Links 5/8/17

There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up BBC

The new doomsayers taking up arms and preparing for catastrophe: American liberals Quartz (Phil U)

Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans than chimps Science Daily. Chuck L: “Too bad that humans didn’t get more of the Bonobo traits. And also those of the Muriqui.:

Muriquis are polygamous, and unlike many other primates, males spend large periods of time together without significant aggressive encounters. As such, they are also not territorial.”

How a tiny group of insects escaped extinction by hiding in a bush for 80 years Aeon

Yearly Snake Fuckfest Is In Full Swing Motherboard. No comment.

In the fastest-growing smartphone market, the Nokia dumb phone remains relevant—as a vibrator Quartz

Venice bans kebab shops to ‘preserve decorum’ of city Independent

Focus Gaming gone bust, tribe turns to marijuana farming San Diego Union Tribune (resilc)

Why Americans Smile So Much Atlantic


London Bridge is (Broken) Down The Automatic Earth

Michel Barnier wants Brexit reset Politico. Barnier may want a reset, but is anyone in power in the UK listening?

There is nothing cute about innumeracy FT. Another thoughtful Lucy Kellaway column.

Should Free Markets Govern the Bond Rating Agencies? Gretchen Morgenson on rating agencies.

Floods drive nearly 1,900 from homes in Canada’s Quebec AP (David L)

French Elections

Is France’s Political Crisis Just Beginning? The Atlantic. resilc: “crisis: bien sur
together France: rechape?”

How the French Media Turned Emmanuel Macron Into a Presidential Candidate Vice

Macron Wins In France (martha r)

5 takeaways from Emmanuel Macron’s win in France Politico

Présidentielle : un record de votes blancs et nuls Le Monde. Record number of votes declare a pox on both their houses.

Présidentielle : la carte des résultats du second tour, commune par commune Le Monde

Greece Passes New Austerity for New Loans TRNN. Michael Hudson interview. Some things  to bear in mind. The IMF remains hostage to its board, with the US and Europe (combined) having just over t50% of the votes.

Nonetheless, the IMF’s staff has been in revolt and the IMF has for the last 18 months been trying to beat some sanity into the Europeans, or sit out the next round of funding (which the Germans find unacceptable, they promised to their voters the IMF would run the program. The Germans and the other hardliners like the Netherlands and Latvia lack the technical capacity to run an IMF program plus it serves them to have the IMF look like the heavy).

The European lenders are the real villains here. They don’t want the principal writedowns–  which the IMF has pushed for– because they’d have to recognize losses in their budgets now.

Fake News?

Facebook publishes fake news ads in UK papers BBC. Too funny.


Obama urges ‘political courage’ to save Affordable Care Act Politico. Trigger Warning: Don’t read this on a full stomach.

Obamacare Co-Architect Gruber Blames Trump for Law’s Woes Newsmax

If Trumpcare Ends Up Happening, Up to 7 Million Veterans Could See Their Health Care Ruined (furzy)

GOP Congressman: ‘People Who Lead Good Lives’ Don’t Have Pre-Existing Conditions Patheos (judy b).

Presidential Libraries Are a Scam. Could Obama Change That? Politico

Court ruling is a first step toward controlling air pollution from livestock farms The Conversation

Inside VW’s Campaign of Trickery NYT


US Foreign Policy is About to Kill 500,000 Children in Yemen — Media Silent Free Thought Project


Hillary’s election loss excuse means one thing — She’s running in 2020 NY Post. furzy: “NOOOO PLEASE MAKE HER GO AWAY! !”

CHELSEA CLINTON’S DREAM DINNER PARTY The New Yorker. When even The New Yorker thinks Chelsea’s fair game…

Class Warfare

Getting rich is largely about luck – shame the wealthy don’t want to hear it The Conversation

The Class of 2017 Economic Policy Institute ( Phil U). Make sure you don’t skip the last few pages, which Phil U calls “brutal.”

Opinion: This former CEO wants a luxury tax on CEO pay MarketWatch

The Limits of Prosecutorial Power Marshall Project

North Korea

Japan bolsters evacuation plans as missile threat grows Nikkei Asian Review (furzy)


Six months after demonetisation, those who lost their jobs in Delhi’s factories struggle to get work

South India’s Drought Part 9: Rayachoty one of the worst-hit in Rayalaseema; govts play down water scarcity Firstpost

It’s going to be a long time before India becomes a nation of shopaholics Quartz. And that’s probably a good thing, as the planet cannot sustain more than a billion more people adopting the consumption uber alles paradigm.

2016 Post Mortem

Yes, Bernie would probably have won — and his resurgent left-wing populism is the way forward Salon (judy b). What’s most amazing about this piece is that it appeared in salon.

Trump Transition

The Trump-Duterte Bromance Al Jazeera

BIRTH OF A RADICAL The Intercept (Phil U)

Trump to Announce Slate of Conservative Federal Court Nominees NYT

Wall Street Money Behind New Bill To Repeal Dodd-Frank Act Reforms International Business Times

Wall Street’s hopes for deregulation switch from laws to watchdogs FT

Jared Kushner Needs to End the No-Bid Contract American Conservative

U.S. Universities Fear Losing International Students

E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board NYT

On eve of fired Justice Department official’s testimony, Trump tweets about Russia inquiry LA Times

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. craazyboy

        I’d cut ’em some slack, as Quebec seems unsure as well. They are trying to join the New Europa Union – Europa also being a moon circling Jupiter. They may have just voted in a new leader, too. A centrist – making them a union with some planetary body.

        1. LT

          May not be the best turn of phrase, but Canada or any part of it joining the New Europa Union should be looked at like the “canary in the coal mine.”

          1. craazyboy

            The acronym NEU Faterland works well?

            Germany has no interest in cornering the Belgium Waffle Market.

          2. craazyboy

            One real problem is getting kicked outta NAFTA. All the engine and transmission factories will need to re-tool to make product for VW, or expensive German cars, so the import duties don’t matter in that pricing.

            They could go after Rolls Royce, using VW Bentley pricing as leverage. Then they can export to Mexico and re-export to the US under NAFTA, so we need to shut down the Mexican pathway as well. But I’m sure Trump advisors have this all mapped out and they have a bullet proof and enduring plan.

      2. TK421

        You write “prolly” instead of “probably” yet chide others for ignorance? That’s some unmitigated gall.

          1. Optimader

            Hey abby
            Kbeck is in the third most popular country in North America. Doesnt everyone know that??

        1. clinical wasteman

          What, you think it was a spelling mistake? Or that using ‘slang’ words/phonetic spellings to convey tone is an ignorant thing to do? Would that be Joycean ignorance, or something more like — say — Flann O’Brien, or e.e.cummings, or Carson ‘grey eyes is glass’ McCullers, or Linton Kwesi Johnson, Chester Himes, James Ellroy, James Kelman, Marlon James or Eimar McBride?

    1. RabidGandhi

      It helped me a lot, since I assumed they were referring to Quebec, TN, or Quebec, County Durham.

      1. clinical wasteman

        A perfectly reasonable assumption when they can’t be bothered to spell ‘Québec’. Then again I always used to break out in a cold border anxiety sweat on Avenue Duluth in Montréal, hoping at least that I had only been transported into a Gore Vidal novel.

        1. Expat

          Oh, my! You are the only other person in the world I have ever come across who has read that novel. I read it in French (why? because it was there.)

    2. Katharine

      Be fair: AP only told readers whose it is, leaving them to speculate about where.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s the wire service, so it’s everywhere. Quebec is the old country for me on my mother’s side, but does it really exist for outsiders to North America? The Expo was a long time ago. It’s quirky, and they make second rate maple syrup.

      Why would a reader in the Far East be expected to know where there are francophones in North America?

      1. clinical wasteman

        Fair enough for those readers perhaps, but not for the franco-French who pretend the Québecois aren’t francophone at all. The equivalent of the anglo-English upper-middle class calling their oddly equine State Broadcasting dialect ‘Received Pronunciation’. Only outdone by the mind-bending ignorance of almost all European media concerning the basic geography and history of the entire Asia-Pacific region. But then again a lot of them probably have reason not to want to think about the history.

    4. jrs

      yes well they also have to tell us who to vote for in the primaries lest we might end up voting for the wrong person who has no chance of winning the superdelegates. So being that we can’t even figure that our for our ourselves, where is Quebec again?

      (sorry couldn’t resist)

  1. abynormal

    Zuckerberg went to the store and bought a wooden whistle that wouldn’t whistle…so he bought a steel whistle that still wouldn’t whistle!

      1. craazyboy

        Betcha if I worked on it hard enough, I could get a water bong to whistle. Maybe even play an entire octave. 8 person party hooka? Cool. But I don’t do these things for cheap…

  2. allan

    This American carnage, higher-ed edition:

    University of Kansas history professor resigns tenured position over campus concealed carry law,
    and will take a non-tenured job in a state that still bans campus carry.

    Music professor in North Carolina gives up tenure track job and moves back to Canada due to
    locals harassing her husband
    (also a Canadian, but originally from Nicaragua).

    There was also a time back in the 1930’s when academics moved around a lot due to the political situation …
    some lucky frogs are able to jump out before the water comes to a boil.

    1. Paid Minion

      Appears to be a “African History” professor.

      The locals are filing his letter in the “Don’t let the door hit you in the azz…..” file.

      1. Anonymous

        I teach at a public college in California and i’d be terrified it we had open carry.

        Bad enough now when students come by to “discuss my grade” and get sullen about the outcome.

    1. Shirley Ende-Saxe

      My theory too. All that orthodontic splendidness can’t go to waste!

  3. fresno dan

    BIRTH OF A RADICAL The Intercept (Phil U)

    Hahn comes from fabulous wealth. Her grandfather Harold Honickman presided over a soft-drink bottling company that became one of the largest in the nation; in 2002, his net worth was estimated at $850 million. Honickman has used his wealth to support liberal causes, including organizations that help the homeless and efforts to tighten gun control.
    It’s hard to imagine a class of people who benefit more from immigrant and undocumented workers — who clean their homes, mow their lawns, maintain their pools, and cook their meals — than Hahn and other children of privilege in Los Angeles. The comfortable life she enjoyed was due, in no small part, to the immigrants she demeaned*** as a writer for Breitbart.

    WHERE DO AMERICA’S far-right leaders come from? Hahn and Marlow, who grew up 5 miles apart, are clues to an intriguing fact of political epidemiology. A surprising number of alt-right leaders come from a single wealthy liberal enclave: the west side of Los Angeles.

    Andrew Breitbart, who founded the site that bears his name, was raised in Brentwood, at the center of the west side, and was living there when he died in 2012. Bannon, before becoming famous as the chairman of Breitbart and then Trump’s ideologue, was a Hollywood producer who sent his daughters to a private school in Brentwood. Stephen Miller, the 31-year-old presidential adviser who has been wildly provocative on immigration issues, was raised in neighboring Santa Monica, also known as the People’s Republic of Santa Monica because of its liberal politics.

    This might seem weird. California voted in a landslide for Hillary Clinton. All of the state’s elected officials are Democrats, from the governor on down. Since 1961, only one Republican has been elected mayor of Los Angeles. But look again. While Trump got far fewer votes than Clinton, California’s population is so large that the only other state where Trump got more votes was Texas (which he won). According to a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, California has more far-right conspiratorial “Patriot” groups, 81, than any other state in the country (Texas, the runner-up, has 79). California may be the “Left Coast,” but it is also the beating heart of the far-right coast.

    Interesting article. So which is worse – demeaning immigrants or exploiting immigrants?
    CA liberals talk a good game of caring while doing an excellent job of exploiting anyone who doesn’t have a great deal of green…

    *** Healthcare and pensions for all those nannies, gardeners, and maids? From people who could EASILY afford it….

    To paraphrase John Adams “Millions for mansions, but not one cent for benefits to the help.”

    1. jrs

      though still with the title “Birth of a Radical”, you actually expect it to be about a radical, or whatever passes for one these days. Rather clickbaity as it’s really about “the Birth of a Reactionary”.

    2. jrs

      She may be rebelling but she has nothing real world to ground her. I.e. a real job (doesn’t even have to be a degrading lowest of the low job but merely a real job). Although most people work entirely too much and need more leisure, it’s what I’d prescribe for her disease. But then with 2 million in investments alone, she never will know what it is to live off a paycheck, so so much for that. Inheritance taxes are likely the only cure!

      1. Procopius

        You remind me of a collection of humor my grandmother gave me, jokes and stories from the first years of the 20th Century. One of the stories is about a doctor called to treat a wealthy woman’s neurasthenia. “Get out of that bed now,” he thundered,”Eat a large steak. Wash a couple tubs of laundry. Take these rugs out back and beat them. You’ll be better in no time.”

    3. jrs


      “You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
      ‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
      You can rely on the old man’s money
      You can rely on the old man’s money
      It’s a bitch girl but it’s gone too far
      ‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway”

  4. nobody

    On the French elections and Macron (though written before the first round), this piece by Frédéric Lordon, I guess a sociologically-minded economist who is significantly involved in the Nuit debout movement, is worth a read. Some bits:

    [H]is entire campaign, and even his very persona as a candidate, constitute an essentially fraudulent enterprise… [T]he rich want to remain rich, and the powerful to remain powerful. That is this class’s only project, and that is its candidate Macron’s raison d’être… [T]he situation is constantly getting simpler, we could even say purer, to the point of getting back to its very essence… billionaires own the press and have undertaken to lift an investment banker to the presidency. There you have it!…

    The natural way in which candidate Macron expresses the particular interests of his class in the cosmetic generalities of a ‘programme’ indicates that we are at a point where claims of a hidden ‘subservience’ fall away, for they have absolutely no use. Perhaps that is the real novelty of this candidacy: that now his class speaks straight from the mouth without the least mediation, no longer feeling the slightest need to dress things up or put them at arm’s length, however fictitiously… Without doubt under the effects of what is a terminal situation, class domination has become exasperated. For now that it has had its fill of dressing things up, it no longer has time for the long detour via the production stage necessary for fashioning a politician. It wanted its candidate right away: an investment banker, rapidly pushed through the compartment marked ‘minister,’ and immediately propelled to the presidency. And may there be no more discussion. But the sharpening political crisis makes the outcome of this oligarchic ‘democratic putsch’ rather uncertain. Almost everywhere the ‘big animal’ is waking up again…

    Emmanuel Macron…not only already expresses, in his own person, all the historical causes of the rise of the far Right, but proposes to raise them to a higher point of perfection… There is no special reason to delight…when a simple comparison with Father Chirac’s 80-20 victory gives some idea of the loss over the last fifteen years. And allows us to anticipate that the next wave will come too, once the ‘dam’ candidate is elected: for under his watch the water will build up even faster.

    It echoes the comment Colonel Smithers made here a few days ago about how “direct and unsubtle” the use of Macron seems, in contrast to the customary discretion.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Nobody.

      This Nuit Debout got little publicity in Blighty. It was the same with similar action in Barcelona a couple of years ago.

      It was interesting to see Macron’s supporters at the Carousel du Louvre, often young, sometimes from the ethnic minorities. They are in for a shock. The first shock may be Macron’s choice of PM.

      You may have read what I suggested, last week, to David, a French-based reader, about the National Front revamping itself in alliance with Dupont-Aignan’s party and becoming a French version of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP / UDC). This appears to be on as per Le Pen’s concession speech.

      1. Pat

        You like so many here have far more real knowledge of the specifics in France. But the people I was around yesterday were celebrating Macron’s victory, while I was “it just cements LePen winning in the future”. One person got it when I said “she has gone from being a total fringe candidate to the final two in a matter of years, when the person who gets in will double down on the policies making the people unhappy and insecure what do you think is going to happen?” The fact that I was also pointing out the split nature of the French parliament and the record breaking low turnout, thanks NC! , didn’t hurt in being able to make someone think more about this then the American cartoon version presented by our media.

        1. Expat

          While Le Pen has made it to the final round, she was pretty much crushed by modern election standards. Chirac crushed her father 82-18 back in 2002. Le Pen was never fringe; she is just another classic example of modern political nepotism.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Without doubt under the effects of what is a terminal situation, class domination has become exasperated. For now that it has had its fill of dressing things up, it no longer has time for the long detour via the production stage necessary for fashioning a politician. It wanted its candidate right away: an investment banker, rapidly pushed through the compartment marked ‘minister,’ and immediately propelled to the presidency.

      Change just a couple of words–investment banker to community organizer, and minister to senator–and the similarities to that wholly owned subsidiary of the elite, barack hussein obama, are remarkable. As in exactly the same playbook.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said, KE. The same playbook to the extent of getting Barry to send messages of support, too.

        1. montanamaven

          If we riff off of Lordon’s contention that the elite skipped the middle man aka politician in the French election and went straight to Investment banker, we could see a young Gordon Gekko running in 2020. Or, as some have noted, a tech billionaire like Zuckerberg or Musk.
          When I watched Visconti’s “The Leopard” 7 years ago, I wondered if Obama was the Tancredi character. “If we want things to stay as they are, things have to change.” But since he didn’t even attempt some minimal change, I changed my mind.

        2. barefoot charley

          Obama’s career uncannily followed Carol Moseley Braun’s, whose presidential aspirations went acropper while Obama was copying her cv: both started out as liberal state senators representing the University of Chicago/Hyde Park arugula eaters, while part-time lecturers at the U of C law school, becoming sudden friends with downtown Mandarins, then unlikely senators, and immediately thereafter candidates for President. What an amazing coincidence!

          1. Alex Morfesis

            Well…Monday morning quarterbacking feels good…but not factual in respects to senator braun…although yes a us atty and in bed with the title company that would eventually give the world robosigning…she pulled a donald…in no way, shape or form was she to have defeated alan dixon…the party was ten thousand percent against her…she had professional “democratic operatives” openly using staff time and resources looking for the next campaign job and no one was even bothering answering the phones…her african prince was in the back office just yelling at anything that moved…

            But as the saying goes…one fool too stupid to know better can laugh at king canutes impotance and turn back the tide every once in a while…

            Senator braun was farther back in the poles than le pen was…just a month before the primary everyone had written her off…but…the chicago reader is much more powerful than most people give it credit for and less than two weeks before the primary of march 17th florence hamlish levinsohn wrote a piece for the march 5th edition(fhl worked at in these times along the way) & put in the mindset of chicago that the underdog and thrown away braun should be given another look…

            The phones began ringing and the script was adjusted…and when the little genuises decided the script was good they pushed yours truly off the phone and brought in a set of “professionals”…who magically didn’t screw it up…the momentum was already leaning towards a miracle win…

            Daley wanted to get rid of braun by pushing her up and out with a failed campaign…she proved them wrong…

            1. barefoot charley

              Alex, I appreciate your details and offer no conspiracy. Simply comparing CVs, which are almost identical (plus her simultaneous US Atty stint), a few years apart. I’m not at the dot-connecting pay-grade. (I ran away to the woods from the Reader.)

              1. Alex Morfesis

                Will also offer up that obama was pushed up by the daley machine for the same reason…to get him away from the city as a potential rival…

                And…let us not forget…clinton had it all “locked up” in 2008 but that “not much loved” thingee popped up then to let an unknown step in front of her…

                obama was not a shoe in…

                he only won since two states she won, michigan and florida only got half votes and he carried most of the super delegates

                They split the actual votes almost down the middle, with her “once again” getting votes that did not help her win and in theory having had more actual total votes than president obama did in getting the 2008 nomination…

        3. oh

          I would think Lord O’s support would equal the kiss of death, like it happened on Brexit!

      2. Albacore

        Same thing happened in New Zealand in 2008. John Key has now retired but still heads the International Democratic Union, the international co-ordinator of right-wing parties including the GOP

    3. D. Battabong

      It’s easy for the progressives from the anglo-saxon bloc who comment on Macron’s bagage (ENA grad, Rothchild advisor, Hollande protégé [although I severely doubt this latter]) to diss him, to warn us lefties who support him that we are in for a shock. It’s funny how you’all make me think of zombie Hillary supporters, who rattle on through a long list of ‘if onlies’.

      I’m happy to wait and see; France isn’t an easy country, yes, but Europe is a noble experiment that deserves all our indulgence, and oh, yes, Macron was the only politician in the western world to support Greece against the troika 3 years ago so maybe he really is a former snake who has shed his skin.

      1. lou strong

        Regardless the field of it ,an experiment is just an experiment . “Noble” is an adjective we can add or not in order to influence other people’s attitude towards it.By the way this is the word that, since the beginning, has been not accidentally associated to it by his sponsors. I find interesting that you use the word “indulgence” too, which implies the idea of some previous fault, and that I would use for , let’s say, children , but not for politicians and political projects.
        Incidentally, I’m a leftie from the Old Continent.

        1. D. Battabong

          As someone who views human civilization as an experiment, perhaps even ‘just an experiment’ and not necessarily a successful one, I still find ‘indulgence’ an appropriate term. Perhaps, it’s because french ‘indulgence’ is slightly less ‘parental guidance required’ than in english — it allows a dimension of intuition into the mix, or as someone else here called it, ‘spidey sense’.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        He wants to rescind the 35 hour week and allow employers to directly negotiate working conditions with workers, bypassing the Labor Code. And to do it by ordinance – ie, undemocratically.

        May the Left win an overwhelming number of seats in the upcoming législatives. Macron is a faux jeton, a wooden nickel.

      3. RabidGandhi

        Macron ran on a promise to implement austerity in France, including cutting 120,000 public sector jobs. I understand and support strategic voting, but there is no way his radical rightwing austerity views can be characterised as even slightly leftist. I criticise no one who felt Le Pen was a danger that needed to be stopped and thus voted Macron, but don’t let’s lose sight of how far to the right his platform is.

        Secondly as to Macron and Greece, unbalanced evolution, writing from Greece, is much more sanguine:

        So, we don’t have to be prophets to guess what the neoliberal puppet, Emmanuel Macron, will say about Greece. He will say something like ‘Greece has done much, but there is still much work to be done’, as the whole neoliberal priesthood repeats for Greece during the last seven years of uninterrupted destruction.

          1. Ulysses

            One way to combat TINA is to restore a broader knowledge of human capabilities as well as foibles. Henry Giroux attempts to use two important pieces of 20th c. dystopian fiction to do just that, in this interesting piece:

            “For Orwell, the mind-controlling totalitarian state took as its first priority a war against what it called “thought crimes,” nullifying opposition to its authority not simply by controlling access to information but by undermining the very basis on which critical challenges could be waged and communicated. Orwell illustrated his point by providing examples of language that undermined the critical formative culture necessary for producing thinking citizens central to any healthy democracy.

            In recognizing how language fundamentally structures as much as it expresses thought, Orwell made clear how language could be distorted and circulated to function in the service of violence, deception, and misuse, and in doing so utterly collapse any distinction between good and evil, truth and lies.”


      4. Jim Haygood

        Europe is a noble experiment that deserves all our indulgence.

        Another sixty years, and its teething troubles should be all sorted out! :-)

        Beware of Greeks bearing principal repayments.

      5. RUKidding

        My knowledge of Macron is very limited. I know more about Le Pen.

        My sense of this election – which is based on my ignorance but still read more than the average bear – is that Macron may indeed be Obama 2.0. However, I’m speculating (worthless admittedly) that the French people looked at the mess across the pond and the impending disaster across the channel and chose Obama 2.0.

        I was very open-minded (drove many of my friends crazy) about Trump, but I’m at the point where I think he’s an unmitigated disaster. Macron appears more Obama-like than Clinton-like, and certainly doesn’t have the taint of all of Clinton’s heavy baggage. I’m guessing that if I were French, I’d have voted for Macron.

        The bankers run the world. I don’t know how we get away from that. I don’t think Le Pen is the answer, much as Trump has certainly proven that he is NOT the answer, either.

    4. Stormcrow

      Another interesting analysis. Written prior to the election

      What is really at stake in the French election?
      Gearóid Ó Colmáin

      In her final debate with Macron, Le Pen failed to impress. Her wild gesticulations, grimaces and emotional outbursts made her pathetic opponent look plausible. It now looks like the Rothschild banker will be the next French president.

      Macron is the Bonapartist ‘revolution’ globalisation needs to kill what is left of France, enslaving its people while destroying its culture, language, history and economy. He will nail a great civilisation and one of the world’s oldest nation states to the cross of transatlantic, Zionist imperialism.

      A dialectical analysis of imperialism in its current form shows that the primary contradiction today is between globalisation and the nation-state, between the comprador bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. The secondary contradiction is between the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Trump’s victory in the United States has weakened and divided US imperialism. It is, however, as I predicted, very little, almost nothing. A Le Pen victory would also give us very little. But two “very littles” would constitute a much, two ‘almost nothings’ would be something. That is why I am hoping for a Le Pen victory in tomorrow’s election.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thanks, Col., thats an interesting article.

        I hope I’m not proven wrong, but I do think Macron is a more interesting thinker than he’s often given credit for by the left. I suspect he’s less an ideological neo-liberal than something of a true believer in the superiority of the professional and upper middle classes. While he champions domestic austerity, he does seem to have a record of opposing the ECB’s madness on austerity and Europes attacks on Greece and he understands the need for reform (i.e. an end to austerity) at European level. Unfortunately I also suspect that like Hollande, he will be too weak to oppose German policy.

    5. Stormcrow

      Another interesting analysis.

      France: Anyone but LePen?
      Immanuel Wallerstein
      May 1, 2017

      If LePen wins, how much of her program will she be able to implement? We have seen with Trump the difference between campaign rhetoric and promises and the capacity to implement a program. Because of the powers of the French president, LePen would no doubt do better than Trump, but how much better?

      If Macron wins, his capacity to rule may be even less. In particular, how much of his neoliberal austerity will he be able to put into practice? I suspect not too much at all. If Resist seems strong in the United States, wait until a resistance movement plays out on the French scene, a country with a long tradition of such movements.

      Does it sound as if I’m saying that it makes less difference than everyone is predicting who wins the second round? I do think it will make some difference, but not all that much. A Mélenchon government or even a Hamon government would have signaled real change. In France, as in the United States and many other countries, real change may be coming, but it will require some more years of struggle for that.

    6. Stormcrow

      Yet another perspective from the Left.

      Macron wins French presidency
      By Alex Lantier
      8 May 2017

      Macron’s election resolves nothing. It only creates the conditions for broader and more explosive political crises and class conflicts in the coming months. He is coming to power amid a historic collapse of the two-party system that has ruled France since the May-June 1968 general strike, consisting of the PS and the Gaullist party, now called The Republicans (LR). …

      Macron’s response to the election result underscores the correctness of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste’s (PES) call for an active boycott of the second round of the elections. The PES rejected the claim that Macron could be relied upon as a lesser evil who would defend social and democratic rights, block the FN’s rising influence and present a genuine political alternative. Instead, the PES explained that the central task was to prepare the working class politically for the struggles that would erupt against the new president, whether that turned out to be Le Pen or Macron.

      This revolutionary perspective contrasted sharply with the parliamentary ambitions and barely disguised support for Macron of various PS allies, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France (UF) movement and the New Anti-capitalist Party. While Mélenchon declined to openly call for a Macron vote, he made no secret of his support for Macron, going so far as to offer to serve as his prime minister, in which position he would take responsibility for Macron’s aggressive foreign and military policy.

      Mélenchon appealed last night for voters to give UF a strong delegation in the National Assembly in the June legislative elections, which would strengthen his bid to become Macron’s prime minister.

    7. David

      Yes, Lordon’s piece seemed very fair to me. I was going to post earlier today, but I’ve been out in a Paris which is very quiet – even the media had to admit that virtually nobody turned up to watch Hollande and Macron at the 8 May celebrations together this morning: security outnumbered spectators at the Arc de Triomphe, and most of them were tourists. There’ll be a lot to say about Macron (not that he’s very interesting as a person, i think), but two thoughts to bear in mind over the next while:
      He’s best seen as an investment by the permanent elite, a “placement” as the French say, like buying a house or a block of shares. The Socialist brand had been run into the ground by Hollande, and the traditional Right was feuding viciously and could not be relied upon. So why not, in effect, form your own party with unlimited finds and control of most of the media? All you need is a young, almost pathologically ambitious figure, who can be presented to the French people as something new. The longer-term aim is to capture so much of French politics that Macron becomes, in effect, the leader of a permanent government, which can dismiss its opposition to the Left as Communists, and its opposition to the Right as Fascists. The Archangel Gabriel would have had a tough job winning against Macron with all that backing, but Le Pen was in many ways the dream opponent.
      Second, this may not work because Macron may not be just the willing puppet. After getting over campaign nerves, he has shown himself to be almost fanatical in his self belief (he said this morning that he decided to become President while standing in front of a statue of Joan of Arc), and to have a ruthless and authoritarian streak. He’s already talked about ruling by decree, and may hope to bully the new parliament into giving him emergency powers.
      As for Le Pen, I agree with the Col. Her game for some time has been to target the parliamentary elections with a broader coalition, and probably a new name. Her tactical aim will be to get enough MPs to prevent Macron having any useful majority. In the longer term she’s looking at the 2022 elections, if Macron makes it that far, which is not guaranteed.

      1. RabidGandhi

        In other words, “si le pouvoir se trouvait à leur portée, dans la rue, et qu’il n’y ait qu’à se baisser pour le prendre…”

    8. John k

      Direct and unsubtle because macron himself is so honest and forthright in the promise to carry out banking and 1% interests.
      Obama so different, promising hope and change while taking record amount of banker money. Certainly delivered what they paid for, with the real payoff just beginning.

      Fooled me. But why were the French fooled? Granted he had the press, as did big o, and Hillary, too. But not even close… no matter, he will bring her to power next time, not least because imo their assembly will happily work with him.

  5. Yusu

    On the French election: The Macron-Le Pen showdown has been the climax of a longer process (by both Macron/the liberal media and Le Pen/the alt-right) which pushes us to see the main political fragmentation as “progressives vs conservatives” (Macron) or “globalists vs patriots” (Le Pen). It is absolutely essential that we push for a third alternative, a left globalism. The neoliberals are correct when they say global problems (climate change, financialisation) need global solutions. The far right is correct when they say too many are being left behind by neoliberal policies. If neoliberalism vs nationalism becomes the new left vs right in most voters’ minds, the left’s space will shrink. So fight these binaries whenever you get the chance.

    1. Cripes


      I have often thought this, and wondered how proletarian internationalism, instead of the state, has withered away over the past half century?

      It’s hard to argue Marx was not right in postulating that it requires an international labor movement to defeat international capital. How can one prevail unless the game is played on the field?

      In idle moments, I even wonder if cheap airfare and real-time Google translators could evolve to even the playing field out, but with the stranglehold of austerity gripping even “wealthy” nations (haha) what workingpeople could find time to collaborate with their peers in Paris or Peru?

      Leaving the work of proletarian internationalism to professional representatives, community organizers and what-have-you does run the known risk of absorption by the Borg. Instead of producing Lenins and Trotskys, we extrude Obamas and Macrons.

  6. MoiAussie

    US Foreign Policy is About to Kill 500,000 Children in Yemen — Media Silent

    The focus here is on US weapons sales and political cover for the heartless Saudi campaign.

    International legal scholars and U.S. lawmakers have warned that continued U.S. support—including through weapons sales—to Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen may not only make the U.S. government complicit in coalition violations of the laws of war, but also expose U.S. officials to legal liability for war crimes,” wrote Beckerle.

    US violation of the laws of war is so constant and accepted that pointing it out is almost a textbook exercise in futility. What is needed now is for a few fearless photo-journalists to get in there* and splash some heart-rending content all over the net, again and again. In places like here too.

    The one useful thing anyone can do is campaign noisily until there is meaningful humanitarian intervention in Yemen. Not wait for the UN or the Russians to do something. If it can be done for Biafra, Bangladesh, and Somalia in the 20th century, it can surely be done again for Yemen.

    Such a campaign would create something useful for clintonistas, snowflakes, celebrities, and other liberals to do instead of wailing about Trompe. Put their virtue signalling to work for a useful purpose. And create a subject for conversations with them that wouldn’t be a complete waste of time.

    * I’m sure there are Yemeni photo-journalists who are well-placed to get the necessary content.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Aussie.

      If only the Yemenis could hire the firm who made their name advising and promoting Maggie Thatcher in the 1980s to help, including getting kids who can’t speak English to tweet and podcast in English, get extras to fake atrocities and rescues etc.

      1. MoiAussie

        Thanks, but I think there’s no need for the fake stuff. And there was enough of that coming out of Aleppo last year to last us until the end of the decade.

        Seriously, the Yemeni crisis is starting to get some exposure in the MSM, though probably not on TV. The Norwegians are trying to do something useful. With a bit of outrage from good people expressed in the media and to their representatives and some celebrities signing up, Trompe could perhaps see the win in leaning on the Saudis and sending in some aid. Someone needs to target Ivanka about it.

          1. MoiAussie

            Trompe – the indicative form of the French verb tromper, to deceive, to be unfaithful to, to cheat on, to make a mistake, to get it wrong.

            1. craazyboy

              I liked the personal pronoun of Toupee. Sounds French, and therefore sophisticated, too. I’m a fan of sophisticated.

              I guess that would make First Lady Melania, “Les Trompee.”

              In this case less is better, in the context of butt stomping hairdos. More feminine, too, which we expect of our Les Ladies.

              YMMV in the Down Under, I’ve been told, by butt stomping local sources.

              1. Colonel Smithers

                We have an expression in Mauritian Creole, “ena toupe”. This means that one has a nerve / cheek / chutzpah and is preceded with to (tu as), li (il a), mo ena (j’ai), nou (nous avons), ou (vous avez) and zot (ils ont). Trompe certainly has a nerve or as we say, “Eh, ta, to ena toupe / Hey, you’ve got a cheek.” Profuse apologies to French readers who think that tropical plebs like me have bastardised la langue de Moliere. Still, we produce authors of the calibre of Aime Cesaire, Patrick Chamoiseau and Jean-Marie Gustave Leclezio.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Aussie.

          I know and was being facetious, perhaps inappropriately in this instance, to skewer MSM hypocrisy.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      A 2016 report showed that the Obama administration offered at least $115 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over eight years, “more than any previous US administration,” which included deals that provided weapons sales to “replenish the Saudi arsenal, depleted in the war in Yemen.”

      It would appear that obama may have deserved his “Profiles in Courage” award after all, for having the courage to show his slimy, nobel peace laureate face after having aided and abetted this carnage on behalf of the american people so totally.

      I hope James Taylor, one of my all time favorites, reads this and is well and truly ashamed of himself.

      1. Vatch

        I don’t understand the reference to James Taylor. I’m not arguing — I just don’t know what the context is. Could you please clarify this for us?

        1. MoiAussie

          JT performed at the obama award ceremony, said how honoured he was, etc.
          He never was quite right in the head. He’s probably a bit alzheimerish by now.

        2. Vatch

          Thanks MoiAussie and Blkwhiskey. It makes sense now. I didn’t even know that Obama was honored this weekend. Did he get another $400,000 honorarium?

          1. polecat

            JT to oBOMBa …. ‘You gotta friend’

            polecat wipes vomit from chin …..!

      2. Bugs Bunny

        Caroline Kennedy was one of his early backers in 2008 and she’s still showing the love. I imagine this is because she thinks that O picked up the baton of national health care from Uncle Teddy. I can find utterly no other explanation except for what might be called early traction for the former 1st couple’s grifting years. Sad.

        1. Bullwinkle

          She was out of the country for a while I think as Obama’s appointed ambassador to Japan. I’m sure she got the job because of her knowledge of Japanese and asian affairs. You know, just like Biden’s son got a gig on the board of the Ukranian gas company. /s

    3. River

      Don’t be upset, I gave Madeline Albright a call and she said 500,000 was worth it.

      I tried to ask what “it” was, but she had hung up.

  7. Tom Stone

    So “Liberal” members of the credentialed class are buying guns…The same people who love “Gun Control Laws” that do nothing to reduce crime but do manage to disarm all but the wealthy and their retainers.
    How nice.
    Here are some places that have enacted strict “Gun Control”, NYC, SF, Chicago, Mexico ( A total ban on civilian ownership) and Australia. Australia is an interesting case, back in 1996 they reclassified slide action and semi automatic rifles as machine guns and required citizens to turn them in.
    The compliance rate was estimated at 30% ( Lots of new felons!) and violent crime stayed the same. One other consequence is that violent criminals now favor 9MM submachine guns, they are easy and cheap to make and very profitable for those who make and sell them.
    Google “Improv Guns” if you like to see what human ingenuity and the profit motive can accomplish.

    1. Charger01

      I’m genuinely interested in reading about *ahem* artisinal Sten 9mm in the Outback. I thought Aussies had exceptionally low firearm violence /murder rates.

    2. MoiAussie

      violent crime stayed the same

      Nonsense. Deaths in Australia due to assault by firearm dropped by a factor of 3 in the 10 years after the 96 gun control laws, which were implemented in stages over several years. Suicide by firearm also dropped by a factor of more than 2. See here.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        There’s a strong meme in the pro-gun crowd to try and discredit the Australian example. Bollocks. I live here and when I’m out and about I have zero fear of some deranged type with a concealed carry permit turning the mall/workplace/neighborhood/pub into a killing zone. The idea that someone next to me in the movie theater might just have a gun in their waistband is absolutely terrifying. But I guess that’s what the job is in America: making sure people stay terrified.
        Blah blah self-defense blah blah, have a look at the stats, you are much more likely to be on the receiving end of a round fired by your own spouse/kid/dog.

    3. Archangel

      NYC is the safest big city in the country, SF is part of CA, which has a statewide assault weapons ban AND some of the strongest gun laws in the country, and Mexico’s AND Chicago’s guns are being brought in from AZ / TX, and IN, which have no gun laws to speak of.
      If anything, I believe you just proved the necessity of having nationwide gun regulations, not just local ones.

      1. MtnLife

        Sounds like what you are saying is that city dwellers are irresponsible and lack the self control to live near one another without violence. Maybe cities need to be regulated and abolished. Us country folk do just fine having multiple guns in our houses. In the surrounding 12 houses closest to mine there are probably close to 200 guns in total (that I’m aware of). According to Dems this must be the site of WWIII but, oddly enough, there are zero shootings and zero break-ins. Imagine that.

        1. Michael

          This is an incredibly simplistic and likely propaganda-influenced view on gun control. I seriously doubt anybody gives a crap about the guns in your area. They should be concerned, however, with the general levels of reading comprehension and critical thinking taught in schools.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Given your screen name I bet 190 of the 200 are used to put food on the table…and are not Tec-9’s

    4. TK421

      Here are some places that have enacted strict “Gun Control”: England, Japan, Finland, Germany.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans than chimps Science Daily. Chuck L: “Too bad that humans didn’t get more of the Bonobo traits. And also those of the Muriqui.:

    We are the black sheep.

    Something went wrong, resulting, among many things, in deluding ourselves of our ‘progress,’ i.e. species-wide Krieger-Dunning syndrome. For example, we believe, contrary to global warming evidence, we’re Homo Sapiens…someone else was responsible, as if, I don’t know, God did it or the dog ate the problem-solving homework.

    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      I spent some time a couple of years ago watching some very good documentaries, while reading a couple of good books on primates. The main lesson that I learnt from this, is that a lot of their behaviour is based on access to food resources.

      Bonobos do not as far as I could tell have to compete for food, whereas chimps often have to compete with gorillas, which tends to produce groups that are dysfunctional, leading them to act in the negative ways that have been well publicised.

      I am bad with names so cannot remember the name of the scientist who did the long term studies, but bonobos & chimps who have no problem foraging for food produce largely happy groups, unlike those under resource stress.

      This it appears is because the females who forage & care for the young, have the time to produce sisterhoods which are then able to instill a state of calm, especially among the alpha males leading to a more caring society.

      I suppose this is also true of humans & here is I think an interesting comparison also based on a long term study, in a tale of what happens when an abusive elite wipes itself out :

      1. TK421

        It would certainly be good if human women preferred peaceful, compassionate men instead of the hyper-aggressive go-getters they presently tend to choose. Any day now, ladies.

      2. Anon

        Jared Diamond (Guns,Germs, and Steel; The Collapse) wrote a wonderful book, years ago, about bonobos. It’s called, The Third Chimpanzee.

        Diamond is a magnificent writer, scholar.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’m not so sure. I recall reading an interview with a researcher on the behavior of cape baboons who said that if they ever developed nuclear technology, the earth would be vaporised in a week.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        That is the normal state of things, which is what makes the listed exception so unusual & I think also enlightening in terms of the why & effects of bullying elites.

      2. Mark P.

        Baboons are another story, aside from chimps and bonobos. A baboon has evolved to have the rational self-control and considered conduct of a meth head Hell’s Angel.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Yes, but as the article describes, even they can be to some extent rehabilitated in the right circumstances. Perhaps the human meth head hell’s angels were raised under the tender mercies of a bullying Father & a stressed out of her head Mother.

  9. RabidGandhi

    So the vast majority of Indians aren’t spending their negative disposable incomes on fast fashion from H&M? Must be due to something decidedly not aggregate demand-ish, such as Flipkart, Amazon, Robots, Putin, or a zen-like cultural rejection of the occidental consumerist ethos– but definitely not due to mass impoverishment.

    “But wait”, you protest, “we economists know this is all about supply and demand!” So when there is not enough money in the real economy to boost aggregate demand, the answer is:

    But there is a silver lining: India’s demographics. The country is home to a massive population of young people, and Fung expects this will help companies sell even more denims and dresses in the years to come.

    Increase the number of people divvying up the plummeting number of jobs and disposable income and sales will skyrocket, amirite?

    1. craazyboy

      Sounds like the “Sharing Economy”. Throw in community showers, shower soap, and laundry detergent and you have the fixins’ for a peachy clean economy.

      “India Smells Great, Again!”

      They can teach us things in America!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      But there is a silver lining: India’s demographics. The country is home to a massive population of young people, and Fung expects this will help companies sell even more denims and dresses in the years to come.

      Under the present system, companies like, desire and want population growth….more dresses.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How a tiny group of insects escaped extinction by hiding in a bush for 80 years Aeon

    A related question – will the Bushmen, the San People, who may be more like the earliest anatomically modern human, be among the best equipped to survive Global Warming?

    Are the so-called ‘primitive’ peoples the world over better suited than urban techies, after, of course, the latter have exhausted their bombs and bullets grabbing resources all over the warming planet?

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    U.S. Universities Fear Losing International Students

    Are they sure it’s not ‘U.S. Universities Fear Admitting Less Smart/Poorer American Students?’

    Interesting it’s glass-half-empty, and not glass-half-full?

    “You have built the park, they will come. The slow ones, the deplorable ones and the ones without money. They will come now.”

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why Americans Smile So Much Atlantic

    After a brief search, I found this, from Atlantic, of all the people in the world, in 2016: Why Do Russians Never Smile?

    May 27, 2016, to be exact. The timing was, eh, prescient.

    I’d like to believe we have funnier comedians, but it’s just ego speaking.

    “No, we don’t have the best clowns!!!”

    1. craazyboy

      Obviously, a smile is a brain prophylactic. Bad thoughts bounce off and sometimes exit the mouth and/or anus.

      My shrink advises me this is healthy behavior.

      Note to self: Remind Dr. Shrink to mail me all those notes he’s been taking. He promised.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    There is nothing cute about innumeracy FT. Another thoughtful Lucy Kellaway column.

    Only for the one and only exceptional animal – Man – that this is so.

    For cats, innumeracy is cute, for example.

    Why is that?

    I think, like education in general, and numeracy here, it’s all for self-defense, from becoming a victim of other humans, or preying on them (‘it’s either you or me.’)

    There is no pleasure in it, unless you count hurting others pleasant.

    “With this invention, my share of the GDP goes up from 1/30 (3.33%), to 2/31 (6.25%).”

    “Hey, I’ve increased the GDP from 30 to 31. I need a statue for me. I’m the hero,” except that increase of 1 goes all to me.

    Of course, the GDP is not 30 now. But you monopolize most of the increase in GDP (not necessarily good for nature, by the way), you’re no hero.

    1. craazyboy

      For cats, innumeracy is cute, for example.

      Yeah, but we also have the snake luv article. How many times can a male phallic symbol make luv in a huge pit of male phallic symbols? This causes my brain to freeze, and I can’t get past zero?

      “No comment” does seem the wisest course to take.

      1. polecat

        Slithering F*ckery …..

        That’s All … They … Do, down in the D.C. swamp !

    2. Yves Smith

      My old cat could count to four.

      He would get exactly four cat vitamins every day. He liked them.

      If I was ever short, or one of the four rolled away, he would most assuredly notice he was short changed and would look very diligently for the missing one. And he would never look for more if he got and ate all four.

  14. Ed

    A few comments on the Presidential libraries article:


    I have to admit that I find the post World War 2 presidential libraries charming, as an example of the excess and bad taste that were hallmarks of American culture during this period. But I agree they should be stopped, though unfortunately the existing ones will have to be grandfathered in. I doubt that Obama’s approach is a step forward, its probably another scam.

    The priority, however, should be cracking down on presidential foundations such as the Clinton foundation, which seems to be a huge vehicle for corruption. Ex presidents should get a generous pension and be forced to live on it, This probably means being banned from any involvement with the “non-profit” sector at all, much of which these days unfortunately is also a scam. So this would end the presidential museums.

    Having small museums devoted to presidencies is fine, either run by the National Parks Service at existing historical sites connected with the pols, or the archives could be sent to appropriate universities for maintenance and the universities could be given a grant for a small attached museum as well, run by the university. As bad as the LBJ library is, at least it is attached to the University of Texas (the nearby ranch, by the way, is well worth visiting, probably the best done of these things). The ex-presidents themselves should have no involvement other than being provided office space.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I find myself wondering what kinds of content will be available in said vanity ego shrine library.
      Maybe he can have a copy of the Little Book of Drone Death he reviewed every Tuesday while in office, deciding which of the world’s citizens would be on the receiving end of AIPCSM (American Imperial Pre-Crime State Murder). It’s a picture book, and the reader was quoted at one stage saying “Her? She looks a little young to me”. (We’re not told if his omnicient beneficence extended to mercy in that particular case).

  15. Enquiring Mind

    Venice kebab shop ban – too little, too late for appearances, given the prevalence of selfie stick sellers shoving their wares under noses all over town.

    1. Carolinian

      Same here. Visit a US National Park and one is in danger of having an eye poked out from all the selfie sticks. Presumably when the (mostly foreign seemingly) visitors get home they will be able to see some magnificent vista behind their grinning visage.

      Not a criticism, just an observation. I’ve been known to use the self timer on my camera but the stick thing leaves little room for background…

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Carolinian.

        Any sightings of Chinese newly weds with crew in tow?

  16. LT

    Re: New Yorker…Chelsea’s Dream Dinner Party…

    When I read the list of guests, I also imagined Baldwin would be the first to try to get out of dodge!

  17. Jim Haygood

    After a few months spent quietly lounging in her day-bed coffin, Cleveland Fedster Loretta Mester emerged for a spring outing, looking smashing in Cruella DeVille black:

    The Federal Reserve must be “very vigilant against falling behind” on needed interest-rate hikes, said Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester on Monday.

    “If we delay too long in taking the next normalization step…we could risk a recession,” Mester said in a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. A gradual upward path of rate hikes “will help prolong the expansion, not curtail it,” she said.

    Mester said she thinks that any unemployment rate below 5% will ultimately generate higher inflation. She said “more and more firms” in her districts are raising wages and offering benefits to retain workers.

    Like Loretta herself, the Phillips curve is alive and well. Phillips curve awareness can help avert the horror of rising wages and benefits. Tell those you care about! /sarc

    1. craazyboy

      The entire lair has been laying around in coffins for 10 years now. No pinky finger exercise makes a vampeer with only 8 fingers. The “up” one turns to dust, then the “down” one turns to dust. Or vice versa.

    2. MLS

      If we delay too long in taking the next normalization step…we could risk a recession

      So we have to raise rates to PREVENT a recession? Makes me think of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine are fighting and come to the conclusion that they need to sleep together to save the friendship. I guess if it worked on TV it must work in real life!

      1. craazyboy

        The only option at this point is how big does Bubble World get before it pops and all the air cometh out. Then Jesus.

  18. optimader

    Yearly Snake Fuckfest Is In Full Swing Motherboard. No comment

    Is that a Music Fest in Texas???

    OK, I admit I didn’t read the article..

    1. Edward E

      Looks like a good place for 5-Hour™ Snake Energy shots for those poor male snakes using themselves up.

      1. craazyboy

        If they’re not getting 18% shorter each pop, Newtonian Physics is violated, and I call Quantum BS fake news on this one. Or we’ll have a Black Snakehole on our hands. Worse than wormholes – they implode with so much negative energy the event horizon gets bent in a circle, then shrinks to a dot causing the space-time continuum to crash into nothing and the associated hurricane type swirling of 4 dimensions getting all mixed up. It extends way past Texas borders all the way to infinity – eventually.

        Stephen King made a movie about it, but in his movie they were zillions of Walmart smiley faces nibbling the edges of reality as reality rapidly shrink wrapped us into nothingness.

        But that just’s a matter of taste, or artistic license, not science.

        1. optimader

          they implode with so much negative energy the event horizon gets bent in a circle, then shrinks to a dot
          Shrinks into a Cheshire Kat version of HRC.

          Fuel for the virtual improbability drive..

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hillary’s election loss excuse means one thing — She’s running in 2020 NY Post. furzy: “NOOOO PLEASE MAKE HER GO AWAY! !”

    I know this sounds so 1993ish, but not even when she runs on ‘health care reform?’

    “I was the first to try it…in the last 30 years, at least. Give me another chance!”

    Instead, ‘We Are With Her,’ it will be “She Will Be With You At The Doctor’s Office.”

    1. craazyboy

      As long as she doesn’t cut in front of us to make a speech at the emergency room waiting line, I’m ok with it. Long as I don’t need it.

    2. Ignim Brites

      She won’t run. The “Russians were against her” meme is already past its sell-by date. And the more it looks like she will run, the more AC will drill into and eviserate the meme. We won’t have Hillary to kick around any more. And Bernie? He will be even more cadaverous by then, a reincarnation of Alan Cranston. For better or worse, the boomers are now historical toast.

      1. Cripes

        Bernie Sanders was born in 1941. Not a boomer. If “boomers” a category I find has limited explanatory value, were hatched through 1965, they most certainly are not done yet.

        Of course, there’s always Paul Ryan (1976), Marco Rubio (1971), or Emmanuel Macron (1977), if that’s your thing. I’m sure that’ll fix it.

    3. jonhoops

      They have co-opted the “She Persisted” meme. Chelsea is reportedly writing a children’s book on this theme. I have been seeing the wording “she persisted” popping up in a lot of places in the MSM. I think this will be the hook Hillary will run on.

    4. flora

      Hillary 2020? No. Hillary and so many feminists of her and my generation spent so much time pushing against old school sexism that, unfortunately, I think she (and many feminists my age – refighting the last war, as it were) mis-attribute her failure to agencies that no longer have the power they once had and are not the real reason for her failure to win the presidency. For an example of a central character encumbered by near paranoid fears of being undermined by “outside” agents see the movie The Caine Mutiny.

      The tragedy of Hillary is she sees old sexist bogeys (which don’t existed in the same form or virulence as formerly) as blocking her, when the old bogeys (which don’t have the power they had 40 years ago) are not the reason. Times truly have changed. Not perfect, but much better. The old feminist ‘Maginot Lines” are no longer relevant, imo. Her defensive, near paranoid, distrust-by-default-because-sexism outlook isn’t relevant to these times. I do think Hillary and Gloria and Madeline and all of us of that generation should be very proud of what we accomplished. We also need to recognize that, thanks to our and others’ work, the new generations stand on a different and better platform. It’s time to let the next generation take the field.

      1. MoiAussie

        Pardon my ignorance, but who is Madeline?

        For one awful moment I thought you were saying that the loathsome Madeleine Albright should be very proud of what she accomplished. That cruel, heartless warmonger? That a woman who caused the deaths of innocents on a massive scale is someone for feminists to celebrate.

        Then I noticed the spelling and realised it must be some one else you meant.

  20. Kokuanani

    Quelle suprise!!! I thought the “yearly snake fuckfest” referred to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

  21. Jim Haygood

    New trends in apartheid:

    Israeli ministers approved a controversial bill on Sunday that would define the country as the “national home of the Jewish people” while downgrading Arabic as an official language, officials and reports said.

    If the bill eventually becomes law, [it] would become part of the country’s so-called basic law, which is similar to a constitution, it said.

    Parliament member Ayman Odeh, who heads the mainly Arab Joint List alliance, said approving the bill would mean trampling on minority rights, adding it would “legally transform us into second-class citizens”.

    A century-old zionist myth of Palestine as “a land without people for a people without land” still prevails in the Israeli mentality.

    David Duke would like to define the USA as “the national home of the Anglo-Saxon people.” That ain’t the way we roll. But we can at least support others who do. /sarc

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How the French Media Turned Emmanuel Macron Into a Presidential Candidate Vice

    Will we hear ‘He’s not my president’ from over there?

    “I’m thinking of moving to America.”

    Except in the home of the brave, doctors don’t make house calls as often.

    1. craazyboy

      They could move to Toronto. They still like Frenchmen in Quebec. Montreal too. But stay away from Newfies. They are suspicious of anyone that doesn’t smell like fish. Or clams. Or kelp.

      Once the NEU Faterland is approved, Quebec can do joint ventures with Belgian Waffle conglomerates and corner the Belgian-Quebec Waffle Market. Could be a 10 bagger, meaning money in this context, not grocery bags, but something would need to be done with futures markets, waffle hedging for volatility risk control, and 10 to 1 leverage being key to 10 to 1 sales growth. Then securitization – for that final level of obfuscation and risk protection.

    2. Altandmain

      Considering the “socioeconomic class” of people who can afford to move, I suspect that the doctors will make housecalls as much as they want for people who are that wealthy.

  23. beth

    BIRTH OF A RADICAL The Intercept (Phil U) re: Young Bannon Disciple Julia Hahn

    Porn alert.
    (That’s what it felt like to me.)

  24. Vatch

    E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board NYT

    Oh, goody. Because there just isn’t enough regulatory capture at the EPA yet. (sarc). From the article:

    A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire.

    Packing the financial regulatory agencies with bankers and Wall Street lawyers was very effective in the years leading up to 2008. I guess Scott Pruitt is impressed by how successful that was. (more sarc)

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Extending Obama’s legacy, when O appointed the former Chief Counsel for Monsanto to head the EPA you knew the fix was in.

      1. Vatch

        Which EPA Administrator was Monsanto chief counsel, Lisa Jackson or Gina McCarthy?

  25. John k

    She’s running in 2020!?!
    Of course she is. Can’t grift if there’s no hope of power.
    Besides, Chelsea’s not ready.
    Hill and Zuck duke it out in the primary! can’t wait…

    1. carycat

      Wonder when will the “Russians” start leaking Chelsea’s facebook postings?

      1. craazyboy

        As soon as the NSA completes the pre-release review que, and everything’s been focus grouped and approved by 17 intel agencies for accuracy and airy lack of content*. But wiki may get the out takes…somehow.

        * pointlessness is important, too.

        1. craazyboy

          However, I could be that Chels airy, pointless prose is really a simplified form of pidgin, decipherable only by upper class Englishmen with snooty, sophisticated accents, after graduating from Oxford with a major in High English and minor in the Oxford comma. The type of Englishman that pronounces “Toupée” as “Toupee” because it sounds more patriotic.

          They also are given a secret 32 bit cipher decrypt key – “greased_piglet_runs_like_breaking_wind” and join a “special” men’s club. But that’s another funny story.

          How to identify them? See here.

          Despite popular propaganda, they still interbreed, sometimes even successfully, when involving their female species. It takes 9 months.

          See also: PhD thesis theft for profit – “Toupée” or “Toupee” – That is the Question. Is the Crown involved??

  26. Oregoncharles

    The URL gives the gist, but really, you have to read it. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on Salon, and will make your day.

    While you’re there, check the story about Stephen Fry, blasphemy, and Ireland. Not actually funny, but the quote he’s being investigated for is very entertaining – and very pointed, and the whole situation is mind-boggling. What were they thinking? Ireland passed a blasphemy law just about the time the Church’s various abuses blew up in its face.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Now I have the urge to start up a security business, hire only employees who fail a cannabis test, and tout it as the only service in the market that is 100% guaranteed to be free of FBI/CIA moles.

      Employees would of course be expected to repeat the test failure on a regular basis, to guard against FBI/CIA efforts to recruit them once they were hired. A clean test result would be grounds for immediate dismissal.

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans than chimps”

    I’m not an expert, but I’ve long thought that bonobos were our closest relatives because their sexuality is a lot like human sexuality, which is unique (certainly among animals nearly related to us – I’ve seen conflicting reports about dolphins). However, the account in the article conflicts with that conclusion, since bonobos split off later.

    1. hunkerdown

      Oregoncharles, unless I’m misunderstanding, you’re mistaking the cultural norm for the reality. Humans would split off after a while too, without a ruling class coercively reproducing the culture that allows that ruling class to exist apart from the rabble. The 50% divorce rate and the prevalence of pre-marital and extra-marital intimate relationships suggest that the norm is more about primordial debt and manufactured criminality than social or mental health.

  28. Oregoncharles

    In English:
    “May 8 2017, 11:43 am ET
    French Election: Protest Vote for ‘Nobody’ Was Highest In Half a Century”

    4 million, and 12 million didn’t vote. Which raises a question: the goal of the “Vote Blanc” movement was to deny Macron a majority, required by French law, and reset the election (they haven’t had quite enough?) I wonder if they did that – haven’t seen it reported. That would be quite an event.

  29. Jess

    In case no one else has posted it, Obama’s comments on health care came in his remarks after receiving — no, I’m not kidding, this is not fake news — the JFK Profiles in Courage Award.

    You are free to retch now.

  30. huh

    I love J-L S’s contributions but could you please provide identifications for the birds in the antidotes? thanks?

    1. craazyboy

      Just right click on image and click “save as” on pop up menu.


    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for the feedback but some readers like trying to id the birds themselves– so I don’t include the id as that would spoil their fun.

  31. ewmayer

    o “In the fastest-growing smartphone market, the Nokia dumb phone remains relevant—as a vibrator | Quartz” — That lends a new meaning to the old telecom ad slogan “reach out and touch someone”.

    o “Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans than chimps | Science Daily. Chuck L: “Too bad that humans didn’t get more of the Bonobo traits.” — Hey, some of do masturbate quite frequently. See Nokia article above for techno-aids in that regard. Take that, Luddite Bonobos!

  32. LT

    Re: There’s Nothing Cute About Innumeracy…

    Many test scores would improve without the “stop watch” factor.

  33. christy

    I hear Hillary is changing her campagn slogan from, “onward together” to “The Turd that won’t Flush” Tour. I hear Mr. Hanky has signed up for a couple speaking engagements with the tour as well. nyuck nyuck…sorry guys couldn’t resist.

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