Links 1/8/17

Readers, these links are longer and chattier than usual, but needs must… –lambert

She didn’t have a horse, so this New Zealand teen rides her cow instead CBC

Are We Safe Yet? Timothy Geithner, Foreign Affairs. “We” need to read all the way to the end.

Economists Who Advised Presidents From Both Parties Find Common Ground WSJ

Lovin’ That Italian Bank Risk Bloomberg


Theresa May will have to put country first to make Brexit work Nick Clegg, FT

NHS rejects claims of ‘humanitarian crisis’ in England’s hospitals BBC


China Foreign-Exchange Reserves Continue Drop WSJ

Can Trumpian Triangular Diplomacy Work? The Diplomat

How Trump Can Play Nice With Russia, Without Selling Out America Foreign Policy

Trump Says Only ‘Fools’ See Good Ties With Russia as Bad Bloomberg. Only The Donald can go to Moscow…

New Cold War

Trump and the IC “consultants.” Sic Semper Tyrannis. A reader writes: “[The ‘Russian Hacking’ flap] is led by the many SES-level political operatives in intel in USG after eight years of digging in and getting promoted under Obama. SES level in USG are all political climbers who ass kiss to get to that level. I have seen it and chose to retire at FS-01 level (bird col) rather than play that game.” I love the sound of breaking rice bowls in the morning.

American Unintelligence on Russia (Op-ed) Kevin Rothrock, Moscow Times. The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent: “I sign up to almost every word of this @KevinRothrock piece on hacking report. … Such an oddly mis-calibrated document.”

Intelligence Report On Russian Election Influence Is A Flop Moon of Alabama. Good round-up.

Underwhelming Intel Report Shows Need for Congressional Investigation of DNC Hack The Intercept

‘What’s the Big Deal?’ Ask Trump Voters on Russia Hacking Report NYT. Times does market-testing…

Young Russian denies she aided election hackers: ‘I never work with douchebags’ Guardian. Who knows, but fun.

UK intelligence gave US key tipoff about Russian hacking, report says Guardian. “The British government has learned… “

Those Times the NSA Hacked America’s Allies Informed Comment

Israel’s Right, Cheering Donald Trump’s Win, Renews Calls to Abandon 2-State Solution NYT. ZOMG, Bibi is interfering with our elections!!!!!!!

Our Famously Free Press

Commentary: Reading news in the age of Trump? Think like a spy. Reuters

The Hackers Are Coming! Burlington Electric’s Crisis That Wasn’t Seven Days

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg ‘breached impartiality’ over Jeremy Corbyn report Telegraph

Trump Transition

House Democrats fail to muster support to challenge Trump’s Electoral College win Politico. The House Democrats needed just one Senator to challenge, and couldn’t get one (reminiscent of Gore gaveling down the Congressional Black Caucus when they wanted to challenge election 2000 as seen in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911). So, moving into “Watch what they do, not what they say” mode: (1) Democrat talk of Trump being a “fascist” is just that, talk; (2) Democrat talk of Trump not being “normal” is just that, since they just normalized him; (3) Democrat “resistance” will be carefully circumscribed indeed. From the 30,000 foot view, if I take Democrat talk seriously, the only logical end game is Trump’s removal from office via some sort of coup, probably a soft one (impeachment; resignation). That’s what the hilariously backfired push for “faithless electors” was all about; that’s what painting Trump as treasonous is all about. After all, one doesn’t delegitimize an opponent for fun, but to take power. But when push comes to shove, as it did here, the Democrats don’t and won’t throw a punch (and will offer only the most milquetoast “fight back” rhetoric, which we’ve heard a thousand times before, because they’re always “fighting” and never winning; see “Our First Stand,” below). So I can only conclude that I shouldn’t take Democrat talk seriously, which would be fine, except millions of well-intentioned voters are doing just that, and experiencing real fear and anxiety (at the physiological level, as in sleep and stomach problems, and (costly) psychiatric sessions). What does the end game look like when you deploy strategic fear management — tensions at the level of a casus belli, or a change in the Constitutional order — so successfullly to millions of voters and yet offer no real relief? I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know aside from liberal goodthinkers cashing in on the clicks and the book deals. Maybe that’s all there is to it.

* * *

‘Our First Stand’ Rallies Set from Coast to Coast (meeps). “‘Democrats are united in fighting back against Republicans who want to make America sick again by cutting Medicare, Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act. We are going to link arm in arm and stand together as we fight to protect health care for millions of Americans,’ Schumer said.” However, Democrats are most definitely not going to “link arm in arm” for an “everybody in, nobody out” universal benefit like Medicare for All. Do better, Bernie!

Obama says Sanders’ supporters helped undermine Obamacare Reuters. “Arm in arm,” eh?

Poll: Most Americans want to replace Obamacare with single-payer — including many Republicans Philip Bump, WaPo. From May 16, but worth repeating.

* * *

Rule of Men, Not Law Ian Welsh (CL).

Senate Confirmation Hearings to Begin Without All Background Checks NYT. What does ethics clearance for an oligarch even mean? They’re conflicted by definition.

US ethics office struggled to gain access to Trump Team, emails show CNBC

Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book CNN

Obama set for pardon frenzy as he leaves office AFP

Gnashing of Teeth and Rending of Garments

Yes, Donald Trump’s voters may be confused and in pain — but no, they don’t deserve our empathy Salon

2016 Post-Mortem

The Gathering Storm: Donald Trump and the Hollowed-Out American Heartland The Hampton Insittute. I wrote yesterday: “‘In 2015, photographer Peter Crabtree drove coast-to-coast-to-coast, documenting an institution that lies at the heart of many — if not most — small cities: the small-town newspaper. He came home with a portfolio full of these unique places and the characters that inhabit them.’ This sounds a lot like Chris Arnade’s project. One more like this and we’d have a genre.” Here’s that one more: Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson’s Homeland:

“On one trip,” Maharidge writes, “I drove from Chicago to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In places like this, the abandoned shells of factories, all broken windows and rust, make this country look like it was bombed in a war. In other places it’s as if an economic neutron bomb hit-with trees and houses intact but lives decimated, gone with good jobs.”

The kicker? Homeland was published in 2004; many commenters at Naked Capitalism have reported similar results over the years. So the storm warning flags have been flying for a solid decade, at least, had anyone bothered to look. That it took Trump, as opposed to the Democratic nomenklatura, to see those flags says more about Democrats than it says about Trump or the voters, IMNSHO. Oh, and anybody who takes the Acela can see “the abandoned shells of factories, all broken windows and rust,” for miles and miles, starting near Newark and ending below Philly (and starting again in Baltimore). If they look out the windows. Whether to the right or to the left. Then again, “theory of comparative advantage,” so it’s all good.

Where Is America’s Heartland? Pick Your Map NYT. See, the nice thing about big data reporting — aside from the lovely graphics, of course — is that you don’t actually have to talk to the smelly proles.

Angela Nagle: What the Alt-right is really all about Irish Times

The Clinton Foundation Stories Amy Sterling Casil. A summary and wrap-up, useful if Clinton does, in fact, run for Mayor of New York [head, desk].

Yahoo Finance Drops in From Mars to Explain Big Money Hasn’t Bought U.S. Politics The Intercept. From September, but still useful; because the logic applies across the board.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

TV anchor says live on-air ‘Alexa, order me a dollhouse’ – guess what happens next The Register

Hyperface: a fabric that makes computer vision systems see faces everywhere Boing Boing (TK). Like an inversion of William Gibson’s “ugly T shirt” in Zero History. The artist, Adam Harvey, has been iterating these ideas for some time.

Could Free College Really Be This Cheap? Bloomberg

Limited stores closing for good Sunday Columbus Dispatch. The Macy’s in the Bangor Mall is slated for closure; the Sears looks like a morgue. That leaves JC Penney’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. And acres of empty parking lot. So long, anchor tenants!

Class Warfare

The Obama Jobs Record Dean Baker, CEPR

Transient Tech Workers Opt Into Co-Living WSJ. Opa-Locka for techies!

In Statehouses Won By Republicans, the First Move Is to Consolidate Power By Weakening Unions The Intercept. Fortunately, the unions got card check under Obama. Oh, wait…

What Happens When You Give Free Money to Poor People New York Magazine. As opposed to, ya know, political power.

Aggregating Distributional Treatment Effects: A Bayesian Hierarchical Analysis of the Microcredit Literature (PDF) Rachael Meager, MIT

Echoes of Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” from the Center for American Progress Carl Beijer

Poet: I can’t answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poems WaPo

The long and painful journey to world disorder Martin Wolf, FT

Antidote du jour (AT):

AT writes: “Bald Eagle, Fairfield, MT.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. m

    Maybe when Obama whispered that sweet nothing in Vlad’s ear about waiting till after elections for better relations, he meant this election.

  2. jgordon

    Bernie supporters made Obamacare unpopular? I wonder if Obama and his minions ever for a moment considered the possibility that maybe it was Obamacare that made Obamacare unpopular.

    In hindsight it’s not surprising that the Obama regime showered an unending stream of bad policy onto the world. To them image is everything. Pour enough perfume on a turd and it’ll become a rose! That’s the magic of Obama/Democrat style politics.

    1. skippy

      So how does that reflect on Romney care aka Heritage care he pinched from or the industry lobbyists that wrote it, rolled it out and now some which to abandon – ??????

      disheveled…. IQMWLTK

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama is a petty, narcissist who took the train trip into Washington that Lincoln took out, and on top of that, he’s a dope who lives in a world where problems are solved with goldilocks slogans.

        W wanted to play dress up as President, and Obama wanted to dress up as President.

        1. skippy

          Doesn’t answer my question NTG….. how does this reflect on the basic source for the ACA vs. the political football some like to play with it.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Assuming you wanted Obama’s opinion on Romney, it doesn’t matter. Obama barely understands his signature policy and is blaming people he perceives as being unable to speak in a loud voice.

            Republicans can point out that they didn’t vote for ACA. Obama is blaming the powerless.

            1. polecat

              NTG , you give Barry too much slack !! He understands perfectly … talk a smooth grifter’s line …. assuage the public rubes into thinking HE’s with THEM, get throught 2 terms of absolutely no positive changes for the commons … and proceed with raking in the tubmans, after leaving office, with a ‘foundation’ of his own , and/or some coooool ‘rubetastic’ lobbying gig(s) ! Hope-n-change unto his own, and it’s truly amazing that there are people who continue to buy his sh!t ……

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                I always thought he was a dope with an obvious appeal who fell upwards, so it’s going to take a good deal to make me see him as anything else.

                His speeches were bland and meandering filled with random symbolism. I think people are shallow and saw what they wanted to see. In many ways, Obama was a fitting President for American society.

                I quote Obama below. For a smooth talking gifted, he sure does like to say stupid stuff.

                1. skippy

                  I think the point is it never was Obama care…. and say if Romney or other Rep won… same result e.g. whilst not a defense of Obama in anyway, lots of misdirected fury and fist shaking at the typhoon of – all – that’s wrong….

                  disheveled…. might help if some deal with the beast and not its individual appendages….

                  1. ambrit

                    Perceptions. Many do not see the “beast” at all. All they know is that some appendage grasps them and pulls them down to nighted depths.
                    Yes, the perceptive know that all this is a thinly disguised, if disguised at all, Heritage Care. Since politics is much about the propagation of illusions, Names do count. Very much like Magick throughout the ages. Indeed, Oxford Dictionary claims that ‘cabal,’ a clique or secret group, comes from Kabbalah.
                    So, to give Barry his due, he does endorse the view that the solution to all problems is better propaganda, which is a traditionally religious concept.
                    The closest analogue I can come up with on short notice is Teddy Roosevelt. He, however, knew from extensive political experience from before his Presidential term, (contrast the pre-Presidential experiences of Barry and his predecessors,) that the “Bully Pulpit” needed actions to compliment the exhortations.
                    As the boys down on the corner like to say; “He talks a good game…”

            2. different clue

              Obama understood the goal of Obamacare perfectly. The goal was to sweep single payer off the table and lock into place for decades to come a rolling bailout for Big Insura. The point of the goal was to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of gratitude money from Big Insura and other beneficiaries of the coverup of the sickness of sick assets after leaving office.

              Praise Dobbs the Repuglans get Ocare repealed so fast that no one has any time to pay Obama any of the after-office gratitude money he has spent the last 8 years working so hard for. And praise Dobbs that they never do give the O man any of those “big Tubmans” he so tellingly joked about.

              Let him become poor. Let Michellie-poo be his sole source of support. Lets see if they stay married. Lets see if his daughters respect him in the fullness of time.

              Praise Dobbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Praise Dobbs.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      “What we’re also discovering is that, you know, insurance is complicated to buy.”

      “I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, “this will be like shopping in Amazon or Travelocity,” a week before the website opens if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.”

      -Barack Obama, great orator of the ages, November 2013.

      Obama has always been grossly ignorant about his signature program.

      1. OIFVet

        Yet the fokker is still teflon with the liberuls, which allows him to coast without ever having to take responsibility for any of his failures, misdeeds, lies, and outright betrayals. They truly deserve one another, the problem of course is that it is the rest of us who pay the real price for this love match made by Hades.

          1. OIFVet

            My apologies to Hades, getting his name in the same paragraph as Obama’s was unfair. This weekend I was at a gathering, the wealthy liberul hosts (large 0bama and Dem party contributors) showed a hand-signed card from 0bama received in the aftermath of the election debacle, in which he informed them that the sun will rise again in the morning. My immediate thought was “0bamanometer!” and I started laughing heartily before the startled look of hosts and guests (and a very dirty look from the SO) cut me short. The Donald in the Oval Office is partly 0bama’s legacy also, and yet another achievement he will neither take credit for, nor will liberuls such as my hosts ever hold him accountable for.

            1. different clue

              Did they offer free food? Did you eat as much as you possibly could? Did you focus on the most expensive food there?

              That’s what I would have done . . . within reason and the dictates of good taste.

    3. Mark Alexander

      It’s another example of the thin-skinned Ds’ inability to allow any criticism, however mild. Somehow, they believe that there should be complete consensus within the party no matter how bad the party’s candidates or policies are. We saw this during the primary season, what with all the whining about how mean Sanders was being to Clinton (when in fact he held his punches to an amazing degree). And now the criticism is being hit with blame cannons, as if Obamacare or Clinton’s candidacy would have been perfectly wonderful and popular absent that criticism.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        …….. as if Obamacare or Clinton’s candidacy would have been perfectly wonderful and popular absent that criticism.

        Pretty much apiece with the current apoplexy over how Putin assaulted the very foundation of our sacred democracy by exposing the blatant clinton / dnc / podesta manipulation of it. (Not that I believe for a second that he did anything of the kind.)

        The philosophy appears to be that what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Until it does. And then it’s the republican’s or putin’s fault.

      2. Katharine

        They don’t want consensus so much as witless agreement with their views. Consensus would require listening and willingness to learn on their part, which most of them are unwilling to try.

      3. Donald

        I think this started with the Nader campaign. Starting around then, any criticism of the Democrats was seen as something that benefited the Republicans. The claim then was that it would have been fine if Nader had run in the Democratic primaries and made his criticisms there, but then lined up with the nominee if he lost. Sanders did exactly that and it made no difference with many– he was still a traitor for having the gall to criticize Clinton from the left.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        thin-skinned Ds’ inability to allow any criticism

        Not just Democrats.

        Anyone with excessively prideful sense of moral superiority is inclined to give criticism much enthusiastically than handling criticism received.

        “The other side is always evil. We’re virtuous. We are saving the world.”

        On top of that (though I could be wrong), those not extremely, but only somewhat virtuous, when feeling insecure, tend to imagine the other side as more evil or idiotic than they in fact are (just not as much as fantasized).

        1. Vatch

          Not just Democrats.

          Absolutely! Donald Trump has much thinner skin than Obama has, which is quite an achievement, since Obama is very narcissistic. Trump is the narcissist’s narcissist.

          1. Mel

            I am My Own narcissist, Thank-You Very Much.

            Reminds me of one of Raymonnd Smullyan’s conundra (conundrorum?) in a book of his:

            On a journey through Transylvania, a traveller stops for lunch at an inn, and gets into a conversation with a local. The talk turns to Dracula, and the traveller asks “Are you afraid of Dracula?”. The reply: “Everyone is afraid of Dracula. I fear only … myself.”

          2. Yves Smith

            I dunno. Obama is not criticized very often, at least in forums where word gets back to him.

            By contrast, Trump is criticized all the time and he hears about a lot of it.

            How do you think Obama would react if he were subjected to the level of vitriol directed v Trump?

    4. voteforno6

      Barack Obama is quite obviously concerned with his legacy. I have doubts, though, that he would ever admit that Donald Trump is part of his legacy as well. Thanks, Obama!

      1. Dave

        Absolutely! If you want to enrage a Clinton supporter, just thank them for running such a detested candidate and making DJT’s work so easy.

        1. different clue

          I wonder how more enraged a Clinton supporter might get if you thanked them for pied-pipering Trump INto the Republican nomination to begin with.

          After all, while Trump is sorta kinda Obama’s legacy in a moral sort of sense, he is exactly Clinton’s legacy in a Nixon’s CREEP picked McGovern sort of sense. It might be well to remind Clinton supporters of that basic fact.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In the film, “They Came to Cordua,” Gary Cooper played an officer who once froze when under attacked, thus living with the guilty of cowardice ever since, was in charge of taking a group of Congressional Medal of Honor soldiers, for bravery fighting Pacho Villa’s men, to Cordua.

        In one scene, he said (paraphrasing here), when one thinks oneself as a hero, one is no longer a hero.

        It’s similar to the koan: ‘Why does the master say he/she is not a master?’

        And a doctor does not say he/she is a doctor. “Can you carry all those books in your brain?” – so goes another Zen story (for another time perhaps). And the ‘I left her by the riverbank, but are you still carrying her in your mind?” (Also for another time maybe).

        “Why are you still carrying all those alphabet letters after your name. Dr. Firestone?”

        A person concerned about his/her legacy has no legacy, in the above sense.

    5. timbers

      January 8, 2017 at 7:46 am

      Bernie supporters made Obamacare unpopular?

      Yah, what’s up with that? Doesn’t Obama know it’s Putin who made Bernie supporters make Obamacare unpopular? Sheesh doesn’t Obama read his own intelligence reports?

      1. different clue

        Is this a back handed compliment to the power of the Bernie supporters? And therefor to the power of the Bernie himself?

        “Let them hate the Bernies, so long as they fear the Bernies.” Eh?

    6. Benedict@Large

      I’ve often said that just about anything in ObamaCare that actually help people (and not insurers) was there only to make people think the bill was actually about them.

    7. Cynthia

      ObamaCare isn’t all that unpopular among people who get their health insurance through their employer. After all, their premiums, co-pays and deductibles went up a bit, but not enough to make ObamaCare unpopular to them. Nor is ObamaCare unpopular among those who either qualify for the Medicaid expansion program or huge subsidies on the ObamaCare exchanges. If anything, ObamaCare is very popular among these folks, which amounts to about 20 million Americans. It goes without saying that it is hard NOT to like something if you get it for free, or at least nearly free.

      That leaves the only other group of Americans who find ObamaCare unpopular are the ones who have to pay full price for ObamaCare. I don’t know the exact number of these Americans, but I do know that it is well below 20 million. Even if it’s just a small number of Americans, say, less than 5% of the US population, it is not right for them to bear most of the burden of ObamaCare. No legislation should be enacted whereby the minority pays the most for it so that the majority can get something for nothing, or least almost nothing. But that’s the kind of legislation that ObamaCare is. And that’s reason enough to have it repealed, IMO.

      But there another reason why ObamaCare should be repealed — a reason that the mainstream press rarely, if ever, addresses and reports. ObamaCare has created an enormous regulatory burden on hospitals and other providers. For example, in my unit alone, four nurses have been diverted away from the bedside in order to track and monitor an entire laundry list of so-called “quality indicators” that are mandated by ObamaCare. If you have ever heard of terms like “MACRO” and “pay-for-perform” being talked about in policy circles, then you will know exactly what I am talking about.

      This is happening on top of the hundreds of nurses that are already hired to do mountains of “indirect” care work in the back office. Sadly, this has resulted in the number of nurses doing “direct” care work to dwindle down to an all-time low. Then no one can figure out why the quality of care being delivered in hospitals is only getting worse.

      Clueless, I say. I say clueless because management’s solution to this problem is not to add more nurses to the bedside, but instead add more of them to the back office. This is being done based on the flawed assumption that quality of care will magically improve by simply spending more time and money filling out ObamaCare paperwork. The way management sees it, highly flawed though it is, the better we look on paper to the ObamaCare bureaucrats, the bigger the bonus they’ll give us at the end of the year. Never mind that looking good on paper rarely has anything to do with reality.

      1. OIFVet

        I call BS on your contention that 0bamacare is popular among people who get premium subsidies. My mother being one of them, I can tell you that even with subsidies the premiums have gotten progressively unaffordable, even as the networks have shrunk to become barely existent while the individual deductibles have reached $7,000 (and that is purely an hypothetical number given the small provider networks). So while my mother is “insured,” she still can not afford to go see a doctor except in case of a dire emergency.

        So no, 0bamacare is not popular with a certain large demographic (people over 50), even if they are “lucky duckies” and receive premium subsidies.

      2. SoCal Rhino

        Employed people I know don’t hate Obamacare to the extent they don’t see the link to their sharp rise in healthcare costs after years of flat wages. Instead it adds to their grievances with their employer.

        1. Pat

          Funnily enough I have watched a few of my employed/covered friends progress from “it isn’t Single Payer but it is a big improvement” to utter disappointment with it. Of course their coverage has undergone big changes of networks and deductibles and lesser spousal coverage some of which was blamed on ACA and some on just rising costs. (And one person who the first year rather than ponying up additional monies for spousal coverage let her underemployed husband with physical issues take the medicaid expansion, that changed when her brother explained that very soon it would mean that the government would own their house.) Admittedly it has been a process in education but they have watched as their costs for medical care have gone up, the premiums their employer is paying have increased, AND between bills sent by their doctors and talks with them a realization that those additional monies are not being spent on the doctors, tests, etc.

          Not everyone’s experience will be the same, especially if the person is not privy to the premium costs or have limited deductible or only co-pays and don’t actually see the bills, but I think you will find that a certain percentage of people with employer provided coverage also realize that the system is extremely expensive and providing less and less actual health care as time goes on.

        2. Michael

          There is no link between the ACA and healthcare costs. Healthcare costs were rising at an insane pace before the ACA and they are now still.

          1. craazyboy

            PHOENIX — Arizona was shaping up to be one of the more unlikely battlegrounds of the 2016 campaign when a political bombshell appeared to explode last week: The Obama administration revealed that the cost of midlevel plans on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace here would increase next year by 116 percent on average.
            Senator John McCain, running for re-election against the headwind of Donald J. Trump, took the bad news as a gift, highlighting it in a new television ad that begins, “When you open up your health insurance bill and find your premiums are doubling, remember that McCain strongly opposes Obamacare.” Other Republican candidates here also seized on the rate increases, counting on the issue to buoy them with Election Day imminent and Mr. Trump losing ground in the Republican-dominated state.

            Entire NYT article

            Oh yeah. Thankyou Obama. John is doing fine. The rest of the gang too.

            1. Marco

              Where did I read that HRC spent more resources wooing conservative voters in Arizona than generic Dems in Wisconsin? It sounds like that mythical Repub-to-Dem crossover voter was already pissed.

      3. Tom

        As a self-employed person who pays 100% of my and my spouse’s premiums, I agree with your assessment of who feels the pinch first.
        While I’m happy for those whose premiums average around $75-100 per month, I’m always miffed whenever discussion of ACA skips right over poor slobs like me who get zero subsidies. My premiums for a crappy Bronze ACA plan with a $5,000 deductible went up 23% this year to $504; my spouses went up to $440. $11,000 per year for premiums was too much, so we opted out of the ACA this year and went with non-compliant plans. Even if we get hit with penalties, the cost will still be half, meaning we save about $5,000 – $6,000 in premiums. BTW, at rate increases of 23% a year, my ACA plan would have cost $1,400 per month in five years. Thanks Obama!

        1. Carl

          My grandfathered non-compliant plan went up 29% this year, and it’s still the cheapest I can find.

      4. Yves Smith

        Huh? I know people in both Medicaid expansion states (NY) and non (Alabama) personally who despise Obamacare because they are relatively low income and still regard it as preferable to pay the penalty. They aren’t able or aren’t willing to pay for policies with high deductibles.

        I also know several people personally in NY on employer policies who despise Obamacare. Two have friends or family members who have been adversely affected. Another (and I have not idea how this worked, but she’s now a receptionist at a chiropractor) says she had a great policy when she worked at a restaurant, but the restaurant had to greatly increase the cost of and crappify the coverage as a consequence of Obamacare. The manager was explicit. She quit that job and was horrified re her experience shopping for policies. Another is a tax expert.

        I was not adversely affected by Obamacare but I am outraged at the premise that people are coerced into buying a product and a lousy one at that. It’s not at all analogous to auto insurance where the rationale is that you can do very costly damage to third parties.

      5. Fran

        When I was in the hospital this past year, long enough to get friendly with the staff, I saw their idea of improvement. The new mandate for the nurses was that they had to spend x amount of time just interacting in a personal way in order to make the patients feel that they were getting more personal care. I pointed out that that approach just added more layers of duties to the front line staff, who were probably already over burdened. Also, some people naturally are more social than others. We all have different strengths.
        The reason hospitals have good food now (at least around here they do) is because patients are now consumers. But patients like the PR stuff. They do not know enough about medicine to judge their actual medical care, I think. (I worked in hospitals many years ago.)
        The medical care has really gone down – and not because the staff don’t care. They do. They are stuck in a system that is based on a bad model. IMO That is what I told them when they wanted my patient feedback.

      6. different clue

        This re-assignment of numerous nurses to the various data-surveillance and aggregation work and paper work somehow reminds me of Bill Clinton’s HAACP program for “meat inspection and safety improvement”. More inspectors inspecting paper proof of big meathandlers making a paper trail of “pre-emptive counter-hazard” actions they were supposed to “take” under the HAACP law or program or whatever it is . . . and fewer inspectors inspecting animal carcasses on the line.

        I don’t remember what HACCP is supposed to stand for officially. Maybe “Hazard Analysis And Control Points” or something. I read in Acres USA that meat inspectors started joking that HACCP stands for Have A Cuppa Coffee and Pray.

        And that was always the essence of Obama Clintonism right there, in one dirty little nutshell.

      1. Katharine

        I don’t see anything in the comment you posted under that connects with your reaction. If you still feel strongly enough to bother, please elucidate.

        1. Roger Smith

          I was quoting Obama from the same article. It is ridiculous that his defense of his own namesake is to come put berate others.

          He should “show” us why his plan is better than single payer care, the when he can’t, explain why he failed citizens to create a insurance company racket.

          1. Vatch

            He wants the Republicans to show us that their replacement for Obamacare will be an improvement. So far, the Republicans have not done so.

            1. carycat

              Wouldn’t it be gas if the Republicans just replaced Obamacare with vanilla Heritage Foundation Rommeycare by just stripping out the insurance company friendly provisions that Obama allowed lobbyist to add in. Certainly would be an improvement although still crap compared to single payer.

              1. different clue

                Well . . . if the Republicans do that . . . and make sure to leave the Forced Mandate in effect as part of the law . . . then Obama will still get his gratitude money from Big Insura.

                Because the Forced Mandate was always the Payload. Everything else was just Delivery Vehicle. And if the Repubs purify Obama into pure Heritage Care, then Obamacare has worked out perfectly for Big Insura, just as Obama intended; and Obama can still collect his hundreds of millions.

                Triple-cushion bank shot. Moneyball into the Deep Pocket.

            2. hunkerdown

              That’s as may be, but he’s got some explaining to do, and a goofy suit and a Great Seal doesn’t excuse him from it. What he wants is immaterial, from January 21, in any case. His legacy is then ours to do with as we will.

              carycat, possible but unlikely. Employers, as a class, believe they have a right and duty to effectively discipline labor, as a class.

    8. Vatch

      I listened to the video, which only lasts 1:22, and I didn’t hear anything bad or whiny from Obama. The same is true of the text of the article, which has some quotes that are not in the short video.

      But Obama also said Liberals like former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders had contributed to the program’s unpopularity.

      During Sanders’ campaign for the presidential nomination, he proposed replacing Obamacare with a government-run single-payer health insurance system based on Medicare, the government plan for elderly and disabled Americans.

      “In the ‘dissatisfied’ column are a whole bunch of Bernie Sanders supporters who wanted a single-payer plan,” Obama said in the interview.

      “The problem is not that they think Obamacare is a failure. The problem is that they don’t think it went far enough and that it left too many people still uncovered,” Obama said.

      Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sanders, agreed that many people would rather the government “take on the private insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies” and play a bigger role in providing healthcare.

      “There are many millions of Americans, including many of Bernie’s supporters, who don’t understand why we are the only major country on earth that does not provide healthcare as a right and they don’t understand why we pay more but get less for what we spend on healthcare,” Briggs said.

      All of this makes perfect sense to me. Yes, I know that Obama could have pushed for these things in 2009 and 2010 when the Democrats controlled Congress; his failure to do so is a major stain on his record. Now it’s 2017, and the Republicans are planning to make things worse. As usual, no matter how bad the Democrats are (and many of their leaders are very bad indeed), the Republicans are worse.

      1. hunkerdown

        Vatch, with respect, the “Democrats are better” virtue-signalling is tiresome. If the Deep State or equivalent is at war with the people, how is moral phrenology anything but an endorsement of self-important rulership as some bedrock of society?

        1. Vatch

          I didn’t say that the Democrats are better; I said that the Republicans are worse. Logically, the phrases are the same, but emotionally, they’re not. I don’t care how tiresome it is; since so many of Trump’s nominations are despicable, I’m going to keep reminding people of it.

          1. Steve C

            Democrats: Yeah. We’re a bunch of backstabbing crooks who’d sell out our own grandmothers. But what are you going to do? Vote for the crazy Republicans?

            1. Vatch

              But what are you going to do?

              Vote in the primary! Until then, let your elected representatives know your opinions. Frequently.

              1. aab

                Seriously? What good does voting in the primary do? The party sets it up so that conservative states no neoliberal Dem could win in the general thwart the enthusiasm, media coverage and donor engagement that a left wing challenger needs to take on the establishment figure. And all the Dem machine states suppress, flip and manufacture votes at will in their states so the establishment Dem “wins.” Those are not the only ways the party reenacts the Iron Law of Institutions every four years, by the way.

                We just watched a horribly unfit establishment figure be rammed through the primaries, only to lose in the general. Everybody other than that actual candidate is clinging to power and insisting things will never, ever change. And your response is to say “just vote in the primary?” Really?

                Also, I’m sorry, how is it 21st century Democrats get to be automatically the “not worse” party in your eyes? Set aside how Barack Obama deceitfully evaded keeping ANY of his campaign promises, while explicitly and intentionally crushing the exact people who elected him; there’s what he actually DID: the droning, the jailing of whistleblowers and subjecting them (when he could get them in custody) to torture, declaring all white collar crime off-limits, declaring crimes against the state off-limits if they’re done by elite Democrats…Seriously, how exactly are the Republicans in deed, not word, actually WORSE? Yes, they keep nibbling away at the social safety net — because the Democrats let them. They at least say they don’t want those things. The Democrats say they want them, and then nibble away themselves. It’s the Democrats who have actually passed some of the worst elements of the Reaganite Wish List.

                In this past general election, only one major party presidential candidate talked about the pain American workers are feeling. That same candidate explicitly said they would not tamper with Social Security and Medicare. That same candidate at least occasionally indicated the United States should dial back its military adventurism, and specifically indicated it would be stupid to go to war with Russia. That candidate’s election killed the TPP. That candidate was not the Democrat.

                Trump looks poised to be a horrible president in many ways. But so far, it is still looking like Hillary Clinton would have been EVEN WORSE. She wouldn’t even say that she would protect Social Security payments to people — she only promised to protect the fund, while having a surrogate let everyone know her plan to protect the fund would be to privatize Social Security. She’s not even robustly pro-choice. And we’d be in a hot, nuclear- armed war with Russia before summer if she’d been elected. That’s potentially planet-ending. How is that not worse?

                You seem to have a nostalgic head canon for some Democratic Party that doesn’t exist. Both parties are very bad. Paul Ryan is a horror show, and I seem to recall he and Hillary sent out strong signals that they were looking forward to working together. The United States is falling apart because both parties are terrible. And the only way things get better is if people stop giving the Democrats extra credit for things other people did decades ago or what the Democratic Party in their minds ought to be like. The Democratic Party is terrible. The Republican Party is terrible. Every living thing on this planet deserves better than the likes of them.

                And I’m supposed to just vote in the primary, and call my elected representative whose wealth and status is entirely dependent on toeing the party line on behalf of rapacious corporations and plutocrats? What kind of an answer is that?

                1. Vatch

                  First of all, I agree that both the Democrats and the Republicans are terrible. I don’t have any nostalgia for an imaginary golden age. Keep in mind that when I assert that the Republicans are worse, I’m not just referring to Presidents — I’m including Senators, Representatives, judges, governors, and state legislators. Here are three examples proving that the Republicans are worse than the Democrats:

                  1. Phil Gramm. More than anyone else, he is responsible for both the repeal of Glass Steagall, and the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which forbade the regulation of credit default swaps. He got the latter bill tacked onto a must-pass budget bill at the end of 2000. Sure, Democrats like Rubin and Summers assisted in these processes, but these were Republican operations.

                  2. The Iraq War. This multi trillion dollar murderous disaster was pushed by Bush, Cheney, and the Republican Congress. It destabilized the MIddle East, and led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Yes, some Democrats like Hillary Clinton supported them, but they were only in a supporting role. This was a Republican crime.

                  3. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. None of the recent Democratic appointed Supreme Court Justices are as bad as those three. Not by a long shot.

                  That candidate’s election killed the TPP. That candidate was not the Democrat.

                  That candidate was Bernie Sanders as much as it was Donald Trump.

                  What good does voting in the primary do?

                  Voter turnout in the primaries is always dismally low. This overwhelmingly favors incumbents and the status quo. It would really be nice if a substantial number of people were to actually vote in the primaries for a change.

      2. craazyboy

        “The problem is not that they think Obamacare is a failure. The problem is that they don’t think it went far enough and that it left too many people still uncovered,” Obama said.

        This is classical lawyerly airbrushing. The problem with O care is it doesn’t contain costs plus it’s crappy coverage. Remember, the Rs tell you they’re
        gonna screw ya. The Ds stab you in the back then deny it over and over.

        Sanders had it right with Medicare for all, and they stabbed him in the back!

        Not that I’m holding out any hope for the Price Plan. But the state of healthcare is so bad right now, Rs in Congress may start worrying if they can get re-elected. So I’m just waiting to see if anyone in DeeCee starts getting real or not. The other thing to consider is the non-healthcare part of the corporate world needs to pay for healthcare too, and I know they don’t like shelling out the insurance cost either. So we may have strange bedfellows come into play on this.

      3. Tom

        I almost shake with rage everytime I think of Clinton’s retort to those who worried about the ACA’s escalating costs and shrinking networks and formularies:

        “Single-payer health care will “never, ever” happen”

        Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, Hillary.

    9. rd

      US healthcare is outrageously expensive compared to the rest of the developed world. It doesn’t matter how much lipstick you put on that pig, there is now way to come up with a “popular” healthcare insurance solution without figuring out how to cut per capita costs by 25% to 40%. The blather about “private sector solutions” is meaningless because that is exemplified by employer provided insurance that has skyrocketed in cost over the past three decades. Obamacare is simply wallowing in the big pigpen along with the rest of the programs.

      1. Marco

        Great point that is often overlooked. Costs are something that don’t come up often when denigrating the insurance companies. Our overpaid doctors are part of the problem too. And why do they start their careers with so much DEBT?

  3. Synoia

    House Democrats fail to muster support to challenge Trump’s Electoral College win

    Further proof the US’ House of Lords (Generally a very conservative body) rules the country.

    1. Howard Hawhee

      For another throwback, Marx describes the hand-wringing that went on while Napoleon’s nephew executed his slow coup to take over France in the wake of the 1848 uprisings, as he described in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte [1852]

      “If a real struggle was intended, then it was a queer idea to lay down the weapons with which it would have to be waged. But the revolutionary threats of the petty bourgeois and their democratic representatives are mere attempts to intimidate the antagonist. And when they have run into a blind alley, when they have sufficiently compromised themselves to make it necessary to activate their threats, then this is done in an ambiguous fashion that avoids nothing so much as the means to the end and tries to find excuses for succumbing. The blaring overture that announced the contest dies away in a pusillanimous snarl as soon as the struggle has to begin, the actors cease to take themselves au sorieux, and the action collapses completely, like a pricked bubble.”

    2. different clue

      On what basis would they have challenged it? On the basis that he didn’t really win the states he really won?

      The Democrabs had no challenge to make. So they made no challenge.

  4. allan

    To the Arnade/Hampton/Maharidge genre you can add Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus,
    which is from 2007. It even has a chapter explicitly about the subprime mortgage bubble (for doublewides).
    It’s interesting to read the reviews on GoodReads from over the years – the book seems to have functioned as a Rorschach test for people’s preconceptions.

    1. HBE

      Thanks for the recommendation. Just downloaded the ebook, great so far.

      An analysis of the class divide, disparaged and hollowed “heartland” 10 years before its existence even became acknowledged.

      The sad thing is things have only gotten worse over the last decade, yet so many (tribal dems etc) refuse to acknowledge it’s existence.

      If I had known of and read this prior to the 2016 election I believe I would have pronounced Trump the guaranteed winner immediately after the dem primary ended, with hillary stealing and cheating her way to coronation.

      1. HBE

        I’m about half way into this book, going to call it a bit early. This is an absolute must read if you haven’t yet.

        I have to agree with Lyman alpha blob that this is even better than Listen Liberal.

        It combines the Macro view provided by Listen Liberal, with a local and personal bent that makes it even more powerful than the former to me.

        1. Tigerlily

          “Better than Listen Liberal” is pretty strong praise in my book (no pun intended).

          I also just got the book and look forward to reading it. No time tonight tonight but maybe tomorrow.

          Thanks to the OP for the recommendation!

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Great book – much better than Listen Liberal IMNSHO and that one was pretty good. Should be required reading for all the butt hurt Clintonites still trying to blame everybody else. He was another truth teller who of course couldn’t get any traction in the US.


    3. Charger01

      I found this book to be as illuminating as What’s the matter with Kansas? .
      You have to understand the underlying Dynamic with Irish and Scots people on the interior of the East Coast.

      1. I Have Strange Dreams

        Just to be clear – there is a huge cultural difference between Presbyterian Scots-Irish and regular Irish. The Scots-Irish have been responsible for 300 years of strife in Northern Ireland.

        1. Oregoncharles

          I take pride in being descended from people (lowland Scots moved to N. Ireland) who took a good look at the situation and got the hell out.

      2. Carl

        You guys are talking about the borderers…the ones from the border of England and Scotland and Ireland. Covered in detail in Albion’s Seed, a quite interesting read.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We do well to remember that the subject of those books involves not a object, but an on-going phenomenon, not quite, but a little like light is not just a particle, but also a wave.

      The subject what people – you and me – are living through. There is no separation between the Hollowed-Out American Heartland and us, so that the year-long tour through it ends after 12 months.

      The poverty in a Third World country does not end when one’s tour ends.

      The natural disaster for a Western reporter is over when he/she is lifted or evacuated. The millions of natives remain.

      If you are an archer, you have to become the arrow. You have to be one with your subject.

      You have to be that Third World refuge, living his/her life, not for the duration of your work.

      You have to be that Deplorable, living through the hollowing out, and, as well, after it has been hollowed out.

  5. fresno dan

    American Unintelligence on Russia (Op-ed) Kevin Rothrock, Moscow Times. The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent:

    The New York Times called the document “a damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russia’s efforts to undermine the American electoral system.” The Washington Post wrote that it’s a “remarkably blunt assessment” and “an extraordinary postmortem of a Russian assault on a pillar of American democracy.” According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence agencies have supplied the public with “surprisingly detailed findings.”

    These assessments by three of America’s most influential newspapers are themselves surprising and remarkable, in light of the fact that the U.S. intelligence community revealed nothing new on Friday, repeating conclusions already publicized by the White House and officials like U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper.
    Irony, Irony, Irony.
    The US government goes on and on about how a Russian TV station is a conduit for Russian policy, but if one wants unadulterated thinking of an intelligence agency, one can’t beat the WP and NYT stenography of the CIA.

    1. jgordon

      I’m continually surprised that these known fake news outlets are still being given implicit credibility. Heck, if someone is going to link to the NYT, WaPo etc then might as well link to Breitbart and Infowars too; they all have similar levels of credibility after all, which is to say none.

      1. loot

        I’m continually surprised that these known fake news outlets are still being given implicit credibility. Heck, if someone is going to link to the NYT, WaPo etc then might as well link to Breitbart and Infowars too; they all have similar levels of credibility after all, which is to say none.

        Ah, yeah, bullshit of the day. You can very well read only nyt/wapo be quite aware of the intricacies of global corruption, political intentions, global issues, etc. or completely ignorant of all of it and be at best a left-leaning minion.
        The notion of being critical as you seem to take is the same of those who succumb to propaganda of any other power, whether it’s Russian incumbent party, conspiracy groups or some terrorist organization like Daesh.
        Plainly questioning or even denying everything is far away from the concept of critical thinking.

        1. jgordon

          You’re nuts. NYT and WaPo put out fake stories all the time. This is a verified objective fact which everyone here, except for you, is aware of.

          And given that, no one can trust anything the NYT et al puts out because anything they put out is potentially fake news. Including the stuff about corruption in the world.

          By the way, here is a list of fake news subjects from the NYT that had a horrific actual impact on the world:

          Iraq WMD
          Libya R2P
          Syria R2P/WMD
          Ukraine “Democracy”

          If we had simply gone with whatever Alex Jones has been saying for the past 20 years instead of the liars at NYT the world would be a far better place today. Any questions?

    2. tgs

      The claims in the new report about RT are absurd on the face of it. Anyone who is not a cretin, or a centrist liberal or an American politician (these categories are obviously not mutually exclusive) can see that. I read that RT reaches about 36,000 Americans a day. These claims do not stand up to even casual scrutiny. So, why make them?

      In the last year or so, we began to hear about the ‘weaponization of information’ and more recently ‘fake news’. And the list of Kremlin influenced websites appeared at the WaPo. The new intel report spills a good deal of ink shoring all of this up, and creating an environment in which alternative narratives can be shut down in the name of saving our Democracy.

      I think this is serious. These developments would not appear, at least in such a severe form, if our ruling class was a confident one – Russian disinformation would just be laughed off. There is the recognition at least in certain segments of our elites that many people, both here and in Europe, are no longer buying the story that the mainstream is selling. And I think that makes our rulers even more dangerous.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Democrats swore Hillary was “battle tested” (confusing Hillary’s tall tales with reality), experienced (being wrong all the time is experience), and a shoe in who would make it rain for down ballot races.

        How does the Clinton element go forward? They need to control enough Democrats to stifle dissent. Without fear of TRUMP, super Stalin nazi, what would the turnout have been? In the Podesta emails, it was revealed Hillary continued to promise the VP spot to several Dems despite selecting Kaine over a year ago. How do Ohio Dems who trusted Sherrod Brown, one of the people Hillary bought, feel now? If they voted for Hillary because of the word of Brown, what kind of reception will Brown get in the future? A guy like Brown would have motivation to keep the obvious weakness and email contents out of the narrative.

        1. Pat

          Wow I missed that about dangling the VP slot, I’ll have to go back.

          I always loved ‘most qualified’ using being First Lady as a qualification for the Presidency. It was absurd on its face, but people continued to pretend it actually meant something. (I was getting to the point I considered saying that Barbara Bush was the wife of the head of the CIA, the Vice President and the President, so I guess she was even more qualified than Hillary too bad she didn’t run.) But it is true that much of this is all about the fall out of her loss, by going all in with her this group has lost its relevance. I must admit they have done a good job of remaining in place and hoping the Republicans save them, but frankly just as AUMF has come to haunt so many, so will the sky is falling cries of “Russia hacked us!” I just hope it is on a faster time line.

            1. Pat

              Gosh, and most of us just thought that Kaine was a middle finger to Bernie supporters, that it was a long term plan that screwed some of her allies never really came up.

              I do appreciate the addition to my Kaine proves everything she said about trade and women’s rights was bull shit presentation. Same for unions and workers rights.

      2. Peter Pan

        I’m surprised that RT hasn’t thanked the USG IC for the free publicity. It will be interesting if their viewer numbers increase.

        The one things that really bothers me about this whole “Russia influenced the election” is that there is absolutely no mention of the SVR (Russian foreign intelligence). It seems to me that the SVR would be the lead agency in any attempt to influence the election. There were no announced sanctions against the SVR. However, the Russian diplomats that were sent home may have been suspected by the FBI as working for the SVR.

        The listing of the FSB is also very odd. Their role is domestic intelligence & counter-intelligence. Why would they be hacking the DNC? Remember, the FSB warned the FBI twice about the Boston Bombers. So I guess the FSB & FBI will not be cooperating in the future about intel on suspected terrorists.

      3. LT

        Russia wasn’t responsible for the predatory lending, NAFTA, TPP, war on drugs, invasion of Iraq, rising costs of health care, bank bailouts, continuous murder of citizens of all races by police, the millions of incarcerated in this country, on and on…
        All of that actually happened to people in this country. It was not a Russian propagamda campaign.
        Those things actually happened to people.

        1. dk

          Yes. But calling attention to these things (with direct or indirect Dem imprimaturs), that’s un-American. Something only a “socialist” would do… “socialist” still being synonymous with “USSR” “Russia” in many over-40 US minds…

          Some of this neo-Cold War dog-whistling may be in part to hedge against Sanders in the Dem infighting. Perhaps we shall see.

      4. Carl

        Agreed. This is insecurity and fear of people who are demanding change. Have they played the demonization of the Other card one too many times?

    3. hamstak

      “surprisingly” … “remarkably” … “extraordinary” … no similarity here, or possibility of coordination on the narrative. Were these “journalists” all drawn from the ranks of movie/theatrical/literature critics?

  6. Steve H.

    : Commentary: Reading news in the age of Trump? Think like a spy. Reuters

    What’s fascinating here is not so much the content itself (which for NC readers will produce multiple ‘yups’), but the source of the article. Reuters?! It’s like a hall of meta-mirrors, trust us to tell you how to not trust us. Hypernormalize the deconstruction. Of course, the last line is

    : The views expressed in this article are not those of Reuters News.

    YES! That is so beautiful! Apply the content to the last line, it’s like an economy based on speculation now has a news service that speculates on its own speculations.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘a hall of meta-mirrors’

      Good one! The cheap, wavy old ‘funhouse mirror’ has gone abstractly kaleidoscopic on us.

      We’re the Fukawi!

    2. craazyman

      The most damning thing in there is the claim candidate X had a police officer beaten up for ticketing his car. And the police officer was a woman!

      I don’t remember anybody named X who ran in the elections but if the media can’t cover a story like that I don’t know what to think about the media — other than not to trust anything I read. Of course, it may have been fake news, so maybe justice prevailed just this once.

      It would be hard to get elected with a name like X. What would be your slogan? “Vote for X-ellence!” Or how about “Vote for X but don’t ask Y” hahahahahahaha.

      That would be unusual. For justice to prevail. Usually hysteria prevails.

      Speaking of hysteria. I think Martin Wolf is channelling a bag filled with laughing gas. I don’t know about reading the news anymore. It seems, each time I do it, like it’s a horrible waste of tiime that could be spent on Youtube.

      1. Carolinian

        On a related note I have my doubts that “Chauncey DeVega”–supposed author of the Salon/Trump voters link–is a real name. It’s possible our leg is being pulled across the board.

        1. craazyman

          Holy smoking cowbells, I think the dude is serious. Wow.

          I was reading just yesterday how Cleopatra fled into exile with her sister after trying to overthrow her brother,, then came back later with an army and had her brother whacked, then when she was back in charge with Caeser’s help later on had her sister whacked by Marc Antony — after the poor girl had been imprisoned in Rome. These people were psychopaths. Almost every single one of them. Politics does that to people.

          Whoa. I think it’s still like that! jut a little less visible. You wonder what makes people tick. I don’t wonder anymore. I think I kind of know by channellling. But you wonder why it’s like that. LOL

          People are crazy. Really.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I grew up thinking that politicians were actual people, and that (if you were lucky) you could find one who actually shared your values and points of view. You’d make common cause with them.
            But I’m starting to conclude that there is US and then there’s THEM. THEY are protected in a giant kickback scheme where their rice bowl is endlessly filled, so long as they do what the man with the brown paper bag of money tells them to do. Job security, juicy health care, and a juicy pension. On the other side of the great divide is US, battered by the winds of “capitalism”, going to bed at night hoping our job doesn’t get offshored by morning and hoping that spot on the back of our necks is nothing urgent. We have no common cause with the people on the other side of that divide, because they do not represent us. Even St. Bernie, with his heart in the right place, must bow before the rice bowl purveyors, now desperately trying to prevent any more rice bowl smashing for the good of the party.

          2. OIFVet

            Of course he is serious. Just like the Great Kos himself was so happy about them coal miners losing their insurance because they were “Trump voters.” Compassionate liberalism at its finest…

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Count me as a fellow “Chauncey DeVega” skeptic. There’s a picture of the purported author at the bottom of the article, and it looks more like a human than the dog with a bone at a keyboard whose “opinion” this piece would appear to be.

        3. Oregoncharles

          Not a regular reader of Salon? Chauncey is always like that. Well, this one might be a little more egregious than most, because Trump.
          To Chauncey, EVERYTHING is race.

          1. craazyman

            That sounds like a good reason not to be a regular reader of Saloon, if they publish drek like that.

            Wow. I can’t believe anybody would pay money to somebody to write that. Or pay to read it.

            Unless it was written as a minor character in a novel. But this is real!

            Amazing. “The horror, the horror”. LOL

            This is like something out of Heart of Darkness. That was back in the day when a really good writer had insgiht into the human condition. Like Melville too. They’d understand this and they’d write it like a form of truth. And they would make it horrible, horribly true. Which it is.

            1. craazyboy

              Just read it. That dude is really unhinged. Now we need to worry about Hillary supporters roaming the streets and doing mercy killings on Trump voters. Maybe even Bernie supporters. He wasn’t clear on that. I guess the dude took offense at being called a snowflake?

              1. craazyman

                It’s on the verge of being like something out of Camobdia from the 1970s.

                Pol Pot and all that. (In terms of the righteous frenzy that slowly distills itself through a process of rationalization into a madness).

    3. fresno dan

      Steve H.
      January 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Obviously, the commentary was written by Putin to undermine trust in our fabulous free press….the best press money can buy.

      1. fresno dan

        Steve H.
        January 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

        From the article:

        “Any article that cites a source who claims to know the “why” behind some action, what was in the head of a decision maker, should be subject to SPECIAL skepticism. Key officials are generally not in the habit of explaining their true motivations outside a tight inner circle. In your own life, do you?”

        I’m sure Putin is a big believer in “loose lips sink ships”…..but….what about the Donald?
        Unfortunately, the author didn’t mention “disinformation”
        So WP and NYT….you believe every Trump tweet? How’s that working out for you? Do you UNDERSTAND every The Donald tweet?
        As I say, how much “news” is incontrovertible fact? And how much is “analysis?” Not only are the facts often wrong, at least initially, but even when the MSM gets the facts right, E.G., POLLS, they don’t understand what the facts actually mean.
        Exactly why the CIA “analysis” is so worthless.

        1. Steve H.

          fresno dan, the ‘loose lips sink ships’ line came up in our house this morning as well. That does not seem to be the 21st century technique, as Adam Curtis explicated. When Soddy said “it must encourage and not discourage the production of consumable wealth” he was writing about the investment class. It can also apply to the obfuscation of intelligence.

          By which I mean, the tactic is to oversupply critical thinkers with potential information. This is the consumable wealth which turns invested time into entropy and wasted heat. If information breeds decisions, this results in a fatberg of the paradox of choice. Or as KellyAnne Conway put it:

          “We certainly don’t want intelligence interfering with politics and we don’t want politics interfering with intelligence.”

  7. Jim Haygood

    Background info not mentioned in The Intercept’s article on Republican state legislatures passing Right to Work acts:

    In 2015, 7.2 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared with 7.6 million workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for public-sector workers (35.2 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for private-sector workers (6.7 percent).

    Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (41.3 percent), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters.

    In the private sector, industries with high unionization rates included utilities (21.4 percent), transportation and warehousing (18.9 percent), educational services (13.7 percent), telecommunications (13.3 percent), and construction (13.2 percent). Low unionization rates occurred in agriculture and related industries (1.2 percent).

    While probably it’s private sector unionization that the Koch brothers care about most, selling Right to Work to the public is more focused on public sector unionization.

    Hit with the one-two punch of rising local property taxes and heavier state taxation to pay for generous public sector pensions, the public is resentful and sees Right to Work as pushback against the cozy insider relationships that public sector unions cultivate with state legislatures.

    1. allan

      “the public is resentful and sees Right to Work as pushback ”

      Actually, these RtW laws are often pushed through after an election during which the GOP never mentions them, explicitly denies that they are going down that road,
      or claims that it’s a distraction invented by the Democrats or media.
      That’s exactly what Scott Walker did in WI in 2014, and guess how that turned out?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Yah, the Kochs and the rest of those who want to demolish any kind of “worker power” are all about trashing and de-establishing PUBLIC unions too — as the most persistent, and to their perverted grasping scaly little minds, pernicious, form of the creature…

        FL is a Fokk the Worker Right to (not) Work place, thanks to the victorious Chamber of Commerce State Legislature and various Governors. Around here, nurses in several hospital settings have voted to unionize, in the hope of stopping the corporate business model from killing patients and looting the economy and of course giving themselves some protection from being massively overworked, paid ever less money, subject to being laid off ad hoc if the “census” is not high enough on the floors, And CA nurses? What NPR had to say, at one point —

  8. DorothyT

    Thanks, Lambert. Timothy Geithner’s “Are We Safe Yet?:

    Here it is for those who might skip over this link.

    The new restrictions on emergency authorities make this challenge more acute. The reforms were designed for the wrong type of crisis—for idiosyncratic crises, rather than systemic ones. By limiting the ability of the government and the central bank to respond to panics, they leave the economy more vulnerable to the most dangerous type of crisis.And by forcing the government to impose losses on creditors when managing the failure of institutions, the new regime risks intensifying an ongoing crisis.

    At some point, policymakers will have to revisit and refine the financial reforms. When they do, it will be important to restore room for discretion to the emergency tool kit, and keep that in reserve—not as a substitute for strong safeguards against risk but as a complement to them. Financial crises carry tragic economic costs. There is all the reason in the world to make sure policymakers have the freedom they need to manage them.

    1. fresno dan

      January 8, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thanks, I couldn’t see the article as it was behind a pay wall.
      Of course, I could have guessed that the long story short was shaft the little guy and not one dime lost to the wealthy…..uh, because that is how a modern “profit and loss” system works…..

      1. ambrit

        Well well well, this is my second try at a reply to your comment of Jan 8, 2017 at 8:38 am fresno. The first one was eaten by hungry Skynet beasties. (Not in moderation.)
        I reached the geithner piece the first try linking through the supplied tag. So, try again fresno dan. I use plain vanilla Firefox.
        Could you have pissed off the CFR recently? If you did, kudos.

        1. fresno dan

          January 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

          Thanks for the advice. I tried again and got the same thing. Maybe I’m using the wrong terminology – it shows me a paragraph and tells me I have to “register”….
          I’m just not interested enough in what Timmy has to say to go through that. I also might be getting such articles from FT in the emails they send. I get about….100 zillion of those in my email box and it is just overwhelming to open them and separate the wheat from the chaff…

          BTW – I use Google chrome.

          1. ambrit

            Curiouser and curiouser o west edge guru. I speak of the Geithner piece in “Foreign Affairs” web magazine. I append the link that gets me there.
            I just tried logging through on Phyllis’ Google page, and, lo and behold, got the register demand you complain about. I do not remember ever signing up for Foreign Affairs, so, the problem seems to be the “Service” used to try and connect.
            Try the link I have above, stolen from NCs links page, natch, and cross your fingers, toes, and tentacles.

            1. fresno dan

              January 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm

              First I said FT and I meant FA.
              So I now just tried your link, and what it links to looks just a little different, but it is the same thing – I have to register with FA.
              ……….Of course, I didn’t cross my fingers, toes, and tentacles, cause when I do the little suction cups on them get me all stuck together….

        1. katz

          that and unlimited discretion for the Fed and Treasury, sans congressional oversight, during crises. What a visionary.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            What bothers me most about this is that they are so far away from understanding the real-world effects of their words and deeds that it is better described as pathology than politics. These people are sick. Whether it’s the Chanel-suited types at State, earnestly lecturing us about the obvious necessity for “humanitarian bombing” of someplace like Libya, or Geithner with a straight face telling us that creditors should be immune from credit risk, these people are unwell. It’s either that or they’re pure evil, and I just don’t think they’re smart enough for that.

            1. witters

              I think it is simply that neoliberallism (which is, roughly, the natural strategy of the profit-growth at all costs coroporation), sees politics replaced by corporate ends (and so means). The greatest neoliberal “success” story here was the English East India Company, which took over Bengal and then found it couldn’t run the show as what it certainly did not want was citizens, nor could it cover the transaction costs. So the state/Raj stepped in.

  9. fresno dan

    Underwhelming Intel Report Shows Need for Congressional Investigation of DNC Hack The Intercept

    The national conversation about the attack on the Democratic party is becoming increasingly locked in absolutism. At one end of the spectrum there are those who credulously claim there’s no conceivable doubt the Russian government hacked the Democrats this summer — at the other, those who fatuously deny any possibility Russia did so. No matter where you fall (I personally believe the Russian government is most likely responsible in some way), you should agree on one thing: Making the discussion as public as possible (and reasonable) is in the national interest.

    Uh, no. Its unfortunate that Americans don’t really think about congress too much, and our “news” media does such a poor job. But the fact of the matter is that the congress has a lot of consensus – its all about screwing the 90%, but they agree regardless of party on maintaining their brands to get as much grift as possible. The parties REAL purpose is to help maintain the illusion that there is a REAL choice in our elections***
    Both parties believe:
    1. No real investigation of police shootings as a purposeful policy by the justice department
    2. banks (need I say more)
    3. Mortgage companies
    4. trade
    5. MIC
    5a. Interventionalism
    6. Patriotic act
    *** Ask yourself….why do repubs so hate Obamacare….which is essentially Romneycare??? But than ask, why did DEMS pass a republican bill? Strum und drang. Plutocrats in health care, Plutocrats everywhere.

    So the congress agreeing and as*kissing the CIA and associated agencies will not be unexpected and the conclusion that Russia hacked the dems will be the “bipartisan” consensus.
    Does any NC commentator know a dem who would be brave enough to go against the juggernaut?

    1. John Zelnicker

      @fresno dan – You’re going to have to go through Alice’s Looking Glass to find such a Democrat.

    2. Jen

      My congresscritter bragged about her role in calling for an “independent committee to examine Russian efforts to undermine our elections” on facebook. I emailed her and said: a) there is no evidence to support such claims; b) there is ample evidence to support the DNC rigging the primary in favor of HRC; c) one democrat more or less in the house isn’t going to make a difference so d) lay off this crap or I’ll be looking for someone to challenge you in the 2018 primaries and if you make it to the general I’ll either skip the congressional ballot or vote for your opponent. Since I’m in particularly ornery mood, I plan to relay the same message in a call to her office on Monday.

      PS – I don’t give a rats a** about our state’s all female all Democrat delegation.

    3. polecat

      The punk district representative & senators that supposedly … uhh … ‘work’ on my behalf. certainly don’t ….

  10. Eric Blood Axe

    From what I have seen of Bald Eagles,(there sare a lot around here) they are as much carrion eaters as raptors

    1. crittermom

      I would agree, from what I have both read and witnessed. I’ve watched them harass other birds, such as Osprey, forcing them to drop their prey so the eagles could have it. I’ve seen them feast on carrion, as well. Often eagles let others do the work while they reap the rewards.

      While the Native Americans see them as a symbol of strength, I’ve come to see them as bullies, too.

      Someone dumped goldfish into a nearby lake years ago. They multiplied and grew to enormous size, to the point Fish & Game had to intervene in an attempt to rid the lake of them.

      Some still remain, however, and over the years I’ve watched the bald eagles feast on those more than the trout, as they’re slower and easier to catch (and larger than many of the trout now!). Easy pickin’s.

      1. OIFVet

        In fairness to predators such as bold eagles, the strategy of going after the easy pickings is used to avoid unnecessary risks of crippling injuries. Lions do the same when they have the chance, and predators in general go after the weakest members of a prey group. In the end, both predator and prey benefit from this. Nature doesn’t give a darn about nobility and “fairness,” it is all about survival.

        1. polecat

          in my neck of the woods, a while back, there was a local power outage … and when utility workers came to investigate, found that 2 young bald eagles had been in a tussle over some ‘easily’ picked grocery chicken parts, and while in the act of doing so ….. fried themselves as they lit upon a live power line ..

          …. pretty ‘crippling’ if you ask me ….. ‘;[

          1. bob

            Osprey are my favorite. They love power poles for nests. But, those nests catch fire. So they send a truck out to clear the nest….and they osprey rebuild it in a day, and come back next year, and the year after.

            The only way to “fix” this problem is for the electric utility to build them a home. They build a platform on top of the pole, keeping the nest out of harms way.

            Google- “Osprey power pole”

            That’s some determined squatting.

    2. Keith Howard

      Bald eagles are also thieves, stealing prey from other raptors. In general, I prefer the character of the golden eagle (not closely related to the bald.)

      Re: carrion. What else does the meat market sell?

  11. Harry

    “BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg is accused of impartiality over her report on Jeremy Corbyn’s shoot-to-kill policy in 2015.”

    A grave accusation but one I’m sure Ms Kuenssberg will have no trouble disproving. I doubt one could find any report from her which would suggest even the faintest hint of balance or impartiality.

    1. Clive

      She really is awful isn’t she. There is a rule in politics that, when you become the story, it’s time to take a spell in the back benches. The redoubtable Laura seems to think if she can’t somehow make herself the story, she’s sticking too close to the facts.

      A one-woman fake news machine. Where’s the Washington Post when you need it? Someone should develop a browser plug-in to alert unsuspecting readers that she’s lurking somewhere amongst the clickbate below.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Thrice in pursuit of her lifelong dream, Hillary has been thwarted by a man.

    First it was her own husband “Bill” in 1992. Then 0bama pre-empted her presidential bid in 2008. Now one Donald Trump has pushed his way in front of her, when it was her turn.

    Understandably, Hillary is very angry.

    I’m worried that Hillary will show up at the inauguration packing a pistol in her purse, with mayhem on her mind. :-0

    1. Clive

      Well, it is a risk. But she’d have to go somewhere like Walmart to buy one or one of those sleazy looking gunstores I see while watching CBS Reality, or the Crime and Investigation Network. And at that point the whole notion seems completely implausible. She might end up having to wait in line behind some redneck hick. Or, horror of horrors, someone from Texas.

      1. ambrit

        Fear not oh aspiring homicide. There are a few “private” web sites catering to the person to person firearms trade. But H Clinton, do anything herself? I say she should ask assistance from Dick Cheney. Now there’s a classic alignment of interests.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Dick is a bit hazardous around weapons, after hitting poor Harry Whittington with a piece of birdshot.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Her people are missing the potential for a reality show: HRC will perform a mundane task! Can she get it done without casually committing 3 felonies?

        Buying cigarettes, paying a bill in person…

        Special lightning round at the end of each episode for selecting and loading the blame cannons.

        1. ambrit

          Didn’t a pair of Hollywood “brat pack” gurlz have a similar show a few years past? Something about traveling about with no money. Heaven help us, but it was touted as a “reality show!”

        2. Tom

          Keeping Up With The Klintons
          I see it as kind of a combo of the Kardashian train wreck, mixed with a strong Beverly Hillbillies vibe — maybe even a touch of Green Acres for good measure.

      3. John k

        You do know those hicks are reps, the group she serenaded while pushing progressive dems under the bus? Those are her buys… except they don’t know it, and would be outraged at the thought.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The reports are she was in a blind rage smashing furniture on election night so was in no state to face the troops, so I would not be surprised if she was planning mayhem. At some point the billionaires will come calling for their vig and they do NOT like it when they don’t get paid, her best protection might be an orange jumpsuit. They could get her there, though, with a sharpened toothbrush or something. Kill it with fire, better yet a wooden stake through the heart at dawn. Does making such a statement make me a bad person? I don’t think so, she and Obama shredded the last vestiges of the D Party promise to represent actual people who do actual work for a living, we already had a party whose stated aim was to give Capital everything they want

    2. Katharine

      Her Secret Service detail would know what she was up to, and probably intervene, or at least notify their counterparts. You may as well stop “worrying” which I assume you were using as a guilty synonym for hoping.

      1. ambrit

        This assumes that the Secret Service is apolitical. As for “worries” like this, I read that Trump is privatizing everything; why not his security detail too?

        1. Arizona Slim

          A friend had a cousin who was on the WH detail. According to my friend, her cousin and his fellow agents despised the Clintons.

          After Bush took over, the cousin was assigned to Dick Cheney. And liked him a lot.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            My good mate did simultaneous translation for State and once did a gig for Cheney. He happens to be a third dan karate black belt, I told him he missed his chance to do the world a favor and asked him if he would be able to smuggle in a weapon. He replied “that’s why it’s called kara-te, open hand, no weapon required”.

        2. Katharine

          Wasn’t there a report at some point that he meant to keep his private security? Or am I dreaming? It’s getting harder and harder to separate fact and fiction.

      2. Jim Haygood

        After the savage verbal tongue lashings they’ve endured from Hillary, her Secret Service detail are careful to keep their holsters snapped closed when within arms reach of Her Majesty.

        Unfortunately, the awkwardness of either watching over their shoulder or carefully backing out of the room in her presence cannot be concealed. :-(

            1. Tom

              I still am waiting for someone to leak video of Hillary’s melt down on election night — some say the earth shook, the stars momentarily winked out and at least 7 of those in the room fainted at the fury she unleashed.

    3. craazyboy

      I was thinking Hillary will steal a Bible from the hotel room and she and her small band of supporters will have their own inauguration off in the bleacher seats. The Force is strong in Hillary. The Resistance they will make!

      1. polecat

        Ah ! but it’s what’s IN that bible that matters ……

        ‘cold comfort’

        …. She ain’t no Gideon Angel !

    4. TK421

      Hillary was thwarted by Hillary. If she hadn’t voted to invade Iraq, she would be President today.

      1. Anonymous

        “If she hadn’t voted to invade Iraq…”

        Is that a valid counterfactual?

        HRC would have to have been a totally different person. Her record suggests she’s a psychopath, who went on to bomb Libya, perpetrate regime change in Syria, support a right wing coup in Honduras, Ukraine, etc….

  13. fresno dan

    Jim Haygood
    January 8, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I can only quote Shakehisrear:
    The fault lies not in our men, but in ourselves….

  14. Kokuanani

    “Limited Stores Closing for Good Sunday.”

    Ha! When I first read that headline I thought somehow the dastardly new congress had snuck in a new national holiday, “Good Sunday,” and that a limited number of stores were closing then.

    Does it occur anywhere near Good Friday or Bad Saturday??

      1. ambrit

        No more White Sales! This PC business has gone a bit too far. Now it’s cutting into the retail trade.

  15. timbers

    Limited stores closing for good Sunday Columbus Dispatch. The Macy’s in the Bangor Mall is slated for closure; the Sears looks like a morgue. That leaves JC Penney’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. And acres of empty parking lot. So long, anchor tenants!

    Make all the top brass at the Intelligence Agencies (CIA, etc) and Cabinet level Departments relocate their offices and staff in abandoned malls and factories across America’s fly over zone – like in Bangor and a those in The Gathering Storm. This would be a win-win of spreading the wealth concentrated in D.C. and the coasts and making our elites be a bit closer to seeing how their polices affect the people.

    Why stuff so much into one area of a vast nation? Spread it out and call it a jobs program or spreading the wealth. Put the 17 intelligence agencies in 17 different locations far removed from all the other 16 to help curtail group think.

  16. Johnny Lunchbox

    We deplorable bingo’s did not vote for Trump persay we voted for anything that wasn’t part of the old political establishment because we were sick of what we have been getting and we did not like our options. If Pee Wee was running against Hilda he would of won! If we don’t get better representation of we the people for the people then the next election will sl see a complete change in our political lineup.

  17. grayslady

    Very nice set of links this morning, Lambert. I was particularly fascinated by the Sic Semper Tyrannis post. Although I’m not a regular reader of Colonel Lang’s site, I always appreciate the insights when I do read one of his articles.

  18. Jason Boxman

    I guess I’m a bad (former) Democrat, practicing introspection and paying attention to actions rather than words, but I realized the party was full of shit when Pelosi and Democrats opted not to defund the Iraq War in 2006. And they’ve certainly not disappointed since in failing to deliver and delivering policy failure after policy failure. Eventually, you realize it’s by design.

  19. JEHR

    Re: riding cows–When my brother was eleven and I was thirteen, we went to a family farm near Bluffton, Alberta, to help out an aunt for a year by milking cows, feeding pigs, looking after chickens, etc. The farm did not have indoor plumbing and the water had to be carried in pails to the house. In the summer we had nothing much to do (!) so my brother decided to ride a steer that was lying down and it jumped up and he fell off. However, there was an old docile milk cow who would let us both get up on her back so we climbed up using the fence as a ladder, but she just stood there not very amused. We never got to go anywhere. Those were the days!

    1. HotFlash

      We kids would try to ride the cows at my grandparents’ farm. We learned that cows are not as dumb as they look. The young ones would buck us off, the older ones would just mosey over to the nettle patch.

    2. ekstase

      I have not ever ridden a cow, but I believe that this is one of the greatest sentences of all time:

      “And it’s quite good for the cow to get out and do things.”

  20. JEHR

    Re: Timothy Geithner–What a poseur! Never sees fraud and never fails to toe the banking lie (line?).

    1. jefemt

      Steadfast allegiance to Goldman and the banksters, doing God’s work.

      I would love to see the back of the envelope tally that Hank Paulson had on his legal tablet when he stood at the podium and calmly asked us for a cool 750 Billion to ‘stabilize’ things back in late ’07.

      Urp allahuackbarf (insert image of Bill the Cat here)

      I used to believe we would have a black swan cataclysmic moment that would trigger the broad contagion. I’m now in the ‘slow-developer’ camp, akin to catching an edge in deep powder, hanging on with one ski, but trending inexorably to the close line and deep-dig for all the pieces.

      The powers that be are very busy scurrying around in their jets and ethersphere plugging their fingers in the dikes. Lots to lose, lots of vested interest to protect, at any cost, in the NWO.

    2. Dave

      Especially skewered by Michael Hudson in
      “Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy”

      I recommend this book to learn the ins and outs of the financial sewer rats gnawing at our economy at the highest levels. Every library in America should have a copy of this book. We bought two and donated one to our local town library.

    3. LT

      “Are We Safe Yet?”
      Is a great case for breaking up larger finanicial institutions, nationalization, and/or anything that is an alternative to the current system (not “reform”).
      He dances and dodges in the article around the obvious fact that these institutions can not be reformed. They are essentially publicly owned by the sovereign nation, but the banksta way of thinking is that the public only owns the losses and the crises as a nation. The profits, in their minds, should only be owned by a few.
      It’s a long winded defense of socialize the losses, but privatize the profits.
      The trap is that the US government itself is nothing like a democracy or representative republic for the people that will always have to pay for mistakes in a big way.

  21. nihil obstet

    Nice article on UBI (Free Money to Poor People). The headline is inflammatory in a way the article isn’t. It also doesn’t address power relations from the point of view that economic power and political power are totally different things.

  22. craazyboy

    Israel’s Right, Cheering Donald Trump’s Win, Renews Calls to Abandon 2-State Solution NYT. ZOMG, Bibi is interfering with our elections!!!!!!!

    Not sure if cheering is all that scary. Anyway, this whole concept of national voting may need to be re-vamped. In a borderless world, elections may need to be borderless too, at least across a few selected borders [must keep commies out of the Circle of Trust!)

    There are rumors that the CIA have been experimenting with cross border voting, and other tasks like providing the people to vote for. This is really the more effective way, because those people can keep voting on stuff once in office, wherever they may be. The Top Secret code name was rumored to be Big_Satan_Little_Satan. The goal is unified elections.

    Lately, evidence exists of birth of another borderless nation – Ukraine, codenamed Baby Satan. There is now a unified free voting block codenamed Big_Satan_Little_Satan_Baby_Satan, or short codenamed, The Trinity.

    Voters may feel uncomfortable with this new approach to voting, which the CIA perfectly understands because the world confuses the crap outta us too. But we’re here to figure it out, so you don’t have to! To that end, we will attempt to manage the global dialog and condense it into simple short sentences that you, and even your President, can understand. We show your President the sentences first, before releasing them to you, the public, because it just seems righter that way.

    However, we caution the public that the Trinity is a new voting structure, and may have some glitches and growing pains as we continue to roll out the program. Rest in peace that these glitches will bake out, and no resource will be spared to make it so. We strongly suggest that in future elections please refer to your national newspapers to determine the right candidates to vote for. We work closely with your national newspapers and they know who the right candidates are. We trust this will eliminate any confusion in the future.

    This is a public service message brought to you by the folks at the CIA. It may or may not be the opinion of management, interested corporate persons, or people we can’t name for security reasons. Print this message out on rice paper and eat it. Do not click on any embedded links, they may lead to phishing sites in Russia. Better secure than sorry!

  23. mcdee

    “But when push comes to shove…The Democrats don’t, and won’t, throw a punch…” As the old IWW leader Big Bill Haywood said: “A liberal is the guy who leaves the room when the fighting starts.”

  24. fresno dan

    What Happens When You Give Free Money to Poor People New York Magazine. As opposed to, ya know, political power.

    “The U.S. flirted with a sibling of basic income in the 1970s and 1980s, in the form of “negative income tax,” where people below a certain income threshold get money from the government instead of paying taxes. (Free-market evangelist Milton Friedman was a fan, Flowers reminds us.) Control studies ran from 1968 to 1980, ranging from rural studies in Iowa and North Carolina to urban ones in Seattle and Denver, which ran nine years and reached 4,800 people. Primary earners scaled back their hours by up to 7 percent, research indicated, while elementary schoolers did better on tests, and babies were less frequently born with low birth weights. Home ownership and healthy eating went up too. Then, in what became a cautionary tale for science writers everywhere, a statistical error led to a report that participating in the program led to a higher rate of divorce, and a media firestorm followed. The policy was quickly cast aside”
    I imagine the increase in divorce could be attributed to people in abusive and unhappy marriages being put in the position of now having the FREEDOM (i.e., resources) to dissolve those relationships.

    And that is why the issue is political, and the issue is FREEDOM. Politics is essentially about who has resources, and who is denied resources. IT IS NOT A COINCIDENCE that those with more resources continuously get more resources, and those with few resources continuously get fewer resources. WITHOUT MONEY IN THIS COUNTRY, YOU HAVE NO FREEDOM AND YOU HAVE NO REPRESENTATION

    We think that The Disney company can use armed agents of the State, as well as a myriad number of other professional employees (who WE all pay for) to lock you up if you “violate” the Disney copyright for Mickey Mouse. AND we BELIEVE the idiocy that the copyright is necessary to be extended and extended to reward creativity (sorry to break it to you, but Walt has been dead over 50 years – his creating days are over).

    The United States puts enormous resources into protecting “money” and “property” – and that far, far, far more benefits billionaires, the 0.01% and the 1% than anyone else. There is nothing unjust about society distributing money to society as a whole for societal purposes.

    A basic income is not much different than minimum wage in theory. No one says that a minimum wage takes away the ruling classes ability to exploit labor (well, a few do….and they are right! Many like it, and a few don’t….).

    And trade? Trade may be wonderful. The theory is, I have something you want, you have something I want, we come to a mutually agreeable trade… So why so many…so complex laws??? With SO MANY lobbyists???? Isn’t it obvious – its solely about who gets to get the benefits, and who gets to lose benefits. AND by sheer COINCIDENCE, the benefits of trade get ever more concentrated to the ever richer. Must be that economic physics…..
    Do you think your representative pays as much attention to you as…Disney? Comcast? Goldman Sachs?

    This is about a basic income – people can work if they want, and I suspect many, if not most will – at satisfactory jobs at satisfactory pay***….. Maybe efficiency and GDP goes down a smidgen. All that will happen is that the vast majorities Freedom will be increased, and people are always going on about how important freedom…and representation are.

    ***in some respects, a basic income is essentially unionizing the entire country…

    1. Yves Smith

      New York Magazine omits that Milton Friedman was the big proponent of a negative income tax, because you could then get rid of welfare programs. Nixon, following Friedman, tried implementing a negative income tax.

      1. nihil obstet

        I’m not sure how the omission is relevant. Is it a good or bad thing for people to have enough money to live decently without programs that are specifically welfare?

        1. hunkerdown

          nihil obstet, interests, as in whose are served and whose are not, are far more important than cultural and moral rectitude. Any redistributive policy gives a business-minded ruling class reason to congratulate themselves with a share of the wealth, regardless of who gains power.

          Living decently means the ability to throw off an ideological regime that’s arrived at its logical conclusion and refuses to leave.

          1. Emma

            Hmmm…….You’re implying that a government for good does little good…..
            Does this mean we should support Trump?! ie. His desire to impose strict term limits on members of Congress?
            For if the ultimate goal is to achieve a healthy and sustainable democracy, I’d rather support Trump on enacting gerrymandering reform in the USA instead. The likes of Bernie Sanders should stay in government for as long as the many so desire!
            Another issue ripe for discussion in all this is the belief that government should be run with a managerial culture like the Disney Co or Trump Corp……which in so doing, makes a government decidedly less democratic because a CEO is akin to a feudal lord of sorts……
            In any case, getting back to FresnoDan and Yves, if serious tax haven and shell company reforms were enforced, policies like giving away money and/or ensuring basic and humane income guarantees for the poor might not be so pressing….or as pressing as providing a free education policy which would go some way towards reversing this awful situation:
            With results like that it’s not hard to see Russia or even China stealing away gross cybersoil to gather golden spoil……..for their own flourishing empires instead……..
            We can only wait with bated breath to see if Trump and his cabinet will rule noblesse oblige in a rich mans’ nutshell after January 20th…or if it will be ‘le dinersclub de cons’ instead….

  25. Katharine

    The declaration that “they” don’t deserve “our” empathy is evidence of continuing stupidity among establishment media. If “they” had had it in the first place, reporting during the primary campaign would have been wholly different and we would probably now be looking forward to a Sanders inauguration. But no, the beatings must continue until the party is destroyed. These guys are unteachable.

    1. Waldenpond

      There was alot of this ‘screw em’ attitude the last couple of days. They are venting because the CI report was garbage.

  26. crittermom

    I’m still chuckling over the story about Alexa ordering doll houses! Too funny.

    (My friend has a 19 mth old granddaughter who began texting from her parent’s cell phones recently, unknown to them until they started getting calls from relatives, friends–and the father’s clients–that they were receiving undecipherable messages. Oops?)

    BTW, I’m not sure if this story has been previously posted and I missed it? If so, I apologize. There’s been a lot to keep up on lately.

    1. fresno dan

      Last week an Amazon Echo video went viral when a toddler requested the song “Digger Digger,” but instead got a slew of pornographic terms.

      Let’s backtrack for the entire story first. The toddler, no more than 3-years-old, requested the song “Digger Digger.” Alexa quickly responded with, “You want to hear a station for porn detected … hot chick amateur girl sexy…”

      The shocked family quickly shouted in panic saying “Stop!” But Alexa wasn’t done yet and continued with more words we can’t ethically write online. She didn’t stop until 14 seconds later when the father yelled, “Alexa, stop!” By that time the damage was done and the child will likely have a number of questions about what Alexa said during bedtime.

      Of course, no body cares about the old pervs who will no longer be able to find “hot chick amateur girl sexy” using Amazon…oral technology. I was really hoping it would help alleviate my carpal tunnel syndrome from grasping my…mouse…er, computer mouse…

  27. MightyMike

    The House Democrats needed just one Senator to challenge, and couldn’t get one (reminiscent of Gore gaveling down the Congressional Black Caucus when they wanted to challenge election 2000 as seen in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911). So, moving into “Watch what they do, not what they say” mode: (1) Democrat talk of Trump being a “fascist” is just that, talk;

    If a Democratic senator can be identified who called Trump a fascist, there may be a point here. On the other hand, it’s hard the grounds that would be used to challenge the vote of the electoral college.

    1. Waldenpond

      That’s an interesting bar (D, Senator)…. a Democrat Senator can participate in planting an article declaring Trump a fascist, willingly be quoted in an article about Trump is a fascist, go on radio and participate in panels that centers on whether Trump is a fascist, go on NBC panel, donate to or specifically buy Trump is a fascist writings from sycophants like Kos and Sully, trot out people like OMalley, Reich etc, but as long as they don’t state the phrase ‘Trump is a fascist’ their hands are clean.

  28. fresno dan

    Rule of Men, Not Law Ian Welsh (CL).

    People have already been getting away with lawbreaking depending on who they are and not small numbers of people. And if you don’t think various firms haven’t been picked out for special positive favors, you simply haven’t been paying attention.
    To cry now, and especially to weep for large corporations who are bad actors, is hilariously hypocritical and intensely revealing “Trump blackmailed them into keeping a few jobs in America, that Tyrant!”

    Oh, my, God, the funny. Now yes, Trump has also called out people for terrible reasons. Oh well. Yes, that’s a new bad thing (though not worse than killing a US citizen without trial, the right to face his accusers and see the evidence against him), but I just find it hard to get very worked up over.

    You already lost your rule of law. There are a few places one can date the loss to, I put it in Obama’s mass-immunization of financial executives, but you could argue for Bush vs. Gore or a number of other places.

    But wherever you put it, it already happened.
    As they say here on NC , clarifying…

  29. Carey

    I am one of the least worldly people here, I think, but will give my 2c anyway:

    The few are playing a deeper and longer game than they are generally given
    credit for, IMO, and underestimating an enemy is seldom a good idea.

    1. djrichard

      I’m not convinced that Trump has bought any of this at all. But when the latent mafiosos won’t stop chattering, what do you do?

      Perhaps Trump sees the long game: this wouldn’t be happening if he was in office. He just needs to bide time til then. Give these mafiosos a few bones in the mean time and let them think they’ve succeeded.

  30. Jim

    Sic Semper Tyrannis comment seems right on the money.

    “I would think that the Trump Administration will go through the ranks of the SES/SIS position holders as CIA/DIA/NSa, etc. like a scythe. These folks, of whom I was one (SES-4) are not career protected like the lower members of the federal civil service…They are usually highly politicized schemers and enablers for their presidential appointee bosses at the very top of the food chain.”

    This battle between the national security bureaucracy and Trump gives additional empirical support to the brilliant article written by Michael J. Glennon “National Securfity and Double Government.”. In that article/later book he argued:

    “U.S. nation security policy is defined by the network of executive official who manage the departments and agencies responsible for protecting U.S. national security and who, responding to structural incentives embedded in the U.S. political system, operate largely removed from constitutional constraints.”

    Glennon goes on to state: “The public believes that the constitutionally-established institutions control national security policy, but that view is mistaken, Judicial review is negligible, congressional oversight dysfunctional and presidential control nominal.”

  31. Speakingindoubletongues

    Everything you need to know about the intellectual stringency of Michael McFaul

    McFauls The seven-step path
    1) “Endorsing recent NATO decisions to enhance deterrence against Russian threats”
    – Fantastic. US should encourage EU to further build-up to a war that will take place in Europe. A great way to help allies, isn´t it?

    2) “Lifting sanctions unilaterally, without consultation with our European allies and partners, and without getting anything in return from Russia, would be complete capitulation — a really bad deal. Such a decision would effectively condone annexation and intervention, and thus have negative consequences for the stability of the entire international order”
    – Yes, because the cooperation between EU and US to prevent interventions and annexations of territories have been so efficient. Oh, by the way, it does not matter that the Crimeans voted to join Russia.

    3) “Trump administration must provide smarter economic aid, political assistance, and technical help in order for Ukraine to succeed both as a market economy and democracy.” & “Trump administration must do more to seek the opposite outcome, including using a change in administration to put additional pressure on Kiev to reform”
    – About “democracy”, see the Exile article. What does smarter economic aid mean in the context of the most corrupt country in Europe, or, the government that the fantastic Nuland-heroes were instrumental in putting in place.
    “additional pressure on Kiev to reform” Oh, isn´t McFaul talking about foreign meddling in political affairs of another country. Since the election day, this has been seen as a bad thing, no? Or is it only when it is Russia doing it? I don´t know. McFaul doesn´t say.

    4) “Trump wants to join forces with Russia to fight the Islamic State, but Putin seems perfectly content to watch the United States and our allies do the major fighting against this terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq.”
    – US is financing and aiding ISIS if not directly so through great allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    5) “Thou shall not use cyber-capabilities to interfere in each other’s elections”
    – Such as not using internet attacks on voting machines that are not connected to the internet.

    6) “Trump should consider pursuing some smaller”
    – In other words, just leave it as it is.

    7) Trump has to begin to disentangle some of the contradictions in his policy statements
    – McFaul could start look into his own double-speak about political sovereignity and integrity for some nations but not for others.

  32. LT

    Shows that the warm and fuzzy dream of the EU and Eurozone is about as real as the “American Dream.”
    It was probably easier to leave the mafia back in the day when they claimed that once in, you were in for life.

  33. allan

    McConnell: Dems need to ‘grow up,’ work with GOP on speedy confirmations [The Hill]

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday he wants to have complete records and papers from President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees before confirmation votes are held.

    “We want to have all the records in, all the papers completed before they’re actually confirmed on the Senate floor,” McConnell said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” …

    “before they’re actually confirmed on the Senate floor” – but not before the respective committee hearings.

    We can expect the Dems to yield firmly – and then fund raise off of their failure.

  34. Octopii

    Re decay on the Acela corridor: this was where the American story first tarnished for me, in the year 2002, seeing all the empty factories while traveling up to NYC and back as we built some rich dude a sweet Manhattan apartment.

    1. polecat

      ‘REAL resistance to Trump’ …

      yeah … sure there will .. /s

      … and that resistance won’t do jack for me, or mine … just like said ‘resistance’ of the LAST 14 years …..

  35. LT

    What do you think Californians would prefer?
    Extended benefits for the long term unemployed or gender confirmation surgeries for prisoners at the tax payers’ expense?

  36. Waldenpond

    Transient workers…. I have a relative dating a transient tech worker (IBM). Six live in a 2 bedroom. Waiting to see if his visa is going to be renewed. He sends a large chunk of his income home.

  37. John k

    Really disappointing my man Bernie isn’t embracing single payer/Medicare for Obamacare victims. Why not? Because dems would clutch pearls that anything could be better than their hero’great program?
    Certainly can’t be that reps wouldn’t go for it…
    Any chance he’s playing11 dim chess, ‘whatever you do, don’t throw me into the Medicare briar patch? Otherwise puzzling, takes on all powerful banks but not insurance?
    What’s behind the curtain?

    1. Vatch

      Sanders does support Medicare for all. See:

      The Republicans want to move even further from Medicare for all, and that is what Sanders is opposing. Here’s an Op-ed in support of Medicare for all, in which the author recognizes what Sanders supports, and the threat that Trump poses:

      What is absolutely certain, given the Republican rhetoric and Trump’s nomination of Rep. Tom Price for secretary of Health and Human Services, is that we will move very sharply toward an even more expensive, inadequate and unequal health system.

      Bernie Sanders had it right. The best way to provide universal health care at a sustainable cost is to extend Medicare to everyone, while implementing some needed reforms.

      1. Waldenpond

        But that isn’t what he’s spending left over campaign money on. He’s having a generic anti-R don’t cut these insufficient programs event. It’s an unclear message. Single topic protests for something are more effective.

        Sanders is playing on the Rs field…. negotiating how much the cuts will be.

        1. Vatch

          Do you have any evidence that Sanders is “negotiating how much the cuts will be”? Aside from that, for the next two years, all Americans must play “on the Rs field”, since the Republicans control just about everything in national and state government in the United States.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sanders is defending medicare while the Dems are crying “Russia” and Obama wants to bring back the “Bernie Bros” now that “OMG Putin” isn’t catching on.

        1. Massinissa

          When did politics become all about memes, anyway? Has it always been like this and I havnt noticed?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It’s always been this way, but the Internet doesn’t forget.

            “Missile gaps”, where’s the beef, voodoo economics, welfare queens, Contract with America, etc. Dare I say, FDR, JFK, LBJ is a meme.

            One difference is the late stage of empire. The rot and stagnation at the top is so deep there is no counter voice within parties who are largely dedicated to preserving their positions to recognize the status quo needs changing. The memes ring hollow because there is nothing else there.

            Jeb versus Hillary was the dream. In a country of 300 million, this was the offering. No wonder Trump ran. He’s not hurting the county’s image with those two clods. Why not a real estate tycoon considering the front runners are people associated with former Presidents through non governing relationships.

    2. crittermom

      I haven’t heard Bernie howl about the banks lately. Perhaps he’s leaving that up to Warren?
      I think he’s just trying to stop the R’s from cutting SS & Medicare to begin with, before taking on an even bigger battle regarding Medicare for all.
      I LOVED the Trump tweet he enlarged and took before the Senate. Perfect!

      1. aab

        I don’t know who is running it, but his Twitter feed has continued to talk about economic inequality and banks and corps running things. He’s got a Town Hall on CNN tomorrow night.

        I think he’s correct to pin Trump down right now about Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid. Ryan’s been practically waving his fork and knife around slavering. And Bernie has the same problem he had in the primary — he gets very little media coverage compared to “the Russkies are coming!” So he has to use very tight message discipline for anything to get through.

        I hope he’s got more sense than to help elevate Warren. That would be bad, since she’s proven herself to be not a progressive, not a broad or deep policy thinker, not courageous, and instead, weak and corrupt.

  38. Oregoncharles

    ” From the 30,000 foot view, if I take Democrat talk seriously, the only logical end game is Trump’s removal from office via some sort of coup, probably a soft one (impeachment; resignation). ”
    Calling impeachment, or even resignation under pressure (Nixon), a “coup” is not legitimate political language. It wasn’t in Brazil, either, where it really happened. In both cases, it may be bad, but it’s legal and not a coup in any sense. (In Brazil, the Labor Party was careless enough to lose control of Congress, probably because their economic policy was terrible. And the same is true here, which is why talk of the Dems removing Trump is just smoke and mirrors.)

    I just talked with someone who said she’d been physically sick since Trump was elected. She’s signing on to our Ranked Choice Voting initiative campaign (we won in Benton County; now the state, probably), which at least gives her something constructive to do. Despite my objection to the use of “coup,” you have a good point about the implications of extreme language around the election. It’s a threat to democracy, and to a lot of people’s health and well-being. Ultimately, it might be a threat to the party’s well-being, too, if they inflate expectations they have no intention of meeting. At least, we can hope.

    On the other hand, I keep thinking of Lambert’s prior call for gridlock. Delegitimizing Trump is an approach to that, especially given his differences with the Republicans in Congress. Given his huge loss in th epopular vote and record-low support when taking office, it should be possible cripple him, which on a lot of issues is highly desirable. Of course, Obama has laid the foundations for an outright dictatorship, so delegitimizing may be beside the point. We shall see.

  39. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    The suave community-organizing brother took single payer off the table. Simple as that. If he just had to suck up to white insurance company billionaires he could have done what The Netherlands did, keep “insurance” in the mix but fix their pricing and basic services menus and make them compete on service quality and add-ons. Instead his crack team, that apparently had never heard the term “adverse selection”, powered forward with the program that is worse than doing nothing (see above comments about extra nurses being hired to do ACA paperwork).

    See also: Nancy Pelosi taking Bush impeachment off the table.
    See also: 2016 Dems re-appointing Nancy Pelosi, because “people don’t want change”.

  40. Oregoncharles

    From the article about “Alexa”: “This is not the first time an ill-conceived TV spot has caused havoc with voice-control systems.”
    It isn’t the TV spot that’s “ill-conceived.”

  41. Vatch

    A very large number of today’s comments have been about healthcare financing. I haven’t seen many comments with positive actions that people can take, though. Here’s one that we can start with: contact your Senators, and ask them to vote against the appointment of Tom Price to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He wants to privatize Medicare, and he’s probably a misogynist, too. A phone call only takes a couple of minutes, which is less time than it often takes to post a comment on this web site.

    Everybody should have this information, but people are busy, and nobody knows everything that she or he should know, so here’s contact information for Senators:

    It’s especially important to contact Republican Senators from states that only have one Republican Senator, because those Senators know that is is possible to elect a Democrat in their state. It’s in their interest to pay attention to what their constituents think. These tend to be swing states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, plus a few surprises. For more, see my comment from yesterday:

    I accidentally omitted one Senator from yesterday’s list:

    Portman, Rob – (R – OH) Class III
    448 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
    (202) 224-3353

    1. hunkerdown

      Portman? The NDAA rider guy doing a heel-face turn? The only message he needs to hear is a call for his substandard self’s immediate and permanent retirement from politics. Praying for relief from him, at least, is unconscionable.

  42. ekstase

    Thanks for the link. I’m all for plurality of religion, but when your beliefs incorporate the ownership of other people’s body parts, you have exited religion and moved into an entirely new category.

  43. Alex morfesis

    “Hold our coats while americans fight”…john kerry trying to talk sense to syrian oppo fembot who seem to want a bay of pigs type smoke & mirrors force “los americanos” to do the fighting after the revoltistas throw a few firecrackers…
    wikileex audio release…

    Hold our coats while americans fight…(and die)…

    $o that $yrian$ can then live without a$$$ad…

    The fembot had zero interest in actually convincing her fellow syrians not to vote for a$$$ad by participating in an electoral process…

    Lets you and him fight…

    There needs to be an international conference on settlement of borders…

    Syria is a fake country, slapped together as a taking by the french in the conversion of ottoman oil fields and economic hegemony to the french and brits…

    The way too fast collapse of the ussr left too many ethnic russian enclaves in former and now independent political states…

    During the cuban missle crisis, china took it upon itself to invade kashmir and keep about 25% of it by force…no one at the un seems to even imagine china should hand it back…

    between balochistan and kashmir the world ignores pakistan and risks waking up one morning trying to figure out how 25 nuclear bombs were launched and landed overnite with the sudden ecological damage done to the atmosphere with a three hour skirmish between china, inda and pakistan…

    Turkeys martime map boxes her in around the Aegean and cyprus, with a tiny inverse pyramid area just peeking out half way between rhodes and cyprus as the only economic zone

    There are many hotspots globally that need to be dealt with…

    There is no need to have a “single” somalia as there was no historic basis for it…same with iraq…it is a british invention…

    There needs to be a final borders conference…

    Or…the world devolves into a game of warlords, corporate, military and financial warlords…except instead of too many tommy guns from the last century we have to(o)mm(an)y atom bombs…

    The world anti communist league(now wlfd) is still out there trying to cause trouble…still looking to deal with the mindshaft gap…or as their former fellow heg said soon after the “agreement$” were made and he arrived back in chile and magically stood from his wheelchair and exclaimed…

    Mein dummkopf I can walk…

    The iran contra krewe is still out there looking to stir up troubles…

    Oil for food…BNL helping saddam with a few billion dollars of laundering…the assistant manager of the nyc hq usa operations of bnl is living nicely in naples florida…his fingerprints washed away…

    Bumped into his son in the tampabay area…lawyer married into a corporate law family…working as the sidekick lawyer to a “professional” receiver who is a member of the upstanding citizens brigade…forbes magazine runs stories for his employee at the law firm…the receiver is a self proclaimed expert on fcpa..honest man that he is…forbes story mentioned some scam “ponzi” operation…ripping off people on some tv lazer for nfl football…nowhere in the forbes article did it mention the receiver was the lawyer for one of the scam artists…but that fine upstanding receiver comes from a well connected republican family that politically owns a part of north carolina…even have schools named for them…dad was so important he was a guest at the ford whitehouse for the bicentenial…oh…and receivers dad was the fbi agent in charge in nyc during ww2 who cut the deal and managed the relationship with organized crime…

    The power doesn’t fall too far from the tree…

    time to make the donuts…

  44. RMO

    The article about the poet who found that the questions asked about her own poems by standardized tests were nonsensical was great until:

    “The only way to stop this nonsense is for parents to stand up and say, no more. No more will I let my kid be judged by random questions scored by slackers from Craigslist’

    Just couldn’t get through an entire article without pouring some condescension and hatred on the people forced to take these awful jobs because of the terrible job market I guess. That kind of turned my stomach.

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