Links 10/6/16

The amazing recovery of Yosemite’s yellow-legged frog Science Daily

Berlin pursues Deutsche Bank talks discreetly with US officials Reuters (Furzy Mouse). Yves: “This strongly suggests that the rumor that the DoJ was willing to go for $5.4 billion is false. They wouldn’t be having such intense, or more accurately, tense talks if they had a handshake on a number DB could live with.”

The Limits of Deutsche’s Troubles Show Reform Is Working Dealb%k, NYT (AF). Yves: “The IMF has not gotten this cheery memo. It deems DB to be the biggest systemic banking risk.”

Hedge funds: Coming up short FT

Exploring the Industry-Dermatologist Financial Relationship JAMA (KS).

Is a Leading Suicide Prevention Organization a Front for Big Pharma? Alternet (DK).

AirBnB tax chaos: Sharing economy boom to push fines for late tax returns above 1 million Telegraph

Theranos Retreats From Blood Tests WSJ. I like “Retreats From,” as opposed to (say) “Whipped Out Of.” This bezzle is taking rather a long time to play out.

Replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone catches fire on Southwest plane The Verge

Living the Life LRB. On Hollywood agents and CAA. “Show me the money.”


The Art of Estimating China’s Economic Growth WSJ

When the Dragon Rolls Over: Spillovers From China’s Economic Transition The Diplomat


Theresa May takes swipe at capitalist elite FT

May’s challenge to Marxism Stumbling and Mumbling

The 13 things making me very angry right now The New Statesman

Thousands ‘disappeared’ by General Franco’s regime in Spanish Civil War discovered in mass graves International Business Times


Is Fighting Al-Qaeda In Aleppo Good Or Bad? – U.S. Unable To Decide Moon of Alabama

The Dreadful Chronology of Gaddafi’s Murder Counterpunch (J-LS). Must-read.

Refugee Crisis

Where Does the Hate Come From? Der Spiegel. The Ossies! Of course….

More than 10,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean trying to reach Italy in the last 48 hours Quartz and Stepping Over the

Dead on a Migrant Boat NYT

Imperial Collapse Watch

N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets NYT (Bill B).

HAL (er, um, BAH) Bites NSA emptywheel

Was Yahoo’s mass wiretap legal? The Verge (Re Silc).

War Drums

This Is How America Will Accidentally Join the Syrian War Foreign Policy. Based on the Vice-Presidential debate. I’ve seen some criticism of moderator Quijano, but she did well on this important issue.

Syria Crisis 2016: John McCain Calls For US Military Action In Syria, Calls Obama Administration Policy ‘Toothless’ International Business Times

What Most Chinese Fear: the U.S. WSJ

Podcast: Why nuclear war looks inevitable Reuters (Furzy Mouse).


Here’s the best theory we’ve seen of how Trump paid so little tax Josh Barro, Business Insider. The Gitlitz Loophole sounds like a novel by Robert Ludlum, doesn’t it? “Here’s how the loophole could have allowed Trump to create a paper tax loss that he could use to offset his real income for over a decade, avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes in the process.” Legal. But also a genuine loophole — i.e., an unintended consequence of the law as written, and interpreted by the courts — hence not conforming to the Trump campaign’s narrative that in his case the tax system was working as it should. But very much conforming to this Trump narrative: “That makes me smart.” Or not! Very much worth reading in full.

Donald Trump Often Made Donations to State Attorneys General Reviewing His Business WSJ. The dominant factions in both major parties agree that money is speech and that there’s no corruption unless a literal quid pro quo can be shown. So what’s the issue?

Republicans Love Mike Pence More than They Like Donald Trump Vanity Fair. Pence counterpunched effectively faced with a weak flurry of blows from Kaine. Presidential timber?

Clinton tries to rouse millennials FT. Despite the Democrat nomenklatura firing the Blame Cannons at “millenials” who “don’t do their own research,” the “millenials” quoted in stories like this are almost uniformly thoughtful, and their doubts are reasoned. Somehow, I don’t think wheeling in Al Gore to shift the blame for his own 2000 debacle to Ralph Nader is going to make a lot of difference…

JPMorgan CEO Dimon goes after Clinton for attacking ‘a whole class of people’ CNBC. Bankers! Especially thin-skinned, bailed-out bankers.

US election: The rise of the Trump Democrats FT

The Money in AIDS Jacobin

It’s Time We Crush the Putrid Roach Motels of Philanthro-Crony-Capitalism, Starting with the Clinton Foundation Of Two Minds (CL).

Rising Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs Conversable Economist

Man Wakes From Coma With Ability To Understand Health Insurance Policy The Onion (DL).

Civil Forfeiture: Legalized Government Robbery Reader Supported News (RR).

Class Warfare

Campaign to give workers paid sick leave gains momentum AP

Why We Pine for Manufacturing The New Yorker. “We.”

In a wealthy Virginia suburb, their cars are their beds WaPo

When Algorithms Decide What You Pay ProPublica

Human age limit claim sparks debate Nature

There’s Plenty of Room At the Bottom – the Nobel Chemistry Laureates Put a Nanocar There The Wire (J-LS).

Granite is still the most popular kitchen counter Treehugger (J-LS). It’s almost like the kitchens in our modern-day crap shacks aren’t optimized for food preparation…

World’s Largest Carbon-Capture Plant to Open Soon Scientific American. “The captured carbon dioxide is pumped 82 miles to the West Ranch oil field in Jackson County, Texas, where drillers inject it into depleted wells, squeezing out the stubborn bits of crude oil that remain after the reservoir is tapped, in a process called enhanced oil recovery (EOR).”

Target plans to test vertical farm ‘in-store growing environments’ in 2017 Business Insider (DL). If we called “vertical farming” “earth-free farming,” that would give some perspective on the sustainability of it all.

The Myth of the Anthropocene The Archdruid Report

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. PlutoniumKun

    Republicans Love Mike Pence More than They Like Donald Trump Vanity Fair. Pence counterpunched effectively faced with a weak flurry of blows from Kaine. Presidential timber?

    I think if Trump does get elected he will need a food taster as well as a bullet proof jacket.

      1. Steve C

        It’s sickening to see Democrats like Clinton and Kaine legitimizing “Christian conservative” Republicans like Pence to differentiate them from Trump. Pence is far worse than Trump. The good thing about Trump is that he isn’t a standard-issue Republican. Once again, the Democrats are the Party About Nothing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Team Blue is fairly dedicated dedicated to preserving the two team sports league. For the enabler class of Team Blue, preserving the spectacle of organizer debates and other forms of pageantry supersede all other concerns.

          Back when I was a yellow dog Dem, I loved when other Democrats would bring up the pageant events and seemed astonished I didn’t watch or have any desire to meet a Presidential candidate coming to town, and they really hated when I pointed out they wouldn’t say anything that had already been reported and if they did it would make the papers the next day where it would take minutes to digest the information.

          Nader is public enemy number one because he attacked the sports league by merely discussing issues and daring to run outside the league. Even now, elite Dems seem more upset Trump is embarrassing elite Republicans than any other issue.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            The Big Lebowski:

            Walter Sobchak: You mark that frame an 8, and you’re entering a world of pain.

            Smokey: I’m not…

            Walter Sobchak: A world of pain.

            Smokey: Dude, he’s your partner…

            Walter Sobchak: [shouting] Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules? Mark it zero!

            The Dude: They’re calling the cops, put the piece away.

            Walter Sobchak: Mark it zero!

            [points gun in Smokey’s face]

            The Dude: Walter…

            Walter Sobchak: [shouting] You think I’m fucking around here? Mark it zero!

            Smokey: All right, it’s fucking zero. Are you happy, you crazy fuck?

            Walter Sobchak: …It’s a league game, Smokey.

        2. Benedict@Large

          The minimum function of the Democratic Party is to shut the left up. This is why Hillary is so frustrated. She knows she doesn’t need their votes, but her owners are making it clear to her that she is expected to keep both their numbers and their volume down to where it “need not be reported.”

      2. Anne

        Pence is a loon, and a not-very-bright one at that; as near as I can tell, he is just a passenger in a bus driven by fundamentalist, evangelical Catholic/Christian “beliefs” that are inimical to anything God – if you believe in Him – ever intended.

        And that is why I worry that if Trump is elected, this clown will have more opportunities and more of a platform to do the kinds of things he’s done in Indiana. This becomes even more of a worry if, for whatever reason. Trump does not serve an entire term, something I think is more likely than not.

        Really, the more I learn about Pence, the more horrified I am.

        1. Pat

          I once made the joke that the biggest item any Presidential candidate should consider when selecting a running mate, is who will make all the black hats think: “Dear god ,we can’t assasinate the President look at the Vice President!”
          I have come to the conclusion that as despicable as both Presidential candidates are, their VP choices are worse – not entirely because I find them and their records to be disturbing. No, it is very likely that both of them would be able to accomplish far more domestic destruction of our system than either of the two top of the ticket candidates because I see less grid lock with both. And in both cases there is too much religion, too much conservative domestic policy garbage and too much desire to be world military powers.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            LBJ is a notable case, but why would a VP elevated to the White House through death or impeachment have any sway especially when they are such feeble candidates?

            Pence is a religious cook. Certainly, he projects as more put together than Kaine, but:

            Kaine? Are you kidding? Every Democrat who has measured their oval office rug will be out for blood. Bye Emily’s list. Bye nostalgia voters. Bye women. Bye minorities Bye young people. Bye environmentalists. I guess he could get Joe Lieberman to campaign for him.

            Kaine has no celebrity. If Kaine became President, Biden would look like a stellar candidate in 2020.

            1. Pat

              Oh, I don’t think either one would have “sway”. What I think is that both are mainstream MOTU friendly on the “important” issues AND don’t have the baggage of the main candidates that everyone can put on their ‘we’re getting through a difficult time and working together because we are in crisis’ hats and pass a lot of things that could not be done in normal circumstances without destroying the front.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              …Biden would look like a stellar candidate in 2020.

              Very true, even if Biden were to shuffle off his mortal coil prior to the next 2020 unpopularity contest.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                I thought about writing the “corpse of Biden,” but that was the joke about Biden in 2007.

            3. Lambert Strether Post author

              Let’s remember that Kaine helped the DNC dismantle (the sadly diminished) Howard Dean’s fifty state strategy. Threw the goddamned proles right out of the party, and we got Steve Israel “trying” to win seats with self-funding former Republican millionaires, ideally with a military background. All to a constant murmur of applause from Pelosi.

          2. Cry Shop

            Pence reminds me of Adam Cramer (Gorman’s Shame/The Intruder), without any of the slight redeeming features.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Pence was a political pick.

            -Voters are extremely partisan moving between voting and not voting, not Democratic or Republican. Yes, Hillary was never going to win Republicans outside the beltway and the Hamptons.

            -Religious fervor comes and goes. We’ve been due for a deep decline in the public pushing of religion. If the Democrats were a real political party, there would be no Transgender bathroom chaos in places such as NC. The Democrats would be too strong for that to ever be pushed. However the religious nuts do still exist, and they don’t like Trump. He isn’t one of them, and they recognize half hearted frauds. Pence despite being awful (they had a similar referendum to the ones in North Carolina and Virginia) did change course in the face of deteriorating business conditions. Trump needed him to appease a large portion of the GOP base. The bible humpers weren’t pushing Trump, just the “moderate Republicans” or “polite Nazis. “

    1. Tom

      Very weird change in tone from Assange. All of the sudden he’s claiming people misunderstood some of the comments he made about Clinton.
      You know, such as:

      “Democrat Scandal: Julian Assange Claims New Leaks Will Send Hillary Clinton to Prison Over Campaign to Destroy Bernie Sanders”

      “BREAKING: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says his next leak will virtually guarantee an indictment of Hillary Clinton”

      “Julian Assange: My Next Leak Will Ensure Hillary’s Arrest.”

      Gee Julian, I can’t imagine where people got the idea you were out to destroy Clinton.

      1. mad as hell.

        I think once Assange heard that Clinton was thinking about doing a drone strike on him it was time to duck for cover and keep his mouth shut. I don’t think that the Clinton campaign bought him out although that would be possible too. No, when he cancelled his speech from the window of the embassy and moved inside for an infomercial he had a fear factor in his mind.

        So now the October surprise turns out to be the October dud.Well one thing is for sure. Julian Assange will never be the recipient of a Profiles in Courage award. Although you really can’t blame the guy for wanting to live.

        1. Bullwinkle

          Agreed. I also think there was pressure coming from the Ecuadorian government as well not to follow through with the damaging leaks. Most likely along the lines of “you follow through on this and you’re out”. You sure can’t blame Assange for wanting to live but it was a big disappointment.

          1. Pat

            I’m sure that is a big part of it. But there is some piece of me that thinks if Assange thought he could destroy Clinton he would still do it regardless.

            But he probably has more information of how the system worked to insure she didn’t get indicted for the email server and classified material felonies, including how much of that was to protect other entities than those us watching have been able to discern. Direct evidence. If the other ‘crimes’ also include other powerful people, he must know by now that nothing will be done. So why endanger himself, and the people who have helped him only to leave Clinton still standing, stealing and bombing

      2. Heliopause

        Those headlines you quote are all bad paraphrases of things Assange has said. In fact he’s generally been quite circumspect in his comments about how leaks would be received.

        Many months ago he famously said “proceed to an indictment” and it’s not at all clear from the context that he was talking about consequences of anything he planned to leak. In fact, he might well have only been speaking hypothetically about facts already in the public record. There has been a lot of internet hyperventilating about what Wikileaks might potentially do and I think it’s wise to stick with their actual words rather than others’ between-the-lines interpretations.

    2. hreik

      ut Assange says it’s not enough to “destroy” the Clinton campaign.

      there is nothing enough to destroy the clinton campaign.

      1. timbers

        Yes that is a big part of it.

        The evidence that Hillary SOS was directing those with business before State Dept to Clinton Foundation to make “donations” that promptly got them appointments to see Hillary – if THAT is not enough to prosecute and jail her and connect the dots as to why she used a private email – well then I give up. There is nothing illegal she can do and be held to account for except maybe to paraphrase Dilbert “walking onto 5th Avenue in broad daylight and shooting someone dead.”

        1. pretzelattack

          i’m not sure what a quid pro quo is now. a signed contract to break the law in return for a contribution?

        2. temporal

          I feel fairly confident that unless the person she killed in this scenario was very well-off all she would have to say was that the person frightened her. She might have one of the secret service give up a throw-away but it probably wouldn’t be necessary. Authorities have used this successfully for quite a while so the standard is pretty well understood. The only question would be why didn’t she use one of the Praetorians for the task.

          The revised just-us system always values some lives more than others. Money and power always walks.

        3. ewmayer

          No worries re. the shooting-someone-dead thing – after months of ‘thorough investigation’, FBI director Cozy will solemnly announce that the victim was endangering national security by selling loose cigarettes containing coded terror-cell messages, and point to a couple of pixels on the video footage as ‘proof’. ‘While not obvious to the untrained eye, our top analysts have concluded that the arrangement of the loosies in the carton was coded Arabic for “the sleeper must awaken.”‘

  2. european

    Dimon attacking Clinton? That’s surely orchestrated to win over some millennials, no?

    P.S. It’s Der Spiegel, not Der Speigel.

    1. Pat

      Possibly. However, Dimon has shown himself to be thin skinned and defensive in the past whenever a politician feints that they might consider investigating and regulating bankers.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With the Wells Fargo snow ball, Dimon has to be aware he is only an MOTU as long as Congress believes he is. Corrupt governments have a long history of axing powerful people who never dreamt of being the scapegoat.

        One key difference is Hillary will be the weakest newly elected President since Lincoln, who had a Civil war situation on his hands. Every 2020 interest will smell a wounded gazelle. The GOP voters will demand blood from perceived GOP traitors. They will make the GOP elite nostalgic for the hey day of the Teabaggers. The Democrats are destined to lose the Senate in 2018 (its a brutal map for Team Blue) with out fear of Trump.

        My uses is the poor youth and minority showing will really put the fear of God into Team Blue, and they won’t find many supporters going forward.

        1. Pat

          After the election I’m going to have to behave myself and not point and laugh at the millennial who told me last night that their generation is not giving up and will help Clinton get elected. Along with she will be a much better President than cynics like me think. Well that is if one of the few things that the Clintonites and I think is happening comes to pass: she doesn’t get the millennial vote because they stayed home or voted third party.

          1. cwaltz

            Want to see their eyes widen?

            Point out that if they are 25 or younger that they are draft age for that war with Russia that Clinton has been itching for and explain to them that Syria isn’t agreeable to a no fly zone over their nation and Russia has said it isn’t either.

            The millennials have the most to lose with this Presidential pick if we continue the all war all the time philosophy. Gen X and Boomers won’t be fighting the perpetual wars….we’re too old. It’ll be them sent off to fight and die for natural gas, oil, lithium and any other things the oligarchs in all the countries want to fight over(all under the guise of freedumb of course.)

    2. jsn

      It’s a perfect Bre’r Rabbit trick for Dimon: “whatever you do, don’t throw me in that (Clinton) briar patch!”

    3. LMS

      I’m with you, european, that it was theater. Hillary was tough, calling out the behavior at Wells Fargo as “outrageous” and “shocking.” Maybe when she’s President she’ll even tell them to “cut it out.” Obama’s BFF Dimon helped give the public the impression that Hillary will be tough on banks.

      Maybe I’m too cynical, but I don’t for a minute believe that the tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch wasn’t a set up to preserve Lynch’s career and reputation while she gave Hillary a pass. There would have been easier ways for those two to communicate. And funny how the press got wind of it. i actually believe that they only spoke about vacations and grandchildren, because the deal was already done.

      I’m similarly skeptical that the Big Dog went off message when he called Obamacare “crazy.” Yes, he has gone off script before, but, in this case, Obamacare is crashing and premiums are rising while Hillary has promised to build on the ACA and preserve Obama’s legacy. Bill’s “gaffe” let it be known that the Clintons understand the public’s frustration with Obamacare, despite what Hillary has to say on the campaign trail.

      Don’t underestimate the Clintons’ shrewdness.

      1. Anonymous

        Same as when WJC sent out dog whistles to white voters in northern Penn during the Dem Primary. This was after HRC had made some huge speech about guns. WJC assured white voters that their guns would be safe. No time to dig up the cite.

  3. Roger Smith

    This is on Zero Hedge but it is well worth a look. Definitely more than coincidence here. Imagine if Trump was caught doing this (you wouldn’t be reading about it on Zero Hedge). Again we have an example of Clinton being the one acting like Hitler, counter to the rhetoric of Trump being the fascist authoritarian. And I thought Trump was the one who abused women?

    Hillary Caught Using Child Actor At Pennsylvania Town Hall

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s interesting (horrible though it is to be reminded of “crisis actors” (and don’t test me on that one)).

      “Hillary Clinton to Girl’s Question on Body Image: ‘Let’s Be Proud of Who We Are.’” NYT. After some cloying hagiography, we get this 25 paragraphs down:

      After the event, Brennan said that her father, a state senator, had helped her form the question that had so excited Mrs. Clinton. (The Clinton campaign [of course, of course] said questions had not been vetted.)

      Move along, people, move along. There’s no story here.

      Hillary Clinton’s message to 15-year-old girl was confusing — and spot on Chicago Tribune. More hagiography:

      Brennan Leach was brave enough to stand up in an auditorium and speak truth to a presidential candidate. Let’s find the courage to answer her with some humanity toward one another — and ourselves.


      WATCH: Hillary Clinton Uses Child Actor at Town Hall for Staged Question? Heavy (a youth-oriented media site, not right wing):

      During the town hall, Clinton, her daughter, Chelsea, and Banks opened up the stage to alleged impromptu questions.

      One 15-year-old girl asked, “At my school, body image is a really big issue for girls my age. I see with my own eyes the damage Donald Trump does when he talks about women and how they look. As the first female president, how would you undo some of that damage and help girls understand that they are so much more than what they look like?”

      However, YouTuber Spanglevision suggests that the question may have been staged by pointing out that the apparently randomly selected girl is a local child actor with an IMDb, or an Internet Movie Database page.

      Note that ZH includes Spanglevision’s YouTube, but in its prose does not include the telling details about Brennan’s IMDb page (dispositive, IMNSHO, though Snopes disagrees; “my dad helped” = scripted; IMBb = “child actor”).

      To be fair, that Brennan is a child actor speaking from a script does not make her less than brave. The real issue is that Democrats (and liberals generally) pollute every real issue they touch with smug and shameless manipulation and crude appropriation (as with racism, sexism, and here, body image for women).

      “Love Trumps Hate.” Sure! Especially scripted love…

      NOTE Anybody remember the little girl who ran out to give Clinton a hug outside Chelsea’s apartment? How’d she get through the Secret Service detail, anyhow?

  4. Cry Shop

    Carbon Capture for Oil Field Injection

    C02 is a great solvent, particularly if it super-critical, like here. It is extremely mobile, far more mobile than water based fluid injection. This technology has the ability to destabilize plate structures and mobilize toxic minerals. If fracking creates problems, then this is much worse, with the added problem of all those credits which allowed continued emissions can be wiped clean made dirty after a severe earthquake.

      1. Cry Shop

        Basalt also doesn’t contain more oil and gas (to burn to make more CO2)… Human logic for the win, we deserve to go extinct (at our own hands).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A couple of days ago, there was an earthquake warning issued for Southern California…are we due for another big one? Maybe fracking has nothing to do with it.

  5. Richard H Caldwell

    This link is 404 – Exploring the Industry-Dermatologist Financial Relationship JAMA

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Time to go back to the Hippocratic oath.

        “I forswear fat bank accounts, McMansions, fancy cars and private school for my kids in order to enter this holy healing order.”

  6. Bunk McNulty

    Granite tops are examples of kitchens “not optimized for food preparation”? Try putting a hot frying pan down on a laminate surface. Otherwise a pretty good story about the kitchen as a status symbol. I walk into some of these gigantic kitchens and I know the only appliance that ever gets turned on is the microwave. It’s easy to tell: There’s the $25,000 Aga stove in all it’s magnificence–and there’s no range hood over it.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      But a laminate counter top is far more impervious to bacteria from that diseased, $15 Chipotle burrito that was unwrapped, er….. “prepared,” for the family supper than granite is.

      1. Jim Haygood

        A neighbor’s house has polished, dyed concrete countertops throughout — kitchen, bathrooms, everywhere.

        How polished concrete compares to granite for bacterial resistance I don’t know.

        Maybe install some UV under cabinet lighting on timers to irradiate the countertops from midnight till 4 am. Would that be super-clean, or soon crawling with superbugs?

        You try to do the right thing. But it’s just too complicated.

            1. Left in Wisconsin

              Me too. One interesting tidbit in favor of Formica according to Treehugger, besides low cost, is that the factory in Cincinnati has good environmental practices. Compared to the granite that is not only not sanitary but shipped all over the world in search of low labor costs for processing.

              Hard to imagine many “green” yuppies opting for the plastic over the stone, though.

        1. grayslady

          You can’t use vinegar on a granite countertop. Wine, lemon juice, vinegar–any weak acid– will corrode and stain the granite. For people concerned about cleanliness, but who also want easy care, engineered quartz is the best.

          1. cwaltz

            I liked the link above JohnnyGL provided and was happy to see a quartz company that was sustainable located in Canada(also one in Israel but will be avoiding them until I see better treatment of the Palestinians.)

          2. Synapsid


            Weak acids will “corrode and stain the granite.” Do you have a source for this? Just curious.

            I’ve never dealt with granite countertops. Are they sealed with something? I wouldn’t choose granite for a countertop, myself.

            1. grayslady

              I’m a retired kitchen and bath designer. I spec’d a lot of countertops and had to understand all the pros and cons. There is a do-it-yourself sealer for granite countertops, and they need to be sealed once a year.

              1. Synapsid


                If the granite has a sealant on it is it the granite or the sealant that, say, vinegar would corrode and stain?

        2. tegnost

          also a bit off topic but if you’ve got rust stains in your stone/concrete countertop cut a lemon in half and leave it on the rust stain for 5 or 15 mins (check in an out of the way place to make sure it won’t affect the dye in concrete, stone should be ok, but probably best to confirm before doing it in a central area) then take some plain toothpaste and spread it over the stain, let it sit a while and rub it off, repeat until stain is gone or at least reduced. Lemon is also acidic but unlike vinegar leaves a smell behind, and probably has some sugar in it so not a disinfectant.

          1. Dave

            Another hint.
            If you have a white enameled or porcelain sink with bad stains, line it with paper towels and gently pour bleach on the top edges of the paper towels until all of them are soaked in bleach and are clinging wet to the entire enamel surface.
            Yeah, open windows, wear eye protection and a respirator mask good for organic vapors. Ten minutes of soaking then wash the towels down the garbage disposal or remove them with gloves and dispose of in a plastic bag, making sure no drips on clothes or floor.
            The sink will be snow white.

    2. Tom Stone

      Bunk, I’m a Broker Assocatein the Wine Country and I’d bet half the high end stoves I see have never been used for anything but heating water for chai.

    3. Spring Texan

      Why would you ever put a hot frying pan down on a counter?!!!! Shaking my head . . . (and still happy with my laminate counter)

      1. Jim Haygood

        In a long-ago former residence, some errant genius had set a hot frying down on the linoleum in front of the stove, making a roughened 9-inch circle of melted plastic in the kitchen floor.

        A few days at chef school coulda fixed that … (the cluelessness, not the linoleum).

        1. Bob

          Why would you put a hot frying pan on the counter or floor? Probably a grease fire. In a panic, they tried to move the pan to the sink or outside the home but dropped it out of fear. I suppose they would teach you how to extinguish a grease fire in cooking school.

          1. cwaltz

            I could see accidentally putting a hot pan or pot on the counter when transferring it from the hot stove to put in a serving bowl. It certainly now makes more sense to move it to an inert stove element now that I’m older but as an inexperienced cook I blew up pyrex when I placed it on a hot stove and cracked a crockpot when I ran an insufficiently cooled down pot under cold water.

            Domestic goddess I was not.

      2. Pat

        When I was growing up my family moved all the time, but my folks had bought a house early on they kept until they divorced. It was rented for much of the time. One renter did forget or have a moment or something and put a hot pot on the counter next to the stove. Rather then replace the entire counter they found a different solution. It was a corning ware inset that cut out and replaced the damaged area. Frankly it was friggin’ brilliant. Impervious to both stains and heat, you could use it as a cutting board as well as a trivet. And since the cooktop was electric, it was great to have a place to remove the pot from the heat.

        I’ve always thought if I won the lottery and got to build my perfect kitchen, I would make use of that now old technology. Either a similar inset, or if the space demanded only a small counter next to the cooktop the entire counter of it. Even though I am now used to gas cooktops, I still see it as something very useful.

        1. JoeH

          I believe the product you mention is a DuPont product, “coran”. It is used in medical & science labs. Can be formed into sinks as well. Have specified on many projects and is standard in scientific facilities.

    4. timbers

      Just throwing there with no view either way except for personally liking my granite counter top – isn’t the discussion of “bacteria free” kitchens maybe going down the same (now discredited) road of bacteria killing soaps and hand dispensers kinda thing?

    5. Waldenpond

      Why are people putting hot frying pans on their counters? There is an ancient invention called the trivet or just use a pot holder or old towel.

      We re-did the kitchen a few years ago (59 years old) and was talked into putting a microwave over the stove. What a stupid design. Spill stuff all the time and the fan is crap. I want to just get rid of the thing. Oh, and the oven vents to the front. Morons.

      1. cwaltz

        Not everyone grows up in the home of Ward and June Cleaver. There is a learning curve to cooking for most people.

    6. HotFlash

      I like wood for counters, esp maple — traditionally used for butcher blocks. Most (all?) hardwoods and bamboo are naturally antimicrobial.

      Not so good as a sink surround or under faucets, though. I used maple, it needs to be replaced there, the cedar bath surround is holding up better but still (30 yrs later) is getting kind of stained. However, I designed it for easy replacement, pro’ly do that this winter.

      1. OIFVet

        I second that. Plus, it is easy to refinish. I got a kick out of the FDA backing down from its attempt two years ago to outlaw the use of wood boards for aging cheeses. I wonder how Europe survived for thousands of years eating cheese aged on wood boards. Must be because they didn’t have industrial scale manufacturers of food-like substances, where human health is secondary or even tertiary priority, after the almighty profit.

    7. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Try putting a hot frying pan down on a laminate surface

      That’s why we have sanitary and aesthetic metal trivets.

      Also, my fifty-year-old Formica has the mark of a hot pan on it. You’ll only do it once!

  7. bob

    “Man Wakes From Coma With Ability To Understand Health Insurance Policy The Onion (DL).”

    He woke up with Tourette syndrome?

    What does my policy cover?

    “Fuck you”

    1. Roger Smith

      Turi is full of it too. In the Fox News clip he starts talking about if their had been a proper supply chain…

      Come on, a proper supply chain in the conflict wrought Middle East? This well oiled businessman knew better than that, he just didn’t care.

  8. Jim Haygood

    Re: WaPo article about people living in their cars in the Home Depot parking lot. A guy named Bob Wells wrote a book about living full-time on the road, where he’s been since 2008. His main advice is: (1) have the right vehicle (enough space to stretch out in, preferably a van); and (2) head west, where “dispersed camping” in national forests means you can park nearly anywhere in the woods and stay for 14 days.

    One of Bob’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (yeah, they have their own convention) friends is a woman who’s touring the country in a Toyota Prius. Supposedly the front seat backs of a Prius fold back flat, so that you can make almost a full double bed in it. Plus the hybrid drive means more battery capacity for running laptops, heating coils and such.

    1. Tom

      I hear there a trend afoot where people are living in those little fake guardhouses that are built next to the entrances of big housing developments. Apparently developers don’t mind because it makes it look like there are actually guards in there. Outfitted with a mini fridge, microwave and a futon, they actually achieve a kind of tiny house aesthetic that dovetails perfectly with the twlight of empire.

      1. Ivy

        A security guard I know has done that guardhouse gig. She bought an out of commission Ryder truck and lived in it for months during the off hours when she wasn’t on double-shift duty to make some more money as a community security guard. That arrangement was a lot cheaper than rent although the bathing facilities weren’t ideal.

        1. Tom

          As George Bush would say:

          “Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.”

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Maybe when the self-driving cars take over we can turn all the old beaters into “tiny houses.”

        Sterling tribute to American ingenuity! Any odds on the first news story about a person who becomes an entrepreneur while dwelling in a “stationary vehicle”? Perhaps in the aftermarket for removing steering wheels, tires, insulating them, etc….

  9. aj

    Came across this yesterday evening. Christopher Hitchens explain why Bill Clinton is not the nice guy everyone thinks. Who could have thought that 90% of this video is still relevant today? This interview could have been done last week. I only wish today’s journalists had the integrity of Hitchens. I really wish he was around to give his commentary on this election cycle.

    1. nycTerrierist

      there’s that little problem of Hitchen’s hawkishness.

      I’d rather we still had Gore Vidal, myself. However, his vintage commentary is still relevant.

      1. aj

        I didn’t agree with Hitchens on Iraq, but then I don’t have to agree with someone I admire on everything. The man had integrity, though. He made his stances clear, argued them intelligently, and wasn’t afraid to hold an unpopular opinion if the thought it was correct. He was also the first one to call someone out when they were plainly full of shit, most likely using those exact words. That’s way more than I can say for all the talking heads these days.

      2. divadab

        Ya Hitchens’ cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq ended my respect for him. I guess he needed the money….

        1. pretzelattack

          i’m not at all sure he got paid for it. i think it was part of his ideology. it led to intellectual dishonesty.

  10. DJG

    Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory of Valladolid.

    From the article about the mass graves in Spain. And as always I will point out that this is why citizens cannot allow torture: It corrupts everything. Its effects never go away. And it requires deliberate loss of memory (as in the case of President Obama, quelle surprise).

  11. Chromex

    Like most economists, the “conversable economist” seems blind to the further implications of his finding. It is very difficult to measure the impact of rising deductibles on individuals and families who simply do not get necessary health care because they cannot AFFORD the ridiculous deductibles. Whatever that impact is, it is not good and has everything to do with health “insurance” and nothing to do with health “care”. I refer these “economists” to the studies that demonstrate that a significant portion of the population does not have enough savings to even cover such deductibles. It seems to me that we should decide whether we want to actually provide health care to the population or whether we are going to torture them by saying “you must buy a policy that you cannot use for routine health care needs and that will only help you in catastrophic events” all so a parasitic business can make what their overpaid CEOS deem sufficient profit. Whatever wonderful effect these elephantine deductibles have on wise health care choices by consumers is completely buried by this sort of Marquis De Sade crapification by design and mislabeling.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Wrt excessive and growing deductibles, one thing that’s rarely mentioned is that they also reset annually, and so become a continuous expense for anyone with a chronic condition requiring ongoing treatment.

      From the article:

      I’ll add that I’m not automatically opposed to higher out-of-pocket spending for certain kinds of health costs. One way of holding down the rise in health care costs is for patients and health care providers to be more sensitive to the cost implications of their choices.

      The “sensitive to the cost implications of their choices” argument sounds reasonable, until one considers the nearly universal impossibility of getting “prices” prior to treatment for “comparison” before making your treatment “choices.” If “shopping” for the best “price” were really the goal, providers would be required to post their prices on the office wall.

      These deductibles are not set randomly. They are calculated actuarially to do exactly as you say–make the “insurance” unusable due to their unaffordablilty while the premiums continue to be paid.

      1. Adrienne


        These deductibles are not set randomly. They are calculated actuarially to do exactly as you say–make the “insurance” unusable due to their unaffordablilty while the premiums continue to be paid.


        The word “choice” is carefully chosen by the marketing department to obfuscate the reality that most of us don’t go to the doctor out of “choice”—but if you make it sound like there’s “choice” involved, a justification can be made for “cost sharing” and bankrupting levels of deductibles. And, of course, it’s impossible to find out how much a treatment costs beforehand.

      2. Anne

        Last night, I saw a report that CVS and ExpressScripts – “pharmacy benefit managers” – are dropping a number of drugs from coverage.

        Two of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) released updates to their drug formulary exclusion lists for the coming year.

        Express Scripts excluded 85 drugs from their 2017 National Preferred Formulary (NPF) list. The PBM said that customers will see only small changes in coverage, but this will add value to their plan, according to a press release.

        Express Scripts predicts that only 0.12% of customers will have to use an alternative treatment than what they are currently receiving. However, the PBM added that they have created a way for patients to have their medications covered if they have a rare clinical need.

        Excluded in the formulary are drugs used to treat common conditions, such as diabetes and inflammatory conditions. The 85 excluded products represents a slight drop from the 87 excluded products last year. By comparison, CVS excluded 154 drugs for their 2017 formulary, up from 124 products last year.

        I don’t know where Express Scripts comes up with their “prediction,” but if it’s really that small, why did they have to take so many medications out of their covered formulary?

        This really has to stop; I just don’t think it ever will.

      3. cwaltz

        It also seems to imply with the word choice that individuals should be more sensitive to the cost of their treatments then to the outcome those treatments.

        Hmmmmmm Mr MD I’m going to forgo my breathing treatment this month because I’m worried about how much I’m costing my insurance company that I pay a premium to every month. Who does that? No one. You go in to a doctor’s office with a hope of an improved outcome-the price of it is and should be secondary.

    2. Tom

      I’m self-employed and as part of the opportunity to “shop” for the best insurance plan each year, my wife and I do a little exercise we call ‘worst case scenario’. Assuming one of us has a major medical event, what does it cost us?
      Take the annual premiums for one of us — about $5,000 (we’re just over the cut-off for subsidies), then add the maximum out-of-pocket costs (the deductible plus whatever co-pays apply), which is about $6,000. Total ’em up and that comes to about $11,000 before insurance is picking up the whole tab if one of us gets really sick. It’s about the same for either of us (we have separate policies).

      God forbid we both have something major come up in the same year, we’d be on the hook for about $22,000 before insurance picks up everything.

      But as Katniss points out, everything resets every year.

      So worst, worst case scenario is that both of us get sick at the same time, right around the end of the year. We shell out another $12,000 in deductibles and co-pays on top of the premiums we’ve already paid for the treatment that keeps us alive until the new year. Then, come January 1, we need to come up with another $12,000 right away to pay for treatments until out out-of-pocket limits are met, then we need to keep on paying another $900 or so in combined monthly premiums. So, in a two-year span, this little worst case scenario exercise reveals a need for a possible $44,000 outlay. That enough to make your feel downright queasy, alright.

      In fact, I’m going to add a new scenario to next year’s calculations — what would be the penalty be if we skip buying insurance altogether?

      1. Adrienne


        Be very, very careful with that idea of skipping insurance. If you’re young and extraordinarily healthy, and don’t have a job where you are likely to wear out your body parts, you may be right in taking that gamble.

        But if you and/or your wife are anywhere near 50, I’d say it’s not a gamble you want to consider making. My husband was diagnosed this summer (at age 60) with metastatic prostate cancer. He is (was) the picture of health, with a good physical outdoor job, non-smoker, non-drinker, excellent diet, etc. etc.—and now he is looking at some sort of medical interventions for the rest of his life.

        As of the end of August, just halfway through chemo, we’ve racked up bills for treatment that “retail” for over $27,000. I suspect the year total will be close to $45,000. He’s not doing anything fancy—just standard Docetaxal chemo, regular bloodwork, and a couple of imaging scans.

        Our out-of-pocket max for the year is $6,100. We have had to tap family members for help, since he can’t work and my job (freelance pixel-pusher) isn’t enough to support us both.

        If we didn’t have our ACA policy my husband said he would have refused treatment and gone into hospice, rather than impoverish me for the rest of my life. But because we can scrape together that $6k this year, and hopefully for the next few years, he has a chance at survival.

        For all its innumerable flaws, the ACA is saving both our lives.

        1. Tom

          I’m sorry about your husband and I hope his treatment gives him the most benefit possible for his diagnoses.
          I was half kidding about forgoing insurance, but I must admit, for the first time I’ve thought about it since the ACA came into being.

          I went without insurance one other time, beginning in 2009. I had lost 75% of my freelance income seemingly overnight due to the financial crash, and my BCBS premiums had skyrocketed to the point where I could barely afford them anyway. To give you an idea — our premiums started out at about $350 per month when I first signed up in 1996. The premiums increased by 25-30% each year until they reached the absurd level of $1,700 a month 13 years later. Yes, you read that right — about $20,000 in premiums. And we are both healthy and never get sick or take prescriptions.

          As far as I can see, all the ACA did was reset premiums for a brief respite. Yes, insurers can’t deny you for pre-existing conditions and can’t toss you if you get sick (theoretically) but it is clear that premiums are back on their upward trajectory and will be unaffordable to many before long.

          Even with this so-called insurance, it’s too easy to foresee a situation where you are so sick you can’t work, so sick you can’t pay premiums, so sick that you have to sell your house and your car, drain your retirement funds and borrow everything you can from friends and family to pay your medical bills.

          It enrages me that the leaders of the supposedly greatest country in the history of the world can’t — or won’t — come up with a system where this doesn’t happen. If you ever wanted proof that the leaders don’t have the slightest intention of doing what’s right for its citizens, there it is.

          1. Paid Minion

            Most of our problems can be fixed. But there is no desire/will among the country’s elite to do so. Mainly because it would require that they give up expecting 10% returns on all of their money.

            The only segments of the wretched refuse that gets halfway decent treatment nowadays are currently in the military, or veterans (at least the ones that don’t need VA hospital benefits). Which of course, makes sense. If the wretched refuse didn’t volunteer to fight these unneccessary wars, they would have to. Or they would have to impose a draft, which would create all kinds of domestic turmoil, especially if the “rich kids” get deferments again.

            Like many other things, the PTB have picked the “winners”. Everyone else is a “loser”, and the “winners” are given carte blance to suck the last drop of blood from the turnips.

            It’s okay, because us turnips are all gonna die anyway, and we are too stupid to waste any money on. Prematurely killing off the boomers sure solves a lot of fiscal problems.

          2. Adrienne

            You’re absolutely right Tom: ACA premiums & OOP maximums are well on their way to becoming unaffordable again. 2017 is likely the watershed year: either drastic action is taken to fix theACA (highly unlikely) or it dies.

            It enrages me that the leaders of the supposedly greatest country in the history of the world can’t — or won’t — come up with a system where this doesn’t happen. If you ever wanted proof that the leaders don’t have the slightest intention of doing what’s right for its citizens, there it is.

            Indeed. Put Congress on the ACA and see how fast it gets fixed!

            Thank you for your thoughts. Best of health to you & your wife :-D

            1. OIFVet

              Out of pocket maximums are anything but. Given the ever narrowing networks, the out of pocket maximum is potentially somewhat closer to infinity. When I shop insurance for my mom, I always try to find a PPO plan simply for the larger network in order to decrease the chance of out of network charges in case of a serious health issue. But it is becoming harder and financially impossible to do that. Then there is Orwellian language into play there, too. BCBS of Illinois now offers “PPO Choice” plans, which are basically narrow network HMO plans that have dropped the need to select a PCP. Beware of any label that gives the illusion of choice and luxury. Like Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze…

          3. cwaltz

            If we are going to be “savvy consumers” then I guess some of questioning cost should include asking the MD what the cost would be if there wasn’t a middle man and figuring from there.

            Then again, another question should be why are there so many tiers to how much these treatments cost. Why does it matter what insurance company I have when I ask you how much my MRI is going to cost? Shouldn’t the cost be the same no matter what the company is? It’s not like the actual cost of an MRI should vary too greatly if our model was an efficient market model for consumers- however, as always in capitalism, the market model is based on maximizing profit and the consumer is secondary.

            1. Adrienne

              @cwaltz, your MD has no idea how much anything costs. Here is a process to (maybe) determine what is the actual price (possibly) of a procedure:

              1) Ask your provider for the CPT code of your exact procedure (you will probably have to call a few people until you find the one person who actually knows this information).
              2) Call your insurance company and ask what the cost of the procedure is, and what discounts might be provided.
              3) Have the procedure and then wait for the bill to tell you what it actually cost. It may or may not be the amount you discovered in Step 2.

              If you have not already been prescribed a procedure, you don’t have the magic CPT code and so there is no way to complete Step 1.

              1. cwaltz

                Are you honestly suggesting a doctor doesn’t know how much his time is worth? Or how much the things in his office costs? Now, he might not be willing to share that information and considers it proprietary but that isn’t the same as “not knowing.”

                There were millions of people without insurance for years, they didn’t need a CPT code to treat them.

                It’s actually the insurance companies and the health care industries that are causing these price tiers to begin with. Hospital says we charge X for treatment. Insurance company say we will only pay Y. Hospital ramps up the price of X so that Y will be closer to original X.

                Meanwhile if you don’t have insurance quite often they won’t charge you what they charge the insurance companies anyway because they know there is a snowballs chance that you’ll pay that. They “work with you.” Translation: they write off some of the amplified costs that they created to create the illusion that the insurance company was getting a deal on your care to begin with.

                Believe it or not, this is way less complicated than the for profit model is making it. A tongue depressor has an exact cost, a swab for a culture has an exact cost, the lab technician and an MD are compensated on an hourly basis they have an exact cost(these are now things we are being nickel and dimed for as health care providers and insurance companies bicker on what is and should be just compensation for health care and what should and should not be covered by the insurance companies- woohoo there is now a line item for the lab tech who takes the swab and cultures it.) Now the time component is a little variable based on a patient’s health problems but even that shouldn’t be that hard based on the block of time you are being given(and this is the biggest complaint I hear from providers- the insurance companies and the health care treatment facilities treat patients like identical widgets when we are nothing like widgets and sometimes a 15 minute block is not enough time).

                I do understand the process, in the military medical system on a ship, the pharmacy technician also orders supplies for the medical department. I was responsible for ordering film for x rays, purple top tubes for CBCs, in addition to beta blockers and bcps for my own shelves.

                I also spent some time working as an inpatient pharmacy technician both for profit and in the military. I got to see the difference between line items being generated to cover costs and the supply officer for the pharmacy flinging his hands up in the air every September right before the fiscal year ended and we’d be out of money to restock the shelves.

                1. Adrienne


                  Are you honestly suggesting a doctor doesn’t know how much his time is worth? Or how much the things in his office costs? Now, he might not be willing to share that information and considers it proprietary but that isn’t the same as “not knowing.”

                  I stand by my assertion, because every single time I have asked a physician how much a treatment or procedure costs, they say they don’t know. Your experience with a military clinic might not have any bearing on what happens to patients in for-profit clinics and hospitals.

                  (I’m sure the physician knows how much money he/she makes, but that doesn’t mean he/she knows how much the clinic is charging you for a visit. Just ask, next time.)

                  I am not disagreeing that the billing process between provider and insurer isn’t all borked up, and that providers are expected to overcharge if you have insurance. Of course a bag of saline solution has an actual cost, but in the real world of patent care that price is immaterial. Case in point: I had an ER visit a few years back. After much wrangling with the hospital, I was able to secure an actual detailed bill. I was charged $174 for each bag of saline solution, which retails for somewhere around $1.50. When I was in the ER the nurse kept pushing the saline even though I was stable and just wanted a cup of water. At no point did the nurse say, “oh by the way this stuff is costing you $174 per bag, would you like another?”

                  Prices are not discoverable for patients—of course that’s feature, not a bug.

          4. hreik

            It enrages us all. I encourage you and your wife to somehow get on a plan, even if just for a catastrophic occurrence. Please.

            I don’t know how old you are, but our son (34) developed a chronic illness last year. Luckily he had a job w some (though shitty) health insurance and was able to get on his fiance’s policy. It’s a good thing too b/c just 3 months ago he required a partial small bowel resection, which was complicated and necessitated a 7 day hospital stay. He’d have been in debt forever w/o the insurance. The surgery was mandatory b/c he had an obstruction from scarring from the disease. Things can happen fast. Please protect yourself. Good luck

            We live in a country that should be able to provide health care for us all. No one but side-lined politicians has the will to tackle this. It is a shame and a disgrace and the moral pygmies in congress and the WH should be ashamed. For this and a host of other things. They are not. They cannot be shamed, somehow.

            I have a long rant in my head but will stop there.

      2. oh

        You might want to include medical tourism in your scenarios. It might be a good alternate considering the $ amount you have to put our before you get any reimbursement.

    3. Benedict@Large

      The purpose of selling high deductible policies to people who can’t afford to use them is to indemnify hospitals against the expenses for catastrophic care for these same individuals. While these people cannot afford to access their insurance, if they are hospitalized under “must care for” provisions of state laws, the hospitals still make out OK. Sure, the hospitals lose the first $5K-$10K for the deductibles, but these bills often run $25K, $50K, and a lot more, so the initial loss is only a small part of the bill, most of which is covered.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Doug Casey, on the worsening state of eurosclerosis:

    The good news is that [mass migration of refugees] will speed up the disintegration of the EU. It never made sense from the beginning to try to get Swedes to live by the same rules as Sicilians, or Germans by the same rules as Portuguese.

    Not to mention that the rules are entirely arbitrary. Worse, almost all the rules result in economic transfers, with legislated winners and losers. Deals like that always lead to resentment, among both the winners and the losers.

    The euro, meanwhile, will approach its intrinsic value at an accelerating rate and eventually cease to exist. The Esperanto currency was doomed from the beginning. It was not just an “IOU nothing,” like the U.S. dollar, but a “Who owes you nothing” since it’s not even backed by a specific government’s taxing power.

    My prediction that the Continent will one day just be a giant petting zoo for the Chinese is intact—assuming the current wave of migrants approve.

    Doug’s still promoting LatAm as an alternative to the anglosphere. As he points out, LatAm is not involved in foreign wars and is not on global migration routes (though it has its own internal migration of refugees fleeing the ultraviolence of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).

    1. BecauseTradition

      The euro, meanwhile, will approach its intrinsic value … Doug Casey

      Echoes of gold-buggery, the belief that fiat should be needlessly expensive to profit money hoarders (by deflation) and, for example, gold owners.

      It was not just an “IOU nothing,” like the U.S. dollar, …

      The US dollar is backed by the taxation authority and power of the US Government – the power to seize assets, levy fines and imprison. That kinda beats a “backing” by a shiny metal, doesn’t it, Jim?

      The US dollar is also backed by private debt that may be extinguished with it.

      but a “Who owes you nothing” since it’s not even backed by a specific government’s taxing power.

      So the fact that the Euro can be used to pay taxes in the entire Eurozone makes it weaker than if, for example, it could only be used to pay German taxes?!

      1. Jim Haygood

        Governments come and go. Their power is awe-inspiring and majestic … till it isn’t.

        Like that day in November 1989 when the gates were opened, and East Germans just started streaming out the door.

        Purely as a generous gift and political bribe, the West German government converted their near-worthless ostmarks to D-marks at 1-to-1.

        Don’t count on such generosity in the next fiat currency crack-up. As ol’ Doug said, its intrinsic value is zero. Whereas the old yellow dog holds its value, even (indeed, especially) in total anarchy.

        1. BecauseTradition

          As ol’ Doug said, its intrinsic value is zero.

          As it should be. Otherwise the taxation authority and power of government is misused to benefit private interests, e.g. money hoarders and gold owners. Gold’s previous use as fiat was to make counterfeiting too expensive. That use is obsolete as is the thinking of modern day gold-bugs.

          And the correct order is that governments go and come again since anarchy isn’t stable. And the scam of expensive fiat is ended since I doubt the lesson of what drives the value of fiat (government) is likely to be forgotten again.

          But to each his own. My own thinking is the End is near in which case owning gold won’t do any good anyway or we’ll muddle through and again owning gold will be pointless.

          1. Jim Haygood

            One of the oldest truisms since Nixon’s Sunday Night Special of 15 Aug 1971 is, “Gold is the mirror of the dollar.”

            When the dollar nearly collapsed in the 1970s, gold roared. When the dollar rose from its sickbed in the 1980s and 1990s, gold slid.

            It’s only sensible to ride the side of the seesaw that’s going up. The price of gold in Venezuelan bolivars (street price) has so many digits that it would bust my calculator.

            1. BecauseTradition

              The price of gold in Venezuelan bolivars (street price) has so many digits that it would bust my calculator. Jim Haygood

              My guess is that the Venezuelan government has not yet realized that privileges for depository institutions undercut its own ability to create fiat without price inflation.

        2. I Have Strange Dreams

          No, that’s not true: gold becomes virtually worthless in cases of total anarchy; then the iron law rules. The strong take from the weak. An ounce of gold won’t buy a loaf of bread. Doug Casey is a gold salesman and a kook who has been peddling the same old claptrap since time immemorial. It amazes me that people still fall for the zero hedge hooey. Like TP Barnum said….

          1. BecauseTradition

            Like TP Barnum said….

            Well, let’s be fair. If the current system (government subsidies for private credit creation) wasn’t flawed (apparently inherently, given it’s intractability) then Casey and other peddlers could gain little traction.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          The value of this stupid metal is instrinsic to the extent you can prevent anyone from taking it from you. So — quelle surprise! — value reduces to a power relation. Exactly as with fiat.

  13. katiebird

    I am trying to untangle this article. It almost looks like there is some real, and totally new to me information.

    White House to Americans: Pay Astronomical Deductibles — Or Else

    Specifically this … Is it really a thing?:

    In an attempt to escape this “craziest system,” some consumers – especially lower-income workers – had tried a workaround authorized by Congress and exempted from insurance-coverage requirements more than a decade before Obamacare appeared on the horizon. Insurers have offered “fixed-benefit indemnity” plans for twenty years, which pay out set amounts for various events regardless of the actual costs incurred.

    1. diptherio

      Here’s the flipside:

      Judith Goss, 48, of Macomb, Mich., believed that the Cigna plan she obtained through her job at the Talbots retail chain was “some type of insurance that would cover something.” When the store she worked at closed in January 2011, she even paid $65 a month to keep the coverage through COBRA.

      “I was aware that it wasn’t a great plan, but I wasn’t concerned because I wasn’t sick,” she says. But in July 2011 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at which point the policy’s annual limits of $1,000 a year for outpatient treatment and $2,000 for hospitalization became a huge problem. Facing a $30,000 hospital bill, she delayed treatment. “Finally my surgeon said, ‘Judy, you can’t wait anymore.’ While I was waiting my tumor became larger. It was 3 centimeters when they found it and 9 centimeters when they took it out.” After a double mastectomy, radiation treatments, and reconstructive surgery, Goss is taking the drug tamoxifen to prevent recurrence.

      So yeah, it exists, but it won’t pay anything like the amounts needed for care at a US hospital. Another crap option. We need single-payer, like, yesterday.

      1. optimader

        What % of the voting public get this?;
        do they get it, but quietly think they are the exception (I’ve got mine); or
        do they just not care?

        Healthcare delivery as compromised by the insurance industry, which is inexorably tied to employer delivered plans (if you have a policy worth a sht) is IMO a huge parasitic drag on job mobility, as well small business ability to operate competitively w/ larger entities that have scale sufficient to carry (usable) insurance plans.

        1. zapster

          Oh, we get it. Single payer has had mass support since the 90’s. But the candidates we’re allowed to vote for (big sham there) refuse to discuss it.

  14. Roger Smith

    My original comment got stuck in moderation, but Zero Hedge has an interesting report on Clinton using a child actor of a Pennsylvanian Democrat as a plant ask a question at her town hall.

    Remember, Trump is Hitler.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It was the usual plant who happened to be an actress, but it was a child of a state senator. I would say it was an example of the typical poor staff work found so often in Clinton Inc, but they might not be able to find many willing plants for Hillary. Hillary has done this since 2007.

      1. Roger Smith

        Exactly, more of this “too many red flags to ignore” type of work they seem so good at doing. The half-assed Illuminati.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Hillary has done this since 2007


        I don’t think it’s so much poor staffwork, but staffwork done from inside the bubble. They’re so certain of their own moral superiority inside the bubble, they can’t see what people see outside the bubble. “Smug” is the vulgate for “Hubris.”

    2. Tom

      Saw this and was alarmed. Like they used to say on Madison Avenue: if the dog won’t eat the dog food, try putting a tapeworm in its gut and starving it for week.

  15. Jim Haygood

    From Michael Krieger — feel the johnson:

    The Libertarian vice presidential candidate, William F. Weld, said Tuesday that he plans to focus exclusively on blasting Donald Trump over the next five weeks, a strategic pivot aimed at denying Trump the White House and giving himself a key role in helping to rebuild the GOP.

    While Weld insisted he still supports Johnson, he said he is now interested primarily in blocking Trump from winning the presidency and then potentially working with longtime Republican leaders such as Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour to create a new path for the party after the election.

    Utterly delusional. The only thing you’re likely to build with obsolete has-beens like Romney and Barbour is new wave of funeral parlors.

    On the bright side, now we’ve got three status-quo sellout parties to despise: the DemonRats, the Rethuglicans, and the Hillibertarians. Efamol 2L

    1. sid_finster

      And that, ladies and gentletrolls, is why the Libertarian Party can’t have nice things.

    2. cwaltz

      Yeah Weld is a putz. His bio reads like a horror story.

      It’s kind of sad because Johnson and Stein teamed together for the debates and to help each other get on the ballot, so I was really hoping that he’d lean more Independent with his VP pick definitely not an Independent minded pick- more like a GOP minded – add an r to pick.

      Weld is

      1. Pat

        Once again politics as game play not policy priorities. Three of the candidates for President made their VP choices to appeal to the Republican Center (right right right) – Trump, Johnson and yes Clinton. Johnson and Clinton looked at the landscape and decided that half to 3/4 of Republicans were up for grabs with Trump as their nominee and have blatantly gone for it.

        1. cwaltz

          As usual, no one makes a play for the hippie population because it is just assumed that those dumb hippies are going to fall in line and vote for Clinton.

            1. cwaltz

              Everyone was, or should be, for peace( including conservatives.)

              War requires blood to be sacrificed and money to be spent. It’s a wasteful use of resources and should always be seen as a last resort.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                I’m amazed at the blood-thirstiness and warmongering of Clinton supporters I see on Facebook; we have to be “willing to use force,” and so forth. I suppose NPR has them really whipped up.

                It’s as if Iraq (and Afghanistan (and Libya)) weren’t all debacles.

                1. pretzelattack

                  well we have to stop assad’s invasion of syria. if he’s willing to invade his own country, we obviously are the next domino to fall.

          1. zapster

            It’s more like after 15 years of dem demographics being thrown off voter rolls, there’s no one left allowed to vote but Repugs.

    3. Daryl

      I think I’ve mentioned this before, but a lot of the Libertarian candidates that run in Texas are just people who lost in the Republican primary.

  16. PlutoniumKun

    Re: The Dreadful Chronology of Gaddafi’s Murder.

    That Chronology could go back even further. There were widespread rumours that when Gaddafi came to power in 1969 a deal had been done with a major US oil services company with Republican connections that it would be the sole company not to be nationalised. The US pointedly didn’t interfere with Libya until he was perceived as having gone too far in the 1980’s.

    The article goes a little too far I think in portraying Libya as a democracy. In reality, Gaddafi was an autocrat. A former colleague of mine who used to work for the Libyan government had hair raising stories to tell about what would be done to satisfy whims of Gaddafi – whims including demolishing huge areas of the city to create boulevards to protect his favourite views. But it certainly wasn’t as bad as some of the Gulf States.

    1. The Heretic

      Another question concerning the Coubterpunch article:
      The Dreadful Chronology of Gaddafi’s Murder Counterpunch (J-LS).

      First let me say that I was saddened when I heard that Libya had descended into civil war; I knew that Gadaffi was far from perfect, but I was astonished that a functioning and reasonably prosperous country could descend into hell so quickly. To those with much more intimate knowledge of Libya, I pose a question…what made the nation so vulnerable to civil war? I though that Libya had a decent history of peace and prosperity, and I was not aware of any acute nation problems prior to 2011. Did the rebellion and civil war enjoy a broad level of support among the population ? If they are broad based, what were the narratives/memes/ resentments of the different peoples and groups, making them vulnerable to violent idealogies or incitment to join the various rebel groups that ruined Libya? What lessons concerning the stability of nations and human nature should we distill from this tragic history?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’ll try an answer to that, even though I’m not an expert.

        Gadhafi was a bit of an eccentric, to put it mildly, but he did genuinely try to create a new type of country. While it wasn’t as democratic as that Counterpoint article claims, it did have a variety of democratic structures based on traditional tribal structures for administration. So by most measures, it was one of the more successful oil states when it came to sharing out the spoils and developing health and education. Not that there is a lot of competition for that.

        My understanding of the civil war is that it primarily came about through a historic split within the country (which like most of north Africa, is an entity that owes more to colonial administration than to ‘natural’ nations). Gadhafi had long used a sort of divide and rule strategy internally (in line of course with most Mid Eastern leaders) and used southern tribesmen as a sort of Pretorian Guard as he didn’t really trust most Arabic Libyans. He simply seems to have overplayed his hand in favouring his grouping of supporters, leading to a straightforward attempted coup. I don’t believe this was a grassroots rebellion (as the Syria civil war was originally), it was more a case of senior tribal leaders seeing an opportunity to grab the oil riches for themselves. I’ve no doubt there was also an element of outsiders stirring things up too.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Hilary made sure to bomb The Great Manmade River irrigation project, the largest public irrigation project in the world, to smithereens.
          Not quite sure how that plays into the narrative “oh oh let’s liberate Libya for the benefit of her citizens” narrative.
          Queen of War Scorched Earth 2.0 is more like it.

    2. barrisj

      Back in the days of Armand Hammer, Occidental Petroleum was a major player in the Libyan oil market, and had a long relationship with the Gaddafi regime, interrupted only by US sanctions. There was alwalys a whiff of bribery concerning Oxy’s operations there, especially concerning the Libyan Investment Authority, a Gaddafi family front organisation. But, then again, paying bribes are a way of life for Western oil cos. operating in the Middle East, n’est-ce pas?

  17. DanB

    The author, Stefan Berg, of the der Spiegel article, “Where Does theHate Come from?” has penned calumny about East Germans before. Three years ago he wrote, in der Spiegel, that those East Germans who continue to feel like former citizens of East Germany finally must realize that East Germany never “formally” existed -this is a Cold War and internecine East Vs West German cultural canard. Therefore, their feelings of East German identity are illegitimate and revanchist. He got an earful from former East Germans in the comments on this article. (I’ve just finished a book about East German intellectuals’ interpretations of the unification of Germany.)

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    “Hal (– BAH) Bites NSA”: Hal took physical documents home. I may be mistaken — I thought Snowden grabbed electronic documents. Why steal physical documents? If HAL were a spy wouldn’t he have access to a secret camera and spy code ring? How are the six classified documents related to “highly classified ‘source code’” Hal is alleged to have stolen? What classification level were the six documents? Strange their classification level wasn’t specifically mentioned. In DoD almost everything is classified. I had the impression NSA classified their toilet paper. What about: “Someone leaked news of the arrest to some of a who’s who list of NYT reporters” and apparently suggested to the reporters that the FBI had found their “Shadow Brokers culprit”? How fortuitous that Hal works for BAH the same firm where Snowden worked. This whole business has a bad stench about it.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    When the dragon rolls over…

    In the book, The Troubled Empire, the author talks about the Nine Sloughs – natural disasters like droughts, famines, etc – during the Yuan and Ming dynasties, which always were associated with dragon sightings.

  20. allan

    The man who signed the laws making the Bush tax cuts permanent writes in The Economist:

    …A major source of the recent productivity slowdown has been a shortfall of public and private investment caused, in part, by a hangover from the financial crisis. But it has also been caused by self-imposed constraints: an anti-tax ideology that rejects virtually all sources of new public funding; a fixation on deficits at the expense of the deferred maintenance bills we are passing to our children, particularly for infrastructure; and a political system so partisan that previously bipartisan ideas like bridge and airport upgrades are nonstarters….

    Didn’t he ever hear that government has to tighten it’s belt, j
    ust like the folks sitting around the family kitchen table or something?
    Oh wait, he was the one who used those tired cliches to push austerity-light.

    1. Pat

      Maybe I’ve just allowed it to drop through the sieve, but I don’t remember the legacy fluffing being this overwhelming before the President is out of office ever before.

      The desire to rewrite history is strong in this one, I wonder why. (rhetorical)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Shrub was so certain of his place in a divine plan he relied on the belief history would vindicate him. Bill had Hillary and Al to pimp his legacy and that end of history garbage. Reagan had 41 and wasn’t all their then had alzheimers on top of being a dolt.

        Carter lost. Nixon resigned. LBJ couldn’t deny Vietnam. Kennedy died. Ike wanted to stick it to Truman and was the Supreme Allied Commander. It’s like being Grant. Who cares?

        With Obama, every candidate was inherently an anti Obama candidate, even O’Malley as a governor (where are Obama’s congressional successors? He has none). I expect Bill’s ACA tirade was only an opening act of a blame Obama strategy for misleading Democrats.

      2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

        I don’t think I can tolerate much more legacy-gilding. Each attempt is more nauseating than the previous. And I agree that it seems to be more overwhelming this time than at any previous time I can remember.

  21. alex morfesis

    Ie Trump tax write offs…no interest in disagreeing with the tax goddess behind the taxnotes piece that I have not read…but the article talks of $hillary and the claim the 2002 act was to close off that loophole ??

    hold on…just a moment…

    sorry…i fell off the barstool laffing…

    the 2002 law was designed to help those corporations who now had competition from the little people…remember…this was a piss ant company the Gitlitz case…

    Technical Advisory Memo 94-23003 ( Feb. 28, 1994)

    Technical Advisory Memo 95-41006 ( July 5, 1995)

    the 2002 law gave corporations a temporary 5 year carryback on taxes…all those folks on the sillyCone Coast who had their taxable events with those stock options worth a ton in 1998-1999 and worth nothing the day after the world found out that dumb and dumber (bush and gore) were going to be the nominees in march of 2000 (the madoff index…oops sorry…the nasdaq index peaked and crashed as soon as bradley and mccain were blocked)

    again…I love the tax goddess to death…but having hugged a few of the more interesting real estate tax lawyers in nyc many moons ago…my thoughts go in a bit of another direction…

    the question that drumpf does not want anyone to ask is how much is enough…

    many real estate operators of consequence take the position the tax code is a cheap and easy form of capital…and as long as one has plausible deniability as to “intent”, large penalties can be mitigated and five or ten years down the road, one can “finally” agree to stop (and make the IRS collecting agent look good) by saying, ok…you got me…but I need a payment plan to pay you back…say…8 years or so..??

    I fear he took the 2002 change and tried to double down…had taken the 1995 Gitlitz breaks and then moved for (and probably) got a tax refund on any payouts or taxable events from 1998 forward…an attempt at a double dip…for a person desperate for cash and capital flows as trump has been…

    trump was paying 8 to 14% because mister market was not really a big fan and considered his activities very high risk and highly speculative…

    borrowing from the guvmint at irs rates was a discount to him…

    thats my theory and i’m stickin 2 it…

    till proven otherwise…

    or at least when I learn to finally play the guitar…

    1. Jim Haygood

      … or bang them bongos like a chimpanzee [“Money for Nothing” reference]

      Say buddy … can you spare me a non-recourse loan for a cuppa coffee? ;-)

  22. The Heretic

    Concerning the article:

    Does anyone know how long before the Carbon capture plant ‘fills up’ up the reservoir and is no longer able to capture anymore CO2? When one considera the respective density of oil (973kg/m^3) and CO2 aprox 198 kg/m^3 ( at 1470 psia ( note atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psia), my suspicion is that the plant might not operate for too long. The key number to calculate is how much CO2 per day is expelled by the plant to generate 240MW output power.

    I will post an engineering estimate of the possible operating duration latter, assuming a 60 million barrel carbon capture volume and 240 MW plant output power operating at 30% plant efficiency. Anyone question my parameter assumptions?

    1. optimader

      and CO2 aprox 198 kg/m^3
      Just looking at this quickly, I think your density assumption for CO2 is off an order of magnitude?

      If you take a peek at the CO2 phase diagram, 1470 psia (~101 bar) and 304 K (~87F), is well into the liquid phase for CO2 which would therefore exist as a liquid, (in fact supercritical liquid), so figure a density of 1,101 kg/m3

      As Cry Shop pointed out, CO2 is a quite effective solvent under those conditions. –Supercritical CO2, not just for coffee decaffeination anymore!

      1. The Heretic

        Do they inject the CO2 at the supercritical temperature and pressure? Getting CO2 to supercritical is very expensive energy and machinerey wise.

        Thanks for the correction on CO2 at 100 atm… i should check a thermodynamic chart first

      2. The Heretic

        Anyone have a guess at what the temperature of the oil reservoir might be? A super solvent would mix with any liquids in the reservoir and quickly attain the reservoir temperature.

        So the max amount CO2 storage possible could be guessed at as the volume held (oil barrels pumped out) multiplied by the density of CO2 based on the maximum design pump pressure and reservoir temperature.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Human age limit…

    They looked at Japan, the UK, France and America, in the second part of the article, regarding the maximum reported age of death.

    There has been any war in those nations in the last 50 years or more. Going forward, with GMO foods, global warming, environmental degradation, neoliberal health care, etc, will we actually see the expected life span and (if wealth and wealth-related health inequality decouples them, then it will not be ‘and,’ but ‘or’) maximum reported age of death decline?

    By the way, the effectiveness of caloric restriction in lifespan-extending is questioned by some, according to the author of the linked article.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In China, they burn paper money for the dead to use in their world.

        (No gold standard in that world, I guess).

  24. Oregoncharles

    “Civil Forfeiture: Legalized Government Robbery Reader Supported News (RR)”
    In Oregon, an initiative ended this practice. It was very popular – conservatives don’t like theft, either. I don’t suppose it protects us from FEDERAL forfeiture, but I’m not hearing about that; the state law may inhibit federal abuse.
    Initiative petitions aren’t easy to get on the ballot, but this one is very easy to pass. About half of states have the initiative power, one of the Progressive era reforms.

  25. Oregoncharles

    “Granite is still the most popular kitchen counter”
    Stainless steel is hard to beat; that’s why it’s used in all commercial kitchens. Ours are just sheet metal wrapped around plywood, so they “pop” when they get hot, but they’re still a blessing. You might be able to get used commercial counters cut to fit. Don’t forget the back splash – we did, and are still working on that.
    Granite is pretty, and has a hard polished surface that’s hard to scratch and easy to clean up. A cheap version is concrete, ground off for a terrazzo look, and sealed. Not fashionable, but surprisingly attractive.

  26. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Deutsche Bank
    Yves correctly points out that they are not Lehman. But Lehman was a symptom, not the disease itself, and a large flare-up of symptoms can shake the global investor hive-mind into reacting.
    And in the arm wrestling around Apple and the fines, we shouldn’t imagine that Treasury is acting in the international or even the national interest, if they can take out a competitor of their Wall St paymasters, they will, regardless of the consequences for markets and economies. Kind of like Hank Paulsen and Goldman and Lehman.

  27. robnume

    Re: Target plans for vertical farming in-store: As soon as I saw the headline I just knew that this would have something to do with my “favorite” unlimited funds available .gov credit card holder, Musk. No one is as competent at the “bezzle” as this guy and apparently his brother(s), who’ve trained at his teat. Well done, .gov.

  28. Plenue

    >May’s challenge to Marxism Stumbling and Mumbling

    “There are two answers here.”

    I like how the idea that Marx could have simply been wrong and was just dictating, theology style, that certain things were true that might not necessarily reflect reality, isn’t an option.

    Marxism really does appear to just be a cult a lot of the time.

  29. ewmayer

    o World’s Largest Carbon-Capture Plant to Open Soon Scientific American. “The captured carbon dioxide is pumped 82 miles to the West Ranch oil field in Jackson County, Texas, where drillers inject it into depleted wells, squeezing out the stubborn bits of crude oil that remain after the reservoir is tapped, in a process called enhanced oil recovery (EOR).” — And how much methane gets released via this procedure? Lemme guess: “more than enough to offset the effects of the CO2 sequestration in atmospheric-warming terms.” What do I win?

  30. Synapsid


    The CO2 comes out with the oil and natural gas (NG–methane.) Oil wells produce NG as well or, depending on proportions, NG wells produce some oil.

    NG that comes out of an oil well is collected because it can be sold if there is a market and infrastructure to get it to the market; if it can’t be sold it’s flared, burned to CO2 and water, a process that has a significant climatic footprint, or re-injected for further EOR. Other gases that come out with the NG, including the CO2 used for EOR, are likewise collected, many of them used in the manufacture of plastics and other products while the CO2 can be re-injected for further EOR as well.

    The US is one of the better countries as regards reducing flaring of NG (look at night-time satellite images of Siberia and Nigeria some time) and improving but there’s a long way to go. A great deal of NG is lost from commercial distribution systems to and within cities–the systems that carry the NG to homes and to commercial users. Many of those distribution networks, especially in the Northeast, are decades or even generations old and in poor shape. This is a problem that needs more attention than it’s been getting.

    1. ewmayer

      I’m sure the well operators collect whatever they can of the CH4 comes out the borehole, but similarly to the distribution networks you mention, all this is quite ‘leaky’. Look at the recent massive methane leak in SoCal. Plus, reinjection of CO2 under pressure at scale sounds not dissimilar to the kind of thing that goes on in hydraulic fracturing. We know that fracking disturbs the geology to an extent that can and does cause major earthquakes. You go and mess with formerly stable reservoirs in a way that fractures the containing rock strata, you are making the geology much more porous to gas seepage. My point is, it’s very easy to envision high-pressure CO2 injection causing enough CH4 leakage to more than offset the greenhouse-reducing effects of the CO2 sequestration.

  31. Plenue

    “Russian air defense system crews are unlikely to have time to determine in a ‘straight line’ the exact flight paths of missiles and then who the warheads belong to. And all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality,” Konashenkov added.

    I think he just admitted that the Russians know stealth is a load of crap.

    1. BecauseTradition

      I can’t see how stealth could work with look-down radar since the stealth plane would appear to be a moving shadow with respect to the ground.

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