Links 3/3/17

Yves here. Do not ever fly Delta if you have a choice. I have over a million miles on American, meaning I have spent a lot of time on airplanes. Prior to this year, I’ve had a grand total of 5 flights cancelled on me, including one due to the famed Iceland volcano in 2010. I’m now up to a lifetime total of 7 due to two cancellations on my only two round trip flights on Delta this year.

One was the famed January system outage. The one yesterday Delta tried blaming on weather, but I suspect they cancelled it because they deemed the plane (a regional jet which runs LGA to BHM round trip) not to be booked enough to bother running all the round trips today, particularly since I was automatically rebooked on a flight through Atlanta not much later, but instead made them rebook me for the same nonstop flight Friday…normally a busy day…and I got the same seat I had, a window way towards the front, when the further forward seats usually fill up first.

Woolly mammoths suffered genetic ‘meltdown’ before extinction Agence France-Presse

Artificial ’embryos’ created in the lab BBC (Chuck L)

Air pollution creates drug‑resistant bugs The Times

Beyond Monsanto’s GMO Cotton: Why Consumers Need to Care What We Wear Organic Consumers (Glenn F)

OECD: Straya at risk of housing “rout” MacroBusiness

Japan returns to inflation for first time since 2015 Financial Times

Eurozone inflation hits 2% for first time in four years Financial Times. However: “The eurozone’s core inflation measure however, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, remained unchanged at 0.9 per cent and has remained stubbornly below 1 per cent since August 2013.

Juncker’s Latest Lie: “Less is More” Michael Shedlock (EM)

Geert Wilders is no longer so keen on pushing for a ‘Nexit’ – and it’s because Dutch people don’t want it EUROPP

German Citizens in Favor of Grexit Handelblatt. From last week.

Thousands of Labour members quit over Corbyn leadership The Times

New UK Secrecy Laws Include Harsh Sentences For Journalists Working With Whistleblowers Real News. Gotta keep that Brexit spin under control!

French Election

Quelles suites pour François Fillon après sa convocation par les juges ? Le Monde (Alison).

Fillon maintient sa candidature, l’UDI “suspend” sa participation à la campagne France24, English version: Rivals blast defiant Fillon as allies pull support. Alison:

The rats are starting to jump ship in Fillon’s presidential campaign: Bruno Le Maire (another pompous right-wing candidate who lost to Fillon in the primary) has bailed from his campaign team, and Georges Fenech, a LR “sarkozyste” (loyal to former president Nicolas Sarkozy) is now advocating for Alain Juppé (former government minister, mayor of Bordeaux, smart, more moderate than Fillon) to be a candidate. Juppé said in the wake of the LR primary, and again when the Fillon scandal began, that he was done with this election, but who knows. I think the primary was a big disappointment for him.

This is happening because it has emerged that François Fillon, the right-wing candidate (LR, Les Républicains) is to be summoned on March 15 before judges for a “mise en examen” (interrogation, questioning). He is furious and looked rather desperate during a press conference March 1, insisting he will not drop out of the race. Yeah, we’ll see about that. His party, to judge from the grim faces in attendance, might be getting fed up. Fillon is claiming loudly that this is a political “assassination” by judges (the context here is François Hollande’s socialist government currently in power, as if the judges were biased or following orders). Such accusations have caused much offense and tainted Fillon’s credibility.

LE COMPTEUR DES LÂCHEURS DE FILLON Liberation. Alison: “Libération (a daily newspaper/website that has leaned left but is very mainstream) has set up a list to keep track of people who bail on Fillon.”

François Fillon’s supporters head for the lifeboats Politico

Images de l’EI sur Twitter : vers la levée de l’immunité parlementaire de Marine Le Pen France24. In English: Le Pen set to lose EU parliament immunity over gruesome IS group tweets (Alison)


Erdogan wants a proxy war with the US? Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How Google Street View Images Reveal the Demographic Makeup of the U.S. MIT Technology Review (David L). Yet another reason not to own a car.

North Korea uses sophisticated tools to spy on citizens digitally – report Reuters (Bill B)

Trump Transition

Jeff Sessions recuses himself from Russia inquiry amid calls for resignation Guardian

We now know more about why Jeff Sessions and a Russian ambassador crossed paths at the Republican convention Business Insider

THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND THE JEFF SESSIONS MESS Vanity Fair. “It’s hard to avoid the sense that Washington is losing its mind.” When you’ve lost Vanity Fair…

Donald Trump Jr. Was Likely Paid at Least $50,000 for Event Held by Hosts Allied With Russia on Syria Wall Street Journal

Trump’s Energy Policy: America First, Climate Last? Bruegel. Let us not forget Obama got on board with climate pacts awfully late in the game.

Is Trump Bonkers? William Greider, Nation

Trump and the Six-Trillion-Dollar Question American Conservative (resilc)

Why Donald Trump needs the ‘administrative state’ that Steve Bannon wants to destroy Washington Post. Furzy: “Duh.”

Trump administration has found only $20 million in existing funds for wall Reuters (furzy)

How the Press Serves the Deep State ConsortiumNews (Sid S)

Stephen F. Cohen Interview with Michael Tracey of TYT Politics YouTube. YY: “Good interview, the one man anti-Russophobia crusade is very comprehensive and clear.”

Wake Up, Republicans: This Could Be the Democrats’ Tea Party Politico (UserFriendly)

It’s not just GOP town halls: Democrats also feeling the heat Yahoo

This Far-Right Tweet About “The Future That Liberals Want” Backfired Into A Huge Meme Buzzfeed (Chuck L). Original shot looks to have been taken/staged on the Lex line.

Dems flip script to woo millennials, big donors The Hill (UserFriendly)

Republican Senator Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to Constituent for Calling Too Much Intercept (martha r)

Border crossing woes may trip tourists, resorts in MN’s Northwest Angle Minnesota Public Radio News


California Supreme Court: No, you can’t hide public records on a private account ars technica

An Open Letter to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission on Their Report: “Systemic Racism Through the Lens of Flint” Black Agenda Report (martha r)

Private investor divests $34.8m from firms tied to Dakota Access pipeline Guardian (martha r)

Poisoned Lands: San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation Steeped in Dioxin Indian Country Media Network (martha r)

Restoring Trust in Expertise Project Syndicate (David L)

Be sure to read the entire thread:

Competition for private-equity deals heats up Economist (DO)

The collapse of retail chains is leaving America’s shopping malls empty Business Insider (David L)

Wells under pressure as shareholders turn spotlight on board Financial Times. About time.

How To Fine-Tune Your Bullshit Detector FastCodeDesign (Joe H). Circulate widely. Of course, the problem is the people who most need to read this probably won’t.

Class Warfare

Drugs are Cheap: Why Do We Let Governments Make Them Expensive? Dean Baker, CEPR (martha r)

Sheldon Adelson lost his first fight with a union. Will it have a domino effect?
Guardian. Martha r: “A bit old but still good news.”

Why I Chose to Raise my Kid in an Urban Neighborhood Strong Towns (Darius)

Healthcare Workers Proclaim ‘Sanctuary Union’, Push for Medicare for All in California Counterpunch. The wee problem is that generous social safety nets and weak immigration controls don’t mix well politically. And while I don’t pretend to have a good answer to how to sort through what to do about the many types of illegal immigrants, my suspicion is that this is very much a “devil is in the details” problem when the topic is so charged that the various interested parties are even less receptive to wonkery than usual. The fact is that being an illegal immigrant isn’t good for them, since it makes them prime targets for exploitation of all sorts. But the counter-argument is that many have been here so long that they have nowhere to go.

Robots won’t just take our jobs – they’ll make the rich even richer The Guardian (martha r)

In praise of cash aeon (JMM). Lambert ran this yesterday, but wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it. Key section:

The cashless society – which more accurately should be called the bank-payments society – is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’. This claim is either naïve or disingenuous. Any future cashless bank-payments society will be the outcome of a deliberate war on cash waged by an alliance of three elite groups with deep interests in seeing it emerge.

Utopia Inc aeon (Micael). A must read.

Antidote du jour. Robert H via the Guardian:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Hana M

    The Vanity Fair essay on The Session’s Souffle is amusing.

    As things clear up, we may be seeing a collapsing soufflé. And as with so many soufflés served up by the press in recent months, it emerged from the oven to oohs and ahs—this time, with me among the oohers and ahers—only to sink, first slowly, then quickly. Next, it will go into the trash, and we’ll bake another. It’s tiring. It’s boring. And above all it’s supremely damaging to the press. If you want people to believe you, then develop a reputation for believability. Might work better than just blaming your loss of credibility on Trump.

    Also, very much on target.

    1. Carolinian


      That leaves the question, once more, of whether Russia is a mastermind pulling Trumpian strings. It’s a crazy world, and anything’s possible. But the power of confirmation bias is immense. How many books and articles came out during the Obama years suggesting the president was secretly pushing for Sharia law, violating espionage law, trying to destroy Israel, or surrendering to Russia by whispering about post-election “flexibility” to Dmitri Medvedev (hats off to Breitbart for promoting that last claim)? Lots. If you wanted to believe Obama was a Muslim who was trying to subvert the nation from within, you could find what you needed to find.

      In fact the zany Russia thing is exactly like Trump’s one time birtherism, a stance that the MSM relentlessly lampooned. How low will the press have to sink before they do a little self examination. They believe the virtuous (to them) end of a Trumpexit justifies the complete destruction of their credibility. Before this is over it will take more than Oscar tv ads promoting the NYT’s supposed “truth seeking” to dig them out of this hole.

      1. cm

        “Trump’s one time birtherism”

        Please keep in mind that Obama’s birth certificate thing originated from Clinton’s campaign when she was running against O in the primary.

        1. Marina Bart

          I very much appreciate that you gave that reminder.

          Clinton messaging: always toxic.

      2. Rajesh

        This issue has been trumpeted to such heights that there’s a fair chance it will peter out in a few months. Things got preeettyy negative during the election cycle and somehow even after the election it’s just continued and the hullabaloo about fake news just feeds this fire.

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Your question (“how low will they have to sink?”) posits that, at heart, the MSM wants to be objective, but they are just getting carried away. And when they sink a bit further (not sure how that’s possible, we already had “stories” about prostitutes peeing on Trump in a hotel) they’ll recognize the error of their ways.

        I’d say it’s by design, these organs are simply mouthpieces for their owners’ political views, Jeff Bezos blog The Washington Post et al are no different from Pravda and Izvestia. Can you imagine Pravda questioning what the Politboro told them to write?

        I propose we drop the word “alternative” from the phrase “alternative news media”. They’re the only ones that fit the description.

    2. Katharine

      Marcy Wheeler on Democracy Now this morning espoused the radical idea that talking to a Russian is not and should not be illegal. What if that catches on?

      At this stage I have little to no idea what wrongdoing there may have been on anyone’s part, but I would be glad if Congress and the media would act responsibly enough to shed some light on the question and then move on.

      1. flora

        My serious question for all these very serious people seeing reds under the beds: are you very serious people using Russian satellite data in your civilian GPS units? Are you using Russian! gasp! data in your car or handheld or marine or cycling GPSs? Cause that’s where the Glonass satellite data is coming from. Glonass is the Russian satellite network. Are you under Russkie control? And all the civilian use GPS manufactures? Are they Russkie stooges, too? ( Or are they sensibly adding more satellite networks data for better positioning and stronger satellite signal availability?)

        the very serious people need to get a grip.

        and there’s this:
        ” Should the Russian government yank its supply of rocket engines for United States launches, critical national-security satellite missions could be delayed up to four years, experts told a joint Senate hearing Wednesday (July 16).

        “United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket is the workhorse of heavy satellite launches in the United States, but the booster requires a Russian RD-180 engine to get off the ground.

        “Recent geopolitical disputes between Russia and the United States have thrown this arrangement, which has been in place for decades, into turmoil. ”

        The neoliberals decided to offshore manufacturing. This is one result.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We have to be nice to China…and Russia.

          (Like everything in life, it has its pluses and minuses. We still have to be nice when others punch us in the face.)

      2. Edward E

        From what I understand, Attorney General Robert E Lee under oath doesn’t remember meeting with Russian ambassador twice during the campaign but does remember that they didn’t discuss anything bad. Ben Carson did the meetings with Russian officials thing too, but the officials fell asleep so his doesn’t count.

        Maybe it’s a genetic meltdown thing right before extinction, if we’re lucky.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Vanity Fair…

      How many Russian subscribers?

      How much advertising money do they get from Russian vodka companies?

    4. flora

      Repeating here a comment I made earlier:

      The charge that “Putin ate the Dems’ homework” seems to be about keeping the big donors’ money tap open and the money flowing to the DNC without any serious examination of what went wrong. If the DNC actually believes its own “Putin” excuse, well, yikes. If the press believes this apparent wholecloth story, yikes squared.

      1. Deadl E Cheese

        It’s hard to tell how much the top-level Democratic leadership believes in this canard, but it’s pretty clear at this point that anyone at Rachel Maddow level or below has swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

        I wonder if their donors will for the Pelosi/Reid crowd slap some sense into their subalterns after they underperform the 2018 mid-terms. Probably not. They as a class make as much money whether the liberals or the reactionaries are in charge.

      2. Marina Bart

        When I popped in for my morning read, I didn’t see a lot of discussion of that absolutely horrifying piece in the The Hill re: “wooing” millennials, replete with vile, nonsensical Democratic establishment messaging and lies. I hope there’s more below.

        The only bright spot for me for was that, if you read between the lines, it sure sounds like the usual Big Donor suspects are keeping their wallets closed for the time being. If the base doesn’t fall for Ellison sheepdogging them back to the shearing-house, 2018 could be a good year for leftist insurgents.

    5. Uahsenaa

      Speaking of Vanity Fair, NC just got called out as part of the vanguard of the “alt-left.”

      The alt-left can’t match that for strength, malignancy, or tentacled reach, but its dude-bros and “purity progressives” exert a powerful reality-distortion field online and foster factionalism on the lib-left. Its outlets include not only Jacobin but also the Intercept, one of whose co-founders is the inexhaustible Glenn Greenwald, lawyer, author, journalist, and crucial conduit for Edward Snowden’s stolen N.S.A. data to The Guardian; Web sites such as Truthdig, Consortiumnews, and Naked Capitalism; and anomalous apostates such as Mickey Kaus, a former contributor to liberal percolators of ideas and opinions such as Washington Monthly, the New Republic, Harper’s, and Slate, who migrated sideways and down to the right-wing Daily Caller, did a temporary hitch as a columnist for the Breitbart bughouse in 2016, and serves as a tweeting defender of Trump’s proposed wall.

      So, apparently because Mickey Kaus is an opportunist dumdum, that means Yves is now a dudebro.

      The contradictions, they are a’heightened!

      1. curlydan

        Yes, Washington has lost its mind, or at least James Walcott has. His first paragraph is all about deriding the ‘snark’ of an ‘alt-left’ writer at Jacobin, but the rest of the whole article was pure snark. Lord have mercy!

  2. fresno dan

    THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND THE JEFF SESSIONS MESS Vanity Fair. “It’s hard to avoid the sense that Washington is losing its mind.” When you’ve lost Vanity Fair…

    Originally, when writing this story, I intended to offer three hypotheses for what could have happened: (1) Sessions was colluding with Moscow and trying to hide it. (2) Sessions wasn’t colluding with Moscow, but he forgot about his meetings with Kislyak. (3) Sessions wasn’t colluding with Moscow, but decided to lie about contacts with Russians.
    Then I reviewed the tape. And now I dismiss all three.
    But, sorry, if you care about this, then let’s back up and see the exchange in context:
    [see article for what Franken said in its entirety]
    Now, unless you’ve gone into full “time for some game theory” mode, you would be hard-pressed to miss that that “communications with the Russians” is shorthand for “communications of the sort that CNN is alleging,” not “any sort of communication with any Russian official ever.”
    How many books and articles came out during the Obama years suggesting the president was secretly pushing for Sharia law, violating espionage law, trying to destroy Israel, or surrendering to Russia by whispering about post-election “flexibility” to Dmitri Medvedev (hats off to Breitbart for promoting that last claim)? Lots. If you wanted to believe Obama was a Muslim who was trying to subvert the nation from within, you could find what you needed to find.

    So if you’ve determined that Trump is the Siberian candidate, you’ll find what you need to find. And this time high-ranking government officials are trying to help you.

    I am not going to say that because it is the intelligence community involved that it is worse than what happened to Obama. Any time reality is given over to implausible and tendentious interpretations of reality, whether due to ideology or ratings or bias, we end up worse off.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “any sort of Communication with any Russian official…ever.”

      If you’re on CNN and one Russian official sees you from anywhere in the universe, you’re communicating with him or her.

      And you better remember that. None of this ‘I don’t recall’ BS.

      1. fresno dan

        March 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

        House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s claim she never met with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak was contradicted Friday when an unearthed 2010 photo showed her sitting in a group meeting with him.

        So damn ironic – here I am, a paid, certified, basement dwelling, fuzzy bunny antennaed slipper wearing in hammer and sickle wearing pajamas deep undercover Putin spy, and I have never actually got to MEET face to face any high up commie pinkos. The INJUSTICE of it all….. the corrupt running dog capitalist toadies apparently get to meet the commie bosses DAILY…
        All I have ever gotten for all my underground transmissions is a lousy T-shirt saying Lenin loves me….but they sent me a non-exchangeable John Lennon T-shirt ….

    2. Uahsenaa

      I think there’s another option that needs to be considered re: Sessions. I agree with Wheeler that talking to a Russian ambassador, as a sitting senator, is neither illegal nor especially untoward. That said, Sessions is a weasel par excellence, and it’s entirely possible that he was resisting an independent investigation for fear they might find some unrelated shady things he actually did do.

      1. Ivy

        The Sessions contretemps reminds me of the notion that some of the press fancy themselves to be in the role of a latter-day Torquemada. They seek out those on the wrong side of journalism, which they desire to become the new history.

      2. Aumua

        Of course, Sessions is awful for sure, and he’s someone most of us would probably like to see gone, and yet it’s impossible for anyone with half a critical mind to be very glad about the current push to get him out because of all the other, nasty b.s. that it portends. Still no end in sight to the lose-lose situations ahead. Very unfortunate.

    3. Alex Morfesis

      And if it all ends up being “Landgraf” & 0008-6/86 with trump being a deep cover nazi operation managed from dresdin what with his antics during his trump casino/resorts int’l flop…

      so what…

      Are the russians going to take back alaska or claim california again ??

      Putin couldn’t even get his “compliant” subjects to fight to control Chechnya, which despite rumors is actually in Russia…

      The Russians dont want the baltics…heck, even the baltics don’t want the baltics…there are now more people in the bronx than all of estonia…america had no problem abandoning the bronx to crime and economic collapse, but we are going to fight for a country no one wants to live in ??

      Ten percent of Latvians and Lithuanians left their country in 2015….they don’t want to live there…does one think the Russians are stupid enough to rummage threw a worked through dumpster ??

      Russia has more land than any country, if one did not notice….there is not exactly a need for more land…it needs more Russian babes to want to burp out more Russian babies with Russian men….so the problem seems to be Russian men…

      1. Jagger

        The only problem with Russia is that they stand between us and taking out Syria and Iran. The Middle East project will not be complete until those 2 countries are destroyed. So Russia needs to be neutralized. Normalization of relations with Russia can only be allowed if they abandon both Syria and Iran.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Well…we might be thinking and drinking from different taps of water…if we had really wanted to disrupt and dismantle iran, would they really have been able to access those spare parts for those american made f dashes and those md planes all those years…???

          $pectacular theatre really…well at least unlike in oklahoma city, there was an actual crater at khobar

          The key is never to destroy nor eliminate…just keep them strong enough to be a “relevant” threat…

          We abandoned chiang kai shek with an embargo of arms, allowing the red army to win a war they could never assemble enough supporters to win…although we also never discuss the three sisters in mixed company…

          We fell in love with gehlen-vlassov & their vichy cousins while putting on the nuremberg show trials…offing a few head clowns while embracing the actual butchers who carried out the orders…which led to eric blairs laments about old enemies are new frenemies and the battles rage on and on…

          The famous fidel made for television “revolution” against the mulatto who was not even allowed into certain clubs in the country he purportedly ran…was maybe sorta kinda funded by the mighty Wurlitzer…

          There is a darkness that prevades…

  3. Romancing The Loan

    Love today’s Antidote.

    Just bought a house with a yard that backs on some conservation land (Framingham. Goodbye city full of rich bastards!) and a bat house is going to be one of the first things I put in.

    1. cocomaan

      I took my life into my own hands putting up our bat house. I extended the leaning ladder up to its terminus and laid it against the three, then had to drill some 2x4s into the red oak to mount the thing. No kidding, I was actually hugging the tree to prevent myself from falling twenty feet to my death.

      The bats never moved in. You are supposed to move a bat box every few years if they don’t move in, but I’ll be damned if I’m getting up that tree again. I’ll find an easier tree to tackle and put up another one instead.

      Fortunately there are plenty of bats around (like you, we live adjacent to open space, state gamelands for us). In fact, I saw one during the day recently, which frightened me due to rabies, but it was really warm and I figure he knew what he was doing.

      Buy your own bat house here and support a good cause:

      1. fresno dan

        March 3, 2017 at 8:02 am

        “…extended the leaning ladder up to its terminus and laid it against the three, …”

        You must have bats in the belfry …Oh, you don’t have a belfry….or bats…
        Maybe you should try purple martin birdhouses – I don’t think they have to be as high

        1. Anne

          Or…you could get lucky and have them take up residence behind the shutters on your house, which is what a little group of bats did on our house. They have since moved on, but we have a pretty substantial bat population (we’re in the country with lots of trees); love sitting out as night falls and watching them swoop and dive (and hopefully, fill up on mosquitoes and other bugs!).

      2. Olga

        I guess you do not live in Austin, TX, where ab 1.5 million bats live under one bridge. They do fly out at dusk to feed – a sight to behold…

    2. homeroid

      I grew up in Framingham,on Edmonds rd. You i would guess must be in the millwood area. Many fond memories of that area back then.

  4. skippy

    Ref…. In praise of cash aeon…

    Argh…. “is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’”

    disheveled….. the nomenclature – natural – is not a logical argument… its just a religious or quasi – religious ideological tautology… shit – is – and only deviants disagree…. FFS~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. susan the other

      I thought that the claim that a cashless payments system will create a completely privatized money system was off. It will create a completely privatized payments system (so what else is new?) but money will still be fiat and sovereign. I agree that too many things can go wrong with digitized money – the logistics are vulnerable. They will have big glitches and probably cause an even worse black market with other forms of currency and barter – but money will always be sovereign. It is what it is!.

      1. susan the other

        actually, it could be like prohibition – people will deal completely outside the money system for things like arms, gold, opium, diamonds and be even harder to trace and prevent.

        1. Olga

          Wouldn’t a cashless system just spur a lot of bartering?
          There’s gotta be a way to avoid the Big (banking) bro…
          Sooner or later, people will find it

    2. flora

      the idea that making the big banks – the entities that crashed the global financial system in 2008 – the owners of all payments systems and money is bizarre. Wells Fargo is still ripping off its customers, but we’re supposed to trust them in a brave new cashless world? sure.

  5. Ignim Brites

    “It’s hard to avoid the sense that Washington is losing its mind.” With some calling the alledged Russian hacking of the election a Pearl Harbor level event, it difficult to avoid the impression that some find the Trump presidency so traumatizing that annihilation in a nuclear war would actually be preferable.

    1. Grumpy Engineer

      Even worse, the Russians didn’t actually hack the election. They hacked some e-mails and published them. [And maybe not even that. Wikileaks could have gotten their information from another source. There’s no “law of IT physics” that limits the number of hacks/leaks to one.] Notably, they published information that arguably should have been public domain anyway. It was VERY educational to learn about the sausage-making and loathsome tactics employed by the DNC. The only true injustice is that there weren’t similar leaks from the GOP side of things.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wasn’t Podesta spearfished? For a guy who publicly pushed his intentions to get to the bottom of Area 51 (planes, we fly a black market mig from the 90’s out of there; retired aeronautical engineers hang out there and watch the skies to see planes they designed in production), who knows what might have been in that e-mail?

        Did Podesta believe he was being contacted by a member of the FBI or Nigerian prince (he’s met important people)? Yes, “deplorables” get scammed, but Podesta would attract real offers. Then of course, the DNC released updated security passwords in the “hacked” emails. Between this and “Ada,” Team Blue’s IT staff probably isn’t up to the same standards as their FB page.

        The flip side is the RNC would likely have been upset about Trump as Trump wasn’t fundraising and paying them outlandish salaries.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Podesta’s password was allegedly “p@ssword”. That’s an easy hack. It’d probably be broken in the first twelve attempts via a brute force / open source dictionary attack.

            1. Marina Bart

              Really? I’m disappointed. If I was in his position, I would have gone with “Zzzzzzzz”

      2. Pat

        And there is no proof as presented that even if some Russians hacked the DNC they were government operatives.

        So we have maybe some Russians who might have been Russian government operatives possibly hacked into the DNC server which had private emails leaked showing they actively broke their own rules and lied to their members because…, and maybe those perhaps Russians possibly Russian government hackers sent them to Wikileaks. That is if it wasn’t as both a middleman and Wikileaks have said NOT Russian government hackers, but maybe even disgusted insiders. And a whole lot of people being appalled because a foreign nation possibly was interested in the outcome of our election ignoring the constant lobbying of both Israel and Saudi Arabia not to mention the possible Chinese contacts with multiple politicians including Clinton….(Oh, and that Clinton and her managers ran an incompetent campaign that forgot the only thing that counts is the electoral college.)

        But “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!” (excuse me showing my age).

        1. Ivy

          And those pesky Russkies offed Seth Rich to cover their tracks by eliminating a witness. /s

          I wish that there would be some revelation of what happened to him. Some WikiLeaks file somewhere may have that little bit of information with names attached?

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          “And there is no proof as presented…..”

          Yet the fires continue to be stoked.

          To the extent that morning joe floats propaganda trial balloons early, that are then modified, refined and amplified during the day, to be subsequently picked up as “news,” here is an interesting wrinkle from this morning.

          First, Angus King, earnest and forthright “independent” senator, characterized the gravity of the dnc “hack” thusly: if “Russians” parachuted into washington, d.c., physically stole computers and hard drives and escaped with important information in a Russian submarine in the Potomac, americans would consider that an attack. (A Red Dawn image if I ever heard one.)

          Building on that description, richard stengel, in whatever capacity he currently opines, followed up with:

          ” I think Article 5 of the Nato Agreement should be revised to reflect cyber attacks as something that triggers the Collective Defense Agreement of Nato.”

          No one should have any illusions about where this is headed. The thinness of the “evidence” suggests a desperation that is rapidly approaching collective insanity.

          1. Pat

            Oh, they are desperate, and not thinking. I don’t expect it of Morning Joe, but perhaps someone should ask what would happen if a member of NATO initiated such attacks, as in hacked and stole information or corrupted systems. And then remind them of the various AMERICAN programs to do just that and that it was confirmed that we spied on our ‘allies’ the British and Germans when we recorded their leaders conversations, so it is not outside the range of possibilities that we would hack their systems.

            IOW, what would we expect the punishment to us to be when it is shown we do exactly what our chicken littles are screaming about…

            Oh, wait we are exceptional. /s

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        You’ve bought the propaganda! They were NOT hacked. Wikileaks says they got the e-mails from 2 internal leakers. The other claim is spearphishing. A consultant hired by the DNC made the hacking claim.

        And the DNC has refused to let the FBI inspect its servers..

    2. Laughingsong

      Losing its mind? Oh no, it lost its mind, past tense, and any day I expect its photo to turn up on a milk carton.

  6. fresno dan

    How the Press Serves the Deep State ConsortiumNews (Sid S)

    As reporters Glenn Thrush and Michael M. Grynbaum put it: “This New York-iest of politicians, now an idiosyncratic, write-your-own-rules president, has stumbled into the most conventional of Washington traps: believing he [Trump] can master an entrenched political press corps with far deeper connections to the permanent government of federal law enforcement and executive department officials than he has.”
    Iron triangle? Permanent government? In its tale of how Trump went from being a favorite of the New York Post and Daily News to fodder for the big-time Washington news media, the Times seems to be going out of its way to confirm dark paranoid fears of a “deep state” lurking behind the scenes and dictating what political leaders can and cannot do. “Too powerful to bully” by a “write-your-own-rules president” is another way of saying that the permanent government wants to do things its way and will not put up with a president telling it to take a different approach.
    A second thing worth keeping in mind is that if ever there was a case of the unspeakable versus the inedible (to quote Oscar Wilde), the contest between a billionaire president and billionaire-owned press is it.

    Both sides are more or less correct in what they say about the other. Trump really is a strongman at war with basic democratic norms just as innumerable Times op-ed articles say he is. And giant press organization like the Times and the Washington Post are every bit as biased and one-sided as Trump maintains – and no less willfully gullible, one might add, than in 2002 or 2003 when they happily swallowed every lie put out by the George W. Bush administration regarding Iraqi WMDs or Saddam Hussein’s support for Al Qaeda.
    As noted yesterday in the Rolling Stone posting about the 2,500 soldiers killed under Obama, I have to say that was news to me. Its not what they report, its what they choose not to see, not to understand, not to report.

    1. skippy

      El’Trumpos entire shtick is more grounded in his past TV’ee reality show mind set and ratings, and how that reflects wrt his income and power projection, and feelings of self worth…. sort a like Bernays folding in on it self….

      disheveled…. el’trumpo has no – comprehensive economic plan – he has a marketing – image management dilemma wrt flexian dynamics…

  7. fresno dan

    This Far-Right Tweet About “The Future That Liberals Want” Backfired Into A Huge Meme Buzzfeed (Chuck L). Original shot looks to have been taken/staged on the Lex line.

    Link don’t work

      1. fresno dan

        ex-PFC Chuck
        March 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

        Thanks. Somehow, Godzilla holding an umbrella while escorting his ?wife? ?date? (Japanese – irony) just strikes a chord with me….you would think a creature born of radiation would want to soak up as much UV as possible….

        And weren’t the Muslims supposed to be throwing the ….more sexually diverse off the rooftops?

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      Interesting that when reactionaries attack both the left and liberalism in culture wars the ‘coalition’ can come up with vibrant, witty replies. But when orthodox liberals are left to their own devices to come up with their own memes, the result is some combination of feeble (Dangerous Donald, Deplorables), self-defeating (Fake News, Trump shames Reagan’s legacy), or outright destructive (Russia hacked the election, Woke CIA).

      Some people would say that this is a reflection of the age-split of the left-liberal coalition. Me, I think that liberalism without leftism is inherently self-aggrandizing, self-destructive, and ultimately unremittingly corny because there’s no way by itself to make orthodox liberalism stylish — like all defenses of hierarchy when you come down to it.

      1. susan the other

        interesting comment, Cheese. neoliberals thrived on putting down reactionaries.. aka the far right… maybe it was all pure theater to buy time but it really looks like time is running on empty these days.

      2. Musicismath

        Yeah. It’s the mannequin challenge and Beyoncé’s backing dancers in pantsuits all the way down.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Yikes! I must be getting really old.

      I don’t get how cats on hot dogs and cartoon characters, human and imagined, equals “backfired.”

      If I was a voter who needed a decent paying job, a good education for my kids and some affordable healthcare, and I had decided to throw in with the “make america great again crowd” instead of the “america is already great” one, I’d feel pretty vindicated, not to mention relieved, after seeing that.

      Of course, I don’t get how snapchat is worth $22 billion either, so what do I know.

    3. Lymne

      Sorry, but actually I am angry about this. I could not care less what the man is wearing, but the misogyny is overwhelming here. He says, “I hope one day that a picture of a woman in modesty garb sitting next to a colorful drag queen isn’t out of the ordinary — that it’s every day life for everyone!”

      Yep, EVERY woman should have to covered head to toe EVERY DAY to suit him.

      How is this OK????

  8. s.n.

    significant and under-reported:
    On 19 February Daesh [ISIS] reportedly released a video calling for the extermination of all Christians in Egypt
    Throughout February repeated attacks on Copts in the SInai have resulted in several hundred Copts fleeing for Ismailia

    the beginning of a new phase of Daesh terror? Or merely a localised Sinai phenomenon? If the former, then European govts should begin considering the possibility of a large refugee stream…

    1. Andrew Watts

      They’ve been kidnapping and killing Christians for a long time in Iraq and Syria. It stopped outside of Mosul after local Arab tribes intervened on their behalf. Most Christians have fled that country though.

      I don’t think it ever stopped in Syria. It’s one of the reasons why the multi-ethnic and non-sectarian Syrian Democratic Forces has worked. When you face a common enemy who wants to commit genocide against your people sectarian differences which seemed to matter before lose their relevance.

      1. s.n.

        all you have said is true. I’m unclear as to whether the IS video calling for Coptic slaughter is merely business as usual –or marks a strategic shift in response to recent IS losses in Syria, Iraq, Libya, ie the beginning of an Egypt terror campaign:
        Islamic State extending attacks beyond Sinai to Egyptian heartland
        I can’t find the link now but a couple of years ago some analyst wrote a compelling piece on ease with which Egyptian IS-aligned Islamists could launch and sustain an urban terror campaign. They weren’t doing so then simply because all available energies were focussed on Iraq, Syria, Libya – and perhaps Sinai

        The Coptic population numbers are disputed -5 to 10 million? A mass exodus heading towards Europe would certainly mean beginning a whole new chapter in modern mayhem

        1. Andrew Watts

          It’s business as usual imo. The Islamic State doesn’t have that many followers or much of a base outside Sinai. Crowd-sourcing their targeted assassination campaign is empirical proof of that. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brotherhood and IS began to openly fight over turf in Egypt. In the unlikely case where the Brotherhood lost that struggle IS would gain a significant base of support to wage an urban terror campaign on the same level as their influence in Baghdad,

          I could be very wrong about all that though. The jihadists who would normally travel to Syria/Iraq could always stay in their home countries to cause trouble.

          The Coptic population numbers are disputed -5 to 10 million? A mass exodus heading towards Europe would certainly mean beginning a whole new chapter in modern mayhem

          No idea. I wouldn’t trust any population estimates concerning ethnic/religious minority populations from any North African or Middle East country. It’s not like the census people can knock on the door and get a truthful response. If I had to guess I’d go with the lower number. Overestimation in quantitative analysis is a common error.

  9. fresno dan

    Is Trump Bonkers? William Greider, Nation

     But this begs an obvious question: How did this screwball get to the White House in the first place? Put aside his odious traits and egomaniacal vanity. What explains the extraordinary success of this neophyte politician?
    I have a theory: Trump baffled and defeated his conventional opponents because he expressed an emotional truth about the American condition that people feel in their guts. But neither Democrats nor Republicans have the nerve to acknowledge it. The “American Century” is over, Trump declared in so many words (“We never win anymore!”). The long and mostly successful saga of US triumphalism, in which Washington essentially ran the world, is finally stumbling toward a confused and chaotic conclusion. Governing elites, though, refuse to accept that reality. It would sound cowardly, unpatriotic.

    Never mind the endless succession of losing wars, never mind the gargantuan US debt, meant to keep the world economy from sinking into the full catastrophe of global depression. We are still the “indispensable nation” celebrated by New York Times columnists and certain learned professors.

    Only, Americans at large aren’t buying it any more. Odd as it sounds, ordinary people came to a clear understanding of our national predicament long before the power elites and most of the economics profession, and especially before the data wizards of our major political parties.

    Remember just a few days ago the fainting, gnashing of teeth, and outrage at Trump’s use of the WORD carnage? The propaganda of the freest, most prosperous, most lawful, most noble nation (AND most meritorious /sarc) on earth ran face first into the wall of lived experience of most Americans.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “carnage” would imply a drop in life expectancy which is, in fact, the lived experience of millions of Americans (you know, the ones liberals don’t have any empathy for, not even on their deathbeds, because tolerance and diversity).

    2. Eclair

      And, don’t forget our declining life expectancy (at least for certain groups of ‘deplorables’), the rising maternal and infant mortality rates (those ‘deplorables’ again!) and the epidemics of meth and prescription drug addiction.

    3. susan the other

      this is only vaguely connected: I’ve noticed lately a small increase in cinema of depictions of the emotional misery fostered by the Stasi in East Germany… the theme is stg. like ‘killing the human spirit in the name of social good’ or whatever. I’m thinking that both communism and capitalism are guilty of this: killing the everyday good to promote the out-of-reach bliss of ideology. We in the USA are certainly guilty of this. And in denial. I wish we could have a nationally recognized day of confession wherein we can admit how clueless we have been.

          1. ilpalazzo

            Yeah, the film is great. I must admit though that being a Polish leftie and knowing that anti-commie underground became eager neoliberal neophytes I was rooting for STASI.

            BTW when talking about german films, I wonder if you’ve seen Baader Meinhof complex. Highly recommended if only for production values.

  10. David

    Re Fillon: I posted about this a few days ago. It’s getting worse, with not just presumed allies deserting him but also members of his campaign staff. Le Maire, his foreign affairs advisor was a big loss, and this morning’s big news is that Thierry Solère, his press spokesman, has bailed out as well.
    So why is Fillon carrying on? The best guess is that he’s hoping for a miracle to get him into the second round opposite Le Pen, whom he thinks he can beat. (That’s also the conventional wisdom). That would shelter him and his wife from probable arrest and trial on corruption charges for the next five years, after which ….. we’ll see. He’s hoping that Hamon and Mélenchon will share the Left vote fairly equally, and that Macron’s inexperience and general fuzziness will bring his score down. With a lot of luck, he might just scrape into second place and so qualify for the second round. He’s been hardening his position on a number of issues in an attempt to court Le Pen’s vote, and presenting himself as the candidate persecuted by “the system.”
    Even if you don’t normally follow French politics, you should pay attention between now and the summer: we could be looking at a complete implosion of the system that has endured since 1958, with enormous consequences for France but also for Europe.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, David and Alison.

      I agree with the summary and analysis.

      Macron was interviewed on the France 2 evening news yesterday. David Pujadas bowled long hops, comfortably batted to the boundary. It was as if the reforms proposed by Macron entail no pain.

      One compares that to the scrutiny of the Fillon family.

      What is not talked about is even if Macron wins, he will have little parliamentary support for his programme. France will become ungovernable even if Macron is able to come to an understanding with the neo-liberals in the Republicain and Socialist parties.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        I forgot to add that Liberation, which, as per Alison’s link, has set up an online tally of the rats bailing out from Fillon’s campaign is a third owned by Edouard de Rothschild. Who he? Edouard de Rothschild co-headed the (French half of the) bank with his brother David. Edouard managed HR and David client relations. Said bank employed Macron. Both brothers are big shots in horse racing.

        The French MSM does not mention Macron’s role in the sale of Alstom to GE and tax inversion M&A, all of which have weakened France’s industrial base and sovereignty. It beggars belief that this shameless opportunist may become chef d’etat.

        1. David

          Yes indeed. The fact that Macron doesn’t have a party seems to have escaped a lot of people. It’s not clear how he can actually have a supportive government after the next legislative elections. Macron has already been appointed the next President by the media and the chattering classes. It only remains for the people to do their duty and vote for him.

          1. Marina Bart

            I really appreciate the discussion going on here re: the French election. I didn’t really understand how the modern French electoral system is set-up. It’s fascinating to learn more about that, even as we see the nationalist/globalized capitalist/vealpenned left dynamic play out in yet another major country, in approximately the same way.

  11. Jim Haygood

    In response to the Hillary for Mayor signs popping up like poison mushrooms in NYC, this post appeared in another forum [edited slightly for style and clarity]:

    Hillary: Hello-o-o-o, New Yorkers!!

    the mob: Applauds wildly like trained seals (not the fightin’ kind) right on cue.

    Hillary: I know, that you know, I just had to do it. [wide grin]

    the mob: Applauds wildly again. A sea of purple and vestal virgin white outfits of Hillary’s acolytes, mostly men, spells out I AM WOMAN. The crowd is swooning now.

    Hillary: And I just have to say … I just wanted to … I, I … Suddenly she is teetering, like a top ready to lose its mojo, eyes rolled upward. Her burly black Secret Service agent with the medical device appears. The crowd goes quickly from euphoria to gasps and stunned silence.

    Back at campaign HQ, feverish discussion is taking place as to whether or not Anthony Weiner should announce that the fireworks display will be canceled. There seems to be an objection from Huma, who feels it’s only right that She should do this. Bill Clinton politely defers to the sound judgment of others [Podesta] in the matter. Chelsea is crying in the corner. Ivanka Trump offers her comfort, mostly because Chelsea’s ex is now selling apples on a street corner across town.

    Meanwhile, a POTUS tweet goes out: #Sad, she had so much going for her, wish her well!

    the mob: Back at the auditorium it’s been two hours already; still no word. The crowd walks around in abject silence muttering Rosebud, Rosebud. A few are openly sobbing.

    And it’s gone! Fireworks canceled; NYC is saved for another day!

    The End
    by Giant Meteor

    Hillary for mayor … of Benghazi. ;-)

    1. oho

      I can’t imagine that Hillary *really* wants to deal w/the daily nuts/bolts of being a mayor—sewers, MTA, snow plows, kissing babies, etc.

      No way and this is all some astroturfing by purported friends of HRC—unless HRC’s lust for power truly does know no bounds.

      1. Jim Haygood

        In her 2006 bid for re-election to the Senate, Hillary coyly denied any presidential ambitions, despite it being an open secret that she would seek the nomination in 2008. See this Time cover from August 2006:,16641,20060828,00.html

        Forty-two years of history demonstrates that the Clintons ALWAYS are plotting their next turn in public office.

        “Daily nuts/bolts” are what Huma is for. ;-)

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Hillary was running for President and flew home every night. Much like Trump, she simply never took the job seriously, but she had the ego to run if not the work ethic. While she is flying to New York, she’s missing campaign stops in Wisconsin. Could Hillary have held a few more relies and inspired her supporters to get out and do GOTV? Probably not, but she didn’t even try. She has mega wealthy supporters everywhere. She could have found palatial surroundings.

        A statewide candidate who goes home every night is bound to lose. Jim Webb broke this rule, but his opponent did have a major stumble.

        Candidates that go home every night are bums.

      3. polecat

        Sauron in purple ……

        ‘dammit ….. where in Mt. Doom did I put that ring I had forged ??…..’

        “BILLLLLLLLLLLLLLbo Bangins !!!!!!”

  12. fresno dan

    Brent Beshore‏Verified account @BrentBeshore Mar 1
    9) Big-shop PE shouldn’t be considered investing. It’s an asset auction with same bidders, LPs, and banks, deploying vintages of capital.
    I’ll take that February 28, 2017 MBS with a glass of Trader Joe’s (not Joe who trades, the grocery store) Shiraz of March 1, 2017 at 2:43pm – I like my wine and debt young ….

  13. David

    My post on the French elections was marked for moderation and then deleted: have I offended somebody?

    1. hreik

      It always seems random to me, but once a post of mine was deleted because I thanked 2 people, each separately and it was called out as a duplicate. Lol. Silly me. Who’d have thought that thanking Peter and then thanking Paul was duplicative.

    2. fresno dan

      March 3, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Skynet works in strange and mysterious ways, its wonders to behold. Rain, and moderation, falls on the just and unjust. Why, I just had a truly insightful post of mine put in moderation…Moi! who can believe it???

        1. fresno dan

          Lambert Strether
          March 3, 2017 at 8:42 am

          Conan the Barbarian
          Title Card: That which does not kill us makes us stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche

          1. ewmayer

            It packs more compact oomph in the original Teutsch: “Was nicht tötet, härtet.”

    3. Lambert Strether

      Not sure how you can know it was deleted, since (presumably) you don’t have backstage access. What you can know is that it did not appear (and I just approved it, after about 30 minutes; site policy is within 24 hours). Please don’t whinge about moderation. It doesn’t help anybody and it clutters the thread.

    4. Foppe

      To clarify: when you no longer see your own posts that are ‘in moderation’ after refreshing the page, it’s not because they’re deleted, but because WP (presumably) is sloppy in recognizing that you are the person who ‘owns’ that post.

  14. fresno dan

    How To Fine-Tune Your Bullshit Detector FastCodeDesign (Joe H). Circulate widely. Of course, the problem is the people who most need to read this probably won’t.
    4. What is the other side?
    What is the other side of the “Ukraine” story? The “White Hats” story? Lindsey Graham is human….
    We live in such an all pervading universe of “news” bullsh*t that I shudder to contemplate all the things I believe that are not only 180 degrees wrong, but 11 dimensions away from reality….

    1. MartyH

      IMHO, the Bullshit Detector story is roughly the same as the Project Syndicate “Expertise” story. Since so much of their revered “Experts” have been shown to have sold out to Special Interests, the need for bullshit-detection is as pressing among their pontifications as among those of the media and politicians.

    2. Steely Glint

      I clicked through to the link in the article for Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit, and it was great, especially his advice for ” what not to do”.

    3. susan the other

      just to repeat what I’ve said before: my dogs (RIP) had the best, most instantaneous BS detectors I ever met. They didn’t have to parse a thing. So if we had better olfactory recognition, maybe it would be one more thing to keep in mind. And if we had better psychic translations we’d be on a roll.

  15. Jim Haygood

    A year ago today in this space, the Craazyman Fund portfolio was announced. Time for a first year performance review (Mar 2, 2016 – Mar 2, 2017):

    Craazyman Fund …………………………………….. +16.47%
    ……Junk bonds (50% weight) …………… +20.35%
    …… Emerging market stocks (30% wt) … +21.42%
    …… Gold bullion (20% weight) ……………. –0.67%

    Benchmark (50% stocks, 50% bonds) ……………. +11.49%
    …… S&P 500 index fund (50% weight) ….. +22.31%
    …… Barclays Agg bonds (50% weight) .. … +0.68%

    Emerging market stocks almost equaled the S&P 500, while gold and bonds both had a flat 12 months. Junk bonds, deeply depressed a year ago, did the heavy lifting which propelled Craazyman Fund to a nearly 5 percent beat vs its benchmark.

    Sometime this year, as Bubble III grows to manic proportions, the equity exposure in Craazyman Fund may have to be pared for safety’s sake. For now, we’re gonna let it rip.

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      March 3, 2017 at 8:26 am

      SO… long do I have to keep my Crazyman fund as opposed to the S&P fund to accrue another million dollars (or whatever the bits and bytes are called once dollars are abolished???)
      (takes out slide rule…takes socks off tentacles…starts counting suckers (on the tentacles, but come to think of it, its good to know how many suckers there are….))

      1. craazyboy

        Warren Buffet is fond of saying junk bonds are at least as volatile as high beta common stocks. So if I was crazy enough to bet the retirement nest egg on them, I’d be selling now and laughing to the bank.

        Also, the definition of a junk rating is that it is very, very clear the company cannot pay off or refi the debt – so it has less long term staying power than your typical small cap startup that may be able to live for years off it’s IPO proceeds – if they don’t find a way to steal that from their common stockholders. So high beta can be found without the junk bond pre-ordained death sentence.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Definition of a ‘B’ rating (below BBB- is non investment grade):

          An obligor is MORE VULNERABLE than the obligors rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments.

          Junk bonds are certainly correlated with small cap stocks. Since inception in Aug 1990, the junk bond mutual fund used in Craazyman Fund exhibited volatility of 8.86% (annualized from monthly values), while high-beta stocks had volatility in the 20% range.

          From another perspective, the worst monthly drawdown of the junk bond mutual fund in the 2008 crisis was 29%, versus over 50% drawdown in stocks. Junk bonds are less volatile than stocks, the numbers show.

          Warren Buffett doesn’t care too much about volatility. When the Sharpe ratio is applied to estimate risk-adjusted returns, junk bonds beat high-beta stocks hands down.

          1. craazyboy

            Per wiki article –
            “Bonds that are not rated as investment-grade bonds are known as high yield bonds or more derisively as junk bonds.”

            I’ll still take a profitable, low debt small cap or even a startup with lottsa IPO money in the bank(enough to meet payroll for 5 years) over a junk bond that absolutely needs unbelievably loose money to outlast even a moderate recession.

            I wouldn’t worry about volatility either if I had 60 billion bucks. But Warren was giving advice to the little peoples when he said that.

            1. bronco

              Ya he wants the little people in index funds where he can front run them. Also the oracle didn’t mention that the best investment strategy nowadays which is working quite well for him , is to follow in his footsteps and become a crony capitalist

              1. polecat

                Hope he chokes on a Dairy Queen ice cream cone …. soon ! … waaaay out on a beach somewhere ! …. naked !

      1. Jim Haygood

        Many stock charting sites can display custom portfolios. Typically they would be price only. The figures cited above are total returns, including dividends.

        Let me make an Excel chart and find somewhere to post it publicly.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Here we go: chart showing daily values of Craazyman Fund and its 50/50 benchmark for the past 12 months.

        It held its lead the whole time. Big dip in November was caused by the strong dollar (post election) hitting emerging market stocks and gold.

    2. Clive

      Well, that just shows me doesn’t it (and my perma-bearishness).

      I am currently relishing the stupendous 0.05% yield on my all-cash “portfolio” (money in a checking account).

      I will though, I am sure, have the last laugh. Someday. If I live long enough to see it…

      1. skippy

        Cambridge – Capital – controversy thingy Clive old boy….

        disheveled…. that said…. we live in a cash flow dominate reality…. everything is extenuated from there… live and die stuff….

      2. fresno dan

        March 3, 2017 at 8:47 am

        You must be a real financial WIZARD…or have connections. I’m getting 0.01%….and I have to come in after hours and mop the floor with my tongue.

          1. Clive

            Hey, getting something — anything — in these days of ZIRP is wizardry of sorts.

            Maybe there’s a special “curmudgeon’s bonus” being applied?

    3. bronco

      It beats because the index fund isn’t in it. But how is Wall Street supposed to front run all your trades without the index fund? Should be called the pinko-commie fund, real patriots would never deny wall street its well deserved billions

      1. Jim Haygood

        One reason for using a junk bond mutual fund (Fidelity SPHIX in this case, though there are plenty of others to choose from) is that the two big junk bond ETFs — JNK and HYG — apparently do get front run.

        Unlike ETFs, junk bond mutual funds aren’t obliged to mirror an index, and can benefit from their discretion.

    4. susan the other

      Jim and Craazy, et al. None of this resonates with me because it isn’t operating in my timeframe. I’m not fine tuned so I think index funds are the longer term solution… and lately they have been trashed. But in the long-long-term it’s all 6s, right?. Therefore: my question is “What do I invest in that will never go down?” As in below the natural inflation rate and taking into consideration a devastated planet. If there is such a trade, I’d consider it to be based on bedrock optimism – never to be breached. Does such a thing exist? If not, why the hell do we trade at all at this point?

      1. craazyboy

        Does such a thing exist?

        I don’t think so, which is why I’ve been outta the market since 2008. Not that was a good idea so far. I coulda been a nice comfy millionaire or two. But I blame severe crash trauma and it’s possible I never recover.

        However, if a undertaker-crematorium franchising company starts up and takes off like Starbucks, I’m going all in. Potential 7-10 billion people consumer market there!

      2. wilroncanada

        Susan the other
        Old joke warning:
        Avoid umbrellas and elevators. But writing paper and envelopes are always stationery.

      3. Grebo

        TIPS, though in the case of a devastated planet I believe the advice is “food, water and ammo”, assuming you can’t stretch to a space yacht.

  16. paul

    Thousands of Labour members quit over Corbyn leadership

    Membership before Corbyn ~200,000
    Membership peak ~ 554,000 with Corbyn
    Memebership loss ~26,000 (People dying, blairites leaving)

    Disaster or doing OK? Depends how you look at it.

    1. Clive

      We, or rather, The Guardian, can’t let context get in the way of a good headline — or at least a headline compliant with editorial policy — now can we?

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Clive and Paul.

          I share your sentiments.

          It has been amazing how, for months, the UK MSM has been getting hysterical about Trump, Putin, Corbyn, Le Pen and Fillon, often devoting entire news bulletins to Trump and / or Putin, but ignoring thec existential crises in the National Health Service, schools, police, armed forces etc, not to mention the utter shambles that is Brexit.

          One might think that it’s going swimmingly in Blighty such is the coverage given to dastardly foreigners or Corbyn.

          One should not be surprised at the Guardian. It is rehabilitating W, FFS. Thank goodness, the paper is losing money as if it is going out of fashion or trying to emulate the debauched aristos who used to own most of my home county, Buckinghamshire, until they had to sell to arrivistes like the Rothschilds. The Guardian may not exist in a decade at the rate it is burning through money. This death spiral has not prevented the management from lavishing a new HQ on itself and employing a majority of its staff on zero hours / gig contracts.

  17. Alex Morfesis

    Trump nor republicans really want a wall or even a full fence…nor massive immigration adjustments…about ten million illegals would probably not cry too loudly if given an option of registration, $ 2,500.00 fine and two years of stability and a waiver on the 10 year stay out rule as a requirement…

    or $25,000.00 fine if they dont register and dont leave in the next 6 months…give people an easy payment plan option who dont have the 2500 in hand for each family member here…

    The budget to increase enforcement is not currently available and the media coverage of arrests of illegals seems to be glossing over the “reduced” enforcement under trump compared to under obattz…

    A small 2500 fine in return for 2 years of stability and a waiver on the 10 year stay out rule would probably be hoovered by most illegals and there would be the $ 20 + billion for that beautiful wall…

    $moke and mirrors is not a good sign from the new administration…

    hopefully this peanut gallerian is off base with this assertion…

  18. Steve H.

    Sic Semper: “Trump went to JB Andrews to receive the dead body of the SEAL who died in Yemen.”


  19. rich

    Rubenstein Bullish on PEU

    Here are a few Rubenstein quotes from the interview:

    The market is very, very high. Private equity ;probably has benefited from that.

    The United States is dominant in what the private equity world does.

    There will be less regulation of private equity in some ways.

    The administration will be focused on other things, not beating up on private equity, not that the previous administration did.

    Actually the administration will be focused on things that benefit private equity, infrastructure (once called pork barrel) and lower taxes. President Trump’s cabinet is chock full of private equity underwriters (PEU) and they will advantage their brethren with Uncle Sam’s trillion dollar budget.

    Rubenstein pulled a P.T. Barnum encouraging investors to “step right up.”

    The “other” administration beat up on “them” so bad representatives came to celebrate his Bloomberg PR platform:

    D.C. Big Wigs Celebrate Rubenstein’s Ability to Talk

    Bloomberg hosted a party for Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein’s billionaire interview show. The Washington elite turned out to support one of their own. Politicians Red and Blue love PEU.

  20. allan

    Comparison of Pharmaceutical, Psychological, and Exercise Treatments for Cancer-Related Fatigue:
    A Meta-analysis
    [JAMA Oncology]

    Key Points

    Question Which of the 4 most commonly recommended treatments for cancer-related-fatigue—exercise, psychological, the combination of exercise and psychological, and pharmaceutical—is the most effective?

    Findings This meta-analysis of 113 unique studies (11 525 unique participants) found that exercise and psychological interventions and the combination of both reduce cancer-related fatigue during and after cancer treatment. Reduction was not due to time, attention, or education. In contrast, pharmaceutical interventions do not improve cancer-related fatigue to the same magnitude.

    Meaning Clinicians should prescribe exercise and/or psychological interventions as first-line treatments for cancer-related fatigue. …

    Hard to believe, I know.

    1. susan the other

      not hard to believe… I think we are basically batteries. Our energy gets run down. I actually get funny little spark sensations when I’m feeling run down… a good recharge is prolly what all need, periodically :-)

      1. Clive

        Wow, I thought it was just me. I usually describe it as “staticky” like when you used to rub a balloon on a nylon jersey as a kid and it would stick or, if you were lucky, crackle with static electricity. Always my cue to get plenty of rest.

  21. fresno dan

    Washington Post
    Sessions breaks with intelligence agencies, says he doesn’t know if Russia wanted Trump to win
    Washington Post

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Who did China want to win?

      Who did Germany want to win?

      Who did Saudi Arabia want to win?

      Who did the Chinese spy agency want to win (probably not an issue in a well-run or unified country)?

      Who did the UK spies want to win?

      Who did Israel want to win?

      Who did Mexico want to win?

      Who did Haiti want to win?

      1. susan the other

        exactly, Beef. everybody hacks us, and we hack everybody… could be a new rendition of that old 50s song… gotta come together at some point. That’ll be a relief.

      2. Dead Dog

        Yes. We forget how common it is for a country’s most influential people (economic and political elites, celebrities too) to have a viewpoint on how one’s own or another country’s citizen’s should vote. And, more importantly ensuring that their views are known to the voters. Do these viewpoints matter and influence voters’ preferences? They probably do (and it would be ideal if foreigners stayed out of our business), but it doesn’t stop them doing it.

        So what if ‘Russia’ as in Putin and his elite mates wanted a Trump administration rather than HRC? It’s pure hypocracy and red-baiting hysteria. Here’s a clip from NBC (22/4/16):

        President Obama on Friday defended his controversial op-ed in a London newspaper urging the British to vote to stay in the European Union, saying he was merely offering his thoughts — and that he didn’t consider it hypocritical to do so.

        “First of all, let me repeat: this is a decision for the people of the United Kingdom to make. I’m not coming here to fix any votes,” Obama said in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who supports staying in the EU. “I’m not casting a vote myself. I’m offering my opinion. And in democracies, everybody should want more information, not less, and you shouldn’t be afraid to hear an argument being made. That’s not a threat.”

        The problem is that Russia is still seen as the enemy waiting to attack us, literally or economically, and that why this no news continue to be served up.

        The evil Russia is what I read, but it isn’t what I see.

        1. Marina Bart

          Bear in mind he was running against the actual Mr. Monopoly character from the board game.

          I walked into the booth that year planning to vote for Roseanne Barr as a fun protest. Then I chickened out after I thought, “If Obama wins weakly, he’ll run right even harder.”

  22. Tim

    My joke of the day:

    Jebadiah Davis from rural Tennessee writes:
    “Do you want to know the difference between Illegal Aliens and Politicians?
    Well for starters they talk funny, and they can be pretty greasy.
    The are sneaky and ambitious about trying to get to where they want to go.
    They will lie, even fake being somebody else just to get a job.
    And when they do, they make a heck of a lot more money than those ILLEGALS.”

  23. OIFVet

    March 3rd, 1878 – Russian aggression liberated Bulgaria from 500 years of Ottoman yoke. Therefore we must strengthen NATO to prevent more Russian aggression. /Sarc

  24. Katharine

    Gotta love Theresa May’s rationale for restricting press freedom, as described by Jim Killock:

    We do have a right to free expression. That’s how we phrase it in the U.K. And that is guaranteed by the Human Rights Act, which is a bit like a Bill of Rights. And that’s all backed up by us signing the European Convention on Human Rights. But, to give you an idea of how fragile those rights are compared with the States, Theresa May has publicly said that she wants to get rid of the European Convention on Human Rights. She wants us to leave that European institution and she said she doesn’t like the Human Rights Act because all these things get in the way of government.

    Good luck, folks!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is she talking about zero human rights, or replacing the membership in that institution with something else on human rights?

      1. Katharine

        I only know what I read in the interview. Apparently she might be okay with human rights that don’t get in the way of government.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hopefully also rights that get in the way of government, like making fun of politicians on late night TV.

  25. hreik

    Quick Question for the NC powers that be. What’s the men / women breakdown of commenters on this site?

    Thank you in advance.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Think of it as a continuum.

        A little of this and a little bit of that mixed in.

        Moreover, one fluctuates along the continuum.

        Today, you’re 30% of that, and tomorrow, you may be only 19%.

            1. polecat

              cough .. ‘Robert Heinlein reference’ … cough

              no cowboys

              Martians ……**

              ** from the novel ‘Stranger in a strange land’

    1. Vatch

      Oh, gosh. Your question made me free associate about the mating behavior of hermaphroditic flatworms. Kind of yucky.

    2. Eclair

      A more interesting question might be: do we respond differently to comments made by those whose nom de plume leads one to believe they are male, versus those whose nom de plume labels them unambiguously female?

      As a corollary, are there males masquerading under ‘female’ noms? Or, vice versa?

      1. Jim Haygood

        It is almost impossible to suppress man-splaining, even if your handle is ‘Cherie’ or some such. ;-)

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Digby had some great write ups about this, but to be fair, she did feature an Visage of an angry man yelling in her blog.

        I recall her musing about people at events such have as Netroots Nation being astonished she was not a man.

        1. Marina Bart

          I used male pseudonyms on the Internet for years. I dialed it back during the primaries, because so many Clintonistas would merely refute my arguments by claiming I’m a man, ergo of no merit. (Which was almost as amusing as it is infuriating, given that they were working to protect a hierarchic system that still enriches and empowers men at the expense of women, even with the ruling class, to an astonishing degree.)

          I’ve had even female online friends, who knew I was a woman, startled to meet me in person because I look female. They seemed to have unconsciously created an image in their minds that was fundamentally unfeminine, to correlate with what they perceived as my “masculine” voice. Do I really have a masculine voice?

      3. Ivy

        I’m male, masquerading under the name of an Antidote picture, plucked at random. If I’d given more thought to the name, I probably would’ve picked another one :(

      4. bronco

        I am masquerading under the name of a Ford although some may have assumed as 1 member of a football team in located Denver

        1. Laughingsong

          I am masquerading as a song by Dan Hicks, although some thought I was a poem by William Blake.

          In some forums I masquerade as a fictional Philosopher from the Illuminati trilogy, and others a piece of clothing from a Saturday Night Live skit.

    3. Annotherone

      Seems like quite a “Yang” atmosphere at NC – might not match the biological mix – but really, does that matter?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The Alexa #s are all wrong. We have much more traffic and way longer average views per Google Analytics. Plus we also have a lot of readers in India.

      2. UserFriendly

        To Quote Yves in Politico…

        Who does Naked Capitalism represent? The site, which I describe as “fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power,” receives 1.3 million to 1.5 million page views a month and has amassed approximately 80 million readers since its launch in 2006. Its readership is disproportionately graduate school-educated, older, male and high income. Despite the overall predominance of male readers, many of the fiercest critics of Clinton in the commentariat are women, with handles like HotFlash, Katniss Everdeen, Martha r, Portia, Bev and Pat.

    1. oho

      throw in likely population losses in the 2020 census as people are voting w/their feet….states like NY, MA, IL are among the slowest growing states.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But, but, but Hillary will win Texas, Georgia, and Arizona and all “moderate suburban Republicans” (fascists by the usual metrics) and then the DFH’s won’t even need a token page on the website! Oh joy, Michelle and Shrub have a reality show!!

        1. Deadl E Cheese

          To be absolutely fair to Team Hillary, she came a lot closer to winning those states than Dems have in decades despite getting creamed in non-coastal Democratic strongholds.

          However, I don’t think that the Democratic Party ever reckoned the fact that:
          A.) Hillary kind of sucks in general, so going for a full-court press was arrogant.
          B.) Obama was called a Deporter-in-Chief Judas Goat when no second-plus generation blacks or whites were around for a reason. So any strategy to capture those states had to honestly deal with his tarnished reputation rather than smugly going ‘Drumpf called you rapists. Love me unconditionally, peasants’.
          C.) You can’t sustain a multiracial coalition without youth support. And that has, for various reasons, been the Achilles’ heel of Team Hillary.

          But if the Democratic Party had run someone who dodged at least two of those three caveats like, say, Bernie Sanders I think that there would’ve been a real chance to win those states.

          1. Marina Bart

            I don’t know about Texas, but Bernie was clearly on track to win Georgia in the general election by the time the primaries wound down. I think Arizona, too — although Arizona Slim would know better about that.

            I’ve been reading really interesting first person reports from Texas progressives and leftists who have been undermined and bottlenecked by the DNC/DCCC/DSCC. I’m not confident Bernie would have taken Texas, but I think if he’d had the nomination and been able to put his own DNC Chair in at the convention to help with funding for grassroots candidates, he’d have at least picked up Texas seats this year and a lot more in 2018. That would have been handy.

          2. UserFriendly

            Yeah all the swing ing in the swing states was way off. Trump did better in Iowa than Texas, and Clinton did Better in Arizona than North Carolina. Here are the state whose margin was less than 10% by D margin.

            Iowa* -9.4%
            Texas* -9.0%
            Ohio* -8.1%
            Georgia* -5.2%
            North Carolina* -3.7%
            Arizona* -3.5%
            Florida* -1.2%
            Wisconsin* -0.8%
            Pennsylvania* -0.7%
            Michigan* -0.2%
            New Hampshire* 0.4%
            Minnesota* 1.5%
            Nevada* 2.4%
            Maine* 3.0%
            Colorado* 4.9%
            Virginia* 5.3%
            New Mexico* 8.2%

  26. Pat

    Yahoo informs me that former President, Barack Obama was awarded the JFK Profiles In Courage award Thursday for carrying on JFK’s Legacy. Quote:

    Obama is being recognized for “his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century,” the foundation said, citing the expansion of health care options for millions, restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba and leadership on an international climate change agreement.

    Perhaps they can be forgiven as apparently courage is hard to find now since last years recipient was Daniel Malloy.

    Meanwhile, if the blurb is accurate ABC News mocks Melania Trump in a report about her reading to children in the hospital.

    There is a whole lot of shark jumping going on.

    1. Eclair

      Re: Melania Trump reading to children in the hospital. She follows in the great footsteps of Bush II and Princess Diana.

    2. John Wright

      Gerald Ford got one of these Kennedy courage awards for granting the pardon to Richard Nixon, which may have forever damaged them.

      So did John McCain (along with Russ Feingold).

      With these high profile awards, the organization will not get any publicity if they give the award to a deserving “nobody”, so they have to balance possible damage to the award against publicity value.

      A two-fer is to give it to someone who is well-known AND will show up to get the award.

      They have given it to a lot of less famous people:


      Obama already has the Nobel Peace Prize and now one for courage.

      After observing the Obama eight years, I have a difficult time viewing Obama as a force for peace.

      And he gets an award for courage.


      Where was Obama’s courage to take on such the financial industry, the medical industry, closing Guantanamo, protecting whistleblowers or climate change.

      The Kennedy Library should have given this award to Edward Snowden as he had the courage to inflame the entire US Government security apparatus, at a real threat to Snowden’s well-being

      That is a profile in real courage, and Snowden could have sent his robot to receive the honor..

      On Wikpedia’s entry for the Profiles in Courage book there is a statement:

      “It was later reported that the statement “I wish that Kennedy had a little less profile and more courage” was actually made by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.”

      Maybe Obama, as the new Jack Kennedy, was well described, in advance, by Eleanor Roosevelt.

      1. Pat

        I never heard that quote makes me love Eleanor even more.

        But the courage thing had me reacting in the same way as ‘when they go low we go high’ = which was along the lines of thinking that counting one’s millions in your head as people are saying nasty things because you haven’t done diddly in your time except pony up to certain groups of wealthy people makes it a whole lot easier to ignore the things that might make your life difficult. And it is not really courageous to stand for nothing except but smoky hot air.

      2. neo-realist

        Snowden should share the award w/ Chelsea Manning for her exposure of War Crimes in Iraq.

    3. KurtisMayfield

      Great, now Obama and The Lion from “The Wizard of Oz” have something in common

      Does he get to drink liquid courage (like in the novel), or does he get a medal (like in the movie)?

      1. polecat

        The difference is that the Cowardly Lion didn’t have a big pus filled yellow stripe down his back.

  27. Scylla

    I have been quite busy and have not had time to peruse comments today, but on the offchance nobody has posted about this, Naked Capitalism, along with other sites and individuals (some of which are familiar) is being smeared with the “alt-left” label by a writer for Vanity Fair.

    Of course it is being explained to readers of the Vanity Fair article that the “alt-left” are misogynists and bigots, and then, as per the pattern of such authors, comments like this are made:

    ” its quixotic preacher-man and noble leper is Cornel West, once an orator at every social-justice convocation who got so uncoiled by his rancorous contempt for Obama and cast adrift into the hazy fringes of the alt-left—see Michael Eric Dyson’s definitive autopsy, “The Ghost of Cornel West,” the New Republic, April 19, 2015—that in 2016 he supported the Green Party candidacy of Jill Stein, that stellar mind.”

    We also see the obligatory attack on Susan Sarandon.

    Near the end the post also descends into Trump/Russia word salad (again, as per pattern). Anyway, I just wanted to share in case anyone else had not. I hope everyone has a good day.

    Why the Alt-left is a problem

    1. allan

      NC included in the same sentence as Mickey Kaus? This means war.

      Actually, this is sad in the non-ironic sense. I remember when James Walcott was a must read.

      1. Eureka Springs

        A cry for attention? He must be bitter since he rarely (if ever?) gets a link here.

    2. HBE

      “But if the Deep State can rid us of the blighted presidency of Donald Trump, all I can say is “Go, State, go.”’

      It’s sentences like this that make me believe liberal hysteria has definitely up-shifted into clinical insanity.

      They really would prefer true authoritarian rule by the MIIC, and war with Russia, to a trump presidency that has the slightest (and ever diminishing) potential to upset their rice bowls, in favor of uplifting the “deplorables” even a little bit.

      Honestly I think deep down what would make them (idpol liberals) just giddy is if the bottom 80% of the population was forced to starve and die (of course somewhere out of site and smell so as not to disturb their vacations and dining experience). They’ll also need to wait until the Amazon warehouses are fully automated otherwise the starving humans employed there might cause a shipping delay. Otherwise I don’t see them having a problem with that outcome.

      And of course they will need and improved drone army for them and their MIIC overlords to continue virtuous R2P interventions the world over, after they’ve starved all the “deplorables” that used to have to fight, die and murder for their virtue.

      PS. Evidence free “Russian/trump word salad” indeed.

      1. sleepy

        It’s progress of some sort that liberal ideology seems to have run full steam ahead to its natural endgame of complete decay with all its contradictions completely exposed.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Part of the problem is “enlightened liberals” made so many absurd claims about Hillary that ultimately led to huge losses and Trump that they are simply having identity problems.

        Hillary was “battle tested” as long as she could fly home every night and “knew how to win” as long as she didn’t have an opponent of any note. Realistically, on what planet does it make sense to line up behind the wife of a President who mustered 43% of the popular vote, destroyed the party at the state and local level, loss the permanent Democratic majority, and then saw his VP lose to the idiot son of his former opponent? Every Hillary backer demonstrated political malfeasance on an unprecedented scale.

        Denial is helluva a drug. The 2018 map is a disaster in the making for Team Blue, but dealing with these realities means self reflection.

        1. Deadl E Cheese

          It goes deeper than that. Remember, the entire raison d’etre of the post-Carter Democratic Party is that McGovern’s nomination was so devastating that nothing like that can ever happen again. To that end, any moral or ideological sacrifices, to soothing the racial psychosis of Real America by turning the nation into the biggest carceral state in human history to sucking up to the overclass for donations, were justified so long as there was NEVER ANY MORE MCGOVERNS.

          Well, guess what? With Trump’s victory all of that has collapsed. All of the compromises, the sacrifices, the humiliations… all of it was for nothing. They not only lost to the herrenvolk authoritarian, but they don’t even have the moral high ground now. All they can do (in those fleeting moments in which they accept responsibility) is just feebly sputter about how the election was only close as it was because if Obama DIDN’T drone strike those peasants and beg for Wall Street Donations and deport 3 million people the loss would’ve been even worse.

          Hence the denial and descent into Birtherism-style Russophobic hysterics. They don’t want to admit that they just lost, they ALSO don’t want to admit that they were wrong about everything and anything for the past 30 years and all they have to show for it are a pile of safety pins, Harry Potter wands, and ‘Make Donald Drumpf Again’ hats.

          The Democratic Party right now is a desperate army washout who sold their soul to the Devil to the lottery, only for their motherland of Weimar Germany to be hit with super-inflation. They’re reduced to making excuses on how the first two weeks of luxury made it worth being damned to hell and swears up and down that this promising new National Socialist party will award new jackpots to anyone who lost their savings in the 20s. ‘Fortunately’ for them, the Devil is offering a tempting new deal where they sell the souls of their family in order to get a lucrative job with Ernst Rohm.

          1. susan the other

            it goes very deep… if we were really all equal, truly equal, we would all be secure and none of us would fight for food or oxygen. there would be no social panic. We are not all secure. We need a constitutional amendment: all people must be secure.

      3. Deadl E Cheese

        Liberalism sounds more and more like libertarianism every passing day. Unsurprising, since liberalism sometime in the 70s declared that their devotion to every Enlightenment principle, including generally complimentary principles like meritocracy and nationalism, other than capitalism would in the end be suborned to it.

        Capitalism has declared that the future of the 99% will be Morlocks. Maybe all-albino Morlocks, maybe Morlocks of varying skin tone, but there WILL be Morlocks. And liberals, who not-so-deep down want a human hierarchy despite their fervent denials otherwise, have been shown to be largely okay with this vision.

        1. Deadl E Cheese

          And just so we’re clear, given that liberals — even the Good Liberals like JFK and LBJ — have no problem with military domination of non-Western people of the wrong race they wouldn’t shed too many tears if their paymasters said that eliminating the non-albino Morlocks to make the survivors easier to control would be the best way to squeeze a few more bucks out of their servants.

          Nothing disgusts me more than a pro-military liberal who claims not only to be anti-racist, but less racist than everyone else. Team Hillary pulling that shit in 2016 made me furious in a way that’s hard to describe.

      4. Lord Koos

        Oh really? I’m certain that if you happened to be one of those Americans who depend on the ACA for their well-being you might think differently.

    3. Katharine

      Well, it’s very interesting to hear that I might be a misogynist, but if I can be so in the company of NC and Cornel West I may yet survive.

      I appreciate those with strong enough stomachs to check out Vanity Fair so I don’t have to. Thanks!

      1. John Wright

        It is a interesting read, written in a way to offend both the alt-right. alt-left and even two foreign countries.

        Wolcott has disparaging words for Glenn Greenwald, Jill Stein, Edward Snowden, Oliver Stone, Susan Sarandon, Putin, Dennis Kucinich, Cornel West, Naked Capitalism, Jeremy Scahill, Tulsi Gabbard, Eileen Jones and of course, Trump and Steve Bannon.

        But Wolcott likes Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep and the Deep State that will rid us of Donald Trump

        He even characterizes as unhealable wounds, Mao’s China and Putin’s “tubercular” Russia.

        Imagine a precariat writer, who lost much of his savings betting on a HRC “can’t lose horse race”, now forced to write something that will pull in lots of readers.

        This is a keeper to save for future reference, a great example of Trump derangement syndrome .

    4. Andrew Watts

      I’d rather have a bourgeois liberal standing in front of me rather than behind. Then you don’t have to worry about a knife in the back moment. A certain historical quote also comes to mind.

      You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

      -Winston Churchill

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Vegetarians will disagree vehemently, but there is another quote:

        “You can’t make an omelet without making yourself the enemy of some hens.”

    5. oho

      Cheering on the Streisand Effect.

      Please have the ‘alt-left’ be subjected to more Beltway tsk-tsk’ing as “neoliberal” is a term that’s still jargon to most people.

    6. Karen

      Wow, what a breathlessly worked-up series of incoherent run-on-sentences THAT article is! Word salad is right – I found myself wondering whether Mr. Wolcott was high or drunk when he wrote this.

      I couldn’t discipline myself to read much of it, but I did scan for “Naked Capitalism,” and sure enough NC is in the author’s list of so-called alt-left “outlets.” I’m not sure NC should bother to care, though.

    7. Mo's Bike Shop

      “alt-left” is a real thing?

      I was just chuckling about Indivisible as rallying cry.

      I’d take a party that picks the top ten concerns of real polled people where the national consensus is over 60 percent.

      I’m afraid I am an Incorrigible.

  28. cyclist

    I’m sorry to hear about your travel problems, but there has been an increasing crapification (didn’t think that was possible) of the three major airlines in the US since the recent consolidations. If you look at the reviews on Delta is probably the best of the three, with American and United trying to duke it out for the title of worst airline in the country. Living near EWR, I really feel trapped by United if I need to travel.

    1. allan

      DOT to stop collecting comment on airfare, fee proposals [USA Today]

      The Trump administration moved Thursday to indefinitely stop collecting comments about a pair of Obama administration proposals dealing with how airline fees are marketed to travelers.

      One proposal requested information from the industry about how airlines market fares, flight schedules and the availability of tickets. The concern is that travelers might not see all their choices when shopping on comparison sites. The October proposal already generated a whopping 56,520 comments before the comment period was to expire March 31.

      Another proposal sought to require airlines to show the fees for first and second checked bags, and carry-on bags, when first disclosing a ticket price. The proposal got 49 comments during the period that was to expire March 20. …

      They don’t need or want the public’s comments. As a great man once said, the winners get to make policy.

    2. CRLaRue

      United Airlines dumped my eleven year old daughter in Tokyo!
      Thank you ANA for coming to her rescue and pox on JAL for not!

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I’ve actually had better luck on American than Delta for quite some time, and I fly them roughly equally. But on Delta, it’s mainly routes where you get the regional jets, and they may not feel those customers are as important.

      Admittedly, I’ve only done maybe 3 flights on American post the merger, and US Air was God-awful, so I may not have gotten a full dose of the post-merger damage.

  29. cojo

    RE: German Citizens in Favor of Grexit:

    According to a new survey conducted last week by the Forsa research institute, 53 percent of Germans are against debt relief for Greece. The results are echoed by another smaller sample from Bild newspaper, where every second person answered that cutting Athens a break would be unfair to other European Union countries. According to the Forsa poll, more than half of Germans (52 percent) are in favor of a Grexit.

    I’m not sure if the voters understand that a Grexit would essentially mean debt relief. I’m also not sure that they understand that if Greece leaves, Italy, Spain and Portugal will be that much closer to following.

    1. Anonymous2

      Just reading Daniel Kahneman. I think he would say most people rarely get out of System 1 thinking so no of course they have not thought about the possible consequences

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Cojo and Anonymous 2.

        One wonders if Germans have thought the TBTF where Vlade and I are doing time :-).

  30. BeliTsari

    But, but… for those of us who cannot AFFORD organic cotton (and can no longer afford organic peanut butter, cooking oils, or CAFO mystery meat, STA gavaged 2,4-D, Dicamba, Glyphosate, MCPA, bovine somatotropin, ractopamine & whatever monoculture stacked trait GE crops can grow in radium-flavored fracking brine… there are still 2nd hand stores? Delta, neo-Confederate oligopoly agriculture & the Amazon story… time for another donation? Peanuts, blueberries, hops, strawberries, potatoes… I wonder how hep folks are shopping organic?

  31. Ignim Brites

    “In praise of cash”. Very clear exposition of the drivers for a cashless economy. However, it leaves out the most important reason why the banks and the government want to eliminate cash. That eliminates the possibility of a systemic run on the banks.

    1. cocomaan

      it also leaves out the biggest reason to keep cash: power outages.

      I’d love for Rogoff to explain how commerce would proceed if Amazon Web Services, VISA’s platform, or the grid went out for three days.

      these aren’t durable systems. they’re extremely vulnerable to chance problems, let alone malevolence. plus, in my rural neck of the woods, small merchants don’t use credit cards. it’s cash only.

      1. flora

        Yes. The recent, multi-hour AWS downtime cost a bundle. Amazon’s final incident report? The outage was caused by a typo. Seriously.

        1. carycat

          linkie to’s report
          Long but quite understandable by non-experts.
          They do cop to a typo which got magnified by …
          Murphy’s law amplified with computers (and now with new and improved, lemon scented Cloud) means there will always be bigger and better failure modes because paying for prevention is anathema to the “first mover” crowd that more into take the money and run and then socialize the cost.

      2. Grumpy Engineer

        Oh, hell yes. I remember eating at an Applebee’s restaurant when the power went out. They ended up with this lengthy line of people feeding their credit cards into an old-school carbon-copy swiper (i.e., with physical imprint) that was taking forever.

        I plunked $30 in cash on the counter and walked out the door.

        1. Aumua

          Well there’s one argument for cash.

          “When the power goes out at Applebee’s, we’ll be well prepared for the chaos with cash in our pockets.”

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What happens to those whose (new) religions prohibit cashless transaction?
        “I belong to the Cash Only Church. I am exempt from you cashless KGB henchmen…and henchwomen.”

    2. AnnieB

      On the elimination of cash, I wonder if the big thinkers have ever considered that many will ultimately resort to barter? Can the surveillance state deal with that? Will it apply some algorithm data mining so the clothing and food traders can be brought to justice? Will the future federal tax return have a mandatory line item “total barter value of traded items”? Oh, brave new world!

      1. carycat

        North Carolina already forces a 0.0675% consumer use tax on your income (unless you keep records for all purchases of a large class of stuff in and out of state). Nice slippery slope for more revenue enhancements to counter the underground economy.

    3. Violet's Mom

      Isn’t a driver of cashless economies also to be able to implement negative interest rates far and wide?

  32. perpetualWAR

    Applying an algorithm to cars we own:

    So, for literally YEARS I have been asking the US govt to use an algorithm to audit the data provided in the RMBS Trust loan lists. Examine if there are large scale double-pledging of notes (many suspect this is a common occurrance.) But, all I hear is “we don’t have the capability.”

    But here, they prove they clearly have the capability if it means they can spy on US, rather than spying on CORPS.

    God. I hate our government.

  33. fresno dan

    The mainstream narrative is “the problem is low wages.” Actually, the problem is the soaring cost of living. If essentials such as healthcare, housing, higher education and government services were as cheap as they once were, a wage of $10 or $12 an hour would be more than enough to maintain a decent everyday life.
    Here are some examples from the real world. In 1952, it cost $30 to have a baby in an excellent hospital. If we adjust that by official inflation as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s inflation calculator to 2017, the cost would be $275. ($1 in 1952 = $9.16 in 2017).
    What does it cost to have a baby delivered in a hospital today? $5,000? $10,000? Who even knows, given the convoluted billing process in today’s sickcare system?

    The pharmaceutical cartel jacks up medication costs per dose from $3 tp $600, even when the medication has been around for decades: the Pinworm prescription jumps from $3 to up to $600 a pill Parents, doctors angry over drug price gouging (via John F.)
    Apologists claim these services have improved greatly in the past 30, 40 and 50 years, but this is only occasionally valid; university education, housing, burritos and conventional preventative care have often declined in quality and quantity, not gotten better.
    Reform = the rich ALWAYS getting fully reimbursed for charging ever more.

    “Apologists claim these services have improved greatly…” What has improved is disguising and hiding the gouging.
    Why do specialists get paid so much? Propaganda would tell you its merit – reality tells us its the specialists themselves:
    “CMS sets RVUs based upon the recommendations of the Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC). The RUC is made up of 29 physicians, 23 of whom are nominated by professional societies. Almost all are specialists. CMS is not bound to accept either the professional society nominees or the RUC’s recommendations, but it has historically approved more than 90 percent of RUC recommendations.”

    If you believe CEO’s hire compensation experts who recommend remuneration based on what is best for the shareholders, than you probably believe medical specialists are getting their fair market based pay….

    1. Dead Dog

      Come on Dan, ‘specialist’ Clinicians pay hundreds of thousands and sacrifice 7 or 8 years to get a basic qualification. They deserve those six and seven figure salaries. /s

      Any bank manager will tell you, when you get that license to practice, you’re borrowing power goes into the 7 figures.

      Apart from the restrictions to entry (yes, I know there are certain professions that are immune from overseas competition), there’s that ‘pedestal’ thingy too, so we forgive them their greed and avarice, or look the other way. But most of us, I think, don’t like it when our pockets are being picked by people who enjoy millionaire lifestyles by keeping us in the sickness business.

  34. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Medicare for all in California.

    I think the rest of the country will try to sneak into the Republic of California illegally.

    “You Deplorables from Ohio and Indiana are very welcome to come to the Gold State where being homeless in Malibu is like the vacation you’ve always dreamed of…clean air and beautiful people.”

    “But there are people who have been here illegally longer than you. So, you have to wait before they are served.”

  35. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Republican Senator Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to Constituent for Calling Too Much – Intercept

    Is a constituent a customer or a creditor?

    A creditor can’t harass the debtor too much. You can, but some people (or a lot of people) will bad mouth you.

  36. JEHR

    Re: . . . Why Consumers Need to Care What We Wear

    This article is frightening. I long ago stopped using cosmetic products because of possible contamination with toxins. Now I have to worry about what I wear. There is no safe place to be anymore.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Buy real old clothes.

      Wear hand me downs.

      And finally, THIS IS IMPORTANT – instead of rending garments, you snowflakes, mend, patch and repair. That’s what I do with my socks.

  37. Grumpy Engineer

    In many ways, the arguments about imposing voter ID requirements and the arguments about disbanding cash have strong parallels, and they largely affect the same groups of people. After all, do we really expect the people who cannot manage to obtain a photo ID for voting purposes to be able to seamlessly navigate the chipped and “Internet access required” world of cashless financial transactions?

  38. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Inflation…Japan, the Eurozone.

    I only know Costco is raising its membership fees.

    That’s inflation for me.

  39. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Robots won’t just take our jobs – they’ll make the rich even richer – The Guardian

    Also important, probably more importantly emotionally, is when robots start taking our women.

    “Who does not like to marry or date strong, manly robots that work hard and with steady pay?”

  40. tongorad

    20 years ago, I had a job that required weekly air travel – Delta was bad back then.
    Air travel in the US has become such a crappy experience that I really don’t wish to fly in country again.

  41. Olivier

    The photo of the bat flying over water and reflected in that water is a standout! Can we know a little more about its origins?

    1. curlydan

      One evening last summer I was sitting near the creek in my backyard when a bat did 5-8, for lack of a better term, strafing runs over the top of the creek–each time to get a little sip of water. Unforgettable.

      1. Olivier

        Thanks. The composition is so perfect it looks like an art poster, not a live photograph. I’d be interested in buying or making myself a large-format print. Do you have a high-res version?

  42. Karen

    re “Drugs are Cheap: Why Do We Let Governments Make Them Expensive?” in Class Warfare:

    I want to give that one a standing ovation.

    Seems to me 50-60 years ago this country paid directly for a lot of basic research via grants to universities. Those of us old enough to remember that KNOW it works a whole lot better than the corrupt and dangerous for-profit drug-development system we have now.

    1. Adam Eran

      Thanks to Bob Dole…who made it possible for those public university professors to patent their discoveries and enter the world of rentiers.

  43. ewmayer

    o “North Korea uses sophisticated tools to spy on citizens digitally – report | Reuters” — Replace ‘Ooga-booga-scary-North-Korea!’ with the name of most any ‘highly-developed Western democracy’ and the headline is still true. So the point of the article is…?

    o “Dems flip script to woo millennials, big donors | The Hill” — Inadvertent truthiness in the headline here, as the tweaking-a-script framing says rather a lot, doesn’t it? When you have nothing os substance to offer, you tweak the narrative of your fictional play and resubmit. All problems can be solved with better PR, right?

  44. LUpemax

    Why is this so long an article? I’m sure this can be presented more simply so most people can read and understand? Drugs are Cheap: Why Do We Let Governments Make Them Expensive? Dean Baker,

Comments are closed.