Month: February 2018

It’s About Ireland, and Luxembourg, and ………

The EU is moving to tax gross revenue on digital sales based on where the purchaser is located.

If it sounds extreme, it’s not. It’s a sales tax, much like the VAT, which is universal throughout the European Union.

The above article presents this as something unprecedented, but it is not, and the proximate cause is because any number of countries in the EU, most notoriously Ireland and Luxembourg, compete economically by being tax havens.

This is a simple and elegant solution, and it is in no way protectionist or discriminatory.

Free trade should not be synonymous with tax evasion.

No Blogging Tonight

Between my cold in generally running around, I was so out of it today but I left the restaurant where I had lunch without paying my tab.
I realized this when I left work and looked at my take out. ( Pancakes, I had breakfast for lunch.)
So, I went back to the restaurants, paid my tab, and tipped generously.
In any case, I have concluded that I cannot maintain my usual levels of coherence.  (That sentence positively buggers the mind, doesn’t it?)
So, I am taking a not particularly well deserves evening off.

Posted via mobile

Stopped Clock, H1B Edition

It appears that any number of abusers of the H1B program, like Tata, Wipro, and Infosys, who make big bank on gaming the H1B visa program, are incensed that they will now have to provide evidence that they are actually bringing people in to fulfill an otherwise unavailable talent:

The United States Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services has released new and strict rules for H-1B visas, the permit used by many-a-tech-company to bring skilled workers to the USA from abroad.

President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to restrict use of the visas, which he claimed are used to import workers who are paid less than locals and therefore make it harder for US citizens to get a job. Trump was also uncomfortable with outsourcers’ use of the visa, saying they displaced American workers. Labour hire agencies also sought the visa, bringing in people and then finding them jobs after they arrived.

The USA’s recently cracked down on employers who use the visa, with more inspections to make sure they’re not being abused.

Now a new Policy Memorandum (PDF), released late last week, revealed the Trump Administration’s plans to make H-1B visas harder to obtain by requiring extensive documentation about exactly what workers will do, why they’re needed and where they will work.

Now, if you’re familiar with the H1-B program, but have not followed it closely, you are probably asking yourself, “Wait, this is supposed to be for workers who are unavailable inside the US, why weren’t they already required to provide, ‘Extensive documentation about exactly what workers will do, why they’re needed and where they will work,’?”

If you have followed it closely, you know that the program has NEVER really been about finding unique and special talents that cannot be found in America.  It has ALWAYS been about getting cheap labor to keep wages down, particularly in the tech industry.

Applicants will now need to demonstrate they are already an employee of a stateside organisation, while businesses who hire H-1B holders must provide signed “detailed statements of work or work orders” and a letter detailing “… the specialized duties the beneficiary will perform, the qualifications required to perform those duties, the duration of the job, salary or wages paid, hours worked, benefits, a detailed description of who will supervise the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s duties, and any other related evidence.”

Ummm ……… If you do not already know the duties required and the other details listed above, then your H1-B application is fraudulent.

I understand that this policy likely is more driven by a general hostility to immigration than it is a concern about fair wages for skilled workders, and I expect this to be walked back significantly under pressure from tech lobbyists and the cheap labor crowd, but it’s a good start.


The song stylings of Kate Micucci and William Macy:

Party Unity for Thee but Not for Me

There are a number of Democratic candidates competing for the nomination in TX-7, a district that appears to be competitive this year.
It appears that they really want a corporate drone in this race, so the that appears to be DCCC has released opposition research against one of the candidates, Laura Moser:

The campaign arm of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives set its sights on a surprising target Thursday: Democratic congressional hopeful Laura Moser.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee posted negative research on Moser, a Houston journalist vying against six other Democrats in the March 6 primary to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson. Democrats locally and nationally have worried that Moser is too liberal to carry a race that has emerged in recent months as one of the most competitive in the country.

The DCCC posting, which features the kind of research that is often reserved for Republicans, notes that Moser only recently moved back to her hometown of Houston and that much of her campaign fundraising money has gone to her husband’s political consulting firm. It also calls her a “Washington insider.”


Texas’ 7th Congressional District is new offensive territory for Democrats and an ancestral GOP stronghold. But Hillary Clinton carried the district in 2016, and a flood of Democrats soon raced to run for the seat.

Moser’s bid has been picking up momentum practically daily. Earlier on Thursday, her campaign announced it had raised nearly $150,000 in the first 45 days of the year. And in recent months she has amassed a massive online following for a first-time Congressional candidate. She is also a favorite interview subject of national publications and women’s magazines and has a passionate following among many people who supported U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016.

This weekend, she is set to host actress and activist Alyssa Milano in the Houston-area district to help get out the vote during early voting.

Seriously, you have a candidate who is raising money and creating enthusiasm, but you are going to push an anti-union lawyer (Emily’s list) and a former Goldman Sachs executive (DCCC) because they are releasing f%$#ing opposition research in the f%$#ing primary. (Link)

Seriously, the party apparatus is hopeless.

Important Notice: You Have the Right to Hire a Giant Squirrel to Tell Someone To, “Eat Sh%$”

Employee killing coal magnate Robert Murray was upset when John Oliver hired a man in a giant squirrel suit to tell him to, “Eat Sh%$.”

Murray, a notoriously thin skinned and litigious individual, sued Oliver for defamation and emotional distress, and now a judge has thrown out his case.

One hopes that there will be sanctions against both Mr. Murray and his counsel:

West Virginia judge Jeffrey Cramer is dismissing a defamation lawsuit against John Oliver stemming from a segment in which a giant squirrel named “Mr. Nutterbutter” told coal baron Robert Murray to eat shit, according to the Hollywood Reporter. HBO and Partially Important Productions had asked that the suit be dismissed because the facts in Oliver’s segment were based on government reports, and the more insulting statements—like Oliver’s assessment that Murray resembles “a geriatric Dr. Evil”—could not be proven true or false. Judge Cramer agreed, and on Wednesday, informed attorneys by letter that he planned to dismiss the case. The judge’s letter is a lot less funny than the West Virginia ACLU’s amicus brief, but has the advantage of being dispositive.

Lawyers for Murray, whose company lost six miners and three rescue workers in the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse, said in their initial complaint that “nothing has ever stressed him more” than the Last Week Tonight segment, in which a gigantic squirrel named “Mr. Nutterbutter” presented a novelty check for “three acorns and eighteen cents” made out to “Eat Shit, Bob!” (The memo line on the check read “Kiss My Ass,” which does indeed sound stressful, but maybe not “mine collapse with multiple fatalities” stressful.) To be fair, most of the complaint revolved around whether or not Oliver correctly characterized Murray’s handling of the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse, but Mr. Nutterbutter did play a prominent part:

 51. Instead, Defendants continued their ruthless character assassination and attack on Plaintiffs’ business reputations by describing Mr. Murray as someone who “looks like a geriatric Dr. Evil” and arranging for a staff member to dress up in a squirrel costume and deliver the message, “Eat Shit, Bob!” to Mr. Murray.

 52. If that were not enough, after the live taping, Defendant Oliver exclaimed to the audience that having someone in a squirrel costume tell Mr. Murray to “Eat Shit” was a “dream come true.”

I do not know if there is anti-SLAPP legislation in West Virginia, but there should be.

BTW, you can find the ACLU’s amicus brief in support of Oliver here, and it is well worth the read.

Here is a selection of their brief for your amusement:

4It should be noted that the very mean comparison arose from both a striking physical resemblance between the two characters and a statement by Plaintiff’s General Counsel with an uncanny similarity to statements made by a more youthful Dr. Evil. Compare Coal Operator Sues Beacon Journal Over Portrayal of Him in Article, ATHENS NEWS, (Jan. 29, 2001), article_24549e9b-de35-5b4c-b3c6-2ad29b33f694.html (Plaintiff’s General Counsel noting that although he could not legally demand one billion dollars, the figure did reflect the potential damages of the article that gave rise to that suit—this can reasonably be interpreted to mean Plaintiff’s General Counsel wanted to demand one billion dollars); with Pierre Pavia, Dr Evil in 1 Million Dollars, YOUTUBE, (Jul 11, 2008), (a young . . . er Dr. Evil demanding “one million dollars,” “one hundred billion dollars,” and “one billion gajillion fafillion shabadoodalooyim[inaudible]million yen”).

It’s Time to Go………

Dianne Feinstein* has lost the endorsement at the Democratic Party state convention, which, considering her long tenure as Senator, is rather remarkable:

Despite over a quarter-century representing California in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein in a humiliating setback was denied the endorsement of the California Democratic Party on Saturday, signaling a shift away from moderates at the highest levels of the state political infrastructure.

State Sen. Kevin De León, offering the strongest challenge to Feinstein since her election, garnered 54 percent of the vote of nearly 3,000 delegates gathered here at the state convention, compared to just 37 percent for Feinstein. The state party endorsement gives candidates coveted placement on state party mailers and can raise the profile of candidates who may have a deficit in fundraising. It’s not like Feinstein has a need to raise her profile in the state, and has plenty of money to get her message out. But denying the party endorsement to a sitting U.S. Senator is a remarkable turn of events for a lawmaker who has been a fixture in California politics going back to her days as a San Francisco board supervisor, where she was first elected in the late 1960s.

Had De León hit 60 percent, he would have won the endorsement outright. As it is, neither can claim it.

Obviously, a vote at a state party convention is not a vote in a primary or a general election, but given California’s jungle primary, Feinstein and De León will probably face off in the general, and while Feinstein is leading in the polls 46-17, she is polling under 50%, and everyone knows her name, while De León’s name recognition is far less.

I think that Feinstein seriously needs to reevaluate her options.

*Full disclosure, though I have never met her, we are 2nd cousins 1 time removed, though we have never met.

And Now We are at Dueling Memos

Following the Nunes memo, the Schiff memo has been issued in redacted form.

Rather unsurprisingly, it shows that Nunes was a complete tool of the Trump campaign that he is (nominally) investing:

The FBI team investigating the 2016 Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians had already opened inquiries into multiple people connected to the campaign when it received a controversial dossier alleging illicit ties between then-candidate Donald Trump and the Kremlin, a Democratic memo released by the House Intelligence Committee revealed Saturday.

The dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, wasn’t provided to the FBI’s counterintelligence team until mid-September 2016, according to the memo. By then, the counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign was seven weeks old. “The FBI had already opened sub-inquiries into … individuals linked to the Trump campaign,” according to the findings of the committee’s nine Democrats.

The committee posted the heavily redacted 10-page document Saturday after weeks of wrangling between the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, and Justice Department officials over the contours of classified material he hoped to release.

Much like in Watergate, we are seeing coverups, and much like Watergate, it will be the coverups that can prove Trump and his Evil Minions downfall.

Mixed emotions here, because I do not look forward to President Pence.

Expect the Fecal Matter Hitting the Rotary Impeller

We now have a date certain for when the US embassy will move to Jerusalem, so I would advise you to avoid travel to Israel in mid May:

The U.S. Embassy in Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israeli independence, the State Department said Friday.

The embassy, initially to be located in the current premises of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, will expand in and near that site next year but will eventually move to new premises President Trump has said will be constructed, according to a statement issued by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

The cost of that building is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor, has offered to fund an unspecified part of the construction, according to an administration official who confirmed an Associated Press report.

I do believe that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, though the final boundary between this capital is something to be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

So on one level, I see the recognition of Jerusalem as a recognition of reality.

On another level, we know that we are going to see a LOT of unrest and disruption as a result, and I expect a spate of attacks and retaliations.

This will not be pretty.

Your Mainstream Media

This week, the New York Times rightly called so-called firearms expert John Lott a fraud.

Last week, they published an OP/ED on gun control by John Lott:

Remember last week, when the New York Times ran an op-ed from the gun ‘researcher’ John Lott, who has been thoroughly and consistently debunked by basically everyone else who researches gun violence?

Apparently, the Times —yes, the people wot run the bad op-ed in the first place—does not remember! The paper issued an editorial today on criminal justice reform, which included this paragraph dunking on Lott:

Perhaps the most insidious part of the Trump administration’s approach to criminal justice lies in its efforts to link crime to its broader crackdown on immigration. In a speech last month, Mr. Sessions said undocumented immigrants are far more likely than American citizens to commit crimes, a claim he found in a paper by John Lott, the disreputable economist best known for misusing statistics to suit his own ideological ends. In this case, it appears Mr. Lott misread his own data, which came from Arizona and in fact showed the opposite of what he claimed: Undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than citizens, as the vast majority of research on the topic has found.

I would like to note that I also linked to that same Cato Institute debunking of Lott’s racist fake research, which tells me the Times editorial board is reading my posts. Hi!!! You should all resign!!!

 Seriously.  Who does the New York Times think that they are?  The Wall Street Journal?

Cheer the IT Revolution

It turns out that the increasing use of electronic health records saves neither time nor money, but this hasn’t stopped a rush by the government and the private healthcare industry from

I thought of working words like “debacle,” “scam,” or “bezzle” into the headline, but today is my day to be kind (and the entire topic really demands that I pull on my yellow waders and write another “Credentialism and Corruption” post, which I might do at a later time). However, the headlines give a sense of what a bombshell this study should be for the EHR industry. On the spectrum from reluctant admissions all the way through to The Bezzle:

  1. Electronic health records don’t cut administrative costs Harvard Gazette (February 20, 2018).
  2. Electronic Health Records Don’t Reduce Administrative Costs Harvard Business School (February 20, 2018).
  3. EHRs fall short in reducing administrative costs Health Data Management (February 21, 2018).
  4. Why health IT experts think Apple will succeed where Google failed with medical records Health IT and CIO Review
  5. An Introduction to Medicalchain: Blockchain for Electronic Health Records CryptoSlate. (This is from February 8, but I couldn’t resist.)

The complete study (an “Original Investigation”) is here at the Journal of the American Medical Association. Unfortunately, the study is paywalled, and the study material that JAMA exposes muffles the bombshell. From the abtract, the methodology:

IT is going to change the world making unachievable claims based on bad/non-existent evidence, and all we have to do throw money at them.

The Most Contemptible People in the World

That would be the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is literally arguing that its “student athletes” are slaves:

In the United States, college athletes — particularly those who compete at some of the largest football and basketball programs — generate not millions but billions of dollars for universities, brands, and television networks. In 2015, the top programs made a combined $9.1 billion. The NCAA, for its part, just signed an $8.8 billion dollar deal with CBS to air March Madness, the college basketball championship tournament.


That very obvious dynamic undergirds a lawsuit filed by former NCAA athlete Lawrence “Poppy” Livers asserting that scholarship students who play sports are employees and deserve pay. The Livers case argues that student-athletes who get scholarships should at least be paid as work-study students for the time they put in.

What the NCAA did in response to the lawsuit is as vile as anything going on in sports right now. I had to see it for myself before I believed it. At the root of its legal argument, the NCAA is relying on one particular case for why NCAA athletes should not be paid. That case is Vanskike v. Peters.

Only there’s an important detail: Daniel Vanskike was a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, and Howard Peters was the Director of the state Department of Corrections. In 1992, Vanskike and his attorneys argued that as a prisoner he should be paid a federal minimum wage for his work. The court, in its decision, cited the 13th Amendment and rejected the claim.

The 13th Amendment is commonly hailed as the law that finally ended slavery in America. But the amendment has an important carve-out: it kept involuntary service legal for those who have been convicted of a crime. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction,” the amendment says. It’s that phrase — “except as a punishment for crime” — which allows American prisons to force their inmates to do whatever work they want or need them to do.

The use of the case stems from several other law cases alleging unpaid labor; two of them are previous lawsuits against the NCAA in which the case was cited as precedent, and the NCAA won.


In their response to the NCAA’s motion to dismiss, Livers’s lawyers are arguing that the precedent was mistaken for applying the 13th Amendment exception for unpaid prison labor in a case dealing with non-prisoners.

“Defense Counsel’s insistence that Vanskike be applied here is not only legally frivolous, but also deeply offensive to all Scholarship Athletes – and particularly to African-Americans,” Livers’s rebuttal to the NCAA’s motion says. “Comparing athletes to prisoners is contemptible.”

 The NCAA is showing an incorrigible nerve to use this case, Vanskike v. Peters, as one of its justifications for not paying student-athletes. The Vanskike case has been cited in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals 14 times before, but in each of those 14 cases there were prisoners arguing that they should be paid a fair wage for their work.

Yet the NCAA wants to rely on this case and to call on the 13th Amendment. The body that runs college sports wants to use a justification for the slave labor of convicted criminals to justify its outrageous greed.

I have an idea for a sporting event, it would involve senior NCAA officials fighting each other to the death.

We could call it the Hunger Games.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

New York’s 19th Congressional district is allegedly competitive, though it went for Trump in 2016, and John Faso defeated Zephyr Techout about 8 points, so my guess is that it is not as competitive as people would like to think.

Patrick Ryan is running for US Congress in the Democratic primary in ew York’s 19th congressional district.

Patrick Ryan has also made a living spying on progressives for the state security apparatus for about a decade:

Patrick Ryan, a congressional candidate from New York, is leaning on his experience as a small business entrepreneur to establish his readiness for office, but he has curiously failed to mention the business he used to work in: domestic surveillance.

Seven years ago, Ryan, then working at a firm called Berico Technologies, compiled a plan to create a real-time surveillance operation of left-wing groups and labor unions, hoping business lobbyists would pay top dollar to monitor and disrupt the actions of activist groups across the country. At one point, the proposal included the idea to spy on the families of high-profile Democratic activists and plant fake documents with labor unions in a bid to discredit them.

The pitch, a joint venture with a now-defunct company called HBGary Federal and the Peter Thiel-backed company Palantir Technologies, however, crumbled in 2011 after it was exposed in a series of news reports.

Years later, Ryan pivoted to a startup called Dataminr, a data analytics company that provided social media monitoring solutions for law enforcement clients. Dataminr, which received financial support from the CIA’s venture capital arm, produced real-time updates about activists for law enforcement. For example, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of California and reported by The Intercept for the first time, Dataminr helped track social media posts relating to Black Lives Matter.

Ryan is one of several Democrats hoping to challenge freshman Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., for a seat that is expected to be among the most competitive in the country. The Hudson Valley district contains both staunchly conservative and liberal pockets. Donald Trump won the district by a seven-point margin in 2016, but even when Barack Obama took the district by six points in 2012, Democrats failed to win the congressional seat. Republicans have held the 19th District since it was formed eight years ago. This year, as Democrats anticipate a wave of victories in response to Trump and the GOP’s wildly unpopular agenda, they hope that the 19th District, will finally turn blue.


In July 2015, Ryan joined Dataminr, a startup that has worked closely with clients to make sense out of vast amounts of social media data. The company, as The Intercept first reported in 2016, was funded through an investment from In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA. The company, formed in consultation with Twitter, maintains access to Twitter’s proprietary “firehose” of user data, giving it an edge in social media data analysis.

The firm amassed law enforcement clients, including the FBI and Joint Regional Intelligence Center, a fusion center used by the government to alert multiple law enforcement departments in the Los Angeles region of potential threats. Documents, uncovered by the ACLU of California through a public records investigation of social media monitoring software, show that Dataminr monitored tweets mentioning Black Lives Matter on behalf of the JRIC. The emails show that Dataminr’s alerts vacuumed up tweets from now-Intercept columnist Shaun King, among other activists, in reports sent to law enforcement.

In another email obtained by the ACLU of California, Dataminr pitched the Los Angeles Police Department to use its tool to track protests, among other events of interest to law enforcement. Dataminr’s social media tracking tools are “highly valued by our clients at FBI CTD, NYPD, DoD and all ‘big five’ intel agencies,” the pitch continued.

In 2016, following a series of news reports on Dataminr’s relationship with law enforcement, Twitter announced Dataminr would no longer service fusion centers, and would restrict the use of its backend Twitter data for its law enforcement and intelligence agency clients.

Four years before he joined Dataminr, Ryan’s work with Berico Technologies was revealed in a hack of its partner firm, HBGary Federal. How his efforts to monitor activists on behalf of business interests were disclosed in an unusual story of spy versus spy.
In 2011, HBGary Federal boasted to the Financial Times that it was working on a plan to undermine WikiLeaks, which at the time was threatening to expose documents from Bank of America. In retaliation, a splinter group from the hacktivist collective LulzSec infiltrated network administrator from HBGary Federal, stealing thousands of emails from the firm and posting them onto the web.

The emails revealed that HBGary Federal had not only pitched a plan to Bank of America to track and discredit supporters of WikiLeaks, including The Intercept’s co-founder Glenn Greenwald, but had developed a larger business proposal to sell activist surveillance to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest pro-business lobbying organization in Washington, D.C.

Great.  Peter Thiel in drag.

No.  Just no.

Seriously no.


File Under, “Dystopian”

It appears that the car of the future have all the respect for your privacy that Mark Zuckerberg does, so expect hemorrhoid ads on your multi-function display:

Picture this: You’re driving home from work, contemplating what to make for dinner, and as you idle at a red light near your neighborhood pizzeria, an ad offering $5 off a pepperoni pie pops up on your dashboard screen.

Are you annoyed that your car’s trying to sell you something, or pleasantly persuaded? Telenav Inc., a company developing in-car advertising software, is betting you won’t mind much. Car companies—looking to earn some extra money—hope so, too.

Automakers have been installing wireless connections in vehicles and collecting data for decades. But the sheer volume of software and sensors in new vehicles, combined with artificial intelligence that can sift through data at ever-quickening speeds, means new services and revenue streams are quickly emerging. The big question for automakers now is whether they can profit off all the driver data they’re capable of collecting without alienating consumers or risking backlash from Washington.

“Carmakers recognize they’re fighting a war over customer data,” said Roger Lanctot, who works with automakers on data monetization as a consultant for Strategy Analytics. “Your driving behavior, location, has monetary value, not unlike your search activity.”

I just want an off switch for the car’s connectivity features, because, in addition to eschewing the aforementioned advertisements, I don’t want some script kiddie turning off my anti-lock brakes.

Be Careful What You Wish for, You Might Get It

For years, the US has been demanding that European allies spend more on their military

Now that they are, they are also setting up European cooperation mechanisms, and so now the Pentagon is upset about baby steps toward European military autonomy:

For years, the US has been complaining that EU countries do not spend enough on their own military capabilities.

“Now we’re trying to do that, and it’s not right either,” Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, told delegates at the Munich Security Conference this weekend.

A high-level annual meeting of US and European politicians, generals and defence experts, the conference was this year dominated by calls from Germany and France for Europe to stand on its own two feet — and US qualms about what that might mean for the transatlantic alliance.

Indeed US misgivings about attempts to forge closer defence ties within the EU could become a significant irritant in relations with the US.

Why would Washington have a problem with this?

For the same reason that they expanded NATO to Russia’s border, because they want to ensure that Europe remains a market for US military hardware, and this development implies that Europe is moving toward become a competitor in this whole “Merchants of Death” business:

Washington’s attention is focused on permanent structured co-operation, or Pesco, which is shaping up to be the EU’s most serious attempt yet at forging closer defence ties. Of its 28 member states, 25 have signed up to the scheme that involves 17 projects ranging from improving military mobility to developing a new infantry fighting vehicle.


Some Europeans suspect that US reservations are focused less on concerns about Nato than on fears for the US defence industry. “If the EU develops its own fighter aircraft, it won’t need any more Lockheed Martin F-35s,” said one senior MP from Germany’s governing CDU party. “If we really consolidate the European arms industry then it’s that industry that will get the contracts from the EU and that means more competition for US arms exporters.”

(emphasis mine)

Not a surprise, seeing as how the US has basically turned the State Department into the sales arm of the Military Industrial complex.

How it Should Be Done

If you want to run for office as a real liberal, watch Jeremy Corbyn and take copious notes:

Jeremy Corbyn pledged that a Labour government would make it harder for asset strippers to take over U.K. companies while vowing to make finance the “servants of industry not the masters of us all.”

While his full-throttle attacks on bankers have been become familiar to the City of London, his prescription for blocking hostile takeovers is specific and likely to rattle the world of business.

In a speech to the EEF manufacturers’ organisation, he will evoke the case of Melrose Industries Plc’s bid for GKN Plc as an example where action to fend off the turnaround specialist is justified. If elected, Corbyn would broaden the scope of the “public interest test” to allow the government to act.

“Take GKN, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious engineering firms, which employs 6,000 workers across the U.K.,” Corbyn will say on Tuesday. “And yet GKN is currently facing a hostile, allegedly debt-fuelled takeover bid by Melrose, a company with a history of opportunistic asset-stripping.”

“It’s an all too familiar story, like when Kraft took over Cadburys,” Corbyn will tell an audience of manufacturers at their annual conference in London. “A valuable company could be sacrificed so that a few can make a quick buck.”

Understand that it is important to actually have credibility to make such a claim, which means that things like paid speaking gigs at Wall Street or fundraising appeals to that same boulevard tend to eliminate this as a valid tactic.

If you want to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk, as Corbyn has done for decades.


To my mind, this is the quintessential country music song: (Warning: kind of NSFW)