Links 11/27/16

Your Dog Wants You to Pipe Down and Just Talk With Your Hands Instead New York Magazine

Learning to love the secret language of urine WaPo. They should know.

42 Million Dead In Bloodiest Black Friday Weekend On Record The Onion

Thanksgiving, Black Friday store sales fall, online rises Reuters

Choke Point of a Nation: The High Cost of an Aging River Lock NYT

State of Michigan tells Detroit students ‘Literacy is not a right’ Fox2

Climate change used to be a bipartisan issue — until the fossil fuel industry got involved Business Insider

Geopolitical role of trade deals is often overdramatised FT. FT moving from denial, through bargaining, to acceptance?


First U.S. service member killed in Syria was a bomb disposal technician WaPo

WikiLeaks Yemen Files Unmask Washington’s Bloody Role Informed Comment

Pakistan Appoints Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa as Army Chief of Staff in Unusually Smooth Transition WSJ

Theresa May carries on Labour’s business pay crackdown Telegraph. Tories stealing the left’s clothes while Parliamentary Labour dithers and fumes.

France votes for center-right candidate – and perhaps next president Reuters


A Housing Frenzy Bedevils Beijing WSJ

America’s Shale Gas Is Headed to China for the Second Time Bloomberg

In Indonesia, Fears Rise Among Ethnic Chinese Amid Blasphemy Probe WSJ


Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reacts to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Eviction Notice: Your Letter Makes a Grave & Dangerous Mistake Native News Online (MR).

DES to request additional $7 million for DAPL response Bismarck Tribune

Health Care

Why 27 Million Are Still Uninsured Under Obamacare Bloomberg. From October, still useful.

Our Famously Free Press

We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here’s What We Learned WUNC. I’m so old I remember the “media critique” that was the distinctive competence of the (then liberal) blogosphere collectively — along with snark — when it was starting out, c. 2000 – 2003. (Remember the great Media Whores Online? How badly we need that site today!) We didn’t buy the Bush administration’s fake WMD stories for one second, for example, and said so relentlessly. And rightly! (Had Clinton listened to us, she might be President today.) Then the Democrats, as Democrats will do, decapitated the blogosphere, and some went on to fame and fortune in the Acela Corridor. The media critique was finally weaponized by Republican turncoat David Brock’s well-funded and implicitly partisan Media Matters, which decayed into the openly partisan million-dollar-troll operation Brock runs for the Clintons, Correct the Record. So now, the same institutions that beat the war drums for WMDs in 2003 want somebody — Zuckerberg’s programmers? — to perform the media critique for them today. Or so they say. Oh, and hat tip to Democrat operative Cass Sunstein for the notion of “cognitive infiltration,” which was the original motive, or rationalization, for the fake news creator that the WUNC story reports on.

How I Detect Fake News Tim O’Reilly, Medium. I’m trying to determine if O’Reilly’s algorithm would have detected Jury Miller’s false stories on WMDs in the New York Times, which did so much, during the Iraq War Scare, to bring war about.

Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group WaPo

No, Russian Agents Are Not Behind Every Piece of Fake News You See Fortune

The Iran-Contra Affair 30 Years Later: A Milestone in Post-Truth Politics National Security Archive

2016 Post Mortem

Bernie Sanders’ New Memoir May Be a Look Into the Democrats’ Future Bloomberg. Sanders seems to be doing what he did in 2014-2015: Barnstorming the country. Yes, it’s a book tour for Our Revolutionstill #1 on Amazon, proof, if proof were needed, that America is fundamentally a center-right nation — but the political purpose looks identical to me. Get the ideas out there.

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”: Understanding anger in the Donald Trump era Salon. Remember that the expression of anger is taboo in the political class. Hence the necessity for stories such as this.

Can Senate Democrats Save the Party? Editorial Board, NYT. If this were going to happen, it would already have happened.

Coming Out Of Election Haze: How Do Women On Left Overcome Elite Feminism? ShadowProof

Democrats never stopped caring about the working class Vox

A Wretched, Smelly Time: The Morning After Los Angeles Review of Books

And a useful corrective:

One of a series of tweets on this theme.

Sports Radio in the Age of Trump The Ringer

White Nationalists See Trump as Their Troll in Chief. Is He With Them? Mother Jones

* * *

A Pennsylvania recount for Hillary Clinton? A ‘nightmare scenario,’ explained Billy Penn

A candidate can’t actually file for a vote recount under Pennsylvania law. Instead, they would have to challenge a county board regarding its vote computations, and a state appeals judge would have to rule that a statewide recount is necessary. That means the Clinton campaign [or any other challenger] would either have to request a recount by petition in every voting district or present a prima facie case showing voter fraud. (Prima facie is a lower threshold than beyond a reasonable doubt. A judge would just have to rule that fraud probably occurred in order to call for a recount.)

The deadline for filing is Monday (tomorrow).

Recount laws in Pennsylvania Ballotpedia

Automatic Recounts National Conference of State Legislators. Michigan and Pennsylvania have thresholds for an automatic recount; Wisconsin does not.

Jill Stein requests Wisconsin recount, alleging hackers filed bogus absentee ballots Guardian

Clinton campaign will participate in Wisconsin recount, with an eye on ‘outside interference,’ lawyer says WaPo. But will Stein get any thanks from Clinton supporters? I doubt it.

Some thoughts about the reports of supposed evidence of election irregularities in MI, PA, and WI Election Updates. Caltech.

The Trouble With Recounts in the Name of Hacking GovTech

U.S. Statement on Reliability of Election Results NYT. From a “senior administration official”:

The Federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day. As we have noted before, we remained confident in the overall integrity of electoral infrastructure, a confidence that was borne out on election day. As a result, we believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.

That said, since we do not know if the Russians had planned any malicious cyber activity for election day, we don’t know if they were deterred from further activity by the various warnings the U.S. government conveyed.

So, for the intelligence community, the 2016 election was the equivalent of ritually banging on pots and pans (“warnings”) to prevent the moon from being eaten by a giant sea serpent? “Look! In the sky! The sea serpent is going away! The moon is safe now!” It’s a can’t-lose proposition!

Electoral College must reject Trump unless he sells his business, top lawyers for Bush and Obama say Think Progress. I’m not sure this is a year for “top lawyers.”

Trump Transition

Trump’s Economic Plan: This Isn’t Going to Work Counterpunch (KF). Trump has strapped himself to the back of a tiger: He needs to raise real wages for the working class. Can he?

Thanks a million David Cox, Reuters

Trump appoints White House counsel and national security member FT

Donald Trump’s Caldron of Conflicts The Editorial Board, NYT. This would be an easier case to make if the Democrat Establishment hadn’t spent the year vociferously arguing that in the absence of a direct showing of quid pro quo, there’s no corruption.

Capitalism in One Family LRB

Pelosi Nominates Members for Leadership Positions Roll Call. Forward with Pelosi and Schumer!

A Year at the Zoning Board Jacobin. You think national politics is bad?

Class Warfare

The New Workplace Is Agile, and Nonstop. Can You Keep Up? NYT. Just what we need. Another management fad. Here’s one “agile computing” debacle, although, to be fair, it was perhaps not truly agile.

Local Governments Arrive on Schedule to Buttress Part-Time Workers WSJ

* * *

PM Modi pushes for use of mobiles to deal with cash crunch Times of India. Lambert here: I can’t speak from experience on India, but in Southeast Asian cities, protection rackets for the use of public pavement are business as usual. If Modi’s India is like that, your typical street vendor — that is, the people who feed the cities and handle its markets for everyday necessities — would now not only have to keep paying protection for their spot, they would in addition have to pay vig to the cellphone companies, vig to the banks, and pay off the cellphone manufacturer, too. That would be class warfare in its most open and vile form, and if Modi succeeds — a very open question — look for “the civilized West” to try to abolish cash shortly.

The On The Ground Impact Of India’s ‘Earth-Shattering’ Currency Purge Forbes. Sounds like an attack on System D, among other things.

India’s demonetization policy fails to address real problems Asia Times

Now even China is applauding Modi’s bold step of demonetization Business Insider. China watchers?

India’s rural economy hit hard as informal lending breaks down Reuters

No Credit History? No Problem. Lenders Are Looking at Your Phone Data Bloomberg

Slot machines and smartphones: To understand the fatal distraction of mobile tech, look at Las Vegas Saskatoon Star Phoenix (MR).

Fix an iPhone Cable the Stylish Way—With Electrical Tape WSJ. These are the same crapification engineering geniuses who got rid of the MagSafe connector — returning you, the user, to the happy days when tripping over your cable could mean repairing your screen — and gave savvy investors a reason go long dongles with the new MacBook “Pro.” Tim! Tim! Yo, Tim!

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Clive

    Re: Russian electoral hacking, recounts, electronic voting jiggery-pokery, why-are-you-so-interested-in-it-now-Hillary-where-were-you-in-the-Democratic-primaries-and-those-Bernie-“lost”-votes, soreness of losers, oh-no-not-more-hanging-chafs (or whatever they were).

    Please remind me again, what’s wrong with paper ballots, hand counted in public?

    Goodness knows, I’m fed up with Brexit fallout (will this never end? — please everyone, don’t move to England, we’ll be chewing this one over forever now), but at least — close though the result was — no-one has cause to doubt the validity of the voting.

    1. JSM

      One gets the feeling that Stein is (quite successfully) trolling everybody, getting official denials of Russian hacking, raising money from Democrats, and eliciting silly quotes from high-ranking Dems like

      “I really wish Jill Stein had not waited until after the election to be so concerned about a few thousand votes tipping the election to Trump,” said Dan Pfeiffer.

      The idea that Stein got 1.4% of the vote – a mere 4,314 votes – in Dane County, a most probable home of Bernie-or-Busters if there ever was one, seems somewhat unlikely. So again, whose total is going up, and whose down?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Recounts in battleground states Trump won.

        No recounts in battleground states Hillary won.

        Is it ‘fair and equal protection before the law’? Well, Trump can ask in those states.

        But is it fair and equal in principle, because Stein only asks to recount in states Trump won narrowly, if she’s interesting in a clean (nationwide) election?

        Or does it appear she is favoring one candidate over another?

        1. JSM

          If a recount were going to reverse the results of the election, wouldn’t the Democrats have leapt at the opportunity November 9th? They raised plenty of money. Do the Greens have internal polling? Do the Democrats?

          It might appear that she’s favoring one candidate over another, specifically the candidate Stein called the ‘queen of corruption’ and of whom she said ‘on the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump,’ but you know what they say about appearances…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Only she knows why she waited until now, and not asking to recount New Hampshire or Minnesota results.

          1. Aumua

            For the record, the actual story is that she’s has investments in some the type of mutual funds, i.e. Vanguard that tons of people who invest in the stock market apparently hold as a matter of course (I wouldn’t know).

            Not great, but also, not quite a nefarious as its being made out to be.

            1. burlesque

              November 27, 2016 at 8:05 pm

              She has millions invested in index funds. Index funds can be invested in (sometimes) hundreds of different stocks.

              Index funds holding the stocks of companies like Exxon, Phillip Morris and Merck are the funds that the article in The Daily Beast is calling out.

              Pointing out that she owns shares in these index funds is supposed to show that she is a hypocrite because the companies are not necessarily “green”.

              The article alludes to the “not great” return on investment that truly green or socially responsible stocks or funds get. My take is that she lets her millions sit in index funds because the returns are greater (and it is easier). Not nefarious, true, but not a great example either.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Which one is a woman? A professional credentialed experienced woman? Hmmm…

          Who cares, though? Ordinary people have always been the F**k-ees. If they accumulate some relative wealth and a bit of power, a moiety of them will by apparently biological imperative drive to acquire more, and more, and more. Pleasure is a driver, and it’s addictive (sort of by definition), and more and more of the drug is needed as acclimation ensues.

          And unless something very different happens, some sudden universal planet-wide illumination of awareness and spirit, some broad, irrevocable commitment to behaving each to each according to that old Golden Rule thing, the mopes will continue to live in favelas and ruined countries and blasted former cities. Hierarchy, people observed here in past discussions, is universal and inevitable. And even though it appears human behaviors, trillions of little decisions made every moment of every day (leave the tap running while brushing your teeth, use the gasoline powered yard blower to swoosh your dog crap and cuttings onto the neighbor’s lawn and into the public streets and sewers, fight for first position in the Black Friday lines or for that latest iCrap, accede to the manufactured demand for beef and more beef, burn trees and twigs to make charcoal to burn in your traditional cooking fires, on and on and on), are apparently killing the planet, the pressures of the present ,er, “trump” any significant attention to redirecting it all toward anything “better.”

          Which set of rulers, current or in any position to come “on line,” will foment that kind of necessary renascence? From where in the mopery is the necessary general new awareness going to spring? Which leaders (and don’t kid ourselves, we don’t have what it takes to live anarchically, as a species) will resist the seductions of MOREism and also somehow survive the murderous self-interested violence of the ruling elite?

          Lots of thought and discourse and intelligence is being directed to “understanding” and remarking on what makes up the heart of darkness. Some bitty remedies are proposed and suggested and discussed. Not so much attention to silly fundamentals like “what outcome do we [the agency-free category] want from “our” political economy [that by action of smart people is now a wholly owned bundle of rights “belonging” by conquest, theft, trickery, purchase and “operation of law” to some tiny set of self-serving, ugly humans…

          And as the neocons coined it, “we” can observe and discuss and analyze, while the rulers act and create the new reality, always out ahead of the careful decent observers, up to the point where their actions, and “our” obliviousness and obtuseness, kill us all off.

          1. linda a

            Well said! We keep analyzing what is and was, but this window of opportunity for presenting what could and should be will stay open for only so long.

            We need to go back to basics and analyze our assumptions. Too much of the analysis and proposed changes don’t go deep enough and don’t connect enough dots. So what do we do we really want and need? What should our priorities be? How do we articulate our vision and get others to see it and work together…

            One way or another, it seems to me, we are going to have to learn to survive and, ideally, thrive on a lot less…

        3. Oregoncharles

          A recount challenging a Hillary win could not change the outcome.

          Granted, neither can ONLY Wisconsin, but at least it’s a chance to test the validity of the whole election.

      2. RenoDino

        To upend the election they don’t need to find more votes for HRC and fewer votes for Trump.
        All they need show is Russian interference. That should be easy given how busy the Russians have been lately stealing emails and planting fake news. Even the smallest sign anywhere will call into question the results everywhere. Then the electors will be free to vote their conscience, and we know what that means.

    2. Juneau

      My Dems are forgetting recounts cut in both directions.
      There were allegations of voter machine issues in PA going in HRC’s direction the day of the election.
      How sad that this is even an issue. Paper Ballots would be a good start agreed.

    3. Benedict@Large

      What is wrong with paper ballots is exactly that they make it harder to jimmy with the counts. Vote tampering is built into the US system as a weapon against a populist uprising from the left.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I grew up in Chicago. Vote tampering was almost exclusively a weapon to keep anyone not under the thumb of Da Mair (Daley the First) out of office. There were one or two Mope precincts in the City that returned “librals” as the term used to be understood, year over year. But Chicago as a political economy is a bought’n’paid-for structure, top to bottom. The corruption used to mostly seem to involve “honest graft” (Daley delivering all the city’s massive insurance business to the brand new tiny agency of one of his sons — “If a father can’t help his son get ahead in life, what good is he?” and the wonderful stories of highway construction and of course the Deep Tunnel, the grift that keeps on grifting!, stuff like that). Now, under Emanuel, what do you got? Urban centers form, mature and die. Along with a lot of mope humans.

        It’s not just populist uprisings. It’s all about control and power, and has been since the notion of voting was invented. A “vote” is a delegation — it confers legitimacy of a sort on the person or proposition that garners the most votes. Humans crave hierarchy and structure, will settle even for a chimaerical “legal order,” and will accept huge amounts of actual evil ILlegitimacy so long as some quantum of benefit or apparent gain or modicum of stability is provided in exchange. See Russia, People’s Republic of China etc. and of course our own Miraculous Exceptional Empire.

      2. hunkerdown

        Exactly. The whole point is participation — as the Detroit schools article said, there is no right for it to work.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Russians are so omnipotent that they can plant an idea in the heads of many people here that the election was hacked.

      That is how powerful and dangerous these guys are.

      OK, back to your post. Be vigilant. (And I mean it. This is no sarcasm).

  2. Bryan McKown

    On the Stein / GPC recount efforts, the link to Ballotpedia is broken, apparently a server issue ironically one of the many election integrity issues Stein wants to audit.

  3. fresno dan

    Democrats never stopped caring about the working class Vox

    Vox attempts to out onion the Onion…

    “The Democrats have also done a lot for other elements of the party’s coalition, notably women and minorities. If you ask Obama fans to list off the president’s chief accomplishments, they could go for a while without mentioning the items above. But that’s not abandonment. It’s caring about more than one thing.”
    Let’s edit for truthiness…..The Democrats have also done a lot for other elements of the party’s coalition, notably squillionaires, billionaires, and millionaires with more than 100 millions.

    If somebody is chopping you with an ax, they’re not gonna be all that grateful when you give them a band aid….

    1. Glen

      I suppose it depends on how we define “caring”. If “caring”* is telling the working class to drop their pants, and grab their ankles, then they have “cared” the working class at every possible opportunity.

      *Pick the appropriate pseudonym for “caring”.

  4. Linda

    President-Elect Donald J. Trump Selects Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland to Serve as Deputy National Security Advisor

    and Donald F. McGahn as Assistant to the President and White House Counsel

    Here’s the official announcement from the Trump transition web site.
    For the full Trump spin. :) I looked for it when finding the Financial Times article in the Links is sub only.

  5. Linda

    While there, found this also at the Trump transition web site:

    “Statement From President-Elect Donald J. Trump on the Ridiculous Green Party Recount Request”

    “The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘We must accept this result and then look to the future.’

    “It is important to point out that with the help of millions of voters across the country, we won 306 electoral votes on Election Day – the most of any Republican since 1988 – and we carried nine of 13 battleground states, 30 of 50 states, and more than 2,600 counties nationwide – the most since President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

    more at link

    1. fresno dan

      November 27, 2016 at 7:54 am

      For absolute candor and total honesty, (REALLY) in politics, has this ever been beat?

      Donald Trump: “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win,”

      To be fair….to Hillary, (I LOVE irony!!!)
      Donald Trump, continuing…. “Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result,” Trump said. “And always, I will follow and abide by all of the rules and traditions of all of the many candidates who have come before me. Always.”

      Ahhh – there’s the rub… it a clear result? From today’s Links:
      “The Federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day. As we have noted before, we remained confident in the overall integrity of electoral infrastructure, a confidence that was borne out on election day. As a result, we believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.”

      That said, since we do not know if the Russians had planned any malicious cyber activity for election day, we don’t know if they were deterred from further activity by the various warnings the U.S. government conveyed.***”

      ***Since your all my friends here – hey, I confessed to you all that I am an alien (space alien, not some over the fence alien) communist Leninist-Trotskite spy, typing away in my red hammer and sickle bunny slippers, I will let you know the truth! Hillary won by 99.9% I completed hacked the entire election while in my bunny slippers….

        1. fresno dan

          Jim Haygood
          November 27, 2016 at 10:13 am

          You know, I found those while searching for a photo of my communist bunny slippers, which look identical to that (our slippers much sturdy to withstand frozen tundra) except they didn’t have the ears….

        2. ambrit

          Comrade Jim;
          We graduates of the Institute For the Study of Fellow Traveling were trained to go “deep.” So, our graduation uniforms were modeled on the garb of members of the Young Republican Collective. Many of my fellow graduates of Institute now hold positions of influence in mainstream Western Power Elite Organizations, such as: The Peterson Foundation, The Illuminati, American Enterprise Institute, United States Chamber of Commerce, The Bilderberg Group, and other such reputable organizations.
          Our work is not done. Be descrete Comrade.
          ambrit pseudovitch

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Comrade Haygood you receive *10* bonus points for the Firesign Theater reference, like the movie Idiocracy, incredibly prescient stuff. Get thee behind me!!!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “(I)s it a clear result?”

        It depends on the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

        Of course, Bill did not start it.

        The earliest I know of is one from the Chinese philosopher Gongsun Long, who said, a white horse is not a horse.

        A horse = a horse.

        ‘A white horse’ has 11 characters to represent in a computer.

        “A horse’ only 6.

        Thus, ‘a white horse’ does not = ‘a horse.’

        In that sense, a white horse is not a horse.

  6. Pavel

    In which the Italian establishment seems about to make the same mistake as the Brits (with Brexit) and the USA (with HRC), via The Guardian:

    Italy’s referendum was not meant to pan out this way. The last polls permitted before the vote give the No campaign a five-point lead. Yet to paraphrase David Cameron’s famous jibe at Tony Blair, Renzi was the future once. Last April, when both the lower and upper houses of parliament comfortably approved the prime minister’s constitutional package, the votes were celebrated as a historic breakthrough. A pragmatic non-tribal figure, Renzi, 41, was seen as the young technocratic leader who was finally reforming baroque structures of governance and rendering them fit for purpose. The markets, the European commission and Confindustria, the Italian equivalent of the CBI, warmly applauded the idea of a streamlined parliament with a more powerful executive. But, fatefully, Renzi decided he also wanted the backing of the people and called a referendum to rubber-stamp the changes. His vow to stand down if the reforms were rejected was an indication of his confidence.

    [My emphasis]

    –First Brexit then Trump. Is Italy next for the west’s populist wave?

    Not exactly “Cometh the hour, cometh the man”, is it?

    Don’t the EU bureaucrats and “presidents” (none elected, mind you) and the other oligarchs understand yet that their endorsement of a candidate is a kiss of death in the current atmosphere?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its amazing that they ‘don’t get it’. There is always a vote for ‘if that lot are for it, I’m agin it’ (featuring for years in Irish referendums). And thats often a perfectly logical approach. The irony is that, from the little I know of Italian political structures, the proposals are actually very good and long overdue and there is no real rational argument against them, but in the current climate a referendum was crazy if it was in any way avoidable.

      1. annie

        disagree. no doubt parliament needs reform but there is ‘real rational argument’ against this specific proposal. the astute italians i know (i’m a resident) saw this months ago and were voting no. now, however, the no faction looks to be increasingly destructive that many may vote yes. cinque stelle gives no indication yet of being capable of governing. berlusconi just announced he’s stepping back into the fray.

      2. DJG

        PlutoniumKun and annie: I have been following Italian politics closely (and have good friends there, mainly in Red areas). The proposal to reform the Senate moves that chamber from direct election to indirect election by the regions, which are somewhat less powerful than a U.S. state and somewhat more well defined historically. There is a requirement that 21 of the senators be mayors. The whole thing comes off as an attempt to graft the U.S. Senate to the House of Lords. And it goes against the democratic temperament of current Italian society. I foresee a no vote (and as Annie mentions, the Movimento Cinque Stelle, which is indeed a kind of center-left movement addicted to social media, is in one its periodic (very short period, though) meltdowns.

        So Renzi, being the fine upstanding post-ideological politician like Obama, Blair, both Clintons, and Paul Ryan, is too clever by half. And Berlusconi, the Donald Trump (with a sense of humor) of Italian politics is emerging from political zombielandia.

        This is what happens when the “Left” reforms itself. Renzi waited for a moment of weakness in Bersani, and lo and behold, he has shown that the Partito Democratico is indeed modeled after the U.S. Democrats: Finding as many chances to seize defeat from the jaws of victory as one can.

    2. George Phillies

      “…a streamlined parliament with a more powerful executive….” It seems to me that the Italians tried this in the 20s and 30s. The outcome was not entirely auspicious, especially for the powerful executive.

  7. fresno dan

    Sports Radio in the Age of Trump The Ringer

    Third, Trump shares the sports-radio host’s gambit of overwhelming the audience with opinions. During an election rally, Trump would offer a bunch of opinions. Many of them were based on outright lies. But by the time Washington Post reporters held the one-liners up for lapidary inspection, Trump had offered many more opinions, some of which contradicted the first set.
    Case in point: In a 2014 appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show, Trump called Bill Clinton a “terrific guy.” Two years later, he was bringing the women who accused Clinton of sexual assault to a presidential debate.
    “Trump at these rallies, he wasn’t paralyzed by perfection,” Cowherd said. “I’m not paralyzed. I give picks on Friday. If I go 3–2, I’m overwhelmed. In my business, being absolutely, absurdly wrong occasionally is a wonderful thing. I tell Doug Gottlieb, one of my best friends, ‘There’s no money in right. All the money’s in interesting.’”
    “I’m just doing sports,” Cowherd continued. “If I’m wrong on Cam” — he turned his palms upward and shrugged his shoulders — “who cares? …

    Very insightful article. And if you don’t think so, IMHO its a very lousy article…..

    1. lyman alpha blob

      As Kirk Minihane, a morning host on Boston’s WEEI, told me this spring, “The topics we can talk about now and know we’re going to get listeners, reaction, and buzz are the Patriots and Trump.”

      I often listen to WEEI sports radio on the way to work and I’m sure I’m in the minority or else Minihane’s show would have been cancelled by now, but I have on many occasions changed the channel when they veer into politics. I tune in to sports radio get a break form the news and to hear about the Sox and the genius that is Bill Belichick – if I wanted to hear a bunch of assclowns shouting over each other about politics there are plenty of other places I could go for that.

      1. Widowson

        Lyman: WEEI lost me when Callihan started reactionarily calling Occupy protesters “urchins,” et al. I’ve been a Sports Hub listener ever since.

    2. Glen

      That’s the great thing about Trump. He has the same opinion as you. He has the same opinion as everybody.

      Well, except perhaps aliens in fuzzy red Commie bunny slippers.

    3. integer

      Very insightful article. And if you don’t think so, IMHO its a very lousy article…..

      Well played.

  8. Linda

    Fake news. I saw a comment elsewhere about Obama saying no about the recount, so did a google news search to see what he actually said. Searched ‘Obama recount.’ Read one article at, iirc, Business Insider, then clicked on a second article on the results page. It was ABC News and said that Obama had signed an executive order for a full nationwide recount and also there would be a new election on, I think, Dec. 19. There was a photo of Obama at a table signing, with many onlookers.

    Looked at the url and it was abcnews .com .co I didn’t read the full story as a Flash ad was freezing up my browser and I had to close it when I had the chance.

    1. juliania

      Thank you, Linda. I just discovered I can smile again – what a relief. “Many onlookers” was a nice touch. :)

  9. kees_popinga

    Typo — you sourced the Intercept’s WaPo story to WaPo (link is OK). (And by the way, that Intercept headline is Greenwald in full, unsubtle mode: disgraceful, mccarthyite, hidden, and shady all in one caption!)

  10. ProNewerDeal

    fw pundit Jimmy Dore clip, reporting that 0bama is trying to advocate against Rep Keith Ellison becoming DNC Chair.

    The most hardcore of 0bamabots have claimed for 8 years that any criticism of Dear Leader 0bama was racism.

    Per 0bamabot “logic”, 0bama fighting the DNC candidacy of Ellison, would mean 0bama is a self-hating anti-Black racist, + a anti-Muslim bigot.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Jimmy Dore has been tough to deal with. He lost me completely when he recently said it’s a good thing that there have been a supposed spike in AMA enrollments since the election.

      On one show he [imho, rightly] proclaims it a boondoggle by the insurance industry on the federal government when what is needed is a single payer medicare for all, and then in the next he’s advocating throwing more good money after bad into a system that will probably be vastly different, if not defunct, in less than a year’s time.

      His reasoning is simply that if there are more people enrolled, the harder it will be to abolish it. He’s sure putting a lot of faith in the elected officials who now control the House and Senate and the industries that actually control them.

  11. PlutoniumKun


    A Year at the Zoning Board Jacobin. You think national politics is bad?

    As a European, I find the US system of zoning fascinating and somewhat horrifying. We all want ‘more democracy’, but really, there are some things that requires a technocratic approach and a lot less democracy. Zoning is one of them. When you give local communities a veto on local zoning it seems absolutely inevitable that the result will be zoning ordnances designed to increase local housing values and nothing else. Sometimes laudable aims – such as more compact cities with mixed housing areas and restrictions on car use – can only be imposed.

    1. Katharine

      You appear to assume that technocrats have laudable aims. Perhaps where you are they do–I wouldn’t know–but here we need community involvement just to keep the public servants (of rich people) from putting vast commercial incinerators within a mile of schools in working-class neighborhoods. The thought of what would happen without citizens’ having a say in the matter is hair-raising.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Well, I’ve dealt with enough to know they don’t always have laudable aims – absolute transparency is always vital. But I do know that if you ask people directly what they want for their neighbourhood they will say ‘nothing, unless it makes my house more valuable and allows me to drive faster’. So what happens is that the incinerators end up in those communities with no say for one reason or another.

        I’m not, for the record, saying that there should be no democratic influence on zoning – its just that too much democracy can result in the people who shout loudest getting their way at the expense of others.

    2. Anonymous

      Could not disagree more with the Jacobin article.

      From the zoning wars trenches, the battle is typically to try to preserve what’s left
      of open space and prevent obscene projects that benefit top 10% developers at the
      expense of residents. Speaking for Los Angeles, the city typically aligns with developers
      against residents both because this benefits city coffers and because of blatant corruption.
      The Hadid saga is just one of many egregious examples.

      1. Jess

        You took the words right out of my mouth. The big mantra is growth. (Or, as I prefer, the NC’s rightfully sarcastic “groaf”.) But in many communities, including mine, if growth was the solution we would have grown our way to nirvana by now. The truth is, developers and business types dominate the funding for local candidates. Thank God that in my case, at least we have the initiative and referendum with which to even the playing field.

    3. DJG

      PlutoniumKun: You’ve been to Mongolia, and you’ve never had the joy of attending a community meeting or zoning board meeting in the U S of A about a new project or local land use?

      The article makes these meetings sound more grim than they are: Typically, though, developers, who are constantly conniving with City Hall either to get around the zoning rules or to build something so ugly that people faint on approaching it, try to railroad the residents into approving the project. The argument is often that the developer doesn’t even have to consult the locals–the project conforms to zoning. So as Katherine notes you have to attend these meetings to make sure that the alderman or zoning board or other local officeholder sees some sufficiently angry residents.

      Conversely, the discourse on the part of the locals can be egregious and shortsighted. Not so long ago, after the powers that be in Chicago forced the closing of 52 local schools, one near me was deemed resusable. After several presentations about turning the building into condos, bringing in a private school, and so on, with all amenities listed, what was the main question? The effect on parking. I finally had to get up in one of these meetings and point out that I couldn’t care less about the lives of cars. But that’s what many meetings turn on: Cars, the favored residents of many U.S. cities. Sheesh.

      1. Jess

        “or to build something so ugly that people faint on approaching it”

        This is a good morning for laughter. Thank you.

  12. fresno dan

    How I Detect Fake News Tim O’Reilly, Medium. I’m trying to determine if O’Reilly’s algorithm would have detected Jury Miller’s false stories on WMDs in the New York Times, which did so much, during the Iraq War Scare, to bring war about.

    So I actually went to the snopes site to see if I could find anything about WMD stories being fake. I couldn’t, but I did find this – a listing of what dems had said previously, which is just a reminder of some aspects of the debate.

    So its hard to see really how the whole kerfluffle about fake news is really of any import. Stories of crime being higher in precincts that voted for Hillary are gonna be read and believed by people with a propensity to believe such things. Stories about the POTUS getting hummers in the oval office – such ridiculous stories are just click bait for the gullible…WHA?!! – that was true!!!

    Anyway, the stories about government officials SAYING there were WMD were true – the problem wasn’t the media – it was people believing in the motives and expertise of SOME of our leaders.

  13. The Trumpening

    Actually raising working class wages is not all that complicated. There is a labor supply and demand curve and so the best way to increase working class wages is to BOTH decrease the supply of labor while at the same time increasing the demand for labor.

    Decreasing the labor supply is relatively easy by targeting illegal immigration. So a combination of deportations, E-verify and tough sanctions on employers of illegals, and the cutting of government benefits for the undocumented will reduce the labor pool. With the coming automation revolution the last thing a 1st world nation needs is a glut of low-skill labor. Especially since America excels at creating its own home-grown low-skill labor.

    Also high-skill labor should be targeted as well. H1-B and other high skill immigration programs need to be shut down for several reasons but most of all to preserve high-skill jobs for Americans so that among others, socially mobile people from low-skill US parents will have jobs to move up to.

    And border enforcement must follow as well. Reducing the labor pool is doable since many of the laws are already on the books and are just not enforced.

    Increasing the demand for labor is not all the complicated either. A huge infrastructure program helps. Reducing regulation to allow more domestic energy production does as well. But the biggie is imposing stiff tariffs (or at least threatening to) so the America’s huge trade deficit can move towards balance. Cutting taxes for business combined with letting them repatriate money stashed overseas with the agreement that they will use their windfall to invest in local plant will obviously also increase the demand for labor.

    So if the will is really there, the way is clear for a Trump Administration to manipulate the labor supply and demand curve towards the working classes’ advantage.

    1. fresno dan

      The Trumpening
      November 27, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Many business owners who rely on low-skilled labor say the real trouble is too few Mexicans heading north, not too many. “Without Mexican labor our industry is at a standstill,” says Nelson Braddy Jr., the owner of King of Texas Roofing Co., which is helping build a sprawling new Toyota North American headquarters in a Dallas suburb. He says he would hire 60 roofers right away if he could find them. “It’s the worst I have seen in my career,” he adds.

      It is amazing how many capitalists don’t know how increasing incentives (EXCEPT for CEO’s) can increase the supply of labor.
      But than again, it is amazing how many articles one can find that increasing the supply of labor causes an increase in wages! or was that standard of living…. or GDP?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trade deficits are connected to the global reserve currency status.

      That status needs to be looked at.

    3. Punta Pete

      Why limit policy on the supply side to illegal immigration? The fact is that legal immigration adds much more to the excess supply of labor than does illegal immigration. Face it, there are no discernible sources for massive increases in demand for labor in the future. The century of rapid industrialization and productivity growth is over (see Robert Gordon on this point.). What is needed is a re-writing of immigration policies that limits ALL immigratin, to around 200,000 per year, not the 1 million or so that we currently admit.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Reducing imports and forbidding the export of production would greatly increase the demand for labor.
        We’ll see if he actually does it.

    4. JTMcPhee

      The love of Free Trade is abiding and deep, here in sunny developer-friendly, Rick Scott-governed, Florida:


      Campaigning is one thing. Governing, especially at the presidential level, is another. Some know this intuitively. Others learn in a hard school.

      Both major party presidential candidates this year came out against the complex trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They knew that, especially for workers, and out-of-workers, in America’s heartland, free trade with other nations can seem like a fool’s bargain. These agreements with low-wage nations understandably look like an unfair deal that end up destroying American manufacturing jobs.

      It’s much easier to say that on the hustings than to go into an eggheaded economic analysis about the efficiencies of world markets raising all boats.

      But the fact is that Hillary Clinton changed her position on the TPP for strategic reasons after she had supported the trade agreement as secretary of state.

      And one arm of President-elect Donald Trump’s business empire sells clothes made in China and elsewhere in the Far East. He knows better than the rest of us that slapping a 45 percent tariff on a silk necktie would not make it any easier to sell.

      Nor would doing so be anything like a bargain for the American consumer. Those incredible deals at Wal-Mart on T-shirts and dress shirts made in Bangladesh and Colombia are made possible by trade agreements such as NAFTA and TPP, which, by the way, includes thousands of tax cuts for American businesses that would make trade a better two-way street for our country’s exporters as well as importers.

      The benefits of free trade are one of the key elements of international commerce on which economists on the right, the center and the left all agree. Running the numbers, it turns out that the best way to increase prosperity in all the nations of the world is to allow each country’s economy to do what it does best. Chinese companies manufacture iPhones and clothing more efficiently than we do here. We’re a whole lot better, for instance, at postsecondary education — six of the top 10 universities in the world are American — and at creating intellectual property, with eight of the top 10 brands, from Apple to Visa, being American.

      The incoming president, in a different role than campaigner, will do well to continue to fine-tune trade agreements in the American interest rather than cancel them.

      Protectionism is a misnomer — trade wars protect no one, creating equal and opposite reactions from other countries that would greatly harm American workers and consumers. And the fact is that presidents on their own can only increase tariffs 15 percent, and then only for 150 days, unless a state of emergency is declared, an unlikely scenario.

      One clear way for a new administration to increase the efficiencies free trade creates is to call out China’s blatant cheating on some of the agreements in place, from its subsidizing the price of rice and wheat to its currency manipulation to its stealing patented ideas to its hacking into our companies’ email systems to its counterfeiting of our brands.

      Demanding compliance with current and future trade agreements, rather than backing away from them or pretending that discredited protectionist policies would help the average American, is the courageous course the new administration must take if it wants to ensure prosperity for our nation.

      Wonder who writes this stuff?

  14. Edna M.

    Re: PA recount. Jill Stein’s website says that they are looking for three volunteers from every district to submit an affidavit requesting a recount. I guess this means they do not need to have a prima facie showing of fraud? Here is the link:

    The only explanation I can believe for why this is being done is that Clinton wants to tie up these states in recounts, making them miss the deadline for electors to submit their votes. Nothing else makes sense– neither Clinton’s reason, We don’t have any evidence of hacking, but we just want to have a look-see and hand count millions of votes, nor Stein’s reason, Americans aren’t happy campers after the election.

      1. Aumua

        That was my first impression on hearing this, and I certainly hope it’s wrong. I mean, does everyone have to get down on their knees and gobble the knob of Satan here?

        Pardon the colorful expression, but Jesus.. I’m just hoping there’s some hyperchess move going on here I’m not aware of yet.

        1. SpringTexan

          I actually think these recounts are a REALLY GOOD idea. Process matters.

          Good for Jill Stein and the Green Party!

        2. UserFriendly

          I submitted that via email last night…. Along with the requisite caution warning that Black Agenda Report was reported as a possible Russian propaganda outfit. ;-)

          But yeah, I thought it was useful to hear from her former staff on rationale.

    1. timbers

      Just don’t get why Jill Stein is doing this. If she is so concerned about voting integrity, why doesn’t she do this with elections that appeared unfair towards Bernie Sanders?

      The only logical conclusion is that the prefers to see Clinton the winner. But why should she care except for personal opinion reasons it that’s the case?

      1. JSM

        (Previous comment may or may not make it out of moderation.)

        It’s doubtful that she ‘prefers to see Clinton the winner.’ She may succeed in other ways instead.

        She has 1) raised money from raised lots of money from Democrats, 2) gotten official denials of the silly ‘the Russians did it’ story, 3) tied up the Democrats in knots since some support the effort (you know who) and others (Obama people) don’t, 4) may gain votes, rather than lose them, and increase Trump’s margin of victory, rather than reduce it.

        Moreover, in the 2016 primary, ‘bogus absentee ballots’ seemed to be especially a Democratic strategy, rather than a Republican one. The idea that she has no clue what’s she doing is not a particularly logical conclusion.

        1. timbers

          I didn’t know that, thanks.

          I go back to asking: Why? The reasons you mention seem unclear to me how it helps Stein or the Greens because they are sort of back room stories many voters don’t follow and the money from Dems are likely coming from Clintonistas – those who have no intention of ever supporting the Greens.

          Why does Stein care about these things which seem more like low profile back room skirmishes when there are much bigger issues for her to focus on? For example voting irregularities btw Clinton/Sanders? That would at least help Stein and the Green Party in that it would continue to put Democratic corruption in the spotlight, which one can argue benefits the Greens.

          1. juliania

            I may be a doofus (well, I am a doofus but moving on) I don’t really see how Jill Stein can ‘go after’ the questionable voting practices that occurred inside Democratic party voting between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It’s not exactly her turf. She did have plenty of sympathy for the shafted Bernie, inviting him over to her side (which in my view could have made things a lot more interesting.)

            Stein’s points anti-Clinton are searchable. She’s never been keen on either candidate. That was one of her justifications she said, for making this move. To me it is just as false to assume she’s pro-Clinton as to assume that the Russians are interfering with everything under the sun, including (but not limited to) interfering with the Great American way of doing things.

            She tried very hard to get into the debates. Tried very hard (and succeeded) to get on the ballot. Now she’s trying very hard to verify election results. Scared as I am of Hillary, I can’t fault Stein for this. But I can fault Trump for his remarks. Recounts are hard to do and they are expensive, but they are one of the few areas, apparently, in which candidates for the office can seek to improve things. Stein is just doing her job.

            She wants a more fair electoral system in which third parties can have a seat at the podium, or even just the chance to stand there. She wants a lot of things that most of us here agree would be very good to have. So, being recognized on this issue – on any issue! – is a win.

        2. John Wright

          Why is it doubtful Stein prefers to see Clinton the winner?

          While Stein has raised some money from Democrats for the recount effort, won’t that money all disappear into the recount effort?

          This is a bit of a last hurrah for Jill Stein, and if she somehow succeeds, a grateful Clinton might look kindly on her.

          But it is good there are some people employed doing the recount before the Christmas season.

          Maybe the Stein Temporary Jobs program is a worthwhile goal in itself.

          1. Bullwinkle

            Do you really think “some money” is coming from Democrats? I’d say 95% of it is. I don’t know if Stein raised even $4million for her entire campaign. So I doubt very much this money is coming from the Green via “grassroot organizing” like Stein has stated. So glad I changed my mind about voting for her.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The state choices indicate she is doing it for Clinton.

            Should someone now or in the future be able to alter election results by selectively recounting in some states, (and it would appear too late for Trump or any future presumptive winner this late to ask for recounts in some states), elections can be stolen.

            Should have asked to recount in all 50 states, the day after the election, if fair and accurate result is the goal.

        3. Edna M.

          I think Stein’s actions are strengthening the narrative that the Russians are out to get us. During the campaign she ridiculed the DNC for blaming them. But then when she requested a recount she said:

          “After a decisive and painful presidential race, in which foreign agents hacked in to party databases, private email servers and voter databases in certain states, many Americans are wondering if our election results are reliable,” Stein said.

          Here’s the link:

          1. lyman alpha blob

            I was also disappointed to hear her spreading the ‘foreign hackers’ BS. Here’s a link to the petition for the WI recount:

            She mentions foreign intervention there and also claims the high number of absentee ballots could point to evidence of the voter database being breached, a claim I find highly odd to the point of being ridiculous. I was really hoping some of these reports were inaccurate quotes or claims being taken out of context but based on the linked petition that does not seem to be the case. States have been promoting early, mail in and absentee voting for years which is quite likely the explanation for higher absentee totals. I don’t understand how this particular absentee ballot scheme could even work – seems like more than a few people would have showed up a the polls and been pretty pissed off when told they’d already voted.

            I really hope she has something else up her sleeve here because while I do applaud the Greens for taking election fraud seriously, they make themselves look really bad by parroting the unfounded claims (aka propaganda/fake news) of the intelligence community. When they’ve challenged elections in the past it was due to suspected domestic meddling which is by far the more likely scenario. As someone above suggested, maybe what the Greens hope to uncover is an even wider margin for Trump which further the claims the Clinton’s campaign meddled with both the primaries and the general.

            So is she crazy like a fox or just crazy? As someone who voted for her, I’m hoping it’s the former but it becomes more difficult every election not to take George Carlin’s advice and stay home.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Jeez my exploding head syndrome is just getting worse and worse, all the Inpector Clousseaus trying to root out “foreign influence” in elections should just have a quick glance at Hilary’s campaign contributor list. (Um hello #1 contributor *Saudi Arabia*, that country whose values and interests align oh-so-well with our own).
              If there is a single solitary argument for why candidates should even be *allowed* to have foreign contributors I can’t seem to think of it

          2. JSM

            On the other hand, maybe she thinks the so-called ‘Russian angle’ is a more politic entrée than coming out and accusing one side or another of cheating.

            She may not recount PA & MI since, as others have pointed out, the deadlines are fast approaching. That would leave a lot money from Democratic donors going into Green Party coffers.

            One link just to suggest there’s no guarantee that the Democratic candidate’s final position will improve (then awaiting clearer indications of what’s ahead):


        4. Katharine

          I’ve been a bit puzzled by the “bogus absentee ballots” suggestion. In my state it would be difficult to commit that form of fraud. When you request an absentee ballot, other than in person, it is mailed to your address of record, so that would have to be changed before the ballot was requested. The address changes might be effected by a hacker, but I think there is still a significant clerical involvements in the ballot mailing. If there were a lot of address changes and then a lot of absentee ballots all going to the same address (or few addresses) somebody would be apt to notice. Even if they didn’t at that stage, signature is required on the return envelope, and a lot of signatures in similar handwriting would probably trigger a check of the records.

          Does anyone here know enough of Wisconsin procedure to be able to explain why the argument is plausible?

        5. Katharine

          Previous comment apparently lost in moderation (sometimes I suspect Skynet of disliking quotation marks). I’ll try to abbreviate and update with another thought.

          I don’t understand the bogus ballot argument, which in my state would seem unlikely. When someone requests an absentee ballot, it is mailed to their address of record. When they return it, they must sign the envelope. Even if hackers could change addresses, which on consideration I doubt, as I believe the official records are still kept isolated from the web, there might be questions raised when a lot of absentee ballots were going to one or a few addresses, or when they came back with strangely similar handwriting in the signatures, which could then be checked against official records.

          Does someone know Wisconsin procedures? Would they actually be more susceptible to fraud? If not, I’m puzzled by the use of this suggestion.

      2. annie moose

        I’m interested in seeing the results. Voting is frequently suspect in the redstate I live in,questioning the results are verboten. What’s it gonna hurt, Stein’s group is funding the effort.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘Stein’s group is funding the effort’

          I’d like to meet their leader. :-)

          Seriously, among the several dozen NC readers who said they were voting for Stein, has even one of them contributed to her recount campaign?

          A couple of days ago the Z site had a post showing an odd pattern of sharply increased Green Party donations immediately after the recount campaign commenced.

          But does a recount really have any grassroots appeal? Or is the Green Party simply being used as a cutout by well-funded interests with another agenda?

          1. timbers

            Yes. How does this benefit the Greens?

            I see benefit mostly to Clintonistas – the Greens not so much.

            Or maybe the Clintonistas funding this is just part of a much broader and sustained attack on Republicans and Trump that will be 4 years of relentless attacks to undermine him…sorta like what the Koch Bros did by funding the astroturf Tea Party against Obama.

            Just a thought.

            1. Pavel

              As a Jill Stein supporter (from afar), I can only say this whole thing leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Her motives may be good though the whole thing is such a mess, even if they are it is not going to do her or the Green Party much good. The simplest interpretation is that she just wants more press attention and perhaps some donated cash. Will anyone audit where the donations are spent?

              Having said that, if she tried to raise money for the (much-needed) electoral and ballot reform (paper ballots…? Lambert? Beuller… anyone?) or for a multi-party recount, she probably wouldn’t have gotten the $5 million or whatever it is. So kudos for the strategy. Hopefully she is bleeding the Hillbots dry.

              1. Michael

                I gotta say, as someone who is in general contemptuous of the Greens (been to too many meetings), this is creating a helluva brand for them.

          2. annie moose

            “But does a recount really have any grassroots appeal? Or is the Green Party simply being used as a cutout by well-funded interests with another agenda?”

            Freud said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I’m curious about the results, I’m sure I’m not the only one. The recount appears to be a “go”, so we will see.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              For results, any state will do just as fine.

              Maybe she can challenge some battle ground states Hillary won narrowly. like New Hampshire or Minnesota.

              1. Aleric

                A Minnesota recount is done by law for auditing purposes – for a random selection of precincts in each county.

                As a Stein supporter I’m ambivalent about the recount drive and haven’t contributed. On the plus side, It’s a way to troll Dems, maybe drive a wedge between grassroots and the leadership. Also, it’s good to keep the local election boards honest – though it won’t turn up widespread election malfeasance such as voter roll manipulation/cutting polling locations where people didn’t get to vote in the first place.

                The big negative is that it makes it look like she supports Hillary in some way, which I don’t believe, for either her or David Cobb who gets slandered as a secret Dem in some circles. He did the best he could in the 2004 campaign, and fortified many GP locals at a low point in party resources.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  She can improve her neutrality by asking New Hampshire, or is it too late (then, the question becomes, why did she wait so long that it is too late)?

                2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It appears that in 2008, Minn high court extended their recount deadline for their Senate race, till Jan. 2 2009.

                  I can’t find anything on the filing deadline, for not a random precints audit, but a complete recount.

                3. Bullwinkle

                  If my reading of the Jeffrey St Clair article in Counterpunch is correct, the Green Party executive committee voted 5-3 AGAINST supporting this recount. In that case, this is solely a STEIN/COBB action. Very disturbing.

          3. tgs

            I contributed to Stein’s campaign until her choice of running mate. Baraka is a good speaker, and I agree with many of his positions, but he was way too divisive for a serious bid to appeal to all voters.

            I did vote for Jill Stein but this recount initiative is troubling. It leaves me with a negative view of Stein in particular and the Green Party in general.

          4. Octopii

            I ended up voting for Stein as well. No regrets about forcing HRC and her retinue into retirement, but for curiosity’s sake I’m considering contributing.

          5. Carolinian

            I can’t claim to know much about Stein–saw her on tv and was unimpressed–but did vote for her on the theory that the Greens were at least on the side of the angels. Am now feeling totally used. IMHO all the “strategy” excuses are bs. She probably didn’t want to be tagged as another Nader and is doing this to ward off criticism.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              She looks like (the appearance) she is making the Green Party a whole owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

              Is that even legal – to have subsidiary parties?

            2. Pavel

              @Carolinian — that’s an intriguing idea, that she is doing this to ward off “Nader-tagging”. If that’s the case then it’s just Machiavellian politics and she’s doing nothing that HRC wouldn’t do. So who then can blame her?

              It does seem however that the GP is now identified with Stein and she isn’t the ideal standardbearer. (Though not as disastrous as the Libertarians’ choice of the hapless Gary Johnson!)

            3. Bullwinkle

              Stein’s raised a lot of money for this. If the recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan don’t go forward then she can keep it. And Michigan just completed a recount and certified the results on Wednesday I believe. So now, thanks to Jill Stein, they might have to do it all over again? Crazy. And if Stein is so concerned about the integrity of our voting systems why isn’t she requesting a recount in New Hampshire (where HRC won by .4% – that’s 4/10 of 1%), Nevada and Minnesota?

                1. cwaltz

                  That is an interesting page. Perhaps she is not challenging the results in places where Clinton won by a narrow margin because Trump’s campaign isn’t interested in a recount since it says she reached out to Trump, Clinton and Johnson.


                  I’m not opposed to recounts if the candidates raise the cash and I’m certainly not hyperventilating because Stein is exercising a process that apparently is in place.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Florida would be a great place for recount.

                    There is only one candidate who benefits electorally (distinct from the educational exercise, for which, Florida would be great, assuming acting early so no filing deadline issues) from choosing those 3 states.

                    Not sure why she had to reach out to the candidates, if only one would benefit materially.

      3. Jess

        If, as some suspect, 95% of those donations are coming from Dems, hasn’t Stein just expanded the Green Party’s email list by a significant factor?

      1. jo6pac

        Thanks for the link I also look at this as a lot of Free Press time in those state where they might have received none during the election cycle from hell.

      2. Carolinian

        Not claiming to speak for the other Green voters. Here’s what St. Clair has to say

        + What in the world is Jill Stein up to? She is trying to raise more $2 million for recounts in WI, Michigan & Penn, recounts that presumably aren’t about getting a bigger vote total for the Green Party, but trying to find “lost” votes for HRC. If HRC isn’t willing to stand up for her own voters (assuming there are lost votes) why the hell should the Greens? What’s the goal? To be able to say: “I didn’t cost Hillary the election, I tried to win it for her?”

        This smells of Stein’s campaign manager David Cobb to me, who in 2004 really wanted the Greens to run a stealth campaign so as not to be tarnished by reelection of Bush. (Indeed, the Wisconsin recount has nothing to do with the Green Party itself. The executive committee voted 5-3 to reject Stein and Cobb’s request that they sponsor the recounts.) Shortly after the 2004, elections Cobb spear-headed an audit of the returns from Ohio, the state that sank John Kerry. Many of the Greens are simply disaffect liberals, who really want to be teleported back to the Democratic Party of the 70s and 80s.

        Nearly 100 million eligible voters didn’t vote. Stein would be better served spending some of the $2 million turning them Green, organizing their own party, providing legal support for Standing Rock protesters, investing it in the Powerball lottery or almost anything other than auditing the vote for Hillary. But if, as with Sanders, Stein uses that $2 million (or even $200,000 or $20,000 or $2000 or $200) to help the candidate she rightly assailed as a threat to peace, the environment and working people during the campaign, then Stein will have defrauded the very people who supported her.

        1. Pavel

          Excellent point by St Clair, who has been an environmentalist for aeons:

          Nearly 100 million eligible voters didn’t vote. Stein would be better served spending some of the $2 million turning them Green, organizing their own party, providing legal support for Standing Rock protesters, investing it in the Powerball lottery or almost anything other than auditing the vote for Hillary. But if, as with Sanders, Stein uses that $2 million (or even $200,000 or $20,000 or $2000 or $200) to help the candidate she rightly assailed as a threat to peace, the environment and working people during the campaign, then Stein will have defrauded the very people who supported her.

          I read this earlier on CP, thanks for posting it here– well worth reading.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          Well based on the amount of $$$ she’s raised so far, she may be able to pay for the recount and build the party, etc.

          One article I read mentioned that in just the last few days she’s raised nearly double the amount of $$$ for the recount effort than she raised during the entire presidential race for her own campaign. Clearly all this money isn’t coming from just the Greens.

          And I read earlier on yahoo that Stein had just fired off a bunch of tweets railing at Clinton which has all the usual dim bulbs in the news business very confused.

          Curiouser and curiouser….

        3. juliania

          So, I guess it would be a good thing to quote from the excellent link above (thanks, Butch in Waukegan):

          “. . . The Stein campaign and the Green Party are filing for recounts because persuasive evidence exists that the vote totals were tampered with in several states. The researchers who uncovered these anomalies brought them to Democrats first. But since both capitalist parties are on the same team, Democrats were uninterested. But the Green Party and Jill Stein are NOT on their team.

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

          Hundreds of Green candidates will be running for local office around the country as mayors, aldermen, school board members and the like. They need to know the votes their neighbors cast for them will actually be counted. If vote totals in multiple states can be manipulated in a presidential election, the same thing can and likely will happen in local races, often at the hands of Democrats.. .”

          There’s a lot more in the article – it might be a good thing to see what the Greens say about why they are attempting the recount.

          Just sayin’ as they say (is that one of your fancy snow cones, Lambert?)

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Again, Florida would be a great place to ask for a recount. And many Green candidates will run there in the future.

            Does anyone know what the deadline is there?

        4. a different chris

          >Stein would be better served spending some of the $2 million turning them Green,

          Sounds like that’s what she’s attempting? When else could she possibly get the kind of national attention than right now when everybody is a little bit wondering wtf just happened? 2 million doesn’t go very far today even if you don’t spread it across 4 years. If she “keeps her powder dry” her little popgun will get drowned out yet again in 2020.

          So now’s the best chance she’s ever had to introduce herself to the public.

        5. UserFriendly

          Stein would be better served spending some of the $2 million turning them Green.

          Stein wouldn’t have the $2 million in the first place if she didn’t do this. I am beyond fed up with everyone getting on their high horse about this. All you holier than thou people who can’t handle that she just managed to raise more than twice as much $$ in the last week than she did the whole election make me sick.

          This is why the Green Party never gets anywhere. The media refuses to cover issues so the only way for her to get the name out is to pull a stunt or two like this. Everyone that can’t handle it and regrets voting for her over this should be round up and shot. No one will ever meet your astronomical expectations so just shut up and don’t vote. This put her on the good side of a lot of Dem voters and it gave her a bigger email list. Would I love it if she could afford to question other states? Sure. Go donate the several million dollars to her so she can keep up the appropriate veil of non-partisanship to suit your liking.

    2. jawbone

      I keep thinking back to 2000 and to 2004, given that both Gore and Kerry were roundly criticized by many in the Dem Party and on the left for NOT demanding recounts. Kerry was especially criticized, iirc, for not demanding an investigation into the Ohio vote, in that for some strange reason the vote counts from certain districts went to a company out of state before the votes were “counted.”

      Am I misremembering?

      And, of course, Jill Stein does have reasons to be sure any and all votes cast for the Green Party ARE counted.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Bruce Dixon’s explanation, from :

      “The Stein campaign and the Green Party are filing for recounts because persuasive evidence exists that the vote totals were tampered with in several states. The researchers who uncovered these anomalies brought them to Democrats first. But since both capitalist parties are on the same team, Democrats were uninterested. But the Green Party and Jill Stein are NOT on their team.

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

      Democracy is one of the core values of the party. She may be trying to protect the vote on pure principle, though Dixon offers other reasons.

      Auditing the count is a good idea in general – a lot more recounts should be done. A main objection to “black box” voting is that it rules out recounts – probably a bonus from the county’s point of view.

      I’m not privy to Jill’s private motivations, nor is anyone else here, so I’m speculating based on general Green Party practice. We also helped force a recount in Ohio in 2004. That count was clearly bogus – officials went to jail for that one. For some reason, Kerry refused to question it, even though he’d promised to “protect the vote.” Just one factor in thinking that election was questionable.

      Of course, a bonus is making the point that Greens care more about an honest count than Democrats do.

      The rest is uninformed speculation.

  15. Linda

    My apologies to Lambert if a recent comment was not clear, or not appropriate. It looks like it got moderated out, although it could still be pending. I don’t know how long to wait.

    There are a few articles about fake news in the Links section. I posted about the first and only fake news page I ran across while doing a search of a news item of interest to me. Maybe it sounded like I was posting fake news. ?

    1. temporal

      I’m in the moderated to short sentences category. History of inappropriate sentence structure I suppose.

            1. ambrit

              Hmmm… Dysphoriphagic Scholiasts is it? Some sort of Origen story I suspect. (Where do Libertarians come from anyway? Parse-theogonesis?)
              I was in search of a clean version of the Goldwater, “extremism in pursuit of liberty…” quote so as to adapt your latitudinarianism citation to the almost identical anti-platitudinariansm I came across. Suddenly, like Minerva sprung full blown from the brow of Jupiter, up pops this site.
              Classical Values:
              Anyway, excelsior!

  16. local to oakland

    This article is a warning re back room political maneuvering to criminalize the use of a virtual private network. Technical changes to US federal rule of evidence 41 may have serious implications for online privacy. Unless contested, rule changes enacted December 1.

    This is not my area of expertise, but it seems like it may be important.

  17. ex-PFC Chuck

    Regarding Bernie Sanders’ recently published book about reforming the Democratic Party, IMSHO he will be more effective in this effort if he resigns from the Senate Democratic caucus and uses his influence to found an advocacy organization outside of the national party structure. I don’t think it can be reformed from the inside because the people at the top are too firmly attached to the Wall Street teat. We are already seeing that the party’s Beltway Bandit chapter is responding to the 2016 election debacle in a manner commensurate with at least the first clause Talleyrand’s observation regarding the Bourbons: “They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

    Not having read the book yet* I don’t know the specifics of his plan, but I hope it involves forming local “Bernie Clubs” whose members will participate in Democratic Party caucuses, etc., but who make clear that they will support only those Democratic candidates, policies and platform planks that unequivocally advocate the Bernie agenda. One of those policies, as is noted in the Bloomberg review, is eschewing the aforementioned Wall Street teat.

    * Earlier this morning I reserved the book at my county library, which has 37 copies on hand and 33 more on order.

  18. Adrian H

    Trump doesn’t really have to raise wages for the working class. He just has to repeatedly say he did. Its not like anyone will fact check those claims, either.

    1. sd

      You underestimate how rough things are in communities that lost their manufacturing jobs. It’s hard to mistake having a job and getting a paycheck vs not having a job and not getting a paycheck.

  19. Steve H.

    : Slot machines and smartphones: To understand the fatal distraction of mobile tech, look at Las Vegas

    Dr. Strange has our not-yet hero have his life changing accident due to mobile distraction, and the credits make the point explicitly. Use of devices while driving increases the chance of accident 9 to 23 times.

    Another reason to see it: a few moments of full-out kinetic art, well beyond the rotating cities and usual CGI whatnot. Without those few seconds, the film would’ve been cool and fractally and well-Benedict’d. But with just a few seconds devoted to the construction of self, it has something worth saying and seeing.

    1. aletheia33

      i enjoyed that movie too–though as usual, i realized after immersion that it contained no content of any lasting substance. i must have missed the import you saw in the part you mention, because i don’t know what part you’re referring to. can you clarify further?

      1. Steve H.

        During his first journey through the many realms, there is a moment where he is hanging onto his sense of self.

        Beyond this I shall not say, being ethically opposed to spoilers.

        I’m letting the meaning settle, rather than thin-slicing it yet. What has washed through thus far concerns memory, and time, and the timeless moment. I can’t yet unmerse myself from my joy at Cumberbatch casting, and memory of Ditko’s use of contrast of light & dark to make the image glow. Some of the images of the multiverse in the comics were extraordinarily imaginative, and the movie respected the earlier work.

    2. fresno dan

      Steve H.
      November 27, 2016 at 9:56 am

      BTW, I got your update about the Austin police beating – Thanks for that! I don’t know how late you check yesterday’s postings

  20. Steve H.

    : Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reacts to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Eviction Notice: Your Letter Makes a Grave & Dangerous Mistake Native News Online (MR).

    The site is getting overloaded, here’s the letter transcribed:

    Colonel John W. Henderson
    Commander and District Engineer
    Omaha District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    1616 Capitol Avenue
    Suite 900
    Omaha, NE 68102

    Re: November 25, 2016, Letter Regarding Closure of Treaty Lands

    Dear Col. Henderson:

    This letter responds to your correspondence, dated November 25, 2016, announcing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) plan to close certain “Corps’ managed lands to all public use and access effective December 5, 2016.” You state that “[t]his decision is necessary 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 to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions.”

    You have warned that anyone found outside of a so-called “free speech zone” will be considered trespassing and may be subject to prosecution under federal state, and local laws.” You have asked me to “encourage members of [the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe], as well as any non-members who support you who are located in the encampments north of the Cannonball River on Corps lands to immediately and peacefully move to the free speech zone. . . .”

    The area north of the Cannonball River is both the ancestral homeland of the Lakota people and inside the boundaries of the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, a treaty that has not been abrogated and law that governs us all. The best of these lands have already been unjustly taken and flooded by the Corps in the disastrous Pick-Sloane legislation. We will no longer allow our rights as a Tribe or as indigenous people as a whole to continue to be eroded.

    This decision, coming on the heels of the Thanksgiving holiday, is not only disrespectful, but continues the cycle of racism and oppression imposed on our people and our lands throughout history.

    We ask that the Corps and the United States reconsider this decision. Treaties are the supreme law of the land and the Constitution of the United States demands that they be respected. Removal from Sioux Treaty lands should be the choice of the Oceti Sakowin Camp north of the Cannonball River, not the United States, which has been violating our rights for hundreds of years. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe stands with the more than 300 Tribal nations and the water protectors who are here peacefully protesting the Dakota Access pipeline while defending the rights of indigenous people.

    Furthermore, your letter dangerously and profoundly misunderstands the basic function and status of a tribal government and its elected leaders. I am the chief executive of a sovereign nation that is comprised of individual citizens with physical territory within the exterior boundaries the State of South Dakota. Under the laws of the United States, my government lacks jurisdiction at Cannonball; but more importantly, I no more control the acts and behaviors of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal members or non-member water protectors at the Cannonball site than you do, Col. Henderson.

    dapl-1027bAs set forth above, even if I could control the water protectors, I recognize and respect their rights under the Constitution of the United States to peaceably assemble in prayerful protest against the cultural and environmental atrocity that is the Dakota Access Pipeline. I would not use my authority, which is based on the consent of my citizens, to curtail their human and constitutional rights.

    Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of your letter is your acknowledgement of the stark reality that that the confrontation between our peaceful water protectors and law enforcement could result in death or serious injury, a fact demonstrated by the brutal attack on Sophia Wilansky by North Dakota police last week. But in the very next paragraph you guarantee that further confrontations will occur by promising that these peaceful people will be trespassing on closed areas and you threaten that they will do so “at their own risk” and will “assume[] any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence and occupation of such lands.”

    I take your letter as issuing a direct and irresponsible threat to the water protectors. It appears to further empower the militarized police force that has been brutalizing and terrorizing our water protectors while imposing the blame and the risk on unarmed peaceful people. We have pleaded for the protection of the United States. Your letter makes a grave and dangerous mistake. Federal efforts to de-escalate the violence should be aimed at the wrongdoers, not at our peaceful people


    Harold Frazier, Chairman
    Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

    1. optimader

      “[t]his decision is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials

      riffing on the “to protect the children” bromide. First start with a false agenda, then extrapolate. The bureaucratic school of press release writing

    2. fresno dan

      essentially, the letter points out the Orwellian speech of the government, whose argument is basically, “We are afraid we might hurt our fists when we beat you”
      At the rate of government double speak and simply absurd reality distortion, I wouldn’t be surprised that protesters in a few years who get shot during peaceful protest will be charged with “impeding the progress of a government projectile (i.e., a bullet)…

    3. Steve C

      Reason why Obama is doing this and Hillary was silent: Citibank is backing Dakota Access. The president from Citibank.

      1. hunkerdown

        The Administration from Citi. Let’s not forget Michael Froman in all of this. Let’s not let him be forgotten, in order that he lives in utter terror of everyone he passes on the street for thet remainder of his days.

        1. integer

          The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, Kelsey Warren, needs some attention from the street too.

          Billionaire Kelcy Warren’s legacy as a pipeline dealmaker may now be defined by his most ambitious misstep.

          Warren built a reputation as a visionary by scooping up small pipeline companies just as the U.S. shale boom exploded. It helped him build a 71,000-mile oil-and-natural gas superhighway that spans the country.

          Then, when it came to his biggest deal yet, a $33 billion takeover of rival Williams Cos., the strategy he’s used at least nine times since 2004 failed him.

          This week, Warren’s Energy Transfer Equity LP walked away from the merger that had devolved into lawsuits and name calling. The result has put a harsh spotlight on his methods and motives, and spurred concern over whether his Dallas-based company will be able to pull off other deals anytime soon.

          Seems likely that Citi is highly exposed to Energy Transfer Partners debt and that they want their money come hell or high water.

    4. Aumua

      Still pushing Sophia Wilansky I see, even though the circumstances surrounding her injury have quite reasonably been called into question. Too bad, that’s really marring an otherwise awesome letter, IMO.

        1. Aumua

          Cause of Severe Injury at Pipeline Protest Becomes New Point of Dispute

          The source is the cops who are there dealing with the protesters. Not the best source, I will admit, but it doesn’t seem too rational to me that they would be throwing actual grenades at the people. That would really reflect badly on them in the public mind. Also, if a concussion grenade hits you in the arm and explodes (casualty radius of 2 meters), how likely do you think it is that you’re still alive afterwards?

            1. Aumua

              Jimmy Dore does not provide a shred of evidence in his little rant to support the title of it. Hopefully that saves someone else from wasting 10 minutes of their life watching it.

              Honestly, dude. What I am saying is that what happened is a disputed point. I support their cause 100 percent, I just hate to see them shooting themselves in the foot by stooping to sensationalism and exaggeration. I see a pattern of it coming out the protest camp, and if I see it, then you can bet the average Joe trying to make sense of all this sees it too.

              1. integer

                There are metal fragments that have been removed from Sophia Wilansky’s injury. They will be tested and will tell the tale. I try to stay away from the personal (wrt other NC commenters) in my comments, but I have noticed that you have been struggling with your cognitive dissonance here lately.
                I have had many interactions with police where I am considered the enemy (skateboarding in business districts of cities). Have you?

                1. Aumua

                  At the moment I’m feeling about zero need to defend my self and where I’m coming from to you. Maybe you should have continued to stay away from personal attacks.

                    1. Aumua

                      Don’t see any concussion grenades there. They’re interesting pictures and all, they just don’t prove shit, sorry. If they did, I would say OK.

                    2. UserFriendly

                      Are you blind?

                      “Instantaneous Blast CS” grenade, manufactured by Defense Technology, fired at #NoDAPL water protectors on Highway 1806 last night


                      Foam sponge round” manufactured by @SafarilandGroup, fired at #NoDAPL water protectors on Highway 1806 last night


                      Piece of Stinger grenade recovered from Hwy 1806 last night appears to match this @SafarilandGroup product- … #NoDAPL


                      Riot Control CS” grenade, made by @SafarilandGroup, shot at #NoDAPL water protectors on Highway 1806 last night


                      If your point is they are not percussion grenades, so sorry that the activists aren’t readily able to identify the things blowing up while being thrown at them. But any of those is capable of severe damage. Go ask NDPD what proof they have.

                  1. integer

                    I get what you are saying. My contention is that your cognitive dissonance has led you to rational analysis paralysis. In any case, all the best.

              2. sd

                So you believe Sophia Wilansky is a liar.

                I find it fascinating that you side so easily with the police given recent history in the United States of false arrests, torture, assasinations, murder, military grade weapons, continual assaults on peaceful protesters in multiple cities, as well as the coordinated arrests of Occupy members, etc.

                1. Aumua

                  I’m not going to repeat myself. I side with the truth, whatever that may be. Believe whatever current version suits you.

                2. pretzelattack

                  cops lie all the time to cover their ass. like the ones that almost killed that occupy protestor in, iirc, oakland.

          1. pretzelattack

            the source is the cops??? according to the doctors who treated her they removed fragments from her arm. seriously, you believe the cops who have been abusing their powers regularly?

            1. Aumua

              I don’t believe either side here unquestioningly. I care about the truth, even if it goes against my inherent world view. A lot of people don’t give a shit, I know. If it’s close enough to what they already believe then that’s good enough. I need to consider multiple points of view here in a complex situation. The fragments (alleged by one uncorroborated source so far, as far as I can tell) have also not allegedly been identified thus far.

              I’ve seen several stories get news coverage that were untrue or distorted (the 1000’s of buffalo, and the 11 year old girl who was shot and killed, as well as the widely circulated rumor that Walinsky’s arm had been amputated). So yes, I question everything, including the cops’ story.

              1. sd

                These are your own words:

                Still pushing Sophia Wilansky I see, even though the circumstances surrounding her injury have quite reasonably been called into question. Too bad, that’s really marring an otherwise awesome letter, IMO.

                1. Aumua

                  Indeed. I’m skeptical of certain claims being made, and I would like to see further evidence clarifying just what did happen, and I think it’s a mistake for them to hold up this incident as an example for their cause without some proof that their version of events is true when it’s in question at the moment. I otherwise fully agree with the intention and words of the letter. There, I restated it for you.

              2. pretzelattack

                who propagated those? do you have links? was it the girl’s father? you think he’s lying, the people that reported the water cannons are lying, the other 25 people that went to the hospital are a lie, seriously? if you accept the cops have been brutalizing the protestors, why do you buy their story about violent protestors trying to blow up vehicles with propane?

          2. m

            we didn’t use water cannon-video of water cannon on youtube-oops. Dogs didn’t bite people-video of dogs with bloody mouths-oops. we didn’t use flash bangs grenades, video of flash bang grenades on youtube-oops.
            guess that’s why they are shooting down video drones and arresting reporters.

            1. pretzelattack

              those are all lies by the cops, right? not to mention that many cops have gone home, and i’ve read that some are uncomfortable with the way cops there are acting. don’t have a source at the moment.

    5. craazyman

      This is like a Billy Jack movie. Oh man there was a picture on the internet and they were all on horses! It looked like something from 1868. It’s incredible this thing was mismanaged so badly it’s come to this.

      I didn’t know anything about this until today, when I read a few things on the internet. Not all of it was pro-demonstrators. I tried to be balanced for rhetorical investigatory purposes & actually read some “kick their hippie asses and dig the dam thing” editorials.

      When people start up with the synecdoche and the metonymy it’s like a landslide. It’s like a Fleetwood Mac moment: and I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills/ and the landslide brought me down.

      If that pipeline is so safe, why can’t they build it where they first planned it? It makes no sense to me that it’s safe enough for the reservation but not for the original route. I mean c’mon! I get the idea the pipeline as a technology is safer than trains, and that it’s pretty safe overall. And that most people want & need energy. Let’s get real.

      But still, what a planning fiasco this was. I suspect the Big O will find a way to end this thing and re-route the pipeline before hundreds of people get killed. People who have nothing left to lose and don’t mind dying. I mean really, if you’re a fat rich midwestern white guy with millions in energy money on the line, do you really want that? It’s a Kenny Rogers moment too!

      You gotta Know when to hold ’em,
      Know when to fold em
      Know when to walk away,
      Know when to run
      You better count your money, while you’re even able
      Cause there won’t be any left to count, if the killin’s done

      That’s not very good for lyrics. The original song was much much better!

      If you’re an oil man it’s time to walk away fast if you want to keep yer money. That’s for sure. They really need to put that pipeline someplace else and then go home and say to themselves, “Wow did we screw that one up or what.”

      1. Steve H.

        craazyman, I’m not sure it’s well known that those lyrics are a translation of Niebuhr’s serenity prayer:

        “God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

        Of course, Kenny Rogers is an American, so a tick more evocative with the imagery, and a better cadence.

        Darn it, Serenity isn’t in that translation, I just noticed. Here’s another Serenity translation:

        “Book: It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.”

    6. craazyman

      Wow I got modded even though I used snynecdoche and metonymy and did not use even 1 curse word or any pejorative phrase.

      Overall it was a finely tempered and erudite comment in which the art of argument was skillfully applied to the exposition of a difficult contemporary event.

      Not only that, but I quoted Fleetwood Mac and Kenny Rogers!

      Who could want more from a comment than that? Well, I guess somebody could use mathematics but I chose not to — even though I could have. Probably a partial differential equation in the manner of a social scientist. But with more insight and illumination. I’m just being honest. Haha

      Nevertheless it went to moderation. The peanut gallery is full of unreadably dull and lifeless screeds that say nothing and convey nothing other than smudge on a page. Somehow the moderator just let them sail through! Hahahahah. Sorry just having fun. Just kidding about the peanut gallery screeds. If it’s impolite, blame it on the Spanish Wine.

  21. Chauncey Gardiner

    Appreciated the link to the New York Times article on deteriorating critical dams and locks on the Ohio River due to deferred maintenance under successive administrations.

    Seems to be plenty of money available for military spending, TARP etc., and trillions of dollars in subsidized loans to large financial intermediaries; but little for infrastructure, education or social programs. Why the ideological resistance to federal funding of critical national infrastructure?

    1. John Wright

      There is a report card on America’s infrastructure at

      Admittedly, this is an interest group, the American Society of Civil Engineers

      In 2013 they estimated about $3.6 Trillion is needed by 2020.

      As I remember, this is less than the estimated fully loaded cost (from Joseph Stiglitz) of the Iraq War.

      This report categorizes the USA infrastructure into 16 categories, and the highest grade it gives to any one category (Solid Waste) is a B-, with 11 grades of D-/+ assigned.

      >Why the ideological resistance to federal funding of critical national infrastructure?

      The NY Times is editorially disposed to promote costly wars, not spending for infrastructure.

      Furthermore, perhaps the “deplorable” wage earner might benefit from infrastructure spending, while war spending flows to the Bos-Wash corridor connected corporations, lobbyists and think tanks.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘The NY Times is editorially disposed to promote costly wars, not spending for infrastructure.’

        How purblind can these ink-stained wretches be?

        All five of NYC’s Hudson River crossings (Amtrak tubes; PATH tubes; Holland Tunnel; George Washington Bridge; Lincoln Tunnel) are pre-WW II artifacts.

        Completing the West Side Highway took three decades; the Second Avenue subway (which is about to miss its opening deadline) only 97 years.

        NYC is a national showcase of neglected infrastructure. But as John Wright points out, the Saddams WMDs paper preferred to publish Judith Miller’s lies about Iraq rather than fix its broken city. Guess the hated Republicans will have to clean up the mess in one-party NYC.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Bring the troops home. When Ron Paul was asked when he would bring the troops home he replied “as soon as the boats can get there”. Hand that staff sergeant a shovel, better yet hand that private a teaspoon.
          (They probably don’t want to repatriate a bunch of disgruntled traumatized people who are institutionally desensitized to violence and highly-trained in the use of automatic weapons…so best to have something ready for them to do).

      2. rd

        I am a civil engineer but work on projects entirely funded by the private sector. Even so, I participate in the lobbying efforts to increase government infrastructure spending because our infrastructure really is getting into horrendous shape due to lack of investment over the past 30 years. It is one of the few areas where the focus on reducing government spending has actually occurred, despite it being one of the areas with the highest paybacks.

        The Solid Waste grade of B- is that way for a very simple set of reasons. The 1993 RCRA Subtitle D focused on providing regulations that forced many small local landfills to close and large mega-landfills with high levels of environmental protectiveness were created instead. These regulations also required funding of long-term liabilities of closure and post-closure care so there should be few orphan sites in the future, unlike the numerous Superfund sites from the first century of the industrial revolution. The economics then rewarded efficiency so large heavily-regulated waste companies now run a high percentage of the nations solid waste management.

        Infrastructure is complex with much of it constructed and maintained by local or state entities. So there is logic in the Tea Party’s for the federal government to move out of it. However, they overlook some fundamental aspects:

        1. There are large interstate components, such as highway systems, canals, rivers, etc. Even “local” things like wastewater plants can immediately discharge into the next state down in the river, lake or ocean body. Mass transit systems often extend across state lines (Washington DC Metro system is an extreme example of this).
        2. Once a community runs into financial issues, then infrastructure spending screeches to a halt. “Cost savings” quickly turns into problems like the Flint water supply, decrepit highways, mass transit reductions, etc. that then compound the community decline problems.
        3. P3 partnerships focus on projects with defined income streams, such as point-to-point toll roads, water supply systems, etc. They won’t solve common infrastructure used frequently by a lot of people in a difficult to quantify manner, such as the typical urban street grid.

    2. Waldenpond

      I don’t think the resistance is to federal funding of critical national infrastructure exactly… I think the resistance is among the elite to the ‘national’ portion of that equation. Take the public out of it and privatize the infrastructure and there would be elite support. The mechanism to do that is to let it deteriorate to such a degree that it is no longer functional, claim there is no money and then give it to your friendly neighborhood (donor) oligarch.

    3. rd

      BTW – This year’s version of the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) was passed in two separate versions by the House and Senate a few weeks before the election. It is now stuck in conference committee. If it comes to the floor it will almost certainly be passed and signed but it has to get there first. These are the types of infrastructure bills that are investments while making near-term jobs. Waiting until the next Congress means that many projects will miss a funding cycle.

      Contact your Representative and Senators urging them to move this bill.

  22. aletheia33

    standing rock is now giving me great hope. whatever the “final outcome” of the protest is, i have no doubt that history is being made there. i think it is potentially the most powerful protest that has so far happened since the 1960s.

    i think it will be the first time that a protest may gain the level of national attention that the civil rights and vietnam protests had in their time. occupy is important, madison was important, black lives matter is important, and now, i hope, standing rock could turn out to be some kind of tipping point.

    because native americans are so obviously at the very bottom of the disadvantaged–and most people know it.
    because they are framing DAPL in part as continuation of the genocide that the youth of today have all learned about in school. because they are absolutely, unequivocally committed to nonviolence.
    because they are praying there all day, every day and are framing their protest as a religious/spiritual action as well as a call for justice.
    because they are framing this action as one of taking care of human beings, all of nature, and the planet–a concern that the majority (i think) of people in the u.s. now strongly feel.
    because they have declared that they will not be moved until they succeed.
    because their camp has several thousand inhabitants.
    because they are prepared to stay where they are through the winter.
    because they have endured getting hosed with water cannons at 10 degrees and have not given up.
    because (i think but am not entirely positive) this is the first time that this many native groups from all over america and the world have sent representatives to take a stand against environmental destruction, and this assembly (i think) will continue beyond standing rock.
    because so many famous people have already lent their presence and support and national media are giving attention.
    because if and when they are brutally cleaned out by a heavily militaristic policing operation, it will be reported by the national news and a significant portion of the public may be outraged by it.

    just my hunches. what does the NC commentariat think?

    1. fresno dan

      November 27, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Thank you very much for that!
      I think what was a studious and concerted effort to NOT REPORT has been overcome by the people’s will and the blogoshere.

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Beautiful comment, Aletheia33.

      Beyond the legitimate questions that have been raised about violations of constitutional rights of citizens and whether the pipeline company has requisite legal and environmental permits that were granted in accordance with law, right of eminent domain, legal authority to construct the pipeline that is superior to treaty rights, and a multitude of other legal and environmental (not to mention ethical and spiritual) questions, there is also the raw issue of pipeline safety.

      A reader at the site linked above stated in comments that the pipes are likely to fail because they were designed to carry water, not petroleum products. He said that the product to be transported through the pipes is so corrosive that it has destroyed the sensors, and he called for laboratory tests. It is difficult to see any overriding reason why such tests should not be conducted.

      Not that it would restore a potential loss, but this pipeline is ultimately completed, it is my opinion that Energy Transfer Partners, its officers, directors, partners, and any assignees or successor corporations should be subjected to a legal standard of strict corporate and personal liability for any pipeline failures. If NAFTA precludes such legal action due to the entry of a Canadian corporation into the consortium, then NAFTA should also be abrogated and repealed. Just my opinion as someone who is not an attorney.

      1. JoeK

        One of the main points raised by anyone or any company “developing” i.e. destroying natural environments is the issue of ownership or permission to use the land in question, here framed as “right of eminent domain.” I read many of the comments on the website linked to a day or two ago, and the landowners’ arguments against the protests and protesters all center on the “fact” that “we own the land (or the gov’t does) and are being trespassed against.”

        So to me the only appropriate response seems to be “the owner of stolen property has no right to it.” Mr. Frazier et al certainly use this argument but it seems to be a good choice for a go-to, drum-it-into-their-heads- talking point. You stole our land, maybe we can’t get it back but you sure as hell aren’t going to use land stolen from us to enable further degrading and poisoning what you failed to grab (and our water).

        Make The [mafia] Don(ald) have no choice but to tear up the treaty or rather treaties to go forward.

    3. Waldenpond

      I hope they succeed in stopping the dapl. I am looking forward to former military assisting. I have been wondering where they have been on several issues.

      A concern is wasn’t the letter from the corp of engineers ‘federal’ that threatened ‘federal’ charges? Greater penalties, ability to detain etc? Unless there are replacements the feds can arrest and remove a few thousand people.

    4. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I think all resistance is good and none of it is futile, but I just wish we could frame the struggle as “haves versus have-nots” rather than the splintered, divided-and-conquered “native American” protests, BLM protests, Occupy, hell even Tea Party. So long as we make this about race and gender and culture and not *class* interests we play into the hands of our 1% lords and ladies.
      The typical CEO makes 238 times what the shop floor worker makes while we have >50% of the population needing to borrow of meet an unexpected $400 expense, and the lords and ladies, whether they are from Wall St or Hollywood, have absolutely no embarrassment or shame in this, their greed and self-absorbption have edged out all capacity for compassion and basic civic-mindedness but our job is to make them deeply and profoundly *ashamed* in this “richest country on Earth”.

    5. marym

      Thank you for these reasons to hope. Another may be the refusal of some law enforcement to participate.

      Link for ways to help:

      For those who may only be able to bear witness from afar, a quote from the yesmagazine link:

      It was intense public response that led Montana’s Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin to literally turn his detail around. He and his deputies were en route to Morton County when Gov. Steve Bullock raised concerns about the potential misuse of the interstate statute. The Emergency Management Assistance Compact obligates law enforcement around the country to fulfill requests for aid under any form of emergency or disaster.

      “I got messages from England, Poland, New Zealand, Australia,” Gootkin recalled. And he received phone calls and hundreds of emails from his constituents, too — people that may have elected him sheriff. They were concerned about the use of force on protesters, Oct. 27, he said, and also had been affected by the public outrage from Minneapolis’ Hennepin County.

  23. I like Eichmann

    The Paquete Habana decision makes customary international law federal and state common law. That includes UDHR Article 26, which makes not just literacy but education a right. Snyder is no mere ignoramus – he’s trying to impose Scalia’s program by declaring 70 years of universal human rights lawmaking void behind the US iron curtain. This latest proclamation shows that poisoning Flint is just one part of Snyder’s technocratic Endlösung. The international community will take this out of the USG’s hide in international forums, and US state legitimacy and international standing will swirl faster down the toilet as civil society chips away at the US government’s sovereignty. The US will have to plead federalism, which has made the US government an international laughingstock for a decade. This is concrete progress toward regime change.

  24. CoffeeGeek

    I love the criticism of Stein/Green as “sore losers”… But zero mention of McRory, the sorest loser of all, hanging on to dear life through nothing but lies in North Carolina.

  25. katz

    Democrats never stopped caring about the working class

    This from the guy who wrote The Party Decides!!!??? Dumbfounding.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The dictatorship of the proletariat.

      The party will decide for the proletariat because the party cares.

  26. sid_finster

    Here’s a paranoid thought:

    We know that the Establishment is not happy about Trump winning.

    Does anyone think that the recount fiasco is intended not so much to overturn the election so much as to send Trump a message, that he had better start paying more attention to elite demands?

    “If we have learned nothing else from election 2016, it is that no matter how cynical you are, you are not cynical enough.” – S. Finster

  27. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Coming Out Of Election Haze: How Do Women On Left Overcome Elite Feminism? ShadowProof

    On “weaponized” (excellent descriptive) elite feminism:

    I would define it as both a style of politics and a substantive ideology. The style is, it is elitist in its expression, in its preoccupation with rich women like Hillary Clinton and Beyonce [and Sheryl Sandberg, my addition] and its general disinterest in working class women and their concern. But I would also define it as an ideology: an active commitment to a neoliberal, militarist order as long as a few women advance within that order.

    At its worse—as in the 2016 Democratic primary—elite feminism can be weaponized against the interests of the vast majority of women by pitting a narrow politics of representation against a redistributive agenda that has been shown to help all women and stigmatizing the latter as somehow sexist.

    Such a pity that so many feministas and their associated poseurs were so busy leaning-in, that they didn’t listen when Thomas Frank told them what was really going on.

    1. flora

      My opinion of elite feminism: It is a “Queen Bee” feminism.

      A few days ago, Lambert linked to Adolf Reed’s essay “What Are the Drums Saying, Booker?” I thought many of the points made could apply to elite feminism’s model of the “exceptional member.”

      To slightly re-work one point Reed made (my point added in parenthesis):

      “What made this possible, and credible, was black Americans’ (women’s) expulsion from civic life. The role [of “exceptional member” who speak for all] was unthinkable…during the first three decades after the Civil War because a culture of broad, democratic participation flourished among black citizens. The obvious multiplicity of articulate black voices… would have immediately exposed as absurd the suggestion that any individual carried –- or should carry – a blanket racial (gender) proxy. The idea of the free-floating race (gender) spokesman was a pathological effect of the disenfranchisement (of women)….”

      1. flora

        Adding , from Reed’s essay above:

        “[Booker T.] Washington’s (elite feminism’s) stature derived from skill at soothing white liberals’ retreat from the Reconstruction (Civil Rights) era’s relatively progressive racial (gender) politics.”

        Emphasis in original.

      2. fresno dan

        November 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

        I read that essay also a couple of days ago. Just another author (Adolf Reed) that NC has opened my eyes to that provides very interesting, very insightful, very novel thinking.
        And yes, I thought your insight:
        I thought many of the points made could apply to elite feminism’s model of the “exceptional member.”
        was spot on!

        Always, ALWAYS the ceiling, never, EVAH about those on the floor, or more often than not, under the floor….

    2. fresno dan

      Katniss Everdeen
      November 27, 2016 at 11:03 am
      Absolutely, positively right on!!!

      Such a pity that so many feministas and their associated poseurs were so busy leaning-in, that they didn’t listen when Thomas Frank told them what was really going on.

      Maybe, just maybe, we have reached the point where a critical mass has caught on to the Bullsh*t

    3. aletheia33

      Katniss Everdeen
      November 27, 2016 at 11:03 am

      thank you katniss. and the thing that still gets me every time i think of that inane directive “lean in” is what is sheryl sandberg the head of? f*ckbook. pardon my french. what kind of role model is that? is that the best a smart (?), successful (in what terms?), exceptional woman can offer to the rest of us? i am sick of witnessing the masses of chickenhead young women traipsing after these corporate a**holes in drag so proud they have stomped on fingers to get up the ladder and ignored the cries of the dispossessed along with the best of ’em.

  28. JCC

    The David Cox article is just another clear example of “blaming the voters” as well as failing to point out that if HRC won, his “results” would have probably been the same:

    In all likelihood, these next four years are going to be especially difficult for many of you, as the very rich get even richer, housing becomes a bit less affordable and manufacturing jobs become harder to justify at home amid a soaring dollar.

    He’s a jerk and his sarcasm falls very very flat.

    1. integer

      Just to avoid confusion when the pitchforks and guillotines come out, the person who wrote that article is named David Rob Cox. What a POS.

  29. cocomaan

    On the Russian propaganda nonsense, I keep going back to the intelligence community on this one.

    I remember getting chills when Tim Kaine talked about an “intelligence surge”. The Democrats are very friendly with the surveillance deep state. They go out of their way to appease it. So if the intelligence stat wants to push the red scare, the Democrats (and Jeff Bezos by extension) will skip to the loo in short order.

    It’s incredibly dismaying.

    What I will say is that I will continue to support this website. It is genuine and contains what we need more of. Please be careful.

      1. hunkerdown

        The ones we can fire after they’ve stolen everything are the state. The ones we can’t fire are the deep state.

        1. Optimader

          Good luck firing members of the State
          Apparatchik. Political appointees? You have to have the patience for the patron to loose an election. The rest of the “career” employees are there until they choose to punch out at 55.

    1. optimader

      On the Russian propaganda nonsense
      The high level notion that Russian propaganda doesn’t exist is as naive as the notion that domestic MSM is not rife with propaganda as well.
      Is one POV re propaganda bad and the other benign? More like pick your poison. All propaganda is an attempt to distortion of reality.

      The D party is still in whatever stage of grief is associated w/ assigning blame to others. A lot of resources and time squandered by ppl in a Svengali reality distortion zone that didn’t get that HRC was a toxic nag. Had dinner w/ a couple of them on Friday, we just let them vent, Amazing superficiality for two otherwise smart ppl.

      if Russian sourced propaganda is so invasive and subtly effective that it affected the outcome of the POTUS election, it would not be a new development. So why the Crickets on theforthcoming forensics proving it?

      Bottom line, if Russian Prop. was indeed so effective, professional campaign managers or for that matter sale and marketing enitities would (have)/be hiring those Russians as consultants in a NY minute to manage impressions.

      1. optimader

        it would not be a new development. meaning a newly revealed development, as in a newly rolled out and highly effective persuasion.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Are we so exceptional that only we have a dove-wing and a hawk wing.

        A patriot must be thorough. In this case, are hawks in Russia trying to get a confrontational leader here?

        And hacking was done to push the result in favor towards that candidate, albeit not so successful so far. Though, the struggle is still on-going, as more agents are being activated.


        I mean, we patriots must account for all possibilities.

      3. DarkMatters

        I agree that propaganda is usually 2-sided, but we should keep in mind that propaganda wars can actually enhance what the populace regards as press freedom. A conflicting side often tries to denigrate the other by exposing the dark underbelly that their opponents wish to hide, often revealing an embarrassing amount of truth. It’s somewhat akin to what happens when an angry couple takes an argument out on the street in plain hearing of their neighbors. Juicy! Though you can’t expect what you hear to be taken at face value, the conflict usually reveals enough tidbits that a little further investigation on a reader’s part can form an objective picture.

  30. cocomaan

    On the management article, The New Workplace is Agile:

    I find a lot of the MBA-speak from things like this to be completely incomprehensible. Plus it’s all based on strange assumptions that don’t survive interrogation. More and more I find myself going back to 70’s era organizational science, like the Garbage Can Theory, particularly how an organization is just choices looking for problems to which they can be attached.

    The “agile” part of this increasingly popular management concept is simple: Rather than try to do giant projects that take months or even years, create small teams that do a bit at a time.

    I’ve worked in the corporate and the academic world. I’ve never seen a giant project that wasn’t also figured out by small teams making decisions along the way. Even government projects are handled this way. There is nothing new here.

    “Work has changed, and everyone needs more expertise, more consultation,” said Pamela Hinds, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford. “There’s more speed with which projects have to get out, because of competition, and people are pulled on and off projects much more.”

    What world is she living in? Since when are things going faster in 2016 than they did in, say, 2010? Or 2002? Is it “faster” to get a mortgage underwritten now? File an insurance claim? Get your online banking set up? Buy stocks? Buy a car? What competition? I am wracking my brain to figure out what industry has actually “sped up” lately.

    1. Michael

      Logistics has — stuff really does get picked and shipped far faster than it did even fifteen years ago.

      Software also has a shorter shelf life than it used to, especially software for selling things.

      1. Cocomaan

        Thanks Michael, that’s a great example. Logistics has really had a ton of automation put into its processes, warehousing to storefront to trucking and so on.

    2. Propertius

      I am wracking my brain to figure out what industry has actually “sped up” lately.

      Why, the “dongle” industry, of course.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      This is another great application of the language of software development to anything and everything. Load of hooey.

      1. rd

        “The Mythical Man-Month” by Brooks is generally universally portable to project management. I haven’t found much else from software development to be.

        I can’t wait to see the “agile management” memos showing up over the next couple of years. One of the reasons I keep track of corporate fads is to see if I can identify them at the companies that I work in. When memos come out based on the latest fads, then you can safely ignore them because it will have been forgotten by management within 6 months. In some cases, the people who wrote the memo disappear in that time as well.

        Parkinson’s Law dictates that agile computing style management will create its own bureaucracy which will turn it into elephants trying to do gymnastics.

  31. optimader

    “I am deeply saddened by the news on this Thanksgiving Day that one of our brave service members has been killed in Syria while protecting us from the evil of ISIL,” Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter

    while protecting us

    1. JTMcPhee

      Like my fellow GIs in Vietnam were killing and dying to “save our democracy.”

      Fragging came before fracking…

  32. lyman alpha blob

    RE: No Credit History? No Problem.

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

    Basing credit worthiness on the number of phone calls one receives – what could possibly go wrong?!?!?!

    1. Propertius

      It would seem to favor certain classes of “entrepreneurs”, e.g. small-time drug dealers and “escorts”. I suppose they’re an underserved market, so it seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    2. RMO

      Yep, my uncle has bought every house he’s had since 1977 with cash, has a holiday property in the Gulf Islands, drives expensive cars (all bought with cash), travels extensively, still owns a very successful business (now run by his sons), has helped many family members out financially, has donated a fair amount to charities he’s involved with etc. etc… But he’s never owned a cellphone so he’s not economically active. My brother in law who is a stay at home dad (three kids, one autistic) on the other hand must be the font of all wealth production in North America because he’s almost never without the smartphone under his fingers… Right….

      Of course I have a lousy credit score too because I’ve always paid off every credit card bill in full and only ever had one loan, for $3,500 back in 1991 when I bought a 1967 Triumph TR-4A.

  33. Jim Haygood

    Curmudgeonly Dr Hussman has taken note of the recent levitation in equity prices. And he is not bloody amused:

    As for the near-term market return/risk classification, last week’s shift toward increased internal dispersion and greater equity market bullishness shifted our estimated market return/risk classification from a relatively neutral outlook back to hard-negative.

    Two commandments of the late Marty Zweig were “Don’t fight the Fed; don’t fight the tape.” Taking the latter first, when a whole panoply of stock indexes breaks out to new record highs, throwing a bucket of cold water on the festivities likely will prove premature and rash.

    As for the Fed, through empirical testing Marty Z coined another slogan, “Three Steps and a Stumble.” It meant that three rate hikes often were sufficient to remove the proverbial punch bowl. Next month’s expected hike being the second, it’s the third one in Spring 2017 which could be problematic.

    Until then, BTFD (Buy The F*cking Dips).

    1. integer

      The article attributed to David Cox was written by Rob Cox. As there is at least one journalist named David Cox I’m guessing it was just a RAM error.

  34. Oregoncharles

    “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group WaPo”
    Incorrect attribution: it’s from the Intercept; the link is correct. It would be REALLY interesting if it were in WaPo.
    Has the Post responded to all the accusations, or is it just basking in all the retweets?

  35. Kim Kaufman

    DFER [Democrats for Education Reform] Congratulates DeVos, Enemy of Public Schools

    “The reformers are in a pickle. They can’t claim fealty to Trump, because they pretend to be Democrats. But Trump has embraced the reformer agenda, lock, stock and barrel. This statement is one way of handling their dilemma: embrace DeVos–a figure who finances the far-right and wants completely unregulated, unaccountable choice, and simultaneously chide Trump for his hateful rhetoric. Pretend to be Democrats while saluting her. Search for any gift she ever made to a real civil rights group to offset the tens of millions the DeVos has invested in rightwing groups that are hostile to equity. Let’s watch to see what other “reformers” come up with, now that Trump and DeVos are the new face of “reform” and do not hide their desire to jettison public schools.”

    1. cwaltz

      There was an article today about 1 in 3 NEA members voting for Trump.

      The chickens are coming home to roost, if neither party is actually going to give a collective crap about teachers then why should they be decidedly Democratic in their voting practices?

      It should be titled Dear DNC F- U and Your Pretty Words While Screwing Us with Common Core and blaming teachers for all the problems with Education System.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        wow. Randy Weingarten blames it on sexism. When will the rank and file get rid of these people?????

  36. voxhumana

    Does anyone think Trump would not use his own money to fight, in court, an election reversal in the unlikely (imho) chance that one seemed imminent? How would that work?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I see there is a news article that “Hillary Clinton wins New Hampshire After Recount Deadline Passes.”

      The article was from Nov. 14, so, the deadline was No. 13.

      If Trump could ask for recount in New Hampshire, he would appear to be validating Stein’s move. But, as we see, the deadline was Nov. 13. (Perhaps in Minnesota, for a complete recount, instead of the audit they have recently completed – but again that would validate Stein’s move).

      So, the question is the timing choice (indirectly, recount state choices).

  37. Dave

    I’m printing out the Mother Jones article and sending not only copies but a link to my relatives in the Midwest.

    Keep stirring the pot of hatred toward the majority, Mother Jones, we have to think of 2020 and Trump’s reelection you know.

  38. Horatio Parker

    The Democrats are the party of the working class.

    Unfortunately, they also believe TINA to a Monetarist “natural” level of unemployment, that wages must be globally competitive, and deficits are evil.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Autarky is not always undesirable.

        Imagine having to import tanks from the USSR in the 50s. (“They are cheaper and just as lethal.”)

      1. jawbone

        Is this comment based on Gabbard having met with Trump? Do you have information about that meeting?

        Seems to me she would try to move him to actions more beneficial to the working class, but that could be faint hope.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was asking if anyone had more information about the meeting.

          Was she trying to move him, working with him, or collaborating with him?

          I understand Sanders has said he would work with Trump in areas they agree.

          The risk is, will that be perceived as collaborating?

          1. Jen

            I think it depends on whether one defines victory as achieving policy objectives, or solely by capturing the flag. Sanders is in the former camp.

            That said, if the Outsourcing Prevention Act that he plans to introduce is any indication, I would say he’s calling Trump’s bluff while also forcing the Dems to choose sides. The prospect of tormenting my Democrat senator with daily phone calls and emails demanding that she support the OPA brings joy to my heart.

            Which side are you on, Jeanne? Which side are you on…

    1. dbk

      What about Senators NOT likely to collaborate with T (e.g., both of mine)? What should we do about communicating with them? What should we suggest/propose as a course of action?

  39. WJ

    On the possible origins of Propornot…this April 2015 story from Russia Insider reports that Radio Liberty is working on developing a digital media wing to combat the spread of Russian propaganda via social media outlets. The article notes that this new endeavor will not likely penetrate actual Russian users of social media. So who is it supposed to reach, then?

    When you consider that Radio Liberty is funded by the BBG, and that the recent change in law arguably allows the military to use channels of propaganda that it knows will be received by US citizens (so long as it is claimed to be intended for a foreign audience), then it is plausible to think that Propornot is perhaps the earlier referenced digital project of Radio Liberty that was still in the works in the spring of 2015, but then emerged from nowhere in summer of 2016, and appeared as a trusted source in the Post by November….

      1. WJ

        The newest post does contain the phrase “correct the record,” but it also uses the expression “humanely possible.” Correct me if I am mistaken, but isn’t the standard American spelling “humanly possible”? Does “humanely” in this usage suggest a British speaker, or a speaker who has learned British English as opposed to American?

        1. Grebo

          No, they are two different words. ‘Humanely’ is how you put a sickly pet out of its misery. It might be appropriate in the article (not read it) but it’s probably a typo.

  40. Plenue


    Things are moving fast now. The SAA has captured about half of the remaining territory needed to seal off a large pocket in the north of Eastern Aleppo, and the jihadis are reportedly starting to cut and run, fleeing south while they still can. Civilians are also getting out of the combat zone by the hundreds as their hostage takers abandon them.

    Moon of Alabama is also speculating that Egypt will use its two French-built Mistral amphibious assault ships to start ferrying substantial numbers of Egyptian troops to Syria to enter the fight on behalf of the Assad government. They ships are the ones that were intended to be sold to Russia, but were diverted to Egypt instead as part of the 2014 sanctions. So much irony!

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Could his “legacy” be in more of a smoking heap on the ground?
        He can probably salvage a place in history as a truly world-class conman, on par with the best.
        “Slim Shady-O, made it all the way to the office of the president of the United States where he ran his con for 8 years. Shady-O is best known for impersonating everyday working Americans while simultaneously siphoning billions from them in a variety of charitable foundation, insider contract, and bait-and-switch schemes. Remarkably Shady-O was never brought to justice for his crimes and now lives in Bel-Air California on a ranch reportedly purchased for him by Citibank”.

  41. ewmayer

    o “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group | WaPo” — Link is to the Intercept, for fellow NCers who suffered cognitive dissonance at seeing te headline and (alleged) source of the article.

    o “Democrats never stopped caring about the working class | Vox” — True, for the classes doing God’s Work™ on Wall Street, Silicon Valley and in the MIC.

  42. jawbone

    The WaPo’s site informed me that I have used up my allotted number of articles.

    Given their crappy fact checking on the NeoLibs’ McCarthyite Black List, I have no desire to give them any clicks.

  43. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ethnic Chinese, Indonesia, blasphemy.

    The Ethnic Chinese Indonesians have been in there for at least 600 years. And are still ethnic Chinese. Somehow, they have retained that identity, voluntarily or involuntarily.

    How? If some Indonesian farmer named Xi, in a remote village who is a devout worshiper of the locally dominant religion, is he still ethnic Chinese? Or does the Ethnic Chinese-ness come from the association with other ethnic Chinese, perhaps worshiping at ancestral halls, or speaking a Chinese dialect, or belonging to a Chinese Indonesian association, not so much his/her skin color (more or less the same, perhaps lighter)?

    What lessons can we learn there, for a better tomorrow?

  44. schultzzz

    Thanks for the tasty links as always.
    I have a (serious) question: what evidence do you have that the DNC “decapitated” the “blogosphere”?
    my understanding was that social media simply made blogs uncool and ‘so 2005’.

    I’d LIKE to believe you, but Occam’s Razor and all that.
    Does anyone have any thoughts?

  45. Jay M

    well I guess normative behavior going forward is wade on luckie duckie
    Jill Stein seems to be in the luckie duckie catagory

    she’s a loser except for the ka’ching category

  46. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From “On the Ground Impact of India’s…”

    By turning off the engines which drove the informal economy, India hopes that more people can be brought into the fold by using track-able — and taxable — digital financing vehicles, like debit cards and e-wallets.

    If more taxes are collected, will that be draining money from the economy?

    All being equal, does it mean the Indian government need to start spending now?

  47. norm de plume

    ‘Remember the great Media Whores Online? How badly we need that site today!’

    Yes and yes. Perhaps my first daily visit on the net. On point, and often appropriately brutal. As was Bob Somerby. Max Sawicky more measured but equally accurate. Neiwert with his probings of the fascist mind. No War Blog (or Stand Down)…

    There seemed to be a promise of something in that early era, but the emergence of sites like Kos signalled the sort of co-opting of revolt the music industry is so adept at.

    Exceptions abound, of course..

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