Links 11/19/16

How Planet Earth’s ice-skating flamingos collectively get ‘in the mood’ for sex The Conversation (J-LS)


A Secret Pyramid Was Found Inside an Ancient Temple in Mexico Motherboard (furzy)

The North Pole is 36 degrees warmer than normal Washington Post (Robert H). Bye bye polar bears.

Antarctica’s Southern Ocean May No Longer Help Delay Global Warming Scientific American (Selva)

Sand’s End The Verge (resilc)

Vancouver Considers Abandoning Parts of the Coast Because of Climate Change Motherboard (furzy)

Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol Popular Mechanics. Robert H: “Not much information here. If the catalyst can be made more efficient that will impact the corn -> ethanol industry.”

5 ways to cut down on Thanksgiving food waste TreeHugger. J-LS: “Whenever I return to the US, especially from an Asian country, I’m struck by how wasteful the system is. Perhaps not so much if one’s lucky enough to shop at a farmer’s market. But when I go into a supermarket, I’m struck by the prepackaging, the mandatory minimum amounts in such packaging, and the ubiquity of excessive plastic.”

Alarming Levels of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Found in Popular U.S Foods Food Democracy (Mark Twain)

Salmonella thrives in salad bags The Conversation (J-LS)


Citibank is the first Australian bank to stop taking cash Business Insider (furzy). From November 9.

Venezuela Caps Daily Bank Withdrawals at US$5 to Avoid Bankruptcy PanAm Post (Lulu). Not sure about the accuracy of the headline, since this may be a desperate and not well-thought-out way to combat inflation.

Pacific Rim leaders vow to fight new wave of protectionism Financial Times. They think they can beat Trump with messaging? Good luck with that.

Dollar’s Rapid Gain Triggers Angst in Emerging Markets Wall Street Journal

Slumber data add to fears Japan is sleepwalking into overwork Financial Times

Trump right on defence spending, says NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg euronews

Drop Brexit case appeal, senior Tories urge May BBC

FCA not ruling out future fee rules for hedge funds and private equity Financial News (DO)

Next Markets Wild Card: Italy’s Referendum Wall Street Journal


Ridiculous Lame Duck Agreements: Obama, EU Agree to Keep Sanctions on Russia Michael Shedlock (EM)


Syrian fighting intensifies Defend Democracy

Russia set to break grisly stalemate in Syria Rediff. Margarita:

Winds of change may be blowing… but let’s finally put one thing straight: Putin never called Trump brilliant. The word he used – яркий – simply means colourful, bright, or vivid – and Trump is certainly any one of those. But if he believes that Putin thinks of him as “brilliant” and it will help to get the world out of the current awful situation, who are we to argue…

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Dear America, the ‘Fake News’ List Will Slaughter Freedom of Press — and It’s Everyone’s Fault Free Thought Project (Judy B)

Trump Transition

Steve Bannon Trump Tower Interview: Trump’s Strategist Plots “New Political Movement” Hollywood Reporter

Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here Cornel West, Guardian

Trump picks conservative loyalists for top security, law enforcement jobs Reuters (EM)

Rep. Mike Pompeo wants to revive mass surveillance program McClatchy

Donald Trump is bringing torture back: His entire foreign-policy team is comprised of big fans of the worst Bush-era practices Salon


Mike Huckabee Reportedly Next Ambassador To Israel International Business Times (furzy)

Trump settles $25m university fraud case BBC

Bankers celebrate dawn of Trump era Politico (furzy)

After the election of Trump: The realignment of US politics WSWS

One thing Trump could do immediately to signal that he is not with the establishment failed evolution. Awfully hopeful.

Why Fighting Donald Trump On Climate Change Is A Waste Of Time Huffington Post

Texas, U.S. Seek Immigration Suit Delay Until Trump Sworn In Bloomberg

Ford tells Trump no Lincoln SUV production going to Mexico Reuters (EM)

Trump claims credit for saving Kentucky car plant from Mexico move Financial Times. As we warned, if Trump creates jobs, he will be popular even if he does lots of other bad stuff.

Sanders Supporters See Some Silver Lining in Trump Victory American Prospect

Americans want Trump to focus on healthcare first Reuters (EM). The Dems will be lucky if Trump takes the bait. His party is divided on this issue and the insurers made out very well on the Medicaid expansion part of Obamacare and already spent lots of $ implementing the program.

President-elect Donald Trump’s motorcade causes Lincoln Tunnel closure during rush hour New York Daily News (Dan K). Stuff like this is going to achieve the difficult feat of making Bill di Blasio popular.

Trump supporter in state Senate says some protests are ‘economic terrorism,’ should be felonies Seattle Times (furzy)

California’s Democrats Are Ready for Political War Bloomberg

2016 Post Mortem

Donald Trump’s success is built on the ruins of the Third Way New Statesman (J-LS)


Largest Bank in Norway Sells Its Assets in Dakota Access Pipeline EcoWatch (furzy)

New US Army Regulations May Further Delay the North Dakota Pipeline Reuters (furzy)

Reports from Standing Rock detail horrific conditions The Hill (Dan K)

Bloomberg has layoffs amid restructuring USA Today (Lulu)

Wells Fargo Gets Tough New Limits as Regulator Amps Up Sanctions Bloomberg

Inventory to Sales Ratios: What’s Really Going On? Michael Shedlock (EM)

Class Warfare

New Report Examines How Country’s Largest Banks Finance the Private Prison Industry American Propsect (resilc)

Retirees Who Saved Still Heading to the Poor House Fox (J-LS)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H). From the Los Angeles Zoo:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. nycTerrierist

        the Baffler piece opens:

        “When you’ve got the big house, and you’re driving a Jaguar, what differentiates you from every asshole dentist in the Valley? Art was a way for Eli to distinguish himself.

        —Shelley De Angelus, Eli Broad’s former curator”

  1. Timmy

    I’m commute daily to the Port Authority bus terminal from a point about 5 miles east of Trump National Golf Course. My normal 75 minute no cheating trip home was almost exactly 120 minutes last night. I departed at 455 pm and my bus didn’t use the usual ramps out of the PA that go directly to the Lincoln tunnel; instead they went out onto NYC surface streets to merge with car and truck traffic. This better not be the regular arrangement…

  2. craazyman

    How could there be no comments at 8:22? What is it today, the Arctiic Heat wave got ya down.

    Songes fo the Seventies is on the radio this morning

    Ye Olde Radio Dayes — that’s the way the Oxford Dcitionary spels it. with an “e” ahahahahahaha

    We Fought the Wall

    Firin up the liberulls righteous as a nun
    We fought the wall and the wall won
    We fought the wall and the wall won
    People needed money a-cause they had none
    But we fought the wall and the wall won
    We fought the wall and the wall won

    Didn’t make the White House and it feels so bad
    Punchin out the rednecks, so much fun
    Can’t understand why they all got mad
    We fought the wall and the wall won
    We fought the wall and the wall won

    Moneymen robbin people with a six-gun
    But we fought the wall and the wall won
    We fought the wall and the wall won
    Spent a billion dollars on a 4 year run
    Then we fought the wall and the wall won
    We fought the wall and the wall won

    Whinin and a cryin now it feels so bad
    Hatin all the racists, so much fun
    Working for a livin must be so sad
    We fought the wall and the wall won
    yeah we fought the wall and the wall won

    1. diptherio

      How could there be no comments at 8:22?

      Typical east coast elitism….you know it’s only 6:30 am where I’m at, and there’s still another time zone to the west of me…and that’s just in this country. Jerri Lynn is probably just finishing up dinner over in India.

      NYC ain’t the whole world, or even the whole country…you all are so parochial out there… ;-)

      1. Optimader

        The Earth axis of rotation is Greenwich (and it lesser known antipode somewhere off the coast of New Zeeland) not NYC!

        (Thats England not Connecticut)

          1. RabidGandhi

            With the north pole spiking 35°, I’ll take ice caps wherever I can get them. It wouldn’t be a half bad idea to cover the City with a glaciar either.

      2. fresno dan

        its 5:30 am in Fresno…..
        Course, I’m usually up at 4 am, but for some reason Friday was an usually heavy wine consumption night…

        And what a great song – although it sounds vaguely familiar

        1. craazyman

          The original is a great song. I think it was done first by Bobby Fuller then covered by The Clash. . . Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun / I fought the law and the law won..

          I think Bobby Fuller was a redneck! LOL

      1. craazyman

        Maybe you’re the one heating it up. :-)

        (Oh man I should do something useful today but I’m too lazy. The work week wipes me out for most of Saturday . . . So I lay around and waste time)

        I thought it was global warming here but there’s a big cold front heading in tonight and I see it’s already 25 degrees in West Virginia.

      1. craazyman

        Good pointe. Jerri-Lynn can look it up in the Foreign dictionary from Englande where their English is suspect — just to make sure. Hahahahahahaahhah.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

          Okay, craazyman, for some really interesting English, get yourself a copy of Hobson-Jobson “A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historial, Geographical, and Discursive”. I’ve just pulled my copy off the shelf– a 2012 reprint of the 1903 John Murray edition.

          At the moment, I’m pursuing two linguistic agendas:

          To widen the use of the word Obamamometer;

          To get people outside of the sub-continent to adopt the lovely Indian word, prepone– we don’t have an equivalent. Usage: Let’s prepone our noon meeting to 10 a.m.

          1. craazyman

            Just make up a word if you need one.

            I saw Kayoes and I thought “kayak” and “canoe” kay-oes. It clearly doesn’t mean KOs. No way. It has to mean something else.

            Then i thought of Kayak-Alaska — Kayak is anagramatically like Alaska. Or like Alyeska AK, Kayak, Ak. See how it works?

            Then i thought of kayak and canoe fishing and hunting.

            Then Kayoes, Alaska. That’s where they hunt and fish and get drunk at the lodge. If it’s not on the map they should put it there.

            Prepone doesn’t sound like an Indian word to me. Are you sure it’s not English? It does have an e on the end of it so it may be in the dictionary.

            Obamamometer is syllabically complicated. At first I struggled with it, not knowing where to place the short and long beats across the 6 syllables. It may require lessons. Are you a linguist and a clever one?

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

              It does indeed have an e on the end and according to my favourite (note correct spelling, also ending in an e) English dictionary, the usage is Indian:

              Origin is early 20th century.

              No sign of it in Hobson Jobson (a better name I couldn’t make up).

              Syllabically complicated, but mellifluous: O BA ma MO me TER (with a slight growl on the TER). I’m proud of that word, as I did make it up. And I wish I’d spread that word around before the dude was elected. Why I didn’t is a story for some other time.

              I defer my right to a clever retort to your linguist comment ’til another day– 4:18 a.m. here in Calcutta and I’m tired.

            2. craazyboy

              I just remembered a word with an e at the end. So it must be English. Cornpone. It means redneck, but it’s a snootier, more sophisticated way of saying it. I bet metrosexuals in New Yawk use it a lot?

    2. Lee

      Jeez! It is currently 5:50 am here on the left coast. I’m only half-way through my first cup of tea. I don’t have enough awakened brain cells to be brilliantly informative or amusing yet.

      1. ambrit

        Snargles dude. I’m already into my second cup of spearmint tea here in the South and I’m doubtful of ever being “b.i.” or “a.y.” under any conditions. Stop thinking like an olde tyme ecomonost. Today’s mantra is “Small is beautiful.” It’s not the number of brain cells you have available, it’s the efficiency with which you use the ‘lean and mean’ brain cells you do have. Every place I’ve hung around in lately has been under that neo-liberal spell. Metrics my friend, metrics.

    3. craazyboy

      First We Take Manhattan – Leonard Cohen
      (60 second AM radio version)

      They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
      For trying to change the system from within
      I’m coming now I’m coming to reward them
      First comments Manhattan, then comments begin
      I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
      I’m guided by the sunset in the west
      I’m guided by the beauty of our website
      First comments Manhattan, then we take the rest
      I’d really like to live beside you, NC
      I love your webpage and your tigers and your prose
      But you see that line there moving through the Skynet
      I told you I told you I told you I was one of those
      You loved me as a loser but now your worried that I just might win
      You know the way to stop me but you don’t have the discipline
      How many nights I prayed for this: to let my work begin
      First we take Manhattan, then comments begin
      Got my comment in!

  3. DorothyT

    How to Fix the Art World

    The piece written by Robert Storr is brilliant. It begins like this but then takes a direction that is a must read as to where we go from here:

    Robert Storr
    Artist, Critic, Curator

    Yes, it can happen here. And it has, while most of us stood by or—more accurately—sat by our televisions in horrid fascination. This presidential election was indeed a reality show, and much if not most of the electorate treated it as such, giving one candidate high ratings because he understood the genre better than the other or was more entertainingly ruthless in using it. A compulsive liar luxuriating in his attention deficit disorder, he was born for this moment, emerging from a chrysalis of inherited privilege to express sociopathic “empathy” for the common man and deliver motor-mouthed, testosterone-drenched double-talk.

  4. diptherio

    Um…how do Aussie small businesses feel about this move towards “digital banking”? Several around my little town here in the states have signs that request customers use cash if they can. A move away from cash just means that all prices will now include a couple percent increment for the interchange fee. Wonderful! Gotta make sure the banksters get their cut of every single transaction…because markets, I guess.

    1. Eclair

      Economic Non-Cooperation. It’s on Gene Sharp’s list of Non-Violent Direct Action methods. I include my boycott of the automatic check-outs at the local supermarket, in favor of keeping real people employed.

      1. diptherio

        Me too. And the few times I’ve been forced into one (as in had an employee direct me to use one during a rush) I always end up needing assistance because I did something unexpected like bring my own bag or move my items around when the robot wasn’t expecting it. Convenience my heiny!

    2. JTMcPhee

      Who sez our rulers don’t know history or learn from it? Here’s a couple of context bits for FIRE collecting tolls on every transaction of us ordinary people, after they strip us of cash:

      First, the wikibit about the origins of the phrase “Robber baron,” which is so nicely illustrative of current “norms” too —

      A robber baron or robber knight (German raubritter) was a feudal landowner that, seeking to alleviate their financial difficulties, recurred to banditry protected by his feud’s legal status.[1] It is a modern historiographical term based on historians’ observations of the German nobility.[1] This development is described to have occurred in the late Middle Ages and have been mainly a result of the natural economy displacement by the monetary economy.

      Some robber barons violated the custom under which tolls were collected on the Rhine either by charging higher tolls than the standard or by operating without authority from the Holy Roman Emperor altogether. They also went outside that society’s behavioral norms, since merchants were bound both by law and religious custom to charge a “just price” for their wares. During the period in the history of the Holy Roman Empire known as the Great Interregnum (1250–73), the number of tolling stations exploded in the absence of Imperial authority. They could resort to robbing ships of their cargoes, stealing entire ships or kidnapping.

      And more comprehensively, there’s this:

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          You might also look at salt before the French Rev and at the term “brachteate”, a gold coin that people had to use at Medieval fairs, had to be spent before the fair was over and included nice vig for the prince/issuer

    3. HBE

      I think this push to go cashless is a direct result of the struggles investment banking is facing to generate returns through it’s broken model (see link).

      The boom days seem to be dead and there is a scramble to find new sources of grift. This is why Goldman Sachs did the unimaginable (pre 2007) and started offering checking accounts to you know, average citizens.

      A cashless society is a struggling Bankers dream, ~320 million people and you get to collect a fee off of every single one of their transactions just by standing between them and the merchant.

      I would be willing to bet if the post office started offering banking and no fee debit cards as a public service tomorrow, calls for a cashless future would end just as quickly.

      If your business model is grift and the old grift isn’t working, you’ve got to find another.

      But really it’s only fair, multinational banking conglomerates are people too, they need to eat! Your not heartless, you don’t want them to starve do you!? /S

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        More and more people are using cash less. A lot of this is consumers’ perception of convenience.

        The other big impetus is governments want to track all transactions for tax collection and snooping purposes.

        1. Vatch

          It stops being convenient when the internet connection is down. I’ve been in both a restaurant and a retail store when this happened. In both cases, I just paid with cash, but some other people were quite inconvenienced for several minutes.

        2. Code Name D

          Is it conveniece? Or are consumers given much of a choise in the mater? (US) Government aid now comes on credit cards, same for food stamps. Most employers are going to direct deposit. I am not sure consumers are realy driving this trend.

        3. H. Alexander Ivey

          It is also due to inflation of prices. Nobody would use a credit or debit card to purchase two hamburgers, fries, and a coke for a buck. But now that costs somewhere well over five dollars. So purchases with plastic don’t seem so unreasonable.
          That is why I’m shaking my head to CONUS Americans. They appear to be unable to truly comprehend what a massive screw-up India is undergoing. And if Australia isn’t careful, they are next.

      1. Grebo

        ‘Because markets’ is rule 1 of Lambert’s Rules of Neoliberalism. Rule 2 is ‘Go die’. Ungrammatical but pithy.

        1. JSM

          From Remnick’s piece on Obama:

          What I do concern myself with, and the Democratic Party is going to have to concern itself with, is the fact that the confluence of globalization and technology is making the gap between rich and poor, the mismatch in power between capital and labor, greater all the time.

          Yes, just like, because! Screw the unions and bring on the TPP!

          1. Lambert Strether

            Yeah, don’t worry. The good people are working on the problem. It’s only going to take twenty years to solve. I think the first step should be to have a “national conversation” about it.

      2. Gaianne

        Following Lambert, the Two Tenets of Neoliberalism.

        1. Because markets

        This is the justification for anything you want to do, such as selling dead babies in the Meat Department of your grocery store. Just say, “Because markets,” and people will submit to your astuteness and wisdom.

        2. Just die

        There are always a few nay-sayers, who will gainsay your wisdom. Worse, they want to be paid for their work, and don’t want to be poisoned by your Meat Department. To them you say “Just die!”


        1. JTMcPhee

          …and the other part of that second rule is what happens when one is disabled or weak or no longer able to meet the debt service as it comes due or in need of actual medical attention and care. The solution posed by several self-described Libertarians I have come across is to put such people on “ice flows” (homonyms are SUCH a challenge, aren’t they?) and push them off from shore.

          Seems Libertarian Neoliberal Market Masters have to come up with another approach, since all the ice is melting, melting… Though the Smart Liberal Class is getting behind “Death Choice” and “Death With Dignity” and other forms of euthanasia, and some private-equity people are seeing opportunities in franchising and ratcheting up the throughput of “hospice facilities.” For profit, because markets, go die, all tied up in one neat package, “all nice and legal, see?”

          Of course, there is the Soylent Corporation’s business model to work toward… A few C-Suite-ers living large on the last of the luxury goods, while the planet dies, and the wealth and position of the Last Elite is somehow maintained by “recycling” human tissue (“Soylent Green is PEOPLE!”) through the algae vats. One wonders about infection control and cleanliness and all that in the process…

          I still have a problem with the political-economic structuring of that particular vision of Deathtopia… Where’s the profit potential? MMT to the rescue, drop helicopter money on the ratty starving mopes in the dirty cities, so they can “afford” their rations of Soylent products? Seems a little like a perpetual motion machine…

        2. Lambert Strether

          Thank you for the reference, but it’s actually “Go die,” phrased in the imperative with the subtext being “Get away from me.”

          Which is exactly what’s going on with the AIDs-level epidemic of excess deaths in the “Rust Belt” that (a) Hamilton ticket-buyers engineered with a generation of neoliberalism and (b)(1) don’t care about or (b)(2) consider a “positive good” (reference to the rationalizations of pre-Civil War pro-slavery ideology very intentional).

    4. Carla

      They not only get “their” cut of every single transaction, they get to keep AND sell information about us, tracking our every expenditure and compiling dossiers on us. It’s hard for me to keep something and also sell it, but very easy for the banksters and other criminal enterprises such as insurance companies, etc. Very smart, digital money. And as Lambert always says, “smart” is the tell. Smart phones, smart money, smart politics, smart policy, smart surveillance… all kinda the same thing, it seems.

      1. integer

        Citi has ‘appetite for growth’ in credit cards, wealth

        The largest issuer of credit cards globally, Citi is the fifth largest issuer in Australia, measured by receivables, after the big four banks. It is also Australia’s largest provider of credit cards for other banks, providing its balance sheet to Bank of Queensland, Suncorp, Virgin Money and several building societies. All up, it has a $4.1 billion credit card book, around 10 per cent market share with 1 million customers.

        Reflecting the realities of Australia’s banking oligopoly, Citi’s credit card market share is lower for unsecured personal loans, at 5 per cent, and its share of deposits and mortgages is less than 1 per cent.

        I have noticed that Citi has been advertising their credit cards a lot lately. They use the “domestic celebrity as satisfied customer” approach.

        1. hunkerdown

          If they want to eat credit cards, I’m sure there’s plenty to be found, helpfully cut into bite-size pieces, off in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Better food for bankers than the birds.

    5. BecauseTradition

      Gotta make sure the banksters get their cut of every single transaction…because markets, diptherio

      Fiat should be for all citizens to use. Then why may only depository institutions in the private sector use fiat except for unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, coins and bills? And the rest of forced to have accounts with them? What is free market about being forced to deal with the banks?

  5. RabidGandhi

    With all respect and at risk of tossing a drink in our gracious hostess’ eye, that Venezuela link is utter garbage and is guilty of the cardinal NC sin of making stuff up.

    Sudeban, the Venezuelan bank superintendency issued its 03 November Circular in which it stipulated that it will be increasing, I repeat, increasing the daily interbank cash withdraw limit to Bs 10,000 effective 1 March 2017 for withdrawals from the National Bank.

    In none of its recent circulars (I looked back to Nov 2015) were there any provisions regarding new limits on ATM or live teller withdrawals. The Venezuelan Banking Association released this clarification on the twitters:

    The Venezuelan Banking Association deems it important to clarify to customers of associated banking associations and society in general that the content of Sudeban Circular no. 29257 refers exclusively to the National Banking network of ATMs, and its purpose is to have the banks increase the daily withdrawal limit customers can make from other banks from its ATMs. Moreover, this provision will go into force on 01 March 2017.

    As usual with Venezuela reporting, what makes it into the media is a gossipy game of telephone played with utterly dishonest counterparties (eg, recall the mythical $170 hamburger), but calling this a “corralito” as the article does sets a new record for being the diametric opposite from the truth.

    1. B1whois

      The article refers to a spill of 2 gallons of drilling mud. Wow, such a small amount. Also, pipeline is for natural gas, not oil. I honestly don’t know what to make of it, but there does appear to be legitimate concern for an important drinking water aquifer. I believe that Florida’s drinking water is already threatened by rising sea levels…

      1. diptherio

        2 gallons that we know about. Having family in the pipeline safety business, I’ve learned to always doubt the company line. They have no problem blatantly lying. Maybe the company isn’t in this case, but their compadres at Exxon pulled shenanigans here in MT to make sure they didn’t find (and therefore weren’t held responsible for) much of the oil that leaked from the Silvertip pipeline into the Yellowstone. It’s easy to not see what you don’t want to see.

        And this looks…uh…totally legit.

        In October 2015, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency said it had “very significant concerns” about the proposed route of the Sabal Trail pipeline posing a threat to the Floridan Aquifer in Georgia and Florida.

        The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which had proposed issuing a state permit, urged a state hearing officer in Florida to reject a request by the WWALS Watershed Coalition to consider the EPA concerns.

    2. Synapsid

      Faye Carr.

      NG not LNG.

      An LNG pipeline would have so much insulation it would look like the Midgard Serpent.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      This is really old and in a “Christian” blog – the comments are wack. I remember searching awhile ago for something this definitive (after the 17 agencies claim) and came up with nada. Anyone have more luck?

    2. Kurt Sperry

      I tried to find a better (or actual) source for the Clapper paraphrase via search and the closest was someone suggesting looking at a video starting at some time point (which I didn’t). I can’t find anything definitive in text form. I like sources that can be checked.

  6. diptherio

    Whenever I return to the US, especially from an Asian country, I’m struck by how wasteful the system is.

    My favorite is the “organic produce” that comes from a couple thousand miles away — because fossil fuels used in transportation don’t count, apparently.

    1. bob

      I was at the farmers market this morning. 100% organic. Each squash was brought into town on a cat. Herds of them, with harnesses so they can’t break from rank. The cat driver, an Amish man, was sparing with the whip, which was actually just glitter tape. It was an amazing site.

        1. diptherio

          …Or own/local greenhouse. Up north here, we gotta be a little creative if we want fresh local produce all year round.

          1. makedoanmend

            Yep, hear yee.

            However, a friend was telling me that in Cork, Ireland, the growing season is easily 9-10 months now without greenhouses or tunnels, and for few years was 12 months.


            1. divadab

              Gulf Stream. Palm trees have grown in Cork for at least 40 years. CLimate change is happening but let’s not get hysterical now.

              1. makedoanmend

                O please – stop w comments about hysterics.

                Gulf stream or no, the growing season is extending. This is simple observation.

                There are a few micoclimates that allow some palm species to grow as far North as Donegal.

                hysterics me arse

            2. Cry Shop

              When it really sets in Cork will probably get quite cold, as the Gulf Stream is likely to shut down.

              1. ambrit

                Good Gods man, forget Cork, think of the tens of millions living in the North German Plain, or the Dominions of the Rus. For them, a Gulf Stream shut down will be actually deadly. Then we’ll see some real migrations, to North Africa and parts south.

                1. makedoanmend

                  Jaysus, don’t let a Cork person hear yee at that chat.

                  I’ve been reliably informed that the centre of the universe lies within earshot of the the Shandon Bells. (But, then again, I suppose if one believes in an infinite universe this is true for those within earshot. Or does one hear lies in Cork? hmmm…)

      1. Optimader

        He should get the lead Kat all jacked up with catnip ona fishing rod–cast in the direction of intended travel!
        Back when i had my adopted Kats I would harvest some catnip and make a ball with monofiliment, fasten to the end of my Kat-fishingpole and give them a chase the ball workout in the backyard.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When both the father and the mother need to work, and are able to find work (thanks to women’s liberation, etc), – but the emphasis is on the need to work – who has time to go shopping daily and prepare meals from scratch? Only the really talented…at least not the average parents, looking at the shoppers at the markets around here.

      Do grandparents shop and cook in two-income working families in Asia?

      Organic is more organic when food is prepared in a communal kitchen…like the communal oven in North Africa. Instead of 100 ovens, one in each house, consuming energy individually, you get one for the whole community.

      1. cwaltz

        Mother and father?

        The 2010 census says that almost 1 in 3 kids are living in a single parent household.

        In the United States, since the 1960s, there has been a marked increase in the number of children living with a single parent. The 1980 United States Census reported that 19.5% were single parent households. From 1980 to 2009, the percentage of single-parent households jumped to 29.5%.[6] The jump was caused by an increase in births to unmarried women and by the increasing prevalence of divorces among couples. In 2010, 40.7% of births in the US were to unmarried women.[7] In 2000, 11% of children were living with parents who had never been married, 15.6% of children lived with a divorced parent, and 1.2% lived with a parent who was widowed.[8][9] The results of the 2010 United States Census showed that 27% of children live with one parent, consistent with the emerging trend noted in 2000.[10] Mississippi leads the nation with the highest percent of births to unmarried mothers with 54% in 2014, followed by Louisiana, New Mexico, Florida and South Carolina.[11]

        It has little to do with “women’s lib” and more to do with survival requiring the adult to cover the cost of a household. The little five year old freeloaders(tongue firmly in cheek) need to eat, be clothed and have a place to sleep.

        1. ambrit

          The “poorer cohorts” here Down South have a significant population of grandchildren being raised by their grandparents. A lot of this is, anecdotally I admit, related to drug use and incarceration. I talked with one grandma who was raising a grandson because the son in law had been killed and the daughter was in jail for a separate offense. Being poor can be literally a killer.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The art market is for those interested in investment (with hefty transaction fees, 20% to 30% buying and selling, each time).

      If one is interested in art, one takes an art class, or for one of those with complete liberation/enlightenment, one just experiments on one’s own.

      1. Optimader

        It’s a funny thing-these days “the masters” (and all the yet to be admitted fakes) are a transnational fiat currency of choice due to portability. Easy to sew +US$100M into the lining of a nice trenchcoat and move assets from place to place.
        That much gold would have to be accounted for in the Gulfstream’s preflight weight and balance calculation. Might gave to throw a couple cases of champagne on the hanger floor for the little people. :o/

  7. Old Ari

    Rubbish the ethanol will contain more energy than the CO2. This energy has to be supplied, it can be assumed that this will be greater than the energy in the product.

    1. diptherio

      Didn’t see that they were claiming the ethanol created contains more energy, just that you could use the ethanol to bridge low-production times for other alternatives.

      1. Synoia

        I read the paper. Input energy was electricity, consequently the overall system efficiency and cannot be better than photosynthesis.

        To many over 50% losses from source to sink. (second law of thermodynamics).

        1. UserFriendly

          That’s what I said back in October when I emailed this story in ;-)
          This is no Carbon Capture, it might work as a way to store energy but it isn’t a cure.

      2. John Wright

        If you drill down, they talk about 20% of the input electrical energy is converted to energy stored in ethanol.

        So you’ve gone from a nice ordered form of energy (electrical energy) that can run an electric motor to produce 100% of its output in work, into a fuel that must be burned in a heat engine cycle.

        If one simply does a round trip, 20% of the input electrical energy is converted to ethanol, which is burned to drive an electrical generator at 40% thermal efficiency (perhaps optimistic), going the route from electricity to ethanol back to electricity results in converting 1KW-HR first to 0.2KW-HR (ethanol heat value) and then finally to 0.08KW in electricity, so a round trip back to electricity loses 92% of electrical energy in the process.

        The scientists seem to see it as a way to convert excess electrical energy, with the electricity created by wind turbines at night when demand is low.

        Here is a quote from one of the links:

        “There are times when electricity is really cheap, like at night when the windmills are blowing hard and utility doesn’t need the electricity. That’s why we propose you could use this as an opportunity to essentially suck up extra electricity and put it somewhere in the form of ethanol, which can be distributed and used as fuel”

        It does make sense in this context, but is certainly not some “limitless free energy” miracle that will save the world from climate change..

        1. bob

          It’s the ongoing belief that electricity at night is free.

          It underlies most energy debates.

          I’s completely false, and it makes it impossible to get to a starting point to begin a discussion on “energy”.

      3. Katharine

        I was fascinated by the process, though I only went as far as the ONRL news item, not the technical paper. I think anything that even temporarily takes some CO2 back out of circulation is desirable. As for an energy source to accomplish this, why not the sun?

        1. uncle tungsten

          Trees are thought to be efficient converters of CO2 to O plus sequestered carbon. They also moderate humidity and foster rainfall. Planting tree patches on open farmland will reduce grass but increase shade areas, minimize fire hazard losses to reforestation strategies, ultimately provide building and furniture materials and rapidly expand habitat for birds and other fine critters. They are solar operated.

          Plant some soon.

    2. JohnL

      Yes, making ethanol from CO2 & water would be endothermic. Article almost makes clear that this energy is electricity and that this is an electrochemical process. They are suggesting it for energy storage, not production.

      Now a process to convert CO2 + water to ethanol using sunlight would be interesting. The current way of doing that via corn uses a lot of land and energy and chemical inputs.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Think of the other possibilities! Why use the ethanol as a fuel? I can think of so many other better applications for the ethanol. A little copper and some carbon and a little electricity and you have ethanol. What’s not to like? Is there a metallic aftertaste?

  8. philnc

    How ironic that the ‘Fake News’ article was unreadable on my cell whose browser (Chrome) doesn’t have an ad blocker, because of the popup ‘fake news’ ads hosted by the site. But I guess it’s my fault for following the link, a mistake I won’t repeat to avoid it being my… “fault”.

    1. RabidGandhi

      I didn’t click through to the actual list, but I assume it includes that NY paper that made up a story about “yellow cake” to instigate a war against Iraq. And that rag in DC that argued that Putin had hacked the DNC based on 0 evidence. And that public radio network that said the Iraqi army was throwing babies out of incubators. That’s gonna be a heckuva long list.

      1. HBE

        I think this gives a pretty clear idea of how comprehensive that list actually is.

        From the professor herself:

        “Some people are asking which news sources I trust, and all I can say is that I read/watch/listen very widely, from mainstream, corporate owned sources (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes) as well as The Atlantic, National Public Radio, and various local and alternative sources with different political perspectives, some of which are included on this list. ”

        Such a good “npr tote bag carrying liberal”.

        With “trusted” sources like that, I almost feel sorry for the professor.

        1. RabidGandhi

          This is the reason I was leery about the list of trusted sources we were compiling here. Too often “trusted source” means “analysis I agree with” when it should mean “provides verifiable facts and fact-based arguments, some of which I may disagree with”.

          And I saw many lefty commenters commit this fallacy during the election, for example: 2015 “X is a great source” turned into 2016 “X said he’s voting HRC, I’m not reading him anymore cause he drank the kool-aid”. Where X can be Taibbi, Adolph Reed, Chomsky….

          It’s a total halo effect and the death of critical thinking, thus the list.

      2. Dave

        I would like to see a “fake news” list based on whether a news outlet has any financial, board of directors, or personnel connections to government agencies, banks, corporations or those who might profit from biased reporting.

        Got my Sunday New York Times subscription plea today. I plan on returning the first class postage paid envelope to them with some criticisms and cool paperweights.

        1. RabidGandhi

          I agree it’s crucial to know who is funding a news source. But being funded does not prevent a source from putting out good journalism, and not being funded is no guarantee of factual articles. For example there is plenty of good journalism that comes out of the NYT or the Daily Bezos– such as James Risen’s excellent work on government surveillance for the NYT– but you have to sort through the muck and a gaggle of presstitutes who think they are objective when they are most decidedly not.

          BTW the paperweights idea is great.

      3. clinical wasteman

        The list gets even longer once almost all European print media are added, with the honorable exceptions of il manifesto, Le Monde Diplomatique and my lovely Genossen/innen at Wildcat in Stuttgart. Concerning Venezuela, a special supply of tar and feathers should be held back for the editors of Le Monde (nothing to do with L.M.Diplo), La Repubblica and supreme coup cheerleader El País, all liberal papers to a gaping fault.
        But outright stenography for Latin America’s neolib press feudalists (eg. in stories about Brazil these last few years and Argentina always), along with sheer geographical ignorance of Asia, the Pacific and Africa — anywhere outside the Senile Continent itself, really — is pretty much universal. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read that Iran is an ‘Arab’ or even ‘Arabic’ country — y’know, like Pakistan — or that Papua Niugini is a ‘Polynesian island’ and would be a ‘tropical paradise’ if it weren’t for all those cannibals. (And a special thank you to the Guardian for informing me that my family in Akaranga (Auckland), Aotearoa (NZ) were about to be wiped out by an earthquake that never really got north of Wellington and a tidal wave that got nowhere at all.) A plague on all their negative equity-ridden houses!

      4. clinical wasteman

        Ach! Apologies to all: in another comment posted a few minutes ago and not up yet, I stupidly misread ‘the list’ as a reference to a hypothetical list of falsifying/stenographic corporate media, especially re Venezuela. So it may appear that I’m proposing a bunch of Euro-neoliberal rags as ‘trusted sources’, which is most definitely not the case. Entirely the fault of my shoddy reading, related in turn to the same workload-panicked haste that caused me to miss the ‘trusted sources’ list in the first place. The three ‘honourable exceptions mentioned would count for that though.

    2. djrichard

      Separately, see that the site-that-shall-not-be-named is on that list. If sides are being drawn, I know which side I would end up on.

      Have to laugh. I would be a liberal if only the liberals weren’t forcing me to choose the other side.

  9. Bob

    re: “Trump claims credit for saving Kentucky car plant from Mexico move”
    First sentence: “Donald Trump has claimed credit for keeping a Ford plant from moving to Mexico after the automaker said it would continue making its Lincoln model in Kentucky, though the company denied it ever planned to move the factory.”

    If Trump can claim saving jobs that were never at risk, can he also brag about this (from 4 days ago)?
    “General Motors to cut 160 jobs at Kokomo plant, wind down semiconductor production”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The buck stops here.

      In 2020, voters will ask, ‘Are we better off today?’

      Often, luck plays a role – perhaps you presided over the dawn of the internet age – then you can claim anything.

      “Getting Americas jobs,” that’s his aim. If there are more jobs by that time, he will get the credit, deservedly or not. If there are fewer jobs, it doesn’t matter how hard he tried.

    2. Spring Texan

      People need to ask him everyday if he has prevented the Carrier plant from moving to Mexico, as he said he would do.

    3. Optimader

      I hope this will be his biggest deficiency.

      I expect it wont be, but such a claim (retaining donestic jobs) is pretty damn far down the list of my concerns of questionable claims of potus achievements — at least he is giving domestic job stewartship some attention as being a worthwhile objective?

    4. Alex morfesis

      The buck starts here…trump has never created jobs…other than on a tv production set at ego tower…his construction work has always been on gaffone newbee money gilded junk he sold as luxury which left him lots of room to come in on budget and with enuf phat to hand out fakelakia to make sure the job ran smooth…yes…when every 1 & their grandmother was running(not just walking) away from manhattan, he was in there fighting…but beyond that early set of events where one might argue the harder you work the luckier you get…

      No great success…he stepped into the void left by onasis and zeckendorf in the mid 70’s…

      he will not bring in any baby rattle bam-bams to shake anything up…

      but his exasperating verbosity will leave open a door which hopefully enuf of us will convert into commerce…

      the krewe he seems to be bringing look to milk the olde sow one last time and skim what they can…

      teapot dome redux…

    1. RabidGandhi

      The thing that bothers me is that thus far Pence is probably the most rancid tool in the Trump shed, but I highly doubt he would have been given the raspberry prior to his association with El Donaldo; as governor he was a respected member of the opposition, but an authority figure nonetheless, and authority figures must be respected.

      The reason for this is that being a toxic reactionary christian supremicist is OK, even amongst the liberals getting their Hamilton on. But if that same toxic reactionary christian supremicist ties his name to the guy who disobeys The Blob on TPP and war vs. Putin, well that’s just a bridge too far.

      1. ambrit

        Yep. A shout out from the cast of a show that charges $430 for a seat for the Saturday matinee to the junior partner of an organization that just won a populist themed election campaign sure is “authentic.” When the “Hamilton” group begins giving matinees in the middle of the week for school groups and other ‘deserving’ demographics for, say, $10 a seat for the little ones; then I’ll start taking their opinions on politics seriously.

          1. ambrit

            Interesting work. I’ve bookmarked it and will try to get into it soon. Phyllis does watercolours, mainly still lives, and the lack of a “nurturing environment” out here in the sticks is, shall we say, an influencing factor. Not much if any support for “non standard” work, i.e. not trendy stuff. Luckily, she doesn’t really care about the ‘business’ side of the art equation.
            My question about all of this is, when does art, in this case performance art, stop being “popular” and edges into the aetherial realms of the “elite?” So, in the case of “Hamilton,” are the actors et. al. claiming that people able to afford a grand for a night out and a show are representative of the American people? This really looks like nothing better than “virtue signalling.” (That can cut both ways, I realize, but I’ll chance it.)

            1. polecat

              They have to maintain the illusion that ‘the odds are always within their favor’, no?

              They’re the bright, shiny, citizens of Panem, after all ……

            2. Steve H.

              The signal for elite dollar value seems to be patronage, in that value can be ascribed by what someone paid for it, regardless of any implicit qualities.

              So a night on Broadway is an elite experience, and therefore must be an excellent experience.

              “We’re going to shoot the works. A whole week in New Yourk. A whole week in Bermuda. The highest hotels … the oldest champagne .. the richest caviar .. the hottest music, and the prettiest wife!” – George, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

          2. Optimader

            Been skimming through this..Thanks for posting, it’s in my insomnia theater reading(listening) ebook file.

            Passed the link on

        1. JTMcPhee

          I wonder, the cast are just employees, amiright? But of course as workers, if they orrrrganize around interests, maybe they could engage in some kind of actual “job action,” like others have done before them:

          Even the military bosses at my old Ft. Hood post have thought through and prepared for such stuff: Though I imagine the current doctrine is more along the lines of “Line them up and shoot them!” It worked for Reagan, after all — Rule of fokking law… right…

        2. DJG

          ambrit: I’m not defending Hamilton ticket prices, but the show does offer discounts to schools and there is a free-ticket lottery each day. These are well known.

          1. ambrit

            I didn’t know all that. My apologies for going of half cocked. Nothing at all personal in the preceding comments.
            Is there any truth to the Coastal Elites versus Flyover Masses argument? Or does this all come down to plain class divisions? One class has wealth, the other does not.
            I’m reminded of the old joke where the punch line goes; “If you have to ask the price, you shouldn’t be shopping here.” That line says an awful lot about the human condition.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Of course the Hamilton-ites are against Trump because he’s for states’ rights. You’d think California and New York would like the idea of more self-rule at this point

              1. ambrit

                Yeah. Maybe I’ll throw some of that powdered ginseng tea mix they sell down at the Oriental Market out on Highway 98 for a ‘balancing act.’ I’ll get back with you in a few days with a report.
                Seriously though, I cut out my caffeinated tea, which was almost as bad as quitting smoking, to try and drop my blood pressure. It worked. That and a cheap pharmacy for a beta blocker and a calcium channel blocker, and my morning readings are now close to “normal.”
                Anyone know of a safe analogue for caffeine?
                Every time I pass a bar I want coffee, beer, and tobacco. Why all three, I cannot fathom.

                1. hunkerdown

                  ambrit, cocoa has a lot of theobromine, which is structurally related to caffeine but milder — indeed, it’s been used to treat hypertension in the past. Keeping a dark cocoa bar on hand and nibbling a square from time to time might be good to you.

                  1. ambrit

                    Thank you for that hunkerdown. I will have to develop a taste for dark chocolate. I do so fondly remember the dutch chocolate that Grandad Fussell would send over in the Christmas care package. So much sugar and chocolate! And, of course, Marmite. I still love that tangy stuff. (Mom would hide all of it the day after Christmas and dole it out in bits and bobs.)

                2. UserFriendly

                  I highly recommend Piracetam. I dissolve 1g in water and drink in the morning and another after lunch. legal, effective, nootropic. Really helps me focus when I don’t take my adderall.

          2. Carla

            I don’t know this as a fact at all, but I just have a hunch that Miranda and maybe the original cast members had something to do with the school discounts and free-ticket lottery. Somehow it doesn’t seem like an idea your typical Broadway investors would prioritize. Just sayin’

            1. aab

              That stuff is good PR. I see lots of elite Hillary fans on Twitter slavering over the free ticket lottery. I’d love to see an economic breakdown of who gets those seats.

              And of course, it feeds into artificial scarcity and status-signaling. As well as being the liberal version of standing in line at dawn in front of Walmart on Black Friday, in the hope of getting one of the half-price big screen TVs.

              Hamilton uses a false claim of Hamilton being an active abolitionist to promote an equally false vision of black and brown people benefiting from a financialized, entrenched ruling class. What does that sound like? It’s perfect, in its way. They dance and sing and feel seen and empowered, while the backers make the real profit. Other than the Miranda family (Lin-Manuel’s dad is a political consultant in Clintonland), all the other investors and non-creative profit participants seem to be neither black nor brown.

              It’s such an eerie parallel to Obama that it’s startling.

              1. Carla

                Yes, well, that’s the trouble with a financialized, corrupt society. It financializes everything and corrupts everyone. Since you’re so aware, are you sure you’re immune?

                1. aab

                  Where did I suggest I was immune? And how would such a claim or its refutation effect my argument? My argument either holds or it doesn’t. My personal purity is irrelevant.

        3. wtf2

          Hamilton has $10 seats for every performance. They’re given away via lottery. They also had in-person lotteries until the NYPD made them stop. They used to have semi-impromptu street performances also.

          Should they charge $10 for all seats and then let resellers charge $430?

          1. aab

            Nice straw man there, dude.

            There are ways to prevent reseller markups. Moreover, given that this is the business model all those actors are employed under, maybe they shouldn’t have been so snotty to the incoming member of the power elite they sing and dance for. Hamilton is an elitist product, priced well out of reach of most people. How exactly have they earned their righteous sanctimony? If they had any sense, or sense of history, they’d have been more careful. The jesters and courtesans of one ruler can become the field hands and galley slaves of the next. The Democratic Party has almost no institutional power now. These idiot children are taunting a man who is one beating orange-topped heart away from being able to destroy them and everything they care about. After calling Trump Hitler, they sure don’t seem to be taking their own claims seriously, or they wouldn’t dare publicly embarrass Pence this way.

            1. Carolinian

              Well we shouldn’t take them seriously either.

              As for the incident itself, should Pence decide to stop attending Broadway plays that’s hardly a great sacrifice in my opinion. B’way is the most overrated cultural institution in America.

              And a final point–anyone looking to confront the Pres or Veep might want to worry about being cold cocked by the Secret Service. Getting fresh with people who have dozens of bodyguards is not prudent.

              1. cwaltz

                My favorite part about the hyperventilating is the act that booing or criticizing is something new and unique. It’s not like the Obama family and the Biden family didn’t receive the same treatment. If you google Obama booed you can read how he was booed at football fields, basketball games and Jill and Michelle were booed at NASCAR. The conservative whiny babies need to buck up. In democracy dissent is healthy.

                1. aab

                  My issue with that comparison is that I’m pretty sure the same media that’s treating rich people booing Pence as a act equivalent to marching to Edmund Pettus bridge treated the booing of Obama as an unacceptable act of incivility.

                  The hypocrisy is so flagrant. Just like Hillary Clinton and the corporate media huffing righteously about how everybody needs to accept election results and never suggest they could be rigged or should be overthrown — until they lost.

                  The other thing that actively concerns me is that all these people don’t seem to have any awareness of how weak their side is now. Obviously, the rich folks sitting in those $4000 seats will be fine. They’re always fine. But they’ve been hiding behind actually disenfranchised, vulnerable people in their political coalition, and those people really are at risk. Taunting Pence when there’s structurally very little standing in the way of Christian dominionists rewriting the Constitution in the near future seems not merely self-indulgent, but dangerous. We will need to do serious protesting in the years to come. This kind of thing potentially undermines its effectiveness for numerous reasons, including giving a whole lot of unhappy young people a very wrongheaded idea of what effective political protest is.

                  This country needs class-based politics, desperately. The class of people that needs to be aligned for effective change includes a whole lot of people who will be deeply alienated by rich people and their jesters booing the incoming Vice President when he hasn’t actually done anything yet as Vice President worth booing. (Yes, I know who he is and what he’s done. I despise Mike Pence. But as someone else here pointed out, he wasn’t booed until he joined up with a guy who said he was against free trade and military expansion. Prior to that, his religious bigotry still got him a seat at every nice restaurant.) This kind of protest actually reinforces the racist class divide keeping the 99% fragmented and disempowered. So while they think they are protesting racism, they are actually reinforcing its toxic impact.

                  1. Marco

                    Thank you! And whole-heartedly agree. And to bring this down to a personal level. I attended a local “Not My President” protest here in the local gay ghetto. The uncomfortable moment came when the group I was with split up based on who had money to dine at the local ethnic eatery and those that had to go home for wine out-of-the-box. All devout utterly moronic clueless “liberal” Democrats.

                  2. ChrisPacific

                    Trump has also gone very quiet on the election rigging topic all of a sudden.

                    Next time perhaps we could ask both candidates to commit to holding a UN-led investigation in the event that they win. Or shut the hell up if they won’t.

        4. clinical wasteman

          Well yes, there’s a clue in the name of the production’s eponymous hero.

          I wouldn’t automatically extend the judgement to stage hands/technicians, junior cast (“chorus” in a musical? the genre’s not quite my cup of Jameson’s), non-star backing musicians, etc., all of whom are just doing a job. But were those people even invited to be involved with the spontaneous sermon?

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Or it could be that now the guy is a heartbeat away from the presidency – not sure the protesters in the street are pro TPP or WWIII

      3. wtf2

        RapidGandhi–You have no way of knowing the people acted the way they did because Trump opposed TPP and war with Putin. Do we really need to list all the egregious Trump Pence bullying they could have been responding to?

        1. RabidGandhi

          This is exactly my point. Can you name any “Trump Pence bullying” that is more egregious than the brutal crap Pence pulled as governor of Indiana (eg, ‘right to work’, charter schools, battling minimum wage… not to mention his psycho stance on Christian ) where he AFAIK never received such a reception? The reason he was not treated this way until now is that the virtue signallers in Hamilton are A-OK with him implementing all those rancid policies so they don’t make a big deal. But conversely, linking himself to Trump means crossing a line that is somehow unacceptable.

          What drives me bonkers about this election cycle is the omnipresent fallacy that Trump somehow represents a radical departure from the awfulness of previous US presidents, when the fact is he is no more psychotic than the guys that invaded Iraq, let off the bankers, destroyed habeas corpus and created an AIDS level epidemic amongst the Deplorables.

          Until the protesters (eg the Hamilton cast) start levelling equal criticism at war criminals like Bush, Obama and Clinton, their protests ring deafeningly hollow.

          1. witters

            Trump is a symptom, not a cause. But it is easier for many to reverse this.

            Here I hat tip Angryarab for this reminder of Hannah Arendt:

            “If you are confronted with two evils, thus the argument runs, it is your duty to opt for the lesser one, whereas it is irresponsible to refuse to choose altogether. Those who denounce the moral fallacy of this argument are usually accused of a germ-proof moralism which is alien to political circumstances, of being unwilling to dirty their hands. …Politically, the weakness of the argument has always been that those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil. … “

    2. djrichard

      Yes, I remember this same thing happening when GWB was leading us into war. Oh wait.

      About the only media personality I remember calling out the self-congratulating perps to their faces was Stephen Colbert at the whitehouse press correspondents dinner. Sure a little rude, but at least they (virtually everybody in that room) had actually perpetrated a violation. In contrast to Pence and Trump.

      Or is there a meta-level here? The saying is that all’s fair in love and war. Well if an election campaign is just another war (and Bannon certainly sees it that way and I wouldn’t disagree), then perhaps the view from the liberals is that Trump and Bannon actually did perpetrate violations. Not only did they win the election (war), but they … normalized boorish behavior? … normalized racism? Sure not as bad as the violations of norms that took us to Iraq and the violations that occurred in Iraq. But hey, violations none-the-less. And so it goes, “Now that we’ve called these violations out, let’s go congratulate ourselves.”

      [Colbert’s performance that night was truly a site to behold. But now I’m even wondering if even that was a performance. In any case, full disclosure: I remember being a part of the satisfied self congratulations going around after that.]

        1. djrichard

          At the time I was thinking he was taking a real risk with his career. Now it’s pretty clear that it vaulted him in the eyes of hollywood. So maybe not as much of a risk as I was thinking. Even so, at the very least he was more-or-less a man alone in that room. [Perhaps that’s what makes a true artist?]

          Compare to the elites now, how isolated they all are in their call-to-arms against Trump. It’s like watching a high-wire act, the risk they’re taking. /sarc

          1. polecat

            Bannon probably has a spare set of cable cutters laying somewhere amongst the office clutter ….


          2. JSM

            It’s possible a certain sort of widespread liberal elitism, along with the interests it was used to delivering taxpayer money to, is about to become impotent and irrelevant.

            If the reaction to this election is any indication, they may never adjust.

            1. Lambert Strether

              I love the sound of smashing rice bowls in the morning. Pretty soon the only recourse Democrats will have is to go to the voters and humbly ask them for policies they support, and then advocate those policies. They could start with the Sanders campaign platform, and expand it (for example, debt jubilee). If Trump doesn’t manage to do that first with his infrastructure plans, of course.

              1. JSM

                One inchoate plot JSM has been kicking around:

                Dems collapse in the face of Trump job creation as newly employed minorities bolt from the party. The DNC, DLC, DCCC, etc. have already shown they’re a rotten auto body on blocks in the front yard that won’t run even on a billion+ dollars. And that’s before a $1T infrastructure program, mind you.

                Bernie Sanders creates Progressive Party on e.g. 15 nonnegotiable principles or something similar. Some number of states, who are in many ways already there, follow suit. People under 45 heavily lean Berniecratic anyway, unless they had the misfortune to pursue advanced degrees. They’re the future. Establishment Dems join Republicans or do as they please, e.g., wait to die off.

                Half the country is independents & the most easily propagandized (65 & over) segment of the population is exiting the demographic pool, to use a technocratic euphemism.

                Most of this scenario has already played out, under the surface if not overtly. What’s everyone waiting for?

      1. djrichard

        One last point and then I’ll shut up. The question remains, “did Trump actually normalize boorish behavior and racism?”

        I know when I truly need to win at something (like some heated arguments with my spouse), I use whatever tactics I can muster, including deceitful arguments. In a strange way, I sometimes need the deceit to get to what I feel is the bigger truth. If anything it moves the conversation along to get us past that; that the deceit isn’t why we’re arguing. [The expression is truth is the first casualty of war. I’m sure that could be modded some way to embrace war even so, lol.]

        And in a way, I thought of what Trump was doing was in the same ilk. That the boorish behavior and alt-racism wasn’t why we (the two campaigns) were having this war. What was at stake were bigger issues. But if one side didn’t want to talk about the bigger issues, then by all means let’s talk about boorish behavior and alt-racism. Because then it tells the viewing public where your head is at (which is a desire to not talk about the bigger issues).

        1. apotropaic

          I would buy it if there were some evidence. Not seeing it in the appointments. I want it to be true. I want there to be a broader recognition of the underlying economic issues that have lead to this. Who is talking about it? Not trump’s men or hillary’s minions in denial.

          Only the superminority that wants it to be true so badly that they pretend trump might deliver it. He’s showing no evidence. It’s as blatant a state of denial as the hillbots blaming racism and sexism alone.

          1. Carla

            Yep. As a people, we finally arrive at true equality — in denial.

            Give us a medal. In the contest of head meets sand, at least, we WIN !

        2. cwaltz

          This stuff was going on before Trump announced. Heck, W was booed, so it even predates Obama’s presidency. The reality is our country was founded on our boorish and often uncivilized behavior. It’s part of our historic charm.

      2. Marco

        Not to quibble but it was the 2006 WH Correspondents dinner. Almost 4 years after AUMF. Still very courageous but the war effort was already falling apart. I guess Colbert annoys me now that I am cutting him less slack.

      1. Pat

        I found the audience booing Pence to be impolite and disruptive. I agree the statement by the cast was pretty unexceptional and not particularly rude although I’m sure some, including Trump, will consider it impertinent and uncalled for.

        I suppose what bothers me is that it will be cited as a reason to boycott Hamilton. Now if you want to boycott it because of the piece itself, so be it. But a statement… Right now I’m upset because there is a move to boycott New Balance for having the audacity to point out that Trump was not wrong about our trade deals. Something that with few exceptions is true for most Americans.

      2. aab

        I don’t think it’s okay. If I understand the context, the audience booed, they were not shushed by the cast, and then the cast delivered this speech at curtain call. So they facilitated the audience’s boorish behavior, then pretended it was all about love.

        Actors have broken character during Broadway shows to scold people for taking out a cell phone. They could have told the audience not to boo him. The play itself, if it reflects the vision its fans believe it does, should have been all the message necessary.

        Theater can be messy, because there are no screens involved. It’s all live human beings voluntarily choosing to form a temporary community in a physical space. But I don’t see the moral virtue of the behavior here. Pence chose to join the community. He did nothing bad while there. If you want him to change his views, this is certainly not the way to go about it. This was the audience and the cast all virtue-signaling to one another and bonding over their shared hatred of Mike Pence. But what exactly did it accomplish, besides possibly making him hate coastal elites, artists and people of color more?

        In that room, they had the power, and they used it. Unfortunately, out in the real world, he has the power. And Hamiliton the production, as well as all the people involved in it, would have more moral authority if they had a real peanut gallery, not a very controlled ticket lottery which does not make the play accessible to the 90% in an appreciable way, and has a highly concentrated, elite profit distribution plan – one which Hamilton himself would have approved of.

        1. anti-social socialist

          Pence chose to join the community.
          Please. Pence was there to accomplish exactly what he did, distract from Trump fraud settlement.

          1. aab

            That’s irrelevant. Did he stand up and shout? Did he bring in storm troopers to arrest the people who booed him?

            Maybe, just maybe, he decided to see what all the Clintonian fuss was about Hamilton. If the art was strong, maybe it would have changed his perspective — if it is, indeed, this glorious paean to a diverse America.

            He entered the temporary community of the theater. He did not violate the norms of the space in any way. Sure, they can boo him. But to then ALSO claim moral superiority seems a bit, er, rich.

            In fact, him going to the play wasn’t that big a deal in terms of PR. Their behavior elevated his act significantly, and took the focus off Trump even more. So IF he went to the show to drive the fraud settlement off the front page, they helped him out.

            So, again, how was this anything other than masturbatory virtue-signaling? Did this do ANYTHING to either stop Pence from doing bad things or persuade Pence to rethink his values?

            1. anti-social socialist

              Rich indeed. Every benefit of the doubt goes to HIV-funding obstructionist Pence but none for the HIV-positive AA gay man who exercised free speech and who, in fact, instructed audience not to boo.

              My pearls my pearls! smh

        2. hunkerdown

          Pence chose to join the community.

          By buying a ticket? How neoliberal! Communities are formed by the consent of their existing members, not by whatever imperialist decides to show up and claim a spot, or whoever from above and outside decides to make a bunch of rivals reluctantly play nice together. Whatever happened to that respect is earned, not commanded? Pence has earned little or nothing, and if the people want to chase their leaders out of their communities, a) there’s plenty of historical precedent b) that’s their prerogative.

          1. aab

            We live in a capitalist society. Every person in that room was there as part of a capitalist monetary transaction. This wasn’t free Shakespeare in the park.

            Chasing him out of the room would arguably have been more honest than booing plus curtain call sanctimony. And I still don’t understand how “he’s so dangerous we should violate long-held norms of polite behavior” goes with “we have almost no way to stop him, but let’s insult him.” I’m not arguing they don’t have the right. I’m arguing that in this context, it’s self-indulgent and ineffective.

            I feel like people are treating my position like I’m being too nice to Pence. But I’m taking him seriously as a threat. And I don’t think the people in that theater really were. They don’t seem to have any concept that state power could actually be brought to bear against them. Their words said they did, but their actions suggested a sense of safety, that they believe there’s no way Pence would violate another whole set of norms that protects them. Any study of Tudor England OR Nazi Germany would suggest that’s unwise.

            1. FluffytheObeseCat

              Yes. They gave every indication they see no real risk. Despite their florid rhetoric it’s still all feel-good kabuki to them.

              They’re safe. In Manhattan, or Brooklyn. No swat team will be banging on their doors some night a few months from now, bursting in on bogus drug charges, tearing the shit out of their belongings and confiscating their cash and jewelry. They aren’t the kind of people this happens to.

              Until it does.

    1. Pavel

      Kristof strikes me as a typical inside-Beltway pundit — or rather, worse than typical. He is endlessly preaching about women’s issues in Africa and elsewhere (and of course those issues do exist). But he is also along with Krugman et al among the loudest saying VOTE FOR HILLARY despite her lengthy warmongering record and aiding the Saudi regime. Do these people think their hypocrisy goes unnoticed? And war (and its environmental devastation) is one of the leading causes of famine, homelessness and poverty.

      1. marym

        endlessly preaching about women’s issues in Africa and elsewhere

        Yes, unless Kristoff happens to decide that famine, homelessness, and poverty, and death and destruction and chaos, are necessary outcomes of [r2]”protecting” them.


        But let’s back up a moment and recognize a larger point: Mr. Obama and other world leaders did something truly extraordinary, wonderful and rare: they ordered a humanitarian intervention that saved thousands of lives

  10. Carolinian

    Re How to Fix the Art World. This roundup offers various opinions such as lack of diversity, disengagement from politics, etc but the first one may come closest.

    The most challenging problem in the art world today may be the conflict between the enormous new global audience of visually fluent people versus the traditional art-world elites. Can a small group of influential people leading the major museums, galleries, auction houses, and art publications continue to define which artists will become celebrated?

    The writer almost seems to be channeling Tom Wolfe’s much derided The Painted Word. In other words, per Carlin, it’s a club and you aren’t in it. Therefore it’s hardly surprising that modern art often serves more as a status token for the well to do. Oliver Stone made a thing of this in his somewhat ham handed Wall Street.

    We who are outside this art world probably don’t have anything very intelligent to say about this other than to suggest that relevance may indeed be the problem. The dog barks but the caravan moves on.

    1. DJG

      Carolinian: I think that Keith, Camnitzer, Algus, W.A.G.E., and Storr make important points.

      –I am speaking of postmodernists who popularized the concepts of critical theory and repackaged them for general consumption, of academics and cultural journalists who disseminated the received ideas and conversation-stopping buzzwords that have become the bane of public discourse. For them, history is a kaleidoscope of abstract teleologies rather than the contested sum of lived experience. For them, the “Enlightenment” is an ever-ready straw man suitable for ritual immolation whenever sustained logical analysis threatens to upend uncritical theoretical speculation.–

      An important admission, whether you think it is a club or not: Both the nihilistic wing of the Republican Party and the culture-studies wing of the Democratic Party have engaged in trying to void the Enlightenment. Too many Dead White Men like D’Alembert and Voltaire who protected free speech and didn’t care much for religion. I think that more than one of these commentators points out that the art world had shot itself in the proverbial foot.

      Then there’s MacLear from the Rauschenberg Foundation: Send me a couple gallons of whatever MacLear is drinking. That’s some powerful delusion.

      Many thanks to Yves for posting. I suspect that in Chicago, the perceived antidote will be to revive Oklahoma! Even the Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui will be considered too dangerous (and too dangerous to funding, which has become a constraint on artistic activity and on speech).

      1. Carolinian

        Guess I’m saying that the high art media themselves–painting, sculpture etc–are no longer that relevant to the general public and if that is the complaint of the article then that ship has sailed. This as I recall–it’s been a long time–was Wolfe’s point. He said art had become less about visual truth and more about explanations–hence the painted word. He attacked people like Hilton Kramer the Times critic who took it on themselves to tell you why you should like something. He was saying that art had become highly elitist.

        So it’s less about denying the Enlightenment and more about technology and accessibility. We have so many other visual media now. However I’m a movie guy and sounds like you know a lot more about this topic than I do so happy to be set straight.

  11. Ché Pasa

    Re: NoDAPL/Standing Rock

    Friends left this morning from Santa Fe on a supply run to Standing Rock; they raised quite a lot of money and filled a truckload with supplies for the winter. One of those driving was there last month. It’s the first time for the others. They’re aware of the risks they take, and they feel obligated to take them. They may be arrested, their supplies may be confiscated or destroyed. Whatever happens, it’s about much more than them.

  12. Eureka Springs

    Donald Trump’s success is built on the ruins of the Third Way

    One of the best titles I’ve read in a while. If it wasn’t so insider baseball-ish I would make a t-shirt with that saying.

    On Standing rock conditions. Beyond outraged at this GITMOesqe behavior of State and it’s Pinkertons. In a world with a semblance of decency and rule of law… many leaders, including Obama should be jailed for ordering/allowing this to happen. These protesters are hero’s of mine forevermore.

    And the thought of my former Governor Huckabee as Ambassador to Israel made me laugh out loud. Perhaps one of the greatest cartoons I’ve ever imagined. Brilliant and boy oh boy do they deserve each other.

    It’s going to be fun in that sick way watching the Publicrats claim they killed Obamney, not care, whilst keeping a mandate. Anyone caught in the middle of that (without subsidy, or trying to reach past a deductible) won’t buy that pig in a poke for many more election cycles.

    1. Dave

      “Huckabee as Ambassador to Israel”
      “Exhausted and beleaguered Israelis riot to demand severance of relations with America, closure of embassy, all monies refunded to the U.S. Treasury, rather than have to listen to one more speech.”

      1. flora

        Huckablee’s appointment is perfect (no joke ) in terms of US evangelicals. Shorter back story : For evangelicals the creation of the state of Israel is necessary to complete the prophesy of the end times.
        About Rev. Hagee , from NPR, 2008:
        “John Hagee believes the end of days, the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are imminent. He says that the rebirth of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem are a prelude to the return of the Lord.

        “Hagee is founder of the Christian Zionist group, Christians United for Israel, and the author ‘In Defense of Israel and Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World’ …..”

        From a 2013 article:

        Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the keynote speaker at the Night to Honor Israel event at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, this past Sunday night, with Senior Pastor John Hagee calling for fresh U.S. sanctions on Iran for its nuclear weapons program.

        “If you wonder why this land of ours exists, it exists for liberty, it exists for freedom, it exists for the right of people to exercise their faith. There is only one country on earth that so mirrors that – it is Israel,” Huckabee said at the event, which marked the closing of Cornerstone’s three-day Feast of Tabernacles celebration. ….”

        1. alex morfesis

          Guessing hustlebee will be 1 of the 7 trumpettes to help bring on the rapture…oh joy…well since lucifer wont have me(some silly rumor about me taking over…)

          so…guessing there is always purgatory…

      2. flora

        My longer comment dropped into mod-limbo. Shorter: Huckabee and other evangelicals are strong supporters of a militarily ‘strong Israel’ because, in the evangelicals’ view, the existence of Israel is a necessary prelude to the rapture and the second coming.

        1. Optimader

          I have it on good authority the second coming already happened, he picked up the stuff he forgot last time, and he left again.

          How did the evangrlicals miss it? Maybe by talking too much instead of listening?

            1. optimader

              HA! indeed.. He will Riseth into the sky and then appear on the Seventh day for tee time in Palm Springs!

      3. RabidGandhi

        I may be sticking my foot in my mouth here, but wouldn’t ambassador to Israel be a relatively harmless place to stow Huckabee? It’s far better than having him in a governership or a cabinet position where he can do real damage, and it might even detract from his screen time on the teevee. Meanwhile, as ambassador what’s he going to do that the US isn’t already doing? The only possible downside I see is that his ForPol views are farther beyond whacko than what I’m hoping Trump’s are, but if that’s the case, a) how much damage can he do with relatively little power; and b) El Donaldo would be very likely to smack him back into line the way he did with Pence.

  13. Titus Pullo

    Some anecdotal evidence for your consideration.

    The oilfield in the USA is in a period of optimism. I’m a CNC machinist by trade (my experience is comparable to a journeyman level tradesperson), and I have not been doing that for the past year and half or so. Now, I have two interviews next week (yes, the holiday week) and will, more than likely, be working again as a machinist within a few weeks (then I should be able to chip in here which I couldn’t afford to do during the fundraiser).

    Reading NC and other places, I have no idea where the “optimism” is coming from, but I’ll take the job because the pay/stress is better than what I am doing now (running/maintaining/executing designs for a “shop” that is essentially a dropship warehouse that engraves — “personalizes” — Chinese crap and cuts plywood crap with laser cutters). In my admittedly cynical moral calculus, I think machining oilfield tools is “better” than exploitative and patently un-green nature of my current warehouse/”shop” job. Seeing the HRC campaign HQ pics in yesterday’s water cooler made my stomach churn, because my current job has the foosball table and stainless kitchenette. At least with machining, I will know everything I make will be on spec, and therefore, less prone to failure, because that is how I am. Plus, at least in the shop, there is a level of respect (which is reflected in pay) that doesn’t exist in most other jobs.

    I don’t know if this (the oilfield optimism) is a Trump effect, but where I’m at (Oklahoma), it will most likely be considered so. I didn’t vote for President (no Stein on the OK ballot) and I voted/volunteered for Sanders in the primary. I think the Democrats have let the country elect another Reagan (media savvy, appealed to the base, yet had the will to go around them or “persuade” them in the Dilbert sense), which is ironic because the Obamamometer was supposed to be the Democratic Reagan.

    I’ll ride this wave, work like a dog, save my money, and move in a couple of years. Plan on making art, probably with a laser cutter or two. Lol. If anyone out there in the ether has a call for a problem-solving, computer (overly) literate, machine tool operating/programming cynic, let me know. My only earthly attachment is my pug, whose name is my nom de guerre in these comments. My hope is that I can do something less morally bankrupt. Then again, capitalism’s undergirding pyschodynamic is our complicity in a global culture of abuse and exploitation, so . . .

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Thanks for this, I think Yves should sponsor another “who are you and what are you doing?” thread, the NC community never ceases to surprise

      1. Dave

        I will second that.
        Making things with your hands is the backbone of civilization. Remember at one time everything was made in the USA, then Occupied Japan, then West Germany, then Taiwan, now China. This too shall pass hopefully with the help of our new president. You sir will be making the complex tools and dies needed for American production.
        Parents, your kids might be better served taking machine shop than “studies” of any kind in a university.

    2. Optimader

      If you dont mind Chicago winters, i would contact.
      Very highly specified/QC’d challenging SS and alloy work.

      They are always interested in someone that is competent. From asthetic POV, their fabrications are industrial art if you know what i mean.

    3. Carla

      @Titus Pullo — thank you for letting us get acquainted with you. It’s a privilege. I wish you and your beloved pug well. May our paths cross someday (I’m in Cleveland.)

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Donald Trump’s success is built on the ruins of the Third Way New Statesman

    Correct link:

    The current, hysterical reaction of US liberals in the media is nothing more than an expression of bad conscience: those who failed to oppose Obama’s abuses of executive power — drone wars, assassinations and deportations, jailing whistleblowers rather than Wall Street — can now see that they’ve strengthened Trump’s hand.

    Great line–particularly the word “hysterical.”

    And to that list I’d add his use of workarounds to to shore up obamacare and his insane, relentless commitment to tpp.

    “Bad conscience” is a perfect way to put it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Just a note, in the line of “Comfort ye my people:” Democratization is moving ahead in Notagain!istan, courtesy of the Imperial Forces Over There who between patrolling to start firefights and kick in doors and identify drone and 30mm depleted-uranium cannon fire and GBU targets and playing Wak-a-Mole and getting shot by disaffected members of the Great National Notagain! Army and Police Forces who will inevitably return peace and stability to the land of opium poppies and GreatGamery, are Troop-‘splainin’ to various parts of the Corruptocracy that thanks to US rules the place how Democracy is a Wonderful Thing! and a mission they should all be striving to complete because reports to HQ are due on Progress of the Deployment!

    2. RabidGandhi

      I fell an hour behind at work yesterday because I found Greenwald’s twitter feed where the liberals are hyperventialting at him for his latest (“The Stark Contrast Between GOP’s Self-Criticism in 2012 and Democrats’ Blame-Everyone-Else Posture Now”). Watching Team Blue partisans do a veritable Cirque du Soleil of mental acrobatics to defend Obama’s abuses whilst also trying to complain that El Donaldo will now have those same powers is dangerously addictive, and I strongly recommend avoiding it to anyone interested in getting their work done.

      Some of my favourites, however:

      — Obama took those powers because it would have been impossible to stop a GOP prez from getting them anyway.

      — Obama didn’t want those crazy executive powers, but he was thwarted by a recalcitrant GOP congress (that this is even considered somehow anything close to a rational thought is a sad statement for the future of the human race).

      — Why is it always Obama’s fault with you people. All presidents do it. Don’t focus on Obama focus on Trump.

      Good times.

      1. fresno dan

        November 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

        Somebody must have said Obama is a great constitutional scholar (as well as a Nobel prize winner to gild the lily) so Obama could thread the slippery slope*

        *insert most eloquent NYT columnist

    3. OIFVet

      Bad conscience my foot. Ask 100 liberals and 95 of them will not know that Barry is the greatest deporter-in-chief, like, evah, and will dispute this fact or simply refuse to listen. Same about his droning more Moslems than Dubya. And now, these same low information/highly edumacated liberuls are busy flooding my FB timeline with virtue signalling pledges to protect Latinos and Moslems from big bad El Donaldo. I think that at least some of the pledges were written in the throes of wet orgasms induced by visions of benevolent white massa and memsahib getting effusively praised by a grateful brown bus boy for the compassionate hand squeeze and kind words they gave him while he refilled their water glasses. A most memorable and virtuous dining out experience!

      1. Watt4Bob

        I think that at least some of the pledges were written in the throes of wet orgasms induced by visions of benevolent white massa and memsahib getting effusively praised by a grateful brown bus boy for the compassionate hand squeeze and kind words they gave him while he refilled their water glasses.

        You forgot to mention that the grateful busboy’s son had just been run-over by the speeding limo of a late-arrival, one of the important guests.

        The ‘compassionate hand squeeze’ was prompted by the hosts admiration of his dedication to duty, ie continuing to fill water glasses while neighbors carried his child across town to the only clinic that still serves people of his class.

        Of course leaving his ‘post’ would have meant losing his job.

      2. John k

        In fairness, dubya was distracted by that war in Iraq, plus drones were just coming into their own… he didn’t really get into his stride on drones until late. Course, Obomber’s did hit the ground running…
        Mind you, most in Us think that is an ideal way to fight terror.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Bubba started the drone murder business, Bush expanded it, Cheney “legalized” it, Obama enshrined it, and now Trump can secretly fling drone murder around the globe to his heart’s content on the slightest personal whim with zero oversight.

          But not many of these geniuses have thought about the next step in the evolution of this new norm of international conduct legitimized by America: when Team China, Team Iran, Team Pakistan, Team South Africa,Team Israel, and Team North Korea decide to join in the fun. What possible argument can we make to say they shouldn’t?

        2. uncle tungsten

          I have a terrible feeling that the drones will soon meet their match in terms of interceptor missiles. Soon they will fall like confetti, f*cking expensive confetti. Trouble is so might a number of other aircraft.

      3. Carolinian

        Agreed “conscience” is a weird formulation as it implies some degree of objective self awareness. Just look at the comically unaware Dunham.

        We are narcissist nation now–at least those who don’t have anything better to do with their time.

        1. OIFVet

          Yep, the leisure class is loving every second of this debacle, never before has there been such ample opportunity to engage in virtue signalling and to monger hate in the name of tolerance. I am sick of it. As an immigrant I have had enough first-hand experience of the benevolence and tolerance of privileged liberals to have developed a grudging appreciation for the refreshing honestly of overt bigots. Yet the former are telling me that they will protect me from the latter. Gee, thanks!

      4. Katniss Everdeen

        OK, OK, perhaps I “misspoke.” The word “conscience” may have been a “moral” bridge too far, implying credit where it is nowhere near due.

      5. fresno dan

        November 19, 2016 at 11:05 am

        Well, on the bright side is provides voluminous and irrefutable evidence that many, many of that particular ideological grouping (blue) are not more reality based, more informed, or more intelligent than the opposite ideological group (red) that this disagree with based on nothing more substantial than team colors….
        but we already knew that.

        1. RabidGandhi

          As for Team Blue being somehow reality based, that deplorable ship sailed irredemably this year when multiple pro-HRC outlets accused their opponents of helping “Communist Russia” or being “supported by the KGB“– two comments that made me double check the time stamps to be sure they weren’t from pre-1989.

        1. OIFVet

          I resisted for years, but the forces of the dark side overwhelmed me a year ago. That, and the bewildering unwillingness of most of my friends to use dark age communication technologies such as phone and email. On the plus side, it is rather convenient way to infuriate more liberals by posting simple, verifiable truths, about the people they have chosen to worship. You know what the difference between authoritarian Bulgaria before 1989 and the present day US is? No one in Bulgaria bought into the cult of personality, while here it has become a religion that both liberals and conservatives lap up with relish.

    4. Jess

      To me the key line of this piece, which undoes all the previous thoughtful analysis is:

      “The coalition needed — pro-immigrant and anti-austerity, in defense of workers’ rights and the welfare state, addressing the ecological crisis — is the same one that’s needed to oppose the new right in the UK and Europe.”

      Seriously, pro-immigrant and defense of worker’s rights? You mean, like the right to have a job in your own country, the right not to have to train your own H1B replacement? The cognitive dissonance here burns, as well as astounds.

  15. Synoia

    Citibank is the first Australian bank to stop taking cash Business Insider (furzy). From November 9.

    Citibank outside the US is not a retail bank. It is a corporate bank, mostly for trade financing and foreign exchange.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Not correct. Citi has a large high net worth individual clientele and pursued retail around the world to service them, and to make that affordable, it also offers services to locals, but targets the better off. Another market is international corp execs who are in Oz for only a few months or a few years. It has a few retail branches in Sydney.

      From the Google summary for the Citi Australia site:

      Citibank offers a range of accounts and services including credit cards, bank accounts, home loans, personal loans, insurance and investment products.

  16. Pete

    I am really upset by all the reporting on trump u. Maybe I am mistaken but it looks like everyone keeps pushing the feel good narrative that justice wins. I read that the settlement was 21 million for reimbursement with 6000 students so 1/10th the 35000 they paid before lawyer fees. Making something like this clear just seems to be basic competence. I apologise if I am confused and off base.

    1. JohnL

      Ten cents on the dollar. They’d have been better off selling their debt to a “collection agency” than trying to collect through the courts.

  17. Synoia

    Brexit: Drop Brexit case appeal, senior Tories urge May

    May now has the perfect excuse for every outcome, especially the one she desires – to remain Prime Minister.

    0. May want to be and remain Prime Minister.
    1. The courts have forced a parliamentary vote.

    Based on (1) It is not May’s fault.

    2. She can whip it, demand a party line vote, but the House of Lords is not whippable, and she has to take a position – very risky, because if she loses she’d probably have to call an election.

    Based on (2) May is at high risk of not remaining PM.

    3. If she has a “vote your conscience” then the burden falls on the individual member of parliament and away from May. They have to explain their individual vote to their constituencies.

    Based on (3)

    4. If The Parliament cancels Brexit May blames parliament. May remain PM.
    5. If Parliament votes to continue Brexit, May remains PM.

    What happens, Brexit or Bremain, is based on the British ruling class’ assessment on what is best for them, and only on what is best for them.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      My understanding is May has or is thought to have the votes in Parliament regardless (apparently a lot of MPs are afraid of looking like they are bucking popular will), so why look bad by fighting with the court.

      But IMHO what the armchair quarterbacks forget that if Parliament forces May to explain herself and submit a plan, it will reveal that they don’t have much of of a plan, and that Brexit will not deliver the two things voters wanted, which is less/no EU immigration but keeping access to the single market. Once that is exposed (the din of pro-Brexit press coverage is mis-informing the public on this issue), it might become politically less risky to vote against Brexit.

      1. John k

        IMO Trump will side with Brexit. Trade deal with Us and Asia will pressure eu because they don’t want to lose surplus with Britain to others. And merkel might be gone soon, replaced with eu skeptics.
        IMO eu is weakening, imagine us slides into recession because infra too slow, and anyway stimulus likely too small because Ryan and/or stupid partnerships.

        It’s the economy, stupid deficits too low.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Labour missed/is missing a huge opportunity to make a Bremain play forcing the Tories to own Brexit. I don’t care if Corbyn is personally ambivalent or whatever, this was/is a chance to put the boot to the Cons and do real, lasting damage.

  18. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Rep. Mike Pompeo wants to revive mass surveillance program

    And when exactly had it been stopped?

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Likewise, where has all the outrage over just the possibility of “Muslim registration” been while thousands of arrested undocumented immigrants, many of them kids, have been rotting in detention centers run by for-profit prison corporations for the last eight years? Not to mention Gitmo, which St. Barack swore he’d close the minute he walked in the Oval Office.

      The crickets when you bring that up are deafening.

      1. ewmayer

        In his latest Counterpunch piece, “Roaming Charges”, Jeffrey St. Clair says this about the hypocrisy the Muslim registry:

        Suddenly the Left is all aflame over word that Trump is considering a “Muslim registry.” Apparently, these brave defenders of civil liberties are unaware that a “Muslim registry” called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System was imposed shortly after 9/11 with the endorsement of Hillary Clinton and many other Democrats and persisted well into Obama time, only being officially abandoned in 2011. (Who is to say when, or if, it unofficially ended?) Ajamu Baraka told me that he was stopped and interrogated about his residency and status no less than five times during that decade of dread. Let us also recall that Mrs. Clinton made a dramatic gesture of returning campaign contributions from American Muslims and Muslim groups during her senate campaign, more than a year before the events of 9/11.

      1. hunkerdown

        According to the Encyclopedia Who Shall Not Be Named, “[a]s of 2010 the company had 2 employees, about 1000 shareholders and had generated over $350 mm in licensing revenue in the previous four years.”

        “Remote image capture with centralized processing and storage”, US5910988 abstract via Espacenet:

        A system for remote data acquisition and centralized processing and storage is disclosed called the DataTreasury TM System. The DataTreasury TM System provides comprehensive support for the processing of documents and electronic data associated with different applications including sale, business, banking and general consumer transactions. The system retrieves transaction data at one or more remote locations, encrypts the data, transmits the encrypted data to a central location, transforms the data to a usable form, performs identification verification using signature data and biometric data, generates informative reports from the data and transmits the informative reports to the remote location(s). The DataTreasury TM System has many advantageous features which work together to provide high performance, security, reliability, fault tolerance and low cost. First, the network architecture facilitates secure communication between the remote location(s) and the central processing facility. A dynamic address assignment algorithm performs load balancing among the system’s servers for faster performance and higher utilization. Finally, a partitioning scheme improves the error correction process.

        Their next patent, US6032137, consisted of naming a few particular data sources. Really?

        This sounds like a business method patent hidden behind “over a network”, which was not an uncommon thing back in the late 1990s. It would have been obvious in the late 1990s to anyone who had the toys at hand to play with, mind, (and, later on, even more so with KSR v. Teleflex, putting some limits on how obvious an invention can be and still be patentable). You can probably guess that I’m not particularly concerned with strengthening (i.e. primitively accumulating) IP rights just so these two can make a killing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “(H)e’ll be better than the neoliberals on some others.”

      Wonder if that has to do with ‘but, but, he has no experience governing – or politicking?”

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      It would be something of a feat for Sessions to be more lenient than Holder. I think he may put more bankers in prison and lean harder on their erstwhile employers. Howevah. I also think he will use the power of the federal government to eradicate the slow legalization of marijuana in the West (no longer just the coast now). We’ll see more lucrative private prison contracts put in place, and more small mens’ lives destroyed for trivial infractions, and no improvement in plea bargaining abuse. These might have been policy under the reign of Queen Hillary too, but authoritarian paleo-Republicans – the kind Trump favors – are willing to engage in abuses of power that she could only have dreamt about in the quiet of the night.

      Trump favors a very old style authoritarian abuse, not the smooth, disingenuous new kind employed by Clinton/Obama Democrats.

      He is packing the upper tier of his administration with midwesterners and southerners, with a few east coast types thrown in. The west coast has maybe a tiny touch of influence with google personnel, but we are looking more and more shut out (in keeping with our failure to vote for his Trumpness.)

      I get a bit of a kick out watching the haute doyens of our pseudo-liberal elite have fits too, but……. folks, not everything they fear is bullshit.

      1. barrisj

        No doubt at all that a Sessions DOJ would signal loudly that states enacting voter suppression “fraud” legislation to carry on unabated, and those with Repub govs./legislatures that haven’t done so, well, come on down, we’re dealing today!
        Oh, you po-lice departments out there who were fearing fed oversight of your policing practices, no worries, we’ve got you covered. The Donald was quite explicit about his “law and order” pitches during the campaign, and the usual blather about “handcuffing” (cough-cough) the police in their pursuit of criminals by “interfering” judges and US Attorneys…attempts at reforming or police practices remediation doesn’t quite square with authoritarian doctrine, so, fire away, coppers, the Donald has your back.

      2. EndOfTheWorld

        Trump will be the boss. If Trump wants marijuana to be left up to the states, so it will be. Marijuana legalization is springing up all over. I’m sure people like Sessions would be happy to just keep it illegal in Alabama, etc.

        Trump is all business. He knows putting the underground economy above ground is good economics.

        1. Optimader

          I hope you are accurate on this, and i hope Trump keeps retooling him admin as he takes unintended consequence hits. What i know about JS (which is very little in reality), i dont like. Regressive law enforcement is not the direction we need to go.

  19. JSM

    Re: Steve Bannon Trump Tower Interview: Trump’s Strategist Plots “New Political Movement”

    If Bannon is even half right the liberal Harvard grads that were under discussion yesterday should start looking into the job retraining programs they came up with for other deplorable people now.


    1. juliania

      I haven’t yet read the article, but I would say he is half right. I saw a post yesterday which linked to his Vatican conference statements in 2014. What he said there in answer to a question about the situation with the banks was exactly what many of us have been saying, that in the crisis the banks got bailed out with the people’s money and nobody went to jail.

      I am remembering that at a point in one of the debates, Trump looked at Clinton and said, “If I am elected, I will put you in jail.”

      Isn’t it interesting that Obama rushed off to Europe to double down on the Russian sanctions? I bet Putin is starting to say “яркий ” of Trump with all of its delightful, far-reachingly positive connotations.

        1. fresno dan

          November 19, 2016 at 12:13 pm

          “I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon tells THR media columnist Michael Wolff

          What he seems to have carried from a boyhood in a blue-collar, union and Democratic family in Norfolk, Va., and through his tour of the American establishment, is an unreconstructed sense of class awareness, or bitterness — or betrayal. The Democratic Party betrayed its working-man roots, just as Hillary Clinton betrayed the longtime Clinton connection — Bill Clinton’s connection — to the working man. ”
          If there is one thing that discovering NC after the great financial crisis opened my eyes to, is that the “free market” is anything but, and that behind the scenes people work very hard to sell “propaganda” (thank you NC for telling me about Bernays).
          That Davos man just happens to get rich in a globalized world – its like gravity or somethin’ (sarc)

          So how racist is Bannon, and how racist is he compared to the average voter, and how racist compared to the average NYT writer? And if every single one of our squillionaires were not one jot racist, does that insure affordable health care (no irony intended – I mean actually affordable health care) and when GDP rises, the 90% get a proportionate share of the increase???

          And who decides that the racism story is noteworthy, and the economic nationalism story is inconsequential, and that greed is not a polite topic of conversation??

          1. fresno dan

            And one aside – what does it say that this article appears in the “Hollywood Reporter” instead of the NYT or Washington Post?

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            Having observed the feverish determination to frame the GOP’s win as racism and nothing else, with the concomitant attacking of anyone who dares suggest much of the narrative tends to leave out some important facts, it’s beginning to strike me as just another way of keeping those of us determined to save as much of the country from the GOP as we can from collecting enough warm bodies to be effective.

            On the other hand, we may be reaping the harvest of the “sound-bite mentality” Postman blamed on television (and for which I believe forty years of “education reform” may be equally if not more responsible). Has a large part of the population lost the ability to grasp that complex situations can’t be resolved by focusing on only one aspect?

    2. begob

      Ends on an interesting declaration: “I am,” he says, with relish, “Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors.”

      Paging Hilary! Mantel, that is.

        1. aab

          As long as Bannon doesn’t try to foist a German princess off on The Donald, he should be safe.

          Everything about him seeing himself as Cromwell — presumably the very sympathetic version in Wolf Hall — is interesting. Cromwell worked to undermine Catholicism in England. So does Bannon see himself as reverse Cromwell in that regard?

          And by doing what he did, Cromwell raised his entire family up from poverty. Some of them survived. It’s his descendant who chopped off the King’s head after leading the Parliamentary army to victory. True, Oliver then proceeded to do terrible things. But he definitely changed the path of English history. And given that he helped squelch the return of Catholicism to the monarchy, Thomas might have considered his own life a complete success, had he known.

          With all the blather about meritocracy, I find the story of the Parliamentary army really interesting. It seems clear to me that Thomas Cromwell rose to power in part because he really was very, very intelligent, as well as savvy about how to maneuver through a lot of social and bureaucratic mine fields. The Parliamentary army, as I understand it, won in part because Oliver Cromwell promoted whoever demonstrated skill and success on the battlefield. This was in stark contrast to how the royal army operated; whoever was the higher ranked aristocrat got to call the shots, IIRC. Unsurprisingly, a lot of those guys turned out to be boobs.

          A ruling class full of boobs losing a war to people who cared more about winning than maintaining relative status positions. Hmm….

          1. sid_finster

            Oliver Cromwell also had the absolutely revolutionary (for the time) idea that ideology were critical in making a soldier, not breeding or birth.

            Cromwell showed that you could grab any able-bodied jerk off the street or farm, and, if properly motivated, he could be a trained to become fearsome soldier.

      1. VietnamVet

        The parallels between India and the USA are interesting. It is not just that the USA is morphing into a third world country with a quarter of the population. But, Middle Americans are also being transformed into the new Untouchables. No doubt due to the deep-seated prejudices of the global elite plus the greed based media propaganda.

    3. Carolinian

      Finally got around to reading this Hollywood Reporter piece and IMO it is the link of the day and a must read. If Bannon speaks for Trump then not only does Trump have a plan but he has a plan that the duopoly establishment should rightly fear.

      It may not turn out that way, but here’s betting Trump spends a lot more time listening to Bannon than Pence. If you leave a powerful weapon like populism lying around on the ground don’t be surprised if someone picks it up and uses it. And so far in the battle of establishment versus Trump the former has lost at every turn.

    1. Dave

      And who funds Snopes?

      Glyphosate is used to kill weeds, that are growing more and more tolerant of it through genetic selection, thus requiring more and more of it.

      It is also used to drench crops genetically modified to tolerate it. So much for “reducing pesticide use”.

      Then there’s Dicamba, quietly approved by the Obama administration, is a decades-old herbicide, proven to be extremely volatile and drift-prone, vaporizing from treated fields and potentially affecting neighboring crops. Dicamba functions basically by increasing a plant’s growth rate to the point that it outgrows its nutrient capabilities and dies.

      Wonder what residues of that do in your bowels?

      The weed killer has seen a surge in usage this year, since Monsanto’s new dicamba-resistant seeds entered the market before XtendiMax. Monsanto introduced Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton, which is a “non-food crop”, thus exempt from food regulations, but, there’s plenty of cottonseed oil in cheap baked products.

      In 2015 and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans were introduced.

      Farmers had to use third-party older dicamba-based herbicides with Monsanto’s seeds, despite the company’s warnings. According to multiple reports, such activities caused a massive damage to off-target non-GM crops in at least ten states in America.

      On top of that, Roundup, the brand name, is used to deliberately kill non-GMO crops just before harvest because the chemically blasted and burned stalks give up more grain.

      Remember the Marlboro jingle?
      “You get a lot to like with Monsanto, unfiltered, flavored, pack or coffin.”

  20. ChiGal in Carolina

    From link on poll of Americans re Trump priorities:

    Overall, a plurality of Americans believe Trump will be helpful for businesses and corporations, military veterans, people who work in the manufacturing industry, the middle class and the elderly. A plurality also believes that he will be harmful for gays, women, blacks, Hispanics, and people living in poverty.

    Wonder what is meant by “the middle class” and “people living in poverty”

    If the top 10% is the middle class and the rest of us are the people living in poverty, probably pretty accurate expectations.

    Except of course for the privatization of Medicare and Social Security.

  21. MakeItStop

    On the WF piece, if regulators ripped up some portions of the settlement, does that mean WF failed to abide by some of the settlement parameters? Or is it possible for regulators to go back and make these kinds of changes on the fly?

    Wonder what the new Cheating Executive Overlord and his new replacements (Mack, et cetera) are up to now. /sigh

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I haven’t read the order, but the original settlements relied heavily on information provided by Wells and/or consultants hired by Wells. In our Best of All Possible Worlds brought to you by neoliberals, regulators have far too few staff to do the investigations themselves. So I suspect the basis for ripping up the original order was that Wells made misrepresentations about what was going on (like piously claiming senior management had no clue when the WSJ reported that a senior manager, who was later fired, e-mailed Stumpf IIRC in February 2011).

    1. fresno dan

      November 19, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Not to mention the outlandish colors they wear – really, a little decorum on the lakes

  22. temporal

    Trump supporter in state Senate says some protests are ‘economic terrorism,’

    Actually one of 0bama’s favorite pieces of legislation, “The Patriot Act” already defines protesting, anti-corporation graffiti and effecting traffic for businesses as terrorism, along with a whole lot of other behaviors many of us might do from time-to-time. They aren’t applied generally because when the Feds are looking for a conviction these laws are convenient ways to get a plea.

    This guy is just late to the game.

  23. djrichard . Would this have relevance to potential pardon of HRC by Obama? Per the first comment

    Then by your logic O, you can’t pardon Hillary. She hasn’t gone to court. She has only participated in hearings, in which she lied several times. This is good. Let Trump’s admin sort through things. What do you say O?

    Not really keen on persecuting HRC. But if a pardon is what it takes to put her out to pasture and keep her there, then I’m for it.

      1. Ivy

        Is Clapper a potential pardonee? His escapades could be pursued, although at a cost of divulgence. DC seems to thrive on selling divulgences, doesn’t it?

          1. Ivy

            One of my concerns about the neo-liberal world is that seemingly everything becomes monetized. When old-fashioned ideas like honor and dignity, to pick just two, from Luther’s time, or pick another historical period, become fungible, then where is the bottom? I don’t imagine Trump as a Luther, and do expect him to have his own brand of indulgences before the divulgences become marketable.

            Lambert’s second law Go Die makes me continue to Go Live.

      2. djrichard

        In which case, Obama was wrong then (either knowingly or unknowingly) when he said he couldn’t pardon Snowden. Send him your article! lol.

    1. Jess

      Prosecuting is not persecuting, and Hillary (and Bill and Chelsea and Huma and Cheryl Mills) all need to be prosecuted just to start us moving back toward the rule of law for one and all. Indeed, if that scumbag Ford had not pardoned Nixon, and Tricky Dick had ended up in a federal penitentiary, we undoubtedly would not have had the Iran-Contra scandal and the general devolution of government that we now face.

      1. Liberal Mole

        I agree. I expect some part of the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton was that she so obviously got away with behavior lesser mortals go to jail for. I always felt this country needed a successful impeachment of a President. Justice and the law is not even handed in this country, but people resent it when it is made too obvious that we are an oligarchy. Oddly enough, this links a bit with the Cromwell posts above. There’s nothing like a bit of regicide to get your God/King to acknowledge his limitations.

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    Isn’t anyone else troubled by the link “Vancouver Considers Abandoning Parts of the Coast Because of Climate Change”?
    Vancouver planning is based on what seems to me a very conservative estimate of a 1 meter sea level rise by the year 2100. Some of the other climate-watch links today suggest to me that may be an extremely conservative estimate of sea level rise by 2100. But at least the government in Vancouver believes in Climate Change.

    The worry about flooding the homes of those wealthy enough to own homes near the ocean seems misplaced. I would worry much more about the souring of the water tables as the oceans rise. Besides this how is it a public concern and cause to spend public money to buy up these homes of the wealthy? Will there be similar concern for the homes of the poor or middle class? How much should the rest of the Province pay to help protect Vancouver? I’m not Canadian but considering a move to Upstate New York. Will NYC bleed Upstate for the billions to pay for climate change adaptation efforts, including seawalls and flood barriers? Are our poor and middle classes supposed to bail out the wealthy yet again?

    And to what extent are NYC’s seawalls and flood barriers based on conservative estimates of sea level rise? Will billions be spent for what will amount to temporary measures? The scope of the problems which Climate Change promises could dwarf our resources to deal with them. Is it wise to expend our resources pursuing half-measures to protect and bail out the wealthy? I think we will face much bigger problems than worry about million dollar homes or high rise businesses built in the path of the ocean’s rise.

    1. Lemmy

      The Vancouver article raises a crucial question.

      What happens when a limited appetite and limited funding for infrastructure investment runs head first into catastrophic climate change? What kinds of infrastructure gets built? Finger-in-the-dike solutions like a phalanx of sea walls and pumping stations for low lying, ocean-front cities? Old-school road and water main construction in the upper midwest where winter temps now plunge to record sub-zero temps and the ground freezes and heaves in extreme cycles?

      It’s not just that the U.S.’s infrastructure in crumbling — we may need to re-engineer whole new systems and develop innovative materials and construction processes to cope with an increasingly chaotic and punishing climate.

    1. Pat

      Not for nothing but considering the reaction to Clinton’s cavalier attitude regarding security as demonstrated by her term at State AND the correspondence between her and Blumenthal (who remember was fired), Cummings is a bit late on the whole security thing. Oh, wait, Trump’s from the other tribe. Never mind…

      I’m deadly serious here. It may be a serious concern but Cummings is the last person who should be crying foul. He could be the poster child for double standards dependent on tribalism.

      Mind you if you read it carefully, while Powell is complaining about State security he says he avoided uses those devices she depended upon. He never said set up your own service and just ignore their rules period. But Cummings released this to defend Clinton’s actions.

      1. aab

        I agree with you completely.

        Any Democrat who supported Clinton has no personal standing to complain about Jared Kushner OR Ivanka sitting in — even if Ivanka IS overseeing the blind trust. For gods sake, Hillary’s husband was RUNNING the Foundation while she was Secretary of State. The point of that server was to coordinate information and deals being made in secret. Even if Ivanka and her father do the exact same thing, it will at least be more public.

        To be clear, I am not defending Ivanka and Jared having governmental roles while either of them oversees Trump’s business interests. But it would still be less toxic than what every member of Democratic leadership essentially consented to and approved, after the fact.

        I don’t know know how I feel about the nepotism law. It didn’t stop Bill Clinton from setting his wife up for dynastic succession, which seems the greatest danger.

    1. flora

      But that doesn’t get you to better candidate choices. Think a bill requiring open primaries would do more for improving the candidates selected that finally appear on the general ballot.

      1. aab

        IIRC, you can’t fix the primary system at the federal level — or not easily, anyway. One of the reasons our system is so broken is that each state has a lot of individual control over the process, plus the primaries are this weird public private mess where the parties get to evade governmental accountability and regulation while having their private party functions paid for from citizen taxes.

        I agree with you, open primaries are necessary, as well as automatic registration. But since both ruling parties want to be able to suppress and select their voters, that’s a big lift.

      2. Daryl

        According to the article, parties would be required to present new nominees if the “none of the above” option wins.

        I agree other things would be better, but at least it’s something.

    2. uncle tungsten

      Red herring. Fix the system by making it simple to register a political party (outlaw all barriers) so the choice is wider plus enabling voters to vote in preference order if they wish. There needs to be a positive system of enabling choice rather than the existing system of crippling choice.

    1. RabidGandhi

      The show’s politics — particularly its celebration of diversity and of the critical role immigrants played in the American Revolution and the early republic — stand in sharp contrast to some of the harsh language about immigrants that Mr. Trump used during the campaign and his focus on appealing to white men with statements about returning America to “the good old days.”

      I’m not a white man, but I do find the idea of returning to a time when there was no NAFTA, when health care and college were affordable, when productivity gains didn’t just go to the top 10%, and when a bloated finance sector did not get billions in public bailouts every decade, all very appealing.

      Oh what’s that NYT, you didn’t mean identity politics, did you? Oh yes you did.

      His first appointments to his cabinet and other major positions have been dominated by older white conservative men, with relatively few women or minorities under consideration for top-ranking positions at this point.

      Whereas HRC would have appointed Neera Tanden, Victoria Nuland and Susan Rice– all warmongering 1%ers that bear no resemblance to the US I know, which is chock-full of people struggling to make ends-meet, regardless of their colour. “a cabinet that looks like America” my sweet Aunt Fanny.

      I am not a US voter and if I were I would not have voted for El Donaldo, but if the choice is between the smug superiority of the Hamilton set or the deplorables who want to undo much of the havoc the Hamilton set have wreaked, count me with the latter.

      BTW, for the record, Mike Pence deserves to be booed; in a decent society the same treatment would be given to Obama, Bush, HRC and most US politicians.

      1. optimader

        Trump will need to recalibrate his criticism angst-o-meter or he will be in a perpetual state of soliciting apologies that will never be offered which risks then appearing ineffectual.. Maybe this is a good object lesson for when it’s unimportant to get the last word?

        He’s a guy who I am sure has been conditioned to expecting the last word on everything

        FWIW, what were they expecting sending Pence to that particular play, a standing ovation?? Go into a den of elitist neoliberal entertainment of the self reinforcing sensibility variety and expect to be lectured, no?
        If Trump&Co.did it on purpose to evoke a verbal spanking, I would expect a more clever response.

        I hope Trump suspends the Twitter account and focuses on the sht that is actually important.

        1. Lambert Strether

          The Hamilton flap is the stupidest controversy imaginable. Trump’s trolling them, and they’re feeding him.

          Democratic strategist: “Hmm. Trump is the world’s worst troll. [cogitates]. I’ve got it! Let’s attack him where he’s strongest!”

          1. optimader

            The Hamilton flap is the stupidest controversy imaginable.
            right up there w/ dissecting someone’s comments about a professional beauty pageant person’s appearance sometime in the past as a litmus test for being POTUS

      2. ambrit

        Look at the politics of the “real” Hamilton and you will see the appeal to a conservative of a show named after the founder of the ‘Bank of the United States’ and the Federalist Party and the ‘Bank of New York;’ a still going concern, recently embroiled in legal actions related to ‘hanky-panky’ of an internationalist hue.

        1. optimader

          That’s the irony Ambrit..
          A bunch of people so smart they are idiots lapping up fake historical representation put to a shitty musical score.
          My hat is off to the Puerto Ricans guy’s scam that is shoveling in neoliberal elite cash hand over fist.
          Velocity of money…

  25. Cry Shop

    Standing Rock / Private Prisons / Drug Companies

    One problem now is the public knows how Senators and Representatives are made, and keep voting them back into office because they expect seniority will allow them to steal enough from the rest of America that a few crumbs will fall from the table and into their district. Perhaps the less educated public of the past was smarter, but I wonder if it was that they had better morals. I stayed away from marketing/business degrees during university because I found most of the the student and instructors repulsive. They’ve become the largest section at the alma mater, where as the classics are now truly dead languages.

    He (David Graham Phillips) also helped educate the public on how the senators were selected and that it was held in the hands of a few bosses in a tight circle, helping increase the corruption level. As a result of these articles, only four of the twenty-one senators that Philips wrote about were still in office.

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