Links 12/6/17

Birds flying through laser light reveal faults in flight research PhysOrg. This is very cool, methodology-wise. Chuck L: “Worth a link if only for the photo of the goggled parrotlet.”

The Javan Rhino: Both Protected and Threatened by a Massive Volcano Pacific Standard (Chuck L)

Watch: A stunning volley that you can’t miss, and is capable of being the goal of the year The Field (J-LS). For our soccer fans.

Increasing soil carbon storage by agricultural conversion Nature (PDF)

Growing Pains: Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows : Image of the Day NASA (Chuck L)

Caesarean births ‘affecting human evolution’ BBC

Atrocious makeup set for young girls earns Worst Toy of the Year Award Treehugger (J-LS)

Study shows regular sex improves the memory of young women PhysOrg (Chuck L). Doesn’t look like a well-constructed study and also explicitly seeks to confirm similar research….which is not a good basis for objectivity (although my view is based on the write-up not reading the actual study. Thus also didn’t check re sample size and controls). And fails to allow for the fact that women who have high libidos may either have different genetic attributes, different hormone levels, or different habits (as in they date regularly) that require that they have a better memory of faces and attentiveness to precisely recall what people said so they can play it back (ie, they need to flirt well!).

Would You Feel Sexy Wearing Eau de Extinction? MIT Technology Review. Per above, would it improve your memory for faces too?


Amid uproar, Hong Kong government backs down after barring questions from lawmakers facing review South China Morning Post

Chinese media mock Trump for ‘running the country with Twitter’ The Hill (Plutonium Kun). If this is the best China can do in the way of a retort, it’s really lame. Of course, they have their own new money oligarch class, so the usual attacks on those grounds would probably hit too close to home.

Australian choices in the New World Order MacroBusiness


Monte dei Paschi readied for state bailout after Renzi defeat Financial Times. That was fast. The private rescue was never gonna happen but now they can quit pretending.

Italian Uncertainty Set to Punish Weak Banking Sector Roubini Global Economics

What can be done to stop an Italian banking crisis? Financial Times

Gaddafi’s switching roles under Western manipulation until the final destruction of Libya failed evolution

Kazakhstan jails activists, plans a Great Firewall to stifle online dissent The Conversation (J-LS)


Wigs, Swords and Pro-EU Dog at Supreme Court Brexit Protests Bloomberg

As the Supreme Court’s Article 50 hearing enters its second day, does it matter if the government loses? City AM

No special Brexit deal for the City of London, warn Hammond and Davis Telegraph. Consistent with what we’ve said for quite some time

UK suffers its first lost decade in 150 years The Times

Investigatory Powers Bill: Politicians exempt themselves from new wide-ranging spying laws Independent (Chuck L)

How Russia Outsmarted OPEC OilPrice

Imperial Collapse Watch

Mattis on Our Way of War American Conservative (resilc)

Trump Transition

House G.O.P. Signals Break With Trump Over Tariff Threat New York Times

GOP Leader Breaks With Donald Trump On Suggested 35 Percent Tariff Huffington Post (furzy)

Trump’s ‘Unpredictable Starting Now’ Foreign Policy Is Here Bloomberg. Resilc: “Can’t be worse than 50 years of endless interventions.”

The rules of the (Trump) game Pepe Escobar, Vineyard of the Saker (Chuck L)

Trump’s Taiwan phone call preceded by hotel development inquiry Guardian. Resilc: “Real news or fake news?” Note the last story of this sort WAS fake.

Why Trump’s Carrier Deal Isn’t The Way To Save U.S. Jobs FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Deals With the Devil: Vulnerable Senate Democrats Rush to Slam Anti-Donald Trump Plans Salon. So much for the Great Democratic Resistance.

Trump picks Carson for HUD secretary The Hill In case you missed it…

Iraq Was Probably a “Mistake,” Said Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s Defense Pick Intercept. Resilc: “Trump brain trust.”

Italy’s Referendum Should Be a Warning to Donald Trump Wall Street on Parade

Bernie Sanders: TPP and Standing Rock victories show path to beating Trump Washington Post

Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste Washington Post

Bernie Sanders’ New Book Offers a Roadmap for Progressives to Challenge the Establishment In These Times

2016 Post Mortem

Why Did 53 Percent of White Women Voters Go for Donald Trump? History News Network. John Z:

The author makes some unsubstantiated assumptions I question. However, her frame is very interesting. The idea of an authoritarian taking control and bringing safety and security and promising to maintain their social status is also attractive to some men, I think. However, like many pundits, she seems to make this a “the” answer to her question. I take a more diverse view. I think people are complex and do things like picking a candidate for any number of reasons, some of which may seem to conflict on some levels.

Hillary Clinton throwing party to thank millionaire donors | Page Six. Plutonium Kun: “No refunds!

The DNC Needs a New Leader: How About Rahm? Chicago Magazine. Plutonium Kun: “Ways to destroy the ​rest of the Democratic party.”

New McCarthyism

Fake News About ‘Fake News’ – The Media Performance Pyramid Media Lens (dougie)

DERIVATIVES-CDS sellers pose bigger contagion risk than CCPs; OFR Reuters. Help me. This is really an admission that central counterparties are not working. We’d pretty much said that since no one got rid of customized OTC derivatives which 1. aren’t suitable for central clearing; 2. are where much of the risk and profits sit; 3. have low/no social value since they are used mainly for accounting and tax gaming.

Banks’ post-crisis consultancy spending soars to $200bn Financial Times

Are All CLOs Equal? Liberty Street Economics

Class Warfare

Democracy Against Neoliberalism Jacobin (J-LS)

Everybody into the (labor) pool Medium (Plutonium Kun). By the Minneapolis Fed. Translation: employers need to get real about pay.

Antidote du jour (Tracie H, from the Los Angeles Zoo):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. JTMcPhee

      I wonder: will Mattis now KILL Elizabeth Holmes, and her board and C-Suite-ers, now that the scambezzle is so visible and risible? Some reports are that is his default problem fix. /s. There’s this slightly dated piece,, and tongue in cheek, this:

      On another related subject, there is this apparent spasm of actual investigative reporting from the WaPo:

      “Pentagon [bosses] bury evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste,” after ill-advisedly asking Business People to come in and turn on the lights in the “darkest rooms” in the Pentagram —

      ” The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.

      “Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results.

      “The report, issued in January 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. The plan would not have required layoffs of civil servants or reductions in military personnel. Instead, it would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.

      “The study was produced last year by the Defense Business Board, a federal advisory panel of corporate executives, and consultants from McKinsey and Company. Based on reams of personnel and cost data, their report revealed for the first time that the Pentagon was spending almost a quarter of its $580 billion budget on overhead and core business operations such as accounting, human resources, logistics and property management….” Long article, with some evidence of actual digging and sorting…

      “Run government like a business? Not the War Department, no way, never!” “You can’t handle the truth!”

      Of course the notion that the “savings” could be used to “increase combat power” as opposed to addressing some of the miseries of “citizens” in the Homeland is even a fraud — the structure is all about extending Empire, both the big one where military violence and subversion are the weapons of sole recourse in the long tail of one losing “engagement’ after another and the sowing of dragon’s teeth via Hellfire and GBU-nation, and the little ones wrapped around “Service” tribal loyalties and self-advancement, and procurement processes, and individual weapons systems, and logistics chains, and future employment opportunities in the “private sector” (sic) after reaching pensionable age or key-man/woman status in some program or other… That money (whatever money is) is never going to find its way into making life more tenable for ordinary people. Because climate collapse is the New Axis of Threat! and the potential for growth of POWER! over territory and people and the suck of Necessary! Expenditures! For! Security! are pretty near infinite…

      Will Mattis pay any attention to the desultory efforts to at least rationalize the apparently unbreakable and inevitable looting by the war and security industrial classifications? Where rice bowls are made out of forged titanium, all to MilSpec of course? Under no-bid or collusive-bid cost-plus contracts? Old Sun Tzu noted ages ago the incentives and temptations that lead to “war profiteering” (gotta have a “war” going, of course, to keep the supporting memes alive…)

      1. Dave

        “will Mattis now KILL Elizabeth Holmes, and her board and C-Suite-ers, now that the scambezzle is so visible and risible?”
        Pentagon! A new hit musical:
        Cue the orchestra:

        “We’ll drone again,
        Don’t know where,
        Don’t know when,
        But we’ll blow her away some sunny day,
        Keep smiling through,
        Just like you always do,
        Til blue sky projects drive the doubts away.”

  1. Don Pelton

    Somehow, despite being a faithful daily reader of NC, in my dotage ( apparently) I’ve somehow missed the meaning of these recurrent tags: “resilc” and “Plutonium kun.” Could someone kindly tell me what they mean?

    1. ProNewerDeal

      I guesstimating the meaning is that readers/commenters like “Plutonium Ken” communicated to NC (posting a comment, or via e-mail) something like “fwd: this article X is interesting, briefly it is about Y topic”. Then Yves is giving credit/props to the reader like “Plutonium Ken” for finding the article, when posting it in her Daily Links post.

      1. UserFriendly

        Except that Yves keeps thinking my emails are from Plutonium Kun (Not a big deal though). I just send things I think she might like to post, sometimes she agrees, other times not. Just don’t take it personally if she decides not to, lots of news in a day. And yes you can email them in. The instructions for how to do so are under ‘Contact’ in the site menu.

      1. Buttinsky

        Taking into account the media assault currently being conducted against Naked Capitalism, I would make that nom de guerre.

    2. john smith

      probably handles (pseudonyms) of regular readers, who send in links they think might be interesting.

  2. allan

    Chicago Fed president: Economy doesn’t need Trump’s infrastructure plan [Chi Trib]

    Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said Monday that conditions seem right for a rise in interest rates, but he cautioned that with an improving economy, a major infrastructure-building program implemented purely to stimulate the economy could be ill-timed.

    While inflation remains too low to meet the Fed targets and wage growth is still weak, the U.S. labor market is “kind of tight,” he said in a speech to the Executives Club of Chicago. “We are very close to full employment.” …

    There are a few millenials I know in Chicago who would beg to differ.

    Club Fed. Where Hopelessness Meets the World.

    1. JSM

      Not an economist here, but is there a bit of ‘We decided to just manage asset prices early in the recession (or 1987, take your pick) and these inflationary economic proposals might throw a wrench in the interest rate plans we’ve devised to that end?’ in these Fed pronouncements?

      Something is surely being left unsaid…

    2. JSM

      Also skimmed the Minneapolis Fed piece, which seems to make no mention of the millions of people who have ‘permanently’ (0 options?) left the labor force.

      Perhaps with 15 flex hours at $7.25/hr and phony ‘skills’ training providing no obvious path to better employment, it’s rational even for the short-term unemployed not to work for $108.75/wk.

      But the study authors would rather claim people prefer – no joke – to ‘play golf.’ One doubts the clubs the study authors frequent are overrun with deplorables… though they cite ‘anecdotal evidence’… or even could be… let alone the nonwhite working classes…

      1. Paid Minion

        $108.75/week doesn’t even pay the cost of transportation in places without mass transit. Meaning 90% of Flyover.

        Go destitute slowly or quickly are your options, when working for minimum wage.

        Yet there are people advocating doing away with the minimum wage, and the “safety net”, to make those freeloaders work for whatever “the market” arbitrarily decides they are worth.

        (A formula for deflation and chaos, IMO, especially when the starving wretched refuse figures out that robbing rich people is a “win-win” for them)

        Call me old fashioned, but it seems to me like a full time job should pay enough for a person to support themselves.

        You can already see the fast-food guys and profiteers from cheap labor setting up the campaign to bring in more immigrants, to “do the jobs Americans won’t”

        Which means no scientists, engineers or brain surgeons, but thousands of barely educated country folk. Meaning that the liabilities generated will be paid for by your typical dumbass wage earning taxpayer.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          From another poster:
          2014: 87 people own half the world’s wealth.
          2016: 62 people own half the world’s wealth.

          At that rate it will be 4.5 years until one person controls half of the wealth of the planet. Then we can simply strangle him/her in the bathtub, and redistribute.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      According to my crystal ball, robots are always in full employment.

      I have never seen any idle robots.

          1. cnchal

            They rust in the robot boneyard, stripped of anything useful and then sent to the scrapyard. Fired, as it were, replaced by newer faster “more efficient” robots. It’s a tough world for robots.

            Sometimes those more efficient robots are people. Mercedes ripped out robots on the assembly line for high end luxury cars, because the robots were too fiddly and time consuming to program. Toyota too, on some of their lines.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I don’t spend time in factories anymore but when I was doing that, most of the robots I saw were idle most of the time.

    4. rd

      Another economist completely missing how infrastructure spending actually works.

      There are very few “shovel ready” projects. Most real infrastructure spending requires planning (what do we need?) permitting (what is the right thing when balanced against multiple competing societal requirements?), design (how are we going to do this efficiently and safely?), procurement (how do we make sure the mayor doesn’t just give the job to Cousin Herb?), construction (much of the actual money), and finally operations and maintenance (if planning and design done right, getting through this phase is the lowest life-cycle cost).

      So most infrastructure spending decisions are truly investments like a private company deciding to build a manufacturing plant with long time horizons in play for expenditures and benefits. If Congress decided today to do infrastructure spending, the bulk of the money wouldn’t be spent for at least three years or more. The Fed can’t possibly have a valid opinion of what the economy will look like at the end of Trump’s term. The infrastructure bills need to be focused on projects that have expenditures and paybacks of 5 to 50 years. These aren’t short-term jolts to pop the employment rate a couple of percent over a year or two. When done right, there is steady work that people build careers on.

      BTW – everybody points to “the good old days” when things could be permitted quickly (if permitted at all). We are now remediating the contamination from the WW II industrial sites, completely redesigning interstates that tore the guts out of inner cities 40 years ago, dealing with water pollution form inadequate waste water treatment, tearing down dams that have trapped sediments in reservoirs and completely changed eco-systems in rivers and estuaries.

      1. BecauseTradition

        Distribute some fiat for dental work; there’s plenty of that sort of infrastructure spending needed.

        Apparently Brazil can fix the teeth of its population but the US can’t.

        1. jawbone

          Don’t worry. From what I’m hearing about the rightwads who took over the government, there won’t be much of any social spending once they take their allotment of the social spending to increase their wealth.

  3. Ruben

    Thank you for the volley goal in Chile, amazing. In related news I am very sad to announce my retirement from competition football, err, soccer, due to a recurring injury in my left thigh. I am still available though for the occasional friendly match, just not every week, god damned it!

    1. Laruse

      As another football (soccer) fan, I also extend my thanks. What an exhilarating way to start my very dreary and chilly Tuesday morning. GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!

    2. Lee

      I made the same shot in high school. I meant it to be a pass and got too much foot on the ball. I was a defensive player and it was the only goal I ever scored. I savor the moment these 50 years later.

      1. Ruben

        You should, as a defense player myself I remember nearly every one of the few goals I have scored, normally from a distance but certainly none of them like the one you scored or the one showed in the video, those are dreams of goals.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    A quick note to Yves and Lambert – whoever the ‘Plutonium Kun’ is that sent those three links in, it wasn’t me!

    1. Steve H.

      Hmm, I had a similar series happen with me, tho there are a lot of ‘Steve’s here. I pointed it out a couple of times, but eventually decided it was America and just took the credit for someone else’s work…

      You, however, are not an American, and so should not take exceptional credit.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        That’s happened to me a number of times, and a similar number of times links I’ve sent in have been attributed to someone else. It doesn’t bother me, since I assume it’s a matter of Yves (or Lambert or whoever) momentarily losing track of who sent in what as she struggles to meet the 7:00 am ET “Links” post deadline. For all that Yves, Lambert and the others do for us here the last thing they need is quibbles over credit for links.

        For that matter I suspect that something similar happened five plus years ago when she posted the first link I sent in. She credited it to Chuck L instead of the handle I occasionally comment under, and that’s the way she’s credited me ever since. I’ve never asked her, but I assume that she inferred that from my email address. I guess I’ve finally outed my double identity at Naked Capitalism.

        1. PeonInChief

          I haven’t sent any links for a long time, but I assume that the first person to send the link gets the credit.

          1. ex-PFC Chuck

            Again it’s a guess on my part, but I think that when she gets the same link from two or more people she doesn’t include an attribution.

      2. Optimader

        Nice that commenters post links and all as I consider it a form of (virtual) conversational cross pollination. But maybe a bit of a Provincial stretch to take credit for it as “work” unless you authored it?
        Just chucking out an interesting tidbit that someone else may be able to reflect on is what its about, no?

      1. Steve H.

        How many finks who fake linked links does it take to make links to the fake link fakes, d’ye think?

    1. Lee

      The sound of locking and loading can be heard in the land. Or should that be loading and locking? Readers?

    2. jgordon

      Speaking of respectable news organizations, I saw a couple of articles from the Washington Post linked above…

      Just saying, but NC doesn’t link to Breitbart or info-wars, and near as I can tell these outlets either equal to or higher on the credibility scale than NYT or the WP. Also, these other outlets appeared right alongside NC on the infamous PropOrNot list. Just sayin’…

      1. Carolinian

        So are you suggesting that NC should not link the Post and Times or that it should link the sites you mentioned?

        I’d say our hosts have it about right in that much of what we read here comes from the MSM. The problem is not so much due to the many good reporters who still work for big media but rather the owners and editors who set the agenda when it comes to certain topics such as foreign policy and finance.

        1. jgordon

          At the very least these known disinformation outlets should have very big caveat tags next to the links before unwary readers are lead into their site and are viciously disinformed there.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          This is important to remember. The big press employ lots of very talented people and publish a lot of good reportage and writing. It’s just in certain very important subjects the billionaires are very, very sensitive to where they often go into full-on propaganda/lies mode. They have to be measured in their disinformation so that they retain enough credibility to remain somewhat credible while at the same time skewing their reportage enough to favor the ruling class for the really important stuff. I’m sure it’s a very difficult balancing act to maintain.

      2. integer

        You want us to ignore the artifacts of the dysfunctional modern-day iteration of Operation Mockingbird? How will we get our daily dose of lols?

        Also: Know the enemy.

    3. cocomaan

      Oh good, they cited Star Wars as their moral compass. Glad that secular bible is still going strong.

  5. Anne

    All I can say is, can Keith Ellison really be that threatening to the establishment that Rahm Emanuel is being floated for DNC head?

    Apparently so…and as usual, it’s all about the money:

    Ellison’s elevation to chairman of the party could, on the other hand, amplify the sound of wallets snapping shut. The Wall Street Journal quotes one of party’s biggest donors, Haim Saban, as describing Ellison as “clearly an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel person.”

    I should not have read the article while eating my breakfast, that’s for sure.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      To Rahm’s advantage, he can’t lose the House of Representatives for a third time, but the donor class feared Sanders more than Trump.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks for that link.

          I seem to have read once, as mentioned in the article, that he was for a no-fly zone in Syria.

    2. OIFVet

      Reading the title, I truly mistook it for an Onion headline. The content was a laugh riot, too. I particularly enjoyed the part about the need for someone different from “the old, discredited model.” Was the author cryogenically frozen sometime before 1993 and was just thawed out of hibernation? Or is she just dimwitted? Perhaps she didn’t get laid enough as a young woman and her memory suffered because of it. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

      1. polecat

        “Or is she dimwitted?” ……

        just another (cough) ‘F’n Retard’ (cough) spewing out fake news …..

    3. flora

      According to Pelosi, the Democrats don’t want a new direction. It’s all about better PR.

      DICKERSON: “The Democratic Party is in a moment of questioning about its identity. You were reelected to lead the Democrats in the House. What do you tell Democrats who want a new direction and then, go to you, what are you going to do differently?”

      PELOSI: “Well, I don’t think people want a new direction. Our values unify us and our values are about supporting America’s working families. That’s one that everyone is in agreement on. What we want is a better connection of our message to working families in our country, and that clearly in the election showed that that message wasn’t coming through. But we are united in terms of the security of our country, which is our first responsibility. To be smart and strong and not reckless in how we protect the American people, strong in how we protect our economy.”

      1. Lee

        PELOSI: “Well, I don’t think people want a new direction….

        She is definitely the winner of today’s head-up-ass award.

          1. Anon

            Feinstein is in her mid-80’s. California is unlikely to re-elect her again. (Even somnambulists awake to reality.)

      2. DanB

        If only Hillary had reintroduced herself to the public one more time, I’m sure it would have worked!

      3. Jim Haygood

        ‘What we want is a better connection of our message to working families.’

        This sounds more anodyne than “catapulting the propaganda.”

        Although most of the good D-party screedwriters (the Acela corridor analogue to “screenwriters”) quit when their checks bounced. :-(

      4. Lord Koos

        Anyone else find it a bit chilling to hear Democrat Pelosi talk about “security” as a top priority? Americans have about 100 times better odds of being shot by a toddler than being killed by a terrorist. If they really cared about national security they would improve American education and health care.

        1. integer

          If I was a D-party grifter I would be pretty serious about security right now too. I’d imagine some of their billionaire supporters are pretty pissed right about now, and those types tend to keep a few shady people around to do their dirty work for them.
          Hope you’re having fun, Nancy!

    4. The Trumpening

      The fear is that if Ellison takes over the party then the big Democratic pro-Israeli donors will have to decide between a do-gooder Democratic Party that happens to be anti-Israel, and a “racist bigoted fascist misogynist KKK” Republican Party “literally led by Hitler II” that is nevertheless allied with Israel.

      The big donors don’t like that choice!

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I am reasonably sure the big Jewish political donors like Adelson would prefer a right wing Hitler to a left wing Sanders type. Trump ain’t that different from Bibi when you get right down to it.

        1. The Trumpening

          Adelson is a GOP pro-Israeli donor and indeed Bibi should sue Trump for stealing all his ideas (walls, deportations, no Syrian refugees, etc.). What I am taking about though is Democratic pro-Israeli donors. Overall the pro-Israeli donors want both parties to be equally pro-Israel so that it doesn’t matter which side wins. Which is why the Democratic pro-Israeli donors are so against Ellison. If in the end only the GOP is allied with Israel but the GOP is against the other values these Democratic pro-Israeli donors hold dear, then they will have a tough choice to make.

    5. oh

      The Dims are trying help Rahm with a graceful exit from the Windy City while he’s ready to slowly skulk away!

  6. Hana M

    I’ve given up sorting the fake news from the real news on Ben Carson but his editorial last year in the Washington Times made some interesting points:

    The new [HUD] rule [to “affirmatively promote” fair housing, even in the absence of explicit discrimination] would…require that such affordable housing be built primarily in wealthier neighborhoods with few current minority residents and that the new housing be aggressively marketed to minorities. In practice, the rule would fundamentally change the nature of some communities from primarily single-family to largely apartment-based areas by encouraging municipalities to strike down housing ordinances that have no overtly (or even intended) discriminatory purpose — including race-neutral zoning restrictions on lot sizes and limits on multi-unit dwellings, all in the name of promoting diversity…

    Fair housing advocates saw this as a victory, but as with other mandated social-engineering schemes, the sort of unintended consequences Justice Samuel Alito alluded to in his dissent lurk in the shadows. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently announced a plan to build almost 80,000 new affordable housing units in the city’s minority neighborhoods, but the new rules could conceivably prevent their construction because of the “disparate impact” doing so might have on minority access to affordable housing in non-minority areas of the city.

    1. Alex morfesis

      Ben carson should drive around with a photographer light meter and compare the street lighting at night in the bougee bougee neighborhoods he frequents for dinner and the bus stop a working mother has to deal with after a shift at krapo company retails…

      and then decide if “because markets” is the way to a new potterville…


      make american millionaires great again

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Affordable housing in wealthier neighborhoods, and be aggressively marketed to minorities.

      Why not?

      And more journalists from New York to live, or at least spend some time in Trump’s districts in the Rust Belt.

      Together, they are a nice exchange program, or a sort of migration that’s healthy.

      1. Propertius

        And more journalists from New York to live, or at least spend some time in Trump’s districts in the Rust Belt.

        Perhaps winter reeducation camps in Wisconsin or Michigan?

  7. Anne

    Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump

    The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.

    My bold.

    Another elector who wants a Republican president, just not this Republican president.

      1. Bunk McNulty

        Well, I guess because we don’t have popular elections for President. Ditch the Electoral College? Sure thing. All it will take is an amendment to the Constitution. In the meantime, be careful what you wish for. Faithless Electors could tear the country apart, if they wanted to. I’d just as soon they didn’t. I’ve been re-reading James McPherson, and as I recall there is nobody better at killing Americans than other Americans.

        1. jgordon

          Exactly so. I am kind of rooting for these faithless electors to pull of their scheme actually. They don’t seem to be cognizant that their stay on earth would be dramatically shortened if this actually happened–and by that of course I mean that they’ll be shoveling money at Elon Musk to get the first available tickets to Mars while hiding out in their fortified bunkers.

      2. Propertius

        There’s really no requirement to hold a plebiscite to pick electors – states can appoint them any way they want:

        Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. (Article II, section 1)

        A state could just as easily have the legislature or governor pick them, or draft them by lottery.

        1. marym

          A state could just as easily have the legislature or governor pick them, or draft them by lottery.

          There would probably have to be changes to state law for this to happen.

          National Conference of State Legislatures

          “Currently, all states select electors through a popular vote (although how that vote works can differ), but that was not always the case throughout American history. In many states, the state legislature selected electors, a practice which was common until the mid-1800s….

          The U.S. Constitution does not specify procedures for the nomination of candidates for presidential elector. The two most common methods the states have adopted are nomination by state party convention and by state party committee. Generally, the parties select members known for their loyalty and service to the party, such as party leaders, state and local elected officials and party activists. In some states, the electors’ names appear on the ballot along with the names of the candidates for president and vice president. However, in most states, electors’ names are not printed on the ballot. When a voter casts a vote for a candidate for President of the United States, s/he is in actuality casting a vote for the presidential electors who were selected by that candidate’s party.”

    1. a different chris

      Wait a d*mn second… there is stuff all over the ‘net that basically says the EC is only allowed to vote for something like the top 3 people that were already part of the election process.

      Is this not correct or does this particular elector, who spends many paragraphs extolling his own virtues, actually not know this?

      If you can vote for just anybody, hey, I’m available!

              1. marym

                Don’t know, but in the unlikely event they get close to having 37 potential “faithless electors” this will probably merit a closer look.

  8. european

    Ian Welsh today about Renzi’s Referendum: “The changes were meant to make pushing thru austerity and bank rescue measures simpler.

    And: “Because neo-liberalism has failed, and is finally seen, clearly, to have failed, there are now only three options.

    1. Right Wing Populism
    2. Left Wing Populism
    3. Police State Extension of the Current Order

    That’s it. Choose your sides, neoliberalism will only be viable if you’re willing to go full surveillance and police state.

    1. DJG

      european: An excellent diagnosis. Much depends on who is tapped as Renzi’s successor. After all, the current government hasn’t fallen. Renzi decided to attach his destiny to a ramshackle set of constitutional proposals.

      One commenter points out that the M5S is a wild card. The glitch here is that Grillo’s overbearing presence means that they are not ready to govern, unless we are going to see Chiara Appendino’s sudden ascension from mayor of Turin.

      1. european

        According to Thomas Fazi this was rhetoric only. His budget bill foresaw “further austerity measures, in the form of additional budget cuts”. All talk, no walk.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Under EU rules, he had no choice but to bring in budgetary austerity (just look at the Greeks). The point is that he has regularly argued at European level against that. I’m no Renzi fan – he is another faux liberal in the Blair and Clinton mode. But he has consistently made the intellectual case against austerity at European level when others who should know better have kept their mouths shut.

          1. alex morfesis

            The same eu rules that required schaubles brother to privatize rothaus brewery but those rules dont apply for northern europe…

            selective destruction…

            1. susan the other

              I couldn’t understand the Renzi noise because common sense tells us that austerity is the only game in town. Nobody would say the word. Thanks for this little thread of clarification.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    Why Did 53 Percent of White Women Voters Go for Donald Trump? History News Network.

    I’d agree with the comment that the article has a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions. But in general terms, I think its on to something.

    I recall back in the late 1980’s as a young activist on social issues in Ireland (reproductive rights, etc) glumly sitting around some polling data and concluding from all available information that the best way for social progress in Ireland would have been to ban women from voting. But I knew if I suggested that in front of some other activists I would not have been talked to again.

    As for Trump, its entirely anecdotal, but I know of two female friends from NY, both minorities and quite apolitical who voted Trump for what might be termed ‘he seems a real man’ type reasons.

    1. HopeLB

      Perhaps more than a case of Trump seeming to be “a real man” it is more him not seeming “unreal”, fake, as in Hillary’s and most politician’s completely stiff and scripted delivery. Trump put himself and all of his human flaws on display but seemed to be actually fighting for real change not putting a fresh coat of paint on rotten wood (as Jon Stewart describes it).

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The first step is to understand women are people too. Abortion although an issue (and basically illegal in large areas because of Team Blue’s collapse) isn’t an everyday issue such as the economy, Healthcare (in general), and transportation, items people (includes women) deal with everyday. This drives voting.

      What was Hillary’s issue? Reinventing herself? Her image? Women and children? It’s nice Hillary wants to make sure she gets off a sinking ship first, but it’s meaningless. Everything else she was forced into adopting, and she spent her time smirking about how surburban Republicans (the most right wing people) loved her. When Tim Kaine ran for governor against the second friendliest person in Virginia (Kaine being the first), Kaine did nothing but yammer about education. What did his opponent Kilgore discuss? Nothing. Kaine won by seven points in 2005. Everyone went to school. There are schools everywhere. People know teachers (often women). Education is a constant.

      I see your own recollection about pushing for reproductive rights, and the problem is people trying to pay bills are stressed now. “Every day” issues trump “women’s” issues. In the end, campaigns that revolve around guns, abortion, etc wind up as noise. Nostalgia and fear keeps these campaigns from completely collapsing, but women aren’t the problem. It’s the campaign decision makers.

      1. Skip Intro

        What about the glass ceiling? What about all the white women who want to be president, but know that sexism is the only thing standing in their way? Once Hillary was elected, any woman who had the drive and ambition to marry a president could also hope to reach the White House. It is astounding how many women put other issues ahead of that!

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        The first step is to understand women are people too.

        My first thought on reading that sentence was, “Yikes! You mean we’re not even there yet?

        What I can never figure out is, for those who don’t think that women are people, what do they think women are?

        But I must say, Plutonium Kun’s statement “…. concluding from all available information that the best way for social progress in Ireland would have been to ban women from voting.” requires a little more fleshing out. What kind of available information could possibly lead to that conclusion?

        And just for the record, I’d say that the only ones allowed to vote on reproductive rights should be women.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          But I must say, Plutonium Kun’s statement “…. concluding from all available information that the best way for social progress in Ireland would have been to ban women from voting.” requires a little more fleshing out. What kind of available information could possibly lead to that conclusion?

          It was public attitude polling on social issues (also, polling day studies after one particular referendum on divorce) – in general, most major social changes in Ireland have to be enacted through referenda due to the constitution dating from the 1930’s and having a deeply conservative tone and wording – the most recent example being the referendum to allow gay marriage. At the time there were lots of academic studies being carried out as it was a very ‘live’ issue and as a student in those pre-internet days I had access to them and studied them (mostly out of nerdish interest, I wasn’t involved in strategizing).

          The studies I was reading at the time strongly indicated that female voters were consistently more conservative than men on a range of social issues. From memory, the studies were consistent in indicating a very small minority of men would have been in favour of more liberal abortion laws, divorce laws, etc., while a small majority of women were conservative. The overall balance was a consistent small majority in the ‘conservative’ bloc. It always lodged in my memory because so much of the rhetoric from campaigners was focused on ‘patriarchal social structures oppressing women’, and so on, when the reality (at least in terms of voting) was very different. It was my first exposure to identity politics getting itself tied up in knots because of its reliance on slogans rather than on the ground reality.

          1. reslez

            As a woman myself I’ve observed that women are frequently the enforcers and transmitters of cultural norms.

            They also enforce submission from younger women/daughters and potential sexual rivals. If a human animal can’t get any status or respect outside the home, by God she will get it inside. She goes along with the code, internalizes it, and presents herself to the patriarchy and her female peers as “one of the good ones”.

            Hence we see so many MILs in the subcontinent harass their daughters-in-law for dowries or support honor killings against their own daughters for “shaming” the family. As well as other forms of social code enforcement in the West, “slut shaming”, “victim blaming” and all the rest.

            Also according to Kurzban, women when they’re young support abortion rights. When they become older/married they suddenly support restrictions. Humans are great at coming up with ethical justifications after the fact, but what it comes down to is whatever benefits them personally. (Obviously, as a human this also applies to me.)

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              How that lead to further refinement and progress – only fertile women can vote on reproductive issues?

          2. Oregoncharles

            @ PlutoniumKun: In Catholic countries, women are often much more religious than men (I can’t imagine why, but so it seems to be). I think that might have a lot to do with the attitudes you’re describing.

        2. Carla

          “And just for the record, I’d say that the only ones allowed to vote on reproductive rights should be women.”

          Once again, Katniss, I’m with you all the way.

            1. Eclair

              I have read that in some traditional Native American cultures, the women elders could nix the decision to go on the war path. As another commenter has noted, women and children suffer most in a war; although we could argue if it is better to die or be mutilated in battle or have your sons die (heart-breaking and removes support in old age), be raped and made pregnant by the enemy, or watch watch your young children starve to death or be murdered.

          1. witters

            Surely the big question is what to do if we ever find out that men have a role in human reproduction?

        3. Antifa

          A cover to cover reading of the scriptures of the most human religions inevitably leaves one with the impression that women are property — first of their sire (father), and later of their husband. Young women in general are also clearly a prize to be taken in war. For women raised under these world religions, most decisions about their bodies, their freedom of movement, whom they marry, and the fate of their children are generally vested in the men responsible for them — responsible in the eyes of God, the ultimate male authority figure. A God whose scripture from oh-so-many years ago laid down the law, and it is not for us to question God or His scripture.

          So we’re stuck. With attitudes of male ownership being so inherent in most religious scriptures, it’s no surprise to find each new generation viewing women as possessions. That’s what our religions teach us, in oh so many ways.

          Why is human culture like this? It may be as simple as males being physically bigger and stronger. After all, if a man can physically take possession of a woman, carry her home to his hut or palace, and control her at all times thereafter, he has in fact taken possession of her. If you have to fight him or his whole tribe to get her back, you may be forced to accept that she’s not coming home. If he has paid her father in sheep, horses, coins or land to possess her, then he has taken legal possession of her. There’s nothing complex about this process — any male baboon can show you how it works.

          But are we taking lessons from baboons now?

          Male ownership attitudes may spring from the perennial need for every man to protect his family from other men. Women have lived under siege from men in all human cultures, and if everyone looks to the biggest, strongest person in the house for protection, the person who is very good with a sword and spear, then that person is going to lay down some siege rules. Like “no wandering off, outside of my protection. No marrying some guy just because you love him — he better give me some cattle or some gold dinars first. In fact, you know what? Just stay in the house all the time, period. Keep the place clean, and do the cooking and laundry. I’m tired of all this swordfighting just to keep you a virgin.”

          1. Oregoncharles

            Hard to argue with. but there’s a significant quibble: Bride price doesn’t usually work quite the way we see it. It’s an acknowledgement of the woman’s value, and usually the beginning of a long process of exchange. And it’s usually less arbitrary than it appears: that is, the women at issue usually have more to say about it (literally and figuratively) than publicly admitted. They can cause endless trouble, which is worth avoiding. But it’s a system that is very bad when it breaks down.

            Women are actually worse off in a dowry system, where their own family has to pay some guy to take her away. That makes her a liability to her family (hence a lot of infanticide) and denigrates her value. In Europe, dowries evolved into a trust fund for the to-be wife before they disappeared – the last remnant is the custom that the bride’s family pays for the wedding, also now disappearing.

            None of this says our own courtship system serves us well. Not only does it make a lot of people miserable, it fails at building stable families to raise children in – it has a 50% divorce rate. Arranged marriages aren’t coming back, either, so we have some work to do, if only to ameliorate the failures.

        4. hunkerdown

          With due respect, NOBODY has ANY business voting on politicking/policing other people’s bodies. It’s more of that bourgeois liberal Exceptionalism that is much better shouted down than entertained. Especially not Christians who have all sorts of f’ed up superstitions about what’s in their pants and believe success is used-car salesing them to others.

          IMHO, the ONLY correct answer is “shut the f up about your woo-woo and wait until the thing’s born before declaring it state property”. Anything else is playing a game.

        5. Propertius

          Yikes! You mean we’re not even there yet?

          You should look up Minor v Happersett. In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection clause in the 14th Amendment did not grant women the right to vote because women were not persons within the meaning of the 14th Amendment and were therefore not entitled to equal protection under the law. To my knowledge, this decision has never been overturned. So, no. Probably not.

          1. Oregoncharles

            It was overturned by the amendment that gave women the right to vote. That makes them citizens – “persons.” The right to run for office came along with it.

            Might be worthwhile to make it explicit, though.

      3. Lee

        In 2011 there were 2.8 million unintended pregnancies in the US. That’s less than 1% of the population and nearly half of those were deemed mistimed as opposed to unwanted.

        This certainly supports the contention that

        Abortion although an issue (and basically illegal in large areas because of Team Blue’s collapse) isn’t an everyday issue such as the economy, Healthcare (in general), and transportation, items people (includes women) deal with everyday. This drives voting.

      4. Anne

        I’m going to admit that I was initially rather put off by your first sentence; I get that you were trying to express that there’s more to women than gender-related issues, but I guess it hasn’t really been that long since women really weren’t considered “people” – they were chattel – that it struck a rather discordant note with me.

        But I think what you also fail to see or understand is that reproductive rights are very much an economic issue for a lot of women and for men, too. It costs money to have children, and in more ways than maybe a lot of people think about. Because on top of women still having to battle to have autonomy over their own bodies, we also still live in a country where there’s no guaranteed paid parental leave – if you don’t get paid vacation time, you have to take time off without pay – not something a lot of families can really afford. We have to choose between recovering from childbirth and bonding with our new child, and going into debt. While we may be entitled to 12 weeks of leave under FMLA, we aren’t guaranteed that the job we had when we left will be the job we have when we return. If we are on any kind of a career track, it can be costly to jump off that track to have children.

        And then there’s the cost of child care…one of my daughters has two children – almost-1 and almost-4; the monthly cost of their care is around $1700 a month. My other daughter just has the one child – he just turned 2 – and the cost of his care is about $700/month. It’s good care, and no one’s suggesting the people who care for our kids should not be able to make a living wage, but people who can’t afford those kinds of costs, who can’t stay home, who don’t have a relative who can do it for free, often end up having to use unlicensed care in substandard conditions.

        So, when people like Trump, and Tom Price and Mike Pence decide they are on a mission to make it harder for women to plan their families, harder to make the best decisions for their physical, mental and financial health, they ARE affecting the everyday lives of women.

        Covering the cost of birth control is one of the cheapest ways to lower the abortion rate and avoid the economic hardship that often comes with having children – but we have people set to formulate policy who don’t believe there is any woman who can’t afford birth control. We have someone who blurted out that women need to be punished for having abortions, who will have a litmus test of overturning Roe V. Wade for any Supreme Court nominee (interestingly, he regards Heller as “settled law;” some of us thought Roe was settled, too, but I guess that’s “different”). We have someone who thinks that if women had to have formal funerals for their miscarried or aborted fetuses, maybe that would teach them a lesson and they’d have fewer abortions. We have people who have tried to legislate personhood for fertilized eggs.

        So, while I think you made an effort to explain that women have more issues than just the ones that relate to their gender – and I’m not saying they don’t – the people who are determined to impose more and more restrictions on the right of women to have dominion over their own bodies, don’t seem to subscribe to the “women are people, too” theory, and instead, want to reduce them to property.

        And worse, these people who so revere life they will do anything to make sure any fertilized egg is zealously protected until born, are the same people who think nothing of cutting funding for programs that provide nutritional and medical support for pregnant women, and their children. Those are absolutely every day, economic issues.

        Sorry for the length of this comment – it just irks me that people don’t seem to be able to see the big picture, and continue to think think that reproductive rights are “just” women’s issues.

        1. Outis Philalithopoulos

          This comment starts from a position shared by probably the great majority of commenters on this site; it reiterates this position and takes issue with others for not supporting it sufficiently vigorously. The issue here is that it’s hard to imagine any constructive responses other than simple assent – even someone who agrees with your position would probably steer clear, and if there were actually a substantive disagreement, the atmosphere would probably deteriorate rapidly. I think you put a lot of effort into writing the comment, so I’m going to allow it through, but please try to keep these dynamics in mind.

          1. Anne

            With all due respect, I am not taking issue with anyone for not supporting the issue of reproductive rights strongly enough; I was pointing out that the issue of reproductive rights is a lot bigger than abortion and affects women and men in everyday, economic ways.

            And I have to take issue with your reasoning on the worth of the comment itself. Time and again people post things that others actually do chime in in support of, and often add their own take on an issue. I happen to think there is value in supporting ideas and opinions with which we agree, but you seem to have reduced my comment to being only worth an “A” for effort, which, I am sorry to say, is more than a little condescending.

            I now have no idea how or when to comment, which does not seem to me to be an effect that furthers discussion and debate.

            1. Outis Philalithopoulos

              “Time and again people post things that others actually do chime in in support of”:
              • True.
              “you seem to have reduced my comment to being only worth an “A” for effort, which, I am sorry to say, is more than a little condescending.”
              • I can see how it could have been taken that way, but I didn’t feel that way about your comment.
              “I now have no idea how or when to comment, which does not seem to me to be an effect that furthers discussion and debate.”
              • I will try to discuss the situation with you by email — if we go through it in comments, it will involve a lot of back and forth between just two people.

              1. JTFaraday

                ? I read through all the comments and I fail to see why you’re traffic copping her post. The original commenter clearly has drawn a clear line between economic issues and reproductive issues and belittled the latter as not being an everyday economic issue, which is false. Big league.

                I don’t see how you can claim to have analyzed liberalism if you don’t get this.

                1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                  In this particular case, the commenter in question and I discussed things in greater depth by email, and, speaking for myself, I felt like I learned a lot from the exchange. I actually like getting feedback about how I can moderate better – feel free to send me an email at if you’d like to add more.

        2. hunkerdown

          As a libertine I have little or no use for restrictions on sexuality as an intimate or social expression of pleasure and (figurative) kinship. That said, is tab-A-in-slot-B really necessary if one intends not to reproduce?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Heard this from a Lesbian comedian in an open mike place in Madison, WI a whole lot of years ago: “Hey, if you can’t join ’em, lick ’em!”

    3. johnnygl

      I think propaganda may be key, here. How often do we see the idea peddled in the corp media that obama lacks ‘courage’ to do the right thing. Especially regarding intervention in syria.

      Obama does himself no favors on any issues by pretty much never taking anything that could be described as a ‘bold’ stand in any country that is desperately looking for change.

      Maybe an argument could be made on the iran deal, but he’s never given a thumping speech defending it. I suppose that’s not his style.

      1. johnnygl

        If obama wanted to seem ‘strong’ he should have picked an enemy and openly gone after them. But instead he repeatedly complained about the ‘tone’ in the beltway, which sounds out of touch and arguably whiney. DC press corp loved it, though, because BIPARTISANSHIP!!!!

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      This woman author’s swimming pool story was demonstrative of a mindset, although probably not in the way she intended.

      As her story shows, but she never expressly admits, she worked herself up into a frenzy of “fear” where no “threat” even existed, except in her own mind. (Trump, anyone?) She was never in any danger at all, and, had she just handled the situation calmly and immediately, she could have taken a tiny step toward the ever elusive personal empowerment that all sistas seek but seemingly never find.

      And spared us all her tortured “analysis” of the sisterhood of victimhood in the process.

      I couldn’t help but compare the author’s reaction to the fabricated swimming pool microagression to Yves’ current efforts to defend her work at NC against wapo / bezos et al. Somehow, I don’t get the idea that Yves would describe herself like this: ” as I[sic] female I was weaker than men and therefore I should simultaneously acquiesce to them so as not to make them angry and rely on them for protection.”

      By the way, I don’ know if it’s been mentioned here, but the fight club boys over at the hedge are “applauding” Yves’ efforts. They’d join in but, apparently, have too much other stuff goin’ on. OK.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, it was a very odd anecdote, I found it hard to see what she was trying to say with it. Anyone could offer up obvious counter examples, so it didn’t illustrate her argument except that she seemed to want to establish her conventional feminist bona fides before writing something that could be interpreted as anti-feminist (which seems a very common thing). It didn’t give me a lot of faith in what else she had to write. But the overall point, which is that women can be every bit as attracted to conservative authoritarians as men (if, possibly, for different reasons), seems entirely logical, even if contrary to the assumptions of most liberals.

    5. Eureka Springs

      Fascinating info on Chile/Pinochet.

      I had no idea:

      a majority of women (but only a minority of men), implored the military to overthrow the democratically elected government and take power. And that is exactly what the Chilean military did on September 11, 1973. For the next seventeen years, General Pinochet ruled Chile with repression and terror. Oblivious or indifferent to the suffering the Pinochet regime inflicted on many Chileans, a large number of Chilean women embraced it.

      Perhaps the old quote should be altered… Hell hath no fury like insecure/fear-filled women.- -“concerned the shortages in foodstuffs and basic necessities, such as toothpaste or toilet paper”

      Or just sit in a room of women viewing a weather-man or weather-woman suggests a few drops of rain or GASP! snow might fall.

      All of my life, including as a small child I have been bewildered by women’s choice in men… over and over again selecting Trump/Bush/Clinton/Obama types, more than eager to blow up men women and children… rather than say a Stein or even a Bernie. However, Trumps mantra was no wars, jobs jobs jobs, make us great. Clinton was just an unmovable mean statue seemingly more status quo than Trump.

      And I think Geraldine Ferraro cost Dems way back when, almost as much as Hillary lost it herself on this go-round. Although it’s seemingly a fine line of when and why a populace will select a Thatcher or not to be sure.

      1. olga

        What is left out of that description was a several-year long campaign to destabilize Chile via (close to) economic strangulation and subsequent hardship. In that, it was similar to the 1953 Iran coup d’état, the main component of which was to create chaos – which could – of course – be resolved only by the army’s involvement (with some generals already bribed by Kermit Roosevelt to overthrow the government). In Iran it happened quickly; in Chile, the destabilization took a long time. By 1973, many people – particularly the middle class – were ready for some relief and restoration of order. They thought that Pinochet would be it. There’s not much mystery in any of this – one just has to know the whole history to put such snippet description into the proper context.

        1. Lee

          The article does make the point that

          The U.S. government, working in conjunction with the Chilean Right, landowners, and factory owners consciously worked to create these shortages in order to generate popular dissatisfaction with the Allende government. The lack of goods hit and hurt working class women most directly, since they lacked other resources to feed, clothe, and maintain their families. – See more at:

          Allende was naive. I spent some time with Laura Allende after she managed to get out of prison and out of Chile. She said the leadership of their party believed a right-wing coup to be unthinkable. The MIR (Movimiento de Izquierda ) and other leftist groups saw it coming but Salvador Allende resisted their encouragement to hold a “white coup”, i.e. from the left, so as to seize the means of production and alleviate the shortages and prevent the rightist coup. Whether or not that would have succeeded is open to question.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Gee, does any of that little tale of early neoliberal horror rhyme at all with what’s going on in Venezuela, Haygood’s Hayekian rocking horse?

            1. Lee

              I stated that “Allende was naive.” I should have said, Allende was naive in ways Castro was not.

              If a leftist government cannot adequately manage an economy, including if necessary a willingness to employ draconian measures against the owners of the means of production, then it does not deserve to be in power. If democratic processes become so dysfunctional so as to produce widespread privation where there need be none, and curtailing those processes is widely seen as a means of alleviating that privation, so that authoritarianism comes to enjoy considerable popular support, then I would opt for that of the left rather than that of the right.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Given the apparent new emphases on decorum here, let me make it very clear, Lee, that I was in no way challenging, questioning or caviling at your 12:52 comment. My failure was in taking a gratuitous dig at Mr. Haygood’s steady condescension toward “Venezuela,” the ordinary people of which Little Nation Down There In Monroe Doctrine Territory are in sorry shape, for a whole variety of reasons that run back to the Spaniards but also run forward to US “protecting its national interests” on the backs and persons of said people.

                Power only goes to “the people,” as you point out, if they lay hands on it. And keep a solid hold, while keeping the few who live for accumulating wealthandpower from prying their fingers loose… a constant task, against a constant pressure from the few, and the Lenins and Robespierres and Hamiltons in their midst.

      2. Dave

        It’s my observation that women choose men for basic security where it’s lacking.
        I lived in Chile’s economic miracle for a couple of Pinochet years.
        People, mostly older women, were reduced to selling toilet articles on street corners.
        Grandmothers with white hair prostituted themselves for two U.S. dollars.
        Many people had three or four jobs, often as night watchmen in factories that made crackers, to prevent looting of foodstuff. It was a horror show of enforced austerity; want a Cafe con leche?
        You got an expensive cup of hot water and a packet of Nescafe, plus some milk powder served under one fluorescent tube in a miserable little bar.
        Meanwhile, “over the hill” in Argentina, fresh hot milk, delicious freshly ground coffee, freshly baked croissants in a sunny white tiled, potted palm lined restaurant with a white tablecloth for half the price as Chile.
        One country “paid their debts” to the banker parasites, the other ran them up. Guess which?

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        I, too, found the information on Chile/Pinochet fascinating. It seemed that Margaret Power, author of the article, was suggesting that female support for Pinochet was due to their desire for protection from a strongman, in an effort to prove her point.

        As you can imagine, the situation was not quite so cut and dried. But there would seem to be a lesson here for those such as Power who are struggling to explain behavior without considering the meritocratic elephant in the room.

        This experience brought home to me how ghettoized Chile’s classes were, how class formed such gulfs between the elite, the middle class, and workers. Chile’s roughly equal electoral division between the National Party, the Christian Democratic Party, and the Unidad Popular reflected class solidarities that were difficult to bridge. My experience in Valdivia confirmed my worst fear, that is, that the Unidad Popular had lost the middle classes and that this did not stem so much from what its policies actually were than from deep-seated fears that the gains of workers and the lower classes would only come at their expense.

        It would seem that issues are, even for women, ever and always economic.

    6. Michael

      White people are racist. White women are people.

      That said, HRC’s destructive failure should be the end of idpol. It won’t, but it should be.

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        “White people are racist” (because they’re white) while “White women are people” (because they’re women, which trumps their whiteness? because they’re individuals, unlike white people?) is a brilliant parody of a certain way of thinking. It is however a sign of the times that I can’t tell whether your comment was meant in jest.

        1. Michael

          White women are a subset of white people. Thus.

          People are people. White folks be cray. I say this as a white folks. The culture in which I was was raised and which most of my family still subscribes to is racist the way water is wet.

          Yes, of course Romney won white women, and of course so did Trump. The Dems are the kind of folks who would run an African-American man for President. So that’s that.

          Idpol says you run a white lady, you get white lady votes. History says you run as a Democrat after LBJ, you don’t get the white lady votes. One of the two was right.

          1. Outis Philalithopoulos

            “I say this as a white folks.” – Really? When you say:

            “The culture in which I was raised and which most of my family still subscribes to is racist the way water is wet”

            you are not talking about yourself. What it looks like you are doing is are using “white” as an epithet for othering people (other white people, not you). I understand that this is extremely fashionable – but what is good about it?

            1. integer

              Michael has, many times, pointed out that she (iirc) was abused by her racist family (her words) and seems to be under the impression that this is a sound basis from which to judge all non-liberal white people.

              1. kareninca

                Michael makes the same post over and over again, claiming that all whites in flyover country are racist. It is both false and tedious. He always justifies himself with reference to his own family. My relatives in flyover country are not racist, but Michael does not care for data.

                1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                  This is not directed specifically at kareninca’s comment; in fact, I’m speaking as someone who has relatives in flyover country and empathizes with the emotion behind it.

                  Ideally, I wish commenters would try to disagree with each other in the second person, not the third person. It’s easy for a group of commenters to gang up on one person, and the third person accentuates this effect. This is particularly true when, as in this case, the person is voicing views that most people here disagree with.

                  At the same time, I do take seriously people expressing views that are not just out of the NC mainstream, but also repetitive, and if you feel like this is going on, and it isn’t getting noticed, it’s worthwhile to bring it to someone’s attention. In this particular case, I am paying attention to see whether the pattern continues to hold.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Bloomberg’s little shop of horrors — the Pessimist’s Guide to 2017:

    It’s quite remarkable that dark-side analyses like this are publishable in the eighth year of an economic expansion.

    In a ‘normal’ late-stage expansion, this is the point at which candy-cane visions of a 30-hour work week, a flying car in every driveway, and Dow 36,000 should be taking hold.

    Hard to see how we get from here to there. But one can’t imagine our glorious Bubble III ending on such a damp-squib note. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

    1. Robert Hahl

      This idea from Bloomberg seems correct: “Domestically oriented Russell 2000 equities soar on anticipation of tariffs.” I had assumed that RUT was going up on the (new) dictum: Sell at the sound of trumpet. Buy at the sound of Nobel Peace Laureate leaving office.

      1. Jim Haygood

        When ol’ Rolf Banz discovered the “small cap anomaly” in 1981, small caps had been ripping higher against large caps during the inflationary 1970s … as this chart shows:

        But then, as is so often the fate of financial researchers, the cycle went the other way until the turn of the century. Though the chart extends only to 2013, it took another dip (in favor of large caps) in 2015-16, as Apple-Alphabet-Faceborg-Microsoft-Amazon ruled the roost.

        Now small caps are bouncing back with a vengeance, as the tech billionaires are persona non grata at the White House and Naked Capitalism (talkin’ about you, Bezos). A turn in the secular cycle could see years of small cap relative outperformance. And like Fleetwood Mac, maybe Rolf Banz (who’s still around, in his Swiss redoubt) can be a rock star again.

      2. craazyboy

        Until you look at the companies in the Russell 2000, and there are exactly zero (IIRC) competing with foreign manufacturers.

        Lots of restaurants tho, but Texas Steak houses competing with multinational Taco Bell don’t really count. Then, the Wok and Roll isn’t even a real Chinese company. Even tho the Bloomberg reporter may think so.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Financials are the largest sector in the Russell 2000, at 19.2%. (Data is from the iShares Russell 2000 ETF page — symbol IWM.) Probably these are mostly small US banks.

          Info Tech at 16.65% and Industrials at 14.85% likely have some foreign sales, though not as much as big multinationals, in aggregate.

          Advanced Micro Devices, IWM’s largest holding, gets 75% of its sales from overseas. It’s hard to find a purely domestic tech company.

          1. craazyboy

            Pharma and biotech startups are big too. Also oil drillers/frackers. I think some of the small industrials are oil equipment makers.

            For the most part, the only companies making real stuff left are making patent/copyright protected products. Tho I wasn’t aware AMD shrunk enough to get into the R2000. I guess that might happen with US Steel, Chrysler and others as well.

            But getting back to the Bloomberg article, somehow tariffs are gonna protect these companies from imported foreign completition.

    2. Leigh


      But would also add:
      “..eighth year of an expansion ..” – where the vast majority of Americans have not partaken of said expansion. For many the fat lady sang and left the stage years ago.

      Besides that – pessimism outsells optimism.

      1. Jim Haygood

        A permabear financial website proprietor (whom I will not name) recorded his record high daily visitor count on March 9, 2009 — the exact date the current bull market began.

        Now his site is a shadow of its former self, as he continues valiantly fighting the tape.

        Pessimism outsells optimism when that’s what the collective mood wants to hear.

        1. Hana M

          Ah come on, Jim Haygood! Don’t keep this perfect contrarian indicator to yourself. Share the riches with you good buddies @NakedCapitalism

          1. Jim Haygood

            Dr Hussman is my favorite contrarian indicator. He’s still “hard-defensive” this week, hedged flat with time-decaying put options.

            The ghastly vice of option abuse has done to poor Dr H what the bottle did to Amy Winehouse. :-(

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Sad to see Dr. Hussman, a real scientist from the days when we had markets, fighting the last war. Now we have central banks, free money, and no such thing as a bad debt. So the median S&P stock, currently in the 98th percentile for valuation, is a “screaming buy”.

  11. PlutoniumKun


    Increasing soil carbon storage by agricultural conversion Nature

    Interesting study, and I know its not alone in identifying just how important soil management is to us all. Its one of the frustrating things about climate change that there are major steps forward that could be made through quite simple changes – as that study suggests, moving away from feeding animals grain and other arable crops and returning to well managed grass grazing is one. But Big Ag is enormously powerful – its every much as big a threat to us as the fossil fuel industry.

    1. Dave

      Meanwhile, all over America, the big rolling bins full of autumn leaves are hauled away in a diesel truck to a landfill or a composting center and then home owners drive to Home Depot in their pickup to buy plastic bags full of compost.
      Keep your leaves on your property, grab the neighbors as well, bury them under a cap of soil and skip the plastic bags.

      1. polecat

        What I don’t compost at home falls in situ, first to act as a winter mulch to help protect perennial crowns and roots, and secondly, to add nourishment to said plantings …. but for many folk, that would be such the inconvenience ….

      2. hunkerdown

        In fact, those leaves often end up composted by municipalities and thence on public horticultural properties, and in case of surplus can be sold or given to residents (but we know you don’t believe in that public stuff).

        1. rd

          Federal solid waste regulations require that communities make a good faith effort to recycle this type of material, and therefore there is a lot of composting. But that is unnecessary government interference. But also, composting is also usually cheaper than disposing in a landfill or incinerator, so there are financial reasons for it and maybe that regulation actually makes sense.

        2. Dave

          You don’t know jack about what I believe, so please don’t pretend pigeonhole me.
          Yes and you are getting grass clippings with long lasting herbicide and pesticide residues that don’t break down, as well as plastic shards, motor oil and who knows what. Plus there’s the wasted fuel moving it around. For non food crops, the public compost on medians is fine, you’d have to be nuts to eat anything grown with it.

      3. oh

        I’ve never understood why people rake up leaves, place ’em in bags and send them to a landfill or for composting. Why not leave them where they are, such as on the lawn and let them decompose over the winter, or compost them on site? May be they like the “make work” project.

        1. Mark S.

          Make work indeed. I used to work as a landscaper and would spend entire days blowing leaves out of beds and replace them with bagged hardwood bark mulch. An utterly unnecessary and fossil-fuel-intensive boondoggle!

        2. Waldenpond

          You have to gather them here. Plenty of trees, the rain hits and the gutters overflow. If someone slips and falls on your sidewalk… etc. It’s cheap to buy some hardware wire, make a ring and drop the leaves in though.

        3. Oregoncharles

          A pile of leaves is a very efficient way to kill grass (almost everything but dandelions), and even naturally fallen leaves can do that if too thick. But I agree that putting them in bags is absurd, and makes it difficult to compost them. Personally, I like to gather them from the lawn and pile them where I want a heavy mulch, with bonus fertilizer.

          I use the city compost a lot, usually as mulch – it doesn’t last as long as bark but adds a lot of fertility. It’s been tested and found free of pesticides, possibly because of the very hot composting, which also eliminates traces of oil, etc. But that’s my city – you’d want to check on yours.

          I’m a landscaper, too, an organic one, and I disagree with Mark S. about that. When leaves are on lawn, I usually just mulch them into the ground with a mower if I can; take them and use them at home if they’re too heavy. But those are places I manage, so I know there aren’t pesticides.

  12. RenoDino

    Why did white women vote for Trump? Because Trump likes white women. He likes to date them, marry them, hire them and he takes very good care of them if they are close to him. Clinton made her hatred for white men the core of her campaign. (Elizabeth Warren was her wingman who probably cost her the election with venomous speeches about Trump’s male followers.)

    Many white women obviously have a problem with this since most of them tend to like white men, a lot.

    Yes, voters decided once again that they wanted their daddy and not their mommy to run things. This time it was not because daddy was a better protector, but because mommy hated daddies more than daddy hated mommies.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Is it accurate that Elizabeth Warren was strongly pushing the theme of criticizing Trump’s male followers? (Genuine question, haven’t read about her doing so but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.)

    2. Eclair

      “Clinton made her hatred for white men the core of her campaign.”

      Gee, I didn’t pick up on that. All those cozy, highly compensated meetings with white male investment bankers, high level campaign staffers who are white males, e.g., Robby Mook (oh, wait, he’s gay!), married to a white male, daughter married to a white male.

      Then, there was the deplorable ‘deplorables’ comment, which would have included white males. But, that’s a class thing. It was her perceived ‘hatred’ for ‘poor, working (if they still had a job) class white males, that probably did her in. And, for poor working class African Americans (those ‘predators’) and Hispanics (those ‘illegals’) and, probably Asians.

      My view? For HRC, white males are just super … as long as they make over one million per year and have an Ivy League degree.

      Of course, I am a white female who didn’t vote for Clinton. And I didn’t vote for Trump; maybe because I just can’t identify with the kind of white woman he dates, marries and ‘takes care of.’

      1. Lynne

        Oh, no! Clinton did not limit her deplorables comment to white men. And her supporters — with her approval — went squarely after women. Remember the “special place in hell” for women who didn’t support her? Let’s forget the way she and her buddies viciously attacked women in the 1980’s, yes? They don’t count, because those women were poor and might have caught the eye of her man. Remember the way she approved of the OFFICIAL Clinton campaign position that “You never know what trash you will pick up when you drag a dollar through a trailer court?” Remember how she sat there with a smug, condescending smile next to Carville while he went on his rants attacking Bill’s “mistresses” as “white trash”? I promise you, plenty of women in flyover country of a certain age (as they say) remember those days VERY well. And then they have the nerve to say that we should approve of that character assassination of poor and lower-middle-class women who are struggling to make it while we of course accept the idea that privileged women deserve to call themselves somehow downtrodden and threatened??? That it’s ok to slander a sexual harassment victim because she’s poor, while we are supposed to be outraged on behalf of some privileged woman in a pool who doesn’t have the guts to stand up for herself? And then to imply that women voted for Trump because they are weak fools who need a man?

        Don’t get me wrong: I despise Trump but to paint Clinton as somehow better just beggars belief!

        I am a proud feminist of a certain age, and I can promise you that for many of us, it would be a very cold day in hell before we ever voted for Her and that claptrap. Sorry, but that condescending rant masquerading as a news article with all of her “assumptions” about what women think — because she certainly can’t be bothered to actually ask any women with whom she might not agree — made me almost apoplectic with rage (as you can probably tell).

    3. Michael

      Clinton loves white dudes.

      What she made her contempt clear for is folks who work for a living — white, black, whatevs.

  13. Carla

    Since yesterday’s (12/5/16) Water Cooler, neither the plantidote nor today’s Links antidote shows up on my screen.

    Is anyone else having this problem?

    Instead, I get an empty box that says “zebras-links” at the top of the box.

    The gorgeous zebra antidote DOES show up on the table of contents page. Wow–what a great picture!

    1. oh

      I’ve had similar problems with Win XP when I’ve run up to the limit on memory. I usually re-boot the PC. But sometimes that doesn’t help. I wonder if it’s a WordPress problem or the Firefox problem. Well, well, sometimes you can’t have all the answers :<)

  14. Harry

    Customized Otc derivatives are not suitable for central clearing? I guess you mean something specific by customized. So rate swaps are not customized but swaptions are?

    I’m sure there is a degree of customization which prohibits clearing, but not sure where that line is drawn.

    1. susan the other

      how do you regulate the future without influencing it? like the risks of time travel? how do you regulate insurance that is designed to be both exchange traded (cleared) and a gambling instrument at the same time? the only good reason for a derivative is to insure farmers a bid price – otherwise they’d all go under…. the rest is bullshit used to guarantee the FIRE industry doesn’t go under – which it should have done already… thanks Greenspan, you’re so clever

  15. Jim A.

    A 35% tariff on goods made by U.S. companies overseas and imported? Smells like another big round of corporate inversions to me….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That made me curious what an American corporation American.

      If the legal domicile is not here, and goods are made overseas, is it still an American corporation? Can it bid on a Pentagon contract? Are there other benefits (here) for being an American corporation, instead of, say, Chinese?

    1. Altandmain

      Why do I get the sinking feeling that the left is going to have to stage a walkout in 2017 much like the Democratic Convention in July of 2016?

      I think that is what is going to have to happen, because the corporations are in control.

      1. Patricia

        Of course, as a banana republic, we haven’t enough money for both clean water and an honest voting system.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for the links.

      From the Guardian article:

      Eighty-seven of Wayne County’s decade-old voting machines broke on election day, according to Detroit’s elections director, Daniel Baxter. He told the Detroit News, which first reported the story, that ballot scanners often jammed when polling place workers were trying to operate them. Every time a jammed ballot was removed and reinserted, he suspects the machine may have re-counted it

      “Re-counted it” — did it throw out the previous reading and count it, or (not throwing out the previous reading, and thus) double count it?

  16. Altandmain

    I just visited the Daily Kos. They are still in total denial.

    Mostly they spend their time attacking Bernie and his supporters. They’ve also been attacking Thomas Frank as of late.

    An old example:

    It’d be scary, but they really don’t have a clue. In effect, they have become unpaid surrogates for Democratic Establishment, neoliberalism, and ultimately, the very forces damaging the living standards for the US.

    The other consideration is that it means that any Democratic civil war is going to be that much harder.

    1. Vatch

      At first, I was confused, because the short article to which you linked seems to say some positive things about Thomas Frank. Then I started reading the comments, and I saw that some of these people are really, really mad at Thomas Frank. Frank is just explaining what went wrong; he didn’t cause the problems. The Kos readers are blaming the bearer of bad news. Instead, they should blame the people who caused the bad events: Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile, Chuck Schumer, Haim Saban, and the superdelegates.

  17. Paid Minion

    Birds flying thru lasers.

    Sorta cool. Too bad its a giant circle jerk/waste of money.

    Aviation isn’t driven by a cost is no object theoretical perfection. Its based on the cheapest, most relatively efficient airframe that will do the job. The models in question work fine for “real” aircraft. Although I suppose if it became important to calculate the ultimate payload s of various birds, it might be useful. Even though it would probably be faster to come up with the same numbers by spending a day in the park with some small shot bags.

    If Stanford really wants to research something useful, they can do some research on how cost effective it is keeping old tech airframes in service over time. Whatever the optimal number of years is, it’s rapidly getting shorter.

    1. a different chris

      >Aviation isn’t driven by a cost is no object theoretical perfection

      Birds get constructed basically for free and fly on seeds and bugs?

    2. Jeotsu

      Sorry, but I must vociferously disagree.

      Calling this kind of research out as a waste of money because it does not immediately convert into better profits for aircraft operators is, to my mind, an expression of the corrosive neoliberal mindset in science.

      “How does your research convert into my immediate profit?” they ask.

      If your answer is “Well, it adds to our fundamental understanding of how the natural world works, which in the long terms strengthens our broader understanding of the world and is the basis of all human scientific advancement.”

      “What, no profit boost this quarter! You’re fired!” they shout in reply.

      If the current approach to science had been in place 150 years ago we probably still wouldn’t have heavier-than-air aircraft. Or antibiotics. Or much of anything else. But, you know, profits!

    3. Isolato

      Pure science is never a “waste of money”. About the only human endeavor besides art that redeems us. We do science to “know” not “earn”

    4. Anon

      The point of the research was to put existing model equations to the test. They did. And found them only broadly accurate. The researchers have now opened an avenue for better predicting the function of new aviation technology (moveable wings?) than before the research. Seems like a productive endeavor, no?

      1. hunkerdown

        New anything doesn’t seem like a very productive endeavor without sorting through all of the old and probably viable stuff cast aside because of who or how much money was or wasn’t involved or what parts couldn’t be patented. Tesla’s (Nikola, not Elon) open-air baked-squib power-transmission systems have never been given a proper airing imho.

  18. DarkMatters

    “Birds flying through laser light reveal faults in flight research”
    So, does this mean that bumblebees can fly after all? ;-)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I didn’t find any mention of Trump Aerospace in the article.

          Instead of getting that contract, Trump will make more money with Trump Drone Manufacturing and start a war with Russia.

          People are really watching all the ways Trump will make money off his presidency.

  19. Down2long

    Re: Rank Emmanuel. It should be obvious even to the notoriously non-self-reflective Democraps that the corporate bean counters got everything they wanted from Trump without giving him a dime. Why give the Democraps a penny when a) the return on investment is not clear, and b) the Dems can’t win elections anyway?

    I think the money may dry up as fast as Hill and Bill’s speaking fees? No ROI.

    Also, that WaPo story on Pentagon waste is nauseating. Despite fingering Ash Carter, no mention at all of the Commander in Chief. One can only assume there were some generous donations from “Defence” contractors to the Obama Presidential Mausoleum. The Northrup-Grumman-Lockheed wing will balance nicely with the JPMorganChase/Goldman Sachs/BofA Merrill/Wells Fargo wing. They may scrub Wells. Matter of money……

    1. polecat

      you forgot the Big Medical/Insurance Deathcare wing …

      a veritable Three ‘Wing’ Circus of Horrors … IMNSHO

      the ‘Presidential Mausoleum’ is a keeper, by the way !

  20. allan

    Climate Change Won’t Stop in 2016, Despite Misleading Reports [WunderBlog]

    With just three years left to go, it’s virtually certain that the 2010s will be warmer than any decade on record, barring a massive volcanic eruption. As greenhouse gases produced by human activity continue to build up in the atmosphere, it’s also a very good bet–again barring a volcanic or geopolitical cataclysm–that the 2020s will be warmer than the 2010s. You wouldn’t know about these perfectly reasonable, science-based inferences if all you had to go by was this article published by on November 30: “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” The article includes this statement: “The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare.”

    Along with its presence on the high-profile Breitbart site, this article drew even more attention after a link to it was retweeted by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Fortunately, the article has been effectively rebutted by several excellent bloggers (see links below). Though we’d prefer to focus on our usual coverage of weather and climate science, in this case we felt it was important to add our two cents—especially because a video clip from (“La Niña in Pacific Affects Weather in New England”) was prominently featured at the top of the Breitbart article. Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it. …

    Seems lame, on the corporate level. Unless’s lawyers were totally incompetent, the content-sharing agreement must have some limitations, based on fraud or misuse.

    File under The Payoff: Fake News Edition.

    1. a different chris

      >barring a massive volcanic eruption.

      Well something I can realistically hope for, finally!

  21. JohnnyGL

    RCP links to DailyCaller about NakedCap lawsuit threat.

    Bring the pain.

    I’m going to shamelessly reprint my egregious list of demand here. Negotiate from strength!

    1) front page apology on print edition signed by bezos.
    2) free shipping from amzn for Yves and Lambert
    3) $15/hr min wage for all amzn and wapo employees. I included wapo because if they paid more, they’d get better writers, editors.
    4) one full page ad for nakedcap per week for 8 weeks.

  22. allan

    Irony died, but for a surcharge is still available on a premium channel:

    TIME WARNER CEO: The ‘real threat’ to the First Amendment came from Democrats, not Trump [Business Insider]

    … Bewkes’ remarks came during Business Insider’s annual IGNITION conference, during which he was asked about Trump’s frequent campaign threats to open up libel laws.

    Trump has also set his sights on Bewkes own media property, CNN, which he consistently ridiculed along the campaign trail and has continued to do even after Election Day.

    “Do you worry about that at all?” Blodget asked.

    Bewkes said he didn’t “think that’s a serious thing,” adding that “we should all worry” if someone were seeking to change the First Amendment. He suggested that came from the Democratic Party, which “had a campaign plank to change the First Amendment, and they were doing it in the guise of campaign finance reform.” …

    1. Vatch

      Jeff Bewkes said that the Democratic Party:

      “had a campaign plank to change the First Amendment, and they were doing it in the guise of campaign finance reform.”

      No, the Democratic party had a platform plank to overturn Citizens United. Money is not speech. This wouldn’t affect the First Amendment at all.

      Democrats believe we must fight to preserve the essence of the longest standing democracy in the world: a government that represents the American people, not just a handful of powerful and wealthy special interests. We will fight for real campaign finance reform now. Big money is drowning out the voices of everyday Americans, and we must have the necessary tools to fight back and safeguard our electoral and political integrity.

      Democrats support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo. We need to end secret, unaccountable money in politics by requiring, through executive order or legislation, significantly more disclosure and transparency—by outside groups, federal contractors, and public corporations to their shareholders. We need to amplify the voices of the American people through a small donor matching public financing system. We need to overhaul and strengthen the Federal Election Commission so that there is real enforcement of campaign finance laws. And we need to fight to eliminate super PACs and outside spending abuses.

      Our vision for American democracy is a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process and can run for office without needing to depend on large contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.

      I repeat: money is not speech. Also, corporations are not people. Of course, the Clinton campaign was happy to take advantage of secretive super PACS and their money.

      1. rd

        Corporations are not people? But it says so right in the Constitution that they are. The Originalist Supremes would never make up something like that – only liberal activist judges would do that. It is clear that Founding Fathers viewed multi-national public corporations to be a whole person (as long as they aren’t the East India Company) unlike black people.

      2. Plenue

        “longest standing democracy in the world”

        The Icelandic Althing? The States General of the Netherlands? The British Parliament? Americans are so arrogant and self-obsessed.

        1. Vatch

          Good catch. I was concentrating on the parts that were specifically about campaign finance, and I completely missed the ridiculous opening sentence.

  23. Jim Haygood

    As suggested in this space yesterday:

    LANSING — The Michigan Republican Party early this morning filed emergency motions with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking a stay of a federal judge’s order that started a statewide presidential recount in Michigan on Monday and asking for an “en banc” review of that order by all the judges of the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati.

    Republicans argue Stein, as a fourth-place finisher to President-elect Donald Trump, has no grounds to request a costly recount, that she waited too long to request the recount, and that the federal courts shouldn’t be getting involved in a question of state law.

    Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a motion Tuesday seeking to join the federal appeal.

    Believe Silly Jilly’s gonna lose at the appeals level.

    1. a different chris

      Sigh. “Silly Jilly’s” name is still in the lights a month after the election she had no chance in. What’s Silly about that? “Just spell my name right” as somebody famous, or infamous maybe, once said. (Comically nobody is totally sure of who actually said it!)

      You of all people don’t seem like a purist. :)

      1. Carolinian

        My impression is that people who aren’t political junkies like us are totally unaware of Silly Jilly.

  24. Katharine

    Regarding your comment on the sex study

    And fails to allow for the fact that women who have high libidos may either have different genetic attributes, different hormone levels, or different habits (as in they date regularly) that requires they better memory of faces and attentiveness to precisely recall what people said so they can play it back.

    the abstract notes that the result held for memory of abstract words but not of faces.

    What puzzles me a little is why they restricted the study to only one form of sex. If the effect exists one would like to know whether it applies to any form, suggesting there might be a relatively simple physiological basis, or only to some, which might suggest a more complex psychological basis. In any case, this does seem a fairly limited study, perhaps intended chiefly to generate support for future grant applications.

  25. fresno dan

    “I quarrel however, with the part about “Land of the Free”. Free? For almost all of us
    – “yes” – but for 3+ million of us? Not really. Take a look at Chart I, and be honest if
    your eyes don’t bug out. More than any country on Earth – in total numbers, or as a
    percentage of the population, Americans are incarcerated, imprisoned – freedomless.
    Of course there’s a legitimate explanation for many of them, but what’s the reason for
    the rest? Restrictive laws that went too far and tied judges’ hands: California’s “three
    strikes and you’re out” legislation, for one, that was approved by voters long ago but is
    perhaps outdated now due to the growing acceptance of marijuana. The privatization of
    prison management and ownership is even more damning. ”
    Undoubtedly, Gross doesn’t have the clout he used to have. And it is nothing new to most NC readers. Still, it may be news to many of Gross’s readers and in some small way make people at least think about it.

    1. Jim Haygood

      He also wrote, “I spent one night in a Danish pokey 50 years ago for intoxication, and it was 18 hours too long.”

      For offenders who aren’t incorrigible (speaking from experience here), a short stint in jail goes a long way to discourage repeat offenses.

      Sentencing first offenders — particularly for victimless crimes — to years and years in prison is totally counterproductive.

      As Bill Gross notes, private prisons have their own agenda which is totally uncoupled from seeking an appropriate level of incarceration — which in a free society, should be low.

      1. Vatch

        Absolutely. I guess it’s a good thing that private prison supporter Libertarian Scary Gary Johnson wasn’t elected.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They have to evolve to expand business.

        Better ads so people desire to stay in their hospitality facilities…even voluntarily.

        “Your home away from home.”

  26. ChiGal in Carolina

    From the fake news link, an analysis of why MSM exempts itself from the category while being a prime perpetrator:

    To reiterate, ‘fake news’ is said to refer to ‘websites [that] publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation to drive web traffic’. A simple, table-top experiment can help us understand why this definition can be generalised to all corporate media, not just social media.

    Place a square wooden framework on a flat surface and pour into it a stream of ball bearings, marbles, or other round objects. Some of the balls may bounce out, but many will form a layer within the wooden framework; others will then find a place atop this first layer. In this way, the flow of ball bearings steadily builds new layers that inevitably produce a pyramid-style shape.
    This experiment is used to demonstrate how near-perfect crystalline structures such as snowflakes arise in nature without conscious design. We will use it here as a way of understanding Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s ‘propaganda model’ of ‘mainstream’ performance.

    Imagine now that the four sides of the wooden framework are labelled to indicate the framing conditions shaping the corporate media:
    1) Corporate nature, elite/parent company ownership and profit-maximising orientation
    2) Dependence on allied corporate advertisers for 50% or more of revenues
    3) Dependence on cheap, subsidised news supplied by state-corporate allies
    4) Political, economic, legal carrots and sticks rewarding corporate media conformity and punishing dissent

    When facts, ideas, journalists and managers are poured into this framework, the result is a highly filtered, power-friendly ‘pyramid’ of media performance. Every aspect of corporate media output is shaped by these framing conditions.

    So no consciousness (“conscious design”) needed once the parameters are set. Consent is manufactured and no real intent is needed on the part of the actual journos.

    Like Yves’ contention that incompetence rather than malice is the simplest explanation. Perhaps journos like clinicians should be required to reflect on their practice (identify their own countertransference etc).

    Great article, this is just one aspect of it. Nice also on the hall of mirrors that is social media and its discontents.

    1. susan the other

      very good comment; once the machine is up and running consent is automatically manufactured and no real intent is needed… so go for incompetence. I finally went to It was fun-nee. John Stewart eat your heart out.

  27. beth

    Not having worked on wall street, I have felt that derivatives should be banned as a form of gambling. I would like more links that would help me have a more informed opinion. I would like to understand which (or when) derivatives are healthy for the economy.

    If there is any social value to derivatives I would want them to go through central clearing so that they could be regulated and audited. I know this is not an answer to Yves question but a question of my own.

    Maybe it is too late to put the genie back in the bottle.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And I still have a question: Why are some forms of derivatives transactions not treated as counterfeiting? That is a crime, last I checked. Are “notional dollars” real enough to impact the value of currency in circulation?

        1. Eureka Springs

          I’ve been scratching my head over this forever. So if you ever find an answer, please share.

    1. Aumua

      But if we ban derivatives, how am I going to know where to sit at the movie theater for an optimum viewing angle of the screen?

    2. integer

      Apart from the financial chaos they cause, these sort of complex financial products are also sucking high-level mathematicians into employment within the financial vortex, and hence depriving the fields of science and math of that talent. Also, my cursory readings on derivatives suggest that derivatives are purposely made too difficult for anyone without a high-level understanding of math to understand, though I expect this is common knowledge around here.

      1. beth

        In my experience (limited by NC stds), the math is often not as difficult as the misnomered acronyms and the convoluted vocabulary used to explain them to the public. It’s just that those who understand them, do not want others to understand.

  28. Oregoncharles

    “Increasing soil carbon storage by agricultural conversion Nature”

    I’ve been posting this idea; very nice to see academic confirmation, and in the Links. A more popular and personalized version: “The Soil Will Save Us,” (if it gets the chance), by Kristin Ohlson.

    Some form of geo-engineering to reduce CO2 levels has become indispensable, EVEN if we stop burning fossil fuels, because we’ve already overshot grossly. To ameliorate the consequences, we have to also sequester a lot of carbon. Soil storage, according to some sources potentially even larger than indicated in the above article, is the only known win-win option, since it also greatly improves fertility.

    Implicitly, this is also a plug for permaculture – anything that grows plants, especially wood, without turning over the soil.

  29. Oregoncharles

    “UK suffers its first lost decade in 150 years The Times” – As far as I got, this is really pretty humorous, and maybe intentionally (on the reporter’s part). Carney basically says that “free trade” and the current policies have caused the “lost decade,” then advocates doubling down on the same policies.

    Amusing, if you aren’t British. No wonder Brexit won.

    “Investigatory Powers Bill: Politicians exempt themselves from new wide-ranging spying laws Independent “: less humorous. Although it looks self-serving, this actually makes sense. The MPs are the spies’ BOSS; the ability to spy on them and thereby manipulate them is therefore a big deal. Actually, putting it in the hands of the PM isn’t adequate, since they’re HIS boss, too.

  30. Oregoncharles

    Now I can’t find the comments about not seeing the Antidote, but, FWIW, I see it. Beautiful. Might be a browser issue (Waterfox, here). Again, I get the impression NC is stretching its platform to the limit. A good thing, to a point.

  31. Jim Haygood

    Apple gets smacked down big-time by a unanimous Supreme Court:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court unanimously sided with smartphone maker Samsung on Tuesday in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone.

    The justices said Samsung may not be required to pay all the profits it earned from 11 phone models because the features it copied from the iPhone were only a part of Samsung’s devices.

    Cupertino, California-based Apple had won a $399 million judgment against South Korea-based Samsung for infringing parts of the iPhone’s patented design, but the case now returns to a lower court to decide what Samsung must pay.

    Radiused corners — if Apple hadn’t filed this breakthrough design patent, we’d still be driving cars with square wheels, jarring our teeth out.

  32. fresno dan

    “Officials in North Charleston have sought to calm tensions; offered condolences to the victim’s family; made no attempt to publicly defend the officer; and said they handed the investigation over to the state, though they were not obligated to do so, to ensure an impartial and independent inquiry,” the New York Times reported.

    “I have watched the video, and I was sickened by what I saw,” North Charleston’s police chief told reporters. Slager was fired, arrested, charged with murder, and held without bail. That almost never happens when cops shoot unarmed people.

    But despite an unarmed victim, forensics proving he was shot multiple times in the back, a police officer who made a false report, and clear video showing the entire debacle, Slager was not convicted of murder or manslaughter in his trial this week. A lone juror spared him that fate with a refusal to convict. That triggered a mistrial.
    If there was a police killing last year that was comparably egregious, it was that committed by University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing, who shot an unarmed motorist, Samuel DuBose, in the head during a traffic stop. That killing was also captured on video. Joe Deters, the prosecutor in the case, declared, “This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make. People want to believe that Mr. DuBose had done something violent toward the officer; he did not. He did not at all. And I feel so sorry for his family and what they lost. And I feel sorry for the community, too.”

    He added, “Purposeful killing of another, that’s what makes it murder. He purposefully killed him.” Video of the egregious killing was released to the public.

    Last month that case ended in a mistrial, too.

    Racism or belief that cops cannot commit murder by definition? Does it matter? I note that the Kelly Thomas (white) case is even more egregious in my view (the beating took time to think about what was happening, and it was done by a group of police) than the two above.
    AND in the Slager case pretty compelling evidence that evidence was being planted….
    But how many decades of “liberal” Hollywood always portraying cops as maybe rough around the edges, but essentially never as evil (and if so, as a single “bad apple”) and never, ever as a group conspiring to circumvent the law.

    1. rd

      Too many small police forces with poor training and poor cultures. Rarely do you see State Troopers in these cases as most states have pretty high training standards for them and they also tend to get moved around the state so they don’t develop internal clubs like occurred in many urban police forces over the years.

      Reducing the number of police forces would allow money to be transferred from duplicate administrators into training and provide higher caliber policing. This should be done in conjunction with community policing initiatives.

      1. Iowan X

        I lived in British Columbia for a couple of years recently, and due to my job, had regular interaction with RCMP. Lot’s of Canadian cities have Municipal forces, but Nanaimo (pop.+/-80K had RCMP, which is a national force, and many other cities are (I believe) staffed by RCMP as well. Officers can (and are) transferred across Provinces. RCMP can be rough–there WERE Police shootings in Nanaimo–however, In my experience RCMP were really well trained, and oriented to “community policing”. I didn’t get the same “thin blue line” club-like atmosphere you see in the US. Canadian readers may disagree with an American’s perspective.

        1. cnchal

          I agree with your views. Canadian police officers are also well paid and they need a university education to get on the force. My view of policing is that it is a horrible job, and in the US treble horrible due the number of guns.

          The random police officer killings seem to be increasing rapidly, where people that are totally over the edge do the most insane things imaginable, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see police officer shortages in the future due to people not wanting to become an officer because of the greatly increased risk of getting killed.

        2. rd

          The RCMP are a combination of the FBI, state troopers, and county sheriff in Canada. Usually it is only major cities that have their own police force. The RCMP provides community and provincial policing services to communities and provinces that don’t want to have their own. They set a very high standard and so the other police forces have to live up to that standard as well or their citizenry will be ticked off. In general, they have had good relations to the First Nations communities going back to the 1800s.

          A huge difference between the US and Canada is that the Canadian police don’t go into every confrontation with the primary working assumption and fear in their head that the other party is likely to be armed to the teeth. Strict handgun and other firearm controls reduce the intensity of encounters with the police substantially. That does give the officer the extra second or two to process a situation as the probability of a movement resulting in the appearance of a firearm is quite low. In general, the citizenry doesn’t fear the police which also helps de-escalate most interactions.

    2. Adam Eran

      JFYI, it’s been more than a decade since Norwegian police killed anyone. There Is An Alternative.

  33. Brad

    A fairly high quality piece on the battle of Aleppo from today’s Politico:

    My takeaways:

    “For others, such as Aleppo’s industrialists, Assad bet smartly on the knowledge that most of their fortunes s are tied to his survival and prosperity. Some of them made their money from their contacts with the all-powerful intelligence services that control the country and well-placed civil servants who can navigate the complex bureaucracy.

    “It was not only the businessmen’s wealth the rebels threatened, but their lifestyles as well. The Syrian rebellion in Aleppo was launched by the rural classes. They “came from Idlib and rural Aleppo,” parliamentarian Zayna Khawla told me, speaking in a contemptuous tone, as if the rebels were the Beverly Hillbillies descending on Rodeo Drive. “They are not like us,” industrialist Raf’at Shammeh explained. “Their values are different”.

    IOW class struggle. Not reducible to the foreign jihadist narrative. And finally,

    “The IDPs’ support of the government merely illustrates how maladroit the insurgents are and why their backers in the West were so woefully wrong in urging another intervention in the Muslim world”.

    1. rd

      I read TE Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” in the 1970s. it was pretty clear at that time that if his partitioning recommendations in 1918 were followed that the region would have been much more stable. The internal conflicts in Iraq and Syria continue to prove this out. Turkey can be included as well due to the issues with the Kurds.

      These artificially bounded countries contain disparate groups of people who historically have really not liked each other much. Strongmen leaders have kept a lid on the strife by simply arresting and incarcerating or shooting troublemakers. When the lid comes off, we have been able to observe the results over the past decade.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think this will end until areas have been “ethnically cleansed” and/or new borders are accepted by the parties. Even that will likely generate future land claims – think Hitler claiming Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland or Russia recently occupying Crimea and initiating claims on eastern Ukraine.

      Lawrence’s original map was found a decade ago and put on exhibit and can be seen at this link. Even with internal migrations within country borders over the past century, this map is still more logical than the borders shown in our current atlases.

  34. ewmayer

    o “Why Trump’s Carrier Deal Isn’t The Way To Save U.S. Jobs | FiveThirtyEight (resilc)” — Especially all those threatened jobs amongst the 2016 election disgraced-pollster class, no doubt.

    o “Why Did 53 Percent of White Women Voters Go for Donald Trump? | History News Network” — Hmm, mayhap some of them are married to working-class white guys (or working-class guys, period) and have seen the neoliberal devastation of that class first-hand? Wacky speculation on my part, I know.

  35. RPDC

    Re: Bernie Sanders – TPP . . . Shows Path to Beating Trump

    I love Bernie, but he’s apparently going senile. He just spent the entire election season fervently supporting the passage of the TPP by campaigning for Clinton.

    The TPP is dead for one reason: Trump won.

    If Bernie had had his druthers, the TPP would be heading for passage (along with the TTIP and TiSA)

    1. Iowan X

      I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of Bernie’s position on the trade deals. Campaigning for Clinton after the Primary was over was not an endorsement of the trade deal. (Remember, Bernie, then Clinton, denied support for them). Campaigning was penance, and now he’s got a Leadership slot, and, I think, more to come. ASA, Rahm as a candidate for the DNC Chair is a crack-up. If they actually do that, I’ll get out of my comfy chair and go down to the Registrar’s Office and become (yet another) Independent.

    2. oh

      It’s time for him to retire. As long as he’s part of the Democratic Party, he’s bit going to get anywhere.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Have the TPP and other “trade agreement/Corporate hegemony” agreements been “burned with fire,” along with the many players whose rice bowls are filled and will be overflowing if these demolitions of any kind of popular sovereignty are enacted? If not, be like the Water Protectors in N. Dak: Stay on site, stay on task, never ever yield an inch.

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