Monday, February 17, 2020

'Fridays for Keynesianism' — Peter Bofinger


Excellent summary of the recognition of the classical fallacy by Keynes, what followed, and why neoclassical economics is proving so difficult to dislodge even though it has been discredited.

Note: This is not the only fallacy that plays a part in neoclassical assumptions. The fallacy of composition is another, as Keynes also observed.

Social Europe
'Fridays for Keynesianism'
Peter Bofinger | Professor of Economics at Würzburg University and a former member of the German Council of Economic Experts

See also

Brave New Europe
Paul Romer: The Dismal Kingdom – Do Economists Have Too Much Power?
Mathew D. Rose

BOE 'Stress Tests'


Sorry finger painting time is over with this one.. back to work...


We carry out stress tests to see if banks have enough capital to cope with a range of hypothetical economic situations. Each year, we assess banks based on a stress scenario that reflects the risks they face. We published the results of our latest stress test in our December 2019 Financial Stability Report. 
The stress test shows if banks have enough capital to keep lending during a period of economic stress. Banks must show us that their capital and leverage ratios would remain above the hurdle rates we set for them, even in the stress scenario. 
Banks can reduce costs in a period of stress by cutting the amount of retained earnings they pay out as distributions. This includes dividends, variable remuneration and coupons on their additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital instruments. These capital instruments can be converted into shares during a stress so they form part of a bank’s supply of capital, rather than an outstanding bond.




These 'stress test' regulatory capital requirements are a multiple of the Basel committee guidance and form the basis of the current operative regulatory function...

Figure it out...



Sunday, February 16, 2020

The US does not have a model for a successful health service — Richard Murphy

I haven't done the weighted averages on the data, although it would be easy to do. The simple facts stand out. After five years most people who have cancer in the USA are alive. In fact, overall it looks like there might be a near nine in ten chance of that.
And the associated cost is a 40% chance of bankruptcy.
That is no way to run a health service.
And yet this is the model those in office in the UK aspire to.
Tax Research UK
The US does not have a model for a successful health service
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

The Finger Painting Artist: How Iris Scott Made a Career Finger Painting


Hey there is hope for you guys ... you CAN make a career out of it... math and science need not apply...





Bill Mitchell — Fiscal stimulus disappears into saving – solution – bigger stimulus was needed in the first place


Saving, like taxation, is demand leakage. If most of a fiscal stimulus package leaks to saving, then the effect is minimal because the multiplier is too low to make a significant difference. The danger here is concluding that fiscal stimulus therefore is ineffective. 
On February 7, 2020, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Governor, Philip Lowe appeared before the Federal House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to discuss the – Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report 2019 – which is a bi-annual event where the Parliament scrutinises the activities of the unelected and largely unaccountable central bank. The – Transcript – of the session makes interesting reading. The discussion highlighted how mainstream economists fail to understand the nature of the monetary system. Last year, the Federal government introduced a fiscal stimulus (tax cut) as a bribe in the May election campaign. But economic growth continued to slow, in the face of flat real wages growth and an overall fiscal contraction (despite the tax cuts). The tax cuts didn’t stimulate private spending growth and mainstream economists then claim this proves that fiscal policy is ineffective, and by implication, that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a load of nonsense. The problem is that the tax cuts were used by households to reduce the precarious debt levels that have been building up as they try to maintain spending growth in the face of fiscal drag and flat real wages growth. All that this episode tells us is that the government really should have introduced a much larger fiscal stimulus in the first place to help the balance sheet restructuring effort and provide net growth stimulus....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Fiscal stimulus disappears into saving – solution – bigger stimulus was needed in the first place
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Central Bank Objective Functions — Brian Romanchuk

One topic of research that keeps popping up is the question of what the central bank objective function should be. In simpler terms, what is the target of the central bank? (At present, most central banks have an inflation target, possibly with secondary objectives.) This is a preoccupation of many "conventional" economists -- those in the neoclassical tradition, as well as those that are somewhat out of the mainstream (e.g., Market Monetarists are pushing for a Nominal Gross Domestic Product Level Target (NGDPLT). If one sticks to the usual Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) story, this is not really a topic of interest. However, even if I take my MMT hat off, I think these discussions are putting the cart before the horse....
All you need to know: "Until model error is taken seriously, the debate about the mathematical definition of the central bank target is very much akin to debating the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin."

But it's an interesting and informative read if you are at all into this, although it helps to have a basic understanding of mathematical modeling and control theory since this is the basis of Brian's analysis.

While this is not directly relevant to understanding MMT, it is a good simple explanation of why MMT economists reject reliance on monetarism of any sort, that is, using monetary policy to "steer" the economy rather than fiscal policy. It puts the burden on those defending central bank independence based on the ability of the central bank to tune the economy if left free to do so.

Bond Economics
Central Bank Objective Functions
Brian Romanchuk

Pumped up!


The way to falsify this would be for the Fed to keep "injecting!" (figurative language from unqualified Art Degree people but that is all they have to work with...) and have the market indexes not go up or even go down...



Get your Pumped up Kicks!




Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Global Warming Denial Death Cult - CO2 is Plant Food



Ask the Experts: Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?

Climate change’s negative effects on plants will likely outweigh any gains from elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels

Ask the Experts: Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?


The Grayzone: Anti-Americanism Isn't an Ideology | BadEmpanada

I quite like BadEmpanada and I think he makes some valid points, but I didn't agree with him about Ukraine and Russia. He might be right about China, but apparently they are going to bring in state healthcare this year. And I'm not sure about the Uighurs, with so much propaganda and counter-propaganda.

What BadEmpanada is saying is that many anti-imperialists hate the West so much that they see all of the Western enemies as the good guys, when they are often not much better.

This video is quite an attack on the Greyzone, who I really like, although they might be a bit naive, but then, they are young(ish) and idealistic. Still, in politics we need get to the truth so we can make informed decisions to stop wars and conflicts.






Bob Ross - Whispering Stream


Here you go everybody here should like this no Math involved... nothing like Bob Ross since ... very relaxing... (oh almost forgot, remember the stream he paints is NOT REAL...)





Friday, February 14, 2020

On sustainable cost accounting — Richard Murphy


Important if you are interested in the future of the planet and think that carbon is an issue.

Tax Research UK
On sustainable cost accounting
Richard Murphy | Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London; Director of Tax Research UK; non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics, and a member of the Progressive Economy Forum

Micheal Mann - Exxonmobil: Climate Change Projection

Exxonmobil scientists say CO2 is a greenhouse gas. They also made a pretty good estimate in 1882 about the amount of CO2 that could be released along with the corresponding amount of global warming that would go with it.

@MichaelEMann paraphrased

 'If you dont trust climate scientists, here's Exxon-Mobil's internal projections from 1982. They were spot-on with 415ppm of CO2 & resulting warming of ~+1.2C by 2020.' 



Thursday, February 13, 2020

Politicians Who Want Us to Live Beyond Our Means — Peter Cooper

Politicians often tell us that we should live within our means. Quite right. Unfortunately, many of them do not appear to understand what this actually entails when it comes to fiscal policy. So far as most economists are concerned, the events of the last decade have thoroughly discredited advocates of austerity. Yet, it remains quite common to hear politicians from across the political spectrum calling for reductions in fiscal deficits or even fiscal surpluses. There appears to be little awareness that, in most countries, a call for a fiscal surplus is, literally, a call for the society to live beyond its means.... 
Excellent  summary. Save it and pass it on.

heteconomist
Politicians Who Want Us to Live Beyond Our Means
Peter Cooper

The World has never seen anything like it : Australia’s summer of fire



The world has never seen anything like it.

Over five months, bushfires along the south-east coast of Australia have blackened an area bigger than Ireland. They have taken 33 lives, destroyed thousands of homes, shrouded cities in toxic smoke and devastated the country’s unique wildlife.

They have also changed how many Australians think about the climate crisis. What was, for many, an abstract idea set in a distant future has, in the space of one summer, begun to feel like a dystopian everyday reality. As leading researchers have observed, Australia is now "ground zero" in an unfolding catastrophe.

Guardian Australia has spoken to some of the millions of people touched by Australia's summer of dread. Here, we take you on a journey through some of the country's worst-affected areas.

And later this week we launch our new series The frontline: inside Australia’s climate emergency. From extreme heat to warming seas, Australia is experiencing the effects of the global climate crisis more rapidly than much of the world. The frontline shows what ground zero looks like for everyday Australians.

The Guardian 

The World has never seen anything like it : Australia’s summer of  fire

‘Overwhelming and terrifying’: the rise of climate anxiety

Experts concerned young people’s mental health particularly hit by reality of the climate crisis


I've been debating with some deniers for three days now. I would have given up after the first day because it gets boring, but two guys who really knew their stuff about climate change joined in, and together we wiped the deniers out. They a now bouncing off the walls. What a load of junk their science is, just twigs and dust, I call it.


Over the past few weeks Clover Hogan has found herself crying during the day and waking up at night gripped by panic. The 20-year-old, who now lives in London, grew up in Queensland, Australia, cheekbyjowl with the country’s wildlife, fishing frogs out of the toilet and dodging snakes hanging from the ceiling.


The bushfires ravaging her homeland over the past few weeks have taken their toll. “I’ve found myself bursting into tears … just seeing the absolutely harrowing images of what’s happening in Australia – it is overwhelming and terrifying.”

The Guardian 


Climate Change Deniers



Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Bill Mitchell — GDP is a flow and is the sum of the all expenditure flows over a given period

I have two days of teaching left in Helsinki and my next stop on Friday is Dublin where I will be discussing unification and exit. Should be a fun topic. Its Wednesday back home already and today I consider a matter that came up in one of my classes that I am taking in macroeconomics at the moment at the University of Helsinki. Students really struggle when first introduced to the idea of a stock and a flow. They can easily be led into defining a flow as a stock. Getting this absolutely right is one of the key building blocks in understanding basic macroeconomics and the links between the expenditure system and financial accumulation. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) builds heavily on the difference between stocks and flows and is also what we call stock-flow consistent. So all flows that inform stocks are accounted for in a consistent way. So, for example, we know that when households save, which is the residual of disposable income that is not consumed and a flow, this accumulates into a stock of financial wealth. Today, I am seeking to clarify the issue in my class that we did not have sufficient time to deal with in detail last week. And after that, some music to restore sanity....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
GDP is a flow and is the sum of the all expenditure flows over a given period
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Energy Markets Need Winter, and Climate Change Is Taking It Away

The warmest January on record is making life difficult for oil and gas traders.


It turns out that global warming isn't good for fossil fuel companies either.

They are using artificial snow at some sky resorts.


For global energy markets it’s a disaster—and as the world continues to get hotter it’s something producers, traders and government treasuries will have to live with long after the acute dislocation of the coronavirus has passed. The industry relies on cold weather across the northern hemisphere to drive demand for oil and gas to heat homes and workplaces in the world’s most advanced economies.

Climate activists might find a certain poetic justice in energy markets suffering from the global warming caused by fossil fuels. Burning natural gas, oil and other fuels to heat homes and businesses accounts for as much as 12% of the greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for raising the world’s temperatures.


Bloomberg

Energy Markets Need Winter, and Climate Change Is Taking It Away

Superstition


Old one here from Stevie Wonder still applicable...

Money line which I'm sure will go right over most heads here:

“When you believe in things
That you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way”

Oh well enjoy the music anyway....





Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Pete Buttigieg's Vow to Cut the Deficit Is Fiscally Irresponsible — Eric Levitz

“Fiscally responsible” is one of the more Orwellian phrases in American politics. Lawmakers earn that coveted title by affirming the three tenets of the Beltway’s official budgetary orthodoxy: (1) Deficits are inherently undesirable, (2) all new spending (on things that cannot be used to kill foreigners) should be fully offset by new taxes, and (3) reducing America’s existing national debt should be a top-tier policy priority.
But these premises are rooted less in economic science than popular superstition. And, over the past decade, our political class’s indulgence of the public’s mythical intuitions about the national debt has imposed gargantuan costs on our collective prosperity. In the present context, validating the electorate’s economically illiterate fears of public debt is roughly as “responsible” as affirming the anti-vaccine movement’s conspiracy theories about the CDC.
Cites MMT.

Pass along to Pete's supporters.

Intelligencer
Pete Buttigieg's Vow to Cut the Deficit Is Fiscally Irresponsible
Eric Levitz

Eurozone 2020. Don’t mention the War! Bill Mitchell

I guess I cannot avoid commenting on the European Commission’s recently released (February 5, 2020) – Economic governance review – which, allegedly, “seeks to assess how effective the economic surveillance framework has been in achieving three key objectives: ensuring sustainable government finances and economic growth, as well as avoiding macroeconomic imbalances; … promoting convergence in Member States’ economic performance.” The short answer is that the framework has failed on all fronts. The Member State fiscal situations are always mostly teetering on the edge of insolvency and only the ECB has been bailing them out; macroeconomic imbalances that really matter, such as the on-going illegal German external surpluses persist, and divergence is the Eurozone norm. Why? Another simple answer: because the architecture of the currency union is deeply flawed and biases the economies to crisis and makes them vulnerable, in an existential sense, to fluctuations in global activity. Why would they have done that? Answer: the triumph of neoliberal ideology over reason....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Eurozone 2020. Don’t mention the War!
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Monday, February 10, 2020

Principals of Macroeconomics 5: Robinson and the Theory of Capital — John Weeks

In Chapter 1 of The General Theory Keynes famously refers to two “postulates of Classical economics”, one of which determines the demand for labour and the other the supply. He states that “I shall argue that the postulates…are applicable to a special case only and not to the general case”, with continuous full employment the “special case” and less than full employment the general case.
In the context of later parts of The General Theory (for example, Appendix on User Cost and Chapter 20 on “The Employment Function”) it is clear that Keynes wrote tactically in accepting the limited applicability of mainstream supply and demand for labour. With an eye to what he considered his important contributions to come later in his book, he apparently decided to not to fight a battle over the theory of the labour market.
Robinson took on this fight with her path-breaking 1953 article, “Production Function and the Theory of Capital”, which initiated what came to be called the Cambridge Capital Controversy. Superficially arcane and esoteric, this controversy goes to the heart of mainstream economics. I do not exaggerate when stating that if Robinson’s critique is correct, mainstream economic theory collapses....
Progressive Economy Forum
Principals of Macroeconomics 5: Robinson and the Theory of Capital
John Weeks

Links — 10 Feb 2020

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Puppet Pete Says Revolution And The Status Quo Aren’t Mutually Exclusive
Caitlin Johnstone

The Grayzone
Alexander Rubenstein

Consent Factory, Inc.by The Management (like The Onion)
Bernie Sanders' Commie Kill Swarm (snark)
C. J. Hopkins

India Punchline
US rolls out new Central Asia strategy
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Internationalist 390º
The Most Important CIA Agents in Bolivia

MintPress News
Journalist Abby Martin Sues State of Georgia Over Law Requiring Pledge of Allegiance to Israel
Alan Macleod

MintPress News
Despite Iowa Caucus Fiasco, Nevada Democrats Plan to Use New Software “Tool”
Whitney Webb

Venezuelanalysis.com
US Sanctions Venezuelan State Airline, Threatens Russian Oil Giant
Paul Dobson

People's Dispatch
Venezuela denounces terrorist attack against Telecom companies

RT
Support for NATO wanes in France, Germany & even US as alliance struggles to maintain unity

Russian and Eurasian Politics
REPORT: Ukrainegate
Gordon M. Hahn, analyst and Advisory Board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, member of the Executive Advisory Board at the American Institute of Geostrategy, a contributing expert for Russia Direct, a senior researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, and; and an analyst and consultant for Russia – Other Points of View

Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Impeachment Watershed, Donald Trump's New Apprentice Gig
Larry C Johnson

The American Conservative
Reality Check: There Is No Political Solution To Income Inequality
Peter Van Buren

The Geopolitics
Power of Siberia: Russia–China Strategic Embrace
Balasubramanian Chandrasekhar

The Vineyard of the Saker
Mathematics and the Power of a Nation
Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

The Vineyard of the Saker
The siren call of a ‘system leader
Pepe Escobar

Zero Hedge
George Carlin - The Prophet
Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com

Zero Hedge
Trump Cleans House At NSC: Vindmans Were Tip Of Iceberg As 70 Obama Holdovers Axed
Tyler Durden

OpEdNews

Axios
109 U.S. troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after Iran strike
Fadel Allassan


Growing attacks on socialism in Democratic presidential race — Patrick Martin


Americans debate not only economic policy but also their economic system. Is neoliberal "capitalism" fighting for its life against a rising trend toward social democracy in an increasingly unequal world? 

WSWS
Growing attacks on socialism in Democratic presidential race
Patrick Martin

Michael Klare — War in the Arctic?

When I first met Michael Klare in the late Neolithic age (it was actually the early 1970s), he was already researching the U.S. military in a way no one else was doing. His first book on the subject, War Without End: American Planning for the Next Vietnams, had just been published. The title remains eerily apt, given Washington’s twenty-first-century “forever wars.” Almost 50 years later, he’s still ahead of the curve and his newest book on that military, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, has only recently come out.
And he hasn’t stopped yet, as you’ll see in today’s piece on a new nuclear flashpoint for the U.S. and Russia: the melting Arctic. It’s the sort of thing that, in another world, would be headline news....
Tom Dispatch
Tomgram: Michael Klare, War in the Arctic?

See also

Stated Russian policy is that any first use of nuclear weapons against Russia will instantaneously trigger massive thermonuclear retaliation against the homeland of the aggressor state by Russia's nuclear triad–land-based missiles, bombers and submarines.

GlobalResearch.ca

Also

Andrei Martyanov comments on Scott Ritter's piece.

Reminiscence of the Future
A Slight Disagreement.
Andrei Martyanov

Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan — Kevin Reed


A look at the plan to cut non-discretionary spending and increase the budgets of the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security.

WSWS
Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan
Kevin Reed


Sunday, February 9, 2020

World’s consumption of materials hits record 100bn tonnes a year

Unsustainable use of resources is wrecking the planet but recycling is falling, report finds


“We risk global disaster if we continue to treat the world’s resources as if they are limitless,” said Harald Friedl, the chief executive of Circle Economy. “Governments must urgently adopt circular economy solutions if we want to achieve a high quality of life for close to 10bn people by mid-century without destabilising critical planetary processes.”

Marc de Wit, the report’s lead author, said: “We are still fuelling our growth in population and affluence by the extraction of virgin materials. We can’t do this indefinitely – our hunger for virgin material needs to be halted.”

The Guardian 


Links — 9 Feb 2020

Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines ("spreading freedom and democracy")
Neoliberals Weaponized Human Rights to Justify Global Exploitation
Neve Gordon / Los Angeles Review of Books

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist (about much more than Pete)
Big Buttigieg Bloviations: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Caitlin Johnstone

The Independent (goes back to Korean War)
Former US drone operator recalls dropping a missile on Afghanistan children and says military is ‘worse than the Nazis’
Graig Graziosi

Information Transfer Economics
How should we approach how people think?
Jason Smith

Just the News
Key witness told Team Mueller that Russia collusion evidence found in Ukraine was fabricated.

Zero Hedge
New MIT Skull Study Analysis Calls For 70% Chance Of Recession In Next Six Months
Tyler Durden


Functional Finance Roots Of MMT — Brian Romanchuk

Most critiques of MMT take the form of a critic asserting "MMT says X." The response from MMT proponents is that MMT most definitely does not say "X". This situation is obviously confusing. This article attempts to explain why the online debates are confusing (and pointless)....
Bond Economics
Functional Finance Roots Of MMT
Brian Romanchuk

Art Degree Solidarity


Adams sticking up for fellow Art Degree moron AOC just because her degree is in the same Discipline:




Enemies of Democracy: Neoliberalism and Authoritarian Finance by T.J. COLES


A really good article. The true moderates are Bernie and Corbyn, but they are branded as extremists.

Cambridge University’s Centre for the Future of Democracy expresses “deep concern” in its longitudinal study of global attitudes toward democracy, which are at a 25-year low. The US continues its “crisis of trust” as Europe endures a “chronic … democratic deficit.” So-called centrist parties, which are usually right of the public on economic issues, fail to maintain their positions. The public opt for either authoritarian parties who make life uncomfortable for liberal elites because their behavior is hard to spin, or so-called far-left parties (actual moderates) who pose a greater danger to liberal elites because they threaten a tiny fraction of their wealth and power.

Counterpunch 

Enemies of Democracy: Neoliberalism and Authoritarian Finance by T.J. COLES

The new left economics: how a network of thinkers is transforming capitalism — Andy Beckett

After decades of rightwing dominance, a transatlantic movement of leftwing economists is building a practical alternative to neoliberalism....
The new leftwing economics wants to see the redistribution of economic power, so that it is held by everyone – just as political power is held by everyone in a healthy democracy…
The new economists’ enormously ambitious project means transforming the relationship between capitalism and the state; between workers and employers; between the local and global economy; and between those with economic assets and those without. “Economic power and control must rest more equally,” declared a report last year by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a radical London thinktank that has acted as an incubator for many of the new movement’s members and ideas....
Addressing asymmetric economic power.

Defend Democracy Press
The new left economics: how a network of thinkers is transforming capitalism
Andy Beckett

Why There Is No “Crisis of Capitalism” — Branko Milanovic

Western dissatisfaction with globalization is wrongly diagnosed as dissatisfaction with capitalism, when in fact it is the product of the uneven distribution of the gains from globalization....
ProMarket — The blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Follow the Real Money Behind the New Green Agenda — F. William Engdahl

What is becoming clearer is that the latest global push for dramatic climate action is more about justifying a major reorganization of the global economy, that to a far less efficient energy mode, implying a drastic lowering of global living standards. In 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, ” … one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore … ” What better way to do it than to start with the world’s largest money controllers like BlackRock?...
Capital flows away from increasing risk toward increasing opportunity. This is not necessarily a bad thing if currency sovereigns step up to fill the gaps with currency issuance.

Bill Totten's Weblog
Follow the Real Money Behind the New Green Agenda
F. William Engdahl | NEO (January 27 2020)

Naked Capitalism
‘Something Big Is Shifting’: As Georgetown Announces Fossil Fuel Divestment, Students Across US Demand Their Schools Follow Suit
Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Apple has been fined 25 million euros (£21m, $27m) for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without making it clear to consumers.



Why didn't Apple inform people that their phones would slow down as their batteries aged? Old batteries can't supply peak current and this can cause a phone to crash, so slowing a phone down might be a good idea, but how many people upgraded their phones when all they needed was a new battery?


The fine was imposed by France's competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF, which said consumers were not warned.

In 2017, Apple confirmed that it did slow down some iPhones, but said it only did so to "prolong the life" of the devices.


Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Bumblebees face mass extinction amid ‘climate chaos’, scientists warn

‘We have now entered the world’s sixth mass extinction event — the biggest, most rapid global biodiversity crisis since a meteor ended the age of the dinosaurs’




This is sad!

A massive decline of bumblebees — the world’s most important pollinators — is now underway due to “climate chaos” and other human impacts on the world, scientists have warned.

A new study reveals bumblebees are currently disappearing at rates “consistent with a mass extinction”, and are on course to be wiped out in just a “few decades”.

The Independent 

Entropy: why life seems so hard and complicated



Why is it always an uphill battle?

I'm late for work one day:

'But of all days why did I oversleep today when I have such important appointment', I scream at myself. Skipping breakfast, I run to the bus stop, and I'm lucky as a bus turns up right way. 'I'm going to make it', I think, so relieved, except the bus is early and the driver waits for two minutes at each bus top. Each of those minutes seem like eternity.

No matter how hard we try to get our lives together, things seem to get more complicated.

Problems emerge in our relationships and family life, finances, work, health and so on, that seem impossible to solve. We’re overwhelmed with the never-ending bombardment of life problems, and often feel like life is falling apart.

Entropy: why life seems so hard and complicated




Global Britain’s real climate changers: Big Oil must be taken down

This is such an informative article that it was difficult to find an excerpt as every bit is pertinent.



In Britain the chief generators of climate apartheid can be summed up in two words, “BP” and “Shell.” Hydrocarbon capital is especially concentrated in the UK....


Taken together with the ownership patterns of the big mining companies, these figures indicate a broad pattern of money from global extraction operations being sucked into London as the executive and financial centre; and then distributed as property income through asset management houses to shareholders in the UK, and to similar rentiers in the US, Western Europe and some, mostly white, ‘Commonwealth’ countries.


MR Online


Global Britain’s real climate changers: Big Oil must be taken down

Large-scale Russian air strikes over Idlib in response of the Turkish ultimatum

DAMASCUS, (BM) – Attempts by the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to intimidate the Russian and Syrian military resulted in colossal losses for terrorists in the province of Idlib, which was caused by large-scale strikes by the Russian Air Force, resumed 36 hours after the military ultimatum of the Turkish leader, learned BulgarianMiltary.com, quoting news agency AviaPro.

Large-scale Russian air strikes over Idlib in response of the Turkish ultimatum?

Hemisphere-wide implications’: Nasa warns temperatures in Europe could plunge if Arctic warming causes major ocean current to reverse

Massive buildup of freshwater could be released into Atlantic, disrupting currents that keep western Europe warm   




A major ocean current in the Arctic could reverse amid warming temperatures, a change which would bring significantly colder weather to western Europe, scientists at Nasa have warned.

The circular current, called the Beaufort Gyre, moves in a clockwise direction around the western Arctic Ocean, north of Canada and Alaska, where it naturally collects freshwater from glacial melt, river run-off and precipitation.

The Independent 

These Countries Want to Eliminate Fossil Fuels for Good



But finally, this week, the U.K. came out with the news which bring about joy especially for  for environmentalists. The government announced that it will ban the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles - including hybrid - starting in 2035. They moved the ban five years earlier than they initially planned for. 
It seems like countries are slowly and gradually understanding the climate change issue.

The Street 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Tradwives: the women looking for a simpler past but grounded in the neoliberal present



Too much work in our Protestant Work Ethic culture, but only the wealthy can afford to have housewives.



The current toxic always-on work culture 
must be understood as a key factor facilitating the rise of this retro-movement. As overload work culture has become common in many developed countries, governments have also been cutting vital resources that help support families and communities. Combined with entrenched gendered social norms, the burden of care disproportionately falls on women. Even relatively privileged women therefore find it difficult to live up to the popular feminist ideal of “work-life balance”.





The Conversation 


Tradwives: the women looking for a simpler past but grounded in the neoliberal present

Friday, February 7, 2020

Links — 7 Feb 2020

Anti-Empire
Russia Says Airliner Was Forced to Land After Israelis Were Using It as a Shield in Syria Strikes (VIDEO)
RIA Novosti

Dances with Bears (Kudrin is a neoliberal)
DAUPHIN OR DOOFUS, ALEXEI KUDRIN TRIES AGAIN
John Helmer

Geopolitika (divide and conquer)*
Pompeo Attempts To Create New Allies In Eurasia Against Russia
Paul Antonopoulos

*Sputnik International
Pot, Meet Kettle: Pentagon Chief Esper Accuses Russia, China of Trying to Reshape World Order

Sic Semper Tyrannis (A commenter speculates that Pete is CIA*.)
Mayor Pete and Bill Maher
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.)

*The Grayzone (hmmm.)
The spooks’ choice: Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg’s list of national security endorsers
Samuel D. Finkelstein

Sputnik International
China’s Smartphone Giants Team Up to Beat Google on Software Field – Report*

*Fast Company
A new low-cost iPhone is coming in March—and it’s a smart move for Apple

TASS (defying the odds? Not really.*)
91-year-old Chinese man recovers from coronavirus, media reports say

*The Independent (let's keep some perspective here)
People are more frightened of coronavirus than they need to be, but the culprit is not who you think
Patrick Cockburn


Kalecki on the Political Aspects of Full Employment — David Andolfatto


Kalecki creeps into the mainstream. First it was Minsky and now Kalecki. Can Marx be far behind?

I have always had pleasant interactions with David Andolfatto and he has been open to argument about MMT. He is a careful thinker and wants to be convinced, which is, of course, a good trait.

While I think Kalecki's political reasons for the chronic lack of full employment in capital and the recurrent economic downturns that are quite convincing, David Andolfatto is skeptical, since as Kalecki admits that profits would be higher with a flatter employment curve. 

This is where I think Marx comes it. According to Marx, capitalist expropriation of surplus value is the driver of capitalism as an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production.

If that is the case, I think there is a good case to made for it, then the question becomes what role does unemployment play in this?

Kalecki alludes to it, without citing in Marx's theory. Marxian analysis is based on social embeddness in contrast to individual agents acting in their own interest independently of other influences. Societies are structured on the basis of class, and according to Kalecki's analysis, the ownership class, under capitalism the capitalists, just as under feudalism the feudal lord, is more interested in maintaining the class structure than individual gain. They exhibit solidarity in this, in contrast to the lack of solidarity among workers. And it is in employers' interests to maintain class cohesion at the top while preventing it from arising or fracturing it at the bottom. Spartacus is their worst fear. 

MacroMania
Kalecki on the Political Aspects of Full Employment
David Andolfatto | Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Transcending capitalism: three different ways? — Branko Milanovic

After the crisis of 2007-8, capitalism has entered among some parts of the public opinion into an ideological crisis. (I have written elsewhere why I think that this is not a general crisis of capitalism but a limited response to the decline of western economic and political power.) However, the question of durability or of non-permanency of capitalism has, unlike in the years after the fall of communism, reentered the public discourse. In many ways, in the West, the situation is returning to the 1970s or earlier when the ideas of alternative socio-economic systems were hotly debated. This is something that had disappeared in the next several decades driven away by neoliberalism in economics, the collapse of Soviet socialism, and the imposition of the pensée unique.

Now, things are changing, and understandably many people bring their own ideas about how capitalism can be “transcended”, that is replaced by a different socio-economic system. I want here to highlight three different ways in which this subject has recently been addressed....
Here is the nut of it.
In a new paper ”What is socialism today: Conceptions of a cooperative economy”, John Roemer starts with three essential pillars of all economic systems: an ethos of economic behavior, an ethic of distributive justice, and a set of property relations. In capitalism the three pillars are (1) individualistic ethos, (2) laissez-faire (no redistribution), and (3) privately owned means of production with profit accruing to capitalists. Until now, Roemer argues, all attempts to transcend capitalism focused on element No. 3, replacing privately owned capital with state or socially (collectively) owned capital. They have all failed.... 
Arguably, social democracy is based on 1) a communal ethos instead of an individualistic or collectivist ethos,  2) social justice based consideration of social value in addition to economic value, and 3) public control of the commanding heights of the society including the economy to organize public purpose in terms of the common good and general welfare instead of maximization of individuals' utility.

Democratic socialism would be based on 1 and 2, and three would include workers' cooperative ownership of the means of production.

Note: Branko Milanovic seemingly uses the term "transcend" as an allusion to Hegel's use of the German term aufheben as the driver of dialectic, both logical and historical.

Global Inequality
Transcending capitalism: three different ways?
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Climate crisis: Massive hole opens up under Antarctic glacier which could lead to catastrophic sea level rises

Thwaites glacier is known as Doomsday: if it collapses, sea surge would submerge major cities across globe


A massive hole has been discovered in the Antarctic’s so-called doomsday glacier suggesting it may be melting even faster than scientists have long feared.

The massive Thwaites ridge would send sea levels surging by up to two feet if it dissolved completely – enough to submerge major coastal cities across the globe.

The Independent 

Media, Democratic Establishment Panics as Sanders Predicted to Sweep All 50 States — Alan Macleod


Has socialism's time come? Capitalists freak out at the prospect of a Bernie administration.

Interestingly, what this shows is that an economic system is a policy variable in a social system.

Mint Press News
Media, Democratic Establishment Panics as Sanders Predicted to Sweep All 50 States
Alan Macleod

Is Falling Investment Spending The Last Nail In The Coffin? — John T. Harvey

I have been reporting for months that the indicator we should all be monitoring is Real Gross Private Domestic Investment....
Forbes — Pragmatic Economics
Is Falling Investment Spending The Last Nail In The Coffin?
John T. Harvey | Professor of Economics, Texas Christian University

Thursday, February 6, 2020

AOC: "“It’s a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, "


This is where you end up if you are Liberal Art trained to only think in figurative language...  textbook reification error 101.. she LITERALLY thinks people are expected to pick themselves up by pulling on their bootstraps...

This is like the MMT people saying "does the football game run out of points for the scoreboard?".. its the cognitive equivalent ... doesnt work...

So she is manifestly not qualified to work in this area and will then just go to "myth!" or some "neo-liberal conspiracy!" theory.... she has NOWHERE else to go... NO... WHERE...

Comments are brutal here are a few:

AOC: "if someone shot the sheriff, why wouldn't they also try to shoot the deputy? like why not go all the way?" 
“My friend said they made a killing in the stock market, so I called the police to report them.” 
"It's literally impossible for EVERYBODY to be kungfu fighting."
Brutal!  But just as ignorant of the cognitive issue being displayed....




Quebec Issued the First Paper Money in the New World — Martin Armstrong


Factoid.

Armstrong Economics
Quebec Issued the First Paper Money in the New World
Martin Armstrong

Europe Needs a DARPA — Dalia Marin


An economy needs government-financed investment, but DARPA is the way to do it?

Project Syndicate
Europe Needs a DARPA
Dalia Marin | Chair of International Economics at the University of Munich and a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research.

econintersect — 50 Cognitive Biases In The Modern World


Infographic

econintersect
50 Cognitive Biases In The Modern World

Modern Monetary Theory: Cash-strapped governments a thing of the past? — Hardy Graupner interviews Dirk Ehnts

States with a currency of their own can never run out of money. That's a core thesis of the Modern Monetary Theory which spilled over to Europe from the US. German economist Dirk Ehnts elaborates on what it's all about....
DW (Deutsche Welle)
Modern Monetary Theory: Cash-strapped governments a thing of the past?
Hardy Graupner interviews Dirk Ehnts, research assistant at the Chair of European Economics at the Technical University of Chemnitz

Citigroup warning


I think the Citi people are correct to be worried here... no negative financial quantification of this real virus pandemic has been issued yet...






Panama BBC - The War Party

I've put this out before, but I watched it again the other day and I thought it was even more pertinent than ever.

This documentary by BBC from 2003 shows the neoconservative's mindset at the pinnacle of the war in Iraq and helps to understand the state of our world in 2018. 
Our times give the answers to many questions asked back in this film of 2003.

People like Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and John Bolton speak about their ambition and their willingness to topple the regimes in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran and North Korea.
For a better world?



Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Bernie Sanders' economic adviser has a message for Australia we might just need — Steven Hail


Good summary of MMT featuring the distinction between currency users and the issuer of the currency.  Short read.

The Conversation
Bernie Sanders' economic adviser has a message for Australia we might just need
Steven Hail | Lecturer in Economics, University of Adelaide

ProMarket — Americans Report Record Level of Trust in Banks and Big Corporations, But not in the US Government


Ain't capitalism great?

ProMarket — The blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Americans Report Record Level of Trust in Banks and Big Corporations, But not in the US Government



The old guard trying to stay relevant and failing — Bill Mitchell

So just a brief comment on the latest fiasco from ‘Mr Spreadsheet’ Kenneth Rogoff as he stares into the abyss of irrelevance and is trying to hand on like grim death to any shred of credibility. He has none. If he ever did, the spreadsheet scandal finished it. But he never did anyway....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The old guard trying to stay relevant and failing
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

MMT And Fiscal Policy: Radical Or Not? — Brian Romanchuk

Most public debate around Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) revolves around fiscal policy. This is not too surprising, as this is largely where political economy concerns crop up when discussing MMT. However, the emphasis on fiscal policy makes discussions of the MMT debates quite awkward. There is a large divide between the debate in modern economic theory, and the debate in popular discourse.
If we look at economic theory, there are no credible challenges to the MMT story at present; at most, one can debate terminology. Since many economists are keen to present economics as a highly mathematical, scientific discipline, getting into long-winded, arcane debates about linguistic issues does not fit the narrative. However, there are plenty of reasons for there to be a strong debate in popular discourse: not everyone agrees on the proper role of government in the economy. However, we cannot appeal to any formal theory to adjudicate the popular debates....
Bond Economics
MMT And Fiscal Policy: Radical Or Not?
Brian Romanchuk

Tcherneva on the Green New Deal and Job Guarantee in France — Michael Stevens

Pavlina Tcherneva recently participated in a hearing before a parliamentary group (La France insoumise) of France’s National Assembly on the subject of the Green New Deal and the job guarantee (the intro is in French; Tcherneva’s testimony is in English):

Multiplier Effect
Tcherneva on the Green New Deal and Job Guarantee in France
Michael Stevens

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Links — 4 Feb 2020

International Rescue Committee
IRC President and CEO David Miliband's West Point Class of 1983 Distinguished Lecture: CONFLICT IS CHANGING – HUMANITARIANS AND THE MILITARY NEED TO CHANGE TOO”

PNAS
Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior ("noblesse oblige"?)
Paul K. Piff, Daniel M. Stancato, Stéphane Côté, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Dacher Keltner
PNAS March 13, 2012

The Atlantic ("capitalism")
How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class
Daniel Markovits | Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the author of The Meritocracy Trap.

Valdai Analytics (corruption)
Unprecedented Economic Crisis in Lebanon: Is There an Alternative?


Moon of Alabama (snark)
Putin Prepares To Release Iowa Caucus Results

NEO
US Policy Vs. Iran: Apex Desperation
Tony Cartalucci

Russian and Eurasian Politics
PERESTROIKA 2.0 DEFERRED: Another Look at Putin's Proposed Constitutional Changes
Gordon M. Hahn, analyst and Advisory Board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, member of the Executive Advisory Board at the American Institute of Geostrategy, a contributing expert for Russia Direct, a senior researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, and; and an analyst and consultant for Russia – Other Points of View







Why Economics is an Impossible Science (In One Paragraph) — Marshall Sahlins

In a word, Economics is an Impossible Science because by its own definition the determining conditions of the economy are not economic: they are “exogenous.” Supposedly a science of things, it is by definition without substance, being rather a mode of behavior: the application of scarce means to alternative ends so as to achieve the greatest possible satisfaction—neither means, ends, nor satisfaction substantially specified. "Exogenous,” however, is the culture, all those meanings, values, institutions, and structures, from gender roles, race relations, food preferences, and ethnicities, to technical inventions, legal regulations, political parties, etc., etc. The effect is a never ending series of new theoretical breakthroughs, each an Economics du jour worthy of a Nobel prize, consisting of the discovery that some relevant little bit of the culture has something to do with it. Only to be soon superseded and forgotten since the continuous development and transformation of the culture, hence of the economy, leaves the Science in its wake. An impossible Science, by its own premises.
Counterpunch
Why Economics is an Impossible Science (In One Paragraph)
Marshall Sahlins | Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Chicago

Noam Chomsky: People Even Worse Than Jeffrey Epstein Donated to M.I.T

How the mega rich corporations duped people into believing that climate change was a liberal elite hoax.



Chomsky claimed that after Koch died last year, the university produced a laudatory obituary presenting the petrochemical billionaire as a model M.I.T. graduate, even funding the university basketball team. He noted that in 2008 the Republican Party had taken some steps towards trying to deal with climate change, with John McCain running for president promising to take measures to deal with the impending catastrophe. The Koch brothers, whose businesses would be negatively affected by any legislation, “went into high gear,” launching a “juggernaut,” bribing and intimidating senators, developing astroturf organizations, and succeeded in turning the party into a climate change denialist organization, he said. The latest Pew Research Center poll found that only 26 percent of Republican voters believed in man-made global warming.

Mint Press

Noam Chomsky: People Even Worse Than Jeffrey Epstein

Bill Mitchell — MMT and the MMT Project – Part 2


Important. Another must-read to stay abreast of developments in MMT and its promotion.

I would like to comment specifically on this paragraph.
I am thinking here of the way in which mainstream economics characterises humanity as rational, maximising units who pursue individual self-interest as their sole goal. Those assumptions are foreign to the way the other social sciences construct human decision-making.
This is key in understanding the issues. Conventional economists assume that economics "should" deal with economic subjects, and Bill agrees with that view insofar as he argues in part 1 of this two part series that "MMT is macroeconomics."

This begs the question, what does "economic" mean?

Economists assume that people have "economic interests" and there is "economic value" as part of the the broader categories of human interests and individual and social values. This means that people act "economically" as individuals and in aggregate without assuming that they have other interests and values that may be competing with the economic.

This is a simple case of abstracting to simplify a broad range of data into tractable form in order to pose specific questions about issues that can be categorized as "economic."

No problem so far. It must be noted, however, that his sharply delimits the scope of the inquiry to "the economic," and it also includes a difference of scale between individuals (micro) and aggregate social (macro).

Bill pointed out in part 1 that conflating the micro and macro scale results in fallacies of composition that infect the analysis if scale is not respected.

There is a similar issue involving the scope of the entire economic endeavor. The major challenge arises from abstracting the economic from the social when economic behavior is an integrated aspect of human behavior. Therefore, treating economic behavior as either equatable with human behavior or the dominant aspect of it risks category error and exceeding the scope of the inquiry as determined by the framework and assumptions.

Bill is quite aware of these issues and has pointed out in many places previously how many conventional economists fall victim to these mistakes, which are revealed when they use their expertise in economics to make economic forecasts or predict policy outcomes, for example. This was demonstrated, for example, when conventional economists missed the development of the global financial crisis, since the factors leading to it lay outside the scope the models they were using.

Because MMT has demonstrated its usefulness in this regard, many have become interested in MMT and some of these have attempted to adapt MMT insights to their own field or extend their expertise to the use of MMT as a policy science used in formulating policy. This has developed into what Bill calls "the MMT project" as distinct from MMT as a macroeconomic theory with a unique foundation.

This post furthers his discussion of this distinction.

Finally, my training is in philosophy (former philosophy professor) and I can attest that Bill Mitchell takes a highly sophisticated and well-informed stance philosophically about the foundations of these complex issues. He is well-read in many fields and has brought a range of knowledge to bear on the issues he analyzes. He has struck a balance between honed thought and wandering into the weeds and getting lost in irrelevance, which is easy to do in philosophical thinking. A job well-done.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
MMT and the MMT Project – Part 2
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Trump’s trickle dries up — Michael Roberts

Well, Trump’s boast turned to dust in 2019. US GDP grew by 2.3% in 2019, well below President Trump’s promise of 3%+ growth. The most recent GDP number proved that the tax cuts championed by Trump had no sustained impact on US growth. Indeed , even the most optimistic forecasts see growth to stay well below 3% for the next few years. Of course, that won’t stop Trump in his State of the Union speech today in Congress proclaiming a huge rise in the living standards of working people under his reign. Actually, cumulative growth under Trump has been lower than under both Obama and Bush Jnr.
Michael Roberts explains why.

Michael Roberts Blog — blogging from a marxist economist
Trump’s trickle dries up
Michael Roberts

Dean Baker makes some observations

Beat the Press
There Was No Housing Bubble and Everyone Agrees We Have to Crack Down On China's Practices on Intellectual Property

Technology, Patents, and Inequality: An Explanation that Even Economists Can Understand

The NYT and WaPo are Both Worried that China is Running Out of People*
Dean Baker | Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C

* See also

Bill Totten's Weblog
How Technology Saved China’s EconomyRuchir Sharma
https://www.nytimes.com Opinion (January 20 2020)

Associated Press — Democrats have no Iowa caucus results, blame 'coding issue'


"Coding issue"? Hmm.

Must have been "the Russians." (snark)

Associated Press
Democrats have no Iowa caucus results, blame 'coding issue'

See also

Zero Hedge
DHS Offered To Test Iowa Voting App, Democrats Declined
Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times

Emotional Currency: How Money Shapes Human Relationships



A superb podcast about money, relationships, and how we hardly ever used barter before we invented money - we simply did each other favours. Of course, we all keep a mental record of who owes us what, but that isn't strictly true either.


I tweeted back saying it might sound business like (keeping a mental record of who owes what), but we make friendships this way, where we start to like each other. But they talk about this at the end of the podcast.

They ask in the podcast what would happen if we all paid our debts up - but this would never happen, they said, because our relationships are all about sharing, and sharing fairly? We like being friends and helping each other out. Our relationships are built around the favours we owe each other, even if the favour is just being a good friend.


Emotional Currency: How Money Shapes Human Relationships

Bachelor of Science


At least this faction of mankind has had their shit together on methodology since 1860...

Bachelor of Science wiki.

A Bachelor of Science (Latin Baccalaureus Scientiae, B.S., BS, B.Sc. or BSc; or, less commonly, S.B., SB, or Sc.B., from the equivalent Latin Scientiae Baccalaureus)[1] is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.[2] 
The first university to admit a student to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the University of London in 1860.[3] Prior to this, science subjects were included in the BA bracket, notably in the cases of mathematics, physics, physiology and botany.[4]

Monday, February 3, 2020

As Bernie Sanders Surges, DNC Launches “Troll Army” Ahead of Iowa Caucus — Alan Macleod

The Democratic National Congress (DNC) has set up an extensive online communications team of trolls – and is launching it just in time for the Iowa caucus. CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan spoke to a number of its agents (almost all of whom insisted on remaining anonymous) and reported that the new DNC project is working with government agencies like the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security as well as online media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Reddit.

The DNC present the project as a “counter disinformation team” aimed at correcting Russian interference online. “Both Republicans and foreign actors, like Russia, have an incentive to divide the American electorate and may try to use the Iowa Caucus to further that goal,” it said. However, if history is any judge, there is reason to believe the real target of the mission is to discredit surging outsider candidates challenging the Democratic establishment, chief among them Bernie Sanders....
The Clinton/Obama machine at work to stop Bernie?

Mint Press News
As Bernie Sanders Surges, DNC Launches “Troll Army” Ahead of Iowa Caucus
Alan Macleod