Links 10/20/15

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A Family of Five Ferret Brothers Adopt a Rescue Kitten and Accept Her as One of Their Own Laughing Squid (resilc)

Moped rider begs mercy from angry elephants who attacked him because they are sick of noisy motorcycles in national park DailyMail (Chuck L). Wild in both senses of the word.

DNA study suggests Central Asia was home to first domesticated dogs Associated Press

Life on Earth may have begun 300m years earlier than previously thought Guardian

Tech Startups Feel an IPO Chill Wall Street Journal

Talk Therapy Found to Ease Schizophrenia New York Times. This is a big deal.


Growth data buoy China at ‘pivotal moment’ in economic rebalancing Financial Times

China Financial Sector Shrugs Off Stock Rout to Fuel GDP Growth Bloomberg

China’s New Economy Won’t Pack the Same Punch for Global Growth Bloomberg

It’s Not All Bad News Out of China Wall Street Journal

Trade set to be key battleground in EU referendum Open Europe

Refugee Crisis

Protests reveal Germany’s migration rift Financial Times

Migrant Suffocations in Truck Near Hungary Reveal Tactics of Smugglers New York Times

Canadian Election

Trudeau to form new majority government Globe and Mail

In Canada, Stunning Rout by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party New York Times. Harper got what he deserved. Neoliberals beware.

Trudeau’s victory is a triumph for decency: Editorial Toronto Star. Margarita: “Harper loathing seemed to have been wide-spread…”

Corbyn in the Media London Review of Books

UK: “Govt Conveniently Deleted Entire Database of Evidence Documenting Pedophile Rings”  Free Thought Project (Judy B)


U.S. Said to Approve $11 Billion Saudi Buy of Littoral Ships Bloomberg

Hawkish Enthusiasm for the Insane “No-Fly Zone” in Syria American Conservative

How to Work With Russia in Syria Foreign Affairs

American Hypocrisy: Against Muslim Sharia law at home, Calls it “Moderate” in Syria Juan Cole (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Teen Hackers: A ‘5-Year-Old’ Could Have Hacked into CIA Director’s Emails Motherboard. Resilc: “Worse than Clinton LLC.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

The American military is bad at teaching others how to fight. Slate. How about: 1. The locals are not deeply invested enough in fighting the people we want them to fight to learn and 2. Mercenaries have never been a great idea.

The War Nerd: Bombed Stupid Pando (Gabriel U). Unlocked till Wed.

In Germany, CIA official charged with torture Al Jazeera (furzy mouse)


Donald Trump, Necessary Truth-Teller American Conservative (resilc)

Seriously, Trump Won’t Win Bloomberg

Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. Vox

U.S. Senate hearing shows waning influence of police on prison reform Reuters (EM)

Holding the Department of Energy accountable in Idaho Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Chuck L)

Green financing has hobbled home sales in California Reuters (EM)

Deutsche Bank in $6bn ‘fat finger’ slip-up Financial Times

Money Funds Clamor for Short-Term Treasurys Wall Street Journal

Russell Simmons Prepaid Card Disaster Prevents Users From Accessing Money Forbes

U.S. Homebuilders Are the Most Confident They’ve Been in 10 Years Atlantic. Resilc: “Are the building on Mars?

Reframing the Debate about Payday Lending Liberty Street

Investor advocates protest proposals limiting disclosure Francine McKenna, MarketWatch

Concerns grow as Puerto Rico debates fiscal control board AP

Class Warfare

For Offenders Who Can’t Pay, It’s a Pint of Blood or Jail Time New York Times. It will soon be a kidney…

BORIS JOHNSON DESTROYS CHILD IN ‘FRIENDLY’ GAME OF RUGBY Vice. Li: “Make that pig-fornicators and child bashers.”

Bank’s severance deal requires IT workers to be on call for two years Computerworld. Chuck L: “What f**king gall!”

Antidote du jour (Stephen W):

shy roo links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. James Levy

    I hope Canada got a better government this morning and not Obama North.

    As for the comment on mercenaries, the Spanish tercios and British Raj (among many examples) did quite well with mercenary troops. And the Foreign Legion has a deserved reputation for toughness and ability. Even Julius Caesar conquered Gaul with a combination of legionaries and mercenaries. You are absolutely right about motivation. That’s the key. But at times mercenaries can function just as well as local forces. It’s a question of circumstances, not categories.

    1. Ed

      Machiavelli, who was the equivalent of defense minister for Florence, made a big deal of relying on locally raised troops instead of mercenaries. His locally raised troops were routed by the Hapsburg mercenaries, ending the Florentine republic.

      1. Massinissa

        And after that happened, Machiavelli was tortured for three weeks by said hapsburgs.

        People forget that.

        They let him go because they figured he would never be a threat again. And they were right.

    2. JEHR

      James, there is no doubt that the Liberal government we voted for is much, much better than Harper. Now, we will have to be patient while PM Trudeau learns the ropes. We have a lot of confidence in him.

      1. wbgonne

        we will have to be patient while PM Trudeau learns the ropes. We have a lot of confidence in him.

        I truly hope you are proved correct, for Canada’s sake and for others as well. However, I have a strong feeling that “PM Trudeau learn[ing] the ropes” will mean a couple of meetings with Team Obama, who will lay out the options for Trudeau if he A) plays ball, or B) doesn’t play ball. Then I expect to see in short order a raft of proposals for privatization, public-private partnerships, and financialization. IOW: a full-fledged neoliberal agenda, beginning with TPP. As I said, I hope you are right and I am wrong.

      2. rusti

        Thanks for the link below. What is your confidence and optimism based on? From the outside looking in he has the sheen of a pro-TPP, pro-Keystone “Liberal” frontman who had a meteoric rise to power aided by a family name.

      3. Lexington

        Who is this “we” you are speaking of?

        With due apologies to The Tragically Hip: My mother cried, “The horror has finally ceased” / He whispered, “Yeah, for the time being at least”

        Relief that the Harper nightmare is finally over shouldn’t make people unduly giddy about what a Liberal government portends. Many people who voted Liberal on the pragmatic principle of “anyone but Harper” are justifiably cautious.

        Those that aren’t are going to get their first rude dose of reality when the Liberals vote to pass the TPP.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Time for Harper to team up with Dick Cheney and hit the rubber chicken circuit with their ‘Regime Change’ tour.

      Attendees are recommended to wear full wetsuits, to facilitate hosing off the slime as they depart.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Instead of privatizing their major state run enterprises, their elites are circumventing currency controls to buy more houses and mansions, all cash in many cases, in the West, taking money out of China.

      What the Chinese don’t like is that we believe what we say in the West has any impact over there.

      Their rich people know to leave without our exceptional coverage here. ..sometimes the fetuses land first in maternity motels.

  2. Juneau

    Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia:
    This article illustrates how long it takes to do good psychotherapy research (only “7 years”). Standard drug trial with or without a double blind crossover might be a few months. Imagine the difference in funding.

    Wonderful that they have good scientific evidence to show to TPTB to support funding for coverage for psychotherapy. :)

    1. cwaltz

      Considering the number of people who grow up in dysfunction, added to the numbers dealing with physiological issues that cause mental disorders, I’m surprised we still need studies that tell us that an objective ear is valuable. If I’m sick or struggling internally the last thing you want me to be doing is “pulling myself up by my own bootstraps.”

      1. hemeantwell

        Thanks for headlining this. It’s good to see that people are still conducting studies of this sort, providing empirical backing for the kind of therapy I was trained to do that, at the time, had some empirical backing. (Yes, there’s a note of sarcasm there.) Interested readers could check out Bert Karon’s “Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia, the Treatment of Choice,” wherein, within the limits of a single ward study, he argues that psychotherapy is both feasible and preferable to what eventually became, to put it crudely, a “meds + monitoring” approach. Many good case illustrations.

      2. Inverness

        A 30 year-old friend of a friend is doing quite well living with schizophrenia. His secret: he lives in a small, close-knit rural community. Every week he spends time with the guys in his neighbourhood, and they cook for each other. He lives near his parents, and is able to hold down a regular job. This often doesn’t happen for people who live with this often devastating disorder. When his father died, the locals kept an eye on him, and gave him hugs and extra attention. This might be more typical of rural areas, (this is rural Quebec).

    2. spooz

      There is actually a model for non-drug treatment of schizophrenia that had success back in the 1970s, as a result of Congress freely funding such experiments as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Soteria House was founded by Dr. Lauren Mosher in San Jose in 1971 as a voluntary residence that used non-medication treatment of severe psychotic breakdown. During the first six weeks, drugs were only administered, if the resident agreed to it, in cases of uncontrollable violence, threats of suicide or “unrelenting psychic pain”. If there was no improvement at that point, small doses of drugs were tried.

      Recovery rates were much higher than the pharmaceutical model of treatment, but the project was shut down because it challenged more powerful interests that preferred the “miracle” drug treatments that create “patients for life”. Its interesting that mass shootings have revived an interest in alternative therapies to schizophrenia, although it seems the study seems more interested in lower doses of medication than in testing non-medication therapies.

      2003 link to article about Loren Mosher and his Soteria House model of treatment:

  3. frosty zoom

    Harper got what he deserved. Neoliberals beware.

    more like, “canadians beware”.

    although seeing viceroy harper’s exit does bring a sense of relief, trudeau’s liberals are firmly in the neoliberal camp. expect to see more privatizations, crony deals, etc.,

    but they’ll be nicer to muslims and aboriginals (as long as it’s not too expensive).

    1. Benedict@Large

      The problem was that Harper was such an asshole that he made neoliberalism look good. One could hardly be blamed for wondering if perhaps this might be a strategy for giving the people the appearance of change without giving much substance to it.

      1. abynormal

        ding x 3 “For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”
        Collins, The Hunger Games

        1. rusti

          If any Canadian readers (or other interested parties) have any good links with more detail that might be informative for someone uninitiated in Canadian politics I’d be curious to read them. A brief look at the Liberal party campaign page makes it look like the usual vague neoliberal platitudes:

          Climate change is an immediate and significant threat to our communities and our economy. Stephen Harper has had nearly a decade to take action on climate change but has failed to do so. His lack of leadership has tarnished Canada’s reputation abroad, making it harder for Canadian businesses to compete.

          We will instead partner with provincial and territorial leaders to develop real climate change solutions, consistent with our international obligations to protect the planet, all while growing our economy.

          1. myshkin

            Democracy Now had good coverage on the Canadian elections today, first in their roundup and then in a segment interview with two political blogger/activists.


            Also the Real News’ Paul Jay (Canadian) did a segment with three observer/activists from various perpsectives on the left, I thought quite good.


            The spectrum in Canada has shifted to the right as it has here in the US. Even Mulcair the leftist NDP candidate, was promoting neo liberal austerian policy (it may have wound up hurting the NDP).

            It seems likely the NDP lost its early lead because of strategic, (the lesser of two evils) voting as people switched from NDP and Greens for Liberal candidates out of fear that Harper would get a fourth term on a split center left vote. Not only did the NDP lose its bid to form the government it lost influence by not being able to partner with the liberals in a minority government.

            There is hope that the corporate Neo-Liberal policy of the Liberal Party will at least provide space for the left to enter the policy fray. Some think Trudeau is susceptible to pressure from the left, something not possible with Harper.

            Harper’s government among other disastrous policy choices, has been suppressing various government agency science findings on climate change and de-funding research at universities, etc. on a range of important issues.

    2. wbgonne

      Exactly my view. Trudeau supports TPP and generally looks like a slick-talking fraud ushered in to “save” Canada from Harper a la Obama saving the U.S. from Bush and the GOP. Did you see the Liberals’ campaign slogan? “Real change.”

      Just like Tsipras. It’s almost like Obama has made “change” a worldwide political euphemism for neoliberalism. The Great Confounder strikes again. Yet more proof that the only real hope (pardon the pun) was to destroy Obama politically and make his neoliberalism toxic. Alas, that did not happen and we now have Hillary Clinton more-or-less successfully running for Obama’s third term (or Bill Clinton’s fifth term, I suppose), with Joe “Friend of Labor and TPP” Biden waiting in the wings in case Hillary breaks a leg.

      1. JEHR

        wbgonne, I think you have not been following Canadian politics because Trudeau did bring change, from a sociopathic leader (Harper) who attacked our democracy by proroguing parliament to avoid answering for his contempt of parliament to his robo-call attempts to keep voters from the polls. Now we have a hard-working guy who listens to others and learns. Please give the guy a chance to blunder before you put him in a neoliberal box. The Liberal site was not put up by him. Be patient because I think he will bring fresh air and new blood into our political system. If he doesn’t, then I will be the first to note it.

        It will take him years to undo all the damage that Harper has done to our institutions (See: )

        1. Inverness

          Seriously, he just got in office. There is a difference between Trudeau and Harper, and I refuse to succomb to this hopelessness that there isn’t.

          I didn’t vote for Trudeau, but I’m just beyond relieved that it isn’t Harper again. It’s up to Canadians to put pressure on the Liberals to follow through on some excellent campaign promises, and less wishy-washy on the TPP.

        2. Virginia Simson

          Again, people are shortchanging Justin’s delivery of relief.
          Nearly every dime for women’s issues was taken away by Harperites. That’s half the population being screwed. So there’s the sexism angle.
          He promises to look into the #MMIW problem. That in itself is worthy of respect. (even Mulcair spoke about that last night .. ) What else he might do for the indigenous is open to debate, but at least the issues will be heard. There’s the racism covered somewhat.
          Canadian Imperialism will be ended.
          The entire divide and conquer strategy has suffered a serious blow. Justin managed to get support right across Canada. Even Quebec didn’t fall for the hijib balony!
          Yes I am rightly suspicious of making ties with the demon Obama ..but I think people are engaged in stopping the TPP on a much greater basis than the US. The Canadian unions have seen to that.
          Mulcair turned the NDP into a mess, unfortunately. I think we got the best possible outcome. Justin did NOT want to head the Liberal Party .. but he’s doing a far better job at uniting people than anyone else could possibly have done. Hats off, Justin. And good riddance to the rotten Harper ..

        3. wbgonne

          I freely admit that I do not follow Canadian politics carefully. I do know enough to recognize that the Harper Tories were basically the Bush Republicans, IOW, an abject train wreck. I have read some about Trudeau and his policies and I also see — at least, I think I see — that the Trudeau Liberals are essentially the Obama Democrats. Perhaps that is a false analogy and, as you say, time will tell.

          One point I will add: this matter of “giving him time” is eerily reminiscent of the early Obama days, when progressives bit their tongues and sat on their hands while the whole thing got away from us. I should hope the Canadian Left has learned not to repeat that mistake. Hold Trudeau’s feet to the fire from day one. Don’t make excuses. Don’t put on blinders. Because once that starts there is no end to it.

          While Trudeau is obviously better than Harper on policy, so was Obama better than Bush on policy. Whether history will judge Obama’s presidency favorably, however, is quite another matter. I have serious concerns about the direction Trudeau will go, especially with his overwhelming win (also like Obama 2008). Again, I hope I am wrong and, luckily for all, I often am.

          1. Inverness

            Keep in mind, the Liberals are essentially a centrist party. In Quebec, there are considered quite conservative and neoliberal! A true left-winger would vote for either the NDP or the Greens. Any true member of the Canadian left wouldn’t consider Trudeau their candidate, to put this in perspective. He wasn’t everyone’s “Yes we can!” candidate, he was the “Anyone but Harper” guy for a majority of voters.

            Earlier, someone compared the Liberal win to a Syriza win. This is the wrong analogy. Syriza was a socialist party. So the resulting neo-liberalism was a huge blow. Anyone who has followed Trudeau’s voting record knows he has shades of Harper, without the sadistic streak. That’s no secret. I suppose Canadians are just sick of the beast that was Harper, and even Trudeau is a huge improvement. But no, I don’t get shades of Obama fever, it was more fear of a Harper planet. He was just so awful. If Mulcair’s campaign was able to keep up his early gains, he’d be the PM. It’s too bad that didn’t happen.

            1. aet

              Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party held but 36 seats at the dissolution of the last Parliament; after yesterday’s election, his Party now holds 184 seats.

              Mr. Trudeau just ran the most skillful election campaign in Canadian electoral history. His achievement speaks for itself.

            2. wbgonne

              That seems to bring to discussion back to the beginning: In reaction to horrid Conservative rule Canada has now elected a neoliberal government, just as we Americans did (knowingly or otherwise) with Obama post-Bush. While those Canadians who have low expectations of the Trudeau government may be less disappointed politically when Trudeau acts as a neoliberal, those neoliberal policies will have their nefarious impacts regardless of political expectations.

              And a couple of additional political points. First, elections when the populace is clamoring for serious change — “real” change per the Liberals’s sloganeering — are rare opportunities. Revulsion with conservatism is the gateway to progressivism but those unique historical moments must be seized, not compromised and ultimately squandered. Following the United States’ lead, the Western democracies now present two philosophical alternatives: conservatism and neoliberalism. As Bob Dylan once wrote: “You must pick one or the other/Though neither of them are to be what they claim.” We Americans blew our chance for historical progressive change when we elected Obama and it seems to me that Canadians have now done the same thing.

              Second, for those who do claim that Trudeau will usher in genuine progressive change, please watch carefully at the very early stage. The energy in the populace that motivates change elections must be sated one way or another. Either the leader strikes while the iron is hot and initiates serious policy changes, as FDR did, or that energy gets redirected, as occurred under Obama. If the latter occurs in Canada, you should expect a resurgent Right Wing soon.

              1. NOTaREALmerican

                Re: Canadians have now done the same thing.

                What if there’s really ONLY Conservatives (Daddy, old-testament) and Neo-LIberals (Mommy, new-testament)? All over the world?

                Maybe a majority of humans have brains that require an authoritarian society run by “adults”. (“Adults” here meaning: humans who are “never in doubt of their abilities” when in the presence of “children”).

              2. Robert Dudek

                Trudeau will definitely do some “neoliberal” things, but he has a much more egalitarian streak in him – something that is usually required of the Prime Minister if he/she is to have success (Harper being a glaring exception). In Ontario, we had the same kind of aberration for a time in the form of Mike Harris, but at all other times, that kind of sadistic government has been rejected.

                Note also, that Trudeau does not need to work with “Congress” as the US president always must. This creates a different governing dynamic.

  4. abynormal

    re: concerns grow as Puerto Rico debates fiscal control board
    Board members would be chosen by the governor with approval from the island’s Senate. They would serve for four years each and have at least 10 years of experience in the field of finance, administration, law or economics. The government would allocate $1 million a month to the board for expenses, among other things. However, the government has not yet said where that money would come from as it faces a cash crunch. …a million a mo. to PROTECT what has already taken place BAHAHAHAAAA:

    Puerto Rico’s descent into junk has made its bonds more attractive to Goldman Sachs Asset Management and OppenheimerFunds Inc. even as their rivals flee.

    Goldman Sachs increased its stake in Puerto Rico bonds to $1.3 billion as of May 5 from $351 million in February 2014, when the island was cut to speculative grade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. OppenheimerFunds has snapped up sales-tax backed debt since the downgrade.

    The two are bucking the trend among the 10 largest mutual-fund holders of Puerto Rico bonds by increasing their stakes as yields on some securities have climbed to 10 percent. That’s the equivalent of almost 18 percent for top earners when factoring in the tax exemption. Those payouts are alluring with municipal-bond yields holding near a five-decade low.

  5. Eric Patton

    Talk Therapy Found to Ease Schizophrenia

    Wait, does this mean we have to start spending more anything on mental health in this country?

    Shit, that just sounds like people wanting free stuff.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Some will resist it initially, but it’s time for People’s QE(s) and People’s Money.

      I would also welcome barefoot bankers, and a bit of peaceful Money-Cultural Revolution.

  6. fresno dan

    Moped rider begs mercy from angry elephants who attacked him because they are sick of noisy motorcycles in national park DailyMail (Chuck L). Wild in both senses of the word.

    I need elephants…

  7. fresno dan

    Although there is disagreement about the magnitude, estimates on the impacts of trade find that it is a net positive for the US as a whole. Thus, in theory, we ought to be able to more than compensate the losers from trade so that everyone is better off. But in reality this rarely if ever happens due to the accumulation of political and economic power in the hands of those who would have to give up some of their benefits to compensate those who have been hurt.
    I blame Republicans far more than Democrats, but the “indifference of national ruling classes” to the struggles of typical households extends to both political parties. The ruling classes have benefitted greatly from opening borders to trade, and support of trade as a way to reduce poverty conveniently serves their self- interest. Meanwhile, the struggles of the working class have been all but forgotten.

    I don’t want to slow the worldwide reduction in poverty by reducing international trade. For that purpose, more trade would be better. But I also do not want the costs of worldwide poverty reduction to be concentrated on vulnerable workers within the US, or anywhere else, while the much larger benefits flow to a relatively small group at the top. That does not have to happen.

    Really, kind of a remarkable conclusion, after giving evidence of 20, 30, 40 years of declining wages, the distribution of the gains to the top, and than concluding that hey, we can “redistribute” when ALL evidence shows this does not ever occur…
    I am reminded of Lucy, a football, and Charlie Brown…

  8. fresno dan

    Donald Trump, Necessary Truth-Teller American Conservative (resilc)

    Jeb Bush has come in for plenty of ridicule, including here at TAC, for his defense of his brother’s record in “keeping us safe” – but it is worth recalling that essentially nobody has gotten any traction in the past 14 years with the attack that the 9-11 attacks were a failure of the Bush Administration. Indeed, not only has there been no criticism from within the Republican Party for that failure, there has been virtually no criticism from the Democratic Party. Criticism has been limited to the loons of the 9-11 Truther “movement.”
    No – the service Trump is providing is in simply reminding America that facts are stubborn things. The striking thing about Jeb Bush’s defense of his brother is not that it’s false but that it is utterly divorced from reality. That his brother “kept us safe” is simply stated as a fact – not a conclusion derived from an analysis of facts, but a primary fact itself. And, since it’s absurd to use one fact to refute another fact, Jeb can honestly say that it’s ridiculous for Trump to say that the fact of 9-11 raises some little problems with the narrative that says George W. Bush “kept us safe.” And can honestly believe that saying it’s ridiculous is some kind of refutation.

    Americans of all ideological persuasions have gotten alarmingly good at that kind of Orwellian “thinking.” So while I still don’t want him to be President, I will affirm that if Trump makes even a little crack in that psychological wall, he’ll have done a great service to his country.

    So Trump is performing an essential service – vital for the health of our democracy – in using his perch as Republican front-runner to point out the obvious: that George W. Bush was president on September 11, 2001, and that this means the attacks of that day are part of his record.

    1. James Levy

      Dubya and his baying hounds (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al.) couldn’t have given a rat’s ass for al Qaeda before 9/11, and that’s what they really don’t want you to know. Any more than the policy elite really don’t care about ISIS except as a propaganda tool or they’d be thrilled with what the Russians and Syrians are doing. They have bigger fish to fry.

      The fact hiding in plain sight is that almost all of the powerful players in American society take it for granted that it is our right and duty to rule the world. By that I mean that they feel America has the right (when it feels so inclined) to dictate the internal and external actions of all other states, not that we want to conquer them and then run them. We suck at that kind of control. So what we want is obedience, not direct rule. This is where the “we’re not an empire” people get it all wrong. They think that America doesn’t have imperial ambitions because it doesn’t want to carve the world up into provinces in the Roman style. The real model today are the satraps of the ancient Near East. The King of Kings in Washington expects fealty and obeisance from his client kings. And troops and money when Washington summons them for a campaign against the latest “evildoers”.

      Dubya and his bunch were interested in States and State actors. Al Qaeda was not a state and therefore not particularly important. It served a boogeyman function the way ISIS does today, but the freakout over Russian actions shows what really matters to TPTB. The real crime of Trump is implying that the strategic groupthink in Washington may be off. That even Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to touch. So, yes, if Trump can get people thinking about the solid core of nonsense at the heart of American foreign policy, he is doing the citizens a real service, much as I detest the man.

      1. Carla

        “if Trump can get people thinking about the solid core of nonsense at the heart of American foreign policy, he is doing the citizens a real service”

        People really don’t want to know. For the last 8 or 9 months, I’ve been trying to get friends, acquaintances and even NC readers to read a skinny little book, “National Security and Double Government” by Michael J. Glennon.

        To the best of my knowledge, no takers. Here’s a review, followed by a brief email Q&A with Glennon:

        1. NOTaREALmerican

          Actually, what if people DO know.

          What if most people in society are authority worshippers.

          What if most people vote Red Team and Blue Team because they want “adults” running their society. (“Adults”, here, meaning duplicitous assholes who will protect the nation’s “children” from evil).

          There’s a reason we’ve got the Red and Blue Team. And it’s not just because of them “neoliberals”.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “….authority worshipers.”

            1. Are they worshiping false gods?
            2. Omnipotence or alleged omnipotence can shock and awe.

            1. NOTaREALmerican

              Re: Are they worshiping false gods?

              Exactly(!), but those who create the bullshit about the authority of the false gods are the really smart-n-savvy people.

              Object + bullshit -> more power for the bullshit creator and more value for the object the bullshit is created about.

              False-god + bullshit -> more power for priests + a highly valuable “god”. It’s a win-win for everybody!

  9. wbgonne

    Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. Vox

    I rarely waste time reading Yglesias, who is an Obama cheerleader and a neoliberal propagandist. But he has stumbled upon a slice of the truth here. Obama’s personal popularity (which Yglesiais notes but neglects to explain as race-based, not policy-based), indeed masks the rot at the core of the Democratic Party, just as the lunacy of the Republican Party does. Yglesias’s prescription, soft-sold but still evident in this particular bit of concern trolling, is less progressivism and more neoliberalism. That, however, is dead wrong. The fact is that other than the plutocrats themselves — by definition, a tiny minority — no one likes the Democrats’ neoliberal policies. That is why Obama and his ilk refuse to be honest about their intentions and relentlessly deceive and disappoint people. And that deceit comprises the rot at the core of the party. Today’s Democratic Party is a miasma of bad faith and that is tough to sell.

    1. Brindle

      I found the Yglesias piece to border on incoherence. There is next to zero awareness of class divisions, (other than the donor class) and here he apparently compares a strong USA left wing with North Korea:

      —Democrats, of course, are conceptually aware of the possibility of nominating unusually conservative candidates to run in unusually conservative states. But there is a fundamental mismatch. No US state is so left-wing as to have created an environment in which business interests are economically or politically irrelevant. Vermont is not North Korea, in other words.—

      1. wbgonne

        Oh, it’s coherent in its way:

        No US state is so left-wing as to have created an environment in which business interests are economically or politically irrelevant. Vermont is not North Korea, in other words.

        Translation: Bow down to your corporate masters.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The big problem with navel gazing from Yglesias is it ignores the cheerleading from Team Blue such as Yglesias types and results of neoliberal policies versus promises, Obamacare. Without that, any discussion about Democratic decline will remain incoherent.

    2. Lexington

      Yglesias’s prescription, soft-sold but still evident in this particular bit of concern trolling, is less progressivism and more neoliberalism.

      That was exactly my take on it too.

      Of course as a Democratic apparatchik Yglesias’ prime concern is to maximize the party’s electoral success, since with power comes rewards, at least for insiders like himself. The best political platform is therefore the one which delivers the most electoral success. Principles, values, ideals – these are all just petty distractions fetishized by losers trying to make a virtue of their failures.

      Winning is its own best reward. It vindicates every sin committed to obtain it.

      1. wbgonne

        Ironically (or not), the Democrats are hurting themselves politically by embracing neoliberalism. No one wants those policies except the plutocrats. The Democrats poitical “strategy” sacrifices political success at the alter of neoliberalism. It is corruption and bad faith.

        1. Lexington

          Thing is the plutocracy is really the only constituency that matters to either party. You loose them and you might as well strike the tent and call it a day. Winning at the cost of alienating the plutocracy therefore isn’t a option for insiders like Yglesias. The plutocracy is their meal ticket.

          Many people seem to think that the Democrats just have to come to their senses and realize that a populist platform that actually champions the 99% already has a mass following, it’s just looking for someone to jump out in front and lead the parade. The Democratic establishment not only doesn’t want to lead that particular parade, it lives in fear of it, because it would be their own funeral procession. They’ll go down fighting with the 1% rather than that.

  10. Brooklin Bridge

    Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. -Vox

    I can hear the DNC now (particularly Wasserman Schultz), “It’s working.” Queen Hillary with Republican intransigence for support at every turn. Obama’s intermission will look like the stuff of kindergarten at milk and cookie time.

    Perhaps this will be the last term where they need the charade of a Dem president.

    1. Brindle

      Wonder what the haul of donations to the Clinton Foundation will be during a Hillary presidency? I see that as a main reason for her running—to cement the Clinton family as global brand with billions of dollars to promote global neoliberal policies.

      1. abynormal

        funny, they’ve been trying to ‘get in front of it’ for sometime: Bill Clinton says he has no regrets about taking millions in foreign cash for his foundation — even though the donations have caused a political headache for Hillary Clinton as she tries to follow him into the Oval Office.

        In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden, the former president said his charity has never done anything “knowingly inappropriate.”

        Under pressure, the foundation recently announced it will only accept contributions from six Western governments going forward, but Clinton says that’s no acknowledgment the old policy — under which Saudi Arabia gave between $10 million and $25 million, for instance — was a mistake.

        “Absolutely not,” Clinton told NBC News during his current tour of Africa to visit a wide variety of the foundation’s projects.

        “It’s an acknowledgement that we’re going to come as close as we can during her presidential campaign to following the rules we followed when she became secretary of state.”

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        0. The Clinton Foundation made money as a preemptive campaign donation for Hillary. Get in on the ground floor. Those were investments, not kick backs. The donors want returns.

        Bill brought legitimacy to Silicon Valley big wigs when they weren’t trafficking in minors, but Hillary won’t be the draw when she is 75 that Bill was at under 60.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      From the Vox piece:

      Elections for state legislature rarely make the national news, but they are the fundamental building blocks of American politics. Since they run the redistricting process for the US House of Representatives and for themselves, they are where the greatest level of electoral entrenchment is possible. . . And in the wake of the 2014 midterms, Republicans have overwhelming dominance of America’s state legislatures.

      The writer could have added the 2010 midterms to the sentence, since that was the election which enabled the entrenching reapportionment. The low turnout of the Democratic base that led to the bloodbath is a direct consequence of the devil’s bargains made with Wall Street and the rest of the business community by the Dem party leadership when the DLC crowd took control at the outset of the Clinton era. The Democratic base – and I’m talking here about the people who in the past turned out to vote for the party’s candidates but did not ring doorbells and man phone centers – did so because they realized the party looked out for their economic interests. As those people have begun to realize that regardless of whether they elect Democrats or Republicans to Congress the pieces of the prosperity pie served up to them are ever smaller, come election day they say “Why bother?” and “vote” by sitting on their butts on the couch. This is especially the case in midterm years because the identity and social issues (GLBT, gender equality, abortion, etc.) that the party uses to distract the base from its abandonment of them on the prosperity front don’t get traction except in those states in which for some reason, usually a ballot issue, they’re the focus of greater than usual controversy.

      The Republican party leadership is also in the scam business; in their case the scamees are the hard-core libertarian, religious right, and small business elements of the party’s base. Unlike the Democrats, those elements knowingly made bargains with the GOP leadership to support the party’s 1% agenda as long as they got support for their issues in return. Unlike the Democratic Party, in which the PTB have been able to nip the Congressional candidacies of supporters of a level economic playing field in the bud, the Republican PTB have been unable to do so. Thus we have the Freedom Caucus threatening to shut down the entire government because they’re fed up of the party PTB not supporting their issues energetically.

  11. flora

    re: Bank Severance Deal
    requiring discharged IT employees to continue providing technical work for free. yes…. that seems reasonable. But the thing is, technical work is so technical that discharged employees might very well forget how to do certain things after a very short period. They’d try to remember and all, but gosh darn, the particular needed information might escape them. No one’s fault.

    1. abynormal

      o come on… this deal will create hacking like our foreign polices create terrorist
      Arrogance & Greed awards its own Demise.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      My experience as a developer doesn’t quite fit your scenario (much deserved as it is). People in IT are often highly motivated by and loyal to “the project” and the team (a lot like the military). Administrators perhaps a little less than developers and QA, but even they are still strongly influenced be the job at hand. Perhaps this is changing as the abuse piles up, but I suspect that as a whole, if by good nature alone, they are still fairly easy to exploit in this manner (or at least the bank thinks so).

    3. craazyboy

      I knew laid off Boeing workers that couldn’t get hired anywhere because new prospective employees knew they would be called back by Boeing someday at their old (higher) wage. (this was in the good old days)

      These IT geeks may not realize they may face the same circumstance when new prospective employers balk at the prospect of hiring an employee that contractually needs time off to work for a previous employer. I mean, what are you gonna say? I have a baby to take care of?? hahaha.

      1. craazyboy

        Just to clarify – engineers and techs are unionized at Boeing. The union contract says Boeing has to offer jobs to laid off personnel before making any new hires whenever an upturn comes. Hourly workers had a similar deal, I’ve heard.

    4. PaulHarveyOswald

      How can Legal at SunTrust let this pass? If ever there was a blueprint for “going postal”–with code, not guns–this surely it. This policy is mind boggling on several counts.

  12. fresno dan

    The War Nerd: Bombed Stupid Pando (Gabriel U). Unlocked till Wed.

    Maybe our Secretary of Defense knows something I don’t know—I mean beyond the best place for prime rib in Georgetown—but it seems to me that the Russian air campaign makes very straightforward military sense.

    If there’s an air force whose mission in Syria really does have “a logical contradiction at its core,” it’s a little group called the USAF. Not that it’s the USAF’s fault; they do their jobs very well. But what job, exactly, what mission, were they given?

    If you were to sum it up, it’d go something like this: “Hit Sunni targets east of the coastal hills, but ignore everything to the west; help the Kurds in the north, but grudgingly, as little as possible, for fear you’ll offend Turkey; and while you’re attacking Assad’s enemies, keep reassuring the Israelis that you’re just as anti-Assad as you are anti-Islamic State.”

    Sound stupid? It is. It’s a ridiculous compromise adopted to please the Israelis and Saudis, based on the dumb-ass notion that Sunni fighters in eastern Syria are evil sectarian bastards, but the Sunni fighters facing off against the SAA in the west are “moderates.”

    One of the reasons I contribute to NC is that the above analysis could be found in the mainstream media as part of a skeptical and critical press. But alas, the supposed liberal media is pretty much a stenography service of the White House, Pentagon, and pretty much anyone who is wealthy.

    1. fresno dan

      Arrgggghhhhh! I meant to say “…. is that the above analysis USED to be found in the mainstream media…”

    2. rusti

      Thanks for directing me to this article. I used to have the War Nerd in my RSS feed but hadn’t been over to Pando since they introduced a paywall. Nice to have the articles unlocked for a time.

      This paragraph caught my eye:

      Then the Russians decided it was time to show, Gulf War style, that they had some fancy shock-and-awe munitions of their own. These belated colonial wars are, among other things, great sales videos for arms exporters like the US and Russia.

      The Russians putting themselves in an obvious position for blowback as an overt foreign intervening military force makes a lot more sense when you see that they have their own oligarchs who can make some more rubles on weapons deals.

      1. Gareth

        The Russians believe that they will inevitably be attacked by these Jihadists anyway, armed by the US via Saudi Arabia, so why not get an early start on the weed wacking?

      2. optimader

        Didn’t read the article, but if an imbedded point made about the Russian strategy is to use Syria as a weapons demonstration exercise to lab to promote sales of said weapons, I agree. No other point to launching Cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea.

        Better or worse intentions than the US MIC? IMO, no.

        1. Lambert Strether

          “No other point”? You mean, no other point than demonstrating that most of the Middle East is within range of cruise missiles launched from the Caspian?

          Sure, arms sales too, but let’s try to avoid simple-minded monocausal explanations, shall we?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Morale. It wouldn’t take much to monitor and report air activity for the hunker down order. The cruise missiles can hit at any time and likely come in below radar. I imagine it was demoralizing which is why the story about the misfires in Iran was pushed.

            The only wunder weapons were supposed to be aimed at Assad, and there is no rebellion without the promise of Western support. If the Assad coalition can clear Damascus, there will be guys crawling out of the wood work to join up who either quit or didn’t show up because they saw a losing fight and had homes to protect.

          2. optimader

            ” You mean, no other point than demonstrating that most of the Middle East is within range of cruise missiles launched from the Caspian”
            Didn’t everyone already know that?

            It struck me as a weapon capabilities sales demonstration more so than a pragmatic way to get the intended job done if they already have aircraft in Syria. Incidentally. 15% of them landed in Iran so maybe it was MIC R&D as well?

  13. fresno dan

    Sorry for overposting, but I think this article by Pettis is the bomb:

    A recurring conversation I have with clients concerns the ability of banks to create credit, and of governments to monetize debt, and whether this ability is the solution to or the cause of financial instability and economic crisis. Monetarists and structuralists (to use Michael Hudson’s names for the two sides, whose centuries-long debate pretty, exemplified by Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo during the Bullionist Controversy, dominates the history of economic thinking) have very different answers to that question, but I will suggest that each side disagrees because it implicitly assumes an idealized version of an economy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Centuries old?

      Will it go on for many more centuries?

      Here is a modest compromise.

      The government periodically creates money out of thin air to buy gold and backs new money with gold. Then it mixes new money backed by gold with old money created out of thin air.

      No one can tell which is old money and which is new money.

      It has the best of thin-air money and gold backed money.

      1. Just Ice

        Your “mixing” is simply fractional reserves.

        Besides, fiat is already fully backed by the taxation authority and power of government plus the need for interest to pay the government-enabled/subsidized usury cartel (“loans create principal but not the interest required except as more debt”).

        Your scheme would back the value of gold with the taxation authority and power of government and is thus a scam to reap private benefit from government privilege.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Double backing is the proposed compromise.

          And it costs nothing for the government to buy gold.

          1. Just Ice

            “And it costs nothing for the government to buy gold.”

            Wrong. It’s a waste of the monetary sovereign’s ability to spend new fiat without price inflation.

            Or should non gold owner B be taxed to reign in the price inflation caused by wasting fiat on gold owner A? Or should the entire population be taxed by price inflation (in leu of new taxation) so gold owners can profit?

            You really need to up your game if you think gold is any kind of money solution.

            Your bottom up money idea (actually an extension of Steve Keen’s “A modern jubilee”) has merit; your double-backing scam is as old as Julius Caesar who had the gold he looted from Gaul minted into Roman coins.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Maybe it’s a waste, but its cost is thin air, or nothing.

              You can say it’s wasting nothing or nothing is wasted.

          2. Just Ice

            And then there’s the needless tax on the environment (eg mercury pollution) that occurs when we mine gold for no better use than coins or reburying in central bank vaults

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  We give gold to the people, it’s useful.

                  If gold is owned by a few wealthy people, that’s not useful.

                  If gold is used to restrain military spending, that’d be good; if it’s used to prevent Medicare benefits, it’s bad.

                  “Print money to buy gold from the rich and distribute it to the People.”

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        Well, regardless of gold-or-no-gold… The smart-n-savvy “adults” will ALWAYS figure-out a way to screw the dumb-n-clueless “children”. (“Adults” here being: those without morality OCD).

        There’s a reason the top 10% have more loot than the bottom 90%. And a reason the top 1% has more loot than the bottom 99%.

        Besides just luck and “them neo-liberals”.

          1. abynormal

            And your point? indeed. still waiting for clarification but its look’n more like a $500.00 mandatory donation.

            “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”
            Paulo Freire

  14. Ian

    What is your take on Trudeau and the Liberals? As I understand it he is heavy into the PPP style investment structure and the Liberals are supportive of Free Trade. Throw in the faustian deal were he supported Bill C-51 as well as the waffling on TPP and the pro FTA bias among other things I am not terribly supportive among. Though I do recognize that he is better the the Cons and Harper.

  15. financial matters

    An important article by Jeff Spross

    “Not only do we not need to pay for Sanders’ programs, we shouldn’t pay for them. In fact, the federal government’s budget deficit is much too low.”

    “Once you realize all this, it actually upends a lot of conventional wisdom. People usually talk about taxes and spending as being in balance with one another, but they’re actually both in balance with two other forces: the money supply and the overall health of the economy”

    “What’s funny is that Sanders might be gearing up to make this very argument. His chief economic adviser, University of Missouri-Kansas City economist Stephanie Kelton, is a fan of something called modern monetary theory: a batch of ideas that sketches out a very similar case to the one above.”

    1. craazyboy

      Except the POTUS can’t do MMT. He can tell his T Sec to collect taxes, including cracking down on back taxes. He can put tax bills into Congress.

        1. craazyboy

          I seriously doubt that one too. Sure, the Constitution says the government can mint coins and collect a minting charge. But lets say it’s 1 oz of $2000 platinum. That makes the minting charge


          That’ll end up in the Supreme court in a New York Second. The Wise Ones will have to rule if that is a reasonable minting charge – according to our Founding Fathers’ writings and intentions.

          It would be easier to get the Fed to “forgive” payment on [some of] the $4.5 trillion in treasuries the Fed now holds and just shred them instead. But if they do that, it has irreversible potential future inflation impact – if the economy ever truly strengthens again for the little people (transaction velocity of money goes up). It’s no fun if price inflation just steals it.

          A tax[progressive] and spend democrat is the best choice. Plus, corporate taxes as a share of total revenues has dropped in half over the last 20 years. Between that and the Bush cuts for the rich and offshore tax havens it’s no surprise we hit the debt ceiling every 2 years. Not to mention constant war. I mean, after a few years of WW2 top marginal tax rates were 90% for decades!

          1. financial matters

            The trillion dollar coin is just a method of eliminating the artificial debt ceiling. Spending would still have to be authorized by Congress.

            The thing to realize is that the debt ceiling is used to cut back on social spending not to cut back on the military or security state or too big to fail bailouts.

            1. Just Ice

              Sovereign debt (of a monetary sovereign) is just an extension of government deposit insurance (beyond the $250,000 limit) and thus the spectacle of investors paying negative interest for the privilege of buying it because their principal is then secure.

              So how about a law requiring that all new debt issuance by the monetary sovereign pay at most 0%? Then who can object to more debt issuance by the monetary sovereign?

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              And the same captured entity will use unlimited free money not to increase social spending, but to augment military and security state, or more bailouts.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If Sanders would do something about reducing the number and cost of foreign adventures, he would not need Stephanie Kelton.

      Prof. Kelton will be handy if we need to spend more to defend our oil in the Middle East or monitor questionable citizens. We would need lots of new money.

  16. JEHR

    Wait and see what Trudeau will do and you will find out what he is made of. Isn’t the first-time leadership of any country a “learning on the job” kind of experience?

  17. Inverness

    So refreshing to see another xenophobic campaign failed to get Harper elected. He tried to manipulate Quebec’s fear of the niqab into a win for his party. It didn’t work. When the Parti Québécois tried to do the same thing, they lost the election, too. I hope to never see another islamophobic campaign in Canada, again. I wish I could say the same for Europe, but that’s another story.

    1. Paper Mac

      The only party which openly supported the rights of Muslim women to wear whatever they please was the NDP, which was roundly defeated in Quebec on that count. Quebec has imported French-style laicite and the accompanying xenophobia- it’s easily the most xenophobic population in Canada and this election does nothing to disconfirm that.

        1. Paper Mac

          The polite secular-liberal willingness to vote for les bruns as long as they don’t make white liberals uncomfortable (for instance by explicitly articulating their religio-ethical commitments) is as much part of the structural inability of Quebecois society to integrate Muslims as is the more open racism that sometimes bubbles to the surface. The “Quebec Charter of Values”, more or less solely designed to restrict public expressions of Islam, garnered wide support throughout the province, including in the supposedly enlightened liberal metropoles. It never would have made it past the Supreme Court, but the fact is that the majority of Quebecois support the muscular state suppression of Islam.

          1. Lexington

            I don’t disagree with you, but you’re missing the broader socio-historical context. Until the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s Quebec society was firmly under the thumb of the Catholic church, and since the Quiet Revolution Quebec has been massively overcompensating by embracing an assertive secularism in public affairs.

            Quebecers fear Islam because unlike the vestigial, private Catholicism that remains in Quebec society it is a dynamic and self assured faith that they believe could pose a credible threat to the secularist consensus. This is an unwelcome and vexing challenge for a society whose relationship to its own clericalist past is still deeply contentious.

            Not that I am in any way making excuses for anti-Muslim hysteria, but understanding the etiology of an illness is the first step toward treatment.

  18. NOTaREALmerican

    Re: Neoliberals beware.

    Until there’s a better name that the normal people can understand, the “adults” of society (those living happy duplicitous lives) have nothing to worry about from the confused “children”.

    Dude 1: Dude, those “neoliberals” got their asses handed to them in Canada, dude!
    Dude 2: Dude, I thought the liberals won, dude?
    Dude 1: Dude, those were “progressives”, dude !
    Dude 2: Dude, whatever, dude… let’s get a beer.

    1. financial matters

      True but I think it’s not a bad term to describe the damaging trio of forces we are confronting such as being confronted with fees for many things that should be part of the common good.

      Basic neoliberalism is privatization, decreasing social services and deregulation. So people pay more for water, roads, electricity etc as it gets privatized and get less unemployment insurance, medical care and pension services and have less regulations to ensure fair play.

      Similarly the term ‘socialism’ needs to get a better rep. Things like social security, Medicare, public education.

    2. aet

      “Neo-liberals” ? What are you on about?
      Canadians just elected a Liberal Government – there’s nothing “neo” about them! Just as our last Government was Conservative – there was nothing “neo” about them, either.
      In the Canadian context, the “neo” prefix is both repetitious and un-meaningful, and thus un-helpful. They’re Liberals and Conservatives – simply those, and nothing more.

    3. barrisj

      Here are some comments from Ian Welsh on the Liberal’s win last night:

      Justin Trudeau is going to feel good, for a while, compared to Harper. He will be better. He will repeal some of Harper’s worst policies. He will also not be an offensive creep, and that matters.

      But he is, at the end of the day, a believer in the neo-liberal consensus. He will run a kinder neoliberalism, but it will still be neoliberalism. He is not particularly committed to civil liberties, he was not principled opposition to Harper’s worst excesses (that was Mulcair), and there is no particular reason to believe he will make any sort of radical break from Conservative policies: he voted for a great many of them.

      The bottom line is this: Justin showed his character when he supported C51. Mulcair showed his character when went hard against it with polls showing a majority of Canadians for it (they later changed their mind, but he did what he did when it was unpopular).

      I cannot find any great confidence in Trudeau, either as an ethical man, or as an economic leader.

      Much of the pro-Trudeau/Liberals commentary actually involves “style” or aesthetics, but little made of what will essentially be a continuation of neo-lib domestic policy and go-with-the-Yanks foreign policy, the latter minus Harperesque Muslim-baiting. Welsh makes – and has made previously – that Canada is in fact a petro-state, and must follow well-defined prescriptive policies to support that elementary fact. Toss in her extractive industry, and one can see the huge headwinds facing any meaningful changes economically. It seems as though the Trudeau team has allowed a sort of “hopey-changey” aesthetic embraced by the media and many voters to define his campaign, but nothing dramatically substantive has been put forward as yet by the new team to really justify such “Trudeau-mania”.
      One remains optimistic, to a point.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think Welsh should take yes for an answer. Abbott went down, now Harper (and not Cameron, thanks Tony!). Of course Trudeau is a neo-liberal; so far, they all are. So keep dragging left. And one thing really does make a difference: Trudeau wants to run deficits, quelle horreur! That may resonate here….

        1. barrisj

          Tony Abbott was a knucklehead turfed out by his own party grandees, and Malcolm Turnbull is more of the same with a more sane demeanour. Now, the real test is “Corbyn-mania”, a further-left version of Tom Mulcair (NDP), and whose platform is indeed “a choice, not an echo”…stay tuned.

          1. barrisj

            And, I will allow that – merciful Jesus – the Libs binned the dreadful “liberal interventionist” and hollow academic Michael Ignatieff round four years ago, and replaced him with JTru, else they still would have been in the wilderness, or even finished as a major party.

            1. barrisj

              Final addendum to the Welsh post: Ian Welsh notes with sadness the loss of the late Jack Layton to the NDP – and to Canada, succumbing to cancer shortly after the 2011 elections, where under Layton’s leadership the NDP took 103 seats, destroyed the Libs, and became the “Official Opposition”. It’s appropriate here to quote from a letter composed by Layton and opened posthumously:

              “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

              1. Ian

                I liked Dion and his platform. I think maybe back then, there was a real push for a different approach.

      2. Ottawan

        Trudeau is generally neo-liberal. And you’re right to call out the “style” refute of Lib fans.

        The only time I really loved Trudeau was when he fought Senator Pat Brazeau in a amateur boxing bout (the video of the bout is hilarious, as it was covered by the fledgling, Fox-copying, now-bankrupt Sun News Network).

        That’s the only reason I have some tiny bit of hope in Trudeau. Man, that little embarrassing bout was great.

        1. Ian

          I watched that fight and it felt a bit fixed. in the first round you could see Brazeau easily handle and dominate Trudeau, then in the second it was all Trudeau, (with admittedly a nice front jab, but that was about all he really had). Didn’t bother with the third round, but it felt like Brazeau was leading him after showing him the reality in the first. I could be wrong, but it felt fake.

    1. aet

      Personally, I miss the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, whose platform was in fact reflected in their name:

      “The party claimed to be the spiritual descendants of Cacareco, a Brazilian rhinoceros who was elected member of São Paulo’s city council in 1958, and listed Cornelius the First, a rhinoceros from the Granby Zoo, east of Montreal, as its leader. It declared that the rhinoceros was an appropriate symbol for a political party since politicians, by nature, are: “thick-skinned, slow-moving, dim-witted, can move fast as hell when in danger, and have large, hairy horns growing out of the middle of their faces”.”

      Taken from:

  19. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Felix Salmon asks intelligent, informed questions of Bernie Sanders and they actually have a productive, thoughtful conversation… what a breath of fresh air!

    Sanders: “Bob Rubin will not be my Sec of Treasury. And you can quote me on that.”
    And Felix asks Bernie about Postal Banking (!); Sanders thinks its a great idea — explains why this would be an important public policy, as explains that TBTF banks are far too removed from local communities.

    This is a GREAT, civil, informed conversation — 9 minutes.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He sounds good on the domestic front.

      The world is a continuum and foreign policy and domestic politics can’t be separated.

      I hope to see him discipline the prodigal spenders on international affairs and take away their funding and toys to help the people.

      It would not be brotherly to feed the wolf in the name of nourishing the sheep’s clothing.

  20. ewmayer

    Quick hits:

    “DNA study suggests Central Asia was home to first domesticated dogs | Associated Press” – But were they treated as friend or food?

    “Growth data buoy China at ‘pivotal moment’ in economic rebalancing | Financial Times” – And if you believe those goalseeked GDP numbers, I have a ghost-city theme-copy of Brooklyn to sell you.

    “U.S. Said to Approve $11 Billion Saudi Buy of Littoral Ships | Bloomberg” – as opposed to ‘mettaphorical ships’? Ha, ha…

    “Seriously, Trump Won’t Win | Bloomberg” – ‘If enough people take our propaganda seriously, that is.’ (And as several readers discuss above, it is most important that Trump simply smashes some ludicrous ‘accepted wisdoms’ by not giving a rat’s ass about what the establishment and their media shills conveniently define as ‘polite debate.’)

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