Links Thanksgiving Day 11/24/16

Photo: Tiny tree frog needs his own cartoon! TreeHugger (resilc)

Your Dog Remembers All Those Awful Things You Did Gizmodo (Brian C)

A Thanksgiving Tale: 50 Million Turkeys And A 5 Billion Mile Drive OilPrice

American Indian artist forbidden from calling her art American Indian-made Boing Boing (resilc)

Bitcoin and blockchain seem more and more like solutions looking for a problem Quartz (Richard Smith). I’ve said this sort of thing to Richard privately….wish I’d had enough trust in my gut (based on looking a lot of whiz-bang tech deals that never developed a product customers would buy) to have said that officially. But the Mighty Wurlitzer of Hype can seem very convincing. But I have said repeatedly that I think the bitcoin/blockchain advocates are looking for it to replace existing products and services (like bitcoin replacing existing payment systems), which was the same mistake microwave oven manufacturers made. They spent the better part of two decades pushing it as a substitute for conventional ovens, when it was clearly inferior (you can’t brown meats or bake with a microwave, for starters). Only when they figured out its best use was as a dedicated rapid heating device did it find a receptive market

The enormous pop-up clinic trying to bridge America’s health divide Guardian (Tom H)

Stop playing the “racist” card on immigration MacroBusiness

Trump Election Boosts European Populists Der Spiegel (resilc)

Berlin and Paris on collision course over EU banking rules Financial Times

The Blair Supremacy: A Study in the Politics of Labour’s Party Management Renewal (Micael)

ECB’s silent coups – Next victim: Italy failed evolution. Chuck L: “Actually, it’s mainly about the last “coup” in Italy, the one that did in Berlusconi.”

Αrchbishop of Canterbury: You turned Greece into the “biggest debtor’s prison in European history” Defend Democracy

Sahra Wagenecht on Gabriel, SPD, AfD, War on Terror Defend Democracy. I’ve seen Wagenecht a few times on YouTube and have liked what she says.


Russian Public Opinion of Vladimir Putin C-SPAN (Kevin C)

U.S., Russia request Czechs extradite arrested Russian hacker Reuters (EM)


Syria and the Statistics of War Medium (Chuck L)

End the war in Yemen, Mr. Trump The Week (resilc)

Syria and Iraq caught between the “new analysts’ and the politicised media Elijah J M (Chuck L)

Syria and the Statistics of War Medium (Michael)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

U.S. offers mobile device guidelines to curb driver distraction Reuters. EM:

More PR-feelgoody but utterly useless ‘voluntary guidelines’. News flash: All mobile devices already come equipped with a ‘driver mode’ — it’s more commonly known as ‘off’. But the devicemaker lobby is too powerful for the feds or any states to do the only sensible thing, namely mandating said mode except for emergencies, i.e. if the vehicle is pulled safely off the road, stuck in a dangerous immobile position (e.g. crashed into a median barrier), or in a being-pursued-by-those-intent-on-harming-one situation. The only exception one might consider is GPS, but there only for the strictly voice-command variety – eyes must stay free. Absent that, we’re going to see steady, significant annual rises in accident rtes – DOT reported up 7.2% in 2015 and up another 10.4% in 1H2016. The self-driving-vehicle lobby will also seize on the lack of sensible laws to peddle its self-serving ‘humans can’t be trusted to do this stuff’ narrative. Incredibly distracted humans of course can’t – so let’s cut the distractions. Hefty fines and points on one’s license for getting caught are the only thing that will curb the madness. A public-health addicts-operating-heavy-equipment framing seems apt here: a social-media addict texting while driving is no less dangerous than a drunk driving.

US Justice Department to Probe Five Call Centres, 32 Individuals in India Involved in Cyber Fraud The Wire (J-LS)

Great. Now Even Your Headphones Can Spy on You Wired (resilc). How old school do your headphones have to be for this not to be applicable? Then again, since I use headphones (old Sonys chosen for capturing low bass really well) only with an old iPod that has pretty much nothing on it, I am hardly at risk. But still…

The FBI Hacked Over 8,000 Computers In 120 Countries Based on One Warrant Motherboard (resilc)

Trade Traitors

Globalisation’s Last Gasp Social Europe (Micael)

Trump Transition

Trump Picks Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary Inside Higher Ed (furzy)

Trump: Reaganomics Redux Social Europe (Micael)

Trump names Haley, a foreign policy novice, as envoy to U.N. Reuters (EM)

A Proper Contempt for the UN Commentary (Micael)

Michael T. Flynn and Islam (Wat)

The Disruptive Career of Michael Flynn, Trump’s National-Security Adviser New Yorker (resilc)

When Public Goes Private, as Trump Wants: What Happens? Diane Ravitch, New York Review of Books

Bernie, make an appointment with Donald: Why Sanders should visit Trump sooner rather than later New York Daily News (Steve C)

Trump Backers Not Amused by Decision to Not ‘Lock Her Up’ New York Magazine (resilc)

Breitbart Could Become America’s RT WarIsBoring (Chuck L)

Will Trump’s New Financial-Engineering Loophole Make Stocks Rally and Bonds Crash? Wolf Street (EM)

Suffering from a Trump-induced hangover, Jose Cuervo is reportedly postponing its IPO Quartz. Micael: “Not a problem drink mezcal instead. Tequila can be made of up to 49% of other carbohydrates and chemicals than agave whereas mezcal is made of 100% agave.”

Trump puts new focus on US constitution’s emoluments clause Financial Times. If the Dems were serious, they’d file a case ASAP instead of whinging about the electoral college. If they could get a ruling that Trump needs to put some or all of his assets in a blind trust, that would throw a huge monkey wrench.

2016 Post Mortem

Jill Stein prepares to request election recounts in battleground states Guardian (resilc)

Democrats won the most votes in the election. They should act like it. Vox (resilc). As they’ve lost ground for more than a decade in Congress, and the state and local level?

Democratic politics have to be “identity politics.” Slate. Resilc: “The view from Brooklyn hasn’t changed and is always correct.”

The Enduring Importance of Identity Liberalism New Republic (resilc). Help me.


For Standing Rock Sioux, new water system may reduce oil leak risk Reuters. EM: “If there’s a major spill, the 50-miles-further-donwstream aspect is only going to be of marginal help.”

Taking On “Pipeline Enemy #1” Counterpunch (Wat)

Hip-Hop Hog-Calling at the Iowa State Fair Vice. Resilc: “Who says we can’t all get along?”

Now it Begins to Unravel Wolf Street. EM: “Brisk business in financially innovative securitizations of pools of unsecured subprime loans – yep, you read that right, unsecured but securitized.”

Hedge Fund Managers Expect a Return on Their Investment in Donald Trump Intercept (resilc)

US Treasuries sell-off continues as inflation fears mount Financial Times. So now it’s up to a grand level of 2.4% for ten year Treasuries. When the interest rate fell below 2.5%, it was seen as an unhealthy sign of deflationary concerns (not necessarily in the US but more Treasury levels being influenced by global search for safe securities as more and more central banks went into NIRP).

Class Warfare

Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers Reuters. EM: “Special irony in the fact that judge Mazzant was an Obama appointee.”

Amazon Delivery Pilots Ordered to End Strike for Retail Peak Bloomberg

In Short Strike, Jim Beam Workers Crush Two-Tier and Beat Grueling Hours Labor Notes (resilc)

Antidote du jour: Tracie H: “West African Black-Crowned Crane having a bad hair day at the Los Angeles Zoo.”


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. european

    Forbes has an interview with Kushner.

    Side note: “[…] Henry Kissinger, who has known Trump socially for decades and is currently advising the president-elect on foreign policy issues.”

    1. Carolinian

      Well at least when it comes to Russia Kissinger is of the “realist” school and I believe said the Russians had a right to defend their regional interests and sphere of influence. Needless to say “morality” and “responsibility to protect” was never one of his foreign policy goals.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Kissinger despite a full court press wouldn’t endorse the Syrian war despite a full court press. Samantha Power took him to a baseball game to tall about the good old days of bombing little yellow devils. Now, they can only bomb brown people. Kissinger reminded her successful thugs only pick fights with people who don’t fight back.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Then, Kissinger reached out to China, putting some distance between her and the USSR.

        Now, a similar strategy would be to not provoke Russia. Perhaps, she and Beijing will not embrace each other as tightly.

        Why have challenges on 2 fronts, when you can focus on just one?

        Waiting to see who Trump’s pick for Trade Representative will be. That person can be expected to be quite busy.

  2. salvo

    Wagenknecht is one of the very few German politicians on the left you can take seriously, at least at the higher levels, and hence she is has been declared public enemy number one by the establishment media, particularly the so-called left-liberal (the left wing of german neoliberalism), including spiegel, zeit and the ‘green’ taz. She, too, faces serious opposition in her own party, by people preferring a personal career in the institutions to a real political representation of working class people.

    1. HBE

      And people wonder why Trump, Le Pen, et al are garnering massive support from voters when the liberal (pseudo left) media and establishment do everything possible to ensure any left (Bernie, wagenknecht, corbyn, etc.) candidate is suffocated in the cradle.

      When you destroy the left and then put forward the embodiment of status quo neoliberalism (Clinton, Fillion), that has engendered the instability and suffering of labor. Labor is forced to vote for some form of hope no matter how elusive that hope may be. So you get right wing populists.

      Liberals are the reason much of the western world is racing to the right. Seriously if they quit kicking the left and labor we wouldn’t end up with the trumps of the world.

      And they seem to be doubling down on left bashing, what will it take to get liberals understand their actions are creating the far right they so hate!?

      1. Altandmain

        The answer is that the Establishment and the plutocrats fear the left. They consider allowing the right-wing populist types a lesser evil.

        The right-wing populist types won’t result in the policies that the rich hate, like higher capital gains taxes. Quite the opposite.

        Left wing types though, on the other hand will really change how the rich obtain their ill gotten gains.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Reminds me of the Tories in England in the late 30’s cheering on Hitler because they feared Communist Russia

    2. John Firestone

      Frau Wagenknect mercilessly attacked the government in the Bundestag on Wednesday, and openly stated every point I can think of, with which a German Donald Trump could clean the ruling coalition’s clock. They did not seem to be listening. Will hubris be the undoing of Frau Merkel like it was for Hilliary Clinton?

      1. John Firestone

        Make that Wagenknecht. Sigh. At the moment, there seems to be an undeserved curse on that name.

      2. bmeisen

        The orcs who slaughtered Hillary’s devout troops, ie Trump supporters, are hurting. And Trump will make them hurt more. The orcs howling at Merkel are complaining. Germany is booming, qualification is tedious but free. The govt will pay you to retrain, benefits are generous, costs are modest, commuting is subsidized, labor is organized, corp governance is not a kowtow to management.

        The MSM probably fails to note that refugees in Germany do not constitute a shadow workforce that undermines the security of native workers. The vast majority of refugees are registered and legal. Note that refugees did not disappear into the Tannenbäume beyond the floodlights. Those who want to stay can only do so by complying as everyone is required to comply with the registration law. Compliance has benefits like housing, health, education and money. And constraints: you can’t join the workforce without an official OK.

        1. salvo

          The govt will pay you to retrain, benefits are generous, costs are modest, commuting is subsidized, labor is organized, corp governance is not a kowtow to management.

          LOL, I don’t know in which country you live, but that’s certainly not germany, ask anyone subject to the hartz IV regime.

          As for the corruption of the unions, see their complicity in destroying the statutory pension system:

        2. salvo

          well, i don’t know in what country you live, but that’s certainly not the Germany experienced by a lot of working class people, those subject to the humiliating hartz IV system, or dependent on temporary agency work, to the growing mass of impoverished elder because of the destruction of the statutory pension system (accomplished with the complicity of social democrats, green and unions). Also, it’s not true anymore that the government supports training on a large scale if at all as people are forced to accept any work as soon as they are subject to hartz IV. Benefits are not generous at all after the so-called agenda 2010 and hartz ‘reforms’, even constitutionally guaranteed subsistency level will be refused if you don’t obey.

          1. bmeisen

            Sounds like you haven’t been to the Arbeitsamt recently. During my last visit they paid for my retraining, picked up my health insurance premiums, paid me something like 80% of my last monthly salary for an ungodly period of time – at least a year. I expect they would have subsidized my rent if I had proven need.

            From the perspective of 80s BRD the situation has worsened. It is nevertheless lotus-eater land compared to the States. Those who are complaining loudest are often those who are particularly incapable and/or unwilling to change, which is for many Germans a character trait not a development phase. Profiles abound of AfD activists who are pissed off and dug in, in the village they were born in, in the house they grew up in, a house that their grandparents built. Wagenknecht and her party play an useful role in the political debate and their constituency is a distinct minority.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Trump backers not amused by decision to not “lock her up”— IMHO there is some wiggle room here. Trump himself never announced he would not throw HRC in prison, where she belongs. He trotted out his aide to make soothing noises. Evidently the FBI is still investigating. So if they come up with some more prosecutable criminality that would change everything.

    I think right now Trump wants the protests to end and to get inaugurated. After that AG Sessions will try to prosecute criminals of all kinds. I hope he’ll put some Wall Street bankers in jail, as well as the Clintons.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Saying he won’t ‘lock her up’ is smart politics right now. It makes HRC (or to be precise, her supporters) look like bad losers for pursuing recounts, and it will put a lot of pressure on Obama over granting an amnesty, especially if he casts that amnesty too wide. All bets are off of course after the inauguration.

      Trump could of course have it both ways by not ordering an investigation into her, but into the Clinton Foundation and the emails generally. Even if she has an amnesty, it would not necessarily apply to her staff. I think this would be good news for the left generally, as it would put the neolib Dems under a lot of pressure and vulnerable to pressure from the Sanders wing of the party.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Good points.

        I think it’s more than just the medieval ‘You can’t go after a king or queen, ordained by God.’

      2. Skip Intro

        There are a number of moving pieces that are not strictly in Trump’s control. A new AG will be more receptive to results of the FBI or IRS probes into the Clinton Foundation, and there is the possibility that a grand jury is already operating in NY, triggered by revelations from the Weiner laptop.

      3. wheresOurTeddy

        Good idea. Make the empress immune but not her foot soldiers.

        Might have a chilling effect on underlings doing what they’re told regardless of its legality.

      1. polecat

        I don’t think so .. the horses (states that are in various stages of legalizing pot ..if not out-right legal) have already stampeded out of the barn ….

        Sessions has bigger fish to fry, in my estimation, and if he did press for a return to what are obviously absurd anti-pot laws, many millions of people would vehemently disagree, thereby adding credence to the idea of state secession …… derived to a great extent by the clueless idiots in D.C.

        1. Daryl

          An unsympathetic DOJ/DEA could easily destroy tons of cannabis businesses. They don’t have the resources to stop people from growing in their homes (they didn’t even when it was completely illegal), but they could certainly cause investment to grind to a halt.

    2. annie moose

      What are her crimes? Are you referring to pizzagate? Can you produce an indictment? Do you have any evidence for anything other than a 4chann/pol thread or reddit thread? Being sleazy is not a criminal offence see DJT.

      1. River

        This for one -> 18 U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

        1. andyb

          Although Chaffetz says he will still hold hearings, I think we can put the server/email issue to bed, since the logical conclusion would be treason, death by hanging. Can’t have that for an elite, now can we. The Foundation is totally another story. Here, the DOJ can go the TBTF bank rule of massive fines and give-ups, meaning effective bankruptcy for the Clintons, although no jail time. This would somewhat appease the base, without scaring the shit out of the other corruptocrats.

        2. Chris

          Yep. Letting people without the appropriate clearances review her communications, improper storage and handling of NDI, and likely exposure of NDI to foreign elements. Comey said that if she was someone else, charges would have been brought back in July. But I think she’s going down for corruption charges anyway. So perhaps the email issue will finally fade away.

    3. Will

      There is zero margin in stirring people up right now. Hillary has bigger problems as the Clinton Foundation may be involved in human trafficking.

      So Trump can be magnanimous today, soothe frazzled Hillary supporters and let the legal system take its course after the inauguration. Hillary will wish she were merely prosecuted for her private server.

    4. uncle tungsten

      Regardless of any action by Trump, the judicialwatch examination using the FOIA laws would likely continue. JW is not necessarily beholden to Trump for anything and besides he is so accident prone that he could even be a short lifer.

      The legal ideologues in JW will likely continue their vendetta as it is a rewarding exercise in judicial prudishness. It also happens to be a worthwhile exercise in exposing how the rule of law can be destroyed where prosecutors fail to act.

      Still waiting to hear who is going to get the Justice ticket to ride. That will be interesting, as will the fate of Comey.

      Trump will likely let the hawks pick on the Clinton carrion as he has nothing to lose and heaps to gain. He just doesn’t want the carcass stench coming near him.

  4. IHateBanks

    Oh, my goodness! I can not WAIT to demonstrate the HIp-Hop Hog Call to our urban dwelling Thanksgiving guests after we eat (and drink). It just so happens that I have 5 hogs out back. Although bib overalls have been banned from the dinner table, and rightfully so, THANK YOU NC for giving me an opportunity to don them later! Should be big fun!

    Please excuse me. I have a hog call to perfect.

    And, no, owning bib overalls does not identify me as a Trump supporter. I was a aspiring geriatric BernieBro, who voted “None of the Above” at the top of my ballot

  5. epynonymous

    RE: Votes vs. results

    The difference is that this case is about politics and not racism. The basis is an old Kennedy dissent where he said he’d be open to challenging a rigorously proven disparity proving bias.

    The case is currently in appeal. Probably going nowhere, but Wisconsin local politics have proven interesting given the previous opposition to Paul Walker.

  6. fresno dan

    The Enduring Importance of Identity Liberalism New Republic (resilc). Help me.

    “How can we talk about class without recognizing that the poorest Americans are often people of color?”

    It apparently never occurs to the writer that after all the talk about race, the fact that most people of any race have less and less money and fewer and fewer well paying jobs is just never discussed. And it is rich irony indeed that the article starts with a James Baldwin quote:
    In his 1962 essay “Letter From a Region in My Mind,” James Baldwin identified the largest obstacle to progress in this country as the undying belief in American greatness. This is a myth that would have to be abandoned, he argued, if the country were to see itself as it truly is and redress its wrongs. Happily, there is at least one group in America who could see the matter with clear eyes, he wrote: “The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed that collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace.”

    It escapes the New Republic author that Clinton, in trying to refute Trump’s slogan, used the slogan: America has never stopped being great.

    Fortunately, this inane thinking was refuted yesterday in the Water Cooler links in the linked Jacobian article “Everybody Hates Cornel West”:

    “Unsurprisingly, this role fits perfectly within the brokerage model of politics that the Democratic Party has so heavily relied on for years to enact an agenda that is increasingly at odds with the material needs of most black voters. In the original essay, Reed found perhaps the clearest articulation of this role in West’s work up to that point — referencing West-isms like the call for a “love ethic” and a “politics of conversion.”

    But in the Obama era, black public intellectuals find themselves in a curious position. It’s a difficult balancing act — how to keep “interpreting the drums” for the Democratic Party elite, as Reed’s argument goes, while staying friendly with that same party that’s overseen a mass economic immiseration of working-class Americans and an exploding carceral state (both of which disproportionately affect black Americans).

    The contradictions in this relationship grow even starker as the rhetorical victories have stacked up. Today, even Silicon Valley CEOs proudly proclaim that “Black Lives Matter.” The discourse of diversity and the grad student seminar has become entrenched in everything from television criticism to celebrity tabloids. The Obama years have been a boon to the salaried intellectual class of all races, but lean times for the working-class constituents whose needs, hopes, and desires the black intellectual class vies to interpret for white audiences.”

    All diversity all the time – but never, EVER any talk about more money to the poor…you can be poor at the front of the bus, as well as the back – problem solved!

  7. Steve H.

    : U.S. offers mobile device guidelines to curb driver distraction

    “Both the pairing and driver mode will reduce the potential for distraction by limiting the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, while also preserving the full functionality of the devices when used at other times.”

    Oops. There has been at least one successful multi-million dollar lawsuit involving hands-free devices. It’s not just eyes on the road, it’s the distraction level interfering with reactions to the unexpected. Texting may be the worse, but even a phone conversation, hands free, is enough to interfere with the split-second decisions involved in accidents. Conversations with people in the car are much safer, they are able to react to the same conditions the driver has to deal with.

    ‘Using any kind of Internet Connection Tool while driving increases the risk of an accident 9 to 23 times.’

    A timely post for the Thanksgiving travel season. Please, Let’s Keep Each Other Alive.

    1. Steve H.

      Drt, edit, bad transcription: ‘Internet Connection Tool’ = ICT = Information and Communication Technology.


    2. Buzz Meeks

      What about a auto insurance discount for us Luddites who refuse to own a cell phone? Perhaps time to start getting in contact with state legislators to get some auto insurance relief.

      Buzz Meeks

    3. crittermom

      I wholeheartedly agree that phones should be turned OFF when driving! Even if they’re ‘hands-free’.
      That has been my rant for years.
      If a friend calls me while driving, I tell ’em to hang up & call me when they’re pulled over, or back at home. I then hang up on them.

      My only child, now 40, rides a motorcycle or scooter (has both) in his commute to work. He relayed this incident to me:

      Last month a lady blew a stop sign while talking on her phone & would have run him over had he not been alert.

      He followed her down a side street & when she was stopped, phone still in hand, pulled up next to her & tapped on her window. She rolled it down & he told her she had just run a stop sign & could have easily killed him.
      She responded with a blank stare.

      I was proud when he told me that he didn’t cuss her out, but instead, asked her if she had a husband, parents or son.
      She replied she had all three.
      He then asked how she would feel if someone on a cell phone had killed one of them. She had that same blank stare.

      He then took his helmet off so she could see his face & look into his eyes.

      He told her “Look at me. I am an actual person & also have parents & a wife who love me & would miss me if some idiot on a phone killed ME because they were not paying attention to driving.”

      He then put his helmet back on & left, still not sure if he had an impact on her, but hoping so.
      (Yes, as his mother I’m proud of his reaction & hoping he did have an impact on her).

      Each year I’m further horrified to see the new ‘smarter’ cars coming out with devices that hit the brakes when the driver fails to do so or sounds an alarm when their vehicle crosses the center line.
      To me, they’re advertising ‘Look! You don’t have to be conscience to drive. This car will alert you to dangers & wake you up when needed’.

      Call me old school, but I was taught (by my race car driver Dad) that driving requires your FULL attention.
      He also taught me (decades before cell phones), to assume everyone else on the road is either tired, drunk or just plain stupid, so drive defensively.
      No truer words for today, as well.

      I’ve tried to pass that on to my son, but I still worry every day, with him on a motorcycle.
      The new ‘smart’ cars & phones do nothing to lessen that worry but only increase it.
      Hang up & drive!

      1. Jim Haygood

        “He followed her down a side street & when she was stopped, phone still in hand, pulled up next to her & tapped on her window.”

        Glad your son was able to pull this off with diplomacy, c-mom. Physically confronting other drivers can be risky.

        One afternoon after a horrible day in court, someone in a vehicle behind me laid on the horn when I got stuck behind a vehicle waiting to turn left in front of me. At the next traffic light, she (the horn honker) ended up in the right hand lane directly beside me.

        Opening the passenger side window, I flung an empty plastic aspirin bottle at her. It clattered harmlessly off her drivers window. But the gesture absolutely berserked her.

        Leaping out of her car, seething with rage, she reached with both arms through my open passenger side window and was going straight for my neck. However, in her rush to assault me, she had left her car in Reverse gear rather than Park.

        Priceless was her real-time double take, as she struggled to choose between strangling me or rescuing her vehicle, now gathering speed as it rolled backward down a slight incline. An approaching driver stopped 100 feet back, but could not avoid her uncontrolled, backward rolling car. As we both gawked, a tinkle of broken headlights announced the slow-motion crash.

        At that moment, the light turned green. “Have a nice day,” I bid my assailant through the open window, as I motored off into the New Jersey afternoon.

        1. Optimader

          Iirc the asprin bottle on the window constitutes assault.
          I suppose trying to strangle you would while sitting in your car would be frowned on by the court too

          “Madam please explain why you were outside of your vehicle at the time of the accident?” Probably the best bet for would have been to bolt and report the car missing

      2. Synoia

        Nope, I have a contrarian view. People should be allowed to use their cell phones while driving, and be personally liable for any damages in an expedited summary judgement.

        They would not be driving for very long.

      3. cnchal

        I’ve seen a motorcyclist texting while riding in heavy freeway traffic at 50 MPH. Left hand with the phone, the right on the throttle.

        I’ve also seen drivers read books. The hands are at ten and two with the thumbs holding the top corners of the book against the steering wheel. At least they were driving in the slow lane.

        Driving has become a guessing game. It used to be, when everybody drove cars and the windows were clear, that clues were available which could be used to divine others intentions even when they didn’t use turn signals by seeing where they were looking, how they were seated behind the wheel, whether they were paying attention or not, whether passengers were a potential distraction, and combining that with lane position, speed, acceleration or deceleration and other subtle signals to determine with good odds what their next move would be.

        Now, all you have is the latter because most drivers are in a tinted window cocoon four feet off the ground.

    4. Arthur J

      Conversations in the car are not safer. As with crittermom’s post below, many years ago I nearly became an organ donor while riding my motorcycle. As I drove straight through an intersection on the green light, a car coming towards me was signaling for a left turn. I was kind of watching them and as the car crossed the white line the female driver was looking at the passenger whilst chatting and then she just turned left right in to my path. I laid my bike over to make my own left turn, banked so far over I was dragging the exhaust pipe on the ground. As I watched her bumper pass out of sight underneath the fairing my only thought was godmnt the bumper is going to rip my leg off.

      It didn’t though and fortunately there wasn’t anyone else from that direction crossing the intersection or they would have t-boned me.

      Drivers don’t need a phone to be distracted.

  8. JSM

    Ms. Smith –

    Reading your book five or six years ago was formative for this layperson and much more efficient than trying on various schools of thought. Thanks for maintaining this essential site and thanks for allowing this (sometimes gleefully) undercredentialed idler to comment here.

  9. Foppe

    Courtesy of YouTube:

    The RSA is live streaming The Curse of Cash | Kenneth Rogoff.

    The Curse of Cash | Kenneth Rogoff
    by The RSA
    The Curse of Cash with professor of public policy at Harvard, Kenneth Rogoff. The world is drowning in cash – and it’s making us poorer and less safe. People are using less paper money, however the amount of cash in circulation is reaching record levels worldwide. Why? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking and the global underground economy. The solution, argues Kenneth Rogoff, professor of public policy at Harvard University and former chief economist of the IMF, is to phase out paper money. But are we ready for the end of cash

    1. Steve H.

      This guy… I guess this intersucks with the Bitchain article as well. I’ve followed the arguments, not deeply (since it’s personally irrelevant), but because NC and John Robb take opposing viewpoints on the future of the method, and both are high-quality sources. Myself, it looks like a dominant player can game the system, so what’s the difference from now?

      But the ASSumptions Rogoff runs on… crikey. All you have to do is pin the price of cocaine to the dollar and it becomes both a product and a medium of exchange, down to the micropenny if you want. Assumptionholes like Rogoff seem to think that adding on transaction costs increases the value of the exchange. Fiat est deus eius.

    2. Enquiring Mind

      The proposed end of cash probably makes many people think of life in Barter Town and a Mad Max future. They may also visualize the Tina Turner character threatening to turn off the gas to show who is in control. How much “gas” will people want to have controlled by an opaque system, particularly on the heels of so much other government hackery? New slogan: If you like your freedom, you can keep your freedom.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think he wants to say, really, is this – money is the root of all evil.

        Maybe our preacher will propose banning money because at present, there is too much money worldwide (among the rich and the bad guys at least).

    3. nothing but the truth

      at the moment all your assets can be frozen with the mere allegation of terrorist sympathies. and you have to prove it is not the case (try hiring a lawyer when you have no assets).

      In a cashless society where all your assets are known to /held by the system, you are a sitting duck if they think you’ve been blowing the whistle.

    4. andyb

      Just luv the rationale behind a cashless society. Guess the esteemed professor never heard of the black market or underground or the fact that overwhelming gun legislation hasn’t stopped criminals from murder, robbery,etc. The reason that the elites want no cash is to have suffocating control over you and your economic well being, shortening the path to totalitarianism.

    5. Ohnoyoucantdothat

      It’s worse than that. As you know, I have family in Crimea. We are presently under sanctions which have cut off all access to my US funds. That means the only way to get money is for me to travel back to the US once a year to get cash. If cash disappears I’m SOL on all fronts. Not sure how we would survive.

      It gets worse. I had all my retirement accounts with a big US financial manager. Last December the US government decreed that any expat who had money in a US investment firm could no longer manage their money … it was frozen. In my case, with the Crimea sanctions overlay, the firm not only froze all my accounts, they refused to let me get my money. Even when I was standing in their office in NM. They claimed they had the right to take my money and deny me access. Their reason … they had no way of knowing that I might take the money and send it to my wife in Crimea. According to their ‘risk management’ team, that would open them up to sanctions from the government. So they were prepared to deny me access to my money based on their interpretation of the sanctions rules. Fortunately, I’ve had dealings with the group in Washington that actually administers the sanctions. OFAC (Office for Foreign Asset Control) is one of those obscure government groups with frightening power. We have some history so I called them and explained my problem. Got them to explain how the sanctions actually work. Money for personal expenses is not part of the sanction process. Only money for business or for charity are prohibited. After a call to my investment advisor from OFAC the money was released. Removed it all that same day. So, cashless is a recipe for control. Yes, cash is good for criminal activity but it is also sometimes the difference between life and starvation.

  10. Marco

    Turkey Day Trump Topic #1 to avoid at the dinner table. US foreign policy! Chatting with a conservative relative who LOVES Trump. I was trying to establish some common ground and my delight in Trump campaigning AGAINST regime change as our default option and his outright criticism of the Iraq War. Well this relative wanted to hear NONE of this!! Trying really hard to give people the benefit of the doubt when NOT voting for Hillary but I do think most of Trump’s excited core voters havn’t a clue.

    1. HBE

      Turkey Day Trump Topic #2 to avoid at the dinner table.

      Mentioning Trumps horrible education plan to privatize public schools, is a continuation of Obama’s race to the top privatization scheme.

      More generally don’t compare shiite trump policy proposals to the same shiite policies implemented under Obama.

    2. Code Name D

      Trunp supporters, I can handel. It’s the damned Clintion apoligists that are driving me nuts. They realy do live on another planet. The economey is greats, Obamacare actualy works, the investigations didn’t fide a damn thing, China is going to take over the world (because of TPP), Russha rigged the election… Trump supporters are practicly sane compared to that.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All signs of belonging to a cult.

        Another planet – her Queendom is not of this world.

        The economy is great – render unto Caesar,.. Don’t ask more questions.

        Obamacare – she will perform healing miracles.

        The investigation – She was crucified.

        Russia rigging – Who got paid with 30 pieces? She was betrayed.

    3. timbers

      My experience is a bit different with Republicans. One or two years ago a lady I work with who is known to be Republican had no particular opinion about Putin except that he was bad and doing bad things. Now she says he a reasonable guy we can work with and we’re making a mess in Syria. And she totally gets what the Clinton Foundation and destroyed emails are all about (bribery of those with business before the State Dept, pay-to-play). In contrast, Dems are think as cement on that topic.

      Just one thing I can think of but it’s something.

    4. voteforno6

      As the old saying goes – two topics that should never be discussed in polite company are politics and religion. It makes for much nicer family gatherings.

  11. sid_finster

    Re: Stein demand for recount.

    Where did the money for this come from?

    Answering that question will make everything else plain.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      If Stein took all the money donated for a recount and then turned around and banked it for the Greens 2018 and 2020 political campaigns, would that make the Greens a “real” political party?

      Wouldn’t be any worse than Clinton claiming to be helping down ballot candidates when in reality she was laundering money for herself through state party coffers.

      And while we’re riding the wave of this sudden interest in recounts and the integrity of the vote, maybe we can check into the Democratic primaries while we’re at it. Funny how the Klintonites weren’t nearly so interested in those.

        1. wheresOurTeddy

          Switch from I to D in March.v oted Bernie June 7th in California. Switch to from D back to I on June 8th. Showed up to vote in November miraculously listed as vote-by-mail voter. Never selected that option.

          CA SoS picked for me. Wonder how many other people in California who switched their party away from Democrat after June 7th had a similar situation. I guess we fit the profile of someone who might vote for the wrong person.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Why do you need money to request a recount?

        A volunteer lawyer can file the paper for you.

        Shouldn’t she use the money, and more, perhaps by not building more leaky destroyers , on getting clean water for residents of Flynn?

        1. marym

          She’s using federal election procedures and her standing as a candidate to investigate the issue of election integrity, about which people across the political spectrum have claimed to be concerned for a long time; and which is a goal of the GP platform.

          If she had called for contributions to Flint, would she have raised $3.5+M and counting since yesterday? I can’t speak to the motives of all the people contributing, but would those who are doing so hoping it will help supposedly pro-minority Clinton be contributing to Flint? Nothing was stopping them before.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                They don’t make it easy. Gotta have money to find out if the government counted correctly the first time.

                “No frivolous requests.”

    2. edmondo

      After they are done reviewing general election rigging, will they move on to the Democratic primary shitshow?

      1. Dave

        See “Uncounted” on youtube for a nice description of the California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla’s, lousy instructions to county registrars of voters, almost sabotage of the primary, which uniformly hurt Bernie.
        Interviews with dozens of pollworkers tearfully describing how they sent thousands of voters away, had no ballots for them etc.

        BTW, Padilla was an active supporter of Hilllary.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        The donation page has blown through the first target goal of $2.5 Million. A new goal is set at $4.5 million. Cha-ching. This morning I checked it after one hour and it increased $100K. The donations are so regular it’s as if it was computer programmed. Hmmm.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            I have not heard an average. But there are 3 donation pages. I assume the two Green Party pages are where the big bucks are going.

            Instructions on the Stein donation page.
            You can donate up to $22,700 per person by contributing up to $2,700 on this page PLUS $10,000 to each of the following state Green Parties that have allowed contributions to kickstart the recount initiative:


      1. Liberal Mole

        I can’t help but wonder if it might uncover election fraud on both sides. Republicans were just better at it.

    3. juliania

      The Guardian article attempts to make this all about winning votes for Clinton. To me the better argument would be that it win votes for Stein, as I think a comment yesterday argued. Those of us who voted for Jill Stein have been quiet on the issue of legitimacy of the vote, but we would like to see the votes to which she is entitled recorded, and it is more likely that if they were not, they were put in Hillary’s column.

      The place I think that might show is Florida. Just my feeling about it, not anything to run to the bank on – Florida stayed ‘undecided’ a long long time and I had the feeling Clinton folk were trying desperately to turn around what was looking like an early Trump victory.

      And yes, nothing to support it – only a feeling.

    4. marym

      From the donation pages (Jill Stein, and the Massachusetts and Ohio Green Parties) the contributions appear to be under federal election rules, so whatever transparency is available for campaign contributions would seem to apply.

    5. Waldenpond

      Donors. Sanders people, Clinton people. This doesn’t look like a real effort to me. Read the page…. quite a bit of language regarding ‘if there is no lawsuit’, there are other plans for the money.

  12. Alex morfesis

    Happy turkey day everyone(no tayyip…we will not change the day in your honor…no…we wont swap the name instead of sending you the gulen monster…)

    Remember…it is only for a few hours…

    For those who dont find it pleasurable…make the most of it…smile like it’s a gig…

    For those who wish it could go on forever…make the most of it…smile like your a child again…

  13. Pat

    DeVos is bad news. Arne Duncan without the stealth and on steroids. And once again I don’t see the Democrats fighting this like they should, mostly because so many of them are on the same side.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Team Blue fears Sanders style politicians most. The reporter who claimed the White House is opposed to Ellison was a Clinton plant according to wikileaks, but if he has sources beyond Clintonistas, it makes perfect sense. Can you imagine a 2018 Democratic victory led by a black Muslim? Obama would be furious and further exposed as a loser.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The mining comment will make her life difficult. Duncan was an example of more effective evil, but the time for change had passed while he was there. Too many people wouldn’t challenge Duncan.

      It’s unlikely DeVos has a clue she has an actual job now. I see public meltdowns from an heiress if she doesn’t get her way, and Duncan pushed things to a breaking point. He got away with it because of irrational loyalty to Obama, but an heiress pushing her own “let them eat cake” (Trump never did this) won’t sit well.

      1. Pat

        I really hope you are right. Oh, I’m sure you are right that she doesn’t have a real clue, but I’m not sure that Duncan and his successor have pushed it too far. I admit that some of the blow back in NY state has me more hopeful that those just under the top 5% (with more power and time than those hanging on by their fingernails) have realized the reformists are gunning to make money NOT educating their children rather than improving the system.

        Fingers crossed.

    2. a different chris

      >without the stealth

      But that’s the bright side of Trumpism, no? It’s going to be out there and I have to hope people aren’t going to buy it. If they do, well we need to know that.

  14. Pat

    I wish I had bad hair days like that beautiful crane.

    Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone at Naked Capitalism! And lots of good thoughts to Yves and Yves’ Mom.

    1. Katharine

      There are no bad hair days if you simply let your hair do what it wants. It is then happy and kindly. Happy Thanksgiving to all, including a few we haven’t heard from recently!

      1. Katharine

        Thank her, please! To the small extent I know of her, I love her too. May we all be blessed by the goodwill of feisty elders, and pass it on as we become the elders!

        1. RMO

          “There are no bad hair days if you simply let your hair do what it wants” My wife has a beautiful mass of dark curly hair. For most of her life it has been something she didn’t like about herself and a lot of her acquaintances over the years told her she needs to get it straightened and styled and tamed to make it appealing. Her hair was the first thing that struck me about her the first time I saw her (followed closely by the music she performed that night and the smile on her face as she accepted the applause of the audience). She frequently says she wishes she could go back in time to tell her teenage self that her hair in its natural state is beautiful and that she will marry a man who absolutely loves it (and everything else about her!).

  15. bob k

    “But the devicemaker lobby is too powerful for the feds or any states to do the only sensible thing…” WRONG. its not any lobby that’s too strong, its the quaint power of me-firstism that was inherent in the first cell phones ability to connect human beings. It’s people who are the problem and specifically their dread at being separated from others for even a single minute. Mobile tech feeds into and off of this distinct existential dread of separation. i am in favor of massive fining and suspension of licenses for mobile violations that put innocents in danger of death by vehicular manslaughter. don’t preach to me about draconian violation of individual rights. every time i see the dozens of violators stopped at traffic lights happily chatting away w phones up to ears or looking down at their text messages i want to puke and then slap them.

    1. a different chris

      But if they are at traffic lights then that is actually OK, you realize?

      >happily chatting away w phones up to ears or looking down at their text messages i want to puke and then slap them

      This sounds like a socialization problem, and it isn’t with them.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        >>But if they are at traffic lights then that is actually OK, you realize?

        No. Maybe that was sarc, but you’re still driving. Intersections are the most dangerous part of driving and do not equal ‘pulled over and parked.’

        Would you hold an idling chainsaw while talking on the phone?

    2. human

      I am a member of the gig economy. I am, unfortunately, tethered to my phone in order to find work and consequently eat, pay the rent, sleep and begin again the next day. As much as I am aware of the danger my inattention to driving that my chosen method of employment (1099) requires, I do abhor those whose use is entirely narcissistic. The current set of rules/laws is unenforceable, though I have paid my share of fines and do not look forward to the time when I may lose my drivers license. Using my phone while driving saves me between 1/2 and 1 hour per day. Not an amount to scoff at.

      In the Grand Scheme of Things I would much rather not be put into such a position, however, current policy requires that we all do what we have to to keep our heads above water.

  16. stukuls

    Sadly I live in farm country and I see farmers on tractors texting or on the phone while riding down the road to the fields. Not just cars!

  17. optimader

    RE: Dog memory
    which is the ability to mentally travel back in time and recall experiences
    Anyone whose rattled a treat container in another romm kowsthis.
    Kats as well, i had one that could hear a pistachio nuts shell being cracked at a hundred paces on another floor of the house and would come running.

    1. Pajarito

      I had Labrador Retrievers kept in a kennel in the yard. They could tell when I took a shotgun out of the closet in the house, even if I did it very quietly. Excitement level would elevate 10x.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That speaks to an even greater mental ability – they train us, while making us believe that we train them.

    2. Jeotsu

      I believe the point of the article is that dogs can, in effect, remember “random stuff”.

      That is, these art not memories associated with survival-enhancing events. This is very different than associating memories with rewards (find food here, find water here, find mate here), or with dangers (predators tend to lurk in those bushes).

      It speaks to a state of mind where everyday experiential moments are stored for later use. And this is why it pushes them closer to the possibility of self-awareness. And of course, if dogs have this capacity a lot of other animals might, too. This has really huge implications for animal welfare, if you happen to live in a polity that cares about animal welfare.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think we humans dictate what is and what is not random stuff.

        A dog may not perceive the world like that…and anything has the potential of being survival enhancing.

  18. pretzelattack

    happy thanksgiving especially to turkeys everywhere. in news of limited interest, the 10th game of the chess championship match is today at 2 p.m. eastern, with challenger sergey karjakin leading carlsen by a point with 3 games to go.

  19. ex-PFC Chuck

    Regarding the NYDN link “Bernie Sanders should pay Donald Trump a visit,” the most effective thing Senator Sanders could do now is to sever his affiliation with the Democratic Party and use his Senatorial pulpit to found and lead a movement to restore the political influence of the lower 80 percent. The donor list his campaign compiled is a good starting point. The focus of the movement should be primarily economic in a broad sense. The movement should be in regular touch with leaders of both legacy parties but not affiliated with either, at least not initially.

    Senator Sanders should especially do this if the existing party establishment is successful in sidetracking Rep. Keith Ellison’s quest for the DNC chair in favor of one of their “trustworthy” insiders. But even if Congressman Ellison gets the DNC job it will be a titanic effort to change the course of the sinking Party ship and plug the leaks below the waterline gouged by the neo-liberal icebergs into which the party leaders of the past quarter century have steered it. Strong advocacy from outside the party would help Mr. Ellison.

    “Rayne” at Emptywheel is in the midst of posting a four part memoir of the frustrations she personally experienced trying to advocate for progressive policies within the Democratic Party during the Bush 43 and Bush 44 eras. Part I is here and Part II here, and she has promised the remaining installments over this long weekend. Outside advocacy couldn’t have hurt.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People’s lives will be impacted by Trump’s policy decisions.

      It’s the only course – by getting in here to have some influence. especially since on some issues, they seem to agree.

      For example, they both agree not to seek to lock Hillary up.

      The MSM being the MSM, they focus on what will undermine Trump, so, the angle is how mad Trump’s backers are now.

      Being glass half full, Sanders should see this as another issue they agree on…that this is not something a strongman would do.

  20. gawp

    The microwave analogy for bitcoin and blockchains is dead-on. It’s some sort of skeumorphism, like the early anthropomorphism of ATMs (Johnny Cash Machines!) very difficult to not bend new technology use into existing models.

    Early microwave cookbooks are hilarious; Cook a whole turkey! Brush it with soy sauce to “brown”. Ugh.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      the early anthropomorphism of ATMs (Johnny Cash Machines!)

      My favorite was a bank in the Quad Cities if Iowa/Illinois: Harvey Wallbanker.

  21. Pat

    With the disclaimer that I really do not know what is coming next, and any prediction on my part is based on nothing not even history I will say I am amused by the various reactions to Trump’s declaration that he will not be seeking to jail Clinton.

    First because his voters aren’t even considering that he is playing eleven dimensional chess, they just consider it a betrayal. Secondly because so many of us are figuring out how he can backtrack later and go after her.

    I may not think he will backtrack as he has reasons for not wanting to encourage examinations of a personal charity, but one thing about Trump is that nothing is ever settled.

    1. a different chris

      Yes, why would he even want to now? He needs this ace when things turn rotten in his Presidency, say early 2018, he can suddenly announce “hey remember the Wheels Of Justice Turn Slowly” and bring the whole thing up again. The idiot media will turn and chase it like a dog a thrown stick and whatever mud was rising will be forgotten.

    2. integer

      Trump has mentioned that he is/was audited by the IRS annually. Perhaps he will simply ensure that the Clintons and their foundation/global initiative receive similar treatment.

  22. JSM

    Re: Judge blocks Obama rule extending overtime pay to 4.2 million U.S. workers

    Somebody should have told the con (constitutional, or just con?) law professor eight years ago that technocratic rule by fiat is not the law of the land. Turns out ‘one of the outgoing president’s signature achievements for boosting wages’ was just another fraud.

    That the Democrats had both houses of Congress in 2008 and failed to pass a minimum wage increase should go a long way toward explaining their continuing electoral losses. What’s the point?

     In November 2008 President-elect Obama promised to “raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011 and index it to inflation to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing.”

    It was a pledge to low-paid workers to give them a 30 percent pay hike. Of all Obama’s betrayals, this was one of the bitterest. He never really tried, skittish with fear that he’d be nailed as an inflationeer by the Big Business lobbies and their creatures in Congress.

    1. uncle tungsten

      Obummer; the Betrayal. Sounds like a good title for Game of Drones rerun. Trump is well on his way to being his co-star and he hasn’t even been inaugurated! Will Netanyahoooo be invited to the big gig as well as Putin and then we can have the three amigos.

      Matt Taibbi has been slapping whitewash all over Obummers tracks and you can still see his treacherous swagger. I guess it will be entertaining to see if he can whitewash Trump as well.

    1. knowbuddhau

      Success! And a happy thanksgiving to you, too, and to one and all, especially our hosts. Where would we be without them?

  23. dbk

    Apropos link on the “enormous pop-up clinic trying to bridge America’s health divide”, I caught this PBS Newshour special feature while home

    Same subject – Remote Area Medical (RAM), but the video is really compelling.

    As I wrote in an essay after the election, “any American who saw it (the feature on RAM) should bow their head in shame before raising it in rage – these people, who yes, voted for Donald Trump (Buchanan Count results: 78.90 % Trump, 18.6% Clinton; Tazewell County results: 81.7% Trump, 15.6% Clinton) – are our brothers and sisters, and they have access to medical care 2-4 days a year. Many third-world countries do far, far better by their citizens.”

  24. Pavel

    Obama joking about pardoning the turkey… seems rather crass while Chelsea Manning faces solitary and other misery at the hands of his justice department and military. Can’t wait till he leaves us to make his inevitable $$$ and pal around with Bill Clinton et al on the golf courses. Is it true he is buying a $6 million house in DC?

    (Apologies… as you can seem I’m in a grumpy mood :)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      While they attempt to reform the Electoral College, they might as well look into reforming the pardoning authority of the president. Maybe take it away ad set up an independent Pardons Commission.

    1. jrs

      Yea and another can throw out new overtime laws. Depressing enough links for labor today.

      And neither of them caused by Trump (although Trump is also against overtime – that’s why the working class loves him so much, they want to work for free! or something). When will we see that the whole ruling class is the enemy?

      “On Tuesday, Mazzant, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, ruled that the federal law governing overtime does not allow the Labor Department to decide which workers are eligible based on salary levels alone.

      The Fair Labor Standards Act says that employees can be exempt from overtime if they perform executive, administrative or professional duties, but the rule “creates essentially a de facto salary-only test,” Mazzant wrote in the 20-page ruling.”

      Enough already, just make EVERYONE who works for a living eligible without exception, no exceptions based on salary OR job responsibilities. Universal overtime.

      1. Katharine

        I hate to say it but the ruling sounded reasonable given the existing law. There are good reasons to limit the reach of executive orders, as we are unfortunately all too likely to see before the winter is over. An order that effectively changes the law does sound like executive overreach, no matter how desirable its object.

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        Didn’t the rule exempting managerial types from getting overtime happen under Slick Willy?

        1. Propertius

          IIRC, the “white collar” exemption has been part of the FSLA since it was first passed in 1938.

  25. flora

    re: identity politics

    The Civil Rights Act was supposed to act as an addition to the New Deal economic programs. New Deal economic class + Civil Rights race/gender class. It is an expansion of opportunity(Civil Rights) egalitarianism for those previously excluded from economic egalitarianism(New Deal). Both are necessary.

    The Newt Dems, the neoliberal Dems, have been trying to kill New Deal economic class egalitarianism programs and maintain only the Civil Rights egalitarian programs. They talk in terms of identity but never in terms of jobs, wages, pensions, worker safety, financial regulations, anti-monopoly, etc. The neo Dems use identity class egalitarianism as a substitute for economic class egalitarianism. Identity is not a substitute for economic class.

    1. knowbuddhau

      Neoliberal Dems like to talk egalitarian but love to walk privileged. Of course they’d like to do more, but Republicans, sigh. “Now back to the issues.”

  26. ambrit

    Yep. I can self identify with the Elites all I want. It still won’t get me into the first class compartment of the Acela without the requisite dough.

  27. juliania

    Thank you for the address of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Although he was focussing on the EU and Greece in the comment you quoted, his remarks (including a lovely poem from St. Ephrem of Syria) were more universally applicable.

    “. . .What we have seen is the global market system, and especially the EU, lend people money to buy things and then strangle their hopes and futures when they cannot repay. What we now have is the biggest debtor’s prison in European history.”

    His emphasis on ‘face to face meetings’ reminded me of Martin Buber’s “I and Thou”.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all! Even if the historical account has its shortcomings, the thrust of it seems to accord with a wish for humans from different backgrounds to have a friendly meal together.

    It’s not really about the turkey.

  28. Antifa

    What to do about Hillary?

    Letting electorally defeated politicians go, without a good whipping for their crimes, is a fine, old tradition in most countries, because such whipping inevitably opens up cans of worms and closets full of skeletons that the remaining politicians prefer remain unseen and unknown. The good whipping of one crook soon becomes a general melee as anarchy stalks the halls of power. It never ends well.

    For Donald’s less educated followers, his promises to prosecute Hillary relentlessly, to build a wall on the Mexican border, to deport several million brown people, and to bring back America’s long-deported manufacturing jobs are sacred oaths. These supporters are all people with their backs against the wall, economically, and no willingness or ability to back up any further. They want, they need, the 1950’s back again, or bust. They want living wage jobs above all else — the other Trump oaths are just means of feeling powerful for a change, which is sadly all an illusion.

    For Donald’s well educated supporters, whose vote for him was simply the most effective action at hand to stop Hillary and Crew from continuing to lead us down the path of more war, his campaign promises meant nothing and mean nothing now. What matters to them is the incalculable damage she has done to America’s standing in the world, and to our national security with her renegade email server and pay-for-play Foundation. Hillary and Crew have hollowed out much of the meaning found in service to the nation through civil service, military or political careers, and even made a mockery of the rule of law. It’s doubtful if this looted integrity of our governing institutions can ever be restored if she is not put through the wringer for her multitude of “above the law” infractions.

    But she is no exception of corruption in DC. Corruption is how DC is built, and how it operates. She’s just out of control crooked, a true believer in the invincibility of money. Faith in the power of money has proven to be a fickle mistress, historically.

    Obama’s key difficulty is that to pardon Hillary, he must also pardon Bill, Chelsea, and most of the people working for them — those people had casual, constant access to highly classified information for years on end, without any clearance. Without a full accounting of who read what, and who sent what on to whom, what is the value, point or purpose of security clearances for the several million Americans who hold them? Obama’s second difficulty is that he knew, he was aware, and he participated in Hillary’s private email server communications, so ultimate responsibility leads back to him for not getting his SoS in line with Federal law. He should have asked for her immediate resignation instead of trading emails with her on a private email address. Instead, he joined in on the scheme. Is he going to pardon himself?

    No doubt, DC would love for this whole email and Foundation matter to just fade away, with no pardons or prosecutions or serious discussion at all. Maybe it will, in a century or so. No one is talking much about who shot Lincoln, and how it came about. But they are still talking about the JFK assassination, and still want answers better than those given thus far. So yeah, it takes a while.

    In the end, neither Obama nor Trump can really stop Congress from investigating Hillary and Crew, even if they are all unconditionally pardoned. Members of Congress see advantage in holding Truth and Reconciliation hearings, to get the truth out, to issue a Blue Ribbon report on what went wrong, all in an effort to contain the questions about how DC operates, to put this matter six feet under so DC can operate as if it were not a cesspool of money for influence. A healthy respect for all things respectable is one of the primary tools of politicians.

    When Bonnie and Clyde set out on their meteoric career in crime back in the Thirties, they both knew that from the first shot it would all end disastrously, and much sooner than they’d like. Bill and Hillary could well be asked if they grasped this fundamental risk of living beyond the law. Or if they grasp it now.

  29. fresno dan

    Here’s what Trump isn’t: a right-wing ideologue, a member of the Republican Party of Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz, of checklist conservatism and of the idea that 47 percent of Americans are “takers.” That party died in 2012, a victim in part of its own heartlessness. It took with it the right-wing intellectuals who, after all, aren’t so very intelligent and the right-wing thinkers who aren’t well-read either; and who so closely resemble the left in their contempt for Trump’s supporters.

    I imagine the majority of NC readers remember the National Review article by Kevin Williamson – that stated anybody who is poor in this great land of free trade low tax liberty championing America is poor because, and ONLY because, they are a lazy drug addict. Oh, and they are racist as well because they don’t like immigration.
    If I could, I would put the Kevin Williamson’s and Hillary dead enders in an eternal Thanksgiving dinner….

  30. fresno dan

    Now of course free trade advocates like to insist that jobs lost by wealthier nations to poorer ones will inevitably be replaced by new jobs. History doesn’t support that claim—quite the contrary—and there are good reasons why the jobs that disappear will never be replaced. In a free trade system, it’s more economical for startups in any labor-intensive industry to go straight to one of the countries with low wages; only those industries that are capital-intensive and thus employ comparatively few people have any reason to get under way in the high-wage countries. The computer industry is a classic example—and you’ll notice, I trust, that just as soon as that industry started to become labor-intensive, it moved offshore. Still, there’s another factor at work.

    Since wages are a very large fraction of the cost of producing goods, the overall decrease in wages brings about an increase in profits.** ** ** Thus one result of free trade is a transfer of wealth from the laboring majority, whose income comes from wages, to the affluent minority, whose income comes directly or indirectly from profits. That’s the factor that’s been left out of the picture by the proponents of free trade—its effect on income distribution. Free trade makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, by increasing profits while driving wages down. This no doubt explains why free trade is so popular among the affluent these days, just as it was in the Victorian era.

    I call it the curse of aggregation – GDP is going up!!!! Mo money, mo money, MO MONEY!!!! But in the religion of economics, it is considered blasphemy to even speak of distribution, i.e., in the old testament of economics, everyone who wants a job can have a job and it is merely a utility leisure maximization function….***

    ***Think of the birds of the air, who neither sow nor reap, but the free labor market provides as many jobs for for them as they’re labor/leisure preferences allow….****
    **** Uh, if I think about the birds of the air, I actually see quite a few that starve to death, or get eaten by hawks and cats, not to mention all the birds that die due to a lack of medical care…

    ** ** ** Its awfully funny (no its not) how those phones made by people for such low wages in such abysmal conditions that the workers jump off the roofs of the factories where they are made cost so much here – shouldn’t a Iphone cost like a buck considering how much the workers who make it are paid???

  31. Auntienene

    Hmmm. My headphones are my Bluetooth hearing aids. I use them with my smartphone and sometimes other devices. Does that mean every word I say or hear can be spied on? Not that my conversations are all that interesting…

    1. RMO

      I was wondering if there’s anything stopping them from using the speakers in tablets, laptops, smartphones and desktops to accomplish the same thing… If the article is to believed anything with an acoustic transducer that is connected to a digital processor and the internet could potentially be used to spy on the area around it.

      1. hunkerdown

        An amplifier after the switch, sometimes, but owing to the ever-present pressures of tighter integration, not so likely. Speaker/headphone amplifiers external to the codec break that return path and almost certainly deliver better sound as a bonus. $25 + a cable at your local pro audio or music emporium.

        If one’s external computer speakers have their own volume control and don’t work without external power, they’re very probably immune. If those speakers have a headphone jack, use that one.

    2. Swendr

      Headphones and speakers will always also be crappy microphones when plugged into a compatible input. The vulnerability mentioned in the article has to do with the software ability to flip an output into an input without the user’s knowledge. If you’re that paranoid, plug your headphone output into a mixer or hi-fi unit, and connect your headphones to that.

  32. Dave

    President Trump, I detest the use of our drones in the Middle East. All they do is waste money and create far more enemies than they kill.

    But, could we please use them on the Indian call centers? Instead of high explosives, they could so an Electric Magnetic Pulse detonation over these nests of con artists and destroy all their computers and databases.

    Every person in the U.S. who has ever recieved an “IRS is suing you” call at 4 A.M. will thank you.

  33. Dave

    President Trump, I detest the use of our drones in the Middle East. All they do is waste money and create far more enemies than they kill.

    But, could we please use them on the Indian call centers? Instead of high explosives, they could so an ElectroMagneticPulse detonation over these nests of con artists and destroy all their computers and databases.

  34. mk

    In my opinion, the best DNC Post Mortem so far:

    some excerpts:
    I am an independent, not a Democrat, though I often lean towards your party on many issues, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, and voted for Jill Stein. Mine is a perspective with similar interests and little sentiment with you. I believe you are worth saving, but I really don’t care about hurting your feelings therefor I can be as blunt and brutally honest as necessary. I love you like a redheaded stepbrother so I’m here to give you some tough love.

    What you really lost

    Let’s be fully explicit on what you lost. You didn’t just lose an election, you lost the trust of the public across the board. 42% of this country did not just suddenly become more conservative, that was simply the Clintonites taking down the entire party with them.

    The Republican Party, their entire coalition, has been declining in membership for years and nearly collapsed. It was in shambles just a few months ago. Their propaganda outlets were falling apart with Fox losing as much as half its viewership and staff fleeing Breitbart. The factions were shattered with Bush neocons shunned as establishment and openly mocked in debates, libertarians going third party and the religious right outright abandoned.

    Instead of a deathblow, you gave them the gift of the only thing that they all still have in common: hatred of Hillary. They didn’t rally behind Trump, most of the party establishment hated him. They united when Hillary was announced winner of the primary by the AP on the eve of one of the largest voting days in the entire primary.

    1. Tom Bradford

      Except that I understand if the USA had a genuine democracy, in which every vote cast has exactly the same value, Hillary would have won the election by several million votes.

      1. uncle tungsten

        Only because more than several million voters stayed at home did she lose though. The popular vote thingy is just a theoretical distraction in the case of the constitution and the balancing acts it mandates. Globally, there is no lack models for reasoned reforms for the farce in the USA. Just a lack of will.

        The USA does not have a genuine Democracy. It has a sham democracy and a savagely organized rort that even Obummer or many others could have seriously remedied. They didn’t, they wont, and the alienating evil of USA elections will continue to destroy hope.

  35. SeanL

    ‘Identity Liberalism’ is just another Vichy-Left trojan, like Neoliberalism. The objective is for the masses to fight between themselves thereby allowing those in power to rip the benefits with impunity.

  36. alex morfesis

    Dear peotus(el donaldo)…those of us who know/knew better expect you to maybe…mayyybeee keep ten % of your enchantments…but…if you want to open up a door to a smooth start to your reign…you might make a big deal about buying a raincoat and galoshes…and suggest you heard there was some waterpark that had opened up in standing rock and you were thinking of going out there with baron and getting wet before you began your presidency…

    A father and son bonding thingy…

  37. ChrisPacific

    Re: “A Proper Contempt for the UN”:

    This article is simply recycling all the usual arguments for American unilateralism. Of course the UN is far from perfect. How could it not be, given its scope and mission? Any organization that seeks to achieve consensus agreements among all the nations of the world is naturally going to need to deal with some unsavoury regimes, and will frequently have a wide range of conflicting and and even mutually irreconcilable positions to balance. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. What’s the alternative? Should countries not make any attempt at all to work together and reach compromise agreements? Should they withdraw into power blocs and work only with those that share their goals and values?

    The unwritten subtext to all these articles, as always, is: America, and America alone, will decide and enforce what’s right, and others must fall in line.

  38. Propertius

    Happy Thanksgiving to all (and especially to Lambert, Jerri-Lynn, the incomparable Yves and her equally incomparable mother)!

  39. Maurice Hebert

    Thanks Yves, Lambert & Jerri for running such an awesome blog and information resource, attracting and maintaining a great community, and even allowing occassional back benchers like me to chime in.

    I got attracted to your blog during the Bush years and around the time ECONNED came out. Most of those blogs have fallen off in terms of quality and focus, but yours remains a mainstay which I recommend widely. In this year where the scales have fallen off of my eyes and now I can better see the real from the fake, your site is a daily must-read.

    As my financial health improves, I look forward to hitting the tip jar to give back towards this awesome contribution. Best wishes to my favorite cat lady, down east bear, and the newest editor/essayist. And Thanks!

  40. eyebear

    Dear Mrs. Smith,

    thank you for the link to the article about the consciousness of dogs. It reminds me of Leika, the russian dog that reached the earth orbit – a journey, most of us humans have not been able to do, until today.

  41. Expat

    Regarding mobile devices, sat-nav and gps in cars, from what I have read the problem is not fingers on screens or even eyes on screens. The problem is concentration. So hands-free phones are almost as bad. Apparently it is safer to be slightly over the legal alcohol limit than to drive and talk (hands free) while sober.

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