Links 3/30/17

30+ Pics Proving That Every Cat Is A Satan Bored Panda

Indonesian man’s body found inside python – police BBC (resilc) :-(

Great Escape: Hubble Finds Supermassive Black Hole Breaking from Its Own Galaxy Sputnik News (Chuck L)

Solving the mystery of the Arctic’s green ice PhysOrg (Chuck L)

A.I. Versus M.D. The New Yorker (resilc)


China completes major militarised islands MacroBusiness. While you were busy worrying about Russia….

America has been trumped in the South China Sea Financial Times

Report: Australia world’s worst money laundering property market MacroBusiness

Brexit. I know I should post, if nothing else to let our UK and Continental readers chat it up, but there is so much noise out there there now I feel like letting everyone else have their say.

New record sees woman make it to 9.05am before hearing word ‘Brexit‘ Daily Mash

Brexit, Pursued by Despair The Baffler (Chuck L). Today’s must read. An amazing rant.

12 people, things that ruined the EU Politico (Chuck L)

What Working People Want As Article 50 Is Triggered Social Europe (micael)

U.K., EU Face Tough Negotiations After Launch of Brexit Wall Street Journal

Brexit minister to lay out plan to repatriate EU laws Financial Times

Insurer Lloyd’s of London confirms new Brussels subsidiary BBC

Brexit timetable: Brussels takes three-stepped approach to talks Financial Times

Germany Tries to Catch Up with Startup World Der Spiegel. Resilc: “While we gut research and fund more warzzz.”

Shift to right following election in Bulgaria WSWS (micael)

New Cold War

Cyber Firm Rewrites Part of Disputed Russian Hacking Report VOA (resilc). Important.

Trump’s Hope for Rapid Reset With Russia Fades Wall Street Journal

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Comcast-Funded Civil Rights Groups Claim Low-Income People Prefer Ads Over Privacy Intercept (martha r)

Imperial Collapse Watch

U.S. War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With No Endgame in Sight New York Times

War and Propaganda Counterpunch (resilc)

Trade Traitors

Trump Administration Signals It Would Seek Mostly Modest Changes to Nafta Wall Street Journal

Trump Transition

Judge maintains broad block on Trump travel ban Politico

FBI Director James Comey Tried To Reveal Russian Tampering Months Before Election Newsweek (furzy)

A SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling May Doom Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Crackdown TPM (Chuck L)

Seattle sues Trump over ‘sanctuary cities’ Politico

Trump’s Effort to Undo Climate Policies New York Times (furzy)

Youth-Led, High-Stakes Climate Lawsuit Shifts Focus to Trump Rolling Stone (resilc)

“It is pathetic”: Bernie Sanders slams Trump after ExxonMobil urges White House to abide by Paris climate accord Salon (resilc)

Trump taps Chris Christie to lead fight against nation’s opioid addiction crisis Los Angeles Times (resilc)

Mar-a-Lago Is Just the Start of Trump’s Ethical Mess Vanity Fair. Resilc: “we’d be in impeachment process with Clintoon Foundation at this time if she had won.”


Democrats Against Single Payer Jacobin (martha r). Never forget that, except in 2009, the health care industry has long been the top lobbyist in DC. That is all you need to know regarding how the Democrats will behave with respect to single payer.

Here’s when we’ll know the future of Obamacare Washington Post. Important. The Republicans can try to Obamacare into a death spiral, soon.

Rooting for failure Center for Politics (UserFriendly)

Wasserman Schultz to Sanders: Dems are already a grassroots party The Hill. Kill me now

More and More Americans Are Down with Weed, Survey Says Vice (resilc)

The Senate’s final report on Iran-Contra showed extent to which the investigation had been stonewalled MuckRock (Chuck L)

Oroville 29 March New DWR Spillway Footage You Tube. Maggie K: “Detailed updates provided by Juan Brown who is a pilot by trade and lives in the Oroville Dam area. He reports on all of the press conferences, shows dam water level spreadsheets, uses DWR drone footage & photos to help explain, very little speculation, concise.” Find earlier ones here.

Police State Watch

‘Stunning’ Drug Lab Scandal Could Overturn 23,000 Convictions NBC (furzy)

Bloke is paid to scour hashtags for threats, spots civil rights boss’s tweets, gets fired, sues The Register (Chuck L)

Mom says TSA agents at DFW Airport traumatized son with ‘horrifying’ security check Dallas News (Chuck L). I routinely get patdowns as a result of refusing to go through backscanners, and that patdown looks perfectly normal.

Police Warning Shots May Be in for a Comeback NPR (furzy)

Drone Video Shows The Horrifying Scale Of The Volkswagen Buyback Jalopnik (YY)

The Hidden Monopolies That Raise Drug Prices Prospect (Chuck L)

Private equity firms cherry-pick buyers for loans Financial Times

The Invisible Hand Dissent (micael)

Class Warfare

U.S. College Grads See Slim-to-No Wage Gains Since Recession Bloomberg

More than ever, employees want a say in how big companies like IBM and Wall Street Journal (NWS) are run Quartz (Chuck L)

The Drug Overdose Epidemic in America’s Suburbs Bloomberg (resilc)

Caterpillar workers react with anger, suspicion to UAW contract ratification WSWS (micael)

Unions give Trump list of infrastructure priorities as White House looks for projects to greenlight McClatchy (resilc)

Study suggests scientific work force is aging — as younger scientists struggle to find good jobs Inside Higher Ed (resilc)

TECH AND THE FAKE MARKET TACTIC Anil Dash (Chuck L). From early March, still germane and very clever. Uber as the prototypical fake market, and what else might be in store.

Antidote du jour. Karrin H:

Thought I’d share this picture of my horse’s new filly. She’s a delight that sends my mind ruminating on all sorts of things the human world contrives to distract me from. We really need regular contact with plants and animals to be spiritually healthy! Today I watched an entire nap, marveling at my mare’s constant and intense watch over her baby, nose carefully covering every inch of this new little body while it slept. There’s so much we animals have in common there, but we humans fall for this sense of otherness that is probably an emergent property of our neocortex.

Anyway, cute!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. vidimi

      on single payer, leftist writers should pile-on, even coordinate, and write volumes on why single payer is the popular, obvious solution to america’s healthcare crisis. it is much cheaper, too. i smell blood, and if there is a coordinated effort propelling the idea to the forefront of the public’s consciousness, it will succeed.
      NC is doing its part, now others such as taibbi, greenwald, etc should pile on even if it’s not their usual beat.

      1. human

        Great idea!

        It has sickened me, literally, for decades (I’m one of those 30 million). The “crisis” is man made and should never be. The solution has been withheld from us by TPTB. There should be some class action/public service law suits of some type, though, I am just shouting out loud here as I have been doing forever.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I read the must-read “Brexit: Pursued by despair,” and was drawn to another piece in the Baffler by the same author. Along with vidimi, and unfortunately not expecting much from “the left,” I offer this advice, flagged by the author:

        “Every ruthless criticism of current politics should be tied in some way to an example of how we could do things better,” said Newitz. “I realize that’s a tall order, especially when positive visions often feel like wishful thinking rather than direct action. Nevertheless we need to know what we are fighting for to retain our sense of hope. We need maps of where we are going, not just fire to burn it all down.” That’s from a piece entitled “The Slow Confiscation of Everything: How to think about climate apocalypse,” which describes in pretty few words how a small, selfish, monstrous fraction of our species is slowly reducing the rest of us to chattels, and for many of us, and the offspring we are supposed to love, and cherish great hopes for, reducing us to rotting dead meat…

        As always, I keep looking for the levers and motions that might send the Juggernaut in a different direction. Hard work, at my cynical and skeptical age, after decades of trying to do the right thing… Sounds like Laurie Penny sees what is happening, very clearly — most of it well displayed and written out here at NC, for all to see. But where is the rising army, under wise generals, cemanding change for the better?

        1. Susan the other

          I thought Laurie Penny was a breath of pure oxygen too. Both her Brexit… and her Slow Confiscation. “If people cannot imagine a future for themselves, all they can measure is what they’ve lost.” Well said. A sense of hopelessness is the opposite of what we need so we can come together to change things; and we need a sense of direction. Many people have called for a mobilization as big as WW2; I’m sure it is what we need. Almost because we can’t imagine yet where we want to go. It’s a crazy feeling trying to imagine something entirely new.

    2. Doug

      curious if anybody would comment on Karl Denniger’s Market Ticker post today? A revamp of the entire system. It seems to be the answer to the myriad problems we have today, but receives almost no audience…

      1. Ed Miller

        I read Denninger every day, just like I read NC every day. He proposes eliminating the corruption by whatever lawful means exist, including applying RICO to big pharma and other bad actors who are bankrupting us through “healthcare” scams. I just glanced over the points but they all seem in line with his prior posts.

        Two important points he wants to drive home to people based on his many posts on healthcare reform.
        1) Healthcare costs under the current approach and those actively under consideration by the federal government will bankrupt the nation in a few years, and this must be stopped NOW.
        2) Existing laws must be applied to the healthcare industry to aggressively attack cost. Under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, RICO is definitely appropriate.

        I am not a legal expert so please don’t nitpick. I can’t cite the establishment of RICO but it looks consistent with Sherman Anti-Trust, so I link these together. Plus any thinking person can’t argue that we don’t have a problem today with anti-competitive trusts.

        Another blog post, by Chris Martenson, highlights the cost issues he is dealing with personally and implicitly shows that collusion exists in healthcare. I am sure readers here know this.

      2. kareninca

        I read Denninger every day and think his system would work fine. But it could only be implemented by politicians who were not corrupt. And that’s the problem, isn’t it?

    3. DH

      Canada Death Panel Watch::

      Canada’s healthcare insurance system is similar to a “Medicare for All” approach..Average per capita healthcare expenditures from all payers is about half of the US but coverage is near universal.

      Here is the latest data on Canadian wait times for key medical procedures. Most of the population is in Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec and southwest British Columbia. Much of the rest of the country is very rural, ranging from population densities of northern Midwest to northern Alaska. So in the smaller provinces, the departure of a single specialist could significantly impact capacity.

  1. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you to Karrin H for the delightful picture and write-up. Belgian’s francophone TV news featured equine assisted therapy last Saturday lunchtime and echoed what Karrin has written.

  2. allan

    “U.S. College Grads See Slim-to-No Wage Gains Since Recession”

    But the bond gods were appeased, which is the important thing.

    1. a different chris

      My son’s about to finish his masters which his employer paid for not quite 1/2 of,* but they will give him a raise for it! — two bucks an hour! Don’t know what he’ll do with all that!

      *and makes him stay there for 6mos after every semester or they won’t reimburse him even that…

      1. Charger01

        Superb. I’m wading back into the credential – required work as well. I hope your kiddo puts those skills to use. I would also encourage him to think 2-5 years down the line for opportunities as well.

    2. Ranger Rick

      The real estate market is in a full-blown panic over the complete absence of young people 20-35 buying houses. If the asset bubble pops, the deflation that follows will take care of those missing wage gains.

      1. KurtisMayfield

        I thought that the “all cash buyers” were the solution to that. Or are the hedge funds and foreign buyers drying up?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          They do like to cash out. Localities still charge property taxes, and then of course, their are the inevitable liens levied against unkempt properties. Local governments want cash or will just seize property.

      2. JustAnObserver

        Thanks for that reminder. I’ve been wondering all these years since the property crash why no one, as far as I can see (MSM or otherwise), has paid any attention to the vanishing of the first-time buyer and its obvious implications for the (non)future of Housing Bubble 2.0 (h/t Wolf Richter).

        Who, in anywhere near their right mind, is going to take on a mortgage with 10,000-50,000-100,000 in non-dischargable student loan debt … even if they could.

        Maybe the FIRE sector really does/did believe that the global oligarchy (the Plutonomy in Citi’s phrasing) would come to the rescue. Looks like they’ve woken up.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          There’s more than enough money squirreled away in Panama and China and Delaware and London to make real estate serfs out of all of us, Junior will have to stay living in Mom’s basement. Current laws are that a guy in a black gangsta limo could just rock up with a million bucks in dirty 20 dollar bills and pay for a house, no questions asked. In CBFW (Central Bank Fantasy World), houses are just another form of proto-money, just like stocks.
          Stagflation. Where’s our Paul Volcker?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To get the no-mind, there are 2 ways.

          1. the monk way of reducing thoughts to a few, then one, and hopefully, no mind.

          2. the master doesn’t say this, but you can overload the mind that you short circuit it, so that no thought enters the mind.

          In the same way, we are familiar with the paradoxically (apparently) saying of coming to own the bank when you owe it trillions, but for a few thousand dollars, the bank owns you.

          Here is the hint – take out bigger student loans.

      3. DH

        We have 2 out of 4 kids in their 20s/early 30s still living at home. the two that are not at home are working and living in another city.

        Son – late 20s – full time job, saving money like crazy, 1x gross income in retirement savings, 1x gross income in cash savings. no girl friend. Houses in our area go up with inflation but not more. Why would he rush out to buy a house? Houses are cheap and likely to stay there (median county house price @ $120k) and he may just be able to buy one for cash a few years from now.

        Daughter – early 20s – still figuring out jobs. Income not sufficiently stable to buy something.

        Two older daughters in DC living in rental apartments. Good jobs, no steady boyfriends.To buy a condo in the area they live would require monthly payments 2-4 x their monthly rent. They are saving in retirement accounts and paying student loans. Why would they buy?

        So US real estate is bucking several concurrent trends:

        1. Boomers will be trading down, not up as they want smaller spaces.

        2. Millenial women are getting good jobs and are not reliant on marriage for good economic prospects. They will only marry if it is a really good idea.

        3. Millenial men are competing with millennial women for jobs. Marriage prospects are lower because the women can be picky.

        4. The jobs are more and more in the cities where the choice is expensive apartment living or long commutes. They won’t move out of the city to a long commute unless there is a good reason, like kids.

        5. In many cases, rents are below monthly mortgage and tax payments, so the only business case for buying is the potential for future appreciation. Millenials watched what happened in the mid-2000s and will remember that for a long time. Real estate is now in the “risky” category which is not where the realtors want it to be perceived.

        6. Many millenials with decent jobs also have sizable (>$10k) student loans, so they are not anxious to take on more debt.

        So some markets will be hot on an occasional basis, but it will likely be a decade before there is a big move from millenials to buy homes.

        1. larry dallas

          ” Boomers will be trading down”

          I see little evidence that Boomers are trading in their McMansions for small condos. I think the days of selling out and moving to Florida or Arizona maybe be over.

          The ones I know are all retiring in place.

        2. Alex Morfesis

          Real estate problem is snoreburbia and auto friendly zoning that has krapified real estate over the last 80 years, with snorezilla homeowner associations infested with psycotropic taking ocd fiends elected to “the board/borg” who ignore the part of hoa rules which allow for change and insist that lawn must look like a putting green…& must forever stay that way…

          Most new construction is either a pastiche/medley of that 70’s show…or built by former eastern european milk delivery men who became minivan drywallers and through persistence are now “byggtimes tromendooz” real estate developers imagining hot running water is still a luxury item…

          If it looks like anything, the value is cranked up well beyond the cost due to “design” features…

          The national association of dunderheads decided to keep discriminating after 1970 by pricing certain people out of certain neighborhoods…they have priced themselves out of a market…

          Builders have lowered costs and increased profits…90 grand homes being sold for 300 grand…why make 25 grand when I can steal 200 grand…

          The real estate market is selling pacers and edsels and complaining people don’t see a Ferrari…

  3. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves, for the Brexit links. Your links and posts and reader contributions are much better / more insightful than anything one sees in the UK MSM.

    If there was one thing to be thankful for yesterday, it was that Brexit knocked Trump off the airwaves and fish and chips wrappers for a day. The BBC World Service resumed normal service this morning by wittering on about the lack of diversity in the Trump administration and what it plans for today, Syria Day (news to us who have to pay for this poisonous hot air).

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its reported today that JP Morgan are buying a building in Dublin with capacity for 1000+ employees in Dublin. They are talking longer term apparently about moving 5,000 or so, depending on how negotiations go.

      Others have already confirmed moves to Luxembourg and Brussels.

      I’ve two thoughts on this:

      1. Its good I think that the movement is dispersing rather than concentrating financial uses. I think that in the long term this weakens the financial industries lobbying power within Europe. I was wondering initially if they would co-operate together to choose one major city for relocating, and then force a strong deal on the new host country. It seems to be a bit of a free for all, and thats a good thing in the long run I think.

      2. The phased manner in which they are moving out is terrible news for Britains negotiators. Countries like Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands now have an incentive to sabotage any agreement on finance in order to squeeze more jobs out of the process. They can keep raising the stakes to increase the flow of jobs outwards, and the pressure on the UK’s negotiators.

      1. Colonel Smitthers

        Thank you, PK.

        I agree with you except about the weakening of the lobbying power. I say this having been a lobbyist at the well known fixers.

        I think the dispersal of activity will give member states and their regulators etc. an idea that they have (more of) a dog in the fight, so an industry to protect (and attract). That will play into the hands of firms. Firms will exploit that, including floating the idea of more business from London.

        I had heard that the French and Spanish authorities, when touting for business from London last year, had offered to revisit investment services rules (MiFID for those familiar with the framework) and asked for a list of concerns.

        There are lots of (non UK) MEPS ready to do the bidding of big finance. They are seduced by the apparent glamour and “douceurs” handed out.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Thanks for that insight. MEP’s in particular can get away with a lot as there are generally very few journalists covering their country’s MEP’s activities. Its quite common in Ireland for MEP’s to pay for adverts in magazines outlining what they are doing as the good ones find it frustratingly hard to get their work covered in any way, positive or negative. The general assumption is that the ‘quiet’ ones are up to no good.

      2. vidimi

        of note about luxembourg, the deal AIG got involved keeping most of their functions in london where most of the staff will remain. luxembourg is sabotaging the EU’s negotiating position as the way to hurt the UK is by taking those jobs.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’m pretty sure Luxembourg is not in a position to grant any such guarantees. They may argue it at EU level (perhaps thats part of the deal), but if other members insist on tightening up the passporting rules – and so far as I’m aware there is no obstacle to doing this – then Luxembourgs agreement with AIG would not be worth the paper its written on.

          1. vidimi

            i don’t see how the EU could do anything to stop them. AIG Europe PLC sets up a mailing address in Lu as AIG Europe SA and begins reporting to the Lu financial regulator instead of the UK PRA all the while keeping its key business functions in London. All transactions are done on behalf of AIG Europe SA in luxembourg by london-based staff working for the UK sub. what can the EU do to stop that short of punishing Lu? i doubt JC juncker will have the appettite.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              All passporting arrangements have to be consistent with the original directives and as such any such arrangement would have to be accepted by the European Commission and any member could refer it to the ECJ for adjudication. If Luxembourg was granting passporting rights on the basis of nameplate operations this would certainly be objected to and appealed by other members (not to mention private competitors). There would be no good reason for the Commission to allow them to get away with this. And if you read through some of the relevant directives, so far as I am aware most apply specific powers to the Commission to change the baseline regulatory requirements without a requirement to change the Directive. If the Commission or ECJ adjudicates that the member country has not met the requirements, the passport will simply not be accepted outside Luxembourg.

    2. Clive

      Yes, I’m totally Brexit’ed out with it all. It’s not like there’s not an awful lot of insightful observations to be made and, goodness knows, the whole subject (or rather range of related subjects) is crying out for some decent, thoughtful and above all dispassionate screeching-free analysis.

      But even if one were to be able to pull that off, it would just drown in noise and rubbish. Brexit has become our gun control or healthcare reform — utterly impervious to any attempt at sane discussion. I think the problem is — and I suffer from it as much as anyone — that the EU has become totemic for so much else. You pull on a thread, let’s say “immense process and technical design work being needed for new UK Border Control”, you end up tugging on another one, maybe “immigration”. You try to untangle “financial services cross border sales” and you end up with fur balls like “pay-to-play (i.e. bribe your way into) single market access”.

      Mentally, I’ve put it in the same box as how best to resolve the Middle East. Or what biscuit to have with tea. Or which exit do I need in Shinjuku station. I’ll just have to go along with what comes along. Which is fine, if you can withstand negative outcomes. Many can’t but no-one in the U.K. government will come to their aid. But nothing new there, either.

      1. Anonymous2

        I sympathise. I think that for many the EU is really pretty abstract a concept as they either do not really understand it (having been lied to by their newspapers on the subject for decades ) or because it really has very limited practical immediate effect on their lives. But sadly, often the most vicious disagreements seem to be about abstract matters. Thus for many Brexiteers the EU is the devil incarnate while Remainers know that for all its faults it is not Satan. So it becomes a contest between good and evil.

        Best comment I have seen recently (I paraphrase a little ) was ‘I grew up in a former British colony. My grandparents always said the English are mad. Now I understand why.’

        1. Clive

          That is such an overlooked and yet important concept. As a nation, we’re so incredibly overdetermined in terms of what our cultural identities should be, could be or by what method that our identities are to be defined by that we’re almost inevitably going to get our knickers in a twist when it comes to the EU. Compared to culturally homogenous nations like Japan, and we’re all over the place.

          And I would argue too that even what are considered diverse countries like the US are far more imbued with a national identity than the British are. The British regions are amazingly uncorrelated — something that I am maybe more aware of than most having a Yorkshire father, a Welsh mother, an Irish grandfather and a Russian grandmother — each of whom demonstrated wildly different approaches to cultural integration and adaptation (and more often than not, not especially good adaptations). So my hunch has always been that our national identity is that there isn’t really one. Throw in two catastrophic European wars and our history of colonialism, and you get a total basket case, in terms of national psychology.

          It would be a miracle if our sense of place in the EU could have been anything other than totally bonkers. I’m frankly amazed it all lasted as long as it did.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Anonymous and Clive.

            As the son of immigrants from Mauritius, that is very fascinating and interesting insight.

            A friend, with exactly the same background and a historian by trade, works at the UK mission to the EU. We have not caught up for a couple of months, so I am looking forward to his observations and will play the above to him.

      2. paul

        I think the only things that have become clear are the political class’s learned callousness toward its population and its uselessness for them.
        Along with their lightning rod in the EU, they’ve lost their legislative arm (flogging off assets,snooping and punishing the poor takes no great skill)and have nothing to fill that gap.
        They’re wandering around,bumping into each other and falling over, like so many zombies
        Small wonder Treeza ended up as leader and why everyone else took a step back.
        I’m fairly sure her dead eyed resolve is going to be enough to see us through.

        1. Anonymous2

          I am fairly sure Treeza is taking her orders from the other side of the Atlantic. The question is what are their objectives?

          1. Clive

            Perhaps objectives is putting it in the realm of conscious strategy-driven decision making. Which it clearly isn’t. But what I am tempted to think is that it is more of a subliminal realisation that the UK and the US have an awful lot in common and a lot of shared interests, history and thought-processes.

            Not an especially scientific explanation for sure and barely a step-up from attributing it to witchcraft. But here I am saying it, nevertheless.

            1. Anonymous2

              I think there is a lot of truth in what you write.

              To add a rider though……..

              I also think, in addition, writing as a British Scot who has travelled much in Europe and the US, that the Americans are less like the English than many English suppose and that the English in many ways have more in common with other Europeans than they realise. The fact Americans speak English, while many Europeans do not, inevitably has an influence here.

              I remember well an uncle of mine by marriage, an Englishman who had lived in India and travelled much in Europe, coming back from his first visit to the States when in his fifties and saying ‘it is the strangest country I have ever visited’.

              1. Colonel Smithers

                Thank you.

                I wonder if Scotsman Donald’s Make America Great is the precursor to Make America Great Britain Again.

                Trump, Liz Saxe-Coburg and the BBC’s in house Tory Laura (von) Kuenssberg have a lot in common, German on the father’s side, Scottish on the mother’s side and inherited lots of money.

                1. epynonymous

                  I wonder if Scotland and others might leave the UK and join the EU?

                  Might be reading this wrong, but imagine the legal implications. Britain keeps it’s independence, and it’s colonies can look after it’s colonies can look after…

                  1. paul

                    It’s certainly possible, but it’s going to be tough.

                    Having two fronts to fight will be tough for Treeza, especially as monotasking seems a little too demanding for her

                  2. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

                    Scotland gets Europe and England gets America back?- Well, are we forgetting Australia and the media-baron par excellence? One ring-in* to rule them all!

                    Now there’s a thought; foreign-owned media – a symptom of the decline of empire?

                    Or a catalyst? Britain had Lord Beaverbrook and The Daily Express, and look what happened there.

                    * ring-in = substitute in Aussie slang.
                    In soccer, a substitute – brought in, late in the game, when the team is on its last legs often wins the day.

  4. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you to Chuck L for the link to Laurie Penny’s rant. I read it despite the author.

    For those who don’t know, Laurie Penny is a Blairite hack and author of regular hatchet jobs on Jeremy Corbyn and the left. She does not care about the disadvantaged. I can’t think of a US approximation apart from Rachel Maddow.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, I’ve been surprised at her anointment as some sort of great voice of the working class. After reading some of her awful clickbait Guardian articles a few years ago I stopped reading anything she wrote, and I was surprised to see that the excellent Baffler and Jacobin were both publishing her writings. Considering some of the excellent writers out there struggling for employment I have never understood how so many second raters seem to hog up valuable space on otherwise good magazines. Even in the left wing world I think connections are everything. I wonder though if some US publications are a little too impressed by Brits with credentials.

      1. IDontKnow

        As a recent subscriber to Jacobin, reading your comments was depressing. However I could be wrong, but it seems they have not used anything from her since 2013 according to both their website’s search engine and Google’s. I don’t know if it will do any good, but never the less, have sent a link to this comment stream to the editor.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I might have been mistaken about the Jacobin, I just recall seeing her name under a list of articles a few months ago (it was enough to make me not want to click it). It might well have been an old article.

    2. paul

      Reading it, I was wondering where she had been these past years, her faction was gung ho for austerity,asset stripping the NHS and war whenever possible.
      They were unstinting in their desire to outbid the coalition in demonising the victims
      According to her anguished rant, everything was the brexiteers fault, not the supine complicity of the new labour establishment.
      Maybe you should have piped up earlier,love.

      1. Clive

        It’s remarkable how Remainers like Penny are oblivious to the possibility that their urban elite blinkers which led them to support New Labour and the Coalition’s policy responses to globalisation are maybe the primary cause of Brexit happening in the first place. There really is no US equivalent I can think of. I suppose you have to imagine Debbie Wasserman Schultz sitting in her mansion giving a withering glance at her maid — suspicious she might not have dusted under the ornaments on the mantle — while quietly seething and wondering, genuinely perplexed, why Hillary lost. That’s a rough approximation.

      2. Musicismath

        Laurie Penny was all of 10 when the Blair government was elected in 1997. I’m no particular fan of hers (although that rant is very good), but calling her a blairite seems a little … reductive. She’s like a lot of younger Britons I know, who grew up in a time of (relative) optimism and growth and now look back on those, their childhood years, with nostalgia and longing. They don’t see the darker underside of that period because of relative class privilege and because they were, well, children. And I can’t entirely blame them for that.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          Fair comment.

          That has not stopped Penny and Rhiannon Lucy Coslett, to name but two, from spewing out neo-liberal and neo-con nonsense.

          Coslett is at it again today in today’s Guardian, calling out Cameron for his betrayal of millenials (Brexit). There was no mention of other people suffering under the Tory jackboot.

          1. ChrisPacific

            We are all indoctrinated in neoliberal nonsense from the moment we first draw breath. I think I was in my 30s before I even realized it, and it was some time after that before I felt properly free of it (even now I am suspicious of my default reactions sometimes).

            On that basis, I am willing to cut the young some slack if they lack self-awareness. Be patient with them. If they’re rational, capable of listening and exposed to the right arguments, they will eventually come around.

            Looking down I see Clive has already posted basically the same comment, so consider this a +1.

        2. Clive

          I, being one of Thatcher’s children (not literally, I hasten to add) similarly was a product of our time and our upbringing. So I fell — hook, line and sinker — for pretty much all the trickle-down pull-yourself-up property-owning-democracy guff which we got saturated with.

          However, I wised up. The variety of excuses which are suggested to explain Penny and her delusional thinking wear a bit thin once you are out of your twenties. Once you are pushing back your mid thirties so hard your hands are hurting, it is verging on the embarrassing.

          1. H. Alexander Ivey

            I, being one of Thatcher’s children (not literally, I hasten to add)

            Thank God for that!

            I just had to post – your line made me laugh thru my coffee. haha.

        3. paul

          Penny is hardly a representative younger briton:

          “Penny was selected by Truthdig as “Truthdigger of the Week” for the week of 25 November 2011.[26] In 2012, Tatler magazine described her as one of top 100 ‘people who matter’.[27] In October 2012, The Daily Telegraph ranked Penny as the 55th most influential left-winger in Britain, reporting that she is “without doubt the loudest and most controversial female voice on the radical left.”[28] In April 2014, Penny was announced as an International Nieman Fellow at Harvard”

          She’s in the biz, ,not some saucer eyed ingenue

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Paul.

            I would love to know the criteria for Penny’s elevation, especially the Tatler. I am surprised that the Horse & Hound, The Field and Shooting Times magazines have not done anything similar.

            1. Musicismath

              Yeah. When you compare Penny’s outsize profile with that of say, Dawn Foster (her exact contemporary, more or less) — and compare their bios and backgrounds — it’s perhaps not hard to discern what those “criteria” might be.

        4. EyeRound

          Can’t say I’d ever heard of Laurie Penny until I read today’s linked article, so I have no argument with what people here are saying about her political loyalties.

          I must say, though, that I enjoyed the florid rhetoric in Penny’s writing style. “Boris Johnson farted and left the room” was very good. So was “Brexit’s oiliest propagandist” (the term “oily” pops into my brain a lot recently) and “alleged barnyard-animal-fancier Cameron.” Also “incoherent rage” and “the febrile Summer of 2011.”

    3. makedoanmend

      The only reason the blairite crowd are pretending a “Road to Damascus” conversion is that the sweet gravy train of easy and well paid Eurojobs is now denied to them as of yesterday. For the blairite politician careerists and their political hacks they are now left solely with the desolation of a post-brexit Britain job market. The know they will have to lower themselves to a whole other level of grovelling to the well-healed in order to maintain their lifestyles.

      To these credentialated nobs, this amounts to being deprived in their world. This is their idea of pain, want and neglect. They’re feeling liberally sorry for themselves.

      They didn’t and couldn’t give a toss about the actual victims of austerity. They probably don’t know a single victim of Tory austerity. They just write about them the same way I might write a scientific paper about bacteria.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        Absolutely spot on.

        I have a former colleague (and FB friend) to whom this applies. The only break from her tale of Brexit woe was the US election and FB rants about Trump (and Corbyn, often the usual identity politics).

        She was too far down the party list to be elected as an MEP for London (two attempts, not well connected enough to blairites to make it further up). Her attempts to be selected as a UK parliamentary candidate have been frustrated by leftists and / or trade unionists who took a dim view of her being a lobbyist for banks (before she wisely became a lobbyist for pension funds and the national endowment for science and the arts). She was elected to a ward in the City of London last year. That position will help with grovelling, as will being a Labour Friend of Israel (oddly at the same time as being a Labour Friend of Palestine and Kashmir).

        Part of that gravy train, also with an eye to election, is working for charities such as Save The Children and Unicef. You may have noticed the blairites (and one brownite attack dog) at the top of these organisations and the politicisation. The people at the top get paid more than the UK PM and US President, including bonuses of up to a quarter of salary depending on the amount of fund raising). The late Labour MP elevated by some to sainthood (after the tragedy during the Brexit referendum) and her husband and their mentors were creaming it at STC and Unicef, which led to volunteers like my mum to walk out in protest at the money being diverted to finance the lavish lifestyles of the top managers (vide the late MP’s house boat moored at St Katharine’s Dock, next to the Tower of London and not a cheap mooring) and the blairite / clintonite stances taken by the charities (or more accurately the crooks who had hijacked worthy causes).

        1. paul

          While I don’t agree with nutters whacking people in the street, one of her favourite,well funded organisations, the white helmets, see this as a perfectly normal part of the rough and tumble of politics.
          The irony.….
          Didn’t her husband have to keep changing well paid compassion sector jobs for being a bit ‘handsy’ with the female help?

    4. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      Thank you Colonel for that information – I did enjoy the article which I believe contains much in the way of truth, although I do believe that it is over pessimistic, which of course could be a case of denial on my part, as in trying to hold on to a flake of optimism in a world which appears to be flushing itself down a toilet.

      It seems that we have cast ourselves adrift in a leaky, overcrowded & somewhat fractious lifeboat, not dissimilar from the huge liner we have left. I for one cannot decide which vessel will turn out to have been the best option – perhaps only time will tell.

      In terms of DOOM – I watched this yesterday which was very informative & often funny. A talk featuring Chris Martenson, John Michael Greer, James Howard Kunstler, Frank Morris & Dmitry Orlov. Not likely to cheer anybody up, but there is much that appeared to me, to be worthy of digestion.

    5. The Cleaner

      The most amusing part of that rant for me was the bit about Britain being a “plucky little island”… oh well, I suppose it is no more delusional than Americans thinking they are a force for unalloyed good.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        The term “plucky little Brit” is applied to Brits who exit in the early, usually first, rounds of Wimbledon, usually having been awarded a wild card entry and, sometimes, double faulted at match point.

  5. RenoDino

    Republicans don’t understand that Americans don’t want their eclectic porn habits tracked and sold, eventually finding their way into the general public. Say if one likes Diaper Porn (made up, but it probably exists) will he or she then be barraged with diaper ads even though their days of needing diapers are long gone. Will visitors to their house, seeing those diaper ads on TV begin to speculate about the reasons for those ads?

    Every ad served up on TV will be for a reason related to that user’s personal internet history. When anyone invites you over to watch the game, their whole personal history of searching the internet will be on display. Now you will know who has jock itch and who cheats on their spouse,

    Is this being to done for the purposes of self censorship or strictly for the benefit of commerce? If both, then it was a genus move by socially conservative Republicans. Most Americans won’t like the results.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      The only coherent argument that I have gotten from the FCC chair was that they don’t want the FCC regulating ISP’s and internet companies, they want the FTC to do it. Also he wants an Opt-in privacy system, kinda like the Do Not Call list works. If this was true then the Senate should have joined the repeal with new regulations no?

      1. reslez

        One wonders why they bother to come up with an excuse anymore.The rich people got what they want, the voters got f**ked, and both sides know it. What is the point in pretending?

    2. Toolate

      Well dunno bout that:last I checked it is the socially conservative republicans found in hotel rooms with young men

    3. lyman alpha blob

      ” …but it probably exists”

      No probably about it – you have clearly been hanging out in the wrong places ;)

      Back in the day there was a rather pudgy, greying, 50-60 year old gentleman who used to show up on a semi-regular basis in a bar I frequented clad in nothing but some flip flops and a large diaper. He’d order his cocktails and have them poured in his baby bottle so he could drink them from the nipple.

      One of my favorite people watching subjects, right after the guy who walked his somewhat shorter partner down the street on a spiked leather leash.

      1. reslez

        Reminds me of the gay pride parade I attended in NYC a few years back. The gay couple sitting next to us at the hotel breakfast bar thought we touristy Minnesotans must be pretty shocked at seeing homosexuals in real life. I didn’t bother telling them about Loring Park and its gay pride parade. (Both are/were lots of fun!)

  6. Eureka Springs

    Caterpillar workers react with anger, suspicion to UAW contract ratification

    Read it and never ever wonder again why and how unions and the demo party fall together. Change a few words in the article and it would be difficult to make a distinction between the two – how they operate.

    That said, I would be very very skeptical of infrastructure projects unions are recommending to public/private profiteer Trump. Most especially, since there is no national emergency plan to deploy high speed fiber to every home on the grid. It’s the 20th century equivalent of little neoliberalcon house on the prairie out here in flyover. Maybe we could get some orange juice cans and kite string to tide us over. As soon as they figure out how to tap it and get a 100 plus bucks a month I’m sure they will.

  7. RenoDino

    Now I read every alarmist headline from above with a new sense of calm and personal reassurance.
    I simply smile and say, “Jared is on it.” Can’t wait to buy the T-shirt.

  8. Jim Haygood

    War news from the eastern front, comrades:

    Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.

    The lack of diplomacy and planning for the future in places like Yemen and Syria could render victories there by the United States and its allies unsustainable.

    “From harsh experience, we know that either U.S. forces will have to be involved for the long term or victory will dissipate soon after they leave,” [former Obama admin official Robert Malley] said.

    Heh heh … he said “victory.” For the record, the last clear-cut US military “victory” occurred in 1983 in Grenada, a punk-ass island with 100,000 people.

    Get a load of General Joseph Votel lecturing some Kongress Klowns yesterday:

    Speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, General Votel said the Pentagon had not relaxed its rules of engagement. He called the mounting toll of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking” and said Central Command was investigating their cause.

    HA HA HA HA … kind of like a heroin dealer vowing to track down the cause of overdoses in his neighborhood.

    Votel’s irony-proof Mad Hatterism shows that it’s not merely institutional decay eroding the US empire, but intellectual bankruptcy as well. Likely the poor man believes his own bullshit.

    1. Jim Haygood

      More mush from the simp:

      In Iraq, General Votel said that in just the past 37 days, as the fight moved into the denser western side of Mosul, 284 of the Iraqi forces had been killed and 1,600 more wounded, underlining the ferocity of the battles.

      So we’re back to the glory days of Robert McNamara and his Vietnam body counts. How did that work out for us?

      This is what we get from the best and brightest grads of the U.S. Military Academy.

      *makes rude hand gesture in front of crotch*

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Jim.

        It may have been you a couple of years ago who suggested closing down the Ivy League uni’s (for all of the bad stuff these so-called seats of learning produce). It may be time to add West Point to that list.

      2. Carolinian

        Dunno about the hand gesture but yes Trump’s love for generals is disturbing. That said the situation under Hillary would probably be worse or much worse. As B says in his latest about recent presidential choices

        I would have been nice if the U.S. electorate had had a chance to vote for a better one. But that was – unfortunately – not the case. The result has to be accepted. Fighting it is useless. The war on issues has begun.

        The good news is that lefties may have to start being anti-war again on the theory “whatever you’re for [“you” being Trump] I’m against it.”

        1. cocomaan

          As long as the commander in chief speaks in calm, even tones, most people are fine with foreign wars, especially if they are waged by spec ops, robots, or mercenaries.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          This is all fake news, claiming that there is some kind of so-called “war” happening right now, I listened to CNN for a couple of hours straight and nobody said a word about it. A few days ago there was some BS about America smashing a few hundred women and children in a place supposedly called “Mosul”, but nobody I know had ever heard of it

    2. marym

      Trump Said to Ease Combat Rules in Somalia Intended to Protect Civilians

      President Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the American military carries out counterterrorism strikes in Somalia, laying the groundwork for an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa.
      Mr. Trump on Wednesday signed a directive declaring parts of Somalia an “area of active hostilities,” where war-zone targeting rules will apply for at least 180 days, the officials said.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Intervention would be to go into a new country.

          On existing, inherited mess like Somalia, either we get out now, or finish what we set out to do. The third choice, to drag things out, is the most lethal one, I believe.

          1. marym

            what we set out to do

            Who’s “we” and what is it you “set out to do” that will be ”finish[e]d” by means of more slaughter, destruction, refugees, and chaos?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              By we, I mean those we’ve elected to run the country, like Bush or Obama, and those who they picked to carry out their commands.

              And either we get out now, or we finish what they or we set out to do.

              Dragging out is the most lethal choice, I believe.

              If you believe we should get out now, we should, and work out a plan, minimizing destruction, chaos and slaughter, etc (because it will not be free of them, even with this choice).

              If you believe we need to finish the job, then do that too (minimizing, again, chaos, etc).

              1. fosforos

                At the start, though, there was a “plan.” When Middle Bush sent in his boys, it was to feed people for sixty days and then leave. But the Clinton took over–and twentyfour years later we’re still feeding them as many bombs as they need.

              2. jawbone

                I think the question was meant to find out what you see as the US Gov’s objectives. What is it that would mean something is finished? What is that job?

                And wouldn’t it be important to know in some degree of detail why that job is important to do?

                Right now, things in Yemen seem to be a way of keeping the Saudis from sending Wahabi schools and fighters away from the US…or, who really knows? If it’s expanding the locations of lily pads for more and more US bases and forward deployments of some sort, what kind of objective is that meant to accomplish, other than keeping up the hegemony?

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Good questions.

                  I asked the same below, about what the end game is. It seems it has to be include every player in that region. It is about long term.

                  Does that long term end game involve we finishing the (the short term objective, whatever that is – remember, I initially wrote as a question, a question of what our objective is…I was asking, what is our goal) job and move out? That would answer both questions – get out and finish the job.

              3. wilroncanada

                Hello Beef
                I kind-of guessed what you mean by your statement about Somalia. What I would add is that You (meaning the US) and the rest of us in the so-called first world (including Canada, my country) stop stealing their resources, not only from Somalia, but also from all those other “dependencies”, that we’ve all colonized, economically if not physically.

        2. jrs

          actually Trump OFTEN promised to be tough on “terrorism” and he is. Remember: “we should steal their oil” oh and “we should go after their family members”. So I don’t think this actually counts as breaking a campaign promise. The non-interventionism was more projected than real, true he wanted peace with Russia and thought the Iraq war was a mistake (decades later). But that is all. It’s not Trump’s fault people weren’t paying attention to who he actually was and what he was actually saying.

          1. jrs

            To some extent of course empire continues quite regardless of who is president. Empires gonna empire. But Trump really never promised non-interventionism in the first place.

            1. allan

              Trump lays out non-interventionist U.S. military policy [Reuters, Dec. 6, 2016]

              President-elect Donald Trump laid out a U.S. military policy on Tuesday that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts and instead focus heavily on defeating the Islamic State militancy. …

              “We don’t forget. We want to strengthen old friendships and seek out new friendships,” he said. He said the policy of “intervention and chaos” must come to an end.

              While U.S. armed forces are deployed in far-flung places around the globe, they are only involved currently in active combat in the Middle East, specifically Iraq and Syria for the most part. …

              But of course, that was a long time ago.
              And we shouldn’t take him literally.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I think it was not so long ago that we can’t take it literally.

                He said ‘would avoid,’ and not ‘under no circumstances.’

                Perhaps that relates to the devil that is in the details of getting out of inherited interventions.

                Similarly, he said, ‘come to an end,’ implying a process, and not ‘come to an immediate end,’ (almost a divine assertion) due to perhaps the same consideration.

                That’s how I read it literally.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Obama got an 8-year free pass, not doing anything he said he would do. The current guy didn’t even get 10 minutes

    3. a different chris

      >could render victories there by the United States and its allies unsustainable.

      When was the last “sustainable” meaningful (sorry, Grenada!) victory we ever had? Anybody?

      And Jim’s part about maybe “the poor man believes his own bullshit” is really the source of the problem. Hillary’s a grifter, but she also believes… and it’s turtles all the way down from her as far as the gummint, right and purportedly left, is concerned. Full on insanity.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Jim and Chris.

        Further to Grenada, about two years ago the US ambassador to Mauritius woke up from her tropical stupor, began to pontificate about the cull of golden bats (who were then destroying cash crops, fruits mainly), the harassment of prostitutes by the police and mistreatment of immigrant workers (mainly Bangladeshis hired by textiles firms and housed in hostels near the factories, doing the jobs the islanders no longer want to do) and engaging with NGOs. We wondered why. At that time the Mauritian government was piping up in defence of Palestinians and claiming the Chagos archipelago (including Diego Garcia) back. That did not please Uncle Sam and its poodle, John Bull. The BBC began spewing out fake news about the islands (including a hurricane in winter (WTF), crime and a plague of rats). We suspected that a colour revolution, if not invasion, was afoot.

        With regard to Chagos, the government hired Mrs Clooney at that time. God knows why. Mauritians are suckers for celebrity and easy prey for con artists. When Clooney worked out that taking the side of the Chagossiens, a worthy cause, put her advancement under the Clintons at risk, she jumped ship.

    4. tejanojim

      Panama, 1989 was a clear victory for the US. Note that this doesn’t invalidate your larger argument.

      1. JustAnObserver

        Wasn’t that victory achieved by blasting Gen. Norriega’s troops with AC/DC played through a Mega Watt sound system ? Who said the US military lack imagination ?

        Maybe the Iraqis could try this on West Mosul.

        Just think of the effect on the Taliban of drones retrofitted to blast them with Arthur Brown’s “I am the God of Hellfire”.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The footage of American tanks running over civilians didn’t make the nightly news, but you’re right, the American military prevailed in Panama. Previous win was probably Omaha Beach…though you’d definitely have to mark Vietnam in the “win” column if you were Bechtel or Halliburton

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Vietnam quagmire.

          Nixon got the nation out only after many years of trying amidst continuing destruction. And we gave them and the Chinese a chance at prosperity.

          The equivalent today would be a new Marshall Plan for the cradle of civilization, and if we keep trying for many, many years…for the problem is even thornier.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I read that we have already paid Marshall + dollars just in Afghanistan (reconstruction projects only) with no effect. Kabul currently controls around 60% of the country. I bet you could find lots of those dollars sloshing around places like the Lindenhofkeller Restaurant in Zurich if you tried…so at least somebody’s benefiting.

          2. larry dallas

            Didn’t Nixon put the kibosh on the plan to end the war in ’68 during the election to ensure his victory?

          3. H. Alexander Ivey

            Nixon didn’t get us out of Vietnam, Congress did by cutting the funds. Then ‘North’ Vietnam smashed their way down the length of ‘South’ Vietnam in a military style that the Norte Americanos were supposed to be adept at stopping (proving that you can’t teach a people how to fight from the outside, the South Vietnamese couldn’t stop the Big Battalion style attack), and capturing Saigon.

    5. fosforos

      Not quite right to say “For the record, the last clear-cut US military “victory” occurred in 1983 in Grenada…” The last victory (a much greater one as measured by [civilian] body count) was the (middle Bush’s) appropriately named “Operation Jus’ Caus’,” a triumph over those two fearsome military juggernauts, Panama and the Vatican.

  9. Ignim Brites

    “War and Propaganda”. The author worries that the campaign against Russian hacking of our democracy increases the risk of a military miscalculation escalating to nuclear war. That there are really no major areas of conflict between Russia and the US makes this unlikely. However, this also undermines the logic of MAD and does make the use of in theater nuclear weapons more thinkable. Russia could conceivably use or threaten to use nuclear weapons to repel an assault on its Iranian partner in Syria.

    1. fresno dan

      Ignim Brites
      March 30, 2017 at 8:40 am

      “That there are really no major areas of conflict between Russia and the US makes this unlikely.”

      I am not nearly so sanguine….what REALLY were the areas of conflict between us and Iraq….us and Syria….us and Libya….us and Yemen….us and Ukraine….and who knows how many other places we’re “pacifying” and “freeing.” As that master strategist Karl Rove said, “….we create our own reality….”

      Another leading U.S. military figure, General Douglas MacArthur, spoke in 1957 at a Sperry Rand Corporation annual meeting:
      “Our swollen budgets constantly have been misrepresented to the public. Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.”

      Its like MacArthur – is more liberal than 110% of dems….

      1. JTMcPhee

        Goes maybe with the old joke about the guy who was stopped by the cops for carrying a large-caliber elephant gun around in Times Square. When asked why the heck he was doing that, he responded, “To keep the wild elephants away!” The cop noted that there was not a wild elephant within 7,000 miles of Times Square. Replied the smug gunman, “See? It works!”

    2. vidimi

      it’s easy to imagine syria or iran becoming those conflict zones very quickly.

      and where you have a conflict with russia, you will inevitably have one with china as well as the two countries now fully realise that they must stick together or perish to american insanity.

  10. allan

    Reclamation denialism:

    China says ‘no such thing’ as man-made islands in South China Sea

    There was “no such thing” as man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea, China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday, and reiterated that any building work was mainly for civilian purposes. …

    … ministry spokesman Wu Qian implied that was perhaps a misunderstanding, though he said there was construction work which China had every right to do as the Spratlys were inherent Chinese territory.

    “There is no such thing as man-made islands,” Wu told a regular monthly news briefing. …

    Shorter Xi: You and what navy?

    1. Tertium Squid

      If they don’t exist, then China must not oppose any efforts to remove them or blow them up.

    2. tejanojim

      Or: “We have missiles that can sink your carriers that you have no defenses for. So please feel free to eff right off now.”

      1. KurtisMayfield

        One island and a UN resolution allowing for a weather observation station to be built on a reef does not make the entire island chain theirs.

  11. Indrid Cold

    Invisible Hand: simplistic and incomplete- shows a poor understanding of Gnosticism- ignores the role of reactionary plutocrats and intelligence agencies in fostering “prosperity gospel”

  12. justanotherprogressive

    Re: Those pics from Bored Panda. As a person owned by two cats, I’ve had my suspicions…..

    A good laugh with coffee is a great way to start the day!

  13. Linda

    Menu labeling, part of Obamacare, goes into effect May 5.

    Menu labeling regulations as written by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were slipped into the Affordable Care Act seven years ago as one of the mammoth law’s many mandates. It means that restaurants with 20 or more locations must post in-store menu boards for every food item and combination served.

    The Affordable Care Act requires nutrition labeling for standard menu items sold from certain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, as well as calorie labeling for food sold from certain vending machines. Some details:

    Restaurant menu labeling – Applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, offering for sale substantially the same menu items and offering for sale restaurant-type foods.

    Vending machine labeling – Requires operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines to disclose calorie information for food sold from vending machines, subject to certain exemptions.

    Maybe because restaurant owners were expecting menu labeling to go away with the wholesale repeal of Obamacare last week, most are not yet ready to meet the new rules as Section 4205 did not go away.

    1. Roger Smith

      To me this goes along with the frivolous soda taxes that keep popping up. Why is this necessary? It isn’t rocket science that that greasy 4 enchilada dinner with beans and rice is bad for you. Moreover, how is a restaurant supposed to calculate calories? Is there an FDA standard for basic ingredients?

      1. cocomaan

        I have been doing some research into the School Lunch Program for a presentation I’m giving on reading federal regs. The example I’m going to use is the part of the CFR dealing with tomato paste as a full serving of veggies even though by volume it isn’t, which was a way for schools to keep pizza on the menu “as a vegetable”.

        The length and complexity of the CFR with regard to school lunches is really incredible stuff. The federal register sent out this batch of recommendations in 2011. I imagine compliance started at some date after that.

        And where are we now? Obesity rates for children remain at all time highs, around 1 in 5 kids.

        I don’t really have a solution, except to say that the culture is not going to change readily on these problems just because someone made a law.

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          Just for clarity, the CFR is the Code of Federal Regulations for those unfamiliar with this abbreviation. I am the clerk of government documents at a university law library and am responsible for the intake & maintenance of the CFR, Federal Register, Congressional Record, and so on ad nauseam. Parenthetically, the extent of the CFR is stunning, running to several hundred volumes. You can access it online, but stopping by your local Federal Depository Library and examining this publication en masse is a sobering experience. The intersection of Congressional intent, bureaucratic influence & inertia, and political influence over how regulations are formulated.

          1. visitor

            Ein alter Chinese sagte, er habe gehört, wenn Reiche zu Grunde gehen sollen, so hätten sie viele Gesetze. Nietzsche

            Or: an old Chinese said that he had heard that empires nearing their downfall have many laws.

      2. River

        One easy way to do it is to go back to what portion sizes were in the 1970’s. They were much smaller then. At least if you’re going to eat poorly you won’t be eating massive amounts of food.

        Businesses would love it. Smaller portions for the same price! Sign me up!

      3. jrs

        The calorie thing doesn’t make that much sense, it does require adding up all the ingredients to calculate (with a pretty big margin of error). And unless one is deliberately doing a low calorie diet it’s not the most important information about the food one eats IMO.

        But I would like to know the ingredients in what I am eating and the restaurant DOES know that and easily.. It’s why I make more of my meals myself, which is one way of dealing with it, but going out to eat is part of social life etc. so it would be nice to know it.

        1. reslez

          I think it’s helpful in some cases. For instance, the shocking number of calories in french fries. You’re better off in some cases eating 2 burgers instead of getting any fries, yet people polish off a large size like it’s nothing. Milkshakes are crazy too, even the smallest sizes. I think there are a lot of foods where it isn’t obvious how terrible they really are until it’s posted in black and white.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Indonesian man’s body found inside python – police BBC (resilc) :-(

    Knowledge is not always welcome. Some people may not want to know and voluntarily decide not to read that, for example.

    Visual knowledge is also not always welcome. We’d be OK if the media doesn’t show us the picture or video of that. They (the media) decide what to censor. We are copacetic with censorship…to be censored without our explicit (perhaps with implicit) approval

    So, don’t let them say, “Knowledge is always good to have.” It’s ‘Maybe you don’t want to see that…that visual knowledge is bad.”

    1. Antifa

      Oh, that’s a fine line to walk, deciding in advance what you don’t want to know about. Sure, sure — ‘Python Swallows Man’ is such a rare story that a case for not needing to see the photos can be made. It’s not likely to happen to you and yours, even in Sulawesi.

      But in this world, full knowledge is always good to have. Raising my children, I took a constant interest in the contents of every diaper, since that was an excellent gauge of their intestinal health. What they ate got the same careful scrutiny. Froot Loops, after all, is neither fruit, nor nutrition, any more than health insurance is health care. No matter how colorful the box, the contents are pure pretense, and it’s good to know this.

      The devil is in the details. You have to read the fine print. You gotta see for yourself.

      In the Sixties, probably the key cause of public rejection of the Vietnam war was all of us seeing bloody corpses on TeeVee every night, “in living color.” And that was the film they’d allow us to see. If the Pentagon and our gubbermint and our corporate media let us see video of the remains of every wedding party hit by a Hellfire missile, we’d be out of the Middle East permanently inside of a year. But they never will, and never seeing the incredible ways human bodies get strewn in all directions by artillery puts us in the same position as the ‘good Germans’ of the Third Reich, who could honestly say after the war that ‘no one ever told us’ about the death camps.

      Same thing for GMO foods, glyphosate, neonicotinoids and honeybees, the opioid epidemic, the Dominionist beliefs of soon-to-be President Mike Pence, Superfund sites in your immediate neighborhood, and whether there are any enormous asteroids currently headed this way. All stuff you need to know like the contents of your kid’s diaper, or it’s stuff that can pop up and bite you, hard, when it’s too late to do anything about it.

      Please don’t ask for censorship. Ask for courage, a strong stomach, and the whole truth.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In the Middle Ages, certain students had to dig up dead bodies to dissect, in order to gain knowledge of the human body. Not everyone was up to that task then, and not everyone is today.

        And perhaps we should show how the bad guys chopped off heads of the condemned. Or perhaps not.

        I know I would rather not see things like that.

        And I know some can, for whatever reason…positive or otherwise.

        I think knowledge is generally good to have, but not always. As you say, likely a case for not needing to watch the python, video. That is, not always.

    2. Lona

      Sorry, but I can’t help but recall Ogden Nash’s verse:
      “The python has, and I fib no fibs,
      318 pairs of ribs.
      In stating this I place reliance
      On a seance with one who died for science.
      This figure is sworn to and attested;
      He counted them while being digested. ”
      – Ogden Nash

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And this one:

        Yesterday upon the stair
        I met a man who wasn’t there
        He wasn’t there again today
        Oh, how I wish he’d go away
        When I came home last night at three
        The man was waiting there for me
        But when I looked around the hall
        I couldn’t see him there at all!
        Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
        Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door
        Last night I saw upon the stair
        A little man who wasn’t there
        He wasn’t there again today
        Oh, how I wish he’d go away

        1. reslez

          When Grandmamma fell off the boat,
          And couldn’t swim (and wouldn’t float),
          Matilda just stood by and smiled.
          I almost could have slapped the child.

          Harry Graham, “Indifference”

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China’s Great Sea-Protection Wall.

    China completes major militarised islands MacroBusiness. While you were busy worrying about Russia….

    America has been trumped in the South China Sea Financial Times

    Trumped…as in ‘it’s good, from their vantage point, to trump foreigners, good to protected one’s borders?????”

    Is the Financial Times suggesting we now ‘trump’ those who do not respect our borders with our own wall????

    1. a different chris

      I love that – “America has been trumped in the South China Sea” .. by China. Now I know the word “China” in the name doesn’t make it a part of, you know, China, but it sure doesn’t make it part of America and gives you a good grip on the geography of this issue, for sure.

      Like one of our commenters here, wish I remembered who, that made that snarky remark about Putin putting his troops almost all the way up on Russia’s border, so we just have to have bases in every country surrounding him!

  16. Octopii

    My office is next to the local VW dealer’s service building. For many weeks now they’ve been lining up TDI cars with a “not for sale” tag on the mirror. Every day or so a truck with an auto trailer shows up and takes a bunch away somewhere, presumably a holding area like the one in Detroit pictured. Maybe it goes all the way there from DC. Hard to imagine the amount of sheer work that’s going into just delivering all the cars to the holding ground.

    1. inhibi

      Cause nothing says “environmentally friendly” than scrapping old cars for new ones. And by scrapping I mean letting rust on some huge concrete lot somewhere. My god, is everyone intellectually bankrupt these days?

      1. tegnost

        rumor I heard is they’ll ship them to brazil or somewhere that has less stringent regs, does anyone have more info?

        This article thinks they can’t be exported unless compliant…

        FTA…”As for exporting them to another country, that too is allowed—but only if they have first received an Approved Emissions Modification that brings the cars into compliance with EPA limits on nitrogen oxide emissions.

        And that’s the rub. As the agreement notes in several places, such modifications haven’t yet been developed and approved—and there’s no guarantee that they ever will be.

        And if modifications can’t be developed for some or all of the various sets of engines and emissions systems, the cars using them must be disabled.”

      2. nowhere

        I think they are still trying to figure out what they are going to do.

        Volkswagen can’t resell the cars it buys; nor can it export them to other countries without modifying them to be EPA compliant. Since there is no EPA-approved modification—Volkswagen has multiple deadlines through October 2017 by which it must submit final modification proposals—the cars must be “rendered inoperable” by removing their main brain, the engine control unit (ECU). The rest of the cars can be scrapped for parts, and those parts can be resold here or abroad, including the engines. Only the ECU, the diesel oxidation catalyst, and the diesel particulate filter must be destroyed on each car.

  17. Parker Dooley

    Brexit, Pursued by Despair

    This is a 5-star rant! Is Laurie Penny the reincarnation of Oscar Wilde?

    1. Clive

      More like Oscar the Grouch. It’s all Brexit’s fault she has to live this trash can. The Ballad of Reading (the) Daily Mail.

  18. IDontKnow

    Re: TECH AND THE FAKE MARKET TACTIC Anil Dash (Chuck L). From early March, still germane and very clever. Uber as the prototypical fake market, and what else might be in store.

    The March 1 date has to be a mistake, as there are only three comments, all dating from 29 March. BTW, the comment by Andrew Rasiej · The Cooper Union was good, IMHO, though ICBW.

    A terrific piece but I see a problem with your main proposed solution: Politicians and their financiers have also created a “fake” democracy dominated, gerrymandered, and corrupted by the same corporate interests that gave rise to the behavior you so clearly indict. There is no real incentive for politicians to be a) properly educated, or b) to take action once they are.

  19. Linda


    Moscow (CNN) Russian President Vladimir Putin has described allegations that his country meddled in the 2016 US election as “fictional, illusory, provocations and lies.”

    Asked directly on Thursday whether Russia interfered in the election, Putin said: “Read my lips: No.”

    Putin’s comments are the President’s most emphatic denial of the accusations yet, and are the first he has directly made since Trump took office in January.

    “I think it’s not in the interest of the American people to carry Russian-American relations to the point of absurdity, just to benefit the inner political agenda,” Putin continued.

    1. JTMcPhee

      “Cyber Firm Rewrites Part of Disputed Russian Hacking Report.”

      Very interesting that this article appears in “VOA,” which of course is the Voice of America, notorious purveyor of “the straight dope” since WW II, as is claimed in their very own mission statement. And there’s this, from another trusted source:

      Makes one wonder what little or large stratagem or initiative this little tidbit is part of — isn’t Great Game play just fascinating, in all its complexity and hangouts and subterranean sallies? “We do this stuff just because we know how to, and because we can…”

      1. Alex Morfesis

        Methynx dmitry alperovich is about to be thrown under the bus as a deep cover long term operative plant by everyone…as a rogue element in former kgb…noticed the “brilliant” optyx of hiring ilana d(i)mitrova to do pr skunkwerx…

        Some distant cousin/uncle of dmitri will be “arrested” & outed as some “arms dealer” & former kgb in $outh$udan+yemen+$omalia…& he will get stripped of his security clearances…

        White russians…red russians…interesting the wrestling with the ivanov branch of white russian nobility in Ukraine conflict and razputin…old knowbulls are very very patient….

  20. djrichard

    Democrats Against Single Payer Jacobin (martha r). Never forget that, except in 2009, the health care industry has long been the top lobbyist in DC. That is all you need to know regarding how the Democrats will behave with respect to single payer.

    If team purple means anything it’s change. Look, they already changed from blue to purple right … change! lol.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the outside, one purple is no different from another purple.

      I wonder if, on the inside, pedigree matters.

      “My purple line descents from the red one, through blue.”

      “And mine comes originally from the blue, then through red.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He was reported to be open to Democrats.

      Apparently, none of the latter seems to bother.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I thought that because the FC at least has discipline, unlike the flaccid Republican establishment (a major faction of which would betray Trump anyhow).

      That said, I admit I was a bit taken aback by Trump’s instant riposte.

  21. Anne

    Seeing that little foal reminds me that I have become somewhat obsessed with April the Giraffe, who is hugely pregnant and has been thought to be near to giving birth for about a month now. I know they are really large animals, but it boggles my mind that her calf will be about 6 feet tall and weigh around 150 lbs.

    I check into the live feed a couple times a day, and while she has been showing increasing signs of imminent labor, not much happening. We’ll know when we see the hooves peeking out from her nether region…

    Strangely relaxing to watch her munch on her hay, be hand-fed carrots, and what looks like nice, green romaine lettuce, and shower herself with clumps of hay…

  22. fresno dan

    “The concocted discrepancy was significant because these media outlets – and many commentators citing their false story – used it to strongly suggest that Snowden, during these “Missing 11 Days,” was doing something nefarious: such as meeting his Russian or Chinese handlers. Numerous outlets uncritically aired this false claim, including the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News, Business Insider, Slate, Interpreter Magazine and Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil’s largest newspaper).”
    What could possibly excuse this behavior? It’s bad enough that they all printed significant claims that – as Savage documented – never had any journalistic basis in the first place. That’s journalistic recklessness. But now they know their stories are false, and have left them standing without comment. That’s deliberate deceit, journalistic fraud.

    There has been a great deal of hand-wringing over the last several months about why Fake News has proliferated and why Trump views waging war on the media as a winning strategy. The reason for both is clear: trust in established media institutions has collapsed. Yet for all the concern expressed about these trends, there is very little effort expended to examine the media’s own role in this collapse of trust.

    How much of what we read is sheer speculation?
    But more disturbing to me is the agenda – the pro war (i.e., “pro intervention”) pro military pro intelligence state that forms the sea that we live in, never to rise to the surface and look at the existence of land or air…

  23. rich

    Now THIS is a great idea!

    Internet users raise funds to buy lawmakers’ browsing histories in protest

    Internet users are fighting back after Congress voted to block Obama-era internet privacy protections.

    Two fundraising campaigns have so far raised more than $215,000 to purchase and reveal lawmakers’ browsing histories.

    Actor Misha Collins, the star of television show “Supernatural,” has raised more than $63,000 on his GoFundMe page. More than 3,000 people have donated to the page, which has a goal of $500 million.


    1. cyclist

      This possibility was discussed on the Off The Hook hacker’s radio show on WBAI (NYC) last night. One of the participants, who sounded like he had good knowledge of the industry, said this wasn’t likely. That is because the ISP wouldn’t sell this information; instead they would be willing to beam ads to their users who had been viewing certain relevant websites (e.g. you might get ads for Tide if you had been searching about washing clothes). When someone mentioned that maybe they might be inclined sell it in the future, he said, while it is possible, they probably wouldn’t do it if they realized it was going to an activist group.

      1. nowhere

        And who makes a determination if/who/what is an activist group? If they open the data floodgates for sale, how do they restrict that data, unless it is explicitly written that law makers data is exempt from sale.

        1. cyclist

          Apparently, they can sell the browsing history legally. From what I understand, they could have done it in the past, since the new law had not even gone into effect. Wouldn’t they classify a group that raised the money to target politicians as an activist group? Unless they used some sort of Trojan horse.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They wouldn’t sell or not able to sell legally?

        I think this kind of self-control to be too incredulous.

  24. Fool

    RE: Stoller’s tweet, I too have been noticing the reasonableness of Breitbart commenters. On Yemen, they even take a stand against Trump (and boy do they not like those Saudis). I think at least one of the following is true: (1) that they’re not as reactionary as they’re portrayed to be, and (2) that perhaps the Right, wrt foreign policy, have been humbled in the past decade and a half.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Or heaven forbid, the Breitbart audience are not only Right, they’re also right.
      I do not care in the slightest where truthiness comes from

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        Lately, I’ve noticed the same development (meaning specifically in Breitbart comments on prospective foreign wars).

        There has been a real shift. The first time I started to wonder if something different was happening was a few years ago, when the establishments of both parties were contemplating war in Syria; right wing commenters were surprisingly hostile to the idea, often defying the editorial stances of the web sites they were commenting at.

  25. fresno dan

    Stafford and Greenhouse gave the same old excuse to kill, claiming they tried to pull Few over for a warrant, then feared for their lives after Few attempted to run them over by backing into Greenhouse, who had fallen on the ground.

    However, dash cam video shows the car not only never moved but was parked at an angle where it could not have backed into the cops even if it tried.
    It is believed Greenhouse was having an affair with Few’s fiancee, resulting in Few telling the cop to leave her alone a few days before the shooting, which may have led to the car chase before the tragic shooting.
    Conviction probably only due to police camera and these two are not bright enough to know how to disable it or lose the video.

    I watch way too much ID (investigation Discovery TV) and I saw a case where a Minnesota police officer picked up a young girl, raped her and pulled out her fingernails and killed her. And the other day I posted about the 24K false drug arrests in Massachusetts…

    It would be interesting to find out what percentage of police are convicted of serious felonies. Of course, I suspect police ‘get away with murder’ much more than typical because of all the ‘professional courtesy’ in the legal/police complex…..
    I understand that there is a legal presumption that the police tell the truth – in light of the evidence, isn’t it time to make clear that the police are no more truthful than anyone else?

    1. vidimi

      i’ve always assumed that the majority of serial killers are cops. it’s a profession, particularly the cover and impunity it grants, that would be a powerful magnet to anyone of that bent.

  26. hemeantwell


    Mar-a-Lago Is Just the Start of Trump’s Ethical Mess Vanity Fair. Resilc: “we’d be in impeachment process with Clintoon Foundation at this time if she had won.”

    Right, and it’s interesting how the degeneration of elites augments the degeneration of politics. Once corruption becomes pervasive among the catchall party funding harvesters, it’s such an easy, totalizing target that other issues lose political heft. It’s a good complement to identipol, with all of its moralizing emphasis on the tolerance/bigotry binary. And then we have Russophobia, Islamophobia, etc. Moral spectacles get center stage while, as covered here today, centrist hacks steadily chop away at genuine policy alternatives like single payer.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That, or untangling the mess of the global reserve currency, the Petrodollar and global violence.

  27. allan

    New details emerge on Uber, Lyft deal in NYS [Rochester D&C]

    Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft could begin expanding across New York as soon as July under a framework agreement at the state Capitol.

    Lawmakers were briefed late Wednesday on the details of a deal between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to regulate ride-hailing services statewide, a move Uber and Lyft say will allow them to expand outside New York City, where they already operate. …

    Assembly Democrats had been pushing to allow local governments to regulate the industry, rather than the state, while Cuomo and the Senate GOP were pushing for a statewide structure.

    The pending deal includes an opt-out system, which would allow counties and the four large cities to prevent ride-hailing services from doing business within their borders.

    Cahill said the agreement calls for higher insurance coverage limits for ride-hailing companies than what was originally proposed by Cuomo. …

    So, localities have to opt-out of allowing their existing taxi regulations to be violated.
    And some of those localities are run by corrupt GOP or misleadership class Dems,
    so you can guess how that will turn out.

  28. lyman alpha blob

    Why the sad face emoji by the snake-eats-man link?

    With the complete disregard humanity as a whole often often shows towards the rest of the animal kingdom, I always find it a little reassuring and heartwarming that wildlife does still win the occasional battle (as long as I’m not the one being eaten).

    Please keep up those type of links!

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    U.S. War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With No Endgame in Sight New York Times

    What is the end game?

    Does it include returning refugees, a nuclear-free (and regional-hemegon free) theater, the end of the petrodollar system, a solution to the Palestinian question, etc?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Interesting that such an article would run now, less than 90 days into a new presidency…and not during the 2,920 days of the previous regime, when it was also 100% true. Funny, that.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Proof that there is nothing even close to a national security interest at stake in the Middle East.

  30. Pookah Harvey

    Re: FBI Director James Comey Tried To Reveal Russian Tampering Months Before Election

    Can anybody figure out Comey’s game?. After sinking Clinton with his comments on her email investigations just before the election, it now seems he’s sabotaging Trump with his comments on the Russian investigations. Apparently covering his behind by leaking he tried to make the Russia tampering public back in June.

    A wild supposition; the deep state has convinced Comey that they will dump Trump, or at least completely control his administration, in the very near future and he has decided to climb on;board.

      1. Pookah Harvey

        Is it possible that the NSA is the modern equivalent of Hoover’s FBI ? It is credible that if the NSA wanted to get something on any politician it has the means. Trump would seem to be very vulnerable.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Disagree that Trump is vulnerable, they already “had” him being peed upon by prostitutes in a Berlin hotel room and nobody flinched.

  31. Goyo Marquez

    Re: The Invisble Hand
    Platonic dualism masquerading as the teachings Jesus just refuses to go away, “Kill it with fire.”

    Reminds me of this by Werner Jaeger as quoted by Prof Marvin Wilson in his book, Our Father Abraham, Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith: “The most important factor in the history of Christian doctrine was that the father of Christian theology Origen was a platonic philosopher at the school of Alexandria.”

    I, a prosperity preacher myself, always ask, is there some other option? Is there some other option for the poor and the old and the sick, besides believing God? If God doesnt care about their material needs, if God isn’t interested in healing them, if God won’t find them a job, or help them put gas in the car, or pay the electric bill, or buy groceries, or help get their kids into college, if God doesn’t care about their kidney stones or the cancer, if God doesn’t care if they have a roof over their head, if God doesn’t care that the fourth grader takes care of the first grader and the baby while moms working her third job so she can buy a slightly used tire to keep her car going for a few more months, if God doesn’t care, is their some alternative?

    “Therefore don’t worry saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? for after all these things the Gentiles run and your father, after all, knows that you need all these things. But put first the good of the kingdom of God and his redemption and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 (Bob Lindsey translation from Jesus Rabbi & Lord)

    FWIW the prosperity gospel is a version of liberation theology.

    1. kareninca

      I take it that you’re pretending to be obtuse. Since of course the idea is that the afterlife, which lasts an eternity, is what matters – rather than this brief vale of tears. If you really do believe that there is reward of eternal bliss, as recompense for e.g. martyrdom (or not enough money to pay the electric bill), it would seem a rational choice to be an ardent Christian. Now believing in an afterlife of course may be difficult, but that’s a totally separate issue.

      Besides, it is hardly an either-or thing. You can be an ardent Christian and still try to meet your material needs and those of others through all sorts of means. It’s just not supposed to be your primary goal (“put FIRST the good of the kingdom of God”, not put ONLY the good of the kingdom of God).

  32. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Police Warning Shots May Be in for a Comeback NPR (furzy)

    The article gave a few reasons why warning shots have not been used for year.

    There is one new reason – delivery drones flying overhead, everywhere.

  33. Andy

    In the neverending Russia meme, Sen. Collins of Maine stated on “Morning Blowhard”, that the Senate has learned that R.T. was behind the OWS movement…….

    1. Pat

      Well why not blame something else the Democrats wish had never happened on the Russians rather than the fact that they actively made sure that there was little or no recovery from the crash for most people and that made it obvious that our governing bodies regardless of party had little or no regard for anyone who couldn’t write them a large check.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Last evening in the park
      I met an enemy in the dark
      The Ruskie wasn’t there again today
      Oh, how I wish he’d go away

  34. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    More than ever, employees want a say in how big companies like IBM and Wall Street Journal (NWS) are run Quartz (Chuck L


    Not everyone works for a big company.

    And this question: More than voters want a say in how big government is run?

    Here, unlike the situation where only some of us work for a big company (or just a company, as many of us are self-employed), every voter is ‘served’ by the government (through public servants).

  35. John k

    Problems Msm can use to diss Medicare for all:
    It would save too much money overall. Including for most corps. And prenatal care saves too much premie costs, too.
    Ditto too many lives.
    Workers would miss less work.
    Less communicable disease spreading.
    Early diagnosis reduces need for expensive treatments.
    Expensive emergency room treatment room treatment shifts to low cost clinics.

    Most important… less money from insurance corps for reelections, messing up good careers.

    This list goes on and on, practically writes itself.

  36. bob


    That guy is pretty good. Thanks for the link, I’d seen his videos before.

    Toward the end he speaks of a “temporary repair” for next season (to get us through the season). I still haven’t seen any permanent repair proposals. The plan now, as it stands, is to keep throwing money at it.

    There aren’t any easy long term fixes, IMHO. They need a new spillway. That leaves 2 options-

    1) Fix the spillway that’s there. This is complicated by the fact that the current spillway is the only flood control* that they have. In order to fix it, you have to be able stop flow over it for an extended period of time (weeks, at least, probably months). Plan for drought?

    2) Install a new spillway. Where? No good land left. To the right is the dam proper, To the left the “lake” gets much more shallow, you’re getting further away from the river channel. I also think, from what’s been happening, that the left is a no go for geologic (bedrock) reasons.

    They seem to have the spillway in the ONLY place it can be. That’s a BIG problem.

    *The Hydro pipes/tunnels are very, very small. I think I saw that at a max they can move 10k an hour, where as the damaged spillway has recently been moving over 160k, to be able to keep the lake level low enough. The specs on the original (undamaged) spillway are for a max of over 200k.

  37. Joe

    Shouldn’t the person put in charge of helping curb addiction be able to look in a mirror securely knowing he/she has conquered their own?

Comments are closed.