Links 1/24/17

Fundraising photo-op over, Mathura elephants wrap up snug in their regular (more staid) winter wear Scroll. The story behind last week’s elephants-in-knitted-jumpers photo.

Last time the Earth was this warm, sea level was a whole lot higher Ars Technica

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The best days of the internet are over – now our privacy will suffer New Statesman

Edward Snowden: ‘Faith in Elected Leaders’ Is a Mistake Americans Keep Making Truthdig

Chelsea Manning’s Existential Threat to American Innocence The Baffler

In the future, we all might live in our cars out of choice Treehugger. My idea of dystopia.


Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Fitch warns time is running out for China’s debt-driven boom Telegraph

US to prevent China from taking over territory in international waters SCMP

China Says Prepared to Lead Global Economy if Necessary WSJ

Climate Data Preservation Efforts Mount as Trump Takes Office MIT Technology Review

Why is work making us miserable? FT

Health Care

In charts: What makes cardiac stents unreasonably expensive for patients Scroll

England players told mobile phones are bad for game by vision consultant Sherylle Calder The Telegraph. Yet another reason why I continue to hold out against acquiring a smartphone– the implications of this article extend beyond the competitiveness of England’s national rugby squad.

The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything The Atlantic

Food security looks very different depending on where you are sitting The Conversation


Supreme Court rules MPs must vote on Article 50 for Brexit FT

Britain as a tax haven? It already is Politico

The empire strikes back New Statesman

Holland is shaping up to be a surprise beneficiary of Brexit Business Insider

Berlin to send back thousands of British hipsters Daily Mash

The New Cold War

Was Snowden a Russian Agent? NYRB. Pshaw.

2016 Post Mortem

Peter’s Choice Mother Jones

Hillary Clinton plots her next move Politico. No comment.

Why did women vote for Trump? Prospect

Trump Transition

Trump makes his priorities clearer, and deportation of young immigrants has fallen off the list LA Times

The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn’s latest.

Trump signs executive order to withdraw US from TransPacific Partnership SCMP

President Trump Follows Through on Trade Promise Fox Business. Useful peek at fissures among Republicans on TPP (and more generally, trade).

Will Trump Release His Tax Returns? WikiLeaks Slams President For ‘Breach Of Promise’ After Kellyanne Conway’s Comments International Business Times

Donald Trump and the New World Order Der Spiegel

Reopening NAFTA could revive debate over what makes a car ‘American’ Reuters

Donald Trump just named a net neutrality foe to head the FCC Vox

14 Senate Democrats Fall in Line Behind Trump CIA Pick Who Left Door Open to Torture The Intercept

Original “patent troll” law firm is shutting down Ars Technica


US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump Counterpunch

Syria talks resume in Astana after rocky start Al Jazeera

Guillotine Watch

Paris Fights the Effects of Crimes Against the Very Rich NYT


Hawaiians call Mark Zuckerberg ‘the face of neocolonialism’ over land lawsuits The Guardian

Our Famously Free Press

Axios aims to speak the language of the swamp Columbia Journalism Review

Distracted Media Fails To Catch Trump Policy Decisions Moon of Alabama

Trump’s disdain for the press has a silver lining Columbia Journalism Review

Class Warfare

Higher Rates Of Hate Crimes Are Tied To Income Inequality FiveThirtyEight

Striking the Startups Jacobin

Indian Currency Train Wreck

From Farm to Loom, the Textile Industry Suffers After Demonetisation The Wire

No records of fake currency deposited in banks: Reserve Bank of India Time of India. The RBI continues to dodge requests for details about decision-making that led to the demonetization debacle.

A Billion People in India Aren’t Being Warned About Toxic Air Pollution Truthout

Antidote du jour

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Colonel Smithers

    The Staggers’ (sic) article about the empire striking back and May’s proposed clampdown on immigration is interesting in the light of what goes on in deepest and darkest Buckinghamshire.

    I walk to and fro the railway station most days, walking through a suburb and a village. I tend to leave home at 06:30 and arrive home about 19:00. Commuting to the City takes a couple of hours each way.

    At the same time as I am walking, I notice immigrants from Africa, south and south-east Asia and eastern Europe going to or from work at the local care homes and hospital, carrying out refuse collection and delivering to shops etc. I wonder if these immigrants are ever noticed by the (mainly) white residents going to work, school etc. Some are planning to return whence they came. Many are Roman Catholic and attend the same church as I do. Who will do the jobs they do? I rather doubt that the locals will / want to. How quickly can migrant labour be replaced.

    The above are just the second wave of migrants. The first wave came to work in (light) industry (decimated in the 1980s and 1990s), hospitals and on the railways.

    Over half of staff in local social services are from overseas. One school has a third of its teachers from overseas. The army has similar numbers.

    1. Kevin

      Who will do the jobs they do? I rather doubt that the locals will / want to. How quickly can migrant labour be replaced.

      Isn’t this a classic supply-demand problem? Absent migrants (oversupply of labour), wages will have to rise.

      Over half of staff in local social services are from overseas. One school has a third of its teachers from overseas. The army has similar numbers.

      Interesting, these examples are all public jobs. These are exactly the kinds of jobs a job guarantee programme would cover.

      1. clinical wasteman

        I spare you a full repetition of my theme tune here (i.e. WHY is it supposed to be a good thing if wages rise in the UK and fall correspondingly in Accra, Colombo, Bucharest etc.? Not that it works that way at all).
        But at least one factual correction is needed: in some of the jobs mentioned (delivery drivers?!), the employer at the very top of the chain may be the state (or may not, if the ‘service’ in question has been fully looted), but even in that case, it’s extremely unlikely that the state (or municipal council) is the direct employer. Near the top of the chain is almost certainly to be a company like Serco, Mitie, G4S, Capita, which will then have used a whole series of sub-contractors (labour arbitrage agencies on an ever-diminishing scale), the smallest of which will provide the immediate boss of the (eg.) cleaner in question in this one of her two or three jobs.

  2. Colonel Smithers

    I should have said that the initial wave came just after WW2. That was composed of Irish, Italian (often former POWs held locally), Polish (often (ex) servicemen in exile), West Indians (often ex servicemen) and the odd one from the Indian sub-continent. The second wave came around the turn of the century. Other immigrants were like my father and godfather, servicemen who joined up from the colonies in the 1960s and were based locally and stayed.

  3. crittermom

    Many thanks for the follow-up story regarding the elephants wearing clothes. Answered all my questions regarding that former photo.

    1. fresno dan

      January 24, 2017 at 7:31 am

      I imagine in the first photos the elephant named Gloria Swanphant saying, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up”

  4. allan

    14 Senate Democrats Fall in Line

    So did John McCain, who grandstands against torture when the TV cameras are on.
    As expected, The Resistance™ is turning into Yield Firmly, Then Fundraise.

    1. fresno dan

      January 24, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Funny (no its not) how when people had to be against torture (like torture was actually happening) they were so ineffective and unaware.
      Of course, I wonder how many of those yammering about how torture will never be tolerated AGAIN are aware of “rendition”
      And I wonder how many in our fabulous free press are aware that our noble wonderful CIA is behind it???

      1. polecat

        Torture ?? What I really want to know is .. what does the Material(ist) GIRRRRL make of it all ….. ?? … I mean, with all that S/M costuming …

        … or is it pussy hats from here on out ?

        1. hunkerdown

          Madonna seems the unofficial US representative of FEMEN (and, while no Chef Abramovich, is a long-time practitioner of mysticism). If Ukraine is any guide, the destruction of yet more public property by provocateurs follows. That the vandals are facing decades and are therefore flight risks by definition, but were allowed to leave the District to return for trial later, is a stunning and stupid opportunity for them to take lessons learned from operating under high levels of alert and disperse it to other black bloc provocateurs.

          Ostracism by referendum has never sounded like a better legal remedy.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      calling him names and talking about how he has hooves and a tail accomplish nothing. We have to fight the bad shit he *DOES*, not the bad shit he *SAYS* and that everyone loses their goddamn mind over every time he violates decorum or does or says something — gasp — Obama would never do!

      Killing TPP = good. Torture = bad.

      There is the noise, and the signal. WE GOTTA READ THE SIGNALS.

      Only 3 days in and the “Resistance” is pretty pathetic…

  5. alex morfesis

    Brexitannia…hopefully the liveries of the city are scouting out and hoovering up all available lands between and through calais and dunkerque…why worry about logistics when the eu will only be a couple of hours away…would allow for opening shop in dover and having environs between the city and dover to set up meetings face to face as needed…there really is not much room in paris, nor frankfurt, nor strasbourg, nor stuttgart, nor berlin…for any major haul of workers or offices…most would have to be new construction…is there any city that could handle an influx of 25 to 100 thousand people in a few years ?

    these are old cities with old suburbs surrounding them…where is the room for all this influx…??? have been previously told of space in eastern europe for factories perhaps, but the liveries are not moving to bulgaria…

    why bother building so far away and creating new relationships when calais is just across from dover…??

    would be as greenwich is to wall street (more or less)…

    1. polecat

      Yeah … seems like a pretty futile gesture, doesn’t it …

      Dems ain’t no Borg ….. Humm ? .. wait a minute ..

      1. Waldenpond

        Then there is the bit that Ds block the Sessions vote. No it’s merely delayed while they select which ones will vote for him ……even when not a single vote is needed because collegiality is best demonstrated with bi-partisanship? Probably not. More likely they are just signaling oligarchs they are still in competition for which branch of the money party is willing to suck the last dime from the 80% and hand it over.

        At this point they are just rubbing their corruption in people’s faces.

    2. vidimi

      i think they reason that, since the CIA can get you ten ways til sunday or somesuch, better not make the incoming director angry with you. at least those with the courage and principle of chuck schumer.

  6. EndOfTheWorld

    “Hillary Clinton plots her next move.” You gotta be kiddin’ me. “How best to return to the fold?”?!?! I guess she figures well, Nixon was given up for dead, yet still got elected president. But HRC is a lot deader than Nixon ever was. She needs to do a study on “how to take a hint.”

      1. crittermom

        As the article states, she’s not looking to make another run. She plans to use her influence to push for policies she likes (which will undoubtedly benefit the Clintons), & raise money for those causes/candidates, which is something she’s very good at–gathering money. After all, there’s still another Clinton (Chelsea) they want to promote so could still be offering ‘future promises’ to gather support, even. ( a stretch, I know)

        Criminal charges? Hillary?. Nah. Doubtful, IMHO. That’s old news now & the Clinton’s are still needed on the sidelines to help ‘the Trump resistance’.

        I sure wish they’d truly investigate the Clinton Foundation.
        But again, they won’t (as Bubba returns to run it), because they’re still much too useful by continuing to wield influence, despite her loss.

        1. pretzelattack

          i’m not clear on the status of the clinton foundation after they closed down the clinton global initiative. a lot of the money that used to be funneled to the foundation is closed off now.

        2. Pat

          Her fundraising was so helpful Democrats now hold fewer offices since after the Civil War. that could also be a result of her influence. The best thing that could happen for the party is for her and her friends to go into exile and stay there. But their bottom line and egos will never accept that

          1. Tom Stone

            I like the offhand way Politico referred to the “Investors in her campaign”. ANd the Email hairball has not gone away, Judicial Watch has really sunk their teeth into it and Judge Sullivan is ticked off at the defendants obstructionism.

            1. andyb

              Obama didn’t pardon her. Trump claims he wants to forget the issue and let bygones be bygones. But in effect he has neutered the Clintons with the sword of Damocles over their heads; “piss me off” and I’ll convene a Grand Jury.

              1. Waldenpond

                At an inauguration event, from a podium, Trump introduced his friends the Clinton’s with great oratory and full respect. The room was full of applause and Trump was the loudest. They are friends, their offspring are closer friends.

                There is plenty of grift to go around.

        3. Gareth

          Any threat of an investigation of the Clinton Foundation is offset by the New York state AG’s supposed investigation of the Trump Foundation. Mutual assured destruction (MAD), so nothing will happen in either case.

        4. optimader

          which is something she’s very good at–gathering money

          Seems like a good place to park “Past performance is not an indication of future outcomes”

          I think the Clintons take a step function down on what they have to offer going forward. The wealth accumulation many would speculate was all about quid pro quo, no?

          I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t quite a few big $$ donors that remain apoplectic re the ROI.
          In my observation very wealthy people are often quite ugly when the feel they were swindled, let alone when loosing even modest amounts of $$ on a legit investments.

          There is a thread of Madoff here. When the dust settle the Clintons were selling vapor, whether they knew it or not, and I’m coming to think Bill knew it and didn’t interfere as HRC did a controlled flight into terrain.

          Put yourself in Bill’s shoes had he taken control of the campaign and she still lost! The forensic team would have found Bill’s bloody body under a heap of broken china.

          I think that picture of Bill walking into the Inauguration gazing skyward with mouth agog sums it up — like he is thinking of the artillery shell sized bullet he missed from HRC, the woman who is so smart that she is an idiot..

        5. optimader

          The Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation serve(d) different purposes. The later is essentially a long term family trust.

          ….which is something she’s very good at–gathering money

          Seems like a good place to park “Past performance is not an indication of future outcomes”

          I think the Clintons take a step function down on what they have to offer going forward. The wealth accumulation many would speculate was all about quid pro quo, no?
          I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t quite a few big $$ donors that remain apoplectic re the ROI.
          In my observation very wealthy people are often quite ugly when the feel they were swindled, let alone when loosing even modest amounts of $$ on a legit investments.

          There is a thread of Madoff here. When the dust settles the Clintons were selling vapor, whether they knew it or not, and I’m coming to think Bill knew it and didn’t interfere as HRC did a controlled flight into terrain.

          Put yourself in Bill’s shoes had he taken control of the campaign and she still lost! The forensic team would have found Bill’s bloody body under a heap of broken china.

          I think that picture of Bill walking into the Inauguration gazing skyward with mouth agog sums it up – like he is thinking of the artillery shell sized bullet he missed from HRC, the woman who is so smart that she is an idiot..

          1. pretzelattack

            where and how does the clinton foundation get money now that the cgi is closed? i know they have lots of money already, which can be used for crucial public projects such as weddings, but in order to keep the cash flowing they have to maintain control of the democratic party–and how do they do that when neither has official influence. a lesser power couple might fade off into the sunset to enjoy the ill gotten gains. they might have to compete with all the lesser lobbyists now. i’m just glad i bought enough popcorn to last past the election.

            1. uncle tungsten

              “How do they control the democratic party”? They have the dirt on almost every member of the executive and then some. They are callous grifters and they can exert influence in more ways than you would care to know.

              The Clinton’s are in recess and will rise from the dead soon. The aroma of cash is a great reincarnator.

        6. WheresOurTeddy

          Considering “raising money” was the part of “get elected to office” she was best at, it’s an understandable direction.

          The whole “getting people to think I’m not a Marie-Antoinette-level elitist who throws the working class over the side every chance I get” thing is decidedly NOT her strong suit.

    1. Jim Haygood

      She needs to do a study on “how to take a hint.”

      What used to so exercise R. Emmett Tyrrell, when he was lashing the Clintons in the American Spectator in the early 1990s, was that both of them have been compulsively running for elected office since they were kids in grade school. They just can’t stop.

      Someone quipped in early 2001, when they left the White House, that barring the front door would be to no avail, since the Clintons — like field mice — would try to crawl back in through the basement windows.

      This couple is a study in deep pathology. One hopes that posthumously, their brains will turned over to scientists for study, so that future generations can be spared from their affliction.

      1. Kokuanani

        I only needed to get a little way into the article before I started muttering, “just GO AWAY!!!!”

        It would be better for ALL of us.

    2. mrsyk

      The last paragraph is a gem:
      “Predicted former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chair Ed Rendell, a longtime family friend: “I’m certain Trump will screw up enough that by the fall of ’18, Hillary’s numbers will be way up again.””
      Allow me to re-phrase: “We’re sticking to our campaign strategy, because eventually it will work.”

      1. hunkerdown

        With a little help from their friends, such as Amanda Marcotte, counseling obstinate obstructionism, here deliciously framed by Carl Beijer: “This is progress. This is exactly where you want liberals to be.”

        1. craazyboy

          Countess Hillary is headed to Transylvania to meet with a known source. Count Bill will remain home and hold down the castle.

  7. Jim Haygood

    From ‘England players told mobile phones are bad …’

    “When you look at your phone, you are losing awareness, because you’re in here [the screen] all the time. There are no eye movements happening. Everything is pretty static.”

    True as far as it goes. But also, too much time spent focusing at close distance on phones and reading material can induce myopia. Sure, it’s correctable. But better not to be functionally blind without your glazzies.

  8. temporal

    TPP finally looks dead. Trump meets with various union leaders and talks about killing some other agreements including NAFTA. All this within days of taking office and my libural email inbox overflows with outrage and the clutching of skirts over things mean ole Trump is going to do.

    If only Trump had ignored the neo-liberal policies that harm the middle class or actively promoted them, like his predecessor, we wouldn’t be in this dark place.

    Purple is the new black.

    1. Carla

      As Yves points out in her “Consternation” post today, TTIP and TISA remain, and are even more serious threats:

      “By contrast, other dangerous “trade” deals, like the TTIP and TISA, are still as of now, moving forward. As Lori Wallach of Public Citizen warned:

      If President Trump intends to replace our failed trade policy, a first step must be to end negotiations now underway for more deals based on the damaging NAFTA/TPP model so its notable that today’s announcement did not end talks to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement and the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty – all of which would replicate and expand the TPP/NAFTA model Trump says he is ending.”

      Yet Trump takes the focus off TTIP and TISA by claiming to address the better-known TPP and NAFTA.

    2. Aumua

      TPP is dead (most likely was anyway), but DAPL is back! So let’s not go dancing in the streets just yet..

      1. Carla

        TISA and TTIP have much greater ramifications than DAPL.

        Unless “World Government By Corporations” agreements are stopped, you’ll have a DAPL or its environmental equivalent in every county in the U.S. and several in every nation on the planet.

        1. pretzelattack

          true, and i don’t trust trump to stop them. after all, he has fulfilled his campaign promise.

          1. wilroncanada

            NAFTA isn’t dead, just “subject to renegotiation.” The US oligarchs who have made lots of money from the deal don’t want to share what the Canadian and Mexican oligarchs have been taking from it. They want it ALL. It has nothing to do with better wages, or working conditions, or health and safety of workers, any workers, anywhere.

            Meanwhiile Canadian federal Liberals, along with the premiers of Alberta and BC have applauded the decision to open up the pipeline spigots. (Just looking at a report on local news of another “small spill” of about 200,000 litres in the Canadian prairies, and the reassurance in the news report that “none of the spilled oil reached a waterway.”) What? You’re not reassured?

    1. Eureka Springs

      Four of the Dem names rings my memory bells as ones who Prog and Blue America blogs told us we had to get these people into office. There may be more, I quit paying attention to what progs promote somewhere between ’08 and ’10. I mean if you can’t even demand health care as a human right then you’ve already decided its preferable to torture.

      Claire McCaskill of Missouri
      Jeanne Shaheen
      Mark Warner
      Sheldon Whitehouse

      *Chris Murphy CT couldn’t even show up to vote

      If Progs had any integrity they would have admited their mistakes with loud repeated apology and primaried these evil excuses for human beings long ago.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Blue America has been hornswoggled before, and given there actually are a few New Dems who are savvy enough to know when to talk progressive to get support, it’s likely they will be again. Anyone who is going to expect another Bernie Sanders is going to have to dig deep, which is why I hope Our Revolution and Brand New Congress are doing due diligence before they place their limited funds at the disposal of ringers.

        To put it another way, finding the right people takes time, and probably more of it than we have to prepare for the state and local elections coming up this fall and the big one in ’18. Compromises, like it or not, will likely have to be made because swinging the Democrats back left is going to be done one slogging step at a time.

  9. financial matters

    Sarah Abdallah ‏@sahouraxo 20h20 hours ago

    BREAKING: Wow. As Trump starts his presidency, US and Russian warplanes target ISIS together in #Syria for the very first time. Amazing.

      1. Eclair

        Listening to NPR yesterday on our car radio, I heard an interview with the head of the new Czech Republic government unit tasked to counter ‘fake news’; its title included the term ‘terrorism,’ always a big seller.

        Apparently, with elections coming up in a few months, they are concerned with foreign interests influencing the outcome. Turns out the foreign influence is Russia, namely the network, RT, which is spreading ‘fake news.’ When asked by the NPR presenter to give examples of such, the Czech government guy recounted news stories in which RT claimed the US had bombed Syrian targets. Or course, no such events had occurred; it was the Russians who were bombing Syria, but this was not reported on RT.

        I had a ‘rip in the space-time continuum’ moment, since I am pretty sure the US has bombed targets in Syria. And, RT that very morning had a lead article boasting of Russian bombers attacking Syrian targets. In any case, the new Czech agency will disseminate the ‘truth’ to the Czech people.

        1. craazyboy

          I’m sure Soros will help fund Radio Trump-Free Europe Enterprises. RTFEE. Freedom isn’t free. If he hasn’t already???

    1. JTMcPhee

      This,, has not been denied. Not this,

      And gee, might one ask all the inveterate Great Gamers, how has all this worked out for hegemony or any of the faux goals and missions that all so assiduously get bruit about? Not to mention the health of the biosphere…

      “Heckuva job, Barry and all the rest of you…”

      And of course there’s lots of Real Facts about how the Generals of the Great Powers will share a meal and, if, given the opportunity to coordinate mission planning against a “common enemy,” even one created by the “policies” of the imperial or weaker-nation state politicians and spooks and sneaky-petes has conjured up and trained and armed and all that, will be happy to give their troops a chance to show their stuff and get in a little training and of course collect flight pay and hazardous duty pay and a few more medals…

  10. Pat

    the mother Jones article is interesting. I will need to go read Peter’s full paper. But one line and one assumption lept out at me. Apparently those of us here who believe Hillary Clinton is corrupt based on her commodities history, fund raising money laundering, and the clear connections between Foundation fund raising and State actions are just delusional victims led by faulty beliefs. Well that is unless it is only those who consider her extravagant in her corruption.
    I also want to know who the richest person in Peter’s county is and how much they are worth before saying Peter and people like him are delusional. Median income in that county might only make it appear far better off than Detroit, especially when you consider the amount of aid NOT available. One or two very prosperous people and a whole lot of poverty level families might seem more prosperous than they are.

    1. funemployed

      The author doesn’t understand human geography and the extent to which socioeconomic segregation has grown since WWII. Yes, in OK there are places with nice houses with gigantic front yards and big recreational vehicles parked in the driveway. It is also entirely possible that Peter literally never sees those neighborhoods unless he’s riding on the back of a lawnmower in 90 degree heat.

    2. DorothyT

      Peter’s Choice. Mother Jones

      Read it and draw your own conclusions as drawn by the teacher, Rick Perlstein, as to what fundamentally underlies honors student Peter’s beliefs. Here’s the conclusion:

      “The reason I used the Civil War and Reconstruction is because it isn’t a secret that Reconstruction failed,” Peter wrote. “It failed and left the South in an extreme poverty that it still hasn’t recovered from.” And besides, “slavery was expensive and the Industrial Revolution was about to happen. Maybe if there had been no war, slavery would have faded peacefully.”

      As a historian, I found this remarkable, since it was precisely what all American schoolchildren learned about slavery and Reconstruction for much of the 20th century. Or rather, they did until the civil rights era, when serious scholarship dismantled this narrative, piece by piece. But not, apparently, in Peter’s world. “Until urban liberals move to the rural South and live there for probably a decade or more,” he concluded, “there’s no way to fully appreciate the view.”

      This was where he left me plumb at a loss. Liberals must listen to and understand Trump supporters. But what you end up understanding from even the sweetest among them still might chill you to the bone.

      1. BeliTsari

        Failed, huh? The Industrial Revolution FED on slavery; was both service industry (though we made damn sure railroad gauges, immigration & education were kept separate & unequal) and consumer The pastoral, feudal image of plantation vs Hell with the lid off, oligarchic “North” is evocative only as bourgeois fantasy. One hardly has to move South to have white folks ‘splain what victims we have become.

      2. Pat

        Do you truly think the more flawed conclusion is that slavery would have died under its own weight OR that Reconstruction was not a failure the consequences of which we still live with today? Yes, I believe that Peter is wrong about how slavery might have ended, but to ignore or discount the point that economically destroying regions for ‘good reasons* without replacing those economies no matter how good the reason has been a historical failure and is a current failure is also chillingly shortsighted.

        *See the benefits of globalization…

        1. Rick Perlstein

          Pat, the Union was perfectly willing and able to integrate the South into a prosperous national economy. That olive branch was resisted from the word go, all the way through Franklin Roosevelt’s time.

          1. Pat

            Really? You mean the Republicans and Democrats didn’t differ significantly in how to bring about Reconstruction? Hell that even within parties there was in fighting about it? That differing views on how this was to happen didn’t contribute to Johnson’s impeachment? That much of the public support for it was disappearing by the late 1870’s? And please note there had been several different visions of it and how to do it by that time.

            I’m not saying that some of this didn’t come about because, similar to today because there came a point where a bunch of voters said screw that in the South, I just seem to have missed much of the willing and almost all of the able in my readings about this period.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              How much of the resistance was due to a lack of a 19-century equivalent of the Marshall Plan that would leave a defeated country as an independent defeated country, with a new constitution (though the emperor did have to renounce his divinity)?

              1. Old Jake

                The Marshall Plan was all about restoring the exiting power structure, while removing some key leadership. As I understand it, Reconstruction included removing the old guard from power, similar to what was attempted in Iraq. Both failed, perhaps for similar reasons? Wounds among cultures rarely heal completely, fester over centuries to rupture anew. Is this where we could be headed?

        2. Lynne

          Slavery exists in the here and now. I’m not talking about so-called “wage slaves” or “debt slaves”, but rather than real thing. Women are trafficked in the US right now.

          But to the point of Reconstruction being a failure and racism. Isn’t it well established that part of the Reconstruction legacy was the Jim Crow laws, and the emphasis to impoverished whites that “at least they are ‘better’ than blacks?” The legacy of that remains to this day, both in the South and in the minds of the Southern diaspora. I don’t understand how the historian author is oblivious to that history.

          1. JTMcPhee

            A thought, from your first paragraph: Maybe link arms with your sisters, and a whole lot of brothers, locked up in public and private prisons and jails, pretty much as slave labor, that share the same horrors, forced to work for “industry” with their wages being a halfpenny and lots of abuse and corruption and extortion laid on their shoulders? Would that be something closer to a bigger, stronger position? One not shortstopped at just women being trafficked? Maybe include CHILDREN, who likewise are bought and sold by the worst of us to the other worst of us?

            Can’t ever purge the old Adam and Eve out of us, or the mark of Cain, or the ruling pleasure principle, but what did they used to do for slaves? Manumission, was it called? “How much for the women?”

            1. dandelion

              Are you f-ing kidding me? You’re complaining that a comment about the existence of real slavery and the real trafficking of persons mentions “just women”! Wow. Okay. Yes, children are trafficked too.

              To shoehorn men into the politics of contemporary slavery, you turn to imprisoned men, even though issues around carceral justice are completely different from the issue of sex trafficking and slavery. Because if the issue’s only about “just women” (and children) why should any men care, am I right?

              And any politics involving men must naturally be “bigger, stronger” than one about “just women” (and children.) Without manly manliness doing the heavy-lifting (which then convinces men they have the right to center their own needs,) how can any issue be anything but female and juvenile, i.e. weak and small? Trivial, one might say.

              I 100% guarantee that, even with pauper wages, beatings, killings, and rapes, male prisoners are not enduring the “same horrors” as women held in sexual slavery, who in addition to being beaten and killed are not simply raped but isolated from any contact at all with people from their lives prior to their enslavement, do not even have the hope of parole or a sentence ending, and are repeatedly, hour after hour, day after day, the object of violent use by a series of men who are, hour by hour, day by day, free to do any depraved thing they want to “just women” (and children) — until the day the traffickers decide their shredded bodies are used up, then toss or disappear them.

          2. Xihuitl

            Don’t know what you mean by “legacy.” Jim Crow laws, which required segregation, followed the dismantling of Reconstruction, which sought to enforce civil rights for blacks, and the resultant removal of federal forces protecting those people, their lives, and their rights.


            1. pretzelattack

              well the jim crow laws were a foreseeable part of the bargain after the hayes tilden compromise. it was kneecapped with the consent of the party that developed it.
              you can say it didn’t succeed because its backers abandoned the project.

    3. Knifecatcher

      I think Peter’s letter was pretty enlightening, especially if read with sort of a Thomas Frank / Chris Arnade lens. He states that for a long time the poor people of OK supported unions and the D party, but things just kept getting worse and worse for them as all the businesses and factories closed down. He blamed that on big government regulations and he was right, in the sense that NAFTA could be considered a government regulation.

      His beloved teacher seemed to want to parse the essay for things he could point as factually wrong, rather than trying to understand the worldview that produced it. The conclusion of the MJ article was basically “even Trump voters who seem nice are actually really misguided and scary”, which seems unhelpful.

      1. Annotherone

        Knifecatcher …Yes, agreed, especially with your Thomas Frank/Chris Arnade point.
        I’m in Oklahoma, not a native, been here for 12 years, in a bigger town than Peter’s (20+ thousand souls) but do see what Peter was getting at, even though I’m probably one of the most left-leaning individuals in this state. At times it seems the extreme left and right find themselves meeting – if somewhat uncomfortably.

        The professor who is author of the article seemed to me to be using the piece snidely, for an eventual purpose – to denigrate his student, in public. Not a good look for an educator I’d have thought. I smelled a rat early on when he described Peter as “corn-fed” and wearing overalls to school.

        Thinking on this more, I’m tempted to wonder whether Peter isn’t simply a figment of the prof’s imagination, a bit of journalistic license. The mention of a Walmart store in a town of 3,000 people seemed unusual to me. Towns as small as 3,000 people, around here, seldom rate a Walmart. Maybe Peter’s town is a suburb of OKC or Tulsa with an outlying store.

        In the best of worlds, Peter should have voted for Bernie – all the people in the poorest areas of our town and every OK small town – and every other small town in the nation should have voted for Bernie. Many did, just not enough.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          When I lived in PA, it was in a rural upstate county, pop. 40,000. Walmart built a store just outside a town with a permanent population of about 1700, which was expanded by the attendance at a small state university located therein. There as also an Ames store that shortly went out of business but another in the country seat 30 miles away (pop. 3300+/-).

          That was about 20 years ago, when they were in their major expansion mode and could explain the presence of one in Peter’s small town.

      2. Lynne

        One issue with government regulations is often that they effectively consolidate a segment into several large suppliers and serve as a barrier to small business entry. Of course, that’s the kind of thing that a history teacher with an axe to grind overlooks.

    4. a different chris

      >One or two very prosperous people and a whole lot of poverty level families might seem more prosperous than they are.

      The word was “median” — unless you think it was used incorrectly?

      1. Pat

        No, and perhaps I’m not being fair. Still I’ve lived in a few areas where the median income would be highly misleading as to the level of poverty in the area due to that well off section by a golf course for instance. Population numbers can make a difference. I can also say that without knowing if this was gross or net, it can also be misleading. Say when talking about income for instance on farms and small business owners where expenses are high, and the income shrinks considerably once you subtract those expenses from income.

        1. Pat

          Admittedly it is a much larger area, and there are huge swings, but do you really think that the median income in 2015 of over $60,000/year is really representative of how tough a significant percentage of the residents of NY state might find it? (With the exception of the urban areas, NY was Trump country).

          1. witters

            With a wildly right skewed income distribution curve, the best marker (as the left bound is zero) is the modal income – and it will be lower than the mean and the median.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Yesterday in Links we were speculating that David Stockman would forecast “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.” Now it’s the CBO’s turn:

    The first major test of Mr. Trump and his sway over congressional Republicans will come Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.

    That is when the Congressional Budget Office will update its budget outlook. The office is expected to say that the federal deficit, after years of decline, will start swelling again this year and will pick up steam over the next decade if policies aren’t changed to curb the growth of health care programs and of Social Security in an aging populace.

    Large increases in spending on infrastructure and defense, as well as deep tax cuts, could collide with Republican promises to balance the budget.

    It isn’t news that out-of-control entitlements keep metastasizing. Large increases in discretionary spending not just ‘could,’ but WILL collide with promises to balance the budget. There is no way to square this circle.

    “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — Alice in Wonderland

    As a big-spending war socialist party, the R party will do exactly as it did under the aforementioned Stockman and his boss Reagan — let deficits rip.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can we, I mean the government, finance it through FannieMae?

      The Fed seems to be buying everything they are selling…we use our global (domestic and overseas) military base real estate as collateral to borrow from Fannie directly.

      1. Jim Haygood

        NBL (Not Bloody Likely). But opening the fiscal taps could finally actualize all that ‘dry powder’ created by QE, which failed so far to ignite.

        CPI inflation has gone from one percent to over two percent in the year before Trump took office. Now a big honking fiscal deficit could drive CPI to 3 percent faster than one might think.

        Got COLA? [Cost Of Living Adjustment]

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I don’t know if I am exceptional (in this case only, not in general), but my cost of living seems to be going up more thank 3%.

            1. skippy

              The C-corps needs all that productivity to spur GDP or equities+ take a little one way ride in the countryside….

              disheveled…. meanwhile the entire financial circulatory system – of citizens [credit] – is captured after having those little Baron Vladimir Harkonnen heart plugs installed… we know what happens when the Baron is displeased… you bleed out all over the floor…. not that he does not randomly bleed some for enjoyment from time to time… maximizing his utility thingy… see green day about the returns on self pleasuring oneself – after a bit….

            2. crittermom

              “It just means your Velocity of Money has exceeded the National Trickle Down Speed Limit.”

              Thanks. That’s my favorite statement of the day!

    2. ewmayer

      Fake News from the CBO: “The [CBO] is expected to say that the federal deficit, after years of decline…” — A highly dubious claim. Here Treasury’s own data for Total Debt Oustanding at close of the last 17 fiscal years. I’ve added the corresponding deficit numbers in $trillions in form of the rightmost column. One can see that after the GFC-associated spike starting in 2008-2009, we dropped back below $1 trillion for the first time in 2013, but have had wide swings starting then, with the most-recent FY’s deficit being the biggest since 2010, and the 2015’s having been the lowest since 2001::

      09/30/2016  19,573,444,713,936.79  1.42
      09/30/2015  18,150,617,666,484.33  0.33
      09/30/2014  17,824,071,380,733.82  1.08
      09/30/2013  16,738,183,526,697.32  0.67
      09/30/2012  16,066,241,407,385.89  1.28
      09/30/2011  14,790,340,328,557.15  1.23
      09/30/2010  13,561,623,030,891.79  1.65
      09/30/2009  11,909,829,003,511.75  1.89
      09/30/2008  10,024,724,896,912.49  1.01
      09/30/2007    9,007,653,372,262.48  0.50
      09/30/2006    8,506,973,899,215.23  0.58
      09/30/2005    7,932,709,661,723.50  0.55
      09/30/2004    7,379,052,696,330.32  0.60
      09/30/2003    6,783,231,062,743.62  0.55
      09/30/2002    6,228,235,965,597.16  0.42
      09/30/2001    5,807,463,412,200.06  0.14
      09/30/2000    5,674,178,209,886.86  

  12. Jamie Dimon

    3 cheers for dismantling TPP – which HRC also said she’d do, after much prodding from the left, during the election. Who knows whether she would have done it, each of them, DT and HRC, lie and publish alternative facts as much as possible. So, credit where credit is due: helping his [white] [rust belt] working class voters.

    As for other working class – the one thats women, black, surrounded by fracking in the worst environmental areas? Eff them, right? ARS prohibited from sharing details about their work. EPA gag orders. Global gag rule on abortion is back! Pompeo, a 3rd grade level racist islamophobe, is in (helped by nast-ass Schumer, Kaine, sure).

    His reign of deregulation and terror is beginning. His blatant lies about the numbers at the inauguration (yes, its not a big deal, but its such a hilarious lie) – and I’m looking forward to seeing if Lambert and Yves parse his words like they did Obama. Something (perhaps this mypoic, non-intersectional “he’s gettin ‘er done” theme I’m getting over the last week) makes me think not.

      1. jrs

        And Keystone as well, although that was always somewhat overrated as a single battle anyway as there were many other pipelines and oil trains (plus the TPP etc. may have gotten it in through the backdoor, but this is right in through the front door). U.S. oil production way up under Obama, but Trump wrecking everything in sight and it’s only his FIRST week. Screw the planet on full steam ahead.

        1. Vatch

          It’s not just the EPA that’s being censored. The National Park Service is also a victim, at least in part because Trump’s mad that he didn’t have enough people attending his inauguration. See this from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility:

          “This episode suggests that federal civil servants must now screen factual information for potential political sensitivity prior to public release,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, questioning whether the Trump “social media guidance” had been reduced to writing. “Based on the nervous chatter we are hearing from agency employees, there is already a distinct chilling effect – and perhaps that is precisely the new White House’s intent.”

          1. Emma

            This is beginning to look like maximal state interference for maximal state power. There’s nothing great about that at all, is there? It’s just dangerous. It’s easy to govern the flock when they’re jockeyed into a state of ignorance. And if the flock, and the MSM along with them, accept to be stupefied instead by the unrestrained and betweeting sensationalism of the powers that be, then so much the better foreavahh……..and evahhhhhhh……..and it may well result in a “long live and prosper the absolutist regime” of the Unites States of America…..

  13. cocomaan

    What do NC’ers think about the Trump tax return controversy? These appear to be the Office of Govt Ethics standards for exec branch employees. But that doesn’t apply to the President.

    It’s a fact that most people won’t read the tax return, they’ll just rely on the media to spin it one way or another.

    Let me frame the question this way: what inurements would actually end up making Donald not qualified to be president? What inurements are appropriate? What is being looked for?

    1. fresno dan

      January 24, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Michael Kinsley: …the scandal isn’t the illegal behavior–the scandal is what’s legal. ***

      I have to say that all the years of presidential candidates releasing tax forms doesn’t seem to me to have made one iota of difference in the screwing of the American people in the last 50 years.
      But now we have a test: will we get screwed even worse than before?

      ***and I find it preposterous that a billiionaire’s tax return will actually reveal something so bad that anything other than a kerfuffle would result

    2. Bill Smith

      While Obama didn’t, in the past presidents used a blind trust. The blind trust invested in the US economy likely via a mutual fund that replicated the economy, say the S&P 500? Thus the president would benefit from the sale of weapons to other counties.

      How different is Trumps circumstance? Is the issue that he might more directly know?

    3. cm

      What do NC’ers think about the Trump tax return controversy?

      I’m still waiting for someone to show me the law that requires the IRS returns be released to the public. Until then, this is all hot air.

      Also, OGE is Executive Branch…

    4. Skip Intro

      I think it is a stranded Clinton campaign talking point that is regurgitated on reflex by various shills and CTR trolls who, like the apocryphal Japanese soldier isolated on an island in the middle of the Pacific, have not got the memo. Afaik, tax returns have traditionally been confidential, and not subject to FOIA requests. If someone leaks it, I hope the response from the dems will be consistent with their response to the leaking of their own emails…

    5. a different chris

      What I think about the controversy is that Trump’s tax returns – which I strongly suspect are extensive, bewildering, and thin-ice skating legal – will be released if and when Trump needs something to divert attention.

    6. Elizabeth Burton

      There are the hardcore anti-Trump Clinton Cultists who prefer wasting time and energy thinking the media talking points have actual value who thus are convinced the tax returns will contain, as someone said to me yesterday, “proof he’s corrupt.” Their ignorance is such that they believe his 2016 returns will be available via FOIA, and they are shocked to be reminded that in 2016 he was a private citizen and his returns therefore not covered as public documents.

      Nor does it help to point out that we know he’s corrupt, and that should their fantasy be made real and he’s ousted from office, we would simply hand the government over to Pence, who is the GOP-agenda poster boy. I honestly think some of them are so totally out of touch with reality they believe that if Trump is out, Hillary will take over.

    7. Lynne

      Surely any real concern about tax returns went out the window when Timothy Geithner took over at Treasury, given that his defense to not having complied with the tax law was that he was too stupid to understand it?

    8. polecat

      I don’t give a crap about his ‘taxes’ …. I want to know what he thinks of MY tax return controversy : Do I have to pay the !*%$#*&! ACA mandate this year .. or not ??

  14. alex morfesis

    der spiegel trump nwo…touchy touchy…actually, it is sad for the german people…their leadership has led them back to being the hated country once again…and for what…they already had converted most of the former comintern/warsaw pact into a german colony…

    to inflate the ego of the bespectacled old fool from offenburg ?

    luckily for the german people, the russians don’t have any real appetite for fighting…as the continued surrender of Chechnya shows…

    but cutting 100 billion per year from nato/europe funding certainly would be valuable to “dump” into rebuilding the urban prairie of america…the money is “thrown away” every year so the german political structure can continue the lie…why not “throw it away” on americans…

    the july 2001 agreement to allow the landesbanks to coast for 14 years (to unlimited time) in unwinding was the perfect example of the double standards in europe

    will mutti dump schaeuble to save germany, or will she allow him to pull germany into the grave with him…??

  15. cocomaan

    The State Department continued to sell arms to Saudi, among others including Kuwait, the UK, and Kenya, as of yesterday 1/23/17.

    This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United State by helping to improve the security of an important ally which has been and continues to be a leading contributor of political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force’s interoperability with U.S. forces and conveys U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security and armed forces.

    Maybe it’s just an artifact of the last administration. But Trump could have easily stopped these transactions before they happened. Looks like Saudi isn’t yet on the Naughty list!

    1. Jim Haygood

      Gotta keep Saudi stable until the record-breaking Aramco IPO in 2018.

      Rex T understands this. ;-)

      1. cocomaan

        I just got queasy. Thanks a lot, Jim.

        I’m not versed enough in commodities to understand what the heck is going on with that IPO, but it frightens me.

              1. Jim Haygood

                Sad indeed. But the main idea of the IPO is to raise money overseas, from the US, Europe and Asia.

                The Saudis will suspend their principles to accept money from women, and even Jewish people. ;-)

      2. Eureka Springs

        Pres. Bernie would do the same.

        Who does Bernie believe should be leading the front against ISIS?

        In a September 2014 interview, Bernie said:

        “Now if this is such a crisis to the region—Saudis have a big air force, you know. They have a lot of F-16s, why aren’t they involved? Why isn’t Kuwait involved?… We went to war to put the Kuwaiti government back. Where are they? Where are the billionaires in Qatar? If these guys in the region think that ISIS is such a great threat, they gotta put some skin in the game.

        1. fresno dan

          Eureka Springs
          January 24, 2017 at 9:50 am

          “If these guys in the region think that ISIS is such a great threat, they gotta put some skin in the game.”
          As best as I can figure, the planes are for the local uprisings (in country) and Yemenis……
          If the Saudis went flying around the whole mid-east, there might be a conflagration or sumthin’ –instead of the peaceful stable Elysium we installed…
          only we can play 11th dimensional checkers…

        2. Waldenpond

          Sanders was not good on foreign policy during the primary. After his Russia, Russia, Russia CNN townhall and 4 years of shilling for Ds, I don’t think Sanders can come back in 2020 even if he wants to. It was ignored for other issues but tribalism causes the base to reject whatever the other branch is doing.

          In general, if Trump continues the wars, the D base will reject militarism. If Trump reduces the wars, the D base will want to expand militarism…. but I think people are going to eventually do as they are with liberalism and identity politics and reject militarism. Will it happen by 2018? No. 2020? depends on how fed up people get.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘national security objectives of the United State’

      Love their unintentional (one hopes) use of ‘United State,’ a term popular with anti-federalists mocking our centralized, DC-ruled former republic.

  16. claudia

    What’s the key message in the FT article about work making us miserable? I can’t read as I don’t have a FT subscription. Curious to know. Thanks!

      1. Some Guy

        I read that one – classic cluelessness from the media.

        “I was not in the workforce in the 1960s. But I was in the 1980s, and can confirm things are better than they were back then. When I joined the City pre-Big Bang, it was stuffed with upper-class men in pinstripes, many of whom were astonishingly dim. Jobs were still for life, so if you landed one you did not like, you were trapped. Promotions took ages, and even then were largely based on Buggins’ turn and who you played golf with. Bullying was so normal no one thought to complain. Office buildings were dingy, dirty and uncomfortable. There were no such thing as ergonomic chairs, and you were likely to get lung cancer from all the passive smoking.

        Now, not only are offices bright and beautiful, we do not even have to go to them if we do not feel like it — we can work at home instead. Bosses have been taught not to shout. There are gyms and free fruit. And if you happen to be a woman, things have improved beyond recognition. In the 1960s you were limited to filing and shorthand, while now (at least in theory) you can run the show. So why are we so miserable?”

        As someone who started work in the 90’s here’s a short list of things which have changed for the worse in office life:

        * Job security, workers on contract, not hired full time, constant churn and re-organization and rationalization
        * Personal space (from offices, to cubicles, to open offices, to no fixed seat at all, just sit wherever you can find room
        * Noise levels (see open office)
        * Bureaucracy
        * Threat of offshoring
        * Required work hours
        * Benefits (goodbye defined benefit pensions, etc.)
        * Wages (always shrinking as a component of GDP, and always reducing relative to what the C-suite gets
        * Revolving door management (a constant parade of people who know nothing coming in for a year or two and moving on)

        I’m sure others could add plenty more

        1. neo-realist

          A paradigm shift in business to staff doing more work w/ fewer employees. You end up doing the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 jobs in one job. You don’t want to take too much vacation time from work because the employee or employees who cover for you are too busy to do much of your job, so when you come back, you end up with more work on your plate and more problems from the work not being done.

  17. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the link to the post by Moon of Alabama. I also think the Trump-press kerfuffles are largely engineered kayfabe intended to divert attention away from and obfuscate substantive policy decisions that are quietly being implemented via claimed executive powers (not that I disagree with the decision to kill the TPP). As he said, “Serious decisions are being taken and implemented by the new administration, but the media is failing to cover them in a systematic way.” … “As with any politician, do not listen to what they say, watch what they do.” These people didn’t just fall off the back of the turnip truck. They are media-savvy, and we are in an important period of policy formation.

  18. BeliTsari

    Re: living in our cars. Been there, done that (Reagan told us all to “vote with our feet.”) But one of TreeHugger’s side links does kinda show one way to fetch librul ‘boomers to the abattoirs, lacking cattle car rail infrastructure: Meanwhile, unreported elsewhere:

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hawaiians…face of neoliberalism…over land lawsuits.

    One China, One Taiwan.

    One America, One Hawaii…Wasn’t there a Hawaii Independence Movement?

    China should stay out of this one.

  20. allan

    Shooter sent Facebook message to Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos before gunfire at UW protest, police say
    [Seattle Times]

    The man who told police he shot and wounded another man during a violent demonstration over the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington sent a social-media message to the Breitbart News editor just an hour before the shooting. …

    Yiannopoulos did not respond, and the man went on to be caught up in a raucous confrontation between those trying to get inside the UW’s Kane Hall to see Yiannopoulos and protesters trying to keep them out.

    Sometime just before 8:30 p.m., the man — who at this point was wearing a yellow hat — was involved in a scuffle with several people, and he allegedly shot and wounded the other man.

    The man and his wife surrendered to UW police several hours later, claiming he fired in self-defense, according to law-enforcement officials. He was questioned and released.

    Which is definitely standard operating procedure in such situations.

  21. Carolinian

    Shorter Columbia Journalism Review: sure Bush may have killed a million people in Iraq but he was nice to us.


  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Snowden…Faith in Elected Leaders…a mistake we keep on making.

    First of all, elected leaders are not infallible, and hardly Messiahs. We must separate faith/worship/religion from state.

    Then, not being a savior, any one president can only address one set of issues, some more important to you than others (perhaps you are dying from poverty, lack of health care or drug overdose, and you are so far below any ceiling, glass or steel).

    Then, since any government is run by leaders, who are fallible humans (until we invent robot governments), no government should ever be omnipotent, in any one aspect, for example, spending money.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    What makes a car American?

    Any car born in America is American???

    What if both parents of the baby car are not???

  24. flora

    3 states considering “right to repair” laws that would decriminalize fixing your stuff. Good. A push back starts against DMCA claims that have gotten out of hand, imo. From BoingBoing.

    “The conversion of companies’ commercial preferences into legally enforceable rights has been especially devastating to the repair sector, a huge slice of the US economy, as much as 4% of GDP, composed mostly of small mom-n-pop storefront operations that create jobs right in local communities, because repair is a local business. No one wants to send their car, or even their phone, to China or India for servicing.

    “Ironically, China is one of the places were a lot of busted phones get sent, but not so that they can be fixed for their owners. Rather, the manufacturer-imposed limits on repair makes it so uneconomical to fix these devices that they’re sold as ewaste, shipped in bulk to China, and refurbished there, creating jobs and value for that economy, taking it away from the US economy, and requiring US residents to waste money replacing devices that could be fixed and put back in their pockets.

    “Three states are considering “Right to Repair” bills that would override the DMCA’s provisions, making it legal to break DRM to effect repairs, ending the bizarre situation where cat litter boxes are given the same copyright protection as the DVD of Sleeping Beauty. Grassroots campaigns in Nebraska, Minnesota, and New York prompted the introduction of these bills and there’s more on the way. EFF and the Right to Repair coalition are pushing for national legislation too, in the form of the Unlocking Technology Act.”

    1. fresno dan

      January 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

      This is just ANOTHER grift that is so outrageous that is just epitomizes the propaganda of “land of the free”
      We’re all serfs, all tenant farmers, all renters – WE OWN NOTHING – soon to be realized when our organs get copyrighted. It is in every way just another transfer of wealth from those without political power to those with.
      It may not be why Trump was elected, but its part of why Hillary wasn’t…

    2. pictboy3

      That link raises more questions than provides answers. While this is a great initiative, the supremacy clause probably makes these bills DOA. The feds have the power to regulate interstate commerce and copyright law, so I don’t see how the states can contradict them by decriminalizing what has already been criminalized at the national level. The article mentions that the US Copyright office sided with farmers against John Deere in their dispute, but I didn’t see any mention of whether a federal court endorsed that particular framing, and that’s the opinion that really matters.

      1. hunkerdown

        Supremacy didn’t stop marijuana laws. You seem to be rather opposed to the idea that vassals can dissent from their lords.

  25. TheBellTolling

    A new republican flavor of “ACA replacement” came out yesterday by Senators Collins and Cassidy.

    The highlights I can tease out from health policy twitter :

    -Doesn’t change any of the funding of ACA, e.g. taxes remain in places. Might not be amenable to some republicans.

    – State wants to keep ACA Exchanges they get to but with some haircuts on subsidies. Also have to administer certain programs like risk mitigation themselves. (Risk Adjustment is a costly program to administer and this might be intended to scare states).

    – Alternatively you can go for the new Roth-HSA option. In this option they calculate what the state would have received under medicaid expansion and premium tax credits and they calculate a block grant to go forward with. That block grant is then doled out into HSA accounts based on age/area for anyone under a individual/family threshold of 190k/250k (so splitting same amount of subsidy over more people, likely hurting low income non Medicaid individuals).

    Those states would keep the following regs: Child-26 law, pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime/annual maximums.

    They do lose mostly everything else. No limits on age curves. Can rate for gender. No MLR/profit requirements. No OOP reqmnts.

      1. TheBellTolling

        Correction, I think it’s risk adjustment administered by states whether or not they use ACA waiver though the language not quite clear.

    1. rd

      Kellyanne Conway is looking forward to the Obamacare replacement using block grants to expand Medicaid. I assume that a Republican President and Congress expanding Medicaid will now be politically correct instead of a socialist takeover of medicine when Obama does it, so the numerous states that did not expand Medicaid on principle under Obama can now do it in good faith.

  26. LT

    Re: Doomsday Prep For the Super Rich…

    The collapse they fear is the belief in the system that has made them elite. Once they flee, they will no longer be the elite. No amount of light is going curb that depression (LOL).
    The guy that said there’s the CA area and the NY area with a bunch of indifferent people in the middle is espcialli daft. As if people in NY and CA do not have people they do know, love and understand in other parts of the country.

    The people not planning to run should prove to be more resilient once they’ve gone.
    Then their retreats become their cages.
    Most of the collapse they describe is world that is already the collapse that many know how to survive.
    Most of the rest have had to be “survivalists” in this system they worship for hundreds of years.
    They’re ridiculous.

    1. sleepy

      The guy that said there’s the CA area and the NY area with a bunch of indifferent people in the middle is espcialli daft

      This brings up a pet peeve of mine that I have with the pundits who voyeuristically view the so-called “heartland” as comprised of voters who must by definition be a distinct subspecies of human since they voted for Trump.

      Go one hour east of Manhattan, and Trump carried Suffolk County. One hour north and it’s Duchess County. Go west another hour and Trump carried Morris County NJ. These are all counties in the NYC metropolitan area.

      No need to take bus trips to exotic Wisconsin or Iowa.

      1. polecat

        I live on the Olympic Peninsula, in western Washington State ….. ‘Fly-Over’ exists here too ! … For most living here, the ‘left coast’ is approx. 100 miles southeast !!

        they call it ‘King’ County …..

    1. Anne

      It’s done:

      US President Donald Trump has signed two executive actions to advance the building of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

      Tuesday’s steps illustrate Trump’s plan to give the oil industry more freedom to expand infrastructure and ease transportation bottlenecks.

      Sean Spicer telegraphed this move yesterday:

      “I’m not going to get in front of the President’s executive actions,” Mr Spicer said, “but I will tell you that areas like the Dakota and Keystone pipeline areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic grown, and tap into America’s energy supply. That’s something that he’s been very clear about.”

      He added that Mr Trump is “very, very keen in making sure we maximise use of our natural resources to America’s benefit”.


      1. JohnL


        U.S. Solar Employment Jumped 25% In 2016, Says DOE Study

        “Though coal jobs were a focus of the 2016 presidential election, renewables are where more paychecks are. Wind power supports 88,000 jobs, while close to 373,807 U.S. workers are currently employed in solar, a 25% rise in 2016—and that number is predicted to rise to 420,000 workers by 2020. Wind power employs 101,738 workers, a 32% increase over 2015. As of October, coal employed fewer than 54,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

        1. Anne

          Speaking of jobs:

          Building Trades Allow Themselves to Be Played Like Fools

          The shorter version of this is that Trump is going to undo Obama’s decision on the Dakota Access Pipeline and run it right down those savage Indians’ throats. And nothing would make Terry O’Sullivan more excited. Because JOBS!!!! The type of job, irrelevant. Do the Laborers or the other building trades have nonwhite members? Yes they do. Does McGarvey or O’Sullivan prioritize the civil rights of those members? Evidently not. Do they prioritize a livable planet? No. Do they think they need allies in the rest of the labor movement or the broader left movement? No. Do they wish it was 1910 again? Yes. Do they hate hippies? Yes. Do they have tremendous power within the AFL-CIO? Yes, very much so. Are they acting in their members’ best interests? No. Do their members see it that way? Largely, no.

  27. sleepy

    From the Politico article on Hillary pondering her future:

    Bill Clinton, for example, has dived back into his work with the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton — spotted recently resuming her social life on Broadway and at trendy dinners in New York and Washington — is considering doing some writing.

    Enough said. Can’t wait to read the book.

    1. cm

      I heard Hillary has a deal with O’Reilly tentatively titled Securing E-mail Servers — Best Practices

      edit: and the weasel will be the animal on the cover

  28. JohnnyGL

    Where’s our man-on-the-ground in Argentina, RabidGandhi? Trump roughing up Macri’s lemon exporter buddies!

    One possible silver lining is all of the local oligarchs in various countries that rely on the US to provide an export market (especially around commodities) to help make/keep them wealthy might find their business model is shakier than it used to be. I’m curious about the impact on local politics in those countries as Trump puts ‘America first’ and messes up the colonial business model that operates currently. Prime candidate is Mexico, naturally, as they’re most dependent and fully invested in the idea of getting rich on exports to USA.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Mexico could be looking at a competitor in one key export area – migrants.

      China, looking at Mexico’s success, might be tempted to muscle in.

      “Why drain the communist Treasury to hold South China Sea militarily, when the party could send millions (there are more Chinese than Mexicans on this planet) to California, go to their colleges like the natives, and vote to become, first independent, then unite with the motherland?”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “Retake California! Admiral Zheng Ho was here before Columbus. They even discovered his Treasure Fleet’s sunken anchors off Palos Verdes back in the late 1960s.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Perhaps the Buddhist Han Chinese sailors burned all the flags of the Muslim eunuch admiral.

      2. rd

        I believe we are currently at net 0 illegal immigration. Burning the NAFTA treaty will certainly change that in a hurry.

        1. craazyboy

          No doubt. Plus the family corn farms are all safely foreclosed on by the Mexican – American banks, so a return to an Agrarian society does not seem in Mexico’s future either. This is called Hysteresis Error when traveling back in time. You can’t get to the same starting point.

          However, it’s not as bad as it sounds because the factories there still have the domestic Mexican market and Mexico has very favorable trade rules with the EU and other regions around the world. The main problem for the US is, take Ford for example, Ford will continue to us Mexico as their export “platform” and limit US production to domestic production.

          But the race to the bottom for the US has to be halted.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      North Korea…Olympus…maybe a military parade (men and women marching) before the White House this Fourth of July (though that could indicate Beijing, Moscow or Pyongyang hacking)?

  29. fresno dan

    The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn’s latest.

    In the US, Europe and the Middle East there were many who saw themselves as the losers from globalisation, but the ideological vehicle for protest differed markedly from region to region. In Europe and the US it was right wing nationalist populism which opposes free trade, mass immigration and military intervention abroad. The latter theme is much more resonant in the US than in Europe because of Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump instinctively understood that he must keep pressing these three buttons, the importance of which Hillary Clinton and most of the Republican Party leaders, taking their cue from their donors rather than potential voters, never appreciated.
    The mainline mass media is finding it difficult to make sense of a new world order which may or may not be emerging. Journalists are generally more rooted in the established order of things than they pretend and are shocked by radical change. Only two big newspapers – the Florida Times-Union and the Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Trump before the election and few of the American commentariat expected him to win, though this has not dented their confidence in their own judgement. Criticism of Trump in the media has lost all regard for truth and falsehood with the publication of patently concocted reports of his antics in Russia, but there is also genuine uncertainty about whether he will be a real force for change, be it good or ill.

    “… but there is also genuine uncertainty about whether he will be a real force for change, be it good or ill.”
    Oh, I think Trump is a demonstration that things are really changing, I doubt for net good, but merely as a totem that things could not continue as they were.
    Hopefully, things will become clearer to the American people about what the issues really are.
    Is the US a nation with obligations to ALL its citizens, to be run so as to benefit ALL Americans, or merely real estate that has tax and financial benefits to Davos man, and is run to advance the benefits of the “meritocracy” who are so smart that they know how to to run economies the most efficiently and effectively (i.e., so they get richer, and richer by making everybody else poorer and poorer).

  30. Jim Haygood

    CBO speaks:

    The federal budget deficit is projected to begin swelling again this decade, adding $8.6 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office.

    Statutory caps imposed in 2011 on domestic and military spending have helped control the deficit. But those controls are likely to be swamped by the aging baby boomer generation, which is ramping up spending on health care and Social Security.

    If anything, $8.6 trillion might be on the low side. The next recession and its aftermath could easily generate $3 to 5 trillion of red ink.

    When the government can borrow at 2 percent, servicing the debt mountain doesn’t look too bad. Let the nominal interest rate rise to say 5 percent, though, and debt service becomes an uncomfortably large portion of the budget.

    1. John k

      Not when fed buys up the bonds… for years they bought more than were issued.
      Interest payments to fed simply returned to treasury.
      Or treasury could simply buy the lot from fed with a single platinum coin the size if a dime.

    2. Praedor

      It is impossible to “owe” money to yourself. You cannot borrow from yourself either. ALL the “debt” held by the government doesn’t, in fact, exist but in the imagination. It can be simply erased with a few keystrokes on a computer without harming anything. The national debt is irrelevant (to a first, second, even third approximation).

      It is merely a tool used by the looter class (both GOP and Dem) who want to gut social spending cuz MARKETS!…and because they stand to make bank on such cuts and guts. ALL debt concern is merely a ruse for raping and pillaging the 99% for fun and profit (but mostly just for fun…the 1% HATES the non-1%).

  31. fresno dan

    US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump Counterpunch

    Washington Post columnist David Ignatius recently recalled meeting with leaders of Harakat al-Hazm, considered the most promising “moderate” armed group in Syria, at a safehouse in Turkey in late 2014. He found them “despondent”, because the United States had just carried out a rare air strike on al -Qaeda operatives believed to be plotting a terrorist attack on the West.

    They told Ignatius that, because of the US bombing what was then called the Nusra Front would no longer tolerate the group’s operations. Soon after the meeting, the Nusra Front did indeed eliminate Harakat al-Hazm and appropriate all the TOW missiles and other military equipment the CIA had given them.

    The Ignatius account reflects a fundamental reality throughout northern Syria, from 2013 onwards, that was simply ignored in media coverage: all of the opposition groups have been absorbed into an al-Qaeda-controlled political-military order. The idea that the “moderate” groups could be a bulwark against al-Qaeda, which is now being peddled by Lister, Cafarella and CNAS, no longer has any credibility even in those quarters in Washington that were once open to it.

    CIA – its just not the lying and evil. Its the pure unadulterated incompetence. The only other explanation is that the CIA is in fact in cahoots with Al Qaeda. Uh…still (I mean currently – which considering our 11th dimensional checkers view of controlling the world is plausible….Whoa – dude!)

  32. pictboy3

    I did some looking through previous links posts and couldn’t find it, but I just wanted to make everyone aware that I saw a link above the line previously from Duffel Blog, without any /sarc tags. Duffel Blog is a satire site for the US military, and it seemed like it was linked in seriousness. I don’t remember seeing any comments on it at all, so I just wanted to make sure no one was taking it too seriously.

  33. LT

    Re: Hillary Clinton Plots Next Move…

    The interesting tidbit from that article: the line about Dem Senators looking at governorships.
    Can’t help but think they Beltway elite are trying to head off grassroots organizations or parties moving in the Rust Belt, etc.

  34. fresno dan

    Federal prosecutors have decided to not pursue criminal charges against three Fullerton police officers whose violent encounter with Kelly Thomas five years ago resulted in the homeless, mentally ill man’s death.

    Astounding what federal prosecutors can’t prove. If we had this bunch after WWII, and the little mustachioed guy had lived and needed to be prosecuted, I’m positive they would have found insufficient evidence….

    1. Praedor

      When the “Justice System” fails to even TRY and provide justice for the People, it delegitimizes itself and makes it right and PROPER for the People to seek justice outside the failed system. By any means necessary to get it.

    2. pretzelattack

      seems like the right to life ought to figure in there somewhere. nothing to see here, forward not backward.

  35. Anne

    This may be the most depressing – but not surprising – thing I’ve read today…

    From the article:

    The potential explanations for Democratic losses in November are endless, and far from Trump’s inauguration on Friday and the massive marches against the new president on Saturday, roughly 120 of the Democratic Party’s high-level donors and strategists who spent the weekend tucked away at a peaceful golf resort here came no closer to a consensus on what went wrong.

    Many of the party’s top players flew south to discuss the path forward, and they committed to investing more in opposition research initiatives and war rooms, to pay more attention to state campaigns, and — in a popular decision among a crowd full of Hillary Clinton supporters and absent much Bernie Sanders support — to avoid further acrimony within the party.

    But the primary refrain about 2016 remained the same: “What went wrong? Everything.”

    Really, though, all you have to know is that this retreat was organized by David Brock.

    Funny, I didn’t read anything about voter suppression, about voter registration drives; this just seems like a bunch of whiny-a$$ Clintonites who are never going to get over losing, and who think oppo research is some kind of magic wand for defeating Trump’s plans.

  36. fresno dan

    To do that, they’re probably going to have to let go of the most soul-satisfying, brain-melting political theory of the last two decades: that Democrats are inevitably the Party of the Future, guaranteed ownership of the future by an emerging Democratic majority in minority-white America. This theory underlay a lot of Obama’s presidency, and Clinton’s campaign. With President Trump’s inauguration on Friday, we saw the results.Why was this such a bad theory?
    The votes of the emerging Democratic majority are extremely inefficiently distributed. As Trende and Byler write:
    In our system of government, popular vote metrics are only sensible when put through a geographic filter. This causes problems in the Electoral College, which we’ve recounted before. There are only nine “mega-cities” in America: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas. These, in turn, affect 11 states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia and Texas. In other words, in seven of these states, further growth in this area does no good for Democrats, as they are already blue. In three others (Pennsylvania, Florida and Georgia), the rural areas, towns, and small cities cast enough votes to outvote the mega-city. The final one – Texas – may be the key to a Democratic majority down the road, but Hillary Clinton still lost it by nine points, with a lot of Romney’s votes going to third party candidates.

    I know McCardle ain’t too popular in these parts, but it doesn’t mean that the dissection of the “inevitable democratic majority” isn’t salient.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Here’s a handy guide to the “news” papers of those nine megacities, and a few runners-up:

      The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
      The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
      The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
      USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times.
      The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’’t mind running the country, if they could find the time and if they didn’’t have to leave Southern California to do it.
      The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.
      The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’’t too sure who’’s running the country and don’’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
      The New York Post is read by people who don’’t care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
      The Chicago Tribune is read by people in prison who used to run the state and would like to do so again, as would their constituents who are currently free on bail.
      The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.
      The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’’t sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are gay, handicapped, minority, feminist, atheists, or illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course that they are not Republicans.
      The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
      The Seattle Times is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.

      1. Ruben

        Isn’t there any “news” paper for people who think it was their turn to run the country but presently just realized they run out of toilet paper?

  37. fresno dan

    Justin Fox
    You’ve heard about the “American carnage.” But how bad is it out there, really?
    Pretty horrible, actually.

    Drug Overdoses in the U.S.
    Overdose deaths per 100,000 population, age-adjusted

    That means these numbers become less comparable with the homicide data the farther you get from the age-adjustment base year of 2000. Still, the contrast is so great that I’m going to compare them anyway: In 1999, the drug overdose death rate and the homicide rate were similar — 6.1 per 100,000 population to 5.7 respectively. In 2015, the drug overdose rate was more than triple the homicide rate — 16.3 to 4.9.
    The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10–14, and for males, those aged 45–64.***
    The truth hurts….the 99%, but it OFFENDS the elites. There are 6, SIX unemployment statistics (U1 – U6). Why is the lowest TOTAL unemployment rate measure (U-3) the one that is reported?

    ***But this rise in female suicide….happened when women were treated as goddesses???….during the previous administration….
    maybe nice talk Washington yammering or a p#ssy grabbing president don’t affect female suicide rates as much as …..wait for it….economic circumstances

    1. VietnamVet

      Cockburn’s Rise of Trump and ISIS posted above is related to the American Carnage cited here. The West is regressing into Neo-Feudalism. The uncontrolled looting and bombing for profit are forcing under-people to return to their tribal roots. Fundamentalism is the natural response to rising inequality. The 200% rise in the suicide rate in America of girls aged 10-14 and of all women under the age 75 is astonishing. Their despair must be horrific. Failure to address the carnage assures that the USA will splinter apart; if war or climate change, doesn’t get us first

  38. Jim Haygood

    Currently, the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes (which have some overlap among them) are trading at record highs intraday.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Wow!… Has Total Market Capitalization of the Stock Market as a percentage of GDP now exceeded the 2000 bubble high that you mentioned it was nearing here yesterday? “Personal net worth” must be stratospheric for those who define their value in financial terms. Golly, hope the exits from the casino aren’t too crowded.

  39. DarkMatters

    From the NYRB: “How America Lost Its Secrets fails to live up to Epstein’s own principle, jotted down on that 3×5 card for his debate with Oliver Stone about JFK so many years ago: when a nonfiction writer reaches the limits of discoverable fact, he is supposed to stop—not fill in whatever gaps exist with his imagination, no matter how strong his intuition or suspicion.”

    I’m concerned about this “ethic” that a non-fiction writer should self-censor unprovable thoughts and ideas. This just reinforces the “conspiracy theory” canard used by propagandists to impose mental taboos. Information can be thought-provoking, and constructing explanations when discovering new data is a natural function of a critical mind, and commendable. (Scientists, or better, mathematicians engage in this professionally). A non fiction writer who has presumably steeped himself in the circumstances surrounding an event should be especially qualified to look beyond the literal.

    Being exceptionally informed by research aids not only in the ability to construct hypotheses, but to reject those because of inconsistency. An empty mind is fertilized by speculation, and it the other edge of the scythe of information that cuts down the unlikely. Our knowledge contains few if any “provable” facts, and we probably couldn’t even function with these alone.

    I see 2 anomalies in Snowden’s circumstance. First, Snowden was not the first whistleblower, and why weren’t the scandalous circumstances of Kiriakou, Binney, Drake and others publicized as enthusiastically as Snowden’s in our MSM? Second, if the US was serious about extradicting Snowden, why revoke his passport under circumstances that would strand him in Russia?

    If Epstein, and even others like Stone, raise questions and speculate on the interpretation of proferred information, he is performing exactly the function of a non-fiction writer. These writings and movies are certainly more firmly grounded than the “17 departments” asserting specific electoral manipulations as fact, based on no more than unwarranted trust, or on Dark Zero Thirty, a “reality” movie based on scriptwriters’ imaginations.

    1. alex morfesis

      Epstein has always been a great science fiction novelist; very exciting stories…factualistic enough to keep you wondering…

      his claims ?? Legendary…

      have always had questions about snowden but epstein is not the one to answer them…

  40. oho

    NYT on the fate of Euro-democratic socialism.

    #1 comment w/114 votes — NYT experiment. let’s see who long it lasts before CTR-approved comments bury it. (tin toil hat now off)

    bronx refugee
    austin tx 5 hours ago

    Let me translate European “right wing populism” for you: A person who wants a job that can support a family; A person who feels like their national culture and identity are disappearing, sacrificed to the Gods of liberal globalism; A person who does not necessarily want “refugees” whose culture has wrecked their own countries so badly, that they are now have to sleep in their neighbor’s bedrooms: A person who if they are just a hair right of failed socialism, they are labeled as some kind of extremist – in other words, not right wing at all, but mostly just regular folks. Trump supporters can instantly recognize these citizens.

  41. Wyoming

    Re: FiveThirtyEight and the link on hate crimes.

    If their pitiful performance on the election last fall did not hurt their credibility enough this article should help push them into irrelevance. What a mess. To wit: they claim that their data (which is very incoherent, lacking in sufficient data points, and largely anecdotal) shows that hate crimes and ‘incidents” (which have no exact definition) are concentrated in states of high income inequity. Both before and after the election. There is no proper way to take such data and come to any scientific conclusion. This is junk science.

    So before the election they say the worst states are: North Dakota, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

    Well I am pretty sure that we could come up with 4 other states which have higher inequity than those four.

    Following the election we get: Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Maine.

    Once again this does not seem to fit their conclusions very well. Not to mention why the change post election would be manifested in the second set of states which is significantly different than the first set.

    Of note is that there does not seem to have been an attempt in their analysis to take into account factors such as what is going on locally in the states which might impact/skew the data over a short term period. Take North Dakota for instance. Having a long term reputation as a pretty stable non-controversial friendly place one wonders where this might come from? Well for one we have a couple of years of intense political struggles over a couple of pipelines and an intense fossil fuel development boom going bust. This has run afoul of many different Native American concerns and generated an intense economic situation/conflict. Does this have an effect? Probably, but how does one figure this out without more data and is it related to inequity.

    What interactions have been going on in the other states which might have meaningfully impacted these shaky numbers and wild conclusions? Are the southern states and many others not providing data? Are others over reporting ‘incidents’ which other places or people would dismiss as not a part of the data set. It goes on and on.

    It is very interesting to note that BOTH sets of data from before and after the election indicate that hate crimes dominate in the non-Southern regions of the county vice the region most Americans would be likely to point the finger at. That is perhaps the most interesting piece of data of everything in the article.

    I call this fake news.

  42. Oregoncharles

    The Gareth Porter piece, while important on its terms, commits a sinister omission: the Kurds aren’t even mentioned. Since they’re the only actual leftists on the field and one of the most effective counters to both Al-Qaeda and IS, that’s a dangerous silence, even granted that they lie a little outside of the dynamic he’s covering. He should at least say that, or he’s part of setting them up for yet another horrible betrayal. Omitting them also calls his grasp of the situation into question. They’re a big factor.

  43. dbk

    Other important news that hasn’t been widely commented on, though the NYT had a piece up yesterday (disappeared from the front page in a day): on Jan. 11, nine schoolchildren/their guardians along with NADLC (=Native American Disability Law Center) filed a lawsuit against the USG (Bureau of Indian Education) in the US District Court in Phoenix, AZ.

    This is the first time ever that a group of Native Americans has filed suit claiming, essentially, inequality of educational opportunity down the line (numerous specifics: only two subjects taught; no extracurriculars of any kind; insufficient books and materials; no social services; no disabled student services [one disabled child was just sent home each day so they didn’t have to deal with him], etc.)

    I’ve downloaded the full complaint and hope to read it over the next couple of days – what I’ve read so far suggests it’s passionately well-crafted and meticulously prepared. The plaintiffs are represented by two large law firms, one in Phoenix and one in LA (both working pro bono), as well as by Public Counsel, the largest pro bono law firm in the U.S., and the NM chapter of the ACLU. In brief, a large group of big players who are clearly focused and coordinated.

    I suspect Stephen C. vs Bureau of Indian Education will be a landmark case in the long and troubled history of education offered to Native Americans by the federal government.

    Public Counsel’s useful summary, plus a link to the full complaint, at

  44. brewmastermonk

    In regards to “In the future, we all might live in our cars out of choice”: that future is already here. There is a sizable online community at r/vanliving if you’d like to know more. I myself am in the process of buying a van to do it (the bastards won’t text me back). I’m tired of spending 40% of my take home on rent. Given the fact that women like bad boys, I think I’m better off being a criminal than a wage slave.

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