Links 4/8/17

Scientists finally figured out why whales leap into the air Quartz

The Arctic Ocean Is Becoming More Like the Atlantic Ocean Scientific American

Exclusive: U.S. regulator removes top examiner for Wells Fargo – sources Reuters

Principles for Financial Regulatory Reform William C. Dudley, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

How Hackers Hijacked a Bank’s Entire Online Operation Wired

WikiLeaks just dropped the CIA’s secret how-to for infecting Windows Ars Technica

Six Patterns Behind the US Productivity Slowdown The Conversable Economist

The Economy May Be Stuck in a Near-Zero World NYT

Uber said to use “sophisticated” software to defraud drivers, passengers Quartz

Wise Sued for Selling Mostly Empty Bags of Potato Chips Grub Street


Trump touts progress but no breakthrough after meeting with China’s Xi USA Today

China’s President Xi gets an awkward front-row seat to U.S. military might Los Angeles Times

China’s press has been relatively mute on the Trump-Xi summit—here’s why CNBC

China tightens collateral rules involving corporate bonds amid rising defaults Reuters

Montana Mines to Test Trump Team’s Appetite for China Deals Bloomberg

Chinese specufestors turn to the dead Macrobusiness (and a parallel story from India).


UK steps back from Brexit cliff edge FT

Post-Brexit-vote surge for UK economy comes to an end Guardian

Aviation sector will be at sharp end of Brexit battle Irish Times

Geologists unveil how Britain first separated from Europe – and it was catastrophic The Conversation

Spain: Boom to bust and back again FT

Amendment allows Greek farmers to purchase, lease state land they’ve cleared, cultivated for decades Naftemporiki

New Cold War

Third World War: the beginning? Defend Democracy Press

The Impending Clash Between the U.S. and Russia Counterpunch

Why Is Trump Embracing Establishment GOP Foreign Policy? The National Interest

Last Fall’s Efforts against Russia: Influence versus Tamper emptywheel


Trump Fires Missiles on Syrian Airbase Ian Welsh

Seven Lessons From Trump’s Syria Strike David Frum, The Atlantic

The Daily 202: 13 questions raised by Trump’s missile strikes on Syria WaPo

Elites Are Giddy Over Trump’s Airstrike in Syria, and That’s Terrifying Slate (Re Silc).

Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment Robert Parry, Consortium News

The Constitutionality of the Syria Strike Through the Eyes of OLC (and the Obama Administration) Lawfare (CL).

Congress is finally united: It wants a Syria plan from Trump McClatchy

Demobilizing America Tom Dispatch

Trump Transition

Tense Senate Confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court Roll Call

Afternoon round-up: Senate confirms Gorsuch SCOTUSblog

Bipartisan pitch to save filibuster gets 61 senators’ endorsement Politico

EPA staffer leaves with a bang, blasting agency policies under Trump WaPo

Courts are formidable obstacle to rolling back police agreements USA Today (DK).

Trump’s not the new Hitler… he’s the new Kaiser Bill Andrew J. Bacevich, The Spectator

The H-1B visa cap tells you very little about how many H-1B visas there are Quartz

Immigration Mechanisms Stumbling and Mumbling

‘Job-killing’ Obamacare actually created 240,000 well-paying healthcare jobs Los Angeles TImes

Our Famously Free Press

Google rolls out new ‘Fact Check’ tool worldwide to combat fake news Christian Science Monitor (Furzy Mouse). “A network of 115 fact-checking organizations will provide the accuracy assessment for dubious articles, rather than Google providing the fact-checking service itself… Google hopes that the range of opinions from different sources will give users an idea of the ‘degree of consensus’ on any dubious claims.” Of course, the “degree of consensus” that Saddam had WMDs was near 100%, so Google would have suppressed the skeptics who turned out to be right.

NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims Consortium News. Here too Google’s algo would have flagged stories outside the official consensus as fake news.

Five Top Papers Run 18 Opinion Pieces Praising Syria Strikes–Zero Are Critical FAIR (Furzy Mouse).

Cost-cutting BBC drops international news agency Associated Press citing “financial pressures” CityAM

Class Warfare

Money to burn: As the wealthy get wealthier, carbon emissions grow in US states

Why do colleges still give preference to children of alumni? WaPo

New Report on Car Insurance Redlining Credit Slips

U.S. South, not just Mexico, stands in way of Rust Belt jobs revival Reuters

Lysenko: Cautionary Soviet-Era Tale Of How Tragically Politics Can Pervert Science WBUR

Tearing Down Science’s Citation Paywall, One Link at a Time Wired (DK).

California’s Drought Emergency Is Finally Over, But Its Impact May Last Forever Buzzfeed

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Jim Haygood

    “Five major US newspapers—the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News—offered no opinion space to anyone opposed to Donald Trump’s Thursday night airstrikes.”

    It’s 2003 all over again, with the Enemy MSM lined up in lockstep to support another war based entirely on lies.

    That year I cancelled every single media subscription I had, including the British publications, and have never given the MSM another penny of revenue.

    Guy in WalMart promoting some streaming service asked me yesterday, “What kind of TV service do you have?”

    “I don’t have a TV,” I informed him. “I’m outta the loop.”

    “That’s cool,” he replied. He’s got a future in sales. :-)

    1. Carolinian

      No TV? How do you watch Wolf?

      Some of us survive nicely on a diet of Blitzer-free OTA.

    1. MoiAussie

      Like many executives in the fulfillment industry, Jentoft argues that warehouses face a shortage of labor. “The biggest challenge in the industry is trying to find the quality people,”

      the quality people being those willing to be slaves.

      1. clinical wasteman

        That how the “challenged” “industry” Overseers see it, for sure.
        Happily though, the workers themselves don’t always see it that way, at least in the sprawling logistics zones in the “edgelands” of London and other UK cities. See this great site [], which is produced entirely by “precarious” workers in warehouses, retail, light industry and the most despised “services”. For this reason and also, crucially, because it talks about immigration and labor from the viewpoint of immigrant workers and their non-immigrant peers, I can’t recommend it highly enough. But don’t let that put you off. Anyway, it turns out that one of their main weapons is collective withholding, sabotaging or degrading exactly the sort “quality” that’s meant here.

        1. Portia

          this is not helpful at all, in fact. it helps legitimize employer antipathy to employees and wastes capital

          one of their main weapons is collective withholding, sabotaging or degrading exactly the sort “quality” that’s meant here.

          1. witters

            “… it helps legitimize employer antipathy to employees and wastes capital”

            It don’t need no ‘legitimation’ beyond capital good/labour bad. Think of that as a basic point.

      2. Portia

        people get tired and need to rest, and their attention wavers from the job, and they expect to get paid, have time off, get sick pay and health insurance, and on and on and on. that’s about as poor quality “worker” as you can get. the job does not exist for the worker, after all, it exists for the enrichment of the owners and shareholders

        1. Octopii

          Well, that’s true – in our economic system jobs are not for workers. So let’s carry that to its logical extension, acknowledge it, and choose/develop something that works better for society. Which is I think something most non-C-suite people are generally interested in seeing and doing.

          1. Portia

            we have to adjust the learned mentality about jobs and living perpetrated by those who want cheap, incurious, compliant labor coupled with “good consumers”. a lot of brainwashing to undo.

          2. LT

            Yeah, wait until the bot is created that will buya car it can’t afford to impress another bot, takes out insurance in case it gets a virus, pays for a loan to afford the new upgrade to be competitive with other bots….

          3. LT

            And will bots go out to a restaurant to eat? What kind if jewelry and clothes will they buy?

            Just fun questions to imagine how this imagined, massive social engineering is going to work out.
            Who will it benenfit and exactly how many human consumers will this imagined tech utopia need?

            I just think of how much massive “wealth” is generated in passive income and wonder how smooth the fantastical change will be.

            1. Procopius

              I am not an economist, but I think when people got no jobs, got no money, the Masters of the Universe aren’t gonna be able to sell all the stuff we don’t need. That’s why Nestle is buying all the water sources it can and locking as much in as it can with long term leases. When it gets hotter, you’re gonna need that water. California should be having another drought in a couple years.

        2. clinical wasteman

          Complete agreement about what jobs are for. The cynical denial of this basic antagonism — the pretense that there’s something in it for the worker other than the wage, or that the squandering of her life somehow edifies her, or worst of all, that it’s her duty — is one of the ugliest things about economic, education and welfare policy of the last few decades. And yes, it’s true that many employers regard even the assertion of the basic needs mentioned as insufferably poor ‘quality’ on workers’ part, but lately it seems that even when they manage to withhold all those things except a semblance of a wage (unless of course you’re working for free on a mandatory workfare scheme), they always find some other defect to punish their ‘people’ for, eg. failing to look happy and excited at all times, failure to be on call at all hours, lack of ‘ambition’/’initiative’ etc. None of these latter kinds of “quality” is paid for, except inasmuch as workers are made to compete against each other on undefinable terms like these for the ‘privilege’ of staying in the job. It’s these sorts of “quality” (most often extorted by the sort of employer that calls workers “Our People”) that I’m all for sabotaging. If your boss demands these things it’s too late to say “don’t provoke him”: you’re already choking on his antipathy, all the more so if he thinks he’s doing you a favour. And as for wasting capital, it’s hard to imagine outdoing most “service sector” functions and a fair few branches of production in that respect, and impossible for that waste ever to come near the colossal waste of labour/human time/potential constituted by most jobs, precisely for the reason that they “exist for the enrichment of the owners and shareholders”.
          Having said all that, I should have added a less flippant disclaimer to the original post, to the effect that: AWW are not to blame for my one-sentence summation. Even if you detest every word here and in that first post, it’s only my words that are detestable — those of AWW are totally different. I thought it was worth mentioning on NC in particular because it talks thoughtfully about the everyday, real-life experience of exploitation without victimhood drama, left-wing pedantry or academic explanation, and with wit and a certain amount of guarded optimism.
          Which reminds me, thanks Eustache and Paul for the kind words above.

      3. jrs

        funny I imagine for workers the biggest problem is finding a quality place to work for, iow not an Amazon warehouse.

      4. akz

        45 pounds, 20 times a min, 12 hours, 2 15 min brakes, 30 min lunch, temp for 5 years making $10 a hour before they hire you on.

    2. Pavel

      Remember the sci-fi movies and cartoons of decades ago, when people would live lives of leisure whilst the work was done by robots?

      I guess that world is coming but the “leisure” part applies only to the 1%… the rest will live in misery and poverty and die young. What’s the phrase — “useless eaters”?

      Jeff Bezos now the 2nd richest man in the world: almost enslaves warehouse workers [cf previous NC posts on AMZN worker horror stories], puts independent stores out of business, takes over the Washington Post, and sells $600M cloud services to the CIA. What’s not to admire?

      1. ewmayer

        One of my favorite 50s/60s B-SciFi flicks, 1961’s The Phantom Planet, had the leader of the asteroid-people giving this take on automation:

        “It’s true that our technology may be further advanced than yours, but then strange things happened … We let our machines do all our work. People on Rheton became completely free of all labor, practically of all responsibility. Our people became soft and lazy. They did not know how to cope with their free time. They started to fight among themselves.” [The Theremin music is the best part of the movie, IMO. Also look for a young Richard Kiel (“Jaws” in the Roger Moore Bond films), unrecognizable in his funky evil-Solarite costume.]

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “Why is Trump Embracing Establishment GOP Foreign Policy?”—There was an old saying I learned as a child: “You can’t fight city hall.” When Trump got elected it was thought he wanted to make friends with Putin and the Russians. It was rumored he might visit Putin even before the inauguration. Then Flynn was accused of whatever, and he resigned. His replacement went along with the neocon line.

    The Democrat establishment, currently cheering vociferously for the missile attack, is partly responsible. The Donald got no love from any dems who might have sought common ground. The dems proved themselves to be almost totally in the neocon camp with the charge that anybody who wants peace is a Russian agent.

    If Bernie had gotten elected, as he would have if there was any justice in the US, I wonder if even he could have stood up to the neocons. The plans are made way ahead of time, and I don’t know if it’s even possible for any prez to revoke the plans without getting killed.

    1. fresno dan

      April 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

      What does it say, that apparently there are only two people* in congress (the other being senator Paul) that out of over 500 that have the brains and gumption not to jump on the bandwagon, but stop and look at the situation and simply ask, does this make ANY sense? (Assad attacking with chemical weapons)

      * Are there JUST 2??? I think Sanders does not qualify because his trepidation seems premised on “process” concerns and not on the veracity of US assertions about the truth of the Syrian attack.
      And there may be many more that are skeptical but are laying low.
      AND it seems odd to me that the “peackniks” lay low when the war mongers have been proven wrong so many times….

      AND a shout out to CNN:
      “Blitzer mentioned that the US military also shared an image of a radar track of a Syrian airplane from the Shayrat airfield flying to the purported chemical strike area Tuesday. Gabbard replied, “Congress and the American people need to see and analyze this evidence and then make a decision based on that.”
      The Hawaii congresswoman continued, “I have not seen that independent investigation occur and that proof presented showing exactly what happened and there are a number of theories of exactly what happened that day.”
      “Don’t you believe Bashar al-Assad bears any responsibility for the horrific deaths that have occurred in his own country?” Blitzer asked.”
      Insightful questions CNN /sarc

        1. fresno dan

          April 8, 2017 at 9:27 am

          Blitzer MINUS 4,600$ Richter 68,000$
          Youch. It was like Blitzer walked right out of those SNL sketches, where the “celebrities” are hapless, self-obsessed incompetents!
          Man, that’s gotta sting

      1. jrs

        cnn, the worst, the absolute worst, it’s war mongering 24/7. And people think Fox is bad but Fox can at least sometimes do reporting and not pure propaganda (yea I realize it has a slant, and furthermore the problems with ALL the major media corporations).

        Such an incredibly uninformed answer, that noone remotely informed of the situation in Syria could give. We may not know who did it, but stop talking nonsense.

        1. Pavel

          Fox is of course deplorable in its own way but at least Tucker Carlson took on perpetual warmonger Lindsay Graham and posed some actual skeptical questions, e.g. “do you have any idea how much putting 7000 troops in Syria would cost?”

          Blitzer is the worst of the worst. And given he was a former AIPAC employee, I think he should recuse himself from any Mideast coverage. It’s like George Stephanopolous “covering” the Hillary Clinton campaign.

          1. oh

            Wolf Blitzer and CNN need to go! The network is so trashy and it repeats everything every 2 minutes. I pity people who watch it and other MSM.

      2. Jim Haygood

        When the war drums are beating in the middle east, I head over to AIPAC [Apartheid Is Perfectly Acceptable & Commendable] to find out what The Lobby is up to. Here’s a piece of their mind:

        Iran has … deployed substantial forces to Syria in support of the brutal Assad regime. The regime has also deployed thousands of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel to fight in the Syrian civil war.

        The IRGC arms, trains and funds tens of thousands of Syrian forces, Hezbollah terrorists, and Shia militiamen—some of whom operate directly along Israel’s northern border in the Golan Heights.{109F35BE-5BAA-4B28-A16F-CD0C01E50BE0}

        Is it mere coincidence that Syria got thumped with US missiles the week after AIPAC’s big annual klan rally in DC, which attracts about two-thirds of Kongress as attendees and speakers?

        Maybe. What we do know for sure is that our solons got a big dose of the insidious hasbara quoted above. Now they are clapping their flippers like trained seals, going “ork ork ork” in response to the rockets’ red glare. Makes a person want to club them, don’t it? ;-)

      3. justanotherprogressive

        And it isn’t just CNN. I listened through CBS’s evening news yesterday (ugh). Scott Pelley is claiming Trump had his “best week ever” because he got to bomb Syria, he had a summit with China, and he got Gorsuch confirmed, never mind that $300 Million spent on Tomahawks accomplished nothing, Syria is still flying raids out of that base, or that absolutely nothing worth mentioning came out of his “China Summit”, and that McConnell had to pull the “nuclear option” to get Trump’s boy confirmed…….
        Yep, but apparently this week was Christmas for our MSM “newscasters”……

      4. dadanada

        we also have to consider the possibility that both the gassing and the response were planned by factions in the US..

        false flag chemical attack, false flag response..

        1. BeliTsari

          Fool me once, your fault. Fool me perpetually… I’m an American patriot? I wonder if Google’s fake news algorithm was beta-tested last April, during the NY & Acela primaries? Guess, we’re tin hat conspiracy wackos. Just imagine what other silly lies the Rooskis would be feeding us, about GMOs, slickwater fracking, corruption between the FIRE & Pharma sectors and our elected officials, etc?

      1. montanamaven

        I love her. She kicks serious butt. The CBS “reporter” just keeps repeating, “But it’s too dangerous to get experts in there to find out the truth.” To which she says (paraphrasing) “Oh, I thought they were moderates?! If they are moderates then the UN chemical weapons team should be able to go there.”
        And I’m glad she mentions the Oscar for the bogus “White Helmets” propaganda wing of ISIS. What a travesty.

        1. Plenue

          White Helmets are al-Qaeda, not ISIS. As far as I know they’ve never operated in ISIS territory, just that of the ‘rebels’.

  3. fresno dan

    Elites Are Giddy Over Trump’s Airstrike in Syria, and That’s Terrifying Slate (Re Silc).

    But the pathetic plaudits Trump received Thursday night for the airstrike he ordered against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria should serve as a reminder of how capable Trump remains of regaining the narrative of his faltering presidency—and why a relatively “normal” Trump administration may be even scarier than the cartoonishly villainous one we’ve seen up until now.
    It began Thursday, before the strike, when Hillary Clinton said she believed the United States should take out Assad’s airfields. That would have been a more plausible*** suggestion in a different universe than the one we live in—a universe in which a bigoted, Muslim-hating, and incompetent man wasn’t the commander in chief of the United States armed forces

    Fareed Zakaria said on CNN that this airstrike was the moment Trump had “[become] president.”
    The nonsense continued throughout Thursday night and Friday morning. Matt K. Lewis, the Daily Beast writer and CNN personality, took note of the references to God in Trump’s statement on the airstrikes and salivated over the president’s moral seriousness.
    Slate….I knew I shouldn’t, but like looking at a horrible care accident, I couldn’t resist….

    ***Although I agree that Trump bombing Syria is 100% WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, maybe the author of the article needs to look at the insinuation that Hillary doing it would make it more “plausible.”
    Trump being painted as a racist is more important than than the actual US policy under both dems and repubs in the mid east than what Trump is doing? Maybe this is why the author can come up with so many examples of his fellow commentators phrasing Trump for Trumps vacuous “Oh the Children!” moment in his speech justifying the strike.
    The way to stop Trump in Syria is the same way to stop every president – a strong non-interventionist faction in the congress and a much more restrained foreign policy that disabuses itself of the “exceptional nation” mantra. One STARTS with the idea that ANY president screwing around in Syria is a bad idea.

    1. MtnLife

      Shorter Slate: we want someone with Hitler’s methods but not so much his personality.

      I’m not sure Trump can be stopped in Syria if they keep heaping praise on him. I think a more interesting question is: after being showered with praise for screwing his base, will he do it again? And how many more times can he do that before a really nasty social undercurrent builds up amongst the deplorable?

      1. fresno dan

        April 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

        “I’m not sure Trump can be stopped in Syria if they keep heaping praise on him.”

        On to North Korea

        1. Plenue

          I seriously wonder how that will go down. It’s one thing to bomb a bunch of brown people who never get any positive media coverage anyway and of whom few speak English, but a war on North Korea will necessarily open with Seoul being bombarded with massive amounts of artillery, and then the bloodshed will probably snowball from their across the entire peninsula. South Korean culture is popular in the West to the point of being ubiquitous. Huge numbers of people watch K-pop videos and there are non-Korean born K-pop stars who speak fluent English, South Korean directors are now making big budget Hollywood films, South Koreans dominate the video game e-sports scene, hell Conan O’Brien did a remote show from Seoul just over a year ago. A war against NK is going to produce a massive, highly visible body count among a group already well established in the public imagination.

      2. Carolinian

        The article is typical Slate blather–wasted my time looking at it.

        What’s really terrifying is a president who speaks in complete sentences and seems to be intelligent while conducting a secret Syrian policy that causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Trump may have acted illegally but at least his noisy bid to improve his approval ratings is out there for the whole world to see.

        1. ambrit

          What’s really scary is that Trump probably doesn’t have a personal “Syria policy” and has fallen under the influence of the warmongerers. I actually will miss Bannon’s influence on this administration.

          1. fresno dan

            April 8, 2017 at 9:34 am

            Which FOX personality does Trump mostly watch – Hannity or O’Reilly?
            We need somebody willing to sacrifice their brains for the common good and watch FOX and they report back – to us – so we can decide… so we have some inkling of what Trump will do next….

            1. ambrit

              Who do Jared and Ivanka watch, if anyone.
              Now we face the prospect of a fully financialized Presidency. The highest bidder wins?
              Putin must be wondering if Russia abandoned Communism too precipitously. America’s politics present the case that Marx and Engels were right in predicting that Capitalism will destroy itself.
              The Chinese are inscrutably thinking; “Welcome to interesting times foreign barbarians.”

                1. ambrit

                  This looks like the roll out of a Post-Enlightenment Presidency.
                  Or: White House Goes Hollywood!

                    1. ambrit

                      Given the “quality” of the Senators from Mississippi, I would seriously consider voting for Incitatus. That would give a new meaning to the phrase; “Jockeying For Position.”

            2. marym


              If you want to understand intra-GOP warfare, the decision-making process of our president, the implosion of the Republican healthcare plan, and the rest of the politics of the Trump era, you don’t need to know about Russian espionage tactics, the state of the white working class, or even the beliefs of the “alt-right.” You pretty much just need to be in semi-regular contact with a white, reasonably comfortable, male retiree. We are now ruled by men who think and act very much like that ordinary man you might know, and if you want to know why they believe so many strange and terrible things, you can basically blame the fact that a large and lucrative industry is dedicated to lying to them.

              Includes a series of Trump tweets based on Fox and Friends, but I’ve read that he also watches MSBC and CNN.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            I saw this not too long ago on twitter, but there was a NYT writer who posited Trump was the white Al Sharpton in regards to his personal approach. Both act aggressively assuming others especially media types will fold, giving them an edge going forward.

            McCain especially has pushed the narrative that the Russians will roll over, and Pat Lang over at SST believes this is the opinion of much of the borg.

            Trump is not very smart (Jeb and Hillary aren’t exactly world beaters), but I can see how after his failure to repeal ACA he Is resorting to his chief negotiating tactic. He tried it with the Chinese over North Korea, and now he tried it with Putin. The weak kneed media is slurping up Trump’s droppings, but his long time supporters aren’t.

            1. ambrit

              Not only are the folks who voted trump to punish the democrats angry, but the working class who supported him now suspect that they have yet again been the victims of a “bait and switch” scam. “Things” can get very ugly very fast now.

            2. fresno dan

              April 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

              Your usual good insights NTG
              So what is your view of how Trump will behave when he meets vehement, sustained, and vicious blowback? And I mean where Trump can’t just reverse course and stop bombing – he has to do something that whoever he views as his “constituency” will be outraged about that he has no way of mollifying.

              Do you know if Trump really has ever sat with and taken severe criticism from other human(s)? I imagine he gets bad news from bankers and lawyers, and has to make decisions he doesn’t want to, but the bad news of bankruptcy is something that he can attribute to a “bad” economy and can deflect from his own actions – what happens when Trump is cornered?

              1. justanotherprogressive

                What happens when Trump is cornered? Why he does what he has been doing: Ivanka and Jared to the rescue…..

              2. NotTimothyGeithner

                My gut is he is a classic bully. He will look for another scapegoat and run.

                So far he has failed:
                -on Healthcare
                -quit on taxes
                -quit on Infrastructure
                -raved about North Korea then did a 180 on Syria after finding out there might be problems with Korea (staging nukes in South Korea…isn’t that why we have ballistic, nuclear submarines?).
                -the Syria action was clearly more bark than bite. Now he has moved onto sanctions. Right…sanctions.

                When Shrub failed on Social Security, he attached the GOP to Schaevo. He will look for something that won’t promote blow back and will seem like a win. Shrub wasn’t quite the bully Trump is, but I can see Trump trying to find a Schaevo to call “beautiful.” What is Kim Davis up to these days?

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


                  He was too eager, impatient on health care, a rookie’s mistake, according to Pelosi.

                  Quit on taxes – only if we were so lucky.

                  Quit on Infrastructure – Will infrastructure quit on him? The Atlanta freeway or the crumbling SF-Oak Bay Bridge?

                  North Korea is not made in one day. Anyone knows how to deal with the madman over there? More Dennis Rodman? Or Jimmy Carter again?

                  Syria – at least Sanders is not calling for independent investigation of conflict of interest in Syria? Will Trump profit from a hotel deal in Damascus?

                  1. Arizona Slim

                    What the US needs to do is start talking to the North Korean​ leadership. And keep talking.

                    It’s a classic negotiation tactic. Keep the conversation going, even if you think the other side is nuts.

                    1. ambrit

                      Talking without doing anything is a classic Democratic Party technique. That doesn’t say too much good about how they view their interlocutors.
                      On another note; the Trump plot and counter plot show is a systemic risk to the entire American system of governance. When you’ve lost the Heartland…

                2. oh

                  He’s also a classic coward. Watch him turn tail when N.Korea threatens him and China puts pressure on him. I wish there was a way to get rid of these crooked politicians. 2018 will be a true test unless the fools get fooled again and turn to the worthless DimRats.

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                He can attribute to the ‘mess’ he has inherited, if he wants, like he could with a ‘bad’ economy.

                And if he has been overtaken by the neocons, the IC and MIC, it was because only Kucinchi and maybe one or two others spoke up.

                The rest of the ‘Peace’ party simply asked for more Russia investigation, independent or otherwise.

          3. Elizabeth Burton

            I actually will miss Bannon’s influence on this administration.

            Speaking of which, does the timing of Bannon’s being dumped from the NSC strike anyone else as interesting? Or should I just put my foil hat back on?

            1. ambrit

              Mz. Burton;
              I never took my tinfoil hat off, and yes, that was the subtext of my comment. Look who has been infiltrated into Trumps bureaucracy these last weeks. To whom should we attribute this? Kushner and Ivanka, or Trump’s co-oligarchs?
              Also, it is suspicious to me that Google rolls out the automatic “fact check” program now. I would be surprised if it had an opt-out provision. This “rule by consensus” method easily falls into a “rule by the most equal among equals” despotism.
              If consent cannot be manufactured, it will be imposed. That is the challenge.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I watched a few minutes of Maddow’s second half, and she had moved on to wacky twitter accounts. I suspect the reaction might not be what the msm had hoped.

          I saw a clip of Nikki Hailey reassuring everyone that the actions were “measured” on CNN this morning. Her tone was less bellicose than two days ago. I also wonder if the Russians cutting off contact scared the element that believed the Russians would be impressed by bellicose actions from Trump especially the Ilk who thought Obama was soft.

          The White House comment line was busy, and Kaine and Warner weren’t answering their phones. Kaine had a message to note they had a higher than usual volume of calls.

          My bold prediction is Trump’s approval dips below 30% next week.

          1. Carolinian

            The day after the raid my very Republican neighborhood had a smattering of American flags but not that many really. I too wonder how the public, as opposed to the pundits, will react to this.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              My sense is the formerly war crazy Republicans at the local level were motivated by fear and hate of Al Qaeda. The soldiers have been home between deployments. The state of the war effort isn’t on the msm, but people have heard and seen the cost.

              Assad, as crummy as his regime is, is fighting Al Qaeda and the like. This matters. They didn’t get upset by Yemen because they have concerns about Al Qaeda and whatnot.

              Trump, a casino operator, called St. McCain a traitor on national TV and stood by his remarks. It wasn’t Trump but his opponent that field Trump.

              When Trump said “rebuild the military,” I believe many Trumpettes heard fix the VA, end wasteful deployments, and end the war profiteering. I can’t expect them on behave any better than the Obama followers after all.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                In a perfect world, we address every issue simultaneously.

                At this moment, I am resigned to looking at the dollar as the global reserve currency (backed by might, not really fiat as we might think), and stopping those economic hit men.

                I think that will give the rest of the world, currently undergoing water-boarding, to come up for some air.

            2. Arizona Slim

              Here Tucson, the American flag count was sky high after 9/11. Once the Iraq invasion talk went into high gear, most of those flags vanished. They have never returned.

            3. RabidGandhi

              I’m curious about the etiquette. Is the flag supposed to come out every time a new country is attacked? Is it supposed to be displayed for the duration of the AUMF (indefinite)? Since it is endless war, how do you know when to take a flag down? Should multiple flags be flown to represent each country being bombed (7? ka-ching) Should flags still be put up for technically active but dormant wars (eg, Korea)? Should those who want future wars fly additional flags (Hi, Lindsey Graham! [waves])?

              Eternal military boosterism is hard.

              1. Carolinian

                Not having the requisite flag holder next to my front door I couldn’t say. Some people even attach little plastic US flags to the roofs of their cars and they flap as they drive. Haven’t seen any of those this time.

                And this year for the first time I’ve seen a couple of rainbow flags. Clearly Trump isn’t a hit with everybody here in Lindsey country.

                1. epynonymous

                  I found an inscription from 9/11 itself.

                  It read ‘9-11 The Day the World Trade Center was Destroyed’

        3. fresno dan

          April 8, 2017 at 9:15 am

          Unless I missed the posting, surprised this didn’t make it in the links – so many good points:

          Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
          Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
          2:39 PM – 9 Oct 2012

          The orange pot calling the kettle black…or sumthin’

          Greenwald: It should be startling and infuriating that Trump is able to order a new attack on the Syrian Government without any democratic debate, let alone Congressional approval. At least when Obama started bombing Syria without Congress, he had the excuse that it was authorized by the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, since his ostensible targets were terrorist groups (even though ISIS did not exist until years after that was enacted and is hardly “affiliated” with Al Qaeda). But since there’s no self-defense pretext to what Trump just did, what possible legal rationale exists for this? None.

          But nobody in Washington really cares about such legalities. Indeed, we have purposely created an omnipotent presidency. Recall that in 2011, Obama went to war in Libya not just without Congressional approval, but even after Congress rejected such authorization.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I find this tweet interesting because its where Trump goes. Wag the Dog.

            Does he think bombing will simply help improve poll numbers? There was a scene in the Sorkin penned “The American President” where the President tuts at the staff for being happy about the inevitable poll bump after the President bombs the LIbyans because that was mean and they need to be serious.

            I don’t believe Obama was wagging the dog ever as much as he was pursuing a path of least resistance because generals follow his orders and congressmen can tell Obama to bug off.

            Trump has had a bad week, even killing a bunch of kids who arent that beautiful apparently in Mosul and Yemen.

            He didn’t go to Congress. He didn’t have to deal with Paul Ryan. Now, the media has given him a golden shower of praise.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It’s not so much Trump has had a bad week, but the IC/MIC/Media have had a great week.

              In the same way, it should be less about Nunes and more about Susan Rice.

              Instead of being about hackers or leakeers, should be about what was in the leak.

              But eminence grise will remain grise.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The media, the IC and MIC – when they were (still are) ganging up on Trump, Sanders could have identified the common foes and joined the battle.

      3. RabidGandhi

        I’m not so convinced Trump betraying his base is an existential problem for him. Roughly 18% of the population voted for him, and given the negativity ratings, more than half of those would have been more votes against HRC than votes for him. So his base, as it were, is statically minuscule, and betraying them should not represent a significant change in his ability to stay in power.

        As a population, the deplorables did not vote Trump; rather they did not vote at all.

        1. Carolinian

          Oh he’ll stay in power. The chance that he will be different from his predecessors is fast evaporating.

        2. ChrisAtRU

          Well, your definition of “deplorables” deviates from that of #HRC, but semantics aside, I concur on the points of miniscule base and greater effect of “those who did not vote”.

        3. Portia

          not voting is a vote. so are you blaming people who wanted “none of the above”? that’s productive./s

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            Not voting is tacit acknowledgment of ones status….. as a serf. It’s how the average man signals his broke down, hat-in-hand obedience to the elites. It is not anything admirable or valid. I did not read him as ‘blaming’ nonvoters, but he’d certainly be within his rights if he did.

            We have too many damned weak, beat down followers in the U. S. The obvious venality and corruption of our high elites drives some of this, but at the end of the day, most adult citizens should be able to at least cast a vote. Even if they recognize it as a throw away.

            1. hunkerdown

              The marketplace of ideas is as fake as the marketplace of Uber (Anil Dash). I really wish that liberal small-d democrats wouldn’t try to tell me or any other protester what they or I are thinking, which invariably seems to circle back to the glory of the management of democracy.

              Besides, tacit acknowledgement is not the same as acceptance or non-opposition. Hand-to-hand combat is a sport, not a means to power. That so many Americans feel otherwise has much to do with their subjection. Cowards win, every time they take the initiative. I would recommend taking Gene Sharp’s dual sovereignty into consideration when dealing with a government that only runs elections to garner consent.

            2. Vatch

              Voting is especially important in primaries. In some jurisdictions, the general election may be too late for anything but lesser evil voting (although that can still be useful, depending on how bad the “more evil” candidates are). But in the primary, people have a chance to get some decent candidates onto the general election ballot.

            3. witters

              “Not voting is tacit acknowledgment of ones status….. as a serf. It’s how the average man signals his broke down, hat-in-hand obedience to the elites. It is not anything admirable or valid. ”

              So, let me get this right. You might be a serf (slave?) but if you say “I’m a serf/slave, I’m not voting for one of you stinking Masters and your cronies” you are doing something weaker and worse than the craven ass kisser?

              That is your theory? (Or is is just the fag end of the old HRC argument?)

            4. clinical wasteman

              Strike out the “not” in “not voting” and the first sentence would be perfectly true most of the time, at least in the US presidential and UK parliamentary elections. Especially in a “choice” between a Toughlove Liberal war party outrageously claiming to “represent minorities” and a White Identity Politics war party outrageously claiming to “represent the working class”: in this case, to “choose” either is to endorse the most outrageous falsehood of all, i.e. the presumption that the interests of “minorities” and “the working class” are something other than the same.
              No individual disrespect to those who sometimes or always act on “lesser evil” preferences, but to set that up as some sort of duty makes a superstitious fetish out of civic ritual.
              Of course, I may change my mind when I see “dictatorship of the international proletariat” on the ballot and those polling geniuses tell me it stands a chance of winning.

              1. Vatch

                Voters have a chance to avoid the lesser evil conundrum by voting in primary elections. Of course, if none of the good candidates win in the primaries, then they will be reduced to the choice between lesser evilism in the general election and staying home.

                If any of the good candidates win the primary, even if it is only one candidate for one office, then voting in the general election becomes worthwhile.

      4. Lee

        April 8, 2017 at 8:35 am

        If you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes and it will change. Isn’t that a saying in your neck of the woods that might well be applied to Trump?

      5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I’m not sure Trump can be stopped in Syria if they keep heaping praise on him

        That would seem like asserting that life is like Indra’s Net, and we all experience the “Butterfly Effect”…even the commander in chief.

        Like…Trump’s presidency is not predetermined, but we can change how he acts.

        Too bad no one cared enough to go into the Lion’s Den to try to have a say in charting his course…but only to carp afterwards.

      6. sid_finster

        The trumpers I have come across are practically having spontaneous orgasms over his supposed “toughness”.

        For those with the stomach for such things, I suggest you roll on over to The Deplorables on FB.

        It’s like talking to people kicked out of a WWF event for demanding gratuitous violence and lowering the tone of the discourse.

    2. jsn

      Omerta: Trump is now one of “them”, the NeoCon Elite.

      He’s now committed a proper impeachable offense and one the NeoCons adore.

      If he continues to pull for the team it’s all hunkydory, should he stray far, now they have what they need.

  4. cnchal

    The MSM, tells us that the precise number of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched and each one bombed it’s target at the military air field to perfection.

    Roughly 24 hours later, the military airfield was in use again by the Syrian air force. It seems that all they had to do was sweep the debris off the runways to make them operational.

    That’s what I call “professional courtesy”.

    1. fresno dan

      April 8, 2017 at 8:24 am

      I used to be annoyed at all the commercials on the TVee, but I have come around to the idea that at least during the cable “news” shows it would be more useful and accurate to have it predominantly be pampers and adult diapers commercials with “news” breaks – at least that way it would be a more straight forward acknowledgement of all the sh*t we’re being shown…

      1. ambrit

        Could this have been a very belated response to the Russians using their cruise missiles against targets inside Syria? (Yes, the Russians probably had Damascus’ prior approval, but still, the act surprised everyone.)
        Fresno Dan; Well, you have accurately described video “news” shows. Infoganda anyone?
        PS: I hope you are safe out there near the flood plain. Have a plan and a bug out bag, natch.

        1. fresno dan

          April 8, 2017 at 9:40 am
          “PS: I hope you are safe out there near the flood plain. Have a plan and a bug out bag, natch.”
          Ah, you must have missed yesterday’s post – I am well situated for floods – its the lack of water I worry about…..

          fresno dan
          April 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm
          For those interested in the ongoing saga of the Fresno mermaid. And for those who asked, no, she is not related….I have tentacles and am saltwater, she has webtoes and is freshwater….

          she was found close to a casino – which may be why she lost her shirt…and pants

          1. ambrit

            Ia! Ia!
            That Lovecraft! Got everything wrong! Dread Lord Cthulhu lies dreaming in his sunken city of R’lyeh which is evidently, beneath the waters of Lake Tahoe, not the Pacific Ocean! Plus, Tahoe has a Pyramid Peak!!! The occult signs keep coming.
            Sorry to have missed yesterday’s postings. I now work days and have to better manage my insomnia so as to maintain a minimum level of activity at the place of toil.

            1. polecat

              I’ve scrambled around that peak … it’s real slippery up there, that’s for sure !
              …didn’t see no da(m)n(ed) tentacles though ….

              1. ambrit

                No tentacles because He’s dreaming silly. Now, if you had tried scuba diving in the lake…

        2. Plenue

          If that was the intention, it’s an epic failure. If you’re referring to the strike the Russians launched from the Caspian, that one served to demonstrate both that their Kalibr missiles had vastly greater range than any Western analyst believed and could accurately hit their targets at even at such extreme range (IIRC only 4 missiles failed to hit their target), and that they had the permission and cooperation of the multiple countries whose airspace the missiles had to pass through.

          Whereas with this US strike only 23 of the 59 missiles fired actually reached their target, the rest missed either through internal failure or effective Syrian/Russian jamming. At least one seems to have landed on a village somewhere; 9 civilians are confirmed dead.

          1. ambrit

            Yes, that was the strike I meant. Now the Russian Navy has a Kalibr equipped frigate off the Syrian coast in the Med. If the US messes with the Russians we might find out how effective an anti-ship missile the Kalibr is.

    2. scott 2

      It was explained that the runways were hardened and could easily be repaired, so the missiles were aimed at softer targets, like 40 year-old jets in hangars.

    3. jsn

      If that is true, the possibility of something more devious is open. McMaster is supposed to be smart, if in fact there was an agreement between the White House and Assad on the US missile strikes, they might be legal, making them a stalking horse from behind which the Trump administration can hunt its domestic political opponents.

      A fantastically optimistic and naive hope in that some semblance of Constitutionality would be being observed.

    4. tgs

      Ian Welsh: if any allegation of chemical attacks can cause the US to strike, there will be more chemical attacks.

      Al-Quaeda now knows in can call in air strikes.

    5. Bullwinkle

      59 missiles were launched (at a cost of approx $1.6million per missile). 23 hit their targets. No one knows what happened to the other 36.

      1. ambrit

        That’s the fun bit. What happened to those unaccounted for missiles? Did the Syrians manage to shoot any down? Did the Russians try a real world live fire test of the S-400 system, or even the upgraded S-200s the Syrians have? It seems that everything about this incident is “spun,” and not in a good way. Maybe the Tomahawk system isn’t as good as it’s promoted. An over 50 percent failure rate is not good at all.
        The Russians have upped the ante by sending S-300 missile units to the Syrian government. It just became much more dangerous to fly in that neighborhood.

        1. craazyboy

          Also, 24 hours later the airfield is operational. Tada!

          Shock, Awe and $94.4 million worth of Tomahawks vanished!

          Good thing we have MMT as a secret weapon. Otherwise we could lose this.

          1. ambrit

            This has been an inauspicious operation for America. I’ll bet the backroom boys and girls in the Pentagon basement are burning the midnight oil trying to figure out what went wrong with all those Tomahawk missiles. the Shock and Awe might be hitting the DoD boffins about now.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Those 59 missiles were sunk cost toys the moment they were made, probably written off during the O’baba, O’mama years, instead of wasting that money on, say, single payer.

        Let’s hope only potholes were created.

      3. Vatch

        No one knows what happened to the other 36.

        Fred Johnson and the Outer Planets Alliance have them.

    1. MoiAussie

      Surely Rockets’ red glare is a reference to your national anthem rather than “Reds under the bed” or “Better dead than red”.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Good poetry and propaganda always stretch to pack the most “meaning” into every word and phrase…

  5. aliteralmind

    This is my coverage of Thursday’s probable cause hearing in Bill Brennan’s criminal complaint against former New Jersey Attorney General and chairman of the NY-NJ Port Authority, David Samson. Samson pled guilty to extortion and bribery in federal court and was sentenced to a year in his vacation home—the same vacation home that he extorted United Airlines to fly hm to every week.

    Brennan filed the complaint in state court for the different crime of “official misconduct”–a deliberate move intended both to avoid double jeopardy, and also because official misconduct is a crime a Brennan calls “a more pernicious evil” than bribery and extortion.

    Samson hired Angelo Genova as his lawyer, which is the same lawyer that Brennan exposed for committing fraud in 2003, resulting in Genova’s nomination to New Jersey attorney general to be revoked. Bill also also caught Genova attempting (unsuccessfully) to speak with the judge in ex partae before the trial, something that should be exceedingly rare.

    Finally, there was a single observer in the courtroom, who we found out later to likely be an employee of the firm that used to be named Wolff Samson. After David Samson was found guilty, the firm changed its name to Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi.

    The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

    1. fresno dan

      April 8, 2017 at 8:30 am

      In July 2016, Samson pled guilty in federal court for bribery and extortion related to United Airlines, and in March 2017, as reported by

      U.S. District Judge Jose Linares stunned federal prosecutors by sentencing Samson to a year of home confinement, four years of probation and 3,600 hours of community service…. [He] is required to pay a $100,000 fine and wear a location-monitoring device.
      The house to which Samson was sentenced was the same vacation home that he extorted United Airlines to take him to. Although he could have faced two years in jail:

      [Judge Linares] said he took into account Samson’s lifetime of public service and good deeds, his age and poor health, as well as more than 40 letters of support from friends, colleagues, family members and public officials –including former Gov. James McGreevey, three former state attorneys general and a retired federal judge.

      The judge also cited the punitive nature of Samson losing his law license and seeing his name stripped from the law firm he founded. He said the loss of reputation was not insubstantial.
      When a rich white man commits a crime, the system finds a way to excuse his criminality. The system is controlled by rich white men.**

      ** Oh how cynical! Fortunately, I will not get one iota more cynical than I am already….

  6. Crow

    Money to burn: As the wealthy get wealthier, carbon emissions grow in US states

    Wonder if anyone ever attempted to calculate Trump’s carbon footprint? Would be an interesting exercise.

    It had to be large, like the man himself, when he was just Donald Trump. But now that he’s president it’s gone through the roof, obviously.

    1. MoiAussie

      That’s a mere $35,000 a day. Not bad considering the Marshals have hired an extra 22 people. After all, Trompe promised to bring back american jobs. I wonder if some of the new hires are ex Academi keen to return from faraway places?

    2. Vatch

      It’s a good thing that Betsy DeVos is a member of both the very rich Prince family and the ultra rich DeVos family. She’ll be able to reimburse the government for these expenses. That’s going to happen, right?

  7. Moneta

    I find all these articles on productivity incredibly frustrating. None of them seem to get the big picture. Since energy is the most important variable in our economy, we’ll start with that…

    Let’s say the world is currently producing 100 units of energy with the US consuming 35% of these units which include in-country consumption + all the energy consumed outside the US for products and services destined for US benefit.

    Let’s say that for the next 30 years, global energy production keeps on going up 2.5% per year to 210 units but the US share drops over time to 15%. That would mean that US share of energy would go from 35 units to 31. Ouch!

    This leads to a few thoughts and deductions:

    – Is corporate America looking at the economy in terms of future global energy distribution?

    – If the US population goes from 300M to 400M over the next 30 years, it’s pretty clear that energy availability will be an issue for households if units go from 35 to 31.

    – You could spend 2 decades worth of energy in 1 decade and make productivity numbers soar but chances are the next decades would be much more energy deprived unless energy efficiency soared. However, it’s currently hard to believe in soaring energy efficiency because of powerful interests in the status quo. The probabilities are quite high that this soaring productivity would be based on the production directed by the old guard constrained by sunk costs.

    – If the next 30 years are based on higher military budgets and infra spending, plus it takes an ever growing number of energy to get energy, this will mean less energy for all the other parts of the economy. That means less energy for households.

    -Replacing infra might help increase productivity over time but replacing infra is typically very energy intensive and causes a lot of dislocations while it is happening.

    -IMO, most of the world has not conceptualized a world of less energy per region so it is not obvious to me that infra replacement is based on real energy efficiency. Much of it is still seems to be based on energy being plentiful. A world view based on our past.

    -Our productivity measurements are useless. We could increase our productivity by building more McMansions, highways and cars faster but would that help us or simply accelerate the demise of the developed world’s way of life?

    1. Moneta

      And if global energy distribution is an issue, it’s hard to believe military spending has anywhere to go but up… meaning the military sucking up an ever larger amount of energy.

      1. IDontKnow

        Not to worry, the Pentagon is a leader in research on alternative fuels. A lack of energy must never become an excuse to stop killing and stealing, war must continue. It’s the glue that hold the USA in thrall to the oligarchy.

        War has become a given in American political life, and in the process it has become depoliticized. And thus the bitter irony: for all the many warnings to not “normalize” Trump lest we court disaster, it is his turn to war that will seal his normalization and mark our return to “normalcy,”

        1. fresno dan

          April 8, 2017 at 9:19 am

          ” And thus the bitter irony: for all the many warnings to not “normalize” Trump lest we court disaster, it is his turn to war that will seal his normalization and mark our return to “normalcy,”
          Profound and very troubling

        2. Art Eclectic

          War is the only reliable jobs and wealth creator we have left. It allows the government to funnel taxpayer dollars to select contractors while soaking up all the low-level males who are otherwise unemployable in our modern crapitalistic economy and turns them into cannon fodder protecting elite financial interests.

          The only hitch to the whole enterprise is that the cannon fodder that survive expect services and health care from the VA for their trouble.

    2. fresno dan

      April 8, 2017 at 8:56 am

      I don’t know if you have ever seen the link below, but I imagine you would like it.

      And of course, everything you say is inextricably linked to water as well.

      ARTICLE: Our true wealth originates from energy, natural resources and ecosystem services, developed over geologic time.
      The economic ‘theories’ underpinning our current society developed exclusively during the short period labeled ‘A’ on the graph, on a planet still ecologically empty of human systems and when increasing amounts of extraordinarily powerful fossil energy was applied to an expanding global economic system

      Standard economic and financial texts explain that our natural environment is only a subset of a larger human economy. A less anthropocentric (and more accurate) description however, is that human economies are only a subset of our natural environment

      1. Moneta

        When you look at the world through the distribution of resources and energy you can’t help being hit with an epiphany. All the pieces of the puzzle come together: migration, discrimination, genocide, war, etc.

        Some would argue that there won’t be an energy issue because technology will solve it. And yes I concede our planet has a lot of untapped sources of energy. However, when you look at history, despite plenty of potential energy all around us, humankind has often had trouble transforming energy and sharing it, causing a lot of pain for many.

        The developed world does not seem to get how much exploitation of the row has occurred to provide them with their current material way of live.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          “The developed world does not seem to get how much exploitation of the row has occurred to provide them with their current material way of live.”
          Absolutely true, and unfortunately all of our economic theories are based on how well we can exploit, without giving the slightest due to how much we are actually losing, not only in the wasteful use of limited resources and the unaccounted for environmental damage that ensues, but in the lives of people who cannot reach their full potential.

      2. Moneta

        A good line in there: money is a claim on future energy.

        If you believe there will be energy distribution issues in the future, you can easily think of a number of ways your dollars can be toyed with to cut you off from your share of that future energy.

        The goal is not to secure one’s dollars, it’s to secure one’s share of future energy. And I doubt a calculation of productivity will help.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To live is to consume energy.

          That is, money is a claim on people’s lives.

          No need for slavery when you can create money ex nihilo.

          If so, in this case, not even equal distribution of money is desirable.

          Why the “MAD” (mutually assured destruction) set up where I can claim your life and you can claim my life equally? Why not ‘disarmament?’ Get rid of money all together?

      3. robnume

        Good for you, Moneta. Water. That is the reason that the Plains “Indians” were nomadic and the coastal Native Americans were not.

        1. Moneta

          I only used energy as an example but we could use resources and water in particular.

          The weakest link will determine what happens next…

          1. IDontKnow

            Water is energy in the “new economy”. It’s taking ever more energy to get it, or more accurately to control it.

            Corey Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom leap over what made many other utopias read as far more brittle when he made the discovery of an unlimited nearly free energy source the cornerstone of the civil ecology, and not IT/AI itself. Unbounded Energy made everything else in his Utopia possible.

            Every utopia has its weak link. I’m not so sure giving the naked ape unlimited cheap energy is possible, because of this inverse relationship between energy and everything else, there ultimately has to be a boundary. However, it was an effective tool to mitigate many of the faults that niggle and nag when reading other Utopian novels.

            ps. great link at 8:56am.

    3. Moneta

      More succinctly:

      Since profits do not account for externalities we can assume that the monetary value of everything is miscalculated. Therefore, any producticity measure using monetary values will be invalid.

  8. oho

    not mentoned in the fawning of trump, even assuming that the current narrative is true and that assad is 100% culpable, then it is yet another colossal screw up by US intelligence—as by the logic of DC’s own narrative, Assad maintained a cache of chemical weapons totally unknown to the US.

    another great payback on the ginormous intelligence budget.

    1. John k

      Wouldn’t be a screw up if a joint op between terrorists and cia with objective of us joining terrorists fighting Assad, with other objective of getting us to confront Russia, who are also bombing terrorists.

      And Msm now happy, no doubt because their cia handlers now happy, too.

  9. Scylla

    Regarding Syria, a couple of interesting things came across my Twitter feed:

    KS Post #1: Analysis of the Shajul Islam video

    A neuro/pharmacologist/attorney’s take on the video being cited in the media as proof of sarin. The writer has a very interesting background and seems to know what he is talking about. TLDR: it was not sarin, and there is a lot of other funny business in the video.

    US planned to launch chemical weapon attack in Syria and blame Assad

    A Daily Mail article from 2013 that was very quickly pulled (courtesy of the wayback machine). Seems a hacker in Indonesia found evidence that the US had a false flag chemical weapon attack planned that would have used chemical weapons from Libya. Not sure what to make of this one, but it is pretty
    ominous if it is true. This may not have anything to do with the recent incident, but it certainly reveals how driven the US is on this front, and what they are willing to do to get their way.
    I would be interested to hear what everyone else thinks of this stuff.

    1. MoiAussie

      The author of the KS video analysis, Dennis O’Brien, is almost certainly the MoA commenter on sarin symptoms that I quoted here yesterday. He seems to be an interesting character. The analysis is pretty convincing, but I’m sure he wouldn’t claim to be totally impartial.

      Concerning the Britam CW false flag emails, I saw this reported yesterday (not at the Mail) and ended up landing at a Wikispooks report that assesses them as forgeries. Three months after the article the Mail published an apology and agreed to pay 110,000 GBP damages to Britam, after legal action. Given the source, I wouldn’t put much faith in the emails. You can find a Grauniad report of the case and the Wikispooks link with a goggle search for “Goulding Doughty”.

      1. Gareth

        Why Is Media Citing Man Accused of Kidnapping Journalists as Credible Media Source on Syrian Chemical Attack?

        ” One of the key voices calling for Western intervention that is being amplified by corporate news networks is Shajul Islam, a doctor in the al-Qaeda-controlled Syrian province of Idlib.

        Islam has accused the Syrian government of carrying out a chemical attack on civilians. Dozens of major media outlets have cited his claims, while conceding that they have not been independently verified.

        Meanwhile, these news publications have failed to disclose a crucial detail about the doctor: He was accused in court of kidnapping journalists in Syria.

        In October 2012, Shajul Islam was arrested in the UK and charged with kidnapping two photographers, one British and one Dutch. He was accused of providing medical treatment for the Salafi jihadist extremist group in Syria that held the journalists hostage.”

      2. Aumua

        Ok then, his opinions aside, I take back any remarks I made in doubt of his credentials and/or honesty.

    2. Katharine

      Why on earth pretend a video was “proof” of sarin or take the opinion of someone who has merely viewed a video as “disproof” when there have been competent autopsies performed by pathologists in Turkey and both WHO and MSF doctors say sarin was probably used?

      The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the symptoms were consistent with “exposure to organophosphorus chemicals, a category of chemicals that includes nerve agents” that are banned as weapons of mass destruction.

      Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) seconded the analysis, saying medical teams that treated affected patients in Bab al-Hawa found symptoms “consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin gas”.

      Doctors also detected the smell of bleach on some victims, “suggesting they had been exposed to chlorine” as one of at least two different chemical agents.

      1. Yves Smith

        The timing of the article (given reporting and editing requirements) is way too early for anyone to have gotten to the site and made real assessments. And accordingly the reports are inconsistent.

        “Organophosphorus” isn’t even a well defined term:

        The definition of organophosphorus compounds is variable, which can lead to confusion. In industrial and environmental chemistry, an organophosphorus compound need contain only an organic substituent, but need not have a direct phosphorus-carbon (P-C) bond. Thus a large proportion of pesticides (e.g., malathion), are often included in this class of compounds.

        Chlorine has also been used as a chemical weapon, and that is not at all the same as the claim re sarin.

        Elemental chlorine at high concentrations is extremely dangerous and poisonous for all living organisms, and was used in World War I as the first gaseous chemical warfare agent.

        And the MDs were not using hazmat suits, which is what would be required if the agent were sarin. Touching sarin on someone’s skin can be fatal. Sarin is toxic in very very low quantities. Now maybe the doctors were reckless, that’s always possible, but the behavior was not consistent with a belief the agent might be sarin.

        If you read Seymour Hersh’s accounts of the 2013 gassing, there was no intel whatsoever for the first 48+ hours, as in no information provided in the Morning Reports because there was none despite the fact that the attack was all over the media. Trump struck before he knew anything. And Hersh later accounts that the early claims re the provenance of the sarin fell apart entirely.

        1. MoiAussie

          And the MDs were using hazmat suits …
          Yves, I believe you may have dropped a not.

        2. MoiAussie

          Katharine, Turkish information is not reliable on this matter as they are actively involved in supporting the jihadis who were attacked. Turkey itself may well have supplied the toxic agents, whatever they were, used to stage the gas attack. The jihadis have frequently used toxic agents themselves. So until a reliable investigation shows evidence of the delivery mechanism and does chemical analysis of residues, the world cannot judge where responsibility lies. All the “consistent with” and “probably” weasel wording in the reports you linked means that these are speculation.

      2. DJPS

        “a neutotoxin agent such as sarin”.

        What is more likely.

        1) Assad did this deliberately, despite the fact it makes no sense at all, and only benefits his enemies. Because reasons.
        2) A terrorist target was destroyed by an airstrike. Sadly it had some kind of neurotoxic chemical inside which leaked out and killed people in the vicinity.

        Who can say for sure. But I know what seems most likely to me.

  10. jfleni

    RE: WikiLeaks just dropped the CIA’s secret how-to for infecting Windows:
    A pox on Billy boy and his posse, use Linux! — not 100 pecent guaranteed, but very much safer.

  11. fresno dan

    The Constitutionality of the Syria Strike Through the Eyes of OLC (and the Obama Administration) Lawfare (CL).

    The first part asks whether the President has presumptive authority to use force unilaterally. For OLC, this authority turns on whether the “national interest” vindicated by the use of force sufficiently important? That sounds vague and easy to satisfy, but as we’ll see in a moment, OLC has (at least until the Syria strike) pointed to some objective limits. If the president perceives that “national interest” would be vindicated by a use of force, OLC says that he can presumptively use force abroad under his powers as “Commander in Chief and Chief Executive, for foreign and military affairs, as well as national security.”

    However, OLC acknowledged “one possible constitutionally-based limit on this presidential authority to employ military force in defense of important national interests—a planned military engagement that constitutes a ‘war’ within the meaning of the Declaration of War Clause may require prior congressional authorization.” This second part of the test turns on the “anticipated nature, scope, and duration of the planned military operations.” The idea is that relatively short-term and small-scale operations abroad are not “war” and thus do not implicate the Declare War clause, but larger-scale, longer-term operations might be “war” and thus might implicate the clause.

    Well, than….I imagine in a few years…months….weeks….OK, seconds, if the president isn’t launching MULTIPLE mirved thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction, its all good.
    hmmmm….actually, nuking doesn’t take ALL that long….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many slow (or I should say, slower) students on the short bus are still stuck on this: “Is mass surveillance constitutional?”

      Remember, these are ‘slower’ students.

      Smart students move on quickly to missile strikes and discuss new news developments daily.

  12. JTMcPhee

    Anyone with a sense of irony and a desire for more information on “our” scientifically sophisticated cruise missile weaponry might take a gander at this not so distant piece from HuffPo,

    Interesting that our war leaders would then acknowledge that any of their super weapons that are so surgical would misfire or miss their targets and hit “civilians.” The framing today is that “we” were “successful” in this mission-accomplished, whatever that mission might have supposedly been… In Vietnam, at the end of the month, artillery units under the McNamara zero-based-budgeting doctrines of “efficiency” had to do free-fire exercises — shooting off unused cannon shells into the nearest “free-fire zone,” designated by “our” military as irretrievably “commyanist,” so anything there was killable without thought. My unit’s tents were sited under the muzzles of a battery of 155mm self-propelled guns, and once a month, the gunners would delight in battering and occasionally flattening our meager shelters with the muzzle blasts. “Band of Brothers?” Maybe Band of Bothers… as the gooks out there in the darkness listened to the incoming rounds that would kill them and their children and water buffalos, and punch craters in their fields and paddies…

    1. HotFlash

      My dad, who was a cryptographer stationed in Scotland during World War Too, told of returning bombers releasing unused bombs over Brussels, because that was where the hated sprouts came from. Any excuse to blow sh!t up?

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Scientists finally figured out why whales leap into the air Quartz

    But being somewhat useless in figuring out why billionaires want to leap into the trillionaire-class.

    Can it simply be greed, or is it a psychological imbalance, and is it treatable?

    Mathematically, to accumulate $1 billion and then to give $900 million away, retaining only $100 million is the same as just to accumulate $100 million in the first place (from the accumulator’s point of view; the society at large might suffer more with the extra effort). So, how do mathematicians explain this particular human waste?

    So, stop working on easier (not easy, but easier) problems!!!

    And don’t say you need more money either. Thinking under an apple tree can be quite productive.

    “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

    1. yarl

      It’s about control. Accumulate $1 billion and give away $900 million, and you get a lot of influence for the $900 million.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Uber said to use “sophisticated” software to defraud drivers, passengers Quartz

    Thoughts can be thought of as idea-objects.

    Company X use ‘sophisticated’ brain research to mentally rape customers!!!


    Putting ‘foreign’ and ‘unwanted’ idea-objects into a customer’s body, mind (or brain), with non-stop advertising, everywhere, is like mental-gang-rape.

    1. MoiAussie

      Advertising is a sensitive subject, but as you have pushed my buttons I must respond.

      I cannot bear it except when it is self-imposed, because it is so forking stupid and invasive and insulting. I take steps to see as little as possible on the net, and can’t watch TV with ads unless it’s time-shifted so I can skip them at 8x. I’m surprised that so many people subject themselves to so much of it.

      As a much younger soul, one of my visions for our dystopian future was that as jobs disappeared, the unemployable would be paid a pittance to watch ads all day and recommend things to their network under the illusion that they were employed as Consumer Satisfaction Enhancement Executives or some such bogus title. I still expect this to come to pass in my lifetime.

      Having got that off my chest, I encourage you all to click through on ads on this site to support NC and to add some noise to your web browsing histories that your ISPs are getting ready to flog.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I try to avoid non-consensual mental-intercourse whenver psosible.

        Of course, I’m accused of being too ‘intellectually flirty,’ open to and dally with too many idea-objects in my body.

        “He has done it with so many mental sluts’ idea-objects in his brain-body.”

        I deserve what I get, they claim.

      2. Octopii

        There’s a William Gibson book about a woman who’s allergic to corporate branding and advertising. That is how I feel much of the time. Partner watches a lot of TV and is fully on board the borg…. I just cannot stand it.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ‘Job-killing’ Obamacare actually created 240,000 well-paying healthcare jobs Los Angeles TImes

    At the expense of the many?

    Is that akin to ‘Not Going After Big Banks actually saved many, many, many, many well-paying finance jobs?”

    Hey, banksters have to put food on the table for their families too…and they have to pay for health care as well…sob.

  16. Patrick Donnelly


    I am amused by the comedy of missiles against cruel Syria, when tsunami target hundreds of thousands and are ignored!

    “Leaders” are running out of time …. history is all about $$$. If banks cannot lend for the sacred purpose of war, WWIII, then do we go to direct financing? Will that be the end of Banking?

  17. fresno dan

    Time for a Trump respite:

    His agent said, “Get me a writing sample,” so Rubin went back to his list. Idea No. 10 on the list was “A man lives the same day over and over.” He wasn’t the first to think of this premise. The idea of reiterating the same stretch of time goes at least as far back as a 1904 short story by a British military strategist, in which a man dreams his way through the same battle, again and again***. In 1973, an American named Richard A. Lupoff published a short book titled 12:01 P.M. about a man stuck in a “disfiguration of time.” (Lupoff briefly pursued legal action against Columbia Pictures after Groundhog Day came out, but the lawsuit was never formally filed.)

    Rubin had never read either of these, and he didn’t care how his protagonist had come to be trapped in February 2 — a date he chose in the hope that the movie might become a holiday cable perennial, the way It’s a Wonderful Life was broadcast every Christmas. Rubin was more interested in what would happen to a man stuck reliving the same day over and over. Would he go crazy? Fall to his worst impulses? How many lifetimes would it take for someone to truly change?
    Ironically, although “Groundhog Day” is one of my very, very favorite movies, I have only seen it once. I have read a great deal about it….
    I have decided to save the second screening for when I am terminal. Of course, that contradicts my great hope of just falling over dead….but as so many memories are better than what actually was, maybe not so bad….

    *** Also known as Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow”

    1. ambrit

      C’mon now. You know that you’ll return to Mother Ocean when the Innsmouth Curse finally has it’s way with you.
      If long standing anecdote is any guide, in the terminal phase we’ll see a re-run of a strangely familiar production called, simply, “My Life.”
      As evidence from psychology and regression therapy hypnosis is suggesting, humans have a well developed edit function attached to memory storage. People with perfect memory are often considered as living under a curse. As with recent politics; some things are better forgotten.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why do colleges still give preference to children of alumni? WaPo

    And preference to filial (or spoiled) children of rich foreign parents.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It used to be that, to enter a Zen Buddhist learning academy, often called Zen monastery, you have to the emperor’s permission, even if your parents were very wealth.

          Why? Because you were causing the emperor the loss of one tax paying subject. And you couldn’t make it up by doing kitchen duties at the academy.

  19. Stormcrow

    Alleged Chemical Weapons Attack: Exposing Falsehoods

    The truth is starting to trickle out in the face of all the fake news. The Giraldi interview was mentioned in yesterday’s Water Cooler. Others are now corroborating his information. These are all insiders with well-placed sources, and they all have a track record of truthfulness and reliability. Expect more of this debunking to come.

    Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump Attack on Syria Driven by Domestic Politics

    Ex-UK Ambassador: Assad wasn’t behind the chemical attack

    Exclusive: British journalist in Damascus, Tom Duggan, destroys MSM lies on Syria

    Philip Giraldi

    1. ambrit

      The sorry truth seems to be that it only needs for a small coterie of influential people to swallow the lies for the evil to be enabled to explode.
      If the MSM continues to ignore the evidence and propagate the Big Lie, the mass of the people will only hear the Big Lie. There’s an elite group for you. People who know the truth and are powerless to protect it.

      1. fresno dan

        April 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

        “The sorry truth seems to be that it only needs for a small coterie of influential people to swallow the lies for the evil to be enabled to explode.”

        Too true. First, I doubt there will be any significant reporting of any skepticism regarding the attribution of a chemical attack to Assad in the MSM, and even if there was some, by now it is just the conventional wisdom and people’s views are hardened.

    1. jrs

      it’s a bit bizarre it is limited to non-government employers and yet includes state universities, why the hair splitting? Government might already be the biggest single employer in each state.

  20. Carolinian

    Re Bacevich and Trump as Wilhelm: as it happens I am reading a book about the Kaiser and his cousins, and while Trump definitely seems to be a Wilhelm figure rather than an Adolf figure Bacevich doesn’t take the analogy far enough. In fact the insecure Wilhelm was ambivalent about taking on his royal relatives and also about the Panther incident, but he stood at the head of a military industrial complex and a media that were far more enthusiastic about war than he was. Thus when he initiated the naval competition to try to show up Edward it took on a life of its own. Tirpitz stood in the way of any treaty reducing arms and may have even been building extra ships behind Wilhelm’s back.

    All of which is to say it takes a village of warmongers to initiate a world changing catastrophe. The real danger is not that Trump may impulsively launch a major war but that the MIC and the MSM may help him do it.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Carolinian, I too appreciated Bacevich’s observations regarding the similarities in personality characteristics to those of Kaiser Wilhelm. Bacevich’s observations as a member of a panel yesterday evening on PBS Newshour concerning the president’s impulsive behavior and the lack of an articulated strategic vision regarding Syria are also on point, particularly given what has occurred in Iraq and Libya.

      Related comments yesterday by Senator Rand Paul about the unconstitutional expansion of executive powers are cause for deep concern.

    2. maria gostrey

      i just finished this book as well & found wilhelm to be of the same sort as trump.

      nicholas the 2nd though seemed more like hillary.

      not sure who george the 5th reminded me of…

  21. JTMcPhee

    On a cruise missile kick: Wiki says nuclear-armed cruise missiles are “retired.” These are very “destabilizing” devices, and apparently are not only not “retired,” the Marvelous MIC is getting a new bunch of more expensive and cool “Long Range Stand Off” (LRSO, obligatory addition of insider acronym) missiles with the “updated W-80 warhead.”

    Those who think about the unthinkable, which is all too thinkable for the “normalized” power players, and increasingly likely as “our” rulers and the militarists build themselves more options to “project power,” and have to justify their own bloated existences, have published a fairly recent article trying to assert that fielding “ambiguous” new greater-“capability” cruise missiles might actually encourage a stand-down of nuclear weaponry. This is from the same people who give us the Doomsday Clock, and recently moved it a bit more toward fateful Midnight.

    “Can’t stop an idea whose time has come,” amiright?

  22. What's the Matter with Kansas

    Special U.S. Congressional election in Kansas 4th on Tuesday. Could be the most important political story of the next week and still receiving little attention in national media.

    The dynamics of the race are interesting and although considered a long shot, Thompson has all the right components for an upset. Just that RNCC is injecting money into race on Koch’s homefield says a lot. HuffPo early turnout numbers for that district suggest a change in who is voting, and turnout is always light in these types of off-cycle elections … so don’t be surprised if it flips.

  23. juliania

    Thanks for the article below:

    I was thinking of places vulnerable to such an event today, and the one I came up with was the isthmus in New Zealand on which its largest city is located, a narrow strip of land that does have protective islands to the northeast, but a long shallow harbor to the west. New Zealand has just experienced pre-cataclysmic flooding and generally widespread cliffside erosions from the ‘remnants’ of Hurricane Debbie which so devastated the northeastern coast of Australia. Coupled with this is the huge potential iceberg that is cracking across its remaining 12 miles down in the Antarctic, so glacial melt is also a threat in the antipodes.

    Of course, I’m no scientist, so feel free to debunk. I’d actually appreciate it.

    1. MoiAussie

      I think you need a large difference in water levels to get such an event, with a trapped meltwater lake or similar phenomenon that then overflows a barrier, like in Oroville but on a much larger scale. New Zealand has more to worry about from quakes and tsunamis. The Larson C ice-shelf break up will accelerate global sea-level rise a little but is not a threat per se, more a symptom of a larger threat.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Geologists unveil how Britain first separated from Europe – and it was catastrophic The Conversation

    The separation of south Russia, or the Pontic Steppe, from Anatolia and Syria, geologists can also tell you, was catastrophic…almost like the biblical flood, as water poured in from the Mediterranean through a narrow gap.

  25. edmondo

    Wise Sued for Selling Mostly Empty Bags of Potato Chips Grub StreetSo the

    So – since no one disputes that the listed weights are accurate – the Wise company is being sued because someone thinks the bags are too large? Here’s an option: Don’t buy the freaking chips!

    There really are too many lawyers in this country

    1. fresno dan

      April 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Mish had an unscientific “poll” of readers about who they thought was responsible for the attack

      At least blog readers show a great deal of skepticism about Syria engaging in chemical attacks.
      I can’t find any polls on this latest US cruise missile attack on Syria, or anything on how many people believe Syria actually conducted a chemical attack. I imagine the truth of the matter is that the vast majority get their news from the MSM and accept it.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The polls didnt favor Syrian intervention when Obama pushed. Sure a few tribals will switch sides to condemn Trump and some will be pro Trump.

        Younger people opposed the Iraq War in 2002, ultimately becoming the people who drove Democratic victories and defeats as they didn’t turnout. This is almost 15 years ago. Its an almost certainty the results of the conflicts in recent years didnt turn these kids to pro war positions.

        There are no polls because they don’t serve the Borg message. Trump wasnt unpopular with the general public because he wasn’t bombing. Hes unpopular because he is a Republican.

  26. hunkerdown

    Remember the “Shadow Brokers” and that huge archive of NSA hacking tools to be auctioned to the highest bidder, payable in Bitcoin? In an open letter to President Trump full of fake Russian pidgin and constructive criticism, they just released the password to their auction archive. (Medium)

  27. ewmayer

    o “NYT Retreats on 2013 Syria-Sarin Claims | Consortium News” — In related news, Vatican admits ‘some heretics may have been killed wrongly, Galileo may have been onto something after all.’

    o “Why do colleges still give preference to children of alumni? | WaPo” — To give future WaPo staffers an unearned leg up?

    o “California’s Drought Emergency Is Finally Over, But Its Impact May Last Forever BuzzFeed” — I am less sanguine. Forever is a long time in politics, public policy, and human memory.

    o “Tearing Down Science’s Citation Paywall, One Link at a Time | Wired (DK).” — Having (thankfully) left the academic-scientific P&T (promotion & tenure, centering around whoring for grant monies) track after my initial post-PhD 6-year assistant-prof stint was at an end, these days I ‘publish’ only in open-access forms, specifically open-source code and the occasional paper posted to arXiv.

  28. alex morfesis

    wiigle factcheck komedy porn system…2 guys from jigsaw…one named con you (ok…ok…cong yu) who insists the new yorker, economist, nyt and wsj are the most important info orgs in the world(from his bio page) and his associate, Mr. Justin, who imagines his work with polaris is just really great…polaris…a noise for funding organization, that is just really important…they did this review of their data…the biggest review of human trafficking in the world…32 thousand phone calls and texts…over ten year, on their hotline…that works out to one call every three hours…globally…yup…great data set…most of the info is usa based…and funny that…polaris does not mention biker gangs involved with prostitution and sex trafficking…because in america only blacks and hispanics/latinos are involved in sex trafficking…


    but the 115 organizations are magically unnamed…

    although gossipcop is one of them…
    because we have to know that brads mom did not actually call jen…

    so which venture capitalists will be funding the replacements
    for aol, yahoo and myspace…

    oops…I meant google & facebook…

    still use those nice metal aol cd covers to keep my important stuff safe from bending and breaking when I slide some music into my backpack

    There are nice people at factcheck dot org at annengerg…but using the porn star wannabees at snopes is just too funny…

    this nonsense of “fact checking” is just too funny…no one of these “esteemed parties” ever bothered fact checking $hillary much…

    omission and commissions…share the facts at duke and ampproject…

    and newsgiest too…

    and of course

    this is just the bernays acela vanity press crew…

  29. rich

    Greed at Top Leads to Inequality

    Might things turn for the little people? Not likely. Billionaire President Donald Trump and his Wall Street/PEU administration offer little hope. Private equity’s preferred taxation via carried interest continues a decade after it was raised as unfair.

    Might benevolent corporate chiefs send a little more employees way? Not if it reduces their executive incentive compensation.

    What if the rare CEO wants to put workers interest above their own? They might have a PEU owned benefits consultant to get through.

    Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) has agreed to acquire insurance broker Aon Plc’s (AON.N) employee benefits outsourcing business for around $4.8 billion.

    Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman is a Trump friend and advisor. Greed is the water in which business and political leaders swim.

    Doing things at the expense of workers won’t likely change anytime soon.

    1. pretzelattack

      iraq 2.0. people keep pointing out that there is no good evidence to justify this war, and it wouldn’t be justified taking these kinds of risks anyway. and it makes no difference because the war machine doesn’t have an off button.

  30. bmeisen

    Greek deeds:
    Thanks Lampert for tagging this one: published confirmation from an apparently good source of a critical flaw in the Euro project: some Euro member states have no functioning authoritative record of land ownership. I was a supporter of the Euro until in the wake of the Greek crisis I started hearing the stories. You provide a helpful piece of the puzzle. What in heaven’s name were the Eurocrats thinking back in the 90s?

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