Links 10/17/16

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 712 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our third goal, well-deserved bonuses for our guest writers.

Macroeconomic Research After the Crisis Janet Yellen, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (speech). “Prior to the financial crisis, these so-called representative-agent models were the dominant paradigm for analyzing many macroeconomic questions. However, a disaggregated approach seems needed to understand some key aspects of the Great Recession.” Reminds me of William Goldman’s quote on Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” Readers, what do you think of Yellen’s speech?

Lack of new blood casts doubt over Wells Fargo’s change plan Reuters. Maybe they should ask Peter Thiel?

Stock Prices Under Threat as Global Trade Becomes a Pariah WSJ

Will Italy Leave the EU? Follow the Money Bloomberg

Euro ‘house of cards’ to collapse, warns ECB prophet Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph


UK looks at paying billions into EU budget after Brexit FT. “Plan would let finance sector keep single-market access.” That should go over big in the Midlands. “‘We would have to be careful how we explained it,’ said one minister.” I’ll bet!

Big Winner From London’s Brexit Exodus Isn’t Even in Europe Bloomberg

Brazil May Be About to Give Up its Financial Sovereignty The Minskys

Signs of dissent, desperation amid food shortages and rising prices in Egypt AFP

China’s Bad Credit Bloomberg


Iraq launches Mosul offensive to drive out Islamic State Reuters

Hiding US Role in Yemen Slaughter So Bombing Can Be Sold as ‘Self-Defense’ Common Dreams

Health Care

I am a Terrible Doctor; and I’m Proud of it Musings of a Dinosaur

Feds scale back tool for narrow provider networks on MedCityNews. Pathetic:

Earlier this year, the federal government said that it would introduce a tool this fall to help consumers who are shopping on gauge how narrow a plan’s provider network is compared with others in the area.

But most consumers who want that information will have to wait at least another year. The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that the pilot project to test the network breadth tool just got a little, well, narrower.

Consumers can already check whether specific doctors or hospitals are included in a marketplace plan’s provider network on But there’s currently no way to easily measure the breadth of a plan’s provider network. This can be an important factor for some consumers, especially given the growing number of plans with no out-of-network benefits.

The new tool will designate marketplace health plan networks as “basic,” “standard” or “broad” based on how they compare with other health plan networks in a county. The label will reflect the availability of three types of providers: primary care, pediatricians and hospitals.

Originally, network-breadth information was going to be available for the 35 states on, the federally facilitated marketplace. But in August HHS announced it would make the tool available in just six unnamed states.

In September, HHS said it would shrink the pilot still further, to four states — Maine, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Feds Walk Into A Building. Demand Everyone’s Fingerprints To Open Phones Forbes


New polls show tale of 2 races Politico

Analysis: Trump isn’t sparking Hispanic registration surge as Dems expected Des Moines Register

Donald Trump Says He Will Win on Surge of Silent Supporters WSJ

Koch Brothers’ Network Focusing on GOP Senate, not Trump Fortune

A complete list of women who have accused Trump of sexual assault Slate

How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind Cracked. Yes, but which half? Check out the handy map.

The Fury and Failure of Donald Trump Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

How Two Newspapers Brought Down Donald Trump Vanity Fair. Another wonderfully clarifying aspect of campaign 2016 has been watching the Jeff Bezos Shopper and The Totally Not Carlos Slim’s Playtoy morph into house organs for the Democrat nomenklatura and the oligarchs it services. (Reader Antifa commented in yesterday’s links: “Reading that article was like hearing a door closing behind us. We aren’t going to go back the way we came.” The behavior of the press in this election is another door closing.) And oddly, or not, the article omits all mention of Thomas Frank’s “Swat Team: The media’s extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform,” in Harpers. 

Local GOP office in North Carolina firebombed CNN. “A GOP office in Hillsborough, North Carolina, was firebombed overnight, with a swastika and the words “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” spray painted on an adjacent building, according to local officials.” The Clinton campaign reaction:

Caveat: No evidence has emerged that the arson was an inside job.

Democrats Raise More Than $13,000 To Rebuild Firebombed GOP Office HuffPo. Caveat as above, but we are to believe that a year’s worth of rhetoric that Trump is Baby Hitler had nothing whatever to do with the firebombing, because words have consequences only when the people speaking them aren’t wearing your jersey or waving your color of pom poms. Better yet, the liberals use the firebombing as an opportunity for virtue signalling! Because everybody knows that liberals never induce violence and in no way support it (except in Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Syria, and shortly, no doubt, Russia). And wouldn’t the money have been better spent on trans organizations in North Carolina, who are at least notionally closer to liberals on policy than the GOP? Classic liberal repressed guilt and bad faith.

Woodward: Hillary Can’t Govern Under “Culture Of Concealment,” Can’t Walk Away From “Trust” Question RealClearPolitics

Break the Silence: Hillary Clinton’s Role in the 2009 Military Coup in Honduras Ellin Jimmerson

Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows NYT

New FBI files contain allegations of ‘quid pro quo’ in Clinton’s emails FOX. “Yes, they left the white envelope on the dresser, but they never said what the money was for.” So, no quid pro quo. Move along people, move along. There’s no story here.

Dems request FBI investigation of Trump campaign links to hacks Politico. Last I checked, and gawd knows I may have missed something, the sources for the Russian hacking claim are all security firms, some with ties to Democrats. Has an government official been willing to go on the record about this?

Haiti and Africa Projects Shed Light on Clinton’s Public-Private Web NYT

The world’s favorite disaster story Vice

The white flight of Derek Black WaPo. So the humanities are good for something after all… 

The deadly racism of the ‘anti-racist’ liberal imperialist RT

Guillotine Watch

No three-star restaurants in Washington’s first Michelin guide. But these earned two. WaPo. Good to see the imperial capital finally getting its due.

Venezuela’s wealthy build their own oasis FT

Class Warfare

The Tax Code for the Ultra-Rich vs. the One for Everyone Else James Kwak, The Atlantic

Starving Harvard Hires Scabs to Replace Striking Cafeteria Workers Daily Beast

Millions of Men Are Missing From the Job Market NYT

Germany’s Apprenticeship System Comes Under Attack WSJ

The Uber economy looks a lot like the pre-industrial economy Quartz

The hiring game TechCrunch (DK). Now you’ve got to win a tournament just to get a job.

Google’s nit-picky interview process is a huge turnoff for some experienced coders Business Insider (DL).

Eight Cities Have New Co-op-Style Black Worker Centers — and They’re Tackling Unemployment Truthout

Factory farming practices are under scrutiny again in N.C. after disastrous hurricane floods WaPo

Hacked by a fridge: The Internet of Things and cyberattacks World Economic Forum

Antidote du jour (via):


“World’s oldest & biggest wombat weighs 40 kilograms & turns 31 years old today. Happy birthday, Patrick.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. allan

    Food for the state dinner with the visiting Italian prime minister is being provided by celebrity chef Mario Batali,
    who was fined $5.25 million for skimming the tips of the workers at his high end restaurants.
    Looks like those comfortable walking shoes are going to stay in the closet until the bitter end.

    But not to worry, in the bubble all is well:

    The dinner, in a lavishly decorated tent on the South Lawn, will be the 13th of Mr. Obama’s presidency. The chef the Obamas enlisted to prepare it is something of a familiar figure at the White House — a celebrity restaurateur who is also a longtime supporter of Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative and other efforts to promote healthy eating.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama has been progressive as the shadow government has allowed him. Do you really think he has this kind of control? We should credit him for not invading Italy.

      1. ambrit

        Wait. Last I heard, Italy was part of the EU, which is an American ‘Client State’ organization. Wise hegemons do not invade pliant vassals.

    2. Sandy

      Haha, Mario Batali as a supporter of “Let’s Move!” He’s quite a rotund man who I always see puttering around town on his Vespa; can’t be bothered to walk. Nothing wrong with that until you get caught as a hypocrite and steal your workers’ tips.

  2. paul

    RT bank accounts shut down in UK

    Crazy, but as the Guardian helpfully explains:

    In reality, however, its reporting assiduously reflects the Kremlin’s anti-western worldview. It has portrayed Russia’s military intervention in Syria as a campaign against terrorists, and reflects its official position that no civilians have been killed by Russian jets.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I see the Guardian, speaking of government propaganda organs, has stopped allowing comments on its articles. Oh, well — one can apparently still link and kvetch on all those social media thingies…

      1. divadab

        Only on some articles – mainly on the propaganda articles that really don’t stand up on their own. Yes the Guardian is part of the neo-liberal propaganda apparatus – an utterly shameful betrayal of its dissenting tradition.

      2. Harry

        It’s a bit like the Hegel game that Barrett Brown plays in prison. You read an utterly misleading article by Simone at the Guardian like one which shows Russians have killed 8x add many civilians as the US coalition planes. Then you look for an open for comments article in the Guardian to point out that the US only attacks bits of empty desert or syrian army units and even then they don’t drop any bombs – unless it’s a syrian army unit.

        Or in Barretts words, “shut the f up guardian”.

    2. vidimi

      i don’t watch RT any more than i watch CNN or BBC, but is it true that RT denies that there have been civilian casualties from russian bombs? if so, that’s as ridiculous as american media asserting that there are no civilian casualties from american bombs. do they do that?

      but yeah, RT is no less of a propaganda outlet for the kremlin than the BBC is for whitehall or NPR for washington.

      i used to go to the guardian website several times per day to stay abreast of the day’s development but it’s become so stupid i can no longer stomach it. the sooner it dies, the sooner it can be replaced with something better.

  3. abynormal

    thanks for posting the Yellen Yak…i caught her in the middle of the night, invading the nightmare(s) i’m living. ” Several recent studies present cross-country evidence indicating that severe and persistent recessions have historically had these sorts of long-term effects, even for downturns that appear to have resulted largely or entirely from a shock to aggregate demand.4″….my immediate thought was ‘Have We EVER experienced a shock of this magnitude to the demand for GREED, COVERUP & IGNORANCE ? no.

    1. craazyboy

      Yes, Janet and all other central bankers will continue to scratch their heads and ponder these weighty macro economic questions in public – after being led within arms length of a podium and microphone by their seeing eye dogs and their bat sonar detects a few sympathetic financial reporters in the vicinity.

      This triggers their tiny, vastly oversimplified, vastly incorrect, vastly lacking supportive evidence, mental macroeconomic model to spin round and round in their pea brains which in turn drives their mouths and, voilà!, we are treated to another Fed speech.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Actually, I like your wording much better than what I was going to say after reading that Janet Yellen speech. I am impressed that Yellen used all those words just to say: “We don’t understand this new economy and we don’t know what the f*ck we are doing…….”

        1. Harry

          Isn’t there an onion story here somewhere? Nobel economist admits she/he doesn’t have ffing clue but really likes the pension benefits

      2. Uahsenaa

        I dunno, I’d rather listen to Yellen than watch Steve Forbes get patted on the back for advocating returning to the gold standard, which seems to be something of a thing of late.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Well, people always try to return to the gold standard when they realize that the economists who are supposed to be the geniuses controlling our markets, don’t have a clue….can you blame them? It happens every time that people lose faith in what is happening in the markets. At least gold has value when it appears that our markets may not….

        2. craazyboy

          That’s easy enough to shut down. Just ask them if they’d like to dig up 20 trillion in gold somewhere to pay off the national debt. Or maybe buy it from Putin. They’ll quiet down.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            LOLOL….and what could they possibly sell to Putin for all that gold? It is a pipe dream, but people chase after pipe dreams when they loose faith in the markets…..

          2. BecauseTradition

            The idea is to revalue existing gold to, say (I don’t know), $300,000 an oz.

            Of course you can then kiss the Amazon goodby from mercury and cyanide pollution, not to mention reward the gold worshiping, deflation and misery loving followers of Austrian Economics.

            The alternative is to move to ethical fiat and credit creation but that is, apparently, out of the question.

            1. bronco

              That is not how its going to work. When , not if we return to the gold standard it won’t need to be revalued to $300,000 an ounce.

              99.99% of all the outstanding dollars will simply vanish so they won’t need to be accounted for. Vanishing sounds relatively benign but it won’t be that way at all. Blood in the streets , bodies swinging from lamp posts,ethnic cleansing , there will be something for everyone.

                1. bronco

                  The bad scenario is Hillary gets elected and starts a nuclear war with Russia to distract people from her latest lies about whatever. Basically instead of we all lose our money we all become dead. Might be easier in the long run actually.

                  1. Skippy

                    Bravo all… simply bravo….

                    Disheveled Marsupial…. best organic snark thread I’ve seen in yonks…. kudos…

  4. ProNewerDeal

    re the antidote, perhaps I have seen that wombat before, in a US TV ad for a South Korean auto manufacturer?

  5. Skippy

    Was going to respond to the request regarding – Janet Yellen, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (speech).

    Disheveled Marsupial…. Tho’ after reading [damn Jedi mind tricks, curse you Lambert – !!!!!] I’ll have to wait until the convulsions die down….

    1. Skippy

      I think you’ll find Janet and Posse inc are dumbfounded the models [prophecy] have not corroborated with reality, such is the dilemma with religious iconography. She as much said the “rational agent” models in retrospect have not performed to spec and compartmentalization of human agency wrt expectations is a garbage in and garbage out exercise. What probably disturbs them the most is the booming voice from above [Fed fire side chats] does not have the intend effect it might[?] have once had because computational power does not fear the booming voice from above [behind the curtain].

      For a good time call….

      Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States. But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow. – Alan Greenspan

      Read more at:

      Disheveled Marsupial…. I think that crazy DJ Greensplain irrevocably broke the sound gear when his brain liquefied and poured out over the controls shorting out all the circuit boards….

  6. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Put a fork in Obama/Hilary in the MidEast.
    Aleppo will fall, and UN Special Envoy Staffan Di Mistura says they are negotiating for rebel fighters there to be given safe passage out of the area.
    One question: will they be going to the US? After all these are our glorious allies and compatriots, plus they’re “moderates”, right? No? Don’t want them over here? Um what does that say about the nature of the people and groups we are lining up with?
    Doesn’t matter, American voters are choosing War, Lies, and Wall St. so I guess they like this kind of stuff.

  7. Christopher Fay

    The brave moderate jihardis, all they want to do is vote against President Assad, will be moved to southern Russia to cause death and chaos. That’s the battle plan, we’ll spend $10 billion so that Russia is forced to spend $1 billion in an efficient response.

  8. nycTerrierist

    Wonderful man in Aleppo keeps a cat sanctuary where local kids can play.

    “In addition to building the children’s playground, he has around three months’ worth of food supplies, which he gives to those most in need.
    “We help mostly orphans and widows who don’t have any way to find their daily food,” he says.
    The excess money has also allowed Aljaleel to dig civilian wells and buy two vans for his work as a voluntary medic.
    Working on call, 24 hours a day, Aljaleel transports dead and injured people to the nearest medical point, but the vans lack full ambulance facilities.
    “This is taking up a lot of my days now, as the bombardment has been so brutal,” he says.
    “I have to go anytime, whenever I get a call saying there has been a bomb, I just go. So, all of the donations go to humanitarian work, whether it goes to the cat house or whether it is helping transfer people to the closest medical facility.”

    A true mensh. Enough already with the bombing. Shame on the so-called leaders who have such little regard for life.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Another great story on Aljaleel.

        “Compassion is for everything, not just for people,” said Aljaleel. “It’s also for the animals who are wounded, or have nothing to eat.”
        After a day in the ambulance, Aljaleel would gather scraps of food and set out to feed the cats in the neighboring streets.  Images of him doing so were widely shared online beginning two years ago, earning him the name “the cat man of Aleppo.” His story ultimately reached Alessandra Abidin, and the cat shelter was established.

        ‘To love everything’

        Because the cat shelter is a boon for the local community—bringing in much-needed monetary contributions that fund a variety of projects—it has also influenced the way some residents view their local cats, Aljaleel told Syria Direct.
        “People saw that the cats are the reason for the money that feeds the needy, so they feel compassion for them,” he explained. “They keep a look out for hungry cats in the street for me.”
        Before fleeing the city, some residents entrusted their cats—and one dog—to Aljaleel’s care. He tries to make sure that former pets stay inside the shelter as much as he can, “to protect them from the bombing and the cold of the coming winter.”
        But some of the cats are unable to forget their departed human companions and are hopeful that—some day—they will come back for them. Those cats only visit the shelter at meal times, said Aljaleel, then “go back to the houses they were raised in, and they wait for their owners.”
        Still, like clockwork, twice a day every day at mealtimes, the roving cats of Aleppo come running to the shelter, an olive-shaded oasis.
        As a result of Aljaleel’s humanitarian work, the commune of Segrate in Milan, Italy launched his candidacy for a Nobel Peace Prize this past August, citing his “love and care for every living thing.”
        “My role as a rescuer is not to differentiate between those who need help,” Aljaleel told Syria Direct this month.
        “To love the small, weak cats is to love everything.”

        1. Cat's paw

          Just as I was growing comfortable in the decision to dismiss humanity–en toto–this SOB in Aleppo comes along and forcibly restores the levels of my faith in humanity. Now I’ve probably got 18-24 months worth of faith that I’ve got to burn through…

          1. hreik

            many who rescue animals are truly wonderful people. the animals cannot ‘thank’ so they do it for the right reasons. There’s an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, also the David Sheldrick Wildlife trust does amazing work in Kenya. There are many people who care. Keep the faith.

        2. Jess

          “the commune of Segrate in Milan, Italy launched his candidacy for a Nobel Peace Prize”

          Saw this just as I was going to write that he sounds like a great candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Wouldn’t that be a welcome change from some other, more recent, rather ludicrous recipients?

  9. jgordon

    On Yellen’s speech:

    It was awful, exhibit A for why abolishing the Fed is a good idea. It’s proof that economics is an ideology driven by wilful ignorance and political convenience, completely untethered from reality. We would save a bundle if we simply fired all the researchers at the Fed and replaced them with a couple of astrologers, or better yet a clown who does donuts on his unicycle all day long.

    Ok–if you hadn’t read the speech you might think that was hyperbole, but it really could be summed up to “we know nothing, nothing!”. Or maybe there is some progress demonstrated here after all, since it seems that at least a few economists are starting to feel around the edges of the knowledge that they are entirely ignorant about everything after all. With a little luck perhaps a few of these parasites will realize their shame and abandon economics to take up socially useful work.

    1. Christopher Fay

      Or crochet! Useful to themselves and their immediate loved ones, whoever needs a cap or scarf.

      1. Katharine

        Why stop there? Fine thread bedspreads and lace tablecloths take a lo-ong time. Good to stay busy.

  10. abynormal

    Bank of America Beats: Earnings Rise 7.3% On Rebound In Capital Markets, Expense Cuts
    *Sales and trading revenue of $3.6B, up 14% from 3Q15; FICC up 32% to $2.6B and Equities down 17% to $1.0B
    *FICC revenue increased $0.8B, or 39%, from 3Q15, due to stronger performance globally across credit products led by mortgages as well as continued strength in rates products and client financing
    *Equities revenue decreased $0.2B, or 17%, from 3Q15, due to lower levels of client activity in cash and derivatives, reflecting lower market volatility
    *Noninterest expense decreased 1% versus 3Q15 as higher revenue-related compensation was more than offset by lower operating and support costs
    Helping the bottom line was contuing expense management, as a result of a decline in total Full Time equivalent employees declining from 211,000 to 209,000. Expenses declined 3.3% to $13.48 billion, from $13.94 billion a year ago. CEO Moynihan has made cost cutting a key tenet of his business strategy, and over the summer he promised to cut another $5 billion in annual expenses by 2018. To get to that level, the bank would need to turn in expenses averaging $13.25 billion a quarter.

    “The acquisition by dishonest means and cunning,’ said Levin, feeling that he was incapable of clearly defining the borderline between honesty and dishonesty. ‘Like the profits made by banks,’ he went on. ‘This is evil, I mean, the acquisition of enormous fortunes without work, as it used to be with the spirit monopolists. Only the form has changed. Le roi est mort, vive le roi! Hardly were the monopolies abolished before railways and banks appeared: just another way of making money without work.”
    ~Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

      1. craazyman

        Making money without work is the only rational way of making money.

        (I’m a writer in real life and I’m choosing my words carefully. LOL)

            1. ambrit

              We need a House Sock Puppet for NC. My suggestion for a name is Algy.
              Imagine, if you can, my dismay and disgust when I discovered the ‘Crime’ as a vocation also required “work.”
              True story; we once saw a panhandler sitting at the exit ramp from I-10 to central Slidell holding a cardboard sign that stated: “Will Steal For Food.”

              1. TedWa

                I saw a homeless couple outside a Burger King restaurant holding a sign that said “Karma For Sale”.

                I had to ask if it was good karma they were selling and they said yes indeed, so I threw them $5.

  11. Plenue

    >Iraq launches Mosul offensive to drive out Islamic State

    There have been rumors that the US has promised safe passage for the 9,000 ISIS fighters in Mosul if they relocate to Syria. And then there were claims that a convoy of buses and SUVs carrying ISIS members arrived in Raqqa. I suppose we’ll see in the coming days. If Mosul falls extremely quickly and easily it’ll be clear that the bulk of its defenders simply up and left. I hope the SAA is bolstering its defenses around Palmyra and Deir Ezzor…

    1. craazyboy

      That sounds so ridiculously devious it could even be true. But will the US give them extra hazard pay to face the Soviets? Sometimes you gotta wonder how much pain mercenaries are willing to take?

      I’ve been reading all the Joe Abercrombie novels lately. His 4th novel, “Best Served Cold”, of the 1st Law Trilogy [thankfully, he couldn’t stop after just three], has a hilarious treatment of mercenaries. They split into two sides, get hired by warring kings, then stage make believe battles between themselves for lots of profit. Makes you wonder.

      1. River

        That happened between France and Milan in 1494 (? around then not sure of the exact date). Both sides used Swiss Mercenaries. The Swiss refused to fight each other. France ended up capturing the Duke of Milan in the end.

        One reason why Machiavelli warned about using mercenaries.

    1. Portia

      it’s that slippery slope of appearing “weak”, IMO. before you know it, everybody will expect a living wage.

    2. diptherio

      …and I just read somewhere that some Harvard researchers just received $10 million to study “Poverty in Boston.” My suggestion is they use that money to hire the striking workers to carry out the research, since they are sure to know plenty about poverty.

      Best of luck to you all.

  12. cocomaan

    Yellen’s speech, I think, will go down quietly as a forerunner of disaster. It’s a mea culpa, a warning from her that future catastrophes are not her fault. Why? “We did not know what we were doing.”

    I have never seen anything like it, though I haven’t really been around long enough to say for sure that it’s unprecedented for the symbolic leader of an entire social science to go on the record saying that the foundations of its core beliefs are founded on seas of garbage data analyzed by thousands of charlatans. If she’d said, “we’re reading tea leaves”, it might have gotten notice, but instead it’s couched in academic language. So it’s ignored, except for the part about high pressure economies – something else I’m pretty amazed at. My wife made a great point when I told her about this. She said that people who do have good explanations also may be shut out of the conversation.

    To me, this speech was the equivalent of the APA going on the record about the reproducibility crisis and saying, “These findings go to the heart of our discipline and show how little we actually know about the mind”. Remember, that’s not what they did. In my opinion, Yellen just did that for economics. It’s frightening.

    For instance, she goes on the record as saying that inflation is a giant mystery to her.

    My fourth question goes to the heart of monetary policy: What determines inflation?

    While this general framework for thinking about the inflation process remains useful, questions about some of its quantitative features have arisen in the wake of the Great Recession and the subsequent slow recovery. For example, the influence of labor market conditions on inflation in recent years seems to be weaker than had been commonly thought prior to the financial crisis. Although inflation fell during the recession, the decline was quite modest given how high unemployment rose; likewise, wages and prices rose comparatively little as the labor market gradually recovered. Whether this reduction in sensitivity was somehow caused by the recession or instead pre-dated it and was merely revealed under extreme conditions is unclear.18 Either way, the underlying cause is unknown.

    The underlying cause of inflation processes are “unknown”? Am I reading that correctly? Has she lost her mind? How this speech didn’t immediately crash markets around the world is beyond me.

    1. Katharine

      I think it is probably a mistake to view the Fed chair as the symbolic head of the field of economics, and your wife is right about people with explanations being shut out of the conversation. Dean Baker has repeatedly said (latest version from today’s post quoted here):

      “The policymakers and economists who totally missed the housing bubble have a stake in pretending that it was all very difficult, but their story is not true. It was simple, they just chose not to look at the data and think for themselves.”

      Not being in the field, I make no attempt to sort out Yellen’s ideas (though frankly I boggle at the notion that aggregate demand might not affect supply, since I thought the Great Depression was the result of such effects), but I suspect that non-understanding at that level always reflects that kind of choice not to look. People with a sizable stake in the status quo (even just academics who have mastered the art of grant-writing in accordance with the current fashion in their field) will nearly always be reluctant to look at data that seem to threaten their position. In some sciences that intellectual sin may be merely wasteful, but when there are direct consequences for policy, for millions of people’s lives, it is inexcusable.

      1. cocomaan

        Probably a mistake to say that she’s “the” symbolic head of the field, but I think “a” symbolic leader in the field might be appropriate. That’s actually what I meant to say.

        The only criticism I have of Dean Baker’s words there is that the data are about as clear as mud these days. I really don’t believe that we have the clean data that everyone says we have. Our dependence on bad models is becoming clear. For a social science that professes to begin with assumptions, saying that your data are reliable is probably the first assumption that needs to be thrown out.

        1. tegnost

          I think it’s more building models that will imply positive outcomes, everyone with a functioning brain cell knows the UE rate is a vicious lie ,right up to the new macra rules which pay docs an extra penny to get some positive numbers going to hide the crapification of consuming health insurance

        2. Ivy

          Many readers of the economic press would support a move to saltwater-board or freshwater-board the so-called practitioners to make them confess how little they know and how many assumptions underlie the, ahem, foundations of their craft. Yellen’s speech just seems like another nail in the Orthodoxy coffin.

        3. craazyboy

          Poor Janet seems to be under the mistaken impression that the Phillips Curve works.

          AFAIK, the Phillips Curve has been an enormous source of belly laughs for 50 years now, at least among some economists.

          IMO, the funny part is Janet and many other economists seem to think cause and effect are interchangeable. i.e., intuitively you could understand how higher employment could raise inflation – but it’s much more of a stretch to believe higher inflation will raise employment.

          I also think the theory was concocted using a “closed, domestic economy” assumption but the real world leaks like Niagara Falls.

          Then again, asset inflation is ticking along just fine and anything supply constrained, like say healthcare, is doing just swimmingly. These thing may even be deflating the rest of the economy???? Along with a large consumer debt load.[yesteryears “growth”]

          Actually, I’ve come to hate the word inflation. I cringe every time the Fed uses it.

        4. Jess

          Hollywood mogul Peter Guber’s motto is, reportedly, “Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.”

          1. JTMcPhee

            Or as my drill sergeant lectured in Basic Training, “Never ASSUME, soldier! That makes an ass out of u and me!”

    1. Vatch

      Just yesterday there was a discussion in the NC Links about the potential for abuse in a cashless society.

      As several readers pointed out, a cashless society can and will be used to stifle dissent. Reader Clarky90 provided an example from a few years ago in which Wikileaks was pressured by banks refusing to allow them to raise money via credit cards. This will only become worse if we ever have a truly cashless society. Just say no to Ken Rogoff.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Lucky for us, tobacco is not illegal.

        Smoking it is forbidden in many public places, but it’s OK to just pass cigarettes around.

        “How much for the weed?”

        “100 cigarettes.”

        “I’m out of them.”

        “I take ramen as well.”

    2. PhilU

      My strategy of Ctrl + F to see if someone has posted something already when I haven’t finished reading the links yet is proving not to be as efficient as I thought it would be.

      1. Vatch

        I wasn’t criticizing you for posting the link about “Russia Today”. I was just pointing out how topical your link is, by referring to the discussion yesterday.

        1. PhilU

          Oh, I know. I was criticizing myself. Your comment was topical and relevant. I just didn’t have anything more than “Yup, cashless society will be easy to abuse” to say which wasn’t adding anything.

  13. Pavel

    I wonder if it took 11 people to come up with that HRC tweet regarding the GOP office firebombing. Didn’t the campaign say at one time she was going to be “herself” and more natural? From the Podesta Emails we learn that virtually everything she does is focus-group tested and discussed by all her top staff.

    If a tweet takes 11 people imagine how long it will take to write her acceptance speech?

    WIKILEAKS: It Takes Hillary 11 Advisors and Lengthy Consultation to Post a Single Tweet!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Luckily for us, her concession speech will not take as many people, if she recycles.

        She can just change some words here and there, adding, “It’s not all my fault. My people in the media failed me.”

    1. Anne

      Good Lord, it must be exhausting to work for her, but maybe when you’ve spent 40 years with someone who feels the need to parse the meaning of the word “is,” this is where you end up.

      She truly seems to be lacking any sense of who she is, or have so little confidence in who that person is that she feels it’s safer to try to be what the majority of the people indicate they are looking for. And I guess that extends to actual policy issues – she’s taking her cues from people like Kissinger and hard-line warmongers, and deficit hawks like Pete Petersen, shutting out the voice of the people and setting off on paths that never lead anywhere good.

      I don’t think she can be fixed.

  14. ambrit

    Cracked proves the point again that supposedly ‘satirical’ entities recognize and speak truth to power. When a “Humour Magazine” supplies the only sane and rational analysis of the political environment of today’s America, you know that we have not just entered, but taken up residence in “The Twilight Zone.”

    1. Patricia

      I agree, excellent article. Comments are interesting too.

      During a certain time in my past, I spent time on hospital psychiatric floors for PTSD and humor averted many crises. It’s a bad sign when that’s where there is clarity, culturally. But in insane times, we take what’s available.

  15. Anne

    Caught a bit of This Week yesterday, and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry that Martha Raddatz seemed genuinely perplexed at the Trump campaign’s accusations that the media is rigging the election; her response to Gingrich stating that last Friday, the media spent 23 minutes on the Trump tape and less than one minute on the Wikileaks reveal of the Clinton speeches, was – and not immediately – “you just heard me ask Tim Kaine about Wikileaks.” No mention, of course, that what she asked him were two questions she thought would be particularly hot-button: one, where Clinton apparently said in a Goldman speech that people who oppose immigration are essentially un-American, and the other where she said that conservatives are only Catholic because “they think it is the most socially acceptable political conservative religion.”

    Maybe those were the only questions she could ask that didn’t seem like they were going to break any new ground, or threaten Clinton’s chances. Seemed like a wasted opportunity for someone who purports to be a journalist – but maybe it really was more important to show the SNL clip and then giggle about Trumps’s reaction to it.

    Yeah, that was probably it.

    Could be Clinton will face a much less protective moderator in Wednesday’s debate, when Chris Wallace will be in that role. Never thought I would be rooting for someone from Fox News to go after a Dem nominee, but I guess it’s been that kind of an election season.

  16. abynormal

    what in Wombat hell do they feed Patrick ? and how often ??

    “…looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, ‘Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute is eating my hat.’
    ‘So he is, too,’ said Dr. Maturin. ‘But do not be perturbed, Jack; it will do him no harm, at all. His digestive processes–” ~Patrick O’Brian, The Fortune of War

    “Oh how the family affections combat
    Within this heart, and each hour flings a bomb at
    My burning soul! Neither from owl nor from bat
    Can peace be gained until I clasp my wombat.”
    ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti


    1. Bob

      I was disappointed that today’s Antidote didn’t include Pedals the Walking Bear, a handicapped bear that walked on his hind legs through a New Jersey neighborhood and caused no problems and was adored by many (even had his own Facebook page). He was needlessly slaughtered in an authorized bear hunt this past weekend. It would be a memorium of sorts.

      1. polecat

        i think that bear might have been an example of the evolutionary beginnings of ursanian bi-pedalism …… until some moron shot him !!

        tis a pity ……

      2. Alex morfesis

        Pedals is probably gone but hopefully some inquiring buggy whip media type will ask new jersey governer “costello” how exactly did he authorize hunters to walk around suburban tract homes with weapons and allow them to shoot at moving targets where children play…how exactly was this bear, which was staying regularly around these developed towns, even able to be taken and what idiot authorized firing weapons where children live and play ??

        Since pedals was almost always standing…how did this shooter know it was not some teenager in a bear suit ?? As many people speculated when the first videos of the bear appeared in public that it was someone in a bear suit ?

  17. Portia

    Yellen’s speech is just another, “it’s not my fault, or any of my friends’ fault” pile of BS. Theorizing does not cause pain to TPTB, it puts off any examination of their doings.

  18. Montanamaven

    Thanks for the Common Dreams story on how the MSM covered the US missile attack on Yemen. I thought I would go a bit crazy listening to Martha Raddatz yesterday on “This Week” when she interviewed, of all people, David Petraueus. Voice quivering and eyes moist, she fearfully asked him how much we had to fear from the dastardly Russians who are, of course, behind everything. And Petraeus dutifully looked stern and repeated the meme, “Well Putin wants to restore the power and glory of the Soviet Union.” They invaded Georgia and then Crimea and then Ukraine. ” Argh!
    How many foreign bases do the Russians have compared to the over 700 that we have? In his speech to the UN last year, Putin said that the former Soviet Union had learned the lesson that trying to spread or force one’s own ideology on other nations is a fool’s errand. Better to let nations decide for themselves. He coined the term “sovereign democracy”.
    I turn on the Sunday morning shows briefly to see what propaganda is being fed this week and then in disgust turn to the Food Network to see how to decorate pumpkins for Halloween. One thing I never do is listen to Rachel Maddow who the author of the Common Dreams article comes down hardest on. Yes, because not only is she blatantly a partisan but the smuggest (not smartest) person in America. (MSNBC slogan is “Rachel Matters to America”).

    1. Pat

      I have never heard a good answer to the question raised by one of Putin’s statements regarding the charges that they have invaded Ukraine. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was pretty much if Russia wanted Ukraine the invasion would take a day.
      No one has ever disputed they had the ability. No one has ever given a good reason why they would want to do that. Nor has any one made a credible case for a reasonable Russian strategy for wanting an ongoing guerrilla war in Northern Ukraine.

      Mind you these are the same folks who ignore the fact that Russia moved no troops into Crimea following the Ukrainian coup that any Russians troops were there already at their legally leased bases, that Crimea’s own parliament set up the referendum where the residents voted overwhelming to request annexation, and that there was no ‘invasion’. Oh, and think blowing up Syrian troops at a well known base was an ‘accident’.

      1. craazyboy

        Georgia and that general area is warlords – Russia moved in for 2 weeks on what would normally be seen as a peacekeeping mission (except that the uppity warlord was a US puppet, if I recall correctly).

        Ukraine is complicated, but more puppet wars, and oil and gas interests vs farmer separatists. I think we should make a deal with Putin that we stay outta of the Ukraine if Putin agrees to stay outta Texas.

        We have been told the Crimea 80% vote to join Russia was RIGGED! So there’s that.

        We are also told these people are our friends and they need our help. Well , if you looked like Uncle Sam and had billion dollar bills dropping out of your pockets everywhere you go, you’d have lots of new friends too!

        1. Pat

          I seem to remember being told that Hussein was instrumental in 9/11 and that Iraq had WMDs as well. Funnily enough there was a lot of evidence even at the time that those were lies. If it was rigged, at least Russia goes through the motions of a vote. ‘Our friends’ were so unlikely to get elected they staged a coup only months before a scheduled election to replace the President who had already submitted his resignation and wasn’t running.

          1. craazyboy

            Yes, Saddam and bin Laden were best buds. bin Laden even may have been roomies with one of Saddam’s 8 doubles. That’s pretty close friends considering the middle east. We have people keeping an eye on these things for us…..

      2. lyman alpha blob

        RE: Crimea –

        Maybe I missed it but in all the talk I’ve heard about how Russia “invaded” Crimea and how the annexation vote was a sham, I haven’t yet seen one interview with an actual Crimean to see what he or she thinks about the whole deal.

        Are all Crimeans deaf dumb and blind? Do they not have telephones or interwebs there to contact them?

    2. Dave

      2nd Paragraph, the Russians learned their lesson after sending their battleships from the Black Sea and Baltic all the way around South Africa to get their asses kicked right off the home ports of Japan in the battle of Tsushima Straits in 1905.

      Does Rachel have a recipe for GBLETs? Will they be served with lame duck in the White House?

    3. Jess

      In case Raddatz wasn’t enough to turn your stomach, John Oliver went off the tracks deep into Clinton apologia on this week’s show when he chose to denigrate both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, making the case that the only sane vote was for Hellary to stop Trump.

  19. petal

    Bill Clinton has been sent up to the woods of NH to have an “organising event” here at Dartmouth College around noon today. I am unable to go due to work commitments-sorry about that-this poor working class deplorable has gotta pay the bills! If I see any reports I will pass them on. Why ship him up here and to Keene later today if things are so rosy with her campaign?

    1. ambrit

      Bill is up there checking out all the tender young flesh available to ‘intern’ “under” him once he is installed as co-Emperor alongside H Clinton. Expect to see him at other ‘upper crust’ institutions of ‘learning’ in the coming weeks.
      (I can see it now. A Playboy pictorial; “The Girls of the White House.”)

          1. ewmayer

            I like the direction y’all are going, but prefer “organ rising” a being closer to homophonic.

            [I wonder if WJC has a bed-the-intern schtick that involves him showing her the checkmarked Organ Donor field on his driver’s license and then convincing her what “organ donation is really all about.” It’s really more of an “organ loan”, my dear wee PYT … it can be withdrawn at any time, but first let’s make sure it ‘stimulates your personal economy’.]

            1. craazyboy

              But remember Bill may need a new heart too, so it could be a long term relationship!

              Intern: Bill stole my heart! [heart emoticon goes here]

      1. AnEducatedFool

        He will be at my local community college (MC3) tomorrow at 2 pm. If I can get there I will snap some pictures. Bill is still a big draw in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Everyone keeps talking about this area as the deciding factor for Pa but its really Philadelphia. She will have a hard time winning Pa if they can not drive record turn out in Philadelphia.

          1. petal

            I have been looking for reports about it all day. Only one I could find so far was from the Burlington station. Posted at water cooler just now. No word on crowd size, but he did leave without taking questions. Will follow up in the morning. Sorry.

    2. apber

      Too many anomalies that indicate the polls may be bogus. The rally turnouts are one indication, the plethora of Trump signs and the dearth of Hillary signs may be another. My on-the-ground observations in South Florida, a heavy Dem base: Hispanics not overwhelming for Hillary; neither candidate’s signs visible in quantity; no bumper stickers; Haitians virulently anti Clinton; pussygate not a factor, but neither is Wikileaks (the overall cognitive dissonance of the general population is amazing). Among my Black neighbors it’s 50:50, not 95:05 for Clinton as the local MSM suggests.

      1. Pat

        But if the polls weren’t bogus there wouldn’t be any cover for the shenanigans that will happen to support Clinton. And if they aren’t able to do it that way, they will need them to claim that Russians hacked the election for Trump.

        Please note that all these people terrified that someone is screwing with our system aren’t calling for paper ballots counted in public….

        1. hunkerdown

          Those people are terrified that someone is screwing with their system — theirs to screw with, that is — and that someone is us. It is an error to assume that elite interests are in common with those of “their” people.

  20. Paid Minion

    “Men missing from Job Market”

    Painkillers? Cause, or effect?

    Many of the people who went on disability since 2007 were actually qualified for disability, but were working. When laid off, many were unable to find anything but minimum wage jobs. The applied for disability, because it was the only way to pay the bills, or save the house.

    Also note that there aren’t a huge number of women who apply for low paying jobs with high injury rates.

    So why the hand wringing? Its not like the economy can use these 7 million guys, not when you have EE grads looking 8 months for jobs, cleaning carpets to pay the student loans.

  21. Vatch

    Factory farming practices are under scrutiny again in N.C. after disastrous hurricane floods WaPo

    Thanks for posting the link to this article. Factory farms are hideous under normal circumstances, and they just become even worse after a natural disaster. I particularly liked this common sense quote from the article:

    Steve Wing, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, offers a more terse admonition. “Storing vast quantities of fecal waste in flood plains is a serious and preventable public health threat,” he said.

    1. nippersdad

      And The Waters Turned To Blood came out in ’97, and every time this subject comes up it amazes me anew how little interest Southern environmental agencies take in the problems caused by fecal matter in our surface water systems. We have had several cases of flesh eating bacteria here attacking swimmers, very high profile, and the farmers still had fits when EPA extended its’ mandate to smaller tributaries.

      1. Paid Minion

        Flesh eating bacteria attacking swimmers is just the price someone else has to pay for farmer’s “freedom”.

        Farmers are good about giving lectures about “individual responsibility”, until you start talking about their responsibility for environmental pollution.

        1. hunkerdown

          Which farmers? Smallholders or factory farmers? Vegetable croppers or CAFO operators? Externalization of costs differs based on scale and the proportion of excess animal waste produced within the farm.

          It seems reasonable to distinguish between the farmer and the crop tech, insofar as their practices and their interests allow them to be distinguished. Also, between the landowner who lives locally and has to live in the bed they make, vs. the absentee landlord whose ownership is nothing more than a license for externalization at remove.

        1. hunkerdown

          Of their existing social order, as if liberal bourgeoisie playing Simon Says with live-armed cops were any better.

  22. Ranger Rick

    I love the last lines of the NYT piece on how the country is disgusted by this election:

    “I have the same feeling now that I had then: Is this what our government has come to?” he said. “If Trump wins, with all these sexual accusations out there, what does that say about us as a country?”


    1. ambrit

      I found the NYT article to be a hit piece in tone and substance. A little “objectivity” was thrown in to appease the gods of balance, but quickly negated as Bill was sidelined as not being the actual candidate.
      A better question to ask is; “Are these the best candidates our political system can come up with?”
      Whoever wins in November, America loses.

      1. cocomaan

        Imagine if Michelle had been found to have been screwing bimbos. It would have tanked Obama’s candidacy in a few minutes.

      1. cocomaan

        I am wondering whether Hillary was less concerned with her Wall St. speeches going public to a US audience than a Chinese one:

        “I said, by that argument, you know, the United States should claim all of the Pacific. We liberated it; we defended it. We have as much claim to all of the Pacific. And we could call it the American Sea, and it could go from the West Coast of California all the way to the Philippines.”

        She said in the speech that she had told her Beijing counterparts the Chinese claims to the South China Sea were based on “pottery shards” from “some fishing vessel that ran aground in an atoll somewhere”, whereas the US claim to the Pacific would be based on “convoys of military strength” in the second world war and the claim Americans “discovered Japan”.

        Why in the world would China sit down with her in good faith if these revelations keep coming? They are just going to quote her arrogant statements back to herself.

        1. abynormal

          and she STARTED IT ALL…”you know”

          In 2010, then secretary of state Clinton first brought up the issue of “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Vietnam. This marked the beginning of the US ”pivot to Asia” strategy and of increased military tension between the US and China in the region.

          1. Pat

            I’m now cynical enough to say we now know who wasted their lobbying money in America. I guess they didn’t just spend enough in the right places – tops being the Clinton Foundation.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          My sense is “little yellow people” is still the primary outlook when it comes to American foreign policy. The very idea Slavs and the Chinese would have their own policies is a direct affront to “American exceptionalism. “

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Government to investigate Russian hacking influencing US elections.

    Might as well investigate foreign money influencing our elections too.

    You save money doing both at the same time – that’s efficiency, running the government like a household.

      1. Roger Smith

        Maybe if we start claiming that “Russia did Citizen’s United” it will finally gain some traction.

    1. Montanamaven

      +100 – My thoughts yesterday on call for investigating the foreign influence of Russia, but not Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, et al. You put it most succinctly. Then add craazyboy’s suggestion of investigating domestic influence and we might be able to see why most people are beyond disgusted and are annoyed at the “Look over there, it’s Putin” ploy.

    2. Alex morfesis

      Can we start by barring any idiot who wss hacked from holding a national security clearance ? This set of keystone kops surrounding $hillary have proven they could care less about protecting information….

  24. Portia

    what is this Trump list of women molested supposed to prove? not that I don’t think they need to be heard, but the potential First Husband will be helping run things from behind the scenes, and maybe they should do a comparison graph on the two perverts.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      New Wikileaks leaks continue to come out, but they have already shown their ace up their sleeve; so, it’s re-run time for them.

      Of course, you don’t get as many viewers after the initial world premiere.

    1. Patricia

      He says it is illegal to ‘possess’ them but it’s different for media (lol) and then declares, “everything you’re learning about this, you’re learning from us…” and, “in full disclosure, let’s take a look….”

      Pompous coarse shite, thinking to keep inline those old folks who still only watch teevee. Isn’t an exceptional nation supposed to care for it’s old people, rather than scaring the crap out of them all the time? Bah

    2. hunkerdown

      The Democrat Party, unsatisfied with reestablishing Calvinist Protestantism as the operative religion of the USA, have decided to make Bibles a trade secret instead.

  25. Dave

    “The Sulzbergers have the right values, and you can only hope they have the right business strategy and sufficient means to keep the paper. [Mexican standoff?] And while I have great regard for the Grahams, it’s obvious that Jeff Bezos has poured resources into the Post and let Marty Baron lead the paper.”

    He adds, “Everyone in this field, everyone who cares about doing the right thing, has to figure out the future, day by day, year by year; we talk constantly about the technological and financial side of things — we’d be remiss not to — but let’s also take note of values, the news values, the investigative values and muscle, on display.”

    Figure out the future? You mean interpret, steer, safeguard and sanctify their financial future and bury the inconvenient past?

    The word “muscle” is interesting. As in loan shark’s muscle?

  26. abynormal

    i dedicate this to my favorite Alien..CRAAZYMAN:
    Being Major Tom
    John Bennett

    It’s an ill wind that blows no minds. Robert Anton Wilson said that. Robert Anton Wilson died in a head-on collision with James Dean. Dean was driving his red-hot Spyder Porsche and Wilson an abducted alien Range Rover. This is not common knowledge and doesn’t set well in some circles. It puts aliens in too good a light. Casts doubt on who’s who. Warps time and perception.

    Pennies from heaven, dropped from the Pope’s Nazi blimp. Eskimos dressed in doll clothes down on Hollywood and Vine. Who’s behind such phenomena? Martians? Tea Baggers? Bleeding-heart liberals?

    Why must I write this in the dark when it’s not even November? Is it time to sound the clarion horn? Take off the kid gloves? Disprove everything and clear a landing strip for the aliens?

    Aliens are God’s sweet revenge. Don’t take my word for it, but if not me, who? Who else has done the foot work? Who else doesn’t laugh when the joke gets told? Who refuses to cut the cake in nine equal slices? The aliens take note of such things. They circle the earth and put ideas in my head. You’re the one, they whisper. You’re the seventh son. You are Major Tom’s ghost, they whisper.

    Walk in his shoes.

  27. Jay

    Is it just me or the economist in the am rose Evans Pritchard link is talking crazy! Sticking to these ‘rules’ like the stability growth impact and not bailing out nation’s is why the eurozone problem has been exacerbated! They need a proper central bank not an inflation targeting board!

  28. Katharine

    Regarding the “missing men” piece, this is looking like a zombie idea. D___ B____ (my last reference to him disappeared into limbo, without even a mention of moderation, so as I am not shilling for him but do want to cite my source I’ll try initials) has debunked it repeatedly and just did so again today. Women are disappearing from the workforce too, so it’s not something special about men but more likely something about economic policy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. Government jobs have not been outsourced much, if that all.

      2. Foreigners are not allowed in many important government jobs.

      “Mr. President, I think it’s cheaper to hire a starving North Korean to be our Secretary of Defense.”

      “Are you crazy? We don’t worry about money. We create money.”

  29. toxymoron


    I am not able to participate in this year’s fundraiser.
    Fail1. Paypal knows my card number (as I have been participating in this fundraiser for a number of years now), and won’t allow me to make a donation without a Paypal ‘account’ (name, adress, email, phone..).
    They didn’t need these data in the past, don’t need them know (except to build a profile), and I am not willing to hand them out. I tried, as usual, setting up a bit of fake data, but it knows my (real) email address, so that failed. Hence a created a profile with as much fake data as possible, and hurray, a fake account.
    Fail2. Paypal is not convinced my credit card is real. So they transfer 1.5€ from it, with a PIN, and ask me to enter the pin. That took 2 more days, but hurray again, my credit card is accepted.
    Fail3. I cannot use my credit card to make payments. I need to transfer money out of my bank account into my paypal account, which will then transfer to NC. So now they need to see my bank account details, which again I am not willing to give.

    I had the same issue with someone else’s fundraiser, and that person was kind enough to hand over his bank account details. But I understood from Clive’s and Yves’ comments that this is not an option. And I don’t have another credit card.

    So unless somebody has an idea, I have xx dollars waiting for Yves & team, but no way to hand over the money :(

    1. Alex morfesis

      Last I heard, the post office still will sell you a money order with nothing more than a smile…and the proper amount of currency…

    2. dao

      We live in a surveillance state and even the post office is complicit. They take a photocopy of every letter that moves through their system and dutifully store it just in case the information is ever needed by the state. So all mail going to and from Yves address is tracked. You can put in a fake address to throw them off the trail, but who’s to say they don’t take high resolution scans to record fingerprints as well? This may sound tinfoil but it’s the reality we’re living in nowadays where we are constantly being tracked in every way imaginable and unimaginable.

    3. toxymoron

      I don’t think they take foreign checks, and anyhow, I cannot write them in dollars eeither.
      As I live outside the US, the US Postal Service is not a solution either.

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        There may be a way around this by use of an international postal money order. Inquire with your country’s postal service about this as another option besides going through commercial banking channels.

  30. PhilU

    Re: Macroeconomic Research After the Crisis (Janet Yellen)
    I wish I could send Janet Yellen the complete works of Kalecki, but specifically “Full Employment by Stimulating Private Investment” 1945

    He lays out why that won’t work, because you have to keep decreasing the interest rate. Sigh. Is a shred of competence from the elites too much to ask for?

  31. Synoia

    How Two Newspapers Brought Down Donald Trump

    We have two Shi Tzu dogs, the Male is names Panda and the Female (spayed) is Bella.

    We have decided to rename the male to Trump. He picks fights only with larger dogs, and does not respect female dogs in any way.

    He is always sniffing them, and then mounting them without permission.

    And, just like Trump he does not come to heel when called. He is out of control.

    We will not be naming the female Hillary. She has not an ounce of deceit in her nature.

  32. AnEducatedFool

    Has no one mentioned that Assange’s internet connection was cut by a state actor? The internet connection for Ecuador’s London Embassy was cut early morning EST. Wikileaks has released a tweet but I do not know how to embed on here w/o getting placed into purgatory.

    Right now 1 million people are talking about Julian Assange on facebook and is very slow. It took me 2-3 minutes to complete a search.

    1. integer

      Not sure if it’s related, but it’s worth noting that today is supposedly the day Assange is being questioned over the rape allegations.

      Ecuador has set an October 17 date for the questioning of Julian Assange in a Swedish rape investigation.

      The move could end a four-year deadlock ever since the WikiLeaks founder took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy.

      Swedish prosecutors said the questioning will be conducted by an Ecuadorian prosecutor.

      Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and a police investigator will be allowed to be present to ask questions through the Ecuadorian prosecutor, who will later report the findings to Sweden.

      “After the report, the Swedish prosecutor will take a view on the continuing of the investigation,” Swedish prosecutors said in a statement.

  33. allan

    State aide sought to change classification of Clinton email [AP]

    A senior State Department official asked for the FBI’s help last year to change the classification level of an email from Hillary Clinton’s private server in a proposed bargain described as a “quid pro quo” that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries, according to bureau records released Monday.

    The FBI ultimately rejected the request, which would have allowed the State Department to archive the message related to the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in the basement of its Washington headquarters “never to be seen again,” according to the FBI files. …

    l’State c’est moi.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Even after Clinton left the State Department, this was still occurring?

      That this happened is worthy of at least another media investigation.’

      “How many ‘neutral parties’ are there who are with her?”

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Col. Lang over at Sic Semper Tyrannis had a comment on this sort of thing being dangled by the State Department:

      turcopolier said…


      it is a favorite State Department trick to offer to let you have more people in overseas missions in return for something they want. and when you agree they often renege on the deal having pocketed what they wanted from you. They did that to me over attaché positions in several countries. so, I stopped making deals with them. pl
      Reply 17 October 2016 at 02:47 PM

  34. Steve H.

    DNC Lawyers Argue No Liability: Neutrality Is Merely a ‘Political Promise’

    “purported political promises” That’s a direct quote from the court filing. (“[V]oters are free to vote out of office those politicians seen to have breached campaign promises,” but “[f]ederal courts … are not and cannot be in the business of enforcing political rhetoric”)

    The DNC is literally (literally literally) arguing that political promises are meaningless. Glad we cleared that up.

    Case 0:16-cv-61511-WJZ Document 49 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/14/2016

    1. hunkerdown

      Aside from that this has been a wonderfully clarifying election, I’d be very glad to have this principle enshrined in law, so that we can stop pretending that our betters have any interest in our humanity as we perceive it or that obeying people who say important things importantly is a good thing or that ANY imaginary friend is exempt from the Iron Law.

      The existence of the DNC is not in the public interest. Now that they are pleading exactly that in court, is there any reason that representation of the Party should not be regarded as trespassing by us? I can’t think of one.

  35. JSM

    Re: ‘New polls show tale of 2 races’

    The polls from ABC/NBC/Washington Post, all news outlets in the tank for HRC from the owners down to the lowly hacks who currently pass for journalists, don’t seem to match some facts on the ground.

    Voters are more enthusiastic for Clinton, as Trump turns out thousands and Clinton disappears from the campaign trail & 100 person events? As local election offices report that early Republican voting is outpacing that of Democrats, by 2-1 in JSM’s Dem stronghold in a swing state? It’s hard to believe.

    Wikileaks has dominated ‘Trump allegations’ in Google Trends, as revealed by Wikileaks itself, yet Politico doesn’t mention the leaks at all, focusing only on, of course, the allegations which are now fully baked in and not moving polls anymore.

    This observer watched Clinton ‘win’ not the Democratic primary but the national psy-ops campaign that the primary became due to media and election engineering. Not sure why the bloggers here seem to have forgotten this so quickly.

  36. Cry Shop

    Canada selling armored personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia.

    Also, Margaret Atwood has an interview on the BBC where she posits Trudeau is doing a Bill Clinton march to the right — particularly on the environment, supporting repressive regimes. Unfortunately the interview is no longer available outside the UK from Monday.

Comments are closed.