Links 9/14/18

Bacteria in a Dinosaur Bone Reignite a Heated Debate The Atlantic

Meet the other empty nesters. They’re dogs and they miss the kids, too Boston Globe

New global study reveals the ‘staggering’ loss of forests caused by industrial agriculture Science

Man killed, 12 injured after 70 gas explosions, fires rock Lawrence, Andover, North Andover WHDH

Google wants to get rid of URLs but doesn’t know what to use instead Ars Technica. This and AMP. Horrid.

Where in the World Is Larry Page? Bloomberg

Ig Nobel prizes honor do-it-yourself colonoscopies, a curious use for postage stamps, and other peculiar research Science

‘I Want to Burn Things to the Ground’ Chronicle of Higher Education. On the replicability crisis.


Emily Thornberry: ‘Britain has disappeared into the Brexit black hole FT

UK mass surveillance violates right to privacy, rules European court Deutsche Welle

The storm-clouds are building above Europe The Economist. Word of the day: Weltpolitikfähigkeit.

W(h)ither Italy? Econospeak


EU steps up planning for refugee exodus if Assad attacks Idlib FT

Is speech critical of Israel anti-Semitic? In a case that could redefine campus politics, Trump administration weighs in Los Angeles Times

North Korea

Hopes rise as two Koreas open liaison office on North’s side of border Reuters

Malaysian police probing 1MDB question those paid out of US$972m in Najib’s account Straits Times


China’s Weakest Housing Markets Flash Red in Cautionary Tale Bloomberg

Chinese consumers swing toward local brands Nikkei Asian Review

China’s trans-Himalayan tango with Nepal The Interpreter

Google Is Handing the Future of the Internet to China Foreign Policy. Makes sense. That’s what we did with our industrial base.

New Cold War

Greater Eurasia coming together in the Russian Far East Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Russia and the United States Don’t Need New Summits Valdai Discussion Club

That Post-Liberal International Order World: Some Core Characteristics Lawfare

Trump Transition

Brett Kavanaugh reportedly accused of sexual misconduct in letter flagged to the FBI by Democrats NY Daily News

Brett Kavanaugh Committee Vote Delayed One Week HuffPo

Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Bait and Switch The American Conservative

Trump turns back to Maria, falsely says Dems inflated toll Associated Press

Judge Rejects DeVos’s Halt of Rule to Help Defrauded Students NYT

Stephanie Kelton Wants You to Rethink the Deficit Barron’s

Democrats in Disarray

Michael Bloomberg set to run for Democrats against Trump for presidency in 2020 The Times. Please kill me now.

Cuomo wins Democratic primary Times-Union

A Group of Democrats Joined Republicans to Give Them Power in New York. On Election Day, New Yorkers Wiped Them Out The Intercept

Reports of Widespread Voter Suppression in New York State Democratic Primary MSNBC

Health Care

Prominent NYC hospitals making millions through captive insurance companies Modern Healthcare

The Crash Ten Years After

Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. At least Taibbi uses the word “criminal.”

Waning co-operation makes next crisis more difficult to tackle Editorial Board, FT

Until we realise the need for a new economic model, we risk another financial crash New Statesman

Guillotine Watch

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Pledge $2 Billion for Homeless and Preschoolers NYT. Sanders rattled Bezos.

The “Human Rights Campaign” Has Totally Betrayed Its Constituents Current Affairs< Class Warfare

This is how UN scientists are preparing for the end of capitalism Independent

Thousands of Chicago Workers Are Out On the First Citywide Hotel Strike In Over a Century Portside

Why parking-lot attendants across Philadelphia have launched a campaign to unionize The Inquirer

The Meteorological Strangeness Of Hurricane Florence Forbes

Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea-level rise Nature

Sunspot Observatory closed due to security issue and Update: Authorities not saying a lot as Sunspot Observatory remains closed Alamogordo Daily News. Odd.

Antidote du jour (via):

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. Hana M

    Oh! Oh! Three little flying squirrels! They win my vote for cutest Antidote YTD–in fact that whole Twitter thread is adorable. Thanks, Lambert.

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Does Obama have his comfortable walking shoes on this morning to join the pickets outside Penny Pritzker’s hotel?

  3. lakecabs

    Mr. Bezos. Why not pay your workers? But like any great socialist you embark on another 5 year plan that will be as ineffective as everything you touch.

    1. carycat

      There is no tax deduction in paying your employees a living wage, or influence the spending so you get good press while facilitating your other agendas.
      Eliminating the whole charitable deduction completely is the only way to stop this scam (not by hiring yet more accountants and administrators).
      This won’t eliminate charities or people with kind heart’s williness to give money (instead of direct participation) but will cut down on the number of parasites.

    1. Quentin

      In the thread Apple describes iTunes as a storefront (does that make any sense?). Well, it seems to be front in the criminal sense without anything to do with a store in the service and satisfaction guaranteed sense.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      The problem is that we were always just buying a license to use the product, not the product itself. Buying media over the internet now just makes it perfectly clear.

    3. The Rev Kev

      That is why I have stacks of CDs and DVDs on my shelves. It seems that possession is nine-tenths of the law here so as I possess them, they are mine. If I depended on them being in a server somewhere being mine, that is not always so.
      Back in 2009, people who had purchased a particular book from Amazon awoke to find that book deleted from their Kindles and the money refunded without a warning or heads up due to a rights dispute. The name of the book? Would you believe “1984” by George Orwell? And this had happened several times previously.

      1. Stephen V.

        The trick is getting peeps to believe that “renting” is the same as “owning.” Rentier capitalism anyone?

      2. Carolinian

        It’s the dilemma of the content companies in an era when digital files are trivially easy to copy. Apple is taking advantage of this by interposing themselves as a third party (very profitable for them).

        Incidentally even libraries now have been forced into a rentier model when it comes to digital books. Publishers charge the libraries a fee every time a digital book is “checked out.” The amount of the fee is based on how long they think a physical book would last over a certain number of checkouts. Not all publishers use this system and older books–in the public domain–presumably only cost the libraries a processing fee.

      3. dunning kroger

        That just makes you a hoarder . Stacking DVD’s is the same as saving old newspapers because someday someone might want one.

          1. dunning kroger

            I didn’t say anything about music. You can listen to music over and over. But movies? you want to watch a movie more than once , sure if I paid a buck for the DVD at a yard sale. I’m not forking over real money to own a movie , most of them are garbage , plus DVD is a horrible format that doesn’t hold up either. I have seen 40 year old VCR tapes that still work . DVD gets scratch and its a coaster.

            1. Harry

              Sure I do. I must have watched Apocalypse Now at least 20 times. Gone with the Wind?

              I love the smell of napalm in the morning – smells like … victory

            2. Plenue

              I’m guessing you’ve never had to deal with the wonders of tape eating machines. Assuming they didn’t outright snap, you could look forward to untangling and re-reeling.

              As for DVD scratching, actually quite hard to do by accident, especially when you store them in their cases properly. Also plausible repairable when it does happen.

              Disk formats have a projected lifespan of a century, and don’t degrade with each viewing like a tape. Also the quality of VHS is horrific, even brand new.

              You’re right, a lot of things aren’t worth owning. Which is why I consider “is this actually worth having a copy on a shelf” to be a good test. Streaming is for watching once, physical media is for things of some lasting value.

              1. Procopius

                The dye on CD/DVDs deteriorated with age. The average is about ten years. I have a bunch of games and videos that I stored on CD/DVD and are gone now. I don’t really mind because some of the games are now available as abandonware and the videos were like 280×360 resolution. A hundred years from now most information from this period will be lost to historians.

      4. whine country

        Believe it or not those nasty folks that run Peer to Peer sites, often referred to as pirates, claim that they serve a valid and legitimate purpose, to wit, allowing you fine folks who miss having a copy of something you purportedly tangibly own. Same with those who provide (illegal) means of decoding said electronic information so that it actually can be used by you wherever and whenever. Some time ago I read of a person who ran afoul of Amazon (I can’t remember the details) and her entire stock of ebooks were rendered unusable with the flip of a switch. Naturally Apple, Amazon and their ilk vilify pirate sites for their foul deeds and there is no doubt some abuse that takes place. But in reality it is standing up to an abuser the only way one can. For those Captains of Industry, gluttons to the max, enough is never enough.

        1. Plenue

          Yeah that’s a load of crap. I say this as someone who pirates files regularly: the driving motivation is to get things without paying for them. Any other benefits are entirely secondary.

          Digital thieves have been playing this cute game of trying to make it seem like they’re doing something principled for decades. There’s been a whole series of justifications over the years.

        2. Elizabeth Burton

          I can vouch that the writers and musicians and other creatives the fruits of whose intellectual labors are being stolen by people who buy that “we’re courageous rebels against the corporate oligarchy” BS the pirate sites use as an excuse aren’t happy. Not to mention that many if not most of said sites these days are either credit-card harvesters or malware-installation machines.

          I’ll just mention in passing the irony of those complaining about rentiers praising thieves who indiscriminately steal ebooks and music and films, whether the source is Random Penguin or a tiny publisher like me. Heroes, indeed.

          And I have never used DRM, which makes the appearance of my company’s titles on those sites even more ironic.

        1. rd

          The Sony Music folks probably didn’t know who Bach is or when he wrote his tunes.

          They probably thought it was Wendy Carlos (formerly known as Walter) who wrote the music for the “Switched on Bach” album that they own the rights of.

          1. Conrad

            And yet the Sony execs (and their wives) who helped set the CD format standard were sufficiently familiar with Beethoven to make sure the 9th symphony would fit on a CD:

            When Sony and Philips were negotiating a single industry standard for the audio compact disc in 1979 and 1980, the story is that one of four people (or some combination of them) insisted that a single CD be able to hold all of the Ninth Symphony. The four were the wife of Sony chairman Akio Morita, speaking up for her favorite piece of music; Sony VP Norio Ohga (the company’s point man on the CD), recalling his studies at the Berlin Conservatory; Mrs. Ohga (her favorite piece, too); and conductor Herbert von Karajan, who recorded for Philips subsidiary Polygram and whose Berlin Philharmonic recording of the Ninth clocked in at 66 minutes.

            Well sort of anyhow (if you read the rest of the article).

      5. gordon

        Well, of course, security of property has always been seen as a fundamental pillar of capitalism. So either (a) it actually isn’t, or (b) capitalism is over.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Some great comments on that thread like this one:

      Sep 12
      Replying to @drandersgs @tim_cook
      Remember when Amazon did this with an eBook of _1984_?
      War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. And now, Purchase is rental.

  4. Wukchumni

    Sunspot Observatory closed due to security issue and Update: Authorities not saying a lot as Sunspot Observatory remains closed Alamogordo Daily News. Odd.
    When was the last time the FBI raided an observatory, and closed it down for a week?

    Why would the Federal Bureau of Investigation stifle solar investigation?

      1. The Rev Kev

        In a good investigation you hope that you will get a Mulder and Scully but in reality you tend to get Toody and Muldoon from Car 54.

    1. h2odragon

      Best proposed explanation I’ve seen so far is that someone was using Federal gear and bandwidth to host inappropriate porn. That wouldn’t explain the post office, though.

      Who runs the FBI in New Mexico? Has that person had a stroke and not stopped work? they’ve been in the news a lot recently with sketchy actions.

      1. paradan

        I remember reading something about a guy that works at an observatory in NM. Border patrol keeps pulling him over, even though its way north of the border. He’s been trying to document this whole ordeal. Maybe there looking for incriminating files on his work computer, etc.

        1. Jean

          “even though its way north of the border.”
          As far out as 100 miles from the actual border is their allowed beat, to and including both sides along all navigable waterways.

      2. My2cents

        Anyone remember the anthrax mailings back in 2001 after 9/11? Shutting down a post office and a local research facility would make sense together if someone had sent poisonous radiological or biological items through the mail to said research facility. Would certainly be possible that it might take at least several days to get samples from a possibly contaminated area thoroughly tested in a laboratory.

    2. divadab

      Perhaps Father Sun is angry. Wouldn’t you be at the disrespectful mess we are making of our living planet?

      I mean, we’re supposed to be the brains of the outfit.

      1. carycat

        they are just maximizing shareholder value by going with cost reduced ingredients, nothing to see here. the FDA is just slow in replacing their decision makers with more market friendly political appointees. don’t think for a moment that management at the US producers are not dreaming of crapifying their existing product line and introducing a premium line so the 10% can still reproduce themselves plus juice their profit margins either way.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The Tibetan Plateau, including QInghai and Yunnan, is a source for many medicinal herbs, including cordeceps.

          Many good local brands can be developed based on that, so they don’t have to always rely on our FDA.

  5. Kurtismayfield

    The gas explosions in Massachusetts sound more and more like crapification as we get more information here.

    #1. With aging pipes gas companies have to apply more pressure to the lines. With temperatures moderating the last few days gas useage has gone down, so pressure could build in the pipes.

    #2. The meters that were installed by the company involved in the accidents were all installed in the past year. My spidey senses are tingling that these are probably fancy WiFi enabled devices.

    I do hope we get an official investigation by a government agency that isn’t completely captured. I know I am asking for too much.

    1. Harry

      You don’t think this might be where the crapification story meets the opiate abuse story? Cos god knows theres a lot of blue collar opiate use in MA, and NH. And what I heard was that someone hooked a high pressure gas line to a low pressure system.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          The good citizens of Lawerence, North Andover and Andover need not fear. At considerable taxpayer expense, life and limb, a complete investigation whitewash is underway and palms will be greased.

          All part of Make Lawrence Great Again.

  6. Wukchumni

    We know what happened when Wall*Street bailed itself out a decade ago with a little help from their friends, but lets discuss what would have occurred if the dozen or so firms that should have gone bankrupt, actually did?

    What would’ve gone down, in your opinion?

    1. jsn

      Depends on how you filter the drain: stand back and let human nature take its course and you get a quick decent to chaos followed by collapse; put the insolvent in receivership and take over the payments system and you have the .01% in the palm of your hand.

      1. a different chris

        In 2011, the Obama administration changed this policy, pushing renting over owning. The CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, echoed this view shortly thereafter. There are many reasons for the change, and not all of them were bad.

        One reason I bet, not sure if it’s good or bad, but the ridiculous “go where the jobs are” line ran directly head on to the “own your own home” line. With the costs and time associated with home turnover, nobody out of the 1% could manage both.

  7. bassmule

    Re: Gas explosions north of Boston. Criminal negligence, at minimum?

    From a 2013 FERC settlement:

    “According to Columbia, approximately 73 percent of the 12,000 miles of its system subject to the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) regulation was constructed before the enactment of Federal pipeline safety standards in 1970.

    In addition, Columbia states that its system contains approximately 1,272 miles of bare steel pipeline, which is at higher risk for corrosion and failure. According to Columbia, this is significantly more bare steel pipeline than any other interstate pipeline subject to DOT regulation. Columbia states that the majority of its system cannot accommodate in-line inspection and cleaning tools.”


    1. allan

      This might have more to do with pressure regulators than the pipelines themselves.
      It sounds very similar to an accident in a suburb of Rochester, NY, in 1951.

      Story and video.

    2. bob

      Just off hand, without knowing anything about this accident, but familiar with some gas systems- this isn’t a pipeline problem. Some sort of pressure regulation problem possibly caused by a faulty valve.

      Broken pipes wouldn’t transmit gas into houses and businesses.

      But, there should have been more check valves. A single point of failure causing that much trouble is unlikely.

      1. Harry

        What was reported locally was that a worker hooked a high pressure gas line to a low pressure system. Of course that could be totally garbled but just reporting what I heard.

        Giant pain in the ass – Targets 15miles away were full of shoppers buy toothbrushes and toothpaste cos of the evacuation.

    3. bob

      Those links are for a columbia gas transmission pipeline. It doesn’t look like that line even reaches mass.

      This is a local, retail utility problem, it sounds like.

      Its high voltage transmission lines for electricity vs lower voltage distribution to homes and businesses. Vastly different pressures involved.

  8. samhill

    Michael Bloomberg set to run for Democrats against Trump for presidency in 2020 The Times.

    He can do for America what he did for NYC, drive the working class out of the country. Supremacist, “Build The Wall” can become neo-liberal, “Expand The PATH Train To Mexico”.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I expect he will be the Lindsey Graham of the cycle. The msm will love him, and no one else. He will continue to make videos to appear hip to the kids.

      “Hey, I was once on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and no, I am not Larry David. I did enjoy Seinfeld.” -Bloomberg circa early 2020 at Bloomberg youth rally held adjacent to a mall average age of non-paid attendence, whatever Michael Bloomberg’s age is.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Michael Bloomberg was born in 1942 which makes him 76 years old. That would make him 78 by the time of the 2020 US election and may I point out that he is four years older than Donald Trump and Trump was supposed to have been the oldest man ever to have been elected President.

      2. JohnnyGL

        I’m fine with Bloomberg running. The bigger the field, the more advantage to the bigger names in the race….that means Sanders, Biden, Warren.

        Harris, Booker, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, etc. all have a lot of work to do to build up their names and brands. They can’t do it while Bloomberg’s sucking up all the oxygen in the room. Plus, the 2nd tier names won’t be able to fundraise and campaign simultaneously. Bloomberg’s vanity project really gets in their way.

        Let’s get Howard Schultz in there, too! I’d love watching Bernie slay a field full of billionaires on his way to victory!!!

        1. Michael

          “The bigger the field,…” the better!!
          More Trumpian nicknames and takedowns.
          Question is, will anyone go toe to toe and an eye for an eye with him on stage?
          That will be something to see.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Of COURSE Bloomberg is running. Because billionaires deserve to choose between two of their own.

  9. dunning kroger

    So this Puerto Rico death toll thing. The MSM is using as a club to beat Trump but its not actually a count of the dead right?

    One of the programs called it an estimate based on a study of how many people should normally die there during that time.

    Are they frigging kidding? Did anyone count the dead from drowning and such and just add them to the people who were hit by lightning etc etc. ?

    Because that is how a death toll has always worked in the past . 5 people swept over the seawall , plus 12 that drowned elsewhere blah blah. Not we think 3 people got HIV from having unprotected sex with volunteers and died 2 years later .

    How about just a list of real dead people with their names and not this vietnam body count estimate shit

    1. Wukchumni

      Imagine how many Americans stateside would die in the aftermath of electricity being cut off for a period of many months?

      Wouldn’t be immediate, just a slow & steady die off of those who relied on it to keep them alive.

      1. dunning kroger

        I agree but in the past the way they did it was to just list out the actual deaths. In this case they realized that the bigger the number the bigger the club to beat a certain president with.

        Trump did not send a hurricane to hit the place and did not cause the conditions that were in place on the ground before the storm hit. Could he have responded better? Of course in hindsight if you know what all the issues are going to be you can mitigate the results. .Blaming Trump serves to score points against him but it also gives cover to whatever corrupt millionaires or government workers let the infrastructure decay they way it did.

        Yesterday here in Boston area there was a crazy gas incident where 70 houses caught fire. It sounds like someone did something stupid to cause it and the monetary damages are going to be in the millions so you can bet the ass covering and scapegoating is going to be epic. Its will all play out on TV because ratings but it does no good to the people who are homeless or dead though . The media will probably use the gas incident to attack trump also.

        1. Wukchumni

          What if absolutely nothing was done in regards to those that lost their homes in Boston last night?

          That’s what went down in Puerto Rico, and yes, Galligula is completely responsible.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            C’mon, man.

            Puerto Rico has been an overly-indebted, tax-advantaged plantation colony of american “citizens” exploited for its draft-eligible population and cheap labor since it became some sort of a part of the united states.

            Nobody’s given a shit about it or its substandard infrastructure or its people for 100 years, as long as, most recently, pharma and the travel and leisure industry got theirs.
            Their fellow “citizens” have been beating them up with the Jones Act for a century. Puerto Ricans moving to the mainland have been derided and despised.

            Puerto Ricans should be thanking Trump for making them sympathetic again, since he seems to be the one guy who’s held in more contempt than they are. Not that it’s going to get them anywhere, since it’s just more disingenuous grist for the resistance mill, and they’ll be abandoned faster than they were embraced.

            PS. What to do when you don’t have “Galligula” to kick around anymore? I guess it’ll just be back to “shit happens” or “whocouldaknode.” But the shit’s gonna keep happening anyway because it’s not really the bad guy’s fault, and blaming him just makes you feel righteous.

            1. Wukchumni

              Puerto Ricans are Americans, no matter what you think of them, and i’ve found when horrible people get away with doing nothing as our hapless leader did, they’re apt to do it again.

              What if I used the same measures as you, but instead of one group of Americans, I classified everybody from Mississippi with utter contempt, as you do?

              1. Harry

                Americans without proper Congressional or Senate representation – its pretty obvious they are colonials. God knows why America wants colonies but hey ho.

                Why don’t you just make them manifestly American like say Hawaii?

                1. Anon

                  Wouldn’t make any difference. Americans love to hate other Americans.

                  (The concept of the united states is a myth.)

        2. pretzelattack

          there’s no “hindsight” about it, he’s using the same disaster capitalism playbook the dems use.

      2. Harry

        Exactly. Count the number of elderly in care homes that died because they couldn’t get water, and the air-conditioning was shut off.

    2. marym

      …the number highlighted in the GWU report, which was based on an analysis of death certificates filed between September 2017 and February 2018, represents deaths “in excess of what would have been predicted if there had not been a hurricane”…This could include deaths caused by dangerous conditions encountered while evacuating, for example, or by disruptions to medical care stemming from widespread, lasting power outages in Puerto Rico, for example.

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines say that these indirect deaths should be counted in disaster totals…

      Link (Article includes link to CDC guidelines)

      1. dunning kroger

        Right so nonsense numbers basically . Lying with statistics , dancing on the graves of the dead to score political points .

        1. marym

          Attempting to define and revise methodologies for measuring indirect deaths from natural disaster doesn’t appear to be anything new.

          2016 – Authors from National Weather Service and FEMA –

          Fatalities in the United States Indirectly Associated with Atlantic Tropical Cyclones

          Four factors, each with multiple manifestations that sometimes occur in combination, were associated with a large majority of indirect deaths. They are power problems, cardiovascular failure, evacuation, and vehicular incidents. Table 1 and Fig. 1 show the distribution of casualties across the most frequently noted concomitants for the 10 storms associated with the most indirect deaths, and for the aggregation of all 59 storms studied.

          2015 – re: NOAA

          Using newly available information from Louisiana’s epidemiology office and a database of historical mass casualty events in the U.S., NOAA researchers have completed a count of indirect deaths for Katrina and other storms from the last half-century. The database — which includes all events since colonial times in which 10 or more people died — was compiled by Wayne Blanchard, a retired manager of emergency management instruction at FEMA. The findings — estimates of the total number of deaths for Katrina and the other storms, broken down by direct and indirect causes — are expected to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

          2011 – NIH

          Mortality From a Tornado Outbreak, Alabama

          The case definition included all deaths directly or indirectly related to the tornadoes on April 27, 2011, in Alabama.8 A death was defined as directly related if it was caused by the environmental forces of the disaster (e.g., strong wind) or by the direct consequence of these forces (e.g., flying debris). A death was defined as indirectly related if it was caused by unsafe or unhealthy conditions generated by the disaster (e.g., hazardous roads) or a loss or disruption of usual services (e.g., a power outage).

          1. dunning kroger

            No but under the sainted Obama presidency the media would have said 19 deaths or 64 deaths and buried the big number. They would stop talking about it very quickly too .They are always going to bury one of the numbers , unless they bury both.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It would seem intuitive that every natural disaster is unique.

              For example, for the same 7.0 quake, the damage would vary depending on the location, soil condition, time of the quake, building types, etc.

              If a toll is high, it’s high. We would have to look at the details to know more.

              Using a single number seems misleading.

              It shouldn’t be reported that way.

    3. RUKidding

      Trump and others may be confused about how death tolls are calculated following disasters such as Hurricanes Maria and Katrina. It’s likely true that in the immediate aftermath of such storms, the death toll is rather low. I think with Maria it was initially around 18 (or something) but then rose to 64. While no death is “good,” such figures do seem alright under the circumstances.

      However, it’s not some Democratic plot to make Trump look bad when the death toll rises after the event. I believe the final accepted death toll for Katrina was over 1800, and now we have these figures for Maria. What happens in the aftermath is attributed to the event, including whether citizens can be evacuated and/or receive medical treatment in time to prevent death. In the case of Maria, a lot of people were stranded in remote areas with little to no easy access. The elderly and ill often die under such circumstances because they’re not receiving the care needed. These deaths, then, are attributed to the event. Those deaths likely would not have happened in such high numbers if the disaster had not happened.

      This isn’t some arcane, devious thing. These types of studies and death counts happen after every disaster of this nature. Just because Trump doesn’t like the numbers doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy to make him look bad. Sheesh.

      How about a little sympathy and compassion for US citizens in Puerto Rico who suffered so after the storm, and who lost family, friends and neighbors because of this disaster. Let’s think about them for a change.

      1. Lobsterman

        You’re asking a conservative to have sympathy and/or compassion.

        That . . . is not a thing that will work out.

    4. Eduardo

      How many died in Hurricane Katrina?

      The death toll from Katrina is uncertain, with reports differing by hundreds. According to the National Hurricane Center, 1,836 fatalities can be attributed to the storm: 1 in Kentucky, 2 each in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, 14 in Florida, 238 in Mississippi, and 1,577 in Louisiana. However, 135 people remain categorized as missing in Louisiana, and many of the deaths are indirect, but it is almost impossible to determine the exact cause of some of the fatalities. A 2008 report by the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal indicates that 966 deaths can be directly attributed to the storm in Louisiana, including out of state evacuees, and another 20 indirectly (such as firearm related deaths and gas poisoning). Due to uncertain causes of death with 454 evacuees, an upper-bound of 1,440 is noted in the paper. A follow-up study by the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals determined that the storm was directly responsible for 1,170 fatalities in Louisiana.

      Wikipedia Hurricane Katrina

  10. Wukchumni

    The telltale sign that things were about to come cropper came months before Lehman went toes up, in that IndyMac Bank went bust.

    Those effected was anybody with over $100k in their insured accounts, as any overage wasn’t insured.

    A friend that had $900k in another bank, told me that in the course of a day, he opened 9 separate accounts across town, he was terrified.

    Watch the reactions of people in line, there’s an air of desperation in their voices.

    And as we know, Mnuchin & cronies bought IndyMac, changed the name to OneWest and then went on a foreclosure binge.

    1. Jean

      Which then California attorney general and now potential presidential candidate senator Kamala Harris decided not to prosecute.
      How’s that for turning the other cheek Wukchumni?

  11. Olga

    Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. At least Taibbi uses the word “criminal.”
    In 1999, mom showed me papers to refinance her mortgage. A couple of guys from Household Finance showed up at her doorstep (granted, she prob called them herself, forever searching for more cash to waste) and offered her refinancing, rolling in the credit card debt. She did not know that this would nix her homestead protection and did not bother to look at the second page, where in small print the interest rate was 12.99% (from her then-rate of about 6%). I had to call and tell them never to come back. They yelled at me… but did not return. Her entire income at the time was a tiny $500/mo pension.

    1. Wukchumni

      We re-fied our home in 2004, and the manager of the bank doing it, asked how much money we wanted to borrow, as if that was the only reason (we just wanted to lower our monthly payment) and that was my lightbulb moment, everybody was borrowing from the 1st National Bank of their Home, plunging themselves deeper into debt.

      1. bob

        As has been pointed out here, it’s already a lot worse than at the peak of the last cycle.

        Borrow! its so cheap!

      2. nihil obstet

        Significant numbers of people have startling lack of knowledge about finance. I remember the commercials for refinancing from the early/mid aughts: “Put the equity in your home to work for you” or phrases implying that money in your home is a big waste. I am convinced that many people didn’t know that they were borrowing money. They heard that rich people had stocks, and what they had that was equivalent was their home, so “unlocking” its value was equivalent to clipping stock coupons. And the bank loan officers were assuring them that yes, this is the way that people have nice lives, so they took the advice of the financial expert in the bank.

        While lots of people work at desks with computers and can cruise the internet at work, lots more don’t. The expectation that they will somehow absorb enough knowledge about finance, insurance, medical concerns, political candidates, retirement to make effective decisions is completely loony. They’re not stupid. They’re just trying to live decent lives, guided by misleading-to-the-point-of-fraud statements dimly heard in commercials.

  12. a different chris

    Clarification: Drive the working class domiciles out of the country – provisions will be made they can still get in at the crack of dawn to wipe the butts of rich white people. How would the 10% endure without somebody to serve them $6 lattes?

  13. a different chris

    I’m looking at the picture at the top of Tabbi’s story. The Democrat’s solution is to replace the appropriate proportion of those white males (I count 10?) with women and people of color. Otherwise, nothing.

  14. a different chris

    Well I have to tweak Tabbi a bit here:

    Even the FBI – not exactly an on-the-ball financial regulator, certainly not to the degree that Treasury or the Fed is expected to be – had warned as far back as 2004 that so-called “liar’s loans” were “epidemic” and would cause a “financial crisis” if not addressed.

    CNN told the public of the FBI warning of a “next S&L crisis,” going so far as to identify the top 10 “hot spots’ for mortgage fraud” in: Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.

    Not exactly “on-the-ball”? But his next paragraph proves that they were. Here’s what I suspect: The Treasury and Fed were stacked with Ivy League geniuses. The FBI had the state school grads. If that is true, then it is no surprise to me who got it right.

    1. BobW

      I don’t know if it’s still true, but one of the things the FBI used to look for in applicants was accounting experience.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Because they investigate a lot of business crime, at least before they discovered that “terrorism” was far more exciting, and those charged can’t afford top lawyers.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “EU steps up planning for refugee exodus if Assad attacks Idlib”

    I don’t believe this story for a minute. For a start, just how exactly are those refugees going to be able to get out of Idlib? The only foreign border is the Turkish border and the Turks have sealed that border shut. They have allowed some buses out from Idlib into Turkey put those buses had their windows completely darkened so that may have been only Turkish and western special forces getting out while the going is good. Ordinary Syrian refugees are all out of luck.
    I think that the real reason came out this week when the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Dria warned that an attack on Idlib “could scatter thousands of foreign militants abroad, posing a security threat to the West.” That is the real worry. I wonder, for example, how many Jihadists carry French ID cards and passports. Guess where they are wanting to be going?
    There are any number of terrorist groups in Idlib the most well known being ISIS and Al-Quada but there are also many foreign Jihadists that include fighters from Uzbekistan, Chechnya and China’s ethnic Uighur minority as well as British, French, German and god knows who else. There is about 10,000 in all. So, the $64,000 question. Which western country wants to accept refugees from Idlib knowing that there is a solid chance that they will include either Jihadists or Jihadist sympathizers?

    1. gordon

      Which links nicely with the item on the post-liberal international order. Question: why would “Western” countries fear an influx of jihadists? Answer: because their own internal instability would allow the jihadists’ ideas and organisations to multiply and spread rapidly. As the Lawfare article said: “…what happens in states does not stay inside states. Civil wars are becoming increasingly internationalized. Popular uprisings against repressive governments have wide-reaching demonstration effects.”

      Nothing new about this, of course. Reminiscent of Europe just before WWI.

  16. Big River Bandido

    So, DNC member Nomiki Konst — the reporter from TYT who delivered this epic chewing out — gets purged from voter rolls?

    This is no coincidence. The New York State Board of Elections, IIRC, is already under a consent decree for exactly this type of brazenness…although not this level of stupidity.

    Nomiki Konst should sue.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wasn’t the New York State Board of Elections the same mob that deleted 200,000 New Yorkers off the rolls for the 2016 Presidential elections? And all they got was a firm talking too?

        1. Hamford

          Yep, a very, very stern talking to from the disgraced and removed former NY AG Schneiderman. (Reminds me of when Hillary went down to Wall Street and told them to “Knock It Off!”). 200k voters removed from the democrat[ic] primary and nary a peep or any judicial precedings.

  17. allan

    From the new “information” filed by Mueller’s office today (linked to in this Buzzfeed story):

    37. In addition to the law firm report, MANAFORT took other steps on behalf of the
    Government of Ukraine to tarnish Tymoshenko in the United States. In addition to disseminating
    stories about her soliciting murder, noted above, in October 2012, MANAFORT orchestrated a
    scheme to have, as he wrote in a contemporaneous communication, “[O]bama jews” put pressure
    on the Administration to disavow Tymoshenko and support Yanukovych. MANAFORT sought
    to undermine United States support for Tymoshenko by spreading stories in the United States that
    a senior Cabinet official (who had been a prominent critic of Yanukovych’s treatment of
    Tymoshenko) was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in
    turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic
    views. MANAFORT coordinated privately with a senior Israeli government official to issue a
    written statement publicizing this story. MANAFORT then, with secret advance knowledge of
    that Israeli statement, worked to disseminate this story in the United States, writing to Person D1
    “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.” MANAFORT sought to have
    the Administration understand that “the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election
    day if he does nothing.” MANAFORT then told his United States lobbyist to inform the
    Administration that Ukraine had worked to prevent the Administration’s presidential opponent
    from including damaging language in the Israeli statement, so as not to harm the Administration,
    and thus further ingratiate Yanukovych with the Administration.

    Sure sounds like foreign interference in a US election. By a nuclear armed state, no less.
    When do the sanctions start?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Sssshhh— that sounds suspiciously like Criticism of Israel and the Israel Zionist lobby in the US. And we all know that any such talk is anti-Semitic, that vastly grown category…

      “Remember the Liberty,, and Marc Rich, and Jonathan Pollard, and Adelson…”

    2. Unna

      Tymoshenko (she of the truly beautiful hair), aka the Gas Princess, vs Porochenko, (you can buy his candy in the Russian store in Calgary) aka the Chocolate King, in the next presidential election in Ukraine. Get your tickets now. Which armed militia will support whom? Tip sheets on sale as to which one Trump, dba Pompeo Bolton Haley & Co. will support. Maybe the judge should sentence Manafort to five years hard labour in Ukraine to try and straighten things out. They could do worse than Manafort in that political mess.

    3. ewmayer

      “Sure sounds like foreign interference in a US election. By a nuclear armed state, no less.
      When do the sanctions start?” — Perhaps the Mueller witch hunt should properly be referred to as a “fission expedition”?

  18. a different chris

    What the heck is with that Intercept story? The headline says “New Yorkers wiped them out” but the story below is from before the election. I had to open the comments to learn anything and all I got there was one of them said something along the lines of “yea! 5 out of 7” but I still don’t know which 5 won. Sheesh.

  19. Livius Drusus

    Re: W(h)ither Italy?

    Salvini is on a roll because the Italian political class failed miserably and so Italians are desperate to find someone to solve their problems. It is not surprising that the mixture of high unemployment and the migration crisis would produce a volatile situation.

    The European left has no real answers these days so the populist right is winning with a mixture of anti-elitist rhetoric and xenophobia. A lot of NC readers might disagree with me but the American left looks to be in better shape than the European left. At least here we have Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, the various Berniecrat primary challengers and a growing DSA. Even labor unions have won some small victories lately like the victory against right-to-work in Missouri. I don’t see anything like that in Europe (well, outside of the UK with Corbyn) where the left-wing parties seem to be totally captured by neoliberalism.

    1. Mark Pontin

      Livius Drusus: I don’t see anything like that in Europe (well, outside of the UK with Corbyn)

      One wishes, though, that alongside Corbyn’s principles he were as smart as Sanders.

      1. witters

        “One wishes, though, that alongside Corbyn’s principles he were as smart as Sanders.”

        So then he would get foreign policy right?

    2. Lorenzo

      where the left-wing parties seem to be totally captured by neoliberalism

      well that could perfectly apply to both sides of the pond. Plus with the results that have just come out out of New York State, I’m not holding my breath for 2020. I fail to see the real difference in prospects for a non-neoliberal leftist alternative between the EU and the US, they have no chance at government in either place for the foreseeable future (EU elections in May next year, US presidential in 2020).

    3. DJG

      Livius Drusus: What preoccupies me is that the Americanization of Italian politics is truly deleterious. Salvini is an opportunist who is self-consciously modeled after Trump. Berlusconi likes the Bush family and modeled many of this political stances on George I and George II. And the feckless Partito Democratico is also deliberately modeled on the U.S. Democratic Party. So if anyone here wants to see just how terrible the U.S. Democratics are, just watch the PD. When the PD manages to lose Umbria, it has managed to achieve a feat as great as losing Wisconsin.

      Jill Lepore has written about the effects of social media and mass communication. One of the effects seems to be the export of the incompetence of the Anglo-American elites and their many resentments (against the poor, against people who work, against anyone with skin darker than a receipt at a “classy” restaurant).

      In Italy, as in Greece, you have a long history of leftist culture, whole areas of life that leftists dominated or where leftists were particularly active. I’m seeing a good deal of grassroots activism Italy. I am watching the Sentinelli di Milano, ARCI (which was once mainly communist), and the movement in support of migrants. One telling video at Repubblica’s site a few weeks back: Groups like the Sentinelli, LeU, and others held a large demonstration in the port of Catania to try to get the disputed ship to dock. When the PD showed up, the others chased them away. I haven’t seen anything quite like that in a while, and it bodes well.

  20. Eclair

    RE: Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Pledge $2 Billion for Homeless and Preschoolers

    We want Solidarity, not Charity.

    Start by paying your warehouse workers a wage that enables them to obtain housing in the communities they live and work in. And, not having to chose between rent/mortgage and food.

    Start by throwing your support to implement Improved Medicare for All. At the speed at which the Patriot Act and the TSA were approved and implemented.

    Start by paying your full share of corporate property and other local taxes that support school systems and local infrastructure.

    Start by demanding free tuition at local and state colleges and universities. And, while you’re at it, make that free tuition to medical and nursing schools. (Not law schools; we don’t need more lawyers.)

    Note: that’s just a start.

    But don’t insult us by offering us (family blog) charity!

    1. taunger

      Actually, we could use more lawyers. It’s largely a distribution problem, but most of the current crop have made clear they have no intent of serving under-served communities for less than the going big city rate.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Gotta pay off those student loans, eh? Or maybe #juststoppaying, and go do some “good works” opposing the corporate state and organizing a taking of political power in service to the general welfare? Naaahh.

    2. RUKidding

      This is like how Bill & Melinda Gates have their charities and foundations so that they cherry pick what they feel like supporting, as well as being in charge of how that support is provided. I want to puke every time someone praises Gates for being such a great philanthropist. Eh? Not so much.

      Ditto x 10000 for Bezos and his wife.

      Pay your [family blog] taxes so that US citizens can (purportedly) have more of a say about how your ill-gotten lucre gets distributed.

      This is just a dodge to make him “look good.”

      I agree: start by paying your workers a decent wage, by providing good benefits and at least a 401(k) if not a pension.

      Thanks for nothing, Bezos.

      1. anon

        And just like the definitely pukeworthy Bill & Melinda Philanthropy™, Bezos and family have also been fervently working to Reform Education™ to their liking. From 2013 (I removed most of the links from the excerpt):

        By Lee Fang Jeff Bezos’s Other Endeavor: Charter Schools, Neoliberal Education Reforms

        There’s one area where Bezos has been hyper-active, but it is largely unknown to the general public: education reform. A look at the Bezos Family Foundation, which was founded by Jackie and Mike Bezos but is financed primarily by Jeff Bezos, reveals a fairly aggressive effort in recent years to press forward with a neoliberal education agenda:

        • The Bezos Foundation has donated to Education Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that funds attack advertisements against teachers’ unions and other advocacy efforts to promote test-based evaluations of teachers. Education Reform Now also sponsors Democrats for Education Reform.

        • The Bezos Foundation provided $500,000 to NBC Universal to sponsor the Education Nation, a media series devoted to debating high-stakes testing, charter schools and other education reforms.

        • The Bezos Foundation provided over $100,000 worth of Amazon stock to the League of Education Voters Foundation to help pass the education reform in Washington State. Last year, the group helped pass I-1240, a ballot measure that created a charter school system in Washington State. In many states, charter schools open the door for privatization by inviting for-profit charter management companies to take over public schools that are ostensibly run by nonprofits.

        Other education philanthropy supported by the Bezos Foundation include KIPP, Teach for America and many individual charter schools, including privately funded math and science programs across the country.

        Jeff’s stepfather, ‘Mike’ Bezos (noted in the above excerpt), actually uses his original first name, Miguel, for at least some business filings. Those filings show the charter school connections for at least eight years:

        MIKE BEZOS

        1. JTMcPhee

          “Education REform,” or “education DEform?” Making it no longer “education” at all, except in the sense of those various nations’ “re-education camps,” seems to be the goal.

          1. anon

            My thought would be education DEform. Frankly, the whole ongoing Billionaires’ Reform Education™ nightmare — for heading on two decades (or more?) now — conjures up Hitler Young Folk, regurgitated for the 21st Century Technocracy, to my mind.

        2. anon

          In case anyone is wondering, here’s Jeff’s mother’s bizpedia page (there’s nothing under the names Jackie, Jaqueline, or Jacqueline Bezos).


          Also, so much for any remaining bootstrap stories that might be floating around, from late July, 2018 (oddly not noted in the following article title is that Jacklyn and Miguel were already filthy rich, presumably via her father, Lawrence Preston Gise’s connections and wealth [1], when they invested in Amazon):

          A Hidden Amazon Fortune: Bezos Parents May Be Worth Billions

          In 1995, Jackie and Mike Bezos plowed $245,573 into their son’s fledgling e-commerce website, according to a prospectus two years later.

          Further down in the piece:

          “We were fortunate enough that we have lived overseas and we have saved a few pennies so we were able to be an angel investor,” Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant who also goes by Miguel, said in Philadelphia. “The rest is history.”

          He bought 582,528 shares in February 1995, according to the 1997 prospectus. Five months later, Jackie Bezos bought 847,716 shares. The wider Bezos family held this stock through four trusts at the end of 1999, another filing shows. The Jacklyn Gise Bezos 1996 Revocable Trust held 8.9 million shares, followed by the Miguel A. Bezos 1996 Revocable Trust with 4.8 million shares, while the Bezos Family Trust and the Bezos Generation Skipping Trust held 2.9 million and 675,000, respectively.

          [1] That’s an older (February 9th, 2018) Jeff Bezos wiki page link. It shows far more (unrefuted) detail about Maternal Gramps, Lawrence Preston Gise than Jeff’s current wiki page.

  21. Craig H.

    > The storm-clouds are building above Europe

    Europe now needed Weltpolitikfähigkeit, “the capability to do world politics”, insisted Mr Juncker. This should take several forms: increasing defence spending, a new partnership with Africa, expanding the use of the euro as an international alternative to the dollar and a move to qualified majority voting on certain foreign-policy subjects (opposing Chinese human-rights abuses, for example). Closer to home, there should be measures to strengthen the euro’s stability, a drive to remove terrorist content from the internet faster and a big increase in the staffing and powers of the EU’s puny border- and coastguard.

    That’s not what I was guessing the word was going to mean.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Following your sentiments, I happened across this interesting article on the perceptions and planning of “the world’s greatest military:

      Pentagon study declares American empire is ‘collapsing’ —
      Report demands massive expansion of military-industrial complex to maintain global ‘access to resources’

      The principal conclusions, based on a year-long study across the DoD and the Army smartest people? More surveillance of the potentially restive citizenry, better poopaganda to manipulate public opinion, and of course a yuuuger amount of wealth dumped into the military sh!tter.

      All because doing all that for decades now has apparently resulted in the end of the Empire as the “pre-eminent world power,” and an unseemly “resistance to authority” on the part of the mopery. Who would have thought it possible, just a few short years ago?

      1. Craig H.

        If I was a Euro geopolitical strategist my think tank would only care about not going under when China and the U.S. decide to go at it.

        google search on (renovating nazi underground factory) fetches zip on the first page.

    2. Unna

      “Weltmüdigkeit” would be a better word for the tone of this Economist article, meaning “world weariness”. The EU is a spent force and Juncker is its incarnation. No “young lord” is he. The EU has been revealed as a neo-liberal blob and the Euro has been revealed as an instrument of German economic domination by means of a currency and tariff union, something they’ve wanted since Germany’s war aims of WWI. The EU is a subordinate collage of states in thrall to NATO and American foreign policy domination. The Eastern European countries have now culturally distanced themselves from Brussels and are making an existential choice to be themselves. A post-modern High Crime. Italy is on it’s way. The UK is going out, it would seem, crash be damned as well as the consequences. To say that our unfähige Juncker is merely Weltmüdig is a kindness. In contrast, Orban is vital and full of energy. And so is Salvini.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I happened to catch the tail end of a report where the European Parliament took their vote against Orban and it was surreal. This was not a vote by legislators and I do not know how to describe it. Virtue-signaling? Social justice warriors perhaps at work?
        In the vote it was a Dutch or Danish woman that gave the final needed vote and immediately these women came across to hug her and kiss her while she was seated. The woman legislator behind her actually leaned over and kissed her on her head and I was thinking wtf? This wasn’t gay rights or pesticide banning but voting against a country that wants to remain true to its identity.
        I believe that Nigel Farage was voting to support Orban’s viewpoint here but the whole thing was just bizarre. Won’t make any difference this vote as Poland shares Hungary’s concerns and the final vote has to be unanimous and both countries have each other’s backs here.

  22. perpetualWAR

    Regarding Taibbi’s article:

    Yesterday, I met with my state representative to talk about the deregulation of our WA foreclosure laws that took place within our court system in the last decade. The final deregulation was ushered in last legislativs session, with the legislature agreeing the banks need no evidence they own the loan to begin foreclosure. The rep didn’t even seem concerned when I said, “You do realize they are again funding zero down loans?”

    I also told him that escrow no longer requires the debt instrument be cancelled at the closing table. Does anyone know that title companies (escrow) receives both a “Lost Note Affidavits” and indemnity agreements rather than the original note when the exchange of money happens at closing? Think about this….

    The crooks are gearing up for the Greatest Recession. And no one seems to care…..people still are lining up to buy homes with zero down.

    1. Synoia

      As long as the re-conveyance deed is filed, ending the lien of the property, the liability at closing belongs to the note holder.

      Part of the paper train is the payment from escrow to the note holder, followed by the re-conveyance deed. At that point any court would find in favor of the buyer if there was an attempt to foreclose on the new owner, an innocent party.

      I believe WA is a non-judicial foreclosure state. In which case the east coast people just fail to understand the vast difference between both conveyancing and foreclosures in judicial and non-judicial foreclosures.

      The “produce the note” mechanism is just ineffective in non-judicial foreclosure states, because the title to the property is hypotheticated to the trustee named in the trust deed securing the note.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Actually, untrue. There is an appellate decision in WA that states if the homeowner failed to pay the proper party, they are still on-the-hook for ths debt! And escrow actually makes the seller tell them who to pay. The homeowners have zero idea who owns their note, they tell escrow to pay the only party they know: the servicer.

      2. perpetualWAR

        BTW, the reconveyance deed has zero to do with the debt instrument. That doc only serves to close the lien against the property. That has nothing to do with cancellation of the debt.

      3. perpetualWAR

        In addition, title to the property in WA is not held in trust. Ownership of the lien is held in trust. A trustee that executes a foreclosure on the lien, which will transfer ownership, must receive payment (cash or other negotiable instrument) for the homeowner before transferring the title. A creditor can purchase the property with the promissory note or cash. If they don’t want to “produce the note” then they need to pay cash. A credit bid means nothing until the property is purchased.

  23. Stanley Dundee

    Re: Stephanie Kelton Wants You to Rethink the Deficit (Barron’s)

    Happy as I am to see one of our MMT stars in mainstream media, it seems to me she has watered down the MMT messages so far as to be nearly undetectable. She failed to even mention inflation and taxation despite talking about the deficit. Her discussion of the Euro-area debt crises was especially flubbed. Did they leave out a paragraph? She was solid on national debt although even there she didn’t really clarify the linkage (nor identify treasury borrowings as subsidy to the rich). Could be Barron’s editing, I suppose. Leaves me wondering if we’re winning or losing the public education campaign.

  24. thump

    Thanks for the Independent article on the report of “UN scientists preparing for the end of capitalism.” It really gets at what bothers me with nearly all the other “what does the future hold” articles.

  25. Cynthia

    Re: “Prominent NYC hospitals making millions through captive insurance companies”

    Surprise, surprise, just another way for a “prominent” hospital system to rake in addition millions by finding and taking advantage of an obvious loophole in the corporate tax code. It’s not enough that these hospital systems, given that they are registered as “non-profits,” are already raking in millions by not paying anything in terms of property taxes, they are also trying to rake in even more millions by NOT paying anything in terms of taxes on health insurance.

    Unfortunately, greed and sinister tax-dodging practices among non-profit hospitals will continue, enabling them build “care centers” fit for a king, while public infrastructure, from roads and bridges to schools and sewer systems, crumble all around them. They’ll also make sure that there’s enough loot left over from dodging the taxman to pay their “management” team salaries fit for a king, leaving their “caregiving” staff salaries fit for a peasant.

    Ok, I exaggerate a bit. The salaries of direct caregivers, which mostly includes doctors that see patients and nurses that care for them, have not reached peasant levels, but they are certainly heading in that direction. Over the past decade or so, I have noticed that the pay scale for managerial staff, from nurse manager to hospital CEO, has increased roughly 30% to nearly 100%, respectively, while the pay scale for frontline doctors and nurses have remained essentially flat.

    This discrepancy between managerial pay and frontline pay is even wider for hospitals that are not unionized. And as hospitals add more and more physicians to their payroll numbers and require them to work more and more with less and less pay, as is now becoming the case, look to see more and more physicians employed by hospitals wanting to unionize. This will not only help morale and prevent burnout among frontline physicians, but it’ll also improve the quality and the amount of care patients receive. It’s proven to be true for frontline nurses, it should also prove to be true for frontline physicians.

    However, this won’t stop hospital management from trying to prove otherwise. After all, the more money that goes to direct patient care, the less money available for bigger salaries and bonuses for managerial staff. Management will argue that they deserve the lion’s share of the pay in terms of salaries and bonuses because if it weren’t for their managerial skills, patient care would deteriorate. Needless to say, the best determinant for how patients do in the hospital have little if anything to do with the number of managers on staff or how well they are paid. By far, the best determinant for how patients do in the hospital have almost everything to do with the number of frontline doctors and nurses on staff, including how well they are paid.

    Unfortunately, though, management controls the message, which is why the public, for the most part, is still fooled into believing that having an overly bloated and highly paid management team is what make a hospital great. Nothing could be further from the truth!


  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is speech critical of Israel anti-Semitic? In a case that could redefine campus politics, Trump administration weighs in Los Angeles Times


    Like everything else, shouldn’t that be determined on a case-by-case basis?

  27. ewmayer

    “Word of the day: Weltpolitikfähigkeit” — Note that for the U.S., to describe its being “agreement-incapable”, we could use Abkommensunfähigkeit. Some days I just love German. :)

  28. Wukchumni

    “Human beings are compelled to live within a lie, but they can be compelled to do so only because they are in fact capable of living in this way. Therefore not only does the system alienate humanity, but at the same time alienated humanity supports this system as its own involuntary masterplan, as a degenerate image of its own degeneration, as a record of people’s own failure as individuals.”

    Václav Havel

  29. bones

    RT’s interview with alleged Russian agents in the Salisbury case is an absolute must watch. Find the full version on Y**tube. The interview insinuates that the two men pictured on CCTV released by the British authorities are a closeted gay couple. The men are vague about their business and give details that make the viewer suspect they are involved in the doping racket. They are reluctant to offer much about themselves, either because they are gay steroid dealers, and they naturally don’t want to attract attention, or because they are agents who have been forced to play a role that embarrasses them.

    If the gay steroid dealer angle is just a cover story, then it was masterfully conceived, because it offers an excuse for the suspects to go off the radar. On queue RT’s Margarita Simonyan reports that she was unable to reach the two after the interview. A shame too. At some point they offered to give Margarita their photos from their vacation, which would have been a joy to see. Maybe photos, real or doctored, of Ruslan and Alexandre embracing in front of Salisbury Cathedral will soon emerge.

    1. ewmayer

      Clearly these fellows were forced to flee Russia to escape The EvilPutin’s ongoing genocide of gay people – when will the Good Guys™ finally do what is needed to rid the world of this bad wicked naughty evil menace? All together now – R2P! R2P! R2P!

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