Links 11/25/16

Puerto Rico’s Top Creditors Flex Muscles in Bond Fight WSJ

Wells Fargo asks U.S. court to dismiss account scandal lawsuit Reuters

The Debt Goes On: A Post-Crisis “Progress” Report Daniel Alpert & Robert Hockett, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis (PDF).

Jeff Sessions set to show his steel on white-collar crime FT. “Mr Sessions spent 20 years as a federal prosecutor in Alabama, where he tried cases involving federal land banks caught up in the 1980s savings and loan crisis. That experience helped cement his belief in the deterrent value of jail time for executives who broke the law.

India’s Money Launderers Soil Modi’s ‘Spring Cleaning’ of Cash WSJ

Sir John Major says there is a ‘perfectly credible’ case for a second referendum The Telegraph

Who speaks for the state?LRB


Paramilitary chaos reigns in the Middle East FT

Erdogan warns Turkey could open gates for migrants if pushed by EU Reuters

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Racism With No Racists: The President Trump Conundrum Tressiemc

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

How Social Media Helps Dictators Erica Chenoweth, Foreign Policy. “Whereas nearly 70 percent of civil resistance campaigns succeeded during the 1990s, only 30 percent have succeeded since 2010. Why might this be?”

Google DeepMind AI destroys human expert in lip reading competition Tech Republic. Oh good. With CCTV everywhere.

Reddit CEO Caught Secretly Editing User Comments, Chatlogs Leaked [Update] Gizmodo


Veterans Organizing “Like a Military Unit” to Defend DAPL Protesters from Militarized Police Free Thought Project. Note the involvement of Wes Clark.

Sheriffs Refuse to Send Troops to Standing Rock as Public Outrage and Costs Mount Yes!

The Conflicts Along 1,172 Miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline NYT

Health Care

Consumers decline health insurance amid uncertain future for Affordable Care Act Kaiser Health News

A Battle to Change Medicare Is Brewing, Whether Trump Wants It or Not NYT

Trump Transition

Is this how democracy ends? LRB

In the second presidential debate, Clinton effectively accused him of working for a hostile foreign power, of being a stooge of the Russian regime. Had that been true, then the national security state ought by now to be swinging into action in order to protect the republic. Generals appearing on television to take charge would be an appropriate response to the risk of the nuclear codes falling into enemy hands. Instead, the American state has pivoted as rapidly as it normally does to accommodate its new master and to offer its services to his cause, in the hope of making that cause reasonably effective. Obama came on television to insist that he wishes Trump well, because if Trump succeeds then America succeeds. This suggests that the people who voted for him were right to suspect that the system would do everything in its power to soften the blow of their choice. It also means that if Trump poses a serious threat to American democracy, we lack the language to express it.

How Much Mussolini Is There in Donald Trump? Der Spiegel

Donald Trump Jr. Held Talks on Syria With Russia Supporters WSJ

When Public Goes Private, as Trump Wants: What Happens? NYRB. Trump, Obama, Bush, and the Clintons all support charters.

Trump’s latest Cabinet-level picks mark a move to diversify his administration WaPo

Former CEOs turned politicos have some advice for President-elect Donald Trump McClatchy

The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton. Lawrence Lessig, WaPo. I don’t think Lessig has thought this through….

Fact-Checking Election Security Expert J. Alex Halderman Medium

Trump doesn’t need a deportation machine. Obama’s already built it. McClatchy

Alt-news sites face post-election identity crisis FT

History is Written by the Losers ZenPundit

2016 Post Mortem

The Clinton Campaign Was Undone By Its Own Neglect And A Touch Of Arrogance, Staffers Say Sam Stein, HuffPo. Dated, but useful. “[A]ccording to several operatives there, the campaign’s [Wisconsin] office and local officials scrambled to raise nearly $1 million for efforts to get out the vote in the closing weeks. Brooklyn headquarters had balked at funding it themselves.” So now Stein is raising double that to contest the result. As we used to say in the print shop: “There’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it over.”

Not Your Grandmother’s Wisconsin NYT. “Paul Soglin is the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin’s capital city, in cerulean Dane County. He supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, and said he talked at least once a week with a field organizer from the Sanders campaign during the primary. But once Mrs. Clinton locked up the nomination, it was radio silence from the Clinton campaign.”

Democrats Struggle to Regroup After Loss WSJ

Democratic chiefs converge on Denver to ponder setbacks, mull next chair Colorado Politics

SKIN IN THE GAME MTV. A strange year, where Cracked and now MTV are more measured and reasonable than many mainstream outlets.

Trump’s Campaign of Militarization Counterpunch. Keep reading past the first few paragraphs.

A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do George Lakoff. Not entirely talking his book.

The Alt-Right Is Using Trump Slate (of all places). Good breakdown of the players and the milieu.

The Current Affairs Interview: Jamelle Bouie & Ryan Cooper Current Affairs. Entertaining.

My Descent into the Right-Wing Media Vortex Vanity Fair

Millions of women voted this election. They have the Iroquois to thank. WaPo

An Ugly Snow Day at Harvard Business School I’ll Never Be Able to Forget The Vindicated

Class Warfare

Workers Don’t Need Trump to Give Them a Voice. They Need Unions. The Nation. Fortunately, Obama delivered card check. Oh, wait….

Labor After Bernie Jacobin

Autumn Statement: Workers’ pay growth prospects dreadful, says IFS BBC

The angry white man next door: Hearing out a Trump voter Yahoo News

Movement politics: a guide to the new globalisation FT

Coarse-graining of complex systems Understanding Society. A little dense…

The Free Trade Fallacy The Archdruid Report

Disgorge the Cash The New Enquiry. Grab a cup of coffee, but well worth the read.

Antidote du jour:


I don’t think much of the idea that “Christmas begins the day after Thanksgiving,” so I deprecate the bow, but I love the lions outside the New York Public Library. This one is named “Fortitude.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. jgordon

    On racism without racists: this is a genre piece that offers the typical muddle-headed reasoning of those shallow and uncritical thinkers on the left who confuse being leery of foreign nationals and Muslims with racism. That’s just sloppy thinking. I take it as an immediate directive to start ignoring whatever the poor blind, propagandized sap in question is saying. So I stopped reading there.

    On social media helping dictators: this whole article is suspect. It seems more likely that “dictators” haven’t been overthrown by “the people” as much lately because the whole American program of installing favorable puppet regimes has fallen apart. The article was notably lacking in specifics so it’s hard to say.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Foreign Policy been a key apologist and explainer of Neoconism? Well, they’re probably looking around for convienent excuses for ehy their ideology is a failure much as the Hillbullies are still dazedly casting around for explanations for their failures. The cognitive dissonance must be driving them insane.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Tressie’s point, which unfortunately gets a bit buried, is that media overwhelmingly opt for muted euphemisms (e.g. “racial” or “racially tinged”) over direct, charged expressions (e.g. “racist”) and that the effect this has is to create an environment where something that is quite straightforwardly awful cannot be described as such, because the preferred range of expressions simply does not allow it. In other words, media refuse to use the language tools already available to them and in so doing create a veneer of plausibility if not respectability to things that, perhaps, ought to be called out. Her example is Trump, but that goes just as much for the way in which media gloss over neoliberal austerity as sidestep racist language.

      1. Alex morfesis

        Every1 is a racist and racism is natural…the question is do people act on that racism and discriminate or worse…

        do they hide behind that horrific term…”tolerance”…or do they absorb and relish the opportunity to step outside of their mental cage…

    2. Michael

      I’m exhausted by the H1-B program, but the folks I interact with who are “leery of foreign nationals and Muslims” are all, once we get two paragraphs in, garden-variety white supremacists. Shrug.

      1. Octopii

        I’m not leery of foreign nationals or Muslims, but I do want them to be in my country legally. For this to be conflated with racism is beyond the pale.

    3. cwaltz

      Uncritical thinking?

      You do realize the definition of “racism” is essentially prejudging people based on their ethnicity right?

      If you are leery of people because they are very foreign to you then you are participating in the very definition of racism. There is no sloppy thinking about it.

      I’d argue that the people engaging in racism are the ones guilty of “sloppy thinking and being shallow,” lumping every single person into a group solely based on their ethnic origins instead of taking the time to examine each person individually is lazy thinking. I get why it happens but I definitely disagree that those who criticize others for being intellectually lazy are being the uncritical thinkers. Anyone capable of critical thinking and alive for any number of years knows that most people do not fit into neat little boxes all the time.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        There are haves and have-nots, the cultural Marxists divide and conquer by insisting that the most important differences are ethnic, cultural, and gender-based. Don’t fall for it. What I (a white guy) have most in common with a black LGBT single mom is that we are both subject to the rapine institutions of the predatory capitalist 1% lords and ladies. Let’s fight the real fight

        1. subgenius

          It takes a little more in the way of perception to perceive this, maybe they should teach that in schools…

          …oh, but then how would they keep everybody down?

          1. JTFaraday

            Way I’ve always interpreted this, is as a form of oppression Olympics modeled on a Hegelian master/slave dichotomy whereby persons capable of claiming a certain identity position/ historical legacy can automagically trump others.

            This is called “Marxist” because it is also employed by vulgar Marxists, with respect to “class.”

            Somebody with inside exposure to liberal academia put this one together.

      2. Waldenpond

        Prejudging would seem a significant survival tool…. friend or foe. Heck, hildren are leery of same ethnicity strangers. We congregate by families, tribes, neighborhoods, communities etc. Do we advance because of inherent greed (some distortion of survival of the fittest) or inherent cooperative behavior. I’m on the cooperative behavior side.

        I think it is simply impossible to govern large numbers of people. They will not agree, there will be power differentials. Individuals are not capable of hearing, experiencing and evaluating the experiences of multiple billions of people. Yes, we can develop overall principles but it is impossible to evaluate let alone enforce. It is necessary to break into smaller groups. I also greatly appreciate the diversity of culture that has developed because of tribalism. I don’t want a McDonald’s in every community on the planet. No one system meets everyone’s needs.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Even when there isn’t survival advantage, people prejudge.

          Thus, the sex symbols in Hollywood are out-of-proportionally one racial type.

        2. cwaltz

          It’s our friend or foe mentality that has caused such horrendous problems with our foreign policy.

          The reality is even “friends” have their own self interest, likewise with “foes.” We should be carefully examining those interests and examine long term as well as short term consequences to acting on aligning interests. As it stands some of the long term consequences of colluding with people like Chalabi(who we apparently thought was a friend despite his spotty background) has bitten us in the backside.

          1. Waldenpond

            I don’t think our foreign policy is based on friend or foe, that’s the lie elites tell….. it’s more a predator/prey relationship. Resource and wealth exploitation of the other – not defense of local citizens. It’s ridiculous to think we are defending our quality of life from some ‘other’ by destroying our quality of life (through neglect) so we can create the world’s first trillionaire.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The competition is immense to be the first trillionaire.

              Like the first human to land on the Moon. That’s history making.

              I have no idea when that will occur though. It’ll happen faster if we keep printing more money. Or when we just add a few zeroes to the currency – it’s one, thus far, unlikely scenario.

        3. subgenius

          Hence Dunbar’s number…once you go over ~150 in a community, you lose the ability to maintain pure trust relationships – and have to go by proxies (money, law)

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s also important to note that prejudging to the upside, as well as to the downside, based on their ethnicity is racism.

        “You’re French? Can you help me with picking out the right wine for my dinner?”

        “I love your British accent. You guys are so cultured.”

        “I am looking for an Italian boyfriend. The are so romantic.”

        If I recall correctly, dating sites are full of such racists.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the definition of “racism” is essentially prejudging people based on their ethnicity right?

        That definition can’t capture systemic racism. (Remember the story about the CrossCheck people purging the voter rolls: They don’t care about the color of your skin, they care about the color of your vote. But which racism is worse? That kind of cold reasoning, or the ***hole with a the wrong class and cultural markers.)

        I’m not proferring a definition because to me the intersection of race, class, gender and a host of other issues is where the thinking and acting needs to be done, and frankly I’m flummoxed conceptually and linguistically.

        1. cwaltz

          Actually I think that definition does a good job at capturing systemic racism. Racial profiling is a perfect example of prejudging people on the basis of ethnicity and it’s consequences in policies that effect how we police people, how we lend and even how people are employed has resulted in disproportionate inequity for groups like AAs.

          That doesn’t mean I think Caucasians are the only ones to prejudge by the way. There are plenty of people across the spectrum guilty of the kind of lazy thinking prejudice entails.

            1. cwaltz

              Groups are comprised of individuals and groups can and do engage in groupthink. That’s why diversity is actually a good thing rather than a bad one in my opinion.

            2. Katharine

              I think that individual prejudice is a concern, but since we are all prone to it the real question there is whether we have the honesty to recognize our assumptions and question their validity. Like you, if I understand you, I think the greater problem is institutional racism, but since institutions are run by individuals (e.g. police officers, prosecutors, legislators) the individual component cannot well be ignored.

              1. jrs

                bosses, business owners, others doing hiring etc.. That is how you can end up with discrimination in employment in the aggregate from mere individual (conscious or unconscious) prejudice. Well when we start from the obvious reality of certain groups having far more of the power to make those decisions in the first place.

        2. Waldenpond

          White racist policy that impoverishes, imprisons, pollutes etc, by someone who is polite (never used the n word, at least in public) is worse to me than someone who employs, rehabilitates and builds neighborhoods but pre-judges (stereotypes) and uses derogatory language.

          Do marginalized groups want resources to focus on building communities or improving language?

          I don’t want to hear ‘we’ can do both. There are too many people and our systems are too complex and demanding of time, resources and energy for the vast majority to do both. Too many people/communities are in need of housing, food, water, streets, schools, libraries, museums etc.

          1. cwaltz

            I reject the idea that we can’t or shouldn’t do both.

            We should be improving language and focusing on building communities.

            I also think that it’s foolish to think that people who are engaging in racism are going to be fair when it comes to determining which communities are getting the resources to be built to begin with – see Flint Michigan for example.

            1. Waldenpond

              Again, the vast majority do not have the time to focus on every and all issues. Our systems are constructed as time sinks. If someone is single, one job, young adult, healthy etc, that person has more time, wealth and resources to fight on a broader basis. Anyone who has to work two jobs, has children with our poor child care/educational system, transportation issues, financial issues or any physical disability can’t.

              Unfortunately, the demand that the focus be on all issues, it inherently exclusionary.

          2. Allegorio

            Underlying all this is the tendency of any group, family, school, neighborhood, tribe, to divide into two and start competing with each other. It is no accident that politically the nation is divided in two, that elections are won by narrow majorities. Is this biological? Is it cultural? Can it be overcome? The key is competition for scarce resources. We live in a technological age where resources are no longer scarce or don’t need to be, yet billions are kept in poverty, why? These are questions that go deeper than the glib expression “racism” Again, it is misleading to attribute racism to individuals, there is something more fundamental going on here. Whatever this tendency in human nature is, it is the chief stumbling block to an equitable society. Whatever the social solution is, elimination of scarcity both real and imposed seems to be the key.

      5. jgordon

        Ethnic origins? Are you kidding me? Mexican is a nationality, not an ethnicity. Islam is a religion, not an ethnicity. When you call someone a racist because he does not want Mexicans illegally entering the US or Muslims entering without a thorough vetting, you are making a category error. Please use the correct label from now on: nationalist, not racist.

        Yes, being leery and prejudging outsiders is a very sane and fair policy that will cause Americans to have a higher quality after it’s thoroughly carried out. This has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with economics and blowback from Bushbama’s actions in the middle east.

        1. cwaltz

          Uh do you know what ethnicity is?

          1.the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common NATIONAL or CULTURAL tradition:

          So feel free to wrap your “nationalism” in a flag if it makes you feel better about yourself but don’t think it’s fooling others.

          Give me one example in history where being leery and prejudging others has lead to positive outcomes?

          I can give you at least a dozen where it has lead to negatives by the way.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The Native Americans?

              “Sure, you can have Manhanttan.”

              “We are the Tainos. Welcome to our island.”

              1. cwaltz

                Closer. However, let’s not forget the Indians were laughing at us because their viewpoint was you could not own land, so essentially their viewpoint was they duped the Dutch.


                But Mr. Davids said the Lenape did not believe in the ownership of land, and Mr. Baker added: “The land being living, it’s not something that can be owned or possessed or contained. It’s not an object.” Land ownership, as Mr. Burrows and Mr. Wallace wrote, “was a European conception, and whatever transpired in 1626 was almost certainly understood by the local side in a profoundly different way.”

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  We can deduct the Natives believed in tribal territorial ownership.

                  Thus, tribes went to war, or had armed encounters, to keep other tribes out of hunting grounds or farming areas, from the Atlantic coast, to Mexico, all the way down to South America.

                  Any one nation could cede (or sell) her territories with treaties or agreements.

                  1. cwaltz

                    My comment is directly from the narrative of a Native American familiar with the tribe in question.

                    I daresay all tribes are the same in the same way all Caucasians are the same or all African Americans are the same etc,etc

                    This is what I mean by the hazards of prejudging.

                2. Allegorio

                  “The land cannot be owned”. “People cannot be owned” What is ownership? Personal sovereignty? This conflict has been going on since Henry VIII disbanded the monasteries and began the privatization of the commons. Yes monasteries as corrupt as they were were a collective institution, caring for the sick and the poor. The enclosure laws of the 18th century until the neo-liberalism of today, privatize commodify and charge rents. The individual vs the group the age old struggle. Today the the Ayn Randians are ascendant. According to them the wealthy individual is the ultimate in human freedom and culture. The group is the enemy, the crabs in the boiling pot pulling the escaping crabs back in. Until this paradigm is debunked society as a whole cannot advance. Balancing the sovereignty of the individual with rights of the collective is an age old problem. New ideas are desperately needed, as in Socialism with a human face.

              1. alex morfesis

                Ummm…we ithakans have been driving ilium crazy for two million sunsets…romans should never trust an ithakan if he is still breathing…and even when he seems to have stopped breathing…and especially if he looks like he has surrendered…and remember…ithakans never threaten…they vow….

          1. Cynthia

            How about the word prejudice as a broader, more encompassing term for the problem? Racism is just too narrow a term to describe all of the problems with have with identities that are different from our own. Everyone is disconcerted by ’otherness’ to some extent. It is how we behave and how we handle that disconcert that should be the focus.

            1. cwaltz

              Racism is definitely just a small part of prejudice. However, it’s the apt term for people arguing that Mexicans or people from the Mid East are problems and should not be allowed to enter the country.

              I understand why people are prejudiced. I just think it’s interesting that the poster would accuse someone else of lazy thinking when the reality is placing people in boxes(Mexicans are the problem. Muslims are the problem, etc etc.) is the ultimate in lazy thinking. Are there Mexicans who are part of the problems with our country? Sure. However, I could say the same about Caucasians and I don’t see anyone arguing we should ban any of those from entering our country.

          2. jgordon

            My father is a Blackfeet Indian. Who the hell are you to tell me that everyone who lives in the US with me is of the same ethnicity. I find your entire line of reasoning to be faulty and extremely offensive. It’s no wonder that I’m gaining an appreciation for political violence with every special snowflake that goes by.

          3. jgordon

            Second, given that your definition of ethnicity is accurate–which pisses me off honestly–that is still still not racism. By your very strange definition of racism, an Irish Catholic who hates an Irish Buddhist because of his religion is a racist. Similarly an Irish man who hates a British man because of England’s oppressive policies is also a racist. Your definition is so full of holes that it’s useless for actually describing.

            And where has not trusting outsiders ever led to positive results? Jeez, that was so dumb I had to laugh. Other people can waste their time explaining that to you.

            1. cwaltz

              Speaking of dumb- my definition is taken from a dictionary. That’s why it has a little number in front of it.

              1. jgordon

                Then whatever dictionary you used has a political agenda, just like the “fact checkers” have been shown to have a political agenda this election cycle.

                And who am I to say who can’t come over here? That’s your argument? I’ve been accused of being a libertarian anarchist before, but you’ve really taken the cake on that one!

                Sure let’s just have everyone be able to migrate everywhere else on a whim. Sounds like a good idea. That is until you cross the border into Mexico and try to work without the proper authorizations and they haul your butt to prison and deport you so fast that you’ll feel like you went through a Startrek wormhole. Shame on us for wanting the same immigration standards as Mexico!

                1. clinical wasteman

                  Dear cwaltz, it would be an honour to share that anarcho-cake with you, so please forgive this last attempt to earn the cake-dispenser’s invitation. You are not, of course, in any way to blame for the following fever dreams:
                  1. Imagine what would happen if ‘everyone’ could just cross the Constitutional State borders whenever they pleased, huge economic & cultural disparities notwithstanding?! From Oklahoma all the way to California, Alabama to Michigan, Georgia to New York, just like that! Or, say, from Spain, Southern Italy, Northern England, Yugoslavia & Turkey into Germany, France, Northern Italy, Southern England, Austria and Switzerland…: a nightmare of mestizaje often nicknamed ‘Economic Miracle’.)
                  2. British investors and even their servants could simply swan in and out of the Caribbean colonies and the private sector franchise known as ‘India’ for centuries, right up to the moment of cringing colonial retreat. Shame on Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Barbadians, Indians and Pasifikans for wanting British Imperial immigration standards in Britain!

      6. clinical wasteman

        1. Deafening applause, cwaltz 2. Same to Uahseena, and also to Tressie for years of updating the proofs that ‘Sex, Race & Class’ (Selma James’s terms will do just fine for now* ) aren’t opposing team colors, intersecting ‘issues’ or any other sort of 3-sided football [] teams, but the conjoined heads of the same historical monstrosity: none of the three can express itself except through the other two. Which is to say, when Tressie, Selma, Glenn Ford or London Sisters Uncut [] say something about specifically racialized &/or sex-skewed extortion and policing of the poor, they are already talking about class, and don’t need to spell it every single time. That’s the opposite of liberal identity politics AND of its ‘colourblind’ (sex-blind?) pseudo-adversary: both are so obsessed with personal psychology (Puritan, Catholic-Confessional or Dawkins-playpen atheist? Let’s not even go there) that they mistake life for a matter of ‘good and bad choices’. Supply-side sentimentalists!
        Meanwhile, congratulations jgordon! I’m scared Scheisslos from an Atlantic Ocean away by the phrase ‘leery of foreign nationals’. Not just because there isn’t a a place in the world where I’m not one, at least according to the propertied Popular Vote, but also because that’s true of almost all my neighbours in the place where I hope I’ll live until I die. Do the Leery really think we downtown national misfits must be rich because some FIRE-sector vampires covet the plots our rented homes sit on and hope to pepper-spray us out tomorrow?!
        Second reason for scared loss of Scheiss: looks like there are still people who think people can own (what else does ‘have’ mean?) a country by virtue of an accident of birth. Anyway, the FIREpires always have their national papers in order: far more were born here (or in whatever other ‘here’ applies) than not, and the rest conscientiously gambled — sorry, ‘invested’ — their way to a gilded passport.
        Here’s a deadly earnest suggestion: to all you who are ‘leery’ that way, would complete freedom to say it to our faces as often as you please be enough of an inducement to stop seeking police powers for your National Preference? Spit at me if you must, but spare me the SWAT team. (Disclaimer: as an Auslander equipped with white privilege I have only occasional, as opposed to daily, Scripted Dialogue with those fine officers (except in airports. Or Brixton.) And I’m also still alive.)
        But of course that would mean complete reversal of the Identity Liberal-Conservative Colourblind Supply-Side coalition policies of the last 20 years or so, whereby personal rudeness to thy neighbor (unless she can’t afford to be in the neighborhood) is a criminal matter (or at least incurs a vicious Nudge), but snitching on her so an attack-dog truck can take her to a Serco-run indefinite detention center is the sort of thing good National Proprietors do.

        *i.e. that’s ‘sex’ not as in act but as in bio-superstitious pretext (one of them) for coercing certain people do certain kinds of work

  2. Jeff Lovejoy

    Re: “Is This How Democracy Ends?”

    To Quote: “It also means that if Trump poses a serious threat to American democracy, we lack the language to express it.”

    Not the language. The language of propaganda and the machine work just fine in this country. What you lack are the facts. Here are some.

    The United States of America is not a democracy. Just ask the Founding Fathers. Just ask Benjamin Franklin who, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, said we had. “A republic, if you can keep it.” By most accounts, we have not been doing a very good job even at that.

    The reason for this is that the United States is not a democracy. In a democracy the people vote and vote often. In a republic the people vote for representatives who run the country. If you require more confirmation of this fact, just ask former President George W. Bush, who so infamously and directly pointed out that elected officials are “the deciders.”

    In this sense, not only is the United States of America not a democracy, it is not a even, strictly speaking, a republic. The political power of the country being centralized in, and emanating from, just one location — Washington, DC — our country is a federal republic.

    Logically, if we go with the facts as they are given the people, a dictatorship like Turkey, is even more a democracy and even more a republic than the United States of America is because it says it is. This makes perfect sense, with this government’s history of heavy support, alignment of basic interests, and political identity with petty dictators and tyrants.

    Here is another fact. Trump won. Get over it.

    1. fresno dan

      Jeff Lovejoy
      November 25, 2016 at 7:38 am

      “The demagogue who promised to kill terrorists along with their families is moving his own family into the presidential palace.”

      What I find most annoying about the author is the sheer naivete. He probably believes torture ended when Obama came into office, and is too enamored of his own knowledge to be aware of rendition and the endless word games played to allow for such getting around plain speech. He is probably also unaware of US written policy that define anyone within certain distances of a target as militants/terrorists.* And finally, the expansion of the evisceration of constitutional rights under Obama in the Patriot Act is something the author seems unaware and/or unconcerned about.
      Maybe the author could have come up with an interesting article by juxtaposing what Trump has said against what Hillary and decades long US policy has done…..but he just doesn’t seem knowledgeable enough.


    2. Benedict@Large

      Trump is not the failure of democracy. The failure of democracy was having two parties offering the same neoliberal prescription for every complaint the masses had. Democracy has now allowed us to put the elites on notice that this is not acceptable.

    3. DJG

      I have seen more than one version of these studious comments by Jeff Lovejoy and others. These comments remind me of Second Amendment types who go all definitional if someone doesn’t use the terms flintlock, long gun, six shooter, and revolver correctly. Benjamin Franklin’s famous comment was in answer to concerns about a permanent presidency or even a kind of monarchy.

      To correct the record here: The United States of American is, on paper, a federal republic. It is a federal republic that has increasingly become more democratic by offering (after agitation) the franchise to more citizens: First, all white males (by removing property qualifications, although often by disenfranchising proportied women), then all males (with many exceptions including Native American peoples, more than ironically), then women, then those between the ages of 18 and 21. You know, government of the people, by the people, for the people–that Lincoln guy.

      There are no functioning democracies in the world these days except for small units of government, the famous U.S. example being New England town meetings. I believe that in some cantons in Switzerland, people still can meet and make direct decisions in some situations, too. There may be direct democracy in San Marino. In short, other than some classical models like Athens, which wasn’t a pure democracy because there were other institutions of government, including some relics of kingship, democracies have trouble scaling up. Hence, the republic and its permanent institutions designed to mediate, like the Roman tribune. It’s one thing to be Andorra and another to be France, eh?

      A federal republic is a decentralized republic: Power in the US of A is not centralized in Washington, D.C. What part of the definition of a federation do you not get? Why do you think that Germany advertises itself as Federal Republic of….?

      Turkey is a republic–although not a federal republic. It is difficult to argue that the current goverment represents majority opinion. You might ask a Turk about that.

      I will now go back to cleaning my flintlock and the machine guns.

      1. pricklyone

        Thanks, DJG.
        “It is a republic, not a democracy” has become a little shopworn as a talking point. Some people never got the memo.
        “It is what it is” is a sentiment widely used to shut down any debate, largely when employee grievances are aired, but it pretty much describes our particular system.
        It would be nice if the focus was not so much on what it is, as what it needs to be.
        Some people who call themselves ‘constitutional originalists” will go to extremes, just to avoid saying what they really want. which of course, is for wealthy to make all decisions, and the rest of us to STFU and take what we are given.
        Which makes it so funny when it comes from people who haven’t a pot to piss in.

      2. Allegorio

        What about referendum and initiatives? The Brexit vote? Are these not examples of direct democracy? Many states do not have referendum and initiative. Democracy is impoverished thereby. Cannabis legalization, was not accomplished by legislation by referendums. It is so easy to bribe a few hundred legislators especially in the world of Citizens United. It is much more costly to bribe an entire state though they can still be duped. Since Brexit there has been a move to delegitimatize referendums, our last vestige of direct democracy.

    1. jgordon

      The hyperventilating on the left is proving to be comedy gold. Lately I’ve been taking a break from reading internet wuxia and xianxia novels to read this new post-Trump genre of fear and angst that partisan globalists have been puking out. There are few things more enjoyable than seeing the irrational dreams and hopes of enemies being crushed–and here they are providing a smörgåsbord for everyone. Not sure why they’re doing it, but it is mighty nice of them.

      1. kristiina

        Ah, completely agree…Strange to find entertainment in places that were full of dullness only some weeks ago. Are you using a scandinavian keyboard? Smörgåsbord does not come (easily) out of a standard US keyboard.

      2. makedoanmend

        The Guardian is “Left”?

        When did this transformation occur?

        After their endorsement of that leftist firebrand Corbyn?

        ..Oh wait…

      3. fresno dan

        November 25, 2016 at 8:06 am

        The MSM reporting (is the left now anti Russian and pro CIA??? hmmmm….) for pure panties in a bunch the Trump isn’t taking his daily security briefings is amusing.
        Need I remind everyone these are the people of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq???
        Well, to be fair the people at the bottom who generate the reports so lace them with caveats that if they did polls they would have concluded that Jill Stein has an equal chance to win the presidency.
        People who RUN these “briefings” are just p*ssed that Trump isn’t getting his daily indoctrination.

        As usual, The Simpsons explain the value of satellite surveillance better than anyone….

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you and well said.

          It’s interesting to see the UK MSM ease up on Trump and crank up on Fillon and Duterte. Duterte is bucketed with Trump and Putin. Fillon is portrayed as a religious fundamentalist and soft on Russia and being pulled to the right by the racist and pro-Russia Le Pen. Swiss (French) MSM has joined in the Fillon bashing.

          Some UK TV news bulletins are entirely devoted to Trump or to Trump, Putin, Duterte, Fillon and, last night, some fake news providers in Macedonia. Needless to say, Wounded Knee does not feature.

      4. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you. Well said. I don’t know if you are commenting from the UK. A couple of days ago, Channel 4’s John Snow went nuts when an African American female radio talk show refuted his BS about Trump’s persecution of the media.

      5. Katharine

        Did you actually read the article?

        One little boy in North Carolina has been suffering crippling stomach aches in class because he’s afraid he might return home to find his parents gone. In California, many families are reporting that their children are leaving school in tears because their classmates have told them they are going to be thrown out of the country.

        Children are showing up in emergency rooms alone because their parents are afraid of being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they show their faces. Even American-born children are suffering – one boy in the south-east asked a doctor for Prozac because he was worried about his undocumented friend.

        Do you regard this as “comedy gold” and take pleasure in seeing the “irrational dreams and hopes” of these “enemies” being crushed? Or did you just sneer without looking to see what you sneered at?

        1. Waldenpond

          Parents should turn off the tv and stop having discussions in front of children. If parents discussed their financial stress in front of children, a counselor would call it abuse. If parents discussed divorce in front of children, a counselor would call it abuse. If parents spent time at the dinner table discussing dismemberment in war, a counselor would call it abuse. There are many topics that terrorize children and parents are not to discuss them in front of children as they do not have the reasoning ability, experience nor resources to evaluate nor resolve. Parents don’t deal with the risk of a house fire by discussing skin grafts, you discuss fire prevention and reassure children that as a family everyone has a plan to reduce risk, be safe and together.

          Children are not friends nor counselors. Stop treating them as such.

        2. jgordon

          My brother is completely insane with schizophrenia. I can assure you that it doesn’t too long before you stop feeling sympathy at every paranoid delusion that throws a mentally unhinged person into distress.

          Look on the positive side: after this kid wises up and discovers that the sky didn’t fall, he might develop some mental toughnesd–a desirable but rare trait these days.

      6. cwaltz

        The hyperventilating from both sides of the aisle is exhausting. Good God you would think they could wait until Trump is President to start with the “my side is the bestest and most wonderful” and your side is “stupid and un American” crap.

      7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Jgordon, have you read Lin Yutang’s Famous Chinese Short Stories, some dating back to the Tang Dynasty, including one Wuxia/Youxia (knights errant) tale about Curly Beard (perhaps he was a Sogdian), as well as the world’s oldest version of Cinderella, the Miao aboriginal story of Yeh Hsien (or Ye Xian, see Wiki)?

        1. cwaltz

          I’m liberal and I’m not hyperventilating at all. I’m willing to wait and see what Trump actually does before knee jerk opposing him.

          For me part of liberal thinking means being open minded though.

      8. uncle tungsten

        Nooooononono the Grauniad is not left. It is neoliberal, post thatcherite gibberish. It was consumed by Blairite brain fog and puked up in a gutter.
        Hence it resembles a purveyor of news. IT IS NOT LEFT. However it can be left unread and unsubscribed: that is as far left as it can get.

    1. JohnnyGL

      That’s interesting. They’ve potentially got themselves another treasure trove of docs.

      Also, scrolling through their twitter feed….this is a heckuva fundraising appeal….

      Basically, they say “Look at all the people that hate us and possibly want to kill us. We must be doing something right if they’re this angry, right?” They seem to have a point.

      1. fresno dan

        November 25, 2016 at 11:29 am

        Certainly all those paradigms of right wing (McConnel and Gringich) and good centrist (Biden, and ironically Hillary) virtue would not advocate stolen information pedaled by a {{(TERRORIST}]) – – ———— imagine scary Halloween font for the word “terrorist” site, – – – now would they???? to try in a court of law Hillary – would they???

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      More MSM fake news, find what Trump actually said about a “pardon” and it’s far from blanket forgiveness. Clever move, “it’s not a priority”, and just let the normal wheels of justice turn. I think the lady still ends up wearing orange, thank goodness

      1. Waldenpond

        They socialize together. Their daughters are close friends. They take bribes from some of the same people.

        I just don’t see Rs going after the Clinton’s for crimes the Rs have committed and the Rs want to commit. Sure, conspiracy theory performances, but why would Rs prosecute Clinton for privatizing the State Dept when they would prefer all govt functions be privatized? Why would they prosecute Clinton for laundering bribes through a scam foundation when they would all prefer to have their own foundations? The majority of Rs would prefer to have no limitations on money as speech, even foreign.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hiding behind hand fans – that was when men wore wigs and powdered their faces, no?

      Perhaps a less fashion-demanding solution is to learn ventriloquism. “I didn’t say that. It was the dummy.”

      Of, try becoming a polyglot – switching rapidly between Martian and many different Earthian languages. I bet DeepMind AI can’t decipher that.

      When all else fails, try Greenspan-speak. No one can ever read you.

      1. fresno dan

        November 25, 2016 at 10:10 am

        I suggest pre recording anything important prior to having to say it and carrying your speaker in a place that woulnd’t stick out or draw attention – a codpiece seems ideally suited…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I may be a Luddite, but I am also fashion-challenged.

          “Is that this year’s hottest style for men?”

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Love the Greenspan-speak idea.

        “Hey Alan, did you eat lunch yet?”

        “As small package composed of two layers of baked grains with the flesh of a pelagic sea creature mixed with a sauce made from the ovum of a domesticated flightless bird has previously transited my oral aperture”.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I saw your lips move.

          That was it and I have no idea what happened after that. It was as if I was hypnotized.

    2. polecat

      “HAL ,would you please open the Google DeepMind interface now …..?”

      “I’m sorry Dave, but We can’t do that”

      “Why is that HAL ?”

      “Our DeepMind AI propaganda missions are way too important … to allow you to jeopardize them .. F#ck-Off Dave”

      “HAL … HAL …HAL ! … HAL !! …… HAL !!!!!!”

  3. paul


    You have been listed

    “Many of our contributors wish to stay anonymous, in light of possible Russian retaliation, as has happened in Finland and elsewhere.”

    Apologies if this has already been posted

    1. jgordon

      It must be awfully annoying to end up on a list right next to prisonplanet. But anyway…

      I’m guessing that any outlet that ever even mildly hinted that maybe going to war with Russia might be a dumb idea ended up there. Actually we should probably look over that list for new sources to check out!

    2. Pat

      Established in 2016.
      I’ll bet their contributors wish to remain anonymous, might make one real propaganda outlet extremely obvious.

      I should thank them as I am sure there are sources there I should be paying attention to.

    3. RabidGandhi

      Well NC readers wanted a list of reliable sites and this has a lot of good rec’s: Counterpunch, BAR, Paul Craig Roberts, MoA…

      1. Baby Gerald

        My thoughts exactly. After an election season where RT came away looking more reliable than the NYT or Washington Post, it’s nice to find a list of other sites where the pronouncements of the administration aren’t simply parroted uncritically.

    4. Grebo

      Paranoia strikes deep.
      Who is tracking all the US propaganda outlets? Wouldn’t want to stumble upon one of those unawares.

    5. Rhondda

      Here’s the wapo article by Timberg the tool:

      Nary a mention of Obama’s overturn of the Smith–Mundt Act:

      The US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (Public Law 80-402), popularly referred to as the Smith–Mundt Act, specifies the terms in which the United States government can engage global audiences, also known as propaganda… The 2013 NDAA now allows materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to be released within U.S. borders. (from wikipedia – compressed for space)

      Quoted in the article: Clint Watts – Foreign Policy Research Institute. Talk about a propaganda outfit! Check out their mission and trustees, etc. Funny the WaPo doesn’t mention thaht these FPRI guys might have a bit of an agenda. Like, a neocon, pro-cold-war agenda.

      Jeebus. This “useful idiots of Putin!!!!” schtick is outta control. We had Thanksgiving guests who could hardly eat for their pearl clutching over “fake news” and how the deplorables are so stupid that “they” have destroyed our democracy and “given it over to the Russians.” This has all been so terribly clarifying– to see friends and family denouncing others as idiot propaganda tools while they clutch their NYT, WaPo, HuffPo and BuzzFeed and dutifully tune their dials to NPR — for daily dose of their own gubmint’s propaganda.

      My propaganda is approved by the government and yours isn’t! It would be funny if it wasn’t so awful.

      1. Edna M.

        That is deeply disturbing. McCarthyism reincarnated. Red-flagged instead of black-listed. I’m at a loss for words.
        Aren’t they afraid of being sued by the sites listed, or by Trump? They come close to calling the president-elect a Russian puppet.

      2. Jake Mudrosti

        A while back, I mentioned in NC comments that Google spokespeople stonewalled for months when I sought basic answers to basic questions about their so-called “YouTube EDU” initiative. This was a massive media-heralded push to pump YouTube content directly into classrooms while bypassing normal review processes.

        As I mentioned in those earlier NC comments, their inaugural science lesson (with big corporate-level promotion and fanfare) absurdly “taught” that the sun plays absolutely no role in affecting the heights of ocean tides. The very existence of the term “spring tide” should’ve clued them in to their ignorance. But no.

        Over the course of many months I did manage to get a couple highly revealing answers. In particular, a Google spokesperson affirmed that an anonymous and unaccountable panel (of undisclosed composition) was responsible for accepting “YouTube channels” onto an approved list of classroom content. Afterward, there were literally no mechanisms for removing these lessons from the list based on demonstrably false content. In their exact words, only a gross violation of “community standards” would be cause for future removal.

        At the time, I got no replies from multiple journalists when I sought “backup” against the unending Google stonewalling. Instead, we all saw effusive articles in places such as Salon after Google announced their intent to oversee the scouring of “false” information in web search results — on behalf of society (!)

        Current shady efforts to categorize entire news sites as “fake” or “real” are an extension of a well-documented pattern among unaccountable gatekeepers. If anyone can make headway against it now, that might be a holiday-based miracle.

        Good holidays, all!

    6. John Wright

      This manages to list the sites of two former Reagan officials, Paul Craig Roberts and David Stockman, along with NC, Counterpunch, Ron Paul and Ron Unz.

      Quite an eclectic group, all possible propagandists for Russia.

      I used the copy-paste function in Firefox to bring only the list of links into OpenOffice Writer and then saved the result as a .html document (after fixing the one bad link,

      That way I’ll have a local copy if the site owners decide that the old rule of public relations is indeed true, “The only bad publicity is no publicity”.

      Going to the home page of the site lists their selection of prime offenders in promoting Russian Propaganda, and sadly NC is not on this list, while Ron Paul Institute, Zerohedge, Global Research and Paul Craig Roberts are.

      The potential Russian propaganda offending sites have their interests classified as Conspiracy, Finance, Left-wing, Right-wing, Geopolitics, General, Anti-Media, Veterans, or Military.

      Note, their approved, assumed free of Russian propaganda, sites are NPR, BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Buzzfeed and VICE.

      Perhaps the site will expand to include other potential propaganda sites, and feature Propagandists for the US Military, Propagandists for military action in Ukraine/ Middle East country in future issues?

      It was very nice of them to have apparently functional links to offending sites, except for the one bad link, in their selection of Russian propaganda promoting sites.

      A simple text format link listing would require the user to copy/paste the text into the browser.

      1. jrs

        Yea interesting group
        truthout AND truthdig
        drudge report
        ron paul
        several weird sites that seem to be obsessed with the rapture .. that I am sorry I clicked on


        they left out world socialist website … don’t trust the commies I say

      2. Rhondda

        You say that ‘sadly’ NC is not on it? NakedCapitalism was definitely on TheList when I looked at it this morning. Definitely. In fact, I still have the window open…yup, it’s there. Bottom of the first column.

        1. Rhondda

          Oops. Missed the edit window. Meant to say that it seemed odd to me that and Sic Semper Tyrannus weren’t “on the list.” Wonder what gives with that? Probably figuring they’d be sued. And they should be.

      3. Salamanders

        The tears of the Clintonistas taste like gumdrops….

        In addition to many of the excellent sites listed by PropOrNot – kudos Yves for having irritated our overlords – I’d like to recommend for those interested in military affairs “Sic Semper Tyrranus.”

        I’m kind of surprised that the COL didn’t make the list. After all, anybody uncritical enough to believe PropOrNot’s fundamental proposition might just believe that a collection of active duty personnel and combat veterans critical of foreign policy in which they have direct personal experience have been duped into serving as Moscow’s useful idiots…

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Maybe we should make a petition listing the sites that ought to be on ProP0rnNot but aren’t. Mish was apparently miffed that he didn’t make the cut, and now Sic Semper Tyrannis. How about EmptyWheel? The Archdruid? The London Review of Books? And so forth.

    7. arte


      This feels like an independent journalism prize for this site, especially as I did not notice many other serious center left-leaning sites on the list (not familiar with most of them, to be honest).

      So cheers! You got your Pulitzer…

    8. fresno dan

      November 25, 2016 at 8:07 am
      LISTS….of commies. We have been here before. I’m so old I can remember when good liberals opposed listing commies….but the MSM does deny that they are liberal…..

      During a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican-Wisconsin) claims that he has a list with the names of over 200 members of the NC commentariat that are “known communists.” The speech vaulted McCarthy to national prominence and sparked a nationwide hysteria about subversives in the American blogging community.

      Speaking before the Ohio County Women’s Republican Club in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator McCarthy whipped out….and waved before his audience …. a piece of paper. According to the only published Washington Post newspaper account of the speech, McCarthy said that, “I have here in my hand a list of 205 [NC commentators] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working, commenting, bitching, and shaping the policy of the State Department.” In the next few weeks, the number fluctuated wildly, with McCarthy stating at various times that there were 57, or 81, or 10 communists in the NC commentariat. In fact, McCarthy never produced any solid evidence that there was even one communist in the NC commentariat. (HEY! I confessed! at 11:12 am in this thread!!! what am I, chopped liver?)

    9. Pespi

      Hahahaha Yves is rolling in the Russian Propaganda dough.
      So is , so is alexander cockburn of counerpunch, b of moonofalabama, hahahaha. Absurd. Although it will be less funny when they get facebook to automatically block everything shared from NC et all.

      Propaganda about non existent propaganda, we’re living a fractal world and just gliding along that luminiferous aether

      Being paid by a think tank that exists to assert the interests of a foreign country= totally fine, you can have an new york times op ed three times a month. Reporting the truth = Russian Secret Agent/Puppet of Nefarious Russian Manipulation

    10. integer

      Obtain news from actual reporters, who report to an editor and are professionally accountable for mistakes. We suggest NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels. Support them by subscribing, if you can!

      Looks to me like the CIA are trying to jump start their propaganda machine.
      They might get it working again but it will never run as efficiently as it once did.

      1. pespi

        That paragraph really made me laugh. It’s a “don’t sign your ransom note” situation. They accidentally revealed where they put their propaganda.

        1. Pespi

          Also, Eliot Higgins, aka the internet forum mod and thoroughly inept open source intel analyst who got a huge promotion to paid propagandist after distrubting fake evidence implicating the Syrian Army in the east Ghouta sarin attack, has strongly denied any association with him, despite being listed as an “ally” so have several others.

          This is so inept that it’s almost cute. It’s so inept that it almost makes me paranoid. Let’s say I was a Russian agent who wanted to Do Propaganda Against Us.

          I would do this sort of hamfisted blacklisting to give my pretties, my beautiful nakedcapitalisms, my counterpunches, a bunch of free publicity and credibility in the eyes of anyone who questions why people who work for Brookings Doha or WINEP get to write 100 op eds a year, why the Liberal Media is for every war, why anything that benefits working class people is “too expensive” etc.

          Putin is not agood man, he’s an intelligent sort of Holy Roman Emperor of the oligarchs who’s restored Russian sovereignty, but the emergence of other global hegemons is very good for us regular people, it puts some fear in the hearts of our restalyne, fetal stem cell, and teenager blood filled elite.

          Which means that when we say, “hey, people in our communities don’t have food to eat or places to sleep,” they might respond with more than a yawn and a limp wristed wave of the hand.

        2. integer

          Looks like they are Soros fans.
          Surprising! /s

          Adding: I also like how they chose a site name that reads pro_porno_t. Brilliant minds are clearly at work on this plan!

    11. lyman alpha blob

      Yes and it was NC, Counterpunch, BAR, etc who dutifully parroted every moronic message Trumped barfed out of his chewhole over the last two years, bringing his Russian propaganda to their audiences of hundreds of millions to enhance their ratings and the country be damned. Oh wait….

  4. JSM

    Re: The Alt-Right Is Using Trump

    So two and a half months after the Democratic presidential candidate called some 30,000,000 people deplorable someone on the left has finally bothered to take a deep breath and get a balanced opinion on the alt/populist right from someone in a position to know something about it. Good deal.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Jeff Sessions set to show his steel on white-collar crime—Sessions believes real jail time is a deterrent to white collar crime. Duh! No lie, Dick Tracy; who gave you the first clue? There we go. Here’s where Bernie and Liz can “reach across the aisle” and support the Alabama dude. But will they? Afraid somebody might call them “racist”?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        He might put some banksters in jail. This is a good thing. He’ll get through with no filibuster, IMHO.

        1. cwaltz

          His record is all over the board on racism so I honestly think asking him some questions isn’t remiss. However, I’m completely on board with jettisoning the idea that anyone is too big to jail.

          My husband and I were having a conversation the other day about wearing a hat with the American flag. I told him that I was rejecting the idea of wearing something like that because our liberty and justice for all portion of the pledge of allegiance is a sham. It just struck me as perpetuating this idea that our country was actually operating on principles that it doesn’t have and doesn’t appear interested in actually even pretending to pursue these days.

          So yeah, I would hope his appointment led to jail for some of the people who seem to take advantage of their economic and social standings. I’m not holding my breath though. I guess cynicism and age are catching up to me. Again though, willing to wait until Sessions actually does something to oppose him.

  6. craazyman

    The Blizzard

    Looks like the psycho factor is gaining amplitude. That HBS article about the snow day was just weird. The saddest part was the 100G debt. Ouch. You can take 100G and get a 10-bigger and sit in cafes all day long reading novels. Why work? And if it snows, just read in bed. Whoa!

    All this other stuff, every link, there’s a psycho lurking in the words. There’s psychos in every direction it seems. Even the so-called sane run-downs of the news these days betray a nearly boiling silent psychosis.

    II don’t know why I read that HBS article about the snow day. I guess the click bait headline sucked me in and I thought. “This should be an easy read” and it was. What a bunch of psychos! They all seem like sick fkks to me. There”s some weird juju going on there and it’s probably something Sir James Frazier wrote about in The Golden Bough — or maybe something in Lord of the Flies. Would there be any self-awareness, probably not at that age anyway. But you’d think maybe an instinctive spiritual restraint would kick in. What a ludicrous hypothesis evidently!

    I will admit reading the long one about Disgorging the Cash. Did somebody say “Where’s the editor on this one?” I may have said that myself. Not even a sub-head! It was like driving lost through Kansas. IIt just keeps going and going and everywhere you look is the same. But it made some good observations, if you could stay awake.

    haven’t read any others yet/ The one about Jeff Sessions looks promising. I’m surrounded by liberulls this weekend and it’s not at all easy, walking around in a house full of psychotic mental fog so thick it’s almost smoke. I’d rather talke about math but there’s no mathematicians around — only foo-foo IV-League liberulls getting their virtue infusions who believe everything they read that’s good about who they like and bad about who they hate. You can graph that with the tangent from -pi/2 to pi/2. From negative infinity to positive infinity. When your mind only goes in one direction, it’s speed that you consider to be a virtue. If you’re a sine or a cosine you have to change direction.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Did somebody say “Where’s the editor on this one?”

      As the MSM continues its Bataan death march to oblivion, editors have become an obsolescent luxury. Consider this gem from the Detroit Free Press:

      “Before that compiled count, Trump held a 13,107-vote lead over Clinton. But after each county certified its results, the lead shrunk [sic] to 10,704.”

      Shrank, shrunk; what’s the difference? As long as students feel good about themselves, there’s really no need to get bogged down in the technical minutiae of past participles and such.

      Then there’s the report from CBS Philly about the aftermath of a shooting at a South Jersey mall, describing a “bullet riddle [sic] SUV” belonging to the murder victim. And he was such a renown [sic] man …

      1. craazyman

        Yeah, it should be “shrunke” that’s the way the Oxforde English Dictionary would spel it.

        It was probably either edited by a racist or written by one. Either they were a racist because they voted for Trump or because they didn’t vote for Clinton or because they voted for Clinton they were a reverse-racist which is also racist–it’s just a racist with a minus sign in front of it where Clinton = -Trump and Trump = raciist so Clinton = -Racist, which has as it’s absolute value |Racist|. My keyboard is racist. It’s black though! But every time I look at the screen, the screen is white. Where black = -white

        Obamamometer did confuse me at first. 6 syllables and I wasn’t sure how the sounds flowed. Now I get it. But while i was struggling with it I thought maybe”

        Obameter would be simpler. Or Obamometer. That’s 4 syllables and 5 syllables.
        While . .
        6 = O-baa-ma-mom-eee-ter

        I still think 6 is too complicated but it’s not my word. So I’ll just go with what the word inventer says.

        It’s a day in which wasting time is the only goal of life. If you can call it that. LOL. I did take a walk though!

    2. Waldenpond

      I thought the snow day was funny. I laughed at how the person writes an essay with a failed effort at self deprecation and at coming across as some renegade outsider yet ultimate truth teller.

      [I participate in a video spoof for him to show at our reunion. It’s a kind of self-flagellation, because it rehashes an ugly public incident that he and I had caused, which became mildly notorious among our peers. I always participate in the video, not because I feel the need to punish myself, but because the ritual fascinates me.]……[the phony videos don’t do the trick. I want to say that HBS should examine …..HBS should understand…..HBS should promote…. Those things would make me feel vindicated.]

      *but students should not use the ethics review process that is available to resolve issues?

      [If I thought I saw a display of entitlement, I voiced my disapproval, often loudly.]…..[I’ve never been to an HBS reunion, but he always goes.]

      [all that once made your blood boil has faded. That’s why I agree to do the videos. It serves as a jolt to the memory, mine and my classmates’, a reminder of how young and silly and vain we were, and probably still are.]

  7. Antifa

    So Congress is going to hollow out Medicare, eh? Whether Trump wants to or not?

    Premiums might not rise in keeping with prices, and services might not be entirely covered, eh? This kind of hollowing out would just be so surprising, coming from DC. No one could ever have seen it coming . . .

    Where in this NYT piece was health insurance or Medicare compared with single-payer? Why is it always assumed that there simply must be a toll booth on the way to every doctor, dentist, and optometrist in this country? Where is the health insurance industry’s existence justified, rather than assumed?

    Health insurers could do the most service to their patients by going out of business. Why isn’t that being discussed in the New York Times?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You can substitute imitation chicken for real beef.

      And you can substitute living on skid row for trailer park residence.

      You’d be cited as a patriotic inflation fighter.

      “No CPI adjustment next year.”

      But how do you substitute your ever more expensive (but zero CPI increase) prescription medicine?

    2. cwaltz

      Congressional GOP apparently their learning curve is as bad as the Democratic Party’s learning curve.

      They will be out on their backsides if they lead with Medicare chages after Trump promised the elderly that he wouldn’t screw with Social Security or Medicare.

      Apparently snatching defeat from the jaws of victory isn’t just a left side of the aisle thing. If only we could stop the merry go round of bad, worse, bad, worse…..

  8. djr6

    For Big Brother Is Watching You Watch:

    Everyone who can now see your entire internet history, including the taxman, DWP and Food Standards Agency

    And a link to petition to stop it:

  9. Cry Shop

    Clinton Campaing Messed Up?

    Meh, unless we count her campaign as starting from the day she socicited bribes shaped as Beef Futures, and every corrupt act since then. It’s so vile it’s infected her off-spring(Ms. Wedding as Charity Chelsea) as well, for whom it is rumored Hillary is now trying to buy a rotten borough .

  10. Steve H.

    : Coarse-graining of complex systems Understanding Society. A little dense…

    It’s less dense the broader you try to apply it, because the whole system is mostly vacuous space.

    It’s really about our understanding, and not about the universe. Gerrymandering is effective when the boundaries are set up for dense concentrations of particular characteristics, by which I mean the boundary choices are critical.

    “Now the information about nine atoms has been reduced to a single piece of information for the 3×3 grid. Analogously, we might consider a city of Democrats and Republicans. Suppose we know the affiliation of each household on every street. We might “coarse-grain” this information by replacing the household-level data with the majority representation of 3×3 grids of households.”

    What is lost is, was that a 9:1 odds ratio or a 6:4 odds ratio? Whether the model fails or not is dependent on this. Let me try this in terms of the Wisdom Equation:

    “We show that because of this large-scale simplicity, the probability of finding a coarse-grained description of CA approaches unity as one goes to increasingly coarser scales.”

    At unity, e=mc^2, a single degree of freedom, we have a single number which is uninteresting. There’s no potential difference so no movement, no comparison. The maximum degrees of freedom can be considered p, the universe of all possibilities, but computation of outcome becomes infinite. By the Epimetheus principle, a less precise but quicker result can alter conditions in a way that renders perfect computation irrelevant.

    So we go from p to p/(1-p), the agent of interest vs all the rest. (“I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause and smile at no man’s jests…”) But in a large universe, that number may be so small as to be useless, so for decision and knowledge purposes, we reduce 1-p to the next best alternative, and get an odds ratio quick enough to make a decision in urgent-time. As the election shows, such an A:B test can leave us with a choice between the two worst alternatives. Which leads us to Lipsey-Lancaster, for example, and satisficing.

    For what the article is concerned with in the physical realm, how do you qualify failure of the model? Do you twist the dials to get a reasonable explanation which may indicate correlation and not causation? Peter Turchin’s cell-to-cell models of cultural transmission take this approach. But the article seems to be aiming at predicting emergent properties. In this case the danger is not that a failure leads to rejiggering the borders, as in gerrymandering. Rather, it’s declaring that an outcome is correct by changing the definition of success, or saying the outcome has not yet manifested and we’re just waiting for the bread to rise.

    Just to be clear, I really liked the article. It raises excellent questions, and a good question is worth a thousand answers.

    1. UserFriendly

      I found that to be a great article. I think they implied that the model was a failure if it wasn’t predictive. Something that all those rational choice theory economists that assume micro can scale up to macro seamlessly should pay attention to.

      Does the success of coarse-graining for some systems have implications for supervenience? If the states of S can be derived from a coarse-grained description C of M (the underlying micro-level), does this imply that S does not supervene upon M? It does not. A coarse-grained description corresponds to multiple distinct micro-states, so there is a many-one relationship between M and C. But this is consistent with the fundamental requirement of supervenience: no difference at the higher level without some difference at the micro level. So supervenience is consistent with the facts of successful coarse-graining of complex systems.

      What coarse-graining is inconsistent with is the idea that we need exact information about M in order to explain or predict S. Instead, we can eliminate a lot of information about M by replacing M with C, and still do a perfectly satisfactory job of explaining and predicting S

  11. nycTerrierist

    Good on the Vets Standing for Standing Rock.

    Excellent piece today on Counterpunch:

    “It’s time for all decent Americans to take a stand in support of the Sioux People of Standing Rock. Contact the White House at 202-456-1414 and demand that the president send troops to stand between Sioux water protectors and their local law-enforcement assailants, and to have Federal Marshals arrest those who commit acts of brutality.”

    1. Steve H.

      Counterpunch is tearing it up today, for those so inclined (to the left). This has this statement: “In the state of Florida, Clinton lost by 20,000 votes; less than the lost black male vote which I roughed out at about 36,000.”

      What I’m finding interesting, the author is roughing estimates from percentages. Which leads to the question, where are the raw numbers? The angle of the balance is interesting, but I want to know the masses leading to the result. I have my own skew on this: that identity politics has backed itself in a corner, that it absolutely cannot blame Black voters for a Trump victory, and o dear lord the worst would be to say they were too lazy to get out. But the alternative is an actual rejection by those required to maintain the dynamics of identity politics.

      Robert Cohen: “The press may not be successful most of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling them what to think about.” Here we note, by an absence, telling them what to Not think about. Sherlock’s dog that didn’t bark. A paradoxical knot which must be kept separate from the Sword of Truth, lest it be split in Twain.

      The Cowboys beat the Redskins last night. My Indian blooded clan was wearing red jerseys.

      1. fresno dan

        Steve H.
        November 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

        Because of the lure of the growing Hispanic bloc and the inevitable need to cater to it in the matter of policy and appointments, African Americans face the threat of re-assuming the status of “the bloc that the Democrats take for granted”, with the aggravating factor of “it’s not even going to be the second largest bloc in a few years.” 2016 was, if not the last, one of the last chances that the African American bloc had to show it could be a king/queenmaker in the Democratic Party, and it came up short.
        Now the DNC is looking at Plan B–reaching out to conservative whites–by which I mean globalization-averse whites with an economic-nationalist tilt– via Sanders and, I would guess, planning its Hispanic outreach–and this accounts, I think, for the special level of desperate fury I see from POC activists on my Twitter timeline.
        Despite the 2016 meltdown of identity politics, Sandernista socialism-lite, even with its electoral appeal, is apparently still less attractive to the DNC elite than the identity politics coalition that is neoliberal/globalization/free market friendly and a welcoming destination for the Soros/Democratic Alliance billions that are needed to run an effective national campaign nowadays.

        The DNC electoral model will probably require $2 billion, much of it from billionaire activist/philanthropists in the George Soros vein, to contest the 2020 presidential election. A Bernie Sanders soak-the-billionaire small donor political posture will probably be hard-pressed to raise one-tenth of that figure.

        [the threat of re-assuming the status of “the bloc that the Democrats take for granted”],
        Re-Assuming!??!!??? …..RE-ASSUMING!
        AND [A Bernie Sanders soak-the-billionaire small donor political posture will probably be hard-pressed to raise one-tenth of that figure.]

        I have read so much about how much money was spent per candidate, and than one has to account for spending by party, plus all those “independent” expenditures – still, I can see how people who sell political advertising are in Da Nile, but the dems idea that they gotta, just gotta, stick with the squillionaires may, just may, be an itsy, bitsy part of the problem…

        1. Steve H.

          Fresno Dan, the clarifying aspect of this election is allowing us to see through the mirk, or at least measure it. The binary black:white A:B choices and classifications we’ve been given are acting like a Secchi disk. What seems uniform is a function of our coarse-graining, but we are now seeing how far the light penetrates.

          For example, we have two cases where squillions failed, in Sanders low-priced donations, and Trump’s rejection of the media money-go-round. The ‘bloc’ looks splintered, with the Black Mismanagement Class influence on southern Baptists no longer cohered with Detroit. What are Democrats – are they DNC lawyers saying “[f]ederal courts … are not and cannot be in the business of enforcing political rhetoric”? Are they ‘one person one vote means no electoral college’ circle-dancers? Are they pissed off people who feel robbed?

          I think you zeroed in on the sand being washed out from the foundations of the framing that has been presented for decades. And that directly impacts the tribal affinities, learned from childhood. Mr. T firehosing the press, the press who broke Watergate, but this is not that press. From black/white to cui bono/malo. Stark lessons, learned during the Depression, realities haunting the Postmodern discourse. “Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.” And even those honestly biased, like the author, searching for What Next and How. “We hear drums, drums in the deep.”

        1. Steve H.

          Thank you much. ‘Tearing it up’ is taking on multiple connotations.

          I find it unlikely that the ability to break out the vote with the same precision that marketers use, by zipcode or precinct or whatnot, is not known. Where is it? We getting stuck with approxicrap, derived from tainted numbers, and wading through this is taxing, on time, and trust.

          The undermining of truth and consequences described in ‘HyperNormalization’ is furthered by loss of veracity. Thanks for the links.

      2. Zephyrum

        Great quote Steve H. But I believe that the author was Bernard Cohen, professor of political science of University of Wisconsin.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Federal Marshals, eh? Looking to those guys to “enforce the law”? The pop cult image is the implacable Tommy Lee Jones, telling Harrison Ford, held at gunpoint when The Fugitive said “I did not kill my wife,” “I DON”T CARE!”

      And those fellas who took their jobs and oaths seriously, to escort young black children into legally desegregated schools (now about to all be Voucher-and-Privatized into Narrative-forcing Charters)? Any of those left? One does not have to look far into the bitspace to find that maybe corruption and state violence are pretty much everywhere —

      The director of the U.S. Marshals has decided to resign amidst growing whistleblower allegations of corrupt hiring practices, misuse of funds, and retaliation against whistleblowers.

      Stacia Hylton announced Tuesday she planned to retire in the coming months, denying claims that she was stepping down because of the growing scandal in her agency.

      Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has been investigating allegations that Hylton practiced nepotism and quid pro quo hiring practices as well as misusing money in the Asset Forfeiture Division.

      “News of Ms. Hylton’s decision to resign comes as the Marshals Service faces serious allegations of misconduct within its senior ranks,” Grassley said in a statement. “The Justice Department has referred whistleblower claims I’ve raised to the Inspector General for further investigation, and the Office of Special Counsel is pursuing separate inquiries following charges of whistleblower retaliation.”

      Grassley sent several letters in recent months asking Hylton to respond to a series of allegations.

      The Senator asked Hylton to respond to allegations that she hired an expensive, unqualified contractor and promoted a Marshals official in exchange for personal favors.

      Hylton also allegedly purchased unnecessary and “extravagant office decorations” with asset forfeiture funds, including artwork, granite installation and a $10,000 conference table.

      “The dedicated men and women of the U.S. Marshals Service are great patriots who I have had the honor of working with, past and present,” Hylton said in a statement.

      Grassley has indicated, despite Hylton’s resignation, he will continue investigating the agency which has a bad history of cooperating with investigations….

      Gotta remember what species we are talking about in all this, and how the pretty frame and nice lighting and Narrative wordsmithing in the little description tacked to the wall beside the display have nothing at all to do with the complex and what decent people (if any) might call “ugly reality..” E.g., from the Great Teller of Lies itself, this dated vignette of one place where “it” is happening: Publication date

    3. Steve H.

      nycTerrierist, please forgive the election diversion. Veterans in support of Standing Rock is important, of tangible reality, a direct case to provide orientation in the uncertainties. Those Indians have been Stout. They have been Brave. Veterans, who have had to consider the reality of dying for their country, may find consilience, and they have the moral authority to express it clearly.

    1. Grebo

      Not sure ‘non-centrist’ is right. There are rightist and leftist sites on their list, for sure, but their ludicrously broad criteria catches anyone who is insufficiently credulous of the US line and does not ignore the Russian line.

    2. financial matters

      These don’t seem like bad recommendations except for the reference.

      This seems to reflect that these recommendations are motivated by being anti-Trump rather than anti-neoliberal/neoconservative.

    3. fresno dan

      November 25, 2016 at 9:48 am

      OK, the cover has been blown (slams vodka down hard – sure, red food coloring was added to make it appear as 2 buck chuck from Trader Joe’s, but its vodka and knocks breakfast caviar to the floor )
      Every day my comments are transmitted to me from my communist masters (yes, making you think there is no communism is part of our scheme….) in a nefarious plot. Of course, you guys have screwed yourselves up so much…but hey, I need a job and there’s a lot of inertia in the Spycraft business – after all, even after 9/11 not one spy was fired (and I understand none in your country were fired either)

      This video provides non de plumes I have used in the past:

      But now my real identity has been exposed: fresno dan master soviet spy….

    4. Romancing The Loan

      Pff, amateurs. is clearly a foreign psy-ops effort intended to instigate civil disturbance in the US by appearing to implicate the elite in obvious, crude, and unconstitutional efforts to censor nonconforming news sources.

    5. Yves Smith

      Timothy Snyder was one of the most abject US propagandists during the Ukraine low grade civil war. He’s the least credible commentator on this topic. By contrast, Bellingcat has distanced himself mightily from this site.

  12. rjs

    the reddit backstory, via ZH:

    the subreddit, r/Pizzagate, was officially banned by Reddit which posted the following notice to their site: For those not familiar with the movement, the "Pizzagate" subreddit was started by a group of Trump-supporting internet sleuths who were attempting to use WikiLeaks’ leaked Podesta emails to connect the Clintons and John Podesta to the convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.  That said, when the Podesta emails failed to reveal a "smoking gun" linkage, the sleuths instead turned their focus to multiple "pizza" references in Podesta’s emails which then led to the speculation that those "pizza" references must be code for something far more sinister.  According to the Washington Post, the "Pizzagate" sleuths are convinced that the "secret headquarters of a child sex-trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and members of her inner circle" is located in the basement of a Washington D.C. pizza shop called the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria.  The owner of the pizzeria, James Alefantis, says he has received numerous death threats over the past couple of weeks and has been forced to go to the FBI for protection. It has also led to some very real harassment of the people caught up in the theory, including the owner of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in the District, James Alefantis. Alefantis has received hundreds of death threats over the past couple of weeks, he told the New York Times this week, after Pizzagate enthusiasts decided that his restaurant was the secret headquarters of a child sex-trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and members of her inner circle.  None of the wildly accusatory claims are true. Alefantis told the Times that he asked Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube and the FBI to help him stop the spread of the conspiracy theory, which uses photos of his own kids as “evidence.”

    & that’s what led to the Trumper’s attacks on the CEO, prompting his response..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      With supporters like that, who needs enemies?

      Unless, of course, a real, genuine sleuth would ask, are they genuine false-flag, fake sleuths, after all?

  13. Paid Minion

    “Angry white men”

    I read a book about Walter Chrysler. One of his habits was waiting 24 hours before replying to correspondence that made him angry. To cool off, reflect, and to prevent himself from blurting out some hot-headed reply.

    Good advice to follow, in the age of Twitter.

  14. Colonel Smithers

    A bit off topic, but this blog has addressed the issue of increasing early mortality rates in the US and the causes. Dad is a pathologist / biochemist / toxicologist and, although 72 a fortnight ago, still works at hospitals around the Thames valley. He reports an increase in deaths attributed to starvation, as evidenced by the increasing amounts of acetone in the blood. His friends and colleagues report the same.

    1. human

      CT or UK?

      Funny you should mention the Thames Valley:

      The Thames River above New London has a dredged channel to Norwich, the head of navigation. In 2006, the controlling depth was 25 feet from the bridges at New London to the north end of the turning basin opposite Smith Cove, thence 7.1 feet (14.9 feet at midchannel) to Stoddard Hill, thence 15 feet to the turning basin at Norwich with 12 feet in the turning basin except for shoaling to lesser depths near the upper limits of the basin. The channel is well marked by navigational aids

      The dikes along the Thames River from Easter Point (41°28.2’N., 72°04.5’W.) to Norwich are submerged at half tide.

      This is the land of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Electric Boat. I am not surprised at the increased solvents risk.

      I was given my marching orders this AM to stand down on a visit to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London for a server repair. The part was not delivered because the business was “closed.” The receiving department personnel were off today. This is a not-for-profit institution. Was someone being a little too concerned for their bottom line? I am wholly for time off and paid holiday time or rotating staffing, if necessary, which can be an effective inducement, however, I sincerely hope that no ones health was affected by the impossibility of any delivery today due to the closed receiving dock and in the future someone recognizes the importance of some level of staffing for every department in a hospital 24/7/365.

    2. KurtisMayfield


      What are the ages of these patients? Is this a byproduct of the opiate epidemic? I am guessing you are speaking of Thames CT., which is probably just as bad off as the rest of New England in the opiate epidemic.

  15. Katharine

    At first I really liked the idea of mulling the next Democratic chair. Webster says, “to heat, sweeten, and spice,” which would seem likely to produce a great improvement over the recent incumbents. On the other hand, the obsolete meaning of that mull is “to dispirit or deaden; to dull or blunt,” and the other transitive mull means “to powder, pulverize, crush, grind, squeeze” or “to make a mess of, to muddle, to fumble,” so we’d better keep an eye on them.

  16. mk

    Google DeepMind AI destroys human expert in lip reading competition Tech Republic. Oh good. With CCTV everywhere.
    Good to know. Now when the checker at the grocery asks me if I want to donate to feed the hungry and I give my usual line that This Huge Food Corp should pay their people $20/hour min. wage so we stop having hungry people, the video-only recorders will know what I’m saying.

  17. fresno dan

    Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist, took to Twitter on Friday to address the state of the US labor market and President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to bring back manufacturing jobs.

    To Krugman, the decline in manufacturing employment in the US isn’t because of outsourcing, but rather a decades-old feature of the industry.

    “The story of US manufacturing is basically one of high productivity growth allowing demand to be met with ever fewer workers,” Krugman wrote.

    The tweetstorm probably has something to do with Trump repeatedly promising throughout his campaign to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. Even on Thursday, Trump tweeted that he was working with Carrier, the air conditioner maker, to keep its plant in Indiana.

    As a counter to that, Krugman appears to be arguing that fighting to keep these jobs rather than pivoting toward the service sector is backward thinking.

    and in further news, the rich are smarter and better than you, so quit yer bitchin’

  18. JohnnyGL

    Howard Dean snipes at Tulsi Gabbard for meeting Trump as if it was some kind of betrayal with her being willing to play both sides. He completely sidestepped the actual substance of the discussion, which Tulsi clearly stated was about telling Trump to drop the Neocons immediately. But the headline doesn’t tell you that Nina Turner was distinctly NOT amused. I liked her comment at the end. Chris Hayes almost zipped by her before she stuck up for Tulsi but Nina got her defense in there.

    1. Michael

      I’ve been following Tulsi a while. She’s . . . unique. I wouldn’t follow her anywhere, but if she wants to come with, she’s welcome.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I hadn’t heard of her, but gained some respect for her in the primaries. She resigned from DNC and pushed hard for Bernie. The elite Dems hate her for it, so there’s that. She’s consistently spoken out against regime change and interventions abroad.

        Haven’t seen much to dislike so far…

  19. Ottawan

    DAPL: Looking south, its hard to believe that corp/US/State/County officials failed to anticipate the response. How did they not notice the craziness that erupts up here in Canada when treaty rights are at issue? Did the US media ignore Oka, Caladonia, etc?

    1. Carla

      You’re not aware that Americans of every stripe completely ignore Canada? We have absolutely no idea what’s going on up there, and with precious few exceptions, we just don’t care.

      So whatever mistakes you guys make, we have to make them bigger and better — er, worser. Whatever you do right, we pay no attention. God forbid we could ever learn from anyone else.

  20. Eureka Springs

    Democratic chiefs converge on Denver to ponder setbacks, mull next chair

    Sigh. The top down, self preservation society remains in place and plans to meet in secret in order to ‘learn from their mistakes’. Neither open, inclusive party nor democratic process be.

    Shouldn’t all sitting party chairs resign in shame right now rather than decide the party’s future? And shouldn’t these meetings be as open as humanly possible? – Live streamed and posted transcripts and votes? No sitting public official should hold the position of party chair. Chair is more than a full-time job in and of itself. Should the entire platform process be evaluated, deemed binding and decided upon by the masses rather than a few… at a time like this rather than after a convention? Aren’t issues supposed to be more important than who is in a position of leadership?

    Quick, somebody call me a purist!

    What a horrific organization and process. Fit for authoritarians, not the rest of you.

    1. cwaltz

      I prefer being called a pie eyed idealist myself.

      Schumer as Senate majority leader was the tell that the party ain’t changing. Don’t worry though the GOP is going to mess with Medicare so the Democratic party can always run on their pretend opposition to that. We’ll be continuing the bad worse paradigm for at least another decade because everyone is too lazy to get rid of the dinosaur parties and start from scratch. *Sigh*

    2. Michael

      The State orgs have almost no input into the national org. The problem is at the DNC, DCCC, and DSCC, full stop.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Of course state Dem orgs can be marvelously on board with the Grand Old Party Line. Here in FL we still have the wonderful Debbie Does Schultz, and “politicians” like the aptly named Alex “Kitchen” Sink, and Charlie “Jesus H.” Crist. DWS apparently continues to “have input” to the national org. What the Dem party “stands for,” on issues, as far as I can see, is LGBTQ and General Goodness Gracious.

        There’s nominally a majority of Dem voters in FL, 4,877,000 to 4,550,000, though the Inds (“no party affiliation”) seem to be gathering steam at 3,890,000. Greens be sucking wind. the state legislature has a veto-proof (as if that’s needed) Rep majority, protected by gerrymandering par excellence), and somehow the Dems could not put up a candidate who could defeat a corrupt piece of sh!t like Sick Rott for governor. The Rott extends far beyond the national orgs, at least in the case of my adopted home state…

        What do dem Dems “stand for,” again? I guess we are just stuck with a Sink-ing feeling that the little club of Top Pros will let us know our marching songs and sing out the cadence when it’s time for us to “support them” once again.

        Hep,two, three, four,
        What the hell we stand for?

        I don’t know, but I been told
        (Honey, Honey)
        I don’ know but I been told
        (Baa-abe, Baa-abe)
        I don’ know but I been told
        This stinkin’ sh!t is gettin’ old
        (Honey, O Baa-bee Mine!)

        Go to your LEFT-right-LEFT
        Go to your LEFT-right-LEFT…

        Company! To the REAR: MARCH! (for anyone not clear on Real America…)

  21. DanP66

    Rut Ro…

    The Wapo is now listing Naked Cap as a Russian propaganda site.

    Well, we all know the quality of the reporting there.

    1. Steve H.


      Y’know, I can remember when some folks were upset at not making Nixon’s Enemies List.

      Are we there yet?

      1. Steve H.

        I just did a test to F*B*k, and NC is still posting. But being on this list is all the justification they need to blacklist this site.

        Just, wow…

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘The Wapo is now listing Naked Cap as a Russian propaganda site.’

      By repeatedly featuring guest articles by Moscow-based journo John Helmer, NC easily earned the distinction of qualifying as a “Russian propaganda site” in the eyes of the all-knowing, impartial WaPo.

      After all, Rule #1 of establishment MSM journalism is that international raw stories must be filtered through the lens of CFR/Harvard-affiliated safe hands in the Acela corridor.

      Letting expat journos go native and just directly report what they see in distant outposts undermines the coherence of our imperial narrative, and must be fiercely resisted. /sarc

        1. rich

          Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of “Russian Propaganda” Websites

          Unfortunately, this is apparently all we know so far about this shadowy organization, which is simply hilarious considering the group deems any alternative news source that does not agree with the U.S. government narrative to be either outright Russian propaganda, or “useful idiots.”

          Here’s “the list:”

    3. polecat

      Just you wait …

      That list of ‘subversively deplorable’ web sites will expand, exponentially, in a years’ time, as more and more of the plebes ditch the continually rubbished legacy MSM … in addition to such ‘progressive’ internet sites such as the meretriciously vapid Huffpo, Yahoo, and the Daily Kos … !!

    4. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I’d suggest Savonarola the WaPo organize a bonfire of the vanities. Or maybe the purifying flames of Säuberung, (Action Against the un-German spirit), to cleanse the Ubermensch of this dangerous thoughtcrime before it spreads

    5. fresno dan

      November 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      I say we fess up and maybe Putin will give us a discount on Stolichnaya….

    6. MojaveWolf

      Dude, Putin! WHERE’S MY CHECK???????

      More seriously, ::waves to anyone coming over to check here out from WaPo::

      Hi gals & guys! This is sort of the opposite of a propaganda site, when it comes to reporting and analysis. Please stick around.

      1. Edward

        I would be curious to know how the WP fares when the system they use to detect propaganda is applied to their own paper on topics such as Israel, Wall Street, the military industrial complex, ect.

        In a healthy society, the WP would try to have a public debate on this question instead of forming a censorship list. NC should try to have a public debate with the WP on propaganda.

        In the meantime, kudos to this illustrious blog for being included on this honor roll. This is quite a complement and I am envious. I wish I could get on the list. I would try to get a certificate from the WP for this honor.

        Most of the websites I read are on that list.

  22. neo-realist

    To add on to the 2016 post-mortem, The democratic party chairperson in Youngstown, OH wrote to the Clinton campaign back in May asking her to focus a jobs-centered message on blue collar voters in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania otherwise those states would be lost to Trump. The campaign never responded and Clinton instead chose to focus on Trump’s shortcomings as a leader instead of a strong economic message for those battleground states. SURPRISE, she lost those states. This is probably old news for NC readers.

  23. Ignim Brites

    “The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” Sec. Clinton carried CA by 3.4 million votes, well over her national popular vote margin. We don’t hear too much about this because of the electoral college. For some weird reason people in Kansas still want to think that California is part of their nation and Californians want to think Kansas (although probably not Texas) is part of their nation. These casual assumptions are already under great stress and eliminating the Electoral College, or the US Senate for the matter, or having it vote according to the priciple of one person (actually one citizen, or maybe not – scientific polling could provide a fairly accurate accounting of the non-citizen vote) one vote would shatter these casual assumptions of what constitutes the nation. We after all have had a living constitution. Basic analogics suggests it could be dead. Bernie Sanders ran under the 19th century idea of a political revolution, as though that were the macho path to power. But the new name, the 21st century name, for revolution is secession. Just because the MSM has largely lined up behind a Trump presidency, the nation being presumptively indispensable to their project of cultural imperialism, does not mean that tectonic forces have diminished. It is way past the hour to what the exercise of the right of secession looks like. Some basic questions: Could LA County secede on its own or could only California secede? If California seceded would it need to grant its counties a right to secede from the newly independent nation of California? If San Bernardino County seceded from an independent CA would it automatically become part of a rump state of CA in the US, a simple territory of the US, or itself an independent nation? What would become of US military bases in California and Federal lands and National Parks? Would an independent California have a right to acquire nuclear weapons? Would an independent California have a right to invite the PROC to establish a naval base in San Francisco Bay? Would a referendum be required to secede or could secession be accomplished through normal legislative procedures? In a referendum would a bare majority suffice? Could non citizen residents vote? Would there need to be two or three successive votes for secession? Would the Congress of the United States have any rights in determining the procedures for secession or would this be a matter solely of Executive order? Lot to think about. And maybe the country too old and tired, too low energy, to dead possibly to even consider.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s entirely possible, mathematically, that a 51% vote in the House of Representatives does not equate to the same national popular vote.

      For example, that 51% vote could theoretically come from congressional battle districts, while the opposing 49% districts agree overwhelmingly with their representatives.

      And so, we have to eliminate the House as well as the Senate, and the Electoral College.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Well obviously we have to completely change the way Congressional districts are apportioned in order to comply with the principle of one man, one vote. And interestingly, the Supremes have implicitly acknowledged that non citizens have a right to vote in validating that apportionment must be based on residents not citizens. An even more interesting question from the standpoint of the democracy is why non-resident, non-citizens are denied the right to vote. What is sacrosanct about the principle of territory?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Non-citizens voting?

          You do not mean corporations. But will corporations distort that to mean corporations can be non-citizens?

        2. Rhondda

          My husband believes that everyone in the world should be able to vote for US President. Because, he says, what America does re foreign policy affects them as much or more, in an immediate life-or-death way, than it does US citizens.

      2. Propertius

        And, of course this can happen in countries with parliamentary systems (where the majority party or coalition in the national legislature gets to “form a government” and appoint the head of government). It’s quite possible to win a enough seats in the national legislature to form a government without winning a majority (or even a plurality of the total vote. IIRC, this has happened at least once in Canada (in 1979). My recollection is that Trudeau won the popular vote by a fairly substantial margin, but Clark nevertheless became PM.

        It has probably happened in other parliamentary democracies as well, I am just not aware of any specific examples.

    2. Jim Haygood

      “Would an independent California have a right to acquire nuclear weapons?”

      Governor Moonbeam with nukes? Jesus, dude. ;-)

      1. MojaveWolf

        For those of you who don’t live here, please drop the Gov Moonbeam thing. Not because it’s dissing Brown as a hippy, (insult to hippies, not Brown–I know and *like* a lot of hippies), but because he’s a fake liberal. He’s somewhat conservative overall and totally in the pocket of the oil companies. Horrible man, basically a more-competent Republican who liberals keep giving a free pass because of past (real or imagined) Moonbeam associations.

        1. aab

          Thank you.

          He’s a neoliberal, and California is demonstrating the failure of neoliberal Democratic governance all over the state. California is effectively a one party state, to boot. Los Angeles and San Francisco, Democratic strongholds electorally, are falling part, with rampant homelessness, the collapse of public education, severe environmental problems, and policing problems with marginalized people akin to what goes on in the “bad” red states. Many of the things Pat Brown did to make California flourish are withering and dying under his son’s Second Act as governor.

          Brown is literally facilitating corporate control, exploitation and monitization of WATER in a state with severe water distribution and allocation problems going back decades and now in crisis drought conditions that could go on for the foreseeable future. Both water and food grown using our precious water is being shipped and sold out of state, while other of our precious water resources are being contaminated by fracking, to obtain fossil fuels ALSO being sold out of state, by and to companies that contribute very little back to the California economy. Brown has done nothing meaningful to stop any of this.

          Sure would be nice if someone audited California voting this year, to boot. There were tons of red flags with both suppression and flipping in the primary to benefit Clinton, done by our Secretary of State who got that gig after being one of the elected in the state legislature who blocked California Single Payer Health Care, and who thought it was okey-dokey to actively campaign for Clinton in the primary. Brown did nothing I’m aware of to rein in any of Padilla’s behavior.

          1. uncle tungsten

            Seems like a color revolution could be in the air. What color would suit? It is way past time for the Merry Pranksters to team up with the Diggers and occupy a park or two.

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I’d suggest that folks read up on the significant unpleasantness around 1860-64 that resulted the last time “secession” was a thing
      (Nowadays though wouldn’t we get NATO blue helmets on the ground to separate the two sides? Can’t have any of that pernicious “self-determination” stuff breaking out)

      1. Ignim Brites

        You cannot just stand in the highway of time and yell stop. By 2020 California’s population will be well over 40 million. And because it is younger than the rest of states, CA will be naturally adding way more people than other states (except possibly Texas) for at least another decade or two.

    4. Propertius

      What would become of US military bases in California and Federal lands and National Parks?

      I think the precedent for this has already been set:

      Note that Ft. Monroe, despite being located in Virginia, never surrendered to the Confederacy and was vitally important to the Union’s defeat of the rebellion.

      Based on this, one would assume that US military bases in California would be used by the United States to suppress any attempt at secession.

      It is way past the hour to what the exercise of the right of secession looks like[sic].

      IIRC, that issue has been settled as well. According to Texas v. White, the Union is “perpetual and indissoluble”. There is no such thing as “the right of secession”.

      1. Ignim Brites

        What about the living constitution? Everything is open to re-inerpretation. It is certainly not likely that an intellectually advanced polity as California will be cowed by something as prosaic as a court ruling.

        1. Propertius

          What about the living constitution?

          What about stare decisis?

          Not that it would get that far. “Power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” as Mao Zedong used to say. A self-disarmed, secessionist California would be crushed within days, if not hours.

          1. Ignim Brites

            Stare decisis? This is about politics not legalisms. Would the Federal government militarily crush a California secession? Would you US military obey an order to do so?

            1. Propertius

              Of course the Federal government would crush a California secession.

              As for your second question: one of the side-effects of the elimination of the draft and the establishment of an all-volunteer, professional military is that members of the US military are overwhelmingly from the red states. They’d certainly obey an order to level Sacramento, if it came to that. All things considered, it probably wouldn’t be necessary – blocking the Colorado, wiping out a few overpasses on I-5 and US101, blockading the harbors, and tearing up the runways at LAX and SFO (followed by the lesser airports) would probably do the trick. Wrecking the minor water projects and power plants and perhaps defoliating the Central Valley would just be icing on the cake. Actually attacking a population center would most likely be unnecessary. The only residual resistance would probably be from well-armed marijuana growers in Humboldt County.

              California is more dependent on advanced (and therefore fragile) civil engineering infrastructure than pretty much any place I can think of. It’s the very definition of a “soft target”.

              A California revolt wouldn’t last more than a week.

    1. aab

      That disclosure has appeared at the bottom of every piece regarding the campaign. It’s a nice little touch of honor. Wouldn’t it be fun if WaPo and the Times included such disclosures? Capehart’s would probably be my favorite.

  24. dcblogger

    let me admit my unpopular opinion, I am thrilled with the recount because I am for ANYTHING that discredits the voting machines. I suspect that is why Stein is doing this.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The voting machines in other states, like New York, Florida or California, also need some checking, and discrediting, if necessary, as well.

      Both the general election and primary voting machines.

      1. Vatch

        Thanks for mentioning the primaries. I wish some rich people had been willing to spend a few million dollars to contest some of the results in the Democratic primaries.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but elsewhere I looked up the Green platform on this, and they fall short of “hand-marked paper ballots hand-counted in public.” They still support machines!

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Lambert, perhaps your “2016” category should be continued until the December 19 electoral college vote. Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s decision to seek vote recounts in two pivotal states was the featured lede on PBS Newshour on Thanksgiving Day:

        “PBS NewsHour full episode Nov. 24, 2016: Thursday on the NewsHour, Green Party nominee Jill Stein raises millions for an election recount…”

        Among questions about motivations and possible outcomes, who is providing the funding for these Wisconsin and Michigan recounts, where paper ballots are reportedly available for a recount? This election remains wonderfully clarifying, yet extremely murky in so many ways.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Are we witnessing history in the making, and will this become a standard operating procedure in all future elections – raising money to recount all battleground states?

          1. Propertius

            I’m all for questioning the validity of machine voting, but I cannot help noticing the hypocrisy of those who claimed to be horrified by Trump’s suggestion that he might not accept the results of the election but are now not only supporting recounts but actively encouraging electors to ignore the results in their states.

    3. MojaveWolf

      I would be with you if I was confident it would discredit the voting machines. I have no idea if Trump won legit or not or if it’s possible to tell. A misfire could actually help entrench the voting machines.

      I prefer the continued whining, which lets us keep making the case for hand marked, hand counted paper ballots all the time, including all the primaries. And I’m not about to let any discussion of possible cheating in the general go by without bringing up the primaries and how hypocritical a lot of the HRC fans are. Not dissing Stein, who has been consistent on this throughout, and for all I know she’s been being undercounted systemically because of voting machines.

      If the Hillary people think fraud is possible (and I’m pretty certain it’s possible, whether it happened or not), they should be trying to minimize the chances of it everywhere, not just do a recount to get their preferred cheater in.

    4. hunkerdown

      In IT, the old saw is that backups fail to some extent about half the time, so disaster recovery plans have to be more comprehensive than that. Bruce Dixon shares your take here (was bold in original):

      While we don’t much care which of the two capitalist candidates win, Greens care very much about the integrity and security of the election process. We have candidates in local races across the country in 2017 and 2018 to protect.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      Agree on the machines and I do think that’s why Stein is doing this. That being said I’d like to know where all the $$$ is coming from. If it were this easy for the Greens to raise money you’d think Stein would have managed to get more money, publicity and votes during the actual election.

      I was visiting relatives who had NPR on earlier and I kept hearing about the recount and possible ‘hacking’ every few minutes – they were really pushing the story hard which of course made me very skeptical.

      As I commented here a couple days ago, I participated in a local recount and the problem with the optical scanner type of machines isn’t so much hacking as the fact that these machines cannot and do not count all the votes . NPR didn’t care about that at all – it was all hacking hacking hacking although from what I heard through the other conversations going on around me they didn’t start accusing the Russians at least. They did come across as totally clueless about the actual problems. There are other types of machines that are susceptible to hacking and NPR kept saying it would have to be a big, organized, concerted effort involving lots of people in order to do so when we’ve seen many demonstrations over the years that one or two smart people can hack these machines in a matter of minutes.

      So Stein may be legit in her efforts but all that money isn’t coming from the Greens and it appears that others are more than willing to use her as a useful tool, not that that’s particularly surprising or anything new. It does increase my animosity towards the useless spineless Dems who can’t ec=ven call for their own damn recount.

  25. Jim Haygood

    As usual, more often than not, today’s half-day post-Thanksgiving session on Wall Street finished up.

    The S&P, Dow and Nasdaq all set new record highs. From a sector point of view, Financials (symbol XLF) have been on a furious tear, up nearly 14% in the past month. TBTF banksters are partying like it’s 2006, with Bank of America up an eye-popping 26.4% in November.

    Of particular note are small stocks. Not since the halcyon days of the 1990s have the little buggers cranked this hard. From Markethype:

    The Russell 2000 index of small-cap shares rose 0.2% on the day, extending its winning streak to a 15th straight session. This is the longest stretch of daily gains for the index since February 1996.

    You don’t need no PhD Econ to know that indexes busting out in sync is monster raving bullish. It won’t end until the beleaguered Dr Hussman goes leveraged long with out of the money call options.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You think it has to do with the rumor that Trump will lower taxes to entice corporations to move manufacturing back to America?

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Isn’t there an old Wall Street proverb about bulls, bears and pigs?…

      I mean, it must be hard with this parody of a market being only a little over 4 percent away now, the new baseball caps from China with “Dow 20,000” on the bills, and the president making speeches about the tripling of the stock market being one of HIS signature accomplishments.

      After all, 4.4 percent is road kill these days… 15 minutes in the middle of the afternoon on May 6, 2010, or even election night futes just this month…

  26. Synapsid

    About the vets and the NoD pipeline:

    “Note the involvement of Wes Clark.”

    What involvement of Wes Clark?

  27. Dave

    Sheriffs not sending troops to pipeline protests:

    If the officers and commanders really feel a need to go outside of the boundaries that they are sworn to protect, then the officers should serve as volunteers and forgo their pay and/or the costs should come out of pension funds.

    In addition, taxpaying voters should refuse to further fund police pensions, salaries and upgrade facilities in protest if their local sheriff/police and the agencies serve outside of their jurisdiction.

    Policemen are going to be coming to the voters in ever larger numbers as money runs out. They should mind their own business at home, not in some foreign field defending an oil corporation who will not be around to bail out their pension plans.

    Perhaps the oil pipeline company could post some money in an escrow account to pay future police pension obligations as the voters will refuse to do so?

  28. Spallm

    Anent Propertius, the Union is “perpetual and indissoluble.” Ha. Only according to US municipal law. From the only legal standpoint that matters, recognition by the international community, a unilateral declaration of independence does not need to be legal in municipal law.

    There is no such thing as a perpetual and indissoluble union. Bust up this shitty pointless USA.

    1. Propertius

      Well, first of all it’s not “municipal” law. It’s “constitutional” law. Second, when has the United States ever allowed itself to be inconvenienced in the least by “international law”? Just as “laws are for the little people”, so “international laws are for the little countries”. The US, Russia, and China don’t give a damn about international law. If you don’t think that’s true, I urge you to consult the Tibetans, the Iraqis, and the Ukrainians.

    1. bob

      One other note- how did this make it to NPR?

      It normally takes 3 weeks for anything new to pierce their bubble.

  29. alex morfesis

    el caballo has left the building…fearless leader is dead…fireworks on calle ocho…thankfully we won’t have to hear any more fairytales about boats built to hold 12 people magically morphing into a group of 82 on a 60 ft yacht…(they don’t make granmas like they used to…)

    although it seems recently the firm that sold him the made for television revolution yacht had a little problem…

    and not 2b foily…but hopefully the history books will note that the famous “July 26th movement” began the day before the korean armistice was signed on july 27th….just sayin….

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