Links 1/2/2017

Readers, this Links is a bit longer than usual. I got worried nothing was happening, and went looking, and one thing led to another… Welcome to 2017! –lambert

6 more mysterious radio signals have been detected coming from outside our galaxy Science Alert (Furzy Mouse)

More than 20,000 dead fish mysteriously washed up in Nova Scotia Boing Boing

The Golden Era of Hedge Funds Draws to a Close With Clients in Revolt Bloomberg (RK).

Deutsche Bank chairman rules out European merger: Frankfurter Allgemeine Reuters

Samsung Warns of Slowing Growth in Key Markets Amid Uncertainty Bloomberg. Then again, you never know. The markets might catch fire!

Company Bricks User’s Software After He Posts A Negative Review TechDirt (CM).

Unexpected Risks Found In Editing Genes To Prevent Inherited Disorders NPR

This Blockchain Thing Is Really Happening, Time To Learn What It Is: 2016 In Review Fast Company

Syraqistan

Gunmen Free Inmates at Bahrain Prison WSJ

John Kerry’s Eureka Moment LRB

How the Attack Has Changed the Country Der Spiegel

2017: Europe’s year of rage Spectator

German Ifo think tank chief says Italy risks quitting euro zone Reuters

China?

$2,000,000,000,000 in Proceeds of Corruption Removed from China and Taken to US, Australia, Canada and Netherlands Duhaime’s Anti-Money Laundering Law in Canada. From 1995-2013.

China Tries to Recalibrate Credit WSJ

Beijing starts 2017 under a cloud of thick toxic smog Hong Kong Free Press

Modi’s Speeches Spur Memes, Pub Drinking Games in Indian Cities Bloomberg

Politicians Can’t Use Religion, Caste to Seek Votes, Rules Supreme Court The Wire. 4-3.

New Cold War

Putin’s Real Long Game Politico. The Blob’s View.

Sanctioning Russia Is Just a Start Bloomberg

The War Against Alternative Information Consortium News. Quoting the NDAA: “… recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests” (whatever that might mean). Small blogs like this one are most definitely “non-state actors.” Snopes is, therefore, wrong. (I can’t vouch for the source, but this is the only post on the NDAAA’s legislative history I can find.)

Obama Was Right Not to Get Involved in Syria Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

Nixon’s Vietnam Treachery NYT

Trump Transition

Mitch McConnell will be the most important politician in Washington in 2017 McClatchy. McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, is head of DOT (infrastructure). Ka-ching.

Claiming mandate, GOP Congress lays plans to propel sweeping conservative agenda WaPo. Cuing Republican over-reach in 3, 2, 1…

Republicans Take Control Facing Internal Tensions WSJ

Trump’s team draws target on federal regulations The Hill (eduadvocate1).

How Climate Rules Might Fade Away Bloomberg

Here are the eight Trump Cabinet picks Democrats plan to target WaPo

Rapid Developments In House v. Burwell Health Affairs

* * *

US Govt Data Shows Russia Used Outdated Ukrainian PHP Malware WordFence (RS). Deceptive headline. The very nerdy post concludes:

The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

So it will be interesting to see what happens later in the week…

Is Trump’s Revelation the Same as Craig Murray’s Revelation: An American Cut-Out? emptywheel. It would be irresponsible not to speculate…

Obama boosted White House technology; Trump sees risks AP. Trump: “It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe.” Lots of hysteria on this one, but (I hate to say it) Trump is right; he’s saying, in essence, to “air gap” your critical documents, which is entirely sane (and Lt. General Van Riper would support him). And if HillaryLand had taken the position that “no computer is safe,” they wouldn’t have gotten in quite so much trouble with Clinton’s privatized email server. Or left it unsecured for three months. My guess on the hysteria: It’s about whose class power gets reinforced with symbol manipulation via computation, and whose class doesn’t. Eh?

* * *

Here’s How We Prepare to Be Ungovernable in 2017 Alternet (AM). It’s going to be difficult to distinguish legitimate, organic resistance from branded, funded, Neera Tanden-esque “resistance.” This article is helpful.

The Return of Civil Disobedience Jelani Cobb, New Yorker. I’d like to like articles like Cobb’s. Then I remember the role who the New Yorker waved the pom poms for, and the ridiculous and shameful “sit-in” by House Democrats to use the bad data of the no-fly list on a gun control bill that had no chance of passing. Again, it’s going to be difficult to separate liberal virtue signaling from organic protest.

Defying Donald Trump’s Kleptocracy Truthdig. There’s no other kind?

Leia Organa: A Critical Obituary You’re Always Being Judged

2016 Post Mortem

The Clintons have done enough damage: Steven Strauss USA Today. Seems to be congealing into conventional wisdom.

Van Jones: ‘The Clinton days are over’ CNN. As above.

Microtargeting of low-information voters Medium. This is a fancified reworking of the liberal trope that non-liberals are stupid. See here for another perspective.

Cuomo vetoes bill that would have required state to fund legal services for the poor Daily News. Cuomo 2020?

#NoDAPL

2017 is already great:

Imperial Collapse Watch

A New Year’s resolution for America Fabius Maximus

In 2015, a 30 Year Old French Nuclear Submarine ‘Sank’ a U.S. Aircraft Carrier The National Interest

Veteran misses simpler time fighting unwinnable war against enemy he unknowingly helped create Duffel Blog

Class Warfare

Beyond Full Employment: The Employer of Last Resort as an Institution for Change (PDF) Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Levy Institute

Sir Anthony Atkinson and the curious optimism of the godfather of inequality Independent

Seattle’s landmark Uber union law set to go into effect as city releases final rules GeekWire

How to Become a ‘Superager’ NYT (Furzy Mouse).

‘Hollyweed’: Prankster alters LA’s landmark sign Reuters. And high time, too.

The moving sofa problem Dan Romik. Fun!

Millennials start the year with paper diaries and notebooks FT. Because, ya know, “no computer is safe.”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

232 comments

    1. craazyboy

      “We also performed an analysis on the IP addresses included in the report and showed that they originate from 61 countries and 389 different organizations with no clear attribution to Russia.”

      But, but… this means Russia is everywhere!!!

      1. craazyboy

        ****Fake song alert*****

        “Enter Russian” – suspicious mental malware masquerading as “Enter Sandman” by Metallica

        Say your prayers little one
        Don’t forget my son
        To include everyone
        I tuck you in, warm within
        Keep you free from sin
        ‘Til the Russian he comes
        Sleep with one eye open
        Gripping your pillow tight
        Exit light
        Enter night
        Take my hand
        We’re off to never-never land

        Something’s wrong, shut the light
        Heavy thoughts tonight
        And they aren’t of Snow White
        Dreams of war, dreams of liars
        Dreams of dragon’s fire
        And of things that will bite, yeah
        Sleep with one eye open
        Gripping your pillow tight
        Exit light
        Enter night
        Take my hand
        We’re off to never-never land

        Now I lay me down to sleep
        Now I lay me down to sleep
        Pray the lord my soul to keep
        Pray the lord my soul to keep
        If I die before I wake
        If I die before I wake
        Pray the lord my soul to take
        Pray the lord my soul to take
        Hush little baby don’t say a word
        And never mind that noise you heard
        It’s just the Russians under your bed
        In your closet in your head

        Exit light
        Enter night
        Grain of sand
        Exit light
        Enter night
        Take my hand
        We’re off to never-never land

        Boom
        ! Yeah yeah!
        We’re off to never-never land
        Take my hand
        We’re off to never-never land
        Take my hand
        We’re off to never-never land
        We’re off to never-never land
        We’re off to never-never land

    2. voo

      Firstly, one shouldn’t forget that both the report and the Whitehouse both emphasized the purpose of the former is to inform the IT network professionals.
      Secondly, that is also what a CERT does so it was of no surprise they didn’t deliver any evidence. They only published what they had and could.

      That said, this report is stained with a political agenda as they constantly attribute liability while formally denying doing so. Hence, the limitations of the provided data which usually wouldn’t be to surprising are now judge on a greater scale, and similarly, that is why the report lacks necessary contextual details to make the provided data actually useful to the target audience.

      As the result, this co-ordinate paper basically only provided proof of the investigators’ bias(preordained culprit) and incompetence(faulty investigation

      In short, my point is that there is no need to criticized them for not providing better proof but for their interpretative work and lack of useful details..

      1. reslez

        As a former network security analyst I can tell you the JAR is almost useless as securing a network goes. I’ve received threat assessments before from USCERT and they contained actionable information — the JAR states its purpose is to help secure systems but falls miserably short.

        The JAR has all the signs of having been compiled by multiple people with a political agenda and scant technical expertise. The report includes “Powershell backdoor” in a list of “Reported Russian Military and Civilian Intelligence Services”, for heaven’s sake, alongside APT29. Maybe they should have included blizzards and snowstorms because those can also degrade a network (and have as much link to the Russian government).

    1. susan the other

      can’t help but wonder why blockchain can’t remedy the confusion of did they or didn’t they. the russians could be exonerated in short order if we could cut out the corrupt middlemen… and research just what happened in 2008 to bring down the planet… also to perhaps find all the points of failure in ordinary chains of logic and action and eliminate them… to create an equitable society without self-serving liars warmongering the world to death.

    2. beth

      RE:

      This Blockchain Thing Is Really Happening

      This article sounds like the blockchain algo is a panacea for all our ills. Am I missing something? Or is this another neoliberal misdirect.

      I must admit to ignoring articles about it until now. I really don’t understand. I will appreciate it if you can explain this to me.

      1. Mark P.

        Decentralized computing. Decentralized consensus and ledger, impossible to game.

        Bitcoin cryptocurrency is just one blockchain technology, though it has a symbiotic relationship with blockchain technology.

        The rest goes on from there. It’s actually something novel that you’re going to have to read up on and spend some time getting your mind around.

        Finally, is blockchain another neoliberal misdirect? No, it’s agnostic: I can imagine a blockchain-implemented version of something like Stafford Beer’s Cybersyn project, which was an early attempt to do digital socialism for Allende’s government in Chile.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Dude.
          Bitcoin is about to exceed Denmark as a user of electricity.
          The price is going up because 95% of inbound volume is Chinese yuan. Yes, the Chinese have lots and lots of money they want to launder.
          Ask your lawyer sometime what you own when you own a Bitcoin. One judge has ruled it’s money, a second judge has ruled it’s property, Stanford Law thinks it’s a security (it meets all four Howey tests). And that’s just the US.
          Then try buying something with it.
          And don’t get me started on Ethereum and attack surface area “smart contracts”. Does the fact there are now two Ethereums make you wonder at all? Oops, everything worked as planned but the code was so complex it split in two.
          If you want I’ll continue, on the subject of security, governance, regulatory. This stuff will be interesting on the 5-10 year timeline, today I’m with Yves: blockchain is litigation futures.

          1. Mark P.

            ‘try buying something with it.’

            Yet people in Venezuela are buying food off Amazon and paying medical bills with bitcoin today.

            http://qz.com/825519/venezuelans-are-turning-to-bitcoin-as-the-bolivar-crumbles/

            https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-in-south-america-why-venezuela-has-an-active-bitcoin-mining-community-1452097837

            ‘The price is going up because 95% of inbound volume is Chinese yuan. Yes, the Chinese have lots and lots of money they want to launder.’

            Yah. Biggest capital flight in history, right? Good.

            ‘now two Ethereums make you wonder at all? …If you want I’ll continue, on the subject of security, governance, regulatory. This stuff will be interesting on the 5-10 year timeline, today I’m with Yves: blockchain is litigation futures.’

            I want you to continue, because maybe I’ll learn something I don’t know. But I’m not interested in the cryptocurrencies blockchain supports except inasmuch as they subsidize blockchain tech and I am interested preciselyin the 5-10 year timeline.

            And that’s because on the 5-10 year timeline the Internet as we know it — the DNS-brokered Internet — isn’t going to scale to support a world where there are a thousand microprocessors for each of the seven billion human individuals of Earth (a conservative projection), and many of those microprocessors will be low-power, sleepy nodes. Blockchain could be a solution for that.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              There are lots of guys running around writing really cool code…the problem is that they are not cryptographers. Ask a real cryptographer what the first rule of cryptography is, he/she will reply: never roll your own crypto. The algos used as the basis of these systems need to be pounded on by mathematicians and cryptographers from places like MIT and Tel Aviv U. For how long? 10 years is good, 15 would be better. This is math with no numbers, just Greek symbols, and flaws are discovered all the time, 2 years ago it was the Random Number Generator in Android, only after a solid 10 years are the industry professionals (nervously) satisfied. Maybe this is why 43% of all Bitcoin exchanges ever launched have been hacked.
              But you’re right, it is interesting. 5-10 years

            1. Cry Shop

              Interesting aside. I do know that many bitcoin miner outfits have set up in Tibet, where China was selling electricity below market elsewhere in China to encourage industry to move into the area.

              China’s oligarchy, particularly the upper middle party bosses, love the idea of having a currency they can park up any dark place. I’ve heard that Canada’s west coast, where cheap hydro is available, is also attracting China’s oligarchy to invest in bitcoin mining in that area.

              Electricity is the key cost now. And that would be a way to validate the information. What are the cheapest electrical prices, and how much electricity would be required to mine a bitcoin now. Once the cost of electricity cost more than the bitcoin, then much of that mining will stop (except perhaps in areas like Tibet, where if the operation is small enough, they probably are actually stealing the electricity).

        2. reslez

          > Decentralized consensus and ledger, impossible to game.

          On the contrary, blockchain is very possible to game. As soon as you control enough of the computing network you can modify transaction history or even double spend. This threatened to become a reality in 2014 when Ghash.io came close to crossing the 51% threshold. There are advantages to increases in network size that means this will continue to be an issue, regardless of what the current players say.

          Not to mention most of the mining servers are located in China and not exactly subject to much scrutiny.

          1. Mark P.

            reslez wrote: ‘On the contrary, blockchain is very possible to game. As soon as you control enough of the computing network you can modify transaction history or even double spend.’

            Well, you’re right. So I’d better explain what kind of blockchain applications interest me, and they aren’t cryptocurrencies except inasmuch as those enable blockchain tech. Here’s a paper by a guy at MIT —

            ‘The blockchain: a new framework for robotic swarm systems’
            https://arxiv.org/pdf/1608.00695.pdf

            Why would anyone be interested in these sorts of applications?

            Because on October 21st last year, the largest DDoS attack ever rendered much of the Internet unavailable to hundreds of millions of users globally. Not coincidentally, that attack was executed via a vast botnet of non-secured IoT-enabled devices.

            More specifically, our current Internet depends on thirteen root name servers and ten DNS provider companies, and that IoT-enabled DDoS attack took out a big chunk of the global Internet by targeting just a single one of those DNS providers, Dyn.

            So the DNS-brokered Internet is centralized and vulnerable. It’s also Rube Goldberg-ishly inefficient. In the interests of brevity, I’ll just argue that it cannot scale to support a world where there’ll be a minimum of 1,000 microprocessors for each of the 7 billion human individuals on the planet. DDoS attacks via IoT-enabled devices are just an early symptom of that problem.

            Blockchain tech is a possible solution that would enable the Internet to scale up to that level.

        3. clinical wasteman

          Agnostic in principle maybe, but the ‘mining’ involved requires an unprecedented (not figuratively speaking) amount of computing power just for the results that amount to ‘waste’, so that the process consumes colossal amounts of energy (to put it as mildly as can be) and also ‘rewards’ the heaviest investment in the super-hardware, whether that’s notionally decentralized or not. Hardly surprising then that credit card companies and at least a couple of rival US and European banking syndicates are ploughing their R&D budgets into non-bitcoin blockchain research, i.e. looking for a way to finish the job of enclosing it. Where that falls on the fear (of losing control of money itself)/greed (at the thought of ‘leveraging’ that huge intrinsic advantage) index, I don’t know. In this article [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n08/john-lanchester/when-bitcoin-grows-up] John Lanchester mostly focuses on bitcoin itself, but he says enough to give an idea of the rest.
          Clive, if you have the time & patience to elaborate on this (not for the first time, I know), I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one delighted to hear from you.

        4. skippy

          Is cryptocurrency worth the time and energy thrown at it… especially since its – selling – point is to negate the human agency dilemma – ?????

          Disheveled…. to date the evidence highly correlates with just the opposite effect wrt human agency, one might say it has have had the opposite effect.

            1. skippy

              True dat, but it does not square the core feature and its failure to deliver as envisioned e.g. human agency…

              I just don’t get all the – faith – in “something” dealing with human activity in markets when the – faith – in markets processing – all – information seems more relevant, that and the human condition itself [environmental conditioning and baselines thingy].

              The energy and time expenditure still needs reconciling imo….

              disheveled… a la Mirowski w/ a slice of almost Lockean surrender to a thing… and then gripe about free will status…

  1. dontknowitall

    re “Sanctioning Russia is just a start” from Bloomberg…they write “After the U.S. indicted five Chinese military hackers in 2014 for corporate espionage, such attacks all but ceased “…LOL…Do those journalist get hired by the pound because its surely not for their smarts…

    If they seemed to quit I worry what we are missing…

    Right…because a powerful sovereign in need of the most current information on a competitor who is threatening the status quo is just going to suddenly quit acquiring said information because a handful of its generals/hackers/spies got sanctioned by its competitor…if the hackers seem to suddenly quit it is just because we weeded out the most incompetent of the lot by sanctions and what is left is way better, Darwin had a phrase for that…I think he called it ‘survival of the fittest’…thanks Obama

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Five military hackers.

      Compared those 5 to wave after wave of PLA soldiers…the human wave attacks during the Korean War.

    1. Another Anon

      The first radio signals from outer space were discovered by Karl Jansky, a radio engineer at Bell Labs in the 1930’s which is why among other things, the “Jansky” is the unit of radio signal strength, the name of a radio telescope in New Mexico and the name of lecture series. The Green Bank observatory has existed since the late 1950’s and if you visit it, there is a life size model of the instrument Jansky used.

  2. fresno dan

    goo.gl/iH3Pxwcontent_copyCopy short URL

    Ten years ago today, at 6:00 a.m. Baghdad time, Saddam Hussein was led up a flight of stairs in his old Istikhbarat military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad’s Kadhimiyah district.
    ….
    In a statement shortly after the execution, President George W. Bush said that while the execution wouldn’t immediately end the sectarian violence already tearing apart Iraq, it would mark “an important milestone on Iraq’s course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror.” Hussein’s death was supposed to give birth to a new era in Iraq and the region.
    ….
    One wonders how anyone, most notably the war’s architects, can cling to the view that delivering Hussein to the gallows was worth the trillions of dollars spent, not to mention the 4,500 service members killed, the more than 30,000 wounded, or the hundreds of thousands of violent deaths across the region since his overthrow? That doesn’t even count the millions forced to flee the violence with little more than the clothes on their backs, or the terror threats that are now a routine feature of American and European landscapes. None of the American policymakers responsible for this have been held to account as their British counterparts were in the U.K.’s damning Chilcot Report.

    ==============================================================
    Anniversaries…..always bring a tear to my eye….

    1. timbers

      One wonders how anyone, most notably the war’s architects, can cling to the view that delivering Hussein to the gallows

      In contrast, if Bush had been sent to the gallows for his War Crimes, one wonders how many additional conflicts, regimes changes, and lost lives might have been avoided.

    2. Gaylord

      Saddam’s death warrant prolly was issued by Israel’s supporters in retribution for the Scud missile attacks during the first Gulf War.

    3. mk

      The architects and/or their friends were on the boards of Halliburton, KBR, and others who were the recipients of the trillions of tax payer monies or other such connections?

    4. different clue

      I don’t have time enough or energy to go back through hundreds of thousands of words of Colonel Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis blog. I can only say that I remember somewhere back there in one of the threads, that a regular commenter and sometimes guest poster named David Habakkuk wrote a long comment describing in careful detail why he considered the Chilcot Report to be a qualified limited hangout designed to shield the deepest corest bad-actor deciders within the British government from any consequences and indeed from any scrutiny at all.

      I know it is there. Someone with their very own computer inside their very own home and the many hours needed to do a brute force search for that comment will find it eventually.

  3. fresno dan

    ‘Hollyweed’: Prankster alters LA’s landmark sign Reuters. And high time, too.

    Finding them should be no problem – just follow the Doritos crumbs….

      1. divadab

        Have another drink, Steve – it will make your pompous ignorance seem more like wisdom – to you.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Yeah, lazy/junk food based stoner stereotype jokes are in the same genre as watermelon, welfare Cadillac, dumb Mexican stereotype humor–and about as true and about as funny too.

          1. craazyman

            I guess you haven’t seen Cheech and Chong movies.

            Bowhahahahaha

            I liked the one when they had do go buy some dope, walked out of their house, got into their stoner car, started it up, did a U – Turn and parked on the opposite side of the street, then got out and walked up and knocked on the dealer’s door. Hahahahahahah.

            At least they didn’t spell weed with an “e” — like weede
            That’s quainte east coast towne shoppe signe letteringe.

            Whoa where did Hollywood go? All there is there in the picture is a hill and some grass. Is this a hoax by some 300 pound stoner photoshopping in his bedroom? I think there’s streets and buildings in Hollywood. haha

            1. ambrit

              Hey, dude, out on the West Coast the hills ain’t alive with nothin. They just sit there until some rain and some fire send them juggernaughting down onto the Sunset Strip.
              Peace out man.

      2. Optimader

        You live in a small world. Most/many of the brightest creative successful ppl I know smoke pot -at worst, like a martini without the liver damage

        1. ambrit

          Yeah, and I’ve known some stone cold stoners, not really worried about all that “success” s—.

  4. Bill Smith

    “The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.”

    “The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.”

    How are statements like the two above meaningful in one way or another?

    How does an IP get associated with the Russians? It’s in the Kremlin? If the Russians did it they wouldn’t route through TOR?

    Who cares where the original exploit came from? If it worked why wouldn’t it be used?

    1. craazyboy

      1) Old malware is detected by common commercial anti-virus/malware software that even deplorable Americans can get for free and install on their home PCs – which generally aren’t used to store Secrets of State.

      2) The claims by the Russian Hacker crowd, including a private computer security firm, are that the IP’s origin point was in Russia – and because Russia is completely controlled by an omnipotent dictator – evidence that the Kremlin did it. And then gave it to the free world guy Assange. Further damning evidence given by the “computer security firm” employed by the DNC, was that the hack attempts left unique footprints known to be used by (and uniquely???) Russian Intelligence. Old malware used by any hacker in the world doesn’t quite meet the original picture all these people gave as support for their conclusion that Putin did it.

  5. fresno dan

    Is Trump’s Revelation the Same as Craig Murray’s Revelation: An American Cut-Out? emptywheel. It would be irresponsible not to speculate…

    That’s unfortunate, because Craig Murray, in his description of his own role in getting the Podesta files to Wikileaks, at least, revealed a detail that needs greater attention. He believes he received something (perhaps the documents themselves, perhaps something else) from a person with ties to US national security.
    ….
    So on September 25, Murray met a presumed American in DC for a hand-off related to the Podesta hack.
    ….
    If Murray met an American claiming to have done the hack, then Trump may have too.
    ==============================================
    YOU said it was irresponsible NOT to speculate.
    My speculation is that, and one need a catchy moniker for one’s sources if one is going to have it go viral, so I will call it “Wide Throat” is…..wait for it……wait some more……an ti ci pa tion …Bill Clinton.

    Yup, Bill being the gopher for the next four years was more than the man’s ego could bear. Bill’s campaign advice was being ignored. He would have lots of scrutiny but no real wheeling and dealing – the ONLY important thing he had a chance to do was be a conduit to Madame President.
    If your not the lead dog, the view never changes….

    1. Ivy

      Sled dogs in pantsuits, now I need that drink from New Years Eve! #@$%& (my new hashtag, maybe trending soon?)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting.

      Bill the Patriot. How did he shake loose his personal Secret Service agents? Were they nearby? Did Bill send one of them instead?

      1. optimader

        Bill I’m sure was hoping for four more year of high value grifting, instead Hillary strapped him in, blew up an engine, and used the other one to fly him to a cash-crash landing.

        An unhappy for Bill :o(

  6. Wyoming

    “Putin’s Real Long Game”

    Wow. That was one impressive Orwellian rant. Was there even one paragraph which was not tainted by falsehood and a complete reversal of facts, history, cause and effect? I was sitting here reading it with my mouth hanging open at the audacity of the lies. Is the author Victoria Nulands illegitimate child or something? Even though their champion Clinton fell in battle the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are never-the-less marshaling their forces for war and the glory of the Empire. Bush doubled down, Obama upped the ante, and their survivors are going all in. Hide your sons and daughters for they are coming for them.

    “…First, it is a war. A thing to be won, decisively — not a thing to be negotiated or bargained….The truth is that fighting a new Cold War would be in America’s interest….. The fight is the American way….We have to accept we’re in a war and that we have a lot to lose. …When it’s us against them,….They pursue the multipolar world not because it is right or just,….”

    empire..empire!..Empire!..EMPIRE!..EMPIRE!!!

    1. RenoDino

      Let me tell you something that is 10X scarier. I posted a comment in the NYT that said Putin wants to be our friend. (He has said it many times.) I got almost a dozen replies (a rarity) telling me to go live in Russia and those replies had dozens of thumbs up votes.

      If I had said Putin wants to kill us so we need to kill him first, the NYT would have probably offered me a job.

      1. mad as hell.

        It is scarier but I think it’s 20x more frightful just coming off the Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Man annual go around . If we ain’t on a downward slope now then we have to invincible!

        “The Russians are coming
        “The Russians are coming!”

      2. John Wright

        I was a NY Times subscriber until recently and found that I have not exceeded my free 10 reads per month after dropping them.

        I did read the “Vladimir Putin Won’t expel US Diplomats as Russian Foreign Minister Urged” times piece of December 30, 2016.

        The top readers picks (with 856 recommends) comment was

        “How did we get to a point where the interests of our incoming president are more closely aligned with the interests of the Russian president than with our outgoing president?”

        Now I realize the Times has moderated comments, so not all the comments get through, and comments can be chosen to support the Times agenda, but if the the Readers’ Picks “votes” are a good reflection of the views of many Times subscribers reading this article, then the Times has achieved some influence over (in my case at least) a shrinking subscriber base.

        Given that the Times is sub-leasing 8 floors of its NYC building, that might imply even more future pandering for more wars championed by the elite.

        The Times already sold/leased back the building to pay off debt.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-16/new-york-times-to-sublease-headquarters-space-in-revenue-search

        To borrow from the above:

        How did we get to the point where the interests of the New York Times and its readers are more closely aligned with the Military-Security-Industrial complex and its misguided US global war efforts?

        1. reslez

          > “How did we get to a point where the interests of our incoming president are more closely aligned with the interests of the Russian president than with our outgoing president?”

          Wow, mind-bending levels of insanity. Let’s quote Ian Welsh:

          Let’s state this clearly.

          a) Obama does things to hurt Russia.

          b) People expect Putin to do things to hurt America.

          c) Putin does not.

          d) Trump says Putin is smart for not doing things to hurt America.

          … At any rate, the simpler point is just this. Saying that not expelling US diplomats is smart is not treason or bad or anything else. You wanted them expelled?

          The people spewing this drivel need are either propagandists, or in fear driven overdrive.

      3. hunkerdown

        There are defense contractor employees in WaPo and NYT threads “working toward the Führer”. It is unclear whether they are on the clock or just being good employees. Consider them paid propagandists, show them https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/25651 and tell them the campaign is over and they need to go home. They know that’s what it is. You know that’s what it is.

      4. different clue

        What is scariest is that every one of those nasty replies and thumbs ups probably came from a Clinton voter. Or a DC FedRegime mass-mind-massage agent haunting herm’s own little part of the web. But most likely a Clinton voter.

        These people are crazy with rage. They are ready to start a Civil War any which way they can to install their Dear Leader Clinton. Talk about “making America ungovernable” !

        And we are supposed to believe that it is the Trump voters who are some kind of threat. . . ..

    2. craazyboy

      I just remember Putin has a $55B defense budget – and he will topple the USofA, East and West Europe, Japan, and who knows how many others with it….

      ‘Course, the other way is for “us” or “them” to use the nukes we have already. And our response to that is a trillion dollar nuke “modernization” program….

      1. rowlf

        That is why Putin is so dangerous. He is really efficiently evil. Just look at what he did in the recent diplomatic row with the US: nothing! Or when he influenced the US elections by being quoted! How can you fight against someone like that? Who knows what he may do next. He might flash a peace sign, say a phrase from the New Testament or something truly terrible.

      2. optimader

        Us and them
        And after all we’re only ordinary men

        Me and you
        God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do

        “Forward!” he cried
        From the rear
        And the front rank died
        And the General sat
        As the lines on the map
        Moved from side to side

        Black and blue
        And who knows which is which and who is who?

        Up and down
        And in the end it’s only round and round and round

        “Haven’t you heard
        It’s a battle of words?”
        The poster bearer cried.
        “Listen, son,”
        Said the man with the gun,
        “There’s room for you inside.”

        “Well, I mean, they’re gonna kill ya, so like, if you give ’em a quick sh…short, sharp shock, they don’t do it again.
        Dig it? I mean he got off light, ’cause I could’ve given ‘I’m a thrashin’ but I only hit him once.
        It’s only the difference between right and wrong innit? I mean good manners don’t cost nothing, do they? Eh?”

        Down and out
        It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about

        With, without
        And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about?

        Get out of the way,
        It’s a busy day
        And I’ve got things on my mind
        For want of the price
        Of tea and a slice
        The old man died

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDbeqj-1XOo
        Pink Floyd – Us and Them

    3. sid_finster

      As soon as I saw the words “Ukrainian freedom fighter”, I knew that the author was talking to an authentic Ukrainian Nazi.

      The author seems to recognize this also, when she qualified her statement with “of a sort”.

      1. Rhondda

        How many ‘friends’ do you have who might “best be described as a Ukrainian freedom fighter”?

        About the author: Molly K. McKew (@MollyMcKew) advises governments and political parties on foreign policy and strategic communications. She was an adviser to Georgian President Saakashvili’s government from 2009-2013, and to former Moldovan Prime Minister Filat in 2014-2015.

        Adviser. Garbage. A Neo-con McStain-er. Oh, and speaking of, how is it not illegal for him to be in Ukraine mouthing off about foreign policy?

        1. sid_finster

          I personally know people fighting on both sides.

          The only “freedom fighters” I know are fighting for Novorussia.

    4. tinheart

      it reminds me of something The Archdruid said about Americans: if something doesn’t work, the first thing they conclude is that they didn’t do it hard enough. So they double down. They always double down.

    5. Hen Kai Pan

      “Rather than a stable world order undergirded by the U.S. and its allies, the goal (for Russia) is an unstable new world order of “all against all. The Kremlin has tried to accelerate this process by both inflaming crises that overwhelm the Western response.”

      It is incomprehensible to me how anyone can have a brain filled with such blather, such as this author.

      1. Darthbobber

        Apparently she can’t conceive any alternative to a world completely dominated by the United States and its jr. partners except chaos and a state of nature. So if you oppose the one, you MUST be for the other.
        QED

      1. alex morfesis

        Lies Lies All Lies…thought there was a 2x entendre in that blob comment…but maybe molly was on molly…the former podesta babe is technically correct in allowing politico to say she no longer works for the prime minister’s office directly in georgia…but methynx it appears she is still being paid by the govt of georgia for her little company…

        Minor detail…

        pants on fire as glavlit on the bay
        (st peterburg…flow rid duh) likes to say…

    6. bwilli123

      …..A little over a year ago, on a pleasant late fall evening, I was sitting on my front porch with a friend best described as…
      ” a ̶U̶k̶r̶a̶i̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶f̶r̶e̶e̶d̶o̶m̶ ̶f̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶r̶”
      So sorry, let me correct that.
      “Neo Nazi. ”
      There, now I feel better.

    7. ex-PFC Chuck

      . . the West is already at war, whether it wants to be or not. It may not be a war we recognize, but it is a war. This war seeks, at home and abroad, to erode our values, our democracy, and our institutional strength; to dilute our ability to sort fact from fiction, or moral right from wrong; and to convince us to make decisions against our own best interests.

      Yes, those Rooosians are really sneaky. They’ve managed to erode our values, our democracy and our institutional strength by co-opting our elites to do the dirty work for them.

      1. reslez

        It sounds more like a description of neoliberalism to me… especially the “convince us to make decisions against our own best interests” part.

      2. JTMcPhee

        “Yes, there’s a class war going on, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s waging that war, and we are winning.” — Warren Buffett

        That’s the war that actually matters most…

  7. RenoDino

    I’m going to make this real simple because I’m a low information voter according to the above post mortem.

    Obama and Clinton lie 100% of the time and Trump lies 50% of the time. On top of that, everyone knows when Trump is lying because his lies are so ridiculous it’s obvious he doesn’t even believe them. Clinton’s and Obama’s lying is usually grounded in just enough fact to make it sound plausible, only to find out later it was a complete falsehood. It is also clear they believe their own lies and expect you to believe them too. This creates a level of resentment over time that has negative consequences, like voting for someone else.

    For proof of the theory, think back how many times Trump has said something, and as crazy and stupid as it sounded at the time, you later admit he was right. Now think back how many time you said that after something Clinton or Obama said. The difference is exactly 50% give or take on the low information voter scale.

    With this low information tucked in our back pockets, we can stop the blame game over who did what to whom.

  8. financial matters

    Beyond Full Employment: The Employer of Last Resort as an Institution for Change (PDF) Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Levy Institute

    http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/some-thoughts-on-ubi-jobs-and-dignity.html

    https://medium.com/@MattBruenig/the-ubi-already-exists-for-the-1-d3a49fad0580#.cjwjrxnvj

    from the 3rd link: ((The social dividend, or capital income for all

    The fact is that capitalist societies already dedicate a large portion of their economic outputs to paying out money to people who have not worked for it. The UBI does not invent passive income. It merely doles it out evenly to everyone in society, rather than in very concentrated amounts to the richest people in society.))
    ———-

    I agree completely with Tcherneva that we need a good job guarantee program. It has many good aspects that are also well documented in bilbos recent 5 part series on UBI vs JG.

    I think in evaluating UBI and JG it’s useful to have an MMT perspective on how a sovereign government can best use its currency. Historically it seems that UBI has been associated with austerity in that it wants to actually limit government by eliminating other welfare programs and being ‘funded’ rather that being deficit driven as more in the MMT fashion of putting money into the economy.

    JG realizes that not everyone is capable of being in the workforce. They also want to be much more inclusive in what is considered work. Especially jobs that are superficially nonproductive in terms of profit such as much reproductive and caring type work.

    BIG could be considered as an easier way of realizing the dignity of this type of work and compensating accordingly.

    But I think it’s important for the 2 (JG and BIG) to work together and not be considered as an either/or.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      JG realizes that not everyone is capable of being in the workforce. They also want to be much more inclusive in what is considered work. Especially jobs that are superficially nonproductive in terms of profit such as much reproductive and caring type work.

      We need better terminology.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Job…work.

        Celebrating the New Year is work.

        And when it interferes with the rest one normally gets on Sunday (by falling on a Sunday, like this year), one is entitled to take the next day off.

        If celebrating the New Year is not work, then it doesn’t interfere with one’s rest.

        So, I would include celebrating the New Year in what is considered work.

      2. financial matters

        :) Yes. from bilbo 9/14/16

        “”However, while the ‘gainful worker’ concept was considered an inadequate basis for collecting and disseminating labour force statistics as a guide to policy, the bias it imparted on the way we think of productive employment persisted.

        The gainful worker was effectively considered to be engaged in activities that advanced private profit rather than societal well-being. Other activities, particularly public sector employment held a lower ‘status’ and in many situations are not considered productive at all.

        Similarly, the concept of productivity has been conceived as a private ‘market’ concept rather than being associated with outcomes that advance general well-being.””

  9. IHateBanks

    Excerpt from “Putin’s Real Long Game”:

    We also need a new national security concept that adds a new strategic framework, connects all our resources, and allows us to better evaluate and respond to Gerasimov-style warfare: we have to learn to fight their one war machine with a unified machine of our own.

    Uh-Oh.

  10. jgordon

    Incidentally related to Snopes being wrong:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4042194/Facebook-fact-checker-arbitrate-fake-news-accused-defrauding-website-pay-prostitutes-staff-includes-escort-porn-star-Vice-Vixen-domme.html

    Let’s chalk up the “fact checkers” as yet another casualty this year. I’m positive that when informed people hear the phrase “fact checker” today the mental translation is: “hacks trying to slap a veneer of credibility on some highly questionable partisan assertions”. Just look at how messed up the Snopes trio is (I’m sure the cat was helping check some of those facts judging by the quality)–yet progressives have been relying on these nuts to “check facts” all along.

    Dang, let me start up an authentic looking fact check website so I too can slurp up that sweet sweet moola from Soros et al. Considering how this racket goes as long as the fake crap I write is somewhat neutral in tone the left will lap it up and shove it in the face of everyone who disagrees with them like Moses himself brought it down from the mountain. Wait–why am I giving my good ideas away like this?!

  11. SK

    Re: The War Against Alternative Information

    The NDAA/propaganda legislation is a long, unwinding spool stretching back to at least 2009. At that time, Obama issued an executive order (http://www.globaldashboard.org/2009/05/27/us-global-engagement-directorate/) creating the called Global Engagement Directorate (GED) housed at the National Security Council. THE GEC seeks to “leverage diplomacy, communications, international development and assistance, and domestic engagement and outreach in pursuit of a host of national security objectives.” Quasi-military, in that it’s mission is “information operations” and it speaks in terms of warfare and such, the GED has virtually no formal presence on the web. I could only find some LinkedIn pages from employees.

    So that was week one in the White House. Perhaps distracted, nothing much seems to have happened again (legislatively/administratively) until 2013, when Congress repealed The Smith-Mundt Act, allowing US produced propaganda to be distributed on US shores.

    Then, January 2016, the Obama administration via executive order opened up something called the Global Engagement Center (GEC), which was the State Department’s version of the GED (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/01/251066.htm).

    Which more-or-less brings us to December 2016, and the anti-propaganda legislation. Surprise, surprise, the 2017 NDAA merely put Congressional formality behind something that is now quite well established. As best I can tell, the 2016 legislation is Obama’s EO from earlier in the year. They didn’t even change the name, keeping the moniker of Global Engagement Center. The section establishing the GEC can easily be read (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4909/all-actions; word search “propaganda”)

    I’m still nibbling on this story as time permits. What I’m currently wondering, and haven’t yet found, is who introduced the anti-propaganda law into the 2017 NDAA.

    1. Rhondda

      Thanks for this timeline and overview.

      A quibble: I think to call it “anti-propaganda legislation” is to adopt their frame. It isn’t “anti-propaganda” — it’s pro USGovt/MIC propaganda.

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s countering disinformation and propaganda (as in, propaganda and misinformation designed to counter-attack information)

    2. Andrew Watts

      Thanks for posting this. I’m not sure about any connection or links between the Global Engagement Directorate and the Global Engagement Center. The establishment of the GEC by Obama’s executive order seems like it was born from General Nagata’s navel gazing into the nature of the Islamic State’s use of social media in 2014. The State Department’s press statement appears to confirm this.

      I’m still nibbling on this story as time permits. What I’m currently wondering, and haven’t yet found, is who introduced the anti-propaganda law into the 2017 NDAA.

      As far as I can tell it wasn’t a part of the original bill introduced by the Senate Armed Services Committee. I don’t think the summary even mentions it.

    3. different clue

      Perhaps we should call it fake antipropaganda . . . to go along with all that fake MSM news.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The War Against Alternative Information Consortium News

    Yikes! I don’t know what’s “spookier,” that they’re doing this, or that there’s something massive coming down the pike that makes them feel they have to do it at all.

    One thing’s for sure, though. No one needs to wonder about who will be financing george clooney’s upcoming “white helmets” canonization. Maybe the taxpayers will make a few bucks on their “investment.”

    Or maybe congress will pass a “law” mandating every american buy a ticket, turn off their cell phones and sit through the whole thing.

    1. Vatch

      For those who are curious, only 7 senators and 34 representatives voted against the final version of the NDAA.

      http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=114&session=2&vote=00159

      http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2016/roll600.xml

      There is an ambiguity in the section of the law about the Global Engagement Center:

      The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.

      Does the word “foreign” only modify the word “state”, or does it modify the phrase “state and non-state”? Naked Capitalism is based in the U.S., so it is a non-state actor, but it is not a foreign non-state actor.

      1. susan the other

        I wondered about the use of ‘foreign’ and decided it was intentionally ambiguous – because these legislation writers are pros at leaving loopholes… and about Katniss’ ‘something massive coming down the pike’ that we think we need to protect ourselves from – I think it is the new Eurasian economic cooperation pact and the New Silk Road which are going to sideline us like we’ve never been sidelined before so that it will be ever more important to control the narrative… I can’t think of another reason to get so totalitarian over what appears to be nothing. Nothing except that we are rapidly losing control over everything.

        1. B1whois

          I think the “something massive coming down the pike” has to do resource competition. There will be many losers and TPTB don’t want the poors to organise/educate regarding solidarity.

        2. Rhondda

          There may be no real world reason. It may simply be because they’ve planned it for so long, are so “invested” in it…and as we all know, they create reality, we just live in it.

        3. Young

          The demise of the Ottoman Empire was due to the Europeans circumventing the “old” Silk Road”.

          The demise of the US Empire may be due to the Euroasians opening the “new” Silk Road.

    2. different clue

      What happens when the government or its private sector minions shut down or pervert or pollute large parts of the “internet”? How will real people stay in digital touch with eachother? Who will catapult the samizdata? How will they do it? Who will catch it? And how?

      I am just a lost analog refugee in this digital world. I hear about things like “thumb drives” and “memory sticks” and other tiny gizmos for storing a lot of digicoded data embodying real information if it can be decoded at the “other end”. Are these “thumb drives” and “memory sticks” so light that they could be attacked to the leg of a carrier pigeon and carried from a “sender computer” owner to a “reciever computer” owner? Should the members of any future Samizdigital Underground which might emerge be thinking in terms of a “carrier pigeon-net”?

  13. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Obama Was Right Not to Get Involved in Syria

    In what reality did Obama not get the US involved in Syria?!?!? Drum’s attempted takedown of Krauthammer makes no sense whatsoever. It seems to be arguing that the Russians managed to accomplish something that the US would never have been able to accomplish even though they tried to accomplish it, so Obama was right not to try to accomplish it. Really getting tired of these DemocRAT bootlickers putting up such tortured arguments they require one to defend the likes of Krauthammer.

    1. Jim Haygood

      NYT headline this morning, for an article about Obama’s Afghan quagmire:

      A Fractured World Tested the Hope of a Young President

      WTF does that even mean? First they abstract beyond recognition, then shift blame onto a “fractured world,” then project feelings onto the president, as if he’s a passive victim.

      A “fractured world” did not make NATO invade Afghanistan. A guy named George W Bush did that. Then another guy named Barack Obama ordered a “surge” which made the quagmire larger and longer.

      Reading the NYT’s airy pabulum will lower your effective IQ worse than watching cable news.

      1. andyb

        The epiphany of why we will be forever in Afghanistan comes after viewing the videos of US soldiers guarding the poppy fields. Funding global chaos is expensive.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s the precious puling that does it for me, as if their blood funnels were priceless ancient vases. The pompous aristocratic tone demands a loogie be thrown at the speaker for their arrogance.

    2. JohnnyGL

      I just checked that link…serious fake news alert there.

      It’s amazing watching an argument based on an imaginary set of facts critiquing another argument based on an imaginary set of facts.

      It’s like competing storylines on daytime soap operas…who cares who’s right or wrong, the WHOLE story is all made up!?!?!

      1. tgs

        At $1 billion, Syria-related operations account for about $1 of every $15 in the CIA’s overall budget, judging by spending levels revealed in documents The Washington Post obtained from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

        U.S. officials said the CIA has trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years — meaning that the agency is spending roughly $100,000 per year for every anti-Assad rebel who has gone through the program.

        So, Obama did not get involved in Syria.

        Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut

        Written in 2015 when there was still hope that Assad would fall.

        A large part of the current elite Freak Out stems from the fact that Assad is not going to fall.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Yep, I remember reading and citing that article a few times. Thanks for doing the legwork of digging it up again. It’s worth repeating.

          Proxy-armies supplied by the CIA and/or by our ‘allies’ have a long history (Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, Bay of Pigs, etc.) and underwent a revival under Obama after being shoved aside in favor of direct invasions as seen during the Bush II years.

          An important detail is that I believe the CIA supplied the TOW missiles to FSA/Al Nusra that wrecked big numbers of Syrian tanks during 2014-2015 and turned the tide of the war enough to threaten the ‘core’ urban areas in the west of the country, along with the Latakia port that served to trigger direct intervention by the Russians. I read somewhere that in the fall of 2015, the Iranians basically said, “hey, we can’t win this without help”.

          1. a different chris

            I think it’s amazing that the CIA was fighting what any non-USian at least would consider a major war, and it’s only 1/15th of their freaking budget. WTF. But it’s blah people that chew up all my tax dollars, right.

    3. John Parks

      Obama was not involved in Syria?

      To paraphrase Lavrov…..Who is running that circus over there!?

  14. fresno dan

    John Kerry’s Eureka Moment LRB

    It has been a bizarre week for US policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On 23 December, the Obama administration narrowly avoided becoming the first since Harry Truman’s to leave office without a single United Nations Security Council resolution censuring Israel to its credit. Washington has spent the past eight years shielding what John Kerry on 28 December called ‘the most right-wing [government] in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements’ from international scrutiny.
    ….
    Then, on 28 December, Kerry delivered a seventy-minute address on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For all its obligatory political correctness, replete with condemnations of Palestinians for refusing to be passively and silently occupied, it included the harshest words directed at Israel by a US secretary of state since James Baker in 1990 questioned its willingness to make peace with the Palestinians.
    …..
    But where Baker demonstrated seriousness of purpose by reducing the flow of American aid to Israel and effectively forcing Yitzhak Shamir into retirement, Kerry bragged about his administration’s unprecedented generosity to ‘the most right wing [government] in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements’.
    ==================================================================
    I can actually remember when repubs were not reflexively and absolutist in supporting Israel. If the actual policies of Reagan and Baker were put forward today, undoubtedly they would be denounced by the Limbaugh faction as supported by Hitlerian sympathizers.
    It strikes me as a very good example of how a kind of moral, sanctimonious, and ignorant faction has formed that has a strangle hold on policy, while I doubt that the vast majority of Americans really are that fervent in their support of Israel. I guess its the old saw that a concentrated minority welds more real policy than a diffuse unorganized majority.

    But one other thing: is it actually true that since Harry Truman’s administration left office there has been a United Nations Security Council resolution censuring Israel in every US administration? Seems odd to me, as I always remember the news announcing another US veto of UN resolutions regarding Israel.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      I can actually remember when repubs were not reflexively and absolutist in supporting Israel. If the actual policies of Reagan and Baker were put forward today, undoubtedly they would be denounced by the Limbaugh faction as supported by Hitlerian sympathizers.

      That’s before the GOP learned from their Evangelical flock that Israel is ground zero for The Rapture — and by gosh, they need those votes. The Jewish State and all that it means to Jews has nothing to do with it.

      Though Florida is a nice state to have in your pocket every 4 years.

    1. Jim Haygood

      How hard can it be for an economist to break down health care spending into categories — primary care, hospitalization, drugs, home care, administration, etc — to make an international comparison and find out how the US manages to spend twice as much per capita as the international norm?

      Just as economists steer clear of analyzing the costs of the US military empire, they also show little interest in ferreting out how US health care exhibits less than half the productivity of state-of-the-art health care elsewhere. Evidently economists are like journos: paid to serve and protect the powers that be.

      1. Synoia

        The answer is simple.

        Insurance and billing. The UK has a simple payroll tax, and other than medical records no paperwork whatsoever for the patient.

        1. Isolato

          Saw that at ZH today…You have to think that the main reason for this remarkable discrepancy is simple…profits. A for-profit health system has every incentive to exaggerate the bill and compromise the treatment. Same for education, same for corrections. So we get stupider and more unhealthy with every passing year.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Eating right is important to one’s health. Many health issues can be avoided, minimized or delayed with a healthy diet.

            More than anything (non-profit doctors, non-profit teachers), we need a not-for-profit agricultural system and a not-for-profit dining system.

            1. Vatch

              Eating right is important to one’s health. Many health issues can be avoided, minimized or delayed with a healthy diet.

              Yes! And healthful foods such as broccoli, tomatoes, kale, black beans, onions, and even some processed foods like hummus and tofu are cheaper than many of the unhealthy foods.

              1. jgordon

                It’s why I support taking away food stamps and replacing them with simple, minimally processed rations of vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. Why the F are we giving already disadvantaged people and their kids on the government dole diabetes and heart disease by allowing them to live on soda and meat?

                A healthy diet would first of all improve their bodies and minds enough so that they might be able to find productive work, and secondly keep them out of the medical system so tax payers won’t have to pay for them on that end as well. The current system just makes no sense–unless you’re in the industries getting rich off it.

                1. reslez

                  As long as we also give those recipients suitably equipped kitchens to store the food, with stoves and ovens and refrigerators and cooking utensils, food preparation classes so they actually know what to do with it, and enough time in the day to cook and plan everything. Otherwise you’re basically saying, “Let them eat vegetables,” when for a lot of people that isn’t going to help them with anything.

                2. JohnnyGL

                  Or you could just give the people on food stamps who are willing and able to work a job at a living wage.

                  That seems more likely to work than hoping their improved diet suddenly makes their interviewing and resume writing skills a bit more snappy, which allows them to muscle in on some skilled labor jobs, of which there aren’t enough to go around, anyway.

                  You could also slash subsidies for corn. Corn syrup only makes sense as a sweetener because of the subsidies.

              2. Pat

                A while ago a few people took the challenge to prepare an adequate diet for a family of four within the constraints of a food stamp budget. More than one person found out it is a heck of a lot harder than it might seem. And the most honest ones had to admit that in many families the time constraints involved in planning, shopping and finally preparing the food added a whole other level of problems for people who were already struggling. A few recognized that time could be short because of multiple part or full time jobs. But there is little consideration that in order to feed a family of four or two or one on SNAP benefits people need to be able to menu plan based on sales and then have adequate time to shop and prepare things that probably don’t need just a half hour to prepare. Just consider it yet another tax on time from the government and the neo-liberal establishment.

                And consider me one of those cynical jerks who is now getting massive enjoyment as soy’s status as ‘healthy’ is getting battered more and more.

                1. different clue

                  ferMENTed soy products are considered healthy in tight moderation. Soybean oil and meal are getting considered suspicious. And mainstream corporate GMO shitsoybeans with their built-in residues of Roundup carry a further layer of danger all their own.

                  A reality-based study of how much and what kind of soyfood people really eat/ate in China/Japan/etc. might be in order.

      2. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        January 2, 2017 at 10:42 am

        So…should it be broken record fresnodan or stopped clock fresnodan? – – its ALWAYS the questions not asked that are the most important. Funny how it ALWAYS works out that way….

  15. Webstir

    Re: “Putin’s Real Long Game Politico. The Blob’s View.”

    Thanks for linking to this Lambert, even though it appears to fly in the face of the “why can’t we just get along with Putin” narrative that many commenters on here seem to embrace. As said a couple of days ago on here, far to many progressives seem willing to “trade the devil they know, for the devil they don’t.”

    And btw, am I missing something, or is “The Blob’s View” an ad hominem attack on ideas you disagree with. I hope I’m missing something, because I would expect more.

    Also, there is this from Dave Neiwert: https://www.facebook.com/david.neiwert?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf
    A source I trust infinitely more than the general punditocracy.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Wow, that Neiwert guy is in full-on McCarthy, reds under the bed, ZOMG!!! russophobia mode. He’s also a running his FB account as a vanity echo chamber, as you have to seek his prior permission to comment on his histrionics. Here’s a taste from his latest,

      “These hardcore Hillary Haters, like Glenn Greenwald and his following, are in desperate denial about the enormity of the monstrous regime they have now empowered and enabled. They’re anxious to escape the blame for the unbelievable disaster that is about to befall us all, particularly progressives and people of color. Too fucking late, Glenn.”

      He has *no idea still* why the Democrats lost and will continue to lose. Still! Oy.

      1. tgs

        Yet again, I find it fascinating that nearly every single ‘progressive’ I’ve seen pooh-poohing the fact that Russia’s intelligence services conducted an all-out cyberattack on America’s election system, with the full intent of undermining our democracy, is a hardcore Hillary Hater who almost certainly voted for Sanders or Stein. It makes crystal clear what I believed well before the election — that these ‘progressives’ are so blinded by their disdain for centrist liberalism

        These ‘centrist liberals’ have lost their minds! I can’t recall a freakout like this ever. Leaking emails (if they did) is an all out cyberattack? Has this nitwit seen Zero Days?

        1. Gareth

          “These ‘centrist liberals’ have lost their minds! I can’t recall a freakout like this ever.”
          ——-
          This reminds me of the response to the nascent anti Vietnam war movement in ’66-’67 by centrist liberals who correctly thought it would hurt LBJ’s chance of reelection. The first time a liberal professor called me a communist I was quite taken back because I had this stupid idea of college being about the free exchange or ideas and such.

      2. different clue

        Niewert is just one more example of the millions of KKK members infesting this country. ( No . . . not THAT KKK, the OTHer KKK. You know . . . the Klinton Koolaid Kult).

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        This is very sad. I always thought that David Neiwert’s book, In God’s Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest, was pretty good. Like Rebecca Solnit, whose book on the San Francisco earthquake, A Paradise Built in Hell, Neiwert seems to have lost his mind. Everything nuanced, everything humane, gone. Sucked down the vortex of failing Clintonism.

    2. Andrew Watts

      And btw, am I missing something, or is “The Blob’s View” an ad hominem attack on ideas you disagree with. I hope I’m missing something, because I would expect more.


      FNG.

      1. jfreon

        FNG. LOL.

        Lately I have to scroll up to see who posted an opinion to see if I recognize their handle.

        This site has been targeted by the machine. It is just that good.

      2. hunkerdown

        Andrew Watts, nope. Same provocative handle was around before the election, shilling for Hillary. I don’t remember what caused the hiatus.

    3. hunkerdown

      With respect, if the evidence isn’t swaying working professionals in the industry, perhaps we’re not the tendentious ones.

    4. different clue

      If Lambert had not added his own “the Blob’s View” tagline to this link and I had read it “neat”, as it were, I would still consider it an extended piece of Neo-Nazi Apologetics and antirussianitic racist antirussianism.
      Which I do consider it.

    1. John Parks

      I saw just the opposite! I saw the antidote as the cat looking forward to the Year of the Rooster. Or, it could just be a nice picture with none of my projected interpretations! (e.g. the Chained CPI is a boon for cats)

  16. Jim Haygood

    Clintonism is dead, Politico, USA Today and CNN all agree. It’s hard to process, after the Clintons’ lifelong permanent campaign has been in our face for lo, these forty-two years. What are we to do with ourselves — just declare victory and go home?

    I still like to wave my geezer cane and holler “Smash the Clintons!” just for old times’ sake. Not only does it give life richness and meaning, it helps ward off a frightening and horrible “Night of the Living Democrats” should the Clintons attempt to push open the lid of their political crypt and stalk us again.

    1. Dave

      Don’t worry, they are busy stitching various body-politic parts to Chelsea;
      Conversion to Judaism, check,
      motherhood, check,
      campaigner for Mommy Dreariest, check,
      and now they have bought her a new mansion so that she can soon run for the New York State senate from their new residency digs.
      Come 2020
      “IT’S ALIVE!”

    2. different clue

      Clintonism is not dead until every Clinton-connected politico, analytico, and think tanker has been driven all the way into private obscurity. Clintonism is not dead until every Clintonite has been purged and burned from out of the Democratic Party. Or until the Democratic Party itself has been exterminated from existence in order to exterminate the Clintonite bed bugs sheltering therein.

  17. Brian

    The moving sofa; A three dimensional (green) Chesterfield will not conform to science. Please recall that this sofa has appeared in 3 known locations, however improbable, and quite unstuck in time. If anyone has seen it, please tell someone backwhen. Any contemporaneous conclusion is not yet possible.

  18. KurtisMayfield

    NPR article on mitochondrial replacement

    This headline is very misleading.. no genes were actually edited during this process. What they did was replace the mitochondria in a person who had a metabolic disease with “healthy” mitochondria. Mitochondria are an organelle located inside your cells that has their own DNA (mDNA). So if you completely replace the mitochondria, you can replace the DNA that caused the metabolic disease (in theory).

    No mDNA was changed, nor was the DNA of the patient. I do not want to guess at the motivations of the editor who put that headline for the story out there.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for that clarification.

      They need to improve their understanding of ‘replacing the mitochondria,’ with a better theory perhaps, if they are encountering unexpected risks, or maybe also recount or recheck their data, or review the entire experiement.

      1. KurtisMayfield

        They knew that there was a possibility of the patient dying, the patient had a rare metabolic disease that would have killed him without the treatment… the scientists traded a 100% death sentence for a chance their experimental treatment didn’t work in the long run. There is very little understanding of how much of the prokaryote organelles are controlled by the nucleus, or how much of their surface proteins interact with the nuclear DNA. There may be “matching” between them.

        My problem was with the headline. Science journalism is usually very misleading.

  19. dcblogger

    Jill Stein has done the nation a tremendous public service

    In Michigan, a state court shut down the recount after only three days. In Wisconsin, instead of hand-counting all paper ballots — the “gold standard” of election auditing — many ballots were fed into the same electronic machines used on Election Day, producing the same potentially faulty results.

    In Pennsylvania, the state’s labyrinthine election system erected insurmountable barriers to even beginning a recount, requiring 27,474 voters in 9,158 districts to bring notarized petitions to county election boards, in time for shifting, divergent and secret deadlines. One court demanded that the 100-plus voters who petitioned for a recount post a $1 million bond to move forward with their case.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “Unexpected” public service, maybe.

      The original impetus was to look into what suspicious Russians had done.

      Is it classified information – so we can’t know – that something was uncovered in the 3 states, leading to Obama’s patriotic expulsion of Putin’s agents last week?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Unexpected Risks Found In Editing Genes To Prevent Inherited Disorders

    – NPR

    Just going by the above, do we stop and wait for tomorrow’s Best Explanation, or the one after that?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Tell you what, as I age and observe, I am kind of in the camp of one of my former work mates at the US EPA. Who way back then, being a very VERY Smart person with multiple PhDs in molecular biology and toxicology and stuff, observed that maybe the best thing that could happen to the whole planet, seeing it as a marvelous system, is for someone to build a virus or prion that could spread airborne, waterborne, etc. and would be fatal only to all the human animals on the planet. And then turn it loose.

      This from a person who like so many others (like the “scientists” who want to resurrect past plagues “because they can” and stuff, now has the tools to use the info in the Human Genoe Project database and their own personal intuitions and genius to make whole crops of pathogens of that massive die-off order, by intent or by happy (from the perspective of whales and bees and songbirds and cattle, etc.) coincidence or oopsie-accident… There’s several thriller fiction novels and sci-fi books based on the notion….

          1. different clue

            I have a similar fantasy but my virus only kills the people who fantasize about inventing a virus to kill certain people.

            1. hunkerdown

              Just presenting, or historical?

              As a teen I once fantasized about a virus that would lobotomize the overly ambitious. That was before I experienced weed.

      1. Oregoncharles

        “The White Plague”, Frank Herbert.
        That one merely sterilized any woman who contracted it, ending civilization. And it was cooked up in somebody’s garage.
        Written in the 60s, IIRC.

        And a quibble: cattle and sheep are too domesticated to survive in the wild; we have wild horses, but not wild cattle. Pigs do just fine, too, as would chickens. There were wild camels in the SW for a while.

        We were discussing the conditions for a human soft landing just the other day. They’re implausible.

        1. different clue

          How about the old Texas Longhorns? Didn’t they survive in the wild between roundups?

      2. jgordon

        Here is the continuation of your fantasy, the part you accidentally left off:

        And then all the nuclear plants melt down at once and the biosphere is sterilized with ionizing radiation. The end.

  21. djrichard

    Quoting the NDAA: “… recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests”

    I read this as foreign state and foreign non-state …
    Consistent with how my brain has been trained by the Fed Gov to think of ISIS and Al Qaeda as non-state actors.

    Just have to trust our Gov leaders to read it the same way?

    1. cnchal

      Lawyers wrote that, and didn’t include the word “foreign” before the words “non-state”.

      It means whatever the powers that be want it to mean, at their pleasure, not the peasant’s.

      The words “trust” and “Gov leaders” are too close in your last sentence, and never let them train your brain.

  22. Angry Panda

    Re: the new propaganda law.

    One. I do not understand the comment “I couldn’t find any blog posts about it”. Who cares if there are any blog posts about it? Just read the bloody text of the bloody law – (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2943/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22national+defense+authorization%22%5D%7D&r=1), section 1287, “Global Engagement Center”. It actually condenses the original Portman bill somewhat (plus the budget got cut from $250mm/year to $70-$80mm), but otherwise fairly self-explanatory.

    Two. The legislation does exactly three things.

    1. Enables gathering and archiving of “enemy propaganda”.
    2. Enables development and dissemination of “friendly propaganda”.
    3. Enables money grants to individuals or organizations to aid in either of (1) or (2).

    Nowhere does it say anything about official censorship, shutting anybody down, etc. Leaks to the Times? Yes. Openly paying someone like Michael Gordon? Yes. Maintaining a stable of Internet trolls? Yes. Shutting down NC or any other blogs? Not based on that section of the legislation, at least.

    More crucially, NONE OF THIS IS NEW. The U.S. has since FOREVER developed and disseminated its own propaganda and kept a well-fed stable of organizations and individuals to do so. Radio Liberty, anyone? Why We Fight films? Iraq Has Weapons Of Mass Destruction? Hell, the whole Evil Russians Are Evil kick we’re on of late? All this bill does is remove any public cover and officially channels money from point A to point B. Wow. Yes, this will definitely signal the death of…something…freedom…ish…and…right ho!

    At the end of the day, yes, this does make for a nice talking point about hypocrisy and what not, but other than that? Who cares?

    1. craazyboy

      Who cares?

      1) Some people think we have enough BS floating around.
      2) Lots of people have to work at real jobs to get paid.
      3) Even “only” $80 million sounds like real tax money to me, and I wouldn’t mind having some of it.
      4) Propaganda can start wars or enable defense budget increases. Neither of which most of us need more of.

    2. OIFVet

      Slippery slope, etc. Also too, the US gubmint does not have to do the shutting down of alternative news sources and deal with 1st Amendment lawsuits. All it has to do is outsource the gatekeeping to the googles and faceborgs. Take faceborg’s newly found committment to filtering out ” fake news,” an endeavor in which it has enlisted the Poynter group, among whose major funders is the National Endowment for Democracy. Do you now care, or is this not a big deal in your book?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        After filtering out fake news, will they do something about fake friends as well?

      2. different clue

        There are non-google search engines. And anyone who uses Facebook deserves whatever happens to them. Just as anyone who gets in a Uber car deserves whatever happens to them for participating in such a thing.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      Who cares? People who make their living by trying to disseminate the truth, and who know that such language is left deliberately vague specifically so those in command can use it however they wish.

      Sorry, Panda, but your viewpoint is precisely how the government has eroded the guaranteed rights of the Constitution to the point where they are all but gutted. I get it—if you use alternative news sources simply for informational purposes the demise of one or three isn’t going to affect your daily existence. And who knows—the eradication of those particular sources might even be justified.

      However, to say the federal government in its present form has a lousy track record when it comes to the Bill of Rights is an understatement, so those of us who understand the danger care a great deal.

    4. fresno dan

      Angry Panda
      January 2, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      (2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.

      =============================================================
      I would ponder what the term “counter” means or includes. It can’t be merely expose, as that word is already used.

      AND
      “Shutting down NC or any other blogs? Not based on that section of the legislation, at least.”

      How about calling NC and other independent blogs and publications purveyors of Russian propaganda?
      Is the ‘Propornot’ site already funded by the Government, or quasi government contractors??? – and this law is just after the fact authorization? Who knows. Is that ‘countering’ – – AND does such countering have to be revealed and made public (I would expect NOT)

      At some point, ANYTHING published by NC, the Intercept, Counterpunch, or any other non mainstream publication, is publishing SOMETHING*** from a “foreign source” – if not, that means anything written about Russia is merely from the US writers imagination or regurgitating press releases from the us government (well, it could also come from a US satellite picture I suppose). Is the ‘news, info, etc’ from Syria from certified American sources exclusively??? Whose source in Syria do you believe???

      ***What ‘foreign’ news is generated EXCLUSIVELY from on the ground true blue American correspondents? I assume information about Turkey comes mostly from ….Turks.
      So I certainly agree with you that the US is already engaged in propaganda dissemination itself. I just think ever more laws expanding and justifying the practice are unwise…

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > “and counter”

        So Angry Panda not only misrepresents the post, he misrepresents the law. He writes:

        Two. The legislation does exactly three things.

        1. Enables gathering and archiving of “enemy propaganda”.
        2. Enables development and dissemination of “friendly propaganda”.
        3. Enables money grants to individuals or organizations to aid in either of (1) or (2).

        Nowhere does it say anything about official censorship, shutting anybody down, etc. Leaks to the Times? Yes. Openly paying someone like Michael Gordon? Yes. Maintaining a stable of Internet trolls? Yes. Shutting down NC or any other blogs? Not based on that section of the legislation, at least.

        “Counter” isn’t on the Angry Panda’s list, oddly.

    5. hunkerdown

      Angry Panda, are you saying that the knowledge that there are tens of millions of dollars in walking-around money for Clinton campaign operatives to ruin lives is not operationally valuable?

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > One. I do not understand the comment “I couldn’t find any blog posts about it”.

      Perhaps that’s because no such comment was made. I wrote:

      I can’t vouch for the source, but this is the only post on the NDAAA’s legislative history I can find.)

      The post that I found then goes on to give the legislative history, as you suggest and add a layer of interpretation (which is what blog posts often do).

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    $2,000,000,000,000 removed from China.

    30,000,000 Chinese immigrants to California, and they will no problem conquering this golden state.

    It says so in the Art of War – Don’t send money. Send migrants, if the wise Duke is to capture another state.

    1. Dave

      Been happening since LBJ’s Great Society Program.
      Ted Kennedy wanted more Irish immigrants apparently and so he destroyed the old European quota system.

    2. Bunk McNulty

      The wise Duke may have a problem when the hunter is captured by the game.

      “Chinese immigrants had much higher incomes compared to the total foreign- and native-born populations. In 2013, the median income of households headed by a Chinese immigrant was $57,000, compared to $48,000 and $53,000 for overall immigrant and native-born households, respectively.”

      Migration Policy Institute: Chinese Immigrants In the United States

  24. Synoia

    6 more mysterious radio signals have been detected coming from outside our galaxy

    dit dit dit, dit dit dit = s,s

    And we all know, Trumpmigration, the aliens only speak Spanish….

    our reply shall be: dit dit dit, dah dah dah, dit dah dit dit, dit dah.

  25. susan the other

    Interesting about Anthony Atkinson on inequality and his very practical list of things that can and should be done to fix it (whereas Picketty just blathered on about capital earning 5% over time and blablablah). Atkinson is telling us what to do in his manifesto of 15 things we already know will work. So where is the action? Where are the progressives? The points about capitalist societies using competition to promote equality (which no longer works because we’ve gone beyond that competition paradigm) was almost sad – that we cannot get beyond our useless ideologies. And just a note on promoting innovation with lots of help from the government, last night on F24 there was a segment on grassroots/decentralized innovators in the food industry using the internet and etc. to provide food cheaper and more conveniently… just at a time when the French gov. was destroying all the old labor laws because they were too stifling and caused French corporations to become uncompetitive… much confusion in this world.

  26. dcrane

    George Will has penned a 2016 “Year in Review” essay that mentions Donald Trump exactly zero times. (“Republican”, “GOP”, “election”, “Hillary” and “Obama” are also missing.) Instead, it’s packed with boilerplate rightwing whingeing over political correctness, unions, and Michelle Obama’s school lunch program. The man is in a form of denial too profound to believe.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443439/2016-awful-year-review

    1. fresno dan

      dcrane
      January 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Because a law says, “The state of California may not sell or display the Battle Flag of the Confederacy . . . or any similar image,” a painting of the 1864 Siege of Atlanta was banned from display at the Fresno County fair.

      ======================================================
      Whoo Hoo!!! Fresno got a shout out! I went to the Fresno fair this year – unfortunately, I wasn’t looking for any rebels and don’t remember seeing any. I am gonna look for the stars and bars next year….
      I can see the rebels fortifying the John Deere farm implements, while the boys in Blue take up positions in the fruit and nuts exhibit in the Agricultural bldg with the grapes, raisins, and cantaloupes…..I hope they can work it out, because the best soft taco** shack is right in the middle….

      Soooo….if 2016 is “AWFUL” I will be curious what G. Will will call 2017???
      I imagine all the standard issue establishment repubs will be in a pickle – say the country is lousy under one year of a repub house, senate, and president??? OOOOO – can’t do that! Say it is good and give Trump credit??? LOL
      Of course, the real fireworks come IF Trump won’t renounce his true love, Putin. Now that will be wicked fun…..

      ** a Fresno fair soft taco is nothing like a typical soft taco. I’ve only see these kind of tacos at the Fresno fair.

      1. dcrane

        …..I hope they can work it out, because the best soft taco** shack is right in the middle….

        Sounds interesting. Ever since San Diego introduced me to the fish taco I’ve reacted with Pavlovian helplessness each time I’ve encountered them, whether in California or not.

  27. flora

    Re: Company Bricks User’s Software After He Posts A Negative Review

    o.m.g. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right”? The guy’s negative feedback was of the perfectly normal type: your software has a bug you need to fix.
    Company decides to brick in retaliation. Idiots. User community responds.
    Thanks for my laugh of the new year.

    1. flora

      adding: if Jim is running DoD MARS software he is no doubt involved in the local volunteer emergency response program for local/national disaster recovery preparedness and is listed as a national volunteer who can be called out of the area if necessary. They have to do a lot of training with local/national organizations. (think flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, fires). These guys were instrumental in helping with the Katrina evacuations, communications, shelter support. The Company really picked the wrong guy to mess with; there’s a very serious ham radio user community working in local disaster recovery preparedness (radio to radio health and welfare calls, communication between police/fire units from outside affected area and local units, when phones out).

  28. cocomaan

    The reason paper notebooks endure is that the codex hasn’t been replicated by anyone.

    Scrolling does not beat the codex in any contest.

    The article avoids that point, which is too bad.

    1. Synoia

      Nah. If is just that the concept of “page” has yet to be invented on the web.

      They are still at the papyrus scroll stage, about 3,000 BC.

      If scrolling was so effective, our books would be scrolls. (Something about access by page number occurs here).

      The other problem on the web is old, out of date information. I’d support a mandate for all web pages to have a “born on and last modified date,” and search engines must, by law, offer display in date or reverse date order.

  29. tgs

    Re: NDAA and Fake News

    Ben Norton has an excellent piece at Alternet on an American, Bilal Abdul Kareen, who is actually a propaganda agent and recruiter for violent sunni jihadists in Syria.

    His work has been used extensively in the MSM, including CNN who introduced him as an ‘independent journalist’. Among his main interests content wise is creating videos inspiring hate against Shia muslims.

    Prominent U.S. ‘Journalist’ in Syria Serves as Mouthpiece for Violent Extremists

    This is typical of the MSM and CNN in my experience is one of the worst. I remember watching a CNN interview with a ‘Russian Expert’ from the Institute of Modern Russia who was presented as an objective analyst of Russian affairs. Naturally he was not a fan of Putin.

    What the CNN anchor did not disclose is that the ‘expert’ was from a foundation created by Mikael Khodorkovsky, an oligarch that Putin threw in jail for tax evasion. I would have thought that background information relevant to his views on Putin’s Russia.

    1. Rhondda

      Very interesting post and links. Thanks, tgs. I don’t watch TV and I had not heard of Bilal Abdul Kareen. Alternet’s “world view filter” doesn’t jive with mine — the author seemed to have some strange litmus tests — and I immediately departed, but the factual aspects of the article were worthy.

    2. Montanamaven

      +100
      I saw a “Russian expert” on MSNBC and, what do you know?, anti-Putin. I didn’t look her up. So next time I will follow your example and find out who she works for. Probably same place.

      Now to their credit, Morning Joe had on real Russian scholar, Prof. Steven Cohen a week or so ago. He devasted the anti-Putin deal and Mark Halperin looked at him with a face like he was sucking on a lemon. Halperin had visible disdain for Cohen. He seemed to be spitting at him when he asked a question. Creepy.

  30. Carolinian

    Sounds like it’s the attorney who drafted those terms of service who should be fired. The use of contracts to abridge people’s freedom of speech has been approved by the courts but Americans at least don’t cotton to this version of freedom.

    My brother tells me this is a longstanding piece of ham software and sounds like it was Windows 10–everybody’s fave–that tripped them up. Still, there’s no excuse for what they did. The reason so much TOS boiler plate exists is probably because few companies are dumb enough to enforce. How long would the DMCA last if Hollywood actually pursued customers under those draconian terms? They did try doing so at first and it was a PR disaster.

  31. Synoia

    German Ifo think tank chief says Italy risks quitting euro zone

    All of you who can speak Italian and write code (program) quickly and flawlessly best apply for jobs in Italy now.

  32. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Interesting about the USA Today op ed re the Clintons. It seems like anyone in any ‘serious’ mass media have to genuflect to the “Russian interference in our elections” idiocy.

  33. Oregoncharles

    Sorry if this is a repetition, but that Snopes article on the NDAA/Intelligence Authorization is incredibly naive: rather than language of the law, it quotes ONLY the co-authors’ self-promotion as evidence of its intent. “Incredibly,” as in dishonestly.

    There is some evidence there that the Intel Authorization is the problem, rather than the NDAA, but it’s so uninformative that there’s no telling.

    Snopes is now an unreliable source? Bummer.

    1. Aumua

      Like everyone else apparently, Snopes has to get on its knees before Satan and go down. I wish I knew why everyone who was once my hero has to perform tricks now for el diablo . It’s disheartening.

      1. HotFlash

        Perhaps the answer is to be found at Dave Barry’s blog:

        On the Democratic side, the month gets off to a rocky start when FBI Director James Comey, announcing the results of the bureau’s investigation, reveals that when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, her official emails, some including classified material, were basically as secure from prying eyes as a neon beer sign. Nevertheless, Comey says he is recommending that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton, because, quote, “I don’t want to die.”

  34. ewmayer

    o “Beijing starts 2017 under a cloud of thick toxic smog | Hong Kong Free Press” — Mish had a piece about this yesterday, the most interesting part of which for me was his utter failure to connect the kinds of race-to-the-bottom labor-and-environmental-law arbitrage inherent in globalization as practiced (and as incessantly praised by him ‘because lower prices are an unmitigated good for everyone!’) with the toxic nightmare afflicting China and other ‘beneficiaries’ of developed-world offshoring.

    o “Obama Was Right Not to Get Involved in Syria Kevin Drum, Mother Jones” — It would appear that MoJoke’s Drum has an interesting definition of ‘non-involvement’.

    o “Politicians Can’t Use Religion, Caste to Seek Votes, Rules Supreme Court | The Wire. 4-3.” — Hmm, 4-3 – so who abstained? Sotomayor? Roberts? (ha, had you scratching your head!)

    o “Here are the eight Trump Cabinet picks Democrats plan to target | CraPo” — Echoing the MSM hysteria over a piece of 2nd-amendment-pandering Trump did during the campaign, is CraPo calling for Dem loyalists to assassinate Trump cabinet picks? Because ‘target’ sure sounds like calling in a hit to me.

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        It seems pretty clear ewmayer was making a joke about this precise misunderstanding.

        1. hunkerdown

          Retracted, thanks for facilitating. :) Man, all this “Russian troII” corporate pee-pantsing is getting to me.

  35. Matt

    Two article linked from the Washington Post??? That surprised me because of all the fake news they have been caught publishing (i.e. PropOrNot.com Russian propaganda and Russia hacking the Vermont Power Grid). I think if you do link to the Washington post in the future, you should attach a disclaimer to the articles warning readers that this news outlet has been linked several times to spreading fake news.

  36. Oregoncharles

    About chickens: Not quite so innocent as they look. A friend who grew up in Cuba, apparently in the boonies, told me that people in the tropics keep chickens partly so they’ll maintain a protective “death zone” around the house. Anything smaller than them, including snakes and scorpions, will go toward chicken dinner or omelet. They also keep the area bare of vegetation, removing any cover. Mud is better than scorpions.

    And in fact, I’ve seen video of chickens preying on mice, as well as attacking sleeping cats. they’re miniature dinosaurs.

    1. polecat

      I always joke with my wife .. that should I ever keel over in the chicken run due to a stroke, my old carcass would be picked down to bone (well, at least for the ‘choice’ parts anyway) in a day ……. humm .. maybe I should will my body to the hens, instead of science …

      The family might get some really nice eggs out of the arrangement … ‘;]

      Dinos indeed … Like little feathered velocirapters, but without the 8″ middle talon …. but given the chance, they’ll ‘peck your eyes for jujubes’ … just as if you were on Pandora !

      1. polecat

        Re. chickens and ‘mud’ ..

        Everywhere chickens reign looks like a scene out of Mordor … those little eyes don’t miss a thing !

  37. tegnost

    Lambert renditioned to a unknown arkansas location for re education synthesis? or maybe his mac is frozen to the table in the garden office…

  38. Propertius

    Re: Trump and Computer Security

    In November I attended a conference where a civilian contractor for USCYBERCOM made the rather startling assertion that 97% of the servers on the Internet had been compromised at one time or another. I always thought the number of compromised servers was pretty high, but that number is considerably worse than I expected. Maybe putting servers in your bathroom and having them remotely administered by unvetted personnel over Microsoft RDP is not such a good idea, after all ;-)

    1. tegnost

      I think the general idea was that what one does in the bathroom is private when one is in polite company…

  39. JohnnyGL

    http://www.permaculturevoices.com/liberation-permaculture-by-toby-hemenway-pvp126/

    Hemenway passed recently but did some very good lasting work. Gaia’s Garden is a book I have and have found quite useful. His lectures are interesting, too. I’ve only heard a handful of them, but always find them captivating to listen to. He discusses agriculture/polyculture/agroforestry and ties it into anthropology, history and culture with lots of good examples.

    He references Yale prof. James C. Scott who seems to have done some interesting work. Hemenway specifically mentions “Seeing Like a State” and “The Art of Not being Governed”.

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