Links 12/10/16

Elephant keeper who punched a kangaroo to save his beloved pet dog will keep his job as a zookeeper at Taronga Zoo Daily Mail (Li). Footage of ‘roo boxing.

Lucky find offers our first look at a dinosaur tail, complete with feathers ars technica (Chuck L)

Polar vortex redux? U.S. forecasters say it could hit next week Reuters (EM). It did get suddenly cold and windy here…but not yet like the polar vortex period of a couple of years ago. Looks like the Midwest will get the worst, not clear yet how much the Northeast will be whacked.

Sweden’s recycling is so revolutionary, the country has run out of rubbish Independent (furzy)

Mass Extinction and Mass Insanity Automatic Earth (Chuck L)

Japanese city tags elderly dementia sufferers with barcodes Japan Times (YY)

Germans worried about how to pay for refugees, survey says DW

Italy’s Five Star looks to prove its shine to centre ground Financial Times

Boris Johnson doesn’t deserve our mockery for calling out Saudi Arabia – he deserves our admiration Independent (YY)


Syria unlikely to be Partitioned: The Resilience of Colonial Borders Juan Cole (resilc)

US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake” Jacobin (margarita)

US approves $7 billion in arms deals to Arab allies Middle East Online (resilc)

The Need to Hold Saudi Arabia Accountable Consortium News

Famine Continues to Stalk Yemen American Conservative (resilc)

Trump Transition

Intel analysts instructed to limit briefings with Trump to under 140 characters Duffelblog (Li)

Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch Counterpunch. Resilc: “Not that the demoz are changing much either from their own bait and switch.”

Exxon’s Tillerson Is Top Candidate for Secretary of State Wall Street Journal

Trump presidency: Third Goldman executive set to join his cabinet BBC

Trump says U.S.-China relationship must improve Reuters (EM)

Trump gives Wilbur Ross wide trade policy powers Financial Times

Trump’s Labor Secretary Pick, Andrew Puzder, Is Swamped in His Own Workplace Lawsuits Daily Beast (furzy)

Mad Men: Trump May Be the Perfect Vehicle for Kissinger’s Philosophy Nation (resilc)

Donald Trump is going to keep wrecking Afghanistan openDemocracy (resilc)

Netanyahu’s Point Man in the White House World Policy Institute (resilc)

Trump, the Man in the Crowd The New Yorker. Important. As Lambert wrote, based on seeing Trump speak in Maine, his speeches were focused, but not in the conventional manner: he clearly had points he made, and moved through them systematically, but he improvised far more widely around each point than just about anyone else does…save maybe a comic. This piece makes the Trump speech seem unfocused, when the writer may not have wanted to listen carefully to pick out where he anchored each new message. But regardless, the messages that she did hear don’t seem at all inspiring. Resilc: “2018 riots/recall.”

Democrats Should Fight All of Trump’s Nominees. Yes, All of Them. Nation (resilc). Democrats? Fight? How quaint.

How We Can fight back against Trump’s Anti-EPA Juan Cole (furzy)

Trump’s Pick for Health Secretary Has Spent Years Trying to Limit Access to Contraception Mother Jones (resilc)

CIA says Russia intervened to help Trump win presidency Boston Globe

Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, U.S. Concludes New York Times

Judge refuses to end Wisconsin recount: report The Hill (furzy)

Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown The Hill (furzy)

Repealing Obamacare to be first on Senate agenda in 2017 Reuters (EM)

The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told? Counterpunch (margarita). Important.

Aetna CEO Denies Obamacare Pullout Driven by U.S. Merger Suit Bloomberg. Puhleeze.

Battle lines in California’s water wars are redrawn in Trump era Financial Times

Ohio lawmakers approve college campus concealed-carry bill Reuters (EM)

Oakland city workers visited warehouse, did not flag fire hazard Reuters (EM)

Leon Cooperman Seeks Dismissal of SEC’s Insider Trading Case Bloomberg. This is now very much an uphill fight in light of the recent Supreme Court decision. I doubt Cooperman can win a motion for summary judgment, and then the SEC will be able to perfect its facts. Maybe they are indeed on his side, but the law sure isn’t.

Accusations of Fraud at Wells Fargo Spread to Sham Insurance Policies New York

New McCarthyism

Washington Post on the ‘Fake News’ Hot Seat Daily Beast. This story is still at the top of the Beast’s “Read This List” sidebar.

Naked Capitalism Threatens Lawsuit Over Washington Post Over “Fake News” Story; Obama Starts Russia Witch Hunt Michael Shedlock. EM: “Mish admits he is jealous. :)” He shouldn’t be.

Here’s The Washington Post’s Letter Responding to Truthdig’s Demand for a Retraction TruthDig

Big Money Intends To Shut Down Our Website Paul Craig Roberts

Hillary Backer, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Heads Obama’s Witch Hunt on Russia Michael Shedlock. EM: “It is interesting to compare the alacrity shown by the administration here compared to, say, widely documented evidence of black-letter mass-scale fraud by the TBTF banks. Legacy-issue time!”

Neo-McCarthyism and the New Cold War Nation. YY: “John Batchelor Show is a wierd mix of history fetish and reactionary politics (I’m guessing that Bachelor’s audience is primarily “conservative right”) with the exception of the weekly appearance of Stephen Cohen, the one man crusade against Russophobia. So its usually the same message whether he be on John Batcherlor, Salon or the Nation. NC gets a mention in this one though.”

Clinton decries fake news ‘epidemic’ Politico. In case you missed it. Plutonium Kun: “Kill me.”

Class Warfare

The Blind Spots of Liberalism Jacobin. Margarita: “On a county that voted both for Trump and Kamala Harris by wide margins.”

The right has its own version of political correctness. It’s just as stifling. Washington Post (resilc)

Economists Pretend They Don’t Pick Winners and Losers Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. From my Mac support person Harry:

pretty posing poodles links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. voteforno6

    This hysteria over Russia is getting downright dangerous. The people pushing that story will seemingly stop at nothing to delegitimize the election results.

    1. Steve C

      The Post’s Marc Fisher was on the PBS Newshour last night. He talked about Alex Jones. They probably didn’t expect the pushback from Yves, Truthdig, etc. The Establishment often underestimates dissenters.

      Real fake news, like Jones, benefits from the fake news charge. Their readers hate the MSM. I wonder if the same ethic can develop on the left.

      The Post and the like are terrified over their loss of credibility just as the internet has destroyed their advertising. Interesting that their response to competition isn’t to outdo the competition but to smother the competition with a lie. Their own fake news.

      1. Isolato

        I heard Stephen Colbert lump Alex Jones together w/Wikileaks as if they were the same “fake news”. I have also repeatedly heard Samantha Bee refer to Julian Assange as a rapist. Sigh. Both of those comments are “fake news”. The allegations against JA are tissue thin and Wikileaks has NEVER been challenged about the truth of their releases. Please correct me if I am wrong.

        1. Michael

          Let’s not get excited here. The issue with JA is not that he probably didn’t do it, it’s that such crimes are (scandalously) generally not prosecuted in his home country.

          Feet of clay and all that.

          1. Isolato

            Fundamentally it is an attack ad hominem the standard trolling response. It in no way discredits the work Wikileaks does. But they can always hope!

          2. integer

            My opinion: You have such a chip on your shoulder it is unbelievable. Imo your neediness comes across in every single one of your comments, and frankly I get a sense of displeasure every time I see your handle as I know there will be a weak, bs filled comment following it. Go and play some poker and grow up while you are at it. There is no evidence supporting your claim, and the idea that Australia does not prosecute rape is ridiculous. People down here, including women, tend to be a little stronger than your average US liberal, and most women don’t take any shit from guys. It’s pretty clear to me that the US wanted to get Assange, and used Swedish women as a proxy to achieve that end.
            Fwiw I’m sorry your family abused you, but it is hugely tiresome seeing every single one of your comments judgementally colored by that experience.

            1. Not Michael Anymore

              There are two different Michaels here, evidently.

              I’m the one that plays poker, but that’s about the only comment I’ve made in the last few months (maybe two or three others sprinkled in).

              Since I’m not a known commenter, I’ll change my handle, but the guy who posted this above is not the poker player, or if he is it’s a total coincidence.

              Although I am saddened that neediness apparently came across in my poker comment!

                1. integer

                  Although I am saddened that neediness apparently came across in my poker comment!

                  Actually I remember when I read that comment (your poker comment) I was amazed that “Michael” had managed to get through a few sentences without letting her bigotry push to the forefront. No neediness was in that (your) comment. I actually think bigot Michael was purposely trying to create a persona that nobody would question, due to the sensitivity of the issues concerned with her past, in order to have carte blanche to leak toxic views into the NC comments section. Bad assumption!

            2. Michael

              I have a buddy who is convinced that the push to include economics in liberalism again is a actually a front to roll back the progress on gender we’ve made over the past few decades. I keep telling her she’s wrong, but now I have to concede that she has a basis for her concerns.

              1. hunkerdown

                Who’s “we”, the professional class? Perhaps she’s talking her own book, and her gender concerns are in fact gender-class intersectional privilege concerns.

              2. jgordon

                Men and women are biologically and psychologically very differenent from one another. By definition we are not equal and equality is an impossibility.

                Whatever “progress” we’ve made in the past few decades can be strikingly correlated with the deterioration of society, the dissolution of family and the falling fertility rates. Frankly at this point getting married to or having kids with a woman is about as close to suicide as a man can get without taking that final half step.

                Rather than hating women, I think it would be much better for all men to simply have nothing to do with them. I don’t want to fight or discrimate. I just want to walk away. I hope all men out there will strongly consider my words and immediately dissociate from any women in your lives. Take the red pill. MGTOW!

                1. hunkerdown

                  Whatever “progress” we’ve made in the past few decades can be strikingly correlated with the deterioration of society, the dissolution of family and the falling fertility rates.

                  And fertility is a good thing? The dissolution of one religious sect’s concept of family, designed to be divided and ruled, is a bad thing? The deteriorartion of an arbitrary order based on particular interests defined as broad justice is a bad thing? You might want to check those red pills and make sure they’re not Robo.

                2. different clue

                  Oh my . . .

                  Maybe you and Michael should get a room and string a line of electrified poison-tipped razor wire down the center of it and each stay on your own side of the line.

                  I mean, really! . . . are you a Voluntary Human Extinctionist?

                1. Isolato


                  I’m comforted! This whole thread took on a very un-NC kinda’ vibe.This is one of the few places where the first response to an argument is not to impugn the argumenter. I am certainly not the cheeriest of souls but I’m also not a poker player. Can’t bluff worth a damn.

                  1. Jeremy Grimm

                    This thread does indeed arrive at some very un-NC vibes. I’m not sure what to make of the tone and strange vehemence in some of the comments.

          3. integer

            Lastly: It’s hard to imagine you would be any good at playing poker because you are so obvious. Basically every single one of your comments consists of, in essence, you castigating a group of people that you consider yourself superior to.

            I’m not convinced your posts are sincere, but if they are then that actually makes me think less of you than if you are just trolling. Have a good life.

              1. HBE

                It’s for Michael based on the reference to family issues as, Michael uses his poor experience with his family to make disparaging comments and generalizations about whole groups of people at least once a week.

              2. integer

                I’m talking about Michael. Why would I have anything against you? In fact I am quite impressed with your lifestyle decisions and have enjoyed your photos that Lambert has used as plantidotes.

                There’s been a lot of “mike” related funny business going on in the comments section lately.

      2. Dave

        “just as the internet has destroyed their advertising”

        Shouldn’t that be “destroyed their ability to sell advertising?”

        As a moral American and supporter of free speech, I am going to make a list of online or print WaPo advertisers.
        Then I will communicate to them that I will never buy another thing from them as long as they advertise in the Washington Post.

        Open their ads in Firefox ad blocker. Then add them to the script and spam blacklist.

        The Wapo’s trying to steal Craigslist business with online job listings. Looks like an opportunity to have some fun for creatives.

        1. different clue

          Boss WaPo OwnerMan Bezos is very rich. He bought WaPo as a propaganda outlet. He is prepared to lose a lot of money keeping it “open for propaganda.”

          Naming and shaming and boycotting every advertiser WaPo has could certainly embarass WaPo and perhaps diminish its credibility-patina for Bezoganda purposes. It is certainly worth trying.

          The WaPo brand also owns a lot of other moneymaking entities like Kaplan testing and test-prepping I believe. It would be a lot harder to boycott those because millions of people find them to be important. But perhaps a boycott against them until WaPo sells them off to non Bezos ownership would be worth trying.

          Perhaps a savage boycott against Amazon until Bezos fires everyone at WaPo involved in this McCarthy-list and related articles . . . and humiliates them into unhireability anywhere else ever again?

          1. Michael

            I can’t remember if Kaplan sold WaPo to Bezos or if they are still connected. I used to love Atrios’s running gag of calling the WaPo “Kaplan Test Prep Daily”.

            1. different clue

              I may be wrong, but . . . I always thought that WaPo was the visible high-prestige hood ornament on the car . . . . and Kaplan, NewsWeek, and other things were the profitable drive-train, trunk, gas tank, etc. inSIDE the car. And buying “WaPo” by definition meant buying all those other things. But I could be wrong about that.

              Certainly Bezos owns Amazon. We know that. We know that we know that. And we know that we know that we know . . . that we know that we know that we know that. So no correction needed there.

              Too few people care or even know about these things to be able to organize a successful extermicott against Amazon. Perhaps just enough people know and care to be able to organize buying from enough other non Amazon bussinesses so as to keep these other bussinesses alive. Perhaps we should view ourselves as the Irish Monks of our own day . . . keeping some little Fortress Monasteries of civilization alive through the Long Dark Age of Amazombie Barbarism.

                1. different clue

                  Hmm. . . in which case, boycotting should focus strictly on WaPo and all its advertisers, and Amazon ( as a beautiful gesture in Amazon’s case.)

    2. Brindle

      The Dem Liberals (Joan Walsh etc). on the twitter are going full throttle with this, it’s a twofer as Joan is using this to attack Sanders supporters for not being on the front lines of Russia Fear.

      1. Anarcissie

        The story serves many purposes. One is firing a shot across TrumpCo’s bow: ‘Submit to us or we’ll delegitimate your election.’ (Apparently TrumpCo has not delivered a convincing submission yet.) Another is excusing the Democratic Party establishment for losing the election, and thus diverting the wrath of the rank and file. Evidently it’s also going to be used against the Sanders faction of the Democrats. About all we can do at the moment is remember to remember the names of the people who purveyed and supported the story, just as we should remember to remember the names of those who purveyed WMD stories.

        1. Steve C

          Job #1 always is suppressing the Sanders faction. Not beating Trump or the Republicans. They want control of their little pond.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s why beating Hillary was so critical – it has brought all this out.

          Some might even have played the bad cop, in ‘good cop, bad cop,’ in order to stop her.

        3. Brad

          I think you got this right. If they had won they would have still come after the independent Left with Boris Badenov. Since they didn’t they have to go after Trump as well, and that requires the heavy artillery of state while Obama can still command it.

          Otherwise with the Executive in their hands, they could have conducted a leisurely 4 year campaign. Now they’re in a hurry!

          Apparently stove-piping past the spooks is a tendency of Republicans. And recall the Bush neocons.

          But the core of spookdom was put together under FDR and Truman.

          1. different clue

            One wonders if it was merely the containment dome of spookdom which was put together under FDR and Truman. And Truman took the further step of at-the-very-least perMITTing the American OverClass and its allied spooks ( Allen Dulles and etc.) to bring over the Nazi Spookdom Core from a defeated Germany to put inside the American Spookdom Containment Dome.

      2. cwaltz

        Personally, after what we did in Ukraine (essentially funding a revolution) I refuse to get the vapors because Russia apparently “helped” elect Trump by exposing(not forcing her to be a liar or cheat) Hillary.

        Perhaps they should consider that it could be worse, a foreign nation could be arming people and encouraging them to topple the government we have like what we’re doing in Syria. It isn’t like the very sharp divisions elsewhere haven’t resulted in civil war.

    3. Cry Shop

      All of this crap about Russia, or the electorial college system is a distraction from the real issues at hand about our political system, which is a two party one oligarchy (ALEC) anti-democratic system. The rot runs from national presidential elections to the comptroller of the smaller city governments.

      If any candidate was capable of speaking to the working and middle class, then eitner Russia nor the the 0.01% who compose the oligarchy could control who wins in popular elections. What is really needed is to eliminate either the two party system, or democratize their methods of selecting candidates. Think Hillary played an unfair hand to Sanders? That was nothing compared to the shenanigans that get played at local level, state level, and Congress level to filter out populist candidates and replace them with machine / oligarchy pets.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Flimsy distractions.

        The popular vs. electoral vote – look up the rules next time you play.

        Recount – to investigate without much evidence is something senator McCarthy would do.

        Russia – and the idea that Saudi (or other Middle Eastern states) also intervened (with money), is not more credible?

        Coincidentally, all these urgent initiatives will lead to replacing Trump with Hillary as president.

        “I will tear down the very building just to achieve my Pyrrhic victory.”

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Thank you, sorry Dems, Boris Badunov did not swing the election. If you want *hard* evidence (not fake news) of a foreign government influencing the election you might have a look at the beheading, gay-killing, women-supressing tyrannical monarchy known as The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ask whether it made sense for them to be the *#1* contributor to your candidate.

    4. Romancing The Loan

      I’m torn between “we’re clearly headed for civil war anyway so I guess let’s get on with it while my nieces are still too young to be drafted and I’m too old but not so old I can’t run away effectively” and “we could still turn this puppy around what on earth are you thinking a new new deal is so much cheaper and safer than the inevitable fallout of trying to enforce policies no one wants but the top 10% also for god’s sake shut up you sound like the Bourbons immediately pre-head-chopping.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Wars are not environmental friendly, and never peaceful.

        Will many hardcore progressives consider neutrality or capitulation???

    5. HBE

      Yes, the NYT piece on Russian hacking is complete evidence free tripe. Not once do they say what evidence they base these accusations on, beyond the Cyrillic keyboard. The code for Cyrillic keyboard is, “fuzzy bear” et al. as the original reporting on the DNC hack and the company that ran security made clear that this was the one and only piece of concrete evidence the attacks by “fuzzy bear” et al. were perpetrated by the Russians.

      So based on a Cyrillic keyboard and the below quote, unnamed “American intelligence agencies know it was the Russians, really?

      “They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.”

      Based on this it appears the NYTs definition of fake reporting is anything that isn’t fed directly to it by unnamed experts or the USG and uncritically reported.

      I think these unnamed agencies are not going to have a very good working relationship with the orange overlord if they keep this up. They might not even be getting that new war they wanted for Christmas.

      1. Pavel

        It’s as though the NYT and WaPo had these vast pools of accumulated credibility and they could go out on a limb here… Oh wait — their credibility has been destroyed countless times over the past decade or so.

        One would think they’d realise: If you’re in a ditch, the first thing to do is stop digging.

        Especially when dealing with a President Trump. He’s already made his distaste for the WaPo clear. We are entering a new, crazy, dangerous era of press-presidential relations. All the more reason for the newspapers to behave responsibly — is that too much to ask?

        1. Jim Haygood

          If you’re in a ditch, the first thing to do is stop digging.

          Instead they adhered to Kurgman’s prescription to “dig faster and use bigger shovels.”

          1. integer

            Krugman –> Kurgman –> Turgman –> Turdman

            Therefore we now have mathematical proof that Krugman is a turd of a man.

            1. integer

              Of course, this situation is reminiscent of Fermat’s last theorem, as it seemed self-evident that it was correct due to all examples that had ever been tested complying with the theorem, yet it took the genius of Andrew Wiles to properly prove its validity.

              I now feel that I too have earned a place among the mathematical greats, by proving (via permutation and substitution) a self-evident yet hard to mathematically pin down theorem.

              I have decided to name it the Krugman-Turdman theorem.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I think this is all just a dream from Vishnu’s or, in this case, Krugman’s navel.

                “Imagine an alien invasion, at the time, as the Russians are intervening, then, we will have to spend twice as much, to fight on two fronts.”

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Oops except the purveyors of said magic debt monies now must buy unpayable private sector debts and jam them down their black hole balance sheets to somehow keep alive the illusion that debt must never be repaid. I wonder what Super Mario will do once he owns 100% of all CCC-rated European private debt, maybe he can create a brand-new debt issue: borrow, just to borrow, no coupon payments and no collateral required. And after the multi-trillion $ bond market selloff in the last three weeks it will be fun to watch what the Japanese do when rates rise 100 b.p. and debt service rises to 100% of government revenues (from the current 45%).

          2. Brad

            And don’t forget the aphorism of Krugman’s evil twin, Thomas Friedman: “When the hole is deep enough, get three shovels!”

              1. integer

                Also, Bradford deLong should be included with Krugman and Friedman, though the length and width of deLong’s connections don’t seem to have the same acceleration, energy, or viscosity, as the other two. There are also olfactory and temporal differences.

                1. integer

                  Come to think of it, I also don’t think Krugman Turdman or Friedman Flathead would have to grovel to Neera “I’m a loyal soldier” Tanden and John “Done, so think about something else” Podesta to get a family member a “meritocratic” job.

      2. oh

        To me it looks like the Dems are admitting that the exposed e-mail was the real thing and they’re trying to distract attention from their content by blaming the hacker! So sad.

    6. TK421

      If Russia is so dangerous, then anyone who mishandles classified information (say, by storing it on a personal server) should be prosecuted, shouldn’t they?

      1. Aumua

        Nowhere, in any of this, is it mentioned that Clinton’s illegal private email server (that got hacked) played any factor whatsoever. It just stinks so bad, I wonder how they can not smell what they are sitting in.. I also wonder just where the line is between those who actually buy into this hysteria, and those who simply feel justified in using whatever means they can to discredit Trump and overturn the election. I think there’s a lot of overlap and grey area there in many people’s minds.

      2. Anonymous

        Summarizing a very plausible theory:

        NeoCon Coup Attempt:

        As Syria’s Assad (with Russian help) is close to crushing HRC’s jihadi Queda & Nusra rebels in Aleppo, the NeoCons are freaking out on both sides of the Atlantic.

        What to do? Jill’s recount is floundering. So, last resort: Concoct Russia hacking myth to either delay Dec 19 EC vote or create more faithless electors. Result: A NeoCon like HRC or a NeoCon sympathizer is installed.

        Two biggest war hawks, McCain and Graham, are leading the Senate charges against Russia.

        All of this within days of Obama sending 200 MORE US troops to Syria and lifting the ban on more arms to the Syrian rebels, including anti-aircraft MANPADS.

        1. Plenue

          The recount farce makes me angry, and has made me resolve to never give Stein my vote again. Apparently she’s in opposition to much of her party leadership on this, so if they ditch her in the future and get someone better I may consider voting for them again. The reality of Trump as president is going to be bad enough, attempting to sabotage the transition isn’t doing anyone any favors. I don’t like Obama at all, but he wants a clean, peaceful transfer of power, and on that issue at least he’s correct.

        2. R McCoy

          That implies the NeoCon establishment views DJT and cabinet as a threat in any way, which is an extremely dubious premise.

          Occam’s razor: Clinton and the media establishment that gifted the country DJT will do anything they can to cast the blame elsewhere.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I’m not sure if that is a simpler explanation.

            I offer this:

            It’s simpler to see that they are engaging in a struggle for now and the future – that means the neocons vs Trump.

            Hillary vs Trump, invoking Russia now, is about fighting the last war. That one was over more than a month ago. It’s more convoluted to say one team still desires to continue the fight.

          1. Jagger

            You read that? It’s “detailed”. None of us peasants will ever know what those “details” are, but its the f#ckin CIA, dude.

            I just read the NYT article covering the same topic,,

            The problem is we are expected to just trust the NYT and CIA without evidence??? Anybody remember WMD in Iraq?? The complete loss of credibility by the NYT and CIA over the last decade means I have to see credible evidence before I believe anything they say. But that is just me. From reading the NYT comments on the OBama Russia election hack article, the NYT commenters have en mass swallowed the story hook, line and sinker. They apparently don’t need evidence and have completely loss any sort of functioning long term memory.

            1. John Wright

              Since I dumped my digital subscription to the NY Times, I’ve found little need to visit the site.

              The few recent cases in which I have revisited the site and looked at readers’ comments, it is as if many reader skeptics dropped their subscriptions after the Times “we’re all in for Hillary” news slant.

              The Times power to influence might be in a death spiral as more readers (including free riders) write off the Times as a destination site for political information.

              Maybe the Times can sell off their motto “All the News that’s fit to print” to someone who will be more faithful to the motto’s intent.

        3. PlutoniumKun

          The whole ‘blame Russia for everything’ meme goes back at least a year to the neocons realising that Russia had outmanoeuvred them in the Ukraine and Syria. It started from the usual playbook of raising a boogie man to justify more money and power for the usual ‘Blob’ suspects. I think the Clintonites jumped on it as both a convenient cover for HRC’s email problems, and a very useful distraction for ‘when’ they took power. I have little doubt that the HRC strategy as president would have been to centralise power by stoking up tension with Russia over Syria.

          But when things started to go screwy, the ‘Russia’ meme became convenient for all sorts of people. For Republican neocons wanting to railroad Trump into stopping this Putin friendship madness. The defence establishment seeking a way to beef up their power and resources. And the Dem liberals as a convenient way of distracting from their laughable ineptness in losing the election. Ultimately this is the neocon ‘blob’ – the security and defence establishment with their true believers neocon buddies in both parties and the supine media all pushing a very powerful narrative. I don’t think its a ‘conspiracy’ as much as a very convenient meme for lots of powerful people to jump upon. And that makes it very dangerous. In a way, conspiracies are better, because the conspirators have an end game. But something like this has no end game, just lots of ideologies and idiots all trying to grab advantage.

    7. Benedict@Large

      And it’s pretty clear that Clinton is right in with it. The woman has literally lost her marbles

      1. cwaltz

        Based on the fact that she was hidden more than actually performing on the campaign trail, that is a possibility.

        She may have very well been our own puppet government member that some were ready to install here just like we tend to do over in other nations. No real marbles needed since she wouldn’t actually be running things. It’s come to my attention that we seem to be inching closer and closer to third world here and those places rarely have vibrant democracies.

  2. Chief Bromden

    Seems coordinated to me- Globe/Times/WaPo. Double down for WaPoo who are now reporting from area 51 where they found Bigfoot sitting on a stockpile of Sadam’s WMDs. Reading this article is surreal. The CIA, a terrorist outfit which our own former reporter (Bernstein) showed to be infesting our own newsroom, whispered in our ear that the Cold War 2.0 is going to escalate with or without the establishment coronation queen.

    “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House”

    The link on WaPoo’s site actually says a different headline so I am just sharing the headline itself. Not another secret assessment…. no more passing notes in class, students.

    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      Robert Reich has posted the news that the Russians helped to secure the election for Trump on his FB page, to it seems much acclaim – perhaps I was foolish for having expected better from him.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        So, again, he is not my president.

        Usually, one (strong) excuse is better many (weak) excuses.

        Just make up your (those Hillary supporters, not the commenter above) mind which excuse you are going to go with, and stick with it.

        You will sound more believable.

        Right now, you (Hillary supporters) sound desperate.

    2. Steve H.

      Sifting the election through a Peter Turchin filter, Sanders’ run was a response to ‘popular immiseration’ while the choice-of-billionaires was ‘intra-elite competition’. WaPo seems allied with the CIA-FIRE sector Clintonian group, while T may be more inclusive of the classic MICC-Pentagon sector which was asserting itself in Syria.

      I needed Jalen & Jacoby to sooth me to sleep last night, after seeing the last chart (Fig. 14.4) from Turchin’s latest book. You can see it by hitting Ctrl-End from this pdf. If he’s correct, this election was just the warm-up for 2020. Crikey.

      1. Chief Bromden

        Turchin- “Will we be capable of taking collective action to avoid the worst of the impending demographic-structural crisis?”

        I was in a “super”market line behind an obese woman who had a grocery cart filled with 2-liter Pepsis asking myself the same question. It doesn’t look good.

        1. Bittercup

          I don’t understand how being fat and liking soda is a sign of being incapable of “taking collective action…”?

          1. Chief Bromden

            Yes, a nation of self-inflicted diabetics is less than optimal for a collective call to action. Should I have mentioned the Doritos?

            1. oh

              If someone is addicted to Pepsi it also means that he or she is prone to being misled and will fall prey to the propaganda machine.

                1. integer

                  Coffee is one of life’s little pleasures, and so long as it is ethically grown, it is something to enjoy without giving it a second thought imo.

    3. sleepy

      Wow, at least we’re blessed that Trump isn’t getting his daily intelligence briefings. It would go straight to the Kremlin. And what kind of accent does that Melania have? Sounds slavic to me.

    4. subgenius

      Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up.”

      “I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.

    1. sleepy

      It’s all just speculation on my–or anybody’s–part, but it seems to me that given the anger that was observed at some Trump rallies against the status-quo and the real belief that Trump was going to fix things for the little guy, actions like this SS bill, if backed by Trump, will cause his supporters to turn against him really quickly. And bigly too.

      The “bait and switch” Counterpunch article thinks that the anger will be taken out against minorities and immigrants. I think it will be taken out against Trump and the goppers. I would also expect more militia type activities, a la Bundy.

      1. cwaltz

        They’re going to fix Medicare too.

        The Democrats have to be giggling with glee. If it weren’t for the hubris and overreach of the GOP they might be a dead party by 2020 but here the GOP is to perform CPR.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Very astute. So on and on they toggle back and forth. Leaving us sidelined endlessly asking how do we the people ever cut in…

    2. tegnost

      what’s your take on this merf? There’s a real trump supporter, what have you got to say to him?
      FTA…Top executives at those six publicly traded private-equity firms earned, on average, $211 million last year — which is about what Leon Black, a founder of Apollo, received.
      Doesn’t look like this guy needs SS, huh?
      Here’s more merf!

      A banker with Apollo Global Management also donated the legal limit to Clinton, and that hedge fund paid her $250,000 for a speech in May, according to her personal finance disclosure.
      Yeah she was a real genuine populist that hillary…but maybe, just maybe, you’re the one who can tell me what was GOOD about her without naming any other person?
      How sick is it that trump is less greedy than hillary? and you want me to feel bad he won? Yeesh.

        1. tegnost

          If you don’t have a job, merf, you don’t get social security….somehow this doesn’t bother you…hmmmmmm

          1. integer

            It’s important to reduce a population to desperation before trying to convince them that going to war is a good idea, especially when that population has already been subjected to so much manipulation by warmongering weaklings.

            Otherwise the peasants might start to think of the warmongers as subhuman scum.

  3. Octopii

    Each new appointment is more radical than the last. Each new gaffe is more consequential than the last. And he’s not even in office yet. I think it’s time to admit that he’s not a Manhattan liberal in wolf’s clothing….

    I was a “never Hillary” voter. But even at this early stage, I think I’d rather have HRC and her corruption.

    1. Steve H.

      That’s buyers remorse. If you recall her sending weapons to al-Queda it may re-expand your framing. As far as we know, T hasn’t killed anybody, yet.

          1. pretzelattack

            whether he does or not, not getting into ww3 is a plus. i think avoiding war is the primary benefit, even to trump.

    2. kj1313

      Disagree. In another post I commented I rather see this than the mealy mouth incremental settling from the Dems side. Let’s see the full evil on display.

      1. Vatch

        Although I’m convinced that the Republicans are, on average, noticeably worse than the Democrats, I agree with you. It is useful that there is no doubt about where Trump and the Congressional Republicans stand, which is on the side of the billionaires and the giant corporations. We’ve had 8 years of Obama’s obeisance to the oligarchs, and millions of Americans still don’t understand that this was happening.

        I hope people will vigorously lobby their Representatives and Senators, and pay attention to who the genuine progressives are in the 2018 primaries.

        1. kj1313

          Agree. The only thing I know is that many of my fellow progressives are angry and it’s time to see who will rise up.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary isn’t merely corrupt. She sells to the highest bidder, and besides the Saudis, they are the same people as Trump. Slapping a coat of green paint on a franking operation isn’t environmentally friendly. Hillary has introduced legislation to criminalize flag burning. She didn’t do very much, but she managed that.

      Trump v Hillary was always a false choice. Hillary guaranteed a Pence 2020 victory.

    4. timbers

      You’d get the same thing policy wise from Hillary just w/o the twitter rages and a more deceptive head faking route to that same policy. Also minus WW3 and/or assorted smaller wars to provoke Russia. Ding dong the witch is dead along with Clinton Corruption Dynasty let’s celebrate that as we calculate best strategy against Trump.

      1. integer

        as we calculate best strategy against Trump.

        There’s not going to be any “we”, as decent people do not engage with WaPo hacks.

        (With the exception of “heated engagement”, of course.)

        Why aren’t you hanging out at the WaPo website?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Based on what little I know about politics, you usually, if not always, want a seat at the table.

          So, Tusi and Gore met Trump. Perhaps Sanders will too.

          If opposing him help the country, do so, and cooperating with Trump helps the people, do that as well.

          That strategy to be against him is not best nor self-evident always.

        2. timbers

          Have no idea what you’re talking about, unless you support Trumps overall agenda (as opposed to some of it like gutting TPP, good relations w/Russia, etc). What is the WaPo website?

          And I’m not a hack – I’m an amateur :-)

          1. Andrew Watts

            Integer thinks that you’re secretly Craig Timberg of the Washington Post solely based upon Fiver’s accusation that your nom de plume resembles Timberg and our disagreements over the Syrian Civil War are evidence that we are targeting fellow commentators on NC.

            It’s the kind of self-important and paranoid claim devoid of any factual evidence that’d make them both worthy candidates for American counter-intelligence.

            1. integer

              Heh, look at you two grovelling. You are both a disgrace to the human race. Fiver is legit and has put forward some seriously prescient ideas in his/her highly infrequent posts.

              Furious anger.

            2. timbers

              Timbers is my chocolate Labrador Retreiver’s name. He passed away last Sunday abt 3am from heart failure well into his 15th yr. He was the runt of a large the litter. My other quite large yellow lab was named Pumpkin, from a small litter. He made it to 12 and also died of heart failure. He passed abt 3 yrs ago. Incredible animals. Will get another in proper time respecting Timbers. Many interesting observation I can make regarding the diff traits they had IMO because small vs large litter – plentiful vs scarce resources – but that’s for another day.

                1. timbers

                  Not a sob story quite the opposite – Timbers lived a vigorous happy life retrieving his balls in state and Federal parks and hiking trails and lakes and oceans all over New England (Acadia National Park twice) well past his life expectancy very happy and died barking to demand I stay with him. That’s not sad, that’s a very happy thought. He went after a wonderful life any Lab would love.

                  1. marym

                    Condolences on the passing of your dogs. It sounds as though you understood them well and were able to give them good lives.

            3. timbers

              Thanks Andrew. I know we’ve disagreed in the past, and I appreciate your filling me in. I am honored to be regarded as someone who is more famous than me (though I don’t know anything abt the person he thinks I am). But my name is Conan Dillon. I’m from Faribault Minnesota and curtently live in Brockton Ma and work in Boston. I’m an unimportant average Joe. You and I have disagreed over Syrian rebels. I say they are US/Saudi/Turkey/Israel funded outside Al-Qaeda terrorists & mercenaries, you said they are true rebels and a civil war.

              1. Andrew Watts

                I think that’s a mischaracterization of my position but I’m glad you brought up the arming and funding of Syrian jihadi-rebels. Why? Because the CIA codename for that operation is literally titled Timber Sycamore.


                If either of those two jokers had the foresight to google “CIA Timber S” or “CIA TImbers” they would’ve found it. I already had a good laugh about that yesterday during my comments. Just thought I’d share.

                Your cover has been blown and you’re not taking me with you!

    5. Michael

      That’s pretty much why I went ahead and voted for the lesser evil. I’ve seen what domestic abusers act like when they get real power, and it’s always so very much more awful than one thinks is possible.

      1. witters

        Look, a nation state is not a family. Try and hold this thought in your mind before you start trying to talk and think politically. If you really are interested in anything more than projecting what you tell us is ‘your home life story’, and are interested in politics, start with Aristotle, “Politics”. At least that way there might be some value-adding.

        1. hunkerdown

          The nature and the dynamics of the relationship are the same, though. And a nation-state certainly is a family, and liberals fancy themselves the adults. If one isn’t interested in reenacting Greco-Roman power relations, then what?

        2. Michael

          As we know, Aristotle was deeply familiar with the functioning of Constitutional Republics with two and a half centuries of checks and balances.

          Also, nuclear weapons and fossil fuels leading to anthropogenic climate change.

          The Greeks did know PTSD, though, and had a sense of what it did to their elites — Sophocles wrote Ajax literal millenia before we enumerated the demons that drove the man.

          The personal is political. People do what they want to do, and when they have power, they do more of it. Trump shows all the signs of a domestic abuser, and now he’s got the biggest prize of his long life of enormous prizes. Nowhere for us to run to.

          1. witters

            “Trump shows all the signs of a domestic abuser.”

            He does? So its a public thing? Not a private thing? So we can pick such abusers by their public appearance without needing to know what they do at home?

            I think this is a silly and dangerous view.

    6. Aumua

      As it becomes more and more obvious that the Trump presidency is going to be an epic disaster, it amuses me to watch the Never Hillary faction continue to minimize and deflect, point the finger and go “but but but but..”

      Not saying we would be better off with Hillary. I don’t think so, hell no. But I’m not convinced that it’s better to have all the evil “out in the open” as some have been saying. I mean Exxon CEO as secretary of state is basically what was already happening behind the scenes. We’ve known that for some time. But maybe the reason it was behind the scenes and hidden was that they couldn’t be open about it yet. But now they can.

      Now, they can be more brazen, more over-the-top, and more pushy about their wholesale takeover of the government and the planet. They don’t have to pretend anymore, and the looting and pillaging of what is left on Earth can now commence in earnest. What even scarier is that the people won’t like it, but they’ll accept it. Is there a silver lining to all this? I suppose, if the goal is to imminatize the eschaton.

      1. Invy

        Like ordinary citizens, although for the opposite reasons, elites are losing faith in democratic government and its suitability for reshaping societies in line with market imperatives. Public Choice’s disparaging view of democratic politics as a corruption of market justice, in the service of opportunistic politicians and their clientele, has become common sense among elite publics—as has the belief that market capitalism cleansed of democratic politics will not only be more efficient but also virtuous and responsible. [11] Countries like China are complimented for their authoritarian political systems being so much better equipped than majoritarian democracy, with its egalitarian bent, to deal with what are claimed to be the challenges of ‘globalization’—a rhetoric that is beginning conspicuously to resemble the celebration by capitalist elites during the interwar years of German and Italian fascism (and even Stalinist communism) for their apparently superior economic governance. [12]

        How will capitalism end – New Left Review

      2. jgordon

        Right, the euphamisms have been done away with. I always knew Trump would be a disaster. However, Trump is a survivable disaster–with Hillary that would have been the end.

      3. Robert Hahl

        >Exxon CEO as secretary of state is basically what was already happening behind the scenes. We’ve known that for some time. But maybe the reason it was behind the scenes and hidden was that they couldn’t be open about it yet. But now they can.<

        Speaking truth to power makes sense only for those with little to loose so we generally lie to power; tell them whatever they want to hear. If the gov't has stopped lying to us, that means we are very weak.

    7. Altandmain

      In the long run, a Clinton presidency would be far more damaging.

      First of all, the Democrats would use Clinton to suppress the left and to insist that Clinton was more electable. That would lead to a validation of the idea that the left has nowhere to go and set a precedent for decades with a 3 point formula:

      1. Suppress the left
      2. Accept money from Wall Street and move to the right with each election
      3. Use identity politics as a distraction.

      A Trump victory forces questions on the conventional wisdom (not really wisdom), and forces changes. At best, they can hope to shove another Obama that is attractive on the outside, but will betray people, but even that will be harder because people now are more watchful. Not to mention, the mainstream media has lost its power.

      There were other dangers. Clinton wanted war with Russia. That could easily escalate into a nuclear conflict. With Trump, the risk is reduced, although given his ego, I will concede that anything is possible. We would also be seeing some very damaging neoliberal policies.

      The reality is that the US was screwed the moment Sanders was out of the picture. With Trump, at least it is more naked and more obvious. The real challenge is that the left has a 2 front war, first with the corporate Democrats, then the GOP. On the GOP side, Trump’s supporters are going to wake up at some point to an Obama like betrayal, which is exactly what I expect will happen.

      There are elements of the Trump fan base already calling him out for the people he has appointed, which is a very encouraging sign. Trump’s economic performance is what will make or break him. He has sold himself on his business acumen. Needless to say, I expect it will break him because he won’t even try to do anything for his base.

      1. relstprof

        I like a lot of your analysis. “We would also be seeing some very damaging neoliberal policies.” We could still yet under Trump, given the cabinet nominees.

        The left must be vigilant and smart. There is opportunity here, but sidetracking on fake news, pop vote, etc. doesn’t gain much in terms of opposition.

      2. Michael

        I think you’re possibly right, and I just couldn’t pull the lever to vote for Trump. Sometimes we just have to be true to ourselves and hope it works out.

  4. RenoDino

    By dangerous and delegitimizing I assume you mean the results of the election will be reversed sometime in the next six weeks while the current establishment still has martial authority. All the intelligent agencies are now in lock step over Russian intervention. How do they let this result stand? Trump obviously realizes his win is now in play and has gone after those same agencies pointing out their gross incompetence.
    Both sides now fear the other side will lock them up or, at the very least, remove them from power permanently. Why do I think this is not over?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Michael Moore agrees with you – something is, or might be (more accurate description of what he is said to have said, I think), brewing, according to him, or rather, his intuition .

      1. John Parks

        I am certainly not ready to rule out Moore’s gut feeling.
        Capitalist Party + MSM + Clinton + Nuland + CIA has shown to be an equation that ends in color revolution……..or at least an attempted color revolution………
        What the State Department and MSM have pleasantly referred to in the past as a bloodless coup.
        See Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina et al

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If I remember correctly, 12-19-2016 is possibly his Ides of March.

          Is he guessing or does he know more?

      2. Renodino

        Are they really going to let the Russians, who stole the election according to our most august intel agencies, take over America by proxy? After spending 50 years, trillions of dollars, and thousand of lives fighting the Cold War, will they surrender to Russia completely and unconditionally and allow them to take total control of the entire government apparatus?

        This would be defcon 6, without a shot being fired.

        Only the Russian card allows them to pull this off without starting a civil war.

        1. Pearl


          I really like you.

          With Cyber Warfare, most Americans won’t likely notice the (virtual) Russian and/or Chinese tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. And I fear we won’t wake up and realize this as an existential threat until it’s too late. (And too late, IMHO, should be measured by Inauguration Day.)

          Trump has already told us that he would, showed us that he would, is now behaving as he will and that he will continue behaving as an Autocrat.

          But I still think we have time to stop this.

          Do you think something like the following could work?

          (see, especially, the last 4 or 5 paragraphs for description of proposal.)

          (The author is calling for a “Compromise Government of National Unity” to be penned prior to the Electoral College on December 19th.)

          Personally, I’m not willing to wait until after Inauguration Day to do something about this “Cyber Coup D’etat.”

          If we had manipulated Russia’s or China’s “election process,” they would have considered it an Act of War.

          Why are we being such lackadaisical weenies?

          Oh yeah. We’re liberals.

          Let’s surprise everyone and not weenie out of this under the guise of waiting for the “Democratic process to work itself out.” This is a completely different animal.

          What about something akin to a Snap Election if we can’t do something by the 19th of December? Does anyone know of anything such as that being bandied about?

          1. integer

            “Why are we… such… weenies?”

            I’m not sure but I’m glad you at least recognize it. I seem to remember purportedly making you cry here years ago, when you were having a whine about “Tootin’ Putin”.

            “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”
            – George Orwell

        2. djrichard

          Well if it were up to me, I would model myself after that great statesman, Jar Jar Binks, “I give up”.

    2. fosforos

      “Both sides now fear the other side will lock them up” Let’s hope all their fears are more than justified.

      1. integer

        Yep, and if they could somehow do it simultaneously, resulting in all of them being put behind bars, that would really be something!

        1. Aumua

          Yeah pretty sure that involves us. We have to act together, worldwide, to cast off the oppression that is on us all. I admit I can’t see exactly how that can happen, but that is the vision.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Or worldwide wildcat strike by robot workers? (That would be all of us, inasmuch as “robot”, from the Russian and other Slavonic languages, is a word meaning: “worker”).
            No, it doesn’t look too promising right now. Perhaps the only thing less plausible is the “vision” or “feat” achieved in one country at a time. Or, pace Stalin, in one country at all.

          2. hunkerdown

            I hear every Ukrainian high school kid has one of their own for lunch money. It shouldn’t be hard.

  5. Sammy Maudlin

    At the same time that the media hysteria over “fake news” has reached a fever pitch, yesterday the Senate passed the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act”, colloquially known as the Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill, as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.

    According to Senator Portman’s press release, the Bill “will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government.” The bill also creates a “grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work.”

    While the passage of this bill seems very coincidentally timed given recent events, it was actually introduced in March. Not sure whether it simply followed a normal legislative track, or was brought back from the dead recently, etc.

    Of note is the fact that, according to Steve Sestanovich, a Senior Counsel at the Council on Foreign Relations, “a lot of what the bill wants done is actually being done,” noting that a range of agencies are already focused on the disinformation problem, and that traditional foreign policy tools still have a major role to play.

    1. Eclair

      “… establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government.”

      Our very own Ministry of Truth!

      1. grizziz

        It is important to find work for our newly minted graduates of marketing, psychology and sociology as well as those graduates of the communication school and the arts. The need of our post-industrial information age is to make things up as opposed to just making things.
        Our liberal nation has promised our children that after they have enslaved themselves through student debt they will find work. The work they find is likely to be meaningful only to the creditors who wish to be repaid. The graduates will find idealistic rationales like patriotism or making “‘Merica Grate Again” to soothe their corrupted souls while keeping the fake news as fresh as a steamy load.

    2. integer

      US Psychological Warfare in Ukraine: Targeting Online Independent Media Coverage

      Under Ukrainian law journalists that disagree with Kiev’s policies are collaborators. They are subject to any mechanism Kiev can devise to stop them. In the case of RT Ruptly or the Guardian this means developing a strategy to ruin their reputations. The Interpreter was developed to that end. Kiev has gone so far as to petition the UK government to censure the Guardian for its coverage of events in Ukraine hoping to bully the publication into line. US broadcasters (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) have put RT on the same list as ISIS.

      From yesterday’s links but seems appropriate. This plan to censor opposing viewpoints in the US was intended to be executed during a Clinton presidency, and would’ve been almost impossible to stop under those circumstances. There is now a window of opportunity to fight back and ruin these clowns once and for all.

        1. integer

          That may be but what we are seeing now is just an echo of the Clinton/Soros plan, and not even close to the disaster that would result from having Soros et al at the helm. My guess is that the CIA are now simply using gullible Republicans (yes, there is certainly some redundancy there) as useful idiots, but this dynamic significantly weakens the original plan.

        2. shinola

          “I feel like an electrician watching someone reach for the wrong wire.”

          I’m definitely stealing that one – thanks!

  6. cnchal

    Trump, the Man in the Crowd

    Amy Davidson ends her article with this paragraph.

    And that is why the rallies are likely to endure: to serve as calibrators of or infomercials for what Trump believes that “the public” wants. One can waste a lot of time delving into the question of Trump’s psychological need for affirmation. What is politically more important is how he might use the set piece of a cheering crowd to brush aside other considerations, particularly those involving the checks on the Presidency, and the willingness of those in other areas of the government, or in the White House itself, to exercise them. Should courts worry about “a lot of angry people”? One important point not to let go of is that a crowd that the President assembles and the broader public are two very different things, no matter how big the arena, or how filled it is with love. A better opportunity to hear that public voice will come in two years, at the midterm elections. Maybe those will surprise Trump.

    News flash for Amy. When a narcissist uses the word “love” it doesn’t mean what you think it does. Those rallies are about training people to react emotionally in a way that is fulfilling to Donald. Nothing more, nothing less.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A better opportunity to hear that public voice will come in two years, at the midterm elections. Maybe those will surprise Trump.

      We remind ourselves that no one can help us but us. We empower ourselves.

      So, it goes for today, as it did in 2008. Such moderation!!! A better opportunity will come in two years!!!! I said that to myself 8 years ago, but I didn’t hear much of it from the media then. And we (not just I) say that now.

      As for crowds reacting and it being fulfilling for the one being looked up on – again, it’s the same human psychology, whether the guy on stage is a rock star, Lenin, Roosevelt, Pol Pot, the next savior or Idi Amin. How much love is there for anyone in any long term relationship, except to affirm and be affirmed by ‘love’ everyday, in small acts or otherwise, much less some politicians you interact through abstractions, like, through the media or stories told to us.

    2. kareninca

      “Those rallies are about training people to react emotionally in a way that is fulfilling to Donald. Nothing more, nothing less.”

      These rallies are Trump’s means of maintaining contact with his base, and making sure that he knows what they want. And a means of showing that he is trying to get it for them. If Hillary had bothered to do anything of the sort she would have been elected. Sanders did it and it was much appreciated. Trump’s ego is huge but the rallies are much more than an ego-trip.

      1. Michael

        Ellison is talking about starting the same sort of thing again with the 50-state strategy, and yeah, it’s gonna pay off fast and big.

        1. integer

          Yeah! I mean apart from the fact that Ellison is a war-hawk with a corporate ideology, it sounds like it will be great! Hahaha.

    1. Jim Haygood

      A similar story about the final days of the SS Clintanic:

      “Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s policy director, was the only one in Clinton’s inner circle who kept saying she would likely lose, despite the sanguine polling,” Glenn Thrush says, citing Sullivan’s friends.

      “He was also the only one of the dozen aides who dialed in for Clinton’s daily scheduling call who kept on asking if it wasn’t a good idea for her to spend more time in the Midwestern swing states in the closing days of the campaign.”

      “They spent far more time debating whether or not Clinton should visit Texas and Arizona, two states they knew she had little chance of winning, in order to get good press,” Thrush says. Just a week before Election Day, Clinton made a campaign stop in Tempe, Arizona.

      Who knows whether the NYT’s ten months of daily fake news about “inevitable Hillary” misled the campaign, or the campaign misled the NYT?

      One is reminded of the old nautical story about an imperious captain sailing on into a wall of clouds, as the worried navigator watches the barometer dropping to 28 inches of mercury.

      The NYT’s job is to inject more mercury — problem solved! (we thought)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More a few times, I read prior to the election, that Trump was a fake candidate, running to help Hillary.

        It seems, from that story, it was the opposite.

    2. johnnygl

      Building on lambert’s favorite quote from atrios…”they had ONE job!”. Anecdotes like this from politico really emphasize how they literally stopped trying to elect other democrats. It was ALL about clinton and little else mattered. There was NO plan B!

      Clinton herself had a spat with othertop party officials who wanted to run against trump as emblematic of where crazy repubs were headed. Clinton said, ‘no, be nice to republicans, only trump matters and we want their voters.’

      The clintons happily sacrificed the whole party to save themselves and in the end, they couldn’t even accomplish THAT. What amazes me is that the chokehold that the clintons had(still have?) was so tight that the party let it happen!

    3. cwaltz

      Personally I would like to see the Democratic Party go the way of the Whigs. They don’t deserve my time and effort when the elite go out of their way to stack the deck.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Barron’s investment weekly has published a “Get Ready for Dow 20,000” cover today. Is that a problem for stocks, from a contrarian point of view?

    Not necessarily. Paul Macrae Montgomery, who first articulated the concept of fading the always-wrong MSM, stipulated that it’s widely-circulated, general-interest publications that are the best mirrors of popular sentiment.

    So far, they are largely silent on the twin asset bubbles — stocks and house prices — rising ominously beneath our feet. Looks like it’s gonna be awhile before we reach the supreme silliness of Time magazine’s fatuous June 2005 cover “Home $weet Home: Why We’re Going Gaga Over Real Estate.”

    That one actually scored double points, for the MSM’s presumptuous habit of invoking the cozy “we” formulation to tell readers what they think. (That’s why “we” hate the MSM.)

    With Time reportedly on the block, maybe a sensational “Dow 36,000” cover could goose the sale price up to five dollars instead of one. It’s worth a try, lads!

    1. Arizona Slim

      Summer 2005 was when Tucson’s housing bubble started hissing air. After years of tight inventory, there was a proliferation of properties for sale.

      Some of those properties stayed on the market for years and many of them ended up in foreclosure.

    2. Pat

      Jim, odd snippet from something I heard last night struck me as being right up your alley. The guy who founded Princeton Review is now some kind of investment guru. He was talking about last years announced rate hikes, and that he told his clients they weren’t going up but might reach record lows. He based that on metals traders (gold, silver etc). He says they have never been wrong about the direction of rates. (I got interrupted so if he explained the signals he was seeing from them I missed it). It should be part of a pod cast from Tim Ferriss if you want to check it out, but I really did think it was one of those things you would have in your arsenal for market prediction.

      His other big advice was treat investing like a poker game, don’t bet on the cards bet on the players – look for their tells. And he hasn’t figured out that Uber has some real issues to deal with before its ‘profits’ are real, so take everything with a grain of salt.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Gold is anticorrelated to TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) yields as shown in this chart:

        TIPS didn’t exist before 1997. But real Treasury yields (proxied by subtracting the trailing 12-month CPI change from nominal Treasury yields) went negative in 1974 and 1979 too, during the epic gold spikes of that era.

        So this seems to be an enduring anticorrelation. However, I use the yield curve in my bond model rather than gold. The pronounced serial correlation in Fed-controlled short rates is highly non-random, signaling what the cockeyed commissars are up to.

    3. griffen

      It’s DOW 40,000 or bust. I’m holding out for that Weyland-Yutani merger to be announced any week now.

  8. Jhallc

    Re: WP’s response to Truthdig’s retraction request. It seems as if they are doubling down on the “not our responsibility to verify the validity theme”. My first reaction is that the WP is now the equivalent of the National Enquirer. What’s next, a headline ” I gave birth to Trump’s Love Child”.

  9. Steve H.

    : The right has its own version of political correctness. It’s just as stifling.

    It looks like this perspective is snapping into place. From a letter in our (paywalled) local paper, from Dec. 3:

    …telling everyone else not to be so sensitive or PC (ditto; theirs is a “conservative” PC). [Kenneth D. Pimple]

    1. Steeeve

      Patriotic Correctness is a useful term and concept. Otherwise, the article was extremely long-winded and boring. Editor to writer: “I need you to fill 3,000 words worth of space with this 50-word idea…”

    1. Baby Gerald

      Thanks for this– a much-needed Onion-esque satirical dig at the Globe/Post/NYT trifecta of garbage. To base a headline on information gleaned from anonymous sources and unnamed officials in secret meetings with unpublished agendas seems the most dangerous type of fake news there is. The death of irony was greatly exaggerated, if you ask me.

      1. craazyboy

        I think TPTB may have started down a slippery slope with this whole fake news thing. In the end, the [world]public may conclude that baseball, NFL, NBA, soccer and perhaps cricket scores are the only real news.

        1. fosforos

          Long, long ago I learned that the only really trustworthy stories in the “Press” were on the sports pages. Now I’m scarcely sure of even that…

        2. Aumua

          Next up: Russia influenced the Superbowl. You thought the Cubs’ actually winning was a little strange? Well, have we got a shocker for you..

          1. JTMcPhee

            How could Russia get away with that, with all those military assets right there on the ground, and whizzing overhead spewing combusted JP-2 and JP-4 fuel? Of course was it Boston that got away with stealing signs and spying on practices to steal plays? And what ever happened to Deflategate?

            1. lyman alpha blob

              That conspiracy is all over.

              As the weather turns cold we New Englanders are back to basking in the warm glow of Tom Brady’s goodness.

    2. integer

      Iirc there is a longstanding mixup in which links attributed to PlutoniumKun are actually from UserFriendly.

      1. UserFriendly

        lol yeah, it’s no big deal though. It must be hard to try and juggle all those emails and remembering user names. I’ve been trying to do a better job signing stories when I submit them.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      lol, great headline, WW gets better and better.

      Unfortunately, I have to confirm again I can’t claim credit for the links above, Yves seems to be repeatedly confusing me with someone else.

  10. Romancing The Loan

    Paul Craig Roberts says he tried to contact NC re: propornot and failed? Doesn’t sound very likely to me – has someone reached out to him?

  11. B1whois

    The Jacobian article on The Blind Spots of Liberalism focuses on a northen California county that voted for Trump and Senator-elect Kamila Harris, a black woman, as proof that the voters were not racist and sexist. However, they fail to mention she was running against Loretta Sanchez, a woman of Mexican heritage. They also ignore the fact that Kamila Harris was previously the Attorney General of California, so that whole Law & Order strongman thing is common to both. Finally, Lorreta Sanchez was a state Assembly Member from immoral Southern California.
    But, it is a fun read for the lice antidote…

    1. Watt4Bob

      I didn’t read the piece, but got this lice antidote from the writings of an old hobo;

      “Take one of those urinal cakes, wash it off and put it in your back pocket, those lice will leave you.”

    2. Dave

      And there was no republican on the ballot, just the two top Democratic vote getters from the primary.
      People like to fill in the blanks and not leave ballots empty.

      Kamala Harris is the new cog in California machine politics. She fills out a three category checkoffs;
      woman and a South Asian, black combo.

      She has not done much as state attorney general and has managed to keep her head down when pressing issues like Chinese structural steel and billion dollar construction fraud on the Bay Bridge are discussed, or, after an entire neighborhood was destroyed by a gas leak caused by corporate malfeasance from Pacific Gas and Electric the Democrat’s main donor.

      “Not my senators!”

  12. Jim Haygood

    Don’t let the sun set on you in New York City, Republican riffraff:

    By signaling that he plans to keep a presence in New York after taking office in January, Mr. Trump, a Republican, has animated a confrontation unlike any in modern American politics: between a president who clings to his hometown and yearns for its affection, and a city that wishes he would simply disappear.

    Here we have the MSM doing what it does best — presumptuously speaking for a city of 8 million, to reveal what “we” think.

    Sure, NYC is one-party town. But dissidents like myself were permitted to live there (after disarming, of course).

    But ultimately the urban groupthink, and incessant quoting of NYT content by the marginally informed and pseudo intellectual, is stifling. That’s why I had to decamp back to the USA. :-)

    1. Pat

      I’m a liberal NYC resident who wanted neither Trump or Clinton, but frankly I want him gone as well. I’m not pleased by what I see as the trajectory of his administration from the cabinet picks and the Democratic Congressional obvious cluelessness regarding obstruction and the need for it rather than business as usual. But that isn’t the reason I want him gone. I want him gone because he is too expensive for the city. There are the tangible costs, the NYPD protecting him, his residence and dealing with the traffic issues caused by that and the protests are astronomical and frankly we need the money for more important things. And then there is the traffic disruptions.

      I could deal with the traffic, IF the city were going to be compensated for the costs of protecting and shielding Trump were being reimbursed by the federal government. And though they have applied for that, if the reporting on that is any indication it doesn’t have a chance of anything but derision as if we are being whiny about having our money wasted. But if his presence means we have less money for human services, education and maintenance of our infrastructure he needs to get the hell out of town and stay there.

      1. fosforos

        No justification for spending a single cent on a billionaire’s “security.” Let him pay for his own bodyguards if he thinks the Secret Service suspect. As prexidnet he belongs in [the]Wash. And if there are still traffic problems, he should be charged for the trouble he caused and forced to take his name off all the places he’s plastered it on. As the experts say, any game contract should be played, if at all reasonable, in No Trump.

        1. Dave

          Wouldn’t his giving up his presidential salary and more importantly cancelling an order for an expensive Air Force One replacement more than make up for that? He has his own plane.

          1. craazyboy

            I think Air Force One has all the wifi? red button electronics and aerial command post capabilities. Trump will get it whether he wants it or not.

      2. ginnie nyc

        Oh come on. The man paid for, and built, his home, he’s allowed to live there. What all the histrionics re: reimbursement are really about is the fact that our mayor, Bill DeBlasio, woke up on Monday of this week and finally decided to submit a back-of-envelope estimate to Congress – 4 days before the CR was to be voted on. DeBlasio knew since November 9 that this ‘problem’ was looming, and did nothing but grandstanding until the 11th hour. Did he join the Green Party without my knowing?

        N.B. I voted for DeBlasio (smh).

      3. Altandmain

        I think most people around Naked Capitalism wanted him gone.

        Personally I felt that even Sanders was a compromise candidate, but he was a lesser evil.

        I’m thinking Trump is a lesser evil compared to Clinton, but he is a very great evil indeed.

        1. cwaltz

          I don’t consider Trump a compromise candidate and that’s largely because I don’t see him actually moving the country forward in the right direction. Sanders, for me, would have been a compromise from the point of view of he probably wouldn’t have moved us far enough fast enough for me but he would have set us leftward instead of ever rightward and that IS an improvement.

      4. Carla

        I suggest that the rest of the country boycott NYC. Between Wall Street and Trump, what’s not to like about a boycott?

        (Sorry, Yves, we love you. But if we all stay away, you’ll find it so much easier to get around. And you can always come see us.)

        A vast majority of Americans have absolutely no need to go there anyway.

        So let’s just. Not. Go.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Manhattan, which is the only borough the NYT cares about (well maybe sorta Brooklyn too, but I’d be a lot of money that the overwhelming majority of its oh-so-valuable-but-dwindling print subscriptions are in Manhattan) voted 90% for Clinton.

      1. Altandmain

        Yves, if you think about it, that statement captures the image that many have of what is wrong with the US. The NYT is emblematic of the problem, caring almost entirely about just Manhattan within the New York metropolitan area.

        There is a sort of big coastal city centrism, on cities like NYC, Boston, Washington DC, etc. I guess LA would count. Then there’s Chicago I guess.

        Otherwise though, the struggles of middle America are left ignored, and even the people living in the peripheral parts (like say Staten Island) are regarded by said people as “inferior”.

        What is sad is that this has made the right wing criticisms of “out of touch” liberal true. A case could be made for left wing individuals that they are about the plight of the poor everywhere, but for the wealthy elite, that is not the case.

        I hope that the mainstream media continues to decline in influence and that said decline accelerates.

  13. mad as hell.

    The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?

    Wendell Potter always appeared to me as being a whistleblower that was a honest concerned citizen that knew the ins and outs of the health insurance scam. Anytime I seen or heard his name I dropped what I was doing to listen. I have not heard his name in a while until today. I guess I am surprised that he became an Obot. It just confirms that no matter how good your intentions are once you fall into the wrong crowd your perspective changes.

    1. oh

      Worthless was the same way. After getting an overwhelming yes for single payer in their survey of members, they backed Obamacare showing who bot and paid for them. I stopped following them from that point on.

      1. Carla

        Yes, yes, yes. Moveon was a big head-fake. And lots of us single payer advocates knew the same about Wendell Potter long ago. Please, my friends, keep this in mind as you thrill to the pronouncements of “OUR Revolution.”

        I think Sanders always only wanted to save capitalism from itself. If that’s enough for you, okay.

        But it ain’t enough for me.

  14. human

    Per a commenter earlier this week, the print edition is now tabloid thickness. Maybe they are going for a new distribution channel. /s

  15. The Trumpening

    The mainstream media is doubling down on imagined pro-Russian heresies in a fashion not seen since the Reformation. Back then the Catholic Church held a monopoly on ideology. They lost it to an unruly bunch of rebellious Protestants who were assisted by the new technology of the printing press.

    Nowadays various non-conformist internet sites, with the help of the new technology of the internet, are challenging the MSM’s monopoly on the means of persuasion. To show how much things have changed, back in the 60’s, dissidents such as the John Birch Society were limited to issuing pamphlets to expound on their theories of Russians taking over America. In a very ironic role-reversal, today it is the increasingly desperate Washington Post that more closely matches the paranoia of the John Birch Society as it accuses non-conformist media heretics – who are threatening the MSM’s monopoly on the means of persuasion — of allowing Russians to take over America.

    But let’s spare a thought for poor Jeff Bezos. He basically thought he was purchasing the medieval equivalent of a Bishopry when he bought the WaPo. But now after running six anti-Trump editorials each and every day for the past 18 months, in which his establishment clergy engaged in an ever increasing hysteria-spiral trying to outdo each other in turning Trump into Hitler, it ends up Bezos’ side lost the election anyway. It’s like he bought a Blockbuster store in 2008 and never even thought about Netflix!

    And so now the MSM is literally launching an Establishment Inquisition by issuing “indexes” of prohibited heretical websites.

    Where will this lead? The grossly paranoiac reading is the Establishment’s Counter Reformation is laying the ideological groundwork for a sort of coup d’etat to be followed by the rule of a goodthink junta. In this case we have to start calculating how many divisions are loyal to Trump’s gang of generals versus how many are loyal to Obama’s generals. A more moderate reading is that with these anti-Russian headlines, the Establishment is attempting to pressure Trump to stay the Establishment course on foreign policy and to appoint a SecState who is hostile to Russia. And in the best case these crazy MSM ramblings are just the last gasps of soon to be extinct media mammoths.

    1. fosforos

      Or is it CIA preparation for an Electoral College coup and an H of Reps “election” of–Lindsy Graham?

      1. The Trumpening

        One thing you can say about Trump is that he is most certainly not a wuss. In the face of this firestorm about Russian influence sources say Trump is going to nominate Rex Tillerson, who is very pro-Putin, as Secretary of State!

        Lindsie Graham is going to be apoplectic!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I wonder what happens when they don’t confirm any of his nominees?

            Is this a case of ‘I will nominee so many you don’t like, you will be forced to confirm at least a few?’

          2. The Trumpening

            Yes I do because Trump is reportedly naming NeoCon John Bolton as undersecretary. That’s going to be a package deal; if they reject Tillerson then Bolton is gone as well. The NeoCons are desperate to get Bolton into the Administration.

            Bolton’s job will be to go on talk shows and defend Trump’s policies. If he doesn’t do it then he gets fired.

            And so from the rest of the world’s point of view, Tillerson is the carrot but Bolton remains in the background as the stick in case anyone starts thinking Trump is too soft and decides to test him.

  16. SoCal Rhino

    Best antidote ever! Typing that for my boy, also a brown standard poodle. Very smart but his paws challenge typing on these iPad virtual keyboards.

    1. craazyboy

      Standard poodles communicate via telepathy. Confronting one with a stupid keyboard of any kind is cruel.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      ????? I didn’t see any indication of Yves at the link you provided and didn’t spot what you might have intended to link to.

  17. TedWa

    Doesn’t anybody think that the Russia phobia invented by Hillary Clinton is a result of her brain injuries? Or senility? Now everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon in calling out Russia and fake news. Geez

    1. pretzelattack

      i dont think so, i think it’s part of a concerted propaganda push. not all those people have brain injuries, tempting as it might be to believe. what they hope to accomplish i do not know. why push so hard to risk a war with russia? makes no sense.

      1. TedWa

        They took a brain injured persons belief and ran with it for no more reason than to see if they can scare us into submission into believing what they believe. Their reputations are at stake here and they’re defending it with their hearts and souls, so they can control us through fear again. I think it’s time for a new media to take over. How that will happen is unknown

        1. Inode_buddha

          You say that like its a new thing, but I’m pretty sure its been going on since Ulysses S. Grant. But I can’t prove that nor can I state my sources, in the interest of journalistic integrity.

    2. TedWa

      Lets face it, the rich control the main stream media and they want this agenda pushed. I just Smerconish getting angry with a member of the RNC over “Russia” hacking them. This is just ridiculous. Provide proof or shut up

        1. Roger Smith

          In the age of digital information their signals is no longer getting through. Now they want to undercut the competition.

    3. Gareth

      I believe the CIA is attempting to delegitimize Trump’s election so as to force him into a defensive position in which he will temper his dual goals of normalizing relations with Russia and destroying the CIA’s proxy armies of jihadists. We will see if Trump has the guts to make some heads roll in the CIA. He will remember that the last President who even threatened to take on the CIA received a massive dose of flying lead poisoning.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Are people grateful he defeated the Bush dynasty?

        Are they grateful to him for defeating the Clinton dynasty?

        Are they, for taking on the CIA?

        Granted, he can’t do everything (he likes), nor everything (one – you or me – likes).

  18. JeffC

    I’m surprised how little discussion I’m seeing of the none too subtle redefinition by the MSM of propaganda itself. It used to be that propaganda was the injection of falsehoods into a discussion to disrupt the flow of truth. Currently, however, the propaganda hysteria is about the injection of truth to disrupt the flow of falsehood. It’s quite different.

    I’m also quite surprised at the absence of any review whatever of the long history of foreign interference in other nations’ electoral processes. I’m no expert, but I don’t believe the Weevil Rooskibots are the historically most guilty party. Maybe ganders desiring noninterference should consider leaving the geese unmolested.

    1. tgs

      I am surprised that no one has even defined ‘fake news’. According to what I can find online, ‘fake news’ is defined as a spoof of traditional news, as with the Onion. The way it is being used now is that even legitimate news sources such as Wikileaks are purveyors of fake news even if what they leak is true.

      1. craazyboy

        It was easier to keep track of when Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain were doing it and Gilda Radner handled the editorial commentary.

      2. John Parks

        Ambrose Bierce explained the foundations of “fake news” as being inherent in politics. (Devil’s Dictionary)

        POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

    2. John Wright

      Perhaps this is a good time to mention HRC’s “hand on the scale” recorded suggestion that the USA needs to influence foreign elections for the USA’s purposes.

      “Speaking to the Jewish Press about the January 25, 2006, election for the second Palestinian Legislative Council (the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority), Clinton weighed in about the result, which was a resounding victory for Hamas (74 seats) over the U.S.-preferred Fatah (45 seats).”

      “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

      “(Eli) Chomsky recalls being taken aback that “anyone could support the idea—offered by a national political leader, no less—that the U.S. should be in the business of fixing foreign elections.””

      Clinton should respect the Russians for doing something to influence the US election their way, as she suggested the USA should have done in the Palestinian territories.

      One could argue the USA’s access to friendly media around the world gives the USA far more propaganda power to influence elections than the Russians.

      The USA’s TPTB, who are alleging the Russians influenced the election, should be embarrassed to be suggesting the Russians did so well in “propaganda” game with far fewer resources.

      That political/government officials are pushing this story, effectively Russian leaks of the truth helped elect Trump, on the USA’s population may give a good indication of the depth of contempt the political elite really have of the “hoi polloi”,.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is this a case of ‘I have done it so often, only I – but not you, the non-expert – know what the Russians did?’

        Is it also, ‘If I tell you how they did it, I will betray and expose myself?’

        Perhaps the wolf-crier did it himself/herself?

    3. dk

      Propaganda can also be achieved by by selective inclusion/exclusion of facts, or by emotionally shading generally true material, in otherwise accurate reporting.

      Regarding the history of foreign interference, I think we can say that that has been going on as long as trade has been a source of wealth. Traders travel between locales, seeking advantage for themselves wherever they visit.

      The “flow of falsehood” is pretty old, too.

      What’s new about our situation(s) these days is:
      1) the level of absolute dependence on complex and layered technologies (that few people understand functionally in full scope), by
      2) some really large populations, and
      3) the political reach of the top-level sovereign/quasi-sovereign entities (USA, EU, Russia, China).

      Successive generations tend to take the technologies and social structures they inherit for granted, treating them as perfect and simply-behaving black boxes rather than the complex and sensitive mechanisms that they are. When a box does something unexpected (or undesired), well, it must be somebody’s malicious fault… blame the “other”.

      Passive and systemic effects are no longer recognized as such, but displaced onto competing actors and disfavored philosophies.

      Throw all of that into the social media context, where speed of reaction outpaces patient collection of fact, and fact gets swamped.

  19. pretzelattack

    hmm i had a comment, then it suddenly disappeared after it posted. nothing controversial and no links. oh well, skynet moves in mysterious ways.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Alas! I too am experiencing skynet’s insistence on moderation in all things — even where some might feel I were too moderate.

    2. craazyboy

      I think Skynet has gone completely random. I was thinking it was length it didn’t like. My 2 or 3 paragraph compositions would be the only things dinged. But then it just got me on 2 rather drab sentences. Then it lets me gibber away and even use swear words, which I do once and a while just to spite Skynet.

  20. alex morfesis

    Tovarishes…soon we will hav two goes back too saint peetours bourg and so vill reveal real name ist dmyttree..

    dymytree gromkiyekov truski

    und now will be joining my fellow fellow travlerz with new intournayt sensasian…

    notsofake news dot ru kiddingme

    and will call on serfurz of da voild to unite in sellabraytion of internet monee machine…which we russians invented…

  21. alex morfesis

    Eleanor and her dream…1948…intl declaration of human rights dec 10…article 12 & 18…

    $eem$ the world is doing a jennifer lawrence on this sacred document

  22. Webstir

    From the Automatic Earth link:

    “Every species that finds a large amount of free energy reacts the same way: proliferation. The unconscious drive is to use up the energy as fast as possible. If only we could understand that. But understanding it would get in the way of the principle itself. The only thing we can do to stop the extinction is for all of us to use a lot less energy. But because energy consumption provides wealth and -more importantly- political power, we will not do that. We instead tell ourselves all we need to do is use different forms of energy.”

    In the wake of the election, I have heard many on here (including the curators) talking about how the election was all about jobs — read economic growth. As Herman Daly has pointed out, perpetual growth is an oxymoron when constrained by a finite number of energy resources. So please, can someone on here offer an explanation for the obvious cognitive dissonance? In general, I’m convinced most of the people that interact on this page would call themselves environmentalists. So how, out of the other side of our mouth, can we talk about focusing on economic growth as a panacea to our political problems? This goes to the root of what I think my most important mission is moving forward. Namely, finding a way to bring labor and environmentalism together. Thoughts anyone?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To avoid death, for many people, it means having a job (or more).

      When one is not facing death, one can elevate oneself to think about high ideals…when one is exceptional, perhaps one can do that while looking at the Grim Reaper.

      I believe we can happier with a smaller GDP.

      That’s not growth.

      That’s opposite of growth.

      As it turns out, the destination is easy to understand. Perhaps because its too late to avoid arriving there, as more a few have commented, the game now is about taking control during the journey…with many climate renaissance sweet spots to live comfortable around the globe. That game is tied to wealth and power inequality.

      It’s not about cutting down overall carbon emissions, but who should cut more.

      It’s not that there will be droughts, but securing water sources…huge underground aquifers, for example.

      And so on and so forth.

      To the extent the deplorables are visible now, it gives hope that the journey will not be one where they’re simply jettisoned along the way.

    2. Grebo

      An important question.
      Growth means an increase in wealth. Wealth and energy do not have a one-to-t-one relation, it seems to me. A low-energy appliance can be more valuable than a high-energy one, for example. So sustainable growth means doing more with less. Recycle old inefficient wealth into new, more efficient wealth.
      Wealth can also mean services, and many services can be performed without much use of energy or resources.

    3. Oregoncharles

      You’re not alone. In fact, there’s NC slang for the concept: “groaf.”

      The contradiction is built into liberal economics, including MMT. The political motive is that reality turns economics into a zero-sum game: the “grim science.” As far as I know, Daly and his movement are the only ones to really address the problem.

      The solution is to substitute redistribution for growth. A refinement is to redefine “standard of living,” so it isn’t just “standard of consumption” but measures quality of life. Of course, redistribution is a big political challenge; furthermore, it tends to encourage growth – poor people spend all they get.

      I’d like to see a lot more about steady-state economics on here; that means I and you should dig up articles and sources and send them to “blogger” or to Lambert for the Watercooler. They don’t take assignments and they’re infernally busy, but they do appreciate suggestions.

      Here’s the basic source: CASSE,

      1. craazyboy

        Pretty easy really. I’ll wing it and create a new offshoot of economics.

        I’ll call it Refrigerator Economics. Growth for the consumer would be if it could purchase the good old refrigerator that lasted 25 years and pay 10% more to include energy saving technology. More insulation and more efficient motor/compressor. Even if this doesn’t sound very innovative.

        Growth for the industry is when they crappify and sell 9 year refrigerators for the same money. Then the consumer has to buy a new one and have the old one hauled to a landfill. Industry is busy digging holes to obtain resources to make the new crappy refrigerator. In spite of industry being known for it’s beady eyed efficiency, typically these are not even the same hole in the ground. Buying furniture works the same way.

        Conventional economic theory tells us the second way is better. One more reason to hate economics.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe in the growth of knowledge as contributing to the GNP. We could invest in basic research. The H1-B problem could be eliminated with major research efforts employing the brightest and best from around the world. We used to do that kind of thing — the space race provides a pale example. There are problems to solve — major problems — and we are on the cusp of great discoveries in many fields. I am most bullish on chemistry and biochemistry.

      If unused or under-utilized labor really is available to be employed through the machinations of fiat currency I can’t think of a better application of excess capacity than putting the many researchers we’ve trained to work doing research.

    5. strains

      One possibility is to advocate a movement towards more societally-focused jobs. There is intense and growing demand for services like childcare and elderlycare. Having more scientific research and artists would provide jobs that are developing things that have low environmental impact. The challenge is that this would require restructuring of the economy to divert resources from activities that increase GDP and resource consumption to activities that are more difficult for oligarch’s to monetize.

    6. Michael

      If you only measure one thing, you’ll only get an increase in one thing.

      GDP used to be relatively difficult to fake and still is in some places, so it was viewed as a reasonably good first approximation. That time has passed, but also nothing new has been created which gives a good single number, so we keep using it even though it’s meaningless and worse.

    1. Dugh

      Sad tragedy. Sad commentary on our increasingly bifurcated culture of haves and have-nots. Disgraceful that these government employees are sucking insane amounts of personal wealth from the system while many, especially the younger generations, are forced into a sub-optimal, shanty-town like existence for survival. I was reading today that prominent “DIY” art and music enclaves in Baltimore and Denver were abruptly shut down by fire inspectors last week.

    2. Oregoncharles

      The fire is an ugly turn in a long conflict. Artists and bohemians just want cheap space where they can do as they please. Unfortunately, they aren’t real big on safety, which at best isn’t very compatible with “cheap.”

      An overlooked factor is that artist colonies, attracted to depressed areas for the cheap rents, are a very effective means of gentrification. That shows up especially in towns like Cannon Beach, OR, where I used to live, or Port Townsend, WA, but it’s equally true of districts. I wonder if the city of Oakland was aware of that, and that’s why they gave this particular venture so much rope.

      The only real solution is for the city itself, or nonprofits, to provide the space and some management to make it as safe as possible. Even the Ghost Ship could have been developed much more responsibly.
      As Dugh points out, this will lead to a lot of artist refuges being shut down.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > a lot of artist refuges being shut down.

        In other words, a cycle of gentrification will be completed, although in a very ugly way, because the artists will go elsewhere and work out a new way to meet their reqirements…

  23. olga

    Glad you posted ‘Neo-McCarthyism and the New Cold War Nation, John Batchelor Show.’ True that his show is a bit of a mish-mash; tried to listen to shows on Philippines and China, with folks who seemed like standard-issue, imperialist bots… But I do try to catch his weekly broadcast with Stephen Cohen; these are always excellent. Been reading Cohen since the early 80s, when he seemed to be the only US academician who did not knee-jerky hate Russia, but actually tried to understand the country (although he was critical of USSR). His knowledge, insights, and the willingness to give the other side equal respect are highly informative (and commendable).

  24. Webstir

    “To the extent the deplorables are visible now, it gives hope that the journey will not be one where they’re simply jettisoned along the way.”

    Yes, I agree. This has always stuck in my craw. The party of “inclusion” definitely got too exclusive. Face … meet hand. I hope we learn something from this at least. But the question stands: How do we make plain to labor that sustainability and economic security do not have to be mutually exclusive, and vice versa?

  25. Webstir

    Yes, but did you read the article? What you’re saying is essentially putting lipstick on a pig. True, the ratio is not 1:1. However, it doesn’t have to be in order to completely transform our planet into something that will be virtually unrecognizable to us in a couple generations. I simply don’t buy into what I call the technological myth. That further increases in efficiency through technological innovation will materialize quickly enough to “save” our life support system. We talk about colonizing other worlds when we haven’t solved the problem of learning to live sustainably on the one we currently inhabit. If this viral form is what we are, fine. If not, then we must examine our magical thinking.

    1. Grebo

      I skimmed it the other day. Found it too long and whiny I’m afraid, but then I’m technically minded and long familiar with the issues.

      It seems unlikely to me that we can prevent the collapse of technological civilisation worldwide due to our exhaustion, pollution and destruction of the ecosphere. We would need to reduce our population quite quickly, keep (or put) most of it in poverty and only allow a small elite to live like Americans. This seems to be the current gameplan.

      A more ethically acceptable, but less certain, approach would be to try to quickly bring everyone up to a level of prosperity and security where population falls naturally, whilst minimising resource use and pollution. The latter will require technological improvements and is a race against time and energy depletion. It will also require some kind of defeat of the current elite.

      1. Grebo

        Edit didn’t save… last line should be:

        The former (raising prosperity and security for the population) will require a new political economy and therefore some kind of defeat of the current elite.

        That would also help with changing our technological focus.

  26. east

    Somebody has gathered evidence about why people from countries which are not at war are being trafficked currently into Italy by the thousands:

  27. Oregoncharles

    CIA says Russia intervened to help Trump win presidency Boston Globe:
    “The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill last week, in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources.”

    Trump is right: these are the same guys that said Saddam Hussein had WMDs. It’s still an unsupported claim; they don’t name the supposed “known characters,” nor do they offer the slightest textual evidence.

    A further point: if they did try to help Trump, they had strong reason: Hillary has been doing her best to provoke a nuclear war, and Trump said he wouldn’t. They acted in the interest of all of us not glowing in the dark.

  28. Oregoncharles

    “Repealing Obamacare to be first on Senate agenda in 2017 Reuters (EM)”
    If they were really smart, they’d repeal JUST the Mandate, then see what happens. It’s purely theoretical that it’s essential, but if the theory is correct, the system would crash and burn even faster than it already is. In any case, the Mandate is the most unpopular element, for good reason.

    1. different clue

      The Mandate is the ONE item which the Repuglans and the Catfood Democrats will make the MOST sure to preSERVE. It is the anchor and tentpeg of Heritage Care. It is the most key crucial feature which the OverClass’s faithful servant on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts , made SURer than SURE to upHOLD.

      After the Catfood Democrats worked so hard to get the Mandate passed and upheld, they aren’t about to let anyone repeal it. And neither are the Heritage Care Republicans.

  29. susan the other

    thanks for the link to Sweden’s recycling dilemma. nice that they are so efficient that they now import their recycling. the argument that it is better to reuse, reduce and share is interesting in that Sweden needs this refuse to keep their homes warm in winter and they use lots of it, whereas the southern countries do not need much if any heat in winter and so can export recyclables to Sweden, much of which is burned and not reused. So Sweden might not be decreasing much CO2 in the atmosphere – but on a European scale it is certainly reducing landfill waste (perhaps even methane) and on a global scale it is reducing dumping in the Oceans. I still think we should be subsidized to migrate south in winter and north in summer… but nobody else does.

    1. Gaylord

      I question Sweden’s imperative to “keep its recycling plants running” and the efficacy of importing waste, as though that is somehow environmentally sound.

    1. beth

      If one listens to the BBC’s reports/drivel from Syria, the only hard part is to be in a war zone. But I doubt the reporter is in the war zone itself, but rather s/he just gave phones to those who are. Little skirmishes are reported each night on the broadcast I hear.

  30. ewmayer

    o “Elephant keeper who punched a kangaroo to save his beloved pet dog will keep his job as a zookeeper at Taronga Zoo Daily Mail (Li). Footage of ‘roo boxing.” — Sugar Roo Roobinson circles to his left, looking to avoid Keeper’s jab … and down goes Roobinson! Keeper slipped a wicked right hook to the ribs under Roo’s guard! Team Marsupial is stunned as the ref ends it!

    o “Mad Men: Trump May Be the Perfect Vehicle for Kissinger’s Philosophy | Nation” — Riiiight, because Hammerin’ Hank K., unindicted war criminal extraordinaire, invented the notion of “keep ’em guessing.” HK has cultivated quite the little cabal of hagiographers at the Nation, it seems.

    o “Democrats Should Fight All of Trump’s Nominees. Yes, All of Them. Nation (resilc). Democrats? Fight? How quaint.” — Yes, the heroic laboring-class-defender Dems should fight Trump’s picks for being too corporate! Yeah, that’s the ticket … especially if Trump tries to nominate some Republican corporatist to the SCOTUS. Oh wait, that was Obama.

    o “Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, U.S. Concludes | New York Times” — Clearly the NYT has contacts deep inside evil-Rooskie-hackerz-circles – just like they had inside Saddam’s WMD program – because they would never advance such a startling allegation without reams of really solid evidence, would they? and equating DNC = U.S. in the headline is OK, because who better represents the interest of everyday ‘Mericans than the DNC?

    o “The Blind Spots of Liberalism Jacobin. Margarita: “On a county that voted both for Trump and Kamala Harris by wide margins.” — Actually, ISTR several notable examples in post-election articles documenting similar cross-party-line voting in ‘unexpected’ places like the Rust Belt.

    o “The right has its own version of political correctness. It’s just as stifling. | CraPo” — Lemme guess, “striving for accuracy in journalism” is part of that “stifling PC-ness”?

    1. craazyboy

      I’ve heard roos are kickboxers. They may look like fun, but when threatened they try to grab you with their forearms then rip your intestines out with a strong leg and claws. Surprised the zookeeper didn’t bolt sooner after diverting the roo from his dog.

      1. uncle tungsten

        I agree craazyboy, he was mighty lucky the roo was distracted by all the movement around as he was mighty close to seeing his lunch on the ground. Cassowaries are mighty risky up close also as they will disembowel you with a quick kick. Emus will bully you away and are capable of a swift kick but depend mostly on towering over you and intimidation. The Australian coat of arms is good in that it includes these two delightful and edible creatures. Emu steaks are fabulous.

  31. Webstir

    Oregon Charles, thank you for your suggestion in regard to curation — a good step in the right direction for me. I have CASSE bookmarked and drop in fairly regularly, but am open to other suggestions. It just seems as though this is the true challenge for our time. As Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

    Btw … for some reason my replies to comments are being appearing in the thread as OP’s rather than replies.

  32. Brad

    The Dimocwap liberals will really go off like bottle rockets over this:

    Apparently the Exxon CEO has done only one thing in his career: Maintain close relations with Boris Badenov.

    Just cut to the chase with the liberal crazies and insist they stop the hypocrisy and admit that they advocate for a CIA-backed coup and dictatorship. Or advocate for Paul Ryan as the “lesser evil”.

    Seriously. The only rational take on current liberal political behavior is that they are openly agitating for an extra-constitutional move. Constitutional chaos is fine with me, but how would Trumps’ followers react? This socialist will be sure to wear a sign that says “The liberals ran that-away! ===>”

    1. dk

      When elites can’t get their way, they rationalize thuggery.

      And when they do get their way, they rationalize it as the highest moral virtue.

  33. Chelsea baby Moo for me

    You can kind of relate to the Democrats’ desperate efforts to distract people from what’s in the emails with Russia Russia Russia. You haven’t lived till you’ve curled up with those emails. Degradation has never been so entertaining. The Clinton Foundation emails read like Lump Snopes selling tickets to watch Ike fuck cows. No regime can survive that level of comedy.

  34. integer

    Kinda amusing how when disingenuous/insincere commenters get called out they immediately scuttle around trying to make rational posts to cover their tracks. What a pathetic existence.

      1. integer

        You are not understanding the dynamics of what has been going on in the comments section lately. It’s much more complicated than you think, though I’m not going to explain it to you so please don’t ask me to.

          1. Steve H.

            Ad hominem attacks degrade the quality of the conversation. Somebody can post as ‘Michael Hudson’ and it may be the author of ‘Killing the Host’ or an ironic handle or some person named Michael Hudson. It is irrelevant to the argument unless ‘deference to authority’ is being invoked.

            That at least one commenter felt the need to give his personal information in response to your attack is a red flag that perverse effects are taking hold.

            As to your second comment, the cited source says:

            “FBUs appear to be effective at luring other users into potentially fruitless discussions, supporting claims in previous literature about troll-like behavior…”

  35. Stephen Douglas

    In the Paul Craig Roberts article that you link to above, down near the end of the piece, is the following:

    Perhaps the way to minimize the risk is a class action suit in behalf of the 200 on the list. I tried to contact Naked Capitalism about this, but like so much on the Internet, Naked Capitalism is set up only to be contacted by advertisers, etc. A former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury cannot contact Naked Capitalism. The marvel of the digital era is that communication is impossible.

    Did you read this? Give him a call, why don’t you.

  36. uncle tungsten

    On Syraqistan and the deliberate bombing of the Syrian army post in Deir Ezzor, I see that the illustrious “Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L Harrigan, commander of US Air Forces Central Command and of the CAOC, who was the central figure in all the decisions, apparently had a motive for a strike against Syrian forces” has done it again and just bombed the sh!t out of the Iraq forces attacking ISIS in Mosul. The link to the report is well worth reading and leaves Harrigan exposed to say the least.

    It looks like this dude has an agenda that might be slightly out of alignment with the Iraq Government intentions. Is he a Sunni supporter by any chance? Regardless he must be in the running to share a Nobel with the white helmets.

    These two instances of what appears to be insubordination cloaked in the misty garb of the “difficulties of target recognition” would appear to be sufficient for him to attend the US antarctic training base for a decade or so.

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