Chomsky was right, researchers find: We do have a ‘grammar’ in our head MedicalXpress (Robert M)
What Happens If Someone Uses This DIY Gene Hacking Kit to Make Mutant Bacteria? Motherboard (resilc)
Chinese Exports Fall for Fifth Consecutive Month Wall Street Journal
China issues first pollution ‘red alert’ Financial Times
Is the IMF Cutting Corners for China? WSJ China Real Time Report
US steps up South China Sea surveillance Financial Times
Front National’s election triumph leaves mainstream parties reeling Guardian. This is not getting the attention in the US that it warrants.
French Far Right Victory Brings Eurozone Disaster Closer Fortune Swedish Lex: “We began warning about this five years ago, I think, when Merkel and Sarkozy imposed austerity and Sarkozy domestically turned xenophobic in order to win votes from le FN:
But, as CER’s Tilford points out, “the politics have been moving in a worrying direction for a long time.” Unless something changes the direction of travel, it’s only a matter of time before Europe’s pivotal economy and body politic finds itself ruled by a motley bunch of neo-, crypto- and quasi-fascists absolutely irreconcilable with Europe’s current status quo.
ISIL/ Daesh can be Starved of Oil Revenue: Here’s How Juan Cole (resilc)
The unavowable project for a pseudo-Kurdistan Voltairenet (Bob V)
Jihadis now integral part in US designs for Syria Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)
Imperial Collapse Watch
Admiral reprimanded for drunken, naked escapade at Florida hotel Washington Post
How the DEA invented “narco-terrorism” Vox. Resilc: “It’s sort of like a NPR fund raiser for the narcs at DEA.”
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
‘Spell-check for hate’ needed, says Google’s Schmidt BBC. Lambert: “Wowsers”.
Florida woman arrested for hit-and-run after her car calls police Guardian (furzy mouse)
Donald Trump Call For US Ban On Muslims Could Hurt His Own Mideast Business Deals, Cost Him Millions International Business Times. Headline weirdly fails to make the real point: Trump is perfectly happy to do business with rich Muslims, even ones in countries that the US has singled out as bad actors on the terrorism front. So is it convenient for him to turn on them now because oil is cheap and many of the oil barons are selling rather than buying right now?
Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Actually About Cruz New York Magazine (resilc)
Man Calls Obama ‘Pussy,’ Gets Suspended From Fox New York Magazine
Hillary Clinton: How I’d Rein In Wall Street New York Times. Have your barf bag nearby. And notice the difference in the comments from “All” versus “NYT Picks”
Clinton plans ‘exit tax’ on inversions Financial Times
Sanders Really Has a Workable Plan to Deal with Climate Change: Rare Among Politicians Ring of Fire (furzy mouse)
Expert: Homegrown terrorism threat is real The Hill. Resilc. “See date.”
Coarsening the Culture: Republicans Need To Do Some Housecleaning Washington Monthly
Black Injustice Tipping Point
Sticking to Our Guns New York Review of Books
Nevada Republican lawmaker shares Christmas card featuring fully armed family Daily Kos (furzy mouse)
Economist’s Criticism of Federal Reserve Policies Gains Ground New York Times. Um, we’ve been linking to economists who have been saying this sort of thing for years.
OPEC Won’t Cut Drilling, and Prices Plunge 5% New York Times
From “Leading the Way” to “Losing its Way”: CalPERS Andrew Silton. Important. Silton is the former Chief Investment Officer for North Carolina and therefore a particularly well informed commentator. Silton has also been producing more intense, edgy looking art since he’s been following CalPERS. Hope he regards that as a plus, or at least a useful expansion of his range.
A Revolving Door Helps Big Banks’ Quiet Campaign to Muscle Out Fannie and Freddie Gretchen Morgenson. Great reporting. I need to write a post on the policy issues on Fannie/Freddie “reform”…
Whatever Happened To Galt’s Gulch Chile? Dollar Vigilante (furzy mouse). Haha, as we predicted!!!
Aging, real rates, and labour bargaining power: the case of Japan FTAlphaville. This is important, and I have to confess to having only skimmed it as 6:00 AM, so I hope readers will give this a serious look and pipe up in comments.
Antidote du jour. From The nine lives of Russia’s Hermitage cats. The Hermitage is one of those sites you really must see if you can arrange it. Not only is the art astonishing (and I’m pretty jaded on that front) but so are the places themselves (and I’ve seen a few of them too). It goes a very long way in explaining why Russia had a revolution.