Links 12/20/15

A Point of View: Have yourself a very Jewish Christmas BBC

Your Holiday Guide to Dealing with Uncle Bob You Tube (frosty zoom)

Candy games stimulate appetite Radboud University

Police shut down photo exhibition of naked natural women because they’re ‘indecent’ Independent (Chuck L)

Amazon Said to Mull Leasing Planes to Control Delivery Chain Bloomberg

Theranos Founder Faces a Test of Technology, and Reputation New York Times

Starbucks’ Deforestation-Free Pledge Is a Total Joke Huffington Post

How a medical device maker kept U.S. hospitals in the dark about deadly infections Los Angeles Times

US Fund to Fight Global Climate Change Is Less Than Annual Payout to a Single For-Profit College Truthout

Turnbull scraps Abbott’s rent-seeker council MacroBusiness


International Energy Agency sees ‘peak coal’ as demand for fossil fuel crumbles in China Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Consistent with Gaius’ article yesterday.

Converging Fears Lawrence Davidson (Sid S)

The best time for a political earthquake in Spain is now! failed evolution

Greece on a knife edge TR Emeritus


Russia ‘capable of more’ in Syria BBC

Two countries had no idea they were in Saudi Arabia’s Muslim coalition to fight terrorism Independent (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hasty, Fearful Passage of Cybersecurity Bill Recalls Patriot Act Intercept


Why The Democratic Party’s Move Against Bernie Sanders Could Backfire Huffington Post

Disagreements on Mideast and taxes mark Democratic debate Los Angeles Times

Democrats spar over national security, guns and the Islamic State Washington Post. Comes off as a pretty even-handed account.

Snowden touts ‘credible’ Sanders, pans Clinton in live debate tweets The Hill

Hillary Clinton Says She Wants a Manhattan Project for Encryption. The Fuck? Gizmodo

Bernie Sanders Falls Behind in a Race Centered on Security New York Times

Black Injustice Tipping Point

How Democrats and Republicans Collude to Block the Vote — And How We Can Un-Block It Bruce Dixon

Foohey on Black Churches in Bankruptcy Credit Slips

A Sacrificial Rahm? Mayor 1%, Racist Policing, and Metropolitan Disorder Counterpunch

How a Maine Food Co-op Could Push Local Food to the Next Level Truthout (frosty zoom)

Inside the Billion-Dollar Battle for Puerto Rico’s Future New York Times

Antidote du jour (Stephen L, from the Alberta Wildlife Facebook page):

coyote links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Katniss Everdeen

    Missed the chance to make this recommendation regarding yesterday’s link: Drug overdose deaths in the US reach record levels BBC, so I’ll do it today.

    Just finished reading the new book Dreamland, The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. It’s an interesting and informative examination of the causes and mechanics of the problem, and its relationship to dishonest pharmaceutical marketing, over-prescription of pain killers made possible by “healthcare” insurance and medicaid, and poverty-driven Mexican immigration.

    I read the actual BOOK and, vis a vis yesterday’s discussion, required no battery, power cord, youtube video or apple ecosystem personnel intervention of any kind.

    PS. I actually borrowed the book from the library and the library card was FREE. Such a deal.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      The Dark Side of the Force is strong with the Drug Industrial Complex . The DIC seems as massive and evil as the MIC now. I’d like to know what percentage of teevee ads are now paid by the Drug Pushers.

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      Does the book get into the reality of how most blue-collar work destroys bodies?

      That’s the part of this problem that I see being down-played or, mostly, completely ignored. The combination of that and no affordable options for addressing more than the symptoms is the root of this. Herniated discs, blown rotator cuffs and knees, CPS and on and on.

      I’ve worked in restaurant and catering kitchens for 20 years and my body is a wreck from it. I am in constant pain and will be for the rest of my life. Like most cooks, I never had any health insurance and I don’t have it now. But if I were to enroll in a plan I could afford, it certainly wouldn’t provide coverage to actually fix any of the problems I have. As it is, I luckily detest intoxicants that cloud my thinking. But I have plenty of friends who manage their pain with drugs and alcohol and for whom the only other choice would be to stop working. As if that were a real choice.

      As Lambert says, that’s why they call it class war.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        The book does discuss the “evolution” of the management of chronic pain from an expensive, time-consuming multi-disciplinary approach–medical intervention, physical therapy, nutrition, psychology, social factors–to one of quick, dirty and relatively cheap script writing and high-dose opiate pill pushing.

        With regard to your blue collar broken body situation–AIN’T IT THE TRUTH!!!

        Last week my landlord gave me my xmas present–cheap new carpeting in the bedroom. The installers were in their early 60’s. I couldn’t watch when they started banging on that stretcher with their knees. I can’t imagine what doing that for decades has done to their knees, which have a tendency to go south all on their own.

        And these slackers want to “retire” and “live off the taxpayers” before they’re 70!

        1. RUKidding

          I’ve put in a request for this book at my library, as I, too, read the old fashioned way.

          I’m curious about the whole pain mgmt. thing. A work colleague is clearly addicted to opiates prescribed by the drs this person constantly shops for. This person pays for the higher price PPO “health” insurance plan in order to dr shop. Can’t do that (at least not as easily) w/ an HMO.

          I do believe this person started out with some pain – claiming arthritis. But I have another friend with rheumatoid arthritis (I think that’s what my friend has), and she’s managed her pain over the years with a variety of measures, including lots of swimming and other exercises, plus diet and a other stuff.

          My work colleague, otoh, claims cannot exercise due to various excuses (these excuses have been varied and contradictory), and it’s clear they’ve been given stronger and stronger opiates, plus other drugs over the year.

          This work colleague over the past six months has lost an estimated 80 to 90 pounds. Was heavy-ish to begin with but now at skelton-levels. No dr seems to “mind” at this dramatic and fast weight loss. I have no idea what’s going on, but the colleague is attempting yet another surgery (has had numerous joints replaced and then later claims that some “didn’t work”).

          My boss and I witness this travesty of our BigPharma-driven “health care” industry and don’t know what to do. Amazes us that no one – NO ONE!!! – appears to be the least bit concerned about rapid, huge weight loss combined with ever-increasing dosages of opiates.

          The quick fix?? The MONEY fix. Cha Ching!!

      2. Felix_47

        I don’t doubt your pain but that is called getting old…….the body parts you mentioned age even in desk jobs. “Blown discs” are largely familial….if you dad had one you have a four times greater chance of having one. 90% of rotator cuffs show tears by MRI in all patients over 40 even those who are in the 1% who never work. The problem is mixing up employment, liability and compensation with medical care. Of course, it makes the lawyers rich so expect no changes in your lifetime.

      3. jo6pac

        As someone who has worked my entire life in the trades I’ve been using a cream called China-Gel. It takes time but does work.

        1. ambrit

          Reminds me of the ‘good old’ Tiger Balm.
          I, after years of commercial jobs, keep some capsaicin based gel or lotion on hand. I still love the smell of wintergreen. That smell, wintergreen, drives Phyllis crazy, as in disgust, not lust.

    3. Ernesto Lyon

      Ivan Illich’s “Medical Nemesis” is a classic. Illich saw all of this coming in the 70’s and his insights on the incentives for corruption in the medical system are invaluable.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    re: Telegraph article on ‘peak coal’.

    It may be too late for the planet, but it is gratifying to see that at last king coal may be on the run. Given the very high capital costs for investment in new coal mines, its possible the decline could be more rapid than anyone anticipates – if the industry can’t invest, it won’t be able to keep prices low enough to compete with alternatives. There also seems a real political will in some countries to end it. In China, the CCP recognises that a dependence on coal is threatening their own position – their citizens will no longer put up with filthy air, clogged roads (road trains of coal trucks are a huge problem on China’s roads) and water stresses (coal is a major user of scarce water in northern inland provinces). The big bottleneck for coal expansion in China has not been coal reserves (they are vast), but water shortages and limitations in road and rail capacity (thi. I suspect that in the US, coal is finally reaching its end point – cheap gas is doing more damage to coal use than any amount of clean air laws.

    The big question mark is India – for all the rhetoric, it may be that rapid growth there could be big coals saviour. It really depends on how rapidly renewables and nuclear can be ramped up to cope with growth and expectations. I strongly suspect that Indias nuclear ambitious cannot be achieved, its just too expensive. And India simply doesn’t have the required infrastructure in the form of long distance DC lines which would make renewables a real large scale alternative (although solar is already an excellent source of power in rural areas and for small villages where it can bypass poor local power networks).

    Ironically enough, this may be one area where Big Oil and environmentalists can have common cause. Low oil and gas prices are just as important as the rapid drop in renewable costs in putting pressure on coal. It would well be in the interest of the natural gas industry in particular to put a final nail in the coffin in the US, Japan and Europe by keeping prices as low as it can for a couple of years – long enough to ensure the older generation of coal thermal plants are shut down and new industrial users opt for gas instead of coal. It seems clear that many of the biggest petro firms (most notably Shell) are increasingly putting their money on gas (as in methane), not liquid petroleum. Killing coal is very much in their interest.

      1. JEHR

        Yes, it’s not the planet that ultimately will suffer because when the people become extinct, the planet will evolve and renew itself. I also have a tendency to equate the human being with the being of the planet. They are different.

        1. optimader

          Humans are presenting as a transient parasitic drag. In due course I think man made gamma radiation sources and other mutagens will be our comeuppance, not “climate change”. But that’s just my opinion.

    1. Synapsid


      Two points: as to China dealing with the climatic problems that come of burning coal, I don’t recall if I posted that China is currently building or planning to build 92 coal-fired power plants in other countries (27 of them.) Cutting back on coal use in China is a good thing, but I’d suggest that boosting coal use elsewhere is not.

      The US, where coal use has declined a bit, is also shipping coal abroad, with Europe the major recipient (not China, as we keep hearing.) Export facilities on the Gulf Coast are being expanded; this will allow increasing coal exports.

      The second point: “It would well be in the interest of the natural gas industry…[to keep] prices as low as it can for a couple of years…” The natural gas industry is losing money hand over fist, just as the oil industry (it’s the same industry, you see) is, because prices are too low to keep a company going. The bankruptcies that show up on Bloomberg are affecting gas just as much as oil. Gas companies are not keeping prices low, they are suffering because of low prices. A major shakeout is in progress.

      1. plutoniumKun

        Yes, China is building coal stations around the world, it is very much part of a broader government strategy of exporting its problem of over investment. But since China is not a major coal exporter, this is really a case of China acting as sub-contractor, so I don’t see it as relevant to their overall domestic policy on energy. They are also of course heavily involved in building nuclear (using French designs), hydro, solar and wind schemes around the world. I strongly expect though that other countries will get second thoughts about being dumping grounds for Chinese surplus labour capacity, which is what these schemes really amount to.

        As for coal, yes, Europe has become a major importer of American coal, mostly Germany – thats primarily related to the slow death of Europes coal industry and Germany’s excessively speedy shut down of nuclear, not to mention the failure of the French EPR reactor. But in general the wind down of coal is more rapid in Europe than elsewhere – the last deep mine in the UK just closed last week.

        My point about the natural gas industry was that while the collapse in prices has caused great pain for the industry, in the long term an extended period might do it good if it can withstand the low prices (which so far, it has managed, although 2016 might be a year too far). Just as a period of a few years of low prices benefits the Saudi’s in the long term, the survivors in gas may see it as a good long term investment, even if it came about by accident. I am surprised though that the gas industry hasn’t pushed harder to back stronger EPA rules to kill off the older generation of coal stations, the really dirty ones that are semi-mothballed. However, one curious thing about the gas industry is that unlike the oil industry, low prices doesn’t seem to have cured its enthusiasm for exploration – there is still a lot of activity in exploring new licenses, including expensive sources such as fracking and off-shore. There seem plenty in the industry who see a bright future, and I suspect part of that picture is what they see as the demise of coal with gas becoming the number 1 transition fuel.

        1. Synapsid


          I don’t have a feel for who might have expectations of a bright future in natural gas. The only producer I know of in the US that has had positive cash flow is ExxonMobil, and the others have a great deal of debt with no way of paying it off.

          Exploration and drilling are in part driven by the necessity to hold by production in order not to lose the lease, as well as to generate cash flow at the current very low prices. There is some optimism in the US about the Utica, which is still less explored than the Marcellus, but until prices rise, which isn’t likely to be soon from the looks of it, most companies are under water–look at Chesapeake.

          In Canada there is a good deal of activity and investment in the Montney and the Duvernay, in northeast British Columbia, in part because the NG has a market waiting for it in the oil sands, but the whole effort is going on in the context of the current slump in profitability in the industry. There will, as you suggest, be winners from the current shakeout, but when is anybody’s guess.

  3. ProNewerDeal

    I was surprised on the Dem Debate, that neither H Clinton or Sanders went into hard personal attacks re this DataBugGate. I wonder if the 2 discussed before the debate & agreed to avoid this distraction Fake Issue.

    PS Yves, good luck on the ComputerFail you mentioned. Thx again to you & Lambert for the Real News Links every day.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      While its not Sanders style I think to attack opponents directly, I think its pretty clear from the behaviour of all three that they realise that overt negative attacks are a turn-off to significant sets of their voters so its in all their interests to avoid it. It makes more sense to allow deniable ‘others’ to do the attacking for them.

      Having said that, I’d guess that Hilary’s people would much prefer to be facing more aggressive opponents so that the well known ‘issues’ in her past can be raised as early as possible to them to lose their sting in a match up with whatever nut wins the Republican nomination. I’ve no doubt the Koch’s etc., already have their attack strategy worked out, and they’d prefer to launch it closer to the main election. They know that using up their ammo too early risks ensuring they only fire duds later.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Haha. Why would Hellery want to prolong a debate thread to discuss “server security issues”. Clinton-Email-Gate, cough cough.

      And I doubt the DNC will allow the investigation that Bernie is calling for — because it could (likely) expose that Clinton has been stealing Sanders supporters email ids all along (IMO). And who enabled all this? Why Clinton’s old BFF of course. He runs the server and his software “bug” (or was it a feature) allowed the data breach.

      And agreed, the MSM created a totally misleading story about this.

      1. nycTerrierist

        I never watch msm tv news but I tuned into the debate at 8pm and was disgusted
        to hear the ABC hairdo parrot the DNC version of the so-called ‘breach’.
        Corporate Pravda.

        I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was appalled there was not even a passing gesture at balance.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          George Stephanopoulos was a moderator. At the the end, Hillary showed how hip she was by doing a Star Wars ad. Next, she will probably approve of cat pictures on the Internet.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Can’t stand to listen to hill so only managed a few minutes of the “debate.” (o’malley is really getting on my nerves lately too.)

            But apparently hill was late coming back from a break, and one of the moderators didn’t even notice and started asking her a question anyway.

            Couldn’t help but visualize her struggling to get back into her girdle, and was looking for a trail of toilet paper on her shoe.

            Many moons ago, Gilda Radner/Roseanne Rosannadanna did a bit about meeting Lee Radziwell in the restroom.

            “Hey, Lee. You got toilet paper on your shoe.” STILL makes me laugh.

            1. optimader

              The toilet paper on shoe and girdling are Weiner’s wife, what her name’s, job.

              I wonder what ever happened to Weiner?? I she the guy driving the blacked out Econoline Van that transports the mortician makeup, support garments and coffin bedded in Transylvanian soil so they can keep an eye on him for the duration of the campaign?

              Gotta love HRC chemical helmet hair tho… I saw 15 seconds of the debate (quickly hit mute) after arriving home home and was flipping on a dvd.

              HRC was bobble-heading w/ her trademark patronizing nod like she was in deep thought about dinner possibilities (pull a pint or two off Weiner after the debate?) while some media Mandarin was lobbing her a softball about what she will do about Heroin addiction(!?!?!) or some such thing so the banner read.. Didn’t stick around for the answer.
              Mine would have been
              1. Legalize heroin;
              2. Make it available to all citizens by prescription;
              3. Contract Comcast to administer the program.
              (File under: one small reason why Optimader will never be POTUS)

      2. optimader

        Why would Hellery want to prolong a debate thread to discuss “server security issues”. Clinton-Email-Gate, cough cough.
        because she is as thick as an old growth rafter support timber, that’s why. HRC has a version of GWB’s gifts of 0 capacity for critical self-reflection and nuance of thought.

  4. Carolinian

    From the above NYT “Sanders falls behind”

    But Mr. Sanders, who has ruled out negative campaigning, has not done anything memorable on either front. When he did challenge her on Saturday, accusing her twice of being “too into regime change” to topple dictators and enemies, he did it as respectfully as possible — after which Mrs. Clinton hit him hard both times for voting to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan leader. Mr. Sanders could have brought up the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that occurred on Mrs. Clinton’s watch as secretary of state, but instead he all but surrendered, saying that Mrs. Clinton was “right” that dealing with dictators was a “complicated issue.”

    I’m beginning to think the DNC was doing Bernie a favor by burying the debates in non prime time. He was at the top of his game before the first debate. It’s hard to be a convincing future President when you are so conflict averse. To be sure he goes after all those billionaires, but they aren’t part of his social circle.

    1. diptherio

      Bernie’s too much of a politician to criticize the MIC and their policies (murder and pillage…er, regime change and stabilization). It’s complicated, you see. Surely the very serious people in charge know what they are doing…

      How can I like Bernie if I dislike war-mongers? How can I vote for somebody who votes for spreading chaos abroad (voted for ‘regime-changing’ Qaddafi)?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s my main focus always with anyone, or any proposed idea or modern theory.

        Must we have Chaos-ism abroad in order to have socialism at home?

      2. Jagger

        Complicated, yes. Anyone notice that Bernie Sanders felt we had to have the Saudi’s and Qatar step up against ISIS? Let them do the fighting with Muslem armies. My understanding is that the Saudi’s and Qatar are major funders of ISIS. Seymore Hersh states $700 million dollars from the
        Saudi’s last year to fund Syrian “opposition groups”. My understanding is that ISIS are their guys and doing exactly what the Saudi’s and Qatar want them to do. Which makes me wonder how Sanders can expect to get them to fight ISIS.

        1. 3.14e-9

          Well, either he’s totally ignorant about their involvement, or it’s a clever plan to call them out on their duplicity and back them into a corner. Because you are right.

          His point, though, is that the Saudis have had the audacity to call for U.S. boots on the ground when they won’t even put their own troops in harm’s way.

        2. JerryDenim

          I didn’t watch but I skimmed the transcripts, and yep, that remark really jumped out at me as being quite stupid. It’s a delusional and dangerously out of touch sentiment that ignores the alligences and agendas of our supposed “allies” in the middle east. I heard different versions of the same line trotted out quite a few times at Vegas RNC debate. The Qataris aren’t spending billions on the World Cup and Olympics while they just happen to neglect the fundING of the fight against ISIS, they ARE spending lots of money on ISIS- they’re spending money to arm and assist ISIS or the ‘Caliphate’ in any way they can. Post Sadam every state in the middle east picked a side on a basis of Shia vs. Sunni. ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE all play for team Sunni now and to pretend otherwise is just foolish. The shieks in Doha have as much interest in bombing ISIS as beltway insiders do in bombing London. Not gonna happen.

    2. edmondo

      I will repeat myself:

      Sheepdogs bark, they don’t bite.

      We lefties just want to put up a good fight, We don’t want to win.

      1. Michael

        Bernie can make pot legal by executive fiat; he will, and HRC won’t.

        Whatever else is going on, that’s a reason to vote for the guy.

        1. edmondo

          Or you could just move to Oregon or Washington if that’s your main goal. HRC will legalize it AFTER her campaign contributors have found a way to corner the market.

          1. trinity river

            You have that right. One of my doctors told me in passing that he has invested in a company that has patented the rights on pot for RXs. I did not get to question him on the remark. On its face, the remark seems preposterous.

            Despite medical marijuana not being legal in TX except for epilepsy, CBD is legal and hemp products of all kinds are sold. Of course, most Texans are not aware of this and would be up in arms if it was presented to them straightforward manner.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The question we have to ask is, is it really so that spreading chaos around the globe the necessary price for legalizing pot?

        3. TsWkr

          Bernie advocating that addiction be treated as a health rather than criminal problem is a breath of fresh air. I wish he’d go the step further and tie together the working class decline with the rise in opiate drug use, but he did tie together single payer with being able to treat addiction.

          Also, the ‘vote for war in Libya’ never occurred in the Senate. Framing the Libya action in terms of a vote is misleading because the administration acted without congressional authorization. The consequences of that action lie entirely on the administration. Sanders voted for a non-binding resolution which urged the UN Security Council to take measures to protect civilians, and goes as far as calling for a possible no-fly zone.

          That being said, Sanders doesn’t take anything different than a liberal democrat perspective on foreign policy. While his election would do a lot to transform the economic relationships within the United States, there wouldn’t be much change in how the United States operates outside of it’s borders.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I don’t think that perception is accurate at all. Many 2008 Obama voters don’t like to acknowledge this, but Obama said as President he would attack “threats” whenever he felt like without notifying local governments. Two or three years ago, Obama repeated the Bush doctrine. These are radical departures from the positions of Sanders.

            Sanders’ views reject the Carter doctrine which claims the Middle East as our playground. Hes the only one rejecting that. Unfortunately, he can’t be explicit because Sanders still needs the Obots and Hillary voters to win. Saturday night, he quite clearly stated he did not support the Carter or both Bush doctrines.

      2. tongorad

        Or rather “We liberals just want to put a good fight…” This is the inevitable result when economic issues are taken off the table in favor of identity politics.

        The American left has historically been fighting to win. We were beaten – as Chomsky pointed out, the history of the Labor movement in the US is incredibly violent.

    3. Vatch

      “Mrs. Clinton hit him hard both times for voting to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi”

      Does anyone know what bill or resolution number for which this vote occurred? Was it buried in another bill?

      1. TsWkr

        I have a comment in moderation with this link, among other things. But, long story short, there was no Senate vote for action in Libya, and the administration acted without congressional approval. Here’s the non-binding resolution Sanders voted for which urged Libya and the UN Security Council to take action to protect civilians, including a possible no-fly zone.

      2. Gareth

        Per Politico fact checker:

        Did Bernie really support overthrowing Qaddafi?

        “With all due respect, senator, you voted for regime change with respect to Libya. you joined the Senate in voting to get rid of Qaddafi,” said Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders. His campaign quickly fired back with a link to the nonbinding resolution he voted for, which asked the dictator to “desist from further violence, recognize the Libyan people’s demand for democratic change, [and] resign his position.” Which would have been a form of regime change, but not the removal-by-force that Clinton implied.

        S.Res.85 – 112th Congress (2011-2012): A resolution strongly condemning the gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya, including violent attacks on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and for other purposes. | | Library of Congress

        1. jrs

          It’s bad enough, that stuff is always backed by force, especially as the U.S. does nothing but try to dispose of governments in the region.

      3. 3.14e-9

        You got a couple of other replies while I was typing my answer. As both TsWkr and Gareth noted, the legislation was S. Res. 85. Simple resolutions in the Senate aren’t voted on and carry no force of law. They are adopted by an arcane procedural tool called “unanimous consent,” often before an empty chamber. S. Res. 85 passed by unanimous consent, so Bernie didn’t vote for it. BUT, he was a cosponsor, so technically yes, he did support “regime change,” but not through military intervention or covert ops, as noted by Gareth.

        He also voted for the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which called for the removal of Saddam Hussein. I believe this falls under the “meddling” category, but nonetheless it did not include approval for military intervention.

        1. jrs

          excuses, excuses. I like Bernie on other things, so I didn’t say don’t vote for him, but noone can be so naive about just what the u.s. empire is up to. Does Bernie believe in Santa Clause as well?

          1. 3.14e-9

            Of course he knew! Clinton and Obama were hell-bent on going in with guns blazing and were ignoring opposition in Congress. It was a huge big deal at the time.

            The key sponsor of S.Res.85 was Bob Menendez, who sits on the Foreign Relations committee. It was one of the few resolutions on Libya that actually made it to the Senate floor, so there had to have been some horse-trading going on with Senate leadership regarding the exact wording, and it’s entirely possible that Sanders had little to do with it. Why he allowed his name on it, who knows? Maybe it was to return a favor, without going too far out on a limb. Resolutions have no force of the law, most of the language in it simply reflected the UN Security Council’s recommendations, and a coalition of nine countries was about to make toast out of Gadhafi no matter what he did. Bernie at least spoke out against the war – and he called it what it was. Just a few weeks later, he also started asking embarrassing questions about how a $26 billion loan made its way from the Federal Reserve to the Central Bank of Libya, when the Libyan government was under international sanctions.

            Call it an excuse if you want, but really, I just can’t get that worked up about this one. As I wrote elsewhere, I’m more disturbed that he voted for regime change in Iraq (although he redeemed himself by voting against the war). I’m also concerned about whether he’ll get to the bottom of who’s funding and arming Daesh — and whether he’ll be as truthful about it as he has been about economic issues.

      4. Vatch

        Thanks, TsWkr, Gareth, and 3.14e-9. S. Res. 85, 112th Congress, is a rather mild resolution. Basically, it provides emotional support for the Arab Spring in the specific context of Libya.

        Once again, the people who attempt to label Senator Sanders as a “war-monger” are completely wrong.

        1. Carolinian

          So you think it is ok for Senators to vote for resolutions–binding or no–that tell the leaders of foreign countries–democratic or no–that they should resign? If Sanders thinks Libya is somehow America’s business then it isn’t much of a step to doing what Hillary did and acting accordingly. His fumbling reply about “complicated” just shows that she made a valid point.

          1. 3.14e-9

            I am OK with the basic concept of the Senate giving opinions or advice to foreign governments, horrified as I have been by the nature of some of those opinions. I would have no problem with foreign governments doing the same to us (just think of the possibilities). I am not OK with Congress voting to bomb a country to smithereens or approving covert ops to overthrow said government when it fails to take their advice.

            I agree with Vatch that the Libya resolution was fairly benign. There is a big difference between calling on Gadhafi to resign and hunting him down like an animal, flushing him out with air strikes so that his enemies could brutally torture him to death.

            The Iraq Liberation Act was actual meddling and far worse, IMO – all the more so because Congress cited it four years later as an excuse to invade Iraq. I am not happy that Sanders voted for it and have been trying to find statements explaining his rationale, so far without any success. Notwithstanding, calling him a warmonger is not justified.

            As far as I can tell, Bernie’s “it’s complicated” answer wasn’t the fumble. His mistake was in not responding faster to Hillary’s mention of his voting record. How did he not see that coming? His split second of hesitation gave her an opening to run right over him with a long explanation of her Syria plan. The moderators should have called time out on her, but let her keep going. The only way he could have gotten a word in edgewise would have been to shout her down. By the time she came up for air, the moderators were ready to move on. So yes, I suppose she got the debate point there. The flip side is that her detailed analysis left no doubt about how interventionist a Clinton presidency would be.

            1. Carolinian

              Sanders went on record saying that Qaddafi should resign. But this was in fact the wrong recommendation regardless of whether our bombers helped the process along. If Qaddafi had simply decamped and now lived in Switzerland there would quite likely be the same chaos in Libya that we have now. As it turns out Qaddafi was correct that his opposition consisted of terrorists, not democrats. Hillary’s whole rationalization for her foolishness is that we have a “responsibility to protect” but this playing God with other countries and their peoples is the great sin, not just the violence. The US has a long history of undermining other governments by covert means as well. When Hillary said Sanders agreed with her at the time she was undoubtedly truthful. What Sanders should have said is that he had made a mistake by voting for that resolution. Otherwise his critique of Hillary is meaningless.

              1. 3.14e-9

                It needs to be put in context. SoS Clinton and President Obama were chomping at the bit to send the military into Libya. A few weeks before Obama did so — without properly consulting Congress — S.Res. 85 called upon Gadhafi to voluntarily step down, which might not have been a bad idea, given that the U.S. and NATO already were in position to go in and take him out by force. S. Res. 85 also backed a UN Security Council resolution (1970) that, among other things, prohibited any members of the coalition from attacking. Right before the coalition air strike, the UN Security Council adopted a new resolution that made military intervention legal. By that time, Bernie Sanders was on the record in several places (Fox, NPR, to name a couple) expressing grave concerns about U.S. involvement in Libya. He called Gadhafi a “thug” and said he needed to go, but argued that going to war wasn’t the answer — and he said that if the military was involved, it was a war, regardless of what Obama or Clinton wanted to call it.

                Clinton was being disingenuous by suggesting that Sanders agreed with her at the time. He absolutely did not, and that’s what he should have said at the debate. In a blink of an eye, he missed his chance, but it may have been just as well. I doubt it would have helped his cause with viewers if he had shouted her down, called her a liar, and gone into a long, eye-glazing explanation of what really happened.

    4. aliteralmind

      Twice Hillary attacked his Gaddaffi vote, and twice he was denied a chance to respond. It is my understanding that he voted for a democratic toppling, not hy force.

  5. ambrit

    So, as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned, Single Payer is “off the table.”
    She has made the political calculation to throw the old guard Democrats “under the bus.” This one statement takes the gloves off. I don’t see how much longer the public in general can embrace the theory that the Democratic Party is in any way, shape, or form a populist organization.
    Wouldn’t it be fun if both wings of the Party of Property, splintered at the same time? (Imagine some new version of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.)

    1. MikeNY

      It seems to me the GOP is much closer to this than the Dems. The coronation of Queen Hillary is 180 degrees away from splintering or reform.

      1. Jagger

        The coronation of Queen Hillary is 180 degrees away from splintering or reform.

        Yes, but the one-two punch of Obama and then Hillary ought to get the job done.

        1. edmondo

          Yeah 8 tears of Hillary (and two impeachment attempts – one thing you gotta admit – the Clintons are consistent). Then 4 years of (the other) Republicans – then maybe, just maybe, the Democrats might find the asses from a hole in the ground. Of course, with my luck, the Democratic Party savior will end up being the odious Cory Booker and we’ll be right back to 2008 all over again.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Booker is far too odious. If he was the savior, he would have been brought up when Biden was all the rage. Team Blue is aware of major troubles, but Team Blue can’t acknowledge why they are in trouble without major soul searching or at least the recognition many political careers and their lackeys are stuck at dead ends. A guy like Mark Warner will never be President, but do you think he wants to acknowledge this reality?

            I think the vaguely sane Team Blue members know Hillary is a terrible candidate except for her celebrity. Outside of respective states, does anyone know Corey Booker or whoever is tossed about as a future President? I’ve spent time In New Hampshire, and those town halls and small meetings that non-celebrity candidates face aren’t easy. Without a loyal Cadre to protect the candidate, they are actually questioned. Julian Castro is mayor of San Antonio. Will he have volunteers and a huge campaign operation? Could he survive a challenge from Tim Duncan or a Manu Ginobuli who isn’t even an American? Any Democrat will be hounded by questions without overwhelming celebrity. Howard Dean’s less than credible positions on Social Security and government spending hurt him in Iowa and New Hampshire before his vaunted scream despite his celebrity. Yes, he was dropping before the scream, but its more fun to pretend voters are as shallow as the media. The Democrats are left with Hillary and the hope her VP choice can step into the celebrity role because they can’t stand scrutiny on trade, health care, wall street, foreign policy, the environment, wealth inequality, etc. Hillary can run on a reputation developed as a minority party member during 43’s presidency and her time that she lived in the White House. “First Lady” smacks of monarchy. Outside of a handful of outsiders (I’m not including progressive caucus), are there any powerful Democratic elected officials who have any standing? They won’t even challenge Pelosi, Reid, and DWS after the election debacles.

            Of course, many elite members of Team Blue are simply idiots. During one of the strategy meetings in 2012, several members wanted to know why Obama wasn’t touting how he raised the minimum wage. Pelosi had to explain that the members in question weren’t in Congress when Shrub signed the last minimum wage increase which excluded waiters.

            1. Brindle

              Interesting look at the history of the minimum wage. Until Reagan the raising of MW was done every two to three years or so, now every five to six. Both Bill Clinton and Obama are behind W. Bush in increases in the MW. The Dems since Reagan have followed his lead on small and infrequent raises.


            2. David

              are there any powerful Democratic elected officials who have any standing?

              Jerry Brown. He’s been through the New Hampshire grind before.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Of course, he has plenty of questionable positions which sank his ’92 candidacy. Brown and Rick Perry both want to abolish the Department of Education. Of course, one is a clown and the other is respected. The teachers would crucify Brown again.

                1. David

                  Have Hillary’s positions changed since ’92?

                  Brown was endorsed by the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) in 2010 and 2014.

                  Brown, as the state’s chief executive, worked closely with CFT to pass Prop. 30, raising additional revenue for schools, and then helped shape a historic funding bill that recognizes that students from low-income families, and students who speak little English, need additional resources in order to excel.

                  He would need to show how his positions have changed since ’92 and the window for that may have closed.

    2. cwaltz

      I’d love to see a Sanders Trump debate. Sanity versus Insanity if you were. Probably isn’t going to happen though.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Isn’t that what we had last night?

        Hillary called for a no fly zone to fight ISIS which lacks any kind of air force. This was the closest thing to a proposal she has made. She’s more scripted than Trump, but after all, they have been chums in the past.

        1. cwaltz

          I didn’t watch. If I wanted to watch scripted TV I’d pick something other than the “debate” with preapproved questions.

          House hunters Renovation was a much smarter choice for my health.

    3. optimader

      as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned, Single Payer is “off the table.”

      Just another reflection of the perpetuation of GWB’s Pursuit of Excellence in Public Policy. HRC understands the merits of not continuously reevaluating Policy based on new information, it unsettles her investors.

  6. ambrit

    So, as far as Hillary is concerned, single payer is “off the table.”
    What fun! The ‘Anointed One’ attacking a centrist candidate from the right! Thus have the old guard Democrats been visibly “thrown under the bus.”
    Wouldn’t it be fun if both wings of The Property Party were to splinter at the same time?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting you mention the Property Party.

      Today, if you have property, your vote counts, or if not so exactly, at least, like that old EF Hutton commercial, people, meaning the politicians, LISTEN to your vote.

      “When Property speaks, the politicians listen.”

      It’s still the good old ‘property test.’

      Like the Middle Ages, serfs are all around us (including us).

      And people complain the world changing too fast?

  7. WanderingMind

    “Uncle Bob” would be better off going to “Uncle Randy” Wray’s house for dinner, where he would learn what taxes are really for and how the U.S., as the monopoly issuer of dollars, can never run out and does not need to collect Uncle Bob’s or anyone else’s taxes in order to spend.

    Uncle Bob also might get a free banana at Uncle Randy’s house. ;)

  8. Reno Dino

    Who needs science, when you have a crack PR team, patrician parents and a dead on instinct for fashion?
    Thank you NYT for the Theranos redemption story that nicely sidesteps the main issue cited repeatedly by the WSJ: Theranos won’t allow peer review, which is kinda the basis for all that science has to offer. Expect an announcement any day that Theranos will drop the blood test and start selling black turtlenecks. Look for the new valuation to double to $20 billion overnight.

    And hey Hillary, how about a Manhattan project for pain instead of encryption? Between deaths from opiates and NSAIDs, those seeking relief from chronic pain are dying at an staggering rate that is greatly underestimated, primarily from overdose and kidney failure. I guess that back door for cyber security is really needed in case anyone wants to start a Clash of Civilizations, which Hillary claims doesn’t exist, although she has been going out her way to start one.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I would add to the Manhattan pain project idea a program to free the nation of toxic foods, maybe making it gluten free, 24/7 organic, or subsiding people to make yogurt at home.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      No kidding.

      Every time I read one of these Theranos stories, I’m amazed that Holmes’ failures to deliver, invocations of “secrecy” and “they’re just out to get us” whining are met with…..crickets.

      Particularly liked this bit:

      ” After more than 10 years, Ms. Holmes is talking about ways she can remain private — getting new investors to buy out the old ones.”

      Wasn’t Martin Shkreli just perp-walked for working a similar “business model?”

      It would seem it helps to have friends/board members like Bill Frist of Medicare fraudster HCA and Kovacevich of foreclosure fraudster Wells Fargo when attempting to avoid the long arm of the law. Oh, and a revolving-door father who currently “serves the public” at the CIA. Sorry, I mean USAID.

      But Theranos must be a real dog if the us military refused to “invest.” (Cough, F-35, Cough.) Maybe they need to give “general” petraeus a seat on the board.

      1. Jake Mudrosti


        Also, was someone at NYT being cheeky with the accompanying photos and captions? (“A sink where solvents are used to clean parts after machining”) Or was that meant for real? That’s high quality satire, or maybe it wasn’t.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Starbucks’ deforestation pledge.

    If we all get enough sleep, do we still need coffee everyday?

    1. DJG

      There is much more to coffee than the morning jolt. I enjoy heading out each day for a double espresso. The ritual, the smell, the crema floating on the top of the beverage–and some studies indicate that coffee is good against Alzheimer’s and several other diseases.

      Starbucks, though, is an absurdity. I chanced into one about two weeks ago, being slightly off schedule. The most depressing place to buy food that I have been to in years.

    2. optimader

      I like coffee. I roast coffee. I drink coffee.. lots of coffee. Coffee is a health food… and organic (as opposed to inorganic?)

      company’s procurement policy to ensure it doesn’t contribute to deforestation, a significant cause of global warming. The commodities in question include wood, paper products and palm oil, an ingredient in a number of Starbucks menu items, including its Java Chip Frappuccino and Cranberry Bliss Bar.

      On Starbucks, I think a lot of people like to spank them because it is a large successful brand –large and successful because apparently alot of consumers like, and last time I bought a $B coffee it’s popularity was not because it is cheap!.

      Paper is a commodity presumably the industry has many sources that spit out the final product. So unless a purchasing agent can get a certificate of 100% conformance, what exactly should Starbucks be using instead of paper products? Styrofoam?
      In this regard, is Starbucks any worse than any of it’s competition, including the hair-shirt crowds favorite coffee bar/tattoo shop? I am guessing No, if for no other reason, just economy of scale.

      Regarding the word “pursue”, is it wrong for Shultz to attempt to cultivate some internal corporate ethos about environmental awareness, or is a policy of no awareness best until you can claim 100% effectiveness? How about the competition?

      I have absolutely no idea what Java Chip Frappuccino and Cranberry Bliss Bar are, but maybe people should just stop buying them if they are a loci of global deforestation?

      As a matter of fact, the author should take a random walk through any grocery store and unwind the chain of custody of the components that make up the crap in any box, bag or can w/ a three color offset print graphic or label and apply the same critique.

      Generally, I think Starbucks make some effort toward not shting in its own food dish. Perfect in all respects? surely not, who is? The objective critique is how they rank w/ competitors, no?
      Is all of SB coffee made from fairtrade beans? I speculate no. Is all of the competitions coffee made from fairtrade beans? I know no.

      1. Oregoncharles

        There are importers/processors who are specifically fair trade, like Equal Exchange, but you’re right, they don’t have cafes, let alone a world-wide chain.

        However, it should be not too difficult to buy fair-trade coffee for home use, and possible in many places to find local coffee shops that serve primarily fair-trade products.

        1. optimader

          Indeed Charles, I posted a couple links but it vaporized C’est la vie!

          If you really like coffee, want the people that grow the beans in a sustainable manner to be treated equitably it only makes sense to buy green beans and roast them yourself. Kinda like soup, I would no sooner eat that crap in a can than I would use preroasted beans , worse yet those horrid little singleserve widgets..

      2. jrs

        fair trade AND shade grown is what you really need I think for the coffee to be more beneficial than destructive.

        Then again I’m a tea person really, there is fair trade tea to be had as well.

      3. 3.14e-9

        On Starbucks, I think a lot of people like to spank them because it is a large successful brand

        I “spank” them because their coffee tastes like s—t! For years, all they had was a dark roast, which many people think is somehow stronger or better, but to me (and my coffee-appreciating friends), it just tasted burnt. They finally have started offering a lighter roast, but for what they charge per pound, you can get higher-quality beans roasted locally in small batches.

        1. optimader

          Who to say what is or isn’t “good tasting” ultimately?

          I roast my own because I know what I like, I can be specific down to the plantations/coops I want to patronize and it’s delivered to my door –which is convenient. This is my supplier that happens to be convenient to me (delivered within 24 hrs.). I typically buy 25-30 lbs at a time
          As you get into it, you find different beans taste best when roasted to a certain condition.

          1. 3.14e-9

            It goes without saying that taste is subjective. Just as some people will eat only milk chocolate and others want it so bitter it makes your mouth pucker.

            I confess that I used to like Starbucks. Then, while researching an article for a newspaper in a small town with three roasting companies, I saw the light. I interviewed all three owners, and to a one, they said that if you want your coffee strong, don’t buy dark roast but get a good-quality medium-roast bean and add an extra spoonful. Changed my life. As fate would have it, I now live in another community with several roasteries, all of which use organic, shade-grown, etc. etc., and offer a variety of beans and roasts.

            I’ve never roasted my own, though. That sounds very cool, and it also looks like you save a lot of money. Do you have a favorite roast, or do you switch around for variety?

            1. Optimader

              Probalby my favorites are the peaberries beans, kona in particular, they take s lighter roast.
              But i buy all kinds, usually five varieties or so. Its always changing drpending on whats available Check out Burman if you’re in the midwest they do a good job and look out for the growers.
              Once you get hooked on it there no going back. I just roast them in a deep pan, nothing fancy. If you do it inside just make sure you havea decent exhaust hood. I usually roast outside on a gas grill in nice weather, Really not that complicated,you get a sense of it after a while like cooking anything.

              Whomever told you dont skimp on the beans was giving you good advice

    3. jrs

      maybe not, but to sleep when tired rather than when it fits in the schedule would require the abolition of wage labor and it’s clocks that must be adhered to. And even then caffeine would have some appeal, it’s can stimulate certain kinds of thought, even more so somewhere as bleak as Seattle (mankind not just evolved to labor when needed, rest when tired, but in a more sunny climate than some).

  10. GlennF

    Regarding: “How Democrats and Republicans Collude to Block the Vote — And How We Can Un-Block It”

    There is an alternative to the mainstream Democrat and Republican parties and their bought candidates.

    At the end of the post, Bruce Dixon writes:

    Jill Stein was the Green party’s 2012 candidate, along with running mate Cheri Honkala, and will likely receive their nomination for 2016 is the only peace candidate this year, the only one for cutting the Pentagon budget, addressing black poverty, unemployment and mass incarceration, the only one favoring abolition of student debt, and so on. She’s running with the express aims of helping build and strengthen Green Party local organizations across the country, and achieving ballot access in 50 states and DC, something no Green candidate has ever done before. Even Ralph Nader, with more money and steam than any Green candidate before or since, skipped Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Indiana because the block to ballot access was just too difficult.”

    “On November 20 in Atlanta Cornel West, a Bernie Sanders supporter, came out in support of what others at the meeting called Plan B for Bernie supporters. When Sanders folds his campaign and endorses Hillary Clinton (Cornel would say IF Bernie folds, not when) the good professor says Jill Stein and the Green Party need to be already on the ballot everywhere. ”

    There is an alternative candidate.

    1. edmondo

      Oh God, not Jill Stein again!

      She’ll draw her 400, 000 votes and the Green Party will declare a “moral victory.”

      If you want a rough idea of how horrible a candidate she is go look at the Green Party’s vote totals for the last 6 elections. Even running against the lapsed Democrat Obama and the ridiculous Mitt Romney, she got one=half of one percent of the vote. With a record of success like that, why not nominate her again?

      1. hunkerdown

        What about all the forms of success that aren’t visible in the horse-race narrative? If vote totals are down, doesn’t that just mean the duopoly has found more and better bogeymen and used them more reliably (such as The Donald)?

  11. DJG

    A question about the Hillary candidacy and coronation: If the Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements, isn’t Hillary Clinton the Grim Reaper of U.S. feminism? I read in the articles above a lot of talk of “too much regime change” and tu quoque. What I also read here is a glimmer of an admission that the class interests of upper-middle-class white men and women are the same. (Something constantly disputed by fog-feminists like Rebecca Solnit with their side issues like mansplaining and the unreliablity of leftists.) Clinton and her foreign-policy adventures, lack of interest in genuine health-care reform, lack of a tax policy or jobs policy, and well-cultivated air of inevitability in a time of stagnation all mean that it is time to admit that our white betters with loads of money are engaged in class oppression, busily building their inevitable gated communities, XX or XY chromosomes notwithstanding

    And yet: There is an untenable idea out there that Clinton is some kind of groundbreaking feminist. It reminds me of how Democrats put a “progressive” gloss on things by occasionally mentioning that it is okay to get an abortion (but seldom!) and that a good time was had by all at Bob and Tim’s wedding (but don’t mention poverty among lesbians!).

    1. neo-realist

      Along the abortion tip, don’t mention that abortion in the red states is virtually illegal due to death by a thousand cuts legislation at the state level.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘There is an untenable idea out there that Clinton is some kind of groundbreaking feminist.’

      Just as Barack Oreobama was a groundbreaking African-American president, whose policies are indistinguishable from the preceding Bush/Cheney presidency.

      Like a new grille on the latest model year Buick, non-majority personal characteristics in presidential candidates (e.g. the first woman, the first latino, the first LGBT) are nothing but ‘trade dress,’ as it’s called in intellectual property law. It’s superficial packaging that may catch the eye of jaded political consumers, including critical psychographic groups.

      After vetting by the Depublicrat party, the selected candidates will be reliable protectors of the military intelligence complex, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

    3. jrs

      logically the upper middle class white woman are *probably* married to the upper middle class white men (or at least upper middle class men even if they do the interracial marriage), so yes those interest would be the same. Now single people are their own thing, and usually are somewhat economically disadvantaged in general unless they have trust funds and so on. I don’t think same sex couples really changes the fact most upper middle class white women are married to upper middle class men.

    1. allan

      Thanks. Some kind person should forward the link to,
      Attn: Dept. of Heavy Lifting and Regime Change Coalition Building.

    2. shinola

      +1 thanks for the link! A must read.
      A teaser from the article:

      “The Joint Chiefs and the DIA were constantly telling Washington’s leadership of the jihadist threat in Syria, and of Turkey’s support for it. The message was never listened to. Why not?”

    3. Mark P.

      It’s an extraordinary piece.

      Basically, the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon and DIA vs. the Obama administration, CIA, and State in Syria.

      This is before what Hersh says about the malign roles played by Erdogan’s Turkey and the Saudis. Nor about Benghazi, the Russians, the Chinese, and much more….

    4. Steve H.

      Hmm. Joint Chiefs are launching. Specifically at the foreign policy enacted by the current administration. Points bluntly at Benghazi being central to running arms to jihadis.

      – ‘The next day, shortly before he died, he met a representative from Al-Marfa Shipping and Maritime Services, a Tripoli-based company which, the JCS adviser said, was known by the Joint Staff to be handling the weapons shipments.’

      Couple that with this statement from Pepe Escobar:

      – ‘Since mid-2014 the Pentagon has run all manner of war games – as many as 16 times, under different scenarios – pitting NATO against Russia. All scenarios were favorable to NATO. All simulations yielded the same victor: Russia.’

      Hersh and Escobar are odd choices to be used to air out internal Pentagon scuttlebutt, given their normal readership. A possibility is that the military wing of the MIC has become frustrated with the Executive branch, and that is relevant when considering who will be the next Commander-in-Chief.

      Two further points, and I acknowledge I am speculating here:

      : The what has been the impact on the Industrial part of the MIC? The current administration has favored finance over industry. Economic warfare is part of Full Spectrum Dominance, but some military folk like actual weapons. If the weapon systems don’t have to perform to fulfill the financial functions, then that is truly a power shift. The F-35 is a case in point.

      : Hersh: ‘In July 2013, the Joint Chiefs found a more direct way of demonstrating to Assad how serious they were about helping him.’

      Note that this indicates the Joint Chiefs are actively subverting the commands of the Commander-in-Chief. While I agree with the reasons, that is not how the Constitution says its supposed to work.

  12. Ignacio

    It seems that in Spain PP (conservatives) will win elections with about 28% votes but apparently without the ability to form a stable government. Podemos is second in vote number but third, after PSOE in congress sites.

    Spanish stocks poised to fall tomorrow. How much?

  13. optimader

    ….Hillary Clinton suggested that tech companies work together with the government to create a “a Manhattan-like project” at tonight’s Democratic national debate.

    Personally, I think HRC was just using code language for Weiner’s wife to step up her husband’s game w/ some clever and historic libation for last night’s intermission . Why not have expectations when it comes to cocktails? A “Gentleladies Speedball” in a chilled highball glass to brace oneself for the ongoing question&answer annoyance.

    Keeping the entourage bitch’z on point, even the entry level ones like Weiner, is important when it comes to the basics. A modest but important preview of solid leadership skills.

    A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.

  14. optimader

    Police shut down photo exhibition of naked natural women because they’re ‘indecent’
    Did the Police make the executive decision to shut it down or were they told to? So who told them to?

    Sidebar, if that’s a live coral rash on her ass in the pic walking on the rocks in the surf, man that sucks, she is in for a level 11 world hurt for the next week or two.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Very nice photos – some would make a good Antidote: humans are animals, too.

      BUT: they all look like models to me; not sure what she means by “perfect”. Or “natural”; at least one is thoroughly shaved.

      And on the shutdown: “decency” laws are generally based on details, such as pubic hair or genitals – both rather innocently in evidence. Breasts are public in Europe, have been for a long time.

      Oh, yes: not much coral in Denmark’s seas.

      1. 3.14e-9

        BUT: they all look like models to me; not sure what she means by “perfect”. Or “natural”

        I thought the same thing, but after reading further, concluded that all she meant by “natural” was “not surgically enhanced.” I guess that’s the thing now, given how readily available cosmetic surgery is (maybe even more so in Europe?) and the incessant barrage of images of enhanced women, with every last “imperfection” photoshopped out.

      2. jgordon

        I thought they were fairly plain and ordinary looking. I was thinking that the artist/photographer was admirable for choosing such normal-looking females for art and the police were coming down so hard on the artist because the models weren’t attractive enough. Err… maybe I misread that though.

    2. ambrit

      In Copenhagen no less! Could it be because the venue was easily accessible to little children? Even Oz has segregated nude beaches.

      1. optimader

        As I recall from childhood, nudity really had no prurient baggage, clothing was a nuisance unless it was cold out, even then I’d be peeling it off. I think adults tend to loose that memory with whatever social conditioning prevails. The ongoing irony (to me) is the ubiquitous acceptance of violence as entertainment. And that goes from NFL to the BS movies that Hollywood churns out.

        1. jgordon

          Err–you can show people getting taken out left and right on evening network “entertainment” (I haven’t owned/purposefully watched a tv in over 10 years, but I think they still do that), yet flash a nipple and people are ready to scream murder.

          America has a culture that simply revels in violence and destruction. Multiple wars all over the world, glorification of the military and police, rampant domestic violence, multiple mass shootings–they all go together. From the leaders down everyone is corrupted with this idolization of violence. Yet looking at the wrong part of a body is a deadly sin. Americans are weird.

        2. ambrit

          I take your point. I remember how I loved to go to the beach as a little kid and pull my trunks off and splash around. Mom was always grabbing me and wrapping a towel around me amid imprecations and exhortations.
          Could this ‘incident’ in Copenhagen be connected to a dispute over the sexualization of the body? It would be instructive to find out what gender prevails in the decision making cadre of the Copenhagen police.

  15. PQS

    The Jewish Christmas is marvelous. Do read it. Perfectly captures my atheist, Christmas Loving Ideology:

    “A history has accrued to Christmas, a literature of feeling about it, and that is every bit as much my history as anyone else’s. And just because I am not religious, doesn’t mean I can’t peer into religious sentiment with curiosity, affection, and occasionally longing.”

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