Links 8/17/16

African Wildlife: Darkness Falls NYRB

The Opossum: L.A.’s Most Anxious Animal LAist

Faraway, So Close! Earth-Like Planet Discovered Orbiting Proxima Centauri Der Spiegel

Gaining confidence, Fed officials eye interest rate hike this year Reuters

Banks look for cheap way to store cash piles as rates go negative CNBC

Suing a Debt Collector? Now They Can Buy Your Lawsuit Bloomberg

Royal Bank of Scotland cancels Infosys contract FT (RS).

SEC tells another company: Stop blocking whistleblowers Francine McKenna, MarketWatch

Too Big to Frack? Oil Giants Try Again to Master Tech WSJ

An oil industry lobbyist wrote the request to audit the state’s main climate change agency  Los Angeles Times

Bracing Ourselves for the Climate Tipping Point Pacific Standard

Historic Flood Event in Louisiana From 20-30 Inches of Rain Weather Underground


Exclusive: Civil war costs Yemen $14 billion in damage and economic losses – report Reuters

Refugees/Migrants Emergency Response – Mediterranean UNHCR

Corbyn joins seatless commuters on floor for three-hour train journey Guardian

War Drums

A Clinton Win Means An Expanded War in Syria The American Conservative

Obama and Hillary DID Found ISIS – This 2012 US Government Memo Proves It Russia Insider (CL).

America is no longer guaranteed military victory. These weapons could change that. WaPo

Russian nuclear bunkers: Is Putin building more? Murdoch.

Putin hints at war in Ukraine but may be seeking diplomatic edge Reuters

Global conflict tracker Council on Foreign Relations


The State of the Clinton-Trump Race: Is It Over? NYT

Hillary Clinton Picks TPP and Fracking Advocate To Set Up Her White House The Intercept. Body language says that Clinton feels she can and will govern with the Republicans and without the left. Salazar: “[T[here’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone” (via). Not a single case?

Clinton Foundation should stop accepting funds Editorial, Boston Globe. “Even if [the Clintons have] done nothing illegal, the foundation will always look too much like a conflict of interest for comfort” [waves perfumed handkerchief under nose].

The best thing about Hillary Clinton’s economic policy: it’s not Trump’s The Economist, Medium (KC).

Why Clinton’s plan to scrap Citizens United won’t work The Economist

Clinton’s August fundraising spree — from Scranton, PA to Cher AP

Hillary scrubs sexual assault pledge after allegations against Bill resurface NY Post (furzy).

Trump to Air First TV Ads of General Election Campaign WSJ

Can the 2016 election be rigged? You bet Roger Stone, The Hill. (Josh Marshall, responding, writes that “rigged elections in America are not a common occurrence nor is such a thing realistically feasible,” but should read this on Ohio 2014 (for which counter-arguments). On the narrow point of “realistically feasible,” Marshall is wrong. Meanwhile, in his article, Stone writes: “[T]hat Scott Walker and the Reince Priebus machine rigged as many as five elections including the defeat of a Walker recall election.” Going down all guns blazing?

Trump Slams Milwaukee Protests, Appeals to Black Voters With Law and Order Promise ABC

Sanders revs up ‘public option’ fight after Aetna leaves ObamaCare The Hill. The headline is deceptive. From the story:

[Sanders] said he will reintroduce his legislation to create a “Medicare-for-all” system in the next session of the Senate, “hopefully” after Democrats regain control of the chamber.

“In my view, the provision of healthcare cannot continue to be dependent upon the whims and market projections of large private insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much profit as possible,” Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.

“That is why we need to join every other major country on earth and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege,” he said.

The “public option” was a bad faith effort pushed by career “progressives” running interference for Obama against single payer. The public option is a neoliberal proposal that subordinates the provision of health care to the market; that’s why it’s an option. Medicare for All is not a neoliberal program, because the provision of health care comes first. So the headline writers is either utterly ignorant or lying.

Obama to take trade battle to the heartland TPP

10 years after joining Obama’s team, these ‘lifers’ are getting ready to leave the White House Los Angeles TImes.

Inside the administration’s $1 billion deal to detain Central American asylum seekers WaPo. Ka-ching.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Confirmed: hacking tool leak came from “omnipotent” NSA-tied group Ars Technica

Guillotine Watch

Hedge Fund Manager Profited From Death Arbitrage Bloomberg

Yachting with the enemy: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner take the jet skis out and relax on Democratic Hollywood billionaire David Geffen’s $200m mega-yacht off the coast of Croatia Daily Mail. It’s almost like they’re all on the same team…

The Houston Man Who Refused to Plead Guilty Does Not Want an Apology Houston Chronicle

Policing Class Jacobin

Class Warfare

Uber and Lyft Want to Replace Public Buses Bloomberg (MR).

firms and inequality macromom

Skills gap for US manufacturing workers mostly a myth, paper says

Why You Should Never Tell Someone to Relax WSJ

Why the Best Athletes All Have Their Own #PhelpsFace Nautilus

The Finance Franchise Robert C. Hockett and Saule T. Omarova, SSRN. “[T]he sovereign public acts effectively as franchisor, licensing private financial institutions to earn rents as franchisees in dispensing a vital public resource: the public’s monetized full faith and credit.” What fun!

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: the NYT piece on “is the race over?” No, it hasn’t started yet. Trump will rip into her mercilessly at the debates, with stuff she’s not prepared for. I predict she might get so insulted she will walk off the stage. This tactic would enable her to refuse to do any further debates, which is what she wants.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Saw this headline yesterday and it generated in me the exact same reaction. I love how the NYT is projecting its desired outcomes via headlines like this. Just under three months left and they want their readers to think a Clinton victory is a foregone conclusion. Headlines like this remind me of the NBC alert the day before the ‘Super Tuesday’ primaries in California that told everyone watching the Stanley Cup finals that Clinton had already won, only this time it’s a little more subtle.

      1. different clue

        The more “Third Party minded” people get convinced by the MSM that a Clinton victory is inevitable, the more “Third Party minded” people will feel set free to vote Third Party. Could the media reassure so many otherwise-Clinton voters into voting Third Party that the media ends up driving Clinton’s vote totals below Trump’s vote totals?

        What an interesting unintended consequence that would be.

    2. Carolinian

      George H.W.Bush was down by 10 points in the summer before handily beating Dukakis via a quite vicious campaign. So no, it’s not over.

      Meanwhile the Post reports that Trump is demoting Manafort and reverting to “let Trump be Trump” (if he hadn’t already reverted).

      Bannon, in phone calls and meetings, has been urging Trump for months not to mount a fall campaign that makes Republican donors and officials comfortable, the aides said. Instead, Bannon has been telling Trump to run more fully as an outsider and an unabashed nationalist.

      Trump has listened intently to Bannon and agreed with him, believing that voters will ultimately want a presidential candidate who represents disruption more than a candidate with polished appeal, the aides said.

      “I want to win,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal. “That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”

          1. Grizziz

            I watched the Trump speech last night in West Allis, Wisconsin. He did a very, very solid job delivering a speech off of the Teleprompter. If he keeps this going he will cement his floor of~40% and paint the MSM as unfit to inform and work to keep independents home on Election Day.
            I predict that HRC will paint the Presidential electoral map blue, but with such low turnout as to deligitimate her presidency.

            1. Arizona Slim

              I agree, Grizziz.

              I’m also thinking that HRC will think that her victory means that she has a mandate. And she won’t have one. Not by a longshot.

              1. Straight Outta Tustin

                She won’t need a mandate. She’ll have Republican House. Same arrangement Bill had. Certain segments of the economy will have record setting sales and profits. Whether that will accrue any benefit to working class men and women will depend on her intent of addressing the distribution of all this new $$ in the marketplace. I do expect Senators Sanders and Warren to keep her tipping towards honest.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Remember Michigan!

              That will keep Trump going until November.

              Though, if the S&P is still making new highs at that time, it will likely be Hillary as the Leader.

            3. Jess

              Let’s quit using phrases like “de-legitimate”. If Hellary wins, even by one electoral vote, she will still be President. Granted, Congress may not approve all her cabinet and judicial appointments or all her legislative and budget requests, but some of that normally happens to most presidents. She will, however, continue to be Commander-in-Chief, Crook-in-Chief, and have enormous executive branch power, including Executive Orders. Hell, her power to pardon and commute alone could be enough to stifle lots of investigations (and reforms that could come of them).

              1. RabidGandhi

                I disagree, Jess.

                “Executive power derives from a mandate from the masses not from some farcical electoral ceremony.”

                There is a mistaken belief in the US that democracy means going to the voting booth every four years to vote for Coke or Pepsi, and then shutting up the rest of the time while Coke or Pepsi govern. If you don’t like Coke, then vote Pepsi next time.

                But winning an election does not give you carte blanche to do whatever you want. Popular will, as expressed by democratic civic groups, must push the government to act in the majority’s interest. Otherwise, the more powerful oligarchs will force the government to work in its interests. Eg: FDR and LBJ implemented progressive policies because they were forced to by organised grassroots groups. Of course, this means being politically active not just on election day.

                If HRC wins because of low turnout– only winning because slightly more people were energised to vote against Trump than were energised to vote against her– then the majority of people clearly do not want her to be president. To the degree that this majority is organised and active, HRC will be hindered in implementing her neoliberal agenda.

                1. Jess

                  If only you were correct. The fact is, no matter how much we might protest and demonstrate and write nasty emails, as President she can still issue orders and have them carried out. Besides, given the total lack of real substantive pressure put on Obama over the past 8 years, I see no reason to believe that we will get the kind of pressure it might take for Hellary to cave in or change policies. Pressure on Congress on specific items from specific districts or states might be another matter. But what I was addressing are the powers that the president has unilaterally.

                  1. RabidGandhi

                    Yeah I hear you and I greatly sympathise because ya’ll are up against a behemoth, but I still disagree with your pessimism. Where I’m from people with far greater histories of oppression have scored yuge victories against far more violently oppressive systems, so I don’t think HRC or Trump are unstoppable.

                    In fact every time I see low voter turnout in the U.S. I rejoice, because it means people realise it’s a scam and they decide not to legitimise it. A president with 0 legitimacy has her days numbered and don’t buy into it when the PTB fake that they don’t understand this.

                    Countless seemingly eternal power systems simply crumbled once the masses refused to obey them. But this takes effort and solidarity and great organising work. Even so no one ever won by giving up.

      1. DanB

        For me, the debates will reveal if Trump both wants to win and knows how to win. Everyone I’m reading and talking to expects him to go after Hillary full throttle. But will he? If he attacks hard this will indicate that he wants to win. But if he does it so as to make her appeal as his victim -which the media will try to reinforce- it will show he does not know how to go beyond the ad hominem Wrestling shtick. And if he fails to hit her with the corruption hammer and several legitimate scandals and inept and ruthless instances of her conduct it will indicate that he really does not want to be president.

          1. andyb

            The Moderators of the debates will decide the tone and the questions. They will be “all in” for Hillary and will deflect or cut off any Trump ability to rattle Hillary. If they do, however, it will be obvious, especially to the millions watching. I’m sure there will be a moment from Trump similar to Reagan’s famous “I paid for this microphone”

          2. Tvc15

            If he comes out with kid gloves like Bernie, then that will tell us a lot.

            Good to hear Ailes is coaching. As someone mentioned yesterday, strange days indeed.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I think this may well be the most unpredictable race in history. Normally, by this time of a race the overall trends are pretty clear as the general population makes up its mind, but when you have such a wild card as Trump combined with such a thoroughly unlikeable candidate as Clinton, you could well see very major swings between now and November. This might be the first election where debates might actually cause major shifts (at least since Kennedy/Nixon, and that was probably exaggerated). Add to all this the ‘sneaky voter’ aspect, and there are a huge range of unknowns. This is definitely not a Nat Silver kind of race (as proven by his awful predictions in the primaries).

      1. pretzelattack

        one unknown is how much cheating will go on, and how effective the other side will be at coping with it.

    4. Praedor

      I rather doubt this. I have long believed the idea that Trump never actually intended, or wanted, to actually be President. I do believe that his is a game dreamed up by himself with the strong aid of pervert Bill Clinton.

      It has long seemed as though Trump has been TRYING to lose the race by saying ever more outrageous things, only to be gobsmacked that it wasn’t working. His popularity kept increasing! Until recently. He finally found the “formula” for taking a dive for the oligarchy (ie, Democrat Party). His attack on the admittedly rather co-opted Kahn family started the ball of flames rolling and he’s been pretty much hitting his desired fly balls successfully ever since. He goes after Obama and Hillary on precisely the (right) WRONG things: claims that Obama/Hillary created ISIS, for instance, handily ignoring Hillary’s blatant corruption with the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play scumfest which WOULD be headline material if not for his silliness.

      Trump is taking the dive he always intended to take. He will be largely ineffectual in the debates because he will simply steer clear of actual damaging strikes on Hillary (and Obama) and land largely ineffective (and counterproductive) blows on Hillary via nonsense.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Praedor, I myself considered that possibility, but subsequently rejected it. He’s not trying to lose. He just speaks his mind, which is virtually unheard-of for a politician, and the press jumps on him and makes a big deal out of his every remark. Apparently it doesn’t hurt him with the voters. Since Day 1 of his campaign, the press has been cringing at his remarks. With each supposed “gaffe”, they said, “well, he’s really done it this time–he should be finished now.” People don’t let the MSM boss them around when they go to the polls. The one thing we can still freely do is vote, though of course with no paper ballots the whole thing is rigged. Trump is right to complain ahead of time that it will be rigged, in all probability. Nobody can stop the rigging. There is no oversight.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Praedor, we’ll see if you are correct about Trump being ineffectual in the debates. I can’t see that happening. If he indeed is ineffectual in the debates, then I will concede he is taking a dive.

          But your entire premise makes no sense. HRC would have had an easier time winning against Cruz or any of the other non-entities in the republican field. You’re saying Trump went to all the trouble of winning the nomination, just so he could take a dive in the general? What are they paying him, in your opinion, a trillion bucks?

          1. Todde

            Trump wants to be president like a teenager about to get laid wants to be a parent.

            My personal opinion is he’s having the time of his life pissing off all the right people.

          2. Pat

            I’m going to disagree with part of your premise here. She wouldn’t have had a leg up with much of the rest of the Republican clown car. Sure Cruz might have convinced a few of us never Hillary Democratic leaning voters to hold our nose and vote for her, but he would still have had the Republican establishment keeping their thoughts to themselves about him and playing eerie meanie minie moe in the voting booth. Conservative Hispanics would not be breaking Democrat. And you can pretty much say the same about every other of the candidates that Trump beat. Do not forget that if it weren’t for Trump, Clinton would be the most hated person to ever run for President in the US, no one, not one of the other candidates including the one named Bush even came close in negatives.

            One of the reasons that the Trump as Republican disrupter works is that he really does make her a more viable candidate for a large segment of the population that would never have voted for her otherwise.

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              I disagree with you, Pat. The fact that a list may appear with the names of 50 GOP bigwigs who say they don’t like Trump is irrelevant. That’s just 50 votes. That’s not THE PEOPLE. If HRC wins it will be due to rigging the vote, IMHO. Your average lifelong republican is never going to vote for Hillary Clinton, no matter what some republican bigwigs say about it.

              1. Pat

                It isn’t the list and the endorsements that are important it is what those endorsements allow Clinton to accomplish that is. You do have a point about the rigging, but once again, part of the reason that Clinton has so much of this rigged is that the Republican establishment is allowing it – including in the media. Do you honestly see the train wreck we are seeing in the press if an approved Republican candidate was the nominee?
                And one thing about the various levers needed for vote rigging – most of those are controlled by, yes, Republicans. She wouldn’t have access to rig the votes in Ohio, for instance, if it weren’t Trump.

                But this is all supposition at this point. With Trump as the Republican nominee all the levers of power are pretty much being used to guarantee Clinton gets the Presidency.

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Let the GOP bigwigs hate their guy in the White House.

                Perhaps there is hope for the 99% little guys below.

      2. optimader

        Ultimately useless speculation, but IMO Trump would be wasting his time if he didn’t want to be POTUS. And why wouldn’t he?
        Haven’t seen a plausible reason why he wouldn’t.

        I don’t see Trump, particularly at his age, being the sort to waste more than year of his time pursuing an achievement he wants to fail at. Doesn’t make any sense.

        What some people maybe don’t get is Trump is the sort that just wants it on his terms, as apposed to HRC who would sell her spawns souls to the Devil if there were one, to be elected..

        On poll accuracy favoring HRC, I see the scenario of a lot of people on election day confronted w/ pulling the trigger for HRC, just locking up –with the vision of at least four more years of a status quo decaying orbit, sliding quality of life circumstances, more perpetual war –and moving their trembling hand and voting Trump, and not admitting it..

        Chalk that up to Confirmation Bias if you like, or just some shred of confidence in the average US voter?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hillary doing anything to get there.

          That’s what triangulation is for.

          Trump is the anti-triangulation candidate. And dragging himself and his family with his optically ugly quest.

          I think the KISS (Keep It Simple, Smartie) explanation that Occam would approve is that he’s a rich, not-so-young rube who wants it the not-politically correct way.

        2. Jim Haygood

          If Hillary wins, soon we’ll be asking “Who Lost Texas?”

          We polled on Texas secession. Overall 26% of voters would support leaving the United States to 59% who want to stay, and 15% who aren’t sure either way.

          Among Trump voters support for secession goes up to 37%, with only 49% opposed to exiting.

          If Clinton is elected President this fall, the Trump voters really want out — in that case 61% say they’d support seceding from the United States, to only 29% who would stick around.

          If I know Texas, the secession movement will start with bumper stickers reading “Impeach, Hell — lynch the b*tch!

          1. Daryl

            Wouldn’t mind seceding from the US myself…but not to live in a country run by MENSA members like Greg Abbott.

    5. Jen

      Is the race over? I ask myself that question ever single day. How many more days until I can cast my ballot, wash myself off with bleach and drink myself into a stupor.

      Now I’ll don my tin foil tiara and observe the following. I live in the great state of New Hampshire. First in the nation primary! Perpetual swing state! My phone starts ringing about 35 seconds after the polls close and pauses only for a brief and lovely hiatus between the day after the NH primary and the end of the Party Infomercials…er convention.

      I’ve gotten one call so far. Since I’m determined to have what passes for fun in this dreadful cycle, I cheerfully told the pollster I was voting for Trump.

      Haven’t had any calls since.

      Could just be that they won’t really kick into overdrive until after labor day. Or not.

  2. MikeNY

    It’s almost like they’re all on the same team…

    Slumming it with Springsteen? Sheesh. Or was he serving the drinks?

    1. Rob N Leech

      How else can we vacation? Folks like David are the only ones who can not only handle the logistics (e.g. security) and do it seamlessly and tastefully. But more fundamentally only other folks with money (power, celebrity) understand what its like, the burden, and frankly how boorish it is to hang out with those of lesser means and talents.

      1. MikeNY

        Of course you’re right. Ordinary people don’t understand how difficult it is to be obscenely rich.

  3. allan

    Ken Salazar, 2015: “There’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone.”

    John Brennan, 2010: “There hasn’t been a single collateral death [from drone strikes] because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities we’ve been able to develop.”

    You can judge a political party by the personnel appointments it makes.

  4. Andrew

    “America is no longer guaranteed military victory” Wapo… There’s no irony on display here. It’s just another puff piece for how America needs to waste even more money on it’s military because allegedly the Chinese & Russians now have the edge (it’s not enough to outspend your rivals by such huge margins, apparently). This coming from a country that’s been stuck in an unwinnable confict in Afghanistan for 15 years and running. Yet more expensive hi-tech toys for the MIC is going to be the real game changer, according to the fool who wrote this.

    1. Carolinian

      You almost have to believe that the whole of DC is shilling for Boeing and Lockheed and Raytheon even though the Ignatius article is an egregious example. Give that we have thousands of nuclear weapons you have to wonder how the US could ever be “defeated” by Russia or China. What they really mean is that our pretensions to empire may be defeated. Good.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Ignatius went to Hahhhhhvid, where all our best armchair warriors are trained. His dad was Secretary of the Navy in the late 1960s.

        Obviously this family, despite their deep Hahhhhhvid links — Ignoramus père got his MBA there, and his other son Adi is chief editor of Hahhhhhhvid Business Review — learnt nothing from Vietnam.

        1. Optimader

          Try and find what he took a degree in at hahviiid.
          I have a bucket for ppl who are compelled to put out there that they went to (insert ivy league institution), double down on those that fail to identify what they studied .

          But we do know Ignatius was a recipient of a

          Frank Knox fellowship!
          Knox Fellows are selected through a rigorous competitive process on the basis of “…future promise of leadership, strength of character, keen mind, balanced judgement and a devotion to the democratic ideal.”

          Ohhhh wait.. Frank was a Secretary of the Navy just like dear ‘ol Dad!

          Ignatius’s apparent talent at writing pulp fiction by my sensibilies bleeds into his servile journalism style, at least as demonstrated in this propaganda ephemera.

        1. Carolinian

          Almost the whole. There may be some DC peeps who care about the environment or world hunger but they don’t seem to get much play on the Post editorial page.

          1. polecat

            ‘peeps’ = soon to be fledglings ………..

            they haven’t yet developed their money wings……..

            …those tubman pin feathers are just starting to show.

      2. Jason Boxman

        What amazed me during my brief trip to DC is, traveling the subway system, there are plenty of posters advertising advanced weapons technology. At the time, mostly the F-35. Particularly at the Pentagon City Station stop. (This was back in June.) (And I was dismayed that there is an entire part of Virginia called Pentagon City by the Pentagon, an ominous name apparently disturbing to no one in DC.)

      3. Ivy

        If the defense budget is cut, then that has a nasty ripple effect through DC and NoVA on disposable income. Think of the restaurants closing, purveyors of caviar laying off staff, bubbly going flat. Those folks worked long and hard to get preferred seating in their favorite G’town bistros and brasseries. Will the last on out of Washington turn out the lights?

    2. timbers

      Also the article does not mention that both Russia and China have tricks up their sleeves regarding new technologies, they are not standing still. They too are investing in “cutting edge” new technologies (maybe even including the one the article discussed but not sure).

      IMO the Russians especially and maybe also the Chinese are mostly responding to threatening moves by the U.S.

      It’s a tread mill spinning faster and faster and Obama seems to put his hand on the wheel and given it a big twirl forward.

      1. Carolinian

        What Obama and the dreadful Hillary want is a cold war with Russia, not a hot. It’s all a full employment program for think tankers and an excuse to make and sell profitable weapons. The same scam was at play back in the 1970s when the CIA greatly overestimated the capabilities of our useful enemies, the Russians.

        Meanwhile if Saker is to be believed Putin has reformed the Russian military into a much more formidable force than in the Afghanistan days.

        1. Pat

          Funnily enough, much as I despise Obama, I can actually see him managing that cold war thing. Clinton, all indications are that her judgment is….sorry she has no judgment. Her instincts are terrible and her choices are almost always wrong. I cannot think of one time her instincts were right. A hot war with Russia is not something that can be cheated and manipulated out of.

          And one of the areas where I think Putin has proven to be the adult in the room is that he and his government do seem to think that if you are going to spend money on defense you should get something useful out of it. Not just a slush fund for contractors where the product doesn’t have to work at the end but can go on being fixed forever.

          1. cwaltz

            My biggest gripe with Obama on foreign policy was his appointment of Clinton as SoS and his position that she’s the best choice to follow him

            She is a war hawk. Always has been, likely always will be. Then again, I doubt Sasha, Malia or Chelsea will be worried about being drafted. The rich always seem to have excused slips when it comes to having to deal with the consequences of our leadership’s choices.

            1. hunkerdown

              Because we, as a society, have, for some reason probably relating to that Americans are drama queens, chosen not to inflict them.

        2. optimader

          You are overly optimistic Carolinian,

          The same scam was at play back in the 1970s when the CIA greatly overestimated the capabilities of our useful enemies, the Russians

          Actually, the tape winds back at least to to this linchpin gaping intelligence “failure” (unchallenged justification) event:

          Adding to the concerns was an infamous event in July 1955. At the Soviet Aviation Day demonstrations at the Tushino Airfield, ten Bison bombers were flown past the reviewing stand, then flew out of sight, quickly turned around, and flew past the stands again with eight more, presenting the illusion that there were 28 aircraft in the flyby. Western analysts extrapolated from the illusionary 28 aircraft, judging that by 1960 the Soviets would have 800.[5]

        3. sid_finster

          Not to mention, a nice Cold War provides a handy excuse for not undertaking reforms.

          “Don’t you know – Putin! Russia! Putin! We don’t have time for that/can’t afford that now!”

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its a bizarre article, not least because the Russians and Chinese probably have their own similar programmes for super weapons, and add to that the dubious history of technological breakthroughs making a difference in real combat. All the drones and fancy algorithms didn’t defeat Iraq insurgents or a relative handful of kalashnikov wielding Taliban. And for that matter, we can see how the Saudi’s, with their billions of dollars of high tech are getting their asses handed to them by the Houthi in Yemen, mostly thanks (it seems) to relatively cheap and simple Iranian made anti-tank weapons (see also, Hizbollah in south Lebanon).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sounds like Luddites are beating tech geniuses.

        Still, I think, one day (when, not if), as robots become capable of repairing and maintaining robots (i.e. no more human jobs as robot repairmen), that would the Final Defeat (for the losing side, and of course, victory for the winning side).

        1. Plenue

          Exactly this. The Saudi military is (well, was) mostly a cushy prestige job where you’re never actually in any danger. Its soldiers are well equipped but not extensively trained and, above all, have little motivation. The Saudi’s try to create motivation with bonus pay, but it doesn’t help much. They then called in a bunch of African mercenaries, but they were chewed up and spit out within a few months. The Saudi’s do so much aerial bombing (with full US support) because that’s all they can rely on.

        1. Plenue

          It’s not really the multirole part that’s the problem. There are plenty of multirole planes that aren’t trash. Fundamentally it just means a plane can attack both air and ground targets. The problem with the F-35 is that it’s the result of Congress rolling multiple military branches plane development programs into one, and attempting to save money (ahahahahaha) by giving them all a magical unicorn plane that could do anything and everything. The goal is inherently unworkable; specialization exists for a reason. Though the F-35 would be significantly less crap if the Marines would drop the requirement for their version to have the VTOL gimmick.

      2. different clue

        Actually, the Taliban were entirely defeated and driven into Pakistan in the first few months of the war. The Bush Administration then deliberately and with malice aforethought short-circuited and prevented the Great Jirga under the symbolic headship of the old king Zahir Shah from taking place to plan out Afghanistan’s future by Afghans on the Afghans’ own. The Bush Admin manipulated some kind of gathering at Bonn to produce their desired “President Karzai” result instead. The BushAdmin’s President Karzai then proceeded to re-destablilize Afghan society all over again over the next few years, while Pakistan gave the Taliban safe sanctuaries and extensive training and assistance from Pakistan’s side of the border, thereby restoring the Taliban as a fighting force and making it “unbeatable”.

        As long as China, America and etc. desire to have the Pakistan government as some kind of ally, Pakistani support and preservation of the Taliban will continue.

    4. fresno dan

      August 17, 2016 at 8:18 am

      I hear they’re working on nano drones, and implant neuro circuitry which can be controlled by those Google solar powered gliders, that will fly up terrorists and NC commentors noses, lodge in their brains, and turn them into Hillary boosters….

    5. Praedor

      The ever-present “missile gap”, “technology gap”, or whatever “gap” is needed to be drummed up to fit recent facts is just sales pitch for more military spending on crap.

      How great will a rail gun be against ISIS? How great will a directed energy weapon be against insurgencies in EVERY country the US destabilizes in its neocon/neoliberal stumbling? About as effective as drones. The US will be way overspending on military toys that are easily defeated (by, for instance, China’s recent testing of a hypersonic cruise missile? Russian Shkval super-cavitating rocket torpedoes, it’s excellent array of SAM systems) while our unnecessary, created from neocon whole cloth “enemies” sidestep all that expense with cheaper and easier solutions.

      But at least CEOs are big military contractor companies will get some big, fat bonuses and the Dems/GOP will rake in more big MIC payola!

    6. Bullwinkle

      Don’t forget that Jeff Bezos (owner of the Washington comPost) got himself a seat on the Pentagon Advisory Board.

    7. Katniss Everdeen

      How in the world is “war”–conventional or otherwise–with China even conceivable?

      We have given away most of our manufacturing capabilities to China, the same capabilities that made the us dominant during WWII. We have given away the knowledge of manufacturing, devalued the required “skills” as “uneducated” and let the facilities go to rust. When the Oakland Bay Bridge was refurbished several years ago, it was shipped in sections from China and “assembled” here, fer chrissakes.

      We have become a nation of pampered, import-dependent consumers. What “industry” we do have is dependent on hardware manufactured in China. What good are multi-billion dollar “innovations” like facebook or yelp without i-junk manufactured in China? What would walmart or amazon sell without China?

      The whole idea is absurd. It would be tantamount to blowing up your own factories and slaughtering your own workers. Not to mention that most “american” companies maintain their “value” with projections of “growth” in emerging markets, not the least of which is–China.

      I really think China could end this country without ever firing a shot.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Should have declined the Serpent’s Apple.

        A Trojan horse.

        An empire can not survive a fiat global reserve currency.

        For a while, you can print without hyperinflation (because the whole world is your manufacturing base).

        The price is losing the ability to independently defend yourself (for precisely the same reason).

        Let that be a historically-first lesson for all future empires.

      2. Andrew Watts

        How in the world is “war”–conventional or otherwise–with China even conceivable?

        I don’t buy any argument based upon economic determinism or materialism that precludes the possibility of war. The theoretical economic damage doesn’t outweigh the conniving stupidity of our political class and military establishment. Nor did it stop the outbreak of the first World War or any other war since Sun Tzu warned people about the economic burden of war.

        We’d probably experience massive shortages and rationing of all kinds of goods. Which might include oil if the Chinese succeed in closing the Persian Gulf from their port in Pakistan. Now assuming the war didn’t escalate into a full-blown nuclear exchange the economic damage to both countries would be enormous and the loser would probably bear most of the cost.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          In addition to iJunk the Chinese make a lot of the hardware that goes into our military systems. Massive shortages and rationing of spares would put a definite crimp into the readiness of our forces. After the long years of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria — as well as other little actions around the world and the endless extended rotations our soldiers are tired and spread too thin already. I tend to agree with your assessment of the stupidity of our political class and our Generals in plush offices in the Pentagon. The cost of war with Russia or China — even a “conventional limited conflict” could be devastating far beyond the mere economic damage. We would be shown for the Paper-Tiger we have become.

          1. Andrew Watts


            In addition to iJunk the Chinese make a lot of the hardware that goes into our military systems.

            It’s possible these systems could self-destruct through kill-switched chips. I mean it’s unlikely but a distinct possibility. We already know that Pentagon doesn’t source it’s material very well. That would include the NSA too by the way.

            After the long years of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria — as well as other little actions around the world and the endless extended rotations our soldiers are tired and spread too thin already.

            The troop formations still exist albeit a bit demoralized. Time is needed to re-equip the ground forces. I think one of the valid reasons for why the F-35 is being pushed so hard is to streamline the logistical lifeline. If that’s the case the line of supply in our empire of bases is already proving to be a problem in limited conflict mode.

            However, I think most of the war would be fought in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean initially. The US Navy would move to secure it’s lines of communication from the Gulf and close the Straits of Malacca to Chinese shipping.

            The cost of war with Russia or China — even a “conventional limited conflict” could be devastating far beyond the mere economic damage. We would be shown for the Paper-Tiger we have become.

            I think it’d do lasting and irreversible damage to the American psyche and social fabric. Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out in Democracy in America that Americans can’t stand to hear any criticism of their way of life. A significant loss in wartime that couldn’t be washed away like Vietnam or Iraq would bring a lot of ugliness to the surface.

            1. HotFlash

              The troop formations still exist albeit a bit demoralized. Time is needed to re-equip the ground forces.

              Yeah, I’d be demoralized, too., a site which lists requests for “care packages” to US troops out of country, is still alive after 13 years. The requests for stuff are astonishing and appalling. Oh, and since I looked in there last, a few years ago, seems like US units are in way more countries.

              Billions for the F35, but not once cent for toothpaste?

      3. cnchal

        When Americans realize war with China means being cut off from new TVs, the impending TV shortage will bring them to their knees..

        1. Andrew Watts

          Television would be the least of our problems. Without a constant influx of electronic hardware from China and Asia the internet would begin to fail. The electrical grid would experience frequent blackouts even if it wasn’t under cyber attack. Just in time delivery schedules would ensure virtually all our spare parts would be in short supply or requisitioned for the war effort after the idiots in Washington realized they’re in for a long war.

          Hell, I’m not even sure the US makes ball bearings either so industrial production is going to take a dive that’ll make the Great Depression look nice.

          1. cnchal

            TVs are the tipping point.

            Kidding aside, a true benefit of globalization is the integration between countries such that war is national suicide, for all sides. Who knows what’s going to happen 20 or 30 years from now, but if even more horrible crazies become president, as seems likely, it’s only a matter of time till we thank our lucky stars for the rank corruption that brought forth the F35, and an Air Force general sits a future president down and shows him or her the horse’s head, and tells him or her they can’t do ‘that’.

  5. abynormal

    Bracing for Climate Tipping Point: “The report that emerges from Geneva will lay out exactly what it would take for the world to stay below 1.5 degrees, which otherwise could be locked in by about 2021. Problem is, the report itself won’t be published until 2018.”
    couldn’t we just fund them a one time 1000.00 for someone to type faster?
    “…we are just not built as a society to transition this quickly. To do so, as climate scientist Claudia Tebaldi at the National Center for Atmospheric Research explained to me, implies necessary trade-offs with other things we care about, like poverty reduction and economic growth.
    IMF is on it: “The phenomenon of urbanization itself is also likely to be significantly altered by environmentally induced migration. Despite these risks, many cities have not created or implemented crucially needed policies to attenuate the causes of climate change and to effectively protect cities from its impacts.”
    the IMFs 8/16/2016 ‘ideas’ for Poverty Reduction alphabetically by Country: ….at first glance, dated ‘ideas’ is an issue…2003 to anywhere around 2008/11. SOS growing.

    1. abynormal

      What our 7 Billion World Population Does
      OfTwoMinds: What few consumers grasp is that the global abundance of food depends on weather extremes remaining rare. If extremes of weather become commonplace, global food surpluses will turn into shortages.

      In the larger context, the global food supply chain is a real-world system that cannot be “fixed” with financial gimmicks. No amount of money-printing will replace crops lost to weather extremes, replenish depleted fresh-water aquifers, magically rebuild top soil lost to erosion or repair the environmental ravages of industrial pollution.

      1. Romancing the Loan

        Wanted to share this choice bit from the fundersandfounders link:

        “Who likes doing chores? A startup that mops your floor, washes the dishes, etc. could save you 6 years of life.”

        …At the cost of someone else’s.

      2. Don

        Extremes of weather have always been with us; we want to blame everything on man-made global warming. The IPCC assures us that dramatic climate change, brought on by CO2, is just around the corner. Before we get on the bandwagon we should apply a little skepticism and could start with looking at the “hockey stick”: The hockey stick is the famous graph by Michael Mann who was then a freshly-minted PhD. His graph was presented in the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the IPCC. This graph was widely heralded despite the fact the in 1997 (a year before Mann’s graph was published) Huang et al published an analysis of 6,000 bore hole records from all continents that showed a medieval warming period with temperatures higher than today’s. Huang’s study was mentioned in the TAR but the graph that showed the data wasn’t; instead, Mann’s graph was featured. Even though Huang et al later issued a revised analysis that accords with the IPCC assessment (peer pressure?) at the time the IPCC showed a clear bias toward certain data while ignoring other data– and indeed the climategate emails show that this bias extended to the production on Mann’s graph in the first place, wherein the Briffa analysis that showed declining temperatures was lopped off.

        So … let’s be aware that the science is certainly not settled and could be biased.

        1. pretzelattack

          uh, there are multiple hockey sticks, they’ve replicated mann’s work over and over. no doubt extreme weather has always been with us, but it is going to get more common as global warming kicks in. the climategate kerfuffle has been investigated over and over, no wrongdoing found. some of the scientists got tired of the bullshit requests for information and stopped replying, for which they were criticised.

          is there even one major science organization on the planet that questions that climate change is occurring, and that we are in all probability causing it? it’s really, really hard to pull off a worldwide conspiracy.

          1. cwaltz

            The debate isn’t over whether climate change is occurring. Of course it is. The one guaranteed thing is that things change, the climate is not an exception to that. The debate is over how much MAN IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE CHANGE IN CLIMATE.

            CO2 is not the largest greenhouse gas. Water vapor is.

            The part that complicates things is that humanity does not DIRECTLY impact water vapor. Water evaporates no matter what we do and around 75% of the planet is water.We do impact it indirectly since the CO2 heats the atmosphere which in turn impacts the speed that the water evaporates.

            I’m a huge proponent of being a good steward to the planet and there are plenty of arguments to be made about being more conscious about the choices we make and how that impacts our environment. We shouldn’t be selfish in our choices. However, it annoys me when people try to argue that the planet would not be facing climate change if it weren’t for humanity. It flies in the face of evidence which suggests that the planet has experienced cycles long before we became industrialized and started pumping chemicals into our atmosphere or started drilling into the earth plates(and yes I oppose fracking, I think it is dangerous to drill into the Earth plates and foolish to believe it will not cause problems long term.)

            I wish both sides of the debate would concede each side has some valid points so we can all have some discussions on limiting harm to the planet instead of this round and round argument on whose fault it is.

            1. pretzelattack

              scientists know about water vapor. there’s really no debate in scientific circles about what’s causing it. attribution studies have shown, over and over, that it is us. much like evolution, there is a scientific side, and there is a politically funded side.

              1. cwaltz

                I know scientists know about water vapor.

                They also know we do not DIRECTLY impact it.

                CO2 potentiates the evaporation process, it doesn’t cause it. Water would evaporate whether humanity was around or not.

                1. pretzelattack

                  the water vapor hasn’t changed. the co2 has. just try skeptical science, it has a faq list with answers. it’s not water evaporating per se that’s the problem, it’s the vast amount of energy being pumped into the system that isn’t leaving because co2 traps it, in my imperfect understanding. try also. the analogy of a blanket isn’t perfect but it is sometimes used to explain the process. the energy has to go somewhere, whether the ocean or the surface. we keep heating up till we reach a new balance, with the energy from the sun coming in balanced by the energy leaving. i’m not a scientist, but i see the same arguments by evolution deniers, flat earthers, and moon landing hoaxers–that the truth is being suppressed by a cabal of every government on earth and scientists in on the scam or too intimidated to speak out. it just isn’t true.

        2. Isotope_C14

          Wow Don,

          Are you aware that your Exxon pension won’t be good enough to save your grandchildren from starvation?

          Or was your point for us to think that citing Economists as Scientists might inform us to be a bit skeptical about Economists?

          Next time I’m going to ask a question about toxicology, I’m going to consult an astrologer, just make sure there’s no bias.

          1. pretzelattack

            it’s more like flat earth heresy. i mean i will welcome the votes of flat earthers for jill stein, but doesn’t mean i’m afraid of sailing off the end of the world.

        3. Binky J. BEAR

          Dear Don,

          At this point in time we are already experiencing the effects of climate change. Ski shops in Alaska are closing for repeated snowless years. Erosion of coastline is accelerating as sea ice diminishes. Patterns of rain and heat that farmers rely on to effectively harvest crops are changing.

          Cutesy appeals to common sense or ambiguity have been out the window for more than a decade as concrete, visible changes are occurring in the manner predicted by scientists, only much faster. Science biases are gradualism, reversion to a mean, and normative, sk get ready for rough going because it is already too late to stop it.

          1. Don

            Maybe you’re right. Maybe climate change is with us. Maybe it’s caused by geoengineering, and the CO2 part is a distraction.

            Heresy not allowed here? Dogma is OK, then?

            Don’t talk to me about “every science organization on the planet” as proof of anything, unless you want to argue that eugenics was a good idea because it was backed by the mainstream. Think for yourself.

            How to maintain a conspiracy? It’s easy: just threaten any dissenters who step out of line, that’s how you maintain it. Better yet, wage war on whistleblowers, which the Obama administration has done magnificently.

            I have no pension from Exxon or any other industry. Why do you assume that because I dare to question the status quo then I must be on someone’s payroll? I’m an honest citizen looking at things as honestly as I can.

            You people at NC should get off your high horses and look around a little more.

            1. armchair

              Don, you have nothing to worry about as long there is snow in Washington DC. There will always be a senator from Oklahoma to send his aide out with one gallon ziplocs to gather snow, so the senator can throw snow around the senate chamber and cackle about the global warming hoax. No need to worry that any adequate response will be forthcoming.

              1. Don

                It’s possible that the IPCC is cover for a larger project. I’m not saying it is; I am saying it’s possible, because given the overall evidence it doesn’t seem that CO2 by itself could be causing the changes we see.

                Remember that my point was that the hockey stick was seized on as a true projection even though there was evidence at the time that the hockey stick was incorrect (ie, AT THE TIME there was compelling evidence that there was a medieval warm period warmer than today, evidence that includes a graph in the 1990 IPCC report.) This seems to be a bias, and we have to consider that whatever followed was also the result of bias, or a selective reading of the facts.

                Don’t underestimate the pressure of putting forth the right “interpretations” if funding and careers are dependent on it, and if contradicting the mainstream could result in loss of funds, or even loss of a career.

                1. Skip Intro

                  It is possible that you are paid for spreading uncertainty and disinformation. I’m not saying it is true, just that we should be open to the possibility that your absurd and passé assertions are not merely individual ignorance, but are rather part of a larger endeavor. Who but a few plucky oil companies and their politicians have the guts to stand up to the international conspiracy of academic scientists and grad students.

                  1. Don

                    Right! YOUR conspiracy theory must be true (dissenters from IPCC are paid off.) Mine must be false.

                    1. Skip Intro

                      My theory about you is not a conspiracy theory, although it has been proven that oil companies knew about anthropogenic climate change for decades and actively worked to corrupt research and and hide the truth from the public. This is why I think it is unlikely that you are a paid soldier in an army of shills, but more like that apocryphal Japanese soldier alone on an island. No one told you that you that the war is over and you lost.

              2. polecat

                uhh….maybe that ‘snow’ you’re referring to ….is the other stuff…in which case I would agree ;’)

            2. Grizziz

              >Ski shops are closing in Alaska

              Refute that before you go all meta-skeptic on us blind fools, Don.

              1. Don

                Ski shops are closing. This proves:
                1) Not much snow this year
                2) Man-made global warming is causing warmer winters
                3) Geoengineering is the primary cause of warmer winters (same as #2, but different causation)
                4) We don’t know.

                We supposedly know that #2 is correct because we have a huge and well-funded establishment that is reinforcing this funding by publishing results that confirm the whole purpose of the IPCC, namely, to determine the extent, impact, and mitigation for man-made global warming. If your paper doesn’t come to the same conclusion as the IPCC, guess who doesn’t get funded next year?

                It’s possible that #3 is correct, but there’s no funding for this proposition. No funding doesn’t mean this is incorrect; it means that politically it’s suicide to go there.


                1. Synapsid


                  The IPCC reports, warts and all, are based on the published literature, most of it peer reviewed–not the other way round.

                  Can you tell me what you mean by “geoengineering”? Your usage is different from what I’m familiar with.


            3. pretzelattack

              uh eugenics was a political movement, and science has progressed, a lot, in the last 100 years. what you have to explain is why every big science organization recognized the validity of the science. have they all been taken in? how? and why do you accept any science at all? the “whistleblowers” have not been prosecuted or persecuted. people just deride them, just as they deride flat earthers and the like. read merchants of doubt, by oreskes, for a good overview of how this political movement started.

              1. Don

                Eugenics was a movement backed by the science of the day.
                It’s extremely difficult to separate real science from biased science and requires a lot of reading.

                1. pretzelattack

                  the science of the day was not anything like the science we have developed. we’ve learned a lot since then, and the reason that eugenics is no longer so popular is because scientists refuted many of the basic assumptions. stephen jay gould wrote a lot about this subject. there wasn’t anything like the consensus, based on multiple lines of evidence, that support newer science like the theory of evolution, or climatology.

                2. FluffytheObeseCat

                  Anthropogenic climate change due to our emission of greenhouse gases is real and it’s effect are already apparent. And that’s not even getting into the impact the increase in atmospheric CO2 has on acidification of ocean waters.

            4. cwaltz

              Climate change is definitely with us.

              The good news is global warming has likely pushed back what would have been our next ice age.

              The bad news is that our planet has always managed to heat up enough for life to flourish after those ice ages. What happens when the planet doesn’t compensate for the fact that it isn’t unfreezing a very cold planet that usually has a deep freeze cycle?


              We’re in uncharted territory. Things may indeed get incredibly uncomfortable for humanity eventually(and no I don’t think we should be selfish because we personally won’t be around 100,000 years from now.)

              1. pretzelattack

                the next ice age wasn’t due for a few thousand years, iirc. we should be cooling. we aren’t. again, all these objections have been met repeatedly by scientists. in the 80’s exxon did it’s own research, and their scientists told them the same thing. that’s when the oil companies decided to embark on a tobacco style disinformation campaign. an excellent book which describes this process i merchants of doubt, by naomi oreskes.


                1. cwaltz

                  It’s the scientists that are saying that we’ve staved off the next ice age. So please do not accuse me of “disinformation.”

                  I am wondering if you actually read the link and understand the argument I’m making (hint: I’m letting Don know that yes, the climate does have natural cycles but yes, humanity is impacting those cycles.)

                  Which part of that are you arguing with?

                  1. pretzelattack

                    i didn’t accuse you of disinformation. that would be on the fossil fuel companies that hired hill and knowlton, which had so much success in delaying regulation of the tobacco companies, and was hired by oil companies to run a similar campaign. i am not aware of an imminent ice age, though. we should be in a cooling period, but not in an ice age. however, the climate is heating up very rapidly, more so than in half a million years or so. as your link pointed out, natural (non anthropogenic factors) would have staved off another ice age for 50,000 years. global warming might extend that another 50,000 years. so global warming isn’t saving us; it’s putting us in a great deal of danger.
                    the warming now is all on us, and we need to start dealing with that. unfortunately, both of our choices for president are not likely to deal effectively with the problem.

        4. Vatch

          6,000 bore hole records from all continents that showed a medieval warming period with temperatures higher than today’s.

          I can’t find support for this statement. It is likely that the northern hemisphere (or perhaps just the northern Atlantic region) from 950 CE to 1250 CE was the warmest period in recorded history prior to the 20th century. In other words, it’s globally warmer now that it was in the northern hemisphere in the Medieval period. Sources:

          1. pretzelattack

            yeah skeptical science is a good site. of course, it’s part of the worldwide conspiracy of scientists to victimize poor oil billionaires, who can’t seem to fund studies disproving the human contribution to global warming.

              1. Don

                Once again:

                Page 5. See graph as well. Note this was a year before Mann’s hockey stick, and was mentioned in 1998 IPCC report but otherwise ignored. The graph shown in the McKitrick paper (derived from Huang) shows a clear medieval (significantly) warm period, and once again, this was before any of the later papers that (supposedly) contradicted Huang 1997 and supported Mann. So again: was IPCC 1998 biased in graph selection, and if so, is subsequent data also biased? Why was Huang ignored AT THAT TIME? What scientific basis for this, other than a “preference” for the Mann hockey stick?

                Or the original paper: Huang, Shaopeng, Henry N. Pollack and Po Yu Shen (1997). “Late Quaternary Temperature Changes Seen in
                Worldwide Continental Heat Flow Measurements.” Geophysical Research Letters 24: 1947—1950.

                1. Vatch

                  Here’s a link to the Huang article:


                  I’m afraid I don’t have enough knowledge to adequately critique it. One thing I notice is that on page 1948, most of the data appears to come from the northern hemisphere, which suggests that this might not be a good representation of global temperature trends.

                  I also notice that neither McKitrick nor McIntyre is a scientist. That doesn’t mean that they are wrong, but it makes me suspicious.

                  For those who like this sort of thing, there’s this, which goes into too much detail for me:


            1. Jay M

              there is no credible refutation of the “greenhouse effect” anthropogenic CO2 emissions (physics of increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere)
              don’t agree that there is very much uncertainty in climate science

            2. pretzelattack

              i expect they look at the agreement of people who have spent their lives studying it, and note the lack of any alternative theory, and look at the vast amount of evidence from physics and geology and biology and oceanography, and see that not one national scientific academy questions it, and reach the obvious conclusion that it exists.

        5. Daryl

          There’s plenty of evidence of extreme climate change throughout the ages

          There’s also a lot of evidence that it’s not very fun to be on the Earth when it happens

          1. abynormal

            The better question is, ‘is current global warming natural’? There are multiple lines of evidence that point us to the origin of our current warming:

            Greenhouse gases trap infrared heat energy.
            The isotopic signature clearly shows that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is from fossil fuels.
            We are no longer in the natural cycle. We have largely departed from the natural course of climate and there is no natural mechanism that explains it.
            The models and the observations match.
            There is simply no other mechanism that can explain the significantly altered climate path and the changes in the radiative forcing other than human causes.

            To understand why ‘this current’ global warming is human caused and not natural cycle, one needs to get an idea of what the natural cycle is and what are the basic mechanisms that cause climate change in the natural cycle. The absolute essentials that you need to understand are the drivers:

            Greenhouse Gases
            Milankovitch Cycles

            To get a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms, you need to learn a little about: (links available on site

            Radiative Forcing
            Natural Variability
            Climate Feedbacks
            Climate Models
            Weather vs. Climate

            1. Don

              Abynormal, thanks for the reasoned reply that doesn’t resort to ridicule.

              Climate models don’t take all factors into account and are dismissive of the sun’s effects on climate, while others argue that the sun drives much of the climate variation. CO2 has an effect, yes, but perhaps doesn’t act as a thermostat. We have a lot of uncertainty in climate models, as pointed out in Alan Longhurst’s (free) e-book, “Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science.”

              I’m not saying I know all the answers. I am saying that we should look at all angles, and I do believe that the IPCC process as a whole is biased toward anthropogenic climate change– which shouldn’t surprise us since it was specifically set up with that bias.

              Is geoengineering real? Is Dane Wigington a nutcase? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it much worse than we think, or maybe not so bad? I’d love to think I’ll not have to worry about any of this but we all have a duty to get to the truth, as best we can figure it out. I’m way past relying on institutional authorities for my answers. I’ll read papers and look at the evidence myself and make my own judgments.

              As far as models and observations matching, I think spending a little time on Judith Curry’s website might convince you that if the observations don’t match the models then we might tend to “change” the observations. This brings us back to the main question: is climate science biased? It certainly seems to me that the hockey stick observation AT THAT TIME was a biased selection of climate for the past 1000 years, which naturally raises the question of whether we are still seeing a biased presentation of the evidence? There’s huge pressure now to conform to the IPCC model– we really don’t want any heretics, do we?

              1. pretzelattack

                don the hockey stick has been replicated many times, by different scientists. judith curry has basically sold out–think paul krugman in economics. judith curry participated in the BEST study with some other questioning scientists; it confirmed agw. for some reason, perhaps money, she didn’t accept the results of that. by the way, that was financed, at least in part, by oil companies. there is really not huge pressure to conform to the basic science; if somebody could propose another mechanism they would probably win a nobel prize in physics. it’s a really important issue, as important as getting rid of the duopoly.

                1. Don

                  What do you expect Wikipedia to say? Wikipedia is good for non-controversial subjects or basic science, etc. It will reflect the consensus view on any controversial subject, and dissenters (heretics) will NOT be allowed to edit.

                2. Don

                  You are obviously not familiar with Judith Curry’s website, and you might want to spend some time there to get out of the bubble of the consensus view. It wouldn’t hurt– you seem so sure of yourself that you’ll be immune to any propaganda.

                  There’s mainstream propaganda in economics. I get it. NC gets it. There’s NO propaganda in science? I don’t get it. If there is, how would you know unless you look around and consider the other side?

                  Consider the other side: yes, there are all kinds of answers to objections and so we all say we “know” what the response is, but try actually reading those objections to the consensus view yourself.

                  1. pretzelattack

                    consider the other side of evolution/creationism, or better the other side of tobacco causes cancer/tobacco is good for you. come up with some good experts that publish a paper that refutes the science. you keep quoting people that depend on oil funding. this is basic science. it has been for over a century. there isn’t a scientific controversy. judith curry hasn’t published anything refuting it. why not? you have to rely on a conspiracy theory involving scientists in numerous disciplines. economics is not physics. it’s not even science.

                    1. Don

                      You’re in the bubble, pretzelattack. It’s not that you’ve looked at the other side: you even refuse to believe there is another side.

                      Is this basic science? You haven’t read any of my links, have you?

                    2. Don

                      My response to the rebuttals of the premise that the original hockey stick data was altered is that NONE of these show that the original data was honest: none of these take that data and replicate the graph. Instead we’re told that science has “moved on” since 1999, as if any problems with the hockey stick are just old news. The entire point, which we seem to be missing, is that IF the Mann 1998 graph was doctored and can’t be reproduced from Mann’s own data without fudging the data, then how are we to trust any of the other formulations by the IPCC and those who are party to this consensus?

                      Get over the idea that all dissenters are funded by oil. That’s shorthand for: I don’t want to listen. It shouldn’t matter even if the dissenters are funded by Satan himself: all that should matter is what is said and the evidence presented, and THEN we might want to consider the source.

                      I have no funding from anyone, I believe we should move to alternative energy, and I was (and am) a supporter of Sanders. Stop launching cheap attacks on what you SUPPOSE my motivation is and look at the facts.


              2. different clue

                I am just a lay amateur science buff. I believe the strength of a theory is shown by the number of predictions it permits its adherents to make which are then proven correct or which come true as predicted after they were predicted.

                I remember reading about 20 years ago or so when manmade global warming theorists were predicting that the Arctic-Subarctic areas would heat up faster than the non-Arctic areas would. I remember them predicting that the higher earth-surface-system temperatures created by more IR radiation attempting to radiate from earth into space being trapped within earth surface system would allow a higher temperature atmosphere to hold more water vapor than a lower temperature atmosphere would hold. This would create heavier-than-traditional rainfall amounts in super rain dump flood rain events. Life zones would move higher up mountains and higher in latitude. The warmists said their theory predicted these things would happen.

                These things have happened and are happening even more. So I am satisfied that manmade global warming theory is predictively useful. I am also satisfied that it offers useful advice on how to dewarm the global. Simply man-reverse the man-made factors which are retaining more heat in the atmosphere than before those factors were added. That means reduce CO2 emissions as much as socially possible to do. It also means reduce NOX emissions as much as socially and technologically possible.
                It also means re-stimulate plant growth all over the land surface to increase plant-mediated skycarbon suckdown and long-term soil storage.

                If we don’t do these things, it means accepting the further heatup, storming, random raindumps and random droughts, etc.; which the proven-to-be predictively robust manmade global warming theory predicts will occur. Since I am 59 years old, I expect to see some more rising temps, rising random rain dump flood events, ice storms north of where they were traditionally expected and/ or deeper in winter when it used to be too cold for ice storms, etc.

                I will prepare for these things as best I can. I will withhold knowledge of my preparations from manmade global warming deniers as best I can, on the theory that those people who helped cause all this to happen are bad, very bad, not-nice people who would make any future they infest even worse than it already will be. To help such people survive would be a mortal sin against life on earth and would be an unforgiveable crime against the future.

                1. Don

                  I agree that we should work to stop greenhouse gases. That isn’t my argument. If we got off oil and gas completely that would be fine.

                  My argument is that you should look around. I’ve provided links.

                  1. pretzelattack

                    judith curry needs to publish a paper if she questions the science behind global warming.

                    1. Don

                      There have been papers published, although I’m not sure what Curry has published. Again, for starters, one could read

                      The hockey stick was NOT able to be replicated– this is the point of the paper. There were clear manipulations of the data. If subsequent depictions show a hockey stick– “replication”– then we have to look closer and ask some hard questions: did they use the same data manipulations as Mann? Are the background data available for all to see? Is the pressure so enormous that only conforming work gets through?

                      It matters not that McKitrick isn’t a scientist (that’s essentially an ad hominen argument.) What does matter is what he says and the evidence presented.

                      Once again: look around. We’re all pressed for time but it won’t hurt to at least carefully read this one paper I’ve linked.

                    2. John Wright

                      Per, “While Judith Curry supports the scientific opinion on climate change, she has argued that climatologists should be more accommodating of those skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change”

                      “Curry testified before the US House Subcommittee on Environment in 2013,remarking on the many large uncertainties in forecasting future climate.”

                      If one views the earth as one massively complex feedback system, skepticism of climate change predictions is warranted given accurate predictions could well be impossible to model.

                      But that does not suggest the predictions are completely wrong, perhaps the magnitude is overstated.

                      Curry suggests some no lose approaches,
                      “As an example of alternative options, pragmatic solutions have been proposed based on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction. Each of these measures has justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.”

                      I don’t know what “accelerate energy innovation” implies (hydrogen fusion?)

                      So it appears Judith Curry is skeptical of the certainty of the predictions of many climate scientists, but not of the underlying science.

                      One might characterize her as a climate change magnitude skeptic.

                      Maybe she reads NC and will respond.

                    3. Don

                      John Wright, if you really want Curry’s views, go to her website. Wikipedia will generally be biased toward the consensus view on any controversy.

                  2. different clue

                    If the global starts dewarming and recooling on its own, even with all the greenhouse gas buildup under way, I will certainly look around to see who has an explanation for why THAT would be happening. But as long as the manmade global warming theory permits us to make accurate come-true predictions about what will happen with climate as long as the greenhouse skyload remains at current or even higher levels, what would I need to look around for? If I spend thousands of hours reading millions of words about why greenhouse gas-dumping is actually NOT warming the global . . . . and meanwhile the global keeps right on warming even as I am reading those millions of words about how warmist theory is wrong even though it has correctly predicted the warmup and meltoff and thawdown which has happened so far . . . then what do I gain in return for all that spent time?

                    I know what I will have lost. I will have lost the time and energy I could have otherwise invested in surviving the coming Big Heat Rising. If I have but one life to save, let me save it as a reality-based manmade global warming accepter.

                    I do agree with your agreement that we should work on stopping the greenhouse gas over-emission currently under way. I think getting off coal is even more crucial in that regard than getting off gas and oil, given that coal is the heaviest emitter of purest CO2. I would also like to see us stimulate and feed plant growth for all the CO2 re-lowering that would achieve . . . and store that CO2 in the root systems and soil-around rootzones of those plants. I would also like to see release of Nitric Oxides driven as near to zero as possible.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      What I find most disquieting about the Climate Tipping Point news is the underlying assumption that we have some notion about how and when we might tip a tipping point and can make a reasonable estimate of how far the tipping point might take us in terms of rising temperatures, rising oceans, storm intensification and destruction of life in the oceans and on land. I’m not ready to join up with the “all is lost team” but I’m not comfortable with the seeming level of understanding and control of the situation the Geneva meeting seems to assume. We’re stepping into a minefield without a map.

      My hair isn’t on fire yet but how bad do things need to get before Climate Change becomes more than a hand-wringing or empty-plan-making activity. Between the fires in the West and the floods in the Gulf and the heat waves in the North East — just in this country — don’t we have enough disasters to get some kind of action going? Corporations may be legal persons but they don’t sweat — they don’t starve — and they don’t drown in a flood. Dealing with Climate Change will require extensive coordinated efforts — efforts only governments can actuate — but we don’t seem to have any responsible governments.

      1. different clue

        Some state and regional and local governments may well be actable-through to de-fossilize the political-economic social systems which govern themselves through those governments. Jurisdictions without any coal/gas/oil industries within their jurisdictional borders may well be able to recast some of the survivalist economic activity within their own borders to reduce the use of fossil carbon from beyond their own jurisdictional borders. Think of it as part of the ongoing Civil Cold War between the Blue and the Red. “Blue zones live better without Red zone energy.” Then recast the color symbolism as the Green and the Black. “Green zones live better without Black zone energy.” Every bit of money withheld from the Merchants of Fossil degrades and attrits their power. If their power is degraded and attrited enough, they may be attackable withIN their geographic centers of power. It may become possible to “carry the battle to the heart of the enemy.”

        1. different clue

          And in the meantime, individual conservation lifestylers can only do what they can individually do. But they can at least do that, and make a visible show and demonstration of what they are doing.

  6. Skippy

    Bad link on the The Finance Franchise paper.

    Robert C. Hockett
    Cornell University – Law School

    Saule T. Omarova
    Cornell Law School

    Disheveled Marsupial…. I could quote some dead guy from over few hundred years ago about the full faith of credit and the consequences of screwing with it…. but I’ve done it before… here…

  7. hemeantwell

    America is no longer guaranteed military victory. These weapons could change that. WaPo

    A fine example of a Pentagon-friendly journo greasing the military-industrial money chute. Insider interviews coming his way to provide the best coverage of America’s struggle to defend freedom!

    1. Andrew Watts

      The over-reliance on technology to win wars betrays the reality that the fighting spirit is absent. Or so Homer Lea thought.

  8. ambrit

    I had to laugh at the Washington Posts use of “raise alarm bells” in a clickbait article blurb. Just raise the bells, not ring them?
    I did notice the “we need more money to stop those nasty ‘others'” propaganda. Nowhere in the WP article is it suggested that any nation about to be defeated conventionally would be more likely to go nuclear.

    1. Katharine

      No, they’ll ring the red flags. Or maybe wring them if they were in the wash when the alarm came.

  9. Bob

    That the DIA report on Syrian rebels hasn’t been reported on by the MSM speaks to their corruption and lack of honesty.

  10. Don Midwest USA

    Houston man who refused to plead guilty – the article you linked

    Another travesty in justice.

    When you hear the details of one of these, it is shocking. Or, maybe it is just the way that the justice system is set up.

    Last Sat evening a man spoke about his exoneration. He had been on the road for 14 hours as a truck driver, parked his truck and drove his pick up truck to get gas. He pulled out of a street and a racing police car almost hit him. Apparently a robbery was in progress and police were rushing there. He was pulled over and ordered to turn over his information. He asked, what are you charging me with?

    The man is black. He had worked for the Ohio State Highway patrol for 8 years and left at the disgust of using the police to extract money, and the castle of lies. He knew the law. There was a camera on the police cruiser, but the tape was “lost”.

    Other cops came and they ordered him out of his truck. What am I charged with?

    Finally with all the insistence he exited the truck with one hand on a high handle which is the way to exit the truck. With one hand on the handle, an officer grabbed his other arm and tried to put it into a hammer lock. During the arrest they wrenched one of his arms so hard that it broke the tendon to the bicep.

    He was charged with obstructing the call to a robbery. He fought it and it took 2 years and he was finally cleared. One of his steps was to invite the press into the court room and hear the police lying on the stand. When a citizen lies, we can get trounced, but in his experience, the police can lie at will.

    In light of Trump’s support of blue lives matter, the corruption of the police is a problem that gets more and more difficult to address as the police are used as enforcers of the empire that is collapsing and extracting money from the people on the bottom.

      1. Pat

        I think the most important word in that is “may”. Similar to Obama, Clinton will very likely be missing in action.

      2. no one

        As I recall, one of the famous Clinton “small” measures, designed to look like the government was doing something, was to put federal dollars behind “more cops on the street.” My local government officials told me that this meant that more people were being picked up for broken headlights and expired license plates, jaywalking and littering — that kind of offense. Clogging the courts and filling up the jails. Nothing changed with respect to major crimes.
        My point: we can’t even expect Clinton to be better than Trump, maybe not even different.

        1. sid_finster

          IIRC, the much touted Clinton initiative to use federal funds to subsidize “more cops on the street!” mostly resulted in an increase in desk officers and resume padders.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Underlying Cruz’s arrest was a phony domestic violence claim from a woman who didn’t even live with him.

      Divorce attorneys commonly advise female clients to concoct or provoke a DV claim if they want to get hubby evicted from the house and gain some leverage.

      In a system that is deeply biased [e.g., the federal “Violence Against Women Act”] to make the invidious presumption that men are always the attackers and women always the victims, too often it works.

      1. local to oakland

        As someone who has worked with women who fear for their lives and need a way to escape, what do you propose as an alternative?

        1. Jim Haygood

          Simply that courts not be biased in favor of either plaintiff or defendant. That’s unconstitutional.

          1. cwaltz

            It would certainly help if so many men didn’t actually participate in domestic violence and when they were that it was taken seriously instead of treated with a slap on the wrist.


            This is almost a person a day DEAD every 3 days in a single state.

            Personally, I’m okay with “bias” if it protects people(and I’d argue domestic violence is underreported not over reported like you seem to be suggesting .) I’d rather the courts err on the part of the plaintiff, if the result might be a forfeiture of life for that plaintiff.

            1. abynormal

              Cwaltz, a few years back Cobb County, GA (large, home of Lockheed) passed a law empowering police to lockup BOTH parties of domestic violence if the aggressor can’t be identified. now how many calls do you think get made? hard numbers resulting in death from domestic violence is undocumented…murder is murder by then.

              1. cwaltz

                My father was a violent alcoholic that beat the crap out of my mother in front of us. It definitely impacted, not just my mother, but my brother and I. (and no he didn’t go to jail for it, he didn’t wind up in jail until years later when he shot someone.)

                It’s an issue I feel very strongly about.

                1. abynormal

                  Cwaltz, its an issue that needs to be raised, now more than ever. i remember during the BP mess when psychiatrist were brought into record and help with domestic ‘affairs’. doctors spoke clearly of defeated males raging on women and children. that was isolated compared to what people are facing in this economy today. the vulnerable, with nowhere to go and no finance to back them, are in a world of silent hurt. a hurt that demoralizes cultures for generations.

                  It’s an issue I strongly fear for. And I’m damn grateful your here…

    2. fresno dan

      Don Midwest USA
      August 17, 2016 at 9:51 am

      I have said it a zillion times – the judges, the prosecutors, even the defense attorneys aid and abet this obvious lying. We might as well be subject to the King’s guards….

  11. Jim Haygood

    This is why we now have websites featuring “prison babes”:

    The Vera Institute of Justice released a report that found that the number of women in local jails in the United States was almost 14 times what it was in the 1970s.

    A vast majority of the women are poor, African-American or Latino, and have drug or alcohol problems. About 80 percent have children.

    “Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail,” the report said.

    Women accounted for 26 percent of total arrests in 2014, compared with 11 percent in 1960. The most common offenses that led to arrests involved drugs.

    But of course — Nixon and Agnew explicitly designed their War on Drugs to (1) profile minorities; and (2) feed the Gulag via the conviction machine (perfected in the 1980s under Reagan, with mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines).

    Just as 0bama did nothing to end the drug-fueled War on African Americans — in fact his DEA chief just decided to keep cannabis in Schedule I along with heroin — Hillary will do nothing to end the drug-fueled War on [poor] Women.

    She works for The Man, not for his victims.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Strange that it was just when Aleksander Solzhenitsyn was being lionized with a Nobel prize and an honorary Lit D from Hahhhvid, that America’s Gulag was being put in place.

        Evidently when U.S. elites read Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, they took it for a blueprint rather than a cautionary tale.

        1. Ulysses

          “Evidently when U.S. elites read Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, they took it for a blueprint rather than a cautionary tale.”

          As they did with Orwell, Huxley, and Kafka!! Maybe our current dystopia is so drab, because the kleptocrats have used a derivative mish-mash of oppressive techniques. They are lazy, with no one working hard to find an original style of villainy.

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      August 17, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Well, I feel so much safer (SARC)

      Truly surprising to me, but that just shows I’m not thinking. Other than a startling reduction in rich people in jail, shouldn’t any thinking person conclude that we are vacuuming up poor people as fast as possible?

  12. Vatch

    Thanks for the video of tap water catching fire juxtaposed with the ridiculous pro-fracking claims by the disturbing Clinton supporter Ken Salazar. Let’s also remember that Trump has given the fracking multi-billionaire Harold Hamm a position as an economic advisor to the Trump campaign, and is also considering Hamm to be his Secretary of Energy.

    Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

    1. Isotope_C14

      Well, we could get together and tell the “2-parties” that we don’t want either of them and vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. They don’t *need* to be in the debates, after all those are 100% staged reality debates. Not even in a proper debate format. Lots of ways to watch Jill Stein on CNN tonight, though my suspicion is that they are going to attempt to portray her as the “looney-left” when she’s basically identical to Bernie Sanders in domestic, and Libertarian on eternal war.

      12 ways from tuesday below on how to watch, some are going to stream it on twitch TV as well:

      The only way we live in a 2-party system is for the electorate to make it that way.

      1. Vatch

        I’m a strong believer in voting for third party candidates. However, Gary Johnson has close ties to the odious private prison industry and he supports the sovereignty destroying TPP. I expected to be a Jill Stein supported, and then the Greens chose Ajamu Baraka to be their Vice Presidential candidate. I’m still waiting for Baraka to clarify his apparent belief that Bernie Sanders and Sanders supporters are tacit white supremacists.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Yes, the CTR (Correct the Record) people are looking for *any* way to discredit an actual liberal-progressive candidate. I’d strongly suggest watching this video, and you can make up your mind about Baraka. By ten minutes you’ll get the information you need:

          CTR wants Sanders people to think Baraka is “anti-white”, and that Sanders supporters are tacit white supremacists, but that is simply not true. It is simply the H-> club that must win at all costs, and have the most to fear from the people.

          Agreed on Johnson, though wrecking the economy could topple the government, he might be more efficient at it than Trump, but either way, they aren’t Clinton.

          Watch the town hall tonight, and let us know what you think. CNN 9pm EST

          1. Vatch

            Thanks for the video. I probably won’t be able to watch it with audio turned on until several hours from now, but I will definitely do so.

          2. Vatch

            Okay, I viewed and listened to the first 16 minutes of the video. I didn’t have time to listen to more. The impression I get from the woman in the video, is that Obama and Clinton deserve severe criticism. I still don’t think that Sanders deserves what Baraka said:


            The Sanders’ campaign, like the Obama phenomenon before it, does not offer a program or strategic direction for addressing the current crisis and contradictions of Western capitalist societies. Instead, it is an expression of the moral and political crisis of Western radicalism. This crisis – which is reflective of the loss of direction needed to inform vision, and fashion a creative program for radical change – is even more acute in the U.S. than Western Europe. Yet, what unites both radical experiences is a tacit commitment to Eurocentrism and the assumptions of normalized white supremacy.

            In their desperate attempt to defend Sanders and paint his critics as dogmatists and purists, the Sanders supporters have not only fallen into the ideological trap of a form of narrow “left” nativism, but also the white supremacist ethical contradiction that reinforces racist cynicism in which some lives are disposable for the greater good of the West.

            I want Ajamu Baraka to clearly state that Sanders and most of Sanders’s supporters are not white supremacists. It’s okay to disagree with some of Sanders’s opinions. But Sanders is neither a white supremacist nor an imperialist, nor does he support war crimes, and Baraka needs to explicitly recognize this. Sanders is not Obama or Clinton or Bush.

            1. hunkerdown

              Baraka does have a point. Sanders was still an empire candidate, even if he wished to dial it back or even wind it down.

              That might sting less if you consider it aimed at Sanders-to-Clinton supporters, who certainly do hold and act within the many pointless cultural assumptions they’ve inherited.

              Also, remember, an extremist VP is life insurance of a sort. It worked out well for Biden and Cheney.

              1. Vatch

                If Sanders was an empire candidate, he was doing it wrong. He voted against the Iraq war resolution, against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, against the Patriot Act (and its reauthorization), and he’s one of the few members of Congress to actually criticize Israel. He managed to do all of this even though he is primarily interested in domestic political issues.

                Perhaps Ajamu Baraka needs to consume less caffeine.

            2. different clue

              Well, Vatch, you won’t ever get Ajamu Baraka to clearly state that Sanders and most of his supporters are not white supremacists. The reason for that is because Ajamu Baraka clearly stated that Sanders and most of his supporters ARE white supremacists. That’s Baraka’s story and he’s sticking to it.

              But my theory of Red Nazi Pig Leftism is only as robust and useful as the true predictions it allows me to make. So if Baraka makes the statement you want him to make, my theory will have been proven to be not very predictive after all.
              Time will tell.

    2. Synapsid


      I’m no fan of fracking but I think it’s worth keeping in mind that it isn’t uncommon for methane to come out of water drawn from aquifers, be they in areas with petroleum (or coal) underground or not. One long-used solution is to pump the water into a degassing tank before sending it on to home use; sometimes it was collected and used.

      Natural gas is methane, yes, but not all of it is related to petroleum. Swamp gas is methane and is produced by anaerobic archaea and bacteria working on decomposing plant material in wetlands of all types; this is a matter of great concern where permafrost is melting in Arctic North America and Eurasia. Methane produced by the same means comes out of reservoirs behind dams–and this needs more attention. Coal measures produce methane, and it can be abundant enough to supply commercial use as is being done in Australia (Queensland, I believe.)

      Lots of sources of methane.

      Sadly, one of the first displays of home water being set afire that gained wide dissemination and comment was a fake–the gas was propane coming from a tank. Some jerk wanted attention, I guess. On the other hand, tossing a lit match into a horse trough so as to see the flame has been done in the West for generations.

      1. Vatch

        Thanks. Maybe the flame demonstration is meaningless.

        If water tastes bad after fracking has occurred, that is probably meaningful. Ditto for the earthquakes that have been experienced in places like Oklahoma.

      2. bob

        ” it isn’t uncommon” nonsense speak. It is not common, which is the inverse net of your double negative.

        Setting off chains of hundreds of anti-tank mines underground probably won’t help things, in areas where it’s possible that wells already have gas in the water. Wells that already have gas in the water are located near where they are fracking. The gas is under them, in fact.

        Put another way- Would there be (more/same/less) wells with gas in their water after fracking happens locally? Is there a cost to that? Who pays it?

      3. bob

        This too, is on the edge of worthless-

        “Swamp gas is methane and is produced by anaerobic archaea and bacteria working on decomposing plant material in wetlands of all types”

        Swamps are not good places to draw water from. Most people drink water. Drinking water from a swamp can kill you. That anaerobic bacteria? Yeah, not good for people. That’s before the flammability.

        Swamps have ZERO to do with well water. Swamps are not deep, within 20 feet of the surface. If you’re drawing water from there, it’s not an aquifer. It’s surface water, exactly what you are trying to NOT use when you DRILL a well, into bedrock. In the case of fracking, the bedrock is usually a limestone.

        While the statements about swamp water are true, putting them into a discussion about fracking is misleading. It’s a paid taking point, made to confuse people.

        1. Synapsid

          Try again Bob.

          First, read the post and note what it says, not what you’re expecting it to say…

  13. Goyo Marquez

    Re: Rigged elections in America not a common occurrence.
    In Chapter 13 of, The Power Broker, Robert Moses and The Fall of New York, the author, Robert Caro, details exactly how an election in Babylon, New York was rigged.

    It’s amazing how easy it was, and how familiar it sounded to things which happened in the current election season, including changes in voter eligibility, in Babylon they wanted non property owners to be able to vote, changed voting hours, missing lists of eligible voters. Though the steps taken were quite intentional, they were all actions which could afterwards be explained away as innocent mistakes, or incompetence.

    I think only the people actually involved in the business of elections realize how easy it is to rig an election, and they consider the rigging of elections to be just part of the game. It’s not like they’re manufacturing votes, they’re just manipulating the voting experience in a way they know will result in the outcome they desire.

    No matter how cynical I get it isn’t cynical enough.

  14. allan


    Donald Trump’s campaign chairman helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy. …

    Manafort and business associate Rick Gates, another top strategist in Trump’s campaign, were working in 2012 on behalf of the political party of Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych.

    People with direct knowledge of Gates’ work said that, during the period when Gates and Manafort were consultants to the Ukraine president’s political party, Gates was also helping steer the advocacy work done by a pro-Yanukovych nonprofit that hired a pair of Washington lobbying firms, Podesta Group Inc. and Mercury LLC.

    The nonprofit, the newly created European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, was governed by a board that initially included parliament members from Yanukovych’s party. The nonprofit subsequently paid at least $2.2 million to the lobbying firms to advocate positions generally in line with those of Yanukovych’s government. …

    After being introduced to the lobbying firms, the European nonprofit paid the Podesta Group $1.13 million between June 2012 and April 2014 to lobby Congress, the White House National Security Council, the State Department and other federal agencies, according to U.S. lobbying records. …

    One former Podesta employee, speaking on condition of anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement, said Gates described the nonprofit’s role in an April, 2012 meeting as supplying a source of money that could not be traced to the Ukrainian politicians who were paying him and Manafort.

    Why, that almost sounds like conspiracy.

    1. diptherio

      Why, that almost sounds like business as usual…I don’t suppose there are any other foreign countries trying to covertly influence American foreign policy [cough, Israel] or that these same tactics are used by all and sundry from both sides of the aisle (in as much as the aisle is still two-sided…).

  15. fresno dan

    “A staggering 94% of Republicans, 92% of Democrats, and 85% of independents on Facebook say they have never been swayed by a political post, according to Rantic, a firm that sells social media followers. The firm surveyed 10,000 Facebook users who self-identified as Republicans, Democrats, or independents, Wired reported.”

    Is that because the posts are so lame? Or are most people obstinate, stubborn jerks who are know it alls and refuse to concede that there are facts and circumstances that that should make them change their minds?

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” John Maynard Keynes
    “Give me the child for the first seven years, and I will give you the man” Jesuit aphorism
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so sure of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts” Bertrand Russell

    The arguments at NC have profoundly changed my view of markets, but it wasn’t so much that the facts changed, as much as the arguments for the markets were theoretical, and the reality that the facts did not in fact support the theories. Shouldn’t be surprising, as there is quite an incentive to keep the grift going. But where did my willingness to admit I was wrong, that I had not seen reality correctly come from?

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of what I have read is that most people’s opinions are formed by second grade, and that there is precious little intellectual advancement in the reasoning for the opinions held since than…

    1. Daryl

      > Is that because the posts are so lame? Or are most people obstinate, stubborn jerks who are know it alls and refuse to concede that there are facts and circumstances that that should make them change their minds?

      Can I take option #3: people aren’t aware of how much their views are swayed by advertising, memes, and other internet junk that imprints on the mind without really being memorable in any way.

    2. hunkerdown

      “Is murder acceptable under any circumstances?” is a question that some people might absolutely deny to anyone who asks but may finesse, internally or to one’s nearest and dearest, or situationally as in response to an unexpected important situation (often involving harm committed to members of one’s family). Similarly, I think they’re giving the politically correct answer, not an honest, forthright evaluation of their capacities to resist persuasion.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    [Sanders] said he will reintroduce his legislation to create a “Medicare-for-all” system in the next session of the Senate, “hopefully” after Democrats regain control of the chamber.

    “In my view, the provision of healthcare cannot continue to be dependent upon the whims and market projections of large private insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much profit as possible,” Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.

    “That is why we need to join every other major country on earth and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege,” he said.

    Trust and credibility is important here.

    Cynics might wonder if Medicare-for-All has anything to do with regaining control of the chamber.

    “This time is different!”

    Because Hillary will be in the White House.

    1. different clue

      President Hillary and her Democrats would prevent Medicare For All the same way that Obama and his Democrats prevented it. They work for the same people.

      Perhaps some of the Democrats really don’t. Perhaps they can be viewed as a stub to be built out from, as the Sandernistas begin the several-decades-long effort to cauterize and autoclave and purge and burn all the Clintonite Sh*tobamacrats from office, from the party, and from public life. When every last malignant Clintonoma cell and Yersiniobama pestis plague germ has been purged and burned from existence, then perhaps we can have nice things, like Medicare For All.

  17. JustAnObserver

    Re: NY Post on sexual assault.

    That’s the 2nd time I’ve seen that photo of Bill & Hill where he looks totally Gaga, the first was in some Guardian article. Has he already gone the way of Reagan ?

    Any NC readers seen other pictures of him looking like this or is it just a one-off ? Is he known to be on any meds ?

  18. Benedict@Large

    I suppose you could call the public option a bad faith effort, and then wrap it in your choice of political day care wording but that obscures what was actually happening on “their side.”. The public option (and this comes from as close to an insider as you’ll ever likely have) was put in as a dumping ground for the pre-existing conditions that the insurers didn’t want. It was in effect a high risk pool by another name, because “high risk pool” would make ObamaCare sound too much like car insurance, not a good selling point for sure. The problem was how to get high risk claimants into the public option without using the words pre-existing conditions. Could their actuaries identify these people by other criteria in a close enough fashion to where the math would still work out (i.e., where profit was still there). As time wore on, it became clear that this simply was not going to be possible, at least not to a level that was close enough to make the idea work.

    It was at this point (and it happened swiftly once the decision was made) that the public option was discarded. Instead, pre-exiting conditions would have to be included in the general pool, where they would have to be treated more or less like welfare. (In pre-existing conditions, probability = 1.00, which means they are not insurable, hence their treatment as a sort of welfare). Of course, insurance companies insure very well, but they suck at welfare, hence the mess that Aetna eventually found itself in.

    Now my own experience is with Aetna, where I worked in health care development for many years. Out of all my diverse experiences as a professional, Aetna was not only the cream of the crop among insurers, but were the brightest people I ever worked with. Throughout the history of ObamaCare, I watched them most closely. If anyone was going to make ObamaCare work, it was going to be Aetna. I can’t stress enough then what a devastating blow this pull back of theirs is to the future of ObamaCare. Sure, they’ve left a toe in, but I suspect that is only to be positioned should any major changes come down the line. As for their high level outlook however, they have effectively declared ObamaCare dead.

    Finally, two important take-aways from this. First, there is nothing in ObamaCare for Hillary’s “incrementalism” to address. It is simply too broken for even the industry’s master to deal with. Second, much as they tried, the Republicans did NOT kill ObamaCare. Capitalism did.

    1. TheBell

      Wouldn’t the public option be subject to risk adjustment as well or no. If so, even if public option enrolled the sickest members wouldn’t it spread out some of that risk back to the insurers by collecting receivables.

  19. ewmayer

    o America is no longer guaranteed military victory. These weapons could change that. | WaPo — Wait … is that an admission that USA is no longer indisputably the great moral and military juggernaut it once was, or should this be read as “already the greatest, the reigning, and defending, undisputed heavyweight champeen … but could be even greater”?

    Anyway, it sounds better in the original: “Amerika’s Triumph ist nichtmehr garantiert. Diese Wunderwaffen bringen uns den Sieg!”

    o 10 years after joining Obama’s team, these ‘lifers’ are getting ready to leave the White House | Los Angeles Times — Lambert, I think you left off a much-needed “Ka-ching” here.

  20. ewmayer

    Yves, by way of FYI, I just had 2 link-containing e-mails to you bounce due to over-quota-ness, apparently on your end.

  21. Jay M

    Well I knew the possums were nervous, but I figured that empathy would help. I started putting out dry vodka (Stoli) martinis, drizzle of vermouth and twist. Turns out they are real clowns, and glad to eat all the rotten fruit I throw at them. I trained one of the more intelligent racoons on the use of a diazepam epi-pen if they freak out, so my friends aren’t grossed out. Marsupials are one of those evolutionary tracks we should give more time, like chicken.

  22. Synapsid

    The unloved opossum is quiet and unassuming and, it seems, will eat anything organic that doesn’t fight back. In 1962 opossums were reported north of the Golden Gate for the first time; now they are living on Vancouver Island off the Pacific coast of Canada. I wish that armadillos, another migrant out of South America, would arrive. They’re even quieter.

    My mother’s old paperback copy of The Joy of Cooking had a recipe for opossum, if failing memory serves, and I think I remember one for squirrel and one for beaver tail too, but that may be wishful nostalgia.

    The opossum tactic of playing dead is not a conscious one. They conk out.

Comments are closed.