Links 6/15/17

What Duck Sex Reveals about Human Nature Der Spiegel

Wells Fargo Is Accused of Making Improper Changes to Mortgages Gretchen Morgensen, NYT. They just reach right into your pocket and take out your money. Because they can. That is what they do. And will any executives go to jail? Kidding, right?

Fed raises rates, unveils balance sheet cuts in sign of confidence Reuters. A punchbowl the size of a thimble…

Uber: 14 Bosses, One Corporate ‘Game of Thrones?’ WSJ. “… the world’s most valuable startup….” For some definition of “valuable”….

Uber’s turmoil compounded by David Bonderman’s sexist quip FT

The forger who fooled the art world Spectator. If this guy had moved to Silicon Valley, he could have made real money.

Planning documents for tower in fatal fire omitted safety barriers Reuters. Third World stuff in the neoliberal heartland is not incongruous at all.

Fifty years old — but do ATMS have a future FT

British Elections

The rebel’s revenge: Corbyn has created the conditions for Labour to win again New Statesman

Former leadership rival Owen Smith appointed to Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary in Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle Independent

What cost Theresa May her majority in UK election? FT. Comey, of course. Also Putin. Plus everybody believed she would win.


May inches towards deal to stay in power as battle rages over Brexit Reuters

The Brexit negotiations: the FT guide FT

Sinn Féin Officially Thank DUP For Taking Over Role Of Most Distrusted Party Waterford Whispers (PlutoniumKen).

Now to Stride into the Sunlight LBR

Why Greece is Germany’s ‘de facto colony’ Politico

EPP attack Socialists on tax transparency New Europe (MT).


Qatar-Iran ties: Sharing the world’s largest gas field Al Jazeera. Ka-ching.

Kurds Seek to Expand Reach in Northern Syria Der Spiegel

After Turkey’s decision to deploy troops in Qatar, Syrian Kurds express willingness to cooperate with Saudi Arabia ARA News

Turkish guards will be charged in embassy protests, officials say WaPo

The Middle East’s Crisis Factory Foreign Policy

The War In Afghanistan Is A Racket Moon of Alabama

Attacks on Western cities prompt insurers to adapt Reuters

Belleville Shooting

Republican leader in critical condition after shooter attacks GOP baseball practice McClatchy

Trump makes surprise visit to shot congressman in hospital The Hill

KING: Blaming Bernie Sanders or progressives for congressional baseball shooting is preposterous NY Daily News

Hodgkinson letters: ‘I have never said life sucks, only the policies of the Republicans’ Belleville News-Democrat

GOP rep. received threatening email with subject line ‘One down, 216 to go…’ after lawmaker shooting The Hill

Illinois congressman at Virginia shooting: ‘It’s my breaking point’ Chicago Tribune. Unintentionally revealing!

The Congressional Shooting and Political Violence Ian Welsh.

How Congress Can Fight Political Violence The New Republic

Authorities Praise Twitter Users’ Rapid Response To Virginia Shooting The Onion (DL).

The Seven Stages of Gun Violence Stonekettle Station (WobblyTelomeres).

Imperial Collapse Watch

What went wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter? The Conversation

The ‘Global Order’ Myth The American Conservative

45 Dead After Oxygen Sucked Out Of Room During Pentagon Planning Session Duffel Blog

New Cold War

Senate Approves Russia Sanctions, Limiting Trump’s Oversight The Atlantic

Democrats: Your Russia obsession is blinding you from what really matters The Week. Quoting this:

And the Washington Generals pretend to wonder why they lose.

Dems rebuff skeptics: We will keep talking about Russia McClatchy. “‘Democrats aren’t driving this. Reality is driving it. And occasionally Trump’s Twitter is super-charging it,’ said Jesse Ferguson, a veteran Democratic strategist.” Ah. Reality.

Is Impeaching Trump A Good Idea? Ian Welsh. “Pence is a theocrat’s theocrat and will push a set of horrible policies, but he doesn’t have foot in mouth disease, he will fill up all administrative slots post-haste with a combination of Christian college graduates and the normal Republican apparatchniks, and he will have enough sense to do basic things properly, like have lawyers check over administrative orders properly.” In other words, with Pence we’d get the Third Bush Administration. And: “[I]n terms of harm reduction, a badly wounded, unpopular Trump is far less dangerous than Pence.”

How Did Reality Winner Know to Look for the Russian Hack Document? emptywheel

Mueller Seeks to Talk to Intelligence Officials, Hinting at Inquiry of Trump NYT

Would Trump Voters Choose Him Again? WSJ

Our Famously Free Press

Rachel Maddow: The Rolling Stone Interview Rolling Stone

Why the Media Keeps Missing Political Earthquakes Bloomberg

Health Care

Pursuing Health Equity Health Affairs. Read all the way to the end.

Free health clinics make a comeback amid fear of what Trump will do to Obamacare McClatchy

Health chief, 4 others get Flint manslaughter charges The Detroit News. “Includes The Interim Report of the Flint Water Crisis Investigation” as an embed. More like this, please.

Funding for clean water Development and Cooperation (MT).

Judge: Dakota Access Pipeline needs further environmental review The Hill

Here’s the latest report card on California’s battle against climate change LA Times (DJ).

Class Warfare

Why do mothers earn less? American Economic Association

The Long-Run Effects of Immigration during the Age of Mass Migration NBER

Is America Encouraging the Wrong Kind of Entrepreneurship? Harvard Business Review. More interesting than the headline.

How Sex Is Orchestrated on Reality Shows Like Bachelor in Paradise Vulture

The Abortion Battlefield Marcia Angell, NYRB

How to wipe out mosquitoes and eradicate malaria? A mutant fungus may hold the answer South China Morning Post

Resistance to last-ditch antibiotic has spread farther than anticipated Nature

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Some days, you sit next to the bear. Other days, the bear sits next to you.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. skippy

    “45 Dead After Oxygen Sucked Out Of Room During Pentagon Planning Session”

    Power Point MOAB event…. best spontaneous chortle I’ve had in yonks – !!!!!

    Disheveled… In more colloquial terms we called them 6 pack events… as a minimum requirement to get through it….

    1. Vatch

      If they had been vampires, they would have survived, and would still be undead. The downside would be the difficulty of acquiring large amounts of sunscreen using military procurement procedures.

      1. ambrit

        We send out our heartfelt condolences to the families of those brave freedom fighters who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms that evil foreigners hate us so much for enjoying.
        Join with us in a moment of silent prayer for these “honoured dead.”
        Burma Shave.

  2. Marco

    Leave it Ian Welsh to knock me over the head. It never occurred to me how mass incarceration of poor and minority populations is itself a very toxic form of political violence.

    1. Marco

      Adding…how young and non-violent offenders are often targeted for rape and this accepted (and joked about) in American society. What a wonderful mechanism for culture-wide fear and control.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        In Tolstoy’s last novel ” Resurrection ” – written around twenty years before the Revolution, he made a strong case for mass incarceration as being a form of control, with the size of it being a reflection of how far the state had developed into a tyranny.

        1. witters

          He did. A great novel. My friend Arcady tells me it is Tolstoy’s most popular novel in Russia. (I don’t know whether to believe him. It might be an attempt to subvert our democracy.)

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef...

            I like his short stories, like, the Three Hermits…uneducated people, like in a lot of those short stories, ending up teaching the ‘college educated’ equivalent, over thinking men and women of those days.

    2. fred

      Barack Obama was mass incarcerating poor and minority populations? Why o why didn’t Hilary and Bernie and all the rest point out just what the DOJ was doing in the Hope and Change years? Nice chart though.

      1. oh

        It may be because they had the goods on them (thru snooping with CIA help) and pointing it out would bring the wrath of zero.

        1. craazyboy

          But Hillary is the one “that knows how to get things done!”

          Oops. That sounds un-supportive.

          But the plaintive, pitiful, straining IQs of supportive tweeters will drown it out. Eventually.

      1. Lee

        Bugs Bunny
        June 15, 2017 at 7:51 am

        Thanks for the link. Many great ripostes. I particularly like this one:

        Captain X Gogo‏ @Captain_X_Gogo 12h12 hours ago
        Replying to @nytpolitics @maggieNYT @Yamiche

        Reagan shooting puts uncomfortable spotlight on Jodi Foster.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef...

          Nixon might or might not have been the first to take on media, but we can talk about getting money out of politics, and still go nowhere without putting some honesty and decency into our propaganda ministry.

          Let’s hope Sanders can empathize what Trump has been through the last few months, and we hear no more of independent investigation into Russia interference.

          “If you sit silently by as they work on one fellow, your turn may be next.”

    1. craazyboy

      Their idol, the senator from Vermont, has called President Trump a “demagogue” and said recently that he was “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.”


      Bros being the sole, lonely voices from the far left wildness of trees, dontchaknow.

    2. rjs

      with my insomnia, i listen to a lot of late night talk radio…they believe the shootings are the beginning of a civil war between the right and the left..

      1. RUKidding

        Some of the PTB would like that to happen: endless distractions. More worthless eaters taken down.

        It’s very sad and depressing.

        Notice that “they” don’t say that when the white guy has Republican leanings. Only when it’s someone who leans left.

        1. sid_finster

          I recall differently in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

          Or for that matter, look how the right to life movement has been tarred with violence by a few few of its members.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The Majority whip once called himself “David Duke without the baggage**” and has appeared at a White supremacist event. I don’t believe the “right to life” crowd has been tarred by the actions of a few. If they are considered violent, its a well deserved moniker.

            **Trump violated the “norms” by defeating legitimate mafia families in Washington. His values are not out of place in Versailles at all. The Versailles elite hate Trump for dethroning the negotiated leaders and breaking bread bowls. The hyperventilating by people who have loyally voted in lock step or can’t seem to stop anything by Trump (the Democrats) is purely over this, not values.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef...

              All humans are considered violent unless proven otherwise.

              So, when one approaches, say, a rabbit, in the wild, it hops away as rapidly as it can.

              And we speak of more or less violent when it comes to groups of humans.

              A group may have higher average violent-ness.

              Another group, higher median violent-ness.

              A few really violent members of a particular group will result in higher average violent-ness, though its median violent-ness could be actually lower.

        2. Mike

          Noticed…and the Dems more than allow for this “interpretation”, which leads one to think of all the times they could’ve raised a stink, but “behaved”. We have one party with two rooms full of drunks.

      2. Mike Mc

        We’ll know in a few months. People on the far left and far right who want this need to read some history books about the Civil War.

        A similar conflagration today might mean 20 million KIA, plus wounded and collateral damage, as well as large parts of infrastructure utterly destroyed. What would Sherman or Stonewall Jackson have done if either could ignite oil refineries or natty gas tanks farms?

      3. Vatch

        Here’s a thought: instead of committing violence, people could register to vote, spend some time learning about a few issues and candidates, vote in the primary, and then vote in the general election. In 2014, the turnout was 36.7%. In 2010 it was 41.8%. In 2006 it was 41.3%. And in 2002 it was 40.5%. I hope we do better in 2018.

        I think this explains one of the reasons why elected officials don’t care much about what their constituents think about the issues. They do care what rich people think, partly because rich people donate to campaigns and provide jobs for retired politicians. But there’s another reason: rich and upper middle class people are more likely to vote than other people.

        1. Lynne

          THIS! I once ran for office and got lots of advice on how I should concentrate my attention on the wealthy areas because they vote. In my youthful hubris, I went door to door everywhere I could. I was heartened and buoyed up by people in the “poor and lower middle class neighborhoods,” who cheered me on and swore they would vote. I carried a stack of voter registration cards with me to help people register. I got creamed. The voter participation rate in those precincts was in the cellar. Live and learn. Yes, I know the big parties run GOTV campaigns, but there’s a reason why both party establishments ignore those areas.

          1. Oregoncharles

            You may have been an exception, but overall, “those” districts have little reason to vote and even less to vote for.

        2. dontknowitall

          I understand you are making this argument in all honesty and turnout is a big issue but aren’t you putting the cart before the horses? More than thirty years of stagnating incomes, and punishing laws coupled with a congress that listens to money mostly gets you a population that knows it is not cared about, listened to or invested in. So, why should they turnout to vote.

          Trump is what he is, but he was the one who went to the senate ( other than Sanders) and told the republican senators in closed meeting the house health bill was “f—–g mean, mean, mean” not the Dems who can only talk about Russia and impeachment.

          1. Lynne

            They should because if they don’t, then things will never change for the better. Perhaps they won’t change even if they do vote, but we’re guaranteed no change if they do not vote.

    3. RUKidding

      I said yesterday that it took but a few nanoseconds for the Clintonistas to come out in full force shrieking and raving about the “violent” Bernie Bros.

      As someone here said yesterday: Clinton gets a pass for the millions that died due to her policies as Sec’y of State.

      Some unvetted Sanders volunteer goes ’round the bend and (most unfortunately) goes on a shooting rampage – something sadly all too common in this country – and suddenly Sanders is GUILTY of inciting murder.

      I couldn’t tell the difference between Clintonistas and rightwing nut jobs raging about this incident.

      It’s truly awful how things are happening here anymore.

      1. flora

        Clinton Dems whipped up the mob after the Nov election. Recall the orchestrated street riots.

        I keep thinking half the point of the Russia obsession is to position Bernie Bernie’s supporters and Democratic Socialists as “too much like Russia” in 2020 (socialism -> Communism -> Russia Russia Russia!). There are too many other ways than “Russian interference” to get at Trump, if that’s their only target and concern.

        1. Mel

          Stress, including fear, the belief that there is danger, makes people more suggestible and makes propaganda and advertising more effective. Viz. that Aldous Huxley Brave New World Revisited thing.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef...

          In that case, it’s not a good strategic response to the media’s Russian obsession and too much like Russia in 2020 to come down with the Stockholm Syndrome and came up with ‘We need an independent investigation of Russian interference (perhaps not exact words).

      1. JTMcPhee

        I have to repeat a bit I posted yesterday, words from the petulant mouth of Paul Ryan.

        I hope we all have seen the revealing comment from Paul Ryan yesterday, about the shoot-up at the Baseball Corral:

        “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

        Circle the wagons, the natives are getting restless!

        To stretch the baseball meme to the breaking point (another link to a link offered today, says another serious Congresscritter has a sad because he has run up against a personal breaking point), let me offer a phrase from my youthful days sitting in the bleachers at Wrigley Field: “Pitcher’s getting nervous, pitcher’s getting nervous…”

        There sure is a lot packed by Ryan into that bit of drum-circle-thumping….

      2. VietnamVet

        I just wonder if the DNC is cognizant that its dependency on the oligarch’s payouts is the cause of their downward slide. I didn’t acknowledge the power of the global plutocracy until the Ukraine coup and the restart of the Cold War. Democrats are facilitating the decline of America’s middle class to the benefit of the exploiters and war profiteers. They are scapegoating Russia, a nuclear power. This does not win elections. The irony is that if the Russian election hacking investigation forces the adoption of paper ballots with public counting, this may be the one thing that saves democracy in the USA and allows the rise of a new left party to replace the Democrats.

  3. craazyboy

    Fed makes second bowel movement in 3 months!

    She added that the balance sheet normalization could be put into effect “relatively soon.”
    The initial cap for the reduction of the Fed’s Treasuries holdings would be set at $6 billion per month, increasing by $6 billion increments every three months over a 12-month period until it reached $30 billion per month.

    Small, but noticeable, “pfft!” I’d call it a Green movement.

    1.25% !!! Soon, or relatively imminentish, I’d expect banks to slowly raise deposit rates. (They say that’s how it works, banks willing and able. Mostly able. Tho this may cause us to “horde” money. Not GDP accretive :( ”

    Inflation expectations forced up, a tad, by Mr. Market too! Tho will not impact market rates for the “foreseeable future”. (who ever looks at that? wtf. We’re complacent, when things are all good, especially on political, world peace, and social media fronts. We generally ignore outbreaks of “Hippie Punchback”, unless it’s about something important.)

    Of course, caveat. All bets off of anything meaningful happening if we dive into a “mild recession”, for some unforeseen reason. Next, the Fed will need to “punch thru” that pesky Zero Bound. It’s just a figment of their imagination – like they can’t make fiat currency go anywhere they want! Jeebus. That’s what the Treasury is there for. Read the Constitution!

    This is just a smoke screen covering up Russia news anyway. Janet has lost her Mojo – she can’t even make funny Trump – Russian jokes anymore. Altho she does a pretty good Alec Baldwin pouty face.

    BTW: I can’t seem to get viruses off my mind lately. Just had another bad dream. Giant Monster Cockroaches From Outer Space escaped from Area 51 and invaded Arizona. (we’re right next door, according to Google Maps)

    I had to fight one off already, using a Combat Roach Killer Syringe I just bought yesterday at Wal-Mart. (subliminal suggestion? Pretty spooky, if so.)

    You have to stick the Syringe up their anal cavity and push the plunger, hard. Then they run around screaming, sometimes up the walls and across the ceiling, and eventually drop dead, wherever chance may take them. A terrifying and horrific experience. Needless to say, this is why I’m sorta awake now, trying to reconnect with reality.

    It did spawn song lyrics in my head. I’m attempting to write it down and polish it a bit, before it gets lost to the ether. I might be done relatively imminentish.

    1. Jim Haygood

      I’d expect banks to slowly raise deposit rates.

      Wow, ask for the moon, huh? As J.P. Morgan tartly observed in response to some similar impertinence, “This is not an eleemosynary institution.”

      Meanwhile, BizWk builds a case that an entire roomful of PhD Econs from the bank cartel could be replaced by an Arduino:

      “The Fed isn’t run by computers, it’s run by people,” says David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff. “Like all of us they have their flaws and their blind spots.”

      For Fed Chair Janet Yellen and company, the central mystery continues to be why ­inflation remains below 2 percent despite unemployment having dropped to just 4.3 percent in May. The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures price index, rose just 1.7 percent in April from a year earlier.

      Yellen is relying out of necessity on the Phillips curve, which says that lower unemployment leads to higher inflation. “It’s kind of the best we’ve got” as a descriptor of the economy, says Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase.

      Still, Feroli couldn’t resist headlining his report on the puzzlingly low CPI number, “Captain Phillips goes overboard.”

      The rate hikes will continue until inflation accelerates … said nobody ever. This isn’t about the economy; it’s about the Fed’s Aspergers-like obsession with “normalization.” That ain’t normal.

      If J-Yel and her liquidationist sidekick Stanley Mellon Fischer blow up Bubble III (Peace Be Upon It), we’re gonna be in a world of hurt.

      1. craazyboy

        Sure, Phillips Curve. The Rodney Dangerfield of econ theory.

        Hollywood could make a movie, “BLS: Honey, I shrunk the inflation data!”

        The New Normalization is easy. Just take the $4.5 Trillion balance sheet back down to half a trillion, where it was in 2007!

        Then we’ll see what the “natural interest rate” is. A brilliant Fed staffer, hopefully with a PhD in econ, could then calculate the transaction velocity of money for Fed Flow of Funds data. Next, it would be a couple short bunny hops to pin point where the money is damned up.

        Maybe Banksters will tell us they can’t afford to pay interest to depositors because the Fed only pays interest on to banks on reserves, and that isn’t the full amount on deposit at checking accounts?

        The next problem is banks would need to create and lend “bank money”, in order to make profits for payroll and bonuses and expenses, but the economy is weak and they don’t think they can raise credit card rates from 12% to 13%. That would be un-accretive for GDP. (Bad!)

        Then tell all of Wall Street and Talking Heads to STFU and do whatever it is they do to keep their rice bowls full. Like maybe make 4.5% loans on new affordable houses (affordable only, generating some buyer volume.)

        The come up with some new creative ideas, as opposed to stale old creative financing and welfare for rich people.

        1. Synoia

          The rate hikes will continue until inflation accelerates … said nobody ever. This isn’t about the economy; it’s about the Fed’s Aspergers-like obsession with “normalization.” That ain’t normal.

          In a Chaotic system, there is no “normal,” no equilibrium, only periods of some calm, punctuated with sudden and “unexpected” changes to a new period of some uneasy calm.

          There is a good discussion of this at, where too much debt injects chaos into the system, punctuated with periods of apparent “uneasy calm.”

          Uneasy Calm: The period when waiting for the other shoe to drop.

          1. craazyboy

            Yeah, and when the other shoe drops off, all you see is this tentacled octopii eye stared you straight between the nostrils.

            Ya’d think they could look out for gunz, too?!

            I had a bad dream about that too. I was sooo real it had to be Quantum Entanglement. I must have brushed up against a 7 Eyes’ victim when I was up and about town recently.

            Then my new virus dream. I must be cracking up. bwahahaha. (craazy laugh) Still haven’t completed the Virus Song yet. Have to venture outdoors and do some necessary things today like go to the gym. (Yikes. Germs! More potential 7Eyes’ victims! Bad socks! Russian Female Super Spies With Big Fake American Boobs In Toeless Sexy Gym Wear! )

            Maybe tomorrow.

          2. skippy

            Thank you Synoia, yes any time someone quantifies deduced expectations [prescriptive preferences (bias)] as “Natural” or “Real” you know your dealing with theoclassical dogma.

            Persoanly I think neoliberalism has created more chaos by such actions of privatizing everything, user pays whilst destroying PPP of wages and lowering credit risk management – dogs breakfast for yield seekers.

            disheved… the latter is the popular drama with credit due to wage/job crapification and profit taking w/ passing on risk to others.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        This is rich, from your quote:

        “The Fed isn’t run by computers, it’s run by people,” says David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff. “Like all of us they have their flaws and their blind spots.”

        For Fed Chair Janet Yellen and company, the central mystery continues to be why ­inflation remains below 2 percent despite unemployment having dropped to just 4.3 percent in May.

        If she really can’t figure this out, it seems Yellen’s blind spot is too much faith in economic models and computers printing out bogus statistics and not enough time spent talking to those ‘people’ Rosenberg alludes to, especially those who don’t work at the Fed and make far less than a living wage at one of those newly created jawbz.

        Were she to do so, I predict the scales would fall from her eyes tout de suite and prompting her to declare a debt jubilee while in the throes of rapture.

      3. ewmayer

        Here, let add some much-needed qualifiers in [] to your quoted snip;

        For Fed Chair Janet Yellen and company, the central mystery continues to be why [fake] inflation remains below 2 percent despite [fake] unemployment having dropped to just 4.3 percent in May. The Fed’s preferred measure of [fake] inflation, the personal consumption expenditures price index, rose just 1.7 percent in April from a year earlier.

        Yellen is relying out of necessity on the Phillips curve, which says that lower [real] unemployment leads to higher [real] inflation [, assuming that wages keep pace]. “It’s kind of the best we’ve got” as a descriptor of the [real] economy, says Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase.

        Still, Feroli couldn’t resist headlining his report on the puzzlingly low [fake] CPI number, “Captain Phillips goes overboard.”

        The reason for the “mystery” suddenly becomes clearer with those edits, wouldn’t you say? And that “great balance sheet unwind” is gonna last at most up to the next set of “headwinds” for the global economy.

      4. ChrisPacific

        Yellen is relying out of necessity on the Phillips curve, which says that lower [real] unemployment leads to higher [real] inflation [, assuming that wages keep pace]. “It’s kind of the best we’ve got” as a descriptor of the [real] economy, says Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase.

        Dear God. Centuries of economic theory and the Phillips curve is the best descriptor of the real economy that we have? Can we replace these people with someone who is able to tie their own shoelaces?

    2. andyb

      “all bets are off of anything meaningful happening if we dive into a “mild recession”……..”

      The start of the Greatest Recession occurred when 4 riders appeared, emerging through the cloud of Fukushima radiation, with red shields prominently displayed, to wreck havoc on the US economy. Each one was anonymous until their names were just recently revealed; Destroyer of jobs and disposable income (Obamacare); Retail Armageddon; Automotive industry collapse; and Housing Meltdown.

      These are the 4 Horseman of the Economic Apocalypse.

    3. Whine Country

      “You have to stick the Syringe up their anal cavity and push the plunger, hard. Then they run around screaming, sometimes up the walls and across the ceiling, and eventually drop dead, wherever chance may take them.”

      Ended up in my pool skimmer basket in Scottsdale, thank you.

      1. robnume

        Apparently those cockroaches use ‘GoogleMaps’ if they ended up in your pool from Area 51, as craazyboy states. I grew up in Phoenix and I never once saw a cockroach there. Just lucky, I guess.

        1. craazyboy

          We got ’em in Tucson. The suckers are big. Baby ones – weighing in about 4X that of good ol’ German roaches. No one knows where the full grown ones hide out. Probably between the walls.

  4. fresno dan

    The Seven Stages of Gun Violence Stonekettle Station (WobblyTelomeres).
    (by the way, I love that pseudonym – WobblyTelomeres )

    It’s now been two three four five years since I first wrote this on the day after a madman stepped into a darkened movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and started killing people. Since then more than (strike through’s – ten twenty sixty ninety) one hundred and fifty thousand Americans have died from gun violence, (three seven ten twenty) fifty times more than died on September 11th, 2001, more than twenty times all the military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, twice the number of Americans killed in Vietnam.

    Although sympathetic to gun control, I have been swayed by the arguments of those, oftentimes at NC, that gun control would do little to affect the carnage – I would give it a try, but I don’t see it happening. So this is not a control/don’t control point.

    I think what it shows is that this society, reflected in our foreign policy, in our movies, our TV, (dare I bring up health care questions from pushy reporters to Montana congressmen), our “killer” capitalism, our very day to day existence, believes that violence, force, and power is how best to run things…those with personnel bodyguards are spared, and those without take their chances….

    Not nearly the attention, but a UPS driver on the same day, kills three and himself. To paraphrase a certain Soviet leader, the wounding of a congressman is a tragedy, the death of 3 citizens a statistic… It just seems an atomized society that drives so many people to kill others and themselves.

    But is not providing health care violence, and how many die invisibly because of that?

    1. justanotherprogressive

      There are many articles out there about our becoming an angry society, Chris Hedges has one, and I think Lambert has mentioned it from time to time (I don’t have time to read much these days……). Until we do something about the anger, the violence is going to continue, and perhaps escalate. Sure, TV and the press “glorify” violence and anger, but there is something much deeper going on in our society where more and more people believe they are being treated so unfairly that they have to lash out – that is what has to change.

      Yes, we do have to do something about gun control – they are just too convenient when someone gets so emotional that they can’t think straight…

      But you are right – it is very possible that more people die from lack of medical care than from guns……but we just don’t record those deaths so we can ignore them, right?

      1. Jim Haygood

        This chart titled “Leading causes of death in perspective” doesn’t drill down to either medical care or firearms effects.

        But one can infer that inadequate medical care would be a factor in all of the top seven ranked causes, which begin with the Big Three (heart & circulatory disorders; cancer; respiratory disorders).

        Firearms deaths would be a factor in cause #8 (non-transport accidents), #11 (suicide), #15 (murder) and #18 (war).

        Cause #19 (terrorism) is a microdot. But owing to its immense political utility for our rulers, it gets more pixels than the first eighteen combined.

        If you see something, say something.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Also, the other sources of death aren’t a cause of concern for the elites. What is the worst thing that can happen to Wolf Blitzer these days? The restaurant substituting Escolar for the advertised fish? It’s the airplane or the Natalie Holloway obsession. If it can happen to a well connected blonde girl, it could happen on me! I find it amusing NBC now shelters Greta and Megan Kelly. It’s such a woke network.

          1. Mel

            To be fair, the Escolar could be pretty bad. All that [fake-news] counterfeit fugu that was going around, made with escolar and botox. Some people were asking for more botox, they were that embarrassed.[/fake-news]

            1. visitor

              Seriously enough, I suspect that with overfishing having already wiped out something like 95% of the population of commercial fish species, we will experience an increasing fraud rate regarding what kind of marine animals land on our plates.

              Hence more escolar — because the genuine stuff is simply no longer available.

    2. a different chris

      Stalin would have added, if he was alive today, “and the vaporization of people half a world away was just good TV.”

      I thought hard between ending that with “TV” or “politics”, but then I realized they are now the same thing so use whichever you want.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    I love art forgery stories – thanks for that link. I’ve had a book about the Bella Principessa written by some art historian on my reading list for a while – I’ve now replaced it with this forger’s book which is probably much more interesting!

    Reminds me of this story from a few years ago about another forger who got caught but didn’t get into any trouble with the authorities – he’d been donating his works to museums for decades figuring they’d never put his paintings up if he signed them himself but if he let them believe they were Picassos….

    1. robnume

      lab, hope you have seen Orson Welles’ wonderful film on that subject, “F for Fake.”

  6. allan

    The online front pages of both the NYT and the Washington Post currently have no mention of either

    (i) the UPS shooting in SF that killed three (plus the shooter) or
    (ii) the AHCA.


    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This similar to a airplane crash for the press. It happened to someone important. Much like Ezra Klein’s vapid tweet (the one specifically about political violence), mass shootings happen to other people they report about at a distance. Scalise is in their social circle.

      It’s no different than the person interviewed on the local news who says, “this isn’t some crime ridden city. I never thought it could happen here.”

    2. TK421

      Honestly, I don’t see how a shooting like that in SF is news. It’s just another day in America. This is the kind of country we’ve chosen, as a people.

  7. roadrider

    with Pence we’d get the Third Bush Administration.

    Obama already gave us the third and fourth Bush administration. Pence would represent the 5th

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And, most likely, the 6th.

      He would be campaigning with the power of incumbency–no messy primary hair-pulling, name-calling, dirty-laundry-airing and superdelegate-finagling which would, undoubtedly, characterize the democrats’ “choice” of a candidate.

      And I seriously doubt pence would make the same mistake of pardoning Trump for his “crimes” against american democracy ahead of his re-“election” that Gerald Ford did.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Obama already gave us the third and fourth Bush administration. Pence would represent the 5th

      … which our anglophile, Ivy-educated ruling classes would render as “George V.”

      1. MtnLife

        I’d argue we are on Reagan 10, or Reagan X as you may prefer (sounds much cooler, hide the horror behind better branding!)

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Carter XI. He was just a warmup for Reagan. Carter started a nutty defense build up, pushed the asymmetrical warfare in Afghanistan starting in 1977 for reasons (the USSR was an ally of the legitimate government), and attacked unions after making promises to the unions. Carter was a scumbag, but he wore a sweater like Mr. Rodgers. Carter still has a lot of homes to build before he balances out the destruction he caused.

          1. katiebird

            Carter was also emphatically against universal health care.

            I was a delegate to the Democratic MidTerm convention in 1977. And one of the breakout sessions was a debate between Ted Kennedy and Carter’s Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare – Joseph Califano.

            Kennedy was pushing to add Universal Healthcare to the Dem Platform and Califano was totally against it. Both had charts and details. But it was clear who wanted healthcare for everyone and who was fretting about the budget.

            But the budget was one of Carter’s biggest issues in the 1976 campaign, so it wasn’t really a surprise.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              “But it was clear who wanted healthcare for everyone”

              Err…it was clear Ted wanted you to believe he wanted healthcare for everyone. Maybe he had a Road to Damascus moment, but the HMO of 1973 is “the Liberal Lion’s” real legacy.

              1. katiebird

                I know now that is true. But was totally fooled at the time. But one of them was President and one wasn’t.

                I guess you are saying that if Kennedy had been elected in 1980 we still wouldn’t have gotten Medicare for Everyone?

            2. Cujo359

              The Carter Administration was where the mania for balanced federal budgets got started. In one of his more recent books, he laments that goal, but at the time the specious idea that governments should be run like businesses was really taking hold.

              1980 was the first time I voted for a third party Presidential candidate. Generally, the choices have gotten even sorrier ever since.

          2. Jim Haygood

            Ford XII.

            I feel that Richard Nixon and his loved ones have suffered enough. Theirs is an American tragedy in which we have all played a part.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Ford was a trumped up back bencher selected because he was an inoffensive dullard who would never threaten to be President on his own. He didn’t have the means to shape the White House, so I don’t consider him to represent a permanent shift from one of a positive government role to a negative/libertarian government role.

              Today, Ford seems like an intellectual titan compared to the misfits of DC, so perhaps, he had more of an impact than I realize.

              1. Enquiring Mind

                Gerald Ford was a member of the Warren Commission and may have had various behind the scenes dealings with many in DC as part of his various Congressional and other governmental duties. He may not have seemed very compelling to the average TV viewer but must have had some capacity to navigate proto-swamps or, tin-foil hat time, mention where bodies were buried/drowned.

                1. ambrit

                  “…where bodies were buried/drowned.”
                  I laughed out loud at the Chappaquiddick reference!
                  It also works as a homonymous “..buried/droned,” joke.
                  Extra points for multiple puns!

                2. JTMcPhee

                  Interesting, these stealthy yet influential bad people. Like Slade “Skeletor” Gorton, who has, without much in the way of consequences, slashed and burned his way through the political economy and rulership for two generations. The wiki article on him, like a lot of the “record,” omits any substance, and fails to discuss the damage he has done to ordinary people. A well polished t@rd: He was a stealth member of the stealth “9/11 Commission,” don’t ya know…

                  Here’s a slightly more substantive piece from that conservative rag, the Seattle PI: And for a more combative recitation of the negatives of this person, there’s this from “Legacy Washington,” a product of the Washington Secretary of State’s office: “Slade Gorton: 50 years in politics,”

                  There’s this, from the Indian viewpoint:

                  And as a model for future generations of looters, he’s given is name and teaching skills to the “Slade Gorton International Policy Center,” which one can read about here:

                  Where he gets the base level of his wealth:

                  And It’s interesting that he is now an attorney, lobbyist etc. with the huge international law firm, “K&L Gates,” that swallowed up the merely very big and connected law firm I once worked for, Preston Thorgrimson Shidler Gates & Ellis, the Gates being Bill Gates, Sr., the father of Microsoft Big Bill Gates. Another view of his “public presence and persona,”

                  I “shared” a secretary with old Bill Sr. for a couple of years, back in the early ’90s. Sharpened my typing and telephone and copying skills, that did…

              2. Oregoncharles

                Ford was Minority Leader, so a prominent member of Congress. I think he was chosen because Congress couldn’t turn him down.

  8. Democrita

    ‘Duck sex’ made me clickbait-wary, but it was very interesting and more elevated than the headline. Touches on development of aesthetics in different species and their role in evolution.

  9. Robert Hahl

    It seems that bears yawn when they feel threatened and socially inferior, just like dogs and humans.

      1. craazyboy

        There is something about cameras that make photographers loose all their good sense.

        1. optimader

          bear looks fed & sleepy. Is there a previous episode of a person with the bear whistle…calling him to dinner?

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Well…either the bear noticed the human and was smart enough to decide to inquire up close if the human had a rifle before crossing the waterway…or the bears apparent companion that comes into view at the end of the video has gotten too far ahead and the bear is trying to find that other bear…or…that is one smart bear and was surveying the landscape to try to figure out where and how to cross the waterway with the least amount of effort…methynx it is the latter…

      1. cat's paw

        That brown bear was just being sociable, literally. It is always wise to take a moment and carefully survey the scene at the local fishing hole. “Any big dominant meanies around, what about that twitchy, irritable sow with 2 cubs that chased me off the trail last week? No? All right, I’m going in.”

        Notice how casual and nonthreatening the bear’s behavior is; hardly indicates even slight awareness of the human until it decides to move on. Then it can no longer repress its genuine curiosity. “Oh, hello there bear-like nonbear creature. Didn’t notice you sitting there. Say, that’s an interesting scent you got there. You not from around here? Mind if I–okay sorry, sorry, I’ll just move along!”

  10. marym

    Who could lose from state health benefit limits

    Spoiler alert: People with employer based insurance – Axios based on CAP study

    The bottom line: As many as 27 million Americans could face annual limits on their coverage, and 20 million could be hit with lifetime limits, according to the analysis.
    …. The Affordable Care Act bans lifetime and annual limits, but only for the 10 categories of “essential health benefits” defined in the law. If a state decides that, say, prescription drugs or maternity care aren’t essential benefits anymore, insurers can bring back annual and lifetime limits for them.

    …. Large employers that operate in several states can choose which state they want to use as the basis for their benefits.

    1. Avalon Sparks

      Do they have a copy of the Senate version? I can’t find info anywhere.

      The day the House voted on the bill, the only MSM source that mentioned the impact on employer mandated health insurance was the Wall Street Journal. My point is that the MSM sure wasn’t broadcasting that fact anywhere. A lot of people will be blindsided if the bill passes, that’s for sure.

      1. marym

        Looking back now I see there was some coverage of this aspect of the AHCA in May. As far as a Senate bill, nothing has been made public, or even shared with R Senators not directly working on it. There’s a lot of speculation on twitter about how little time is expected between publishing the bill and calling a vote.

  11. SteveK

    In case you missed it: “Qatar signs $12 billion deal to buy F-15 jets from U.S.”

    Now, instead of fighting terrorism (which it’s never been about), US openly (more-or-less) supporting terrorists here, there, and everywhere. Can’t wait for The Sauds to attack Qatar, which will send its new American made F-15s over the Kingdom to bomb US made Apaches. Everybody loses, except, of course, the war profiteers.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Thanks for that link!
      I imagine the top brass at Boeing where just salivating when Saudi Arabia went after Qatar……what a golden opportunity!!

      1. craazyboy

        I’m thinking they should make governments guilty of international foopas with the USG buy F-35s as their penance to Allah, The Exalted Destroyer Of Blonde Haired Babies.

        Boeing-Lockheed could donate .01% of [bottom line] profits to the buyers.

        They are “cost plus” contracts with profits guaranteed and “earned” these past twenty years anyway. Lockheed would just be sending out Negative Money Certificates, and this year’s corporate overhead would be added, making it even cheaper than an Oscar.

  12. DorothyT

    Re: Nature article on antibiotic resistance (Lambert’s last link)

    A previously healthy good friend contracted the ubiquitous antibiotic resistant bacterial infection Pseudomonas aeruginosa from a beautiful, seemingly crystal clear spring fed river in rural Florida. Polluted by agricultural/animal run off. The river and the nearby residents’ water supply stink to high heaven. This is the infection that spreads most easily in hospitals, nursing homes, but it also exists and can be contacted in contaminated rivers, streams, etc. And it is infectious, not airborne, but transferred by hand, close contact. It’s not just hospitals where that occurs. Best defense is a good immune system, but dangerous to young, old, and immune compromised persons.

    Note: Taking the wrong antibiotic can worsen one’s biome. Testing MUST be done (as to infection strain and antibiotic susceptibility to that strain) before issuing or accepting an antibiotic for one’s undiagnosed illness if it’s antibiotic resistant. We’re edging in on the pre-antibiotic days when one could die of diseases we take for granted that can be cured today.

    Even in NYC with great insurance it was almost impossible to be diagnosed. Ironically, Columbia’s NY-Presbyterian ER room doesn’t/won’t test for Pseudomonas even when patient says they were exposed. Perhaps they should read the Columbia University Earth Institute’s report “Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Widespread in Hudson River, Study Finds.”

  13. jfleni

    RE: Wells Fargo Is Accused of Making Improper Changes to Mortgages.

    You just can’t keep a determined thief down, which completely describes Wells ****off. How long until even Dogpatch-DC cannot tolerate it any more?

    1. Knot Galt

      From personal experience, Wells Fargo is not the only one.( Not to diminish any of the depravity Wells Fargo is institutionalizing.) Maybe these type of loan modifications became normal policies when HAMP was introduced to supposedly save homeowners?

      My loan went from Countrywide(circa 2002) to B of A to a service provider who took over my HAMP loan. the loan was modified to 40 years and I was given 10 days to return the offer or they would start foreclosing. I wasn’t in a position to fight it and so I let it go. For awhile, I had monthly fear mongering sessions with my contact named “Rodney”. (Related to this, Where do these money lenders find these people?) Turns out, the ‘provider’ was sued in court and my loan was automatically transferred over to DiTech. If you think Wells Fargo is bad; prepare yourself for what Credit Unions and some of these large anonymous service providers might be getting away with! Seriously, any young Upton Sinclair types out there?

  14. Jim Haygood

    Putin offers Comey political asylum in Russia:

    “What is the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?” Putin said, in a reference to former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after leaking classified information about U.S. spy operations.

    “In this case, he (Comey) is not the head of a special service but a human rights activist who defends a certain position,” Putin said.

    “By the way, if he (Comey) is subject to any sort of persecution in connection with this, we will be ready to give him political asylum in Russia. And he should know about this.”

    Muh-wah-ha-ha … Putin’s comedy script writers leave Hollywood in the dust.

    One gets the impression Vlad is having the time of his life, yucking it up over the clinically insane USA.

    1. ambrit

      Shouldn’t that first “he” be (Snowden?)
      With the typo(?), Putin comes off as droll in the extreme.
      Vladomir Vladomirovitch is probably really worried about the “Usual Suspects” being given control of Americas’ foreign policy. They are the clinically insane ones. But, as Comrade Stalin showed, one needs must “lose” a couple of dozen millions of “citizens” to purge the body politic of its’ vile humours.
      Is it time to short the IMF?

    2. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      June 15, 2017 at 9:59 am

      when I received that line over my KGB issued red fuzzy hammer and sickle bunny antennaed slippers, I had to chortle….Putin is one witty muther….

      1. craazyboy

        Hillary let out a scream, “I’m Melting!”, and her new ruby red slippers burst into flames, nearly igniting her cotton Fruit of the Loom panties on fire.

        Luckily, Robbie and Huma were there to help and douse Hillary with gasoline and lit a match, boiling off the deadly water from the lawn sprinkler. DWS, idiot bitch that she is, screamed, “Turn on the sprinkler system!”

        Donna, sharp as a old rusty nail that’s seen these things before, swooned at the thought of Hillary decomposing even more rapidly, attracting flies from all around the neighborhood. She fell on top of DWS, knocking her to the ground and pinning her down until much later when a volunteer baseball coach showed up in in tow truck and lifted Donna up and off DWS again.

  15. Craig H.

    The Long-Run Effects of Immigration during the Age of Mass Migration NBER

    Paywalled for me.

    Here is a link to pdf at Nunn’s web pages at Harvard U.

  16. crittermom

    RE: WTFargo Bank accused of making improper changes to mortgages.

    Gee, those ‘hefty’ fines have done so much to curb banks illegal behaviors, haven’t they? /sarc

    First, there was all the BS involved in stealing our homes (David Dayen’s latest figures now say 9 million of us ‘lost’ our homes):

    Then, last Sept, this:

    And now WTF’s latest ‘scandal’ of changing mortgages.

    Yep. They really learned their lesson. (That crime pays)

    1. Charger01

      Cost of doing business, you see.

      I can’t wait to hear from Bill Black on how this ranks on the “Fraud Scale”…
      They might be finally catching up to BofA.

    2. flora

      If the 1975 movie “Jaws” was remade today, the malevolent flesh eating monster – driven mad in chemically polluted ocean waters – would be recast as a malevolent life destroying TBTF bank – driven mad in neoliberal economic waters.

    3. Brian

      There are many attorneys that work for the homeowner that say there is no mortgage paperwork until the foreclosure, when they are created to make it appear as though a lien existed. There are a dozen government sanctioned forgers that create what is needed to give the court a reason to rule in the banks favor.
      Wells Fargo admitted that no lien existed to me. That doesn’t stop them attempting to steal.
      That is how they make money. Tired yet? The WF attorney admitted that the documents used to make a claim were forged to benefit me.
      The bezzle requires the payment of interest to maintain the appearance of solvency. The US can’t pay interest on the debt without printing more money. Stealing homes and giving them to their sponsors is how the game works.
      Imagine the worst, and reality will be far more brutal.

  17. allan

    Jetmakers hunt for new growth as order binge fizzles out [Reuters]

    Plane giants are preparing to squeeze the last drop out of a once raging torrent of airplane orders without the razzmatazz of recent years, as the aerospace industry heads to a belt-tightening Paris Airshow looking for new sources of revenue.

    The June 19-25 gathering takes place against the backdrop of surprisingly strong airline traffic driven by economic growth, but a steep drop in the appetite for new planes following robust demand for the latest fuel-efficient models in recent years.

    Instead, many firms will talk up efforts to extract new revenues out of powerful data-crunching services, while the first Paris display of a U.S. stealth* jet in decades, the F-35,
    points to a defense recovery at the world’s largest air show. …

    Keynsianized weaponry. War – it’s the new QE.

    *Well, at least the oxygen supply is stealthy.

    1. Knot Galt

      You have an excellent point that begs the question; Has anyone checked the oxygen levels in Congress lately?

    2. Mike Mc

      Not to go all James Howard Kunstler here, but could we have reached Peak Oil-Based Civilization?

      Jet makers need to sell moar jetz to make money, keep people employed, etc. – yet airlines increasingly abuse the passengers paying the bills!

      Auto makers facing the same issue, but people esp. Millennials too broke to buy new cars, and roads/bridges/parking garages falling apart underneath us because governments too broke to fix them!

      Just two examples of the continued crapification of everything…

      1. Knot Galt

        It seems we have. Kunstler, as well as many others, believe it is already over and it is just a matter of degrees before civilization is thrown back to the stone age or beyond; ie: like extinction level.

        In the meantime, it just seems like the only thing to do is pretend. And prepare . . . . if you can.

  18. TK421

    What’s this about sitting next to bears? Can’t you people at Naked Capitalism at least try to disguise your pro-Russian propaganda?!?

    1. Knot Galt

      Stupid is as stupid does! Fear mongering is the new Black? Russian influence is a DNC cover up over discussion on the impacts of neoliberalism?

      However, Trump may not be smart enough to evade obstruction of justice charges or assorted money peddling infractions. It’s interesting for us peons to see how the conflicting machinations of power try to control one another. My hope is that the eventual outcome is an awakening that Government is not for the people but Government for corporations.

      1. ambrit

        All Trump need do is to claim “executive privilege” for everything he says or writes and then stonewall till the cows come home.
        As for the “awakening” desired, it has already started, witness the baseball shooting.

        1. Knot Galt

          Re: current events was not the awakening I was referring to but it appears I might of been mistaken. So much for happy accidents; all that may be left are unheeded preventable tragedies.

          Add to executive privilege all of Trumps lawyers and I see how he might last all the way to 2020 if the House stays the same in 2018.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why do mothers earn less? American Economic Association

    “When I look at my own family situation or when I talk to friends, basically all experience that the arrival of the first child was a major life change.”

    Erik Plug

    Well, Duh.

    Quite the researcher, this guy.

    1. flora

      Yes. I love having this topic man-splained. heh.

      “Plug: Yes, that’s true. Identifying the impact of children on the economic outcomes of women is very difficult because women with children may be intrinsically different from women without children” (my emphasis)

      No. Women with children have fundamentally different obligations than women without children.

      Let’s try a thought experiment. 2 men who are only children. One man at 50 or 60 finds himself the advocate/care-giver for an aging parent. Man 2 does not have this obligation for whatever reason. (The obligation itself is one of the most honorable obligations and it is also a large time commitment. That’s just the way it is.)

      If man 1 takes off time from work to attend family obligation is man 1 intrinsically different from man 2? Of course not. Different obligations.

  20. Alex

    “A central finding is that the economic benefits of immigration were significant and long-lasting: In 2000, average incomes were 20 percent higher in counties with median immigrant inflows relative to counties with no immigrant inflows, the proportion of people living in poverty was 3 percentage points lower, the unemployment rate was 3 percentage points lower, the urbanization rate was 31 percentage points higher, and education attainment was higher as well.”

    That doesn’t sound very convincing as it doesn’t take into account whether this places had been wealthier and more educated to begin with. I’m pretty sure that NYC, as an example, was richer and more educated then just as it is now.
    Maybe it’s the digest’s fault and the article itself addresses these issues.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Nothing is good, all the time, at any amount.

      Even too much water is bad for you.

      Be careful with too much oxygen.

      The same with too much exposure to a messiah.


      So, ‘immigration’ – at what level and when?

  21. Marco

    So the Guardian interviewed Emma Dent Coad the new Labour MP of Kensington (by 20 votes wow!). She states that most of the cost of improvements for Grenfell were mainly an “aesthetic refit” so as to ready the area for private development….with the deadly aluminum composite cladding costing nearly 10 million pounds alone. What a disgusting horrible irony. Any UK readers care to speculate about the chances this becoming a Katrina level event not just for May but Tories in general?

    1. different clue

      Perhaps it will become a Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire type event for huge chunks of the British Public.
      Perhaps they will join the political parties they think offer Long Term Revenge and Long Term Reform.

  22. MonSov

    So a lot will likely be said about the Virginia shooting in the coming days, but it is unlikely many will be having an actual discussion regarding whether the act is legitimate or not, instead we’ll just get the kneejerk of “violence is bad.”

    Are politicians, political appointees, and weapon carrying agents of the state not the most legitimate, justifiable targets for violence? Maybe not in an ideal world, but the in the current existing one? And do they not bring the risk upon themselves by failing to act in ways that are beneficial for the many, not the few? At a certain point, and one could easily argue that we have reached that point, violence directed at those categories of individuals becomes self-defense, defense of another.

    That is not to argue that engaging in such tactics will get one closer to achieving a more just and equal world. Perhaps it will, perhaps not. It also seems clear that in any conflict, it is the responsibility of the more powerful side to disarm, cease their violence, before the weaker, disadvantaged do. Pacifists, those seeking solely non-violent resistance and protest seem to forget this and that such a stance often leaves them occupying a far less morally justifiable position than they believe.

    1. jrs

      There are two questions, 1) did they have it coming? Eh let’s just say no comment as that’s a dangerous conversation there. And 2) does it really advance any type of political agenda worth having in any way? Seems super unlikely on that last one. The ruling plutocratic class already infinitely distant from the lives of the rabble, who they rule and proclaim to represent, will just build more fortresses to protect themselves from having any contact whatsoever with said rabble.

  23. fresno dan

    The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of new Russia sanctions that also lets Congress block President Donald Trump from easing or ending penalties against Moscow, the year’s most significant GOP-imposed restriction on the White House.
    Well, the repubs are anti russki, and they are gonna STAY anti russki…..

    1. Pat

      Not just the Repubs, a hell of a lot of Democrats voted for it. And considering it is going to be put together with a package of Iran sanctions that means they are probably also for throwing away one of the few good things the Obama administration did in the Middle East.

  24. PlutoniumKun

    Planning documents for tower in fatal fire omitted safety barriers Reuters. Third World stuff in the neoliberal heartland is not incongruous at all.

    This is a slightly confused article. It is mixing up the planning application with the building control application – they are two entirely separate processes. As the planning application for the revamp of a building would mostly be concerned with aesthetics and alterations to the buildings use, then it would not be expected to include very detailed construction items such as internal fire control breaks.

    The best guess so far would be that the cladding went on fire – there was a spectacular skyscraper fire in the UAE a year ago when composite aluminium cladding was set alight by fireworks. At the time I recall tut-tutting from engineers about how incompetent those Arab builders are, but it seems the use of plastic based cladding is not uncommon.

    The problem building control inspectors have is that since there are rarely enough to be visiting construction sites regularly, they have to take on trust that ‘hidden’ features, such as fire breaks within concrete flooring, have been done correctly. There are plenty of examples where perfectly good and safe designs have been compromised by decisions made by some sub-contractor on site, knowing that the evidence will be hidden under a few inches of concrete the next day.

    1. Marco

      Thanks PK! As I commented above how much was the renovation of Grenfell dedicated to real improvements vs cheap “aesthetic refits” for eventual private development. With an unofficial fatalities count 100+ can this morph into a Katrina style event for the Tories?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I don’t know the background to Grenfell, although for years now developers have been doing deals with cash strapped authorities to buy up and renovate tower blocks. Conservative Councils are particularly keen on it as converting them to private use helps purge their areas of Labour voters. North Kensington is, of course, a Conservative borough.

        When you read the history of building disasters, what you usually find is a process that starts with a reasonably good design which gets rapidly crapified with cost cuts and compromises. The whole point of building control is to put a floor on standards, but so much depends on just how much standards are backed up with real enforcement. Its not a topic I’m an expert on, but there has been a general push to go for self-certification in many areas – in other words, the developers engineer/architect has to sign off a project. This can work fine in normal times, but during a boom there can be a huge turn-over in staff and sub-contractors and standards collapse. This happened in Ireland at the height of the boom where fly by night companies were signing off on buildings knowing they were incorrectly built (a very common problem was that hidden fire barriers within walls were just not being put in – they knew its very hard to check later if its been dong properly or not).

        We know very little yet about what happened, but I suspect we’ll have seen a process whereby architects are told to do a nice facelift. They specified some type of metal cladding, but somewhere along the line a decision was made to change it to a composite (i.e. plastic with an alu finish) to save on cost, but nobody bothered telling the architects/engineers, so the fire protection redesign was never done. I don’t know enough about Fire Certification in London now to say who ultimately would have signed it off and whether pressure would have been put on that person/organisation to ignore problems. But you can pretty much guarantee that in a Conservative London Borough the Building Control section will be understaffed and undermined.

        George Monbiot has a good take on it.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Take on trust?

      Sometimes, we judge and confront by asking, why do you still have that logging/oil exploration/fracking/banking/etc job?

      It’s easy to say, those inspectors should have resigned, instead of trusting those they regulate or inspect.

      That coal miner – he has a family to feed.

    3. Synoia

      Sacrificial Lamb to be announced next week!! Wait for breaking news!!

      I’m betting on some low level Local Government (Council) worker…far, far from the heights of Westminster.

    4. nippersmom

      It sounds, both from your explanation and from the article’s description of what was contained in the planning application, that it is roughly analogous to a zoning application in the US, while the building control application would correspond to our building permit. If that is the case,it would be more surprising if the planning application had contained information about the fire control breaks, as that information would be outside the purview of that review/approval process.

      An actual journalist would have informed himself of the difference,and reviewed (or had a knowledgeable person who would know what to look for review) the building control submittal documents rather than writing a technically factual but misleading article with a click-bait headline. Unfortunately, real journalists are thin on the ground these days.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, thats exactly the difference. The two codes are similar that way – zoning (or planning) consents are entirely separate from building permits. A planning application/consent would give the details of the finish and appearance of the new cladding, but its quite possible that the developer wouldn’t even have done the type of technical details that a building permit would require by then – it would often be left to the contractor to worry about those details.

  25. Altandmain

    Global warming around Antarctica:

    Obesity and pregnancy:

    More weapons for Qatar:

    More class warfare:

  26. gonzomarx

    re: Grenfell Tower
    May did a photo op with firefighters today but didn’t talk to any residents, Corbyn pictured hugging victims, residents are been vocal about council’s hated of the working class and yesterday main BBC evening news went to Corbyn for a comment but not the government.
    A shift underway?

  27. Pat

    Just a thumbs up for the baby and mama antidote today. Thank you.

    And if anyone else likes this one, you want to click on the link to the source to see another charming baby uses mama as climbing tree shot.

  28. g3

    From the link on health equity :

    In a review of survey data from thirty-two middle- and high-income countries, they find that the United States is an outlier in the very large share of people who believe that many people do not have access to the care they need, yet a relatively low share of people consider that phenomenon to be unfair.

    I remember reading a comment on HuffPoduring the 2009 healthcare debate. The person bragged about how he had earned his health insurance thru his 80 hours/week job. And why would he pay for others who can’t work hard just like him… !!!

    And there were these 3 conservative women in a demo in front of our senators’ office. When I pointed out the wait times in Canada is only for non-life threatening surgeries/procedures, one of them said : “oh why would I wait to get a knee surgery? I want to get a surgery at the earliest so I could start playing Tennis sooner, instead of getting held up for someone else “….

    And we wonder why someone vile,despicable like #45 got elected…. Psycho Nation.

    1. allan

      From a poll apparently before Grenfell:

      Public opinion towards…
      May: Favourable: 29% (-13)
      Unfavourable: 63% (+16)

      Corbyn: Fav: 46% (+10)
      Unfav: 46% (-4)

      (via @YouGov, 11-12)

      May is moving into Chris Christie territory.

  29. Cujo359

    “45 Dead After Oxygen Sucked Out Of Room During Pentagon Planning Session”

    The other day in Water Cooler, I referred to the review process for DoD systems. Having attended many of the meetings involved in that process, I can confirm that this is an excellent description, with maybe a little bit of exaggeration. Nothing deflates one’s faith in human nature like spending days arguing trivial details with folks who barely understand the objectives of the thing they’re reviewing.

  30. Anon2

    Democrats are willing to cause misery through reducing life saving medical care for US citizens in exchange for being able to cause misery through sanctions including life saving medical care to Russians and Iranians?

  31. Cujo359

    re: “What went wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter?”, I think this describes the folly of the F-35 program pretty well. The problems were in the goals of the program, which was to build a plane that could fill several different roles that are almost conflicting given the state of the art:

    – a standard plane that could be an interceptor, which is a role that requires speed and the ability to find and target high-speed targets

    – a carrier-borne fighter bomber, which emphasizes low takeoff and landing speeds, versatile armaments, solid construction to survive hard landings, and the ability to defend itself against other high-performance aircraft

    – a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) fighter-bomber, which is a role that emphasizes lift, carrying capacity, and endurance

    – a stealth airplane in all roles

    To see why the first two are contradictory goals with the third, look at the differences between the two aircraft the F-35 was designed to replace, the F-16 fighter-bomber and the Harrier.

    Stealth is a good thing as long as it’s not bought at the expense of performance. As the article notes, stealth technology really only works for limited radar bands, and doesn’t make planes invisible to optical sensors.

    It’s almost as though the F-35 program was designed to fail. The F-111 program should have been a cautionary tale, but apparently knowledge from the previous generation is no more appreciated in today’s Pentagon than it is in your average high school.

    Anyway, I agree with the author. We should cut our losses and develop separate aircraft that are better suited for their purpose.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      One thing the article didn’t mention is that putting all the eggs in one basket also destroyed real competition in the industry for fighter aircraft. Lockheed is now the only company with the knowhow and capacity to build a new fighter if the F-35 is cancelled. Boeing have pretty much bowed out of the design of new fighters. Even the Russian and Chinese have seen the value in having competing design bureau and spread their contracts to ensure they are kept on their toes. No doubt this is a feature, not a bug. So any politician brave enough to cancel the F-35 would have to do more than that, there would be a necessity to break up Lockeed.

      1. Cujo359

        Yet another thing we can thank Bill Clinton for. He and his SecDefs felt that the best thing we could do for the defense industry was consolidate it. Of course, when there’s only one or two major programs in a decade, that’s kinda logical. As we’ve noted, though, those weapons systems didn’t need to be one-size fits all. Several less sophisticated weapons might have done just fine, and spread the wealth a little better. The drive for commonality, when not overdone, is a good thing, but when it results in costly failures like the F-35 it starts to look more like a mania.

  32. ewmayer

    o “Would Trump Voters Choose Him Again? | WSJ” — That would rather depend on the choices on offer, I expect. @Dem establishment: Ask a stupid question … anything to avoid the “we cheated Bernie out of the nomination and deservedly lost as a consequence” elephant in the room. Ties in well with Bloomberg’s “Why the Media Keeps Missing Political Earthquakes” piece – it seems the Bloomberg editorial staff is unacquainted with Upton Sinclair’s famous “It’s hard to get a man to understand…” aphorism, aside from embodying it, that is..

    o “Is America Encouraging the Wrong Kind of Entrepreneurship? | Harvard Business Review. More interesting than the headline” — The headline which should read “Is Harvard Business School Encouraging the Wrong Kind of Entrepreneurship?”, you mean? Because it’s not te agency-less “America” which is doing that, it’s certain classes of *people* in American business, higher ed, government and mass media. All the usual suspects, as it were.

    o “How to wipe out mosquitoes and eradicate malaria? A mutant fungus may hold the answer | South China Morning Post” — We really need a topical category “What Could Go Wrong?” for this sort of thing.

    1. Massinissa

      If Hillary Clinton is hubristic enough to run for a second time, I think we can be assured Trump will get a second term. If its another democrat, who knows, but it still wont be the LBJ style landslide the Dems are expecting.

      1. different clue

        If Hillary runs again, I will vote for Trump again. If Chelsea runs for the first time, I will vote for Trump.

        There are quite a few Democratic nominees who could make me vote for Trump again. Cuomo, Biden, Booker, McCauliffe, maybe others.

  33. robnume

    On Wells Fargo: It’s ‘direct deposit’ that has made Murica great, right? Let’s face it, without the modern miracle of ‘direct deposit’ there might not exist the ability of these financial institutions to just go into your accounts and steal from you.
    When I was growing up in the ’60’s I recall some of my relatives, who worked in the textile industries, were paid in cash on paydays. Then in the late ’70’s when I began to work I physically received a paycheck which I was free to cash or deposit at whatever institution I preferred. Since I was relatively low-income – meaning I spent most, if not all, of my income on living expenses – I usually would just cash my paycheck at the institution from which it was drawn. I didn’t even need to have a bank account anywhere at that point in time. Now, almost all employers require you to have ‘direct deposit’ in order to be paid for work.
    Banking has always been a scam but that scam has taken on dire new consequences for those of us who are literally forced into having bank accounts today, as this Wells Fargo story illustrates.

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