Links 4/3/17

This tree lures birds with a free lunch and then kills them WaPo

Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents Royal Society Open Science (Re Silc).

How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons NYT (Hubert Horan). Of these tricks, the FT’s Izabella Kaminska‏ remarks: “The whole concept of ‘nudging’ is abhorrent to my mind and agency/autonomy compromising. The new feudalism.” At this point, we remember that Obama’s Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, was a big “nudge theory” proponent. So Obama and Trav share a special bond.

Fears ‘Uber’ bike wars could see mountains of dumped cycles in Cambridge Cambridge News

Financialization impedes climate change mitigation: Evidence from the early American solar industry Science

‘A solar Saudi Arabia’ WaPo

Brexit

Spain accuses Britain of ‘losing its temper’ over Gibraltar, as talk of war is dismissed as ‘absurd’ Telegraph

Europe’s False Choice Jacobin

There Could Be Another Twist in the French Election Bloomberg

Ecuador leftist claims victory, conservative demands recount Reuters

Syraqistan

Iraqi WMDs Anyone? Washington Post Makes Unfounded Claims Of Iranian Supplies To Insurgencies Moon of Alabama

Trump administration stops disclosing troop deployments in Iraq and Syria Los Angeles Times (Furzy Mouse).

Congress raises alarm over US confrontation with Yemen’s Houthis Al Monitor

China?

What should Xi and Trump talk about? Asia Times

Asian collision course Le Monde Diplomatique

China Learns How to Get Trump’s Ear: Through Jared Kushner NYT

China’s Huishan tapped shadow banks as condition worsened FT

A Civil Code for China: A Great Leap Forward for the Rule of Law The Diplomat

Edward Snowden’s guardian angels in Hong Kong have been abandoned by the world Quartz

Trump: US will act unilaterally on North Korea if necessary CNN

Real cost of Fukushima disaster will reach ¥70 trillion, or triple government’s estimate: think tank Japan Times

In the land of 6,000 rivers, a contamination crisis: Nepal’s water nightmare Channel News Asia

Too Many Tourists a Concern in Cambodian ‘Killing Fields’ VOA

Imperial Collapse Watch

F-35 Continues to Stumble Project on Government Oversight. Brutal. I especially like this passage. Remember the $600,000 custom-fitted helmet pilots wear?

[T]he helmet visor displays the flight instruments and the target and threat symbols derived from the sensors and mission system. … Then there is the matter of pilots actually seeing double due to “false tracks.” There is a problem with taking all of the information generated by the various onboard instruments and merging it into a coherent picture for the pilot, a process called sensor fusion. Pilots are reporting that the different instruments, like the plane’s radar and the EOTS, are detecting the same target but the computer compiling the information is displaying the single target as two. Pilots have tried to work around this problem by shutting off some of the sensors to make the superfluous targets disappear. This, [the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation] says, is ‘unacceptable for combat and violates the basic principle of fusing contributions from multiple sensors into an accurate track and clear display to gain situational awareness and to identify and engage enemy targets.’

So imagine you’re driving your car wearing your helmet and there’s a truck coming at you. But your helmet’s lidar, visual, sound, and heat sensors display four truck-like digital blurs, not one. That’s what’s happening on the F-35, except a lot faster, up in the air, and in a squillion-dollar death-dealing machine. How on earth did the project get so far without meeting the most basic of requirements?

The Most Expensive Weapon Ever Built LRB. Compare to the previous. Is it just me, or has the LRB gone a bit mushy in the last few months?

Health Care

Republicans for Single-Payer Health Care NYT

Sacramento Report: Atkins’ ‘Delicate Dance’ on Single-Payer Health Care Voice of San Diego

New Cold War

Ratf*ck A Go Go! Atlanticists and MI5 Go After Trump! China Matters. Entirely speculative, but I like the breezy tone.

The deep state now works for the ‘good guys’ Al Jazeera. From the content, “deep state” should have air quotes, too.

FBI plans to create special unit to co-ordinate Russia probe FT

Ross Says Didn’t Knowingly Lend to Sanctioned Russians at Bank Bloomberg

Democrats Want to Impeach Trump? That’s a Terrible Idea & Here’s Why… John Laurits (MR).

Why, when it comes to the Right, do we ignore events, contingency, and high politics?: What Arno Mayer Taught Me Corey Robin

Trump Transition

Donald Trump in his own words FT. “An edited transcript of the Financial Times interview with the US president ,” not pay-walled and Trump on Merkel, Twitter and Republican infighting — FT interview FT. Coverage, pay-walled. Nice get.

The Republican Identity Crisis The Atlantic. “[V]irtually everyone who wrote to me shared a common complaint: The traditional “Left Right” spectrum used to describe and categorize Republicans has become obsolete in the age of Trump. The question now is what to replace it with.” Democrats face the same issue — or would, if those darn Russkis weren’t such a bright, shiny object.

Sen. Schumer Says It’s Unlikely Gorsuch Will Reach 60 Votes NBC

Here’s How Every Senate Democrat Plans To Vote On Neil Gorsuch HuffPo

Fading Trade-Crackdown Fears Power Overseas Rebound WSJ

How a Hillary Superfan Ended Up Inside Trump’s Treasury Bloomberg. A “Hillblazer” from Black Rock. I’m shocked.

Democrats can do business with Donald Trump FT

The Trump-Hate Weather Vane New York Magazine. The Ossoff campaign in GA-06: Policy-light candidate with great press, anti-Trump message, millions in fundraising, appeal to affluent suburban Republicans, celebrity endorsements… Something seems familiar, here. Then there’s this. Ossoff on how his speaking style resembles Obama’s:

[OSSOFF:] Maybe the reason he [Obama] spoke in some way kind of like this is because he was trying to do the same thing, which is to be precise and accurate and thoughtful and substantive and say what you mean and what you feel and what you think is right without serving up something that the opposition can easily slice, dice, and throw up against you…. It’s important that you understand that I’m not saying you don’t say what you really mean. What I’m saying is your brain is working at 300 percent all the time because you need to both do that and parse your words in such a way that it can’t be used against you… It’s challenging.”

Can anything be gleaned from this pile of mush? Where’s Ossoff on #MedicareForAll? Running his brain at 300 percent to avoid taking a stand?

Former Obama staffers run for office to protect the progressive policies they built Guardian (MR). As opposed to, say, #MedicareForAll?

The Sanders Show: Welcome to ‘Bernie TV’ NBC

2016 Post Mortem

The destruction of Hillary Clinton: sexism, Sanders and the millennial feminists Guardian. “As I watched Sanders enchant the crowds, it was something of a deja vu experience to see a charismatic male politician on stage telling women which issues are and aren’t progressive.”

Middle-aged women are leading the anti-Trump resistance Axios. Via Dem pollster Celinda Lake, of anti-single payer fame.

Guillotine Watch

It’s possible — but difficult — to build wealth while earning the minimum wage Business Insider. “For a single parent or for someone supporting an ill family member, circumstances are considerably more difficult.” And we live in a society that seems optimized to create ill family members and prevent or destroy marriages.” So good luck doesn’t figure at all!

Class Warfare

Neoliberalism Is Killing Us: Economic Stress as a Driver of Global Depression and Suicide Truthout

Oligarchy in America Counterpunch (GF). This is why the Democrat cries that “Trump is conflicted!” leave me cold. Oligarchs are conflicted, by definition. Are “their” oligarchs worse than “ours”?

The Freedom Foundation wants to fight Democrats by busting a California homecare union Orange County Register

Falling The Hedgehog Review (Kokuanani). From 2014, but still highly relevant today.

Why you should worry that your browsing history is now for sale New Scientist. Google and Facebook (presumably), which are not infrastructural, don’t have access to your banking data. Your ISP, which is, could.

Eroding the Presumption of Innocence in USA Another Word For It

With Floating Farm, New York Looks to the Future of Public Parks Bloomberg. Permaculture makes the big time. For good or ill.

Antidote du jour:

Bonus antidote (SF):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

176 comments

  1. VK

    Threskiornis spinicollis, I think. Love that australian guy.
    Threskiornithidae are some of the cutest birds to watch. No wonder, the ancient people of egypt held their’s sacred.
    Managed to watch some of those circum-mediterranean species in the wild during my youth.

      1. petal

        I don’t know weather to laugh or cry!
        As for sulphur cresteds, I’ll never forget the racket a flock on campus made. Such a beautiful bird, but such an awful sound!

  2. PlutoniumKun

    The destruction of Hillary Clinton: sexism, Sanders and the millennial feminists Guardian. “As I watched Sanders enchant the crowds, it was something of a deja vu experience to see a charismatic male politician on stage telling women which issues are and aren’t progressive.”

    I had to fight a gag instinct while glancing through this article with my morning coffee. Its utterly delusional. Thankfully, the BTL commentators have done an effective job in dismantling it. Its useful though as a pointer to just how incredibly out of touch some Dems are that they can seriously still think HRC was a good candidate and a potentially good POTUS.

    1. Roger Smith

      In this extract from her book, Susan Bordo asks how the most qualified candidate ever to run for president lost the seemingly unloseable election

      Well that is where we can all stop. Her entire premise is based on a partisan lie. Next…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “Most qualified candidate” was always insipid. It’s a reworking of the “who do you trust to pick up the phone at 3am.” The Iraq War will always destroy the notion Hillary has a special kind of decision making ability she developed as First Lady.

        She lost the 2016 general for the same reasons she lost the 2008 primary. Trust, her associates, her terrible record, refusal to acknowledge responsibility, and having a message built around Hillary’s personality. Oh and not understanding the rules. Once is incomprehensible, but twice is representative of her character and ability.

        1. Arizona Slim

          The sleeping child in Clinton’s​ 2008 “ringing phone at 3 am” ad had grown into a teenaged Obama supporter.

          The Clinton campaign used stock footage that was several years old. And it wasn’t​ as if they could not afford to commission a video shoot.

        2. oh

          I think she lost the 2008 primary was because FIRE had decided to back Lord Obama and they pulled the strings for him to be nominated. The DNC understood and made a play of pretending that it was a even contest.

          1. Pat

            Not entirely. Her campaign not understanding how the delegates were allocated allowed Obama the opening he needed to be able to use that influence. But people with short memories should be reminded that 2008 was not like the most recent one which was rigged from the start. FIRE was fine with Clinton even if she wasn’t their first choice, Super Delegates were largely not mentioned, and no one was wiping voter rolls. The whole early primary rulings were open. It was far more of a contest than we just had.

      2. Adamski

        Chimes with the Thomas Frank thesis that Clinton’s base is the top 10%. “Her career is amazeballs”, said one Kossack.

        Remember the guy who was congressman, senator, House Speaker, and veep? Qualified? Al Gore, who lost to a rightwing ignoramus.

        1. voteforno6

          Gore wasn’t Speaker. That being said, he had about the same career as Richard Nixon. People don’t seem to mention him much when they talk about “qualified.”

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Nixon won on his own. Gore couldn’t win a local election without nostalgia. Anything good passed in the 60’s and 70’s has his old man’s name all over it.

            Despite Dubya’s status, it’s important to note he won as a black sheep against Anne Richards and took over the Texas GOP. Maybe it was Rove, but as a politician, Shrub pulled off an impressive feat. Gore’s first real election was for President. No one votes for VP.

            1. jsn

              It was only Anne’s charm that held Texas in the D column for her tenure. She was just plain fun to be around and to listen to.

              Johnson knew what he was saying when he opined his actions had cost the Democrats the South for generations. I don’t think he imagined the Democrats would embrace that, effectively bailing out.

              It was the rump of the New Deal and Great Society that had retired to teach at the LBJ school while still having important institutional contacts back in DC and media contacts in NY that even held open the possibility of an Anne Richards Governorship.

              This after the oscillation between the proto-third way Democrat, Jim White and Trumpian incompetent Bill Clements in the Governors Mansion following the core of the good old boy network, embodied by John Connally, flipping irretrievably to Republican a generation earlier.

              In my opinion Rove just got out in front of a self organizing “angry white man” politics that had for the previous three decades been corroding my attachment to my home state.

              As I’ve mentioned here before, it wasn’t until I read “The Half Has Never Been Told” that I realized the deep legacy of this hateful tendency in the state: I even went to a High School who’s mascot was the “Maroons” which had been converted into essentially a maroon colored “pom-pom” character like “Mister Met” rather than the truly heroic Haitians who delivered the Louisana Purchase to Jefferson. A very, very poisoned Texas History is taught there in the public schools that has written out the states raison d’etre as a statute of limitations hedge for slave owner’s who had mortgaged their “property”: it is this toxic inheritance Rove helped Shrub to pick up.

              1. tejanojim

                Hardly “loyal forever”, eh? For shame, jsn. Anyway, I’m not aware of any evidence that Mr. Maroo has any connection to the colonies of escaped slaves, despite the similar name. If you have anything that ties them together, by all means please share.

                1. jsn

                  He was Mr. Maroon when I was there.

                  Correlation is indeed not causation and he offered me a fantastic public education. The Texas History was, however male bovine excrement.

                  None the less, the shortened name you proffer only peaks my suspicions!

                2. jsn

                  Oh yes, and then there is that as compared to say “The Trojans”, the actual Maroons totally obliterated two of Napoleon’s armies: what better name for an American high school football team?

              2. Gary

                Dubya was swept in when the entire state of Texas went almost totally Republican in 1995. Talk radio and Clinton hate bread a new type of Republican. I worked as a software engineer in county government from the end of Jimmy Carter to the start of George W. Bush as president. Prior to the 1995 edition of Republicans, both Democrats and Republicans holding public office actually believed in government and tried to do the best job the could for the most part. The new ones were slimy opportunists seeking personal gain. My little counties budget went from 12 million per year to 36 million for no other reason than to focus as much public money into private hands. Salaries for elected officials went from $30K-$40K to up to $120K. Everything the public owned was sold off. Texas went from one of the cleaner states to producing 40% of the toxic waste in the US. Texas has more birth defects per capita than anywhere else on earth. We have more maternal deaths than anywhere else in the US. It’s almost impossible to sue a corporation due to “tort reform”. My little county now has “no show” jobs. The people have no idea nor do they seem to care.

            2. pretzelattack

              it’s never impressive when a republican wins in texas, especially with all the smears rove generated against richards.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Kerry too. War hero, famed Senate testimony, successful prosecutor, real Senate career which included destroying much of the old Massachusetts Democratic machine, and of course marrying money (always an accomplishment). Primary Kerry before the Clintonistas moved in would have been President.

          Gore and Hillary advanced almost entirely due to their last name. Neither won a unsafe race. Gore won his daddy’s old seats. Hillary won a safe seat she could bully her way into, largely due to her celebrity as First Lady. Both lost to barely literate candidates.

      3. Pavel

        If the “most qualified candidate ever” was the one who voted for the Iraq war, essentially started the Libyan war along with those noted progressives David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy (in turn releasing arms to terrorists and overwhelming the EU with African refugees), doesn’t have the remotest idea how to secure confidential information, blew through $1 billion and lost to the most despised candidate ever… well I’d hate to see the less qualified ones!

        I saw the headline on the Grauniad’s home page this morning and refused to follow the link.

      4. DJG

        Roger Smith:

        The way that I end instances of that assertion about “most qualified ever” is to ask, You’ve never heard of James Madison?

        And supposedly the “m q e” description is an Obama coinage: You know, the constitutional scholar. I guess that he’s never heard of James Madison either.

        1. Cujo359

          Or Thomas Jefferson?

          The man many people regard as the best President ever, Lincoln, was described as being an ape by his contemporary detractors. So much for how “qualified” a candidate is. Lincoln wasn’t as educated as some of his political contemporaries, but he made a living as a lawyer and was an excellent judge of human nature.

          I respect credentials and political experience, but they don’t trump being right on the issues, nor do they trump not respecting the electorate the candidate is trying to win over.

          1. a different chris

            I respect credentials and political experience, but they don’t trump being right on the issues, nor do they trump not respecting the electorate the candidate is trying to win over.

            I see what you did there. :)

    2. Musicismath

      Yeah. I especially liked the BTL comment that described the article as:

      a form of political gaslighting where one of the leading figures responsible for turning the Democrats into its present neoliberal form, unable to speak or understand interests not defined by a Darwinian form of meritocracy, is transubstantiated into an almost mythic champion of women’s rights and minorities.

      More from that comment here.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Excellent comment, thanks. Far better than the stale, rehashed book excerpt, not to mention far more fact based and concise. Bashing Bernie to his ardent supporters, as the book author did, for tying hillary to her establishment roots is almost comical in its cluelessness.

        By the way, what does “BTL” stand for?

          1. montanamaven

            Below the Line is a term used in the movie industry. It’s the crew and cast that are not above the title in a movie. So the writer, producers, director, costume designer, production designer, casting director, and stars are Above the Line. Everybody else is Below the Line. The grips, gaffers, special effects departments, art departments, production assistants, animal trainers…..

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Thats a brilliant comment. Every few weeks the Guardian does a clueless article like this and gets highly articulate and often hilarious rebuttals btl. And its not random lefties, the sheer number of votes they get relative to pro HRC ones shows what mainstream Guardian online readers think. And yet still, they don’t seem to get it.

      3. montanamaven

        I liked this part of the comment too:

        So if these views aren’t popular, then fair enough. But please at least refrain from such enormous distortions. Say what it is: HRC became a sort of synecdoche for professional, coastal women and thus symbolized a specific struggle for a greater share of the spoils derived from capitalist exploitation. She was a profoundly mediocre candidate that ran a lackluster, complacent and negative campaign that was an unbelievable misreading of the present period. Her qualities were smoke and mirrors but her flaws were real enough – doctrinaire belief in American exceptionalism, de facto racism and sexism for any but those admitted into the service of the richest individuals, 100% alliance with the worst features of American plutocracy…

        I’m not happy that she lost to Donald Trump but having not viewed that electoral pantomime as some Manichaean struggle between darkness and light, I can’t say that the loss of leadership from one the nation’s leading political enforcers for the ruling class is a tragedy, either.

    3. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, PK. My reaction and sentiments at the same time, too.

      I was surprised comments were allowed.

      1. Musicismath

        Comments were turned off on that article at about 8.30 am British time, so they were only open really for the US readership.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          The Guardian does have a habit of publishing similar pieces, e.g. vide Stephen Hawking’s recent attack on Corbyn, without allowing comments.

    4. charles leseau

      I’m more and more amazed at comments sections for articles like that. It’s the same in every article I see online.

      You’ve got something like – what? – 90+% of commenters laying out exactly why they don’t like Clinton every time again and again in article after article, and still the minions insist it’s something else.

      1. hemeantwell

        Good point. It’s like watching often brilliant comments being voiced to a deaf idol, serene in its centrist certainty. The Guardian’s writers never respond, likely because much of what they write is indefensible and, anyways, they have to get on with more content generation.

      2. Pat

        I’m pretty sure that Susan Bordo will never read those comments. The Guardian will consider them a win because it shows traffic being driven. And meanwhile because of books like this and fans like Bordo will continue to try to rewrite the narrative so that Clinton was robbed. And yes she is a fan and not anything else. The claim ‘most qualified candidate ever’ would have been skewered as hyperbole (I could probably make the case that she wasn’t even the most qualified female candidate ever) by a supporter honestly examining the election and its results, a fan not so much.

        Clinton and her supporters are not unique in failing to see that they are responsible for their own failure, see the banks. But I do consider her not just symptomatic in this disease of meritocracy where once you have the qualifiers you can never fail, you can only be failed, but in some ways close to patient zero. Her choices have been disastrous for decades and yet the true fall out from them has largely fallen on someone else. She has been the victim over and over. It is nice to see that it is no longer just the ‘right wing conspiracy’ who has figured out that Clinton is no victim but the architect of her own failure, more than half the population has figured it out. The protests and Bordo and others aren’t going to change that, especially when they are illogical and have their own blind spots. (Did all the nasty things Clinton and her surrogates said about Obama destroy him, and this primary was different how? Besides she wasn’t supposed to face a primary at all because woman and qualified…)

    5. Christopher Rogers

      Had kept with this meme and had a ‘stop watch’, you’d have noted that ‘Readers Comments’ were disabled in under 90 mins for this particular PROPAGANDA piece by out notable neoliberal/neoconservative friends at The Guardian – I’d like to call this a new record for censorship by The Guardian, alas, other articles where BTL comments have been allowed have been closed in less than one hour when it becomes apparent to The Guardian’s arbiters of truth that much of its readership is opposed to ‘fake news’ and outright lies – unless of course said articles are about bashing one Jeremy Corbyn or driving anti-Brexit EU fervour, in which case BTL comments are open for more than 24 hours before being disabled. Funny that!

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Christopher (Dale?) Rogers, and well said.

        You would be surprised at what is censored.

        Last year, when the 2017 Tour de France schedule was published, I chipped in a French pun about Foix (in the Pyrenees), “Il y avait une fois (time) un marchand de foie (liver) a Foix.” The pun was “moderated” (their euphemism) for being offensive. I asked what was offensive and explained the pun. The question was moderated on the same grounds. I then suggested that the paper employ someone intelligent to moderate such matters. It was a weird thread as about half of the comments were moderated.

        The paper employs many staff on zero hours contracts whilst the higher ups work (and live) in luxury. Their offices are just behind King’s Cross / St Pancras.

        1. pretzelattack

          they could do just as well putting out the job on some temp app for a penny per moderated comment.

    6. Uahsenaa

      I was deeply disappointed to see Susan Bordo in the byline, since I rather like her essays on Descartes.

      That said, she’s your typical academic: seemingly good on issues of racial and gender equality but completely negligent when it comes to class concerns. To adopt a certain fashionable elocution… Sad!

      1. Katharine

        I would have said typical academics would be more careful about facts. She referred to Sanders as a long-time member of the Senate when he is in his second term. Long-time member of Congress, yes, Senate, no.

        She also condemned Sanders for referring to abortion as a social issue. For what it’s worth, so does Wikipedia, in an article which also lists economic issues and public health among other social issues:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_issue

        I see no evidence there that calling something a social issue diminishes it, as Bordo implies. Academics used to be a bit more careful about how they communicated.

      2. Mel

        Academic work can have a lot in common with medical coding: you look at an aspect of reality, you look at your codes, you apply them in some interesting way, depending on your interests.
        So Sanders damaged Clinton’s electability by mansplaining to the voters the good and bad things about various policies.
        Who needs Cambridge Analytica when you have powers like that?

    7. John k

      Had to fight…
      Me, too. Just skimmed a bit… but no different than 90% of what is written by the rest of the MSM hacks. Waste of time, I guess including my comment,

    8. perpetualWAR

      The simple fact that Bardo attempts to tell women who supported Bernie that they are not “feminists” is dismissive and belittling. I hope women see through this.

  3. semiconscious

    re: f35 continues to stumble:

    ‘How on earth did the project get so far without meeting the most basic of requirements?’

    oh, but it did! wildly so! it’s successfully made a goodly number of people very wealthy! :) …

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’ve found many people have a childish belief in technology and just expect to “facebook” problems away. It’s easier in the short term to have an MBA explain how his leadership abilities will move the “nerds” to succeed than it is to shut down the program or investigate the MBA.

      1. craazyboy

        Also too, it’s all software bugs – ver. 2.01 on the way. Bombay door sizing fixes in ver. 2.05.

        Two 3D sensors seeing double?? Twice as much of something there, no doubt. The coders ‘ll fix it.

        1. oh

          Could it be that they’re used to seeing twice the number of targets?
          I can’t for the life of me why one would need a helmut display for something you could see right in front of you!

          1. JeffC

            Because with this helmet the pilot can look down at the cockpit floor and “see” right through it to the sky beyond, assuming extreme banking or inverted flight, both quite common, put sky in the “beyond” position.

    2. a different chris

      This was just, um, great:

      >‘the F-35 sticks on like glue, and it is very difficult for the defender to escape.’

      The “defender”… and this was a guy from Norway, not one of our own testosterone-soaked jocks. At least he gets points for honesty, no matter how unintentional.

      Of course, the rest of us learned on 9/11 that WWIII isn’t going to be fought with F-35s and it’s like at all.

      PS: I’m a gearhead/engineer and am amazed and awestruck by all the air hardware, whether it works well or, like the F-35, not so much yet. If I was ruler of the world I would probably *still* fund it on the coolness factor alone. But humanity is f’d given the people that are actually our rulers, they will use our so-called air “power” to continue rendering more and more parts of the planet into uninhabitable rubble w/out actually accomplishing anything.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        That article reminded me of Ian Botham’s admission of once having to bat after a night (all night) out, facing some (West Indian) fast bowling and seeing more than one ball heading towards him.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Colonel.

          Ah, Iron Bottom, as the Indians named him….you now have me lost in memories of sometimes sunny days, spent at Old Trafford, dining on spiced chicken with rice & peas, washed down with Red Stripe lager, while trying to concentrate on the Windies fast bowling triumvirate – attempting it seemed to knock the heads off the often hapless English batsmen.

          My friends who were the members of another West Indies team from a North Midlands city, gloried in this & teased me constantly. I didn’t mind as long as they dropped safely dropped me off in the early hours & I knew I would get my revenge at one of their excursions to a game in some English village or town. Due to the fact that that unlike their heroes, they were quite hopeless at the game, but made up for it by being much better at the fun.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Eustache.

            I am delighted.

            For me, a resident of Buckinghamshire, it was usually the final test of the series at the Oval, so not far from the big West Indian communities of south London.

            1. JustAnObserver

              Ah. Those amazing rhythms you can get from lots of people banging Stripe cans together in unison. Esp. praise to those of them balanced on window ledges of the Kennington tower blocks. Even the opening theme music of the cricket highlights on TV – with Richie Benaud of fond memory – incorporated some of those sounds.

              1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                Yes great times, as was listening to the probably most laid back Australian ever & the other commentators during the then BBC television all day test match coverage while working, with interruptions for the couple of seconds of looking up to watch a delivery – I got much less done when the bowling was spin.

      1. uncle tungsten

        Thank you Cocomaan, that was just perfect. I cant wait to see the F-35 take off from a submarine deck.

    1. fresno dan

      bwilli123
      April 3, 2017 at 7:52 am

      I presume the one on the left is a female, and the one on the right is a male, and like most males, doing his best to impress her, but apparently failing….

      1. funemployed

        Parrots aren’t like most other birds. Most species are basically impossible to sex without a dna test (or pre-dna era, an invasive surgical procedure). If one lays an egg, it’s a female, which only happens under the right conditions after a lengthy juvenile period.

        Behaviorally though, it’s really all about individual personality and preferences. They’re among the most behaviorally and socially complex animals in the world. No two are alike. Each flock has it’s own unique culture and language too. Even down to the names they give their children.

      2. craazyboy

        I’m impressed. Elvis wishes he could do that with his hairdo. Plus, the dance moves at the end were spectacular!

        1. Optimader

          My first thought is velociraptor . Im glad they evolved away from sharp teeth and a meat diet, Whistling Death from the trees

        2. cat's paw

          That video makes me irrationally happy. The contrast between link content (21st century political economy) and and Cockatoo (or is it a Cockatiel?) absolutely feeling the groove of Don’t Be Cruel is metaphysical in scope and implication.

          Anyway, long live music and the dance of joyous birds!

  4. MoiAussie

    The deep state now works for the ‘good guys’ Al Jazeera.
    From the content, “deep state” should have air quotes, too.

    In the article itself, rather than the headline, it does:

    Apparently, these days, the “deep state” is no longer working for the bad guys, but the good guys. It has, in effect, changed sides.

      1. MoiAussie

        Hmmm. Call me cynical, but I predict that noone in the ‘bummer or trompe administration will do any time whatsoever, no matter what crimes are revealed. The rules simply do not apply to them.

      2. fresno dan

        KTM
        April 3, 2017 at 8:02 am

        Bloomberg is reporting the same thing
        https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-03/top-obama-adviser-sought-names-of-trump-associates-in-intel

        The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Rice’s requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.
        ….
        But Rice’s multiple requests to learn the identities of Trump officials discussed in intelligence reports during the transition period does highlight a longstanding concern for civil liberties advocates about U.S. surveillance programs. The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.
        ====================================================
        So this will be very interesting. Repub hypocrisy of trusting “law enforcement, the military, the intelligence agencies” is gonna run smack dab into the fact that the “good guys” think repubs are dirty rotten commies…..LOL!
        And the dems hypocrisy….constitutional scholar….and the “good guys” (dems!!!) are willing to use police state tactics against their opponents…..
        And what will the media do??? I suspect a number of news readers will commit seppuku on air rather than confess Trump may have a point….

      3. fresno dan

        KTM
        April 3, 2017 at 8:02 am

        AND (from the Medium article):
        What’s striking about the Times story is the spin it took. Trump had previously claimed he had been “wire tapped” (quotation marks in his original Tweet), leading to media screams that he prove it. The Times’ own reporting proves that President Trump and his associates were spied on.
        The Times, rather than admit Trump had been vindicated, instead focused its attention on the question of who leaked the reports to Nunes:
        Since disclosing the existence of the intelligence reports, Mr. Nunes has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe going to the committee with sensitive information. In his public comments, he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.
        Since when did journalists attempt to unmask sources? The Times, WaPo, and other outlets rely on anonymous sources in nearly every article about national security. It’s clear they have an agenda — that agenda is not telling the truth.
        This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.

        =============================================================
        I will for novelty’s sake put forth a silver lining proposition: Could this perhaps make the media address that every anonymous source has an agenda, and it should always be stated or speculated upon as much as what the source provided?….Nah – what was I thinking – way too much bourbon/marijuana (medicinal purposes – help with the paranoia) in the coffee this morning….;

        Does anybody know how credible the author of the article is? I’m not sure if the Bloomberg article has separate sources or not (the problem with anonymous sources)

        At least Nixon used private funding….

        1. KTN

          One would think Congressman Gowdy will want to know why this is in the press, since he asked the Director about it nearly two weeks ago. This is a name he (Gowdy) named.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    The Most Expensive Weapon Ever Built LRB. Compare to the previous. Is it just me, or has the LRB gone a bit mushy in the last few months?

    I never thought I’d say this about an LRB piece, but that reads like an industry press release. The POGO analysis is devastating, its clear that the F-35 will swallow up vast sums of money and will probably never fulfil a fraction of its original design aims. And the cost is if anything grossly understated, because new aircraft will have to be designed and built to fill the many missions the F-35 was supposed to do, but never will, such as Close Air Support (the Air Force is already well on its way to asking for a new aircraft to do just this). And no doubt the lifespan of existing aircraft will have to be extended at vast cost to fill more gaps. Its an astonishing achievement really, but somehow they will spend a trillion dollars and end up with an aircraft less capable than the ones it is replacing.

    1. paul

      I had a guaranteed military sale with ED 209 – renovation program, spare parts for twenty-five years… Who cares if it worked or not?

      Dick Jones senior vice president of OCP in Robocop

    2. craazyboy

      I think it had some good parts. Like this. (Altho Mossad may chase me to the ends of the earth for this comment.)

      ” Israel is now down to purchase fifty F-35s, at a total cost of $7 billion. Last September, Obama and Netanyahu signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, according to which Israel is promised $38 billion of military aid over the next decade. Twenty per cent of that money is going to F-35 procurement: a nice subvention of American taxpayer dollars to an American company, with the bonus of providing the IAF with two squadrons of the baddest fighter jet on the planet.”

      So, 20% of $38 billion is $7.6 billion. That’s 50 free F-35s (including sales tax?). Then you still have $30.4 billion left over for out year purchases of more???

      Also, I think craazyman should help out the author and come up with a list of synonyms for “baddest”. I’m not even sure baddest is a word. My spell checker doesn’t think so.

      1. cnchal

        $140,000,000 per plane. It’s cheaper than borscht, and flies like borscht too!

        The remainder of $30.4 billion (6.6 Nimitz units – Uncle Sam’s nickels) is for maintenance, upgrades and extra bombs.

    3. Plenue

      Strether asks “How on earth did the project get so far without meeting the most basic of requirements?”

      Because of a weird case of TINA, and also the sunk cost fallacy. Modern military hardware regularly takes years, and frequently decades, to develop. As bad as the F-35 is it still performs better in simulations than the current F/A-18, and our F-16s and F-15s are old and their airframes only have so much lifespan left. There is a genuine need for new planes and the F-35 is all that’s on offer. The more the costs rise the more decision makers will insist on keeping it, because if they ditch it then that’s the single most expensive weapons program ever with nothing at the end to show for it. And they’ll have to start over from scratch, which means our air fleet will fall even further behind that of other countries.

      1. craazyboy

        They could re-start production on F-15 and F-18. I don’t think airframes ever really go obsolete and they’ve been upgrading avionics and weapon systems all along in the block upgrade and retrofit programs. That wouldn’t take long at all, and they already did it with the A-10.

        If they started from scratch with an F-35 replacement we’d get another F-35, except 20 years from now. Because the problem is making a “joint service” fighter that does everything and everything the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines (note purposeful Oxford comma) could ever want in their wildest dreams.

        The way things are going, our 17 intelligence agencies will want it to fold up and fit in your shoe, too.

        1. Gaianne

          And we could also restart production of the F-16.

          I know: Never happen.

          This is, right before our eyes, the process of real national decline.

          By the time we finally do launch our inevitable hot shooting global war, our equipment will be frankly inferior to that of our opponents.

          (It probably is already. But it is too late to rectify that with new development. What we build new is already guaranteed to be less reliable and less effective than our old stuff. Best just not to have the war LOL.)

          –Gaianne

    4. Dead Dog

      Are the aircraft designers starting to think: Well, if we didn’t have all these pilots… we could make this thing work.

      G force? What’s that?

  6. Jim A.

    F-35 display…. sounds like this should be a relatively easy to fix with the display of information and pilot training. So long as the display can distinguish between “This system sees two planes over there” and “these two systems see a plane over there,” figuring out that the latter is probably only one plane should be something that the pilot is trained to do.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Yah, right, Jim. Just a little more training, and some really smart people to resolve a little software and display issue, and it will all come good. Right?

      Rah Rah for the Home Teeam and its wonderful Weapons Complex! And its gradual, and vastly expensive, creep toward The Perfect Weapons System, so a single pilot, suffering from a well documented problem of information overload that’s endemic to our Great Fighters, to the point that no one ever asks, “Is this thing or data point necessary?” Let alone “what is the mission, Michael?”

      I used to get all young-testosterone-poisoned-male het up with books about the “Knights of the Air,” ours and theirs — Saburo Sakai, Adolph Galland, O’Hare, and other Aces, who lived (and died) in their flying machines trying to get into position to stick a lead-and-steel .50-cal or 27mm, or 20 or 30mm cannon shell, or Sparrow or Sidewinder, up the ass of another Brave Flying Knight. Current fighters are a couple of hundred times more costly and vastly more complicated and fly a whole lot less hours for every thousand hours of often “contractor”-conducted maintenance and repairs. To do what, again? “Air superiority” in a “threat environment” that includes dozens to hundreds of relatively cheap, vastly better task-suited missiles that will, as demonstrated repeatedly, likely overwhelm and blast those relatively few multi-billion aircraft into metal- and reinforced-composite shards. While the Heroic Pilot, if not killed in the contact, floats down on his parachute, hopefull not “behind enemy lines.”

      What the F is this all about, anyway? Sun Tzu warned pretty clearly against this kind of idiocy, bankrupting the nation to go fight idiotic foreign wars that “are not on the side of heaven”: at the ends of vast supply chains. While on the ground, grunts and gun-men engage in what I guess is just inevitable: sweating, fearful or exultant thugs, striving to kill each other, so a tiny few oligarchs can “live really large.”

      So let us sucker ourselves into thinking that “only a few thousand more troops” or “only a little more training and a few million more for software and hardware kludges” will accomplish that vain hope of “full spectrum dominance and hegemony.” Yah, that’s the ticket — the “Popular Mechanics” policy!

      There sure are a lot of people who sit in Fortress America and pontificate about how the MIC will “get us what we want,” if only given enough of the wealth that ought to sustain not only our “patriotic” asses but a whole lot of our fellow humans facing a “substantial degradation of the human livability of the biosphere…”

      Yes, virginia, we do apparently have a death wish… but it’s very high-tech, you see, and Daddy gets rich off it…

      1. Alex Morfesis

        2012 we missed a carrington sunflare by 9 days…making the stupidity of hypertech & robots uber alles even more amusing as the clowns that be dream of a world without serfs might one day be met by a world without electronics…

        As peter sellers purportedly burped in one of his usual notorious sidebar outtakes…

        “Mein dummkopf, we have lost…”

      2. VK

        “Is this thing or data point necessary?”

        When I was a student many years ago, a professor in agricultural engineering boasted “this harvester has more dataflow than a starfighter”.
        I thought that to be absurd those times (and something more like a disease).
        Absurd seems to be the new normal now…

  7. vlade

    F35 – “into an accurate track and clear display” But that’s the whole problem, it isn’t…

    1. craazyboy

      Sounds fishy to me, since the whole point of air-to-air missile development since the 70s has been to increase missile range to distances ranging from 2 miles up to hopefully 6 miles (Aamram for mid range, Phoenix(missile) for long range – or whatever it’s replacement was). These are supposed to be automatically acquired by the fire control system and the missiles launched in “self guiding, fire and forget mode” before the pilot can even see a tiny, fast moving dot (or six real dots) with visual human sight.

      We were supposed to be making the “dogfight” obsolete so that our ponderous, overweight, weapons laden, high tech fighters would never need to experience it. And lose to F-16s.

      Also, detecting where a target is and going, then feeding the electronic targeting info to the missile silicon brain, is the easy part. Using some dumb electronic sensors to paint a 3D, human recognizable, picture in real time with no time lag and be discernable from miles away and then displayed in a pilot’s helmet is very, very, not so easy.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The big problem is that they’ve invested heavily in stealth, but seem to have forgotten that a truly stealthy aircraft can’t use active methods such as radar to track opponents, because the enemy will pinpoint you using your own radar. So the F-35’s ability to use medium range missiles is limited against more sophisticated opponents. Once the F-35 is detected, its just a relatively slow, fat, ungainly aircraft with very little weapons capacity. The Russians have focused instead on very high, fast aircraft which will give their medium range missiles more of a slingshot, in the hope that this will allow them to get off the first accurate shots.

        They thought the dogfight was over in the late 1950’s, they had to quickly retrofit guns to F-4’s so they could compete with relatively crude and cheap Mig-17’s and Mig 21’s over Vietnam. In the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranians had F-14’s with long range Phoenix missiles, but even these were occasionally shot down by the Iraqi’s when they worked out ways to sneak up on the F-14’s with smaller, simpler French F-1 jets. Every military technological breakthrough just encourages counter-tactics which eventually work. This is what keeps the defence industry rich.

        1. craazyboy

          Yup. I also read about war games where a bunch of crazy Indian (India type) pilots flying our export approved F-16s swarmed all over our F-15s and won dogfight after dogfight. Typically, our fighters carry 6 missiles, but after those are launched, all you got is your cannon and a ponderous airplane. F-16s cost around $20 million apiece – and they can be maintained by semi-normal people. So, if a country decides to employ slightly suicidal pilots in large enough quantities, we are in deep doodo.

        2. Alex Morfesis

          And keeping those iranians supplied with the spare parts for
          those f-14’s…hey…

          wait a minute…

          aren’t those darn shia our sworn enemies ??…

          how did the mullahs get parts from the great satan ??

          Those twelvers are so clever…sitting around waiting for jesus/isa to return with the unveiling of the mahdi…

          Maybe the mullahs gave mullah to the hasid mullahs from azerba…or was that uzbecki bukara…

          Never mind…we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming

  8. Sylvia

    Re-F-35–and why its’s “sucessful”. In North Texas alone it’t responsible for 40,000 jobs. The economic impact and the fallout is and would be huge if the program ended This is true of every aspect of our dysfunctional “economy”. From health care to the National Security state (tens of thousands of “contracts” and “contractors) to Big Food (commodity crops destroying soul and human health). The health care coding disaster alone employs almost 200,000 “consultants” plus consumes 25% of hospital costs, not to mention all the jobs (sunk costs) in physician offices and in all those health insurance companies–none of which involves treating patients!!! Turning all this around would be both disruptive and deflationary–and that’s just the areas mentioned!! Hint–think of the “financial system”.

    1. Optimader

      Congressional district corporate welfare programs. The shrewdest thing the MIC ever did

  9. Marco

    RE “Neoliberalism is killing us..” Will it ever be possible to start using Case-Deaton as a cudgel and pivot to ACT-UP tactics against the rentier class?

    1. RWood

      Those who would/may try to use the cudgel — lack?

      But poverty doesn’t bind the poor together as much as wealth and the need to protect it bind the rich. If it did, we would hear the rattle of tumbrels in the streets. One hears mutterings, but the chains have not yet been shed. William Mcpherson

  10. May

    Re: 2016 Post Mortem:
    The Vermont Democratic Party Chair is a former Republican from Virginia who has “evolved” on taxes, abortion, same sex marriage and illegal immigration. His law practice is devoted to representing government contractors, including defense contractors. One of his explicit goals is to recruit more “former Republicans” to the party. Even in the land of Bernie, it doesn’t look like the Democratic party is moving left.

    https://vtdigger.org/2017/04/03/democratic-party-chair-evolved-abortion-immigration-taxes/

    http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/an-ambitious-muslim-politician-navigates-uncertain-times/Content?oid=3899539

  11. Alex

    Nudges got a bap rep lately but still I find it weird when they are summarily dismissed as abhorrent. I mean it’s impossible to get rid of them (as long as you have default options, you’ve engaging in nudging) so it’s more of a matter of good/bad intentions

    1. diptherio

      it’s more of a matter of good/bad intentions

      Which is why it’s got a bad rep. Inevitably, those with good intentions feel creepy about trying to subtly influence the decisions of others and so refrain from doing it (at least consciously). Those who don’t feel weird about it, and so try to accomplish it, inevitably do not have good intentions.

    1. Alex

      I’m not sure I’m getting your point. The article you’ve given a link to lists examples of nefarious uses of behavioural science. They also correctly write that nudges existed long before the research made by Kahneman, Ariely et al. This was my point, that the design of any human interface will influence the users’ choices, whether the designers used behavioural science, intuition or rolled dice.

      1. PhilM

        Of these tricks, the FT’s Izabella Kaminska‏ remarks: “The whole concept of ‘nudging’ is abhorrent to my mind and agency/autonomy compromising. The new feudalism.”

        And really, who would deny that nudging is just like a sophisticated system of mutual obligation that permitted local, near-subsistence manorial economies to arm a few people on horseback so that their villages might not be burned to the ground, their men tortured to death, and their women taken into slavery?

      2. witters

        My point is the point of the article. ‘Nudging’ is not a matter of pure moral intentionality, but of power in the service of sectional interests. Suunstein says we are being nudged “in ways we would agree we are better off” – but this is deceptive. The real question is would we agree we are better off if we know that our choice environment is the product of somene elses manipulation? I do and would not. But then I have this old Platonic idea of positive freedom – being in control of onself, and not being the unwitting tool of another’s purposes, especially when they are supposedly purposes for me.

  12. Colonel Smithers

    Further to Mr Samantha Power being proponent of nudge theory, so was David “government by gimmick” Cameron. He was a sucker for snake oil salesmen and women (vide High (Main) Street guru Mary Portas) promising the earth for little expense.

    1. Carolinian

      Nudge sounds better than boil (as in frogs). All about the marketing, not that our masters of the universe are superficial or anything

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Carolinian.

        You are so right about the superficiality.

        A former manager told me about a meeting with some UK Treasury officials. As they wrapped up, my manager asked when he could expect an answer from the minister. One official replied that they would not bother telling bungalow (nothing upstairs) about the meeting and would confirm the policy stance by e-mail shortly. My manager thought about asking about the nickname, but then recalled the minister’s career path through the party back office, think tanks etc, so always in the Westminster bubble and keen on such gimmicks that appeared substantive or street cred.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Since the idea is to blunt Soviet aggression, Article V is largely meaningless and just requires the members to take action to restore security to “North Atlantic area.” Military action is not specifically required.

      So the answer is meetings and the promise of more meetings.

      The out appears to be in the U.S.’s choice to invoke Article V after 9/11. NATO responsibilities don’t restrict the UN charter rights, hence the US doesn’t need to consult with NATO to act.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Should include ‘grandchildren of colonialism and family members of neoliberalaism.’

  13. RenoDino

    Master Grand Bargainer Trump has a deal for China when they meet this week at Miro Lego Land. China can either help us clean out the N. Korean chicken coop or they can look the other way when we nuke them. It will take China about two minutes to remember they have a root canal appointment that day. For their indulgence, they will receive the South China Sea and no restrictions on trade. China will also get a thorn in its side removed for free while maintaining the high moral ground. We will get maybe a million N. Korean dead and a country in need of extensive nation building. Fortunately, we have vast experience in this area. We will also wear our badge of infamy with honor.

    1. Mark P.

      Back in the real world there are these things called radioactive particulate clouds. Any of those flying around in the area of the world (S. Korea, Taiwan, and S. China) that contains the bulk of the world’s high-tech manufacturing (chip fabs, etc.) and our global economy and technological civilization come to a screeching halt immediately.

      So Trump can make noises about nukes as part of a bargaining position. Who better to play out the Madman Theory, in fact? But everybody knows that’s all it will be, because the U.S. has a lot more to lose than it will gain if it does use nukes. Which is a problem when you’re trying to run a plausible strategy based on a bluff.

    2. Antifa

      China has little interest in seeing the World’s Big Bully making mushroom clouds right on its border. They would lose face if they allowed that. A conventional war in the Koreas is a godawful option for China or the US, plus it carries the near certainty that the city of Seoul will be wiped out by artillery and NK troops in the first 12 hours.

      South Korea is in no hurry to reunite with the North. And they’re aware that the north will collapse on its own in the natural course of things. So are the Chinese. A policy of quarantine will produce regime change there without firing a shot.

      If any shots are to be fired in North Korea, they will be to decapitate the government and military leadership — which is nearly impossible to do, since it involves killing a couple hundred privileged people well distributed and well hidden at all times — or to repeatedly destroy their ability to make nukes or ballistic missiles.

      Decapitation raids of either type risk Seoul, so the North Korean situation amounts to correctly answering the question, “Do they believe their own propaganda up there?’ Or are they well aware that they cannot actually do anything but lash out briefly at their neighbors as their insane nation collapses?

      Thus the default mode is to wait. Let the tree fall over, and we will go over and cut it up once it’s down.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Which nation is more insane (please discount the patriotic fervor and Bernaysian conditioning): NK, or US?

      2. Mark P.

        Antifa: ‘so the North Korean situation amounts to correctly answering the question, “Do they believe their own propaganda up there?’ Or are they well aware that they cannot actually do anything but lash out briefly at their neighbors as their insane nation collapses?’

        Yup.

  14. Anne

    I worked for Jared Kushner. He’s the wrong businessman to reinvent government.

    Interesting read, though not surprising; something tells me Kushner’s going to make austerity look generous.

    From the piece:

    When it became clear in 2012 that Kushner was conflating running lean with starvation, I submitted my resignation and left the Observer mostly on good terms with him, but I was disappointed. The company president resigned a few weeks later. Kushner eventually filled our positions with a family friend and his brother-in-law, the latter of whom had no media experience. He wanted outsiders to run the business — but loyal, compliant outsiders.

    A few days after Trump won the election, Kushner folded the now attenuated print newspaper and subsequently announced that the Observer, in its digital incarnation, was for sale. He probably would refer to it as a “lean” operation. I would say in his zeal to trim the fat, he began eliminating muscle and hacked into a few bones. I realize also, in retrospect, that he may never have intended to grow it or improve it. It was for him, in essence, another vanity object — like the beautiful, expensive desktop computer he used as a monitor.

    I worry that this new office will be more of the same: a vanity project, one that exists primarily to put Kushner in the same room with people he admires whom he wouldn’t have had access to before, glossing government agencies in the process with a thin veneer of what appears to be capitalism but is really just nihilistic cost-cutting designed to project the optics of efficiency. If the outside experts have good advice, it will be heeded only where it reinforces what the administration would do anyway. And anyone who volunteers to carry out the administration’s agenda may be handed wholesale control of an area of government where their domain expertise isn’t just low, but nonexistent.

    Does this surprise anyone?

    1. Pat

      Considering that The Observer was started as a vanity project by a former investment banker who wanted a second career as a journalist and when on to own all or part of several small papers, this might be overstating the condition of the newspaper when Kushner bought it. Besides it’s color it was best known for publishing Candace Bushnell and thus foisting ‘Sex and the City’ on us.

      I’m not saying the author isn’t right about Kushner, but frankly I have no idea why I should trust him any more than I do Kushner.

      1. Anne

        Author is Elizabeth Spiers, so not a “him” but a “her.”

        Maybe this helps:

        Kushner’s claim to business knowledge, beyond admiring Silicon Valley, boils down to his work for his family’s commercial real estate company, which is hardly comparable to a government institution. And if industry dynamics are not transitive across the board, expertise isn’t, either.

        On that count, I don’t even know how to quantify Kushner’s expertise, anyway. Yes, he ran the company — which he inherited, not uncommon in New York’s dynastic, insular real estate world. But he was sure he had the goods. When I worked for him, I didn’t think he had a realistic view of his own capabilities since, like his father-in-law, he seemed to view his wealth and its concomitant accoutrements as rewards for his personal success in business, and not something he would have had in any case. To me, he appeared to view his position and net worth as the products of an essentially meritocratic process.

        Yet when Kushner Co. bought 666 5th Avenue for $1.8 billion in 2007, it was the largest transaction for a commercial real estate building in Manhattan’s history. Had the financing gone south, as it nearly did, it probably would have destroyed the family’s fortune. The building is heavily in debt now and in need of new investors to let Vornado, a real estate firm that owns 49.5 percent of it, get out; discussions with Chinese insurance giant Anbang fell apart this past week.

        Is this good dealmaking? I don’t know. If I were to assume any expertise I have is transitive to commercial real estate, I might argue that Kushner Co. overpaid for the building in the first place and overleveraged itself. But I also know what I don’t know, and I don’t make a living using vast amounts of debt to buy Class A office buildings in New York, so I will defer to people who do to opine. You could construe my evaluation as a reasonable observation by an outsider with a set of “fresh eyes,” but you’d be nuts to hand me a billion-dollar commercial real estate company because of it.

        Or not. She’s one person, with one perspective; I’m sure there are others who think he hung the moon, whose opinions are no more or no less trustworthy.

        1. Pat

          Sorry for not getting the gender right, but I stand by my assessment that the original example was not in any way persuasive of Kushner’s lack of discernment or ability due to the author not understanding they were working for a vanity project before he bought it.

          And I say that as someone who has read the Observer off and on since it was established. It is actually a better newspaper today even though that is a low bar to meet.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Fears ‘Uber’ bike wars could see mountains of dumped cycles in Cambridge Cambridge News

    We don’t have biodegradable bikes yet…as least none widely in use.

    We could use some, given the ‘mountains of dumped cycles.’

    “Don’t worry. We will take them to the compost area.”

    1. perpetualWAR

      Didn’t that entire article seem like the race to the bottom? Let’s dump a ton of bikes onto the scene to pillage the plebes. Meanwhile, the plebs target the bikes for destruction because of this pillaging.

      What are we doing???

  16. Steve H.

    : Spain accuses Britain of ‘losing its temper’ over Gibraltar, as talk of war is dismissed as ‘absurd’

    The Rock is at a chokepoint for access to the world ocean for the Mediterranean, and one step removed, the Black Sea.

    Those waters will run incarnadine before Britain gives up its claim.

    1. John k

      Wouldn’t think US would want Britain to do that anyway. Just the thought of it likely to boost US support for Brexit.

  17. Darius

    Re oligarchs. Is Trumpland worse than Little Timmie Geithner throwing homeowners under the bus and being rewarded with a nice cushy Wall Street job?

    1. Vatch

      First: yes, the Republican oligarchs are worse than the Democratic oligarchs. This can change, but it is demonstrated by the policies of the Trump EPA, SEC, FCC, and other departments and agencies. The Kochs, Harold Hamm, the Mercers, and the DeVoses are very bad news, and their people are sprinkled throughout the Trump administration.

      The article seems a little confused about the concept of oligarchy. For example, Steve Bannon is not an oligarch. He’s one of the few who rules, but he’s completely dependent on real oligarchs for his position, so he’s a high level member of the Power Elite. When he’s no longer working in the White House, he will not be an oligarch. The same is true of Jared Kushner. He’s not rich enough to be an actual oligarch, although he’s close.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’d submit the Dem version is worse because they create and support the illusion of choice and kill the notion of opposition. With Dick Cheney you knew what you got: a snarling, bloodthirsty corporo-fascist ideologue. You knew exactly what and whom to be against. With the mellifluous melanoderm one-term State senator as the front man, however, Permanent War, Financial Rape, Proctological Domestic Spying, and the Health Care Poverty Machine cranked along as always without missing a beat but with a smiling brother at the helm. His legacy is Trump, thanks alot.

        1. Vatch

          one-term State senator

          Obama was a state senator for 2 half terms and one full term, followed by 4 years as a U.S. Senator.

          Dem version is worse

          Many of the bad Democratic policies never would have occurred if the Republicans hadn’t first established those policies. And with Trump, we’re seeing that process continue. Would you like some chlorpyrifos with your food? No? Too bad, you’ll get some anyhow. Do you want a modicum of internet privacy? Yes? Bzzt! Wrong answer!

          The Democrats are far more deceptive than the Republicans; that I agree with wholeheartedly.

    2. TK421

      We’ll see. The rich gained a higher share of income gains under Obama than under W. Bush, so it will be intereting to see what happens now.

        1. witters

          “The Tcherneva charts seem to indicate that the rich did very well under both presidents.” And your point is that “Republican Oligarchs are worse than Democratic [sic] Oligarchs”. Now that is subtle.

          1. Vatch

            There are other reasons why the Republican oligarchs are worse — it’s not just about inequality, although that is very important. The Republicans are intent on increasing the poisons in our food, reducing the taxes on the very rich, despite the country’s crumbling infrastructure, and they are determined to eliminated what little internet privacy we have. The Republicans also started the endless U.S. involvement in the Middle East wars, and Trump wants to increase the military budget.

            The Republicans are worse, even though the Democrats are very bad.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents Royal Society Open Science (Re Silc).

    Can we theorize to say brain size is related to how many obstacles a species faces in the obstacle course known as life?

    So that, for animals that crowd together all day long and socialize in cities, their brains are bigger than those living in rural America, relatively speaking. .

    Of course, a bigger brain is not necessarily a wiser brain. A big brain that can do brain surgeries might desire wealth inequality, for example.

  19. Uahsenaa

    There are so many ridiculous assumptions baked into that “you can build wealth making minimum wage” piece that it’s hard to know where to begin, though I should note that its primary premise seems to be “just alienate yourself from everyone you know and live a miserable existence. You’ll be fine!”

    Perhaps the most insane thing suggested is to just sell your car and ride a bike, while living in parts of the country where that isn’t really feasible. How are you going to buy food? How are you supposed to transport these vast quantities of food you bought in bulk (to save money!) with just a bike? Have these people ever ridden in six inches of snow or pouring rain? I have! It sucks just about as much as you can imagine it would. Plus, this makes you reliant on public transportation for anywhere you need to get that isn’t bike-able. I don’t see any of those costs figured in.

    Then there’s the assumption that you found a place to live for 600 a month that has utilities included. Also, I don’t see how you’ll get broadband for 20/month (what you would need for their calculations to work) beyond a one year introductory rate. BB in Detroit, one of the cities they suggest, is more like 40/month or, you know, double their assumed cost.

    I also love how it never occurred to the authors that someone making 14k/yr would almost certainly qualify for Medicaid and Food Stamps. Instead of letting on in any way that the social safety net helps people in poverty, they expect you to dump 1.7K into an insurance plan that won’t cover anything. Cute.

    But hey, I guess all those people without jobs or dying of drug addictions can just move to Detroit…

    1. Alex

      Absolutely. Also funny how they recommend to buy an insurance with high deductible and assume no other healthcare costs

      1. Uahsenaa

        High deductible health insurance would be useless for someone in these circumstances. If you have to pay 6K+ before your benefits kick in, one major injury would wipe out any accrued savings, thus defeating the entire purpose of living in self-imposed austerity.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Buying food in bulk.

      Yeah right… Try finding a mere bushel of sugar, dried beans or corn meal at true bulk, lower price… it’s difficult. Last 25 pound bag of sugar I saw was priced more per pound than small bags. You sure wont find bulk staples at Sams Club. Asian stores do have bulk rice.

      I moved to a low priced home market like those mentioned… Lowest home internet available is 70.00 for 10 gigs a month. Friends who rent, under 800 is very hard to find and sure to be a dangerous run down shack with very high utility costs. There are no renter protections in this state… none.

      Also, don’t know what’s what, but let’s say one does build up some investment savings while earning min wage… at some point $ wouldn’t that savings eliminate eligibility to medicare/caid? Retired people certainly cannot have much savings and be on medicare.

      1. Uahsenaa

        Medicare shifts premium costs as you rise in income. You never become ineligible, as far as I know, as a result of savings.

        SNAP does have a $5K asset limit, so yes, you would eventually “wealth” your way out of food stamps. Medicaid is trickier, and dependent upon which state you live in, but they can claw back assets from your estate, after you die. Prior to that, you can own a home, have money in a bank account, etc. It’s based more on income, age, and how many dependents you have. Some people get around asset clawbacks by divorcing and reallocating property ownership. So, for example, if one spouse has a substantial liability they’re likely to go after, if they trust their spouse, then they can divorce them and assign all shared property in the divorce proceedings to the one who has no liabilities.

      2. LT

        And you have people in gov that want to make benefits means tested (SS too), but do everything not to account for inflation of necessities like housing costs (more and more people rent).
        Community is fine, but it’s almost like they expect a future of barracks style living for people. I will jump first!

    3. phemfrog

      I also love how they gloss over the “move to a cheaper city” as if moving is free! Also, they ignore all of the family and community ties one might have. For example, I live in the same town as my parents, as they (thankfully) provide free childcare (as well as friendship and company). But hey, its easy! Just spend a couple grand to move away from your support system and everyone you know!

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “Just smile and move into Mom’s basement” is a really dangerous meme on the rise. “Just scream and throw a Molotov cocktail” is better. Gimme a break people, 8 guys have 50% of the world’s wealth, and even that’s down from 62 guys in 2014. Sheepishly accepting it and adjusting to an ever-lower standard of living is not the answer.
        Ecuador just elected a paraplegic named Lenin Moreno fer chrissakes…let’s take the very first leader who comes along and calls this spade a spade and rally around him/her, warts and all. Hilary’s knifing of Bernie was a crime against humanity

    4. Stephanie

      What I found insulting as someone who makes well above minimum wage is that you can do all these things and still have trouble saving on a higher income. Not only is health care beyond insurance assumed unnecessary but so are children. Are people supposed to abandon them to orphanages?

      What’s also interesting are the suggestions NOT made that the first- and second- generation immigrants in low-wage jobs around here seem to employ, which are: Find roommates. Lots of them. Even your parents, and siblings, and nieces and nephews. Grow vegetables in your front yard. Have really big parties and invite everyone you know and/or have any kind of obligation to. Use alternative medicine, if not for your kids, then for yourself and your parents. Teach your kids to cook when they are 5. In other words, don’t live as if you are fake middle-class but as if you are poor and extremely dependent on the skills and good-will of your family and neighbors.

      Of course, for some there are good reasons, besides cultural taboo, that lots of folks in the U.S. It only works when your family and neighbors aren’t part of the crew looking to exploit you. I absolutely don’t want to romanticize this type of poverty, especially as it can be extremely hard to extricate yourself from rotten people when you are poor and dependent on family.

  20. Stormcrow

    London Review of Books
    Lambert: Is it just me, or has the LRB gone a bit mushy in the last few months?

    Yes, I’ve been sensing that too. They reached a new low in the Jan. 29 issue by running an article by one Rebecca Solnit with the caption “Penis Power.” Hillary Derangement Syndrome at its very purest.

    Quite a contrast to the piece they ran back in June 8, 2015 by Jackson Lears — still eminently worth reading — called “We came, we saw, he died.”
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n03/jackson-lears/we-came-we-saw-he-died

    Trump continues to addle liberal brains. Which is not to go soft on Trump, by the way, which would only be the opposite mistake.

    Don’t know if this article made it into Links. This is what democracy (lefitst analysis) looks like. (As opposed to Solnit and the new LRB.)

    Neofascism in the White House
    by John Bellamy Foster
    https://monthlyreview.org/2017/04/01/neofascism-in-the-white-house/

    1. Gareth

      LRB recently published a hit piece on the Trump family by Clinton sidekick Sidney Blumenthal which read like it had been researched through a google search, including erroneous internet material later edited out. It reminded me of the 2016 George Soros screeds in the NYRB declaring war on Russia which caused me to cancel my subscription. I’m keeping on with the LRB until they start publishing ‘Russia Done It’ articles, which may not be far off.

          1. hunkerdown

            And the crooked-primary Democrat racket deserved every bit of it and still deserves more.

  21. Altandmain

    Article from the Unz review:
    http://www.unz.com/jpetras/immigration-no-easy-answers/

    These are paleoconservatives. As ridiculous as this may sound we’ve now got more in common with paleoconservatives and the “economic despair” party of Trump’s voters than we do Hillary CLinton and Establishment Democrat supporters. Trump is often considered a paleoconservative.

    The paleoconservatives are anti-war, economically they lean to the left (they are nationalists who want the manufacturing jobs back, many fight for urban reforms, and a future for the poor), while opposing the wars. Socially they are far to the right, as they oppose immigration and are very socially conservative. It is important to understand what the paleoconservatives thinks and where their anti-immigrant sentiment is.

    By contrast, the CLinton’s may be more socially to the left (not that they really care about minorities, as Bill Clinton’s record showed), but economically they have more in common with the GOP Establishment and fiscal conservatives than they are willing to admit. They are also pro-war, as their decision to defend Clinton shows.

    If it comes down to a fight, the paleconservatives are far more likely to be anti-Establishment than the Clinton side, which has profited handsomely from the status quo. Keep in mind that many will learn that hard way – Trump is doing to the paleconservatives what Obama did to the left.

  22. fajensen

    I wonder what the error bars and expert disclaimers on that Fukushima clean-up estimate really is.

    As far as I am aware, they have not located the core from Reactor 1 yet. It is one thing if the core is a melted mess inside the containment, it is quite another story to deal with if the core has burned through the floor under the containment and into the ground contaminating the water table, and another kind of disaster if the core is still fissioning.

    Radiation levels are stated, but, they don’t state What Kind of radiation. Fast neutrons would be really bad news, they could mean that the core is still “going”.

    I do not read of any efforts to probe the ground or the use of special sensors like gamma ray spectrometers to see what kind of material emits radiation and where that radiation is coming from – the researchers probed a parking lot – https://phys.org/news/2017-03-visualizing-nuclear-team-images-gamma.html.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      How do you put error bars on SWAGs? Because there is no realistic way to do a cost estimate for something like Fukishima…..

      1. fajensen

        I dunno – list the assumptions made, the different possible scenarios, do some kind of estimate for each, apply the probabilities and figure an average from that. The probabilities gives the error bars too (The actual estimate will be crap, b.t.w., the usefulness in doing the work is in thinking about what may need to be done).

        That they – as far as we know – didn’t want to do this kind of detail in the estimation tells me that there are things that they do not want to think about. The novel and magick ice wall suggests that they dare not dig a normal trench to divert the water because they are afraid what they will find in the ground.

        In my opinion, so far the main effort is still on managing the perception of the problem rather than dealing with the actual situation as it is. This kind of behaviour usually means that it is quite likely that the whole thing is totally fucked up – i.e. Tepco suspects that the missing core is in the ground somewhere, still cooking, and Tepco have probably no clue what to do about it and cannot ask other people for help because before that can happen, the actual situation has to be recognised.

        I’d almost say that, rather than whining about nothings like Russia and North Korea, “we” should seize Fukushima with a UN-mandate and take over that cluster fuck before it leaks for good and poisons everyone. This ongoing disaster is primed to become a global problem.

        Humans just can’t handle nuclear power.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The efforts so far remind me of the scientists furiously trying to stop Godzilla in the old movies. Techno-believers, precise, and powerless, finally a creature rises up from the sea or a giant moth comes and defeats the monster. Soil radioactive? No problem just cart away 10 million cubic yards of it. Stored radioactive soil still glowing? No problem just distribute it all around the country so the average background reading levels look consistent. Fission products leaking into the groundwater and the ocean? Spend a few bil making an ice dam to freeze out the surrounding soil (didn’t work).

      1. fajensen

        Spend a few bil making an ice dam to freeze out the surrounding soil (didn’t work).

        That is telling isn’t it? The conventional way would be to dig a trench, then drain the water away from the trench to divert it. Tepco is spending great effort in precisely not doing that.

        I believe that the reason is that they are afraid what they will find in the ground once they start digging. They suspect that the missing core is down there, below the containment vessel, and they don’t want this to become reality because then they will have to deal with reality rather than managing the perception of reality.

        That’s why they test parking lots for sources of gamma radiation, that is why they do not call for help from people outside of Japan who have better equipment and more experience in looking for nuclear material – they suspect something bad and Tepco are trying very hard not to deal with the bad thing!

        Perhaps there should be a UN mandate to seize Fukushima and clean it up without Tepco-the-clown?

        1. MoiAussie

          It would be a massive loss of face for Japan to admit it cannot handle the situation, especially when the LDP aspires to build nukes and throw their weight around over dots in the ocean. So instead they have passed draconian state secrets laws to keep it all under wraps.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Insurance will be priced into the purchase invoice by the car-maker, and the car marketed as ‘no need to buy insurance.’

      And you buy all-cash, the insurance is prepaid at the same time. Car and insurance as an inseparable package

      Their strategy can be to invest heavily in winning accident disputes with human drivers in the transitional period. After that, human car buyers will see the light to buy self-driving vehicles.

      “I’m a customer. But the self-driving car is always right.”

    2. human

      This was obvious from the get-go. The public has simply not been part of the discussion, unsurprisingly. Likely to be some sort of use or licensing payment from the customer, barring outright coverage by the manufacturer. Any number of public insurance subsidies are issued under the radar … nuclear power plants come to mind.

      1. optimader

        No kidding.. A huge conceptual boondoggle that has been presented in MSM as a done deal by the smartest people in the room w/ little or no push back.

        There are sooo many reasons for it not to be a workable solution in my lifetime. the man standing infront of the driverless car trying to pull away from the curb.. that is an obvious nonstart.

        How about the insurance liability? Who defines the vehicle end of service life when systems start failing. Or will the driverless car require the equivalent of aircraft quality maintenance so they last in perpetuity.. The equivalent of the 1958 Beech Bonanza or the 1940 DC-3? The auto industry will just love that model..
        . Who ensures the systems are maintained.. Brakes for example? How will the economics of that work? Who will administrate the requirements? Will the NHTSA turn into a even more bloated version of the FAA? Funding for that?

        The older driverless car with the disintegrated front brake pads or failed power steering hose plows into the School Bus. What insurance company wants to eat that?

        1. craazyboy

          Female voice heard by passenger while travelling down interstate at 70 mph. “Warning [Will Robinson]. I have determined your service life has just expired. I am a Level 5 Self Driving Car and my category does not come with steering wheel and brakes. Please check your seatbelts and airbags will be deplo…..”

          Heard by numerous other passengers in all cars in the vicinity. Warning [Will Robinson]….

  23. justanotherprogressive

    Re: Guillotine Watch
    I’m surprised that Business Insider allowed such a shoddily written article on their webpages. Do they not have an editor that does ever the smallest amount of fact checking, like even with google?

    For instance – the author’s rents: I check on the median rent in Buffalo, NY, actually $739/mo
    and Springfield, MO, actually $686/mo. I stopped checking after that…..

    Then there’s his take-home pay calculation: He claims that you can take home $14,115/year out of a $14,500/year salary. Sorry, you can’t. The max you can take home from $14,500 is actually about $12,980/yr. (Did he forget about SS and Medicare?)

    Other people have listed the other things, like cable and insurance so I won’t repeat…

    Then there is food at $75 a month (I loved that line: “Spices are your friend.” – but errr…did that author ever price spices or does he think they are free?) And then of course, he doesn’t account for such things as maybe, shampoo, or toothpaste or toilet paper or laundry detergent (yea, every cheap apartment has a washing machine…) or any of those other things that you don’t eat but you need to have to live in this society…..
    Conclusion? Anything is possible as long as you lie about the numbers……too bad humans can’t just live on lies – Jeff Desjardins would make us all rich!

    1. dao

      The fundamental problem with economizing is once everyone does it, it becomes mandatory and no longer optional. It’s just another race to the bottom.

      Supermarkets used to be full service. They would even take your groceries out to your car for you. Some places may still do that, but most people are now ringing up and bagging their own groceries.

    2. Antifa

      Just waiting for the first mainstream media article on the benefits of building your own house with blue tarps . . . it’s a value proposition that millions of people around the world have already fully explored.

      It’s a perfectly normal thing to do.

  24. Katharine

    Regarding Laurits on impeachment, he got the succession wrong. It doesn’t go automatically to the speaker, as someone here reminded me a few months ago. Under the 25th Amendment, if there is a vacancy in the office of vice-president, e.g. if one has moved up to the presidency, the president nominates someone to fill it, who is confirmed by a simple majority of both houses of congress.

  25. Tertium Squid

    Uber

    Uber officials began to worry that a driver backlash was putting them at a strategic disadvantage in their competition with Lyft, which had cultivated a reputation for being more driver-friendly.

    And once Lyft is out of the way…

    What a time to be alive.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Uber wouldnt have a business plan if people didn’t use their services. So, actually, its the same ol’ thing…..stop utilizing bad-for-us businesses.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …but it’s so conveeeeeenient for MEE! So screw all you other mopes! Go get your own dam political economy! 🤑

  26. allan

    FCC Reverses Charter Communications ‘Overbuild’ Requirement [Reuters]

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to reverse a requirement imposed under the Obama administration that Charter Communications Inc extend broadband service to 1 million households already served by a competitor, the commission said on Monday.

    The decision was a win for a group representing smaller cable companies that petitioned to overturn the “overbuild” requirement and marked the latest reversal of Obama-era requirements by the new Republican-led FCC under President Donald Trump.

    As a condition of approval for its acquisition of two cable companies, Charter in May 2016 agreed to extend high-speed internet access to 2 million customers within five years, with 1 million served by a broadband competitor. Under the revised FCC order expected to be made public on Monday, Charter must add service to 2 million additional potential subscribers in places without existing service, FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield said.

    The American Cable Association petitioned the FCC to reverse the requirement in 2016 and has met with FCC commissioners in recent weeks. The group previously called the requirement under then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler “stunningly bad and inexplicable government policy” and warned it would have “devastating effects on the smaller broadband providers Charter will overbuild” because they would face competition from an “uneconomic, government mandated entry” which could put some companies out of business. …

    Like taxes, competition is for the little people. Another solid for the working class.

  27. LT

    Re:Neoliberalism and economic stress…

    I’m not surprised establishment organizations recommend things like drugs and more schooling that now cost even more money.
    Remember just after 9/11? Bush said everybody should go shopping…

  28. ewmayer

    o The destruction of Hillary Clinton: sexism, Sanders and the millennial feminists | Guardian. “As I watched Sanders enchant the crowds, it was something of a deja vu experience to see a charismatic male politician on stage telling women which issues are and aren’t progressive.” — Assumes “women are inherently more progressive-minded than men”, a highly dubious Ansatz on which to build an argument. Given that most Hillary supporters appear genuinely confused – a result of deliberate and decades-long propagandizing by the DNC/MSM, as well as their own cultivated self-delusions – as to what “progressive” means, why should the gender of the person trying to disabuse them matter? In other words, in re. the author claiming “sexism” – pot, meet kettle.

    o It’s possible — but difficult — to build wealth while earning the minimum wage | Business Insider. — In fact working for minimum wage is guaranteed to build wealth. Just not yours. Feature, not bug.

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