Links 6/25/17

Bats, Beetles, Butterflies… And Other Pollinators That Aren’t Bees (and How to Attract Them) Modern Farmer

ECB confirms two struggling Italian banks will close FT

Kentucky’s Hedge Funder Governor Keeps State Money In Secretive Hedge Funds HuffPo. What could go wrong?

Governor candidate Biss is a traitor, say private-equity investors Crain’s Business Review

Block Amazon Houston Chronicle

It Takes an Army to Feed the World’s Amazon Addiction Bloomberg

Amazon’s Move Signals End of Line for Many Cashiers NYT

Uber and Tesla are showing ominous signs that the era of auto disruption may be about to come to an abrupt end Business Insider

From Music to Maps, How Apple’s iPhone Changed Business WSJ

Warren Buffett cannot soothe nerves over Canada’s housing market FT

The Secret Lives of Playlists Watt


Britain’s Financial Power Is Already Seeping Away Bloomberg

Brexit and the UK economy one year on BBC

Five London towers evacuated over fire safety concerns France24

Why Grenfell Tower Burned: Regulators Put Cost Before Safety NYT

Arconic knowingly supplied flammable panels for use in tower: emails Reuters

Another world is possible, Corbyn tells Glastonbury – video Guardian


A Combination of Historical Ignorance and Disastrous Blundering n+1

Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion Counterpunch

How America Armed Terrorists in Syria The American Conservative

Senator: US Strikes on Syrian Forces ‘Unlawful’ AntiWar. Tim Kaine…


China, U.S. agree on aim of ‘complete, irreversible’ Korean denuclearization Reuters

China takes delivery of first shipments of American beef in 14 years CNBC

Philippines leads as the ‘most emotional’ country in Asia Asian Correspondent


The World’s Largest Coal Mining Company Is Closing 37 Sites Motherboard (Re Silc).

‘Cow economics’ are killing India’s working class The Conversation

Democrats in Disarray

Back To The Drawing Board: DNC Scientists Just Carried A Screaming Jon Ossoff Down A Hallway Lined With Jon Ossoff Prototypes ClickHole (AMM).

Pelosi’s Pity Problem Matt Stoller, HuffPo. Interesting, though I’d try a “nobless oblige” frame as opposed to “pity.” (Also, Woodrow Wilson, source for a “pity” quote, resegregated the Federal Government. Sure, nobody’s perfect, but still….)

Leave Nancy Pelosi Alone! Joy Reid, Daily Beast. Enjoy….

Democrats and the DNC are Still Terrible Progressive Army

Centrist Democrats are now the great defenders of social justice? Please. The Week

Kimberly Ellis blames Democratic Party ‘hacks’ for losses in Tuesday’s congressional races LA Times

Beyond opposing Trump, Democrats keep searching for a message WaPo

Why the Democratic Party loses – and how it can win again Fabius Maximum. Aggregation, with some shout-outs to NC.

Jane Sanders Lawyers Up Politico

You’ll Never Believe This, but Republicans are Starting a Bernie Sanders Witch Hunt Paste. No problem. I’m sure Democrats will come to Sanders’ defense.

Anthony Kennedy retirement watch at a fever pitch CNN

New Cold War

Trump accuses Obama of inaction over Russia meddling claim BBC.

Lambert here: Thing is, if Trump really were a “Russian puppet,” and the national security “directorate” knew it in October 2016, when Clinton made the claim in so many words, then surely Trump would have had an unfortunate helicopter accident? Or a sudden heart attack? And if Clinton was out over her skis in October, but Obama knew it by January 20, 2017, then surely he wouldn’t have handed over the nuclear codes? And if we’ve only come to know this recently, then didn’t the intelligence community act with remarkable slowness to make its determination, given the stakes? And if Trump is not a Russian puppet (i.e., all those liberal Democrat charges of treason are now inoperative), and now the story is that a bunch of Macedonian teenagers flushed $1.4 billion of Democrat money down the toilet by reposting Russia Today clips on Facebook, don’t Clinton’s Democratic strategists have some ‘splainin’ to do? If it was that easy? And if the actual votes were never hacked — which all sides agree on — but the story is that some registration systems were entered, has the attribution problem really been solved? And on the Podesta email hack or leak: Why exactly is it that the DNC never handed over their servers to the FBI, and why have Brazile and Wasserman Schultz never testified on the matter? Readers, I’m sorry to be so counter-suggestible on all this, but I remember very well the last time the political class and the national security crowd was unanimously agreed on a set of claims that was supported by very thin evidence, and motivated by an ever-shifting narrative: The Iraq WMD fiasco. So it’s not like we don’t have an example, in living memory, of the conventional wisdom being utterly wrong (and a lot of people falling for an intense propaganda campaign, too).

Trump’s CIA Chief Says U.S. Plans to Stop Leaks, ‘Punish’ Leakers Bloomberg

How Fear of Russia Misleads Americans Consortium News. Interview with Thomas Drake.

Dead Man Talking: Comey Finally Delivers – Part Two Nina Illingworth (part one).

Editor’s Note CNN. Oopsie.

Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report Guardian. This is precious:

The researchers found that in the US this took the form of what Samuel Woolley, the project’s director of research, calls “manufacturing consensus” – creating the illusion of popularity so that a political candidate can have viability where they might not have had it before

“Manufacturing consensus.” That reminds me of something…

Trump Transition

Koch network ramps up political spending while trying to push Trump team Politico. “Pence has longstanding ties to the Koch network.” My name is Pence. It rhymes with dense.

Feds hunt down mystery landowners in bid to build border wall Reveal

How America’s friends and enemies have adjusted to the age of Trump FT

Behind the scenes at President Trump’s private talks with the tech industry Recode

Ex-Reagan aide compares Trump’s ascent and presidency to ‘Springtime for Hitler’ Raw Story

Layoffs announced at Boeing plant Trump visited The Hill.

Health Care

The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained and Senate GOP expected to add new penalties for the uninsured into their health bill Sarah Kliff, Vox

Crazy waivers: the Senate bill invites states to gut important health insurance rules Vox

Considered key swing vote, Heller comes out against Senate health care overhaul bill Nevada Independent

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

The Senate GOP Isn’t Fixing Health Care. It’s Waging Class War The Nation

* * *

Candidate for Md. governor says state should start single-payer health program WaPo (Kokuanani).

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelves single-payer healthcare bill, calling it ‘woefully incomplete’ LA Times

California Health Care Bill: Big Corporate Money Opposes Single-Payer Proposal David Sirota, International Business Times

Public support for ‘single payer’ health coverage grows, driven by Democrats Pew Research. Well, some Democrats.

Please Kill Me Now

Facebook founder Zuckerberg tours a few of Iowa’s small towns Des Moines Register

A Presumption of Guilt NYRB

Class Warfare

Great video essay on John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Boing Boing. Worth watching; it turns out that the premise of the movie is technically the same as Gibson’s Virtual Light, but Gibson denatures the political content.

A Declaration of Urban Independence Richard Florida, Politico. Please. It wasn’t the flyover states that crashed the economy. Or sent out the foreclosure notices. Here’s Thomas Frank on intellectual entrepreneur Florida’s last scam: the creative class. I wish Frank would do a similar takedown of Florida’s current one.

No One Has the Data to Prevent the Next Flint WIRED (Re Silc).

In Defense of Net Neutrality Tim Berners-Lee, WSJ

LePage signs food sovereignty law, the first of its kind in the nation Bangor Daily News

Antidote du jour (j84ustin):

Justin writes:

This is a photo of Leo I took while he was taking a nap. I had to let him go last Friday at the age of 16. We had been together since he was 3 and I was 19. It’s hard to believe that my companion of the last 13 years is gone, but he was a wonderful friend that is remembered by

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. Pat


    What a lovely fellow Leo was. I am so glad you had each other for that time. And so sad that time was not near long enough.

        1. j84ustin

          Thank you all – it’s been tough but knowing that I let him go at the right time makes things a little easier.

          1. marieann

            Justin, I am so sorry, Leo looks like he was a wonderful doggie who had a wonderful life.

            Us pet owners know what we get ourselves in to, but the joy they give us outweighs the grief we know we will have to bear.

          2. Jess

            Condolences. Looks like Leo was a lovable and loyal friend. Rest easy knowing you did the right thing, and surely gave him a wonderful life.

    1. Paleobotanist

      Dear Yves

      I hope that the kitty is better. Can the kitty eat Fancy Feast aka kitty crack as our vets call it? There are varieties that come with extra gravy (in Canada) or even just flakes in a thick gravy. Even sick kitties love the gravy and will lap it up. So you pop the top, push the top back in as a plunger to squeeze out the gravy and leave the compressed flakes behind and then offer kitty the gravy. This has helped nurse our sick kitties back to health.

      Also the tuna water from low sodium tuna cans. Make curried tuna cakes from the leftover tuna.

      When Diablo the idiot is in a cone from having lost a fight (again), we take the cone off regularly so he can eat and drink while watching him. Then the ((*&^% cone goes back on. He grumbles but accepts this. We did have to keep him in the cone in his cage for ~6 hours before he agreed to tolerate the cone. We had to cone him unfortunately, he would not leave his wounds alone and was worrying at them making them much worse. Madame la Princess Nefertiti (19 years old) has never tolerated a cone, on the other hand.

      1. Yves Smith

        Thanks for the suggestions! Actually the cat Gabriel is now determined to eat his normal food though it is probably annoying his not-healed gums. He liked soupy food for his wet food (he gets wet food and dry food) but it isn’t as soft as baby food or Fancy Feast (as in it does have pieces of meat/fish). He really wanted to eat his upscale kibble and for the moment I’m putting water on it to soften it up before he gets it.

    2. crittermom

      I am also so sorry to hear of your having to let him go. I understand the deep pain that accompanies that.
      I had to let my best friend/companion go last November, but will never forget that first day we met when he picked me to spend his life with, and all the wonderful years we shared following that.
      It’s the memories, knowing he was happy and enjoyed his life, that helps ease the pain of his departure. I will forever be grateful to him for being there in my hardest of times and alway lifting my spirits with his antics.
      Leo appears to have been happy, as well. He seems to be wearing a smile even while napping and I’ve no doubt he was lucky and grateful, as well, to have you to have shared his life with.

  2. William Beyer

    Lambert: Thanks for your perfect summary of our Russian Derangement Syndrome and Putin-Paranoia. Would “Putinoia” be too obscure as a label?

    1. katiebird

      Yes, his summary really helped me clarify my suspicion of the issue. I am thinking of printing it on a card for handy reference.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        I agree.

        And as the ownership class has learned new tactics of suppression, obfuscation, misdirection, etc, it’s important to note that we THE ACTIVIST NETROOTS are seeing right thru these “scandals” as easily as “pizzagate.”

        We must spread our message far and wide that the true left and all the other workers of flyover country have dignity and worth.

        The suffering and pain is bursting thru the seams and religion is mos def not the opiate of the masses anymore.

    2. John Merryman

      Given the historical significance of Russia/USSR to the security state, what it really is, is political dementia.
      The establishment time warp.

      1. Arizona Slim

        All of this Russia talk has inspired me to learn more about the country and its people. This includes speaking the language.

        So, in my case, the hysteria didn’t provoke fear. It piqued my curiosity.

        1. howard nyc

          Me too. Back during the Ukraine coup and crisis it started. Initially I bought the party line that Putin was the villain, but by the time the Malaysia airliner was shot down, the plethora of lies by the administration and the legacy media had pushed me to understanding the other side of the story.

          I started reading about the history, and started in on some of their literary classics. War and Peace is a really good book! So rare to have something live up to the hype. But it was suggested to me that reading Tolstoy, Pushkin and Dostoyevsky provide insight to understanding the people and the country. Perhaps listening to Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov as well; I’m doing that too, just in case.

          1. Arizona Slim

            I have read books by other Russian authors. I will add your recommendations to my list.

          2. justanotherprogressive

            There is also an excellent series on Russian History on Great Courses (on Roku or some other TV service) if you can get that…..

          3. sleepy

            One of the best imho is Hope Against Hope by Nadia Mandelstam, the wife of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam detailing their life under Stalin.

    3. Mike

      Ditto – both the political veil-lifting as well as the detailed programming critiques have shown that the whole story is now one that should be brought to a jury trial, with the DNC and heads of the Spy Triumvirate (CIA, FBI, NSA) accused of fabrication and false witness. It takes much uncommon sense and critical viewpoint to withstand the bludgeoning propaganda spewing from the elite media (Lambert had said “trickle”, I say “daily flood”), so what little hope is left of our “democracy” resides with a population caught in a whirlwind of myth-making.

      I shudder, but persist.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Morphing, as it is, into an “If the Russians were interfering, why didn’t you do something about it?” issue, the dems are coming dangerously close to overplaying their very weak hand. Again.

      clinton was the overwhelming favorite and Trump was being mercilessly ridiculed as a pompous joke, particularly when the Access Hollywood October surprise was revealed and relentlessly played and quoted. Even Trump was doubting his own prospects, doubling down on his claims of rigging, and he wasn’t talking about the Russians.

      Under these circumstances, obama and his ic buddies want us to believe that they were afraid of being seen as putting a thumb on the election scale?

      The only logical conclusion is that there was no interference at all, or they didn’t care because it wasn’t working and their preferred candidate was going to win in a landslide, so why queer the deal? hillary was winning so no harm, no foul.

      It’s inescapable that this did not become an issue of existential import until the neoliberals lost control and failed to deliver.

      1. fresno dan

        “And if Trump is not a Russian puppet (i.e., all those liberal Democrat charges of treason are now inoperative), and now the story is that a bunch of Macedonian teenagers flushed $1.4 billion of Democrat money down the toilet by retweeting Russia Today clips on Facebook, don’t Clinton’s Democratic strategists have some ‘splainin’ to do?”
        I’m kinda wondering where all the charges of coordination, collusion, and cuddling between the big Zuck and the Russians are….well, maybe not cuddling….well, yeah, cuddling – there was plenty of homosexuality insinuated between Trump and Putin.
        Anyhoo, if Facef*ck posts were so integral and important to the collapse of democracy, should’t there be an investigation into The Zuck???

  3. Kokuanani

    I lost three of my four dogs [ages 14, 12 and 11] over the last 18 months. I know they are welcoming Leo to “doggie heaven.”

    Hugs to you, Justin.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Condolences to you and Justin.
      It’s so hard to lose our doggie companions.

      They stay in our hearts.

    2. John Merryman

      The think about the death of those close to us, is that they take part of us with them and we keep part of them with us.
      As I’ve had to tell my daughter a bit too frequently over the years, if it didn’t hurt, it wasn’t real.

    3. Pat

      Condolences to you and yours, especially your other dog.

      (There is no heaven without dogs, cats and any other non human family.)

    4. IHateBanks

      Although I don’t believe in “heaven”, if there is one, I hope to be reunited will all the dogs I have shared my life with. The people, other than a small handful, not so much.

  4. Emorej a Hong Kong

    Re: Britain’s Financial Power Is Already Seeping Away

    May’s biggest blind spot — that losing many City Of London roles to the Continent would be an inevitable result of her formally initiating the Brexit process, will be Prime Minister Corbyn’s biggest bargaining chip, because losing some of those roles will assist, rather than constrain, some of Corbyn’s desired changes to the UK’s economy.

    1. Anonymous2

      I agree that in the short to medium term (i.e. two to five/seven years) it could work that way. The problem in the longer term is that I do not think anyone has a very clear idea how the UK gets to pay its way if it loses a substantial slice of its current foreign currency earnings. If those are not replaced satisfactorily then living standards in the UK will fall noticeably at a time when the demographics are unfavourable (boomers retiring, ceasing to be major source of tax revenue and export earnings, becoming non-productive users of social and health services).

      In those circumstances the easy temptation will be to become so-called ‘Pirate Island’ (which arguably it already is to a significant degree), a place where no questions are asked about how the money brought in by foreigners has been obtained, where business is sought on a low-tax, low-regulation, low-wage model. Basically a centre for criminals and unsocial activities off the coast of Europe. This is not the basis for a friendly long-term relationship with the neighbours.

      1. ambrit

        Britain has had two wars with the powerful group within “The Neighbours” in the last century. Brexit is just a reversion to the norm for the “sceptred isle.”

  5. Carolinian

    From the Houston Chronicle Block Amazon article.

    For 10 years, the megastore operated in Hearne, north of Bryan, with lower prices and better deals than local businesses. Wal-Mart eventually pulled the plug, but not before Hearne’s downtown was littered with empty storefronts. After the megastore closed, the closest place to buy basic necessities was a 26-mile drive away.

    Link to Hearne, TX business directory

    Several food markets, the usual assortment of dollar stores, an Ace Hardware, McDonalds and other restaurants….for a small town it seems to be fairly well equipped. While Walmart certainly is a behemoth, the notion that it has no competitors is simply untrue because retail is one of the remaining business sectors where there is competition. And while we certainly need better antitrust the first place to apply it would probably be TBTF banks. As for Whole Foods, it was pointed out in a link here yesterday that Whole Foods represents a giant 1.4 percent of the US grocery market. It’s doubtful whether this latest Amazon “threat” even makes sense.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps the author meant ‘for addicted or captured Walmart shoppers.’

      1. GF

        We live in the Prescott AZ metropolis that includes a few small towns around the edges with a total population of about 105,000. There are 3 Walmart stores – 2 in the 45,000 populated Prescott and 1 in the next largest town Prescott Valley. So, 1 Walmart for every 35,000. Does that compare neatly with large city Walmart-to-population ratios?

    2. different clue

      What is important is that these sentiments are showing up in a very mid-American very NON-“bicoastal elite” Local Establishment type of newspaper.

      It means the social political-economic pack ice is beginning to break up and grind around.

  6. fresno dan

    Pro-Trump Porn Stars Are Scared Silent: ‘The Industry Is Biased And No One Will Admit It’

    No wonder the media is failing – not one editor thought to change the headline to “Pr-Trump Porn Stars are Scared Stiff???”

    “She refuses to come out as a Republican.” Well, think of the shame her parents would endure back in her hometown when some porn viewing denizen reveals to all the locals that – ‘I saw Mary Ann Linda Sue Debbie Billy Jean doing a Kentucky Flying Camel, but she screamed out that she is a REPUBLICAN!

    I certainly hope this doesn’t affect the supply of Tammy Faye Bakker porn….

    1. ambrit

      You put out this comment with the understanding, accepted, I’ll wager, by all of the readers here, that “porn” means strictly sexual “performance art.” I’ll suggest that there are similar biases in war porn, and policy porn, and economic porn, etc. etc.
      Tammy Faye, on the other hand, would not surprise me in the least if she “came out” as a swinger, going both ways on the political scene. “We must, as a nation, take care of the weak and helpless among us. The babies and their child mothers and all who fall short. Even while respecting the Commandments and keeping them barefoot and pregnant.”

      1. Mike

        I think Tammy Fay would give liberally to both parties, considering how they operate as religious institutions for those needing a civil, sanctioned religion (civil = public, not genteel).

  7. craazyboy

    Another One Has The Butt! AC/DC

    As promised, today is happy song day!

    I knew it was due because I looked at my junk mail in-basket and saw some headlines by accident. Yikes, whadda bunch of losers out there! Like some email is gonna tell me how to make myself awesome to women and make them lust for my carnal knowledge! Ha.

    Anyway, I contracted this AC/DC earworm reading a NC comment, then during an incoherent happy dream, these words flowed forth in the AM. So, it’s not my fault!

    Management Summary:

    A Happy Song. Apolitical. Target Demographic: Doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat. Could even be a Deplorable, or a Bernie Bro. [some of them have money]


    Some Rs and Ds may actually poll as “morose” – when given this response choice.

    However, based on small, unsupported samplings of non-automated telephone polls using the somewhat dangerous and unreliable “open source” question format, indicated Bernie Bros may respond by laughing heartily and going into some sort of incoherent political diatribe and likely to use non-PC correct language, supplemented with obscene imagery and possible references to “a-holes”, “asshats”, “bunghole divers” and the like. Use caution, and keep the results to yourself, please.

    Another One Has The Butt! AC/DC

    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!
    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!
    The Scuttlebutt
    The new game we all want!

    The Acela has left
    Taking on its heft
    Another one takes its place!

    Hurry up!
    “Pay up now”
    The Trainman says
    – The bank has got your butt!

    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!
    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!
    The Scuttlebutt
    The new game we all want!

    Funny thought, but I line us up
    Lookin’ so naturally.
    Look behind, you got no butt,
    The only butt here is me!

    Line up ..
    Your sisters ..
    Take a look at what I see..
    Yo sister.. she’s got a butt!
    Speakin’ fundamentally.

    It’s a round butt.
    It’s my fav ‘ritt kind!
    Butt you ask, why, not one on me?

    It’s not hard
    To have
    And share it with just me!

    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!
    Butt, Butt, Butt, my Sister has the Butt!
    The Scuttlebutt
    The new butt we all want!

    But truth be told,
    The Diet Plans
    The Plan was steal our Butts!

    Butt, Butt, Butt, The Government stole my Butt!
    Butt, Butt, Butt, The Government stole my Butt!

    Ah…ah.ah…ahhahhh ohhhhh!

    So the game goes on
    It’s no con
    Just a way we all have fun!

    Dr. Doolittle
    The Man
    Has nothing on You and Me!

    We’ll need a dog,
    A great big dog..
    A cat. We’ll need a cat..
    A cat can cataract!

    With a wail ..
    A puffy tail ..
    The cat can really act!

    A Cockatoo. A Parakeet.
    One of them can Tweet.
    If one can talk ..
    We’ll write him in as Presi-tweet!

    So begin the Game..
    Stack the animals up!
    The cat on the big dog’s back.
    Then up, up
    The birdies go on top!

    Then clap, clap, clap
    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!
    Clap, clap, clap
    Butt, Butt, Butt, another one has the Butt!

    The dog, he dances merrily.

    The cat spins round and round..

    Birds. Balance perfectly
    Hopping up and down.
    Flapping wings..
    Waving tails
    But don’t lift off the ground.

    The Parakeet.
    Knows more than just a tweet.
    The cockatoo. Speaks like Greek
    The next Color President!

    The scene goes on
    Spreading mania thru the street.
    The kids come round, dancing to the beat!

    Adults. They first frown
    But loosen up, join into the meet.
    The beat gets down
    Adults start dancing in the street!

    But all good things
    Including this
    Must come to an End.
    Celebrating and partying…
    The animals had their day.

    The birdies jump,
    flap wing and tail
    And safely get away.

    The cat.
    Showgirl from the start.
    A natural, acrobat!
    Sees dinner bow.. Fish!
    Heads for the exit.. stage left.

    The dog, breathing hard,
    A new game for eternity!
    Now he answers, gleefully..
    To the name ………………….

    Butt, Butt, Butt,
    Another one has the Butt!

    Butt, Butt, Butt, my Sister has the Butt!
    Scuttlebutt Butt, Butt.
    The new butt we all want!

    1. diptherio

      um…based on “Another One Bites the Dust,” right? That’s Queen, not AC/DC…or am I trying to put this to the wrong melody?

      1. ambrit

        My query too. I’m not all that “hip” to AC/DC, although I know that the basics of AC/DCery are rampant among the “Below the Beltway” crowd.

      2. craazyboy

        Yikes! Yer right. I never pay any attention to AC/DC either. How embarrassing.

        Anyway, it’s “Another One Bites the Dust!”

        The tunes fits very well. I was gonna post the original from youtube, but I figured everyone had it in memory.

  8. Robert Hahl

    The Secret Lives of Playlists (Watt) is about how Spotify works now (payola). But I still don’t understand how the major record labels make money on music now. iTunes?

    1. visitor

      2016 was the first year the recorded music industry grew in a long time, by 5.9%. In the preceding years, it had lost 40% of its revenues. Summary figures:

      iTunes and other download: down (-20.5%). It is a declining model (only 20% of total revenue).

      Streaming: strongly up (+60.4%). Most new income/revenue originates there (already 30% of all revenue).

      CD and other media: down (-7.6%). Still represents 34% of all sales.

      Broadcasting and other venues: up (+7%). Only represents 14% of revenue.

      figures from IFPI.

      1. Bunk McNulty

        I’ve been a working musician, on and off, for almost 50 years. I am grateful that I’m still working, and also that I am no longer involved in trying to market my music. This story left my head spinning.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I still listen to my 268 thumbs up songs on Pandora lol

      And I don’t pay.

  9. yarnovergirl

    Re: Zuckerberg… At this point, seems like it would be difficult to argue that he isn’t planning to run for the Democratic nomination (this, plus him legally paving the way for himself to take up a “government position” and yet still be in charge at Facebook, plus his ostentatious announcement a few years back that he would donate 99% of his fortune to “charity” — a charity that creates more Facebook users). I just wanted to ask how you fellow readers are interpreting this possibility. Like, how much despair should I be in? It seems highly likely that the political class and national Dems would love him; would other Dem primary voters be willing to hand him the nomination, given enough mainstream and social media-generated propaganda? And would he then be able to poach the millennial vote from lefty Democrats? And I say this as a millennial, but I’m not on Facebook (anymore).

    The idea of a Trump vs. Zuckerberg election makes me want to die…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      To be honest, I think it would be hilarious. I’ve no doubt Zuckerberg is being encouraged by highly paid insider ‘consultants’, but (see my comment below), the hubris of Silicon Valley types knows no bounds. I can’t see any set of circumstances where someone like Zuckerberg won’t get eaten alive when he steps into a real, live political arena. Politicians are actually very good at what they do, which is why so few non-politicians succeed when they try.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m reminded of every general touted for high political office. Yes, they meet many check marks, but in the end, they aren’t ready for the democratic process. Washington, Grant, and Ike (known for his ability to soothe egos of other generals) were generals, but besides Washington having an army held together by his personality, they won major wars.

        Cuban if he didn’t tend towards libertarianism would be someone who could do it.

      2. johnnygl

        Yes, politicians are good at what they do….and so are the consultants! They are great at finding a juicy piece of prey like zuckerberg.

        Bloomeberg, to his credit, never fell for the flattery from the political class and the consultants. He must know that he can’t win more than around 15% of the vote.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      True, but it makes me want to die slightly less than a Bush/Clinton tete a tete so we Trump to thank for that small blessing ;)

      Not a Fleecebook user myself, but maybe, pace the number of accounts he has on his social media platform, Zuckerberg himself isn’t quite as popular as he thinks he is. I hear rumors that the kids these days think FB is for old people…

      1. Arizona Slim

        And the old people are leaving FB. So are the middle-aged people.

        I’m running into quite a few people who are closing their FB pages or cutting back on their Facebook time.

        1. optimader

          Face book is a toxic, fake convenience.
          A blackhole vortex that sucks personal data and creates new associations. It’s just getting started, and any info you’ve chucked into the FB domain is there forever.
          Anyone that feigns angst about privacy concerns yet uses facebook is not doing themselves any favors …. . Kill it with fire

          Gentlemen, start your cognitive engines. The future is this:

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            Would it not be a tad awkward in terms of FB being owned by a political candidate ? I imagine he would go down very well with many, as did that bloody awful film biography.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sounds like the D party.

          “Can’t keep existing customers.”

          As Maurice Chevalier said in Fanny, “Thank heavens for little or young, and new customers.”

          And we know many bad guys will mis-use that naive song for no good.

          1. ambrit

            Is that a paraphrase of the song “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” from “Gigi?” Which story, by the way, fits your exegesis perfectly since the plot is about a young girl being groomed to be a rich playboys’ mistress.
            So, yet another point of congruence between the “Mauve Decade,” or the age of the Robber Barons, and todays’ neo-plutocracy.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The businessman schtick appeals to Republicans, hence Trump. Democratic and Republican voters are entirely different people. The Dem elites fail time and time again because they are Republicans and despise Dem voters.

      The kind of people who caucus and vote in primaries are different. They actually take it seriously in NH and Iowa.

      Hillary was a major disruption in 2008 and 2016 because she had the profile of an incumbent or Vice President. People had developed bizarre fantasies about her views over the years and we’re attached. Zuck is a weird guy who dropped out of college and clearly doesn’t know very much. He went to Harvard and used JK Rowling and Beyonce as examples. Zuck is what people who want Bloomberg to run think a young person is like. Zuck doesn’t have Hillary’s attachment in the population. It’s Facebook, not Zuckerbook.

      He is still a billionaire. This is more of a hindrance among Democratic voters than is realized by the elites. Obama and Clintons financial status when they ran was a huge plus.

      As far as despair, none. Zuck will flounder with the other weenies such as Cuomo and Booker if he doesn’t get bored or overwhelmed and quits. If he doesn’t show in Iowa and NH (I mean 30 stops in a weekend, not he walked around and said he invented a Hot or Not site, where he is willing to discuss ethanol and single payer), he is going no where. It’s not easy. If you need coaches and pr people for every appearance, you are done.

      The kinds of people who will be astonished by Facebook running won’t caucus or vote in the primary, regardless of their feed.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        zuck came in for some effusive, well-deserved ridicule on meet the press this morning for his “golly, gee, a real truckstop!” post, combined with his obsession with self-driving trucks.

        One panelist even called it a “parody” of the cluelessness so prevalent in today’s existing or would-be politicians.

        He might need to buy the nyt or cnn to keep the chuckling to a minimum if he decides to do this.

        1. optimader

          He will have his out of touch geo bush, what’s a gallon of milk cost/what is a barcode scanner?, moment and politically explode . You can seal that prediction in an envelope and throw it in the back of the pencil drawer.

          Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed
          Published: February 5, 1992

          ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 4— As President Bush travels the country in search of re-election, he seems unable to escape a central problem: This career politician, who has lived the cloistered life of a top Washington bureaucrat for decades, is having trouble presenting himself to the electorate as a man in touch with middle-class life.
          Today, for instance, he emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.
          Visiting the exhibition hall of the National Grocers Association convention here, Mr. Bush lingered at the mock-up of a checkout lane. He signed his name on an electronic pad used to detect check forgeries.
          “If some guy came in and spelled George Bush differently, could you catch it?” the President asked. “Yes,” he was told, and he shook his head in wonder.
          Then he grabbed a quart of milk, a light bulb and a bag of candy and ran them over an electronic scanner. The look of wonder flickered across his face again as he saw the item and price registered on the cash register screen.
          “This is for checking out?” asked Mr. Bush. “I just took a tour through the exhibits here,” he told the grocers later. “Amazed by some of the technology.”
          Marlin Fitzwater, the White House spokesman, assured reporters that he had seen the President in a grocery store. A year or so ago. In Kennebunkport.

            1. ambrit

              But that political “explosion” did not stop “Shrub” from being President for two terms and enabling the neo-liberal lemming like “march to the sea.”
              “Thalassa massa!” The end is in sight? I don’t know. Maybe the neos will execute a sharp left turn inland and end up in some lonely grave like their predecessors.

              1. optimader

                yes then vs now, this was the election where Clinton crushed Geo Bush senior, who was “unbeatable” due to his what turned out to be mercurial Gulf War “halo”. He was able to grasp defeat out of a certain victory due in large part to his out of touch presentation..

                At that time Jr was merely an alcoholic campaign advisor in the employ of his fathers reelection campaign committee

        2. David Carl Grimes

          I wonder what will happen if he does by the NYT. If Bezos has Wapo, Zuck will have NYT

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Just to make sure there is no monkey business and interference, he should also buy Russia Today.

      2. yarnovergirl

        I’m glad you and others here aren’t worried about the possibility of a Zuckerberg run, and I’ll take heart from that. 2015-16 was the first time that I obsessively followed the developments in a Democratic primary. I was shocked by the, as you say, fantasies and emotional attachment of Clinton partisans — at least, those who did not belong to the only ranks of society Clinton cared about; but I see your point that HRC may have been an exceptional case. I hope that proves true! Lord knows I would love to see Zuckerberg run and get trounced.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The huge gap between Clinton voters and Clinton non-voters coincides with people who were old enough to vote in 1996 and 2000. Many HRC voters had already pulled the lever for Bill. Throw in the novelty and what do you have! Don’t underestimate the importance of Hillary being the world’s most prominent cuckold too. And I know people don’t believe me, but Hillary is likeable. She has charisma. She’s not the slitherer her husband is, but she can tell a joke. Obama couldn’t tell a joke. People laughed because he was a goofy looking guy who was earnest and had charisma out the wazoo. The “Co-Presidency” narrative has been around since 1992. Hillary could make the case she was an active player in the Clinton White House and had Bill to turn to when she needed to know about math. She was going to put Bill in charge of the economy. What does Zuck have?

          Sanders had a point to his run beyond “wanting to be President” which I’m not sure he did or would in normal circumstances. There is a sense of genuine concern eminating from Sanders, old white guy alert. Zuck is like Ossoff, Obama without the charisma. Why does Zuck want to run for President? He doesn’t have much of a point except he wants to be President. The sentiment that brought Sanders to national prominence will only grow as time progresses.

          For the most part, I think this is “strategists” milking Zuck’s ego or a bait and switch for Sheryl Sandberg who also won’t be President, but she would make a stronger showing than Zuck.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What does Zuck have?

            He has a Rump D party, when 13 million voters show up elsewhere, in some other party.

    4. Jen

      I’m trying to decide who will fare worse in the NH primaries: Zuck or Cuomo. What a time to be alive! And to think it’s only 938 days (more or less) away.

      If some wants to fund a border wall between NH and MA, I’m in.

      1. Pat

        I might want it to be Cuomo since I want his presidential aspirations in ashes asap, but for reasons cited above it will probably be Zuckerberg.

        One thing about Trump, he is a salesman who can read his audience. Zuckerberg has less charm, no ability to read an audience and is possibly even more clueless than Clinton regarding the state of the public. He will not be able to sell himself as a viable and desirable candidate.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Zuck does worse if Trump doesn’t have a GOP challenger*. Cuomo if Trump has a GOP challenger. The people who think Trump is too crass/undignified might swing to Cuomo because Republicans still love that false tough guy image. Unless the rules have changed, registered independents can choose the primary they want to vote in.

        *Any challenger, it doesn’t have to be significant. Cuomo and Zuck will do so poorly a minor shift in the force will decide who comes out on top between the two.

      3. bronco

        What so NH can keep the flatflanders out ? Or does mass want to push some north to NH and the wall is to keep them up there?

        1. Jen

          To deter the mongol hordes of presidential aspirants. I figure Maine and Vermont are too full of deplorables, and the Canadian border is too far from civilization so walling off Massachusetts should do the trick. There would be additional benefits, of course…but winter would be dull without the constant entertainment of watching an MA driver zoom past me on a snow covered road, and then finding them upside down in the center median a mile later.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Number one rule when one’s retreating: Make sure valuables don’t fall into enemy hands.

        You take away 13 million voters, and they show up elsewhere, in some other party, how much or what does Zuck swallow?

        1. different clue

          If the Zuck-man gets photo-opped with Hillary and/or Chelsea Clinton, esPECially if he gets their endorsement, then he will get every last one of the millions upon millions upon millions of Klinton Koolaid Kult voters. All those serried ranks of Clinton devotees who hates them some Sanders and loves them some Pink Kitty Kap.

    5. Pookah Harvey

      If small d democrats allow Zuckerberg to be the nominee it would drive me to become a George Carlin cynic and just sit back and enjoy the “freak show“.


    6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I think there is a real possibility Zuckerburg follows in the “RESIST” faux grassroots tradition cowtowing to the Obama/Clintonite wing of the DNC.

      I expect lots of “smart” people will come together and be the antithesis of Trump.

    7. different clue

      It would make me vote for Trump. Then again, so would Trump v Booker, Trump v McCauliffe, Trump v Cuomo, Trump v almost-anyone-the-Clintonite Pelosibamacrats would ever nominate.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Uber and Tesla are showing ominous signs that the era of auto disruption may be about to come to an abrupt end Business Insider

    I think the traditional car companies will prove far more resilient and smart than the ‘innovators’ and their funders realise. As Apple have found out the hard way, building good cars in huge numbers is enormously difficult, far harder than making phones. Most ‘new’ entrants to the industry even in the 20th Century (e.g. the Japanese and Korean makers) took decades of investment and hard work to catch up with the established players.

    I don’t own a car, but I was driving a rental a few weeks ago – it was a high end German car (lucky me, I got an upgrade) with lots of electronics, including a series of electronic gizmos for telling me if I’m drifting from my lane, or too close to other traffic, etc. It occurred to me that these devices aren’t just for helping drivers – the companies must be reaping a vast amount of data of real world driving from these devices, and I’d be amazed if the car companies aren’t quietly using this to get ahead of the start-ups. German companies were involved in developing self driving cars as far back as the 1980’s and still have all the data. BMW have invested heavily in zip car type set-ups.

    Even allowing for all the BS associated with Uber and Tesla and Google, they seem to suffer an enormous hubris about the traditional car companies. But I’d still bet that if there is a huge disruption caused by self driving or different ownership models or electric cars, it will be led by a BMW or a Toyota, not a SF based start-up.

    1. IHateBanks

      But I’d still bet that if there is a huge disruption caused by self driving or different ownership models or electric cars, it will be led by a BMW or a Toyota, not a SF based start-up.

      Finally, a topic on NC where I can possibly make a contribution of value to some. I agree totally with the article and the comment above. The manufacturers are definitely in the catbird seat, as these technologies mature.

      Here are my thoughts. I am an owner/operator of a independent service garage for Euro vehicles, primarily of German ilk.

      We have very expensive subscriptions to BMW, MBenz, Volkswagen/Audi Group information, at the manufacturers level (Thank You, Right to Repair Legislation!!). I see, in precise detail, the reams of service bulletins, recalls, and daily technical snafus that even the engineers who built them struggle to rectify. I don’t know how these companies stay in business, other than by reducing their warranties, which BMW did in 2017.

      Most of these vehicles have to undergo multiple updates, recalls and work arounds for problems, as they are rolled off the delivery truck, before they can be sold. They have become high tech garbage. From the repair side, the crapification abounds!

      Developing “AutOminous” products in a manufacturers lab, then translating them in to safe, road worthy vehicles is a HUGE step. From my vantage point in the industry, they still have a long way to go. I think many of the older demographic here will not see it in their lifetime, despite the latest PR releases to the contrary.

      Now back to figuring out how to keep my business relevant as this debacle unfolds!

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’ve heard similar stories from people who work in the industry – and horror stories from people who paid big money for upmarket cars.

        I think that one problem is that technologically, cars matured back in the 1960’s. Since then, its just been incremental improvements, often sent backwards by safety requirements (look at how cars like the VW Golf have gotten bigger and heavier over time, while not having all that much better interior space or overall performance). The result is that those makers who want to occupy the very profitable high end of the market have to keep adding gadget upon gadget to justify the extra cost. The average mass market car is so well engineered these days that its only with new tech than an Audi or Lexus or BMW can justify a price 30% above the equivalent Ford or Toyota.

        But inevitably, all this complexity is making them less reliable and less repairable. In many ways they are going backwards. There is a lot to be said I think for only going for the simplest, cheapest cars. If you want things like a great stereo, buy a separate set of speakers for your mobile phone and use that instead. Or, like me, just rent when you need one!

        1. Carl

          The 90s and a bit of the 2000s were a great time for cars. Still simple, not much tech. We have three in our driveway, and don’t forsee updating any time soon. I briefly owned a 2010 VW and a 2012 Hyundai and neither of those had anything that I considered vital for operating a motor vehicle. I think most of the consumer dissatisfaction with new cars these days has to do with the frustrating tech experience.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          PK: I think that one problem is that technologically, cars matured back in the 1960’s.

          I don’t know, todays cars are far better engineered in countless ways compared to those from the sixties. Incredibly better in terms of performance (a beater Camry V-6 faster in acceleration than a Ferrari Dino 246), safety, chassis sophistication, emissions, and fuel economy, NVH, comfort, appointments etc.

          But at the same time I drive an eighties Honda and consider modern cars massively over-engineered, crapped up with failure-prone gimmicky features, and needlessly complicated and unserviceable. The Germans are among the worst at the latter. If VW marketed a stripper Polo in the US with window winders, and radio knobs, I would almost consider buying a five-year old example when they came on the market.

      2. HotFlash

        Thank you, IHateBanks,

        My experience with auto(mobile)-economics was 4-5 decades (! how’d that happen?) ago, when computers were just starting to be vital parts of the car. Appreciate the update — looks like the same goals by more efficient means.

        And thank you esp for ‘AutoOminous’, I will totally steal that!

      3. Octopii

        My last BMW was a ’95, and that one was too plastic-y and numb-feeling. Fave was a grey market E21 323i — just a light metal shell, no power steering, limited slip diff, and a lovely motor. That’s all I ever needed. If only they could have kept them from rusting away in those days…

        1. IHateBanks

          This probably a dead thread by now, but just in case. I won’t personally own anything past 2006. I love old Benz. I have a 2000 and 2001 E class wagons with 4matic (all wheel drive), kick the door closed if your hands are full daily driver, haul trash, dogs, hay, livestock feed etc., and a 2006 S500 as a road trip car. Total value in the resale market is maybe $18k. Total of 640k miles between the 3 of them at 26-28 mpg highway mileage. Awesome cars, and safe.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Vast amount of data…

      Can’t they better exhaust their energy tracking and collecting data, say, about ants?

      Put an inheritable tracking device in their DNA, and we can make sure ants will never defeat us.

      1. a different chris

        Or we will realize that it’s truly hopeless and simply enjoy what we have until the Ant Overlords finish their plan.

    3. different clue

      Someone at work has been oh-so-playfully badgering me about when am I going to buy a car? And when I read a story in the NYTimes ( meaning it finally broke into the Official Mainstream) about how computerised cars would become ever more hackable, ever more holdable-to-ransom, ever more remotely drivable off a bridge or into an oncoming truck, I finally had an answer for him.

      I told him: ” based on what I have read in the NYTimes, I can now tell you when I plan to buy my first car. My official answer is: Never. Ever. That is when I am going to buy a car. Never. Ever.

      I will not put myself inside a computer with wheels on it. Never. Ever.

      Perhaps the Japanese will come to my rescue by neo–pioneering a new wave of cars which are largely or completely analog.

  11. hreik

    Oh Gorgeous Leo! I am so sorry Justin.

    Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.

      1. Kokuanani

        Justin, I’ve worked in dog rescue for many years, so in addition to the three mentioned above, we’ve had several dogs pass through this household. My children, now 31 and 29, were small when the first dogs came [and later went], and we began a tradition that we continue til today: we start a “What I Loved About [insert pet name here]” list. [A list has been made for hamsters, cats and guinea pigs as well.]

        When we all lived in the same house, it was easy to assimilate everyone’s contributions. With these last three deaths, everyone is far-flung, yet e-mailed their remarks, and I put together the list.

        We take out the list for a particular pet occasionally and have a laugh and a few tears in our remembering. It does keep them alive better than our unassisted brains might.

        Warm thoughts to you and your kindness.

  12. DJG

    Three observations: I’m not sure that the current Republican Party would become the political home of a group of Lebanese immigrants anymore, as Zogby points out about his uncles.

    A Zogby mis-observation: Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have been elite and out of touch after all those accomplishments by Bill and Barack. He’s missing the point. This problem is forty years old, and Bill Clinton’s desperate triangulation is one major symptom.

    Yes, the Resistance is not to be used lightly. Albert Camus edited Combat clandestinely. Hard to put out issues of Combat-meme when you are slapping bumper stickers on your Prius that you’re a member of the “Resistance.”

  13. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding the Joy Reid apologia for Pelosi, the Democrats don’t simply have a “fight problem”, they have a neoliberal problem.

    Pardon me while I shed a few crocodile tears for Nancy Pelosi.

    There, done.

    Sorry, but no amount of PR is going to convince voters that Pelosi is anything other than an identity politician whose first loyalty is to her corporate donors.

    Still waiting for my hometown paper, the SF Chronicle, to have the courage to even print the word “neoliberal”, much less devote editorial space to explaining it to readers in this famously “progressive” city. When they finally do, and admit this is at the core of the rot of the Democratic Party, well, maybe then things will start to change.

    1. Mike

      There is a growing hatred of Reid, also – she is coming across as feminist-before-functionary. Her wet-love for Hillary has now become a reaction to any critique of any woman in Democratic clothing.

      And, while this is probably scripted by the DNC tribe, as a national message it puts her and the DNC squarely within the “pity” and “noblesse oblige” swamp pointed our by Matt Stoller. Poor women who can’t become President/CEO of anything, because they’re not vampiric enough, do not listen to this hogwash, as it does nothing for them.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The ladies of reid’s weekend edition of the view are dustin’ off the pussy hats this morning.

      They are particularly enamored with pelosi’s spunk in referring to herself as “worth the trouble.”

      Apparently, such an attitude is “woke,” and is indisputable evidence of her worthiness and prowess.

      1. craazyboy

        Found these little fellas on youtube. Glowing worms!

        I bet they speak on the same level, and lite up (at both ends?!!!) indicating they’re woke!

        I feel the beginnings of a new song.

        “Woke, woke, woke…Another time when we woke!”

        Stroke, stroke, stroke. Our Dear Leader had a stroke!

        1. HotFlash

          Broke broke broke, when I left the WH I was broke.

          You can have that for free, but, um there’s a problem with the meter. Sorry.

          1. craazyboy

            Broke, broke, broke.

            The WH left me broke!

            The White House “N”
            Gets to hit the street
            Lookin’ primped and neat.

            Swamp, swamp, swamp

            My fortune I will meet!

            A Million here, a million there
            My speeches can’t be beat
            Soon. I’ll have enough to eat!

            It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

            My mind is going like a hurricane most of the time.

            I think I have a temperature.

            Dunno what happened. I think something broke.

    3. Mike

      And another point- give up hoping newspapers will ever analyze anything in a “fair and balanced” way. They are, to use a phrase from Joe McCarthy, “fellow travelers” who follow the money and accede to money. Hope for leopards to change spots – much more entertaining and productive, given genetic mutation practices these days.

    4. ewmayer

      “Still waiting for my hometown paper, the SF Chronicle…” — Na ga happen anytime soon, I fear. Bay Area is IdPol central, and on the economic-side for the local corporo-media it’s all about fawning over the Tech Disrupter class.

    5. John Wright

      Speaking of Driftwood’s home town paper, here is Willie Brown’s take on Pelosi from the June 24 SF Chronicle.


      “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is catching unholy hell from her Democratic colleagues over the Georgia debacle. I know, because I’m getting their calls. The line in each call is pretty much the same — that the Democrats will never regain control of the House or even the Senate if Pelosi remains the “face of the party.” They tell me it’s time to move on to someone new. I tell them they’re dreaming. The most likely replacement, if Pelosi should walk or take a fall, is Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland. The 78-year-old Hoyer is no new face or change agent, and neither are any of the other Democrats in the leadership line. Pelosi has never been one to seek the spotlight, but these days she’s the only Democrat in the House who can command national attention. And you’d be hard-pressed to find any Democrat who can match her work ethic or fundraising prowess. So Democrats, be careful what you ask for. You might wind up with even less.”

      In Brown’s view, there isn’t a better replacement for Pelosi waiting in the wings.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        “And you’d be hard-pressed to find any Democrat who can match her work ethic or fundraising prowess. So Democrats, be careful what you ask for. You might wind up with even less.”

        When the politics are neoliberal, the less effectual the politician; the better the result. Bring on the third and fourth stringers falling asleep at their desks!

    6. different clue

      I learned to hate Pelosi many years ago, long before the Clintonite Obamacrats’ well deserved losses in so many recent elections.

      I learned to hate Pelosi when she supported NAFTA. And she re-inforced my hatred with ” Impeachment is off the table.”

      So I don’t “want Pelosi removed” for the reasons which Reid laments in her article. I want her removed as part of a general removal of all the Third Way DLC Clintonite-Borenite-Fromite New Democrats from the Democratic Party. I want the Democratic Party to be a Party of Red Gingriches who can make the Republicans cry by spraying some gasoline on them and then throwing a lit match.

    1. ambrit

      Oh, don’t blame Donald too much. This is the old political joke repurposed; “We’re from the Government and we’re here to help you.”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s better than to hear ‘You’re already doing great. By the way, your dirty job is not coming back.’

  14. justanotherprogressive

    OT but I did have a little taste of the future yesterday. Like what would happen if we loose Net Neutrality……

    Something weird happened to my internet carrier, and although someone explained it to me, I still don’t understand it enough to repeat it: Something about switching relays or something….apparently the internet comes through multiple lines….

    I could get Amazon and Facebook, but I couldn’t get Google or Netflix to come up. I could get Zero Hedge but I couldn’t get NC. I also couldn’t get to my school and homework websites to work. I could get to my bank, but not to Verizon or anyone else to pay my bills. After a while, I was just “surfing” to see what was “blocked” and most of my usual sites were. I couldn’t get to NYT, but I could get to WaPo….and on and on it went….

    I thought it was my computer at first (malware maybe?), and after a couple of hours with the geniuses, we finally figured out that the carrier had a problem, and when we called them, they confirmed it…..

      1. justanotherprogressive

        When the carrier tech was trying to explain it to us, both the genius and I just rolled our eyes – we didn’t understand a word he was saying…..or how any of this made sense….

        I was hoping someone here could help me understand what switching relays and multiple lines had to do with why we couldn’t get some sites…..he did say something about how the signal couldn’t “hop” back and forth like it’s supposed to?????

        I was just happy it wasn’t my computer….

        1. justanotherprogressive

          When the carrier tech was trying to explain it to us, both the genius and I just rolled our eyes – we didn’t understand a word he was saying…..or how any of this made sense….

          I was hoping someone here could help me understand what switching relays and multiple lines had to do with why we couldn’t get some sites…..he did say something about how the signal couldn’t “hop” back and forth like it’s supposed to?????

          I was just happy it wasn’t my computer….

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Update: Reading the “downdetector reports” for Centurylink Boise, I guess someone was told by a Centurylink tech that they are upgrading to a “vectored service” and are having trouble with the equipment which requires the first “hop” to be physically worked and they are having trouble with this, which may(?) have been what the person told us in jargon…..

            Does that help anyone understand what is going on with this?

            Sorry for that second post – I don’t know what I did here to do that……..something stupid no doubt…..

            1. HotFlash

              Totally not a techie here, but I write and host a number of websites (have done so for decades). Nuthin’ like this ever happened to me. But if it did, I would not tolerate such a lame excuse from my IT, DNS or web-host guys. Hmmm, (sniff sniff) I smell BS.

              1. justanotherprogressive

                You both could be right, but unfortunately we only have a choice of two internet carriers and the other one is much worse. I was paying for 40 MBPS and rarely got more than 4 or 5, usually around 2 (except around 5AM when I could get close to 40…)……I couldn’t watch a movie without it constantly buffering….

                1. ambrit

                  Yeah, same here. Little to no “competition.”
                  No one ever mentions nationalizing the Internets, and making them cheap.

                    1. ambrit

                      Good start!
                      Now, how about making all government employees use only Social Security as their retirement system? The double standard used for pensions is glaring. Even the Supreme Court recognized that “separate is inherently unequal.”

                    2. bob

                      Wifi was never meant to handle that broad a network.

                      Wifi is not infrastructure. What is? Nothing currently on offer, beyond fiber. Could it be worked out wirelessly? Probably, but not with the available/current RF spectrum and standards.

                      Wifi is used too often to derail real muni “internet”. They are two very different levels of service, levels of magnitude apart.

            2. Anon

              The story you described involving “switching relays,” “multiple lines,” and “signals hopping back and forth” is nonsense.

              CenturyLink is rolling out vectoring (crosstalk cancellation between the CenturyLink DSLAM and the customer-side modem) in some areas, but problems related to that would not cause the problems you described.

    1. JustAnObserver

      Sounds to me like either (a) Some kind of DNS (Domain Name Service) corruption or (b) A routing table mess-up where the how-to-get-from-here-to-there info is not getting propagated correctly (*).

      Have you tried using traceroute on the inaccessible sites to see how far you packets are getting ? Maybe compare with some accessible sites to see the path differences.

      (*) Not sure what protocol’s in use these days – used to be RIP2.

  15. Sputnik Sweetheart

    Ralph Nader talks about the history of the Democratic party’s slide into neoliberalism with this interview:

    The Democrats began the process of message preceding policy. No — policy precedes message. That means they kept saying how bad the Republicans are. They campaigned not by saying, look how good we are, we’re going to bring you full Medicare [for all], we’re going to crack down on corporate crime against workers and consumers and the environment, stealing, lying, cheating you. We’re going to get you a living wage. We’re going to get a lean defense, a better defense, and get some of this money and start rebuilding your schools and bridges and water and sewage systems and libraries and clinics.

    Instead of saying that, they campaign by saying “Can you believe how bad the Republicans are?” Now once they say that, they trap their progressive wing, because their progressive wing is the only segment that’s going to change the party to be a more formidable opponent. Because they say to their progressive wing, “You’ve got nowhere to go, get off our back.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You may have no luck in life, but look at how bad those evil Right-Wingers or Russians are!!!

      Basically, the same script in many Hollywood movies.

      Sometimes, the you-can-identify hero recovers the girl, who picks love over money, or some Messiah, some savior or saint rescues humanity.

      And we go home from theater relieved of our rage.

      “Let’s go to bed. I’m too retired for revolution. Tomorrow is another day (of slaving away at work).”

    2. RenoDino

      Democrat elites did more than say, “Can you believe how bad the Republicans are?” and “get off our back.” They tied the progressives to the railroad tracks and let the Republican train run over them. Big difference. This makes Bernie’s pre and post-election cooperation with the party pretty despicable. In the end, he always puts formality over substance like any good member in standing of the loyal opposition.

      1. John k

        I disagree. Some things he’s done were disappointing to me, but now I think pragmatic, I think always doing his best to answer the question. ‘What is the best path forward out of the mess we’re in from where we are now?’ And at every point the view of the obstacles, and the best path forward, is a little different from what he could see at previous moments.
        His history is of always willing to compromise, and get half the loaf, or even just a slice, rather than nothing at all.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      It doesn’t matter to our press if it is true or not, or what actually happened…..just the accusations are enough…..

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not so much proven fraud as typical education industrial complex issues – losing teachers, ever richer administrators and more costly tuition.

      Were it a public college, free college tuition would have retained or expanded its customer base (more revenue), and grandfathered or locked in those cushy administrator salaries.

      That’s a potential conflict of interest there.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I read the Politico story. If Jane Sanders is guilty of anything, it’s incompetence as a college administrator.

        And, if you have spent any time around academia, you will learn that administrative incompetence is widespread.

    3. Vatch

      This must mean that government prosecutors are finally serious about going after the senior executives and billionaires who caused the Great Financial Collapse of 2008.

      Just kidding! That’ll never happen.

  16. Mike

    RE: Jane Sanders Lawyers Up

    I have read the details of the Burlington College issue before when posted during the primaries, and thought it was a hatchet job by HRC’s crew that would probably have legs if used by the alt-right media. While the land purchase and subsequent failure of the college are questionable, the situation allows for wiggle room for her, and would be a difficult case in court, in my opinion.

    However, that being said, it is also true that no politician existing today would get anywhere near running, let alone election, if there wasn’t a skeleton in some closet. No current front-man/woman can rise to any level without some questionable actions.

    To whit, Bernie’s support for the armaments industry in Vermont and the long periods while in the Senate when he did not put forward the issues he raised during the campaign (free education in public colleges, universal healthcare). But, pointedly, his continuing presentation of himself as a ‘democratic socialist’ a la Mike Harrington, when in practice he was a Roosevelt Democrat a la the “Monthly Review” crowd of old-line Stalinists who, back in the 30’s were directed by the CPUSA to vote Democratic while speaking CP candidates. For a socialist, support for Democrats has always been “lesser of two evils”, but Bernie has made retaining the Party the principle upon which he builds his “revolution”.

    Bernie SAYS he is a socialist, but Joe Stalin SAID he was a Communist, and if Twitter was current then, he probably would’ve sent a “just jokin'” out to all the national CP’s, then ask them to obey the Hitler pact. Actions speak much louder than words.

    1. Toolate

      Actions do. And his track record of actually doing the right thing some of the time even if not all of the time is pretty remarkable.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The risk is retaining the party and handling it over to Zuck, Chelsea/Hillary or others like them.

      “Hey, we have captured it with the infrastructure intact.”

      Maybe it’s time to relocate some electoral factories east to the American political Siberia, just to be safe, ahead of the advancing neoliberal war machine.

      Devout Hindus would say, well, Shiva is the fact of life. “No destruction, no growth.”

      Young saplings in a dense forest also agree.

    3. Mac na Michomhairle

      Sorry, Bernie rose to political position long, long before this college stuff, and by actually enacting good things in the real world through hard work on the ground of administration day after day. He initially achieved national office through a fluke election, but built a bigger and bigger voter base every year by standing up for ordinary people. No, once in Congress, he didn’t then ceaselessly call for the enactment of everyone’s socialist wish list, because people who do that achieve nothing and end up owning a political party that gets 200 votes state-wide.

      Beefing up an illusive argument with vague allusions to Stalin does nothing to support that argument.

      1. Mike

        Mac, I think you miss the point. Bernie is a practical politician in a capitalist world that he recognizes as permanent in its economic basic outlines. His policies are not socialist, not because he thinks practically, but because he caves to the “reality” of private ownership of production, just like any capitalist would want. That is what you support right now, and you see it in his retreat from the candidates he could endorse and the “get along, go along” approach to the Russian hack story.

        If you know anything about the history of socialism, you know this argument has a long history within all the parties and “fractions” within them. Socialism means something deeper than its Scandinavian or pan-European excrescence at this moment. You ask the same clarity and principle in a Progressive, as you should.

        In short, Bernie is a compromiser, and they end up surrendering at their weakest points. You can see his weaker points now. Support him if you will, but don’t treat him like the second coming. If you don’t hold his feet to the fire, the feet in the fire will be yours.

    4. different clue

      Any specific evidence that the young Sanders was a CPUSA member and following documentable covert instructions from the USSR-based Stalin Party?

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ex-Reagan aide compares Trump’s ascent and presidency to ‘Springtime for Hitler’ Raw Story

    It’s always Springtime for the Leader in Hollywood…in that they prefer healthy looking, Nordic type heroes and heroines.

    Perhaps that explains the rage; someone is muscling on the business.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report Guardian. This is precious:

    The researchers found that in the US this took the form of what Samuel Woolley, the project’s director of research, calls “manufacturing consensus” – creating the illusion of popularity so that a political candidate can have viability where they might not have had it before

    The ugly reality?

    Elections are about popularity have more votes, you win. Then again, you can win elections based on fake popularity.

    You can generate peer pressure so some feel the need to be with the issues/candidates popular.

    And one is never completely free of peer pressure, until one confronts death or starvation, for most.

    1. jawbone

      The Guardian seems to need new or more editors. The phrase “manufacturing consensus” looks to owe much to the phrase “manufacturing consent.”

      Since the very similar phrase, “manufacturing consent,” was brought to the public’s attention by the book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, it would seem that a good editor would have mentioned that.

      But, to the writer of the article and seemingly to his or her editor (I couldn’t find an author), it seems that the phrase is new to them and thus no attribution to its likely source.

  19. paul

    Nice that ‘They Live’ getting even more recognition.

    Saw John Carpenter playing his greatest hits last year.
    Absolute dynamite.

    Possibly even more influential as a musician than a film maker

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Five London towers evacuated over fire safety concerns France24

    Why Grenfell Tower Burned: Regulators Put Cost Before Safety NYT

    Regulators also know low rates lead to bubbles and crashes…and deaths.

    Another case of putting cost (lowering for speculators) before safety.

    Do we ‘evacuate towering valuation stocks?’

    “OK, everyone, to the exit this way.”

    1. Altandmain

      The cruel reality is that the liberal and conservative politicians are both corrupt.

      Likewise in the US, the Democratic Establishment is no different than the Blair Labour faction in the UK.

  21. Mike

    Re: Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report

    The Chomsky-Herman thesis, spoken to by many before and after them, is finally getting more “airtime” even though it will not be repeated by our esteemed reputable media in the US. This, as many other issues, will end up either snowed under while authoritarian force marches on, or rolled up into the ball that says “smoke, who cares if there’s fire”. The whole structure is rotten and needs replacement. Take your pick where to start.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Corporate media and the DC establishment pushes back against everything that Trump does—except rashly bombing Syria.

      Let that sink in to anyone who still gives the DNC, NY Times, WashPost, CNN and MSNBC any shred of credibility.

    2. jawbone

      Change the names in the article, say using “Bush the Younger” in stead of Trump….

      Then think about how most of the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media), leftist blogs, etc., would probably be covering the story.

      Then, again, put “Obama” in instead. Small paragraph near the back of the first section? If that.

      Point being that political leanings do tend to affect how people relate to any political news. And we humans are so good at rationalizing things, making excuses, etc.

      tgs — thnx for the links.

  22. Oregoncharles

    Intercept has an interview with Ralph Nader,, part of which is relevant to the debate over Gaius Publius’ article yesterday(?). The whole interview is important, about the essential uselessness of the Democratic Party, but here’s the part that struck me:

    “The last millstone is, they make sure by harassing progressive third parties that the third party never pushes them. I’m an expert on that. They try to get them off the ballot. We had twenty-four lawsuits in twelve weeks in the summer of 2004 to get us off the ballots of dozens of states by the Democratic Party. Whereas if we got five percent, six percent of the vote they would be under great pressure to change their leadership and change their practice because there would be enough American voters who say to the Democrats, “We do have some place to go,” a viable third party. They harass them, they violate civil liberties, they use their Democrat-appointed judges to get bad decisions or harassing depositions. Before [third parties] finally clear the deck one way or the other it’s Labor Day and they’ve got an eight-week campaign.

    There are some people who think the Democratic Party can be reformed from within by changing the personnel. I say good luck to that. What’s happened in the last twenty years? They’ve gotten more entrenched. Get rid of Pelosi, you get Steny Hoyer. You get rid of Harry Reid, you get [Charles] Schumer. Good luck.

    Unfortunately, to put it in one phrase, the Democrats are unable to defend the United States of America from the most vicious, ignorant, corporate-indentured, militaristic, anti-union, anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-posterity [Republican Party] in history.

    End of lecture.”

    His conclusion. There must be more coming – that was only the start of the interview.

    1. ewmayer

      “…the Democrats are unable to defend the United States of America from the most vicious, ignorant, corporate-indentured, militaristic, anti-union, anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-posterity [Republican Party] in history.” — IOW, the Dems are ‘unable’ to do so because they are the second-most such party in history in nearly every subcategory, if you examine policy history rather than falling for soaring rhetoric™.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We goad, provoke or pressure the other side to start.

      It seemed to an option for the Japanese empire. They took the bait.

      It also worked for the kids in the 60s. Looking back, long hair was not that desirable in and of itself. (Not many still have their hair long). But it provoked one’s parents. So was CIA assisted Rock music. It made old people mad. The music was so so, certainly too loud when one reflects upon it NOW.

      But it worked when one just couldn’t wait to shout ‘tyrants!’

      Then, one became popular among one’s peers.

      And so, today, we’re just wait for Putin to make one whale of a fake-news-worthy mistake.

      1. ambrit

        Putin seems to be too canny to fall for that tactic. Anyone who can rise in the old KGB apparat to preeminence and then cross over into the political sphere has to be at the least, observant and calculating.

  23. Elizabeth

    To Justin, I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved Leo. May all the happy memories you have bring you comfort.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “Readers, I’m sorry to be so counter-suggestible on all this” – no, you’re not, and shouldn’t be. It’s precisely your job.

    Which you’re doing quite nicely, mind you. I’m not complaining, just pointing out the rhetorical device..

  25. TK421

    That’s an…interesting article about Speaker Pelosi. He writes “she’s an excellent vote-wrangler and fundraiser”, but is she really? What has she wrangled votes for? And how compassionate is she if she won’t end any of our country’s wars?

      1. different clue

        She wrangled lots of votes for ” we have to pass the bill before you can see what is in it”.

        And years earlier, she helped wrangle some votes for NAFTA.

  26. Propertius

    Thing is, if Trump really were a “Russian puppet,” and the national security “directorate” knew it in October 2016, when Clinton made the claim in so many words, then surely Trump would have had an unfortunate helicopter accident?

    I don’t know about that – they didn’t arrange for Cheney to have an unfortunate MI after Valerie Plame was blown – and the spooks in my acquaintance were (as far as I can tell) a lot angrier about that. It’s also hard to see a net gain from that – Clinton’s carelessness about security during her SoS tenure was similarly risky.

    1. Mike

      Just a thought – could all this leaky, insecure, incompetent government behavior be something meant to be discussed as such, while the throne-backers get away with the next act? Remember what Ron Suskind said:

      The White House aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors. And you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

      Do they have to kill off the “losers”? Why do that if we can see the survivor, and doubt the agency behind the actions intended?

  27. Kim Kaufman

    What I don’t understand about this Kill Poor People bill (AHCA) is: about $800b is being taken out of the system via cutting Medicaid (and going into the pockets of the 1%). That is money that would go to the insurance companies for their bogus insurance. How can the insurance companies be for this?

  28. TheCatSaid

    The Food Sovereignty bill article is really exciting. It’s great to see some positive lawmaking that gives back power to local communities. Better for food security and food quality and local farming and local economies. Lucky Maine people who live in communities who have or will pass their local (de-)regulations. Now for the rest of the states to follow suit.

  29. oh


    What a beautiful animal. I hope he has a great life on the other side of the rainbow bridge. Sorry for your loss.

    When they live, they give you all of their heart.
    When they depart they take a part of your heart with them.

  30. fresno dan

    This map compares county-level projections of premiums and tax credits for marketplace enrollees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2020 with estimates for the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) as unveiled June 22 by Senate Republicans. Our maps comparing premiums and tax credits under the ACA and the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed through the House are here.
    Link from a friend comparing the ACA and the new health care bill – I just looked up Fresno and it doesn’t look so good for us….

  31. different clue

    In reading the article on ” Britain’s financial power already seeping away”, I looked at the photograph of a big bank. And I saw in the sky an awful lot of persistently long-lasting artificial long-thin cloud bands which i see in my own blue sky on clear days but not on other equally clear days. So I will link to the photograph.

    And then I will ask the readership: are those contrails? Or chemtrails?

  32. meeps

    I only had time to skim the Spotify article, but the playlist model does a disservice to artists and listeners alike. From the piece:

    “Similarly, the music and tech industries have yet to really acknowledge the ways in which Spotify and playlist culture are unapologetically harming independent music: the pro-rata business model that favors no one but pop stars, yes, but also the ways in which playlisting waters down human relationship with music through cold and automated ways of programming, all in order to corporatize art and literally, literally, make music fit into Spotify (and Apple, and Deezer, and Google Play)’s tiny, square tinted boxes.”

    Anecdotally, two conversations I had this week exposed how disruptive the streaming/playlist model is. I asked a 19 year old kid (with his phone and ear pods) about the album he was listening to and he paused, confused, and then said, “Oh, you’re old-school.” Although it took him a moment to interpret my question, at least he understood the notion of an album as a volume or collection, which he subsequently judged to be obsolete. The second exchange was between my son (he’s 25) and his co-workers over music sharing in the work environment. He’s ‘old school’ like me; he prefers albums to playlists (as well as egalitarian working conditions) so he asked his shift-mates if they wanted to listen to one of their albums. He, too, was met with confusion and the answer, “I just listen to whatever is next on the list.”

    It might seem a trifle, but the corporatization of tracks erases too much context from the work of art that an album represents—especially thematically-themed or political works. It’s akin to parceling-out the foot in the lower right corner of Picasso’s Guernica by itself. In terms of modern pop and rock music, A Perfect Circles’, Thirteenth Step, is not just Gravity. There’s a reason that 12 steps precede it.

    Do the Corporatistas know what diminished means?

  33. Procopius

    That article at “the Week” about the civil war in the Democratic party misuses language. The fight is not between the the left and the center-left, it’s between the center-left and the center-right.

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