Links 4/29/2017

Female Dragonflies Fake Death to Avoid Males Harassing Them for Sex Newsweek

The Deregulation of Private Capital and the Decline of the Public Company The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

American Economic Growth Has Slowed to a Crawl New York Magazine

Plunge in Election-Related Spending Dents U.S. GDP Growth: Chart Bloomberg

A Whistle Was Blown, but Who Was Listening? Gretchen Morgenson, NYT

Oil And Gas Industry Power Builds Wells Near Schools In Colorado, Trumping Environmental Concerns David Sirota, International Business Times

Growth still trumps profits for US tech groups FT


The ten graphs which show how Britain became a wholly owned subsidiary of the City of London (and what we can do about it) Steve Keen, Open Democracy. Grab a cup of coffee…

Brexit: the egocentric framing error Stumbling and Mumbling


French election a swansong for liberal globalism The Interpreter

The French leftists who no longer fear Le Pen Politico

This is why Theresa May and Marine Le Pen are more similar than you think Independent

European politics: The young centrists strike back Australian Financial Review

Portugal Basks In Post-Bailout Economic Revival NPR (DK). Without austerity.

Brazil Paralyzed by Nationwide Strike, Driven by a Familiar Global Dynamic of Elite Corruption and Impunity The Intercept

Ecuador After Correa n+1

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets NYT

NSA Backs Down on Major Surveillance Program That Captured Americans’ Communications Without a Warrant Dan Froomkin, The Intercept

NSA Had Found “Many” Improper Queries on Upstream US Person Data at Least by 2013 emptywheel

North Korea

North Korea fails in another ballistic missile test, hours after China warns UN meeting that military action would lead to ‘bigger disasters’ South China Morning Post

Commentary: Prudence on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue needed as Trump marks 100 days in office Xinhua

Trump’s demand Seoul pay for THAAD will test ties as Moon presidency looms Reuters

Trump wants diplomatic solution on North Korea but warns ‘major, major conflict’ possible CBC

Trump Transition

US Congress passes bill to avoid government shutdown FT

* * *

After-dinner mint: how ex-politicians hit paydirt with public speaking Guardian. Ka-ching.

Stop Calling Him ‘Dr.’: The Academic Fraud of Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Terrorism ‘Expert’ Haaretz (DK).

* * *

An immense proliferation of “100 days” takes. Here are a few:

After 100 Days, These Things Will Stick RealClearPolitics

The first 100 days of the Trump White House left Silicon Valley scratching its head recode

Trump’s major accomplishment after 100 days: He’s still controlling the conversation McClatchy

Trump Banks On Second 100 Days The Cook Political Report

Trump Could Have Broken the Democratic Party Slate (Re Silc).

Donald Trump’s massive missed opportunity Vox

Maybe America Wasn’t Crazy to Elect Donald Trump Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine (Re Silc).

Donald Trump is the best troll in all of politics CNN. Sad!

So how is the Trump era working out for Paul Ryan? The Week

* * *

The Rise of the Generals Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

Tillerson and the State Department ‘Ghost Ship’ The American Conservative

Tillerson Seeking 9% Cut to U.S. State Department Workforce, Sources Say Bloomberg

* * *

Trump to order a study on abuses of U.S. trade agreements Reuters. Including the WTO.

Trump’s tax plan favours wealthiest Americans FT

Dems withhold cash from Montana special election Politico. Film at 11.

Two people who want to lead the California Democratic Party are coming to Riverside Press-Enterprise

Citizenship Case Takes On Speedsters Who Lie About Their Weight Courthouse News

Argument analysis: The Supreme Court struggles with the ACA’s patent provisions SCOTUSblog

Health Care

It may not be time for single-payer health care in California, Assembly leader says Sacramento Bee. “Lord, make me pure. But not yet!”

The AHCA Does Not Materially Improve ObamaCare, and MacArthur Waivers Don’t Materially Improve the AHCA Cato Institute

Republicans deny Trump one last chance at a 100-day victory and punt on healthcare again Business Insider. The MacArthur waivers placated the Freedom Caucus but repelled the moderates. It’s funny, in a grim sort of way, to see conservatives adding ideologically-driven layers of complex crapification, instead of watching liberals do it.

Judge: Mostly white Southern city may secede from school district despite racial motive WaPo

Guillotine Watch

I Worked at Fyre Festival. It Was Always Going to Be a Disaster. New York Magazine. “This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere.”

Class Warfare

I would rather shine shoes than be a banker Lucy Kellaway, FT (MR). From 2015, still relevant today, for two distinct reasons: First, it reads like a precursor to the recent fad for artisanal pickle-making (honest toil is so romantic). But it also gives a good summary of why humans find work (as distinct from a job) satisfying in itself, regardless of the wages the work brings in.

Why The Left Will (Eventually) Triumph: An Interview With Ruy Teixeira TPM. Here’s a gem:

[TEIXEIRA:] I favor what economists are calling a model of equitable growth. It would mean substantial government investment in creating new opportunities for the middle and aspirational classes.

“Aspirational classes.” That’ll play in Peoria. Learned nothing, forgotten nothing…

Stagnant Wages And Slow Productivity Growth emptywheel

To Help Tackle Inequality, Remember the Advantages You’ve Had NYT. Cf. Luke 18:11.

Suicide of an Uber engineer: Widow blames job stress San Francisco Chronicle

Huge Arctic report ups estimates of sea-level rise Nature

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Jim Haygood

    From his solitary aerie in upstate (way upstate) New York, the curmudgeonly James Howard Kunster has penned perhaps his most profoundly dystopian rant evahhhhh.

    For once, Kunstler can’t even bestir himself to raise his customary sarcastic chants about “Happy motoring” and “WalMart trucks still faithfully conveying pallets of Cheetos, Fritos, Funyons, and Tostitos from the Pepsico loading dock to the big box aisles of glory.” So you know it’s gonna be bad:

    You can read it in the bodies of the people in the new town square, i.e. the supermarket: people prematurely old, fattened and sickened by bad food made to look and taste irresistible to con those sunk in despair, a deadly consolation for lives otherwise filled by empty hours, trash television, addictive computer games, and their own family melodramas concocted to give some narrative meaning to lives otherwise bereft of event or effort.

    Oy vey … so things are bad? Well then, let them get even worse:

    These are people who have suffered their economic and social roles in life to be stolen from them. They do not work at things that matter. They have no prospects for a better life — and, anyway, the sheer notion of that has been reduced to absurd fantasies of Kardashian luxury, i.e. maximum comfort with no purpose other than to enable self-dramatization. And nothing dramatizes a desperate life like a drug habit.

    Day-umn … just makes you want to slit your wrists, don’t it? But not reconciled to missing the final fireworks of Bubble III, I’m hangin’ around anyhow. :-)

    1. Huey Long

      For once, Kunstler can’t even bestir himself to raise his customary sarcastic chants about “Happy motoring” and “WalMart trucks still faithfully conveying pallets of Cheetos, Fritos, Funyons, and Tostitos from the Pepsico loading dock to the big box aisles of glory.” So you know it’s gonna be bad

      Comrade Haygood, on behalf of myself and any other Kunstler fans in the commentariat, thanks for the belly laugh!

        1. LifelongLib

          I expect the future to look like a combo of “Soylent Green” and “Blade Runner”. Come to think of it, a lot of places look like that now…

    2. John Wright

      Kunstler might feel a bit better if he appreciated the design effort behind some of his foods:

      In the case of Cheetos, see

      “I called on Steven Witherly, a food scientist who wrote a fascinating guide for industry insiders titled, “Why Humans Like Junk Food.” I brought him two shopping bags filled with a variety of chips to taste. He zeroed right in on the Cheetos. “This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.””

      So Cheetos is “marvelously constructed”.

      Some appreciation of Cheetos is in order.

      1. fresno dan

        John Wright
        April 29, 2017 at 9:07 am

        I call it the orange trinity – cheetos, doritos, and fritos…..
        Is it any wonder that we have an orange president???

        1. susan the other

          both grocery stores in my little town recently remodeled the aisles. they both now have two solid isles of chips and snax and 2 of beer and sodas. at least twice as much as the stock before. and doritos are always on sale!

    3. DJG

      Maybe I’m having a bad day, but even here in Chicago, I recognize the same symptoms that he sees in his Hudson Valley postindustrial landscape. As he points out, the main street is dotted with empty storefronts, and various businesses come and go, even as the Menard’s desparately tries to prevent unionization of its workforce.

      With regard to food, you don’t have to have Twinkies and Cheetos. Here in Chicago, the underemployed hipsters subsist on a diet of bacon and more bacon, beer (endless amounts). hot sauce, and baroque desserts. The result is a mass of lumbering, depressed people who don’t even bother to disguise their depression, as they shamble down the sidewalks in t-shirts and pajama bottoms (or drawstring pants, if they are feeling a tad dressy) that can’t hide the muffintops. And the beards hide a multiuide of chins.

      And then people write articles about the lack of sexual activity among the young.

      I agree with Ulysses: The problem is even worse than we suspect.

      But, hey, time for me to go and raise my speaker’s fee.

      1. Huey Long

        As he points out, the main street is dotted with empty storefronts, and various businesses come and go

        57th street on the island of Manhattan, dubbed “billionaire’s row”, the epicenter of neoliberalism, is littered end to end with empty store fronts due to a phenomenon known as “high rent blight.”

        You’d think we’d be doing better here but alas, the FIRE sector’s greed knows no bounds.

        1. Pat

          As the owner of the blog mapping this noted, it started with 14th Street. In my travels I can tell you that 57th Street is actually not bad comparatively even though the loss of some long term stores is shocking, same with Madison. Want to really be shocked start looking around on Broadway, 14th, 34th, Amsterdam, Lexington… empty storefronts are everywhere. Not an area where I go, but the map shows that Soho/Tribeca is overrun with empty storefronts. And even where things should be a relative bargain, store fronts remaining empty for years is now common. I can also tell you that one of the big choices for the larger storefronts are downsizing. Banks are shutting the three and four thousand and larger square foot branches all over town to move to spaces half that. I can name half a dozen branch closures just on my regular travel routes.

          Though it is not entirely up to date the interactive map is fun (I know of several empty storefronts that it doesn’t have.) But even slightly out of date it is pretty shocking.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            We decided we’d rather have a few billionaires (Walton Bezos Brin) make even more money than have vibrant local communities with shops and people and relationships.

            1. Ulysses

              So, Soylent Green and Blade Runner are just steps towards Omega Man (one kleptocrat left with all the remaining goodies of “civilization”) ??!?

    4. jrs

      U.S. food policy may be political in more ways than even a “slow fooder” thinks. Why we have cheap shit meat might be political, sure for the obvious business reasons of cost cutting and profiteering and whatever a CAFO company can get away with, but maybe cheap shit meat might be a bit of an opiate of the masses as well. Afterall people have protested for meat (in the old Soviet Union). Wouldn’t want that (it didn’t seem to end so well for them).

      So the masses can have meat and meat in abundance, cheap shitty CAFO, cramped conditions, soy fed, antibiotic laden, pink slime, crap meat that does real damage their health long term (although probably less damage than the twinkies and cheatos will!). The mass is appeased with readily available meat, the lucky seek out grass fed pasture raised stuff at Whole Paycheck and the farmer’s market.

      FWIW of course some people are vegetarians which is fine, I’m not arguing people must eat meat, I’m just saying people elsewhere have protested over meat before and so we collectively are appeased by cheap meat possibly as a matter of policy. It looks like the real thing but somehow it’s not exactly …

  2. Linda

    Fyre festival. Time to start planning.


    But Mr. McFarland [festival co-founder] is not giving up on his dream of a top-tier, beachfront concert weekend. Fyre Festival, he said, would be reborn next May on a beach in the United States with one key difference: “The festival will be fully free for everybody who wants to attend.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      I am old enough to remember the first Woodstock concert in 1969. It started out as a ticketed event. Then the word got out, the people came in great numbers, and then Woodstock was free. And rain-drenched.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Fourteen months have passed since Craazyman Fund was announced: a blend of 50% junk bonds, 30% emerging market stocks, and 20% gold bullion.

    Craazyman Fund is a kind of Otherside, night-blooming portfolio, fashioned to flourish in the evening sun and moonlight shadows of Bubble III. Its bonds aren’t investment grade; its stocks aren’t American; its bullion horde is mocked by good grey conventional thinkers as a pet rock. None of them were chosen casually.

    Since inception, Craazyman Fund has returned 19.69% versus a gain of 12.56% in its benchmark, a 50/50 stock/bond mix implemented with SPY (up 22.76%) and AGG (up 2.36%).

    Among Craazyman Fund components, emerging market stocks took the laurels with a 28.40% gain. Junk bonds followed with a stout 21.53% showing, while the old yellow dog managed only a 2.01% gain. Here’s a daily chart of Craazyman Fund:

      1. craazyboy

        I’d like to see the Doubly Craazyman Fund – like where the stodgy gold portion is zeroed out and is replaced with “high yield” bonds. [Mall store leases and such]

        Then calculate the volatility. Betcha it doesn’t look like a rainy day fund. But we don’t have rainy days anymore. If we get nuked, it won’t matter anyway.

        1. Ulysses

          “If we get nuked, it won’t matter anyway”

          That’s the spirit!

          Giovanni Boccaccio described this phenomenon after the Black Death in Tuscany:

          “Dying rather like cattle than human creatures; and growing dissolute in their manners like the citizens, and careless of everything, as supposing every day to be their last, their thoughts were not so much employed how to improve as to make use of their substance for their present support: whence it happened that the flocks, herds, and the dogs themselves, ever faithful to their masters, being driven from their own homes, would wander, no regard being had to them, among the forsaken harvest and many times, after they had filled themselves in the day, would return of their own accord like rational creatures at night…”

  4. allan

    North Carolina Moves to Shrink State Appeals Court [Courthouse News]

    North Carolina’s Republican-led General Assembly enacted a law Wednesday to shrink the state Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12, despite Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s efforts to talk them out of such a move.

    The state House and Senate voted to override Cooper’s veto to House Bill 239, barring him from replacing the next three judges to reach the mandatory retirement age of 72 during his gubernatorial term. …

    Congratulations to the NC GOP for creating the most effective legislative dictatorship in America.
    It looks like we need a BDS for states.

    1. Jim Haygood

      I didn’t know the GOP had infiltrated Naked Capitalism. [kidding]

      Back in the halcyon days of a half century ago when the economic pie was baking nicely, the Tweedledum and Tweedledee parties were largely content to share the credit.

      Today, when their major bipartisan project (Permanent War) carries on getting its nose bloodied time after time, internecine conflict has broken out in the domestic provinces of the Empire. The Stupid Party and the Evil Party are stinging each other like scorpions in a bottle.

      May we live to see the bright day when we can dance on their graves! :-)

      1. Huey Long

        Stupid Party and the Evil Party are stinging each other like scorpions in a bottle.

        Which one’s which? I find them both to be very evil and fairly stupid.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Nah, they’re both smart, they’re just not working for you. If you were: ultra-high net worth; a global multi-national; a tinpot dictator seeking military hardware; a domestic corporation like Verizon seeking monopoly rents; Saudi; Israeli; or a media company with the tools to suppress dissent and alternative views…they’d be very effective indeed.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Last month (March 31st) in this space debuted Thumper, a monthly sector model which selects one S&P 500 sector on the last trading day of each month, from a menu of seven choices: Energy, Financials, Industrials, Technology, Consumer Staples, Health Care and Consumer Discretionary.

    Thumper’s selection in April was XLF, an ETF which tracks the Financial sector. For the month, XLF returned -0.84% versus a 1.03% gain for the S&P 500, chalking up a 1.87% undershoot of its benchmark in Thumper’s first-month outing. Here’s the chart:

    For the past 12 months (including 11 months of simulated results before the model was announced), Thumper returned 23.08% versus a 17.92% return on the S&P 500 index.

    In May, Thumper again will hold XLF, the Fnancial sector. Bear in mind that this isn’t an investment recommendation. It’s a live public trial of a research project.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Thanks for the reference. SCTO can hold from one to five sectors. Currently it owns three — Materials; Technology; and Consumer Discretionary. It’s also got 40% in 1-3 year Treasuries, which we would have to back out to track head-to-head equity-only performance.

        Adding more sectors will more closely track the S&P 500 index, for better or worse. With only one sector, Thumper is designed for maximum drama. It will either win huge, or splat against the wall.

        In practice, I use either 2-sector or 3-sector models, which sacrifice a bit of drama for more stable and predictable performance. For instance, the 2-sector model owns Finance and Consumer Discretionary in May. The 3-sector model adds Technology to the mix. Market timing is outside the purview of the sector models, though it can be imposed as an overlay.

        A very cool thing about sector models is that they can be implemented with futures contracts traded on the CME. For taxable accounts, this gives favorable tax treatment, with 60% of gains treated as long-term, even if the holding period was only a month.

  6. Marco

    RE the feigning death female dragonflies. This week I witnessed what I presumed to be 5 adolescent male mallard ducks gang raping this poor rather small female. I really thought they could have killed her. My 4 year old neice also witnessed the spectacle and was so distraught I had to disrupt the melee with my broom. Nature ain’t Disney.

    1. crittermom

      I’ve read some articles on dragonflies after capturing some decent photos. (I try to research the creatures I photograph).
      Mating is especially vicious for the females, with them suffering puncture wounds to their eyes and heads from the males in the process. Most all bear scars.
      Also, each male wants to be the last to breed with her, so they will clean out the sperm of previous mates before mating, as well.
      I’m not surprised they play dead!

      1. begob


        Very hard to judge the electoral politics in England. Press narrative tending toward an aggressive Falklands-style boost for the Conservatives, but there’s no way people are feeling that on the street. Also tactical voting is in the air, which was taken seriously among the pensioner cohort in 2015 when they went UKIP local/Tory national – at the time I was accidentally CC’d on an email exchange to this effect by an elderly relative.

        I hope an austerity backlash comes into play, but at this point I assume we’re still in referendum mode with the feeble May reaping the benefit. She’s campaigning in a “safe space”, so fingers crossed the polls are way off and she ends up doing a Hillary.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Can you write out the headline? That way us non-subscribers can google it and try to open it.

  7. dontknowitall

    On North Korea and missiles…”Japan’s government spokesman says the missile launched by North Korea is believed to have travelled about 50 kilometers and fallen on an inland part of the country.”

    This is the second time. I continue to believe the North Koreans will keep purposefully launching missiles design to fail within their territory as a show of independence from what they see as interference in their own affairs by both China and the US. It would be hard to believe that in years past NK missiles reached well in the range of Japan and now they are incapable of going 50 miles, more likely is they are conscious that Trump is in need of a distraction from his recent failures on the home front and the Chinese are happy to help with the theatrics in exchange for good trade terms. Notice the North have not done any nuclear tests recently which would be problematic in the current situation.

  8. Bunk McNulty

    New World Disorder: Hannah Black (ArtForum)

    “An optimistic astonishment that a Black president was just as capable of presiding over drone bombings and lethal police as any other is now mirrored in the astonishment that not every single one of Trump’s outrages originated with his presidency, with many repeating the forms of oppression established by former US presidents. The disaster has already happened, and this is all aftermath.”

    “In an atmosphere of delirious threat, the newspapers report the President’s every move, from drone bombings to tweets, as if it were an extraordinary and never-before-seen phenomenon. “Fake news” and “alternative facts” abound, new terms for propaganda, and retroactively reveal a truth that you could learn in a high school classroom: that news, like history, is partial and partisan and has always been so. Everything that seems self-evident can be turned slightly and, in this altered light, appear as its opposite. And there is always the everyday shrug, the gaze that trains itself on the minute and pressing difficulties of everyday life, that get bigger and bigger the broker you are.”

    1. fresno dan

      Bunk McNulty
      April 29, 2017 at 9:18 am

      What really is astounding to me is that as Trump becomes a very conventional US president of the 1%, how his stature grows hourly. Shortly, a TIME essay on an oval office Churchill bust, resolve, and new found purpose….

      1. Carolinian

        See Andrew Sullivan in Links where he celebrates the triumphant inevitability of conventional wisdom over Trump, the campaign version.

      2. Bunk McNulty

        I wish Time luck convincing anyone about the possiblity of Trump suddenly morphing into a person actually capable of responsible leadership. As grandpa used to say, “You can turn wine into vinegar, but you cannot turn vinegar into wine.”

  9. Pat

    Hmmm, slow to no growth could mean a possible recession, funny apparently all those people who voted to roll the dice with Trump recognized where our economy was before the very limited ‘indicators’ did. Oh, wait, the fact that they had slow to no growth to going backwards doesn’t count. My bad.

    Do not look at Portugal, do not look at Portugal, do not look at Portugal.

    Also the whistle blowing, funny how that doesn’t seem to work out anymore. NOT.

    Just as I wish Obama had really wanted hope and change that would benefit the majority of Americans (including prosecuting top management white collar crime), I also wish that Trump really wanted to drain the swamp. But unfortunately neither were ever really on the agenda, and there were no real alternatives to that agenda for the deplorables/lower classes/non elites.

    1. DJG

      Pat: I wish that we could hold Portugal up as an example, but I’m wondering if Portuguese history and the Portuguese temperament are unique. Portugal also has legalized all drugs, something that terrifies just about all other governments. And then there’s fado.

      But the article was refreshing, although, of course, the writer had to get into some weird stuff at the end that the Portuguese don’t export enough. As if that is the measure of an economy.

      1. Huey Long

        Pat: I wish that we could hold Portugal up as an example, but I’m wondering if Portuguese history and the Portuguese temperament are unique.

        Historically, Portugal is definitely different than most of the West. It was ruled by the moors for quite some time, wasn’t devastated by the 30 years war, was ruled by a right wing dictatorship for a good chunk of the 20th century, remained neutral during WW2, held on to their colonies longer than the rest of Europe, etc.

        The right wing dictatorship collapsed in 1974 in a bloodless left wing coup known as the carnation revolution following decades of colonial wars in Africa and India. Maybe that has something to do with the Portuguese temperament as they’ve already lived under a right-wing perpetual war regime and know where that path leads.

        1. DJG

          Huey Long: Two things that shape the Portuguese and make them unique. I read in a history (not at hand) that the borders of Portugal have remained pretty much the same since about 1200. So they didn’t go through the machinations of the Spanish. The stability of the Portuguese borders is unmatched worldwide. I can’t think of another country that has been so “shaped” for so long.

          The Spanish did conquer the Portuguese about 1580 (don’t have the history book at hand). This is something that still miffs the Portuguese. I wouldn’t mention it around them: It’s like John Cleese in that Fawlty Towers episode and The War.

          The twentieth century wasn’t kind to Portugal. At least they had a chance to sit out both World Wars. But the dictatorship imposed stagnation, and the rush to rid themselves of the colonies was a mess. So they have learned.

          Why, one could say that Portugal is an Exceptional Nation.

          1. Bunk McNulty

            As a woman in Porto said to me: “We do not live next to the Spanish. We live back to back.”

            I love the Portuguese people. I think their history has made them, if not pessimists then certainly Stoics. Their empire is long gone, and they know it is never coming back. They know anyone promising them glory is someone to stay away from.

        1. katiebird

          I don’t know about that, I think it’s extremely depressing. My mother LOVES it and I don’t think it helps her emotional equilibrium at all.

          1. DJG

            katiebird: Hmm. Sometimes, one does have to admit to some saudades, something blue:

            Que Deus me perdoe
            Se é crime ou pecado
            Mas eu sou assim
            E fugindo ao fado
            Fugia de mim
            Cantando dou brado
            E nada me dói
            Se é pois um pecado
            Ter amor ao fado
            Que Deus me perdoe

            One of the most gorgeous, especially when sung by Amalia Rodrigues or Mariza.

  10. HBE

    The Keen piece is extremely informative, and more about the interactions of banks, lending, the housing market, mortgages and the creation of “new money”. Than it is about London dominating the rest of Britian.

    I especially enjoyed the bonus Krugman takedown at the end.

    Figure 10: Krugman’s blog where he fails to comprehend the macroeconomic implications of “Money Creation in the Modern Economy”

    Nobel prizes should be harder to earn than that.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Nobel prizes should be harder to earn than that.

      Kurgman found his in a cereal box. But he refuses to reveal whether it was Special K, Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios. :-(

    2. Susan the other

      The power of delusion is a wondrous thing. The link a day ago on inflation being a conscious choice and policy in the early 70s because it was important to keep the economy going… well how is it that nobody from the 70s until Steve Keen popped up had a clue that banks created money? That’s the thing that is mind boggling – it isn’t just laureate Krugman – it’s everyone. Anybody else remember somebody linking to that funny clip of Senator Dirksen in the late 60s mumbling about the debt and the deficit and getting his millions and billions mixed up? It’s possible that we are/were all that dumb. But the thing that bothers me even more than how dumb we were is how dumb we are now. Keen is right about QE for the people – it’s a no brainer – but there isn’t a chance in hell we are going to get it. We’d rather ponzi the entire planet.

    3. John k

      When bush was pres he was all Keynes all the time. Less so with big o. But then he converted to neolib to support Hillary and rail against Bernie.
      He understands Keynes, but doesn’t understand that banks create credit or even how fiat works. No matter, he is one with the dems, and that’s what counts at the rag I subscribed to for many years.

  11. From Cold Mountain

    Take note that Trump takes finasteride, a 5a-reductase inhibitor, which slows the metabolism of testosterone!

    Sex hormone connected with greater reliance on gut instincts and less self-reflection — ScienceDaily

    A study conducted by researchers from Caltech, the Wharton School, Western University, and ZRT Laboratory tested the hypothesis that higher levels of testosterone increase the tendency in men to rely on their intuitive judgments and reduce cognitive reflection — a decision-making process by which a person stops to consider whether their gut reaction to something makes sense. The researchers found that men given doses of testosterone performed more poorly on a test designed to measure cognitive reflection than a group given a placebo.

    1. Myron

      As someone taking finasteride let me be the first to tell you it doesnt turn you into a roid raging animal. If anything it reduces sex drive so thats less to worry about for the pink hat wearing societal cohort.

      It can trick the body into producing more testosterone during the initial doses but hardly in quantities that would alter the cognitive function of a 70 year old man

      1. jrs

        The action of the drug seems more testosterone BLOCKER than anything, that makes sense as high testosterone is linked to male balding (don’t wonder why bald younger men are sexy), as well as prostate problems.

        And 70 years old and overweight, how much testosterone can he really have? And I’m just as likely to believe he takes it for enlarged prostate as well (70 years old afterall), though that might impinge on his “most perfect health of anyone”, eh everyone gets old eventually.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And of course finasteride is prescribed for benign prostatic hyperplasia (Proscar (r)), and under the brand name Propecia, as a remedy for balding. And a notable side effect is gynecomastia, commonly known as “man boobs.” If stopping the med does not reduce your gynomammaries, you can always find a lawyer ready to take you on…

      2. From Cold Mountain

        Never said it caused roid rage. But to say that increasing testosterone by inhibiting its breakdown is harmless to mood is shown to be false [2] [And you should really read this one]. Plus, Trump has been taking it for years.

        It does not trick the body into making more testosterone. It inhibits testosterone breakdown by inhibiting 5a-reductase.

        It is scary to me that people take these meds without even know what they do or the possible bad side effects.

    2. fresno dan

      From Cold Mountain
      April 29, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Trump hand size. I saw this in my Quora in-box today – I had no idea this was out there. Poor “little” Marco – he might have been president if only he had better opposition hand research….
      Marco: I have in my hand…a hand diagram of uh, of Trump’s hand, which is tiny compared to my yuge hand….

      Of course, it is a poor substitute for THE appendage inquiring minds are really curious about….

      1. Lee

        Of course, it is a poor substitute for THE appendage inquiring minds are really curious about….

        That appendage being the tongue, I assume.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think armchair diagnosis is almost certain to be useless (think Terry Schiavo) and is almost always engaged in tendentiously, exactly because it is so useless.

  12. Huey Long

    RE: Why The Left Will (Eventually) Triumph: An Interview With Ruy Teixeira

    Quoting Thomas Frank:

    On the other hand, Trump at least pretended to be a friend of the working class, and it was working-class people in this part of America who turned against the Democrats and helped delivered him into the White House. By a certain school of thought, this should make working-class people the Number One swing group for Democrats to court.

    Of course it isn’t working out that way. So far, liberal organs seem far less interested in courting such voters than they do in scolding them, insulting them for their coarse taste and the hate for humanity they supposedly cherish in their ignorant hearts.

    Are the Democrats too smug to focus group the US heartland and come up with a message and policy proposals that will resonate there?

    The message I’m getting from the Democrat party is that if you’re from the working class and you don’t aspire to become a member of the coastal liberal class you’re cast off as an irredeemable deplorable.

    1. dontknowitall

      I think so too. Other than for TPP, Trump has continued to be a disappointment and so have the opposition. Like Lambert says this election has been very clarifying as to how the Dems really stand vs the working class. I think Frank’s notion that Trump’s failure is the Dem’s gain in the 2018 election is nonsense. I think the heartburn will get worse not better.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Yah, watch and see what happens with supranational corp rule “trade agreements” going forward. Trillions on the table, all those smart suits with lawyers and grifters inside them, all those Elite-ists seeing the chance to grab the REAL ring of power, to rule them all… ISDS is just recule-ing pour mieux sauter…

        One tiny piece of what’s going on: From “our Food&Drug Administration, “Regulatory Harmonization and Convergence,”

        The term “regulatory harmonization” can have different definitions depending on the context of its usage. One definition that is applicable to those efforts CBER is involved with is: the process by which technical guidelines are developed to be uniform across participating authorities. “Regulatory convergence,” on the other hand, represents a process whereby the regulatory requirements across countries or regions become more similar or “aligned” over time as a result of the gradual adoption of internationally recognized technical guidance documents, standards and scientific principles, common or similar practices and procedures, or adoption of regulatory mechanisms that might be specific to a local legal context but that align with shared principles to achieve a common public health goal. It does not necessarily represent the harmonization of laws and regulations, which is not a prerequisite for allowing the alignment of technical requirements and greater regulatory cooperation. The Agency engages in a range of explicit harmonization initiatives as well as convergence activities, a number of which include the participation of CBER.

        Unpacking that leaves this cynic with even more of that queasy feeling. Maybe there’s a harmonized and converged medication I can toke take to relieve that?

        Why would any ordinary person want to extend their lifespan into what seems to be coming in the way of a future?

  13. oho

    Democrats only have two governing models: smug, bicoastal, aspirational elitism or urban machine politics.

    Anything else requires pounding the loafers and heels on some pavement.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When the two coasts submerge as the global further warms, they better dome those urban machines.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      I would rather have the urban machine politics.. at least then they have to acknowledge the demands of small, organized minorities. TINA doesn’t really help anyone but the smug, bicoastals.

    3. perpetualWAR

      My local Dem district advertized a Membership Meeting. I responded to the email with “Will there be time to allow attendees to speak?” The Dems responded by asking what I wanted to speak about. I said “I have been a Dem for 30+ years and I would like to comment on why I no longer identify myself a Dem. Perhaps the party can learn from my comments and rectify.” At that point, the sender included another recipient and said they didn’t have a protocol for this situation. I said “You are having a membership meeting and a former member would like time to address the party. Pretty simple.” I mentioned the problems I had read about with the unity tour and reported that there are some deep-seated problems. To that email, the Dems responded adding the Green Party and Socialist Alternative Party contact emails and said “It appears the Democrat Party no longer appeases you, here are some lefty alternatives.”


      No one should wonder why the Dems are on the road to destruction.

      1. Huey Long


        I think Richard Nixon, father of OSHA & the EPA, is to the left of today’s Democrat Party, yet the Fox News Geezers still think the Democrats are commies.

        Strange times we live in.

        Anywho, I predict the Democrat party will smugly motor along losing elections and alienating the working class so long as the big donors keep cutting checks. I mean all the operatives and apparatchiks are getting paid, so why upset the apple cart?

      2. crittermom

        Yours is yet another fine example of how the Dems lost. ‘If you’re not supporting us just as we are, just go away.’
        I doubt they’ll ever remove their blinders to reveal anything more than a very narrow view.
        Personally, I think they should be made to give up the name “Democrats”. They have not been democratic for some time. They’re a shame to the name.
        Proud to be an Independent now.

      3. DJG

        I was recently at a meeting of Our Revolution Chicago/Illinois, and in the question period at the end, a young woman got up and said that she was no longer a Democrat. She lives in Mike Quigley’s district, and she pretty much said that getting a job has been a mess for her. Yet instead of dealing with the economy and her reasonable expectations of getting a job, Quigley spends a lot of time looking for Russians under the bed.

        There were a couple of young members of the General Assembly on the panel. They weren’t ready for that kind of defiance. When the audience started to support her, they blanched. Even younger Democrat office holders haven’t figured out that the base does not owe votes to them.

        As Lambert Strether advises: Go anyway. Hijack the microphone. You will receive support.

  14. HBE

    Dems withhold cash from Montana special election Politico. Film at 11.

    This is why local creation of a viable third party (not the greens) structure needs to be the priority. “Reforming” the dem party is a lost cause there isn’t time for.

    From the article:

    This year, it’s being overshadowed by the special election in Georgia, where Democrats are riding not just grassroots enthusiasm — which has helped Quist raise over $2.5 million so far — but also critical demographic and political shifts that are not present in Montana.
    Ah, yes the “rise of the ascendant” cause thats a proven winner. Neoliberal Idpol or bust appears to be the strategy.

    It’s not like the races in Georgia or Kansas, where Trump only won by 1 point or where [Kansas] Gov. [Sam] Brownback has popularity problems,”

    That’s from a Republican who knew Kansas was close, but doesn’t realize the dems wouldn’t even provide $22,000 for a mailing, while the anti Medicare for all dem in Georgia gets millions.

    And the DCCC sent just under $200,000 to the state Democratic Party to help out.

    This line makes me feel like they realize Kansas was bad PR, but don’t actually want to help. My guess is none of that money makes it to the campaign itself.

    Just a few of the many jabs, and kicks the dems (liberals in general) like to give anyone who is even slightly left of center right neoliberalism.

    They cannot be reformed or taken over. Let the party die. Invest your time and money locally.

    1. Huey Long

      This is why local creation of a viable third party (not the greens) structure needs to be the priority. “Reforming” the dem party is a lost cause there isn’t time for.

      While I wholeheartedly agree that both of our major parties are awful, I’m not sure the resources exist at the moment creating a viable third party.

      The dems and GOP are deeply entrenched all the way down to the local committeeman level. Local boards of elections typically have GOP and dem commissioners, and state redistricting committees are normally partisan horsetrading affairs whose purpose to gerrymander safe districts.

      Count on all of the above actors to do their best to smother any push to establish a viable third party in the crib. Fighting their efforts will require quite the PR and legal budget, not to mention committed volunteers to beat the streets for signatures and zero patronage jobs available to compensate them for their efforts.

      If one was to start a third party push, I think doing it in a jurisdiction that permits electoral fusion may be a viable alternative. For the sake of argument, imagine if the Working Families Party in NY grew to the extent that candidates would be forced to toe the WFP policy line in order to get on the WFP ballot line. The NY Conservative party has been doing this since 1962 and there’s no reason the left can’t do the same in NY.

      I know NY state government is a dysfunctional “3 men in a room” dictatorship which will hamper getting real policy changes there, but there are several other states that permit electoral fusion in the US where this strategy may be effective.

      A viable third party in 4 or 5 fusion states could spread nationally to other states, especially those in flyover that aren’t on the national party’s radar.

      1. HBE

        “not to mention committed volunteers to beat the streets for signatures”

        This I think is the key, dems don’t do GOTV anymore even at the local level. I believe a dedicated, relentless, and comprehensive “boots on the ground” third party GOTV effort would provide a way to skirt the need for heavy PR and advertising spends (time instead of money). Combine this with a way for the people you reached to stay engaged online (social media, yes it can be very effective for keeping people engaged and interested) and regular events and opportunities to engage in person and grow the volunteer base. Passive political advertising (see Clinton) is providing diminishing returns.

        Independents and non-voters; nearly everyone is disillusioned with both parties. I challenge you (or anyone) if the opportunity presents itself to talk to a stranger about how both parties are horrible, 9 out of 10 times you will get complete agreement.

        The opportunity for a third party has never been closer, just because the greens are completely incompetent (in my view) of putting in the work to build a base and engagement, doesn’t mean it’s terribly hard to do, if done right.

      2. Alex Morfesis

        This is the easiest time in the history of this democratic illusion to experience and observe the development of sustainable 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th parties…although many have a hard time once retirement comes along, there are now enough warm bodied carbon based life forms available over the age of 65 to take on both “same old stale bread” parties…

        The issue in getting it done is that the rallying cry should not be “follow me” or “follow us” but follow “this”…maybe an incubator party that never wins but brings together the information and mechanisms to carry other new parties over the wall…

        1. Ian

          The NDP though they never won Federally, were key in instituting some of the best progressive policies in Canada and keeping the conversation somewhat to left.

      3. FluffytheObeseCat

        “Reforming” the Democratic Party is pointless; a weak tea approach that is doomed to fail. Taking it over from below is possible. Sanderistas should be running for city council seats and school boards all over the U.S. Without admitting to their affiliation, or without discussing it at all in runs for non-partisan offices. Radical ‘Tea Party’ Republican ideologues are still powerful within their party after 3 decades of infiltration from below. They have been unable to force a complete take over because they spent too many years, and too much moral capital, working in tandem with FIRE, oil patch and security state grifters. Otherwise, we might be living in an Atlas Shrugged/Handmaid’s Tale experiment.

        Their failures now disguise how essentially powerful up-from-below tactics are.

        1. Mac na Michomhairle

          I agree.
          Even more radical, important and unlikely would be developing a series of local organizations that provided support (not necessarily financial), advice, information and solidarity–free spaces– in relation to ordinary people’s needs that, for many, are no longer being met by society–work, health, education, etc.
          This is what the Populists did. A political party arose out of these activities as a necessity in order to meet real-life ordinary social necessities that could not be enacted in local contexts.
          A successful new party would be an expression of a movement, not a top-down, easily-sabotaged or destroyed political machine.
          It’s for this kind of reason, I think, that Bernie Sanders said that changing American politics requires a new kind of popular movement, a new level of engagement in politics–not just voting for him.

    2. Ulysses

      “They cannot be reformed or taken over. Let the party die. Invest your time and money locally”


  15. JTMcPhee

    In the news from Hollywood, there is this interesting item:

    “Bill Murray to star in ‘Groundhog Day II: Afghanistan’

    HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Columbia Pictures has confirmed that Bill Murray would reprise his role as Phil Connors for an upcoming sequel for “Groundhog Day” to be set in Afghanistan.

    The film would follow Connors — who in the years after the original film leaves a Pittsburgh news station to become Senior Digital Content Reporter for the Washington Post — as he travels to Afghanistan with infantry Marines from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

    “Connors shakes off nerves as they deploy on Groundhog’s Day, a holiday that once left his life stuck on repeat in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania,” said Columbia Pictures spokeswoman Dawn Rothstein. “There’s no alarm clock playing Sonny and Cher’s ‘I Got You Babe,’ but Connors’ nerves return when he wakes up each morning to the Muslim call to prayer and his staff sergeant bunkmate crinkling well worn pages of a Juggz magazine.”

    On every patrol, the same locals watch them closely with cell phones in hand. They often tell interpreters they “haven’t seen any Taliban for years” before making phone calls and ill-aimed pop shots begin. Which children will throw rocks becomes predictable, and every non-commissioned officer that Connors interviews gives him an identical blank stare when asked what the end goal of the war is.

    Terror sets in as Connors realizes he is stuck in yet another time loop and the Helmand deployments with 3/6 repeat over and over, well past the declared ‘conclusion of combat missions’ in 2014. Frustration grows when it appears his friends, family and entire U.S. population are unaware that it’s happening.

    With filming set to begin this spring, rumors have spread about tensions in the writer’s room as they struggle to find an ending that makes sense.

    1. HBE

      I actually thought that was going to be an amazing dark comedy, combined with a critical take on Afghanistan (I found myself looking forward to watching it).

      Then I saw the duffleblog link at the bottom, so disappointed.

    2. fresno dan

      April 29, 2017 at 10:45 am

      This must be an April fools joke that got delayed in re-write, and nobody had the good sense to delay it until next year, or better yet, just forget it.

      So it has been ?16? years now? Pretty apparent that we will be there after another 16 years, still making “progress”…

      And I would have thought Bill Murray would have the good sense to see that there is no good that can come from such a project.

    3. Alex Morfesis

      Its being pitched as the “bill finally gets an academy award” movie…razors edge meets groundhog day meets the man who knew too little…it’s been filming secretly for a few years…

      the screenings tested well…

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stop Calling Him ‘Dr.’: The Academic Fraud of Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Terrorism ‘Expert’ Haaretz (DK).

    And there is another guy who is not really Nobel Prize winner either.

  17. lyman alpha blob

    RE: NSA Backs Down on Major Surveillance Program

    Yeah right.

    I’m so old I remember when Admiral Poindexter (who should have been in the slammer for his role in Iran-Contra but was somehow still a free man) ran the Total Information Awareness program up the flagpole during the Bush II administration. The thought of hoovering up everyone’s info proved to be extremely unpopular so the official word was they killed the program back in the early Aughts..

    How’d that work out again? But I’m sure this time they really mean it.

    1. Huey Long

      Yeah, just like how our CIA allegedly got all warm and fuzzy following the 1975 Church Committee hearings….

      Does anybody believe press releases from the American Stasi these days?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Back in Nixon days the widely used term was “the credibility gap”, pointing out the severe peril to the country and the world if an administration and its leader could not be believed…but today we are so very very far away from anything like credibility by any institution at all. The NSA declaring they have stopped spying on these emails, I mean do 5% of people believe them? 1%? I’d give them 1-2%, considerably less than those who believe in The Rapture or in flying saucers

    2. Aumua

      I suppose it’s a “more massive than the one we already have” program they are allegedly backing down on.

      I guess we’ll take what meager offerings we can get, and be grateful for that.

      1. financial matters

        Yes. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon didn’t go well and Israel needed US backing for these efforts. The US though was more interested in keeping stability in the region to keep the oil flowing.

        The neocons starting getting significant power in the Bush 2 administration and 9/11 became the turning point for the war on terror to target the same countries Israel wanted targeted. So now Israel not only had US backing but the US was doing the fighting.

    1. Susan the other

      And those guys are calling 12 feet of rise “extreme” when we have also been reading reports that if the worst case happens and Antarctica melts along with Greenland we could get 60 feet? And one estimate went as high as 200 feet. The extremists are anticipating a sudden collapse of the ice sheets before any slowing of greenhouse gasses can accomplish anything. But so what? 12 feet is enough to be a disaster; after that it’s just wetter.

      1. crittermom

        Yet another reason I miss my home of twenty years @ 10,000′ so much.
        I always knew that someday I’d have a beachfront property with views.

          1. perpetualWAR

            The courts are on a march to the bottom. The black robes are bound and determined to give every single home to the banks. I have soooooo much evidence of fraud. But the courts are now relaying to me that rule of law means nothing when youre up against the banks.

            I blame Obama’s policy of zero prosecutions and “foaming the runway” for the banks. We, the homeowners and taxpayers mean nothing to these psychopaths.

            I hate our government worse than the bankers. They are allowing this fraud to continue, unchecked.

            1. katiebird

              I do too. And the Democrats in the government most of all. I haven’t come close to getting over the shock of what Dems allowed these last x number of years.

          2. crittermom

            None. That’s why it disgusts me to read of Obummer getting paid huge amounts for speaking.
            If he were to put a photo of each of his victims under HAMP on the ceiling of his library to come, it would come crashing down on him from the weight.
            I would consider it Karma.

  18. DJG

    Many thanks for the articles on Portugal and Brazil. In the U S of A, where “bilingual” means to speak U.S. English and Mexican Spanish, the Portuguese-speaking world is treated as a black hole: No Luso-information is allowed to seep into the American consciousness.

    Yet you can’t count them out: Portugal and Brazil each have unique histories, especially in contrast to their Spanish-speaking neighbors. There are lessons to be learned.

  19. Oregoncharles

    And another 100 days essay, with a very good question:

    ” If left unaddressed, the anguish that Americans demonstrated by voting for both Obama and Trump will not evaporate. I once believed there could never be a worse, lazier, more frightening president than Ronald Reagan. Then I was sure of the same thing about George W. Bush. Now I’ve learned my lesson. We have to get busy creating a place for this country’s anger and despair to be used constructively, or it will eventually birth something even worse than Trump.

    What happens to an American dream deferred? We lucked out once when it elected Obama. We may survive it electing Trump. But if we keep deferring it, it is absolutely certain that one day it’s going to explode and take the whole world with it.”

    And now I have to go help table at the Growers’ Market.

    1. Marco

      “…What happens to an American dream deferred? We lucked out once when it elected Obama.”

      Not a rhetorical question: How much can we blame Obama for Trump in the WH? His relentless dogged pursuit of TPP DURING THE CAMPAIGN had how much affect on the outcome?

    1. HBE

      Ok, into the second part. I now must upgrade this from “interesting”, to must watch. Some great insights on the euro economic system, the US, political shifts, and relationships.

      The discussions with the audience are as insightful as the panel.

  20. allan

    Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia [Reuters]

    Turkey has blocked online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the telecommunications watchdog said on Saturday, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

    The move is likely to further worry rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies, who say Ankara has sharply curtailed freedom of speech and other basic rights in the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup.

    “After technical analysis and legal consideration … an administrative measure has been taken for this website (Wikipedia.Org),” the BTK telecommunications watchdog said in a statement on its website.

    It cited a law that allows it to block access to individual web pages or entire websites for the protection of public order, national security or the well-being of the public.

    Turkey’s communications ministry said Wikipedia was attempting to run a “smear campaign” against Turkey, saying some articles purported that Ankara was coordinating with militant groups, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. …

    Ankara coordinating with militant groups? Unpossible.

  21. craazyboy

    Female Dragonflies Fake Death to Avoid Males Harassing Them for Sex Newsweek

    HA HA HA

    Things are so simple in the insect world.

    “Honey, Global Warming! We need to make sure we don’t have any unwanted little buzzers!”

    “Awe… but I hate wearing chive snipings! Someone should feed all the chives to humans!!!”

    1. craazyman

      That seemed like Quack Science to me.

      It’s probably just a form of fainting at the amazing studliness of the male dragonflies. It’s probably being overcome with desire to the point of unconsciousness.

      Not that every male dragonfly is astonishing. But the ones that are — evidently the women see them and then faint right away. I bet you can’t do this with butterflies though because when you’re that colorful in such an amazingly artistically cogent way dusted with pigments by the hand of the Lord Himself or Herself or Itself or whatever — you’re too cool to faint.

      Quack science is everywhere. They confuse the measurement of things for the things themselves! Can you believe it? They only know quantity but have hardly the faintest idea of Form, which they perceive only through it’s intrusion into Quantity. But not its intrusion into reality. Is this a joke? It seems like one. It cracks me up, that’s for sure.

      my photos of garbage in dumpsters are actually looking pretty good. I’ve got a few framed now. Talk about form, you can see spinning galaxies and supernovas and black holes in the swirling colors and textures of the trash. I’m serious, these are museum quality pictures. hahahahah. The American Dumpster Museum’s Hall of Frame.

  22. john k

    Does anybody know what Our Revolution is doing? Is it supporting progressives? Which ones? I get continuous requests for donations but no info on where the money goes.
    Does Bernie support them?

    Also, Applegate lost his race in CA-49, his positions sound no different from Clinton’s. He also wants money. Any opinions?


    1. financial matters

      I think we need to expand our diplomatic efforts beyond slash and burn.

      “”Russia can moderate the negotiations and provide, to some degree, guarantees. Unlike the U.S. it is seen as neutral and sober by all sides of the conflict.””

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I think I may despise Obama more than any other recent politician, what a contrast to Jimmy Carter who picked up a hammer and started building houses for poor people when he wasn’t out working for world peace.
      At least fellow war criminal George Bush had the common decency to slink away quietly into the shadows to count his ill-gotten gains in obscurity, his only remaining worries being his childish painting hobby and whether he would be deported by a tribunal to The Hague.
      Our Accidental Melanoderm by contrast seems to be relishing in his highly-publicized giant raised middle finger to everyone he claimed to be working for over his 8 years of blatant lies.

  23. Vatch

    On Monday, May 1, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on the nomination of Jay Clayton to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    This has been discussed at Naked Capitalism a few times:

    If you want to express your opinion about this nomination to your Senators, here’s their contact information:

    There’s not much time remaining.

  24. ewmayer

    o “The Deregulation of Private Capital and the Decline of the Public Company | The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation” — Both trends greatly abetted by Harvard Business School and its long list of distinguished graduates. So HBS grads wreck the world and HLSFCGFR gets to host concern-trolling fora and seminars on the resulting ‘worrying trends’. Win-win!

    o “N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets | NYT” — No, the correct headline should read “N.S.A. Said to Halt Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets”. Unless the spooks gave NYT reporters actual access to collection and storage facilities, which I’m gonna wild-guess is not the case.

    o “Stop Calling Him ‘Dr.’: The Academic Fraud of Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Terrorism ‘Expert’ | Haaretz (DK).” — Because the folks with ‘legitimate’ credentials in such matters have done such a great job, right?

  25. allan

    Armed neo-Nazis prepare for potential clash in small Kentucky town [Guardian]

    In a tent deep in the woods of rural Kentucky, an old neo-Nazi spoke bitterly of how he feels “betrayed” by Donald Trump.

    “I’m sorry I voted for the son of a bitch, I really am,” said Art Jones, who the Anti-Defamation League identifies as a Holocaust denier who has been dressing in Nazi garb and celebrating Hitler since the 1970s.

    “I’m sorry I spent $180 out of my own pocket to buy three big banners that said, ‘President Trump, build the wall’,” the blazer-clad Jones said, to a tent full of about 100 men, some of whom wore paramilitary-style uniforms. “Now he says, ‘Eh, what wall?’ I’m embarrassed that I voted for him.”

    Jones blamed Trump’s failures on the “Jewish lobby” and the president’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, who is Jewish. …

    Just wait until someone explains to him what a Subchapter S corporation is.
    This will surely end well.

    1. craazyman

      There’s a lot of competition for Darwin Awards but I think these guys have a real shot, no pun intended

  26. Ray

    Another post here by Cato? Has this been posted for the readers to practice their critical reading skills?

  27. uncle tungsten

    Slashing jobs at State!!! Yes, way to go. Why stop at ten percent reduction when there is so much more. Now who were all those signatories to that warmonger letter? Drain the swamp, bring on the demise of the blundering dumbf*ck war machine.

  28. JTFaraday

    “Aspirational classes.”

    Yeah, that’s annoying and completely tone deaf. Ruy Teixera is a more or less completely intellectually stagnant person. THIS, he and his ilk, is the problem with the D-Party. NOT the wimmins and the N-ers and their particular needs. The similarly brain dead and politically damaging identity politics bashing needs to stop now.

Comments are closed.