Links 1/26/16

Happy Australia Day!

Iowa values? Cops: Iowan, 33, Battered Husband When He Declined Her Request To Have Sex The Smoking Gun (resilc)

Climate Deal’s First Big Hurdle: The Draw of Cheap Oil New York Times

Renewables Plus Transmission Could Cut Emissions by 80 Percent MIT Technology Review (David L)

The U.S. Could Switch to Mostly Renewable Energy, No Batteries Needed Smithsonian. Chuck L:

DC extra high voltage (EHV) transmission offers considerable advantages over AC. However the author doesn’t mention a major obstacle to its widespread deployment: There is as yet no commercially available, reliable circuit breaker that can interrupt fault currents on DC transmission lines operating at the voltages in the mid-six figure range and up of today’s technology. The faults on such transmission lines can occasionally be in excess of 100K amperes. (AC circuit breakers quench a fault’s arc during one of the 120 times per second that the current waveform cross zero. Direct current by definition does not cross zero in normal operation.) Because of this limitation fault protection must be provided on the AC side of the AC/DC conversion equipment. These equipments, in turn, must be designed sufficiently robust to withstand fault currents passing through them. Thus they are considerably more costly than they would be if DC breakers were available. It also limits their application to point-to-point transfers between isolated or tenuously connected AC grids.

Touring Can’t Save Musicians in the Age of Spotify New York Times

Why 6 Republican senators think you don’t need faster broadband CIO (Chuck L)

How a DIY Network Plans to Subvert Time Warner Cable’s NYC Internet Monopoly Motherboard (David L)

Brain-Shrinking Zika Virus Bound for U.S., WHO Predicts New York Magazine. Wow, El Salvador has told women not to get pregnant till 2018?!?

Mr. Market is in a Tizzy Yet Again

China Shares Plunge to Lowest Close Since December 2014 Wall Street Journal

Opec pleads for Russian alliance to smash oil speculators Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph


China Focus: Fund to help those made redundant by overcapacity cut Xinhua. Bill B highlights this quote: “Large-scale redundancies in the steel sector could threaten social stability.”

Capital controls may be China’s only real option Financial Times

The beginning of China’s deindustrialization? failed evolution


One year on, Syriza has sold its soul for power Costas Lapavitsas, Guardian (margarita, Sid S). Wow, it was a year ago yesterday that Syriza assumed power. It seems so long ago….

Refugee Crisis

EU pushes ‘worst-case scenario’ to stem migrant crisis Politico

Greece Hits Back at Calls for Schengen Zone Exclusion Wall Street Journal

Taking from the refugees DW


What Donald Rumsfeld Knew We Didn’t Know About Iraq Politico

China Deal Shows Iran Tilting East, Not West OilPrice

U.S. & Allies Make bin Laden Admirer a Negotiator in Syria Peace Talks George Washington

Imperial Collapse Watch

How Flint traded safe drinking water for cost-cutting plan that didn’t work Guardian (Sid S)

Ohio town closes schools as state EPA demands more water tests CNN (Carla)

Boeing completes first refueling flight of KC-46A tanker Reuters (EM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Shodan Lets You Browse Insecure Webcams Bruce Schneier


Meet the New Harry and Louise Jacobin (Benedict@Large). Epic. A must read.

The Marketing of the American President Project Syndicate (Chuck L). Written by a true elitist, drips with contempt. Thinks that the reason Sanders (and Trump) are beating Clinton and Bush is “personality” and the simplicity of their pitches (as if the 21st Century Glass Steagall bill that Sanders supports is simple). They allegedly prefer the “nutty professor” Bernie to the cold fish Hillary. It apparently does not cross this living-within-the-echo-chamber academic’s mind that voters recognize that Hillary has a corruption problem, is owned by Wall Street, and mainstream policies have done squat for them and lots for the wealthy and uber-wealthy. They are voting what they see as their interests, which is for outsiders who clearly have not been part of the problem, and in the case of Sanders, has an established track record to prove it.

Ben & Jerry’s co-founder creates Sanders ice cream The Hill. Scott: “Kruggie thinks this ice cream is terrible.”

Bernie Sanders could be the next Ronald Reagan Salon (Bill C)

A remarkably moving thing happened at a Bernie Sanders rally today in Iow Washington Post

INDEPENDENT Bernie voters need to change their registration, if they want to vote in PA primary (and others). A public service announcement from furzy. This is the ONLY reason I am a (hold my nose) registered Democrat. In New York, more often than not, races are settled in the Democratic party primary, so if you are registered as an Independent, you are effectively disenfranchised.

Clinton Claims She Was Secretary of State in … the Bush Administration. (I think that’s what she’s claiming, anyway.) Angry Bear

How David Petraeus avoided felony charges and possible prison time Washington Post (resilc)

Filmmakers who targeted Planned Parenthood face charges BBC

Zephyr Teachout Announces Bid for New York Congressional Seat New York Times. !!!

North Carolina’s voter ID law goes on trial Reuters (EM)

The Egg McMuffin has officially saved McDonald’s Quartz (resilc)

Class Warfare

Tumult in World Markets Damps Conviction at Davos New York Times

France braces for new taxi-Uber war Politico

Lawsuits Claim Disney Colluded to Replace U.S. Workers With Immigrants New York Times

Precipitous Rents in Ski Country Push Workers to Edges New York Times (David L)

Robert Reich on Money & the Left Political Establishment Gaius Publius. Quotes from an MSNBC interview that…get this…was taken down from YouTube. Today’s must read. What Reich said was not all that controversial, but the fact that it came from an impeccable source, an insider with deep experience, apparently made the remarks too hot to handle. Circulate widely.

Antidote du jour. From Kulantan: “An Eastern Grey at Coombabah on the Gold Coast”:

Roo links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Juneau

    Iowan asault: puts the Maniac in Nymphomaniac. Now you know why it is a disorder….(don’t know if she is a nymphomaniac but that is the sort of thing they can do)

    Zika: I think the CDC is being very careful to avoid scaring people here. They need a vaccine akin to Rubella. 2 year timeline seems pretty optimistic but I don’t know. I would avoid Carnival this year if you or those around you are getting pregnant soon.

    1. Pavel

      This of course is the terrifying prospect — even if sexual transmission only occurs e.g. 1% of the time, the resulting panic will destroy the already battered Brazilian economy (and those of the other South American countries).

      And as is evident from the dengue and West Nile episodes in the US South (FL and TX notably) and in Hawai’i, all carried by the same mosquito, it will happen in the USA as well, inevitably.

      Reading the reports thus far the media stress there is “no human to human transmission”, but (a) there may be sexual transmission, and (b) there is human-mosquito-human transmission.

      As though the world doesn’t have enough problems already! Sigh…

  2. Sam Adams

    Gaia is not happy. I’ve noticed, and perhaps others have as well, that there has been a steady rise in transmissible diseases that impact population growth and size. Could it be the invisible hand?

    1. Ed

      If you look at the history of epidemics, they always follow a big increase in population. Part of this is due to people pushing out into what had been marginal lands and encountering viruses and bacteria they hadn’t encountered before and didn’t build up immunity to. Part of it is due to contagion spreading faster in croweded communities wehre people move around alot.

      Given the big increase in world population since World War 2, health experts have been predicting a really big epidemic for some time, and its actually pretty amazing it hasn’t happened yet.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s always the little things…things hardly visible that get you.

            We pre-occupy ourselves with scales of everyday life, scales where threats like handguns are visible, but like quantum mechanics, it’s a different world in other -smaller in this case -scales and we have not evolved to focus vigilantly on them (that is, we have a faulty brain, one in which there are sufficient capabilities, but the brain can bring itself to use them…some sort of faulty design, and thus, in no way can we names ourselves as sapient, aside from the obvious conflict of interest).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Diseases shape our morality.

      If people could get sick shaking hands, it would be outlawed. And in a few years, it would be immoral to shake hands as well, just to reinforce that law. Or maybe the immorality occurs first in places laws are enacted very slowly.

    3. TheCatSaid

      The battle stance that prevails our relationship with microbes (and indeed many other relationships on this planet) may be exacerbating the problem.

      For over 16 years I’ve used the Perelandra Microbial Balancing Program, which involves a cooperative approach to establishing health and balance in our individually unique microbial population. I’ve used it myself and with others. Amazing stuff.

      Microbes will always mutate faster than our threat-based strategies.

  3. shinola

    From Jacobin’s “Meet the New Harry and Louise” (referring to Ezra Klein):

    “How could Klein have felt such warmth back then for the single-payer systems of Canada or France (let alone Britain, with its socialized NHS!), while being so hostile to Bernie Sanders’s plan now, when the latter claims to draw its inspiration specifically from the former?”

    (You’ll probably need to read the article to fully grasp this question)
    What was Klein’s income in 2007? What was it in 2015? Also, in 2007 Klein was an up & comer; now he’s an established “beltway pundit”.


  4. George Carlin would love it.

    Smithsonian Think Tank(s) : Electric Power is only about 20% of emissions, and a even good part what gets made with electric power was off-shored to China, which is why the grid demand has remained almost flat for 20+ years while population went up. It’s going to take a lot more than a carbon neutral grid to break even. Thanks to the permafrost melt, it’s now probably too late anyway.
    (When a mother and a scientist tears up, it’s getting close to time to kiss your loved ones goodbye)

    As Carlin would put it, the Earth is about to shake off some fleas.

    Zika Virus: Will this be the straw that breaks the Catholic Church’s back in South America?

    1. Eclair

      Or, imagine a possible scenario in the US, in which social conservatives have succeeded in making abortion well neigh impossible and criminalized the possession of contraceptives. The Zika virus hits and women are encourage to put off child-bearing until a vaccine is developed. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

      And the care of a micro-cephalic child requires enormous resources, both emotional, physical and financial. My daughter’s neighbors have been caring for their micro-cephalic daughter for the past 12 years and it has been heart-breaking to watch … as well as a testament to the enormous power of parental love. Think of hundreds, if not thousands, of such children being born.

  5. allan

    The Petraeus story: no better exhibit of the three-tier legal system we have in this country.

    If you are poor or minority, they throw the book at you.
    If you are (upper) middle class (and have enough resources – or go horribly into debt)
    you can hire lawyers with enough juice at DOJ to negotiate with the prosecutors for reduced charges.
    If you have presidential cufflinks, you have nothing to worry about.

    1. allan

      There is a fourth tier of the justice system that I forgot to break out:
      Never, ever do anything to expose or embarrass the people at the top.
      They, and the just-following-orders apparatchiks below them,
      will stop at nothing to destroy you.
      Today’s case in point:

      Government goes after man who told NYT about Bush’s warrantless wiretapping [PrivacySOS]

      Don’t ever say the government doesn’t hold officials accountable for their acts in office. Whenever someone does something that upsets the national security state, they get hammered!

      As the National Law Journal reports, someone is finally going to be held accountable for the shocking 2005 disclosure of the Bush administration’s unconstitutional, warrantless wiretapping program. But it’s not the people who authorized that illegal surveillance. It’s the guy who told the public about it.

      In charging papers released on Tuesday, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel accused
      [Thomas] Tamm of violating local ethics rules when he went to a New York Times reporter—instead of his superiors at the Justice Department—in 2004 with concerns about the surveillance program.

      Surely Krugman has a model to explain this.

    2. perpetualWAR

      Another PERP who wore presidential cufflinks brazenly before Congress was Jamie Dimon, criminal at large.

  6. Brooklin Bridge

    There seems to be no link associated with the following, taken from links above: Am I missing something? It seems important so I mention it.

    INDEPENDENT Bernie voters need to change their registration, if they want to vote in PA primary (and others). A public service announcement from furzy. This is the ONLY reason I am a (hold my nose) registered Democrat. In New York, more often than not, races are settled in the Democratic party primary, so if you are registered as an Independent, you are effectively disenfranchised.

    1. vidimi

      a parallel can be foind in the UK with JC’s labour party campaign. memberships spiked and the bitter party establishment wanted to purge these new members on the grounds they were tory activists who wanted to sabotage labour. the same thing will certainly happen in the US when the situation gets more desperate and the Dems will actually go through with it. it’s plan b.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Important: This site gives a state by state explanation of what you must do to NOMINATE Sanders (that is, if you need to register as a Democrat in order to participate in the primaries of your state).

      1. GlobalMisanthrope

        Thanks for that!

        Now, here’s hoping that establishment Republicans don’t cross over for Clinton in the open primaries…

        1. vidimi

          republicans risk underestimating bernie as much as dems do. in fact, most republicans would despise a hillary presidency – not because of any policy differences, mind you. some republicans might sign up just to ensure hillary loses, actually. the dem establishment would seize on that to invalidate the votes of anyone who joined prior to the election.

          1. GlobalMisanthrope

            Republicans would cross over for Clinton (Didn’t Limbaugh call for it in 2008?) because they don’t think she can beat a Republican and fear Sanders could. And since their own primary is a circus, establishment Republicans really have nothing to lose.

            As far as invalidating votes goes, no. Open primaries are…open.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Maybe they should hope Democrats will cross over for anyone not Trump and keep their Republicans primary voters in house.

              It’s not like they don’t have their own Sanders=-esque problem in their own party.

          2. cwaltz

            The impression I get is they are really planning on focusing on the socialism boogeyman and the “free stuff” angle. Be prepared to hear about how much more fiscally responsible they are.

    3. Bev

      Mark Crispin Miller sources as author activist Lynn Landes ( site: )

      INDEPENDENT Bernie voters need to change their registration, if they want to vote in PA primary (and others)

      From LYNN LANDES:

      Bernie should be alerting his independent voters to change their registration to Democrat if they want to vote for him in the Pennsylvania presidential primary, as well as in other states. The independent voter is a huge group. Nationwide, 43% of all voters consider themselves to be independent according to Gallup – Not sure what official registration figures report. Many independents may not understand the limitations of their registration status (depending on their state) and how that affects their right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the primary.

      In Pennsylvania, voters must be registered Democratic in order to vote in the Democratic primary.

      IN PENNSYLVANIA – Deadline Alert: 03/28/2016 is the last day to register before the 04/26/2016 Democratic Primary Election.

      In order to change or select a party, you must submit a new application –

      You can verify your “voter status” to make sure that you identify yourself EXACTLY like you did on any previous application – For instance, I looked up my status because I didn’t remember if I used my middle initial or not. Turns out that I did.

      There are also deadlines for applying for and submitting an absentee ballot:

      Additional actions to help save democracy:

      Liberals have stopped snickering at Bernie Sanders’ (hugely popular) campaign

      In comments:
Another Presidential Election Year Featuring Unverified and/or Unverifiable E-Voting GUEST: Election integrity watchdog Bev Harris of

      (Bev) Harris tells me (Brad Friedman), describing some of the ways election integrity advocates can try to force the issue a bit. Among her suggestions: “You can go [to the polling place at closing time] and snap a picture of what those [computer tabulated] results are with your cell phone and compare it with, at least, what they report” later on.

In comments: Microsoft (rather their open back doors to NSA, CIA) wants a dominating say in Iowa with the approval of both the Democratic and Republican parties?
Iowa caucuses go high-tech


But now both parties will use a Microsoft smartphone or tablet app to report the results from each precinct caucus back to the state party on election night. In addition, the Democrats will host a tele-caucus for Iowa residents who are out of the country, allowing them to vote via a 
conference call system.
 ( If NSA/CIA controlled via backdoors, the election will be between Bush and Clinton)

      1. Bev

        Oh, thank goodness, Bernie.

        Bernie Sanders campaign questions Microsoft apps made for Iowa Caucuses

        By Colin Lecher
        on January 28, 2016

        As the Iowa Caucuses approach, Microsoft has partnered with the Republican and Democratic parties in the state to create apps for tabulating results. But the Bernie Sanders campaign is questioning why, exactly, the company is involved at all.

        “You’d have to ask yourself why they’d want to give something like that away for free,” Pete D’Alessandro, who’s heading Sanders’ Iowa campaign, said in an interview with MSNBC.

        D’Alessandro said the campaign, which has often criticized corporate influence in elections, will be using its own reporting system, as the Clinton campaign has, to double-check the results. He clarified that the issue was not with the Iowa Democratic Party as a whole, but with Microsoft’s involvement specifically. MSNBC also reported that other Sanders aides have raised concerns about Microsoft employees donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Clinton over the years.

        A spokesperson for the Iowa Democratic Party told The Verge that the app has been under development for more than a year. “Microsoft and their app partner, InterKnowlogy, are global leaders in the technology industry, and we completely trust the integrity of their staff and the app,”…

        (my note: Just like the Republican and Democratic leadership trust convicted criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s HAVA putting those right wing evidence stripping e-voting, e-scanning, e-tabulating machines everywhere through abuse and blackmail, see comments via: )

        …the spokesperson said in a statement. “The app will help make caucus reporting more efficient, accurate and secure, and we look forward to seeing it in action on caucus night.”

        Microsoft, for its part, is disputing that it had any ulterior motive in creating the apps.

  7. Maren

    As far as I can tell, here in NY you cannot change your party affiliation and vote in that party’s primary in the same year. Very irritating. Ever since Working Families endorsed Cuomo I’ve been meaning to switch…

    1. Carla

      Just as a point of information, in Ohio, whatever ballot you ask for on primary day determines your registration. You ask for a Republican ballot, and you’re a Repub. You ask for a Democratic ballot, you are a Dem. You ask for a Green Party ballot, and they say “Huh?” Then you smile and sweetly say, “Just ask your manager…”

      1. Carla

        One hitch: I think if a whole bunch of us Greens ask for Democrat ballots, the Green Party could easily lose ballot access in Ohio. I won’t be one of those turn-coats. Sanders fans–don’t worry, there aren’t many Greens in Ohio, trust me.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Same here in Oregon. And a lot of Greens are doing that.

          We just acquired one of your Ohio Greens; came to the convention last week.

          1. CraaaazyChris

            I too live in the great state of Oregon. I’ve been registered ‘independent’ for many years, but remembered yesterday that I need to register Demo to lodge a protest vote against TPP douchebags Bonamici and Wyden in the primary … so I googbler for ‘oregon political party registration’ and WOW! There is a (clunky, web 1.0) web page to update my voter reg details. Cross that one off the list!

  8. ChrisFromGeorgia


    Over at Moon of Alabama I learned from a commenter there that the editor used to work for Radio Free Europe and the Deputy editor used to work for an unnamed DC think tank. Actually these facts are not hidden – they’re right on the “about” section of the site. The founder himself has ties to Morgan Stanley and BoA/Merrill Lynch.

    So I think we need to apply this knowledge to our media filter. Similar to Yves comment on the Petersen instititute, I would not dismiss everything they say out of hand but understand there is an agenda at play.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And all regimes eventually change.

        The non-provincial question for most people in the world is this: Can you outlive your regime change?

        Regimes come and go.

        Gold is always gold; though radioactive elements have half lives, it also takes a long, long time to get close the nearly zero.

  9. Ted Braun

    I have disliked Larry Summers prior to his work with Barack Obama, but when he endorses Robert Reich I think we know it is really bad in the Democratic Party. Robert Reich, cabinet minister for Bill Clinton, openly speaking about the corruption he saw in the Political system and Larry Summers says “Robert Reich sets the terms for new and more productive debates by rediscovering the political roots of the economic arrangements we too often take for granted. Everyone concerned with our economic future will need to grapple with Reich’s arguments in 2016 and beyond.”

    Here is a quote from Reich’s recent blog. “I’ve known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 years old, and have nothing but respect for her. In my view, she’s the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have.
    But Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he’s leading a political movement for change.”

    Bill Black, the guy who exposed the savings and loan scandal in 1989, and all of the five senators known as the Keating five, has written an interesting article about how serious Wall Street is taking Sanders by their trumped up attacks on him.

    Here is why I don’t think these attacks will not work. What I don’t think these old people – myself included – understand is that this younger generation only takes this as confirmation of their insights. When the older generation doesn’t have dialogue with the younger generation, we all know from the 60s that it only further fuels the younger generation.

    History may repeat itself and we may see a resurgence of the 60s only in a different form. Will those of us who are older have the wisdom and the humility to admit where we went wrong and actually enter into a dialogue with young people.

    This is where the political establishment in both the Republican and Democratic parties may be extremely wrong in 2016. Their assumption is that they can hold on to the older voters. But scientific research has shown that older voters, who are healthy (take that as you may) are more willing to admit they are wrong then people believed.

    In a recent study find that older healthy adults not only are better than young adults at answering general-information questions in the first place, but also, when they do make a mistake, they are more likely than young adults to correct those errors. Correcting errors is, of course, the quintessential new-learning task: To correct mistakes, one needs to supplant entrenched responses with new ones. The fact that older adults display greater facility at error correction than young adults contravenes the view that aging necessarily produces cognitive rigidity and an inability to learn.

    An informed group of young people, in dialogue with mature healthy adults who are willing to admit they were wrong, may be the seeds for a revolution in this country that we thought would never happen.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      When reading this excerpt from Chris Hayes in the transcript:

      HAYES: Yes, having been a political reporter in Washington, D.C., you know, there are a variety of groups, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Sierra Club, that are groups that do very good work, that do a lot of things that I personally believe in, that are also as a descriptive matter they`re part of what you`re going to call an establishment in Washington of the sort of center-left probably, Center for American Progress. They are part of it.

      Jane Hamsher’s term “Veal Pen” comes to mind.

  10. craazyboy

    Renewables Plus Transmission Could Cut Emissions by 80 Percent MIT Technology Review (David L)

    The U.S. Could Switch to Mostly Renewable Energy, No Batteries Needed Smithsonian. Chuck L:

    Ja!!! 500,000 VDC. Zis ist how real manly men do it! None of zis sissyboy 5v cell phone stuff.

    They have been playing with this this idea in Europe for decades now. Not sure how it’s going.

    As Chuck L explains, fault protection is a major problem. The other problem in the US is where our “good” wind is. It’s concentrated in 5% of the country. So we would be talking grids of 500, 1000, 2000 miles long. These runs would be fault protected at their AC endpoints???? HAHAHAHA. They don’t have a clue if that’ll work. We do have “marginal” wind areas – but that’s like the “fracking” segment of windpower.

    1. Torsten

      A quick google of EHV dc circuit breaker didn’t turn up much, but it did turn up a Siemens 2008 pdf with a picture of a 800kV dc circuit breaker, so maybe we can postpone the end of the world for a few more years.

      1. craazyboy

        That may be good news for little Holland (ocean rising – not so much), but we still have the 2000 miles to run 500kV towers, if they’re counting on our good wind place to make their “research study” calcs work.

        1. alex morfesis

          You mean giant wind…”marginal” locations may not work for giant utilities but using cell and radio tower type structures with much smaller turbines facing in four directions (or 8 as another fellow mensa nutter once suggested) would be easier to manage and lose less capacity to absorb kinetic energy flows…also stacking smaller trubines so the same wind gets used multiple times with the same air flow…creating a tunnel effect..

          1. craazyboy

            Yeah, marginal is ok. But the early 2000s vintage projections done by the DOE said we may be able to go 20-25% of total electric capacity from wind + solar. They took these geographical limitations into account. The clickbait headlines above are saying 80% and “all” electric generation.

          2. optimader


            unfortunately for WT technology, size does matter, smaller turbines are fun and may have very nich applications, but demonstrably not an economical way to go to supplant conventional power generation. As well “stacking” turbines in series t use the same air flow is exactly not how to do it. Great efforts are made to place WTs in clean, undisturbed air flow.
            BTW utility grade WTs can rotate to capture the prevailing wind.

              1. optimader

                That’s where the gnashing of teeth happens in the forensic review of actual service life vs investment life
                But wouldn’t that be a wild ride in the WT nacelle!? Here, hold my beer!

                1. craazyboy

                  Yeah, but when unforeseen stuff like that happens is when they start calling engineers “idiots”, “incompetents”, and nasty names like that. So it’s not all fun.

    2. bob

      Combing variable aka renewable sources AND trying to transport it via DC? I can’t think of two technologies less suited for each other.

      The largest example of DC transport I’ve seen/studied-

      Hydro. Big, Constant. Point to point only, also.

      Seems more a European thing, and probably better suited to that population distribution. And water.(cooling?)

      They’re proposing an underwater line like this for Lake Champlain, on a route from QC to NYC.

    3. sthomas

      DC power has a huge advantage in that it doesn’t produce cancer causing EMF fields. Fault current protection will likely be by fuses, not circuit breakers. There are fault limiting fuses for AC current that are quite excellent. I’ll look into this regarding DC fuses.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t have the source to hand, but wasn’t a DC network one of Obama’s proposals for ‘shovel ready’ projects back when he got elected? My memory of it is that someone well sourced said that he was personally very keen on it, but Christina Romer talked him out of it, essentially saying that it would take too long to build, the economy would be up on its feet before it was ready.

      There is nothing particularly new about long distance DC lines, the Brazilians built a massive one across the Amazon back in the 1980’s. In fact, DC technology is arguably older than AC – famously Edison promoted the electric chair because he wanted to persuade people that AC was fundamentally dangerous (he was a supporter of DC).

      1. craazyboy

        IIRC, Edison was instrumental in getting the world to go AC. Or maybe I got that backwards. But anyway it’s the rotating generating equipment and electric motor loads where the choice was first important. AC equipment doesn’t need commutator and brushes. But the downside is AC transmission suffers from poor “power factor”.

        A key problem here is DC to AC conversion. It needs solid state components – and at 500Kv-1000Kv it’s a LOT of them to get the DC back down to 120V AC or thereabouts. If would have long transmission lines, and there is a mag field around it. If you collapse that field you get a voltage spike that will fry the electronics. Multiples of 500Kv is a lot! If you get a fault {short circuit} that fries everything. The longer the transmission line, the worse the inductive effect is whether it’s DC or AC.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Does it feel like we are scraping the bottom of the barrel for solutions?

          Maybe global curfew one-hour after sunset will come sooner than expected…

          Just make sure no hanky-panky in that extra-long darkness.

    5. optimader


      I had a post this am which must have offended the skynet algo as it wouldn’t stick, so I’m not going to reproduce it but here’s a topical link you can peruse:
      Fault Blocking Converter For DC Networks ……As applied to HVDC networks–> Supergrids

        1. craazyboy

          Glad they remembered lightning strikes to the grid, too. Maybe the utilities could add a Frankenstien room and come up with another product line to offset cost?

    6. TheCatSaid

      Many decades ago Russia developed stacked-cell supercapacitor technology (or also called ultracapacitors). It’s fundamentally different from the USA/JP type wound-cell technology (Maxwell, etc.). Also better environmentally, as it can use a water-based electrolyte.

      It’s been used for many things for >25 years in Russia (e.g., starting diesel locomotives with ancient batteries in Siberian winter conditions, regenerative braking on trams/buses, mobile x-ray vans that get better resolution images with less x-ray exposure time, and–specifically relating to this thread–for power conditioning/power smoothing to avoid dips and surges in power lines. There are folks in Europe working on this.

    7. TheCatSaid

      Why we’d want a huge transmission system is beyond me. The losses in transmission are enormous.The only folks who benefit are the big power companies, and governments desiring more control.

      We need to find ways to generate energy close to where it’s used, and ideally without changing energy “phases”. (I.e., use heat energy for heating, use electrical energy for things requiring electrical power, rather than changing the form of the energy.)

      Local energy generation at the individual or neighborhood level is important for our future. Little is being done to support this, and some states forbid it.

    8. heresy101

      Commenters are so negative here. DC is old proven technology. LADWP has been using a DC line to save $600K per year for 45 years.
      “The Pacific DC Intertie (also called Path 65) is an electric power transmission line that transmits electricity from the Pacific Northwest to the Los Angeles area using high voltage direct current (HVDC). The line capacity is 3,100 megawatts, which is enough to serve two to three million Los Angeles households and represents almost half (48.7%) of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) electrical system’s peak capacity.”

      Besides saving $600K per year in losses and transmitting cheaper hydro power to LA, it allows LADWP to be it’s own balancing authority and avoid a lot of CAISO outrageous transmission costs. The original project has been paid for but various upgrades have been added.

      The oil baron, Anschutz, has proposed the DC Transwest Express line from Wyoming to CA. The line would be designed and built if bankers would use their Fed money for real projects rather than speculation. To get a scale on these projects, the total load in CAISO is about 45,000 MW and this would be about 5% of peak. For comparison, Nevada has about a 4,000 MW peak. This project will be built to help CA make its 50% renewable RPS in 2030.

      DC is not new technology and is becoming more cost effective. We looked at it 10 years ago to avoid CAISO’s outrageous costs and it is time to revisit the analysis. One DC line to San Francisco was built from Pittsburg and now it is time for a second one.

    9. heresy101

      Commenters are so negative here. DC is old proven technology. LADWP has been using a DC line to save $600K per year for 45 years.
      “The Pacific DC Intertie (also called Path 65) is an electric power transmission line that transmits electricity from the Pacific Northwest to the Los Angeles area using high voltage direct current (HVDC). The line capacity is 3,100 megawatts, which is enough to serve two to three million Los Angeles households and represents almost half (48.7%) of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) electrical system’s peak capacity.”

      Besides saving $600K per year in losses and transmitting cheaper hydro power to LA, it allows LADWP to be it’s own balancing authority and avoid a lot of CAISO outrageous transmission costs. The original project has been paid for but various upgrades have been added.

      The oil baron, Anschutz, has proposed the DC Transwest Express line from Wyoming to CA. The line would be designed and built if bankers would use their Fed money for real projects rather than speculation. To get a scale on these projects, the total load in CAISO is about 45,000 MW and this would be about 5% of peak. For comparison, Nevada has about a 4,000 MW peak. This project will be built to help CA make its 50% renewable RPS in 2030.

      DC is not new technology and is becoming more cost effective. We looked at it 10 years ago to avoid CAISO’s outrageous costs and it is time to revisit the analysis. A second underwater DC line to San Francisco is in order again.

  11. S Hatcher

    China currently has two UHV DC power transmission lines in operation, the Xiangjiaba-Shanghai and Jinping-Nanjing transmission lines, which were completed in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

    Most of the kinks have been worked out, but it’s telling that China’s grid grew so much that they have to make these investments, because most of it is export driven. Carbon emissions have been off-shored.

  12. joecostello

    Uggh, People shouldn’t listen to Robert Reich. PP is part of the Democratic “cultural” establishment. This is what provides a difference in American politics, its the Boomers contribution to the republic as they ripped the rest of it down.

    Mrs. Bill is the personification of the Democratic establishment, all right on the cultural issues, lets not bring up how Mr. and Mrs Bill ran against the cultural Democrats in 90s, and then all Wall Street, banks, and big corporations on the economy.

    That Reich pretends like he doesn’t understand this, shows he’s till the same shill he’s always been since promoting NAFTA as Labor Secretary.

    1. Torsten

      It is a mistake to generalize about “boomers”. There were two “boomer” generations. The first, born between 1945 and 1951 and who came of age in the 60s were subject to being drafted for the Vietnam War and had some personal recollection of the Civil Rights Movement. Those born after 1952 were much less impacted by these events.

      I regret voting for Clinton in 1992, but given that the CIA had held the White House the previous four years, at the time Clinton seemed a decidedly lesser evil, as I’m sure it did to Reich.

      Lots of people should read Reich, especially everybody of his generation who has not yet come around to supporting Bernie.

        1. optimader

          It’s a mistake to generalize about generations, period.
          Especially about us old duffs, unless of course it’s a good generalization.

          We need the Slackers, I mean Millennials to cast aside their Everyone’s a Winner Collaboration Awards, step up and feel good about carrying us on their metaphorical backs going forward.. like the donkey picture yesterday.!

        2. jrs

          Yea well one keeps encountering attitudes among boomers because of what is often their relative generational privilege, that is having pensions and better economic opportunities and so on – there are many of them who don’t feel the economic strain Gen X and Millennials do, and so yea I don’t think such privileged people want radical change, it’s pretty clear they don’t (there are of course individual exceptions no matter how privileged, there always are, of course).

        3. Gio Bruno

          Yes, it is a mistake to generalize about generations. But the observation has some validity. I grew up in a family of siblings that fits the description exactly. One through four born from 1945 through 1951; number five born in 1954 (end of the Boomers). The last has little understanding of the Civil Rights era or the politics (lies) about Vietnam.

          1. optimader

            The last has little understanding of the Civil Rights era or the politics (lies) about Vietnam
            How is that possible?.

      1. jrs

        I think that might be somewhat right.

        Boomers were born generationally on 3rd base and some of them think this means they hit a triple. It’s hard to convince people with pensions and who had good job opportunities to overthrow the system (with some individual exceptions of course) and that describes many more Boomers than it does Gen Xers and Millennials.

        1. optimader

          The flip side of that generalization is that the Boomers carried water for the younger generations from when you were (are) shitting yourselves until you become productive members of society. Remember that Public Park that was ruined so you could play in that BS Little League? that Public library you used (or should of used)? the K-12 public school you attended? The JC or State University that I continue to support with tax revenue??
          Here’s a primer for all the crap I happily paid for to vicariously get you from potted plant stage to the point where you can offer your lamentations how generationally unfair things have recently become:

          At a higher level, I would be interested is seeing a show of hands (of those that are not former government/municipal employees), who are living off the largess of fantastic Corporate/Small Business Pension Plans?? MLPB?, Abynormal?, Ambrit? Lambert? Yves?

          You may rest assured, I don’t know anyone with a Pension pot to piss in.. other than a couple frmr Feds’ that paid heavily into their own retirement fund (and two school teachers from the Chicago suburbs that actually do have fantastic deals.)

          What I never really connect on in these sorts of glass half empty perspectives is GX/Millennials are concern the BB generation is going to the grave w/ all “their stuff”.

          Yes even the BB generation is going to shuffle off from this mortal coil, after in many cases being wealth stripped due to failing health insults.

          There are good jobs if you prepare yourself educationally capture them, have work ethic and are flexible enough to relocate if necessary to pursue a goal..

          1. Gio Bruno

            Umm, calm down. While I’m a Boomer and recognize the advantages it provided me I see the aspiration and hard work being put in by today’s young folks at my local community college. The economic landscape ahead of them is daunting. We all need to maintain solidarity.

            1. optimader

              Ummm get a grip on some perspective.
              I went into college in direct aftermath of the oil crisis, recession, worked a variety of low wage part time jobs,, and graduated directly into a recession and 13.5% inflation and a follow-on recession. Within two years of working my ass off, the prime interest rate was 21.5%…..
              Surprisingly I was young and survived!

        2. flora

          If you’re working to reduce the power of Wall St and increase the economic prospects for the rest of the country, this boomer is right there with ya.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Certainly get where you’re coming from, but the Reich blog quote from Ted Braun above is still on point.

      Perhaps he’s having a McNamara moment, referring to the infamous secretary of defense during the Vietnam war who ” concluded well before leaving the Pentagon that the war was futile, but he did not share that insight with the public until late in life.”

      Reich may remember how things turned out for McNamara, as chronicled in his nyt obituary, back when it actually printed “news:”

      “Mr. McNamara must not escape the lasting moral condemnation of his countrymen,” The New York Times said in a widely discussed editorial, written by the page’s editor at the time, Howell Raines. “Surely he must in every quiet and prosperous moment hear the ceaseless whispers of those poor boys in the infantry, dying in the tall grass, platoon by platoon, for no purpose. What he took from them cannot be repaid by prime-time apology and stale tears, three decades late.”

      By then he wore the expression of a haunted man. He could be seen in the streets of Washington — stooped, his shirttail flapping in the wind — walking to and from his office a few blocks from the White House, wearing frayed running shoes and a thousand-yard stare.

      Could happen.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Ever accepted a job think it would be great, but after working there for a while, found that the organization is “ethically challenged”? Some try to change the culture. Sometimes it even changes, if the organization leadership os on board. Most times, people leave when their personal ethics begin to be comprimised too much.

        Me thinks that this describes Reich’s relationship with the Clintons.

        As far as his statements, anyone with a brain knows he’s 100% correct. His problem is that stating the obvious is now controversial.

      2. fresno dan

        Robert Reich on Money & the Left Political Establishment Gaius Publius. Quotes from an MSNBC interview that…get this…was taken down from YouTube. Today’s must read. What Reich said was not all that controversial, but the fact that it came from an impeccable source, an insider with deep experience, apparently made the remarks too hot to handle. Circulate widely.

        “The Democratic establishment is slightly more liberal than the Republican establishment, but their world views are not wildly dissimilar. After all, they have similar large homes in Westchester or Bethesda; they frequent the same vacation spots in the Hamptons or the Vineyard; attend many of the same charitable balls and dinners; serve on many of the same corporate and nonprofit boards; go to the same conclaves, such as Davos; travel in similar private jets; and are invited by presidents (Republican or Democratic, depending on who they’ve supported) to attend similar White House parties and receptions, and to serve on similar presidential commissions and advisory boards. So the Democratic establishment sees the world much as the Republican establishment sees it: a system of privilege and power, to which they’re entitled because of their superior intelligence and ambition. And they view the vast and widening inequities of income, wealth, and power in America as natural and inevitable and, ultimately, just.”

        I have no doubt that Rob Rubin and Larry Summers are more pro choice and for gay marriage (just like Obama was all for gay marriage….AFTER his vice president kinda forced him to be – – who was in office when the DoMA passed?) than say all the red state representatives – but not by much.

        “… but their world views are not wildly dissimilar.”
        THERE WORLD VIEWS ARE NOT DISSIMILAR AT ALL. When it comes to liberalizing H1-B visas to crush any higher wages that would reduce the squillions upon squillions Tech squillionaires make, they are all in LOCK STEP – it is of the money, for the money, by the money – there is not enough room between them to squeeze an atom between them… Sure, hi tech squillionaires are all for the environment – much more so than some red oil guy in Oklahoma. But neither one is giving up a DIME they don’t want to – and none of them want to give up even one thin DIME.

        It doesn’t matter which “Justice” (red or blue) department it is, there will be no discussion, no investigation, no prosecution, of how Wall Street collapsed the economy.
        There is greater difference between Trump and any repub, or Hillary and Bernie, than there is between any establishment dem and repub. They might…MIGHT express some foreboding about increasing inequality, but certainly not propose anything that could plausibly be foreseen to actually cause trepidation to the 1%

        1. optimader

          Reich: Bill Clinton and I were both privileged to become Rhodes Scholars, and in those days, Rhodes Scholars all went to Oxford together to get to know each other on a boat. It seemed very quaint. And before the journey it seemed rather exciting. But in October, which is when those journeys were made, the North Atlantic tends to be very rough. And I got very seasick, and retired down to my cabin thinking I would never come back.

          There was a knock at my door, and I remember opening my door and seeing this tall, lanky guy who I had met very briefly at the dock just as we left. And he was holding chicken soup in one hand and crackers in the other, and he said, “I’m Bill Clinton, and I hear you weren’t feeling very well.” He didn’t say, “I feel your pain.” That was later. But we struck up a conversation. I was not feeling well, and it became a friendship for the next 40, 50 years.

          Producer: And what struck you about him, right off the bat?

          Reich: I was struck by his affability, his desire to connect, his empathy, certainly. I mean, here I was, he didn’t know me, I was just sick in one of the cabins, why should he come down to give me chicken soup? I was struck by the delight in his eyes in telling stories. He was a storyteller — he loved an audience, even if it was an audience of one person who was nauseous from being seasick. And in subsequent conversations, I was struck by his ambition — not in a negative sense. I mean, he really knew where he was going, at least with regard to becoming governor of Arkansas.

          BClinton, ..any port in a storm, always trying to get laid! hahahahaha

          1. skippy

            Rhodes Scholars…

            he son of a vicar, Rhodes grew up in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, and was a sickly child. He was sent to South Africa by his family when he was 17 years old in the hope that the climate might improve his health. He entered the diamond trade at Kimberley in 1871, when he was 18, and over the next two decades gained near-complete domination of the world diamond market. His De Beers diamond company, formed in 1888, retains its prominence into the 21st century. Rhodes entered the Сape Parliament in 1880, and a decade later became Prime Minister. After overseeing the formation of Rhodesia during the early 1890s, he was forced to resign as Prime Minister in 1896 after the disastrous Jameson Raid, an unauthorised attack on Paul Kruger’s South African Republic (or Transvaal). After Rhodes’s death in 1902, at the age of 48, he was buried in the Matopos Hills in what is now Zimbabwe.

            One of Rhodes’s primary motivators in politics and business was his professed belief that the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to greatness as, to quote his will, “the first race in the world”.[2] Under the reasoning that “the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race”,[2] he advocated vigorous settler colonialism and ultimately a reformation of the British Empire so that each component would be self-governing and represented in a single parliament in London. Ambitions such as these, juxtaposed with his policies regarding indigenous Africans in the Cape Colony—describing the country’s black population as largely “in a state of barbarism”, he advocated their governance as a “subject race” and was at the centre of moves to marginalise them politically—have led recent critics to characterise him as a white supremacist.

            Historian Richard A. McFarlane has called Rhodes “as integral a participant in southern African and British imperial history as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in their respective eras in United States history. Most histories of South Africa covering the last decades of the nineteenth century are contributions to the historiography of Cecil Rhodes.”[3] According to McFarlane, the aforementioned historiography “may be divided into two broad categories: chauvinistic approval or utter vilification”.[3] Paul Maylam identifies three perspectives: works that attempt to either venerate or debunk Rhodes, and “the intermediate view, according to which Rhodes is not straightforwardly assessed as either hero or villain”.[4]

            Rhodes wanted to expand the British Empire because he believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to greatness. In his last will and testament, Rhodes said of the British, “I contend that we are the first race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives.”[2]

            Rhodes wanted to make the British Empire a superpower in which all of the British-dominated countries in the empire, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Cape Colony, would be represented in the British Parliament.[30] Rhodes included American students as eligible for the Rhodes scholarships. He said that he wanted to breed an American elite of philosopher-kings who would have the United States rejoin the British Empire. As Rhodes also respected and admired the Germans and their Kaiser, he allowed German students to be included in the Rhodes scholarships. He believed that eventually the United Kingdom (including Ireland), the US, and Germany together would dominate the world and ensure perpetual peace.[7]

            Rhodes’s views on race have led critics to label him a “white supremacist”, particularly since 2015.[31][32][20] According to Magubane, Rhodes was “unhappy that in many Cape Constituencies, Africans could be decisive if more of them exercised this right to vote under current law [referring to the Cape Qualified Franchise],” with Rhodes arguing that “the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works in India, in our relations with the barbarism of South Africa”.[21] Rhodes advocated the governance of indigenous Africans living in the Cape Colony “in a state of barbarism and communal tenure” as “a subject race. I do not go so far as the member for Victoria West, who would not give the black man a vote. … If the whites maintain their position as the supreme race, the day may come when we shall be thankful that we have the natives with us in their proper position.”[33]

            On domestic politics within the United Kingdom, Rhodes was a supporter of the Liberal Party.[7] Rhodes’ only major impact on domestic politics within the United Kingdom was his support of the Irish nationalist party, led by Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–1891). He contributed a great deal of money to the Irish nationalists,[6][7] although Rhodes made his support conditional upon an autonomous Ireland’s still being represented in the British Parliament.[7] Rhodes was such a strong supporter of Parnell that, after the Liberals and the Irish nationalists disowned Parnell because of his affair with the wife of another Irish nationalist, Rhodes continued his support.[6]

            Rhodes was more tolerant of the Dutch-speaking whites in the Cape Colony than were the other English-speaking whites in the Cape Colony. He supported teaching Dutch as well as English in public schools in the Cape Colony and lent money to support this cause. While Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, he helped to remove most of the legal disabilities that English-speaking whites had imposed on Dutch-speaking whites.[7] He was a friend of Jan Hofmeyr, leader of the Afrikaner Bond, and it was largely because of Afrikaner support that he became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.[6][7] Rhodes advocated greater self-government for the Cape Colony, in line with his preference for the empire to be controlled by local settlers and politicians rather than by London (see “Rhodes and the imperial factor” above). – snip

            Skippy…. Tony Abbott is a Rhodes Scholar – Tony Abbott is expected to discuss his views on marriage at a private event organised by the Alliance Defending Freedom this week.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We are warring against ourselves on so many fronts…GMO, self-made global warming, wealth inequality…

      Per Clausewitz, that’s not very smart.

    2. ekstase

      “Recall would be a massive political and financial decision and would also be a huge embarrassment to the regulators themselves.”

      I just hate it when a poisoner gets embarrassed. Why can’t we all just get along?

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: What Donald Rumsfeld Knew We Didn’t Know About Iraq Politico

    Article dated 1/24/2016.

    By some freakish, only-in-america “coincidence,” a ghoulish-looking Rumsfeld “joined” the gang of morning joe this a. m. He also, apparently, was a guest on Colbert last night, and his latest “endeavor” is the subject of a wsj article.

    What is his latest “endeavor” you might wonder?

    He’s peddling an APP, of all things, for a digital card game called “Churchill Solitaire” which he supposedly learned many moons ago while he was doing “public service” at nato.

    ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE APP WILL GO TO CHARITY, suggesting that Bernie’s comments on the “establishment” should not be given short shrift, truth actually IS stranger than fiction and regardless of what the bible says, those camels keep trying to jam themselves through that tiny eye of the needle.

  14. allan

    Anonymous congressional staffer:

    …[Sanders’] relentless push for the single-payer model made passing the [ACA] more complicated, some staffers working on the legislation at the time told TPM…

    The horror, the horror. Remember, it’s called Talking Points Memo for a reason.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        All you need to know about the medical-pharma-insurance industrial complex is by observing the multi gazillion dollar, local business “darling”, Cerner.

        What do they do? Life saving drugs, or devices? Cure cancer? Low cost options?

        Nope. Systems to track medical records and billing.

  15. Dave

    Since Disney has abandoned American workers, it’s time for Americans to abandon Disney. Boycott their toys, theme parks and anything that they own in the media.

    The same thing can be done at your local economic level.
    Support businesses that hire local teenagers and adults from your community and pay them a decent wage.

    When you walk into a cafe in a Middle Class neighborhood, for example, and see nothing but large numbers of foreigners working there, tell the owner or manager that immigrants can patronize them because you are not going to. Tell your friends about your experience and make sure and Yelp it and share it on social media.

    For the cultural well being of your children, you should raise them Disney-free anyway.

    1. vidimi

      why can’t an immigrant also be local? surely, the problem is jobs leaving the area not jobs going to people not born in the country.

      1. HotFlash

        And profits made locally being sucked out of town. Viz, Walmart, Staples, Home Depot, McDonalds, and on and on??

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘When you walk into a cafe in a Middle Class neighborhood, for example, and see nothing but large numbers of foreigners working there, tell the owner or manager that immigrants can patronize them because you are not going to.’

      How dare those swarthy foreigners invade our respectable Middle Class [sic] neighborhoods?

      Time to mount one of them 4 x 6 ft US flags in the bed of the pickup, to show that rabble we ain’t gonna take it no more. /sarc

      1. Steve in Flyover

        Yeah, but these are OUR neighborhoods, being overrun by south of the border types invited here by business owners (usually living out of town). Of course, the problems generated by all this are paid for by the locals.

        Privatize the profit, socialize the costs……..the new US business plan.

        1. craazyboy

          But it’s yobs! And we are told Americans don’t want these yobs. Then we are told, usually by the same people, too many Americans don’t pay [income] tax….get welfare…food stamps [although that may be ok if gummint ever makes then redeemable at McDs and Taco Bell]…and gummint taxes the productive job providers too much. See a pattern here?

          1. Steve in Flyover

            Many of these jobs used to be filled by high school kids. With all of the headaches dealing with high school kids create.

            Better to have a bunch of illegals, where you can fix any personnel problems with one phone call. Any when the employees know this.

        2. cwaltz

          You act as if the capital investment class job creators have an obligation to create good jobs.

          That would cut into their profits. Keeping labor costs down is an important component for capital investors and business owners.

          The con is that the investment class has essentially pitted working class people against themselves with all the investment vehicles they’ve pushed on average Americans for “retirement.”

    3. lylo

      Just to make sure, wouldn’t walking into a business and seeing “foreigners” (how would one tell?) then immediately griping about it and boycotting be “racist?”
      (BTW, it’s nice to see the left start to care about labor again. My husband works in tech for pretty close to minimum wage, and this type of thing is why. I was getting really concerned having to go rightward to find any support on the issue, so thank you for going against the current trend. Sorry I can’t stop myself from being so satirical; it’s a disease.)

    4. hunkerdown

      I could have done without the immigrant-bashing — they’re here, show some f’ing hospitality — but you’re absolutely right in that Disney’s narratives define neoliberal culture. We should have been boycotting those since 1955 and not fallen into their trap of pretty pretty princesses and romantic treatments of aristocrats.

    1. grayslady

      Thanks for the link. Adolph Reed is such a clear, articulate thinker. Coates can only hope one day to be half the intellectual contributor that Reed is. Reed has criticized “access” individuals in the past, and it occurs to me that Coates is hoping for access to the neoliberals through his political writings.

  16. fresno dan

    Brain-Shrinking Zika Virus Bound for U.S., WHO Predicts

    Researchers discover entire US congress infected 1000X over – neural measurements show brains have shrunk to less than the diameter of a hydrogen atom. Other scientists dispute measurements, claiming congressmen are much too stupid to have that much gray matter…

  17. psmith

    Thanks for the heads-up about Independent Sanders supporters having to re-register as a Democrat in order to vote in the presidential primary election in many states. Alas, I looked on the vote for Bernie website and learned that in New York State, the deadline to change your registration from Independent to Democrat and vote in this year’s primary in April has passed. (It was October 9, 2015.) This does seem unfair.

  18. fresno dan

    Why are economists so willing to declare to the world that free trade is good, even after reading papers like the one by Autor et al.? Part of the problem is the definition of “good.” According to most models of trade, reducing trade barriers raises efficiency — which is to say, total gross domestic product. But efficiency says nothing about fairness, and almost any model of trade will show that some people, industries and regions lose out. If most Americans experience slight gains from lower import prices, and a few lose their livelihoods and have to go on welfare, economists call that a “good” outcome, because they are so focused on the concept of efficiency. But because the public cares about a lot more than efficiency, the job losses in industries and regions knocked out by China since 2000 have made economists seem increasingly callous and out of touch.

    But this is only part of the problem. Economists are also stubbornly unwilling to question their benchmark theories, even when the evidence presents a challenge to these theories. The fact that Autor et al. find total national employment declining in response to trade with China should be cause for concern. Standard trade models, especially the simple ones taught in Econ 101, predict that this shouldn’t have happened. Autor et al. sternly rebuke the economics profession for relying too much on theory, and not enough on evidence, when it comes to the issue of trade:

    We argue that having failed to anticipate how significant the dislocations from trade might be, it is incumbent on the economics literature to more convincingly estimate gains from trade, such that the case for free trade is not based on theory alone, but on a foundation of evidence.

    and my own bugaboo – aggregates. Yes, the rich get much richer, but economists measure total GDP so they presume this is an unalloyed good – as well as a cavalier attitude with regard to distribution, it is kind of amazing how unsophisticated the thinking is. But 99% are worse off….

  19. Jim Haygood

    Ron Paul spots a fresh slime trail left by the loathsome Senate majority leader and his little friend:

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell … is scheming, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, to bypass normal Senate procedure to fast-track legislation to grant the president the authority to wage unlimited war.

    The legislation makes the unconstitutional Iraq War authorization of 2002 look like a walk in the park. It will allow this president and future presidents to wage war against ISIS without restrictions on time, geographic scope, or the use of ground troops. It is a completely open-ended authorization.

    It is becoming more clear that Washington plans to expand its war in the Middle East. Vice President Joe Biden said that if the upcoming peace talks in Geneva are not successful, the US is prepared for a massive military intervention in Syria.

    Let’s be clear: If Senate Majority Leader McConnell succeeds in passing this open-ended war authorization, the US Constitution will be all but a dead letter.

    Is Ron Paul indulging in hyperbole here?

    Considering that the 2002 AUMF is still being cited by the Bush/Obama administration as authority for military interventions never contemplated in 2002, any hyperbole is found in the preposterous claims that the permanent war is “all legal.”

    Ron Paul is mistaken only in claiming that the constitution “will be” a dead letter. It was suspended by the USA Patriot Act 15 years ago.

    1. lylo

      Start asking “why?”
      No one is asking why we need to go to war with Syria.
      ISIS has never attacked this country, nor does anyone with knowledge think they even could. They have been denounced by Al Queda (you know, the ones the AUMF actually targets.) In fact, our support of their opponents, Al Nusra, a branch of Al Queda, makes everyone involved guilty of treason, as they are providing arms to a declared enemy of the US. Syria does not want us there, and last I checked they were a sovereign nation who have never attacked the US, nor has the leader been accused of crimes that took place in the US. “Regime change,” while we may forget sometimes, is actually illegal under US and international law, so cannot be cited regardless of how “murderous” anyone is.
      Honestly, the Iraq war really did have a better legal footing, and at least was sold to the American people. I feel as if we are stumbling into this one without even an attempt to get the people behind it.

      So, WHY do we need to go to war in Syria? (BTW, it would presumably be “with Syria” as Syria would then have every right to attack us under international law, and that’s not even touching defense treaties they have.)
      I feel the left is dropping the ball on this one. We need to start screeching this from the rooftops.

      1. Steve in Flyover

        There is a “big picture” of this whole mess that I’m still trying to sort out. We are doing things that look totally idiotic, but may not be when we figure out what the Real Plan is.

        For example: Middle Eastern refugees in Western Europe. Part of someone’s plan, or unintended consequence?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Libya was perceived as a cheap and easy conflict where Hillary and Obama types could feather their caps. The Benghazi elite promised to fill the void when they really just wanted to cut the poor and the tribes out of the oil revenues. There was no plan. It was a cynical assault by vile and shallow people. Obama, high on success, thought he could move just as easily into Syria where similar elites to the ones in Libya saw an opportunity to use NATO to earn promotions. Obama and his Western cronies didn’t understand the military elites weren’t as willing to rush into a conflict where there might be retaliation. No general wanted to explain why several hundred sailors were killed in our “democratic smart war.” The Syrians had the capability to retaliate and Libya didn’t.

          But much like Iraq, the primary reason for attacking Libya was the ease with which the regime could be knocked out.

        2. hunkerdown

          I seem to remember reading at MoA that Erdogan, apparently a master of coercive deficiency, had been using Syrian refugees as a bargaining chip with the EU, who dared to deny the MBA Sultan’s blackmail, and there they were.

          Erdogan cannot be Gadhafied soon enough for my taste.

    2. polecat

      but lets obsess over a few yehawdis in the central Oregon desert instead……….am I right ….

  20. Louis

    The New York Times article on ski towns isn’t news to those of us (such as myself) who have lived in Colorado or other states with major ski areas–affordable housing has been a problem in ski towns like Aspen or Telluride for probably 20 years, if not more–but these areas are potentially canary in the coal mine.

    The bigger problem I see is that mountain towns are increasingly bifurcating into ones that are either barely hanging on or, like Aspen and Telluride, doing well economically but very few of those who work there can afford to live there. There still are towns and cities left that are somewhere in the middle (i.e. have jobs and affordable housing) but there seem to fewer of them as time goes on.

    Few business (aside from the major ski areas) have the financial wherewithal to build employee housing. As beautiful as many of these areas are, a commute that can easily be 2 hours each way, sometimes in a blizzard, gets old after awhile–I wonder how long businesses retain employees

    Ultimately, I’ve long wondered what the end result is will towns like Aspen and Telluride: will they figure something out with affordable housing, or will they eventually devolve into towns with the ski area but not a lot else–where is the next generation of workers going to come from if nobody can afford to live within a reasonable commuting distance?

    1. Steve in Flyover

      As in Manhattan and Silicon Valley…….here is where the job is, the peons just need to figure out the housing situation on their own.

      With a crappy job market, you will always be able to find people desperate enough to endure two hour (each way) commutes. Especially when you change the work schedule to four/10s, or three day/12 hour shifts.

      Crappy job markets aren’t a bug. They are a feature.

    2. curlydan

      Love me some snow-skiing, but I just don’t get the pricing. Is someone making a killing, or should it really cost $120 for lift tickets? Tack on the hotels/condos, ski rental, etc., and I just don’t get it. Seems like a good way to burn through cash.

      I took my first cross Colorado trip last summer on I-70. I was surprised how many of these famed resorts are basically sitting right on top of I-70. Who wants an over-priced condo right next to a roaring interstate?

      Of the young workers I met on my trip, they definitely seemed part of the couch-crasher culture. Basically, wanting to live in CO so badly they’ll sacrifice a lot to do so. But these 20s energetic and intelligent kids could be the 40s permanent trailer park residents soon enough, right?

    3. Raj

      Last year, ski season was relatively weak on the western side of the country. I think we’ll continue to see volatility in snow fall on a year to year basis, which will mean business volatility for ski towns.

    1. makedoanmend

      Don’t take the NYT nor any so-called newspapers, having discovered the joys of soft toilet paper many moons ago.

      However, the title in itself is verrrry interestingk.

      A “duty” to those “left behind”.

      How very Victorian.

      Nice to know the big house has got my back. My betters worry about me. Hugs.

      Now where is the work house?

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China (Chinese?) shares plunge to lowest since 2014.

    Assuming they are not talking about some porcelain corporations, the question becomes: How many billionaires are they losing on a daily basis over there?

    1. curlydan

      Not sure, but I’ve been wondering how much of the capital flight from China is due to their billionaires? Is the PBOC burning through foreign reserves to defend the yuan as the Chinese billionaires are moving their money overseas?

      1. cwaltz

        The Chinese billionaires are very similar to our billionaires. They really could care less about the Chinese economy because they’ve diversified and gone global. They’ve got real estate in the US and in Russia so it isn’t like they couldn’t leave China if things got rough there.

  22. ewmayer

    Re. the Bernie ice cream, I’m sure NC readers can come up with any number of much-better names for the flavor, like ‘Grumpy Vanilla Grampa’ or the commie-connoting ‘Rocky Red’. Let’s get those ideas rolling in, people!

  23. Ray Phenicie

    Meet the New Harry and Louise shows the beltway pundits of the wealthier class, those who support Mrs. Clinton, have their panties all in a wad over the prospect of a Sanders’ Presidency. They are almost apoplectic in their outrage and sense of impending disenfranchisement. is exposed to be the voice of the upper 3% of the population that HRC is so successfully appealing to. The BMW class, if you will, of the U.S’ Liberalism. Liberalism that gives generously to charitable causes but does not want to help the poor too much because that’s bad for business. The business of having a lower class eager to garner a feeble paycheck by polishing the crystal of the BWM upper crust.

Comments are closed.