywhere, kids all over imitate your movie stars, and your fairy tales told all the time….and any mountains or bodies of water called by whatever names you desire.

            1. optimader

              Blame the Portuguese and then the Brits for calling it “China” sea.

              I re-read what I wrote, and I am clearly not blaming “anyone”, Not a life altering dilemma for me, just stating what seems rather obvious IMO.
              The convention of the naming of Seas would make sense not to include the name of a Sovereign country. At best it is a rather capricious convention that is not even consistently followed.

              Should the Lacaadive Sea, for example have been referred to the Ceylon Sea, then the Sri Lanka Sea?

              But just as we now say the city is called ‘Beijing,’ and not ‘Peking’ (China either demanded, asked, or informed the world that they preferred that name), can Vietnam demand, ask or inform the world that the name be ‘East Sea’ from now on?


              BTW The Absolute BEST Peking Duck in Chicago is at this joint:

              1. OIFVet

                I am yet to see a territorial claim based on the naming of a body of water. Perhaps I am wrong, but I can’t think of a single instance. I see no problem with the Indian Ocean, Norwegian Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Sea of Japan, and East China Sea keeping their established names.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Normally not a problem.

                  When it’s being disputed, the name can perhaps be a subtle advantage psychologically.

                  For that reason, a newly independent nation may want to call itself by a different name, thus, it’s Vietnam, not French Indochina..

                2. optimader

                  South China Sea is the dominant term used in English for the sea, and the name in most European languages is equivalent, but it is sometimes called by different names in China’s neighboring countries, often reflecting historical claims to hegemony over the sea.


                  South China Sea is the dominant term used in English for the sea, and the name in most European languages is equivalent, but it is sometimes called by different names in China’s neighboring countries, often reflecting historical claims to hegemony over the sea.

                  The English name is a result of early European interest in the sea as a route from Europe and South Asia to the trading opportunities of China. In the sixteenth century Portuguese sailors called it the China Sea (Mar da China); later needs to differentiate it from nearby bodies of water led to calling it the South China Sea.[4] The International Hydrographic Organization refers to the sea as “South China Sea (Nan Hai)”.[3]

                  The Yizhoushu, which was a chronicle of the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BCE) gives the first Chinese name for the South China Sea as Nanfang Hai (Chinese: 南方海; pinyin: Nánfāng Hǎi; literally: “Southern Sea”), claiming that barbarians from that sea gave tributes of hawksbill sea turtles to the Zhou rulers.[5] The Classic of Poetry, Zuo Zhuan, and Guoyu classics of the Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BCE) also referred to the sea, but by the name Nan Hai (Chinese: 南海; pinyin: Nán Hǎi; literally: “South Sea”) in reference to the State of Chu’s expeditions there.[5] Nan Hai, the South Sea, was one of the Four Seas of Chinese literature. There are three other seas, one for each of the four cardinal directions.[6] During the Eastern Han dynasty (23–220 CE), China’s rulers called the Sea Zhang Hai (Chinese: 漲海; pinyin: Zhǎng Hǎi; literally: “distended sea”).[5] Fei Hai (Chinese: 沸海; pinyin: Fèi Hǎi; literally: “boil sea”) became popular during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period. Usage of the current Chinese name, Nan Hai (South Sea), became gradually widespread during the Qing Dynasty.[7]

                  In Southeast Asia it was once called the Champa Sea or Sea of Cham, after the maritime kingdom of Champa that flourished there before the sixteenth century.[8] The majority of the sea came under Japanese naval control during World War II following the military acquisition of many surrounding South East Asian territories in 1941. Japan calls the sea Minami Shina Kai “South China Sea”. This was written 南支那海 until 2004, when the Japanese Foreign Ministry and other departments switched the spelling 南シナ海, which has become the standard usage in Japan.

                  In China, it is called the “South Sea”, 南海 Nánhǎi, and in Vietnam the “East Sea”, Biển Đông.[9][10][11] In Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, it was long called the “South China Sea” (Dagat Timog Tsina in Tagalog, Laut China Selatan in Malay), with the part within Philippine territorial waters often called the “Luzon Sea”, Dagat Luzon, by the Philippines.[12] However, following an escalation of the Spratly Islands dispute in 2011, various Philippine government agencies started using the name “West Philippine Sea”. A PAGASA spokesperson said that the sea to the east of the Philippines will continue to be called the Philippine Sea.[13]

                  In September 2012, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed Administrative Order No. 29, mandating that all government agencies use the name “West Philippine Sea” to refer to the parts of the South China Sea within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, and tasked the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) to use the name in official maps.[14]


                  If there is no implied territorial propriety, maybe just call it The Southern Sea?… Less ink.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Maybe “I” need to add more /snark tags to my little offerings here…? Or maybe “you” are engaging in a subtle pre-emptive irony attack… So hard to tell, these days. Yes, naming and claiming by the Great Gamers is BS. And who has laid claim to the Moon and Mars, again? Read the story highlights in this link too:

          Maybe “someone” taking down the Internet would be actually a Really Good Thing? So much harder to polarize, and so much harder to pull off the Really Big Bezzles?

          Regarding the naming of parts of the planet’s surface water: After all, as part of my little efforts to Protect Democracy And Our Sacred Way Of Life as an imperial trooper in the Vietnam thing, I and the rest of my unit got stuffed into and onto a “chartered” Korean LST, the hold and deck crammed with poorly secured trucks and trailers and water tanks and such. And sent out into the “South China Sea” to be transported to Northern South Vietnam in preparation for one grand Change The Tide Of The War Initiative or another. And in an interesting reprise of my father’s experience as skipper of a wooden sub chaser during WW II in the South Pacific, sent straight into a typhoon, which his ship and the one I was on barely survived… His ship was sent out to escort a convoy that never, in light of the storm, left port, and when he managed to return, was given to understand he was listed as lost at sea, and should maybe go out and sink himself to minimize the book-keeping changes… My ship survived by virtue of a brave and less-seasick few of us and a couple of the sparse Korean crew, clambering around amid the jeeps and half-tons and big tractor trucks in the hold and on deck, fixing “boomers” to the hard points and axles we could reach without getting crushed, in the horrible half-illumination of emergency lamps and flashlights. Necessary because the LST’s hull is pretty thin single skin, and one of those trucks could have punched a hole that would sink the ship.

          So much is in a name… And so many fokkers just lining up to play the Game of RISK! with the lives of the rest of us…

          Fokk Empire, Fokk greed, Fokk all the people who play the Great Game at all levels, and while I’m at it, Fokk humanity that sure seems programmed for little but causing large-scale destruction and instability in pursuit of personal pleasure… Hard to see that any amount of music or poetry or deathless prose (which is mostly, at root, about death (and sex), and “beautiful landscaping” and “handsome estates” counterbalance what “we” in the larger frame are really all about. Use it up, folks, Jesus is coming back soon and he is gonna be really pissed if “we” have not done as his Father in Heaven has (by some readings of text laid down by Israelites long ago) ordered…

        1. Antifa

          Yes. Copyright for the phrase was granted to the descendants of Titus Livius in perpetuity, if any can be found. Meanwhile the funds continue to accumulate in a private account at the Vatican Bank.

          If it’s any consolation, the phrase “In dubio abstine” has fallen into the public domain, and remains sound policy for Lords, Ladies, and even the unwashed masses.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For the ancient Chinese, there was not need to say ‘our.’

          South Sea was South China Sea.

          Because China was the entire (civilized) world…the Middle Kingdom.

          As far as propaganda audacity goes, that is one step above ‘Our South Sea.’

  23. bwilli123

    There’s one law for them and there’s another for donors…

    “…The FCC has been formally regulating behavioural advertising since the 1990s. You’d think they’d be all over Google and Facebook, then, right? Actually, no. The FCC is now run by a former Obama fund-raiser, Tom Wheeler, and it can’t do enough for Silicon Valley, whether it’s collectivising songwriters rights or dis-aggregating TV.”

    What the FCC did this year, with little fanfare, was cripple telecoms companies and wireless networks from doing what Google and Facebook do. That’s a very odd decision. If behavioural advertising is so bad consumers need an opt-out, how come you can opt out of your ISP’s profiling, but not Google’s. How could that be?

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Security researcher Mustafa Al-Bassam reported on Twitter that he “almost had a heart attack” when he walked into a McDonald’s and was prompted on his phone to download the fast food restaurant’s app.’

      Surely we are reaching “peak app bubble.”

      Why do you need to download an app to buy a hamburger? ==> You don’t.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you are not careful, you might mistake the phone for an all-beef patty, and eat the whole thing.

          “That burger was tougher than usual.”

      1. Antifa

        Ah, but you do need an app to order a hamburger, IF you want to be seen ordering a hamburger. Only social media Luddites tuck into a dish before sending a picture of it to all their friends, even the ones sitting across the table from them.

  24. afisher

    Idiots still whining about RW Conspiracy Theory of pneumonia and the release of her medical records. Meanwhile the Trump campaign has just backed out of releasing his medical history have a right to privacy.

    Let’s here it for the hypocrites who demand transparency – but only from one candidate and give everyone else a Free Pass.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I have never felt that “A is bad” means “B is good.” Partisans and tribalists, however, seem to believe it fervently. I suppose it’s part of the initiation ritual; that’s what you sign up for.

  25. Don Midwest USA

    Special showing of Snowden movie this evening spent the entire show on the Snowden movie with Oliver Stone and the actor in the studio. They mentioned a special showing this evening which would be followed by Oliver and Snowden having a discussion and responding to questions.

    It is being shown in 800 theaters around the country. I signed up and in my area, Central Ohio, it was $15 plus a processing fee of a couple of bucks

    Here is the link for finding a theater for the event

    Snowden live in theaters

    You probably know that there is an effort to get a pardon from Obama before he leaves office. Since Obama is the number one president attacking whistle blowers, my hunch is that he is going to continue what he has done and who he is.

    The movie will have a general release on Friday.

    Are these special events always done with such short notice? Or, do I now follow the right sites?

    1. voteforno6

      Please let us know how it is – it’s been getting some so-so reviews. I’m debating on seeing it this weekend, at the local Alamo location.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Heard Obama said, yesterday on radio, that only Hillary could continue his work.

      “That’s why it’s so important you all vote her in.”

  26. allan

    Employers turn to workers to help slow health cost growth [AP]

    A growing number of U.S. workers are covered by health insurance that sticks them with a bigger share of the medical bill but also softens that blow by providing a special account to help with the expense.

    Companies are turning more to so-called consumer-directed health plans that push patients to shop around for the best prices for care, because they cost less than other types of coverage and help hold down future increases.

    Kaiser Family Foundation says nearly 3 out of 10 employees have this kind of coverage, up from 2 out of 10 in 2014. These plans were almost unheard of a decade ago. …

    `Shop around’, folks. Or at least stay on the line with the insurance company –
    you’re number 23 in the phone queue.

  27. Jeremy Grimm

    RE:”Security Firm Guarding Dakota Access Pipeline …”: I know the Pinkertons were pretty bad in their day but am I wrong to think today’s goons promise to be much nastier?

    1. JTMcPhee

      They have had better training and are sure equipped with a lot more effingtech… And the Ruleoflaw is even weaker than back in the day…

      1. hunkerdown

        Also, those fighting the Pinkertons don’t have a budget line for violence, whether giving or receiving. Now, if working private private security were a quick and easy way to get voted out of the neighborhood, become a pariah in the community, and become invisible to Neighborhood Watch…

        Graeber defines violence as the removal of a person from their context. Yet it is exactly a context containing aristocrats, and over which we have ceded control to them, which approximate a root cause for the misery we face daily.

  28. afisher

    Did the HRC hater’s miss the most recent report out of UK – that lays the entire debacle of Libya and Benghazi in the lap of Cameron and Sarkowsy. I’m venturing that would be a YES.

    Or the admission / statement by Colin Powell and Condi Rice that the Benghazi is a “witch hunt”

    Of course not. They must like wallowing in hate and ignorance.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thanks for the links. For an account of Clinton tipping the balance of administration policy toward Libya, see here. Last I checked, the UK and France were, if not exactly client states (well, except for the UK) members of an American military protectorate. It’s flat out ridiculous to think they had the final say. The last time they tried that was in Suez, and that didn’t work out well.

  29. Eclair

    Major thanks to Resilc for their comment on Wells Fargo CEO saying he can make the needed pivot after their latest scandal: “Pivot to the Crips?”

    Although this does injury to the reputation of the Crips, the remark gave me my required, out-loud, roaring, belly-laugh of the day. And, before lunch! Some days I am up until midnight, just looking for something to laugh about.

  30. ckimball

    Just a thought..regarding “Hillary became unelectable long ago” Isn’t there a difference between and
    installation and an election?

    1. Jim Haygood

      She’s so electable
      She’s so respectable
      Get out of my life
      Don’t take my wife
      Don’t come back

      — Rolling Stones, “Respectable”

    2. ewmayer

      Ahem – while ‘installation’ would be more apt than ‘election’, HRC handlers have been repeatedly pointing out that the couth will use one of the two officially approved terms, ‘elevation’ or ‘ascension’.

  31. rjs

    Fed up of blockchain hype? Or, convinced that a shared database will revolutionise the world as we know it? Or, don’t know one way or the other?

    The FT’s called a debate in which both sides of the argument will be properly defended. It’s in Markets Live form. It’s at 1pm UK time today. It features Izzy vs Simon Taylor, co-founder and blockchain director of 11FS.

    (see link at the link)

  32. allan

    A sad anti-antidote:

    More bad news for polar bears: scientists find dire ice conditions across Arctic
    [Seattle Times]

    …most studies of polar-bear habitat have focused on ice conditions in discrete regions or at specific times of year. Now, scientists at the University of Washington have completed the first, Arctic-wide analysis of the changes in sea ice that have the greatest impact on the bears — particularly the shift toward an earlier melt and a later freeze.

    “Across all areas, we found significant trends in earlier springtime breakup and later fall formation of ice,” said Kristin Laidre, of the UW’s Polar Science Center. “Those are trends that are not good for bears.”

    For the analysis published Wednesday in the journal The Cryosphere, Laidre and UW polar researcher Harry Stern used 35 years of satellite data on sea ice concentrations in all 19 Arctic regions where subpopulations of polar bears live. Between 1979 and 2014, they found that the spring melt occurred about 3.5 weeks earlier on average, while the freeze-up in fall started about 3.5 weeks later. …

  33. From Cold Mountain

    As far as all the sudden bravery of the press critiquing Hillary’s health, besides the Washington Post also I saw a rather critical article on the MSNBC regarding her health. I have a feeling that they are privilege to knowing that Hillary is going to drop out, and the rein’s on their reporting have been loosened. That is my prediction anyway, posted here for my posterity or humility.

    1. Antifa

      Hopefully, the press is preparing the ground for her burial.

      Or, it could be the first step in the process of making her health issues into a non-story. First, the media spends time and copy showing the public that they are seeing the same clues of poor health that people on the street perceive. This gains the public’s trust.

      A week or two of that, and then suddenly Hillary is reintroduced as the very picture of health, even if it takes daily injections of the same stuff Dr. Morell used to give Adolph.

      Whatever it takes to get her across the finish line will be done, repeatedly.

  34. fresno dan

    Starting in 2013 with a partial phase-in, which was fully implemented in 2014, Census changed the questions and the methods in calculating household income.

    For example, Census, starting in 2014, began to “collect the value of assets that generate income if the respondent is unsure of the income generated.”

    Also, the government started to use “income ranges” as a follow-up for “don’t know” or “refused” answers on income-amount questions.
    If your constantly fiddling with your methodology, all you can really say is that you have a new kind of measurement and that it can’t be compared with prior measurements. (undoubtedly, a study could be done – and instead of every member of the aggregate getting the same outcome, undoubtedly some will show higher incomes, and some lower. Like saying GDP has gone up, who has it gone up FOR, and who has it gone down TO?)
    You can take measurements using both methodologies and after a while determine if one as a matter of course gives generally higher numbers or not.

    Adding variables often doesn’t do a lot of understanding the phenomenon of income. For example, who would argue that a person who has gotten health care, and than is being treated for cancer, is actually orders of magnitude “richer” than they used to be?

  35. Katharine

    Unrelated thoughts on two links:

    1) It wasn’t clear from the article on underwater turbines how marine life would be protected from those eight-foot blades. I would suppose that if there are screens, the finer the mesh the less efficient the turbine, but not screening would create other problems, and not only for the critters.

    2) At least in the years I served as an election judge, Maryland banned active cell phones from the polling place for security reasons. Enforcement was difficult, of course, but we did post signs telling people to turn them off as they came in, and routinely asked people using them to go outside the room. If New Hampshire uses some form of paper ballot, security would not be an issue, and changing votes seems unlikely, since the voters would have to request new ballots.

  36. JSM

    Re: ‘David Cameron ‘ultimately responsible’ for Libya collapse and the rise of Isis, Commons report concludes.’

    Well, at least they didn’t call him ‘the the godfather of ISIS.’

    I guess that award is still up for grabs.

    As for Libya being a ‘shitshow,’ maybe the US & NATO should stop bombing critical infrastructure (every instance a war crime) whenever they stage these little interventions. Time to locate the Bureau of Atrocities at NATO headquarters and call in the janitors to start scraping the lettering off the office door.

    1. ambrit

      Following in the footsteps of other “heretical” strains of Islam, this would make Cameron a founding father of the “Deep Sixers.”

  37. Kim Kaufman

    Welcome to the Dark Net, a Wilderness Where Invisible World Wars Are Fought and Hackers Roam Free

    Through the eyes of a master hacker turned security expert, William Langewiesche chronicles the rise of the Dark Net—where weapons, drugs, and information are bought, sold, and hacked—and learns how high the stakes have really become.

    by William Langewiesche
    September 11, 2016 4:00 pm

  38. gonzomarx

    Re: Kellyanne Conway gets Trump under control

    I’m guessing its similar to the psychology of some conservative men in the UK. Alpha types until they meet a woman they think has the whiff of nanny about her…

  39. financial matters

    Joseph Stiglitz does a good job of clarifying our current state of affairs in his chapter ‘Inequality and Economic Growth’ in Rethinking Capitalism

    For the time period 1980-2014:
    Richest 1% income growth 169% $469,403 to $1,260,508 (share of national income doubled from 10% to 21%)
    Richest 0.1% income growth 281% $1,597,080 to $6,087,113 (share of national income almost tripled from 3.4% to 10.3%)
    Median household income grew by only 11% even with working more hours.

    From 1973 to 2014 median hourly compensation increased by only 9% while productivity increased 72.2%

    This is compared to 1948 to 1973 where wages and productivity were linked and both doubled.

    He brings particular attention to rent-seeking and the influence of institutional and political factors in shaping labour markets and patterns of renumeration.

  40. Lord Koos

    How to raise a genius – maybe we should also be thinking about how to raise them with a sense of morality. Genius is a sword that can cut both ways…

  41. ewmayer

    Ha, ha, ha, the hacker-leaked Colin Powell e-mails are … precious. “Everything she touches she kind of screws up with hubris” … “I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect … A 70-year-old person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still dicking bimbos at home (according to the NYP).”

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