Links 6/21/17

India’s oldest yogini says you’re doing yoga wrong if you’re working up a sweat Quartz (J-LS)

Mog author Judith Kerr, 94, to publish new book Katinka’s Tail Guardian (J-LS)

U.S. Coastal Cities Will Flood More Often and More Severely, Study Warns InsideClimate News (UserFriendly)

Thai-Sino rail ‘cooperation’ is in name only Bangkok Post (furzy)

European disunion Politico

German minister warns on refugees’ jobs prospects Financial Times


Paul Myners: Barclays realised taxpayer bailout would hit bonuses Guardian

Cadmium case proves toxic for Barclays Financial Times


The Queen’s Speech marks a shift in favour of a softer Brexit Independent:

The real story behind Theresa May’s delayed presentation of her Government’s programme is the change in the balance of power in favour of those who want to prioritise the British economic interest as we leave the EU

Hammond steps up drive for ‘soft’ Brexit as he urges phased departure from EU and warns immigration cannot be ‘shut down Daily Mail

No deal Brexit unacceptable, 30 Tory MPs tell Number 10 Sky

Liam Fox’s winning streak Politico. Wowsers. The fact that getting one top trade negotiator is touted as a big success shows how pathetic their bench is. And given the scope of the task, one top person is far from enough.

Britain in danger of losing vote in UN over fate of Chagos Islands Guardian (UserFriendly)

Grenfell Tower

Over 170 years after Engels, Britain is still a country that murders its poor Guardian (Sid S)

JEREMY CORBYN WANTS TO REQUISITION HOMES OF THE RICH FOR FIRE SURVIVORS — LIKE CHURCHILL DID IN WWII Intercept. Frankly, many of those those ‘hoods, like Chelsea near Sloane Square are so pricey and devoid of services like grocery stories that the tenants wouldn’t like them despite their posh-ness. It’s a wonderful evil two-fer. If the government did use empty housing for emergency purposes, it should/would lower their value as trading chips for the rich.

From Extractivism Towards Buen Vivir Triple Crisis

New Cold War

We Are Inches From A New World War, And Clintonists Are To Blame Counter Propa (UserFriendly)

The New York Times steps up its anti-Russia campaign Defend Democracy

Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul Buck Party Consensus on Russia and Iran Sanctions Real News Network (UserFriendly)


Saudi Arabia relieves crown prince, replaces him with Mohammad Bin Salman, state news agency says CNBC (furzy). The king has Alzheimers but was installed to satisfy dynastic politics. Bin Salman, aka MBS, has been calling all the shots. This looks like a foolish move, since he had all the power he needed.

Saudi King Salman Ousts Nephew as Crown Prince, Installs Son Wall Street Journal

Saudi king upends tradition by naming son as first in line to throne Guardian. Brian C: “If there was a VIX for the Middle East, it would be sky high right now.” Moi: I suspect the story will come out soon enough, but at a remove, this looks an awful lot like Napoleon crowning himself Emperor.

US ‘mystified’ by continued embargo of Qatar CNN (furzy)

The Secret History of ISIS Frontline (Judy B)

The Growing U.S.-Iran Proxy Fight in Syria Atlantic. Resilc: “The battle over East Syrian real estate is in the first inning.”

Five takeaways from Iran’s missile strike in Syria N Asia Times. Resilc flagged this section:

From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision. Simply put, Iran has notified the US that its 45,000 troops deployed in bases in Iraq (5,165), Kuwait (15,000), Bahrain (7,000), Qatar (10,000), the UAE (5,000) and Oman (200) are highly vulnerable.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The latest Wikileaks Vault7 release reveals details of the CIA’s alleged Cherry Blossom project, a scheme that uses wireless devices to access users’ internet activity failed evolution

Watch Hackers Take Over the Mouse of a Power-Grid Computer in Ukraine Wired (furzy)

Big Prize in Amazon-Whole Foods Deal: Data Wall Street Journal. However, it appears customers need to share with Amazon for it to get the best harvest:

The online retail giant likely will add new ways to track in-store consumer spending. One option is letting people purchase with Amazon Pay, a PayPal -type solution that lets customers check out with their Amazon account information. Another option is creating a Whole Foods credit card, the former employees say.

If you must shop at Whole Foods, undermine this project by diving your purchase into two orders and paying separately, and using cash for at least one of them.

Trump Transition

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: Tons Of Evidence Mike Flynn Is Cooperating With FBI; “Who Knows What Trump Said To Him?” RealClearPolitics (furzy)

EU ‘will have to respond’ to Trump steel threat, says trade commissioner Politico


Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren DESTROY “Cowardly” Republican Health Care Bill YouTube (Kevin C)

Democrats protest Senate Republican healthcare secrecy Reuters. EM: “As long as we can all agree that ‘we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it’ is in no way a form of secrecy.”

GOP Health Bill Kept Secret From Senators Assigned to Write It Bloomberg (resilc)

Is Bernie Sanders too old to be President? Plus, the demise of shopping malls and the competitiveness of professional sports results YouGov. UserFriendly: “I for one am Shocked, Shocked! that old and rich people think Bernie will be too old to run in 2020.”

Republicans hang on to House seat in key Georgia election The Hill. Lambert is sure to have more to say about this. So when will the Democrats get the message from voters that no matter how much money they throw at a candidate, the “Republican in drag” strategy is past its sell-by date?

Bernie Sanders May Have Won, Even Though Jon Ossoff Lost International Business Times (UserFriendly)

An Ironworker With a Great Mustache Is Coming for Paul Ryan’s House Seat New York Magazine

Dem who launched bid against Paul Ryan raises 100k in first day of campaign TheHill. UserFriendly: “He’s a Berner.”

Bad Ideas Global Finance (EU). An interview with Jamie Galbraith.

Fed’s Fischer says more to be done to prevent future crises Reuters. EM: “All as megaBubble 3.0 – yet another one which Stanley and his ilk will only recognize in hindsight, with a wailing chorus of ‘whocoulda foreseen it?’ on the op-ed pages of the MSFM – continues to inflate.”

Leaked recording: Inside Apple’s global war on leakers The Outline (Bill B). Wow, will this make Apple nuts. Someone is really thumbing his nose at this program.

Bank Of America: Expect $30 Oil OilPrice

Ford’s Big Bet: Americans, and Trump, Are Ready for Chinese Cars Bloomberg. Furzy: “So much for America First”.

Uber Ouster

Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O. New York Times (David K). Looks like the NYT broke the story:

Earlier on Tuesday, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that the chief executive resign immediately. The investors included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board. The investors made their demand for Mr. Kalanick to step down in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago, said the people with knowledge of the situation…

The five shareholders who demanded Mr. Kalanick’s resignation include some of the technology industry’s most prestigious venture capital firms, which invested in Uber at an early stage of the company’s life, as well as a mutual fund firm. Apart from Benchmark, they are First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures and Fidelity Investments, which together own more than a quarter of Uber’s stock. Because some of the investors hold a type of stock that endows them with an outsize number of votes, they have about 40 percent of Uber’s voting power…

In the letter, in addition to Mr. Kalanick’s immediate resignation, the five shareholders asked for improved oversight of the company’s board by filling two of three empty board seats with “truly independent directors.” They also demanded that Mr. Kalanick support a board-led search committee for a new chief executive, and that Uber immediately hire an experienced chief financial officer.

The last para is a direct shot at Arianna Huffington, repeatedly described as a Kalanick ally, among others.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns Wall Street Journal. Wow, that was fast. I need to turn in early so readers will can hopefully provide links to stories with more reactions in comments. As Brian C said: “What time is the Doomsday Clock reading for Uber right now?” From the Journal:

Uber has no replacement for Mr. Kalanick and is running without financial and operating chiefs and other key executives after several recent departures, including one of the CEO’s top deputies who was pushed out last week by the board.

Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O. ( Hacker News. Paul R: “Insightful stuff there.”

And by e-mail yesterday:

I drive for Uber. I drive about 250 miles per day, and average $140 per day. That’s about 56 cents per mile, average. That’s for 12 hours of driving. That’s not enough to live on, let alone enough to compensate me for use of my vehicle.

According to a recent survey of the AAA, it cost, for a midsized car, all costs considering, over a 5 year period, about 57 cents per mile, and this is what the IRS deduction is based on, 57 cents per mile. ( or thereabouts )

so, I’m losing a penny per mile, and this is why, I, plus 96% of all Uber drivers, quit within 12 months of working for Uber. In essence, the money we make is merely converting out vehicle’s auto equity into daily cash. The car is literally depreciating at a rate faster than the cash is being earned…

Uber’s fundamental flaws were, from the beginning, “market dominance”, and “an Uber ride to be cheaper than owning a car”.

That last one didn’t square with the driver, because what is cheap for a rider, is also cheap for the driver, and the driver is the ONLY face of uber with the public, and if drivers are not happy, that is not good for business, in the long run.

As he pointed out, that means raising the prices of rides to a point which is profitable…and taxi companies figured out where that is long ago.

Class Warfare

Running for Congress as a Progressive in a Conservative State Real News Network. UserFriendly: “All about a Job Guarantee.”

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. voteforno6

    So when will the Democrats get the message from voters that no matter how much money they throw at a candidate, the “Republican in drag” strategy is past its sell-by date?

    My guess is that they will double down on this strategy in 2018, expecting Trump to be more unpopular then, and double down again in 2020, when Trump will be even more unpopular. The strategy is a good one of course; if it fails, it’s because the voters didn’t get with the program, or that Bernie Sanders has a lake house, or something like that.

    1. flora

      re: Republicans hang on to House seat in key Georgia election – The Hill.

      my response: Ha! and… ha! Serves ’em right. (The Dem estab couldn’t even manage $20k for a Thompson mailer in KS-04 race. Thompson is a Bernie supporter.)

      1. RUKidding

        The DCCC also didn’t support Quist in MT, and then when he lost said: See! Quist was a LOSER, so why waste our precious money on him?

        Quist was far from a perfect candidate, but he wasn’t in the strick NeoCon/NeoLib mode, which only what the D Party will support.


        1. Vatch

          My understanding is that the national Democrats (not necessarily the DCCC) did provide significant support for Quist, but not until the last few weeks of his campaign. They provided no assistance during the early weeks, when he was hit by attack ads. Since a lot of the people in Montana voted by mail prior to the election, the belated help from the national Democratic party didn’t help much. It may have been a sneakier way of ensuring failure, after the Democrats got criticism for how they mistreated Thompson in Kansas.

          I don’t have documentation for this, so if someone has contradictory evidence, I would be happy to see it.

            1. flora

              In the early 90’s Bill Clinton is reported to have said ,“When people are insecure, they’d rather have somebody who is strong and wrong than someone who’s weak and right.”

              That works until it doesn’t. The equation has changed. “Strong and wrong” no longer turns out the Dem base voters. If Dems want to start winning again they need to be strong and right. The current neolib Dem estab will never understand this.

              “and thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” – Bill Shakespeare

              1. Procopius

                I’m currently reading Al From’s book. If he’s honest, and I have no reason to believe he is, then they made a conscious decision to destroy the New Deal and undermine organized Labor while Jimmy Carter was in office as a reaction to his policies. That led to creation of the Democratic Leadership Council and the Blue Dogs, who have all been voted out of elective office but seem to still have control of the Party machinery.

    2. DJG

      Voteforno6: I am already seeing reliable Democrats posting on my FB feed that this loss means that the Dems have enough momentum to take the House of Representatives in 2018. Let’s ask these folks to send out pounds of whatever it is that they smoke.

      1. voteforno6

        If you want to be mean, you could point out that Ossoff underperformed Clinton in that district.

        1. DanB

          Excellent point. Last night on the NewsHour the (a Dem propagandist) said Ossoff’s loss proved how strong the Dem. message is because the Repubs. have taken the seat for so many years by a large %. I have Dem friends who rial about inequality and injustice and then go surreal on me by saying things like “Obama had truly progressive intentions”, and “Kamala Harris is”very impressive”.

      2. flora

        “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

        -Albert Einstein

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Personally, I think it’s insane to keep trying to capture the D party or to reform their neoliberal politicians.

          1. HotFlash

            Agreed, but it’s not an either-or situation. Lots of viewpoints, so enough people to multi-task. Throw mud against whichever wall seems most likely to you, keep tabs, and, if so inclined, you can always switch your mud-throwing to whichever wall it is actually sticking to.

          2. cyclist

            Driving to work this morning I caught a Morning Edition segment analyzing the Ossoff loss. Steven Inskeep then asks something like “Does this mean the Democrats need to move further to the right to attract more Republican voters?” Began furiously changing stations (WBAI was having one of their frequent outages so Amy Goodman was off…).

          3. Procopius

            It is beginning to seem like an unattainable goal, but the the reward is so great. Established placement on the ballot in all 50 states, without having to collect many millions of signatures. I think we have to keep striving. I don’t believe seizing and moving to the Green Party is viable, and creating a new party from scratch is almost impossible and would become far more difficult as soon as any success became apparent.

    3. Allegorio

      As I keep saying, winning elections is secondary for the corporate Democrats. Their primary goal is to keep progressives from the ballot. The Republican Party do a better job passing the donor class’ agenda in any case. Funding the corporate Democrats is a win win for the donor class. It is now generally accepted that Senator Sanders would have beaten Donald “Little Hands” Trump, who was running on a progressive agenda, falsely it turns out. But the Nancy Pelosi wing of the party made sure that didn’t happen, by hook or by crook, mostly crook.

      It has come to a point where Democrats cannot win elections without their progressive base, which they continue to throw under the bus in favor of the big donors rent seeking agenda. It is simply not true that progressives have no place to go, they can just stay home. Progressives are no longer fooled by “lesser evilism” There is another benefit, giving the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves. At least now, the Republicans will be blamed for a Republican health insurance program, and not Democrats for passing a health insurance program designed by the Heritage Foundation.

      Another benefit of staying home and not electing Republican Lite candidates is that the Democratic Nomenklatura in it for the Gov’mint jobs, cannot get those Gov’mint jobs unless they win elections and will then go over to the Party they really work for, the Republicans.

      If Randy Bryce beats Paul Ryan it will be a substantial win for the no more “lesser evilism” strategy. Want to bet that the corporate Democrats will do everything they can to prevent that. Although a Nancy Pelosi speakership is no better than Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi’s seats are probably the most consequential races for progressives and their defeat will represent a major victory for the movement.

      1. Procopius

        I disagree that a Nancy Pelosi speakership is no better that an Ayn Ryan speakership. Not much better, but better.

      2. hidflect

        I think the corporate democrat stuff runs deeper than just funding. It’s the ideology of their donors line that needs towing and I think they worry how new progressives are going to react to PhRMA, AIPAC and Raytheon if they let them in the house.

  2. fresno dan

    Alongside pressure from pro-immigrant activists came pressure from corporate America, especially the Democrat-aligned tech industry, which uses the H-1B visa program to import workers. In 2010, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the CEOs of companies including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Disney, and News Corporation, formed New American Economy to advocate for business-friendly immigration policies. Three years later, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates helped found to promote a similar agenda.
    But has the claim that “immigrants coming to the U.S. are taking jobs” actually been proved “incorrect”? A decade ago, liberals weren’t so sure. In 2006, Krugman wrote that America was experiencing “large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it’s inevitable that this means a fall in wages.”

    It’s hard to imagine a prominent liberal columnist writing that sentence today. To the contrary, progressive commentators now routinely claim that there’s a near-consensus among economists*** on immigration’s benefits.
    When one looks at the tech “titans” (scoundrels is more apt) and the H-1B scam, a naked ploy to simply crush wages, as well as exposing the total bullsh*t of “to get a good job, get a good education” – the democrats are simply much more the party of the Davos Man rich…and often acknowledge that they can’t be bothered with certain geographical boundaries or the people therein.

    ***economists – the people who think there is low unemployment and can’t figure out that’s because most people have stopped looking….

    1. KTN

      Apparently Nobelist Krugman can’t decide whether he agrees with himself (but it’s a science, with formulas!) as quoted above, but implicitly disagrees with H-1B, whether or not he does in his columns.

      The incompatibility of the welfare state and mass immigration was noted by the libertarian economist Milton Friedman: “If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimum level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then [free immigration] really is an impossible thing.” His ideological opposite, Paul Krugman, agrees. Because “modern America is a welfare state” and “low-skill immigrants don’t pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive,” Krugman concluded that the “political threat that low-skill immigration poses to the welfare state is more serious” than its other consequences. For his part, Friedman welcomed illegal immigration as a good thing because illegal immigrants are ineligible for welfare: “But it’s only good so long as it’s illegal. . . . Make it legal and it’s no good. Why? Because as long as it’s illegal the people who come in do not qualify for welfare, they don’t qualify for social security, they don’t qualify for the other myriad of benefits.”

      The New Class War

      1. Higgs Boson

        “low-skill immigrants don’t pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive,”

        Of course, taxes do not pay for anything at the federal government level. The federal government does not need taxes for revenue. Krugman must know this, but ignores or downplays it for ideological reasons (because he’s a neoliberal).

        1. Arizona Slim

          And then there are the state and local benefits. In states like AZ, we pay quite a bit for the education of, ahem, undocumented children.

          Uncompensated care is also a big problem for our hospitals

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            In our health care system, the undocumented by law receive emergency stabilization and nothing else.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Which do we admit

            1. a young, health drone designer
            2 a sick mother of 3

            If we ask ‘How can we improve our national single payer health insurance pool,’ maybe #1.

            That, of course, makes it riskier for the national health plan of the country our young and health drone designer is leaving behind.

            Or do we ask, ‘How can we reduce suffering in this world?’ Maybe we go with #2.

            “Give me your sick.”

            “Burden us.”

        2. dcrane

          “The federal government does not need taxes for revenue.”

          I know that this sort of point is made often here, and that I’m out of my depth, but doesn’t that risk overstating things? How long would the US government succeed in funding its operations if nobody ever paid taxes again? (It’s an honest question…maybe the answer is “a lot longer than you probably think”.) I assume that the point is that because the US is really big and in the fortunate position of controlling its own currency and because the rest of the world trusts the long-term stability of the value of that currency more than most others, it can deficit-spend for longer than smaller countries can (and that doing so is advisable in recessions, etc.).

          1. Goyo Marquez

            Well… one way you could think of it is that the government spending money into existence, i.e. “printing money,” is already a form of tax, a tax-in-kind. I give you this piece of paper and you give me goods and services.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Morally (to me) and perhaps constitutionally, it should be ‘the little people’ who take on this unbearable burden* of spending money into existence.

              “Here is a piece of paper I, a member of the Little People, just created. I want to order organic apples from the nearest Amazon warehouse, to be delivered by the fastest drone. After this, I will buy more Facebook shares to boost the market.”

              *Ask what you can do for your country!

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Don’t pamper your money but putting it in a golden cage.

                  “Spend, spend, spend.”

                  Money being circulated is like humans moving, exercising, if you will.

                  “Buy those stock shares!”

          2. Vatch

            You ask a very reasonable question. If nobody ever paid taxes to the federal government, inflation would rapidly become quite bad.

            I like to think of federal taxes and government spending like this: the first time that the government spends money, it is spending it into existence. Later, that money will be recirculated back through the government when people pay taxes. When the government again spends that money, it is spending tax money. Some people disagree, and believe that every time that people pay taxes, that money is destroyed. So that every time the government spends money, it is creating money ex nihilo. I think that seems too metaphysical.

            1. EricT

              Inflation is caused by supply issues. If our food sources started having issues in regards to global warming and couldn’t supply the demand, then food prices would start rising precipitously aka inflation. A good real life example, would be the California electric crisis caused by Enron, during GWB’s term. Enron was telling producers to shutdown, causing brownouts across California. I recall a story about a metals producer, who had guaranteed electric supply contracts at a low price, shutdown and sell the electricity onto the market. Besides, the Fed dumped several billion dollars of equity into the banking system, but inflation remained rather tame.

              1. Vatch

                If the supply of circulating money is significantly increased, there will most definitely be inflation, and we do have some inflation now. The money that the Fed or the Treasury have pumped into the banking system doesn’t circulation much. Not much of that money has been loaned to businesses or individuals; instead, the money just fixed the balance sheets of the banks, which had engaged in risky behavior.

                Individual commodities can and do experience the price inflation that you describe, but that’s a separate phenomenon.

              2. UserFriendly

                There are two ways inflation is caused.
                Demand-pull inflation

                Demand-pull inflation is asserted to arise when aggregate demand in an economy outpaces aggregate supply. It involves inflation rising as real gross domestic product rises and unemployment falls, as the economy moves along the Phillips curve. This is commonly described as “too much money chasing too few goods”.[1] More accurately, it should be described as involving “too much money spent chasing too few goods”, since only money that is spent on goods and services can cause inflation. This would not be expected to happen, unless the economy is already at a full employment level.

                Cost-push inflation

                Cost-push inflation is an alleged type of inflation caused by substantial increases in the cost of important goods or services where no suitable alternative is available. A situation that has been often cited of this was the oil crisis of the 1970s, which some economists see as a major cause of the inflation experienced in the Western world in that decade. It is argued that this inflation resulted from increases in the cost of petroleum imposed by the member states of OPEC. Since petroleum is so important to industrialized economies, a large increase in its price can lead to the increase in the price of most products, raising the inflation rate. This can raise the normal or built-in inflation rate, reflecting adaptive expectations and the price/wage spiral, so that a supply shock can have persistent effects.

                Without taxing money out of existence you will get demand pull inflation. Imagine we were at real full employment, like there was a job guarantee program that barely anyone used because they already had a job they liked that paid more. Then the government decides we absolutely need to build a hyperloop now. They would have to pay more to lure workers away from their jobs, and pay more for raw materials, causing the price of them to rise (inflation). Taxing money out of existence would balance this out by leaving people with less money to buy things, so maybe that new driverless car plant looks like a bad idea now that people have less disposable income. Which would free those workers and materials up to go build the hyperloop without increasing the price of labour and raw materials, avoiding inflation.

                1. Lord Koos

                  “too much money chasing too few goods”

                  Doesn’t this perfectly describe real estate prices in the more desirable places to live?

              3. different clue

                Would that be inflation? Or would that be scarcity pricing? I thought inflation was creating more money than what the economy needed or could justify.

                If actual production/consumption of goods and performance/enjoyment of services stay exactly the same size, but the economy those things happen in gets flooded with twice as much units of currency, each unit of currency becomes worth half as much as it was. Right? And THAT’S inflation, right?

                1. UserFriendly

                  Not necessarily. Inflation is just the prices of things rising. If you magically doubled the amount of currency and everyone just said hey great and paid off their credit cards or opened a savings account then you wouldn’t have any inflation. If the flood of currency gets put into use right away and no one saves it then yes you would get inflation. If the producers of goods couldn’t keep up with all the new orders than they would raise prices.

            2. Mel

              ” I think that seems too metaphysical.”

              Money is metaphysical.
              If you deposit some money in your bank account, then withdraw money later, do you ask to make sure the money you withdraw is your money, not someone else’s? (No.) To talk about the government spending “that” money is the same kind of bizarre thought.
              Another example: you take out a bank loan, and the bank deposits money in your account. Which money was that, before you took the loan?

          3. a different chris

            No, we all go to work and create value and the gummint gets to print money so I don’t have to trade you 300 lines of code for 50 bananas which I then have to separate and trade for 1/2 a ham sandwich and some gas for my car and…

            Said gummint sortof gets a handle off the top, I guess But they make roads & etc. so it isn’t purely The Godfather.

            How would you run, say, an expanding space colony? If you started with a fixed amount of cash, and insisted on all transactions using it, you would all starve to death eventually. So you would print more to reflect the young un’s growing up and contributing to the expansion.

            Shorter answer: money is just a way of liquifying real assets, or at least ideally it is.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef...

              The government prints money.

              Can we get to be the first to spend it? Are we worthy enough to do that job?

              “You’re guaranteed a job…and that job is to spend money newly created.”

            2. cnchal

              . . . If you started with a fixed amount of cash, and insisted on all transactions using it, you would all starve to death eventually. . .

              More goods and fixed supply of currency means ever lower prices.

              What if there were only one dollar in the world? With fiat currency, that dollar would be infinitely divisible, and you might be earning a quadrillionth of a dollar per hour, enough to buy a pizza priced at a quadrillionth of a dollar.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                “Lower prices”, oh nooo not that! That would be really really Baaad! We neeeed higher prices for everything because (insert gobble-de-gook here)!
                I mean what would we DO if people could buy MORE with their money due to rising PRODUCTIVITY which used to be known as PROGRESS and meant they were enjoying a HIGHER STANDARD OF LIVING???

          4. WobblyTelomeres

            It would last long enough for the scare mongers to start pushing, for example, Swiss francs or bitcoin (ugh) or krugerrands as a safe alternative to the hyperinflation that is sure to come. At that point, demand for the dollar will plummet and the currency will become worthless (MMT 101)

            Glen Beck could bring it all down by his lonesome.

            1. Allegorio

              Inflation has little to do with money supply. It has to do with the availability of goods and services. As long as the money supply matches the availability of goods and services there is no inflation. That is the purpose of taxes, namely to match the money supply with the quantity of goods and services.

              We live in an age of overproduction. The current crisis of capitalism is that of overproduction. Debt is used to stifle production and therefore maintain prices, hence bubble economics.

              A democratically accountable government is best suited to regulate the money supply, rather than rent seeking private banks.

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                If the currency of choice becomes something other than the dollar, the demand for the dollar will drop and people will spend a substantial amount of their time chasing and collecting the new preferred currency. This is the central tenet of MMT – taxes generate demand for a sovereign currency, giving it value.

                For example, if the US government required us to pay our taxes in Swiss Francs, US citizens would spend 20-40% of their time chasing after francs instead of dollars. Vendors would prefer francs, workers would prefer francs, babysitters would prefer francs, pole dancers would prefer francs. Demand for the dollar would disappear. If you wanted to purchase an item with dollars (instead of francs or bitcoins), you’d have to OFFER MORE OF THEM. Inflation.

          5. mpalomar

            The US is already deficit spending while taxing.
            In a more perfect world why not try MMT? The tax code as it exists is risible. The trick is to restrain the urge to print too much money. The war department budget should be shrunk to the size of a toy duck and drowned in a birdbath for starters.
            I would think it wise to institute a progressive wealth tax kicking in at around 20 million just to keep the oligarchs on a leash.
            Everyone else is on a tax holiday.

            1. mpalomar

              Oh yeah, what about all those tax accountant and tax lawyer jobs lost to the economy?
              I suggest they start looking for honest work.
              How ’bout robbing banks.

          6. Allegorio

            The constitution gives the Federal Government the obligation to mint a national currency. That obligation has been privatized in that banks now create money on their keyboards and then loan it to the Federal Government. The Federal Government has the right, nay the obligation to provide a national debt free currency, as did Lincoln to fund the civil war as did Kennedy try to do before he was assassinated. Parallel anyone?

            Neo-liberalism’s goal is to privatize the means of production and the first means to do that is to privatize the creation of the money supply and from there privatize the rest of the commons, creating the new paradigm, neo-feudalism. What is old becomes new again.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        This article, by Michael Lind, was linked in Water Cooler about a week ago but there was no convo about it. It is very long but provides a deeper analysis of how we got here and what our options going forward are than most other stuff on the topic I have read.

        No time now to add an excerpt but will try to come back to this.

      3. Synoia

        That is compete nonsense – local taxes, for example sales tax, property tax, state government fees and what have you are paid by rich and poor, legal and illegal alike.

        They may escape federal and state income taxes, but so do many others in various ways, such as booking “income” as capital gains or “carried interest.”

        1. Lord Koos

          Local taxes, when they are a regressive sales tax instead of a progressive income tax, are paid by everyone, but not by everyone equally, since the less fortunate are forced to pay a much larger percentage of their earnings than the wealthy. Here in WA state it’s close to 10%.

          1. 3.14e-9

            Lord K, don’t even get me started!

            I just found a good deal on a used car online, only to learn that when I go to register it and pay taxes, the Washington Department of Licensing will base the tax not on what I actually paid, but on what the state’s “automated valuing system” decides is the “fair market value,” which, as far as I can tell, is based on dealer prices. I say “as far as I can tell,” because the system is not available to the public. When asked why they don’t use Kelly Blue Book or N.A.D.A. values, DOL says they use their own system to make sure that “owners of the same type of vehicle pay the same amount of tax.”

            In addition to the local sales tax, there’s an additional .3% motor vehicle tax, unless you live in the Seattle area, where it recently went up to 1.1% to pay for a public transit system that won’t be completed for at least 25 years. Now we’re up to 11% sales tax on vehicles. If you live in Seattle, there’s also an $85 city tax.

            So, Joe the night janitor needs to get to work when public transportation isn’t running, manages to scrape together $3,500 for a beater, and the state says its “fair market value” is $5,900. Now he owes $650 in sales tax. With registration and licensing fees, his total bill to get out of DOL is close to $900.

            Other states have similar methods of vehicle taxation, so this isn’t unique to Washington, and it’s about as regressive as it gets. People with lower incomes tend to buy from private sellers, and often they buy older, high-mileage cars that need repairs. The state’s system doesn’t factor in the condition of the vehicle or the mileage. If you dig through all the rules and regulations, you can find ways to support a lower value, including bringing in an appraisal by a registered dealer; an estimate of needed repairs, done by a licensed mechanic and printed on company letterhead; or a printout of the N.A.D.A. or KBB retail values, not private party sales, for the same make, model, year, etc.

            Those are some good options, but how is Joe Janitor supposed to know he even has options, when none of this is explained when you go to the DOL. Somehow, you’re just supposed to know where to find the information online, which isn’t even all in one place. Moreover, it came out recently that DOL has overcharged several thousand drivers, many of whom may not even know. DOL’s attitude is, hey, what’s a couple thousand mistakes out of 7.8 million vehicles registered annually?

      4. Allegorio

        Immigration satisfies the highest goal for the owner class, labor without any social or political rights. Now that there is a backlash against immigration, the Republicans are working on turning Native workers into labor without political or social rights, aided and abetted by their Democratic collaborators.

        May Milton Friedman rot in Hell, or Gehenna as the case may be. May he be ground between the Devil’s teeth, as the Talmud decreed was the Emperor Hadrian’s punishment for eternity.

      5. HotFlash

        but it’s a science, with formulas!

        LMAO! Delayed reply, had to wait until kbd dried out.

    2. Squeeky Fromm Girl Reporter

      Plus, has anybody ever made a good argument why America needs millions more illegal low and unskilled workers when we already have millions of unemployed low and unskilled workers? Outside of stuffing the ballot box for Democrats, or providing a constant downward pressure on wages for the upper classes.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. oho

        as with most things, people like to get the benefits (cheaper lawn care, roofing, etc) while other people pay the bill (ESL schooling the children, crime, unemployment among natives, higher social welfare spending for displaced natives).

        And before someone tsk-tsks me for mentioning crime, spend an afternoon rotating between court rooms at your local county courthouse. And of course not every, or even the majority, of undocumented/illegal migrants are criminals.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef...

          Les Miserables.

          Why did Jean Valjean commit a crime of theft?

          Perhaps there are more immigrant ‘criminals.’

          Or perhaps not.

          That (if there are more) by itself, should not be derogatory or insulting to anyone.

          You have to look at the system, as a whole, and know why Valjean took that loaf of bread.

      2. a different chris

        A “good” argument? I would say the awful American diet and car-centered/sprawl lifestyle has made it really difficult to do unskilled (read, classically hard work) jobs, at least past the age of 30 or so.

        But pay more, change the entire attitude towards those jobs and the ‘burbs and etc, and maybe we can slim down a bit and do something our grandfathers would actually see as real work.

        Since our betters can’t abide the “pay more” part, they never ever mention why Americans “won’t do those jobs” – a lot of us literally can’t.

        What is comical is that they dream of “AI”, never even bothering to grok that if it costs a lot, lot more to repair a Mercedes than a Chevy, what do they think maintenance of an actually useful robot will cost?

      3. Left in Wisconsin

        Not sure about “millions” but the dairy industry in Wisconsin regularly claims that that dairy farmers would prefer to hire locals but there are not nearly enough to do the job, so very many of them rely on illegal/undocumented immigrants. But also not sure if these workers meet your definition of low and unskilled.

        We can say to them “raise the wages,” which of course they should, but I’m not sure the math works. There are reports that Wisconsin loses one dairy farm a day.

      4. different clue

        Are there documented cases of illegal low and unskilled workers stuffing the ballot boxes for Democrats? Millions of cases to go with those millions of illegal immigrants? Or maybe just hundreds of thousands of cases? Or maybe just tens of thousands of cases? Or maybe just thousands of cases? Or maybe just hundreds of cases?

        Well, how about 10 or 20 cases? Well . . . can you offer verifiably correct links to actual evidence of illegal immigrants stuffing the ballot boxes for Democrats in two or three cases? That would be just two or three links. Can you do it?

    3. Procopius

      Say, I just happened to recall it yesterday. Does anybody know whatever became of that case of Silicon Valley companies openly colluding to suppress wages? I don’t even remember what year it came out, but think it must have been since 2009. It really should have been embarrassing, especially since it completely undermined the arguments in favor of H1B visas and virtually every software company was implicated. As I recall there was an overabundance of really damning evidence, too. Did Holder decide it was too complicated for a jury to understand?

  3. craazyboy

    Finally, as promised, The Virus Song. Could be a new genre.
    This was a fun one, so I cast the net wide.

    “Behold My Awesomeness!”

    Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhatten
    (He’d like this.)

    First Release The Stutnext, then release the next!

    Your e-mails from the DNC,
    It’s all for our own good.
    Behold my geekyness
    If grasp we only could.
    Around your neck would be the place
    A rope to do the rest.

    Your coding is so awesome
    Your cybertheft the best.
    You have the best collection
    Of cyber warefare pests.
    With blind rightousness and zeal,
    You exceed all stupidness.
    With blind rightousness and zeal,
    You exceed all stupidness.

    They listen,look and burrow
    in every nook and furrow.
    Nowhere is safe from the malware
    You’ve unleased upon the world!

    You’ve saved then up for decades
    You hide them on your hard drives.
    So safe behind the firewall
    Safe from all prying hands and eyes.
    Except from those who disrupt
    And make money from us all.

    Your foresight and stated wisdom
    That we all hold so dear
    We must fight them in Russia and the Middle East
    We shall not fight them here!

    Our silicon is invaded
    Surely as our shores
    Your lagress should be rewarded
    Upload your minds to yours!

    Power plants, banks and airplane control towers
    The power plant says we’re getting warm
    The bank says you are broke.
    The air controller sees a 1000 planes
    Says he knows that can’t be woke.

    Next we’ll have self-driving cars.
    You’ll get us one by one
    Only Luddites will survive.

    It’s a digital world now everywhere
    You’ve screwed it beyound belief and repair.
    The Stutnext virus will be always with us
    And the next version in the air.
    If you need more maleware funding
    Just erase the hard disk there!

    1. lb

      I can’t help but point out the song Virus by Del the Funky Homosapien off Deltron 3030 (note that this came out in 2000):

      There are lots of themes from NC as well as the depressing world of geopolitics in there, and it’s probably fair to call this a precursor to your new genre…

      1. craazyboy

        Dang. Someone else noticed!

        The versus could go one almost forever. I only stopped because I got tired.

        The LC tune has a tempo that is chanting, kinda like rap. There is probably some theoretical reason, based in chromatic or pentonic scales, but for some reason, its very easy to write lyrics to this beat, and also rap beats. It’s also easy to use a little flexibility in lyrical beat and the tune accommodates it easily. Interesting. Nature’s way of helping, I think.

      2. HotFlash

        Cr”boy, look at it this way. You have ancestors in your genre, therefore you are already a legit artform! Shouldn’t there be some way to cash in on that, if properly marketed?

  4. fresno dan

    The Secret History of ISIS Frontline (Judy B)

    when I click it tells me:
    This site can’t be reached

    jhttp’s server DNS address could not be found.

      1. Susan the other

        absolutely – there were so many indications that the story had been doctored to try to tell the truth without actually telling the truth that it bordered on disgusting. With all the facts that we now know, and counter-facts, Frontline looks like biggest brother. I was very disappointed by the way they fudged over Zarkawi’s coming of age in a terrorist world – it sounded like a lot of bullshit to me and there was no explanation for why he “originated” in Jordan (our staunch ally forever) and traveled to Iraq to foment terrorism. I didn’t buy it at all; nor his death; nor his replacement al Bagdadi who appears to have been a very positive, accomplished man despite his being used as a terrorist. I still believe those revolting beheadings, etc. were done for public reaction here in the US and probably produced by us. But that’s just my opinion. All I could think to smooth out all the dissonance was that we, the USA, created and entrapped these people and then betrayed them at our convenience; ostensibly they were to work for us – and then we betrayed them. How much any of this, or the Frontline bullshit, is true I have no way of knowing. I especially did not feel reassured by watching Colin Powell sweat and look uncomfortable as he lied through his teeth.

        1. Allegorio

          Cui bono, Cui bono, Cui bono?

          Besides providing convenient proxy armies and the means to overthrow regimes the hoards of terrorists the U.S. creates via its vassals Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States create a constituency in western democracies for the authoritarian surveillance state and endless funding for the military industrial complex.

          I shall repeat the Frank Luntz story: Years ago Israel commissioned Frank Luntz to do focus groups on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He found when the subject was the dispute between the Palestinians and Israelis about the occupation of Palestinian land, Americans sided with the Palestinians, but when the subject was Palestinian “terrorism” against Israelis, the focus groups sided with Israel. It has been never ending terrorism ever since. Cui bono? Cui bono? Cui bono? One does not need aluminum head gear to answer that question.

  5. cocomaan

    My wife pointed out that Democracy Now! was already blaming a potential Ossoff loss on “racist voter suppression.” So, no, I don’t think the Dems will learn their lesson.

    Hopefully the race puts to rest the misogyny claims or that a woman can’t win over white men. Handel is a short fat white woman.

    1. oho

      shaking my head at the DNC-consultant-pundit ecosystem—how about Democrats not appreciating that their local benches are so thin that their candidate was a literal carpetbagger who couldn’t vote for himself in the election as Ossof didn’t live in the district. (Fitting since post-Civil War Democrats moaned about GOP carpetbaggers.)

      Oh I forgot, the donor class in California and DC consultants always know best for flyover country.

      1. DJG

        +++ “DNC-consultant-pundit ecosystem”–I’d add, oho, that what you are pointing to here is that the Democratic Party is now the Uber of American politics.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The “Team Blue strategists” were paid, and isn’t that what really matters?

      3. Synoia

        Do they want to win, and have the responsibility, or do they just want the benefits and nor the responsibility?

        It is requires hard work to govern. It is easy to blame the Rubes, Radicals, Racists, Russians, or Republicans.

    2. HBE

      Of course they won’t learn any lessons, which is part of the reason the party is wholly unreformable.

      I’m just happy they didn’t get the validation they were looking for, and instead got another kick in the teeth and failed to deliver for the donor class yet again.

      Third party please.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        The dems may not have learned any lessons, but there was some suggestion this morning on msnbs that the repubs may have.

        A tsunami of outside money, hordes of outside activists and a carpetbagger candidate may have hardened and mobilized the actual district residents / voters to select against so much outside interference, and may provide a line of repub attack against similarly supported dem candidates in the future.

        Or so the theory goes.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Learning lessons was for 1994. It’s long since time to remove the Clinton/Obama disease.

          Perez just set over $20 million on fire.

          1. roxy

            “Learning lessons was for 1994.” So true. That year a local radio host in my area played some romantic Luis Miguel songs, good for crying to, and introduced them by saying, “Let your tears fall freely, Democrats”.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Yep we have an answer to Bubba’s 1994 question “where else are they going to go?”.

    3. Benedict@Large

      Racist voter suppression? In Georgia? Who would have thunk?

      Look, we were screaming about voting problems in Georgia way back in the early days of Black Box Voting. Georgia was in fact on of the earliest targets identified. But no matter how much we jumped and screamed, the Democratic leadership wouldn’t left a finger. “You’ll scare the voters away” if you say that, we were told. Keep quite.

      But now, when a Georgia race is a major plum in their return-to-power strategy, they want to use it as an excuse? They could have addressed the problem a dozen and more years ago but didn’t. This is their spilt milk, not mine.

      1. Deadl E Cheese

        Love too be part of the only presumptively anti-reactionary party who depends on marginalized voters to claw their way to a majority yet twice broke deportation records and did nothing about voter suppression when they had a primo chance in 2009.

    4. Barmitt O'Bamney

      It was Russian hackers what stole it. And now, even though they aren’t all red anymore, they’re still all white! The racism hypothesis is thus confirmed at a deeper level of conspiracy theory.

      Last night the local tv news had interviews with some of the tragically disenfranchised poll goers. They were angrily demanding to vote because they lived in Dekalb County and they had seen all the campaign commercials, surely making them eligible to vote in their view. The fact that they did not legally reside in Georgia’s 6th district entered nowhere into their argument.

      I doubt the people who organized this thought they would be able to slip enough fraudulent voters to tip the election. They just want to make a big stink and enable Democrats to claim racist disenfranchisement rigged the election.

    5. Roger Smith

      1. What happened to Democracy Now? The seemed like a decent place when I discovered them a few years ago (through NC), now I have had to stop following them because all the videos I have seen slant “fool”.

      2. What kind of district was GA06? My impression was that it was largely affluent, and by virtue of socioeconomics, white. Is there even a sizable minority population there with which one could claim “racists/voter suppression!”?

      1. Arizona Slim

        And here I thought I was the only one. I too have had questions about the direction of “Democracy Now.”

        Lately, it has sounded like the Russian fearmongering show. Did the Clintons get a seat on their board?

        1. philnc

          I became concerned about DN when Juan Gonzales got up at a “progressive” conference last year and warned everyone not to make the same mistake made in 1968, referring to the refusal by many in the antiwar movement to back Humphrey. Juan’s speech seemed blatantly revisionist to me, as a kid who watched the 1968 campaign (which was pretty much two warmongers vs a racist) unfold on TV.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It has a lot of Atlanta’s wealthier African Americans too. The issue is Congressional districts are still quite large. The largest group of potential new voters is still non-voters, who tend to be lower class. They are everywhere. On a precinct/ward level, this argument might be true, but they aren’t 650,000 upper middle class types in this district. Who works at the Paneras? Cuts the lawn, runs the cashiers, repairs the roads, etc?. They don’t all come from outside the Congressional district, they are too large.

        The district might be wealthier compared to other districts, but wealth inequality means there are plenty of potential poor and working class voters.

        1. Livius Drusus

          I am glad you mentioned non-voters. The Democrats should be trying to win those people over since they fit the Democratic Party’s voter profile better, that is poor and working-class people who are more likely to be racially diverse.

          I don’t understand the Democratic Party’s obsession with trying to win over affluent Republicans while ignoring all of these non-voters who would be a better fit for them.

          1. a different chris

            >the Democratic Party’s obsession with trying to win over affluent Republicans

            Because that’s essentially who they are, circa say 1985. They want “racially diverse” judges, doctors, bankers, that’s their social group. They don’t want the woman who does the laundry. They *are* willing to pass her some cigarette money as it won’t make a real difference in their life but that’s about the difference between them and the pure Rethugs.

            Oh, and and she needs to get yet another lawyer or at least a paralegal to figure out the paperwork, but they will pay for (most of, got more equations to work thru and exceptions to investigate here, m’am) said legal work since it’s their real constituency.

          2. jgwilson

            Sucked into the “Cult of the Billionaire”. Much more enjoyable rubbing elbows at swanky fundraisers and exclusive resorts than knocking on doors in Compton. Unlimited spending + the overwhelming Narcissistic P.D. requirement of those running for office got us here.

        2. Allegorio

          If you are black and poor would you waste anytime voting for a privileged white guy “film producer” who talks about balanced budgets (dog whistle alert), opposing single payer healthcare unconditionally, fiscal responsibility (dog whistle alert).

          It seems to me the Democrats suppressed the black vote by supporting someone, who in no way shares their experiences, acknowledges their needs and is more interested in the welfare of Israel than that of the Georgia ’06. Let me guess where he stood on Russian interference in the 2016 election. There is voter suppression and there is self inflicted voter suppression.

          If Democrats do not take steps to mobilize their progressive base, they will not win elections! Lesser evilism is over!

      3. sleepy

        I looked up the demographics earlier. The district is c. 10% asian, 13% hispanic, and 13% black. That’s from memory so I could be off somewhat.

      4. Carolinian

        In Atlanta the black population has traditionally lived inside the city or south of downtown, the whites always dominating north of downtown. GA 6 is north of downtown. Here are some stats on GA 6

        And here for the state of GA.

        So the white percentage exceeds that of the state as a whole but not by that much.

        1. Cujo359

          Thanks for that link, Carolinian.

          Based on the margin of Handel’s victory being around 5% (as reported in Yves’ link about the election), and blacks being about 13% of the population, I think blaming this one on race-based vote suppression is going to be a hard sell. It would take a lot of suppression of black voters to create a 5 point difference in that race.

      5. oho

        >> What kind of district was GA06

        It’s Newt Gingrich’s old seat!

        Just as H. Clinton got sucked into the “purple Arizona trap,” someone in DC misread “I dislike Trump” as “H. Clinton is popular” in GA06.

        Or if you’re a cynic like me, it was a pure cash grab, like in “The Music Man,” by the consultant class to wring some $$$ from the CA donors who couldn’t bother to do spend 15 secs reading about GA06 on Wikipedia for the campaign of a thinly-resumed Democratic staffer.

        The $$$$$$ spent on Ossof coulda, shoulda been seed money for better candidates in more purple districts.

        Er, sorry I meant Putin did it!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Less obviously odious Mittens types are simply the preferred voter of the DNC. Remember the want the Panera Bread patron. The Dems didn’t say jack about the employees.

          The path to 218 is less relevant than making sure they have the right kinds of voters.

      6. Milton

        14 congressional districts in Ga. District 6 has the highest median household income at $82k. The next highest is district 7 is $69k. The median for the entire state is just over $50k.

      7. oh

        It still airs some good topics (Putin interviews) but to keep their audience, DN has to tilt elite and they’ve been doing that for several years now. They’ve sung from the OBot prayer book and the elites go ditto, ditto as the choir.

    6. DJG

      Cocomaan: Handel’s secret is being named after a very famous baroque composer, and in this baroque era of religious wars and mad emperors, she is a shoo-in. What a brand! Up there with Obama the brand!

      On the other hand, maybe the poo-bahs of Democratic Party just don’t have a clue about how to appeal to voters.

      I am sure that there will be a circle-the-wagons seminar here in Chicago, with Rahm in charge, next week. That should fix things.

      1. marym

        Rahm’s ready

        So Democrats don’t need to spend the next year navel-gazing over how to motivate their base. In 2018, Trump will provide the greatest fundraising and get-out-the-vote machine the party has ever had. Wave elections are a chance to build on that base by winning back voters disappointed in the other side. Democrats will have plenty of disappointments to bring to their attention, including Republican health-care and tax-cut plans that betray the working-class voters who put Trump in the White House.
        That referendum will be won or lost in swing districts—and they are much harder to find than they used to be. The Cook Political Report found that the number of swing seats—where neither party runs more than 5 points better than it does nationally—has dropped by more than half over the last 20 years, from 164 to 72.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          In 2018, Trump will provide the greatest fundraising and get-out-the-vote machine the party has ever had.

          Wow are they stupid, still trying to equate dislike of Trump into popularity for them. And then this –

          …Democrats will have plenty of disappointments to bring to their attention…

          Yes, disappointments like the Democrat party and its utter fecklessness which fewer and fewer people can stomach.

          How much do they pay these political pundit types for spouting thoughtless, regurgitated pablum anyway? Cuz I’ve got a team of monkeys with some typewriters ready to go and they’ll work a lot cheaper.

  6. Terry Flynn

    re BREXIT:

    Whilst I know all the Tories will fall into line in confidence motions/the Queen’s Speech and supply motions, I’m curious to see how the newly emboldened “pro-EU” wing will conduct themselves on BREXIT. Anna Soubry – a local Tory who, given regional swings, should have lost her seat, clung on (albeit with a wafer thin majority). She has a reputation as a trouble-maker (and that’s being polite, given what various Euro-sceptic Tories have called her and what she in turn has called half her Parliamentary colleagues – the word “looney” crops up) but her interview on the BBC on election night was priceless and she really (like my local Labour MP, in a constituency that is remarkably like hers, on the other side of Nottingham) know what people want. Both of them have good reputations as good constituency MPs and she is good at capturing the national mood (hence why I think she clung on). Nottingham and its non-metropolitan suburbs is a great microcosm of national trends, with a real mix of HARD BREXIT, SOFT BREXIT and pro-EU people. Anna is good at judging the mood.

    I’ve had Momentum contact me for info on my survey….I think they know that neither Labour nor the Tories at the national level have a viable strategy. The question is, “can either party construct a policy that is viable, whilst giving their respective awkward squads the real things they want”. The East Midlands has bucked the trend and gone *even more* BREXIT, since last year, which complicates things even more. All the local MPs here are going to have their work cut out for them.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I doubt the Remainers/soft Brexiters (more or less the same thing in practice) have a ‘strategy’ as such since they are such a mixed bunch. I would imagine the general best strategy for them now is to allow the Hard Brexiters enough rope for the first signs of panic to set in when everyone realises its going pear shaped, and then see if Brussels can be persuaded to postpone the final date (this is going into legally vague territory, but where there is a will, there’s a way). Once the principle of a postponment is established, it could be pushed on indefinitely, giving everyone the appearance that brexit is underway, when in reality the UK would stay within the EU, just without having much say on future changes.

      Incidentally, there is more evidence that the property bubble in the UK may be under the first stages of popping. Nothing like collapsing property prices to concentrate minds.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Their attitudes are very similar and similarly strong (from my national survey) – emphasis on preserving the Single Market with similarly strong attitudes….. but whilst I personally would agree on letting the govt get enough rope to hang itself, Labour/Momentum seem to want to inherit the poisoned chalice of govt and BREXIT negotiations…not sure they are being strategic enough here regarding the long-term but they are clearly wanting to construct some sort of “nationally acceptable” policy – but like you say, can that work?

        But as I’ve warned, though attitudes are moving towards greater sympathy towards the single market, areas like the East Midlands are still feeling too “raw” towards the effects of free movement (insufficient investment in transport, health, housing and education infrastructure) so they’ll continue to go HARD BREXIT. Major headache for Labour nationally (who I believe *really* want soft BREXIT) and like you say, better to let the govt stew in its own juice, so they can recognise where their *real* beef lies (with Westminster, not Brussels). Moral is “be careful what you wish for”.

        1. a different chris

          I really at this point have to laugh at “soft Brexit”. With their own currency, that’s pretty much what they had. I am pretty sure what they really wanted, and all they really wanted, was immigration control. You know, the horror of those “no go” zones in London… oh wait, only Americans believe that.

          I think it’s pretty much the same problem we have, experienced plumbers come from far away and work for cheap so their kids have to either become a biomed scientist/entrepreneur or sit on the dole. Is every kid smart enough to make that grade? No.

          Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe everybody’s loo is probably backing up.

  7. fresno dan

    Five takeaways from Iran’s missile strike in Syria N Asia Times. Resilc flagged this section:
    From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision. Simply put, Iran has notified the US that its 45,000 troops deployed in bases in Iraq (5,165), Kuwait (15,000), Bahrain (7,000), Qatar (10,000), the UAE (5,000) and Oman (200) are highly vulnerable.

    Three, the fact that Tehran coordinated Sunday’s missile strikes in advance with Russia, Iraq and Syria is an important signal in geopolitical terms and in regional politics. Centered around Baghdad, the quadrilateral mechanism involving these four countries has openly acknowledged that such coordination took place. It didn’t have to do that, but it did so with deliberation.
    Uh, Iraq…Iraq….hmmmm….isn’t Iraq our ally???

    1. craazyboy

      Four “rogue pawns” check Hegemon White King.

      Finally, maybe we’ll see what the secret move is?

    2. JTMcPhee

      ally satrapy (?)… bearing in mind that the rulers and elites of all those little bits of the Persian realm, like the Porte’s “domains,” tended to fraction off and set up on their own, or daily recoagulate with other bits or Big Players in pursuit of self-interest, in a wonderful flux of power and wealth, while the slaves and other Lesser Creatures tried to stay alive, find profit where they could, and, like little mice in the elephant paddock, scurry around to keep from being trampled, often without success when the big critters got particularly clumsy or worked up. Seems there is an ‘organizing principle’ in the middle of it (an ugly one to be sure) that “has legs…” Unlike what “our” political economy” operates on…

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its hard not to see the Iranian rocket strikes as politically motivated, it didn’t make a lot of direct military sense. The obvious impact of Trump devolving military decisions to the Generals is that you get lots of tactics, but no strategy. Shooting at Syrian aircraft and Iranian drones may make sense to local commanders, but makes no sense strategically, and this will be noted by potential allies of the US on the ground (including the Kurds). As the Saudis thrash around making enemies everywhere and the US looks increasingly clueless, its easy to see the Iranians and Russians gradually building up networks of support to combat Isis and Al-Q while isolating the US and its various militias on the ground.

      1. Susan the other

        I’m convinced that our strategy is very clear. We will stay there until hell freezes over and maintain our positions and influence whatever we can toward our own self interest. The question is – what is our self interest and how does it play out over time?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          We incinerate dirt-poor Yemeni women and children in the desert halfway round the world for it, and if they are somehow considered fair game then we all are

    4. skippy

      Quantum coms and radar plus building new gen Russian and Chinese fighters in Iran, means the West has a bad case of path dependency.

      disheveled…. MBAs lead the way…. sir – !!!!

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      Iraq isn’t strong enough to evict us, but given they are nominally a free country these days, the U.S. can’t simply take control again without endangering our soft colonial relationships all over the world. The Iraqi government forced the restriction of U.S. forces to the Green Zone (Obama didn’t want to let soldiers accused of crimes face Iraqi justice).

      Besides the obvious cost, the Iraqi government doesn’t have a villain, and unlike last time, the Iraqis know there isn’t a fantasy “Marshall Plan” and West Germany/Japan situation in the future.

    6. Bill Smith

      “From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision.” So they missed? Accuracy is not precision. I like the “devastating” in front of precision part too…

      Actually the article itself uses “high precision”. Isn’t ‘high’ in front of ‘precision’ redundant?

      The Israelis say things don’t appear to have worked quite as well as claimed in the article. I would assume they have a pretty good view from Mount Hermon and the US X-Band radar in the south of Israel.

      Maybe, they did hit their targets… but this is known how? Which also is a question for some the Israeli claims about the success or lack of it.

      Given the money spent on the Patriot Pac 3, Aegis and Thaad I think the US has a pretty good idea about the vulnerability of the US forces.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Wowsers, you really don’t get it.

        There is a big dispute about how many Tomahawk missiles hit the Syrian airbase earlier this year. The US says all 59 (of actually 60, a factoid not mentioned often, one apparently went into the drink) while the Russians say only 23 hit their target.

        But regardless they did little damage:

        So the “devastating precision” is apt. They hit the target precisely AND they were the right weapon to do a lot of damage.

        And you cavil in the light of the F35, and the fact that those largely useless Tomahawks cost $1.5 million each. US military prowess is highly overrated.

        1. Bill Smith

          My point is when we read stories about this things why should we believe the Tomahawks did or not hit their target any more than the Iranian missiles did or did not? Just because the US said they did and the Russians said they didn’t? Because the Iranians said they did and Israel said they didn’t?

          This has nothing to do with the whatever US military prowess does or doesn’t exist. Or the F-35.

          And I don’t know how effective the Patriot Pac 3, Aegis and Thaad will be, but those systems seem to be an attempt reduce the vulnerability of the US forces. So there is no sudden shock that US forces might now be vulnerable to missiles.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Quick-draw of the support-the-Empire pistol, there.

            Pity the poor ordinary people who don’t grok the difference between accuracy and precision when it comes to what you might agree are in the category of “smart weapons.” We should take comfort that Standard missiles apparently were able to shoot down an inoffensive Iranian airliner, back in the day. And we can just be sure, on so much incontrovertible evidence, that all the “smart” war toys the MIC cooks up and uses the wealth we ordinary people create to pay for, will joyfully function as advertised. And when speced and procured and deployed at the ends of those enormous supply chains, they will happily function to maintain that mythical “full spectrum dominance.” And there will be such success, demonstrated by past performance, in the commitment to field those “attempts to reduce the vulnerability of “US” (sic) forces who are “in the field” doing stupid stuff as part of the “racket” that old Smedley Butler so aptly named, near on a century ago.

            Maybe it’s time to go overthrow a few more elected governments with “leftist” or “anti-American” leanings, hey? Those efforts have worked out so well for the “Americans” that the military and state security apparatus are supposed to be “protecting…”

            And while one is at it, out of old habit, be sure to serve up a nice helping of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, hey? Whenever a “case” appears to be undermining the mythology and messages of the Blob…

            Glad to know someone, wink wink, is keeping track of what the unAmerican loonies who participate in left-wing blogs are talking about.

          2. Oregoncharles

            I think it’s the Saudis that have a lot to worry about. Notably, their main oil fields are right across the water, and so is any invasion route to Qatar. Those missiles were a message to both sides in that dispute.

            Barring the US, Iran is the Big Dog in that neighborhood, and they just reminded everybody of that.

    7. Allegorio

      It can not be said often enough, that the invasion of Iraq was the biggest geo-political blunder of the 20-21st century. Or maybe it was the overthrow of Mossedegh? The US is scrambling to pick up the pieces, risking even nuclear war. Notice all the Trump-bots are all old gray and going to die soon anyway. Like Sid Vicious they want to go in a blaze of glory, though there will be no history to record the event. And now they are trying to rehabilitate George W. Bush the greatest friend Iran ever had, getting rid of Iran’s traditionally enemy. Is it that Prep school makes you stupid, all that bullying and domination games?

  8. russell1200

    Georgia Election: If your trying to reverse a trend of Republican victories, change people mind if you will, it helps if you can find a candidate who lives in the district.

    1. integer

      FWIW I thought this was an interesting article due to the insight it gives into the tapestry of externalities that have been created by the Syrian war. As well as the pollution angle, the article details how Syrian refugees, especially children, are being forced into lives of slavery and prostitution.

    2. Lord Koos

      Italy was (and probably still is) dumping toxic garbage into the Mediterranean near the north African coast for many years, via some shady waste removal contractors. In fact, the beginning of Somali piracy was simply Somali fishermen reacting to the polluting the of sea they fish in.

      1. integer

        Yes, I’m guessing some of the local Italian governments were presented with an offer that they couldn’t refuse, if you know what I mean.

  9. craazyboy

    GOP Health Bill Kept Secret From Senators Assigned to Write It Bloomberg (resilc)

    At the behest of Dems, Rs agree to let the writers peek.

  10. paul

    Re: Liam Fox’s lucky streak

    Hard to fathom why he had to go halfway round the world for an advisor.

    His young friend Adam has always had the necessary expertise in whatever office lucky Liam happens to hold.

    I wonder what we have to offer in a trade deal? Abolish the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence? Up the incarceration rate? Buy another trident?

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Paul, and well said about the Atlantic Bridge pair.

      Last year, the government stated that it would not use experts if they were from the EU27. There are many in academia. That limited the pool available.

      On a not unrelated note, the appearance last week-end of a compassion industry philanderer, talking about his late wife, was most nauseating.

      1. paul

        I can see that as a regular fish wrapper filler for the next few years.

        Did he breakdown and mourn those lost moments, those fund raising and profile enhancing opportunities they could have shared, if he hadn’t been off getting his leg over?

  11. ambrit

    I noticed the “Ad” at the top of the “Daily Mirror” frontpage featuring poor Mz. Mays’ conundrum. A 10 Pound ‘Free Phone Bet’ on the Ascot races? Isn’t this taking the “contactless” scheme a bit too far? Real punters would amble down to their local off-track and bet with someone they know, wouldn’t they?
    We can’t all get to the track on race day, yes, but over the phone?

    1. paul

      Practically all post 11pm colour television advertising here is for online bookies (Daytime it’s funeral plans and payday loans).
      They make it look like tremendous fun and the small print advises to gamble responsibly.

      1. ambrit

        Over here we have the occasional mid sized print banner on the bottom of the billboard ads for the Gulf Coast casinos that say; “Have a gambling problem? Call this number: 1-800-ABC-WXYZ.” (Example number for entertainment purposes only. Not a solicitation to gamble.) As you can guess, lots of risque rejoinders are engendered in reply to this exhortation.
        Payday loans I get, but, funeral plans? [I’m presently re-reading Faulkners’ “As I Lay Dying” and so am intrigued.]
        It would be redundant to have a blurb somewhere on the NC home page that suggests, “Please comment responsibly.” Such is a given around here.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Ambrit.

      I hope you are enjoying the festival. Are you watching on NBC? Don’t forget Goodwood in late July and York in mid-August.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks for the reminders Colonel. They are now on my calendar, literally so since I am a committed “geezer,” and thus “Internet Challenged.”
        I’m catching up after work with youtube snippets. At least the Queen didn’t wear the Eurozone Hat to the meet. That such a thing as a hat is parsed for political meaning is somewhat funny. A real political statement would be if Her Highness were to wear a Phrygian bonnet with a Revolutionary cockade. Now that would make Parliament sit up straight and pay attention!
        I should have put a bet on Lady Aurelia. Not only is a fictional character called that one of the kids farourites in the long ago, but the name itself screams; “Omen! Omen!”
        Strong returns good sir.

    1. Arizona Slim

      A few weeks ago, I took a couple of cab rides. The tipping option was part of the credit card payment process.

      So, Uber, welcome to the club.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a shame we can’t tip our online-order-fulfillers nor our smartphone assemblers.

      We need smarter billionaires, I reason deeply, so that we may more fully express our charitable nature.

  12. RenoDino

    “There are people who, as I often say, would rather have first class seats going down with the Titanic, rather than change the course of the ship,” Sanders told IBT’s David Sirota last week. “There are people who have spent their entire lives in the Democratic Party, there are people who’ve invested a whole lot of money into the Democratic Party, they think the Democratic Party belongs to them.”

    So Bernie, when are you going to get it through your thick head that the Democratic Party does belong to them and stop pimping for them? This is why Bernie is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. He correctly identifies a problem-in healthcare, inequality, you name it– then spends years failing to overcome it. In fact, the problem is always worse ten years later after Bernie first brought it up. He has a zero track record of success That’s why the establishment tolerates him.

    As for that Democratic challenger to Ryan in Wisconsin, please reserve your excitement.
    This working man of the people can’t get elected dog catcher in previous bids for lower office, but suddenly he’s a giant slayer. I don’t think so.

    1. dontknowitall

      On top of that Iron Mustache is running against Paul Ryan, the only Republican senator who votes consistently with Sanders to try to derail the war party. Strange coincidence.

      1. integer

        Paul Ryan voting with Sanders to try to derail the war party? You must be thinking of Rand Paul.

      2. Hard hat

        Stache has no platform, no policy, has problematic tweets and an essay on Stein. He’s not a Berner nor a progressive, he’s a Hillary Clinton supporter that is exasperated at being called a neocon, but he seems to be popular with Brock and the establishment. No left person would ever get the media roll out the Stache has gotten.

    2. XXYY

      This is why Bernie is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. He correctly identifies a problem-in healthcare, inequality, you name it– then spends years failing to overcome it. In fact, the problem is always worse ten years later after Bernie first brought it up.

      Has anyone else solved any of these “lost causes”? I haven’t. Have you? I see no reason to single out Sanders in particular as a non-actor on these matters.

      The line of thinking above shows, I think, a misunderstanding of how politics works. Politicians don’t swoop in, like comic book superheroes, and fix everything. The best they can do is concentrate and rally popular support for particular issues, which will then with luck lead to something good. By this metric, Sanders has done more than any one million other people to generate excitement and support for our “lost causes.” In fact, many of the issues that Sanders was repeatedly harping on during his campaign (free tuition, $15 minimum wage, single payer, more taxes on the billionaire class) now have surprising traction, and in fact we are seeing them passed into law at the state level in various places.

      It’s an exciting time.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Bernie a saint?

        Like Saint Bernard? Is that a backhanded insult, or rather, backhanded compliment?

        “He’s not a dog.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Dog: “Don’t call me dog.”

            Pig: “Don’t call me pig.”

            Chicken: “Don’t call me chicken.” (Also Marty McFly).

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Rat: “Don’t say I rat.”

              Cuckoo: “Don’t say I’m cuckoo.”

              Ape: “I don’t ape.”

    3. oh

      Bernie’s famous for that and running back to the DimRats after throwing away a golden opportunity and disappointing a whole lot of people.

    4. different clue

      It is perhaps not up to Mr. Iron Stache to entertain people into voting for him. It may be up to them to find something out about him and make an active decision about whether they would rather have some more Ryan or not.

  13. Colonel Smithers

    @ David, Expat and French Guy: If online today, could you, please, update on the MoDem fun and games and Macron’s reaction. Many thanks.

    1. David

      Just passing through I’m afraid, but the one sentence summary is that a scandal involving the misuse of allowances for research assistants at the European Parliament, thought to be confined to the national Front, has now spread to other parties as well, including the MoDem and probably LR (the story is being updated all the time). This makes it difficult for Macron, who came to power partly on a platform of cleaning up French politics, and impossible for Bayrou, who was the Minister responsible for implementing that platform. Bayrou is denying that he or any of his colleagues did anything wrong. Oh, and the Republicans have split. The long-term consequences (i.e. beyond tomorrow) of all this are, as they, say, hard to tell at this stage. But Bayrou has said that the alliance with the REM is unaffected. Le Monde has an excellent summary of the allegations:

    2. visitor

      Perhaps a (hopefully) short summary of what is happening in France.

      1) Deputies to the French, resp. European parliament receive an allowance that is intended to pay for assistants taking over background parliamentary work.

      2) For quite a long time, many deputies have used that allowance either to employ relatives and friends in fictitious activities, or to employ political associates to work on party logistics instead of parliamentary work.

      3) In 2016, as the campaign for the French presidential elections was heating up, two major candidates got burned by revelations and investigations on those illegal practices: François Fillon, from the LR, and favourite candidate of the right wing, who was touting his moral credentials, but who had used relatives in fictitious employment; and Marine Le Pen, from FN, candidate of extreme-right, touting a programme of “national renewal”, for having set up a system of paying party members from allowances at the European Parliament.

      4) Fillon’s candidacy crashed and burned because of the “Penelopegate” (Penelope Fillon, his wife), to the delight of Macron’s partisans. Investigations did not damage Le Pen much, but other FN EU deputies struck back by formally denouncing the same practices amongst deputies of other parties, most notably the MoDem.

      5) Recently, the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné, which had already revealed Fillon’s practices, leaked provisional results of the investigation going on at the EP. It appears that the MoDem had indeed set up a system of paying party members on parliamentary allowances.

      6) Several MoDem heavy-weights were explicitly identified as responsible in that shirking of rules and misappropriation of funds, among them: François Bayrou (head of MoDem, minister of Justice under Macron); Sylvie Goulard (minister of defense); Marielle de Sarnez (minister of European affairs). They have all resigned now.

      7) François Bayrou and the MoDem were prominent in rallying to Macron before the second run of the presidential election, and in shoring up Macron’s image as a “centrist”. They also won 42 seats in the parliamentary elections, compared to 2 in 2012.

      8) The affair occurs just after the departure of another Macron minister (for territorial affairs), Richard Ferrand (a defector from the PS to EM), after revelations of serious conflicts of interest and financial wizardry with his wife, taking advantage of his position as an important elected magistrate in Brittany. They also occur just as Macron’s government was to present a law for the “moralization of public life”.

      Macron was supposed to bring a breath of fresh air in French politics. His government barely started and has already as many “casseroles” as one worn-down by years in office (casseroles: pans or pots, used in France to denote illegal affairs made public, marring every move of a politician, like metallic crockery strapped to his legs, which he has to drag as they clunk loudly wherever he goes).

      So far, Macron has eschewed criticism. The affairs impact other parties (MoDem), or defectors (Ferrand, when he was working as a PS man). However, both Ferrand and de Sarnez will remain as whips in the French parliament — which already causes some frowning. On the other hand, the impact on the MoDem reduces its importance in the presidential majority — which means that Macron is somewhat freer to direct his government without having to concede too much to Bayrou.

  14. FreeMarketApologist

    Meanwhile, in the ‘unfilled appointments’ and ‘D.C. Gridlock’ category, I have to wonder how the remaining Dem at the CFTC stepping down before her term ends is any solution?

    Sharon Bowen, the only Democrat on the U.S. regulator in charge of overseeing a major chunk of the $483 trillion derivatives market, announced Tuesday that she’d leave her post before her term ends next year.

    Bowen, who was appointed by Barack Obama, has been a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission since June 2014. By departing in the next few months, Bowen said she hoped to speed the process of getting open seats filled. Currently, Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican, is the only other commissioner at the five-member agency.

    “The work of this agency has been hampered by only having a two-person commission,” Bowen said during a meeting at the CFTC’s headquarters in Washington. “Without a full compliment of commissioners to consider the far-reaching implications of our decisions, we’re frozen in place while the markets we regulate are moving faster everyday.”

    If they’ve been hampered by having a two person team, how is making it a one person team any better? This will put an entirely new team in place, at a time when regulation of swaps is up in the air. Bowen has been one of the few tough commissioners on the CFTC.

    1. RUKidding

      Maybe a revolving door to K Street and untold wealth beckoned her way. These parasites have no loyalty to anything but themselves and their bank accounts.

      It makes no sense for her to step down early, so color me cynical that she did. The D Party has endlessly proven itself as craven and disgusting as their counterparts on the R Team.

      It probably doesn’t matter that she’s quitting. She probably wasn’t doing anything worthwhile anyway.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given the long standing tenure of Bush and Obama appointees and the poor jobs they did, it’s been forgotten, but many of these high profile government appointed jobs lead to burn out if people work hard because there is always work to be done. One cold simply hit the cocktail circuit and never burn out, but good people burn out because these can be difficult jobs which can be thankless.

        “Tough” is often code for being prepared and expecting work to be done.

  15. annie

    the yougov poll, ‘is bernie too old:’
    if you click on results by ‘politics’ you see that overall results are skewed because 73% of republicans vote ‘yes’ whereas dems are split, 43-41%, between yes and no.

  16. Scylla

    Regarding the Paul Ryan challenger, Randy Bryce: He appeared out of nowhere two days ago (25k followers accumulated in 24 hours on Twitter), he has unsuccessfully tried to run for board of education and (twice) state senate. His campaign ad discusses healthcare with no policy goals, so I started asking him on Monday afternoon if he supported single payer. Every time he (or his account @IronStache) tweeted, I asked him the question and was ignored. So last night, I concluded that the Democrats were adopting a new strategy to go along with their empty suits, and were now using a pair of empty union coveralls in an attempt to get some working class votes. So I created a hashtag #EmptyCoveralls. Soon after (maybe an hour?) I was bombarded by Clintonite twitter users attacking the post at the top of my TL. After 2 or 3 hours of that, my account was locked. I assume one of my attackers kept trying to log into or hack my account and Twitter closed the door, but now Twitter wants my phone number, which I will be damned if I will give them, to unlock the account. Gotta love the viciousness of Clinton supporters.

      1. Vatch

        I was wondering about Randy Bryce, too. If we’re lucky, maybe he’s better than some of the trolls who are supporting him.

        1. UserFriendly

          I’m withholding judgment till more comes out, he supported Bernie over Hillary and not responding on twitter is not the same as not being for single payer.

    1. tongorad

      Perhaps the treacly “we can do better” messaging is the tell. Also, “I work hard for everything” theme.
      Working class my arse.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Another weird thing is that Bryce already has a campaign ad, very slick (and quite good, I must say). So there is clearly money behind him. This does not seem grass roots in the slightest.

      1. UserFriendly

        Union Money… which isn’t barrels of money but is enough to pull off a decent add.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Hey, watch it! You just insulted cows.

      Besides, cud chewing serves a useful function.

  17. vidimi

    best comment i read today on kalanick’s ouster at uber went something like this:

    (i paraphrase)

    with no CEO, CFO, COO, and CIO, uber is coming very close to becoming a self-driving company.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Now the board get a chance to prove that Uber actually creates value and isn’t just a malignant, extractive, value-destroying embodiment of Kalanick’s odious business philosophy and personality.

      Good luck to them.

  18. RenoDino

    How much money does Huffington have invested in Uber? Must be a lot for her to take on this thankless mission. She is one of the most politically correct business leaders on the planet and she’s supplanting the least politically correct business innovator on the planet. Is this by accident by design? I can’t imagine a more upside down situation. Act II is going to be better than Act I.

    1. oho

      “How much money does Huffington have invested in Uber”

      Ariana’s Uber pay probaby is chump change compared to her net worth (aka HuffPost).

      But as a director of Uber, it opens another world of networking opportunities and credentials. And given Ariana’s historical business savvy, she’ll use her Uber position as a springboard to bigger things.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      She’s a long time Republican who marketed to center left when the msm was in the tank for Shrub. She didn’t pay her writers and sold the HuffPost for a healthy sum. Trying to kick cab drivers and calling it trendy is who she is. She looks great next to the usual Republican knuckle dragger, and Dems desperate for GOP approval were only too happy to embrace Ariana.

  19. Chromex

    Yves- I despise Pelosi and all the corporate dems as much as you do but I think this

    ““As long as we can all agree that ‘we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it’ is in no way a form of secrecy.”

    is an unfair shot. While she could have been more articulate what she actually said, in the context of a long interview was not that Congress had to pass the bill to see what was in it but that the bill had to be passed so YOU ( audience, voters etc) could see what was in it because the media distortion of what was in it was in her opinion, preventing anyone from evaluating the bill . Having worked for legislatures in the past, I can say that factually, the status quo ante is that the vast majority of legislators do not have any idea what is in the bills they pass ( they vote as leadership tells them so they see no point in actually reading the bills) but I do not think that Pelosi intended to comment on that, I hate to defend her but this was imo originally a Brietbart smear . Another irony is that had the public actually known what was in the bill, imo they would have disfavored it even more. As I understand it, Pelosi still opposes single payer and she should be damned and blasted for that and other policy evils.

    1. craazyboy

      Ironic how teaching the Three Rs, Readin’, Writin’, an Rythmatec, is needed in new, public funded(by voucher), charter K12 schools. hahaha. progressives. pfft.

    2. Eureka Springs

      I disagree with your take. However, even if you are spot on.. that does not excuse a da*n thing. It was and remains an entirely anti health, anti transparent, anti democratic/representative, money/lobby driven process. She didn’t answer the question differently because she both didn’t know details (what, 900 pages? and or 900 billions?) and what details she knew would have provided an even more egregious answer.

    3. RUKidding

      Pelosi has firmly stated more recently (after the House ACHA debacle) that, for her – Madame Super Wealthy – Single Payer is FOREVER off the table.

      So…. Family Blog (comment redacted)

    4. Allegorio

      Madam Pelosi is an attendee at Peterson Institute Seminars on gutting Social Security and was a big supporter of the Simpson Bowles Catfood CPI. “If the price of meat goes up, substitute Cat Food. Old people like cats don’t they?”

  20. roadrider

    Re: Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren DESTROY “Cowardly” Republican Health Care Bill

    Near the end a questioner asks them if its time for single-payer. Liz starts off on the “we have to defend Obamacare” trope but then admits that the Obummer strategy of co-opting a Republican plan to try to achieve the magic sparkle pony of bipartisan support failed and that yeah single payer is a good idea but I get the impression that she would easily be bought off by agreements to “improve” Obummer-Care since she made a big deal out of things like allowing drug importation.

    Neither one would say outright that they would filibuster the Senate bill. Sanders said that the Dem leadership would discuss their options and Warren said that she would not rule out any available tactic.

    1. polecat

      “We are keeping ALL ‘options’ on the operating table …. with the exception of BRAINS !

  21. DJG

    Citation please: Is it true that Ossoff never moved into the district?

    People of Illinois: Didn’t Tammy Duckworth pull a similar stunt in her House race? And I thought that she then lost, too?

    U.S. voters tend to frown on these antics: The Clintons weren’t impaired by carpetbagging in New York with HRC’s senate campaign, but New York is New York.

    1. Arizona Slim

      If Clinton’s first Senate opponent was Giuliani — recall that prostate cancer forced him out of the race — Hillary would have been done. And Rudy would have gone to the White House in 2008.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary significantly under performed Gore in New York against a Republican too extreme for Peter King, not the sportswriter, after Guiliani’s high profile divorce and withdrawal due to health reasons. Her stunning 10 point victory against Gore’s 25 point spread should have been a warning sign about her electability.

      In New York there are so many Democrats, it’s difficult for a Democrat to emerge as the Great White Hope so to speak because they are all reasonable and have profiles, powerful state senators, NYC types, and congressman. None could compete with the profile of Hillary in a primary because there was no single alternative, and the result was Snow White a day the Seven Dwarves in the primary. In 2000, there was a Republican held seat in Arkansas up in 2002 where Mark Pryor did win. Hillary didn’t go to her more recent residence because less Democrats means there would be a single anti-virus Lady candidate, and I don’t think Hillary could beat that candidate in a primary. She selected a safe seat where she could bully her way into the nomination. Hillary’s success in New York should be viewed as a situation where there were too many chiefs and not enough Indians, and she still under performed.

  22. Sputnik Sweetheart

    Diana Johnstone on France’s future: The Single Party French State … as the Majority of Voters Abstain

    “Chief power guru, Jacques Attali, tends to glorify himself shamelessly, but when he says that he is ‘very proud’ of having launched Macron’s brilliant career, he is telling the unchallenged truth. As for the next President after Macron, Attali claims to know ‘who she is’, as well.

    But whoever he or she may be, Attali’s point is that genuine power is not exercised by politicians any more, but by financial institutions. The President of the Republic has much less power than people think, he told a recent television panel. One reason is the euro, he said, which ‘means that a large part of economic policy has fortunately become European. Decentralization, major investments and major infrastructures are no longer up to the State. Globalization and the market have won hands down. There are a large number of things that were thought to be up to the government and no longer are.’

    Presidents ‘no longer have real power over society.’

    As for getting out of the clutches of European dictates, Attali boasts that those who, like himself, took part in writing the first versions of the EU treaties ‘made sure that getting out is no longer possible.’

    ‘The market is going to spread to sectors to which it hasn’t had access until now such as health, education, the courts, the police, foreign affairs…” The outcome will be a dominant market which causes more and more concentration of wealth, growing inequality, absolute priority to the short term and to the tyranny of the present instant and of money,’ Attali concedes cynically. “

    1. vidimi

      that alleged attali quote at the end is a doozy, but i can’t find a link to it. it sounds too horrible to be true. i wouldn’t be surprised if he had enough hubris to openly promote privatising all remaining public services, but to admit that it will lead to tyranny seems like too much hubris even for him.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yeah, I’d be dubious about that quote – note how the quotation marks close before the final sentence. Johnstone has, for me, a bit of a mixed history as a writer – she famously claimed the Srebrenica massacre never happened, and she seems to consider Marine Le Pen as almost equally worthy of support as Melanchon. Attali is something of a loose cannon, and is an enthusiastic supporter of transnational institutions, but I doubt he’d have said something like that, unless it was ironic.

        1. Sputnik Sweetheart

          Yeah, I noticed that when I was formatting the quote and foolishly thought it was a copy-editing error, but it may be her personal opinion that she confused with actual quotations, because it would be odd for Attali to describe what he’s doing as “tyranny.”
          Considering Marine Le Pen and Melenchon as equal is a huge mistake as well, especially while thinking that there is any way they could ally with each other. It’s true that they’re sovereignists, but the FN flip-flops their positions all the time (Jean Marie was an avid free-market supporter and Marion is anti-abortion). The FN is also thinking of becoming more pro-Europe after this election, and their politics at the local level are extremely corrupt as well:

          1. Carolinian

            You didn’t correctly copy/paste the quote from the article. Let me do it

            “The market is going to spread to sectors to which it hasn’t had access until now such as health, education, the courts, the police, foreign affairs…” The outcome will be a dominant market which causes more and more concentration of wealth, growing inequality, absolute priority to the short term and to the tyranny of the present instant and of money, Attali concedes cynically.

            For some reason there are extra and confusing quotation marks in your version. Per above the “tyranny” remark is clearly Johnstone’s own. I assumed those expressing skepticism were, however, objecting to the “market is going to spread” remark.

            FYI to all Diana Johnstone is a journalist with a long and distinguished pedigree.


    2. Allegorio

      This is the same Attali who advocates for a world government with it’s capital Jeruselem. France is now apparently occupied territory, probably has been for some time. I believe that’s from his Wikipedia bio. He was a Mitterrand protege and instrumental in creating the Euro as the creature of the banks.

  23. allan

    Investors pump $20M into Seattle startup Textio, which helps job recruiters find the right words
    [Seattle Times]

    In a competitive job-hiring market, investors are taking notice of Seattle startup Textio, which helps companies tweak job postings to get a better pool of qualified candidates to apply. …

    Like Uber for not having to raise your salary offers.

    It’s weird how so-called capitalists’ faith in the law of supply and demand goes out the window
    when it comes to labor markets.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Finally, a place for English majors (and maybe those majored in Chinese and a few other languages).

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Like Uber for not having to raise your salary offers.

      Exactly. It seems the vast majority of jawb postings these days don’t bother listing any salary info whatsoever. And in most places it’s frowned upon to discuss your salary with others in the same company. Better to keep everybody guessing whether they’re being paid fairly or not.

      Divide and conquer.

    3. Left in Wisconsin

      It’s weird how so-called capitalists’ faith in the law of supply and demand goes out the window
      when it comes to labor markets.

      You are confusing capitalists with economists. Capitalists know better. One should not presume that because they mouth the words, they actually believe them.

  24. fresno dan

    If you read carefully, you’ll note that it appears that the officer shot Castile for doing exactly what the officer told him to do. Yanez asked for Castile’s license. Castile told him that he had a gun, and the officer – rather than asking for his carry permit, or asking where the gun was, or asking to see Castile’s hands – just says, “Don’t reach for it then.” At that point, Castile is operating under two commands. Get his license, and don’t reach for his gun. As Castile reaches for his license (following the officer’s orders), and he assures him that he’s not reaching for the gun (also following the officer’s orders). The entire encounter, he assures Yanez that he’s following Yanez’s instructions. He died anyway. Yes, the evidence indicates that Yanez was afraid for his life. He thought he might have been dealing with a robber (a fact he apparently didn’t tell Castile), and he testified that he smelled marijuana. But Castile was following Yanez’s commands, and It’s simply false that the mere presence of a gun makes the encounter more dangerous for the police. It all depends on who possesses the gun. If*** he’s a concealed-carry permit-holder, then he’s in one of the most law-abiding demographics in America.

    What is frustrating for me is that the issue of whether IN FACT Castile had a gun in his hand or even if he was reaching TOWARD a gun – which I have not seen addressed – as if a black man MOVING after informing the police he has a gun is sufficient cause for the police to shoot. There are two witnesses – the cop and the girlfriend.
    When the police lose National Review….you know something is up.

    ***the innertubes tell me Castile was a licensed concealed carry holder. I wonder how many white concealed carry holders get shot by police?

    1. RUKidding

      The whole situation is horrific, and it’s really disgusting that Yanez got off. Unacceptable, but that’s the way it is these days. And yet some white people have the nerve to be “affronted” about Black Lives Matter. Yes, the cops do kill innocent white people, but certainly not in the numbers that we see with blacks.

      1. fresno dan

        June 21, 2017 at 10:59 am

        Andrew Scott and his girlfriend were playing video games in their Florida apartment late at night when they heard a loud banging at the front door. Scott, who was understandably disturbed, retrieved the handgun that he lawfully owned, then opened the door with the gun pointed safely down. Outside, he saw a shadowy figure holding a pistol. He began to retreat inside and close the door when the figure fired six shots without warning, three of which hit Scott, killing him. Scott hadn’t fired a single bullet or even lifted his firearm.

        The figure outside was Deputy Richard Sylvester. He failed to identify himself as a law enforcement officer at any point. He had no warrant and no reason to suspect that Scott or his girlfriend had committed a crime. He did not attempt to engage with Scott at all after he opened the door; he simply shot him dead. And on Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that Scott’s parents and girlfriend cannot sue Sylvester because the officer’s conduct was not “clearly” illegal.

        Americans, in spite of the incessant yammering about freedom, are not only like sheep because they docilely walk to the abattoir, but do the sheep one better and pick up the bolt gun and put it to their own heads…

        1. Oregoncharles

          Florida. Might not want to live there, and not only because of rising seas.

          A number of states have laws that effectively immunize the police for murder under cover of badge. Several commentators on the Minnesota jury verdict noted that the jury were probably right, considering the laws. Personally, I would have ignored the law and voted to convict on principle, but a verdict like that can be reversed on appeal.

          This is ultimately a LOCAL issue: state law, city and country administrators and ordinances. Sheriffs are elected, so are district attorneys, city councils, and county commissions (or whatever you call them locally).

          One interesting point on this: it’s effectively cancelling the “right to bear arms.” When does the Right wake up?

          Oh, further point: you don’t just open your door under those circumstances. You demand that they identify themselves first – and take cover. If they break down the door, at least it’s clearly their fault.

  25. Altandmain

    America is now a second tier nation in living standards (as if we didn’t know):

    Young voters and Ossoff:

    Cobryn and Youth vote:

    Class POlitics can win:

  26. Steve Roberts

    Yes Bernie is too old to be President. So are Trump and Hillary. Being President is a very physically and mentally demanding job and there is a reason why many corporations like GE have age limits for their CEO. I work with many senior citizens and while they don’t see a problem with their cognitive thought process, everyone around them see it.

    1. RUKidding

      Everyone is different, and I, too, have worked with people in their 70s and 80s. 70s are often not so problematic, but of course it depends on a host of issues, like good heath, healthy living habits, genetics and sometimes just “luck of the draw.” As people approach 80, one does often see some serious declines both mentally and physically. Depending on what work the person is doing, it may not be much of an issue.

      All that said, as indicated the office of the US President is an especially physically and mentally demanding job. I really feel that people who are younger than 70 – when elected, at least – would be better.

    2. Altandmain

      At this point, we might not have a choice.

      Between now and 2019, unless there’s a progressive that really shines, it might have to be Bernie that wins, and unfortunately, may pass away in office.

      1. Massinissa

        Hopefully he wont pass away in a few weeks like president William Henry Harrison did. And hopefully Bernie will be smart enough to not have a third way dem as VP…

        1. Lord Koos

          I’m pretty sure Bernie would be smart enough to have a young socialist for VP, but if he continues to run as a democrat, that could be iffy.

      2. Mel

        I suppose Bernie could spend a couple of years getting his metaphorical coattails lengthened, and finding people fit to ride them. If he wins in 2020 they’re his cabinet and staff picks, if he doesn’t run, they’re the next batch of candidates. It’s been instructive to watch The Donald come in as an outsider and then not know a #$@%ing soul he could hire for the bulk of his government.

    3. TK421

      I’d rather have one or two years of Bernie, followed by half a term of Tulsi, than a full term of some Clintonite hack.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If he goes along with the imperialists, the generals, the spies, the adventurists, the propaganda ministry captured by the elites, the neoliberal apparatchiks etc., maybe he gets something done in those 2 years.

        Otherwise, it will the the same gridlock we see, now, with Trump.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            With all the fake news about Russia, he can’t seem to get this wall project going. That’s one good gridlock news.

            Perhaps tax cut for the rich will be gridlocked too by more investigations.

    4. Oregoncharles

      I agree, and I am that age (71). There’s a reason people retire somewhere in there.

      The shocking thing is that the bench is so thin, on both sides.

  27. oho

    >>>Big Prize in Amazon-Whole Foods Deal: Data

    the one thing I want Amazon to disrupt is the Visa-Mastercard duopoly. Surely Bezos is tired of paying all those processing fees.

  28. Alex Morfesis

    The queen shuns theresa may and the tories ?? no crown…no royal garb…no grand horse drawn procession…

    only other time apparently was in 1974…what next ?? Will she invoke her prerogative and refuse to sign dup/tory backed legislation ??

    it’s been 300 years since a sovereign pulled that trick…

    Official “excuse” is there was not enough time to prepare and practice…

    Darn it, forgot about the secret halftime show that doesn’t get televised…my bad…

  29. Webstir

    Ossof losing is victory for progressives. Handel losing would have also been a victory for progressives.

    My point is, every time the proles get riled up enough about an election to turn out en masse due to pushes by the big money machines, they get let down. It doesn’t matter which party does it. Both make promises out of the side of their face and increasingly, voters “get it.” All their vote was good for was more of the same. Voters are over the status quo. They’ll keep “throwing the bums out” until sooner or later they arrive at the choice the committed left has been arguing for decades. Democratic Socialism.

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    If you must shop at Whole Foods, undermine this project by diving your purchase into two orders and paying separately, and using cash for at least one of them.</blockquote

    1. Group shop with your neighbors, friends or work colleagues. It's hard to track your individual consumer spending this way. "This guy buys cat food when he has no pets? Suspicious!!!"

    2. Save your pennies. Always bring them when paying in cash.

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Napoleon or the Chinese Xia Dynasty?

    Saudi king upends tradition by naming son as first in line to throne Guardian.

    From Wikipedia, the Xia Dynasty:

    As Shun aged, he thought of a successor and relinquished the throne to Yu, whom he deemed worthy. Yu’s succession marks the start of the Xia dynasty. As Yu neared death he passed the throne to his son, Qi, instead of passing it to the most capable candidate, thus setting the precedent for dynastic rule or the Hereditary System. The Xia dynasty began a period of family or clan control.[citation needed]

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, the whole thing sounds very rotten, this is the equivelent of an internal coup. Its probably true that Salman is pretty popular with the young, but it also seems clear that he is reckless and has a grossly overinflated view of SA’s power.

      The House of Saud has traditionally been headed by some pretty wily characters who knew exactly how to get the West and others on their side. I find it hard to believe that the old King would have done something as stupid as confront Qatar for no good reason without first making sure that the US was on side with it or play with fire by turning the Yemen into a failed state right on their doorstep. If the price of oil keeps slipping – latest estimates are that its on its way to $30 – and the riyal starts losing its value then they could be in real trouble.

  32. LT

    Re:GA 06

    The Ossof strategy was to seek and find dissaffected Republicans.
    Meanwhile, various progressive groups were talking about voter suppression of the Democratic base in the district.
    Never heard that this concerned the Ossof campaign. It didn’t cross the progreesive groups’ lips that his strategy was to move away from the alleged base.

  33. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Over 170 years after Engels, Britain is still a country that murders its poor Guardian (Sid S)

    Thousands of years after the first debt-jubilee, the first charity project to help the poor, we still have debt and poverty.

    “The poor you will always have with you.” Is that a realpolitik or rather reality-based assessment based on real world experience?

    Do we approach this differently than the headline suggests, that it’s not whether any nation still have this or that, since the beginning of humanity (and not after this man, Engels, or that man), but rather, how do we minimize this or that?

  34. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The tide shifts…the ebb and flow of history.

    Ford’s Big Bet: Americans, and Trump, Are Ready for Chinese Cars Bloomberg. Furzy: “So much for America First”.

    Maybe China is first for now. Soon, it could be that America is first again.

    “It’s the thought that counts. Don’t give up fighting for the Deplorables, Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Yankee doodle deplorables…don trumpionis slogan was partially written in fluids only visible under the black sun(black light)…

      he didn’t say “americans first”…

      america first (percenters)

      We have survived worse klowns and fools oval office diktats…

      In the run up to the great depression and then ww2, only 2% of the population had ever stepped onto a college or university campus…today over half the population has with 30% having graduated in some form…

      The vicegrip on the neck of the overlords is tightening while the old script and magic potions just are not cutting it…

      Those who used to get lost in a bookstore or library are now bouncing around the web…absorbing more than they need to in an orgy of mental vacations…

      hopefully the long term good to come from the reign of the don will be the end of the preposterous notion we need to elect saints and angels to public office…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Edward Fox (somewhere in Greece, looking at a dam): “Be patient. Let the American Shiva do his job, in due time.”

        As the American Carnage deepens…

  35. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    JEREMY CORBYN WANTS TO REQUISITION HOMES OF THE RICH FOR FIRE SURVIVORS — LIKE CHURCHILL DID IN WWII Intercept. Frankly, many of those those ‘hoods, like Chelsea near Sloane Square are so pricey and devoid of services like grocery stories that the tenants wouldn’t like them despite their posh-ness. It’s a wonderful evil two-fer. If the government did use empty housing for emergency purposes, it should/would lower their value as trading chips for the rich.

    A great idea.

    As for food, convert nearby parks and yards, public and private, into organic vegetable farms.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      As for food, in the immortal words of Lemmy, why not eat the rich?

      Shetland pony, extra pepperoni.

  36. Alex Morfesis

    Hot yoga babes…as with pizza and gyros, “american yoga” has begun to commercialize the practice of peace and breathing…and turned to the country its mythology claims from whence it derives…


    there never were any babes in yoga…

    it was a guy thing…

    that russian born bollywood b grade actress sold it to kalipornians when she was reassigned for her next “intervention agent” gig in 1947…

    as a white russian have no idea whose mata hari she was…but since she had no staplers…can guess she came along with the rest of them…


    one could argue, “pitar guru” left behind the notion that women could in fact be teachers and goddesses and be leaders and in power…but since we hardly know much about his actions, teachings and life in krotona, it might not be fair to expect his way of thinking would have survived thru the misogyny over the last 888,888 sunsets…

    But accepting pitar guru was in india might confuse those who were taught alexander did not know what was to the east as he looked across from baktria…

    Details details…history can be so confusing…especially when the conquered are not able or around to fill some “minor” details…

    (the wholeness of the earth)

    Na’maste (mazi)
    “so we may be together as one”

    If you have to sweat it, you don’t get it

  37. dcblogger

    I'm curious what youth turnout was like in jon ossoff's race given he's 30 year old but campaigned like he a 40-year mid manager at mckinsey— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) June 21, 2017

  38. Oregoncharles

    “Five takeaways from Iran’s missile strike in Syria N Asia Times. Resilc flagged this section:

    From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision. Simply put, Iran has notified the US that its 45,000 troops deployed in bases in Iraq (5,165), Kuwait (15,000), Bahrain (7,000), Qatar (10,000), the UAE (5,000) and Oman (200) are highly vulnerable.”

    And not only the US. This means that Iran can intervene in the dispute between Qatar and SA and its allies WITHOUT putting boots on the ground. Notably, any attack on Qatar, which is a peninsula, would pass through quite a narrow bottleneck, or go by sea. Iran commands both, besides, of course, the mouth of the Persian Gulf (now why would it be called that?)

  39. Oregoncharles

    “Bank Of America: Expect $30 Oil OilPrice”

    The neoliberals found a way to break Venezuela, and a lot of the other petro-socialist states.

    Years ago, I read that Venezuela in fact had the world’s largest reserves – AS LONG AS (acronym: ALA) crude was above $50/barrel. Would be a little more now. If it’s below that, Venezuela’s huge deposits of heavy oil are uneconomic to exploit. Of course, so are Canada’s, and so is the whole fracking industry. OTOH, it’s a way to stimulate the economy, aside from reducing the flow of petrodollars.

    Oddly enough, sustainable energy is still booming, at least in electricity, even with the competition so cheap. Maybe not biofuels, but they’re severely limited anyway.

    And incidentally: this reflects very well on Putin, who managed to steer his petro-socialist country through both the drop in value of its main resource AND the sanctions. There’s something to be said for authoritarian tendencies, if you’re very lucky.

  40. Plenue

    >Tons Of Evidence Mike Flynn Is Cooperating With FBI

    Good Cop: Listen, buddy, you’re in a bad spot. You gotta work with us here. Did you ever meet with the Russian Ambassador?

    Flynn: Yes, I talked to the ambassador.

    Bad Cop: Okay, I’ve had enough of this crap. Now you listen to me you little dirtbag, tell us what we want to know or they’re gonna put you in a hole so deep and dark you won’t even be able to find your own asshole. I’ll ask you one last time: DID YOU MEET WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR?!

    Flynn: Yes, I talked to the ambassador.

    What even is their for Flynn to ‘cooperate’ over?

    “Did you ever visit Russian GRU headquarters?!”

    “Yes, when I was the head of DIA. It was all approved by the Obama administration.”

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