Links 6/1/17

Beautiful new see-through frog puts whole heart on display Treehugger

Weaving the Web Communications of the ACM (MM)

Ethiopia turns off internet nationwide as students sit exams Guardian (Chuck L)

Around the world, environmental laws are under attack in all sorts of ways The Conversation

Humans are ushering in the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth, scientists warn Independent

Nine tenths of England’s floodplains not fit for purpose, study finds Guardian

Police State Watch

Judge Smacks NYPD For Its ‘Gotcha’ Tactics In Forfeiture Public Records Lawsuit Techdirt (Chuck L). Nice to see the good guys win one once in a while.

Brazil meatpacker agrees to pay $3.2 billion to settle graft probe FCPA Blog

Andrew Cuomo Appoints Trump Adviser To Penn Station Task Force After Big Campaign Donations International Business Times. David Sirota continues shining light into the dark nooks and crannies of state politics.

Judge rules that environmental group can challenge Sunoco over pipeline eminent domain StateImpact (martha r)

CEO And President Of Premium Ticket Resale Business Charged With Engaging In A Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme Resulting In Losses Of At Least $70 Million (Dan K)

Motorcycle Gang Busted for Hacking and Stealing Over 150 Jeep Wranglers Bleeping Computer (Chuck L)

North Korea?

Pentagon successfully tests ICBM defense system for first time Reuters. EM: “Ah, ‘simulated attack’ — In related news, last night yours truly cheered a successful, first-ever +50 potion-of-warding defense test involving a simulated attack by an army of Orcs in my Mom’s basement. Should I send my résumé to the Pentagon, do you think?”


EU and China strengthen climate ties to counter US retreat FT

No reason to derail polls Bangkok Post Bangkok Post (MH)

Mexico’s Economy Reels from a Blast from the Past Wolf Street (EM)

Our Famously Free Press

New York Times public editor Liz Spayd on decision to eliminate her position Columbia Journalism Review

Imperial Collapse Watch

In Praise of a Transatlantic Divorce Foreign Policy. Interesting take by Stephen Walt.

Inside Tehran’s monument to US ‘arrogance’ Al Jazeera (Phil U)

Class Warfare

Fed official says U.S. immigration crackdown could hit economy Reuters (e mayer).

The Problem with the Justice Department The Marshall Project

Uber said it lost $700 million in Q1 and it’s looking for a public company CFO as its head of finance leaves Business Insider Business Insider (David L)

To Fill Summer Jobs, Maine Gov. Releases Nonviolent Prisoners WSJ

Intellectual Property Is Real Money Jacobin. Dean Baker argues that dismantling onerous US IP system would reduce income inequality.

Mylan shareholders revolt, say directors’ greed has gone too far Ars Technica

Flint, Beyond the Crisis The Baffler


Germany’s declining respect for the UK FT

Brexit: UK firms can’t get single market access by setting up ‘letterbox’ entities in EU, regulators warn Independent

UK Election

The establishment attacks Jeremy Corbyn in full force – imagine what would happen if he was truly radical the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens

Was crying wolf over Jeremy Corbyn a mistake for the right-wing press? New Statesman


State Department Flak Reveals Key Pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Dictatorship: U.S. Silence AlterNet

As Isis massacres families enjoying ice cream in Baghdad, this Ramadan could be even bloodier than previous years Independent. Patrick Cockburn’s latest.

2016 Post Mortem

Hillary Clinton is politically ‘dead’ but she doesn’t know it CNBC (EH). Poor, poor Hillary. Not her fault you see.  Pshaw! She had one job….

Hillary launches astonishing conspiracy claim that Trump won the election because he ‘colluded’ with 1,000 Russian agents who filled Facebook with ‘lies’ and Twitter with ‘bots’ Daily Mail (Li). Now that’s what I call a headline.

Bloomberg: ’55 percent chance’ Trump will win reelection The Hill

Kill Me Now

If Mark Zuckerberg Ran America Like He Runs Facebook…

Obamas Pay $8.1 Million for Home Just Miles From White House NYT (Bob K)

Health Care

White House preps broad exemptions from birth control mandate The Hill

Total contributions to members of the 115th Congress (Dr. Kevin)


#Dravidanadu on Twitter: Can a pressure group of southern states take on New Delhi?

India’s Economic Growth Slows Down in Fourth Quarter The Wire

Trump Transition

Business dismay over Trump plan to quit Paris climate accord FT

Inside the struggle to sway Trump on Paris Politico. Trump tweeted that decision will be announced at 3 EDT.

Trump’s Paris Exit Matters, but Not as Much as America’s Policies at Home MIT Technology Review

How the White House Lost Its Brains Foreign Policy

Trump Dumps Pretense Of Altruism From U.S. Foreign Policy Moon of Alabama

Russia probe scares off potential appointees Politico

Putin, Trump and ‘my guy’ Macron Asia Times

New Cold War

Comey preparing to testify before Senate about Trump conversations WaPo

Guillotine Watch

World’s most expensive handbag sells in Hong Kong for over US$377,000 – a Hermès white crocodile Birkin SCMP

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Olga

    File (maybe) under “Old Cold War” – more on Zbigniew B. from John Helmer. Even if only half of it is true (and the author was there) – perhaps it was a good thing Reagan won in 1980 (never thought I’d say that).
    Fulfilling Carter’s “emotional needs,” we’d all be dead by now. I guess Carter will never understand just how adeptly he and his staff had set the world on fire…

    1. Bill Smith

      Yeah, I’d say that it is likely less than half is true. Some of the stuff in the article is just way, way out there.

    2. Donald

      As bad as Carter was, Reagan was worse. It makes no sense to say that Carter was bad because he became a militant Cold Warrior who started proxy wars around the globe and then say you are glad Reagan won. Reagan doubled down on Carter’s worst policies.

      The one thing I will credit Reagan with and it matters– when Gorbachev came in Reagan’s instinct was to see him as sincere. Reagan was right and his rightwing critics were wrong.

      1. craazyboy

        The Cold War was kinda necessary – it was a real threat. Besides, living under the threat of being nuked all the way to the Empty Dimension was a big pain in the Butt. Better and cheaper to negotiate for peace, but assuming the Russians were obstinate as billed, not an option.

        1. funemployed

          I subscribe to the opposite formulation. The Cold War was a real threat, and therefore shouldn’t have happened. Do you mean the Soviet Union and/or China was a threat to the US or European democracy independently of US policies to instigate conflict and make more bombs? If so, curious why.

          1. craazyboy

            Certainly not that one sided. In a nutshell it was a War of the MICs, and Neoliberalism coming into power.

            Central was the military establishment on both sides – post WW2 the guns didn’t want to become plowshares. No money, no glory. Also, The Bomb – thought to be the Ace in the “Hole” that could guarantee a “winner”.

            Neo-Imperialism became the Western order, and Soviet too, but in their case it was mostly defensive.

            Then, the whole world had to take sides. The developing world too, as they became generally satellites of the big powers.

            There was just too much money, power, and careerists driving the direction for cooler heads to prevail, IMO.

            Very much like today! Commies everywhere!

            1. diptherio

              Um…we hired a bunch of Nazi spies after the war, who proceeded to tell us a bunch of BS about the Soviet schemes to take over Western Europe and then the rest of the world. We bought it because, let’s face it, half of all people are dumber than average and most of those people end up working in intelligence agencies or the media (kidding…kinda).

              The USSR did, obviously, engage in some imperialist policies of it’s own but, as you point out, they were largely defensive, as the US really did (and does) have designs on ruling the entire globe. The Soviet Union was never an actual threat to the US, but that didn’t stop our warmongers from convincing everybody that they were the real enemy (as compared our own warmongering leadership). The Cold War was one long bout of national paranoia. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of older folks still haven’t gotten over it.

              1. craazyboy

                There was no shortage of propaganda. They maybe more believable due to eastern Europe and Berlin permanent occupation.

                But then, McCarthy!

                My own, probably correct opinion, is the Zionists convinced the free world leaders, probably British and wannabees US, that a big swath of Lebanese Beachfront property was a fine place to setup the Zionist Nation, Israel. Plus Jerusalem, so God was on our side!

                Next, control wars over the ME oil supply – which neither Russia or the US needed for a few decades yet back them. Then we had to consume it quicker – growth!

                Make a good comic book, methinks.

                1. Optimader

                  Why did so many people want to emigrate to the Soviet Union?

                  Because it was a lovely workers paradise, thats why!

                  Heck they needed to put up a wall to keep the western european immigrant hordes from stampeding through east Germany!

                  1. craazyboy

                    In a word, Hippies.

                    Free love, or undervalued Ruble, anyway.

                    Great music – the birth of Rock and Chisel!

                    Then, the food! Oh my, the Food!

                    Roasted Siberian Pine Cone Hearts over an open hearth at the local peoples Bar and Free Love Commune. Siberian Husky Women. Ruff, ruff!

                    That was living, back then. Then Putin came along and screwed everything up. No wonder everyone is miffed about that. Putin has a lot to answer for!

            2. georgieboy2

              “Neo-Imperialism became the Western order, and Soviet too, but in their case it was mostly defensive.”

              Funny story about that ‘mostly defensive’ stance of the Soviets:

              A friend managed to get released from the the Soviet Union in the 1980’s, well before the wall came down. He was a mathematician and a darn good piano player. Made his way to Paris — the dream city for many well-educated refugees — and got by for awhile playing piano in a whorehouse, no joke.

              After lining up a visa to the US he made a visit to Brussels and a university nearby. Hung out for a day in a coffee shop and visited with the locals, many of whom were students, and most of those he said were, somewhat to his surprise, Marxists. Even in the 1980s they could not believe he had voluntarily left Mother Russia, but they were curious enough to ask, “What brings you here to our city?”

              Long pause. “Well, I used to compute and commit some of the trajectories of our nuclear missiles for the planned first-strike in the event of war, and this was the first city for which I was personally responsible to ensure it was completely vaporized. After all this time I felt obliged to come and actually meet the people I might have destroyed.”

              Silence from the Brussels cap-and-beard crowd….

              First-strike was policy. No yeah-but.

              1. craazyboy

                No doubt. MAD was mostly a useful construct to tell the proles, but it was just a justification of how things came to be, based on zero strategy.

                Kinda like today, on both sides, sadly. Except more cities everywhere on the Vap List.

          2. Vatch

            It was a chicken or the egg situation. Each side would do things that provoked the other side, and that kept the ball rolling. There were bad guys on both sides, and until 1953, the Soviets were led by a true psychopath, Stalin. Tensions should have eased after that, but the people in the deep state apparatus on both sides were too entrenched. Any simple explanation for what happened would be woefully incomplete and inadequate. I’m sure the Chinese Communist victory in 1949 emboldened the hawks on both sides, too.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Good mention of the ChiComms, if Chiang Kai-Shek had won his argument that the US should use China as the launchpad to defeat Japan it would have been a different ballgame. Chiang also did not have the level of pure bloody ruthlessness that Mao and the Japanese (who took sadism to unbelievable new levels) showed (and that’s saying a lot). Chiang was also a clueless money printer, no use trying to fight the Commies when inflation is 45% per month and you had to hire a lorry to carry the banknotes to pay school fees. Chiang also picked the wrong horses twice, Wendell Willkie and then Dewey.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Soviet Union was just another name for Russian Empire – the borders and direction of power corresponded exactly.

            Incidentally, the soviets were worker co-operatives that they abolished early on, probably under Stalin. Stalin was remarkably similar, as noted by Russians, to Ivan the Terrible, even though he was actually Georgian. Russia has a long history of authoritarianism.

            1. optimader

              Soviet Union was 293 M ppl

              Modern Russia is 144 M ppl

              or approximately half (44%) that of the US ( 321M)
              Demographically speaking, apples and oranges

              1. Oregoncharles

                Today’s Russia is a good deal smaller than Imperial Russia as of the Revolution. Like the Maoists, the Bolsheviks insisted on every square inch of Imperial claim.

                IMHO, the ideology was little more than a masquerade – in both cases. Empire is empire.

                1. different clue

                  I remember some decades ago attending a talk given by Arkady Shevchenko, a defector from USSR-Republic of Ukraine to the US. I don’t remember what his post had been there.

                  Some time during question-answer, someone asked whether USSR shouldn’t just be viewed as a Communist re-working of Czarist Empire.
                  He answered that it really shouldn’t, certainly not in the Russian Imperialist sense, because Russia was the worst-exploited and Russians were the overall-poorest people in the USSR. So it was a Communist Empire and not strictly a red-paint-coated Russian Empire by any other name.

                  Of course, I don’t know how others would see it. Certainly Solzhenitsyn considered it a Communist Empire over and against all the people and “republics” within its borders.

        2. Trogg

          Craazyboy, go back in time to when Truman gave the go ahead to drop two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, for no other reason than to send a lesson to Moscow that we are armed and ruthless. That’s what the other side was dealing with — some real Dr Strangeloves.

      2. Olga

        When Carter got the Nobel prize for peace (2002), a publication (forget which one) posted many of Carter’s foreign policy escapades. I remember it was a shock – he had presented himself as a man of peace for so many years, it had completely obscured his disastrous and highly destructive FP initiatives (maybe he was paying penance, who knows). Reagan was quite bad (e.g., just think of Central American wars), but at this point, I am really not sure whether on FP he was worse than Carter. Here is at least is one link on saint JC:
        (The “half true” was meant satirically – if one diligently learns about US foreign policy for the last 77 years – none of it should really come as a surprise.)

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          I think “doing penance” is exactly what he’s been doing since he left the Oval Office. I’ve thought that for a long time. That, alone, puts him one-up on the rest of the warmongers who’ve sat behind that desk. They’ve done things like paint pictures of the soldiers they maimed and buy $8 million houses.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          By proxy and covertly, yes indeed. But for an American president to get through 4 years without one American soldier firing one single shot in anger is a modern-day miracle.

          1. Mark P.

            Eisenhower, a former general and war hero, got through eight years without a single uniformed U.S. serviceman dying in a conflict anywhere. And closed down the Korean War at his presidency’s start.

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

              And let us not forget, his exit speech with its military-industrial complex warning:

              “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

              1. Kim Kaufman

                Um, I believe Ike let Allen Dulles’ CIA assassinate at least a couple of world leaders, like in Iran, Guatemala.

    3. Jon Cloke

      There’s an article you can read in a 1983 issue of Foreign Policy in which ol’ Z openly boasts that getting the Soviets to invade Afghanistan was the plan all along..

      Of course, at the time he wrote that the mujahideen were doing really quite well, thanks to US arms and money, so he was eager to take more of the credit than he may deserve for this wizard wheeze of his.

      He was certainly a lot quieter about his role after his boy Osama bit the hand that fed him; never mind, now we’ve go Gulbuddin the mass-murderer back in Kabul we’re back to square one anyway…

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        You’d think America’s longest-running war would get some air time, wouldn’t you, especially after $2 trillion spent and today “our guys” only control 60% of the country. Oh, look, only 80 people killed in the capitol yesterday.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Carter deserved to lose, but Reagan did not deserve to win – nor did the country deserve him as president. Well, the country did elect RR, so maybe…

      Poor JC must know he was a truly terrible president; he’s spent his ex-presidency trying to make up for it.

      Footnote: I’ve seen very serious claims that Carter was beholden to the Rockefellers (then Republicans) and Kissinger, and in particular, that that’s why he let the Shah into the country, precipitating the hostage crisis that did him in. That would explain a lot.

  2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

    I agree– great piece! And I crossposted it earlier today on the NC site, so other readers can see it.

    1. funemployed

      I grew up around Albany. The corruption is so much deeper than just politics. It’s a culture that permeates virtually every institution. People are assumed to either “get how things work,” or they deserve to be screwed over in every shady way possible.

  3. Pavel

    I watched the Recode video clip of Hillary in amazement… she did a good impression of someone on some kind of mind-altering drug(s). She repeated the “email was a nothingburger” claim but then went on to repeat that she lost because of the emails… Huh?

    But the worst part was (and this is pretty much a direct quote): … the emails were released “by Russia… Wikileaks — same thing”. Neither Mossberg nor Swisher (two presumably responsible journalists) thought to correct her.

    Trump is an absolute nightmare but every time I see HRC (and especially hear her voice) I am so glad she did not win the election. She is absolutely delusional, and dishonest, and that rambling performance was at best a total embarrassment. Her handlers need to keep her off TV for a while.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From the cnbc link:

      ….. this sad, unemployed, 69-year-old lady is so desperate to keep her self-image alive that she still employs flunkies and retainers to treat her as though she actually were the president, or the secretary of state, or a president in waiting, or at very least the leader of the opposition.

      Ouch. Poor woman.

      I’d offer her a piece of advice. Stop this now, before you become the crazy relative that no one wants at Thanksgiving dinner because you can’t stop talking about what used to be and what could have been, and the other guests just don’t want to hear it anymore.

      1. Jim Haygood

        After laundering processing a couple of billion through your “charity,” including tens of millions in “donations” from foreign governments, it’s tough to convince yourself you’re not a player.

        It’s for the children, Katniss!

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Alec Baldwin (as Trump): Alexa, define “pathetic.”

          Alexa: Merriam Webster defines “pathetic” as hillary rodham clinton.

          Alec Baldwin (as Trump): Alexa, define “sweet revenge.”……..

        2. kramer

          I wonder if any of the foundation’s donors are trying to get their investment back now that HRC is no longer going to be of use to them.

          1. Optimader

            One would think calls have been made. Which might be a motivation for the preposterous finger pointing by HRC and her media manderins?
            I some circles, the amount of $$ would result in a 55 gallon drum residence in the Cal Sag shipping canal

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Wheres Bill in all this?

              I imagine her loyalists are begging Hillary to lead the “Resistance” as pressure mounts after the Quist loss. If Ossoff loses after money was dumped on that race, I expect Dem donors will go off the deep end.

              1. RUKidding

                I thought that Quist didn’t get much money or support from either the DLC or the DCCC. Some felt that was part of the problem: lack of support.

                There were other issues with Quist’s campaign, but he could have used more professional support than what he got.

                It’s the usual MO of the deliberately failing DLC/DCCC. They don’t want to support progressives.

                1. Vatch

                  I think that Quist got some money from the establishment Dems late in his campaign. The national Democratic leaders may have been a little embarrassed by the close loss in Kansas — they wanted to make the Sanders wing stop complaining. But since so many Montanans voted before the election date, most of the late donations to Quist were meaningless.

              2. optimader

                Wheres Bill in all this

                I think he has a very developed brain stem survival instinct.
                If you search:
                +”Bill Clinton” and Russian meddling in election
                +”Hillary Clinton” and Russian meddling in election

                You will see a stark difference.
                For Bill there are some older hits on the order of +200K hits, first page composed mostly of older hits re: his meddling on behalf of Boris Yeltsin

                For Hillary, +1.2M hits and vid links regarding how the Russians threw the election for Trump.

                Bill is firewalled on this if and when the nonsense blows up

          2. John k

            Tough to claw back, but easy to not go through with previous promises.
            Wonder how much Goldman and others are paying to hear the Clinton insights these days?

            1. optimader

              Tough to claw back

              yes well all the motivation to “give back” is tied to what one understands to be at risk?

              1. David Carl Grimes

                I wonder if Doug Band’s Teneo will disband now that the money is drying up. Or is it drying up?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Empress Dowager Cixi comes to mind.

          Perhaps by electing a young(er) child, we can have her mother (indispensable policy wonk) as regent.

          Then, she can redirect navy budget to projects in the Summer Palace.

          “Peace, at least,” she said shortly before the Sino-Japanese War erupted in Korea.

          “I was co-president once…twice, if you count my regency…first woman in the world to do that.”

            1. LT

              Just makes me glad the USA never had an official royal class, only a permanently aspiring one.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Clinton Inc loyalists don’t have anywhere to go long term. They’ll beg her to save them…that is “lead them.” This is largely why there was no point to the Clinton campaign in 2016 because it was mostly about promotions for the Clinton gang. Given how Hillary promised the VP slot to everyone, it wouldn’t be a shock if the press secretary slot, White House reporter credentials, etc. were promised to everyone.

        Hillary relied on nostalgia and cheating to beat Sanders. Look at how Marcotte is treated by lefties elements of the Internet these days and the hiring spree by nominally “liberal” outlets such as the NYT (an array of climate change deniers) and NBC with Megan “Santa is white*” Kelly and Greta. Where is a Clintonista to go? They need Hillary.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I’m actually starting to feel some pity for this tragi-comic woman, a relative needs to step up and get a court order to put her in a home. But the infuriating part of the interview was the supposedly self-aware tech journalists nodding and egging her on, buying the entire “nothingburger” line. These are people who are supposed to be able to recognize complete bullshit about emails and servers and hacks, I mean Huma sent top secret stuff to Anthony so he could print it? And her maid was printing out docs? You mean, like with a cloth? Gimme a break.

      3. Montanamaven

        Every time I hear/read Hilary blame “low information” voters, I shake my head. Yeh, some of those “low information deplorables” might have believed such news as Pizzagate. But her own supporters couldn’t be more low information, if they tried. They still applaud this crazy talk of thousands of Russians out to get her. And it is crazy. Okay, I’m not a psychologist but I’ve seen enough crazy people talking to themselves to speculate on her health. The Cate Blanchett character in “Blue Jasmine” was able to hold it somewhat together until the very end and then she was babbling on a park bench. If these supporters still care about her they would not have that park bench on stage and televised.
        Go back and look at her as a young First Lady on the Larry King show talking about locking bad people up and doing it in a Arkansas drawl instead of her Chicago dialect. Watch her eyes. They also look like Madeline Allbright eyes. Scary.
        And blaming the DNC? I am still surprised nobody has been arrested for that money laundering scheme called the Hillary Victory Fund

        1. Chris

          They’ve moved past the VF shenanigans using a simple 3 step process:

          Step 1: “Hillary lost, leave her alone! And you can’t really believe anything that Counter punch published? It’s time to move on…”

          Step 2: rehash everything the Clintonite apparatchiks want to believe happened during the election and don’t want you to forget. Russian lizard men hacked the brains of black people and women to make them vote for Trump in numbers their fancy model was incapable of predicting, and when they couldn’t hack their brains they changed vote totals! Use phrases like “everyone knows” a lot…

          Step 3: define a political party as an organization which has none of the responsibilities traditionally, and legally, associated with a political party if you ever find yourself in court with angry donors.

          Repeat as often and as long as necessary :/

          1. craazyboy

            Plus the most insidious Plan of all, hacked brains being led around by their sock holes! Controlled by Clapper himself from his Star Wars MIDI Console!

            That’s a scary bit of Sfy-Fy tech come to fruition!

            Blue LEDs were supposed to be GDP friendly!

      4. Olga

        I cannot think of a single former presidential candidate who spent the (almost) entire next year justifying/clarifying/re-living his loss. She’s giving a bad name to women candidates…

    2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      For those addicted to power, withdrawal can be a terrible thing. I have seen it myself on a smaller scale in the case of someone who through overreach lost it all, which left him like an abandoned empty shell screaming at the Gods – eventually nobody listened.

      1. craazyboy

        Yes. Allah has turned his toga draped back on Hillary.

        Ent and Ant is all she has left. [Huma ran off with a nice Bush in the forest.]

        Has magic really left this World, leaving our Dear Leaders powerless to persuade, even by benign and gentle force?

        Will we walk toe to toe at Hillary – toes staring each other down in belligerent defiance?

        Spin at 11. So sad.

    3. Darn

      Surely she means the investigation into The Server was a nothingburger, but the leaked/hacked DNC emails lost her the election.

      1. Pat

        Although you forget the Comey letter about Huma’s forwarding email to Anthony to print out. They have also blamed that revelation for her loss as well.

    4. Fíréan

      ” she did a good impression of someone on some kind of mind-altering drug ”

      Ibogiane ? First Muskie now Clinton. It’s a democrat thing.

      “given the known effects of ibogaine… Clinton’s brain was almost paralyzed by hallucinations… she looked out at the crowd and saw gila monsters instead of people”.

      She looked at her whole ontourage, and even the Republican party members, and they were all turning into reptiles , Russians or Macedonians.

      (credits to Hunter .S Thompson)

    5. Allegorio

      The mafia queen, the greatest female grifter since Lucretia Borgia. Yet it is truly amazing to see these upper middle class women fawn all over her. War criminals are us.

    6. different clue

      Let us pray her handlers put her on TV as much as possible. And all over Twitter and FaceBook too. And get her a You Tube Channel.

      Perhaps enough 24/7 exposure saturation to the talking head of Hillary Clinton will inspire more people to join a movement to declintaminate the Democratic Party and exterminate every trace of Clintonism and Clintonites from every part of that party.

    7. Procopius

      I agree with Hillary’s claim there, the emails really were nothing, but they were used effectively by the NYT, especially, to damage her. Every. Damned. Day. Nothing there, but the story was on the front page. Didn’t you notice it? WaPo and NewsCorp were doing it too, but old Sulzberger (is it Punch, or Pinch?) never let up his vendetta against the Clintons.

  4. Roger Smith

    Bloomberg: ’55 percent chance’ Trump will win reelection The Hill

    Seriously?? Are we really going to start this already? By the time it reaches 0% He’ll win again in 2020.

    1. Barmitt O'Bamney

      And why not? As of today, I’m know I’m voting for Trump next time (prediction w/ 99.9% confidence). Last time he got my vote by default. You see, Giant Meteor couldn’t even be bothered to get its name on the ballot down here in Georgia, much less actively campaign for our votes. But after a couple months of watching our President in action I’m now convinced Donald Trump is the superior Change Agent. He should have been my first choice all along! As to that .1% of uncertainty – it’s always possible that the Democrats might nominate an even more powerful nutcase like Cynthia McKinney (former rep for my district).

      With a finely tuned system like ours, the only responsible thing for a citizen to do is to feed it monkeywrenches as fast as you can. That’s no joke.

      1. nowhere

        Just be careful that a mangled wrench that is ejected from the machine doesn’t lodge itself into you.

        1. jrs

          voting for an oligarch is so radical! Tax cuts for the rich are like monkeywrenching the machine man …

    2. funemployed

      You would think all these master statisticians would understand that stats don’t work for singular events.

  5. kurtismayfield

    RE: To Fill Summer Jobs, Maine Gov. Releases Nonviolent Prisoners.

    Everytime there is an article posted about the inability to find employees, you need to put an asterisk next to it with the attached statement:

    At the salary the employer wants to pay

    As Lambert has said many times, if only there was some “invisible hand” that could change this situation .

    1. Marco

      Close the borders and neolibs STILL have a large population of workers ready to toil at subsistence wages. Whenever “prisoners” and “employment” are mentioned in the same sentence do we see the true authoritarian nature of America fear-based control of Labor. Curious how different the Fed rate for unemployment would have been without the mass incarceration of non-violent offenders over the last 3 decades.

    2. Lynne

      Wants or can afford to pay. Small employers might pay more but can’t afford to with tight margins. And large employers don’t have to; they can get prison labor.

    3. Dead Dog

      Thanks Kurtis, just what the unemployed need, competition from prisoners.

      Like the US, there is a shortage of ag workers in Australia to pick fruit and veg. So, the industry ‘relies’ on foreign labor and lobbies against any change – you know ‘There’d be no bananas in the shops if we (didn’t have the foreigners)

      Yeah, right, it could rely on Aussie labor if they paid a decent wage for the work and conditions involved… But then bananas wouldn’t be $3 a bunch anymore…

    4. Vatch

      Once they’re released, they aren’t prisoners any more. Of course, the devil is in the details, and there will probably be a lot of conditions that make their status similar to that of indentured servants. Still, this is a move in the right direction, because there are far too many people in U.S. prisons.

      1. kurtismayfield

        Yes but the reason to release them shouldn’t be “because local businesses want cheap captive labor”. Being the Warden in “The Shawshank Redemption” should not be a career goal.

  6. Jim Haygood

    It’s that time of the month again — the end of one, that is. Time to update Craazyman Fund, which has gained 21.34% since inception 15 months ago, versus a 13.80% gain in its 50/50 stock/bond benchmark. Chart:

    Among its three components, Craazyman Fund’s 50% allocation to junk bonds delivered a 22.72% return, while its 30% weight in emerging markets starred with a 31.99% gain. The old yellow dog (gold), a 20% weight, took the booby prize with a 1.92% rise.

    In the 50/50 benchmark, large-cap stocks (using the ETF SPY) returned 24.48% while bonds (AGG) returned 3.12%.

    While Craazyman Fund uses the mutual fund SPHIX (junk bonds) and the ETFs EEM (emerging markets) and IAU (gold) to keep score, plenty of other choices are available such as TIYRX (junk), VWO (emerging markets) and GLD (gold). This isn’t an investment reco, nor are any particular funds advocated.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No timing with ‘sell in May and go away?’

      Or re-balancing with more gold, the laggard?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Good point about rebalancing. Most ETFs rebalance quarterly. But testing shows that using a percentage deviation trigger works just as well or better.

        Gold’s lagging performance has reduced it to 16.8% of the fund vs its 20.0% target — that is, a 3.2% deviation. We’ll impose a 4.0% deviation as a rebalancing trigger.

    2. craazyman

      the only time I’ve gotten a 21% return is with a minus sign. this fund sounds like a hoax. If it doesn’t go down after you buy it, it’s not authentic. It should be down at least 40% by now, after all these months. Do you want me to take this over Jim and run it myself? It needs to be run better.

      where were you last night Haygood? You missed the NC keg party and Yves Russian shoes. She had these cool shoes with a hammer and sickle design on them — very cool shoes. With shoes like that, why even waste time writing posts? Cruise around town looking suave and cool and go to dinners and parties. You’ve already made it. Why keep exhausting yourself? That’s what I’d do. This economics stuff gets really really boring. But politics is worse. Politics isn’t just boring, it’s absolutely unbearable to even think about, and reading about it is totally out of the question. But cool shoes! That’s always fun.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Man, I hate to miss that keg party. But from where I’m sitting NYC is 2,300 miles away.

        When I first started working for the Russians, there were sly hints about exotic escorts, accompanied by knowing winks and smirks.

        But I haven’t seen ’em yet.

        Next time Vlad asks me to stay late doing a couple of extra posts, I’m gonna be like, “Show me the Natashas!

      2. craazyboy

        That’s a terrifying development. Yves Russian’s shoes. Are they open toe shoes? Did you notice an eye, possibly with fake eyelashes, maybe wink at you?

        If so, run! Not that you can get away from the horror. The 7 Eye’s Tentacles are everywhere.

        But you can’t just sit there and take all that gawking!

        Monkey Dude been staying up on things. Last visit to The Haus of the Riseen Sohn, (Madame Bandersnatch gives him the senior Monkey discount. She thinks he’s cute.) he said Madam took up wearing open toed stilettos, for obvious reasons. Additionally, they are Bespoke stilettoes, meaning someone takes a long time making them by hand and you pay a shitload for ’em. Kinda like James Bond, but the British taxpayer gets the bill in that case.

        But anyway, they come with a tear gas canister installed. Madam says she chased a few Tentacle toe-eyes away, and they haven’t come back since! There is a black dude on Bourbon Street that makes them. Monkey Dude knows his monkey. I could get you a pair? We can’t wear fashion like that in Tucson – some people still wear cowboy boots around here, and that just wouldn’t mix well. But, shit, New Yawk?? No problemo. And if you don’t wanna wear them, then you can give them to Yves for Christmas! Lambert probably has they same problem we do up in Maine, plus the weather sucks. No good for open toe stilettos, that’s for sure.

  7. Carla

    Thanks, Jerri-Lynn, for these great links, and for all of your excellent work here. I hope it’s not impolite to ask, but your antidote choices prompt me to wonder: out of all the animal kingdom, do you only like birds?

    1. mk

      What’s wrong with birds? Please keep posting the birds, I love them! They are smart and beautiful and make great friends.

  8. HBE

    6 th great extinction

    It almost as if slapping up a bunch of solar panels and wind turbines won’t stop this trend.

    Maybe, just maybe, there are additional more personally impactful measures needed?

    Maybe “green” energy isn’t magic bullet?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘To sit quietly in a room’ would be a good choice.

      Among the many quiet activities – mind travel, instead of the contradictory (to me) eco-travel (relative to mind travel).

      1. subgenius

        No, it’s not. Renewable energy is built on the back of petro energy, the same way the ‘green’ revolution in farming is. Can’t construct a windfarm or solar farm from renewables. Just try making cement.

        Explain heavy transportation and construction projects. Don’t forget gasoline was a waste product the automobile turned into a cash cow….also don’t forget that fertilizers, chemical precursor, and plastics all come from oil…and that they are different fractions to the fuels. Converting takes more energy.

        And if you haven’t been part of engineering projects you are almost certainly basing your beliefs on bullshit…I know there is a long history (see: Bible, economics, anything by Musk, etc ) but really it’s time to deal with reality.

        Industry and modern life’style’ requirements are entirely at odds with a habitable ecosystem. All the analyses are out there, have been for decades – nobody seems to bother with them because they want to have their cake and eat it.

        And they have the temerity to call the millennials ‘special snowflakes’…

        1. heresy101

          What are you smoking? The municipal utility I work for has 68% renewable electricity and ~25% large hydro. I’ve worked on ~$240M of renewable energy contracts. California is ahead of schedule for 50% renewable and the bill for 100% renewable in 2045 just passed the CA Senate.

          When we don’t have to blast the top of mountains off, have huge trains of coal (Warren Buffet loves that), and frack all of the landscape while polluting the water table makes it viable to have a habitable ecosystem with natural plants and wild animals.

          Electric vehicles and conversion from petrol processes are coming so fast they will make your head spin!!

          Oh, but what would I know, I’m just an energy engineer!

          1. subgenius

            Explain how to make batteries in heavy goods vehicles work. Explain how the supply chain for ‘exotic’ materials doesn’t use multiple times the energy and materials that simple materials use. Explain how you make fertilizer, drugs, pesticides with solar and wind.

            Power supply is a small part of the equation. Look at the pollution caused by shipping and air travel, and then explain how you electrify that.

            1. heresy101

              We have a national parcel delivery service with 6 EV trucks in our service territory. While the Nikola One may not come to fruition, a battery swapping over the road tractor likely will.

              Lithium is an exotic material and flow batteries and zinc batteries are looking very cost competitive. Flow batteries that I’ve seen have been at a solar facility in Turlock, CA for two years. EOS in partnership with Siemens is making a zinc battery that we are looking at using at a combustion turbine (true it’s not running on biogas yet but there are a hell of a lot of dairies in CA).

              Hopefully, we will kill off Monsanto and we won’t make pesticides. I don’t know the process for fertilizers or drugs but anything that can be made from electricity can come from renewable energy.

              Ships will run on biogas. In fact the largest engine manufacturer already has engines that run on biogas.

              Airplanes – who knows??

                1. heresy101

                  Thank you for the link. While I’ll not have enough time to totally respond during lunch, my take on the EROI as Hill and Floyd imply is that it may be correct for ONE year, the conclusions are bogus for a lifecycle. The system as defined (my thermodynamics professor was very clear on defining the system) does NOT allow comparison between sources of energy (eg solar and fossil fuels). Hill takes all life cycle costs for solar but then compares them to one year’s GWh. There’s nothing wrong with his costs but to say solar/wind should only be compared to one year’s output is ludicrous without taking fuel costs into account.

                  Take a combined cycle system with all the steel, manufacturing, turbine repairs, maintenance etc over 30 years. Now, add in all the fracking wells, pipelines (eg DAPL) to bring the natural gas to the turbine over 30 years. Now, you can calculate an EROI for that facility but it is meaningless to just look at the capital costs without taking into account the energy expended on procuring the energy (natural gas) to make the plant run over its lifetime.

                  Now, do the same for solar, wind, hydro, or geothermal. There are lifetime energy expenditures for all to procure the water and steam, but they are much less for wind and virtually non-existent for pv. For wind and solar, the energy costs are minimal.

                  If you want to do an EROI, don’t do it for one year, do it for the life cycle of the generator! Fossil fuels don’t look as great when you take all the costs of procuring energy for the generator. Not having to pay for solar is a big benefit even if it only has a 20% capacity factor (that appears to be what Hill is using for Spain.

                  Even if it takes a year! to recover all the energy to produce the wind or solar system, THERE ARE 24 MORE YEARS OF OUTPUT WITHOUT ADDITIONAL INPUTS (Hill put all the maintenance/inverters etc over 25 years in the upfront costs).

              1. Procopius

                I thought the guano industry was destroyed when the Germans learned how to electrically “fix” nitrogen from the air, not from petroleum. We can stop using petroleum. We have alternatives already for many processes and could have lots more if we could knock out the people who are making huge fortunes from current processes and have connections and power to prevent change.

            2. Oregoncharles

              You grow fertilizer: sun, air, water. (Phosphate has to be mined – which could be done with electricity.)

              We shouldn’t be making those pesticides anyway; drugs are just biochemistry; electricity or the sun will heat reactions as well as natural gas.

              Define “exotic” materials – but you’re probably right. Flow batteries are probably better, long term.

              Airplanes are the hardest. There are biofuels, not plentiful but could be reserved for aircraft; long run, lighter-than-air ships may be the real solution. Basically, we won’t be flying around so much.

  9. craazyboy

    Pentagon ICBM test:

    The one way our system does work is if you launch multiple ICBMs at a single, single warhead, incoming missile. Getting the odds on your side does work.

    Also – The Frog Kingdom welcomes plastic, see thru frogs. Our k-12 school system should too!

    I’d suggest going the full press on this one.

    Plastic elephants with removable imitation Ivory tusks. Plastic dinosaurs we can use to scare cats and protect our bird population. Plastic Whale squeeze bottles for Italian low calorie salad dressing. Turtle soup bowls.

    Many more, probably.

    1. a different chris

      I suspect you also need to know where the missile came from and where it was going.

    2. Peter VE

      Am I the only one who thinks Chairman Kim has his army shooting off these missiles as a sideshow, knowing we’ll spend hundreds of billions on fruitless anti missile systems? Meanwhile, a dozen nuclear weapons can be shipped to the US in the ubiquitous shipping containers, or disguised as an electrical transformer being shipped to a building site on Pennsylvania Avenue in DC. When they go off, we will not know from whence the bombs came. Who will we blame then?

      1. different clue

        They may have thought of this long ago. The bombs may already be here -hidden – waiting…waiting…waiting…

  10. Tom Stone

    Seeing HRC like this is bizarre and horrifying.
    She seems to be completely delusional and the fact that she’s being displayed to the world as the face of the Democratic “Resistance” is truly bizarre.
    And it’s horrifying when I consider that out system of governance gave us a choice between Donald the Odious and HRC.
    And the Dems are doubling down on a losing strategy…the Martingdale strategy, so to speak.
    It’s gonna get REAL INTERESTING, and not in a good way.

      1. HotFlash

        Looks like. I think a better word for what we are seeing is ‘denial’. Can’t she just retire to Elba or something?

      2. jrs

        her guilty for the fact that she wanted trump to win at the R primary one point. gotta be hard to live with that.

        1. different clue

          Quite so. Trump was Clinton’s choice of “pied piper”. We should not allow the Klinton Koolaid Kultists to forget that.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Rep. Joe Crowley, D-NY, Member of the Ways & Means Committee and “Chair” of the democratic caucus, on msnbs this morning when asked to comment on hrc’s criticism of the dnc deficiencies during her campaign:

      “At some point there has to be some effort to do something on behalf of the american people.”

      Quite the understatement IMNSHO.

      Apparently the way to the electorate’s heart is not through the designation of superdelegates.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This is simply stunning. This is a head line in of itself. Rep. Crowley seems to be astonished by the expectations citizens have.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Maybe. Maybe not. Over the past ~3-4 decades I’ve been repeatedly shocked by how little having visible nutjobs in high office affects us. They might as well be emperors on distant thrones.

      One thing clear at this point is that the Democrats will not campaign effectively against Republicans in 2018. The power-hunger of their self-admiring elite is too great to allow it, and they do not want power at the level of the federal government – just in their comfort zones on the coasts, in the major cities, among the ‘worthy’. They do not want to campaign for the votes of the dull and dirty out here in flyover. Until they become so obviously tertiary that their funding dries up they will not change tack. By the time they are truly unable to get funded, it will be too late for them.

      Despite their obvious, extreme weakness, Berniecrats may be the only half-viable alternative.

      1. Allegorio

        I repeat, the job of the establishment Democrats is not to get elected, not to govern, but to keep truly Progressives off of the ballot. They have done a great job of that. The Republicans do a much better job of serving the donor class.

      2. different clue

        What if Bernies were to conquer and purge the State Democratic Parties of several states, and change the name of the Party in these states to . . . The Real Democrat Party? As against the Democratic Party, the Real Democrat Party. Get it?

        And perhaps the Real Democrat Party would work to exterminate the Democratic Party from existence one region at a time, until the only place the Democratic Party survives is in the bastions of upper class privilege like the Hamptons and Acela Corridorstan and the Pelosiville District of San Francisco. And it has been exterminated from existence every where else in America. And its bereft and lonely members have joined the Republican Party because the Real Democrat Party will not allow them to join and bring their Clintonite disease germs with them.

        Then we would have a 3 Party System . . . Republican, Democratic, and Real Democrat.

    3. different clue

      Good. Put her on TV Put her on TV over and over and over again.

      Reduce her support-base to a purified core of the 30 million or so most hard-core irredeemables.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Pessimistically, to me, corruption is the default state of human affairs.

      We tend to settle at that corrupt saddle point of equilibrium.

      And with corruption everywhere, it’s rare to see a country up in arms like Brazil is now.

      1. Off The Street

        Expect more people around the world to appreciate the truth and beauty of the Intertubes as stories of corruption wash across the transom. It will take some doing for the average person to identify what may be close to the truth, but see what happened after Gutenberg’s handiwork?

  11. DJG

    My strongest impression of the British election and of Trump in the Rose Garden is that the Anglo-American world is in serious decline. Climate change will make Anglo-America into the brooding adolescent who often bombs things to get its way. In this regard, Trump is no boorish exception: He is the culture distilled to its grasping essence.

    So what if Europe doesn’t have its act together defense-wise? The Russians don’t plan to invade Poland, and the Chinese aren’t going to destabilize Greece.

    So I guess that so long as the extractive industries exist, Anglo-America has a reason for being. Once petroleum began its decline, the party’s over. Except for the celebrations of liberation now going on in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, of course.

    1. different clue

      I read that as of the last census, more Americans claimed “german” ancestry than claimed “english” ancestry. Even though German language and culture were savagely repressed by Woodrow Wison, perhaps some traces of a “german culture ethic” survived and still survive in America. Perhaps when America contains nothing left to extract, the “german-ethic” people here might still be able to grow and build a modest survival economy and society . . . .and teach the survivors of the Anglo-Saxon/ Norman-Viking ethic something about mere ho hum drum social survivalism as a good-enough cultural imperative.

      Amusing set of mental tinkertoys to play with?

  12. Ernie

    Pentagon successfully tests ICBM defense system for first time: “[A] major milestone for a program meant to defend against a mounting North Korean threat.”

    A different, but not unexpected, take from another quarter: Putin: Russia will not sit idle while US deploys global anti-missile system.

    Russia sees the latest development of US anti-missile system in South Korea as a challenge and will not leave it without a response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, explaining Russia’s own military build-up in the region.

    “This issue is a major concern for us and we have been constantly voicing it for decades. This disrupts the strategic balance in the world,” Putin underlined while talking to foreign media on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday. “But the world is silent and nobody listens to us.”

    “They have elements in their ABM system in Alaska and now in South Korea. Do we have to look at this helplessly and do the same in Eastern Europe? Of course not. We contemplate our response to this challenge,” he added.

    Putin said Russia doesn’t believe Western assurances that the ABM system is not directed against Russia and is working on ways to countering it. He said it was de facto part of an arms race.

  13. cojo

    Re: Mylan shareholders revolt, say directors’ greed has gone too far Ars Technica

    Things might get worse: today, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services released an analysis (PDF) that estimated how much Mylan overcharged taxpayers for its EpiPens. By misclassifying the devices, the company stiffed the Medicaid rebate program by as much as $1.27 billion between 2006 and 2016, the report concludes. In October, Mylan reportedly agreed to pay just $465 million to settle the issue with the government.

    The government overpaid $1.27 billion for the pens and was able to settle for $465 million. Way to go DOJ!

    1. crittermom

      Maybe that’s what’s known as the new math and they’re using it in all sectors, having been given a great example of how to do it from the banksters.
      The DOJ has become a misnomer. Justice for whom?

    2. DJG

      cojo: This is addition and subtraction by lawyers. I worked with lawyers: The idea that lawyers can handle money safely and with probity is laughable.

      1. cojo

        Now it all makes sense!!!

        According to the Congressional Research Service 170 members of the House and 60 Senators are lawyers. Out of a total of 435 U.S. Representatives and 100 Senators (535 total in Congress), lawyers comprise the biggest voting block of one type, making up 43% of Congress. Sixty percent of the U.S. Senate is lawyers. 37.2% of the House of Representatives are lawyers.

    3. Vatch

      The chief executive officer at Mylan is Heather Bresch, the daughter of right wing West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. She was the second highest compensated executive at Mylan, after chairman and former CEO Robert Coury. One way to punish Mylan is to oppose Heather Bresch’s father, who has a very deficient voting record in the Senate anyhow. Paula Jean Swearengin is running against him in the 2018 Democratic primary.

    4. different clue

      Really? It must have been the HolderBama holdovers who negotiated that one.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    EU and China strengthen climate ties to counter US retreat FT

    Is China calculating her green gas emission reduction partially based on the record amount of concrete placed in the last 15 years? That’s an easy baseline to work off from.

    It’s almost if a store marks its prices really, really high, so it can discount them deeply.

    “50% off!!!!”

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Beautiful new see-through frog puts whole heart on display Treehugger

    Lesson: the next hominid species hopefully is see-through.

    “I see your tail wagging. You must be excited to see moi. Admit it, you like me.”

    No need for fake flowery words.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Dolphins really can “see” through us (and each other) – I suspect this is how they tell the sexes apart. (Males have been known to try to mate with women; there’s a sad story from Lilly’s dolphin studies where one apparently fell in love (?) with the woman cohabiting with him.)

      Supposedly, they sometimes point out tumors, which they can “see” with their sonar.

      1. different clue

        Perhaps they could be trained to do so consistently, thereby becoming an important diagnostic assistant to the doctors involved.

  16. cojo

    RE: Hillary launches astonishing conspiracy claim that Trump won the election because he ‘colluded’ with 1,000 Russian agents who filled Facebook with ‘lies’ and Twitter with ‘bots’ Daily Mail

    In a related story, recently revealed evidence shows Russian agents got the idea to use 1,000 Russian agents to fill facebook with ‘lies’ and Twitter with ‘bots’ from the DNC campaign to elect Hillary Clinton.

    1. Vatch

      It is intriguing that Hillary Clinton’s claim is so similar to what “Correct the Record” and the Clinton campaign did against Sanders in the Democratic primary campaign.

      Elections in the United States are successfully manipulated by two kinds of people: Republicans and Democrats, not Russians.

      1. hunkerdown

        The Democrat Party’s modus operandi is to accuse the other side of having done what Democrats (ShareBlue, Sleeping Giants, et al) are currently doing. It’s wearily predictable.

    2. Stormcrow

      Let me say at the outset that I am not competent to evaluate the following material. I post it in the hope that others here might know what to make of it. If true, it is explosive. The argument is complex, which is both its strength and its weakness. I do not find it to be obviously implausible. I like the thread from which it comes because it is almost entirely snark-free, and the commentators seem to be knowledgeable and sincere. But they could be wrong.

      Or they could be right that they have uncovered a very effective disinformation campaign.

      I offer below a composite of selective quotations from a very long thread (over 500 comments).

      Evidence that the DNC fabricated the Russian conspiracy all the way in June 2016, and that Seth Rich may have died to cover it up.

      In bullet point form:

      • DNC announces they’ve been hacked.
      • The day after, a hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0 claims to have taken credit for the hack and announces he will be giving his documents to Wikileaks. Guccifer 2.0 vehemently denies being Russian, a façade he keeps up throughout his activity.
      • Bolstered by Crowdstrike’s report and the metadata in Guccifer 2.0’s documents, media outlets immediately start screaming that Guccifer 2.0 must be Russian agents.
      • Finally, Wikileaks releases the DNC documents a month after Guccifer 2.0 did.

      This post unmasks Guccifer 2.0’s identity as none other than the DNC.

      The DNC knew they were having their documents leaked to Wikileaks, and wanted to make sure a Russian hacker took credit for the leaks.

      Basically he [Guccifer 2.0, a composite of various figures behind the scenes at the DNC] was preemptively trying to associate Seth with Russia. Further evidence that G2 is a DNC creation. The DNC was tipped off about Seth through Seth being unmasked during his communication with KDC [Key Distribution Center]. Not only did they kill him, they are going to try to brand him as a Russian spy.

      So I’m trying to process all of this. From what I can understand it seems the DNC realized they were hacked (by Seth) But they didn’t know by who. To get in front of it the DNC created Guccifer 2.0 and added Russian finger prints to some files and released some files to make it look like they were hacked by Russia. So when the rest of the files eventually came out they could pin it all on Russia. Through surveillance of KDC they unmasked Seth and had him taken out. Then Wikileaks releases the files from Seth? DNC and MSM push hard Russia hacking and collusion angle. Am I following this correctly?

      This is proof, evidence from within the leaked documents, that the so-called Russian authors were DNC employees.

      They simply fucked up while trying to link the hacking to Russia. Data inside the documents themselves lists a copy of Microsoft Word registered to a DNC employee as the original author, and a mythological Russian as the modifying author.

      Personally, I think that as long as Seth Rich existed, he could have spoken up as the leaker at any moment and drawn scrutiny to Guccifer 2.0 being a DNC operation. To our knowledge, the unmasking of Trump and related officials started in June 2016 using the DNC hacks as a pretext. Seth Rich’s continued existence could have lead to the fall of the [Obama] White House and intelligence agencies.

      It wasn’t that the Russian’s murdered Seth because there’s no real motive for them to do so if they hacked the system. They don’t benefit from killing him in any way. But if Seth were kept alive and he is the one who leaked and the DNC has already decided to blame Russia….then Seth gets in the way of this narrative. Yes, that’s a more plausible assassination motive.

      It is an effective disinformation campaign. The bait is to lure us in with “Guccifer 2.0 confirms that Seth Rich is a leaker.”

      But the premise of that [disinformation] chat is that WikiLeaks etc are compromised by Russia. So when we swallow the bait and promote Guccifer 2.0 we are laying their groundwork of “Russia hacked the election, Trump colluded with Russia, Trump needs to be outed.”

      1. hunkerdown

        KDC = Kim Dotcom, who is presently offering to testify under oath on the matter of Seth Rich.

        > Data inside the documents themselves lists a copy of Microsoft Word registered to a DNC employee as the original author, and a mythological Russian as the modifying author.

        It gets better. I saw some Anonymous claim that Flood authored the Word documents or their stylesheet. One or the other copy of Word was registered to the GSA. Not only were the documents fake, they were campaign works created on US Government computing resources. Politics is made of lies and nobody important cares, but misuse of government resources will get investigations and heads rolling.

    3. different clue

      Perhaps the Russians studied up on how David Brock deployed and used his TwitterBot Army and his Flying Monkey FaceBook Fiends.

  17. Ernesto Lyon

    Covfefe means “I stand up” in arabic. Trump’s tweet makes perfect sense.

    He completely punked the media, and Hills.

  18. Ulysses

    I thought that NC readers might appreciate a small piece of heartening labor news from upstate:

    “A vote conducted Wednesday among baristas at Gimme! Coffee, under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board, was resoundingly in favor of unionizing… Following the vote, the baristas are now represented by and are now members of Workers United Local 2833…

    “This union is a crucial step in moving forward with improving the lives and workplaces of hospitality workers in Tompkins County,” said barista Samantha Mason in a statement. “Our next step at Gimme! is negotiating a contract.”
    Gimme! Coffee founder and owner Kevin Cuddeback told 14850 Magazine he’s “taken a neutral position” on his employees’ unionization efforts. “I understand the social significance of unionization and I respect employees’ right to decide whether to do so,” he says.”

    The determined and courageous Samantha Mason is not too much older than my own daughter. Having met her, I find myself just a bit less pessimistic about our future.

    1. WeakenedSquire

      A crunchy bunch of baristas in a college town in corruptstate NY (people still live there? who knew!) voted themselves into a union? Well, knock me over with a feather.

      Too bad no-one except the fading ranks of tenured faculty can afford to buy their coffee anymore since Gov. Machiavelli hiked the min wage but his donors destroyed all the middle-class jobs. Maybe the president of Cornell can host a monthly Coffee Party on his $1.6 million annual salary.

      1. Ulysses

        It’s so great to have well-informed commenters like yourself set the record straight. Have you broken the news to Martha Pollack that she has been replaced by a male President at Cornell?

        I’m sure she would appreciate hearing this breaking news straight from you:

        What do you mean by “crunchy” in this context? Is it a synonym for “not like me?” I would suggest that you actually meet some of these people before judging them, but I doubt they would benefit from such a dreadful encounter.

      2. different clue

        If you are not willing to pay a union price for union wage coffee, then you do not deserve to have coffee.

        1. Ulysses

          This article, about the unionization at Gimme!Coffee, gives a much broader context for understanding its potential significance. The article appears on the front page of the most widely read coffee shop industry journal:

          “Bensinger told Daily Coffee News, “The key here was listening to the workers — millennials who have incredible insights into how to build a new labor movement. They are as inspirational a group of workers as I have ever worked with.”
          In a follow-up email after the vote, Cuddeback added, “I expect it will be a challenging learning experience for baristas and management, but I feel the upside potential warrants our enduring that discomfort.”

  19. Altandmain

    Bernie Sanders in Germany giving a speech:

    Warren is now buying into the Trump – Russia madness too:

    In other news universal healthcare may actually be cheaper in California

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “May” actually be cheaper.

      It helps to remove the middleman insurance industry, though a lot will depend on ensuring lower drug prices and saner health provider bills.

      1. different clue

        And also in-the-long-run reverse the mass production of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, alzheimer’s, etc. Because the ongoing mass production of millions of cases of these diseases every year drives up the actual amount of health care needed, thereby driving up the cumulative cost of all that health care.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Flint, Beyond the Crisis The Baffler

    Earlier this week, the city council in Flint agreed to give up its efforts to force thousands of residents to pay backdated water bills by imposing liens which would have allowed Flint’s government to claim their homes as collateral to cover the delinquencies. This feels like a victory, and in many ways it is. But to have to imagine being forced out of your home for not paying for that which is poisoning you and your loved ones is absurd in the first place. It is a moment that should have incited outrage at every level of government, instead of becoming a drawn-out legal action, centered money, and ultimately a decision to write off a community’s only available protest as a cost of doing business.

    With the summer “vacation” season upon us, the air waves are replete with dulcet exhortations to visit the pristine forests, gorgeous green golf courses and idyllic shorelines of Michigan and achieve serenity.

    Pure Michigan.

    Just avoid Flint. And, if you take a wrong turn and wind up there, don’t drink the water. It’s not Mexico, where Montezuma’s revenge is transitory. Flint’s leaded water is forever.

    1. different clue

      Are you sure Flint’s leaded water is forever? If they get all the lead service lines replaced with non-lead service lines, why would the water stay leaded after that?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A deal with the federal government is essential, I believe, as a lot of the current CA health care money comes from DC.

  21. Jim Haygood

    Common sense prevails:

    President Donald Trump has decided not to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a major reversal of one of his foreign policy campaign pledges.

    Mr Trump on Thursday followed the path of his predecessors in the Oval Office by taking action to circumvent a Congressional mandate to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Congress in 1995 mandated that the embassy be moved to Jerusalem. But Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama all signed repeated six-month waivers postponing the move for national security reasons.

    What’s scandalous is not that Trump broke a [foolish] campaign promise, but rather that Kongress can’t fix a 22-year-old foreign policy error crammed down its throat by the Lobby back in the Newt Gingrich era.

    Grow a pair, klowns!

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Obamas Pay $8.1 Million for Home Just Miles From White House NYT (Bob K)

    They must really love that area.

      1. different clue

        Well, if the Democrats nominate Michelle, I will certainly vote for Trump again.

  23. Synoia

    Antidote du jour:

    African Gray Parrot, has a red tail, native to West Africa. Go mimic, intelligent, and that beak hurts when it decides to bite.

    Eats fruits and nuts.

    Very loud at dawn.

    1. John k

      Can have great vocabulary. Friend, now deceased, trained hers to say ‘I’m a dirty bird’.

  24. Optimader

    To Fill Summer Jobs, Maine Gov. Releases Nonviolent Prisoners

    Are the quaint small towns of Maine bereft of HS and College students??

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Maine population – about 1.3 million as of 2015

      Tourist visits to Maine – about 33 million as of 2015

      Now I don’t have any actual figures to support the following, but based on the traffic I see on 95 North I would guess that the vast majority of these tourists show up between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Also the majority of them are not going to the Portland area but to smaller towns with low populations. Plus we don’t make anything anymore in Maine now that all the factories are shuttered so there are more and more tourism-related businesses all the time.

      So yes, I do believe there is an actual shortage of people to fill seasonal jobs. That being said, I’m pretty tired of this state being run for the benefit of tourists as it’s driving the cost of living for those of us who live here through the roof. We could definitely stand for much less hotel development, etc. More bullshit seasonal service jobs are not exactly what the state needs.

      And that being said, our governor is dumber than a whole bag of Trumps and recently released prisoners are not going to be serving your lobster roll come summertime.

  25. Kris

    Excellent article on regime-changing the Trump administration: The Good Americans. “The Pink Revolution of 2017, better known as Russiagate, is now more or less a fait accompli. Whether the corporatist ruling classes and their servants in Congress formally impeach him or force him to resign in disgrace, Donald J. Trump is being regime-changed, or at the very least effectively neutralized until he can be replaced with a grown-up, i.e., someone who will serve their interests without getting the masses all riled up about “taking the government back from the elites,” putting “America first,” and, well, just generally making an ass of himself.

    At this point, not even a war will save him. Even if he could somehow manage to convince the boys in the Pentagon to back an invasion of Iran, or Syria, or wherever, the corporate-owned press would crucify him, and you can’t arbitrarily invade other countries without the support of the corporate media. No, the simple fact is, the Corporatocracy has decided to make an example of Trump, to remind folks who is really running things, and what happens when you attempt to defy them, and there’s nothing Trump can do about it, other than rant and rave on Twitter.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      How much money does the investor class have to spend? As long as Uber can sell a promise, they can go on until a Lehman style event or a Dotcom collapse given some of the names involved. Of course, a name like Holder and Plouffe might not hold the same sway over time.

    2. Scott

      Uber likely lost considerably more money. The article admits that the losses exclude stock-based compensation, my guess is that they also exclude depreciation and amortization.

    3. Synoia

      They have to keep the ponzi scheme going for an IPO. What else could they do, get other jobs?

    1. Plenue

      No, you don’t understand! It’s the wave of the future! Money at last freed from the clutches of the evil Red Shields! /sarcasm

    2. ewmayer

      Re. Crypocurrency Ponzi schemes – That dear popular techno-unicorn-embracing blogger, Mike Shedlock, memorably had a roughly yearlong “this changes everything!” lovefest with BTC/blockchain back around 2013, before falling oddly silent on the subject and a few years later taking up self-driving-foo as his latest disruptive-tech crush. Here from e-mail exchange we had in late April 2016, starting with my reply to one of his fawning-over-BTC posts:

      So long as there is no transparent mechanism to ensure that the fiat accrued by the initial “miners” never re-enters the economy except via reverse exchange (bitcoins pulled from circulation in exchange for fiat), it’s a scam.

      What’s the scam?
      They disclosed the algorithm
      They disclosed what they are doing and why
      There are no false claims
      There is no debt
      No more bitcoins are lended than exist
      This does not make the investment idea any good, but it is not a scam
      Goldmoney agrees

      The scam has nothing to do with the algorithm – it has to do with how the initial issuance of any fiat currency – be it a sovereign’s fiat or digital fiat – occurs. One could refer to this as the “currency initialization problem”. When an existing sovereign issuer of currency (or consortium thereof, as occurred with the Euro) introduces a new currency, this is via a well-defined set of procedures involving a defined changeover period and a fixed exchange rate for said period, presumably one which leaves the total money supply as measured by the exchange rate constant (although new currencies which also represent a step-function devaluation are also possible). Beyond the end of the changeover period it may still be possible to exchange the old fiat – in fact there are many reasons to make the window open-ended – but then it will be at a floating exchange rate, and it typically gets more difficult to offload the old fiat as time goes on, except for units thereof having historical and collector value, or intrinsic metal-content value.

      Now a bunch of guys construct a new “stateless digital currency” and get a bunch of folks to exchange their “soon to be worthless fiat” for units of their creation. What is to prevent them from simply spending the fiat, at the same time folks are trying to spend the digital currency it paid for?

      Well, Goldmoney and the guy who taught me Austrian economics both agree it is not a scam.

      I care less about who-agrees-on-what than I do about the actual *reasoning* involved.

      Please feel free to fwd my “counterfeiting” note to them – I’d be interested to hear their reasoning on that point.

      Never heard anything back. If someone here can point out a flaw in my “double-counting” reasoning, I’m all ears.

      1. Plenue

        >Well, Goldmoney and the guy who taught me Austrian economics both agree it is not a scam.

        “The guy who taught me a scam assures me this other thing isn’t a scam.”

        Hahaha, Mish.

      2. ewmayer

        Corrigenda: ‘Cryptocurrency…’ and ‘e-mail exchange we had in late April 2013

  26. tongorad

    Heart warming to see that the Obamas kept their home purchase at a tasteful 8.1 mil. A real man of the people, that one.
    I guess all that Hope and Change paid off for somebody.

    1. JustAnObserver

      How long before the accumulated speaking fees cover that purchase ? So far, as I recall, they’re at 2x$400K + $3.2M = $4M, a shade under 1/2 way there.

    2. robnume

      And, tongorad, so did the “Audacity” pay off for that one. I always thought that he should have just let “The Audacity” stand as the title of his “book.”

  27. Jessica

    About Brzenski and Carter, they also supported the Khmer Rouge _after_ the killing fields were well known.

  28. Oregoncharles

    “Judge Smacks NYPD For Its ‘Gotcha’ Tactics In Forfeiture Public Records Lawsuit”
    IOW: the cops stole the money, and that’s why they’re frantic to cover up the records. If there are records.

    1. Peter VE

      The Guardian wins the prize for best use of covfefe: “The invitation list for this year’s conference is a veritable covfefe of big-hitters from geopolitics”.

  29. Oregoncharles

    From the Dean Baker article on IP rights: ” This gap — more than $360 billion — is equal to almost 2 percent of GDP. It is almost a third of after-tax corporate profits.

    And that’s just for prescription drugs. Add in the rents from patent and copyright protection in medical equipment, pesticides, fertilizers, seed crops, software, video games, and other areas and the figure could easily be twice as high. In other words,” TWO THIRDS of ALL after-tax profits.

    And right there is the reason for the problem, as well as the cost to society: IP is big business’ chief source of profit! Without it, the whole system shrinks by two-thirds. Which also means they’re ripping off the economy by about that much.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Very meta observation: that would be clearer if the quote marks showed up better, but I doubt you can do much about that.

      From “that gap” to “in other words” is Baker. In future, I’ll paragraph quotes more clearly.

    2. Pat

      One of the strongest areas for the US in the TPP and TTiP from what could be told were the patent protections, in that they extended the US’s ridiculous level and terms of patent protections throughout the whole system. Those figures about profit makes it clear why so many refuse to let TPP die and are trying to save the other two monsters.

      I am still amused by the person who thought that telling the public if TPP isn’t signed ‘The Sound of Music” would go into public domain throughout much of the world. Yeah, people hanging on by their fingernails were going to rush to save something that meant the continuing profits for motion picture that was made fifty years ago feed the bottom line of a major film company. I’ve worked in the business and I think corporately owned films, television, books should go into public domain after fifty years. Sure they might be able to copyright characters to protect their presentation, but for the most part they should have gotten their profits by then. (I fully admit there is a case for individual copyright extension, but even that I would end at 75 years, there is no reason for children to be receiving royalties several decades after the death of the author).

  30. Jim Haygood

    Trifecta today in the markets — S&P 500, Nasdaq (Composite and 100), and Dow Industrials (first time since March 1st) all busting out to record highs.

    Our Thumper sector model didn’t fare as well, undershooting the S&P by 2.60% during May while invested in XLF (Financial sector). Chart:

    For June, Thumper switches to XLK (Technology) in a catch-up attempt.

  31. Plenue

    >As Isis massacres families enjoying ice cream in Baghdad, this Ramadan could be even bloodier than previous years Independent.

    The jihadi types always start to do more spectacular massacres far from the frontlines the more they lose on the battlefield. ISIS is collapsing rapidly now, they simply don’t have the manpower or equipment to hold their ground on so many fronts anymore. They’re clinging on to three neighborhoods in Mosul; the Iraqi army has already withdrawn its best troops for use elsewhere and left the final mop up to military police units. It remains to be seen whether they’ll try and make a stand in Raqqa (which apparently isn’t their capital anymore; they announced they’d moved that to Deir Ezzor, a city they still have yet to actually capture all of), but they don’t actually have any chance of winning if they do make a stand. The Syrian Army has been capturing huge swaths of territory from ISIS in the last few weeks in its push to link up with the Kurdish forces besieging Raqqa (what happens when they make contact I don’t know. I would imagine the SAA is perfectly happy to let the Kurds and Americans do the blood-shedding to take Raqqa though). ISIS could of course just be trying to conserve and consolidate their forces for a final spectacular push somewhere, but they’re besieged on so many fronts even a successful offensive wouldn’t change much in the overall strategic situation.

    As for AQ in the region, they’re even weaker than ISIS: Zawahiri recently ordered the ‘opposition’ to start switching to guerrilla tactics and avoid big conventional battles. Their failed Aleppo offensives fundamentally broke them. The most they’ve been able to do since is slow down SAA operations by inflicting heavy loses with American TOW missiles they got from *somewhere*.

    All in all it really does seem like the proxy stage of the war on Syria is over. Now things either start to quiet down, or the various foreign supporters of the ‘opposition’ choose to escalate by more directly intervening.

  32. Plenue

    >Inside Tehran’s monument to US ‘arrogance’

    I mean, the Iranians aren’t wrong about anything from what the article shows and says. In retrospect it’s surprising they didn’t turn the embassy into a museum before now.

  33. Lambert Strether

    That Daily Mail article on Clinton at ReCode. Wowsers. It’s amazing and horrible to watch this play out in public.

    It’s worth noting that the Russia hysteria had its official launch in a campaign debate, with Clinton calling Trump a Russian puppet. At that point, everyone who was anyone thought Clinton would win.

    Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate, I’m guessing Putin Derangement Syndrome would have been deployed in any case had Clinton won, possibly as a method of ginning up war with Russia. When Clinton lost, they repurposed the same play to explain the loss (and create epistemic closure in their base (ka-ching)).

    Now we have Clinton supporters smearing Nina Turner as a Russian stooge (see today’s Water Cooler). So one can imagine the assault on the left (and Sanders supporters in particular) had Clinton won. Unity is very important in wartime, and we can’t have the enemy within getting in our way….

  34. Cal

    The Hooligans are doing us a public service by getting the Jeeps off the road in the U.S.
    They are dangerous, roll-over prone pieces of junk.

    After the Suzuki Samurai,, the worst car out there according to Consumer Reports.

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