Links 2/8/17

What cats can teach us about how to live New Statesman (J-LS)

The Alley Cats of Istanbul Paris Review (Joe H). I met one outside the Hagia Sophia. It was a tabby, but with stripes much wider than on its typical North American cousins, making it look suitably exotic.

Genetics Is Giving Way to a New Science of Life Independent Science News (Jonathan L)

If You’ve Experienced a Digital Border Search, Tell Us Your Story Electronic Frontier Foundation (furzy). Any affected readers, please pipe up.

Indian IT sector alarm over US work visa threat Financial Times

NATO troops deploy in Lithuania, underscoring commitment to defence Reuters

When the US feared Yugoslavia’s resistance against the IMF tyranny failed evolution


Israeli Army Preventing Palestinians From Working Their Lands Near Two West Bank Outposts Haaretz. Frosty Zoom says Google the headline if you need to.

White House weighs designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group Reuters. Resilc: “You mean the same one fighting side by side against ISIS with American troops in Mosul?”

Iranian Oil Will Not Be Stopped By Trump OilPrice

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

These smart TVs were apparently spying on their owners Washington Post (resilc)

Trump Transition

Court Grills Lawyers on Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Wall Street Journal

Trump Travel Ban Provokes Harsh Questions by U.S. Appeals Court Bloomberg

DeVos defeat just the start for reeling Democrats Politico

Senate votes to silence Warren after speech against Sessions The Hill. Wowsers. Her offense was quoting Coretta Scott King on Session’s history in Alabama. The Republicans have realized that Warren’s Senate performances have a powerful afterlife on YouTube and they have decided to shut that down.

Donald Trump’s disapproval rating now at 54%, Gallup reports Boing Boing (resilc)

Task force backs Trump’s tough line on China trade Financial Times

Exclusive: White House eying executive order targeting ‘conflict minerals’ rule – sources Reuters (resilc). Lordie.

First on CNN: US military to rent space in Trump Tower CNN (Scott)

Trump may need Japanese, Chinese help to rebuild American infrastructure Asia Times (furzy)

GOP Plan to Overhaul Tax Code Gets Held Up at the Border Wall Street Journal

Lawsuit Reveals Melania Trump Saw Presidency as Potential Profit Machine Common Dreams (sherry). Jeez, does Trump like overly aggressive lawyers with PR tin ears? You do need to be able to argue damages in defamation cases, but why not claim that this would hurt Melania’s ability to sell book rights (as Hillary did for a $4 million advance)?

In central California, it’s neighbour versus neighbour on Trump Guardian (Joe H)

‘We have not retracted’: CNN shoots down Sean Spicer’s latest lie about Kellyanne Conway Raw Story (furzy)

White House ramping up search for communications director after rocky start for Spicer CNN (furzy)

Where was all this leftist energy during Obama’s presidency? The Week (Sid S, Darius)

2016 Post Mortem

The Lemming Democrats Dissent. Important. Focuses on Dem over-reliance on upscale suburban women voters.

The Great God Trump and the White Working Class Jacobin. UserFriendly: “If you can get past the occasional annoying dig at Trump voters it has a decent​ analysis of how the Dems lost.”

Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy Guardian. Joe H: “Robbie Mook! What credibility does this man have? Hillary Clinton blessings? The other quetiion is why would the Guardian publish such C..p?”


Republicans fear for their safety as Obamacare protests grow Politico

US Army to grant Dakota pipeline permit BBC

An extra loyalty oath in Cupertino schools? Nah Mercury News (DS). More creeping authoritarianism.

Roosevelt Institute staff petitions to unionize Medium. The irony that the workers felt they needed to unionize should not be lost.

How Corporate Dark Money Is Taking Power on Both Sides of the Atlantic George Monbiot, Independent (RR)

Billionaire “Oracle” Warns Trump’s “Erratic” Behavior Could Spell Disaster for America Vanity Fair (resilc)

This activist group is trying to oust Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook’s chairman Washington Post (furzy)

This Is How Out-Of-Whack US Trade Relationships Really Are Wolf Richter

The “Motley Crew” of Heterodox Economists Freaking Out France’s Theoclassical Economists Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

Fixing the World #2: Moral Calculus Ian Welsh

Class Warfare

Republicans Are Set to Destroy Iowa’s Labor Unions New Republic (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus video. Robert H: “‘Rabbit Growls and Thumps When Petting Stops.’ I didn’t know that rabbits could verbalize.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Roger Smith

      Regarding this, I am having a hard time figure out why exactly I should care about what Warren was going to or was not allowed to say at a hearing for a confirmation that is going to happen regardless… other than the obvious “I am liberal hear me roar #LetLizSpeak” tribalism.

      If Elizabeth Warren wanted to speak so badly she should have done so when it could have made a difference (for Sanders-again policy, not person). Instead she (like Planned Parenthood) cast her bet for a losing player, potentially ruining life for many in the selfish gamble. Now they want to act outraged? Thanks Liz.

      She should give up this pointless chest beating and submit legislation to reinstate Glass Steagall and other New Deal banking policies. Start the Post Office Bank Liz, do something! We need tangible benefits, not Democrat rallying.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Here in AZ, one of my Democrat friends is a freshman legislator. She just introduced a public banking bill.

        1. Roger Smith

          It just blows my mind how easy it would be for these people to sweep the legislative branch if they weren’t such dishonest grifters. They are fundamentally unable to address the solution because it undermines their political identity. Now we get to listen to the reawakened or re-emboldened Daily Show crowd for however many years.

          1. reslez

            I don’t know if it would be easy. Haven’t we seen lots of research that shows the person who spends the most almost always wins the election? I’m not saying it’s impossible to win without rich donors but it certainly seems like the most reliable method.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        …… I am having a hard time figure out why exactly I should care about what Warren was going to or was not allowed to say at a hearing for a confirmation that is going to happen regardless….

        Funny you should say that. This morning on msnbs, Steve Schmidt (republican political “strategist”) characterized as “delusional” the idea that Warren has any sort of constituency outside of her state base voters.

        Now I don’t know if that’s true, but I suspect that what national credibility she has / had was somewhat squandered when she refused to endorse Bernie, and went on to push the “nasty woman” meme on clinton’s behalf. At some point, political calculations have consequences.

        1. nycTerrierist

          Same here.
          After she snubbed Bernie and went full ‘pantsuit’, I take her grandstanding with a big grain of salt.

            1. Roger Smith

              ‘Nah that sounds way too simple. Needs more “nuance”. For example, how can private business make a profit off of this?’

              Thank for the link! That would be great if it worked out.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            Same, but I’d still vote for her in 2020 over Booker or any of the other truly pathetic neoliberal options they’ll doubtlessly serve up

        2. Anne

          Was not a fan of the “nasty woman” tirade, nor of the meme in general; I think she made the mistake of thinking this was how to appeal to the female vote, when in reality, we are less about wanting or needing labels than we are about, you know, the actual issues that affect us, specifically, and affect us as human beings, generally.

          I think her national credibility did take a hit when she endorsed Clinton, and for me, anyway, I was turned off by the clear political calculation that went into her decision. On the other hand, I felt like maybe she believed that she could push Clinton in a better direction from the inside, where it might stick, than Sanders would have from the outside, where Clinton might defensively dig in her heels. Sadly, the only thing that happened was that Clinton made her own political calculations that turned out to be horribly off (and even if her calculations had been spot-on, I never trusted that she would hold to any of the populist, Sanders-type policies she made a tepid show of getting on board with).

          However, I think there may be some reluctant forgiveness of Warren, now that we see Trump coming into full and florid flower, and she is, at least, saying the right things, even if, as it has been pointed out, they amount to window-dressing on matters whose outcome is not much in question. I have every expectation that Sessions will be confirmed, and I think he may even get a few Democratic votes – Manchin and perhaps, Heitkamp (who might as well be Republicans). But I think it matters that he will go through with an overwhelming vote of no-confidence being hung around his neck. I suppose there is some flickering bit of hope that he could rise above his record in an effort to prove all the no-voters wrong, but he’s been nominated because of that record, so I doubt he will disappoint his supporters.

          But I digress. I know people are disappointed that all the Dems are doing is talking – literally – but at least they are not deferring to the notion that elections have consequences and presidents are entitled to have the Cabinets of their choosing.

          I thought McConnell’s invoking of an obscure rule that had never been used was low even for them – if your president’s nominees are so unacceptable that you have to game the process in order to get them through, it might mean it’s the nominees that are the problem, not the Senators whose job it is to vet them.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            As a dyed-in-the-wool, formerly democratic, northern-born-and-bred white female, I’ll readily admit to an almost genetic suspicion of old, white, southern male politicians like sessions. And that includes william jefferson clinton.

            Honestly, the very accent sets my teeth on edge, and sets my bullshit meter to “danger ahead” level.

            Having said that, even I will have to concede the incoherence of “forgiving” warren for transgressions in the very recent past, and refusing to “forgive” sessions his transgressions in the 80’s. No single political party or politician has earned a monopoly on personal or policy “evolution.”

            Obvious bias and emotion pollutes political argument and diminishes its power to an extent that cannot be tolerated in these critical times, and should be avoided at all costs.

        3. DanB

          “I suspect that what national credibility she has / had was somewhat squandered when she refused to endorse Bernie, ”

          I’ve noted the following here before, but it’s worth repeating: when I met Warren in August 2011, as she was “deciding” whether or not to run for the Senate, I asked her, “Why do you want to book passage on a sinking ship? You’ll be obliged to do as Obama and the DNC command you. And this will eventually wreck your reputation as on the side of the common person.” She merely shrugged her shoulders as a dismissive non-reply.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            At the very least, that deflated enthusiasm.

            Worse, it divided and made plenty disillusioned about any progress or hope.

      3. Vatch

        submit legislation to reinstate Glass Steagall and other New Deal banking policies

        She did that in the previous Congress, and when the nomination activity calms down, I suspect she will do so in the current Congress.

        1. Vatch

          By the way, Marcy Kaptur has introduced such a bill in the House (where they aren’t overwhelmed by nomination frenzy). If your Representative has co-sponsored the bill, please call and thank her or him. If she or he hasn’t co-sponsored it, call and ask that she or he do so. Even though the Republican 2016 platform called for the restoration of Glass Steagall, only one of the 26 co-sponsors is a Republican (Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3]). All the rest are Democrats.

          Representative contact information:

      4. Lupemax

        yeah it’s always all grandstanding for Liz and the dems in general. Nothing positive. Little for the people.

      5. Bill

        Totall agree, she’s a big disappointment to us Bernie fans.

        Now blends into the DC Pol groups, all talk and bluster, no action…..”….full of sound and fury, signifying nada”……..or something like that.

      6. Goyo Marquez

        Not just, not supporting Bernie, but not holding the Clintonistas accountable after the election, and participating in all the crazy justifying of Hillary’s loss. They really call her sincerity, integrity into question.

      7. jinbaltimore

        Ignoring the substance of the King letter as it relates to Sessions now in order to go after its messenger (Warren) for an endorsement she made four months ago, one Sanders echoed. (sigh)

        Would you have preferred it if Bernie read the letter himself?

        1. Bunk McNulty

          Little Purity Police action here? The cause may have been lost, but I thought quoting Coretta King to the Smirking Turtle was actually poignant. But then I’m just a sentimental softie.

      8. Katharine

        The point is not that it was Warren. The point is that a senator who legitimately had the floor was silenced on what appear to have been spurious, partisan grounds.

        1. RUKidding

          There’s that, and I think that’s a valid point to be made. I’m as cynical about and skeptical of Warren as nearly everyone else here and for most of the already stated reasons.

          However, it was wrong for Warren to be silenced in this way for this reason. Doesn’t matter if she was grandstanding. She was making some valid points. It was wrong to shut her up on this matter.

      9. Dave

        The Trumpaphobes are really starting to remind me of Evangelical Christians.

        “Follow our preachings or you’ll go to hell.”
        The MSM is their Word of God.

        Soon they’ll be talking in tongues and vocalizing what their animals are saying about Trump. Did you know that Chinese Energy Flow Medicine for Dogs is the next big thing?

        Have already noticed a return of speaking to the dead in the Woowoo Spirit Dream Analysis Massage- Therapy Healer Yoga Industrial Complex in Bohemia, which of course continually rants against Trump in from their inner wisdom.

      10. RabidGandhi

        I don’t understand the feelings of betrayal viz. Liz Warren. She is the Senate’s best voice on financial issues, but anywhere outside of that she is a right winger down the line, true to her Republican past. eg:

        So as far as expectations go, I expect Liz Warren to be a relatively solid voice in the Senate on financial issues; may she continue to post youtube tongue lashings. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

        Then again, I never understood the sense of betrayal viz. Obama, another dyed in the wool RWNJ.

        1. e methe

          I agree regarding Warren; as a 2008 Kucinich supporter I still felt betrayal and surprise when Obama began his appointment of deplorables. So I’m naive.

          Naked Capitalism provides important analysis and a forum to discuss the dysfunction and societal destructive mechanism the purveyors of casino-gangster capitalism have instituted globally. Few in the media sphere are capable or have the courage and integrity to deliver this information.

          Like much of the rest of the world, under the disruptive stress of a breakdown of the political process by billionaire oligarchs, the US is spiraling ever further into an Orwellian and Kafkaesque nightmare that now includes the recent election, Trump and the accretion of his administration.

          There may have been a brief moment when the Trump Administration’s intentions deserved a hearing. Now with the Administration’s aggressive continued disputation of factual reality, aversion to constitutional adherence, horrific cabinet appointments, the incipient attacks on the judiciary that counterbalance executive power, the muzzling of dissent within the legislative branch and saber rattling, that moment has passed. The constant refrain to compare past administration’s crimes with Trump’s gang going forward inoculates against the outrage felt by those vulnerable groups initially subjected to the virus. Remembering history is critically important but it should not be used to undermine dissent.

          It is readily conceded that the powers that be, under the Obama administration, continued the betrayal of the people by aligning with Wall street against Main street and by continuing extra judicial detention and drone murder. The door to lawless executive rule, left open by Obama, has now ushered in an administration, ostensibly headed by a know-nothing demagogue, likely to be relegated to a Punch and Judy sideshow puppet, while Pence and the serious sociopaths go to work. Trump is a useful distraction for the TPTB to finish the dismantling of the rule of law. This is an ongoing global project and it is currently succeeding, voices of dissent are being snuffed out everywhere in a wave of criminal oligarchic reaction to the mild restraints on greed and exploitation instituted by a sprinkling of leftist governments.

          Much of the NC commentariat, whose outrage at the Democratic establishment is understandable, have become an echo chamber, programmed by an algorithm that outputs a disturbing binary ‘but’ to critique of Trump; i.e. the ever more useless flip side response that the Clinton-Obama administrations were roughly equivalent in awfulness.

          Some had hoped that Trump would be the less effective of two evils. Effective or not, he appears to be the gateway figurehead to a frightening phalanx of the minions of the criminal billionaire class and totalitarian militarists. US Americans for much of the last seventy years have been spared the historical reality of poverty and war that much of the world has been subjected to, allowing the ensuing consequences of their bad political choices to be ignored until recently.

          The much misused aphorism ‘to not let the perfect be the enemy of good’ has a useful application, particularly now. To reject alliance with liberals and progressives whose purity is not 100% is absurd pearl clutching in the face of the resurgent onslaught. Struggle includes mistakes, discourse and education. Expecting purity from politicians like Sanders or Warren is unrealistic; failure to except that the job description for politicians includes compromise is to abdicate any participation at the state and national level if not the local. There are no virgin births in politics.

          1. jinbaltimore

            Thank you for this. I think battles are going to be micro-oriented going forward. Allies are clearly…currently unclear.

    2. RenoDino

      Senator Sessions voted in favor of reauthorizing the expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

      The King letter was from 1985. Back then Bill Clinton and Obama were against gay marriage. Some people do change their views over time. This is a good thing.

      Going after a fellow senator in this manner is a stunt and the end result was deliberate and predictable. Better to go after someone like Price, who is very vulnerable, and carry the torch for universal single payer that benefits all Americans. Of course, this requires putting down the identify politics crugel if only for a minute.

      1. Vatch

        The 2006 bill passed the Senate by a vote of 98-0. I don’t think Sen. Sessions deserves much credit for doing what everyone else did. He deserves blame for his ardent support for civil asset forfeiture.

        As for Tom Price, his nomination isn’t currently being debated, but it will be soon, so call your Senators and ask them to vote against both Jeff Sessions and Tom Price.

    3. Knifecatcher

      What a dumb move by the R’s. If they had just let her read the letter it would have been immediately forgotten. Haven’t they heard of the Streisand effect?

      1. Vatch

        Thank you! Somehow, I had never heard of the Streisand Effect, but now I know about it. As Katharine said yesterday, one never knows what one will learn here at Naked Capitalism!

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Many times, I feel the same about people reacting to Trump’s tweets or utterances.

        “Just let him say he saved 1,000 jobs in Ohio, instead of 637 or whatever.” Now, you sound like you are unhappy he saved jobs at all (impression we are talking about here).

        How many of us get that upset about false unemployment numbers, or false GDP numbers? Oh well, we will wait for a revision later.

      3. Lambert Strether

        Again, both Warren and McConnell were riling up the base with performative speech.

        Meanwhile, Sanders is pushing single payer by debating Cruz, and will be supporting Nissan workers in Mississippi.

        So guess who got the hash tags and the online hysteria?

      1. KurtisMayfield

        If they are spending recourses “driving the narrative” here that means you are winning.

  1. OIFVet

    Re: Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy Guardian. I love the title because it confirms what many of us here have long known: the US is not a democracy. Respect for Robby Mook for having the guts to say it in the MSM, albeit accidentally and with the help of possibly mischievous editor.

    1. cocomaan

      The editor also forgot to append to Robby’s “I ran Clinton’s campaign” the second half, “into the ground.”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        2000 Nader
        2002 9/11 hurt our campaigns
        2004 Iraq and the money advantage
        2006-2008 nothing happened because Clinton Inc was sidelined
        2010 -tough environment
        2012 Presidents rarely have midterm coattails
        2014-just wait for Hillary and ignore the results
        2016 Russia, deplorables, Comey, emails, he-man hatin’ women’s clubs, but please don’t look at the Clinton gang.

        It’s no wonder even Jeb thought he could run given the state of the Democratic Party.

        1. KurtisMayfield

          It’s amazing that they can keep their powder dry for 16 years. You would think that it would have been used once!

    2. Isolato

      I can’t stand this nuttiness about the Russians anymore. The Germans just moved a armored battalion into Lithuania (200 tanks and other armored vehicles). We just moved an armored BRIGADE into Poland. Apparently it would have taken a train 37 miles long to carry all the equipment. We have Russia completely surrounded with weapons and spend 10X what they do on “defense’. What is wrong with us? What did they EVER do to us?

      There are citizens in Russia, still alive today who remember the last time tanks rolled into Poland. 22 million of them were not given the opportunity to remember.

        1. Isolato


          There certainly were some “proxy” wars…I was in Angola in the 1990s, and there was that kinda’ “Internationale” thing. But I’m struggling to think of one armed confrontation that resulted in a single American death…WE were the ones who yelled “Communist Menace” at the end of WWII (and thanks for your help beating the Nazis, you commie tools!). As I said the other day…they aren’t even communists anymore and they took God back. FWIW.

        2. Fiver

          ‘Well, there was the Cold War, which did have at least two sides, like all great power rivalries.’

          No. One side always had the preponderance of power, and that was/is the US. The nuclear standoff in no way prevented the US from building a global empire the Russians could not, and can not contest – and they’ve always known it. The Russians have been ‘on defense’ for 2 centuries now.

          1. Gorgar Laughed

            > The Russians have been ‘on defense’ for 2 centuries now.

            Tell that to the Hungarians.

            1. Isolato

              Well, yes,

              Just like the US in the Western Hemisphere ( Thank you James Monroe!) great powers will always seek to surround themselves w/compliant buffer states that can hopefully even be economically exploited. It is our armed push right up to the borders of Russia though that is completely insane. The link today refers to drills for nuclear war. Right. That’ll work out well.

              We are spoiling for a fight. Terrorism just doesn’t churn the arsenal fast enough.

      1. Tigerlily

        > There are citizens in Russia, still alive today who remember the last time tanks rolled into Poland

        There are Poles too.

        They remember that they were Red Army tanks on their way to annex half of their country to the USSR.

    3. susan the other

      It makes sense that the Guardian and other media outlets that keep harping on the Russians are doing so in a coordinated fashion and this means they have an agenda. Since no evidence for blaming Russia has turned up, I would imagine they are doing this to hide the true culprits who fed Wikileaks – an insider/s, no doubt with quite an organization in support.

  2. I Have Strange Dreams

    Russia hacked the US election… The other quetiion is why would the Guardian publish such C..p?”

    Let me help you out there, lambert old pal. From Guardian’s Facebook page:

    Company Overview
    The world’s leading liberal voice, since 1821

    There it is in black and white, digital print. They are the leading liberal voice, as in the original British meaning of the word. As in famine in Ireland and India killing millions because laissez-faire (Freedom!), horrific working conditions for most (Liberty!), but the emerging bourgeois get to vote (Equality!). Yippee! Go Liberalism!

    From Wiki:

    The development into maturity of classical liberalism took place before and after the French Revolution in Britain, and was based on the following core concepts: classical economics, free trade, laissez-faire government with minimal intervention and taxation and a balanced budget. Classical liberals were committed to individualism, liberty and equal rights. The primary intellectual influences on 19th century liberal trends were those of Adam Smith and the classical economists, and Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.

    Whoever got the idea that the Guardian was a leftist publication needs help with remedial thinking skills. They are new Labour, new Dem, neo-liberal liberals.

    1. Eureka Springs

      They are new Labour, new Dem, neo-liberal liberals

      Excellent points. Might as well add Progressive to the line quoted. It’s where they all end up.

  3. Darius

    Am I correct that Republican hostility towards Iran comes from three sources? The big one in my mind is a grudge over the hostage crisis that ended 36 years ago. The CIA overthrow of Mossadegh gives Iran reason for a much bigger grudge. There is also neocon embarrassment about transferring Iraq from Saddam to the Iranians. Finally they’re being played by Netanyahu, who wants to distract attention from the Palestinians.

    Trump is dancing with those that brung him. The right can’t think straight about Iran. Except those that have straight up bad intentions.

    1. nechaev

      only three sources? think you left out the wahabis and all their gazillions of influence-buying petrodollars

    2. pretzelattack

      the right danced with iran during the hostage crisis, and after reagan won sold them weapons. the neocons didn’t have such power in those days on the right.

    3. RabidGandhi

      I’d also add that it goes back to Brzezinski’s ‘Regional Policeman’ policy that had the Shah’s Iran as the US’s cop in the gulf region. The US poured arms and money into Iran, and they were extremely offended when the revolution upended their entire mideast strategy. The hostages were just icing on the cake– it was the revolution itself that made Islamic Republic the neocons’ mortal enemy.

      vid. Leveretts, Going to Teheran, p. 47.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Exactly right. US pseudo-democracy means two (and only two) vetted Depublicrat candidates at home. Whereas hardscrabble Third Worlders only need one candidate — OUR candidate.

        We gave them the Shah, who loved the Iranian people like brothers. Then they ejected him, so we will visit hell upon these apostates, yea, unto the seventh generation!

        More details at AIPAC’s “Three Days of Hate for Iran” (March 26-28th) in DC. :-)

    4. DJG

      Darius: What you have explained is the general U.S. hostility toward Iran. Hillary Clinton showed the same nonchalant ineptitude in analyzing the situation.

      And the bigger reason? The Iranians don’t want outsiders meddling in their internal affairs. But that is considered irrational.

    5. Dogstar

      Republican and hostility are virtually synonymous. You think they need a reason? They are angry and hostile towards anything and everything. Its a personality trait.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Yeah kind of anachronistic how “neocons” got switched into “Republicans” there. Aren’t David Frum and Max Boot leading the #Resistance?

  4. mad as hell.

    We all knew that the DeVos hearing and confirmation was a cruel joke on public education. Seeing Joe Lieberman’s mug in the background only confirmed the obvious.

    ” Have you no decency?” and “I see dead people!” or thought were dead.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yeah, why didn’t Joe have the decency to become a movie star billionaire like his Y2K presidential running mate? Here he is, 17 years later. And he is a mere escort.

      1. Dave

        Disney didn’t need him. They could Computer Graphic Interface Eeyore.

        Lieberman is The Reason that Al Gore lost in 2000.

        Here’s a nightmare ticket for you: Clinton/Lieberman.

    2. hreik

      Former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) tonight introduced Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to the Senate HELP Committee. Lieberman lavishly praised DeVos, but failed to inform the American people that his law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, “have represented Trump in all manner of matters since at least 2001.

      From Huffpo

  5. leftover

    RE: Where was all this leftist energy during Obama’s presidency?
    See “Rabbit Growls and Thumps When Petting Stops.”

      1. leftover

        Neither the neoliberal centrism promoted at Firedoglake, (at least prior to 2010 when they banned me for criticizing ObamaCare®), nor the progressive reformism on display here comes close to what Cooper describes as the “leftist energy” seen today.

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      My take: if you want you people, even the committed authoritarians, to turn on you the easiest and oftentimes only way to do this is to expose them to danger from their folk devils.

      The post-New Deal Democratic Party got its justification with its promise to protect them from the deplorables. If the Democrats would just STFU about imperialism and dark money and austerity and the police state, then that evil, EVIL Reagan would never return. Well, guess what? Despite all of those sell-outs and looking the other way, Reagan did return, and worse then ever. The covenant was broken.

      Animal Farm will put up with all manners of indignities from the pigs, but if Mr. Jones somehow came back and reclaimed their farm due to Napoleon’s incompetence then Boxer and Muriel would eat his guts right in front of their children.

  6. Anne

    Why is there such an aversion to use of the word “lie?”

    CBS News: Fact check: Trump makes false claim about murder rate

    Washington Post
    : Trump makes false statement about U.S. murder rate to sheriffs’ group Trump Says U.S. Murder Rate at Highest Level in 45 Years. That’s Not Even Close to Being True

    It’s not just the headlines, it’s the content. We had CBS News on last night, and not once did Pelley call Trump’s claim what it was: a lie.

    False claims are lies.

    False statements are lies.

    Why is this being prettied up? Too confrontational? Fear of being cut out of the daily delivery of more lies?

    Apparently, we have a president now whose appeal is partially attributable to his refusal to be politically correct, so why shouldn’t the media do him the honor of not pulling punches and telling it like it is?

    What does it say about someone’s mental health that he would stand up in front of members of law enforcement and lie about crime statistics? Does he think these people aren’t aware of what the statistics are?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, go look at a dictionary. A lie is an intentionally false statement.

      Making shit up is not a lie. It is annoying as hell, but that is a different topic. Unless you can show Trump knew what the murder rate was and was deliberately misrepresenting it, you have no case. Perhaps he did but you haven’t established that.

      And separately, of all the bad stuff Trump and the Republicans are up to, this is the statement you get upset about? Honestly, this sort of lack of discernment regrading what is really important and worth fighting and what isn’t is why people opposing Trump are going to get nowhere. You need to focus on targets you can get people rallying around.

      1. pricklyone

        Has it really come to this?
        If you do not know a specific number, and you “make one up”, you indeed are intentionally making a false statement. You know that you do not know, and represent the made up number as fact.
        Sorry, Yves. Sounds like a Bill Clinton “depends on what is is” argument.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Sorry, Trump is a consumer of a lot of right wing garbage. He could have heard or even have been told a nonsense factoid that he is repeating. I too often myself draft things that I think are correct and then check (usually before posting!) and find my recollection of figures or facts is way way off.

          1. Katharine

            But if something does slip past and then somebody offers a correction, you check yourself and acknowledge it. Trump doesn’t seem willing to do that, ever, witness his doubling down on millions of fraudulent votes, inter alia. It is that refusal to reconsider that his information could be wrong that is most perturbing. What we ought to call it I’m not sure–lying, pathological lack of reality contact? But it isn’t honest in any sense I know.

            1. Waking Up

              After decades of outright lies and “making shit up” as Yves called it from politicians (including Presidents) of both parties, perhaps a silver lining will be that more people will start checking the veracity of statements and increase critical thinking skills.

          2. JohnnyGL

            Yves, I think you’re right about this. So much absurd outrage over “what Trump said”. All presidents and all politicians lie and mislead and shovel horse manure. The only difference I see is tactical.

            Obama was very good at skillfully covering up with non-relevant true statements and redirecting attention away from the awful stuff he was doing away from the limelight.

            Trump carelessly throws blatantly false statements up as a smokescreen to keep the press busy while he goes about his business.

            The real outrage for the media is that they’re being treated disrespectfully. Whether they realize it or not, they’re not demanding the truth. They’re demanding better horse manure that they themselves can comfortably re-sell to the public. When Trump makes statements that can be proven false with 10 seconds of googling, that bothers them. Media much prefer Obama’s skillful smokescreens.

          3. pricklyone

            I don’t want you to think I am arguing just to argue. I’ll make one more, and get out.

            If I was to substitute “Obama” for “Trump”, and “insurance company projections” for “right wing garbage” in the above statement, does that make “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” any less a lie?
            He has been called out on his ‘misstatement’ about crime statistics in the past. If he continues to do it, it seems intentional.

            Whether DJT does it, BHO does it, HRC with her predator crap, does it, it is lies in service of a larger agenda. This time it is a righty agenda.

      2. Anne

        As it happens, Yves, I listened to Maggie Hassan speaking about her objections to Jeff Sessions as AG as I was driving in to work this morning (and she was so eloquent and her words so riveting, I must have driven on auto-pilot), and found myself just overwhelmed with sadness and anger and fear, especially coming on the heels of the absolutely egregious censoring of Elizabeth Warren, so perhaps my focus on – what am I allowed to call it? – the never-ending BS, coming out of the mouths of any- and everyone associated with Trump was all I had the mental energy to mention here this morning.

        How do we hold people accountable? By calling them on their penchant for making shit up. By not allowing them to get away with gaslighting the public by pretending what they say has value.

        I think we have seen that when we don’t hold people accountable, they tend to try to take things even further, and I don’t believe we should be allowing Trump – or anyone else – the freedom to do that.

        And I also believe that much of what Trump and the GOP seem to want to foist on us is built on these kinds of alternative facts; Trump’s pattern is to cite false information in service of his agenda (which, in my opinion, makes it more likely than not that he is intentionally misrepresenting them the facts), in this case because he is itching to increase police power. If those alternative facts are exposed, isn’t it harder to do that?

        It’s all connected, in my opinion; you can’t separate the tactics from the agenda, so it’s a multi-front problem that requires a multi-front attack. It’s all important, and if, this morning I chose to focus on this slice of it doesn’t make me ignorant of the big picture in any way, at least not to the extent your response to me suggests I am.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I’m sorry to have been hard on you. But the MSM is whipping people up over secondary and tertiary issues re Trump precisely because it is profitable for them. Trump outrage sells, and the more stories, the better.

          You might try listening to music rather than news on the radio and trying to focus on important Trump stories. It will be hard at the outset, but don’t read more than the headline and maybe the subhead (even though those can be slanted) and read more only on stories on the bigger issues, and on things related to real actions. For instance, a lot of his executive orders really are not much more than press releases restating things he’s already said he’d do, so there actually isn’t any new information content. But they are great ways to keep readers upset and therefore engaged.

          1. cocomaan

            I actually signed up for the White House mailing list simply because the news is worthless. Donald thrives on the chaos.

            I know I’m not the first to say it, but it’s worth repeating for newcomers: Trump opens the floodgates of bullshit so wide that the media cannot react quickly enough and get caught on low hanging tweets.

            Just look at this reflective November article by the NYT, taking a hard look at its own practices when it comes to Tweets. They know exactly what is happening. But they can’t stop it, because they are broke and need the ad revenue coming from non-investigative, flavor of the moment stories, like today’s article about Trump retweeting an article saying “SMART!”.

            Read the executive orders. They are on the WH website. Watch the hearings. Primary sources versus secondary sources.

          2. Anne

            The best outlet I have is spending time with the grandkids, and I can never get enough of that!

            I have, at times, wondered why I can’t be like those people who don’t pay any attention to what’s going on, outside of their bubble of work, home and family – I sometimes think I would be happier, but I just can’t seem to become that person. Some of that is because I don’t think one can ever have enough information, but a big part of it stems from an experience I had some years ago.

            When my younger daughter was in the 3rd grade, the beautiful, old and beloved elementary school she attended and from which her older sister had “graduated” the year before, burned down, and the hunt began for a site for the county to build a new school (in the meantime, the kids got bused to a somewhat-nearby middle school that was underenrolled to the point where they could physically separate the older kids from the elementary-age ones). Among the sites considered was one the county was offered – for free – and that happened to sit adjacent to an old Superfund site where a Bausch & Lomb facility had once been located. Yeah, seemed like a really great place to move dirt around and put a school on…not.

            Public meetings followed, which were well-attended by a community that loved the old school, and wanted tthe original school to be rebuilt in order to maintain that small-school atmosphere on a site we didn’t have to worry about our kids getting cancer from (that plan soon was nixed as the County wanted to take advantage of the event to build a much larger school to accommodate increasing enrollment, and deemed the original site as not being topographically suited). My husband and I attended all the meetings, and I also spoke in the open-comments part of the one meeting that allowed for that.

            Reading the coverage of those meetings was shocking to me – what I saw, heard and experienced was not what was reported. Facts were mis-stated, community comments were taken out of context, we were made to seem unhinged and ungrateful for not being thrilled about a donated site saving the county a ton of money.

            That was almost 25 years ago; I’ve had little reason to trust the media in the years since.

            The new school was not built on the possibly-contaminated site, but about 1 1/2 miles away; it was not completed until several years after my daughter graduated from the “temporary” school.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Anne, you call for “holding people accountable”. I agree…let’s just be sure that means “all people”. That means we include one-term state senators who give a free pass for billionaire banker crimes and bomb kids in hospital beds, and women who loot the poorest countries on Earth (Haiti and Rwanda) and hire out to the most anti-women countries in the world as their top campaign funders.

          3. beth

            Thanks, Yves. I remind myself everyday – focus, focus, focus on the important issues you can influence. Don’t get distracted. Trump does this to signal his base and distract everyone else. I try to communicate this to others who I think might have similar values but people are getting stuck. HRC used this strategy thinking it would put her in the White House and it didn’t.

        2. fresno dan

          February 8, 2017 at 9:26 am

          I can understand your view about Trump – and I very, very much agree with it. I find him truly horrible, terrible, OBNOXIOUS, and just proud of being stubborn and lacking curiosity. He has the maturity of a spoiled 7 year old – really, the man is 70 years old!!! It truly says something about how someone so unaware can succeed (despite the bankruptcies, he is still rich) in this country, not only in making money but becoming president.

          But what I get so d*mn ANNOYED about (and I suspect this is true of Yves too) is, for example, practically no mention by the MSM of the fact that Obama promised being tough on wall street and being easy on homeowners – and did the EXACT opposite. WASN”T that a REAL important LIE affecting millions???? Things like expanding the Patriotic Act – DARE I SAY IT – Obama NORMALIZED so many Bush policies – again, wasn’t that a LIE? So I find the outrage about Trump a day late and a dollar short….

          Now I won’t repeat the entire Henry V quote I posted yesterday, but merely this portion:
          If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
          Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye
          When capital crimes, chew’d, swallow’d and digested…

          That is, Trumps juvenile lies and astounding and careless ignorance are very disconcerting and many are very serious, but the fact remains that Bush the II prosecuted more financial crimes (Exon, World Con) than Obama, who used the subtle, crafty, well designed PROPAGANDA methods to hide his (Obama’s) TRUE intentions and schemes – and this immiserated millions upon millions with essentially no critical analysis by the MSM (except at NC and a few other lefty sites) of what Obama was doing – weren’t those ALL LIES??? Remember Obama and single payer???? Either the MSM is fantastically stupid, or they are part of a conspiracy to advance, promote, and defend neoliberalism. So any time we are not talking about money and real benefits, we are falling into the trap that ACTING virtuous is more important than deeds.

          1. JohnnyGL


            As Yves said, some are fighting Trump for restoration, not for change. Perhaps they’re the enemy even more than Trump? I’d argue they are.

            Mostly, the media gets mad because Trump treats them disrespectfully and they can’t stand it. They want carefully crafted horse manure, not flagrantly false statements.

          2. Anne

            Oh, Dan – I couldn’t agree more. We are where we are, having to deal with a president whose buffoonery thinly masks a dangerous and regressive agenda, in large part because Obama was not held accountable by his own party or by the media. Not to mention the millions of Obama supporters who chose to excuse and defend Obama when he engaged in behavior they screamed about during the Bush years.

            I never understood that kind of blind loyalty, that inability to see the damage that was going to follow from it. Obama betrayed us on the Patriot Act, he insisted we had to look forward, not back on the banks and investment firms that nearly sent the economy into a depression, he actively worked to keep single-payer completely out of the discussion, choosing to hold back-room meetings with industry lobbyists and CEOs, prosecuted more whistleblowers than any administration in history, strengthened the security state, was responsible for thousands of deaths-by-drone, kept bad trade deals shrouded in secrecy so no one could even completely examine them.

            And that’s not even all of it.

            But I don’t agree that we have no right to be outraged now because there was little outrage then, that we gave up the right to speak out and take action. I wouldn’t mind if more people would acknowledge their complicity in allowing Obama to do the things he did, but even if they don’t, I think we should take whatever actions they are willing to be involved in now and use it to the best advantage we can milk from it. I don’t think we can afford to reject an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders now because they didn’t commit political suicide last year – we can be politically calculating, too, can’t we?

            I still maintain that if Trump was the genial family man that Obama presented as, instead of the boor he apparently is, he’d be getting away with a lot more. I do think people need to realize that all of these executive orders are not written in stone – he could issue one that declares himself King of the World and requiring all who mention his name to bow their heads and genuflect, but that’s not going to stand up to legal scrutiny. From accounts I’ve read, he hasn’t even been reading them, much less actually writing them, and has little idea what it is he’s ordering – he just loves the theatrics of the presentation.

            If he tweets out, though, that he’s going to get to the bottom of who stole the strawberries out of the presidential refrigerator, I’ll know we’re in more trouble than we bargained for…

        3. JohnnyGL

          I hear you Anne, but I think Yves’ right. You’ve gotta save your emotions otherwise it’s exhausting watching all the revolting things he says/does.

          Less news is better. Remember sources though. The emotional stories, yes, even mostly true, are usually coming from Democrats that would also prefer you don’t pay too much attention to their own record, either. Most of them have had a hand in creating this mess. Remember to think about why you’re being told what you’re being told!

          To be fair, we all get caught up from time to time. Myself included.

        4. marym

          Trump’s pattern is to cite false information in service of his agenda

          Agree completely with this and with Yves @ 9:39 that he’s a

          consumer of a lot of right wing garbage

          In fact his seemingly closest adviser outside of family is an originator and a purveyor of this right wing stuff.. Whether he knows some of it is false or not (and whether knowing it or being ignorant is the more dangerous) is debatable, but it is serving an agenda.

          For example, he’s been carrying on inaccurately about national crime statistics, talking about sending “Feds” into Chicago, and now is telling sheriffs he’s in favor of asset seizure and promising a “ruthless” drug war.

        5. lyman alpha blob

          “– what am I allowed to call it? – the never-ending BS”

          Yes that’s it! I get what you’re saying – it would be nice to see the establishment media call a lie a lie or torture torture – but I think what some are saying here is that there is a subtle difference between lying and BS.

          You might get a laugh out of this little book from Harry Frankfurt which details the distinction – On Bullshit.

      3. LarryB

        a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
        Synonyms: prevarication, falsification.
        Antonyms: truth.
        something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture:
        His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
        an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
        the charge or accusation of telling a lie:
        He flung the lie back at his accusers.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you go by #1, as Yves did, his intent has not been proven.

          If you go by #3, a false statement is a lie, then why upset over not calling them lies, but false statements?

      4. Expat

        I dunno. Trying to engage a Trump supporter in any sort of intelligent discourse generally descends into insults and attacks. Try to debate a Republican position and you get called a “fag, commie, muslim snowflake”.

        Liberals, intellectuals, and Democrats have generally taken the high road, at least compared to Fox News type representations of reality and Republican obstructionism in Congress. This does not work against Trump supporters who have a very narrow world view formed by Fox and the Church. They don’t let ideas or facts get in the way of their opinion or actions. We probably need to respond in kind.

        Calling someone a “liar” is a huge insult, probably a rare occurrence past junior high school. It is the supreme insult. Saying someone mislead or was casual with the facts is a Get Out of Jail Free card. I think if we start calling politicians, reporters, and bankers liars, we might just get some traction. It will force them to defend and justify which they don’t need to do now.

        1. sid_finster

          Odd, as I have had respectful dialogues with most (but not all) Trump supporters that I have met.

          HRC minions, not so much.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            This is due to the reasoning behind supporting the two candidates. People had reasons for supporting Trump from his views on TPP to even Republicans who recognized that the White House is likely out of reach for traditional Republicans after Romney’s 2012 venture. Republicans are always going to vote Republican because the are Republican, but they have the semblance of reasoning behind their views.

            The reasons offered for Hillary amounted to belief in a secret Hillary, her foreign policy experience which is awful, and a view that Clinton Inc knew how to win despite how a cursory review of their experience amounts to winning a three way race in a cycle where strong Democratic candidates sat out before 41 collapsed and numerous epic defeats and under performance including the destruction of the permanent Democratic majority. Short of actually being a Republican who recognized the GOP won’t allow everyone to advance in their ranks, there was no rationale reason to vote for Hillary in the primaries that couldn’t be dismissed with even the slightest bit of effort. Hillary primary supporters are simply failures as citizens because they treated the election as an American Idol contest.

            Of course, the Hillary supporters are angry because “all the stuff that went wrong” was easy to predict if the slightest bit of effort was given. It’s why the latch onto “OMG Putin.” That line absolves them of their moral responsibility for the greatest political disaster in American history, putting forth the wife of Mr. 43%. She significantly underperformed Gore in New York in 2000 against a raving loon.

            Then of course, those same Hillary supporters couldn’t be bothered to do the actual campaign activities they would need to do to win because they had slogans.

        2. Lynne

          Funny. Do you really want to go down this road here? Trying to engage a Clinton supporter generally descends into insults and attacks. Try to debate any of their positions and you get called a “racist, homophobe, bigot, moron”.

          Liberals, intellectuals, and Democrats have generally taken the low road, supported by their very narrow world view formed by MSNBC and school indoctrination. My high school niece a few years ago could tell me all about popular myths surrounding Obama and his dedication to the good of minorities and the poor, but she is completely incapable of long division or writing a complete sentence. Incidentally, she lives in Al Franken’s district, in which he thinks she as a minority kid is not entitled to go to a good school.

          I think if we start calling commenters who mislead or are sloppy with overgeneralization that they can’t be bothered to support with any facts at all “liars” might just get some traction.

          Is that how you want to play things? For my part, I kind of like the way *most* NC commentators actually support their positions with things like links, facts, odd little things like that.

        3. Irredeemable Deplorable

          I dunno. Trying to engage anyone in the left in any sort of intelligent disxourse generally descends into insults and attackls, and inevitably leads to being called a Nazi etc within 30 seconds.

          People on the right generally take the high road, at least compared to CNN/MSNBC type representations of reality and Democrat obstructionism in Congress. This does not work against left wingers who have a very narrow world view formed by lefist media and the educational system that has fallen fully into cultural Marxist regressive thought oppression.

          I had to correct some typos in your comment.

          More seriously, I really don’t see what planet you are getting your impressions from – FB and Twitter etc are full of hysterical anti-Trump bull, 24/7, and if you identify as a Trump voter, they will call you all kinds of names, then ban you. This is the experience of everyone I know on the right, and that is the plain truth, no matter how umpalatable it may be to you.

          Personally, I have come to regard everyone on the left as an enemy of the human race, and I will be over-joyed to never vote for any candidate you support. Ever.

          I can tell you the Trump base is fully supportive of him, and we have really had it up to the sky with the whining and throwing toy infantile antics of the left.

      5. fosforos

        When you open your mouth and deliberately say something (except ironically, which would be so not Trump) you expect people to believe you, especially when there are millions of idiots ready to believe anything you say. And if its false (aka a Trumpism) you are deliberately deluding them even if you claim to believe that the nonsense you made up or mindlessly repeated has some infinitesimal chance of turning out to correspond with some fact. In plain english, a lie. So why are they afraid to call Trump a liar? Just maybe because they themselves are, by the same standards, liars just as bad (or worse than, because cleverer) as Crooked Don.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “The sun rises in the morning.”

          It was true when one was young.

          It became a lie after one reached one’s 200th birthday, a few centuries back.

    2. Carolinian

      They didn’t use the word lie for Bush Jr or Reagan so why would they start now? Plus as Yves says lie implies intent rather than mere carelessness with the truth. Using your definition the media would have to admit that many of the things they themselves put out are “lies.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am just trying to recall how early did the press start calling Obama false (as in, this or that or another false promise).

        Maybe as soon as Geithner was named to head the Treasury?

        “His promise to take on Wall Street is shown to be false with this nomination.”

      2. Gary

        It doesn’t matter what the intentions. If the press had called Reagan out when he said trees cause more pollution than industrial factories and the amount of radioactive waste from a nuclear power plant would fit under his desk (+/- 30 TONS), as unfit to be the leader of the United States because of ignorance, stupidity or dishonesty, we just might not be in the situation we find ourselves in.

        1. Carolinian

          Right, but the press doesn’t see it that way. The initial comment seemed to suggest that Trump was getting away with things others did not.

          1. Katharine

            How so? I thought it just suggested he was getting away with things he shouldn’t get away with. She didn’t mention predecessors.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It’s been an issue for the press (if they care) that we can’t trust them.

              Thus, the constant need to make sure one’s not being brainwashed with biased news. One way is to always compare with previous events.

              When absent (when not mentioning predecessors), it leaves an impression with respect to media manipulations. The skeptical reader may feel (and may be justified to feel) that it ‘seems to suggest’ a misleading conclusion (purposely- and expertly because it is we who do the concluding – planted by the press with their false or falsehood coverage).

            2. Carolinian

              One could return to that insight that the press takes Trump “literally but not seriously.” Saying untrue things is not a good, but most of his supporters seem to care more about the gist than the literal accuracy of all those tweets. As Yves says arguing over how Trump doesn’t play by the rules or over semantics distracts from what is really going on. It’s not that it doesn’t matter, but it sucks up all the oxygen.

          2. Anne

            If I can make an actual, friendly, suggestion, it would be to try not to read things that aren’t there.

            In fact, I wasn’t making a suggestion that Trump is getting away with things that others did not, I was asking why the media can’t seem to bring itself to call Trump’s alternative facts what they really are: lies. I think the media is getting closer to doing that, but I suspect it will continue to use more polite terms so as to avoid being sued.

            Nor was I somehow saying it was okay that the media gave previous presidents a pass on their own brand of false statements – of course it wasn’t. Pretty sure I’ve addressed that in other comments over time.

            The problem – well, one of them, anyway – is that there is power even in falsity; you just know there are a lot of people who reflexively believe whatever comes out of Trump’s mouth. I don’t know if it’s a case of blind loyalty, inability or disinterest in thinking for themselves, or what – but it’s out there now. The people who believe it will use it to support whatever horrible policies Trump comes up with to increase the powers of law enforcement to combat this enormous problem.

            It’s just like when Trump claimed that the “real” unemployment rate was 40-something percent. My guess is, he will someday say that when he took office, the rate was 45% and his great work has brought that down to the low single-digits. He has not, to my knowledge, ever provided any support for that clearly false number. But it’s out there. I would have preferred a better discussion about why the actual numbers do not mean all is peachy-keen (that’s a point that should have been made when Obama was president, but it wasn’t – and Obama coming out and saying, “but we need to do better,” didn’t do anything to address the real economic pain that many continue to feel – and the thing is that Trump actually picked up on that, and never needed to completely misrepresent the unemployment numbers to do it, so in my opinion, he exaggerates and misrepresents because everything with him has to be over-sized).

            It’s why people still believe Saddam was involved with 9/11, why Obama is a Kenyan socialist – because it was put out there, the media covered it, and that was that.

            1. Lambert Strether

              > I was asking why the media can’t seem to bring itself to call Trump’s alternative facts what they really are: lies.

              I just went through a ton of statements from Dean Baquet on why at the Times they’re doing just that. Of course, the Times is also the home of Judy Miller, of WMD fame. So I’m unclear why the Times has standing in this matter. Or, for that matter, most of the political class.

              Frankly, the whole controversy seems like language policing, to me. I’m also uncertain as to the practical effects. When politicians say things that are against interest or come at some personal cost, I tend to believe them more than I would otherwise. Otherwise, they say what they say. “Trump is lying!” strikes me as being very similar to “Professional wrestling is fake!”

              I know the situation is serious, I should say, but I don’t thinking putting it in a Trump-fighting frame is correct or even useful. I never thought of “trolling” being the vulgate version of “sharpening the contradictions,” but that seems to be the result of anything Trump, Master Troll, says, true or false. I mean, it’s not like Trump is the Teller Of The First Lie.

              1. Anne

                I don’t think much will be solved or accomplished if the message is limited to “Trump Lies;” I see the lies/false claims – whatever it is we’re supposed to call them – as a means of advancing an agenda – in the case of his remarks to the sheriffs, he needs to make crime/murder so large because he wants to use it to give law enforcement back the power he thinks has been unfairly taken away.

                Maybe the real problem, then, isn’t that the media can’t call something what it plainly is, it’s that they just leave so much hanging out there; for some time now, we’ve been reduced to hearing “Person X said this; in response, Person B had this to say.” Yeah, and…..?

                Here, the media would probably tell us that anything beyond reporting on what people said or what happened would veer over into the opinion side of things, and that, as we know, is just not done.

                And it’s not that I want the media to tell us what to think – they kind of do too much of that already, by shaping and editing what they do “report” so as to lead to a particular conclusion, and by deciding what not to report, as well.

                Maybe the best answer is, I need to stop watching the news, because lately, all it does is annoy me.

                1. Carolinian

                  What you are really asking is for the media to make a value judgment on Trump’s character by using the word “lie” (therefore concluding intent). They do quite a bit of fact checking already and aren’t shy about giving Trump Pinnochios etc.

                  And since Trump shows no sign of changing his ways and those ways have been attacked at length throughout the election is there that much point in pretending that if we complain enough the guy will stop being president? I’m not trying to put words in your mouth but rather saying that this isn’t a particularly productive line of attack for the left. The people who support Trump don’t care whether he lies or not and the people who hate him don’t have any power at the moment to do anything about it.

                  We should concentrate on what Trump does rather than what he says. The same advice would have applied to Obama.

                2. beth

                  Anne, I understand your reluctance to stop watching the news. I did stop watching TV news many years ago, but I continued to listen to radio news and read MSM online news on weekends. I took it as my civic duty and wanted to stay informed as I drove to and from work. Then on the weekend I read MSM news online.

                  Only after retiring, did I start to realize that I was being played. I was not actually better informed and became very angry at the inaccurate things being promulgated. I had to give it up. It was a steady diet of fear and more fear. No analysis. Same with economics.

                  My economic situation was all my fault. Yes, I did have to undergo a family dissolution, but the move across the country as the result of 3 sequential down-sizings. Then serious illness as a result of a genetic disease. On top of that, all jobs/careers require long hours just to keep them. All in all I was fighting to avoid depression and financial disaster.

                  I think this is hard for all of us and we have only so many hours in the day. Now when we realize that the fed govt. and corporations are actually taxing our incomes(through rents) as with Obamacare and absurd AT&T bills, we get angry hearing the false information/propaganda we are being fed.

                  Since I retired, I have been looking for local ways to work on solutions in my small way and ameliorate serious issues in my community in any fashion I can.

                  When my contributions seem tiny, I look around and decide that if everyone were doing as much as I am we’d have a good start on our problems.

                  I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

                  Edward Everett Hale

                  Since Trump has come on the scene I have read only one full article about him (about a journalist’s conversation with his butler) and listened to only one of his speeches early on. I keep up by reading only headlines.

            2. flora

              “, I wasn’t making a suggestion that Trump is getting away with things that others did not, I was asking why the media can’t seem to bring itself to call Trump’s alternative facts what they really are: lies. ”

              Specifiically to the word “lies”:
              Because, I think, calling them ‘lies’ would be making a claimed factual statement about Trump’s personal knowledge and intent. A claim the media could never actually prove. Thereby opening up said media to serious and expensive law suits for defamation or libel. Whereas calling them “inaccuracies” or “misstatements” is both accurate and makes no unprovable claim to know Trump’s intent, and is therefore relatively safe from litigation. It’s the same reason reporters frame some statements as questions, or frame statements as an opinion , rather than statements of fact on contentious issues about an individual person or company. e.g. ‘ Is this politician a Russkie dupe?’, vs. ‘I think the politician is a Russkie dupe’ vs ‘This politician is a Russkie dupe.’ vs Said media can’t be sued for the question or the declared opinion but can be sued for the statement.

              an aside: hope NC and others are getting somewhere in their pushback against WaPo and its propernot fake news story.

              1. Anne

                When the false claims have been brought to the attention of the person making them, and that person continues to make the claims, I don’t think you can credibly support the idea that the person making them isn’t doing so deliberately.

                Now, as we’ve seen with the inauguration photo debacle and the voter fraud debacle, what Trump does is continue to assert that he believes what he’s saying is true – sometime on the flimsy basis that “someone” told him that.

                Imagine that he was telling us the moon was made of green cheese, a claim we know to be untrue. It gets pointed out to him. He keeps saying it. So, if not a lie, what is it – a delusion? Would it be more accurate to say that the president is delusional?

                And if so, what does that say about the man with his finger on the nuclear button?

                Now with respect to the inauguration crowds, we think we know that’s all about his terribly fragile ego, and perhaps it would be easy to dismiss it. But he seems to engage in this kind of magical thinking about a lot of things – some of them are kind of important, like his claim about voter fraud that may lead to more efforts to suppress the vote.

                Truly, I am not interested in being the language police; I just think Trump’s flights of fancy are an indication of more serious problems, and if possible, I’d like someone to get a handle on them, somehow.

            3. Lynne

              It’s just like when Trump claimed that the “real” unemployment rate was 40-something percent. My guess is, he will someday say that when he took office, the rate was 45% and his great work has brought that down to the low single-digits. He has not, to my knowledge, ever provided any support for that clearly false number.
              But I don’t think that’s an indication that Trump is lying about it, but rather that he has an extraordinarily simplistic definition of unemployment. The participation rate for the non institutional civilian labor force was pretty consistently around 62% through 2016 (see An extremely simplistic (and inaccurate — if that needs to be specified) reaction is to say that means almost 40% unemployment. Of course, that’s absurd, but does that mean the person claiming it is intentionally making false statements or doesn’t understand employment figures? Note that the resulting conclusion that one should not call Trump a liar is in no way complimentary to him.

    3. Robert Hahl

      Trump Falsely Claims U.S. Murder Rate is at Highest in 40 Years

      Amy Goodman’s web site headline says “falsely” but the radio story said “President Trump met Tuesday with members of the National Sheriffs’ Association, during which he lied about the U.S. murder rate, falsely claiming it is the highest it’s been in more than four decades.”

      However, Trump bashing at every opportunity is becoming a way of life at DemNow too.

      1. Katharine

        Well, he has access to all the data, and more, he has abundant staff who could do the heavy lifting and brief him before he goes into these meetings.

        1. witters

          We might need further refinements here.

          UK Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, during the Australian ‘Spycatcher’ trial in 1986. The ‘Lawyer’ is now our own Prime Minister Trumble.

          Lawyer: What is the difference between a misleading impression and a lie?
          Armstrong: A lie is a straight untruth.
          Lawyer: What is a misleading impression – a sort of bent untruth?
          Armstrong: As one person said, it is perhaps being “economical with the truth”.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Back on Planet Japan they mostly have “company unions” which put on an annual show of militancy, then (in the Japanese hierarchical scheme of things) cut a deal with management.

      US labor lawyers tell Japanese companies that they can’t have a company union here. But it’s still the vision they have in their minds.

      Once I happened to be present in a factory in Kobe during the annual wage negotiations. As we munched from our bento boxes in the cafeteria (I still miss them little yellow pickles), the union rep got up and made an impassioned 20-minute speech.

      While I didn’t understand much of it, I understood the reaction of my Japanese colleagues: smirks and eye-rolling at a kabuki show they’d seen too many times before.

    2. Altandmain

      I think that is one important consideration. Manufacturing jobs not only have to come back, but they have to pay middle class wages and be safe places to work.

      1. Mark P

        Good news. Manufacturing jobs are coming back, will pay middle class wages, and will mostly be safe places to work.

        And there will be only a tenth as many of them – if that many – thanks to automation.

        However much job creation from Trump’s infrastructure promises actually eventuates in reality will probably be the last surge of job creation before the system falls over. Here in 2017, once you start looking at the data we are already at a place where you could run the whole global system on just 25 percent of the work force working,

        1. reslez

          If that were the case why is our infrastructure falling apart, why are there no primary care doctors and why is it impossible to find good child care providers?

          > you could run the whole global system on just 25 percent of the work force working

          I think what you’re talking about is the economy of crap, as opposed to the economy that means something.

    3. Lupemax

      Why aren’t all dims out there supporting workers and the people in general the way Bernie is? No money in it apparently.

    4. Arizona Slim

      Bernie, I sure hope you do a more convincing job in MS this year than your campaign did last year.

      1. beth

        We can’t always tell when something we do(tactic) will produce what we want it to do. Unfortunately we have to do the best we can and stick to a goal and a strategy. Nothing happens suddenly even if we think that has happened. The ground has been prepared by someone and a combination of things.

    5. JohnnyGL

      The man always picks the right battles. The focus is really impressive from him.

      Just showing up in Mississippi, outside of the election cycle, will earn some long lasting credibility.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “The reports also include photos of cars taken by private companies using automated license plate readers—billions of snapshots tagged with GPS coordinates and time stamps to help PIs surveil people or bust alibis.”

      Parking in the garage with the door closed is one defense against drive-by snoopers.

      In the dozen or so states that don’t require a front license plate (that’s freedom, son) you can park front-end out, so the drive-by snoopers see only your car’s pretty blank face. :-)

    2. fresno dan

      David Carl Grimes
      February 8, 2017 at 9:22 am

      But he says these personal profiles include all known addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses; every piece of property ever bought or sold, plus related mortgages; past and present vehicles owned; criminal citations, from speeding tickets on up; voter registration; hunting permits; and names and phone numbers of neighbors. The reports also include photos of cars taken by private companies using automated license plate readers—billions of snapshots tagged with GPS coordinates and time stamps to help PIs surveil people or bust alibis.
      When logging in to IDI and similar databases, a PI must select a permissible use for a search under U.S. privacy laws. The Federal Trade Commission oversees the industry, but PI companies are largely expected to police themselves, because a midsize outfit may run thousands of searches a month.

      Dubner says most Americans have little to fear. As examples, he cites idiCORE uses such as locating a missing person and nabbing a fraud or terrorism suspect.

      IDI, like much of the data-fusion industry, traces its lineage to Hank Asher, a former cocaine smuggler and self-taught programmer…..
      “….a former cocaine smuggler and self-taught programmer…..”
      Uh…isn’t that the standard employment history of most code writers?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I regret my once smart decision to buy my first smartphone.

        I didn’t believe or think it could be that smart, so it was a lie then, that it was a smartphone.

        Now, I believe it is that smart, so, it is not a lie to say it is a smartphone.

    3. Dave

      Google reads the content of your emails. Addresses, phone numbers etc. Click on Google maps and you may see your house with a big fat arrow pointing at it based on your I.P. address.

      Protonmail is better than Gmail and allows double verification. You can log in and then walk away from your device. Anyone attempting to access your email needs a second password. You can also send emails to other companies and all they get is a link back to Protonmail, so no one, including Protonmail, except you and whomever you emailed the link to can read your mail. No ads.

      Deliberately screw up databases. Log into your public library WIFI and register a Gmail account. Go to maps and geolocate yourself there. Find people with the same name, look up their address and use it to start a Google maps route search. Change your birthday, social security number, spelling of your name, or just invent a name for all warranties, services, internet accounts etc. The only people legally required to get this information is your employer, the IRS, your bank and your mortgage provider.

      Cops asked me for my social security number one time.
      “I’m sorry, it says right on my card that it’s not to be used for identification purposes” was my reply.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump needs Chinese, Japanese help to rebuild American infrastructure.

    Does it mean, we should kowtow, be grateful, and stop being mean about our trade relationships with them (because today we may need their help)?

    Or does this mean Trump’s arrived just in time (because the way it has been going, in a few years, we will definitely, completely, 100%, need their help on all aspects of rebuilding our infrastructure – as in, we won’t be able to do it ourselves)?

  8. DJG

    The post about the cats of Istanbul. The poor guy mentions not having an interest in stray dogs. Somehow, dogs aren’t mysterious and divine enough. Yet this same guy, seeking the divine, didn’t notice the well-cared-for stray dogs of Istanbul? I recall a group of four or so quite handsome dogs that hung out in front of the mosque across from my little hotel near the “Little Agia Sofia.” And there was another auburn and sleek dog, rather large, that took a liking to me as I was crossing the footbridge to the metro stop at Aksaray. Further, the city maintains the health of the dogs: They have inoculation tags on their ears. (And if I recall correctly, the city has females spayed.)

    So it is the usual cat-people religiosity. Cats are the mystery of Maya, in all of her supposed otherworldly splendor. Dogs, though, are less glamorous divinities like Saint Joseph the Worker.

    1. cocomaan

      It’s all the latent toxoplasmosis. One third of the world has toxoplasma gondii protozoa in their muscle or brain tissue, so it only follows that the more loyal animal gets the short end of it when it comes to mysticism. Dogs need a microscopic ally. I prefer one that doesn’t cause schizophrenia and mental health issues, but there you go.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Task force backs Trump’s tough line on China.

    So far, it has been mostly about issues other than China…travel ban, lobby ban, confirmations, Iran, visit to the British parliament, etc. No declaration of currency manipulation, for one.

    Is this going to be a case of saving the toughest for last?

  10. Robert Kavanagh

    Why isn’t every other Democratic senator reading the same speech? What a spectacle if the Republicans shut down the entire Democratic caucus.

  11. fresno dan

    In the hierarchy of institutional investors, you won’t find a more competitive group than college endowments. They’re in constant competition with one another and the markets.
    This year these results included more than 800 college endowments, representing $515 billion in assets, ranging in fund size from a little over $1 million on the low end to $35 billion for the largest fund (Harvard).
    I would expect the simple index fund portfolio to beat the average returns (that’s just math), but the fact that the Bogle Model portfolio was in the top quartile and even top decile ….
    There may be people who can beat indexes…. they just don’t seem to work for college funds

  12. Jim Haygood

    Punked again:

    Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country.

    Grisly photographs of children apparently killed in the crossfire of a 50-minute firefight during the raid caused outrage in Yemen. A member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, Chief Petty Officer William Owens, was also killed in the operation.

    While the White House continues to insist that the attack was a “success” — a characterization it repeated on Tuesday — the suspension of commando operations is a setback for Mr. Trump.

    Well we barely made the airport for the last plane out
    As we taxied down the runway I could hear the people shout
    They said “Don’t come back here yankee”
    But if I ever do, I’ll bring more money

    — Don Henley, “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I, for one, will take non-interventionism wherever and however I can get it.

      Here’s hoping the Yemeni “american commando ban” can withstand any challenges to its constitutionality in the Yemeni “supreme” court. I’ve heard that the Yemeni government has claimed significant authority to keep the country and its people “safe,” but worldwide protests may erode public support for this sovereign border policy overreach, and force it to reconsider this egregious demonstration of racism and xenophobia.

      I suspect, however, that those desperate, wily american commandos will continue to come to Yemen illegally for the employment opportunities until Yemen builds a big, beautiful wall.

    2. ChrisAtRU

      Ha! Love the Henley lyric reference. Permit me to add another:

      “The President looks in the mirror and speaks
      His shirts are clean but his country reeks
      Unpaid bills
      In Afghanistan hills
      Bombs away
      But we’re okay
      Bombs away
      In old Bombay …”

      Bombs Away
      The Police, from the album “Zenyatta Mondatta”, 1980

      Also: written by Stewart Copeland (drummer) whose father Miles Copeland was a CIA officer.

      1. todde

        I did not know that !!!

        I’ve read his books. He was involved in the overthrow of the Syrian government and Operation Ajax. He was also involved in a plot to assassinate Nasser, his role was to convince the British NOT to do it.

  13. lina

    Off topic post (rant)…. after 19 years in corporate life, small toddler at home (with measly 12 month mat leave), and drastic increases in pressure each year on the job, I thought about taking advantage of my company’s sabbatical leave – unpaid for up to 3 months, but job guarantee.

    Completely deflated to find out that it is no longer available. No option to take a “pause” unless willing to sacrifice job security (not feasible…).

    Just a rant and vent. No break from the stress. The cycle continues….

    1. Arizona Slim

      What? You had the audacity to have a child? How dare you!

      The Corporate World demands 24/7/365 fealty. Having a family life is not allowed.

      [Sarcasm off.]

      And kudos to lina for being a genuine, caring person. Your company doesn’t deserve you.

      1. lina

        For real, big oops/typo!! 12 month would have been heavenly and nothing to complain about! What sort of craziness thinks a new mom – particularly if you have a c section – is in any shape or form able to work in 12 weeks?

        The point being, though, that it’s such a fear based corporate culture with this ridiculous non stop pressure. And very few options if you need to work.

    2. Roger Smith

      My wife and I are just about to experience this “great benefit” of US society. I am even more frustrated with the morons in dopey hats because of it. What did the Women’s March do? Were there any demands, like PAID Maternity leave for instance? But it was spontaneous!

      1. dragoonspires

        Probably did more than your post here, or millions not voting for those corrupt democrats.

        Surely the current government will be a great help in this matter.

  14. Knot Galt

    Oh, I misunderstood. I thought Trump said he wanted to make America great again.

    What he is doing is “Make America Regret Again.”

    1. Expat

      Trumpites (Trumpeteers? Trumpistas?) over on ZH are now saying that all this chaos is by design. Trump is trying to destroy the entire system because that system is basically oppressing good, hard-working, white, Christian males with high school diplomas. He and Bannon are intentionally trying to bring down the White House, Congress, the Courts, and all US institutions in order to get his program through. I suppose this is the rationalization they have come up to explain his ineptitude and inability to achieve a damn thing.

      By the way, ZH is a ball of fun these days. The Trumpeteers are whining and whining. So easy to wind up.

        1. bob

          What does it look like when they aren’t happy?

          Adding- happy? Isn’t that verboten, PC friendly safe-space talk?

          “no one is happy, suck it up and get back to work!”

          I’d dare you to say that to one of their persons. Them’s fightin words.

      1. reslez

        Yeah and they all cheer when they read that Trump’s tax plan is going to repeal the estate tax, and they jeer when Sanders wants Medicare for all instead of “competition across state lines”. At first it was useful counterbalance to the media hysteria but now it’s just bog standard failed neoliberal policies. Watch the mob cheer on the botch job in Yemen when supposedly they supported Trump because he wants to get out of the Middle East. Watch them cheer on Cruz vs Sanders when they hated Cruz all through the election for supposedly principled reasons.

        Nothing but sports fans cheering on their side while the country burns.

        1. Lynne

          Really? The cheering / jeering about the estate tax repeal gets flipped because the sting in the tail of repealing estate taxes is losing the step up in basis that inherited assets now get. The last time it was proposed, I laughed when the press touted billionaires criticizing it and implying they were somehow stellar citizens. In fact, most of them were sick because they had set up their estates to take advantage of the laws in place and were going to take a bath down the road if things got changed.

  15. fresno dan

    There might be no getting around what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” With an experiment described today in Physical Review Letters — a feat that involved harnessing starlight to control measurements of particles shot between buildings in Vienna — some of the world’s leading cosmologists and quantum physicists are closing the door on an intriguing alternative to “quantum entanglement.”
    In the first of a planned series of “cosmic Bell test” experiments, the team sent pairs of photons from the roof of Zeilinger’s lab in Vienna through the open windows of two other buildings and into optical modulators, tallying coincident detections as usual. But this time, they attempted to lower the chance that the modulator settings might somehow become correlated with the states of the photons in the moments before each measurement. They pointed a telescope out of each window, trained each telescope on a bright and conveniently located (but otherwise random) star, and, before each measurement, used the color of an incoming photon from each star to set the angle of the associated modulator. The colors of these photons were decided hundreds of years ago, when they left their stars, increasing the chance that they (and therefore the measurement settings) were independent of the states of the photons being measured.

    And yet, the scientists found that the measurement outcomes still violated Bell’s upper limit, boosting their confidence that the polarized photons in the experiment exhibit spooky action at a distance after all.
    But given the choice between quantum entanglement and superdeterminism, most scientists favor entanglement — and with it, freedom. “If the correlations are indeed set [at the Big Bang], everything is preordained,” Larsson said. “I find it a boring worldview. I cannot believe this would be true.”
    Hmmmmm… at least Trump isn’t preordained……….Oh O!!! that means we were free to choose Trump….

    1. Expat

      Well, this is readily explained by Feynman’s response to the question, “why do all electrons look alike?” he answered, “Because they are all the same electron.”

      Since matter was formed at the near-singularity at the start of our universe, everything was made from the same initial “blob” of energy. I would think that everything is linked. Please don’t take this to mean I believe in anything spiritual, religious, or magical. But from the point of view of a photon, the universe is alternately infinite in age or is zero seconds old. So distance really means nothing to a photon, nor does time.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I have a feeling we are all wrong and all right…all correct and all incorrect…all left and all right…

            1. susan the other

              We are flexible! thanks fresno for this blurb. and link. also in today’s Links, from Independent Science News: Genetics Giving Way to New Science of Life. Jonathan Latham. super good. Here’s a money quote: “…this (systems biology) is rarely a study of systems. Instead biologists have overwhelmingly used systems biology funds not to further the understanding of complex systems but to scale up and mechanize their reductionism.” As is frequently lamented here at NC. And another: basically the thing driving life is not genes but metabolisms. really interesting. And this: Consciousness is layers of prediction experiments. Great definitions.

            1. polecat

              or there could easily be two boxes … each one containing a cat/noncat, originating from different points in the multiverse.

  16. LT

    Re: Where was leftist energy during Obama Presidency…

    Ignored by our famously “free” press?
    Hey, I remember the worldwide Occupy protests. They still struggled to get as much attention as 3 Tea Party members outside a city hall. The main coverage the Occupy protests received was covering the police that were watching them and the police raids to break them up.

    It’s amazing how no one ever has to march up and down a street or go to jail to get elected officials to do the most vile things. Blow up a city, put people out on the streets…name the vileness and they are down for it.

    Flat out, if you want the things done that you want, you have to have someone in office that believes the same things. Nixon went with the EPA because he believed government had a role to play in that area. Trump admin did not back off the ethics commision because of protests, after further review, I’m sure it was deemed toothless enough not to have to worry about.

    So you keep voting for people totally opposed to what you believe…like Obama and his views on healthcare..and no amount of marching is going to get you anywhere.

    1. LT

      And this all speaks to a notion we’ve swallowed from the self-selected elite of the media and government : that a politician should not have an ideology or be some kind of neutral blank slate to project ones hopes upon.
      They all have an ideology…especially the ones that claim not to be “ideological”. The ones who make that claim have an ideology that you are not capable of governing yourself.

      It’s high time people started voting for people that believe what they believe , say it, and know that is what is expected to get done upon election.

  17. Eureka Springs

    Republicans fear for their safety as Obamacare protests grow

    Strange article. I wonder just who is really behind protesting here? Couldn’t be pharma, hospitals and insurance, no no. Because they didn’t fund the tea party for the same ends a few short years ago. Wouldn’t want republicans to manufacture resistance from the pseudo left (when does a republican mention fearing a progressive or democrat, ever?). A resistance demanding to keep O’romney care, a heritage foundation plan in as much of its original form/intent as possible.

    Highly suspect.

    1. polecat

      I’m really getting tired of this shit, from both sides, and about ready to quit filing taxes …. for good !

      What other recourse is there ?? …. oh right … Call your senator/ferengi !/? … yeah, how’s THAT workin out ….
      NOT !

    2. jrs

      Not really. Wouldn’t the pharma, hospitals and insurance be better served just by lobbying for what they want? Some people do benefit from Obamacare (even if mostly just the Medicaid expansion)

    3. Portia

      Protesters outside of Rep. residences are probably getting their panties in a twisty bunch. I know a lot of people who are forming groups these days, and calling and twittering and being loud. I’m going to a potluck tomorrow tonight, as a matter of fact, initiated to consciousness raise, with local State Reps attending. Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t just energize his base, it lights a fire under a whole lot of people. They just can’t afford to offend their own constituency by including them in the condemnation of demanding health care, so the catch-all “evil progressive movement” will do.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Trouble in Clintonville, comrades:

    Eaglevale Partners, the hedge fund co-founded by Marc Mezvinsky, the son-in-law of Hillary and Bill Clinton, closed in December, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

    Eaglevale, based in New York, is in the process of returning money to clients, said the person who asked not to be named because the firm is private.

    Can’t prove it … but nevertheless I’m going to assert that Eaglevale was just another funnel for Clinton influence peddling.

    That is, donors placed funds with Eaglevale to curry favor with the Clintons, despite it having no edge in the market.

    With no influence left to peddle, Eaglevale’s raison d’être evaporated. What will poor Marc and Chelsea do now — rob banks?

    1. Pat

      They still have her salary with the Clinton Foundation as long as it continues to exist.

      Then there is the trial balloon that Chelsea will run for Congress so the influence peddling there can continue. Mind you, I think if we really do get Hillary running for mayor of NY, we’ll know that balloon would not inflate. Unfortunately the cleansing fire has yet to occur.

  19. pictboy3

    Here’s an interesting link from Reuters. I wonder how other countries poll with regards to some of the component parts of being in the EU (adopting the Euro, borders, etc.) versus just being in the EU generally? Is there sort of a disconnect where people like the idea of being in the EU but don’t like certain policies or components of EU membership? As an American, I can’t really get a sense of the political climate in particular EU countries, so I’m wondering if foreign commentators can provide some insight.

  20. DH

    Re: Digital searches at border crossings

    The vast majority of countries view border crossings as special places where searches that would be impermissible elsewhere are permissible there. This includes the US, where court rulings have allowed for intrusive searches, including digital searches that would not be allowed for somebody just walking down the street. The US DHS tries to extend that right to anywhere within 100 miles of the border, which seems like a big legal stretch to me.

    Canada recently defended the US’s right to search mobile phones of Canadians crossing into the US for the Women’s March.

    Also, please keep in mind that most countries do not have a Fourth Amendment broad prohibition against searches. So, the protections against warrantless searches that Americans take for granted in the US are dramatically watered down elsewhere in the world, including Canada (even though it looks like the US).

    The Bill of Rights is a very unique document and needs to be protected.

      1. alex morfesis

        the bill of suggestions…the bill of left(over)s…the bill of(from) their party…

        and then they came for me…

  21. Pogonip

    That paean to stray cats was clearly written by someone who had never lived near a person who feeds them. We had such a person across the street. Spraying (they like to spray vehicle tires for some reason), fighting, yowling, pooping, fleas; flea treatment cost us $200 and we don’t even own a pet! Once I found a huge pile of poop neatly balanced at the edge of the air conditioner, in such a way the cat had to go to some trouble to place it. Most of the cats were sick. I once found a kitten whose eyes were so badly infected they were dissolving.

    Please do not feed stray cats.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I live next door to some stray cat feeders. The damage to my property includes the following:

      1. Cat urine on my house, security doors, and shed. Both security doors have been permanently stained.
      2. The pervasive smell of cat urine throughout the property.
      3. Cat feces in my gardens and yard.

      Disruptions to my life include:

      1. Cat fights on my property and nearby.
      2. The sound of cats chasing each other across my roof.
      3. Having to scoop up the remains of birds and lizards killed and left behind by the cats.

      And don’t tell me to talk to the neighbors. That is about as productive as having a chat with a brick wall.

      Okay, so what am I advocating FOR? Here goes — and it’s based on scientific research:

      1. sid_finster

        In Russia and Ukraine feeding stray cats is seen as a sort of civic duty.

        During kitten season, likely candidates at the proper age are kidnapped, cleaned up and socialised and then homed.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is it like the debate of traditional-zoos vs. open range parks?

          “The counter argument is not letting the zookeeper live with lions in the same cage.”

      2. bob

        I know bird hunters that will shoot stays if they see them. I don’t agree with that, but there is that view out there. It’s also reason to keep your cat indoors, for fear of them getting shot.

        I’ve known a few people who feed strays. It’s nasty, and the cats are even nastier.

        I once found 3 kitten strays. One was blinded by some sort of infection, kept trying to hiss and swat at me when I was 20 feet away. Mom had probably been taken by something bigger.

        They were all adopted after being captured. 1 ended up being able to be domesticated, the other 2 went feral again after a short time. All were really, really loud. I had many conversations with the one who stuck around.

      3. I Have Strange Dreams

        I brought up this point before on NC and was told that I was an idiot who should not procreate. People become very irrational when it comes to animals.

    2. River

      Yep, if you’re going to feed them, then take them in and look after them properly. Especially, kittens they can at least be “domesticated”. Found mine abandoned at the side the road at less than six weeks. Took him in, got his shots. Two years later, he’s one of the best natured cats I’ve owned. Fortunately, the outside freaks him out so he won’t go out. Which is good as he would a very efficient bird killer (he can jump 4ft. vertically from sitting and snag things mid air).

    3. Portia

      re the cat poop, neatly balanced. the cat knows you hate them.

      this is not about feeding. local vets and volunteers will get involved to trap and spay and treat illness. don’t know where you live, but call the humane society for help. they will help you. I used to do this work as a volunteer.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Or pet them. A friend got a little too cuddly with one kitten from a bunch of strays and wound up with some particularly nasty skin affliction.

      From the article –

      I’m referring to an incident (confirmed by the Wall Street Journal) in which President Obama, strolling through the Hagia Sophia with President Erdogan eight years ago, stopped to stroke one of the feline inhabitants of the world-famous mosque.

      That could explain a lot…

  22. LT

    US Military renting space in Trump Tower…

    Let the graft begin.
    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    But that’s exactly what is wrong with the USA.
    This deal – military and Trump Tower – is exactly why people speak of “downfall”.
    Yet, at the same time so scared to call it out.

  23. DH

    “Republicans fear for their safety as Obamacare protests grow”

    I don’t understand their fear. Trump has assured us that the disastrous Obamacare is going to be replaced with something beautiful where everybody gets covered. It will be much better than what they had before. What is there not to like in that message?

    In reality, they are still struggling with the details of correctly messaging to people how eliminating their health insurance coverage, increasing their SS full retirement age, and reducing Medicare coverage is going to substantially improve their lives.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Obamacare is like a fish bait

      Once bitten, the fish hook can not be dislodged without losing some flesh…unless one knows what one is doing. Unfortunately, that person doesn’t seem to be around.

  24. fresno dan

    The Lemming Democrats Dissent. Important. Focuses on Dem over-reliance on upscale suburban women voters.

    The news media feel a similar push. In search of the affluent, with-it audience that attracts style-conscious advertisers, they seek out opinions that seem suitably “advanced” without offending upscale sensibilities.
    These impulses converge to surfeit the marketplace of ideas with demand for a fashionable liberalism that appeals to the well-off. A sort of inverted natural selection results, a survival of the unfit. Job advancement in political consulting, elected officials’ staffs, and opinion media depends more on how well one’s opinions appeal to the upscale audience than whether they accord with the facts.
    With race and gender increasingly viewed in isolation, siding with the economic elite can take on a transgressive aura, a trend epitomized by the craze for Broadway’s Hamilton.
    These strains of leftism mesh comfortably with the established prejudices of the affluent professional class. Process-oriented reformers, much like the Progressives of a century ago, look down at all forms of working-class politics as venal. The philanthropically minded elite maintains its longstanding predilection for remedies to racial injustice that leave class injustice untouched. A newer cohort of technology specialists admires the “innovation” and “disruption” of Silicon Valley billionaires.
    This evolution, heavily hyped all along the way, has conditioned large sections of the public to see any kind of progressivism as a species of elitism.
    “….for remedies to racial injustice that leave class injustice untouched.”
    You people stop being racist…..and throwing money at problems never solves anything /sarc

  25. Paid Minion

    “……..White Working Class…….”

    Confuses “cause” and effect”. Never mentioned is the fact that decisions made in Globalist/Liberal/Digital “Blue America” have created most of the economic problems of analog “Red America”.

    Like offshoring/outsourcing. Wall Street, hedge funds and the Connecticut private equity pukes have been pushing it for years, to “increase shareholder value”. And said shareholders sure don’t live in BFE.

    And the Asia Times article shows how this policy is screwing the country. Much of any “stimulus money” will be spent overseas.

  26. Toolate

    Thanks for the Science of Life link. Absolutely fascinating, profound and important both as science and metaphor.

  27. Portia

    I just am speechless after I thought nothing could strike me again. “progressive movement”???

    He later added: “For those of us who have children in grade school and that kind of thing, there’s a factor in all of this, saying: How far will the progressive movement go to try to intimidate us?”

    Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.)

    a demonizing label for people who need health insurance (not commie). lol

  28. heresy101

    How long before Silicon Valley and SF Start to vote for the orange haired President?

    From the Wolfstreet article:
    “This has been happening all over the place. The latest scandal involves the University of California, San Francisco, which has laid off 80 American workers in its IT department last year.
    Among them was Audrey Hatten-Milholin, who’d worked there for 17 years. The New York Times today:
    Along with eight others, she filed a complaint in November with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, charging that replacing her and others with “significantly younger, male” workers “who will then perform the work overseas” was discriminatory.
    “We are at a disadvantage as Americans,” Hatten-Milholin told the Times. “They look at it like, where can we get it cheaper? And for U.C., it’s not here.”
    Soon after the lay-off notices went out, there were “knowledge transfer sessions” with employees from HCL Technologies, an Indian tech services company. Among the laid-off employees was Jeff Tan, who’d worked there for 20 years. He had to train HCL employees on how to do his job.
    Some of the HCL employees he trained were still in India, handled via videoconference; others had been brought to the US on H-1B visas.
    “I thought the purpose of H-1B visas was to give America a competitive edge, not help companies ship American jobs abroad,” Tan told the Times. “This is now standard practice in the technology industry.”
    With these strategies, U.C.S.F. expects to save $30 million over five years. That’s why they did that.”

    1. Eureka Springs

      He had to train HCL employees on how to do his job.

      Had to? Did they waterboard him or something?

      1. Cynthia

        He probably “had to” in order to get his severance package. Choosing to quit on principle is tough to do if you’re going to lose money and you have debts to pay and/or a family to support.

    2. Xihuitl

      Had a conversation the other night with a fellow who’s an engineer at a big engineering firm here in Houston. He said he doesn’t do much engineering any more. All that is done over the Internet by people overseas, he said. I asked him what he thought about immigration. Oh, he was all against that, he said. I asked him what was the difference: people coming here to take jobs or shipping the jobs to them over there. He looked stumped.

  29. Waking Up

    Hope it’s okay that I comment on something not in the links.

    Usually I avoid the Mainstream media these days. However, I heard there was to be a CNN town hall discussing Obamacare with a “debate” by Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. Wanted to see whether Bernie Sanders would devote his time to making excuses for Obamacare. While he did spend time trying to convince people that certain aspects of Obamacare are better than returning to the previous system, he was real clear that he strongly believes in “Medicare for All”. I know this isn’t news to Democrats, but it was a platform which could reach people of both parties. It was worth watching. So, kudos to Bernie Sanders for strongly supporting “Medicare for All” on a national town hall.

    As an aside, last summer I spent three weeks in Canada and spoke to many people of various ages and backgrounds about the Canadian Health care system. While there were little things some would change, NOT ONE of them said they wanted to change their system. NOT ONE. Ted Cruz tried to hammer away the “rationing” aspect of a Canadian type system. What he deliberately didn’t mention is how the United States already has a huge rationing system…if you can’t AFFORD seeing a doctor, you ignore physical problems when they arise until they reach emergency levels. As for long waits, most doctors in the United States don’t book check-ups or surgery for days or weeks out unless it’s an emergency. Anyway, I hope Bernie Sanders does more of these town halls.

  30. shargash

    re: the Vanity Fair “Oracle:” the Times had two(!) separate stories about Klarman yesterday. This looks orchestrated to me.

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