Dingo fence study shows dingo extermination leads to poorer soil PhysOrg (Chuck L)
Who’s banking whom in cryptoland? Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville. A terse debunking.
Emmanuel Macron’s policy to move border controls from Calais would be a ‘nightmare’ and could cause huge delays for travellers, UK shipping chief warns Sun. May is in no position to say anything is “not up for discussion”.
DITCHING EU! Gibraltar commits to Hard Brexit as it drops hope of deal with Brussels Express. I suspect they haven’t worked out what it will be like dealing with border controls. They’ll have to have a customs operation all their own. A lot of government overhead for 10,000 people, and that’s before you get to the loss of business in Euros.
Jeremy Corbyn hoping for Bernie Sanders election endorsement Guardian (martha r)
Tickets to Bernie Sanders’ talk at Cambridge Union sold out in 38 SECONDS Cambridge News (martha r)
U.S. to arm Syrian Kurds battling Islamic State, despite Turkish ire Reuters (UserFriendly)
The Silent Slaughter of the US Air War Consortiumnews (martha r)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Google Project Zero researchers find ‘crazy bad’ Windows RCE flaw Network World. Bill B: “Exposing users to risk under the pretense of protecting them. A recurring theme.”
James Comey’s downfall: a timeline of controversy Financial Times
Dems ask Justice Dept, FBI to ‘preserve any and all files’ on Comey firing The Hill. As someone in comments pointed out:
What files? Discussions between Sessions and any other DOJ official about Comey and about personnel changes would be deliberative process privilege. Congress will not get one single file about Comey’s firing.
Sanders Statement on James Comey. Martha r: “As usual I wish sanders would just shut up about the Russians. i can’t believe he really buys the Russia election interference B.S.”
What’s Next For Ex-FBI Director James Comey National Law Journal (furzy, requires free registration)
Comey falls victim to Trump’s Tuesday night massacre Edward Luce, Financial Times. The wee problem is blaming this all on Trump is Sessions and the deputy AG signed off on Comey’s firing. They should have been able to talk Trump out of this or insist he fire them too if they regarded this move as out of line.
Donald Trump, Empire, and Globalization: A Reassessment Zero Anthropology. UserFriendly: “Solid, long read.”
First on CNN: Senate Russia investigators ask Treasury for Trump team financial information CNN (furzy)/ The wee problem is that it is banks, not real estate property owners, who are responsible for taking steps to prevent money laundering. Plus Trump licenses his name widely, and in those cases would not be involved in property sales.
How the White House Explains Waiting 18 Days to Fire Michael Flynn New York Times (furzy). I hate sounding like I am defending Trump but this sort of thing drives me nuts. Headline presumes guilt when Trump didn’t want to act on what amounted to one person’s say so and was doing more fact-gathering.
U.S. Democratic senators seek probe into Icahn’s biofuel credit dealings Reuters (UserFriendly). This looks pretty desperate. Very few markets are subject to insider trading restrictions. They are mainly an artifact of registered securities markets. As for market manipulation, these RINs are simply legal to be traded. There don’t appear to be any regulations whatsoever regarding how they are traded. So the only rules that would appear to be apply would be ones regarding collusion and price fixing. Put it another way, we’ve been complaining for years about widespread buying of insider information, via firms like Gerson Lerhman (see here and here) yet perilous little has been done about it.
Nurses Have a Message for Congress – We Won’t Accept Lord of the Flies Health Care Huffington Post (martha r)
From Richard Nixon to Donald Trump: America’s Great Leap Backwards James Petras (UserFriendly). Today’s must read. See this, for example:
Nixon proposed a National Health Insurance Program – an expansion of Medicare to cover the health needs of all Americans. This radical proposal (a version of ’single payer’) was attacked and defeated by the Democratic Party, led by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy who was backed by ‘Big Pharma’, the AMA and the growing corporate ‘health’ industry.
Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington state Washington Post (martha r)
U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over funding of 2020 count Washington Post. Chuck L: “To paraphrase Stalin, ‘It’s not the voters who count, it’s the people who count the voters.'”
Berniecrats’ roil state Democratic Party leadership fight Capitol Weekly: The Newspaper of California State Government and Politics (martha r)
Meet the tech-savvy activists trying to take over the Democratic Party The Verge (martha r)
IT worker who trained H-1B-holding replacement aims for Congress ComputerWorld. Techies of the world, unite…?
Ohio fines pipeline builder over water, air violations Associated Press (martha r)
IMF Report: U.S. Corporate Debt Could Be Trump’s Waterloo Pam Martens and Russ Martens (Glenn F). Wonder how much of this is due to the increase of private equity relative to total equity. It’s doubled over this time period.
Oil Below $65 Per Barrel…For Years OilPrice
The April 2017 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices Federal Reserve (martha r)
‘Why Should We Worry About the National Debt?’ New York Times. The New York Times hard at work at its official job of making readers stupider. As MF wrote:
Apparently, they have taken to publishing “educational” primers explaining how the world works, or, in this case, how you have to see it the same way as those in power.
You will see that the tone is generally alarmist and emphasizes borrowing as the only realistic way to finance the debt. However, toward the end, they sneak in an acknowledgement of other reality:
What if investors balked? Well, there is an escape hatch. The federal government could repay its debts by printing fresh dollars and giving them to its creditors.
Notice that the article then refuses to explain at all why this is only an “escape hatch,” who gets to decide when we get to use the “escape hatch,” and what the consequences of it would be. It is just presented as an almost unspeakable alternative.
To give you an idea of how much the Grey Lady thinks of its readers, it has also taken to running explainers like this: How to Get Ketchup From a Bottle Without the Wait, Watery Goo and Splatter. I saw a contact yesterday, who pulled out a print copy of the Times (as in the May 8 edition) and showed me a version of this article….on page A2.
Ex-AIG CEO Greenberg loses appeal over 2008 bailout Reuters (UserFriendly)
U.S. Asks Wal-Mart to Pay $300 Million to Settle Probe Wall Street Journal
SEC probes rental home values in private-equity bond deals Bloomberg (DO). Sent this via National Mortgage News so you can see the comment regarding the fact that underpaying for BPOs (broker price opinions) results in them being drivebys or otherwise poorly done. This was endemic with mortgage securitizations and was one of the reasons we’ve been skeptical or rental securitizations: they seemed guaranteed to perpetuate the bad practices of mortgage servicing and add not good wrinkles of their own.
A Dodd-Frank Rewrite That Would Increase the Chance of Bailouts New York Times. A short and clear explanation.
Chronic pain: Honor above comfort Alamosa News (martha r). Goes here because doctors virtually turn over their prescription pad to well off patients; they’d never be subjected to something so offensive. I’ve been shocked to have MDs offer meds when I wasn’t asking for them. Apparently complaining about pain or tiredness is code for “Dr. Feelgood, what can you do for me?”
Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders Explain How Inequality Breeds Authoritarianism/ Intercept (martha r)
Antidote du jour. Crittermom: “I love Springtime! All the birds are returning, like this Yellow-rumped Warbler (male). What I see out my window is much more entertaining/healthier than I could ever find on TV.”