Links 5/21/17

The Beatles: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50 years on Telegraph

The good daughter New Statesman

Why kale is everywhere: How food trends are born Chicago Tribune

Is My Password Secure? NIST Advises Against Periodically Changing Passwords International Business Times

The ancient game that saved a village BBC



Rouhani’s victory is good news for Iran, but bad news for Trump and his Sunni allies  Independent. Important: Robert Fisk’s take on the Iran election.

US and Saudi Arabia sign arms deals worth almost $110bn Al Jazeera. And the deck: “US Secretary of State says the arms agreements will help Saudi Arabia deal with ‘malign Iranian influence’.”



In the Horrorscape of Aleppo NYRB

Health Care

Nurses heckle Democratic leader, threaten legislators over health care Sacramento Bee

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Jailed for a Facebook post: how US police target critics with arrest and prosecution Guardian

Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but He Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy The Intercept. Glenn Greenwald’s take.

Getting Assange: the Untold Story Counterpunch

Election laws can’t cope with data harvesting – which suits politicians fine The Conversation


Davis warns Britain will quit talks if EU demands €100bn The Times. Doesn’t look like this is going to end well….

U.K. Threatens to Quit Brexit Talks If It Faces Massive Bill Bloomberg. Decent summary of above exclusive for non-Times subscribers.

UK needs more immigrants to ‘avoid Brexit catastrophe’ Guardian

How Brexit Casts Doubt Over the Future of Co-Productions Hollywood Reporter

Brexit and the coming food crisis: ‘If you can’t feed a country, you haven’t got a country’ Guardian

In Tumult of Trump, Jon Corzine Seeks a Wall Street Comeback NYT. Hoo boy. I guess in the good ole USA, masters of the universe are also TBTF. Give that man his second chance!

Dubious Corporate Practices Get a Rubber Stamp From Big Investors NYT. Quelle surprise! Seriously, make time for Gretchen Morgenson’s latest.

GOP talks of narrowing ‘blue-slip’ rule for judges The Hill

North Korea?

A Murderous History of Korea London Review of Books. Important. Don’t miss this piece by Bruce Cumings.

New Ferry Linking North Korea and Russia Squanders Isolation Efforts by US The Wire


India’s unfounded fears: For China, One Belt One Road is about economics – not world domination


TPP countries keep trade deal alive without Trump’s U.S Reuters

Trump Transition

Donald Trump’s extravagant trip to Saudi Arabia is a desperately-needed distraction from his crisis at home Independent. Latest from Patrick Cockburn.

Trump ally Roger Stone blasts president’s Saudi meeting The Hill. Stone tweeted: “Candidly this made me want to puke.” When you’ve lost Roger Stone….

Trump Hands Saudi Arabia Largest Arms Deal in History, Saudi King Awards Trump Medal Michael Shedlock

Why is Trump rewarding Saudi war crimes with more weapons? The Hill

Melania scours media to protect Trump Politico

How Rollbacks at Scott Pruitt’s E.P.A. Are a Boon to Oil and Gas NYT

Trump or Congress can still block Robert Mueller. I know. I wrote the rules. WaPo

Watergate? We’re Not There Yet NYT. Hmm– The Grey Lady’s editorial board declines to jump onto the impeachment bandwagon and instead gives Dems some sensible advice about where to target their efforts.

Don’t underestimate Trump WaPo. Remarkably sensible, once you ignore the partisan snark– and from Ron Klain, no less.

What Got Buried in the Crazy News Cycle: U.S. Attacks Syria Edition Atlantic US reminder for US readers that accounts of the Trump chaos only one of many important world news stories.

New Cold War

Has James Comey Committed Perjury? by Publius Tacitus Sic Semper Tyrannis

First on CNN: Comey now believes Trump was trying to influence him, source says CNN

Special Counsel Robert Mueller Could Object To James Comey’s Public Testimony Before Intelligence Committee International Business Times

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem Vox


Russians Are Laughing at the U.S., Not Just at Trump Bloomberg

Imperial Collapse Watch

At the Pentagon, overpriced fuel sparks allegations — and denials — of a slush fund WaPo (Dan K)

Class Warfare

May’s plan to end free school lunches ‘to hit 900,000 struggling families’ Guardian

Strike: Here’s Why Tens of Thousands of AT&T Workers Just Walked Off the Job Motherboard

Banks Want a Piece of the Payday-Loan Pie WSJ

Yale grad students’ hunger strike can’t turn the tide for labor The Conversation

Tips for States and Cities Trying to Raise Workers’ Wages

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. craazyboy

    Owls – need eyebrows trimmed!

    Musical Interlude. Wrote this in only 10 minutes, while on my first coffee. [freshly home ground Italian dark roast expresso.] That’s bankable talent!

    I feel like a culture traitor writing a song like this. Not really. Some of ’em piss me off too. hahaha.
    Monkey Dude helped my write this over a few bottle of Red Wine. Monkey Dude hates Red Wine.

    Born to Be Why-ite
    [Sorry, Steppenwolf. John Kay, too.]

    Get up the morning
    Tofu fights the yawning
    Bring a little caffeine
    Starbucks in my Tureen.

    Gotta make my mark today
    Boston’s where we fit in
    Traffic circle is the place.
    Acela to a wonderful place.

    We got creds
    Say we’re here
    Where we are
    This is clear.
    At the top
    we belong.
    The Why-ite never die-eye!

    Born to Be Why-ite
    Born to Be Why-ite

    Sound of farting fills the car.
    Brains around we all are.
    Speaking mindfull’s what we do
    Flies a falling, coming too.

    Dada da da da
    Dada and a Popa
    Moma and the Mopa
    Mopa is my maid.
    Got the parent’s estate
    Still got it made everyday.
    How the Why-ite never die-eye!

    Born to Be Why-ite
    Born to Be Why-ite

    P.S. Copywrite. Starbucks, too.

    1. FreeMarketApologist


      (Haven’t done anywhere near that much this morning and I’m on my 2nd cup).

      1. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

        We have Tawny Frogmouths in our street here in Brisbane, Australia.

        Ther are not owls.

        pip pip

        1. Edward E

          Kind of a resemblance to Claude Taylor and Louise Mensch.

          ‘cept Claude is out front with the good stuff and a lot of people have a weirdo friend.

      1. Lee

        And, they are tool users:

        Up to three white eggs are laid in the fork of a branch, and are incubated by the female at night and the male in the day. The three Podargus species are large frogmouths restricted to Australia and New Guinea, that have massive flat broad bills. They are known to take larger prey such as small vertebrates (frogs, mice, etc.), which are sometimes beaten against a stone before swallowing.[1]

        1. craazyboy

          “Up to three white eggs are laid in the fork of a branch..”

          I’d say they are an infrastructure user, and, “They didn’t build that!” Like me.

          Now for someone planning to eat the eggs, they would be a fork user.

  2. timbers

    Health Care

    Nurses heckle Democratic leader, threaten legislators over health care Sacramento Bee

    The line from Democrat Party Chairman to Democratic voters “Why don’t you shut the F**K up and go outside”

    Gee I wonder why Democrats spent the last 8 years losing a record amount of elections to a deeply un-popular Republican Party.

    1. Charger01

      I’m surprised. I thought that Team GOP has better approval numbers that Team Dems.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Yes, Mr Chairman​. We’re going outside your party and starting our own. Buh-bye!

    3. oho

      The Democratic Party apparatus treats their base like guano because they can as the DNC’s real base is the donor class.

      People need to stop being sheep and instead of fretting about ‘resisting,’ start a revolution within Team Dem.

    4. craazyboy

      Not very PC. They should know better, being sensitive, caring, terrified Snowflakes.

      I would have phrased it, emphasis on “Why”, [as in why am I even here???], “Please go outside, folks, and find a safe spot to have Centrist sex in.”

  3. Linda

    Israel said to be bolstering Trump’s welcome ceremony

    Move comes after US president receives royal treatment upon arrival in Saudi Arabia

    Israel has made last-minute changes to the airport welcome ceremony organized for visiting US President Donald Trump, adding some pomp, decorum and a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 10 reported Saturday.

    Trump is due to touch down at Ben Gurion Airport shortly before 12:15 p.m. on Monday. The US president was set to be received with a simple handshake ceremony on the tarmac, then taken by helicopter to his first meeting, a visit with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

    A last-minute decision had been made to upgrade the welcoming ceremony, Channel 10 reported, and it will now include more formalities and a speech by the Israeli leader. The TV channel aired a picture of a military band practicing on the tarmac.

    1. Off The Street

      With the revised ceremony, will there be Hollywood special effects and Broadway show tunes? How much of diplomacy is kayfabe?

      1. wilroncanada

        There will be a demonstration of how to build a wall on someone else’s land, along with a giant screen showing a turkey shoot in the West Bank, with Palestinians forced to dress as turkeys.

    1. katiebird

      That comment about the check mark vs the x …. IS there a way to demand a recount?

      1. Vatch

        To save people from going to the site and scrolling down, here’s that comment:

        When some of the voting ballots were excluded from the official count because they didn’t have a “check mark” verses an “X” and the instructions allowed for either marking, it resembles the same type of voter disenfranchisement that occurred in 2000. More importantly, there are no rules in the state party bylaws (… that permit a ballot to be excluded merely because it does not have an “X” or a check mark but instead is bubbled in. Therefore, whomever made the executive decision to exclude even a single vote did so in violation of the bylaws. Lastly, Mr. Bowman was seen sitting on a table chatting it up with the people tasked with monitoring the ballot boxes for most of the 3 hour voting period. Conceding the race under such circumstances would be an epic failure on the part of either candidate.

        It’s the 2016 Democratic primaries all over again, and we know how well that turned out for the Democratic party.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Fool me once…

          To leave or to reform/takeover?

          How many times can one be fooled? 2016 again.

    2. Kim Kaufman

      From further reading earlier (don’t remember where now)… the lawyers are or will be talking – Bauman, Ellis and CADEM’s. Afaik, from earlier, Ellis has not conceded.

      Bauman took close to $100k from Big Pharma during Nov. election, to “keep quiet” about Prop 61, which would have reduced the cost of drugs in CA, and which Bernie campaigned for. Big Pharma fear-mongering won and it was not approved by the voters. In case anyone doesn’t know this about Bauman.

  4. fresno dan

    Kushner also accompanied Flynn to his meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period — part of the pattern of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that Flynn subsequently lost his job for lying about. Kushner, however, also arranged subsequent meetings with Kislyak and other Russian officials — and the White House didn’t disclose those at the time, either.

    Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials were enough to bring him onto the radar of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Trump/Russia probe, which is questioning all Trumpworld figures who had contacts with Russia. And his failure to disclose all of those meetings — even when applying for a security clearance — has raised some eyebrows (Democratic Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) has called for Kushner’s clearance to be stripped.)
    The idea that Kushner was some sort of moderating influence on Donald Trump was always more than a little overblown — there was never much evidence that Trump was being moderated. What’s becoming clear, though, is that Kushner isn’t just incapable of stopping the president’s intemperance or preventing his ethical lapses — and that he’s not simply a businessman trying to maximize his own profits, either.

    If Kushner has, or is, a Russia problem, that means that the current investigations go to the beating family heart of the Trump White House. That could set up a very, very nasty fight indeed.
    What would Kushner do to protect Kushner? BTW, I always thought Kushner’s great influence was do to being a yes man.
    What would Trump do to protect Kushner?

    If I were the blob, my strategy would be to go after Kushner to precipitate Trump to fire Mueller and really get the tweets going….

    1. sleepy

      What would Kushner do to protect Kushner?

      Maybe Jared had some personal side hustles on the sly. If that’s the case, his dad’s history with family members may be instructive. From wikipedia:

      The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner’s act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister Esther’s husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators; Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged to record an encounter between the two, and had the tape sent to his sister.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      This is getting completely out of hand.

      It’s also interesting that, according to Reuters’ Julia Edwards Ainsley, the White House is considering trying to hobble Mueller — using a regulation barring Mueller from investigating anyone his former law firm had represented. In practice, that would be Kushner and former campaign head Paul Manafort.

      Setting aside the fact that there is a regulation, what is even more interesting is that last weekend, msnbs’s rabid dog, joy reid, tried to sell the idea that Muelller was a compromised choice since his law firm represented Jared and Ivanka. (Their lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, was similarly savaged when she accepted them as clients.) Apparently reid’s trial balloon failed to gain tractiion, and has since been abandoned in favor of the current attack line.

      This all sounds like preemptive discrediting of an investigation that cannot be reliably counted on to arrive at acceptably derogatory conclusions to me. But one thing seems to be for sure: the corrupt incestuousness of washington can be relied on to provide an impenetrable smoke screen of doubt whenever one happens to be needed.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Kushner also accompanied Flynn to his meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period — part of the pattern of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that Flynn subsequently lost his job for lying about. Kushner, however, also arranged subsequent meetings with Kislyak and other Russian officials — and the White House didn’t disclose those at the time, either

      When did the subsequent meetings occur – and was that Obama’s White House or Trump’s – it’s not clear from the article.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I’d really like to know what would be considered acceptable conduct / contacts for an NSA-designate during the transition period. I’m getting the idea that the only real definition is “not what Michael Flynn did.”


          I don’t get it. What is wrong with meeting with an ambassador? Meeting in a garage with a spy looks bad. But an ambassador is who you are supposed to talk to.

  5. craazyboy

    Russians Are Laughing at the U.S., Not Just at Trump Bloomberg

    Well, I hope they’re laughing with us. Not at us.

    “President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal.”

    WTF??? Melania a Monica surrogate? Not even close.

    They’re getting more mileage outta this nothingburger than Kim Jong and his missile launch!

  6. petal

    Area farmers worried about losing their cheap labor.

    Also this week one of our local pizza shops(my go-to take away place) closed with no notice after 38 years. Dominos opened a shop, mainly delivery, in the next town over and majorly undercut them. The other pizza shop in town had a sandwich board out yesterday that said “keep it local, just say no to corporate pizza”. They are sweating it as well, I’ve heard. On my way home I pass multiple Dominos drivers, they speed through the apartment complex at all hours with their loud cars, and they tailgate on area roads. It’s been great-like an infestation is great.

    1. CanCyn

      And it is such sh*tty pizza, I don’t know why anyone would eat it. I live not too far from a very wealthy neighbourhood and if I drive through near dinner time, I always see a Dominoes delivery or two. There is great pizza to be picked up from a couple places not too far away (I guess they stay in business via their eat-in customers and their wine & beer sales)… It amazes me that cost and convenience rules even people who can well afford much better. The demand for ‘cheap’ everything explains so much about our current economic and societal woes.

      1. Huey Long


        Even in Brooklyn, home of some of the world’s best pizza parlors, Dominos is able to turn a profit. That somebody would choose chain pizza over Spumoni Gardens always baffles me.

        You’re right on with your observation regarding cheapness in America; the race to the bottom is killing our society.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          Triple parking on 86th street and waiting a half hour in line for a few slices might sometimes be a bit much for some good pizza…although a large lemon or cherry ice while waiting is not a bad(maybe bad for you) appetizer…

        2. pricklyone

          Doesn’t surprise me. I would choose Domino’s over the crap that NewYorkers think is pizza.
          (ducks, bobs and weaves)

      2. polecat

        Good pizza is not hard to make,
        Plus, you have an unlimited choice of toppings to choose from !

        1. petal

          Sure, that’s great, but not everyone has the time or energy to cook all the time. There are nights when I’m dead on my feet getting out of work and would not have eaten anything if not for that place. Plus, I’m not keen to have the oven on or slave over a hot stove top for an extended period when it’s 85-90+ degrees out, and I also have 2 other roommates to contend with for kitchen time in a tiny kitchen. Not everyone is so fortunate to be able to cook every night. Being able to cook is a luxury for me-it means I have time to spare, kitchen access, and I’m not completely exhausted.

          Yes, it spawned some conversations this week about the Walmartisation of America-the national chains come in, undercut the local businesses until they close, then no one has a choice but to stop at the big chain, and about the ripple effects to the surrounding community. This place closing opened some eyes. People want the cheapest these days whether they have money or not and don’t necessarily care about the effects.

          1. craazyboy

            Here, Walmart is the exception. They have the best [almost] pizza in town in the deli section. All ya need to do is cook it 12 minutes.

          2. kareninca

            We never eat out, and rarely get takeaway food (I’m lucky and have time to cook; I only make the simplest stuff). For New Years eve I got two large vegetarian pizzas from a local pizza place that is said to be a good employer. Including tax (I picked up, so no delivery fee), it was $64.

            I’m not going to start buying Domino’s, but who can afford the local stuff more than once in a great while? I can see why people go for the cheaper options. Next year we’ll get that local pizza again for New Year’s (if they’re still in business), but we won’t be getting it any sooner. We’re in Silicon Valley; maybe local pizza is cheaper other places.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              I had the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life* in a tiny hill village between La Verna and Pieve Santo Stefano in Tuscany last year and it cost eight Euro for the pie. I have no idea why even semi-decent pizza costs so damn much in the US. It obviously doesn’t need to. The pizzaiola (yep ending in an “a”) there is a true artist.

              *and I take pizza very seriously

            2. craazyboy

              They must be kidding about the $64. Comes with NY Chamber band? The mega meat at Wal-Mart is $10. The Supreme w/ pepper, tomato and onion eye candy, light on the meat, heavy on the cheese, is $9.

        1. Vatch

          Thanks for this information. A year and a half ago, there was an exposé about the dangerous routine use of antibiotics in factory farming, and which restaurant chains were the worst offenders:

          Only Panera and Chipotlé scored an A. Chick-Fil-A got a B, and Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds both got Cs. All others got an F, including Dominos. In the article that you posted, many of the restaurant chains which were graded F are listed as having pledged to improve their farming practices, but Dominos did not make such a pledge. The antibiotic exposé from 2015 appears to have been about a slightly different topic from the one in your article, but there is certainly overlap between the issues. If farms were to use more humane practices, and would not confine the animals so closely together, there would be less incentive to use antibiotics. Under current factory farming practices, meat farms are basically sewers with animals.

        2. ex-PFC Chuck

          Then there’s founder Tom Monaghan’s extreme Catholic ideology as exemplified in the community he built, Ave Maria Town.

          “ There is not going to be any pornographic television in Ave Maria Town,” Monaghan said in 2004, in a speech on his vision for the Florida town . “If you go to the drug store and you want to buy the pill or the condoms or contraception, you won’t be able to get that in Ave Maria Town.”

          1. CD

            Where are the religionists who want to retreat to the desert or country, and get away from our “sinful” society?

            We need more of them.

            1. ambrit

              There are still “communal” and “traditionalist” farms here and there. The most visible practicioners of this, in my opinion, are the Amish. We have several Amish affiliated family farms here in south central Mississippi. They were also quite wonderful and helpful after Hurricane Katrina.

          2. Vatch

            I am continually amazed that some people who oppose abortion fail to realize that an excellent way to prevent many abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Their blindness is simply astounding.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      What are poor people supposed to do?

      Dominos has the 5.99 menu AND DELIVERS.

      Across broad sections of flyover country, minimum wage is like 7.50$.

      1. Darius

        I thought Monaghan sold Dominos to Bain Capital in a deal brokered by Mitt Romney, who proceeded to fire about a third of the staff, leverage it up to it’s eyeballs, cut the remaining staff’s pay and get rid of whatever benefits they had. USA! USA!

        1. ambrit

          I’m waiting for some humble mad food scientist to develop a crust that doubles as the box, since, so many “cheap” pizzas now have the consistency and flavour of cardboard.

  7. JTMcPhee

    Re Melania scouring the media to “protect” Trump: I recall Nancy Reagan and her quick reaction to a brief exposure of Ronnie’s half-shaved Former Presidential Scalp (from a surgery to remove a blood clot from a fall from a horse.) Any number of other Reagan stories, and tales of other figureheads too, all that effort to “protect the image and legacy” of sh!ts who get to live large and be lionized, while wreaking havoc on ordinary people. Like kennedy’s wayward member, Eisenhower’s “driver,” Monica who?

    And of course let us not forget Correct Distort The Record, and Operation Nightingale, and oh jeez, one can go barking mad trying to keep track of the corruption and hypocrisy and baby and big steps toward annihilation of the species and habitability of the biosphere by people who live out their perfect lives in great wealth and insulated comfort. Free from any possible retribution or consequence.

  8. JTMcPhee

    Gotta ask: the new frame is “Trump Chaos Putin Bromance.” I don;t see anything “chaotic” in the Imperial antics — just more of what Empire has been delivering, here and elsewhere on the planet since humans went all urban and “civilized” and modern and “sophisticated” ( a word that used to mean “spoiled, debased” until it took on its cool gloss.)

    But of course “chaos” is what sells, at the moment, and it is the real product of “our” elite’s policies…

  9. Carolinian

    Great links today! Perhaps the LRB piece could become one of a series–true histories of countries the US foreign policy blob has demonized.

    BTW there are some interesting documentaries about North Korea that may be available in local libraries including New York Philharmonic Live from North Korea.

    In 2008 Lorin Maazel takes the orchestra to Pyongyang to perform a concert for the country’s elite and give master classes to young music students. One suspects this gesture found a mixed reception back here in the Homeland.

    1. ewmayer

      “the Homeland” — Hey, pal, the proper official term is Das Farterland. Get it? Got it? Sehr Gut!

  10. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

    Didn’t the US have a treaty with Korea prior to the takeover by Japan over a hundred years ago? I recall reading that when America had the prospect something bigger and better going with the Japanese trade-wise, and reneged happily on the treaty with Korea despite their diplomatic pleadings. I got this from reading:

    The China Mirage: The hidden history of American Disaster in Asia –
    By James Bradley

    Either way, no wonder the Koreans are more than a little ticked off.

    Just the other day I got (maybe) a flash of insight on the quote attributed to Henry Ford about history being bunk. I think he meant that history as it is taught at school is bunk. I would agree with that!

    Pip Pip

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The US, under president George Washington, had a treaty with France.

      When Britain warred with France, after their revolution, our response was, ‘the treaty was with King Louis XVI and since he is dead, the treaty is no longer valid,’ when the new French republic asked the founders to reciprocated their assistance not too longer earlier.

      That’s what I learned from watching a recent film about Sam Adams (who favored helping the French).

      Perhaps the same logic was applied to Korea, if there was ever a treaty.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The view is that NK is a bunch of irrational kooks but I’d say they have behaved completely rationally based on the inputs the US have made over the last 70 years, we put nukes on their borders pointed at them plus 50,000 troops and maintained an ongoing state of war, and their leaders know they would have been Gaddafied long ago had they not armed to the teeth in response. They told us repeatedly over decades that they were willing to de-nuke (of course they’d want to do that) but we said NoThanks.

        1. Procopius

          Slick Willie (Clinton) worked a deal with them, but Cheney and Rumsfeld persuaded W to break it. It’s not clear, and of course there’s no way for us civilians to find out, whether C&R were lying about PRNK cheating, but I would trust the North Koreans’ word more than them any day of the week.

      2. Abate Magic Thinking but NOT Money

        Re: MyLessThanPrimeBeef , Sam Adams

        Hardly a surprise that Sam didn’t prevail given the trade links with the old country at the time. I wonder how many people would have be on his case for suggesting support for France and how the trolls of the day would have expressed themselves.

        From reading about the French side of things, they expected some recompense from the fledgeling US for the generous support they provided during the revolutionary war. Some trade would have been an adequate gesture, but as they say: out of sight out of mind.

        I wonder whether there was some element or re-paying old debts in the US involvement in the two great wars of the 20th century, but doubt it.

        Pip pip

      3. wilroncanada

        But Mr Prime:
        A treaty, like the US Constitution, is just a g**d*mn piece of paper.
        A former President, who knows everything there is about g**d*mn, said so.

  11. tongorad

    How Much It Sucks to Be a Sri Lankan Worker Making Beyoncé’s New Clothing Line

    Beyonce’s much-hyped surprise collaboration with British clothing giant Topshop made headlines around the world when it launched in April this year. Topshop’s website crashed as people rushed to purchase premium athleisure (prices start at $14 for sweatbands, and go up to $265 for a full length color block body.) An exclusive cover story with Elle emphasized how the clothing line was “a way to push a feel-good, woman-power ethos, to de-emphasize perfectionism, to value strength over beauty, and to inspire.”

    The backlash was inevitable. British tabloid newspaper the Sun on Sunday ran an expose describing the Sri Lankan garment workers making the range as “sweatshop ‘slaves’ earning just 44p (64 cents) an hour making ’empowering’ Beyoncé clobber.” Reporters visited “poverty-stricken seamstresses” at the MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka, which produces the clothes.

    1. polecat

      I’ll wager that those workers aren’t wearing pussy hats in solidarity with the glitter’ROT’ty crowd ….

      Ownedward … Shackled .. Together !

        1. polecat

          ‘Where did they go ?’

          Why, sent back to Sri Lanka .. to be refitted with two rows of baby blue googly eyes, dyed taupe, and made to be worn horizontally by the economically safe 20%, THEN sent BACK to the U.S. of A., by ‘ocean freighter’ …. as the NEW environmental mascot !

          Stop ocean acidification : ‘Save the Scallop’

    2. cnchal

      Here is the sucks part.

      One sewing machine operator said that she was unable to survive on her basic wage of 18,500 rupees a month ($126). The newspaper claimed on average seamstresses earn £4.30 a day ($6.23), although acknowledging that workers at the factory were still being paid above the legal minimum wage of 13,500 rupees a month.

      “What is being described by the Sun it looks like a severe case of exploitation, bordering on slavery,” said anti-exploitation campaigner Jakub Sobik from Anti-Slavery International. He highlighted particular concerns, including low pay and limits on the women’s movement at night by locking them into their accommodation (the workers reside on-site and are subject to curfews.)

      This is no different than Apple’s Chinese slave workers making CrApple stuff and getting paid essentially zero for their work, and then living like broiler chickens, twelve to a cage on a split shift.

      What isn’t stolen by Apple (their quarter trillion dollar hoard was beaten out of those workers) is stolen by the Chinese Communist Party elite.

      Workers that resist and try to organize get shot dead. Globalization is a disaster everywhere one looks.

    1. Romancing The Loan

      Those twitter replies are spectacular!

      anecdote re the article itself – a friend complained to me that our mutual friends, who came from leafy just-west-of-Boston prosperity, are openly anticipating (and estimating the size of) their eventual inheritances to the point where it struck him as downright vulgar. They certainly don’t discuss it in front of me (perhaps because I was from the poor side of town) but I know that most of that crowd has basically given up on ever making much $ themselves and are very much depending on their parents’ demise to infuse them with a boatload of cash in their 40s to make up for this. They have no plans for if this does not occur.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The parents are safer to let their children wait until they, the parents, go to a far, far better world, and not let the kids have any money before that.

        I know of one person who asked his 80+ year old parents to move out, so he could sell the house. That was a couple of years ago, and the price has gone up since. A better strategy would have been to keep the house, let his parents live in the same house they had lived in for over 20 years, and borrow against it for the money that person needed (for his kids’, I heard).

  12. Jomo

    “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

    Is not the photo of Trump bowing and receiving the medal from the Saudi King after signing the arms deal a direct violation of the emolument clause? Are the Founders puking in Heaven?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Their is a staffer who grabs those things, and they are kept in a ware house in Washington. Sometimes the stuff winds up in the Smithsonian.

      By your standard, virtually every living President, cabinet members who leave the country are in the same bind.

      The “#resistance” might be more effective if they focused on actual matters.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Since the Constitution has come back into vogue for “#resitance” members, you might not be familiar with the process.

          Trump doesn’t actually keep the medal. The country does. We’ve been doing it for over two centuries. If he doesn’t keep it for himself, its not a gift. He just simply accepts it on behalf of the United States, turning it over to the Federal Government. There was a White House video in the waning days of Bill’s Administration detailing the items Bill treasured. Despite some of the ludicrous stuff in Bill’s Oval Office, Bill discussed a photograph and a rock he found which he really liked. Although gifts were often handed to him, he did not keep them.

          If you had the first link, you would know the reasoning.

          1. perpetualWAR

            Clintons took off with all kinds of WH loot when they left. They had to send it back.

            Grifters will grift.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            LOL #resistance and #Constitution in the same sentence, when their Patron Saint Obama shredded that fine document long ago.

            (In fairness Cheney/Bush made the initial incisions and then our Mellifluous Melanoderm solidified and deepened and institutionalized the wounds, he made sure THAT MEMO with the “legal” “justification” for global pre-crime state murder stayed locked away in a safe, and added a few rips of his own, like ACA requiring for the first time that citizens by law must purchase a certain service from a private company).

          3. Procopius

            It goes so far, Army officers had to go through getting formal approval from the Department of Defense to accept the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Enlisted men didn’t, for some reason. It was routine, but was considered necessary. It’s quite common for foreign governments to give medals and gifts to high ranking military officers. Flynn violated that law, and if they wanted to the Army could call him back to active duty and court martial him for accepting payment from that Turkish businessman for his illegal lobbying. They won’t, of course.

        2. sleepy

          By your interpretation, then every single president since the distant past has been in violation of that clause, since they all have accepted presents “of any kind whatsoever”.

          Your ignore the fact that those “presents” are considered gifts to the US and not personal gifts to the president and, as the poster above noted, are consequently stored away in a federal warehouse.

      1. marym

        The “#resistance” might be more effective if they focused on actual matters.

        Yes. Most of those matters of policy that do so much harm would continue or get worse in a potential Pence or Ryan presidency, and/or are continuations of bad Dem policy.

        I thought it was the Smithsonian, but a search found this from the National Archives. Eventually they may move them to their presidential libraries (also operated by the National Archives).

        1. Jomo

          Accepting gifts is “bad policy” and “bad optics” and in conflict with the Constitution. It could be easily corrected in our days of modern communication by telling foreign potentates that no gifts will be accepted and will be publicly refused. End of problem.

          Also, all these references to “#resistance” have me baffled. What are you saying?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Again, they aren’t accepting gifts on behalf of their person. They are accepting the gifts as agents of the United States. If Trump pocketed the medal. then it could be argued he violated the Emoluments clause or at least stole from the United States. I made the point about Bill Clinton because it was an example of a President who has “accepted” gifts from foreign powers such as RUSSIA but didn’t keep them because it would be a violation of the Constitution. Im fairly certain Trump was handed a binder full of the “gifts” received by Presidents over the years with which he could decorate his office.

            As for “#resistance,” the emoluments clause was a rallying cry of Hillary Supporters.

            You may not like the optics, but Trump receiving the medal was largely the least heinous thing he did yesterday. The focus on the medal which is common to every Washington official who goes abroad in some official capacity tells me something about your focus. Then despite a link explaining the situation, you clearly ignored the explanation.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

              Explained by wiktionary as “Understanding cannot be forced on someone who chooses to be ignorant. “

              Or, presumably, someone who just plain hates Trump.

            2. Jomo

              Be assured that I read your link when you posted it and did not “ignore it.” Decisions of convenience by bureaucrats in past administrations are not definitive (as we have recently seen with the many past policies overturned by Trump). Telling me what Obama or Bill Clinton did is also not reassuring. If you have a court decision on this matter, I would like to read it.

              Thank you for the explanation on “#resistance.”

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Its not a matter of “convenience.” You are refusing to simply acknowledge new evidence to fit your preconceived notions which you presented as a question.

                You might not like it, but it won’t change the explanation or make it unconstitutional all of a sudden.

              2. marym

                According to the link I posted at 11:05 this ceremonial form of state gift exchange has been an accepted part of diplomacy and official hospitality for all US history. It’s not a problem, or bad optics, or illegal. This is a distraction from the real issues of policy that we face.

              3. todde

                Since you’re making the assertion that it is illegal and precedent doesn’t matter, perhaps it’s up to you to provide the court case that says it’s illegal.

    2. Jef

      Jomo – In this instance The Don is not acting as Prez, he is simply the sales rep for US weapons manufacturers so no harm done.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Go after the manufacturers, not the poor sales rep, in that case.

        “The cure is to be found at the source.”

        I would say, let the Smithsonian keep it.

        And if Congress did not oppose it, it’s still likely that Trump has not violated the part about ‘with the approval of Congress.’ The approval can come any time, before, during or long after. Who knows, if congress has not passed a resolution denounce it, isn’t that ‘tacit approval?”

  13. fresno dan

    Maybe its too early, but I can’t find any transcripts of the Trump speech in Saudi Arabia.
    If anyone knows of a (reputable) site that has a transcript of said speech, I would appreciate knowing where its at.
    thanks in advance!

      1. fresno dan

        May 21, 2017 at 11:22 am

        I should have had that link saved, but I didn’t! Thank you very much!!!

          1. fresno dan

            May 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm

            That very handy to have as well. Thanks for that too!!!

  14. fresno dan

    Trump Hands Saudi Arabia Largest Arms Deal in History, Saudi King Awards Trump Medal Michale Shedlock

    The $109.7billion deal is for this year only. It’s $350 billion over a decade. Lockheed Martin praised the deal:

    Lockheed Martin President Marillyn Hewson praised the deal as one that will bolster the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and “strengthen the cause of peace in the region.”

    “At Lockheed Martin, we are proud to be part of this historic announcement that will strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Hewson said in a statement.

    The arms deal includes military sales to Saudi Arabia of $110 billion immediately and $350 billion total over the next decade, according to the White House official. The two countries also agreed to a joint vision statement, private-sector agreements and defense cooperation agreements.
    Perhaps above all else, we will be expected to brush under the carpet the fact that, twice in a single day, Trump accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the 9/11 attacks. “Who blew up the World Trade Center?” Trump asked his pals at Fox and Friends on the morning of February 17, 2016. “It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”

    At a campaign event in South Carolina later that day, he again cited “secret papers” that could prove it was “the Saudis” who were in fact responsible for the attacks on 9/11. “It wasn’t the Iraqis that knocked down the World Trade Center … because they have papers in there that are very secret, you may find it’s the Saudis, OK?”

    (To be fair to Trump, far more credible and better-informed figures have come to a similar conclusion: “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” wrote former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry into 9/11, in an affidavit in 2012.)
    I guess the word is “pragmatic” /sarc….as well as draining the swamp too quickly might have bad, terrible, no good environmental consequences….

    1. financial matters

      9/11 Or was it Israel setting up Saudi Arabia? After 9/11 the Neocon agenda went ahead full throttle.

      1. GF

        $350 billion is almost enough to pay for 25% of the F 35 cost to Lockheed Martin. Looks like it might actually get online afterall.

        1. Procopius

          Naw, those are sunk expenditures. They still need to find many more billions to fix the remaining problems, Maybe thirty more years.

    2. heresy101

      Saw this comment at previous Moon of Alabama link:

      In all likelihood, what frances describes below will be the result of Jared Kushner’s putting Trump in bed with the 12th century barbarians at the House of Saud and Wahhabists together with the Zionists by providing them with $300B in arms. The 1% and the MIC will be ecstatic, but as he describes – This will end very, very badly!! The MIC and neocons will have their war and Trump can pacify the populace with $80B in infrastructure improvements. Too bad the Warmongress won’t be able extract donations to her foundation.

      reply to Curtis 83:
      “”CNN’s article included this:
      “… its Arab proxies under assault from pro-Syrian militias… Iranian proxies in Syria.””
      “Arab proxies? Not Syrian? Not “opposition” fighters?”
      You found it; the moment in time when the US announced they have changed the rules of the game. The new labeling, the huge arms sale to SA, Trump’s trip to SA,Israel and the Gulf Monarchies (GM), it all fits. I believe they are creating a Middle Eastern NATO using SA money to buy the arms, Israel to provide the tech, the GM to provide additional cash and more troops from the usual sources.
      IMO a war, a really big war is about to be fought by “ME NATO” troops against Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Russia simultaneously and they will attack Iran directly. The war will be given media cover by use of the new “proxies” labels.
      This will end very, very badly.
      Posted by: frances | May 19, 2017 11:24:48 PM | 103

      1. financial matters

        Yes, first Iraq and now the pivot to Iran is worrisome.


        President Trump calls out Iran for having “fueled the fires” of terror

        financial matters
        March 22, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        If you think in terms of a long term US/Israeli plan to destabilize countries such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan it can make more sense. The plan doesn’t really include stabilization as much as a plan to create disarray and thus a less formidable opponent.

        Russia has proved to be a major stumbling block in this plan by allying with Iran in Syria. Hillary would have definitely taken this on while Trump seems to want to be more accommodating with Russia.

        So now we seem to have a president who is not a hard core neocon and also the reality on the ground that Russia/Iran seem to have taken the moral high ground as well as being a very strong opponent.

        I think the key thing to watch in how our foreign policy moves forward is our orientation toward Israel and Iran. If we continue unwavering support of Israel and continued hyperventilation toward Russia/Iran that could be problematic.

    3. Ancient 1

      The above link explains Islam and it’s different branches. It also exposes America’s ignorance of this religion and it also explains which countries are Sunni or Shia. There haves been battles for years between these two factions and the West has involved themselves just for power, money and influence. The Trump Administration has now taken sides in this battle. By the actions that Trump has taken with Saudi Arabia, he has now made himself known to the world that he and the U.S. are in bed with the Sunnis. He and the U.S. mega corporations are giving away the company store and no one is watching. But just wait. The other shoe hasn’t’ dropped yet.

    4. Andrew

      Even more bizarre is that Trump was at the opening of The Global Centre for Combatting Extremism. In Saudi Arabia. Yes, this actually exists. The universe sure has a strange sense of humour.

  15. Jef

    Several articles pointing out the US threat of “bombing back to the stone age” is no idle threat.

    Libya had some of the most advanced infrastructure on the continent and was helping the rest of Africa to advance without falling under the yoke of world bank/IMF. Which is a big part of why the bombing had to happen.

    We have killed millions throughout the middle east through sanctions, then bombing, then lack of basic infrastructure after. Why would anyone want to leave?

    1. JTMcPhee

      And looking, as we ought, to other Grand Exercises of Imperial Might, there’s even a link above, today,, that sort of gently mentions that the US bombed the living (dying) crap out of Korea during whatever that thing was that killed millions of Koreans and planted the myth of “democracy” in among the dictators our Secret Squirrels installed and maintained there.

      I wonder if the following would escape the censors editors’ electronic blue pencil and black marker in the present:

      Since World War II, the United States has engaged in an almost unbroken chain of major and minor wars in distant and poorly understood countries. Yet for a meddlesome superpower that claims the democratic high ground, it can sometimes be shockingly incurious and self-absorbed. In the case of the bombing of North Korea, its people never really became conscious of a major war crime committed in their name.

      Paying attention in a democracy is a moral obligation. It is also a way to avoid repeating immoral mistakes. This is from an op-ed in the WAPO, March 24, 2015, titled “The U.S. war crime North Korea won’t forget.” Please note the generous helping of sauce de Narratif a la Bernays, of course. A less gentle recitation of US flagrant idiocy and destruction is here: “Limited War, Unlimited Bombing,”

  16. allan

    He’s running:

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have spent a day hiking around Mount Katahdin in Maine and talking with local residents on their anniversary weekend.

    Zuckerberg said they met Saturday with former mill workers, teachers, small business owners, a librarian and a trucker in the town of Millinocket. …

    Personally, I’ll be voting for Giant Meteor 2020.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      President Hoodie. Can you imagine?

      The spectacle of a debate between zuckerberg and Trump would be surreal–I don’t often use that word, but right now I just can’t come up with anything else.

      Those world leaders who aren’t laughing at us yet, soon will be.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump and all that goes with it versus a founder of a “hot or not” website to get back at his ex girlfriend who is located in Silicon Valley which has a less than stellar working environment for women. Wow!

        The article didn’t include any of the conversation with the “a librarian.”

      2. polecat

        Many .. uh .. ‘world leaders’ are themselves riding the ‘surreal bus’ ….. so zuck & the orange Julius would have plenty of company !
        And yes they’re all laughing, privately, amongst themselves … at you, me, and the rest of the 80+ % chumpage !

      3. UserFriendly

        At which point we might as well be voting with our phones because it isn’t about policy any more we are just playing American Idol. I hate this shit hole.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is good news for Cuomo. At least Cuomo won’t be the biggest train wreck of the 2020 election.

      -Zuck’s pro-charter school; an anti-teacher candidate can’t win a Dem primary
      -he’s short
      -he’s awkward
      -he has no policy views beyond Facebook
      -the people most impressed by a “business” guy are Republicans. Perot and Trump are fine examples.
      -unlike Hillary, he lacks a built in nostalgia factor. Like Rufio this year, Zuckerberg strikes me as best described as what an old person believes a young person should seem like.
      -There is the Hawaii house situation
      -data mining
      -potential censorship
      -Sanders had a long term record which is was key to his credibility.
      -Zuck is surrounded by an army of yes men. This creates problem about how he proceeds. Look at Hillary.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I personally think he could get there, he can instantly tell 2 Billion people what they should think and can tweak the “fact-o-sphere” in realtime if it sways the wrong way. That’s both necessary AND sufficient.

      2. Abate Magic Thinking but NOT Money

        NotTimothyGeithner and Zee’burg/Cuomo

        Hey, Hey*, I’m short.

        Just send me the money and I’ll report myself on a Hawaii house situation and the rest as things develop.

        pip pip

        *With thanks to Krusty

      3. funemployed

        Are “business” guys even impressed by Zuck? I mean, he had one idea: make an elitist myspace, which he apparently stole.

    3. justanotherprogressive

      I think Zuckerberg running for President is absolutely hilarious! Never fear, I am sure he will get all the Elite to vote for him……and nobody else……sound familiar?

      I can’t even, in my worst nightmare, imagine what the people in Zuckerberg’s bubble are telling themselves…..I guess they think if they worship the dollar enough, all their dreams will come true…..

        1. polecat

          Yeah, hot , as in radioactively toxic !
          Maybe zucky should do an all expense paid luxury vacation to the beautiful … Hanford Nuclear Reservation …. to catch some .. rays.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        This moment is the one I am waiting for.. when he starts wearing suits with blue or red ties it’s all over.

    4. WeakenedSquire

      Don’t underestimate. Zuckerberg is very methodical. Unlike the other Silicon Valley billionaires, he has not indulged himself in juvenile sci-fi fantasies. Instead he has carefully and deliberately cultivated a wholesome persona. This year he’s already visited more states than Clinton ever did during her ill-fated campaign. He just went to Ohio and met with Democrats who voted for Trump. It was reported in the press that they found him very relatable.

      In a few years, people are going to be looking–perhaps desperately–for an antidote to Trump and partisan fighting and anger. Zuckerberg is very well known and liked and runs one of the world’s largest media platforms. No, he probably can’t win a Dem primary, but he doesn’t need to. I would not be surprised if he got over 40% of the vote in the general as an independent.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    “Donald, you’re the only man who can give us Single Payer. Only you with your greatness!!! That will make you the greatest president eva!!!!”

    OK, who is going to take one for the team and grovel before him to deliver that?

    “Ask not what your country can do for it. Ask what you can, with a few words, do for the country.”

    1. voxhumana

      Doncha know? It’s “never, ever going to happen”

      …because the Dems failed at their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:

      ““We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.

      Harkin and other liberals are now faced with the bitter irony that the centrists tried to placate five years ago by crafting a labyrinthine market-based reform are now all out of the Senate.

      “So as a result we’ve got this complicated thing out there called the Affordable Care Act,” he said.

      He believes Congress should have moved legislation in the first 100 days after Obama’s inauguration, which drew over a million people to the National Mall on a frigid January day.

      “There’s this old saying, ‘If you have the votes, vote. If you don’t, talk.’ We had the votes but we talked,” he said.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        From Wikipedia:

        Thomas Richard “Tom” Harkin (born November 19, 1939) is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985.
        He served five senate terms and at the end of his time in the senate served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. When he left the senate in 2015 he was the most senior junior senator after serving for 30 years and the sixth most senior senator over all.

        On January 26, 2013, he announced his intention to retire from the Senate after completing his fifth term in 2015.

        30+ years in the senate. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. These four areas are in such great shape currently, I’d expect Caroline Kennedy to tap him for the “Profiles in Courage” Award in the next couple of years. (/s in case anyone couldn’t tell.)

        He must have one colossal case of laryngitis, since I haven’t heard much from the guy regarding this latest “healthcare” flap.

  18. beth


    Getting Assange: the Untold Story

    There are so many accounts of Assange’s Swedish legal situation. I have tended to believe the one that was originally on this blog just after the events occurred. The documentary “Risk” gave another and now today we get a third account. There is some overlap but…but..THEY CANNOT ALL BE TRUE.

    Yes, I have no doubt at all that the U.S. has its sticky fingers involved, but as to the instigating events and what happened as a result, I am truly puzzled. Can anyone sort this out? I would really like to pick parts of each and make a coherence account but that wouldn’t be kosher.

    1. Linda

      Today’s doesn’t sound like a 3rd account. It sounds like a first account, and imo, it is true.

      1. Carolinian

        Right you are. These fact have been repeated many times for those who care to listen.

        Pilger story also provides yet another reason to avoid The Guardian like the plague.

        1. Olga

          Agree. Pilger’s account provides additional details I’ve not seen before… but the overall (true) story has been consistent.

  19. Andrew Watts

    RE: Getting Assange: the Untold Story

    The persecution of Assange cannot be understood in any other context than the craven antics of the US intelligence community. One of the stories on the front page of the NY Times this morning was about the Chinese decimating a CIA network with American intelligence unsure of how it transpired. This took place around the time Wikileaks began to rise to prominence.

    It’s much easier for the authorities to lash out at Assange, or any other whistleblower/leaker. who’ve never endangered anybody’s life. As opposed to cleaning up their own house. Instead they project their security lapses and/or failures onto people who were either exposing the wrongdoing or just embarrassing the US government.

    I find it both amusing and contemptuous that American intelligence is likely viewed as hapless amateurs by their contemporaries. Furthermore, their struggle for internal security was solved a long time ago by an American hacker from NYC.

    “I realized early on that only certain people can be trusted with certain information, and certain types of information can be trusted to no one. Giving out useful things to irresponsible people would inevitably lead to whatever thing it was being abused and no longer useful.”

    If I’m being honest it’s mostly just contempt. The fact that so many serious people were complaining about Trump not receiving his daily intelligence briefing is kinda funny though. Especially now.

    1. Devious Minds

      You know it stinks when you look at the people involved. Claes Borgstrom is a very dodgy guy. He was the lawyer of a guy that claimed to be a serial killer. Instead of defending him he collaborated in trying to convict him instead.

      “even the defence counsel (Claes Borgstrom) argued for his client’s guilt, because that’s how Quick instructed him, and were then too rigid to change their minds when the cases fell apart”.

  20. bob

    “Why kale is everywhere: How food trends are born Chicago Tribune”

    It helps Osmosis.

  21. Andrew Watts

    RE: TPP countries keep trade deal alive without Trump’s U.S

    It isn’t a trade deal but whatever. The only reason to keep TPP alive without the US is for Asian countries to wield a little leverage vis-a-vis China. It would’ve been more useful if the US was a part of the agreement but that didn’t happen.

    I hope they welcome their new benevolent Overlord!

    1. Olga

      If the world has to have overlords – a benevolent one is always preferred to the one who is vicious, violent, and destructive.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Very true. I can’t remember where I read it exactly, but a Panamanian taxi driver was once asked about the difference between America and China. His response was that the Americans took the good parts of the chicken and the Chinese left the bone.

          The United States didn’t ever figure out how to manage what was called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere after it was inherited after the second World War.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For now, we may have to contract out some work to Taiwan’s KMT spies in China.

    2. Andrew Watts

      I referenced that story above in my comment about Assange. In the case of one of the executions, the Chinese publicly executed a CIA mole in front of his fellow employees. That probably sent a stern message.

    1. Massinissa

      At least he publically admitted that Roger Ailes probably isn’t going to heaven

    2. griffen

      Losing a parent is tough to handle, let alone someone still planning to become a grown up.

      ( shedding not a tear for the father, however )

  22. griffen

    It is very pleasing to learn Mr Corzine is planning to launch new investment fund. Perhaps this go around he’ll have some minor controls in place. Don’t go mixing those customer accounts!

    I suppose the wealthy are his best audience, as they can most afford any eventual losses. Credentialism in action.

    1. georgieboy2

      As soon as Corzine hires one woman he will have one harassment suit in the oven… time have changed since he prowled the halls of the not-yet-vampire-squid.

      1. Abate Magic Thinking but NOT Money

        re griffen, Corzine

        On hearing about MF Global’s demise which I believe involved a complete change of business model, It made me appreciate why the French have strict rules about companies changing their publicly stated modus operandi.

        The hollowing out of brands, both commercial and political, seems to be the order of the day.

        If it is big-branded don’t buy, because It ain’t what it was (if it ever was). Either way, you are too late.

        Here in Australia, the German company Aldi is making big inroads into the supermarket scene. Nearly all the brands on offer are pretty cunning approximations of well advertized bands – let us not call them fake, but a glance at the packaging and you will find the Aldi name. But At least you know exactly where you are with the Aldi play on brands: usually better off.

        pip pip
        (Lidl Pom)

  23. Oregoncharles

    From the Bloomberg article on Brexit: ““The first crisis or argument is going to be over sequencing,” he said.”

    IOW, from an outsider’s point of view, both sides are acting like petulant children. That’s not unexpected in divorce proceedings, but aren’t these supposed to be responsible grownups?

    What’s most disturbing, if these are payments Britain has already agreed to, is that there is no objective accounting. An un-itemized bill should be rejected out of hand – on that level, the Brits are justified. The EU can’t agree on the amount, and the accountants say it’s an order of magnitude less. Granted, they’re British accountants, but if, as Yves says, these are contractual payments, the amount should (would?) be obvious.

    Bloomberg is not a British source, and even they say it’s a charge “for the divorce.” That concept is an absurdity.

    I still think this is basically a business transaction and business interests will eventually determine a less-than-disastrous outcome. But that’s assuming the participants aren’t petulant children.

    1. Anonymous2

      Part of the problem from the UK end, I believe, is that the politicians’ puppet-masters (the newspaper barons) either dislike the English (Murdoch) or otherwise care little as they do not live in the UK (the Barclays) or understand little, a classic case of power without responsibility. So they may well cause the UK to behave like a child. Davis used to be known as Mr No because of his supposed inability ever to agree with the other Europeans on anything.

      I fear quite a lot of the EU27 would be quite happy if the UK crashes and burns, in the expectation that it would discourage nationalism in other EU member states.

      It is, I fear, going to be a fraught 18 months in the UK.

      1. Abate Magic Thinking but NOT Money

        re: Anonymous2, newspaper barons:

        Taking into account the damage done, “The Big Bang” through Thatcher, and Brexit were the great victories against the old-enemy (maybe something to do with cultural cringe, Gallipoli or body-line in cricket?), and the Tea Party and Trump, is victory against the US for reasons I am unaware of. Time will tell which is the greater victim.

        Pip Pip

  24. Oregoncharles

    “UK needs more immigrants to ‘avoid Brexit catastrophe’ ”

    If true – and it’s plausible at least in health care – this implies that Britain’s education system has been disastrously mismanaged. Their birthrate may be low, a good thing, but they nonetheless have a lot of people in dead end social categories – and they’ve been raising the cost of upper education. In other words, they don’t really have a labor shortage; they just want some other country to do the expensive training.

    And, of course, the whole article may be in the service of a cheap-labor policy.

    Of course, both parts make sense given the neoliberal infestation.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Unreported structural unemployment isn’t high enough for the ruling class and wages can always go lower.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When you can bring in caste-conscious or respect-your-superiors Confucian influenced foreigner workers, made even obedient with the carrot of permanent residence, currently paid less (but some have fantasized that paying them more is the key to addressing the whole they’re-more-compliant issue), why would you try to re-train, keep or hire those xenophobic Deplorables (why can’t they love foreign cultures)?

    3. Abate Magic Thinking but NOT Money

      Oregoncharles: Brexit,

      Vocational training has been hollowed out in the UK. From what I recall the government examined the German collaborative model more than once in the last century, and the powers that be probably said “not invented here, too much union input.” (I have not read up on it).

      Germany 1, England 0 – A familiar score when it comes to the real economy and the other world game.

      pip pip.

  25. Oregoncharles

    “India’s unfounded fears: For China, One Belt One Road is about economics – not world domination”

    Ask the Tibetans.

    In all seriousness, that isn’t China they’re talking about. (Nor Russia, nor the US.)

  26. allan

    Pittsburgh Welcomed Uber’s Driverless Car Experiment. Not Anymore. [NYT]

    When Uber picked this former Rust Belt town as the inaugural city for its driverless car experiment, Pittsburgh played the consummate host.

    “You can either put up red tape or roll out the red carpet,” Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, said in September. “If you want to be a 21st-century laboratory for technology, you put out the carpet.”

    Nine months later, Pittsburgh residents and officials say Uber has not lived up to its end of the bargain. Among Uber’s perceived transgressions: The company began charging for driverless rides that were initially pitched as free. It also withdrew support from Pittsburgh’s application for a $50 million federal grant to revamp transportation. And it has not created the jobs it proposed in a struggling neighborhood that houses its autonomous car testing track. …

    A shocker. But surely David Plouffe has a perfectly sensible explanation.

  27. Olivier

    Yes, regarding Brexit, perhaps it is time for NC to accept that the UK has a stronger hand than NC has allowed in the past and to moderate its stance? Your reflexive dismissal of everything the UK said and did has been consistently extremely harsh yet now even EU negotiators admit they may have misjudged the situation.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Based on what? I don’t think there’s any link above that supports your claim.

    2. Yves Smith

      Are you serious? I hate to say it but since you asked for it, but this is yet another example of Brexit Derangement Syndrome.

      You appear to be referring to The Times/Bloomberg reports that David Davis said the UK will quit the Brexit talks if the demand for the exit tab was over €100 billion.

      First, we’ve said repeatedly in a game of chicken, the UK takes much bigger losses than the EU. This hissy fit doesn’t change that fundamental fact.

      Second, if the talks fall apart sooner than later, that might also favor the EU even more, since the EU has recognize they might fail from the get-go and have a far more competent professional bureaucracy (the UK has greatly hollowed out its Foreign Office). So the EU would also benefit more from more time to plan for a UK crash-out than the UK.

      Third, the EU recognizes the odds favor the talks failing. Recall that was Juncker’s message to Merkel after his Downing Street dinner. There was no “OMG the sky is falling! We must prevent that” based on his report.

      Fourth, the BBerg story (I didn’t bother unlocking the Times version) is based entirely on UK sources, so this is just a new bit of messaging from the UK side.

      Fifth, Davis’ position is actually a monster walk back from May’s position that the UK would not pay anything. Ooh, but you forgot that somehow, didn’t you?

      Sixth, as the BBerg story also indicates, the > €100 billion ask is one of many estimates bandied about, and it is also the highest of many. So if the EU comes in with lower number, that does not mean that the EU blinked. In fact, as Bruegel stressed., the most important thing in settling the tab was to agree on methodology, and the numbers would fall out that. Looking at total preliminary guesstimates is misleading.

      1. Olivier

        1. The net contribution of the UK to the EU budget is reportedly around 10 billion per year. Meanwhile it is well known that a number of countries joined on the expectation that they would receive lavish subsidies: that is their primary reason to love the EU. Since Germany and France have ruled out plugging the hole those subsidies will have to be slashed. I find it hard to believe that the EU is so sanguine about that prospect. Sure, the UK contribution will taper off anyway but a divorce fee would soften the blow for several years.

        2. The EU has consistently misjudged everything about Brexit: it did not believe there would be a referendum, then it did not believe the Leave side would win, next it did not believe the UK government would follow through and finally it did not believe the UK would dare to leave the negotiation table. At every turn they have been wrong. Why should we believe they are more clear-sighted about the rapport de force?

        3, Regardless of who is right and who can inflict the most damage to the other, I am turned off by the tone of the proceedings, including here at NC. Is it really necessary, for instance, to talk of derangement syndrome? Why are people who are neither british nor EU politicians so worked up?

  28. kareninca

    From “the good daughter”:

    “Finally I persuaded her to have carers – nice, kindly, expensive – for an hour five times a week.”

    Boy, if she thinks an hour a day is expensive, just wait. In Silicon Valley it is $28 per hour and there’s none of this “hour a day” stuff; you have to hire someone for half a day at least (and I don’t blame them one bit; who can afford to go to someone’s home for just an hour of work). I have friends who need to hire someone to help with elderly relatives and it can be cheaper to move them to an assisted living facility (if it means not having to pay rent; lots of elderly people don’t own their home around here).

    1. ambrit

      I felt the unkind glare of the mirror reading that piece; too true by half.
      Our experience with ageing relatives is that “assisted living” facilities are basically warehouses for oldsters. Once a relative entered one such place, it was only a matter of time, and not too long either, before the heirs were saying their “last goodbyes” to the earlier generation.
      As the woman writing the piece remarked, the issue is one that will define social relations across the society. At present, the issue of elder care is being framed as one with “winners” and “losers.” New thinking, or a return to some very old thinking is needed.

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