Links 12/9/15

Four-day marathon public reading of War and Peace begins in Russia Guardian. Margarita: “OMG, if only the world would do more of this.”

The wizardry of geoengineering Intelligent Life Magazine (David L)

Bitcoin’s Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius Wired

This Australian Says He and His Dead Friend Invented Bitcoin Gizmodo

‘Bitcoin founder’s’ Australia home raided by Sydney police BBC. As I’ve long said, Bitcoin = prosecution futures.

Researchers identify key biological markers for psychotic disorders PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Millions of teens are using a new app to post anonymous thoughts, and most parents have no idea Washington Post


Chinese Glacier’s Retreat Signals Trouble for Asian Water Supply New York Times

Unenviable currency problem facing China Financial Times

US launches trade dispute with China over tax on imported aircraft Telegraph

How rising Euroscepticism is likely to affect future EU budget revenue negotiations EUROPP

Sweden has declared war on cash Business Insider (David L)

Contrary to reports, basic income study still at preliminary stage Kela (Paul J-K). Subhead: “There have been misleading reports in the media about the Finnish experimental study on a Universal Basic Income. Only a preliminary study to explore possibilities has begun.”


Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch New York Times. NC readers will recall we were onto this, via our own Richard Smith and John Helmer, MONTHS ago!!

IMF Reverses Policy on Lending into Official Arrears Credit Slips. And who gets the break? Ukraine, natch.


US to investigate Iran missile claims Financial Times

Syria: Ultimate Pipelineistan War Counterpunch (resilc)

Turkey’s Imperial Motive In Attacking Syria And Iraq Moon of Alabama

The Saud Family to Select West’s ‘Moderate’ Jihadists Who Will Take Over Syria George Washington

Imperial Collapse Watch

America’s Reckless War Against Evil, Why It’s Self-Defeating and Has No End TomDispatch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

When Undercover Credit Card Buys Go Bad Krebs on Security


Trump remarks ‘endanger US security’ BBC. Per the Pentagon.

Florida Mayor Hilariously Spoofs Trump by Barring Him From Town Alternet

It’s Time for the TV Networks to Challenge Trump New Yorker (resilc)

Donald Trump’s Bottomless Bottom Nation

Jeb Bush’s Last Resort: Donald Trump Is a Clinton Plant Gawker (Chuck L)

Trump’s Anti-Muslim Plan Is Awful. And Constitutional. New York Times (David L)

TIME Snubs Bernie Sanders for Person of the Year After He Crushes Readers’ Poll Observer News (RR)

A Few Other Times Countries Banned Religious or Ethnic Groups Vanity Fair (resilc)

Actually, Conservatives Have Been Praising Internment for a Long Time Mother Jones

House Passes Bill to Tighten Visa-Waiver Program Wall Street Journal


Selling Guns on a 24-Hour TV Network New York Times

Liberty University Professor Defends Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s Statement on Guns Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Police State Watch

FBI to launch new system to count people killed by police officers Guardian (furzy mouse)

New Chicago Police Video Prompts Rebuke From Mayor Rahm Emanuel New York Times

Volkswagen Kept Earlier Emissions Issue From Regulator Wall Street Journal

Fed case for tightening remains unproven Financial Times

Fear grips market as oil leads commodity crash Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Corruption, Again? CalPERS Keeping Lobbying Records SECRET From its Board Members California Political Review

Class Warfare

A Safety Net for On-Demand Workers? American Prospect. If anything, this article is too polite.

Microloans Don’t Solve Poverty FiveThirtyEight (Alan)

Antidote du jour DWD: “This is my son’s dog (that I raised) Kirra – the Husky in her natural element.”


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Mary

    The 538 article on micro lending is well done. If NC continues to look at this activity, the size of the industry (over 100 million customers) should cause this kind of thoughtful discussion. Microfinance has provided access to short term (1 year) loans for short term used in a way that is self sustaining. Can these innovating microcredit institutions now sustainably offer access to insurance, long term savings, longer term credit for self employment, and –hardest of all– access to marketing and financial management advice. There are efforts in progress everywhere.

  2. allan

    Zephyr Teachout, Working Families Party endorse Bernie Sanders

    Teachout’s endorsement isn’t a surprise.
    But it’s nice to see the one from WFP,
    which famously named Andrew Cuomo as their nominee for NYS governor (over Teachout)
    and then watched as Cuomo
    (i) broke every promise he had made to them
    and (ii) tried to start an alternate party to undercut the WFP.
    It looks like the WFP has decided that there is life outside the veal pen.

  3. rusti

    As a Swedish reader comments on the the Business Insider article on Sweden’s “War on Cash”, the article contains numerous factual errors that even the smallest attempt at fact checking (say, asking anyone who lives in the country) would have revealed.

    I do not have a negative interest rate on my savings, nor does any other private person with an account at a commercial bank. ATMs are not rare or difficult to find. There is no grand conspiracy orchestrated by the Riksbank against cash, or if there is the author certainly won’t be the one to uncover it.

      1. andyb

        Business Insider is a propaganda outlet for the elites to mold opinion; the articles contain a lot of disinformation and outright untruths. if you disagree factually with their points, you are no longer allowed to post comments.

  4. fresno dan

    New Chicago Police Video Prompts Rebuke From Mayor Rahm Emanuel New York Times

    “I do not see how the manner in which Mr. Coleman was physically treated could possibly be acceptable,” Mr. Emanuel said in a statement released Monday night, along with the video. He added, “Something is wrong here — either the actions of the officers who dragged Mr. Coleman, or the policies of the department.”

    “I do not see how the manner in which Mr. Coleman was physically treated could possibly be acceptable,” Mr. Emanuel said in a statement released Monday night, along with the video. He added, “Something is wrong here — either the actions of the officers who dragged Mr. Coleman, or the policies of the department.”

    Renault: I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
    Croupier: [hands Renault money] Your winnings, sir.
    Renault: Oh, thank you very much. Everybody out at once!

    My view is that Renault is the more honest crook…and more succinct

      1. fresno dan

        I’m thinking its the fault of the ground – you know – the floor.
        Think about it – if there had been no ground, no floor, Mr. Coleman would have been gliding through the air on a soft, friction-less cloud of air….
        Who could object to that????

        Ah, I can hear the naysayers now – what about all the tasering????
        obviously, all due to evil, evil wires and conduction – no electricity, no problem. I blame Maxwell and his wicked discovery of electromagnetism….what a criminal mastermind, coming up with such a theory more than a century ago to cast aspersions upon our heroic Chicago police and honorable Chicago politicians….

  5. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Watching the GOP insiders panicked response to Trump’s latest unfiltered remarks on Muslims has been quite illuminating.

    First of all, let’s put things in proper perspective. No matter how abominable, bad, or off base you think his comments were, they’re just words. Words have power, but let’s compare and contrast mere “talk” with actual actions. Actions like supplying weapons and cash to arm thugs in Syria and Libya who then try to overthrow legitimate UN recognized governments. And then blow back into actual terrorist attacks that kill their own constituents.

    (A US citizen was killed in the Paris attacks. I am certain the family got no apology from the Senators/US House reps in her district for their support of the Pentagon’s war on Assad that helped get their child killed.)

    Or how about actions like violating the constitution and their own oaths of office? Just to pull a couple of examples of that, Congress has allowed military action in Syria without a vote in violation of the war powers resolution, and urinated on the 4th amendment by trying to force American companies to put “back doors” in their products to spy on all of us.

    Even the NY Times admits Trump’s Muslim ban wouldn’t be unconstitutional:

    So the “pearl clutching” by the likes of Ryan and the GOP screamers should be seen for what it is. A pathetic attempt to save their own miserable hides from the voters, and keep them around for another election cycle to vacuum up campaign cash, while they wait for their cushy post-DC book deals and Goldman Sachs lobbyist gigs.

    Now in case in anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m defending Trump here not because I agree with him on this policy. I think it would be morally wrong and counterproductive to ban immigrants by religion. Better to overhaul our immigration laws to recognize assimilation and acceptance of western values as a must-have. However, I think the reaction by the GOP leaders gives us insight into how cowardly and disgusting they’ve become, and how utterly they deserve what’s coming to them.

    A party that so cravenly responds to rhetoric from their own leading candidate is heading for the dumpster.

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: It’s Time for the TV Networks to Challenge Trump New Yorker (resilc)

    What this author really meant to say is that “it’s time for the TV networks to CHARGE Trump.”

    After “officially” shedding buckets of crocodile tears over the hijacking of the “democratic process” by “money in politics,” network executives must be verklempt as visions of a political ad spending bonanza dance right out of their heads.

    Tens of millions of dollars can’t buy jeb! or rubio so much as a second glance, but, because he’s NEWS, they’ve got to air Trump’s message–for FREE.

    It must be killing network execs and once omnipotent donors to see their influence diminished through sheer force of unscripted, un-telepromptered personality.

    It’s campaign finance “reform” without the mess and pork of “legislation.” More like a drive-by shooting.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Couldn’t agree more, Katniss. Trump is disruptive in a whole lot of ways and his impact is being underestimated across the spectrum.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Given the power and penetration of the military in the political economy, I got curious about how the Troops view the Trump. Just a cursory search so far, but if the participants in the “community” at are a representative sample, it seems at least when it comes to counting votes versus issuing internal passports and manning checkpoints and doing the martial-law thing (better or worse than “Sharia Law”?), “il Douche” appears to have some pretty potent support, along with some intelligent critique.

        Our civilian government persists only so long as the “Seven Days In May”/”Broken Arrow”/Erick Prince types stay on the reservation and don’t feel their perks are in jeopardy. And the planning and practice for “dealing with insurrection in the Homeland” are pretty advanced, and believe it or not there’s a tradition of consideration if not actual practice of military coups d’etat in our great Democracy along with lots of Sneaky-Pete current skills and practice on Mopelands across the globe to support one, and the media machinery to help make it stick. And, of course, our bloodless capitalists and financialists would more likely be just fine with such a change, as their analogues elsewhere have been for millennia.

        1. Steve Gunderson

          Erick Prince couldn’t over throw a paper bag and wouldn’t even try unless he was getting paid a lot of money.

      2. Paul Tioxon

        “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” HL Mencken

        Donald Trump by force of his personality, whether by practiced manners that is just a part of who he is, or some informed amount of posturing by the advice of consultants, knows full well that the polite image of pubic politics is a filtered sham. When Joe Biden is considered some kind of whacked out character that simply does not know how to behave in public or other polite company, the goofy uncle at Thanksgiving and other memes is a joke. The people who are going to work everyday can act and talk much worse than Joe Biden and others that are ridiculed by journalist as beyond the pale. Then, along comes Trump. Just how Chuck Todd of NBC does not fall over faint, overcome by the vapors in the presence of Trump after his standard tsk tsking of those just not up to snuff is truly a commendable example of moral and intestinal fortitude.

        Trump is speaking in a manner that normally would be dismissed as one man’s madness and shut down from widespread media exposure. He is disrupting the business as usual and comes up with one after another beyond the pale policy quotes, and knows full well that the silent majority hasn’t been silent for at least the past 25 years with a radio wave takeover of right wing talk shows that on a daily basis say the same things he says in small towns and big cities. He has not come out of nowhere. His platform is built upon the many hosts as well as listeners that call in and voice all manner of disturbing thoughts.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Two ways to not go broke:

          1. underestimate the intelligence of the American public (or the French public, or any public).

          2. Use GM foods, mass media or dumb down education to lower the intelligence of the American public.

          The latter is potentially more profitable.

    2. fresno dan

      Katniss Everdeen
      December 9, 2015 at 9:41 am
      Right On!

      After decades of ever declining seriousness, and ever increasing crassness, the network “news” departments should be the last group to decry the superficiality of what they themselves have aided, abetted, and instigated.

      I am thinking of running in the repub primary next time: (seriously, as a money making venture)
      My plan:
      1. Restore American greatness
      2. Take American greatness upward, and forward, but always twirling, twirling to orgasm
      3. My campaign events will have cheerleaders. In keeping with my freedom bent, they will be topless. I will lead a cheer, for 5 or 10 seconds – than my policy proposals will be cheered out by the topless cheerleaders. Cheerleaders will take questions, but only as relates to policy.
      3.a. There will be free beer. Good beer. If the polls flag, consideration will be given to free wine and whiskey. But I thinking the demographics would argue against free wine…unless 2 buck chuck.
      4. I will not rule out bottomless cheerleaders, if my polls decline. Or if the poles of my supporters wilt…
      5. I expect not to do well in Iowa, but as the primaries enter more cosmopolitan territories, I expect a great spurt of support…
      6. It is beneath contempt for even the issue of human sacrifice as a campaign ploy that I would consider using to be brought forth, and simply shows the media is full of anti fresnodan radical jihadi sympathizers.
      I will not dignify such questions/comments with a response.
      7. Gunfights at my campaign events are encouraged as the most effective and efficient method for settling differences of an opinion. In addition, they advance rating and assure 24/7 media coverage. If you outlaw bullets, bullets will be sad and have nothing to do.
      8. In a free market, ratings supply more accurate, more timely, and a more cost effective method than voting. You can’t sell the product if no one sees the ads…

      Tell me why the above won’t work – maybe, MAYBE won’t get me elected, but I would expect to make some money. The only problem I foresee is that it is hard to find anything to rhyme with “fresnodan”

      1. fresno dan

        Upon further reflection,I think I will use a handsome, young, studmuffin, extremely well hung, to represent me, as I am pretty homely. Actually, vomit inducing ugly. Standing next to extremely attractive cheerleaders only makes me look worse. My male surrogate campaigner would be topless too, as it would be sexist just to have topless female cheerleaders.
        I also will not rule him out going bottomless, should the polls decline….
        I would think that will help me with the gay and female demographics….

        1. cwaltz

          Hell, at least his way the rubes would get something out of it(although I’m sure his idiot opponents would decry “socialism”)

      2. flora

        Oh, the theatricality of your proposal! An opera bouffe campaign. If only the great sequined showman, Liberace, was still here. He could glide on stage, with cheerleaders – boy and girl , and repeat The Donald’s words and gestures to an adoring crowd. What a scene!

    3. Kurt Sperry

      There seems to be a clear and apparently growing trend evident in the last couple of election cycles where even huge campaign budgets and insider party access pipelines haven’t been enough. The American electorate has gotten cynical/realist enough to know the people giving the politicians money and access aren’t working in their interest–unless by sheer accident–but working in their own narrow interests instead. Combine this with the internet with its intrinsically lower entry barrier to broad communication and having Goldman Sachs and Time Warner give you millions–or just pay you six figures to do a speech–may no longer be net positive. Or not a safe one at any rate. There’s a palpable volatility afoot as the quite naked dissonances between public policy and public interest caused by corruption, albeit scandalously legal corruption for the most part, meets better information. That’s the good news side of Trump’s rise; the DC insider political establishment fears him because they cannot control him. Jeb Bush last I looked had the largest and best endowed campaign budget of the GOP field and had the connections sewn up. He’s at what four percent or something? Hillary gets a strong challenge from a self-described socialist with obviously zero corporate or insider party support who was completely written off as a fringe candidate when he threw his hat in. Stuffs not working as planned, in either camp. I think the first party to make a show of turning away from corporate/Wall St. money and go populist is likely to gain a big step on the other that could hold for awhile. I have no idea which one might first, both are built from their foundations to resist such pressures. That’s in fact what the money poured in is exactly aimed preventing but when the narratives and scripts that have worked for decades stop behaving as expected, money becomes almost irrelevant, or worse it just shouts out the defective message louder.

      1. fresno dan

        Good thoughts. I have the same idea concerning advertising – it is ubiquitous, incessant, and as all encompassing as the air. And taken just as for granted.
        ” albeit scandalously legal corruption for the most part, meets better information”
        As Michael Kinsley used to say, the scandal isn’t what is ILLEGAL, the scandal is what is LEGAL….

  7. PQS

    Re New Yorker on Trump:
    Absolutely. The media once again is utterly enabling an attention seeking monster by uncritically covering his every word. Attention cable news: there ARE OTHER THINGS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW APART FROM TRUMP S LATEST OUTBURST.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The “media” invented the great american “tradition” of perpetual elections in order to relieve themselves of their obligation to actually INFORM their audience on CURRENT events.

      Now that “The Donald” is a major player, they have no choice. Something to do with hoisting and petards.

    2. hunkerdown


      “We know, Dad,” the teen said with an exasperated sigh, without skipping the least beat in their video game.

  8. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re “Contrary to reports, basic income study still at preliminary stage”

    Utrecht, The Netherlands is the place to watch now.

  9. fresno dan

    Jeb Bush’s Last Resort: Donald Trump Is a Clinton Plant Gawker (Chuck L)

    “This conspiracy is extremely delicious, though for obvious reasons not-quite mainstream. Still, the idea that Trump is purposefully sabotaging the Republican race has been percolating long enough that we covered it at-length back in August.”

    I don’t think it is true, but what if it were? How far could Trump go by being a repub truth teller????

    The below is sarcasm – see Johnathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”

    How can stating a party’s view’s so in tune with so many of the party’s base result in such a disaster? I would assert that Trump merely clearly states, with clarity and succinctness, and great courage, at tremendous peril to himself, the true, unadulterated, and heartfelt beliefs of the true, god-fearing, red, white, and blue ‘Mericans.

    When one sees what the patriotic believe, without quibbling, caveats, weaseling, or squeamishness, one sees the policies that can only restore America, the greatest country in the Universe, to its rightful place as the greatiestier country in the Universe.
    Let’s start:
    1. The problem with police violence against blacks, and and all accused, and protesters (except right to life protesters, of course) is that there isn’t enough of it and there isn’t violent enough.
    2. Repubs believe in nuking Iran
    3. Repubs believe in nuking Syria
    4. Repubs believe in nuking Iraq
    5. Repubs believe in nuking Isis (as well as Hamas, and Hummus – we will nuke vegetarian spreads because freedom, as well as real ‘Mericans eat only steak, raw)
    6. Repubs believe in nuking Russia
    7. Repubs believe in nuking China EXCEPT the places that export NFL memorabilia and other cute stuff
    8. Repubs believe in nuking anyone who doesn’t believe in nuking everybody above
    9. Repubs believe in nuking the whales. dirty, wet, commie whales…
    10. repubs believe in nuking targets yet to be determined, but not limited to any finite number…
    10.a For the record, repubs do not accept “finite” or any finite limit to ‘Merican greatiness.
    11. Repub squishes believe outlawing owning machine guns/grenade launchers is an affront to the constitutional right to bear arms – real repubs believe in the right to bear intercontinental ballistic missiles so that a man can defend his home against foreign invaders, e.g., Panama.
    12. The bill of rights is a commie document – except the holy 2nd amendment, which was taken from the Bible.
    13. The government is exclusively composed of shirkers, scalawags, grifters, perverts, scoundrels, and as*holes, except the police and military who are composed exclusively of heroes.
    14. Taxes are TOO HIGH. Taxes should be reduced to less than zero – much, much, much less than zero. Logic that this is tantamount to a guaranteed income is rejected (see below) because that would be communism.
    15. Logic, consistency, rationality, math, reality, and facts are rejected as being inimical to the repub program…
    16. Everything ever politician says is a lie – including this statement.
    17. America was made by God, blessed by God, and protected by God. Except for the fureigners and immigrants like blacks, Chinese, homosexuals, liberals, democrats, women libbers, Catholics, Jews, college students, millennials, ….OK, its just shorter to say white men between 44 and 100 who are repubs, but not squish repubs like Rockefeller…..Anyway, God put all these less than pure here so that we, the pure, would have something to rant about…
    18. Repubs think eating the rich is class warfare, which is an affront to good taste and common decency – but barbecuing the poor is OK and delicious, and will solve poverty and unemployment.
    19. The world is getting colder, much, much colder
    20. Because the world is getting colder, we will need to take over ever oil producing country in the world to assure the free market distribution of oil….

    Hmmmm …..would it work if the repubs put someone in the dem primary to take to outrageous extremes what the party’s base thinks? Hmmmmm…..maybe they already have, and its Bernie Sanders.
    1. Universal health care – check.
    2. Scale back the terror industry – check.
    3. Enforce the law with regard to Wall Street – check

    As you can see, the above is so outrageous, evil, and an affront to common humanity, that I must invoke this is the MOST EVIL SINCE THE MUSTACHIOED GUY WHO RAN GERMANY DURING WWII

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

    1. JeffC

      Nuke the Gay Whales for Jesus!

      Some things never change. Some work colleagues and I came up with the above hypothetical conservative bumper sticker during the approach to the 1988 US presidential election.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I recall that and similar offerings from the id going way back to the ’60s. The Three True Larouchie Believers at a preaching card table set up by the ticket desks at O’Hare had that as one of the waggish bits on the posterboards they were sporting as they harassed the people trying to get to their flights. Along with another couple of Larouchisms of the Month, “Feed Jane Fonda To The Whales!”, and the ever-popular “Nuclear Power is Safer Than Sex!” The young lady touting that latter one did not take kindly to my inquiring when was the last time she jumped the bones of a reactor, nor to my little counter-protest, written on the back of my legal pad with a Sharpie in a bold hand, “Feed Lyndon Larouche To Jane Fonda!” with a clumsy cartoon graphic.

        Search the phrase, and you will come up with a flood of hits showing how “political incorrectness” is reviled, revived and prospering amongst us Naked Apes, with lots of pictures, and places to exchange money for display versions of the happy aphorisms of hatred…

        “There’s Something Wrong With Practically Everything, And It Is Never Going To Get Any Better.” So let’s get started!

    2. shinola

      Hmmm… that gives me an idea:
      Couldn’t we mitigate or even reverse global warming with a Nuclear Winter?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Nothing to it, see? There apparently is no bottom to the deep pool of human stupidity… and cupidity, and duplicity, and all the other -‘itys we innovate and generate and with the power G_D Almighty gave Adam in the Garden, that we invoke by naming them… Maybe some of us are starting to apprehend that while there’s no bottom, there seems to be an end not so far ahead…

    3. McKillop

      Come now. Are you claiming that ‘repubs believe in nuking right whales – right whales are three species of large baleen whales of the genus Eubalaena: the North Atlantic right whale (E. glacialis), the North Pacific right whale (E. japonica) and the southern right whale (E. australis).?- wiki
      Answer yesno. man.

  10. allan

    Shorter Third Way: Dems need to leave the 1% ALOOONE!

    On the left, populist standard-bearer Bernie Sanders is packing auditoriums with vitriolic speeches about a “rigged” economic system and the greed of the 1 percent. Populism can certainly build crowds and sell hats, but can it deliver electoral victories? … We’re focused on whether it could build Democrats majorities up and down the ballot. We think the answer is “no.”

    Vitriolic? Surely a bunch of ex-Wall Streeters and their hirelings can afford a dictionary.

      1. Vatch

        From the article:

        “So there is anger out there, but it’s directed at Washington, not so much at the 1%.”

        And who owns the government in Washington? The billionaires and hecto-millionaires.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s a tripartite world: Big Government – Big Business – The Little People.

          Congress to coin money (by buying gold, mint it, charge the Little People for the expense). Constitution.

          When money is cost-free, what is not reserved to the government belongs to the Little People. More Constitution.

          Cost-Free fiat money belongs to the Little People.

          With the People’s Money, we can restore balance to the Tripartite World.

          And three legs make a stable table or chair, as we know.

        2. nigelk

          And tellingly, though every voter in our groups supported raising the minimum wage, not a single one thought it would directly help them or their family.”

          So, you interviewed ZERO people whom make minimum wage, and you’re purportedly telling me what the voters do and don’t want?

          51% of Americans make under $30k/yr, BTW…

        3. nigelk

          Yet more: “An increasingly leftward-leaning Democratic Party is in free-fall. From a combined 343 House, Senate, and gubernatorial seats at the start of 2009, Democrats now hold 252. Our 18 governors are the second fewest for Democrats since 1922. At 188 House seats, Democrats have to go back to 1931 to find a time when we held fewer.”

          With a straight face, authors attempt to call Obama’s DLC-inspired corporatists as “left-ward leaning” and cites THAT as why Dems have gotten crushed at the local level? Dems did have a lousy congress in 1931…And in 1932, what happened? FDR, who makes Bernie look like Eisenhower and makes Hillary look like Mussolini.

    1. marco

      And this makes me very ill.. “Mr. Rubio has highlighted the role of Marilyn B. Tavenner, the former Obama administration official in charge of rolling out who is now president of the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans.”

      1. hunkerdown

        What makes you ill about that, exactly? That your Party is corrupt, or that it’s being discussed “in front of the children”?

      2. cwaltz

        Is anyone surprised that the people at the negotiating table for this administration got cushy jobs for soft ball negotiations?

        Revolving door politics, it isn’t just a banking gig.

  11. Robert Callaghan

    The Wizardry Of Bullshit

    Do you seriously think 7 billion people will stop eating meat?

    Livestock = pop. 70,000,000,000

    Livestock = 97% of all land-air vertebrate biomass

    Livestock = 45% of all the planet’s land use

    Livestock = 80% of all rainforest deforestation drivers

    Livestock = 51% of all GHG

    Livestock = 65% of all NO3, (NO3 = 296 X > C02)

    Livestock = 50,000,000,000,000 gal(/year H20

    Major Green NGOs Will Not Tell You The #1 Cause Of Mass Extinction



    What This Means:
    The energy extractive industry is far less important than what we eat.

    Effective sustainable world renewable energy transition is impractical, if not physically impossible to achieve.


    They are not what you think they are.

    Money and power is more important than honesty.

    endzmeans = meanzendz

    1. Vatch

      One doesn’t have to agree with every detail of what you say to recognize that many people eat too much meat, or that there are too many people, period. Rather than hoping to stop meat eating, perhaps we can encourage a reduction in meat eating. See:

      Many mainstream environmental groups have been lax on the topic of human overpopulation. People who are serious about solving the world’s problems can look up these two groups to learn more: The Population Reference Bureau and Population Media Center. See this, too:

      1. fresno dan

        I agree.
        I have not gone….O! uh, no pun intended, cold turkey on meat, but I have reduced it by 90, maybe 95% (I did not eat that much to begin with) and use it basically as a condiment. At some point I expect to substitute fats and sauces. Not to mention, the stuff is expensive.

    2. Vatch

      Tackling a taboo: climate activists take tender approach on meat

      A selection from the article:

      Chances are that you believe in climate change, but would be furious if someone tried to take away your steak.

      That’s why activists at this year’s U.N. climate summit in Paris are taking a gentle approach to tackling the world’s greenhouse gas-intensive love affair with meat, ranging from offering lookalike plant burgers to suggesting a gradual weaning off animal protein.

      “This is one of the most delicate issues with climate protection, because we all have our habits and diet is something quite holy for some people, not to be meddled with,” said Jo Leinen, an omnivorous German member of the European Parliament.

      Negotiators from nearly 200 countries are focusing mainly on reducing carbon dioxide output from industry in order to limit global warming, rather than on diet.

      But the livestock sector is responsible for about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, through cows producing methane and production processes – comparable to all the direct emissions from cars, planes, ships and other transport.

      1. James Levy

        People breed and feed the animals. It’s not their fault they exist. But I would take note of a vastly important ingredient that farm animals have contributed and will have to continue contributing even if we reduce the number of humans on the planet (which we must), and that is their poo. Without manure we would be at the mercy of chemical fertilizers or mining and shipping vast quantities of phosphates all over the globe. That would be bad. Better to have a limited number of farm animals and use their dung to enrich the soil. We’ve got to manage contraction. Part of that contraction is going to entail limiting human and livestock populations. But it has to happen in a manner clearly articulated and that effects everyone as equally as possible. But we believe that money buys you choices, and therefore the more money you have, the more choices you should be allowed. But very soon we will have no choice. My guess is that we will prefer to “let nature take its course’ and allow the rich and feral to survive as the goodies disappear from the stores rather than enforce a less draconian but more authoritarian response.

        1. Vatch

          In moderation, animal waste is a useful fertilizer. Unfortunately, the waste output of CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) is so huge it causes many problems. Some of the cases of recent E coli or salmonella poisoning can probably be attributed to either overflows from CAFO waste lagoons or to the use of raw manure as a fertilizer. For more information, see this on pollution from giant livestock farms:

          1. polecat

            We use year old compost (chicken Manure+ kitchen scraps) for our vegie beds, fruit trees, & berry plants, with great results for the plants. but it also conditions the soils on our city lot—-we never use commercial fert. We eat some meat, with in reason, just not our hens…..the’re for layin.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Meat eating, from my own experience, is something one can learn to control – a question of attitude, conditioning, commercial watching, etc, in times of plenty.

        When resources become scarce, one learns to do without out of necessity.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      Shorten one person’s life by 50 years vs. shorten 5,000 people’s lives by 2 years each

      lose a limb vs. lose part of one’s soul

      Physical violence vs. spiritual violence

      10 deaths before you vs. 1,000 deaths somewhere in the planet

      death by beheading vs. death by second-hand marijuana smoking

      energy extraction vs meat eating


      We don’t see it up close, quick enough or we don’t know how to quantify in our math model. And our brain learns to ignore it.

    4. Eclair

      Fresno dan has a solution: ” Repubs think eating the rich is class warfare, which is an affront to good taste and common decency – but barbecuing the poor is OK and delicious, and will solve poverty and unemployment.”

      Barbecuing the poor will not only solve the problems of poverty and unemployment, but will also serve to reduce the number of methane-belching cattle destined to become brisket and ribs. And, it is by far a less costly … and, really, more humane …. method of reducing the unwanted surplus population. We simply replace all those prisons (many of them owned by corporations who will be eager to increase their bottom lines) with feed lots. And, rather than having the police harassing and jailing, over and over, the thousands of unhoused people who are ruining the upwardly mobile views of the new class of gentrificators in our cities, we task them (the police) with rounding up the human detritus, and shipping them off to the feed lots. Problem solved.

      Our newly-gentrified cities become crime-free and aesthetically pleasing …. and we have a steady supply of meat. I can already picture the Food Section of the New York Times!

  12. Jim Haygood

    Sanders supporters should rejoice that Time passed him by, in favor of Angela Merkel, for Person of the Year honors.

    This sets up a real-life test of the late Paul Macrae Montgomery’s Time magazine cover indicator. On a contrarian basis, it holds that when a person or financial theme makes the cover of Time, its apogee has already occurred and its star will soon fade.

    Merkel has been Germany’s chancellor for ten years now. With the kiss of career death from Time, she should be gone presently, following Canada’s overstaying Stephen Harper out the door as we shed tears of gratitude.

    Special kudos to Time’s dedicated stenographers for the obligatory Operation Mockingbird twist:

    ‘Merkel … led the West’s response to Vladimir Putin’s creeping theft of Ukraine.’

    Henry Luce (Time’s founder) would be proud!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I doubt those guys in Sweden make the same mistake again by awarding Mr. Sanders with a Noble Peace prematurely.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Trump was also in contention for the “honor,” and the “Game Change” gang was convinced he would win hands down.

      According to the “cover indicator, ” however, it looks like the fact that he didn’t means “The Donald” is still on a roll.

      Even when he loses, he wins.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Let him buy his own magazine. It’s the only way he can get the coverage he feels he deserves (namely, making the cover every week).

        Newsweek sold for one dollar in 2010. Probably Trump could pick up Time for no more than five (though it would be a bargain at half the price).

    3. Carolinian

      I was scratching my head over the Merkel pick but seems you’ve supplied the explanation. Putin!

      As to your cover theory, I believe Hitler was on the cover circa 1935. Of course he did hit the skids…..eventually.

    4. Brooklin Bridge

      Time Rag’s editorial staff has been particularly solicitous of bad omens and talismans that might cast a pall over Sanders and his larger political prospects than a mere Person of the year award from a vile rag. For instance in the poll that Time put out to its readers for who should be nominated for the, ahem…, distinction, Sanders won overwhelmingly over all other choices yet Time’s editorial staff was so concerned this might bring bad ju-ju to their favorite better-dead-than-red s-o-c-i-a-l-i-s-t (shhh) that they didn’t even nominate the Bern (though they clearly had it in for Trump because he was nominated even though far behind Sanders in the poll).

      There was considerable speculation and subsequent agreement that not being nominated would diminish Sander’s chances of winning the title thus wakening the darker gods – and lo, verily, forsooth and in truth the first part, at least, of such prediction did come to pass.

    1. fresno dan

      Actually, I’ve read so many articles that ISIS gets ALL its weapons ultimately from the US, that even I have to take off and tinfoil hat and say, “Really 100%?!? It can’t possibly be more 96.7%…”

      Besides, the weapons were probably supplied to the ISIS girl scouts during a bake sale….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Look beyond weapons. Look at their funding.

        For Al Capone, you look at his taxes.

        For those shooters, you find out who is financing them.

        For the perpetrators in Paris, again, their money.

        For drug lords, you investigate their bankers.

        For drones, you have to think about the print-as-much-as-we-like spenders.

        Money – the source of all your troubles.

  13. Jim Haygood

    When commodities crash, starving dinosaurs huddle together for warmth and shelter:

    Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. are in advanced talks to merge, in what would be a combination of two of America’s oldest companies that together are worth nearly $120 billion.

    The chemical giants, which each have a market capitalization of about $60 billion, could announce a merger in coming days, people familiar with the matter said. It would be followed by a three-way breakup of the combined company, they said, a common approach to mergers and acquisitions of late.

    Both companies have been reporting top-line revenue declines at double-digit percentages, thanks to the smash in commodity prices. Both of their shares are up by double-digit percentages today. DuPont has been in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1935.

    Earth to J-Yel: it’s five minutes till March, 1937.

    1. James Levy

      For conservatives and others who think the Constitution has become a dead letter, I would argue that it is still on a respirator, but the Clayton Anti-Trust Act is six feet under and rotting.

  14. Jef

    “The wizardry of geoengineering”

    First he points out how messing about with nature gets us into serious trouble, then goes on to say that we should take comfort in the fact that a bunch of other people are working on how to further mess with nature to fix things.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. fresno dan

      Yeah, surprising insightful article.
      I have seen links to cracked before and followed up on them. I have no idea when they ceased being “Mad” wannabe, the less sophisticated and more juvenile younger brother to “Mad.”
      Would be an interesting business article – how in the world do you parlay such a “humor” (it really wasn’t very good) magazine into what it currently is? Just seems really bizarre to me.

      1. hunkerdown

        Self-awareness is one possibility: if you aren’t getting results from doing the same thing, the sane thing to do is something else.

        I’ve not read a copy since the late 1980s or so, but I think Cracked‘s shape of humor has been more comfortable with listicles and tortured prose than MAD’s snappy, observational “humor in a jugular vein”. Perhaps the whole mag writ large was a satire of MAD Magazine writ large? I can’t think of anything memorably funny in published Cracked. I think I mostly just bought it because The Magazine I Really Wanted had sold out (of copies, I mean, not to Time-Warner).

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Banning groups.

    Sakoku Japan in the Edo Period to combat Christianity.

    From Wiki:

    Takayama Ukon (高山右近?) or Dom Justo Takayama (or Iustus Takayama Ukon or Hikogoro Shigetomo) (1552 – 5 February 1615) was a Japanese kirishitan daimyo and samurai who followed Christianity during the Sengoku period of Japan.

    More from Wiki:

    When he died in 1615, the Spanish government gave him with a Christian burial, replete with full military honors befitting a Daimyo. He is the first Daimyo to be buried in Philippine soil.[1][4]

    At that time, the Spaniards referred to the Paco area as Plaza Dilao (from the Tagalog diláw, “yellow”) because of the more than 3,000 Japanese who resided there. The square, now a public park beside Quirino Avenue in the City of Manila, is the last vestige of the old town of Paco.[1

    Already, they were color-conscious. “These guys are yellow.”

  16. flora

    re: Esquire picture – Jesus and Mary with submachine guns large capacity semi-automatic rifles? Really?

    Thompson submachine guns were semi-automatic rifles that held a magazine of 20 rounds or a drum magazine of 50 rounds. In the 1920’s prohibition era they were banned from civilian ownership because the bootleggers and gangsters were shooting up too many places. The Thompson submachine gun made the 20’s roar.
    The current AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles can hold magazines 20-30 rounds. There’s one that can hold a drum magazine of 100 rounds. These are the weapons that were used in San Bernadino, Sandy Hook, Aurora Co,and Tuscon.
    Selling submachine guns semi-automatic assault rifles with large capacity magazines to the general public needs to be better controlled. Ban large capacity magazines for civilian use. Just my 2 cents.

    1. flora

      correction: Thompsons were automatic, not semi-automatic. Point about large capacity magazines is the same.

  17. fresno dan

    “Even John Anderson, whose campaign pretty much collapsed, got more than 5 percent of the vote in 1980. That should be somewhat worrisome to Republicans because Trump would pull most of his support from the GOP standard bearer. In that ABC News/Washington Post survey, Bush dropped from 44 percent without Trump to 30 percent with him; Clinton fell only 4 percentage points (50 percent to 46). That’s a tremendous effect for a third-party candidate.”

    Go Trump! Republicans are obviously disrespecting you – don’t get mad Donald, get even!!!! Make them pay!!! THIRD PARTY!!!!!!

    If only I were a billionaire, I would fund a Trump like candidate every cycle (well, first of course, I would buy plenty of hookers and blow). And of course, might as well do a “Bernie Sanders like” candidate who would actually run as a third party candidate and intend to win.

    If the repubs want to build a base on the simple and unsophisticated who don’t understand that compromise and realism has to be the basis of a political party, and that they’re problems are not caused by those poorer than they are, but by those richer than they are, than I say give it to them until they choke on it.

    I just fear that we won’t have a vainglorious republican billionaire candidate for every election cycle…

  18. Oregoncharles


    Now I see: extra letter at the beginning of the URL. I’ll look at it in a minute, but I have an objection already: there aren’t any glaciers in China. They’re in Tibet.

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