Links 11/28/15

No Thanks: How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide of Native Peoples Truthout

France backs down on climate ‘treaty’ Financial Times

Paris climate activists put under house arrest using emergency laws Guardian

The likely winners and losers from the Paris climate talks Renew Economy

As World Leaders Launch Paris Climate Talks Monday, Bill Gates Will Launch a Supporting Science Push New York Times

U.S. Failing To Harness Hydro Power Potential OilPrice

Unicef: Aids tops list of teen death causes in Africa The Nation

Pope Francis, in Nairobi Slum, Denounces ‘New Forms of Colonialism’ New York Times (furzy mouse)

Europe’s Banks Are Still Drowning in Bad Loans Pater Tenebrarum

German shoppers’ confidence ‘dips’ amid economic fears BBC

The Great Greek Shipping Myth Reuters

Cry for Argentina? Dean Baker

Refugee Crisis

New Refugee Homelands Project Syndicate (David L). Take everything from Anne-Marie Slaughter with a fistful of salt.

Dijssebloem threatens Greece & other countries with “Schengen expulsion” Keep Talking Greece

Six children die as migrant boats sink off Turkey: report The Nation (furzy mouse)


Putin and Hollande go after Erdogan’s racket RT

Turkey’s Shootdown of Russian Jet Was a War Crime George Washington

As French Pres. Hollande meets Putin, France considers alliance w/ Syrian Army Juan Cole

Syria Feature: Kurds Clash With Rebels in North EA WorldView (resilc)

Au Nom De Quoi? Washington Monthly (resilc)

Turkey detains journalists who allege army lorries carried weapons for ISIL euronews

Who is buying ISIL’s oil? Al Jazeera

Iran’s Supreme Leader Tweets Commentary on Global Conflicts, Blaming the US Global Voices (resilc)

Florida al Qaida commander was betrayed by ‘mole’: Pakistani Taliban McClatchy

Kabul on the Potomac: How America became the most Corrupt Society in the West Juan Cole (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images Medium (Chuck L)

NSA to shut down bulk phone surveillance program by Sunday Reuters

Revealed: National Crime Agency In Crisis Over Unlawful Searches BuzzFeed (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

It is Legal for Terrorists to Buy Guns in America Peter Van Buren

Proxy wars everywhere, the planet already in flames … failed evolution

Protesters tell US ambassador to “go home” Bangkok Coconuts (furzy mouse)

Standing idly by while the Middle East unravels is not an option Guardian


Rand Paul: The rise and fall of Silicon Valley’s Republican dream candidate Pando

Donald Trump: Evidence of Our Degeneracy American Prospect

Republicans Move to Dump ‘Fascist’ Trump Agence France Presse. Not news save for the fact that the effort is out in the open.

Heated rhetoric unnerves Muslim Republicans Financial Times

The Dangerously Limited Foreign Policy Discourse of the Democratic Candidates Truthout (resilc)

Watch Killer Mike Introduce Bernie Sanders at Atlanta Rally Rolling Stone

How Chicago tried to cover up a police execution Chicago Reporter

Cop Who Killed Laquan McDonald Representative of CPD ShadowProof

Gunman Surrenders After Standoff at Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Wall Street Journal

Everything We Know So Far About the Shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood VICE (resilc)

Planned Parenthood Gunman Gives Up After Colorado Standoff That Left 3 Dead NBC (furzy mouse)

Investors hold breath over subprime reboot Financial Times

Guillotine Watch

‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Weasels out of Promise to Roll Back Insane Cost Increase of Pills Alternet

Class Warfare

USPS Execs Get Pay Increase, Bonuses and PMG, DPMG get new perk for FY2015 Postal Reporter (Bill C)

The Rise of Anti-Black Friday Branding Atlantic (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Allan T: “Ozzy the grizzly likes the new snow. Montana Zoo.”

ozzy the grizzly links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Chris in Paris

    Re “Paris climate activists put under house arrest” and banning public gatherings in Paris for the COP21 non-treaty photo op:

    The authorities have also closed all major arteries leading into Paris and the peripherique as well as warning (via the préfecture de police) to not use public transportation on Sunday and Monday.

  2. Tom Stone

    Wow, it’s legal for terrorists to buy guns in the USA?
    Do they buy direct from the DOJ or do they have to go through cutouts like the drug cartels ( Operation “fast and Furious”)?.
    I’m sure there’s a list…as carefully vetted as the “No fly” list, maybe.
    Of, you know, scary people.
    Extremists, THEM.
    Be afraid, support represssion

    1. William C

      A pretty good source told me, when I was visiting the Middle East recently, that one of ISIL’s customers for oil is the government in Baghdad.

      If it was presented as fiction, people would say it was far-fetched, but as this is real life we are talking about………..

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Do they buy their Toyota trucks or are they given by their supporters?

      Perhaps they have to buy hand guns, but TOW missiles are free.

    3. jgordon

      Seems awfully circuitous for terrorists to travel all the way to America to–spend money–on guns when the American government will happily provide terrorists with guns for free if they just stay in (or travel to) Syria.

      I wish all these crazy gun grabbers would get their priorities right: if we don’t have an ethical, or at least non-psychotic, government, then trying to get said government to implement your radical and unpopular agenda is more likely to backfire on your cause than not. See the massive increase in arms sales in America every time there is some incident, and the even more massive increases in arms sales every time some corrupt politician pontificates on the importance of disarming the citizenry.

      1. kj1313

        Good luck trying to overthrow the government. Hope you have anti aircraft missiles if they try to drone your house.

        1. hunkerdown

          Pointing out that liberal myth is disconnected from reality is not the same as being evil. Why do you hate self-awareness so much?

          1. Massinissa

            Uh, im neutral in this debate between the two of you, dont exactly have an opinion on which of your is right, but isnt “Why do you hate self awareness” sort of a dumb question? Its like asking why muslims “hate our freedoms” or asking why opponents of the TPP “hate growth”. That kind of remark doesnt do much but obfuscate the argument and takes away from whatever legitimate case you can make without using that.

            1. hunkerdown

              Part of self-awareness is knowing that your narratives are not other people’s narratives, do not obligate others to anything, and are therefore no better than patent bullshit as far as anyone else is concerned. Projecting one’s unbidden fantasies onto others and expecting them to operate according to those fantasies is pretty much the opposite of self-awareness.

              I grant it’s a ridiculous question, but so too was the suggestion that anyone who is not a domesticated, fixed house pet of the bourgeoisie must necessarily be an ammosexual looking to gain control of the works currently under the ostensible control of said housebroken menagerie. It suggests the absence of an OODA loop, or at least some perversely disconnected observations and orientations.

              1. different clue

                “Ammosexual” is an academic-intellectual sneer-word used by the pacificentric hoplophobes.

        2. jgordon

          No need to overthrow the government. If some cavemen in Afghanistan and Nike-wearing wannabe thugs can hold out against the full might of the best military on the planet(tm) for years then said government isn’t competent enough to have a long life span anyway. The problem lies in what comes after.

          I think Detroit and various other (increasing) locales around the country where domestic police are closing up shop is a good foreshadowing of events to come.

      2. Lambert Strether

        I don’t want to grab your gun. I realize that your gun is an important fetish object to you. I just want to make sure you don’t brandish your gun in my face; “keep it in your pants,” as it were, and ideally, to make gun brandishment look as stupid and vile as cigarette smoking. Darwin, ultimately, will take care of the matter, as ammosexuals kill themselves and each other, or their children kill themselves with guns left in the home. Whether that happens fast enough, we can’t know. And of course, a good many innocents will get slaughtered in the mean time, as a matter of public policy. But c’est la guerre.

        1. jgordon

          You say that you don’t want to grab my gun, but on the other hand you’ve also made some remarks in the past that I found to be particularly egregious regarding guns. So I don’t trust you on this. Nor do many other people who celebrate the fact, as the Supreme Court itself has pointed out, that Americans have a Constitutional individual right to own and use firearms.

          If you are unhappy about that there is a legitimate process to amend the Constitution–trying various other means to backdoor your agenda just makes people perceive that their back is up against the wall–with the predictable social and political consequences (increased arms sales and increased NRA power) that always follows. After going through this over and over again, shouldn’t one start to realize that the strategy isn’t working?

          1. Skippy

            Please show me where your line of thinking provides the remedies, to the problem sets, used to justify the magical powers guns gift owners…

            Skippy… bonus question does gold have similar powers….

          2. Optimader

            All i can say is you and the family better have someting more potent than the family pack of do it youself AR15’s and a pallet of bullets if you’re are really delusional enough to think you may someday (briefly) act out your constitutionally guaranteed suicide by armed revolt… Er…militia stuff

          3. Lambert Strether

            I’m not sure what you mean by egregious, or why you would translate that into “grabbing” (odd choice of words, and the repetition doesn’t make it less odd). To be clear, I don’t want to grab your gun; I wouldn’t touch it with a latex-covered bargepole.

            Nor am I sure why you think my “strategy” isn’t working; I’m not seeking to undo Scalia’s bizarre grammatical misinterpretation of the Fourth Amendment, one of the many poisonous fruits of the tree of Bush v. Gore, in which Scalia selected a President whose appointees would be congenial to him; and I’m not seeking to author legislation. In fact, my strategy has, to my knowledge, not been seriously tried; as I stated, I’m hoping for cultural change, like gay marriage or the public suppression of smoking, by making the public possession or advocacy of the ammosexual consumer fetish object of choice seem as disgusting and dangerous as it in fact is. Ridicule, hopefully open ridicule, is the goal. So far as I know, this hasn’t been tried, as you aver, “over and over again.” Please try to read more carefully.

            If, as so many gun owners claim, guns are a bulwark of liberty, or some such steaming load of NRA-propagated crap, then they would long since have been used for that purpose, the only possible purpose I could sign onto. Since that has not happened, it will not happen.

            1. theinhibitor


              You seem to deride the fact that guns are said to be a ‘bulwark of liberty’, which I find humorous, seeing that you are set in your beliefs and only at gunpoint would you change them. You may find this in contradiction but only if you look at it an inch deep, which you seem to. You see, just like everything in life, there is a perspective. If your beliefs were to kill and eat children, then Gordon holding a gun would be a good thing. Vice versa, it would be a bad thing. This leads me to my next point:

              Guns are not an object of fetish. They are, like bows and arrows before it, an object used to protect or to kill. They are innately devoid of any fetish, as it is the user behind an object that would be responsible for turning said object into a fetish. Perhaps you are trying to highlight that a guns purpose is death or destruction? How would the Navajo or any other hunter-gatherer culture respond to you calling a weapon an object of fetish in ridicule? Im sure they would laugh at the silver spoon in your mouth. Guns are an object used to kill, and in many cases, this was the necessity.

              Im sure you would say something along the lines of how guns were useful but no longer are, at which point I would say the standard, possibly cliché line “history repeats itself”. But at the heart of this statement is that humans really haven’t changed. As a famous biologist said, humans have godlike technology, medieval institutions, and paleolithic emotions. Because we haven’t changed, and because guns are literally a part of this world, why do you think that civilians should not own guns? Of all the mass killings in history, the ones caused by civilians with guns, summed, is laughable compared to the number of atrocities caused by soldiers in war. Laughable.

              Ill end with this: we are given only a certain amount of time on earth to do a certain amount of things. Pick the ones that actually matter. Whether or not the 2nd amendment is upheld is so inconsequential compared to the main purpose of NC, to shed light and change the rampant corruption of the financial sector that bleeds into every facet of America, that you shouldn’t waste the effort in trying to deny the few constitutional rights we have left to 5% of the population that actually owns a gun.

  3. allan

    Gannett: U.S. House looks like GOP lock for years

    “The 2010 elections were the most important mid-term elections of our generation,” said David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “Republicans not only were able to lock in their congressional gains but of course they won so many state legislative (chambers) that they could very well perpetuate their majorities beyond 2020.”

    Nothing new here for NC readers, but nice to see it being openly discussed. Sadly, the writer decided to forego any historical comparison to a certain 19th century political party.
    But wait, help strategic vision related activity is on the way …

    A task force assembled by the Democratic National Committee last week issued a “Victory Action Plan” with recommendations designed to rebuild party strength. Among the recommendations: “values-based” messaging, recruiting the next generation of Democratic candidates from a cross-section of backgrounds, and working with state parties on redistricting strategies. The task force was led by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who is being replaced next month by Tea Party Republican Matt Bevin …

      1. LifelongLib

        OK, but look what happened to McGovern. Can’t blame a party for moving right if there are no votes to the left, and if everybody (including blue-collar whites) are voting their identities ahead of their economic interests.

        1. different clue

          McGovern threw away millions of votes “to the left” when he celebrated his Convention Victory over the Mainstream Shitocrat Scum by seeking to appease the same Mainstream Shitocrat Scum he had just beaten. His selection of Mainstream Scum Shitocrat Thomas Eagleton followed by the muddled retreat from that appeasement-based choice repelled millions of voters right there. Hunter S. Thompson wrote all about that in his book.

          We will never know just how many “to the left” votes McGovern might have gotten, because McGovern very carefully threw them all away.

          If Sanders can conquer the Democratic Nomination in the teeth of Mainstream Shitocrat opposition, I hope he and his people use his victory as an opportunity to DARE the Shitocrat Establishment to support Bush or Trump or whomever just as the Shitocrat Establishment of McGovern’s day supported Nixon. And if the Shitocrats support Sanders’s Republican opponent (in the event of that scenario coming to pass) and Sanders STILL wins ANYway, I hope the Sanders forces use THAT victory as an opportunity to purge and burn all traces of Mainstream Shitocrat Scum out of the Democratic Party.

          1. JTMcPhee

            We got some good ones here in FL– I especially like the onomatopoetically christened “Alex Sink…” Down the drain with ’em…

    1. Benedict@Large

      People don’t seem to understand that in order to gerrymander as the GOP has, you have to spread yourself very thin. Barring other vote fixing efforts, once the GOP flips (and it will sooner than most expect), it will be sudden, hard, and irreversible.

  4. ProNewerDeal

    Random movie recommendation: Gridlock’d, set in 1997 Detroit, nearby 8 Mile Road. A blatant Fake case study of the Barbarity of the lack of Medicare For All in particular, and the lack of Social Insurance / Social Democracy, and the Barbaric War on Drugs in general.

    Sadly, despite the ACA hype, this film’s story seems like it could happen today In Real Life. The only difference afaict, is unlike in 1997, cigarettes thankfully are no longer smokeable inside hospitals, gov’t buildings, & bars.

    An unrelated bonus factor: Thandie Newton & Lucy Liu looking lovely in the movie.

    Any Medicare For All advocates, like Dr. Margaret Flowers/Dr. Jill Stein/etc, add this movie as a possible resource in your #MedicareForAll adovocacy. Perhaps a subsection of people are more persuadable via art/movie moreso than they are via a sober “just the facts” editorial article.

    PS: RIP 2 Pac, also in the movie

    1. Pavel

      Thandie Newton ++
      Just sayin’ :)

      Check her out in Bertolucci’s rather neglected but moving and romantic “Besieged” with the great David Thewlis:

      When an African dictator jails her husband, Shandurai goes into exile in Italy, studying medicine and keeping house for Mr. Kinsky, an eccentric English pianist and composer. She lives in one room of his Roman palazzo. He besieges her with flowers, gifts, and music, declaring passionately that he loves her, would go to Africa with her, would do anything for her. “What do you know of Africa?,” she asks, then, in anguish, shouts, “Get my husband out of jail!” The rest of the film plays out the implications of this scene and leaves Shandurai with a choice.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It reminds me of the film, Black and White in Color.

        I don’t know what it means for others, for me, it’s French and German colonialists (here, think Big Government and Big Business) fighting in their African host’s house (the little People’s land).

        It’s not about the French side defeating the German side, or the other way around.

        The host just wants to get out from under both of them.

  5. timbers

    “Syraqistan” – two great posts one with a contrarian view…a much needed exercise to challenge any lazy conventional wisdom that can creep into anyone’s brain.

    “Curb Your Enthusiasm, Russia Is Not Winning in Syria” – Jacob Dreizin

    “Actually Russia IS Winning in Syria” (Alexander Mercouris)

    1. Steve H.

      Fried Liver Attack. French Queen Charles de Gaulle advanced, Black King Erdogan supports F-16 Knights (“I gave the order myself”). White pawn = Russian infantry moving forward. S-300 Bishop now opened, which means Black no-fly zone. Erdogan demands no-fly zone, but only Turkish Knights will be excluded. Expect White advance Knight, i.e. Russia continues to bomb the snot out of the Jihadis.

  6. Ed

    re. Donald Trump: Evidence of Our Degeneracy. Both major political parties here have made it very clear that they will not be vehicles to defend the interests of ordinary Americans against elite interests. Ordinary people therefore hunger to support a powerful candidate who appears, in form and manner if not content, to attack elite interests. So, is this Trump support “evidence of degeneracy?” Yes, but also evidence of desperation. People who oppose Trump have to understand the totality.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s an imperfect world.

      He’s an imperfect candidate.

      Like a word can have multiple meanings, like a (referendum) question can have multiple meanings, an act can have multiple meanings.

      “I am running for the public office of xxx” because
      1 I want the power of that office
      2. I want the fame of being that officeholder
      3. I want to serve my country.

      Which one is it? None knows. Maybe not even the candidate.

      Is Trump’s support evidence of degeneracy? Evidence of desperation?

      1. Massinissa

        Its probably desperation. No party advocates kicking the rich or powerful, so Trump comes along saying that everyone should kick down at black people, and the white working class doesnt know who else to kick right now so they buy in.

    2. DJG

      It isn’t clear to me why Adele Stan has decided that Trump is a peculiar emanation of U.S. degeneracy. The other candidates include the professional ignoramuses Carson and Huckabee, who somehow are not signals of degeneracy? What we are witnessing is that the Romney and McCain wing, the “reasonable” Republicans who want only to destroy the welfare state, “reform entitlements” (and dip into any related trust funds), and engage in a “muscular” foreign policy of endless war and endless war profiteering, have lost control of the message in the run-up to the Republican primaries. Donald Trump is saying in public what the polite crowd has said in private, although, according to Stan, Rubio and Jeb Bush the Twelfth are not signs of degeneracy.

      And that is only the Republicans. Hillary “Libya!” Clinton and her dynastic politics and slush-fund foundation are not signs of degeneracy, of course, nor are the photos being republished regularly of the gang in the situation room offing bin Laden, the head of a competing gang, by remote control.

      And degeneracy implies that there was once a higher position that one has fallen from. What would that be? [I suppose we can now trot out some “Greatest Generation” footage…]

      1. tongorad

        Agreed…more degenerate than Obama, whose signature move was to secure Health Insurance Industry’s profits for generations to come, at the expense of people’s health, wealth and well being?

    3. craazyman

      they hate Trump for his freedom.

      they burn with resentment in the face of the triumphant dionysian potency that he effortlessly exudes, while shaming, simply by his example, their ineffectual rhetorical fumbling as the irrelevant and embarrasingly trivial puerile invective that it is.

      could they swagger at the podium in a Love Boat captains outfit and white shoes? not only could they not, but they would appear as an overwhelmed and drowning man fit not for either command or even delegation but only for labor below deck under the direction of some lower grade officer.

      this is a mentality Nietzche described, the craven, bitter envy that the corrupt but ambitious man who cannot act with potency feels when in the presence of the Ubermensch.

      Can they not see this in themselves? Perhaps they dimly intuit it. But instantly they deflect the attack from self to other, and they seek the most manly, the most commanding, the most audacious, the most potent, they seek him as their scapegoat and they seek to bring him down as a sacrifice for their sins, for their absolution.

      Do not ask for whom the Trump is lampooned, he is lampooned for them.

        1. Massinissa

          Don’t worry. Craazyman is only HALF serious :) Or maybe quarter-serious. It depends on the time of day ^_^

  7. JCC

    Kabul on the Potomac… I spent 16 months in Iraq during OIF 1 and 2 and watched KBR in action. They got paid an awful lot for very little.

    Some “for instances”:

    They ran the base bus lines. From 6:00AM to 6:00PM the 1/4 mile apart stops were supposed to see a bus every 20 minutes. It was usually, if you were lucky, about every 90 to 120 minutes. Walking 2 miles to work wearing 27 lbs of body armor in 120 degree heat was not fun.

    I don’t remember the cost of the meals at the DIFAC (Dining Facility), KBR ran those and they would assign a soldier with one of those “clicker” counters to the entrance (no labor cost there) and every time someone went in, one click. Leave something on the table after breakfast and run back in? One click. We would see stuff like this multiple times at every meal.

    We ran a “Priority One” communications mission site, meaning 24/7 uptime required… on generator power. Two generators, rotated one per week, with weekly maintenance on the down generator performed by KBR which included oil and fuel filter changes. After weeks of being told “we’re out of supplies – shipping problems” and multiple generator failures, our group chipped in, called a buddy in Maryland, and had him send us oil and fuel filters purchased at the local car parts store and UPS them to us. It took all of seven days for the entire transaction to complete, and we got in serious hot water when it was reported to our chain of command. Contractors are not allowed to provide free services to the DoD. But… we had no problems with generator maintenance after that.

    This was small potatoes (although I’m sure it amounted to a massive amount of nickels and dimes across the country). I can only imagine what was happening at the higher pay grades.

    Actually, I can imagine. I remember an article in the NYT on fuel coming into Iraq. A British company was selling fuel at around $1.00/gal while KBR was selling it to the U.S. at almost $4.00/gal. The Brits complained that KBR was holding them up at the border for days at a time. A spokesman for KBR stated in the Times that the charge was ridiculous and that they did not control the border, the U.S. Army did. Not true! Of all the times I went in and out of country, I only dealt with the Army twice – first time in and last time out. All other times I went through KBR personnel for tickets, local housing (tents), inspections, etc. They performed far more duties than the Army did. On the bright side, after the Times article KBR lowered it’s fuel price and refunded some of their vigorish back to the DoD. I remember that Dick “Evil Dirty Rat Bastard” Cheny was happy to announce that to the Press.

    I could go on, but why bother… Those times definitely and completely woke me up and changed my attitude towards D.C., and not for the better on, “how things work”.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    German shoppers’ confidence…

    Let’s see…shopping…confidence.

    You shop, you are confident.

    Who doesn’t want to be confident?

    At night, when you dream, you dream of shopping. The unconscious gets the message on how to be confident.

  9. Pavel

    That RT piece by Pepe Escobar in the links is worth a read. He is a bit overexcited (as is his wont) about the brave new Russia-China axis and the eventual decline of US hegemony (covered in his other commentaries) but glad someone is paying attention to the Turkish and CIA dirty dealings in Syria for various geopolitical and sheer greedy reasons:

    By now, Erdogan and ‘Mini Me’ [his son] must have gotten the message. They thought they had it covered when they took out the Su-24, which was not “violating” anything apart from the ultra-lucrative dirty oil extravaganza that profits, among others, ‘Mini Me’. Get rid of a sell oil for Daesh program, defying a NATO oil embargo? That’s an offer Russia cannot refuse.

    At least two major questions are left unanswered. How come the US-led ‘Coalition of Dodgy Opportunists’ (CDO), in over a year, never – and the operative word is never – bombed any of the wheels in the Syrian stolen oil machine?

    And how come no one among the CDO – Americans especially – did anything to prevent ‘Mini Me’ and others from actually funding the Daesh racket for so long? The CIA obviously knows all this and more, with geostationary satellites all over ‘Syraq’ working overtime.
    Well, the CIA was too busy running the cash and weapons highway through Turkmen Mountain to be disturbed by a mere oil smuggling op.

    But now Russia is going after all of them; the CIA weapon highway, the Turkish-enabled Jihadi highway, the Daesh-to-Turkey stolen oil highway. Sultan and ‘Mini Me’, get ready to embark on a highway to hell.

    1. tegnost

      Vaguely remembering an article from last week or two where the US finally bombed a convoy of trucks transporting oil through Syria. they sent leaflets down to warn the drivers. The warnings made me wonder how many of the drivers are US contractors….hmmm (sharpens creases on tin foil hat and dives back in for another link)

      1. Eureka Springs

        This article provides a lot of names and details.
        Britain’s secret ties to governments, firms behind ISIS oil sales



        IS oil through the Kurdish province earlier this year, is supplied from the KRG’s Taq Taq field. The oil field produces a total of around 100,000 barrels per day, most of which is shipped to local refineries. British-Turkish firm Genel Energy has a 45 percent stake in the Taq Taq field.

        Genel Energy was formed from a $2.1 billion merger in 2011 between a UK firm, Vallares Plc, and a Turkish company, Genel Enerji. The firm is run by Tony Hayward, a former CEO of British Petroleum (BP).


        1. JTMcPhee

          Yah, Tony “I want my old life back ” effing Hayward, whose arrogance gave the BP PR flacks dyspepsia as they tried to turn the pigs ear of the Deepwater Horizon defecation of 10^xx bbls of snotty crude into a silk purse… With a lot of help from the Gubmint… Do these people ever get shot or something?

  10. tegnost

    “USPS execs were not able to achieve goals in operations or any other area without the hard work from dedicated postal employees. The news of USPS ending FY2015 with a $5.1 billion loss AND USPS execs getting pay raises, bonuses while seeking to reduce wages of its workers is not a good look”
    Lots of money to be made breaking stuff. Failing upwards, “lose forward always ” as noted above by Eureka Springs.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The question is, who’s breaking it? Ñeolibs want to privatize the USPS, or at least privatize the profitable parts and “socialize” the rest. Congress sets the rules of the game, shortchanging and hamstringing, not exactly letting the PO “run like a business.” Even Politifacts in its inimitable dishonest style has recognized the reasons for the $5 billion “loss” – a requirement to dump $5 billion a year from 2007 to 2017 to “prepay pension and healthcare benefits.” Does FedEx or UPS or Amazon do that?

      All the different ways our political economy delivers outcomes, even more reliably than the Postman…

  11. PhilK

    Re: “Baghdad on the Potomac”:

    There are good reasons why so many Americans — especially those living in poverty and in communities of color — don’t vote. It’s not that they don’t know their forebears died for that right. It’s not that they don’t object when their votes are suppressed. It’s that, like many other Americans, they clearly believe their government to be so corrupt that voting is pointless.

    This is all true, but the word “corrupt” doesn’t even begin to cover the territory.

    One could also say, “they clearly believe their government to be so impotent that voting is pointless.” I don’t think many US citizens think their representatives are meeting with shady characters who give them briefcases full of cash in return for permission to poison the air and the water – that sort of permission seems to be granted through mechanisms that representative government has become largely unable to affect.

    One could also say, “they clearly believe their government to be so clueless that voting is pointless.” Democrats are currently engaging in an orgy of self-congratulation over Clinton’s proposal to give tax credits to people caring for relatives. But the home-care providers most in need of help don’t have enough income to file tax returns. What’s the message to poor folks here?

    One could also say, “they clearly believe their government to be so hostile that voting is pointless.” Since colonial days, the worst and most inexcusable crime Americans can commit is being poor, and the punishment always consists of measures to increase the offenders’ poverty. Nothing in 400 years of English-speaking settlement has changed this, neither Democrats’ New Frontiers nor Republicans’ old frontiers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From Einstein:

      The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.

      But he also said, once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.

      I think he meant we have limits all the time, just different new limits, as a new set confronts us once we go beyond the old set.

      A soaring cathedral is soaring because there is a ceiling (a tall one at that) there.

      We don’t often go into an open meadow and think the sky is soaring. You are more likely to be looking at the flowers and animals there.

      You go into a Portman designed hotel, the atrium soars, again, because there is a ceiling there.

      Can a government (and military is a part of government, as is security, local and federal), where many citizens don’t vote, for the reasons given above, have unlimited amount of money to spend?

      Until we can all become immortal, life is precious because lifespan is limited.

      Will it become a bigger problem (and there is an alternative via the People), if the government has not limits in spending?

    2. RWood

      I do think many US citizens think [some? many? of] their representatives are meeting with shady characters who give them briefcases full of cash [OK, the transfers have a bit more subtlety] in return for permission to poison the air and the water – [and] that sort of permission seems to be [established] through mechanisms that representative government has become largely [intended] to affect.
      Isn’t this the issue of Citizens United? Doesn’t this have something to do with the number of millionaires in our august senate?
      Isn’t this “why” Obummer won’t accept any treaty to limit those polluters and our vaunted economy? As have all the CEO’s selected since, um, the Furd stumbled onto the red carpet?
      How long will we pay attention to prosecuting (well, panting, prancing around, and smacked down by) Exxon when that brazen entity didn’t make the regulations (er, well, hmmm, they didn’t sign off and vote on them) back in the ’80s?
      Just shiv me to the side for naiveté…

      1. Oregoncharles

        A lot of the payoffs consist of insider trading, which seems to be perfectly legal for Congressmembers.

        This is also the way Hillary was paid off by Tyson(?), back in Arkansas.

    3. Oregoncharles

      The Page and Sigel study: voting has little to no effect on policy. It’s a charade, and will be so long as voters accept the 2-Party handcuffs. Apparently people have noticed.

      So far, their response is to just give up. What that suggests, alarmingly, is that, at some point, they’ll choose torches and pitchforks, literal rebellion, over electoral politics. Not a happy thought, granted there are many who deserve that treatment.

  12. giantsquid

    From France backs down on climate ‘treaty’

    “France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a “treaty” and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets”

    Utterly insane. Ridiculous and unconscionable. The Obama administration doesn’t want to sign on to binding emissions reduction targets. Because Congress. Right. Barack is willing to move mountains to get his health insurance scam and his non-trade agreements through Congress but Saving the Planet from devastation – It’s just too hard mom! Disgusting!

    1. Pavel

      Bravo for this post. We’ve been hearing Democrats (and a very few Repubs) saying climate change is the most important issue of all time (which it probably is) but doing absolutely squat. (And their endless wars burning up massive amounts of petrol don’t help). A pox on all their houses.

      And as giantsquid notes, Obama caves into the Republicans at the drop of a hat, and has fought the most for TPP (when he takes time off the golf course), but has he ever truly fought for climate change legislation? Rather like his vow to close Gitmo. Spineless, useless, sell-out bastard!

  13. Antifa

    When AT&T offered a premium service where $30 a year would opt you out of being tracked, most people didn’t buy.

    Not because they don’t value privacy, but because everyone knows it’s an empty promise. We are all being tracked by multiple corporate or state agents, so a promise to not track from one ISP — AT&T — is of miniscule import in the big picture. In fact, signing up for any kind of opt-out is a red flag to the world that we have things we’d prefer to keep hidden . . . so please, track us like we’ve never been tracked before!

    Had AT&T offered a genuine state of privacy on the web, with encrypted communications, and no ability of government or corporate watchers to gather a list of our actions with our keyboard and mouse, they would have been swamped with buyers. Privacy for $2.50 a month is a hell of a bargain.

    But the way the current internet is built, no one can sell you privacy. It’s either illegal or impossible, and everyone knows it. The price of absolute privacy isn’t $2.50 a month, it’s prison.

    We won’t even get into what AT&T’s Terms of Service defined “privacy” from “tracking” to be. By the time lawyers get done defining nouns and verbs in fine print, they mean the opposite of Webster’s definition.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am not sure if one pays the price of being jailed, one gets absolute privacy.

      Signing for opting out is a red flag… There is something about everyone doing it versus just a few or some. It’s that way with welfare and other forms. The alternative is everyone receiving money equally. When we all participate in something, singling out for stigmatizing or red-flagging is no longer an issue, especially when we see it as rightly belong to all of us, when it comes to the commons or fiat money, or rightly for all of us to exercise, when it come to, for example, keeping one’s privacy or voting.

  14. perpetualWAR

    Kabul on the Potomac

    I hadn’t heard of the Ferguson report of which this article enlightened me.

    I have first hand knowledge that American “justice” is only allowed to those who can pay. I’ve been fighting the banks in court for years. Our system of “justice” is delivered on a stack of Benjamins.

    I used to be a middle class American who trusted our government. No longer. I am now leading the pack of those with vats of tar and bags of feathers for our “elected” officials….either that or the old fashioned guillotine.

  15. Elliot

    re: US & Hydropower: no, we’ve already dammed (damned) just about all there is to dam. And as a person who remembers the before and after of some western rivers, it’s all too easy for some guy in an expensively appointed office on Wall Street to call for the destruction of nature to line his pocket. Some of the “almost zero marginal costs”, none of which are remotely green, are:
    –destruction of wildlife habitat
    –destruction of fish stocks
    –siltation behind dams & imbalancing of water table, leading to earthquakes, flooding
    — loss of fertility in below-dam lands
    –loss of private & community lands
    –the destruction of those fish stocks has a cascading-upwards effect, too, destroying whole swathes of the ecosystem that depends on free flowing undammed waters.

    But hey, by all means, let’s turn river basins into parking lots with concrete channels and “fish ladders” (fish blenders) so investors can say they are buying green energy. Not unlike “biomass” from grinding up forests to burn as an “alternate to coal”.

    Some days I am glad I won’t live to see the next century and what the planet looks like.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Mao, in his 1956 ci poem, Swimming, set to the Song dynasty melody, Shuidiao Getou (simplified Chinese: 水调歌头), foretold the coming of the Three Gorges dam:

      I have just drunk the waters of Changsha
      And come to eat the fish of Wuchang.
      Now I am swimming across the great Yangtze,
      Looking afar to the open sky of Chu.
      Let the wind blow and waves beat,
      Better far than idly strolling in a courtyard.
      Today I am at ease.
      “It was by a stream that the Master said–
      ‘Thus do things flow away!’ ”
      Sails move with the wind.
      Tortoise and Snake are still.
      Great plans are afoot:
      A bridge will fly to span the north and south,
      Turning a deep chasm into a thoroughfare;
      Walls of stone will stand upstream to the west
      To hold back Wushan’s clouds and rain
      Till a smooth lake rises in the narrow gorges.
      The mountain goddess if she is still there
      Will marvel at a world so changed.

      Many thought the project would be earth shaking. And indeed, the rotation of the planet is changed.

      Now, a long day is longer.

      1. Oregoncharles

        MLTPB: Thank you. Could you be informing us about China, as Clive does about Japan? I doubt very many of us read Chinese. I certainly don’t.

        And incidentally, I envy you your collection. East Asian art has always fascinated me, but I’ve had to find it at thrift stores and estate sales. Fun, but not on the same level.

    2. ambrit

      Forget dams, look into river diversions. The Vidalia Plant in Louisiana has proven the theory. The DOE has identified roughly 100 sites that would be usable sites for hydropower plants in the Mississippi River basin.
      Many of these sites are at existing locks and dams.
      The potential for hydropower of all sorts is a marginalized subject. The field is more diverse than most realize.
      As is usual, some persons with foresight have done much of the theoretical work. All that is needed is the political will.

    3. Synapsid


      Another point for your list: The sediment that accumulates in reservoirs contains a good deal of organic material which is utilized in the lower parts of the accumulation, where oxygen is scarce or lacking, by anaerobic methane producers. Reservoirs are significant sources of methane, and methane is an important greenhouse gas.

    4. Oregoncharles

      The article mentions a number of existing dams without hydroelectric facilities. I agree that no, or very few, new ones should be built.

      The real future of hydro is likely to be systems that work like wind power, sitting in undammed rivers.

  16. perpetualWAR

    Somehow, I cannot respond to Philk’s comment on. Our government’s corruption.

    I disagree with your assertion that our government “elected” officials don’t get handed bags of cash to poison our evironment or for loosening the regulations on banks. Obviously, the bonuses that executives receive to leave the corporate world for a government post is a “bag of cash” handed to a government official. These “bags of cash” also come with corporate mandates. I’m not sure how average Americans can’t see that as bribes?

  17. rich

    J. Crew Went PEU
    Bloomberg reported:

    J. Crew’s $500 million 7.75 percent senior unsecured bonds maturing May 2019 last traded at 25.5 cents on the dollar on Nov. 24, losing 60 percent in value this year, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The securities, which were issued in October 2013 at par, were trading above 90 cents on the dollar as recently as April. The precipitous fall marks J. Crew’s bonds as the worst-performing retail debt in the U.S.

    Sumner 2014 found J. Crew floundering despite having the Obama girls don their clothing for the inauguration in 2013:

    It took a mere four years for J.Crew’s staggering debt to become an anchor. As for the meme that private equity are skilled operators consider these words:

    top gets payed, bottom gets slayed, this is some model, repeat.

  18. George Phillies

    Trump and lying has one key issue.

    The Republicans who would accuse him are caught up in a far larger and more important lie, which Trump’s supporters somewhat remember.

    A quarter century ago, a deal was made between the White House and Congress that there would be amnesty for current illegal immigrants, but never again, and the border would be secured. The rear two-thirds of that deal were not kept. Trump is now collecting on keeping that deal.

    The other problem, of course, is that attacking a politician as a liar has somewhat run out of steam, because too many people think it is in a politician’s job description.

    1. Mildred Montana

      I paraphrase Gore Vidal here: “All politicians lie. The politician who lies successfully is called a statesman.”

      The fact that America at the moment has no politicians who are considered statesmen suggests that the majority of Americans are not buying their lies.

    2. fresno dan

      I agree.
      But I think Trump’s appeal goes far beyond immigration


      After conducting two focus groups of Trump supporters this fall, GOP consultant Frank Luntz said he has concluded that there is no political issue or stance that will turn off his supporters.
      “They came to him because he is unlike any other politician,” Luntz said. “That allows him to do and say things others could not and get away with it.”

      One party strategist privy to recent research on Trump voters said that none of the messages tested swayed them — including his past support for universal health care or fond words about Bill and Hillary Clinton.

      “They’re in­cred­ibly angry, and he’s the first guy in their mind who speaks to that anger in a visceral way,” said the strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the findings. “They have a deep longing for that.”

      But all of this is simply a mix of denial, willful ignorance and aggressive flimflam. My first thought when I started writing this post was that Trump is nothing so much as the Frankenstein’s monster of the contemporary Republican party.

      Is Trump really too anti-immigrant for the 21st century GOP? Or too hostile to Muslims in the US and abroad? Or has he broken with the party in pushing caricatures of black criminals either threatening the safety of ordinary Americans or mobilizing through voter fraud to take away the stuff earned by middle class white people? It’s not too much to say that there’s nothing Trump has said in recent weeks that you couldn’t hear any given Monday on the Rush Limbaugh Show, from various backbench House conservatives or a million other places in conservative media. If you pay attention to any of these three fronts, you know this. These are the same themes, enemies, and swear lines that have run right at the water line of conservative politics for years. What Trump has done – I suspect more intuitively than with a conscious strategy or plan – is to package them all together and strip away the window dressing which has allowed this menu of resentment to both stoke base conservative anger and appeal to more respectable conservative elites without creating channel conflict between the two. This is no more than the monster which Republican elites created and used to marvelous effect. Only now it appears to be in the process of slipping its leash and devouring its creators rather than uneasily or crankily serving it.


      The republicans have assiduously used the issues of immigration, terrorism, etcetera to court what is really the most – oh I don’t know what word to use. These are people that are ignorant, illiberal, simple minded and gullible – – and so ill read as to not know that the greatest scoundrels are the greatest self styled patriots . But they are also people who have been ruthlessly taken advantage of by their so called advocates, and have suffered serious harm for their willingness to love and sacrifice for the country.

      Now Trump comes along and speaks straight forwardly the narrative they hear from talk radio. The republicans’ problem is not that they would have to refute Trump, but they would have to REFUTE Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reily, Savage, Coulter, …the list is extensive. And going against the talkers would lose them I bet about 40 – 60% of their base.

      The republicans don’t do NUANCE!!!!! (the caps and exclamation points are irony….)
      So how can the republicans possibly be tougher on Muslims, immigrants, crime, or more PATRIOTIC or really any issue than Trump??? For a long time, republicans made promises that they KNEW were not (repealing Obama care) in the realm of reality. Why not???? The republican scheme was to name call opponents (they hate America!!!) Get the rubes riled up, get the votes, collect paychecks and benefits….and when they failed blame Obama.

      Now that republicans face someone who has the fame, temperament, and drive (regarding funds I think there is a paradigm shift, and Trump is like Carson – money doesn’t have much to do with his success) who is willing to YELL longer and louder that he (Trump) loves American more, his (Trump’s) opponents are lying communist immigrant terrorist lovers that HATE, HATE, and HATE America, and his supports will simply believe whatever comes out of Trump’s mouth, because the media ALWAYS lies!!!! And republicans are in a DELICIOUS quandary, because Trump even TRUMPS the Fox blonde bombshell Megyn Kelly (Kelly is I think the most intelligent of the FOX commentators, which in my view just makes her more despicable – as she has enough intelligence to know about asking leading questions and her lack of objectivity). Fox is media*
      I would say Trump is invulnerable as long as the talk radio commentators stand behind him.

      I am a member of the media and the media NEVER tells the truth. so am I telling the truth when I say that?

  19. barrisj

    Re: Colo. Springs PPh shooting: the mass media, “the authorities”, and coppers practically choke on naming these actions as ” domestic terrorism” , preferring “random acts of violence”, or the like ( see the Charlotte church mass shootings). Despite a perfectly clear dictionary definition of the word and its practice, the term is virtually reserved for “Islamic” terrorism, carriied out by “radicalised Muslims”, or the like. Far-right murderers are merely “violent extremists” or “psychopaths” whose actions stem from “misguided motives”, or – the new catchall – “mental disturbances”. Under NO circumstances can one ascribe a “terroristic act” to that perpetrated by an individual or group NOT affiliated with “radical Islam”…it somehow dilutes the brand.
    Pres. Dronemeister: “This is not normal…”. Say what?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Math has its limits.

      Is taking the lives of ten 30 year old’s who are expecting to live to 80 the same as shortening lives, on average, by 1 year of 500 people. via toxic foods?

    2. fresno dan

      Next thing you know, you’ll want people to THINK…maybe about how many people get murdered by guns…versus terrorists in America.
      Or how many children have been killed by other children with a gun that was in the house for “protection”

      Keep using logic like that and you’ll be institutionalized….

  20. financial matters

    Unicef: Aids tops list of teen death causes in Africa The Nation

    “According to the UN agency, about half of those living with HIV are in six countries – South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.

    Most adolescents who die of Aids-related illnesses acquired HIV when they were infants, 10 to 15 years ago, and then survived into their teenage years, sometimes without knowing their HIV status, Unicef said. ”


    Mozambique: Tourism, beaches and sex – a recipe for HIV

    “An HIV infection rate of 35 percent – more than double the national average – means Beira is the worst-affected city in Sofala, Mozambique’s worst-affected province. According to official figures, half of all new HIV infections identified in Sofala Province in 2007 were reported in Beira – a total of 11,242 cases.

    Truck drivers, sex workers, fishermen and street children, some of the groups most vulnerable to HIV infection, mingle with tourists, other visitors and locals on Miramar Beach. “

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If one can’t find beauty where one is, one can’t find it in some far, exotic places.

      Time we promote local tourism and shop local.

    1. Vatch

      Me too! The Egyptian goddess Isis will bestow benefits upon us for using the word “Daesh”. She’s tired of being blamed for the cruelty of the Daesh fanatics.

      1. Massinissa

        Im sure the International Society for Individual Liberty and the Indian Society for International Law would both be glad if people stopped using the acronym ISIL to refer to Daesh too.

        To be fair though, I wouldn’t actually care if the first one closed down, theyre really glibertarian

  21. armchair

    The Dean Baker is a good reminder of why the Kirchner’s are important, and it should not be forgotten. Argentina prospered by rejecting neo-liberal, IMF dope, and aiming prosperity at the lower income ranges.

  22. rich

    OptumRX (United Healthcare) Buys Home Infusion Company AxelaCare-Using Algorithms To Determine Your Care With Being Financed By A “Too Big to Fail” US Health Insurance Company…

    Basically the link below tells about where all of this is going, with a lot flawed data being able to produce flawed profiles on consumers and what you get access too is or will be “scored”, so we’re back to the Attack of the Killer Algorithms where nobody looks at the data, on the results the queries pump out.
    Excess Scoring of US Consumers, US Citizens-Scored into Oblivion By Proprietary Algorithms and Formulas, Never Duplicated or Tested for Accuracy-Profits of Big Business And A White House Executive Command To Continue the Abuse..

    The scary thing here is one health insurance company forming a monopoly at HHS and CMS today and we are seeing lack of competition here and again too much power from one US corporation. There have been and currently are several executives of United who serve over at the CAP (Center for American Progress) who is the think tank that writes healthcare policy for HHS today. That is scary too as you will also find folks like Dr. Zeke Emanuel and Jonathon Gruber over there as well as members, writing policy. If you have ever read much of Zeke Emanuel’s books or articles, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s walking commercial for Optum and United Healthcare, been that way for a few years now.

    Anyway word to the wise here is pay attention to who’s acquiring and financing who as it does impact the type, quality and amount of healthcare services you will be able to receive. We have a lot of models breaking over at CMS that were mentored over the years by United Healthcare, so pay attention as companies will continue to push broken models on consumers as they make money for the corporations with little care about whether they work for consumers. As I said in another post “People don’t work that way”…and even Google can’t figure it out either as they are studying their own internal employees to learn.

    So be aware if you are a client of AxelaCare for your drug infusion needs, you get to put more money to the bottom line of United Healthcare, the “too big to fail” health insurer with a monopoly interest over the US government it appears today. The link below kind of follows suit there as you can’t even find HHS/CMS really supporting the FDA, the agency that also falls under their jurisdiction. It’ all about the 6 Degrees of Bob Rubin (Secretary Burwell) and a former Goldman Sachs Banker (CMS Director Andy Slavitt) running the show, while everyone else sleeps at the wheel.

  23. Daryl

    > Standing idly by while the Middle East unravels is not an option Guardian

    No worries there, we’re doing a fair bit of work to make it worse. Standing idly by would be a huge policy improvement.

    1. Massinissa

      He was a bit of a neoliberal nutjob, but I still dont regret voting for Ron Paul in the 2012 repub primaries. Worth voting for someone actively calling to end all foreign interventions.

      His son leaves alot to be desired though…

  24. AT

    Oops…my mistake on Antidote submission. The zoo where he lives is Zoo Montana.
    Also don’t want to misrepresent his mood. He usually pads around there looking *quite* menacing.

  25. bob

    “U.S. Failing To Harness Hydro Power Potential OilPrice”

    This is right, but also wrong. The current capacity is not used as “base load”.

    In upstate NY, Brookfield renewable power” owns several (dozen?) hydro plants.

    They are demand plants. They only run them when the price is high enough.

    The dams, and equipment inside the dams to make the power, are from the 1930’s. WPA work.

    How did they end up in a hedge fund? Deregulation.

    Hundreds of miles of rivers and thousands of square miles of reservoirs dedicated to sucking another 20 percent, with assets paid for by the USG, to a canadian company.

    1. Pavel

      With regard to Cruz getting on the ballot — sanity is not a prerequisite?

      He’s scarier than The Donald.

  26. Oregoncharles

    The antidote: our dog used to love snow, too. I have a picture of her with a pile of snow on her nose, looking ecstatic.
    Hmmmm – wonder if I can find that picture.

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