Links 4/23/17

Will Scrabble Have the Last Word on the IQ Debate? The Unz Review (Chuck L)

Pigs, parrots and people: the problem of animal personality Aeon

Kentucky coal museum goes solar (and miners made it happen) Treehugger

Scientists Consider Brighter Clouds to Preserve the Great Barrier Reef MIT Technology Review

Turn waste into climate-friendly resource India Climate Dialogue. From earlier in the month but still interesting.

The trees that make Southern California shady and green are dying. Fast. LA Times. Glenn F: “Quite a depressing story.”

US business schools failing on climate change The Conversation

Earth Day: Why supermarkets want to sell you ugly fruits and vegetables MarketWatch

North Korea?

North Korea Arrests U.S. Citizen WSJ

China’s trade with North Korea targeted by Trump FT

North Korea warns Australia of possible nuclear strike if it ‘blindly toes US line’ Guardian

‘Everything I Stand for Is Being Threatened Right Now:’ The Best Signs at the March for Science Motherboard

15 overlay maps that will change the way you see the world Business Insider

Does Dental Disease Push Big Cats to Prey on Humans? The Wire

Health Care

Why Mexican immigrants are healthier than their US-born peers The Conversation

State vaccination rates up sharply in wake of new law San Francisco Chronicle


Will Brexit reopen old wounds with a new hard border in Northern Ireland? Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates St George’s Day by vowing to create four new bank holidays Telegraph

Michael Bond, 91, on Paddington’s enduring appeal: “You feel you can talk to a bear” New Statesman. From earlier in the month.


Erdoğan Can Be Beaten Jacobin

‘They call us bigoted and undereducated’ Politico

United Removal Fiasco

After United Clash, Airport Police Brass Warn Officers to Avoid Such Feuds WSJ

American Airlines investigates after video shows mom in tears CNN

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

A Window for Punishing WikiLeaks Bloomberg

First They Came For Assange: Trump’s War on Truth Will Kill 1st Amendment Free Thought Project

107 cancer papers retracted due to peer review fraud Ars Technica

French Elections

What if America Voted Like France? Politico

What Would a Le Pen Victory in France Mean for Markets? WSJ

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron leading the race as polls open Sunday Telegraph.  This is an early voting day report, with voting in progress, so please assess it with a grain of salt.  We’ll certainly know the results soon enough. And, IIRC– with my memory augmented by the Politico report above–  a successful French candidate must attain a popular vote majority in order to be elected. So, if there’s no outright winner in the first stage of the election, a mandatory runoff follows– and that means, whoever tops this stage will not necessarily prevail in the next.

Is It Time to Break Up Google? NYT. Yes. Next question? And for those who might have missed this Matt Stoller piece– linked to last week– read it now. The evidence is piling up — Silicon Valley is being destroyed Business Insider


Elizabeth Warren on Big Banks and Their (Cozy Bedmate) Regulators NYT. Gretchen Morgenson’s latest.

Are Republicans Trying To Eliminate Activist Investors? Bill To Replace Dodd-Frank Could Silence Shareholders International Business Times


Pundits Who Helped Sell NATO’s Destruction of Libya Push for Trump to Lead Syria Regime Change AlterNet


The county at the centre of a Chinese debt crisis SCMP

Trump Transition

Donald Trump’s first 100 days: The madder he gets, the more seriously the world takes him Independent. The weekly Robert Fisk fix.

Nearing 100 days, Trump’s approval at record lows but his base is holding WaPo

Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War? Counterpunch


Saving the Planet Goes Local American Prospect

Exxon asked for a waiver to resume drilling in Russia. Trump said no. Vox

‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’ Politico

Donald Trump has ‘dangerous mental illness’, say psychiatry experts at Yale conference Independent

Class Warfare

The Chelsea Class’s Vie En Rose American Conservative

Inundated with gunshot victims, Chicago doctors and nurses face ‘compassion fatigue’ Chicago Tribune


In the quest of yet another Koh-i-noor The Hindu

Grandma’s way: Indians are switching back to cast-iron and earthen cookware Scroll

Why are farmers in India protesting with mice and human skulls? BBC

2016 Post Mortem

Why can’t the Clintons just go away? NY Post. I know, I know, it’s that Post. Worth reading anyway.

Our Famously Free Press

After ‘crisis of conscience,’ ex-Cigna exec hopes to set the record straight on health care Columbia Journalism Review

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bill Smith

    “French election 2017: Marine Le Pen leading the race as polls open” Sunday Telegraph

    Some of that excellent reporting or editing that we have come to expect on the Internet in the story

    The report shows Le Pen in second place.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for your comment. The Telegraph has since corrected their headline to match their reporting– and I’ve updated accordingly.

        1. UserFriendly

          And in case the french election results bum us out I just created this ‘Opinion’ on YouGov about socialism and people are voting on it. People from all sides of the political spectrum.

        2. UserFriendly

          Full Exit poll results:
          Macron 23.7%
          Le Pen 21.7%
          Fillon 19.7%
          Mélenchon 19.2%
          Hamon 6.2%
          Dupont-Aignan 4.9%

          Official first round result
          With 8 of 107 departments counted | At 21:32 CEST
          Fillon 22.65%
          Macron 21.74%
          Le Pen 20.19%
          Mélenchon 18.65%
          Hamon 8.32%
          Dupont-Aignan 2.23%

          I want to interview some of those Hamon voters and say WTF? 2.5% of them switched and you don’t have Le Pen in the 2nd round.

          1. HBE

            I still think Hamon should have dropped out weeks ago and thrown his support behind Melenchon. But what do I know.

            1. UserFriendly

              Coming in faster now.

              With 22 of 107 departments counted | At 22:37 CEST
              Macron 22.34%
              Le Pen 22.28%
              Mélenchon 20.16%
              Fillon 18.71%
              Hamon 6.98%
              Dupont-Aignan 4.18%

              1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

                It’s hard to imagine that the Goldman ex-Fin Min of the current regime (with a 7% approval rating) will get through. Seems we have two axes: Socialism vs Crony capitalism and France vs Europe. Interesting Venn diagram, people vote their pocketbooks but what happens when their entire national identity is also up for grabs?

                1. fajensen

                  It’s hard to imagine that the Goldman ex-Fin Min of the current regime (with a 7% approval rating) will get through

                  But, It’s worth giving it a go, right?

                  The thinking probably is that people will vote for Anything but LePen so why not go all in with the full-on globalist and neo-liberal candidate with a well-proven track record of Failing the 99% as M.O.F.!

                  Even if it backfires and LePen wins, she probably will not take enough of parliament to really get her policies through.

  2. mad as hell

    Donald Trump has ‘dangerous mental illness’, say psychiatry experts at Yale conference

    We all know he is f+++++g nuts. However when you live in a country that worships insane celebrities and delusional politicians. What good is it saying the emperor has no clothes when three fourths of the kingdom’s population are naked?

    1. craazyman

      seems to me like those psychiatrists are nuts. they can’t tell a performance artist when they see one. Somebody give them the Hannibal Lechter Award already.

      they had a patient who came to them and said “Doctors Doctors! I feel like wigwams and teepees!”

      They diagnosed him and then told him, “We think you are too tents.” hahahahha

      See! They thought he was actually two tents. They didn’t realize he was too tense. That’s how lost they are. They also think mind is in the brain. Unlike Degas, who realized without a medical manual that mind is distributed across the body with significant locations in the lower chakras and floats around in a radial sphere in more than three dimensions around the body. When someone says they’ve “lost their mind”, how could that work if it was just in the brain and even just in the body. You couldn’t lose it then could you?

      1. craazyboy

        Well, I dunno, really. I think the condition was first diagnosed 200 years ago, then named George Washington disease. It’s been very common ever since. Thing is, peasant cuckoos got it, too. They get locked up in the Gotham Looney Bin, or some such place. It happened to non NYC residents too. Sometimes. Mostly if they’re Prez. But anyway, Hollywood started making movies of these cuckoos charging up the nuthouse stairways with an umbrella, or eating utensil, in hand, and everyone started laughing. So the shrinks got embarrassed and stopped talking about GW disease.

        But it still obviously affected all our Prezes. They did try to re-brand it as GWB disease at the turn of the century, but it was a Democrat Party idea. As usual, the R opposed it a little and the Ds folded like a cheap umbrella.

        Now they are trying to re-brand it as Trump Disease. The first bi-partisan action this year!

        1. VK

          There once was a wonderfully funny website, run by a russian satirist, under
          Sadly the english version of that site, as the other foreign language-versions, aren’t active anymore.
          Anyway, the main hero of that site, a man very well known to NC readers, received a little guy from outer space into his head, the first time he acquired his position.

          I’m pretty sure, Donald’s little marsian and Vlad’s are in permanent contact now…

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Isn’t it considered highly unethical for psychiatrists to offer a diagnosis of someone they’ve never met? I thought it was an absolute no-no within the profession. I guess its another example of an elite class professional gone nuts, which is kind of ironic.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Diagnosis without an examination certainly was considered unethical less than a year ago when someone “diagnosed” hillary clinton with early onset Parkinson’s as a result of her collapse from “pneumonia” at a public event. It was also considered worthy of healthy doses of contempt and vitriol.

        But that “diagnosis” did not carry the implied imprimatur of yale university.

        1. dontknowitall

          Dr James Gilligan, a well-known prison psychiatrist says in the article…“I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”

          This reminds me of the TV cops that can tell a witness is lying just by looking at them. This famous author/psychiatrist engages in remote diagnosis of a person he has never met except in the highly artificial settings of media reports. If it was wrong for Jeb Bush to ask his pet physicians to remote diagnose a patient, Theresa Marie ‘Terri’ Schiavo, so it is unethical for this goodthinker and his fellow experts to do it too. He appears to have done lot of good over the years in exposing violence in the US prisons but this is not his best moment. It makes me wonder if he has remote diagnosed his dangerous prison patients the same way.

          Since the Russia thing is still going nowhere is this the blob’s next move ?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They can’t be too happy with the ‘Russians were informed prior to launch’ Syrian missile job.

        2. Lambert Strether

          It was also unethical when Bill Frist diagnosed Terry Schiavo from a video.

          So, and as usual IOYAYA[R|D}: “It’s OK if you’re a [Republican|Democrat]” (depending on which jersey you’re wearing at the time).

      2. sid_finster

        I am not a doctor, much less an orthopedic specialist, but I can tell if someone is missing a leg.

        And armchair diagnoses of historical figures who cannot be examined (did Newton have Asperger’s?) has long been a popular pastime in the medical and historical professions.

      3. bob

        “Isn’t it considered highly unethical for psychiatrists to offer a diagnosis of someone they’ve never met?”

        What about offering to develop programs for the pentagon and the CIA to help introduce distress into illegally detained and held “enemy combatants”?

        That’s been going on since….

        ” I guess its another example of an elite class professional gone nuts, which is kind of ironic.”

        Not just nuts. It’s criminal. They should be in jail.

    3. JeffC

      Calling for Trump’s removal under the 25th amendment is legally irrelevant, as the amendment provides that if the president disagrees that he is incapacitated, removing him requires the assent of the VP, a majority of executive-branch heads, and 2/3 of each house of Congress.

      What are the odds of 2/3 of two Republican-controlled chambers of Congress voting to toss Trump as mentally ill?

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      First came mad king George.

      Now, mad president Donald?

      All I know is many people are mad…the Deplorables are mad as hell.

    5. DJG

      Much of the psychobabble about Trump’s mental state, especially from the privileged classes, is bad faith. Years ago, Nicholas Von Hoffman wrote a book called Capitalist Fools, in which he detailed the fabled exploits of many a mad U.S. executive. He labeled it Mad Ludwig Syndrom. These guys (they were mainly guys back then, but you can throw in Carly Fiorina and this Theranos lady monstrosity) had fiefdoms. They have sycophants and entourages. Every whim is indulged. And they have ruined company after company (among the latest being Sears, Wells Fargo, United, let alone little Stella D’Oro bakery). Trump is simply the most id-ish among them, with no filter at all. The rest have a slight mesh filter, like Chicago’s own Sam Zell.

      Psychobabble is psychobabble is upper-middle-class self-reassurance. The psychobabble has all of the validity of Hillary Clinton’s ideas about yoga.

      Yet we will probably have four or eight years of this, because it is easier to engage in psychobabble than to pass Medicare for All.

    6. clarky90

      Experts notice that Trump does not think/act exactly as they do, THEREFORE, he must be crazy. “Experts”, you have got to love them!

      1. Code Name D

        And of course we know the Clintion camp didn’t influence this in the least, don’t we.

  3. Kokuanani

    One excellent line from the NY Post article:

    Democrats have been locked in an abusive relationship with the Clintons for decades, enabling, explaining, convincing themselves that next time will be different.

    Of note: my local library, in a suburb that’s usually good about putting newly-released titles on its shelves, still hasn’t acquired “Shattered,” the damning picture of the 2016 Clinton run. The fact that everyone around here probably voted for her might have something to do with that. OTOH, they’re the ones who need to read it most. [I’d like to read it, but I’m sure not buying it!]

    1. stillfeelintheberninwi

      1000x Sums it all up concisely. My local library also hasn’t put it in the system yet and I will not buy it.

      More and more, it is evident, HRC has/has no idea what much of middle class America is feeling/living. Not that the DT does. I’m glad that Bernie is still out there fighting. I’m hopeful he will keep the health care system debate alive and maybe we will get some changes.

      1. Temporarily Sane

        Bernie is a fraud. He’s too gutless to walk the walk so he talks the talk and hopes nobody notices that he’s not moving. Jefferey St. Clair at Counterpunch succinctly summed up Sanders’ duplicity, including what he calls the Sanders two-step:

        Sanders insisted this week that he is an independent “not a Democrat,” even though he talks, acts, votes and recruits just like a Democrat.

        Here’s a vivid example of the Sanders two-step in action. On Friday, Sanders endorsed Ossoff, the hawkish Clintonian Democrat, but washed his hands by refusing to call him a “progressive.”

        Any politician who loudly proclaims over and over again how independent they are is almost certainly trying to conceal a deep complicity with the established order…

        1. Yves Smith

          The reason progressives keep losing is they insist on unattainable levels of purity. They are all about virtue signaling and not about winning and exercising power. Historically, progressives have never won on their own. See here for details:

          Sanders has never had any interest in foreign affairs. He’s never been on any of the committees that get their hands dirty on these topics. So even if he were to go into opposition, he’d be attacked by the Congresscritters who are or have been on them as (at best) being uninformed by not having access to classified information. So he’d be accused of begin reckless.

          Sanders has been a not enthusiastic follower of Dem party line and has occasionally even argued for not rushing headlong into more misadventures in the Middle East.

          As for Ossoff, Sanders is in the midst of a big power struggle with the Dems and they are throwing everything including the kitchen sink at him in the MSM. You really do not get that sometimes you need to sacrifice a pawn, or lose a battle to win a war. You’d rather have the Clinton faction stay in control of the Dems, with no progressive alternative, than have Sanders continue to stay in the spotlight and show the public where the true center of political gravity is in the US by continuing to speak and having audiences boo orthodox Dem elite-serving talking points.

          1. InsertNameHere

            I don’t know. I’ve always thought the purity vs power preference is what separated progressives from the rest of the Democrats. There are certainly idiotic purity tests that some hold everyone to, but Medicare for All seems like a pretty basic thing anyone on the left should agree with. The Ossoff/Clinton candidacies that are eternally questing for affluent white suburbia just reek of the 1% looking for the support of the 10%.

            IMO Sanders missed his big break. The proof of the DNC’s bias was his chance to leave and start a third party. He polled well enough to make every televised debate. Now he’s stuck peddling Russian garbage, being a showpiece for Schumer, etc. My guess is that realistically Sanders is just too old to want the big fight (and I understand and probably would let myself fade as well) but between Sanders peddling Democratic garbage and Trump becoming a neocon I’d say that anyone looking for “change” is completely out of the game.

            1. Yves Smith

              Sanders is not able to start a third party, nor does he have anyone on his team who has the chops. He would have quickly faded into oblivion if he had gone that route. Nader had a much bigger name nationally than Sanders did before his campaign and look what going the third party did for him.

              Sanders can keep getting media access and telling Americans that they should demand progressive policies. The fact that Cuomo felt compelled to offer a fake free college plan and the Democrats are having to talk about Medicare for All to ward off single payer is proof of how far he has moved the country in less than a year and a half. Yet you deny that and get upset that he endorsed Ossoff to throw a bone to the Dems.

              1. Insertnamehere

                You’re probably right that Sanders doesn’t know anyone with the chops, but the Nader comparison seems a little silly.  Yes, Nader had (some) name recognition prior to his campaign, but by mid primary Sanders was a household name that dwarfed Nader’s.  Nader was well known in some circles, but he has never approached Sanders-level popularity. In terms of electability, Sanders running third party after the Wasserman-Schultz scandal vs Nader is a completely different ballgame.

                My guess is that Sanders didnt want to “cost” Hillary the election, much in the same way Nader “cost” Gore.  Because Sanders is playing the good boy, the DNC has to mostly keep its Sanders smearing to WaPo Op-Eds. That said, Sanders could have easily been as popular as Perot if he wanted to go down swinging.

                I don’t deny that Sanders has helped move the nation leftwards, but frankly so did Obama and I don’t see his celebration here.  We all Hoped for Change, and although we didn’t get it, we saw an incredibly popular guy win on leftist promises.  Healthcare isn’t new. Sanders was afforded the ability to run as a solid leftist because the nation was and is trending left/populist and because It Wasnt Her Turn. Look at the Right. It’s not as if Teddy Cruz won the GOP nomination.  Trump won because he wasn’t a cookie cutter austerity guy.

                Bernie hasn’t (completely) sold out yet, but some of that is because he’s not in the position to completely sell out.  He’s not POTUS.  Still, put the public eye on him and he sold out on Russiagate faster than Trump did (and did any foreign policy wonk even ask him for his opinion or did he just volunteer to join the red scare?).  You say he’s throwing Dems a bone and challenging them, but I promise you that he’ll barely be recognizable in a year or two. He ran on differentiating himself from HRC. Now he’s not running, and he’s losing sight of the differentiation.

            2. Marina Bart

              When and how would he start a national third party that could take power in the near future? The major parties have spent over a hundred years putting in place a vast array of obstacles, some of which cannot be solved with money or grassroots energy.

              If the entire corporate media is aimed against you, it is very hard to fight back. Six corporations control something like 90% of media distribution in this country, and they deliver the messaging their plutocratic owners desire. Now add Silicon Valley’s corporate-controlled social media platforms, which have the same masters, same agenda, and same willingness to manipulation what information their users can access. Activists alone cannot win national elections. We need some sizable chunk of the millions who don’t really like or want to think about any of this, whether because they’re comfortable or despairing. They want the same policies we want. They just don’t want to work hard to get it, or grapple psychologically with the real situation we’re facing, because it’s upsetting. To reach those voters, we need some media coverage that isn’t aggressively hostile or deceitful. That’s why the Unity Tour was a brilliant thing for Bernie to do, even if it means getting prodded into sort of endorsing a hack like Ossoff.

              And the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, suppresses voters and flips votes. There was quite a bit of evidence in the primary and the general election of both parties doing that. Several third party candidates at both stages accused the major parties of stealing their votes, through various means that are feasible. We have a deeply corrupted electoral process, in which the party that controls certain pieces of the state government has free rein with voter databases, ballots, voting machines, etc.

              Bernie is trying a strategy to take over the party from within. To do that means things like “Okay, sure, I’ll “endorse” Ossoff. He’d be better than a Republican. But he’s no progressive, and we need a progressive movement.” And then the Dems scream at him again, and try to squeeze better compliance out of him, but the damage TO THEM is done — lots of discussions of Ossoff’s positions, which means more people find out that he’s opposed to universal health care. I saw people all over the place in the last few days saying they had given Ossoff money and now they were sorry. Next time, maybe they’ll do a better job of vetting the candidates the neoliberal Dems are pushing.

              And Bernie trundles on, saying things the corporate media has been hiding: how the Democratic Party lost seats all over the country during Obama’s term, just how bad that is. He’s shown the DNC Chair to be a boor and a boob.

              He’s making it much harder for the Democrats to run the play they’re trying to run. He’s slowing down their ability to promulgate numerous false stories about who they are, how popular they are, what policies are popular, where their money goes — all of this is really helpful to any real change, no matter what comes next.

              If you think a third party is the way to go, start one. Bernie is doing what he can do, what he is uniquely positioned to do, to help weaken the corporate Democrats. That is necessary. You are kidding yourself if you think he’d have been allowed into the debates. Go back and refresh yourself on the New York and California primaries. The party and its media allies did outrageous things to stop him. No way would he have been allowed in the debates as a third party candidate. They’d have cancelled them first.

              How naive are you guys? Were you hibernating during the primary? How about the soft coup that was just executed against a legitimately elected US President? This is not a simple matter of electoral politics. It is a very big war, which is going to have multiple fronts and multiple major battles.

              1. JohnnyGL

                Good stuff in this comment.

                I would summarize Bernie’s approach as this: “Parties don’t matter, all that matters is to just get people fired up, bothering their reps and demanding change. My campaign seemed like it got people fired up to demand change so I’m just going to keep doing that and see what happens”

                Keep in mind, Bernie’s formative years were during the Civil Rights era where no new parties were formed, but much organizing was done, contradictions were sharpened, and some important change was achieved. Sanders hasn’t forgotten those lessons, and he’s helping America to re-learn them.

              2. JohnnyGL

                Meant to laugh at this part….”The party and its media allies did outrageous things to stop him. No way would he have been allowed in the debates as a third party candidate. They’d have cancelled them first. ”

                Actually, Marina, as you’ll recall, they cancelled the debate in CA, anyway! No 3rd party required! :)

        2. JohnnyGL

          Sanders’ endorsement of Ossoff was exactly correct. Ossoff is probably vaguely better than a Republican in that seat, but not massively so. Kind of like the Dems, generally.

          Politically, it was also well-played. If Bernie doesn’t endorse, and Ossoff loses, then Dems line up the blame cannons and blast away!

          Now that Bernie HAS endorsed, but somewhat half-heartedly, if Ossoff loses, the Dems trying to point the blame cannons at Bernie look ridiculous. “But, but, you should have campaigned HARDER for those suburban whites and endorsed more enthusiastically!!!”

          Where are the blame cannons for the Clintons, Obama, Cuomo, and Booker to get down there and campaign? If they don’t want Bernie to lead the party, someone else had better get involved. Yet, our beloved Obama gets a pass while spending over a month on some tropical island and Hillary Clinton never really bothers to campaign for much of anything, even for president.

    2. Jim Haygood

      According to “Shattered,” after a year spent crisscrossing the country, “Hillary still couldn’t figure out why Americans were so angry.”

      From the window of private jet, it all looks so peaceful and prosperous. Green fields and forests out in Flyover Country. Splendid estates with tennis courts and swimming pools in the exurbs. Bright lights and buzzing streets full of worker bees going to and fro in the cities.

      Why is the peasantry so surly? Even the lowliest of them can afford cake. :-0

      1. JoeK

        “Madame Secretary, the peasants are revolting!”

        “That’s a bit harsh don’t you think? I’m going to stick with ‘deplorable.'”

      2. Lambert Strether

        I think that’s why the Democrats put landfills in central and northern Maine (as opposed to, say, Cape Elizabeth). They fly over in their private jets, and all they see are trees. Nobody lives there. It’s “waste” land already, so let’s important construction debris from Massachusetts and call it biomass!

    3. justanotherprogressive

      “Shattered” is an easy book to read, kind of like a “guilty pleasure” book, but it really won’t tell you anything that you don’t already know. He includes some gossip tidbits but nothing of real value that hasn’t already been said in trying to understand the 2016 election. I was disappointed in the book because it has no depth – you won’t understand Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Machine or their relation to the power elite more than you do now….or maybe the Dems and the Clintons are just that shallow and there was no more to say……

      1. Lambert Strether

        I disagree. I think it’s possible to make some generalizations about liberal Democrat Flexians based on it.

        And it most certainly does tell us things we don’t know. For example, that Hillary data-minded her 2008 campaign email server looking for traitors, demonstrating (a) that the Clinton inability to take responsibility for any failure was already well-advanced eight years ago, and that (b) Clinton was simply lying when she claimed to be ignorant of email servers (“with a cloth?”). Those are both important results.

        Also, unlike most anecdotal, gossip-driven tell-all books, Shattered is very clear on the timeline. I think it’s considerably more then a “guilty pleasure” book, if only because I didn’t feel guilty at all when reading it. The other book with comparable insight into the Clintons and HillaryLand is Primary Colors, Joe Klein’s roman a clef on the “Stantons” — the movie starred John Travolta as “Bill Stanton,” and I’m so happy to live in a world where they can happen — but Shattered is much broader in scope. It really gives a sense of the dense textures of relationships in the political class, what they do for work, and the assumptions they make.

        In other words, I recommend it. If you’re strapped for cash, I wouldn’t put it high on the list, but for people who follow domestic politics closely, it’s well worth a read.

    4. Arizona Slim

      My library has it on order. I’m on the reserve list. Hope it’s a better read than Sanders’ latest book.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      By late 2015, Hillary told an aide she still had no idea what voters needed. “I’m really trying to put my finger on what the electorate, the Democratic primary electorate, the broader electorate is thinking and feeling right now.”

      By then, the US economy had been decimated for seven years. Unemployment was stagnant, with 7.5 million Americans without work. One of every 122 homes had been foreclosed. More than 33,000 Americans died as a result of the opioid epidemic. An average of 20 veterans committed suicide per day. There was no shortage of issues.

      This often-repeated, massive blindspot from which clinton supposedly suffered simply makes no sense for a politician who was relentlessly referred to as almost preternaturally “smart,” savvy and eminently qualified by virtue of 30 years experience in government.

      Further contradicting this assessment of hillary-the-functionally-clueless, is the political brain trust with which she surrounded herself. We are supposed to believe that not one member of this horde was capable of explaining the concerns of the electorate to her and making her understand, let alone crafting a campaign message that reflected voters’ concerns, whether she intended to deliver once elected or not. The obama electoral sleight of hand was an obvious roadmap.

      hillary clinton is so easy to hate. And she is clearly being thrown under the bus, deservedly to be sure, by whoever and whatever run “the democrat party” these days. But there’s something else going on here that I can’t quite put my finger on. The idea that this loss was hillary’s alone just isn’t credible.

      And why on earth did she feel the need to apologize to barack hussein obama?

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Interesting comments! Yes, you can definitely get that feeling from reading “Shattered”. Sooooo…..Hillary wasn’t taking advice from her supposed “brains”, she wasn’t taking advice from even her own husband…….so who was she taking advice from? I think that would be the deeper story……but the book shies away, far away, from naming her “money people” or her relationship to the Clinton Foundation……

        1. JTFaraday

          Same place the Russia conspiracy comes from– Neocons. Or, alt, liberal war hawks. So focused on the unspeakable that her campaign was one big nothing.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        hillary clinton is so easy to hate. And she is clearly being thrown under the bus, deservedly to be sure, by whoever and whatever run “the democrat party” these days.


        And the more Sanders is urged to use up whatever energy he’s got to revisit 2016, the easier for Chuck to come in with his experts, financial backers and establishment Democrats with an ‘adult’ solution???

        Unless Sanders takes back the D party from Schumer and his allies as well, though Bernie is aligned with them on the ‘Assad must go’ offensive.

        So, the master strategy is for Schumer to throw Hillary under and that’s the new D party.

        1. JTMcPhee

          How is it that HC, who walked, eyes wide open if astigmatic, straight in front of the bus, can be thought of as being thrown under it by a nebbish like Schumer? What is it, nobody is capable of letting Hillary take the fall for being what she is? She and the rest of the Clinton Mafia made their own electoral failure, but of course they have a billion or two in cash to comfort them if they chose to retire from the field of combat. But nooooo…

          In the meantime, a few hundred thousand people with money, connections and thus the real power, employ their remote-control algos to drive that bus we all are riding on right over the cliff. While they “act” and the rest of us “judiciously study.”

          Too bad there’s not a smeared and flattened pantsuit stuck to the running gear… But that would be schandenfreude-satisfying, but no remedy for the real problem…

          What outcomes do “we” want from “our” political economy? How do “we” become a collective noun in fact, motivated by “policies” and understandings that might lead toward something other than a mass die-off while the Elite, including the Clintons, in whom so many of us repose that thing in the individual psyche that demands an heroic figurehead, sit comfy in the lap of luxury?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When she collapses,, for example.

            She’s not 24/7 invincible. Chuck knows that.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > Bernie is aligned with them on the ‘Assad must go’ offensive.

          I think Sanders made that go away with is “has to be multilateral” approach, since if that’s a requirement, it will never happen. Now, I would have preferred a full-throated denunciation, but if the trade-off for doing that is losing the ability for going round the country pushing for concrete material benefits for working people, like #MedicareForAll, then the trade-off is a judgement call. ac

      3. DJG

        Katniss Everdeen: An interesting point about Hillary as the Sole Problem. I suspect a few factors are in play here: First, the Clintons, who like a black walnut tree try to destroy any competitors around them, have ruined the second tier of Democrats. Martin O’Malley is now the bright younger thing? I am reminded, being a Chicagoan, of how Rahm is treated as something wonkily wonderful and sui generis, and I assure you that he isn’t cultivating his successor. This is the Clinton m.o., and it has helped to make the Democratic Party their fiefdom as well as to ruin the party.

        Second, the Democrats, like so many white-collar institutions these days, have no internal accountability and no way to assess the consequences of success or failure. It is the business model: Everyone deserves a bonus no matter how badly the company performs. So the Democrats are looking at the few times in corporate America when the CEO is indeed required to take a fall.

        Third, and rather unfortunately, very often in the U S of A these days, the immovables at the top can only be removed by a sex scandal. See: Trump and the leaked video. This is an aspect of U.S. culture that is particularly pernicious–decision making by gossip and sexual innuendo. Because Hillary has advertised herself as chaste, a kind of Elizabeth I without the ruff, she is immune from sex-scandal removal. So the factions in the party have to result to other means.

        As to whether Hillary Clinton is easy to hate: I’m indifferent to her. But she has been umovable and unremovable. And that is making a mess.

      4. Pat

        I admit I’m happy that anyone pointing out Clinton and her team being incompetent makes me happy. Soon I think even most of the diehards will understand she was the worst possible candidate and choice ever and doubled down on everything that made her so bad including ignoring that she needed to win more states than New York and California. But yes, the next step has to happen: which is to address why the Democratic Party has actively embraced an operational mode that has lost majorities in Congress, most states representation and then went all in on someone so incompetent. Not only that they actively discouraged and eliminated options for their voters to make choice for any one else practically impossible, even if it meant breaking their own rules and the laws (see Brooklyn). AND why after loss after loss they are doubling down on these losing strategies particularly after losing the only office they appeared to care about to a reality television huckster.

        But unfortunately following the money is boring hard work for most journalists, and sadly much of our population doesn’t understand that corruption is possible even without a direct quid pro quo. So we will probably wait a long time for that book.

      5. Synoia

        Hillary told an aide she still had no idea what voters needed. “I’m really trying to put my finger on what the electorate, the Democratic primary electorate, the broader electorate is thinking and feeling right now, and how to use that to my advantage.

        There fixed it.

        She cares not a shred about “people thinking and feeling,” but how to use that to her advantage.

      6. DJG

        KE: “Why on earth did she feel the need to apologize to Obama?” Because she is the classic U.S. bad manager: She manages up, and she craps on her subordinates.

        Surely, many of the commentariat have seen such behavior.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I sure have.

          And it’s a big reason why I will never vote for Hillary. She reminds me too much of the yuppie bosses I had during the 1980s and 1990s.

      7. Oregoncharles

        Well, there’s my theory: the “major” parties have a little deal, and just trade the Presidency back and forth, two full terms at a time. The deal started with Bill’s 2nd term. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

        OTOH, it’s really hard to imagine Queen Hillary deliberately running to lose. But there are players behind the scenes, like the people who FUND these campaigns. Maybe the deal exists at that level, and the visible players, like Hillary, are being manipulated by the funders.

    6. Uahsenaa

      People in Iowa City also voted for Clinton, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are currently 10 holds on the one copy of Shattered the library bought. To their credit, they currently have orders in for three more copies.

      It’s possible whoever does acquisitions just didn’t think it’d be a popular title. Most libraries accept acquisition requests. It’s worth sending off an email (if they don’t have a web form) to let them know there’s interest.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        I can understand why libraries don’t want to spend a lot of money having many copies of this book on their shelves. It is one of those pop culture books that makes a splash for a couple of weeks and then is quickly forgotten. And then the libraries will have to put those multiple copies out on their book sale shelves and sell them for a dollar each next year….somehow it doesn’t seem like a great way for libraries to be spending their limited resources…..

    7. Vatch

      my local library, in a suburb that’s usually good about putting newly-released titles on its shelves, still hasn’t acquired “Shattered,”

      Request a copy by interlibrary loan. If you’re not the only person who does this, they might get the message and procure a copy.

      The same should be done for other good books that aren’t in one’s local public library, such as “The Vanishing Middle Class”, by Peter Temin.

    8. DJG

      Years ago, The New Republic invented the term Clinton Derangement Syndrome to describe the Republicans’ gut reaction to Bill Clinton. Now, much of the so-called libeal base of the Democratic Party suffers from Clinton Derangement Syndrome, which is an inability to judge what the Clintons and the conserva-Dems have done. I still have people posting memes on my FB feed about “her e-mails.” Yeah, they were all about yoga, from a woman who has never mentioned in public that she takes yoga.

      1. montanamaven

        But in Flyover Country i.e. rural America, ranchers couldn’t break even in the 1990s, so for a lot of people the Clinton era was bad. They were left out of the party.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I agree, not all voters — although I even had dental insurance back in the 90s! What luxury! — but the moral is that voters who receive concrete material benefits remember that for a long time. A lesson today’s Democrats seem to have forgotten, or have applied only to their narrow professional base.

  4. David

    First official turnout figures for the French election – 28.54% at 12H00 French time. Very slightly up from 2012. (The weather’s generally good here). There is usually another turnout report at 18H00
    The results may well come later than normal, because of the closeness of the race, and the reluctance of the major polling organisations to make predictions. We normally have a good idea by about 20H00, but that could be pushed back by several hours today.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      I went to vote at around 1PM in my very conservative suburban neighborhood. There was a long line stretching outside, maybe 50 people total. Normally I would have expected them to be eating Sunday lunch at this point. I put it off until later. I’m thinking of going at around 6PM now and will update.

      1. David

        Latest figures at 17H00 here – turnout at just over 69%, slightly down on 2012, but better than many people were expecting.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        I just voted and it took about 30 minutes total. Pretty much normal. Most all people took a Fillon ballot but that’s to be expected where I am (you’re supposed to take at least two and choose one in the booth).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Did Obama have a phone conversation with Macron a few days ago?

            Would that be American interference?

            1. Bugs Bunny

              Of course it was.

              What would have happened if Le Pen had tweeted a picture of her talking to Putin on a speaker phone?

        1. Vatch

          France doesn’t have a secret ballot election process? Even if one has two ballots, that’s only partial secrecy.

          Or is this like a primary election in the U.S., where one requests the ballot for particular party? Will there be a second election, no matter what the result of this election is? Please pardon my ignorance.

          1. David

            Yes it does. These are estimations based on early exit polls before voting is over, and it’s illegal to publish them in France.
            The top two from today’s election go into the run-off in two weeks’ time. The only way for that not to happen is if one of the candidates gets an absolute majority, which I don’t think has ever happened.

            1. DJG

              David and Bugs Bunny: What Vatch is referring to is this: In France, do you take a ballot that can be identified by others as a certain party? Bugs Bunny mentions a Fillon ballot. In the U.S., you only would identify your party and take the the party’s whole ballot.

              Long ago, that practice in the U.S. was to take identifiable ballots, but that practice has been eliminated.

              In short, if I walk into a polling place in France for this (primary) election, I would ask the election judge for a Melanchon ballot? Not a presidential ballot with all of the candidates’ names on it?

              1. David

                You are given a series of ballots and you put the one you want to win in the box and throw the rest away.
                First official estimates, Macron 23.7, Le Pen 21.7, Fillon and Mélenchon tied at 19.5 %.

              2. Bugs Bunny

                The ballots are loose on a table and you pick them up in front of the other people in line. You must pick at least two. The judges are on the other side of the room.

                Right now at 9:30PM Macron and Le Pen look to qualify. Of the favorites only Mélenchon has not yet conceded.

                1. David

                  That’s pretty much it. Mélenchon has not yet conceded as far as I can tell, but he is definitely out of the race, as is Fillon, which means the two parties that dominated French politics for the last thirty years failed to qualify for the second round.
                  Macron has just given his victory speech, which was so stultifyingly boring I almost fell asleep, and went on for about 15 minutes. He has quite a bit to learn.

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    Do we know how Macron’s backers there?

                    I don’t much like novice politicians who come out of nowhere and build a “movement” (with a lot of favorable press coverage).

                    “We don’t want nobody nobody sent….”

  5. fresno dan

    A process that Guilluy calls métropolisation has cut French society in two. In 16 dynamic urban areas (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rennes, Rouen, Toulon, Douai-Lens, and Montpellier), the world’s resources have proved a profitable complement to those found in France. These urban areas are home to all the country’s educational and financial institutions, as well as almost all its corporations and the many well-paying jobs that go with them. Here, too, are the individuals—the entrepreneurs and engineers and CEOs, the fashion designers and models, the film directors and chefs and other “symbolic analysts,” as Robert Reich once called them—who shape the country’s tastes, form its opinions, and renew its prestige. Cheap labor, tariff-free consumer goods, and new markets of billions of people have made globalization a windfall for such prosperous places. But globalization has had no such galvanizing effect on the rest of France.
    Guilluy doubts that anyplace exists in France’s new economy for working people as we’ve traditionally understood them. Paris offers the most striking case. As it has prospered, the City of Light has stratified, resembling, in this regard, London or American cities such as New York and San Francisco. It’s a place for millionaires, immigrants, tourists, and the young, with no room for the median Frenchman. Paris now drives out the people once thought of as synonymous with the city.
    The good fortune of Creative Class members appears (to them) to have nothing to do with any kind of capitalist struggle. Never have conditions been more favorable for deluding a class of fortunate people into thinking that they owe their privilege to being nicer, or smarter, or more honest, than everyone else. Why would they think otherwise? They never meet anyone who disagrees with them.

    “The good fortune of Creative Class members appears (to them) to have nothing to do with any kind of capitalist struggle.” The gigantic size of the trade deals such as TPP & TTIP is the special pleading and all around corruption that makes every representative first and only a “representative” for ever more profit at the expense of every other consideration. To paraphrase the article, why would anyone think the system is skewed to the rich when hardly anyone sees articles in the MSM that advances the contention…

    1. allan

      Not entirely off-topic: NYC property taxes favor rich and white homeowners, lawsuit claims [NYDN]

      … Across the five boroughs, the city Department of Finance is subjecting tens of thousands of homeowners to similarly unequal billing — with the winners located primarily in upscale neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Greenwich Village …

      Being part of the Creative Class is expensive. Give them a break. Oh, wait …

      … and the losers located overwhelmingly in working- and middle-class neighborhoods like South Jamaica, East New York and Brownsville.

      Often, the brunt falls most heavily on black or Hispanic property owners. …

      Whatever. We have a Resistance march to attend.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “This year Mayor de Blasio will pay $3,581 in property taxes on each of two row houses he owns in ultra-gentrified Park Slope. The city says his properties are worth about $1.6 million apiece.”

        A strange wrinkle of NYC is that property taxes can be bizarrely low compared to similarly valued properties in the suburbs, which would be taxed anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 annually.

        It seems to be a function of a couple of factors mentioned in the NYDN article — percentage caps on sharp increases in hot neighborhoods; heavy taxation of large rental buildings — plus the vast tax take from the global-city commercial district in Manhattan that doesn’t exist in the ‘burbs.

        But property taxes are merely the tip of the inequality iceberg. In these same booming neighborhoods, the creative and managerial class sends its children almost exclusively to private schools, so that the public schools are disproportionately black, brown and poor.

        You can’t have limousine liberalism in one-party NYC without the limousines! :-)

        1. allan

          “property taxes can be bizarrely low compared to similarly valued properties in the suburbs”

          To the back of the line, downstater.
          Here in moderately prosperous Western NY suburbia,
          the tax bill (county, town and school) comes in at about 4.3% of market value.

        2. Pat

          There are also programs in place to lower or eliminate property taxes for buildings with low income housing. Since I’m pretty sure that de Blasio cannot live in two buildings at once even before Gracie Mansion, one might qualify under one of those programs. Then there are abatement programs having to do with renovating a dilapidated building, another method. It is unlikely that is the actual tax bill for those buildings.

        3. Yves Smith

          It is widespread that property taxes are low in the city relative to the ‘burbs. A big reason why the schools here got bad early.

          Houses, I believe even ones that are rentals, are taxed based on width. So an ’18 foot wide (really narrow but there are a lot in the Village) is a ton cheaper than a super generous 25 foot wide building of the same interior square footage. Bloomberg’s house on E 79 is not wider than 22 feet, might be only 20 feet.

          The widest house I ever saw inside was formerly owned by Imelda Marcos, on 68th between Fifth and Madison. 41 feet wide. Still had her full-size portrait in a white Empire style gown and tiara at the top of the entryway stair. The top floor had a tiny disco, complete with glitterball, and a closet with lots of racks for her shoes.

      2. montanamaven

        Definitely not off topic. In fact, it is more to the point. “Globalization” is a nicer sounding term than “Shock Doctrine” and Crony Capitalism”. The financial sectors of France, Germany, U.S., Britain, are all too big and are ruining other sectors that make useful things, and by “useful”, I mean growing food, cleaning up rivers, capturing the sun and not 16 different types of cereal. As one wag once said, “Why do we send Keebler cookies to Denmark and they send us their cookies? Why don’t we just trade recipes? That would save a lot of fuel for those container ships.

        1. fresno dan

          April 23, 2017 at 10:16 am

          With that kind of cynicism your probably thinking squeezing an orange with your own hands is somehow better than using a 700$ high tech internet connected juicer…..

          Engorged with $120 million in cash from top-shelf Silicon Valley venture-capital firms and declared the “coolest invention of 2016” by Goop, Juicero debuted last year, peddling pricey subscription bags of pre-chopped produce and a $700 contraption to crush them into juice.

          What a difference a year makes…. And that fancy juicer? Turns out to be a bit extraneous.
          Bloomberg reporters Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski found that just squeezing the Juicero bag with one’s bare hands*** works nearly as well as popping it into the proprietary contraption—and is actually faster.

          *** I predict an article that discovers that squeezing….wait for it…..keep waiting… actual fruit, e.g., an orange will be quicker, cheaper, healthier, and increase sex performance – at least for those for whom sex is self inflicted….

    2. David

      This summary of Guilluy’s books is basically very fair, and it’s a shame that none of them are available in English, because his argument is applicable to other countries also. We’ll see over the next few weeks how “peripheral France” votes in the forthcoming elections.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        From the summary, it sounds very interesting. There is no doubt I think that there is an additional division arising in many western countries which goes beyond the traditional rust belt divide. Roughly speaking, its between those areas which are benefitting from open trade, neoliberalism and IT sectors, and those areas with older models which are in particular suffering from lowering wages and living standards for traditional jobs (not just unskilled jobs). But whether its a different thing, or more extreme than divides we’ve seen in the past I think is still an open question. But I think a core issue now compared to say, 30 or 40 years ago, is that there seems no real recognition of its extent or nature, in comparison to the work done in the past to try to help out declining old industrial areas.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Yurr naym is toe bee…the guillotinettes always smile when it gets to that part of the show…they are not oblivious…jets and containerships…poor poor leona they say…she was such a good person…she left one tenth of one tenth of one percent of the money to her doggie and mothing to some of her grandkids…

          That mean old george bailey…making that poor mister potter work harder at stealing and having the audacity to not jump off that bridge…merry christmas mister potter indeed…

        2. Lambert Strether

          I think it makes sense to frame the “urban/rural” divide as a form of colonialism, with the metropolitan center pushing a lot of externalities out onto the colonized periphery:

          * Landfills
          * Fracking
          * Factory farming (hog lagoons)
          * Pipelines
          * Data Centers
          * Power generation
          * Water

          And pulling a lot of the colonized periphery’s social capital into algorithms controlled by the metropolis — Amazon vs small stores, for example, or uber>

          I’m sure others will spring to mind, but the Bluecessionist mindset that “we are the ones who create value and subsidize you” is absurdly self-serving.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I think thats a reasonable way of looking at it, although I always have a suspicion of any analysis that takes as a starting point a ‘divide’, as its very easy to create a self-proving hypothesis. But I don’t think there is any doubt but that there is an element of economic geography at work which is fuelling inequality now in most developed countries.

            I think a useful way of looking at it is from the perspective of the development economists (such as Ha Joon Chang) criticism of Ricardian trade. In some trading situations, the ‘poorer’ partner can get stuck with a dying or declining sector with the dynamics favouring a constant flow towards the ‘first mover’. I think we are in a situation whereby both because of the nature of modern capitalism (where information is king) and politics in the broader sense, there is a whirlpool effect whereby ‘successful’ urban areas are attracting more and more wealth, while the rest is caught in stagnation, being unable to do much more than provide materials and second level services to the ‘winning’ regions. This is distinctly different from, say, the 19th century industrial revolution where traditional non-industrial areas such as London or Bordeaux or Paris benefited almost as much as the ‘new’ industrial cities from productivity growth.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            Incidentally, your comments on landfill remind me of some conversations I had with geologists years ago in the UK about disposing of nuclear waste. For years the government were trying to push for a repository in Cumbria, in the remote north-east of England (closer to Dublin than most UK cities). The geology there is, to put it mildly, problematic for deep storage. In general conversation I asked a few geologists where ‘in theory’ the best geology would be for nuclear waste. There was unanimous agreement was that the waste should be stored where you could find deep deposits of homogenous, highly impermeable and high plasticity deposits, preferably in an area without a history of seismicity and deep enough that it would never be disturbed by glaciation or sea erosion. And such deposits exist. they are called the ‘London Clays’. You can guess where they are found.

            Needless to say, nobody in the UK government ever asked geologists for an independent survey of British geology in order to find the ideal site for nuclear waste. Everyone knew what the answer would be. So Cumbria gets it instead.

    3. montanamaven

      One of my favorite quips from the comments section of the American Conservative piece:

      As for Shakespeare, I think he might find Chelsea an inspiration for a “Malvolia,” smug in the certainly of her own rectitude.

      1. montanamaven

        And this observation from a Christopher Caldwell piece of the geographer Guilluy quoted in the same piece:

        Most often, Parisians mean what Guilluy calls la gauche hashtag, or what we might call the “glass-ceiling Left,” preoccupied with redistribution among, not from, elites: we may have done nothing for the poor, but we did appoint the first disabled lesbian parking commissioner.

    4. VietnamVet

      Thomas Frank and Tucker Carlson both have great YouTube videos discussing our divided society with the top credentialed class having no clue of the misery of the former middle class. I’ve relisted them if anyone hasn’t watched them already:

      That’s it. Corporate Media simply hides the fact that 80% of the West was been thrown under the bus. The rich are getting richer by exploiting everyone else. Identity politics won’t work anymore. Too many people are adversely affected by Globalization. Elections will be won by whoever promises to relieve the despair. No matter how much a person believes in their goodness and in the free movement of goods, money and people; if jobs and a purpose in life are not provided to young males so stable families can raise healthy children in a clean environment, their society is doomed.

  6. johnnygl

    And, of course, one of the biggest findings from the wapoo is buried…

    ” Democrats have lost considerable ground on this front. The 28 percent who say the party is in touch with concerns of most Americans is down from 48 percent in 2014 and the biggest drop is among self-identified Democrats, from 83 percent saying they are in touch to just 52 percent today. That is a reminder that whatever challenges Trump is having, Democrats, for all the energy apparent at the grass roots, have their own problems.”

    The base is starting to hate the Dems. This represents progress after being lulled to sleep for 8 years under obama.

    The party is still flailing around with no leaders and no message. Russophobia just ain’t getting it done!

    1. Katharine

      DNC just sent another of their clueless questionnaires. They evidently still think they just need better messaging and perhaps should organize communities of color (!). I pointed out that communities of color can organize themselves and what the party needs is better candidates with better policy proposals that are actually consistent with what voters want, and enough respect to go out (to all fifty states) and listen to the people whose votes they want in order to find out what that means.

      Won’t make a dent, of course. Even if I were silly enough to give them money, they wouldn’t actually pay any attention to what I wrote, but I get a perverse satisfaction out of telling them how dumb they are.

      1. montanamaven

        Rod Dreher who wrote the American Conservative piece has this observation on the T.A. Frank Vanity Fair piece:

        Frank’s view — he is, by the way, a liberal — seems to be that Chelsea Clinton embodies what is wrong with the Democratic Party today: the vapid, brainless posturing that encourages metropolitan, global-oriented elites to believe unreflectively in their own virtue.

        This spoke to me. The incredible self-regard of the liberal elites was on full display at the movie and tv award shows. “We are so kind and inclusive and refugee friendly.” Rachel Maddow’s smug self satisfied rants are similar to ones I hear all the time. Chelsea’s dinner party where they talk about “how can communities become more inclusive, more kind…?” You know, like us. And how can we make stories that will encourage kindness and “mutual dignity”?
        Give me a break. How do you create communities where all there have mutual dignity? Might help if they are not supplicants depending on the largess of their patrons. Might help if you didn’t look down on people who work with their hands. Might help if it was pot luck and everybody did the dishes instead of the maids. Just sayin’.
        I might add that Chelsea’s dinner party could use another comic besides Shakespeare. Maybe George Carlin or Oscar Wilde? You know, somebody to call bull on every vapid thing that comes out of the hostess’ mouth.
        Vapid, self satisfied self regarding brainless posturing of the glass-ceiling shattering chattering Left.

          1. DJG

            Montanamaven: Excellent point. I am especially leery of this new “kindness is everything” meme. Really? Where is kindness mentioned in the Bill of Rights? Give me my civil rights and civil liberties, unimpeded, and then we’ll talk about whether or not to meet at the winebar for a drink.

            Also, Shakespeare saw through it all. Today is supposedly his birthday. Anyone who wrote Jaques’s speech on the Ages of Man knows full well what Chelsea Clinton is up to.

        1. neo-realist

          I might add that Chelsea’s dinner party could use another comic besides Shakespeare. Maybe George Carlin or Oscar Wilde? You know, somebody to call bull on every vapid thing that comes out of the hostess’ mouth.

          As long as we’re pulling comic sages out of the grave who will call bs on the elites, Bill Hicks?

        2. johnnygl

          If you want to creat communities of kindness and mutual dignity….maybe try getting the lead out of the water, first. Just an idea…

    2. Arizona Slim

      All of this anti-Russia hysteria has inspired me to learn more about Russia. And, guess what, it has been a wonderful experience.

      1. robnume

        I have a wonderful college textbook on Russian history, which was my fathers in college in the late ’50’s, and its approach is refreshingly historic, not full of western bias so prevalent in the era of the first cold war. You might enjoy it, Arizona Slim. It’s called, “Russia, A History,” by Sidney Harcave, a Prof of History at SUNY Harpur College, published by Lippincott Press. I have the fourth edition of the book, from 1959 but was originally published in 1952. It’s in the Library of Congress so shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
        My uncle, a Fulbright scholar in linguistics in the 1970’s, went to teach for 3 years at the University of Kiev and it was then that I began to study Russian history and it is still one of my favorite subjects. I am also teaching myself Russian through my husbands old Russian language textbooks; what a beautiful language, too.
        I hope you get a chance to read this book. I love it because it’s “pure” history and no politics.

  7. edmondo

    Just read this at Down with Tyranny:

    If you’re not from Tennessee, you may never have heard of Congresswoman Diane Black. She’s an old racist witch, basically a classic neo-Nazi who’s been representing a backward district in central Tennessee that conveniently skirts any cities, since 2010. TN-06 is made up of 19 shit-hole counties that God gave up on and abandoned to the Devil; most of the voters live in Sumner and Wilson counties. The dirt-poor district is almost entirely white– and pretty much defines “trash.” She’s the absolute perfect representative– except that she’s a multimillionaire several times over, representing a bunch of poor hicks who don’t have the good sense to understand she’s screwing them over every single day. What a mess! The district has a PVI of R+21. McCain beat Obama there, 65-34%. Romney beat Obama 69-30% and Señor Trumpanzee beat Hillary 72.6% to 23.7%, Trump’s second-best showing in the state.

    I believe in the 50-state strategy– but not for TN-06. Leave that pile of sewage alone. Let it exist as a kind of living museum of what happens when people listen to too much Hate Talk Radio and take too many opioids. It was Andrew Jackson’s political base so it’s perfect that the only president as corrupt as Jackson should also be so admired there.

    I’m pretty sure all she has to do to win re-election for life is reprint this little screed every two years and mail it to every one of her constituents. And you wonder why Democrats have lost more than 1000 seats in the last ten years? I wonder what kind of names the author would be called if he wrote about Maxine Waters’ district in the same way?

      1. Charger01

        I did not realize that Andrew Jackson was considered corrupt in his time. Quite the opposite…

        1. Vatch

          The beginning of the Spoils System is considered to be the Jackson administration. I’m sure there’s disagreement about this, but for the sake of convenience, here’s the Wikipedia article on this topic:

          Before 1829, moderation had prevailed in the transfer of political power from one U.S. president to another. Andrew Jackson’s first inauguration, March 4, 1829, signaled a sharp departure from the past. An unruly mob of office seekers made something of a shambles of the event, and though some tried to explain this as democratic enthusiasm, the real truth was Jackson supporters had been lavished with promises of positions in return for political support. These promises were honored by an astonishing number of removals after Jackson assumed power. At the beginning of Jackson’s administration, fully 919 officials were removed from government positions, amounting to nearly 10 percent of all government postings.

          1. Darius

            I’m sure the Dems have abandoned this district because it’s not their kind of people. Seems like it would be ripe for takeover by a Bernie type. But not an Ossoff type, so D.C. Dems aren’t interested in the slightest.

      2. ChrisPacific

        I’ve never read anything on that site that wasn’t awful. Admittedly that’s based on a small sample size of two, as I’ve learned to stay away from it.

    1. sleepy

      I don’t think that site knows too much about the district. Dirt poor? Some of it is no doubt, but its two largest counties Sumner and Wilson are fairly affluent suburban counties of the Nashville metropolitan area.

      This is Al Gore’s old congressional district. It became republican and more conservative partly as a result of its suburbanization and increased wealth not, as the site suggests, because it is dirt poor. That meme is dem elitism at its best–dumb white trash voting for Trump. If anything, imho whatever “dirt poor” voters remain in that district would be more likely to vote dem than repub.

      But that would mess up the theory that affluent suburban repubs are the dems’ target market.

  8. RenoDino

    Interesting that Bernie is the most popular politician in the country, but the Democrats insist on trying to marginalize him as if they have someone better when they obviously don’t.

    It seems that Bernie can’t do anything right because he wants to look beyond identity politics, instead of doubling down on that failed strategy. For that alone, he is the most hated man among party regulars. Since he is himself not a Democrat, why does he keep investing and facilitating this doomed project that screwed him and American people over? He literally has to defeat these people before he can go on to defeat the opposition party. It’s not like he has time on his side.

    1. Katharine

      Why? Probably because it is easier to take over an existing organizational structure than to create anything remotely comparable from scratch. Among other things, candidates running as Democrats have automatic access to NGP-VAN, whereas those running as third-party or independent candidates have to pay for an alternative, which, even if adequate, will deflect possibly limited funds from other purposes.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        He should be a Democrat then.

        Why the switching back and forth, if he wants to take over an organization?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Because then he can push his platform and policies. Unity should be based on policy, on benefits provisoned for voters.

          Right now he’s got the best of both worlds: He’s dragging Perez around the country, and Perez is getting booed and looking like an idiot, but he’s not obligated to the people who own Perez.

      2. bob

        “candidates running as Democrats have automatic access to NGP-VAN”

        What they fuck good does this do? Less money, no winning.

        One database to rule them all!

        Except they lost. Miserably. Completely. And they keep FUCKING LOOSING!!!!!!!!!

        “we need equal access to The Database”

        No, we need an electorate that gives one tiny little shit about anything other than their own class interests.

        This is just more technobabble, but this time with an “equal access” line attached. Equal access to pay the assholes who keep loosing. That’ll change everything!

      3. Oregoncharles

        Are you sure that’s easier? You’re fighting entrenched power holders. Starting something new, or nearly, nobody’s entrenched; all you have to worry about is your own inadequacies – and that’s plenty, of course.

        But since we’re talking about political parties, here, you’re also up against the legal disadvantages inflicted on new parties. But the worst barrier is habit: people just assume that “it’s a two party system,” and use that as an excuse to fall back on the same old, same old. Until they get really mad.

        Key numbers have shifted drastically since 2006; notably, self-avowed party “membership” has fallen drastically, to about 25 and 28%. Independents are a large plurality and nearly a majority. That is not a stable situation, so some sort of re-alignment is due. At the moment, I think we haven’t a clue what it will look like, but probably not the good ol’ 2-Party.

      4. Lambert Strether

        > it is easier to take over an existing organizational structure than to create anything remotely comparable from scratch.

        To put this more concretely, if Sanders wants to take the focus off policy, and generate a squillion stories whining about ballot access, he should create a new party.

        Also, Democrats are weak on policy. They’re excellent at stuff like gaming ballot access and fixing elections. Why attack your enemy where they are tactically the strongest?

    2. voteforno6

      I guess the purity police are going after Sanders. The Clintonistas’ lack of self awareness is really quite remarkable.

    3. hreik

      Lol. Take a look at DailyKos Rec list diaries, which has gone apeshit re: Identity politics. Ludicrous.

  9. PlutoniumKun


    The county at the centre of a Chinese debt crisis SCMP

    Sample quote:

    Collaboration between a big borrower, a number of creditor banks and a local government to roll over credit or even to bail out a troubled borrower has become a common practice in China, where 12,836 creditor committees had been set up by the end of last year, involving combined debts of 14.85 trillion yuan.
    Dozens of legal experts held a symposium in Beijing on April 14 to discuss whether it was appropriate for local governments to step so deeply into companies’ debt problems.

    I think this illustrates why the debt problem in China could become uncontrollable. It is not simply a case of some companies and banks getting out of their debt. In China, private companies, banks, local governments and individuals are often tied up in very complex financial deals, with lots of unofficial borrowing going on in the background (as one friend of mine put it ‘in my village, everyone owes money to everyone else’). Numerous companies have become too big to fail, because if they crash they will take entire communities with them – not just in terms of job losses, but in unravelling loans and debts. There is a huge informal banking system in China which is rarely mentioned in the literature. I’ve no idea how the government will deal with this, but I suspect the political imperative will be to shore up all the TBTF’s, which is what happened in Japan, and this will lead to deep stagnation for a very long time.

    1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

      Recall that China is (nominally at least) a Communist country, that means that the government can swap the debt of failing “private” companies for equity and nobody would bat an eye. Try doing that in the US and everyone will yell “but Capitalism!”, (so instead of nationalizing Citibank for $4B we propped them up with $174B and now it’s still a tottering zombie)

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I was about to say that the problem with that is that is that it leads to poor incentives, with the managers then free to start the whole circus going again, then I remembered that China has the highest number of executions in the world. Shoot a few of the worst CEO’s along with debt for equity swaps, and you might just sort out the problem.

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          Blankfein’s head on a pike would have done wonders for us. Zero perp walks, thanks Obama

  10. PlutoniumKun


    Donald Trump’s first 100 days: The madder he gets, the more seriously the world takes him Independent. The weekly Robert Fisk fix.

    As so often, Fisk nails it. The scariest thing about the events of the last few weeks has been how the mainstream have started to praise Trump for his new aggression. Trump seems to be a very insecure man, and it now seems the neocons have learned how to play him and the mainstream press are playing along with the game. I was holding out some hope that Trump was playing a ‘don’t mess with me ‘cos I might do something stupid’ strategy (as Kissenger and Nixon tried with Vietnam), but I don’t think this is likely anymore. He has learned where the ‘press a bomb’ button is, and he likes it. I doubt if he’s too concerned about his base anymore, he’s playing a more exciting game. There is a very real danger now that his ego will not allow him step back when his bluff is called (as undoubtedly it will be).

    Incidentally, Talebs Medium article in yesterdays links is a very effective take down of the neocon mentality – maybe my favourite one (a must read I’d say). Its pretty clear that the ‘blob’ in Washington now consists of idiots with an elevated sense of their own intellectuality, now in charge of a very unstable president. Whatever you say about Obama, at least he tried not to do anything too stupid. Even Bush had some rational doubts. This is a very dangerous time.

    1. John Wright

      It is small comfort to assert that if Clinton had been president, the neocons would not need to play her, as she is inclined to do what they wanted to do anyway.

      Unfortunately the combination of Republican neocons + Democratic neocons + left wing “humanitarian hawks” always seems to result in the same plays being called by the politicians in DC..

      At least Trump has not killed too many people in his actions to date, nothing close to the disaster HRC helped unleash in Libya.

      Having Trump viewed as “dangerous, unstable” might allow the opposition some negotiating room they might not have had with a “glass ceiling shatter-er” President Hillary Clinton.

      While Trump may know how to follow a script, he might resent being played and push back.

    2. dontknowitall

      PlutoniumKun @930am

      I don’t agree. Obama was pressing the bomb button every Tuesday for years on end sometimes taking out entire wedding parties with babies and ambulances included and Trump does it once to bomb a nearly empty airfield and that is a sign of liking to bomb and insecurity. By comparison, Hillary was cackling at the news of the way Qaddafi died and who can forget the fascination with which Hillary and Obama watched live video feed of the end of Bin Laden. Obama and Hillary, for all the babies in their butcher’s bill are considered sane and totally not stupid but Trump is the nut. I think Trump has shown signs of relative restraint considering the abuse he’s been through since the election.

      I don’t doubt things would have been much worse by now in the bombing department with any other Dem in power with the exception of Sanders.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        We all know Obama’s record for killing brown people. My point is that while he did very little to resist warmongers, at least he didn’t do anything stupid or reckless. He did de-escalate with Iran and held back from Syria (I don’t praise him for that, these were just common sense moves). He didn’t make things worse with North Korea by deliberately stirring up that hornets nest. He belatedly learned some lessons from Libya. He was neocon, but at least he was a neocon who wasn’t entirely lacking in rationality or some knowledge of how geopolitical strategy works.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I don’t think Obama can be blamed for Yemen, thats very much on Saudi Arabias plate. Of course, he stayed on the golf course instead of trying to stop the slaughter there (as with Honduras, etc)., but he wasn’t directly responsible.

  11. Pat

    Clinton continues her “I’m still relevant keep me in mind for 2020” campaign.

    I must have missed her support of elephants as Secretary of State. Sadly, I’m afraid if I look I’ll find out that in reality she was supporting some group that was part of the problem if I find anything. The only good thing to her latest appearance tour is that more and more the reaction I’m seeing from commenters, etc is ‘she should go away’, The ineptitude of her people trying to counteract “Shattered” is turning out to be very helpful. I know it will be awhile before it is impossible to cover it up in the NY Times comment section but I’m more and more optimistic that not even they will be allowed to ignore Clinton’s lack of relevance to the majority of Americans soon.

    1. Barmitt O'Bamney

      Clinton makes “surprise visit” to film panel run by America’s Leni Riefenstahl? Now can we really call that a surprise? No doubt her Malfeasancy appeared to the swelling strains of Wagner, descending from a sky framed by puffy, pillar like clouds, with the shadow of her aeroplane making the sign of the Cross, conveying benediction upon the expectant crowds below.
      On the other hand, Tulsi Gabbard turning up would be a real surprise.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        It was revolting to see Bigelow’s torture-fest film get the top honors. And if you watched this year’s winner (that was incredibly thin and truly horrible) you’d have to think Oscar has become just a gigantic snivel of virtue signalling and ID politics by a singularly uninteresting and self-absorbed celluloid Politboro.(I wonder which “virtue” they were signalling with Bigelow: that waterboarding is perfectly PC if it’s done against the enemies of Israel?)

      2. Lambert Strether

        Ugh, Zero Dark Thirty, and Bigelow being — like all good liberal Democrats — in bed with the torturers in the intelligence community.

        So now Clinton is helping Bigelow launder her reputation with a movie about elephants. Swell. And on helping African “rangers”:

        Bigelow also asked Clinton if there could there be a military component that could be used in training people? – suggesting U.S. military.

        “It’s difficult to see how this could be accomplished,” Clinton replied. “African Parks could be supported and enhanced on a partnership basis. This is a very difficult terrain to work on. We gave support in Uganda to Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. That was very hard to do. The Ugandan army took the lead but with American support. It’s a huge expanse of territory. [We] can possibly use drones [for] surveillance, not sure if African Parks is doing that.”

        Oh, my head hurts.

    2. Alex Morfesis

      Yup…$hillary may be finally done…although…many said Eleanor Roosevelt died a happy women as she had worked that day to insure nixon lost in California…you won’t have me to kick around anymore exclaimed our little richard nixon of swiss german decent, a week after the nation had survived the cuban missle crisis…somehow that did not quite work out as expected…

      If $hillary does die one day, perhaps it would be wise to use star hex security screws to drill the coffin closed…they don’t hand out silver bullets anymore to gravediggers…

    3. Optimader

      Is there any political irony re: hrc thtowing her gaffing hook into an elephant advocacy film?
      I’d think shes be on the look out for a film about jack–asses??

      1. JohnnyGL

        Agreed, very nice find.

        Comments section of Nakedcap brings almost as much value as the main site.

  12. Merf56

    Re: pigs parrots and people….good piece!
    Animal lovers and others interested in this topic might like this link to see the varied personalities and behavior of farm animals rescued from either the table or euthanasia: Also their FB site is wonderful and enlightening.

    Clearly animals have unacknowledged levels of personality and reasoning abilities…. Two months of reading this site transformed our entire family into vegans. And we used to shake our heads in snobbish disgust at such crunchy granola folk …..

    1. polecat

      We have 4 little Americana laying hens (going on 5-6 years now). I can certainly attest to how they differ in their personalities …. to the extent the rooster (moi) has to intervene now and again ..

      I’d even go a step further and state a honeybee colony can (collectively) have a ‘personality’, and as any cognizant beekeeper, I can grok when the ‘hive mind’ is relaxed, or getting testy, or outright pissed !
      As an aside, Bees can grok back ! ‘;o

  13. Uahsenaa

    re: traditional cookware

    Cast iron is obnoxious to wash (because of the weight), but it’s a godsend when it comes to cooking. Nothing gets as good a sear on meat, distributes heat as evenly, or can be used with any heat source (open fire, gas stove, induction burner, etc.). Many years ago, I reverted to using mostly enameled and cast iron cookware and haven’t gone back since. It also forces you to cook in a way that makes food tastier (more fat, slower and lower heat, browning and deglazing).

    Frankly, others can keep their no-fat chicken breast in a teflon pan. And the only thing that gets steamed in my house are pork buns and tamales.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        I’ve begun using cast iron and enameled cookware more and more because teflon coated pans last around 2 years for me. I just need teflon coated pans for eggs.

    1. fajensen

      Teflon is a global conspiracy to poison our vital fluids! There is just about Teflon in anything cooking related these days – I am not buying any of it, I tell the children not to buy any either. Even bought them some basic “raw” iron, teflon-free cookware for them, which funnily enough is indeed rather expensive, especially considering that the same factory machines must have been stamping these out since the 1880’s or so.

  14. John Parks

    In what I basically saw as a discussion of relative human infrastructure “Will Scrabble Have the Last Word on the IQ Debate?” I found myself in “reaction mode” and wondering why IQ was even being used as an attempted standard of comparison!?

    I fell back on Gould’s:
    “I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Gould was right.

      There are many big and very wrinkly brained humans.

      Moreover, there is another point to be made – today’s mad world places too much emphasis on the brain.

      “Who has the biggest heart?” is a very relevant question, but not asked as often.

      1. polecat

        No! The ’emphasis’ is on the Grifter’s (Money/Power) Brain !!!!

        …. there are other, better, much more gifted, and intuitive ‘brains’ laying around ready to act for the betterment of the commons !

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For a grifter, it’s still about the heart.

          His or her black heart, cold heart or cruel heart.

          1. polecat

            Unbeating hearts that crave for young debt-beholden blood !

            … although ANY debt-behold blood will do ..

  15. JEHR

    Trump’s war on truth: it is amazing that people may be prosecuted for publishing the truth but no one can touch Trump with a ten-foot pole for telling many, many lies.

  16. tegnost

    Thanks for the links J-LS, esp. on the return to popularity of cast iron and mortar and pestle, still haven’t cooked with a clay pot but now am intrigued by the possibility, I liked this especially in relation to the one on mexican immigrant health….cast iron rules, as well as fresh spices, i refrained from comment, I think last weekend, on an article about spices from a person whose family had run a spice store in the upper midwest somewhere in which he said msg is great and harmless. My experience, albeit anecdotal , is that msg increases my heart rate and makes my guts feel weird and I wondered if anyone else has that reaction?

    1. Young

      Years ago, I have read somewhere that the largest MSG producer in the world had a factory in a Chinese town, where the residents have had a very high rate of cancer.

      Maybe the process extracts good stuff and packages as MSG, then, discharges the bad stuff into the nearby river for local public consumption.

      For me, my tongue slightly reacts to the MSG when I have Chinese food in some restaurants.

      Some restaurants in Silicon Valley put “no MSG” in their menu these days.

      1. witters

        Please: (From Wikipedia): A popular belief is that MSG can cause headaches and other feelings of discomfort but double-blind tests have not found evidence to support this.[6] MSG has been used for more than 100 years to season food, with a number of studies conducted on its safety. Consumption and manufacture of high-salt and high-glutamate foods, which contain both sodium and glutamate, stretch back far longer, with evidence of cheese manufacture as early as 5,500 BC.[8] International and national bodies governing food additives currently consider MSG safe for human consumption as a flavor enhancer.[Gov. 4] Under normal conditions, humans can metabolize relatively large quantities of glutamate, which is naturally produced in the gut in the course of protein hydrolysis. The median lethal dose (LD50) is between 15 and 18 g/kg body weight in rats and mice, respectively, five times greater than the LD50 of salt (3 g/kg in rats). The use of MSG as a food additive and the natural level of glutamic acid in foods are not toxicological concerns in humans.[Gov. 4]

        A 1995 report from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that MSG is safe when “eaten at customary levels” and, although a subgroup of otherwise-healthy individuals develop an MSG symptom complex when exposed to 3 g of MSG in the absence of food, MSG as a cause has not been established because the symptom reports are anecdotal.[9]

        According to the report, no data support the role of glutamate in chronic disease. A controlled, double-blind, multiple-location clinical trial failed to demonstrate a relationship between the MSG symptom complex and actual MSG consumption. No statistical association has been demonstrated, and the few responses were inconsistent. No symptoms were observed when MSG was administered with food.[10][11][12][13]

        Adequately controlling for experimental bias includes a double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental design (DBPC) and administration by capsule, because of the unique aftertaste of glutamates.[12] In a study by Tarasoff and Kelly (1993), 71 fasting participants were given 5 g of MSG and then a standard breakfast. One reaction (to the placebo, in a self-identified MSG-sensitive individual) occurred.[10] A study by Geha et al. (2000) tested the reaction of 130 subjects with a reported sensitivity to MSG. Multiple DBPC trials were performed, with subjects exhibiting at least two symptoms continuing. Two people out of the 130 responded to all four challenges. Because of the low prevalence, the researchers concluded that a response to MSG was not reproducible.[14]

        Studies exploring MSG’s role in obesity have yielded mixed results.[15][16]

        Although several studies have investigated anecdotal links between MSG and asthma, current evidence does not support a causal association.[17] Since glutamates are important neurotransmitters in the human brain, playing a key role in learning and memory, ongoing neurological studies indicate a need for further research.[18]

        Now back to making my pock marked old lady tofu.

  17. JEHR

    How Americans vote: It has always made me wonder about what the term “secret ballot” really means when the entire population of a country has to register in one of three major parties before they can vote. Such a system allows for a great amount of manipulation before the vote actually takes place. So really, the result of the so-called “secret ballot” is already presaged before the final vote is taken under such a system. I literally do not tell anyone either before I cast my vote, during the casting of my vote or after I have voted, how I voted; it is secret to everyone except me and I do not belong to any political party.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Kevin Muir, who is based in Toronto, commented on this a couple of days ago:

      I am sympathetic to renters who were being priced out of the market, and I understand the frustration of having prices run away from you. But I know that when government gets involved in such a heavy handed manner, it will end badly. The law of unintended consequences will bite them in the ass.

      They sat around watching this problem develop for years, and then when it finally spiraled out of control, they rushed in to “fix it.”

      I suspect the same will happen with the Ontario government’s real estate measures. Prices were already set to slow, and now that the government has intervened, the top is virtually assured.

      Like your pal that has terrible market timing, but you are afraid to tell him because it might ruin your best contrarian signal, governments are the ultimate fade.

      Since the market lacks appropriate vehicles to short housing directly, Kevin Muir favors shorting the loonie.

      We might need to build a northern border wall, too, to keep out a flood of desperate, flannel-clad migrants. /sarc

      1. River

        Muir’s a buffoon, mainly because he focusing all the blame on the Wynne gov. The catalyst for this was because 2 couples contacted the mayor of Toronto since their rent was doubled at their condo from 1600 to 3200 starting July of this year.

        The mayor, John Tory, is a member of the PC party (conservative) and wanted something done to address this as he his quoted as saying he doesn’t want Toronto to become a city for the rich. He wanted a foreign buyer tax and a tax on vacant homes before the proposed legislation. I bring this up because this info. was left out of Muir’s post.

        So all three levels of gov. met last week to do something about it. Housing has gone up 33% since last year and rent control was already in place for buildings built pre-1991. Now the rent control will be on all buildings.

      2. McKillop

        And here I was, thinking that walls might be the world’s desperate measure to keep U.S.A.ians in.
        Do you think that the flood of dictat dough created by the banks might be more a contributing factor than the +”market interference” of the gov.?

    2. oho

      >>>Just wondering what the NC consensus is on rent control?

      Zoning is de facto rent intervention, ie San Franciso’s housing costs (and probably Toronto’s) could be tempered w/zoning changes. But obviously voters/citizens have a right to enact zoning laws that reflect their priorities.

      As w/nearly everything, it (zoning/rent control) isn’t automatically good or bad—-the devil is in the details, so are the winners and losers.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        Maybe someday we can talk about “root causes” (like how flinging bombs on Muslim countries causes, I don’t know, um, terrorism)? Or how truly insane central bank policy causes, um, I don’t know, the mis-pricing of everything? Here in Australia “housing affordability” is now at the top of the debate (with Sydney prices up 30% in 2 years) but there’s never a mention of how the central bank is doing everything in their power to make it worse.

    3. HotFlash

      Has rent control worked in Toronto in the past? Seems like. Will it work now? No clue, as the playing field is different these days — and it’s not just foreign buyers. Increasing income disparity, a preference for downtown neighbourhoods and the fact that, due to building codes instituted after Toronto’s Great Fires, most houses here are brick or brick-faced and therefore eminently suited to renovation/gentrification, and uniformly excellent schools throughout the city (the whole province, actually, since we don’t district like the US does) mean that your kids will be fine, or of course, we have Montessori schools and such as well.

      Very few new rental units are being built here, it’s all condominiums these days, while older rental buildings are being bought by outfits such as Akelius and surprise, surprise, the rents skyrocket. The last nail is Air BnB, which advertises “from $51 per night”, so even at 50% occupancy a room could gross $750 per month, well above the $400/mo max that local social assistance provides or that a sales clerk, barista, or pensioner could afford. Yeah, we could use some rent controls here.

      Long-time residents are organizing into associations such as Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust. Wish us good luck.

      1. McKillop

        Done! Good luck,
        Wasn’t Parkdale, in the eighties, gentrified from oneroomed tenement slums -the duplex I know of going for $68,000 but bought and lived in for 20 years, the tenants sent elsewhere, others similar?
        It was sold as part of an estate for a prce bid above the asking price, tidied up and flipped for close to $1,0000,000,
        Doesn’t Prof. Hudson note the effects of magical compound interest?
        I have one more mortgage payment on my family’s 1,000 foot home. I can hardly wait to have only the taxes and the hydro and gas bills interfering with my need to repair this 100 year old sweety, neglected out of frugality and necessity.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why Mexican immigrants are healthier than their US-born peers The Conversation

    Where do other immigrants rank?

    Hindu immigrants?

    Japanese immigrants?

    Mediterranean-diet immigrants?

        1. Anonymous

          There are a lot of theories about this, including genetics, breast feeding, and the observation that pple go home to die and thus don’t get counted in the mortality rate.

          There’s a big literature on the “Hispanic Paradox.”

  19. allan

    While S.S. Democrats drifts amidst the pack ice, the GOP U-boat engages in mop up operations:

    North Carolina civil rights center faces conservative ire

    A center founded at the University of North Carolina by a civil rights attorney to help the poor and disenfranchised is the latest institution to come under fire from conservatives as they work to leave their mark on the state’s higher education system.

    African-American attorney Julius Chambers, who endured firebomb attacks in the 1960s and 1970s as he fought segregation, founded the UNC Center for Civil Rights in 2001, serving as its first director. Now conservatives on the state Board of Governors, which sets policy for the 16-campus system, want to strip the center of its ability to file lawsuits, removing its biggest weapon. …

    Republicans play to win. Dems play to list build and fundraise.
    Until that changes, expect more electoral carnage.

  20. Jess

    That American Airlines video is disturbing, and clearly the flight attendant was wrong, but I can also see another side of the story. This is what happens when jobs are increasingly crapified. Planes are now packed with too many passengers stuffed into uncomfortable seats without enough storage in the overhead bins for everyone’s bags. Except in first or business class, food is a joke. Some airlines like Alaska have gotten rid of in-flight movies. And, of course, the cabin crew and gate attendants are the ones who have to deal with the friction face-to-face.

    Add in the fact that last year American made something like $9 bil dollars but froze all contributions to the employee retirement plan and you have a formula for spontaneous combustion.

    1. Anonymous

      Ever gotten whacked by someone’s backpack, like the one the mother was wearing?

      It’s also prohibited to take a stroller down the jet way.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m a curmudgeon about babies on airplanes; I would pay extra for a seat that wasn’t near one.

        I’d also like a look at that stroller, which wasn’t shown. A lot of ’em are as big as armored vehicles. If this one was like that, it should have been stopped at the gate. And we don’t have video of the “violent” part.

        NOTE Adding, yes, it was a “double-wide.” It is true that a flight attendant should be able to handle an entitled, manipulative, and weepy passenger, but still…

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I was travelling recently with friends with a stroller in Europe. I don’t know what the procedure is in the US, but in Europe it is standard that parents can bring the child in the stroller to the door of the aircraft, where they then wait for a baggage handler to take it directly from there and put it in the hold. It can cause confusion I think with parents who aren’t familiar with how it works and try to take the stroller into the plane. I can guess there could have been a situation where the mother was insisting on taking the stroller in, or maybe just brought it in without challenge initially by the flight attendants. Still, its no excuse for such an arrogant and aggressive approach.

      Good flight attendants are experts at defusing situations. I remember once on an Aer Lingus flight when a lady behind me insisted on talking loudly on her phone as the plane was taking off, against the pilots request to switch off all mobiles. The attendant went over and delivered an icy speech sotto voce to her informing her that ‘we may have to reconsider ever having you as a guest on one of our flights – ever – if you don’t switch that phone off right now‘. A by now very chastened woman turned off her phone to the sound of sniggering from the passengers around her. It was very impressive.

      1. Yves Smith

        I don’t watch this sort of thing closely, but parents with kids in strollers normally pre-board. As you can see from the passenger trying to defend the mother, the plane already had a lot of passengers on it. And she might not have understood that the crew can “gate check” and get it safely in the hold with no risk of it being left behind.

        There might be types of strollers that can fold up small enough for them to be carry-ons, although parents with kids have so gear that they usually use up their carry-on allowance.

  21. dontknowitall

    About “A Window for Punishing WikiLeaks” –

    The MSM is having a hard on for the possible prosecution of Assange. He’s been a thorn on their side doing the work they should be doing but aren’t. The timing is convenient since the Swedish case is about to expire and the UK would have no legal reason to grab Assange so something must be concocted.


    “It emerges that prosecuting Assange and WikiLeaks isn’t clearly excluded by this precedent. The so-called New York Times problem — that prosecuting WikiLeaks would allow prosecuting a newspaper — is to some degree more a policy concern than a definitive constitutional one.

    It might be desirable to establish a clear rule, so that publishers of leaked material can be sure that they won’t be prosecuted.”

    It is clear that Bloomberg is for having the Justice Department decide what and who is a publisher and put out a ‘rule’ that sanctifies the establishment MSM while excluding everybody else Wikileaks and NC too. So handouts from anonymous highly placed sources to Bloomberg journalists would be blessed but to your local blogger would not. All this magic is accomplished by transforming a constitutional question into a policy one thereby preserving the special access the Bloomberg, Wapoo and others so desperately desire.

    1. polecat

      What would you expect from a media organisation founded by the little DICKtator from newyork shitty!

      1. polecat

        I feel the need to clarify my statement above …

        NYC, I’m sure (having never been there myself) has a great many attributes, NONE OF WHICH are result of the CONiving Banksters, High Financers, and Greedy Politicos who reside, and call the shots there !

        … and almost every community (of any size) has their conglomeration, to varying degrees, of the above …

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Polecat…well…you would probably be wrong…nyc began as a vipers nest, a place for privateers and pyrates…pretty much everything big and paid for has moved off of the strip mining of money, resources and assets from around the globe…

          US companies complain about intellectual property theft in china…but…sorta kinda america used to wipe its private parts with ip in the 1800’s as european books were reproduced as “cheap books”…although when mister edison tried to enforce his moving picture rights, the nascent industry high tailed it to california to evade his litigation…something about some motion picture patent corporation thingee that was eventually struck down and made to reduce its powers by a 1917 us supreme court ruling…

          so new york money doesnt always win…but then again…most of hollywood eventually ended up crawling to wall street for money…yeah…

          nyc has always been a grift incubator…still is in many ways…bloomberg loses big coin every year on his first amendment toy…but he probably sees the writing on the wall…probably has another decade of milking his databases before he turns into kmart…he’s already diversified and cashed out…
          He probably wont keep working like nixons cousin charlie munger(9th) but he might pass Nixon’s other cousin warren(11th)buffet…too many zeros in the bank account…no son to hand it to…daughters seem to not be that interested…

  22. petal

    Please kill me now. It’s starting again already.

    “O’Malley will appear at three campaign-style events during a Sunday swing through the first primary state. O’Malley dropped out of the 2016 contest before the New Hampshire primary, but his visit is drawing speculation about his 2020 presidential ambitions.

    O’Malley will greet voters at homes in Bedford and Salem. His town hall will start at 6 p.m. at Baker Library in Bow.

    O’Malley is one of several former White House contenders heading to New Hampshire. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich returns Thursday to promote his new book, and former Vice President Joe Biden will headline a Democratic dinner April 30.”

  23. Plenue

    >Pundits Who Helped Sell NATO’s Destruction of Libya Push for Trump to Lead Syria Regime Change AlterNet

    As far as I can tell there has never been any plan for ‘regime change’. The goal is precisely that there not be any kind of unified Syria. From the 2012 DIA report:

    The General Situation:
    A. Internally, events are taking a clear sectarian direction.

    B. The Salafist, The Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.

    C. The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.


    C. If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

    So they want an Afghanistan Civil War scenario in which the husk of Syria is divided up among multiple parties, at least one of which is foreign backed head-choppers. The complete elimination of the Syrian government will force a gaping hole in Iran’s Shia Crescent powerblock, as well as make it far easier to do things like build pipelines (though per Gareth Porter, this is a secondary consideration at most).

    1. polecat

      And the ‘nationality(ies)/citizenship(s)’ of these said ‘pundits’ … U.S. cohort ???

    2. fajensen

      Surely people must know that one way to put a spanner in all of that would be to arrange for some catastrophic event that sadly cannot be attributed to anyone in particular befalling something economically important for Saudi like Ghawar.

      Once Russia or China figures out that we are no longer negotiating but playing games of chicken instead, they will force a mutually painful outcome rather than yielding every time.

  24. Plenue

    >In the quest of yet another Koh-i-noor The Hindu

    What the heck is the Koh-i-noor?

    >a 700+ year old Indian diamond, taken by the British in 1849 and eventually cut into the centerpiece of the Queen Mother’s Crown.

    Oh wow, so it’s literally the Indian Jewel in the British Crown. Guess that saying was more than just a metaphor.

    You would think for simple PR purposes if nothing else they would return the thing to India. But no, the British instead stubbornly keep it in a glass case in London so millions of tourists a year can see first hand a symbol of England’s shameful colonial legacy. I know that British movers and shakers seem to be too busy writing books about how British rule of India wasn’t so bad, but what was done to India was in fact shameful, and should not be fondly remembered. Insisting on keeping and displaying this stupid rock says a whole hell of a lot about the people running the husk of the British Empire.

  25. Alex Morfesis

    Well…macron can enjoy his victory for about the time it might take to finish off a cuban cigar…he has a bit of a problem called the june elections…

    my useless tourist french reading capacity seems to suggest he has no candidates lined up to “enmarche” with him into power…

    the socialists collapsed and the “republicans” only pulled 20%…


    who gets all those missing voters ??

    Melenchon ??

    Dont see macron having the capacity to lead anything after the june elections…

    hopee changee redux ??

    Pasok flunkees folded into syriza

    But would those who voted for macron accept him suggesting they vote socialist to form a unity govt if he has no plausible team to ride along with him ???

    Hope I am missing something obvious…

    1. Oregoncharles

      I thought the runoff was, sadly, between Macron and LePen.

      Hence, the big question is whether the various socialists will line up behind Macron – I would expect Fillon’s voters to mostly go with LePen.

      Or is that what you’re saying? I didn’t understand.

      1. Sputnik Sweetheart

        Fillon officially endorsed Macron last night, and this graphic posted on Julian Assange’s Twitter shows that 53% of Fillon’s voters have Macron as their second choice, compared to 21% who would pick Marine Le Pen instead.
        This shows that Macron’s win in two weeks is nearly inevitable. He has been endorsed by Fillon and Hamon. Only Melenchon refuses to tell his voters who to vote for, and clearly that group will be split between abstainers, Le Pen voters, and those who end up voting for Macron.

    2. Sputnik Sweetheart

      The PS is not dead, it just so happens that the officials jumped ship (notably Valls) to vote for Macron. If he wins, I’m sure that En Marche will be the Parti Socialiste with a new name. Because of this disintegration, the people who would vote Left/Centre-left are divided in between Macron, Melenchon, and Hamon. There’s also a theory going on amongst the French left that Hamon was the decoy candidate used to distract people who were perhaps more moderate (pro-European, afraid of Russia, etc.) from voting for Melenchon. This can be supported by the low turnout in the left primaries, as well as the rigging (the Socialists inflated their figures to have it look like more people voted than they actually did: If Valls had won, the liberal/status quo vote would have been split between him and Macron and more leftists may have voted for Melenchon. Another detail in this theory is how easily Hamon conceded and advised his voters to support Macron (at 8-8:30pm, just after the exit polls had announced a Macron/Le Pen victory, and before the votes had actually been counted).

      I actually thought that Melenchon would pull in 15% (the 2012 election had him pull in less voters than expected, with 15% in the polls and 11% in reality), so it was surprising that he scored as much as the polls thought he would, at 19 percent. For someone who has been ignored and demonised by the mainstream media, in a country where a lot of people are terrified of Putin, he did extremely well. His media advisors paid attention to the Podemos campaign and the rise of Bernie Sanders and he is very popular on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. His vote and Marine Le Pen’s total to 40%, which shows that a huge chunk of the French population are willing to criticise the EU.

      With all of this in mind, this is still a sad day for France, although they happen to be the country who beheaded a king and elected an emperor in his place. Even with the barricades, real change is far away.

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