BREAKING: Clinton and Obama secret conversation at D.C. party!

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This snippet was overheard:

Clinton: What will your daughters be doing this summer?
Obama: They will be volunteering for charitable organizations.

According to renowned FoxNews cryptologist Sally Brittleblonde, this conversation decodes as:
Clinton: It is time to seize all the guns and then crush the Bernies.
Obama. It will be done. Hail Satan and Stalin!

(Brittleblonde was later heard cackling with laughter, giggling that “Democrats who don’t like Hillary are going to repost this!”)

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Dimbulb Donald Trump violates campaign contribution laws


Unbelievable. The Trump campaign has almost certainly broken federal laws by spamming foreign nationals in multiple countries asking for campaign contributions. Not only is this insanely reckless and stupid, it was certain to be found out and clearly shows a collapsing campaign desperate for money. And it’s a given what happened. Trump, and his equally idiot children, overrode sane advice about fund-raising and spammed everyone, because the Trumps are political bozos who have no clue what presidential campaigns are about.

Could something so stupid be true? Yes.

Trump made some good points yesterday about trade deals and I thought, will he hammer this home or shoot himself in the foot again. And the answer is, in both feet. Honestly, I think he wants to lose.

Finally, imagine that instead of or in addition to buying email lists from more or less reputable aggregators, the Trumpkins just dumped their own email address books into the hopper and clicked “Send”.


It’s because they’re so much smarter than all these consultants and politicians and lobbyists, see, and they don’t need any outside help or advice. They’re business geniuses, and they can do it all themselves

I’ve written campaign contribution tracking software for politicians. Donors must enter their name / address / occupation. Penalties are severe for having fake names, etc. Politicians check and recheck the contributions, and refund money if they think the source is odd or unverifiable. All these records are public. Only an idiot would try to game it.

Any national politician with a lick of sense doesn’t do things as mind-numbingly dumb as this because, among other things, the paper trail is huge and obvious. Can foreign nationals give money via PACs, etc. Maybe, but it’s dicey. But this was to the general Trump campaign. I can think of no other politician anywhere stupid enough to try this.

Complaints and lawsuits have already been filed against the Trump campaign.

Watchdog groups file FEC complaint over Trump emails to foreign pols

“Donald Trump should have known better,” Paul S. Ryan, the deputy executive director at the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement. “It is a no-brainer that it violates the law to send fundraising emails to members of a foreign government on their official foreign government email accounts, and yet, that’s exactly what Trump has done repeatedly.”

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Brexit as Black Swan

black swan

The Brexit referendum was engineered by and due to a split in the Conservative Party. No one expected it to win. Insanely, neither Conservatives or Labour had contingency plans for what to do if Brexit won. Now Britain is a locomotive screaming down a mountain pass, out of control, because the engineer and conductor are too busy arguing to be pay attention. Or at least that what it seems like to me in the States, where we have much the same problems, even as they aren’t nearly as pronounced (yet.)

Yes, racists voted for Brexit because they want those horrid immigrants out. Some Brexiters probably didn’t know what they were voting for. But many more almost certainly did. These would be people who are getting screwed by deliberately out-of-touch governments in cahoots with often corrupt financial interests.

Brexit is a true black swan. Nobody in the mainstream, including the Leave camp, saw it coming. Even now, based on the analysis being written, few people understand why it won. Why did it win? The cosmopolitan, financialized elites saw their incomes grow with globalization, but the deals they struck to “earn” those gains required throwing the bottom 60-70% of the country under the economic bus. In fact, nearly all of the fast rise out of poverty seen globally was achieved by economically damaging the working populations of the developed world (particularly in the US and the UK). That selfishness forged a bomb of anger that has been growing for years. A bomb that is now going off in the US and the UK. Strangely, nobody in the establishment is willing to do what is necessary to defuse this bomb. This means it will get much worse before it gets better.

Those in the establishment (and this certainly includes Trump) indeed have no clue. It may be they don’t know what to do, or are so comfy / corrupted they don’t want to do anything to upset their position and wealth. More probably, they don’t much care about the rest of us.

I think Brexit is a terrible idea. But with arrogant blowhards like Juncker doing things like banning English as an official EU language, it’s not hard to see why many are in revolt against the EU.

And yeah, it’s a black swan. The results are unforeseen, unpredictable, and will be massive.

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Brexit, Trumpism, and the collapse of legitimacy of governments


By now it should be clear the Brexit referendum was engineered by and wasdue to a split in the Conservative Party. They never expected Brexit to win and are now backtracking as fast as possible. Brexit was a deeply cynical ploy and its leaders there, like Trump here, care not at all for the shafted middle and working class people they pretend to champion.

Sadly, the left was mostly asleep in Britain. Liberals both there and here are uncomprehending and mostly contemptuous of those supposed illiterates in fly-over areas who bizarrely just aren’t listening to their urban betters mansplain things to them.

Richard Seymour:

One reason for the success of the populist Right is that this debate was one structured as an argument within the Right, from the beginning. It is odd that in a debate where Remain clearly needed the Left in order to win the debate, that the Left was so utterly absent. That is in part due to the Left’s own inherited weaknesses and blind-spots. Most of the Left has unenthusiastically backed Europe for years, as a last-ditch defence against the British ruling class, but such a lack of enthusiasm was never going to translate into a rowdy call to the battle stations.

The problem at heart is the 2008 financial collapse is still a collapse for far too many. They haven’t recovered.

Both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very, wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for thirty years.

Since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt. It seems in both cases (Trumpism and Brexit), many voters are motivated not so much by whether they think the projects will actually work, but more by their desire to say FUCK YOU to people like me (and probably you).

The leaders of these movements (Trumpstick, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage) have acted cynically for their own benefit. They’ve been willing to stir division and nationalism. And some of their supporters are real racists. The only solution for that small minority is to be crushed and thrown into the dustbin of history. But I refuse to believe this is the case for the larger group of supporters, that is, half of the UK or almost half of the US. They have some legitimate concerns, and the only outlet to vent they were offered was a terrible one.

The current crisis of authority is due quite a lot to a greedy monied class that cares not a whit about anything except amassing more money.

As Chris Hayes warned in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites, “Given both the scope and depth of this distrust [in elite institutions], it’s clear that we’re in the midst of something far grander and more perilous than just a crisis of government or a crisis of capitalism. We are in the midst of a broad and devastating crisis of authority.”

It’s natural — and inevitable — that malignant figures will try to exploit this vacuum of authority. All sorts of demagogues and extremists will try to re-direct mass anger for their own ends

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Brexit vote was a Humpty Dumpty moment


Things probably won’t ever be the same for Britain, even if Brexit doesn’t happens. The well has been poisoned. The EU has no reason to trust England (specifically England) on anything now. Further, Junker et al plan to make things as unpleasant as possible for the UK to prevent other countries from bolting. Look, Greece tried to leave, and has been relentlessly impoverished as punishment.

Breaking: Boris Johnson vows cooperation with EU, weaseling out by saying the 52-48 referendum vote was not overwhelming, so a single market is still a-ok but Britain wants none of those icky EU regulations. No word yet on whether this is acceptable to the EU, to those who voted Leave thinking Boris would keep his word to them, and of course, under such a system, Brits would have less protections, not more. Well done Brexiters, you’ve gotten nothing of what you wanted and lost some of what you have.

I thought the following would be a fine Monday morning post, however events are breaking too fast now. However, everything below is still quite valid.

Scotland and Northern Ireland may have veto power of the referendum and it’s unclear if Brexit could even pass British Parliament, as it must in order to be legal. This is shaping up as a monumental train wreck. George Soros says the EU is doomed and is probably massively shorting the pound and euro, as are other financial institutions.

It is becoming apparent that The Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly may have veto power over Brexit per the House of Lords European Union Committee.

So we have a royal mess coming down the pipeline.

I now confess to having run out of clues. I have got no idea where this is all going to end up.

How unpleasant could the EU make things for Britain? Very.

The European Central Bank said Britain’s financial industry, which employs 2.2 million people, would lose the right to serve clients in the EU unless the country signed up to its single market – anathema to “Leave” campaigners, who are set to lead the next government in London.

London is the banking capital of the planet. It could easily lose that status now, with resultant huge unemployment and a big hit to the economy. Other icebergs loom too.

In the short term, the risk is a liquidity shock, or what’s more commonly called a Flash Crash. That could happen today, or it could happen next week if some hedge fund or shadow banking counterparty got totally wrong-footed on this trade and — like Bear Stearns — is taken out into the street and shot in the head.

In the long term, the risk is an acceleration of a Eurozone break-up, which is indeed a Lehman moment (literally, as banks like Deutsche Bank will become both insolvent and illiquid). There are two paths for this. Either you get a bad election/referendum in France (a 2017 event) or you get a currency float in China (an anytime event). Brexit just increased the likelihood of these Humpty Dumpty events by a non-trivial degree.

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