Was Russia responsible for the DNC email hacks? Signs point to yes

I still see a lot of denialism on this point from the far-left (or the alt-left, depending on your favored terminology), which is a bit devastating to see as it essentially parrots the pro-Russian ideology of the far-right (both the alt-right and the neo-libertarian flavors). Green Party candidate Jill Stein is an especially pernicious promoter of this myth that Vladimir Putin is a poor, innocent, peaceful world leader who is being bullied by NATO (when in fact, Russia has been the aggressor since its annexation of Crimea in 2014): DNC hack forensic evidence Two separate Russian-affiliated adversaries were behind the attacks, according to a post-mortem by cyber-security firm CrowdStrike when the news of the intrusion first broke...

Some braggadocious evening #debates

He says it "not in a braggadocious way" https://t.co/88ZMW8Lu6q— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) September 27, 2016 Clinton: 1 Trump: -1 Debate 1 recaps [Vox] [Guardian] [CNN] [BBC] [NPR] [Economist] [NYT] [PBS] [Time] [Reuters] [WaPo] [Atlantic] [Bloomberg] [Politico] [BI] [Quartz] [ABC] [Fusion] [IBT] [Al Jazeera] [Slate] [Wired] [Daily Beast] [Vice] [Salon] [NBC] [Ars Technica] [Buzzfeed] [Forbes] [Vocativ] [Fortune] [Marketplace] [USAT] [AP] Markets identify Clinton as the winner US Mexico Europe Asia Prediction markets

Donald Trump can't find any low-skilled American workers

... for his rallies, maybe, but not for his businesses. It's funny, because Florida has a 5.6% unemployment rate, which is higher than the national average, so you might think some percentage of those domestic unemployed persons might have the skills required to be housekeepers, waters, and cooks... ...but apparently Donald Trump can't find them. Because he needs to hire 78 immigrants for his resort properties. Which seems odd given that his immigration reform platform includes a provision to force American companies to hire from the pool of unemployed domestic labor. If the candidate is as concerned about helping American workers find jobs as he has claimed, he has yet shown no evidence. This indicates either a hollow claim, or ...

On the national debt

The federal debt is sort of like the balance on your credit cards, except with much lower interest rates (which we set ourselves). It also hasn’t been spent on consumer goods: it’s been spent on providing federal services, social services, and — generally — running the government. So, once again this election cycle you will hear histrionic cries about how the national debt should trump (ahem) other priorities in the economic plan. Hogwash. As long as we are comfortably able to keep paying the interest payments on the debt, there’s no particular reason to really worry about it — certainly not to the point of failing to provide needed services for the government. We have a solid track rating of paying our debts — one of the best in all ...

Robber Baron Lyfe

Capitalism appears to favor the Robber Baron archetype above all which, in hindsight, seems less surprising when one realizes it was largely architected by individuals who shared this same basic worldview: of strong social Darwinism, of wolves and sheep, and of the accumulation of wealth as the highest calling -- an end in itself, and in some deeply profound sense, the very birthright of Men (by which was meant "civilized" men of European descent, aka white dudes) as handed down, distantly, from God Himself. Over time, if optimized for in society, selection for Robber Baron traits can produce strange anomalies like the 2016 US presidential election, which pits arguably the world's most qualified and well-connected public servant again...

On behalf of the unmeasurable

"So, for large complex financials, capital cannot be measured precisely enough to distinguish conservatively solvent from insolvent banks, and capital positions are always optimistically padded. Given these facts, and I think they are facts, even “hard" capital and leverage restraints are unlikely to prevent misbehavior. Can anything be done about this? Are we doomed to some post-modern quantum mechanical nightmare wherein “Schrödinger’s Banks" are simultaneously alive and dead until some politically-shaped measurement by a regulator forces a collapse of the superposition of states into hunky-doriness?" -- steve randy waldman

Regulation is a fancy word for "law"

Anti-regulatory sentiment in US politics is a misdirection, because pretty much everybody sane loathes red tape and bureaucracy, but the result of deregulation has been an increase in corporate corruption and white collar crime historically -- without fail -- every time it is implemented. Already the average American citizen is being crushed between the demands of corporate profits (and the financialization engine that feeds on them) on the one hand and government cronyism and partisan gridlock on the other. "Regulation" is just a fancy word for "law," as in, the body of law that has built up over the course of US history and that is widely credited as one of the major sources of US success in the global arena -- without a strong rule o...

State stat comparisons

Some interesting visualizations of state by state trends (you can hover over the individual states to get exact counts as a pop-up), via indexmundi: Average commute time by state Looks like NY and DC have the worst of it, with CA, MA, & IL not far behind. New Yorkers are homebodies The map represents people who are living in the same house they were in 12 months ago. Poverty rate by state It would be great if poor Southerners would stop voting against their own economic interest by siding with the GOP, who reels them in with racism while allowing bankers and elites to fleece their constituencies to the bone. Apparently people would rather be hateful but poor than tolerant and better off. Women-owned firms (2007) Black...

What about a Presidential glass ceiling?

Maybe CEO salary should be capped to whatever the Presidential salary is -- sort of like a "no one can stand taller than the King" sort of thing. Historical Table of Presidential Salaries President of the United States* Effective Date Payable Salary 1789 $25,000 1873 $50,000 1909 $75,000 1949 $100,000 1969 $200,000 1999 $400,000 https://pressgallery.house.gov/member-data/salaries