Links 6/23/17

Lambert here: Yves apologizes for the lack of original posts. Her cat had to go to the dentist to have some teeth pulled and came back with a mouth full of sutures and one of those plastic cones over his head, so he’s hiding (or panicking, because of the cone). On top of all that he has kidney issues and needs to drink and he doesn’t seem able to do that with said cone, causing stress to both cat and his human. So her focus is naturally on him.

Robot Journalist Accidentally Reports on Earthquake from 1925 Gizmodo

Ride-hailing business model fails to show profits FT. Wait, what? I thought the issue was “culture”…. And of course see Hubert Horan, NC. November 30, 2016.

Exclusive: Fake online stores reveal gamblers’ shadow banking system Reuters (RS).

Biggest U.S. banks clear first hurdle in Fed’s annual stress tests Reuters

Balance of Power: The Yellen Wild Card Bloomberg

Consultants are taking taxpayers to the cleaners Macrobusiness

Shining a light on the dark corners of the web Nature

In Opinion Mostly Rejecting Jeffrey Sterling Appeal, Fourth Circuit Criminalizes Unclassified Tips emptywheel

Wikileaks Docs Show How the CIA Allegedly Infected Offline Computers Motherboard


In Yemen’s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates AP

U.S. Torture, A Saudi Coup And ISIS Crimes – “By, With And Through Allies” Moon of Alabama

Why Is Syria Hell on Earth? Here’s the Ugly but True Answer… Medium (GF).


Hard or soft Brexit? The six scenarios for Britain FT

Brexit: UK offer on EU citizens a good start, says Merkel BBC

UK Election Aftermath

“People on the Left Have Dreamt of This Situation for Generations” Jacobin

Jeremy Corbyn overtakes Theresa May for first time as voters’ choice for best Prime Minister, poll finds Independent

Why the 2017 election was much worse for Theresa May, and much better for Jeremy Corbyn, than it looked The New Statesman

Building firm responsible for Grenfell cladding accused of supplying sub-standard panels to other council blocks Telegraph

Cities for the rich Le Monde Diplomatique. On Grenfell Towers.


China’s Struggle With Demographic Change The Diplomat

A Tale of Two Anti-Ebola Drugs CFR

2nd US Navy Carrier Strike Group Arrives in Asia Pacific The Diplomat

New Cold War

Wasserman Schultz disputes homeland security claims about DNC hacking Orlando Sentinel. Wait, what? Is Obama’s Jeh Johnson the Savior of the Republic, or is Clinton’s Wasserman Schultz? Could be neither, of course.

Trump says he did not record conversations with former FBI chief Comey Reuters

Russian youths are taking to the streets, but let’s not over-hype the revolt of the “Putin generation” just yet Open Democracy

Democrats in Disarray

Ghost Candidates Are Not Acceptable Current Affairs (DK, DCBlogger). Must-read. Extraordinary. Even I wasn’t cynical enough!

Democrats raised just $4.3M in May The Hill

Thomas Frank on the Demise of the Democratic Party TRNN.

Can Democrats take back the House in spite of themselves? WaPo

Special Elections: I Don’t Believe In Moral Victories Tim Ryan, Medium. “We are heading into July, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but our party still doesn’t have a clear economic message. Are you kidding me?” No. The message is quite clear: Rule #2 of Neoliberalism. Of course, that’s true for the Republicans, too. It’s bipartisan!

Liberals are playing just as dirty as conservatives did in the ’90s — and it sounds great Mic. Despite the headline, this is about podcasting.

Health Care

Senate reveals its plan to replace Obamacare Los Angeles Times

The Senate GOP’s backdoor Obamacare rollback Politico. Very important.

Moving in the Wrong Direction — Health Care under the AHCA NEJM

Senate health bill could leave millions uninsured, increase costs for sick, seniors McClatchy

G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid NYT

Senate Health Care Bill Gets Lukewarm White House Reaction Roll Call

What Is Mitch McConnell Thinking on Health Care? and McConnell’s Calculation May Be That He Still Wins by Losing NYT. Not one but two articles trying to read McConnell’s mind!

Utah’s Lee, three other GOP senators could doom the Senate Republican health care bill Salt Lake Tribune

Sandoval, other governors say ACA repeal bill ‘calls into question’ health care coverage for vulnerable Americans Nevada Independent. Sandoval is a Republican.

Dems slam new Senate health care bill as ‘meaner’ CNN. “Meaner.” That’s gonna put fire in the belly. “Meaner.” What are we, six-year-olds? What’s wrong with these people?

More than 40 protesters arrested in ‘die-in’ at Capitol. Many forcibly removed from wheelchairs Los Angeles

Bernie Sanders to headline ‘Don’t Take Our Health Care’ tour CNN

Statement from Barack Obama Facebook

Trump Transition

Why The Koch Brothers Have So Much Influence On Trump: It Starts With Pence International Business Times

Family: Peter Tosh’s son left in coma following jail beating AP

Class Warfare

The Lack of Demand for Equality Stumbling and Mumbling

Equitable Growth in Conversation: David Weil Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Interesting.

Ground Report: How Demonetisation Intensified Farmers’ Distress and Triggered Protests The Wire (J-LS).

Thomas Edsall Tells Us If We Define Globalization as a Process Designed to Redistribute Upward, the Working Class Won’t Like Globalization CEPR. “The ‘globalizers’ strongly support protectionist measures that benefit people like them.”

Staying on track while giving back: The cost of student loan servicing breakdowns for people serving their communities (PDF) CFPB

Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges Rolling Stone

Capitalism Can Thrive Without Cooking the Planet Bloomberg

Up a wombat’s freckle TLS (J-LS).

Antidote du jour (Soren Nielsen):

Siberian tiger emerges from a pool full of chlorella.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. craazyboy

    Biggest U.S. banks clear first hurdle in Fed’s annual stress tests Reuters

    Of course they did! Congrats to all whom helped.

    Alt: “Banks pass Janet Yellen’s Olympic High Jumping Contest. Next up, prepare for Super Janet’s “straight shooter” obstacle course for Somewhat Girlish Bankers.

    Auditors invited for free cocktails at very early happy hour!

    Surplus United Airlines First Class seats to be raffled off!

    S&P guarantees 93% actual booking rate! Many favorite destinations available. Ask about Skydiving Club!

    1. ewmayer

      Ha, this brings to mind the high obstacle the contestants in Monty Python’s classic Upper-class Twit of the Year sketch were supposed to jump. Next up is the most dangerous obstacle of all, by which we of course mean that perennial audience favorite, ‘taking the brassiere off the debutante’!

  2. craazyboy

    The WW3 Song

    These lyrics have a common enough lyrical tempo and syllable inflection (the songwriter’s friend!) that they could be set to many rap, rock or even Folks Person Music. For starters, try Zappa’s “Cosmic Debris” for a dark, foreboding feeling, or, M. Jackson’s “Beat it” if you feel like dancing.

    Beat the Enemy, for it’s the one we see
    We have got to fight them there
    To avoid this catastrophe.

    How do I get my gasoline
    In Year 2033?
    We’ve got to fight the Enemy
    It’s the only way we can be

    Can’t run the lawnmower on bullshit
    Can’t even drive my SUV!

    Sure I could go solar.
    Charge the battery electric’ly.
    Or buy some corn ethanol
    And join the Texas Jubilee.

    Say Salute! and Prost!, Cheers! Yer Toast!
    And toast the hillbilly in me.
    But what if we all throw the lightswitch
    And the grid sparkles merrily?

    [Chorus] “Sparkle Ponies – And Unicorns for you and Me!”

    Lightning flys through the air
    Like Zeus caught in a marital affair.
    A tingling vibrating the Ether
    On end stands all of our hair!

    I diligently do my oil changes
    So we last past the warranty date.
    Now all that money is wasted
    Yet my mood is fit to sedate.

    It appears to me, the money best saved,
    Bring our troops home from the ME!

    Yet the powers that be
    And their pet militaree
    Ask, “why do we negotiate…
    “So appeasingly?”

    This is serious………………………………….
    and to cross a colon with an apostrophe,
    Mom’s got a solar appointment,
    Britain takes time out for tea.
    I pinch myself and ask,
    “Is this the real me?”
    “Or is it some made up country?”
    “Run criminally?”

    [Chorus] “Sparkle Ponies – And Unicorns for you and Me!”

    It’s all for our own good
    Say Elites, louder than the rest.
    Believe us, you must, our explanations are the best!
    Punctuation makes perfect…
    The End is the Apostrophe Project!

    [Fade to Purple – It’s not your Club]

    1. integer

      T.N.T – AC/DC

      (Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi)

      See us ride out of the sunset
      On your colour TV screen
      Out for all that we can get
      If you know what we mean
      Bernie to the left of us
      And AIPAC to the right
      Ain’t got no qualms
      Just grease our palms
      We don’t know wrong from right

      ‘Cause We’re D.N.C., We’re not that bright
      (D.N.C.) but we’ll fix the fight
      (D.N.C.) We’re all lyin’ toads
      (D.N.C.) Watch us explode!

      That’s only the first verse and chorus. This is harder than it looks!

      1. craazyboy

        I just sang mine in my head to TNT, and it fit perfect. Wierd!

        It think it’s all the ee sound line endings, plus the beats per line matched up with TNT syllables. Like I said above, this tempo is a commonly used one!

  3. Cocomaan

    I think democrats also need a cone around their neck to prevent them from harming themselves any more. Especially after Georgia. And the national election. And the past thirty years.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I have seen those cones used as weapons. A friend’s dog discovered that the cone was a great device for smacking people.

    2. jrs

      Isn’t expecting them to win there about like expecting a Republican to win San Franscisco? Wake me up when that happens. Isn’t the story: dog bites man.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given the results and the poor youth and minority turnout, winning is a reasonable expectation. Organizers don’t cost terribly much. They cost a lot upfront.

        Admittedly, I tend to believe people will make good choices when presented with a clear alternative. At the same time, Republicans don’t engage in voter suppression because they believe there is a sympathetic to the GOP silent majority. The GOP knows non-voters are more likely to vote against them, and Ossoff made it reasonably close to go “how can we win” despite having less votes than the ghost.

        Tom Perrello won the largest by geography congressional district east of the missippi in 2008. Yes, there were multiple efforts to build the party to where Tom could win, but seemingly good Democrats can win everywhere. We aren’t far removed from when Dems held Tom Delay’s and Denny Hastert’s seats.

  4. craazyboy

    Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges Rolling Stone

    That’s the pot rubbing the kettle white! [snicker]


    1) Do not touch any MSM reporter in the Nether regions, or boob area.

    There are many others, but that’s the important one.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      This may be a ploy by his lawyers to give him a whole lot of publicity right before the retrial to make jury selection impossible.

      Cosby is guilty of drugging women into a state of near-death and raping them. There have been too many accusers coming forward for them all to be gold-digging whores. Where there’s this much smoke, there is fire.

      The Cos has a disorder akin to narcolepsy. He doesn’t want them dead (that we know about), but he wants them to appear to be dead.

      1. Juneau

        The thing about perversions like necrophilia is they are compulsive behaviors. If you are correct then he is still be a psychopath and one who remains dangerous. Those urges don’t just go away. A corollary to that is the behaviors continue too. reference: pedophilia.

        Having him give classes on avoiding false accusations is both a sadistic mind game for the victims and those who identify with them and it blames the victim in a calloused way. And trust he will continue to do this stuff if he is guilty as it appears. Maybe his handlers will just hire the victims.
        Sick sick sick.

        1. DanB

          If these classes actually take place, I’d love to see the participants interviewed regarding their trust in Cosby.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        I hate to put too fine a point on it but I think you mean necrophilia, not narcolepsy.

        Although it could have been that he has a fetish for narcoleptic women.

        All in all, not the funny Bill Cosby of my youth. Sad.

        1. ambrit

          From my perspective, he never was funny. He came across as too smug and “superior.”
          My take on the post title, understanding the value of punctuation, was “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault, charges Rolling Stone.”

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            The darkness that can lurk behind the friendly faces of feelgood light entertainment. It doesn’t appear to apply to the so called bad influences like Hicks, Carlin & Pryor. Of course we had Saville who always gave me the creeps, as did Cosby on the rare occasion I saw him.

            1. EricT

              Do you remember when Cosby was criticizing Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy for being dirty comics?

          2. Procopius

            Sorry, from reading the comments, especially the false, “… just brushing a shoulder can bring sexual assault charges,” makes me quite certain the proper punctuation is, “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges: Rolling Stone.” He didn’t just brush any shoulders, and neither do the high school and college jocks who get accused of rape.

        2. Susan the other

          maybe Bill was in denial – what he should have done is get some good work done; fix that not very handsome face of his… in the end it would have been much cheaper than paying damages for tranquilizing women to keep them from freaking out at the sight of him.

      3. JohnnySacks

        I think necrophilia is your intent? Seems to fit the description and way more creepier and appropriate as a fetish to associate Cosby with.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          My bad. Yes, necrophilia is related to somnophilia, a prediliection for sex with an unconscious partner. AKA “sleeping beauty syndrome” or “sleeping princess syndrome.”

          For sure a disorder in the case of “The Cos”, a famous, wealthy, smart and charming guy who didn’t have to disable females in order to have sex with them.

      4. TK421

        Cosby is guilty of drugging women into a state of near-death and raping them.

        No he isn’t. We have trials to determine that.

        1. Alex Morfesis

          No…sadly we have courts of public opinion…and gloria allgreenbaxxx

          he is guilty of not being a white guy in holy-wood…

          since roman polanski…
          and woody allen…

          Just for the record if anyone female I knew was hanging out with anyone in the entertainment business…I would be plea bargaining my way out of an assault charge for connecting the back of my hand to their jaw…

          That does not in any way justify any zombeeing of any woman and then experiencing them…

          The only problem with the cosby case is the vast majority of these women who “now” recall the relationship as one of abuse for some reason continued interacting with him…

          Every woman I have ever known who even had just a humiliating carnal time with some bar jockey did not want to be in the same space…let alone continue interacting…

          Not to say these women are not honestly expressing the pain and anguish they now feel but most apparently were not so much in pain in the moment…or soon thereafter…

          1. reslez

            I feel sorry for myself for “experiencing” this comment. Maybe if Alex connected the back of his hand to his own jaw he would edify himself into something closer to a human being.

            1. alex morfesis

              had some undisciplined teen age kids who were family members…they got into the mode that no one would touch them for fear of being “processed”…I reminded them that I would rather spend three days in jail now in making sure they dont end up in the wrong place in life than spend three years visiting them in jail…and explained they might appreciate my attitude when they were past college…they kept off the third rail after that…and we get along just fine now…did not have to actually act on it…

              guessing you have never been around the entertainment industry…it is a dark place…anyone entering it needs to understand that…sorry if you have a bernaysian image of what goes on behind the scenes…bad things happen every day to good people who have some happy happy glossed over unreasonable expectation…

              and no I am not from the sean connery school of romance…the exact opposite…had a bite mark on my chest from some crazy “husband” for a few years , who was beating a friend of my ex-wife in front of their child…beating is a nice way of putting it…he was slamming her head and neck up into the sliding glass door she was trying to get out of the house from…it did not end well for him…but would disengage from any female member of family or close friend who went into the entertainment industry…

              not worth it in my book if one wants to come out of it in one piece…

      5. JoeK


        Good point. It doesn’t mean he’s not either in denial or just a sociopath who couldn’t care one way or the other. Just when I thought he couldn’t get any creepier….

        As was pointed out the evidence seems overwhelming and his escaping a guilty verdict looks like fortune bestowed by fame. May his luck run out.

    2. Enquiring Mind

      Cosby has impeccable timing. He can tag-team with OJ upon the latter’s impending release. They can do a road show to teach avoidance and continue that hunt for the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. With their celebrity, that should pack the auditorium every night. /s

  5. Donald

    I wasn’t overly impressed by the article on why Syria is hell– the history lesson about Western imperialism seems to be about what happened in the first half of the 20th century and then as it approaches more recent times all of a sudden the West is represented by well meaning humanitarians who want to intervene to save children and all the ruthless people are local. And we can’t nation build because Trump is stupid and there aren’t enough people at the State Department right now.

    1. Katsue

      Also, without knowing any details, the idea that Assad stalled the peace negotiations with Israel is dubious on its face. It’s Israel that would have to withdraw from Syrian land in the event of a peace settlement, not the other way around.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, I’d agree. Factually that article isn’t too bad on Syrias history, but anyone reading it would think that the civil war was started by the Bashir Al-Assad. They are a brutal family and regime, but pretty average in this respect for the region. There has been nothing of the genocidal cynicism of, to take one example, the Gulf States ongoing destruction of Yemen. All the states that emerged from Sykes-Picot share the characteristic of being an unstable and fairly random selection of peoples ruled by various strongmen autocrats, there is nothing ‘special’ in this regard with the Assad regime, except that it hasn’t had the good PR of Jordan or the Gulf States.

      The roots of the civil war go back a long way, but the catalyst seems to have been economic stress in rural areas caused by drought and cut backs in State aid. The rocket fuel poured on it of course was by outsiders, both Western and in the Gulf States. To put it all down to Bashir is ultra simplistic.

      1. financial matters

        Stephen Gowans takes the view that the Assad regime needed a strong security state to protect it from Israeli and US aggression as well as from sectarian forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

        Assad’s Ba’athist party is a secular socialist party. Like in Iraq and Libya, the socialist part was a large threat to US corporate dominance of the region.

        The Muslim brotherhood as well as Saudi Arabia were more interested in sectarian/religious rule rather than the pan Arabism of the Ba’ath party.

        To oust Assad for its own reasons the US fostered this sectarian view by supporting these groups as well as painting Assad as a Shia wanting to dominate Sunnis rather than as an Arab who happened to be a Shia trying to unite in a secular way.

      2. JohnnyGL

        Regarding whether drought caused unrest….I believe this is the article that ‘financial matters’ refers to below. Stephen Gowan says there’s no evidence that it actually happened.

        “A final point on the origins of the violent uprising in 2011: Some social scientists and analysts have drawn on a study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to suggest that “drought played a role in the Syrian unrest.” According to this view, drought “caused crop failures that led to the migration of as many as 1.5 million people from rural to urban areas.” This, in combination with an influx of refugees from Iraq, intensified competition for scarce jobs in urban areas, making Syria a cauldron of social and economic tension ready to boil over. [64] The argument sounds reasonable, even “scientific,” but the phenomenon it seeks to explain—mass upheaval in Syria—never happened. As we’ve seen, a review of Western press coverage found no reference to mass upheaval. On the contrary, reporters who expected to find a mass upheaval were surprised that they didn’t find one. Instead, Western journalists found Syria to be surprisingly quiet. “

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There were drought related protests, but they were quited when prices came down.

          The issue in Syria is high ranking Sunni members of the military saw a chance to draw in NATO and arrange a similar style operation that the elites of Benghazi pulled. The activity of the Saudis at this juncture isn’t as relevant as the belief Obama/West would be able to cruise missile another scalp, giving Syria over to a new set of elites who would maintain order. And there are always actors willing to profit on the suffering of their countrymen. With the sunni military defectors, there was the ingredients for a rapid “popular” revolt with the right set of pro-rated stooges ready to take over. Bibi and the Saudis probably just wanted a failed state in Syria especially with Iraq aligning with Iran.

          1. JohnnyGL

            That’s interesting, I’d check out any linky goodness you have on that.

            The comparison with Iraq suddenly looks relevant. One of the primary reasons that Saddam’s Republican Guard didn’t put up much of a fight against the US was that they figured the US would want to make a smooth, clean transition of power and only clip off Saddam, leaving the rest of the Ba’athist governing and military structure intact.

            Once Paul Bremmer showed up and went for full de-Ba’athification and basically liquidated the old structure and trained up a new Shi’a dominated military, you ended up with a lot of experienced, unemployed ex-military sunni professionals, facing off against newly trained and equipped Shi’a paramilitary death squads. This basically petered out when the Shi’a pushed the Sunnis out of Baghdad and the Sunnis ended up forming parts of ISIS out in Anbar province and moved into eastern Syria.

            Now, as far as Syria goes, I’d have figured the top brass of Assad’s guys would have seen how this played out next door and said, “no way we’re going to let that horror-show happen here!” and it seems that’s more or less what happened. Some still defected, but Assad cut a lot of deals to bring back a lot of the defecting commanding officers (and their units) back into the fold. The fact that the rebellion very quickly and clearly was dominated by Al-Nusra and ISIS drove the point home and kept the secular military commanders on board with Assad.

            The loyalty of the top brass meant Assad’s regime turned out to be MUCH more stable than the NATO bunch anticipated and they didn’t get their preferred Libya-style scenario, but instead, several years of a long, expensive proxy-war.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Arab Spring riots in Idlib would have petered out had there not been CIA spooks on the ground with cash and small arms, it was a bunch of graffiti-sprayers and bread price protesters but true to form we saw our chance to escalate. Fun and games since then. Our geo-pol geniuses did not realize how much Russia needs a warm water Med port, or maybe they did

              1. JohnnyGL

                It took a lot more than CIA cash and small arms. And most of the aid was funneled through the Turks and funded by the Saudis/Qataris. The rebels didn’t make real progress until around 2014-2015 when the CIA supplied them much more substantial equipment, especially TOW anti-tank missiles. Those are expensive, sophisticated weapons, much better than anything that might have been looted out of Qaddafi’s old weapons cache.



                Once the Syrian Army started losing substantial numbers of troops, tanks and mechanized vehicles, Assad made the decision to to abandon big chunks of the east of the country and focus on the core cities in the west and the port of Latakia.

                It was only after this point, when Syrian Govt survival looked to be in doubt that the Russians made their move.

                The point I’m trying to make is just HOW MUCH money and weapons were committed to this proxy war, the CIA smuggling program topped out at over $2bn a year at its peak. Lord knows what the Saudis/Qataris have thrown at this.

    3. jo6pac

      Agree it looks like it was written by Amerikas state of kus department.

      PK yes does a good job on the early facts.

    4. a different chris

      I had a problem with this:

      >Millions of innocent people … must live in the murderous intersection of tribalism, religious and sectarian divides, proxy warfare by foreign powers, and wartime capitalism.

      Yeah innocent of “proxy warfare”, and maybe “wartime capitalism”. But “tribalism, religious and sectarian divides” is the “Millions of innocent people” own damn self-imposed problem. Innocent of what, then? (Yes, I apply this to the Israelis, too).

      I hate religion and don’t understand why/how we managed to impose it upon ourselves.

      1. LifelongLib

        Being conscious in the natural world is a tough gig. Religion (along with art and science) is an attempt to escape.

  6. Torsten

    At the end of the dark web piece there’s this:

    It’s definitely a hateful place and quite unpleasant. It’s not nice looking at it. My colleagues and I have some best practices: we advise whoever is working with us not to spend too much time continuously on the website, and to take breaks. We have this inside joke to every once in a while go and look at cat pictures.

    Get well wishes to Yves’ cat…

    1. justanotherprogressive

      4chan/pol isn’t really underground or a part of the “dark web” – it is just a place where the rude and crude gather to spout – and not much more….hardly worth a “cybersecurity expert”‘s time…..

      There IS a “dark web” out there where grifters, criminals, terrorists, and perverts hang out – and they DO do considerable damage to our security and our society- and they do not bring attention to themselves by spouting hate – why doesn’t this “cybersecurity expert” focus on that?

    2. RabidGandhi

      It is hard to take their oh-so-scientific conclusions serious when they lump together “hate-speech” on 4chan with “alternative news” such as RT and then, for good measure, trundle out the typical dismissal term “conspiracy theories” (you know, like the conspiracy theory that Hussein didnt have WMDs).

      Although more and stronger cute kitty antidotes are, indeed, always welcome.

      1. curlydan

        yeah, I thought it was amusing how they threw in “RT” in one sentence then never mentioned it again throughout the whole article, including the “research” done.

    3. Susan the other

      don’t know how ill your cat is but when our 18-yr old cat died – basically of kidney failure – he did not want to be coaxed to drink water or do anything else – he just wanted to sleep. We tried and quickly gave up because, with his last energy he’d get up and walk away from us because we were so annoying. I regret that. But a dropper with water might not be too intrusive. hoping for the best. S.

    4. Alex Morfesis

      Darkweb clickbait fraud…are there any editors at “nature”…read thru the actual research piece and unless the microwave brain reducers my enemies point at me are finally working…

      there is no mention of reddit in the actual research…

      not sure how this plucked from the sky burp is even part of an article on research that never mentions it…

      they followed three parts of 4chan and noticed they do clickbait youtube fraud…

      ok…maybe they were not bright enough to realize 4chan is monetizing youtube channel holders…but that would be the conclusion any half brain dead third grader could draw out and perceive from the actual report….didnt see anything on rt in the research report either…maybe the brain is fried from a whole 12 hours of no rain in tampabay for the first time in weeks

      And as to the looking at cats to deal with “reading” all the hate on 4chan…it does not appear they did anything other than run some databases using hoovered data and running against some magic big brother “acceptable opposition” set of listings run by some organization called hatebase dot org
      30% of hate in chinese

      Big brother and artificial intel singularity types are in it deep if this passes for genius today…

  7. Roger Smith

    Oh my that Obama post, put in your mouth guards folks because you are liable to shatter your teeth gritting at the absolute vain and pseudo emotional garbage displayed there. I honestly don’t think there has ever been a bigger donkey in the history of our politics.

    We get things like an emotional appeal not to hurt people… from the guy who let banks throw millions out of their homes. Be careful as you rage reading this.

    1. ambrit

      Obama proved that he was as “bad” as Bill Clinton by appropriating one of Bills’ bigger gaffes. In effect, when it comes to financial crimes; “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    2. TK421

      “Please don’t hurt people..unless you use drones and missiles. Or they live in Libya. Or Guantanamo Bay.”

      Barack Obama

    3. perpetualWAR

      Obama’s words made me rage…..but what me rage even more was reading the comments! Can’t Americans think critically anymore?

      Where are the comments from the 18.2 million Americans who lost their home with forged documents? Or maybe these Americans actually believed Obama when he falsely claimed “Wall Street did nothing illegal, only immoral.” So, after 49 AGs across the country proved forgeries were occuring in every land recording office across this country, Obama provides these crooks with cover.

      I despise Obama more than any other politician in U.S. history, as he turned out to be an Uncle Tom rather than our 1st black President.

      1. LifelongLib

        It may well be that Wall Street did nothing illegal. That’s actually worse than if it had.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Um, no. That’s a canard pushed by Obama apologists, just like “Hilary’s email/foundation lawbreaking is a nothingburger”.

          1. LifelongLib

            So your argument is that our current system would be OK if only Wall Street obeyed the law?

              1. LifelongLib

                I could just as easily have said that illegality is a canard pushed by apologists for our current system, except I don’t think pW or O etc meant it that way. Nor was I apologising for Obama. Merely pointing out that most of the bad things that happen to people under our system are in fact perfectly legal, and that is more horrific than if they only resulted from illegality.

                1. perpetualWAR

                  What the banks did: forgery, counterfeit docs, multiply-pledging notes, lying to court, stealing from pension funds, non-existent REMICs, and the list goes on……it’s ALL unlawful. And Obama’s admin allowed for the crime spree to decimate the populace.

      2. different clue

        This is/was part of what Obama expects to be paid many millions of dollars for over the next few decades.

        “America’s Last Black President.” quite the legacy.

    4. RabidGandhi

      Upon seeing that link, my question was “who on NC will be masochistic enough to click on that trainwreck?” Fortunately for me, my gastroenterologist has me on a strict no Obamadrivel diet for the foreseeable future.

  8. Hana M

    On the Section 1332 waivers:

    The whole structure shifts power from state houses to the governors’ mansions across the country, so that GOP governors in blue states could redesign their individual insurance markets without their legislature’s approval. And that design can last for eight years—unless the state requests a shorter duration. The HHS secretary explicitly cannot terminate the waiver during the eight-year period.

    But you could also say that it opens the door for Democratic governors to experiment with more generous plans, Quite frankly the threat of higher deductables, flimsy coverage, etc rings false to me since that’s exactly what I ended up with under Obamacare.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      States may well come up with better plans. But it can definitely get worse. As Lambert says, Obamacare was a Republican plan to begin with. Now it will be more so.

      1. different clue

        There is a theory that this is what Obama set up deliberately on purpose . . . a stub for building out into a more purified version of Heritage Care. Its another thing that Obama expects to be paid millions of dollars for in the decades to come.

    2. Pat

      And most of the governors are very Republican. So a small.section of America may try something helpful, while tying the rest up in a system that throws the sick and aging to the wolves for almost a decade at a time.

      Not an improvement really except for limited numbers…again.

      1. a different chris

        ??? Think it only lasts as long as the governor lasts – the 8 years is how long the Feds have to let them try. So if you want better, more liberal at least if not actually left governors then at least here’s a way to put the worst/least clever of the current group on the spot. Bad idea – election is in two years, better fix it.

        Sigh. So I type stuff like the above and it follows a defensible logic and I stand by it, for lack of anything better to hope for. Yet being underpaid, overworked and dealing with the other indignities of current society is something you can deal with if there is “light at the end of the tunnel”. But if you or a loved one are grievously sick… yeah knowing you won’t last long enough for society to realize they have really screwed this thing up would just be unimaginable.

    3. RabidGandhi

      What a relief! Good thing the D’s did such a bang-up job winning on the state level. Oh wait….

  9. Jim A.

    Re: G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid NYT
    This is what I have been saying. The individual insurance market is the shiny object that the GOP is waving with their left hand while they attack medicaid with their right hand. While their talking points are all about how Obamacare is broken because of the problems with the individual markets really ARE having problems, what they are REALLY concerned about is the fact that medicaid, and medicaid expansion where it hasn’t been blocked, is WORKING. Don’t get me wrong it has issues too, but at the end of the day, it covers more people with better outcomes at a reasonable-ish cost better than just about any alternative.

    1. Pat

      Which is part of the reason I found Lindsay Graham’s statements on needing to move the population with the greatest health issues from the private insurance system to a government run one disturbing, cynical and very illusionary. Unlike many here I don’t think for a second that he doesn’t understand how insurance works OR the depth of the ongoing attempt to destroy all government run medical services. He knew exactly what he was proposing and how deadly it would be.

      Where I think he is smarter than say McConnell and the idealogues on the other side is he knows it will take most of the population a while to figure they have been had while making the “stakeholders” who own the parties very happy immediately.

      This Senate plan while it has relieved the “stakeholders”, is too obviously NOT going to make anybody else happy.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Since the vast majority of the 20 million souls who gained “coverage” from obamacare did so by becoming newly eligible for medicaid, any attempt to repeal and replace can be portrayed as a “rollback” of medicaid.

      If I recall, the intent at the time was to make the states an offer they couldn’t refuse, with the federal government temporarily picking up 100% of the expansion cost, and reducing that contribution to 90% later on. The trouble is, 19 states did refuse, including the populous states of Texas and Florida, and some of the arguably neediest states such as MS, AL, GA and TN. The state with the largest number of beneficiaries is CA, with other big winners being the notably blue states of NY and IL.

      So while portraying this fight as being about Medicaid could be considered technically accurate, it really sets up as another red vs. blue contest, with some of the biggest mouths in congress having little to lose, and even less inclination to keep californians and new yorkers comfortable.

      And the state level losses by dems since 2010 rear their ugly heads yet again. What obama giveth, the memory of obama taketh away.

      1. marym

        Apologies if you weren’t implying this, but to clarify, the changes to Medicaid in the Republican bill aren’t limited to rolling back the expansion.

        Scroll to “The House’s plan also restructured” in this link for a summary, including using the CPI, not medical inflation, for funding calculations. The bill also allows states to impose a work requirement for Medicaid and bars Planned Parenthood for one year from receiving Medicaid reimbursement for non-abortion services.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Medical inflation vs CPI.

          That’s a battle involving more than just medical inflation, and is better fought with more allies united under one cause, for inflation for seniors is not the same as inflation for people younger, and urban inflation is not the same as rural one, etc. Inflation rates are also different for different states, for renters and homeowners, so on and so forth.

  10. vidimi

    the syria story on medium isn’t particularly good. adam curtis has a better take in one of his documentaries, though i can’t remember which one. possibly his latest.

    1. MDBill

      Adam Curtis did Bitter Lake in 2015. It’s the story of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. U.S. viewers can find a version they can watch by searching YouTube for the title. There is another version on YouTube that won’t play for U.S. viewers.

  11. Pat

    Many good thoughts being sent to Yves and her cat from Chez Pat. I hope she can find a way around getting the cat to drink with the cone since the alternative solutions would be very distressing to both parties.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Seconded. Best wishes for kitty to get well soon.

      Yves: if wet food and/or ruthless squirts down kitty’s throat with a water dropper don’t do the trick
      and dehydration is upon you, your vet may recommend subcutaneous hydration (by needle).
      I managed my senior kitty’s kidney disease with two hydrations per day — for two years!
      seemed daunting at first, but one gets the hang of it.

      1. craazyboy

        Simple minded suggestion. Cut back a piece of the cone under the poor kitties neck.

        Stay away from overpriced vets carrying syringes of unknown kemikals. They are usually Shamen Doctors.

        Female and feline nerves will thank you.

        1. nycTerrierist

          No fan of overpriced vets here.

          Not sure if you’re familiar with feline kidney disease, but they pee beaucoup and can get dangerously dehydrated. My homeopathic vet showed me how to do the subcu fluids. Gave my cat good quality of life for a couple years – the tough old bird made it to 21, and looked fab – until the v. end :-(

          1. craazyboy

            Congrats on your cat’s long, good life.

            I was thinking of the impact on weak kidneys the painkiller-barbiturate-sedative might have?

            1. nycTerrierist

              much appurreciated!

              Hmm, I didn’t know there was a painkiller-barbituate-sedative involved here.

              that was just my 2 cents

              1. craazyboy

                It isn’t, in this case really. You’re correct. The cone is supposed to keep the cat calm, and anyone should be able to hydrate the cat one way or another. So, no problemo here.

                Just thinking of what may go wrong in our world of billable vet care?! Gotta stay sharp and up to date.

        2. marieann

          I’m not a fan of those cones. I always think it puts undo stress on a kitty, especially one who is already under severe stress from surgery.
          I usually would spend the first few days at home with the patient and was able to keep my eye on them so I would remove the cone.
          I had a kitty with a broken leg with a rod and pins inserted. He had a huge elastic bandage around the site. At night he would take it apart string by string and in the morning I would reinforce it, he never did get it all off.
          I have always had good luck with Vets, though I know kitty problems can run into thousands of dollars.

          Yves, sending get well wishes for your sick little baby kitty

          1. craazyboy

            You’re right. I thought about it a couple seconds more and realized the cat could just get his paws in his mouth that way. Or tear the cone off easier. Brain fart.

            I think I’d just loosen the cone a bit and slide it back and down, temporarily. Then the cat should be able to get his face in a bowl of water. Besides, a thirsty cat should be co-operative.

        3. Yasha

          Our cat Maia recently wore a cone (aka Elizabethan collar) because of an eye infection. We were worried about her being able to eat & drink, but she figured it out fairly quickly. Raising her water bowl might help.

    2. Lee

      Softer but still effective textile cones can be found at pet stores. The one I use for my dogs has a flap that can be folded down so the animal can eat and drink.

    3. XXYY

      On top of all that he has kidney issues and needs to drink and he doesn’t seem able to do that with said cone, causing stress to both cat and his human.

      I have had good luck in this situation by just getting a syringe (no needle!), filling it with water, and then kind of dripping/shooting the water into the cat’s mouth. Using a finger to gently hold the cat’s jaws slightly open will help. The cat will swallow the water OK once you get it in there.

      This approach can also be used to shoot in baby food like creamed chicken or something in the case of a cat that won’t eat. I once nursed a group of five kittens who had kennel cough back to health using this technique.

      For what it’s worth!

    4. footnote4

      Honest (simple-minded) question: What’s the reason for a cone following dental surgery?

      For a cat with kidney issues it may do more harm than good if it is causing stress and discouraging drinking.

      1. freedeomny

        Had the same thought. Maybe to keep the cat’s paws out of its mouth? I’ve used the smaller-pillow type cones with better success and they don’t seem to stress out the cat as much. Also, those cat drinking fountains aren’t that expensive and may help the situation….best wishes for a speedy recovery for kitty….

        1. craazyboy

          If it’s a plastic cone, I’d take it outside to the sprinkler system. Or the shower.

          Much cat analysis today, here. haha. We pamper too much.

          1. freedeomny

            LOL CB – yes we do pamper too much…but, for me…there are more animals in my life that I like better than many humans….just saying…. :)

  12. hemeantwell

    The Current Affairs piece on the Dems running nonexistent candidates was great. After a while it began to sound like an anthropologist’s report on a recently discovered cargo cult. And the fun sift through the wreckage of the Ossoff campaign leads to another flareup of hope that anodyne Third Way antipolitics may be crumbling.

    All of this was on display in the Ossoff campaign, which, considering how much it spent on media, had stunningly incoherent and unpersuasive messaging. Ossoff’s television ads were breathtakingly bad. A lot of it was simply anti-Trump rather than pro-Ossoff, which might not have been the optimal strategy in a district that voted for Trump. One consists of Ossoff silently tweeting his campaign talking points at the viewer, before proceeding to chastise Donald Trump for, of all things, tweeting too much. One, focused on reducing government spending (Ossoff ran on a Republican platform), touts his exciting plans for “Consolidating Federal Data Centers” and “Eliminating Mobile Device Contracts,” two policies that have never swung a single vote in the history of U.S. politics. And some of them are barely even intelligible, such as one called “Connected,” in which Ossoff tells the audience how everything in the economy is, like, connected and stuff, man.

    1. DJG

      hemeantwell: What is, errrr, off-putting is that the Democrats claim to be the competent party.

      I posted during the elections last fall that a friend of mine in Italy, who has dual citizenship, asked me what was on her absentee ballot. For voting purposes, she is a resident of Illinois, as am I. Yet in her district, the Democrats were running no one against Adam Kinzinger. Kinzinger’s district is in northeastern Illinois, including Joliet, an industrial town where Democrats do exist.

      The Democrats also failed to run anyone against Shimkus in southern Illinois.

      A party that can’t run candidates in Illinois?

      1. flora

        Having watched the nat Dem party apparatus play its hand in my flyover state for several election cycles, I think the nat Dems actively want to lose the flyover states in order to keep their “deplorable rurals” narrative in tact. Really. You do not lose this badly, this often, and over such a long time-frame, without a plan. State Dems that want to win would do well to ignore nat Dem “advice.” (less than 20 years ago my state had Dems in Congress, a Dem gov, and good state Dem electeds. And then came neoliberal time. )

        ‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.’ – Lady Bracknell, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

        1. Rojo

          Yeah, I’m not buying the “gang who couldn’t shoot straight” theory anymore. They want a bourgie party of the right people, or to lose and goose up the fundraising-resistace.

          IOW, the Dems are a patronage machine like PASOK was in Greece before the meltdown. .

          1. David Carl Grimes

            I couldn’t believe the Current Affairs piece. I thought I was reading something from the Onion but it turns out to be true.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        The evidence is getting stronger that Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks is right, the establishment Democrats are being paid to lose. Remember Sally Boynton Brown, the head of the Idaho Democratic Party that ran for the DNC chair?

        During her 4 years leading the party in Idaho the Democrats lost 1 state Senate seat and 2 state House seats, and severely lost every federal Senate and Congressional race. Sally was just selected to run the Democratic party in the important swing state of Florida.

        One of her first acts in Florida was a presentation to Florida progressives that included:

        telling constituents that “issues” don’t matter and that it’s not the party’s job to focus on policies that will actually help anyone, like single-payer health care.

        How important is it for candidates to concentrate on “issues” like health care or economic equality, one audience member asked. Her answer? Not very. She said candidates moving forward should focus on “identity messages” instead, which she didn’t actually define.

        In a follow-up question, she also warned party members not to get too excited about turning districts from Republican to Democrat and said the best we ought to hope for is that Florida becomes more “purple.”

        Sounds like a winner to me.

        1. Pookah Harvey

          I left out one of the best bits:

          She also said that taking money from large corporations such as Florida Power & Light could somehow be a good thing — and that the “relationship” created when gigantic corporations give thousands of dollars to political candidates can somehow make it easier for politicians to push back against corporations when they are “raping our country.”

          1. flora

            The donors to the Dem estab get their money’s worth. United Healthcare, Goldman Sachs, TBTF banks effectively use the Dem estab to block real Dems from winning office. That seems to be the entire, well paid function of the current Dem estab. imo.

      3. dbk

        Agreed, the piece in Current Affairs was great. I didn’t follow the GA-6 contest except via headlines, but it seemed pretty clear that the Dems ran the wrong candidate – why would any party aiming at victory put an untried 30-year-old with not-much-of-a-message-to-speak-of up in a really difficult election? This may pass for strategy among the DNC, but it’s not a winning strategy.

        Re: Illinois: similarly, the 18th District (Bob Michael, Roy Lahood, Aaron Schock, Darin LaHood – that’s just the past 60 years or so, it’s gone R since 1939) has been running (a) nobody or (b) nobody to speak of for aeons. The DNC is MIA, permanently.

    2. TK421

      What was with that “Ossoff lost” email? Did that go out before the vote? What was that supposed to accomplish?

      1. Roger Smith

        That is a typical DCCC email. If you have a junk account I recommend signing up because they are hilariously exasperated.

    3. kurtismayfield

      That article was fantastic.. the author kept typos of the non existent candidate Stooksbury all throughout the article. I was hoping he was making a point that who he was doesn’t matter, because a ethereal vapor won 40% of the vote in GA-06. Alas he did go back to the original spelling of the ghost candidate.. my hopes were squashed.

      So whatever his name was that just spent millions in the runoff increased the percentages by 8 points. And the non human candidate got almost the same amount of votes. All so that consultants could make their payoff. Politics in the US has jumped the shark.

  13. marym

    Cone lesson learned:

    My cat had a cone after minor surgery. Cat’s can respond to the unwanted cone by becoming extremely passive (tl;dr I was considering heading for the emergency vet). If you can do it easily, try removing the cone (mine was a simple velcro fastening) and monitor the cat for a food/water break.

  14. allan

    Senate Health Bill Gives Huge Tax Cuts to Businesses, High-Income Households [WSJ]

    The Senate’s health-care bill repeals hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes on businesses and high-income households and includes a retroactive cut in capital-gains taxes. …

    Retroactive? How can that be? Surely they’re mistaken. Any GOP plan must be all about
    creating incentives for future risk taking by heroic job creators. …

    …Like in the House bill, that tax would be repealed as of Jan. 1, 2017, dropping the top capital-gains tax rate to 20% from 23.8%. Under that measure, people who sold assets earlier this year, even before they knew if the tax cut would happen, would benefit. Retroactive tax cuts like this don’t create an incentive and can yield windfall gains for people who already made decisions. …

    When you’ve lost the WSJ …

    Best wishes to Yves and cat. Feline kidney problems aren’t fun.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      When I heard this, I wondered if all those who paid the obamacare penalty… “tax”…….would get a retroactive refund as well.

      Somehow I doubt it.

  15. Politics Puppy

    Downtown just sees the Lee/Cruz/Johnson/Paul objection as a song and dance to get more concessions (except perhaps Paul). Thinking now is McConnell wins by losing Paul and Collins with a Murkowski Buyout. Capito (and maybe Portman) get Opiod funding. That said, the objection is a bit of a high stakes gamble with Kaisich and Sondoval pushing on Portman/Heller.

  16. Congenital Warts

    The Wasserman Schulltz article states “The leaked e-mails showed that some national party staffers had favored Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton during the primaries for the 2016 presidential nomination.”


    1. Hana M

      My reaction exactly. The only DNC member who supported Sanders that I can recall is Tulsi Gabbard who resigned in order to actively campaign for him.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Is this part of a “DWS was betrayed” narrative? If it wasn’t for those pesky kids, DWS would be minority whip today. Blaming inconsequential figures for one’s failings is a hallmark of the Clinton machine. DWS is stupid, so I could see how she believes blaming staffers would make her look neutral.

  17. Jennie

    My husband is a dentist who (sadly) performs many many many extractions. He does not suture after an extraction, generally speaking. My understanding is that healing is the same if not better, especially with human patients who sometimes ignore his exhortations to avoid smoking — and therefore dry socket.

    I am not a dentist, nor a veterinarian, but perhaps if the purpose of the cone for Yves’s poor kitty is to prevent the removal of sutures… maybe (on consult with the vet) the bigger risk is the stress and dehydration rather than the removal of sutures??

    1. Susan the other

      if we are talking eye teeth or deep rooted teeth vets cut the gums to have access for the extraction… eye teeth have very long roots and it’s probably less destructive to the tissues to make an incision…

  18. Carla

    Tim Ryan: “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but our party still doesn’t have a clear economic message. Are you kidding me?”

    Congressman Ryan, as a fellow Ohioan, are you fucking kidding ME? It’s way too late for a “message.”

    We’ve already got the message, loud and clear: Democrats haven’t, don’t and won’t work for us. In the evil scenario that is playing out, the fact that Republicans actively work against We the People sadly only makes them look like the more honest party.

    There’s a great graph in the “Some People “Would Rather Have 1st Class Seats on the Titanic Than Change the Course of the Ship” post today. It tracks yearly averages of U.S. Party Identification and this is what is shows from ’08 to ’15:
    Democrat: 36% to 29%
    Republican: 28% to 26%
    Independent: 35% to 42%

    THAT, Congressman Ryan, is a message. We want “other.” Are you listening? If not, I suspect the much-maligned People will continue supplying “hearing aids” in the form of social and political results that the governing elite won’t like.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “But America is already great,” “deplorables”, and appeals to “moderate suburban republicans” are the economic messages of the Democratic Party.

      Tim Ryan makes Pelosi look like Lenin.

      1. flora

        Message? Economic policy? Nevermind, the Dems will inevitably win be cause of demographics, uh..the rise of the accendants, er.. the next voting wave of ‘the other side is worse’ , um.. the moderate GOP voters. Moderate GOP voters! yeah… that’s the ticket.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Note the use of the word “message”, when they desperately need to focus on “policy”. Problem is that that puts them in a quantum universe of cognitive dissonance: “Let’s see, Daddy Warbucks says he’ll give my campaign a million if I support his electromagnetic space ray gun…but I see a town hall full of people screaming because they’re dying from a lack of basic health care access…I know, I’ll take Daddy’s money and then bamboozle the locals with meaningless platitudes and feelgood gibberish”.

  19. paul

    Can I demand that the providers of this blog never again need to apoligise.

    That it here most days of the year is something to treasure.

    1. IHateBanks

      A thousand times YES!!

      If it were not for this site, I would be pretty much willfully unaware of what is happening in the world today.

      It confirms my suspicions of how the world works, and that information helps my planning to be less and less involved as time passes. I read(or skimmed) 8 links today. That is all the time I have for current events. Today is all about canning veggies from the garden, and playing with dogs.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Your screen name is succinct and straight to the point. I’ll use the chance to post a recent quote from Pope Francis I:

        “Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities.

        We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal that we continue to sow destruction, pain, and death”. </i?

  20. dontknowitall

    Regarding youth protests in Russia…Funny how the West’s constant pushing of sanctions works to feed lack of opportunities for the Russian youth and bring on pressure for regime change as the oil business takes a dive.

    The current to push for hostilities short of war seems to me to be a way to force the Russian State to spend heedlessly in prep for war in the face of an economic downturn and thus creating the economic conditions for Putin’s downfall. We are watching basically the operation of a ratchet tightening around the economy. Putin is not a good man but that is something for the Russian people to deal with not the US.

    Comparatively, I keep thinking of how Venezuela, an oil rich economy, managed in fairly short order to not be able to afford even toilet paper once the NSA found its way into the PDVSA, the state oil company, computer networks in 2011:

    “To understand PDVSA,” the NSA analyst explains, “is to understand the economic heart of Venezuela.”

    Russia is a tougher nut to crack with a more diverse economy that is adjusting smartly to sanctions ( which is why I think the US keeps trying to change the mix of sanctions), but the whole neocon game of sanctions, populist manipulation through NGOs, heavily promoted opposition figures, and international propaganda, designed to deny access to economic opportunities by creating that bugaboo of investors, the appearance of political risk, is in evidence.

    1. RabidGandhi

      My 2017 wish list includes a heartfelt desire for the bloody death of the omnipresent “Venezuela can’t afford toilet paper” meme, which is utter bollocks. Venezuela has plenty of money, especially in view of its overseas assets holdings, not to mention its proven reserves. The shortages being experienced by the population are not due to the state being bankrupt (states don’t go bankrupt), but rather due to a particularly fierce and highly organised suppliers’ boycott, akin to the one deployed against Allende in 1970s Chile.

      This is not to ignore the Bolivarian governments’ numerous own goals, such as its faulty capital controls that have created the multiple exchange rates suppliers are now using as part of their boycott, and their failure to diversify the economy away from oil (which would have made the NSA quote you provide inoperative).

  21. RenoDino

    Don’t beat me up too bad on these health insurance numbers, but I think I’m pretty close approximately.

    50% are insured privately, most through their employer
    40% are covered by government insurance, e.g., Medicare, Medicaid , VA, etc.
    10% are floaters covered or not by ACA or its replacement

    This health care debate is primarily about the floaters, a small portion of the population. Making them all happy has never been of great concern since they’re politically inconsequential. If you make half of them happy, that’s a win. Young vs. old, etc.

    What’s really in play is tax cuts for the wealthy vs. medicaid expenditures. Health care per se is really not the issue.

    Kicking a few million medicaid recipients down the stairs is not a bad bargain in exchange for the lasting gratitude of a million millionaires who will thank their benefactors with campaign donations. That’s why the Dems are not really opposing it. They are just standing aside.

    1. dontknowitall

      Thank you for your interesting comment. This is not my expertise so forgive the ignorance, but I frequently wonder why individual US states with economies the size of (or larger than most) any large EU country do not attempt to have on their own a Canadian or European style healthcare scheme. I understand it could be politically difficult or impossible in some places but certainly not everywhere. California or Maryland for instance could do it.

      If a little country like Portugal can have a working healthcare scheme that keeps extending life span so that it now has the second highest number of centenarians per capita after Japan for a fraction of the expense per capita of the US why can’t my home state of Maryland do it ? As a US citizen it is really annoying and puzzling to me.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Interesting remark, thanks.

        I just looked up Wikipedia on centenarians.

        Japan 48 per 100,000.
        Russia 4.67
        China 3.6
        India 2.1
        Portugal 38.9
        Spain 37.49
        Canada 22.31
        US 22
        UK 21.49
        World as a whole 6.2

        Surprising the US is about the same as Canada and the UK.

        Also surprising that S. Africa is at 30.09.

        Maybe it’s longevity inequality – living past 100 being concentrated in a few people doesn’t increase the average life span of that country, if the poor die sooner than their counterparts in other countries.

          1. freedeomny

            You might be interested in The China Study by Colin Campbell – a fascinating read

        1. Mickey Hickey

          Years ago when Finland for a few years had the longevity crown, studies were conducted. I remember distinctly that people who lived in rural areas on smallholdings in poverty were the longest lived. They grew their own food and bought in small amounts of sugar, tea and meat. In other words they could not afford alcohol, tobacco, high fat foods and processed foods in general. Obesity and its associated diseases are the big killers. Poverty prevents disease not the Mediterranean diet alone but the lack of fats, sugars and processed foods.

          1. different clue

            Unless of course the poverty is structured and engineered to drive the impoverished onto a diet of fats, sugars and processed foods because they cost less than meat/eggs/cheese/fruits/vegetables/etc. . . . . so the impoverished eat the fats, sugars and processed foods because that is all the impoverished can afford.

            In that case, poverty creates and increases disease.

            Which kind of poverty do the readers of this blog think the American poor live in? Finnish poverty? Or food junkyard poverty?

        2. kareninca

          The Japanese figures are suspect:

          “More than 230,000 Japanese people listed as 100 years old cannot be located and many may have died decades ago, according to a government survey released today.

          The justice ministry said the survey found that more than 77,000 people listed as still alive in local government records would have to be aged at least 120, and 884 would be 150 or older.

          The figures have exposed antiquated methods of record-keeping and fuelled fears that some families are deliberately hiding the deaths of elderly relatives in order to claim their pensions.”

      2. visitor

        From what people living in Portugal tell me,

        1) their health system is continuously retrenching, with an increasing shortage of physicians (who prefer to work in the private sector or who are emigrating);

        2) there has been significant emigration of working age population in the last decade.

        All brought by austerity.

        So to analyze the proportion of centenarians, one should be mindful of the denominator.

        1. dontknowitall

          Possibly but then the retrenching medical system would affect way more the elderly leading to increasing death rates there but in fact life expectancy has increased 3 years in the last ten and so has the number of centenarians. Immigration is a long run historic phenomena but so it is in India, China and Russia and other countries in the list above including South Africa. Also there have been large emigration influxes from Russia, Brasil and assorted African nation so that Portuguese population’s remained relatively steady at 10 million so my guess it is not powerful enough a factor to really change the centenarian numerology. I could be wrong there.

          The retrenching in health care resources has been a political phenomena since 2008, which was the consequence mostly of the Tatcherite neoliberal policies of the PSD party which has been thrown out of power since last year and had sought to destroy the system and privatize it. They almost succeed and the current socialist government policies aim to reverse those neoliberal policies and restore resources to the national health service. Austerity is essentially over. So far so good. My 90 year old dad who lives in Portugal has had excellent care in the local community clinic and even after a hernia operation which went splendidly he never saw a single bill. A regular consultation with his excellent family doctor is all of 5 euro and many meds are subsidized. If that is failing I would like us to fail the same way.

      3. Michael

        There is a big economic problem with states doing this.

        Say CA covers everyone with single payer. No other states do. So the sick end up making their way to CA. In this way the people of CA are not just paying for their own, they’re paying for a bunch of other states’ catastrophes as well.

        We really need it to be national.

        1. Biph

          The State could require a year in residence like they do to attend college at the in State tuition rate.
          Alaska has a similar requirement for the Alaska oil dividend.

          1. different clue

            And if One year of residence is not enough to prevent one-state single-payer fraud, then make it Five years of residence.

            And that’s no joke. If California goes One State Single Payer, do not doubt for a moment that the Obamacare-Trumpcare states like Texas will buy millions of one way bus tickets for their sickest most uninsured people to go to California. They might even be underhanded and sly enough to give those one way bus riders just enough money to survive in near-homelessness in California just to get them out of TrumpnObamacare states.

            So California would need a long-enough residency-before-eligibility rule to prevent the other states from working that racket if California goes Single Payer.

            1. Biph

              What happens to insurance rates in the rest of the country when insurance companies lose about 1/10th of their customers?

  22. Alex Morfesis

    Happy qwerty day…not that jamming typewriter keys are an issue anymore…but 150 years of qwerty is probably long enough…its purpose does not fit any longer…today would be a great day to return to the actual keyboard patented on this day…two rows of numbers and letters with natural sequence…

    although this is a perfect example of why the singularity crowd can sell that seat to mars they are holding for me…

    for all the (hah…making a funny…) genius computer programmers out there, they are all still lemming along with qwerty….

    the money was in the training….

  23. NotTimothyGeithner

    I had a cat in a cone in December. It was a stressful few days especially when she realized she could run full speed at the bed, get stuck, and use the bed to hold the cone while she pulled herself out to go right back to licking her wound. Then her sister would no nothing but howl because I locked her out of the bed room/recovery ward.

  24. jerry

    Pelosi – “I’m worth the trouble”.

    Well that’s an interesting way to sell yourself.. yes I’m horribly corrupt and can’t win the party an election, but damn am I well-connected, look at all this moneyyyyy y’all lets partyy!

    1. Elizabeth

      Nancy received a standing ovation at a SF North Beach eatery on Father’s Day, so there’s that also . . .

  25. The Rev Kev

    Best wishes to Yves’s cat. I am willing to bet that cats are like doctors – both make lousy patients!

  26. fresno dan

    The orcas will wait all day for a fisher to accumulate a catch of halibut, and then deftly rob them blind. They will relentlessly stalk individual fishing boats, sometimes forcing them back into port.

    Most chilling of all, this is new: After decades of relatively peaceful coexistence with cod and halibut fishers off the coast of Alaska, the region’s orcas appear to be turning on them in greater numbers.

    “We’ve been chased out of the Bering Sea,” said Paul Clampitt, Washington State-based co-owner of the F/V Augustine.

    Like many boats, the Augustine has tried electronic noisemakers to ward off the animals, but the orcas simply got used to them.

    “It became a dinner bell,” said Clampitt.

    John McHenry, owner of the F/V Seymour, described orca pods near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands as being like a “motorcycle gang.”
    While fishing boats all across Alaska have reported harassment by orcas, the worst incidents all seem to be occurring in the Bering Strait, the body of water separating western Alaska from Russia
    Putin, obviously….
    Because the communications to the whales are in particularly long wave radio waves, I can pick up the signals on my rabbit eared bunny slipper antenna
    The whole scheme is under the command of O-F*CK Orca Fish Unit Chaos Kommand

    1. Baby Gerald

      Thanks for the first laugh of the day. What a wonderful thought- gangs of killer whales patrolling the sea keeping it safe from greedy humans.

      1. visitor

        Haven’t 90-95% of all commercial fish populations been wiped out already?

        If so, intelligent orcas might be just turning to piracy because fishing vessels are so much more efficient at grabbing a dwindling resource that plundering them expends vastly less effort and energy than hunting a scarce resource “the natural way”.

    2. Susan the other

      go orcas! i’ll gladly give up my fish sandwich for the orcas. and what novel idea! human quotas so the orcas and other creatures can eat enough to be healthy… let us look at that.

      1. newcatty

        Hi first time to join in the comment merriment. May be inspired to add my catty catnips as to not just take nourishment for my own mind and spirit, but to give for what it is worth.
        The whales are telling us to shape up or get out. Planet of the Whales!

  27. Carla

    Don’t know if anyone else has seen this little reality check today:

    “TOO HOT TO FLY IN PHOENIX (TravelPulse)

    Did you know that it can be too hot to fly?

    Extreme heat causes changes in air density that make it difficult for planes—especially small ones—to take off.

    Travelers are learning that little science lesson this week in Arizona, where a heat wave with temperatures that could reach 120 degrees forced American Airlines to cancel about 50 flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Tuesday.

    Small regional jets were affected by the decision. Their maximum operating temperatures are slightly lower than those of full-size aircraft.

    As temperatures around the globe are expected to continue climbing in upcoming decades, these sorts of travel disruptions could become increasingly common.”

    1. TK421

      I heard about that from my mother, who decided it meant that yesterday was too hot to go outside. Of course, she lives in Michigan, not Arizona…

    2. visitor

      Bring back airships.

      But seriously, how do they manage then in the Near East, Australia or the top-third northern part of Africa?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Phoenixes can fly again after being incinerated previously.

      So, people there (in Phoenix) should not to be shocked.

      “Tomorrow, Icarus should be able to fly his plane again…when it’s cooler.”

      1. craazyboy

        Icarus for Seattle. Now that Boeing glues their wings on, the glue may melt.

        Trump may still have his old retro 727. You’ll need to use force to pull those wings off.

        Something for #resistance to do. (Depp is volunteering to help!)

        Trump should make it a no-fly zone.

    4. heresy101

      120 degrees? Barely getting warm.
      When visiting my parents in Yuma (south of Phoenix), it was 125 or 126. My father said not to worry because it was a “dry heat”. Why are those planes having problems?

  28. Jef

    “Capitalism Can Thrive Without Cooking the Planet” NO!

    The claim that wealthy countries are reducing emissions while increasing production has been thoroughly debunked. It is because of outsourcing their emissions to other countries and emphasizing the net loss to society FIRE economy.

      1. LifelongLib

        I once tried to find stats on Soviet vs U.S. per capita energy consumption, to get an idea of how a “basic” industrial society compares to a “consumerist” one, and both with a “subsistence” one. Not much luck, but somebody must have done something like that sometime…

    1. cnchal

      The Bloomberg title editor should read the article.

      . . . The U.S. is the outlier here. Unlike other countries, the U.S. actually used more carbon to generate each dollar of consumption in 2011 than in 1995, . . .

      Oops. Ties right in with Larry Summers’ secular stagnant nation theme. Too many bullshit jawbs, where the output is hot air.

  29. Nick H

    The Ghost Candidate article blew my mind — should be shared far and wide amongst your Democrat friends. Especially the younger ones — the generation that grew up on John Stewart — who have spent their entire lives believing that you MUST NOT criticize anything the Democrats EVER do. I’m optimistic the continued flat-footedness of the DNC just might start forcing some much-needed introspection amongst the rank-and-file members.

    Best wishes to Yves kitty :)

    1. Huey Long


      It was mind blowing on so many levels! I mean not only did the dems put up a fictional candidate for congress, but 124,917 people pulled the lever for him.

      What is most mind blowing of all though is that Rodney Stooksbury managed to get 24 more votes than John Ossoff.

      1. visitor

        Wasn’t there a case some 15 years ago where a candidate who had died before a gubernatorial election or to the Congress won the election? And the fact that he was dead was very public.

        1. EricT

          Yeah, his wife served in his place. After reading that article about GA, it kind of reminded me of the SC senatorial race, where a nobody beat out the Democratic assembly leader to run against Lindsy Graham. Sometimes I think the south experiences the highest volume of election fraud than any other part of the country.

        2. craazyboy

          It would be in the public interest. Zombies completely decay over a 100 day period.

            1. craazyboy

              I’ve been watching Neil Gamin’s American Gods on TV.

              The not so Heroine got re-born as a zombie. She smells like a dead corpse as is annoyed constantly by flies buzzing around her head.

              Quite embarrassing!

              P.S. Neil Gamen knocked it outta da park with this novel, and the TV production followed up with a tremendously bizarre and macabre TV production effort. Fantastic!

    2. Susan the other

      it’s so cost effective – until you actually win and have to admit you can’t find the candidate… but never mind that. in addition to ghost candidates we can front robots with any degree of lack of conscience…and if we could be optimistic we would see a deeper truth: political parties are a confection that we no longer need – we need straight talk and straight government which delivers the things we need, but doesn’t live off the froth of frivolous capitalism of a select and stupid few… etc.

    3. Vatch

      Hah! And those British folks are so proud of themselves with candidates like Lord Buckethead. Well, I guess we showed them! In the colonies we have Śūnyatā candidates!

  30. Ed

    One wonders if this approach — ” one of those plastic cones over his head” — would work in the political culture.

  31. sleepy

    These are the folks that Pelosi is great at bringing on board for fundraising.

    Lobbying records show that some Democratic fundraisers, who raised record amounts of campaign cash for Clinton, are now retained by top telecom interests to help repeal the strong net neutrality protections established during the Obama administration.

    Others are working on behalf of for-profit prisons on detention issues, while others still are paid to help corporate interests pushing alongside Trump to weaken financial regulations. At least one prominent Clinton backer is working for a health insurance company on a provision that was included in the House Republican bill to gut the Affordable Care Act.

  32. a different chris

    The Thomas Frank is interesting, bu this made me feel old:

    >Remember the famous Sister Solider moment?

    Lordy. Apparently the transcriptionist did not.

    1. fresno dan

      a different chris
      June 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Thomas Frank: I have … Okay, so, I’ve written about media bias before and I’ve always poo-pooed it.** I always thought it was kind of a silly idea. Well forget that. It was there this time around in an enormous way so I wrote a big story for Harper’s Magazine about how the media treated Bernie Sanders. The way I did it was to focus on one newspaper in particular and read all of their op-ed coverage of Bernie Sanders. I chose the Washington Post and I read every op-ed story and editorial that they ran that mentioned Bernie Sanders. It was five to one against him. I mean they hated this guy. Hated him. Made fun of the way he looks. Made fun of the way he talks. Made fun of his supporters. Made fun of his issues, in a really cruel way that totally incommensurate with who the man is.
      I mean he’s a nice person. He’s avuncular, he’s a friendly … It’s hard to dislike Bernie Sanders. Well they did, man. They hated him. Then the question is and the New York Times is very similar, then the question is why? The answer is that, and they did the same with Trump of course. I think Trump deserved it more, but there’s … I don’t even know if there were any newspapers in America that endorsed Trump. The media was …
      Katie Halper: The KKK did endorse him.
      Thomas Frank: Right. Yeah. Things like that.
      Katie Halper: Right.
      Thomas Frank: The mainstream media absolutely loved Hillary Clinton, absolutely adored her without reservation. Why? You think about it for a minute and you realize there’s basic class solidarity. That resume stuff, that’s them. You know your East Coast sort of media elite, they go to this, they went to the same sort of school that she did. A lot of them know her personally. They went to … They have the same life trajectory, the same aspirations, the same demographics. They look at Hillary Clinton as one of their own. This was someone that they absolutely adored.

      “The Thomas Frank is interesting, bu this made me feel old:
      >Remember the famous Sister Solider moment?”

      I hear ya! 25 years…..
      I never would have predicted that the twin towers would come down, or a black man would be elected president, or that we would now have someone like Trump. But like NTG always says, we now have only one political party….but the plutocrats are in charge, and they are convincing many that the rich getting rich is good public policy.
      Considering the “advances” in propaganda and surveillance, one shudders to think what the next 25 years will bring…..

      1. Emma

        I suspect Bernie Sanders is quite feared. For he seeks, in offensive mode, to restore or create a more democratic world and one which isn’t overwhelmed with a proliferation of deeply-entrenched and deviant power structures fueled on pure BS. The real issue here perhaps is that Sanders has been quite successful at empowering the broadest coalition possible of diverse groups of ordinary people in this process without great sums of money, and by doing so, has increased the likelihood of achieving that greater form of democracy so dreamed of. It is the inclusiveness, or universality in his approach, which helps to make it indispensably ethical too. Ethical as opposed to our present status-quo in which a majority of those who wield power in a highly centralized fashion, simply prefer to vest in additional power through their own ilk, or even through the acceleration of an underhanded imposition of subservience via all kinds of tools (ie. like the Washington Post….) at their disposal. In this way a select group of elite ‘perpetraitors’ may continue to hold on to, or seize the power, and in doing so, really undermine both the human AND property rights of the electorate to become a truly dominating force. Because, as Elie Wiesel put it once so long ago, those that imagine they can do what they like, are not those who think God is dead, but rather, are people who think of themselves as God.

  33. xformbykr

    New Cold War
    Bill Moyers’ website carried this link to WaPo:

    The story contained this,

    “Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.”

    As a mere mortal I don’t know what to think. It could be true. But It could be from an unreliable source, like “curveball” from the Iraq WMD era.

    Moyers’ site had requested some months ago for evidence of the claims against Russia, given the seriousness of the accusations. They pointed to the photographs of missile installation in Cuba as an example of actually showing the evidence in a really serious case. If this is a response to such a request, it has been a long time in coming. And its credibility is unknown.

    Does anyone know anything more?

    1. dontknowitall

      If the story is true and is in the pages of the Wapoo, house organ of the CIA, then the source is likely blown and if the evidence was that clear and cross-checked and it is that important why was the punishment so mild. I think the evidence, once the initial shock wore off, was not nearly as strong as portrayed initially and Obama didn’t feel on solid ground. After all we did the same with Yeltsin but only more competently.

      This accusations date from September 2016 so a lot of time until the election and the election was still very much Hillary’s to lose. No one made her be her wooden self and force her to put resources on her stronger states or call people ‘deplorables’. The report says Putin halted then further acts. I wouldn’t put it past Putin to try his hand at disruption considering Obama and Hillary were plotting his downfall for years but this extraordinary claim has nothing yet behind it other than continuous rumors and statements. I imagine the mutterings of Iraq Curveball were delivered to the White House with the same “Eyes Only” incantations plastered on the folder. The Ukrainian nexus of our Putin troubles suggests to me a Ukrainian Curveball to draw us into wider conflict. However, if true we deserve the full facts if Russia acted with the intention of striking at the heart of our democracy and what is to be done. Not rumors or innuendo but detailed facts.

      It is important to remember Russia on its own hacking some servers is not the same as Trump colluding with Russia to get elected. Jeh Johnson, former head of Homeland Security, testified yesterday there is no secret evidence that indicates a collusion between Trump or anyone else in his campaign with Russia. This clears Flynn by the way.

      Also, there is no evidence that any votes were changed by Russian hackers (if it was russkies).

      Important too to remember is that nation states make all kinds of hyper-detailed contingency plans and we, for instance, have plans to invade Canada and run such plans through simulations.

      Much more damage to the electoral system has been dealt by Hillary’s incompetent electioneering and the deep governments heavy handed accusations against Trump’s legitimacy than if they had remained quiet and worked sensibly to strengthen the electoral system. Come the next election we will be in the same pickle because no reform happened and this time it will be a Hong Kong Triad or what have you trying to pick the American president. And Trump will be re-elected.

    2. Carolinian

      A little late for Moyers to be requesting evidence after he wrote a column with Winship stating the Russian meddling as fact.

      In any case since Obama’s guy Brennan is quite likely the source of the whole fake Russia scandal the WaPo story sounds like more of the darkness that democracy dies in.

    3. integer

      Sounds like a Hollywood scriptwriter came up with this narrative. Probably one who wrote plots for Madame Secretary or one of the many crappy movies/series that laud the so-called intelligence community. Total bs in my opinion.

  34. Greg Gerner

    My comment to the NYTs on the Thomas Edsall editorial: The “analysis” presented in Mr. Edsall’s column and the “conclusions” he draws from it to his readers’ confusion or outright misdirection is so manifestly wrongheaded that I don’t know where to begin. I don’t think this confusion and misdirection is an accident. What this column demonstrates is that, once again, the Democratic Establishment and their supine, supportive media allies have forgotten nothing and learned nothing from the recent election cycles. For all of us that hunger for real change, for change that would benefit the bottom 80% of our societies, we can only weep. Thanks to the misdirection and obfuscation of NYT’s editorials such as this, we progressives are guaranteed that the Republicans shall retain control of the Congress in 2018 and of the Presidency in 2020. The defining reality of America’s downward descent as a democracy was succinctly stated by Warren Buffett, as quoted by Ben Stein in a NYT’s article of November 26, 2006: ““There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” This editorial tries its best to hide this cancer on the American body politic. I ask you, “Qui bono”?

    1. Emma

      Look, Thomas Edsall probably has a koi carp pond. Not that I’ve got anything against koi carp But it’s clearly escaped Edsall there wouldn’t be any negativity around globalization if our supreme leaders put a leash on capital flows and tax evasion………we’ll have better luck exploring new frontiers (of any kind……) with the Star Trek Discovery team than with Edsall and his ilk.

  35. ChrisAtRU


    IMO Ossoff’s campaign was a test launch of #TheAmericanMacron concept – in all ways but one: he ran as a Democrat. But if you listened to the (horrendous) chirping noises coming out of #MSM after Macron’s victory over LePen, you found many cries for an #AmericanMacron. Why oh why wailed the punditry couldn’t the US raise its own business friendly, centrist, anti-labour hero?!

    And so, Ossoff with no prior political history and a willingness to shill (comically, horribly, terribly) for neoliberal centrism was expensively foisted upon the GA-06 electorate. Despite all the participatory trophies being doled out to Ossoff by the usual suspects, this was a spectacular loss on a couple fronts:

    1. Dems hoped that by starving #Berniecrat candidates who failed (KS, MT), an Ossoff win would have justified their approach (if it can be called that) and help dampen support for a resurgent (real) left.
    2. It would have validated #Centrism as the ideologie du jour, and the Tandens of the world would subsequently rejoice and rub it in the faces of (again) the left.

    The have neither now, but as #PaidToLose miscreant stewards of voter desires, needs and trust, the consultant class still made a killing. That’s the positive from their point of view. The negative for them is that the left grows thirstier with more evidence of establishment Dem political impotence. It’s only a matter of time. We are many, they are few.

  36. Roger Smith

    Lambert and Yves, suggestion: regarding the Stooksbury Chronicles, I think it might be an interesting project for 2018 if NC users start chronicling those running for the larger offices across the country. It would be interesting to put together a larger picture of just how many Stooksburys are out there.

    Rodney Stooksbury… now there is a good pen name.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      There are plenty – some may even be actual people but the party won’t support them.

      In 2006 in Maine, Olympia Snowe ran against a Democrat named Jean Hay Bright. I met her so I can confirm she was an actual person. She wasn’t the greatest candidate and had never held office before IIRC but her heart was in the right place. At the time I was invited to a forum to discuss Bush’s illegal wiretapping and our US House rep Tom Allen was on the panel. He urged us to contact our representatives to voice our displeasure which even then I felt was futile, having done so many times already with no result. So I suggested to this sitting Congressman from the Democrat party that rather than writing letters, we should work to unseat Snowe who supported Bush’s policies and asked him if he would do everything he could to support Snowe’s opponent and make sure she didn’t win reelection.

      Allen would not say yes, which, as we are wont to say here, was a very clarifying moment for me.

      Snowe won in a landslide. A few years letter Allen himself ran for the Senate against Susan Collins, refused to criticize her despite there being ample valid reasons to do so, and had his ass handed to him and has been out of politics ever since. And supposedly Allen was one of the better ‘progressive’ Democrats.

  37. Susan the other

    about MoA on the mess in the ME. It’s so apocalypse now… and we were long ago inoculated. We should sell the concession for Burning Man to the Saudis. How fitting, there in their very own desert with all the crazies who think they are so clever they will avoid the jackboots. They could make a big Burning Mann effigy out of dried camel patties. We want a peaceful regime change in Iran? So the Iranian military is out and the Imams are in? Ayatollahs are useful. After all, in 1953, we have been dripped this info recently by State, the Ayatollah sought alliance with us because they did not trust socialism/Mossadegh. Where the truth is or where another fate would have led us is anybody’s guess. Most likely 6s.

  38. pricklyone

    Yves, best wishes for you and your little kitty pal.
    I have been there, too.
    Quick and dirty method, use a drinking straw as a ‘pipette’ to indroduce fluid to kitty’s mouth. Make it easy to control amount given. IMHO better than dropper, etc.
    Cats tend not to drink much water on their own, as they normally get most of their moisture requirements from prey in the wild. So you have to push a little, sometimes.
    I have one who likes to come in when I am in the bath and will drink (clean) bathwater for as long as I will dribble it on the rim of the tub. I think she likes the warm water better than the room temp. water in her bowl. Worth a try with warm water.
    If she/he is distressed by the cone, I would sure talk to the vet about an alternative.
    Again, wishing you both all the best.

    1. craazyboy

      Maybe some high heel kitty booties. Keeps his paws out of his mouth?

      I’m sure somewhere sells ’em in NYC.

  39. ewmayer

    o “Bernie Sanders to headline ‘Don’t Take Our Health Care’ tour | CNN” — Bernie assumes facts not in evidence, specifically that Health Unsurance == Health Care. Which is not to say the GOP bill is not mean, bad, wicked, naughty, evil – downright deplorable, you might say.

    o “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges | Rolling Stone” — Setting aside the Onion-esqueness of the headline, given that this is a Rolling Stone piece, are we talking about real sexual assault charges or fake sexual assault charges?

    o “Capitalism Can Thrive Without Cooking the Planet | Bloomberg” — And by ‘planet’ Bloomberg of course means Mars, which is where the oligarch class will be relocating soon, once a few technical glitches in the self-driving Tesla Space Shuttle are worked out.

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