Links 6/13/17

Dear patient readers:

Any lawyers who do copyright in the house and are current on case law? This isn’t for NC as a businesses, it’s to sanity check a different matter. If you can spend 15 mins or so with me on the phone in the next day or so, please ping me at with “Copyright” in the subject line. Also please let me know how and when in the PM/evening EDT would be a good time to reach you. Thanks!

The three-minute story of 800,000 years of climate change with a sting in the tail The Conversation (furzy)

Look at This Massive Click Fraud Farm that Was Just Busted In Thailand Motherboard (resilc)

Can a Single Injection Conquer PTSD? The Army Wants to Find Out Wall Street Journal (Dan K). Resilc sent this version: U.S. Army Commissions $2M Study for Shots Treating PTSD Daily Beast. “Shoot them up and send them back. USA USA.”


China’s New Bridges: Rising High, but Buried in Debt New York Times (resilc)

Why China Is No Climate Leader Politico (UserFriendly)


A small rise in summer temperatures in India could result in a big jump in heat-related deaths The Scroll (J-LS)

Unemployment is Up Because ‘Make in India’, Other Official Schemes Aren’t Working The Wire (J-LS)

Angela Merkel’s Anti-Trump Alliance Crumbling ahead of G-20 Der Spiegel (resilc)

Europe turned upside down by political upheavals Politico

Two More Spanish Banks Hit By Contagion: Another Deflationary Bust Coming Up Michael Shedlock (EM)

UK Election Aftermath

May tells MPs: I got us into this mess and I will get us out BBC. Why should anyone not think that this is doubling down on failure?

Austerity is over, May tells Tories The Times. And I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…..

Queen’s speech may be delayed, No 10 suggests Guardian

Queen’s Speech delayed because it has to be printed on goatskin paper that takes days for ink to dry Telegraph. Quit the effort the Telegraph is making to boost May.

Election 2017: Why Queen’s Speech is a big test for May BBC

Theresa May’s desperation could undo peace in Northern Ireland. New Republic (resilc). Not news to NC readers.

UK coalition government driven by corporation tax cutters Tax Justice Network

Did Young Voters Swing the 2017 UK General Election Result? Institute for New Economic Thinking. Turns out older voters are part of the story too.

How Theresa May lost it Politico (UserFriendly). A deep dive. Lots of detail.


96% drop in EU nurses registering to work in Britain since Brexit vote Guardian

Brussels insists on power to control euro clearing after Brexit Financial Times. This is less aggressive than the original ECB/French position, of requiring that Euro derivatives clearing be domiciled in the EU. Now the test seems to be systemic importance. But with the LCH accounting for, what, 90% of Euro derivatives clearing, is this a distinction without a difference?


Emails Expose How Saudi Arabia and UAE Work the U.S. Media to Push for War Alternet (Chuck L)

Qatar on the Back Foot: Even Without “Shock and Awe” Trump’s Foreign Policy Lurks Behind Renewed Crisis in the Middle East Counterpunch

Flying Cows to Qatar Is One Man’s Way to Beat the Saudis Bloomberg (Brian C)

Rand Paul: Think Twice Before Sanctioning Iran National Interest (resilc)

Next Year In The New Jerusalem American Conservative

New Cold War

Oliver Stone on Vladimir Putin: ‘The Russian people have never been better off’ Guardian

Oliver Stone Reveals a Vulnerable Putin Consortiumnews (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Army Captain says country’s military ‘not best in the world anymore’ The Independent (JTM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Internet Of Things Is Becoming More Difficult To Escape NPR

Trump Transition

Senate strikes deal to rein in Trump on Russia sanctions The Hill

Attorneys general to sue over foreign payments to Trump hotels Asia Times

Trump as Julius Caesar: anger over play misses Shakespeare’s point, says scholar Guardian

Trail of Fears New Republic (resilc). Subhead: “Forget Nixon. Trump is more like Andrew Jackson than Tricky Dick—and the consequences of his crimes will be far more devastating.”

Secret Service Has No Audio or Transcripts of Any Tapes Made in Trump White House Wall Street Journal. In response to WSJ FOIA. Subhead: “Agency’s response to FOIA request doesn’t exclude possibility of recordings created by other entity.”

A Trump Cabinet Meeting Turned into a Bizarre Ass-Kissing Contest Vice

Trump’s “Special Relationship” Just Got More Complicated Vanity Fair (resilc)

Ex-U.S. Attorney Bharara tells of ‘unusual’ calls he received from Trump Reuters. EM: “Ooh! Ooh! another ‘uncomfortable feelings’ smoking gun!”

Delta, Bank of America pull sponsorship of ‘Julius Caesar’ production over Trump-like portrayal Reuters (EM)


Republican senators are privately crafting a health care bill, raising alarm from Democrats PBS (Kevin C)

Think Your Liberal Governor Will Protect You From Trumpcare? You’re Wrong. Mother Jones

Can Democrats Fix the Party? Rolling Stone (resilc). Assumes they want to.

Three Takeaways From Bernie Sanders’ Speech At The People’s Summit Bustle. UserFriendly:

I’m at the people’s summit in Chicago and Bernie just gave one hell of a barn burner. He was brutal towards the Democratic establishment. Condemned them up and down, more than the usual. There was a bunch of people from the ‘Draft Bernie to form an independent party’ movement and they interrupted Bernie with chants a few times and had a banner they put on the balcony. Roseann Demoro of NNU was hosting it and came on after Bernie’s speech while he was still on stage and as soon as she gets the mic she says “I have to say to the Draft Bernie people I’m with you.” Crowd goes wild. “Nursers are you with them?” Crowd goes wild. “Everyone else, you with them?” Crowd goes wild. Bernie never responded and then they moved on to a Q and A with Bernie. There was definitely at least 15% of the crowd that wasn’t for it but it was absolutely great. I have no clue if the MSM is gonna cover it but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Goldman Sachs-backed Firm Invests Big in Shipping Tar Sands by Train Along Keystone XL Route DeSmog Blog

Jerry Springer for governor? In Ohio, Democrats push Business Insider. UserFriendly: “Kill Me!!!”

Chase Iron Eyes Intercept Interview on DAPL YouTube (Thomas R)

A Time of Hope Ian Welsh (martha r)

Soaring Auto Loan Defaults: Fitch Says 2015 May Be Worst Ever, Mish Says 2017 Will Be Even Worse Michael Shedlock (EM)

How Badly Must a C.E.O. Behave Before His Pay Is Clawed Back? Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Class Warfare

Forced to Endure Extreme Heat, Prisoners Are Casualties of Texas’ Climate Denial, Documents Show TruthOut

Cash-strapped Houston sells off $2M worth of city streets Houston Chronicle (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Chet G:

Between the last week of May and first week of June, the female snapping turtles leave the pond (of the Toftrees game land) to search for a place to dig a nest and lay eggs. This year, the date fell on May 28, during which I encountered five snappers (four working on nests and a fifth searching).

I’ve no idea how local the activity, whether other snappers choose different days and so on, but it is marvelous seeing so many snapping turtles being productive.

And a bonus (Robert H):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Anonymous2

    Comment on BBC radio morning was that the DUP will demand terms that damage Sinn Fein. If true that would mean HMG abandoning the neutral stance which the Northern Ireland agreement requires of them. They could not honourably do this – though of course they could dishonourably do so. Might this be too much even for some Tories to stomach?

    Perhaps we are heading for another UK election shortly?

    My solution -we need another Tory leadership election, followed by another General Election, followed by another referendum, in that order.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      One should not expect better of a party called “lower than vermin” by the father of the NHS, Nye Bevan. The Tories and some Liberals did it a century ago, breaking up the union with Ireland.

      With regard to Sinn Fein, do they ever wonder whether the ends justify the means, in this instance SF MPs taking up their seats in the Commons and swearing allegiance to HM, but voting to bring down the May-DUP alliance.

      Even worse, perhaps, than the Tories “playing with fire”, as described by former negotiators Peter Hain, Charles Powell and Sean Woodward last week-enf, was the suggestion that the State Opening of Parliament be delayed and, so interfering with Royal Ascot (next week and, for racing enthusiasts Ambrit and Montana Maven, to be televised on NBC). Henry VIII knew what to do with ministers and officials who messed up.

      1. ambrit

        I’ll try to find a stream of it on the Internet too. More granularity I hope.
        The last time I remember that the opening of Parliament was “messed up” was in Cromwells’ day? Maybe, but the present Queen could take a page from her namesake predecessor and refuse to countenance this “Opening” for reasons of State Policy.

      2. clinical wasteman

        Thanks, Colonel, for raising exactly the question I had been wondering about these last few days — not Ascot, but what would happen if SF were to take the Westminster seats on emergency tactical grounds, i.e. the future of the Irish borders and/or the undermined terms of the current compromise. It doesn’t seem likely given the weight of Irish Republican tradition on this point and SF’s recent emphasis on the Dáil, but then again it’s hard to see how it’s a bigger deal than signing up to something that renounced or at least made spectral the constitutional claim to all 32 counties.
        (Note to Plutonium Kun, Darn and others in Ireland on either side of the current border, along with anyone else for whom the history of this suspended war matters acutely: none of the above is meant as an endorsement of any of the existing or historical parties/movements/para//militaries. Not as mealy-mouthed “neutrality” either: just an attempt to discuss the immediate situation with the same sort of care taken in others’ previous comments to avoid replaying the whole thing.)

    2. PlutoniumKun

      May has no feeling for Irish issues, she opposed the original power sharing agreement. Whatever you think of Blair and Cameron, both were attentive to Northern Ireland and were willing to listen. May has a bad record on this and there is every chance she will do something stupid. To make matters worse, the new Irish PM, Leo Varadkar, has demonstrated a bad tin ear when it comes to Northern Ireland issues in the past (the very last thing the outgoing PM did was call May to ask her to tread sensitively). A lot depends on whether the DUP will be content to be bought off, or whether they will try to damage SF.

      I very much doubt there will be another election soon. The Tories have a very strong self protective instinct and they know they could end up beaten badly if there was a rerun. My feeling from a browse of some of the newspapers is that they will let May run for a couple of years and let her take the beating of everything due to go wrong, with the hope of putting in a fresh face for an election post Brexit.

      1. vlade

        I’ve heard from senior Tories that they basically gave up on the next election, unless Labour manages to blow itself up. They just hope now that they don’t stay in wild for a generation.

        TBH, the smartest strategic move Tories could do – and I have no clue why they don’t do it, apart from arrogance – is that they would hand the government to Labour. Labour would have to work VERY VERY hard to get anything across, and at the same was visible everywhere. Tories could, at their leasure, get a new leadership, and watch Labour likely to struggle in parliament (where Tories and DUP could outvote them most of the time). But no, they just keep digging.

        1. Anonymous2

          I can understand the thinking but the danger for the Tories is he could call an early election which would mean a large Labour win and five years of Corbyn. He could easily shoot their fox by going for Hard Brexit, saying this was what the Tories wanted anyway and was fulfilling the referendum mandate, so deflecting the blame for adverse consequences. He could radically rearrange the political furniture in the UK by nationalising natural monopolies, expanding the public sector, requiring newspapers/media to be owned and controlled by UK nationals resident in the UK (gets rid of Murdoch unless one of his sons gets sent here). Hard Brexit gives him the chance to build ‘socialism in one country’ outside the restrictions of the EU.

          If I was him I would also introduce PR at the end of the life of the Parliament so that it would be extraordinarily difficult for the Tories to reverse his changes (I do not think they have ever won more than 50% of the popular vote, always relying on FPTP to give them majorities). Labour and Liberal Democrats have normally garnered more votes than the Tories but lost out by dividing the ‘progressive’ vote. The LibDems would normally ally with Labour as most of them naturally incline left more than right. They only allied with the Tories in 2010 because the election result only allowed them that option for a coalition and they wanted to get into government to show that they were a ‘serious party’.

          I see Simon Wren-Lewis thinks the Tories are faced with Zugschwang, which is apparently a chess position when whatever move you make gives you a weaker position than the one you currently occupy. Perhaps he is right? Could not happen to a nicer set of people given their proposal to scrap Leveson 2 (enquiry into criminal activities at the Murdoch newspapers) betraying the victims of the Hacking scandal.

          1. vlade

            He can’t call early election w/o Tories. You need 3/5ths of the parliament.

            It’s very likely that Labour got a lot of soft-brext/remain votes, so he he was going to do a May on it, Tories would say go for it. Doubt that the excuse “but Tories wanted me to do it” would fly for Labour voters though.

            All the other things you name – for ALL of them he would need to get some Tories or DUP across. DUP hates Corbyn even more than Tories do.

            And that is assuming that LD/SNP/Greens would support all those. For example, SNP would never support PR, because only right now it can have 30+ votes (about 5% of the seats) with around 3% of votes. Same goes for DUP (basically, NI and Scotland are over-represented in terms of votes/MP in Westminster).

            And if a lower-bound was introduced (common for PR systems), even Green could suffer.

            1. vlade

              More on PR – not even Greens would suffer, any of the nationalist parties would be pretty much banned from the parliament if the threshold was set as low as 5% (common in PR). Scottish population (about 5m IIRC) considerably less than 10% of the UK’s (about 65m IIRC), so basically you’d have to whole Scotland vote SNP for them to get in – just. PC in Wales would be even worse off (about 3m), and NI would never ever (with it’s population of not even 2m) be able to send anyone to Westminster unless you’d have no threshold.

              No threshold means all sorts of piddly parties (one-man types) can (and do) get in. Say BNP would all of sudden be likely in Westminster (for those outside of the UK, BNP is sort of UK neo-nazis). UK politcs would be even worse than it is for a while, until they would figure out how to do and run coalitions.

              1. Chris

                Preferential voting might be a better option than PR. First-past-the-post seems so archaic, and regularly throws up a result at odds with the expressed will of the constituency.

            2. Anonymous2

              He could simply refuse to form a government, throw the ball back at the Tories, demand an election. If they say it is too difficult with their number of seats, why should Labour try?

              Public opinion would demand an election if both the largest parties were refusing to form a government. The Tories would take the blame.

              That is my take anyway.

              My proposals for a Corbyn government are what I imagine he would put in his next manifesto, which he might well be able to push through if the next election result gave him an overall majority, as it could. It is what would frighten the Tories, I reckon.

              1. purplepencils

                I don’t know if it’s mere posturing (like a dare they know the Tories won’t accept, partly because the thought of Corbyn as PM seems to be anathema to them) but it’s like Labour is itching to form a government.

                1. Anonymous2

                  The role of the Queen could get interesting if that is the case. I do not know of any constitutional precedents, but if May was to offer to resign and recommend she appoint Corbyn Prime Minister, I think it would pose a problem for the Crown. OK, if Corbyn says he will try to form a Government but is well short of a majority, does the Queen accept May’s resignation if the next stage is a Labour government which is incapable of getting anything through Parliament, such as a Queen’s speech or any supply measures? No doubt the Queen’s advisers would have views. If I was them, I think I would be inclined to tell May to stay on until such time as Corbyn had established that he could form an effective government. There is still a view that the Queens business must continue to be done. Putting in a government which even with all the support from all potential allies had fewer seats than the main opposition party would in many people’s eyes make a mockery of the system. I think the Queen would be very unhappy at that happening. The Crown is one part of the UK system which still has some credibility. They will be determined to prevent that being damaged by idiot politicians.

                  On the wild side, of course a Corbyn administration could make every motion in the Commons a confidence vote thereby forcing the Tories to vote through the whole Labour programme or face a general election.

                  And of course May has said she was responsible for the mess so she will clear it up, so I do not think she would be allowed to slip away easily.

                  We live in mad times.

                  1. uncle tungsten

                    Thank you anonymous2, we do live in mad times. The Queen can see that she will be delivered a speech from one or the other governments, one of which offers to rule in coalition with a very disturbing party – the DUP. It is worth remembering all the people that were terribly killed and survivors whose lives were injured and the decades it took to stop the slaughter. The Queen is one of those people. Her very close relative and a man of great charm and importance to the Windors was blow to pink mist as he stood on the deck of his yacht. May proposes to deliver Elizabeth a speech in company with one of the parties that brought the ‘troubles’ into the streets. This could be too much to swallow for Elizabeth and the country.

                    On the other hand Corbyn can deliver a speech (if he gets support) that will keep the lid on the ‘troubles’ issue and likely propose a way forward that will be constrained by the balance of numbers in the parliament until the next election. I know it is all hypothetical but the human side is what politics is all about. The UK is under immediate threat by ISIS and the community can see no end to it.

                    Corbyn is mighty clear that he is primarily a peacemaker, not a centurion advocate, not a wrecker of other people and their countries. He avoids coalition with warmongers indeed he stands up to them with wisdom.

                    If you were in Elizabeth’s position which speech would you prefer when you are in your last years of reign.

            3. begob

              It’s 2/3 of the Commons, so your point stands. But a vote of no-confidence will also break the term. Given that the 4 freedoms are non-negotiable, it’s hard to see an advantage for Labour in assuming the Brexit negotiations.

              As one of the judges said in the Supreme Court Brexit hearings: “time for another turn of the kaleidoscope!”

              Fascinating to watch this play out, but it’s a genuine tragedy. Could end in food riots and violence.

          2. Procopius

            I believe the end results of Brexit are going to be so bad that whichever party is stuck with negotiating it is going to be a pariah for a generation.

        2. purplepencils

          This puzzles me too. From a strategic viewpoint, I would let Corbyn have his shot. It’s a hell of a job, at the moment, especially with his numbers and Brexit. Particularly since they seem to be leaning towards no free movement but single market?!

  2. fresno dan

    That’s not a typo on the top right. Incomes for the top 0.001% richest Americans surged 636% during the 34-year period. Wow.

    There’s more. “The average pretax income of the bottom 50% of US adults has stagnated since 1980, while the share of income of US adults in the bottom half of the distribution collapsed from 20% in 1980 to 12% in 2014,” writes Howard Gold, founder and editor of GoldenEgg Investing, in the Chicago Booth blog.
    Natural evolution of a modernizing economy……/sarc
    Noted many, many times – but IMHO can never be noted enough. So, was the government oppressing the rich or propping up the middle class? What ever they stopped or started, I would posit it explains a lot of the current unhappiness …

    1. allan

      Thank you. There have been a number of articles recently (some of them linked to at NC),
      with the meme, “Forget the 1%. The 20% are the oppressors”. Whenever you see a bunch of allegedly unrelated articles and op-eds with the same theme popping up at the same time,
      it’s time for some game theory skepticism. Income gains for all but the top few percent (depending on which time series is being used) have been minimal or negative for decades.

      FD, I hope you’re recovering and feeling better.

      1. Mike

        True, the blather about the top 20% is economically incorrect, but my take on its meaning is that you can bank on the top 20% being “sycophant-prone”, hoping to cash in on the gains of the ultra-tops in more ways than licking the dirt of their Gucci shoes. Many within the professional middle class will kick down when offered the chance if their economic security and possible large estate are dangled within eyeshot.

        Also, we must beware of political alliance with the top 20% anyway, as it is partly populated by what I call “swingers” – those who follow opportunism as a principled philosophy, and will betray the side that once offered “advantage”. Just class politics as usual, methinks.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        Much of the recent flurry of publicity around the top 20% has to do with the new book by Richard Reeves. (Reeves’ argument is basically inter-generational: the 20% are not only pulling away from the bottom but doing all they can to ensure their kids have a leg up in the “meritocratic” competition to fill those jobs going forward.) But I do agree that the either/or framing (the problem is either the top 1% or the top 20%) is an effort to change the target.

        IMO, both are true. Yes, the top very small fraction are absconding with a disgraceful portion of the spoils. And yes, the number of good jobs in the economy has shrunk dramatically and advantaged parents are, unsurprisingly, doing everything they can to give their kids a leg (or two) up.

        I’m not sure there was ever a time when parents didn’t do what Reeves accuses the top 20% of doing. It has just become more obvious as the number of good jobs has shrunk. (I haven’t read the Reeves book – perhaps someone else has a more informed take – but it sounds like he is taking the traditional liberal position, that access to whatever good jobs we have should be relatively equally available to all, rather than the left position that we need more good jobs.)

        1. JTFaraday

          I’m thinking we’ve just moved the overton window again. Seems to me that traditionally left meant socialist/communist and (American) liberals knew they needed sufficient opportunities to keep a lid on discontent.

    2. Procopius

      The way I read the numbers, it looks like bottom half incomes started stagnating around 1973, not 1980. I know all Democrats want to blame Reagan, but it seems like the real culprit was Jimmy Carter and his deregulation, which I was enthusiastic about at the time. At least that was the trigger.

    1. kurtismayfield

      I love how the girl is recording herself “LOOK AT ME” when the cat comes over and demonstrates how far up the evolutionary scale we truly are.

      1. taunger

        Or maybe she was making a video so she could discern what posture she needs to correct in her headstand.

        1. kurtismayfield

          Look behind the cat.. she bends on purpose. She is making an instructional piece showing people how to do the bend.

      2. a different chris

        I didn’t look any further than what was here, but it is possible that the girl was recording this just to improve her form and not for public consumption — until the cat happened.

        update: ah taunger beat me to it, need to remember to refresh…

  3. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    Re the politico piece on May’s campaign, it seemed in some ways very much Clinton redux; this in particular reminded me of Hillary in Texas, not Michigan:

    “Internally, eyebrows were raised at the “aggressive strategy” of targeting seats with comfortable Labour majorities in the final week of the campaign despite a major tightening in the polls. Representations were made to the Tory high command that it was too optimistic but were ignored, one senior campaign official said.

    An analysis by the Guardian found the prime minister spent more than half the campaign in Labour-held seats, and just a fifth of her stops were in Tory marginals. Corbyn, on the other hand, who attended a total of 90 rallies during the short campaign, visited many areas where the Labour party had a sizeable majority.”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I was thinking that too when it was reported that May was targeting Labour strongholds for her personal campaigning – I could remember 9 months ago how ‘serious people’ were saying that HRC doing the same thing was all part of a confident and agressive strategy of forcing Trump on the defensive. And they were saying absolutely identical things when May was doing it. Pure hubris, not to mention lousy strategy.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Many of our less talented political elite see people as easily manipulated and believe voters exist on a single linear dimension. Much like basketball is a theoretical race to a 100 (this is what the 24 second shot clock is supposed to lead to a situation where the first team to a 100 wins with no time left to make a run), the political elites functionally believe in a childish view of politics as a race to the center. Corbyn didn’t move (from a foreign viewpoint), but May’s platform was not seemingly terrible, a far cry from her usual self.

        Since many are psychopaths or so shallow, they cant comprehend individual voters are attracted to the appearance of integrity, might have different weighted views based on temporal factors, TINA doesn’t work forever or even how non voters becoming voters works because of their dedication to Goldilocks politics.

        While Trump did whatever and Corbyn remained an old time Labour MP, May and Hillary zigzagged and saw weakness undermining their own positions. I’m not sure a talented May could have done better against Corbyn given her and Cameron’s government.

        1. Susan the other

          “individual voters are attracted to the appearance of integrity”… and you can’t fake it… Yes, that’s true. Both Theresa and Hillary seem to have a mindset that you can stand up in front of an audience and do some rendition of an honorable person that will fool people. Because both campaigns were choreographed to achieve the correct impression. They could both take lessons in authenticity from Marine – who had her problems, but lack of authenticity was not one of them. Both Hillary and Theresa fell apart on stage, in front of cameras. Neither one of them had the heart to believe in the right things, let alone say them. They both made me cringe.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Huh? May was 20 points ahead and Labour was supposed to be on its way to a defeat that some feared would be the permanent end of the party as a force in British politics. It was her lousy campaigning (and her dreadful Manifesto, which she didn’t test, even people outside her inner circle) and Corbyn’s sparkling performance that led to the reversal of fortunes. She would have lost some ground re Corbyn, but she had a remarkable number of unforced errors.

    2. Skip Intro

      Now we need to see the results correlated with her campaign stops. Did she lower or increase the Labour margin in Labour seats she visited?

    3. a different chris

      This is kindof a messed up phrase, though, not sure what they were trying to tell me?

      “just a fifth of her stops were in Tory marginals. Corbyn, … visited many areas where the Labour party had a sizeable majority”

      So May ignored possible flips from her party, but so did Corbyn, at least that is what it says. Thus apparently they were both campaigning in “Labor majority” areas, where it seems like they should have been shoring up their own marginals.

      1. Anonymous2

        But perhaps if she had concentrated on Tory marginals, they would have lost more seats?

  4. MoiAussie

    Further to the discussion of Paris, coal and economics here recently, there was a telling article today that revealed some of the subtle forces involved.

    Adani coal ‘welcome’ part of India’s future electricity supply, says country’s Power Minister.

    Adani is the Indian company wanting to open a massive new coal mine in Australia to export to India. But India has lots of its own coal, and currently more electricity supply than it needs, so why would this be? India’s Power minister Piyush Goyal explains.

    Mr Goyal is an enthusiastic supporter of India’s policy of coal self sufficiency, saying yesterday, “As far as India is concerned … we do not wish to import any coal from anywhere in the world”. “We have sufficient coal capacity.”

    Asked whether he supported Adani’s plan to import 60 million tonnes of coal a year from Queensland, the Power Minister said he did — if it meant cheaper power.

    “If any mine in the world supplies it in a cost-efficient manner, which helps me keep my power cost low, I will welcome it,” he said.

    The minister said India was saddled with needing to import coal because “myopic” previous governments did not develop local resources, prompting generators to build plants requiring import grade coal.

    “So we are in a way helpless. We have to continue to import that coal,” he said.

    So it’s a mixture of bad planning – building power stations that require high grade coal – and importing coal to reduce the cost of power generation. Clearly, the forces that determine whether coal is mined and transported around the world are economic ones, and have little if anything to do with Paris.

    1. a different chris

      Bad planning? Although still awful from a CO2 standpoint, there is a difference in coal. Maybe they actually wanted to make the air a little less visibly, anyway, choking?

      1. a different chris

        …but yeah to the convoluted mish-mash of, we’ll call it Goyal-speak. Can he actually commit to something and explain why? No? I guess that’s how he got to such a high position, sigh.

        1. MoiAussie

          He is rather confusing/confused. And then there’s this I just spotted:

          Adani plans to export low quality, high ash coal to India, court told.

          According to sworn evidence to the Land Court in Queensland, Adani plans to ship polluting, low-energy coal to India. A report to the court made on its behalf said the Carmichael mine would produce “two coal products”.

          “Product one, a low ash/moderate energy product most suitable for Asian premium markets,” the report said. “And product two, a high ash/lower energy product most suitable for non-premium markets, particularly India.”

          So the coal bound for India could be a fairly low-grade product.

          I suppose that would explain how India could lower its power generation costs by using imports, in return for more pollution. Seems Goyal may be BS-ing about the why.

          1. a different chris

            Lordy. And I did have a hard time typing “maybe they wanted [relatively cleaner air]” so it’s OK to laugh at me for doing it, I sure am.

            Occam’s razor really stops working when you get to the behaviors of people occupying that sort of rarefied, um, air.

          2. uncle tungsten

            In addition AFAIK the top coal layer is poor quality and some 20 years of extraction is needed to get to the lower, high quality coal. I am sure Goyal is bs in favor of Adani. Australia had a lad called Allan Bond who behaved in the same way as Adani behaves. Many investors lost everything.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Coal is always very expensive to transport by land. Thats why China, even with all its vast inland reserves, still needs to import to its coastal cities – its simply cheaper to ship it from north America or Australia. Its a very good reason why campaigns to shut down coal mines in Australia and Canada really matter – it won’t be displaced by domestic sources in India or China or elsewehere, it drives up the costs significantly.

      1. MoiAussie

        Its a very good reason why campaigns to shut down coal mines in Australia and Canada really matter

        Well good luck with that. Much as I’d cheer if the Galilee Basin mines never got off the ground, Federal and State governments here are so desperate for a handful of jawbs and the royalties, that they seem likely to lend Adani $1B AUD to build the railway it needs. The banks won’t touch it, as they fear a stranded asset. Rather than less mines, governments here want more, though they might trade some coal exports for uranium ones.

        You have to understand how utterly dependent on resource exports the Oz economy is. Iron ore, Alumina, Coal, Gas, Gold, and Crude. >$150B AUD in 2014. (We export crude oil because we no longer have the ability to refine it. We get our petrol from Singapore.) Agricultural exports are tiny by comparison.

        1. uncle tungsten

          More than the rail link, almost 300km of water pipeline is needed. Plus the water which currently is in a dam and used for agriculture. Then there is a one gigawatt power station that needs to be built. All this before one bucket is put in a railway wagon. It is not feasible.

          The calculations for a feasible project require coal price to be greater than $110/ton.

          The project is a sham and the governments squawking support are obscene.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If it drives up the costs significantly, the question becomes, ‘is it still cheaper to ship it from Australia’ than sourcing it domestically in India or China overland, say, from Shaanxi to Tianjin?

        And American coal is shipped first by rail to a coastal port, before crossing the Pacific.
        That first leg can’t be too cheap.

        Then, there is the third leg of the journey, from a coastal Chinese port city to the power plant, with an additional comparative cost question of whether Chinese coal can be shipped directly to that same location (one leg journey).

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If it drives up the costs significantly, the question becomes, ‘is it still cheaper to ship it from Australia’ than sourcing it domestically in India or China overland, say, from Shaanxi to Tianjin?

        And American coal is shipped first by rail to a coastal port, before crossing the Pacific.
        That first leg can’t be too cheap.

        Then, there is the third leg of the journey, from a coastal Chinese port city to the power plant, with an additional comparative cost question of whether Chinese coal can be shipped directly to that same location (one leg journey).

  5. katiebird

    The Cabinet Office has confirmed that the speech is not printed on vellum, which is made of calfskin, but goatskin paper which also takes a few days for ink to dry.

    However, despite its name, goatskin paper is not actually made from goatskin.

    The material is in fact high-quality archival paper which is guaranteed to last for at least 500 years.

    Oh, my! I have read countless headlines and stories mentioning the Goatskin Paper — this (Queen’s Speech delayed because it has to be printed on goatskin paper that takes days for ink to dry) is the first to explain that it isn’t actually goatskin at all.

    Not important but interesting since I was actually starting to wonder about how weird it is that goatskin would be used at all…

    1. a different chris

      Thereby completely missing how weird it is that they have a Queen in 2017… just teasing you!!

      1. clinical wasteman

        No need for it to be kidding: it’s as grotesque as it is in Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, etc; actually worst of all in the UK and the Netherlands where more or less viable republics were established in the mid-17th century, whereupon they each went on a frenzy of imperial expansion (Ireland as practice-run for the Caribbean in England/Scotland’s case) and eventually to war with each other over Who Gets The Most Slaves. Counter-revolution(s)* followed in short-order, and the dismal state forms resulting are still in place today.

        *Anti-republican but likewise pro-empire/slavery, of course.

      2. Maff

        Republicans hate it but the Queen’s popularity is completely untouchable, maybe because HM isn’t in it for a quick buck and has selflessly dedicated her entire life to the betterment of her country.

    2. CD

      Similarly, it will take some time [maybe years] before the 0s and 1s “settle” before the White House will be able to release those tapes.

      Otherwise they’ll give “spurious” playback.

  6. philnc

    The results of the UK election, particularly the high turnout of young voters, combined with continued “resistence” to change by the Democratic establishment in the US, seem to have galvanized progressives here. The mood of the movement isn’t only evident in the crowd’s response to Bernie at the Summit, but in the growing willingness of people to participate in elections not only by voting, but also by running for office (at times facing seemingly impossible odds like Long Island’s Christine Pelegrino did in winning a supposedly “safe” Republican seat in the NY state Assembly — one look at the horseshoe shape of that district underscores the importance of her achievement). There also seems to be a trend towards greater unity among progressives in common cause against the establishment, and to use whatever means are at hand (like vacant Democratic ballot lines) to accomplish the mission.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      We have a Dream Team in the White House (if you wanted a truly repugnant target for opposition, that is) and our Loyal Opposition is duly opposing him…for being a Russian stooge. I’d suggest that the average med-low information voter however would put “Russian Stooginess” very low on the list of the stuff they want from politics. Um so why is that the focus of the opposition, with an embarrassment of riches of heinous actual policies to oppose, hmm? Could it be that they also want all the rest of those heinous policies, too, and just won’t admit it?
      But it’s Charlie Brown and the football…he never did stop trying to kick it before Lucy pulled it away.

  7. WobblyTelomeres

    re: the IoT

    The problem is far far worse than many can imagine. The protocols being used are inherently broken. To frighten the pants off you, I had the opportunity to advise some young engineers implementing SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) on a boomer. They were using SNMPv2c.

    Brief nerdspeak, please bear with me. v2c uses “community strings” built into the protocol to do things like present passwords and provide indicies into managed elements. Like ports on a managed ethernet switch, 0,1,2,3,…,n-1, the community string might contain “3” indicating the inquiry is in regard to the 4th port on the switch. More frequently, community strings may contain passwords, such that any packet containing a known string is a member of the community allowed to read/set various values in the managed device. “Janice” might be a valid community string.

    These community strings are transmitted in plaintext. Anyone with a packet sniffer (a PC with an ethernet port set to promiscuous mode, for example) can simply read and display these community strings.

    After expressing my horror at their choice (on a f**king boomer for god’s sake), I strongly urged them to adopt v3 (which uses encryption and is far far more secure).

    These engineers were among the better ones I’ve encountered. The arrogant 22-24 year olds in and around San Jose wouldn’t listen to an old guy like me.

    1. MoiAussie

      The problem may be bad, but the article is worse. It’s full of tech hype and wishful thinking.

      Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, says […] “People’s businesses, homes, cars and even their clothing will be monitoring their every move, and potentially even their thoughts. […] People currently strap monitors on their bodies to tell them how many steps they take. Eventually, all fluids in and out of bodies will be monitored and recorded.”

      So welcome to the machine. That would certainly make prosecuting the war on drugs a lot easier. But is non-participation possible?

      Judith Donath of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society says that isn’t actually a choice you get.

      “People will move more deeply into connected life — and they also will be moved there whether they want to be or not,” she says. “The connection of the physical world to information networks enables the collection of an unimaginably vast amount of data about each of us, making it possible to closely model how we think and to devise increasingly effective ways of influencing how we act and what we believe”.

      People crave connection and convenience over all else, and modern-day technology serves this well.

      Sorry Judith, but not everyone. Those who want to participate in the IOT, and those who are too careless or stupid to consider whether they want to, will participate. Those who find the benefits trivial and the downside significant will not. I’ve had a Smart TV for a few years, but it has never been connected to the net, and never will be. I can stream to it without ever letting it on the net. I don’t need a device that monitors my precious bodily fluids, or a box at home to talk to. YMMV.

      Postscript: I’ll participate in the IOT when it pays me a decent check each month for that unimaginably vast amount of data I supply. And even then I’ll be faking and censoring it, connecting it to the cat, etc.

      1. a different chris

        > Those who find the benefits trivial and the downside significant will not.

        Yup. Like there may be a computer programmer (or a half-million) out there w/out a Faceborg account. The techie version of the Clintons write this crap, they think everybody is like the people they know.

        >People currently strap monitors on their bodies to tell them how many steps they take.

        Yeah, some people. For awhile. Then they start to forget…

        1. Vastydeep

          I think the tide may be turning here. Black Mirror is a whole series built around a single theme: “…that technology puppy-dog that you loved in the store window will grow up, and can bite…”

          I’m erased from FB and Google and have only Amazon retail linking me to the social media world. I’m ready for social media for shy people — local, not global, private and blockchained — something to link me to the world I’m at face to face, handshake-level already.

          I’ve already blogged about “getting off Google,” and I think the tide is ready to turn on the panopticon of social media. Now we just need to create something for people to turn to…

      2. justanotherprogressive

        Errr……what happens when you TV is programmed to connect itself to WiFi? I noticed something odd this year with my laptop. When I go to school, it automatically connects itself to the schools internet server via their WiFi – I don’t have to do a thing, not even enter a password. It recognizes me as a student and just logs me on. Why couldn’t TV’s be programmed to do the same thing? If you have WiFi in your home, why couldn’t your TV recognize that and log you on without your doing anything and without your knowledge?

        1. MoiAussie

          I never gave the TV the WiFi password. If I wanted to use WiFi with it I’d put it on a guest network that could only connect to things I explicitly permitted.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            I never gave the school’s WiFi to my laptop either….it did it automatically using the information from my registration, I guess…..

            My point is that WiFi CAN connect without your giving it your password… depends on how the TV is programmed and the arrangement the TV manufacturer has with the major carriers. Whether or not anyone is taking advantage of that is anyone’s guess….

            1. MoiAussie

              My point is that I control the WiFi network, and the TV can’t possibly connect unless I let it. If there were any neighbours nearby with unsecured networks I might worry about it connecting to those, but there aren’t.

              I’d be looking at your laptop settings if I were you. Somehow you’re configured to connect to networks without confirmation. Maybe to public ones? Or are you running some software supplied by your school that tweaks the settings?

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                justanotherprogressive: do you log into a google account, perhaps to access gmail? or does your school let google host their email? if so, then your wifi passwords may be replicated across your devices… Just saying.

              2. UserFriendly

                Cell phones do this automatically at places like airports. Probably as a deal with carriers. At least my sprint phone connected to the airport wifi that I never told it to; and that same wifi wanted money for connecting my laptop.

      3. sid_finster

        I am not sure I like the idea of anyone collecting data from my cats and then using that data to tailor marketing to them.

        It’s not like the furry little jerks have jobs or otherwise have to stick to a budget or anything.

      4. different clue

        I should think that “15%” of survey respondents who said that many people would likely resist and reject the IoT will themselves be among that “many people” who reject the IoT. So also will various Amish and Mennonite and other such stand-apart Christian groups. So also will large numbers of Evangelicals and Pentecostals and Rapturanians and Armageddonites who will reject every technology they can with a mark-of-the-beast chip in it.

        And others who wish to boycott the IoT for political or Class CounterWar Defense reasons will seek advice from the various Christian groups on how they reject the IoT from aspects of their lives.

    2. Tertium Squid

      the convenience and benefits of connectivity will continue to attract users. Evidence suggests that people value convenience today over possible future negative outcomes.


      At church Sunday I saw one of my neighbors looking on his phone reviewing his security cameras. He was checking to see how the lawn was looking.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Don’t know. I hope they used v3. They ended the conference call indicating they would. Maybe they were just appeasing the old guy seizing up on the other end of the phone call. In any case, that call was unclassified. Whatever they ended up doing is something I’m not cleared to know.

        Them: “But discovery is so easy with v2c”.
        Me: [(thinking) No s**t!] “That’s why it is a terrible idea.”

    3. fajensen

      But. SNMP v3 is lumbered with its own rather unique and vintage approach to key management. This on top of SNMP being brain-dead per design, and pretty much read-only rather than “managing” by virtue of using unguaranteed messaging (UDP) and no support for transactions.

      The stupid key management and bugs that are never, ever, fixed such as a quoting bug right in full view on the command line of the Linux snmp tool (Net-SNMP, snmpget/set) is why SNMPv2 is used, why care? The developers don’t. All retired, probably.

      NETCONF and ConfD is the thing now.

      Those “bright young things” in IoT should get out a lot more. Talk to telecom people.

  8. MoiAussie

    Senate strikes deal to rein in Trump on Russia sanctions The Hill
    The agreement imposes new sanctions including “malicious cyber activity” on behalf of Moscow, individuals supplying weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government or individuals tied to Russia’s intelligence and defense sectors.

    While the final bill, actually an Iran sanctions bill, is still being argued, it’ll be based on previous art.

    A bill from from Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) would impose financial penalties on Russia for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election, as well as its role in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. It would also codify sanctions implemented under the Obama administration by executive order.

    Obama could impose or lift sanctions by executive order, but the Senate want to take that power away from Mr. T. And the Russia meddling thing is now as good as proven, despite the lack of hard evidence.

    Will the GOP really let this get through? And is “Don’t worry, there’s evidence, but we’re not going to share it with you” going to be the messsaging going forward?

    1. SpringTexan

      The third article attacks Sanders’ “wealth” and one-time book royalties, saying he’s now in the top 1%. That’s crap and is pretty discrediting to me (I happened to look at the third article first, now I won’t bother with the first and second). In general, a good response to the ‘Sanders is wealthy” crap is this tweet: “I make more in a year as a Doctor than Bernie after 45 years in public service. GET THE F— OUTTA HERE.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Are we overpaying our doctors or are our doctors overcharging us?

        Make one in one year than a politician in 45 years?

        The top 1% make anywhere form $390,000/year or so, per household, and up. A senator is not quite there. But to almost all Americans, it’s a very good pay job. Some might consider it ‘wealthy.’

        We say we want politicians to be more like us. Us is like $51,000/year per household. Identity politics would say, like us gender-wise, race-wise, etc. Resistance to neoliberalism would say, or add, household income.

      2. Vatch

        one-time book royalties

        Thank you. The compound word “one-time” is significant. It’s laughable that there are ideological purists who try to establish their “cred” by claiming that Sanders is too right wing. Meanwhile, the Democratic party continues to be dominated by the supporters of Clinton and Obama, a couple of politicians who really are right wingers on many issues.

        1. different clue

          Perhaps some of these seeming purists are really false-flag Flying David Brockmonkeys.

  9. notabanker

    Re: The Mish article on Spanish banks.

    “Santander will tap its shareholders for €7bn in a rights issue”

    I’m assuming this will be largely financed by the ECB.
    Bad assumption?

  10. diptherio

    Jerry Springer was a long-time council-member in Cleveland, as well as mayor from ’71-’74. I wasn’t around then, but I’ve heard that he was actually pretty decent, as politicians go. He was forced from office after it came to light that he paid a prostitute…but come on, would you rather he had not paid her?

    On the whole, I think the Dems could probably do a lot worse. Also, I think you may underestimate the amount of love that people have for his ridiculous talk show.

    1. Arizona Slim

      If he didn’t pay her, he would have ended up in the same world of hurt as those Secret Service agents in Caracas.

  11. fresno dan

    Three Takeaways From Bernie Sanders’ Speech At The People’s Summit Bustle. UserFriendly:

    Thank you very, very much for that on site report UserFriendly!!!
    As NTG always says, we have one political party and its time we get two!

    1. Mike

      Listening to the whole speech at the Cambridge Union, I noticed (painfully) that he has swallowed the script on Russian hacking while not mentioning specifics (“damned emails”!). It is rather palpable that he has made some deal with the DNC establishment to include this “talking point” to be acceptable as “Democratic Party opposition speaker v. Trump”, allowing him to hype his domestic agenda . One wonders whether anyone will notice the similarities of his foreign policy to DNC/RNC mainstay, and he has not answered a pretty important question re domestic taxation – what will he tax when all the newly wealthy .1% abscond to the islands where the real bank accounts are hidden? Any plan to attach their holding here? Is he afraid to reveal such a plan, or just lacking it?

      Meanwhile, the PS speech was fire & brimstone, while keeping cards to vest on third party hopes in crowd.

      1. UserFriendly

        Every time I’ve heard him speak he has only mentioned Russia and hacking very briefly. Usually as a way to pivot to the ‘Trump didn’t win the Democrats lost’ bit. In that speech in Chicago he gave Russia one line and it was along the lines of we need to look into it. Then tore the D’s apart for losing so many state and local seats and how their failed strategy is why people still see them as the party of wall street.

  12. jfleni

    RE: The three-minute story of 800,000 years of climate change with a sting in the tail:

    Almost everyone knws this now, except the grease monkeys, the soot monkeys, and the plutocrat monkeys; so when climate change hits you between the eyes (fairly soon!), don’t forget who to blame!

    1. Susan the other

      I’m not convinced we’re getting the full story, however. I remember seeing a good NOVA documentary about 10 years ago on CO2. The point made, very clearly, was that according to ice cores going back many hundreds of thousands of years, every glaciation (ice age) was preceded by high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and accordingly we are headed for a severe glaciation based on the high levels we have now reached. That theory has never been repeated. They refer to the Gulf Stream but they never bring the point home. They just say northern Europe could get colder. So I keep thinking we are only getting half the story. If we do go crashing down into another glaciation it will be very disastrous. But it will be godawful either way. So I assume what they tell us is meant to control us.

      1. Marco

        Thank you Susan! And I’m seeing this point bubble up in other forums (mainly slashdot where sifting the wheat from the chaff is HARD work) which is why Global Climate Change is much better. If CO2 levels send the thermometer too far in either direction our goose is cooked! But you get shouted down and immediately tagged a denialist bringing up a much colder Europe.

    2. a different chris

      I think most of the plutocrat monkeys believe it, but think they will come out on top. It’s not like the entire world is expected to be uninhabitable.

      1. uncle tungsten

        The technology we have will vanish as the entire manufacturing raw material supply line is interrupted and attenuated. The capacity for civilizations to record and then recall their knowledge is clear in the archaeological record. The likelihood of being bounced back to square one is immense. It is imperative for people to overcome their inertia and change now.

        The planet killers have to be rudely confronted.

    1. MoiAussie

      In the context of young men addicted to gaming as their sole source of satisfaction, we get:

      Video games, you might say, offer a sort of universal basic income for the soul.

      I can’t begin to describe how screwed up this is. Let me try to fix it:

      Video games, you might say, offer a sort of universal basic poison for the soul.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        I’ve seen this reaction elsewhere (or perhaps I follow you on Twitter) and while yeah the phrase and the UBI metaphor is overblown and silly, so is yours.

        Video games are a recreational art form where any real-world applications of the knowledge gained are pretty attenuated… much like reading fiction.

        If cheap entertainment in the form of video games is keeping people our society has screwed over from killing themselves or lashing out in revolutionary violence I don’t see how that equates to soul-poison any more than the huge upswell of movies and mass market fiction did during the Depression. Edgar Wallace isn’t poison for the soul, and neither is A Night In The Woods.

        I fear views like yours imply a responsibility on the part of our economy’s young victims to play their assigned role and die fighting the unfair society we created for them.

        1. MoiAussie

          Someone else on twitter, I don’t go there. The article didn’t seem to me to be talking so much about screwed over people finding some harmless distraction, empowerment, and entertainment. Rather, it was about people who have so escaped into toxic artificial worlds that they no longer relate to the real world, and are screwing themselves over.

          If you spend your 20’s – the decade when you’re at your most vital and can and should be out there exploring and learning the most about anything and everything – locked away in a basement feeding your addiction, how can you hope to have a future? You’re going to be psychically and emotionally stunted for life. It’s like the Japanese phenomenon of Hikikomori.

          I don’t advocate they should “play their assigned role”, I’m totally for alternatives. But I don’t buy into the extreme victimhood thing where people give up at age 18 or 20 and choose an escape to nowhere. I’d suggest they should get out, take on some challenges, go somewhere new, plan how to hit the road if there’s really nothing for them locally, and interact meaningfully with the world and with people. As for that unfair society, it ain’t mine, I’ve been fighting against it all my life.

          1. Romancing The Loan

            Well I’m certainly not advocating withdrawing from life entirely and I don’t think the article was either (it points out that such people become far less happy in their 30s and 40s, as presumably do the parents they’re still living with) but the point about the most addictive video games being those that simulate the experience of having meaningful work to do tells a story about the economy and the motivations of the people playing these games that does not jibe with the narrative about lazy good-for-nothing kids today. In other words, if we had a jobs guarantee, they’d be there.

  13. sleepy

    For those Hillary deadenders who continually insist that the Sanders campaign was oblivious to the needs of minorities, there is this excellent short video of Nina Turner’s takedown of institutional racism. I didn’t realize that her son is a law enforcement officer.

    What I wouldn’t give to see a debate between Joy Reid and Nina Turner. . . . . .

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary dead enders are just that dead enders. As for many of the Team Blue elites, adopting Sanders as the standard bearer of the party will lead to many Democratic “strategists” becoming obsolete. Reason about the health of the party is irrelevant. To the dead enders, the party is all, and to the crooks, Brock, Brazille, Begala, etc., the party is a source of income and lifestyle. Field organizers and tablers don’t get to do TV appearances and rub shoulders with celebrities (not entirely true; I met Tim Robbins and Danny Glover. Susan was a women’s event; the people at their last stop learned Tim Robbins takes a guitar with him), but they don’t make a habit out of it. Sanders is a direct threat to appearances on CNN by grossly ignorant people.

  14. Eustass

    Thanks for the links. I really love all the work you guys do here. I’ve been looking to fill a void in my news and wondering if anyone has any NC-like tech news sites they can also recommend? Especially concerning privacy/security stuff.

  15. fresno dan

    Quite a bit of that wealth was extracted from asset-stripping the rest of America where financialization was absent, kind of a national distress sale of the fly-over places and the people in them. That dynamic, of course, produced the phenomenon of President Donald Trump, the distilled essence of all the economic distress “out there” and the rage it entailed. The people of Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin were left holding a big bag of nothing and they certainly noticed what had been done to them, though they had no idea what to do about it, except maybe try to escape the moment-by-moment pain of their ruined lives with powerful drugs.

    And then, a champion presented himself, and promised to bring back the dimly remembered wonder years of post-war well-being — even though the world had changed utterly — and the poor suckers fell for it. Not to mention the fact that his opponent — the avaricious Hillary, with her hundreds of millions in ill-gotten wealth — was a very avatar of the financialization that had turned their lives to shit. And then the woman called them “a basket of deplorables” for noticing what had happened to them.

    And now the rather pathetic false promises of President Trump, the whole MAGA thing, is unraveling at exactly the same time that the financialized economy is entering its moment of final catastrophic phase-change. The monuments to wealth — especially the stock and bond portfolios and the presumed value of real estate investments — will surrender to a process you might call price-discovery-from-Hell, revealing their worth to be somewhere between little and nothing.
    How much really is facef*ckbooking to friends videos of kitten and puppies really worth? Or buying stuff on a computer?
    I don’t know…..
    but just like people said real estate never goes down…and every debt is an asset…..

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “Pragmatism” was one of the Third Way’s buzz words. Part of the reason, the Dems are becoming particularly shrill is the fear their spell has worn off, and given Hillary setting a billion dollars on fire from her campaign alone, not to mention the various PAC money and free media she received, the Third Way can’t even claim to win elections anymore. Bill in ’92 with Perot gobbling up Conservatives, was a long time ago.

        1. John k

          Third way was just excuse to suck corp donors previously the exclusive domain of reps, didn’t actually win votes. Perot saved him, and cursed us, apparently forever, to Clinton’s. And naturally reps were pissed, who wants to share? Helping explain their animosity. But bill could blow horns, mysteriously endearing himself to blacks for all time…

    1. Jen

      “There is no numerically massive center behind the curtain. What there is instead is a tiny island of wealthy donors, surrounded by a protective ring of for-sale major-party politicians (read: employees) whose job it is to castigate too-demanding voters and preach realism.

      Those pols do so with the aid of a bund of dependably alarmist sycophants in the commercial media, most of whom, whether they know it or not, technically inhabit the low end of the 1 percent and tend to be amazed that people out there are pissed off about stuff.”

      Ouch. Yeah, Matt’s definitely off the invite list.

  16. Altandmain

    More class warfare from the Trump administration:

    IF anyone has not read this one already, this is a good read about Amazon Germany:

    NOw 5 people own as much as the bottom half of the world:

    I posted this one yesterday, but it’s well worth a read. Trump is a symptom of the problem, not the problem, as Naomi Klein notes:

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      On Amazon in Germany, I thought this was interesting (the article is definitely worth a read):

      A real fight requires the united struggle of Amazon workers around the world. The trade unions, whether it is Verdi in Germany or the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in the United States, are opposed to such a struggle because it would threaten the close relations they have established with their “own” corporations and governments.

      While I agree with the sentiment, as far as I know, neither SEIU nor the Teamsters are trying to organize Amazon warehouses in the U.S. Which is inexcusable.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      In 2014 62 people owned half the wealth, in 2016 it was down to 8 people, now it’s 5. When it’s down to 1 (sometime in late 2018) we can strangle him in the bathtub and redistribute. And usher in a golden age of peace and prosperity.

  17. fred

    “The number of nurses from the EU registering to work in the UK has dropped by 96% less than a year after the Brexit vote, official figures show.”

    Don’t dare ask what these jobs pay nor just what the nurses in the UK are doing during the work day.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Flowers for J-Yel:

    Weeks after his inauguration, President Trump held court with Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen in the Oval Office.

    The president told Ms. Yellen he considered her, like himself, a “low-interest-rate” person.

    Mr. Trump and Ms. Yellen were born two months apart in neighboring boroughs of New York City.

    Nobody here but us LIRPs (Low Interest Rate Persons), dispensing EZ-terms outer borough populism to the credit-starved masses. :-)

    Ask me how I can slash your rate.

  19. Jim Haygood

    Indebted student challenges Betsy Davos De Vos:

    A single mother of four whose wages are being garnished by the government over student loans she took out to attend a college that’s since been accused of fraud is entitled to a swift answer about whether her loans are eligible to be discharged, a federal court ruled Friday.

    Sarah Dieffenbacher, the plaintiff in the case has been seeking relief from her debt for more than two years.

    After the government ignored Dieffenbacher’s requests for relief and rejected her objection to wage garnishment, she sued the Department of Education. DoE asked the judge to have the case removed from the court system so the Department could make another decision on Dieffenbacher’s status internally. On Friday, the judge rejected that request calling it “frivolous and in bad faith.”

    The ruling highlights government attorneys’ misspelling of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s name [as “Davos”] multiple times.

    As they say in lawr skool, “Three years ago I couldn’t even spell atterny. Now I are one!

    It’s a fitting tribute to Davos Woman.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Is “frivolous and in bad faith” always unintentional? Sounds to me like the DoEd. attorneys deliberately sabotaged their case. Not that I’d want to get them in trouble for it.

  20. s.n.

    well worth a read, although the perhaps the exciting headline should be modified to a “Turkish Military Might Possibly Protect Qatari Regime”

    Turkish military will protect Qatari regime if necessary

    In the deepening crisis between Qatar and a Saudi-led coalition, Ankara faces yet another test of its rhetoric versus its actual abilities. Ankara tried to give the impression of being a mediator in the first two days of the crisis but suddenly made a dramatic reversal and adopted a pro-Qatar position. Ankara cannot easily resume its mediator role, especially since the parliament authorized Turkey to send 3,000-5,000 soldiers to Qatar, which allows them to assist with internal security should there be mass popular movements against the rule of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani….

    …Al Thani’s fate is a vital matter. If he does not comply with US and Saudi Arabia demands, massive street protests could start in Qatar. If this happens, the Qatari military would be unlikely to offer an effective response. Then, a decision by high-profile members of the Al Attiyah and Al Thani families could be to abandon the emir and side with US-endorsed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates rather than militarily escalate the crisis….

    ….If the crisis deepens and the emir’s situation becomes more precarious, we will have to wait and see what Erdogan will do for his bosom buddy, who has proved his friendship many times over. Here, we have to keep in mind the increasing disparity between what Turkey wants to do and what it can actually do in the Middle East.

    Well-placed placed military sources in Ankara who wanted to remain anonymous said Turkey intends to deploy infantry first and then a naval force in Qatar. Deployment of Turkish F-16 fighter jets would come in the third phase. Military cargo planes would be used for logistical support of the base.

    1. a different chris

      >If he does not comply with US and Saudi Arabia demands, massive street protests could start in Qatar.

      There is nothing in the article that tells us why the Qatarans (???best I could come up with, wtf would you call them???) would revolt against their own emir in favor of rule from Saudi Arabia and the – likely hated – US. Sounds like wishful thinking on the author’s part.

      And, as usual, a pox on all their houses.

  21. allan

    C.E.O.s Say They’re Confident, but Merger Numbers Don’t Lie [Dealbook]

    For the past several months, ever since the election, chief executives of the nation’s largest companies have repeatedly professed to be more confident than ever. They say, in survey after survey, that they are more optimistic about the economy and their own businesses, waxing about the prospect of lower regulations and lower taxes under President Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress. Investors, at the same time, have bid up the stock market.

    Yet there is a remarkable divergence between what chief executives have been saying aloud and what they are actually doing in practice. They may not be as confident as they say they are.

    On Wall Street, there is one barometer that is considered the ultimate truth serum when it comes to reflecting C.E.O. confidence: merger and acquisition activity.

    Corporate chieftains do deals when they are confident about their own business and the trends in the economy. When they are nervous about the future, they usually pull back from deal making and focus inward.

    If you can’t remember reading about a big deal announced recently, that’s because there hasn’t been one. The reality is that since Mr. Trump was elected, mergers have fallen off a cliff. …

    Ultimate truth serum?

    Andrew Ross Sorkin has a sad because his friends can’t find more companies to gobble up.
    Does it occur to him that in many industries,
    there is such an oligopoly that no more sizable M&A activity is possible?
    Are United and Delta going to merge? How about Comcast and Charter?
    There are many things that Trump can be blamed for, but this isn’t one of them.
    It’s almost as if the NYT had an agenda … nah, couldn’t be.

  22. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding the link to rising heat-related deaths in India, I recalled this recent post by meteorologists at Weather Underground:

    The last week of May saw one of the most extraordinary heat waves in world history in Asia, the M.E. and Europe. At over 128 degrees Fahrenheit, a town in Pakistan reportedly recorded the Earth’s hottest temperature ever recorded in the month of May. … monthly records of highest temperatures were widespread in Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Germany and Austria. Very high temperatures were also set in the Alps, with an amazing 5.8°C (42.4°F) on May 27 on the top of Italy’s Col Major (elevation 4750 meters or 15,584 feet), just at the side of Mount Blanc.  In particular, two national records for the month of May were broken: in Norway with 32.2°C (90°F) at Tinnsjø on May 27, and in Austria with 35.0°C (95°F) at Horn on May 31.

    Obviously, none of this is good news. Just a reminder to the politicians and their sponsors that Nature bats last.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s been nice and cool here in S. California this June-gloom month, ever since we put in a new air conditioner, now that my 85 year old mother is living with us (I had been without one for more than a decade).

      We’ll see how hot it will get as we enter the summer months. I suspect there is a price to pay later for this pleasant weather now.

  23. allan

    Court strikes down FCC caps on in-state prison phone rates [The Hill]

    A federal court has partially struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that capped the rates for inmate phone calls.

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in 2-1 decision that the FCC overstepped its authority by trying to set limits on intrastate phone call rates. The court, though, found that an FCC rule capping interstate rates is permissible.

    The rule was passed in 2015, when Democrats held the majority at the FCC. Prison phone service providers later sued to block the rule from going into place, and after Republican Ajit Pai took over as chairman this year, the agency mostly dropped its defense against the lawsuit.

    “Today, the D.C. Circuit agreed with my position that the FCC exceeded its authority when it attempted to impose rate caps on intrastate calls made by inmates,” Pai said in a statement on Tuesday. “Looking ahead, I plan to work with my colleagues at the Commission, Congress, and all stakeholders to address the problem of high inmate calling rates in a lawful manner.” …

    Pai was formerly an attorney for Verizon, but nevertheless, after Trump made him FCC chair,
    didn’t recuse himself but rather pushed for an FCC intervention on the side of the phone companies
    against the FCC’s own regulation.

    I’m guessing “stakeholders” doesn’t include the back row kids who are in jail or have loved ones who are. More background here.

  24. ProNewerDeal

    C0nManD0n may be even worse than 0bama, but I got to say it is pleasant to read NC/other newssites & not continuously stress about the 1 TPP, 2 the Grand Ripoff of SS/MC. C0nManD0n killed #1, & it appears he is not strongly interested in #2, at least relative to 0bama whose one of his main priorities was #2.

    Anyone feel similarly?

  25. Montanamaven

    “The Putin Interviews” by Oliver Stone look like a real treat and I hope will open some people’s minds. I watched the first one that aired last night twice. What Stephen Colbert did to Oliver Stone on his show was a disgrace. He hadn’t even watched the interviews and instead became snarky and aided by his audience laughing at Stone, an accomplished story teller with a solid record of fighting for world peace. Truly sad.
    But the interview itself was very thoughtful and the two characters, Stone and Putin, a very odd couple. Somebody else compared Stone to the TV detective “Colombo” and I like that comparison also.
    When Stone said admiringly that the Russian people had sold their jewelry and silverware during WWII to feed and clothe the Russian army, Putin replied, “They were fighting for their last breathe, not their last dollar….The most important thing about Russia is the Russian people.” Powerful.
    He also made clear that he sees the US as wanting the Russian Federation to be a vassal of the US. That the US sees itself as the master of a unipolar world. That is not the vision Putin has. He wants a multipolar world and he doesn’t say it but Stone does, (and I’m paraphrasing,) “The Russian people will never yield to the USand become vassals. They will fight to their last breathe.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s probably correct that it was the Russian Army, and not the Soviet Army, for I wonder how many Ukrainians, after the famine of the 30’s, the Holodomor, would want to fight for Mother Russia.

    2. mpalomar

      I pulled up the clip and don’t think it was Colbert as much as some portion of the audience, which had clearly drunk the cool aid. Though Colbert wasn’t any help and Stone wasn’t sharp enough to raise the obvious points, like the range of bloody dictators the US finds acceptable, including the House of Saud or juxtaposing Russian with US foreign policy which for decades on every level is more interventionist, dangerous, belligerent and destructive than Russia’s. It’s possible Stone was too shocked by the bizarre crowd reaction to respond.

      Also Putin’s extremely high popularity in his own country as a result of Yeltsin and Western shock intervention and the ensuing, appalling 1990’s disaster that Putin pulled Russia out of.

      I won’t watch him but forgive Colbert much (and he needs to be forgiven much for his bizarre brass kissing during the Iraq and Afghan operations) for his White House Correspondents dinner gutting of Bush, Cheney and the hideous press corps.

  26. ChrisAtRU


    Regarding the Queen’s Speech goat (or other source) parchment:

    Ik Denk Zo Niet … ;-)

    Not that anyone necessarily bought into that trope, but thanks for the chuckles, Telegraph!

  27. purplepencils

    Yves tweeted about Bridges leaving earlier. FT on the circumstances behind the DExEU chaos:

    ““Bridges is said to have quit on policy grounds, convinced Brexit couldn’t work,” said one Whitehall figure. “There is some disarray.” . . . It is the departure of Lord Bridges — voluntarily — which sheds the most light on the tumult inside Dexeu. He was responsible for taking the Article 50 legislation through the House of Lords and was effectively responsible for the fine details of the Great Repeal Bill.”

    As the commentariat knows, negotiations are due to start soon. No wonder the EU is frustrated. Not only is there uncertainty vis-a-vis the UK’s negotiating position, but there is also a bevy of poorly-timed personnel changes.

    I’m still trying to figure out what the strategy is behind having Damian Green (pro-EU) AND Steve Baker (pro-Brexit). Fight it out?

    Link here (paywall):

  28. political economist

    I was at the Peoples’ Summit, I asked everyone who called the idea of a new party crazy or unworkable, what would they do if Bernie went for a third party. Not, surprisingly, they all eagerly ditch the DemParty. Well, these are Bernie people after all. So, I have asked people I know who are Democrats which party they would back, the Dems or a party that pushed for single payer led by Sanders, guess what? So far, apart from those tied financially directly or indirectly to the DemParty, not a one would stick with it. Ok, yes, there were also a few Dems over 70 who are emotionally glued to the DemParty as well.
    BTW, the arguments against a third party follow the memes of ergodic thinking, pointing to past failed efforts of third parties … as if understanding the present by sampling the past is fundamentally like a useful exercise in physics … instead of thinking of history as evolutionary, and using historical analysis to understand where we are on our evolutionary path.

  29. ewmayer

    “Forced to Endure Extreme Heat, Prisoners Are Casualties of Texas’ Climate Denial, Documents Show TruthOut” — Eh, that sounds more like “Prisoners Are Casualties of Texas’ Inhumane Prison Conditions”, but whatever helps ya get more ‘eyeballs’, I guess.

  30. Matthew G. Saroff

    A point on Jerry Springer: While he has a rather checkered personal life (paying a hooker by check?) and his post political professional life has been a complete sh%$ show, his actual politics are not bad.

    I don’t think that he should run, the campaign would be a disaster, but when the Democrats pushed out actress Ashley Judd in favor of Alison Lundergan Grimes, they screwed the proverbial pooch.

    A better rule of thumb is to oppose the whoever Democratic establishment likes.

  31. Expat

    Re: climate change
    There is probably no argument or demonstration which can convince deniers that climate change is real and man-made. God gave them the planet to do with what they will and, by God, they are going to exploit it. If God decides to destroy it, then they are fine since they will be saved or dead by the time it happens.

    Take Trump, who is probably an atheist (unless you consider that he worships Himself). He is old enough and rich to not care at all about the planet. His son will have enough money to buy fresh air and hire armed guards to shoot the peasants trying to storm his farm or bunker.

    America loves ignorance. It is a matter of pride to be dumb and violent in the USA. Climate change is the “invention” of effete coastal liberals bent on destroying the American way of life. Can the world deal with climate change, and pollution in general, without the US? Probably not.

    Doomed. The galaxy and universe beyond breath a collective sigh of relief.

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