Links 4/25/17

Whale’s eye view: Footage reveals hidden whale world BBC (Furzy Mouse).

Lazy fit animals: How some beasts get the gain without the pain New Scientist

Lloyds £100m proposal ‘doesn’t begin to cover’ HBOS fraud FT

Malaysia to Pay $1.2 Billion to Abu Dhabi Fund Over 1MDB Scandal NYT

If Saudi Future’s So Bright, Why Can’t These Banks Find Buyers? Bloomberg

Where Financial Regulation Goes in a Republican Era WSJ

One Take on the Report of the Independent Directors of Wells Fargo: Vote the Bums Out The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

The state, inequality and the politics of economic ideas: three blind spots in shadow banking LSE Business Review (skippy),

Number of U.S. bank branches to shrink 20 percent in five years: real estate report Reuters

Betting big against US shopping malls takes new twist FT

Not an inside job: How two analysts became SEC whistleblowers Reuters

Panera to add 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017 as it expands delivery CNBC (Re Silc).

South India’s Drought Part 3: Parched lands in Nagapattinam lead to distress migration FIrst Post (J-LS).


Theresa May would fire UK’s nuclear weapons as a ‘first strike’, says Defence Secretary Michael Fallon Independent

Corbynism or barbarism, part II Idiot Joy Showland


Eight Maps That Explain France’s Macron-Le Pen Election Bloomberg

French Vote Fuels Hopes for Growth WSJ

A New Political Reality for France Der Spiegel

How Marine Le Pen can steer a narrow path to victory in France FT

Le Pen Calls Parties in France ‘Completely Rotten’ as They Unite to Fend Her Off NYT

The Macron Phenomenon Jacobin

Big Stakes in the French Presidential Election: Governance Versus the People Counterpunch. Pre-election, but an interesting portrait of Macron.


Turkish Airstrikes On Kurds Complicate U.S. Operations In Iraq And Syria Moon of Alabama

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance The Intercept

When Spies Come Home Motherboard

Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy EFF (full report).

New Cold War

Donald Trump summons entire Senate to White House briefing on North Korea Guardian

North Korea stages large-scale artillery drill as U.S. submarine docks in South Reuters

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 One Thousand Days of Faking John Helmer

A Dilemma For the Intelligence Agencies – An Analysis (25 April 2017) by Lawrence Davidson To The Point Analysis (SS).

Why Trump’s sloth and incompetence might just prevent a catastrophic war with China The Week. On the Thucydides Trap.

US considers banning laptops on flights from UK airports Guardian

Trump Transition

Transcript of AP interview with Trump AP

Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’ Ron Paul, The Unz Review (PU).

* * *

Trump Willing to Hold Off on Border-Wall Funding WSJ

Democrats open to more border security money to avoid funding standoff CNN

Obama: Someone opposed to immigration system isn’t ‘automatically a racist’ The Hill

How Trump Is Upending the Conventional Wisdom on Illegal Immigration David Frum, The Atlantic

If There’s Going to Be a Wall, Let It Be This Collaboration Between American and Mexican Designers Mother Jones

Americans Back Immigration and Trade at Record Levels WSJ

* * *

Remember Those Temporary Officials Trump Quietly Installed? Some Are Now Permanent Employees. Pro Publica

You Think Trump And The GOP Have No Accomplishments So Far? You Are Wrong Down with Tyranny (KK).

Trump’s Policies Are a Result of On-the-Job Training Charles Cook, Cook Political Report

2016 Post Mortem

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Party identification is ‘starting to shift’ CNN

Sanders Supporters Get Their Day In Court Against Wasserman Schultz IVN. Here are the case documents. More here.

Why Was Heath Mello Thrown Under the Bus? The Nation

Class Warfare

Researchers link meeting corporate earnings goals to worker injuries Left Labor Reporter

Jack Ma Sees Decades of Pain as Internet Upends Old Economy Bloomberg

The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940 Science. Full text. “[R]ates of absolute mobility have fallen from approximately 90% for children born in 1940 to 50% for children born in the 1980s. Increasing GDP growth rates alone cannot restore absolute mobility to the rates experienced by children born in the 1940s. However, distributing current GDP growth more equally across income groups as in the 1940 birth cohort would reverse more than 70% of the decline in mobility.”

Richard Florida said innovation would save Miami. But now it’s dividing us. The New Tropic

In China, rural rich get richer and poor get poorer South China Morning Post (J-LS).

Ontario basic income pilot project to launch in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay CBC (CL).

Is the Berkeley riot the start of an uprising by America’s young men? Fabius Maximus

The U.S. Makes It Easy for Parents to Get College Loans—Repaying Them Is Another Story WSJ

America’s hidden horror: Sexual abuse in nursing homes and care facilities McClatchy

How Bad is Peer Review? Evidence From Undergraduate Referee Reports on the Currency Unions and Trade Lit Douglas L. Campbell

MMT is what is, not what might be Bill Mitchell

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus video (important, rather than fun):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. tony

    Nice job, Resistance. Trump had a few good policies, but since he faced resistance no matter what, it was the populist policies he had to give up. Now you get radical Republican policies and neoconservative support means Trump can just ignore everyone on the left.

    You can’t just apply the stick regardless what the politician does.

    1. different clue

      #TheResistance was never concerned with policy. It was only concerned about its own consumption with its own bitterness over its beloved Queen Figure Hillary being denied the Final Coronation which was rightfully hers. #TheResistance does not care how Republican or not the policies are as long as they get some sort of Clinton Restoration.

  2. allan

    Marissa Mayer Will Make $186 Million on Yahoo’s Sale to Verizon [NYT]

    … Ms. Mayer, the company’s chief executive, will be well compensated for her failure. Her Yahoo stock, stock options and restricted stock units are worth a total of $186 million … All told, her time at Yahoo will have netted her well over $200 million …

    Ms. Mayer did give up additional equity compensation that she would have received in 2017 as a penalty for her management team’s failure to act on a 2014 breach of the company’s systems that led to the theft of data on 500 million users. …

    Most of Ms. Mayer’s payout is based on the 208 percent increase in Yahoo’s stock price since she left Google for Yahoo in 2012. Although Yahoo’s core businesses of email, news and search continued to tread water under Ms. Mayer’s leadership, long-held investments in Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce company, and Yahoo Japan, an affiliated company controlled by SoftBank, increased in value, driving up Yahoo’s stock price.

    Young. Smart. Tech savvy. A complete failure.
    Surely there’s a future for Ms. Mayer in the Democratic Party.
    Feinstein’s seat will be opening up one of these decades.

    1. vidimi

      from those paragraphs, it actually reads like she did her job well. of course, every stock increased since 2012, but she delivered what she was hired to do.

      1. ChrisPacific

        If what she was hired to do was “not sell Alibaba or Yahoo Japan” then I think she may have been a tad overpaid.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Exactly !!

      I was already reading it yesterday (and from a Marxist site no less); about how all of a sudden the whole world had suddenly gotten a good bit more racist. Time zone, country, ethnicity, color, you name it; it didn’t matter. We are to believe that the whole world suddenly got more racist … and of course how now all of us reasonable human beings must vote for the other guy; the one who’s not that way, the one the financial masters like.

      Unstated (except now by Pepe) is the coincidence that right along the same time frame, the banks/hedge funds/neoliberals/financial masters have taken over and in unison have decided that the rest of us are “extra” and deserve nothing but for what we earn from them by servicing their needs and making their children laugh.

      They’ve set us up again; vote for who they want, or they’ll sic the fascists on us. Vote for who they want, or they’ll burn up the world.

      Let’s surprise them.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        deserve nothing but for what we earn from them by servicing their needs and making their children laugh.

        “Just wait. One day, robots will service us billionaires, and our needs. And off with you pesky little people. And with an artificial wife, and her reliably-artificial love and genius-level artificial-intelligence, equipped with an artificial womb, and defrosted but genuine human eggs, though genetically improved (thank you, science), any elite man can still have children, frankly, and a happy marriage without a prenuptial.”

        1. Olga

          A funny (not) story from long-ago Chennai: walking on the beach, we spotted a nice new condo complex. Attached to it were a number of tarp/cardboard/metal covered “living quarters” of the poorest of the poor (right next to the protective wall). Naively, I asked why those inside do not get rid of the slum. The response: they’d burn the whole place down (i.e., having exactly nothing to lose). That set me right… and I never forgot the image.

      2. jrs

        Then I hope that surprise works out better for them than it did in the U.S., all we got was an ultra-conservative’s fantasy. The joke was indeed on us. Cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face and then find one’s face is no better for it and that one has started to miss their nose. F-ism has historically always been used to stop LEFTIST change, of course there is no danger of that now anyway so it is less desirable for anyone including the powers that be.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          The “Trump is a fascist” line stopped, as if a switch had been thrown. About the time of the Flynn defenestration, was it?

          Adding, somebody should ask Trump if he’s maintaining Obama’s kill list disposition matrix, and whether there are any US citizens on it. Continuities are as important as differences, as the transition from Bush to Obama taught us.

    2. hemeantwell

      Big Stakes in the French Presidential Election: Governance Versus the People Counterpunch. Pre-election, but an interesting portrait of Macron.

      yikes. Reading Johnstone leads me to wonder if France isn’t entering a pre-revolutionary phase. Macron sounds like a readily despised cipher, a hologram of neoliberal banality. If elites think he’s their boy because he can do governance, they are falling into Times-think. Today’s Times was all about “relief at the receding crest of the Le Pen wave,” totally ignoring the fact that Le Pen + Melenchon = over 40% of the vote.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Too bad the bankers’ choice was not someone named Sword, Couteau or Epee.

          “Le Pen is mightier than Sword.”

      1. gordon

        The Diana Johnstone piece is the first of two pieces she wrote on the French election. The second is here:

        I agree largely with what she writes, but I would add that the national sovereignty which she describes as disappearing is the foundation of democratic institutions. No national governments means no democracy. The campaign against national sovereignty which she describes so well is at bottom an anti-democracy campaign. The success of Macron in the French elections, now universally predicted, will result in a new Vichy regime, subservient to Germany through the medium of a German-dominated EU.

    3. rich

      Meet Emmanuel Macron – The Consummate Banker Puppet, Bizarre Elitist Creation

      Further hints that Macron is a total manufactured elitist creation can be seen with the following.

      At the bank, Mr Macron mastered the art of networking and navigated around the numerous conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business circles, making good use of his connections as an Inspecteur des Finances — an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA.

      In 2010, he advised, for free, the staff of Le Monde when the newspaper was put up for sale. Journalists at the daily started doubting his loyalty when they happened upon him in conversation with Mr Minc, who was representing a bidding consortium that the staff opposed. They did not know that it was Mr Minc, a fellow Inspecteur des Finances, who had helped the young Mr Macron secure his interview at Rothschild.

      A media executive who was part of the same consortium recalled: “It wasn’t clear who Emmanuel worked for. He was around, trading intelligence, friends with everyone. It was smart, because he got to know everybody in the media world.”

      Indeed, who does he work for? I’m sure the French people would like to know.

      Meanwhile, Macron is like a conspiracy website’s wet dream. Not only was he groomed by Rothschild bankers, he was also a Bilderberg meeting attendee in 2014. Of course.

      1. east

        Finally a post, by rich, here on NC which resonates with my impression that Macron is the candidate on the Oligarchy/Globalism/Establishment.

        “[Political book authors] analysent le cas Emmanuel Macron”:

        Marine Le Pen did well during the state-tv interviews:

        See, for example, her promise to respect the unions’ branch negociations, as compared to Marcron’s to allow only individual negociations. She should gain the working class votes, because her programme is to the left of Macron’s.

  3. Kurtismayfield

    RE:Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy EFF (full report).

    Being on the front lines of this, I thought I would chime in. We as a department went with an open source PHP solution for online assignments called Moodle. There is pressure from above to have a consistent online component to class structure, and instead of using the corporate solutions we went with this. However we still collect all of the student data that they provide us, and there is no option to remain private. Quite frankly no one has asked yet.

    Almost the rest of the school uses Google or Microsoft, and there was very little debate about privacy when this was being pushed. All of the students are handed a Google account for use of Chromebooks when they walk in the door. We framed it as a control issue, and not a privacy issue, and our department head was behind us.

    Some of the older teachers see this for what it is, a gift to the tech companies.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I’ll just add this right here. What are we teaching/conditioning these kids to be as adults? I know one thing, kids can’t comprehend an act of disobedience, I wont activate siri or the cloud… and yes, I tell them I’m an idiot for having a surveillance device at all. Most think I’m “foily”. I had no idea so many are given a surveillance device no matter what. Can you imagine the social pressure if a kid said no thank you?

      Cops Detain Entire School, Illegally Search/Grope 900 Kids — Find NOTHING, Parents Furious

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Oh I agree, we are raising a generation that is taught to comply or else. And if you protest, the “Terrist” word gets tossed around. And when they grow up after a lifetime of complying with everything society tells them, and they realize they are still screwed, I have no idea what is going to happen.

        1. robnume

          Kurtismayfield, it is stories like this that would impel me to home school my children these days. Public schools are like prisons now. I expect to have this very conversation with my own children as regards my grandchildren. I hope they will take my advice and let “granny” help to home school. Between myself and my husband we’ve got all of the disciplines down, plus we know how to critically think. What a joy to be able to be of some little service to those whom I love so much. It’s all a body can ask for.

    2. cocomaan

      What do you use the student data to do? Is it published anywhere?

      I ask because I imagine a lot of this student data collection, especially by said tech giants, is probably in violation of the Common Rule if it’s used for research purposes (“systematic… generalizable”).

      Furthermore, I am not certain that an end license agreement is adequate informed consent when we’re talking about minors.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        It is not, and in some districts that may be something you can hang them on. However, I am asked to sign a large number of papers at the beginning of each school year (high school kid, public school). Included in them is one page where I sign a broadly worded ‘consent’ form pertaining to her use of electronic equipment. Equipment she cannot realistically function without using.

        I am more careful than most, and yet I haven’t made copies before turning the packet back to the district, so I can’t confirm this, but I expect I have signed away her rights for her.

    3. RabidGandhi

      However we still collect all of the student data that they provide us, and there is no option to remain private. Quite frankly no one has asked yet.

      A while back I posted on how shocked I was at the reaction in the US to the Snowden revelations: basically a shrug with either a “what can I do about it” or an “I’ve got nothing to hide”. Nevertheless, these are what, 20-year-olds we’re talking about? Don’t their professors/guardians/parents assume some responsibility for teaching them to protect themselves and their data? Saying that “no one has asked yet” is akin to saying “we gave the kids snickers bars and pop, and none of them asked for broccoli”.

      Then again, as I noted in my earlier comment, a lot of this is a function of privilege. University students are less likely to have their data used against them than lower-income high school dropouts, so perhaps this is how the adults teach the kids to have the same good German “I’ve got nothing to hide” attitude.

    4. bob

      It’s amazing that EFF is pretending to be a disinterested 3rd party, and then Credentializing the framing of “privacy”, let alone that whole education thing.

      Google and EFF go way back, and EFF keeps coming back to google for funding.

      That’s cynicism. It pays well. Ask the banks.

      1. Aumua

        That certainly is some hardcore cynicism. I mean I figure if anyone is ‘the good guys’, it’s the EFF. You never know though.. so I’m willing to entertain your accusations. Got any proof there, bobarooni?

  4. Adamski

    Wow at symbolic value of no less than Obama, Dem icon, saying opposition to immigration isn’t necessarily racist

    1. a different chris

      At least he, like Bill, knows how to get in front of a parade, unlike the totally incompetent Hillary.

    2. Pat

      A little hard for the person with the record for deportations during a Presidential administration to say anything else. Although I am surprised he is ahead of the usual Dem brain trust in understanding that he needs to justify his thread the needle strategy.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama is smarter than the average Team Blue elite. It’s not a high bar, but Obama was obviously going for a “tough on crime” stance In 2012 and cynically launched massive crackdowns on poor people in different areas. Then the Republicans couldn’t be mean to him. He won’t be able to deny his efforts on against the down trodden or his support for H1B1 visas at the same time.

    3. RabidGandhi

      Look for more of this as the hagiography olympics begin. As with Carter and Clinton before him, Obama will now paint his administration as having been in favour of all the leftist causes he worked so hard to crush. He will soon be a tireless peace advocate, a valiant fighter against the bankers, a steadfast defender of the First Amendment and a stalwart champion of human rights.

      1. pretzelattack

        i believe carter was trying to change us policy in latin america; he opposed the death squads, recognized that d’ aubisson was a psychopath, and talked about americans inordinate fear of communism, a direct result of propaganda pushed by his predecessors kennedy and lbj.

        he didn’t start any wars that i recall, avoided a war with iran over the hostage crisis (imagine how kennedy, lbj, either clinton, or obama would have responded to such an action) and brokered the camp david peace process.

        if you want an example of someone who worked tirelessly to crush leftist causes, that would be reagan. as far as i can see, carter had the best record, (a low bar to be sure), to support them. yeah, carter funneled support to the mujahedin, and to indonesia. every us president has funded one questionable group or another, carter was not alone in this, and he wasn’t responsible for arming iran and iraq while they were at war, or for invading afghanistan. the us has been interfering in the middle east for almost a century. carter, unlike clinton and obama, was also often at odds with his own party and with official washington. the cia helped reagan, a far more congenial candidate, beat him by negotiating with the iranians to retain the hostages, and the new york times and msm did their part by hammering him on the hostage crisis.

        i get the accusation of incompetence and going along with the military and foreign policy establishment; sanders is being criticised on similar ground on foreign policy. but hypocrisy does not seem fair, nor hagiography–carter has been heavily criticised, much more than the icons you mention, for his presidency, and was smeared as a communist or communist dupe by much of the foreign policy establishment in washington, partly over the salt 2 negotiations with russia.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Well, except for arming the jihadis in Afghanistan to suck the Russians into an intervention. Pretty substantial blowback from that one…. Interview with Zbig:

          Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs that the American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. Is this period, you were the national securty advisor to President Carter. You therefore played a key role in this affair. Is this correct?

          Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahiddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention [emphasis added throughout].

          Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into the war and looked for a way to provoke it?

          B: It wasn’t quite like that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

          Q : When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against secret US involvement in Afghanistan , nobody believed them . However, there was an element of truth in this. You don’t regret any of this today?

          B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime , a conflict that bought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

  5. HBE

    Wow, panera bread getting into the delivery business by using an “uber style method”. So you will need to take out a loan on a new car in order to work for them.

    I guess I know now where those disappearing retail jobs are going, uber for suburban republiberals sandwiches.

    1. craazyboy

      If Panera got into fish and red wine vinting and delivery, this would be great works for a Jehovah Witness gig and many of them own bicycles already. Could be a inventory loan in it too! [ See Amway and Tupperware biz models. Disclosure: I owned Tupperware stock for a short period of time, right after the Dot Com bust. I thought of it as the closest thing to coffee can money my broker had on offer. But that doesn’t meet the definition of real MMT. But the my broker probably re-hypothecated my stock – so it’s getting close. But all those pesky contracts! The money could get destroyed in the private sector or my broker account before either the Fed or Treasury had a chance to destroy it!]

    2. polecat

      you not only are forced to take out an auto loan, but also one for the loaves as well !!

      moldy bread in exchange for coin bread …

    3. Scott

      Is their model really any different from traditional delivery offered by pizza and Chinese restaurants? It sounds very similar to me. Avoiding the Uber comparison is probably a good idea for them.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I had huskies and a malamute as a kid. The anecdote could easily have been them. The malamute dug a six foot deep hole once, but then she couldn’t get out one day. The back hard was just a giant mud whole.

    1. Montanamaven

      My favorite comment on Ian’s piece is Obama at last year’s White House Correspondents dinner:

      “‘If this material works well, I’m gonna use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans. That’s right. That’s right.”

      “Brazen,” said the commenter. Yes, the disdain that our so-called leaders have for the peasants and even for their media hirelings is something that makes my shoulders sag in despair. Thank goodness for NC and it’s round table morning coffee kletz. (Dutch term that I grew up with).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It seems to me to be a modern age thing.

        You admit you’re not infallible, but with many faults, and then you’re good to go.

        So, many people are able to confront their worst fears (like, what would people think, for you to board an airplane dressed like you’re going to the beach…things like that, back in the 50s..only later, people realized it was OK to be casual) and get better.

        Others take advantage of that, and become brazen about what used to be shameful.

        “Yes, greed is good.”

    2. John Wright

      One can wonder how lucrative the post presidency will be for Obama.

      Obama doesn’t have the “I’ll be back” implied power of the Clintons as they positioned HRC for the presidency during their peak fundraising years.

      I can’t imagine Obama has any signed quid-pro-quo contracts with payment in arrears for his fronting for the financial industry.

      About the only downside of the financial industry stiffing Obama is that future US leaders would want immediate payment rather than deferred.

      After all, payments to Obama will come out of corporate revenue that might be better purposed.

      Perhaps Obama’s post presidency will be more like Bush II Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who also served the elite slavishly.

      Gonzales does not appear to be well taken care of by TPTB.(

      Perhaps the future will bring a Michelle Obama singing “Is that all there is?” to herself.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I hate to say this, but Obama looks like he has gone back to smoking. And that can’t be good for him.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Not sure what you mean. Newly hired msnbs opiner, josh earnest, referred to o’s look this morning as “tanned, rested and not wearing a tie.”

          I guess josh should know.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Back when his blackberry situation was a huge story, the anti smoking experts said Obama showed signs of being addicted to the process of smoking not nicotine. His blackberry was a replacement vice, and the smoking experts predicted he would drop off the wagon as soon as he wasn’t President. Supposedly, these are the hardest addicts to break. The patch won’t work and a cold turkey isolation won’t work either because it’s not nicotine related.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        He will have a career as a celebrity for hire much like the celebrities at those Sweet Sixteen parties. Obama and Danny Boddaducci should hang out. Until Kerry lost, Bill had to serve as the mascot of billionaires, and Hillary pretended to be a Senator.

        One problem is he doesn’t have flunkies in government. He relied on Clintonistas who went down with the SS Hillary. The energy as such as it is is directed away from neoliberalism.

      3. Prufrock

        Is on the same note. I’m surprised Yglesias has this viewpoint, as I assumed he would be on the “this is fine” side of things. It has been clear since 2008 that Obama was going for the Clinton style wall street cash out, but probably in the 20-50 million range instead of the 100+ million range the Clintons’ got for deregulation. The Obamas can probably make up the balance in the tech industry. I don’t think there’s a board outside of the energy industry that wouldn’t love to have either of them. I do hope they have the good sense to protect their kids from C. Clinton’s fate.

        1. montanamaven

          The older Obama daughter is working in Hollywood for The Weinstein Co., so they are going the same route.

      4. Vatch

        One can wonder how lucrative the post presidency will be for Obama.

        Obama doesn’t have the “I’ll be back” implied power of the Clintons as they positioned HRC for the presidency during their peak fundraising years.

        If the billionaires and the giant corporations don’t provide Obama with plenty of goodies, then his successors, such as President Cory Booker (gag!) will have much less incentive to be obedient servants. Since Obama was loyal to the oligarchs, they need to set an examply by rewarding him.

        [I really, really hope that my reference to President Cory Booker is a false prediction.]

      5. different clue

        If Obama is not paid hundreds of millions of dollars for his securing hundreds of billions of dollars for his owner/patron/sponsors, then the owner/sponsor/patron class may have some trouble getting a future not-personally-rich president to given them hundreds of billions of dollars of public money while in office in return for hundreds of millions of dollars of private rewards later. Their credibility will be damaged by however much less than the full promised payout they give him.

        So they WILL give him the money.

    3. polecat

      a cooooool half mil ….

      ain’t that just grand …. and he’s only lookin out for our best interests.

      Tee off a cliff Barry !

  6. jfleni

    RE: If Saudi Future’s So Bright, Why Can’t These Banks Find Buyers?

    Fifty years ago, Sheik Yamani (Remember him?) said ” the oil age is ending”. The Princelings and US Grease Monkeys act deaf, not to mention stupid, so it’s not too surprising that nobody wants any oil banks.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Trade War with the savage flannel-clad tribes to the North:

    Canada’s forest industry felt the slap of countervailing duties late Monday. A U.S. Commerce Dept investigation has once again concluded that softwood lumber imports are unfairly subsidized.

    Canadian lumber imports are expected to face new duties ranging from three to 24 per cent, starting next week. The U.S. lumber industry has argued for decades that because most Canadian timber is harvested on Crown lands, the way provincial governments manage and set prices for these harvests results in cheaper lumber.

    But Canadian governments have changed the way they operate to address such concerns. Timber auctions are now used to better reflect current market rates.

    On June 23, a second investigation will reveal the Commerce Department’s findings on a parallel anti-dumping investigation, another remedy the U.S. lobby asked for to balance unfair Canadian imports.

    President Donald Trump announced the decision one day early at a reception for conservative journalists in Washington.

    Let us pause to take a look at US lumber prices, which are near record highs. Long-term chart:

    With new housing in the US increasingly unaffordable, what better way to put American construction workers out of a job than hiking the price of framing lumber, siding and roof decking?

    One might also note that the US countervailing duties are about equal to the depreciation of the C$ vs the US$ over the past 5 years. A nasty side effect of irredeemable fiat currencies is that they carom all over the pool table, producing bizarre international price distortions.


    Protectionists sho is crazy …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      First, they went and protected someone else’s jobs. I complained.

      Then, they went and protected my job, and no one, not me, complained.

  8. Praedor

    I’ll be interested in seeing how wikitribune works out. Everyone is on a fake news kick, defining fake news as any news that that disagree with their closely held belief (essentially). It’s an attempt, also, by the self-appointed gate keepers of “news” to invalidate contrary reportage. “Fake news” is any narrative that contradicts the chosen narrative of the NY Times, for instance. If the Times says the Russians hacked the election for Trump but others publish contradictory information and facts, THAT is deemed “fake news”. If the government and it’s propaganda arm, the MSM, say that Assad “gassed his own people” but someone presents counterfactual information that it was the US-supported rebels OR a simple CIA false flag, then that is fake news.

    “Fake news” is a slippery slope.

    1. vidimi

      depending on grass roots involvement, wikitribune can turn out to be a good thing. time will tell…

  9. Montanamaven

    Interesting article in The American Conservative on the rise of interest in French Intellectuals on the Right.

    But today, France’s most read and most discussed popular writers—novelists and political essayists—are conservatives of one stripe or another. They are not concerned, even slightly, with the issues that animate American “mainstream” think-tank conservatism—lowering taxes, cutting federal programs, or maintaining some kind of global military hegemony. Their focus is France’s national culture and its survival.

    French nationalism
    If somebody had told me a year ago that one of my go to sites now is “The American Conservative”, I would have chortled. Thanks to NC, I have expanded my reading to include this site. Welcome to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When in Paris, do as the Parisians do.

      In France, many immigrants from America think they are still in the USA.

      French people, proud of their culture, don’t like that at all.

      “Yes, we eat frog legs. What’s wrong with that????”

    2. sid_finster

      Not only is The American Conservative a go-to site, but I frequently forward it’s articles to Greens and Berniecrats. I also forward NC articles and the like to sundry deplorables.

      The sooner we recognize who our enemies are and what we have in common….

  10. Jim Haygood

    Nasdaq 6000, comrades: for some reason, crossing it at this morning’s open isn’t producing anywhere near the delirium that Nasdaq 5000 did on 9-10 March 2000, two weeks from the crest of Bubble I.

    Guess we’ll just have to take ‘er on up to 7000. :-0

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Nice big round numbers, comrade Haywood.

      First, 5,000,

      Then, 10,000.

      If you dream exponentially, then 100,000 after that.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Britain votes for Brexit; UK stocks rally.

        US votes for political outsider Trump; US stocks rally.

        France votes for political outsiders Macron and Le Pen; French stocks rally.

        Does anyone detect a pattern here? :-0

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I see the pattern.

          The further outside, the higher it goes.

          “He is a far-out green man from Mars. The market will go all the way into space.”

        2. clinical wasteman

          You mean the pattern whereby each of those campaigns was pledged to one big branch of capital or several of same, and all were resolutely anti-labor (unless flattering the presumed cultural Identity of avec-papiers workers on their way down while kicking all the others harder to make up for it counts as ‘respect’)?
          And/or because a lot of hyper/active fund managers all expect to come out as the winner from a few months’ muddy Volatility-wrestling?
          No irony even required: I really do think it’s probably some combination of those two things.
          But Macron is an ‘outsider’ in the same way that John McCain — or Sarkozy — was a ‘maverick’.

        3. Anonymous2

          UK stocks only rose because the pound fell. Dollar earnings translated into sterling rise when the pound is weak.

  11. Vatch

    Not an inside job: How two analysts became SEC whistleblowers Reuters

    Some good news for a change. Maybe the SEC was sufficiently embarrassed by their failure to respond to the work of Harry Markopolos regarding Bernie Madoff, that they are actually paying attention to tips from analysts. Still, there will have to be a lot more events like this before I will be convinced that anything substantial has changed at the SEC.

    1. Brian

      The SEC will always welcome one lip service. It is unintelligible, even for lip readers. Sound and fury type in reply, milquetoast in response.

    1. Praedor

      Oh yeah, that’d be great. Then the true neocons takeover could be completed as he would, no doubt, reappoint Bolton for the job.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I suspect that madame ambassador is not the only one to notice that about herself. And considering the country she represents, I’d imagine that the reaction of the rest of the U.N. is, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

      1. Enquiring Mind

        These days in DC, they are learning that it takes a lot of road apples to fertilize that tree.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    In the “america is already great” department:

    “Workers don bulletproof vests while taking down New Orleans’ Confederate monument in middle of night”

    This is not a naive quest to solve all our problems at once,” Landrieu added. “This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile — and most importantly — choose a better future.”

    City workers who took the monument down were seen “wearing bulletproof vests, military-style helmets and scarves that obscured their faces,” according to the Associated Press. Police were also present to barricade the entry points to the monument while snipers were stationed on the parking garage of a hotel overlooking the monument.

    The city had decided to keep the names of bidding contractors a secret after receiving a slew of death threats and harassment. One contractor pulled out in 2015 after receiving threatening phone calls and having his car torched. Couzan Services, LLC was the only bidder for the removal contract, asking $600,000 for its services, or more than three times the city’s budget for the monuments’ removal.

    Messages to the “world,” monument destruction and extortion by private contractor. In the dead of night. Sounds a lot like Iraq to me. Nothing succeeds like success.

    1. Vatch

      Extortion by private contractor? You’re kidding, right? They removed a monument honoring 19th century white supremacist terrorists, and because of death threats by 21st century white supremacist terrorists, it was a dangerous job.

      Is this like Iraq? Sure. The white supremacist Christians are very similar to the Islamic terrorists of ISIL.

        1. Vatch

          Well, duh! They were afraid that the racists were going to murder the workers. That doesn’t mean that there was any extortion, except perhaps by the racists who wanted to prevent the removal of the monument.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        I think you may be missing a point here, Vatch. In the past, an unpopular statue could be removed in daylight without the use of “overwhelming force”…….

        What does this say about what the US has become? What direction is the US going? What happened in New Orleans does not bring me any comfort…..

        1. Vatch

          I might be missing something, but Katniss’s comment makes it appear that the contractors removing the monument are the bad guys. The bad guys are the white supremacists who are making the death threats.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            When I made my original comment, I was just thinking of the theatrical similarities between the “liberation” of Iraq and the “choosing of a better future” for New Orleans.

            All your screeching about the white supremacist villains du jour sabotaging the noble removal of these objectionable symbols of the city’s vile past life got me to thinking that I may have misinterpreted the situation. As it turns out, I did not.

            More likely what is going on here, is a dramatically staged rejection of past crimes as distraction from current ones. Who could deny absolution to a city that risks lives taking such a principled stand?

            Here is a snip from an article written in August, 2016 on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of Katrina:

            On the east side they might have shot footage of the Seventh Ward, a black working-class community that was still only around 60 percent rebuilt a decade after Katrina. They could have gone to Pontchartrain Park, a black middle-class community that the actor Wendell Pierce, who had grown up there, dubbed a “black Mayberry.” Pontchartrain Park was doing no better than the Seventh Ward. Or they might have reported from New Orleans East, a black professional class neighborhood still pocked by boarded-up strip malls and abandoned businesses. It is maybe 80 to 85 percent rebuilt 11 years after Katrina.

            Most shocking is the Lower Ninth Ward, where the average resident was living on $16,000 a year before the hurricane. You can still drive blocks there and not see a single home. The neighborhood is still missing more than half its pre-Katrina population.

            I’d imagine the beneficent residents of the “new” NOLA would rather not be reminded that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


            1. Vatch

              Screeching? Really?

              The black neighborhoods of New Orleans are in bad shape because of the racist thugs who want to protect the icons of slavery and Jim Crow. If you were really angry about the poverty of contemporary New Orleans, why didn’t you say so earlier, instead of complaining about a contractor who was doing something that should have been done 50 years ago?

              1. witters

                Calm down. Not complaining about the fact of there being a contractor, but about the $600 000 extorted for doing the job. From the community. Which you, it seems, are fine with (‘because racism’).

                1. Vatch

                  If there weren’t death threats, other contractors would have bid on the job, and the price would have been much lower. Cause and effect. I’m not happy with the price, but it’s a relatively minor issue compared to the continuation of institutionalized racism in Louisiana and elsewhere.

              2. Lambert Strether Post author

                I’m not from NOLA, so I’d welcome clarification from a local, but I find the picture of a tourism- and investment-minded local oligarchy doing a little cosmetic surgery on local statuary the better to screw the non-oligarchs (charmingly including both neo-Confederates and the remnants of the Ninth Ward) quite plausible.

    2. Jagger

      I don’t understand why we don’t just go the Taliban route. If you don’t like an historic statue, you just rig it up with dynamite and blow it up. Who needs moving contractors. Of course, this will start a trend. First we get rid of all statues of any historic figure that owned a slave back to the founding of the country and then we go after all historic statues of figures involved in and supported the extermination of the Indians and then we can go after the war criminals of the 20th and 21st century. In a good, docile, consumerist, “living in the moment” civilization, who needs statues or even a reminder of past history?

      Like I said, the Taliban really knows how to erase history with panache but we manage to achieve the same results in our dull, legalistic manner. And whether in Afghanistan or here in America, it is all about power, politics and herding the sheep.

      1. Cujo359

        This thread reminds me of a quote that I believe was attributed to Stanislaw Lem: “When removing statues, be sure to save the pedestals”.

      2. jrs

        Have you actually read what this commemorates? It’s not just commemorating some southern general or something, then I’d say leave it, it’s historical. So I might not want the further statues removed, but this particular statue:

        “They took down a statue originally erected to honor members of a white supremacist organization who fought against racial integration within the city’s police force and state militia.” (after the civil war ended)

        How can anyone want to keep that statue up? It pretty much defines horrible.

      3. anonymous coward

        We tried that in the sixties. Weather Underground couldn’t manage to rig up a bomb without killing themselves, though. If, on the other hand, we want to go full-on iconoclast, I’m for it. But we should start with those “nonrepresentational abstract” (an oxymoron, by the way) sculptures seen on every hip college campus. Nothing is more dehumanizing and anti-individualist than a platonic ideal wrapped in a mechanical shell. Explains why the CIA were such big fans of Abstract Modernism.

    3. W.E. Bentley

      New Orleanian here. The city council voted to take down these statues almost 2 years ago now. The original contractors received death threats, and one of them had their car set on fire. The ordeal was then tied up in court for a bit, and just got the final go-ahead a couple of weeks ago. There is a ton of grass roots support for taking these monuments down, with almost weekly actions for removal. I see Take ’em Down signs in businesses all over the city.

      The contractors are charging this much because of the danger involved. I certainly wish it was not costing the city so much to remove these monuments, and it is scary that this can not be done in daylight. But overall it seems like a big victory to me. I don’t understand how it serves the needs of current day New Orleans to continue to represent its history in a completely one-sided way. The population of New Orleans, according to the most recent census data, is 60% African-American.

      More context from the Times-Pic:

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Thanks for the detail. That said, I don’t know how big a victory this is. Remember how the Dylann Roof shooting suddenly became all about the Confederate flag?

        “Caution: Symbol manipulators at work!”

    4. JustAnObserver

      Sadly this monument to racist brutality is not being destroyed but will be “relocated” via some private interest. Wonder if we’ll ever find out who/where ? Someone on the ground there in New Orleans needs to keep track of this.

  13. Altandmain

    Apparently the Koch Brothers are linked to Trump’s Cabinet picks:

    On Trump: He’s not draining the swamp, but filling it with more vermin.

    Oh and surveys show Generation Y wants radical change.

    Gee… I wonder why?

    1. Vatch

      Thanks for the article about Trump and the Kochs. It’s already well known that the Kochs are heavily involved in recruiting and hiring people for the Trump administration, but it’s always nice to have further verification. Poisoner-in-Chief Scott Pruitt, Ignorance Advocate Betsy DeVos, and CIA Torture Enthusiast Mike Pompeo, formerly the Congressman from Koch Industries, are all up to their earlobes in the Kochtopus. Also deeply involved with the Kochtopus are Rick Glasses-Make-Him-Smart Perry and Mike Ludicrous-Rules-For-Eating-Lunch Pence.

      1. robnume

        DeVos probably wouldn’t even be there except for her biological relationship to a major “Prince of Darkness,” Blackwater/XE’s Erik Prince. Prince is, as you may know a close advisor to our new president.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t know about generalizations like Generation Y, but I think the old, the sick and the hungry do want radical change.

      The question is, can you get radical change incrementally?

  14. justanotherprogressive

    And the insanity continues……

    Yep, according to our security morons, er…experts, we are still supposed to believe that those dangerous bomb containing laptops are much safer in the belly of the plane…..

    Perhaps what they should really ban are smartphones so that we can’t video what the airlines are doing to us…..I’m betting that is coming……

    Applying stupid to Europe is much different than applying stupid to the Middle East…..doesn’t Trump even have a clue how this could backfire?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      First the travel ban, then this laptop ban.

      Is it still racist or religious bigotry?

      Evil or incompetence?

      My guess is some people are more evil than incompetent, while some others are more incompetent than evil.

      In any case, we are all a bit of both…no one is so exceptional. And like any swamp, the top can not be too different from what lurks underneath…the constituent parts.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Wow.. more security Kabuki for airline passengers. If the theory that the last laptop ban was really a ploy to stick it to Middle Eastern carriers, what does this ban try to do? Stick it to Virgin?

    3. JustAnObserver

      Come on NC folk. If your laptop goes into checked baggage then it will be vulnerable to being taken out and having some wonder NSA/GCHQ/CIA/Vault-7 malware/spyware installed.

      When putting it into your checked bag you’ll need to add some kind of telltale to show whether its been removed during transit. If the TT shows it has you *have* to consider your laptop compromised and act accordingly – erase/reformat/replace the the hard disk & boot flash … or maybe just have it crushed (tricky if it’s a company one).

      Should I be wearing my tin foil hat while writing this ?

      1. Jeotsu

        I think you have the correct response.

        And I think it will be quite targeted. Got confidential business info on your laptop? Better not fly to the USA.

        Which is why a tech-savvy person needs to build something like looks like a PC but is designed ot ill computers, like this:

        That would be a rude surprise to the TSA/NSA/Whoever is trying to scan your laptop. Of course, you’ll likely just be arrested when you land in the US for “deliberately and wantonly destroying federal government super-secret security equipment.” Not sure if that earns you just a visit to the no-fly list, or a more intimate stay in a black site.

        1. different clue

          It would need to be a time-delayed digital destruction which also destroyed the trail of smoking breadcrumbs leading back to the “PC” it came from.

          Probably the best way to disguise it as a PC would be for it to actually BE a PC, but with a “hidden secret” ability to insert those time-delayed kill-system-instructions you speak of into the spy-minions’ computer systems. The PC as delivery vehicle with the “virtual killer stick” as the payload.

      2. Yves Smith

        Basically, this would mean I never go to the UK.

        1. Laptops would be stolen. My mother had a frigging digital camera and costume jewelry stolen out of her carry on.

        2. It’s pretty hard to pack them well enough for them not to be damaged, or at least at risk of being damaged.

        3. If I really really had to go, I would send my hard disk back via Fedex. Screw them if they think they are gonna mess with my machine.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        There really has to be a market solution for this. Say, a removable hard disk. I can take out the hard disk, wrap it in a Faraday cage or tinfoil or whatever, and FedEx it to my destination. Then I put in a “clean” disk and cross the border with that.

        1. Mark Alexander

          ThinkPads (or at least the pre-2009 models I have here) have removable hard disks. You need a screwdriver to remove the one screw holding down the disk compartment cover, though, so it’s not quite instant, but it can be done in a minute or two. Some ThinkPads have so-called “UltraBay” compartments that do provide instant removal without tools.

  15. Jef

    “If Saudi Future’s So Bright, Why Can’t These Banks Find Buyers?”

    Oh how I wish Matt Simmons could have lived to see this.

  16. Brindle

    Re: “Is the Berkeley riot….”

    The opening sentence effectively disqualifies the author–IMHO:

    “America has taken some steps on a dark path. America has bred an underclass of young men — dispirited by their upbringing in feminist-run schools, by poor prospects for careers, too beta to interest attractive young girls…..”

    1. Roger Smith

      I agree with you. This instantly set off alarms for me about the writer and where the piece was going. Maybe the outburst will start in video game communities… *puts tin foil hat on*

      1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


        This excerpts from a first person account of 4chan by a liberal. I suggest you read it, rather than screening away anything that might not meet your political bias. That’s the equivalent of seeing the world with blinders on.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Attractive young girls no like beta boys?

      Do beta young girls interest attractive boys?

      1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


        “Attractive young girls no like beta boys?”

        That’s what they believe. To understand why people act as they do, first understand how they see the world.

        “Do beta young girls interest attractive boys?”

        Good question! The article listed looks at the motivations and actions of young men. It does not answer your question because it it is not a statement of the Cosmic All.

        Perhaps you can do the research to write a thousand words or so that answers your question. I and others will be interested to see what you find.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I don’t like monopolizing research.

          I believe too often, people are told they can’t do research, that they are not energetic enough.

    3. Ranger Rick

      “Too beta to interest attractive young girls,” coming right after “dispirited by their upbringing in feminist-run schools,” is an interesting juxtaposition that implies some causality. What part of their instruction in feminist ideology makes men behave in a way that is unattractive to women? The possibilities for speculation are endless (and lead to very dark places).

      1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


        That’s a good question, albeit beyond the scope of that brief essay to explore. See the books listed at the end for an answer (not, of course, the answer).

      2. Plenue

        To conservatives treating girls and women like people, and telling men that being grope and rape-tastic is, you know, not okay, are signs of societal decay. Masculinity (which is of course the most important thing ever) is apparently some sort of zero-sum game, and cannot coexist with women who also have agency and self-assertion. Also, they think women are some sort of hive-mind, and can’t conceive that there are some women who are actually attracted to waifish pretty boys, as well as women who are into square-jawed Joe Montana-types.

        1. hunkerdown

          Put down the straw man and back away slowly. What about the several schools that ban hugging for familyblog’s sake? And why should young women not decide their own limits rather than have neoliberal church ladies indoctrinating them with Christian values? Young women have some idea where the testicles are, and if it weren’t for neoliberals protecting their personal status, would know how to land an effective blow.

          1. Plenue

            You say strawman, but having seen far too much conservative dribble on these subjects that’s pretty much what it boils down to. An absolute obsession with masculinity and how it’s supposedly the foundation of civilization, and which often manifests as thinly veiled hatred for all things female, not to mention a frankly pathological fear of male homosexuality, pervades much conservative writing, going back centuries, if not millennia.

            And conservatives being idiots doesn’t mean neoliberals don’t also have their heads up their own asses.

    4. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website


      “The opening sentence effectively disqualifies the author”

      If you “disqualify” authors by their agreement with your ideological bias, you see the world thru blinders.

      IMHO you would learn more by reversing them and reading only things that you now “disqualify”. That would force you to examine your beliefs, opening you to new insights and information. You would lose your daily diet of material confirming your beliefs, much of which probably tells you little.

      1. Plenue

        I would say the use of terms like ‘beta’ instantly reveals the author to be an idiot. What next? Lectures on how to get ‘uncucked’?

      2. witters

        “and reading only things that you now “disqualify”
        This is so silly. So I have to read Danielle Steel?

      3. clinical wasteman

        Dear Fabius Maximus editor,
        Was the “feminist-run schools/beta boys” passage a quote from elsewhere, mistaken by commenters here for part of the article, or not? If so, fair enough, the misreading was worth pointing out, but it was no more than that. You can’t very well accuse Brindle or Roger of attacking the article from behind “ideological blinders” while also ridiculing them for failing to distinguish the quote from the article.
        But then again, what does “This excerpts from a first person account of 4chan by a liberal” actually mean? The syntax doesn’t exactly bristle with clues. The passage in question isn’t part of the article, it’s a quote/epigraph from a liberal 4chan user? It’s neither part of the article nor something directly from 4chan, but a ‘second-generation’ quote, i.e. taken from a liberal source that attributed it to 4chan? Or it’s some liberal’s made-up example of the kind of thing they might say on 4chan? Or an anti-liberal’s impression of that kind of liberal statement? Your ingenious use of “of” manages to keep all these possibilities alive at once. If the article quoted the passage disapprovingly, then it was a mistake (though no more than that, and one that any of us could make) to blame the article for its content. And mistakes — unless you represent some ultra-Freudian wing of whatever is your political tendency — are not always ideological. Or if it was cited with approval, it was nit-picking to mention the mistake, and the “ideological blinders” criticism was technically legitimate but still wrong. Because it’s a service to common logic as well as to the admittedly niche dream of a world without Manly Virtues to point out for what it is a question-begging statement that could be parsed as: “feminists must have taken over the school system because male pupils are ‘dispirited’ by the feminist takeover“.
        As for the notion that anyone can ever read anything without ideological conditioning, that’s plain silly unless the person in question magically acquired the ability to read without actually learning, like the truant-savant schoolboy Ernesto in Margueurite Duras’s ‘Summer Rain’. Otherwise it just means: “please read using the most powerful blinders on the market, the sort that make you forget you’re wearing them“.
        One of the best reasons for reading NC is the likelihood of encountering within the same sentence a statement you want to applaud with full ideological honours and another that fills you with dismay but which you can’t dismiss out of hand when it comes from that person.
        But please, dear Editor, disregard all the foregoing, which comes from a mere omega creature.
        [PS., Ranger, Plenue: yes (and let the peerless psychosexual success of the British/colonial private single-sex boarding school system serve as control in the coming experiments); yes & yes.]

        1. Plenue

          4chan is widely recognized as a cesspool. That they’re mostly creepy, outrageous places is something chan boards themselves frequently take pride in. At any given time at least 20% of posters on 4chan are flaming, the other 20% are trolling, another 20% are just shitposting, 20% are attempting to have some sort of meaningful conversation, and the remaining 20% is just lurking and watching the dumpster fire. And that’s just the average across all boards. Places like 4chans /pol/ are explicitly containment boards where the hope is that the far-right morons will stay and spare the other boards their idiocy. When he was still in charge moot repeatedly killed and resurrected the politics board in the hope that this time it wouldn’t devolve into a haven for Stormfront-types. But it always did.

          The point is that 4chan is not a sign of anything but a vocal minority of load-mouthed losers. Anonymous in particular is a running joke. You have a small core of people who know how to program who slap together easy to use packages that an army of incompetents then run for the lulz. Sometimes they attack something of note; but mostly they’re raiding games or small websites the hive-mind has deemed a worthy target. It is not some internet army of motivated activists.

          1. Aumua

            Oh, poor white men. So marginalized are we. How can we ever get ahead in a world that is so stacked against us? We are beset on all sides by dark, dark forces. Well, I’m not going to take it lying down any more. Rise up against oppression, white men. Take back what has been stolen, and what is rightfully ours, our place in the sun. We will have our day, gentlemen!

            1. Kukulkan

              Yeah. Holding a rally in support of free speech.

              Free Speech!

              And fighting back when attacked by a bunch of Brownshirts!

              While hiding in a crowd also containing women and people of color — who, presumably had been brainwashed into also supporting free speech!

              Talk about a sense of privileged!

              Why, you’d almost think free speech, self defense, and the right to peaceably assemble were rights or something.

  17. L

    On a different note it appears that the “Bernie Sanders is EVIL” screed industry is still in business:

    The first piece is interesting if only for the tortured sophostry the author uses to dismiss concerns that the Democrats have abandoned working class voters by noting that more minorities voted for Clinton than Trump and seems to equate Sanders’ call for economic justice with sexism and racism.

    Ultimately the primary crux of the Author’s opposition is that Sanders is not ideologically pure on reproductive rights or is willing to make common cause with candidates who are less than stellar in that regard. While I agree that that is a problem it hardly qualifies as “Third Way Centrist Bullshit.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…call for economic justice with sexism and racism.”

      That seems to be their mad accusation that Sanders is a Trump-wannabe.

      Anyone calling for economic justice is a sexist and racist – this ought to put a stop to our nonsense.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Seriously, it is Salon. What did you expect from them? I did have to click on the link to see who the author was…..does Amanda have a pen name?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      All of the walls in the world, the most cruel is the invisible wall in the heart.

      “I will never date a deplorable Trump voter!!!”

      And many worse such walls.

      1. HBE

        Ha, (millennial) I’m very embarrassed to admit it. But I do user tinder (yes the app) on occasion.

        You’re actually spot on, with the “I’ll never date a deplorable” Remark.

        The “swipe left if you voted trump”, (meaning don’t match) or “f-u if you voted for trump” is extremely common in white female bios these days (I have yet to see such wording in a minority bio).

  18. a different chris

    Did you guys see the MOAB pictures? My wife does more damage with the garden tractor.

    Here’s a secret any street fighter will tell you – don’t show what you’ve got until you have to, it might not impress anybody. Trump is a moron.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Jack Ma Sees Decades of Pain as Internet Upends Old Economy Bloomberg

    He should be a Buddhist – life is suffering, pain and misery.

    Among the suffering is this: to suffer greed disguised as innovation.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Americans Back Immigration and Trade at Record Levels WSJ

    There is immigration and there is immigration.

    One million immigrants a year immigration or one billion a year immigration, to use but 2 examples.

    Then, there is the future issue of robot immigrants. How many foreign robots, who take jobs no American robots would, should we take in a year?

  21. Susan the other

    The antidote of a wet puppy waiting patiently on the beach for the next exciting wave… I can relate still.

  22. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for Bill Mitchell’s post. Coupled with the publicity being accorded the stock market by the corporate MSM, it caused me to think about all the fiat money that has been created and directed into elevating prices of financial assets as a matter of policy over the past 9 years rather than being spent on needed infrastructure, public education, healthcare and for other public purposes.

  23. Dead Dog

    Just a day after Anzac Day here. I found the blog on Corbynism very worth while, so thank you. This was the conclusion:

    Of course it’s necessary – urgently, frantically necessary – to defeat the Nazis, not least because it buys us more time. But it’s not enough, it’s a stopgap for the symptoms. Almost all the advanced capitalist societies are tilting in the same direction, and these Nazis didn’t come from nowhere. They are entirely immanent to the liberal political order as it stands; their racism and violence and hatred comes from a society which is already racist and hateful and violent. The fascists gain their energy from the failure of liberalism, and liberalism gets to stave off its failure thanks to the threat posed by the fascists. Both are the living undeath of the other. The whole order is monstrous, decrepit, shambling, and lifeless; it has to go. To struggle for a better world isn’t a luxury in a time of rising fascism, it’s the only thing that can save us.

    I’m voting for Labour. It’s not perfect, of course it’s not. And Labour are unlikely to win. Corbynism or barbarism doesn’t represent a fork in the road, but something much harder; barbarism surrounds us everywhere, and Corbynism is attempting to wrench us out of it; it’s hard to pull an entire planet out of the swamp it’s made for itself, it’s hard to lift something up when it’s already slipping down, it’s hard to tear yourself away from a brutal and stupid reality. But it can be done. Something like Corbynism was never meant to happen. The narrative failed here: where there should have been a brief entrancing spark of hope followed by another grim round of which-is-worse centrism-or-fascism, that spark refused to be snuffed out. It’s burning lower than I’d like, but it’s still there, and while it is, I’m voting for Labour.

    May has an unassailable lead, but I think the media and pollsters are underestimating the rage of hatred against the status quo. But, it is a huge swing for Labour and many of the dissaffected will vote for minor parties. They’ve heard Labour’s promises before. Corbyn will continue to be harangued from the media and from within, but this may will play into his hands as it did for Trump.

    We also have the unprecedented situation where the final run off in France will happen before the UK gets to vote in the GE. If Marine Le Pen wins, the probability of Frexit increases in turn validating all those leave voters in the UK. Interesting times.

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