Links 9/15/16

Behind the Monsanto Deal, Doubts About the Genetically-Modified-Seed Revolution Wall Street Journal

Who Has Space for Renewables? Project Syndicate (David L)

2016 Could Be Fact-Checking’s Finest Year—If Anyone Listens Wired (Michael T)

NYC threatens to sue Verizon over FiOS shortfalls ars technical

No More Web Browsing On Tablets In NYC’s Free WiFi Hubs Because People Can’t Behave Consumerist


China’s housing market is going nuts again Business Insider

Chinese Prepare to Use the Northwest Passage World Policy Institute. Resilc: “So much for Panama.”

The full horror of planned Syd/Melb population explosions revealed MacroBusiness


Why the UK can’t just pick and choose from the EU menu after Brexit The Conversation (J-LS). A must read. Gives the policy framework behind why EU officials have firmly been telling the UK it can’t (among other things) have access to the single market without accepting the “four freedoms”. Also provides more confirmation for our thesis that the Leave fans who keep insisting the EU will make concessions have overestimated their bargaining leverage.

European Commission sets up Task Force led by Michel Barnier as Chief Negotiator for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom European Commission

U.S. expands spying operations against Russia as Moscow reasserts itself Washington Post


The Horrifying Starvation of Yemen Continues American Conservative (resilc)

Mohammad Javad Zarif: Let Us Rid the World of Wahhabism New York Times (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

David Bromwich: What are we allowed to say? London Review of Books

Now the Saudis Have Killer Drones, Too Daily Beast (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

When pork flies: The F-35, the Pentagon’s $1.1 trillion flying money pit, is (sort of) ready for duty Salon (resilc)

Climate change ‘significant and direct’ threat to U.S. military: reports Reuters. EM: “No mention of the potential effects of climate change on actual humans … just so long as USMil is ready for the mass die-off!”

Trade Traitors

Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution Launch Campaign to Topple the TPP Alternet


Colin Powell’s leaked emails blast Trump and Clinton Financial Times

Leaked Colin Powell emails reveal Clinton’s apparent disdain for Obama CNBC (furzy). Wowsers.

Email Disclosures: Powell “Would Rather Not Vote for Hillary”, Says Bill is “Still Dicking Bimbos at Home” Michael Shedlock

New DNC E-mail leak! reddit (HBE)

WikiLeaks’ Guccifer 2.0: Obama Sold Off Public Offices to Donors The Observer (JohnnyGL)

Clinton ‘healthy and fit’, says doctor BBC

Donald Trump Shown Surging in Several Polls Alternet

A brutal new batch of polls for Clinton shows Trump winning in several swing states Vox (resilc)

Trump’s Path to Victory Is Starting to Look Very Real New York Magazine (resilc)

Wall Hypocrisy: Mexico Builds Wall on its Southern Border, With Funding From US Michael Shedlock

Trump Has Hostile Encounter at Black Church in Flint Bloomberg

That Democratic Senate Looking Dicier New York Magazine (resilc)

Americans’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing Business Insider. Mind you, this is happening with employer-paid plans…

Pharmaceutical Company Leaders Pretend to Advocate for the Public Interest – But Maybe it’s All “For the Love of Money” Health Care Renewal

Thom Hartmann Delivers a Brutal and Painfully Accurate Takedown of the Libertarian Party for the Ages Alternet (Judy B)

Leaked documents reveal secretive influence of corporate cash on politics Guardian. J-LS: “This should come as no surprise, but to get documentation is amazing.”

New York police seek man who set fire to Muslim woman Reuters (EM)

The Technocratic Takeover Jacobin (L). On Puerto Rico.

Geopolitical Oil Glut: What Happens When Libya Exports 600,000 bpd In 4 Weeks? OilPrice

How Big An Impact Will A Rate Hike Have On Oil Prices? OilPrice

Class Warfare

Why So Few American Economists Are Studying Inequality Atlantic

Stop Payday Predators People’s Action

Unions Enter the World of Online Charter Schools Nation. Resilc: “Charters=scam.On line charters=biggest ever.”

Georgia’s Governor Wants To Turn His Public Schools Into Post Katrina New Orleans Bruce Dixon

Millions rely on cheap cloth masks that may provide little protection against deadly air pollution The Conversation (J-LS)

Antidote du jour (Chet G):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Roger Smith

    RE: WikiLeaks’ Guccifer 2.0: Obama Sold Off Public Offices to Donors The Observer

    Has anyone seen any established chronology here? I don’t doubt this happened necessarily, but for the sake of a strong argument, were these donations made prior to the positions being awarded?

    1. MLS

      does it matter?

      if you and I agree in principle that I will give you two tens for a twenty – but we’ll give them to each other at different times – is it really important if you give me a twenty today and I give you two tens next week or the other way around?

      1. Roger Smith

        For the sake of a tight argument where some drone is going to shout, “But there is no proof of quid pro quo!”, it does. Having donated prior to receipt of positions provides much better correlation for the typical linear, one dimensional view of quid pro quo.

  2. RabidGandhi

    Re: Obama Sold Off Public Offices to Donors

    A lot of folks got a bee in their bonnet when Obama nominated Noah Mamet (bundled $3 million for the Big O in 2012) to be US Ambassador to Argentina, but they clearly overlooked two advantages that show why Mamet was uniquely qualified for the job and thus there was no corruption. First of all, Mamet had the advantage of never having been to Argentina or South America, so he was starting with a blank slate, unlike other candidates who came with pre-conceptions and an over-understanding of regional history. Secondly, since he didn’t speak any Spanish when he got here, he has not been as easily distracted by the locals (who let’s face it, can really blab your ear off). He can thus better focus on his job.

    I’m sure those other donors on the list are just as uniquely qualified. Sounds legit.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “The practice is hardly a new feature of U.S. politics, but career diplomats in Washington are increasingly alarmed at how it has grown. One former ambassador described it as the selling of public office.”

      And meanwhile, back in the “Land of Lincoln,” Rod Blagojevich is doing 15 years, after having been tried TWICE, for the unconscionable crime of “attempting” to “auction” the virtuous mr. obama’s briefly occupied senate seat.

      Rank has its privileges.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Surely “Blago Chicago” will be pardoned by 0bama as he leaves the White House, in what has become a beloved Democratic tradition.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Blagojevich embarrassed Obama, the greatest crime of all. Obama will never pardon Blago for this mortal sin.

    2. philnc

      I actually don’t mind it if an ambassador doesn’t understand the host country’s language (although being able to interpret words like “our assassination squad is only a fee meters from the imperialist’s door”, might come in handy). No, my beef is with a national security apparatus that has a shockingly small number of analysts proficient in the languages and cultures of groups we’ve identified as serious threats compared to past struggles like the Cold War. But then the vocationalization of university education in this country doesn’t offer candidates much opportunity to acquire that kind of knowledge, does it?

      1. DanB

        You write, “I actually don’t mind it if an ambassador doesn’t understand the host country’s language…” Well, have you ever wondered if the host country minds?

        1. cwaltz

          You silly……our entire foreign policy premise is based upon the idea that other countries interests don’t matter as much as our own. We’re just making that clear from the onset by appointing people who can’t speak the language……if you want to deal with us learn English.

          1. Alejandro

            I’m not sure it’s “our” interests, but it certainly seems like the interests of those with power to sell public office and the interests of those with the means to buy…citizens united blazing a new frontier of governments as markets and corporations as governments :-)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It works many tourists we send abroad.

        “What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Tri-lingual. Two? Bilingual. One? He/She is a from a certain exceptional country.”

  3. Ché Pasa

    I don’t see any reason to believe anything Colin Powell says or is said to have said. The man lost any objective credibility a long time ago (say when he was still a Colonel…) and citing him now as some kind of paragon of virtue and truth is ridiculous. 

    On the other hand, his gossipy little missives are fun as heck, aren’t they, and they should be made into a one-man show on Broadway. Sure fire hit!

    1. Roger Smith

      “Colin Cleansing” The one man stage play.

      He is a hack like the others, which provides good insight into their private world and quarrels. Welcome to every HBO, Showtime, Netflix drama in the last 5-10 years.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Strawman. Who is citing Powell as a “paragon of virtue and truth”?

      “God forbid!” cried Alyosha.

      “Why should He forbid?” Ivan went on in the same whisper, with a malignant grimace. “One reptile will devour the other. And serve them both right, too.”

      Alyosha shuddered.

      1. Ché Pasa

        Why cite him at all?

        And there are still plenty of stupid people who believe his prattle no matter his utter lack of integrity and credibility — after all, if it’s on the internet…

        1. RabidGandhi

          His comments are relevant because HRC dragged him out from under his rock to bear witness to her impeccable character [snort]. So now that he has slithered out and bit her, it’s just deserts.

          1. Ché Pasa

            Perfect for the stage, relevant not at all. Unless of course you consider Shakespeare’s “histories” to be History…

            1. ambrit

              This ‘Stage’ is more like the stage that the Ancient Greeks histrionicated upon. Now, for added effect, the Internet is our Chorus. Insofar as Shakespeare wrote for the commercial ‘stage,’ he involved the audience through association. The Heros and Villians of his plays were versions of Everyman. Powell is an exemplar of the character who tries to keep one foot in ‘both’ camps. It’s a juggling act that seldom works out well, but, when it approaches success, it will supply the catharsis that the ‘groundlings’ crave, and society needs.

        2. Roger Smith

          He is privy to the same caste as Clinton. His comments are insightful for us, the on lookers. It doesn’t matter what kind of person he is. These are candid comments to a friend, not a planned press release.

      2. philnc

        Still, compared to the clown show put on over the last few election cycles (Romney, Bush, Cruz, Trump), you have to wonder how the bar seems to have been set so much higher for Powell. Or is it just that he never really wanted it? Hard to imagine he was less ambitious than the word salad tossing former governor of Alaska, but there it is. But that’s the real definition of hubris: arrogance with malicious intent.

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      Shorter headline: Disgrace Identifies Another Disgrace

      ‘Still wouldn’t consider it newsworthy.

    4. The Trumpening

      Seriously though, If Hillary cannot get Bill to stop dicking bimbos; how can we expect her to get Wall Street, the Saudis, and Davos men to stop dicking America?

    5. Steve H.

      Question here: Powell wrecked his chances to be the first African-American President with the WMD speech. What other events decrease his credibility? His right hand, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, often said what he could not, and Wilkerson is for real.

      1. JCC

        His right hand, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, often said what he could not, and Wilkerson is for real.

        I have no problems whatsoever defending Powell. Powell “is for real”, too. Wilkerson said what Powell also said. Powell freely admitted, often, that the WMD speech was a mistake, and both he and Wilkerson have often stated they were sandbagged by Tenet and the Bush Administration and that the speech was a blot on both their reputations.

        Powell may not be perfect, but I suspect that those that quick to slander him have never served a day in the military, never read anything Powell has written, or are aware of the “Powell Doctrine”, i.e., among other stances, that military action should always be a last resort and should never be used unless there is a Direct threat to the U.S. As an example, he fought hard against our involvement in Bosnia.

        People should learn more about him before summarily writing him off for one episode that he freely admits was a major mistake… and openly regrets. Unless those that are writing him off have never made a serious mistake in their own lives, of course.

        A “paragon”? No. But probably one of the most moderate, rational, and experienced members of the U.S. Army General Staff that this country has seen in the last 70 years.

        1. Roger Smith

          This is why Powell should be written off.

          “Just finished a book by a guy named Llosa about loss of culture. It was reviewed in the WSJ last week. Culture is going and with it the ties that bind.”

          a.k.a. the Deplorables. This is pure elitist trash and to me is the most revealing thing in his emails so far. If only those vermin weren’t so uncultured. Alas! Thine ending cometh swift, for rot has set it beneath thy frame. Ridiculous Doomsday talk from someone so removed from reality that he believes he is above other people. This is a look into the real problem with the “leaders” of this country.

          Or maybe your arrogant world view is what is causing the problems. You know, the one where people are tools for corporate exploration and consumption? Let the ‘smart’ people make the decisions. Here is a treat! Go buy the new Iphone! “Oh no! They aren’t eating the dog food!”

          1. hemeantwell

            From the ‘zon summary:

            Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate. A necessary gadfly, the Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa provides a tough but essential critique of our time and culture.

            My guess is that Vargas Llosa himself isn’t so directly hostile to the masses. But the implication is that necessary elite leadership is MIA and I’m sure all that the argument plays out wthout reference to the decline of organizations representing mass interests and the concomitant suppression of conflict. Intellectuals end up oriented to and serving technocratic interests that encourage a politics of Third Wayish ideological obfuscation and numbing. When social contradictions intensify, they cannot give them voice and fall into Vargas Llosa’s abstract moralizing.

            Russel Jacoby’s writings on the decline of the public intellectual will not be found on Powell’s nightstand, should be.

          2. JCC

            Wow. My arrogant world view? I don’t like arguing on forums, it’s a complete waste of time and rarely is anything resolved. But, and no offense, Richard, you don’t know me or my world views… so I’ll assume that was just some sort of a typo made in anger and not a pronounced judgment about someone you know nothing about.

            As for your link, I saw no mention of “deplorables” and squeezing a reference to “deplorables” out of a passing reference in an email to some book I, and probably many others, never read doesn’t convince me of your argument. Hopefully that does not make me an arrogant person. Maybe, having never heard of Llosa until today, I am one of the unread, unwashed “deplorables”, though.

        2. Otis B Driftwood

          When it mattered most, when we needed someone, anyone to stand against that disastrous war, he failed. Powell let those who never served a day in the military compromise his integrity. Where is the slander in that?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Got news for you — there ain’t a lot of “integrity” among the caste of military general officers:

            They do put a lot of effort into polishing their brass, however. Or more accurately their underlings do. The bright glints off the shiny surfaces still tend to blind the mopery to the real nature of the massive military-complex beast — but then so many of us just can’t live without the mythologies of empire…

            And then there’s Obama’s selection of Ash-hole Carter to guard and encourage the foxes as they prey on the chickens…

            1. reslez

              The military is one of the big remaining bastions of old feudalism.

              Those who “serve” are explicitly divided into castes, officer vs enlisted. A 22 year old second lieutenant outranks a 20 year vet with a masters degree and years of managerial experience simply because of this distinction. Everybody with two brain cells to rub together knows how laughable that is, but it’s very real. “Fraternization” is forbidden by regulation: meaning each caste is expected to keep to itself, and yes the officers are treated much better. The upper brass managed to keep some of the perks that nobility used to enjoy because those distinctions never went away.

          2. Ottawan

            Guys like Powell think they can play the game and get good things done. They then promptly lose the game when it comes to real political stakes, for various reasons. Kinda like Shinseki at the end of his career. (Bah, whadoIknow).

        3. vidimi

          calling lying in order to destroy a country a mistake is charitable to the point of being hirohito award-worthy

          1. JCC

            He never called it a “mistake” and he never knew he was lying until after the fact, as both he and Lawrence Wilkerson have often stated. The “mistake” they made was trusting Cheney, Bush, and Tenet to tell them the facts.

            They weren’t the first, and they weren’t the last… many people are still making that “mistake”. The difference is that both Wilkerson and Powell owned up to it, more than the vast majority of those that were part of that Administration (not to mention multiple members of MSM).

        4. barefoot charley

          I agree, he’s better than the run of the mill. Being a soldier, he followed orders at the UN. Being a bureaucrat, he reported information from underlings and superiors as reality, just like cops and insurance adjusters do. Sure, he’s a cog in the machine, but he’s no Bill or Hillary.

        5. John k

          The problem is the level of the mistake. Let’s not just blame bush/Cheney for Iraq, recall that war was inevitable after the speech but not before.

          Bosnia arguably was the only defendable war (maybe Korea) since WWII, which he argued against, yet argued for Iraq. As a reluctant warrior he was the last line of defense against Iraq, and failed. Whining he was misinformed is a useless mea culpa.

        6. Plenue

          We are what we do. I don’t give a crap about his record or his doctrine. He forever shamed and discredited himself when he stood before the United Nations and blatantly lied. If he knew full well he was spouting lies at the time, and his excuse is that he was bullied into it, he’s even more disreputable.

        7. ChrisPacific

          And should we forgive all those Catholic priests who sexually abused children because they are pious men of God who accomplished many genuinely good things in their lives, know they made a mistake, and feel just awful about it?

          You’re missing the point. If he had an impeccable reputation then that makes it worse, not better.

      2. optimader

        wrecked his chances to be the first African-American President with the WMD speech
        IIRC correctly CP never expressed an interest in being POTUS, first black or otherwise.

        I remember his stated reluctance was related to the surrendering of his privacy. He quipped along the lines that want a SS agent standing next to him when he takes a piss, for the rest of his life.

        1. Steve H.

          Ah, thanks you and Steve Gunderson. I thought he had the capacity, but didn’t know he didn’t have the motivation.

    6. Rory

      I too wouldn’t trust anything that Colin Powell says for public consumption. But what he, an insider, says in what he thinks is a private email to a fellow insider, might be a different matter.

            1. optimader

              That is one I’ve read along the way..

              As described, to be honest, if I were at that place and time after the fact as Powell it could have easily been me? I would like to think I would have hunted up local flight records in that grid and stumbled across Hugh Thompson, but who knows..

              When reading on Hugh Thompson many years ago, he is an unsung hero.

              If the Brass above Powell’s paygrade really wanted the story exposed, the information was readily available and I’m sure detailed in Thompsons after action flight report. Powell post facto tangential involvement as a bureaucrat would have been irrelevant.

              Thompson reported the atrocities by radio several times while at Sơn Mỹ. Although these reports reached Task Force Barker operational headquarters, nothing was done to stop the massacre. After evacuating a child to a Quảng Ngãi hospital, Thompson angrily reported to his superiors at Task Force Barker headquarters that a massacre was occurring at Sơn Mỹ. Immediately following Thompson’s report, Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Barker ordered all ground units in Sơn Mỹ to cease search and destroy operations in the village.

              In retrospect, I wish I had the discipline to maintain a journal. I don’t.
              If I had to comment on something I said or did 20years ago odds are I would get some of it wrong, particularly the date. Case in point, the older I get, recalling an event from six years ago usually means it happened at least 10 years ago.

              1. cwaltz

                I’m pretty sure I would have remembered reading about a massacred village.

                That sort of thing shouldn’t slip ones mind. If it does then I respectfully believe the person whose mind it slipped lost what was left of their humanity when those lives were slaughtered.

                The military teaches that the reason that rank gets privilege is they have a greater responsibility than the rank and file to get it right. It seems to me that Powell forgot that when he essentially decided to not exercise due diligence in investigating a very concerning complaint.

                1. optimader

                  I’m pretty sure I would have remembered reading about a massacred village.
                  Of course, as would I. Would I remember the day i first read about it? Probably not.
                  And back in the day, before it was in the press, did he read about a massacred village civilians or did he read a fanfold of body count data that was the stuff Walter Cronkite coughed up every night? I really don’t know the answer to that.

                  My inclination is to think he read some whitewashed data and didn’t dig any deeper in an incurious manner. Was it even his purview to go start interviewing ppl? I don’t know that either, but I would suppose that is the responsibility of a JAG

                  To be clear, I am not advocating for Coln Powell, IMO if he were Caucasian he would have been considered fairly unremarkable. That said, smarter than GWB, but that’s not setting a high bar.

  4. Jim A.

    Re: China and the Northwest passage. I wonder to what extant recognizing the Canadian Claim to the territoriality of the NWP is an attempt to get Canadian support for their claim to the South China Sea. Certainly the two are probably related in their mind, I’m just not sure how.

  5. allan

    Warren: Next Administration Should Probe, Maybe Jail Wall Street Bankers [Bloomberg]

    Damn, when I saw that headline I thought that Buffet had finally woken up and smelled the corruption.

    Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is marking the eighth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy with a new push to investigate—and potentially jail—more than two dozen individuals and corporations who were referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution in 2011 by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a government-appointed group that investigated the roots of the 2008 financial crisis. None was ever prosecuted. The names of the referrals—including former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, who held a top job at Citigroup, and Citigroup’s former CEO, Charles Prince—became public earlier this year when the National Archives released new documents.

    In a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general, Warren calls the lack of prosecutions “outrageous and baffling” and asks the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, to investigate why no charges were brought. “[T]he DOJ record of action on these individuals, nearly six years after DOJ received the referrals, is abysmal,” she writes. …

    Fat chance. Maybe Sen. Warren should have endorsed somebody else in the primary.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Hasn’t the statute of limitations already “safely” passed?

      Another lawyer “hero” who’s all hat and no cattle.

    2. cocomaan

      Next administration? You had an AG ready to go, why not use them?

      What happened to this lady? Her transformation into a lizard person did not take long.

    3. Steve H.

      She doesn’t need to endorse anybody. People For Whom People Are Things apply the same criteria to Clintons. It was supposed to be Bush v Clinton: The Dynasty II. Win-Win. Trump screwed that up, and Trump v Bernie would be Lose-Lose. The ROI is turning into UBU ROI. Warren is the only Democrat that will keep the gender politics in play, any male but Bernie replacing Clintons will be taken as betrayal, and the DNC already betrayed half its members.

      I’d take 1:1 odds this will happen before the debate. And I do not expect Clintons to voluntarily withdraw. But it could be her health is worse than anybody could possibly have known, a tragic loss. (People For Whom People Are Things, remember.) I grant I am overly sensitive to switches like this (Y2K as an example), but I have never seen a presidential campaign trainwreck like we’ve got going now.

      1. sd

        The trainwreck is just symptomatic of the courtier culture of Versailles on the Potomac. It took a blow hard rogue like Trump to really bring it in to focus.

      2. reslez

        The first debate is in less than 2 weeks, not a lot of time. It looks like the Clinton campaign intends to let the health scare blow over which it will as long as nothing else happens before the debate.

        If you were Trump, what would your opinion be of Julian Assange? And would you want that supposed “October surprise” released before or after the debates?

    4. RabidGandhi

      Making concrete progress on jailing big bankers will take more than electing the right president, and I’m not sure that Warren endorsing Sanders would have put her or the nation in a better position to expand the good work she has done thus far.

      Of course, Warren is a one-trick pony, but it’s a damned good trick and I hope she sticks to it instead of branching into other rings in the circus. Or to mix animal metaphores, she is definitely more hedgehound than fox.

      1. diptherio

        I’m actually not that impressed with Warren. She talks a good game on the finance stuff, but I’ve yet to see anything real come from all her words. Can anybody name anything concrete for me? The CFPB seems to be just another useless agency and lines like this make me a little grumpy:

        Warren calls the lack of prosecutions “outrageous and baffling”

        Come of it, Liz! There’s nothing at all baffling about corruption. Connect a couple of dots for Goddess sake! This kind of faux ignorance isn’t helping anybody.

        Liz Warren is a politician — end of story. If you’re expecting anything wonderful out of her, just repeat to yourself “Liz Warren is a politician….Liz Warren is a politician….”

        1. DanB

          I’m one of her constituents, and I agree with your assessment. On a personal note, two years ago I had occasion to ask for her assistance on a matter that in the old days a politician would have been glad to oblige a constituent. Her staff on two occasions failed to follow through on granting me a meeting to discuss my request. I was first referred to the senator by a VP at my college; that got me a telephone delivered blow-off from one of her staff. Then a local politician intervened and I was invited to “revisit your request.” Thereafter, her staff would not communicate with me when I attempted to set up the meeting. I got the impression that since I was not a pay-to-play candidate, they were only placating the local political by promising a meeting and then not holding it. So I can repeat after you, ‘Liz Warren is a politician…”

          1. diptherio

            Sad, but not surprising.

            I do think there are some elected officials who aren’t entirely self-centered, but they are sadly few and far-between, in my experience. I don’t want to smear a whole class of people, but I think that given history it’s acceptable to assume that anyone who seeks political office is guilty until proven innocent. We might be in a far better place right now if everyone’s initial reaction to any politician’s rhetoric was “yeah right, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

          2. voteforno6

            Constituent services used to be the bread-and-butter of an elected official’s activities. Maybe it still is, just with a redefinition of “constituent.”

          1. diptherio

            You mean the WF case that was just settled for a pittance w/ no criminal prosecutions? Excuse me if I don’t get overly excited….just sayin’

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Liz can bloviate all she wants and make herself look and feel good, but when the fix is in at the top of the Justice Department, as mandated by the Bezzler-In-Chief, it’s just a complete waste of time and money. Bank: rake in billions, subtract costs, Item 28A = Wrist slap fine equal to 1% of net profits on the product line.

        2. RabidGandhi

          I hear you, and far be it from me to “expect anything wonderful” of Warren, but she is the most effective voice in the senate against rampant wall street corruption. Of course from a perch in the senate it would be impossible to single-handedly take down major criminals like Dimon or Rubin, but at least she is getting the clear corruption into the debate, which is not chopped liver.

          You’re right, at the end of the day she’s a politician, but hey so are Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. Each has their strengths, but I’m not going to be dedicating shrines to any of them; instead we should see how they can be used as vehicles for change. Furthermore, I have been appalled every time I’ve heard her speak on anything but finance reform. If someday she were opposed by a candidate who were equally effective vs. wall street and say, didn’t want to drone brown people to pink mist, I would support that candidate against her. Till then, I say let the pony stick to her trick.

        3. John k

          Yeah, but
          Granted she’s no progressive, no doubt had a lot of disagreements with Bernie.
          But she’s the most forceful person against the bankers, and clearly means it. A revolution is made up of many actors with many objectives, we have to make do with what we’ve got. Too bad, though, she couldn’t bridge her differences with Bernie/and or have the gumption to fight the Clinton machine, who was no doubt popular in her state…
          Wonder if she’s feeling regrets…

        4. beth

          The CFPB seems to be just another useless agency and lines like this make me a little grumpy:

          Could you be more specific about your criticism of the CFPB since I get their emails and think they are doing more than any other part of the federal government to right the wrongs being committed by the banking industry? I realize it is far too little for the progress we need, but something is better than nothing in my book. CFPB’s opposition in congress suggests they are doing something right.

          1. hunkerdown

            beth, then your book enables corruption, crime, dysfunctional power relations and a steady diet of hush puppies instead of wholesome food. Progress is the enemy of sufficiency.

  6. Yo Adrian

    This Saturday in Philadelphia there will be a human rights tribunal conducted by international experts: the ‘most highly qualified publicists of the various nations.’ These are the people who make the law the ICJ applies, working with internationalist local officials. They will air suppressed grievances in rigorous and comprehensive human rights terms.

    People have heard of Responsibility to Protect, R2P. This is it – the real thing, not the NATO perversion of it, Responsibility to Zoom Around and Blow Shit Up. Specifically, this is R2P Pillar 2, capacity building – not for the state, the state is too far gone. This is capacity building for local and regional civil society. The world is laying the groundwork for the USA’s successor states.

    Philly is a well-chosen place for it, since it has a robust civil society revolving around migrant communities and the U of P and more broadly, the pluralist and humanist Quaker tradition. Secular Quaker syncretism will be one thing worth salvaging from the wreck of the USA. If you’ve seen this done before, you know it works. Even in barbarous underdeveloped pismires like the USA. The real work will continue while your fake democracy hawks and hacks and horks up a figurehead. So hang in there.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      The American Friends Service Committee arm of the Quakers has some atoning to do for its prior social engineering work in Philly and Chicago. They didn’t act alone, but were instrumental in much of the effort that caused such distress in the forced integration of neighborhoods that was often through breaking up (cleansing) ethnic neighborhoods. Read the richly-documented book The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing by E. Michael Jones about aspects of mid-century history that is little publicized. Decades of heartache resulted, along with riots and dysfunctional cities.

    2. Eclair

      And I notice that one of the sessions at the human rights tribunal will stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and #nodapl.

      Speaking of syncretism, this article discusses the anti-capitalistic foundations of Native American society: ” … (b)y and large, the indigenous societies … were organized along extremely egalitarian lines, with real property held collectively and matrifocality a normative standard.”

  7. timbers


    NPR did a compilation of stump speeches, first Clinton then Trump on separate nights, as I drove home from work the last few nights.

    Clinton’s sounded much like Sanders on the issues in vague terms. Sounded like as in – if she SAYS in her speech Americans deserve access to good jobs, affordable healthcare, and wage growth they’ve lost, and need someone like her to fight the rigged system, she MUST mean it. The two hosts bantered mostly with opening questions to allow more information or to transition to various points.

    Trumps was handled a bit differently. Unlike Clinton’s which was presented with only bright and cheery banter between the two female radio voices as if sitting in a room with each other, the two voices presenting the program didn’t just ask questions to move the program forward, but to play skeptcal devils advocate with what we heard Trump say with challenging questions like “But does Trump really support this…” or “Ok how does that square with this or that?…”

    On another note, talking with one of my mostly non political Team Dem Tribe members about Clinton’s 9/11 episode, he said “you’re such a conspiracy theorist” when I told him of Hillary’s concussion/meds/blood clots or any suggestion she didn’t collapse from just pneumonia or dehydration.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Trump in Flint

    Tons of indignant gas-bagging in advance of and after Trump’s visit, including from the mush-mouthed democrat senator “debbie” stabenow, for having “done nothing to prevent the crisis in Flint.”

    Wait, what???????

    1. Roger Smith

      Just imagine if all that planning done be these local politicians and mayor had been diverted to getting their water system up and running instead of being wasted on Trump bashing….

      Everyone is complaining that this is a political drive by (well duh–and how would it not appear like that? How could anyone in that position go there and not be viewed as doing it for political reasons?) but at least he didn’t drag thousands of foreign bodies with him into to a town lacking a usable water supply for a nationally televised event like the DNC did (did Clinton suggest that venue)?

      Also, a big stink is being made about a church pastor who asked him to stop talking about Clinton or politics (couldn’t hear her in the video). It was a calm, polite, brief exchange that is being blown out of proportion.

      1. katiebird

        I saw it too. Everyone was calm and respectful. No heckling. The questions from the audience weren’t heckling either — he calmly responded to them. The minister was obviously nervous about interrupting him, but not angry at all.

      1. Roger Smith

        The Russians deleted it. They also poisoned Flint’s water. Trump could have helped and stopped it by releasing his tax returns.

        I did not see the link Katniss referenced either. I live locally and have been reading sources overnight about it.

        “It used to be that cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. And now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint,” Trump said at the church. “It’s terrible.”

        I doubt highly Clinton would have been stopped mid-speech.

        1. Vatch

          I doubt highly Clinton would have been stopped mid-speech.

          If she were to be interrupted, she would remove her blue sunglasses, and she would burn her antagonist with powerful beams of light emitted from her eyes. She’s like the X Man Scott Summers, better known as Cyclops.

          1. Roger Smith

            Ohhhh so that is what those are for.

            Maybe he powers are more like Lo Pan’s from Big Trouble in Little China.

        2. diptherio

          “It used to be that cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. And now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint,”

          Gotta admit, that’s a pretty clever line, although a bit on the offensive side towards Mexico. Makes me wonder if he’s got a comic writing for him.

          A friend came up with a great proposal for Donald Trump the other day: hire Muslims to build the south side of the border-wall with Mexico. That way when the wall’s done, we’ll also have locked out a bunch of trouble-makers. Two birds, one stone. [please note he was joking and finds Trump’s policy proposals deplorable]

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I did a study in Mexico in 1984 (Mexico City, stayed at one of the 2 best hotels, which was a dump, and Monterrey). Trump is correct re the water.

      2. Vatch

        Katniss, is this the link?

        Stabenow dismissed Trump’s visit as “irrelevant.”

        “We know why he’s going, and belated photo-ops are not enough,” said Stabenow, a longtime Democrat Hillary Clinton supporter. “The people of Flint have waited long enough. They don’t need politics. They need solutions.”

        It’s not exactly what you quoted, but there seems to be a similarity.

        It seems to me that Michigan Republicans and Federal EPA officials (controlled by Obama) are to blame for the tragedy in Flint.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          From the movie City of Ember (2008):
          Mayor Cole: “These are trying and troubled times. Our problems are grave. We need answers, but beyond answers, more important than answers, we need solutions. And in order to find those solutions, I propose we launch a thorough investigation.”

          Is Stabenow attempting to paraphrase or one-up on Mayor Cole?

        2. uncle tungsten

          So what exactly prevented Stabenow from organizing and loudly assembling a mass movement and everything that normally goes with making a change for the benefit of constituents? That would have been so easy to do with the phenomenal people resources of Flint and her office resources. See Alinsky etc.

          She was complicit or cowed into silence by ambition or threat. FAIL

  9. sd

    Chairman Chris Dodd went to the MPAA after leaving the Senate.

    MPAA Slams USC Study That Claims State Tax Incentives Have “No Effect” On Jobs & Wages

    An assistant professor at USC who challenged the prevailing theory that state film tax incentives are good for their local economies has come under personal and professional attack by the MPAA, the industry’s leading booster of state tax incentives.

    That tax incentives don’t work is well known. Numerous studies have been done in different states and they always come to the same conclusion.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Lest we forget:

      Dodd Forswears a Lobbying Career [CT Mirror, 2010]

      Sen. Chris Dodd says he still doesn’t know what he’ll do come January 2011, when, for the first time in 36 years, he will no longer be a member of Congress. But he has ruled out one option.

      “No lobbying, no lobbying,” Dodd said in a recent interview

    2. voteforno6

      Film & television production studios love to play localities off against each other, in order to get those tax credits. It’s the same game played by pro sports leagues. So, it’s no surprise that the MPAA would make this claim.

    3. P

      I’m going to disagree slightly about this. Tax incentives for the film and television industry are most effective in areas that have a good production base to begin with, not for the areas where you get one or two films or television series a year. While there is a certain amount of money spent on location filming that benefits the general area (hotels, restaurants, payments to locations used, publicity, rental businesses in the area) for a brief spurt, it is long term continual filming that really is beneficial. Not only does the unionized work force that lives there benefit from good jobs, they pay taxes (state, local, sales and property). Support businesses also develop that fill gaps or help producers get their needs met locally employing a fair number of other people.

      The thing is, in a perfect world there would be no incentives and producers would shoot in the places best suited for the piece they are making. But because there are tax incentives out there ( and not just in America – there is a reason a fair number of films have been shot in Eastern Europe that aren’t located there in the script) in some ways it has become a bidding war. One that producers not only indulge in but encourage, even to a point extort. Unfortunately, in places where the entertainment industry is significant and film/television is a large percentage of that industry it is very likely it does make a difference.

    1. temporal

      She probably should have made a visit to her daughter’s place a lot earlier. Being rehydrated in Chelsea’s apartment took off at least 30 pounds and really smoothed her skin. Once this procedure becomes more common facelifts and other forms of plastic surgery will be a thing of the past.

    2. Waldenpond

      Looks like Clinton to me. That nose is distinctive. One photo she’s smiling and cheeks are rounder, the other she’s not smiling and cheeks aren’t round. One picture is straight on, one sideways. She was absent (except for fundraisers) for over a month. Reasonable weight loss of 3-4 pds a week is 16 pds. Working hard a person could get rid of 5. On a person her size 10 pds would equal one size.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Look at the video, particularly in profile, where she bends over with the girl. This person weighs a bare minimum of 40 lbs less than Clinton, probably more like 60. Please explain that.

  10. ProNewerDeal


    Bad news, Colorado Care (state MedicareForAll) losing in latest poll. Supposedly losing among D voters, & Milennial voter cohorts.

    I had heard CO was a blue state, & also that it had a higher portion of citizens with at least a BA degree education than the median state.

    Another poll had Sanders as the most popular Senator, with a +20% approval to disapproval margin, much superior than HClinton & Trump’s deeply negative margins. I had thought a big portion of Sanders voters were like myself, primarily supporting a politician based on their policies & consistency (e.g. NOT HClinton/Trump style continual flip-floppin) in advocating said policies. In addition, Sanders top or say at least top3 policies is MedicareForAll. I had thought Sanders “educated” many USian voters on MedicareForAll.

    WTF is happening in CO? Are USians & Coloradans more stupid & myopic than I had perceived? Is it this easy for the EvilDoers to Manufacture Consent against ColoradoCare?

    Good Morning/Mourning MuricNam!

    1. Steve H.

      Colorado can’t be simply parsed. It has a core identity in mining. At a certain time, ‘mountains of snow’ referred to cocaine consumption. Drive east and you rarely see anything much green and growing, if the dirt is black it’s been carted in. The mountains are young and astonishingly vertical, the flats go on forever. The basketball team thrives on depriving foes of oxygen. A major center of North American Buddhism.

      Crittermom could say more, I’ve only visited.

    2. Ranger Rick

      “Stupid and myopic” is not how I would describe a state with a tradition of rugged individualism stretching back hundreds of years. To answer your second question, you have to look at the demographic changes in Colorado over the last 20 years. Prior to the tech boom in the 90s, Colorado’s urban population was at an uneasy parity with its rural population. This created an incentive for political compromise.

      After the tech money started flowing, so too did the migration from other states, and soon the (sub)urban population of Colorado began to outnumber those out in the sticks. This has caused several statewide referendums and laws that the majority of the state (by geographic area) opposes but which population concentrations demand.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Those who is doing the outnumbering will always enjoy the tyranny of the majority.

        For that reason, the small states in the Union will always be vulnerable to ‘purposeful migrations’ – this is worrisome, given that however small a state is, it gets 2 senators.

        The rich can capture many small states with that strategy.

    3. Louis

      One of the major concerns about Colorado Care is cost control. Although this is an issue in any healthcare arrangement, it’s complicated by the structure of the Colorado constitution. In short, there are a couple of conflicting tax and spending amendments in the Colorado constitution, passed by the voters over the years, which have created a structural problem.

      One of my personal concerns about Colorado Care is whether it could realistically be adequately funded over the long-term given the conflict between Amendment 23 and TABOR.

      On a side note: Colorado has evolved into a blue state, largely due to the growth in the Front Range, however, it is not solidly blue–there are still plenty of Republicans and a sizable number of independents in the state.

    4. Eclair

      Our beloved governor, Hickenlooper, craft beer entrepreneur, who apparently is unaware that good beer’s main component is pure water, will happily sue any community who attempt to ban fracking (known for its voracious appetite for water and its pollution of that resource as well as its production of methane). Could it be due to the Petroleum Institute, located in downtown Denver?

      He, and our equally beloved Senator Bennet, have taken a stand against ColoradoCare. Could it be because of pressure from Anthem/Blue Cross, whose enormous building dominates a section just to the south of Denver’s downtown?


      Plus, millions of dollars are being spent by the for-profit health insurers to blanket the TV channels during primetime viewing every evening, with ads literally screaming that your income taxes will skyrocket, the size of the state budget will more than double, government will tell you what doctors you can go to, etc., etc. Apparently it’s working.

      As for the myth of Colorado being settled by ‘rugged individualists?’ (This is a reaction to Ranger Rick). You mean the ones who called for the US Calvalry or the State Mililita to massacre the pesky Indians who were living there? Or the ones who were given land by the US Government, which then backed up those claims with the legal system and force, if necessary. Or, when unsustainable agricultural practices resulted in the dust bowl, combined with the ravages of the big depression, the thousands of Coloradans who were kept alive by the New Deal and other government programs?

      Save me!

      1. Louis

        It could also be that Hickenlooper knows that if a community succeeded in banning fracking, the energy companies would sue, and government might lose the lawsuit. If you own the mineral rights,
        cities and localities can place certain restrictions but they generally can’t outright prohibit development, so why waste millions of dollars on a suit you might–if not would likely–lose?

        As for ColoradoCare, insurance companies are not the only ones opposing it–far from it–because it’s questionable whether the math adds up.

        1. ProNewerDeal

          What SPECIFICALLY is the problem with ColoradoCare, when you write “it’s questionable whether the math adds up”.

          IMHO, ColoradoCare needs to be contrasted against the status quo, where 45K/yr (perhaps “only” 30K by 2022 given the ACA) USians are killed yearly due to the Sickcare Mafia & the bipartisan politicians they own killing Canada-style MedicareForAll, per Harvard Public Health Profs’ study. In addition, 1-2M/yr go bankrupt due to medical bills (source: political science Prof. Jacob Hacker citing a study in his “The Great Risk Shift”).

          Are whatever problems you expect ColoradoCare have not far less than the humanitarian benefit of prevention of the deaths & bankruptcies to Coloradans, the prevented suffering of spouse & children of those that died or went bankrupted, & the stress reduction of all informed Coloradans that no longer have to fear this particular major death/bankruptcy risk?

          Are you against Canada-style MedicareForAll as well? Or for Canada-style MedicareForAll yet against ColoradoCare? What if the ballot measure described the British Columbia provincial system, it passed in the Nov election, & a US/CAN citizen say had experience running the BC provincial system was hired to implement as “copy exactly” as possible the BC system in CO?


          BTW this national poll of 2016 likely voters has
          “Single Payer Healthcare Via Medicare” supported 51%-36% overall, with a plurality of Ds & Independents supporting it. Why would ColoradoCare polling in “blue or pink” CO have a far worse support than this national poll? This situation with these 2 divergent polls seems unusual to me.

          Funny how “we can’t afford it” arguments only apply to programs that actually help the majority of USians, & never to programs that either harm or are indifferent ot the majority of USians, such as Corporate Welfare, the MIC, War on Terra, War on Drugs, etc.

          1. ProNewerDeal

            BTW, Sanders & any of his “surrogates”, including charismatic pols like Tulsi Gabbard & Nina Turner, & “cool” celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike, Arcade Fire, etc; should “go on tour” & hold rallies for ColoradoCare, disguised as also supporting HClinton to defeat Trump.

            If nothing else Sanders & the Sanders pols like Gabbard should do it out of pure self-interest. I think many of us are yearning for a bit of hope in US politics amidst this Pres election involving of Battle of 2 Evils. Such a rally might outdraw Trump & would certainly outdraw HClinton’s “main event” rallies, which would certaintly be embarassing for these 2 EvilDoers.

      2. Propertius

        Hickenlooper is a petroleum geologist by training. He worked in the oil industry until he was laid off in the late 1980s and decided to start a brewery.

        Of course he’s in favor of fracking.

      3. Propertius

        As for our esteemed Senator Michael Bennett, I note that Goldman-Sachs is so pleased with his role in helping them bankrupt the Denver Public Schools pension fund that they’re among his largest contributers, along with Anthem and PHARMA. I wouldn’t vote for him for dog-catcher.

      4. cyclist

        I didn’t know Hickenlooper had any connection to the craft beer world – I’ll need to avoid the Wynkoop beers should I come across them. Contrast this with Coopertown’s (NY) Brewery Ommegang, which said in 2011 that they may need to move out of NYS if the fracking ban was lifted, because pure water was so important to their product. Similar protests were made by winemakers in the Finger Lakes.

    5. Eureka

      There’s a lot of “progressive” groups coming out against ColoradoCare because supposedly they don’t like that it’d be a constitutional amendment and raising tax rates the future would require another amendment.

      I think that excuse is bunk and fortunately my brother and mom + their friends see past the BS excuse not provide care for everyone. Also, while CO swings blue now, it is still very much a swing state. Very conservative outside of Demver, Boulder and a few other cities, particularly the libertarian type.

    6. crittermom

      What I’m reading and hearing from friends still in Colorado is that ever since recreational pot was made legal in 2012 (the yr I was forced to leave), there’s been a HUGE influx of people. (‘Hey, man, let’s move to CO. We can stay high legally. How cool’)

      Friends who oppose ColoradoCare feel that it invites even more to come & enjoy the legal smoke & then free healthcare if it passes, bringing in even more folks, while raising taxes to cover even those newcomers.
      That’s their view on it, anyway, and why they’re opposed to it. I haven’t followed it enough to understand the proposal fully.

      Tech companies have moved in, as well, so the state has been one of the fastest growing in the nation in recent years. Between the increase in residents as well as tourists (anyone can buy pot there legally now, and tour businesses have been started supporting that), Rocky Mtn Natl Park was even looking at having to limit the number of visitors due to overcrowding. This article is from almost 2 yrs ago and it’s only gotten worse:

      Another, involving local climbers vs tourists:

      Housing costs have gone through the roof there (median price of a home in Boulder now @ a cool million) and traffic has increased to a point the ‘natives’ are not happy. I’ve been told any commute is now a miserable, long endeavor. It’s being ‘Californicated’, as many would say, and they don’t like it.

      Now some Coloradans fear even more will come, with no jobs or housing to support the growth, for free health care, as well, if passed. Those I’ve spoken with think the concept is good but fear increased costs and even more overcrowding unless it were passed in every state. They see it as making CO a target for further influx, with the current residents paying the price.

      THAT’S why some are in opposition to it. (And those friends were all Bernie supporters).

  11. wsa

    Random observation on 2016 —

    In my local neighborhood (Madison, WI), which I would expect to be solidly Clinton, I have seen few Clinton yard signs. I have seen a few more signs for Russ Feingold. And yesterday I saw an Obama-Biden sign, which I remain unsure how to interpret.

  12. jfleni

    Re: NYC threatens to sue Verizon over FiOS shortfalls.

    The solution is obvious: Do it yourselves – cut their network jewels right off! If you don’t, they will swindle you and the citizens forever. Certainly not cheap,
    but the revenues and benefits will be immense.

  13. anon

    Unions Enter the World of Online Charter Schools Nation. Resilc: “Charters=scam.On line charters=biggest ever.”

    Evidently Resilc has no experience with the Chicago Public School system and the Chicago Teacher’s Union. Epic fails.

    1. kareninca

      Mish also asks whether Snopes is politically motivated.

      “False or Inconclusive?

      I am generally highly supportive of Snopes. But How the hell can they possibly make the claim the story is false, when all they did was make a case that Noel’s presentation was politically motivated.

      Politically Motivated Snopes?

      Since Snopes is not a medical doctor, and since Snopes explicitly stated “We have not tried to make the case that Hillary Clinton does not have Parkinson’s disease (in point of fact, we don’t think that case even needs making)” one has to wonder if Snopes itself is politically motivated!

      Snopes should have labeled the evidence “Inconclusive“, not false.” (from the Mish article).

      It has all gotten so impossible. Where can I go to get credible information about whether Snopes is credible, and about who funds them??? Someone in Mish’s comment section claimed that they are funded by Soros, which of course is always the go-to “don’t believe it” claim. But really I have no idea who funds them, or how to find out.

  14. MikeNY

    $400,000 helmets for pilots in a $135,000,000 fighter plane that doesn’t work so well.

    Meanwhile 1 out of 3 kids live in poverty, and we can’t raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

    That’s American Exceptionalism.

    1. Jim Haygood

      The victorious Viet Cong usually mingled in with the peasants. Imagine that — popular support.

      Not gonna happen with round-eyed flyboys cruising $135 million aircraft over distant, hostile lands and making things go boom.

      Which raises the pertinent question … WTF are “we” doing there, anyhow?

    2. Steve Gunderson

      Among the problems: The jets don’t carry much ordnance (just two missiles and two bombs)

      I did not know that!

      If the F-35 runs into more than 2 enemy planes, what does it do?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Don’t know what the plane does, but the pilot experiences butt pucker and possible uncontrollable projectile defecation…

        But of course the F-35 is supposedly capable of carrying “15 to 18,000 pounds of ordnance,” just not internally which is needed for the thing to be “stealthy.” It’s got lots of “external hard points,” to carry a glittering array of “legacy weapons” and all the stuff that the sh!ts who imagine up threats and weapons are planning to start the development cycles of any day now, pending funding…

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The F-35 delivers perfectly on its mission: extract chump taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible so that a half dozen billionaire MIC shareholders can funnel their winnings to Panama.
          Rinse and repeat, Star Wars missiles, electronic space rail guns, la la la la. The exceptional nation, with 30% of school-age children living below the poverty line and infant mortality worse than Bulgaria’s.

      2. Antifa

        The Pentagon answer to your question is the F-35 pilot radios a Navy ship a hundred miles offshore, which launches a SAM at the intruders; one for each. Long before the enemy planes come into firing range of the F-35, it has radioed for a bunch of missiles that are locked on from the moment they launch, and the F-35 has left the area.

        It’s the plane that never needs to shoot.

        Stop laughing. That is their very serious answer.

  15. jgordon

    Something else has occurred to me and I’ve been pondering it: Regardless of temperature, Hillary is always going around in large, baggy, jackets and pants. Now, rather than just being bad fashion, it suddenly struck me that probably the reason she’s wearing these ugly things is because in fact she’s carrying an array of medical devices under her clothing. Now what does that remind you of… Hmmm.

    That’s right!! It’s just like Baron Harkonnen! If there were only some way to make Hillary levitate the resemblance in both personality and appearance would be truly uncanny a near perfect match! Dune really was too prescient–maybe Frank Herbert was on Spice himself!

    1. Steve H.

      My lovely Janet is a long-time nurse, saw some photos and said HRC had a catheter tube clearly running down her leg. A bag by the ankle is easy to empty on the fly.

    2. Carolinian

      Someone in comments the other day suggested she wears a bulletproof vest under her clothing which makes quite a combo with the catheter and anti seizure sunglasses. Then there was the claim she was wearing an earpiece during recent candidate forum. The woman is fully equipped.

  16. ambrit

    Just throwing this out there, but, if H Clinton dies or is incapacitated, can she still run for the office? I would not put a ‘living will’ enjoining a continued run out of the question.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was watching the movie, the Man in the Iron Mask, son of Louis XIV, illegitimate or otherwise, who, according to one version, did not get to reign at all.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Synopsis of the last go-round:

      Because Missouri’s election law would not allow Mel Carnahan’s name to be removed from the November 7, 2000 ballot [after his death on Oct 16, 2000], the campaign appointed Carnahan’s widow, Jean Carnahan, to unofficially become the new Democratic candidate.

      Lieutenant Gov. Wilson promised to appoint her to the US Senate seat, if it became vacant as a result of Mel Carnahan’s win in the election. Carnahan’s campaign continued, using the slogan “I’m Still With Mel.

      In a Senate first, Carnahan posthumously won by a 2% margin. Jean Carnahan was then appointed to the Senate and served until November 2002.

      I’m Still with Hill!

    2. Dave (formerly known as "Bob")

      Pardon my delay in posting, but your question brought to mind the plot of my favorite movie, “Dave”, starring Kevin Kline (as President) and SIgourney Weaver as First Lady. I had to watch it again before posting. Released in 1993, it has some great scenes reminiscent of Bill and Hillary Clinton. For those who haven’t seen the film, Kline plays the role of “Dave”, a body double for President “Bill” Mitchell, who has a massive stroke (while screwing his young secretary). Kline assumes the role of President Mitchell, who is despised by the First Lady. She is initially unaware of the switch but later becomes suspicious. When “Dave” eventually asks the First Lady when she first became suspicious, she says “On the way to the (homeless) shelter you looked at my legs. Bill stopped looking years ago.”
      This youtube video isn’t great as it’s a bit pixilated but it’s still a very good film.

  17. rich

    Perelman’s Interactive Gaming-Unit Shuffle Rattles Bondholders

    Opportunistic Use’

    The view is different for bondholders, according to Barbara Cappaert, an analyst with KDP Investment Advisors Inc. Putting the interactive business in an unrestricted subsidiary means that cash may not be available to pay interest or reinvest in the company’s other businesses, she said.

    Funds could be used to buy back stock or declare a dividend.

    “Given what has happened with other issuers due to the opportunistic use of unrestricted subsidiaries, bondholders are right to be concerned,” said Anthony Canale, head of high-yield research at Covenant Review, a research firm that analyzes credit agreements.

    He cited Caesars, which sold some of its hotels to an affiliate and then put its most heavily-indebted unit in bankruptcy. “Bondholders are skittish about this because the company now has a freer hand with those assets.”

    Prepare to get short end of stick?

  18. Charger01

    From the “cheap cloth masks” link: NIOSH and OSHA have done the lion’s share of work in this subject. A half mask (just covering the mouth and nose) will provide a 25 x protection factor over a paper mask. A full face (covering eyes, ears, nose, mouth) will provide 50 x protection factor, but with the mild inconvenience of look like a SWAT team or Hazmat contractor. No easy way to provide an effective mitigation for pervasive air pollution.

    1. polecat

      just cleaned out the chicken coop yesterday ….. boy, talk about ‘air pollution’ !! ;(

      wore a good quality half mask ….. sure glad for that !

  19. JohnnyGL

    Bumped into this Jill Stein interview. She was on Fox News on Sunday and did pretty well on this segment.

    On a side note here, I’m seeing Lambert’s point about how Greens moan about no media coverage way too much. Bernie got the same treatment and just plowed his way through and still got 12-13M votes, anyway.

    I’ll probably vote Green as a kind of “statement of values” but they need to learn what they’re doing well and what they’re not doing well. This campaign looks like the same one they ran in 2012. They got <1% of the vote then, and they're still not hitting 5%. They should at least seek to be matching Gary Johnson. Anything less than that should be seen as a failure. They can, and should, do better.

    1. Vatch

      Some people disagree with me, but I think that one problem is Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka’s inflammatory statements about white supremacy, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters. Baraka’s ideological purity rubs some people the wrong way. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both modified some of their positions in response to public opinion; why can’t Ajamu Baraka do the same?

      I would like to support the Greens as I did in 2012 and 2014. I don’t want to support someone who engages in what I perceive to be race baiting.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I did a quick read of the link you referenced. Even before discussing Baraka:

          “…Jill Stein has plenty of bad opinions, including but not limited to thinking that there might be “real questions” about vaccine safety, and also that wi-fi might hurt children.”

          As I recall when this contention about Stein came up earlier it turned out she was questioning the effectiveness of the FDA in monitoring vaccine production and safety. Seems like a reasonable question to me. And I too wonder just how safe wi-fi is for me and I doubt I’m as susceptible to its harm as children might be.

          As for the link’s guilt-by-association tying Baraka to a Holocaust Denier — sorry that seemed pretty weak.

      1. Michael

        It’s a weird truth that one seems to see a campaign that’s on the edge’s worst decisionmaking with the VP pick. Gore with Lieberman, McCain with Palin, Romney with Ryan. If there is dysfunction, for some reason, that’s the place it shows most thoroughly.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Baraka’s statements about Bernie Sanders that his foreign policy amounted to:

        “… commitment to Eurocentrism and normalized white supremacy.”

        does seem ill advised as does his assertion:

        “As much as the ‘Sandernistas ’ attempt to disarticulate Sanders ‘progressive’ domestic policies from his documented support for empire,” Baraka said. “It should be obvious that his campaign is an ideological prop – albeit from a center/left position – of the logic and interests of the capitalist-imperialist settler state.”

        While the utility of such rhetoric in an election campaign is questionable the content does strike home. I too felt considerable misgiving about Sanders support for our foreign wars. But I don’t know that Sanders supported empire as much as he supported jobs for woodchucks — either way it was troubling.

        Baraka has a blog on Black-Agenda Reports [] . That’s probably a better place to get closer to what he believes. I believe both Baraka and Stein have a way of blindly stepping into rhetorical snares.

        I see Baraka as a way to pull Black voters over to the Green party away from Hillary. If that combined with Sanders supporters like me moving Green succeeds in getting to 5% or better the 15% that will get the Green party into the debates. I’d consider that a win. That would position the Green party to become a true second party to oppose the Republicrats [or is it Depublicrats?]

        I confess I’m still torn between voting Green, writing in Sanders or leaving President an undercount. I feel the Greens are too something — just what I haven’t been able to identify.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why so few economists are studying inequality?

    And why is wage-inflation not exclude from ‘inflation?’

    Workers getting paid more is not some inflation against which you swear to fight to death.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If economic growth is not for improving social security and more accessible healthcare, what is it for then?

      Ask not what your economy can do for you. Ask what you can do for your economy.

    2. Pat

      Only if it is from the many families who are victims of his “wisdom” making sure that Greenspan and Andrea take a long unending vacation in some hellhole whose status can be directly or indirectly linked to policies of Greenspan and his friends. Coupled with a huge loss of their investments and a couple of stolen pensions leaving them with Social Security and nothing else.

      1. Carolinian

        Surely Greenspan, the Rand acolyte and financial titan, would decline SS in the same way his heroine Ayn Rand did….oh wait.

    3. cwaltz

      As I said yesterday, someone should medicate Greenspan and send him to his room. His position that the concerns of private investment, which is solely made for profits for the oligarchs, should be considered over the needs of average citizens, is ridiculously elitist.

      After his praise of “creative loans” that the private sector sold to fuel the housing bubble and that ultimately led to the majority losing houses and jobs(while the private banking sectors was able to profit), he should be thoroughly discredited as a source of sound fiscal policy for the majority of us.

    4. fresno dan

      September 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      This is one of those things that gets said, and to me it is as if someone is standing outside at night and points at the moon and says they are really worried about getting sunburned.

      Is not the surfeit of liquidity in banks (reserves) not a testament to all the money that the FED is making available?
      Is not low interest rates, as low as have ever been, not conducive to borrowing/investing in business?
      Are not firms able to issue new stock easily and at low cost now???
      Are not businesses the most profitable they have ever been?

      So how is it this is even said with a straight face?

      As well as how does private investment invest in social security, i.e., how is it being “crowded out?”

  21. rich

    The Status Quo vs. Donald Trump

    The incredible irony of the situation is that in its failed attempts to make him unacceptable, mainstream Republicans have made him palatable. Trump couldn’t convincingly turn himself into “outsider” on his own. He needed help, and he has received it in droves from the GOP establishment. Meanwhile, the most pathetic part of it all is the fact that these so-called “conservative thought leaders” and politicians still don’t understand how absolutely despised they are by the general public.

    They think their “stand against Trump” hurts him, when in reality it just makes him grow stronger and gives him the street cred he never had before.

    As an example of what I mean, let’s take a look at some excerpts from yesterday’s Politico article: Clinton’s GOP Supporters Expect Something in Return:

    So who’s “with her.”

    1) Neocons and other notorious Republican crooks.

    2) Wall Street oligarchs.

    Does this matter? Of course it does. The problem for me is I don’t like who Trump surrounds himself with either, particularly that bully-thug Chris Christie. I also can’t support him because he fails on several key issues that are most important to me (see video below for more).

    But this isn’t about me. This is about the American voter, and the more time passes, the more I understand the motivations of the vast majority of Trump supporters.

    It isn’t xenophobia or racism, it’s a vote against the status quo and the way they’ve strip mined and destroyed this country.

    It’s a FU vote and a major gamble, but it’s not as irrational or hateful as you might think.

    Some times you have to roll the dice. Maybe those Ford jobs moving to Mexico will go snake eyes.

    1. fresno dan

      September 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I agree. If one seriously considers Hillary versus Jeb!, how do they actually differ, once one gets past the branding bullsh*t of team blue versus team red?

      endless wars – check (but with no boots on the ground, our “good” friends the Saudis will help us – as if that is a “serious” proposal)
      Unwilling to prosecute financial crimes – apparent to anyone due to bribery
      TTP despite any protestations to the contrary
      free entry of low priced labor to bust any labor power such a H1b and porous borders except of course for the credentialed class like doctors…
      The narrative used by both to never, ever use “class war” to attack the wealthy, although dividing people based on ANYTHING else is encouraged.

      Trump is a bad, boorish, ignorant person. His policy prescriptions are confused and contradictory. His inability to take good, sound advice is disconcerting.
      Yet against him is a slick, fast talking head of a syndicate that understands propaganda, as well as having infiltrated the vast majority of the MSM. We’ve had 40 years of downward trajectory pretty much advanced by Hillary and the people she “works” for – will we have another 8?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        Not slick.

        Completely not slick.

        “I can take it. Just keep whipping me…as long as you do it whispering soothing, slick words.”

  22. DrBob

    Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them

    — The post-1989 world order is unraveling. Here are 6 ideas Trump has to replace it.

    “If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated.

    “These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989. That is what the Trump campaign, ghastly though it may at times be, leads us toward: A future where states matter. A future where people are citizens, working together toward (bourgeois) improvement of their lot. His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been.”

  23. fresno dan

    But instead of driving prices down, the competitors appear to increase prices step-by-step (which is why the charts above look like a staircase), something that’s referred to as “shadow pricing.” It’s not just the insulin market that is doing this: The same thing happened with the EpiPen market when a competitor came in around 2013 and with multiple-sclerosis drugs.

    Ashleigh Koss, a spokeswoman for Sanofi, told Business Insider that Lantus had not had a price increase since November 2014 in the US. “In fact, because of aggressive discounting and rebates to insurance plans, PBMs, and government programs, the net prices of Lantus over the cumulative period of the last five years actually went down,” she said.

    Fortunately, thanks to the lack of inflation except in things you need to continue living, I now have 12 flat screen TV’s….
    The highest standard of living in the world…for the rich and healthy.

    1. Pat

      Excuse me?!?!?!?! So Sanofi backstopped their price for Lantus on the backs of individuals who either because of lack of insurance or crappy insurance coverage didn’t get to benefit from all that “aggressive discounting”. Despicable.

      And yes I know this is happening. I base this on my purchases of that very expensive insulin for my cat, where I have seen it increase a lot even with using any discounts I could find. (There have been more diabetic remissions in cats using glargine.) IOW, the chart is more accurate than Koss is. I do love that she blames insurance companies – which I guess could be translated “if big bad insurance companies didn’t negotiate such low prices with us, we wouldn’t have to raise them on anyone else.” Although I’m sure what she hopes people thinks she really means, they should just cover it.

      The most depressing part of that article for me was the idea that the biosimiliar that is coming at the end of the year won’t be that much cheaper, although even a ten percent discount will be welcome. But it is not nearly enough.

      1. fresno dan

        September 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        Well, what gets me about it is….well, so damn much:
        1. Why isn’t competition making things like insulin cheaper?
        2. Insulin is pretty much insulin – why isn’t competition making it better? (and by better, NOT more profitable for the company but easier, more rugged, more effective for the consumer???)
        3. Companies need outrageous profits for …research. Uh, we’ve had insulin for damn near 100 years. I would be impressed if in that time you could download it and “print” it out with some universal replicator for a nickel. Hedonics says everything is so much better – HEY FED!!!! things are so much worse for insulin – shove that up your hedonics….
        4. If we don’t have enough competition – and is there any better proof than the price of insulin??? – than why isn’t anti-trust used any more?
        5. OR, maybe the market doesn’t work with life or death items…

      2. kareninca

        “And yes I know this is happening. I base this on my purchases of that very expensive insulin for my cat, where I have seen it increase a lot even with using any discounts I could find.”

        Yep. Epi-pens for my dog.

        The thing is, I can sort of afford Epi-pens for my dog (I keep them for years after “expiration” date, since they stay good). But I talked recently with a woman from the Philippines. She said that diabetes there is known as the “rich person’s disease” because almost no-one there can afford it. They just die. That is all. Even though the inventors of insulin didn’t patent it, in order to prevent this from happening. Insulin in the Philippines should be dirt cheap. I have a family friend who is very “church charity” involved and is married to a guy from the Philipines; I am trying to get her on this. It is an important cause.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “Who Has Space for Renewables? ”
    Important issue, but there are serious issues with the article. The first I saw is the assumption that solar will require land space, even though he later mentions rooftops, the ideal location and even more plentiful in densely populated countries. Granted, they take a lot more social engineering, the hardest part. It’s worth noting, also, that in hot climates shade is valuable in itself.

    Another issue is the casual acceptance of nuclear; I won’t go into the all-too-familiar problems with that, including the sheer time span to introduce it, but it’s not something you can be casual about.

    Finally, I take severe issue with the assumption that world population will rise to 11 million (by 2100, or AT ALL). First, i don’t think that’s possible, even though theoretically doable; and the attempt to get there would be enormously destructive. World life-support systems are already collapsing; they aren’t going to get any better if the population continues to rise. Nature still bats last, and we won’t like it if she brings our population back into balance. (Yes, those are understatements; this is a subject I don’t really like to even think about.)

    1. Antifa

      The human species uses whatever it can devise to get its hands on to live fat and happy, and make lots of babies, and then wonders why the good times don’t go on forever.

      There must then be someone to blame for this decline. We are victims, not perps.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The problem of having enough space for renewables seems assume that renewables must somehow provide the same or almost the same amount of energy as we get from burning the concentrated and stored energy from a geologic age. That’s not going to happen unless someone comes up with the fusion reactor from Back-to-the-Future II.

  25. Stephen Haust

    It’s 9:08 PM EDT and I’ve just read several utterly damning articles about Hillary and the DNC –
    Obama’s pay to-play scheme, HRC campaign making false credit card charges to small one-time
    donors, the scapegoating of Colin Powell and all the other etc., etc.

    All I can say is Holy Shit. The only real alternative would be utter speechlessness.

    NC’s links editor is going to be very busy tonight.

  26. crittermom

    Regarding the hacked info, I think hackers are my new heroes.

    It seems to be the only way we can get the truth anymore.

    Still awaiting hacking of Hellary’s medical records.
    When I’d mentioned this before, someone commented that she wouldn’t have used a Dr that kept her records on a computer.

    I’m not so sure about that. She may be slick, but I question if she’s that smart–or should I say, has that much common sense–which I tend to think is every bit as important, if not more so, than formal education.

    Still chuckling over the DNC, knowing it had been hacked, sending out new passwords to prevent that problem–by email. Biggest ‘Duh’ I’ve read recently.

    But then, ya can’t fix stupid, as a friend is fond of saying.

    1. Jen

      You know what I’d really like to see hacked? The Clinton campaign’s internal polling results as of June 5th.

      1. aab

        That would make me weep. We kind of know what it was then, because they had to call in the AP infantry.

        I’d prefer their internal polling TOMORROW.

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