Links 4/6/17

How to tell April the Giraffe is in labor: Watch her tail Bob: “Stating the obvious.” But this gives you an excuse to track down the webcam if you are curious.

Jupiter spectacle for earthlings on April 8 The Nation (furzy)

First world survey finds 9,600 tree species risk extinction PhysOrg (Katharine)

Potentially explosive methane gas mobile in groundwater, poses safety risk: study PhysOrg (Katharine)

New form of Android malware is the most sophisticated and dangerous ever discovered ThaiTech (furzy)

Facebook to use photo-matching to block repeat ‘revenge porn’ Reuters (furzy). Why did this take so long?


These Are the States With the Most to Win and Lose From Trade With China Bloomberg (resilc)

Why Xi Jinping Needs to Tread Carefully When He Meets Trump Blooomberg

Brexit. I should be posting on Brexit, but the news basically is that May is already retreating from positions she insisted were crucial, like negotiating a trade deal in parallel with the exit (she’s conceded there will need to be a transition period) and needing to continue to submit to European rules and the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

Theresa May softens stance on Brexit roadblocks Financial Times. Notice the clumsy attempt at a finesse: “You’ve used the phrase transitional phase; I have used the phrase implementation period.”

Berlin embraces its own hard Brexit Politico.

Country Report Germany 2017 Including an In-Depth Review on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances European Commission (guurst). I must confess I only skimmed this report. It calls GDP growth of under 2% “robust”. Help me.

As goes France, so goes the EU Politico

Fixing the Euro’s Original Sins: The Monetary – Fiscal Architecture and Monetary Policy Conduct Thomas Palley

The privatization of Sweden ExpertGrupp. Micael: “Some facts about the Sweden Sanders is talking about. Highly privatized.”


America’s Support For Saudi Arabia’s War On Yemen Must End Nation (Sid S)

Ghouta redux? Was this attack real? Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

It’s WMD all over again. Why don’t you see it? Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail (Chana)

Blowback Irrussianality (Chuck L)

“I told you so…” – Idlib Province Sic Semper Tyrannis Chuck L: “For months Col. Lang has been saying the most important thing the R+6 should do was to nip the ISIS build up in Idlib province in the bud.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Most Americans unwilling to give up privacy to thwart attacks: Reuters/Ipsos poll Reuters (EM). Translation: Most Americans have figured out that having the surveillance state hoover up their personal data is not about fighting terrorism, and efforts to position otherwise are no longer persuasive.

Workplace Surveillance Is The New Office ‘Perk’ Vocativ (micael)

Messages show New York police surveillance of Black Lives Matter Reuters (EM)

Trump Transition

Rick Perry added to National Security Council core; Steve Bannon out New Statesman. Resilc: “WTF?”

Trump has slammed courts, intelligence agencies, but voters trust them more than him McClatchy. Bob K: :but how about with those who voted for him?”

Republicans Are Going to Wish Hillary Clinton Won New York Magazine. Resilc: “Doubt that”.

Cohn Backs Wall Street Split of Lending, Investment Banks Bloomberg

What Gorsuch Means Matt Stoller, Baffler. Important

Neil Gorsuch’s 11th-hour plagiarism scare Washington Post (furzy)

Eichmann in Jerusalem is a better guide to Trump Time than is Origins of Totalitarianism
Corey Robin (martha r). Important and much better than the title.

Trump wins Scottish golf course privacy rights case Reuters (EM)

Trump says he has the ‘best words.’ Merriam-Webster disagrees. Washington Post (furzy)


As The Susan Rice Scandal Explodes, The Russia Election Hacking Story Gets Murkier Investors Business Daily (Dan K)

Beware of the return of the Clinton dynasty Edward Luce, Financial Times. A wild indicator of sorts. Luce was Larry Summers’ speechwriter and regularly carried Dem party water. This looks to be a sign that a lot of insiders are Not Happy about the Clinton’s plans to hang on to power.

U.S. court rules 1964 civil rights law protects LGBT workers from bias Reuters (EM)


Greens, GOP team up to sue Democrats Metro. Jeff E: “Green and GOP candidates join to file federal lawsuit to void election in Philly’s 197th district. Honkala had many hundreds of volunteers but only ended up with 282 votes versus the Democrat’s 1,970. The GOP candidate got 198.”

Fed Officials Expect to Whittle Down Portfolio Later This Year: Minutes Wall Street Journal

Tanker Traffic Points At Much Tighter Oil Markets OilPrice

It Looks Like JPMorgan Is Building a Robo Adviser Bloomberg (resilc)


Policies believed to stabilize the financial system may actually do the opposite, study finds PhysOrg (Chuck L, Katharine). This sort of thing is maddening. Don’t these clowns bother looks at prior work? Richard Bookstaber wrote an entire book, Demon of Our Own Design, on the issue of “tight coupling” where processes run in a sequence too fast to be interrupted. Many other people, ranging from Andrew Haldane to Simon Johnson to your humble blogger have written about this issue at length. In a tightly coupled system, you must reduce the tight coupling first in order to reduce risk. Any other approach will increase risk.

Guillotine Watch

Manhattan Townhouse Sells for a Record $79.5 Million

Class Warfare

Here’s How They Play Monopoly in America, and Who Wins Bloomberg. Bob K: “Anti-trust cases at all time lows during Bush-Obama admins.”

Why I Introduced the College for All Act Pramila Jayapal, Nation

Student Debt Giant Navient to Borrower: You’re On Your Own Bloomberg (Robert R)

Uber’s Seattle woes: union battle could see company leave another major city Guardian (Bob K). Don’t let the door hit you on your way out. The article makes clear that drivers really do not like Uber.

Uber drivers ‘tricked into signing away their rights’ The Times. Subhead: “Gig economy workers’ contracts are gibberish, say MPs”

Why Are So Many White Americans Dying? Politico

Baltimore’s Mayor Rejects $15 Minimum Wage Bill, Sharpening the Divide between Black Workers and Black Political leadership Black Agenda Report. Martha r: “The Black misleadership class must be seen as the US manifestation of neo-colonialism.”

Nivea’s ‘White Is Purity’ ad campaign did not end well Chicago Tribune (resilc). Regionally targeted ads do not stay regional! But sadly, for instance, Japanese and Indian models are (or are shot and made up to look) more pale faced than is typical for their countries.

Retiring with robots? How your folks will get high-tech help CNET (resilc)

Antidote du jour. From Robert H, a Chinese crested dog:

And a bonus video. YY: “Shoebills seem to be the most recent favorite animal on the web…” In this video, the head looks dinosaur-like. There are two other videos, here and here, where the birds looks cuter.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Zephyrum

    The GoBanking article on how much you need to live comfortably seems to ignore income taxes, which is most people’s number 1 expense. One might think they are using net-income post-tax dollars, but the average annual income numbers they quote for the cities are closer to the pre-tax dollars of other sites. Sloppy job really, but what do you expect for a “banking” site these days.

    Ref: for total income tax in a city
    Ref: for income stats

    1. j84ustin

      Chicago, for example, has no city income tax, and my state income tax is certainly less than my housing/transportation costs.

      1. jawbone

        I was wondering why Chicago wasn’t included in the 50 largest citiest…Detroit was there, and perhaps it’s larger in actual area…but not in population surely?

        1. zer0

          Me too, as a Chicago-an. Well, a SoCal-ian living in Chicago – dead center too, right by Grant Park. But like most cities, WILDLY depends on zipcode – if it was Evanston, probably need to be making a good 120k/yr. Same with Wilmette. Skokie? Maybe 75k/yr. San Fran @ 110k is incredibly off. My sister lives there and basically says if your not pulling in 200k (family income obviously), you cant have kids.

          Chicago proper? Probably similar to San Fran – my rent is basically upwards of 3000/month for a double bedroom not including parking, storage, & utilities. Extrapolating, I would say 150k to live decently, assuming 150k is combined income of a family of 2 or more. Any less, and you have to give up something: car, college fund, vacation, etc. Pretty damn hard to live like in the 90’s these days. 150k combined means after tax your down to 100k or less. Rent mortgage will be about 30-40k, so now your down to 60k. Car is another 10k, cost of living another 10-20k, so your looking at stashing away maybe 20k a year which would be my minimum req for “living decently” since college is 250K per child, and for me a stress free life would assume my kids are graduating college at least somewhat free of debt. Factor in daycare (~1000/month) and your looking at saving almost nothing, which is why Millenials aren’t buying houses because they aren’t having kids because they aren’t making enough. Not even close. Going to be an existential disaster 10 years down the road.

      2. jrs

        State + Federal could be #1 expense, but state itself, I don’t know, those are low housing costs is all I can say.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      That GoBanking article is just another one of the many tonedeaf ads that the financial markets are now coming up with to show you that no, really, your life isn’t that bad and that it is your fault if you can’t live “comfortably” on what you are paid – and buy into their magic funds! I wonder if they could live “comfortably” on those same numbers…..
      Perhaps this is just another ad campaign to get us going at each other instead of them?
      Pure Tosh, most of it.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The various industries are simply running out of customers. The incomes to support the industries aren’t being created. They are throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, but the economy is largely being driven on hope and delusion that prosperity is right around the corner.

        The 50 to 60 year old decision makers have no clue what life is like too for young people who they are marketing too.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          It has been impossible for 40 years to explain to the greedy, the baby boomers, and especially those occupy both halves of that Venn diagram that it is better for you to have a smaller % of a GROWING pie than a larger % of a STAGNANT or SHRINKING pie.

          What do we do when all the wealth has trickled up, and the returns from Panama & the Caymans aren’t what they used to be?

      2. Carl

        But the pictures in the slideshow were real pretty. I guess from this I should plan on moving to Mississippi, then. Jackson is probably the Paris of the West…

    3. Katharine

      I think your definition of “most people” suffers from personal bias. Income tax has never come close to being my number one expense, and I think that for most people, in the simple arithmetic sense, it would not.

      1. zer0

        30% wage garnish AKA taxes ISNT your #1 expense? I think everyone ive talked to, if not #1, it definitely comes close. And we are talking about “living decently”, which in my mind means “middle class”. For the middle class, taxes are the bane of their existence – they are in the bracket that pays the most, without making enough to offset the expense, through legal wormholes or capital gains.

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “It’s WMD all over again”—-Yes, obviously. No proof whatsover exists that the Syrian government gassed it’s own people, which would have been a stupid move if true.

    Why does the US always have to constantly be at war in countries the American citizens don’t give a damn about? This is what more and more Americans are asking themselves.

    Trump apparently is knuckling under to the establishment. He can always say “I tried—God knows I tried.”

    1. sid_finster

      “I tried” don’t matter. I doubt that Obama came into office in 2008 planning to be at best a slightly more articulate version of Dubya.

      But that’s what he became.

      Trump was voted into office to overthrow the Bush/Obama legacy. Instead, he is turning into a meaner, more dysfunctional and more reckless version of Dubya.

      1. zer0

        President cant do much anyways – you think the Pentagon/MIC would let him?

        I only cared that Hitlery was beat. Because thinking the same person is going to give you a different result is another definition of insanity.

        At the end of the day, as stated by many prominent intellectuals, America will not change its current course without the 3 things that truly move history: revolution, famine/disease, or world-war. The President merely moves a wheel that he thinks is connected to the rudder, but is, in fact, connected to a Oija board.

    2. LT

      Inching their way towards Iran. As “WMD again?” article states at very end, Saudi Arabia is after Iran. Also, Israel has an itchy trigger for Iran.
      The USA has Iran in its crosshairs still.
      The USA wants to insert itself right in the middle of any new “Silk Road”.

      1. Synoia

        The US appears to ferment Muslim unrest to destroy any new silk road. The western end of the silk road was in Syria, Iraq, Persia and Turkey, and the road passed just north of Afghanistan.

    1. fresno dan

      April 6, 2017 at 7:40 am

      I admire your initiative, but I doubt you’ll move the author.
      How many times have we said it? Undoubtedly some voted for Trump solely because they were racists, and a few partially voted on account of race. But as Sherlock Holmes said about the dog that didn’t bark, curiously you can’t hear the dems talk about class and how bad the economy is for so many…. (well, not curiously…when you consider their backers won’t give up a dime or the POTENTIAL to make a dime)

      1. bob k

        It’s a known fact that HRC committed political suicide when she called Trump voters “deplorable,” i.e., racists and xenophobes. I suspect that the Intercept’s author has a part of the truth, but not the essential part, that is, who put Trump over the top and why did they vote this way.

        No one can seriously argue that race doesn’t play a central role in peoples’ motives for everything they do in the US and for that matter in the world. No one can claim neutrality. Who cares if “IT’S 2017 FOR CHRIST SAKE!” The Brits were the one advanced country that wasn’t racist for the longest time. The Dutch and especially the Iberians, who had African slaves long before the Americans, developed ideas of racial inferiority long ago.

        Slavery and Jim Crow after it lasted for more than 350 years. It has been a little over 50 years since most of the horrible stuff was torn down. But in the realm of ideas, what survived for 350 years could reasonably be assessed to continue for at least that long and probably will.

        That’s a long way of saying the Intercept author is right regarding Trump’s main base of support, the largely elite white middle and upper classes of the suburbs and cities outside of NYC and LA/SF. These people are separated by choice from POC and they are susceptible to the dog whistles of racism. No surprise they’d respond well to open racism of a Trump.

        But they are not the ones being excoriated by the Dems. Who ever hears the Dems say “good, the Republican women of the suburbs won’t be able to get abortions. They have no one to blame but themselves.” Because the dems tried to get them and failed and will try again.

        But they won’t try to get the white workers from 100s of counties in the four states that swung the election for Trump. Swung is the right word as these voters for the most part voted Obama in ’08 and ’12. They couldn’t afford to vote for a corrupt Dem like Clinton. Time up on the “economy is the best of all times” bs. Desperate times call for desperate measures and volatility always favors the underdog who just has to win once to make all his problems disappear. Turn the tables over, they said, and they did.

        So was it racism or the economy? Both. But be careful how you assess the blame and to whom.

        1. Carla

          “No one can seriously argue that race doesn’t play a central role in peoples’ motives for everything they do in the US and for that matter in the world.”

          Truer words were never uttered.

          1. pretzelattack

            but it’s problematic when you pretend it was far more important than class in the last election.

            1. cocomaan

              Seems to me that this search for singular, ultimate causes for human behavior – ie, “boiling it down to ____”, whether race or sexism or even class – is not productive.

              If you ask a physicist why water runs downhill, they can’t point to one rule in particular and say, That law of physics right there is why water runs downhill. No! Water running downhill has to do with thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, gravity, chemistry, and geography, plus a million other things. Water and earth and gravity all have to be explained.

              Yet we think we can pin down the behavior of sixty million Trump voters and pin it on a single cause? Humans are complicated as hell! Why in the world would we think that we’re smart enough to even apprehend that yet?

              I blame Freud for kicking off the idea that we can reduce human behavior down to atomist thought derived from a few root causes having to do with banging your parents and pooping.

              Not that this is a criticism of you, pretzelattack, but more critical of the entire enterprise.

              1. Quentin

                Evidently you thought up this hair-brained take on Freud all by yourself:

                ‘I blame Freud for kicking off the idea that we can reduce human behavior down to atomist thought derived from a few root causes having to do with banging your parents and pooping.’

                1. cocomaan

                  I hoped that my sarcasm came across in the word “pooping”, but I guess not. Sorry!

              2. JFaraday

                Good comment. The oppression Olympics on this site disgusts me as much as it has anywhere else.

                Also, Don’t like HRC, but she did NOT call The Sainted Working Class “deplorables.” She said some Trump voters are deplorable, and others are struggling.

                To continue to insist on an untruth, even about HRC, is deeply discrediting. You can bet her voters know exactly what she said.

            2. Gary

              I have spoken to most of my friends that voted Trump. They voted against HRC more than they voted for Trump. The “deplorable” statement was very telling of who she is but I doubt it changed very many minds. A lot of his supporters have deplorable sentiments, but that does not mean they are not citizens. It’s any easy rabbit hole and one I step in myself from time to time, but wrong none the less. For some reason, and it’s nothing new with US voters, people are more motivated to vote AGAINST something/someone than FOR…

          2. Optimader

            “No one can seriously argue…”
            is a perfect preamble for a ridiculously unsupportable claim

              1. optimader

                Really Bob?
                I can appreciate hyperbole for what it meant to be, but doubling down to defend a sloppy claim?

                I’ll allow you to do the proof.

                Do a Venn diagram of “Peoples’ motives for everything the do” and “Race

                Do they completely overlap?

                –Is my POTUS vote racially motivated?
                –Is every post & comment here on NC racially motivated?
                –Is your motive to make this claim racially modivated?
                –My decision to have a second rum and tonic?
                –Lamberts inclination to bend over to pick a weed in his garden?

                1. craazyboy

                  I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable making sweeping generalizations asserting that I know what’s going on at near lizard brain level in 330 million Americans or even a smaller subset that voted for Trump. That almost sounds like stereotyping. Or identify politics, which would be an attempt to capitalize on some perceived problem, of unknown scope, for personal gain.

                  How disgustingly deplorable.

                2. bob k

                  Thank you for answering me and your comment is appreciated. In my zeal to make a point I went overboard. The examples you provide above can easily be made without racial motivation (except the first but if you’re talking about you as a person, well then I don’t know).

                  1. optimader

                    The examples you provide above can easily be made without racial motivation (except the first but if you’re talking about you as a person…

                    I can only talk for myself as a person as I lack clairvoyance. That said, I am a subset of “all”, and I can tell you my POTUS selection was not racially motivated.

                    Bob, please review

              2. Irredeemable Deplorable

                reply to bob k if it does not show up in the right place

                How about some proof of the “racism of Trump” – specific quote, date, time…..

                The only ist in this discussion is you. Your comment is a perfect illustration of why I, and everyone I know who voted for President Trump, have a visceral hatred of all those on the left. We’ve had it up to the sky with your pseudo-noble phony virtue signalling BS.

                  1. zer0

                    Bob – people vote on what affects them most – their pocketbooks. Do you think race affects individuals more than economics? In a capitalist society? Seriously, where do you come up with this stuff?

                    Only those whose pockets are filled via their image, like celebrities, actors, and their friends, actually care to vote for someone for the sake of signaling their own moral high ground. I seriously have yet to meet in person a blatantly racist right-winger. They often are right leaning due to one thing, and one thing only: taxes. Everything else they could honestly give a fuck about.

                    1. bob k

                      Race and economics affect different people differently, depending on many things, including, but not restricted to, one’s class position and one color. What may be most important to one voter may not be important to another.

                      I suggest you take a survey of different people and report your results. Make sure its a large sample so you avoid bias.

        2. DJG

          Thanks, bob k

          In a country as deformed by racism as the U S of A, race plays a constant role, both at a conscious level and at an unconscious level. And the Republicans (and Democrats) didn’t even have to avail themselves of the murderous racism against the Native American peoples!

          Yet the economy is devastated and grossly unfair. I know that pretzelattack has read some of the stories posted here with statistics and scatterplots showing just how bad things are economically. In the U S of A, when the economy is bad, it always erupts racially: Witness the politics of the American South from 1865 on, everything from the rise of the KKK to right to work (so-called) to Lyndon Johnson’s tart observations about the behavior of whites.

          1. DJG

            Bill Moyers on how race and class are a toxic brew in the U S of A:

            While Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of time and place, he felt the bitter paradox of both. I was a young man on his staff in 1960 when he gave me a vivid account of that southern schizophrenia he understood and feared. We were in Tennessee. During the motorcade, he spotted some ugly racial epithets scrawled on signs. Late that night in the hotel, when the local dignitaries had finished the last bottles of bourbon and branch water and departed, he started talking about those signs. “I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it,” he said. “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              It’s a nice story, but the villains of the the piece were the ones paying. The upper classes or the “moderate suburban Republicans” of the day voted for secsion. They voted for Trump too.

              Jim Crow existed everywhere, even where blacks were welcome. Racists weren’t the targets of boycotts. Why would a black person want to buy anything from a Klansman anyway?

              The Civil Rights movement directly targeted economics and personal economics of their white “friends” from the sits ins to the Pullman strikes. The unions went on strikes in non Jim Crow states to force the railroads to end Jim Crow on the railroads. They made the status quo untenable. The modern social warrior loves the status quo and doesn’t change anything.

              The problem with the police isn’t some cracker high on meth. It’s the people who cry for dialogue when the police across the country need whole sale reviews and purges.

              1. optimader

                “The modern social warrior loves the status quo and doesn’t change anything.”

                “the people in America need to have a discussion”
                handover mike: ” OK spool it up, I’m late for my teetime..”

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              Absolutely. I thought it was “settled law” that racism in the u. s. was deliberately stoked to prevent solidarity on the issues of economic equality and justice, justifying all the implications of those “prejudices” from public education to employment to access to healthcare.

              Insisting now that racism and economic interests are separate and distinct merely facilitates the dismissal of economic arguments as deplorable, irredeemable “racist” rants that are illegitimate and do not deserve consideration or response.

              In short, mission accomplished.

            3. Propertius

              Frederick Douglass said it first:

              “The white slave had taken from him by indirection what the black slave had taken from him directly and without ceremony. Both were plundered, and by the same plunderers. The slave was robbed by his master of all his earnings, above what was required for his bare physical necessities, and the white laboring man was robbed by the slave system, of the just results of his labor, because he was flung into competition with a class of laborers who worked without wages. The slaveholders blinded them to this competition by keeping alive their prejudice against the slaves as men–not against them as slaves.”

          2. bob k

            ^ i like. And to add to that, where mass movements have been most progressive and most dangerous to the rulers they have always combined the class interests with the interests of the racially oppressed. Witness the Populist movement and the Free Soil movement (which famously and appropriately claimed “free soil, free labor, and free men” as its slogan.

            Contrary to those who live and die by “identity politics,” the working class movements and those of people of color (who are, by and large, members of the working class) are not antagonistis but can and must be joined to achieve the goals of both.

        3. Deadl E Cheese

          The “it was all about race” explanation also doesn’t explain Trump’s increase in support with racial minorities. If Trump had gotten Romney’s margins, he would have barely lost the EC.

          Not saying that it wasn’t a factor — I’d go as far as to say it was in fact the biggest. You know, the same as every American election since 1968 except for maybe 1984. Especially with Bannon briefly in the inner court, there’s a reason why I feel free to throw around the words ‘herrenvolk authoritarians’ and ‘ethnonationalists’ when describing Trump’s ideology and support.

          But liberal-style class denialism misses a big chunk of the picture and ensures that they won’t be able to take advantage of the huge rift opening up in the Reagan coalition.

        4. NotTimothyGeithner

          I just remembered one of the local Democratic poobahs swore Kerry lost because of all the homophobes in Ohio causing poor urban turnout when polls showed voters were largely worried about the economy and felt Kerry never addressed their economic concerns, ultimately not voting.

          He didn’t trust Dean because appealing to those hateful people was a waste of time instead of moderate republicans who could be flipped if Democrats were just more pro gun or whatever issue he decided could be sacrificed to win the friendly republicans he knew.

          1. Deadl E Cheese

            It kind of makes me want to barf when I remember that Howard Dean’s candidacy was not only somehow supposed to be some sort of left-of-center redemption for the post-Clinton Democratic party but that Daily Show Liberals in the vein of Kos and Klein and Chait regard said candidacy as their reconstructive moment. The turning point for liberal ideology. The firebells in the night for the seemingly invincible Reagan Coalition.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Dean had policy problems (hence, his Iowa collapse), but the 50 state strategy and how to win were sound. Squeezing every vote. Long term organization. And moving money from ads everyone tunes out to organizers works. Coordinated campaigns too. Training voters to vote down ticket was huge. The drop offs on Democratic ballots after the first race disappeared over night.

              1. Deadl E Cheese

                The 50 state strategy being some kind of heterodox revelation rather than an insultingly obvious praxis is pretty large proof that the post-Dukakis Democratic Party is less a political party and more of a sinecure machine for doofy nerds too doltish and/or nebbish to get any graduate degree that’s not law or an MBA.

            2. Montanamaven

              Dean was not much of a liberal. Raised on the Upper East Side, he seemed like a Rockefeller Republican to me. Good on limousine liberal identity politics and the environment.His campaign was personality driven. He was deemed “a rock star”. He had a lot of energy. His base was young and enthusiastic but scared the good people of Iowa with their Orange hats. The populist message of Edwards was what almost got him first place in Iowa in 2004. If Gephardt hadn’t been in the race, most of those votes would have gone and were in the process of going to Edwards. The establishment fought back hard and spent a lot of money to drag old Kerry over the finish line…barely. Wealthy Dems hated Edwards. One guy actually said to me in that William F Buckley accent, “He’s just a cheap social climber”. To which I replied, ” I thought that was what the essence of America was…. to better yourself.” He just gave me a blank look and turned away. Deplorable.
              Obama learned from Dean to go after the youth with “Hope and Change”. And from Edwards to pretend to be a populist, but a softer one i.e. There are not “Two Americas” there is only One Kumbayah America. I remember a lawyer friend of Edwards with whom I went door to door in Iowa, say after the loss to Obama, “I told John to also make a strong appeal to the youth.” People forget that Edwards was second in Iowa, not Clinton in 2008. That was helped by the votes of the white working class people of the Maytag factories and other factory towns which were in the process of closing their plants. Clinton didn’t learn a thing from Obama or Edwards.

              1. Deadl E Cheese

                This is hypocritical of me thanks to my open contempt for discourse gaming, but my project for the next four years is to stop liberals (called neoliberals, but to me, they’re one and the same thing) from hiding behind the co-opted accomplishments of Marxists, anarchists, and unionists by properly calling them by their name.

                Howard Dean is a technocratic, meritocratic, nominally multicultural, nationalist capitalist. He’s a damn liberal. The ideological differences between him, Obama, Clinton and other Good Liberals like FDR and LBJ are less stark than the similarities. He’s a LIBERAL.

        5. NotTimothyGeithner

          She committed political suicide when she said “super predators.” The decline in black turnout from non Clinton years was crippling as urban blacks are easier to organize than rural whites because of distance.

          The betrayal of ACORN, the warehousing of blacks, and the focus on polite Republicans who reliably vote Republican are part of the same story.

          A party dependent on minority turnout can’t run a racist and expect to win. TINA helps keep turnout respectable but not enough to win. In MA you ways, the discussion of racist, Trump voters misses that the Democrats ran a racist.

          “Moderate suburban republicans” are the white flight crowd. This is not lost on the Dems. They want to be able to win without lower class minorities. This was the goal of the Clintons’ third way. Rich minorities are okay, but as Bill was reported to say to Ted Kennedy, guys like Obama use to serve guys like Bill and Teddy.

          The Dems conned plenty of people, but you can’t fool everyone.

          1. LT

            Bingo. The establishment does not want a lower class minority group, by their metrics, to be the power swing voters.
            Malcolm X touched on that in his “Ballot or Bullet” speech.

          2. Deadl E Cheese

            I love to be chained to a putatively anti-reactionary Party that has no plan to fight the herrenvolk authoritarians other than passive demographic growth yet not only did nothing to protect their voting base but whose last two Presidents were also 1st and 3rd placeholders for deportations.

          3. JTFaraday

            Good comment. Much more constructive then the hot rot upthread, where people are still pimping the falsehood that race doesn’t matter.

        6. Procopius

          I wish I would see some interviews with Trump voters who get an income around $120,000 a year. There are a lot of them, but the unemployed loonies get more clicks and make the people who watch MSNBC feel better. Changing the subject, why are there still people who call MSNBC liberal?

    2. cocomaan

      I posted this:

      The article is a little sloppy, particularly in sourcing. It’s got plenty of rhetoric, though, but doesn’t make up for shoddy conclusions. In fact, it makes them even shakier.

      For instance, the “plethora of studies” link goes directly to a WaPo article about two studies. “Plethora” means an abundance. Two is not an abundance. Furthermore, one source cited in the article directly links economic insecurity with racism, which actually goes against Hasan’s argument (Roberts, Vox, Are Trump supporters driven by economic anxiety or racial resentment? Yes.)

      Later, a study regarding asking Trump supporters about Muslims comes up. Yet the analysis of the pilot study just came to the conclusion that: “Those who express more resentment toward African Americans, those who think the word “violent” describes Muslims well, and those who believe President Obama is a Muslim have much more positive attitudes of Trump compared with Clinton.” Well no kidding. But notice that the article didn’t then correlate economic issues with those beliefs. Why? It doesn’t support Hasan’s headline or Klinkner’s ideas, because it’s also true that economic issues are correlated with those ideas. The conclusions you can draw from these articles are extremely shaky and

      By the way, Klinkner’s faculty page was linked, presumably as proof that he’s an “expert on race relations”. His linked faculty page says that he has publications and books. He’s won a few awards. It says nowhere that he’s an expert on anything, merely that he’s an academic. The article almost wholly relies on him and his ideas.

      Other academics like Brian Schaffner have pointed out that, while racism is a factor in the election, so is sexism (not mentioned in Hasan’s article!), and is coeval with economic insecurity: So I take Hasan’s pet academic and raise him one, though I wouldn’t say Schaffner or anyone else is an “expert on race relations”, whatever that means.

      Mark me as not convinced by this social science. The waters are at best muddy. If this election showed anything, it showed that the polling data is often unreliable and that people do not answer with what they are actually thinking. The disease is far from identified.

      1. bronco


        Silmarillion? The book and your post are the two places I have read that word in the last 40 years .

        It’s interesting there is a word that is so unused that I can remember the last place I saw it written down and when . I got the book for Christmas I think in 1980 and sat down to read it on Christmas vacation.

        1. cocomaan

          We’re bringing it back, it’s a great word! I forget where I found it last year when it stuck in my mind, probably my thesaurus. But maybe I also picked it up when I read the Simarillion back in high school.

        2. Buttinsky

          Now there’s a coincidence. I’m in the middle of rereading the second volume of Gore Vidal’s memoirs, Point to Point Navigation, in which he notes, very parenthetically:

          (Faulkner went to his grave believing that coeval meant evil at the same time as.)

        3. ewmayer

          ‘Coeval’ is actually quite common in the scientific literature, specifically that related to relative dating of ages of things.

          But if we’re going ‘to bring it back’, we should use it properly: It means ‘of the same age’, not ‘of similar importance’.

          1. cocomaan

            I did mean it as of the same age – economic insecurity tracks well with racism.

            A case of “All unhappy families are unhappy in different ways, all happy families are happily alike.”

      1. Deadl E Cheese

        There is one, but it doesn’t point to a conclusion that class denialist liberals would like. Basically, the most racist people are those on the very top-end and very bottom-end of the economic spectrum. And since the bottom 20% vote a lot less than the top 20%, heh, well…

        If liberals were more intellectually honest, they might recognize their rank hypocrisy of their plan to woo the top 5 to 20% while decryng the WWC of their bigotry. But you know how liberals and hypocrisy goes already.

        1. vidimi

          i was driving more towards the hypothesis that people undergoing financial stress are more receptive of the racial scapegoats bandied about by the right wing. of course, your point is equally true; the aristocracy is rabidly racist. one need only look at the trump family, and old man trump specifically to see this in action.

            1. Marina Bart

              I would like to suggest retaining the use of the word “aristocracy” to mean something more specific than “current power elite.” If you look up the term, it derives from a Greek concept that would include someone like Bill Clinton, the self-made offspring of a gangster family. It certainly could be used for “small group at the top that controls government.” But used that way drains it of value for use in describing a toxic phenomenon that has existed for millennia : to name a class of people so structurally privileged over time by means determined by bloodlines that they can do nothing and know nothing productive for society, yet continue live luxuriously due to previous generations’ criminal theft or brutal exploitation which has enabled them to control the system as a class and reap the vast majority of its benefits and value as easily and invisibly as breathing.

              Chelsea is living a life somewhat akin to aristocratic daughters. We’re seeing access to the ruling class via elite colleges once again being systematically closed down to all those outside the existing ruling class except for a tiny number of symbolic unicorns, to continue to promulgate the lie that this ruling class gains its advantage from “merit.” So this ruling class is certainly doing its best to reconstitute and re-institute aristocratic control. But they’re not there yet, and I think it would be better not to take away the best available word we have for naming them. Naming is powerful. If you can’t name something, you can’t really see it.

              We should institute some rule that — rather like how evolutionary success is defined as your offspring’s offspring successfully reproducing — you have to have a couple of generations of Chelsea-level useless eaters until you can be deemed an aristocrat. Right now, Bill is no more aristocratic than Thomas Cromwell, really. He has gained great wealth, but that has come by serving entrenched power interests by connecting money and banking (in Cromwell’s case, in Italy, IIRC) with governmental and military power (Henry VIII). Cromwell did get titles for at least a couple of his kids, I think, but they had nothing like the stability of power and wealth of a real aristocratic family like the House of Percy in Northumberland. Oliver Cromwell, his descendant, fought against the aristocracy in the English Civil War (which he won in part due to real meriticracy, but that’s a different topic.)

              We’re seeing a new aristocracy rise, but it’s not fully formed yet. I don’t think we want to help them do their dirty work by rendering its process and definitional attributes less visible.

              I was raised in the outer rings of the aristocracy. When my parents were engaged, my mother had to be evaluated for acceptance into the 400 families. Her father’s money, which was, for the time, enormous, did not matter at all. (Don’t start envying me; I never saw a penny of it.) In fact, despite being able to trace one side of her family back to the founder of one of the thirteen colonies, her lineage was deemed inadequate. But my horrible, racist, real aristocrat grandmother, whose family still has furnishing s they carried away from their estate when they escaped tumbrels in the French Revolution, had enough pull with the Social Register (which actually mattered back then, and was actually restricted; it wasn’t just an exercise in luxury branding) to fudge things, thanks to BOTH the money and the colony founder, and thus my parents were allowed to get married.

              We haven’t reached that stage yet. It’s not too late. Bill may long to be an aristocrat, but trust me — the Bushes, Harrimans, Rothchilds, et al., consider him a servant. They see people like Bill come and go. The previous aristocracy is enfeebled now, but the new one, based on grifting rather than military conquest, has not yet fully supplanted it, and it is not clear that its engine of control will be as robust as the land and physical resource grabs of the Percies and the Harrimans.

              But yeah, of course the aristocracy is racist. Not every member of it — my parents weren’t, but then they were also basically cast out for not abiding by the very restrictive rules of their class.

              What’s funny to me about Bill’s racism towards Obama is that other than skin color, Obama’s claim to birthright-type class status is stronger than Bill’s, on both sides of the family. That’s probably part of why Bill said it. He and Teddy both come from gangster families (meaning the thievery is so recent it hasn’t yet been scrubbed from memory), and Bill, especially, probably still gets lots of little snubs from real aristocrats. So he tried to use “race” against the guy who by every other metric had higher non-wealth class standing (including a more elite schooling pedigree.) That is, after all, part of why and how racism persists.

              1. Marina Bart

                Damn it. I had vowed just yesterday to stop writing these massive essay-level comments. I need to develop more self-control when it comes to this place.

                1. Colonel Smithers

                  Thank you, Marina.

                  Please don’t. Your contributions are enlightening.

                  It appears that we have some things in common. I will write about that soon and how it relates to today’s feature about colonialism.

                  Must dash. Early start in Frankfurt tomorrow.

                  1. Marina Bart

                    I love reading your comments, so I’m excited to read your thoughts on this. And thanks for the compliments.

                2. Colonel Smithers

                  Thank you for yesterday’s comment about university admissions. It’s happening in the UK and, to a lesser extent, France.

                  I really must go for a snooze.

              2. flora

                And, as you so eloquently point out, the higher the class level the more rigid the the rules for membership; the more stringently the rules are enforced; and the farther the fall for those who are expelled. The stresses of either conforming or being cast out of ones social class probably in some ways destroys a lot of people even in the upper ranks. Your grandmother has found a way to remain in her class and to survive. I expect that sounds odd.

                1. flora

                  shorter: Being cast out into social limbo kills, whether cast out from the top, the middle, the working class, or the bottom. We’re seeing that in the rising death rates in the white US prime age cohort.

                2. Marina Bart

                  No need to waste any sympathy on my aristocratic grandmother. She was a terrible person, who broke all but one her children, and stole my father’s inheritance specifically to keep me from getting it, because of my “bad blood.” This was all money earned by my grandfather, who had died. He would never have consented to do this to his namesake. She then handed a huge chunk of that money to the gigolo she had married next. But he was of “good blood,” unlike me. He had helped get White Russians’ money out after the revolution during the brief period before he learned how to live off married women.

                  Yes, being thrust out of your class can destroy you. But my grandmother didn’t help my parents out of the goodness of her heart. There was no goodness. I’d say there was no heart, but something was pumping blood through her body. My father would have married my mother with or without the Social Register’s blessing. My grandmother was protecting her own social position — the only thing she really cared about.

    3. vidimi

      trump attracted some voters because of his racism but repelled others. the net difference was the non-college educated whites who voted obama in 08 and 12 but now voted trump.

  3. fresno dan

    It’s WMD all over again. Why don’t you see it? Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail (Chana)

    Actually knowing something, remembering history or having experience of the world is becoming a disadvantage. How much easier it would be to join in with the flow of opinion about Syria, to listen happily to, and read contentedly, media reports on the subject.

    As it is, I feel something close a physical pain as I do this.

    Today’s frenzy over alleged use of poison gas in Syria is the 2017 version of Anthony Blair’s WMD in Iraq. Why can you not see it? Did you think they would do it in exactly the same way again? You are being assailed through your emotions, to act first and think long after, and far too late.

    How *can* trained journalists (and experienced diplomats) be so lacking in the desire or ability to question what they are told? How come that they accept without hesitation reports which have not come from their own staff, but instead come from within terrifying war zones where gangs of fanatical murderers are the only law? One or two at least have the decency to refer to the new reports of gas attacks as ‘suspected’ or alleged, but most present them as established fact. ‘All the hallmarks’ means in such cases what?

    A professional army and high tech war that puts the suffering on others. Policies that demonstrably don’t work …And majorities that don’t want these wars…and yet here we are again….

    I see MSNBC “journalists” who have rather self righteously yammered on about McCarthyism (somehow I doubt they would have stood up back than….) yammer on about the “Russians” stealing our precious bodily fluids…uh, I mean elections….

    1. pretzelattack

      the guardian is chipping in, too, with 3 articles which don’t allow comments.

    2. fred

      Trust, do not verify. The MSM would never lie. A war with Russia is just the proof we need that Trump is not Putin’s president. Finally we can have the foreign policy Hilary and her backers always wanted. While you’re at it think of the children – and open the borders to let them in. Just don’t think of the children of the deplorables who’ll never see their fathers again because you needed to prove something to the press and their owners.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Popular reaction. Obama couldn’t pull it off, and Trump won’t either especially as “the resistance” twits can’t explain how they should tolerate SuperPutin prosecuting a war.

      Don’t forget Trump’s meeting with Xi. Putin is popular on the Chinese street and an ally of China. Xi might have to remind the Donald that Eurasian Integration was the direct result of US thuggery.

      There are enough people in Washington, believe It or not, who understand what downed American pilots being paraded through Damascus or sinking ships as a result of an obvious false flag mean.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      There have been rumblings for months over at the hedge about the establishment of an economic alliance between Russia and China involving the renminbi, gold, payment for oil, and the establishment of a system for the settlement of international payments that circumvents the u. s. controlled SWIFT system.

      While I don’t pretend to understand it all, this new alliance supposedly represents a possible challenge to the supremacy of the petrodollar, as well as a means of escaping international financial sanctions like the ones imposed on Iran (hundreds of billions of dollars held and recently returned by obama), which the u. s. enforces through the SWIFT system.

      Lots of weasel words in that last paragraph I know.

      In a foily moment, I wonder if it is pure coincidence that this most recent Syrian “gas” attack and renewed calls for Assad’s ouster by u. s. action, which necessarily involves a direct military confrontation with Russia, occurs at the same time that the Chinese premier is coming to Florida. Also too North Korea. The economic alliance between China and Russia has been reported by the boys in the fight club as rapidly becoming ready for prime time.

      Anybody else know anything about this? It wouldn’t be the first time that someone proposing an alternative to the petrodollar got himself and his country pulverized.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Kissinger played China and the Soviets against each other, and Trump was listening to him at some point if he’s not still around. Of course, Kissinger suffers from the same strain of American exceptionalism as the rest of Washington. I think there is a view that Russia and China can be cleaved preventing Eurasian alliance and economic bloc, an alliance that would negate US naval and economic power. After Iraq and Libya were destroyed and their leaders murdered, no one will buy this.

        The South Sea Islands project is a direct result of Obama’s very much publicized pivot to Asia which included the expansion and opening of new bases. The Russians and Chinese are not stupid and will not be impressed by Americans anymore If they were ever. Now, they won’t pretend Americans are secretly peace lovers.

      2. uncle tungsten

        The false flag gas attack occurred within 48 hours of Putin asserting that Russia had established an alternative to the Swift system of payments and boldly, radically and provocatively included a gold standard in the Russia/China/ anyone else second world order.

        I recall a bunch of North African nations under Qaddafi tutelage was about to move to a new exchange system with a gold standard. A week later he was under extreme threat.

    5. John k

      At least Msm thinks the 300 civies we killed in our recent air strike is six times worse than the 50 chem deaths… and the 1 mil Iraqi deaths 20k x worse…

  4. MoiAussie

    Re Idlib, the Express is screaming BREAKING: Chemical weapons WERE used in Syria. And the source of the “proof” cited is … Turkey’s Justice Minister. Other outlets, such as the loathsome Murdoch rag the Australian, don’t hesitate to claim Sleeping families dying in their beds after warplanes drop sarin gas. No evidence needed.

    It is Turkey that has set up camps in Idlib to train militants, and it was the Turkish secret service that was implicated in supplying the rebels that the UN accused of the Damascus gas attack.

    Hold onto your hats. What next? A simultaneous US-led strike on Damascus and Pyongyang?

    1. Harry

      Re IDLIB.

      Sic Semper Tyrannis Chuck L: “For months Col. Lang has been saying the most important thing the R+6 should do was to nip the ISIS build up in Idlib province in the bud.”

      Not ISIS. The other jihadi franchises like Nusra or whatever name they go by now.

  5. bob k

    No surprise that Bannon has been relegated to the second string. Trump has always managed his businesses as the “King of Chaos.” But more fundamentally, the Bannon defenestration (love that word!) represents bad counsel on Bannon’s part, i.e., the ease with which Trump could “deconstruct the state” AND the GOP. Trump mis-assessed that badly. Rather than drain the swamp, the swamp and the blob have taken The Donald. He is weakened and thrashing about. He gladly gives up Bannon. He will eventually fire Bannon. But beware Trump: this will be seen by many to have been inevitable since you knee capped Flynn. Your enemies, of which there are many, will not be satisfied with getting rid of an imbecilic ideologue who they see as an affront to their good taste. They will want more. And will take more.

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      1.) What exactly did Bannon bring to the table? Expertise? A web of owed favors? Ear of the donor class? He was supposed to activate and consolidate Trump’s base, but:

      2.) When the herrenvolk authoritarians and the plutocracy go at it with hammers, the plutocracy never does worse than inflicting a Pyrrhic victory. I was legit scared of Bannon at first because it seemed plausible that he would reforge a new coalition based on volkheit socialism, but that ain’t happening. The overclass just has its hooks too deep into the GOP to allow even a few crumbs to drop to the ethnonationalists.

      3.) Because 2.) ain’t happening, I think it’s pretty much inevitable that unless bailed out by a black swan, Trump becomes the next Jimmy Carter. The only real wild card at this point is the incompetence of the Democratic Party. They’re still throwing a temper tantrum five months later. I don’t know whether it’ll end up in disaster, with the Democrats unable to take advantage of Republican weakness (like in 1922) or with some young Turks crushing the establishment and forcing a new party orthodoxy (like in 1978) but it’s not looking good.

      1. fresno dan

        Deadl E Cheese
        April 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

        I don’t know if your the first to say it here, but I have been thinking it for a while – “Trump, the new Jimmy Carter”
        I predict instead of a “malaise” speech we will get in a couple of years a “many, MANY Yuge accomplishments speech” that will get mocked …more yugely than Carter’s malaise speech was….

        1. bob k

          Actually, “your humble blogger” Yves Smith had a post asserting this about a year before the election. How very prescient of her! And Corey Robin makes the same argument.

        2. pretzelattack

          yeah well people preferred to hear make america great again rhetoric to carter’s points about malaise and the dangers of oil. but unless some mideast country takes some american hostages and the democrats bribe them with weapons to hold them past the election, i don’t see trump becoming carter.

          1. bob k

            That’s was not the relevant point made by Yves or Robin. Rather it was that Trump, as Carter, was seen by his party as an outsider without the right pedigree to govern. One was a peanut farmer, one is a loud mouthed real estate mogul.

            Neither one had the right connections to the blob. Both surrounded themselves with close comrades from their home states, though Carter realized he did need Brezinski.

            And both were and have been blindsided by their party from the moment they took office.

            Neither were the natural choice of their party but came to power through a fortunate – for them – confluence of events.

            Finally, both were one termers and it seems that history is about to repeat itself again. Unless Trump is impeached (not because of Russia, for which there is no proof) for emoluments and/or corruption/nepotism.

            1. Deadl E Cheese

              The Brzezinski parallel is interesting, considering that I think he’s ultimately the reason why Carter’s policy towards Iran went down in flames.

              I wonder what disaster Mattis will unnecessarily lead Trump into in the pursuit of crackpot realism.

              1. Oregoncharles

                Bombing a Syrian gov’t airbase? They just did. Let’s hope they didn’t kill any Russians.

            2. gepay

              One must also remember that Carter had 800 CIA operatives fired. The CIA knew the Shah had cancer years before Carter learned it. One must remember October Surprise – read what Robert Parry (consortium news) has to say about it. or how the Rockefellers influenced the decision to admit the Shah. richard Helms after being fired by Nixon later became the ambassador to Iran. Richard Helms went to private school in Switerland with the Shah. Even with the malaise speech, without the Iran hostage situation he probably would have been reelected. Maybe he would have been better at dealing with the entrenched established interests with another 4 years. As it is, he is the best ex-President the US has produced.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        As to your third point:

        -2018 is the 2006 cycle when the Democrats swept to power. How did the Democrats win? Expanding the base and focusing on turnout, not wasting energy trying to get Republicans to to vote for Team Blue. Activists worked aggressively to win. McCaskill wasn’t begging for support. The Clinton stench was sidelined. Look at the Dems up for reelection, it’s a disgusting lot.

        There were six or seven House seats where Rahm had candidates in districts that went for both Gore/Kerry who managed to lose.

        Just look at the current special elections, only the candidate meant to appeal to “moderate Republicans” is receiving money. The Democrats are far too rotten as a party. “Voting against” has been the strategy in 2010 (McConnell and Boehner just say No!!! This is unprecedented!), 2014 (keep the Republicans from the Senate) , and 2016 where Hillary’s popular vote numbers are inflated by coastal California cities.

        The Team Blue elite are focused on prevention of candidates who might break their rice bowls first and foremost. 2018 will be a disaster.

        1. Deadl E Cheese

          After the Democratic Party underperforms in 2018, same as the GOP did in 1978, that’ll create a large opening for an organized populist movement. And unless Trump is caught in the mother of all scandals or economic disasters, they’re guaranteed to underperform. The Senate is just too far out of reach for the current composition of their coalition to overturn.

          I’m not a fan of electoralism, but it’s verly important for the anti-establishment Democrats (or whomever replaces them) to establish a base of support in municipal and state elections if they want to rid the party of the Clintonite stench in 2020.

        2. bob k

          ^ I have to agree. Nothing I’ve seen tells me the Dems have any intention of winning. I’d be surprised if they are backing the house candidate from Orange County CA. Makes me wonder if/when Sanders will assess its time to take what he can get out of the Dems and start another party. Its got to happen and will happen with or without Sanders.

  6. Uahsenaa

    What’s especially galling about Pugh’s rejection of the $15 minimum wage in Baltimore is that she campaigned specifically on the promise to enact it. Simple bait and switch, the ole neoliberal two step.

    1. j84ustin

      This time though I think the publicity is big and bad enough that she may actually have to pay for her bait and switch when she’s up for reelection.

      1. Katharine

        But that is three years off. Meanwhile, too many of the council backed off from the idea of override, so the measure is tabled for now.

        And the mayor and council all got an automatic raise at the beginning of the new term. It adds insult to injury that she talked about saving the taxpayers money by stiffing the city’s lowest paid workers after having accepted that generous salary as her due. (In fact, I see she had the gall to call it low!

  7. fresno dan

    Republicans Are Going to Wish Hillary Clinton Won New York Magazine. Resilc: “Doubt that”.

    I can very well see repubs wishing Hillary had won.

    UH, repubs REALLY want to repeal Obamacare? REALLY????? Uh, what’s stopping them?
    take your time……
    Repubs run NON STOP on b*tching and bellyaching about the “government”
    OK, fix the VA. Fix healthcare. Fix NAFTA…. (I won’t even get into what Trump says he wants versus what repubs say they want)

    BOTH parties like the rich getting richer and foreign wars and ever increasing surveillance – the nasty little secret is that they agree on a lot of thing….not prosecuting bankers…. Dems run against repubs, and repubs run against dems….

    1. RenoDino

      It looks like Hillary did win. The Globalist and Goldman are back in charge. Jared has seen to that. Hillbilly time is over.

        1. rich

          Goldman Sachs and the Deep State Have Taken Over the Trump Administration

          Let’s look at the ex-Goldman operators within the Trump White House:

          Gary Cohn – recently Goldman’s #2, is Trump’s chief economic advisor – who was granted an unprecedented accelerated payout of $285 Million in order to go work at the White House.

          – Staunch Democrat

          – Huge globalist, led Goldman delegation to restructure Greek debt during financial crisis, helping them hide debt from EU overseers in Brussels.

          – Head of the National Economic Council as of January 20th, 2017

          – Brought in Drew Quinn – lead negotiator of TPP

          Dina Habib Powell, another top Goldman alum and former president of the Goldman Sachs foundation:

          – Promoted to Deputy National Security Advisor on March 15th

          – Worked in the Bush II administration

          – Managing director at Goldman Sachs, named partner in 2010

          – Dina’s husband Richard Powell is president at Clinton-linked Teneo

          – Bill Clinton is/was a Teneo advisor

          – Wikileaks emails reveal a deep and profitable relationship between Teneo, Doug Band, and the Clintons

          – Teneo hired Huma Abedin while she was a State Dept. employee.

          Nah, nothing to see here.

          The future isn’t looking bright, and the only way Trump can politically get away with all this is if his supporters stay silent about it. Let’s hope they don’t.

  8. MoiAussie

    Most Americans unwilling to give up privacy to thwart attacks says Reuters. But they don’t seem much bothered that congress has just killed off internet privacy rules, allowing ISP’s to sell your browsing history. Sure, goggle and facebork et al already sell stuff related to your dealings with them, but your ISP knows everything you do online, every page you visit, and what all your cute IOT devices are doing, unless you go to rather extreme lengths.
    While the current discussion is around selling your browsing history to advertisers, it seems they could sell it to anyone willing to stump up the cash. Your crazed ex- or wannabe lover for example. Crims scouting for recent expensive purchases to be whisked away while you take that weekend break. Etc.

  9. fresno dan

    What Gorsuch Means Matt Stoller, Baffler. Important

    But whether Gorsuch is a decent man, and whether Obama “deserved” a Supreme Court pick is beside the point. The fate of our rights as citizens, workers, patients, and businesspeople is the core question. And what this highly choreographed, deferential song and dance revealed is that an insular clique operates our machinery of governance, one that stretches across both parties, and that on the critical issue of unaccountable concentrations of power, legal elites in both the Democrat and Republican parties stand with big finance.

    In 1977, the court began striking down the ability of the government to enforce antitrust rules on any but the narrowest of grounds. It hasn’t stopped since, and the high court’s allergy to antitrust is not a legal doctrine that’s an exclusive conservative franchise. The Trinko decision in 2004, which government lawyers have routinely cited as the precedent enabling them to shun the prosecution of any monopolization cases over the past fifteen years, was a unanimous ruling.

    Here’s How They Play Monopoly in America, and Who Wins Bloomberg. Bob K: “Anti-trust cases at all time lows during Bush-Obama admins.”
    Sheer coincidence…..mere statistical anomalies…..a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without ANY causal connection, a conjunction of circumstances due to PURE happenstance…..and if you don’t believe that, your a conspiracy kook!

    Putting on my three layer Reynolds aluminum hat, and getting out my Glenn Beck whiteboard, I tells ya:IT IS A CONSPIRACY!!!
    being paranoid and being correct are not mutually exclusive….

    1. Marco

      Another “wonderfully clarifying” tidbit from the Stoller’s article…

      “…Both Ruth Bader GINSBURG and Stephen BREYER are acolytes of conservative jurist Bork on antitrust, and joined Scalia’s majority opinion in Trinko..”

      But their Identarian credentials are STELLAR so we can forgive them.

      1. fresno dan

        April 6, 2017 at 10:22 am

        When you judge (ha ha – inadvertent pun!) …uh, judges by what they do and not by their inconsequential, and I believe deliberately so, “liberal/conservative” labels, it all becomes very clear. But the only important CRITERIA, protecting the MONEY of the rich and never ever impeding them getting richer is never ever discussed.
        The statue of “justice” being blind is correct – she never sees that the scale is loaded down on the side of the moneyed…..

    2. diptherio

      Stoller’s article is good until the last two paragraphs, where it seems like he just runs out of ideas….suggesting that Congress reign in a Supreme Court that is captured by corporate interests is, frankly, a little bizarre. It’s like saying only Lex Luther can save us from the Joker. I mean, after Gilens and Page who in their right mind thinks that Congress is going to throw off their corporate overlords and start serving the people? Seriously?

      Or maybe he’s just dryly pointing out how well and truly f-ed we are, when our best hope is that the corporate shills in Congress will push back against the corporate shills on the court…

      1. RabidGandhi

        And then there’s the wow finish:

        If the public starts to demand that the Supreme Court serves democracy instead of concentrated financial power, it will do so. The question is whether Democrats will lead the American people in that direction.

        Is there really any sentient being for whom that is an open question?

      2. ChrisPacific

        He didn’t connect the dots as well as he could have and he gave the Democrats too much credit, but I think his point was that Congress is accountable to voters while the Supreme Court isn’t. So public opinion can, in theory, influence the Supreme Court by influencing Congress to do so on the public’s behalf.

        Granted Congress is corrupt and and at the mercy of the broken two-party system. But things haven’t progressed so far that they can get away with ignoring voters entirely. Yes, the Democrat party can continue to get fat off big donors while losing elections by ever greater margins, but there is a limit to how long they can credibly pretend to be a left wing opposition party while doing so. Eventually something else will rise up to fill the resulting void, and when it does it will probably happen pretty quickly if the Democrats have completely abdicated. If you think democracy in America is doomed then I guess there’s nothing to do but bide your time until the barricades go up, but I don’t think we are at that point yet (Sanders and Trump are both counterexamples in their own way).

  10. Carolinian

    Re Stoller/Gorsuch–so are the Dems going to filibuster because Gorsuch is a corporate stooge or because they are worried about identity politics issues such as abortion and gay rights? From Stoller’s own description of Breyer and Ginsburg it sounds like being a corporate stooge is no impediment. What makes him think Dem poohbahs like Schumer even care about antitrust?

    It is interesting though that Congress has so many mechanisms for limiting the Supreme Court’s power. One wonders why the Democrats didn’t make use of them when they actually had the ability to do so. It’s possible that they like the undemocratic nature of the court just fine when decisions go their way, just as the Federal Reserve’s supposed independence from popular passion is hailed as necessary when the right political interests are being served.

    All of which is to say there are grounds for cynicism about this “stand on principle.”

    1. marym

      Agree. Also, if the Dems care about identity and social issues they ought to have filibustered Sessions, a clear and present danger.

      Jeff Sessions’s Blind Eye
      The new attorney general makes it clear that when it comes to abuses in local policing, Americans are now on their own.

      On March 31, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was cynically sold by his defenders as a champion of civil rights, ordered a review of the Justice Department’s approach to policing, asserting that “it is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies.” During his confirmation hearing, Sessions said federal investigations of police departments were bad for “morale,” and waved away the idea that police abuses could be systemic, rather than the actions of a few bad apples.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Dems will filibuster because they blamed 2009-2010 on the filibuster, and they need to make a show for their marks. Can you imagine how Democratic voters living on the edge or off the edge will react if they figure out what a scam the filibuster is? They may try a bipartisan gang of a random number to break the filibuster without going nuclear because the filibuster works for both sides

      They will have to make a show especially against the “First Order” as the Dims are “the Resistance.” Yes, I have no doubt this branding was an attempt to associate the Democrats with another popular brand, Star Wars. It’s been done before.

    3. John Wright

      One can remember one prominent Democrat who had a heavy hand in getting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas confirmed.

      That was Senate Judiciary committee head Joseph Biden of Delaware.

      During the Senate hearings, Biden marginalized Anita Hill and helped Thomas get the supreme court seat.

      One of many actions that made Biden, in his mind, presidential timber.

      Perhaps the statement about Democrats is accurate with a simple spelling change.

      If one cares to look at Democrats’ actions long enough, the Democrats do “stand on (financial) principal”..

    4. curlydan

      Stoller: “The good news here is that the public is getting wise to this game, and so are Senate Democrats.” I wish I could agree with Stoller here with regard to the Senate Democrats (and there’s a lot of great info in his article), but I think the (D) Senators haven’t learned much and are just PO’ed about Garland (as they should be). If Scalia had died a year later, Mr. “golly gee Senator” Gorsuch would be grudgingly approved because he’s just another smooth talking white guy.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      RE: “…Congress has so many mechanisms for limiting the Supreme Court’s power…”

      Stoller mentions that the Supreme court basically legalized usury in the late 70s without supplying much in the way of context. The reason interest rates on credit cards were raised is because the Fed rate at the time was higher than what credit card companies were legally allowed to charge so something had to give. Either allow higher rates or the credit card companies go out of business.

      I may be mistaken, but I always thought it was Congress, either in one of the states or the US Congress, that initially allowed the usury limits to be raised. The problem started when they neglected to lower them once Volcker was done and interest rates went back down. So it does seem like the Court shouldn’t shoulder all the blame for this – Congress could have done something had they wanted to.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Thanks – I tried to find the decision but came up empty. My memory hasn’t completely turned to swiss cheese yet.

          They didn’t limit the Supremes because they didn’t want to. Quelle surprise.

    1. Marina Bart

      She blocked me, and I don’t feel like going to another device to get around it. Synopsis?

      1. ChrisAtRU

        Pro Tip: Just open link in an incognito window (unless you’re logged on to Twitter in one). She’s blocked me too … ;-)

        It opens with:
        “Did we need another of these editorials? The paranoia [towards a Clinton leadership ostensibly] is astounding.”
        … and let’s just say it’s all downhill from there.

  11. Carla

    Re: Cohn backing split of investment and lending banks — the key may be in the word “updated”:

    “White House officials haven’t said what an updated version of Glass-Steagall might look like.”

    Looking back, I get the impression that a great deal of deregulation of the banking industry was accomplished during the 80s and 90s, and the actual removal of Glass-Steagall just put the tippy-top-most layer on the celebratory cake. Is that assessment generally correct? If so, G-S may indeed have to be “updated,” although the prospect makes me queasy.

    1. John Zelnicker

      @fresno dan – I heard long ago that English is the second hardest language for someone to learn as a foreign language. Only Turkish is considered more difficult.

      1. MoiAussie

        Well actually, the degree of difficulty rather depends on what your first language is. Learning English isn’t so tough for Germans or Dutch. For English speakers, Hungarian, Finnish, Mandarin and Korean are meant to be pretty tough.

        1. bob k

          always amazed at how the nordic countries speak English with nary a hint of an accent. Is it because they are taught at an early age. I know this because I watch a lot of nordic noir (The Bridge, The Killing, Wallander, Borgen, etc.) and there always comes a point at which someone enters from another country and the dialogue flips to English. Or witness the brothers Mikkelson in “Hourse of Cards” and “Hannibal.”

            1. bob k

              Hmmm, I see I have made the mistake of isolating my narrow experience of nordic speakers of English with whole populations. Bad! and thank you MoiAussie for gently taking me to task.

              There is naturally a progression from the adorable young girl to the 20-something who can manipulate her accents. But even the younger girl is pretty accomplished and miles ahead of an American kid. But I guess that’s to be expected when America is the world hegemon and all must learn the language of empire, errrr, I mean business. Yes, business.

            2. John Zelnicker

              @MoiAussie – The Nordic, lilting accent is absolutely charming. On the other hand, I have heard that non-Nordic speakers can never quite get the lilting rhythm of Nordic languages quite right. Only native speakers seem to be able to do it correctly.

          1. John Zelnicker

            @bob k – When I was in Europe back in 1971, the Nordic students I met told me that they are taught their first foreign language starting in the first grade, the next one starting in the third grade and by the time they finish secondary education they have to be fluent in five languages other than their own. At the time the common set was English, French, German, Spanish and one of the student’s choosing. (Secondary education in most of Europe is the equivalent of a 2-year Associate’s Degree in the U.S.)

            Learning foreign languages at an early age results in little or no accent because brain patterns are still very malleable and the vocal cords and speech physiology haven’t been locked in.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In Turkish, do they have the same problem as this:

        I sanction your sanction.

        Am I on your side or not on your side? Am I approving of your being penalized, or your penalizing someone else? Am I punishing you for approving something or someone? Am I approving of your approval?

        1. John Zelnicker

          @MyLessThanPrimeBeef – I think the issue with Turkish is the number of verb tenses and the number of exceptions to the rules of Turkish grammar, which is a major part of the problem with English.

      3. fresno dan

        John Zelnicker
        April 6, 2017 at 9:33 am

        For tuna ly (I don’t understand why tuna are considered lucky) I speak ‘merican, but not too goodly – I don’t think I could learn English

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          For most people, their first language is the body language.

          “When I cry, I get milk. Got it!”

          Or does it mean “I need a new diaper?”

          In any case, life starts out and goes on in a mess like that.

          Then, the parents teach them another language, Canadian, Gibberish (if they are Gibbers), English, Thai, etc.

          1. fresno dan

            April 6, 2017 at 11:03 am

            I am very much afear that in a few years when I cry I won’t get any milk or a new diaper….

      4. Buttinsky

        The peculiarity of English is that it is very easy to learn a little English. Its stripped-down grammar and monosyllabic Anglo-Saxon base lend themselves to a quickly acquired pidgin. The fluency of a native, on the other hand, is almost impossible. The pronunciation is erratic (almost any unstressed vowel can get reduced to a schwa), while its scanty formal rules mask an amazingly complex structure. Do you use an infinitive or participle when one verb follows another? “He likes to swim” or “He likes swimming” — but only “He dislikes swimming” sounds authentic, and never anything but “He wants to swim.” There is no memorizable general rule for any of this.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting that learning English as a second language is not more difficult than learning it as a 10th language.

      In fact, the latter might be easier.

      As for palindromes, I’ve always said Life is Not a Palindrome. Indeed, I made a pottery plate of that saying. It’s in my house somewhere.

      Because looking back at life when one is 90 is not the same as looking at it from the other direction when one was 18.

      Also the spelling.

      I am thinking of making some retirement money putting that observation on 100% organic cotton T-shirts.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      An interesting English word is ‘man.’

      The visual origin theory for the word ‘man,’ goes like this:

      1. ‘w’ is, visually, a human head with his two arms raised.
      2. ‘m’ is upside ‘w.’
      3. ‘a’ is a torso with a tail.
      4. ‘n’ denotes the lower half, or the two legs.

      Thus, ‘man’ is a bowing person (with a tail).

      In my opinion, this is a rather weak theory…the alphabet being an import, via Latin.

      The word, woman, has two origination theories.

      1. the verbal origin theory – woe + man.
      2. the visual origin theory. That is, it is a human anatomy theory. A woman is a man plus ‘w’ plus ‘o.’

      Both theories presuppose ‘man’ (the word) was created before ‘woman’ (the word).

      1. Katharine

        These theories are evidently divorced from data. Woman is descended from wifman, back in the era when man denoted the generic type and wif the specific we now refer to as woman.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It looks like:

          Man is a truncation of wapman, the plural of ‘were’ (an old word for adult male) and originally was gender neutral or referred to the abstract (man v god type situation). “Were” would have been used for the Individual.

          Wyf was old English for adult woman but became a catchall for lower class female spouses as lords and ladies would have had titles and would be identified versus nameless peasants. The changing meaning of wyf necessitated a new word for adult female, woman.

          Since the letter ‘w’ is involved, Tolkien did the academic work on the etymology. The languages in Lord of the Rings are coded test languages for how in between languages to avoid his own prejudice when tracing the development of the English language.

        2. craazyboy

          “Woman is descended from wifman”

          There we go. “Wife”! Or short for “wife of man”. Bingo.

          This means we were on to something when we use the term, “wimens”!

          But you just can’t make everyone happy.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I’ve suspected the soundness of the woe-man origin theory.

            Only male-chauvinists appreciate a joke like that.

      2. John Zelnicker

        @MyLessThanPrimeBeef – In the 4th or 5th grade I was caught annoying a girl in my class and was assigned to write a paper about women and how to relate to them appropriately. I started with the verbal origin you mention, that woman is “woe for man” and created woe for me because I didn’t behave right. That’s all I remember about the paper, but the teacher got a laugh out of it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I may have to return to the dating game one day, and upon reflection, I confess I should not have brought it up.

          “Hope I am still eligible.”

  12. rich

    Just How Much Is a Medical Miracle Worth?
    Years of costly treatments could give way to pricier one-shot cures like Spark Therapeutics’ blindness drug. But insurers aren’t ready.

    Sofia Priebe, 14, is slowly going blind. Her parents were devastated when they were told there’s no treatment for the genetic mutation that’s causing her retinas to deteriorate. For the dozen years since Sofia received that diagnosis, her mother has lived every parent’s nightmare—being powerless to help her suffering child.

    Now a gene therapy for a similar form of blindness is expected to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval this year, and Laura Manfre, Sofia’s mom, is holding out hope that her daughter may soon get treatment as well. “We don’t really care what it costs,” she says.
    But how much is a miracle really worth? A million dollars? Five million? More? And who will pay and how? It’s one of the most vexing challenges confronting drug and insurance companies as modern medicine advances, spurred by research on the human genome.

    Some new treatments, such as Spark’s retina drug, are intended to work with just one shot—promising a lifetime cure from a single, costly treatment. Insurers don’t dispute the worth of cures in the pipeline but say they’re not equipped to pay one large sum upfront.
    Insurers are “used to paying rent for health, and we’re asking them to buy a houseful of cure,” says Mark Trusheim, a visiting scientist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management who’s leading a working group to explore financing models for upcoming drugs, drawing from examples in the housing market and activist hedge funds.

    How the payment debate plays out will determine not only whether patients will be able to gain access to these treatments but also how hard drugmakers will push to develop other transformative medicines. “Why is it that there are not more cures?”

    Tell me what it’s worth if you were the one that was blind. Everyone wants an annuity…notice the advisers.. send the bill to the Fed?…let them do something good with the printing press for a change.

    1. fresno dan

      April 6, 2017 at 10:23 am

      I read an article a while back about light bulbs. When light bulbs first came out, it didn’t take long to make light bulbs that could last ….years.
      “Light bulb companies like Shelby once prided themselves on longevity — so much so, that the durability of their products was the central focus of marketing campaigns. But by the mid-1920s, business attitudes began to shift, and a new rhetoric prevailed: “A product that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business.” This line of thought, termed “planned obsolescence,” endorsed intentionally shortening a product’s lifespan to entice swifter replacement. ”

      Remaking light-bulbs to keep people employed…..retreating patients to keep doctors employed….maybe this price system isn’t all that effective or efficient….

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why I Introduced the College for All Act Pramila Jayapal, Nation

    …and ensure that we go back to allowing people to go to college tuition-free.

    That’s what our bill does. The College for All Act takes the agreement we built into the 2016 Democratic Party platform and codifies it into legislation.

    It’s not rocket science.

    The bill creates a federal-state partnership where the federal government provides 2/3 of the cost of college tuition for all students and the state provides 1/3. We do this for families earning up to $125,000 per year—which covers about 80 percent of students.

    By the way, our plan also recognizes the unaffordability of non-tuition costs—fees, books, housing—and allows for students who receive maximum Pell Grant awards to apply them to those expenses.

    It’s about free college.

    Not college for all, as in mandatory college, so that all will attend, like high school.

    Without college for all, free college would be just one more inequality – those who get in will be further ahead (1. the career training itself, 2. the money not given to those who can’t get in).

    I think we go the other way. Reduce mandatory courses in high school to history, US government, nutrition and other essential courses. Computer programming and other career preparation courses are to be provided by corporations that will benefit from thusly trained future employees.

    Let Goldman Sachs pay for accounting or calculus that their future traders need. That means, they would have to pre-select before 18, students based on their psychological, emotional and spiritual qualifications.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe they wait then.

        After 18, pay for their calculus classes. Right now, too many classes students don’t need immediately but can be pursued as life long learning, and not enough of those they really need right away when their growing years (like how to eat healthy).

        The key point is, I think, free health care, free essential-to-survival stuff, and free college later.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe I hope too much, but maybe, just maybe some signs.

      1. On the H1B visa front
      2. Continuing IC/foreign policy establishment discontent with Trump – if not progress, at least creating blocks.
      3. Wall Street split
      4. Health care reform still alive
      5. Already no TPP
      6. Maybe changing NAFTA
      7. Big meeting with Xi today.

      1. olga

        Oh, and that Syria thing… let’s lie about some sarin attacks so that we may bomb Syria into oblivion – how quickly things change…

  14. justanotherprogressive

    “April the Giraffe is going to give birth any day now” aka “How to make money stringing people along”. I seriously wonder how long this private zoo thought they could keep people on the hook, visiting their websites, sending money to GoFundMe or buying their merchandise. Realistically, this isn’t April’s first calf so the zoo has a pretty good idea when she’s going to foal – it is just that the public doesn’t have a clue. No April is NOT six weeks overdue……
    I expected that private zoo to string people along for a month, but apparently they figured they could get away with it for about two months (maybe more?)…..
    Perhaps I’ve spent too much time around cows…..

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Most Americans unwilling to give up privacy to thwart attacks: Reuters/Ipsos poll R

    Most people are also unwilling to give up jobs to facilitate cheaper imports.

    1. optimader

      Most Americans unwilling to give up privacy to thwart attacks

      “Attacks ” come in many forms. Maybe it is being recognized a false equivalency?

      The Soviet Union was a very safe place, but who wants that?

  16. Skip Intro

    Policies believed to stabilize the financial system may actually do the opposite, study finds

    (—Researchers have found that some of the current financial policies aimed at increasing the stability of financial networks may actually be driving them toward instability. The problem arises because these policies typically focus on the stability of individual banks—but due to the complex nature of networks, what’s good for individual banks may not be good for the banking system as a whole.
    The good news is that the results may make it easier to assess the stability of the financial system, since they suggest that regulatory authorities should be focusing on the big picture (composed of market-scale information that is freely available), and not details from individual banks (which require lots of data and the continued cooperation of banks to supply it).

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nivea’s ‘White Is Purity’ ad campaign did not end well Chicago Tribune (resilc). Regionally targeted ads do not stay regional! But sadly, for instance, Japanese and Indian models are (or are shot and made up to look) more pale faced than is typical for their countries.

    The Japanese Kanji for emperor is 天皇.

    The Chinese original for emperor (coined by the First Emperor) is 皇帝.

    The 皇 in both Kanji and the Chinese comes from the Three Sovereigns (from Wikipedia, Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors):

    The following appear in different groupings of the Three Sovereigns: Fuxi (伏羲), Nüwa (女媧), Shennong (神農), Suiren (燧人), Zhurong (祝融), Gong Gong (共工), Heavenly Sovereign (天皇), Earthly Sovereign (地皇), Tai Sovereign (泰皇), Human Sovereign (人皇), and even the Yellow Emperor (黄帝).

    Further, clicking on the hyperlinks, we find

    Fuxi ([fu˧˥ ɕi˥]; Chinese: 伏羲), also romanized as Fu-hsi, is a culture hero in Chinese legend and mythology, credited (along with his sister Nü Wa) with creating humanity and the invention of hunting, fishing and cooking as well as the Cangjie system of writing Chinese characters c. 2,000 BC.

    Shennong has been thought to have taught the ancient Chinese not only their practices of agriculture, but also the use of herbal drugs.

    Zhurong is a god of fire and of the south.

    They are all 皇, and the word itself is made up of two parts, each part a word itself:
    白 and 王. The first means white; the second, king.

    Chinese and Kanji being visual symbols in origin (mostly, originally, not all), subconsciously, reading the word emperor is a constant reminder the emperor is a white king. It drills into the brain that white is somehow superior.

  18. LT

    Re: Politico and Case-Deaton article…

    They lean on that higher education angle really hard.
    But that also runs into problems as the solution and not only because of debt that can be piled on from attaining higher ed.
    If having a degree of some kind makes one stand out as a prospect, the more degrees, the bigger the pool of labor with degrees that becomes surplus.
    And at the end of the day, it’s because the non-college educated make less money that the stresses come in a consumer and financial sector oriented society.

    1. flora

      and a bit more about the Pittsburg, KS principle story:

      “Maddie Baden, a 17-year-old Pittsburg High junior, said the student news staff began looking into Robertson’s background after an electronic search of her name turned up several articles published by Gulf News about an English language school connected to Robertson in Dubai.

      “The 2012 articles said Dubai’s education authority had suspended the license for Dubai American Scientific School and accused Robertson of not being authorized to serve as principal of that school. The private, for-profit school received an “unsatisfactory” rating on Dubai education authority inspection reports every year from 2008 to 2012 and was closed in September 2013.

      “That raised a red flag,” Baden said. “If students could uncover all of this, I want to know why the adults couldn’t find this..”

  19. lyman alpha blob


    The candidate Katie Porter has –

    “…already earned the endorsements of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was her law school professor, and Sen. Kamala Harris, who appointed her to monitor the mortgage settlement.”

    If she’s been endorsed by the bank-friendly Harris, how serious is she really about cracking down on banks?

    1. craazyboy

      I thought, if anything is photoshoped, that pic is. Looks to me like someone had a pic of Nancy Pelosi on a windy day and combined it with a piglet.

  20. Oregoncharles

    “Potentially explosive methane gas mobile in groundwater, poses safety risk: study PhysOrg”

    This does happen naturally. My parents owned an ancestral farm in Illinois, quite near U of Illinois. There was gas in the well water. I tried to get them to collect it and use it – the farm used a lot of gas. Also it was a nuisance. No explosions, far as I know, but the sputtering when you turned on the tap was impressive.

    There were abandoned coal fields fairly near, which I suspect were the source of the gas.

  21. Fighting Bob

    Crazyman why?

    Why does it always come down to a woman’s look,
    a woman’s looks, a woman’s looks, a woman’s looks.

    What is going on?

    There are thousands of reasons to diss Nancy Pelosi but increasingly on this wonderful site these snot, fifth grade comments are published that come down to a woman’s looks, a woman’s looks, a woman’s looks.

    Yves, are you cool with this?

    What gives?

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Easy there, Bob.
      Of all the things going on in the world, is this really where you want to put your anger?

    2. Aumua

      It fits right in with the new national attitude, doesn’t it? Lighten up, man. Our president does it, so what’s the big deal?

    3. vidimi

      while i agree with you in principle, that comment, if it is the comment i think you’re referring to, is no more sexist than saying that dubya looked like a chimp.

  22. Oregoncharles

    “What Gorsuch Means Matt Stoller, Baffler. Important”

    Wouldn’t we have to win some elections first? The conclusion seems riddled with wishful thinking.

  23. ChrisAtRU

    I really love it when the flow of posted articles articulates a subtle point (-counterpoint).

    I this case, the Palley article talking about the Euro morass and the need to restore fiscal space is artfully balanced against the following article about Sweden where the discussion opens with:

    “Motives behind the changes
    The most important motives presented for a regime shift were a desire to increase effectiveness in public sector activities and to limit expenditure increases. In the longer perspective demographic changes were foreseen that would entail a growing dependency burden on the working population, and it was considered necessary both to limit total expenditure and increase the efficiency of resource use in the public sector.”

    Government spending/inefficiency as the bogey-man that only the private sector can solve is one of the cornerstones of corporate welfare.


  24. Oregoncharles

    ” “Green and GOP candidates join to file federal lawsuit to void election in Philly’s 197th district. Honkala had many hundreds of volunteers but only ended up with 282 votes versus the Democrat’s 1,970. The GOP candidate got 198.””

    Who said the big-city machines were dead?

  25. KC

    2% is just a number – the more important aspect is the underlying factors that drive this number. If Germany’s economic has improved in its quality, consolidating older industries and investing into new growth areas that could contribute to future sustainable growth, 2% GDP growth could be described as ‘robust’. Compare this 2% to China’s 7%, which would we prefer?

Comments are closed.