Links 1/4/17

Close-Up Portraits of Birds Shot in a Photographer’s Backyard Colossal (resilc)

Last endangered Mexican porpoises to be rounded up by US Navy-trained dolphins Guardian

One Man’s Quest to Change the Way We Die New York Times

A massive volcano is rumbling…right under one of Italy’s biggest cities: Report CNBC (Robert H)

Metior passes behind Turrialba volcano YouTube. Robert H: “The volcano has been in a low level eruption for a few months.”

This map of 30 years of car crashes should persuade you not to drive in snow Vox. Easy to say if you don’t live in the Upper Midwest or the non-coastal parts of New England.

Koolova Ransomware Decrypts for Free if you Read Two Articles about Ransomware Bleeping Computer. Chuck L: “Perhaps too IT-centric for NC but it pegged my weirdness meter.”

Holy Cow: Amazon’s Plan for Flying Warehouses Core77 (resilc)

Our Unfortunate Annual Tradition: A Look At What Should Have Entered The Public Domain, But Didn’t TechDirt (Chuck L)

What the tech industry can learn from pharma trials Financial Times (David L)

The War on Cash

Dirty Money Scientific American

Bitcoin passes $1,000 but only number that matters is zero Financial Times


A human rights activist, a secret prison and a tale from Xi Jinping’s new China Guardian (Tom H)


Sir Ivan Rogers quits: Britain’s EU ambassador attacks ‘muddled’ thinking over Brexit in scathing resignation letter Independent

Sir Ivan Rogers’ sudden departure is a hit to Theresa May’s Brexit plans Guardian

Big loss to the upcoming #Brexit negotiations. Not many Brits know the ins and outs of Brussels better than Sir Ivan. @aledwwilliams

A real loss that UKs most EU experienced diplomat leaves the stage before negotiations begin.What did #May do to try and keep him? Nothing? @catherinemep

London-based regulator for EU drugs fears staff exodus Financial Times

Finland introduces basic income for unemployed Aljazeera (margarita). Note this is a workaround to address disincentives in the Finnish social safety system.

Colombia – Inviting NATO to Fight “Organized Crime” – A Menace for Latin America Vineyard of the Saker (Chuck L). Talk about mission creep, on multiple fronts.

Millennial princes snatch at power in Gulf Reuters (resilc)

New Cold War

Trump twits Obama’s bogus bear trap Indian Punchline (margarita). From last week, but some interesting observations.

Hypocrisy Over Alleged Russian ‘Hacking’ ConsortiumNews (Sid S)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is 1,000% certain hacked emails didn’t come from Russia Business Insider (David L)

WaPo Finally Does Something Responsible: New, Separate Story Saying No Russian Hack of Electrical Grid Washington’s Blog. As John Helmer pointed out via e-mail:

Still mealy mouthed, with repeater Goebbo-chestnuts like: “associated by authorities with the Russian hacking operation that infiltrated the Democratic Party”; “Grizzly Steppe, which U.S. officials have identified as the [sic] Russian hacking operation”; “overly broad information to companies that was not effective in isolating Russian government hacking”, and “We know the Russians are a highly capable adversary who conduct technical operations in a manner intended to blend into legitimate traffic,” the official said”, plus the prior story links.

This Vermont version is sourced properly at Burlington, with genuine names and ranks, and the story line is important — the utility has an entirely different assessment of what happened from the anonymous “government officials”: — and it has this line: “Lunderville [Burlington] said The Post didn’t make an effort to contact Burlington Electric until 10 minutes after publishing its story”, which WaPo continues to dispute. The “correction” at the tail is a cute joke, too.

Washington Post Admits “Russian Government Hackers do not Appear to have Targeted Vermont Utility” Michael Shedlock (EM)

Trump Transition

Trump’s Miniature Jobs Strategy New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump Puts Auto Makers, Trade Policy in Spotlight Wall Street Journal

Ford cancels plans for Mexico plant, expresses ‘vote of confidence’ in Trump The Hill (furzy)

Mnuchin Declines Reply to Brown’s Letter Before Panel Review Bloomberg

Bill and Hillary Clinton Will Attend the Trump Inauguration New York Magazine (resilc)

Mark Zuckerberg’s 2017 plan to visit all US states hints at political ambitions Guardian. Kill me now.

Senate Moves to Dismantle Health Law Wall Street Journal

Democrats talk up the one Trump nomination they can torpedo Politico. The other one at risk is Tillerson since Dems and Cold Warriors might team up.

Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Accused of “Widespread Misconduct” in Leaked Memo David Dayen, Intercept. Mnuchin is one of the worst Trump picks (not qualified on top of past corruption) but he is almost certain to be approved.

New Republican Congress reverses ethics move after outcry BBC

House GOP Gives Staff Broader New Powers to Grill Witnesses Bloomberg

Megyn Kelly’s Big Mistake Politico

Black Injustice Tipping Point

North Carolina officer caught on video slamming female student to ground Guardian

The Trump Rally May Be Over Come Inauguration Day Bloomberg

U.S. Quietly Drops Bombshell: Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure Wall Street on Parade

The Fallout From Madoff’s Fraud Includes an Ironic Twist for Investors Bloomberg (Li)

Equifax and TransUnion fined for deceptive credit score practices Financial Times


Class Warfare

Airbnb faces $400m lost bookings in London crackdown Financial Times. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

‘Routine’ Jobs Are Disappearing Wall Street Journal

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Teddy

    Re: Dirty Money
    It’s truly reaching the heights of absurdity. There is some circumstantial evidence that may suggest banknotes act as vector of transmission of bacterial diseases, and even if it’s true there are known remedies (like introducing polymer banknotes)… but nope, let’s just usher an era of unescapable mass surveillance and rent exctraction.

    1. MtnLife

      A UV light in every cash drawer is far preferable to the surveillance and rent extraction. Let’s go that route.

    2. Pat

      So is anyone bringing up how easy it is going to be for use of cards to transmit disease? Not like people don’t touch their cards and the card readers. And even if they take care not to touch the card reader and to clean their card regularly, transmission from card reader to card is still going to take place.

      IOW, not only is an absurd premise, the solution is no solution.

      1. cnchal

        So is anyone bringing up how easy it is going to be for use of cards to transmit disease?

        That will be the excuse to make iris scans mandatory. Keypads have cooties.

      2. Praedor

        (Sick) people still touch/use doorknobs, light switches, countertops. I daresay more people are sickened via such vectors of mucus than banknotes.

        (Sick) people ride on buses, trains, and airliners. You are far more likely to get ill exposed to that than to banknotes.

        I’ll keep my anonymous banknotes, thank you. Only way I’d go along with paperless/cashless money is if there’s truly ANONYMOUS e-money cards other than private Visa, Mastercard, etc. A card as free of a trail as cash has. Of course, the only way to get something like that is to pay for it with…CASH in the first place.

        1. different clue

          There will be people who store enough thousands of dollars cash to be able to spend cash with people who take cash for this or that, regardless of cash’s legal status. The government will call such transactions “black market”, but the cash spenders-takers will call such transactions the Patriot Cash Freedom Market.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Gyms are a huge disease vector, in particular free weights. So is Scientific American going to recommend against exercise save the solitary kinds, like running?

          1. Inode_buddha

            IIRC the 1984 edition of the Book of Lists determined that by the time you drink an 8-oz glass of water, it has already passed through 50,000 fishes bladders since the time of Christ, on the average.

            I’m not too worried about it.

            No matter hwere you are on Planet Earth every breath of air you take has zillions of microorganisms in it, with the possible exceptions of the clean rooms at IBM R&D labs.

    3. flora

      and what about library books??? especially books from the childrens’ libraries??? germ vectors, I tell ya! Ban libraries! Ban children books! /end snark

      1. craazyboy

        Doorknobs! I just realized doorknobs could be a problem too. I suggest everyone use a handkerchief when turning a doorknob.

        However, please don’t sneeze into your $20 bills. That is gross. If you must sneeze into a $20 bill, then take the $20 bill to your bank. They know how to safely destroy the money.

        1. fresno dan

          January 4, 2017 at 10:25 am

          Soooo, your going to use your booger vault? Microbiologists call handkerchiefs cootie vectors. Much, much better just to kick in doors. Most interior air is too stale anyway….

        2. clinical wasteman

          They Destroy it in order to Save it!
          But the “payments industry” (stop now and read that phrase back over again) isn’t really so fond of contact-contaminated cards either — to the point that we lucky translators of Visa Europe’s press cuttings are specifically forbidden to call Visa a “credit card company”! — and doorknobs (I’m not making this up) are high on their hit list too. The trade journals of Visa, Mastercard et al and their “technology* partners” — Samsung, Google, but especially Eurobiometrics speculators like Ingenico and Atos — want all payment to be “contactless” and “mobile” (wave a phone somewhere near a POS terminal and we’ll deduct the rest) for obvious data concentration reasons, but it doesn’t stop there: sooner or later no self-respecting (AI bots have great Self-Esteem) SmartHome will be disfigured by a filthy doorknob, because your fingerprint/iris/voice/selfie-authenticated phone will be the only thing that opens doors. Philip K. Dick may or may not have been joking in Ubik about the apartment door that wouldn’t let the tenant out because his credit was low, and admittedly I haven’t seen that proposed yet, but as soon as it’s denied we’ll know it’s coming.
          Anyway, point was: as the payments industrialists never tire of lamenting, the only obstacle to this wavy new world is a lack of “financial education” among low-end Bartleby types who “would prefer not to” and thus suffer self-inflicted “financial exclusion” or even remain “unbanked”. So until the “industry” gets the chance to unleash Narendra Modi on our collective Arsch**, “cash is dirty” stories serve an obvious purpose.
          *Is anyone else perpetually annoyed by the way “technology”/”tech” is allowed to mean consumer gadgets and related software exclusively? So that the speculative Teletubbies who invented “Candy Crush” are “tech entrepreneurs” but, say, Samsung’s shipbuilding company has nothing to do with its “tech portfolio”?
          **It might have come sooner, without even waiting for Modi, but Payments Innovators still find that it’s harder to snort coke through an iPhone than through a banknote. Only a minor hiccup though: Samsung, LG and others say they’re working on ultra-thin, “foldable” cellphones that roll up like paper, polymer or (though they forgot to mention it) blunt skins.

          1. Ohnoyoucantdothat

            Been seeing ads on Russian TV lately for just that concept. Hold smartphone by POS terminal to record purchase. Think it’s for ATM card but not sure. Tinkhoff Bank I believe. Wonder how much transaction costs and how secure. Uses Bluetooth I would guess so possible to snoop connection. I sure wouldn’t trust it.

        1. Praedor

          Wallow in it. It helps to make your immune system stronger.

          Hygiene Hypothesis.

          People who stay away from “dirt” and are simply too clean in their homes and lives have more allergies and are prone to more autoimmune disorders. You need to WALLOW in the wide world of microbial life to be healthy and immune to it.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Not a farm, but as kids we used to spend much of our time literally playing in the dirt: digging holes, throwing it at each other. Mother used to make us strip and hose us down before she’d let us in the house (summer, of course, and there was an enclosed yard for this.)
            I have minimal allergies, but some of my siblings have terrible ones.

            And my son, who also played in the dirt, had a life-threatening autoimmune disease. Maybe you can’t win.

        2. polecat

          Ah … yesss … another ‘Expert Professor’ instilling, in his gullible students, ‘his’ version of the ‘CON’ …

          F#ck these supposed ‘experts’ …

          Status … Shills … All ….. and one wonders why the public distrusts the ‘science community’….. !

        3. Jen

          One of the revered microbe nerds in my neck of the woods refers to it as a fecal sheen. Appetizing, no? Speaking of which, restaurant menus! Now there’s a germ vector for you.

          1. polecat

            Gotta hold those menus in the light, just right …. to catch the movement ..

            Then there’s the ‘stickyness’ factor … kinda like that scene in Prometheus, where the android David is noting the ‘organics’ on his fingers that he just previously touched from that oozing alien ‘vial’ … you just never know whose been fingering it ..

    4. fresno dan

      January 4, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Being a microbiologist, I am willing, for a nominal undisclosed and subject to change at my whim fee, willing to disinfect your money…nay, everybody on earth’s money. Please send it to me, I’ll disinfect it, and eventually send it back.***

      I an willing to do this service for the good of the public health. I am willing to do all this work cause I just love disinfecting….
      From now on, just call me altruisticfresnodan…..

      ***subject to incomprehensible caveats and disclaimers, no warranties and/or covenant made or implied, and illegal in Rhode Island.

        1. Rhondda

          Ding! Bizniz oppty. Some rinkydink uv-light-container-thingamabob >>>>
          MoneyLaundry™ – clean money, clean hands!
          As seen on TV. Just $29.99 plus shipping.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe you set up a corporation on tax-free Mars.

        Get the cheap aliens there to do the disinfecting.

        1. juliania

          There woz a US Postal employee who rejected my elderly expired MVD ID as identification proving that I was me in order to write a check for two books of stamps (I was completely out). I pondered the matter and came back to earn her increasing ire by proffering my voter ID and medicare card to prove that I was me and had not expired – yet. Needless to say, no deal. Because, no picture.

          It was the last straw for said postal employee when I finally twigged that I did have a five dollar bill in my purse and could use that to get a few forever stamps, (though how many my elderly brain could not compute.) I stood in line for the third time.

          This was far too much for said lady. When I reached her brandishing my fiver, she must have seen it as the attack she reported to the store manager (no relation to USPS and a very nice man. ) She refused me service, even before I could wave said fiver under her nose to accomplish my nefarious plan. The polite store manager (no relation to USPS) directed me to the neighboring UPS office where I was able to purchase eight Peanuts stamps not available at USPS. I guess UPS wasn’t aware of the threat I posed.

          As was not I. Thanks, folk, for enlightening me.

    5. Katharine

      It’s the people who obsessively avoid all germs who have lousy immune systems. Yes, I know that’s gross oversimplification, but really! If you’re worried about the money you handle, you can imitate the hairdresser I knew half a century ago who charged $4 and routinely washed the older bills she received. If you mistrust washing, iron them. Surely few disease organisms can withstand that much heat. But this nonsense of proposing radical “remedies” for everybody on such scant evidence is plain silly.

    6. B1whois

      And here I thought exposure to everyday germs built up resistance. That must have been a lie told by the ruskies

    7. BecauseTradition

      let’s just usher an era of unescapable mass surveillance and rent exctraction. Teddy

      Otoh, physical fiat facilitates the avoidance of negative interest on fiat. But negative interest* on fiat is needed to make less negative to 0% yeilding sovereign debt attractive by comparison. And less negative to 0% yeilding sovereign debt is needed to provide proper assets to the central bank so that it may retain its credibility wrt inflation fighting but WITHOUT providing welfare proportional to wealth.

      So limits on physical fiat are needed to avoid welfare proportional to wealth and, of course, we should all be able to avoid rent extraction by private depository institutions via accounts of our own, alongside their’s, at the central bank itself.

      *With a, say, $250,000 US individual citizen exemption since SOME risk-free liquidity/savings is legitimate.

    1. skippy

      Mark Zuckerburg finds huge profits and political leverage in nailing himself to a cross….. naw….

      disheveled… not that embracing the ultimate expression of the surveillance state would give him pause….

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I hope he does make a run for president, it will be fun watching him crash and burn.

      Although I’ve no doubt that various ‘consultants’ running from the sinking Clinton ship will see him as a cash cow to see them through the next 4 years.

    3. fresno dan

      Christopher Fay
      January 4, 2017 at 7:30 am

      FROM the article:
      “Zuck was born into a Jewish family, but began “questioning” his faith as he grew older.

      But when one of the tech mogul’s fans asked if he was an atheist, he responded: “No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.”

      It is unclear which religion the tech mogul has decided to join.”
      I imagine both….don’t want to leave out any voters…. of course, depending on the number of Asian immigrants, maybe the big Zuck would add Buddhism…..with three, he would have the added benefit of believing in the trinity….

        1. Annotherone

          Paraphrasing Samuel Johnson/Ralph Waldo Emerson:
          The louder he talked of his religion, the faster we counted our spoons

          1. fresno dan

            January 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

            Great, great quote!!!
            Updated for the modern early: The more the big Zuck talked of the public weal, the more I counted my bits and bytes every time I left Facef*ck

        2. alex morfesis

          Zuckr has written a technology book, “mammonetics”
          soon to be a major religious something…OG-8(digitz)

          All followers will be named zuckrz

          Pronounced zookyrz for the new double-hilarity

      1. ambrit

        “…which religion the tech mogul has decided to join.”
        Uh, I thought that Z and his “friends” were like the Scientologists; they think that they are demi-gods themselves. So, that quote should be, “…it is unclear who will join the Tech Mogul religion.”

      2. LifelongLib

        There’s an interview with Noam Chomsky where he talks about his grandfather, who was a devout Orthodox Jew. Chomsky says that traditional Judaism is a religion of practice, not belief [“faith”]. His grandfather observed the practices (prayers etc), but Chomsky never asked him if he believed what he was saying because that wasn’t what the religion was. It looks as though it’s quite possible (and not uncommon?) to be both a religious Jew and a philosophical atheist.

        1. UserFriendly

          I think I started in that phase. When I first heard Jesus ‘walked on water’ I responded with “Oh, like a cartoon.” There was no persuading me otherwise.

    4. vidimi

      this. yesterday it was his damascene conversion, today is his trip across all US states. zuck must have taken a page out of trump’s book, because he clearly ain’t doing subtle.

      unlucky for him people, though they may not be smart, have good instincts and the hairs on the backs of their necks stand when in the presence of a snake. his trustiness numbers will be even lower than hillary’s.

      looks like the dem part in 2020 will be quite the shit show.

      1. ambrit

        Considering how Trump might be splitting the Republican Party over the next few years, this looks like it will be an equal opportunity “Fecal Fiesta” in 2020.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          They are tribal though. Zuckerberg is just an Internet billionaire who would run on once borrowing code for a “hot or not” website. He won’t have nostalgia, relevant tokenism, and Hillary was already the revenge candidate from the 90’s. He gives money for access, but other than that. Doesn’t Ari Fleischer work for him?

          The Democratic break down right now is entirely about shirking accountability for backing Hillary.

        2. different clue

          If the Lefties can’t conquer and occupy and purge and disinfect the DemParty, they may as well leave it, either for nothing or for something else. Perhaps many something elses for the many flavors of Leftie.

          I hope some people would call themselves New Deal Reactionaries and start a New Deal Party.

    5. Optimader

      Ok lets see the imagery on the burned bagel that converted him! (file under: acknowledged Atheists are unelectable)

        1. polecat

          How ’bout Mookbook ?? … you know, as in ‘the mook’ …. like a gangster !

          …. seems fitting to me anyway ….

          1. Vatch

            I think the point is to change “Facebook” to “[Deity]book”, now that Mark Zuckerberg has got religion.

    6. reslez

      Zuckerberg is one of those people with what the Germans call a punchable face. I’ve loathed him and his worthless surveillance site since the days when it excluded everyone but Ivy League students. He’s basically Steve Jobs without the vision or moral scruples — and Jobs established new lows in that area — a version who shivved his Wozniak in the back and cut him out of an ownership stake. He deserves to fall on his face, but I’d prefer he just shut up and spend his scammed billions quietly, lest something happen to them….

      The king of failed charter schools gives a chunk of his fortune to a private company he controls and calls it a charity, then goes on a fifty state tour and has a Damascus conversion? I’m with Yves: Kill me now.

  2. Maurice Hebert

    I caught wind of this piece in a breathless NPR interview yesterday.
    The NPR hostess has a nice radio voice but seemed bereft of intelligence.

    It seemed obvious to me that a college town would do well comparable to non-college towns due to the influx of student loan money. All the other explanations seemed to be hand-waving.

    Contrast with:

    Fisk seems a mere outlier with the chronic, dire financial troubles of HBCUs generally.

    1. Slick

      Respectfully, I disagree. I have lived in Chapel Hill and Durham North Carolina for the last 20 years. College towns get the new economy much better than the manufacturing town where I was raised. They understand an intellectual economy and a service economy much better. We have thriving farmers markets, local restaurants (chains have trouble here), technology, and the arts much better than where I was raised.

      The mountain community where I was grew up was flush with good furniture and textile jobs when I was a child in the 70’s. To the point of being almost affluent. When those jobs left in the 80’s, the place went into a tailspin and never recovered. Now, they produce some of the best meth in the USA now (so I hear), and their anger and deep conservatism is more steadfast and unwavering than anywhere else I know of. The place is broken, filled with pissed-off people who hate themselves only slightly less than all foreigners, ethnic groups, educated people ect.

      The Universities here bring youth, optimism, innovation, and bold thinking to the area and while the college loans might be a minuscule part of that, they certainly are not what caused a 20+ year boom here.

      1. skippy

        Funny I thought it was just the wads of mommy and daddy’s money spent into the local economy that made it better….

        disheveled…. the gentrification of Boulder Co was unbearable and yes parents funded their kids entrepreneur start ups with the help of networks…

        1. Slick

          Skippy, we have 2 million + in my area, and 33,000 college students. But go ahead and keep telling yourself it’s mom and dad’s money.

          1. sleepy

            I’m not sure I would characterize an urban area of 2 million with 33,000 students as a college town, though Its economy may owe a lot to the presence of a university.

          2. skippy

            I’m not “telling” you Slick, I’m passing on first hand observations from the inside, not to mention the FIFO sorts working for the C-corps or as consultants nationally [mostly west side in this instance]. The VoM and its distributional vectors is what matters here, not population ratios imo.

            Disheveled…. having just exited Manhattan Bch Calif a few years previously, for the same reasons, its was quite the experience to be engulfed in the early 90s economic refugee overflow from all the PE and M&A creative destruction and consolidation and mini IT boom…. now Google is setting up shop with one of its campuses….

            1. Optimader

              What isthe economic multiplier for 33k students x~$100k/yr on the “college town” portion of a 2M pop metro area?
              Id guess pretty salubrious effects

              1. skippy

                When dad has a few 100M or a billion, along with established business networks and dear old son sees a sweet RE or other venture…. its a huge multiplier.

                Something about MMT saying too much money chasing to few goods thingy, multiplied by almost 500 billionaires and C-corps pig wrestling in the exchanges and markets…. does venturi effect cover this… as applied like a blow torch to the peasantry – ????

                disheveled…. and some wonder why CB can’t get a handle on things…. out gunned like the cops in L.A. once upon a time…

          3. ocop

            Lumping the greater Raleigh-Durham metro area into a “college town” is disingenuous. The economic success of the Triangle is driven by the tech sector/RTP corporations.
            If college towns (properly sized i.e. Chapel Hill) are more successful its because of the influx of mommy and daddy’s money and the proximity of wealthy alumni.

            On a state and regional scale the Big Lie is that this sort of high tech economic success is the result of “youthful energy” and “innovation”. It is in fact driven by conscious investment and economic development policy enacted and maintained over multiple decades. State politics matter. Unfortunately after 15 years of increasingly poor leadership, things could be getting dicier. But once upon a time things apparently worked:

            Beginning in the late 1950’s and 1960’s North Carolina leadership began to shift policy to focus economic development on higher skilled, higher wage labor and technologically advanced industries This was fueled in part by a desire to increase wages and per capita income, and in part by recognition that technological innovation and global competition would in time reduce the demand for labor intensive, lower skill production. State policy focused both on attracting new high skill high technology industries, and on stimulating the internal growth of emerging sectors including information technology and biotechnology. In the 1990’s North Carolina also increased its use of business incentives to attract more investment.

            By the end of the 20th century, North Carolina had dramatically transformed its economy again, transitioning from the Big Three (textiles, furniture, and tobacco) to the Big Five (technology, pharmaceuticals, banking, food processing, and vehicle parts). (See Walden) Wages and skill levels rose accordingly. State per capita income climbed to 89% of the U.S.

            An unintended consequence on this transformation was the greater concentration of investment and employment in urban areas, with the loss of jobs and incomes in smaller towns and rural areas. This generated place-based economic development policies beginning in the 1980s designed to spread the growing prosperity to rural and small town North Carolina.


            In all fairness that quote probably misses the cause and effect relationship behind the loss of textile jobs. But either way, “college towns” as a economic development mechanism aren’t a transferable or even real solution. It’s a distraction from what actually needs to be done.

            1. B1whois

              Your discussion of research triangle combined with an awareness of political hard ball played by state republicans brings me to this question : Is this just coincidence or is there a linkage between industry churn and extreme politics? Ot these particular industries? What are relevant similarities to Wisconsin?

            2. Slick

              The colleges pre-date the park by a couple hundred years. RTP is here because of the universities.

              Not trying to defend the college/industrial complex. BUT, if you think the economy is the same in college towns as it is in other places, you are either blind, stupid, or stilted in your perspective. It is not the same.

              BUT, don’t listen to me, just look at the numbers. If you don’t like it, take your cynicism, and live somewhere else. We’ll be okay without you.

              1. witters

                That is a rather ugly response. I live and work in a “university town”. It ain’t the richest town around here. So perhaps we are not OK without you?

      2. ambrit

        From the perspective of a much smaller regional college town, the phenomenon known as “town and gown” affects local politics and events mightily. Financially, the State College here is the “Big Dog” on the porch. But, and it’s a big bit, all that college oriented money mainly benefits local rentiers, and not to such a big degree as one would expect. These middle of the road students spend much, if not most of their money on school oriented ‘things.’ Textbooks are outrageously expensive, rents are high, upper class “entertainment” is prohibitively priced, and lower skilled employment options are very much lower priced due to the glut of well educated “part time” students available. There is a big difference between seeing a low paid job as a source of needed rent and food money and seeing such jobs as disposable tools for the acquisition of “peripherals,” say, alcohol and cannabis.
        The denizens of your mountain community are right to be pissed off. They have had a cruel trick played on them. First, they were beguiled into “buying in to” an upwards striving ideology. If you worked hard and kept your nose clean, you could achieve a nice standard if living. Then, the resources that fueled that growing, not only standard of living, but self worth, were pulled away so that some shadowy owners could make even more money for themselves. Suddenly, the resources are gone, but the ideology remains. Now the locals have been taught to despise themselves.
        The college towns are another example of a cruel trick being played. If all the upwards striving and actions of the region surrounding the colleges are dependent on those colleges and students spending some of their money in that region, what will happen when the money runs out? My reasoning is that, what is going on with the student loan bubble is a classic Ponzi scheme. More money is bubbled up from out of the aether, let us call it Zero Point Money, until the human population reaches some breaking point. Then the “value” of the ZPM is reset. The bubble bursts, the last solvent ‘investor’ in the Ponzi scheme is reached. The surrounding economy that relied on this supposedly endless supply of disposable income comes screeching to a halt. Resets occur everywhere. The first items to go will be those things deemed as secondary to bare bones survival; mid level eateries, small entertainment venues, and in general, most any “bold thinking” that was being experimented with. Anything of a “bold” nature is usually viewed as non essential. This is when exclusionism and ‘gated’ enclaves come into their own. Town and Gown will become the norm, not an aberration.
        Every “boom” has it’s matching “bust.”
        Living in a college town is definitely a mixed blessing.

        1. fresno dan

          January 4, 2017 at 8:40 am

          “They have had a cruel trick played on them. First, they were beguiled into “buying in to” an upwards striving ideology. If you worked hard and kept your nose clean, you could achieve a nice standard if living. Then, the resources that fueled that growing, not only standard of living, but self worth, were pulled away so that some shadowy owners could make even more money for themselves. Suddenly, the resources are gone, but the ideology remains.”
          Thanks for that.

          Law is tip of the iceberg.

        2. Marco

          Thanks ambrit. And thank you Slick for the perfect pitch and tone emblematic of the credentialed class where MORE EDUCATION is the answer to everything that ails our country. I certainly don’t dispute the fact that most college towns are great places to live (providing mommy and daddy or uncle sam are paying the bills) but a rentier-based education micro-economy does not a healthy template make for the rest of the country.

          1. craazyboy

            In America, college is the place you go to get a high school education. Ya’d think if they were serious about education, they’d take a look at the German system.

            1. ambrit

              Yep. My Dad graduated from the equivalent of High School in England in the Fifties when he was sixteen. Everyone graduated at that age then. He knew calculus and spherical trig and could write concise and entertaining prose. He wasn’t an outlier, just above average a bit. Unlike here and now, he then became an apprentice at a technical firm and learned the nuts and bolts of his chosen field “on the job.” Today, a lot of college is just a glorified apprenticeship program, that the student has to pay for, not the business. Talk about offshoring costs!

              1. Optimader

                I think I knew some of that stuff, and how to roll a perfect joint with a gumless rolling paper!

                1. ambrit

                  Ooooh! Someone who remembers the old Job papers!
                  I had a bud who would do the one hand roll while driving. Then he’d light up, while driving. He’d scare the s— out of the rest of us sometimes. Using cannabis while operating motor vehicles is appropriately prohibited.

                  1. UserFriendly

                    My dad does that…. Well, minus the driving now, but he used to, or so he says anyways..

              2. Lambert Strether

                I read British railroading magazines, where a lot of the content is generated by diamond geezers reminiscing about their days in the footplate in the age of steam. Most of them working class. All of them competent writers (“write concise and entertaining prose”) with distinctive voices (so you can tell it’s not today’s editors cleaning it up). Same with British model railroading magazines.

                Agnology, sigh…

                1. ambrit

                  Funny how most of those well educated furriners can speak pretty good English, while us Nortenyos, well. (Sorry, no tilde key.)

                  1. Optimader

                    English, spanish a little HS French – Getman and you can travel most parts of the world i have any interest in.
                    I did take a year of Japanese language as an adult (28!) yrs ago for grins, so i can hack away at that like a blunt instrument. Always good to have some badic local language content toat leadt demonstrate some respect for the place you are intruding.

            2. polecat

              All I got for these bullshit education rents was this stupid T-shirt with a Common Core math problem printed all around the waste ! …’;[

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I am for moving, say, UCLA to Palmdale to rejuvenate that town.

            And like college towns, government towns can be antidotes too. Let’s move the White House to Fargo, Dakota.

            1. polecat

              …. If the move is replete with complimentary wood-chippers stationed at every entrance …. then it’s all good ! …. ‘;]

          3. Slick

            Marco, guess I am the strawman you were looking for. Thanks for letting me fill in. The progressive politics that come with a college town are (IMHO) much more responsible for the successful economy, than education, in college towns. Again, instead of looking at the numbers or the on-the-ground business, you can fight the STRAWMAN you have created. But please keep on with your anger, cynicism, and silly perspective that moms and dads from elsewhere are somehow funding profitable college towns across the country to spite the “real people” like yourself.

        3. Bunk McNulty

          I live in Northampton, Massachusetts, the epicenter of Lesbian education. You’d be surprised how many Smith grads actually end up living here. Take a walk down Main Street and you’ll find many, many businesses owned and operated by Smithies. Yes, of course there are town and gown issues–there’s even a name for it: Noho (gown + anyone who didn’t grow up here, including me) vs. Hamp (town natives). Nonetheless, I have the impression that a lot of money stays here.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            A lot depends on whether the town has other attractions that make people want to live and invest there. Back in the 1950’s and 60’s in the UK it was part of regional economic policy to put big third level institutions in small fading towns – hence you have quite big universities in towns like Bangor or Aberystwyth in Wales. The towns have benefited from the money, but even half a century later neither place has had much spin-off investment, they are both still poor and run-down towns, just with far more pubs and cafes than they’d have otherwise.

            I think there can be quite a random element too. In England, Cambridge has a much bigger associated high tech spin-off industry in its surrounding region associated with its University than Oxford. I’ve no idea why that should be as both universities are more or less equally respected in science. Its maybe something to do with proximity to London and airports (Cambridge being marginally closer and having Stansted on its doorstep).

            1. B1whois

              I grew up in Gainesville Florida and lived for 30 years near Davis California. I think the main difference between the two college towns is that one is near a major city (Davis/Sacramento) and the other is surrounded by rural poverty. So which would you rather invest in?

            2. reslez

              Cambridge has a much bigger associated high tech spin-off industry in its surrounding region associated with its University than Oxford. I’ve no idea why that should be as both universities are more or less equally respected in science.

              It’s probably related to the Cambridge Science Park, the first in the UK, which was established in 1970. It usually takes deliberate action and investment to drive these sorts of things.

          2. Liberal Mole

            I know an artist who managed to buy and pay for a house in the Northampton area by renting out bedrooms to college students over many years. Northampton has lovely shops, restaurants, and galleries, which make it a pleasant place to live or visit, even if you are not involved in education. Where the money comes from, I do not know. It seems to me to be a kind of arty commune inter-mixed with Scarsdale money.

      3. Benedict@Large

        Any local economy is a box, with money flowing into it and money flowing out of it. If the amount of money flowing into that box exceeds the amount of money flowing out of it, the box is getting richer. If the amount of money flowing out of that box exceeds the amount of money flowing into it, the box is getting poorer.

        This is why I break out laughing when some Republican says, “Well, you can’t just throw money at it and expect things to get better.” Well, uh, actually, yes, you can.

        1. ambrit

          I agree, with the observation that who “catches” the air delivered money is even more important. As has been mentioned everywhere that adjacent brain cells share a cup of Soma, there is a level where, once reached, excess capital accumulation is of no appreciable benefit.

      4. Michael

        That is exactly reversed. It’s the massive college loan subsidy that provides space for folks to make and do. The schools are good because the tax base is there, which makes the place attractive for strivers (who like colleges anyway).

        It’s not a bad model at all, but let’s not get stupid.

    2. Lambert Strether

      So, in the same way that the 90% of the population should all become artisanal pickle makers, so 90% of towns should become college towns.

      I wish there were a Thomas Frank takedown of this. I live in a college town, too. In fact, one way that the University of Maine assures its survival is by setting up campuses all over the state, which are politically hard to uproot (leaving aside any other justifications). And there are a lot more towns in Maine than can ever become college towns.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > It seemed obvious to me that a college town would do well comparable to non-college towns due to the influx of student loan money. All the other explanations seemed to be hand-waving.

      There’s also the influx of money to build the facilities. In my college town, the university has increased enrollment but hasn’t increased the number of dorms. So private equity comes in and builds what are in essence gated multi-unit housing for the students. Of course, the construction is crap — the kitchen fans in one complex consistently set off fire alarms (and I pay for the trucks to go out) — and there are other problems, like drunken revelry (and I pay for the policing, which isn’t done elsewhere in the town). And of course all the profit goes out of state. The other consequence is that the business model of paying for your heating bill for your big house by taking in a student isn’t so viable any more. One could argue that it’s all good for the students, but I’m not sure it is. Dorms would be better for them, I think, assuming that the goal of a college education is an education, not partying.

  3. Clive

    Re: Equifax and TransUnion fined for deceptive credit score practices

    The CFPB’s ruling is encouraging but it’s still a rear-guard action and we’ll need to see a lot more of this kind of thing if I’m to believe that the tide is turning against what is basically a scam — “we’ll maintain data on you, data which is of great importance to your financial security, career and even used as a basis for law enforcement profiling, that data may or may not be correct but we’ll charge you for the privilege of seeing it”. As a business model, it is effective i.e. the scam is convincing enough to sucker in quite a lot of unwary punters. But the more successful the likes of Equifax are in charging us for our own information (albeit with a dubious “value-add” of their customised interpretation of it), the more will be encouraged to do similar. Not least because, as per the FT piece, TransUnion fleeced service users out of as much as $200 p.a.

    I can’t believe that Facebook, LinkedIn etc. aren’t thinking the same thoughts as the credit reference agencies.

    The CFPB should have outlawed all such practices and forced the credit reference agencies to make all information they have, plus their decisioning logic in how they determine the credit (e.g. FICO) score, available to those they hold such data on for a nominal charge.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Equifax and TransUnion fined for deceptive credit score practices” — this headline made me laugh. Like dogs defecating on the pavement, it just happens every day.

      Charming that the FT renders the plural of bureau as the Gallic bureaux.

    2. fresno dan

      January 4, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Back when I used to believe in capitalism, part of the Bullsh*t was about for it to work how TRANSPARENT (interesting how they use another word for TRUTHFUL) pricing is and what the firm actually does and what you are actually paying for.

      And as I already said in another comment before I read yours, everyone should always remember that credit rating are NOT a reflection of how timely your payments are, its how profitable you are to lenders – – it is NOT the same thing.

      “I can’t believe that Facebook, LinkedIn etc. aren’t thinking the same thoughts as the credit reference agencies.”
      I assume they are ALREADY selling your info to various businesses, including credit agencies. I assume the only question is, is there more profit at acceptable risk to just cut out the middleman….

    3. alex morfesis

      Fico score is easy enough…living near david duke supporters gives you an extra 150 points…beacon and fico were the new red lining when cra enforcement by a small cadre of individuals and groups who would not accept photo op checks to go away forced the banks to slip in the new drug to cover the red lining…as fresno dan points out below, it is the wimp score…if you dare not pay a phony bill you will pay a price with your credit score getting hit by having unregulated “collection” firms place the same unpaid and disputed debt multiple times on an area that previuosly was verboten…no question these credit scores are racist…have kept in touch with many of the folks who surived their foreclosure attempts…the white folks with the bigger and still outstanding debts have 800+ scores…the non white folks, still stuck in 600 ville despite having cleaner histories these last 3+ years…

      Beacon score is an equifax product

      It is what it is…and has always been…

  4. Christopher Fay

    We’re going to have to trademark our own data on everything, our earnings, our health.

    1. philnc

      Property rights to data about you. Enforced by something like the compulsory license for recordings under copyright: a statutory royalty paid to the subject of a particular datum every time it is collected or transferred. Say maybe $1 per transaction*. We’d need an agency like an ASCAP for consumers to keep track of it all. Probably best organized as a co-op, to preclude its turning on its clients.

      *To those who think that’s too high I’d say we really need to put the failed strategy of pre-emtively negotiating against ourselves behind us.

  5. scott 2

    I think the Trump nomination of Tillerson and Mattis were a probe of public opinion and a way to identify potential enemies within his own party. Perhaps he has two more moderate picks waiting quietly….In the end Trump will have this chip in his pocket for later use.

    1. John k

      Fossil will get behind tillerson, and lots of bucks plus lots of political pull. he will be approved.

  6. Linda

    Not having an FT sub, I looked elsewhere for the story on Equifax and TransUnion. Here is a bit for others interested.

    LA Times

    The bureaus will pay penalties of $23.1 million as part of a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which said the firms misled consumers into paying for credit scores that might be dramatically different from the scores used by lenders.

    Mortgage lenders, credit card companies and others generally use the ubiquitous FICO score, calculated by San Jose firm Fair Isaac Corp. But the CFPB alleged that TransUnion and Equifax sold customers their own in-house scores and improperly implied that those were the scores lenders check.

    WSJ – subscription

    The CFPB also accused Equifax of offering a free credit-score trial and TransUnion of offering a similar trial for $1 after which the companies would automatically enroll the consumer into a subscription once the trial ended. The result was that consumers who didn’t cancel their subscription during the trial period were then charged a recurring fee, typically $16 or more a month, the CFPB said.

    The CFPB estimates about 700,000 consumers had enrolled in TransUnion’s trial subscription then canceled it within two billing cycles but didn’t get a refund.

    [Experian was not charged.]

    1. fresno dan

      January 4, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Thanks for that !!! I don’t have a FT subscription either.
      If everything isn’t a grift, it sure is d*mn close…

      AND AGAIN, always remember that credit scores are a tool to reflect how PROFITABLE you are to lenders. It has little to do with how timely your payments are (My credit score is not as high as possible even though I have NEVER actually missed a payment for anything, but because I use so little credit)

      1. Linda

        You’re welcome, fresno dan.

        From the Fear Sells dept. I signed up for Experian’s monitoring of my credit files. Was offered it for free for a year or two as compensation after a data breach somewhere, and continued it after the free offer.

        It’s $49/year IIRC. I don’t know if it is really worth it, but it is reassuring to get an email every month usually saying “There have been no changes to your credit files.” They include Equifax and TransUnion. There have been a couple of times when someone peeked into my files and I was notified of that as well.

        Very off topic: I noticed I wrote “an FT” and you wrote “a FT.”

        Wanted to mention that I read FT as Eff Tee, therefore it’s an Eff Tee. You read FT as Financial Times, so it’s a Financial Times. Obviously I think I am correct! :) ;)

        1. fresno dan

          January 4, 2017 at 9:59 am

          More detail on this important story

          ” In their investigation, the Bureau found that the two agencies had been misrepresenting the scores provided to consumers, telling them that the score reports they received were the same reports that lenders and businesses received, when, in fact, they were not. The investigation also found problems with the way the agencies advertised their products, using promotions that suggested that their credit reports were either free or cost only $1. According to the CFPB the agencies did not properly disclose that after a trial of seven to 30 days, individuals would be enrolled in a full-price subscription, which could total $16 or more per month. The Bureau also found Equifax to be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which states that the agencies must provide one free report every 12 months made available at a central site. Before viewing their free report, consumers were forced to view advertisements for Equifax, which is prohibited by law. ”

          I was actually gonna comment on getting a free credit report, and what a scam I found it to be (with so many come ons for signing up that I gave up in frustration at ACTUALLY getting the “free” credit report.) But I was too lazy.
          And this happened to me years ago – it just shows how slow enforcement is.
          And again, if everything in America is not a grift, than 99% is. Note the advertised price of 1$ to hide the ongoing 16$ MONTHLY charges, a scam I see at least a few times a week now.

  7. craazyman

    Wow. I thought close up portraits of birds shot in a photographers back yard would be macabre photos of dead birds whacked by some neighborhood sicko with a gun.

    I thought “WTF?” Is this like portraits of roadkill animals.

    Maybe “Close Up Portraits of Birds Feeding in a Photographers Backyard” would be better. LOL.

    1. Vatch

      LOL! At first I thought the same thing! Then I realized that “shot” has multiple meanings, and in this case, the benign meaning is used. Those are some really nice pictures of living birds dining on seeds. Yum!

    2. vidimi

      lol. i didn’t think of that until you brought it up. i had (correctly, as it turns out) guessed that the past participle shot complemented the word portraits and not birds, but you are right that the framing is ambiguous.

    3. craazyman

      This one had Richard Smith’s invisible signature all over it. I hope his wife recovered from the Scottish dependency vote. You can’t have a whole country turn into a trailer park without somebody responsible in charge. hahahaha. Sorry I’m at least half Scottish by background so I can say things like this. But it was a long time ago. Although the influence is still there. LOL

  8. Steve H.

    : Megyn Kelly’s Big Mistake

    Wow, you got me to read Politico and they come up with this:

    – But how much of Kelly’s appeal is hers and how much of it derives from having O’Reilly as her lead-in? A turnip could get good ratings if it had a Fox show following Papa Bear’s.

    A Turnip? They are likening Megyn Kelly to a Turnip? Did they not see her reduce Donna Brazile to babbling about ‘As a Christian woman I understand persecution…”? Thank you for re-exposing me to the paternalistic pablum that Politico proliferates. Sort of like a quick booster inoculation.

    1. craazyman

      You’ll go a lot easier on yourself if you just watch math lectures on YouTube.

      Then head over to the music videos.

      Why would you read somebody’s total nonsense and waste your time getting angry? All people do is encourage these doofusses when they read their shlt and talk about it. haha

      1. Steve H.

        Well, I won’t go back to Politico for as long as I can remember to. But craazyman, Kelly carves up her victims with mathematical precision while showing a hot smirk as fully engaging as a music video, so best of both worlds there. Anyone who sits down with her better be ready.

        As another strong, smart woman said, “I hate to be mean but you asked for it.”

    2. fresno dan

      Steve H.
      January 4, 2017 at 8:46 am

      I heartily dislike Kelly. To the extent anyone gives her credit for taking on Trump by asking RELEVANT questions, that turned around right quick. So she is the smartest by far of the FOX commentators (she at least gives the illusion that she is considering alternate opinions and giving her guests the chance to respond, but she always follows the MEMO) but that is a low, low bar – I would even say subterranean…

      But even with the understanding that these million dollar entertainment bots spew what they’re bosses want them to spew, I will be curious to see how Megyn “evolves.” Has NBC seen the light and wants some of that red country advertising revenue? Yeah. I imagine they think Megyn is a red stater that can make inroads into that audience without going full Hannity…..

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I would say the republicans already have their outlets and could care less about Kelly. Why watch conservative diatribes on NBC affiliates when my remote switches between conservative diatribes on Fox and CBS procedurals so easily. Except for Democrats who are outraged the left recognizes them for what they are, Kelly won’t do much except annoy Maddow and produce a meme about blond news and brunette news.

        Besides isn’t it time for a newer model at Fox anyway?

        1. fresno dan

          January 4, 2017 at 9:52 am

          I am just waiting for NBC to say “fair and balanced” – I suspect this is just something that NBC is doing to say that have a documented “conservative” on their network more for debating points than adding audience share. But I think your exactly right – I don’t think Kelly really has coattails.

          To me, the question is, how much of Red states and “establishment” republicanism actually coincide?
          There has always been this assumption that there is a high degree of coincidence, and I think Trump demolished that.

          If FOX says believing Assange is the “conservative” thing to do, will this hold? Is this JUST because of Hillary hackgate, or will it extent to Russia “detente” as well? Is FOX a repub (Ailes) network (fervently anti Russia), or a Trump network (Russia no big whoop)? I am sure FOX will try to be both as long as possible.

          So NotTimothyGeithner: Do you thing there will come a time that there really is a true, open, acknowledged split between establishment repubs and Trump repubs??? Or will congressional repubs just do what they want but talk like they follow Trump?
          (if such comes to pass, I imagine “show me the money” Murdoch goes with Trump)

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The split is very real. RINOs has been in use for years. Trump is a third actor in this. There is Trump, the Tea Party element (one doesn’t have to be a Tea Partier), and traditional Republicans.

            Shrub covered the split because he came from the reformed drunks and black sheeps and the blue bloods. The subsequent GOP races have been battles between the Tea Party element and the Carlyle Group. The backbenchers are closer to the ground Republicans than they are to the Hampton Republicans. The back benches don’t have strong leadership. Ryan is too stupid and too closely resembles some kind of reptile to challenge Trump or the GOP elite.

            Hillary and the msm probably helped wed Trump and GOP voters. I’m not certain the back benchers love Trump as Trump probably isn’t hawkish or right wing enough but “deplorables” changed Trump’s standing with the voters. Many Republicans denounced Trump in the last months when everyone predicted a glorious coronation for Frau Hillary and then had to apologize. Election losers don’t get cushy jobs especially if one is on the President’s enemies list. I don’t see Trump falling in the eyes of GOP voters for some time. Trump can blame the long term rot and the Republican elites for a while. The back benchers are too weak to challenge Trump and can’t align with the Kennebunkport Republicans.

          1. aab

            The idea of watching the two of them — whether it’s awkward and uncomfortable, or EVEN BETTER authentically collegial — is almost (not quite, but almost) enough to get me to turn on MSNBC.

            This has been SUCH a clarifying year.

      2. Steve H.

        Don’t forget her mocking Karl Rove for his Ohio meltdown four years ago. I see her as sharp, with a shark’s nose for blood. Once she came out against Ailes, he was gone, and then she dumped Fox, which had tolerated and encouraged Ailes for years.

        Point is, she is very capable as exposing bs, regardless of affiliation. Please let me know if she was lobbing softballs in an interview, and I’ll change my opinion. But to date, my cases are multiple times of her making powerful people very uncomfortable, and I consider that to be a good thing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          So the history of racism and working for FoxNews isn’t a concern? Is it really important non white children worship a “white santa”?

          Her questioning of Trump was an inter elite fight. She isn’t speak in truth to power.

          Just because she tangently came into contact with decent people doesn’t excuse her career.

          I know it’s Amanda Marcotte, and I can’t wait to read her justification column in the coming days.

          1. Steve H.

            NTG, I followed up some examples, and she does tactically use baiting questions to get people off-balance.

            However, “Santa is white” ain’t none of that. So thanks for the lead.

          2. polecat

            ” Is it really important non white children worship a “white santa”? ”

            No, of course not ! …. What those hip-hoppin youngins should be worried about is meeting-up with a switch-welding northeastern ‘slavic’ Krampus. carrying a really BIG basket ! .. ‘;]

            But then, you’d never hear FoxNews proclaiming a war on Krampus, because they have no Idea that the tales of St. K originate with German, and I dare say, Russian, cultures of old …

    3. Pat

      The whole article can be boiled down to “Kelly’s success has nothing to do with Kelly and no one wants her for herself because she is not that good. She is stupid to think otherwise and I’m going to enjoy her crashing and failing.” Not dismissing that misogyny is a big contributor to the denial and jealousy the writer is displaying, but to me the subtext of that article is “why her, not me!”

  9. Jim Haygood

    Why exactly do the Clintons want to attend Trump’s inauguration?

    Is it to endorse the reassuring rhythm of the eight-year alternation now inscribed in the constitution by Amendment XXII?

    Or is it rather to seize one last gasp of publicity to stanch the dwindling income of their faux charity?

    Just one humble request to the royal couple: please, please don’t wear that appalling saturated purple of 9 Nov 2016, forever hence to be known as Hillary Evacuation Day (yes, that’s a double entendre). Good taste warning — Banzai7 graphic not suitable for all audiences:

    1. Anne

      Well, the simple answer is that Bill is a former president, and traditionally, all former presidents are invited to presidential inaugurations. Carter’s going, George W. Bush is going; George H. W. is staying home – he’s 92, I think, and hasn’t been in the best of health.

      The more complicated answer is that we know that he and Hillary are damned if they go and damned if they don’t. From an etiquette and tradition perspective, it is the gracious and mannerly thing to do. It’s about protocol, the way things are done. To not go, or to go without Hillary, is to make the day about them, and really, it shouldn’t be about them, even if we do just want them to go the fk away.

      Not that the media will be able to refrain from making it about the Clintons whenever and wherever they can, zooming in to catch every eye-twitch, disdainful sniff and less-than-polite applause, but the Clintons are used to showing up and taking whatever the media dishes out, so it won’t be anything new for them. Maybe Bill will say, as he seems to be increasingly less circumspect in his comments, that as a former president, he always attends state funerals, er, inaugurations, and we will see the first president tweeting his outrage with the hand that’s on the bible.

      As tempting as it would be to watch to see if something unusual happens, I think I will pass.

      1. Katharine

        >Carter’s going, George W. Bush is going; George H. W. is staying home – he’s 92, I think, and hasn’t been in the best of health.

        Health makes a good excuse; even when it’s true, it’s one of those things for which you may well give thanks. Carter, also 92, seems to have come back remarkably from his earlier health problems but must still feel his age some. His willingness to attend looks like old-fashioned courtesy to me.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For many weeks, Carter was only ex-president to say he would go, and it seemed to be more than courtesy, but a symbolic statement for peaceful, or at least tranquil, transition of power.

          1. Rhondda

            Yes, that struck me as well. They’ve opened up a can of crazy; maybe they’re walking that back from the precipice. Well, one can hope.

      2. Lambert Strether

        The thing is, after yammering about fascism, and crying “Treason!”, and #NotMyPresident, and Trump is normalizing this and that, and all the rest of is… And then to attend his inauguration?

        Meaning: (a) Trump is not, in fact, a fascist; (b) Trump is not, in fact, a traitor; (c) Trump is, in fact, their President, exactly as much as Bush II was, anyhow, and (d) Trump is, in fact, perfectly normal (and after Reagan it’s hard to argue anything else).

        Thing is, you can’t deploy memes like “Fascist!” in a campaign and then say “Never mind!” and put them back in the box after. Because if Trump is a fascist, you should look, and should long have looked, for approaches other than attending his inaugural. In fact, you have duty to do so.

        I well remember the blogosphere’s critique of Bush II as a fascist, based primarily on his warrantless surveillance program as well as Cheney’s theory of the unitary executive, in 2003 – 2006. I believed it was well thought out then, and I believe that now. Then in 2006 Pelosi immediately took impeachment off the table and, at least among career progressives, the whole critique died as if it had never been.

    2. Gareth

      So the Clintons will normalize the Trump presidency by attending the inauguration and the next thing you know they’ll be knocking back vodka with Putin. Where will the treason end?

    3. jawbone

      There were lots of mainly intense purple hats, etc., with gold trim at the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop.

      I wondered if it were significant…or some company’s colors?

      1. Rhondda

        All the women’s clothes co.s that send me email come-ons– purple, purple, PURPLE.

        To mock Scooter Libby in his letter to Judy Miller while in jail:
        The Aspens, they turn….even the smallest rootlets.

        Gah! That merits another beer.
        Yes, I know, I quit drinking beer.

    4. River

      Bill wants to pull a Kanye. “Yo, Donald, I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but Hillary has the best policies for America.”

    5. Dave

      “please don’t wear that appalling saturated purple of 9 Nov 2016”

      “I love you, you love me, my name is Barney, the purple DINOsaur. ”

      Too bad it’s not Bernie getting sworn in.

  10. fresno dan

    When Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was shown a copy of Trump’s tweet during a television interview, he said Trump was “being really dumb.”

    “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this. … From what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them.”

    Meanwhile, on FOX, HANNITY who once called for the arrest of Assange (well, that’s better than Bob Beckel who wanted Assange assassinated….) was now lionizing the guy. ASTOUNDING.

    I have to say, I am surprised, albeit, it is still early, to the extent Trump is willing to continue to take on the intelligent apparatus. AMAZING
    So, at least on Russian hacking, who dispels least fake news, FOX, or WP, NYT, & CNN and the associated bunch?
    “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
    Isn’t the dems the bunch going on and on and on about civilian control of the military, and that is why Trump shouldn’t appoint too many (retired) generals??? I guess we shouldn’t have civilian control of the CIA cause….they can really getcha…..

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

      Just like he did when bill clinton called obamacare a “crazy” system, I’m sure Trump will remind chuck and the rest of the nation, more than once, of how the “intelligence community” responds to challenges to its authority should it try to “get back at him” for criticism.

      If that was some sort of threat, chuck might want to reconsider continuing to remind people that in the “intelligence” bag of tricks, most of those tricks are dirty. And flat out lies.

      1. Pat

        So the intelligence community saying ‘this was always the day of the briefing.” If there was a place I could bet, I would be doubling down on a wager that sometime in the next 24 hours we get confirmation that this is bull.

        I will say it is nice that Chuckie is admitting that the intelligence community has him tied up in knots and he jumps to their will. Except we have no journalists, the obvious followup to that was how long have they scared the crap out of you and doesn’t that make you useless in the oversight department? And if anyone has figured out that people are not as stupid as they have been made out to be, the intelligence community might be pissed at that one as well.

        1. fresno dan

          January 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

          ” Except we have no journalists, the obvious followup to that was how long have they scared the crap out of you and doesn’t that make you useless in the oversight department? ”

          Endless loop fresnodan: its the OBVIOUS questions NOT asked that make our journalism so, so sh*tty
          So that was taking place on MSNBC, so even though I didn’t see it, I’m sure Maddow is in the group-think clique of “Liberals” that now adores the noble, courageous truth tellers at the CIA…and NO question that upsets that NARRATIVE can EVER be ventured….

          Sooooo….question of the day: Whose hypocrisy is worse, Hannity and his ilk who now think Assange is indispensable to truth and freedom, or Maddow and her ilk who think the CIA is indispensable to truth and freedom???

          1. Rhondda

            Having participated in such things — not teevee or NYT-level “artisanal narratives” (h/t Nomi Prins), but marketing groups that set strategy, create editorial calendars and the like — I imagine there’s some sort of stakeholder inclusivity process — at all levels — such that ‘folks’ like Maddow feel like they help set the narrative — aka creating “buy-in” or “alignment”.

      2. a different chris

        Trump is one of the select group, maybe even first among equals, of NYC real estate players. The “intelligence” community is way, way out of it’s depth here when it comes to these kind of games. :)

        Note already how his boorish personal behavior in the primaries and general has made him immune to any of the standard “mama clutch your pearls” attacks. If he had lost then that might well have been the reason, but since he won then that stuff is neutralized.

        So the “deep state” will either have to shoot him, support him, or have their noses rubbed in their own poop.

        1. fresno dan

          a different chris
          January 4, 2017 at 1:31 pm

          “Note already how his boorish personal behavior in the primaries and general has made him immune to any of the standard “mama clutch your pearls” attacks.”

          You are so, so right! You know, there are so many “politically correct” things, not left, but just “truths” that are obviously wrong, but BIZARRELY accepted as “true” – its really incredible. Trump was willing to challenge that phrase “Bush kept us safe”

          Trump can say, ‘ how much do we spend on the CIA and NSA, and a guy who declared war on us was able to bring down the World Trade tower? And these smart guys got WMD wrong in Iraq – and you want me to believe the CIA instead of Assange??? ‘

    2. Oregoncharles

      It’s astonishing to me that they’re willing to take him on like this, since in just 17 days he’ll be their boss. It’s reaching the point the “intelligence” community’s only option is to kill him – and wouldn’t the brown stuff just hit the fan if that happened?

      I think I’m worried about this.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think you should be. I just looked up Claus von Stauffenberg for a reason…. It’s a logical progression. It would be irresponsible to speculate that some large fraction of those +39 net favorable on the CIA Clinton voters, however unconsciously, have some outcome like that in mind…

  11. Jim Haygood

    Getting outta dodge:

    United Van Lines reported Tuesday that nearly two-thirds of the moves involving New York households were outbound, a higher proportion than any other state except New Jersey and Illinois.

    The 2016 National Movers Study by Fenton, Mo.- based United also found that almost 59 percent of the moves within the eastern United States were outbound.

    Where were people moving? Mostly to western states and the Carolinas, with one exception. That exception was Vermont, which ranked second on the list of states with the highest proportion — 67 percent — of inbound moves.

    South Dakota had the highest share of inbound moves, at 68 percent. New Jersey and Illinois, like New York, saw outbound moves making up 63 percent of all moves.

    Folks apparently don’t like living in frigid tax hells — especially failing states like NJ and IL, where it’s stone obvious that they’re going to have to crank taxes till the pips squeak to fund their busted, looted pensions.

    1. vidimi

      i know of zero people who have moved because of income taxes. i know of lots of people who have moved because of jobs. i can see moving because of capital gains taxes but good riddance.

      1. Dave

        Don’t know where you live, but the reserved parking places at the San Francisco Opera parking garage, labeled by family name, on opening night, sure contain a lot of cars with Nevada license plates.

        Could it be that our wealthy don’t want to pay that 6% California income tax? Is that worth using a small ski condo on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe as your residence address?

        Sure would like to see these people lose their Proposition 13 property tax reduction based on where they “claim” they live. They all have generations old family mansions in San Francisco, plus properties in the Wine Country. All covered by a property tax exemption meant to protect old people from being priced out of their modest homes.
        Don’t get me started on the corporate and investor owned properties being covered by the same exemptions. Somehow corporate buyouts and takeovers don’t trigger a reassessment.

        1. aab

          I believe Disneyland is covered by Prop. 13.

          Today’s reminder that California is a one party state, with the Democratic Party overwhelmingly dominant at the state level. California is a showcase for Democratic governance. And in addition to our many other problems, we can’t even get Prop 13 changed to force the Disney company to pay tax on its many, many properties based on their current value.

  12. a different chris

    I hate these people (“Trumps Miniature Jobs Strategy):

    >and a cynical exploitation of public misapprehensions about how the economy works at worst

    Because Mr. Kilgore who writes about stuff does know how it works, but us stupid rubes who actually manufacture things do not. Oh wait, he doesn’t:

    >Lord only knows what kind of concealed price down the road.

    Yeah might be a lot, might be zero, might be “negative” — that is, we profit by keeping this core of jobs/manufacturing knowledge here. Ed doesn’t know so therefore these micro-moves (which are much more a statement of direction rather than having any real effect on our 14 trillion dollar economy) are bad.

    Again, keep your freaking powder dry. Carrier is way, way to small to help or hurt the economy, but it’s good optics for Trump. What does Mr. Kilgore think he is accomplishing here except to make himself ignorable?

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the Vox article on snow crashes:

    There are a few surprising places in the Southwest — like Coconino County, Arizona, and McKinley County, New Mexico — where accidents are also higher than average, suggesting an unfamiliarity with driving in winter weather.

    Uh, no. Acela corridor journos wouldn’t know that Flagstaff in Coconino County gets over 100 inches of snow a year — about the same as notoriously snowy Buffalo, New York.

    Stop lecturing the Deplorables.

    1. Pat

      Let me second that. Driving in bad weather is part of growing up in NM. No McKinley and Gallup doesn’t get regular snowfall of several feet at a time like Flagstaff, what it does have however is an alcohol problem. NM itself has a huge substance abuse problem led by alcohol and a whole lot of deaths that can be attributed to alcohol not just auto accidents. Still McKinley is one of the two counties that has a really interesting pattern, almost bipolar. People either drink a lot or not at all. I cannot be sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me if driver intoxication was involved in many of the snow accidents.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Having grown up in Lea County NM, I can attest to the bipolar aspect.
        You either drank beer/wine or you drank whiskey.

      2. barefoot charley

        Old friend from western South Dakota used to say folks did one of two things in his home town, either “bang the bible or hit the bottle.” Ouch.

    2. Carolinian

      Flagstaff elevation 6909 ft…..also adjacent large extinct volcano known as the San Francisco Peaks, elevation 12,633 ft.

    3. reslez

      “It’s no different than taking shelter from the tornado; staying home might save your life,” said Black.

      Try telling that to countless mini tyrant-bosses who order their employees to commute to work or lose their jobs, no matter the road conditions. I agree with Jim — stop lecturing the Deplorables.

    4. bob

      I’m in that snow belt.

      This just north of here, today/upcoming-

      Just to point out- The scale on that map is 0-50″. 50 Inches. Some spots have over 12 feet so far this year. The NWS radar in Montague, NY is worth checking over the next few days-

      I just saw it’s down now, maybe it got snowed in?

      I’d much rather be near people who do it more often. While living near boston I had to see a few big storms there. They were completely outclassed. No idea what to do. The large SUV’s could still manage to GO well, thanks to 4 wheel drive, but stopping proved much harder.

      1. bob

        Wow, just noticed the name of the author of that vox story-

        Updated by Sarah Frostenson

        How can you argue with Ms. Frostenson about snow? She’s very clearly a born authority.

        I’d also argue that most “crashes” happen where it’s between snow and rain. Lots of snow- not that bad. You can bounce off snowbanks. Ice- very bad.

      2. bob

        “The type of winter precipitation (snowfall versus freezing rain, ice pellets, or sleet) had no bearing on the increased likelihood of an accident, but evening hours experienced a greater rate of accidents than other times of day.”

        Water cooling at night, on a road, equals Ice. People underestimate how both the sun, and more relevant- traffic, heat up roads during the day. Snow removal counts on this a ton. It’s much easier to melt it to water and let the water run away. If there’s standing water when temps dip again, ice.

  14. Vatch

    Mnuchin is one of the worst Trump picks (not qualified on top of past corruption) but he is almost certain to be approved.

    He will be approved if not enough people protest to their Senators. He still might be approved even if there’s an uproar, but there’s a chance he’ll be rejected. When a street light is out, some people don’t call the city office because they assume that someone else will do it. But if everyone assumes that someone else will call, then nobody will, and the street light won’t be fixed. Don’t assume that enough other people will call or write to your Senators about Mnuchin. It only takes a minute or two to contact your Senator — please do it.

    1. Rhondda

      Thanks, Vatch. I had given up on writing Congresscritters since it has never made any difference with mine. But hmmm, interesting thought, maybe it will now that everybody’s all #Resistance!

  15. Susan C

    Watched the Julian Assange interview last night on Fox. Excellent interview – for one hour. Took a look at the NYTimes to see if they covered it. They did do an article on Trump “Trump Quotes Assange, Says Did Not Get Emails from Russia”. Clicked on the article but alas no comments section. Gees – would have been so fun to read how the good people of the NYTimes responded to what Assange had to say but no such luck. I am sure they did that on purpose – the crimes of omission thingy.

  16. Bill

    The NYTimes story about the Zen House Hospice is quite a beautiful story about a young man’s very sad and premature death. I recommend it highly.

    One Mans’ Quest to Change the Way We Die

    1. fresno dan

      January 4, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Ignored? OR part of the narrative NOT to be in the narrative…..

      Yeah, I’m cynical. Its hard how this cannot be considered newsworthy. Syria, Al-qaeda and 5 million people? But I guess talking about Al-qaeda is so 2003.

    2. polecat

      Script writers will be working furiously to add that water cutoff senario into G. Clooney’s up-n-coming hollywooden propaganda ..uh.. I mean .. flick !

  17. Webstir

    Re: Holy Cow: Amazon’s Plan for Flying Warehouses Core77 (resilc)

    As soon as I read the headline a picture of the stage props from Pink Floyd’s “Animals” tour came to mind.

    Pigs on the Wing anyone? Once again, art predicts reality.

      1. craazyboy

        I hope it’s a light weight warehouse. It’s important to keep weight down when you design flying stuff.

        Actually, a Flying Bitcoin Mine would be a better idea for Bezos. He likes making money, after all. Electronic money weighs hardly anything. Then all you need is a power cable to the ground capable of supplying enough electricity to power a small city. Maybe a spare cable so we don’t get a recession by accident. They could name it the Rube Goldberg.

        Then they could make it patrol the Flyover States looking for Russian spies, too. Two revenue streams is better than one!

        1. hunkerdown

          A kite with a small wind generator and a miner could happen… while it would eliminate excessive voltage drop, it could make the jurisdictional issues more fun. And how about that flash crash!

  18. PlutoniumKun



    Very readable article (and the previous two articles part of the series). Its overstated of course, as it says further down there won’t be a housing type crash – it will be a slower transformation and closing down at different places across different cities. One thing I’m wondering though is the Trump effect with a crack down on illegals. Certainly NY restaurants would mostly not be viable without back kitchens full of illegal workers. An in-law of mine who is a bookkeeper in NY says that it is normal for restaurants there to have two books – one for the ‘legal’ workers, and the other covering payments to everyone else (I’m sure Trump is personally aware of this).

    The unfortunate drawback of giving everyone a fair wage and conditions is that lots of mid-market restaurants won’t be viable. In countries with strict and fair employment laws, such as Sweden and Denmark, its noticeable that there isn’t anywhere near the number of everyday restaurants that you’ll find in most other prosperous cities. The first time I visited Stockholm I spent two hours walking the city to find somewhere to sit and eat, settling in the end for a tiny Thai café in a subway station – it was the only restaurant I could find that wasn’t insanely expensive.

    In France, the only way they can square the circle is through government subsidy – giving out discount vouchers to workers to encourage people to go for full sit-down meals. That’s the only thing keeping the traditional corner bistro open across a large part of France. I can’t see that sort of policy going down too well in the US.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Drawbacks are indeed unfortunate.

      If fracking is prohibited, many in that field will be out of work.

      The same with shutting down a pipeline construction.

      On the other hand, if cooking is the journey and eating is the destination, perhaps we can bring our focus back to the journey part – to enjoy it and to learn from it.

      Learning from cooking – from (courtesy of Wikipedia) Tenzo Kyōkun (典座教訓?), usually rendered in English as Instructions for the Cook, is an important essay written by Dōgen, the founder of Zen Buddhism’s Sōtō school in Japan:

      Dōgen’s essay makes numerous allusions to other works, especially kōans. One such reference is to a kōan attributed to Dongshan Shouchu that appears in both the Gateless Gate and the Blue Cliff Record.[5] In it, Dongshan is asked, “What is Buddha”?, to which he replies, “Three pounds of hemp”.[6] Dōgen mentions the kōan in the opening of the essay while arguing how serious a position tenzo is, stating that Dongshan had this insight during his time serving as tenzo.[7] While hemp may seem unrelated to the kitchen, the Zen scholars Shohaku Okumura and Taigen Dan Leighton suggest ‘hemp’ (麻) may be a mistranslation and that ‘sesame’ (胡麻) was intended, which makes more sense in the context of cooking.[5] Dōgen mentions the kōan in order to suggest that the most simple activities, such as working with everyday ingredients, are no different from awakening when approached directly and with a clear mind.[6]

      1. Massinissa

        “The same with shutting down a pipeline construction”

        Not actually, no. Pipelines are created relatively quickly and arnt particularly labour intensive endeavors. They give maybe about 100 workers a years worth of work per pipeline, tops. Maybe less. Small fries next to the restaurant or fracking businesses.

    2. Tigerlily

      Can you elaborate on the discount vouchers? I’ve never encountered these.

      On the spread between European and American restaurant prices, there’s more at work here than labour costs. First of all food, and especially meat, is cheap in America. My mother still makes regular cross border shopping trips because even with an unfavorable exchange rate many staples are significantly cheaper -and now that Plattsburgh NY has, of all things, an outpost of German discount grocer Aldi, it’s also more convenient for specialty items.

      Access to cheap and plentiful comfort food is probably at least on par with access to cheap gas as a cornerstone of the American Way of Life. If a $15/hr wage really spells the end of that then this is an outcome to be fervently embraced by progressives. Decades of union busting, wage theft, defunding of public services, and the loss of job security, income stability and basic human dignity were insufficient to motivate the Deplorables to rise up and cast of the chains of their oppressors – but $12 for a Cracker Barrel entrée?!?! The fury of the great unwashed will be awesome to behold, even as none are spared.

      As a practical matter however a moderate increase in prices at the low end of food service sector should be offset by the increase in disposable income available to those most likely to frequent (and work at) those establishments.

      There are cultural factors. Casual dining costs more in Europe, but Europeans are much more attached to the rituals of preparing and consuming food. When you order a meal at a bistro it might not be anything particularly fancy, but it was made with love. It took some time and skill to combine and season the ingredients in the coq au vin to produce an edible dish (and yes, they used real wine), it’s not mass produced deep frying / steaming / char broiling a hunk of meat and throwing in on a plate with some limp vegetables, a biscuit, and some gravy to alleviate the blandness. I wouldn’t say casual dining is particularly expensive in Europe, it just seems like in comparison because it’s extraordinarily cheap in America.

      In Europe when you dine in you ideally might spend an hour or an hour and a half on the preparation, while consuming a bottle of wine, using fresh market ingredients you picked up from a variety of small vendors on your way home from work.Then you spend an equivalent amount of time consuming the dish, accompanied by more wine and some good conversation. Admittedly this better describes Europe a generation or two ago, before the ascendance of American business and retail norms, but the ideal is still there. In America the Deplorables are often working two or three jobs and don’t have the time to prepare anything that can’t be microwaved. Cheap casual dining is much more integral to their sense of maintaining any standard of quality in their relationship with food.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Can you elaborate on the discount vouchers?

        Nearly all big employers in France give vouchers for lunch, which essentially subsidises 50% or so of the cost. I’m not sure if its still the case, but a few years ago the French government gave tax breaks to widen out the scheme. The purpose was to incentivise workers to go to conventional restaurants (they worked it somehow that it doesn’t apply to fast food). The voucher schemes are run by a variety of private companies, you can see the brands accepted pasted on the doors of nearly all bistros in France. The idea of subsidising them was to help keep the traditional bistro alive in France – they were suffering from changing work patterns undermining the traditional long lunch.

        I used to work in London for an employer formed from a partnership of US, UK, Danish and French engineering companies. The French engineers were very possessive of their long lunches, it would often take them 2 hours to return, and they’d have a snooze afterwards. I learned never to schedule a meeting involving the French for the afternoon. My US and UK colleagues used to sneer at the ‘lazy’ French attitude, but this changed when they realised that the French partner was way ahead in design. They simply did far more intensive work in the morning, the rest of the day was a wind down to them.

      2. vidimi

        they are called tickets restaurant. every company that has a workforce of 50 or more must provide its employees with a comité d’entreprise. this worker representative body will arrange for the workers either a cantine where they can all eat for cheap or offer tickets restaurants which the employees can use in pretty much any restaurant in the country. it’s not a government subsidy but an employer/employee subsidy

        1. PlutoniumKun

          It started as a compulsory employer subsidy, but in the past few years there have been direct tax credits given towards it to expand its scope (I’m not sure the details, my French isn’t up to googling French tax laws).

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Repeat post here, I think my earlier one disappeared…

          Lunch tickets started as a commercial scheme, but became a compulsory employer benefit. But so far as I know the scheme was expanded using tax credits and direct grants over the past few years. I’m afraid my French isn’t up to googling French tax law.

    3. Dave

      Yes, but think of the compensating effect on residential rents when thousands of units occupied by deportees become available.

      Also, the main thing that prevents new restaurants from occupying old retail spaces, or preexisting restaurant sites if a certain period of time has elapsed, is the insane costs of ADA compliance, all new bathrooms, widened hallways, moved gas and water lines, which can eat up much of the interior space, rebuilt exteriors and then there’s the costs to basically rebuild and replumb interiors, plus all the new code requirements like 6 sinks, a slop sink, a handwashing sink, a veggie wash sink, a plate rinse sink, a grease trap in the floor and a rinse sink etc.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Invest in a restaurant and you can get a green card.

        You don’t even have to hire workers…or well, maybe you do.

        But a green card can be worth $1 million or more, for the right person.

      2. clinical wasteman

        Think of the counter-compensating effects on rents where the deported will go!
        Or do those people go into another, non-significant dimension, the same one they came from? If not, try just once more to imagine all borders between US States closed and aggressively policed while money goes where it pleases. Then add legally enshrined ethnic preference (between, say Virginians and West Virginians in the respective territories) in most States and perpetual war in a few, and pretend just for the sake of the analogy that some of these fortresses have population sizes like St Kitts & Nevis (46,000) or Tokelau (11,000; both real-world sovereign states by the way).
        To its historical credit, the USA doesn’t enforce a Hukou/Pass Laws system internally (or not everywhere all of the time), but something like that system exists across most populated areas of similar size. If you wouldn’t want Hukou (or feudal territorial bondage, for that matter) applying to the “Deplorables” of the various States of the Union, why apply it to the same social class everywhere else?
        Please reforgive the repetition, but the power of workers to refuse to be moved for the sake of a wage and to move as we please (for any reason at all, including bottom-up wage arbitrage) is the same thing. Whereas when either one of those options is forcibly blocked, the national landlords, employers and Chiefs of Staff get to decide for us. With our Best Interests at heart, of course.

    4. Kurt Sperry

      Reasonably recently I’ve sampled restaurants in France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, and Iceland. The only of those places that really struck me as very notably higher than in the US were Iceland and Switzerland. Even in Paris, I didn’t find the prices terribly offputting, although I was definitely seeking out less expensive options, so maybe not what most people would experience. In Zurich and Reykjavik, Thai places were about it for semi-reasonable sit-down meals and in both, you were looking at about twice the price you’d pay in the US. I can get a really nice sit-down meal most places in Italy cheaper than I can in the US. I had the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life a few months back there and it was like eight, nine USD, cheaper than my mediocre local chain bake at home place in the US. I can’t see a restaurant bubble bursting in the US, people are going to eat out regardless. What they’ll do is seek out better value for their money. I wouldn’t go into most of the places that would be put out of business by a $15/hr minimum wage like the yuppie one in the story anyway–I can’t afford them. If a business can’t make it paying a living wage, it was never a viable, sustainable business to begin with. Twenty-five dollars for lunch? No thanks, buh bye.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        A lot depends on the exchange rate. Back in the mid 00’s, eating in NY was dirt cheap for most Europeans – its exactly reversed now, I was shocked at how expensive it was on my visit last year (all due to euro getting weak of course). In much of Europe, restaurants are family owned, so they reduce overheads that way. Also, in countries with an eating out culture, good mid range restaurants have a very high turnover all day, so their business model would be very different than for those places dependent on having a single cover per table in the evening.

        Cheap eats seems to depend on the main immigrant group. In much of northern Europe its Thai – in the UK its Indian, Chinese in Ireland, and its north African/Middle east in much of southern Europe. Its unfortunate though that once an ethic dish gets caught in the cheap eats trap, the quality tends to go way down. You get better quality Indian food in Ireland than the UK, better Thai in France than Germany, etc., all because they can raise the price a little.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          I never know whether to bother replying to posts from the previous day. In all likelihood nobody will ever read my reply so I’m probably talking to myself, but with that preface in:

          I overstated the cost of the best pizza I’ve ever had, it was 6,50 Euro which was about $7.25 USD then and would be cheaper still today. I also got a quarter liter of really nice house sangiovese alongside for 1,50 Euro. This ain’t ethnic food either, at least not in Italy. This was in a thoroughly Italian, if slightly ramshackle (like I actually prefer), place and made by a charming Italian pizzaiola in a real wood fired oven. So for under $10 USD I got a beyond fabulous authentic (and large) Italian sit-down meal and two generous glasses of excellent wine. And you aren’t expected to leave a tip either. And everyone there–customer and employee alike– are protected by a solid social safety net and have government provided healthcare at little or no out of pocket cost. That meal would cost me probably easily three times that amount (actually, I couldn’t find a pizza that good in the US at *any* price, so this understates the difference) here in the US.

          Let nobody *ever* tell you a good meal is more expensive in Italy than in the US. It just ain’t so.

  19. flora

    re: Wapo sort of retracts Russian hack of energy grid story.

    WaPo should run this disclaimer under its masthead.

    ” The Post does not itself vouch for the validity of articles, nor do articles receive fact checking before publication.”

  20. oho

    Another full-retard hysteria over Trump/Putin. (pardon my PC French)

    Current HuffPo headline: “PUTIN’S PATSY: BACKS ASSANGE OVER U.S. INTEL”

    I resolve never to touch the HuffPost until the CIA finds WMDs in Iraq.

    1. carycat

      That may be sooner than you think. False flag operations has always been in the CIA playbook and just as the Police have throw away guns to help the DA when the perp forgot to bring one, I’m sure if they get really desperate for more conflict, they can buy one on the open market and then be a hero for finding it.

    1. Vatch

      Trump has made some terrible nominations, but I wonder whether Jay Clayton is any worse that Mary Jo White. Trump (and presumably Clayton) wish to explicitly eliminate some financial regulations. Obama, White, Holder, and Lynch seem to have a slightly different approach: keep the regulations, but enforce them very sparingly.

  21. clarky90

    This is Karl Denninger’s take on the “Russian Hacking” clown parade. Denninger is a programmer and former founder and CEO of MCSNet. Here he analyzes the FBI’s Russian Hacking Report

    Enjoy! Bold is the FBI speaking, normal text is Denninger’s comments

    This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.

    How do you know you’re about to read a propaganda piece? That would be a good indication.

    This document provides technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by the Russian civilian and military intelligence Services (RIS) to compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election,

    No it doesn’t. Let me explain.

    The next page has a nice diagram that doesn’t mesh with what was described. Specifically, what we know happened (because it was admitted to) was that a spearphishing email set was sent to a large number of people, including John Podesta.

    Now here’s the rub:

    At least one targeted individual activated links to malware hosted on operational infrastructure of opened attachments containing malware. APT29 delivered malware to the political party’s systems, established persistence, escalated privileges, enumerated active directory accounts, and exfiltrated email from several accounts through encrypted connections back through operational infrastructure.

    Well, no. There’s no evidence for that.

    In spring 2016, APT28 compromised the same political party, again via targeted spearphishing. This time, the spearphishing email tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain hosted on APT28 operational infrastructure. Using the harvested credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members. The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.

    There is evidence for this. In fact, this is what the DNC admitted to.

    The rest of the document is boilerplate arm-waving………

      1. Rhondda

        Leak not hack, per Craig Murray. But I bet you knew that. I continue to wonder if there’s a connection with the murder of Seth Rich. But then I have a very tight tinfoil hat.

      2. flora

        Sounds like it could be a huge number of individual people or a huge number of groups. “who” implies individual, but the spearfishing profile could open the data to a large number of groups.

        shorter: i left my front door unlocked, so who robbed me?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Denninger writes:

      For instance, spearphishing emails typically look like an “alert” from the targeted credential’s site (e.g. gmail) with a link to click and ‘reset your password.’ Said link doesn’t, of course, actually go to Google — it goes somewhere else. Often those people use a “link shortener” (e.g. to “hide” where the link goes so casual examination doesn’t show it. However, that reference is traceable, it goes to a web address somewhere and the owner(s) of that address or at least who is controlling it can be determined. If they have been hacked they will typically cooperate (duh!) and now you can find out where that “resource” actually connected to. Through a relatively-simple process of iterating over that (if there are multiple “hops” involved) you will eventually land on infrastructure the “bad guys” control.

      I believe this has been done. See this tweet storm from @pwnallthethings.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Certainly good for a laugh. The only reason to read CiF on the Guardian these days are the comments. For the last 18 months (or most probably since Katherine Viner became editor), since the Guardian decided its sole purpose was to shill for HRC this sort of nonsense was repeatedly taken apart below the line. The Guardian has been cutting its own throat by ignoring its own readers and it will pay the price long term.

      1. oho

        but it”ll be worth it for Katherine Viner cuz she’ll be invited to all the right A-list cocktail parties in London, DC and Manhattan

      2. Jess

        Yeah, and have you noticed the Guardian’s pleas for contributions to continue their “journalism” but those articles always neglect to have a comments section? Purely an oversight, of course.

    2. JustAnObserver

      And of course the author – Al From of DLC infamy – is patient zero of the Democrats infection/infatuation with the political Ebola of neoliberalism. He is to the left end of the political spectrum what Leo Strauss was to the neocons of the other end … if that’s not a distinction without a difference.

  22. ChrisAtRU


    The money quote for me is this:

    Treat bitcoins as an investment and even if they could all be sold today for $1,000 apiece, they would only be worth as much as the Cerner Corporation, a US company of moderate size and limited profile involved in the management of digital healthcare records.

    Except treating bitcoin as an investment means it can’t be a currency, and vice versa. The problem is that a medium of exchange prone to collapsing or quadrupling in price is useless as a practical currency, whatever the cryptographic elegance of its creation

    Good luck with that being anything but #Tulips …

  23. Swamp Yankee

    Re: driving in snow.

    Vox remains divorced from reality.

    I do have a quibble, though. It’s not just interior New England that gets huge snowfalls. Plymouth, MA, is certainly on the coast, and we measured 120″ of snow a few winters ago. Travel was affected for months. While the winter is warmer here than in interior and northern New England, they are still colder than other similar mid-latitude locations because of the cold Labrador Current that plunges down, all the way to Cape Cod Bay (the extreme S end of the Gulf of Maine), from the waters off Labrador and Baffin Island. In addition, the proximity of the ocean makes for an extremely dynamic atmosphere, leading to extreme snowfall events. There’s a reason the Weather Channel comes to Plymouth Harbor in the biggest nor’easters. Ocean effect snow can be a few errant flurries; or snow bomb-like conditions enhanced by the cold air and the warmer sea water. Add hilly terrain bordering the ocean and you get idea snow producing conditions. Snow totals of 2-4 feet are not uncommon.

    Thus, I would put coastal New England in the same category as our brethren in the interior and the Great Lakes (I lived in Michigan for five years as well): that is, places where driving in the snow is something that is literally unavoidable. This may not be the case in inner Boston, but it is everywhere outside of Rt. 128. Learning to get a car unstuck in snow is something we share with Canadians and Russians (rock it, keep rocking — gently! gently!) as a bedrock life skill, characteristic of a certain manner of encountering the world.

    But Vox doesn’t care about people in the Provinces — and we don’t care about them. And who will get the Voxxers’ cars unstuck when the time comes for that?

  24. Knot Galt

    Re: U.S. Quietly Drops Bombshell: Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure

    Is this something that has been discussed earlier on N.C.? With Congress looking at repealing more Banking Regulation, I can’t help but think we are all SOL!? Please, someone tell me I’m wrong for concluding that “all this” is not going to end up very well for many more of us.

  25. Oregoncharles

    “Close-Up Portraits of Birds Shot in a Photographer’s Backyard”
    Cardinals are one of the few things I miss about the Midwest. Those and thunderstorms. We just don’t have a bird that showy. Multiple species of hummers, though.

  26. skippy

    Ref UBI….

    “UBI has been endorsed by neoliberal economists for a long time. One of its early champions was the patron saint of neoliberalism, Milton Friedman. In his book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman argues for a “negative income tax” as a means to deliver a basic income. After arguing that private charity is the best way to alleviate poverty, and praising the “private … organizations and institutions” that delivered charity for the poor in the capitalist heyday of the nineteenth century, Friedman blames social programs for the disappearance of private charities: “One of the major costs of the extension of governmental welfare activities has been the corresponding decline in private charitable activities.”

    To Friedman and his many powerful followers, the cause of poverty is not enough capitalism. Thus, their solution is to provide a “basic income” as a means to eliminate social programs and replace them with private organizations. Friedman specifically argues that “if enacted as a substitute for the present rag bag of measures directed at the same end, the total administrative burden would surely be reduced.”

    Friedman goes on to list some the “rag bag” of measures he would hope to eliminate: direct welfare payments and programs of all kinds, old age assistance, social security, aid to dependent children, public housing, veterans’ benefits, minimum-wage laws, and public health programs, hospitals and mental institutions.

    Friedman also spends a few paragraphs worrying whether people who depend on “Basic Income” should have the right to vote, since politically enfranchised dependents could vote for more money and services at the expense of those who do not depend on these. Using the example of pension recipients in the United Kingdom, he concludes that they “have not destroyed, at least as yet, Britain’s liberties or its predominantly capitalistic system.”

    Charles Murray, another prominent libertarian promoter of UBI, shares Friedman’s views. In an interview with PBS, he said: “America’s always been very good at providing help to people in need. It hasn’t been perfect, but they’ve been very good at it. Those relationships have been undercut in recent years by a welfare state that has, in my view, denuded the civic culture.” Like Friedman, Murray blames the welfare state for the loss of apparently effective private charity.

    Murray adds: “The first rule is that the basic guaranteed income has to replace everything else — it’s not an add-on. So there’s no more food stamps; there’s no more Medicaid; you just go down the whole list. None of that’s left. The government gives money; other human needs are dealt with by other human beings in the neighborhood, in the community, in the organizations. I think that’s great.”

    To the Cato Institute, the elimination of social programs is a part of the meaning of Universal Income. In an article about the Finish pilot project, the Institute defines UBI as “scrapping the existing welfare system and distributing the same cash benefit to every adult citizen without additional strings or eligibility criteria”. And in fact, the options being considered by Finland are constrained to limiting the amount of the basic income to the savings from the programs it would replace.

    “Basic Income” won’t alleviate poverty.

    From a social welfare point of view, the substitution of social programs with market-based and charitable provision of everything from health to housing, from child support to old-age assistance, clearly creates a multi-tier system in which the poorest may be able to afford some housing and health care, but clearly much less than the rich — most importantly, with no guarantee that the income will be sufficient for their actual need for health care, child care, education, housing, and other needs, which would be available only by way of for-profit markets and private charities.

    Looking specifically at the question of whether Friedman’s proposal would actually improve the conditions of the poor, Hyman A. Minsky, himself a renowned and highly regarded economist, wrote the “The Macroeconomics of a Negative Income Tax.” Minsky looks at the outcome of a “social dividend,” which “transfers to every person alive, rich or poor, working or unemployed, young or old, a designated money income by right.” Minsky conclusively shows that such a program would “be inflationary even if budgets are balanced” and that the “rise in prices will erode the real value of benefits to the poor … and may impose unintended real costs upon families with modest incomes.” This means that any improved spending power afforded to citizens through an instrument such as UBI will be completely absorbed by higher prices for necessities.

    Rather than alleviating poverty, UBI will most likely exacerbate it. The core reasoning is quite simple: the prices that people pay for housing and other necessities are derived from how much they can afford to pay in the first place. If you imagine they way housing is distributed in a modern capitalist society, the poorest get the worst housing, and the richest get the best. Giving everyone in the community, rich and poor alike, more money, would not allow the poorest to get better housing, it would just raise the price of housing.

    If UBI came at the expense of other social programs, such as health care or child care, as Friedman intended, then the rising cost of housing would draw money away from other previously socially provisioned services, forcing families with modest incomes to improve their substandard housing by accepting worse or less childcare or healthcare, or vice versa. A disabled person whose mobility needs requires additional expenditure on accessible housing may not have enough of the basic income left for any additional health care they also require. Yet replacing means testing and special programs that address specific needs is the big idea of UBI.

    The notion that we can solve inequality within capitalism by indiscriminately giving people money and leaving the provisioning of all social needs to corporations is extremely dubious. While this view is to be expected among those, like Murray and Friedman, who promote capitalism, it is not compatible with anticapitalism. UBI will end up in the hands of capitalists. We will be dependent on these same capitalists for everything we need. But to truly alleviate poverty, productive capacity must be directed toward creating real value for society and not toward “maximizing shareholder value” of profit-seeking investors.

    There is no possibility of another kind of ‘Basic Income’.” – snip

    disheveled…. good grief… is everyone just bamboozled by humanistic rhetoric nomenclature about – Universal – Basic – Income – coming from the economic camp that brought you neoliberalism, Monetarism, Corporatism, Globalization, Citizens United, the FIRE sector, increased financialization, hatred of democracy in all its forms, and loathes altruism because it screws with price discovery, and last but not least views humans as a commodity to be exploited…. mon dieu – !!!!

  27. jjmacjohnson

    “I should say before I go any further that all of the restaurant owners and chefs I’ve talked to are compassionate humans who support better coverage and livable wages, and seem on the whole progressive by nature, but restaurant margins are already slim as hell. There are no political agendas here — they’re just genuinely worried about how to afford to pay extra without radically changing the way they do business.”

    Perhaps the answer is radically changing the way they do business? If they are genuinely “progressive”. I think not. The complaints about wages and lack of quality help reminds me of the tech industry and all that STEM crap. Perhaps H1 Visas for waiters from else where? They sound like Trump’s Carl’s Junior pick for his Cabinet.

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