Links 1/11/17

Charming Portraits of Hong Kong’s Shop Cats Atlas Obscura

Eagle with Sony Action Cam flies off top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai YouTube. Robert H: “Pilots will really like this. The dive at the end is especially exciting.”

The 22 Most Outrageous Looks From London Men’s Fashion Week Huffington Post (TK)

Armed robber is killed on camera as he tries to hold up gun store in Georgia Daily Mail. Chuck L: “Is there any surer way to win a Darwin Award than attempting to rob a gun store?”

No ‘Pause’ in Global Warming: Oceans Heating Up and Sea Levels Rising at Alarming Pace Real News Network

Wastewater treatment upgrades result in major reduction of intersex fish PhysOrg (Chuck L)

An Ancient Toy Could Improve Health Care in the Developing World Atlantic (Dan K)

Glia, not neurons, are most affected by brain aging MedicalXpress (Chuck L)

Brexit

U.K. Considers Promising EU Citizens They Can Stay After Brexit Bloomberg

Britain will not deal with Marine Le Pen, UK’s ambassador to France says Telegraph

No 10 blames NHS chief as hospital chaos grows The Times

Sigmar Gabriel, the reluctant candidate Politico

Draghi, Renzi and Monti victims of cyberattacks Politico

Migrant crisis: Greece refugee camps hit by winter BBC :-(

Ukrainians fall out of love with Europe Politico

Canada names Chrystia Freeland, leading Russia critic, as foreign minister Guardian

Syraqistan

Saudi Arabia’s Dream of Domination Goes Up in Flames Counterpunch (Chuck L)

New Cold War

US intelligence ‘found no sign that Russia hacked Trump campaign’ Financial Times. Remember how in the last ten days the CIA said the FBI agreed with its hacking claims re the RNC and the FBI was silent? The other shoe has dropped.

Moscow is pushing populist movements to bring ‘real security threats to Europe,’ new report says McClatchy. George P: “Yes, Trump, LePen, and Brexit are all parts of the evil commie, er, putinoid plot.. Moi: So now Putin is responsible for austerity and the refugee crisis?

REPORT: Intel chiefs tell Trump that Russian operatives claim to have compromising information on him Business Insider (David L). From earlier in the day. My reaction then: As if that has ever ruffled Trump? The sex tape didn’t bother him, the foundation scandal didn’t bother him, the kerfluffle about $915 million loss in the 1990s and the effort to claim he’d cheated (which he apparently hadn’t, see here, the underlying article is back behind a paywall). Or more accurately, he gets all bent out of shape on Twitter for a few days and then carries on. Trump even casually creates “compromising information” like defending Roger Ailes, not distancing himself from David Duke, attacking the parents of the slain solider…the list is really long.

BuzzFeed Posts Unverified Claims on Trump, Stirring Debate New York Times (furzy)

These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia BuzzFeed (UserFriendly). So this leak of an unverified report is kosher when Wikileaks publishing documents whose authenticity has not been denied isn’t? So Trump used hookers and the FSB knows about it? As if this would bother Trump? And prostitution apparently isn’t even criminal in Russia, it’s a mere “administrative” offensive. And this unverified report doesn’t pass a sanity test, which means someone should have sought more in the way of supporting evidence. It’s one thing to allege that Trump got a golden shower. But a golden shower party to destroy a bed? By a hotelier who (unlike a rock star) knows he’d pay for the damage and never be allowed to stay in that hotel chain again? When Trump has never demonstrated anything more than a belief that Obama was not a very good president? And notice this was leaked the day of the FBI denying the CIA’s earlier claim that the RNC was hacked.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A New Era of Mass Surveillance is Emerging Across Europe Just Security (guurst)

Data capitalism is cashing in on our privacy . . . for now Financial Times. Guess no one sent them the memo that the Internet of Things is on hold until someone figures out how to make it secure…which given the size of the installed base and its deep-seated problem, is pretty close to a non-starter.

Trump Transition

Trump Just Dismissed the People in Charge of Maintaining Our Nuclear Arsenal Gizmodo (Dr Kevin)

Republicans, Facing Pressure, Delay Hearings for 4 Trump Cabinet Nominees New York Times (furzy)

Meryl Streep Finally Realized the Government Does Terrible Things AntiMedia (UserFriendly)

Jeff Sessions has deep ties to a big electric utility, and that could create major conflicts of interest Grist

D.C. dress boutique owner: ‘There’s never been less demand for inaugural ballgowns in my 38 years’ Daily Kos. The revolt by established performers was a real missed opportunity. Too bad he didn’t have the staff bandwidth to have someone talent-scout Red states and the Rust Belt. There are tons of people with great voices who don’t make it commercially often for arbitrary reasons. As a Time Warner executive once said, “There are lots of pretty girls that can sing. It takes millions to make a star.”

2016 Post Mortem

Stop Saying Trump’s Win Had Nothing To Do With Economics FiveThirtyEight (UserFriendly)

Trump is Obama’s Legacy Real News Network (Sid S)

Obama’s Legacy on Corporate Criminals: Too Little, Too Late Fiscal Times (UserFriendly)

Obama Blasts ‘Zero-Sum’ Politics in Farewell Speech, Drawing Contrast to Trump Bloomberg

Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama Cornel West, Guardian (John C)

What Went Wrong With Obama’s Farewell Address Bloomberg

Fish on a treadmill and other government waste, according to Sen. Jeff Flake Albuquerque Journal. Resilc: “How about invading Iraq, did that make the list?”

Supreme Court Seems Wary of Hurdles for Refunds of Fines After Exonerations New York Times. Jess M: “This is insane. SCOTUS is hearing a case about whether people who have their convictions overturned are entitled to have any fines they paid refunded. Colorado is arguing that there is no such right. Kafka would be proud.”

Powerful storms head for U.S. West after thousands flee floods Reuters. EM: “The drought is not officially over – depleted aquifers statewide take a lot longer to recharge than surface reservoirs – but this latest batch of ‘Pineapple express’ rain plumes is the kind of thing CA hasn’t seen in nearly a decade.”

California Democratic delegates get more progressive Sacramento Bee (UserFriendly)

New McCarthyism

American Media Must Do Better in 2017 FAIR (Judy B)

The Number of Librarians in Philly Continues to Dwindle Pacific Standard (Chuck L)

Trump Euphoria Sets In; Small Businesses Optimism Surges Most Since 1980: What’s It Mean? Michael Shedlock (EM)

America’s Fastest-Growing Loan Category Has Echoes of Subprime Wall Street Journal

Heath IT Mismanagement: MD Anderson to cut about 1,000 jobs due to “financial downfall officials largely attributed to its EPIC EHR implementation project” Health Care Renewal

Does NYT Require Reporters to Needless Add “Free” to References to Trade Policy? Dean Baker

Suddenly, Home Sale Agreements Are Falling Apart Across the U.S. Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Feminism of the Few Has No Place in a Nation for All Progressive Army (UserFriendly)

Field study suggests wealthy less willing to tax rich when poor people are around PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Wal-Mart Plans More Job Cuts Wall Street Journal

The Astounding Collapse of American Bus Ridership Slate. Philip P: “Study finds ‘Cuts prompt ridership declines, not the other way around.'”

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (Robert H):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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310 comments

      1. Optimader

        I hope asparagus was not in season.

        I imagine if this is discussed with the SS contingent there will be a few agents nervously whistling while staring holes in the ceiling tile?

    1. sid_finster

      These are our superspies…Taken in by a bad hoax.

      The intelligence community is one swamp in dire need of draining.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        Or it’s a deliberate smear job with plausible deniability and they knew exactly where it came from. Just saying…

        1. different clue

          This reason is more likely. The Establishment and all its agencies is trying to weaponise and disseminate anything they can find or invent. It is part of a rolling coup against the incoming Trump Administration. Information Operations, psychological operations, etc.

          Designed to soften up and prepare the public for impeachment or other removal or even assassination if the Establishment sees no other way and thinks it can get away with it.

      1. clarky90

        https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5n8yd9/when_you_never_verify_anything_because_youre_fake/

        [–]uncleshorty 1178 points 17 hours ago*
        So let me get this straight… Trump partook in “golden showers” and watched Japanime in Russia with prostitutes… Russia then blackmailed Trump, not by asking for money or influence in his business deals, but by forcing him to run for president against all odds and win?
        Edit: Japanimation partying was just a shitpost
        permalinkembedparent

        [–]ChicagoIceRUS 537 points 17 hours ago
        Yes. Very logical of course.
        permalinkembedparent

        [–]TonsOfSaltRUS 361 points 17 hours ago
        Makes sense if you don’t think about it.
        permalinkembedparent

    2. Waldenpond

      Buzzfeed had to know there was nothing to it when even the NYT and Wapo passed (after the Rs and Ds passed). I’m guessing there is going to be a lawsuit. Malicious, defamation etc.

    3. Waldenpond

      That zerohedge piece is a listing of 4chan assertions. The CIA is claiming ‘ownership’ of the statements. 4chan is claiming ‘ownership’ of the statements. I remember when 4chan was making these claims…. the counter argument (of 4chan at the same time) was that someone from the Trump camp was familiar with the story and going on 4chan to discuss. (If they wanted to discredit a distantly related story, exaggerating it and parking it in 4chan is one way to do it).

      If someone from 4chan created the paper (which look like they were typed at home) the originator could get them to wikileaks for publication (I don’t believe it would ever be possible to verify them).

      The people who are accused of crimes can easily verify they were not in Prague so they’ll still have a lawsuit and won’t have to rely on 4chan rumors.

      I have to admit, the story was incredibly juvenile (vandalizing a bed with pee pee) so that’s one point for 4chan whether they want it or not.

      1. craazyboy

        The way I understand it so far, is some 4chan commenter posted a pee story he made up. Then someone copied it and it found it’s way to the “real” CIA intelligence report that we’ve been hearing about in our “real world”. (Putin double agents???? We’ll probably never know….)

        This was the classified report shown to Trump on Friday. Trump was reading about himself peeing on Obamas bed. Somehow.

        Then the report was leaked to Buzzfeed, I guess. What Buzzfeed did I don’t even know yet.

  1. hahahaheeheeheeandacoupleoftralalas

    RE: Buzzfeed: The IC just signed their death warrant by leaking that crap. Some of that information regarding the golden showers, and hentai pajama party may have been made up and pushed by 4chan- this makes the IC look like a bunch of incompetent morons. The establishment, and the Democrats, have lost their collective minds. One thing I admire about Trump is that he is willing to take on the IC. Now that their smear campaign has blown up in their faces, it has given Trump all the ammo he needs to paint the IC as incompetent and dangerous. Trump is going to take the gloves off. Look for a major purge in the IC in the first 100 days. Oh yeah, BuzzFeed is finished.

    1. ambrit

      Turning your theory on it’s head; this may be spun as “more irresponsible fake news” and be used to justify Internet censorship. The present “elites” have so far shown not a scintilla of shame or conscience. Watch “them” take this lemon and try to make lemonade out of it.

      1. tiebie66

        Exactly what I have started to worry about: a “War on Fake News” a la the “WaR on teRRoR”. The “War on Fake News” will be a direct attack on the first amendment and will be used to introduce censorship. After all, the “WaR on teRRoR” succeeded beautifully in curtailing freedoms and justifying unacceptable acts.

    2. sid_finster

      The IC knew that they were in line for the chopping block.

      So they had no choice but to go for broke, as they would be fired anyway.

      1. neo-realist

        From previous Presidential history, the IC doesn’t take being knocked down a few pegs w/o serious responses. This will be a wait and see till after Trump takes office.

        1. hunkerdown

          “The IC works in strange and mysterious ways.” Are we not tired of secular Christianity yet?

          Without “deep state” privileges and immunities, they don’t have much more room to operate than the FBI-manufactured “terrists”. On 1/20 at noon, DJT is within his constitutional and sovereign powers to write them out of existence. And 4chan/Anonymous is within their capacities and moral rights to invade their networks and post webcam footage of each and every one of their own little pecadilloes, indexed by name and date.

          Circled wagons are a desperation move for the slightly outnumbered, and the last existential defense for the severely outnumbered.

          And finally, we can put the sex-hatred of crackpot cults behind us.

          1. different clue

            Trump’s authorising Sessions to put Bush/Cheney/et al on trial for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity would be the start of reversing the Cloak Of Impunity. If such prosecutions resulted in convictions, Trump Justice could then put Obama on trial for refusing to permit the prosecution of these same no-statute-of-limitations crimes. If that worked, then Trump Justice could start working down the various food chains and backwards in time to prosecute more and more feasibly prosecutable perpetrators.

            If Trump gave this order to Sessions, it would keep Sessions too busy to initiate his beloved War On Marijuana 2.0.

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      Indeed, but

      When Trump has never demonstrated anything more than a belief that Obama was not a very good president?

      Trump demonstrated an obsession with Obama for years with his repulsive and unseemly birtherism, which along with other contributing factors has now rewarded him with the highest office in the land.

      Losing sight of this in our disappointment with the last eight years (couldn’t watch the farewell speech, I had such high hopes and am so disappointed and angry at where we are 8 years later) puts us at risk for failing to accurately assess Trump and therefore achieve a clear-eyed view of what lies ahead.

      NC has always been the definition of clear-(dare I say eagle-)eyed. Statements like the above hurt its credibility.

      1. Unconvinced

        Second this. There is deep animus against Obama stemming perhaps from the mockery of Trump at the Correspondents Dinner event.

        Also, if everyone could get past the golden showers, there are less shiny (but much more meaningful) allegations of quid pro quo policy-for-money agreements between Trump campaign and Putin cronies. See pgs 7-8 & pg 30 for example.

        True, the one on pg 7-8 could have been written into this ex post facto since it actually already happened, but the Trump admin groundwork for the plan on pg 30 has been on-going…

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Huh? Do some basic homework.

          The alleged incident was in 2013.

          The Correspondents Dinner was 2015.

          And this oppo was shopped to the RNC and DNC before it was passed to the FBI. Both passed on it.

          1. Unconvinced

            The 2011 Correspondents Dinner was the Obama roast of Trump:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TwRmX6zs4

            This oppo project was allegedly started by a Republican primary candidate…sure…and nothing was made of it…but the damning stuff doesn’t happen until after the convention in July.

            I could be convinced that the DNC would ignore these things since they were so confident of winning on the merits already. Why add this dirty stuff & have it possibly blow up in their face?

            1. hunkerdown

              In other words, the whole “Russian propaganda” thing was really about the DNC emails and their conceits of liberal self-superiority and freedom from accountability. Thank you for confirming what everyone outside of the Democrat g(r)ift economy already knew.

          2. feox

            When Trump has never demonstrated anything more than a belief that Obama was not a very good president?

            Trump demonstrated an obsession with Obama for years with his repulsive and unseemly birtherism, which along with other contributing factors has now rewarded him with the highest office in the land.

            Losing sight of this in our disappointment with the last eight years (…) puts us at risk for failing to accurately assess Trump and therefore achieve a clear-eyed view of what lies ahead.

            Hi. Thank you for your work that I’ve followed for years. However, nothing to say about that? This is the relevant part of the post. I think it speaks to a clear and present danger to that website. Is is just going to be dismiss?

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              “Clear and present danger”? Come on.

              And Trump has been ridiculed by New York Magazine since the 1980s. They’ve made him a pet project. They’ve humiliated Trump in his home turf. Graydon Carter came up with the “short fingered vulgarian” epithet.

              http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/10/graydon-carter-donald-trump

              They laughed at his gold and mirrors. They laughed at him being from Queens. They laughed at him for putting his name on his properties. They laughed at him marrying Ivanka (as in she was depicted as Not Classy At All). I could go on.

              Trump served NY Magazine by allowing the rising billionaires like Henry Kravis, who did all the right things in social climbing (marrying women who were plugging into the right NY social circles, giving ginormous donations to NYC cultural institutions like the Met and Moma, collecting good art, buying apartments in exclusive buildings like 720 and 740 Park) to look good by comparison. They celebrated them while making fun of Trump.

              Yet despite stinging Trump in a way that really hurt, Carter can’t point to Trump doing anything more than sulking and pouting and wanting the record corrected for years and years and years. And that’s been his pattern when attacked personally: ineffective verbal/written/Twitter responses directed at the person who insulted him.

              So explain to me: how the hell does have whores pee on a bed Obama slept in once get back at Obama? Obama never knew and would not have known, and it’s always been of prime importance to Trump to have the person who got to him know of his response. And that’s before you get to the fact that Trump knows enough about hotels to know the mattress was probably replaced since Obama was there!

              You guys seem desperate to buy any bad story about Trump.

              Go watch the many episodes of Trump talking to Howard Stern. He already said tons of stuff about his sexual escapades and lust on tape that the Dems were too lazy to use. It was a gold mine.

              1. ChiGal in Carolina

                I think feox is referring to MY comment, to which you have still not responded.

                I said nothing about Golden Showers or Trump’s sex life, about which I could care less.

                I appreciate you not wanting to buy into the Trump hysteria but in presenting the BuzzFeed link you made a statement that errs in the opposite direction.

                1. integer

                  Trump demonstrated an obsession with Obama for years with his repulsive and unseemly birtherism

                  Apparently the “birther” thing began with an anonymous group of Clinton supporters sending an email about it during Clinton’s 2008 primary against 0bama. Perhaps it was David Brock, as he was active on that campaign. Trump (who, it should be remembered, was not formally involved in politics at the time) picked up the ball in 2011 and ran with it, precipitating a significant ratings boost for The Apprentice. As noted by hunkerdown below, he eventually conceded that it was not true. There is a lot of “fake news” on this topic, but here is an article from 2011 that imo seems legit:

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8478044/Birther-row-began-with-Hillary-Clinton-supporters.html

                    1. integer

                      No.

                      Three years passed between the anonymous Clinton supporter group sending the email out in 2008, which was almost certainly simply an effort to smear 0bama (as at the time he was Clinton’s rival in the D-party primary), and Trump getting involved in “birtherism” in March of 2011. Note this paragraph from the article I linked to above:

                      Mr Trump outed himself as a “birther” in an interview on his private jet on March 17 [2011]. “The reason I have a little doubt — just a little — is because he grew up and nobody knew him,” he told ABC News.

                      I would speculate that it is likely that once Trump started getting media attention after making the above comment, he embraced “birtherism” more fully as a way of getting free publicity (sound familiar?) for The Apprentice, which had low ratings at the time. While it was evidently seen as “repulsive and unseemly” by those on the D-party side of the fence, the flipside is that it likely improved his standing with, and visibilty to, R-party supporters, and played a role in the above mentioned ratings increase for his TV show.

                    2. integer

                      visibilty visibility

                      Of course, the battle between Trump and 0bama’s vast egos was clearly a significant factor, especially after 0bama roasted Trump at the 2011 Correspondent’s Dinner.

                2. dcrane

                  Agree with ChiGal on the repeated point, which keeps falling by the wayside, that Trump did more than just complain that Obama wasn’t a very good president. His birtherism crusade was more toxic than that.

      2. hunkerdown

        The “unseemly” birtherism that he put to bed quite finally during the campaign? Please don’t tell me you think these people actually believe in anything but their own class interest.

    4. River

      Ironically, Buzzfeed will have Obama to thank for their demise. Should it come to that of course. We may see that disinformation clause from his signing of NDAA this year come into play.

      It is one thing to insult Trump, but there may be a case to be made that the media is actively undermining the legitimacy of the Office of the President. In which case the NDAA could be used against Buzzfeed.

      Interesting to see what happens.

  2. UserFriendly

    The 22 Most Outrageous Looks From London Men’s Fashion Week Huffington Post

    I hate the framing of articles like this. Runway fashion show looks aren’t supposed to be wearable, there is always this stupid subtle judgement behind it. Guess what, high end fashion is ridiculous, just like it wants to be. If it isn’t your thing fine but get over it.

    1. windsock

      I thought some of the designs were fantastic and, given the opportunity (i.e. – money), I’d happily wear them. It reminded me why I love living in London – you do see the wild, wacky and eccentric and it looks brilliant. Thank heavens it’s not all pinstripes, umbrellas and bowlers (as if it ever were). Magazine articles that want to ridicule people who choose not to be conventional are just so much (false) superiority signalling.

      1. Marco

        Always been conflicted with the big haute fashion spectacle. Is it a show by the .01% for the .01%?? Or is it pointing to more radical / anarchic possibilities? How responsible are the great fashion houses for enforcing class divisions? Or perhaps in a post consumer MMT utopian world all we do is make cool clothes for each other.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Clothing has always been an outward sign of class. Periods of egalitarianism move towards function over showmanship, and periods of growing wealth inequality move towards greater fashion variety as people strive to be noticed or want to announce their status.

          In Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, Sallah’s clothing indicated he was anti-English but pro Western and anti-Ottoman era which is why the Nazis hired him and he was friends with Indy. His choice of clothing was an outward statement of his politics. Iranians don’t wear ties for similar reasons.

          1. Optimader

            Clothing has always been an outward sign of class

            As well class climbing
            There is an inflection point where it reverts to bluejeans and teeshirts

          2. human

            I don’t wear ties either, but, it is because I have this innate dislike of putting something tight about my neck.

          1. makedoanmend

            Every elderly inducing year is certainly playing sartorial havoc with my birthday suit.

            Gravity, thou art a ….

        2. Portia

          I read that fashion foibles used to be the King’s way of keeping the courtiers and court so busy trying to outdo each other they had no time to plot against him.

    2. Leigh

      I rarely frequent Huffington – surprised to see the Home Page is now always one giant photo with tantalizing headlines – of various colors!

      What’s next? – at this rate, news websites will be one word per page and one must scroll through interminable ads and pages to read one article.

      Regarding the fashionistas – one look at the gallery at these events will tell you all you need to know – Kardashians, Kanye, Paris Hilton…I’ll pass.

      1. Pavel

        I’ll pass also. These “fashion weeks” are one great big con game. Nobody buys the ridiculous frocks on display; it is only a way for the fashion designers and their friends (the fashion press most notably) to throw big parties for themselves, spend a lot of money, and use the publicity to sell the (less ridiculous but still pricey) clothes that actually make a profit.

        Of course it keeps a lot of hotels and restaurants in business, but for the locals who have to put up with the fashion victims trooping in on a regular basis it sucks.

        As you point out, Leigh — the Kardashian presence at these events sums it all up. Ugh.

        1. polecat

          And Yahoo .. er .. I mean Altaba …. (now that they’ve deep-sixed Marrisa) has been right there behind the Huff n Puff in their vacuous pop salaciousness ! …..
          the digital equivalent of a Deathstar dump station …

          1. ambrit

            Actually, a low wattage brain destroying virus. (See, anyone can do mixed metaphors for kix and bux.) That sounds like a good name for a Corporation of Courtiers.

    3. fajensen

      Course it is ridiculous: It is a signal, a yuuuge beacon, that whoever has the guts and resources to wear this has so much surplus that they have to waste obscene amounts of money and time on clothing just to survive

      … so, obviously, such persons will be even more attractive to all configurations of opposite sexes.

      Same principles applies to “The Internet Warriors For Justice ™, which explains why The Internet is so retarded:

      http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/the-toxoplasma-of-rage/

    4. Annotherone

      I see fashions such as these as a form of abstract art, not really something with broad wearability, as paraded on the runway. Tiny bits of these styles, the general flavour of them – ideas drawn from them – will likely filter through to clothes available in shopping malls this year, next year.

    5. Robert Hahl

      I once got into Studio 54 even though I am on the C-list. I think the way fashion works is, the A-listers dress up and are the show, who’s function is to attract a paying crowd of B-listers, while C-listers are excluded to make everyone else feel special. Come to think of it, that is how civilization works too; so I agree, get over it.

      And btw it was memorable and worth the $10 bribe to the doorman. For instance I saw a woman wearing only a python. Disco did not suck.

      1. neo-realist

        Disco music sucked, but the Disco scene in Studio 54 presumably was eye popping performance art.

        1. Robert Hahl

          The Disco Sucks movement (and the Funk taboo, to a lesser degree) was triggered by a disk-burning event that took place on television at a baseball game in 1979. That was white backlash against the commercial power of black music. By 1980 the only black musicians who could get a major record contract were those who most white people liked anyway, e.g., Diana Ross.

          BBC Nile Rodgers The Hitmaker

          If you don’t believe the BBC, watch these two white Americans saying how relived they are it is legal to play funk guitar again. When the master allows, “funky man I am,” that is a race joke not a music joke. They are celebrating the funk embargo being lifted like it was a Cuban cigar.

          Rhythm Funk Guitar Lesson

          And my own theory is that this white backlash also accounts for Bruce Springsteen’s unnatural popularity in the ’80s, which persists to this day.

          1. neo-realist

            Studio 54, FWIW, had a velvet rope policy, which it had no problem using against black people it considered beneath it: An unnamed famous black disco artist was prohibited from entering because to paraphrase the bouncer, he looked like just another street n*****. And they probably played this guy music quite a bit.

            Google Rock against Racism and the Punk bands involved.

            1. Robert Hahl

              It was hard to get in no matter who you were. The night I was there I was white (still am), and had possession of:

              1. A ticket to get in.
              2. A beautiful woman, dressed to kill.
              3. The teenage son of a famous movie director who had been sent these tickets gratis.
              4. Trying my best to look cool; not my first club experience.

              Yet still, the doorman didn’t want to let me in. It was only after my friends said that they would not go in and leave me outside (solidarity!) that he gave in but demanded $10 to close his eyes. Jerk. Not that I’m bitter.

              1. alex morfesis

                All the baird jones passes, old and new are good for…not so hard if you understand how the velvet rope works…it also helps to show up places on slower nites so the doorman and barkeeps remember you…and spending a little time being the gofyr at the new york rocker allowed me once or twice to go get a check for ads that had run for s54

              2. neo-realist

                The Mudd Club had a velvet rope too. The bouncer would ask you who you were coming to see, as if they didn’t think you knew who was playing. Or he would lie and say that the band cancelled their show. One time, they tried to keep me out of a punk show until I let them know that I brought a ticket ahead of time at Bleecker Bob’s:/.

                I liked reading the NYRocker–used to get a copy at a fanzine store called See Hear on E 7th St.

            2. Robert Hahl

              Wikipedia knows everything that hardly matters (just like the NYTimes):

              The song Le Freak commemorates Studio 54 for its notoriously long customer waiting lines, exclusive clientele, and discourteous doormen. According to guitarist Nile Rodgers, the song was devised during New Year’s Eve of 1977, as a result of he and bassist Bernard Edwards’ being refused entrance to Studio 54, where they had been invited by Grace Jones, due to her failure to notify the nightclub’s staff. He said the lyrics of the refrain were originally “Fuck off!” rather than “Freak out!”[8]

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Freak

    6. DJG

      UserFriendly: As the model in photo 21, Mister Frothy Pants, I can assure that I take fashion and Huffington Post very seriously.

      I will take Huffington Post even more seriously when it decides to pay its writers.

      1. Praedor

        The only fashion of any value is functional, day-to-day clothes. Cargo pants, fatiques, or jeans on bottom, soft shirt with pocket(s) up top. Neither with a pattern or color that makes one dizzy…unlesss intended to screw with facial or gait recognition cameras. End of fashion. Everything else is frou frou and useless.

        If you have to worry about wrinkling, tearing, or getting dirt on it, then it’s crap.

    7. inhibi

      The best form of USABLE art is where form and function intersect. Did not see that. The designs also looked crappy by either highlighted the model’s skinniness (by being overly baggy), or calling attention to unflattering parts (ankle area).

      High end fashion is ridiculous; but not in a good way. It seems the point is to create the most ridiculous shocking looking piece of….textile. Its not even clothing in my mind.

      The comments were great though.

  3. djrichard

    I’m wondering if there’s some kind of conflict with the links. You have today’s titled as 1/10/17. And that shows up in the URL too.

    1. Vatch

      The URL fixes this with “-2”. The “10” is a typo, I guess, but there’s no conflict, because the real Jan. 10 link doesn’t have the “-2”.

  4. Jim Haygood

    This is insane. SCOTUS is hearing a case about whether people who have their convictions overturned are entitled to have any fines they paid refunded. Colorado is arguing that there is no such right. Kafka would be proud.

    As John Roberts of Obamacare fame would say, “It’s a tax, not a penalty.

    Go, Johnny, go.

    1. ambrit

      Pay as you go law enforcement! I’d go pretty darn quick after giving the “arresting” officer his dead president “gratuity.” In the building trades, this sort of “lubrication” was known as the “Golden Handshake.”

    2. Katharine

      On the contrary, he seems to take a dim view of it:

      Incarceration is different from money, Chief Justice Roberts said. “You can’t give them back whatever time they’ve spent in jail,” he said. “You just can’t do it, but you can give them the money back.”

      1. Praedor

        And THEN some. Payback from the state should not just include the fine/fee repayment, it should also pay a LOT of compensation for any incarceration. There is real harm done to people’s lives and livelihoods from bogus/erroneous conviction and incarceration.

  5. Steve C

    Obama would have had something more than another trademark fluffy nothingburger speech if he said here are three big things we got done. Here are two more that need to get done.

    He could have given that speech if he had an agenda beyond self-promotion and backing Wall Street. On the plus side, we won’t have to listen to sanctimonious lectures from him anymore.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Fortunately a star-struck Bloomberg journo named Jonathan Bernstein [editorial linked above] will shoulder that grim task for us:

      He’s hardly finished as a public speaker. He’s probably better situated to give important post-presidential speeches than any of his predecessors, given his age and his particular abilities, talents, and interests.

      When scholars and students study his greatest speeches decades from now, they’ll skip over this one to get to the good ones he gave after he left office.

      He has a lot left to say. I look forward to hearing from Citizen Obama.

      Go, Johnny, go.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Has he given any other kind of speech than the one last night? There have been periodic flurries of “Obama needs to get his groove back” over the last eight years bemoaning how Obama’s speeches just lack the shine of the campaign, but those same pieces never bother to look at the speeches of the glory days. The real difference is people expected results and aren’t finding answers in Obama’s token Chamber of Commerce Democrat’s diatribes in the local paper about too much partisanship. The writer in Haygood’s comment below swears Obama’s speeches going forward over the next Friedman Unit will deliver for reasons left to mystery.

      Obama’s biracial status and other characteristics were what people attached too for one reason or another. (I suspect a shared loss of community played a prominent role in the attachment), and they largely ignored Obama’s actual speeches or writing.

      1. Steve C

        I ignorantly expected Obama to be a mediocre Democrat who would yield at least some positive results. Instead he was an Eisenhower Republican infatuated with austerity.

        1. Pat

          Please that is an insult to Eisenhower Republicans, move it forward a couple of decades to Reagan Republican.

        2. neo-realist

          At least Eisenhower wanted to maintain Social Security while Obama wanted to kill it thorough death by a thousand cuts.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      “We all share the same proud title: citizen.”

      Obama is king of the banal. 150 years ago, this would be a huge deal, but again, all he ever said was safe stuff that reinforced American myths. According to the writer, Obama understands this because he a law talking guy.

      1. witters

        Neoliberal corporate “states” do not want citizens. That is a given. Just as (to harp on about it) the English East India Company didn’t want citizens after it privatised Bengal. Each day the notion of “citizenship” becomes emptier – until the CEO can have any “citizen” tortured, incarcerated and killed…

    4. TomT

      I thought his throwing out that final “Yes we can!” there at the end showed formidable neoliberal chutzpah and a stubborn — almost cultivated? — lack of irony that the crowd was, amazingly or not, still able to muster enthusiasm for. Appropriate subtitles came to mind: “Yes We Could’ve!”, “No I Didn’t!”, etc.

    5. Waldenpond

      Obama is copying the Clinton’s… O has stated he’s going to be speech grifting, foundation grifting, pac grifting… He also wants one of those payoffs for selling out the public, called ‘board member’. He’ll get paid mostly by corporations (I don’t think he can get BC $500,000 because that was with the expectation HC could get into office and expand the rents) and only by the public through university fees once the tear jerks are over his initial exit.

    6. neo-realist

      I’m not an Obama worshiper, but in defense of a small portion of a fluffernutter of a speech, he did say that the vision of a post-racial America was never realistic and we needed to do more work to fight racism. It’s a shame that he didn’t have enough courage of his convictions to speak and govern in such a way as President.

    1. hunkerdown

      MoA claims here that 4chan could not have been involved in the genesis of the claim, but helped embellish it with too-good-to-be-true counterintelligence.

      However, our favorite Mexican-Ukrainian dishes, the Chalupa Sisters, star in a Tiger Beat on the Potomac article, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire, subtitled “Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.”

  6. Rajesh

    I dont think Model no 17 (Xander Zhou model) is gonna pull through! Where do they find these guys!!

  7. David N

    Zero hedge says that the golden shower claim was manufactured by a 4chan troll writing fan fiction.

  8. oho

    ‘REPORT: Intel chiefs tell Trump that Russian operatives claim to have compromising information on him’

    Purportedly, unverified :), the “compromising information” is fictional made by an anonymous 4chan troll. a la “Curveball” and Iraq WMDs.

    And remember Clapper was in charge of satellite imagery at the CIA pre-Iraq War and could’ve easily disproven Curveball via the billions of $$$$ in spy satellites had he the desire.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5n9g3j/explained_how_4chan_trolled_neocons_intelligence/

  9. Dikaios Logos

    “The Astounding Collapse of American Bus Ridership”

    So good to see buses getting even the smallest amount of ink. The fact that municipal bus services haven’t been massively expanded in recent decades is an embarrassing failure of public policy. Building roads or subway/light rail systems takes massive $$$ and long lead times as well. Buses can be put on the streets very quickly, dramatically improving the transportation landscape. Since they benefit not just the riders, but the whole community, free bus systems make enormous sense. And there are places that have free systems and they are very popular. Also, municipalities should investigate smaller buses that travel more frequently: in addition to fares, one of the main costs of buses are the time spent waiting. If you could go to a stop in day light hours and expect to wait 5 minutes at most, the systems would be massively more popular.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There is a huge snob issue over buses, and it seems almost universal. Here in Dublin the main bus company experimented with a route which goes primarily through very prosperous neighbourhoods – they invested heavily in nicer seats, free wifi, etc. But it was only a partial success. The irony is that it doesn’t just lose out to private cars – lots of well heeled commuters along its route go to work using the very overcrowded train service, seemingly unaware that the bus route is quicker and more comfortable (i.e., there are usually seats available even at peak periods, unlike the train). You can see the same thing in London where better off commuters stick rigidly to the Tube and train, when the London Bus service is often significantly better.

        1. Synoia

          Nonsense. London Buses are slow because they are stuck in traffic. The London tube is much quicker.

          If you wan to see London, take a bus. If you want fast travel take the Tube, Overground or DLR.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            That entirely depends on where you are going – especially if your journey is cross-town (i.e. east-west, but north of the central core), or in south London.

            1. Ivy

              If you have to take the Jubilee Line tube, along with what seems like half of London, good luck finding a seat even in so-called off hours. Buses are useful and are one part of a transit system.

              1. PlutoniumKun

                Yes, the problem is that people just make the ‘I’ll take the Tube’ decision without really looking at all the options. Some years ago I had to do a lot of survey work across parts of central, north and east London. Initially I was doing it by Tube and taxi, as most of my colleagues were, but when I started examining the bus network I found that in many cases it was significantly quicker to go around that way. On two occasions I had to sit with a Manager and HR, with maps, computer and bus/tube timetable to prove I was doing my surveys the most time and cost efficient way. It was remarkably difficult to persuade them, despite having worked everything out – perception is everything.

          2. Portia

            I don’t know–when I was on the tube in London in 2004, I freaked out a couple of times when I was stuck underground for a couple of hours during a “terrorist scare”. I walked a lot after that, and took the bus

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Part of the American obsession with high speed rail is the best or only experience many had was in relatively lily white Europe between tourist spots in Paris and Berlin. They know public transit would be better, but they don’t want to slum or think about a problem. Congestion and most people moving is intra-city not inter city, so it’s not sexy.

          1. cyclist

            I used mass transit to get around Munich last summer and, although the U-Bahn was superb, the busses were great too. It seems like all the stops were stainless and glass with seats and an electronic board showing the time of the next busses. You validate your pass after you get on and the bus is underway (no line of people paying the driver) and there appeared to be a lot of express lanes for the busses. And when a street fair closed the major boulevard near where I was staying, every closed stop had a map showing where to catch the diverted bus plus schedule. I can’t think of such a well run operation in the US.

            BTW, where I work in the upscale suburbs of NJ, there are occasional busses to the nearest major city (a slow ride of about 15-20 miles) with an almost entirely black ridership.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          How do we explain the snob issue? I am curious.

          Is it because third world cities have buses, but never subway trains???

          Something superior about being able to move about underground?

          Or is it you know it cost a lot of money to build it – it’s expensive, it must be good?

          1. cocomaan

            The buses I’ve ridden in, say, Philadelphia have been filthy, the drivers overworked and underpaid, consistently off schedule, and the patrons sometimes on the dangerous side. Those buses are not pleasant to ride, besides the Constitution Center loop and other isolated paths. Trolleys and rail are much easier to understand and ride. At the very least, the conductors will be nice to you if questioned.

            Everything people are saying here about buses being cheaper is true, though only if you want cheap buses. If you want the professional classes to ride buses, there needs to be some work done.

          2. alex morfesis

            Can’t explain it exactly, but for some reason talkative(or crazed) people will force a conversation on you on a bus, but hardly ever on a train…

            although perhaps I just attract them…

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I guess that’s another mystery – why some* attract talkative people.

              *Beautiful ladies – they are easy to understand. They attractive talkative and silent/staring…Okay, admiring people as well.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      High frequently bus corridors are vastly cheaper than any other form of mass transit, and as you say can be implemented very quickly if the political will is there. They are actually ideal for most US cities due to the generous existing roadspace and grid layouts. There are plenty of excellent models in South American in particular for how to create express high capacity corridors quickly and cheaply with enormous benefits for everyone.

      Its a terrible indictment of public policy that so much time, effort and money is expended on arguments over rail, light rail, self driving cars, big urban motorways, etc., when such a simple and affordable and proven mass transit option is available and staring everyone in the face. It really comes down to image. Buses are not sexy enough for liberals, not expensive enough for big business, and far too egalitarian for conservatives.

      1. Carla

        In my rust-belt city, bus ridership is now limited to only those who have absolutely no other transportation option. With each reduction of service and every route elimination, the number of riders has dropped and now bus patrons are exclusively the poorest of the poor. When it took me 2-1/2 hours to get home from downtown (a distance of about 6 or 7 miles – 20 to 25 minutes by car, depending on traffic) and I was warned by other riders to avoid a bus seat that had been peed upon–well, that was the last time I took the bus. It was at least 5 years ago. But I was grateful for the kindness of those other riders who looked out for me and my raincoat.

      2. Steve C

        Jarrett Walker is a transit consultant who advised Houston in redesigning its bus network for high frequency and high ridership. So far, it’s been a big success.

        Human Transit

      3. a different chris

        Busses are only initially cheap and that’s after somebody else has paid for the roads. Mass transit from real scratch?? — > Can’t beat rails.

        But this is not really a criticism of your post….

    2. BecauseTradition

      Sidewalks – there’s some stimulus that would earn Trump some gratitude and do the American population some good. Currently, I have to drive 6 miles in order to walk 2.5 safely. Me no like.

    3. Katharine

      “Study finds ‘Cuts prompt ridership declines, not the other way around.’”

      And in other news, dog bites man.

    4. Adam Eran

      I’ll agree that buses don’t get the respect they deserve. I’d also add that one key to bus ridership is access to the stops, and the land-use planning that provides enough riders within that walk. Without that key component (i.e. with sprawl rather than pedestrian-friendly mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods) buses, and any public transportation is condemned to red-headed stepchild status, and will fail miserably, and must always be subsidized.

      One example near my (sprawl) neighborhood: The bus stop consists of a sign inserted into a hillside so steep no one could stand on it. Pedestrian access? There are no sidewalks, only the gravel shoulder of the road right next to freeway-speed traffic. The buses are on three-hour intervals, so are extremely inconvenient. About a half block away is a medical office/health club that might provide riders. If the stop were there, potential riders could use sidewalks and would have a slightly wider road for the buses to pull out of fast-moving traffic. No stop there, though.

      Any wonder that Regional Transit rolls around a bunch of empty buses that always require subsidy? This is a system designed to fail….and working as designed.

      Meanwhile, in Brazil, Jaime Lerner, the mayor of Curitiba discovered that light rail was 1/10th the cost of heavy rail, and buses were 1/10th the cost of light rail, so he used money slated to provide that city with a subway (heavy rail) to implement a bus rapid transit system that tallies an estimated two million passenger miles daily. The buses are privately owned, but the City owns the stops and sets the fares. Rather than needing subsidy, this system makes money. Needless to say, the tall buildings are closest to the “Speedybus” stops. Smaller, feeder buses branch out from there.

      That’s the third world, people. If they can make it work, the fact that we can’t make it work means the non-working is by design. What would the auto dealers do if everyone didn’t have to own a car (the most regressive “tax” known to man)?

    5. Tigerlily

      The efficiency of public transport is directly tied to urban density, which is a deal breaker in America, where respectable people live in low density suburbs and exburbs while inner cities have been abandoned to the untouchables. As you point out it’s not enough to provide bus service, the service has to run frequently enough to make it an attractive alternative to private vehicles, but that’s prohibitively expensive when user density is low.

      There’s also a double standard in financing. Infrastructure for private motorists is almost entirely funded from general revenue because “everyone uses it”, but mass transit is considered a niche that needs to be at least partially self funding. The temptation for politicians to cut public transport funding in the name of sparing taxpayers is ever present, which leads to cuts in service and reduced ridership, which is then used to justify further cuts in a public transport death spiral.

      As PlutoniumKun points out there are also strong prejudices against public transport, which I can attest to personally as someone who doesn’t own a car. Many suburbanites would rather cut off their right hand than endure the indignity of being caught dead on a bus.

      I also want to point out that buses are not a substitute for light rail or subways. Of course the latter are a lot more expensive, but they have a dedicated right of way which permits them to deliver very regular and reliable service, whiles buses are subject to frequent stops (every few blocks), road closures, and the vagarities of traffic and road conditions. Ideally light rail or a subway should provide the “backbone” of public transport infrastructure with buses covering the “first and last mile” to and from the backbone.

      1. Erika

        Rail can also be relied on when people are thinking about giving up their cars. The flexibility of buses is also their downfall because a route can be severely cut back, rerouted, or be completely done away with while rail, generally, can not/will not. And it’s for this reason that a new rail line often facilitates new housing and retail development along its route while a new bus line does not.

        When my boyfriend moved in with me, he gave up his parking spot at work because there was a great bus route that picked him up a block from my apartment and dropped him off right outside of work. Within two months, our county bus service eliminated that route and the two buses he had to take instead doubled his commute time. This sort of thing is why I still own a car even though I hardly use it.

      2. jrs

        yes the vagaries of traffic and road conditions are precisely why someone would choose not to drive in the first place in many cases! But dedicated bus lanes aren’t subject to that.

    6. Dave

      An incredible waste of 1.5 $Billion to build a train from nowhere to nowhere in Marin and Sonoma Counties in California.

      Bus riders are being counted on to be a good portion of the small number of people a day that are supposed to ride the trains. The train is part of a real estate development scam: Transit Oriented Development, all the people living in the new high rises are supposed to ride the train to their jobs, forget their cars parked in the garage downstairs and do their part to fight global warming by living in the new high density buildings that actually create more greenhouse gases than normal single family homes housing the same number of people.

      http://crosscut.com/2016/11/high-rises-run-counter-to-the-citys-environmental-goals/

      https://marinpost.org/blog/2016/12/24/smart-disrupts-300-000-but-removes-only-35-cars-from-101

  10. voteforno6

    Re: Compromising Info on Trump

    I wonder if someone is running some sort of experiment on Team Blue, to come up with the wildest stories they can about Trump, just to see if they believe them. They’re quickly reaching the idiocy of the people that believed the craziest stories about the Clintons. Remember when the progressive heroes used to brag about being part of the “reality-based community”? Good times.

    1. yitribm

      There are people claiming the compromising information is an internet hoax that the CIA picked up (via John McCain flying to Britain to meet with his confidential source?). There are no traditional news sources at this time reporting this, but it is at the top of DrudgeReport. Honestly the whole thing is sounding weirder and weirder, and leaves the intelligence community standing in a poor light.

    2. Roger Smith

      Speculation has it that the whole thing is a 4chan trolling joke. Regardless it is amazing, maddening, and a bit frightening to watch these fools try to drag everyone down with them over what used to be called conservative conspiracy theories, now mainstream liberal truths.

    3. fresno dan

      voteforno6
      January 11, 2017 at 8:15 am

      I get my daily “202” from the Washington Post, which regales me with this (as a start – it goes on and on about how stupid Trump is NOT to believe the CIA):

      “If a married couple is fighting at home and they look outside and see that a guy in an ice cream truck is trying to abduct their child, they don’t keep arguing. There is nothing possibly important enough to keep arguing about when your child is in danger. Or at least there shouldn’t be.

      The guy in the metaphorical ice cream truck is Vladimir Putin. The husband is a Republican, and the wife is a Democrat. The kids are the American people.”

      I posted a comment a few days ago about the Chinese hacking of OPM and the millions of government employees top secret passwords hacked and how little came of it.
      The Difference THAN and NOW???
      If its not the Obama presidency, its hard to know the real reason. And yes, the hypocrisy of the “right” or FOX, who now love Assange after calling for him to be arrested, and Palin’s backflips as well, are really becoming comical.
      But the obstinate refusal to acknowledge or point out the hypocrisies of the dems or “liberals” seem almost worst to me. As bad as the repubs contrived positions to gain political advantage are, it strikes me that it is more dangerous and disturbing that you have people who are such true believers that they just can’t SEE their own inconsistencies.
      (See today’s NC post Meryl Streep Finally Realized the Government Does Terrible Things AntiMedia (UserFriendly))

    4. fajensen

      Yup. It is the kind of thing that the 4Chan crowd has become very good at.

      On /pol someone is claiming credits for inventing the latest “golden shower and whores” dirt on Trump and getting some moron to take it to McCain, which made it Official.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No idea what 4Chan was. Had to google it (Not sure if that contributed anything financially to them).

      Maybe they don’t have compromising info on Trump.

      “Maybe we do. Actually, we do. And we have to remind him, indirectly…publicly.”

      In any case, the above is excerpted from my forthcoming fiction-based novel.

      1. Ranger Rick

        Oft-mocked, often ignored, 4chan is infamous as the nerve center of today’s internet counterculture.

        1. UserFriendly

          4chan is reddit for trolls and anarchists. It’s where Anonymous and the alt right got started.

      2. That Guy

        I do go to 4chan, but it’s for /tg/, certainly not for /pol/. That said, you can’t go to 4chan and not at least know about them. I’ll fill you in a bit.

        What /pol/ is saying, somewhat corroborated by archives from late October, is that it was a deliberate attempt at misinformation with the intent of destroying the credibility of Rick Wilson, in support of Trump. The assumption is that everyone would see the golden shower thing and realize the entire thing, along with Rick Wilson, was ridiculous. Obviously, someone underestimated just how bat-shit crazy this entire election cycle would get, and how people would stay crazy afterwards.

        Rick Wilson is denying it was 4chan, McCain is pretty much saying he got it from some guy and handed it to the FBI. I think the report itself is so obviously a joke that the real issue isn’t how these guys got sucked in or by whom, but that they were at all.

      3. fajensen

        4Chan is what misc.* or alt.* Internet News (NNTP) was before Browsers came and “siloed” everything.

        A Global Bulletin Board: Anyone can post pretty much anything (within topic) and everyone else gets to comment, embellish, slander, etcetera on it. Some serious hackers and Anonymous people also “hangs out” on 4Chan as does the TLA’s – the latter probably mostly for the tentacle /unicorn / dinosaur pr0n.

        One does NOT want to attract the attention of the 4Chan tribe!

    6. Carolinian

      The Post’s Margaret Sullivan says we should drop the term “fake news” now that the righties are turning it against the Post and others. According to her when the MSM publishes false information it’s a well meaning mistake–doubtless in the same sense that Hillary’s enthusiasm for bombing Libya and upending Syria were all well meaning mistakes. She doesn’t seem to concede that our newspapers and tv networks might have an agenda just like those wild eyed bloggers.

      Which is to say when the Post hired Sullivan away from the Times they made the perfect choice.

      1. fresno dan

        Carolinian
        January 11, 2017 at 10:52 am

        I remember getting into a heated argument with a friend and colleague about the US undermining Iranian democracy in the 1950’s. I was very sincere in my beliefs – but I just didn’t know reality. (Do school textbooks nowadays list the misdeeds of the CIA???)
        But what seems to me to have really changed is that there is now in the US media the assumption that the intentions of the US government are noble – – the US may fail due to a difficult task, or the complexity of the situation, but NEVER due to the lack of a pure heart…. MSM puts forth the proposition that the CIA is trustworthy without IRONY…
        Maybe when I was growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, press cynicism about what the government said about Vietnam colored my view that the press is a bulwark against government BS. But little by little, that has just turned a 180.

    7. Ivy

      For an example of wild stories, read Alternet headlines to see the spin machine in full gear. They come up with an outlandish collection that would make supermarkets proud. You could use those stories as a type of reverse indicator, as would be the case for many outlets of whatever stripe. Fact-based, objective news seems to be a distant memory in many parts of the media world.

  11. Steve H.

    – attacking the parents of the slain solider

    The paid convention speakers who had something like a quarter-million in back taxes owed?

    The list is plenty long without this one. When you use your dead son as a shill so you get a check, you should be ready to stand in the fire.

      1. Steve H.

        I misremembered his debt:

        “Mr. Khan was contacted by the Clinton Campaign after his name was given to them by the White House 4 days before the convention this after 5 other families turned down the offer to speak, all of these families had to sign Non Disclosure Agreements, and each were paid $5,000. Mr. Kahn who is an immigration attorney with his own firm which is deeply in-debt some $1,700,000, he also has YUGE trouble with the IRS going back 6 years now, he appears he owes in back taxes around $850,000 plus interest and penalties.”

        https://medium.com/@AppSame/can-khizr-khan-be-trusted-it-appears-no-4bf4daeb6877#.72mbl0456

        And let us not forget Katniss linking him to Loretta Lynch.

        1. alex morfesis

          My wonderful child, the poor announcer has a lisp, they meant goldman shower…where a private company showers you with money so you remember them after you get elected…

    1. Vatch

      Since this is about Trump, there’s an easy way to divert attention from the purported meaning. Just say that it’s a reference to the gold plated plumbing fixtures that Trump has in his bathrooms.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Then they decide they want one as well and say as much to everyone at school, and next thing you know you have a concerned teacher on the phone.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    Syraqistan

    Saudi Arabia’s Dream of Domination Goes Up in Flames Counterpunch

    Seeing their dream of regional domination go up in smoke of course couldn’t of course happen to a nicer bunch of people, but I wonder how this will play with Trumps picks, who seem to fall consistently on the anti-Iran and pro-Israel side, which implicitly makes them pro-Saudi. From his recent statements, it seems that Obama and the mainstream Dems have finally, belatedly realised that perhaps giving the Saudi’s everything they asked for wasn’t such a great idea. But its too late for them, so no doubt the Saudi’s are hoping to hop on the Trump train.

    What I find interesting in that Counterpunch article is that it provides increasing evidence not so much of Saudi and Quatari malignancy, but their strategic incompetence. Historically, the Gulf States have previously been smart at getting the US to fight their wars for them and generally keeping pretty much the entire western establishment on their side through the judicious throwing around of petrodollars. But it seems this new generation are much more arrogant and significantly less capable than their predecessors.

    A combination of ongoing military disasters in Yemen and Syria, increasing Russian influence, a seemingly demented Israeli leadership and a very inexperienced Trump trying to reset policy in an anti Iranian direction (which of course may be opposed by Putin), all along with a deteriorating financial situation for Saudi Arabia – it all makes up for a potentially very combustible mix.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Why should saudi arabia be able to negotiate a generational transfer of the “family business” any better than anyone else, especially with a family as big and debauched as the house of saud?

      The Small Business Administration estimates that one-third of family-owned businesses will survive the transition from the first to the second generation. If you manage to clear that hurdle, higher ones lie ahead. The Family Firm Institute says only 12% of family-owned businesses stay viable into the third generation, and only 3% are alive at the fourth-generation level and beyond.

      http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/08/smallbusiness/family_business.fsb/

      Just sayin’.

    2. fresno dan

      PlutoniumKun
      January 11, 2017 at 8:20 am

      “But it seems this new generation are much more arrogant and significantly less capable than their predecessors.”
      Well, you certainly may be correct. On the other hand, didn’t the US, particularly one of those Bush guys, say we should really promote FREEDOM in the mid-east?

      https://www.brookings.edu/on-the-record/president-bushs-speech-on-global-democracy-and-freedom/
      GEORGE W. BUSH: Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe, because in the long run** stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo.

      Therefore the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before, and it will yield the same results***. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace.

      ========================================================
      Maybe all that freedom ain’t so hot for a monarchy (and not no pretend present day English monarchy – I’m talking a monarchy that does those monARCHY things like beheadings…..)

      ** uh, maybe in the long run….of course, John Maynard Keynes used to say, ‘in the long run we’re all dead’ …..and this policy seems to be advancing that goal (i.e., dead) a lot quicker.
      *** NOT so far.

    3. jsn

      Or is this just a manifestation of declining PROPI (Political Return On Political Investment), a result of the increasing expense (and externalities) of bidding on politicians who have only ever formed opinions for money?

      In the old days, even when a monster like Kissinger formulated a view of “National Interest” behind policy, tips for tweaks could have disproportionate impact.

      Our new world of separate information universes between the real world those who sell labor occupy and the fabulous world where money says whatever you want to hear has created a bubble of incentives for insane actions that try to close the loop between various bubbles of ideology and reality without ever consulting the latter.

    4. fajensen

      Historically, the Gulf States have previously been smart

      Well, “Growth” happened.

      Maybe having several millions more people burning subsidized leaded fuel with gas guzzling cars has made everyone significantly dumber and more irrational to boot?

      http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/02/lead-exposure-gasoline-crime-increase-children-health

      Google search told me: There are 16 countries still using leaded gasoline globally:

      Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia;
      Middle East: Iraq, Yemen;
      Asia Pacific: Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan;
      Central and Eastern Europe: Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

      In the case of Saudi there also was something about some Islamist nutters occupying a mosque and in return for the Islamic authorities blessing on cleaning them out, a deal was made, leaving the Islamist scholars with much more resources and leeway to impose their will on society.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        From the beginning, Saudi Arabia was based on a deal between the House of Saud and the conservative Sunni clergy. The essence of it is that the clergy would get buckets of cash to spread Wahhabism, cushy jobs for their dim-witted sons in the religious police, and a free hand in religious matters – in return the clergy would turn a blind eye to how the House of Saud ran their private lives and the country.

        I doubt lead poisoning bothers the Princes who run Saudi Arabia – they spend more time in Switzerland, London and the south of France than they do in their own country.

    5. different clue

      Their goal is malignant. Their goal is a number of Wahabi Jihadistans here and there. Their longest term goal is the wahabification of sunni Islamic communities all over the earth. Wildly disparate Muslim elders in wildly disparate places such as Chechnya, America, Australia, etc. are all reporting the massively subsidized infiltration and wahhabification of mosques and communities all over everywhere. This has been explored at greater length at Sic Semper Tyrannis from time to time.

      The cure would be to strip the conquered provinces away from the Saudi heartland of Nejd. Especially the Eastern Province where the oil is. Give it to Iran. Then drive all the loyal Saudi-minded Wahabbis back into Nejd and surround it with electrified razor wire. And kill anyone who tries to come out.

  13. Gaylord

    “No Pause in Global Warming” — Best explanation yet of why NOAA changed its modeling to account for different sea temperature measurements. Deniers have been making false accusations about “cooked” conclusions from “raw data” which they cherry pick, when in fact scientists have been scrupulously working to refine their analysis. In fact, the situation is much worse than they are able to reveal because of multiple feedbacks that are kicking in, making the Arctic region heat up more rapidly than ever and bringing us closer to the brink of catastrophe. Why isn’t this the top issue in every news publication??? This is our only place to live, yet we foolishly ignore all the dire warnings while claiming we love our children.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      1. With a handful of honourable exceptions, most journalists are not very bright.

      2. Environmental and science reporting is seen as something of a ghetto, ambitious journalists specialise in politics, business and crime.

      3. Media outlets have been bullied by fossil fuel money into only reporting in the most cautious tones (not helped, it must be said, by scientists who tend to hedge their conclusions very carefully). Hence even good journalism on climate change tends to be worthy but very boring.

      4. Sadly, I have to conclude that most people just don’t care. And they won’t really start caring until they notice the waves lapping at their feet.

      5. Oh look, a Kardashian.

      1. Brian

        I have to disagree about journalists in general, too broad a brush. News used to be about facts. Who what when where why and how. Sadly, that is no longer the case.
        Except when we visit the alternative news sites that tell the unabridged story where facts come to light, references are listed, linked and the history can be traced.
        It is the employer that has chosen they want their publication to be a yellow rag. Too many have gone that direction and those of us that appreciate investigative journalism have to find those that follow the old rules.
        I will prefer to eschew news sources that offer opinion as though fact.

        1. jsn

          Yves had an even better chart on this, but I can’t find it now:
          http://www.polinomi.com/en/925/

          The crisis in journalism is about revenue: they don’t have any. Print media appears to be trying to simulate their traditional product on the cheap by taking “facts” (Press releases) as handed to them and hiring clever young writing majors to re-write them in a “journalistish” way.

          It’s the failure of the “selling readers to advertisers” business model and we need to survive it long enough to help committed journalists invent the replacement. Donate to the writers you like.

    2. jefemt

      Not only is it our only (miraculous) place to live, there seems to be some sleight-of-hand mis-directional focus on Mars and Interstellar. Nero fiddles, at great expense, while….

      But lets focus on low sales volumes of inaugural ball gowns and the Rooskies.

      My question to anyone who will indulge a conversation,
      “Have you sold any of your most offensive securitized investment portfolio and taken that money away from Wall Street, and re-allocate it to purchase a PV array–and is your home as energy-conservation ‘fit’ as it can be?”

      1. Michael

        Yes. Paid cash for my solar system. New double pane windows and another layer of insulation too. Moving from N Ca to San Diego reversed my energy use from nat gas to elect (due to pool and hot tub). Small positive cash flow, 20 yr rate guarantee for sale of excess power and $9 gas cost 9 months a year.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Diogenese: “Get out of my sun!!!”

            Alexander: “I bought the solar system and the naming rights. The sun will be called Roxana henceforth. And you have to pay me to sunbath.”

            Diogenes: “What about my tomato plants?”

            Alexander: “You don’t have to pay, but them plants will have to pay me for using my sunlight.”

          2. hunkerdown

            It came with a free Dyson sphere vacuum cleaner. Also solar-powered but when you turn it on the sun dims.

    3. Vatch

      Yes, thank you for your comment and to Yves for including this link. For busy people who don’t have time to read the whole article, here are some pertinent paragraphs:

      ZEKE HAUSFATHER: Sure, so taking the temperature of the Earth is a bit of a challenge. It’s not as simple as just sticking a thermometer everywhere and reading what the thermometer says. The big issue that, sort of, NOAA ran afoul from the last few decades, was changing the way… or the way that we’ve measured ocean temperatures has changed a lot. So, back in 1990 we got about 95% of our ocean measurements from ships, particularly from ship engine intake valves. So, ships pull in water through the hold to cool the engine, and they stick a thermometer in that water before it reaches the engine.

      Today, however, almost all of our ocean temperature measurements, or at least the vast majority, come from buoys. And these are little floating instruments that drift around in the ocean. They take temperature of the top of the water. They sit directly in the water and they send their data up to satellites in real time. Now, the problem is, ship engine rooms are warmer, unsurprisingly, than the ocean around them. And so, if you measure temperatures in the engine room of a ship, you’re going to get a temperature that’s slightly warmer than say, a buoy sitting outside that ship will find, because it’s sitting directly in the water.

      And so, what was happening is, NOAA sort of smooshed together all of the ship data, and all of the buoy data, without any sort of correction for the offset between the two. So, you take a bunch of warmer data, you stick a bunch of colder data to the end of that, you end up with a sort of, spurious cooling trend, or at least a reduction in warming trend in the data. Whereas, if you just look at the ship data, or if you just look at the buoy data, each of them is warming apace. It’s when you combine them without accounting for the fact that each instrument reads temperature a little bit differently, that you get a cooling bias.

      In other words, they used to get ocean temperature measurements from ship valves that were warmed by the ship engines. When they started getting measurements from ocean buoys, the temperatures were a little lower, because they weren’t being warmed by engines. This caused a mistaken impression that there was a pause in the warming. The climate change deniers jumped all over this.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Heat transfer from air to a water pipe is extremely inefficient. A gallon container at room temp in your fridge takes several hours to cool, and that’s without any flow.

        With a substantial volume of intake water getting only seconds of exposure to ship hold ambient air temperature, its temperature change between the open ocean and the intake valve would be very minimal … probably a second-order effect at best.

        Verbal heat transfer engineering … that don’t impress me much.

        1. Vatch

          Nobody is claiming that the engines had a large temperature effect on the measurements, and he explicitly used the phrase “slightly warmer”, not “much warmer”. When they switched to using buoys for temperature measurements, there wasn’t a drastic change in what they measured, but there was enough of a change to give a mistaken impression of a pause in warming.

          Aside from that, it’s not just ambient air in the engine area that’s warm. Everything is warmer, including the pipes.

        2. ambrit

          Heat transfer from air to… Yes, the dynamics of passive solar water heating panels show this. The best ones extend the heat absorbing surface connected to the water column. I’ve helped make these through soldering flattened out beer cans to 3/8″ copper tubing.
          “Verbal heat transfer engineering” sounds like the credentialed description of political speechifying. No wonder you are not impressed.

        3. PlutoniumKun

          The new correction between ship intake and buoy data was of just under 0.1 degree which was sufficient to create the false ‘hiatus’. The problem was not heat transfer to the pipes – the key problem is that ship intakes have variable depths (usually 1 metre or more) while buoys sample from 0.5 meters under the surface – water tends to be a little warmer at depth. This was always known about, the question was always how to adjust the models to account for it. The ongoing issue facing oceanographers is that seawater measurements techniques have changed several times since the 19th Century – from using buckets thrown in off ships, to then using insulated and sealed buckets, to (post WWII) using thermometers in ship intakes, to now using buoys sending real time information.

          It takes time to refine the models to iron out bias from different measuring processes – this is a constant process and has been so since long term weather forecasting started in the early 19th Century. The recent adjustment was relatively minor, and would have been entirely uncontroversial if it wasn’t for the politicisation of climate science

          1. gepay

            what exactly is Plutonium saying “water tends to be a little warmer at depth” My perception is that the water temperature gets cooler at depths. Are you saying the temerature gets warmer when deeper. The Sun’s rays are more so absorbed the sooner it enters the water but the water is mixed so in the surface meters the temperatures are not so different. So the report says the buoys measuring closer to the surface closer to the surface added a cooler bias. Since the buoys were more accurate, why weren’t the temperatures of the ship data lowered rather than the buoy temperatures added to unless somehow the sunlight makes the temperature lower the deeper one goes = The buoys were taking temperatures nearer the surface while ships intakes were variable and meters deeper – big ships little ships – loaded ships – lighter ships – varying from design. Shipping routes not spaced but skewed – much more time in the Northern hemisphere than the South – I would think the earlier ship data to be almost useless in its skewing and variability. So the data was mixed together in such a way that the pause went away. Makes me skeptical as to what any of the conclusions mean. The Earth has been warming since the Little Ice Age – my idea of worrisome climate change – not the less than 1oC, .85oC warming since 1880 – 2012 UCAR or .90oC NOAA to 2015 with their newly revised figures basically >.065 oC per decade over the last 13 decades. but but the computer models say man made Co2 is going to cause a catastrophe so the governments of the world should create carbon footprints for all of us to abide by – except of course, the military industrial complex – the biggest single user of fossil fuels or I’m sure Bill Gates and people like him will do their part – this is not to say we shouldn’t become more efficient energy users and move away from fossil fuels as our main source. even if there is no looming climate catastrophe – there may be one but man made CO2 is not going to cause it.

            1. different clue

              As water cools down it shrinks and gets denser . . . unTIL it reaches 39 degrees. Then as it gets even cooler, it begins to re-expand again, just a little. Then when it freezes into ice, it expands quite a bit. I remember reading that somewhere. So water right around that 39 degrees level should sink down below water which is colder OR warmer.

              I found a chart giving density and viscosity of water from 104 degrees Farenheit down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Here is the link.
              http://ascelibrary.org/doi/pdf/10.1061/9780784408230.ap02

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I’m on my phone now, can’t search for non paywalled research but the noaa website has lots of useful links to research papers on the topic. You’ll also find good links on the sceptical science website.

              1. Vatch

                Thanks. I found some articles at SkepticalScience.com that support the contention that engine warmth skewed the earlier results. I didn’t find anything about discrepancies from sampling at different depths, but that might mean that I used the wrong search terms.

                https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=3262

                https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=3617

                I couldn’t find anything at the NOAA.gov site, but there’s a lot there, and I could easily have missed something.

                1. PlutoniumKun

                  Sorry, I can’t quite find the link at the moment – from memory, the theory that the major source of temperature variation was from sampling depth was explored in a paper I read some years ago – this fed into earlier models at the time when buoy monitoring was becoming the gold standard for oceanographers. It may well be that the most recent corrections focus on engine warmth as a ‘new’ confounding factor as the main reason for the current correction. Its not my area of expertise, so I can’t be sure of that.

    4. Ignacio

      As PlutoniumKun writes “most people just don’t care” and these includes journalists.

      So, how do you (we) change that?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        In the last week I’ve had two very depressing conversations with friends who I would consider very well educated and socially aware. In both cases, the topic of climate change came up tangentially, and in both cases the response was a shrug of the shoulders and a rapid change of subject. Its just too big, too confusing, and maybe too scary for people. Its much easier for people to just say ‘oh, I read somewhere last month that maybe scientists aren’t so sure’, and think about something else.

        I have no idea how to change that.

        1. alex morfesis

          Start with crystal diode am radio…no batteries…all green am radio…remarket a somewhat dead product…

          Simple
          Easy
          Understandable

          Gets people in the mindset that being green is not that impossible…

          Meet ups on a bus or train….public transportation as a meeting place…

          Coffee grinds acceptance location…

          Walmart did not conquer the world selling beds or refrigerators….

          Small
          Simple
          Easy
          Doable

        2. beth

          I personally do not like the term “global warming” and prefer the old fashioned word “pollution” since it is easy to equate “pollution” with a cost of production. Companies should be made to pay for all of their costs of production and not pass them on to the general public to remediate.
          If all companies are made to clean up their own waste, then there is no competitive advantage to asking the public to do it for them.

          Global warming is too defuse a term and leaves people feeling helpless.

          1. witters

            Well, the thermal energy of the system is going up. That is Global Warming. How is that “diffuse?

            1. gepay

              No, the thermal energy of the Earth is not going up unless the Sun is putting out more energy. The climate scientists that believe CO2 is a pollutant say that the Sun’s output doesn’t vary enough to cause the warming. The lower troposphere is warmed because the some of the long wave infrared radiation emitted by the surface (the energy absorbed from the short wave infrared of the sunlight which passes through the atmosphere without being absorbed) is absorbed at certain wavelengths by the extra CO2 that people are putting in the atmosphere. This means it stays in the lower troposphere a little longer and so warms it bit more than if there was less CO2. However the stratosphere is cooled by the increase of CO2. so yes there will be a small amount of more energy in the lower troposphere. Plus the warming effect of CO2 is a logarithmic function so the amount of CO2 has to double (which hasn’t happened yet) to increase the temperature 1oC and be doubled again to warm it another degree. Plus there is the fact that water vapor is so much more efficient and so much more abundant – CO2 being measured parts per MILLION (a trace gas) and CH4 being measured in PARTS per BILLION (even more of a trace gas) – that in the tropics it doesn’t matter how much more CO2 there is. All of the alarm does not come from empirical observation but from global models of the Earth climate There is the fact that the computer modelers can’t accurately model clouds or evaporation or aerosols. ” Most global models have resolution too coarse to even recognize the existence of the Great Lakes, and some completely ignore the Florida peninsula.” Iowa State University However the regulation of everyday people’s use of energy will be an excellent control mechanism for The Powers That Be. Not that they’d be interested in that.

    1. fresno dan

      ex-PFC Chuck
      January 11, 2017 at 8:39 am

      I have read so much already on whether this “golden showers” thing was included in the ‘classified’ CIA assessment or not, but if it was….well, it kind of explains Chalabi, (?spelling?) doesn’t it?

      Of course, I actually believe that the story can only HELP Trump:
      1. Actually true – Donald is a swinger! economy booms due to rubber sheet sales! (say that fast 6 times)
      2. Not true – the media is incapable of resisting anything with which to make a buck. And all the ‘fake news’ palaver goes right down the ….toilet…or bedsheets. No one in the MSM points out the delicious irony of how much ‘fake news’ is in CIA reporting….which is than reported in the MSM as real news, but fake news outlets debunk the real news outlets real news as….uh, fake news….. Oh, I guess that would be hard to explain on CNN before it was time to show a cat video or take a commercial break.

      1. fajensen

        I remember the very serious British government inquiry on the media hounding poor celebrities exemplified by Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

        The best parts was the Sunday Sport (Sex, Pornography, Orgies and Tits – allegedly) editor discharging himself in front of the committee “that he couldn’t be responsible … because aliens were irradiating his brain so it was now the size of a pea …” and of course the fact that all the “leaks” on Diane and Charles were indeed supplied by Diane and Charles – over a period of 10 years.

        The press had kept the Diane & Charles part secret – precisely for this eventuality, should it happen. Perfectly played.

        After that revelation, the whole thing died.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Fake news laundering – you pass fake news through a fake-news-laundering-institution (before it is exposed, of course), and, voila, it’s…clean or real news.

        1. fresno dan

          MyLessThanPrimeBeef
          January 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

          So…..your saying ‘leaks’….cause laundering?
          Are we talking leaks, or leak-leaks?

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    No 10 blames NHS chief as hospital chaos grows The Times

    Here we go with the playbook:

    1. Starve top class public service of funds, hamstring with incoherent ‘reforms’.
    2. Blame the public service management when chaos ensues.
    3. Propose ‘radical reform and innovation to save the service’, which involves ‘market solutions’.
    4. __

  15. RabidGandhi

    “Cucurrucho autolameador”: that’s one way to say “self-licking ice cream cone” in Argentine Spanish. Another is to have your new Finance Minister, Luís Caputo, say:

    “Our financing needs are around USD $20 billion for this year… but sometimes there is a bit of confusion thinking that whenever we take out debt it is to finance the deficit, but it’s usually to pay off our debt payments.”

    So they need a payday loan to make their credit card minimums. Last year the Macri regime set a new record for getting a developing country into hawk by borrowing USD $43bn. This would seem like a conundrum to the uninitiated: if they are taking out massive debt in dollars (always a cardinal sin to take out debt in a foreign currency!), shouldn’t there be some sort of investment boom or positive economic indicators to show for it? Instead, GDP recorded its first year of negative growth (-2%) since 2000; industry and construction are down by 7.3% and 12.8% respectively; and unemployment has practically doubled, hitting the double figures we last saw in the neoliberal 90s.

    So one would ask why these blokes are so keen to take out debt in dollars, then one recalls that Macri’s team is made up of Caputo (ex-JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank), Nicolás Dujovne (ex-Banco Galicia), Luis María Blaquier (ex-Goldman), Mariano Federici (ex-HSBC)… and one gets an idea of why the government would rather have a self-licking ice cream cone of debt than improve the real economy of the country.

    We’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks for the updates. Good reporting on South America is so hard to find. But depressing to see Argentina make the same mistakes, over and over again.

    2. cwaltz

      End well for whom? If you are a multinational banker with the ability to loot economies and then use what you pillage to escape the consequences things always end well for you.

      Luis Caputo will be fine and that’s all that matters to these schmucks, they’re sociopaths.

    3. fajensen

      … shouldn’t there be some sort of investment boom or positive economic indicators to show for it
      There is – In London, Zurich, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein or wherever it is they stash their loot these days.

      1. human

        You forgot Nevada, Delaware and The Islands, but, you have to look hard for any benefits because they “trickle down” only so far as the lawyers and accountants.

    4. Jim Haygood

      Most of the time when we issue debt it’s to pay off debt.” — Luis Caputo

      Caputo is describing refinancing. Which may or may not be a good idea, depending on which debt they are retiring. If it’s dollar debt at higher rates, or if they are extending the maturity of existing dollar debt, then it might be okay.

      Whereas if they are increasing the net total of foreign currency financing, then yeah — it’s the same old dismal cycle, for the forty-eleventh time.

      Wish I had time to research the details. As you allude to, Argentina has zero credibility when it comes to financing. Nothing they say can be taken at face value without thorough due diligence. And even then the data may be falsified, as with years of phony inflation statistics from Indec.

  16. Synoia

    What went wrong with Obama’s farewell address?

    Obama, his mendacity and leading from behind.

    And this:

    He’s probably better situated to give important post-presidential speeches than any of his predecessors, given his age and his particular abilities, talents, and interests. When scholars and students study his greatest speeches decades from now, they’ll skip over this one to get to the good ones he gave after he left office.

    He has a lot left to say. I look forward to hearing from Citizen Obama.

    Yes, he can explain his signature achievement, Medicare for all – or the lack of it. Followed by 8 years of extended war, and capping it with his support for privacy under the constitution.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Hard to decide which is more nauseating: Obama’s smug hypocrisy or this presstitute’s fawning coverage.

      A pox on both.

  17. Wyoming

    Trump Just Dismissed the People in Charge of Maintaining Our Nuclear Arsenal Gizmodo (Dr Kevin)

    Re: Trump and team deciding not to keep on the political appointees of various agencies (Oh my GOD the nuclear bombs are going to disappear). This is stupid nonsense.

    After spending my adult life working in the Intelligence Community I can state with full conviction that political appointees serve little meaningful function in the operation of any government department. Many do not even know how their departments run. They are there ‘because’ they are ‘political’ and they serve the interests of the president who appointed them by attempting to keep independent thought tamped down.

    A smart person would run them all out of town the morning of Jan 20 and then wash his hands a couple of times.

    1. Ivy

      If Warren Buffett had to live in a trailer for any appreciable period of time, and apply for credit using a typical trailer denizen profile, he might be more sympathetic to the plight of all of the marks, er, customers at his various companies.

      1. Rajesh

        Clayton homes originates and keeps the mortgages on their own balance sheet unlike the rest who slice and dice them and securitise them out of their own balance sheet absolving themselves of origination responsibility and let someone else collect when loans go bad. They are far far more ethical than the competition and will never go the ocwen way.
        I personally think the tendency to demonise business in general is a major problem that America will face going forward and this tendency needs to be nipped in the bud right now.

        1. allan

          Nice try.

          After a few years living with her sister, Rose Mary Zunie, 59, was ready to move into a place of her own.

          So, on an arid Saturday morning this past summer, the sisters piled into a friend’s pickup truck and headed for a Clayton Homes sales lot here just outside the impoverished Navajo reservation.

          The women — one in a long, colorful tribal skirt, another wearing turquoise jewelry, a traditional talisman against evil — were steered to a mobile home sales agent who spoke Navajo, just like the voice on the store’s radio ads.

          He walked them through Clayton-built homes on the lot, then into the sales center, passing a banner and posters promoting one subprime lender: Vanderbilt Mortgage, a Clayton subsidiary. Inside, he handed them a Vanderbilt sales pamphlet.

          “Vanderbilt is the only one that finances on the reservation,” he told the women.

          His claim, which the women caught on tape, was a lie. And it was illegal.

          It is just one in a pattern of deceptions that Clayton has used to help extract billions from poor customers around the country — particularly people of color, who make up a substantial and growing portion of its business. …

          From a long (and widely known) 2015 Seattle Times/Buzzfeed report.

  18. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    Class Warfare

    Feminism of the Few Has No Place in a Nation for All Progressive Army

    Excellent article, a bit of a must read I would say. One of the many clarifying aspects of the US election was the role of ‘mainstream’ feminists in the overt bullying of anyone who dared challenge HRC’s progressive credentials. They really are the stormtroopers of socially liberal neo-liberals and neo-cons (lets not forget how ‘lets protect the girls’ became a cry of some interventionists in Afghanistan and elsewhere).

    But I think it was also a sign of the tone deafness and incompetence of the HRC campaign that they allowed the likes of Lena Dunham to have such a prominent role. Did they really think people like that were going to convert doubters or Republicans to vote HRC? I’ve no doubt some of them went a long way to making many working class voters think Trump was a better bet.

    1. fresno dan

      PlutoniumKun
      January 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Yes, I agree – very much along the lines of the
      Meryl Streep Finally Realized the Government Does Terrible Things AntiMedia (UserFriendly)
      article.

      I certainly get the impression that it is just the same cover story for neoliberalism, but using sexism instead of racism…but never, ever bringing up economic class, cause like ALL the Hollywood movies show, if you got moxie, anybody can succeed here. Almost like they want the beautiful people in their sparkly gowns to distract from the MONEY issues…..

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Go to YouTube and listen to her speech. It was quite short and easily absorbed. As above, with regard to Buffet, home builders and the casual, uninformed dissing of everything & everyone involved in business, not every “Hollywood” star’s words are stupid.

        There are many legitimate criticisms of Meryl Streep, but her actual words at the Golden Globes were not contempt-worthy. And they are really easy to access.

        Which causes me to wonder why her short speech got such immediate, intense bitchy-boyz backlash. Fear of her potential effect? Irrespective of her excessive regard for Obama…… every damned thing she said on that awards ceremony stage was accurate.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Where was she for the last eight years?

          “In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

          Accuracy is great. “2+2=4” is accurate. If she said that, should she hailed for pointing basic stuff instead of the basic liberal platitudes which are easy to say? I know where Susan Sarandon was when Streep was praising Thatcher.

          I hate to break it to you, but that 2006 and 2008 unity among center left types isn’t coming back. Anyone from the Obama class who preaches good values and then hides when a Democrat is the perpetrator won’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore. That is the cost of their silence.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Talk is soooo cheap. Especially when you’re accepting a lifetime “achievement” award for being so good at pretending you’re something you’re not.

        2. fresno dan

          FluffytheObeseCat
          January 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm

          I’m afraid I have to disagree with you. I think the Meryl Streep speech was just the most pretentious virtue signaling possible. As I have said many, many times – Trump is a horrible, terrible, immature man – who was the only club available to wreck the current duopoly. He is only the start….

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4102026/PIERS-MORGAN-Sorry-Meryl-hypocritical-anti-Trump-rant-easily-worst-performance-career-apart-time-gave-child-rapist-standing-ovation.html

          I think Piers gives a common man view of Hollywood stars, and it probably is more antagonistic than necessary.
          But the
          “Meryl Streep Finally Realized the Government Does Terrible Things AntiMedia (UserFriendly)”
          article is the real problem. Pseudo liberals pretending that Obama’s warfare, Obama’s diminishing of constitutional rights, Obama’s anti press (of the REAL press) didn’t happen is what this country doesn’t need. Meryl Streep is not an ‘evil’ person…and neither is Bill O’reilly – they just share a penchant for not looking at facts that are inconvenient to their beliefs and than taking stands that are logical and consistent with those professed beliefs if they upset their own team.

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            This: “Trump […] was the only club available to wreck the current duopoly. He is only the start….” is the only reason anyone is complaining about her words. The over-aggressive response is a political gambit. It may be that her words were as well, but the derision-fest that’s ensued is all about positioning. The anachronistic ‘remembrances’ of some of her few acts that deserve condemnation have been trotted out on cue……. in flashy ratholes like the Daily Mail.

            Streep gave the Democratic elite no props in that speech. Her words might easily be used to good effect by the Bernie wing over the next few months. Hence the extreme reaction and derision. She actually did a fine job there of speaking against the rising power-elite. The virtue signaling, while real, was comparatively muted. My dislike of her past connections to the beaten Democrat elite is no longer material. (Again, watch the actual speech guys; it was quite short).

        3. Cripes

          Fluffy, even allowing that everything Streep said is true, we wonder where’s she’s been for 8 years while O’bama handed over the treasury to goldman sachs and blew up 9 countries, while locking up anyone who exposed government crimes?

          Oh yeah, massaging his nuts and carrying water for the corrupt democrat party.

          You will excuse us if we interpret this as hypocrisy. Worse, it promotes the dangerous idea that supporting democrats will somehow protect us from a trump presidency, despite all evidence to the contrary.

          See, her idols Obama and Clinton handed trump the election on a silver platter while Streep was prancing around his white house parties.

          NOW she wants to lead the war cry?
          Puh-leeze.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      In regards to Lena Dunham’s campaign role, there is a tendency for people to believe they are representative of everyone else regardless of reality. Hillary campaign staffers like “Girls”* therefore everyone will like Lena Dunham. The Clinton people aren’t great thinkers or self reflective.

      *I watched five minutes and was completely baffled how it was even green lit. It didn’t have a laugh track, but one of the characters had to explain their current dilemma of navigating a world of smart phones was “so funny” without laughing. I guess it’s an improvement over the laughter of people dead for over 50 years, but it’s still a laugh track.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Agree completely with the “must read” characterization, particularly this bit, (emphasis mine):

      Instead of hiding out in the woods in silence as police murder people with impunity (despite months spent pretending to be an ally to victims’ grief-stricken mothers) or resorting to excuses in place of introspection, real intersectional feminist leaders push beyond their own daily moments of defeat to defend equal rights. Real movement work never has room for cowards or fair-weather friends, and most certainly not in the advent of the Trump administration where the luxury of time to lick one’s wounds has expired.

      The piece is chock full of other important insights and historical references and, imho, should be widely circulated.

      The clinton duplicity was as plain as the nose on the face of anyone who cared to look. I say that as an unapologetic Trump voter. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and Step One was to pack clinton and her sewing circle of “cowards and fair-weather friends” off to wherever they’ve gone and make sure they stay there, never to be heard from again.

  19. Pavel

    I just listened to a fascinating podcast by “Prof CJ” about Operation Underworld and the ONI, FBI, and CIA alliances over the decades with the Jewish and Italian crime organisations in the US. Apart from other activities, the CIA purposely allowed the Mafia to smuggle and distribute heroin, first from Marseille and then SE Asia. Just remember how many millions of lives were destroyed (users dead or imprisoned, families & communities ruined) during the heroin epidemic. As La Streep points out, Trump may be horrific, but I don’t think he at his worst accomplished anything as evil as the CIA.

    Here are the show notes and link to the podcast (about 60 mins). I knew a bit of this story but there is a lot of fascinating detail.

    –How the alliance between the US Office of Naval Intelligence & American mafia groups began in 1942

    –The involvement of top mobsters such as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Vito Genevese with the Allied invasion & occupation of Italy, and Luciano’s early release from prison in 1946 as a reward

    –The continued collaboration of American intelligence with the mafia & other organized crime syndicates for various purposes related to the Cold War from the-late 1940s in places as diverse as Europe, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean

    –Some of the darker results & side effects of these collaborations

    The Dangerous History Podcast: Ep. 0117: Operation Underworld

    A further comment on the “Intelligence Community” and its credibility: CJ points out that for many years J. Edgar Hoover denied the existence of the Italian mafia!

    1. BecauseTradition

      Just remember how many millions of lives were destroyed (users dead or imprisoned, families & communities ruined) during the heroin epidemic.

      I’d say it’s a dysfunctional society that’s largely the cause of excess use of drugs/alcohol and not vice versa (cf Proverbs 31:6-9).

    2. human

      The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade ~ Alfred W. McCoy

      Long and detailed. Gives a whole new meaning to CIA = Cocaine Import Agency.

  20. fresno dan

    Eagle with Sony Action Cam flies off top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai YouTube. Robert H: “Pilots will really like this. The dive at the end is especially exciting.”

    Being afraid of heights I was wondering if I should view this – but I kept telling myself ‘I’m on the ground, I’m on the ground…’
    I was kinda expecting the eagle to wave his wing in a ‘byb-bye’ motion at the guy on the ground….

    1. Robert Hahl

      The ground coming up fast like that is something I saw in nightmares a few times when learning to fly. I can also relate to how the eagle seemed to have trouble finding the airport at first.

    1. fresno dan

      Stephen V
      January 11, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Although news outlets tried to play it straight, reporters tried to one-up each other for the best urine-related jokes. And they weren’t the only ones. Social media was flush with with references to golden showers; what started with a trickle soon turned into a full-blown outpouring of references on Twitter streams.
      ======================================
      I say its just yellow journalism….
      And with the high intellectual caliber of the commentators at NC….I certainly hope we win in the commentary stream regarding peepuns….

      1. ambrit

        The peeponderance of the evidence favours you. Of course, it Depends on the source…As SNL once stated; “Oops. I Crappered My Pants!”

          1. ambrit

            Yes, that poor man has a name that invites riotus pun-ishment.
            Also, note to self: More self control Sonny Jim.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The problem is two fold:

      -running fake stories distracts from real problems and scandals and insures people to future problems. You might check the boy who cried wolf fable out. It’s old, but it’s still relevant.
      -attacking Trump on fake issues late disproved will only move his supporters closer to Trump.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s like jokes about Shrub’s intellect. At no point, did a single joke or nickname make a difference. The countless predictions of Trump’s imminent demise never came true.

        Jon Stewart’s theoretical return to the Daily Show would not make a difference if all he was going to do was Odell Beckham is desk or wall whenever he played a Trump clip. Take John Oliver, who took a decidedly anti-Trump stance. Unfortunately, he focused on fluff. When Oliver discussed net neutrality like an adult, he made a real impact by raising awareness and driving people to put the fear of God into their congressmen and saved the Internet.

        1. fresno dan

          NotTimothyGeithner
          January 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm

          “It’s like jokes about Shrub’s intellect. At no point, did a single joke or nickname make a difference.”
          I would put forth the proposition that the jokes/insults meant at Bush’s expense had a very minor, but positive effect on Bush’s support. After all, tough to refute the rejoinder, “If Bush is so stupid, how did you lose?”

    3. Jim Haygood

      The Daily Mail [insert standard disclaimer here] says it was Johnny McShame who passed the dodgy dossier on to the FBI:

      Arizona Senator who disowned Trump before election admits he handed document outlining claims of Kremlin blackmail to FBI

      Brief statement claims that he received it and gave it directly to FBI Director James Comey because he was ‘unable to make judgment about accuracy’

      Report was apparently paid for first BY Republican enemies of Trump then by Democrats

      http://tinyurl.com/zlbv46c

      So now we know — it wasn’t the Russians; it was the North Vietnamese. /sarc

      And wherever Johnny goes, Senatrix Graham is sure to follow. ;-)

    1. fresno dan

      Portia
      January 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

      Those accompanying memes in the memeguy link are pretty good too!
      But I don’t know why they didn’t include the one just before where the cat jumps on the guy on the ladder…

  21. Jim Haygood

    The Nasdaq 100 glamour stock index is trading at a record high again, intraday. Currently it’s up for seven sessions in a row.

    This is somewhat of a stealth rally, since the more widely watched Dow Industrials are hovering just below the 20,000 round number.

    Apple (the company everyone loves to hate) broke out to a 12-month high yesterday. When the leaders are charging, the troops can be expected to follow.

  22. fresno dan

    Trump is Obama’s Legacy Real News Network (Sid S)

    PAUL STREET: There would have been significant popular support for strict regulation, even possibly nationalization, of the very financial institutions that had lead the economy over the cliff in an incredibly reckless and in dangerous kinds of ways.
    And, in fact, Obama ended up having a meeting in March of 2009 where he called in the top 13 financial executives of the United States, right from Blankfein and Jamie Dimon and the rest, all the way down. And they all came in terrified and, as one of them reported, “We would have been ready to roll over and do anything that the President had demanded of us,” and it turned out he said, “I’m here to help you. You guys have a public relations problem. We don’t want to see you nationalized, or taken over, or broken up. Let’s see how we can work together.”
    PAUL JAY: Yeah, in your recent article I think you quote Ron Suskind’s book where he says Obama apparently said to the bankers, “I’m between you and the pitchforks.”
    PAUL STREET: Right.
    PAUL JAY: “The unruly mob that might come and get you. But I’ll…”
    PAUL STREET: “And I’m here to help you.” And one of the bankers left and said, “We were all so relieved that he wanted to help us.” This is the quote, “He wanted to help us quell the mob.” And, of course, what followed in the wake of that was the continuation, and indeed the expansion into the many trillions of dollars, of the Federal bailout of the very parasites who had driven the economy into the ground, right? ……
    PAUL JAY…..And so, by at least managing the global capitalist crisis in a way that it didn’t become the Great Depression, he (Obama) did as much as could be done, given the circumstances. ….
    ……
    PAUL STREET: (laughs) Well, you know that may be the case and there’s all kinds of evidence for it, you know. And I remember in ’09, Obama’s former colleague in the US Senate from Illinois, Richard Durbin, throwing up his hands and saying basically that the bankers owned the whole government. They own the whole place. They own Congress. I remember Sanders, during the last Presidential campaign, the Primaries, pointing out that the Federal government doesn’t regulate the bankers. Congress doesn’t regulate the bankers — the bankers regulate Congress in numerous kinds of ways, including the offer of job opportunities for people who do a couple years in the Federal government and then go out and make eight times more money than they could ever make in so-called public service while they’re in Congress or in the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    =====================================================
    So…..to have health care reform, you couldn’t because of the bankers…..
    NOW, to cut the bankers down to size, you couldn’t because…SHUT UP, that’s why!

  23. Katharine

    Speaking of swamps, as we so often do, this from the House is stunning:

    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2017/01/house-rules-change-didnt-hear-about/

    “Records created, generated, or received by the congressional office of a Member … are exclusively the personal property of the individual Member… and such Member … has control over such records.”

    After all, we only pay their salaries and operating expenses, why should we have any control over the documents produced in the course of their work?

    1. fresno dan

      Katharine
      January 11, 2017 at 11:20 am

      I can see how they could do that. I mean, say they get a check to vote or not vote for something, or in Washington speak, campaign funds to continue the fight against/for blah, blah, blah. It seems rather churlish to make them make and keep a copy before they cash it and start enjoying the fruits of their ‘representation’

    2. Vatch

      I guess the big lesson of 2016 is that Congress critters need to protect the contents of their email servers from the public.

  24. fresno dan

    These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia BuzzFeed (UserFriendly). So this leak of an unverified report is kosher when Wikileaks publishing documents whose authenticity has not been denied isn’t?

    A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.
    The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians
    =====================================================
    I certainly know the horrendous effects of cruel rumors circulated about oneself. For example, these rumors about fresnodan:
    fresnodan takes kittens and puppies and puts them in blenders to make furry milk shakes.
    I VEHEMENTLY deny that I have ever taken a calico kitty or a dalmatian puppy anywhere….

    fresnodan takes golden showers
    I VEHEMENTLY deny that I have ever had apple juice and/or weak tea showers….and I, in the strongest terms possible, renounce anyone who has or even contemplates such a thing….

    fresnodan is a pajama wearing Putin fan boy
    I VEHEMENTLY deny that other then vidoetapes showing me writing certified documents written in my own blood, and the blood verified as my own by DNA analysis, saying that I am in fact “a Putin fan boy” unambiguously and without qualification, and repeated on 6 different dates at different locations with different notarized witnesses, there is not a single, solitary SCINTILLA of evidence for such an accusation…and I note that most of the accusers are HUMANS!!!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You can’t stage a coup against someone who hasn’t yet taken office.

      You don’t have to protect anyone like you do for your commander-in-chief

      And character assassination is different, it is not the same as terminating with extreme prejudice.

      Finally, it’s a free country, with freedom of speech and a vigilant press.

      And it’s unpatriotic to feel good about Trump scaring some people into doing things that have never been done to presidents-elect. Don’t ever try to root for him as an underdog.

  25. John B

    Re “Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama” by Cornell West —

    A great article, but I wonder if it captures the full tragedy of Barack Obama. The country needed a leader willing to confront the establishment, but could the first black male elected president of the United States have been the kind of person who would attack the entire power structure? Remember, at the time, the Democratic party establishment thought (and still does) that Bill Clinton had been a very successful president. I doubt that a black man with the character of Jesse Jackson, let alone Angela Davis, could have gotten nominated in 2008. Even in 2016, Bernie Sanders got squashed.

    Obama, like Colin Powell, obtained the highest office and remained too loyal to the institutions of power. But they were shaped by American racial history; I’m not sure they could have been other than the men they were.

    I expect the next generation will have more fire in the belly.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If Obama demanded Congress sent him a bill with a public option in 2009, what Democrats would have brought out crowds bigger than Obama? Do you think Mark Warner would have stood up to him if every black voter called Warner’s office? Warner won by the largest margin. He would have sat in the corner with his tail between his legs if Obama told him to.

      Don’t cover for him. He was a popularly elected President with control over giant mobs who would wait for hours to hear a crummy speech. If race was an issue, he wouldn’t be President. He already won.

      Obama is still just a guy who saw Joe Lieberman as someone to seek out for mentorship. Spare he’s black and faced difficulty. Presidents have been assassinated and shot at. The Presidency is the modern Caesar.

      If his minded aloofness wasn’t ready for those Republicans to be gosh darn meanies, he should have resigned.

      Screw this attitude. Obama claim per the mantle of Lincoln. When Abe was President, the Congress was too cowardly to even stay in Washington. He should have tried to mimic an Era of good feelings President or something.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Because less is impossible to imagine?
        It’s beyond my depleted reserves of cheerfulness to expect anything better, but I hope John B is right. Probably depends though on how many of that generation’s outliers/outcasts can dodge the stampede of competitive conformism that by and large binds each generation to the last and the next.

  26. Waldenpond

    I thought ground hog day fell on February 2? Link date should be 01/11…. unless someone really want this year to go on forever.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    No ‘Pause’ in Global Warming: Oceans Heating Up and Sea Levels Rising at Alarming Pace

    Perhaps a precautionary move is to relocate Washington DC further inland, say, to Utah.

    As a reminder, many Chinese dynasties had a second capital.

    Loyang was often the second, after Xian, in the Han dynasty. As was Nanjing, after Beijing, from the the 3rd Ming emperor onward.

          1. ambrit

            The basic point is good. The two American capitols, Washington, DC, and Manhattan, NY, are both too close to each other, and both susceptible to Anthropogenic Global Warming Flooding. A second Capitol in the Heartland is rational. However, I think that I just precluded implementation of the idea by raising rationality.

  28. Buttinsky

    This seemed to me especially hard-hitting even for the always pugnacious Glenn Greenwald. It’s the most trenchant description I’ve seen of the new pathogenic role of a failing Democratic Party in the intelligence community’s growing malignancy.

    “And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.”

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

    1. Jake Mudrosti

      This aligns with a NC comment I posted a couple days ago, where I pointed out that Meryl Streep’s speech truly backfired over in my country. Bizarrely, a NC reply took the speech at face value — basically taking the line that mixed martial arts can survive some verbal jabs.

      MMA’s status overseas was never the point, of course. Just as with today’s #GoldenShowerGate, the point is amplified by Greenwald: bizarro-land insults reveal an astounding separation from reality. The intended targets merely watch someone taking themselves down, and the targets shake their heads in pity, or laugh at the tragicomedy.

      1. feox

        I truly don’t understand. Anyone who didn’t have a problem with Trump mocking a disabled man is not a functioning compassionate human being. I truly don’t understand how anyone could have a problem with Meryl pointing this out.

        1. hunkerdown

          Funny how feeling the right things is a lot more important to #Democrats than ensuring people’s material sufficiency. That’s why the Democrat Party is in the process of being drowned in the bathtub right now.

          1. alex morfesis

            Ok…let’s not make don trumpioni into some saint…yes he was maybe making fun of serge…but…serge & his hands are not as bad as trump depicted…serge holds drinks in his right hand and his left hand does not seem to have any major issues…but I am thinking trump was actually helping serge get some publicity…serge has an attractive wife who also happens to have been the writer who helped point out the clinton foundation canada donation laundering…jo becker wrote the story in the nytimes…she first wrote about the clintons and the Canadian in early 2008 then did the recent story in april 2016…

            And as to disabilities…there are very few properties and businesses in america that are even 50% compliant with the ada (americans with disability act) trump properties are one of the few that are nearly fully complaint..across the board…not that I have been thru all of his real estate, but at least in new york…almost full compliance…better than most by far…

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The dual, no, make that triple mandate of taxation.

    Field study suggests wealthy less willing to tax rich when poor people are around

    – PhysOrg

    1. taxation to give the fiat currency some value.
    2. taxation to tax the wealthy.
    3. taxation with representation. No representation, no taxation – so say our corporations. “The senator who is the Acme Robotics corporation.”

  30. Gareth

    Judging by the the insane quality of the sordid anti-Trump propaganda promoted by the CIA and published by the US media I’m guessing that a coup isn’t far off. That is the way they work it in a third world country with an unacceptable president. My suggestion to Trump is that he definitely keep his private security detail and even beef it up a little. Holding Hill & Bill hostage in a secret location is optional. For extra points grab Soros.

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump is Obama’s Legacy

    That’s a bit sexist.

    Trump is Hillary’s legacy.

    A father, and a mother…unless you say Trump is also Bill’s legacy.

    1. John k

      Definitely bill’s, who urged trump to run because weakest possible… if true, then she really couldn’t beat anybody. If not, the greatest pol has lost his touch.

  32. Waldenpond

    A local gun store was robbed. They don’t lock the weapons in a safe at night. The robbers just went in through the sky light, broke the glass, loaded up and went on their way. Businesses put in unbreakable glass, bars, wire etc after a break in. Owners don’t want to spend the money upgrading the building but typically the renter can get insurance coverage for the changes. Once you’ve been hit 2 to 3 times, you’re covered.

    1. Waldenpond

      Ds not redeemable… Tim Kaine questioning Tillerson about Russia, Russia, Russia and Markey just sited the ‘dossier’ as fact.

      Resist.

    2. Waldenpond

      Ds are not redeemable… while admitting it is not substantiated, Merkley also uses the ‘dossier’ as the basis for his questions.

  33. Geoph

    “When Trump has never demonstrated anything more than a belief that Obama was not a very good president?”

    Did you forget Trump was the loud/proud leader of the racist birther idiocy?

  34. JustAnObserver

    The time from publication of whatever ludicrous “RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA” fabrication to its being discredited, mocked, and disappearing is getting shorter every time, by a factor of 2 or so. AFAICT the BuzzFeed golden shower cycle was less than a day. Next one: 12 hrs, then 6, 3, 1.5, …

    I wonder if we’ll get to the sub-minute level before Jan 20 ?

    1. ambrit

      This is like the famous physics conundrum; When an irresistible farce meets an immoveable subject.
      Once one gets below some threshold, these factuals will have to be created both pro and anti at the same time. To steal another physics analogue; when matters meets anti-matters. Eventually, an event horizon will be discovered, as predicted by Orwell in his curiously prescient paper: “1984: New Dimensions in Perception Management.” He dubbed the event horizon as a “Memory Hole.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Luckily there is no math involved, only physics.

        For example, I can’t fit that sequence into anything I know…it’s not Fibonacci…I think.
        .

        1. JustAnObserver

          Its just time between the publishing the latest piece of Dem/IC paranoia and it being discredited is 24/(2 ^ N) which -> 0 as N -> infinity.

          Call it my John MCain Endorsement Time Conjecture. Methinks a Fields Medal beckons for the first peer reviewed proof !

      2. carycat

        Just repurpose Wall Street’s high frequency trading platforms and we can have sub-second news cycles. If the fake news also roils the markets, then front running it would surely be profitable for those who can originate the news. Instead of “buy on the rumor, sell on the news”, just do the trade and have the “news” come out later as fig leaf.

  35. LarryB

    “Is there any surer way to win a Darwin Award than attempting to rob a gun store?”

    I do recall reading about someone trying that armed only with a knife a few years back. Did not end well for him.

  36. souffle

    Moscow is pushing populist movements to bring ‘real security threats to Europe,’ new report says McClatchy. George P: “Yes, Trump, LePen, and Brexit are all parts of the evil commie, er, putinoid plot.. Moi: So now Putin is responsible for austerity and the refugee crisis?

    Oh, please, are you trying to act willfully ignorant?

    First of all, pushing for something and being responsible for it are not the same, not to mention if it is being solely or to a significant part responsible.
    Secondly, this piece is based on a NATO article which hasa been trying to make the EU increase their military spending for years.
    Thirdly, the Russian have been investing in right-wing groups in Europe(France, Austria, Hungary, Czech Rep.). They’re supporting the existing momentum not creating these issues, and not being able to confirm some interference is a destabilizing vector itself. The less related events in Ukraine, Georgia could also be considered as indirect evidence of Russia’s goals.

    Lastly, while it is indeed difficult to make sure we aren’t actually swamped with Western propaganda pointing against Russia, Putin himself made enough remarks over the years either actually confirming some actions or making it obvious enough that very likely there is intention and activity just as suspected.

    As long as there is no competent evidence and both the US and the EU are in such a weak state by isolating and pointing fingers at Russia they will only play right into its hands.

    1. Altandmain

      I’d argue you’re the one being ignorant here.

      Economic despair has been caused by the EU and ECB’s policies. That is why the far right has its support base.

      That has more to do with their own internal failings than Russia.

      1. souffle

        I’d argue you’re the one being ignorant here.

        Economic despair has been caused by the EU and ECB’s policies. That is why the far right has its support base.

        That has more to do with their own internal failings than Russia.

        Yes, now please go back re-reading my post, best twice or thrice.

        1. witters

          And you do what you are supposed to – source this: “Putin himself made enough remarks over the years either actually confirming some actions or making it obvious enough that very likely there is intention and activity just as suspected.”

          1. souffle

            And you do what you are supposed to – source this

            I won’t, you will have to rely on yourself as I don’t collect this stuff at all. Just re-watching his interviews and press conferences would be just too time consuming.

            1. different clue

              I am not witters, but since you offer no evidence for your assertion, I will dismiss your assertion as being filled with hot air bubbles. Just like a . . . souffle.

              1. souffle

                Be my guest. Ignorance is bliss after all, and asserting competence of Russia is obviously delusional.

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              This is not a chat board.

              The standard on this site is to provide links, not to assert unless your remark is obvious or widely reported in the news. If you regularly make unsubstantiated assertions and hand wave at requests for support, you will go in moderation. Not right away but you need to up your game to be welcome here.

    2. hunkerdown

      Liberals have a vested interest in maintaining their social, cultural and economic “dominion”. Why should enemies of equality be believed at all?

      Secondly, other than bourgeois liberals, who actually has an interest in preserving liberal “democracy” by scientific management?

    3. Alex morfesis

      Souffle…russia has only 110 million people west of the urals…Turkey has 75 million…ukraine 45 million…poland has 38 million…the old Soviet union of 200 million plus people no longer exists…

      tsipras has more operational tanks than putin…

      Now I have some strange theories about raz-putins background and why he supports all these right wing parties, including in his own mother russia, but the insane notion russia can fight its way into europe…

      and why exactly would they do that ?? Russia is a grand expanse with lots of available unused or underused land…

      They sell their oil and gas to the global economy and for the next 15 years have a basic lock on europe as buyers for gas…by then they will have finished their pipelines to china, and if the chinese get cute, they will probably open a line to india…

      They have gold…they have diamonds…and last I checked, unless the kankelz kick in, russian women are not exactly ugly…and if they want german woman, they can find them chasing dark haired men on greek islands(probably explains the german hate of greece)…

      If your 401k is long on armament companies, you should adjust your portfolio…

      Russia could push forward 500 tanks and 50 thousand troops thru europe and no one would notice…

      count rupert mountjoy trying to hold a press conference at the Eiffel tower to declare victory but no one would attend…

  37. Waldenpond

    I enjoyed the paperfuge article for the creativity. The ultimate end goal of manufacturing the item of plastic (non-recycle, non-sterilized medical waste adds two externalities) with 3D printing seems the opposite end result of what the project was designed for….. blood tests without electricity.

  38. Optimader

    https://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_pets/cabin_pets/

    I am checking with a friend at the FAA to confirm i can bring a large “its not a pet it’s a service animal” Raptor on those long commercial flights that tend to agitate me.

    I suppose ill need a bag of raw tenderloin, mice might get a little bit messy?
    “Sir, would you mind taking that Big Mac to the Lav, the smell is annoying my “its not a pet its a service animal” Raptor. Thanks so much!”

  39. allan

    Argentina: Where science and nonsense collide [Nature]

    The government of President Mauricio Macri in Argentina marked its first birthday last month, but there is little to celebrate for scientists. …

    Macri is the son of a powerful industrialist and a former business partner of US president-elect Donald Trump in property development. The Panama papers, a huge cache of tax files leaked last April, showed that he (and his father and siblings) owned several offshore companies. He is bluntly applying the counter-Keynesian plan of opening the economy, reducing the role of the state, increasing foreign debt and creating unemployment to reduce the cost of wages. And — despite his campaign promises to invest — the latest national budget bill pushed by Macri and approved by the Congress for 2017 cut funds for science and technology by 30%. …

    Scientists in Argentina fear a repeat of the brain drains that the country experienced during times of military rule and economic crisis. …

    To complete the landscape of nonsense, the chief of the cabinet of ministers, Marcos Peña, attacked one of the fundamentals of science by saying that “critical thinking has done too much damage to our country”. He continued: “Some people in Argentina think that being critical is being smart. Our government believes that being smart is being enthusiastic and optimistic.” …

    Who needs the Chicago Boys when you have Goldman, JPMC and HSBC alums?

  40. Oregoncharles

    “Powerful storms head for U.S. West after thousands flee floods”
    This is weird. Portland is buried in snow; people are making igloos. Southern Oregon is getting the same heavy rains and flooding as California.

    But here in the upper Willamette Valley, it was pretty nice today; a few showers. The forecast is for freezing at night and sunny days. Apparently we’re in between two major storm systems. Not that I’m complaining.

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