Tuesday assorted links


I swear I sent the swear link to TC days ago...if it's the same ones (they scan emails to see if new hires are swearing, as they should be)

No, it's a different story...here is the story I saw: Wall Street Journal, 1/11/17, p. B7, "Email Can Reveal How Well New Hires Fit In", ...New colleagues eager to fit in “had to swear a fair amount in their email,” recalled Sameer B. Srivastava, an assistant management professor at University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

#2 - I doubt that FDR needed help. Pretty sure Trump didn't need it, either.

During the Vietnam War, the USSR pumped $1 billion (in 1960's dollars) into the American so-called peace movement.

Teddy Chappaquiddick asked for the USSR to back him in his run for POTUS. After killing Kopeckne, he never had a chance.

If the Russians affected the recent election, they did the US a favor. Crooked Hillary would have been a horrible president. Possibly, she would be as bad as Obama.

I can only imagine what the Right would have said about someone who said that letting the Russians (or, say, the Iranians) steal an election would be better than having any of the Bushes (one of them was a disaster and the other one kept the country firmly under recession his entire term). Let's be honest here: the machine is out of order and is not going to be fixed. The American regime has become too much dysfunctional, Americans have become increasingly desperate and adversarial, they hate and fear and deapise one another. We are seeing Rome falling again, each legion ready to acclaim its general as Emperor. Americans have become a petty, scared, angered and unresonable mob.

I wish I could disagree with you, Thiago. But it certainly looks that way.

Only twenty something percent of eligible voters voted for Trump. The others either voted for someone else or did not vote. So most Americans are better and smarter than that.

Americans are so inhuman that they would only support peace if the Russians pay them to do so?

Or ... have I misunderstood you somehow?

(X -> Y, therefore X Y) is not true.

So, yes, you misunderstood.

Therefore, x y)

Is there intelligent life on Brazil?

Seems you missed the "If" at the beginning of the sentence. Just more (unnecessary we had sufficient) evidence of the dysfunction of American and Brazilian public schools and universities.

I am not going to protest President Trump. I am worth far more than $2,500 and $50 an hour.

Evidence suggests that the American citizens of Chicago are more inhuman/violent than Afghan and Iraqi hajjis. In the same time period, more Chicagoans have met sudden death than US GI's in the Afghan and Iraq Wars.

You said that it would be a good thing let the Russians steal the election as long as Trump won. I ask again, what would the Right said about someone who said that letting the Iranians steal an election would be good as long as it make Kerry beat Bush II or assure that Clinton beat Bush I. There was a time when anyone, except American communists and American Nazi symphatizers, would have said that betraying one's country is wrong. Now, it is just how thegame is played. Sad.
"Is there intelligent life on Brazil?"
Presidente Temer is one of the world's leading legal minds, a writer, a professor, House Speaker three times, was elected vice president twice and helped to write Brazil's Constitution.

Part of the reason "Crooked Hillary" stuck is WikiLeaks.

That and fake news, that lied about the contents of the leaked emails, claiming that HRC had a child trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlor that didn't have a basement etc.

Yup, and Hillary was too weak and incompetent a candidate to recover from that. Donald Trump, the winner, regularly shook off scandals far worse than Hillary's leaked emails.

How did the Commies come up with $1 billion US?

"During the Vietnam War, the USSR pumped $1 billion (in 1960’s dollars) into the American so-called peace movement"

Not sticking with the lithium, are you?

Link, reference, anything?

2. "Though technology has advanced, and the two nations’ motives could not have been more different..."

How are they different? I believe in both instances, the allegation is the nations were seeking to pursue their perceived national interests.

2. Nazi sympathizers to this day can't get over Roosevelt's treachery and collusion with Churchill to steer America toward war with Germany. Although Japan attacked America at Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was not prepared to seek a declaration of war against Germany as well as Japan, but Germany saved Roosevelt the trouble by declaring war on America.

#3 I'm not sure why she is noteworthy. She's encouraging economists to "reconceive economic agents, policy-makers and bureaucrats as bounded 'humans'", but this seems like more of the same; i.e bounded optimization. It seems like someone just learned how to solve a stochastic differential equation and got a little excited.

5. Really, TC, the NY Daily News? That publication makes the WaPo and NYT look good by comparison. The guy is a Democrat and the article indicates
"Rosenberg bought the pair of tickets on Craigslist from a "Second Amendment activist" in Katonah, N.Y., last week and immediately listed them on his Facebook account, as well as back on Craigslist.

But after receiving no interest, he visited a handful of white supremacist websites, including the Daily Stormer, where he posted listings for the tickets on the site's message boards."

This could almost qualify for the Onion, except without the humor. BTW - this was only one "scalper", rather than the plural in your link.

Please engage your fake news detector before posting stuff like this.

Indeed, the article is agrotesquely transparent pretext for the usual Trump bashing and a grossly unsubtle way of mentioning him in the same breath as the Daily Stormer. Plus this Rosenberg guy thinks he will recoup his loss by attending the ceremony: the sunk cost fallacy seems to be beyond his intellectual ability.

Too bad there is no independent polling ...


It turns out my Trump attitude is mainstream! Too bad these folk didn't listen me on November 5th, or so.

Next thing you'll tell me you're boycotting the inauguration.

I can't wait for Trump to get rid of funding for NPR.

That would be taunting, 15 yards.

I didn't mind, because it showed a certain lack, missing that ABC and CNN polls were the crux.

Of course a tension between Trump and those more private news companies might lead some to circle the wagons there too.

Only twenty something percent of eligible voters voted for Trump. The others either voted for someone else or did not vote. So most Americans are better and smarter than that.

If they stayed home they weren't listening to me either.

False equivalence played a big role.

Worse yet, the article maligns America's greatest entrepreneurs, ticket hustlers. Sadly, electronic tickets, demand pricing and secondary corporate sleazes like Stub Hub will relegate the valiant scalper to history.

Actually, a ticket to the inauguration is just the start -


Thank you, Marion!

7. Where does the linked post discuss a link between swearing and honesty? I searched for "honest" and could only find results in the comments.

And I thought the only similarity Trump had with Wendell Wilkie is that he's a former Democrat with no background in public service...

"public service": what a quaint phrase for the sort of activity Crooked Hillary Clinton took part in.

Who knows how crooked she was? Maybe "I'll put secret stuff on my server for you to hack if you put a few million into my 'charity'" crooked?

Fake news lied about the contents of the leaked emails, claiming with zero evidence that Clinton Foundation was pay to play, that HRC had a child trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlor that didn’t have a basement etc.

But this site is chock full of fake news believers.

Her campaign was too inept to handle someone somewhere lying about her. Its clear that unlike Donald Trump, Hillary was in over her head.

McArdle is the expert at using a lot of words to say very little, veering this way and that like a drunk driver on the freeway; but she is very good at it I will confess. Having observed my brother's descent from successful local banker to bankruptcy and then death provides me a more sober assessment of the connection between illness and financial doom. My brother suffered from leukemia, CLL, which meant a long but steady descent until the disease finally ended his life. His bank, a locally-owned bank, had a generous group health insurance plan that provided robust coverage during the initial stages of his illness after he was diagnosed. But his medical expenses were great, far exceeding the medical expenses of all of the employees of the bank combined. Soon enough the insurer raised the group premiums, and again, and again, inducing the owners of the bank to threaten cancellation of the group health insurance. What more could they do? Well, what more could my brother do: he quit his job at the bank in order to save the rest from loss of health insurance. Once COBRA coverage had expired (and don't be fooled, COBRA coverage was very expensive, far exceeding the premiums for his share of the group coverage) he could not get insurance to cover his leukemia; indeed, he had great difficulty even finding employment, every potential employer fearing what might happen to their group insurance premiums. The medical bills kept coming in, expensive diagnostics and therapies, chemo treatments that would cost thousands for a single treatment. He exhausted his savings, sold his house, worked in jobs far below his skill and experience. And as the disease progressed and he spent more and more time in the hospital, the bills really began to pile up, medical services just to keep him alive. And make no mistake: the hospital was required by law to admit him, but the services were not free; indeed, the not for profit hospital was known for aggressive collection practices. The unfortunate souls like my brother who got a chronic disease could look forward to loss of job, loss of savings, loss of home, loss of dignity, and, finally, loss of life. McArdle should spend less time on the freeway chasing phantoms and more time with real people like my brother.

"McArdle is the expert at using a lot of words to say very little,"

Now that's an ironic comment.

Also, McArdle belittles people who do some solid research by stating that they have an agenda. Quelle suprise!!! I worked for a trade association that also had an agenda and sponsored a lot of research that McArdle would think was quite solid while others would disagree. Rayward's point about people with chronic diseases or other conditions that require intense medical care is true. My medigap insurance that also includes the Rx drug benefit went up by 20% last year because of increased utilization of high priced drugs among those enrolled. Everyone focuses on the rise in Obamacare premiums (though I can tell you the were not as dramatic as some make them out to be from the experience of one family member) when the EXACT same thing is happening with group policies. Now the group policy increase is usually not as dramatic to the employee as he/she may only be paying 1/4 or somewhat more of the premium with the employer picking up the rest (which is why COBRA costs so much as you are paying the full amount rather than the fraction that you were previously).

It's been clear to me that a lot of those who respond on MR either have employer or student healthcare coverage and do not participate in Medicare or have to purchase an individual policy. I had lunch last month with a good friend who is a top notch food and drug lawyer. He was surprised to find out that Medicare was not free!!!! Go figure.

Directly from the article:

"I do think medical bills contribute to or cause a significant number of bankruptcies. I also think that Obamacare must have prevented some medical bankruptcies, though I couldn’t say how many. "

She's explicitly contradicting the assertion that the majority of bankruptcies were do to the lack of health insurance. Not, that they are non-existent.

At the same time she cherry-picks a study to prove her point, more or less suggesting that it is definitive. It's not. There are a lot of problems with the study's assumptions and data. That's not to say it's dishonest.

There are lots of problems with getting good data on this topic, and the author of the paper - Daniel Austin - acknowledges them. These include medical expenses charged to credit cards, which show up in the filings simply as credit card debts, and large medical expenses which may have been paid prior to the filing, but which made later bills, otherwise unexceptional, impossible to pay.

It's tough to sort these things out.

For what it's worth, I don't think I have heard the claim that most bankruptcies are medical. So, weird target.

In the last ten years I would think most bankruptcies were housing bubble related.

"I don’t think I have heard the claim that most bankruptcies are medical. " Didn't the Law Squaw claim that? Something close, anyway.



That's one I hadn't heard. I always refer to her in the standard way as Fauxcahontas.

Thanks. Clicking through to the study, fact sheet, it only says that 62% of 2009 bankruptcies were "linked to" illness or medical bills.

When someone tells you "linked to" you know they are trying too hard. In other words, a weak claim.

Fine for McArdle skewer it.

Health caused bankruptcy happens in Canada as well. A long illness where travel for treatment, lost work for the healthy and various other costs quickly swallow up resources.

Best to go quickly.

How many bankruptcies were due to high taxes? High taxes for an ever increasing plate of free stuff for the growing majority of free loaders of the government teat.

0 surely

Obviously 0. If you don't pay your taxes they throw you in jail. And that's not bankruptcy.

One is tempted to ask whether it was worth it to spend every last penny of his net worth fighting a terminal illness.
Do you think if he had had more money to pay his medical bills that he would not have died?
Apparently, since the premiums were repeatedly raised he survived for several years, getting progressively sicker, so it does not seem likely to me that a cure was in sight if only someone had coughed up an extra million.

Maybe he would have been better off leaving his children an inheritance and accepting the fate that ultimately awaits all of us gracefully.

By that logic we should all arrange to die right after we buy life insurance. For the children. He lived for many years, those don't count? My mom has the same thing, covered by Medicare. If she couldn't afford treatment she'd be dead in a year. As it is she has survived for 5 and likely will go 10 more.

Bottom line: whatever they do to Obamacare, they'd better cover pre-existing and chronic conditions like rayward's brother had.

The point is that resources are limited and there aren't enough resources to spend unlimited dollars on everyone. Do you really think that the far left's "Anthem" fantasy will be better? Mike Moore claims Cuba is superior to the US on healthcare, and Bernie was a big fan of the USSR and Venezuela.

Agreed resources are limited, but we should be able to provide at least basic care to everyone, and some people do get chronic, survivable cancer. Might even be your mom someday.

I also agree we need some way to limit the cost of care for people very close to death, just to keep them going for another month in a hospital bed. This is called death panels, which are a good idea that Sarah Palin made the dumdums think was a bad idea.


My entire point is that the decision of when to die is best left (as it was), in the hands of the brother in question.
Of course he is entitled to spend all of his resources trying to stay alive, if he wants. He just isn't entitled to spend unlimited amounts of OTHER people's resources. The original poster complains that is was so unfair that he had to spend all his OWN money and sell his house to pay for his cancer treatment. Would it be more fair to force other people to spend that amount of money on a terminal patient?

Me, personally, I would rather just say "hey, you're welcome to spend your children's inheritance on your own cancer treatment, you just aren't going to spend ours."

How do you feel about Medicare keeping my mom alive? I'm in agreement that there has to be a limit, I favor death panels. But to reiterate, the taxpayer will probably be buying my mom about 15 years of life treating her CLL. I believe in some form of socialized healthcare like Medicare. You may be opposed of course. rayward's brother was too young for Medicare, but should we not try to have some kind of system for younger people with chronic, survivable diseases like some cancers and diabetes? Or do those folks have to bankrupt themselves and die young?

Diabetes is not particularly expensive to treat as a "chronic" condition. There are lots of products available on the market because there's a large market for them.
Do I think diabetics should pay for the cost? yes, this is the sort of routine maintainance that should fall within the average deductible.
Oh, but that's $5,000 a year for some people? Too bad, live within your means. Buy a smaller house and be happy about it. Some people it costs more to pay for the necessities of life. Deal.

I'm not sure you can count cancer as "chronic". But if someone gets cancer and it's expensive but survivable, that would generally come in over the deductible and be covered. You still have to pay for the deductible, but again, I don't think asking someone to cover $10,000 a year for a multi-million dollar cure is too much.

Now, there IS a real problem in the way that insurers can raise premiums or cancel your insurance if whatever condition you get takes more than a year to treat - or just happens to fall on a plan renewal month, but that could be solved with term health insurance or guarenteed renewability. Annual renewal just doesn't seem to work very well for covering many health conditions. There should be 5-10 year rolling time horizons. This doesn't require blanket coverage of all pre-existing conditions, with all the perverse incentives that creates, to solve. The OP also again highlights the perverse effects of the employer-based system, but we know that already.

Somewhat in line with Thomas: resources are limited, and we tend to believe that the best allocation of limited resources come from forcing people to make choices between spending on one resource versus another. It isn't clear why spending on health-related resources should be different.

It's clear to most that health is a different kind of good or resource. Not often to the childless (and healthy) young, but they'll figure it out.

I think if you genuinely believe that health is not such a good or resource, you'd have to believe that a wide range of things currently allocated by the market shouldn't be. For instance, that poorer people buying lower quality goods which are less safe is improper.

What are these goods that are safer but unaffordable to the poor? Another benefit of 'socialism' is that the state endeavors to make things reasonably safe before they can be sold, even at lower price points.

Again, it doesn't take much more than common sense to note that healthcare is different than most goods. I don't want to be mean about it, but the people with a hard time seeing that are often lacking basic common sense.

You don't think the old beater a poor guy is driving is less safe than the new vehicle a wealthier person is driving?

I think when people appeal to common sense as making the issue obvious, they usually lack a real argument. That you've already appealed to other non-arguments (people with children or who aren't young and healthy must obviously agree with you) lends weight to my assessment.

"What are these goods that are safer but unaffordable to the poor? "

Volvos of course. Duh, did I have to spell it out for you?


Not often to the childless (and healthy) young, but they’ll figure it out.

Actually it's generally the childless and young and healthy who think that they are entitled to live forever, and therefore support a "right" to healthcare - in the form of infinite amounts of other people's money.
People who are older and have kids generally realize that death is inevitable and value their children's lives more than their own, and that there are therefore reasonable trade-offs to be made.

I mean the reaction of a 20 year old to someone getting ill is "But they might DIE!!!!!" as if death is the worst thing in the world, to be forestalled at all costs. An 80 year old, on the other hand, is going to go "Hmm, well, it's gonna happen anyway, might as well go now and save my grandkids college fund." See what I mean?

@TV: for what it's worth, cars are about the only thing I can think of where more cost = safer, but even then the differences are pretty minor.

msgkings: I would think housing (in terms of safety from violence, from external environmental toxins like radon or various exhausts, from internal environmental toxins like lead, from the speed of traffic in front of it, the extent to which the construction meets safety-related building codes, etc.) is another.

Food products probably as well. "Cheaper calories" may come in a more empty, unhealthy form. Better produce, meat, etc. This issue is complicated by the apparent desire of some wealthy people to spend more on "organic" products that, if I am remembering correctly, may contain more heavy metals.

And also just in what they can and can't buy. A poorer person might use an older, hand-me-down car seat, crib, or other child-related supplies, potentially exposing their children to additional health risks. Their furnishings, tools, etc. may be more likely to include lead paint or other toxins, or be more likely to break and cause injury.

TV you're playing games here. Of course it's better to be rich than poor. The point is there's a minimum standard of food, housing, transport, and yes health care that everyone should be afforded regardless of income. And if you have more money you can get better versions of all of them.

Health care is different than those others because of the literal life and death tradeoffs, and the total lack of transparency in pricing and inability to shop around the way you can for other goods. That said there are similarities and there are certainly ways we could improve health care delivery and costs but most of those, which have been debated to infinity, are pretty hard to get to, like dramatically reducing doctors' incomes through expanding their numbers and allowing nurses and pharmacists to do far more than they do now.

By that logic we should all arrange to die right after we buy life insurance.

Having a life insurance policy is not equivalent to spending a million dollars a year of other people's money.
Children would likely benefit more from the lifetime earnings (and guidance and emotional support) of a living parent than the immediate payout of a life insurance policy. if the parent is terminally ill and consuming all of the families resources to stay alive another year, not so much.

I hope you helped him out.

Perhaps this shill will get cancer and have a vista from which to re-consider things.

B, b, but your brother bought three cars and blamed the disease for his bankruptcy!

CLL is invariably fatal in those middle aged and older. Like the young BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive women in the 1990s with children who desperately sought bone marrow transplants (though there was no evidence it did any good and not so much as a good reason for trying) 60 Minutes and other shows highlighted their plight and helped convinced America that everyone is entitled to one $1 million bone marrow transplant after another, not matter how stupid, because "Hope" was worth everything. The lives lost when resources were misdirected to the hopeless were never aired.

You may be willing to sacrifice the lives of everyone who has lived and everyone who will ever live on the bonfire of your brother's tragedy but guess what? You only get one vote.

#4. I think you excellent interview last year with Luigi Zingales was on point here.

2. In the must vaunted Russian "intervention," the only thing proven is .... the Russia Today network, which was never remarked on when it was parroting far-Left crap. The CIA is making a big deal about RT, which tells me they have nothing better.

As usual, this article tells you nothing you couldn't have learned in alt-media many years ago.


I am having trouble with #1. Is it saying that people who show biases tend to show more than one? Is that what statistical parsimony is saying? Deviant clusters?

"These statistics usefully capture cross-sectional variation in behavioral tendencies, strongly and negatively correlating with a rich index of financial condition even after (over-)controlling for demographics, classical risk attitudes and patience, cognitive skills including financial literacy, and survey effort."

After all those controls, what's left, other than a desire to confound economists?

I think Tyler posted the link to confuse us.

There has been 'fake news' for decades. It's only a big issue now because it appears to have hurt Democrats instead of Republicans. The old Soviet Union engaged in disinformation and agitprop against the west constantly, but because it was interference on behalf of the left, everyone looked the other way, and anyone who pointed it out was tagged as either a paranoid right-wing cold warrior, a McCarthyite, or an idiot.

And let's be clear: The Russians didn't 'hack' the election, despite the efforts of the left the label it so. What they did was crack the email password of an idiot, and publish his emails. No one has disputed the accuracy of those emails, and it's the content of them that mattered. It wasn't right to hack his account, but the damage was in what it revealed, and as far as I can tell that was all true.

In the meantime, Democrats are in a tizzy about 'fake news', while fake news on their own side has apparently convinced over 50% of them that the Russians actually hacked into voting machines and changed the vote totals. Fake news.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 came to be regarded as fake news even then.

I hate Trump, but this absolutely nails the election hacking issue.

I couldn't give a crap if the Russians ran a bunch of agitprop and hacked DNC emails accounts. Absolutely none of the (retarded) Trump voters I've run into cited any of that stuff as their reason for voting for Trump. They had lots of unrelated completely retarded reasons for voting for him. John Podesta's emails had nothing to do with it.

Podesta's emails definitely added to the meme of Clinton as shady, so it may have tipped a few voters at the margin. But she was shady all by herself, the Russians didn't cause her loss.

You don't care if people try to hack into private communications? So Watergate was no big deal then?

The was a lot of confusion between the podesta emails and state department emails

Watergate was a physical burglary (and a cover-up) not cyber-snooping.

Cyber-snooping didn't exist yet. They were snooping using the best available tech. You don't think a Nixon wouldn't be doing every trick in the book online today? It's the same thing, attempting to illegally look at the private records and conversations of Democrats.

No, I don't care. Of course the Russians are going to snoop. That's what Russians do. Everyone has a spy agency. Everyone spies. Get over it. If you're getting snooped on it's your own damn fault for choosing a stupid password.

No, I don't care. Of course Nixon is going to snoop. That's what Nixon does. Every politician does it. Get over it. If you're getting snooped it's your own damn fault for not having a better lock on the door.

Not actually a bad analogy. Nixon did lots of bad things, but was covering up that some idiots tried to break into a hotel room really one of them?
And seriously, do you think DNC operatives aren't out there snooping on Republicans and doing opposition research? Where do you think that Trump "dossier" came from anyway?

Jesus Christ, people have double standards. Nixon is pure evil, but the Clintons are just good at opposition research, suck it up.

I'm not the one having a double standard. I'm just saying is it bad to illegally try to obtain private data from your opposition or not? I've heard many say 'transparency is good, it's a good thing we got to see the Dem's private communications' so it doesn't matter how we got it. I believe it's bad to do this, and this is not the same as legal opposition research. I also believe it's the same thing Nixon did, and we rightly condemn him for it. It's dirty tricks in the internet age.

And just like in 1972, Nixon would have won if he'd kept it clean, and Trump probably would have without Wikileaks (although the Comey affair, which is a different thing, may have played a substantial role). And of course, almost any other candidate would have been better than Clinton, but it was her turn. What a weird time.

Fake news lied about the contents of the leaked emails, claiming with zero evidence that Clinton Foundation was pay to play, that HRC had a child trafficking ring in the basement of a pizza parlor that didn’t have a basement etc. I think a lot of people voted for Trump, or stayed home and voted for no one, due to fake news. Fake news like the above, trended stronger on Facebook than real news did, during the last weeks before the election.

And fake news is 90% Right Wing. The fake news creators from Macedonia tried to make up fake news that was damaging to Trump, but people weren't clicking on it so it was a money loser. People clicked a ton of the time on fake news bashing Hillary.

Here is a book about a guy who changed from Right Wing to Left of Center, when he discovered how predominant fake news was on the Right.

Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative


Either take your meds or only post your diatribe once per thread. There's no need to copy and paste the same comment over and over in the same thread.

Of course the stupidity and deep, intractable, psychosis of the right wing is part of the problem. But you can't blame the Russians for that.
The Republican base is fully responsible for it's own state of delusional ignorance. If you make yourself susceptible to agitprop, that's YOUR fault, not the fault of the person doing the agitprop, who after all is only acting rationally in the interests of his country.

"What they did was crack the email password of an idiot, and publish his emails": has anyone yet demonstrated that they did either of those things?

Somebody did. Who else could it be?

There are plenty of hacker in the world not working for the Russian government. Indeed, there are a large number of Russian hackers that probably have nothing to do with the Russian government.

It's also possible it was Chinese hackers working through Russian IP addresses.

My default position is that he US intelligence community has it right (and Trump is wrong) on declaring it Russian government, but I also thought the US intelligence community had it right about Iraq WMD's. So, I'm thinking probably 70/30 on this.

And I have a much lower confidence that the Russian Intelligence community did it to "help" Trump get elected. My suspicion is that they didn't expect him to win. Instead, they were dropping a load of crap on the incoming Hillary Clinton administration, that would point out how much they had attempted to rig the Democratic primary in her favor.

This is where I am. The US intelligence community has some sort of non-public information they consider convincing. The public information isn't just unconvincing; it barely exists. But there's still some reason to trust the agencies.

And if I ran the CIA and had a mole in the GRU feeding me detailed information about the Russian hacking program, I wouldn't tell Trump about it.

Though, if I was Putin and I wanted to harm the US, I might deliberately leak that their President only came to power because of my simple hacking campaign...

"Though, if I was Putin and I wanted to harm the US, I might deliberately leak that their President only came to power because of my simple hacking campaign…"


"And I have a much lower confidence that the Russian Intelligence community did it to “help” Trump get elected. "

All this predates Trump as a contender anyway. It took place in 2015. If it's really a Russian program, it's an anti-Clinton program, not a pro-Trump one.

Yes, that's an excellent point.

Are we supposed to believe that the Russian's wouldn't have released the information if Trump weren't the candidate? That if Ted Cruz had won, they would have kept it all a closely held secret?

Well, when you think about it, Clinton hacked herself. Because the biggest impact of hacking a bunch of email accounts is not going to be the content of the hacked emails - most of which nobody read or cared about. It's the fact that it's a demonstration that the Russians could have, and probably did, hack the private mail server she ran as SOS.

It's just a big giant message from the Russians saying "this is how easy it is!"

they hacked the state dept but not (as far as we know) her private server


"they hacked the state dept but not (as far as we know) her private server"

I keep making the point that if professionals conducted the Podesta hack, we'd have no record of it. And if professionals had hacked Clinton's private server, we'd have what we observe today. Nothing.

The fact that we can easily disassemble the Podesta hack suggests it was activists or the canonical teenager in a basement. But enough has come out about the Russian election program to make it seem possible that in 2015, somewhere along the way, someone without access to sophisticated tools thought phishing Democrats was a good idea. And of course, the intelligence agencies seem to think this occurred, for reasons they won't disclose.

To lc's point, though, I have to admit I'm surprised the State Department hacks got so little press throughout this. It was well known long before Clinton's shenanigans became news.

The positive statements made by Putin about Trump suggest that it may have been pro-Trump in addition to anti-Clinton.

Putin may have come around to preferring Trump to Clinton, but he didn't set out to influence an election in favor of Trump by hacking Clinton. Unless he's invented a time machine, too.

Someone, in 2015, decided that the Democrats were a good target for an amateurish hacking program. In fairness, as some other people have said on this forum, they may have just been engaging in an early reconnaissance of potential presidential candidates, and Clinton was an obvious target while on the Republican side it wouldn't have been clear who to attack.

"on the Republican side it wouldn’t have been clear who to attack."

Jeb Bush comes to mind.

The hacking predates Trump but they didn't start leaking them until Trump made his "joke" asking the Russians to release her missing emails. Which coincidentally was not long after he changed the Republican party platform to be softer on Ukraine. He also said “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

The Original D,
So you have a conspiracy theory involving an arrangement between Trump and Russia which for some reason required him to publicly ask Russia to release the emails, even though they could easily observe changes to the Republican party platform?

Did they hold these not-then-leaked emails over Obama and Clinton's heads to keep them from responding aggressively in Ukraine, despite the now-apparent belief of the Democratic Party that Russia is our most dangerous enemy and greatest threat?

Trump winning was like the Spanish Inquisition, in terms of expectations.

Every couple days, I still have that "WTF? Trump? Really?", so I can understand the ongoing liberal spluttering to some extent.

As strange as that is, I still find the pivot from "Trump will start a World War!" to "Trump won because of/is an agent of our greatest geopolitical enemies, the Ruskies, because he won't go to war with them!" somehow more amazing. The simulators are just screwing with us at this point.

I doubt even the Russians expected Trump to win. I do buy the suggestion that they have broad strategies to undermine the West, to delegitimize all those Western market democracies that put sanctions upon them.

"Democracy doesn't work" is a fundimental win for them, with far longer benefits than a Trump term.

Which is why we really, really, need to get democracy back on track - probably with, as Tyler says, a dash more technocracy.

"Trump won because of/is an agent of our greatest geopolitical enemies, the Ruskies, because he won’t go to war with them!”

Zero people believe that. Our intelligence agencies apparently have evidence that Russia threw the election for Trump. And anyone can see that Trump says only positive things about Putin, a brutal authoritarian leader. And he states that he thinks more highly of him than our own intelligence agencies, and our own current POTUS. If a Dem president did this, Right Wingers would be screaming "Treason" at the top of their lungs.

Did the R's shout treason after Obama's 'reset button'? I honestly dont remember.

"We need to get democracy back on track, by taking power out of the hands of the people and handing it to me!"

Why do you keep repeating that US intelligence believed that Iraq had WMDs?

This is GWB's big lie somehow inverted and become Trump's big lie.

GWB said that Intelligence agreed with him. A lie. Trump now repeats and inverts blame. Still uninformed, or an informed lie.


Stop that lie cycle now, please.

It is a long way back up, it was JWatts who wrote "but I also thought the US intelligence community had it right about Iraq WMD’s."

They were right, stop the lie.

Thank you, Anon.

I hope you are having a happy New Year so far.

Do you have any real links or just the left wing Breitbart?

This is important, people. GWB lied, people died. This is now thoroughly, sadly, documented. It is why GWB is in his hideout.

Now people who are more partisan than American want to continue the lie, terribly, to lay the foundation for more lies. "It wasn't GWB, it was the CIA." Laying the groundwork for Trump to do the same damn thing, tell any lie he wants to.

That kind of partisanship is a disease.

The Right Wing fake news has overtaken the U.S. Russia could see how weak we are politically, so they decided to make an unstable candidate, who would make the U.S. even weaker, win the election and become their puppet.

They may be itching to take back Eastern Europe, with approval from their puppet.

I don't know that Trump even has an immediate purpose, but it is scary all the same.

The Downing Street memos told us What to expect and we doubted them. "Intelligence fixed around the policy."

We must not accept it when politicians, Presidents, again try to fix intelligence around their policies.

The evidence you provide above (a Salon article linking to a clip from Hardball with Chris Matthews) does not establish what you are claiming. The relevant portion says:

"The show played a clip of Cheney saying, “We know [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
“Was that true or not,” host Chris Matthews asked.
“We were saying–”
“Can you answer that question? Was that true?”
“No, that was not true,” he finally said."

There are two different questions he could be asking: (1) was it true that the administration believed these things to be true, or (2) were these things true? The issue is not clarified. If (2) is what he was answering "No, that was not true" to, then the administration may still have genuinely believed it was true, and the intelligence community may have told it that this was the case.

It also seems that Senators had a chance to look through the National Intelligence Estimate on the issue and ask top CIA officials about its contents The Deputy Director of the CIA said that "I think if someone read the entire report, they would walk away thinking the intelligence community generally thinks he has weapons of mass destruction, but there are quite a bit of differences." Given that, I am not sure how you can clear the CIA (and the rest of the intelligence community) of fault in the matter.


"The National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the United States had "compelling evidence" that Iraq was restarting its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb and had concealed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons from U.N. inspectors after the cease-fire that ended the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

That was wrong, but that wasn't established until after a U.S. -led army toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003.

The intelligence report did contain passages that raised questions about the weapons conclusions, said John McLaughlin, then deputy director of the CIA.

"I think if someone read the entire report, they would walk away thinking the intelligence community generally thinks he has weapons of mass destruction, but there are quite a bit of differences," he said.

McLaughlin, now a CNN contributor, said dissenting views by the State Department, Department of Energy and the Air Force made up about 10 to 12 pages of the report -- but critics say those dissents were not highlighted.

Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he held a closed session at which members could read the report along with top CIA officials.

Biden told CNN that he read the dissents in the report and he "spoke to the ones who dissented."

Biden ended up voting for the resolution, but argued that he was casting a vote "to avoid a war.""

I just put one link of many. I have linked to the this postmortem till the cows come home, no no avail:


"The committee has uncovered information in its investigation which
shows that the administration ignored warnings prior to the war about
the veracity of the intelligence trumpeted publicly to support its case
that Iraq was an imminent threat to the security of the United States."

"During the buildup to war, the intelligence community was placed
under pressure to support the administration's position that there was
a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. This is particularly distressing.
This pressure took the form of policymakers repetitively tasking
analysts to review, to reconsider, to revise their analytical
judgments, or simply asking the same question again and again."

Straight up.

From what I can tell, you are not citing the intelligence, the cautions, but instead the gunned up story, the version "fixed around policy."

I am citing the then-Deputy Director of the CIA, and the ability of Senators to directly question top CIA officials about the National Intelligence Estimate.

The Intelligence Community screwed up on Iraq. Even if you think that the only mistakes were the result of pressure from the administration (which the evidence does not support) - that is still a screw up by the intelligence agencies!

If our intelligence apparatus caves to pressure from presidential administrations, that is a failure on the part of those agencies to stand up to pressure, and on the part of both the legislature and executive in creating agencies subject to those pressures without giving them sufficient ability to resist (or in being insufficiently skeptical of agencies that are naturally exposed to such pressures).

The "we were pressured into it" claim also has the ring of a weak excuse by people who screwed up.

I did not and do not like Bush. But the story of a highly competent and faithful intelligence community bullied and misrepresented by an evil Bush administration is a lie, and one that attempts to gloss over serious problems with our intelligence agencies and with their place within our system of government.

I think you should seriously stop and think about what you are contributing.

From the testimony:

"the intelligence community was placed under pressure to support the administration’s position that there was a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. This is particularly distressing. This pressure took the form of policymakers repetitively tasking analysts to review, to reconsider, to revise their analytical judgments, or simply asking the same question again and again.”

Is that what you support, what you want more of?

#4 Look, TC has turned this blog into clickbait for his sugardaddies. His goal is to have Bloomberg and others go from $1s to $5s when they slip a bill into the G-string barely covering his furiously twerking backside. We can call it sad or we can recognize that when the flies move the green anole must follow and that TC, after all, is just a green anole.

McArdle makes much of the fact that bankruptcies have increased since 2007. True. But in 2007 the wave of bankrputices due to collapse of the housing market had not begun. I think there are still far more foreclosed homes now than in 2007 and that would be an offsetting factor.

The medical bankruptcy issue gets tricky to measure because if you are declaring bankruptcy, why not toss in medical bills?

Many people I speak too imagine there is some an actual type of bankruptcy called 'medical bankruptcy' which you could go too and still keep your car and your credit score....but that isn't the case.

The idea makes sense to a lot of people. Things are ok, manageable. Perhaps the car payment and credit card bill is too high but you're paying it more or less and left to you own devices you'd pay it down sooner or later. Then wham you get whacked with an uncovered bill. Maybe it's just $1000 or maybe it's $10,000. At this point what is the point? But the medical bill may not even be a majority of your debt, but strictly speaking it's a medical bankruptcy in the sense that it was triggered by your uncovered bill and that costs not only you in terms of your credit score but the medical provider as well as the other bills that are caught up as collateral damage (and is an added cost to society for the uncovered).

How to measure this? Well one way might be to survey people asking them whether or not they had a serious medical event over the last, say, 5 years. Get a rate of bankruptcy for those who have no major medical event versus those that do. Then compare those with and without coverage during that time period. Sounds easy in theory but collecting the data will probably be a challenge.

Another method might be to dive deep into bankruptcy....try to measure what debts people incurred leading up to the bankruptcy and when. Measure what triggers most bankruptcies...is it a slow steady accumulation of debt until the person just stops paying and then after a while uses bankruptcy to wipe it out or is there some trigger event....a single new debt like a $1500 car repair bill or unexpected debt that puts them over the edge?

What this will do is perhaps treat bankruptcy like a disease. If 100,000 get an unexpected $1K, $2k or more debt, X number will opt for bankruptcy.

So let's say the odds of a bankruptcy after a $5K addition to debt are 5 in 100,000. Now what is the odds of incurring a $5K medical bill if you are uncovered? Say 20,000 people out of 100,000 uncovered will get a $5K medical bill in a year. That would result in 1 bankruptcy we could call 'medical' and could have been avoided if those people were covered.

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