Links 12/9/2016

My Life with the Physics Dream Team Nautilus

John Glenn, American hero, aviation icon and former U.S. senator, dies at 95 The Columbus Dispatch

A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber Current Biology. Cool images tail of a feathered dinosaur found in amber from Myanmar.

Police State Watch


Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On Counterpunch. I missed this yesterday, the 36th anniversary of Lennon’s murder.

Transportation Department Weighs Allowing Phone Calls During Flights WSJ


A Victory at Standing Rock—for Now Truthdig. But for how long?

North Dakota Could Be Biggest Loser in Ruling Against Oil Pipeline NYT This is by no means over folks– especially with Pruitt selected to head the EPA.

What would a rational criminal justice system look like? Aeon

Big Pharma and Distracted Driving Are Killing Americans Early MIT Technology Review

The top 10 leading causes of death in the US Treehugger

Health Care

Hospitals warn Trump: Price’s plan to repeal ACA will cost us $165 billion Ars Technica


There’s one key difference between the Second World War and the Syrian conflict – the rebels of Aleppo are no heroes Independent. Robert Fisk’s latest.

Class Warfare

The Blind Spots of Liberalism Jacobin

Barely Half of 30-Year-Olds Earn More Than Their Parents WSJ

Our Famously Free Press

Neutering the News The Baffler. Takedown of new NYT public editor: “a dangerous simpleton.”

The age of outrage New Statesman. Edited version of Ian Hislop’s Orwell lecture: Why are we so quick to take offense?

Donald Trump Deserves to Be Ridiculed—It’s the One Thing That Terrifies Him Truthdig. Is this the Donald’s Achilles heel: he can’t take a joke at his expense?

New McCarthyism

White Supremacy, U.S. Exceptionalism and Capitalist Dogma are All “Fake News” Black Agenda Report

Washington Post fake news story blurs the definition of fake news Columbia Journalism Review

Washington Post Issues Correction To “Fake News” Story Jonathan Truly

Corporate Media Admits Its Own ‘Russian Propaganda’ Story May Be ‘Fake News’ Free Thought Project

Black lives mattered TLS


Brexit could see EU student numbers nose dive, Cambridge warns The Guardian

David Davis rebuffed City hopes for Brexit transition deal FT

Tied to Europe, Britain’s Car Industry Is Vulnerable After ‘Brexit’ NYT

No Regrets for Billionaire Wiese Even After Wrongway Brexit Bet Bloomberg

Trump Transition

Trump chooses Puzder as labor secretary Politico

Donald Trump Continues the Manipulation of Populism by ‘Swamping Up’ His Path to Power Truthdig

The Billionaire Energy Investor Who Vetted Trump’s EPA Pick Has Long List of EPA Violations DeSmogBlog

Donald Trump’s Cabinet Selections Signal Deregulation Moves Are Coming WSJ

Trump launches war on unions Politico

Playing Defense: How Progressives Could Push Democrats to Block the Trump Agenda Truthout

Trump Cabinet Latest Update: Voters Believe Choices Will Change Washington, Poll Shows International Business Times

Trump gets one presidential intelligence briefing a week: sources Reuters

Trump defends wealthy Cabinet picks: I want people who ‘made a fortune’ Business Insider. At least the man knows what he wants.

Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy Bloomberg

Donald Trump to Remain Executive Producer on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’  Variety

Boris Johnson’s remarks about Saudi Arabia ‘not the government’s view’ Guardian

South Korean parliament votes to impeach President Park Geun-hye SCMP

2016 Post Mortem

Hillary Clinton warns fake news can have ‘real world consequences’ The Guardian

Top Clinton ally hints at a major battle against fake news Business Insider

Indian Currency Train Wreck

RBI’s Lack of Foresight and Transparency on the Impact of Demonetisation Is Disappointing The Wire

‘Good for the country, not good for the poor’: Delhi’s marginal folk struggle with demonetisation

In Bundelkhand, Farmers Sink Into Debt As Rural Economy Collapses Under Demonetisation The Wire

Refugee Watch

The Death Strip at the Turkish-Syrian Border Der Spiegel

German refugee murder arrest in Freiburg heightens tensions BBC

Refugees dying from hypothermia as deadly Mediterranean boat crossings continue into winter Independent


For China, climate change is no hoax – it’s a business and political opportunity The Conversation

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. timbers

    2016 Post Mortem

    Hillary Clinton warns fake news can have ‘real world consequences’ The Guardian

    Top Clinton ally hints at a major battle against fake news Business Insider If this is the best Clinton and Democrats can come up with, no wonder they’ve become a small Party. And shutting down the govmit over 8 months of coal miner benefits? That’s the BEST issue they can find? Why not gay transgender black coal miners? Maybe the only thing Dems got going for them are indications Trump doesn’t seem to get whats needed to generate good jobs for the working class. Plus possibility Trump will preside over some sort of recession or bursting asset bubble.

      1. Carla

        Democrats just wanna be Republicans. But Republicans are SO much better at it, and have the added advantage of never, ever wanting to be Democrats.

        I speak of the political class here, not necessarily the regular people (although it may be true of some of the regular people Democrats, too).

        1. Leigh

          Nope, nope, nope – Both parties are the same, in so far as they have left the electorate out of the equation and embraced corporate $$$ – America’s 99% have been screwed no matter which party has been in power.

          The loss of the middle class and income disparity in this country did not spring up overnight.

          At some point, I hope, poor conservatives and poor liberals will realize they have more in common than not – similar to Vets showing up at the Dakota protests – together the marginalized can make a difference – apart, we are doomed.

          1. subgenius

            both parties are the same



            This is the root of the problem. The same interests control the entire system, only allowing a (ridiculously thin) veneer of the appearance of a democracy, or any real rights. My question is why can’t the average person see this?

          2. Jeff

            You are absolutely correct. I’m continually amazed at the liberals that I meet that are in complete denial about this. They seem to just be interested in identity politics and want to bury their heads in the sand any time anything financial is being discussed.

          3. Vatch

            No, they are not the same. They are similar, especially on financial issues, but on some issues they are not identical. On environmental issues, for example, the Republicans are clearly worse. See the League of Conservation Voters scorecards:


            At this site, you can select either house of Congress, or different years, or different parties. The difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is strikingly clear.

            1. subgenius

              In terms of environmental issues the differences are window-dressing.

              Trump’s EPA plans are worse, but neither is close to actually DEALING with the issue – more a deckchairs on the Titanic type of thing in BOTH cases.

              You will know when they are serious when they stop pandering to the automobile.

            2. uncle tungsten

              Lead contamination in drinking water. The two parties are not only similar, they are murderously inept!
              They are similar in their callous disregard for human well being
              They are similar in their capitulation to industrial polluters
              They are similar in their incapacity to prosecute polluters
              They are similar in their callous anti labor policies
              They have no care that workers have to live and work in contaminated places
              They are similar in their ignorance of economics
              They are similar in their pathetic response to climate danger
              They are similar in that they are both anti life

              1. Vatch

                Lead contamination in drinking water.

                The tragedy in Flint, Michigan, is largely attributable to Michigan Republicans. The states have most of the authority for local enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, and there are a lot more Republican state governors than Democratic governors.

                Another difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is the type of Supreme Court nominees that Presidents from the two parties choose. None of the justices nominated by Bill Clinton or Barack Obama were severe right wing fanatics such as Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, or Samuel Alito.

                Having said this, of course I agree that the Democratic party and its leaders are deplorable (that word can be used for Democrats, too!), and I did not vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. But on average, the Democrats simply aren’t as bad as the Republicans.

                You may consider the very large difference between Republican environmental votes and Democratic votes to be mere window dressing, but it’s not. There are some very substantial differences.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I suppose Hillary could still command moderate speaking fees. Lou Holtz garnered 40k some years ago, but the Clintons never brought in real money until after Kerry lost and a path to the White House for a former first lady was open. If the election was Edwards running on the fourth term of Kerrynomics*, the Clintons would be where?

        *I have no doubt the Clintonistas weren’t discouraged in November 2004.

      2. jgordon

        It’s mighty odd that when Hillary charges 250k for a speech she can fill a room, but when she gives them away for free almost no one shows up. Still scratching my head over that one.

        1. Tigerlily

          It’s straightforward consumer psychology: if it costs a quarter of a million dollars it must be valuable, while conversely anything that is obtained for free isn’t valued.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            At this time, no one shows up when Hillary gives it away for free.

            No one will show up, if she charges a quarter of a million dollars.

            Something else is going on beside consumer psychology.

          2. Anne

            It’s a status thing: big class difference in mixing and mingling with the great unwashed at a free rally and hobnobbing with the rich and famous at an elite, closed-door event where the cost of the ticket alone is a badge of prestige.

            It’s the same reason people buy expensive homes and cars – because it screams “I’m rich!” which is, as we know, the very best thing someone can be.

          3. jrs

            well it’s corruption, but you are right about consumer psychology being that way and people acting really odd around free things in a market economy.

        2. Charger01

          The firm’s that purchased her influence for 250k thought it was a good investment. The people that are offered her speeches for free recognize the value of her words: nothing.

          1. Procopius

            Which is why I always wondered about the people who acted so desperate to get transcripts of the speeches she made to the big banks. We all know the speeches were just an excuse to give her the money. They were cover to disguise a bribe. Why on earth would she say anything in those speeches that reflected on her real thoughts or intentions? She could have read from the Manhattan phone directory (is that still a thing?) and the poor schlubs ordered to attend would have applauded on command. What she said there had no more evidentiary value than what she said in any of her speeches during the campaign.

        3. Skip Intro

          The free speeches only include her public positions. People who pay the bribe get to hear the private position. It is typically exactly what they want to hear.

    1. jgordon

      Let’s correlate the “fake news” with wikileaks shall we? What comes out is that all the mainstream media outlets were purveying the real fake news, and meanwhile all the “fake news” sites were reporting real news.

      The gall of these people. Hillary must be suffering from dementia already to be bringing this up again. Trump really does need to put her away in prison already to keep her from stirring up trouble. Take it from Machiavelli–you just don’t leave your enemies half dead.

      Also, I noticed that she’s still wearing that same purple vacuum cleaner bag from the “concession” rebranding exercise speech–what happened to the rest of her wardrobe? I hear that wearing the same clothes over and over again is a classic sign of senility. Doubly thank God she’s not going anywhere near the oval office!

      1. chuck roast

        Indeed, Her-herness is a total lying’ swine, but can we please knock-off “wardrobe” nonsense? It really smacks of anti-feminism. Who cares what people wear! Nobody seems to care what guys wear…except, of course, that vacuous twit Tucker Carlson giving bow-ties a bad name.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            Unless it has content, as in the color purple. But “vacuum cleaner bag” is pure gratuitous ad hominem for a cheap laugh.

            However, good point JGo on the nuttiness of her positioning herself as some kind of standard bearer on the fake news front

              1. lyman alpha blob


                “I grow old … I grow old …
                I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

                Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?”

                Don’t much care for poetry in general but I always liked the cadence of Eliot at least even though I found much to be incomprehensible. Long time ago in my early twenties I got really drunk and read this one and actually understood it!

                Never saw yours before but I like it. And it makes me wonder if the woman who who supposedly the inspiration for the song Start Wearing Purple by Gogol Bordello was herself inspired by your poem. Supposedly the artist’s neighbor was a crazy younger woman who wore purple all the time IIRC.

        1. jgordon

          Her wardrobe is an important topic. First, any man who tried to wear anything even half so flamboyant as the stuff Hillary wears would have been laughed off the political stage years ago. Hillary wearing the strange costumes she does and getting away with it screams of a double standard.

          Second, Hillary is sending a not so subtle political message with her choice of garb. If you don’t get it that’s fine, but other people do. Talking about it is discussing political speech, and trying to shut it down with cries of “misogyny” smacks of the same sort of cutsey identity politics shaming used to avoid real issues that already sunk the Democratic Party. If someone is wearing ridiculously dumb looking clothes to make a political statement–male or female–then calling that person out for the bad behavior is completely justified.

            1. jgordon

              I saw it. And I will stand firm. Hillary is violating cultural norms with what she wears. She can perhaps be celebrated for her fashion edginess in the liberal urban enclaves on the coasts, but I promise you that everywhere else people are looking at that and thinking, “what the hell is she wearing?”.

              This kind of rub-the-hick’s-noses-in-the-post-modern-progressive-wardrobe hubris is not how you win elections. And it’s not strictly about wardrobe here; it’ a sign of the blind self-righteous nastiness ruling her campaign that cost Hillary the election. The subconcious message: “I’m better than you; I don’t have to follow the rule (and if you call me out on it I’ll shame you as a hateful mysogynist)”. How many more votes would Hillary have won in the heartland if she had simply worn conservative drab business attire? The number is much greater than zero.

              1. hunkerdown

                This kind of rub-the-hick’s-noses-in-the-post-modern-progressive-wardrobe hubris is not how you win elections

                Then, on the principle that a system’s purpose is what it actually does, what does this sort of cultural pride actually do? Most likely, alienate the normcore left. #MissionAccomplished

              2. aab

                I think this is a valid point. There are two main elements of her public wardrobe: the candy-colored pantsuits, and the insanely ugly get-ups that involved pants and some kind of long, loose top that could not be classified as a jacket, so the whole thing is not a pantsuit.

                I would love to hear the strategic thinking behind the candy-colored pantsuits. You know there is one. I’m guessing they were trying to do “feminine power” by using the styling of the power suit and the color of ladies who lunch. I’m not going to argue that’s a terrible idea, because I can imagine it working, and it’s based on real cultural iconography. But I think jgordon is right that a lot of people she needed to vote for her would be put off by it — not just because it was waving a flag that Hillary wasn’t going to play by the normal rules — which would be bad with both the working class Midwesterners she needed AND the suburban Republicans she wanted — but because it did such a good job of communicating one of her core positions: that everything is fine. People without jobs, without homes, with adult children living at home with a college degree and no future — none of them are going to feel like a bright pink pantsuit is appropriate. It was tone-deaf in its thinking about color and its emotional impact. If you’re in trouble, you are not looking for a leader who wears bright pool blue or electric green.

                Those other outfits are indefensible. Indefensible. I read someone try to claim that they’re “in” with the ultra-wealthy, but I never saw anyone else at the pictures that leaked out of the fundraisers looking like that. No other elite Democrats go out in public like that. Nobody else wore anything like that at the convention. I understand that we’re all supposed to pretend she doesn’t have a serious neurological condition, but I can think of no other explanation for those costumes than a need to hide devices or supportive garments underneath. There are professional clothing choices for older women who have put on weight. That’s not new. She did not avail herself of these options. This wasn’t about hiding her weight gain. Some of those tops actually accentuated her weight, by jutting out stiffly from her torso and abdomen, adding large pockets over her hips, etc. There is no designer in the West who would intentionally make a woman look MORE pear-shaped, widening her hips and making her shoulders and breasts look smaller. If you want to signal dominance, you make the shoulders look bigger, with pads, tailoring, or just color blocking. Instead, these outfits made her look weak, aged, and squat, as well as foolish and eccentric.

                For reasons I don’t entirely understand, the Democratic elite that is so obsessed with messaging and symbol manipulation doesn’t actually do it all that well, perhaps because they have no interest in understanding people other than themselves. Their use of visual symbolism is incredibly superficial, like the white convention suit echoing the suffragettes. I’m guessing her team was pleased with that, thinking it’s a tip to feminism and communicates purity, so cuts against the belief that she’s dirty. But for people outside the tribe, it probably communicated more that she’s someone who doesn’t get her hands dirty — after all, nothing is less practical than pure white — so it would reinforce that she’s an elitist who has lots of staff to tend to her clothing, and she isn’t going to do anything to help voters.

                In short, while there’s a long history of misogynist attacks on women’s clothing, this isn’t one of them. And given how women’s bodies are objectified, commodified and used routinely as symbols for something else, I think she would have been better served not emphasizing her body for symbolic purposes, and putting the focus on her mind and ideas. Except, of course, that her only selling point was symbolic.

                1. JustAnObserver

                  Re: The 2nd `main element’.

                  Didn’t she get called out out when one of those oh-so-casual tunic-y tops turned out to be some insanely expensive “designer” (Versace ? Armani ?) object. About $12000 IIRC.

                  1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                    Armani, IIRC. And it was about as flattering as a burlap sack rendered in pinky tweed.

                    I agree w/ aab– the clothes didn’t work and since some of them looked like costumes, reinforced the impression that she wasn’t comfortable in her skin. And many of the colour choices were particularly poor for her. By the time a woman gets to a ripe old age– say 25 or so (sarc alert), she generally knows what colours make her look best. I know, for example that scarlet reds (more orangey) make me look sallow, whereas pure reds or those w/ a bluish undertone are flattering. So I choose accordingly.

                    With Clinton, colours were chosen w/ no sensitivity to how they made Hillary look.

                    One last point: I remember Yves at some point during the campaign– one of the debates w/ Bernie, maybe?– remarked on how terrible Hillary’s choice of a yellow get-up was. Made her look like a Mandarin potentate.

              3. chuck roast

                “cultural norms”?
                Man, you oughta’ live in Maine! My wife and I love to cruise the 7-11 just to check out the varieties of pajamas.

                1. cwaltz

                  I’m trying to figure out what anyone means by “cultural norms” when it comes to clothing and why I should care?

                  Women no longer are required to dress in dresses and oh my goodness some of them even are provocative when they wear dresses and show their knees. Oh my!

                  Hillary apparently likes boxy clothing that isn’t particularly flattering……who gives a flying fig. Unlike her foreign policy positions no one ever died based on Hillary’s clothing options.

                  1. jgordon

                    You might be right. But do you speak for 100% of the population when you say that? The fact of the matter is that dressing like a gaudy bum (and paying through the nose for the privilege) cost Hillary votes–and THAT is political malpractice. At the very least it shows a lack of will/desire for winning, and that in turn broadcasts a lack of respect for voters.

                    I’ll say it again: if you dress up **ANY** man in one of those outfits Hillary wears and his political career is permanently over. No one would be going to bat for him over it crying about “misandry”. Why is this obvious double standard still being ignored?

                    IF Hillary had applied for a job at Goldman Sachs or any of these other Wall Street banks instead of just being paid to give speeches there, no doubt she would have been laughed out of the interview for violating the dress code. Why are the American people obligated to have lower standards for its job applicants than Goldman Sachs?

                  2. clinical wasteman

                    Thank you Cwaltz. I wouldn’t have believed that something so obvious would ever have needed to be stated. To TK41 below, no, disregarding the ‘fashion choices = dementia symptom’ speculation is not failure to pay attention but refusal to waste it. As for the suggestion that dressing like the rest of the party/class elite would somehow amount to a meaningful show of respect for the classes the Clinton and the elite at large regard as their natural prey — my head is spinning so far off its axis that it violates several cherished cultural norms about acceptable limits of body dysmorphia.
                    How many people here imagine that regular NC commenters — those of us across all of North America, many other countries & ‘ethnicities’, covering a wide age span and every kind of sub/cultural niche — tend to dress alike? Does all the effort to address each other respectfully most of the time really go to waste for that reason &/or because commenters’ other aesthetic p/references (books, music, sports, preference for rural/urban life, etc) are solar systems apart?
                    Competitive conformism does no-one any favours. Surely the kind of ‘authority’ projected by ‘normal business attire’ is precisely that of the current owners and managers of the world — those who are rightly loathed for presuming to Know What’s Best for the rest of us?
                    Also, isn’t the assumption that ‘Heartland’ voters demand sartorial and general cultural uniformity exactly the kind of stereotyping of non-elite thinking that elites indulge in all the time? Surely readers close to that American Heartland don’t need to be reminded by an immigrant commie punk a hemisphere away in London that millions of people manage to be rural, lower-case conservatives and completely independent thinkers with non-normative dress sense and niche cultural preferences — not to mention bristling with social commitment and human/Christian/other compassion — all at the same time?! (Just like there are tens upon tens of millions of working class people ‘still’ living in coastal and other metropoli, sharing not much in the way of ethno-cultural norms, let alone fashion sense, but a lot in terms of common experience of exploitation and life on the receiving end of intensive social policing. But that’s another story, even if it sometimes seems like THE story in the UK, where urban workers have only just been upgraded to Cosmopolitan Snob status [] and are still waiting to be paid accordingly…)

                  3. aab

                    The point is that she raised more than a billion dollars to run for President. She then elevated Donald Trump intentionally as her opponent. She therefore had a fiscal and moral responsibility to win, if you believe he’s worse than she is.

                    And how a powerful leader is dressed matters. It is one of the tools they use to gain and hold power. The House of Tudor did it. Mao did it. It’s part of the job, and part of the deal. When Bernie got a lot of crap for his messy hair, he got a hair cut and brushed it more. Because he wanted people to pay attention to his policies and and ideas, and he was trying to win. Hillary (or rather Team Hillary) made a set of choices about how she would present herself. None of that was an accident, and she didn’t dress that was prior to the campaign or, as far as I can tell, since. It wasn’t her natural preference. It was a campaign decision. And it was a bad one. I am arguing that it was bad for the same reasons her other decisions were bad — because she surrounds herself with sycophants who all come from a very narrow band of socio-economic experience, and so did not think through how people she needed and wanted to vote for her who were not already supporting her would react to these clothing choices. She could have chosen normal female power suits. They exist. Most professional women in government and business wear them. She chose, instead, to do bright, solid color pantsuits and aggressively ugly tent-like tunics with kitten heels (the kitten heel with wide leg pants was another monstrosity in both aesthetics and symbolism). She called attention to herself as a symbolic body by doing this. That was her choice. You are arguing that it doesn’t matter to you. That’s fine. But as a general rule, it matters. What people wear matters in how other people experience them and judge them. I could direct you to basically every possible social science discipline, plus history, plus every employment advice web site, but I think you don’t need me to do that.

                    And yes, all of it was done by designers and was insanely expensive. Just as her campaign strategists who decided that persuasion calls and door-knocking was unnecessary were insanely expensive. The great thing about critiquing Hillary Clinton is that it’s all so consistent in important ways that it’s like analyzing a work of art — a piece of narrative performance art revealing the consistency of character and its deficiencies over time. You can count on Hillary to fail because she is entitled, incompetent at her chosen task, secretive, dishonest, a poor judge of character, close-minded, insensitive and frankly, not very bright.

                    Maybe it’s unfair to some degree. Although she failed yet again — as she has failed at every single public thing she has ever done — she barely lost, by some metrics. Yet when you consider her numerous advantages, it’s bad. It’s really bad. She is bad at politics. She is bad at presenting herself as a public figure. She is bad at policy. And given that Obama had a close call in 2012, the fact that she thought she could swan around the way she did, and use an untested program to do radically different campaign tactics even after members of her own party were telling her it wasn’t working, makes her incompetence even more notable. They all seemed to know that getting her the gig would be difficult. And then they made a complex series of choices that were bad, pretty much all in the same direction.

                    I didn’t argue that the problem was the clothing didn’t make her look pretty (I think her campaign hair style was fantastic, by the way). I was arguing that people would read things about her and her governing values into it that would drive them away from her as a candidate. Because that’s what humans do. We read. Not just words, but images. It’s a big part of how and why our brains and societies developed the way they did.

                    1. JTFaraday

                      “Hillary (or rather Team Hillary) made a set of choices about how she would present herself.”

                      I don’t know. I’m not so sure. I think the HRC pantsuit is her version of the “(red) power suit” and nobody wanted to tell her any different, just like no one managed to puncture the insular (I hesitate to call it) intellectual circle. Color plays differently in women’s wardrobing if you’re wearing a skirt, which HRC doesn’t want to do. This time out, she is carrying much more weight, hence the coats. Now she’s hiding everything where before it was HER CANKLES. That is all.

                      Honestly, I think maybe Hillary made pants in formal business attire more acceptable for women, if in more subdued colors. This is not a bad thing at all.

        2. TK421

          Pay attention. That wardrobe dig fit in with the comment’s theme of possible dementia.

          And if you think men aren’t criticized for what they wear, google “Al Gore earth tones”.

        3. hunkerdown

          Dress codes for me but not for the ruling class, hmm?

          It seems that across-the-board mockery of business dress would do a lot to erode the cachet of the ruling class and of the credentialled professional class.

      2. ambrit

        I figure she could offer to help Mz Trump with the new drapes in the White House.
        I can imagine H Clinton murmuring when she enters the Oval Office with material swatches over her arm; “This is where I worked for eight years. We had so much hope then. We were finally going to conquer the world! What went wrong Melania?” M Trump replies; “That’s Mrs President, Hills. Remember the proprieties dear.”

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Definition of fake news – it’s fake news when you do it, but real news when we report it.

        1. john

          When John Kerry realized we’re losing Syria he doubled the antirussian psyops budget. Publically. Most of it flushed into socmed (Social media in my private newspeak, fellow mimitruthers.)

          Alot of that budgets just coming out now I think.

          Its doubly wasted since the left hand has no idea what the right hand has done. Pizzagate only makes MSM look dumb. Nobody “real” has touched it. If China cant shut real real news out neither can the US.

          Increasing mistrust can only hurt the status quo.

      4. hunkerdown

        “Purple makes a fine burial shroud.” -Theodora, shortly before her husband Justinian slaughtered 30k inhabitants of Constantinople for not being team players. Bury, but be wary all the same.

      5. uncle tungsten

        Clearly she and the team have branded the return revolution as purple. Color revolutions were a reasonably successful trick elsewhere on the planet. Many other good colors have been exhausted so now its ‘soros purple’ for the next HRC trick. It is not a winning color but then SHE is surrounded by losers.

        SHE is not going away! That is the clear message.
        I’m with Machiavelli here – half dead is not a winning strategy.

            1. Andrew Watts

              Your investigatory skills are exemplary. I’m not from Ohio and I’ve previously admitted to being from Portland, OR. Which my IP address will undoubtedly confirm from my comments going back to 2013. Maybe you think I’m the only Andrew Watts in the US or on the internet. But that’d make you a f—ing moron and you’re far too smart for that. I hope you’re detecting the sarcasm because I’m laying it on pretty thick.

              I haven’t been commenting since I’m sick of hearing about Trump and US politics in general. This has been a humorous diversion though.

              1. Andrew Watts

                Oh, that comment you linked to had everything to do with SDF/Kurds and their federalization project in Northern Syria. I don’t actually expect you to understand the context.

    2. Don Midwest USA

      Glenn Greenwald addresses this today including a Hillary supporter who generated fake news

      A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit WikiLeaks Docs

      Lots of stuff. There was a fake Hillary speech to Goldman Sachs

      But the person who created that forged Goldman Sachs transcript was not a “Trumpist” at all; he was a devoted supporter of Hillary Clinton. In the Daily Beast, the person behind the anonymous “The Omnivore” account unmasks himself as “Marco Chacon,” a self-professed creator of “viral fake news” whose targets were Sanders and Trump supporters (he specialized in blatantly fake anti-Clinton frauds with the goal of tricking her opponents into citing them, so that they would be discredited). When he wasn’t posting fabricated news accounts designed to make Clintons’ opponents look bad, his account looked like any other standard pro-Clinton account: numerous negative items about Sanders and then Trump, with links to many Clinton-defending articles.

      It was picked up by the usual suspects including MSNBC and of course the rabid Hillary supporters

      And Glenn points out the irony of the WA Post fake news story about fake news

      That journalists and “experts” outright lied to the public this way in order to help their favorite candidate is obviously dangerous. This was most powerfully pointed out – ironically – by Marty Baron, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, who told The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg: “If you have a society where people can’t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?”

      It looks like team Hillary and the DNC are going all out to preserve their power, but I don’t think it will work this time. The global hatred of neo liberal economics plus The New Climate Regime (now the most important actor in politics) are against the “less bad” strategy.

      1. Dave

        “whose targets were Sanders and Trump supporters (he specialized in blatantly fake anti-Clinton frauds with the goal of tricking her opponents into citing them, so that they would be discredited”

        That’s what happened to Dan Rather who was fed and cited the fake George W. Bush information regarding his lack of showing up for Air National Guard duty so that real evidence would be ignored.
        See “Family of Secrets” by Russ Baker.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Pretzelattack already linked to this at 10:02 am today.

        Thx for the cut & paste, but kinda wish people would read what is already here before weighing in. Nice to have the discussion all in one place.

    3. Michael

      HRC only won the primary because of a concerted legacy media effort to put her over. Then she was sad that the folks who supported the conservative in the Dem Primary then supported the conservative in the general.

      Live by the corrupt pen, die by the corrupt pen.

  2. Pho Child

    The elite and MSM are fools to think they will win the war on “fake news”, considering they engage in fake news all the time. I haven’t read MSM news in 10 years, and I am by far the most informed person out of my social circle. I am beginning to think Robespierre was onto something.

  3. integer

    Re: Top Clinton ally hints at a major battle against fake news

    They had to use the phrase “top Clinton ally” rather than “David Brock” because everyone would have just laughed and not bothered reading the article. Of course, “top Clinton ally” has almost the same effect.

    (In case anyone is wondering how I knew it was about Brock without reading it, I just hovered my cursor over the link and his name was in the url. Oh, and by everyone, I mean every single person on the face of the Earth except for brainwashed braindead D-party zombies.)

    1. jgordon

      The whole Clinton team is railing against fake news when they’re the biggest fake news pushers on the entire planet. What the heck are they doing this for anyway? Is this some hairbrained attempt to push their brainwashed zombie horde minions into… I don’t know.

      Well regardless the fact that Hillary lost the election is proof positive that their elaborate plans aren’t especially effective.

    2. Lambert Strether

      The whole fake news thing seems like a grift to enable David Brock to keep living in the style to which he has become accustomed.

      “Media Matters,” the site Brock uses to burnish his brand by simulating the media critique (even though it never criticizes Democrats) was established with the (putative) mission of fighting fake news (although the label hadn’t been invented then). But clearly, if fake news has increased, then Media Matters, and Brock, have failed in their (putative) mission, well-funded though it was.

      So we see a potential pattern with fake news and Media Matters:

      1) Fail to solve a problem, and

      2) Secure more funding, in order to

      3) Double down on solving the problem using the methods and personnel who have already failed.

      Rinse and repeat.

      Readers will recognize this as a self-licking ice cream cone, so it’s not surprising that “fake news” comes out of operatives embedded in the “defense community” (the intel branches of it).

  4. PlutoniumKun


    There’s one key difference between the Second World War and the Syrian conflict – the rebels of Aleppo are no heroes Independent. Robert Fisk’s latest.

    Depressing stuff. Of all the ‘fake news’ we’ve had inflicted on us, the magical transformation of ‘Al-Qaeda’ to ‘rebels’ in Syria has been the most striking. One huge problem with the shrinkage of the media has been that so many newspapers just don’t employ foreign correspondence anymore, so it seems easier and easier for a narrow framing to created for any foreign conflict. Its striking to read newspapers from several decades ago, or even from WWII to see the variety of voices even in relatively small regional newspapers – foreign correspondents, stringers, ‘letters from __’, etc. There was plenty of jingoism and propaganda then of course, but at least mainstream newspapers had different voices to allow an educated reader to come to some conclusions which the establishment may not have liked. If it wasn’t for the blogosphere we would be entirely at sea. Which of course is why the establishment has declared war on it.

    1. timbers

      Of all the ‘fake news’ we’ve had inflicted on us, the magical transformation of ‘Al-Qaeda’ to ‘rebels’ in Syria has been the most striking.

      Good point. This topic has been something I’ve bantered with part time co-workers who are Team Blue neoliberal Hillary supporters (but they think they are true leftists). Over time I seem to have made some headway in getting them to at least consider that it is Obama and the US have caused nothing but trouble in Syria/Libya/ect and that Russia is almost the good guy. Now – with the coined term “fake news” – maybe I can short hand my points when talking with them. Though those who use the term mean to say that Naked Capitalism and other sane sources are fake news.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “Fake news” is just meta-talk for “fake facts”, what these folks want is control of reality and what is or isn’t “true” since the “real” thing can leak out so many ways these days they have to try and discredit the delivery organs instead. A “real” fact was Seymour Hersh reporting in the NYT that America was bombing Vietnamese women and children, not soldiers, he had no trouble establishing that as a “fact” and had an organ willing to disseminate it. These poor fools are in a tough spot, if their corporate paymasters cannot rely on them to reliably relay corporate “facts” then who will pay them? And if the chump reader figures out he’s only getting corporate “facts” then he/she will disappear, too.

    2. fosforos

      For more than four years now I have been reading in the NYTimes and the Guardian their articles about Aleppo. To this date I have yet to see in either of the “best” papers in the world a single article datelined Aleppo. But loads and loads of supposed eyewitness accounts datelined Ankara or Beirut.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        As Fisk’s article says, the reason there are no journalists in A-Q held Aleppo is that they would get their throats cut as soon as they entered. The problem is that they won’t say this, and so continue the myth that this is somehow a ‘rebel’ stronghold with brave defenders helping protect local people against those horrible government and Russian fighters. It seems those papers (including the supposedly liberal Guardian) are happy to parrot what amounts to propaganda rather than acknowledge the limits of their knowledge.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I find both Fisk and Patrick Cockburn to be reliable. Both have been reporting on the region for decades– and their coverage reflects that depth of perspective. They understand something of the history, culture, politics, etc. of they places they write about and are not just parroting talking points.

  5. integer

    Re: Donald Trump Deserves to Be Ridiculed—It’s the One Thing That Terrifies Him Truthdig. Is this the Donald’s Achilles heel: he can’t take a joke at his expense?

    …and there is so much material to work with. I am going to give him a chance before indulging though.

    On another note I just strummed a few bars of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” on my guitar as a tribute to the great man. Anyway, I had an absolutely stunning hangover today and although i feel better now it is time for this Southern hemisphere dweller to have a sleep.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What normal person is not terrified by being ridiculed?

      If you see a kid in the play yard who is vulnerable to being ridiculed, it’s is still not nice to inflict that psychological trauma.

      1. integer

        If one is content with what one is then no amount of ridicule will even register, and will in fact speak more about the person doing the ridiculing. If one is a faker then they deserve whatever mental anguish they have inflicted upon themselves. It’s not the person who points out the truth’s fault.

        Like I have said before, I only punch upwards, and am always ready to defend someone who is facing unwarranted ridicule.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You’re right about the part that it speaks more about the person doing the ridiculing or shoutiing

          After I have yelled at the guy cutting me off on the road, I realize hey, that’s life, and what is the rush. And I should let go and not yell (well, maybe one day…still trying).

        2. Gareth

          Another problem Trump will have in the near future is over exposure. Up until now he has been a novelty act, what with the weekly television show, the occasional appearances on late night talk shows and at professional wrestling events. Now he will be on stage every day, the funny looking hair and provocative tweets are going to get old fast. I read somewhere that I am too lazy to look up that 40% of those who voted for him didn’t like him, but they liked Clinton even less. That isn’t much of popularity base to start a Presidency on. This country’s trajectory down the crapper isn’t going to slow down and his act will be unfunny soon and then infuriating. Invest in pitchfork futures now.

          1. integer

            The Clintons and 0bama broke the D-party (that’s the D minus party btw, the lowest grade one can get without being forced to repeat a class. I would give them an F but would rather be a bit lenient and have them just fuck off instead of them sticking around and subjecting everyone to another round of their pathetic efforts), and I get the feeling Trump will accomplish much the same thing on the Republican side as he flaps about in the contradictions of his and his party’s ideologies for 4 years. Still, I am not going to start making Trump observations and jokes until he takes office, though I have to hold myself back at times.

            That said, it seems to me that the most important thing to focus on will be to build a viable option for all decent people to vote for at the next election.

            Adding: Am I just having a string of bad luck or am I in moderation on purpose? Perhaps the swearing is the cause. All good.

    2. Aumua

      With all of those who are going to be lining up to try and push Trump’s buttons, I have a feeling we’re going to find out what’s underneath that smug grin. I don’t think it’s going to be very pretty either.

  6. Jim Haygood

    We’re all going to start learning a lot more about the people we get seated next to,” he said. — WSJ article on in-flight calls

    Oh man … yesterday a guy sitting next to me at the counter of the local greasy spoon takes a call. Soon he’s explaining to the caller that his freakout last week in a firefighters training class, when he screamed at a female classmate till she fled the building, wasn’t his fault: the doc just adjusted his blood pressure and ADD meds. Now’s he feeling like himself again. It wasn’t him; it was the drugs talking.

    Better to stick to drugs that have nice things to say, in my view.

  7. Roger Smith

    Clinton… oy! As Lambert says, “BURN IT WITH FIRE!”

    Who care what she thinks? Do these sycophants really think that their constant hand shaking and self gratification sessions are really doing anything meaningful? Please retreat back to the woods from whence you came and take more of these grifting phonies with you.

    To me the headlines should read: “Political Elites Worry B.S. Isn’t Getting Through”

    1. Roger Smith

      “Every time I hear a dial tone, I think of Harry,” the vice-president began with a laugh

      — Guardian piece.

      When I first read this section my mind filled in Hillary and I thought, “yea, that is about right. Wait, he said that!?” Ha! I wish.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Every time I see a guy with an eye patch and hear that he almost took out an eye by dropping a weight on his own face, I think of harry.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Without Clinton largesse, would Donna Brazille have ever found work after Gore 2000? The Clintonistas and anyone who threw in with them can’t promise connections to anyone relevant anymore. They will latch onto anything to justify their jobs and status.

      They need to con their bosses, not the audience or potential audience.

      1. oh

        I predicted right after I heard she was campaign manager for Hillary that Hillary was gonna lose. After she ran Gore’s campaign like a chump champ, she’s kept her losing streak alive with DNC connections. She’ll turn up like a bad penny in the next Dem Prez campaign.

    3. craazyboy

      Has anyone noticed Jeb! Bush had the good sense to just go away and quietly disappear somewhere?

  8. PlutoniumKun


    For China, climate change is no hoax – it’s a business and political opportunity The Conversation

    This is certainly my experience. The notion of denying the science is baffling to the Chinese (and most other Asians) I know. Its simply a reality and they are trying to address it, within the context of all the other economic and political demands. The Chinese think long term, they have to in a country built on major irrigation and flood control schemes. They may not make the right decisions (some of their water control schemes are insane), but at least they are trying things.

    1. John k

      Google what happens when all the ice melts. We lose FL, major eastern cities, and the San Fernando valley, but china loses a much bigger chunk. And they’re belching more than we are… they should be leading the charge instead of building temp islands in the South China Sea. Are you sure they’re believers?
      Apres moi le deluge all right…

      1. Jef

        This is a perfect example of how nothing can change for the better until we change how money works.

        To keep people from rising up and revolting China, India, hell the whole world we must keep them busy extracting resources, processing, producing, manufacturing, buying/selling, then throwing away asap and starting it all over again. Then there is the 1% who do nothing but tap into the flow of money that all of that generates.

        So the solution is that we all need to be the 1%.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I see it similarly.

          Last year’s GDP in the US will be less than the US GDP this year (unless there is a deep recession the 4th QTR to make it so).

          But I was happier last year than this year.

          Does it mean, we (collectively, not just me, as single person) can be happier with a smaller GDP?

          I have pondered and asked publicly this question before.

          At the minimal, can we keep the GDP the same (extracting from Nature more or less the same amount, as GDP is one single number, and doesn’t measure how the composition of resource extraction may change), but with more equitable distribution, and still be happier?

          Can we further reduce our GDP and be happier, we can next inquire.

          And, are we being brainwashed into thinking we must increase our GDP, in order we don’t face unemployment (ourselves or others), when in fact, that is not pre-ordained by God nor any political doctrine?

          Do you have a GDP fetish? Do you worship GDP?

          Are you comfortable to say, let the GDP fall, wherever it may, for I have seen a better way?

      2. Qrys

        I think you mean California’s Central Valley (becoming an inland salt sea); SFV wouldn’t be such a big loss, since you can porn anyplace…

      3. Optimader

        When will that happen –all the ice melting that is?
        It will be a new inland desert property boom! Should i be buying into the new California coastline and putting in dockage?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The destination we know.

          The journey to get there, that’s the profitable side of the neoliberal story – there will climate renaissances in various parts of the world.

          “Global warming crisis? What global warming crisis?”

          Bring on Global Warming, so say these far-sighted profiteers, as they ready themselves.

          The fight is not to repeat the destination. That’s easy enough to understand.

          The fight is to make sure we are all in the same boat..that the rich don’t win again, and the poor stay lost, with these islands of prosperity, as events unfold.

          If you think it’s too late to alter the destination, it’s futile to keep talk about the destination, when the rich are focusing on the journey (as they ignore the treaties to somehow address the destination, which some think not alterable).

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Actually, you should look further north. Most climate scientists think California is pretty much doomed to permanent drought. If you ask any where you should buy property, they tend to say Oregon, Washington State and BC. It will become drier and nicer (so long as you don’t die in a forest fire).

          1. Anon

            Well, it depends on your age.

            Being a native Californian and a Senior, I don’t see an urgency to move to Oregon. As the sea level rises over the next 50 years, having retirement space in NorCal or Oregon is probably prudent for twenty-somethings.

            The impending economic and social disruption from Climate Change is likely going to have unexpected winners and losers.

          2. Knot Galt

            A big issue is access to water and sunlight. In particular, the angle of the sun and access to land. The further north you go, productivity drops. Then it becomes a numbers game on population.

            I think what Climate Change really means is the end of growth and the creation of a new paradigm. The new paradigm is likely already being put in place and highly controlled to the advantage of “the few”. Unfortunately, I think the stakes are higher for dying from things other than forest fires. (Even though our forests are compromised and failing.)

            It’s all just pretend and extend and the game of musical chairs is probably the most apt metaphor to describe our global crisis. The music plays and everybody goes around in a circle. The music stops and people will need to hunker down. Some will lose a seat and be kicked out. I’m sure there will be some tussles over seats. Than the music will start again. And so forth and so on.

            I think the Chinese know this.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Natural citrus or GM citrus?

                Maybe they are working on some Frankenstein fruit now, by inserting some cockroach (we can survive anything) genes…

              2. hunkerdown

                My craazy idea to engineer gut flora that generate vitamin C seems a little less craazy in light of that.

                1. Gaianne

                  Eat saurkraut.

                  Also, use lacto-bacilli to ferment greens to make pickeled greens.

                  //Basic recipe: Take fresh organic greens. Wash gently. Chop small and pack snugly into jar. Add brine made of (non iodized–this is important) salt and filtered (unchlorinated–also important) water, proportions of one ounce salt for a quart of water. Add brine daily/or as needed to keep the greens covered. In a week it will start to ferment. After three months it will be ready to use, but in six months it will be better. Do not eat–just discard–the scum on the top. If you use a cap on the jar, keep it loose so the jar does not explode. The pickles will be quite sour, with a very weird but oddly appealing taste. If it smells amazingly gross, nauseating, and disgusting, your lacto-bacilli got crowded out by something bad and you must throw the batch out (compost or toilet).//

                  Low tech routes to vitamin C are already at hand.


      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re likely right that China loses a much bigger chunk.

        Their Central Plain (the heartland of Xia-Shang-Zhou dynasties, and down the age to maybe the Tang dynasty, after which, the rich Yangtze Delta became as developed and as rich as the Central Plain) and the coast areas constitute the Han Chinese China.

        With those areas submerged, basically they’d be left with Tibet, which is or is not China.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I think the Chinese are less worried about rising sea levels than drought. Much of China’s water comes from Himalayan glaciers, which are disappearing at a disturbing rate. If they go, then flows become much more seasonal. And much of inland China is quite dry anyway, it would not require major alterations to rainfall patterns to turn much of the country into desert.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So will India, as the source of four major rivers (Indus, Kamali, Brahmaputra and Sutlej) in the sub continent lies near Kailash.

      5. polecat

        a (cough) geography text (cough) is your friend ….
        …. really !

        this is in response to John K ref. to ‘San Fernando Valley’ …..

      6. uncle tungsten

        China also loses all the snow melt into the Yellow River. India; the Ganges dries up. Serious thinking and planning indeed.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s always a caveat or a warning sign when Climate Change and Business Opportunity appear in the same sentence.

      The first step in addressing Man Made Climate Change, I believe (and others may disagree) is less consumption.

      There is no business opportunity in less consumption.

      And if the guy makes money off his/her solution, you have to question and make sure there is no ulterior motive (due diligence, not accusation).

      Who benefits from shouting Global Warming? (Due diligence, not accusation, again).

      I know little about the data.

      I’ve just learned, over the years, to live with less….more as a spiritual exercise, or a deeper awareness of our part in Nature.

  9. pretzelattack

    whoa, spayde was editor and publisher of the cjr? i thought that was supposed to still espouse traditional journalism values.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I meant to do that and forgot– I just fixed it now! Sorry for my oversight.

    2. Optimader

      RIP John Glenn, a ballzy iconic guy from my youth.
      I understand he was actully a very nice fellow as well– an acquaintance of a friend relates.

      Considering all the stuff the he did, ironically, he took a bad head injury falling in his own bathroom back in the mid 60’s that took alot of wind out of his sails. Dogged him the rest of his life.
      Not wihtstanding they did send him up on a space shuttle junket when he was in his mid 70’s. I wish they had done that for Neil Armstrong as well (maybe they offered and he was too smart to take the risk?)

      I recall , they asked JG his reflections on that experience going back into space and he said to the effect, “I wish I had continued doing more flexibility exercises as I grew older” no kidding for the rest of us, do your yoga–iirc they had a hard time getting him shoved through a hatchway suited up during training

  10. Leigh

    It’s “Pay to Play” time baby!!

    “Boing Contributes $1 million to Trump Inauguration” – via several sources, I cannot link for some reason – apologies.

    1. carycat

      Question is, how much have they budgeted for a Clinton Inauguration? Maybe a Trump win actually saved them some money.

      1. hunkerdown

        Maria Cantwell and Dennis Muilenberg in Boeing Boeing. 50 years on, the idea of a MNC bedroom farce seems ripe, but is there anyone left to merge?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “The government will be spending $1 million less, as Boeing is shamed into helping out.”

      Depending on the details, this could be what is happening.

      Or the government will just spending that extra 1 million…more government waste (before Trump takes office officially – so it will be on Obama, I think…perhaps the transition team is responsible, though Obama is still in charge until then ).

      In the meantime, where is Trump on this? Is he too busy with meatier issues, like choosing the Trade Representative? Who will it be to take on unfair trading partners?

      1. cnchal

        In the meantime, where is Trump on this? . . .

        Checking twitter for anything less than effusive praise.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I hope he gets a tenacious Trade Representative.

          If he’s taking his time to get a good one, we can be patient.

  11. Romancing The Loan

    That Aeon article is pretty lousy, imo. Not only does it not appear to quite get that punishment is already supposed to be individualized, but it then suggests a computer would be better than a judge:

    “A far more successful alternative, now used by many courts, is based on algorithms that make use of detailed personal histories: drug use, childhood trauma, capacity for remorse and other such factors.”

    There’s no hint that the writer is aware of the major problems that have already cropped up with this technique, namely that since the seed data they feed into it is based on our horrible racist history, the algorithm ends up being anything but fair.

  12. Eureka Springs

    Shrillary seeing all this fake news in her midst reminds me of when she saw all those flags burning. And when ‘ol Tipper and Lieberman played all their records backwards in order to find a devil.

    There aren’t enough safe padded rooms for these people.

      1. Arizona Slim

        ISTR that the Dead Kennedys recorded a song called “Save me, Tipper! They’re playing Bon Jovi at me!”

        In that case, the “me” was Manuel Noriega when he was holed up in the Papal Nuncio in Panama City. The US military was trying to drive him out with loud rock music.

    1. polecat

      ‘There aren’t enough safe padded rooms for these people,’

      you got right !! (non-fake, that is)

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    Possibly the most remarkable thing about this whole fake “news” brouhaha is that wapo published this story, complete with the same anonymous internet no-names it decries, and expected to be taken seriously. To say that the editorial board at that “newspaper” is deluded, in denial, or massively out of touch hardly seems to adequately describe such insanity.

    Add to that the roster of known serial liars, including hillary hail-of-bullets-on-the-tarmac clinton and, of all people, brian williams, warning the populous not to be taken in by these “fabrications,” and I feel like I’m in the middle of an SNL skit–back when it was funny.

    Here’s the Washington Examiner on brian williams:

    As a reminder, Williams is no longer a network news anchor because he’s still rehabilitating his tarnished image. He was disciplined last year after it was revealed he had embellished stories and peddled outright falsehoods regarding his experiences in 2003 during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His stories about his time in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina also proved to contain fabrications.

    Jeez! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me millions of times, and……. just go out of business already.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The problem is that while any one individual article can be laughed off, its not one article – its a constant drip-drip of suggestions and innuendo such that it becomes ‘common sense’ or ‘what everyone knows’. This are all graduates of post modernism and derrida-ism – its all about controlling the narrative and controlling language such that even to deny that, for example, there is better reporting outside the MSM or that really, the Russians aren’t actually all that influential in the West puts you immediately in the role of tin hat wearer or useful idiot.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Cultural commonality:

    President-elect Donald Trump reportedly is considering former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine to be U.S. ambassador to Japan.

    Valentine, a former Major League Baseball player who also managed Japan’s champion Chiba Lotte Marines, is on the short list for the diplomatic post, according to WEEI Radio in Boston, where Valentine, 66, once managed the Red Sox.

    Besuboru, as they call Nippon’s national pastime on Planet Japan — Valentine will fit right in, especially having managed a Japanese team.

    Just as China’s Premier Xi is so pleased to have Gov. Branstad as US ambassador to Beijing that he’s thinking to clone an Iowa farm in China, right down to the farmhouse.

    “I think it will be like a Disney World,” said Grant Kimberley, who in addition to work on the farm heads the international marketing programs for the Iowa Soybean Association.

    “They’re talking about hotels, restaurants and recreating a Midwestern town like in Iowa, you know, with a town square,” he told the WSJ.

    Baseball, soybeans, appuru pai [apple pie] and Subaru [what the Bernie Bros drive in VT] … yep, Asia’s feelin’ the love! :-)

    1. MtnLife

      Your characterization of Subarus in VT is way off. It is perfect, however, for any other state in the nation where you’ll see younger “Bernie Bros” in a relatively recent Subaru driving 7-10 mph over the speed limit. In VT, the Subaru is likely to be 10-20 years old, the driver is a geriatric Hillary supporter, and they are doing at least 10 mph under the speed limit. It totally threw me off as well when I moved here.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We know who has won the cultural war.

      Beijing has rehabilitated the First Emperor (he killed so many, in order to unite China and stop more killings).

      Will they do the same with Genghis Khan – There were 4 classes in Mongol China…the bookworm Han Chinese of the South were the lowest. Too ‘cultured.’ Lost the ability to be one with Nature, to live on mare’s milk and ride a thousand miles on a Mongolian pony.

      Will Beijing see culture the same way, as they lose an ‘irrelevant’ cultural war?

    3. Butch In Waukegan

      ” . . . recreating a Midwestern town like in Iowa, you know, with a town square.”

      If China wants an authentic Iowa (my home state) town square, there would be a boarded up hardware store and a closed food market. There would also be a Walmart a mile or so away, stocked with all the plastic crap China ships here.

      1. craazyboy

        Except the Chinese one with be built by US Big Ag. They know when and where to spend the big bucks.

  15. Jim Haygood

    Con-con pops good:

    Consumer sentiment unexpectedly spiked in December, according to preliminary results of the University of Michigan’s survey.

    The index of consumer confidence jumped to 98, the highest since January 2015. It was forecast to improve to 94.5 from 93.8, according to Bloomberg.

    Unexpectedly? Dudes, stocks are a real-time consumer confidence meter. Those who were forecasting a tiny bump in con-con probably are the same ‘experts’ who got caught flat-footed by Brexit and the US election result.

    Although I won’t bother linking to an article authored by media clown Steve LIESman, CNBC’s quarterly survey found that the percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent.

    This ain’t rocket science, folks. Just put your ear to the ground, or listen to the chatter in public places.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Add up the county results, and Silly Jilly has gained … [drumroll] … 16 votes!

      One could see her hitting the big +20 mark by the time this monumental effort is over.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Is that gonna be enough to get her those coveted federal matching funds so she can do it again “in 2020?”

        1. uncle tungsten

          Jill has taken the Green vote into the abyss. She is covering for a major failure of a campaign. She went backwards when even a drovers dog knew which way was forwards.

    2. TK421

      If Russian hackers are a problem, then people who fail to secure sensitive information (for instance, by using a private server) should be prosecuted, shouldn’t they?

    3. sid_finster

      And those hackers cover their tracks so well that noone can find them.

      That proves that they must be…. Russian hackers.

      I used to have to tell Armenian-Azeri jokes to reach this level of comic stupidity.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Hospitals warn Trump: Price’s plan to repeal ACA will cost us $165 billion Ars Technica

    In a letter sent this week to Trump, AHA [american hospital association] President and CEO, Rick Pollack, and FAH [federation of american hospitals] President and CEO, Chip Kahn, wrote:

    “Losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained and will adversely impact patients’ access to care, decimate hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies that hospitals help sustain and grow, and result in massive job losses.”

    I know the u. s. claims that it doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, but can you really blame committed terrorists for tryin’? “Healthcare” and jobs. At a poker table in Vegas, that sounds like a winning hand. Unless the player across the table is holding single payer.

    1. jeremy Grimm

      I like your poker analogy! Makes me wonder what sort of poker player Trump is. I don’t think he has single payer in his hand — maybe a few jokers?

        1. polecat

          well … maybe the fucked-up mandate will be exorcised .. being the noxious vampire that it is …. !

          that alone would make Trump’s win worthwhile, at least in my eyes ….

          1. integer

            I don’t gamble but I would assume either strategy wouldn’t amount to any advantage. The trick would be to have enough control over yourself to purposely give out tells so the other players think you don’t know you are doing it, then give out the same tell for the opposite reason when there is a lot of money at stake. Maybe I should give it a try. It would be easy to learn all the baseline probabilities for each hand and work from there. Would probably be pretty boring though imo.

            Plus, I’m broke!

    2. a different chris

      will adversely impact poor and middle class patients’ access to care, decimate rural and low-income area hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, and weaken economies that rich people stopped caring about years ago

      Thought that needed clarified a bit.

  17. Antoine LeDada

    Re :

    Trump gets one presidential intelligence briefing a week: sources

    The news here is not that the Trump gets only one intelligence briefing a week, but that his VP, Pence, gets a daily briefing (well, 6 days a week says the article, the man gotta go to church). So Pence is the one who’ll have the intelligence, and supposedly CIA levers.
    It gives me Cheneymares.

  18. dcblogger

    Trump Considers FDA Chief Who Says People Should Use Medicines “At Their Own Risk”

    but one thing that surprised me is that the actual human beings at the Food and Drug Administration like science; they like curing disease and they actually like approving drugs and devices and biologics.” …
    … O’Neill has also said that organ donors should be allowed to be paid. “There are plenty of healthy spare kidneys walking around, unused,” he said in a speech at a 2009 Seasteading conference.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not when it comes to tobacco and weed smoking. We need warnings.

      “Smoking any leaves is bad for your health.”

      1. Solar Hero

        “Smoking any leaves is bad for your health.”

        True, but pot smokers don’t smoke the leaves, they smoke the bud.

      1. Skip Intro

        Most of them smoke, if not leaves, then industrial fumes and car exhaust. To get clean kidneys, you have to hunt rural villagers, which adds to the cost.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Gee I wonder if it’s any worse than when Obama appointed the former lead counsel for Monsanto to the FDA

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      John Bellamy Foster’s letter in the second link is well worth reading on strategy. He is on the professors watchlist and has been through this before

  19. Anne

    I’m not entirely sure how one identifies what is and isn’t fake news, since the media just feels free to print and broadcast any- and everything that gets whispered in its collective ear that fits whatever the narrative-of-the-hour/day/week/month is, and makes little effort that I can see to make sure what they are “reporting” is at all factual.

    Not only has the media tied itself in knots trying not to own the fact that it has contributed to the dissemination of fake news, it is simultaneously defending and justifying it. I think this is known as “talking out of both sides of one’s mouth,” but I think perhaps there’s another area from which a lot of this is, er, emanating.

    I think what really frosts my cupcakes is that this is allowing the Clinton camp and way too many establishment Democrats in positions of power within the party to cling to their own version of fake: fake reasons why she lost the election, which will also allow them to cling to the tired, old, ineffective, tone-deaf, failed strategies for digging themselves out of a hole that has only gotten deeper with each election cycle.

    About all that remains is for someone to sweep the dirt back into the hole, bury them once and for all and have the site declared a toxic waste dump. Not an entirely bad idea, actually. It would muffle their pitiful, weak cries and create an opportunity to build something better, some distance west (left) of the site.


    1. jrs

      It seems to me that any actual fake news that may indeed have helped Trump get elected (but so did the MSM which their constant focus on him – television gave us Trump) is the type of right wing media that has been around in many cases for decades. Yea it misinforms a lot of people (which is easy for lefties to ignore as it’s not their circle), but It’s nothing remotely new.

      Meanwhile the latest group the WaPo smears includes the the best news and often the most accurate news out there, very biased at times it is true, but not fake.

    2. Skip Intro

      It is actually easy, like detecting terrorists: if the drone strike killed them, they were terrorists, if the WaPoo or NYT publishes it, it isn’t fake news.

  20. a different chris

    Did anybody catch this (was only able to scan the comments) from the Paul Street article

    >Trump’s picks for four Cabinet positions—Treasury, Commerce, Education and Transportation—have a combined net worth (at least $8.1 billion) that is more than four times the net worth of President Barack Obama’s appointees for those posts in 2013 and nearly 20 times the worth of President George W. Bush’s picks at the beginning of his second term.

    Trump’s wealthocracy is terrifying. What is even more terrifying is that percentage wise, Obama gave us a bigger jump in net worth in these positions over Bush than Trump did over Obama.

    Time for something new.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump either

      1. believes these alpha hackers know how to stop hacking.


      2. He’s got too many alpha males (one alpha female) in his clan for him to manage. And he’s being too simplistic to think that the greatest thing in life is to rule over other alphas. Life is easier when you can surround yourself with a bunch of people who are way below you and are awed by you.

  21. olga

    Talk about fake news – one of the biggest ones this century was the Iraq WMD coverage we got from NYT. This is what outgoing editor Bill Keller said in 2011: “I came in well aware that we had published some bad stuff about WMD in Iraq. I should have written a fulsome mea culpa and put [Judy Miller] on a leash. Instead I waited a year to do that. I should have just taken that thing by the lapels and done it sooner. And I would confess that some of the shots I’ve taken at various people or news outlets were a little intemperate. But on the whole I feel a sense of satisfaction. We’ve covered two full-blown wars. Katrina. Government eavesdropping. We’ve handled these Wikileaks data dumps professionally and well. We’ve covered the financial meltdown, we’ve covered some elections. We’re covering the hell out of the Arab Spring — I’ve got the budget overruns to prove it. We’ve kept the newsroom pretty much intact while other people were desperately throwing furniture overboard to keep their ships from sinking — and some of those ships sank anyway. Obviously, I didn’t do any of this. We did it. And the we is pretty expansive. The paper is banging away on all its cylinders, and we have a lot to be proud.”
    Oh well no problem… just failed to put Miller on a leash, but I remain proud of our work… And what about all those dead Iraqis?

  22. Dave

    “The Blind Spot of Liberalism”
    last sentence:
    “On Election Day, the people of Placer County also voted for Kamala Harris, a black woman, to be their US senator. Her vote share? 63 percent. And her vote tally? 16,178 more than Clinton’s.”

    The only two senatorial candidates on the ranked choice ballot were Kamala Harris a half Indian, half black darling of the progressive left and Loretta Sanchez a Mexican American woman. Both Democrats.

    No Republican to vote for.

    1. Oregoncharles

      That is not a “ranked choice” ballot; it’s old-fashioned Top Two runoff.

      With Ranked Choice, you would have seen ALL the candidates and been asked to rank them – state your preferences.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And that 0.518% means just exactly what, to an ordinary person, especially the vast majority of us who have no savings, no “investment wealth,” no financial advisers, or even those 401k scams that self-lick the fees off the top while they “expose one to market risk” (what used to be called “investing,” when stocks represented shares in the operation, assets and forward values of “going concerns” somehow connected to “the economy”)? I wonder how many regular participants here at NC fall into that category, or of that other phrase that creeps (creepily) in here more and more, “the unbanked.” Jeebus help us! Hear our cry! and bring Equitable Distribution of Wealth to us mopes! while we continue to try to consume, and add to our debt burdens! and Go Die!

      1. djrichard

        Hey JT,

        Here’s what I’m talking about

        I only post this because the correlation is all you need to know to forecast the Fed’s rate moves. Of course, the MSM doesn’t talk about this at all, to make the news about the Fed’s “mysterious” decision making.

        Can’t say I’m unbanked. But I’m certainly not a playah; don’t even dabble in the stock market.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      LOL “rate hike” LOL
      +100 b.p. and Japan closes shop, they already pay 40% of all government revenues on interest and that’s at zero and below.
      Yellen thinks she can use the Fed Funds rate as a tool for the domestic economy…but oops we run the global reserve currency, plus the fact that emerging markets have multi-trillion dollar USD liabilities that would be impossible to pay down if the USD really goes up up and away.
      Note to Yellen: it’s our currency and OUR problem

      1. JTMcPhee

        Jubilee time? Seems to me it’s going to happen, one way or another — climate collapse, some 400-pounder in his mother’s basement with “high-speed internet,” maybe a runaway idiocy by some state security type or “security contractor” or another with the keys to the cyber kingdom and some doctrinal or psychotic axe to grind, nuclear war or even lesser hostilities, sudden realization that “money” is meaningless when it comes to ediblity and drinkability and breathability, some fuzzy-headed “scientist” with a runaway CRSP-R inspiration or some fun notion of resurrecting the Great Plagues from past ages… The Brits are having fits, just trying to figure out how to manage a Brexit, the Greeks are shafted, trillions of “moneys” parked who knows where, everyone who can do so busily and happily and lustily corrupting and looting and forcing their neighbors into ever deeper debt. Tell me, please, it ain’t gonna happen, a grand clearing of all transactions, all those “notional dollars,” all that insupportable debt? You know “our” military cybersneaks (and “theirs,” of course) already have cued up the code that will snuff “the enemy’s” entire electrobanking apparatus and accounts… It’s a vast house of cards, waiting for someone to sneeze or nudge the table or ever so slightly brush against one of the edges and corners all so hap-carefully lined up and stacked…

        1. uncle tungsten

          Thanks JTM, my suspicion is that it will be an Italian job. They have so many delightful terms for corruption and if I can apply just one: ‘a little push’ and that will tumble the stack of cards. It looks to be imminent, but then?

          I believe there needs to be a ‘samaritan strategy’ to give aid to those of the world who are the victims of these economic thugs who bash us on the road to wherever. I think the term jubilee is ok but being politically mendacious toward neoliberal economics, I prefer the loaded political nuance of ‘samaritan strategy’.

          1. JTMcPhee

            A soft landing would be nice, for someone other than Banksters and vampire squids and the rest of that lot. Huge effort being put into supporting the looting — too bad the same smarts and energy seem absorbed by people like this,, while ordinary mopes are soldiering away at figuring out how to live in the remaining niches: Community, comity, commensalism. Words to live by, against a rising tide of death… Maybe would work better than “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” did, or even “From each according to his (her) ability, to each according to his (her) needs…”

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Brexit could see EU student numbers nose dive, Cambridge warns.

    Not sure about Cambridge, but with our mass certificate producing colleges, it would sound like a self-serving concern over market shares and revenues.

  24. Plenue


    Russian Ministry of Defence is saying that the Syrian Army now controls 93% of the East Aleppo pocket. There was a brief ceasefire, that the militants of course didn’t honor, and then the SAA resumed storming neighborhoods. About 10,500 civilians have managed to escape the cauldron in the last day (probably because the jihadis simply don’t have enough men left to hold them all hostage).

    Meanwhile ISIS has launched a major assault around Palmyra in eastern Syria. They’ve captured quite a lot of ground so far, but SAA resistance has stiffened and the terrorists are under near constant airstrikes.

    Also on the negative side Obama signed a waiver enabling the distribution of anti-air missiles to the Syrian opposition. This doesn’t matter at all for Aleppo, but it will have an impact on later fights. If any Russian (or Syrian) planes or helicopters are shot down in the future, the pilots blood will be squarely on Obama’s hands.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The neat thing about MANPAD ground to air missiles is that they don’t give a crap what the target is — anything that generates a “heat signature” the guidance software will respond to. Like, in the often given example, “civilian airliners,” for example, with their turbine and turboprop engines. Dumb luck, so far, that a big one has not been brought down that way. And our “moderate terrorists” would of course NEVER consider doing something like that with Obama’s missiles…

      1. Plenue

        One of the reasons the SAA keeps relocating opposition fighters to Idlib province is because it will give them a clear escape route north to Turkey. From their many of them will head back to their home countries. If they do it with a bunch of AA missiles in their possession…at the very least, I don’t think Erdogan is going to remain on his throne for much longer.

        1. OIFVet

          Or alternatively, Erdogan and Putin have or will cut a deal, in which case Idlib becomes the place where they get dispatched as a pit stop before they meet their virgins. That’s what Pat Lang believes. I certainly hope so too, allowing them to slink back to Europe is simply not in anybody’s interests. Neither is the destabilization of Turkey, however loathsome Erdogan is.

          1. uncle tungsten

            I read on ALM and Fars that the relocated butchers are generating some discordant relationships in Idlib with their Sunni brothers. I assume some are joining the FSA alliance with Turkey in the northern Syrian invasion while others are redirected to attacking western Aleppo.

            It seems fairly clear that Idlib could end up being a free fire zone (excluding the 2 Shia cities). Once the eastern Aleppo cell is liberated(?) resolved or demilitarised, then there is likely to be an expansion of the race to Al Bab and a mighty assault in the Idlib province. I assume that the manpads are to be used in those battles but the location of the Russian armada with its array of missiles might be in anticipation of Obummer making such a stupid decision.

            One thing is reasonably predictable: the manpads are destined for European airport perimeters. This could be Obummers legacy. Fool!

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tied to Europe, Britain’s Car Industry Vulnerable after Brexit.

    Is this a more constructive, green headline:

    With Brexit, an opportunity (a word embedded in the Chinese characters for ‘risk’) presents itself to shit away from car making to producing for public transportation.

  26. Plenue

    >The Death Strip at the Turkish-Syrian Border Der Spiegel

    This article is beyond worthless. Pure propaganda. Tens of thousands of people are fleeing EAST Aleppo, mostly into government held West Aleppo (a few thousand have fled to the Kurdish held part of the city).

    “In its fifth year, the war in Syria has reached a new level of brutality. With the help of Russia and Iran, dictator Bashar Assad has intensified his bombing attacks on Syria’s civilian population and his regime is about to take control over what is left of Aleppo.”

    ‘What is left of Aleppo’?

    The areas they’re liberating are already being deminded by Russian sappers and repairs started, so that refugees will actually have a place to return home to. An interesting fact is that within a couple days of the US-led coalition destroying a main water pipe in Mosul, depriving half the city of water, the Syrian Army recaptured the main water pumping station of Aleppo, restoring water service that the militants had been holding hostage.

    Just within the last 24 hours there was a brief, unilateral ceasefire that allowed another 10,000 civilians evacuated what is left of the militant pocket in East Aleppo. The SAA has been consistently setting up evacuation corridors for months, that mostly go unused because the ‘moderate rebels’ bombard them with artillery and shoot anyone who tries to flee through them. People are now escaping because the militants are no longer able to control them. The opposition is the chief obstacle to civilian safety, not the Syrian army or government.

  27. Procopius

    “Trump” and “populism” should never appear in the same sentence except to reiterate they have nothing to do with each other. White supremacy is not populism.

  28. integer

    I just sent you guys (Yves, Lambert, Outis) my first antidote/plantidote to the blogger at NC dot com email address!

    1. integer

      Just a heads up that I sent an updated version of the pic. Wasn’t happy with the color on the first version I sent. Anyway, I’m not fussed if it gets used or not, but if you do use it please use the updated version. Thanks.

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