Links 1/5/17

Inside a family’s geodesic dome home in the Arctic Circle Curbed (David L)

Mystery cosmic radio bursts pinpointed BBC (David L)

Texas Wineries Worry EPA Approval of Monsanto, Dow Herbicides Will ‘Kill’ Industry EcoWatch (Glenn F)

All signs point to a corporate takeover of the marijuana industry by Bayer, Monsanto Defend Democracy

The Vertical Farm New Yorker (furzy)

The research-backed way to temporarily boost your memory Business Insider (David L)

Tech Giants Seem Invincible. That Worries Lawmakers. New York Times

Sweden’s Queen Silvia says palace is haunted by ghosts BBC (David L)

The Growing Urban-Rural Divide Around the World Atlantic (furzy)


Mandarins revolt over May’s Brexit leadership The Times

UK diplomats flee ‘sinking ship’ in Brussels Politico

Marine Le Pen asked to repay €9 million bank loan: reports Politico

Cyprus: Νuland and Anastasiades. What is going on? Defend Democracy

In Turkey, U.S. Hand Is Seen in Nearly Every Crisis New York Times (furzy)

Angry protests erupt across Mexico after 20% hike in gasoline prices Guardian (Tom H)

Looting erupts amid protests over Mexico gas price hike France 24

New Cold War

Despite Iraq debacle, the media is still empowering neocon warmongers on Russian hack story Salon (resilc)

Weaponized Narrative Is the New Battlespace Defense One (resilc)

US obtained evidence that Russia leaked emails, say officials Reuters

Could a 14-Year-Old Have Hacked John Podesta? New York Magazine

Podesta: SpearphishingDNC: Spearphishing+malware+org network traversalHillary server: Emails released were through proper legal discovery @SwiftonSecurity

Assange Is Vastly More Reliable Than The Elite U.S. Media Michael Tracey, Medium.

Ex-CIA spokesman: Trump believes Julian Assange over the CIA CNN. Martha r: “CNN thinks this is bad.” See related WSJ story in Trump Transition section.

Did Putin Really Launch a ‘Cyber–Pearl Harbor’ Against America? Nation (furzy)

The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century failed evolution

Trump Transition

Trump and Julian Assange, an Unlikely Pair, Unite to Sow Hacking Doubts New York Times (J-LS)

Assange: Russians not involved, Obama’s White House is trying to delegitimize Trump MarketWatch

Sean Hannity After Interviewing Julian Assange: “I Believe Every Word He Says” RealClearPolitics (furzy). The Dems, following Mandy Rice-Davies, would argue “He would say that, wouldn’t he?”

Mexican standoff looms between Trump and carmakers south of border Financial Times

How to Stop a Trump Supreme Court Nominee New Yorker (furzy)

Bernie Just Printed a Gigantic Trump Tweet and Brought It to the Senate Floor Gizmodo (UserFriendly)

California Dems tap Eric Holder to fight Trump in court CNN. EM: “LOL, hiring a whore to Big Capital counts as ‘liberal opposition’ these days.”

Trump adds Goldman Sachs lawyer to his Wall Street dream team Vox (DO)

Donald Trump Plans Revamp of Top U.S. Spy Agency Wall Street Journal. Get a load of this:

One of the people familiar with Mr. Trump’s planning said advisers also are working on a plan to restructure the Central Intelligence Agency, cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out into field posts around the world. The CIA declined to comment.

Mind you, this is from a single source, so don’t treat it as Trump policy. But at a minimum some on his team want to bring the CIA to heel. Notice the hysteria in the article re the fact that Trump is openly not on board with what the intelligence services are saying and *horrors* is touting Assange.

The battle begins over repeal of Obamacare Financial Times

Trump and the Case of Congressional Ethics New Yorker (furzy)

Nascent anti-Trump coalition already fracturing? Essential Opinion (martha r). Hoist on the identity politics petard! And separately, recall that yours truly was skeptical of the Million Woman March.

GOP’s Health-Law Attack Spurs Messaging Battle Wall Street Journal. Trump urging GOP to leave Obamacare alone and (effectively) let the death spiral do their dirty work.

The FBI Never Asked For Access To Hacked Computer Servers BuzzFeed (martha r)

Washington Post cites ‘discussions’ aimed at preventing recurrence of Vermont utility story Washington Post

Three Activist Victories That Flew Under the Radar Over the Holidays Truthout (martha r)


US Court of Appeals Rules Against Standing Rock Tribe in Dakota Access Pipeline Case Reader Supported News (martha r)

One of the Last Big Buyouts Is Now Haunting the CDS Market Bloomberg. More important than headline would lead you to believe. One company has found out how to make CDS into a poison pill. Vlade: “In essence, companies figured out how to persuade people not to write CDSes on them – at least until new standards would happen, which may be like never.”

Roster of Public Companies Is Shrinking Before Our Eyes Wall Street Journal

Wall Street, America’s New Landlord, Kicks Tenants to the Curb Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Radical Efforts to End Homelessness: A Sober Utopia Pacific Standard (Chuck L)

Goldman Confronts Protesters Inside New York Headquarters Bloomberg (martha r)

Disclosing the Costs of Corporate Welfare American Prospect

Guns and Chipotle: Millennials are the most employed generation in two occupational areas: food services and military. MyBudget360 (UserFriendly)

Faye Longo: One car repair away from disaster VTDigger. Martha r: “Not a complaint but a proposal for new type of lending institution to help working people now ineligible for any type of assistance (because they have (barely) income. In the probably most progressive state for providing social services–no help for the working poor. Extensive discussion in comments of her proposal.”

5 facts about the minimum wage Pew (UserFriendly)

College Football’s Top Teams Are Built on Crippling Debt Bloomberg (resilc). In this category because college football is a money loser and hence contributes to higher education cost bloat.

Antidote du jour (Dr. Kevin):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


          1. ambrit

            Insofar as the photograph shows “Traditional” dominance based behaviour, yes, conservative. Also good for showing eco friendly behaviours, as in the broccoli comment. “Eat your greens! There are starving kittens in Abyssinia!”
            As for political meanings, well, both of the actors pictured are cats. The only difference I can see between them is their fur colour. Very similar to the present American political “Duopoly.”
            As for crypto Freudian pun-ishments, I’ll maintain a discreet silence.

    1. Adam Eran

      In related news, in today’s strip, Garfield walks by John and Odie hugging. He says “Dogs really are man’s best friend. | ‘Why?’ you ask. | Cats have standards.”

  1. Jeff

    Re Donald Trump Plans Revamp of Top U.S. Spy Agency
    I read somewhere (sorry no link) that the Pentagon is more than fed up with all the things the CIA is cooking for them (eg there was an article out on how the Army’s Special Forces are used by CIA operatives to train ‘moderate rebels’ in Turkey and Jordan while everybody knows these are just jihadists).
    Hence the presence of so much brass in Trump’s team: that is to revamp ‘civilian’ Intelligence Services.
    One should keep in mind there are something like 17 Intelligence Services in the US, employing 10s of 1000s of ‘analysts’. With all these analysts writing reports and their managers and commanders massaging the message, no way anything meaningful can still be distilled for the POTUS or other high-level staff.

    1. timbers

      I’m becoming convinced that Presidential intelligence briefings are all about brainwashing Presidents with endless, constant Fake News, so as to keep them under control of the War Party Agenda, lest they exercise independent thought and judgement. Obama’s children could have exercised better foreign policy decision making than he did as long as they were kept out of reach of those intelligence briefings. That’s why this is one of THE big issues in the beltway fake news bubble, with the MSN fake newers and The War Party openly attacking Trump and practically calling him stupid and even threatening him (Schumer yesterday) for not believing CIA&Co, despite it’s long proven record of being so very wrong about most everything important.

      Meanwhile the “white” working class voters couldn’t care less with this bi-coastal elitist obsession.

      Nuke the CIA and company … “it’s the only way to be sure”

      1. fresno dan

        January 5, 2017 at 9:02 am

        I agree totally.
        I posted below about Colbert apparent hypocrisy – the guy appears NOW to be a big believer in the CIA. Does he believe in the MIC too? Libya was a good thing? We should be involved in Syria???

        INCREDIBLE that now in the media world that the CIA is held in such esteem…
        Really, its only 15 years ago that we had the debacle of Iraq,,,and yet, with that very recent disaster, it has already been flushed down the memory hole. Memes are generated wholesale to promote the idea that the evil Russians stole the election.

        I take it that the CIA has stenographers at the WP and NYT. HOW MUCH of the MSM narrative, say about Syria, should people believe?

        Anne (January 5, 2017 at 8:37 am) asks who to believe. It seems there are few honorable, principled MSM sources out there. Has it always been that way? A few years ago I would have thought myself well informed by reading and BELIEVING the NYT, WSJ, and WP.

        I DON”T REALLY KNOW if Russian hacked the DNC or not, or what is happening in Syria, but I am now far better off being unsure than not being in a position to question the NARRATIVE.
        Thank you NC and all the publications you link to!!!

        1. Lemmy

          Why wouldn’t you automatically believe our esteemed intelligence agencies? Oh, yeah …

          Attorney: Spy chief had ‘forgotten’ about NSA program when he misled Congress

          CIA director John Brennan lied to you and to the Senate

          CIA lied about torture, Senate report suggests

          Torture report: CIA lied to Congress and allies about its secret prisons

          George W. Bush’s CIA briefer admits Iraq WMD “intelligence” was a lie

          A Former CIA Official Apologizes to ‘Every American’ For Iraq Intelligence Failures

          Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From Schumer: They have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.

        From an official (quoted in a Wall Street Journal article yesterday by Damian Paletta and Julian E. Barnes):

        “No president has ever taken on the CIA and come out looking good.”

        Is the president-elect foolish or brave here?

        1. Jim Haygood

          No president has ever taken on the CIA and come out looking good.

          Not that anyone would know, since the autopsy photos have a strange way of disappearing.

          1. Iowan X

            The older I get, and the more history I learn, I’m inclined to quote my pal who actually has a Pulitzer Prize. He writes to his WaPo/NYT/WSJ complainers, “You may be right.” Jim, you may be right.

      3. Jef

        Finally a comment pointing out that the POTUS is not steering the bus.

        Yet we all here will continue to analysis every move he/she makes proclaiming “if only we could get him/her out and get the other guy/gal in” then everything will be better.

        I am 100% certain that Obama is being told that Russia/Putin is out to get us.

      4. Steve Sewall

        Well put. But will Trump have the guts and the wit to stand up to the War Party’s indoctrination of presidents? And given the military bent of his own choices for personal advisors, how will Trump’s agenda differ from that of the NSA/CIA? In response, I can hear him saying, “I win wars. CIA loses them.” Followed by, “They don’t get Putin. I do.”

        But what follows after that?

      5. aletheia33

        i am guessing that employment at these agencies is one of the few options left for “journalists” who cannot stay employed. i have read that PR is where most of these unemployables have migrated, and of course direct shilling is being used more and more widely these days. i base my guess on the sense that most of what CIA has done since its inception is disseminate propaganda. in fact–is CIA mainly an “information” factory? what do readers think?

        if one cannot get a job actually writing propaganda, perhaps one can get a job writing the endless bureaucratic documents. someone has to write them, too, and if you need a job, you can’t always be that picky.

        of course CIA does “more” ;) than just produce propaganda. but that stuff does not happen in the office, and besides it’s in a different department.

        the indoctrination of the people is done by intelligent, educated workers who, like most of us, will do what they have to do to remain employed so they can give the best life possible to their children. i keep saying this because i don’t understand why people keep asking “how can people stand to do this or that morally repulsive activity” as if as a whole we should all be “better than this.” we’re not.

        propaganda is the most powerful weapon ever invented by the state. far more powerful than any of the other devices it uses to control society. we are now undergoing a repeat demonstration of that, for a new generation who need to learn it freshly.

        1. nycTerrierist

          ‘the indoctrination of the people is done by intelligent, educated workers who, like most of us, will do what they have to do to remain employed so they can give the best life possible to their children. i keep saying this because i don’t understand why people keep asking “how can people stand to do this or that morally repulsive activity” as if as a whole we should all be “better than this.” we’re not. ‘

          Great comment.
          For anyone interested, Sinclair Lewis nailed this in 1935:
          It Can’t Happen Here. Great read.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “…intelligent, educated workers…”

            That’s an indictment on our educational system which functions as a giant credential manufacturing machine.

            One sees the same failure or ignorance, or arrogance, when free college tuition is put before free public transportation, free health care, free drinking water, or other essentials for survival.

            The deplorable existence known as life consists of more than just getting a credential, even if it’s cost free.

          2. susan the other

            even the clear vision of the unions fails when capitalism fails which makes us all uneasy because we embraced capitalism as the great deliverance – not so, however. just another con job.

          3. polecat

            analogous to the many ‘quants’ that went to work for financial firms ,,, because they couldn’t find adaquate employment in physics research ….

    2. Benedict@Large

      Just saw an article yesterday saying we now have special forces on the Russian border (probably Ukraine). How exactly does operational clearance for something like that come about. I can’t see Obama approving anything like that directly, so we’re probably (once again) talking about Nuland’s wanna-bes trying to stoke a hot conflict with Russia. These people are insane (and we almost had one of them as President.)

          1. AnnieB

            Thanks, Waldenpond. So, while the media were all up in arms about so called Russian hacking, the military was quietly sneaking into position along the Russian border.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama hates to look weak. Of course, he authorized it.

        The process is simple. The Baltic States want U.S. money. Politics prevents direct aid, so they get rents on U.S. bases. Then of course, they use that money to buy from Lockheed after a few bribes. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      2. cwaltz

        What in the world makes you think Obama wouldn’t authorize that? He’s on the record as saying he believes Russia was involved in our election process and that we would take action.

        In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep that is airing Friday on Morning Edition, Obama said, “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action. And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”

        Everything is not a vast conspiracy theory initiated by the CIA all on their own folks.

    3. Procopius

      The 17-member “intelligence community” is a perfect example of Parkinson’s Law in action.

  2. allan

    LG threatens to put Wi-Fi in every appliance it introduces in 2017 [ars Technica]

    … During the company’s CES press conference today, LG marketing VP David VanderWaal says that “starting this year” all of LG’s home appliances will feature “advanced Wi-Fi connectivity.” One of the flagship appliances that will make good on this promise is the Smart Instaview Refrigerator, a webOS-powered Internet-connected fridge that among other things supports integration with Amazon’s Alexa service. …

    Throw in the war on cash and we’re halfway to the panopticon.
    Resistance is futile.

    1. ambrit

      I sense an opportunity in “Faraday Cage Houses” DIY programs. Don’t you? Oh, wait, your bathroom light bulb shows you read old Ramparts magazines. Sorry, wrong meme Comrade.

        1. ambrit

          I believe that any “tampering” with utility meters is ‘illegal.’ Something to do with the Public Utility equals monopoly idea.

          1. KurtisMayfield

            I would love to see a utility worker figure out that I wrapped my house in a faraday cage, and then have them litigate. It would be great theater!

      1. Jim Haygood

        And your fridge chimes in that you just woofed down a quart of ice cream straight outta the carton.

        As the 900 lb man [65 stone to our UK readers] used to say, “The serious eating starts after midnight.” ;-)

        1. ambrit

          Wonderful Freudian slip there Comrade Jim! The old phrase being “Wolfed down,” implying a wild and untamed act. Now it’s “woofed,” signifying the domestication and neutering of the general public. Now we’re only lap dogs for the Dairy Council.

        2. Waldenpond

          Every time you open your frig after 7:00 pm you’ll get a text from your health insurance company billing you a $5 penalty. Get a dog and train it to walk your treadmill to get a discount.

      2. philnc

        Or just install a Mikrotik firewall/router, log what’s going out from each device (by MAC address) and block it.

        Actually, yeah. Sounds like there may be a business opportunity here.

    2. cnchal

      Resistance is futile.

      No it’s not. Don’t buy anything from them, and when you do buy something, use cash.

      1. toshiro_mifune

        The problem is that increasingly you have no option but some form of smart device when replacing an appliance or piece of consumer electronics.
        I replaced a dead HDTV a few months ago that was in our family room. The only options all were some form of smart tv. I didn’t want any of those features, nor did I need them, but had to unless I wanted to subject my children to the horrors of a sub-24 inch screen (clearly sarcasm). What was even more annoying is the TV wouldn’t let you select inputs until you provided it with web access. Basically it forced you to configure its web service otherwise it wouldn’t let you use it.
        I solved that by creating a TV VPN on my router that black-holed all of the outbound traffic generated by the TV. Honestly though, that’s annoying that I have to do that.
        I’ve noticed the number of appliances in Lowes of HD that have some form of Linux server running in them has greatly increased in the past 2 years and seems to be quickly on its way to being a default. Copy paste for cars and you get the idea. Resistance may be futile

        1. Jim Haygood

          “Basically it forced you to configure its web service otherwise it wouldn’t let you use it.”

          This sort of insubordination from an electromechanical device infuriates me.

          Buying ten-year-old technology on Craigslist is one way to sidestep crapified autos, electronics and appliances, at least until the vintage stuff is all gone.

        2. Phil

          I’m with you, I have had to create firewalled, VLAN’d subnets in my home networks. That way I can choke and monitor these impertinent devices individually. It’s funny to watch which ones start to complain when you gag them. Funny in the sense of, not funny.

          So, by now, I spend what amounts to hours every month keeping my home networks managed and secure, with separate subnets for banking or billpaying, phone data access, guests, media servers/devices, VoIP lines, security CCTV cameras–hundreds of dollars in prosumer homebuilt routing gear and managed switches. And I’m not even a target. That’s what I used to say–until I realized how often I am called in to fix a hacked system belonging to a neighbor–somebody who is just trying to live life normally, and not like an amateur techno-geek.

          How long will this resistance even be possible? The pressure is relentless now in every aspect of life. Every day, new techniques arise to exploit the slightest lapse of vigilance. As I get older, and my vigilance lapses more often, each time, there is a paper cut, or worse. Don Quijones may be a hysterical alarmist, but the fact is, based on the evidence from Greece, Italy, and Spain, the war on cash is real, and the electronic systems are much less secure, and much more expensive, than cash. Yet another tin-foil-hat nightmare turns out to be reality.

          1. toshiro_mifune

            How long will this resistance even be possible?

            I honestly don’t know. In terms of surveillance and corporate/govt data collection it may be nothing more than a rear-guard action to buy a few more years. Not that I think either corp entities or govt ones know what to do with all the data they’re collecting on us.

            1. Massinissa

              “Not that I think either corp entities or govt ones know what to do with all the data they’re collecting on us.”

              That’s part of the problem. When you have a hammer everything starts to look like a nail. These corps and governments are going to start pumping all this info into shitty algorithms that create gobbledygook information that they will use on god knows what and create more problems. Garbage In garbage out.

              1. different clue

                I have read the theory that government ( NSA) wants to store all data on everyone so that if someone is targeted for political persecution, relevant people in government or law enforcement can go back and see all the data on you and decide which to use to fake whatever case they want to fake.

                1. Procopius

                  C. Northcote Parkinson explained it clearly. The funny thing is, they don’t need real data. The Gestapo, the (Cheka, NKVD, MVD, KGB), the Embroidered Emissaries, all proved that. Although I did read somewhere that both the Gestapo and the Stasi took pride in actually finding real evidence of violations. I don’t think the Brocade Guard or the Chicago Police Department ever had such an aberrant failing.

        3. inhibi

          Try a projector. I use one instead of a TV. Its bigger, more portable, and you can forgo the cable box. Just hook it up to an old Ipad, laptop, even a phone would work, get on Netflix/Hulu and walla, you have a 10ft. TV.

        4. hunkerdown

          toshiro_mifune, geez. Make and model of that TV? TechDirt or one of the other gadget publications might have some fun panning that “feature”, which would be particularly embarrassing coming out during CES17!

          If there’s a Linux server in them already, it should be a whole lot easier to make them solitary. What’s more, it should be easier to characterize just what they’re sending to who when

    3. Octopii

      IoT surveillance aside, LG has done a great job with the Palm-developed bastard child WebOS.

      Strategies for devices with unwanted wifi:
      1) Don’t give it your password for f**ks sake.
      or, if you want the functionality,
      2) Create a guest wifi and put it on that so it has internet access but none to your computers. And cover the camera and microphone.

      1. toshiro_mifune

        Agreed. Create a guest VPN and then block all outbound internet access for that VPN.

        cover the camera and microphone

        This works but only if the manufacturer discloses that there are microphones and cameras in the device and where they are.

          1. Octopii

            If you have the ability to do a VLAN on your network, yes. Most people do not. But many recent consumer wifi routers offer guest wifi functionality. Rented wifi routers from Comcast and Verizon Fios in my area have it.

            1. cnchal

              See, resistance isn’t futile. There are ways of fighting the perverts by pissing in their cloud, and if you pay for the TV with cash, you piss a little harder.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      It somehow seems fitting that, in grossly overweight nation, everyone’s personal spy is a box that tells you when you’re running out of ice cream and frozen pizza.

      1. MtnLife

        Don’t forget it’ll probably also send all that info to your insurance company so that they can properly analyze their risk exposure from your diet and adjust premiums accordingly. Maybe some PHARMA ads for diabetes meds when it sees your ice cream consumption rate.

        1. Waldenpond

          Job opportunity to build an app here.. connect those with to those without, a person can hire themselves out as exercisors.. you know, someone who will put on someone else’s pedometer, go to the gym for others, put in time at cycle sessions all to get a health insurance discount.

      2. Waldenpond

        Even more fitting is the ‘what are you going to do’ and then the time sinks being developed as a ‘fight back’ ha! I think someone actually mention ‘what about the children’ on this topic.

      1. ambrit

        That’s old hat. The “deplorables” who are into things that go boom already use remotely detonated pressure cookers for dastardly deeds. This “official” wifi is clearly a defensive mearure by those dear hearts who only wish the bestest for us all. (Sarcasm alert.)

  3. funemployed

    College football is only a money loser for colleges and students. Plenty of plutocrats find it very lucrative (not to mention coaches and assorted support staff), otherwise they might give slightly more than zero f#(%s about all the brain-damage it causes, or the fact that athletic scholarships are usually so paltry that most athletes need to take out student loans while their images are sold on ESPN for millions. Once upon a time I considered college athletics, then realized I could make a lot more for a lot less work if I just waited tables. As with all things thriving today, college football exists because it enables much looting and exploitation.

    1. funemployed

      The most messed up thing of all might be that world class athletes are required to pass a minimum cut score on the SAT and pretend to get an education while working an extraordinarily demanding and risky job….so that the rest of us can pretend they’re “amateurs.”

      1. jonboinAR

        Yes, I think the way the athletes are exploited is fairly heinous. Being as most of them are black, if I were them I’d slam the “race-card” down.

    2. Antifa

      Pay for college football and basketball with a 1% tax on all the bookies and bettors who follow them so religiously. After all, that’s why college sports exist. It soitinly ain’t for character development or for funding the school.

      And make the NFL and NBA reimburse the college or university of any college athlete it drafts — reimburse the school in full for its participation in this charade of education.

      How many serious college athletes go on to careers in engineering, science, NASA, or the arts?

  4. dk

    @SwiftOnSecurity says that Podesta was spearphished; true, but that event may not be the source of the wikileaks dump. The spearphishing email found in that release, while acknowledged to have been successful, is not the only possible channel. Assange’s claims (and Murry’s) of a separate source have not been disproven and do not conflict with any evidence so far publicly available. Note that CrowdStrike, the private firm investigating the DNC breaches, found at least two separate intrusions.

    Even nominally technical non-government sources may still be jumping to conclusions. The possibilities presented by available evidence to date are multiple but not unmappable. Granting that the CIA’s role is to make some assumptions, there are several viable and credible alternate constructions available.

    These events are certainly important and interesting, but that is no excuse for premature conclusion. People are gambling that their assertions will never be disproven, or that their guesses will luckily coincide with future developments/discoveries. That is not only the state of current MSM and political and pundit classes, it’s too often the state of our social discussion, and widely evident in fields of economics (investment, financial analysis, etc).

    1. Riley Brown

      When considering the credibility of “Swift On Security” writing on attribution of hacks (or possibly leaks posing as hacks) it is important to remember that:

      1. The account is pseudonymous, pretending to be Taylor Swift talking about security. We have no idea the details of her career, education, or credibility as a security expert.

      2. She (assuming the account is really a she) mostly posts jokes.

      3. When she does post about her work with security it is almost always about patches and updates for Windows, not serious digital forensic analysis. Updating Windows is important, but hardly makes one knowledgeable about other aspects of cyber security.

      4. When a tweet of hers is thoroughly discredited, she often deletes it. But that doesn’t stop her from continuing to post about topics she knows nothing about.

      5. This tweet of hers sums up her credibility on this topic nicely:

      If I wanted to write a book about this, I would have absolutely no idea how. Details are easily conflated and twist through the timeline.

      Yet she keeps posing as an expert here!

      This isn’t a critique of NC for including her in the links (I appreciate that Yves et al treat readers as adults) but I no longer giver her opinions much credence.

      1. hunkerdown

        Speaking of fundamental attribution errors, Swift On Security was mentioned exactly once in the comment, suggesting an entire set of attributional possibilities that comport more closely with the data than the Democratic Party line. As someone with relevant experience, I can say that Swift On Security’s jokes etc. are absolutely in line with infosec thinking. If her jokes were not based on understoof principles and accepted analyses by the infosec community, infosec Twitter would leave her to sing to herself.

        This is not an industry that lives on feelings. I would believe they know what they’re on about.

      2. dk

        I think the handle is meant to be ironic. Clearly not a forefront expert, though not obviously incompetent either.

        But I follow @SwiftOnSecurity for her InfoSec retweets which are a pretty good selection. Technically, she’s just another working stiff, mired in the corporate context of maintaining legacy equipment and apps, as so many are, their potential talent and best efforts squandered. There’s a deeper cultural tragedy there, not lost on @SwiftOnSecurity.

        In general I find good retweeters a better value than direct follows, one gets a mix of aggregation and personality, while somewhat reducing overall stream volume. Everybody eventually makes fools of themselves on twitter (if not immediately), the medium effectively guarantees that. Doesn’t mean one can’t tweet one’s way to becoming President of the Free World, right?

    2. Procopius

      I’ve been appalled at the lack of critical thinking since the DNC and President Obama decided to try to cast the blame for their loss on the Russians, although I shouldn’t be, having been in high school during the McCarthy/HUAC years (“When are you going to release the names, Senator?”).

  5. russell1200

    State Schools have problems with making their alumni sticky – getting them to grant endowments, funding, etc.

    Small schools have a problems getting anyone to pay any attention to them what so ever, and some small schools (as noted in a WSJ) article have a hard time with getting enough men to enroll.

    All of these are other, off the book, reasons that a school might fund a high visibility sports team. So I am somewhat leery of the bean-counter studies that say that sports programs don’t payoff. They may not pay off in the way you think, or even the way you want, but there are reasons for them to exist. To take a pro sports example, would anyone outside of WI know that Greenbay even exists without the football team?

    That being said, I think the link is absolutely spot on with the dangers of heavy long term financing tied to uncertain revenue levels. If the folks who build speculative toll roads, with presumably much easier cash flow models to deal with, can go belly up, certainly a University can as well.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      …….. some small schools (as noted in a WSJ) article have a hard time with getting enough men to enroll.

      “Enough men???” What does that even mean?

      That being said, I think the link is absolutely spot on with the dangers of heavy long term financing tied to uncertain revenue levels.

      Gee, ya think?

      From the article:

      Cal’s debt service last year cost nearly three times as much, the main reason why a department that generally balances its budget had such a massive deficit. Annual payments will be $18 million until 2032, when they jump to $26 million. They’ll peak at $37 million a year in 2039. The school plans to pay off the full sum by 2053, though the loan extends to 2112.

      Nearly one hundred years to pay off a football facility that “ sits directly on Hayward Fault and needed specific earthquake-related upgrades” !

      Here’s hopin’ that the geniuses at Cal do “earthquake-related upgrades” a whole lot better than they do finance. It’s supposed to be a university fer chrissakes.

      1. Jim Haygood

        It’s supposed to be a university fer chrissakes.

        But the quality can be patchy, if you’re in the wrong dumbpartment.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Demographic stability. One of the girls colleges where I grew up went co-ed almost 10 years ago, but the school’s enrollment problems were linked to changing attitudes. Modern high school girls (cough Title IX matters) simply find single sex schools to be alien. They might “like” the school in theory, but all gender schools don’t exist in the minds of modern students. They are just too foreign even when down the street.

      3. MtnLife

        Enough to hit their desired diversity quotas. Same way two decades ago they were complaining they couldn’t enroll enough women or (insert minority here). Women are now going to and graduating from college in greater numbers than men. I imagine certain artsy schools have that issue. I had a friend who intentionally went to an art school (drawing a blank on the name right now) where the women outnumbered the men roughly 7:1 and most of the men were gay. He was very “popular”.

      4. JustAnObserver

        Extraordinary! Just doing a quick sum of the payments from now to 2053 we get to just short of a billion $$$ !!??

        For a stadium that gets used 12 times/year for football (maybe its multi-purpose ?).

      5. Oregoncharles

        I gather there are more women than men in college. That isn’t very visible at big universities, but could be very obvious at small colleges. If you don’t have a reasonable balance, you’re going to have trouble recruiting ANYBODY, because college is a gigantic mating ritual. Of course, you could advertise that you have a lot of lonely co-eds and maybe recruit more men…

        But that would be sort of embarrassing. So: “enough men” to attract enough women, so as to have enough students.

        Not sure how seriously to take all that, but college students sure do, IIRC.

    2. alex morfesis

      Perhaps the real question should have been who makes money off of all the construction contracts…a smart development officer at any university could get massive traction from 5 to 10 million per year available to do pr…heck, one could create an entire media network with that money and sell the programming to actually break even or make money…

      College sports are a great way for bookies to make money and gamblers to throw away the rent money…

    3. Jess

      Major college football, and to a lesser account, basketball, certainly have an effect on enrollment. When SMU was forced to suspend its football team for two years back in the 80’s, applications fell off by something like 25%. A neighbor kid is a perfect example: high school grades and test scores off the chart. Engineering major who could have gone to Cal Tech. Instead, chose USC, where he gets merit-based financial aid. He, and his family, are over the moon about both his education and the recent Rose Bowl win.

      And before anybody comes back with wise-ass comments about USC’s academic standards, you’re living in the past. For the past two decades the school has been on a crusade to elevate its academic profile. Four years ago my niece, who graduated with honors from one of the most prestigious private high schools in NYC, speaks four languages, and had all the extra-curricular stuff, failed to get into SC. That year the school accepted 4,100 freshman out of 49,000 applicants. The new non-joke joke is that USC has finally become a school its football team can be proud of.

      Sometimes (often times?) school name value, however earned, is a plus. (Not to mention the post graduation alumni network value.)

  6. ambrit

    Just for fun, allow me to suggest a new inscription on or in the Statue of Liberty.
    The old one is quite good.
    My new version quotes Dante; “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
    As for a new motto for the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia, something from “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland,” or “Through the Looking Glass” would be appropriate.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      This one, maybe?

      “Really, now you ask me,” said Alice, very much confused, “I don’t think —”
      “Then you shouldn’t talk,” said the Hatter.

  7. Anne

    So, who to believe? What to believe? Anyone? Anything?

    So, every day now, on almost every issue and event, this source says something is happening, another source says it isn’t. Everyone seems to be working for his or her own agenda and is willing and able to say and do anything to achieve it.

    Can’t trust the media, not when you have outlets like the WSJ announcing that they are not prepared to call a lie a lie. Not when outlets like the Washington Post and the NYT no longer take the time to fact-check anything – one wonders at this point where the average person can even find the facts anymore.

    This is not the Information Age – it’s the Disinformation and Distortion and Manipulation of Information Age. There’s no shame being felt for it, there’s no accountability being taken for it.

    Maybe it’s not even “information” anymore if we can’t figure out if it’s true or if it’s just part of some larger message designed to herd the people to the preferred conclusions.

    Who the FK am I supposed to believe? Anyone? No one?

    And what is the ultimate consequence of people no longer having any measurable confidence in the people and institutions that are supposed to be working for us or in the media which is supposed to be a check on absolute power, but which now seems to be working with those who desire absolute power?

    I feel like we are heading for something really, really terrible that we may not be able to come back from….and I’m not talking about the dusting-to-an-inch-of-snow we’re supposed to get and which the local media is hyping the crap out of.

    1. linda amick

      It is called the breakdown of society. It is G. Soros dream. Open borders, chaos. It is just one more strategy to eliminate sovereign nations making it easier to plunder resources and impoverish and eliminate locals. Look at the trial balloons…Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine to name a few of the recent examples. The only power of any population is their numbers. If you take away all common causes the people have nothing to fight back with.
      Until we storm the INDIVIDUALS behind the corporations that are reducing our lives to ruble we have nothing.

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        What does “storming the individuals” mean? How do you imagine it being helpful?

        1. Massinissa

          I think by storming the individuals behind the corporations, he means pull out the Guillotines, though perhaps not literally.

        2. hunkerdown

          I suspect Linda means the corporate veil is a conceit that only the law is bound to observe, and that we are free to treat elites as not a class above, but as rogue peers in our midst to be ostracized and excluded from the society they presume to own.

          See also tar-and-feathers, run out of town on a rail, and similar forms of peer discpline.

          1. homeroid

            I have kind of leaned towards the Guillotines. Designed one a year or two back. Something done in easy to assemble parts. There might be some who would want one, and shipping is a concern for me. I would use only local produced woods. Having a kiln i can handle that. The steel is not local but there is enough around to re purpose. Being a fishing town there are many fine metal workers for that. I could re purpose fishing line but it would be good to make my own. This makes me think of making the threshers and combs i would need to turn stinging nettle into fiber for rope.
            I love the quiet of winter when the freakin ideas flow. This could be a good time to look for local basket makers! I am stoked with ideas.

            1. polecat

              I hear a portfolio of Stocks are easy to build up and acquire …

              one size fits all elites …. including Soros ….

              just add rubbish.

    2. andyb

      Unfortunately Anne, you are blessed with critical thinking which is a no-no for the totalitarian surveillance state. You must get with the program and accept your position as permanent debt slave for the the US Corporation and whatever it deems as TRUTH. You must never know of the false flags, now occurring on a regular basis, to foster the phony War on Terror which, of course, will never end. Keep in mind that those behind the curtain obviously know what’s best for you; it’s useless to resist.

    3. fresno dan

      January 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

      “Maybe it’s not even “information” anymore if we can’t figure out if it’s true or if it’s just part of some larger message designed to herd the people to the preferred conclusions.”

      I feel your pain (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). I console myself with the thought that if I can’t be sure of the truth, it is still better to be unsure of reality than to believe BULLSH*T.

      1. Anne


        I have no interest in believing BS, no matter where it comes from; I especially don’t want to believe anything just because it sounds good and may be what I want to hear. I don’t like feeling like I am being lulled or co-opted into reaching some kind of comfortable and convenient conclusion – it feels like a set-up now that won’t, in the end, have any benefit for me.

        I don’t want to be entertained by the media, but the national news isn’t a whole lot different from the Entertainment Tonight/Access Hollywood shows. We had ABC News on last night and I guess I missed the first few minutes of so-called “real” news, because the rest of it was (1) Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, (2) a promo for Barbara Walters interview of one of the Menendez brothers that was masquerading as a “report,” (3) story about the D.C. property Ivanka and Jared are possibly buying, (4) the latest severe weather affecting parts of the country, (5) some feel-good story about someone or something so they can’t be accused of only reporting bad news.

        With all this filler, there’s little time for in-depth reporting of anything substantive, but this works for the media because it allows them to avoid the facts and question nothing and thus fails to enlighten the public; it’s just more manure for the mushrooms.

        1. fresno dan

          January 5, 2017 at 11:27 am

          Ah, the serious early evening news. If you watch the afternoon cable news, it is an inordinate amount of bears in hot tubs, car chases viewed from helicopters, and Kim Khardashian and associated asses…..(literal asses….well, figurative asses too)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        The gold standard is ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’

        The same with knowledge – knowledge, whole knowledge and nothing but knowledge.

        When we present partial knowledge or partial truth, we lie (based on that standard).

        But to insist ‘when we present partial truth, we lie,’ is to lie.

        What we can say is: this is partially true, that when we present partial truth, we lie. (for we can never be sure the statement that ‘when we present partial truth, we lie’ is the whole truth).

        Can we possess whole knowledge, instead of (the best explanation today) partial knowledge? Can we possess the whole truth?

        Have patience, little grasshopper, urges Rainer Maria Rilke:

        “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

    4. John Zelnicker

      @Anne – I share your fears. The constant flow of disinformation and manipulation, along with the divide and conquer strategy of the neo-liberal project, has destroyed the trust we need to have in those institutions in order to function effectively as a society. The next major upheaval is going to make the Great Depression look like a cakewalk. And, from where I sit, it looks like 2017 is when it’s going to happen.

      The current expansion since the GFC, such as it is, is getting rather long in the tooth compared to other recent expansions. I see a high probability that the next crisis is going to start in the financial sector (again), which has become even more fragile than it was in 2008, and it’s going to spread much further; not even the elites are going to be able to avoid it this time. With millions of people in even more precarious circumstances than the last time, it’s going to be really nasty. To make matters worse, many of those people, who are already angry and desperate, have guns and have little or no compunction against using them to get the resources they need to survive. I have always been anti-gun and have never had one in my household, but, now, for the first time in my life I have seriously considered getting one for protection.

      I think our only hope is to organize along the lines presented by Les Leopold, a labor activist and organizer, in some essays that have been posted here. His ideas about progressives getting out of their identity politics silos and organizing around class issues, rather than race and gender issues, are consistent with much of what Lambert has said about how we can effectively fight the neo-liberals and the 1%. Only by working together can we survive the coming debacle.

  8. fresno dan

    As Stephen Colbert put it Wednesday night, one “little shadow hanging over” this month’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump “is the whole ‘Russia chose our president’ thing.”
    “Yes, I agree—very strange for the future commander-in-chief to use sarcastic quotations about the intelligence agencies he will soon rely on,” Colbert said. “Mr. Trump, you know you’re not an outsider anymore shooting spitballs from the sidelines, right? In two weeks you’ll be ‘president’ of the ‘United States,’” he added, putting his own scare quotes around those words.
    I have never seen the “Daily Show” so I don’t know if Colbert has ever questioned the competence and integrity of the CIA or US intelligence agencies – prior to Trump….but I get the impression that he has.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      If I didn’t know better, I’d be inclined to think they legalized prostitution when nobody was looking.

    2. craazyboy

      He used to be funny. His character was a spoof of a Wingnut Authoritarian. Decidedly to the right of Robert De Niro’s retired CIA character in the Fockers. Now my opinion of him is rapidly going downhill.

      1. Carolinian

        Supposedly his CBS show is in ratings trouble….Moonves (who personally selected him to replace Letterman) concerned.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s an interview show. This is a problem, and Fallon seems to dominate the overly cutesy, moronic humor so prevalent today. Oh wow, another celebrity pretending to be grumpy.

    3. John Zelnicker

      @fresno dan – Colbert’s previous show was “The Colbert Report”. Jon Stewart had the “Daily Show”.

      1. fresno dan

        John Zelnicker
        January 5, 2017 at 9:37 am

        Sorry, I got that all mixed up. They were probably on in that interval where I didn’t have TV, not to be confused when I didn’t have cable. And if I ever had the potential to watch them, I never did. But it is amazing how much I read about them.

        1. barefoot charley

          Colbert started out as a Daily Show stringer who sprouted his own bean pole cable show. I thought he was great. No surprise what success does to Democrats, to say nothing of people . . .

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Good interview of Colbert by Terri Gross on Fresh Air this week (probs available on podcast). IMHO, the Colbert Report was simply outstanding, though the interviews were always the weakest part of the show. But he grew tired of the character and was going to retire the show regardless when the Late Show gig was offered. Now he gets to be himself. Sometimes he is funny, sometimes lame. The interviews are almost always lousy. But, to his credit, he hates and is freaked out by Trump and makes no bones about it. It took Letterman decades, and W, to finally let his politics shine through, and his show was best in its last years (though my SO disagrees – she liked the prank phone calls).

    4. John Wright

      How much of Colbert’s content is actually from his show’s writing staff?

      Anyone who has read some American history knows of false/misleading narratives promoted by media and government officials (“remember the Maine” in 1898 used to promote the Spanish American “war”), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that ramped up the Vietnam conflict, or CIA head and subsequent Medal of Freedom honoree George Tenet’s assertion it was a “slam dunk” that there were WMDs in Iraq.

      I believe it is good for Trump to question the competence and integrity of the intelligence agencies given their advice and results over the years.

      Colbert may have had his finest moment at the White House Correspondents’ dinner in 2006 in which he spoke truth to power to a crowd of influential people, including President Bush, under the cover of a comedy act.

      Now Colbert is probably well compensated to “toe the line”.

      1. cwaltz

        Colbert, in his own way, has always “towed the line.” He was just a part of the creating an illusion that we have two parties instead of one oligarchy controlling things.

        His pom poms are blue and that’s cute when you identify with team blue and team red controls things, it’s less helpful when team blue is running things into the ground on behalf of their really rich benefactors.

          1. polecat

            Yep … cuteness, flippancy, & condescension it is, and lots of people have had their fill of it …

            i know I have !!

        1. John Wright

          cwaltz’s “towed the line” makes sense if one visualizes someone acquiescing to pulling on a rope as instructed by an authority figure.

          I had to look it up,

          “toe the line” is correct, if one trusts Google…,

          1. accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, especially under pressure.
          synonyms: conform, obey the rules, observe the rules, comply with the rules, abide by the rules, follow the rules; informal play by the rules “the choice is yours: toe the line or pack your bags”


          The idiom is toe the line, not tow the line. The phrase derives from track-and-field events in which athletes are required to place a foot on a starting line and wait for the signal to go. Race officials used to shout “Toe the line!”

      2. GF

        “Anyone who has read some American history knows of false/misleading narratives promoted by media and government officials”

        These were not false/misleading narratives. They were well thought out narratives to advance the MIC and enrich the assorted banksters of the eras. The purpose of government intelligence agencies is to determine where the money can come from that would line the pockets of the private sector and plot a path to that destination.

  9. alex morfesis

    Could a 14 year old/nymag…lordie…a 9 year old could have done it if we are to actually read thru pwnallthings/matt twitz…bitly left open so one can see the same script to various global targets…oops I forget to switch off from Cyrillic but no one will notice…why bother starting from scratch and hitting send…so proud to work here at fsb/kgb headquarters that I must slip in mention of famous statue…

    considering how this laptop cost me 5 grand, I can’t just trash it and use another one…

    oh wait…its 2016 & not 1996?…

    Klownstrike has been talking up russia for a billion years…want to know why it wasn’t the russians ??

    How hard would it be to calculate the vc / pe burn rate at klownstrike and post it on the mafia stock board investorshub ?

    If klownstrike is the source of this blame raz-putin, might not the company be retaliated against by the big bad bear ??

    Did assange enjoy watching $hillary lose since she had a hand in his 5 year staycation ? Human nature…

    Should the govt keys have been handed back to the too dumb to hide their criminality $hillary krewe…??

    The dumberkratz are gonna become the whig party within 6 months…this use of the “ratfink” defense is getting old fast…

    And if it was the rooskeez ??

    Earth to podesta zone…spies spy…

    It’s part of their job description

    And since no russian spies have been declared dumped into the sewage pipes in st Petersburg…seems like the “mistakes” have not been punished…because raz-putin is known to be such a nice soft hearted man…

  10. Octopii

    Nothing creates disillusionment like seeing something you experienced yourself be reported completely differently. My first exposure to this was the Iraq anti-war marches in 2002, 2003. My mom actually attended one, and she finally understood why I didn’t trust NPR when she heard the massive gathering we participated in described as a few hundred protesters and dismissed with ten seconds of mention.

    Since then I’ve been involved in the DC “centers of power” in various close support roles, having direct contact with People Whose Names You Must Know. I know at least some of what goes on behind closed doors and I see the outcomes of those machinations in the media. There is a tremendous amount of shared interest in manipulating both policy and messaging, and it’s not something a few Code Pink protesters are going to change. I have very little hope for this country and am actively planning an exit.

    1. Jim Haygood

      We attended more than one Iraq war protest, bringing along our then-teenage son to witness snarling NYPD cops and Bloomberg’s snipers pointing rifles at us from the rooftops.

      Once you witness the iron fist of the empire’s domestic police state, you realize that the constitution is a convenient fiction. There’s been a coup d’etat. 9/11 had something to do with it.

      1. Massinissa

        ” 9/11 had something to do with it”

        Are you sure? I thought the coup d’état was when we set up a government for the wealthy by the wealthy 200 years ago.

    2. B1whois

      May I suggest Uruguay? Leftist politics and reasonable distance from the much endangered northern hemisphere. The people and the culture are great, immigration is easy, and the weather is quite good. Spanish speaking is recommended, but not necessary for visit, as about 1/3 speaks English and more understand it.

  11. Rajesh

    Not a single post from NC authors about the alleged hack. The links titled “New cold war” are incredibly biased.

      1. Rajesh

        yeah but one expects NC to be a cut above the rest and not be complicit to sweeping things under the rug

        1. hunkerdown

          Say, just what is in those emails, anyway? Fake impartiality, a fake primary, a fake debate, and “public positions and private positions” perhaps?

          The Democratic Party is a private corporation, and has no DOD contracts. What does it matter? Besides, shouldn’t corporations be held to account based on the evidence one has, instead of psychological transference of earned failure onto others?

    1. vidimi

      NC’s editorial position is that the dem establishment is most likely lying to cover up their incompetence and that by far the more credible sources are claiming the hacking allegations are greatly overblown. this view is widely shared by the readers as, to date, no evidence has been offered and the only sources cited have been anonymous US officials. if you resent that then, to pre-empt lambert, may you find your happiness somewhere else.

      1. Rajesh

        then they could validate their position based on the report released by intelligence agencies but they don’t want to do that as the truth is to inconvenient to them to face up to. oh and btw what i read where i read it and comments i offer are choices i make and i am perfectly happy to comment on the injustices i witness on this site.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Tell me when the CIA finds those wmds in Iraq.

          Reports by intelligence agencies? Really?

          1. Rajesh

            Im not saying that IR’s should be accepted just like that…rather why not care enough to look into it when you have such a strong contrarian view? You wont do it when the truth scares you.

            1. hunkerdown

              The CIA has interests that are directly opposed to ours. Why should any of us care how they choose to justify themselves?

              No ruling class is ever in the people’s interest. At best, they are necessary evils. The simple fact is that most people here do not support a permanent, lying, entitled ruling caste.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              What truth? Retracted stories?

              Describe the “Russian hack of the election” which is the phrase being bandied about? As in what you think that means.

              If they were hacking voting machines and Obama is sitting on it, Obama should be tried for treason, and Moscow should be leveled. What I hear instead is a bunch of whining about why Democrats aren’t responsible for the worst candidate In history.

              Leaking the embarrassing emails of a private citizen is nothing.

            1. Massinissa

              I dunno man, I think I would believe Coast Guard Intelligence more readily than the CIA at this point, but maybe not by much.

        2. vidimi

          that report has been dissected left, right and centre for its lack of content and any formal evidence.

        3. fresno dan

          January 5, 2017 at 10:13 am

          “The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday released a joint report detailing how federal investigators linked the Russian government to hacks of Democratic Party organizations.

          The document makes clear reference to the hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, though it does not mention either by name.

          The 13-page report provides technical details regarding tools and infrastructure used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services to “compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. Government, political, and private sector entities.” (See the entire report below.)

          But security experts say that the document provides little in the way of forensic “proof” to confirm the government’s attribution. Private security firms — like CrowdStrike, who investigated the DNC breach — went much further, they say.

          “The DHS statement is a restatement of already known public information, a series of technical indicators that are intended for use by cybersecurity professionals in finding and remediating APT28 malware on private sector networks, and some generic advice for companies as to how to improve their network security,” said Matt Tait, founder of the U.K.-based security consultancy Capital Alpha Security.

          APT28 refers to one of the hacking groups affiliated with Russian intelligence believed to have infiltrated the DNC.
          The U.S. report, known as a “Joint Analysis Report” or JAR, refers to the Russian hacking campaign as “Grizzly Steppe.”
          It’s unclear whether Thursday’s report will satisfy critics. The administration is in the process of preparing a more detailed classified review of Russian interference, to be delivered to Congress before Trump takes office on Jan. 20.

          “That this document doesn’t engage with the question of attribution seems, to me, to be quite deliberate,” Tait noted. “It’s purpose is to act as a measure against Russia (by adding a U.S. stamp of approval to private sector information, and making life harder for APT28 by exposing some of their malware), not to persuade the public that the DNC hack was by Russia.”
          As someone who actually worked for NSA in my youth (Arabic linguist, Air Force), let me tell you its like any other office job or human endeavor. To wit: When I was a child, the second hand store my step father worked in had a sign in the back room that said: The boss isn’t always right, but the boss is always the boss.

          The drivel I produced (“reports” were collated into other reports, which were collated into other reports, and so on) was baloney. I knew I was producing baloney, and my immediate boss knew it was baloney. But his job, and his boss’s boss’s job, and his boss’s boss’s boss’s job, and up the line, depended on this baloney. Every one I knew in other “groups” (i.e., offices) had the same view (about their own reports, but probably mine too).
          Now, I was grateful to have a job….but I was more of a butcher than a secret agent, and I was making baloney.

          1. Anon

            Travel over to The Intercept and read the article by Micah Lee (IT security expert there) on the “Russia Hacking” report. Turns out that half the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses identified in the report are little more than TOR exit router IP addresses. Sites used by thousands of regular folks; not Russian cyber-spies.

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              Rajesh? Rajesh? Where’d you go?

              Oh, I see, just a drive by. Not really seeking to inform yourself and engage. Taking advantage of the good-natured commentariat who though we may disagree are mostly at least engaged in genuine inquiry and critical thinking.

              There are rules here, y’know.

              1. Rajesh

                I decided i didn’t want to hurt you people with the facts anymore but since you’re asking….



                “The Hill” , “Intercept” WHAT?? are those REALLY your sources? Should i bother to respond to those sources?
                I appreciate all the readers & bloggers of NC incl you :-) but i disagree…thats all

                1. Rajesh

                  Parts of the reply may have been a bit rude. Sorry bout that…NC bloggers have been really nice to me and so have the readers…I will learn to respect opinions that are diff to mine. peace folks.

                2. Lambert Strether

                  > I decided i didn’t want to hurt you people with the facts

                  “You people.”

                  Insulting the NC commentariat isn’t a good way forward, I think you will find. It’s also interesting that you confused an argument from authority (the WSJ) with an appeal to facts. So, I don’t think people who know the difference — most readers here — were “hurt” at all.

                  1. Rajesh

                    There is no confusion Lambert…please note that the article mentions that the report is due next week. I’ve already expressed contrition for the knee-jerk response but you HAD to give me a public dressing down. I hoped you would be gracious enough to accept an apology from a reader who has contributed to two fundraisers (apart from contributing to the website on a monthly basis for almost two years) and wishes nothing but the best for all the bloggers (including you) and the website on the whole.

                    1. alex morfesis

                      Rajeesh…perhaps a little late to throw an elbow at you but why this idea that the russians, even if it were possible they are so incompetent to have left so many childish crumbs, COULD manipulate the election results
                      Not in a hack the tabulation machines on a tuesday manipulation, but just the idea that any american is going to vote to satisfy raz-putin…

                      certainly from the get go the $hillary story was not of the emails not being factual, but the notion american voters don’t have the right to see how the sausage is made and decide if they want some relish with it…

                      This country has survived taft, wilson, hoover, lbj and nixon…even if the donald is an evil A-O plant, there is only so much damage he can try to do…

                      remember…less than 30% of eligible voters voted for him…

                      The 40% who dont regularly vote are the perpetual equalizer…

                      remember, even the supreme court can be removed by impeachment if the klowns who have appointed themselves overlords get too fond of their insanities…

        4. cwaltz

          I tend to believe that the truth of things is somewhere in the middle.

          Did Russia try to influence our elections? Probably. Why wouldn’t they? It isn’t like we haven’t put our fingers all over influencing leadership in places like Ukraine or Syria. So why exactly would they feel any obligation not to influence our elections? We’re ripe for the same type of manipulation you see in those places. We’re polarized and split down the middle on how to address many issues.

          That being said, Russia didn’t conspire with the health insurance industry behind closed doors and come up with a health care plan that essentially gave control to health insurance industry at the cost of consumers. Russia didn’t force the Democratic Party to support TPP. Russia didn’t set up a private server. Russia didn’t force the DNC to break it’s own rules and conspire with a Presidential candidate to ensure her win it just exposed those facts. All of those things influenced the election results as well.

          It IS possible for their to be more than one thing to cause a particular result.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            While I agree that in many things the truth can be found in the middle, I think its also useful to apply Occams Razor. For this reason, while I could well believe that the Russians may enjoy injecting mischief into US and other foreign elections, I find it hard to believe that they would actively try to intervene in favour of one or other candidate. Competent intelligence services are highly pragmatic and will run a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of any major operation to interfere in US politics.

            The potential blowback of a failed attempt to influence a US election would be enormous – not just in terms of international diplomacy, but in revealing their methods and resources. I find it hard to believe that senior intelligence officers and Putin himself would see it as worth the risk, especially as its hard to see one or the other of HRC or Trump as being more in Russia’s interest. Yes I know they are aware HRC is reflexively anti-Russian, but Trump is a wild card and unpredictable and no major power likes unpredictability in their more powerful rivals.

            If – and I would emphasise if – there was Russian involvement, I would guess it was more of a probe to see what they could do, or was a free-lance operation by some peripheral agency or unit. But I really don’t see what Putin would have gained by engaging in such a high risk activity. Its simply out of character for him, and for Russian Intelligence.

            1. Lambert Strether

              We sometimes forget that all this started in 2015, when Trump was a shadow no bigger than a man’s hand, and Clinton was a mortal lock. Even if you grant hacking (and not leaking) the purpose cannot have been to elect Trump. Hardly anybody in the political class thought Trump would win, including his own campaign staff. Until election night…

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                The proponents of “battle tested” Hillary over the old guy who reminds everyone of a money grabbing landlord while Hillary worships Jesus definitely did not expect Hillary to lose despite the poor record of the Clintonistas to date.

                I’ve noticed Cuomo is amazingly in favor of free college. It’s amazing after Weiner’s Internet shenanigans that Democrats still have not grasped the Internet remembers all.

          2. fresno dan

            January 5, 2017 at 11:23 am


            I agree with all you said.
            I posted the above before, so its an oldie but goodie.
            Remember how the US was put on DEFCON 1, and the world teetered on the brink of nuclear annihilation because of this act of CYBER WAR?
            That’s funny….neither do I.

            Now, maybe the Russians think getting into the DNC is more important than the Secretary of States bathroom server….
            But it seems to me there are so, so, many purposeful inexact misstatements equating hacking of the DNC with affects on the election counts, that I think our republic is far more endangered by this hacking nonsense than by Russia.

            Hacking….important only when it affects a political party in the US….

          3. Skip Intro

            The Russian involvement was a story fabricated by the campaign in the spring, as part of their red-baiting, WWIII-prep rhetoric. TPTB have decided to run with it for a number of reasons, from assuaging donors who feel ripped off, to delegitimizing Trump, to tying his hands w.r.t. easing tensions with Russia. Was everyone but Putin and Michael Moore fooled by the MSM polling? Is the theory that the Wikileaks revelations lost the election for Clinton? Even the latest report did not directly attribute the Wikileaks publications with the Russian hacks, just let the reader make that connection after claiming evidence of Russian state involvement in ‘hacks’ of the DNC and Podesta.
            A more plausible crazy conspiracy theory at least includes the likelihood of a high-level Russian mole in the Clinton campaign, but that is still just way to complex and insane to be more compelling than the simple explanation that an untrusted, unpopular candidate with a poor campaign lost an election.

            1. Aumua

              My uninformed, off the cuff opinion.. I still don’t really know what to think, honestly. Because as it’s been pointed out elsewhere in today’s comments: what information can you trust anymore? But I would hazard a guess that the truth is probably somewhere between “The Russians hacked the election” and “Russian involvement has been entirely fabricated”.

              Surely the spy vs spy and propaganda machines have been humming along on both sides for decades, each country’s intelligence agencies spying on and trying to influence not only the other country, but it’s own citizens. So it’s nothing new, now just happens to be a good time make it an issue, because they are still trying to overturn the election.

          4. Waldenpond

            This is why there is propaganda though. The Overton window shifts because people believe that there is truth to both sides yet propaganda purporting to represent both sides can originate from the same source. I’m at the point where I see our systems (and the O window) have collapsed and there isn’t anyone to trust at this time. There are few actual reporters and journalists, most just sit online and regurgitate others ideas.

            Just curious, as I see no evidence, what accounts, statements etc were Russian and how did they effect the election? If it was MSM, I’m not much of a consumer so I would have missed it.

            1. aletheia33

              >This is why there is propaganda though. The Overton window shifts because people believe that there is truth to both sides yet propaganda purporting to represent both sides can originate from the same source. I’m at the point where I see our systems (and the O window) have collapsed and there isn’t anyone to trust at this time. There are few actual reporters and journalists, most just sit online and regurgitate others ideas.<


              …so here we gather at an independent economics blog enjoying our freedom of speech and that of our blog hosts. for how much longer?

          5. vidimi

            my view is similar. did russia hack the dnc and the clinton server? i would be surprised if they didn’t just because it was so clearly easy to. the same goes for other sophisticated state actors: china, israel, possibly someone from the EU.

            but i don’t believe that the wikileaked emails came from the russian hacks. i believe those were leaks and i have no reason to not take Craig Murray at his word there.

            therefore, i believe the white house and the dem establishment are lying by omission. yes, russia did hack the dems and the clintons, but no, they didn’t “interfere” with the election. that’s just scapegoating.

        5. Emma

          Look, a priority of the intelligence community (anywhere….), in protecting national interests, is to scrutinize where/when/how/why vulnerabilities may and will occur……just like hackers, whether they be criminal or ethical of intent. However, if this is to be all-encompassing, it should therefore include a thorough examination of Mr Bezos and his ownership of the Washington Post, and which appears to have extraordinary authorship on this ‘Russian’ hacking scandal, along with Mr Bezos’ Amazon $600M cloud-based service contract with the CIA, and which Bezos has successfully enlarged to include other US intelligence agencies. This would evidently and appropriately exclude his international tax avoidance and abusive employment practices…..

        6. temporal

          The “intelligence” agencies reports, which is to say the CIA, DHS and the FBI, were not asked about this until after the fact. This means that they reached conclusions, related to the DNC server, that cannot be verified because they were not watching, and probably could not by their own rules watch the DNC’s email server. If you can’t chase an external attacker while it is happening then you can’t determine the IP address it came from and without that you know nearly nothing at all. If you do know the address you then need to determine whether that machine was compromised and how it might have been done. Repeated attacks are a big help. If you aren’t physically watching the server at all times then you can’t determine whether it was accessed by an insider. If you aren’t logging attack attempts or large packet transfers you know nothing. If you are logging the barrage of attacks that happen to all servers on the internet then all you know is that an address succeeds or fails.

          Neither the CIA, DHS nor the FBI were assigned to protect the server so probably the only agency that might have the ability, and mandate, to possibly have address IP address attack logs would still need to look at the attacking computer. That agency, the NSA, hasn’t spoken up so far as I know.

          This assumes, of course, it was an internet based attack. What seems more likely, and certainly easier to explain, is an insider with an axe to grind.

          Since the DNC didn’t know they had been had until after the fact, trying to guess where their security broke down and how often it might have occurred is little more than playing with a Ouija board. Since no one has suggested that any of the information that leaked was a lie then the issue that matters is the way the DNC leadership picked their candidate and how they eliminated everyone else. Who Deep Throat was is less important than what Nixon had done while trying to get reelected.

          Being stuck with two bad choices for President was almost certainly not the fault of some external agency. Unless of course you want to consider Soros.

          Injustice is a pretty big word when put up against the actions documented in the emails. More to the point, since the DNC is not a government agency their security is their responsibility.

        7. hunkerdown

          Intelligence agencies exist to deceive. The infosec community believes it’s hogwash.

          Faith-based politics don’t play here.

    2. cm

      Here’s a link for you:

      The US government’s much-anticipated analysis of Russian-sponsored hacking operations provides almost none of the promised evidence linking them to breaches that the Obama administration claims were orchestrated in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

      Feel free to prove your case — so far all we’ve seen is anonymous allegations. Do you remember the Iraq war build up, or are you paid enough not to care?

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      This is a finance and economics blog. We don’t have any expertise in hacking, and frankly neither do virtually all of the commentators spewing out tons of text on this topic. However, Lambert and I have occasionally pointed out in that the idea that the Russkies hacked the election is absurd, given 1. that voting machines are not connected to the Internet and 2. in swing states, voting results by election district correlated highly with demographics and not at all with the ballot method.

      And no less than James Clapper confirmed our house view today:

      But today, the head of all U.S. intelligence – James Clapper – told Congress (specifically the Armed Services Committee):

      They did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort.

      So will the media apologize for scaring the stuffing out of the American people?

  12. alex morfesis

    Weaponized narrative…defense 1…one of the annoying things about getting older is the lies and staging are no longer fresh and quickly create a reflexive roll of the eyes…since there is money on the table, people are lining up for their chex…

    when all you have is a hammer…

    Hmmm…sounds like some qui tam futures might be on the table…but if the intent of all this noise was simply to throw money at some friends…still…

  13. fresno dan

    Weaponized Narrative Is the New Battlespace Defense One (resilc)

    Very interesting and IRONIC article. Some nice insights about narrative and myth making.
    I’m sure the author would be shocked and appalled that I apply his knowledge of “weaponized narrative” to the US as an instigator of such and a user of it against Americans.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Speaking of “myth-making,” director of national “intelligence” james clapper is currently “testifying” to a senate committee of some sort involving john mccain.

      Summary so far: The Russians definitely did everything they’ve been accused of (and probably more), Julian Assange is a lying liar and a sexual predator so nothing he says should be believed, and anyone who doubts the veracity of the brave men and women of the “intelligence” community is a lover of Russia, Iran and ISIS. (Presumably Valerie Plame is the exception that proves the rule.)

      The inescapable conclusion is that Donald Trump is an undeniably “illegitimate” president. Whatever that means “going forward.”

      One thing’s for sure. The “intelligence community” must have a shitload of dirt on these senators, because the fellating is continuing unabated.

      1. fresno dan

        Katniss Everdeen
        January 5, 2017 at 10:53 am

        I am surprised that Clapper isn’t hit by lightening when he accuses someone of being a lying liar, or that people just don’t fall over dead from the irony….

        “One thing’s for sure. The “intelligence community” must have a shitload of dirt on these senators, because the fellating is continuing unabated.”
        Maybe, but I’m thinking that the senators like….nay, love fellating….

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When someone says, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, one has to wonder if that someone is speaking from experience.

      3. Aumua

        Clapper to congress:

        Clapper stopped short of declaring Russia’s actions “an act of war,” saying that determination was beyond the scope of his office. (Reuters)

        (wink wink)

  14. Tertium Squid

    College Football and Crippling Debt

    Another way football is like war – all sides borrowing to finance the campaign, with only the winner staying solvent.

  15. Jim Haygood

    The night they drove old DXY down — the dollar index falls back from its recent 14-year high. Chart:

    Naturally the mirror of the dollar — our lovely pet rock — is encouraged, up 1.1% this morning. Likewise Crude Earl is feeling spry, up 1.3% on the wilting greenback.

    Being a de facto tightening of monetary conditions, the runaway dollar even provoked some whingeing from J-Yel and Stanley Mellon Fischer in the Fed minutes yesterday. Has Xi Jinping, taking a cue from Putin, hacked the FOMC? :-0

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You think Trump will tweet about our neighbor’s 20% hike in gasoline prices, and in response, crude starts to plunge?

      He can show Tillerson who is boss.

  16. craazyboy

    California Dems tap Eric Holder to fight Trump in court

    Couldn’t they get a lawyer with courtroom experience?

    1. fresno dan

      January 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

      So…did the dems put anything in their contract with Holder that he has to bring at least one case to trial???
      OH!! What am I thinking…of course not.

  17. Jim Haygood

    We’ve grown used to tech company founders becoming billionaires from their pre-IPO stock holdings. But Rex Tillerson, who headed a company founded nearly 120 years ago, is a very different case:

    Rex Tillerson, president-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. secretary of state, disclosed assets worth as much as $400 million in a federal ethics filing.

    Tillerson’s disclosures reflect more than $300 million in Exxon interests and pension benefits and between $28.6 million and $98 million in other assets.

    It’s quite astounding for a salaryman to become a demi-billionaire. How did this happen?

    Even before Tillerson got on the management stock option gravy train, Exxon had an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) which would have allowed him to accumulate shares from his earliest days as a greenhorn project engineer.

    According to CRSP data, ExxonMobil shares delivered a 13.56% compounded annual return from mid-1975 when Tillerson joined the company through the end of last month. That’s about 3.5% better than the broad market (S&P 500) did. Compounding at 13.5% for over forty years can turn “tiny to trillions,” in the ironic expression of Chicago Merc pit traders.

    Thus Tillerson apparently is a rare example of a “buy and hold” investor who focused on one company that did extremely well and made him fabulously rich.

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      January 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Who is Exxon a merger of? It was Exxon Mobil but who was Exxon before they were Exxon?

      I should never go back and see how much money I would have now if I had invested it in Exxon than because ….it just gives me a big sad.

      1. Octopii

        Exxon was one of the spin-off companies resulting from the breakup of Standard Oil. As was Mobil. So one could say Exxon Mobil isn’t a merger but a reconstitution.

        1. fresno dan

          January 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

          Ironic Octopii – your moniker – was it standard oil or some other trust that was called the Octopus?
          (not to cast aspersions on actual octopii – a noble and intelligent mollusk)

            1. Old Jake

              From Amazon synopsis: “Inspired by The Mussel Slough Tragedy, an 1880 dispute over land titles between California settlers and the Southern Pacific Railroad, Frank Norris’ 1901 novel, “The Octopus: A California Story”, is the first part in the unfinished trilogy, “The Epic of Wheat”. The novel depicts the conflict between wheat farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and the Pacific and Southwestern railroad”

              1. fresno dan

                Old Jake
                January 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm

                Thanks for that! Everything is connected


                The Santa Fe Railroad Depot was completed in 1899 as a station for the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad (later the Santa Fe Raiload). The San Francisco and San Joaquin reached Fresno in 1896, breaking the monopoly of the Southern Pacific on Fresno’s railroad traffic. Alterations and additions were made to the south end of the Mission Revival building in 1909, and an office unit was added in 1912. Additional alterations and additions were made in 1917. The waiting room, ticket office and baggage room were completely remodeled in 1940. In 1966 the station was abandoned for passenger use and the waiting room was converted into a communications center for the railroad. The entire second floor was converted into electronic and computer control areas along with related offices. The railroad later completely abandoned the building and it stood vacant for many years. In 2005 the building was renovated for use as the Fresno Amtrak Station.

                Image of the station:

      2. Jim Haygood

        It was Standard Oil of New Jersey (commonly called Jersey Standard, with stock symbol J) until becoming Exxon in 1972.

    1. cocomaan

      A parent seems by nature to feel [philia, friendship] for offspring and offspring for parent, not only among men but among birds and among most animals; it is felt mutually by members of the same race, and especially by men, whence we praise lovers of their fellowmen. We may even in our travels how near and dear every man is to every other. Friendship seems too to hold states together, and lawgivers to care more for it than for justice; for unanimity seems to be something like friendship, and this they aim at most of all, and expel faction as their worst enemy; and when men are friends they have no need of justice, while when they are just they need friendship as well, and the truest form of justice is thought to be a friendly quality.

      — Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII

      Remember that Aristotle also write the Ethics for his son, or for his father, depending on which way you read the title.

    2. cocomaan

      Sorry to double post, but I went through to the press release because this is fascinating and awful.

      Unlike other voice activated, AI-driven connected home platforms, Aristotle is designed with a specific purpose and mission: to aid parents and use the most advanced AI-driven technology to make it easier for them to protect, develop, and nurture the most important asset in their home—their children.

      “We are pleased to work with Mattel, which has used its deep knowledge of families and children to create a powerful set of smart home capabilities together to bring safety, monitoring, entertainment and other new benefits in a compact and powerful platform.”

      I feel like I’m going to throw up.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        I believe to get net equity, when it comes to children, you have to factor in liabilities as well.

        Check with your CPA or economist, a little pre-planning will go a long way.

        “So, it will be your projected annual rate of return. Receiving caretaking when you’re 90, and getting back way more than you put in…”

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          The school privatization industry has been referring to children as assets for decades, and this strikes me as a logical extension of the data-collecting going on as we speak by the standardized-test industry and “personal learning” contingent.

      2. Waldenpond

        Alexa, the infant is crying again, please turn up the music volume.

        Some kid is going to frame a parent… smack, smack, stop hitting me! DPS subpoena of frig and Alexa for court cases haha!

    3. fresno dan

      Roger Smith
      January 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

      In what could either be an innocent mistake or a set-up by wise adults, Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa gave one toddler a very interesting answer to his request to hear a specific song.

      “Alexa, play ‘Digger, Digger,’” the tyke tells an Echo Dot sitting on an end table in a video posted on YouTube. Now, we’re not experts on children’s music, but this could be either the song “Diggers, Dumpers and Trucks” by Kidzone, or “Diggers (Diggers and Dumpers)” by a fellow named Tractor Ted.

      Any way you slice it, Alexa’s answer is not either one of those options. Instead, she spews a string of obscene words including “dildo,” to the dismay and immediate amusement of the adults in the room who yell, “STOP, ALEXA! STOP!”

      And when I request porn, I never get what I want…..

  18. cocomaan

    anti-Trump coalition fracturing. You cannot make this up! Wow!

    The original name of the march, however, was hastily dropped after the organizers were accused of “cultural appropriation.” Apparently the organizers hadn’t considered that the name “Million Woman March” was already used in 1997 by a demonstration organized for black women.

    As one critic wrote on Facebook, “I take issue with white feminists taking the name of something that Black people started to address our struggles. … I will not even consider supporting this until the organizers are intersectional, original and come up with a different name.”

    The world has become a strange place under the panopticon of the internet. People of this persuasion have to scrub clean every piece of language that they encounter. It’s bizarre.

    Hopefully class-minded liberals can take over.

    1. Dave

      How about “The W.B. De’ Boys March for Freedom? Nah, cancel that.

      How about the “It Was OUR Turn March For Feminst Freedom”?

      How about “Enraged Fempuppets for Neocon Aggression”?

      How about just staying home and volunteering in your local animal shelter? Those male dogs always lick your hand.

    2. Waldenpond

      Humans aren’t people, corporations are.
      Words aren’t speech, money is.
      White women aren’t women, black women are.

      Black women are just mirroring the language policing of white feminism by language policing over the generic term ‘woman’. Eye roll. It’s almost as if the govt has trolls online writing this bs to repel people from solidarity.

      1. different clue

        What need does the government have for trolls, when the Social Justice Warriors do it to themselves, eachother, and everyone else within reach?

    3. craazyboy

      They should count how many show up, and go with that. If 127 show up, then it’s the 127 Women March.

      1. different clue

        Maybe they should have gone right ahead and had their Million Woman March and dared the black activists to sue them in court over trademark infringement.

  19. Dave

    All this meddling in the Middle East, Trillions wasted, millions dead, for nothing but Neocon agendas.
    However, far closer to home we have “Gasoline riots in Mexico.” This is symptomatic of something brewing there and may be President Trump’s opportunity to help institute real democracy in Mexico.

    The safety valve of exporting surplus labor and with it, troublemakers north, something like 1/5 of working age Mexican males are in the U.S., plus the flow of drugs and the huge profits, helps maintain a corrupt oligarchy in Mexico.

    Can’t find the link but something like 90% of Mexican industry is owned by 6 families, to and including Carlos Slim, the majority owner of New York Times stock after the Sulzbergers. Gee, wonder if that’s why they generate so much fake pro-DNC, anti-Trump news?

    By simply enforcing the immigration laws on the books, plus building “the wall”, and eliminating NAFTA,
    Trump’s policies could force real change in Mexico and allow the completion of the institutional revolution started by Villa and Madero.

    This would allow Mexicans to have a real representative government and have little reason to immigrate north. Edward Abbey, an American environmentalist said “Deport every illegal alien Mexican and hand them a rifle and box of cartridges as they cross the border, they’ll know what to do.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can they export their surplus labor west, to China or other nations in Asia?

      Logistically, it does not seem hard at all, judging by the surplus Chinese labor, including soon-to-be-in-labor future mothers of American citizen newborns here.

  20. Gerard Pierce

    Looking at the top of this page I find the notice “Subscribe to post comments”. Where did this come from and who is providing this comments service which seems to duplicate this reply function?

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        Sorry to be pedantic, but just in case anyone is curious: the form is actually “adjectival.”

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Wait, what? Why is “post” not simply a verb?

          See, this is another reason I come to NC. Wiki is no help – it’s simply going on about Japanese.

  21. oho

    Ironic that for with tbe Russian red baiting by the left, Russia/Putin are the biggest state advocatea for non-GMO agriculture

  22. EGrise

    Washington Post cites ‘discussions’ aimed at preventing recurrence of Vermont utility story

    Shouldn’t that be ‘conversations’?

  23. Jim Haygood

    Five million dollars … is that a lot?

    A federal court sided with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in its suit against Jon Corzine, requiring the former CEO of MF Global to pay $5 million for his role in the unlawful use of $1 billion in customer funds.

    The court also barred Corzine from seeking or accepting insurance reimbursement for the penalty. Corzine is prohibited from acting as a principal, agent, officer, director, or employee of a futures commission merchant and may never again register with the CFTC in any capacity.

    You can be certain that anyone else without ex-Senator Corzine’s political connections would have done a LONG prison term for misappropriating a billion dollars.

    Bernie Madoff feels hard done by. :-(

  24. fresno dan

    SEN. TILLIS: Director Clapper, I’m going to spend most of my time reflecting on the comments that you have made. The glass house is comment is something that I think is very important (Graham made the comment we should start throwing rocks).

    There has been research done by professors up at Carnegie Mellon that has estimated that the United States has been involved in one way or another in 81 different elections since World War II. That doesn’t include coupes or the regime changes, some tangible evidence where we have tried to affect an outcome to our purpose. Russia has done it some 36 times.

    In fact, when Russia was apparently was trying to influence our elections, we had the Israelis accusing us of trying to influence their election.

    SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): The notion that the soon-elected leader of this country would put Julian Assange on a pedestal compared to the men and women of the intelligence community and the military that is so deeply embedded in the intelligence community, I think it should bring about a hue and cry no matter whether you’re Republican or a Democrat there should be howls. And mark my word, if the roles were reversed there would be howls from the Republican side of the aisle.

    So, is McCaskill a fervent anti-commie, or is it just her chance to stick it to Trump and the repubs?
    Will any dems take the Trump side against the CIA, or is it too good an opportunity to stick it to him? And how many repubs will do the Tillis thing?

    1. nippersmom

      If I didn’t consider our so-called “intelligence” community a dubious at best source already, McCaskill’s defense of it would be enough to make me question the validity of anything propagated by that collection of mendacious and manipulative charlatans.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The whole truth, not just truth:

      And mark my word, if the roles were reversed there would be silence from the Democratic side of the aisle.

  25. ChiGal in Carolina

    Thank you for the report on three activist victories (Flint, Portland, etc). I feel like Anne, mired in a tarpit of disinformation.

    Anything that helps to hold onto a sense of agency is very useful!

    1. aletheia33

      i too am kinda in shock at what i am witnessing going down at this moment. i don’t think i’ve even yet fully groked the import of naked capitalism suing the washington post. just absorbing the fact of the recent rapid further developments in the ongoing destruction of free speech in our society is going to take me some time. it’s one thing to “see what’s coming” and quite another to experience it happening in real time, as i go on about my daily business in my relatively protected, comfortable way of life (even as i expect real poverty in my advanced old age when i can no longer work).

      for a sense of agency, i can think of few better actions than doing everything one can to help naked capitalism continue. as long as we have yves and lambert at our service (and boy, do they and their colleagues work hard at it), we actually are not “mired in a tarpit of disinformation”. we can and do learn a great deal about what is actually going on.

      so perhaps, feeling mired and helpless, a good question is what can we do to ensure that that can continue. for it seems more and more likely by the day now that the most powerful forces on the planet intend to take naked capitalism, and all the sources it in turn relies on, away from us. i take yves’s decision to sue as a recognition of that reality.

      let’s not let them.

  26. Lone nut, comin right up

    CIA is going to squash Trump like a bug unless he goes for their Achilles’ heel, impunity. His best bet is to make a soaring speech that affirms the universal-jurisdiction law of serious crimes. Traditionally politicians couch this in terms of ‘setting an example for the world,’ though of course it’s a matter of the US coming into compliance with the law. If Trump’s not scared to make a splash, he should challenge the Senate to ratify the Rome Statute. It’s the USA’s pledge to prosecute or extradite persons suspected of the most serious crimes – implying terror, implying foreign aggression but meaning all serious crimes including CIA’s bread and butter, murder, torture, aggression. Republicans might get into it, since it will piss off Democrats, who now pledge allegiance to CIA.

    CIA is now strictly clandestine, meaning serious crimes. It should be called the Central Operations Agency since intelligence is sidelined, and its turf is here at home ever since it rolled out Operation Phoenix with domestic ‘fusion centers’ in big cities. If Trump could get CIA under control he would be our greatest president.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is the CIA really that tin-foil-hat powerful?

      Why did Schumer say what he said (about 6 ways from Sunday)?

      Moreover, was he abdicating oversight responsibility by political leaders over such agencies?

      Is it extra-strength double-tin-foil hat time?

      1. Waldenpond

        Someone on twitter was trying to make the point that there isn’t a nice CIA and a mean CIA (the ones that strangle commies with piano wire).

        Really, they are mercs. There is nothing good about them. The fact that they kill so our oligarchs can have more profits than another regions oligarchs is not a good thing.

        Trump will have to use private security but it only takes one person to completely nullify any security he has. I have no idea how one is supposed to take on the muddle of agencies without getting taken out and having it blamed on the russkies.

    2. different clue

      If President-elect Trump feels his private security is good enough to take the risk, he might even see about charges against Bush, Cheney, et al for their boasted-of War Crimes. He might even see about extending such legal action to Obama for immunizing and impunifying Cheney, Bush et al. That’s where the real and highest impunity is. Kill it there and one can begin killing it further down the ladder.

  27. lyman alpha blob

    RE: All signs point to a corporate takeover of the marijuana industry by Bayer, Monsanto

    I have to say that while normally I believe large corporations would pimp out all their employees’ grandmothers if they could make a buck off it, I find this a little far-fetched. It’s not like marijuana is hard to grow and I believe most of the referenda legalizing it for recreational use have provisions stating that individuals can grow up to a certain amount of plants on their own for recreational use.

    Why would I buy from Bayer when I can grow it in my back yard? This is like saying Bayer is going to take over dandelion production.

    1. hunkerdown

      So, when all that pollen in the air from GMO hemp turns the fluffy, buxom happy girls into barefoot, seedy, patent-violating scolds, will Monsanto be able to confiscate your stash?

    2. different clue

      If you go to prison for threatening the Monsanto/Bayer monopoly by growing it in your back yard, will you grow it in your back yard?

      If legal cannabis is Bayerized and Monsantified, the underground growers movement and culture will keep right on growing cannabis in deepest secret. It would take a successful movement to legalize cannabis for all people, home growing, etc., to allow the re-undergrounded culture of cannabis cultivation to re-re-emerge once again into the light.

Comments are closed.