Links 12/18/16

Solar System’s biggest asteroid is an ancient ocean world Nature

Most of Greenland Melted In the Recent Past, Study Finds Gizmodo

Paradise lost: the crisis on the Great Barrier Reef FT

World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That’s Cheaper Than Wind Bloomberg

The Inside Story of Apple’s $14 Billion Tax Bill Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank to Pay $37 Million to End ‘Dark Pool’ Investigations WSJ

Google’s Self-Driving Car Company Is Finally Here Wired. It’s called “WayMo.” Help me.

This is the tangled future of tech and transportation Business Insider. Handy chart.

Pharma Execs Arrested in Shockingly Organized Scheme to Overprescribe Notorious Opioid Slate. Credentalism and corruption….

The big events that shook financial markets in 2016 FT


Hard Truth: Aleppo Rebels weren’t defeated by Main Force but b/c they alienated Syrians Juan Cole

The Lessons of Aleppo Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

Tsipras’s spending spree may be relief to Greeks but it won’t end crisis Guardian


Pentagon Says China to Return Drone; Trump Says They Can Keep It Bloomberg

Heralding social, financial change, China aims blow at iron rice bowl Reuters

2016 Post Mortem

8 Therapists on Postelection Anxiety — Their Clients’ and Their Own New York Magazine. One can only hope that therapy transforms liberals’ “hysterical misery into common unhappiness.”

Everything Cost Clinton the Election Ian Welsh

‘It Was My Primal Scream’ Politico

What Do Trump Voters Want? Paul Krugman, NYT. The headline is deceptive; Krugman has not reached the bargaining stage. Rather, he’s deploying a Randroid “moocher” trope!

Daily Kos Founder Gleefully Celebrates Coal Miners Losing Health Insurance FAIR

Another Clinton-Trump divide? Low-carbon vs. high-carbon America Brookings

How Carbon Emissions Explain Trump’s Win The Atlantic. The Brookings study above, in the vulgate.

ExxonMobil CEO Relieved It Finally Too Late To Do Anything About Climate Change The Onion (Li).

Who Exactly Is “The Resistance”? Medium

The Rise of the Alt-Center Slate. It’s time for some game theory.

* * *

Just Before Obama Weighs in on the Russian Hack, John Brennan Tells Everyone What He Says Others Said emptywheel

How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans NYT. The”postings were viewed and shared tens of thousands of times in the United States.” Mercy! And the Times doesn’t show any impact at all. The Times on propaganda — leaving aside the savage irony that Judy Miller’s fake WMD stories, assiduously propagated by the Times, helped get us into the Iraq War — reminds me of the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade: Giant inflated figures floating through the air, dragged along by nearly invisible strings. Ungrounded and gone in a day, as if they had never been.

Many Trump voters unruffled by reports of Russian hacking McClatchy

Hack Spat Could Spell Breakdown in White House-Trump Comity WSJ

A brief history of the times the US meddled in others’ elections PRI

* * *

The Republican Sabotage of the Vote Recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin Greg Palast, Truth-Out

Keith Ellison says Florida Democratic Party candidate Stephen Bittel understands need for ‘deep organizing to win’ Miami Herald. Bittel is a wealthy donor. Our Revolution is backing Dwight Bullard, Bittel’s opponent.

Findings by Florida Democrats Support Election of Millionaire Donor Bittel to Chair Progressive Army.

Warren and Booker polish their 2020 resumes Politico.

Power and Persuasion Jedediah Purdy, Jacobin. Sanders MSNBC Town Hall.

War Drums

Amid Finger Pointing at Russia, US Brings Tanks Back to Cold War Depot Common Dreams

World Order 2.0 Foreign Affairs

Donald Trump raises specter of treason Boston Globe and None Dare Call it Treason Bill Moyers. I’m so old I remember when not guaranteeing you’d accept the election results was the worst thing in the world. No, wait, it was veiled assassination threats that were the worst thing in the world. Sorry.

New McCarthyism

Who will check Facebook’s ‘fact checkers?’ The Hill (Li).

Twitter blocks government ‘spy centers’ from accessing user data Guardian

Trump Transition

Trump’s pick for budget director has urged big spending cuts AP

Business As Usual: Donald Trump and American Empire The Disorder of Things

Maine propane dealer to Trump voters: ‘I will no longer be delivering your gas’ Bangor Daily News

* * *

The last-ditch push for the Electoral College to stop Trump, explained Vox. Clinton needs to flip 37 Republican electors. I haven’t seen anything like those numbers.

Here’s What Happens If ‘Faithless’ Electors Try To Overturn Election Results LawNewz

In last-shot bid, thousands urge electoral college to block Trump at Monday vote WaPo

Court: Removing ‘faithless’ electors may be unconstitutional Politico

* * *

The Weimar Analogy Jacobin. “Comparing Trump’s America to fascist Germany only fuels elites’ antidemocratic fantasies.”

Surge of more than 1,000 hate incidents since Trump’s election may be slowing McClatchy

California Tells Trump It Will Launch Its Own Damn Satellite to Monitor Climate Change The Stranger

House GOP Quietly Closes Flint, Mich. Water Investigation ABC

Class Warfare

Why millions of Indian workers just staged one of the biggest labor strikes in history Los Angeles Times

The Labor Market Experience of Blacks and Whites Has Been Similar Since the Great Recession CEPR

Marijuana Industry a Homegrown Source of Job Growth Newsweek. It would be nice if we could free all the people we jailed in the war on drugs so they could take advantage of the market they created. But n-o-o-o-o!

Apple owes $2 million for not giving workers meal breaks CNN

Free Cash in Finland. Must Be Jobless. NYT. Anything but a jobs guarantee….

‘It Makes You Human Again’ Politico

A St. Louis Suburb Jailed Nearly 2,000 People for Not Paying Fines Mother Jones

Top 100 Economics Blogs And Websites For Economists Feedspot. NC is #20. Readers, we could put a “Top 100” badge in the sidebar (looks like a gold medal). Too cheesy, or a useful “fake news” prophylactic?

Antidote du jour (via):



See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. fresno dan

    The Lessons of Aleppo Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

    And the Iran war now being talked up in the think tanks and on the op-ed pages would be the end of the Trump presidency.

    Before starting such a war, Donald Trump might call in Bob Gates and ask him what he meant at West Point in February 2011 when he told the cadets:

    “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.”
    And the amazing thing….how many American mid east “allies” sent “peacekeeping” troops to Syria???
    I would amend “….send a big American land army” to ANYBODY from the army. We don’t know who the good guys are, I doubt our intentions are all that pure anyway, and the more we act the worser it gets…

    1. Jim Haygood


      On August 18, 2011, President Obama said, “For the sake of the Syrian people the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

      Congress had never authorized the president to take military action against Syria, and the American people wanted to stay out of Syria’s civil war.

      Our ersatz peace laureate is fading out, with a public image as a kind of harmless nonentity. But in fact, with his lethal undeclared wars and drone assassinations, the Obamamometer did serious damage to the constitutional order.

      Wouldn’t be a surprise to see the ex-pres spending more time down at Dubya’s ranch in Crawford, yukking it up over all the gooks militants they slaughtered. Maybe Wolfie and Doug Feith can join them to make a foursome for dominoes.

      After all, Michelle and G.W. get along just famously. There is only one War Party.

    2. Plenue

      From that article:

      “So it is today with Aleppo, where savage reprisals against U.S.-backed rebels are taking place in that hellhole of human rights.”

      Savage reprisals? Hundreds of the fighters, the ones who are actually Syrians, have been allowed to go free and return to civilian life (of course, how many of them will ultimately be quietly offed by state security, I don’t know). And the ones who refuse to surrender have been given transport on government buses to either Idlib or the southern Aleppo countryside, where they will continue their fight. That’s a far cry from ‘savage reprisals’. The Syrian government, doubtless because of the insistence of the Russians, has a record of being extremely lenient with armed dissidents.

  2. Otis B Driftwood

    The None Dare Call it Treason link at Moyers suggests he’s the author – he isn’t, it was written by Marty Kaplan.

    1. Carolinian

      It’s going out on Moyers’ site and is just as wackadoo as the Boston Globe link. Will any left heroes have their reputations left by the time this is over with?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Our baseball manager heroes do it all the time though.

        “We will finish this game, under protest,” when during the course of playing, they suspect human rigging.

        Today, without electronic scoreboards, there’s an additional source of rigging.

        I think, but have no way of knowing, fans consider such protests ‘bad for the game.’ For me personally, I am OK with protesting and playing to finish the game, unless it is by the team playing against my favorite.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      The format is an optional name of the author, if well-known/branded, followed by a required name of the site, with the two separated by a comma (e.g., “Paul Krugman, NYT”). “Bill Moyers” is the name of the site.

  3. fresno dan

    Who will check Facebook’s ‘fact checkers?’ The Hill (Li).

    More than a few people on the right and the “anti-establishment” left will get a huge kick out of slapping the “fake news” label on The New York Times, The Washington Post or CNN.
    I would NEVER do that……and I doubt the illustrious and wise commentators at NC would do it even ONCE…..we would do it billions of times….

    Both the Post and the NYT display:
    anti llama bias
    fervent screwdriver prejudice
    trucker hat conflicts of interest
    besmirching hair dryers
    maligns screwdrivers
    defames wieners…..(real wieners – not Anthony – seriously, one of my favorite foods made from snouts, tails, and ears….)

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I recall playing whack-a-mole with story after story in the WMD debacle; it was my first real experience in blogging. Turned out many of the stories — yellowcake, aluminum tubes, white powders — were planted in the press by the White House Iraq Group (using methodologies similar to those we saw used in the Podesta emails, no doubt).

          So I certainly hope FB’s anti-fake news algorithm has a whitelist for the major media, because the real issue is fake news that doesn’t come from our sort of people, amiright?

          1. Fiver

            Hope you don’t mind – I though this was very important. Trump is the vehicle through which TPTB can reverse itself vis a vis Putin, as Obama/and a defeated Clinton had clearly hit a dead end – or a deader one and larger war. But suppose the strategic goal had already shifted and more recently become more urgent from the rarefied, low-oxygen perspective of the US War Room, and what the US hopes to do now, after having caused Putin nothing but grief for a couple of years as the set-up, is now to either peel Russia away from China, or at least tie it up as a sort of junior partner and deputy global policeman in the Greater Middle East, while the US sets its sights on taking out its only real competitor – China. This is very, very dangerous.


    1. fresno dan

      December 18, 2016 at 7:43 am

      Of course, the CIA being so, so, SO WRONG about Saddam only goes to show how correct the CIA is about Putin, PUTIN, PUTIN! influencing our election….somehow…..statistics maybe….advances in computers

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The CIA is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.

        If you go by ‘the CIA is a coin’ theory, being the last time makes it less likely it will be wrong two times in row.

        If the coin is unbiased, every independent flip of the coin will make you smile 50% of the time. And the CIA is as likely to fail as before.

        But humans are not unbiased or not all capable of undergoing a series of events independently.

        If you struck out badly the last time against a pitcher, in a baseball game, and if you let that embarrassment get to you, you carry the last result with you in your mind, over to the present at-bat, then this toss is not independent of the last toss.

        So, you train yourself to forget the what happened previously. Jedi training or Zen training. Then, it doesn’t matter if door#2 or door#3 is shown. You have the ability to block it out.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Every coin flip is independent of the previous one. The flipped coin is unbiased in the example and has no knowledge if the previous flip was heads or tails and can’t alter future outcomes based on knowledge it doesn’t have. Hence of the CIA has a 50% chance of telling the truth, there could be only instances of truth telling.

    2. ambrit

      Well, Americas elites do create their own reality. After of course, destroying everything that went before.

    3. Andrew Watts

      ‘You found a traitor who led you to Saddam Hussein. Isn’t there one traitor who can tell you where the WMDs are?’ He warmed to the subject, saying Americans were a bunch of ignorant hooligans who did not understand Iraq and were intent on its destruction.

      Not a fan of the man but when he’s right…

    4. rd

      US intelligence is notoriously bad unless they have real, technologically obtained information (e.g breaking Japanese codes in WW II). A cosmic blunder was how badly they understood the Vietnamese in the Vietnam War to the point they didn’t even know who was actually running the North Vietnamese government. This is documented in “Hanoi’s War” by Lien-Hang Nguyen.

    1. uncle tungsten

      Ellison is clearly a dud and totally in the pocket of the Masters of the Universe. But Sanders is inclined to back the lesser of two evils. So it goes.

  4. Clive

    Please, no “give that blog a Gold Star” visual detritus.

    Every week, the intranet at my TBTF runs, at the behest of the internal PR thought police, a “story” about how it has “won” the “award” for being “The Best Bank for Sick Cute Small Furry Animals” or some such nonsensical piffle. Goodness knows how many tickets for the “award ceremony” have to be purchased to buy this sort of thing.

    When Yves and Lambert get the Pulitzer Prize, that’s going to be worthy of a graphic.

    1. Uahsenaa


      Yes, it’s cheesy, but when push came to shove, the backing of other organizations helped Yves & Co. make their case. Greenwald’s vouching for NC helped with the Denver NBC apology, and the fact that independent journalism reviews noted the egregiousness of the WaPo’s reporting will help them in their legal case. Having something like that you can point to makes for a very easy and swift rebuttal, otherwise you get put on the rhetorical back foot trying to argue the minutiae of what is plain to anyone who actually reads NC on a regular basis.

      1. PeonInChief

        Also it’s one of the few blogs written by a woman. It’s hard to find more white guys in one place.

    2. alex morfesis

      We don’t need no stinkin bahdjis…but the internet sausage machine does…besides…if me not bee miss taken…nc is the only female/female owned ecomonster on the list…there is no such thing as bad publicity…the bad begins when you slow down the marketing…

      notice freakonomics up high on that list…simply from continued marketing…zero substance, neither good nor bad…the onion of economics…

      As long as it is one or two badges…if the sight starts looking like a yahoo mexican bus….

      1. alex morfesis

        Correcting myself..chairman yves is only fembot in top rankings..only independent female run…two other females on list are academics but jointly with a male academic…

    3. flora

      I read the award criteria:
      -Google reputation and Google search ranking
      -Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
      -Quality and consistency of posts.
      -Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

      First 2 criteria caught my eye, considering the threats to delist NC based on a fake “fake news” report. Right-hand, left-hand, etc.

  5. Steve H.

    : Readers, we could put a “Top 100” badge in the sidebar (looks like a gold medal).

    Nope. It gives credence to the source of the list. You would have to take the time to vet the other 99, and keep up on the source itself. And even then it renders you susceptible to the source being bought out, or stroke-induced dementia, or a simple bait-&-switch. The sidebar already has a blogroll of sources you are comfortable with recognizing.

    If you attach your credibility to someone else’s, you make it dependent on them. Just because a link is posted here doesn’t mean it is being vouched for. If you take the blue ribbon, be prepared to eat the pie.

    1. Romancing The Loan

      Agreed. Putting it up would be accepting the legitimacy of needing outside authorities to endorse you – an admission of defeat in the fake news wars.

          1. grizziz

            My suspicion is that Lambert is building a correlation that credentialing leads to corruption. So far, credentialing is only a cover for corruption. The path from analogy to homology to equivalence is not that long in the logic of human heuristics, we’ll see.

            I say that the “gold medal” is an attempt at institutional capture. If the medal is widely adopted it will give power to Feedspot which will in turn likely to enforce its own ethical style upon its users.

            BTW: Who elected the Poynter Institute to be the arbiter of ‘fake news?’

            1. JTMcPhee

              The Poynter Institute is playing on a decent name generated by dead generations of actual journalists (as that term was understood by people of a certain age…) The Poynter name is now debased by its association with a neoliberalized “news outlet,” aka “anus,” now called the “Tampa Bay TImes,” whose owners have shrunk the “reporter” staff and shriveled the ones that are left into sick parodies of what used to actually earn its claimed marker as “Florida’s Best Newspaper.” I say this as a reader through the last nearly 20 ears, who watched in amazement as the transformation occurred.

              And of course the Poynter name is tied to that odious bunch of fibbers and casuists and flat-out liars that claims to present the gullible public with “POLITIFACT.” It’s all about subtle manipulation and control of the Narrative, in service to the Greater Corporate Overlords.

              So don’t anyone be shy about telling the Poynter Sisters (TM) to go pound sand, and take their little merit badges with them.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              I am a lot more simple-minded than you’re giving me credit for being.

              I’m undecided.

              On the one hand, it’s cheesy. (And as Tywin says to Joffrey, “And any woman man who must say ‘I am the queen king’ is no true queen king at all.”*)

              On the other, Uashenna makes a good point:

              Yes, it’s cheesy, but when push came to shove, the backing of other organizations helped Yves & Co. make their case. Greenwald’s vouching for NC helped with the Denver NBC apology, and the fact that independent journalism reviews noted the egregiousness of the WaPo’s reporting will help them in their legal case. Having something like that you can point to makes for a very easy and swift rebuttal, otherwise you get put on the rhetorical back foot trying to argue the minutiae of what is plain to anyone who actually reads NC on a regular basis.

              In addition, Flora lists the criteria, and if Google/Faceborg delist us, and we fall in rank or even get debadged, the effect on the badge could make it easier — caveat that I’m not a lawyer, and speaking only for myself — to show damages in a defamation case.

              So I’m genuinely undecided. “Paris is worth a mass,” said Henry IV. “A successful defamation case is worth a little cheese.”

              NOTE * Or as Lord Peter Wimsey says: “One does not—at least, you and I and this gentleman do not—consider the brand to be the guarantee of quality. For us, the quality guarantees the brand.” So, indeed we don’t need no stinkin’ badges. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t want one.

  6. c

    NC is #20. Readers, we could put a “Top 100” badge in the sidebar

    why wouldn’t you make that a Top 20 badge?

    1. Benedict@Large

      NC should put some kind of award badge in its sidebar saying,

      Citing as a Top 200 fake news site
      and a threat to democracy world-wide
      by dissident Ukrainian bloggers everywhere.

    1. Steve H.

      MoPo if you were driving Uber. NoMo if the Chinese hijack your cargo.

      Interesting they’re going for a street cred name, instead of a good hi-tech ‘-X’ or ‘-ion’ suffix.

      Sort of like the classic ‘FORENT’ sign in Chicago.

      edit: I missed this before I posted. “out of X, its division dedicated to moonshots like internet-slinging balloons and delivery drones.” So it is derivative from -X. Shoulda node it.

        1. ambrit

          I don’t know how much ‘snark’ resides in that comment, but, “PoPo’ is already a term for the police around here. So, if the Iron Boot fits, kick with it. (I remember doing the ‘Time Warp.’)

        2. Antifa

          Police are referred to as “pew-pew.” Alas, unlike Stormtroopers, our American police keep shooting until you are thoroughly and permanently compliant.

  7. fresno dan

    What Do Trump Voters Want? Paul Krugman, NYT. The headline is deceptive; Krugman has not reached the bargaining stage. Rather, he’s deploying a Randroid “moocher” trope!

    And what did the Goldman Sachs Hillary speech paying squillionaires want???
    And of course, the insinuation that white trash trailer dwelling racists affect black people’s economic and life prospects more than squillionaires….

    1. Carla

      I love it! The Democrat disease: “the insinuation that white trash trailer dwelling racists affect black people’s economic and life prospects more than squillionaires….”

    2. HBE

      Krugmans conclusion: “I don’t think any kind of economic analysis can explain this. It has to be about culture and, as always, race.”

      Krugman is an an intellectual tailspin, and please tell me why we need economists when Economics don’t matter.

      According to this krugfact, Trump voters don’t actually want jobs, their only real desire is to be uncultured racists.

      Again if everything is about identity politics why do we need to read the ramblings of an economist?

      1. Art Eclectic

        Actually, they want both pretty clearly, along with repeal of the ACA.

        Jobs so they can comfortably sit on their Barcaloungers watching the game in peace and getting rid of all that evil political correctness that makes people around them call them racists and ignorant when they opine about blacks and gays.

        The stuff that floated through my Facebook feed for months prior to election was pretty clear on all three wishes.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          Yeah. Just because Krugman is a pettish, snarling elitist, that does not magickally make his opposites the salt of the Earth. A simple recollection of FB pages from 3 months ago makes that clear.

          Much of Trump’s ‘base’ was and is people who want to be little lords in their own community. Not working stiffs on the prairie. As usual, the working stiffs didn’t vote. Their employer and his family at the /car dealership/chipotle franchise/dry cleaner/flooring contractor/propane distributor/warehouse/security contract firm voted.

        2. ambrit

          Well well well, don’t get out much? Get your weltanschauung from F-book? Repeal of ACA is pretty darn rational. It’s replacement is the point of contention. Really now, Political Correctness is just another tool for control of the “masses.” Instead of calling people “stupid,” why not try, at least once, to convince them that there are differing interpretations of “reality.”

        3. HBE

          Maybe just maybe your Facebook feed isn’t the best resource for understanding the motivations, hopes, and desires of a whole segment of the population. It isn’t really designed for dialog and discussion, but please continue to make generalizations about large portions of the population using your own Facebook feed. It’s certainly a great way to work to build a coalition among members that make up the class exploited by the elite, and class isn’t based on purely on ones identity.

          So keep doubling down on identity politics, I’m certain calling large portions of the population lazy, ignorant racists, will help to unite people along class lines. /S

      1. Linda

        First tweet comment shown in response:

        .@PaulKrugman can you please just stick to getting the economy totally wrong?


    3. alex morfesis

      Beginning to feel bad for the krugger…it really has to be no fun working for the deadytimes at this point…garggle and fartbook are destroying the useless ad execs at nyt…the justice dept just opened up a fishing expedition into the dark recesses of the mainline ad companies…

      disruption and the end of a way of life…

      New american ginza saw the seedy Times square of mobster basciano become the failed disney take over of 42nd street and the sausage of a tourist mecca that can’t seem to hold tenants for too long…

      He has to get eyeballs…the only way to do it is to be the alex joe – nzz of economics…

      The nyt was never the clean shirt many have lazily projected their dreams of democracy upon…the art of folding the grey lady while on public transportation was interesting, but like knowing how to properly knot a bow tie, something of fading value…

      1. Jim Haygood

        Operation Mockingbird is really all that’s left at the NYT, now that its 10-month Hillary campaign is over. Here’s today’s odious installment of NYT war whoring:

        Across Asia, diplomats and analysts said they were perplexed at the inability of the Obama administration to devise a strong response to China’s [seizure of a US underwater drone]. It did not even dispatch an American destroyer.

        The Obama administration sent a démarche to China demanding the return of the drone. On Saturday, China said it would comply with the request.

        The end result, analysts said, is that China will be emboldened by having carried out an act that amounted to hybrid warfare, falling just short of provoking conflict, and suffering few noticeable consequences.

        “Allies and observers will find it hard not to conclude this represents another diminishment of American authoritah in the region,” said Douglas H. Paal at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

        Another lovely pretext for a nuclear war, squandered by a diplomatic solution. :-(

      2. Whoa Molly

        Used to respect Krugman. No more.

        I won’t believe a word he says about the working class until after he moves to a midwestern farm town and lives for a year in anonymity on nothing more than social security.

        Of course he has brilliant reasons not to do that. As he’s said many times, he’s smart, rich, and has that Nobel Thingie.

        I suggest he write instead about the failings and weaknesses of Nobel Prize winners and wealthy professors. Something he understands.

  8. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Top 100 Economics Blogs

    While it’s surely nice to be recognized, they do rank the Democrats’ poodle #1….

  9. Cry Shop

    Half the Price of Coal. is that good or bad?

    Bloomberg has a very good energy news team, but besides not recognizing the authors, just from content it’s pretty obvious that they were not used for this article. In “competitive” markets, the price electricity is sold at had only a partial tie to total costs, ie too cheap and some source drop out til parity is found.

    Solar power is completely undispatchable, ie: production output is set by solar conditions, not by market demand. Wind is nearly undispatchable, ie dependent on wind conditions, but at least wind turbines have a significant turning mass to attenuate impact on the grid power factor.

    That prices for wind and solar have dropped so far is not a reason for cheer, but an indication that the political will to pay a premium (not so much just in pricing, but in absorbing the costs of infrastructure to deal with the deficiencies of these power sources) is in decline. These prices indicate solar/wind producers are getting the snot kicked out of their skulls by the grid companies. A great way to discourage future investments.

    (Edit: oh fudge, turns out the author is a paid mouth piece for Tesla, how did he get on Bloomberg?)

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Addition of very low cost megawatts to a region’s power supply lowers the wholesale cost on average. Even when it is only cheap from 10-4 in the daylight hours. The fact that they’ll still need natty gas peakers on cloudy days and a fixed percentage of dispatchable energy is not going to change this. Extremely low cost daytime supply will pull usage into the daytime, and lower costs across the board for nations that can build to maximize utility of these renewable supplies.

      The article was written about – focused entirely on – the building of power production and grids in equatorial and sub-equatorial nations that are now un- or underserved. It did not address the costs of switching to renewables in the global North, except to imply that it may never be cost effective for us to do so.

      1. Cry Shop

        The article was written by a hack from Tesla, who has an agenda to sell (more expensive than average) batteries to the US market, even if they will be an environmental issue 10 years down the road.

        Um, lowering the average? Not necessarily. If the grids have to lay on whopping, large pumped storage facilities with 30 year paybacks to stabilize the power factor for the grid, or invest in heavy maintenance and a huge waste stream 10 years down then road by building large capasitor banks, ala India, then it’s probably very expensive, hence the push to off-load the cost on to producers. That’s why the grid is kicking them silly on the price. Lets see if these guys are still in business later, particularly India and Chile, where production capital is in US$. That the endusers, or someone, will still have to pay for if the “cheep” solar/wind are not in business.

        A grid based on Solar and to a lesser extent wind, can not provide any basis for economic development. That requires reliable, high quality, three phase a/c.

    2. heresy101

      Even the electricity trade press isn’t this blind or are you imbibing in the good stuff? Rick Perry has been responsible for power lines to add wind in Texas, which was up to 40% of total generation a few days this last year.

      I can purchase solar at $39/MWh flat for 25 years; can coal do that? Wind is as low as $22/MWh in some areas. Note these are all in costs (no future costs to purchase fuel). Even if you add back the ITC, these costs are lower than coal and on a par with natural gas. On top of these prices, most coal plants are antiquated and need to be replaced, which makes them even more uncompetitive.

      Even combined cycle natural gas plants are being closed in CA because they can’t meet the load curve. Yes you are right the “duck curve” is real and prices are going negative but not because of the variability and non-dispatchable resources. NG combustion turbines are filling the gap and are being matched with batteries. An executive from SDG&E has said that even CT’s are going to be replaced by batteries. Biogas and geothermal will be the baseload resources.

      Renewables are going to be the energy source of the future (actually today) because of cost and Rick Perry will not be able to change that.

      1. Cry Shop

        Um, you’re not buying “solar generated electricity” flat at that price, just something with the label “solar”. You’d only run your house electricity when solar is in production? If you can’t grasp that, then I can’t possibly teach you anything.

        1. Cry Shop

          Even combined cycle natural gas plants are being closed in CA because they can’t meet the load curve.

          NG combustion turbines are filling the gap and are being matched with batteries.

          If you can’t grasp what these two sentences mean to carbon emissions, then you best quit while you are behind.

  10. fresno dan

    Business As Usual: Donald Trump and American Empire The Disorder of Things

    The fact that so many in the foreign policy establishment (which includes Obama Doctrine critics and supporters) would be so quick to normalize Trump is not terribly surprising.
    This raises two interesting and related questions. First, if Trump’s foreign policy could be so easily accommodated to the American led “liberal, rules-based international order” dear to the hearts of many in the foreign policy establishment, then why oppose him so vigorously in the first place? Second, why would so many people use the language of crisis with such abandon before the election only to drop the urgency that crisis implies almost immediately after Trump’s victory became apparent?

    My attempt to answer these questions below should in no way be taken to imply that I don’t think Donald Trump is a genuine fascist and a singular threat to democracy (he is), or that he speaks truth to power about the international order in principled ways (he does not), and that this will guide him toward a better, safer, more just foreign policy (it won’t). Neither do I mean to imply that, on the level of domestic politics, the kinds of obscene lies he tells, the hyperbolic form of capitalism for which he stands, the environmental degradation his administration plans, and the naked abuse of power he calls forth, are not of a different, more terrifying, order than the political vision of mainstream Democrats. {{Tell us what you really think!}}

    The article reminds me of the joke:
    1st old lady: The food here is soooooo terrible
    2nd old lady: Yes, and the portions are so small

    The author does a good job of describing how atrocious current American foreign policy is, as well as a nice listing of the incredible hypocrisy and toadying in the foreign policy establishment. And presumes that as bad as it is, Trump will make it worse.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we are in a kitchenware store…or the world is a kitchenware store.

      All you see is pots and kettles

      And like pots and kettles, one person is either this or that, never sometimes this and sometimes that, nor on-this-subject, I feel 40%-this, and 60%-that.

      1. fresno dan

        December 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        Hopefully, most people are measured and understand most things are gray and that pretty much “news” has degenerated into all entertainment. I think the economics of media and party branding has gone the way of covering home town sports – you have to be 110% for the home team, and 110% against the opposition team, because a kind word for the opposition means YOUR A DIRTY ROTTEN PUTIN SUPPORTING COMMIE!!!!. NUANCE do not get you very many eyeballs, and hence do not pay the bills….

  11. Linda

    Article from Links, Everything Cost Clinton the Election, by Ian Welsh starts out:

    When the result (in electoral college votes, which is what matter) is as close as it was in the US election, everything caused the loss.

    306 to 232 isn’t that close.

    1. OIFVet

      He meant the vote margin in states such as Wisconsin and Michigan. It was that close, and Hillary’s brilliant decision not to campaign there was one of the reasons why she lost the election.

      1. Linda

        Yes, thank you. That is likely it.

        Would like to point out, however, if Hillary had won Wis. and Mich. Trump still wins 280 to 258.

        1. OIFVet

          Yes, but Michigan and Wisconsin are simply the most fragrant examples of Team Clinton’s incompetence and sense of entitlement. Pennsylvania is another place where Clinton took her win for granted. Instead of campaigning in these states, she campaigned in Arizona and ran up the vote in Chicago and California. Brilliant strategy! Let’s not forget the primaries of 2008, when it was acknowledged that Clinton’s campaign hadn’t even bothered to learn delegate allocation rules, allowing 0bama to pick up nice number of delegates even in states he lost by concentrating his efforts in strategic counties. So yes, the Trump win was exceedingly narrow, and it was Clinton’s incompetence that lost her an election that was hers to lose.

          Also too, at 280-258, Clinton would have had a conceivable path to win by swinginging only 12 electors. Not that I endorse such a thing.

          1. Linda

            I give Trump credit more than most do perhaps, for a Hillary drubbing.

            Seems there’s no end to the things she and the campaign did wrong, plus simply being an uninspiring candidate, and in the end, Trump won handily.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              It’s difficult to say Trump won previous Democratic voters without a major tracking operation. Split ticket voting hasn’t been discussed. There weren’t Trump-Feingold voters.

              Trump’s final numbers do match McCain-Palin fairly closely on a state by state basis which fits with the expectation the Republicans are shrinking as a share of the potential electorate despite a overall growing population.

              Despite the fantasy of the Democrat Party of dumping it’s old coalition and winning Republicans, the basic lesson of November is Republicans voted for an official Republican. Jeb, Rufio, Carson, Pence, Bachman, and on and on would have received a similar vote total in the end.

              1. Katharine

                I doubt that. They said nothing that would have generated the same enthusiasm, witness their dismal showing in primaries.

              2. Mel

                Dumping its old coalition and winning Republicans isn’t new, either. Galbraith noted in 1992, in a footnote in The Culture of Contentment:

                Having been a frequent speechwriter in presidential elections beginning with the Roosevelt campaign in 1940, I have had a close exposure to the above-mentioned arithmetical basis of political strategy and to its use by the current political strategist. As I’ve often told, he has leaned over my shoulder on the candidate’s airplane to watch the words of a speech in progress on my typewriter.

                “Professor, you can’t say that.”

                “It’s what our man believes, what the people need.”

                “Look, if you say that, you will alienate those who are already most against us.”

              3. neo-realist

                the basic lesson of November is Republicans voted for an official Republican. Jeb, Rufio, Carson, Pence, Bachman, and on and on would have received a similar vote total in the end.

                None of those candidates told the republican minions in the primary that they’d been screwed by globalization and trade deals and would bring the jobs back like Trump did

              4. UserFriendly

                It’s difficult to say Trump won previous Democratic voters without a major tracking operation. Split ticket voting hasn’t been discussed. There weren’t Trump-Feingold voters.

                I wouldn’t bet on that. MN’s rural congressional districts; 1, 7*, and 8** all reelected their dem reps while going for Trump by 2:1. One suburban district, 3, went to Clinton while reelecting their GOP rep.
                *=DINO Bernie super delegate said he’d vote his district.
                **=Progressive Bernie super delegate.

                Raw MN numbers by CD for pres:

            2. OIFVet

              “Drubbing?” “Handily?” Good lord! Trump won by 107,000 votes in three key states. I already knew that Trump supporters are every bit as deluded as liberuls, but it still comes a shock to see you think that Trump won by a landslide. What’s next, Linda, a Trump “mandate?”

                1. OIFVet

                  My apologies in that case, but your language simply makes you sound like one so I assumed that you are in fact a Trump supporter.

                  1. Linda

                    Thank you. I’m truly not a Trump supporter. (Maybe obviously), I am not an elections expert or stats analyzer, but just looking at the numbers gave me my conclusion. I hope I haven’t sounded argumentative. Just discussing.

                    For example, the bottom line in the elections game: the original 306 to 232 electoral votes mentioned. That’s a very good winning margin. Not close. And, that’s what counts. There I should rest my case.

                    Part of your 107,000 must be PA which Trump won with 68,000 votes. Sure, not much looking at the percentages for the state, or numbers overall in the countrywide election, but it’s still 68,000 individuals in the state and that is not a small number.

                    And, Iowa and Ohio which voted Democratic last election and flipped to Trump this year were not close.

                    Those are some of the things I saw that prompted the “handily” and other remarks.

                    1. fresno dan

                      December 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm

                      To buttress your point (I’m not particularly interested in dissecting the numbers) I would add that it has been a while since a repub won in some of those states. I suspect the loss is mostly dems not voting, and dem dissatisfaction is the real cause, but whether Trump won or Clinton lost, Trump is the president. Trump may be less crappy than a standard repub merely because of his lack of political acumen…..but who knows?

                    2. Katniss Everdeen

                      And to further buttress your point, I’d say that the morose funk hillary has been in since Nov. 8, judging from her limited personal appearances, suggests that she considers herself to have been drubbed.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The margins in the states that mattered was fairly close. Obama didn’t have a grand victory in 2012 either. Romney had a ceiling, but Obama could have lost easily enough by a significant electoral college margin.

      The Democrats didn’t want to acknowledge how close the election to a robber baron actually was and proceeded to keep the course except without the potential for massive minority turnout and potentially driving working class whites into Republican arms with more broken promises.

    3. ChrisPacific

      In a first past the post system with winner take all states consisting of up to 10% of the population or more effectively voting as a bloc (from an EC perspective) that is actually extremely close. A side effect of that kind of electoral system is making victory margins look much bigger than they really are.

      Think about how many votes you would need to change in order to reverse the outcome.

  12. semiconscious

    thank you, ian welsh, for still being able to say, clearly & distinctly, things that bill moyers was once capable of saying :) …

    to linda, above: he may be referring to the narrow popular vote margin in some key states?…

  13. ambrit

    I was leery of the Juan Cole piece and found full conformation of my fears when I read the howlingly funny oxymoron; “relatively moderate fundamentalist group.”
    I have had numerous dealings over the years with fundamentalists, both small ‘f’ and large ‘F’ varieties. In general, the moderate part comes into play concerning the method of “chastisement” proposed for the correction of “unfundamental” thoughts and actions. “Moderates” will just beat the infidel up to ‘gently nudge’ the unbeliever towards “the Light.” Hard liners go in for more ‘robust’ forms of persuasion, such as stoning to death, burning alive to death, decapitation to death, and other more inventive forms of remonstrance.
    Most people will be familiar with the motto: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” That’s bad enough. Most people do not think of the primary corollary to the Motto; “Those who are against us must be destroyed.” That’s the “Kiss of Death.”

    1. HBE

      Lol, “relatively moderate” in relation to what Juan? He then goes on to explain that “many of the fighters” were part of the “relatively moderate fundamentalist” Muslim Brotherhood. Um no Juan they weren’t the MB only had influence over a part of the mythical FSA for a short while, so most of the fighters were not “relatively moderate fundamentalists” because the Gulf states began sending rebels and mercenaries almost as soon as Syria began to see the tiniest bit of instability.

      This is the kind of tripe you get when your reporting relies on throwing together poor analysis and plagiarizing others work (according to b at MofA). Juan needs to stick to his day job of just sharing news at DN not trying to write about it himself.

    2. BecauseTradition

      Most people will be familiar with the motto: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” ambrit

      That’s not in the Bible. Instead:

      For he who is not against us is for us. Mark 9:40
      Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

  14. financial matters

    Not to necessarily promote Buddhism but there seems to be some good points here. From ‘What the Buddha Taught’ by Walpola Sri Rahula

    “”Instead the Buddha suggests that, in order to eradicate crime, the economic condition of the people should be improved: grain and other facilities for agriculture should be provided for farmers and cultivators; capital should be provided for traders and those engaged in business; adequate wages should be paid to those who are employed. When people are thus provided for with opportunities for earning a sufficient income, they will be contented, will have no fear or anxiety, and consequently the country will be peaceful and free from crime.””

    1. Jim Haygood

      From a local paper in rural Arizona:

      On Jan. 1, the minimum wage in Arizona increases from $8.05 to $10 per hour. It will rise another 50 cents each year thereafter until it hits $12 in 2020.

      Before the increase even takes effect, local businesses are letting customers know prices are going up. The Payson bowling alley posted a sign outside notifying customers the cost of a game is going up at the start of the new year.

      At Community Presbyterian Church’s day care center, the hourly rate is going from $3.75 to $5. The movie theater has said it will increase its ticket prices. At Scoops Ice Cream & Espresso, owner Chris Higgins says he will also be raising prices.

      So a minimum wage employee with a child is going to spend $1.25 of her $1.95 raise on higher child care costs. Higher taxes and offsets of social benefits should eat up the rest.

      Once again, folks are going to learn to their sorrow that you can’t “vote yourself rich.” :-(

      1. KurtisMayfield

        When all those businesses see a down tick in customers and have to close their shops, the ones that didn’t try to make an obvious political statement will pick up the slack.

        I love how the church increased it costs at a higher percentage that the minimum wage increase could possibly justify. Unless they have a 1:1 teacher:student ratio, which means they have been subsidizing the service this entire time.

        1. Katharine

          Which they may well have been doing. If they are serving infants as well as older preschoolers, they may have a mandated high teacher:student ratio (not 1:1) and certainly ought to try for one even without a mandate. If you figure five kids, ten hours, that’s $250 a day, part of which goes to overhead, part to benefits and the rest to a teacher’s pay, including overtime if they are putting in ten or more hours. Do you want the church to use competent caregivers and pay them a just wage, or is childcare supposed to be something you don’t pay for?

            1. Katharine

              Not necessarily. They may have been paying a good wage, or the best they could afford, by shortchanging other important items. Being in a position to ask parents to pay more of the cost of care might mean improving a wage that was marginally respectable, or doing deferred maintenance, or both.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I want the people in the richest country on earth not to have to squabble about these basic necessities and not to have to work two jobs to avoid becoming homeless. The CEO makes 287X what the shop floor worker makes; then he squirrels away his gains tax-free in Panama. The central bank hands him free money to buy back stock while impoverishing savers. For Mr. Haygood, of course you can “vote yourself rich”: the 1% have been doing it for years. Don’t ever let someone tell you “there’s not enough money”, of course there’s enough: cancelling one electro-magnetic rail gun project so the Pentagon can blast goat herders from space would buy subsidized child care for a decade.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Or more money so we can duplicate on another planet what we have done here, all so that the rich don’t feel depressed that on day, if Earth is uninhabitable, they’d have no other place to call home.

            2. cnchal

              . . . cancelling one electro-magnetic rail gun project . . .

              Horrors. How ever would the Dulles corridor denizens ever possibly survive?

            3. witters

              For Mr Haywood, any kind of resditributive government of the kind that for 30 years delivered the highest rates of economic growth the world has ever seen means VENEZUELA! (where vicious thugs confiiscate toys from hoarding commercial outlests and redistribut them to children!)

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Businesses close shops…pick up the slack.

          Unless there is only one (deep-pocketed to outlast all others) left…think access-to-Wall-Street.

          Then, it can pick up the slack AND keep the prices raised.

          Of course, the fatalists, check that, the realists among us will point out that (small businesses going out of business) that was going to happen anyway.

      2. Pat

        Did the reporter ask anyone else about increased costs, or did Higgins just point that out to someone who wanted to write about increased prices and connect it to the wage increase? Add to that, other than Higgins statement about not offering wage increases to part time workers once the minimum hits twelve dollars (mind you almost four years from now), no one is quoted saying that these posted increases are solely the result of increased labor costs. Pretty much no one is quoted.

        There is nothing to say that the minimum wage worker wasn’t going to face an increase in child care costs without the raise. For instance if there are ten children and two employees, the increased rate would result in an extra $12.50/hour to cover an additional $3.70/hour in costs. That alone says there must be more reason. Once again, to quote the only person referred to in the article – he estimates his increase will be ten percent at most.

        1. Aumua

          The Prescott newspaper article also points out that the ice cream shop has already been raising it’s prices anyway, 4 times in the past eight years, due to rising costs, while still paying its employees minimum wage.

          Although there is a downside to increasing minimum wage, and it’s true that it’s more difficult for smaller business to adjust than corporate behemoths, I’m still of the opinion that it is an overall positive, and that it will extract far more wealth from the giant corporations back to the people than from small businesses. Which will translate to more business for those businesses. I voted for the minimum wage increase here.

          What I would love to see would be something that exempts small businesses with under a certain number of employees from the increase. That way Joe McSlacker high school student will go work at Walmart probably, yes, but the small business will then get the people that really want to work there, for reasons beyond just money, people who would be willing to take a little less money up front for the experience of the business, more like an apprentice.

          1. GF

            What has been missing from the arguments is that over the eight year term of our Governor Ducey he has and will on a yearly basis cut business taxes. This started 4 -5 years ago so the businesses in AZ have been seeing an increase in profits while not increasing the wages of their minimum wage employees. The chickens have come home to roost.

      3. ambrit

        You misdirect with your child welfare example Comrade Jim. This example highlights the most regressive aspects of the socio-economic system as presently managed in America. “Civilized” nations have state supplied social services, such as medicine, old age support, and child care. Yes, taxes are higher, but generally, much higher on upper income people than lower income ones.
        You cannot “vote yourself rich,” unless ‘you’ are a politician or an elite receiving heavy state subsidies. What’s the value of a civil and peaceful society? I know from personal experience that the opposite kind of society is H— on Earth.
        Enough ranting. Where’s the eggnog? Wassail!

      4. FluffytheObeseCat

        Do you think people who are paid minimum wage go out to movies, eat at ice cream parlors and purchase daycare by the hour at a white folks’ church? The people paying for these discretionary pleasures are mostly salaried, and none of them are minimum wage. Minimum wage workers do not eat much at restaurants. At all. They watch movies on the biggest screen they can find at a friend’s, using RedBox. Their abuela watches the kids.

        These are examples of small biz Trumpistas getting pissy and socking it to their middle to upper middle class customers in advance of need.

      5. Katniss Everdeen

        So, I get where you’re going with this, Jim, but I have to agree with the other commenters.

        From a purely business standpoint, wouldn’t it be more constructive to view the increase in community purchasing power, such as it is, as a net positive, at least initially, and try to attract more of it? How many small businesses actually operate at peak capacity anyway? When the lights are on you’re spending money, whether you’ve got customers or not.

        We’re talking bowling, ice cream and movies here. Not exactly necessities given video games, Blue Bunny and Netflix. It would seem entirely possible that the goodwill engendered by keeping your prices the same and making sure everybody knows about it could, at least, earn enough extra business to cover your increased labor costs. It’s worth a try.

        As for the massive hourly childcare increase at the local church, god will have to sort that one out. Maybe with a lightening bolt.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          PS. Businesses that can’t exist while paying a living wage are living on borrowed time. You can’t build a viable economy on them, much as TPTB would like to pretend otherwise.

          It’s more humane to put them out of their misery before their owners get laid low, and replace them with businesses owned by those who can see beyond simple addition and subtraction.

      6. alex morfesis

        Kimosabe…payson is somewhere in the middle of nowhere…more famous as a trivia contest answer to how the lone ranger story ended up with a sidekicks name…

        august doins rodeo

        Paysonscoops sells their coffee too cheap…you can’t get a new york regular anymore for less than 2 bux…

        Seems like a fun place…they need more business, not higher prices…

        It is not…america…it is acute little town in the middle of a forest near a casino that was invented/incorporated
        during watergate

        Kyen no sabe…

      7. Waldenpond

        That’s why I would like to see higher public services… public housing, universal food card, growing space, education, parks, libraries, walking pathways, biking, public art, theater etc. A job guarantee/income guarantee is going to be stolen by the rentiers.

      1. HopeLB

        And it is only logical! ( Is there Ethics of Logic?) Adam Smith was a moral philosopher;

  15. Pat

    So my local news is running the clip of Michelle Obama talking with Oprah about how the country has lost hope now that her husband is not going to be President followed by Trump’s remarks on that. Remarks which are somewhat disconnected from what she actually said because he is trying to still be nice about her.

    I’m sorely tempted to write a letter to Michelle Obama that she will never see. One that points out that a reason that Hillary Clinton lost was because a significant portion of this country had already lost hope because her husband and his fellow Democrats made sure only one portion of the country recovered and ignored the rest. It isn’t just the recent losing Democratic nominee for President divorced from the problems and attitudes of most of this country, the Obamas also have been in a bubble where the concerns of donors and wealthy artists get a hearing but most others aren’t even noticed. Our cities are crumbling, our heartland is struggling, and most Americans haven’t had a raise in decades. Unfortunately for many there the only hope the Obama administration really offered was that when they left maybe something might be done to address the problems otherwise there was nothing.

    Between that interview, the whining about Russia exposing the ‘private’ policies of their candidate, and the doubling down seen in the battle to control the party it is clear the Democrats have learned nothing.

    1. OIFVet

      It’s about polishing the legacy. It’s like trying to spit-shine a turd – not very useful to you and me, but many liberuls will ooh and ahh on faceborg, wish for a third term, and eventually make the pilgrimage to the Lie-barry to take a selfie and buy China-made trinkets from the gift shop.

        1. OIFVet

          What, no shirtfronting 0bama doll wagging a finger at the Putin and telling it to cut it out? C’mon, where is the entrepreneurial spirit! It’s a panty-wetter guaranteed to sell like a hopium.

    2. oho

      mean this in a non-political, objective way—–Michelle ought to take notes from Hillary 2000-2016 and end her career on a high note.

      Find a job as provost at Princeton or CEO at Generic Old Money Foundation, make friends w/the historians who’ll be writing your hagiography.

      Main Street America doesn’t want dynasties—see Kennedys + Clintons. Roosevelts get an asterisk cuz I believe they were third or fourth cousins.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In the case of the Roosevelts, that was a case of anyone from an area over a sufficiently long period will be distant cousins (New York City), Eleanor was a closer relative, and three and most importantly, FDR had no problem linking his political career to the popular Teddy Roosevelt. If you wanted to believe they were cousins, well so be it. It’s much like LBJ verbally crucifying a staffer over a press release with no mention of LBJ instead Lyndon Johnson. “FDR, JFK, LBJ, not FDR, JFK, some guy” was the gist.

        Even Shrub was a black sheep.

        1. alex morfesis

          Eleanor was not a distant cousin to teddy, he was her uncle…she spent so much time at the white house his own daughter came to be annoyed by her presence
          especially with tr admonishing his daughter…”why can’t you be more like your cousin Eleanor…”

          Since her father had passed away, it was tr who walked her down the aisle

          Fdr was “somewhat” distant, but…
          they were branches of the Roosevelt private banking enterprise…

          And for those who question how eleanors children could end up doing interesting things considering Eleanor was their mother(persia, etc), her evil wicked witch of the north mother in law, sara, had total control of the family finances until 1941 and franklin allowed her to abscond with the raising of the children and the household…

    3. Carolinian

      But but back in 2008 Oprah declared that Obama was The One. However she may have been referring to The Matrix.

      I’m sure Michelle and her hubby do think of themselves as nice folks despite the drones and double talk about the economy. They live in a world where actions never speak louder than words.

      1. Pat

        I’m sure they do. Still this “now people get to find out what it is like to live without hope” position irked the heck out of me. It was both clueless and hugely arrogant.

        1. OIFVet

          Indeed. If one listens to Michelle, one might conclude that the epidemic of drug-related deaths among the “deplorables” is due to the sheer level of contentedness among them brought about by her hopium-dealing husband.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d say it’s high time to give up on the “hope” that democrats, as currently constructed, will ever accept responsibility for election 2016, or for the generation of destructive governance that turned the electorate against them.

      The tripling-down on this totally unsubstantiated “Russkis did it” explanation has gone far past sore-loserism and become evidence of their approach to governing should they ever be returned to power–disdain and vilification for those in the electorate who don’t agree with them and manufactured blame, endlessly repeated, when their policies fail to persuade voters.

      Their steadfast refusal to accept the rejection of their neoliberalism and identity politics of division suggests that this current crop of dem old guards should never again be handed the reins. Their attitude of like it or lump it (and get called deplorable in the process) disqualifies each and every one of them, and that includes “rising stars” like elizabeth warren and cory booker.

      I can only hope that the younger, less jaded democrats like Tulsi Gabbard and Tim Ryan realize that when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. The old guard is irredeemable, and it’s a waste of time trying to make them see the error of their ways. They don’t deserve it.

      1. Pat

        For a brief moment following the election I had that hope. But watching denial after denial about both the Clinton campaign’s incompetence, and the refusal to understand that people desperately want change because these policies are killing them got me there before they settled on “blame the Russians (that way we might get the war we want anyway!)”.
        I’m not sure how much younger Democrats are going to be able to do to dig out the cancer that is the entrenched current Democratic Party old guard. Won’t stop me from wishing them the best. I’ll just limit my actions to helping the rebels.

        1. petal

          On the Russian thing, the D’s are in too deep now. They are in way too far to back out. Can you imagine? Pride won’t let them. They’ll follow it over a cliff before admitting they were wrong about anything, or that they ran their campaign terribly, or had terrible policies that brought the wrath of the voter down upon them. Watching my friends jump on board this thing has been painful. Slow motion train wreck.

      2. pretzelattack

        yeah, i try to read the comments on sites i used to frequent, and it’s just a swamp of bitterness and refusal to face reality.

        1. polecat

          Let me tell you about ‘bitterness ….

          I’ve been bitter .. ever since nancy pelosi took impeachment of GHW off the agenda …. CONveniently ‘after’ the 2006 senate elections ….

          I’ve been bitter .. ever since nancy pelosi told us plebs … that she and her possi had to pass the ACA legislation .. to ‘see’ what was in it ….

          I’ve been bitter .. ever since nancy pelosi exclaimed that we all had to ’embrace the suck’ … because .. well ……. just because !

          …an that’s just nancy, let alone harry, and barry, and diane, and chucky, and barbara, and patty, and maria, and ……..

          yeah …I’ve steamin bitter !! …… way to go Demrats

          they need to be flushed down the sewer, and out to sea …..

      3. Oregoncharles

        ” should they ever be returned to power”
        Oh, but they will be, unless something drastic happens in the meantime, because that’s how the 2-Party works. By 2024 (2 full terms at a time, remember?), Trump’s misgovernment will have made him and the Republicans hugely unpopular.and people will vote for the “other” guys. That’s how it works; that’s how it’s SUPPOSED to work. Just like Bush or Obama.

        One problem is, having a bad Republican in power makes the Dems look good. Having a bad Democrat in power is much better for left-wing alternatives, because it becomes obvious they aren’t a real alternative to the Right. If she’s playing 11-dimensional, which I doubt, that might have been a consideration in Jill’s recount project. I’m aware of it, so she probably is. That’s pretty Machiavellian, though.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The tripling-down on this totally unsubstantiated “Russkis did it” explanation has gone far past sore-loserism and become evidence of their approach to governing

        Word of the day: Dolchstoßlegende.

    5. mad as hell.

      Don’t worry about writing a letter to Obama. I’m sure that many others have already written one in the same vein. The Obama’s and their regime just don’t see it as most see it. Probably won’t either until they are old and getting ready to lie on their deathbed. Then suddenly they will see those errors themselves and asked to be forgiven for their missteps but the damage will have been done long ago and they will believe that they had been forgiven.

    6. fresno dan

      December 18, 2016 at 9:27 am
      ‘…the country will find out about living without hope’
      apparently finding out about living without good health insurance influenced them more….

    7. tgs

      Must say we live in a pretty weird political environment if Obama can burnish his legacy by authorizing weapon transfers to jihadis. And right after Gabbard floated the bill banning such transfers.

      It will be clarifying, as Lambert likes to say, to see our representatives argue against Gabbard’s initiative.

  16. Linda

    Top 100 badge. My first thought is sure, post it. I see others disagree. Was not familiar with Feedspot. It’s a site gatherer that makes it easy to add new sites to your RSS feeder. Being listed there might get some new readers at NC.

    If you don’t want to go with the badge, you could have text saying “Ranked number 20 in the Top 100 Economics Blogs and Websites For Economists” with a link to the Feedspot page. This could fit across from “Fearless commentary…”

    In any case, congratulations, Yves. Not to be sneezed at.

    1. fresno dan

      ek hornbeck
      December 18, 2016 at 9:38 am

      “In the first piece we “learn” that people don’t bother to click links. Proof that “Evolution favored small female pelvises and large newborns,” is U.S. death rate in pregnancy, childbirth raises “great concern” which among other things tells us-
      For every 100,000 live births, nearly 24 women died during, or within 42 days after pregnancy in 2014. That was up from nearly 19 per 100,000 in 2000”

      Some interesting stuff. And I don’t think you’ll ever run out of things to do…
      The CBS articles that I clicked on were surprisingly detailed and balanced, as I found this in the article as well:
      “Between 2000 and 2014, the nation’s maternal death rate rose by almost 27 percent, researchers found. However, over that time, reporting methods changed, the study authors noted.”

      Which struck me as kind of amazing. At least CBS had links to many of the source science documents. And it turns out that the factors are many, but include older mothers and raising rates of obesity and diabetes.
      Anyway, I enjoyed your article (I have only read the first one so far)

      1. ek hornbeck

        I agree some of the linked CBS articles were quite good, but almost all of them bore a tangential relationship at best to the main statements they were supposed to be supporting.

        The Vox piece on the other hand was appalling from beginning to end. They totally bought into the Eugenicky thesis of the Austrian Assistant Professor.

    2. hunkerdown

      ek hornbeck, I just read part 1, and what a find! It’s interesting to conceive of the “evolutionary struggle”, perhaps one of the leading false-consciousnesses among the scold class, as a pseudo-event (pace Boorstin) — how convenient for the scold class that their appearances of efforts on behalf of the “evolutionary struggle” are largely ineffective.

      Now tucking into Part 2… thank you for this delicious meal!

      1. ek hornbeck

        Not sure what you mean by ‘scold class’ unless it’s the Calvinist Puritanism of those who are convinced it’s a sin that someone might be having a good time somewhere, especially if it involves sex which if properly done is an icky and onerous duty performed only for the purposes of procreation.

        I guess they do struggle with evolution.

        Not a big fan of Boorstin and ‘consensus history’, I consider it mostly self serving lies and willful ignorance (hey, none of the Founding Fathers owned Slaves and if they did they were happy Slaves, lucky to be owned by such liberal freedom loving patriots). I disagree with Wikipedia that Hofstadter deserves to be lumped in with that ilk unless he self identified at some point. I find many of his (Hofstadter’s) opinions about Populism and Progressivism wrongheaded, but he’s more factual than many and frames at least some of the correct questions.

  17. Bunk McNulty

    Re: How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans–

    The comments are just unbelievable. Russians under the bed!

  18. timbers

    It was 15 but now it’s 17:


    “George Tenet, George W. Bush’s CIA director, assured the President that the case for Saddam possessing WMD was “a slam dunk.” In this assessment, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. The National Intelligence Estimate of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, asserted with “high confidence” that “Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.”


    “WASHINGTON — Seventeen American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.”

    Sent this to a Team Blue friend who told me that what Bush did with WMD in Iraq was different because Bush pressured and twisted the facts, unlike Democrats today.

    1. Hana M

      Way too many intelligence agencies! To quote Nassim Nicholas Taleb: “They think intelligence is about noticing things are relevant (detecting patterns) in a complex world. Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns).

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Once you decide that the united states of america will, henceforth, be referred to as the “homeland,” a mere 15 “intelligence” agencies hardly seems enough.

      1. hunkerdown

        Stan, Chotchkie’s Manager: We need to talk about your flair.
        Joanna: Really? I… I have fifteen pieces on. I, also…
        Stan, Chotchkie’s Manager: Well, okay. Fifteen is the minimum, okay?
        Joanna: Okay.
        Stan, Chotchkie’s Manager: Now, you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Or… well, like Brian, for example, has thirty seven pieces of flair, okay. And a terrific smile.

        We must aspire to moar. It’s the liberal way.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think they have adopted the Japanese Consensus Method.

      Or maybe they’ve taken a page from Propaganda 101 – if you can get many people to repeat it, then it becomes true.

      The key here is, are they using the same thinking behind all the different ways of gathering and analyzing intelligence? If it was based the same thinking, then it would have to be considered as one agency with 17 departments.

    4. tgs

      One way it may be different this time is, as far we have been told, there are no facts at all. As Obama said, who are you going to trust, seventeen intelligence agencies or Russia?

      1. Andrew Watts

        That’s an easy question to answer and since I’m an idiot I’ll answer it with a question. How do you know somebody from the CIA is lying to you? Answer: Whenever they open their mouth.

        No wait… I can do better than that!

        “What kind of idiots do you have working here?!”

        “The finest of New York!”

    5. Katharine

      Democrats twist facts?! Oh, surely….

      “It’s just irresponsible,” Finney said, likening this year’s protest voters to those who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, handing the election to George W. Bush and “indirectly contributing to the Iraq War and so many lives lost.”

      Well, never mind.

      (That quote is from the primal scream story, a response from a Clinton campaign spokeswoman.)

      1. charles leseau

        I wonder if Finney thinks that voting for Democrats who approved the Iraq War was indirectly or directly contributing to so many lives lost.

    6. Pat

      I still have to wonder why the hell Coast Guard Intelligence was investigating a hack of a private email address or the DNC. Not to mention Marine, Navy and Army intelligence wasting their time on something that it is not in their bailiwick.

      But saying one or two of 17 intelligence agencies just doesn’t have the same propaganda value.

    7. fresno dan

      December 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Notice how the there is a discrepancy of two intelligence agencies in the number of intelligence agencies back in 2002 and currently???
      That’s because two intelligence agencies were not omitted in 2002……SIX THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES WERE OMITTED….

      Yup, being a former NSAer and deep cover Russian hammer and sickle jammie wearing underground lair cellar dwelling fuzzy bunny rabbit eared antennae radio communicating Putin mole, Putin radios me while riding a horse bare chested (and Putin doesn’t wear a shirt either), I actually know how many US intelligence agencies there are…..
      6938 intelligence agencies. So…..17 saying Russia did interfere, when 6921 don’t say nothing kinda means I would only give this 3 Ahmed Chalabi’s as far as veracity goes…..

    8. pmorrisonfl

      Adaptation of Segal’s Law: ‘A nation with one intelligence agency always knows what its enemies are up to… a nation with 17 intelligence agencies is never sure.’

  19. Tvc15

    Again, The Onion is scarily closer to the truth than you’ll ever read from the corporate media. From today’s links, ExxonMobil CEO Relieved It Finally Too Late To Do Anything About Climate

    1. Inode_buddha

      My all-time favorite headlines: “Congressional Ethics Panel slides back to reveal hot tub” and “American people hire high-powered lobbyist to represent them in Congress”

  20. hoopa

    Not to mention that it is very difficult to prove someone’s guilt on the technical level, especially without direct or at very least remote access to that last traced nodes – basically, any competent proof won’t be published because it requires context that would be top secret as it describes details of infiltration -, the Podesta/DNC e-mails never had the impact on the election as the media and people social media suddenly started to insinuate. Clinton’s private email server as part of the Benghazi affair marathon, yes, but the former not really.

    By the way, I’d suggest to link to some discussion on what the term fake news actually refer to. Otherwise, statements as this:
    >More than a few people on the right and the “anti-establishment” left will get a huge kick out of slapping the “fake news” label on The New York Times, The Washington Post or CNN.

    ..will become more widespread.

    Instead of the catchy and euphemistic term fake news, the name should be invented news to distinguish them from other fake news that are satirical, faulty, misinterpreted, unverified, misleading(propaganda, ads, etc.) and so on.

  21. bob

    ” It would be nice if we could free all the people we jailed in the war on drugs so they could take advantage of the market they created. But n-o-o-o-o!”

    Not only that, but if you were ever arrested for drugs, you can’t get near the “industry”. Only those who were lucky and or white enough, with clean records, get those jobs. We can’t have criminals! Not only that, but when NY announced it was opening up permits for growing legally, a $200k buy in was required, after you were “chosen” and “certified”.

    It’s EXACTLY what happened after prohibition. The biggest teetotalers were the largest bootleggers. It helped a lot to be the Sheriff too.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Look on the bright side. Draconian federal ‘crack downs’ on state-legal marijuana are possible this summer. Especially in the West. We did not put Trump in office; his long time M.O. is to ‘repay’ such favors.

      1. Waldenpond

        The laws are so new that it hasn’t been corporatized into large pockets that are easily taken down. I doubt if Trumps people will allow anything other than pharma control of the industry, even that seems unlikely when there are mercs to employ and private prisons to fill.

        It’ll just go back underground. Lots of diverse small growers. It’s been so abundantly available since I was a small child. People will just continue to grow in attics, under house and illegally in the woods poisoning the wildlife, diverting and polluting the water.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China…broken iron rice bowl.

    I’ve tasted broken rice – it’s quite good.

    Has anyone tried iron rice? How many times do you chew before swallowing?

    And why do Chinese like iron rice?

  23. thoughtcrime

    Part of the fun of routing the US in Syria is victor’s justice. Capture of US field commands in Aleppo shows CIA guilty of the crime of aggression in sending armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Syria in manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations. Behind the US iron curtain, the perp walk is covered only in state-repressed media:

    Here’s Samantha Power under the media cone of silence, trying and failing to spring cornered CIA commanders at the UNSC meeting Russia called to announce the aggressors’ defeat and capture.

    Having kicked ass, Russia will be taking names to establish the elements of crimes whose character, gravity and scale are conclusively established:

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Look, this was the CIA’s war from the very start. Five years ago a standard Arab Spring style protest sprang up in Idlib, it would have faded back into obscurity and graffiti-writing had the CIA not already been covertly on the ground to sustain it with arms, materiel and cash. Once it grew a little the Washington regime changers jumped in and hooked up with the Qatari pipeliners and Saudi Wahhabi-mongers and before you knew it you had a nice little civil war. Yes, Virginia, America is responsible for the genocide of Aleppo. And now CNN et al are doing their best to spin the result, calling Aleppo a “cease fire”, and not a flaming crashing total defeat of Obaman/Hillerian Footsie-With-Beheading-Terrorists-For-Fun-And-Profit

      1. tgs

        If true the spin doctors will have to work their magic.

        It doesn’t take much work to spin our media. This will be no problem at all. If there is a problem it will probably be will why weren’t there more boots on the ground to prevent the greatest humanitarian disaster since Auschwitz.

      2. hoopa

        >The Security Council meets in secret

        Yeah, but voltairenet is aware! Right… veeery secret

        Not to mention, it’s a diplomatic council, closed and informal meetings are part of the work.

    1. HBE

      Ooh boy, this will be interesting.

      As to spin I’m sure it will go one of two ways: the story will get completely buried or those captured operatives will turn into aid workers of some kind and we will get a week of “OMG, peaceful aid workers practicing humanitarian sainthood in East Allepo have been attacked and imprisoned by the hospital bombing, cat sanctuary destroying, demonic Syrian government”.

  24. Mel

    Gold Stars. That’s nice.

    I sort of remember objecting to something, perhaps in Satyjit Das’s _Extreme Money_, wherre someone said “If we need high quality collateral, we can buy some.” With what, I thought. Anything that could buy high-quality collateral ought to be pretty high-quality by itself. (But I don’t really know finance.)

    The opposite holds here. With its high-quality journalism and analysis, Naked Capitalism can buy a gold star anytime it wants. NC got Glen Greenwald’s active support by being active in its own right.

    Then there’s C.Northcote Parkinson’s obervation that the grand edifioe always gets built after the organization has quiesced and become history. Trophies matter most to people who have quit.

  25. Ted

    The insys story in Slate is just one example of the Medical System gone wild. Let’s not forget the DNA testing scams that are proliferating like fungi in a field of fresh manure.

    In addition to driving health insurance costs through the stratosphere, the death toll is outrageous. And yet, seems like the only outrage the intellegentsia can muster is for Putin and more safe spaces for generation snowflake. Sigh…

  26. gepay

    Most of Greenland Melted In the Recent Past, Study Finds – If one reads the article one finds that the recent past is a million years ago. Then the study says that the CO2 levels at 280 ppm were about the same as before the industrial revolution – what most people would think of as the recent past. So the concentration of atmospheric CO2 didn’t cause the ice to melt. There was some other unknown cause. “It’s worth noting that the analysis is based on a single sample of rock.” This certainly will cause me to lose sleep at night.

    1. pretzelattack

      one only needs to read 2 sentences to find that. it’s also worth noting that scientists think that sample of rock is likely representative of a lot more samples of rock. we don’t know that the co2 level didn’t cause the ice to melt; it just did so in conjuction with other factors. the fact we are blowing past 280 ppm should cause you to lose sleep at night, yes.

  27. susan the other

    NC is so much better than the other stuff – it should be before most of the top 20. I’m not impressed by half of those blogs but some of them, the environmental economics blogs specifically, look worth a read. Interesting isn’t it that NC gets honors from the people doing this list and propornot has the nerve to trash it sight unseen. I did notice that the Whappo didn’t have a dog in that list. Not really their thing. Those idiots.

    1. habenicht

      Lambert thanks for the Greg Palast story linked to truth-out above. I learned some things that I had not previously known about the “recount”:

      “Michigan officials declared in late November that Trump won the state’s count by 10,704 votes. But hold on — a record 75,355 ballots were not counted.

      The uncounted ballots came mostly from Detroit and Flint, majority-Black cities that vote Democratic.”

        1. aab

          I’m out of the loop here today and didn’t read Palast, but a lot of ballots weren’t counted in Detroit because the recorded votes were significantly larger than the number of actual ballots in the boxes in more than a third of the precincts when they unsealed them. For some reason (hmmm…Democratic control for decades?), if there’s a discrepancy, the original recorded vote counts, even though the ACTUAL PHYSICAL ballots are different.

          What that means is that there are a lot of phantom votes in the city of Detroit. I think it’s reasonable to assume those phantom votes are mostly Democratic votes. So the evidence from the recount is not that the Democrats can’t get their votes counted. It’s that the Democrats probably faked a whole lot of votes in Detroit — but STILL couldn’t win the state. AND they get to keep their faked votes under rules they probably put in place decades ago, that fly in the place of logic or any plausible goal of electoral integrity — because neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, demonstrably, care about electoral integrity.

  28. Dave

    Greenwashing bullshit from Jerry Brown.
    His family is a huge owner of oil stock. Preventing further exploration and drilling raises the value of what they own.

    If you think he’s a fake on oil, you should investigate his ties to big agriculture and the raping of the water supply for San Francisco Bay and nature.

  29. Paid Minion

    “……jailed nearly 2000 people…….”

    For all of the talk about “common sense” coming from Fox News viewing types, they sure seem to be short of explanations on how putting people in jail over unpaid/unable to pay traffic tickets makes any sense at all. Especially if the person loses his/her job over it.

    (Inconsistency and Hypocrisy seem to be prerequisites to be a Fox News viewer)

    Traffic Tickets/Misdemeanor Fines = Sin Taxes, applied when rich people don’t want to pay enough taxes to fund government operations.

    What they don’t recognize is that the program will eventually start “trickling up” to put middle class suburbanites in the slammer. Especially when cops start finding out their pensions are dependent upon squeezing more income out of the wretched refuse.

    Those unintended consequences always seem to bite you in the azz.

    1. hunkerdown

      What they don’t recognize is that the program will eventually start “trickling up” to put middle class suburbanites in the slammer

      At which point it will change again to advantage the Respectable Deplorables, yet again. It is a supreme form of liberal arrogance to believe that rules are permanent. As much as it pains liberals to hear it, liberalism is one ideological choice among many, and frankly one of the least sufferable and most self-aggrandizing. Just one look at the Democratic Party right now should disabuse anyone of the notion that people will allow themselves to be hoist on their own rules.

  30. Jim Haygood

    Venezuela’s president Maduro (irreverently called “Madouche-o” by his long-suffering peeps) backs down:

    Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro extended the use of the nation’s 100 bolivar bill until Jan. 2 after the government’s decision to pull its largest denomination note out of circulation left the country short of cash, sparking violent protests and looting.

    Maduro’s decision to extend use of the most-widely-used bill came as the president said replacement higher-denomination notes were unavailable because three planes transporting them to the country were “victims of international sabotage.”

    Looks like a merry Christmas and an unhappy New Year for our Venezuelan comrades.

    Got wheelbarrows?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why not ship those not-in-use-anymore large-denomination notes from India?

      “Recycle, not throw away.”

      One fiat currency is as good as another. Sure, you have to look at strange Indian heroes, when you use them, but that should broaden one’s mind.

  31. alex morfesis

    Someone help me with my chinese….trumps granddaughter…I hear her jump up and say chilai…

    Chilai ?? Riseup ??

    Is she reading poetry or singing communist national anthem ??

  32. Quentin

    ‘The Great White Hope’ has come and gone. Now Michelle Obama has decided that we have been thrown into despair, that is, the American people. She didn’t say what her assessment was for the future of her own family. Are they members of the American people, you might ask?

  33. ekstase

    “Solar System’s biggest asteroid is an ancient ocean world”

    Is it just me or are other people starting to read these headlines like they are the real estate section? Like 150 years ago when people might say, “Let’s get out of this god-forsaken place. And head to America!”

  34. Oregoncharles

    “World Order 2.0 Foreign Affairs”
    An important kernel of truth, aka International Law (not so new, and in great danger), but I stopped reading when I got to the bit about the Palestinians. Someone who can casually brush aside the extinction of an entire nation as if it were a good thing has no moral standing and cannot be trusted.

  35. rd

    “The committee found significant problems at Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality and unacceptable delays in the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the crisis,” wrote Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “The committee also found that the federal regulatory framework is so outdated that it sets up states to fail.”

    The good news is that the elimination of the USEPA by Trump will speed up its non-response so that the problematic states can not react quicker.

  36. ChrisPacific

    So, in order to be a good neoliberal apologist for the establishment (or a Nobel prize-winning economist – but I repeat myself) you must simultaneously believe that American jobs are:

    (a) gone forever and not coming back (the futility of opposing outsourcing)
    (b) available for the taking to anyone who isn’t a lazy moocher (support for the official narrative on the economy).

  37. alex morfesis

    The sweetest tuesday morning in a long time…the clintons vanquished and el donaldo gets all of six months before the next election cycle kicks into full gear…

    seeing north carolina, looks like the republican party has decided america is now a parliamentary system…

    time to make the donuts…maybe a half shot of ouzo with the frappe to celebrate…or maybe a 3rd, 4th and 5th political party can be birthed from this unmitigated greed and stupidity…

  38. Adam Eran

    I’d suggest the D’s can divide internally. 1. Corporate funders 2. “Our Revolution” funders. Let’s see who wins the most elections.

    (BTW, Our Revolution, so far, is a disorganized mess, IMHO. Please help them)

    1. Waldenpond

      You are implying incorrectly that OR funders won’t be corporate. If OR, coming out of the elections with strength, can’t block someone as noxious as an oil industry billionaire from buying FLs D party, it’s a failure.

      Didn’t DSA just come out for Ellison after his endorsement for the oil industry money? DSA was extolling enrolling young adults only to sheep dog them into neoliberalism, completely bypassing liberalism and progressivism let alone any socialist policies. Good job.

  39. John Zelnicker

    Yves – I vote for putting the “Top 100” medal in the sidebar. Nothing wrong with advertising third party support for your credibility.

    1. ambrit

      How about; “Your go to source for real news.”
      Is there a generally accepted “Blue Ribbon” for news reporting any more?

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