Links 5/5/17

Origins of house mice in ecological niches created by settled hunter-gatherers in the Levant 15,000 y ago PNAS

Rabid fox repeatedly attacks golfer at country club AP

Disgraced former RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin’s long and winding road to court finally ends with a sensational trial Insider (RS).

Rich Families Go Solo on Deals, Moving Away From Private Equity Bloomberg

Accounting scandals put the Big Four on the spot FT

Spain probes ex-HSBC executives over money laundering AFP

Why Sweden Killed the Carried Interest Tax Break: QuickTake Q&A Bloomberg (RS).

To catch a prince Reuters

Puerto Rico filed what could be the mother of all municipal bond bankruptcies Quartz

Senators Grill Aviation Officials Over Customer Service WSJ

Health Care

House Passes AHCA: How It Happened, What It Would Do, And Its Uncertain Senate Future Health Affairs. Today’s must-read.

House Republicans pass bill to replace and repeal Obamacare CNN. A collection of quotes; Medicaid devolution is the biggest story.

GOP health care bill would allow employers to cap benefits ABC

Get Ready for the Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Slog Roll Call. McConnell to wait for the CBO.

Senate GOP rejects House Obamacare bill Politico. The Senate Republicans will write their own bill. That is, they will try to make the Republican law that is ObamaCare worse, but with badness that is different from the House bill’s, or Obama’s. So the bottom line for now is that the Freedom Caucus members get to be heroes in their own districts, and the Republican Party can claim “We’re able to govern!” For now, anyhow. But I would like very much to know the fear level that Republican moderate Senators have over the AHCA: For example, Susan Collins. Maine, due to the collapse of the paper industry and deindustrialization generally, shares many Rust Belt problems, including an opioid crisis, with Medicaid expansion-supporter Kasich’s Ohio. Maybe a destroyer or three for Bath Iron Works would do the trick for Collins, but maybe not. Like so much that was not known in 2016, it depends on how angry the dull normals are. Governor LePage turned down Medicaid expansion, and how’s that working out?

Did Republicans just score a win on health care — or lose? Jennifer Rubin, WaPo. The conservative nomemklatura is not happy.

Going Over the Top One More Time The American Conservative. Not at all happy.

President Trump Praised Australia’s Universal Health Care Right After The House Repealed Obamacare Buzzfeed. Sanders breaks out laughing.

French Election

Macron seen winning French presidential runoff with 62 percent of votes: Poll Reuters

Liberté, egalité or stay away? French voters prepare to abstain FT

Opinion: Venomous French debate won’t impede Macron victory MarketWatch

Obama endorses Macron in France’s presidential runoff AP. No interference there!


Live Local elections 2017 results live: Tories prosper, Ukip obliterated, Labour humiliated Telegraph

Brexit will ‘stall’ City, says Goldman Sachs chief Guardian

EU Seeks to Ward Off New Refugee Crisis Der Spiegel

North Korea

Kim Jong Un Is a Survivor, Not a Madman Foreign Policy

Tillerson meets ASEAN ministers, urges them to pressure North Korea on nukes Japan Times

In South Korea Campaign, One Topic Eclipses Others: Trump NYT

Tillerson: US won’t insist that other nations adopt American values like human rights AP


Full Interview: Anand Gopal on Syria, Iraq, U.S. Policy in Middle East & More Democracy Now! (TR). Moon of Alabama has views.


Why China can deflate the world’s largest credit bubble in an orderly fashion South China Morning Post

Around 7,600 Hongkongers emigrated to foreign countries in 2016, a 3-year high Hong Kong Free Press

China’s New Jetliner, an Answer to Boeing and Airbus, Takes Flight NYT

The deep, entrenched fallacy of the ‘Asian pivot’ Asia Times. Hmm…

Trump declares ‘love’ for Australia in Turnbull summit FT

Trump’s telephone diplomacy accelerates Southeast Asia’s slide into illiberalism Lowy Interpreter


India tweaks rules to help resolve banks’ $150 billion bad debt problem Reuters

Gold glitters in India in Q1 The Hindu

2016 Post Mortem

Howard Stern explains why Hillary Clinton Lost (05-03-2017) YouTube (Bob). Bill Clinton super-fan Stern invited Hillary Clinton to go on his show, but he couldn’t even get a straight answer from the campaign about whether she would. Stern argues that for other celebrities, his male demographic reacts this way: “I ended up liking the person. … Jeez, I’m a big fan now,” and it seems reasonable to think that the same dynamic would have worked in Clinton’s case, to her advantage. So very, very many people tried to help Clinton, but unfortunately a higher power — Vladimir Putin — prevented her from taking Stern up on his offer. Video is time consuming, so I won’t say “must listen,” but this really is very good.

Hillary Clinton to launch political group as soon as next week Politico. I don’t want to give this too much weight, but do note that I had my dream about Hillary in 2020 before this story came out…

Imperial Collapse Watch

An arms race in hypersonic missiles: burning billions to accomplish nothing Fabius Maximus

Will the COINdinistas Rise Again? The National Interest (Re Silc).

Trump Transition

Trump and Trade Foreign Policy in Focus (Re Silc).

Tillerson tells State Dept. workers to embrace agency reorg Federal News Radio

Renewable energy critic to oversee wind and solar programs AP

Trump Cons Religious Idiots With Meaningless Executive Order, Completely Forgets To F*ck The Gays Wonkette

Guillotine Watch

You’ll Die in a Nuclear War, but These Elites Will Be Saved Vice (Re Silc). “I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens…”

Ferrari profits boosted by sales of V12 supercars CNN. Lovely cars. But…

Class Warfare

How to keep “public” and “service” in our public Postal Service Jim Hightower

Students Face Physical Resistance from Public Safety During Protest for Contingent Faculty Rights The Paper (Fordham University). In other words, labor issues are issues that university administrators really care about, as opposed to micro-aggression, BDS, etc.

The Hidden History of the SNCC Research Department LittleSis

I Am Cancer National Review. Here is the URL, showing the title as published was produced by an editor: “underclass-character-eviction-court-native-born-americans-entrepreneurial-immigrants.”

Facebook: Entering middle age like a durable baseball player Pando Daily

The Google Phishing Attack, Explained LinkedIn. “There is zero excuse for Google to let an app called ‘Google Docs’ that isn’t from them ask for permission to connect to your account.”

A flaw in the design and The long life of a quick ‘fix’WaPo. The first two parts of a very good multipart high-level history of the Internet’s development.

Digital Economy Act: UK Police could soon disable phones, even if users don’t commit a crime The Independent

After years of warnings, mobile network hackers exploit SS7 flaws to drain bank accounts The Register

New Tools Allow Voice Patterns To Be Cloned To Produce Realistic But Fake Sounds Of Anyone Saying Anything TechDirt

Antidote du jour (via):

This is what ducks look like when they’ve been lined up.

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. MoiAussie

    Pentagon investigation: US hit mosque complex in Syria
    After strenuosly denying it, the Pentagon has finally admitted to another negligent US strike which killed ~40 civilians at the Al-Jinah mosque, as discussed here in March.

    A US Central Command investigation found that a March US airstrike in northern Syria did in fact strike a building that was part of a “mosque complex,” two US defense officials told CNN Thursday.

    For days following the March 16 strike, the Pentagon adamantly rejected the notion that a mosque was hit and that there were civilian casualties — even as numerous social media reports showed images of bodies being taken out of the rubble.

    This admission seems to have been triggered by the release of a Human Rights Watch report in April.

    US airstrike on Syria mosque that killed nearly 40 was ‘likely unlawful’

    “Adequate precautions” to avoid civilian casualties were not taken by American authorities before they dropped two bombs in western Aleppo on 16 March.

    “The US seems to have gotten several things fundamentally wrong in this attack, and dozens of civilians paid the price,” said Human Rights Watch’s deputy emergencies director Ole Solvang.

    1. fresno dan

      May 5, 2017 at 7:17 am

      The Balch Springs Police Department INITIALLY claimed the vehicle was reversing towards officers in an ‘aggressive manner’ UNTIL body camera footage revealed the youngsters were ACTUALLY driving away when Oliver began shooting with his rifle.

      Now I confess I am cynical, but it strikes me that when it comes to matters of disputes between the US government and the people it is killing – as far as whether such people deserved such killing, I have a default position to think the government is lying.

      Of course, now that this lying has been exposed, a full investigation will result in the court martial of at least one, if not several officers above the rank of general….
      OUCH!!! I hurt myself laughing….

    2. expat

      What are the differences between so-called “terrorists” and the US?

      Terrorists claim they intend to kill civilians while the US either says “whoops” or says “War is hell.”

      Terrorists kill thousands of Americans which is murder. The US kills hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Muslims which is simply statistics.

      Terrorists don’t have nifty uniforms and billion dollar weapons systems. The US has drones, bombers, and missiles which are instruments of “war”, not terror which should mollify the victims to no end.

  2. Kokuanani

    Is it true that Congresscritters exempted themselves from AHCA?

    Thus no covered treatment for their pre-existing condition of craziness?

    1. RUKidding

      They did, indeed, exempt themselves from AHCA. Why? Because they know it’s horrible. They made sure that they got THEIRS. Eff you and everyone else.

      Do you enjoy paying for their munificent salaries and health care insurance for life (that’s effective and decent), while your so-called “health care” insurance is very expensive and pretty much covers nothing?

      Ergo, Congress is covered for their pre-existing condition of malicious, predatory, parasitical nasty craziness.

    2. Doug

      I believe that they also exempted themselves from the mis-named Affordable Care Act. They are just looking out for the welfare of their donors, er voters.

      1. marym

        Under the ACA they’re required to buy their insurance from a DC ACA exchange, but they gave themselves some sort of deal to be in the “small business’ category that’s controversial.

  3. allan

    Manhattan Condo Deals Targeted for Online Investors by New REIT [Bloomberg]

    A new real estate investment trust opened shop this week, seeking to raise $50 million from investors online. It plans to use the money on some of the most sought after properties in the world: New York apartments.

    NY Residential REIT is a “blind pool,” meaning it owns no assets and is courting investors on the strength of its management team to purchase properties once it has funds. It’s springing to life partly from Manhattan’s growing supply of costly apartments, and partly from a Securities and Exchange Commission rule making it easier for small companies to access capital. …

    The REIT’s relatively quick founding is made possible by the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, which loosened rules for budding businesses to advertise and solicit funds from a wider range of investors. In 2015, the SEC offered some added liberation, allowing startups to raise as much as $50 million in a 12-month period. NY Residential REIT joins a growing list of companies, including Fundrise LLC and Realty Mogul Co., that have used those rules to target individual real estate investors. …

    Target is an appropriate choice of wording.
    File under Bubble 3 Deathwatch, or When Zhou Sixpack Shows Up, the Party’s Over.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Unfortunately with a piddling $50 million, they can afford only half of a penthouse in a pencil building.

      Time shares, anyone?

      *breaks wind and is gone*

        1. The Beeman

          Multiply 50 million by as many legal entities as one could reasonably, legally and effectively manage and that adds up to real moolah, real fast.

    1. MoiAussie

      Mmmm. Irreversible progress towards ecosystem collapse. What a filthy species we are. Who’d want to be a sea creature?

      UK Killer Whale Contained Staggering Levels of Toxic Chemical

      Lulu had one of the highest concentrations of PCBs ever recorded in a marine mammal

      PCBs are known to cause damage to marine mammals when they reach concentrations of nine milligrams per kilogram of lipids. The levels in Lulu’s blubber were more than 100 times that, at 950mg/kg.

      That’s about 1g/kg! One part in 1000 pure poison.

      1. JeffC

        Recomputing: it’s about 0.01g/kg or one part in 100,000. Still plenty horrible.

        1. MoiAussie

          Innumeracy strikes again. 1 gram = 1000 mg, at least where I come from. 950/1000 = 1, rounded off. You’d still be wrong if you had misread it as micrograms.

          1. Susan the other

            and this is my argument against allowing incessant pollutants in our own environment… we are at even more of a disadvantage than the Orcas – because they manufacture blubber and it helps them float to the top to breath among other things (like keeping a constant body temperature, etc.) … we manufacture fat slowly at best because our life evolved on a different gravity – we must carry around our hulk, it does not float us. But still our bodies try to store the toxins in our fat cells – we will soon reach the limit of our ability to store these toxins in our fat cells. Zombie apocalypse.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More infrastructure projects, at this time, will mean more PCBs, as they are used in capacitors, transformers, and also as lubricants and heat transfer fluids, etc.

        Their replacements are likely to look good initially, but with the not-so-sapient humans, different problems will probably arise later.

        I thought the solution was to ban technology in general, or to ban science, but now, I have come to believe we have to ban human population growth.

        Not sure how to ban it though.

        Maybe we make human population growth illegal. Again, that doesn’t sound right.

        Perhaps we control human population growth. But ‘control’ sounds sinister to some.

        Stabilize human population, that’s how you say it then.

        Don’t say ‘we have to ban humans,’ as tempting as it sounds.

        1. MoiAussie

          Recycling is the answer. Recycle the richest, continuing until the population reaches your desired target.

          1. voxhuman

            Soylent Gold!

            Of course, anyone with a bit of sense would starve to death before consuming such a poison…

            1. MoiAussie

              Agreed. We just need to liberate all those unfortunate trapped molecules. Vapourisation should work fine, just stay upwind.

        2. Charger01

          Nah, modern electrical equipment doesn’t have PCBs anymore. No, the real interesting change has been the discovery of inadvertently produced PCBS through inks, dyes, pigments, and older types of caulks. Through the manufacture of these chemicals, they can produce small amounts of PCBs.
          Rutgers has been doing quite a bit of research on this topic for quite a while. I’d argue that the poor whales are victim to biomagnifacation.

        3. Lord Koos

          The population problem will solve itself soon enough, I reckon. A super-flu, famines, rising sea levels, fresh water shortages, pollution etc — some combination of these will thin the herd at some point.

        4. Anonymous

          Human demographic growth is the elephant in the room

          Curtailing it would help, if not cure, global climate change, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, etc.

          Almost NO ONE will touch the topic

          Center for Biological Diversity is a pioneer in this regard (though they shilled horribly for HRC)

          1. Procopius

            Even culling 99% of the population and destroying all technology, it is probably going to take at least hundreds, more likely thousands, and possibly millions of years for the climate to stabilize again, and there’s no reason it is ever going to reach a new equilibrium that is congenial to humans as we are now constructed. Of course science fiction fans know we can write stories about technology learning how to adjust the climate any way we like. I think stories like Asimov’s Caves of Steel are more likely, but a big part of the population is going to die before we get a big enough population into the caves to have a viable self-sustaining economy.

      3. Charger01

        I know of at least one EPA official in Region 10 that was seriously considering beached orcas as hazardous waste. No kidding.

        1. JTMcPhee

          That would have freed up federal response money to “properly dispose” of the corpse. Maybe it could be sold to the Japanese, or Norwegians? “Sea Steaks” all around? Kind of a biofund raiser?

          Or they could do it cheaper, like this wonderful bit:

          “Hey, Rufe, maybe another carton of dynamite under the belly there… want to do a thorough job…”

          Quoth the bystanders, “AAAAAAAAAAAAahhh INCOMING!!!”

          A former EPA field inspector eventually fired for using Superfund money to hire ladies of the night suggested the best solution for disposal of hazardous waste was to fit out a fleet of KC-135s with agricultural spray booms, load up the tanks with polchorinated double-deathium, and distribute it evenly across the landscape, so “everyone gets a share” of the benefits of progress…

          1. Charger01


            I keep forgetting that you were part of the Green Machine- I believe it was Monsanto that made the argument in District Court “because PCBS are ubiquitous, we shouldn’t be held liable”……

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Look at the bright side. The crud is about to be subducted deep into the center of the Earth.

      1. Susan the other

        This should be our goal: if we do have a planet that recycles stuff as it is subducted then we need to scientifically (OK, OK) devise garbage that goes down easily. Recycling has a long way to go, we need to start now.

      2. skippy

        Gorge Carlin deduced that the advent of our species was because the planet wanted synthetic molecule building blocks [plastic et al] for a later project…. humans were only a means to an end and survival was not a prerequisite…

        disheveled…. I also concur with his thoughts about the flame thrower….

      1. Lord Koos

        Wouldn’t the surviving world population have developed immunity to that strain? I worry more about the new bugs.

        1. MoiAussie

          There aren’t many people who survived the 1918 Spanish flu still living (age > 99). While your genetics may make you more or less susceptible to infectious diseases in general, immune resistance is acquired by surviving a disease and is not passed down. There would be no need for vaccination if we could inherit a parent’s resistance.

  4. jsn

    Asia Times link: does anyone have any idea what Todd Royal is referring to regarding “the US victory in Iraq?” I’m trying to figure out if he’s “blob” or “borg”.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I go for delusional. I find articles like that quite useful as they demonstrate what passes for strategic thinking in some circles. There are ‘serious’ people who do actually think the US won in Iraq.

      1. jsn

        Clearly! Agreed.

        In my rubric the Borg is NeoCon (delusional) and the Blob is NeoLib (delusional). In the venn diagram of the two, which is nearly a perfect circle, the most hard bitten ideologues occupy the two margins of non-overlap and are where most of the interesting internecine DC conflicts originate.

        This guy strikes me as a Con rather than a Lib, but I don’t want to have to read some execrable Con/Lib tract to prove it, so really I’m just being lazy here, asking if someone else has already taken the hit for the team!

    2. Olga

      Asia Times has some good commentators, but RT is clearly not one of them… The whole piece was sorta baffling.

      1. clinical wasteman

        as far as I remember there was a buyout/rebranding a couple of years or so back that changed ATOL more or less overnight from a near-peer of NC to a bilge recycler seeking a permanent “celebrity/culture” columnist. The great Peter Lee (see also: is still there out of some sort of sheer bloody-mindedness, even tolerating a photo byline, but the rest of the best writers (R. Taggart Murphy, Cyrus Bina, Pepe Escobar — conspicuously few women at any time) just quietly drifted away. I used to read it daily, now — for as long as Peter L. keeps his blog going anyway — more like never.

    3. jsn

      Ok, so now I’ve scanned the literature on “The Savior Generals”, the definition of “US victory in Iraq” appears to be that David Patraeus conjured up a large enough PR fig leaf to cover the mauled genitalia of the US in Iraq.

      This seats Mr Royal, true to his name, squarely in the NeoCon camp.

    4. semiconscious

      todd says:

      (please read Dr Victor Davis Hanson’s Savior Generals, Chapter Five on General David Petraeus for verification of the US’s victory)

      so, for those of us who may’ve missed reading this classic, & hadn’t realized we had, indeed, won, there you go! end of conversation! :) …

    5. Mel

      I can’t judge unless I see at least one complete idea. As far as I could tell this was just concept salad.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      I thought people would want to look into that :-)

      Adding, one can only imagine what sort of policies people who genuinely believe this will put into play.

  5. RabidGandhi

    The article on Spain investigating HSBC says

    The “Swissleaks” scandal has triggered the opening of proceedings in France, Spain, Belgium and Argentina.

    True, the previous Argentine administration did cite HSBC for money laundering charges, and had an intense investigation underway. When the Macri Administration came to power they decided to put someone with intimate knowledge of the matter in charge of the investigation. And who is more familiar with the case than HSBC’s lawyer, María Eugenia Talerico, whom Macri promptly placed in the directorate of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF). Sounds legit.

    In other– certainly unrelated– news, the HSBC investigation has ground to a sudden standstill. You can tick Argentina off the list from the article.

    Oh and BTW Eric Holder has asked me to add this friendly reminder: regulatory capture is not corruption because there is no quid pro quo.

  6. David Carl Grimes

    Howard Stern said Hillary Clinton, wife of America’s “first black president,” tried to patronize black people by saying that she carried “hot sauce” in her purse and that she talked “loudly” in movie theaters. No wonder she lost.

    1. Ottawan

      Stern may have been improvising the “talking loudly” bit.

      For secondary antidotes, look up the Stern show’s telephone pranks from the campaign. They have a fake Hillary calling soul food places and skywriting businesses and its….funny.

    2. Carolinian

      she talked “loudly” in movie theaters

      My Anyone But Hillary stance vindicated.

  7. Pavel

    From the Internet of Crapification department, v @cryptogon. Advertisers are seeking secretly to embed sounds in TV ads which are then picked up by an Android smartphone app or other devices, thus linking together the user’s behaviour datasets for sale (what else?):

    A team of researchers from the Brunswick Technical University in Germany has discovered an alarming number of Android applications that employ ultrasonic tracking beacons to track users and their nearby environment.

    Their research paper focused on the technology of ultrasound cross-device tracking (uXDT) that became very popular in the last three years.

    uXDT is the practice of advertisers hiding ultrasounds in their ads. When the ad plays on a TV or radio, or some ad code runs on a mobile or computer, it emits ultrasounds that are picked up by the microphone of nearby laptops, desktops, tablets or smartphones.

    SDKs embedded in apps installed on those devices relay the beacon back to the online advertiser, who then knows that the user of TV “x” is also the owner of smartphone “Y” and links their two previous advertising profiles together, creating a broader picture of the user’s interests, device portfolio, home, and even family members.

    [My emphasis]

    –234 Android Applications Are Currently Using Ultrasonic Beacons to Track Users

    This is pretty scary when one thinks about other potential uses of the same technology — broadcasting signals to one’s laptop or smartphone to do god knows what in some app or malware.

    1. MoiAussie

      The whole ecology of profiling/tracking/advertising on the net is vile, toxic, and yet easy to opt out of. But the average joe smartphone owner could care less, until it bites him in the ass in a big way. They didn’t publish the list of 234 apps, but I’d bet that not one of them is something that anyone with half a brain would load onto their phone.

      1. DJPS

        Who doubts amazon, snap, facebook etc do similar. Google and Apple probably do it at root level.

      2. hunkerdown

        Four of the five spyware apps named in the paper (h/t cm) are specific to the Philippines. If only Duterte would steer some of his death squads toward fixing that problem!

        We are back in the bad old Bell System days where phones are not actually the ratepayer’s property to do with as they will.

    2. cm

      Full paper here (PDF) where the authors unfortunately list only five of the offenders.

      The phone manufacturers have the easy option to filter out inaudible frequencies, which would solve this problem.

      1. MoiAussie

        Radio and TV audio systems should also have a high-frequency cutoff filter. Who needs a TV that disturbs pets with ultrasonics?

    3. cyclist

      This might be a good application for an audio equalizer which sharply rolls off frequency outside the audible range….

  8. ebr

    “Hillary Clinton to launch new political group” That could mean a lot of things, something like Emily’s list to raise funds for “her” candidates, a a lobbying type group, but I would bet you $100 bucks against the loose change in your pocket that this is a variation of the Clinton Foundation with what she believes is better optics. Oh, lets make a list of expected weasel words in her announcement

    1. Working Families
    2. Partnership
    3. The Resistance
    4. Defend Obamacare

    Words she would never utter

    1. Single Payer or Medicare for All
    2. Sanders

    I do hope Lambert shreds her announcement when it comes

    1. RabidGandhi

      I have been zealously looking forward to the day ctrl-f doesn’t bring up the word ‘Clinton’ in Links, as it has (by necessity) for roughly the last 18 months. This news darkens the prospectives.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It’s always darkest just before dawn.

        We should all chip in to ship Hillary cases of Doritos, Coke, and ice cream.

        Mangia bene, mamma!

  9. RenoDino

    2016 Post Mortem

    Ok, we get it Hillary, you were robbed. That means you did nothing wrong and can go ahead and run again and again until you win. I wish everybody had a boss as understanding as the American people.

    Amid all the excuses, I never see the one decision she could have made that would have won her the election even if she had completely stayed home and mailed it in–no Wisconsin, no Michigan, no hillbillies, and no deplorables (who are always so depressing and needy). She could have even fired her entire incompetent campaign staff after getting the nomination and saved her $1 billion attack Trump campaign budget for a Chelsea birthday bash.


    That was it. Instead, she looked everywhere else rather than right under her nose and found that squirrel nugget Tim Kaine.

    Obviously, she thought wrong. Why is this never discussed? Is it because it reveals everything about how terrifying stupid she is and affords no excuses? The guy who got half the votes in your party is standing right in front of you, and who has never really gotten in you face, and raised all his money on quarters and dimes, and can be used like a rented mule to attract his millions of young highly motivated voters who will work tirelessly for you for FREE and who wants to be your buddy to further his popular agenda.

    Bernie even campaigned her for Christ sakes so please don’t tell me he wouldn’t have jumped on board as VP. It would have been so easy, so simple that nothing that came up during the campaign would have derailed the win. Why is she never asked this question again and again?

    1. John Wright

      There would have been fear of irritating large donors by choosing Bernie.

      With Bernie as a VP and Hillary’s health in question, there was a non zero probability Bernie could be president someday if Clinton-Sanders ticket was elected.

      The ability to monetize the Clinton Presidency would have dropped.

      Another opportunity would have been for the Clinton campaign to accept the Bernie supporters’ platform planks.

      These were non-binding and would have probably pulled in some Bernie supporters without requiring Bernie on the ticket.

      Instead, Clinton’s team kept the disciplined message of NEVER doing anything to counter the wealthy/well connected interests and aggressively voted all Bernie supporter platform planks down except for one.(on drug legalization) that unintentionally got through when the Clinton enforcer Wendy Sherman was on bathroom break.

      Kaine was a signaling choice to the wealthy that they would have their interests protected in a Clinton administration, independent of Clinton’s health.

      Clinton really believed she had it in the bag and did not need to compromise her neoliberal principles in any significant way.

      Some supporters stated that HRC was the “smartest in the room”.

      That may have put an upper limit on the collective intelligence in her campaign.

      1. RenoDino

        Slap!!! Thank you, I needed that. It was pride and special interests first and foremost. The thought of losing never entered her mind. I would still like to see her asked the question more than once in a public forum. The specter of Bernie, not Trump, needs to haunt her dreams.

    2. Montanamaven

      But she was going to trounce Trump, so she didn’t need Bernie. In 2004, Kerry knew he needed the Edwards/Kucinich voters to win, so he grudgingly picked Edwards for VP even though he hated all that populist garbage. It was Hilary’s turn and she didn’t need no stickin’ populist anywhere at court.

    1. allan

      ” … It found 38 buildings and 69 trees destroyed …”

      MOABT – Mother of All Burnt Trees.

      The problem with having a Potemkin military is that eventually the enemy catches on.

      1. cocomaan

        Not to mention that the bunker they used it on was probably built by the US/CIA.

        So if the dropping of the MOAB was symbolic and not effective, the target should be equally symbolic. The message, to me, reads: “We are using incredible munitions to carry out a war that effectively does nothing, aimed against enemies that we fund ourselves.”

          1. cocomaan

            Who needs shovels when we have bombs to dig for us!

            Shovel ready projects? Jawbs?

            More like MOAB READY!

      2. RabidGandhi

        No worries if the enemy catches on, so long as the domestic public (the true enemy) remains oblivious.

        1. fresno dan

          May 5, 2017 at 9:17 am


          I would just quibble that the enemy never had to catch on – they knew from the beginning as we fund them how the game is played….

        2. Jim Haygood

          Our ever-vigilant press will ensure that the nation continues to sleep soundly.

          Look, over there, Hillary sighting!!

      3. craazyboy

        Precision Guided Mother of All Burnt Trees !

        They got exactly 69 unpopulated trees – exactly the ones they were aiming at – reports the CIA !!!

      4. JustAnObserver

        It would appear that the US military themselves didn’t really rate the device since – according to Wiki – only 15 were produced back in 2003. It’s kind of peculiar, given the military’s penchant for big dick wagging showoff stunts, that its never been used in the 14 years since then.

        Still the Afghani tree population that must be quaking all the way down to their roots knowing that its only a matter of time before another 966 of their number go the same way.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The US has yet to put out a casualty estimate. The US military spokesman in Kabul, Capt William Salvin, would not comment on the Afghan numbers but said: “We have not been able to go in and do that assessment, and we’re probably not going to.”

      He said it was “too dangerous” and that the military had “better things to do with our time”.


  10. cocomaan

    The Health Affairs article on AHCA you posted really plays out how horrific this is. American healthcare is headed to utter disaster. I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it is.

    But good god, it makes me angry. This is healthcare! This is the system we built in order to organize a human preoccupation, of being well. Except we’ve built a nightmare.

    At this point, I’m just waiting for this system to fail so we can bring in single payer. Hopefully I don’t need care between then and now.

    1. katiebird

      At this point, I’m just waiting for this system to fail so we can bring in single payer. Hopefully I don’t need care between then and now.


      Also, I totally blame the Dems for passing sh*tty legislation that no one sincerely liked rather than Truly Universal Health Care that would have been embraced by (basically) everyone.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        AMEN! I don’t think the Republicans have thought through all the bad things that will happen to them (and this country) if several million people begin losing their healthcare insurance under their so-called “plan”. It may just be the “straw”……..
        The ideology fantasy can carry you only so far…..

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We need to be talking about MMT at this time, if we want Single Payer in 2018, 2020 or even today.

        Without talking about it, someone is just using Single Payer gain power.

        Unless, we are talking about taking money from military spending. To do that, we have to be at least unbiased in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, etc. You can’t be signing this or that to be for this or that guy.

        1. cocomaan

          What’s the best way to teach someone about MMT? ie, starter books, starter videos, etc.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I know places like Moser, etc, where one can get lots of information, but I am not sure what would be a good beginners book or article to start. I came by gradually here over the years.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Yes it is awful. That is why it is going to die, and the Senate is going to facilitate it. McConnell is already dithering and buying time with the CBO request. The Senate will take their time, and then the bill will die in committee because both sides will not be able to compromise.

      This is all for the house in 2018. The Republicans need to look like they are repealing and replacing the Republican bill.

      1. allan

        I am really skeptical of `It’s going to die in the Senate”.

        It’s hard to get a man to let a bill die when a $600 billion tax cut for his campaign donors
        depends on him not letting it die. Mitch’s chain will be jerked.

        1. Sutter Cane

          I suspect that it won’t pass the Senate. Republican congressmen will get to tell their base “We tried!” without subjecting them to the horrific effects that the bill would have on constituents had it actually passed.

          Without actually having to feel these effects, Republican voters can continue to hate Obamacare without having to face the reality that the plan the Republicans they support created was even worse. Republicans then can still get re-elected by talking about how bad Obamacare is.

          Not sure how long this can go on, but probably at least as long as our current housing, tech, stock, and everything else bubbles.

          1. craazyboy

            They already got 9 years of lip service outta it as a right wing talking point. Then Useful Idiot Ryan had to make up a “bill” to make it seem credible they had an alternative. Trump “backed” Idiot Care.

            So, play time is over. They got all the mileage outa lip service they could. They already have introduced a new bill to “repeal OCare”. Whatever that may mean at this point. Heard there was legal impediments there too.

            They are truly a bunch of clowns, of the not so funny variety. Kinda like the Stephen King kind.

            1. polecat

              They ALL float down there, in that sewer swamp called D.C.

              … and yes, that includes Bernie and Lizzy as well !

        2. fresno dan

          May 5, 2017 at 9:55 am

          My cynisense agrees with you – but we will see.
          And to the other comments that as far as it getting so bad that it will get better in the future….I think not.
          We have had 40 years now of the majority in this country getting ever worse off – and no evidence in my mind that there will come a point where this will be reversed. Sure, there will be plenty that SAY they will do something (Again, Obama and Trump – two of a kind)
          The thing about straws and camel’s backs is that you just end up with a dead camel…

          1. jrs

            Yes things getting worse and worse. I don’t think there is any guarantee that things will get better, but some people remind me things can change fast (like acceptance of gays). Oh I know single payer and so on is a harder battle but that explains the optimists who think we’ll have single payer in under 10 years if we only fight hard enough for it. They think things can change fast, and maybe they can, but they also might not.

            I do think it’s stupid to want the ACHA to pass in the hopes of it bringing it about though. If anyone is silly enough to want that, they are just being stupid IMO.

            1. fresno dan

              May 5, 2017 at 10:52 am

              Charles Krauthammer:
              …….But the irony is in the end, I think Obamacare wins the day because it changed expectations. Look at the terms of the debate. Republicans are not arguing the free market anymore. They have sort of accepted the fact that the electorate sees health care as not just any commodity. It’s not like purchasing a steak or a car. It is something people now have a sense that government ought to guarantee.

              Well…, I did say ‘we will see.’ ;)

              I am kinda of assuming that Krauthammer is a foe of universal health care, but he may have only been a foe of Obama care. Anyway, the fact that Krauthammer from his perspective (which I take is more aware of repub/conservative thought) is more positive about the prospects of universal health care shows that things can change.
              I was amazed that Obama was able to get elected 2008 – I thought the country just could not elect a black to be president and would not be able to do so for decades (and of course, electing OBAMA as the first black is a whole different issue….). So things can change in a major way much more THAN I can predict….

              Still, in the short term I think things in health care get worse before they get better – – but we will see…

              1. JTMcPhee

                How “black” was Obama? Person of color, maybe. And what color is he now? There was a lot of mixed DNA in that potful of Bernays sauce… a lot of green, it would seem…

        3. jrs

          I think it WILL DIE *IF* the big health care money pushes against it and they might, I’m not sure how that is lining up.

          Of course the current House Rs may be so suicidal even that doesn’t matter to them, but the Senate is supposed to be all about the money isn’t it?

          Call me cynical. Though it does need to die whatever the cause of death.

          1. marym

            Sorry not to have all the links, but big medical organizations (AMA, AHA) not happy. Saw a few words from AHIP before the first go-round of the AHCA about what they wanted, but nothing so far on this latest.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Re AHCA: Nurses were recognized as a dangerous set by the kleptocracy that excluded and excludes them from all public discourse over the fokking mess they are stuck with, trying to operate “the system” so it actually delivers, you know, “care.”

                One nurse group’s take on AHCA (a nice primer on what the bill really is, a huge tax cut for the people who most ought to be stripped of wealth made less disgustingly wealthy and immune to distress, for social-policy purposes:

                Caveat that most nurses seem to have “been with Her,” and have too-gentle words for the ACA, as “modest improvements.”

        4. Katniss Everdeen

          Dunno, allan. Some of the pics from the Rose Garden victory celebration are pretty nauseating.

          Could be that this is Trump’s own personal “Mission Accomplished” or “deplorables” moment, even though the podium prevents a codpiece sighting. And he doesn’t have hrc to kick around anymore. He’s the president now.

          The senate is a far better gig than the house. I suspect they won’t fail to notice the “optics.”

          Meanwhile, the ACA continues to implode in states like Iowa, Maryland and Virginia.

        5. Kurtismayfield

          If the bill passes the Senate and Trump signs it, it is theirs. Trump has been saying “Repeal and Replace”, so they own it. No way are they kicking that political football.

      2. LT

        The old adage: The Senate is where legislation goes to die?

        It’s actually where good legislation goes to die, not bad legislation. If it leaves a body count, the chances of it passing are more likely.
        That’s not a snark.

    3. DJG

      And yet, cocomaan, I’m so old that I recall the Democratic Party operatives and their fan club passing around the “meme”: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      This is why we can’t have nice things. We have a one-party system: The War-and-Profiteering Party

  11. justanotherprogressive

    “You’ll Die in a Nuclear War…..”
    Oh, I’ve got to read that book!

    Soooo…….the elite are going to hole themselves up, huh? Well, survival is hard work – whose going to do all that hard work for them? Are they going grab some people on the way to their bolthole and make them slaves? Because I can’t imagine them wanting to clean their own toilets, etc….

    And then there is that sticky food problem……stored food only lasts so long…..

    Perhaps they should read “On the Beach” (by Nevil Shute)? Might be a more realistic scenario than their thinking…..

    1. cocomaan

      Hey, now, Zuckerberg recently worked in a Ford plant and fed a cow. He’s ready.

    2. RUKidding

      Didn’t the MOTU just have one of their Davos “secret but not so secret” meetings where they had a workshop or seminar or something about how to fly with all due speed to your private bolt hole? And didn’t they “teach” these feckin ijots that they had to be prepared – sigh!! ugh!! – to not only take their pilot but the pilot’s family as well, so that the pilot would be willing to, you know, fly their sorry entitled pampered azzes to whatever private island they had bought somewhere.

      I truly don’t know if the final instruction from that workshop was then how to have their private security kill the pilot and his family once they got to the island. After all, don’t want that many mouths to feed.

      Yeah, I can’t figure out how these pampered, entitled and pretty stupid people think they’ll survive.

      If anyone survives a nuclear war, it’ll be mostly third world people who know how to live on almost nothing, and who know how to grow their own food and find drinking water in unsuspecting places.

    3. different clue

      If enough of the Discardables read that book, some of them might think about how to mine that road, fill it with IEDs, destroy the entrance to the mountain retreat, etc. to the point where none of the Bunkeratti make it alive into the mountain.

  12. visitor

    In the article New Tools Allow Voice Patterns To Be Cloned To Produce Realistic But Fake Sounds Of Anyone Saying Anything, there is this gem:

    voice-biometrics software similar to the kind deployed by many banks to block unauthorized access to accounts was fooled 80% of the time in tests using the new technology.

    Biometrics were touted as vastly superior to old-fashioned security techniques such as passwords.

    Just as voice-activated authentication/lock-unlock is being broadly deployed (smart phones, smart homes, smart cars, smart browsing) and the likes of Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google Assistant are becoming ubiquitous, this approach is being completely undermined by parallel voice synthesis technology. And it gives yet another tool for identity theft (beware if you have published enough of your voice on YouTube or Facebook…)

    I am afraid the result will be a doubling down on biometrics, with even more intrusive approaches further destroying privacy — retinal scans, DNA sampling.

  13. RenoDino

    Trump Cons Religious Idiots With Meaningless Executive Order, Completely Forgets To F*ck The Gays Wonkette

    Leaves out the best part. It was reported that Ivanka walked into the Oval Office that morning and flipped out when she saw the F*CK the gays part. Like all good members of the elite, she depends upon gays to keep the glamour in her game. They would have made her life a living hell. So much for religious principles.

    1. Carolinian

      Did Trump ever promise to F*ck the gays? Gay TDS always has struck me as odd. Apparently it was all about the Supreme Court.

  14. DJG

    Skeptical about the perfection of the Google phishing attack, as posited by the Linked In article: I noticed right away in the “respond to” line that the attacker had some preposterous e-mail handle like hiiiiiho923 at g mail dot com.

    Considering that I get daily FedEx and UPS phishing e-mails with “respond to” or originators’ lines much like those, I was already aware of the extent of the fakery.

    So the LinkedIn article makes it sound as if the hack was diabolically (or russkiliciously) clever. It wasn’t . The cleverness, though, was that the message was able to propagate by going through in-boxes and sending messages from recent contacts. So it had a nicely made algorithm, and we all know the importance of respecting the algorithm.

    I wonder how messed up the in-boxes at the DNC are: it must have been spam-o-ganza.

    1. efschumacher

      The message came to me from a guy who never communicates, to a mailgroup reserved for asking technical questions, and with only the link and no explanatory context whatsoever. I checked the headers,, and they seemed kosher even including the SPF and DKIM. But yes, that ridiculous reply-to prominently displayed in the message was also a tell-tale.

      So I discarded that message, silently.

  15. Darius

    I’ll bet Obama would have endorsed Macron if Melenchon had made the runoff. Almost makes me want to see LePen win just to see the look on that sanctimonious elitist’s face. If it were a real race Obama probably wouldn’t have stuck his neck out like this even though his endorsement would have been more critical to Macron.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Hopefully Barry’s endorsement may help her out. I don’t think he’s quite as popular in the rest of the world as he thinks he is, although admittedly I don’t know much about how the French perceive him. I’d imagine at least some don’t like the fact the US bombing in the ME has come back to bite France so many times. The French elite were pretty enthusiastic about leveling Libya though, so it’s difficult to blame all of the backlash on Uncle Sugar.

      Anyway, this part was rather vomit-inducing considering how Barry and the rest of the Democrat party has been out to get Russia for alleged interference in the US election –

      Obama said he doesn’t plan to get involved often in political situations. “I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again, but the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about. Because the success of France matters to the entire world,” he said.

      Yeah, he’s not planning to get involved in many – unless of course some fat cat tosses a $$$ few hundred K $$$ his way. And the success of France is important – not like those small countries he turned to rubble that are full of brown people. Who gives a [familyblog] about them? Bombs away!!!!!

      1. Darius

        No one has drunk the Obama koolaid more than Obama himself. I think he’s as insecure as most successful politicians, but he’s really into the idea of Obama, which he zealously curates.

    2. cyclist

      The really interesting runoff would be LePen vs Melenchon. Who would Obama pick then?

  16. Scott

    Regarding Trump’s statement about Australia’s healthcare program. While it’s funny, it is also generally consistent with his previous statements about universal healthcare (including some statements about supporting a program like the one in Canada – aka Medicare for All). I don’t think it’s inconsistent to support universal healthcare and think that Obamacare is a bad bill. Democrats and the press still can’t understand why someone would think that Obamacare is a bad bill and would want to repeal it. The GOP bill is bad and will make things worse.

    I wonder what Trump would do if a Medicare-for-All bill (including repealing Obamacare) was somehow passed in both the House and the Senate; my guess is that he would actually sign it. But for this to happen, Democrats would have to be united behind the idea and prioritize helping the American people over campaign donations. This wouldn’t happen anyway as such a bill would be unlikely to get any GOP support.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think you get GOP votes if you don’t tax people for the Medicare-for-All bill.

  17. justanotherprogressive

    Re: “I am Cancer”……
    Yves Smith was right yesterday. Maybe different author, different headline, but still, the SOS…..

    Quick everyone, look at North Korea, look at Syria!! Maybe then you won’t notice where the guns and bombs are really pointing…..

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      This. In the face of Trump’s self-dealing and venality, it’s easy to forget what ‘conservative intellectuals’ truly are. Precisely how disgusting they are. The ever-lovin’ darlings of the National Review editorial staff are as privileged as Hillary, and therefore just as oblivious to the impact of the reveal……. when they publish a piece by an author they sympathize with.

      He subjected himself and his tenant’s family to the pleasures of “eviction court” because it would have been slightly more expensive to pay off an elderly woman to leave the midcentury crapshack he inherited. He is vividly, obviously butthurt over the ‘need’ to do this. The National Review bought and published his petty screed because he larded it with the haughty ubermensch attitude they like. His contempt for the weak, hapless people he found there that day was what gave him access to their pages.

      It was stunningly disgusting. Stunning in its stupidity, disgusting in its rudeness, and a powerful argument for redistributive policies. The only language these people understand is the language of money, spoken in the dialect of inheritance taxes.

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: SS7 exploit — The attack on cellphones is troubling but I wonder whether the the exploited SS7 vulnerabilities other SS7 vulnerabilities might present more frightening possibilities. Recalling some of my limited [and possibly dated] knowledge of telephone systems, the SS7 line can be used to access the signaling layer in some of the large switching links in the backbone of our telephone system. I also recall — and one of the comments to the linked article noted — an SS7 line is included if you order a T1 connection to the phone system. Does anyone know whether the SS7 vulnerabilities might be used to execute a remote exploit on a Class 4 or Class 5 telephone switch? Is the SS7 protocol used in the banking systems backbone?

  19. Edward E

    Oh my, two local gray foxes are my bestest​ buddies, they bark when they see me come home. They have like a hotel room they often use under the propane tank. Best pest extermination experts you ever did see. Play and romp all over the place, won’t quite let me pet them but they come up real close and are very friendly.

    I live nearby Dogpatch USA/ Marble Falls, woooo pig sooie

    1. Eureka Springs

      Sweet country. I’ll be floating upper Kings, Big Onion, all weekend. Btw, if you wanna trade a couple turkeys, a road runner and a skunk for a couple pest chasing fox, let’s horse trade!

      Fox have quite a vocabulary.

    2. Yves Smith

      Aaaw, how nice having wild animal friends!

      There was an experiment in Russia where they bred foxes, choosing the ones that were most doglike.

      In not too many generations (10?) they were a lot like dogs. Even had more rounded ears, were able to be domesticated.

  20. fresno dan

    Business connecting to internet horror story.
    And to me its like flying. I would gladly pay more for a better seat. Yet a business class seat is charged far, far more than the space 10 tourist seats take, even though the amount of extra space a business class seats takes up isn’t even close to how much more space one gets in business.
    Competition may make business better – I just happen to think I have never really experience it….

    I lost my cheap tracfone a few days back. I went to Walmart and bought another – and because I needed a phone and was away from home I had to have Walmart get me connected. Now Walmart actually was quite exemplary in doing this. Tracfone on the other had managed to take a process that for the life of me I can’t figure out why (well, actually I can figure it out – they just don’t want to hire enough techs to meet demand and my time is of zero value to them….) should take more than 5 minutes into 90 minutes. Somebody had to ask me my security question to transfer my phone number from my lost phone to the new phone. That apparently was the one and only reason for this process to take so long….

    1. MoiAussie

      90 mins sucks, but you should be thankful that they bother with your security question.

      Over here, anyone who knows your name, address, DoB, and driver’s licence number, can steal your service number (transfer it to a new SIM from a new telco) completely anonymously online. There’s no extra security at all.

      The first you’ll know about it is when you notice your phone says “emergency calls only”. It’s usually done in the middle of the night and used to intercept authentication codes for online banking by scammers who have already obtained your banking details in some other way. But anyone can do it, eg as an act of revenge against an ex, with little chance of being caught.

  21. Jim Haygood

    Fed Vice Chair Stanley Mellon Fischer, on why he can’t be replaced by a robot:

    Mathematical rules to set interest rates can be useful as guides for central bankers but can’t be followed blindly, said Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Friday. Policy makers must have freedom to depart from the prescriptions of the rules and even change their assessment of which rule is the appropriate benchmark, Fischer said.

    The House Financial Service Committee passed legislation Thursday to force the Fed to follow a mathematical rule like the one written by Stanford University economist John Taylor. Fischer argued that the Fed’s 12-member committee structure removes the need for a rule by bringing many different perspectives to table.

    For our Fed lords, Day One of the common era is Dec 23, 1913. That the fledgling US advanced from a thinly populated colony to the verge of global power with no central bank is, for the Fed, a freak of nature analogous to amino acids combining in the primordial soup to form vertebrates.

    Obviously fixing the single most important price in the world’s largest economy — the overnight interest rate — can’t be left to the mob judgment of the market. Wise (wo)men of the Fed ensure that no banks will be harmed in the making of this unfolding horror movie.

    1. polecat

      Ol’ Stanley ,,,,, another in a loooooong line of ‘dual-citizen’ policy makers ….

      … making absolutely sure said policies help them, but not to benefit us little peons !

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Jim.

      Stan has done well for an immigrant from Zambia / Northern Rhodesia.

      He was considered as successor to Mervyn King at the Bank of England. Gordon Brown and George Osborne appointed many Americans to top positions at the Bank of England. There was no such reciprocity in the US.

      I used to work for Mellon. I arrived the day after the merger with / take over by BNY was announced in December 2006. I may go back…

  22. Jim Haygood

    PE victim iHeart Radio — lookin’ good for CFT (Controlled Flight into Terrain):

    iHeartMedia Inc. on Thursday followed through with its promise to include “going concern” language in its next quarterly earnings, with the warning in its first-quarter report of “substantial doubt” as to its ability to survive another year.

    The big surprise in the quarterly numbers was an unexpected rise in expenses, which executives on the company’s earnings call failed to fully explain, said Tim Hynes, analyst at Debtwire. The company said its direct operating and selling, general and administrative costs jumped 11.2% in the quarter.

    One sighs for the naivete of the cub reporter. Obviously when the deal is going down, you’ve got to loot as fast as you can, before the good gray attorneys and accountants show up for the liquidation.

    1. cocomaan

      That is pretty incredible. If it’s not staged, wow, and if it’s staged, wow. Either way, we are in strange territory.

  23. Eureka Springs

    If the health affairs blog link is accurate when it claims the House plan.

    Removes the individual and employer mandate penalties:

    Then I am all for it and plan to encourage it’s passage with a rare and useless phone call to Senators Boozeman and Cotton.

    1. marym

      Under the House plan:

      people whose insurance coverage lapsed for more than 63 days would be charged a 30 percent premium surcharge every month for 12 months when they repurchase coverage. This penalty was intended to encourage people to maintain coverage and ensure the stability of insurance markets.

      Same intended purpose as the ACA individual mandate, different form of penalty.

      1. polecat

        ‘This penalty was intended to force the frightened peons into maintaining griftage so that the $power$ remain in the hands of the monopolistic predatory insurance corps !’ **

        ** the implied version …

  24. Ned

    Customer service? I’d be more concerned about United jets no longer being serviced and maintained in San Francisco.

    Now the work is done in Central America or China by mechanics who hopefully can read the technical manuals and airworthyness alerts which are written in English.

    Sections of wings have fallen off planes in flight after people forgot to put in screws etc.

    Now once reliable Southwest is cheapening their maintenance…

  25. Oregoncharles

    From the rabid fox story: “. After a third time, police say, the golfer struck the fox in the head with the club. ”

    Oddly, that was a relief. The headline left me wondering “what’s happened to our predatory instincts? The guy is holding a deadly weapon!”

    It’s probably also reassuring that it took him a while to get it: we’re now quite reluctant to harm wildlife. Unfortunately, he’ll probably have to get those horrible anti-rabies injections.

  26. Colonel Smithers

    Further to the link to the RBS trial, readers may be interested to hear that Goodwin’s effective deputy and head of investment banking was Johnny Cameron, heir to Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel, chief of that name and a big landowner, and cousin of David Cameron. It would have taken a brave regulator to prosecute the cousin of the politician then heading for 10 Downing Street.

    1. paul

      I’d suspect Johnny was never troubled by sir fredly shredly’s notoriously volcanic tantrums being, unlike fred,born to the purple.

      A pal was gifted rbs shares by his parents about this time which,having been in the family for aeons, had risen in worth to a tidy sum. On their initial demise, my callous observation that it was just a case of pennies returning to heaven, was cold comfort to him.

      His elderly,naive parents visited the local branch to enquire and, thanks to slick patter, walked out with even more shares to watch crumble in value.

      My old pal’s brother’s girlfriend,not well to do, inherited RBS shares at around that time and ended up paying more in tax than they were worth.

      The comfortable,but hardly rich, got quite a spanking that year.

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Puerto Rico filed what could be the mother of all municipal bond bankruptcies Quartz”

    The state of Indiana went bankrupt in the 19th Century. No idea how that compares – P.R. is essentially a whole country.

  28. dcblogger

    Howard Stern is a train wreck. there are many reasons Hillary lost, not going on his train wreck show is not one of them.

    1. Optimader

      What I’ve seen/heard of HStearn, uninteresting, unfunny, not clever, tedious and prurient.
      If it were possible to think less of HRC, I would have to find a way to if she were to be a guest on his show.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        If I had to pick Stern over, say, Paul Krugman… Well, I’m thinking it over, let’s say.

        I grant that Krugman isn’t “prurient,” but how about if we just manipulated our symbols and called Stern “sex positive”?

    2. Yves Smith

      Not only did he not say that, he said as LEAST twice that he was not suggesting that she would have won if she had gone on his show. He used his efforts to get her on his show as indicative of what was wrong with her campaign.

      And Stern gave a very good show on why he thought it made no sense for Trump to be running for President.

      Stern is a smart guy. It’s a mistake to reject him categorically.

  29. Oregoncharles

    “The Hidden History of the SNCC Research Department LittleSis”

    Hmmm. So NC is the research dept. for ???

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The problem isn’t about particular conditions;* that’s just Democrat loyalists whipping up this or that part of their base.

      The problem is the elasticity of state waivers, which in essence is a devolution from Federal standards and authority. “Leave it up to the states” does not have a happy history in other fields.

      * Because, as the article points out some states forbid in any case what a waiver, if implemented would allow them to do.

      1. allan

        “The problem isn’t about particular conditions”

        But it is revealing. In a long form list making the rounds (which of course I now can’t find),
        ovarian cancer is a pre-existing condition but prostate cancer isn’t. Clarifying, as one might say.

  30. ChrisAtRU

    Before I lay me down to sleep …


    If Macron is up by 20% is most “polls” week leading up to the election, then …

    – why did Obama feel like he need to to double dip for another endorsement?
    … I mean really, it’s like some people no longer trust polls or something.

    – why the ridiculous ‘hack’?
    … nothing substantial in there – so what was in it for Putin? Unless …

    I’ll leave prognostication to the experts. Until it’s done and dusted, I think anything can happen.

    À demain!

  31. ewmayer

    Re. A flaw in the design and The long life of a quick ‘fix’WaPo. The first two parts of a very good multipart high-level history of the Internet’s development. — I suggest NC readers look at the author credit on these otherwise fine-seeming pieces before deciding whether to share.

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