Links 11/26/16

Fidel Castro dies at 90 Boston Globe

Fidel Castro is dead Miami Herald. A great piece, lively and detailed.

In Fiji, ants have learned to grow plants to house their massive colonies ars technica (Chuck L)

Does Chinese Civilization Come From Ancient Egypt? Foreign Policy (Wat)

Bella Bella Fights Massive Diesel Spill After Tugboat Runs Aground Indian Country (Wat)

Beyond business: Disgraced Theranos bloodied family, friends, neighbors ars technica (Chuck L). Note that David Boies has finally abandoned Theranos.


Germany vs. China – Neoliberalism strikes back Defend Democracy

Stratfor: China’s Economy is Living on Borrowed Time Fabius Maximus. Stratfor is a mixed bag, but this is as solid piece.


Pay to stay in Europe The Times


Government Purge in the Russian Federation? Putin Orders Arrest of Minister of Economy on Corruption Charges Defend Democracy


World Bank: Only 10 percent of Gazans have access to safe drinking water Juan Cole (resilc)

Erdogan threatens to let 3m refugees into Europe Financial Times. We pointed out some time ago that the control over refugee flow gave Erdogan considerable leverage.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

U.S. Police Cellphone Surveillance by ‘Stingray,’ Mapped CityLab

Fremont police quitely bought social media surveillance tool East Bay Times. Chuck L: “Large Afghan community in Fremont.”

WaPo Libels 200+ Sites Not in the Can for Hillary as Russia Stooges. We will have more to say in due course; the Twitterverse is all over this story, giving it a massive thumbs down as poorly executed McCarthyism. It also ruined my Thanksgiving holiday, when I desperately needed a break.

Washington Post Peddles Tarring of Ron Paul Institute as Russian Propaganda Ron Paul Institute

Boris & Natasha say: ‘Give to – because those No-goodniks at WaPo are full of borscht!’ AntiWar

Mainstream Reporting Foggy While MoA Smeared As “Russian Propaganda” Site Moon of Alabama

Washington Post Thoroughly Discredits Itself With McCarthy-Style Smear Campaign Against ZeroHedge, Naked Capitalism, Truth-Out 200+ Others Michael Shedlock

Trump Transition

Donald Trump’s Revival of ‘Honest Graft’ Atlantic (resilc). Not to defend graft, but Lambert has repeatedly pointed out that honest graft would be an improvement over the sort of elite looting we have now. But let us not forget that one of the many reasons Sanders was not an acceptable candidate was that he was clean. Horrors!

Republicans at odds over prospect of Romney as secretary of state Financial Times. They’d be nuts not to have Romney if he’d actually take the job.

Donald Trump and the Lawsuit Presidency New York Times (furzy). Editorial.

Tulsi Gabbard’s screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger and encouragement Mondoweiss

Make Your Christmas Tree Tacky Again With Trump’s $149 MAGA Ornament New York Magazine (resilc)

Wilbur Ross tries to turn round US heartland Financial Times. Sounds better than our current mega-rich Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker, and people I know who are Wall Street savvy but not fans of oligarchs think Ross is sound. But PR is cheap, policy is another matter.

Steve Bannon’s Deep, Weird Adoration of Sarah Palin Daily Beast (resilc). Well, she is foxy.

Electoral College must reject Trump unless he sells his business, top lawyers for Bush and Obama say Think Progress

Trump Names White House Counsel as Potential Conflicts Loom Bloomberg

Trump election: Request for Wisconsin vote recount sent BBC. However, there is no way to get a Pennsylvania recount request in by the deadline, so this is all moot. Lambert will have more details in Links tomorrow.

2016 Post Mortem

It’s Storytelling, Stupid: What Made Donald Trump Smarter Than Hillary Clinton Daily Beast

Blue-collar Democrats to party: It’s still the economy, stupid Reuters (EM)

The radically simple reason Hillary Clinton didn’t run a different campaign: she thought she was winning Vox. Lordie. No professional sports team would evah make that mistake. Lambert: “No mention of the Ada debacle, which surfaced briefly in WaPo and then vanished from the narrative.”

Business booms at Trump Tower, nearby retailers hit by security and crowds | Reuters (EM)

In Scotland, Trump Built a Wall. Then He Sent Residents the Bill. New York Times. The Scots, amusingly, have generally gotten the better of Trump.

The Economy Needs Higher Oil Prices – Goldman Sachs OilPrice

Saudis Said to Quit Russia Talks as OPEC Deal No Closer Bloomberg

Guillotine Watch

Giving Thanks: Hedge-Fund Managers Are Still Super Rich Edition Vanity Fair

Class Warfare

What Happened When a Prison Brought in a Brain Injury Specialist Vice (resilc)

Capitalism in One Family London Review of Books (resilc)

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    On Tulsi Gabbard meeting The Donald—-right, she’s anti-war. Is that supposed to be a controversial stance nowadays?
    One of the reasons Trump won is he was antiwar compared to HRC. It’s a popular position with the voters.

    1. sufferinsuccotash, normalized

      LBJ was antiwar compared to Barry Goldwater. It was such a relief when he won.

    2. jgordon

      Tulsi Gabbard for Secretary of State. Wouldn’t that just throw everyone into a bigly unholy fit? It’d be funny seeing those bloodthirsty Democrats blocking Tulsi’s appointment because of her heretical pro-peace proclivities (err isn’t that in the job description of SOS though?!).

      The R2P liberal special snowflakes sniveling in their safe spaces who only hope to shower the world with bombs out of love might all go into seizures when they hear the news. Here’s praying that everyone has cellphone cameras ready so we can watch the videos on YouTube later.

      1. craazyman

        Not only that — she’s smokin’ hot! Whoa!

        Can a Secretary of State appear on a 2-page spread in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition? Hahaha

        Playboy would be over the top but SI could be OK. Rhonda Rousey did it.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Well there I was in Hollywood wishin’ I was doin’ good
          Talkin’ on the telephone line
          But they don’t need me in the movies and nobody sings my songs
          Guess I’m just wastin’ time

          Well then I got to thinkin’, man I’m really sinkin’
          And I really had a flash this time
          I had no business leavin’ and nobody would be grievin’
          If I went on back to Tulsi time

          Livin’ on Tulsi time
          Livin’ on Tulsi time
          Gonna set my watch back to it
          ‘Cause you know I’ve been through it
          Livin’ on Tulsi time

          — Don Williams, Tulsa Time

        2. River

          Playboy – Sexy Secretary of State Edition. Cover model – William L. Marcy; Centerfold – Daniel Webster.

        3. Bugs Bunny

          She’s a Modi supporter. Combining Hindu nationalism and neoliberalism. Not sure how that fits into your fantasy.

            1. Daryl

              She’s met with Modi and gave him some presents. It goes beyond shared religion, and is a point of concern for me personally.

        4. integer

          craazyman: Do you like math?
          Tulsi: No.
          craazyman: Me neither…In fact, the only number I care about is yours.

            1. craazyman

              I’d be smoother than that. LOL.

              Is it really surprising that out of the 400 or so congress persons Trump arranges a meeting with the hottest one?

              Trump thinks manmade global warming is a hoax, but she’s so hot he might decide to blame her. Whoa!

              If she went on a state visit to the North Pole they’d have to have air conditioning. Rim-Shot

              She’s so hot Hawaii gets colder when she leaves.

              Whoa. She’s so hot at the cabinet meetings even Trump would sweat. Whoa.

              She so hot they wouldn’t even be able to turn down the temperature at heated policy debates. Whoa that’s not a very good joke! Haha

              These aren’t very good but I haven’t started drinking yet. It’s only 6:30!

              1. integer

                I might try that line myself. If she answers “yes” we can talk about calculus.
                Still morning down here in Australia, but I’ve got beer in the fridge and the cricket starts in a few hours. Anything could happen.

                Btw, a 2007 study found that the average Australian walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Australians drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year. That means, on average, Australians get about 41 miles per gallon. Whoa!

      2. John Parks

        Gabbard would be a welcome relief as either Sec. of State or Ambassador to the UN. It was the vision of HRC, Gloria Nuland, and Samantha Power as a triumvirate of Batshit Crazy Blood Thirsty Bitches that steered me toward Trump as being the lesser of the four evils.

        1. Jess

          “HRC, Gloria Nuland, and Samantha Power as a triumvirate of Batshit Crazy Blood Thirsty Bitches”

          You win the internets for today.

      3. neo-realist

        More likely hawkish tribalistic republicans will block Gabbard from appointing her if it came to that. But I think that when it comes to brass tacks, Trump will go with a so-called sensible choice from the GOP farm. As a matter of fact, none of his potential picks have been democrats and I don’t expect that to change.

        and yeah, she’s a hottie in a swimsuit:). Just keep her in mind for 2020.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          She’s an Iraq veteran and she was a medic, so she’d be good as head of the VA, maybe. That would be a tough job. Tulsi says she didn’t discuss any job offers with The Donald.

          1. neo-realist

            I hope her smarts are not buried in the muck of VA bureaucracy. Donald will only pick from Team Elephant IMO. Hopefully a mover and shaker for higher powerful office in a future democratic administration if not in the oval office.

      4. jgordon

        Holy crap, I just fell out of my chair when I saw this a few minutes ago:

        If this really happens, I’m prepared to say that despite his many flaws Trump might end up being a decent president after all. I really am curious how the left would take this!

        Also important, I just saw Glenn Greenwald’s take on the continuing Propornot saga:

        Washington Post huh? The Clinton Collusion scandal was bad, but this is on a whole new level of awful. I think we have a lead candidate in the running here for the toilet paper of record prize.

        1. UserFriendly

          Wow, that would be big. I hope he does put her there. He has got to find at least a couple of D’s to put in his cabinet. Otherwise he would be the first president in modern times not to.

    3. Wombat

      Appointing a young (in the political sense) Gabbard on the fast track to Sec. of State, would be a great personal shot at HRC, who didn’t obtain the position until her late 60s after being appointed by her victorious opponent. Moreover after taking the moral highground and leaving the DNC (unlike DWS) and supporting Bernie, HRC and Co. quickly wrote Tg’s political future off (per wikileaks). Progressives should hope that Trump, whatever his motives may be, appoints TG to a high cabinet position.

    4. uncle tungsten

      What’s the bet all those State Department signatories to ‘more war now’ letter are keeping a low profile. The Donald should just clean it out or close the door and send that house of fools to the desert.

      It would be an enormous irony if Tulsi Gabbard was given the task. “Peace leader vanquishes neocon crazies”. I like that!

  2. Bryan Sean McKown

    On Jill Stein’s recount effort, why link to the BBC blurb? Michigan has not even certified Trump’s 1/4 of 1 percent lead.
    Pennsylvania purportedly has a Monday litigation deadline hence the need for lawyers to file a complaint. Stein can speak for herself at Stein is not over selling; she has posted several disclaimers. The recount(s) 3, 2, or just 1, are worth it just for the audit data.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Greens and Libertarians did the same thing in 2004, over the highly questionable count in Ohio. Democracy is a foundational principle of the party. I always favor recounts; checking up on the machinery is essential. American election equipment and procedures are shoddy in the extreme. If you want details, try Brad Friedman’s blog.

      It will be interesting to see whether Wisconsin and the other states cheat in the recount, as Ohio did. Officials went to prison over Ohio 2004.

  3. integer

    Details about this group continue to emerge. It appears there’s a chance that PropOrNot is connected to groups funded the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a CIA spinoff that manages the U.S. government’s foreign propaganda division. If true, that would make PropOrNot’s activities illegal — in violation of a federal law that prohibits the BBG from intentionally influencing or swaying public opinion inside the United States. Creating blacklists of American journalists, labelling them as traitors and then circulating this information to American newspapers would certainly fall into that category.

    1. timbers

      I strongly object to being described as “Anti-Clinton Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tool.”

      I’m not a professional – I’m an amateur!

      1. fresno dan

        November 26, 2016 at 9:32 am

        I admitted yesterday that I was a Soviet communist agent (our whole plot is we’re just trying to make you think communism is dead, I say as I sit in my Lenin-Trotsky bunny slippers typing this)

                1. ambrit

                  “Not as funny,” true, but more relevant to the state of Socialism today.
                  Perhaps I should have constructed the “joke” along alt-right lines; “Then of course there was the Fourth Marx Bro, Bernie.”
                  As for the Balkan Tito; he did fairly well for his region. No one could have realistically called Yugoslavia a country until he applied himself to that proposition.

                  1. Optimader

                    Yugoslavia was herd of cats that all had long simmering animosity toward eachother.Titos abilility to keep it integrated was actually amazing, not sure what the point was tho.

        1. jgordon

          The funny thing is that the neocons are Trotskyites who were kicked out of Russia back in the old days because they were too bloodthirsty. They’ve been looking for payback ever since. You might think I’m shtting you, but it’s true. Look it up!

          1. pretzelattack

            i don’t think stalin killed them or drove them out for being too bloodthirsty, but for opposing him. these days, they seem mostly interested in promoting israeli hegemony in the middle east through violence, and israel’s right wing.

          2. olga

            Yes, we do know of the neocon trotsky-ite roots. They have been at it for a long time (including papa Bush’s Team B back in the seventies). Reconstituted themselves as shrub’s (W’s) iraq-war-at-all-cost bunch… they never die, just multiply (sons took over the fathers’ efforts – e.g., the Kristols).
            Actually, wapo did us a big favour – I’ve been trying to compose a list of sites to read and follow for a long time. Now they saved me all the work… Good job, Bezos!

        2. Glen

          As an avowed capitalist I have no morals and my views are available to the highest bidder.

          Gee, that might be the working definition of an American politician.

    2. fresno dan

      November 26, 2016 at 8:03 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 – AKA the Washington Post) 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 trying to shape the policy of the State Department.” In the next few weeks, the number fluctuated wildly, with McCarthy/Washington Post stating at various times that there were 57, or 81, or 10 communists in the NC commentariat. In fact, McCarthy/Washington Post never produced any solid evidence that there was even one communist in the NC commentariat. (HEY! I confessed! at 11:12 am in the 11/25/2016 thread!!! what am I, chopped liver?)

        1. fresno dan

          Steve H.
          November 26, 2016 at 3:36 pm

          Thanks for the follow up. I suspect the great deal of time for these things to play out – I mean, good grief, everything said and done is on video tape – you think that was good police work or not – – – is that this takes so long so people will forget or not have the resources for follow up.

          And because I am the type that can’t resist saying “I told you so” (not you Steve H., but just as me as a “type”), I told the world so:
          “Still, being Texas, I suspect the grand jury will essentially do nothing.”
          and….the grand jury did nothing.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Impressive record keeping, fresno dan, if you found that date so promptly. I also confess to “confessing” a few times when it came up casually in conversation here — but always insisting on “lower case”, as in IWW, Midnight Notes, Insurgent Notes, Wildcat, Melancholic Troglodytes, CLR James (even though he spelled it “socialist”) & Rosa Luxemburg. What I object to is the defamatory word “known”. Surely many of us here have gone out of our way to avoid that misfortune?

    3. andyb

      I would love to see a class action suit for defamation. Discovery would be a bitch. I do believe, however, that the timing of this is suspect, and could be the major distraction needed from the Pizzagate story which now has legs on a global basis. Although there is no proof as yet, the existence of political or religious pedophile rings is an established fact.

      1. integer

        could be the major distraction needed from the Pizzagate story which now has legs on a global basis

        Nope. I read the Podesta emails and they were talking about food. Note also that the Podesta family is known in Washington for their culinary prowess and they regularly held home cooked fundraising dinners for political donors.

    4. Uahsenaa

      I’m not entirely sure the “it’s illegal” argument is as sound as many think. The law also contains this section:

      Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

      I already noted this in the post on the WaPo promoting it, but there’s more than enough wiggle room there to get around the “no influence” provision that precedes it. It basically says one thing then the opposite. I’d have to look at case law to see if this has been litigated one way or the other.

      Also worth noting is that this was folded into the 2013 NDAA, which muddied (or rather continued to muddy) the waters with regard to who constitutes an “enemy combatant” and gave the administration more or less carte blanche with regard to how the executive conducts its wars.

  4. Frenchguy

    Does Erdogan really have that much leverage?

    I thought that the Balkan route had been closed so that any refugee making into Greece will have to stay there anyway and Greece is not a very welcoming country…

    1. OIFVet

      The Balkan route is anything but closed. Rampant corruption among Bulgarian border police has allowed organized migrant smuggling to proliferate. I had linked to an Intercept article on the issue about a month ago, will try to find the post later and link to it.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Theranos, ars tecnica article.

    Kudos to Yves for being one of the first (so far as I know) to call out Theranos as the scam its proved to be. I couldn’t work out when I first read about Theranos as to how such an obvious snake oil company could get away with it so long. But looking at the long list of establishment backers its clear how Holmes operated. You can get away with anything for a very long time if you have the right names behind you.

  6. PlutoniumKun


    Stratfor: China’s Economy is Living on Borrowed Time Fabius Maximus. Stratfor is a mixed bag, but this is as solid piece.

    The article doesn’t mention it, but I think the biggest threat to China in 2017 is Trumps impact on the US$. If it continues to rise the Chinese will find it harder and harder to maintain the de facto Yuan peg. This would make devaluation inevitable. And the core reason the Chinese govt., doesn’t want this is that it will increase outflows to a flood – it could become uncontrollable. This could trigger inflation, which has always led to domestic unrest in China.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The increased outflows of money – will that be more likely to be before the move to devalue the Yuan, , like right now, as we speculate?

      After devaluation (if there is to be only one), why would people want to send more abroad (other than what they normally do)?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The outflows are huge at the moment, but not big enough to be destabilising. But I’ve no doubt many wealthy Chinese have their finger hovering over the ‘exit’ button if a big devaluation seems on the cards. And no doubt people ‘with connections’ will get advance warning of any crackdown on capital flows.

        Also, even after a devaluation, the big fear will be rampant inflation, another reason to shift capital out of the country.

    2. Fiver

      I think US efforts of the last several years now to position more to ‘contain’ China were going to intensify in any case as the logical ‘next steps’ given the long unchanged US policy of dominance, but Trump’s views re China on money, trade, patents etc, his imagined ‘natural’ superior role of the US, and his temperament all augur poorly. The crew taking shape in Washington are deeply schooled in the ‘You are either with us as subordinates or are anti-American and against us’ mentality. What China needs most is to re-structure its economy away from its enormous dependence on foreign resources that can be interdicted by a hostile, lost US.

      I expect oil to go up in 2017 for several reasons, which is a double win considering Chinese oil itself and the US dollar. However, I believe we are now, and have been for some time, in a more or less permanent crisis that will continue to escalate until something too big breaks or is broken, either deliberately, or in a doomed attempt to ‘fix’ it. For now, I think China should slow down further faster while ensuring all are supported and kept engaged during what is going to have to be a very rapid transition all over the globe.

  7. RabidGandhi

    Germany vs. China – Neoliberalism strikes back [Defend Democracy]

    I’m way beyond my pay grade on this, but my analysis is as follows, and I would appreciate corrections from my more knowledgeable peanut gallery peers:

    So essentially German businesses are complaining that Chinese capital is flowing into Europe and distorting competition:

    However, critics say that with some of its recent investments, China is distorting competition. “China uses an outbound industrial policy, using government capital and highly opaque investor networks to facilitate high-tech acquisition abroad…”

    Their complaint is that Chinese businesses have an unfair advantage because many are state-owned:

    “As we don’t have EU-owned companies we cannot [behave] the same [as China],” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told POLITICO.

    But here’s the issue as I understand it. China has surplus capital because it has been importing aggregate demand from the US and the EU in the form of its export surplus. Europe on the other hand, is in the middle of a decades-long experiment in cutting its own aggregate demand by means of austerity. This means the EU public sector is not investing, not going into debt. Double entry accounting means that if the state is not going into debt, then the private sector will have to go into debt, so they are seeking capital, and guess who just happens to have oodles of excess capital? (Hint: rhymes with “Lina”).

    So in short, this is not a problem that can be solved per se by the usual tool of companies running to hide behind the skirt of the nanny state. The new regulations the Germans companies want that would keep out Chinese capital are a band-aid on a cancer patient. If the Germans would ditch the austerity and foment European domestic demand themselves, there would be far less demand for Chinese capital and the problem would be solved long term, in addition to other fun perks like fewer Greeks starving to death.

    Lastly, when I read this

    “China uses an outbound industrial policy, using government capital and highly opaque investor networks to facilitate high-tech acquisition abroad,” a report by the Mercator Institute for China Studies, to be published in December, states.

    I got flashbacks to the 1980s when the Japanese were buying up everything and US firms couldn’t compete, ostensibly because the Japanese had more solid financing models from top to bottom. Well that little problem was solved with the Plaza Accords whereby Japan submitted to US pressures to raise the Yen, thus stemming the capital outflows and bludgeoning their trade surplus. The result of course has been Japan’s lost decade[s]. The Chinese are faced with a similar situation, but I can’t imagine a scenario in which China signs a Plaza Accord. So essentially, the Germans are clinging to their austerity in the hopes that China will self-destruct before they eat their lunch. Meanwhile, Beijing is already halfway through the hors d’oeuvres.

    1. cnchal

      So essentially German businesses are complaining that Chinese capital is flowing into Europe and distorting competition:

      Where do the Chinese elite get their money from? It is not really any different than the Chinese Communist Party members buying up Vancouver houses with looted money from their own people. Interestingly, Vancouver housing prices have stopped screaming higher since the foreign buyer tax was implemented there. The screaming price increases have been shifted to Toronto, as if it couldn’t get any more insane.

      What they are doing in Germany, they are doing in Canada, having very recently bought one of Windsor’s biggest tooling and manufacturing businesses. No doubt more are on the shopping list. No price is too high when paying with loot.

      Two to three decades of globalization, and now we are being eaten alive by the Chinese Criminal Party elite.

      Our politicians are totally stupid and corrupt.

      1. uncle tungsten

        Fidel had a much better system of state investment going in Cuba. Imagine what the US would do given their wealth and resources if they applied similar model to education, health, aged care, veterans, housing?

        Does this prove the myth that NC should remain on that absurd list?

    2. Ed

      John Michael Grier, the “Archdruid”, and a perfectly cogent take on this sort of thing that was featured on the links yesterday. Governments have always had tools to handle trade imbalances, as well as capital flow problems for that matter, that were called “tariffs” and “capital controls”. The analysis of the problem by RabidGandhi is good but the solution is not hand-wringing.

      1. different clue

        How many tariffs are even “legal” nowadays under the various Free Trade Agreements and World Trade Organizations?

    3. Steve H.

      “Beijing’s leadership assesses that the U.S. won’t get into a war against China within the next 10 years. Pay attention to the time frame: 2025 is when Xi expects China to have turned into a “moderately prosperous” society as part of the renewed Chinese Dream. And Xi for his part would have fulfilled his mandate – arguably basking in glory once enjoyed only by the Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping.

      The secret for the next 10 years, as General Liang framed it, is for China to overhaul its economy (a work in progress) and internationalize the yuan. That also implies striking an Asian-wide free trade pact – which is obviously not the Chinese-deprived American TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), but the Chinese-driven RCEP.” [Pepe Escobar]

      Qiao Liang co-wrote “Unrestricted Warfare” and is a significant strategic mind. While that doesn’t guarantee influence in changing conditions, certain aspects of his plan seem to be playing out.

      1. cwaltz

        They are halfway there thanks to the idiots who have been running our State Department for decades.

        We’ve managed to antagonize or alienate a lot of people so that they want nothing to do with us or the dollar when it comes to trade.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s good that they should get there (being a moderately prosperous society).

        Somewhere, the assumption is the journey to get there involves losses for other countries. People should be made more aware of those,more often.

      3. Oregoncharles

        the Chinese are not immune to illusions of grandeur. It’s a very large country, but not very rich, and foreign exchange will not make up for the imbalance between population and land base. I feel sorry for the Tibetans and other colonized peoples, though, as they will have to suffer for China’s illusions.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Double entry accounting means that if the state is not going into debt, then the private sector will have to go into debt, so they are seeking capital, and guess who just happens to have oodles of excess capital?

      Do corporations in the EU have a lot of cash, like those over here?

      If those EU corporations want to invest, do they have to 1) go into to private debt, or 2) seek capital, if their corporations are hoarding cash?

      Is it more a case of Chinese state owned or backed companies buying to acquire know-how, or other strategic reasons?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I assume the real fear is not the reality of Chinese capital outflows being used to buy up companies and property like the Japanese did in the 1980’s, but that their purchases are much more strategic, aimed at gaining key footholds in various forms of technology. An obvious example is the purchase of Volvo, which has allowed the Chinese to make a significant leap in the manufacture of over engineered cars.

    5. Adam Eran

      In a related story, Howard French’s China’s Second Continent describes what the Chinese are doing in Africa. It’s an interesting read because the “pioneers” are nearly as insensitive as the white folks colonizing the New World were, and the investment policy is “China First”… Which means Chinese construction firms often get the bid and employ few of the natives. They also have no compunction about taking advantage of whatever corruption is available. It’ll be interesting to see how this works out in Europe.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To be a global hegemon, you have to have a few places around the world you can exploit.

        And so, before the second war, the Empire of Japan, rather than resisting colonialism, having been threatened with becoming a victim, got a few islands in the Pacific herself.

        “I am just as good at this game as you are.”

        It’s important if one wants to be a manly man.

        1. uncle tungsten

          Before the ww2 debacle Japan was resisting US colonialism and their resource squeeze. Japan was being treated as a villain because of its colonial adventurism in China plus it was eager/desperate for raw materials elsewhere in the Pacific and Asia.

          The US fanaticism around monopoly capitalism was not about to tolerate an independent Asian state. That fanaticism continues to this day. There is only room for one hegemon.

      2. Fiver

        I note French’s earlier work is ‘Africa – A Continent For The Taking’. With the US, UK and Europe all over Africa militarily, financially, resource-grabs, land grabs, the works, non-stop for centuries it’s just wearisome for a US journalist to go after China for engaging in what are in relative terms miniscule efforts, a number of which have been reported as having failed in any event. Anyone who thinks the Pentagon map of the US Empire doesn’t include Africa is in for a rude awakening when they attempt to run up another flag. Good grief. Facebook wants to market a service all over Africa that claims to provide access to the Internet, but in fact is a package of content chosen by Facebook – information re-colonization being sold as the gift of the Internet for the masses.

    6. clinical wasteman

      Even more reluctant to throw so much as a single peanut from my remedial row of the gallery, but this (RG) is much how it seemed to me, only much better expressed.
      One thing maybe worth adding: although there are no EU-owned coproporations (no typo) as such, France, Germany and Italy have kept most of their key utilities, ‘defence’ suppliers etc. under state control with large minority shareholdings &/or through quasi-state investment bodies like the French CdD or Italian CDP. Apart from the ‘shock-treated’ ex-Warsaw Pact states where there was no choice offered, only successive UK (& occasionally Spanish) governments were fool enough to take their ‘free market’ doctrines literally and sell off everything, often to neighbours’ state controlled entities like EDF, E.On, France Telecom/Deutsche Telekom (hilariously rebranded in their antitrust-busting UK merger as Everything Everywhere, or the strangled scream ‘EEeeeeeeeeeee…’), ENI, Enel, Finmeccanica, etc. Of course, those quasi-state companies act just like private ones in the game of Competitiveness, Shareholder Value and looting labour. Hence eg. price-gouging on targeted energy markets (among others), with no discernible benefit for the surviving workers in the Lean, Mean gouging outfits, even in their “home” states.
      There’s quite a good overview of this somewhere in the LRB within the last couple of years (John Lanchester I think), but it would take a while to find & bypass the paywall. I can try to do that if anyone’s interested though.

  8. rjs

    so, was Naked Capitalism knowingly part of that Russian plot, or were they merely merely the “useful idiots”.

    1. cwaltz


      We all post for the glory of Mother Russia ……..

      I’m pretty sure that there was some Hillary Supporter calling us comrade here on more than one occasion because we pointed out that the Pentagon itself had assessed Clinton’s position of a no fly zone as likely to start a war with Syria and Russia.

      But hey let me guess the Pentagon is also filled with Soviet infiltrators and Defense Secretary Ash Carter and General Dunford, Joint Chiefs of Staff are really KGB.

      1. Emma

        ….Now if only the WaPo was filled full of writers like Solzhenitsyn, Bulgakov, or Pasternak, we might actually have a great witch-hunt or watch-list…..If those prats at WaPo keep up with this prattle, in next to no time they’ll be saying Larry David has Francois Mitterands concorde nose!
        And why? Because “OMG!” Larry partakes in Grands Projets Culurels just the way Francois partook!
        In which case the WaPo will conclude we’re all foo-fooed…… “OMG! becomes an Oh là là!”

  9. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: the anecdote.

    My old Catholic elhi had a population of albino groundhogs behind the school.

    1. fresno dan

      November 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

      So where is the brown tail coming from? Is this akin to there are 4 or 5 or 6 zebras?

      1. ambrit

        Maybe urine stains?
        Second, maybe grass stains from dragging that tail around the sward?
        It’s a “Furry Pangolin?”

      2. integer

        It’s just dirt. Kangaroos use their tail for stability, so the underside of their tails are on the ground almost as much as their feet are.

          1. integer

            Kangaroos are much better people than establishment politicians, imo. I also think Australian politics would see a vast increase in intelligence if the majority of our politicians were replaced with Kangaroos. We could then let the Australian politicians loose in the outback and farmers could periodically cull them.

    1. Norb

      Thanks for the link. Sanders is great at simply, and clearly, expressing the way forward. It is truly amazing how liberals, Spike lee included, continue to fall for the divide and conquer techniques of identity politics. It is exhausting continually trying to refute or explain that yes, racism and bigotry exist and need to be defended against, but that is NOT the main motivational force to be addressed directly, but the needs and interests of the working class are. By downplaying the relevance of working class needs- stable employment, a living wage, affordable healthcare, affordable higher education, affordable housing – neoliberalism rambles on as a force ravaging the planet.

      Race and gender equality will only be realized in an environment of economic equality and justice. Making politicians pay a political price for betrayal is finally a reality. Wealthy liberals have had an easy life up to now and that explains much of the discomfort they are feeling. The easy days are over. Building a political party of the working class is in order and that will be a long hard struggle.

      1. Norb

        Forgot to mention the push for peace over war and how the concept of religious freedom has been twisted out of all recognition from the intent of our constitution. It would be good for our democracy ifthe citizenry rediscovered the true meaning of Tyranny. Thomas Paine for the modern world is in order.

      2. jrs

        “Race and gender equality will only be realized in an environment of economic equality and justice.”

        Likely true, but don’t be surprised if minorities especially blacks know darn well this may be necessary but it isn’t sufficient. As there are few historical examples of addressing this that haven’t left them still suffering. Radicalism has a tradition of addressing both at the same time sometimes (radical unions that weren’t just white etc.), but u.s. liberalism doesn’t so much and so it’s a hard sell. The closest it ever got was probably LBJ.

        It’s true only class issues have any power to build a movement it seems, but don’t be surprised if minorities think it’s Not Their Movement, as they have seen it all before. Truly grass roots direct campaigns like low wage workers striking and the push for minimum wage increases seem to be going well though.

    1. begob

      I like how Bernie keeps soothing Spike’s worries away: “I hear you, brother – but here’s the deal …”

    2. Carla

      I call BS on this “conversation” since Sanders refuses to state the obvious: the Clintons sold out the Democrat Party in the 90s, and Obama spent eight LONG years burying it.

      1. B1whois

        I found Bernie’s focus to be on the future, not the past. So there’s that. Also, it’s well-known that Bernie Sanders is pragmatic, and likely sees little benefit from making your statement in that interview. Rage is just not productive alone.

        1. Carla

          You mean like this?

          Sanders: OK, here is where the hope is. The hope is to understand that the Democratic party has stumbled very significantly in the last number of decades. It’s not just this election, Spike, as disastrous as it has been. It is the fact that the Republican party controls the Senate, controls the US House, controls something like two-thirds of the governor seats in this country, and that the Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats in the last eight years. What that tells me is that the Democratic party has got to very fundamentally rethink who it is and where it goes. It has to shed the current situation where it’s a party of the liberal elite, a party of wealthy people who give substantial sums – we can use that money, that’s fine, but it must reidentify itself as a party of working people. Whether you’re black, white, Latino, there are millions of people today who are working longer hours for lower wages, and they’re seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1%. The Democratic party has got to say we are on the side of the 99%.

          1. RWood

            Mirkwood rumbles!
            The great jinn swirls!
            The left appears to be girding against the fearsomeness!
            Joining their great legions!
            Green, blue, purple, “the reds” —
            But — qui bono?

        2. Carla

          Sanders refuses to say that the Democrat Party is dead.

          A truly pragmatic person would understand that the corporate interests that fund and run the Democrat Party will never capitulate to the interests of the 99%. After all, the Clintons got it more than 25 years ago, and Obama rammed it home when he appointed Geithner his Treasury Secretary.

          Sanders presents as a man of the people while trying to save capitalists from themselves. Some future.

          1. uncle tungsten

            The challenge for the Bern and supporter is that creating a new political party is just overwhelmingly difficult in the USA. Mostly easy in almost every other democracy but not the USA. Every step is fraught with disabling legislation and regulation. There is no national system! instead there is a myriad of state systems, carefully crafted and brutally applied to silence all but the two major parties. The US democratic charade is a tweedledee and tweedledum oligarchy.

            Grasping this once in 30 year chance to turn the Democrats around is infinitely easier that starting from scratch. That is the appalling truth of it! Sanders is perfectly correct, sometimes hugely challenging, but he is a wise man.

            1. Oregoncharles

              You do realize exactly this has been attempted for at least those last 30 years, with the results we see before us?

              Millennials are SEVENTY PERCENT “independent;” the whole electorate, about 50%. It’s over but the shouting – but dinosaurs are very dangerous in their death throes.

          2. neo-realist

            The democratic party brand name is better known and has had a track record of success in the past, e.g., New Deal, Civil Rights legislation, Great Society. It’s just a matter of getting a 50 state strategy going on again w/ a new breed of populist democrat moving up the grass root ranks, running for and winning offices on strong economic populist principles and hammering the nails on the coffins of the neo-liberal has-beens. Hopefully a few of those #notmypresident demonstrators will seize the opportunity to bum-rush the party and create the changes they want.

            1. different clue

              It would mean Sanderwingers primarying-defeating every DLC Clintobamacrat before every Rep and Sen election, every time. And it would mean working /voting third party, ANY third party . . . if the primary challenge failed, in order to Naderize the DLC Clintobamacrat officeseeker.

              It would mean being ready to take the pain of Republican officeholders in many states for decades to come as the price of demonstrating that no DLC Clintobamacrat will ever be permitted to win an election anywhere in America ever again. Are the BernieCrats ready to take the decades of pain needed to exterminate the DLC Clintobamacrats from politics in the long run?

              1. neo-realist

                “The pain of Republican office holders in many states for decades to come.” This is starting to become the reality right now w/ neoliberal dems in the driver seat running for office. The democratic party might as well start the reinvention now since what they’re doing isn’t working well, but work on the districts that they’ve lost to republicans rather than primary the few successful ones in office.

        3. olga

          One cannot hope for a better (different) future without first understanding and coming to terms with the past. No soft ‘focus on the future’ will produce a result that is much different than what we have today. In other words, if you do not know what you’re struggling against – how do you even imagine the way forward?

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        And alienates so many potential allies that he’s dead in the water. Clintonism is probably quite capable of imploding on its own. With some of my friends, I figure three years before I can mention that those little berries probably aren’t in fact rainbows. Let alone turn it into a pun.

        This whole ‘burn all your bridges before I accept your sincerity’ trope seems a little counterproductive. And not genre savvy–that is not how a politician politics.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I was among those who was disappointed in him for apparently rolling in behind Clinton in August. But he’s proven smarter than me or any of his critics. He has played it perfectly – he did just enough to prove his ‘loyalty’, while letting HRC and the rest of them self-combust in their hubris. He is in an incredibly powerful position now within the Dems – with luck, and lots and lots of support, he will genuinely change things. Who could have predicted this even 12 months ago?

          1. John k

            He has the public, but remains public enemy no. 1 with all the super delegates because he wants to break their corporate rice bowls, no matter he’s shown them new, albeit smaller, bowls. Small donors will not hire you for 6-7 figures when you retire from politics. Why would you go into politics if you can’t get rich? There’s simply little financial rewards for a progressive… Bernie’s not even a half millionaire! Must be an awful existence.

            This explains why so few progressives run, and why even fewer in politics now flip from neolib to progressive… excepting those wannabes with public and private positions.
            Course, once you’re in you run up true colors, witness big o.

            1. hidflect

              Exactly. The Iron Law of Institutions applies.

              The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

              1. different clue

                Is there a Rust Tendency of Iron Institutions to counter the Iron Law of Institutions? They say that Rust Never Sleeps. How to get the rusting process started?

  10. fresno dan

    Electoral College must reject Trump unless he sells his business, top lawyers for Bush and Obama say Think Progress

    “…top lawyers for Bush and Obama say”
    All you need to know about the duopoly ……more suspense in professional wrestling

    1. Ed

      I’ve started to follow this, because there are developing indications that the GOP establishment really does have a plan to use faithless electors/ recounts in key states to throw the election to the House, which will then install a GOP establishment President. This of course is completely insane. If you want to undo the election, letting Trump take office and then impeaching and removing him on, well, trumped up charges has more of a chance of being sold to the public. But Trump’s recent pivot to GOP establishment positions has to be seen in the same light of similar behavior he did at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, when there was a similar plot in the background.

      1. B1whois

        Wow. For the last six months I have had this very strong gut feeling that neither Clinton nor Trump would be our next President. If I turn out to have intuited that, well that would be wierd. Anyone else have that feeling? That all this angst will seem unnecessary to the future us because neither LOTE will be taking the oath?

        1. Ed

          I’ve had the same intuition but have been proved wrong so far. I was pretty certain that during the campaign, either/ both Clinton and/ or Trump would withdraw, Clinton for “health reasons”, and Trump in the matter of Perot in 1992. Then depending on which one withdrew and when this happened, the substitute candidate would win the election. Obviously this didn’t happen.

          Neither did the idea of carrying Clinton over the finish line and then her stepping aside or being made to step aside using the 25th Amendment, again for health reasons.

          I still would be amazed if Trump actually served a full term, but I suspect Trump and the “Washington Establishment” are in the process of negotiating, either explicitly or implicitly, a deal that would allow Trump to do that and get some of his agenda enacted. But if the deal falls through or doesn’t happen, the “establishment’ still has several cards they can still play. The President has fewer formal powers than president-centric media coverage leads people to believe.

      2. fresno dan

        November 26, 2016 at 10:45 am

        I’m still of the idea that Trump will get impeached. The repubs would love to put in Pence (calm, lawful, experienced I can hear the network news readers intoning). But I agree with you that shortly we might as well have elected any of the other repubs…

          1. rd

            It takes a 2/3 supermajority in the Senate for conviction in impeachment proceedings. That means a substantial number of Democrats would have to link up with Republican Senators for conviction. The Democrats are probably more likely to be able to work with Trump than Pence, so they may not vote for conviction.

            Trump’s business conflicts of interest are going to be a fascinating application of game theory between many parties.

            1. skippy

              Game theory is not unlike Rapture ™ prophecy, both are founded on negatives being positives e.g. Hayekian, Nash, et al personality disorders comported to pragmatic virtue.

              Disheveled Marsupial…. imagine society being conditioned not unlike the first shooter problem the military had… over a protracted period of time… NC cover this terrain in the waybackmachine…

      3. Vatch

        here are developing indications that the GOP establishment really does have a plan to use faithless electors/ recounts in key states to throw the election to the House, which will then install a GOP establishment President.

        If any faithless electors vote for someone besides Trump or Clinton, this could occur. However, the Constitution requires the House to select one of the top three vote getters from the Electoral College vote. So if there is a conspiracy to install a Republican establishment candidate as President, that person would need to finish first, second, or third in the vote on December 19. The House can’t pick just anyone — their choice is constrained.

        1. Tom_Doak

          Not that I think this is a likely scenario, but since only two candidates earned Electoral Votes on November 9, it would probably take only a half-dozen well-compensated protest votes for Candidate C to finish in third place on December 19, and be eligible as a candidate in the House. You’d think that if the PTB were going to go this route, they would have their preferred candidate in mind by now.

      4. uncle tungsten

        Trump’s appointment to Justice will reveal it all. My guess is he will install an attack dog with the intimation that he will unleash said animal on the banksters and vampire squids. That will bluff the Congress and peace will reign over the Trump years. If Wall Street banksters try to shake him down, they will have to do business with a new FBI head and Justice attack dog.

        He may not have read Machiavelli but he seems to understand the concepts/strategies very well. I don’t think there will be any successful step toward impeachment.

    2. Antifa

      It’s not a media gag, fake wrestling, or a horse race for TV ratings. It’s quite real.

      Article I, Section 9 restricts the US President: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

      Note that this restriction applies to every member of the Executive Branch. Please not also that the Founding Fathers knew, discussed, and chose that word “emolument” precisely — to them it meant profit, favour, influence, payment or transfer of any material wealth.

      They certainly would not consider owning a big hotel just down the street from the White House as innocent of corruption of the office of President. Any visiting businessman, diplomat, lobbyist, or foreign leader who didn’t stay at the President’s hotel would get a chilly reception in the Oval Office. Hence, they would stay as often and as long as necessary at the President’s hotel, no matter the prices. It’s a straightforward recipe for graft.

      Which is why Presidents have to divest or divorce themselves (through blind trusts) of all personal businesses while they direct the affairs of the nation. No exceptions, while they are in office. Of course, it is a grand old tradition for Presidents and other politicians to prepare a soft nest in the corporate world for themselves for when they become private citizens again. That’s also straightforward graft, but like a catfish it’s too slippery to get a real grip on. So we let it swim past.

      Donald isn’t going to be able to defy or finesse this Emolument Clause. It’s a dealbreaker.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Sorry to tell you but if he assumes office it isn’t. I am pretty sure the only way to get him out even under this clause is via impeachment. The Federal AG won’t go after him and I am just about 100% sure neither private parties nor state AGs have a right of action.

      2. Katharine

        The clause doesn’t seem to me to have the effect you claim for it. It says no person holding office shall accept any emolument from any foreign state. A business venture in another country is not that country. The income is from the business, which he owns, not from the state in which it is based.

      3. rd

        It’s in the Constitution but I don’t believe it is covered in an actual law. I believe that means that it becomes a basis for impeachment or a Supreme Court action, instead of standard prosecutor action.

        The ammunition boxes are being loaded for impeachment proceedings. Within 12 months, it is likely that Trump will be in office purely at the pleasure of Republicans in Congress unless he can retain strong support among his voters and/or the Democratic Senate.

      4. uncle tungsten

        Simple to get around: the visiting kings of the Middle East can stay elsewhere, their entourage and security people can be housed wherever is available. More than enough hangers on will choose to stay at Trump’s towers for the same reason people gifted to the Clinton Foundation. As long as the payment is on a diplomatic travel basis and not a gift. No crime in that is there?

  11. alex morfesis

    The bezos shopper just pointed out the bezos shopping site is a massive short and going to miss its numbers this closing quarter…

    not sure why this burn notice is a bad thang…sounds like free new eyeballs and money…

    although…if you want bux beyond fresh ad revenue….slander per se is basically a slam dunk in florida…

    me and a certain genius (jtm) down here in tampabay area would be hard to break affiants and witnesses…

    either way…enjoy the newly found notoriety…

    and sue them anyway…

    first lawsuit gets all the publicity…

    And if the lazy lawyers caution against suit against the unknown enterprise since they are “hiding”…

    florida(among a few other states) still has the “bill of discovery”…

    same net effect of valuable publicity without the heartburn of potential liability for legal fees of the mystery defendant(s)…

    and sue in pinellas county…a certain wrestler didnt do to bad down here…

    then foia the cloud contracts the bezos shopper has with the federal guvmint…

    More vittles for the kitties….

  12. rd

    “They’d be nuts not to have Romney if he would actually take the job”

    And there is the conundrum that our new ruling party will have for the next several years. They are actually going to have to address the insanities and contradictions residing within their party.

      1. sd

        Funny. I read that as “Donut Movement” and immediately got the warm and fuzzies remembering the local donut shop as a kid. I had a soft spot for cinnamon cruellers and chocolate iced donuts.

        Trump is proving himself more savvy of Washington than I thought. By bringing on those who criticized him, he knows he’s not getting sycophants.

        1. Lee

          Many an hour of my misspent youth during high school were spent in such a place. A little shop not far from school on what was then a two lane road next to one of the few remaining orchards in what is now silicon valley. When younger yet, there were 400 square miles of farm land, mostly orchards, growing out of some of the most fertile soil in the world, all under pavement now. Thanks for the hit of nostalgia.

    1. John k

      Tulsi is my pick and hope, she’s eye to eye with trump on foreign adventures. And he likes hotties…

      1. Oregoncharles

        I’d love to be a fly on the wall for THAT discussion. However, not only does she not seem like the type to put up with anything, I gather he has a rep for treating female employees fairly (I first wrote “with due respect,” but that isn’t exactly what we heard.

      1. Altandmain

        You mean people are too poor now for the rich to loot.

        Let’s face it, large numbers of middle class individuals have been knocked into the working class or poor. The working class has been hit even harder (look at wage and net worth drops).

        What does that leave? Them to loot the professional class (ex: between the 80-99th percentile)?

        1. SB

          What does that leave? Them to loot the professional class (ex: between the 80-99th percentile)?

          Been near a (non-Ivy) university lately? They are planing to replace the current generation of tenured academics with video files and peer-grading.

  13. mK

    RE: WAPO & PROPORNOT – Amazon owns WAPO? Maybe a call for a national (international?) boycott of Amazon is due.

      1. Cynthia

        We pay the CIA and every military branch intelligence service, not to mention NSA the big bucks to read all Russian dysinformation AND interpret it. If they faked news, Obama would be the first to know followed by Hillary. The Post is making its usual lame excuses for its handlers in the DNC.

  14. Dave

    Elizabeth Holmes and her nauseating “medical expert” pal Chelsea.

    “Holmes is hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Palo Alto. The event includes a conversation with former First Family member Chelsea Clinton, and participants who pay $2,700 get to go to a “host reception” with Chelsea. According to an email sent out to potential attendees, the fundraiser will take place at the Theranos Palo Alto headquarters.”

    Histori-cat is shoveling the litter of time over Three turds quickly losing their luster.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Does Chinese Civilization Come From Ancient Egypt?

    Really interesting article but good to remain skeptical. This bit stuck out to me:

    Of the 200 or so items of bronze ware he was responsible for analyzing, some came from the city of Yin. He found that the radioactivity of these Yin-Shang bronzes had almost exactly the same characteristics as that of ancient Egyptian bronzes, suggesting that their ores all came from the same source: African mines.

    I participated in an excavation of a Bronze Age site in coastal Crete back in the 90s. At one point the lead archaeologist who hailed from the US found some sort of mineral in the excavation that had been used by the local Bronze Age artisans. He declared this mineral was only to be found in Anatolia, thereby proving an ancient trade route between Crete and modern day Turkey. That is until a local fisherman pointed him to large deposits of said mineral found just over the next hill…

    Fun to speculate but as we fans of economic discussion realize , social sciences aren’t known for their exactness.

    1. alex morfesis

      or maybe mankind has been around and traveling the seas with commerce a bit longer than the average drunken apartheidish western archaeologists would like to imagine…

      what was that line in a big fat greek wedding…

      when the ellenes were developing philosophy…

      1. Synoia

        I refer you this piece of wisdom: Cargoes – John Masefield

        Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
        Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
        With a cargo of ivory,
        And apes and peacocks,
        Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

        Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
        Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
        With a cargo of diamonds,
        Emeralds, amythysts,
        Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

        Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
        Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
        With a cargo of Tyne coal,
        Road-rails, pig-lead,
        Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From Han Purple and Han Blue, Wikipedia:

      Han blue and Egyptian blue[edit]

      Han blue and Egyptian blue have the same basic structure and have very similar properties.[2] The difference is that Egyptian blue (CaCuSi4O10) has calcium in the position of Han blue’s barium (BaCuSi4O10). The similarities lead some to suggest that Han blue was based on Egyptian blue knowledge, which had travelled east along the Silk Road.[8] Independent innovation in China would still have been needed to replace calcium with barium[8] (the Han pigments start to form at 100–200°C higher than Egyptian blue).[11]

      The suggestions are:
      that earlier alkali metal glazing techniques were based on knowledge from Egypt, but that the copper silicate pigments (Egyptian blue and Han blue) developed from these glazes in two independent areas: Egypt and China.[2]

      Alternatively, that examples of Han blue predate the official Silk Road and therefore that development was completely independent.[11]
      Possible Chinese invention[edit]

    3. PlutoniumKun

      yes, its a fascinating article. I hope Chinese archaeology is in a better state than in the 1990’s when I first visited. I went to a Xia dynasty site to find people casually picking up souvenirs (remains of pottery and tile) and putting them in their pockets. There were amazing untouched sites out in the Gobi desert, the remains of countless silk road camp fires forming mounds of charcoal – there must be an enormous amount of information waiting to be extracted from those sites.

      But while the evidence from bronze is intriguing, it really doesn’t prove anything. Bronze was an incredibly valuable product in the early Bronze age and widely traded from the relatively small number of copper and tin mines known to the early metallurgists. Irish bronze and gold from that period has been found over most of Europe – unsurprising when you know that it was easily accessible by sea and most transport was by boat, so it wasn’t a great surprise that valuable objects could work their way up the Rhine or to the Mediterranean. Travelling by boat from the Red Sea to the South China sea would not have been a particularly difficult journey, there was plenty of coast to hug all the way.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        RE: “…casually picking up souvenirs..”

        That isn’t just in China. I visited the Greek Bronze Age site Tiryns and the ground was littered with pottery shards. Most were very plain having been exposed to the elements however if you knew what to look for there were plenty that still had details of the ancient Mycenaean painting remaining.

        Regarding the article, my guess is that similar to what you described, this bit is on the right track:

        Since the 1990s, most Chinese archaeologists have accepted that much of the nation’s Bronze Age technology came from regions outside of China. But it is not thought to have arrived directly from the Middle East in the course of an epic migration. The more prosaic consensus is that it was transmitted into China from Central Asia by a slow process of cultural exchange (trade, tribute, dowry) across the northern frontier, mediated by Eurasian steppe pastoralists who had contacts with indigenous groups in both regions.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, but the problem with a ‘cultural exchange’ theory is that the bronze would then likely have many sources due to constant trading and exchange across central asia. If it is true that all or most of the bronze has a very specific geographical origin, this to me suggests a direct sea trading route.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Crete is as close to Asia Minor (Turkey) as to Greece; of course there was trade. It’s an island; the Minoans had a maritime empire. And there were Greeks on both sides of the Aegean. f

      That said, a clear example of hubris on someone’s part.

      The levels of radioactivity might be more distinctive, though. Still, that discovery doesn’t mean a sea route. Bronze might well have been traded through Central Asia to China, then probably recast by the Chinese.

      Not sure of the Yinshang period, but Shang bronzes are utterly distinctive and bear no resemblance to Egyptian work. There’s an odd resemblance to Northwest Coast Indian imagery, though, as well as to Maori, as Claude Levi-Strauss pointed out long ago. Not strong enough to call for contact, though. Parallelism.

      In general, people and ideas got around even in the distant past; it’s hard to overestimate cultural contact. But it only sticks if it’s useful to the locals, or if there was conquest.

  16. tommy strange

    FYI been watching where this crap WaPo stuff is being spread….Salon of course..and oh look! Rebecca Solnit on her FB page just reposted it in a string ‘of proofs’ that Russia ruined the election!! Love me I’m a liberal….and I”ll turn you un (Phil Ochs)… I can’t believe Harpers has been publishing her crap for a year now…I’m writing another letter to them……and pointing this out…..

    1. DJG

      Rebecca Solnit has never seen a straw man (and we know that they are all men of straw, ‘splaining to her) that she didn’t like. Most of her columns in Harper’s Magazine sought straw men like “jaded leftists,” “naive cynics,” and so on. The mediocrity of her thinking is telling.

      1. tommy strange

        Sure has SD! And for a lot of friends of mine that always called themselves ‘liberal’ but leaned left… they’ve been pushed left by their still capable rational thought. And DJG, her writing is horrible. Over 3 articles about gentrification in Harpers’ alone, and still not ONE mention of the bubble economics and hot money that is fueling it…each time…it’s the ‘tech sector’ that is causing all of it. gawd. She even said ‘reaganomics’ plagues san francisco still. What ??

    2. Cynthia

      It’s my belief that coining and popularizing the expression “Fake News” is only one more small step towards the slippery slope of justifying online censorship.

    3. Kokuanani

      I was horrified to see that Bill Moyers had an item on this in one of his Facebook entries, linking to the WaPo article.

      Bill should be better than that.

  17. Jim Haygood

    New frontiers in the Panopticon:

    Financial institutions are increasingly gauging consumers’ creditworthiness by using phone-company data on mobile calling patterns and locations.

    Equifax has started using utility and telecommunications data in Latin America over the past two years. The number of calls and text messages a potential borrower in Latin America receives can help predict a consumer’s credit risk.

    “It turns out, the more economically active you are, the more people want to call you,” Robin Moriarty of Equifax Latin America said. “That level of activity, that level of usage is what’s really most predictive.”

    FICO’s partner EFL sends psychological questionnaires of about 60 questions to potential borrowers’ mobile phones. FICO can check if users’ phones were physically present at their stated home or work address, and if they are in touch with other good borrowers — or with people with long histories of fooling lenders.

    “The way you use the phone is a proxy for the way you live,” Cignify CEO Jonathan Hakim said. “We are capturing a mirror of the customer’s life.”

    Several large phone companies contacted by Bloomberg declined to comment about whether they share data with financial institutions.

    “Capturing a mirror of the customer’s life” is exactly what a minority of us DO NOT WANT.

    A neighbor who rents her second home on Airbnb uses Facebook to screen potential renters. What if they aren’t on Facebook, I asked her. “Then I don’t rent to them; they’re not social,” she replied.

    What’s being proxied is not necessarily creditworthiness, but conventionality: that is, assent to the contemporary cultural demand to waive personal privacy and expose one’s life to any and all who care to pry.

  18. Synoia

    It’s Storytelling, Stupid: What Made Donald Trump Smarter Than Hillary Clinton Daily Beast

    I think she would have been surprisingly bipartisan and worked with people like Paul Ryan to get things done and solve big problems.

    Precisely. That’s why she lost, more of the same. The “big problems” were and are her support for wars and trade.

    She didn’t even embrace the Sanders movement – Deplorables that they are, probably because their inclusion broke the sides of one of her carefully constructed triangulations.

    Both the writer of this article and Hillary are either idiots (which I doubt), or unbelievably arrogant (aka: Too clever for their own good). I refer to the Beatitudes:

    Blessed are the meek……

    1. Liberal Mole

      Clinton’s whole career is about failing upward, so I expect it’s the former. And yet another one of the rarefied elites affirming she is warm and wonderful in person – to him. Naturally, he’s an important Republican, her true constituency.

    2. different clue

      She was also going to work with Ryan and the Catfood Democrats to stealth-slow-privatise Social Security and Medicare. Bipartisan.

  19. Vatch

    Trump election: Request for Wisconsin vote recount sent BBC. However, there is no way to get a Pennsylvania recount request in by the deadline, so this is all moot.

    Why is there no way to submit a Pennsylvania recount request by the deadline? The Wisconsin request was submitted by the Friday deadline; why can’t the Pennsylvania request be submitted by the Monday deadline? I’m not arguing — I just don’t understand the reason for the claim that this is not possible.

        1. Vatch

          That’s my impression, too. That’s the most interesting aspect of this: who’s donating all that money? And my personal gripe: why didn’t they donate some money to protest some of the results in the Democratic primary? It’s a rhetorical question; I know why rich people didn’t care about the dirty tricks used against the Sanders campaign.

                1. sd

                  Embarrassing. Sad to see EmptyWheel go off the deep end. My reading list gets shorter and shorter everyday….

    1. flora

      everyone (both sides) I know was so disgusted by the primary and general election season they, one and all, said on Nov. 8th, “Thank god *that’s* done.” Except it’s not done, it’s become the election that does… not… stop. Yeah, that’s making people happy. /s

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It reminds of the movie, Fatal Attraction.

        “Do you regret having electoral relationship with that woma..sorry, her?”

      2. Annotherone

        @ flora
        I didn’t realise, or had forgotten, that it was Yogi Berra who famously said “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” – a thought that has been on many minds, and mine, these last few days. That sports reference recalled one from my old homeland:

        “They think it’s all over” a quote from Kenneth Wolstenholme’s BBC TV commentary in the closing moments of the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, when England beat West Germany 4–2 after extra time to win the FIFA World Cup. In the final few seconds of the [soccer] match, Wolstenholme said:
        And here comes Hurst! He’s got… (Wolstenholme gets distracted by some of the crowd spilling onto the pitch)
        “Some people are on the pitch! ”
        “They think it’s all over!”
        (Geoff Hurst scores to put England two goals ahead)
        “It is now……it’s four!”
        Soon after the 1966 victory, Wolstenholme’s quote became a widely used expression.
        (detail at Wiki)

        I hope it’ll not be too long before someone tells us “It is now….it’s …[ ? ]”. I think I’m past caring now, but know I ought not to be.

  20. Katharine

    Citing federal regulations governing public lands, Colonel John W. Henderson of the army corps of engineers wrote to Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault that he was ordering the closure by 5 December.

    The order was “to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury” from the winter weather.

    What Molly Ivins would have called horse hockey. If that were the aim the order would have been issued much earlier. Clearly it was really to prevent the embarrassment of nonviolent veterans confronting the law enforcement bullies. I hope it fails to achieve that aim.

    1. pretzelattack

      how about protecting the protestors from the violent cops. a good way to prevent death, illness or serious injury” from the winter weather would be to stop the cops from using fire hoses to soak people. i’m encouraged by the peaceful veterans’ support, and i get the impression the cop community is divided on this, too. maybe you can’t always hire half the working class to shoot the other half.

      1. Katharine

        True enough about the law enforcement divisions. RSN just provided this list of agencies that have participated, but some of them have already pulled out, and there was an article a couple of weeks ago (where, I no longer recall) commenting on the manifest ambivalence of some cops who were there. It’s good when people start asking why they are being called on to do things–though I imagine stressful, when they start feeling they can’t live that way but aren’t quite ready to quit.

        1. River

          The protesters should reach out to the cops who left and/or feel guilty. Ask them if they feel/felt what they did was wrong, come atone and take your place beside us.

          The hoses would stop at least. One thing to soak some hippy, but to a fellow Brother in Blue?

    2. Patricia

      “…ordering the closure by 5 December.”

      Isn’t that around time the vets were intending to come? I will check.

      1. Katharine

        Well, the water protectors are saying they won’t go, so I imagine at least some of the vets will still show up to support them. I hope so, anyway. The government has been so stupid over this. Onwards, once again, to the wrong side of history!

    3. rd

      They didn’t seem as anxious to give an eviction notice for occupying Federal lands in Oregon a while back. But that was just a nature preserve in winter.

      1. different clue

        They also didn’t want a large scale shootout or worse with rightwing-identified gun owners. The DAPL protesters have said all along that they will remain non-violent ( and presumably gunless), so the Legal Enforcement personnel can kill them without fear of physical retaliation. That too might explain the difference.

        Also, there is billions of dollars worth of oil at stake here. There was no such oil at Malheur. That three might explain the difference.

    4. uncle tungsten

      Col Henderson sounds like he has adopted the Custer persona, he wants a brawl and an ugly one. One thing is for sure, there has never been a shortage of thugs in the USA to carry out corporate bidding.

      Will this be Obummers legacy? Dead American Indians and their allies struggling for land protection and slaughtered by the US Army? This is looking bad given the US’ history of thug rule.

      1. different clue

        Is Bakken oil totally generic? Does it just disappear across the whole field of refineries and then oil products sellers? Or does it take certain pathways to certain refineries and then get sold through certain sellers and not through others?

        Would it be possible to identify which bussinesses sell most of the ultimate products of Bakken oil?
        If it would, would millions of DAPL-protest sympathisers be willing to avoid Bakken sourced oil bussinesses and take their bussiness and their money to Bakken-free sources of oil products? If so, would enough people do it hard enough and long enough to make the North Dakota Oil Patch scream for lack of money? And keep screaming until its political servants tortured the various governments involved into stopping the pipeline?

  21. beth

    NPR and Castro
    This morning NPR reported on the death of Castro. It was clearly only propoganda since it emphasized that Castro did some good things but he was really a very bad man. One of the final comments by the snarky announcer was “In the end, he died a sickly old man.” The tone clearly stated that that served him right. I don’t know but suspect that most of us will die in a similar sickly way.

    Several experts made comments giving Castro praise for his education & health care policies and denouncing him for relying on the Soviets for help.

    Needless to say, NPR did not interview Wm LeoGrande who in 2014 wrote

    Backchannel to Cuba: the Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana

    for a more complex picture.

    For any nation, especially a very small one so close to the U.S., to survive has to be considered to be a miracle. Communist or capitalist, Cuba maintained its sovereignty for all these years while providing education and healthcare to everyone. Sending doctors to South American & African countries is a success story of immense proportions.

    I applaud LeoGrande’s tenacity since obtaining the documents necessary to write this account took a very long time. From Eisenhower to GWB, this account reports the formal and informal talks between the two nations. To learn more see the Amazon reviews since my link did not take.

      1. Synoia

        Would that not also eliminate 50% (or so) of the males in the US?

        Correlation is not causation, perhaps.

    1. OIFVet

      One of the final comments by the snarky announcer was “In the end, he died a sickly old man.”

      So Cuban deplorables die of old age, and American deplorables die ever younger from drug ODs and Type 2 diabetes complications. USA!!! USA!!!

      1. beth

        I agree. I liked LeoGrande’s book since it gives the facts and let me come to my own conclusions.

        My own conclusion is that in many situations, it came down to the U.S. wanting to dictate Cuba’s relationships with other nations such as their sending troops to South American and African countries whose own independence was at stake. Castro consistently stated that he could be flexible but that he would not agree to give up Cuba’s full sovereignty. That usually was seen as a threat by the U.S. Our desire for control was not much different from the Dutch hegemony during the 1800s in Indonesia. Many could arguably disagree & say I am overstating this but, in any case, Cuba paid a high economic price for its independent decision making.

        I don’t think the videos get at this issue.

        1. uncle tungsten

          Thanks for the tip Beth, I particularly agree with the comparison with the Dutch in Indonesia. A good read there is the Buru Quartet by Pramoedya Ananta Toer: first book titled This Earth of Mankind. It covers a persons life through part of the Dutch thuggery in Indonesia. All of Toer’s books are worth the time.

          Fidel was a great leader and a remarkably astute politician, his primary consideration for the wellbeing of the people of Cuba and elsewhere was the hall mark of excellence for any leader. Sure he was a tyrannical bully to many opposing his and the communist parties rule. But the infrastructure he created to enable people access maslow’s ladder of self improvement and security was second to none. The world needs more people of this calibre.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      An average amount of $45 doesn’t indicate the distribution of those 110,000 contributions.

      Do they have to be concerned about violating any donation laws?

      1. marym

        From the same link:

        The Federal Election Commission’s rules on campaign contributions still apply here. The good news: If you had donated the maximum amount of $2,700 as an individual contributor by November 8, you are now permitted to donate up to $2,700 to fund this recount initiative.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks again.

          That $2,700 is contribution to a candidate or candidate committee. The limit is higher if an entity is contribution to a national party committee.

          For ‘additional national party committee accounts,’ such as for recounts, the limit for an individual is $102,000 per year, I believe. I got that from OpenSecrets.

            1. uncle tungsten

              That is priceless. And who just made absolutely certain that the Democrats lost the immediate past election? Throw these grifters out PLEASE!

  22. Anon

    RE: Castro/Miami Herald

    This article is great in it’s breadth, but a little shallow on explaining the outsized role the US had on backing Batista, and our general distortion of Latin American politics. (Claiming Costa Rica had population literacy advances equal to Cuba is to ignore that CR was a Banana Republic controlled by US interests (corporations).

  23. JohnnyGL

    Regarding Castro,

    Most media in the US will paint him in a horrid light. However, the truth is more complicated and the good things he did are very important. Fighting Apartheid-supported proxies in South Africa’s neighbors and successfully boxing it in was a big factor contributing to its demise.

    Apartheid’s fall was as big for Southern Africa as the fall of the Berlin Wall was for Europe.

    1. Quentin

      I thought Cuba achieved wonders fighting Ebola in West Africa, ,more than the US I understand. Has anyone given the Cubans credit? Compliments and thank-yous are not US style. On the contrary: only the US does GOOD!

    2. Kokuanani

      I’m reading an excellent book, Havana Nocture, which gives a picture of what Cuba was like before Castro. The subtitle is “How the mob owned Cuba . . . and then lost it to the Revolution.”

      The Cuban “exiles” in FL long for a past that was not so rosy for most Cubans.

      1. bob

        The links to the Bacardi family fortune are also worth noting. HUGE money.

        “More recently, Bacardi lawyers were influential in the drafting of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which sought to extend the scope of the United States embargo against Cuba.[17] In 1999, Otto Reich, a lobbyist in Washington on behalf of Bacardi, drafted section 211 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Appropriations Act, FY1999 (Pub.L. 105–277), a bill that became known as the Bacardi Act. Section 211 denied trademark protection to products of Cuban businesses expropriated after the Cuban revolution, a provision keenly sought by Bacardi. The act was aimed primarily at the Havana Club brand in the U.S. The brand was created by the José Arechabala S.A. and nationalised without compensation in the Cuban revolution, the Arechabala family left Cuba and stopped producing rum. They therefore allowed the US trademark registration for “Havana Club” to lapse in 1973. Taking advantage of the lapse, the Cuban government registered the mark in the US in 1976.[18][19] This new law was drafted to invalidate the lawful trademark registration. Section 211 has been challenged unsuccessfully by the Cuban government and the European Union in U.S. courts. It was also ruled illegal by the WTO in 2001 and 2002.[20] The U.S. Congress has yet to re-examine the matter. The brand was assigned by the Cuban government to Pernod Ricard in 1993.”

  24. Plenue

    Syraqistan update:

    The SAA is a little over a kilometer of terrain away from slicing the Eastern Aleppo pocket in two. The ‘rebels’ were doomed already, but this is only going to accelerate their inevitable surrender. Only a matter of weeks before tens of thousands of Syrian troops are freed up to be deployed to other fronts, where the SAA is already mostly having continued success. Other positive news is that there are confused reports of Egypt sending planes to join the fight on the Assad side, and the SAA and Kurds seem to have formed an alliance to take al-Bab. On the negative side, it seems the SAA and Turkish forces have taken to bombarding each other.

  25. ewmayer

    “Steve Bannon’s Deep, Weird Adoration of Sarah Palin Daily Beast (resilc). Well, she is foxy.” | Yeah, which is more bizarre – Bannon’s crush or Michael Moore’s deep, weird adoration of the Pantsuited One with the soul-killing nag-voice?

    1. uncle tungsten

      Proporno t has Soros and Dem machine echoes all over it. “The Russians are coming” was their catchcry in the frenzied last months of the campaign and their imaginations and red herrings were running amok trying to bamboozle voters. What a pathetic bunch they were! In the end the people they needed wouldn’t dignify their crap and go to vote and the winner was flagging “friendship” with the non-enemy (the soviets being long gone was discernible to most eligible voters).

      If this is payback for independent media, it is a tragic and stupid effort. A bit like Podesta and Mook et al in the campaign.

  26. kareninca

    “It also ruined my Thanksgiving holiday, when I desperately needed a break.”

    It really upsets me that you have been stuck with this. Okay, so now I’ll be sending in a donation as moral support (check by mail, nothing thrilling). I disagree with loads of things on this site (and every other site I visit), esp. the gun control stuff, but it is crucial to take a stand against neo-McCarthyism. I’m guessing Charles Hugh-Smith is not happy, either.

  27. robnume

    On Fidel Castro: Fidelito was a heroic figure to me. He stood up to power and he got rid of Batista. He educated countless numbers of his citizens and he truly cared about his nation. The history of his revolution is astounding. Any American who doesn’t understand what he did for his nation needs to study Cuban history, from the Cubano viewpoint. Fulgencio Batista was a weapons- grade son-of-a-bitch who was in complete collusion with U S Imperialists. The Cuban leaders before Batista were no better. Fidel, a young attorney at the time, made his revolution successful, when the many who tried it before him were not and because of the strength of his vision and his love for his country he succeeded. He then attempted to normalize relations with the U S, who would have nothing to do with him, so, having no viable alternative, he turned to Russia. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    1. Fiver

      Could not agree more. He was one of the few great leaders of the post-War world and Cuba’s accomplishments second to none given unremitting US hostility. The world’s jaw just goes slack at the US reaction to his death.

  28. robnume

    If reading NC on a regular basis lands me on a watchlist, that’s a badge I will wear with pride. As Rage Against the Machine says in “Guerilla Radio,” “…all hell won’t stop us now!” btw, Putin made me write this!

  29. robnume

    On Theranos: George Schultz should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. Family always comes first and it is beyond repulsive that this old man still doesn’t seem to get it at his advanced age. His grandson is a hero in my book and I would be proud of any member of my family who stood up to power and did the right thing. This company was literally endangering the lives of people. I dearly hope that Elizabeth Holmes goes to prison. Shameless!

    1. a different chris

      I was thinking that, too. If it was my blood in that situation (sadly we don’t have that kind of financial clout, but whatever) Ms Holmes would be seriously screwed if there was any truth at all in the accusations. I would give her a chance to respond, but…. yes Mr. Schultz, you are the lowest of the low. Are you even sure that’s your grandson, b/c it looks like the apple rolled really, really far from the tree.

  30. Kim Kaufman

    Here are two rather different views of Tulsi Gabbard – and they are not pretty. She’s had long-time right wing, anti-gay views, she’s friends with Modi (she’s of Indian descent) and was associated with a cult in the past. Quitting the DNC post and supporting Bernie seems to have been the act of an opportunist and nothing more.

    1. a different chris

      Well, if that’s all true: She was DNC vice chair. Yup that’s an organization the Left can support.

    2. Waldenpond

      It’s pretty typical for Ds to present new comers as progressive when they aren’t. Ellison and Gabbard are no different to me than Booker and establishment Ds go out and look for Rs to convert. I would like to see a list of 25 positions(out of hundreds) or so that define ‘progressive’. Some of the people trotted out for support have horrid positions that are routinely criticized when Rs have the same position but some hold one progressive position (or, the hand wave that they supported Sanders) and it’s ‘lesser evil’ all over again. Even neocon is acceptable as ‘progressive’. It’s bizarre.

    3. Vatch

      I don’t know enough about Tulsi Gabbard to properly evaluate the claims in the articles. However, she has voted correctly on several of the bills that have been discussed at NC over the past couple of years. I haven’t included links, but you can do web searches with this information.

      She voted against fast track Trade Promotion Authority (indirectly she voted against the TPP). HR2146, Roll Call vote 374, June 18, 2015.

      She voted against the repeal of Country of Origin Labeling for meat. HR2393, June 10, 2015.

      She voted against HR37, which would have repealed some financial regulations. Coincidentally, Roll call 37, January 14, 2015.

      She voted against the DARK act, HR1599, Roll Call 462, July 23, 2015. What eventually passed a year later was the Senate version S764, Roll Call vote 466, July 14, 2016. She also voted against that.

      She voted against HR185, which NC called “another Wall Street gimmie”. Roll Call 28, January 13, 2015.

      Most Republicans and many corporate Democrats voted the other way on these bills.

  31. Oregoncharles

    ” The Scots, amusingly, have generally gotten the better of Trump. ”
    They had loads of practice dealing with the English. (Scottish ancestry on both sides, here.)

    Incidentally, this is an example of the inherent difficulty of investing in another country: unfamiliar legal system and mores. And a tendency to gang up on the foreign exploiter.

  32. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding the informative Defend Democracy article on Putin’s purge of some senior Russian government officials ostensibly due to their corruption, I was reminded of Winston Churchill’s observation: “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

  33. H. Alexander Ivey

    Yes, the Miami Herald piece is lively and detailed. But at ‘great’, I humbly raise my hand. The following are some reasons to read the Castro piece (Fidel Castro is dead Miami Herald). Read it if:

    1. you don’t know the history between the USA and Cuba and you only want the USA view

    2. you have read Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and want to raise your blood pressure at the usual one-sideness of the US’s political elite presentation

    3. you have some ideas about how political systems work and want to read yet another example of a long lived political leader who lead for decades; yet the piece never offers any political reasons or craftmanship for his longevity except for the violence assigned to said leader

    4. you have lived through the 60, 70s, and 80s and you want to remember the thrill of those times, of Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan…, when being a white guy was supreme

    5. you want to see yet another piece of superior propaganda on how the USA is always right, their assigned enemies are always wrong; how the US never does violence except when absolutely necessary for all the right moral reasons while their stated enemy always does violence for the sadistic pleasure of being a ‘Communist’
    5a. for social slander, watch for remarks about Fidel’s fatherhood, husbandhood, and general not-nice-guy-to-be-aroundness
    5b. for language usage pay particular attention to the adjectives around Fidel – always present, always over the top, never simple nor usually needed
    5c. for the US’s enemy blood lust, don’t miss how Fidel is call to account for killing X people over Y periods but with no offered proof of the numbers; nor any contrasting account of the corresponding US president killing 10X or 1,000X people over the same period of time
    5d. and note, yes this is a piece about Fidel, so his name would be prominent, but somehow, it is usually Fidel against the US or some named nation-state, not Fidel against John Kennedy or Robert Kennedy against Fidel, or Ronald Reagan and Fidel Castro. Names matter and this is a good piece of how ‘naming’ your enemy makes it personal (the enemy) and not naming his antagonists makes them impersonal; like it’s not personal, the attempts to kill him by the (nameless) US’s agents, agencies, and presidents and directors who over saw them

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