Links 1/25/17

Rigopiano Hotel avalanche: Puppies raise rescuers’ hopes in Italy BBC

Animals are smarter than most people think TreeHugger. Resilc: “For sure smarter than anything inside the Beltway.”

Light-speed camera snaps light’s “sonic boom” for the first time New Scientist (Robert M)

Cost of offshore wind power in UK has dropped 32 percent in four years ars technica (martha r)

Found: A 2,000-Year-Old, 22-Pound, Still-Edible Hunk of Bog Butter Atlas Obscura (Chuck L). Dunno about “edible”. 2,000 year old bacteria might interact very nastily with modern digestions.

HYGIENE RITUALS Watch: How convenient it is to use hand sanitisers (and how ineffective) Scroll.In (J-LS). My former attorney, who is a biomedical engineer by training and did her first work at the NIH, long ago said if these hand sanitizers did what they said they did, they’d need to be regulated as drugs. Which begs the question as to why the FDA let these big consumer product companies make medical claims when they go hard after dietary supplement companies that do that.

Wasps have trading partners and compete for the ‘best trade deals’: study PhysOrg (Chuck L). Now scientists are taking up Trump’s framing? Gah.


Drop in China corruption prosecutions Financial Times

The US in Sri Lanka: -when does ‘Aid’ become Espionage? Defend Democracy


Theresa May to fast-track Brexit bill following court defeat Financial Times. “Opposition to Brexit at Westminster has crumbled in recent months and most Labour MPs are expected to follow the edict of their leader Jeremy Corbyn who says the party must not be seen as trying to thwart the referendum Leave vote.”

Citigroup plans new operations away from London after Brexit Guardian. Vlade:

On one hand, getting UK less dependent on financial services is good. On the other hand, to do it over in effect 18 months is idiocy.

Given that Tories are never going to look at MMT (Labour continues to be inelectable) and that my (I believe conservative) estimate means that every bank moving out will cost the Treasury upwards of 1.5bln pounds in revenues, we’re talking a significant hit to UK’s finances as early as 2018, with the likely repercussions of “retrenching” and similar.

Some in mid England may not lament the demise of “fat cat bankers”, but when 10s of thousands UK affluent taxpayers are picked up and made leave on a short timescale, it will have nationwide impact (including likely tanking of London and surround real estate market, which will have impact on the UK domestic banks too…). Such short-term semi-forced emigration of large, well paid, skilled group of people is something I’d struggle to find an equivalent of (mass force emigration yes, even skilled, but usually young, not settled and not so well paid) in peace time, and the consequences are unpredictable both London-wise and nationally.

For example, someone running B&B in Yorkshire Dales, Cotswolds or Somerset may find that their Home Counties clientele left overnight, because it’s now for them easier to pick a fast train/drive on motorway to a French/Italian/Spanish beach than to fly and drive there (not to mention better weather).


“Rebel” Infighting And Turkish Losses Help the Government And Its Allies Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

UN condemns Israel’s West Bank settlement plans BBC

New Cold War

Interviews by Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer. Sid S: “A couple of excellent podcasts debunking the mounting hysteria over Russia” Mark Ames, co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast, on the Putin-did-it mania (starts at 24:40); Andrew Cockburn on Russophobia (starts at 23:50)

America’s Putin Derangement Syndrome Consortium News

Trump Transition

White House sources say Trump was ‘visibly enraged’ at the size of the Women’s March: report Raw Story (furzy)

Trump Threatens to ‘Send in Feds’ to Fix Chicago ‘Carnage’ New York Magazine (resilc)

Kellyanne Conway Allegedly Punched a Guy at an Inaugural Ball Vice (Dr. Kevin). Buries that she threw the punch to break up a fight. But still not a good look.

Trump Hastens Plan for Border Wall, Immigration Ban Wall Street Journal. “Hastens”? Didn’t he promise some sort of action on immigration his first day in office? He’s late!

What the Death of the T.P.P. Means for America New Yorker. Be warned: by Adam Davidson, aspirant to the role of chief defender of neoliberalism and a sometimes special project of NC and others: Bill Black: Adam Davidson, the 1%’s Lord Haw-Haw, Mangles Economic Theory to Attack Sanders, Reader Critical Thinking Test! How Many Things Can You Find Wrong with Adam Davidson’s Latest Article?, Project S.H.A.M.E.: The Recovered History of Adam Davidson, Adam Davidson Parrots Disinformation as He Extols Rule by the Top 0.1%, Adam Davidson, the 1%’s Lord Haw-Haw, Fellates Wall Street. And this isn’t even a complete list!

EXCLUSIVE: Trump team compiles infrastructure priority list McClatchy (martha r). This indicates half the money will come from the government. That may just be loan guarantees, since heretofore the noises have been about minimizing fiscal impact. But if it is actual spending, this would be a lot of stimulus.

Mnuchin Backs Fed Independence and Signals Reform Isn’t Priority Bloomberg. The House will almost certainly pass Audit the Fed, and the Senate may. I don’t see how Trump could veto that without really alienating his base. So if the Administration (as opposed to just Mnuchin) is against this, how do they kill this in the Senate?

For a few hours, Badlands National Park was bad to the bone in defiance of Trump Washington Post (martha r). They were forced to delete their offending tweets. I should have screenshot some of them but went to embed one I’d read earlier and now it’s gone.

Trump Is Said to Keep James Comey as F.B.I. Director New York Times (J-LS). Quelle surprise!

Freedom Rider: Democrats Attack Trump from the Right Black Agenda Report (Userfriendly)

Trump to Sign Two Executive Actions to Advance Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines Alternet (furzy)

Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest Guardian (Userfriendly). Bear in mind that this was a DC police matter, not an action of the new Administration. However, this is consistent with something we’ve warned about: a majority of people who use guns as part of their line of work are Trump supporters.

Trump’s Supreme Court List: Ivy League? Out. The Heartland? In. New York Times (J-LS)

Trump Administration Restricts News from Federal Scientists at USDA, EPA Scientific American

USDA Scientists Have Been Put On Lockdown Under Trump BuzzFeed (José, Userfriendly)

White House may not move U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem New York Daily News. Userfriendly: “Sorry, Bibi”. Moi: Some cooler head managed to prevail.

The Women’s March in Washington D.C., as Broadcast Black Agenda Report (Userfriendly)

Justice Democrats: Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks, Progressives Launch Party Takeover Inquisitur (Userfriendly). Important. First good news I’ve seen on this front in a while. The critique is specific and forceful.

Zuckerberg scotches rumours of White House run Financial Times. Let’s hope he doesn’t change his mind.

2016 Post Mortem

Trump’s Road to the White House Frontline. UserFriendly: “I generally hate Luntz for his ability make horrible things sound like a good idea, but he really does get a good understanding of how and why people vote the way they do.​”

An anthropologist announces the death of liberalism Fabius Maximus (resilc)

The Protected, Privileged Establishment vs. The Working Class Charles Hugh Smith (Chuck L)

Health Care

Minnesota Reveals a Possible Obamacare Replacement attn:. Userfriendly: “Dayton, who just announced he has cancer, is actually pushing for a public option.​”

Employer Insurance Penalty Looms in Massachusetts Wall Street Journal


Activists, DFLers push back against bill to hold protesters liable for costs Minnesota Public Radio News (Userfriendly)

We’ll keep fighting these dirty projects: Opposing view USA Today (martha r)

200,000 litres of oil from pipeline spills near Stoughton, Sask. CBC News (martha r)

Despite Trump’s Rhetoric: U.S. Needs OPEC Oil OilPrice

Gary Cohn’s Goldman Exit Tops $100 Million Wall Street Journal

Aetna, Humana assess merger options after court setback USA Today (martha r)

Aetna jeopardized its antitrust case and the ACA by exiting some exchanges Modern Healthcare (martha r)

Class Warfare

Why is work making us miserable? Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times. I am a Kellaway fan, but she misses the elephant in the room. Short job tenures and a weak labor market make ordinary workers more insecure. And much greater connectivity and the resulting compression of work cycles means many workers have no real separation of their personal life from their work life. Work comes first or else.

Broad Strokes Dirk Hayhurst. Voislav: “Dirk Hayhurst is a former MLB pitcher and current analyst and broadcaster. He offers his view on the recent election and divisions in the American society. He is a very interesting read as he has a very folksy approach.”

Meet the leader of a billionaires’ club determined to stop Trump from destroying the world Quartz (Joe H). As long as they are discussing these issues on a yacht, and not in Detroit or Flint or Youngstown and seeing how the locals live and (gah) eating the local food, it’s hard to see them as serious.

Antidote du jour. This is the “big Siamese” of Alan T’s daughter Jessica. Look at the non-breed-standard white toes! Plus great fashion sense and ‘tude.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Susan

      Did anyone else note the paucity of water/sewer infrastructure projects in this priority list? See the featured article on water affordability today. Pleased to see our own Northeast Ohio Sewer District getting in line for another bowl of gruel from the orphanage’s serving table.

      But barely any asks from aging corroded, collapsing, poisoning urban water/sewer infrastructure needs made onto the “Emergency and national security priority projects draft”. Flint not mentioned. :(

      Why all this transport stuff? Why are we, and where are we running off to, and why is it an emergency?

      1. rd

        It is hard to put your name on a sewer.

        Also, everybody knows that they are hitting potholes, or the bridge is closed, or a barge can’t navigate up a river.

        However, water still comes out the tap and goes down the sewer…..until it doesn’t. Cities are starting to get many more water main breaks and more areas end up with out water for hours, but it hasn’t reached a crisis point yet except in a couple of places. Americans generally only respond to crises.

        1. JTMcPhee

          More from 2014 (though the weather has got so many Calis back to “unconcerned” now that “the drought is over” and they can go back to the usual profligacy) there’s this:

          As Bay Area residents struggle to save water during a historic drought, the region’s water providers have been losing about 23 billion gallons a year, a new analysis of state records reveals.

          Aging and broken pipes, usually underground and out of sight, have leaked enough water annually to submerge the whole of Manhattan by 5 feet — enough to meet the needs of 71,000 families for an entire year.

          Bay Area water agencies have lost from 3 to 16 percent of their treated water, according to this newspaper’s analysis of the latest reports on water that disappears before the meter. The figures are especially irritating for residents who are being forced to cut up to 20 percent of their water use and contend with the first-ever statewide restrictions on outdoor watering.

          “It’s just freaking people out that we’re so wantonly wasting water here,” said Deborah St. Julien, who watched a 2-gallon-a-minute leak bubble up in front of her neighbor’s house for a month before the San Jose Water Co. fixed it.

          And also from 2014 and on a larger scale, and it’s inherent that “systems” will leak, but apparently not enough water to extinguish feckless “hair on fire” from the Credentialeds — “As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost,”

      2. susan the other

        As was mentioned here a few years ago on sea level rise: when the water level gets above the level of the big sewage pipe emptying the treated sewage into the bay, the sewage begins to back up and can’t go anywhere. I think this was in reference to San Francisco, where they had just built the George W. Bush Sewage Treatment Plant.

  1. Roger Smith

    >Kellyanne Conway Allegedly Punched a Guy at an Inaugural Ball

    But was it okay or not? Can we spend a week talking about whether or not to support KC punching people? On one hand she is a woman (Identity!) but then again she works for Trump (Boo!). Let’s all head for Twitter!


    1. fresno dan

      Roger Smith
      January 25, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Hmmmm…being a repub party, its pretty obvious that she was punching a facist*
      But as there were two men, the only question is: Did she punch the more facist, or the less facist? **

      *that’s sarc people
      ** that is more sarc

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      As far as the democrat intelligentsia is concerned, the fact that KellyAnne Conway is a woman is for informational purposes only.

      “Special place in hell” and all that.

      The “real” news, as opposed to “fake,” is, “Trump supporters double down on their violence incitin’ ways.”

      1. Gareth

        I’m old enough to remember when you could exchange punches with someone and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Maybe you’d even buy the other person a drink after the dust settled. Now it’s a news story. Call the police, send in the SWAT team! Maybe I just grew up on the wrong side of town.

      2. fresno dan

        January 25, 2017 at 10:56 am
        On one hand she punched him, OTOH,

        Biased reporting – damn liberal MSM – NOT A WORD about the fist not thrown….(I surmise only one punch was thrown….by Kellyanne, Yougogirl Conway)

  2. Jim Haygood

    More on the Trump’s executive order to build the wall:

    For Mr. Trump, the directive to fortify the border was not unexpected, although it may not be enough by itself to accomplish the task.

    Congress would need to approve any new funding necessary to build the wall. The order would shift already appropriated federal funds to the wall’s construction, but it was unclear where the money would come from.

    Congressional oversight of spending ought to forbid shell games in which appropriated funds are diverted from their original purpose to something quite different.

    But after decades of drift toward an imperial executive who can start wars on his own initiative, the 535 Kongress Klowns have effectively consigned themselves to a noisy peanut gallery.

    And all the walls we build
    They must come down
    Hey you’re my wrecking ball
    Won’t you come and maybe knock me down

    — Ryan Adams, My Wrecking Ball

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump can declare war on drug smugglers and he will get all the money he needs to built the wall.

    2. ewmayer

      Mish has a piece today with various links about this, noting that Trump is threatening to tax remittances to pay for the wall.

      Remittances are the largest source of revenue for Mexico, even larger than oil exports – that’s a powerful bargaining chip, because the Mexican government has no say on the taxation issue. I’m not saying such a tax would be in any way good, just noting that if Trump wants to impose one, he can.

  3. Chico

    Article about Sri Lanka is terrible, agitprop built on innuendo. The writer has a hidden agenda.

    DAI is your standard USAID contractor/Beltway Bandit, the project mentioned is the standard consultants lecturing a foreign government BS.

    It may be a total waste of money but it’s not spying.

    Articles like that do inspire some to kill Americans though

    1. Bugs Bunny

      That’s an interesting comment. Seems that the effort to investigate war crimes would be in the US’s new Indian BFF the BJP’s interest more than promotion of democracy. The other advice is classic neoliberalism.

      1. vidimi

        i don’t see the problem with investigating war crimes, regardless of who committed them.

        on the other hand, i rather doubt that that’s what’s really at stake. usually, when the US generally (and the CIA specifically) get involved, it ends up in some theft of resources.

    2. TheCatSaid

      I’ve been watching George Webb’s ongoing YouTube series about Haiti and numerous other “projects” run by individuals in government agencies, domestic and foreign politics, NGOs and corporations. Other “projects” include Libya, Congo, Sudan, Kosovo, Honduras, Syria. . . He’s personally looked into 35 so far. Not to mention similar “projects” within the USA.

      USAID in Sri Lanka? Has anyone looked into whether the “usual players” who keep showing up in the Webb series are also present in Sri Lanka? USAID is one he mentions. There could be anything involved from organ trafficking to drugs to human trafficking to vaccine trials and more, based on what has been exposed as fact. If it’s anything similar to other “projects” some people are making a lot of money out of resources of all kinds and out of asset taking, and exerting political and economic control.

      The extensive documentation provided by Webb and others–added to every day–is awesome. A pattern emerges, used successfully for decades. The documentation makes it impossible to shrug off. It becomes clear it is not a case of individual bad actors, though this is how it’s inevitably reported. Connecting the dots is bearing fruit.

    1. B1whois

      The article contains an amazing Syria explainer that I would like to share on Facebook. Are people here generally in agreement with what is presented in the article?

        1. peter

          I started reading some of it, but then I came across this phrase (regarding the postwar US coup attempt in Syria)…
          They did this because they were convinced that “the Syrian people are naturally democratic” and that all that was neccessary was to get rid of the elites – and a new world of “peace and progress” would inevitably emerge.

          Really? I can’t digest long background pieces that use such drivel.

          1. ilpalazzo

            This is Adam Curtis for you. He seems to take it for granted that elites actually act bona fide and believe this Hyekian dream of society as a giant computer that needs adjustment with meritocratic hand to solve all problems.
            This is a recurring theme in most of his work. He may have a point if you look at archive material he provides, at least as far as official consensus was back in the day.

          2. wilroncanada

            By “they were convinced”, read: they had been miseducated to be convinced, or they had somehow convinced themselves that, like current Humanitarian Interventionists, they could save foreigners by either converting them (a la Christian evangelicals) or killing them to save them. Of course, like the current lot, they are delusional.

    2. Carolinian

      From the article–file under things that go without saying

      The answer is not by blackmailing Trump, hacking the Democratic National Committee, or any other such nonsense put out by disappointed Clintonites. Rather, Putin prevailed through a combination of skill and luck. He played his cards well. But he also had the good fortune of having an opponent who played his own hand extremely poorly. Russia won because America lost.

      Years from now, as historians gather to discuss the great U.S. foreign-policy debacles of the early Twenty-first Century, they’ll have much to debate – the role of oil, Zionism and Islam; the destabilizing effects of the 2008 financial meltdown; and so forth. But one thing they’ll agree on will be the impact of hubris.

      From 30,000 ft it is our current foreign policy establishment that is quite mad. Trump seems sane by comparison.

  4. Steve H.

    A side technical issue: ‘Subscribe to comments via RSS feed’ hasn’t worked for me since the New Years reboot. Anybody else with the problem?

    1. amousie

      Here’s the last one comment I received via RSS feeds:

      When a Business You Like Dies
      by bob
      December 29, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    2. human

      Also, the “Reply” button below comments does not bring up a window at that location, but, at the bottom of the page beginning a new thread in some clients.

    3. B1whois

      Not working for me either. This may solve a mystery for me: how people are able to hold conversations in the comment section. So I’m very much looking forward to finding out what that button does.

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you to Vlade for the link to Citigroup’s proposals.

    It won’t just be the Home Counties / London commuter region, but towns and cities where back and middle office operations are located like Bournemouth (JP Morgan and Barclays), Poole (BNY Mellon), Bromley (Bank of America), Birmingham (Deutsche, my employer and the largest private sector employer in the UK’s second city, the next is German Railways-owned Chiltern Railways and Arriva Buses), Manchester (Deutsche), Newcastle (UBS), Milton Keynes (Santander and VW (including VW’s Bank) and Glasgow (Morgan Stanley). Some of the losses in Birmingham, already under way as work migrates to Dublin, Amsterdam and Pune, will be off set by the “ring fenced” (retail) banks of HSBC and Barclays moving from London.

    Amersham, Beaconsfield and Gerrard’s Cross, well to do towns down the road from me, are on the Chiltern line to London. They have some smart eateries, evidencing the City / London money that has settled / been forced to migrate there. Hard Brexit will turn these true blue bastions into wastelands.

    Even when John Major’s government plumbed the depths of electability two decades ago, Buckinghamshire stayed true blue. It was effectively a Tory one party state / county for years. Think of that and what Lord Acton said. One does not need to go to Zim to get an idea of corruption. Buckinghamshire will do.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think many UK regions are going to find out very painfully the power of economic multipliers. People on steady well paid jobs are the economic foundation for any area. When they leave, the impacts run all the way down through the economy to cooks, baristas and estate agents, and then back up again to banks when mortgages and car loans don’t get paid.

      I think an important point which is often overlooked is that the process will not necessarily be a passive one led by banks. There are lots of whispers indicating that the main cities and countries in europe which are seeking to benefit are being quite strategic in their choices. Its not case of putting on lipstick and shouting ‘yoo hoo, over here, please choose us!’. They know their strengths and weaknesses, many (especially Amersterdam, Paris and Dublin) already have very close links between national/city governments and the big banks, so are targeting specific sectors. And they don’t just have carrots, they also have the stick of passporting and related rules – they can easily put pressure at EU level to ensure financial institutions have to pass strict criteria to qualify as EU based, they can’t just put up nameplates and move a few traders. I would not be surprised if the Commission starts moving a new Directive setting out stricter criteria for a range of financial firms as soon as the A.50 is moved. And while individual cities are competing, they will also co-operate on the big picture issues to ensure the maximum flow of jobs. Its only a zero sum game from the UK perspective, its not from the perspective of EU members. Even lions and hyenas will co-operate when sharing the spoils from a dead wildebeest.

      1. vlade

        There already are stricter rules in place (can’t remember when they are supposed to take effect though), which basically mandate that anyone of size must be incorporated and regulated in EU. So the likes of JPM, Citi etc., will have to incorporate somewhere – and I don’t think they regulators will allow for a nameplate business.

        While at this, most people talk about banks when it comes to it. I’d point out that the financial industry in the UK also includes Asset Managers and Insurers. For example Lloyds of London is already setting up EU entity. Edinburg has a lot of Asset Managers, which may have to move more than a few people over too. So it’s not just banks, there’s quite a few people that will be affected. And it started, and is not going to be rolled back.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, I appreciate there are plenty of rules already, what I meant to say was that there is no reason for the EU not to strengthen those rules as part of the negotiating strategy. Both in terms of making it very difficult to passport unless all key jobs are moved out, and in extending the net to other parts of the financial sector.

          If the major cities involved co-operate, they can not just play hardball with the UK, they can play hardball with the financial institutions. There is a lot of activity going on below the surface. Even here in Ireland, where the national government is in some disarray over Brexit, the relevant government agencies (which operate more or less independently) are very active and have been since the summer.

    2. vlade

      How many of those jobs go depends on how many of them will be covered say by the EUR clearing. Some jobs will stay, because – for example, for banks that have significant IT operations (supporting middle/back office, such as say Market Risk IT), it will be actually cheaper to keep them in London – after all, they just all got 20% or so paycut as far as Citi/JMP/DB etc. are concerned. So moving those is not required by the regulator, and would be counterproductive finacially.

      But if you move a lot of your trading floor that server your EU customers, it makes sense to move all of it. So your traders, sales people, DCM (and FO support, including things like Market Risk Oversight) will go. And those are generally the better paid ones. Not just the actual jobs, but even the FO support. FO IT person (and not just quant-coder) can make multiple of what an middle/back office IT person does.

  6. Jim Haygood

    USA downgraded (not because of Trump):

    The U.S. has been demoted from a full democracy to a flawed democracy for the first time, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

    Every year, the firm’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot [in which] nations are classified under four types of governments: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

    America’s score fell to 7.98 last year from 8.05 in 2015, below the 8.00 threshold for a full democracy, the EIU announced in a report on Wednesday. That put the world’s largest economy on the same footing as Italy, a country known for its fractious politics.

    A flawed democracy is a country with free elections but weighed down by weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation, according to the EIU. Other flawed democracies in 2016 included Japan, France, Singapore, South Korea and India, the report said.

    Permanent war is a proven way to degrade a democracy. A national security state resists transparency and democratic control.

    1. Carla

      Thanks for the link, Haywood. I’m currently reading “The Deep State” by Mike Lofgren. Recommend it.

      Suggest editing your last sentence to change “A” to “The” and “resists” to “makes a mockery of.”

    2. skippy

      Funny that Jim….

      I thought that was premised on how citizens viewed themselves….

      disheveled…. too many – rational – agents – ??????

    3. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      January 25, 2017 at 7:44 am

      I’m kinda thinking a flawed democracy gives you defacto only two choices*….and they are THE Donald and Hillary….

      * Of course, were Romney and Obama REALLY better? And wouldn’t McCain have been WORSE than Trump??? (McCain declares war on the 17th country he has had the US invade to bring the blessing of democracy to….)

    4. sid_finster

      I don’t think that the Deep State was the cause of the downgrade.

      This is the Economist. The downgrade happened because their girl lost.

    1. fresno dan

      January 25, 2017 at 7:50 am

      I’ve looked into expatriating myself. From what I have read, medicare will not pay for medical care if your not in the US.

      GOOGLE: “However, Medicare does not typically cover medical care you receive outside of the United States. To decide if you need your Medicare while living abroad, you need to consider costs, your individual circumstances, and future plans. Most people pay no premium for Part A coverage for inpatient hospital services.”

      Considering how much cheaper medical care is overseas, we could probably take care of the “crisis” in medicare by simply allowing people their benefits no matter where they live. Of course, that might lead to embarrassing questions of how those foreigners supply such good health care at such low rates. Aren’t we SPECIAL…er, I mean exceptional???

      FUNNY how the open borders free flow of capital and people crowd don’t say anything about this….
      LIKE I always say, we exist only to be harvested by the 1% – if inadvertently the “market” benefits us, its a terrible, terrible, horrible mistake.

        1. fresno dan

          January 25, 2017 at 9:05 am

          thank you for that – very useful
          AND…from that website:

          5 Tips For Living in Texas
          Expats in Texas live in one of the largest states in the United States. Here are some tips for expats on how to successfully move to, and settle into, one of the most iconic American states.

          Hmmm….I would have thought there would have been more in the news when Texas seceded from the Union….

      1. Jim Haygood

        For practical purposes, Medicare is not actually free. Most people have some supplemental coverage. Part B will cost $134/month in 2017. Part D prescription drug coverage could push your monthly cost up to about $160/month.

        Although Medicare supplemental coverage doesn’t help expats, in parts of LatAm private health plans are available for not much more than Medicare supplemental coverage in the US.

        1. rd

          Since healthcare costs in most countries are much lower than in the US, you can buy full-coverage insurance there for not much more than supplemental insurance here.

        2. sleepy

          With Part B at $134 a month, my supplemental policy at $130 a month, and a skimpy Plan D for $17/month, the total is $281 for fairly complete medicare coverage. In the 3 months I’ve been on it I’ve paid zero for a one night hospital stay, an ER visit, and 4 doctor visits. Needless to say I’m happy with it, but the only thing that’s “free” is Part A.

          What surprises me is how little medicare actually pays–for a $1700 hospital bill, medicare only coughed up c. $300 dollars. Fortunately, with medicare balance billing is outlawed or at least until HHS Secretary Pence has his way.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            What surprises me is how little medicare actually pays….

            What should surprise you is how little the hospital is willing to accept. Why do you think that is?

            Probably the same reason that drug companies charge so much less in other countries than they do here. Somebody’s getting screwed somewhere.

            Still, a reasonable bill here and a reasonable bill there and pretty soon you’re talkin’ an affordable “healthcare” system.

        3. Linda

          Medicare part A is not free either. Usually $100+ or so is deducted automatically from the recipient’s Social Security check amount.

          1. sleepy

            No, Medicare Part A is not deducted from your social security check. It is “free” in that sense, but your Medicare taxes which have been deducted from your paycheck through the years have obstensibly paid for it. Part B is the elective part and is deducted, as is Part D.

      2. craazyboy

        Mexico offered to accept Medicare in Mexico – both for expats and “medical vacation travelers”. But our Commander-in-Healthcare spake “Nay”, and so be it not.

        A scary aspect is that quality of care, facilities, hospitals, knowledge and availability of advanced equipment vary widely depending on where you go in Mexico. It’s also nearly impossible to evaluate things before you make the final and wise shopping decision. [not that things are much better here in that regard] They were attempting to have a national certification system, but I don’t know how far along they are.

        Then of course, brush up on your Spanish and Mexican Law before signing any insurance papers.

        Live long and prosper.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What is also scary is the language barrier, both verbal and non-verbal.

          Everyone says health care is very personal, and you want to your doctor to spend more time talking with you about what is bothering you.

          I understand that in some places, nodding your head means no, and shaking means yes.

          What other traps like that lurk out there?

      3. TheCatSaid

        If state-provided medical care is your main concern, what about Cuba–or one of the countries supplied by Cuban doctors? Or France?

        1. alex morfesis

          have never come across a cuban who came north across the straits who complained the medical care in cuba they had was better…(mom was born outside of havana)…it is more nyt fake narrative…

          the worlds greatest medical care, self proclaimed by il duce…oops…i mean the now departed el caballo…

          1. TheCatSaid

            It depends what you’re comparing, doesn’t it? For most of the US population, free state-supplied medical care doesn’t exist at all. In other countries–including Cuba–free, state-supplied medical care exists.

            This is certainly not a NYC “fake narrative”. I speak from personal experience. NYT does a poor job covering real healthcare available in other countries.

            US is the “insurance” capital of the world. That is a far cry from providing healthcare.

            1. alex morfesis

              the US of A is The ONLY major western country that does not have universal medical coverage…the only one…

              obviously probably a bit touchy on cuba…

              come for the medical care, stay for the prison food…

          2. Carla

            In terms of material goods, the Cuban standard of living is certainly lower that than of probably most Americans. However, their literacy rate is 95%, the medical education provided there is excellent, no one goes hungry or without the basic necessities of life, the cultural life is rich (especially music), and there is virtually no crime. I think these are considerable accomplishments for a very poor country.

            Compared to regular people in most other countries in Central and South America, the average Cuban lives a sweet life indeed.

            1. alex morfesis

              goodness…the same is said for north korea…el caballo and onedumbson were cut from the same cloth…cuba began “the revolution” as the richest country in the caribbean…as to crime…most cubans dare not speak of “el koh-me-teh”…the eyes and ears of the party…and since there are no cubans in any jails there, there obviously is no crime…

              literacy and talking are probably two different things…if you are insisting the chaka chaka chaka of cottoras is your definition of literacy…then we can leave it at that…

              american parrots sound literate too…

              the medical and other universities were always excellent…cuba was not haiti that the great caballo built up from dirt…it was an advanced country, with its own industry and exports…the revolution was a middle class revolution…the apartheid that existed under the mulatto president, batista, continues worse in modern cubanistan…the haitians/braceros that were there before fidel have their own bantu type existence, speaking haitian but never having visited the country…and any haitians crazy enough to try to sneak across into baracoa from haiti today don’t get too far…it is highly discouraged…

              hearing the 27th cover of a benny more song is probably not my idea of a lively music scene, but to virgin ears, i am sure it is wonderful…

              leaky roofs and dirt roads where there used to be asphalt is probably not progress…

              and the myth about the “embargo”…almost every other major country in the world did business with cuba and ignored america(since one can buy cuban cigars anywhere in the world), so, the “poverty” was self induced…

              if you poke around and see a picture of three men sitting at a table in the “beginning” of the revolution, there is fidel, che and some guy in the middle…that guy was prio…they are smiling because they had just heard that “magically”, cienfuegos, the real leader of the revolution, had…somehow…a little plane accident on his way to the prom…

              batista and prio played tag for the leadership of cuba for dozens of years…batista was the obama of cuba…but he had to prove his fidelity to the white business class, so he beat down his own to prove he was not a threat…

              as benny sang…

              triste la vida del carretero

              …y del sol a sol…(al vaiven)

      4. Procopius

        It is the case that Medicare will not pay for care delivered outside the U.S. I’m retired from the Army, and have a military medical coverage called Tricare. This comes in several flavors, and because I chose to retire in Thailand (married a Thai girl while I was stationed here after my tour in Vietnam) I use Tricare Overseas. It only covers 75% of my medical costs, and there’s $150 deductible for outpatient care. However I still have to pay the Medicare Part B to be eligible for my Tricare. $109 a month taken out of my Social Security, which is pretty low because during most of my active duty military pay was kept low because any manpower shortages could be filled by the draft. On the other hand, medical costs are quite low here, so up until now that hasn’t been a problem and my health has remained very good. There are private health insurance options, but none of them are going to cover you after age 70. If you have some way to cover that I would strongly recommend Thailand as a good place to retire.

    2. B1whois

      Lol, it’s one of those click through pieces where you have to click through 11 pages to see the list, but after the first page it redirects you to a list of the top 25 places in the US to retire! Nicely done forbes

    3. witters

      So Mexican retirees are doing swell? Oh, I see. The article is from that point of view which calls US baseball teams playing each other “the World Series”. Right.

      1. craazyboy

        Forbes has a Mexico newsprint edition. “10 Best Places To Take The Coyote Express”.

        They cater to their domestic readership. Plus, they can make piñatas from the newsprint when done reading.

    4. wilroncanada

      Like the Berlin Wall. It will work to keep the riffraff in, not out. Of course it makes no difference to the more privileged.

  7. fresno dan

    So I got up earlier than my usual 4 am, so at 3 am (CA time) Morning joe is just coming on. And of course there is some discussion about Trump, Syrian immigrants, etcetera.
    And during the discussion, we get the bromide that the US is the BEST** at assimilating people…..I don’t know if the US is the best at assimilation or not.
    But I always want to ask those who say such things, do you think the US assimilated blacks well? Maybe people who didn’t meet the definition of “immigration” don’t count…
    Of course, than I want to ask about Native Americans…but of course they didn’t immigrate either…..
    One could ask about Latinos, but one get into that whole Legal immigration thing….

    **my point really is that we swim in the sea of “American exceptionalism” that blinds people to even minimal critical thinking.

      1. fresno dan

        Steve H.
        January 25, 2017 at 8:46 am

        I like words, but I did not know that. I would have thought it was derived from some word having to do with “mixing” or bringing together – – so the bromide really should be, the US is best at in-authenticating people…. well, now I would have to say that is true….
        thank you for pointing out my error ;)

        1. ChrisPacific

          Used in the context of cultural interaction, it usually means to get immigrants or people of a different race to abandon their culture and values and replace them with your own. It was the preferred colonial engagement model of the British Empire during the Victorian era and early 20th century, when it was assumed by default that other cultures were hopelessly backward and inferior, so by wiping them all out and training everybody to be British you were doing them a favor. The assimilated might not always see it that way at first, but it was due to their generally provincial and unsophisticated outlook. Much like a child who resists going to school, they would eventually come around and realize it had been for their own good.

          In the 20th century it was largely replaced by the concept/ideal of inclusivity, whereby you allow space for people to become part of the community and still allow them to keep their own culture and values, suitably adapted to the local norms and laws of course (so for example, cultural practices that treat women as chattel are generally not OK even in inclusive societies).

          Using the term ‘assimilation’ these days would generally be considered a bit gauche and reminiscent of Victorian era colonialism, and would certainly raise the hackles of anyone of indigenous descent or from a minority culture. Kind of like calling an adult black man ‘boy’ in modern day USA.

    1. olga

      US assimilates best because it is – either assimilate or sink…
      Speaking from experience.
      Not so in, for example, Canada.

    2. Vatch

      Native Americans…but of course they didn’t immigrate either

      Sure they did — 15 thousand years ago!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More than 10,000 years ago, Home Sapiens Sapiens completed the ‘assimilation’ of the Neanderthals.

        Is that pretended or just more fake news?

        1. Synapsid


          Most humans descended from the Out of Africa diaspora carry Neanderthal DNA but the youngest widely accepted evidence of the Neanderthals themselves is about 40 000 years old. Younger material, previously reported, hasn’t stood up to re-dating with more precise techniques.

          I had told myself, since my long-ago first years in college, that blue eyes were an excellent candidate for a character that we had obtained from Neanderthals. I liked that idea a lot, and I was hit hard when the Neanderthal genome was got hold of and examined, and they turned out to likely have been brown eyed, as most modern humans are anyway. It was nice to learn that they had red hair, but no consolation because I don’t have red hair. Or much hair at all anymore, really.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Issue is the definitions of “people” and “assimilate.” Amoebae and phagocytes ” assimilate.” And who are “people”? Not that anything MJ says ought to be taken as anything other than a reason for rumination, and a tee-off for a teachable-moment seminar…

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      The idea of assimilation excellence is a recurring theme on morning joe, and is routinely met with universal murmurs of agreement around the table, regardless of who has been invited to breakfast.

      It appears to be, at least as far as joe is concerned, a corollary of the american exceptionalism theorem.

    5. Eclair

      The US readily assimilates white european christian immigrants who, once they shed their native languages, can blend into the population. They are allowed to retain some of their customs and foods, especially if these can be turned into quaint annual ethnic festivals that will bring tourists and dollars to the area.

    6. rd

      Once the west was largely homesteaded to capacity (late 1800s), most immigrants ended up in the cities. They have generally assimilated/mosaiced fairly well in those places over the generations, which is one of the reasons for the massive divide in voting tendencies between the largely 1800s white European stock immigrant base in the rural areas versus the multi-ethnic urban mosaic.

      The anti-immigrant sentiment is largely in areas that don’t actually have many recent immigrants (other than migrant farm workers who actually do much of the work).

      Black Americans seem to be a special case as they did not immigrate voluntarily with cohesive family and ethnic support communities. The Jim Crow era in the south continued to perpetuate many of the issues, but so did fundamental racist beliefs in areas that did not have formal segregation (e.g. Boston). The black community still has issues with developing stable family structures more than a century after the end of slavery. It takes a long time to rebuild these links from scratch.

      1. alex morfesis

        david…is that you…wow…david duke in the flesh…the only thing that made life tolerable for black folk in the century (after the manumission) of repressions and indignities was the strength & cohesiveness of the black family…what the white citizens committees and their kissing cousins, (closet nimbycrats) have done since the 1950’s is disrupt this family cohesion to create the distopia of urban america…this “hood mentality”…the american bantoozees, is something “created” since the late 1960’s…things had been bad from lack of maintenance and investments, but it got much worse with red lining on steroids…

      1. fresno dan

        January 25, 2017 at 8:43 am

        Wouldn’t an economically rational man move to Canada because of the great danger of a country run by a loon??…nay, Canada is too close, better move to Britain….wait, Brexit….uh, OK, Spain.

        1. craazyboy

          Spain is no good either.

          Spain hasa Catexit.
          Kruggie has a cat.
          Kruggie loves his pussy,
          Like it were a hat.
          The Spainly would say,
          “Begone with that!”

          Dr. Seuss – PhD economics, Credentialed Librule, Consensus Challenged (aka Crackpot), etc… as circumstances require.

        2. UserFriendly

          I’m sure he’d be more at home with the billionaires escaping to New Zealand when we start coming for them with the pitchforks. But we should be so lucky.

          1. craazyman

            they have a good university and red wine but no football team.

            Has the Nobel Prize for economics been thoroughly discredited or not? Yes is the answer. The money is really all that counts. I think it’s $1 million, plus, you could sell the gold medal and get a bit more. Not sure how much it would go for, but you gotta think at least a few nice suits and some Edward Green shoes. What’s not to like?

            That’s what I’d do if anybody gave me any grant money — and I hope other people would do the same thing, they’d go out and buy some nice clothes and eat at fine restaurants until the money is gone. What’s not to like?

            Who cares about the yada yada nonsense (well OK, you could do some math for fun, but only for fun and as long as you don’t think it’s reality or even a model of anything — we don’t want to be Savanrola about this, having fun is OK). The less of it you come up with, after you get the money, the better off everybody will be. Really. It’s so much better just to spend the money on beautiful things and fine food and wine. Who could argue with that and maintain their rationality? LOL

            1. craazyboy

              . “Not sure how much it would go for”

              Really, it’s a fiat gold medal. But museums and maybe librarys pay a lot more than the intrinsic value because they realize the overvalue of creative works and pay out the ass for stuff like that extraspecially if it’s fashion too and they can stick some sucker with good taste with the bill, and a bottle of red wine. Simple when you know how. Magonia has a freshman level course on it – “Symbolic Logic”. If you pass it, you have all the tools you need to pay for next semester. hahaha. and laf with other students wile your doin it.

              1. Procopius

                I think “fiat gold” is an oxymoron. It’s a gold medal. It does not have a nominal value. It is not a coin. On average, they weigh about 175 grams, but they are actually made from electrum (18 carat, whatever that means when you’re talking about an alloy of gold and silver) and only gold plated (with 24 carat gold). Yeah, you could probably get more from a museum or university than from a pawn shop.

          2. craazyboy

            faak. now I got moded. I made a really cool poem about Krugman. Worked really hard for 3 minutes on it. turned out really good too. take my word for it! had the p word in it, but everyones been doing the p word. had to spell it out so it rymed and had two syllabulls. ya’d think skynet would understand? dum sht AI.

          1. Procopius

            My grandfather took me on a couple of canoe trips into southern Canada when I was young. The first time I heard a loon it scared me. After a while I got to like the sound. Like maniacal laughter from a psychotic killer wearing a hockey goalie’s mask.

  8. allan

    From the Adam Davidson TPP piece in The New Yorker:

    Labor and environmental activists in America had already won major victories, insuring that the T.P.P. would force a new set of standards on trading partners.

    Strangely, no mention of the pre-certification carve-out for Malaysian slavery.
    And Davidson spares his readers’ gentle eyes from the letters ISDS.

    Where are those famous New Yorker fact-checkers when you need them?

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

      Not sure which can be applied to more situations: the above axiom or the one about “The answer to every question you have is ‘money’.”

  9. jgordon

    Cenk Uygur and TYT are the absolutely epitome of social justice warrior hypocrisy. Just to start, their very name “The Young Turks” is a very interesting choice–because the Young Turks was a Turkish political group/movement that perpetrated a genocide against a neighboring state, Armenia. Here is the ever eloquent token Armenian that they hired for the show Ana Kasparian explaining why it’s not a problem for her to be working for a show that named itself after a political movement that committed genocide against her people:

    Whatever Cenk Uygur et al is involved in, don’t expect anything from it and stay as far away as possible.

    1. Carla

      Too bad Bernie Sanders and Cenk Uygur are afraid to take on corporate constitutional rights. Let’s have more incrementalism within the Democrat Party, folks. Incremental measures have served both the party and the country SO WELL. /sarc

      For those who are not afraid, there’s House Joint Resolution 48, introduced in the 114th Congress by Rick Nolan (D-MN), who will re-introduce it in the 115th. It has 23 co-sponsors including one Republican, Walter Jones (R-NC), and the most recent to sign on is Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).

      Here’s the official Summary:

      Declares that: (1) the rights protected by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only; (2) artificial entities (such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state) shall have no rights under the Constitution and are subject to regulation by the people, through federal, state, or local law; and (3) the privileges of such artificial entities shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

      Directs federal, state, and local government to: (1) regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process and that no person gains, as a result of that person’s money, substantially more access or ability to influence the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure; and (2) require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed. Prohibits the judiciary from construing the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

      For the full text (which is short) and additional co-sponsor info:

        1. Carla

          Wow, I guess you didn’t really read my comment, or you didn’t read the Summary of Bernie’s Senate bill.

          The Sanders bill says NOTHING about ending constitutional rights for corporations, and that was my whole point.

          You can reform campaign finance all you want. As long as corporations have never-intended personhood rights, they will use them to control the political system.

          The mistaken doctrine of “money equals speech” dates to the Buckley v. Valeo decision of 1976, but a corporation first claimed its “right” to legal personhood status 90 years before that.

          In 1886, the Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad case contained a side note claiming the 14th Amendment provided equal protection under the law to corporate “persons.” Since then, corporations (and unions) have repeatedly perverted the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendments, and the Commerce Clause, to assert their never-intended constitutional rights.

          An amendment establishing that only human beings, and not corporations, have constitutional rights, and money does not equal speech, will be required to restore sovereignty to the American people. Simply overturning Citizens United will not do the job.

          So the point, UserFriendly, is not to do “something.” It’s to do what will work to return democratic rights to the American people.

          1. alex morfesis

            the fun part about santa clara vs southern pacific is not just that people have magically concluded an entity has equal rights to a person…in this scotus ruling…a local government is only allowed to increase your tax on the improvements MINUS your outstanding mortgage…how many real estate attorneys have missed that one for then benefit of “the little people”…

            personally it would be just fine if we went back to that ruling and humans were equal to corporations…

            or as I like to say…

            “people are corporations too”…

            but one of the major problems we have today is that corporations have Greater rights the humans…

            1. Chris


              two important ones:

              1. We allow corporations to buy property just about anywhere in the world, which is how the rich do it… and
              2. We provide corporations bankruptcy protection while denying it to people….

              1. Carla

                Corporations are immortal.

                Corporations write legislation beneficial to their interests at the federal (A.C.A.), state (thousands of ALEC-crafted laws), and local level (building stadiums for major league sports teams owned by gazillionaires).

                Corporations can and do hire entire law firms to represent them, something precious few individuals can do.


      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Tulsi Gabbard. Still contend she’s one to watch.

        She met with Trump, but did not attend the inauguration, but it was not a protest. She was on a “fact-finding” trip to Syria and the Middle East. I assume she did not attend the women’s march for the same reason.

        Probably smart, in case the march becomes something that needs to be apologized for.

            1. UserFriendly

              She is very anti war, but she has some troubling things in her past, if they are true. I am not vouching for the veracity of these but I wonder why she doesn’t answer questions on them.


              1. Waldenpond

                Not sure about the anti-war classification. She blasts Obama for not using the phrase ‘islamic extremism’. It might be more accurate to say she holds the opinion that there are good wars and bad wars.


                She is a social conservative on marriage/civil unions etc. and does not like muslims.

                Her statements may be just be virtue signaling as sometimes she is rather callous. [Meanwhile, the Honolulu Civil Beat noted that while Gabbard was out on the water, she missed a Veterans Affairs hearing into the VA clinic care crisis.]

                  1. Waldenpond

                    Non-intervention is a conservative plank. Gabbard does not like muslims. I am not interested in the particular assignment of individual members of a party (said party is on occasion critical of 9/11 yet blocked victims of 9/11 from suing, allied with the country connected to said attack and funds/arms fights with the terrorist group responsible for 9/11)

                    Soros paid for Gabbard’s trip.

                    1. UserFriendly

                      I don’t have strong feelings either way about her, but I’ll gladly support her being the first person in 5 years to admit on the MSM that Obama’s policy of funding Al Qaeda to topple Assad might not have been the best Idea.

                    2. Waldenpond

                      twitter 1:
                      Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democrat that I don’t hate right now. Back the fuck off,
                      twitter 2:Bad news. The trip was sponsored by ACCESS.
                      twitter 1:Who funds them?
                      twitter 2:The soros leaks have I think a 350K grant also showing 875K previously
                      twitter 1:..and then there were none.

                      twitter 2:I bet my ass she was with the White Helmets.

                      That was an interesting end to that back and forth…. white helmets.

            2. Waldenpond

              Tulsi Gabbard is only a D as the R party has collapsed in HI. Her politics are very flexible and yes, she’s an opportunist.

              1. John k

                There’s nothing wrong, and much that is right, with an opportunist that sees opportunities with progressive politics. Pity most dem elites are not similarly opportunistic.

                And what are we to hope for?
                Somebody progressive from birth?
                Let’s be a little more practical.

                1. Waldenpond

                  [Let’s be a little more practical.]


                  Allyship… can legitimately be a one or two way relationship of give and get.

                  1. Consider the current state of policy. If a person wants policy to move to the right, a person will ally with people further to the right like the tea party. If a person wants policy to move to the left, a person will ally with people further to the left.

                  This is commonly referred to as demanding more than a person is willing to accept.

                  2. Consider that a person is going to have to give something to the person with differing policy requirements. If a person is centrist, they will have to exchange a win/win for money and votes to excuse the purposeful failure to win on other policies.

                  No, ‘we’ are not deflected with the subjective term ‘more practical.’ ‘We’ are demanding much more than ‘we’ are willing to accept. Gabbard doesn’t satisfy any policy goals for ‘we’.

        1. jgordon

          I read on The Hill that she was under consideration for Trump’s Secretary of State. It’s sad and unsurprising that he went down the oligarchs route in the end, but still Tulsi is getting better treatment from Trump that Clinton and the Democrats were ever going to give her.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        (1) the rights protected by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only

        A, natural persons individually? What about groups formed of such natural persons? “We are discriminating against non-robot human truck drivers collectively, not individually.”

        B. What about natural members of all endangered species or all species? Can they not look forward to Consitutional freedom from cruel punishment?

    2. Vatch

      Turkish political group/movement that perpetrated a genocide against a neighboring state, Armenia

      Yes, but at the time, Armenia, or most of it, wasn’t a neighboring state. It was enclosed within the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and historical maps show Armenia mostly in what is now northwest Turkey. This doesn’t contradict your main point — I’m just being pedantic.

    3. Waldenpond

      TYT is funded by a republican ($4 million). Cenk is a former R current Clintonite libertarian. I tried to watch TYT during the primaries. They couldn’t get Clinton, and their viewers requested Sanders so that’s what they went with to get clicks. I could never get through a show. It’s correctly labeled a libertarian talkshow.

      TYT doesn’t just limit themselves to R elite. They also whine for D billionaire bucks.
      But rest assured, TYT claims they don’t censor on request (they do it willingly).

  10. fresno dan

    Trump’s Road to the White House Frontline. UserFriendly: “I generally hate Luntz for his ability make horrible things sound like a good idea, but he really does get a good understanding of how and why people vote the way they do.​”

    I thought when Mitt Romney gave that analysis of Trump, that that was going to have an impact. I never realized how much it would backfire, that it actually looked worse on Romney. It was a well-articulated, well delivered critique that was delivered by the wrong person at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. If you wanted to deliver that message, you needed to have done it six months before. By that point, an army had been created, support had been created, that there was going to be blowback and that blowback would be featured on talk radio, on Fox News and all those elements on the right that you find on social media.

    Was it Nixon who said, “He has all the right enemies”

    And geez Hillary, Romney showed you with the “47%” that it is a particularly bad idea to call about half the voters as*holes and expect to win.

    1. Robert Hahl

      George Washington was the wealthiest man ever to run for President, but never mind, Frank Luntz knows what he is talking about.

      I always assumed that the exits polls were wrong for one specific reason but never heard anyone with credentials say it before (turns out that it was the second reason): “And second is that Trump voters actually told exit pollsters to go F themselves as they walked away. People who had Trump buttons or bumper stickers or pins or whatever they were wearing … they weren’t going to participate, because to do an exit poll is to acquiesce to the elite and to the media. So they told them to F off and they walked away. And that happened all across that Rust Belt.”

      1. dbk

        Luntz’s assessment of why she (really) lost – the observation about the “deplorables” was always what I’d thought, too. He puts it respectfully in calling them “the forgotten”.

        I have close friends, liberal friends, who use pretty much Hillary’s same language, and it really upsets me. And then they go on to say “If they can’t find good jobs, they should just pick up and go somewhere else.”

        Leaving aside the fact that there are strong historical-cultural-familial ties still operational for many living in these inland regions, my liberal/educated friends seem not to have considered (a) that if everybody picks up and leaves the heartland to go where the jobs are, then the jobs there too will dry up, and (b) that many people can’t actually afford to move anywhere.

        One of the most difficult things is trying to explain to them that the Democrats are going to have to look rising inequality and the vast swathes of poverty it has given rise to in the inland U.S. squarely in the face, call it by its true name, and propose better solutions than “they should leave” or “they should go back to school.” To me this appears obvious; to them it seems incomprehensible.

        1. fresno dan

          January 25, 2017 at 11:08 am

          And then they go on to say “If they can’t find good jobs, they should just pick up and go somewhere else.”
          Its like people aren’t reading the links. There have been several about how people (not tech workers) in silicon valley live in their vehicles, or otherwise would have to have a 2 hour commute (one way).

          And than, just to get an apartment you need 1st and last month’s rent, and cleaning deposit. And where I am living now, it is required that you get renter’s insurance.
          How many people can afford 2,500$ dollars out of pocket just like that? and this is the Heck hole known as Fresno…..It must be 25,000$ in LA…..

          AND the 8 page application process that was longer than the application for a top secret clearance I filled out when I worked for NSA

          1. dbk

            Didn’t we read in the links here on NC that San Francisco was having serious difficulty filling its public service positions this year, jobs like teachers, municipal workers … public servants can’t afford to live close enough to SF even to commute to jobs in the city itself.

        2. WheresOurTeddy

          “I got mine, what’s your problem? Bootstraps grumble grumble”

          Still baffles me HRC thought she could win cooing to 10% of the population about how great they were while the rest were sore losers. Sanders wins by 10 points nationally, 15+ in Wisconsin & Michigan.

        3. Carla

          “propose better solutions than “they should leave” or “they should go back to school.”

          The above is Democrat-speak for “they should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”

          “Oh, those [deplorable] people who aren’t as good (educated, hard-working… fill in the blank) as I am — if only they would behave better!”

    2. Jess

      I watched the program and thought it was very good. A lot of what it related was stuff that I sort of sensed as it was happening. I thought a telling point was how Trump reacted to the news that he’d bashed Miss Universe by bringing in four women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Bill. That turned the tide on that story, pronto. And the show wisely pointed that it was the handiwork of Steve Bannon. It also mentioned that Bannon hates the GOP as currently constituted and is dedicated to driving a stake through its heart via a complete makeover. Funny thing is, when it comes to jobs and immigration, that makeover will share lots of characteristics with traditional labor liberalism.

    3. jinbaltimore

      Oft-repeated false claim here at NC, that is easy to disprove:
      You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

      Nothing about “half of the voters.” Only about half of Trump voters. She was being charitable.

        1. jinbaltimore

          I suspect your comment is supposed to depict HRC in a negative light, but, for the life of me…huh?

          Anyway, haven’t you heard: Muslims are the new deplorables.

          Good thing we dodged that Clinton bullet though, right?

    4. ChrisPacific

      He does have a lot of first hand knowledge and there is a lot of interesting stuff in there. But he veers into blowhard territory at times:

      Yeah, there were half a dozen events that the media focused on as being determinant. I’ll tell you as someone who is doing focus groups virtually every day all across the country, the campaign was over on the 19th of October. When she failed to defeat him and he was able to be sufficiently presidential on that night, he had won the presidency.

      This is bullshit. The election margin was razor thin, and it was ultimately determined by the Trump campaign’s better tactical focus which allowed them to win key swing states despite losing the popular vote. Luntz himself admits later that he thought on election night that Trump had lost because he believed the exit polls. So this is revisionist history, and not even particularly good revisionist history. It’s somebody who sells credibility for a living talking up his product in defiance of the facts (i.e., lying).

      That said, some of his other observations were really interesting, like his theory on why the exit polls were wrong, which could very well be correct.

      1. UserFriendly

        Agreed, that bit about him winning after the debate was clearly BS. But I did find many of the other observations interesting.

  11. broadsteve

    That anthropologist announcing the death of liberalism seems to have forgotten who actually scored most individual votes in all his talk of what people have ‘rejected’.

    1. nippersmom

      And you seem to be ignoring all the people who just flat chose not to vote for either of the wretched candidates on offer.

        1. JTMcPhee

          …repeating behavior, and expecting a different outcome… a slender, rotted thread upon which to hang the Sword of Damocles…

        2. nippersmom

          The death of “political engagement” has been caused by parties who do not respond to the real needs and policy positions of the populace, and who subvert the system to silence voices other than their own. It is not that people do not desire to be engaged- the response to the Sanders campaign proves otherwise. Their efforts at engagement are being deliberately thwarted. The obvious option left for them was to withdraw their support from those who have done nothing to deserve it.

          1. Brian

            I vote for your paragraph covering it very well indeed, and it will make many heads explode because they wouldn’t be able to even say it.

    2. cm

      Care to comment on the use of super delegates since you have this unexplained interested in “most individual votes”?

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      “…..most individual votes…” That popular vote thing that won’t die.

      Because replacing the tyranny of the electoral college with the tyranny of California is ever so much more “democratic.” Especially when they’re on the same side as you are.

      I’m thinking it’s time for the other 49 states to join those Californians who want the state to be broken up into two or three smaller states. It seems California is getting too big for the nation’s britches.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Depends on how you bust it up. If a 10-mile strip along the coast became a Chile-shaped Peoples Democratic Republic, the residual inland state would be part of the Intermountain West culturally, for the most part.

        Break it up into NoCal and SoCal, though, and you would end up with even more urban-dominated electoral votes. :-0

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If Vermont broke into two new Vermonts, they’d have 4 senators.

        Keep doing that for a few more iterations, they would have 1 senator for every 1,000 citizens.

        That, my comrades, would be the tyranny of the senate…or real democracy (that 1 senator per 1,000 citizens part…for every part of the country).

        1. JTMcPhee

          Check the base story for the “Star War$” series for how that big senate is likely to play out.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Talk about better customer service!

            Just look at how many more service jobs we can create that way.

          2. alex morfesis

            ok…i get that john mccain is palpatine…but does that make lindsey graham jar jar binks…the hidden sith…??

  12. Marco

    RE Trump sending troops to Chicago. Not sure where to begin. I posted something similar on another thread but after 15 years in Chicago (8 years in East Rogers Park) I left in 2015 after a shooting outside my condo. Nothing like seeing large pools of blood on the sidewalk to clear the head. Team D voters may snicker at Trump’s latest but the cold jaded moral numbness of your typical Chicago liberal to the gun violence in that city made me sick. I miss my little urban neighborhood on Lake Michigan terribly but I don’t think I can go back.

    1. Aumua

      Are we talking about sending troops? I guess declaring some local form of martial law would clean that ‘carnage’ right on up.

      1. Procopius

        I’m not clear what Trump was thinking. His thought processes are quite opaque. Who other than troops is he going to send? The TSA? I suspect that would spark an actual armed insurrection. The U.S. Marshals’ Service is under the authority of the courts, not the executive. The FBI and ICE have some armed teams but I don’t think enough to make a dent in the problem. If I was doing it I think I’d put Delta Force in charge and give them the 75th Rangers and 82nd Airborne for bulk. If you were being honest about it you’d probably want to give the troops at least a couple weeks training in crowd control tactics, but of course we’re talking about politicians here.

    2. Carla

      Marco, your comment gave me a real pang. I’m one of those reprehensible, parochial people who has lived in the same semi-urban (streetcar suburb) community all my life, and I love it here. Violent crime has been more and more frequent over the last few years; it’s very frightening. I can imagine exactly how there’s “nothing like seeing large pools of blood on the sidewalk to clear the head.”

      I hope you’re able to find happiness and contentment wherever you are living now.

  13. RabidGandhi

    Ann Garrison’s BAR piece dovetails nicely with this post a friend passed me from his FB:

    As some of you may already know, I had the privilege of traveling to DC for The Women’s March. I want to preface this status by emphasizing that WE THE PEOPLE have made history. This is *hopefully* the start to some *truthful* mobilizing in all of our communities. Now,here’s my *singular* & *subjective* experience of the Women’s March.

    1. The general populace was old and white. Which I was totally down for- I’m all about intergenerational and intersectional space.
    2. The general populace did not like when I played Kendrick, tupac, solange, fela kuti, Celia Cruz etc…but got REAL excited when I played don’t stop believing by journey. (Which I played to prove my theory that…)
    3. The general populace got so mad when Scarlett Johanson and Michael Moore were cut off when they took up too much space, but grew impatient when a new woman or man of color took the mic, and they would chant “let’s wrap it up” or “let’s March”
    4. People started to leave impatiently when they wouldn’t “wrap it up”, but as soon as Madonna hit the stage *everyone* ran back.
    5. When we began to march, I as one of the only young and buck people there led most of the chants. Chants like “tell me what democracy looks like” caught on real quick, but when I chanted “black lives matter”, everyone got real quiet.
    6. When I began to chant, “un pueblo unido jamás cera vencido” a white woman made a joke about me getting deported.

    I was left a little disheartened by my experience, though, WE MADE HISTORY WHICH IS DOPE, but…idk. Us young folk really need to take control of these spaces…it’s our future, it’s really our duty to fight and have our voices heard.

    To all my friends and family, this is only the beginning and look forward to further organizing and meeting as a community and fam.

    Upon which Ms RG commented (paraphrasing): “Protesting is a muscle. When you don’t use it, it atrophies. Then if you go back to using it after a long period of inactivity, the initial results are always ugly to watch, but crucial for developing subsequent abilities.”

  14. B1whois

    Yves, the buzzfeed article on USDA info sharing restrictions says that the lockdown has been lifted, so I am wondering why you linked it?? TIA

  15. fresno dan

    Freedom Rider: Democrats Attack Trump from the Right Black Agenda Report (Userfriendly)

    The Democratic Party has devolved into complete irrationality and irrelevance, sucking its Black followers into the idiotic abyss. “Years of capitulation to corporate interests and to Barack Obama have killed black politics,” and turned the Congressional Black Caucus into mindless CIA groupies who “use the phrase ‘intelligence community’ as if they were hypnotized cult members. Democrats carry signs that threaten war, and call it “protest.”

    That author is monitoring my brain, cause that is EXACTLY what I am thinking.
    OK, gonna have stop with the tinfoil and get a steel helmet ….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Politics, like Wall Street, is about about math, or numbers, to be more specific.

      If certain followers have been sucked into abyss by the D party, it’s because that party is executing the strategy of ‘we are representing whichever newcomers whose home country sends us more voters who will automatically, for many or most of them, vote our party.’

      That seems to work here in CA.

      Does it potentially create a conflict of interest for the Democrats, if new comers are more likely to vote for them, that they passively encourage or proactively want more new comers, who come, by all means necessary?

      New people coming is itself not negative, depending on the number coming in (and the state of unemployment here and the prospect for shared and sustainable economic growth next year), but if your customer service is bad, bad, bad, terribly bad, one way to address it, is to advertise and hope for new gullible customers.

      The Republicans can play the same new customers game, and counter by letting in new potential conservative voters. The trick is where to find them, enough of them to outnumber the D party’s.

      “Forget the older customers. Embrace our new customers. So many of them.”

    1. UserFriendly

      Great critique of the bias to publish and the fudge data. Great interactive data thing that lets you see if the economy is better under D’s or R’s on the intro page.

  16. Em Tee

    re: Badlands National Park… here is a link to another site that has an article and pics of the tweets. Clearly a spoof, BUT, there are serious issues underlying the activity.

    If you’ve toured around and played outdoors, especially in the western US, it was likely on public Federal (ie OUR commons) lands. They are under assault, big time. Congress just introduced legislation allowing the federally held lands to be tremendously undervalued , based on new; alternative valuations and appraisal. This is the beginning of the slippery slope to allow the lands to be returned to the states, or more likely, sold to the Swamp-lord robber barrons.
    If you value our public lands, national parks, and monuments, east, west, north, and south, wake up and get busy calling elected ‘representatives’. Is this headed to a general national strike, with folks pouring out onto the streets with pots and spoons?? I don’t recall America ever doing that, but we may just have brought the catalyst into our midst. To loosely quote Jim Leahey of “Trailer Park Boys’, we are in the midst of a developing sh#t tsunami…

  17. bwilli123

    Beijing Pushes Back on Trump Admin Over Disputed Islands in South China Sea – NBC News Interview With Lu Kang the government here clearly now wants to respond, and to do so with carefully crafted diplomatic language. Lu, who is the spokesperson and director-general for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ department of information, spoke to NBC News at the foreign ministry headquarters in central Beijing and agreed to answer questions, in English, on a wide range of issues. Ordinarily, Chinese government officials refrain from granting such interviews to American reporters, preferring instead to read carefully prepared statements in Chinese.

    Bolded comment following is from Bill Bishop’s Sinocism Newsletter
    ” The fact that Lu gave NBC that rare on camera interview is a sign of 1 they are trying to get Trump to understand how serious they are and 2 they have been reading the coverage that the way to get a message to the president is to go on TV…does Fox News have a correspondent in Beijing?”

  18. ChiGal in Carolina

    From Counterpunch, a less dismissive view of the women’s march, acknowledging its deficits but also what it could mean if we engage instead of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good:

    Still, to dismiss the protesters as unwitting pawns of the Democratic-Wall Street establishment is silly. The messages sent to the incoming Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are substantive, and need to be taken seriously by the American people. Sexism, racism, xenophobia, fascism, climate catastrophe, and the assault on the social welfare safety net are real problems, and those protesting them are voicing legitimate grievances. They cannot be simply swept under the rug in favor of an exclusive focus on anti-imperialism and opposition to neoliberal economics. Rather, all these issues need to be brought together in future rallies and demonstrations. It is certainly fair to criticize many protesters for a naïve romanticization of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s politics. There were, after all, a significant contingent of protesters who visibly articulated a pro-Democratic establishment message that is increasingly tone deaf to recognizing the ways in which the party contributes to economic inequality and corporate power, and resists dismantling the American plutocracy.

    Fortunately, the effort to further radicalize many protesters on the liberal-progressive left may not be as difficult as some think. My conversations with many progressives who voted for Hillary Clinton over the last six months reveals a group of people who are actually far to the left of the Democratic establishment on issues such as strengthening the welfare state, universal health care, government regulation on Wall Street, climate change, and mounting inequality. The politics of this liberal-left contingent fit well within a Sanderist vision of political change. What is missing is a realization from many people that the Democratic Party, as currently constituted, is not up to the task of fighting for progressive or radical deviation from the status quo. Simply put, this is a “good” problem to have, in that it’s much easier to influence vote choices and future political behavior when engaging with people who share a pre-existing agreement with the leftist policy positions.

    1. nippersmom

      I really despise the phrase “letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.” In my experience, it is most often used by hippie-punchers and neoliberal apologists who are deriding “purists” for expecting politicians and other power brokers to have any integrity or to actually work for the public good.

      1. Carla

        Thank you for saying that!

        It is the rationale for the Democrat Party always starting a “negotiation” with a compromise (i.e, a “public option” instead of expanded, improved Medicare for All).

        Great way to protect the status quo, though.

      2. HotFlash

        I counter that it makes more sense to not let the good be the enemy of the perfect. And an aphorism in not an argument.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          the argument is in the article – not in my comment! but since you ask:

          harm reduction = good
          abstinence = perfect

          teen birth control = good
          abstinence = perfect

          Would you advocate for dispensing with the good in these examples? Providing heroin addicts with Narcan they can self-administer saves lives, but in our moralistic culture we deny them that, cuz it’s better for a heroin addict to be dead than continue to use. We don’t do that to diabetics, they get to have their insulin injections even if they continue to make poor lifestyle choices that contribute to their condition.

          A pox on absolutists everywhere…

          1. witters

            “A pox on absolutists everywhere…”

            I know. Those totally opposed to torture and aggressive assault rile me up too.

    2. fresno dan

      ChiGal in Carolina
      January 25, 2017 at 9:31 am

      “Still, to dismiss the protesters as unwitting pawns of the Democratic-Wall Street establishment is silly. The messages sent to the incoming Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are substantive, and need to be taken seriously by the American people.

      It is certainly fair to criticize many protesters for a naïve romanticization of the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s politics. There were, after all, a significant contingent of protesters who visibly articulated a pro-Democratic establishment message that is increasingly tone deaf to recognizing the ways in which the party contributes to economic inequality and corporate power, and resists dismantling the American plutocracy.
      The politics of this liberal-left contingent fit well within a Sanderist vision of political change. What is missing is a realization from many people that the Democratic Party, as currently constituted, is not up to the task of fighting for progressive or radical deviation from the status quo.”
      I agree. I certainly don’t have any problem with the march. I don’t think it was “useless.” I think it was clear enough in its objectives, of making clear to Trump (and congress) that he is a representative leader and does not rule by fiat….and in that respect it was VERY important. We hear a lot of talk about liberal BUBBLES, and that is true enough, but Trump seems to me to be in a SUPER bubble. Some of it may be an act, but some isn’t.

      But I can’t help but wonder if there would have been a march if Hillary had won. And if there had been a march, if it would have been Shanghaied by neoliberals and been worse than no march.

      Trump may be such a disaster that there if no recovery from him, but I can’t help but note the irony that Trump may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to liberalism/progressiveness (whatever word you prefer) in the last 60 years.
      In a year or so, when bringing up the “carnage” in this country isn’t viewed as an insult to Obama, and is laid at the feet of Trump, it will be refreshing to get rid of that Wall Street rah-rah exceptional bullsh*t PR that just pervaded the MSM ((Fox hated Obama, but somehow the nation remained a perfect meritocracy where ONLY bad people were unsuccessful)) in the Obama era, and we can have some discussion that there are serious problems. Maybe there will even be articles about homelessness…..

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        “But I can’t help but wonder if there would have been a march if Hillary had won.”

        A point the article actually makes, if you read it. Despite my using the apparently verboten phrase re the perfect and the good, however it has been used (and it has) to justify propping up the status quo, that is NOT what this article is about.

        It is about an opportunity.

        1. hreik

          Despite my using the apparently verboten phrase

          lol. i love the phrase. b/c it’s true.
          note some responders didn’t address the sentiment but only it’s used “by x to destroy y”…. like Madonna or stupid Steinem being on stage makes the march meaningless. Piffle. I was in Hartford, CT Saturday in my hat and carrying a sign. I didn’t vote for Hillary and i didn’t like Obama.

      2. River

        I see Trump as a lightning strike in an old growth forest. You’ve got to burn out all the dead undergrowth to allow new plants to flourish.

        1. Portia

          a lot of the “undergrowth” in your analogy is not old or dead. Trump is really more an attempt to hound out and intimidate the competition, and game the forest for special interests.

        2. Aumua

          I think you may be right. It’s only through the eradication of the dead undergrowth of Humanity that new and more intelligent species may see their day on Earth.

          Go Trump. (or Hillary, does it even matter?)

    3. rd

      I have a wife and two daughters who participated in the Women’s Marches (DC and elsewhere). I know other women who also participated. Trump’s misogynistic and racist rhetoric during the campaign took the normal campaign rhetoric and made it personal for them.

      There is a policy component to all of this related to safety nets etc., but this is not some abstract philosophical difference. They view his various statements that came out condoning or promoting sexual assault as a direct threat to them. This is far more personal than their dislike of George W. Bush’s policies. This isn’t going to be swept under the rug by them. They are becoming more politically engaged.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “…statements… condoning or promoting sexual assault …”

        A bit of an overstatement, don’t you think?

        By the way, how do they feel about bill clinton?

        1. nowhere

          Is the game to perform a tit-for-tat accounting of all previous politicians and find out the sum total of transgressions in a particular sphere before taking a stand?

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Bill Clinton was accused of rape by Juanita Brodderick, who has multiple contemporaneous witnesses. Where were these women defending her and Monica and Paula Jones? They were perfectly happy to dismiss Jones as trailer trash.

            As far as I am concerned, most of these women are total hypocrites.

      2. jrs

        So half a million people dead in George W Bushes Iraq invasion, but it doesn’t personally affect them. Got it.

        I don’t have a problem with people marching in the Women’s March, I have a problem with people not caring about other issues at least as much, like U.S. initiated mass slaughter in the middle east.

  19. Jim Haygood

    Dow 20K — DONE at the opening. Now 20,030.

    Yesterday stocks busted out from a 6-week flatline, which had a tiny 2 percent range. Typically such a tight pattern is followed by larger movements.

    All of next week falls within the favorable end-of-month and beginning-of-month periods, when new funds are put to work and about 90% of net gains have occurred.


  20. craazyboy

    Light-speed camera snaps light’s “sonic boom” for the first time New Scientist (Robert M)

    You….might be a Redneck!

    1. susan the other

      that thing didn’t make any sense – if the camera was as fast as the speed of light there should be no flash at all, right?

      1. ewmayer

        Article is sloppy with the basic premise:

        “Einstein’s theory of relativity forbids anything from travelling faster than the speed of light. So Liang and his colleagues used a trick to mimic a beam of light breaking its own speed limit.”

        No – the ineluctable ‘speed limit’ is the speed of light in vacuum. The ‘Mach cone’ described in the article is classic Cerenkov radiation, electromagnetic radiation emitted by particles moving through a medium at speeds greater than that of light in the same medium. Think a photon moving from vacuum (or some medium in which the speed of light is faster than the target medium) into a slower-speed-of-light medium – the Cerenkov radiation can be thought of as a kind of ‘braking radiation’ emitted as the photon slows down to the local speed limit.

        And the ‘light speed camera’ is really an image processing technique which allows one to mimic such a thing.

  21. Bill

    Trump Is Said to Keep James Comey as FBI Director……….

    and his favorite f*uck Boy… Melania’s great relief !

  22. Bugs Bunny

    We’ve got a lovely little scandal in the French presidential race.

    The Canard Enchaîné reports that LR (right) candidate François Fillon employed his wife Penny (Welsh, btw) as a parliamentary aide with a €100k/year salary, though she apparently left no trace of any work…this while she was also working for a literary review owned by a friend of the family, a certain Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, where the editor, Michel Crépu, had “never seen her in the office”.

    Not very complicated as far as French scandals go!

    A gift to Madame Le Pen, if Fillon can’t put out the fire. He’s crying misogyny as of this hour.

    1. rd

      The French have to have scandals like this. They are expected to have mistresses, so marital indiscretion is a bonus point.

      1. David

        The source is the Canard enchainéwhich has a pretty fearsome reputation for accuracy and almost certainly has the original documents.
        The latest is that there is a preliminary criminal investigation under way, which also suggests that this isn’t just idle gossip. The use of “imaginary jobs” as the French call them is partly because of the strict political campaign finance rules (Chirac, if I recall correctly was given a suspended prison sentence for such activities when he was mayor of Paris in the 1970s. ) So it may have been for political as much as individual gain, but it still won’t go down well with Fillon’s core constituency of respectable middle class provincial voters.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          If I’m not mistaken, the Fillons are independently very wealthy? If so, this shows particularly poor judgement, not to mention extreme greed.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Apparently what we here observe as Clintonism is just the manifestation and result of an endemic virus?…

            Some cases produce greater morbidity and mortality than others…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Speaking of gifts, did Ms. Penny receive any presents from foreign governments?

      Will she try to check into a Trump Hotel?

  23. fred

    Trump Threatens to ‘Send in the Feds’ If Chicago ‘Carnage’ Isn’t Fixed

    He’ll just be following Lincoln’s example when he asks for “volunteers” to preserve the union and free those enslaved by the mass violence that left almost 1,000 Americans dead in Chicago last year. I wonder who might answer the call to help in the ‘reconstruction’ of the birthplace of Ulysses S Grant. The phrase “the South shall rise again” comes to mind. Those people voted for Trump, as Senator Schumer so politely reminded them during his remarks at the inauguration.

    1. craazyboy

      It’s been a long, long time since I lived in Chittown, but I remember they claimed the Mason-Dixon Line ran just south of Ulysses S Grant Park. If the Union is at risk, some action must be taken. The Blues must put down the invading Grays.

    2. Optimader


      It would be fantastic if Trump sent in the Feds, specifically the specialists in organized crime.

      Not too clear to me how that is analogous to Lincoln or volunteers Fred?
      The violence in Chicago is overwhelmingly black gang related in black neighborhoods and is catalysing a demographic shift in the black population in Chicago as those that have families and want to engage in peaceful and safe communities migrate away. The black population is declining in Chicago, presumably due to this.

      So how would you eliminate organized crime violence in Chicago Fred?

      1. cm

        In fairness, the response may be a reaction to the US Justice Department’s recent report on the institutional corruption of the Chicago police.

        CHICAGO — A blistering report by the Justice Department described far-reaching failures throughout the Chicago Police Department, saying excessive force was rampant, rarely challenged and chiefly aimed at African-Americans and Latinos.

        The report, unveiled on Friday after a 13-month investigation, forced a public reckoning for a police department with a legacy of corruption and abuse. It came as the department grapples with skyrocketing violence in Chicago, where murders are at a 20-year high, and a deep lack of trust among the city’s residents.

        Over 161 pages, the investigation laid out, in chilling detail, unchecked aggressions: an officer pointing a gun at teenagers on bicycles suspected of trespassing; officers using a Taser on an unarmed, naked 65-year-old woman with mental illness; officers purposely dropping off young gang members in rival territory.

        1. optimader

          That is EXACTLY on of the reasons the Feds should be stepping in. I have two friends that are retired federal agents that served in various agencies, and participated in joint task force activities in Chicago related to organized crime . They we both appalled w the CPD gun etiquette and rules of engagement. Rule 1 was never stand in front of a CDP LEO. They said the CPD were shooting in situations they would have been crushed for even upholstering a weapon

        2. fred


          Yes the Obama Admin had 8 years to get a report and did nothing until the end. The Federal Government should not be running city police departments. If anything the State needs to take over.

          1. optimader

            Who proposed that the Federal Government run the CPD? Investigate/reform/prosecute where appropriate would be a huge step in the right direction. Run day to day operations? absolutely not and I don’t think that is what Trump is proposing.

            If anything the State needs to take over.
            In Illinois Fred? Do I need to tighten up my sarcasm filter –are you really serious?

            If you want to make the CPD even more ineffective, get the State of Illinois government involved

            1. fred

              4,000+ shootings with 700+ dead. Eleven of the dead were shot by the police. Obviously lousy policing is item 1 on the agenda.

          2. JTMcPhee

            Yah, get some other corrupt thuggish invasive bureaucracy to “oversee” the Chi cops and Mayor and city council and the people behind the desk in the Torrens office you go to to file real estate title documents where if you don’t “shake hands” with a counter person with a folded $20 bill in your palm, your land title may not get recorded, and the guy who assigns the slips in the city’s marinas… yah, and maybe they can get the ghost of Paul Powell or Tom Keane or a pardoned Blagojevitch to lead the efforts.

            Let us not forget that the Fusion Centers are still operational.

            Careful what you wish for.

      2. fred


        A) Not ive the same great speeches Obama then do nothing.
        B) Not outsource the job to Black Lives Matter
        C) Make sure Rahm Emanual understands it ain’t business as usual
        D) End the destruction of the black family in America by ending all the SJW social programs.

    3. marym

      A politician and his followers who support policies and cabinet members attacking affordable housing; public schools; access to medical care; fairness in the courts; responsible policing (that excludes torture and shooting unarmed people); safe working conditions; and clean air, land, and water will propagate widespread carnage, not “free” anyone from it.

      If you’re recommending a military invasion of Chicago, that, of course, is also a recipe for carnage. Potential “volunteers” may not fully understand who wins and who loses in wars and police states. Trump probably understands, though.

      1. AnnieB

        What about the people who live in the neighborhoods confronted by rampant violence every day, whose children must live in fear. Don’t they have the right to expect the police force to protect them and stop the gang violence? So far the CPD has not done that. In fact, CPD makes it worse through their brutal, shoot first, policing. What is the solution, if not to take the situation seriously enough that the federal government takes action? Obama administration had 8 years, eight years! to confront the violence by gangs and by police in Chicago and other cities. People who live in horrible violent conditions have the right, yes the right, to expect their government to reduce the violence.

      2. fred

        Nah, we’re just going to form a local “militia” to defend themselves. Or do like Obama and give pretty speeches.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No need to go full Neanderthal (meaning very old, or long ago).

      The Untouchables or Eliot Ness would do just fine, and most modern people of the 21st century can still identify with them.

      1. optimader

        Organized gang related violent crime in Chicago needs to be addressed systemically and at the Federal level down IMO.

        In my more cynical moments I sense the CPD is operating in a manner to sustain certain neighborhoods as unlivable and predatory environments which perpetuate there depopulation on a long term trend.

        Local neoliberal TV media is pathetic as are the fake black leaders on the take that perpetuate Status Quo and refuse to identify the violence for what (and who it is that would be “racial profiling”) the issue is black gang related organized crime preying on, principally, the black population. Wring your hands on how the gang violence came about, but it is what it is, and it has metastasized and needs to be neutralized and removed from the neighborhoods.

        Federal organized crime investigation/prosecution has the demonstrated potential to neutralize gang activity to a large extent, as they did for example with the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in the 1980’s in the Chicago area. They were infiltrated and crushed.

        Federal prosecution and federal incarceration for violent and specifically gun related crime is necessary, full stop.

        Chicago does not have the resources, professional expertise nor the long term strategy to accomplish this. Violent crime/weapons related crime is presently treated as a catch and release program. Start purging certain classes of nonviolent offenders from Federal prisons and replace with violent offenders and chuck the key. Drain the swap.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      If memory serves, obama “sent the feds” to Ferguson and it was hailed as a much needed intervention.

      It wound up being pretty much of a nothingburger though. Maybe people are worried that Trump doesn’t do nothingburgers. But, then, the word “carnage” wasn’t exactly one that obama used very often. Or recognized.

      1. optimader

        Other than managing to kill/main/displace a lot of ppl in other countries, taking a dysfunctional healthcare delivery system and inexplicably making it worse I cant really put my finger BHO’s other accomplishments. Well I guess he did assist a bunch of financial sector thieves to avoid doing time?

        Sending “the Feds” to Ferguson with no particular plan while “the folks in this country have a conversation” was not using the power of “the feds” in a meaningful way. “The feds” can be a tool for good, a tool for evil or just place markers on expense accounts.

  24. L

    Mnuchin Backs Fed Independence and Signals Reform Isn’t Priority Bloomberg. The House will almost certainly pass Audit the Fed, and the Senate may. I don’t see how Trump could veto that without really alienating his base. So if the Administration (as opposed to just Mnuchin) is against this, how do they kill this in the Senate?

    I suspect that Booker and Schumer will make this a rare moment of bipartisanship. There are too many Wall Street friendly R’s for this to go through the Senate without heavy lifting, and there are plenty of Wall-Street worshiping D’s to help block it from going.

    I suspect that this will become one of those things that each side does happily and then spends their time blaming on the others.

  25. B1whois

    Anyone else having problems loading the site?
    Also, have the ads gotten bigger? Because a half a dozen times today while I’m trying to scroll past an ad it instead creates a pop-up, and that never happened before.

  26. Vatch

    Despite Trump’s Rhetoric: U.S. Needs OPEC Oil OilPrice

    In part because clueless Americans continue to buy 8 cylinder SUVs, muscle cars, and low mileage luxury sedans. We’re long overdue for a high revenue neutral carbon tax.

    1. optimader

      Trump is not the first U.S. President to have promised energy independence

      It is overly reductionist rhetoric. Petroleum is a global commodity, the price is related to global supply and demand.
      A petroleum producing country does not need to be an exporter to the US to be a component in the setting of the price of a barrel of oil in the US.

      There is no foreseeable situation that I am aware of wherein the US nr any other country will ever be fully independent of the rest of the global energy market

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Nor can any country be fully isolationist.

        Even during the Tokugawa Sakoku, Japan still traded.

        That is, when they call you an isolationist, you’re not an isolationist.

        1. optimader

          Right, everyone needs our hot gas(Helium)!.. –(or at least our technology to strip it from NG).

  27. timbers

    As long as they are discussing these issues on a yacht, and not in Detroit or Flint or Youngstown and seeing how the locals live and (gah) eating the local food, it’s hard to see them as serious.

    Quote of the century, IMO! Let them drink Flint water!

  28. LT

    Unless Zuckerberg fell down laughing in response to rumors of a Presidential run, I wouldn’t point to his denial as a reason it won’t happen.
    How many times have we seen that “Aw, shucks not me running for President. I have my family, etc…” line followed by a campaign?

  29. LT

    The billionaires meeting on a yacth to dicuss how to keep Trump for destroying the world are actually very serious. The reason they are not meeting in Youngstown or Flint is because they are talking about saving THEIR world.
    The yacht is a percect manifestation of being on another world.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As ol’ Fred Schwed used to ask rhetorically, “Where are the customers’ yachts?”

      [Or “consumers’ yachts,” if you’re shopping for health coverage.]

  30. cripes

    “The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident, inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.”

    William Burroughs

    I picture Trump grinning uneasily and signing bits of legislation he doesn’t understand, waving the document for the cameras as if he’s engineered a triumph, while Pence and company gaze at him with tight-lipped condescension.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone believes Trump has the capacity to sustain any movement at all, much less in favor of the unwashed masses who elevated him onto the throne. He’s an isolated figure in Washington, with only his children and Jared Kushner, who are no brownshirts, at his back.

    Flawed as he is, I think we would be witnessing a whole different ballgame with a Sanders presidency, although its likely as not, barring popular uprising, the democrats would be his undoing

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Opinions vary.

      He’s an isolated figure in Washington, with only his children and Jared Kushner, who are no brownshirts, at his back.

      From yesterday’s article on law profs suing:

      Jim Pharo
      January 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm
      Why isn’t the Congressional consent enough? Surely they’ll pass whatever he’d like…?

      He’s isolated.

      They’ll pass whatever he’d like…?

  31. tongorad

    Compression of work cycles is tied to the demand for constant growth, yes? My work (education) is not directly connected to capitalist production, but the expectation is that next year will be more demanding than last year, ad infinitum. Of course there’s no way to push back, other than “hit the bricks, pal.”
    We’re at the midpoint of the school year, and this morning we had a meeting about how duties and time at work will be added for next year.
    I envy people who are retired.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      We’re at the midpoint of the school year, and this morning we had a meeting about how duties and time at work will be added for next year.

      So they want to cut staff, because I don’t think that they can magically make stuff up for you to do (besides standing in a hallway more often) without losing people so you have to cover for them.

      1. tongorad

        I can assure you that they can add workload. They do it every year. In terms of cover, that’s not really an issue. There’s no tradeoff- The “solution” is for us to work more – at home, on the weekend, etc. Sunday is pretty much a full workday for me at home.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We have to compete with Japan, China, etc.

          Over in, say, Korea, I believe, their educational system includes long days of up to 12 hours.

          Maybe that’s why we have to pay H1B visa holders more. In India, the Indian Express reported that some also wanted 12 hours for schools in metros.

          1. KurtisMayfield

            Yes and in China they get to test into university, and not everyone gets in. You should convince the US public system to do that.. see how far you get. Japan has 210 day school years..See how far you get with that. We are comparing apples to oranges here.

            US high school students do long days if you include homework.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Those in China who can’t get in, can try here (if their parents have enough money).

              The same with Indian students, or they can try for a slot in the H1B program.

  32. fresno dan

    Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday warned that President Donald Trump begins his administration on “thin ice” with Democrats, who could move to impeach the new president if they retake the House of Representatives in 2018.

    Has there every been this much talk of impeachment this early in a president term?
    Anyway, my view is that successful impeachment of Trump comes from the repubs/”right” if it comes. I find it pretty implausible that the dems could retake the house in 2018.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One more day Trump sleeps in the White House is just one more extra dosage of fumigation they have to apply when the Ds recapture Olympus.

      Will they re-enact the full post-Akhetnaton treatment, whose image was struck from all monuments by those pharaohs who came after the long-faced one?

      They couldn’t stomach that he even existed.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      I doubt the core DNC Dems even want to be in power unless their jobs depend on it (and they mostly don’t), because it means having to constantly give excuses to the base why their issues aren’t getting done. It’s not like they can say “Well my big donors don’t want it getting done”, so they have to constantly lie to their voters, and at least the brighter among them are likely to know this. That’s a recipe for acrimony between the base and the party. In opposition, there’s a hobgoblin to point at and blame for everything. Unites the party. Losing is winning and winning is losing.

      The Democrats probably assume that the Republicans feel the same way for the same reasons, but they would, I think, be wrong. I think the Republicans are really serious about winning and power in a way Democrats frequently aren’t. It would explain a lot of what seems like unlikely Democratic incompetence you see. Democrat insiders are there for the money, as long as they keep their personal rice bowls safe, they’d probably actually prefer to lose. Being in opposition is easy money.

        1. TheCatSaid

          The website with the retraction mentioned several other agencies in the original ban (not just USDA and EPA), but no word on any retractions other than from the USDA.

          Ties in to a previous article linked here about closely-held embargoes in relation to science–ways of tightly controlling the timing and framing of information. IOW how to “inform us” and keep us in the dark at the same time.

        1. TheCatSaid

          It wasn’t meant as snark, but seeing as how a number of agencies haven’t rescinded maybe it should have been.

  33. TheCatSaid

    A day late, re: yesterday’s Links to NYRB Charlie Savage’s review of Epstein’s book on Snowden–regardless of what one thinks about Savage’s specific range of speculations about Snowden (was he a Russian spy at any point?), it is certainly a non-fiction-writer’s prerogative to speculate, as long as it is clear what is fact and what is speculation, and the grounds for the speculation are clear.

    What if Snowden was in fact an American intelligence asset, with his revelations having the purpose of making people feel even more disempowered and less likely to attempt to take action of any kind?

    For analysis combined with informed speculation about Russian and American spies, see Newsbud’s “Exclusive: CIA, the Golitsyn-Nosenko Affair & the Russian TV Series ‘Traitors’” by Prof. Filip Kovacevic.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Who knows?

      They just arrested some guy at Kaspersky in Moscow for treason. I didn’t know Kaspersky was Russian. How did they find out – from hacking the DNC?

  34. Waldenpond

    Animal intelligence…. I keep coming back to survival of a species as a mark of intelligence. If a species out breeds it’s environment it must migrate and adapt to new resources and competition. Animals seem to benefit from not eating where they eliminate etc. A species number is dependent on available food/water/shelter… if a species can’t migrate are there any that have the ability to reduce population through other than starvation/dehydration?

  35. Irredeemable Deplorable

    As Trump supporters continue to win, the liberal tears will continue to flow. If I were you I would give up following politics for 10-20 years for your own peace of mind, as it will be that long before Democrats win any national elections. I look forward to voting for President Trump again in 2020, under the motto “Keep America Great”. And then other members of his family, down to Barron – could be 30-40 years of Trump Presidents now. Winning bigly!

    The most puzzling thing is how most here continue to call your own Presdent Trump “stupid” (and much worse) when his daily actions totally disprove that thesis. The guy defeated two major Parties, all of the MSM globally, Hollywood, and the elites and their billions….and he still plays you like a violin. If he is stupid, then what does say about everyone else? Hope that phony intellectual superiority helps you through the day.

    Today’s controversy about the illegals voting and an investigation into voter fraud is a perfect example. He makes an (seemingly, to the moronic MSM) outrageous statement about “3-4 million illegals voted” and, lol, now the MSM is calling for an investigation, and Trump announces one. Which, I have no doubt whatsoever, will uncover massive pro-democrat voter fraud in Detroit, Philly, Florida, LA, and many other places, and will confirm that about 3 million+ illegal non-citizens voted in California – the end result will be confirmation that President Trump did indeed win the popular vote, among actual living eligible voters. Just more winning.

    I could go on, but there is little point, nobody is changing their mind, except for some voters, who, according to the latest Rasmussen poll, are coming over to the Trump side, despite all the worst efforts of Dems and their MSM propaganda organs.

    1. Brad

      Boy are you in for a surprise. Even Andrew Jackson’s movement, with the tides of history working for, and not against him as with the 50’s nostalgia of the Trump supporters (those manufacturing jobs are NOT coming back), blew up in the depression of the late 1830’s. It was only the death of the Whig Harrison after a month in office that allowed the Jacksonians to get back in under the Young Hickory Polk. Polk proceeded to build a Big Mexican War, and that my friend, lit the fuse for the big blowup in the Civil War.

      So you are more likely predicting another civil war.

      Your side only got 25% of the eligible electorate. Remember that.

      Your only hope is that the Liberal Democrats continue to be your opposition.

      1. Rhondda

        Your only hope is that the Liberal Democrats continue to be your opposition.

        Ooh! So funny! That made me snort cheap champagne through my nose!

        Pondering the off-sides Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” twixt MLTPB’s Akhenaton curse-via-effacement (above) alongside your funny, made me twist it into a bassackwards blessing — “May the Liberal Democrats ever be your opposition.”


        BTW, Irredeemable Deplorable – thanks for visiting NC. You definitely need some NC. So I welcome you.

    2. a different chris

      >I could go on,

      No, that’s fine, we have all the – more than enough, actually – proof we need that you are an idiot.

      Come back when you learn how to read, think about, and understand what your betters are actually saying.

      1. Waldenpond

        I get confused about commenting policy. I wrote against volunteerism (that’s it’s group/employer coercion, unpaid labor, status etc) that I couldn’t find posted I thought might have been because it was a response rather than a generic comment, but then here’s ‘idiot’ and ‘your betters’? This sounds like the person at the march rumored to have yelled at the Trumper ‘we fund your redneck state’.

      2. witters

        Gee, that’s a fine response ADC! How can I be one of your “betters”? Is it really as simple as ad hominem abuse?

      3. Outis Philalithopoulos

        “what your betters are actually saying” – What is this, pre-revolutionary France?

        Ad hominem attacks of this sort are a straightforward violation of site Policies.

    3. jrs

      Yea you might say pushing even more policies to destroy the only biosphere we have is stupid. And then you might not but uh … homo sapians sapians is really the wrong name to have used for humanity at that point.

      Clearly you equate “intelligent” with self-interest but it’s not even rational self-interest, that would recognize that we exists as part of a biosphere.

    4. Waldenpond

      I’m not interested but a quick run through of numbers… Clinton’s margin on the vote versus Clinton’s margin in CA, then do the same for O for 08 and 12 would show whether the oddity is CA or 2016.

  36. John k

    Trump wants to help middle America and bring back jobs.
    Medicare for all helps people in small towns that lost a factory, they can no longer afford health care.
    Plus, covering health care nationally cuts the cost of local labor for all companies that provide even partial coverage, encouraging companies to do more here.

    And, if he’s gonna represent small towns, some of which have no banks at all, what better than allowing the post office to provide banking services?

    And more infra. Dunno about loan guarantees… who pays it back? Better to just do it.

  37. Brad

    Zuckerberg scotches rumours of White House run Financial Times. Let’s hope he doesn’t change his mind.

    Forcing native Hawaiians to sell their land rights is more important, apparently.

  38. Kim Kaufman

    “Meet the leader of a billionaires’ club determined to stop Trump from destroying the world Quartz (Joe H).”

    I haven’t finished the whole – long- article yet but this

    “If you care to be blunt, Trump’s election was, by extension, validation of a war against his club and its members—internationalists who scoff at borders and nationalities, and see only deals to be done wherever they may be. When Trump railed against “radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people,” he was assaulting the 1%. “You could say these people are at fault for globalization—they are the 1%,” Doll told me.”

    seems important. I don’t think the fight is against the 1% but is a fight between the globalists (the New World Order, One World Government people – whatever that is, supporters of TPP) vs. the nationalists (Steve Bannon, Alex Jones). It’s a fight between the 1%ers for domination. And, possibly needless to say, I don’t think Trump or any of them give a crap about “the disenfranchisement of the working people.”

    I’m not endorsing this staff, I’m just trying to understand it. To that end, I’m exploring other media besides the traditional left gatekeepers to see what the chatter is and this is what I think I’m hearing.

  39. Oregoncharles

    ” Dunno about “edible”. 2,000 year old bacteria might interact very nastily with modern digestions. ”
    I don’t think I’d want to eat, it either, but people eat stranger things, like “100-yr-old” eggs. Bacteria are eternal, so the chances are the ones in that butter are still around; granted, they would have evolved considerably.

    Viruses are a bit different: digging up live samples of the 1918 flu, for instance, was very dangerous. That version of the flu virus is no longer with us, and no one would have any immunity to it.

  40. Oregoncharles

    “Animals are smarter than most people think TreeHugger.”
    Brings up a pet peeve of mine: the use of “anthropomorphism” as an objection. Though it was standard in science until recently, it’s actually a gross violation of Occam’s Razor. It rests on an unsupported assumption that humans are utterly unique in the animal kingdom.

    Realistically, we’re evolved animals; it makes much more sense to assume that ALL human traits have precedents among other animals. That’s especially true of our nearest relatives, of course, but in truth much of what we do is a variation on basic animal, or at least basic vertebrate. Humility turns out to be a scientific principle.

    1. a different chris

      Yeah I always imagined the fundies chortling to themselves as how they snuck that “anthropomorphism is bad” twaddle into the “scientific” community. “A gross violation of Occam’s Razor”, wish I had thought of that!

      1. witters

        It is useful to remember that science had to cut itself free from supernaturalism. To do this it had to repudiate natural theology – which views all of nature in an anthropocentric way. Anthropocentrism isn’t bad as such. It is bad when it is assumed everywhere, for this is a piori thinking or prejudice.

  41. Oregoncharles

    ” This indicates half the money will come from the government. That may just be loan guarantees, since heretofore the noises have been about minimizing fiscal impact. But if it is actual spending, this would be a lot of stimulus.” (Admirably concise; I had to quote the whole thing.) About the infrastructure policy.

    Back during the campaign, Trump said some things that appeared to reference MMT (I hesitate to say “implying he understood…”). Granted, he said a lot of things, often mutually contradictory, but he might actually know he can just “print” money. A case of “only Nixon can go to China.” Might be another case of outflanking the Dems on the left.

    Evidently he’s hoping to bring home a lot of “offshored” money for the purpose, for which he’d have to sweeten the pot. He’s quite capable of understanding that. Seems to me that, too, would have a stimulant effect: in effect, new money injected into the economy. But I’m no expert.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Financial investment isn’t a stimulus (except to stock and bond prices); for that, it has to be spent on stuff.

  42. Oregoncharles

    ” Buries that she threw the punch to break up a fight. But still not a good look. ”
    Are you sure? Sounds like a role pioneer to me (I can remember when that was a big thing.)

    I’m surprised she can throw an effective punch; must work out.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Boxing as exercise has been a fad for at least the last 5 years in NYC. I could have trained with a women who is a world champion. Weighs maybe 130 lbs but never every heard anyone hit the heavy bag as hard as she does. BOOM BOOM BOOM!

      1. aab

        I think it’s been MUCH longer than five years, at least here on the West Coast. I’ve never done it, but I’d assume a properly trained woman could use her core, back and thigh muscles to put a lot of thrust behind a punch, regardless of her weight and height.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Women would also have a big advantage with surprise, that a man would leave himself open for a punch in an argument with a woman while he might start bracing himself with a man.

          But there are other ways to have broken up the fight: throw water on them; if either had enough hair, grab a fistful and yank; stomp on one of their feet (although you’d probably break it).

          1. skippy

            Women’s largest draw back is psychological due to environmental conditioning as you allude too Yves, fighting is mostly about fear management and in the feminine social department indoctrination makes that difficult. Yet Kurdish women fight exceeding well in confrontation.

            If I might suggest when applicable the eyes, can’t see can’t fight thingy… and then run…

            disheveled…. what is there to prove….

            1. aab

              We do have a disadvantage in untrained hand-to-hand combat, at least in Western culture, because female arm strength tends to be less than male arm strength, and average female height is still shorter, so in average match-ups, the woman would also have a reach disadvantage. Those things can be compensated for, but then you’re having to factor in training, natural ability, etc.

              But having beaten a guy in a fight (the one time I tried), I definitely benefited from both surprise and having counter conditioning. (I was rehearsing for a play where I had literally just spent several hours being viciously attacked physically as the director screamed “HIT HER! YOU WANT TO KILL HER. YOU’RE AN ANIMAL! KILL HER!” to the other actor. So I I was pretty adrenalated, primed to fight, and then this douchey guy decides to press one of my sorest buttons really hard.

              It also helped that apparently even in a blind rage, I have enough problem-solving capacity to recognize the value of jumping over a staircase onto said douche’s back.

              I swear, he really did deserve it.

  43. Oregoncharles

    On the arrested journalists: “None of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong. Keller’s report, which also covers the arrests of an unknown number of unidentified other people, includes a note that a police vehicle was vandalized. “I had absolutely nothing to do with the vandalism,” said Keller.”

    This doesn’t contradict Yves’ comment, but I’m tentatively complacent about the extreme charges, and the charges against the journalists. Note the emptiness of the arrest reports. Authorities typically have a hard time making charges stick after such a chaotic situation, or even finding the officer who made the arrest. They literally have no idea what happened. In this case, the severe charges are meant as a warning, and will most likely disappear at actual hearings, or judges will throw them out.

    Nonetheless, it behooves us to pay attention and make sure that happens.

    One recommendation: people arrested at chaotic demonstrations should NEVER plead guilty; forcing a trial penalizes the local authority, and you’re likely to escape conviction. (It’s different if it was intended civil disobedience, unless your numbers are so great that prosecution is impossible. That’s a victory.)

  44. hunkerdown

    Justice Democrats: a tweetstorm explains that it’s just a hybrid (regular+super) PAC, which seems flexian. So maybe this isn’t as awesome a deal for mob rule popular control as is believed.

      1. hunkerdown

        Geez. I didn’t know Zack Exley is chief “community” officer at Wikimedia Foundation, and therefore has strong influence on editorial policy. No wonder it’s gone neo, and no wonder Bernie’s campaign wasn’t run at full throttle. Are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been seems a useful policy for the left at this point.

      2. aab

        Ah, Soros money.

        I don’t know how Alan* stands to do what he does. It looked at one point like he was too despairing to keep going, but he seems to have found a way to run on unadulterated righteous rage.

        I figured “Justice Democrats” had to be a bit of a scam, since Cenk now wears a Haim Saban collar. Pretty sure when your master collars you, there’s no topping from the bottom. (And now I’m sad, because I’d LOVE to send that joke to Alan, but I use a different nom de guerre on Twitter.)

        *Yes, I know it’s a pseudonym. Also, treating this pseudonym as male since account is presented that way.

  45. Expat

    re: Brexit
    No shocker on EU stance. And no surprise that banks are bailing. But who really wants these banks in their cities? And can a bank like HSBC or Citi make money in any regime other than the City of London. London is the premier money-laundering center of the world.
    I am appalled that France, Germany, Spain and others are already lobbying to bring these blood-sucking, coke-sniffing, civilization -wrecking banker to their country!

    Disclaimer: ex Citi and other investment banker

  46. Kim Kaufman

    “Trump’s Road to the White House Frontline.”

    I haven’t watched the show but here is a comment on it from an Election Integrity listserve (my bold for emphasis):

    “Just a tidbit that I found interesting. Last night I watched Frontline on PBS. The topic was the Trump campaign. One of the people interviewed throughout was Frank Luntz, the GOP focus group/messaging guru, and frequent guest on Fox News. He was talking about election night and how the Trump campaign was not optimistic because pre-polling showing Hillary leading, and stated that, when the exit polls started coming in, they all got very depressed because, and I quote “exit polls are always right.” “

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