Friday, October 21, 2016

Zero Hedge — Over 60% Of Americans Fear "Corruption Of Government Officials" Above Anything Else

Zero Hedge
Over 60% Of Americans Fear "Corruption Of Government Officials" Above Anything Else
Tyler Durden

VASKAL — The Most Revealing Emails from the #PodestaFiles, Separated By Category (Parts 1 - 13)


The Most Revealing Emails from the #PodestaFiles, Separated By Category (Parts 1 - 13)

Jonathan Turley — Wikileaks: Top Clinton Aides Detail “Expensive Gifts” and Unethical Deals By Clintons Through Their Foundation

Conflict of interest (unethical but not illegal) or quid pro quo (illegal)?

Wikileaks: Top Clinton Aides Detail “Expensive Gifts” and Unethical Deals By Clintons Through Their Foundation
Jonathan Turley | Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School

Pepe Escobar — The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle

Backgrounder on Mosul.

Strategic Culture Foundation
The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
Pepe Escobar

Raw Story — Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald: I got slimed by Russian propagandist site Sputnik

Kurt tells his side of the story. Somehow, I don't think is going to be the end of it. Someone is telling fibs.

Raw Story

Bill Black — Bank of England: Taking the Banks’ Fraud Proceeds Slows Growth

Crime pays! Who knew?
Elite bankers and the pathetic economists who serve as apologists for their frauds specialize in proving our family saying that it is impossible to compete with unintentional self-parody. The subtitle of the WSJ article providing the latest proof is “Fines on banks translate into $5 trillion of ‘reduced lending capacity,’ bank says.” The “bank” referred to is the Bank of England, which is supposed to be the UK’s primary bank regulator. To be kind, the “study” by BOE is so embarrassing that a better descriptor of the BOE would be “fraud enabler.”
New Economic Perspectives
Bank of England: Taking the Banks’ Fraud Proceeds Slows Growth
William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

Kollibri Terre Sonnenblume — Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials

Here’s some details about the Millennials (sources listed at end of article):
  • 43% non-white
  • Best educated generation in US history
  • Only 1/4 are married; 44% say that marriage is becoming obsolete
  • More tolerant of races and groups than older generations (47% vs. 19%)
  • Less religious
  • Views of media growing more negative
  • 61% “worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference”
  • 92% “believe that business success should be measured by more than just profit”
  • 83% “agreed with the statement, ‘there is too much power concentrated in the hands of a few big companies,’” which is higher than all other generations
  • 64% “would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring”
  • 88% “prefer a collaborative work culture rather than a competitive one”
These are helpful characteristics and admirable traits for the challenges that face us. By 2020, Millennials will make up 40% of the electorate so we could be in for a big shake-up…
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Kollibri Terre Sonnenblume

Diana Johnstone — Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell

It has become crystal clear.
For the record, here it is.
She has big ambitions, which she does not spell out for fear of frightening part of the electorate, but which are perfectly understood by her closest aides and biggest donors.She wants to achieve regime change in Russia.
She enjoys the support of most of the State Department and much of the Pentagon, and Congress is ready to go..…
Like Obama-Biden-Soros haven't been working on this already. The problem the establishment has with Obama is that he is too cautious. They prefer HRC's style instead because she is rash.

Congratulations to Diane Johnstone for saying the obvious. Johnstone fails to mention, however, that the prize is China. Russia has to be removed as an obstacle first. Regime change in Russia and China are necessary steps in securing permanent US global hegemony in this century.

US strategist are dreaming, however, that the Russian people would prefer another Yeltsin to someone like Putin. The Western-leaming neoliberals are less that 5% of the population although they comprise the moneyed elite that looted the country in the Yeltsin years. The United Party that backs Putin is the majority. Next come the conservatives that are convinced war with the US in inevitable. Behind them, comprising about 20% of the population is the Communist Party prefers a return to socialism. The US elite is simply delusional about Russia and the likely outcome of regime change there.

Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Diana Johnstone

Alex Emmons — Major New Court Ruling Says “Even The President” Can’t Declare Torture Lawful

In a robust ruling in favor of Abu Ghraib detainees, an appellate court ruled Friday that torture is such a clear violation of the law that it is “beyond the power of even the president to declare such conduct lawful.”
The ruling from a unanimous panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates a lawsuit against a military contractor for its role in the torture of four men at the notorious prison in Iraq.
Last June, a district court ruled that a “cloud of ambiguity” surrounds the definition of torture, and that despite anti-torture laws, the decision to torture was a “political question” that could not be judged by courts.
That ruling echoed the widely discredited legal theories of the Bush administration, which argued that the war on terror gave the president the inherent authority to indefinitely detain and torture terror suspects, and conduct mass surveillance on Americans’ international communications.
But the Fourth Circuit soundly rejected that theory, saying that the United States has clear laws against torturing detainees that apply to the executive branch.…
The Intercept
Major New Court Ruling Says “Even The President” Can’t Declare Torture Lawful
Alex Emmons

Jon Schwarz — It Isn’t Just Donald Trump. The Bush Campaign Plotted to Reject Election Results in 2000

While it’s almost forgotten now, the George W. Bush campaign was planning to challenge the results of the 2000 vote if he lost the electoral vote, but won the popular vote. His campaign hoped to spark a national movement to pressure members of the Electoral College in states where the popular vote went for Al Gore to ignore that and instead vote in line with the national popular vote — thus making Bush president.
In the end, the reverse happened. Bush won the Electoral College vote while losing the popular vote.
But in the weeks before the November 7, 2000, election, it seemed more likely that Gore would get a majority of electoral votes, while Bush, buoyed by a wide margin in his home state of Texas, would have the most votes by actual people. This possibility was widely discussed, including in the Boston Globe and Christian Science Monitor and in an Associated Press polling analysis.
Gore was even preemptively criticized for winning under these circumstances. It “would be an outrage” said Rep. Ray LaHood, R.-Ill. NBC’s Chris Matthews said that “knowing him as we do, [Gore] may have no problem taking the presidential oath after losing the popular vote to George W. Bush.” (Matthews lost interest in this issue when the opposite occurred. He later said that he himself had voted for Bush in 2000.)
The US Constitution has built in a potential constitutional crisis.

Allister Heath — We need lower taxes and lower spending

There’s no money left. That was the message that Liam Byrne, chief secretary to the Treasury under Gordon Brown, left to the incoming Tory government in 2010, a missive the Labour politician regretted bitterly.
There was no such memo from George Osborne, the former chancellor, to his successor, Philip Hammond, but there might well have been.…
The Bank of England has run out of keystrokes! Maybe they all developed carpal tunnel syndrome at once.

The Telegraph
We need lower taxes and lower spending
Allister Heath

Salil Mehta — Sea of faulty polls

At this point it makes for Americans to ignore the capricious polls, and simply vote their conscious on Election Day. The numbers in the polls don't add up to the significance the polling conclusions convey.
Statistical Ideas
Sea of faulty polls
Salil Mehta

Wynne: Printing Money Degrades Living Standards

HA LOL!!!!  Right here:

"We take in $3.1 trillion and we spend $3.7 trillion," Wynn said Thursday to guest host Eric Bolling. "And that $600 billion deficit is at the rate of $50 billion a month. Our government is printing money and it's degrading the living standard of every person in America. It's the cause of frustration, anger and confusion.


Fabius Maximus — The real reason for America’s hostility to China

Imperialism. That's how the Chinese see it anyway.

Fabius Maximus
The real reason for America’s hostility to China

See also

Reminiscent of the Aesop fable, The boy that cried wolf.

Hidden but important truths from the presidential debate

Matias Vernengo — Nominal and Real Interest Rates

This seems to suggest to me that the explanation must be related to the short term nominal rate, which is a policy decision of the central bank, rather than something that affects the levels of inflation, and according to some theories (the loanable funds) what that does to savings. If I'm right then, the cause of the low rates is the financial excess of the last three decades, that forced central banks to keep rates low to save the economy, and preclude further problems. Very unlikely that would change any time soon.
Naked Keynesianism
Nominal and Real Interest Rates
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

Michael Hudson — Rentier Capitalism – Veblen in the 21st century

As the heirs to classical political economy and the German historical school, theAmerican institutionalists retained rent theory and its corollary idea of unearned income. More than any other institutionalist, Veblen emphasized the dynamics of banks financing real estate speculation and Wall Street maneuvering to organize monopolies and trusts. Yet despite the popularity of his writings with the reading public, his contribution has remained isolated from the academic mainstream, and he did not leave a “school.” The rentier strategy has been to make rent extraction invisible, not the center of attention it occupied in classical political economy. One barely sees today a quantification of the degree to which overhead charges for rent, insurance and interest are rising above the cost of production, even as this prices financialized economies out of world markets.
Michael Hudson
Rentier Capitalism – Veblen in the 21st century

See also

L. Randall Wray, Veblen’s Theory of Business Enterprise and Keynes’s Monetary Theory of Production, <i>Journal of Economic Issues</i>

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Andrew Gelman — Polls

More from über-statistician Andrew Gelman on polling methodology. See the links in the short post.

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
Andrew Gelman | professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.

Walker Bragman and Shane Ryan — Did Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald Use Threats and Bribery to Silence a Young Journalist?

Bragman and Ryan review what actually happened between Newsweeks' Kurt Eichenwald and Sputnik's Bill Moran. It corroborates Moran's account.

Did Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald Use Threats and Bribery to Silence a Young Journalist?
Walker Bragman and Shane Ryan

Scott Horton — Welcome to the Libertarian Institute!

The idea has been percolating around for a while, and now we’re ready. It is a unique moment. The time is ripe for advancing peace and liberty.
Our goal is to unite the libertarian movement and more importantly to realign American politics around our agenda — prioritizing opposition to the worst of state power: the permanent war state, the prison and police states, and the corporate welfare, corrupt contracts, and bank bailouts that rig the economy for the wealthy and politically connected.
The Libertarian Institute’s mission is to stress these issues and work with other groups from across the political spectrum against these greatest of abuses.
I am proud to announce that Managing Editor Will Grigg and Executive Editor Sheldon Richman join me in this ambitious venture. Their heroic legacies of authorship and activism will surely inspire confidence and help solidify the Institute’s place in the libertarian movement and the broader political conversation.
Jared Labell of Taxpayers United of America, deeply inspired by the idea, has taken on the launch of the Libertarian Institute as a personal project, already putting immense effort into making it bigger and better than we even hoped. We welcome his expertise as Executive Director and happily anticipate his fine writing.
We have begun inviting those who today best represent libertarianism in our country to write for our website and blog, and to collaborate on many projects. They come from many places and perspectives. This diversity will set the standard for our group and mission.
The Libertarian Institute
Welcome to the Libertarian Institute!
Scott Horton

David Dayan — Debate Moderators Under the Spell of Deficit-Obsessed Billionaire Pete Peterson

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, an organization that is virtually unknown outside of Washington, was nonetheless cited in four different questions during this year’s presidential and vice-presidential debates.
Moderators Elaine Quijano and Chris Wallace, seemingly unable to string together an intelligent thought about domestic policy on their own, outsourced their questions to a cabal of self-styled serious grown-ups who believe that advocating for cutting Social Security and Medicare makes them look like paragons of virtue.…
 Sociologists, psychologists and PR people call it cultivating an image — of being VSPs —Very Serious Persons.

HRC is in Peterson's pocket, in addition to that of George Soros, Wall Street, Saudi Arabia and all the rest of Bill and Hillary's patrons and donors.

The Intercept
Debate Moderators Under the Spell of Deficit-Obsessed Billionaire Pete Peterson
David Dayan

Ivan Stamenkovic — It’s Outrageous That I’m Facing 45 Years In Prison For Filming A Climate Protest

Amy Goddman was exonerated for doing her job as a reporter. Not yet Deia Schlosberg.
My name is Deia Schlosberg and I am an independent filmmaker and climate reporter. I was arrested while filming an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in North Dakota and I’m currently facing felony charges that I believe are unjust. I am a climate reporter; my specialty is following the story of how humankind is creating a grave problem for civilization by continuing to flood the atmosphere with greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels and other industrial processes. I don’t think there is nearly enough reporting on climate change nor the movement of people around the world working to lessen the impacts of climate change.…
When I was arrested, I was doing my job. I was reporting. I was documenting. Freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment, is absolutely critical to maintaining an informed citizenry, without which, democracy is impossible.
Counter Current News

Sputnik — Newsweek’s Eichenwald Doubles Down on Debunked Conspiracy, Loses It on Twitter

If you're following this, the media battle heats up. Whose disinformation?

Newsweek’s Eichenwald Doubles Down on Debunked Conspiracy, Loses It on Twitter

Robert Parry — Clinton Repackages Her Syrian ‘No-Fly’ Plan

HRC repackages here "no-fly zone" as "safe areas." Robert Parry doesn't see it getting off the ground owing to US history regarding such agreement. The so-called safe areas would be areas from which to regroup, resupply and launch proxies to overthrow the Assad government, which the US has declared to be the overall policy objective. 

HRC's "revision" is just a change in strategy.

Of course, when Syria and Russia reject it as such, the HRC will declare that she did "all she could" and the blame falls on them. US allies and vassals will fall in line, it is safely presumed.

Consortium News
Clinton Repackages Her Syrian ‘No-Fly’ Plan
Robert Parry

Ellis Winningham — Introductory Series: The Monetary System – US Currency Part 3

We will continue where we left off with a look at budget deficits, surpluses and the national debt. Previously, we’ve discussed US Dollars, what they are, where they come from, how they enter and leave the US economy, and US paper currency. In case you’ve been linked to this particular article, here is the series so far:

Introductory Series: The Monetary System – US Currency Part 1

Introductory Series: The Monetary System – US Currency Part 2

Introductory Series: The Monetary System – US Paper Currency

Also, let me restate the purpose of this series. The purpose of this introductory series is two-fold: Firstly, for those students considering economics as a major, the series will give you a solid understanding of the basics from which macroeconomic reality flows. In other words, from the get go, you won’t fall for mainstream fantasy, and then one day, obtain an influential position in government where you will create recessions and high unemployment for a living and then deny responsibility. Secondly, for the general public and interested laypersons who do not wish to be economists, but rather, who do wish to obtain a firm grasp on the basics of how federal spending and the monetary system actually works. Following today’s discussion, we will then take a look at other aspects of the monetary system, including banking operation and central bank operations, as well as a look at how the monetary system applies to Social Security. Let’s get started.…
Ellis Winningham — MMT and Modern Macroeconomics
Introductory Series: The Monetary System – US Currency Part 3
Ellis Winningham

Gordon Adams and Lawrence Wilkerson on Clinton and Trump on foreign policy

Adams and Wilkerson assess Clinton and Trump on temperament and judgment. The find Trump unqualified on temperament and judgment, and Clinton qualified in temperament but not on judgment.

I think that they may be giving HRC too much credit on temperament, based on her public performance and manufactured image. She is reported to be extremely temperamental in private to the point of being unstable, as well as extremely vindictive and domineering.

Since foreign policy is the unique prerogative of the president in an age in which declaration of war, which is the prerogative of Congress, has fallen into disuse and the power effectively delegated to the president's discretion.

Experts seem to agree that war with Russia, which could easily go nuclear, is closer than anytime since the Cuban missile crisis was defused without incident through diplomacy and compromise.

The National Interest
No, Hillary Clinton's Foreign Policy Judgement Isn't As Good As Everyone Says
Gordon Adams, distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center, professor emeritus at American University, and former senior White House budget official for national security in the Clinton administration, and Lawrence Wilkerson, visiting professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary. and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell

Foreign affairs neorealist John Mearsheimer analyzes Us-Russian relations and the effect of Trump.

Russia & India Report
US professor: Trump can’t fix Russia-U.S. ties
Nikolay Shevchenko

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Robert Parry — The Democrats’ Joe McCarthy Moment

Playing with explosives to create distraction from misdeeds.

Consortium News
The Democrats’ Joe McCarthy Moment
Robert Parry

rousseau1214 — Neoconservatism

Backgrounder based on the recently published, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War, by Andrew J. Bacevich.

Take away. "American leadership" implies US global hegemony that is based on power, which is in the final analysis military power.
AJB: On the Right they hoped to find the opportunity to create that alternative perception of reality necessary for fulfilling their radical aspirations. The essence of those aspirations was simplicity itself: to fuse American power to American principles, ensuring the survival of those principles and subsequently their propagation to the benefit of all humankind.
"Doing good" while also "doing well."

For those who may not understand American colloquialisms, "doing good" is synonymous with "do-gooder," which means "a well-meaning but unrealistic or interfering reformer." "Doing well" signifies achieving material success.

"Doing good" while also "doing well" is play on the current management maxim, "Doing well by doing good," meaning the management strategy of creating an image of a firm as one that helps people in order to increase the bottom line of the firm.

Gedanken zur Geschichte


Grocery deflation reaches 10-month mark

Rather "the oil monopoly rent was just too damn high!"

Still current evidence of monopoly rent removal working its way thru the US food chain at the retail level.

Bearish interest rates (to them) short term...

Andrew Jackson — Is “Postcapitalism” On the Horizon?

Review of Paul Mason's Post Capitalism.
Paul Mason is a leading British economic journalist, currently a columnist for The Guardian. He is also a long time left political activist. His new book, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. New York, 2015) is a challenging, sometimes obscure, sometimes brilliant, eminently worthwhile read, and an optimistic take that the left might, once again, be marching in tune with the forces of history.…
The Bullet
Is “Postcapitalism” On the Horizon?
Andrew Jackson

Noah Smith — Do economists have physics envy? (Part 2)

The making of another interesting argument that is interesting from my perspective as involving the philosophy of science.

One thing that seldom gets mentioned in this argument, outside of Post Keynesian circles, is Paul Samuelson's MIT approach to economics in which he realized that to write the kind of formal models that he wanted, he needed to assume ergodicity. Paul Davidson criticized this assumption.

Do economists have physics envy? (Part 2)
Noah Smith | Bloomberg View columnist