Links 4/2/17

A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps Nature

Giant Tsunami on Mars Caused by Asteroid Impact National Geographic Australia

Pepsi, McDonalds, Nestle, other major brands implicated in illegal destruction of critical elephant habitat Salon

Caterpillar to Close Aurora, Ill., Plant, Lay Off About 800 WSJ

Yup, Rockets Need Insurance, Too. But Way More Than the Feds Think Wired (Re Silc).

The Shame of Germany’s Ship Owners Handelsblatt. Stupid money from German banks, subsidized by the German government, leads to shipping overcapacity, “solved” in part by shipbreaking, at the cost of third-world workers’ lives, as detailed at NC here. “This is not a bloodless process,” as Obama once remarked.

Berlin museum director responds to shocking giant coin theft Deutche Welle


Stratfor explains why we are fighting in Yemen’s civil war Fabius Maximus

Civilian Casualties in Iraq, Syria Undercut US Victories

France’s Socialists Are Losing to a Communist Foreign Policy

Spain drops plan to impose veto if Scotland tries to join EU Guardian

In Paraguay, 2 Fired After Opposition Member’s Death, Riots AP


Trump-Xi Jinping summit: The players South China Morning Post. Links to several SCMP articles on that topic.

Xi Jinping’s summit plan to tame Donald Trump FT

Trump sends letter to Vietnam’s president to promote ties Reuters

China’s Once and Future Democracy WSJ

India and Pakistan Escalate Nuclear Arms Race WSJ

Health Care

Medicaid Saved Obamacare, and Single-Payer Universal Health Insurance May Be Back on the Agenda Sooner Than You Think Common Dreams (MR).

Bernie Sanders Wants to Expand Medicare to Everybody — Exactly What Its Architects Wanted The Intercept

The Hidden Monopolies That Raise Drug Prices David Dayen, American Prospect (Furzy Mouse)

Time for transparency in prescription drug marketplace The Hill (BK).

I-85 Collapse

I-85 collapse: Three arrested after major fire under Atlanta highway CNN. Alert reader Bob comments on the engineering aspects of elevated highways. Extracted and condensed from mail:

At normal temps, concrete and steel are compatible. But, as you apply fire, there will be locally very different rates of expansion. A bridge deck will literally get bigger, by quite a bit. Walk over some bridges in NYC during the winter, snap a picture of the expansion slots in the winter, then look at that same joint/slot on the hottest day of the summer.

How that leads to the overpass falling [in the fire]: It could be the the expansion of the bridge deck moved the top of some of the support columns. They weren’t vertical anymore. Those columns also have to be dead vertical, or near it. They are supporting HUNDREDS of tons.

It’s stick-building 101.

The deck segments aren’t even meant to be “bonded” to each other. Ideally they have nothing connecting them. In reality, a few bolts that were never meant to carry the weight of the span. This is the edge of the deck segments. Normally, this is where you figure for expansion. You don’t join the segments.


That’s the way to model this. Used the same building technique. 1 horizontal stone supported by 2 vertical columns. The horizontal stone is only sitting on half of the column, so that the column can support another horizontal stone next to it.

Now put a tiny bit of space between the horizontal stones, for expansion.

Now, assume it’s not a circle, but a line, with one end fixed. Now, make 2 of the stones longer. Longer. Longer….

In a circle, the forces might balance each other out and keep the horizontal stones over the middle of the columns. The top of the columns would move slightly away from the center.

In a line, with the fixed point (the abutment/anchor) they all have to move away from the anchor, after the expansion joints are filled.

3 spans further away from the abutment/anchor and there may have been enough expansion space figured in. Right there, where the fire happened, there wasn’t. As soon as the expansion moved past its pre-figured max (gap space) the joint* was moving above the column toward the edge of the column.

*not a joint, but as a figure of speech. joint has a specific meaning in this context. The two spans would have to be joined, which they are not in this instance. If they were “joined” there wouldn’t be any expansion space.

And on the plastic pipes under the the highway that fueled the fire:

They normally rate bridges for fires, but they also normally don’t assume it will be a long fire. How is a fire likely to start under a bridge? A car accident? Worst comes to worst, move the cars, then put the fire out. Even if you don’t put the fire out, you’re only dealing with a max, a few hundred pounds of fuel, which shouldn’t be able to burn for very long.

The pipes under that bridge can’t be moved quickly. They probably arrived on multiple (dozens?) trucks, and were stacked, with purpose, on top of each other. … The amount that is there in Nov is on the order of 10-15 trucks worth. Not a huge amount of pipe, if it were steel, but it’s plastic. It’s all fuel.

Georgia Has Too Damn Many Counties and That’s Contributed to Atlanta’s Traffic Disaster New York Magazine (JH). Rather like St Louis municipalities….

Oroville Dam documents kept secret by state, federal officials Sacramento Bee (MK).

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Bitter Fruits of Wilsonianism The American Conservative

With Trump approval, Pentagon expands warfighting authority AP

Videos of Force-Feeding at Guantánamo Will Stay Secret, Court Rules Charles Savage, NYT

New Cold War

Master class in trolling:

Trump Presses Unsubstantiated Spying Claims, Again Criticizes Media WSJ. Substantiated claims are noticeably thin on the ground.

Here’s what we know so far about Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests WaPo but compare Why the Comey Hearing Was Frightening to a Russian Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg.

Intelligence official who ‘unmasked’ Trump associates is ‘very high up,’ source says Fox News. Elite infighting in the intelligence community, then.

Mark Cuban: Trump couldn’t have pulled off Russia collusion The Hill (DK).

A Brief Thought: Despinning Michael Flynn, Again Nina Illingworth Dot Com

Trump: Flynn ‘should ask for immunity’ in Russia ‘witch hunt’ The Hill

U.S. sweeping up Russian hackers in a broad global dragnet McClatchy. Hmm.

Trump Transition

Democrats have a new and surprising weapon on Capitol Hill: Power WaPo. Hail gridlock! (Making the admistration’s executive orders and regulatory initiatives all the more important to follow.)

The hidden impact of Trump’s energy executive order Politico

Opinion Letters From DOL Could Help Employers ‘Get-Out-of-Jail Free’ Bloomberg BNA

How Trump Can Still Make a Comeback Vanity Fair. By giving voters what they want. What a concept. Democrats?

Schumer loses cool with Trump supporter at swanky restaurant NY Post (BK). Plenty of elite conflict in the zeitgeist right now…

White House reveals Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner wealth FT. Well, they’re oligarchs!

How the Science of “Blue Lies” May Explain Trump’s Support Scientific American. Just Trump. then? Interesting article.

2016 Post Mortem

Sanders criticizes Clinton campaign, Democrats at Boston rally CNN [gasp].

[Sanders] ran through Democratic losses in recent years — checking off the Republican-controlled House, Senate, governor’s offices and state legislatures — before saying that Republicans are “a right-wing extremist party who has an agenda that most Americans soundly and roundly disagree with.”

“How in God’s name do they win elections?” Sanders said. “And the reason is, in my view, that the time is long overdue for fundamental restructuring of the Democratic Party. We need a Democratic Party which is not the party of the liberal elite but a party of the working class of this country.”

Class Warfare

At U-Va., a ‘watch list’ flags VIP applicants for special handling WaPo. Legacy admissions turn credentials into something like inheritable property rights.

Nobody Trusts The Process More Than America’s Most Prominent Young Socialists Deadspin

GDP Grows But Job Security Falls: Only 16% Indians Earn Regular Wage IndiaSpend

Functional Finance and the Federal Debt (PDF) Abba Lerner, Readings in Fiscal Policy (Re Silc). A useful classic in plain language.

Sri Lanka can become a 1st World Nation The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Antidote du jour (via):

And an anti-antidote (Richard Smith):

Can you dig it? Badger captured on camera burying cow MSN

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. BeliTsari

    “Blue Lies,” huh? I thought Hitler called them BIG lies, though I’m betting Rudolf Hess actually coined the phrase, offhand? Though Goebbels seemed to give Edward Bernays, little credit… it’s hardly their idea?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The big in big lies refers to the size.

      Blue lies, here I am thinking persistence…repeating lies enough times, as in, lying until blue in the face.

  2. BeliTsari

    “Blue Lies,” huh? I thought Hitler called them BIG lies… though I’m betting Rudolf Hess actually coined the phrase, offhand? Dr. Goebbels seemed to give Edward Bernays, little credit… but, it’s hardly their idea? Bad news for US fracked LNG exporters, huh?

    1. MartyH

      I think Felix G. Frankfurter wrote the book: On Bullshit. Not sure the Scientific American needed to coin yet another name for it.

      Sad to see the Scientific American entering the political fray as partisan on a non-scientific issue.

          1. aletheia33

            i am sorry, i cannot think of a sufficiently witty or lying riposte to that.
            but i noticed below you are relatively sober today which is a good sign.
            of something, i’m sure

      1. human

        Scientific American has belied their name ever since they unscientifcally swallowed the entire official myth of 9/11. I let my subscription of 35 years lapse.

        1. Tom

          And their unvarnished endorsement of GMOs against all evidence.
          They and Popular Mechanics and The National Geographic, to be recently joined by the New York Times….for other reasons.

        2. hidflect

          And how they smeared anyone doubting their version. Their goal was intimidation and ridicule not encouraging scientific debate.

      2. RWood

        “One who is concerned to report or to conceal the facts assumes that there are indeed facts that are in some way both determinate and knowable. His interest in telling the truth or in lying presupposes that there is a difference between getting things wrong and getting them right, and that it is at least occasionally possible to tell the difference. Someone who ceases to believe in the possibility of identifying certain statements as true and others as false can have only two alternatives. The first is to desist both from efforts to tell the truth and from efforts to deceive. This would mean refraining from making any assertion whatever about the facts. The second alternative is to continue making assertions that purport to describe the way things are, but that cannot be anything except bullshit.”

        Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit

        Though, he hasn’t named intentional deceit as bullshit.

        1. wilroncanada

          Intentional deceit implies that one knows the truth, or facts, but chooses to deceive.
          Frankfurt’s Bullshit definition is that one doesn’t know the truth, does not want to pursue the truth, and doesn’t care, therefore is proclaiming out of one’s a$$.

  3. UserFriendly

    Sri Lanka can become a 1st World Nation The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

    Interesting, the timeline and history may be a little off but I think it would certainly be interesting if Sri Lanka adopted MMT. That would make for some very interesting immigration interactions with India if they implemented a JG. I don’t know what their current exchange rate policy is, but I wonder what MMT would do to the exchange rate in the short and long term.

    1. oh

      I read the article with interest. It seems to me that the country would have stop trading with other countries to see the fruits of MMT, so that the spending does not go outside the country. But it left me wondering why all the Japanese on infrastructure spending and such in the eighties did nothing to lift Japan economically but let it continue along for over 10 years (lost decade plus).

  4. UserFriendly

    Functional Finance and the Federal Debt (PDF) Abba Lerner, Readings in Fiscal Policy (Re Silc). A useful classic in plain language.

    I found this framing of MMT to be very useful,

  5. Dan

    Interesting links today. Two random thoughts.

    1. I’m very surprised to see BNA laying out the details of DOL determination letters (which many agencies produce, BTW). Historically they write for their subscribers. Seems perhaps they’re morphing under Bloomberg ownership, but I don’t see how the business model works.

    2. Regarding UVA legacies, Virginia’s higher ed system is oddly old fashioned. W&M is still viewed as prestigious in the commonwealth (due to age and location), though its graduates are generally dumber than a box of rocks.

    My favorite UVA policy was that through fairly recent times (the early 70s perhaps?), any African American who could get accepted to UVA could receive free tuition to the college of their choice. There’s a fairly sizable number of Ivy grads who had their way paid for them by Virginia so it could keep its campuses white. Lemons meet lemonade.

  6. MartyH

    “US Sweeping up Russian Hackers” … the long arm of US law enforcement AND Fabius Maximus’s Stratfor bit on the US in Yemen … stamping out the possibility of a terrorist hiding anywhere in the world. Apparently, the US government DOES think it has global jurisdiction. Troubling.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I don’t know why they are going to all the effort to track down and extradite Russians from all over the world. If they want to find a bunch of Russian hackers, just go knock on Lloyd Blankfein’s or Jamie Dimon’s door. According to Michael Lewis in Flash Boys, Wall Street is lousy with these Russian hacker types.

      And if all of this nonsense weren’t so politically motivated, maybe they’d go after all the jackasses from India call centers who keep leaving messages purporting to be from Microsoft and the IRS. But Uncle Sugar needs the Indians to be the vanguard for cash elimination so Indian hackers and scammers can keep ripping us all off I guess.

      1. Katniss Everdeen


        Or try taking a look at the “russian-american” who heads crowdstrike, the private cyber-hacking “attribution” firm, that single-handedly started this mess seeking to delegitimize the sacred american presidential election and wound up paralyzing the entire american government on which, rightly or wrongly, the population of this country heavily depends.

        It’s no creative stretch to construct a narrative in which the evil Putin directed this guy to start something that sets already disparate halves of the american public at each others’ throats, while blowing up what’s left of the massively corrupt and increasingly fragile government structure that’s supposed to deal with it.

      2. wilroncanada

        It’s a business decision. Eliminate the competition.
        Many of these freelancers will show up in public (US Gov sponsored) or private hacker corps, in the US in years to come, just like the (escaped) Nazis after WWII.

      3. uncle tungsten

        First bellingcat, now crowdstrike, the USA intelligence community sure knows how to chuck money (and Oscars) at fraudsters.

        All this to blame the Russians, what puerile nonsense.

    2. lb

      The U.S. tries to maintain the veneer that it doesn’t assume global hegemony, but we’ve seen enough evidence that even the veneer is thrown out when inconvenient. Consider the grounding of Evo Morales’ plane over Snowden, or the various arm-twisting to try to capture Assange, still ongoing.

      The article on sweeping up Russian hackers has finally forced me to articulate something I’ve been wondering for the past year as I read claims in the western media attributed to Russians.

      When a security incident is attributed to “The Russians” or “Russian hackers” there is a presumption of state sanction if not state action — people read that and assume the government of Russia wanted this, authorized it, caused it. Maybe the reader thinks of the FSB or the GRU, or maybe they think of some cold war movie caricature of a gruff man in a military outfit sternly drinking vodka and never smiling.

      The cold-war view of the CIA, NSA and other members of the intelligence community doing a lot of their development work in-house is outdated in the U.S. We now have read about the annual CIA pow-wows between agency types and contractors to disseminate knowledge of new toys, techniques and so on. It’s even possible there’s some relationship between these agencies and the western hacking community — maybe folks trawling the latest Wikileaks CIA dumps can find some hints in this direction.

      What does the 2017 Russian offensive security community look like, from the state out to the lone teenage hackers chatting on podunk forums? How connected (or not) are the various groups and actors? How many of the hacks we’ve read about are attributed to non-state actors, or non-state groups which now and again have taken state money transactionally? In the eyes of a western reader, there’s usually, very intentionally, no difference.

      This article has me thinking the U.S. is trying to isolate (perhaps flip some?) and/or purge the non-state Russian hackers of the world. Why might Russian actors specifically be the targets? The easy answer, fitting with the media narrative, is that conflation of one Russian hacker to a Russian state action. It’s also possible it’s now trivial to get the green-light to chase a Russian as opposed to someone just as guilty from Brazil in the current political and/or media climate. It’s not like Russia has the only set of international criminal hackers…

  7. UserFriendly

    The hidden impact of Trump’s energy executive order

    What I really just can’t understand is what Trump thinks his legacy will be in 20 years. Does he really think that future generations are going to do anything but hate him and blame him for the hellscape of an environment that will be left? Same thing with these oil barons. I’d be surprised if their kids aren’t murdered in revenge for the destruction of the planet.

    1. pete

      The problem with technology is that it will make all of us irrelevant. There will be no back lash because 95% of us will have no power at all. You dont need the support of the people when you have machines that can do literally everything and they obey you.

      1. Marina Bart

        Can one of you logistics and supply chain types please explain to me how a world with robots working for billionaires is supposed to work? I honestly don’t get it. How are they generating the fiat money with no citizens involved in productivity, consumption, and taxpaying?

        More importantly, where is all the energy coming from to power all these robots? Robots are drilling it, refining it, shipping it? 400 families worldwide don’t need all those robots. I get how they could kill off say, a billion people. But that’s not enough to stop a global rebellion. The black death ended up helping workers, because there were fewer of them, so they had more negotiating leverage.

        I just don’t get what realistic end game the rich have here. It’s seems like classic short-term thinking to me. Immiserating the multitudes is an old game. But most of our ultra-rich are quintessential useless eaters. Their power depends on control of a fragile system, and their wealth is mostly artwork and digitized accounts. Can someone describe a feasible version of this idea twenty years on?

    2. craazyman

      . . . he says, before driving his car to Whole Foods! LOL

      Turn on your power at 3 a.m. to check out the peanut gallery — that’s a coal plant or a nuke probably generating your electrons.

      Having said that, Trump won’t change the irreversible move to clean energy, that’s state laws and public demand. And the air is a heck of a lot cleaner than it used to be (at least in the U.S.). You may be too young to remember Acid Rain. It’s sort of amazing in hindsight how little people understood about pollution and how far things went before society’s backlash. Things are going in a good direction by and large — warming hysteria aside.

      China, India, etc. those are tough, but you’re dealing with people who get power anyway they can or they die. That’s a tough situation to be in or to judge from a comfortable distance. It gets complicated.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama’s executive orders were crafted to claim credit for what was already happening despite O’s efforts on behalf of coal. Obama and the likes of Kaine were huge “clean coal” advocates. Timmy was called Governor Coal or Mountain Top Removal Kaine.

      2. jrs

        trump could mess with state laws if he wanted, is my understanding. I just keep hoping he doesn’t.

        Just because an individual uses fossil fuels doesn’t mean we don’t need public policy to address it, it’s precisely why we do. Really it actually is a classic tragedy of the commons situation (unlike how the commons have been historically managed I guess).

      3. different clue

        Could you give us some specific examples of “warming hysteria”? Could you explain and demonstrate specifically where the “hysteria” comes in?

      4. different clue

        Electricity use should be reserved for the things which only electricity can do. Things which don’t need electricity to do should be de-electrified.

        We would have to spend electricity to read about those things on the internet. But if we could then do those things in our analog real-world meat space lives, we could save more electricity non-used than what we used to learn about those things on the internet.

        Here is an example. Actually two examples. Two articles which burn electricity to read them on the internet. But which if the information revealed were applied, would lead to the NON-use of MORE electricity than what was USED by REAding them to beGIN with. And here they are.

        Thinking about that second article for instance . . . if Big Box store-building owners circled back and put skylights into the roofs of all their Big Box stores, so that the stores could be daylit during the daytime, they would save more electricity by cutting off the lights during the daytime than what they spent by reading about this online to begin with.

      5. witters

        Oh no, I gotta tell yuh craazyman, that ‘warming hysteria’ mental tic of yours is a sad let down for the rest of your brain. Try empiricism! Try science!

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Their kids aren’t murdered.

      Visiting the sins of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation?

      Far better to get them to denounce their fathers.

      “My father was a monster. He was a Democrat.”

      1. ambrit

        Hah! Both China and America tried a Cultural Revolution in the late ’60s. Curiously, both turned out badly.
        Really though, the sins of a few fathers will be visited upon the children of everybody for far longer than just three or four generations.

    4. optimader

      but hate him and blame him for the hellscape of an environment that will be left? Same thing with these oil barons. I’d be surprised if their kids aren’t murdered in revenge for the destruction of the planet.
      Whoah.. come on back in off the ledge, your letting the air conditioning out!

      1. UserFriendly

        There is a difference between advocating for something and speculating that it might happen. Sea level rises 2 feet and Bangladesh empties into India destabilizing it. They have nukes. It doesn’t take much to picture the worlds economy coming apart after that. I don’t imagine that everyone back home will just be sitting on their hands as civilization collapses.

  8. RenoDino


    Jared has so got this. Xi likes to think of him as a fellow princeling.

    Jared is the eminence gris without the gris.

    Trump no longer trusts anyone outside of his immediate family circle, particularly since the healthcare blowup. Jared is now the de facto President. Trump has placed him in charge of….everything. I have never heard him utter one word in public. How cool is that?

    With Ivanka at his side and in the White House as well, we now have a new all-powerful, non-elected royal couple. The elites, the professional class. the politicians, the power players, the bureaucrats, and even the Deep State have gotten the memo. Even if they read it, they don’t understand it. This is new territory for the former Republic and it’s not their fault they don’t fully comprehend what this means having little direct experience with ways of the royals. The Trump family will now rule by edict and decree, or as the Grub Street scribes like to call it, Executive Order. The howling and petty bickering eminating from the Legislative bodies will become an annoying distraction from the daily business of ruling. Those so inclined who wish to remain relevant should study the art of the courtier, currying favor by supplicating themselves whenever possible and wait upon the royals whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    There will be falling ins and falling outs among the help, but the Royal Family will remain steadfast till the end.

    1. sid_finster

      Wait a minit – I thought the Official Resistance Narrative® was that Pence was the real president, or was that Steve Bannon, now that Trump is no longer apparently a dictator?

          1. Enquiring Mind

            Next we’ll be at war with euthanasia.
            Awaiting news of Don Jr and Eric, as they seem quiet, perhaps maybe too quiet, these days.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It’s really hard to keep up.
          1. Hilary lost because Comey, then
          2. Hilary won the popular vote so should be president, then
          3. Trump should be impeached for conflicts of interest, then
          4. Russia hacked the voting machines so the election is illegitimate, then
          5. California and others are going to secede, then
          6. Trump is a Russian stooge so should be impeached, then
          7. (Maxine Waters version) Trump is helping with Russia’s invasion of Korea so should be impeached
          I’m happy to go along with whatever the reason neither D’s nor R’s can govern and why America can no longer solve or even properly acknowledge it’s problems. I just wish they would make up their minds

          1. Baby Gerald

            Excellent list! Remember the gasping media response when Trump gave a ‘let’s wait and see’ response to that debate question about whether or not he would accept the election outcome and concede graciously if he lost? The irony is exquisite.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              We were told that would be the most anti-democratic, unpatriotic, and un-American thing anyone could ever contemplate doing…um…er… until it was them doing it that is

    2. craazyman

      I would think all the people that didn’t want Trump would be happy. They seem like nice people to me, Jared and Ivanka. I don’t mind them running around the White House. But then I do admit to having only a hepetudinous and desultory interest in these things — politics that is. The US will do OK in the end, but the foul dust that floats like moiling motes with a passionate intensity in the wake of its diaphanous dream — it may be pulped into a pulpous insignificance long before by the native hue of our national resolution spirits forth and frees us at last from its boisterous and belligerent bombast. (It being the moiling motes, not Jared and Ivanka. At least 4 famous authors were implicitly referenced there, haha, whoa Nellie! I counted them.)

        1. craazyman

          hmmm. Lovecraft? To be honest, I don’t even have a clue what he wrote. I guess it’s like mixing up the alphabet soup, you don’t know what you’ll get.

          foul dust that floats in the wake of the dream — everybody knows that’s Great Gatsby after the funeral when Nick Carraway was reflecting on all the parties
          passionate intensity (in context) — WB Yeats, 2nd Coming (they’re always coming, LOL)
          native hue of resolution – Hamlet
          free at last – (admittedly a slender reference) — ML King I have a Dream Speech
          moiling motes — that’s a subtle one – Wm Faulkner but I forgot which story but I remember he wrote about a moiling mass of motes suspended in a light beam. It might have been the short story A Rose for Emily. But actually he didn’t write “moiling” there but he did somewhere. I read “a moiling mass of motes” and always rememberd it.

          I think diaphanous is not exactly a common word. I must have picked it up somewhere. It could have been John Keats or F. Scott Fitzgerald. It sounds maybe like it would be a word Fitzgerald would have used. Who knows? They all run together like rivulets of rain on a window pane in your mind.

          after a while it’s all just one big writer someplace outside of space and time feeding you ways of using words. I accidently encountered hepetudinous and found it to be hilarious, any new way of calling forth ideations of laziness is always a joy to behold

      1. HopeLB

        William B Yeats?
        Jarper Forde?

        Love that sentence(!) and appreciate your having brought the wondrousness of “moiling motes” to the forefront of our minds and then concluding with a colorful trip to the bouncyhouse of “B’s” alliteration. (If we could somehow wring out that sentence’s essence, pour it into molds (pvc molds of moiling motes among other things/meanings) , it could, I believe, be assembled into a fantastic mechanical/electrostatic non-brownian motion inhibitor/persuader machine which would, by commanding the motes to belligerently and boisterously direct the diaphanous dream, not only save the Republic’s politics from desultoriness but provide the citizens with an efficient and low cost in house air cleaner/particulate collector as the non-Brownian moiling motes do bombastic battle with the “clean coal” particulates!

        Thank You Again!

    3. oh

      From their reverence to the Queen of England and related royalty, I imagine that most Americans who’ve longed for their own royal family will be thrilled.

      1. bob

        US royalty seems to be taking the gulf route. Wives. Children. Jets. Gold.

        Will liz have to send chuck to meet with donny? Will chuck wear a MAGA hat, to respect local customs?

        We need to know!

  9. Pat

    I admit I did not read that far into the ‘blue lies’ link, but funnily enough I think I can come up with a bigger more troubling one than anything Trump has unleashed on the public. That Russians hacked/interfered with the election and in some way affected the outcome, and it was with Trump and his camp’s collusion. It is a giant multiple winner.
    1.) It makes a country they are dying to go to war with the enemy of democracy.
    2.) It shifts the results of the incompetence of the Democratic party AND its candidate to dastardly deeds by a giant boogieman.
    3.) It delegitimizes the Trump presidency.
    4.) It possibly sets up a witch hunt for people not infected with the delusion that war with Russia is a winning proposition.

    I’m sure others can come up with more. But sensible people who are presented with the facts that 1.) the investigation into the hack of the DNC was not the product of any government agency, 2.) supposed Russian hackers of Yahoo were actually charged with treason in Russia before our people said they were Russian spies who hacked us for them, 3.) and yes, the CIA can pretend to be any country including Russia when they hack other countries – if we really think Russian spies are that far behind us in skills what are we worried about doesn’t stop them from thinking the election was not legitimate. My favorite of the cognitive dissonance examples is that even the biggest liars in our IC are saying that they cannot say that Russia changed votes and in no way changed the actual vote counts in any manner. IOW Americans still voted for Trump but the media/the IC and most of all the Democrats screaming and shouting has led over half of Democrats to think they did.

    1. John Wright

      There should be some USA soul searching about the great efficiency of the Russian operation.

      Just the the combined 16 agency US intelligence agency black budget of $52.6 billion (2013) approximates the ENTIRE Russian military budget of 65.6 billion in 2015.,

      The USA military budget (597 billion, 2015) is about 10x the Russian spend.

      In a well-run capitalist democracy, one expect the upper echelons of US political power to be asking “How do the Russians spend so little and manage to be so effective?”

      Why haven’t the Republicans, who seem to believe that US government does not do anything well, turn their sights on the apparently inefficient US military + security apparatus?

      If a former communist country, China, shows the USA how to do manufacturing, perhaps a different former communist country, Russia, can show the USA how to do defense.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The GOP (both parties) is about finding profit. They don’t care about efficiency. Charter schools, social security reform, public private partnerships, etc are about “here is a revenue stream and how can I get a piece for no work.” They use rhetoric to pull in marks (Teach for America) to assist, but efficiency is never an issue.

        US defense is code for contract fraud and full spectrum dominance. Our national defense is covered by oceans, desert, and tundra. Those are free.

        A guy like Sanders, even with his F35 foibles, can expose the hypocrisy to the marks, but DLC trolls can’t because they have too much baggage to be trusted.

        1. Enquiring Mind

          Cross-fertilization between MilitaryIC and MedicalIC could provide untold opportunities to enrich senators, etc and fill campaign coffers. Somewhere, in unmarked Virginia office parks, plans are underway for coder training, fund raising, loot spreading across districts and similar business as usual.
          The big money will come from outsourcing, with the latter-day Blackwater clones arising to the occasion for new conduits of taxpayer cash.

      2. sid_finster

        For years, I have asked why Team R claims to be so opposed to the heavy hand of government, but at the same time has a raging FAMILY BLOG on the military?

        I have never gotten a satisfactory answer to this question.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Fascists aren’t rationale, and versions of the prosperity gospel are rampant in American society.

          They are friendly in person because they are humans, but they are still irrational and tribal.

      3. LT

        “Russia can show America how to do defense.”
        Yep, a Department of Defense is less expensive than a Department of Offense.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It was the War Department before 1948. “Department of Defense” is a commercial success.

          1. LT

            The perception of “Dept of Defense”
            is a success. You’re pointing out the difference between rebranding “War Dept” and it actually being a “Dept of Defense.” :)

  10. Carolinian

    Re Atlanta, cars and counties–it’s certainly true that the northern Gwinnett county, which sits asprawl I-85 and is heavily Republican, resisted the expansion of the MARTA rail system into their jurisdiction. However the Phoenix area which is all in giant Maricopa county has an even more backward mass transit setup with a limited light rail line fed by buses. It seems dubious that America’s love for cars and sprawl can be set at the foot of the quirks of political organization. Perhaps it would more appropriate to blame the automobile companies and their well known conspiracy in the last century to defeat public transportation.

    At any rate that CNN story is worth a read. This is an amazing event and the fenced and low flammability piping was allegedly deliberately set on fire by the three arrested.

    1. cocomaan

      The fire-starters were allegedly homeless. At 6pm, you have to figure they were starting a fire to cook dinner. Doubt there’s any malfeasance, but who knows.

      Some information on Georgian homelessness:

      Atlanta is the poorest city in the U.S. for children – more children in Atlanta live in poverty than in any other city. 48 percent of all the children in Atlanta in poverty live in families with annual incomes of less than $15,000 a year. More than 10,000 people in metro Atlanta experience homelessness on any given night. More than 40 percent of those people are women and children.

        1. bob

          “But it’s weird b/c you cannot set PVC pipe afire with your standard dinner fire.”

          Not true. What’s a ‘standard dinner fire’?

          You can set PVC on fire, with fire. It’s as flammable as gasoline? No. But neither is wood. Both will burn given enough 1) heat 2) oxygen and 3) fuel. The PVC is the fuel, in this case. PVC is derived from oil.

          The PVC may require a higher temp to burn, but in the pictures I saw of some of the pipe stacked under the bridge, the pipe was wound around big wooden spools.

          The general direction of your comment is that “sparks” (Pittsburgh) can start a fire, but an actual fire can’t start a fire?

          1. a different chris

            >Not true

            Yes true.

            An actual fire cannot necessarily start a fire. A “standard dinner fire” is something of light, wood and wood based product that won’t baste your meat with toxic chemicals. Charcoal, which is just pre-toasted wood, is about as heavy and hot as you would want to get.

            >The PVC may require a higher temp to burn

            It’s not *may*, it”s *it does*. Those Pittsburgh sparks were from welding torches, for christ’s sake. Do you make dinner with oxyacetylene?

            1. MoiAussie

              Why argue about it when science knows the answer? It wasn’t PVC it was HDPE, which melts at about 140C (280F) and ignites at about 340-400C (650-750). Typical open campfire temperatures exceed 800C (1470F).
              And I’m not saying it was an accident, but it certainly could have been.

        2. Oregoncharles

          It was HDPE, polyethylene, not polyvinyl. Conduit for wires, apparently. Polyethylene is essentially oil and burns like a bomb, as we saw. Pipes would be denser and harder to light than film – really wonder how that happened; was there fuel stored in there, too? But they would still burn violently once lit.

      1. Carolinian

        Here’s what the story says.

        Investigators believe Eleby started the fire intentionally, and that Bruner and Thomas were with him, he said. Eleby was due in court at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said. He was the only suspect who remained jailed overnight Friday, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department spokesman Cortez Stafford said. Florence didn’t say how investigators came to suspect the trio or say anything about a motive. Neither did he say how the fire started.

        So while they were homeless it’s probably too soon to jump to conclusions about what happened. They are being criminally charged with deliberately setting the fire rather than it being an accident.

        There are quite a few homeless people in my town–southern climes are an attraction–but also of course in NYC where some of them have lived in abandoned underground tunnels.

        1. Katharine

          If you were going to cook, or even just stay warm overnight, you would start a fire intentionally. That is not the same as starting it maliciously. I have yet to see anything to suggest that he had any idea of what would happen, let alone desire that it should happen.

          1. bob

            Yup. They could have been seeking shelter under the bridge and among the giant spools of PVC. Probably very good cover.

            The incessant refrain of PVC not being able to burn is not true. It did burn. It has burned in the past, and will burn in the future, whatever the marketing department says.

            That much PVC (fuel) should never have been allowed to be stacked under that bridge.

            Moving the fuel into place, before the fire, was the problem. It’s also a problem well above the resources of a few homeless people living under a bridge. They don’t have trucks.

            1. a different chris

              NOBODY said it wouldn’t burn, we all said that a standard homeless person fire would not start it. Just go home and freaking try it, would you please? Do you think we make this sh*t up?

              1. bob

                “This is an amazing event and the fenced and low flammability piping was allegedly deliberately set on fire by the three arrested.”

                Not only did someone suggest that it wouldn’t burn (low flammability), but they also suggested that it was burned on purpose “deliberately set”.

                First off, those two statements contradict each other. Second, intent hasn’t been proved. intent to start a fire to cook with, or to get warm, is not intent to start a massive fire that took down a bridge.

                I copied the text. It’s above this. Right above this.

              2. MoiAussie

                Yes, you’re making it up. HDPE burns at less than 800F. A campfire can easily reach 1200F.

            1. bob

              Crack allows homeless person to set inflammable PVC on fire!

              ““Mr. Thomas watched Basil Eleby place a chair on top of a shopping cart, reach under the shopping cart and ignite it,” said the affidavit, which was released on Saturday.”

              Crack can now alter the flammability of not only PVC pipe (heretorfore, “inflammable”), but also shopping carts and chairs.

              Put “Crack” next to *anything* and throw basic laws of physics out the window.

              Did the crack put all that fuel in one spot, under a bridge?

              Remove all of the pipe, or don’t allow it to be stored under there to begin with, and it’s just another night for 3 homeless people living under a bridge. With crack.

              1. clinical wasteman

                Nor do I recall the moment when the crack furniture is supposed to have replaced the traditional pipe &/or spoon/syringe combination, neither of which requires more flame than comes from a cigarette lighter. Not a bonfire, a Wicker Man or a shopping cart sculpture that sounds a bit like a lo-fi replica of Tatlin’s ‘Monunment to the Third International’ [].
                But why would that bother prosecutors enjoying a plea-bargain blackmail system where something like 1% of criminal cases go to trial? (See Christian Parenti, ‘Lockdown America’ and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, ‘Golden Gulag’ for a start). Put ‘crack’ next to anything and watch the basic laws of … law stay out the window.

                1. Carolinian

                  Not sure I see the point of your snark–I’m just sharing the known info. Supposedly he admitted when picked up that he had been doing crack and started the fire. Given the many millions of dollars that this is going to cost do you really think the prosecutor was going to say “well just be sure not to do it again”?

                  And yes hindsight being 20/20 it was quite foolish to store even mildly inflammable material under that bridge (it’s really an elevated highway). But they do claim it was behind a fence.

                  Not everyone who is homeless is a nice person or even a victim. I’d say it’s always best to find out the facts before jumping to conclusions.

                  1. aletheia33

                    @ carolinian,
                    i read the story you posted. (thanks!)
                    i do not understand what you mean by your comment on it:
                    “a drug thing apparently”.
                    what is a “drug thing”?
                    or your comment “not everyone who is homeless is a nice person or even a victim.”
                    what do you call those homeless whom you say are “not nice people” and are “not victims”?
                    clarification appreciated.

                    1. Carolinian

                      A couple of months ago someone set fire to Great Smoky Mtns National Park and also took out much of the town of Gatlinburg. Let’s say hypothetically that the firesetter was a young white person with a Trump sticker on the back of his pickup truck and was drunk on beer rather than crack cocaine. For clarification would you be so shy of using the ‘a’ word about him? Can we all agree that arson is a bad thing? Some of the comments on this thread are quite silly.

                    1. clinical wasteman

                      Probably too late to answer by now, but re beery vs. drugfiendish firestarting, is that ‘A’ for ‘asshat’ (and is that type of headwear Family Blog-compatible)? No doubt legal definitions of arson vary from place to place, but in both these cases (i.e. the hypothetical one and the one that’s still subject to the Presumption of Innocence, whatever the ‘investigator’ says), surely it makes a difference whether it was a matter of malicious burning or catastrophic haplessness (i.e. “reckless endangerment” in some legal codes). The shopping-cart-pyre story fits neatly with the unspecified cops’ presumption of intent, but in that case what do ‘drugs’ have to do with it? (Hence my earlier skepticism about homeless-encampment furniture as ‘drug paraphernalia’.) If it were ever proved in an actual trial with functioning defense attorneys — yeah, I know — that all the damage done was deliberate, then the same applies: what do ‘drugs’ have to do with it? The sort of personal short-term survival tools known metaphysically as “abused Substances” would be no more an aggravating than a mitigating factor if the trial was actually about the act in question rather than the ‘character’ (i.e. class x race) of the defendant. Not much chance of that though when ‘character’ and ‘remorse’ (i.e. confession in the Oprah sense, regardless of whether you did it or not) are legally admissible elements of ‘guilt’/’innocence’, and jurors are explicitly invited to treat their own fanciful interpretation of defendants’ facial expressions, tone of voice and so on as additional evidence.
                      And I hope the question was rhetorical, but yes, this sort of railroading is every bit as loathesome when done to ‘pick up truck-type’ prisoners. Who here ever suggested otherwise?
                      One thing’s for sure, there’s no way any number of years of prison-without-possibility-of-parole is going to undo any human suffering at all, let alone bring back an incinerated forest or a piece of over-depreciated infrastructure. And even if it would miraculously restore the millions of dollars to Atlanta’s city insurers, even a few years’ jail time inflicted on one guilty person amounts to infinitely more futile, cruel-and-usual damage done than that.

                  2. clinical wasteman

                    Carolinian, nothing whatsoever was directed against you or you comment! I’m mortified to think it might have given that impression. Unlimited apologies if so. The ‘criminal justice’ system and its media toadies were the sole targets. (Not the US versions in particular either: almost all others are just as bad on a smaller scale.)
                    If you’ll accept my sincerity on all this, one minor (if not misconstrued) disagreement re your last sentence above: I don’t give a … uh … a tinker’s curse whether a homeless person is personally nice or not, what I detest is the institution of homelessness, along with those allied institutions, police, courts, jail and media gloating over punishment. I don’t assume you disagree with any of that (or that you agree, it’s not for me to guess), but I what someone does or doesn’t ‘deserve’ does always strike me as a meaningless question in terms of social justice. Hidden premise: some kinds of violence may sometimes be necessary, but punishment is never justice.
                    (Also: “drugs” without further specification is not a meaningful category, and off the trackable internet I’d be happy to propose a list of those with terrible reputations that are actually, under certain conditions, good things. (No, no processed coca product is included.) Above all, using one drug or another does not make a person immoral, deplorable or stupid. It’s not always a rational thing to do, but basic human respect requires that it be presumed rational unless shown not to be.)

    2. Synoia

      The same is true for Orange County, California. The reason is pure racist. Keep the Blacks out.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Wasn’t the DC Metro designed to keep people of color out of certain parts of the District? Like Georgetown?

        1. craazyman

          Where on earth did you come up with that conjecture?

          Here’s a history of the DC Metro including this:
          For the most part, Metro was built as approved in 1968, but subsequent events required some alterations. Following the riots of April 1968, District of Columbia officials rerouted the mid-city line in an attempt to encourage the rebuilding of burned-out areas. Elsewhere, the system’s planners and architect had to walk carefully in sensitive territory, including the national Mall. In 1977 and 1978, the federal government insisted that local governments reconsider the unbuilt portion of the system. Only in early 2001 did WMATA complete all the lines planned in 1968

          1. mpalomar

            “Wasn’t the DC Metro designed to keep people of color out of certain parts of the District? Like Georgetown?”

            I recall, living there at the time, that was one common narrative for the lack of a stop in Georgetown. Likely untrue as geological problems are listed as the ostensible cause but Georgetown at the time was a rich, white, enclave in a black city that had experienced a white exodus.

            Around that time Georgetown’s main streets, M Street and Wisconsin Ave were destination sites for culture and commerce; contemporary music venues at The Cellar Door, The Bayou, Blues Alley, repertoire cinema at The Biograph and hippy counter culture head shops, book stores, art galleries; so it was surprising and much conjectured upon that it didn’t get a metro stop.

            Racism in city planning from the mid twentieth century should never be discounted. Robert Caro’s biography of Robert Moses “The Power Broker” concludes that among Moses’ legacies, besides using freeways as an urban clearance mechanism, were the construction of low bridges over the Cross Bronx Expressway and other Parkways.

            The parkways connected the city with the burbs and the public parks and beaches Moses built, Jones Beach, Orchard Beach and others. Caro claimed that Moses didn’t want blacks bussing out to his beaches which were intended for white people with cars.

            1. craazyman

              I grew up in Arlington. Used to go to Georgetown’s The Tombs as high schooler — the thrill of an underage young man with a homemade fake ID, just to have a pitcher of beer. There was a strip club up on Wisconsin called “Good Guys”. That was an astonishing thing, to go there. Fukk it must have been a sight — a table full off high school dworks staring and drinking beers. Hahah. I was never too adventurous in those days but remember G-Town then quite well. Always remembered the liquor store just at the DC end of Key Bridge. It was like the sentry at the gates of a crossroads, from boyhood into manhood. Or at least from Pepsi and Coke to Rum & Cokes. Ah the old days, gliding over Chain Bridge on a warm June night on the way to “adventure”.

              1. mpalomar

                I went to the Tombs once or twice, just down 35th St. from my high school, Western. Also recall going in the other direction over Key Bridge on a tropical summer night with three DC high school friends to shoot pool in Arlington or somewhere in the badly lit, tangle of Northern Virginia, Glebe Road perhaps? A suicide mission for long haired freaks, I can’t imagine what we were thinking. Probably not much. We were followed out into the parking lot and would have had our asses kicked if they weren’t just slightly less scared than we were. The 60’s culture wars.

                I believe I went to that strip joint on Wisconsin. It was next to a baseball diamond. Again, with friends from high school, this time tripping on acid, yet another solid indication of a highly doubtful cognitive process, You may have been among the dworks at one of the other tables that night.

                I vaguely remember the liquor store near Key bridge and a nearby White Castle with mysteriously diminutive burgers.
                What a time to be alive.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          How did the maids get to Georgetown?

          The metro was designed with major increases to the federal workforce in mind, but the size of the federal workforce in the area is three times the increase the designers predicted. It was never meant to serve the then existing population or even serve as a way for tourists to get around.

          Georgetown’s population was fairly small compared to other areas which had space for commuter lots. Extra stops would mean less passengers as trains would have to slow down. Washington has that moratorium on building height.

      2. craazyboy

        Some truth to that, but Sacramento took our property taxes and re-appropriated them to LA County – for the schools or something. We sorta wondered why it was 3 million population OC instead of tax increases on 8 million population LA county. Which did have places like Beverly Hills, Bel-Aire, West LA, Santa Monica and the rest of the beach towns, and the San Fernando Valley.

        Besides, we had our Hispanics to take care of already.

    3. visitor

      In this context, something about the comment above made me frown:

      A car accident? Worst comes to worst, move the cars, then put the fire out. Even if you don’t put the fire out, you’re only dealing with a max, a few hundred pounds of fuel, which shouldn’t be able to burn for very long.

      So what about tank lorries? They carry yuuge quantities of fuel or flammable chemicals, which would made for a long-lasting raging inferno.

      How has that risk been taken into account? Or has it just been swept under the carpet?

      1. bob

        Mil is VERY careful about moving fuel. They sometimes have to deal with people trying DELIBERATELY to set that fuel on fire.

        It’s also liquid. Once liquid isn’t contained anymore, it can disperse.

        How many “tanks” would be under any one bridge at any one time? They’re lined up in a straight line.

        You spread the risk out. Smaller quantities over larger distances.

        You don’t stack 20 fueled up tanks on top of each other.

        A lot of the limits of how fuel deliveries are regulated in non-mil applications are based on the same principal. You limit the quantity of fuel in any one spot by limiting the size and capacity of the truck carrying the fuel, by law. Where do those numbers come from? Past bad experience.

        1. visitor

          So… Does that mean that bridges and underpasses are designed to resist a fire caused by a standard loaded road tanker underneath?

          1. bob

            Yes. Generally speaking. What those design parameters were at the time of building/construction, I can’t speak too.

            It seems that the road under the highway may have been made larger since the bridge was installed. Again, I don’t know.

            Fire under a bridge is a big problem. On top, weirdly, not as much.

  11. kemal erdogan

    wow! that badger certainly earned it, the last picture of him on top of the buried prize is precious

  12. Eureka Springs

    On Sanders wants to expand Medicare to everybody.

    No mention at all of his capitulation on the ‘public option’.

    Would be interesting to know what Sanders objections to H.R. 676 are since he talks about public options, and now possibly his own bill (after all these years) rather than H.R. 676.

    I’m a bit confused by a senators introduction of bills. I thought these things must originate in the House?

    1. voteforno6

      Appropriations must originate in the House, I think. Other types of legislation can come from the Senate. That being said, House and Senate bills are different creatures, so after legislation passes both houses, it has to go to a conference committee to hammer out the differences, then both houses vote on the final bill.

      At least, I think that’s how the process works. There’s more to it, I’m sure, that legislative geeks could explain in greater detail.

      1. marym

        Constitution – Article One Section 7

        All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

        House and Senate don’t necessarily produce separate bills. One can send a bill to the other. If there are 2 bills or one amends a bill generated by the other that the other doesn’t want to pass, then they go to the conference process.

    2. Katharine

      Bills for raising revenue originate in the House; see Article I Section 7. There are a lot of others.

    3. John k

      Tell is the number of co sponsors, if any. Insurance will move heaven a n earth to stop it, and reps would never allow a vote,manyway. So co sponsors might be fake anyway.

    4. marym

      In the past Sanders has introduced Senate bills similar to HR 676.

      One big difference was that they were a state-by-state implementations, not national. I thought I read somewhere not long ago (maybe during the campaign?) that he was changing his proposal to a national plan.

      Shadowproof, successor to FDL, has re-engaged Jon Walker to cover the current healthcare debate. In the past didn’t agree with his political take, but if Sanders offers a bill, maybe Walker will do a detailed comparison.

      2013 Sanders bill

    5. Vatch

      “No mention at all of his [Sanders’s] capitulation on the ‘public option’.”

      He didn’t capitulate. He’s smart enough to realize that we probably need to get to Medicare for All in two steps, rather than one. HR676 has been introduced in the House in every Congress starting in 2003. It’s never been passed by the House, and it hasn’t even emerged from committee so that it could be voted on by the full House. Note that it wasn’t voted on by the House even when the Democrats were in control. There is little chance that the current Republican dominated House and Senate will allow a vote on such a bill, so Sanders it following the tactically correct procedure, and has expressed support for something that has a chance.

      1. Eureka Springs

        It would be difficult to count the times and manners in which he’s capitulated. He had real power during the run up to ACA and the vote (or not) on it. He had real power last Summer at the convention. He utterly destroys his power now by giving up on expanded medicare for all position before things get down to brass tacks.

        I wouldn’t give Sanders a twenty seven dollar prepaid debit card to negotiate for an item on ebay for me.

        Hey eureka, I know you wanted medicare for all for 12 dollars but I decided you wanted a bill to Humana for the rest of your middle life instead. Used your 27 bucks and your estate to do it!

        1. Vatch

          You seem to be ignoring the fact that HR676 has never even come up for a vote in the House. On March 29, I showed how people can verify this. Browse to:

          and select all Congresses from 2003 to the present. Enter hr676 in the “Legislation and Law Numbers” text entry field, and click Search. You’ll see HR676 has been introduced in each Congress, but it has never passed the House.

          Compromise is not the same as capitulation. Since HR676 has ZERO chance of passing in the current Congressional environment, it makes excellent sense to try to pass something else. One can be a purist and lose consistently, or one can be willing to compromise, and maybe achieve a partial victory.

    1. Gareth

      The author seems to be asking for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate Trump’s entire life, based on nothing but a cloud of innuendo.

        1. Enquiring Mind

          We could revisit some nineties themes with special prosecutors or similar looking at the Lolita Express. High time that sordid mess got sorted out.

    2. hunkerdown

      Did you notice that the blog was an Open Society Foundation (i.e. neoliberal think tank) production? All neolib twaddle, all the time.

  13. sbarrkum

    Sri Lanka can become a 1st World Nation The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

    A Sri Lankan hedge fund manager living in the uS is advocating some momentary policy.
    He should live here, and in the rural area to get a real feel.

    This is a country thats
    80% rural, best wild life in Asia
    fairly equitable income distribution (at least for S Asia)
    High HDI specially, given its low per capita income.

    That said we dont work too hard (when in Sri Lanka).
    Highest number of public holidays, + 3weeks vacation+weekends we have 150 days of holidays a year.

    If you want to afford the latest gadget, not the place for you.
    Want to perfect the art of doing nothing and enjoying it, then the place for you.

    Disclosure: Grad school in uS in 1990’s. 2nd Tier Wall Street Fixed Income and Derivatives in 2000’s. Been back here in a small rural village in SL since 2010. Not a uS Citizen or Permanent Resident (3 H1B’s)

    1. Lee

      Want to perfect the art of doing nothing and enjoying it, then the place for you.

      Sounds good to me.

      ‘All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.’ — Pascal

  14. Sister Mary Ignatius

    That AmCon article is a good example of statist indoctrination for lower-tier elites (Georgetown/GW). In US civic religion there are two possible ways of thinking about international relations: Isolationism versus Internationalism, or Idealism versus Realism.

    Isolationism is complete withdrawal, a useful straw man or pejorative label. Internationalism is fighting wars to carve up maps. See what they did there? In US INGSOC it now becomes impossible even to articulate the idea of rule of law. The dichotomy is, blow shit up or not? So of course if you pore through Pillamari’s article you will search in vain for the word law. His new wrinkle is blow shit up, just not so much.

    If legal realities threaten to impinge on your consciousness, there’s a fallback position. From the other approved point of view, idealism is Wilson, who fought a war but articulated some points. Realism is fighting the wars (or maintaining the balance of power, if you’re a softy) and dispensing with the points. This dichotomy compares two ways of gaining primacy. Idealism is always patronized as feckless or vilified as delusional (‘Idealism’ is what Myles Copeland hated most about Carter.)

    Here’s how US INGSOC works in practice. Robert Taft got labeled as an isolationist for criticizing the Security Council. Why? For obtruding legal considerations. He pointed out that whatever you call the UN Charter, it’s not law if the most powerful countries can exempt themselves from it with a veto. Born-again warrior Wilson became the sole example of US idealism. Not Congress from 1900-1923, though that was the real impetus (Boyle’s Foundations of World Order pulls that out of the memory hole, and comes right out with the L-word, legalism.) And the post-WWII legalist ferment that produced the UN, the Nuremberg Principles, state responsibility, and human rights law, and the ICC, that’s not idealist because idealism crashed and burned with Wilson – that’s internationalism, which is blowing shit up.

  15. Edward E

    Did anyone notice the 7,000 enormous underground methane gas bubbles pushing up huge mounds of earth as they approach the surface? Siberian times has it covered. My apologies if you’ve already discussed it.

      1. Edward E

        Wow, scary, thank you both! You know I’m so busy lately it’s really hard to keep up with things, so if time allows this is THE extremely valuable place to visit.

        Thinking about building a Steelmasters second house just in case something happens during a wild ride. I don’t care what it looks like on the outside as long as it’s strong and can survive rough punishments​. All of the seventy plus years old Steelmasters that I’ve been exploring still look almost new and I have been told one has survived some of the worst mother nature has had to throw at a building. Thanks again

  16. roadrider

    Re; Medicaid saved Obamacare:

    from the article:

    President Obama could not never tried to get universal, single-payer healthcare

    fixed it for them

  17. JTMcPhee

    I’d say the real shame of the German shipping “industry” their providing, with US funding of course, nuclear-armed U-boats to the Israelites: Because our staunchest democratic ally in the Mideast would never attack US, now would they?, for a few little tidbits on how the claimed heirs of Moses and Aaron and such play the Great Game…

    The wiki entry on these destabilizing weapons systems:

    And of course the parent manufacturing supranational is ThyssenKrupp, bringing us profitable investments in death and destruction since well before the Great War (sic)…

    Now gee, why, in a world gone MAD a long time ago, might Israelites’ neighbors seek a little deterrence of their own? Seems like the Iranians, some of them, are displaying an amazing amount of self-restraint… STUXNET, assassinations, all kinds of other provocations.. But like the US, “it’s a democracy,” QED. Sic.

  18. leftover

    Re: Nobody Trusts The Process More Than America’s Most Prominent Young Socialists

    After working my way through the article, two quotes come to mind.
    By John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney in 2010:

    What is socialism? We cannot offer anything like a complete account here (the story of socialism is a long one and is still in the making), but it begins with the idea that society’s resources should be directed to serving the needs of people, not the profit dictates of the few. It is the socialization (democratization) of the economic sphere, and also the enlargement (de-privatization) of the political sphere. From that starting point, we are open-minded. There is a broad range of options, much to be debated, and enormous room for experimentation. There is a role for markets alongside democratic planning (for example, consumer markets), but not for a market society—that is, the Hayekian utopia of the self-regulating market, which becomes merely a disguise for the concentration of economic power and wealth.
    Monthly Review, Capitalism, the Absurd System: A View from the United States (site search required as a direct link returns a 404)

    And by Vladimir Lenin in 1913:

    The liberal bourgeoisie grant reforms with one hand, and with the other always take them back, reduce them to nought, use them to enslave the workers, to divide them into separate groups and perpetuate wage-slavery. For that reason reformism, even when quite sincere, in practice becomes a weapon by means of which the bourgeoisie corrupt and weaken the workers. The experience of all countries shows that the workers who put their trust in the reformists are always fooled.

    And conversely, workers who have assimilated Marx’s theory, i.e., realised (sic) the inevitability of wage-slavery so long as capitalist rule remains, will not be fooled by any bourgeois reforms. Understanding that where capitalism continued to exist reforms cannot be either enduring or far-reaching, the workers fight for better conditions and use them to intensify the fight against wage-slavery. The reformists try to divide and deceive the workers, to divert them from the class struggle by petty concessions. But the workers, having seen through the falsity of reformism, utilise (sic) reforms to develop and broaden their class struggle.

    “America’s Most Prominent Young Socialists” (Sanders? Really?) are gaining celebrity because the immiseration and ressentiment perpetuated by a reformism that leaves corrupt political and socioeconomic structures intact has become endemic. Americans, whether they have assimilated Marxist/Socialist theory or not, are desperate for change, not reform. That’s why Trump and the White Nationalists, enabled by pseudo-conservative reactionaries and corporatist neoliberals alike, are in power. It is the duty of The Left…the anticapitalist Left…to provide a pathway toward democratization and proportionate universalism that abates capitalist immiseration and counters social ressentiment.
    Sheri Berman:

    The lesson for the present is clear: you can’t beat something with nothing. If other political actors don’t come up with more compelling solutions to the problems of capitalism, the popular appeal of the resurgent Right-wing will continue. And then the analogy with fascism and democratic collapse of the interwar years might prove even more relevant than it is now.

  19. HBE

    I keep seeing more and more options and advertising for payment plans and longer and longer term loans. For smaller and smaller items.

    There seem to be payment plans for everything now, because so few can afford anything outright, and car payments are now being extended over a much larger period (76 months!), which only increases the risk of default.

    This has to be partially responsible for the false illusion of retail and e-commerce growth, when in reality even the slightest economic shock will wipe out that long term monthly payment based growth out overnight. In many more areas outside autos and homes. Everything is short term hand to mouth growth with no room for even a minor shock.

    90% of the population is already barely hanging on and or in massive amounts of debt, most never saw an economic recovery and it might as well still be 2008.

    When the next bubble pops and most of the population finally go’s completely over the edge, along with most still existing small businesses, how are we ever going to rebuild? Growing populations, decreasing energy, and fewer resources. Things look very bleak.

    1. Katharine

      This is a modern version of something that was quite common fifty or sixty years ago (when, admittedly, fewer people had credit cards). Among other things, if I am not misremembering, appliances and encyclopedias were sometimes sold on installment plans, and clothing stores often had lay-away arrangements.

      1. human

        Yes. Penny insurance policies and books by subscription, but, they were not financialized through banks.

      2. olga

        If I recall, folks having to take out loans to pay for new gadgets was one of the (several) causes of Great Depression… I think we’ve all seen those pics of warehouses full of stuff – stuff people had to return once they could not pay the loans…

  20. DJG

    Nina Illingworth hits the target again. And tartly. I also enjoyed this post in the archives:

    Question is: Who is Nina Illingworth? Sort of a recent discovery here at NC. And the sheer volume of posts, reviews, poems, Reddit conversations, and short stories made me wonder if Nina Illinigworth is a collective, even though she claims to be a one-woman operation.

    1. UserFriendly

      I’ve been following her on twitter and some of her writings for a while now. Just her so far as I can tell.

    2. Marina Bart

      Pretty sure she’s just a person. An interesting person, living an interesting life. We have had private, non-political conversations in the past.

      If you like her work, toss a few bucks in her tip jar on Patreon. She’s really trying to make it as a completely independent leftist journalist, and it is not easy. Twitter has temporarily shadowbanned her to placate Hillbots, and even a couple of days of that puts her at risk of not making her rent, IIRC.

  21. DJG

    France’s socialists are losing to a communist: If this is the sort of viewpointless analysis that our foreign-policy elites favor, no wonder Washington, D.C., is in turmoil. Author Traub is preaching incremental change, which the DNC will like.

    I’d have more confidence in the article if the French were translated better. France Insoumise, the name of the party, may be better as France That Does Not Submit. “Standing Tall” is an Americanism (and the last paragraph of the article is a potpourri of U.S. clichés). The word intégrisme is better as “fundamentalism” rather than just as refusal to assimilate.

    Lots of blind spots: And the underlying fear of communism lurks, even as the Russki-panic here in the U S of A indicates that McCarthyism is still a factor in our domestic and foreign politics.

    1. Katharine

      Cassell’s offers “unruly” and “unsubdued” among other possibilities for insoumis.

      It’s one of the interesting problems of translation, finding terms that communicate to the intended audience without violating the spirit of the original. Some of the first-generation (sixties, more or less) Penguin Maigrets were really horrible, including things like a description of Maigret eating “French fries” that jarred horribly. But even good translators are stymied by the nuances that simply don’t translate.

    2. Jeff W

      For La France insoumise Wikipedia has “Unsubmissive France” and The Guardian says “Unbowed France.” “France that does not submit” sounds closest (with my anglophone ears) to the original French but any of the translations suggested are better than “Standing Tall,” which sounds like something John Wayne would say.

      1. clinical wasteman

        “Standing tall” is deliriously, head-spinningly bad. “Unsubmissive” and “Unsubdued” are silly by virtue of not really being words and “unruly” is plain wrong. “Unbowed” is slightly closer, but is a good example of why proper nouns should almost never be “translated” in the first place, in that it sounds quaintly old-fashioned in a way that “insoumise” doesn’t. DJG’s “does not submit” is much better than any of those at explaining the meaning, which is exactly what a good translator should do with a proper noun, so that in this case it would read: “La France insoumise (‘France that does not submit’)”. But if a clueless editorial policy demanded a one-word “translation”, the obvious answer would be: “insubordinate“.
        I’m more than willing to take DJG’s word for it that the article is as bad as all that, because the starting premise — i.e. that Mélenchon is a “Communist” — would probably unify all French political tendencies in gales of laughter. He’s a nationalistic left-social democrat (left of Sanders and Corbyn but not by a million miles, ‘Le Monde Diplo’ politics in the vein of Lafontaine or maybe “AMLO”) who formed a tactical alliance/electoral “front” with the PCF (French Stalinist party) for the last presidential election, then broke with them in the traditional round of trivial bickering well before this one.

    1. pricklyone

      Have you seen any triclosan hand sanitizers? Thought all were alcohol based, of late. Saw it in liquid hand soap, often, though.

    2. pricklyone

      Just a thought to add. If you are rinsing a powerful anti-bacterial down the drain, and you are on a septic system, or rely on a sewage treatment plant, you are definitely part of the problem. (not you, specifically, Opti)

    3. Aumua

      What, you don’t want to put ethanol on your hands? We certainly have no problem with drinking the stuff around here.

  22. LT

    Re: Democrats Have a New Weapon…

    Will they use it to stop increases for defense spending? If anything, they will redirect through other budgetary measures. Defense spending is more than just the Pentagon budget. That’s why one should look suspiciously on the way the government prsents defense spending as part of the budget, especially when they phrase it as percentage of GDP – they are leaving out all of the other types of spending outside of the Pentagon that are essentially defense spending. This is even more ominous in the age of “surveillance capitalism” with corporations and national security agencies providing a one-two combination fascist punch.
    They are going to use their power with a priority on refugees and immigrants. So I don’t expect them to gain much in 2018. When the USA was a manufacturing leader and powerhouse that could absorb and employ large numbers of citizens and immigrants of various skill levels, there was still pushback but easily overcome as long as consumer spending was supported as driver of the economy. The kind of economics practiced today is turning the consumer into the product – a disposable one at that.

    1. LT

      And just a note: I’m all for immigrants (people who chose to leave their country not forced out by lack of opportunity) and I’m all for helping refugees, but my “big idea” is to stop doing stupid crap that creates refugees. Most people would love to stay in their home country if it wasn’t for foreign invasions and corrupted officials (great majority of the time bought off by foreign money) in their governments and bad foreign policy (like “war on drugs”).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As you say, there are different types of immigrants.

        For refugees, we have to help.

        The tyranny is we feel we have to say, I am all for immigrants. And not for more nuanced, for example, immigration should be correlated with GDP growth or a booming economy needing workers. Few feel secure to ask questions like, if one immigrant makes an X amount of positive contribution to the GDP, do, then, 1,000,000,000,000 immigrants make 1,000,000,000,000X amount of more positive contribution? Should Lichtenstein, for instance, take in billions of immigrants then, if they want to a bigger economy? Should we all move to Beverly Hills to make its economy bigger? Maybe we should.

        Or do we say, it’s not simple like that…to say one is all for immigrant is too broad, which is fine because there are occasions in life we make simple, broad statement, it’d be unusual if we only make simple statements on one particular subject.

        1. LT

          What about looking at worker participation rates in a country and not just based if they are still filling out unemployment forms?
          Then seeing why the worker participation rate is so low before deciding how much more labor to import?
          Things that look at the effects of the economy on people before looking at the numbers representing the economy first?

          1. Eureka Springs

            And types of work since most defense, surveillance, prisons, and FIRE sector jobs are … shall I say, not helpful.

  23. Oregoncharles

    .” Alert reader Bob comments on the engineering aspects of elevated highways.”:
    Different from, say, skyscrapers, because of the different construction principles. (My son is a technician for an engineering firm, working on structures. Bridges and highways are a completely separate department.) Essentially, once the concrete and steel expanded, it didn’t fit any more, and something had to give. The state shouldn’t have stored all that fuel under it.

    There’s a related story from the construction of the second, northern freeway bridge over the Willamette at Portland – a big river. The main span was built on the ground elsewhere, barged in, and lifted into place. The punchline: it didn’t fit. I can’t remember now whether it was too long or too short, but this was a lot funnier if you weren’t personally responsible.

    Of course, they MADE it fit. Millions of cars have driven over it since, including us, so they did a passable job of it.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      The SF Oakland Bay Bridge construction about 80 years ago had some nail-biting times with the span fitting, particularly given the impact of the Bay’s notoriously variable weather and temperature changes on all that steel.

  24. LT

    One of the EU’s biggest problems is not considering Russia “European” .The other unspoken issue is the way Southern and Eastern Europeans are looked down on.
    The USA adopted those views in some of the 19th and 20th century hysteria over immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bridge, Atlanta.

    In a line, with the fixed point (the abutment/anchor) they all have to move away from the anchor, after the expansion joints are filled.

    Are there 2 fixed points, one at each end of the bridge, or just one fixed point?

    The amount that is there in Nov is on the order of 10-15 trucks worth. Not a huge amount of pipe, if it were steel, but it’s plastic. It’s all fuel.

    Do plastic pipe melt or do they catch fire?

    1. Oregoncharles

      Both. Try setting fire to a plastic bag hung on a stick. Burning drops come off (you did try this as a kid, right? I’m not recommending anything so irresponsible.) A correction said the pipes were HDPE – polyethylene. Don’t know what polyvinyl does.

    2. bob

      I was wrong about that abutment. It’s not as close to the fire as I thought.

      PVC burns. It’s derived from oil. Think tar, doctored up to make it more stiff.

        1. bob

          Melting and burning are not mutually exclusive.

          Any “plastic” can burn. They’re all long chains of hydrocarbons. Heat those chains up, and they start breaking down into shorter chains, which are, generally, more flammable.

          Try to set wax “on fire”. No luck? Try it with a wick, which allows the wax to be melted first, then burned. A candle.

  26. Toolate

    Seems there were plenty of posts criticizing Sanders for failure to call out the Democratic Party over the recent months. Contrition is awfully silent.

  27. LT

    Re: American Conservative on Wilsonian intervention…

    They keep saying they intervene to have people in other countries enjoy the same “freedoms” as Americans.
    They don’t say those “freedoms” are largely centered around debt servitude and a McDonald’s on every corner (and control of resources for the elite). And don’t have any oil…the USA will bring you more “freedom” than you can stand.

    1. pricklyone

      When that excuse fails, there is always the fallback “American interests”. Both, of course take a backseat to
      the ever-popular WMD, OMG!! Or phony concern for the civilians, as if…

      1. pricklyone

        BTW this place gives new meaning to “Moderation in all things…”
        Just sayin’…as the kids say.

  28. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Global hive mind art alert:
    Reddit created a canvas that anyone can draw on, all at the same time. One hitch: an individual can only change one pixel at a time every five minutes, so collectives have formed to create images.. It’s called Reddit Place.
    Best place to watch it is Youtube, the battle between those making a German flag and those making a French flag is hilarious:

    1. pricklyone

      Technology in search of a reason to exist. Like self-driving cars. Creative, though.

  29. LT

    The Common Dreams article has some good points, but the ACA was also leading the way to privatizing SS.
    The mandate that one has to purchase financial services from a private corporation (privatize the profits, socialize the losses) is the type of legal precedent needed to make such a privatization easier to go down with the masses over time. There are govt players and big donors that have not given up on privatization of SS.

    1. pricklyone

      I’m 60,unemployed for years, chain smoke, and haven’t had a green vegetable since Mom gave up when I was about 9, so I’m doing my best to die before that happens.
      I think that is part of the plan.

  30. Vatch

    Caterpillar to Close Aurora, Ill., Plant, Lay Off About 800

    Wait, our President is a Deal Maker Ⓡ. Won’t he save those jobs the same way that he saved all of those jobs in Indiana? He did save all of those jobs in Indiana, didn’t he? The press didn’t exaggerate his dealmaking prowess, did they?

  31. Linda

    Polls are closed. It’s about 6PM in most of Ecuador. Don’t know how long it will take to count the votes. A Lasso win is expected to not be good for Assange.

    Ecuador presidential election

    QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — The Latest on Ecuador’s presidential election (all times local):
    5:55 p.m.

    A few dozen supporters of opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso are gathering outside Ecuador’s National Electoral Council to guard against what they fear could be attempts to steal his victory in Sunday’s election.

    Official results in the runoff have not yet been tabulated but three exit polls predict Lasso winning by a small but comfortable margin while a fourth says Lenin Moreno has won. Both candidates claimed victory before the first ballots were even counted.

    The opposition’s concerns stem from the slow pace of counting during the 8-way, first round in February, when it took three days for electoral authorities to declare that Moreno, who is backed by current President Rafael Correa, had fallen just short of the threshold to win outright.

    1. Linda

      Ecuador election

      A little more from Reuters.

      Final results could take days, the electoral council has warned, in a race that could extend a decade of leftist rule or usher in more business-friendly policies in the oil-rich Andean country.

      Conservative challenger Guillermo Lasso had 53.02 percent of votes versus 46.98 percent for government-backed Lenin Moreno, an exit poll by leading pollster Cedatos showed on Sunday afternoon.

      With Cedatos considered one of the most trustworthy polls, the Lasso camp broke into cheers, with supporters waving flags and honking horns in wealthier northern Quito.

      A separate exit poll by Perfiles de Opinion showed Moreno with 52.2 percent of the vote versus 47.8 percent for Lasso.

    2. Linda

      Tried to add a comment that there is an exit poll showing Lasso ahead 53.02 to 46.98 and another poll with Moreno ahead 52.2 to 47.8. It is in moderation.

      The pollster with Lasso ahead may be higher regarded.

      The story also said it may take days for the results to be announced.

    3. Linda


      Ecuador’s leftist candidate Lenin Moreno was ahead in the presidential election with 51.05 percent of votes versus 48.95 percent for his right-wing challenger Guillermo Lasso, according to the electoral council website with 91.08 percent of ballots counted on Sunday night.

      7:15 p.m.
      ABC News

      Ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno is repeating his claims of victory and angrily denouncing as misleading a poll showing his opponent winning.

      “In the next few minutes you’ll know the truth,” a defiant Moreno told supporters outside his party’s headquarters. “We’ve got the correct data, we’ve won the elections and I’m going to be the president of all Ecuadoreans.”

      Moreno said the poll by Cedatos, which accurately predicted the results of the eight-way first round in February, was paid for by the bank partly owned by his rival, Guillermo Lasso.

    4. Linda

      All right! Here we go.

      Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno Defeats Banker in Presidential Election

      The CNE said it was a transparent and successful election process, calling for everyone to respect the results.

      Progressive candidate and renowned disability activist from the ruling Alianza Pais, Lenin Moreno has won the Ecuadorian presidential election Sunday. With 94.18 percent of the official vote counted, Lenin defeated former banker Guillermo Lasso, candidate for the right-wing CREO-SUMO alliance with 51.07 percent to 48.93 percent, according to results issued by the country’s National Electoral Council on Sunday night.

      In what many had already predicted, right-wing vice presidential candidate Andres Paez has called for a recount, even though the CNE said it was a transparent and successful election process, calling for everyone to respect the results.

      Moreno is set to continue and expand social programs introduced under outgoing President Rafael Correa, for whom Lenin served as vice president from 2007 to 2013, before working as the UN special envoy for Disability and Accessibility.

      Moreno who has been wheelchair bound after being shot and paralyzed in 1998, has been well known for his advocacy work for people with disabilities and supporting public education. Jorge Glass, who also served in the Correa administration will now serve as vice president. The new administration will be officially inaugurated on May 24.

      1. auskalo

        I’m happy for it and Julian Assange will be happier.

        Anyway, it’s been quite impressive to watch to Rafael Correa getting on a stage of Decembre 6th Avenue of Quito, in front of thousands of people waiting for the results, just singing “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” by Quilapayun, and some minutes later Lenín Moreno singing “Cantares” by Joan Manuel Serrat, written by Antonio Machado.

        It’s been a feeling like a flight to my teens at the end of Franco’s regime in Spain, forty years later.

        Best luck to Ecuador!

      2. Alex Morfesis

        Now jennifer robinson can do that nyt women in the world thingee in new york this week and not worry about mister assange…although…throwing water in $hillary’s face for her antiwikileaks stance might throw a few klyx at her Aussie refugee or west papua projects….

  32. ChrisPacific

    Re:Trump comeback article in Vanity Fair

    Specifically, he can do it by supporting policies that voters want but the major parties don’t, like tariffs or government negotiation of drug prices.

    Generally if both parties don’t want something it means it’s harmful to big business, and he would face serious challenges in getting them done. To do it I expect that he would have to go full-on guerrilla populist and rally the pitchfork-wielding mobs. If he did though, he could make life very uncomfortable for both parties. If I was Trump I would be holding this possibility over their heads as leverage.

    (Technically that’s what I would be doing if I was in Trump’s position. If I was actually Trump then I would be berating the media and making inflammatory tweets after midnight).

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