Links 6/3/17

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As hurricane season begins, NOAA told to slow its transition to better models ars technica. Chuck L: “Perhaps most questionable is a “request” to limit the ability of forecasters to predict hurricanes and other severe weather with computer modeling. “NOAA requests a reduction of $5,000,000 to slow the transition of advanced modeling research into operations for improved warnings and forecasts,” the budget blue book states.”

Chuck L flagged this “further reading”: The European forecast model already kicking America’s butt just improved ars tecnica

Antarctic ice rift close to calving, after growing 17km in 6 days PhysOrg (Chuck L)

NLPC’s False Report Diverts Attention from the Concerns of Real Net Neutrality Supporters Electronic Frontier Foundation (Chuck L)

Netflix CEO: Nah, We’re Not Going to Save the Free, Open Web New York Magazine

British Airways I.T. outage caused by contractor who switched off power – Times Reuters (furzy)

Google just made Gmail even more secure – now blocks 99.9% of spam and phishing emails ThaiVisa (furzy). Better value for their spying on you.

Robocop joins Dubai police force Reuters (furzy)

Anti-vaccine groups step up work as Minnesota measles outbreak rages ars technica. Chuck L: “About a week ago the state Health Department suspended the license of a day care facility serving the Somali community for refusing to supply contact information for child clients who’d possibly been exposed to the infection.”


US warns Beijing on South China Sea islands BBC

The young Japanese working themselves to death BBC (martha r)

Why the European Financial Dictatorship will continue to torture Greece at least until 2019 failed evolution

After Monte Paschi, Italy’s Other Troubled Banks Are in View Bloomberg. Richard Smith: “That glacial Italian bank saga…No idea whether the Monte Paschi deal, not actually done yet and details so far unpublished, will turn out to be anything more than extend and pretend; the precedents aren’t exactly great. Meanwhile, more dead fish are floating up.”

Zapatistas Back Indigenous Woman to Run for Mexico’s Presidency teleSUR English. Martha r: “5/28, still germane.”


Trade realities expose the absurdity of a Brexit ‘no deal’ Financial Times. Stephanie: “Martin Wolf sounds increasingly irate.”

UK Election

These figures show how out-of-touch UK politicians are from everyone else Open Democracy

Theresa May limps towards the election finishing line Financial Times: Deja vu: “….she gives not an inkling that anything has gone wrong in the campaign or that any mistakes have been made, let alone any misgivings about her gamble in holding an election.”

No income tax rises for high earners under Tory government, minister reveals Telegraph


Yemen Ravaged By Cholera Aljazeera (Bill B)

Afghan civilians bear brunt of U.S.-led war CBC (Sid S)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Great Unraveling: The crisis of the post-war geopolitical order WSWS (Micael). Important.

Trump pulls out of 21st century Daily Mash

As tensions with US mount, Germany reaffirms “strategic partnership” with China WSWS (Micael)

Erasing History: Trump Administration Returning CIA Torture Report To Be Destroyed Techdirt (martha r). When DiFi is a good guy, it’s very very bad.

Budweiser Sets Goal of Raising $1 Million for Folds of Honor via Limited Edition Patriotic Packaging Anheuser Busch. Reslic: “How about stop sending them to Kabul? Buds for peace.”

Trump Transition

Paris accord’s backers move to isolate Trump Financial Times. The US auto industry lost out big by fighting emissions standards while automakers in the rest of the world gained share by making more fuel efficient cars.

Michael Bloomberg: US states and businesses will still meet Paris targets Guardian. Recall the WSJ said yesterday the departure from the accord would have little impact on what US businesses were doing.

Trump Is Reviewing Whether to Block Comey’s Testimony Bloomberg. Wowsers. Optics would be terrible, and Trump’s legal team seems incapable of coming up with a way to constrain what he can discuss, which might be more defensible.

Can the West Survive Trump? New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump misunderstood MIT climate research, university officials say Reuters (Chuck L)

Saying is doing Ian Welsh (martha r)

Trump Said to Pick Nominees for 2 Positions on Fed Board New York Times

Trump considers negative rates advocate for Federal Reserve role Financial Times. Gah.

Winners and losers in Trump’s Paris decision The Hill


Blue Cross Blue Shield Wants People in Georgia to Self-Diagnose Before Heading to the Emergency Room Intercept (martha r)

How Over A Million Christians Have Opted Out Of Health Insurance Buzzfeed (Dan K)

Hillary Clinton’s Deceptive Blame-Shifting Consortium News (Sid S)

Clinton Blames Election Loss on Trump Helping Russians Weaponize Fake News Real News

New Clinton Emails Show Classified Information Sent to Clinton Foundation Employees Judicial Watch (martha r)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Uses Voice Changer To Call Law Firm Suing DNC – Forgets To Disable Caller ID IBankCoin (craazyboy)

What’s Keeping the Mayor From Going Green? His Gym Routine New York Times (Li). Also shows how much of his day he screws off at public expense. I heard greater detail from someone in Brooklyn: DiBlasio makes 2 stops at a coffee shop, before and after, to eat pastries and hang out with adoring locals. Oh, and there are two really good gyms near Gracie Mansion too, so no excuse for this nonsense.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

In Stunning Act of Defiance, Baton Rouge Police Chief Refuses Mayor’s Request to Fire Officer Who Killed Alton Sterling Alternet

U.S. state, local government lawsuits over opioids face uphill battle Reuters (EM)

NY prosecutor says Exxon needs to hand over documents on climate change risk ars technica (martha r)

Payrolls “Unexpectedly” Weak, Negative Revisions, Earning Poor: What Happened? Michael Shedlock

U.S. Jobs Weakness May Be Temporary, But Loss of Momentum Isn’t Bloomberg

May jobs report: nothing more nor less than a decent late cycle report Angry Bear

Frustration deepens for value investors as growth style wins big Financial Times

Return to the Roaring 20s Le Monde diplomatique (Anu)

Class Warfare

Their Public Housing at the End of Its Life, Residents Ask: What Now? New York Times (martha r). A couple of weeks old, still relevant, relates to article Lambert flagged in Water Cooler: WHY IS THE U.S. LOSING PUBLIC HOUSING? JSTOR

Noam Chomsky: Neoliberalism Is Destroying Our Democracy Nation (DJR)

Marital status and redistributive aspects of the US Social Security system VoxEU

Stereotyping Appalachians Feeds Only the Coal Industry Yes!

Antidote du jour (Isabelle Marozzo via Richard Smith, from First Annual Comedy Photography Awards):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. craazyman

    That’s weird. Somebody must be sending links in my name. I don’t have any idea what that BankCoin web site is or what Ms. Wasserman Shultz is calling anybody about and don’t care. And I never would read anything like that on my own, especially if it’s about politics, which I never ever read about if i can possibly help it. I only send in foo foo science links and the one about the grandmonther making the Dallas Cowbody cheerleaders. It wasn’t me! I gauantee it. Maybe it was CB.

    1. RenoDino

      Maybe you have another personality that’s interested in finance. After all, you are crazyman.

      I was going to compliment you on your find. Please pass along the message. Thanks.

      1. craazyman

        I wont even read it and don’t care at all about it. I’d personally delete it and replace it with this:“brick”-at-kevin-durant-so-he-made-a-3-pointer-and-stared-her-down/ar-BBBNLR4

        There is debate evidently about whether Rhianna really did yell “brick” right before Kevin Durant nailed a 3 pointer. But there’s no debate about her Goddessness — espeically that video where she’s in Sinbad the Sailor clothes and rises up out of a swamp wearing a bikini.

    2. RabidGandhi

      The real question here is whether Putin hacked CM’s private server or whether Huma was just trying to send a print copy to some moderate rebels somewhere and it fell into Putin’s nefarious hands.

      Either way, Links have obviously been compromised by foreign influence, so we should instead henceforth substitute them with the Kos comments section (which won the popular vote, btw) and a photoshopped pic of multiracial woke Madeleine Albright as the antidote.

    3. craazyboy

      It was me! My first link submission deemed worthy too!

      “Maybe” it was CB.

      Maybe? I would think my editorial style stands out like a sore Bro.

      I only read stuff that has no reason for being, whatsoever, but needs highlighting to bring to everyone’s attention how ridiculous the human race really is, and are doomed for imminent extinction.

      Then I add from my formidable depth of irreverent facts and knowledge of trivial pop culture, gained from a lifetime of paying attention to meaningless, but diversionary drivel. Old people can do this, if they stay awake most of the time.

      Peppering the MSM sea of boredom this way adds irrelevancy, historical perspective, science nonsense and it’s nerdy worshippers, innumeracy masquerading as analysis, (a biggie in econ and politics!) and insight into how f*cked up the human psyche really is. Also, Hollywood.

      If I name politicians in passing, it’s usually because they mistakenly did something a newspaper noticed and were exposed to be dumber and/or nastier than baboons.

      Besides, if you have a couple hours a day with nothing to do, it passes the time.

      1. craazyman

        I’m sorry to hear that your wasting time with that stuff. Wow, I thought it was just me — getting all my links rejected! I’ve gotten, like, one link ever. I’m about 1 for 20. That was the most shocking thing for me, seeing my name next to a link. Regardless of the content even

        But If you can’t help yourself and feel a compulsion to stay on the political hack beat, I’ll keep following Youtube. This is probably a better use of your time than following hacks around . . . But evrybody has to choose for themselves!

        1. craazyboy

          Definitely pop. I’ve been into Buckethead lately. Probably forever. 200 albums on youtube!

          This dude has gotta be from outer space. Fell to Earth on a KFC and emerged with a bucket on his head. Bowie has got nothing on this guy!

          I can do a recognizable version of this song on my guitar now! At least the beginning part.

            1. craazyboy

              Yup. “Bucket of Brains”. That’s his first group back 20 years ago. Lots of good youtube live cuts with them too. Claypool is an amazing bass player. Really has got his funk&roll lines down. Don’t know how I missed this. I head the name buckethead before, but never heard he was a guitar player this great. I must have mixed him up with Radiohead, maybe.

    4. craazyboy

      Just got back from Walmart. Gotta new one for the dubious science category.

      Psychic! No shit! A red sign on the road said so. Said “psychic” in flowery white lettering and then phone number in big block letters. With area code!

      The area code is a little weird. After some deep thawt, it hit me. She’s a projectionist psychic!

      We have snowbirds, tourists and pretty crappy old geezer golfers around here. So I suddenly realized the business savvy of giving an area code. You can find your out of town psychic!

      Is she’s the projectionist kind (rare), then she can manifest herself at long distance with a “pfft” or some other means of making her presence known. The séance can begin. You can talk to Henry Kissinger, Henry the 8th, Caligula, his horse… anyone you want! You just need to know Morse Code.

      Golfer’s are more pragmatic, however. They are mainly concerned with not losing too many golf balls.

      But these séances still can be faked.

      1. Ivy

        If that area code is offshore, there may be some whopping charges. That was a scam not long ago.

      2. ambrit

        A real psychic calls you on someone elses’ cell phone who is standing next to you in the line and tells you; “Don’t get on that plane!” The ambiguity is in what the “plane” referred to is. Is it technological or astral?
        A “psychic” once told me that they, the psychics, don’t register themselves because the casinos refuse them entrance. Imagine my dismay and feeling of betrayal when I asked a casino pit boss about it, over free drinks at another establishment, only to be told that casinos did not refuse entrance to psychics because the statistics of the psychics gambling winnings were not appreciably different from those of the commonality of non-psychics.
        One of our local “psychics” must be having financial difficulties because she has begun to sell used cars from out of her front yard out on Highway 98. Now if only she could give a “verified psychics” guarantee of an accident free future for those cars, and the buyers can then use that certificate to refuse to buy auto insurance. Win, win, win!!!

    1. MoiAussie

      Thanks. It’s absolutely unbelievable that BA’s systems are so badly designed or configured that they can’t come up cleanly within a short time after an unexpected power down event. And that this particular scenario hasn’t been tested repeatedly until it could be recovered smoothly.

      I used to work (design, implementation, & support) on a mission critical real-time transaction processing system that could get back to full function within 90 seconds after the power was turned back on. Because we designed it to work that way. People don’t realise how fragile and badly designed many modern systems are, usually because of stupid decisions by management, who are unable to imagine the benefits of doing it properly when they spot a chance to cut a corner and save 5%.

      1. Parker Dooley

        Wow! 90 seconds! With HFT isn’t that long enough to destroy the entire universe?

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Melania Trump banning GMO’s from the White House. This one move is more significant than all the campaigning Michelle O. purportedly did to improve school lunches, or the White House garden she purportedly toiled diligently in.

    1. aletheia33

      this is a piece of classic “fake news.”

      Sean Adl-Tabatabai on being in the eye of the ‘fake news’ storm | London Evening Standard

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s likely she would ban them.

        I doubt they taste better, and certainly, the government can afford to go organic. A lot of fruits and vegetables in her native country, and other Easter European countries, are said to be bigger, and smell and taste better, or so I have been told.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If she hadn’t, I hope she will soon…even if covertly.

          “Eat healthy and live a long, happy life!!!”

          1. crittermom

            “So we can watch from our pedestals as you serve us our bread while allowing you the crumbs.”

            There. Finished it for ya.

            Not that I don’t think Monsanto is bad, but the only reason I see for anyone associated with Trump (or the Clintoons, or Obummers, or the ‘elite’) to want us to be healthy is to benefit them financially–or as slaves. (same thing)

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I wish people would stop it with the FAKE NEWS, let’s stick with REAL NEWS from verifiable sources stating actual facts please.

          Like Saint Obama appointing the head lobbyist for Monsanto to head the FDA:

          Or Saint Hilary’s State Department intervening at Monsanto’s request to undermine legislation that might restrict sales of genetically engineered seeds:

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Which is why we’ve heard so little–actually nothing–about it.

      An action taken by a Trump which is impossible to denigrate simply needs to be ignored.

      Of course it could be a Russian plot to destroy an iconic american agricultural corporation with a simple mission of feeding the world so the Russians can corner the planetary grain market instead, as payback for the Russians getting Trump the job as president which has so far been so wonderful and satisfying for him and his family.

      Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

      1. different clue

        I read around on that website which had the Melania Trump ” no mo’ GMO” in-the-White-House story. Some of it seemed so fakey as to raise a number of foil flags. So unless someone can show courtroom-quality proof that Melania Trump really has banned GMOnsanto products from the White House, the story should be treated as trollfake news.

        Now! . . . wouldn’t it be an interesting turn of events if word of this story got back to Melania personally so over and over and over again, that she felt compelled to really read the story? And if she really read it, what if she were to look into the matter and decide . . . ” you know, I hadn’t thought of banning GeeMoes from the White House, but now that I have looked into it, I will go ahead and ban GeeMoes from the White House”.

        Yes . . . that would be an ironic turn of events.

        1. uncle tungsten

          Prince Charles if ever he becomes king of UK stands a better chance to ban GMO’s long before Melania. We live in hope of small mercies.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, martha r is usually reliable. I was in haste and forgot that YNW is sketchy. But organic and non-GMO has become popular among the upper classes, so Melania requiring the White House staff to provision that way wasn’t implausible. What was was her going public about it.

      1. wilroncanada

        I think we can forgive Martha R for one miss after a lot of hits.
        I was going to respond with some (sort of) snark above…You mean she actually reads all the labels of all the foodstuff that comes into the house? More likely, she removed the GMOs by kicking Donald out of the bedroom.
        …I guess I just did (snark)

  3. RenoDino

    The unintended consequences of MIT’s Global Warming study, which was done to show that the Paris’ accord wasn’t doing enough, is now being used as evidence by Trump to show that the agreement was ineffective in stopping CO2 emissions, while at the same time it was penalizing the U.S. and letting other countries off the hook. MIT was hoisted on its own petard and is now embarrassed that its report was used as evidence by Trump to justify leaving the treaty.

    They both agree the treaty doesn’t work to solve the problem. Trump is upset because it’s unfair. Why do China and India get to increase their emissions for the next 9 years while America has to cut back? China is, after all, the largest polluter.

    In the end, the treaty was a typical make work neoliberal ploy to advance the global agenda while destroying the environment by offshoring industrialization.

    1. Roger Boyd

      China and India have much lower levels of GDP per capita, while the United States already industrialized and got rich using fossil fuels. Forcing less rich countries to make the same cuts as the US would freeze the current levels of inequality.

      In reality, China is embarrassing the rest of the world by being able to grow at 7% while flat-lining emissions. Just shows what is possible if we actually try. North America is a massive energy hog that should easily be able to cut emissions by 3% per year with the right policies.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Another question, for how long?

          Over 10 years? Over 3 years? Over the last quarter, or one quarter in 2012?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If China goes to war with Taiwan, it will not be GDP per capita, nor military spending capita, that determines the outcome.

        It will be 1.3 billion people vs. 24 million.

        In many cases, we have to consider both.

        By equalizing on a per capita basis alone, it favors countries with bigger populations. They get to have bigger (total) allowances.

        It favors population growth – the bane of coping with global warming… There are too many humans.

      2. Vatch

        I don’t believe that China’s economic growth is 7% per year any more. I would be surprised if they have any economic growth at all — any apparent growth is just a huge bubble. They could be in the early stages of a recession, which would account for their success at stopping the growth of emissions.

        You are absolutely correct that North America is a massive energy hog that should easily be able to cut emissions by 3% per year.

    2. cyclist

      Haven’t we in the US, and the other formerly industrialized countries, simply off-shored a good share our own CO2 emissions (and other pollution) to China as well? So when we point the finger at China, we point it at ourselves.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One can think of it as the US shoving manufacturing down China’s reluctant throat.

        Or one can think of it as China desiring the US to offshore (Don’t say they ‘stole’ our CO2 emitting jobs and manufacturing).

        With globalization, what is made in country A is now made in country B (cheaper and likely more environmentally destructive, blame goes to both countries), and the goods have to be shipped further (extra CO2 emission).

    3. different clue

      Free Trade causes global warming. Oh, it doesn’t? Not entirely? Not really? I would like someone to show how much of the carbon skydumping of the last 3 decades is UNrelated to global warming.

      Restore militant belligerent protectionism to America. Bring back all possible thingmaking from China to America while restricting and then banning imports from China altogether. If China bans imports from America, so much the better.

      After our production has been redeemed from foreign captivity and a hundred carbon megafart superships have been retired from service, lets see how much global carbon skydumping goes back down.

    1. aletheia33

      as i noted above, this is a fabrication of the famous “fake news” site Your News Wire.
      highly unlikely to be accurate.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if a foreign guest can request organic at the White House?

        Japanese PM: “I only want (ocean fish) sushi. I’ve brought my own wasabi. No rice for me – low carb diet. You have at least filtered water, no?”

  4. sleepy

    “Erasing History: Trump Administration Returning CIA Torture Report To Be Destroyed”

    Thanks, Obama! If you had declassified the torture report as many senators had requested, we wouldn’t be facing the prospect of it being destroyed by those bad, bad Trumpsters.

    Where’s wikileaks when we need them?

    1. Eureka Springs

      Nor is there any excuse for the legislative branch which allows an agency, individual, or executive to keep information from the public or itself.

      Bizarro world.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Where is a Senator with any integrity at all – including my own Ron Wyden, the (family blog)? Every one on the committee has (or had, while the report was in their position) the power to release anything they care to, by reading it into the Congressional Record on the floor of Congress. They have total, Constitutional immunity for anything like that they do.

      Mike Gravel did it for the Pentagon Papers; but not one single sitting Senator. I’ve confronted Wyden about this at a town hall; for once, he answered the question, saying that he considered it, but thought it was more important to preserve his own power and status – that is, his position on the committee.

      The slime.

      1. Keith Howard

        Mark Udall could have released it after he lost his reelection bid in 2014, but he didn’t. I wonder whether/how he defends that decision now.

  5. olga

    While ‘The Great Unraveling: The crisis of the post-war geopolitical order WSWS’ offers a fairly accurate account of the recent events, I take issue with its assertion that about the “… the resurgence of the military ambitions of all the imperialist powers….” Who are these “all imperialist powers?” The author only mentions western powers. China’s OBOR is being developed as an economic expansion – precisely to counter the west’s military designs (just check US bases all around Russia and China).
    On the other hand, this is an interesting article from WSWS – on the futility of US wars:

    1. MoiAussie

      Japan under Abe and his cronies shows a blatant resurgence of military ambitions. China’s militarisation of islands in the SCS certainly indicates ambitions of some sort, even if not imperialist.

      1. Oregoncharles

        China’s claims on the S. China Sea are emphatically, literally Imperial – that is, they make no sense geographically but date back to an Imperial map.

        Similarly for their claims to the entire west and many areas in the south, which are not Chinese in population. Pure conquest.

        Like Russia, China is an empire and has been for far longer – over 2,000 years. Their recent (last century) reduced circumstances don’t change that, nor the underlying attitudes. “Red” China has asserted every single Imperial claim, no matter how ridiculous.

        All that is important because empires behave accordingly, and all the rest of the world needs to be aware of it. Thanks to the nuclear impasse, there isn’t much the US can do about China’s imperial claims in the S. China Sea (change the name?), besides refuse to recognize them. In that case, China is restrained by the same impasse. All they can do is complain.

        1. Plenue

          China has imperial ambitions for East Asia. As far as I know they have no desire for global domination (at least not militarily). In the end what China does in East Asia should matter only to China and its neighbors, not to us. We can approve or disapprove, but the constant dickwaving games of sending the US Navy thousands of miles beyond the borders of the US to mess around in the China Sea need to stop.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The problem is that China is very much the Big Dog in East Asia, very much as the US is in the Americas. The only potential counterpoises are Russia, which you notice they’re making an alliance with, and India, quite far away. The other countries adjoining the S China Sea are much smaller and need allies. I’m guessing that everybody else in the neighborhood is hoping to play the various empires off against each other.

            While I understand your point, in this case there’s a genuine global interest in the principle of free passage in international waters. If there’s a legitimate use for the overblown US Navy, that’s it. Again, the problem is imperialism, not who is practicing it.

      2. different clue

        China’s militarisation of the SCS islands is strictly resource-imperialist, not pride-imperialist. Once China has removed every last fish from the SCS and has removed every last barrel of oil and cannister of gas from under the SCS, then China will lose interest in the SCS as a whole.

        Then its fortified neo-islands will be kept purely for defensive reasons.

        1. skippy

          If China was to install tin pot dictators on these islands, too manage the resource extraction, would that be cool with the West. You could even do fake revolutions.

          Or would the West file a writ with the ISDS over copyright infringement.

          disheveled…. I would pay big bucks to attend such arbitration….

    2. Evil has no boundaries

      Nowadays, whenever somebody writes that the wars/invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan etc were failures I cringe. They were all successes because the goal was to spread chaos, misery and perpetuate war. All of them has accomplished exactly what they were supposed to do.
      It is just that there is a discrepancy in the level of evil. Us decent people wouldn’t be able to come up with such ideas and also it is hard for us decent people to wrap our heads around the level of evil the neocons and neoliberals behind these wars.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Spreading chaos, misery and perpetual war are goals accomplished by one component of our ruling elite — the contractors and businessmen who exploit the insanity and blind faith of the neocons and neoliberals to carve out a cut of profits from the ruin those neocons and neoliberals wreck. Our wars are victories for this clustering of sociopaths.

        However I believe the neocons and neoliberals truly believe in what they do. For them the wars are indeed failures — though neither category of these psychopaths seems able to accept failure. Instead they double-down and continue on the same path. In that sense the wars are not failures for the neocons and neoliberals — merely setbacks until they can put enough boots on the ground or build the right Market structure.

        The forces directing current affairs mimic too many features of the forces directing events in the world of PK Dick’s short story “Null-O”.

        1. Evil has no boundaries

          If you have killed a few hundred thousands iraqis, unleashed ISIS and slave markets in Libya etc how is that a set-back from their point of view which is to ensure killing and chaos?

          If any of the neocons or neoliberals were duped at least a few of them would have come forward and cried that they were fooled by the war industry. All of the representatives of neocons or neoliberals or the representatives of the war industry are pure evil and feeding off each others’ energy.

          Sorry for the religious take on this in terms of evil but given the consistency of the chaos-mongering and killing of people it is the only adjective that makes sense.
          Greedy people may bet on both bad and good ideas but this is a bunch of people that are time after time after time killing people just line serial killers.

    3. Susan the other

      most interesting part about WSWS ‘unraveling’ story was one of the comments saying China’s ‘state capitalism’ was a highly successful model, approved by most of the people, and pointing out that Deng wanted to do xiaokang society – a society in which all people are educated, housed, fed and employed in an egalitarian manner. The ‘xiao’ coming from his own name ‘Xiaoping’. Deng said that China would be bullied by the capitalists if it took too long to raise its standard of living so under Deng China embarked on a turbo modernization that only capitalism could assist. I thought it was a very interesting comment. But it said that after Deng took this initial step in 1980, the US “stopped bombing China” which puzzled me unless he was referring to the Pol Pot tragedy, or the end of the Indochina wars. anyway – I enjoyed the article and the comments. And the whole Chinese concept of ‘state capitalism’ is now an example of doing things efficiently and in a timely manner – one we could use globally to mitigate global warming and etc.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s not really xiaokang if the elites are moving their money and families overseas.

        What has happened when state mixed with capitalism, over there, has been rampant corruption.

      2. Jeff W

        It’s really more of a mixed bag than that comment indicates. As the dissident physicist Fang Lizhi observed, Deng said “Let a part of the population get rich first.” And while the urban areas were far better off than the rural areas under Deng’s economic reforms, Fang notes that “[Deng’s] unnamed ‘part’ of the population that would get rich first was…‘central leaders and their offspring’…” Hundreds of millions of people are better off—the cars they drive (Buicks being an inexplicable favorite) and the phones they have would have been real luxuries even two decades ago—but there’s enormous inequality and, perhaps worse, pervasie corruption in which those who call the shots get even richer.

        I guess the biggest “tell” in that comment is this phrase: “China’s accountable, wildly popular, deeply trusted oligarchy”—absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. None of my friends in China, some of them Party members, trusts the oligarchy, much less “deeply.” Comments on Weibo (the Chinese counterpart of Twitter) reflect people’s deep cynicism (before they are expunged by the army of Internet censors). The oligarchy is accountable—to whom, exactly? It does actually try to keep the economy chugging along and there is internal Party discipline for those who cross the line and are too obviously corrupt (or somehow make the leadership feel threatened—it’s not exactly clear which) but it’s not like the populace can vote the local (corrupt) Party bigwig out of office, much less a member of the Politburo. And I wouldn’t say “the oligarchy” is “wildly popular,” given that it is perceived as being both unaccountable and corrupt—people like that living standards have risen in 30 years, who wouldn’t? The Chinese élites park their money in real estate properties in North America and the UK—it’s at least partly a way to move funds out of the country and partly an insurance policy in case the situation domestically goes south. It’s not a ringing endorsement of an oligarchy that is “accountable,” “wildly popular,” or “deeply trusted.”

    4. different clue

      We should all start training ourselves to attach the letters CPS to the letters OBOR. Pretty soon everyone will automatically know that OBOR stands for One Belt One Road.
      It will take a little while to get everyone to see CPS as Co Prosperity Sphere.

      But eventually everyone will understand OBOR CPS to mean OBOR Co Prosperity Sphere.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Lots of Asians (Thais especially) thought the Co-prosperity Sphere was probably a better deal than the White Man’s Burden they had been under

    5. Yves Smith Post author

      Huh? China’s claims to the South China Sea and building islands are belligerent. And Japan has taken a more militaristic turn. Plus mercantilist strategies more often than not lead to armed conflict.

  6. dontknowitall

    Re All the crying about Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement, here’s a quote from the world socialist website:

    “At the time of its adoption in 2015, leading climate scientist James Hansen aptly characterized it as a “fraud” and a “fake.” That the Paris agreement has the support of major corporate giants, including energy companies like ExxonMobil, says everything about its true character.”

    I remember how shabbily Obama treated James Hansen so it grates to hear him bleating about Trump.

    The Paris agreement is first and foremost a grifting mechanism to pass on moneys, 100 billion in the case of the US, to less developed nations whose people will never see a single cent as it gets bleed to intermediaries, banksters, NGOs and ‘foundations’. This is Clinton’s Haiti writ large. Its sole purpose is to make it look like something is being done while nothing actually changes, meanwhile after signing the agreement the EU proceeded to increase its CO2 emissions since 2014.

    Most progress to date has been due to technical innovations generating efficiencies in solar and wind, to the point that coal and oil are in trouble, and not due to political theater.

    1. MoiAussie

      You get it. I would have linked this, on Paris and Australia’s dirty plans, here if I’d seen this first.

      Governments with dirty carbon resources are doing their utmost to extract economic value from them as fast as possible to prop up their financialised economies, aided and abetted by energy multinationals, before these “assets” are stranded. Paris was nothing more than a PR exercise to provide cover for crimes against the planet and create some iron ricebowls.

      1. Susan the other

        I thought Paris was a PR trick to prove that all those countries could actually come together for an urgent cause… which was an accomplishment in itself. But the accord is pointless. We in the US will outstrip our commitment because so many of our big corporations are going forward with their own plans, as are smaller corporations, businesses, towns, cities and states and individuals/organizations. I believe Bloomberg’s political compass is sharp. He’s jumping to the front of the parade. And Trump will be maligned for anything.

        1. nowhere

          And how many of those companies are doing this because of not only the PR value of being associated with a “green” label, but because of the current preferential tax treatment some of the green energy investments receive? What happens when/if those treatments go away?

        2. different clue

          American states and localities which decide to “do the Green Thing” in the “spirit of Paris” don’t have to send any grift-money to all the beneficiaries of the Big Green Grift as described in the comments above.

          They can limit themselves to making their population-pro-rated percent of America’s overall committed-to carbon reductions, and they will be doing the legitimate non-grift non virtue-signal-displaying part of the Accords behavior.

          It could be a way to rally significant parts of America to make significant reductions in their fossil carbon use.

    2. nowhere

      From the article you referenced:

      The flatlining contrasts with figures from 2014, when emissions dropped by 5 percent compared to the year before. In the two years before, the year-on-year decrease had also been at least 2 percent.

      It was in 2014 that the EU had reached its long-term target for 2020: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent compared to 1990 – it had achieved a 22.9 percent reduction.

      If the EU does not increase its CO emissions significantly, it will achieve its 2020 goal, but critics say that is not enough to help reduce the risk of global warming.

      I think this is a direct contrast to “while nothing actually changes”. The EU, before the Paris agreement, was already on a path to decrease CO2 production. The point was that this was a beginning to a global framework. And in all things Trump, if Obama created something (whether for good or ill), and it doesn’t have his name on it, it must be undermined and destroyed.

      Is there one actual, original policy success he has had? The only marginal success (according to this site) was the TPP being put into a moratorium for the time being. And again, that has as much to do with Obama being for it as it does Trump being against it. If they had renamed it the Trump Pacific Partnership it would have sailed right through.

      1. dontknowitall

        From the article I quoted:

        “But Eurostat’s press release did not mention that the small decrease has not made up for the small increase in CO2 emissions the year before, and that more CO2 was emitted in 2016 than in 2014.”

        I read that as nothing actually changes.

        You are free to believe what you will, but the consensus seems to be that Paris was a piece of feelgood political theater. If the idea is to show we can come together then the UN proved that decades ago. I happened to believe the Paris agreements are a negative.

        As far TPP you are conveniently forgetting how huge of a political beast TPP was and how much political courage it took to just kill it. Trump is paying the price for it now.

        1. nowhere

          Well let’s look at a bit more than 3 years. The overall trend is significantly down for EU CO2 production (so even a minor uptick in a year or two’s worth of data might indicate a colder winter for certain parts of the EU). They, at least, also have a pretty robust framework outside of the Paris agreements to continue to curtail their emissions. There is zero similar framework in the US – at least they are trying. We have states that are making illegal to even mention climate change.

          What political price is he paying now? Nobody is even talking about that deal anymore. What happened to his courage since then? He has done nothing politically challenging. In fact, he has really just done nothing. Political courage would be to come out and say “the Paris deal didn’t go far enough, therefore, as of today we will embark on a plan to not exceed 2° of warming by the end of the century. This is the greatest danger to the American way of life and for the future of my 11 year old son.”

          Instead, we get one more (moderate) thing Obama approved that Trump feels he must destroy. I don’t find much courage in negation, but rather in vision.

      2. different clue

        Well . . . that’s why we have to keep calling it ObamaTrade.

        As in : No More Obama Trade Agreements!

  7. RenoDino

    Can the West Survive Trump?

    “Deep damage was done to the alliance in the Bush years with the invasion of Iraq and, especially, over the use of torture. But Bush still invaded that tragic country for the sake of what he misguidedly thought of as democracy, and at least attempted to euphemize the torture away. He sustained the appearance of distinctive Western principles, even if he undermined them. Trump, in contrast, has thrown even those façades away. I don’t quite know how the free world un-sees what it has just seen or un-hears what it has just heard.”

    Please kill me now using a nail gun.

    Best unintended argument for Trump I’ve seen in a while. “Trump, in contrast, has thrown even those facades away.” Trump has popped the balloon of the entire hypocritical Western Democratic project and, unlike Bush, he didn’t even resort to mass murder on an epic scale or become an international war criminal. He simple said if you want protection, pay up. It’s only fair.

    Democracy must be very fragile if it can’t weather this assault, but genocide on a massive scale “Bring it On.” Just so long as nobody tells the truth.

      1. Eureka Springs

        If what I, in my 50 plus years have experienced is democracy, then I want none of it.

        The type secrecy mentioned in the torture report saga above.
        The word democracy is not in the constitution.
        The constitution was never voted upon by the people. The measures needed to amend it.
        When only two private parties, owned and operated on behalf of the rich, are given attention.
        When a super majority in primary season and super plurality plurality on election day does not vote and this is not taken as no confidence.

        1. No Way Out


          When the elites can insist upon capitalism as the guiding economic principle, and then excuse themselves from every bit of it.

      2. johnnygl

        Seriously….kill the bull-[family blog] with fire!!! If we’re going to be violent imperialists, then let’s be honest ones!!!

    1. dontknowitall

      Not only that, the writer of “Can the West Survive Trump” relies on assertions about Bush II that have been known to be false for a very long time. Bush invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003 not out of some misguided love of democracy as the writer asserts, but because of three main reasons:

      1) To fulfill the oil dominance plan designed by Cheney’s Energy Task Force which started meeting in early 2001,
      2) He wanted payback for the assassination attempt on his dad by Saddam’s agents in Kuwait and,
      3) The invasion of Afghanistan was not sexy enough for TV.

      1. No Way Out


        What does Saddam’s assassination attempt on Bush, Sr. and the Gulf of Tonkin have in common?

        1. Anon

          Well, if by Gulf of Tonkin you mean an attack on a US vessel, the answer is neither ever happened.

      2. Ignim Brites

        “The invasion of Afghanistan was not sexy enough for TV.” This was a far more important factor than people generally credit. People forget how absurdly traumatized the nation was by 9/11 due largely to the fact that the national media is located in New York. Recall those absurd comparisons to Pear Harbor as though the dropping of a couple of buildings in New York could in anyway be compared to the decimation of the Pacific fleet. Remember the pathetic spectacle of Dan Rather weeping on David Letterman’s show. Imagine how things would have turned out if the towers had not fallen. Certainly there would have been fear and outrage but would we have gotten the vast expansion of the national security state without any critical comment or opposition? If we were to say that it was just a matter of luck that the towers came down, that in no way did Al Queda actually expect the result, then we would have had a much more rational discussion of the appropriate strategy. As things stand now we still have no strategy although we a drifting towards containment. But Trump is obsessed with destroying ISIS and contemplating additional troops in Afghanistan.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Iraq happened because it was perceived as easy, and this is a country of thugs. Given the fallout, I believe Hillary and many other elite Dems wee on the lookout for another easy target where they could avoid “boots on the ground” and coverup their Iraq War votes by demonstrating the effectiveness of “smart wars.”

          Obama hot off his “success” in Libya decided to move on Syria where Dempsey had to explain Syria would retaliate.

  8. justanotherprogressive

    NOAA requests? Yea, sure……

    This must be one more way Trump is repaying all the people in the South that voted for him, because being surprised by a hurricane is just so much more fun than having a good idea where it is going to hit and being prepared……/s

    1. MoiAussie

      They would have got a raise if they’d proposed to improve weather forecasts on Mars.

      It’s simple really. This administration has more important things to spend money on than studying anything to do with this planet. In fact, the less attention is paid to the state of the planet, the better it is for bizness. Weather forecasting is expensive work, and NOAA needs to contribute to the whole-of-government austerity program that will make america great again.

      1. ambrit

        A real weather “forecasting” system would require that the server farm out West that works for the Homeland Security apparat be repurposed to run the insanely convoluted algorithms that track N to the nth factors of weather data. So, it’s really a “turf” war gone Macro/Micro.

      2. jrs

        sooner or later we’re going to call it all what it is: people losing their jobs due to Trump administration austerity programs.

    2. Susan the other

      and nobody who owns Mar-a-Lago wants their insurance premiums to go up…

  9. fresno dan

    So much for me saying I didn’t have time to post ever again – but this is important! Its documentary evidence that people in Fresno can spell. Now all we need is someone to win a math price to prove that Fresninians can count beyond 12 (6 toes on each foot….)

    And it proves we do things besides frying eggs on sidewalks….
    and next Thursday I have my first appointment as a medicare volunteer and start scheduling my training.

    1. katiebird

      Thank you for the reminder!!! I meant to sign up as a Medicare volunteer… But my mom’s been sick and I got distracted.

    2. ambrit

      Wait. Shouldn’t that be tentacles? Even if we give you Innsmouth Look humanoids, that would be twenty-four; six fingers on each hand plus six toes on each foot.
      Good luck on your altruism! Here, Medicare, as we have discovered, is used as a tool for Medical Industrial Complex beings to despoil the Treasury. I would posit that one major reason why “foreign” medicos come here to work is because there are so many ways to loot with impunity.

      1. Anon

        Not certain what you mean by foreign medicos coming here to loot the Medicare system. Most “foreign” doctors get their medical training in the US (since “foreign” medical training is rarely acceptable to US medical licensing boards).

        As a Medicare recipient, I see Hospitals gaming the “system” better than any one doctor. In any case, the “looting” as a percentage of total Medicare expenditure is under 5%, to my understanding.

        My experience with Medicare is it is infinitely better (affordable) than private medical insurance alone.

        1. ambrit

          Yes to Medicare being infinitely preferable to “private” insurance. However, my wifes’ experience this last year or so with the system is that the “medicos” are gaming it through vastly inflated prices. Even with the “system” knocking the price down, the residue is still a hefty chunk of change.
          Your first sentence has an internal contradiction. Why would a “foreign” medico come to America so as to insure passage of the American medical board process unless said medico had already decided to practice in America? Could it be that we’re getting all of the “upwardly mobile strivers” from foreign climes because they were avaricious to begin with? Their less greedy fellow “foreign” medicos might have chosen to stay in the “olde country” to study, and practice. In essence, be true patriots as far as their countries’ welfare was concerned. We get the hustlers, with predictable results.

  10. cripes

    Ben Carson, ignorant Secretary of Education, asks if residents have to be “clean and sober” before they are permitted to sleep indoors.

    The common sense discovery twenty years ago that housed alcoholic/substance abusers drink and drug less than homeless peers, saving millions in emergency room, shelter and jail costs, nudged even the idiots in HUD towards Housing First policies. (see: Dr. Sam Tsemberis et al)

    Following Carson’s logic, George Bush the Lesser, Betty Ford and many other republican luminaries should have been sleeping under bridges. Perhaps some enterprising entrepreneurs will devise breathalyzers at the front doors of citizen’s homes that will bar entry if they exceed .08 BAL. After the second offense, cancel the mortgage interest deduction. Third offense, eviction!

    Makes total sense, and the revenues!

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Actually, he’s the ignorant Secretary of HUD…..

      But your post ties in well with the articles on the loss of public housing.
      Not that I mind losing these “poverty ghettos” – they were only a breeding ground for despair and crime- but good ole Ben can’t think of a thing to do to help people who need housing assistance – so he looks for reasons to deny them housing. Maybe tents?

      How about a new idea? How about moving people into single family homes in middle class neighborhoods and stop putting them into ghettos? How about stop making the poor “different” and realize they are the same as everyone else? Ben does has his aptly misnamed “tenant protection voucher” so why not use it? Think of what it would do for the housing market!!

      I quote from the Tenant Protection Voucher brochure: “Tenant protection vouchers benefit the owner by helping preserve occupancy stability during the transition from one financing mechanism to another. The resulting rent security helps create and preserve a short‐term reliable income stream.”

    2. dontknowitall

      You would think that Johns Hopkins pediatric brain surgeon Ben Carson would know better than the average person that alcoholism is a neurological condition having nothing to do with personal morality and that alcohol is the fastest acting antidepressant. He should be demanding better access to low income housing, free mental health care and increased mental health research funding not demanding fake morality plays.

  11. MoiAussie

    Saying is doing (Ian Welsh)

    Welsh, who often gets it so right, gets it badly wrong in this short offering.

    It doesn’t really matter whether the Paris accords actually did anything material, or did anything material that was significant against climate change. What matters is that the Paris accords were the unifying symbol of public agreement that climate change was a thing. Trump’s move defaces that symbol.

    Paris was always a failure, worse than Kyoto. A failure to commit to doing anything, other than eventually shovel some money at countries who were too poor to do anything on their own. A better response than I could offer comes from the comments there:

    The Paris accords arguably were worse than nothing– they slowed down real action by making people think their goals were sufficient, and maybe it would be okay to fall a little short of those goals, when actually they were woefully insufficient and achieving them would have done naught to stop mass destruction.

    Trump’s scrapping them might inadvertantly be a good thing, in the long run, as a catalyst inspiring people to action. Suddenly all the complete and utter fools who were praising and defending Obama and HIllary for doing something that would kill us all, are attacking Trump for doing something that will also kill us all but a bit faster and now are insisting on more and better action to prevent this. This could save us all, and since the whole [family blog] world was likely to die if we just kept drifting, kind of hard to say how it could make it much worse.

    People need to face up to reality and fight if they want a world that their children’s children can survive in. The neocon morons in government here are about to spend $1B to build a rail line at taxpayer’s expense to open 6 new coal mines in Queensland.

    To put Turnbull’s coal expansion plans into context, Australia is already the world’s largest coal exporter. At 388 million tonnes in 2015-16, we have a larger share of the traded coal market than Saudi Arabia has of the world oil market. And the Australian government hopes to facilitate a doubling of our coal exports.

    Yet Turnbull, upper hypocrite that he is, stands up and lambasts trump for pulling out of Paris. Paris needs to be seen for what it is – a cover story to hide the reality that neocons everywhere are doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done. Tromp is guilty of stupidity and selfishness, but Paris is not worth saving.

      1. MoiAussie

        Well spotted, and apologies to Welsh. It did seem out of character.
        And who is this Mandos character?

        1. Sputnik Sweetheart

          Mandos is a frequent guest commentator on his site. I like to think of him as the Jungian shadow of Ian Welsh: a liberal lover of identity politics and symbolic language who is far more cynical than Welsh himself could be.

        2. Plenue

          An utter idiot. I’m not actually sure why he’s allowed to make guest posts (as opposed to just crapping up the comment section), other than that Welsh is using him as a way to illustrate everything wrong with Liberals.

        3. Gaianne

          Mandos is–or was–a mainstay at DailyKos.

          My theory is that Ian publishes him that we might appreciate Ian’s own writing better.

          And to expose us to slightly cracked views expressed about as well as they can be. It is a sort of test. Or trolling, if you will.

          Do you rise to the bait?


    1. d

      Trying to keep the central queensland mining ponzi going a bit longer Aussie. Yes, total waste of money, although when the coal is no longer economic, that rail line could be good for tourism

    2. different clue

      Katiebird beat me to it so I will just say in my own way . . .

      Welsh has allowed his site to be infested from time to time by a creature that calls itself Mandos. I have learned to drop Mandos like a bad habit. Unfortunately I read this post before I realized it was by Mandos. Because it was so short, I lost very little. And a few commenters had something interesting to say.

  12. Pzoe

    I tried to post this yesterday but it didn’t go through. It still seems valid.

    I’m so amused by Hillary’s often stated claim that she really won because she won the popular vote. Reporters echo this mindlessly. I’ve never seen anyone refute this.

    Hello, it’s the Electoral College, stupid.

    As every educated marketing person knows one develops a strategy towards winning by winning with the score that counts. For the US Presidency what counts is electoral college votes, not popular votes. So you concentrate your campaign, spend your money, focus your efforts, visits, etc. with the view of winning those electoral states. One doesn’t spend time in states where you can get lots of votes but lose. A simile is the 1960 World series where the NY Yankees absolutely dominated in the “runs scored” column but lost in the game score. The Yankees won three games by huge margins but Pittsburgh won its four games and the series by lesser run

      1. HopeLB

        Arizona Slim, here’s a true Pittsburgh baseball story for you.

        My uncle would lower his younger brother, my dad(9or 10), onto Forbes Field to get balls while the players warmed up and then my dad would throw them up to his brother. They tell the story of how one fine day security was chasing my dad who had a shirt full of balls. He ran fleeing security while continuing to loft balls into bleachers before he was caught. The crowd started loudly booing security and yelling “let the kid go” and Ted Williams walked over, a fan threw a pen and Williams signed a ball before dad was escorted off the field. The crowd cheered. Ted Williams usually didn’t sign balls. Of course, being poor, they eventually needed the ball for a game and lost it playing on Blessing Street (by the big triangular Storage building). They both went on to letter in multiple sports and make the honor roll at Central Catholic and both went to college on basketball scholarships. (Thanks in large part to the African Americans who let these Irish/German/Dutch boys play with them in the Hill.That’s a whole other great story.) You’ve probably read about my uncle and his daughter if you follow HS basketball here. Hopefully, they will story-core this Forbes Field story this summer, even though they have even better ones, like sneaking into concerts at the Syria Mosque and ending up in famous stars’ dressing rooms. The Syria Mosque was the best music venue Pittsburgh ever had and was torn down for a flat UPMC parking lot! The outrage!). And you might want to spend an afternoon looking in the woods between Blessing Street and Bigelow for that ball. Maybe, you’ll find it before me.

        1. roadrider

          Ted Williams at Forbes Field? Unless it was an exhibition game it had to be the second All-Star game of 1959 (they played two ASG from 1959-1962). There was no inter-league play in those days, the Pirates and Red Sox never met in the World Series during Williams’ career and the only other ASG at Forbes Field during the span of Williams’ career was in 1944 when Teddy Ballgame was in the Navy.

          But a great story nonetheless. Should have hung on to that ball!

          1. HopeLB

            That date(59′) fits their age at the time and it wasn’t a World Series game. I’ll get them to story core it.

    1. roadrider

      A simile is the 1960 World series where the NY Yankees absolutely dominated in the “runs scored” column but lost in the game score. The Yankees won three games by huge margins but Pittsburgh won its four games and the series by lesser run

      Its not as if the Yankees did not make efforts to win the 4 games they lost – like Hellary not visiting Wisconsin or making much of an effort in Michigan – or put more effort into running up the score in the 3 games they won – that just reflected Pittsburgh’s inferior pitching depth (like Trump’s weakness in California for instance). They were simply outplayed in the close games and did have a bit of bad luck in Game 7 – a bad-hop grounder in the 8th helped turn an almost sure DP into a 5-run rally swinging the score from 7-4 Yanks to 9-7 Bucs.

      The Pirates couldn’t touch Whitey Ford (he pitched two complete game shutouts) so if he had pitched three times the Yankees would likely have won since their other starters were much less effective. I guess you could equate that with the strategic blunders made by the Clinton campaign but it was something only known in retrospect. Ford did not have a great season and had not yet acquired his World Series sure-thing reputation which was a result of his performances in the 1960 and 1961 Series.

      In contrast, the Clinton campaign did consciously forsake blue-collar voters in Midwestern industrial states (or formerly industrial states) to try to win Republican-leaning suburbanites while relying on their base of coastal elites and Dem loyalists. Unlike Whitey Ford, Clinton didn’t need 3 days of rest between campaign experiences so she could have “pitched every game” (if not in person then in media ads) in effect. They just decided not to.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Actually, Hillary was known for returning to her NY home every night and not campaigning. Much of her time was devoted to needless travel which is odd because it would seem like there would be no shortage of modern palaces waiting for Hillary.

        Given it wouldn’t make much of a difference considering her national prominence for 25 years, LOSING statewide candidates often have a hard time understanding they can’t simply go home every night because they need to make campaign appearances all day. Politics is retail at the end of the day.

        1. different clue

          She clearly thought she would be given the throne which was rightly hers.
          Campaigning would have been so . . . so . . . Common.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            If Hillary had vaguely competent people in her inner circle, she could have just stayed in her apartment and won. Maybe she would have had to hire the people who made the Tupac hologram, but whats that? She had a billion dollars to spend.

            1. Massinissa

              That’s actually a great point. The French communist Melenchon used holograms in the recent French presidential election, and by most accounts it helped his campaign, especially in the weeks just before the voting. If a French commie can get holograms, Hillary could have gotten some if she or her staff had any imagination or competency whatsoever.

              1. ambrit

                American politics is so incestuous that some of HRM HRC’s people could have asked their “friends” on the Republican team to “borrow” some holograms from their, the republicans’, evil Commie Putin Bros.

    2. John k

      The framers of the constitution didn’t even allow the pop vote as tiebreaker if EV is tied… it goes to the house, where each state gets one vote, I.e. Even less concerned with pop vote than EV, .wY gets same voting power as CA. Get over it, will never be changed, small states would veto.
      She simply paid attention to fav press and national polls, ignoring local reports from losers in know nothing flyover… while sidelining bill, most astute pol the campaign ever had… remember, her history was losing the nom, his was winning it, and the election, twice. She copied al gore, another political idiot.

      Mystery to me is why she remains popular with so many dems… I thought they gave great credit to elites with history of accomplishments, they continue to moon over somebody that turns everything she touched to sh!t. Plus, of course, the massive in your face corruption.

      Only thing that makes sense to me is that what I see as unacceptable defects they see as something to be admired. (Wish I could grift hundreds of mils…)

      1. Propertius

        The framers of the constitution didn’t even allow the pop vote as tiebreaker if EV is tied

        Since there’s no Constitutional requirement to even *have* a popular vote, it’s hard to see how this could be implemented. States determine how their electors are selected. They can do it by any means they see fit.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        In the case of Bill:

        -Jerry Brown ran on ending the Department of Education and a flat tax. So you can see why Rick Perry was once a Democrat.
        -Moonbeam wasn’t even the most insane candidate in the race. Tsongas was so gross Mittens voted for him.
        -Bill took an early lead after the Southern heavy Super Tuesday when people just voted for the loser who lived closest to them.
        -In 1992, many potential candidates stayed out with an eye on 1996 given 41’s earlier approvals.
        -Bill for all his political acumen won only 43% of the popular vote in a race where the third party candidate largely appealed to conservative votes
        -1996 is estimated to be the lowest African American voter turnout since the 1957 Civil Rights Act which was a voting rights act
        -Bill Clinton’s political acumen led to the end of the permanent Democratic control of Congress
        -Bill’s VP lost to the idiot son of 41 despite the political advice of vaunted Clinton confidante, Donna Brazille.

        Outside of getting lucky once, Bill probably would have died after arguing with Bill O’Reilly on some kind of debate show on FoxNews in a better version of this world. For many of the Dem tribalists, Bill and Hillary were the only game in town for so long.

  13. purplepencils

    re: deja vu and “Theresa May limps towards the election finishing line”… one can only hope, on Election Day, there is indeed a sense of deja vu. in not very much time at all, my loathing for May has exceeded that for Clinton.

    1. John k

      Now, now… you’re simply going too far. May hasn’t started a single war… or bombed anybody… keep it all in perspective.

      1. MoiAussie

        So we should ignore her role in the destruction of Libya?
        Oh, I see, you mean as PM she hasn’t yet …

  14. a different chris

    I was thinking there is some sort of informative (and ironic to boot) parallel between Obamacare and Paris.

    Obama’s health care plan was tuned so much to appeal to Republicans. I don’t know if *he* would have come up with something better but a real political opponent would have pushed Single Payer right into the Republican’s faces. The irony being, of course, that despite his efforts no Republicans at all voted for it.

    Same thing happened in the Paris Accords, this time with Obama on the opposite side. They made so many compromises to make America sign up, and well here’s a surprise: the US isn’t going to.

    I am actually a compromiser at heart, I don’t think I’m right about everything and I do think better is often the enemy of good. But at a certain point you have to clue in to the fact that you are in an pure adversarial situation, and the beauty of that is you no longer need to compromise. Just win, baby. Get what you want and family blog the other team.

      1. Benedict@Large

        A long article, but essential reading. The more I dwell on Obama’s record, the more I’ve come to view him as the leader of the biggest criminal syndicate in the history of the world.

        1. nowhere

          I’d say “leader” as in he got to sit in the Iron Throne for a time and has moved on, like all of our former Presidents. Obama is not any more or less special in this regard. And that’s the point, the power structure does not allow people that actually change things into power.

          For those that think Trump is actually a true threat to this structure… he is at best clumsily fumbling with his zipper and he thinks it’s the grenade pin.

      2. HopeLB

        What was strange about that article was Obama’s certainty he would be President as evidenced by his arrogance, authoritative orating, at Harvard and by his going through the motions while a state senator, mostly being “out to lunch” on the golf course or basketball court. Similarly, Hillary told her old friend, after Bill had just won the Ark. Governorship, that he is going to be President. Almost leads you to believe these election “wins” and their candidates had been planned long before their actual dates somehow and also why the Dems did not demand or pursue recounts/verification of Russian “hacked” machines.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Its not really weird.

          Anyone who wins statewide has picked out the Oval Office drapes. This is probably why Trump just recycled the Clinton drapes. He had never won statewide.

          Lets consider Obama:

          -hes telegenic and tall without being an ogre like John Kerry.
          -Obama is attractive but not too attractive. This is key.
          -pleasant voice. He could read books on tape.
          -he has a nice story about overcoming an unusual upbringing and being carted around without any kind of odd connections. There are likely no Robert Byrd type skeletons in his closet.
          -he went to the right schools which will make smug liberals just swoon
          -he correctly observed people projected their values onto him in “Audacity of Hope.”
          -lets be honest about Obama, he is a cool black friend for many of his most ardent supporters. If he was a darker skin color, he would not be President. If he had the wrong accent, he would not be President.
          -Obama admitted to doing cocaine which is great because cocaine is the drug of Wall Street. Its not crack which of course was associated with poor blacks and welfare queens in the 1980’s
          -there aren’t many statewide black officials on the Democratic side since reconstruction. At the time, there was Doug Wilder and Carol Moseley Braun who was probably too lefty for much of America at least on the surface (not me, but others). If Doug Wilder can win in Virginia, why can’t Obama win 270?
          -look at some of the competition. Right now, Andy Cuomo and Bloomberg believe they can be President. People are putting out feelers for American oligarch, Mark Zuckerberg.
          -A great deal is luck. The current mayor of mid-sized city in Virginia once shared his plan to become State Senator, then governor, then who knows to everyone who would listen. He looks like he could be the President out of central casting or a local anchorman. He’s educated. He’s tall. He has financial connections. Why not him?
          -I went to college with a girl who wants to be the first woman Governor of Virginia/she wants to be governor. She might still be.
          -the only reason Jack Kennedy might not have thought he was going to be President as a kid was the old man was grooming the oldest brother who died in the war. His Harvard thesis was called “Why England Slept” which is a great little way to explain his father’s time as ambassador.
          -look at the play, Jack got out of being Catholic. Al Smith did the heavy lifting. Ike told his Chief of Staff to find the most qualified Catholic for the Supreme Court regardless of how liberal/left his views might be or annoy Republicans.
          -I imagine Al Gore thought he was going to be President. He was in Congress at 28ish. His dad was a popular Senator with a great record. Gore went to the right schools.
          -Going back to Obama, people responded well to him. Just look at his followers.
          -What were Obama’s responsibilities in life? He wasn’t broke, and he doesn’t have any family responsibilities he has inherited. He’s free to pursue a course that might not lead to financial stability at an early age.
          -Someone has to be President, so why not Barry? If Ronnie Raygun could do it and then Bill Clinton…why not Barry…no Barack Obama.
          -he has his hair.

          1. HopeLB

            The “state wide” office explains Clinton (Governor) but not Barry who was a state senator before he was fleetingly a US senator.

  15. LT

    Re: Net neutrality

    As it gets less and less neutral, more and more people that want to start a biz will come up with ideas that are off-line.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Or, what I am hoping, is that they will devise an alternative to the internet that lets people communciate worldwide, but without having to buy into Verizon or Comcast, etc…..

      1. LT

        When we take the time to do it, that already exists.
        People may need to pause and ask “what’s really the rush?”

        But yes, what you mention will also come into play.

      2. MoiAussie

        Face it, the internet has been stolen and repurposed as a cable tv replacement and photo/trivia bulletin board, because that’s where the money is, and because that’s what most users want.

        1. Carolinian

          Not me. I even turn off the pictures in articles to avoid the distraction.

          Fortunately our beloved text-y internet doesn’t use much bandwidth and will always get through unless the censors take over.

          1. ambrit

            “unless the censors take over.”
            They already are beginning their quest for “purity” and “right thinking.”
            You Tube Heros is a thinly disguised “Google Youth” recruiting program. Then there is censorship through restricting bandwidth or access outright. I’m waiting for “Fake News” to be formally criminalized by the State.
            We’re all soon to be lumped in with Timmy, the “Army of One.”

            1. Carolinian

              Google Youth–sounds scary. Do they have armbands?

              I never heard of You Tube Heroes. Most of my video consumption is confined to old movies. But having let the internet genie out of the bottle TPTP may find it a lot harder to put it back in again.

              1. ambrit

                YouTube is my wifes’ venue for old movies too. Some of those older “B” movies are better by far than today’s “A”list efforts coming out of Hollywood, or Ealing, or Paris.
                I believe that Google Youth has the modern equivalent of armbands, exclusive apps.
                YouTube Heros is nothing less than a “crowdsourced” system of “filtering” YouTube content. Heros members can vote up or down on content, and have said “objectionable” content banned. The voting members are, by design, skewed towards the young, the most easily manipulated population group.
                The internet genie isn’t a stand alone entity. It relies for it’s very life on privately owned, and thus controlled, infrastructure.
                As Lambert likes to quote from Frank Herbert; “He who can destroy a thing, can control a thing.”

        2. LT

          Or rather what most people who want to use the internet for everything want.
          What’s being pondered here is that the lack of accessibility and other developments will push others beyond it.

          1. MoiAussie

            Push others beyond it onto what exactly? A crowdfunded, community based, telepathy network?

            1. justanotherprogressive

              Well, I guess it will happen the same way all new ideas work – somewhere, sometime, someone will think out of the box……

              A couple of ideas:
              Neural networks using some other wavelength?
              Increasing satellite capacity and transmitters so that all of us can upload as well as download?

              1. ambrit

                Launching crowdsourced comsats on Falcon 10’s?
                A 30″ ground dish isn’t that hard to come by. Any desktop PC could be purposed to controlling uploads and downloads.

        3. nowhere

          Eh… what most people see is but a tiny fraction of what people use the internet for.

          The number of non-indexed web sites, known as the Deep Web, is estimated to be 400 to 500 times larger than the surface web of indexed, searchable web sites.

  16. RenoDino

    “Unlike every other near-miss candidate, Clinton remains a pariah among a large portion of the population: widely disparaged by pundits, blamed by some on the left wing of her party for Trump’s victory, despised by Republicans and many independents. Her singular fate – basically unprecedented in American history – tells us far more about the state of contemporary politics and journalism than it does about Hillary Clinton, whom history may very well judge with greater retrospection and consideration than her contemporaries.”

    You know it’s over when they start saying let history judge her. Even more than so patriotism, history is the last refuge of scoundrels. It’s where they go when the contemporary world is sick of them. Even that bastard Hamilton has a revival on Broadway so never give up hope that someday the world will embrace you long after your dead.

    1. Jim Haygood

      History began judging the ‘beest about a quarter century ago when the Clintons burst onto the national stage. The Arkansas state troopers tale of vicious, profane verbal abuse from Hillary, taken in the context of all that’s happened since (including similar denunciations by Secret Service agents outraged at being ordered to tote her bags bulging with designer pantsuits), rings true.

      My monumental exposé Les Victimes Pathetiques du Clintonisme [Pathetic Victims of Clintonism], which I had to write and publish in exile in Paris to avoid getting Seth Riched, perhaps will merit a footnote in history’s verdict.

      Remember the Arkancides!

      1. Arizona Slim

        Ron Kessler’s books about the Secret Service. Read them. They have a lot to say about the Clintons​’ mistreatment of their detail.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Yep, the poor Clintons. According to the Clintonoids, everyone but them lies about the Clintons, and they can’t even consider how odd that is…..

          2. ambrit

            The Clintonoids! Sounds like a “Doctor Who” group of villains. Or, just maybe, something from the original “The Avengers.”

            1. Jim Haygood

              Soon to become a blockbuster horror film: Revenge of the Clintonoids.

              It’s the long-awaited sequel to the grainy 1968 classic, Night of the Living Democrats.

              1. ambrit

                They’re all the hybrid offspring of “The Creature From Jekyll Island.”
                My favourite quote from that almost ancient tale of horror and perversion; “D— it Henry! You couldn’t put your hands on your assets if we gave you a prospectus!”

            2. Fíréan

              Clintonoids are much like hemorroids due to their similiar prime association with an asshole.

              ( nb. this is satire)

              1. ambrit

                Oh! So it is not “p—y” that Bill has been grabbing all these years? Quelle surprise!

    2. Ignim Brites

      Is it over for Sec. Clinton because Mayor Bloomberg has decided it is Bloomberg 2020?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Bloomberg was a Republican every day of the Shrub Administration.

        He is going nowhere.

  17. justanotherprogressive


    Another example of where too much money rots your brain?

    So he thinks losing net neutrality won’t hurt him? Does he really think his company is doing so well that it can compete with Amazon and all the other “big boys” and buy what it needs? It has been losing market share to Amazon for a while now…..

    I’m about ready to drop Netflix because their service is so bad already. I have no problems with Amazon Prime or Great Courses or any of my other channels freezing up but Netflix freezes up on me routinely. Besides, the content is getting so bad compared to other channels have that it really isn’t worth my time to go there much any way. I usually surf (when I can) what they have and then move on to something more interesting…..

    1. neo-realist

      In spite of their ethical issues re NN, I appreciate Netflix’s stable of independent, foreign, and b-movie exploitation films; a depth that beats Amazon and Hulu—at the present at least. They might have lost market share, but they’ve still got cash coming out of their ears and continue to stock up with content. Hopefully the implications of losing NN will bite them in the ass and they might take some action to combat it—yeah I think I know I’m dreaming.

      Besides, there are few if any places that I can I watch Rivette’s Out1 besides waiting for some art house to dare show this 12 hour masterpiece in one or two days?

  18. David

    I couldn’t help chuckling, perhaps unfairly, at the reference to an “indigenous” candidate in Mexico’s elections, as opposed, presumably, to someone whose family has lived there for only five hundred years. Makes you wonder what an “indigenous” American, or French or Russian candidate would look like. Of course that supposes a degree of ideological consistency …..

    1. diptherio

      My family’s been on these shores since the 17th century, but I wouldn’t call myself a “native American” since that particular term has a specific meaning that I don’t fit. Of course, I am “native” to this land, but language is based on shared social understanding of what mouth noises mean, and we’ve agreed to have those mouth noises indicate something else. Indigenous, in the same way, refers to an ancestor of the people who lived there before the Europeans showed up. Of course, you already know that, but I can’t let that nonsense go uncommented. Most all English words have multiple meanings, which is why context is so important….you know what context is?

      1. Carolinian

        I think his point was well made. We took the land from the Native Americans but who did they take it from? While the struggles of current descendents certainly deserve our sympathy, the who got there first-ism can be a bit pointless.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          New genetic research has shown that Native Americans have a particular gene pattern that originated from Asia and Siberia and that no longer exists in any humans except Native Americans. And this gene pattern exists in the most ancient Native American skeletons found so far, as in Eva of Naharon. So yea, when they crossed over to America, either by boat or over the land bridge, they were the first humans to arrive in the Americas….

          1. Carolinian

            Yes but the particular tribes whose land we finagled/took undoubtedly got their land from some other tribe whose land they took. The Europeans didn’t have a monopoly on wars or tribalism or “might makes right.” Indeed their dna ultimately derives from the same source as the North Amercans so how is that relevant?

            Being a victim doesn’t make you virtuous–it just makes you a victim. It’s the process of victimization we should condemn. Also if the debate ultimately revolves around questions of inherited property rights one can point out that this isn’t a particularly leftwing concept. Don’t the Marxists say “property is theft”?

            1. justanotherprogressive

              Sorry, but I thought you were talking about “Native Americans”, not tribes….and yes, Native Americans to get to claim indigeneity, but wrt to your points and David’s original comment:


              But honestly, should land or parts of this planet belong to one people or the other? Doesn’t it really belong to us all? Seems to me that attempts at “owning” something that really isn’t yours to own has caused a lot of distress in the world. What I find interesting is that indigenous people rarely thought they owned the land and therefore didn’t see the harms that the newcomers presented….

            2. Carl

              “The fact that people are poor or discriminated against doesn’t necessarily endow them with any special qualities of justice, nobility, charity or compassion.”–Saul Alinsky

              1. witters

                And the fact that people are rich and discriminate against others doesn’t do it either. In fact, on the evidence (you know, the discrimination), it means they have less. Was that your point?

        2. Oregoncharles

          They “took” it from the mammoths and their super-predators, none of whom survived.

          Must have been Heaven on Earth for hunter-gatherers, while it lasted.

    2. Roger Boyd

      Indigenous means “people with ancestors from those who lived here before the European invasion and genocide”. Read a little history of what really happened in the past 500 years in the Americas, Australia etc. and you will understand the strength of feeling of the survivors of the indigenous peoples.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Yes, that (i.e. the one quoted by Roger — thanks) is a good definition. That it refers to a particular set of historical events, rather than to some sort of biological purity, is a strength not a weakness. The biological argument is beside the point at best, and as far as I’m aware it’s most often used by opponents of present-day ‘indigenous’ politics, for whom that kind of hair-splitting (sometimes literally in their lab experiments!) conveniently blurs the point that what was destroyed, enslaved, displaced or dispersed so many times in the Americas and the Pacific was not so much a special gene pool but a polity, a ‘form-of-life’ (not a biological ‘life-form’, but a universe, a basis of social and physical life as collectively understood). And in particular a relationship between social life and land. This should be the least controversial aspect in a way, because it’s so well documented and is consistent enough across European invasions of the ‘New World’ to differentiate those — descriptively, not morally — from most other historical conquests, massacres and empires.
        Hence the basis of the definition in that particular round of conquest, and the reason groups who survived invasion by, say, the Romans or the Germanic-‘Gothic’ tribes, or the Arabs, Crusaders, Mongols, Asante, Turks or Ngāpuhi tend not so often to call themselves ‘indigenous’ (at least with respect to those invasions). Note also its relatively rare use today in Africa, where outright colonization came so much later than slave raids that the colonists classified the colonized as generically “black” first, “heathen” second and “native” only third. Admittedly there are exceptions regarding self-description as ‘indigenous’ today, eg. allegedly ‘backward’ polities across Asia — eg. Okinawans and many of the language/social groups of Indochina and Indonesia — who were already dominated by local powers when those came to be overthrown by Europe or — as in Japan and much of China until very late — incorporated into the European ‘world system’.
        Anyway, with regard to land/territory it’s relatively simple, and “land grab” doesn’t quite cover it, although the European invasions were certainly that too. Even where outright genocide was prevented by indigenous military genius and political imagination (eg. among the Māori Iwi of Aotearoa/NZ), it wasn’t simply a matter of land-ownership forcibly changing hands. Rather, the land was transformed by varying degrees of violence into property and thenceforth privately owned in a way that was incompatible with the fundamental political-metaphysical principles and all the social experience of its previous inhabitants. Māori were happy to take the first few boatloads of Europeans under their tutelage — indeed, according to James Belich, up to the 1840s powerful Rangatira often saw a pet Pākehā (= white person) as a status-enhancing luxury item — in part because European notions of personally ‘owning’ something so much bigger and more powerful as the Earth struck all Māori as ludicrous pie-in-the-sky. Conversely, Europeans and their ‘settled’ descendants felt entitled to break every single treaty they signed with the indigenous of the American and Pacific ‘New World’, because neither the political entities signing nor the form-of-being-owned-by-the-land that constituted those entities’ authority held any legal or moral standing whatsoever in the Euro-opportunist imagination.
        So it’s not a matter of moral point-scoring (“British were better/worse than Spanish who were better/worse than Visigoths, than Aztecs, than “peaceful tribes…”) to insist that something qualitatively different happened from the 16th century onwards. If a conception of living-with-land that constitutes the basis of an entire social universe is abolished by force or stealth, the indigenous social group is not necessary deleted from the world, but the world those people lived in really is abolished. And centuries later it makes perfect sense for social (as distinct from strictly genetic) “descendants” of those who lost the world to demand another one in its place. This is by no means the same thing as a delusion that old world can or should be reinstated. If anyone in the present world is “modern” in a positive sense, the Zapatistas, the Pasifikan diaspora and the Standing Rock water protectors certainly are.

        Or you could ignore all the foregoing (I wouldn’t blame you, it’s almost the length of a Zapatista communique) and answer the first comment about Mexico with a very simple definition: the indigenous of the Americas are indigenous, with a coherent reason for representing themselves politically as such, for as long as anyone goes on calling them “Indios/Indians”.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I would say “indigenous” in reference to the Americas should mean people who are descended from pre-European colonization efforts, don’t pass as “white” with “white” meaning acceptable to the dominant power structure and certainly don’t suffer from the results of removal, reservations, or discrimination as a result of an indigenous ancestor or parent who is “indigenous.” I think I got everyone.

          The definition in the comment above is so loose it lets me build casinos in Canada if that happens.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Indigenous means “people with ancestors from those who lived here before the European invasion and genocide”.

        Where is ‘here?’

        When we take the broader view, ‘here’ is the planet.

        A less broad view is that ‘here’ means only areas above water. Yet…yet, all continents are connected deep down…imagine, for a moment, the planet without water. We live a big ‘here.’ Yes, the fact is obscured by the oceans, just as we are all connected, but because maya, we think we’re separate from each other.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Race is generally a topic defined by NOT belonging rather than belonging to the larger society hence “black” and “colored” style descriptions predating “white.” In European dominant societies, “white” is unnecessary. It became “necessary” when Jews and Catholics could walk among the god fearing, UNDETECTED. Like the Ruskies.

          Race is obviously an artificial construction and dependent on temporal conditions and attitudes. Society is an artificial construction of our making, so denying race as a misunderstanding of everyone being made of the same burp from a long dead star is not relevant. Its true, but it won’t change anything.

          When we are discussing “indigenous” peoples in the Americas, we are discussing people who have suffered at the hands of European settlers and their successor states largely due to conditions of birth who are largely descended from people who arrived prior to 1492. The language used such as “savages” and so forth is very similar to the words used by late Western Roman empire descriptions of non-Christians outside the Empire or even Classical Roman descriptions of the Druish!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            More often than not, victims are the weak, and the names are ‘savages,’ or ‘deplorables.’

    3. Oregoncharles

      I was told, by an anthropologist, that in Mexico, “indigenous” means the men got to church (which typical Mexican men don’t), actually because they carry out traditional rituals under cover of the church.

      Most Mexicans have a lot of indigenous ancestry, so the distinction is primarily cultural there.

      People reached the New World at least 12,000 years ago, and probably considerably more, so they had a sizeable head start over a mere half millennium.

  19. LT

    Re: Trump Pulls Out Of 20th Century

    That headline would be “cute,” if the world didn’t have economic and social models for behavior still clingling to the 19th century.
    Example? Banks and people have shiny new tech equipment and are using it maintain a new “Gilded Age.”

    1. witters

      Personally, I pulled out of the 20C 17 (or 16 – there is a debate here) years ago.

  20. linda a

    Noam Chomsky: Neoliberalism Is Destroying Our Democracy Nation –

    Best explanation of what the forces of Neoliberalism are and how they developed. Vast public still caught up in the false political divide.

    1. Susan the other

      I noticed Chomsky uses the “sack of potatoes” Marx quote like Streeck did last week. That, as Maggie Thatcher said, ‘there is no society, only individuals’, neoliberalism embraced a kind of global fragmentation into identities that cannot coalesce politically and something else is needed to save democracy. Yes. And?

  21. Jim Haygood

    “This summer, Budweiser is extending its lineup of patriotic packaging to feature America bottles and cans along with the introduction of military-inspired Camouflage aluminum bottles, both dedicated to the men and women of our Armed Forces.” — linked article

    For the record, in 2008 Anheuser-Busch was bought out by Belgium-based InBev for $52 billion. In other words, this faux-patriotic rah rah amounts to us getting trolled by cheese-eating Belgian surrender monkeys craving America’s defense subsidy via NATO … and posing as actual Americans.

    With US antitrust enforcement a distant memory, InBev went on to snap up SABMiller last year for $107 billion. Its stable of mass-market schlock beers — Stella Artois, Budweiser America and Miller Lite — constitutes a beer connoisseur’s guide for what to avoid.

    Fancy a tin o’ piss?

    No mate, now bugger off.”

    1. a different chris

      Yeah a quick google of “Budweiser” sales gives me 11+ billion. But they are “trying to raise 1 million…”, I think this could also have went under the “please kill me now” heading.

  22. leftover

    RE: The Great Unraveling
    While I agree “[t]he force that will emerge as the alternative to the collapse of bourgeois politics [as described by Lantier] is the international working class,” and how it is being “driven into action,” where I begin to raise my American eyebrows a little is the presumption the rise of the international working class will somehow, some way, lead to a Trotskyist revolution.

    In the United States?
    A collapse of bourgeois politics doesn’t necessarily mean the collapse of the ruling class. Or its power over and influence on a working class primed with nationalist fervor. Especially in America.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I read the first part of the link as cogent analysis of the unraveling of the world order. Our Imperial Leaders have long been acting contrary to the interests of maintaining the Empire — I believe through a combination of greed with madness and stupidity. I agree with you about the conclusion of the link. We aren’t going to see barricades in the streets in a replay of 1848 and the doctrinaire conclusion undercuts the impact of the analysis which preceded it.

      1. Susan the other

        but we might learn something from the evolution and the amazing usefulness of state capitalism from the Chinese… which could lead to capitalism coming straight to Jesus. I hope I live to see that one.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We have to be careful about state capitalism.

          When it’s a failed state, or a captured government, state capitalism is neoliberalism squared.

    1. cyclist

      Maybe the NSA uses the building now, but it was probably built by AT&T to house phone switches back when these took up a lot of space. Switches don’t spend much time looking out the window. That one is particularly evil looking, but you will see these sort of buildings in most cities.

      1. Ohnoyoucantdothat

        During the cold war, telephone switches were considered critical national defense infrastructure and had to be built to withstand severe abuse. No windows and access severely limited. Battery banks and generators were very common. Not so much these days.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Odd what kinds of buildings scare people. The one that scares me most is that big one with the dome and the two wings in Washington DC….

  23. Jim Haygood

    Export the Gulag:

    In June 2015, Zakari Hamadou walked across the tarmac of Niamey’s tiny airport to the plane that would take him out of Africa for the first time. Hamadou’s trip to the US — which would see him visit some of the country’s most sophisticated prison facilities — was part of that bid by the State Department to make prisons worldwide look more like those in the US.

    Hamadou was just one of the tens of thousands of foreign correctional officers, from five continents, who have been taught US incarceration techniques. The program began in Latin America during the “war on drugs” of the early 2000s, spread through the Middle East during the “war on terror,” and then to the rest of the world as part of an Obama-era counterterrorism strategy.

    The State Department has trained around 50,000 prison officers across the world over the past decade and those officers have educated at least another 60,000. It is currently involved in the prison systems of 38 countries, deploying more than 100 full-time advisers.

    Hillary: “And I helped!

    1. Susan the other

      much like United Health Care’s takeover, or attempt to takeover, of the UK’s NHS

  24. Jim Haygood

    Newfies come out:

    Use the word Newfie at your peril: To some Newfoundlanders it is offensive, a vestige of the derision toward locals expressed by some American G.I.s stationed there during World War II.

    For decades stoic Newfoundlanders have endured national ridicule, the butt of jokes that cast residents of one of the country’s more remote corners as bumpkins and dimwits. Recently, though, a sociologist at McMaster University has been looking into whether the term retains its sting among younger people. He found that attitudes were mixed and that time had diluted the word’s potency.

    The term’s full fury developed during the war, when soldiers rode between bases on the Newfoundland Express, the island’s now defunct poke-along train. The train was sarcastically called the “Newfie Bullet,” and “Newfie” became synonymous with all things slow.

    All well and good, but as recycled ironic snark it should be spelled n00fie.

  25. Alex Morfesis

    32 minutes of action…hillary channels brock…she is a truly stupid klown…in her full recode transcript we can find her burping up some imagined factoid where she complains she only received 32 minutes of media coverage over 18 months during the presidential campaign she just lost to the orange hair dude…

    She insisted there was a grand total of 32 minutes of media coverage on her policy proposals…

    Can we just cut to the chase as to her losing…many will not like this…we don’t elect chunky people to be potus…never really have…maybe 4 were a bit full…but only one true jabba the hut…and none in the last century…lbj was not elected…he was selected by firing squad…

    1. Oregoncharles

      Is that just a joke, Alex? Trump is fatter than Hillary. By the “one true,” I suppose you mean Cleveland?

      LBJ was very tall, but I don’t remember him being especially heavy.

      1. alex morfesis

        not joking…and the jabba the hut was Taft…the white house bathtub had to be rebuilt special for his wideness…hill hides her extra-meties with her potato sack clothes…in terms of proportions, she is materially “fuller” than don trumpioni…his big stomach is not matched with the rest of his being oversized…it was not a nice thing to say…but…politics is about winning…

  26. Oregoncharles

    ” “NOAA requests a reduction of $5,000,000 to slow the transition of advanced modeling research into operations for improved warnings and forecasts,” the budget blue book states.””

    That’s a clever bureaucrat sabotaging Trump’s budget-cutting. Legislators from the SE will see that, their hair will catch fire, and there goes another budget cut. It’s electoral poison.

  27. Mahesh

    Interesting read about Islam revivalism aided by cassettes.
    Those of us from India who have faced the brunt of Islamic fundamentalism as a reaction to Hindu fundamentalism would vouch for the wonderful essay.
    Post mid-eighties the Hindu fundamentalist discourse started taking an fully “overt turn”. The reactionary Islamic response adopted to whatever it could lay its hands on , of course sneakily.
    The “official left” and “official centrists” were caught off guard.
    Incidentally, during this same period – the “official left” was battling on two different fronts.
    Liberalization in India and developments in Soviet Union.
    Neither the “official left” , nor the the “neo-liberals” were in any position to fight the evolving the rabid strain of religious fundamentalism.
    Sorry to say, but the mutant strain has gained its own personality and resistance – at times aided by opportunistic state – and that is going to be around for quite some time now.
    As for the cassettes – yes, the Islamic fundamentalism did use it. And so did the majority religious fundamentalists in our land.
    From the perspective of those who were witness to the the 1993 carnage in Mumbai (then Bombay), we have started getting the same nightmares , once again. This time around, our fears are much more compounded.

  28. mk

    Melania Trump Bans Monsanto Products From The White House YourNewsWire (martha r). From last month.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~yet her husband eats McDonalds and drinks Coca Cola….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We all discovered our own path to organic eating at our own pace.

      Maybe one day…

  29. Plenue

    >Robocop joins Dubai police force Reuters

    Looks like they’re trying to increase the odds they’ll have loyal protectors when the revolution inevitably comes.

  30. Plenue

    >The young Japanese working themselves to death BBC

    From the outside looking in, modern Japan has always appeared to me to be a kind of horrific dystopia. Between the years of (frequently literally) being worked to death as students, and being worked to death as corporate wage slaves (and sometimes not even getting a wage; there’s a cultural expectation that you should never leave before your boss does, so unpaid overtime is common. Anyone who doesn’t stay until the boss leaves is basically advertising that they never want a promotion), Japanese get a few brief years of university, which is commonly viewed as a period of freedom (except the very last year, where thousands of students join the zombie hordes of servile yesmen and women in identical business attire in the hope of landing a job). Wow, that was a run-on sentence, wasn’t it?

    This isn’t a problem that some token government regulations that will mostly be ignored anyway is going to address. There are some fundamental problems at the core of Japanese culture.

    1. JustAnObserver

      That “never leave before your boss does” is not exclusive to Japanese culture. From what I’ve read its pretty pervasive in the investment banking, hedge fund world. At least if you want to get to where the biggest bonu$e$ are.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I suspect it has at least something to do with knowing-one’s-place Confucianism, and is linked to other Confucius-legacy nations like Korea, Japan, China/Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore through state capitalism.

      “Trust the mandarins, the public sector, imperial-examination-acing high officials.”

      1. Plenue

        I’ve heard it suggested, including by some Japanese themselves, that basically what’s happened is that old notions of Samurai loyalty have been transposed onto salarymen, with companies and bosses taking the place of clans and daimyo.

        I can only assume actual Samurai would be as horrified by this as they would have been by the crazy deathcult parody of Bushido the Imperial military had during WW2. Samurai were a social class; any notion that its culture and philosophies could be adopted by just any Japanese would have been revolting to members of that class.

  31. Jess

    So I’m reading the article on the Great Unraveling which Yves noted as “important”. And it is. Nicely explains and ties together a mosaic of the changing world order. But then I come to this sentence:

    “The force that will emerge as the alternative to the collapse of bourgeois politics is the international working class.”

    Bourgeois? Bourgeois? This sounds like the chatter at a hip Paris bistro in the 1930’s. Who talks like that today? Looking for people to set me straight but my first impression was that this is exactly how to turn people off to socialism, that it conveys images to average people of failed socialist experiments like the USSR rather than the beneficial and successfully proven forms of socialism practiced in the Scandinavian countries and espoused by Bernie. (Not that “average” people are likely to be reading the World Socialist website on a regular basis, but if you wish to expand the reach of your message perhaps it’s best not to couch it in language which is both archaic and counterproductive, no?)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hillary Clinton had the “best” spin doctors and messaging experts in the world. What with the internet, millenials can often look up words such as “bourgeois” if they are unfamilar. Hillary being “totes woke” didn’t help her. Emojis didn’t help. Facebook didn’t help. Data analytics didn’t help. Vague generalities didn’t help. Slogans ripped from bumper stickers didn’t help

      Dems have been harping on better messaging for decades and produced nothing. The problem is message not messaging.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Also it conjures images of the USSR? The USSR? Are you kidding? If you want to talk about out of touch messaging…its been gone longer than Hillary has been on the national stage.

      Anyone who is worried about Bernie Sanders turning us into the USSR probably exclusively eats “Freedom Fries.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sanders was one of those calling for independent investigation of 2016 Russian interference.

        He’s to be trusted by the neo-McCarthyites to have nothing to do with the USSR.

    3. Absolute Negativity

      “Bourgeois” as the term for “the class controlling the means of production” seems to be debated over and over again by some socialists, ever in search of a “better” or “more modern” or “less historically fraught” term. The new term inevitably ends up with even less agreement than the original, and the substitution dies or becomes yet more jargon. It’s best they do stick to the original term.

    4. Darn

      World Socialist Web Site is Marxist I think so they would stick to the term bourgeois.

  32. cripes


    Yeah, it’s weird.

    On the one hand, American’s consciousness of world historical concepts, class antagonism and Empire are so lacking, an alternative language is required to introduce the concepts and, you know, actual facts to describe the impending disaster we’re staring at.

    On the other, I’m not sure “bourgeois” is it, considering the bourgeois class Marx described has been superseded by international neoliberal rentiers and financial predators.

    It has an old-fashioned ring, too.

    transnational oligarchs?
    financial predators?

  33. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Netflix CEO not going to save the free and fair web: um that’s not his job and as a corporate officer he has a fiduciary duty to his shareholders.
    For issues of “the public good” we have a thing called “the government”. By, for, and with, and all that.

    1. Altandmain

      Just realized that the Obama Presidency article was already linked.

      The RNN though makes a point.

  34. J.Fever

    This is apropos of nothing…-NYT…-“Like his colleague, Justice Breyer emphasized the importance of letting the Supreme Court have the last word in settling disputes, discussing Bush v. Gore, the 2000 decision that handed the presidency to George W. Bush. “It was wrong, in my opinion,” Justice Breyer, who dissented, said of the ruling. But the court had spoken, he said, and the public largely accepted the decision.”
    Cost of middle east wars, 2.4 Trillion.
    Can’t have a single payer health care system, we’re not Europe.

  35. Procopius

    This is not in relation to anything current here, but I was just reading an article about the ongoing destruction of Greece, and I wondered why I’ve been seeing remarks all over for at least the last five years about how the IMF has changed. Now I’ve seen descriptions of research reports by Olivier Blanchard and his replacement, and they are all sensible and in line with Keynes and Minsky, but the executives of the IMF do not follow them in any way. In fact they are now demanding increased austerity in Greece. Is this what they call “cognitive dissonance?”

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