How cooking vegetables changed humanity 10,000 years ago ars technica (Chuck L)
Pakistani Airline Responds To Deadly Crash By Sacrificing Goat on Airport Tarmac Jonathan Turley (Chuck L). Cheaper than investigating…
Don’t mention this around the Christmas table: Brexit, inequality and the demographic divide London School of Economics
Germany’s far right rises again Politico
German Media Aids Merkel in “Culture of Denial” Michael Shedlock (EM)
Spanish Banks Ordered to Repay Customers Over Unfair Mortgages New York Times. This is a big deal.
ECB’s silent coups – Next victim: Cyprus failed evolution
Aleppo Before the War Atlantic (furzy)
How The Military Excluded The White House From International Syria Negotiations Moon of Alabama (Chuck L). Wowsers.
Havresc: A David & Goliath Story In Iraq Armenian Weekly
Aleppo tweeter Bana al-Abed meets Turkish president Erdogan – video Guardian. YY: “Say one is a total sucker buying into Bana, would that poorly informed reader also think that Erdogan is a nice guy in comparison to say an Assad or Putin? The BS is going to reach critical mass soon (one can only hope).”
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Yahoo email scan shows U.S. spy push to recast constitutional privacy Reuters (Chuck L)
Europe’s top court guts key parts of UK spy law Politico. Final paragraph: “The ruling could still be binding on the U.K. after it leaves the European Union, depending on its data agreements with the bloc.”
Imperial Collapse Watch
The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries Los Angeles Times (JMP)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Trump to Name Carl Icahn as Adviser on Regulatory Overhaul Wall Street Journal. You cannot make this stuff up.
Trump Organization Moves to Avoid Possible Conflicts of Interest New York Times. As the story notes, Trump is trying to clear up conflicts with outside parties (lawsuits, labor disputes) that would otherwise come to a head after he takes his oath of office. But he’s got no good answers for the conflicts of interest regarding his empire. Not than this would lead to any sort of action against him. But it could subject him to a drip drip drip of negative stories.
Donald Trump Learns to Love the Swamp Atlantic (resilc)
DC Trip Report: Sanctions Policy Risks Transatlantic Standoff and Oil Market Volatility Roubini Global Economics
Flynn Met With Leader Of Austrian Party Founded By Ex-Nazis At Trump Tower Talking Points Memo
Top 5 Reasons Senate Dems Should Block All Trump Supreme Court Nominees, Forever Juan Cole (furzy). This is the sort of fight the Dems should be focusing on.
OBAMA’S LEGACY: LEAVING INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION REGIME INTACT Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof
Obama Says His Daughters Won’t Work on Wall Street Bloomberg. Aren’t parents supposed to let their kids make their own career choices? But the only reason to go to Wall Street is the money and (right now) Silicon Valley looks like the hotter ticket, as witness a recent exodus of what passes for talent.
Man accused of murder believed he shot Trump Ithica Journal (Mark L).
The Minnesotans on the ‘Professor Watchlist’ are disappointingly unthreatening City Pages (Chuck L)
N.Y. Times’ Fake News That Electoral College Was Created to Protect Slavery New American (furzy)
EXCLUSIVE: Facebook ‘fact checker’ who will arbitrate on ‘fake news’ is accused of defrauding website to pay for prostitutes – and its staff includes an escort-porn star and ‘Vice Vixen domme’ Daily Mail (Chuck L). I don’t see why being a porn star would conflict with being a fact checker. In fact, a good knowledge of the seamier side of life is probably a plus. But then there’s this:
Its main ‘fact checker’ is Kimberly LaCapria, whose blog ‘ViceVixen’ says she is in touch with her ‘domme side’ and has posted on Snopes.com while smoking pot
We Have a Bad News Problem, Not a Fake News Problem Snopes. So in fairness to Snopes, it is not on board with the “fake news” assignment.
Calpers Scales Back Private-Equity Ambitions Wall Street Journal (DO)
SEC Charges Former New York Pension Official and Two Brokers in Pay-to-Play Scheme SEC. “Approximately $50,000 spent at restaurants, bars, lounges, and on bottle service.” There have to be prostitutes in the mix, and I’d hazard they are buried in this line item.
Trump rally could be like Coolidge’s Roaring ’20s before Depression, Nobel-winning economist warns CNBC. Lordie. Shiller should know better. The 20s stock market boom was the result of: 1. Bona fide growth in all sorts of businesses due to more and more homes being electrified as well as the sales of all sorts of new consumer durables. In other words, there was serious real economy new tech that led to higher consumer spending. 2. A lot of that consumer spending was debt financed. 3. The reason the stock market crash was so destructive is that the speculation was heavily debt fueled, with leverage of 70% to 90% not uncommon (and that’s before you get to trusts and trusts of trusts). That meant when it collapsed it blew back to the banking system.
Now 1. The Trump stock market rally may well be overdone and get even more frenzied before it goes into reverse. But 2. We don’t do serious leverage in the stock market any more, so any real economy harm due to a stock market bust would not be all that bad. 3. Trump may very well blow other bubbles that will impair the banking/credit system, and Shiller would do better to worry about that.
Uber self-driving car registrations revoked in San Francisco Financial Times. Google the headline to get access.
California DMV Public Affairs (1 SK). E-mail on the DMV revoking the licenses of all 16 Uber self-driving cars. Weirdly there is nothing on the site about this in the DMV press room as of this hour. The text of e-mail message:
Consistent with the department’s position that Uber’s vehicles are autonomous vehicles, the DMV has taken action to revoke the registration of 16 vehicles owned by Uber. It was determined that the registrations were improperly issued for these vehicles because they were not properly marked as test vehicles. Concurrently, the department invited Uber to seek a permit so their vehicles can operate legally in California.
California’s testing regulations for autonomous vehicles strikes a balance between protecting public safety and embracing innovation. These regulations were adopted two years ago, and they are working for the 20 manufacturers now testing more than 130 autonomous vehicles on California’s streets and roads. Uber is welcome to test its autonomous technology in California like everybody else, through the issuance of a testing permit that can take less than 72 hours to issue after a completed application is submitted. The department stands ready to assist Uber in obtaining a permit as expeditiously as possible.
Attached is the letter that DMV Director Shiomoto sent to Uber earlier today.
In Sentencing Radical Pacifists, Judge Miles Lord Assailed “Worship of the Bomb” Counterpunch (Robert H). A reminder of how much jurisprudence in the US has changed.
Antidote du jour. Margarita: “A hummingbird flew onto the balcony at the beginning of Dec., so I bought a feeder right away. At least two h-birds have been coming to feed – even though it has been snowing in Vancouver for the last two weeks. How do they keep warm at night?”