Links 6/9/17

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How beloved pets become invasive predators – an interview with Dr. Peter Marra National Geographic (guurst). My cats (now cat) are indoor cats…

Cubs P-57 and P-58 have died in the Santa Monicas LabObserved (Kim Kaufman)

Dazzling Photos Let You Orbit the Earth with Astronaut Tim Peake Wired (furzy)

Oslo, Norway, is giving residents $1200 toward purchasing an electric cargo bike TreeHugger (Chuck L)

Scientists Discover a 2D Magnet R&D Magazine. MoiAussie: “A real first – could have many applications.”

Cheap DNA Testing Is Giving Some Insurers Even More Ways To Deny Coverage Techdirt (Dr. Kevin)

Please applaud our Richard Smith, who writes: “Many hands involved in its downfall; two of them were mine, though, so slightly chuffed. Of course the money (and we are talking billions) will just be flitting off to other shadows.”

Japan passes landmark bill for Emperor Akihito to abdicate BBC

Visit Tsukiji, a ‘Great Wonder of the World,’ While You Still Can Bloomberg

UK Election. The results have created what Lambert would call an overly dynamic situation. As an aside, note that Labor did worse in the seat results than YouGov predicted, but better in popular vote, getting 40.1% versus the Tory 42.3%. But in general, the pollsters have as much egg on their faces as the Tories do.

Also, for UK political junkies or foreigners who want to get down the curve, the commentary on our post as results were coming in was very informative, so you might give that a look too.

Please stay while we savour your humiliation, Britain tells May Daily Mash

Nicola Sturgeon: I will help Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister in a hung parliament Telegraph

The Times points out in its daily e-mail:

A host of big beasts have lost their seats, including Alex SalmondNick Clegg and Angus Robertson. But the home secretary Amber Rudd has held on despite Labour defeating one Tory minister after another

Corbyn’s ‘gobsmacking’ result confounds critics Financial Times. After nearly 40 years of neoliberal policies, pundits have managed to believe that ordinary citizens are content to get the short end of the stick. The backlash has finally taken place.

Election 2017: What is happening? Possibly one of the biggest upsets in UK political history Independent. Subhead from earlier in the AM: “With Brexit negotiations less than two weeks away, if the exit poll is correct then there will be complete chaos.”

It Looks Like No One Has Won The UK General Election. WTF Happens Now? BuzzFeed (Richard Smith)

For U.K. Conservatives, Potential Leadership Successors Emerge Wall Street Journal:

Betting companies immediately offered odds on her potential replacements. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power PLC had Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the lead, followed by Brexit minister David Davis and then Treasury chief Philip Hammond.

Dear God, Johnson is a horror and Davis is stupid. Hammond by default is the best of those choices, but was opposed to Brexit. But given that the election appeared to show that voters at most want a “soft Brexit,” plus someone who is known to like the EU would have better odds of getting the negotiations on a decent interpersonal footing, he would seem to be the best man the Tories have for the job. Whether they can get their minds around that is another matter entirely.

Why don’t Sinn Féin MPs sit in parliament? New Statesman. BTW, they looked set to cinch 7 seats this time.

No One Has Ever Made a Corruption Machine Like This One Bloomberg. On the Brazil corruption scandal. I dunno. The F-35 boondoggle is pretty rich. But it’s all done in the open, hence no corruption, right?

Corrupt, dangerous and brutal to its poor – but is Marseille the future of France? Guardian (resilc)


Qatar in talks with Turkey and Iran to provide food, water: official Reuters. Resilc: “Comey is BS. This is the news.”

U.S. Pilot Shoots Down Armed Drone in Syria Wall Street Journal

Qatar calls on Trump to help solve Gulf crisis Financial Times

Saudis Have a Lot to Lose in Fight With Qatar, Even If They Win Bloomberg

U.S. Pilot Shoots Down Armed Drone in Syria Wall Street Journal

Afghan government funding Taliban-run schools as militant group attempts rebrand Telegraph. Resilc: “Which means USA USA really is.”

Taliban territory: Life in Afghanistan under the militants BBC. Resilc: “Do you like the humvee they have? Wonder where they got that?”

Global Peace Index Vision of Humanity (resilc). US is 103 out of 163. China gets a 119 and Russia a 151, above North Korea at 150. Of ouur best friends, the Saudis get 129 and Israel, 143.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook wants to spy on people through their smartphone camera and analyse the emotions on their face The Sun (Chuck L). Another reason not to have smartphone.

Comey Testimony

Trump Asks Entire Senate To Clear Out Of Chamber So He Can Speak To Comey Alone Onion (David L)

Five takeaways from Comey’s dramatic testimony The Hill

James Comey’s Remarkable Story About Donald Trump The New Yorker (furzy)

The tweet that got James Comey to go to the press CNN

What We Learned, And Didn’t, From Comey Testimony Bloomberg (furzy)

Comey Raises Concerns About Loretta Lynch’s Independence New York Times. Furzy: “Why wasn’t Loretta on the stand??”

James Comey and the Predator in Chief New York Times

Some Dems see stronger case for ‘obstruction’ after Comey bombshells v. Sessions pushes back on Comey testimony Politico. Note Sessions takes issue with its accuracy.

Comey, Trump Accuse Each Other of Lying in Wake of Hearing Bloomberg

Comey’s statement weakens already weak obstruction of justice case Asia Times. Important. From of all people staunch Trump opponent Alan Dershowitz. Has any mainstream US media outlet in the US picked up his take?

New York Times stands by story James Comey called into question CNN

Former FBI agent: ‘I literally wanted to rinse myself off’ after Comey statement The Hill. Lambert: “But read all the way to the end!!!!”

Trump Transition

Trump’s Economic Plan Suggests an Attempt to Invoke an Earlier America Atlantic (resilc)

Are the Feds Treating the White House Like a Mob House? Daily Beast

Border wall might be covered in solar panels. Why not build it out of coal? TreeHugger (Chuck L)

Trump’s Incompetence Defense Atlantic (resilc)

Deutsche Bank Says It Can’t Share Information on Trump Dealings Bloomberg

People of Integrity Won’t Work for President Trump Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

Trump and the Democrats stumble into a ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’ Fabius Maximus. Important.

Putin says Kremlin critic Senator McCain ‘lives in Old World’ Reuters. Furzy: “Watching McCain last night….he seemed way off his feed…didn’t really make sense, comparing Clinton’s dismissal of criminal charges by Comey concerning her servers to Comey’s lack of dismissal of the investigation of Russian hacking….​false equivalency!!”

House Passes Bill Rolling Back Wall Street Rules Wall Street Journal. Subhead: Financial Choice Act is Republicans’ opening bid to loosen regulation; unlikely to become law. Lots of good detail. Key parts:

…the Senate is unlikely to take up some of the more controversial provisions in House bill, according to a GOP Senate aide, such as the 10% leverage ratio for regulatory relief, reduced powers of the consumer bureau, and repealing the Orderly Liquidation Authority in Dodd-Frank for the government to unwind a failing financial firm…

Mr. Hensarling said he is looking for ways to push pieces of the plan through the Senate without Democratic support by attaching some measure to the annual budget bill, which passes on a majority vote. Some of those provisions include the Orderly Liquidation Authority measure, reducing the CFPB’s powers and eliminating the Office of Financial Research, created to study financial risks.

House votes to kill Dodd-Frank. Now what? CNBC (furzy)

I went to the Daily Mail to see what they made of the UK election results. This was their lead story for US readers: ‘I want to burn the White House down’: NSA leaker Reality Winner, 25, is DENIED bail as prosecutors claim she may have stolen more top secret information, was fascinated with Islamic terrorism and planned to play the ‘pretty, white girl’ card in court

Montana congressman-elect to be sentenced for altercation with reporter Reuters (furzy)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

In Trump’s America, Black Lives Matter activists grow wary of their smartphones Washington Post

U.S. Pays Farmers Billions To Save The Soil. But It’s Blowing Away NPR (Chuck L)

Factories Won’t Bring Back the American Dream Bloomberg (furzy)

State workers will have a new personnel director in Jerry Brown’s last year Sacramento Bee. The real news is this: “State Human Resources Director Richard Gillihan is leaving his post overseeing the state’s workforce. He’s joining the California Public Employees’ Retirement System as its new chief financial officer.” Even though he did work for the Department of Finance, he’s a weak choice for this role. He’s not a CPA, which is what you would normally expect to see in a private sector CFO. And he’s said little in board discussions.

What Is Ailing Retail? Barry Ritholtz

House Republicans Are Trying to Pass the Most Dangerous Wall Street Deregulation Bill Ever Mother Jones (resilc)

Why Amazon should keep prescription drugs off its voluminous shelves The Conversation (J-LS). Dear God, I had no idea this was under consideration. Gah.

Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2017 Intelligent Economics. NC is here, under Financial Economics blogs.

Guillotine Watch

The gilded glut: falling demand hits luxury property market Financial Times. In New York, there’s a threatened crackdown on using real estate to launder money. That put a big dent in the super high end market.

Class Warfare

Boxed in: life inside the ‘coffin cubicles’ of Hong Kong – in pictures Guardian (resilc). A must see.

Boeing Studies Planes Without Pilots, Plans Experiments Next Year Seattle Times

Antidote du jour. Crittermom:”Hummingbirds do take baths, but they’re so quick about it this is the first time I’ve been able to capture it. I suppose it could be called the epitome of a ‘bird bath'”.

And a bonus antidote (Richard Smith):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. MoiAussie

      I can understand this. Comey’s testimony was pretty disgusting: self-serving and politicized. Some of his questioners were pretty disgusting too, but that’s to be expected.

    2. RenoDino

      I guess the takeaway is no one crosses the FBI and walks away unscathed, particularly Presidents. Lambert commented yesterday that Comey is on the cusp of taking down a presumptive President and an actual President in short order and that gives the police state ultimate veto power.

      “For 48 years … FBI Director [J. Edgar] Hoover pulled puppet strings, and had presidents on their heels,” he added. “We now have a president that was attempting to put an FBI director on his heels.”

      Trump did the unthinkable. He buttonholed the FBI Director. In doing so, he brought the whole takedown process out in the open. In the end, this may be his biggest accomplishment.

    3. justanotherprogressive

      Or this story could be called how the Hill and CNN manipulated a headline to imply the former FBI agent was disgusted with Comey……which isn’t what Gagliano said if you watch the video….

      1. MoiAussie

        The headline is ambiguous. I read it as disgusted with Trompe, you read it as disgusted with Comey. Reading the article doesn’t make it much clearer, the only tell is G’s repeated mentioning of Comey’s “discomfort”. His closing statement seems a lament for the good old days when the FBI called the shots. In any case, it’s a non-story.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There is another story, the real story, about the non-story.

          And that is the way the media is always making something out of nothing.

          “They manipulate.”

        2. different clue

          I note that the FBI agent in the story, who was disgusted about something or other, seems to pine for the good old days when an FBI director could put Presidents back on their heels. And now the current President was trying to put an FBI director back on HIS heels.

          What? Really? How dare he! Who does he think he is!? What nerve, for a President to think he has the right to put an FBI director back on his heels, when everyone knows that it is the FBI director who has the right to put a President back on HIS heels.

    4. Bugs Bunny

      Is this only me but didn’t all these people seem really immature?

      It reminded me more of a bull session in a bar after a colleague got fired than an official hearing in a deliberative body of government. Name dropping, bragging, a*s-kissing, awkward jokes…

      Maybe I’m just getting really old and can’t put up with this stuff anymore.

      1. Roger Smith

        Shouldn’t the head of the FBI be beyond discomforting, potential intimidation? Why did Trump leave him with his jaw on the floor? Sounds like a rookie mistake to me. Where the investigation is concerned his ethics should have been amped up to 110%. Wouldn’t it have been much better for him to testify that he flat out told Trump to stop with this talk, and was subsequently fired? Instead we got, “I don’t know, I was uncomfortable, I was acting cowardly…”

        1. justanotherprogressive

          I see Comey as the perpetual boy scout and yes man, who finally got himself to a position where he thought he was the master of his own fate. Unfortunately I think he also bought into the J Edger/true blue FBI hype instead of reality. When faced with reality, he was so shocked that the yes man came out instead of the boy scout…..and now he regrets that….

        2. reslez

          Comey is worried Trump really does have their conversations on tape, so he couldn’t testify to anything actually damaging, because nothing actually damaging seems to have been said. That’s why Comey’s testimony is chock full of his own personal emotions and reactions and interpretations, all slanted in the most damaging way possible against Trump, presented in a “gee-lordie” faux boy scout package.

          Comey testified before Congress on May 3rd that no one he was aware of had ever tried to interfere with an investigation for political reasons, so either he was lying under oath back then or right now, take your pick.

          The Democrats have no power anyway, but it’s not like they can impeach Trump over a self-proclaimed “coward”‘s interpretation of some really ambiguous statements concerning a total side issue.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Th middle school level immaturity has been a point of Atrios about Versailles for well over a decade now. I’ve always liked “hollywood for ugly people.”

        The bad behavior is hidden behind pomp and institutional respect.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          The bad behavior is hidden behind pomp and institutional respect

          Exactly, and Trump doesn’t play that game and he’s blowing everyone’s cover. Which is why they loathe him for what he says, rather than for what he does.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Trump’s behavior is preventing all kinds of bipartisan achievements!

            I saw this on MSDNC this morning.


            Yep, Pelosi is nostalgic for the architect of the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, deregulation, climate change denialism, and on and on. But Shrub was a guy you could have a beer with because he kept the illusion Versailles wasn’t a sewer full of floaters who wear suits.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              Wow, Pelosi with her ‘let them eat cake’ attitude is questioning Trump’s mental health? She’s lucky it isn’t 1789 right now or she’d be carrying her head around in a basket.

              All of these tone deaf sociopaths ought to be thrown in the loony bin.

            2. different clue

              Well, Pelosi liked Bush at the time, too. That is why she took Impeachment “off the table”. Because Bush was a President she liked and could do bussiness with.
              Bussiness? Yes. The kind of bussiness that Pelosi believes in and likes to do.

              Bush really was Pelosi’s guy. That’s why I have referred at times in these threads to the “Pelosi/Bush/Cheney Administration”.

      3. Lynne

        Smarmy was the first word that came to mind when I read Comey’s statements, followed closely by pathetic.

  1. Carla

    Re: Facebook wants to spy on people through their smartphone camera and analyse the emotions on their face The Sun (Chuck L). Another reason not to have smartphone.

    Actually, it’s a reason not to be a Facebook user/product.

    1. subgenius

      No, it is an massive opening for the next form of communication device. It shouldn’t be long now. Although the various issues with the infrastructure of the internet, the design of current computers, and the structure of software have all been getting papered over for a couple of decades, and I thought we would have seen some attempts to market successor systems quite some time ago.

      But, absent a collapse of the current order, they are just around the corner – of course early versions will probably not gain traction immediately. Then again, with the lack of ideas in most the big players offerings and the growing awareness of both the security implications and the unpaid worker aspects of the current set-up (appropriate word, methinks) maybe we will get lucky…

    2. cocomaan

      I put tape over the smartphone camera facing me. That way the Android OS can’t see my eyebrows go up when Yves says, “mirabile dictu!”

      1. Enquiring Mind

        I imagine that there are clever attachments or phone cases that will cover up lenses and prevent or hinder microphones from eavesdropping. Phones have software settings to disable such things, but the Facebooks of the world can probably get their fellow-travelers at Apple, et al, to override those in the interest of customer service. Smart TVs likely have similar risks, and I await news of hidden microphones and cameras that manufacturers, or whomever, deploy to keep tabs on viewing habits and conversations.

        1. Procopius

          You heard, didn’t you, about the “talking doll”? It uses the internet to transmit your kid’s words to a central computer which analyzes the sounds and transmits back an “appropriate” reply. The company was found to be recording everything that was said within range of its microphones. As you say, in the interest of public service.

      1. reslez

        Facebook’s app is truly horrific and should not be installed by anyone ever. If you must use FB on your phone, use their mobile website and uninstall their app ASAP.

  2. subgenius

    There was a surprisingly worthwhile interview of Margarita Simonyan (editor of rt) on NPR this morning as I drove back from accidentally being in Hollywood.

    I only caught it because KCRW plays (imho) the best music on the radio in LA, and the music shows are streamable (in case people don’t know of the station…) – if you are really into modern music, I recommend giving Henry Rollins a few chances – he has turned into an absolute gem, a punk Peel…never know what he might come up with, so it’s worth trying a few before making a decision. Their eclectic 24 streaming service covers more easily accessible music. Jason Bentley is like Norman Cook…so good at his selecting you have to hate him…and the morning becomes eclectic live show segment has a lot of excellent stuff. Also shadow is doing a great show.

    1. RabidGandhi

      That’s great, and thanks cocomaan for the link.

      “the channel that’s funded by the government and seen by many as just a propaganda machine”.

      Very big of NPR to finally fess up.

      1. UserFriendly

        I wouldn’t call that NPR fessing up, I’d call that them giving about 5min of air time to someone who had to live through Bill Clinton’s plunder of Russia and subsequent revival by Putin who called a spade a spade. Which didn’t stop the host from pushing the ‘your a putin puppet line’ anyways.

        *Notices irony* sigh lol

        1. juliania

          Thank you for your link to a well researched but ultimately backstabbing article on Russia’s recent history. I didn’t go to the NPR link but suspect it was the same, and the question then becomes how desperate are people to impugn Russia’s current leadership that they must take the moderate path (excellently presented by the way) in order to claim that of course Russia has hacked the US electoral process, and finally that Putin is mean spirited and wants to rule the world.

          I guess ultimately those who have such tendencies have a hard time recognizing forbearance and a genuine wish to make the world a better place for all nations, including their own, when it is right under their noses – instead, the conclusion drawn from how badly the US has treated Russia has to be that we’d better beware because hatred for the US is now unavoidably present in Putin’s devious designs.

          Hogwash. Putin is disgusted, that’s for sure. So am I. And I wouldn’t be nearly as patient as he and Lavrov have been from Ukraine to Syria trying to turn the US leadership into partners such as Trump said he wanted to do, and we hoped he would. For all his faults so far, Trump made an excellent point today – he said sure, we went with the electoral college, and you know where the electoral college votes are? They’re right in the heartland of liberal east coast, and mideastern states. Not in flyover country!

          That was a hard thing to accomplish, but Trump did that. He’s our president. This political civil war upon him for ‘pro-Russia’ tendencies has got to stop. Our country is being wrecked by the same oligarchs that wrecked Russia. They knew what they were doing then, and they know it now. If Putin has any feeling beside disgust at what is going on, it has to be horror. He knows well what we are facing here. We are facing the abyss – not from Russia, from our own oligarchs. And I suspect along with horror, pity.

          We would be well served to learn from the Russian experience before it is too late. That part of this article is worth a careful read.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Our company President encouraged us officers to buy stock, which many did in any event, the same way he encouraged us to donate a specific amount to his pet charity. At least that charity was independent and was doing some good in the community. His little love notes ended with the request to come see him if we had any questions. Nobody saw fit to take him up on that kind invitation, and saw such things as the price of admission, offsetting some perks when those were more widespread. Granted, that was 20 years ago, when we were still basking in the glow of a kinder, gentler world. Nowadays, there is no pretext, just do it or you’re fired, and we got lines of guys ready to step in and undercut youse anyways, see.

  3. purplepencils

    “May seeks to cling to power,” sez the pink paper. On the other hand, what is the alternative if the Conservatives are to stay in power? Would another leadership race be the best thing right now? I’m not sure if it’d just waste precious negotiating time or if May is so weak now that it’s worth replacing her. Ultimately, it’s unclear if there is anyone in the Conservative party to make this work.

    Perhaps, for Labour supporters, this is the best possible outcome — the Tories continue sipping from the poisoned chalice, but are too weak to inflict too much damage on Britain. But then again, with another election likely to come shortly, maybe we’re just being set up for a lot of uncertainty.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      May has moved fast to try to cut off any challenge. By getting her ‘majority’ in place quickly, it will be difficult for a heave against her until the next Party Conference. No doubt she will try to raise the heat over Brexit to try to distract everyone from her failures. Its probably good news for Labour, as a new leader could give them a fresh start with Brexit. But as the Tories are always notoriously ruthless and unsentimental about their leaders, I’ve no doubt there will be at least an attempted heave against her. The problem for the Tories is that there is no obvious contender and a leadership election could re-open the battle between pro and anti European factions.

      I said it before the election, so I’m happy to see this outcome. I think a patched up Labour coalition would not last long. The very best outcome for progressives was a weakened minority Conservative government facing into Brexit, rising inflation and a property market slowdown. Its the ideal springboard for Corbyn in four years time. And this is exactly what has happened.

      1. David

        Yes, I’ve been saying the same thing, and I think it would have been hard for a malevolent spirit to have contrived a worse outcome for the Tories and a better one for Labour, provided you lift your eyes a little beyond the current chaos. It could well mark the effective end of the modern (post Douglas-Hume) Tory Party, as well as giving confidence to those who have been waiting decades for the Left to remember what it’s actually for. I’m sure May will try to use Brexit as a diversion, but not only will that open splits within the Tory party (and with the DUP I suspect) but I’m not sure that even the right-wing media will buy it. There are lots of juicy stories to be written about incompetence, betrayal, plots, cabals and potential new leaders, and I think not even the Daily Mail will be able to resist doing so.
        Somehow the world seems a marginally better place this morning.

        1. MoiAussie

          I agree that it’s a very good outcome for Labour, and the Tories have indeed shot themselves in the head. But I see problems if it takes 4 years before Labour has a chance to implement any of its policies. Having achieved a fantastic turnout among younger voters, there’s going to be some fraction of that cohort that feels miserable that they lost – Labour isn’t in government – and becomes frustrated that nothing has really changed despite all the effort. It will take some hard work to keep some of them from turning off or turning elsewhere, particularly if it takes years before the next opportunity for change.

          Labour could be in government now, if it hadn’t given away so many seats to the Tories by its aversion to making sensible deals with perceived rivals. Perhaps a strengthened Corbyn can lay the groundwork for a smarter approach next time around, which I hope will happen sooner rather than later.

          A different issue is that the media will bash the Tories for a while, but then move on. With Labour working for the many and the Blairites in retreat, the real powers behind the Tories will have no choice but to double down. They will learn lessons from their failure, find ways to make the propaganda less obvious and more effective, steal some Labour policies (with no real intent to deliver on them) and pretend to back off from positions that annoyed the electorate this time around. Add in some false flags, some popular bribes, some jingoism and overseas interventions against “bad guys”, and a manufactured-to-order candidate au Macron, and you have a recipe for another “just sneaked in” Tory victory next time, particularly if redistricting plays into their hands.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            What were the expectations for Labour among the youth? With some of the wins, I expect the youth to stay stalwart as long as they aren’t betrayed by Corbyn.

            I don’t know the map, but given Labour was winning in seats the Tories have held for a century, every seat is now opened up. With person to person contact not data driven analytics of the Facebook*, people are willing to listen to the demands for patience. A few of the student heavy areas (Kensington; I read this last night) will be problematic because of population churn and how voting registration works there. To me, the results open up the seats we would classify as “lean Tory” as you reach out to non voters.

            My sense is Labour voters knew they needed to break the Blairites and screams of “pragmatism” which unfortunately have addled the minds of too many voters over the years. Corbyn stands in stark contrast to Milliband.

            *The bots I hired have liked every post I’ve put up. I must be really popular. Send David Brock more money!

            1. Darn

              I voted for both Miliband and Corbyn, I’m pleased with JC’s manifesto but have to say I think Miliband was criminally underrated.

              Looking unselfconfident on TV doesn’t make you “weak”. His manifesto was good. His mistake over austerity, which sealed his doom via the SNP surge, was understandable. He was gonna let the budget balance itself halfway through the parliament, but do no more cuts nor a stimulus. (“Anti-austerity” SNP wanted a 0.2% spending rise.) He must have reckoned the press would destroy him if he argued for more borrowing for a stimulus. Brown’s stimulus being too small will seemingly ruin politics for ~15 yrs.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                So Milliband’s only mistake was to endorse one of the most heinous policies of our time? Okay…and I wonder why he didn’t do better. Not all issues are equal. Austerity affects every thing else.

                Also, not running on opposing Syrian intervention was a huge mistake.

          2. purplepencils

            Oh the Tories have already stolen at least one Labour policy — a cap on energy prices. Nothing new there. I don’t know if they’ll be able to produce a Macron as well — do you see any potential Macrons in the British Parliament at the moment?

            I think the challenge will be being an effective Opposition in Parliament, something Corbyn hasn’t excelled at doing thus far. Of course, the media has been unduly harsh on him as well, so hopefully this outcome has bought him some brownie points in the eyes of our biased media. Put a little differently — hopefully the media will stop being such an arse.

            I hope what drove this election was less wanting to stick it to the (wo)man and more of finally understanding what Corbyn is for. The way I see it — everyone has tried to destroy Corbyn but he’s proven more resilient than expected. So I hope he continues persuading people.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              From our own recent experience, the treatment of Corbyn from the Britiash media has been…er, gentle.

              No fake news about Russian connections…yet. Only something about him buying into obsolete USSR propaganda perhaps.

              1. MoiAussie

                Gentle it aint. The following is typical of the relentless attacks on Corbyn, “the man who hates Britain”. (emphasis mine)

                But despite the Conservative ‘victory’, the big story is that the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn — a barely reconstructed Marxist who has in the past befriended Islamist terror groups — did so well.

                Labour surged from 30.5 percent at the 2015 general election, when it was led by the centre-Left Ed Miliband, to around 40 percent. When one considers the kinds of things Jeremy Corbyn has been associated with throughout his political career, and juxtaposes this with the fact that he wasn’t punished for it at the polls, this is deeply concerning.

                Corbyn has been a friend of Islamist terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. He was also a grovelling apologist for the political aims of the IRA, and associated with them while they were still a functioning terrorist outfit.

                Speaking of grovelling apologists, Corbyn has also been a leading light in CND, the effectively pro-Soviet ‘peace movement’ that wanted the West to disarm unilaterally during the Cold War, and thus lose that Cold War to totalitarianism.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  We’ll see if there are fake scandals about his trips to Russia. Losing the cold war charge to the USSR is so 80s or 90s. It’s today we have to focus on.

                  Nothing on Russian helping him in this last election yet…

                  It seems to me to be a gentler mainstream media over there.

              2. purplepencils

                Gentle only insofar as there aren’t ludicrous stories about Russia, something which I am certainly glad for. But the resurrection of a highly misleading BBC article, various lies about his allegiances and views… The attacks were deeply personal — May made it very personal, her vs him — and, in my opinion, that’s harsher than any conspiracy theory out there.

                Actually this morning I realised it’s surprising there haven’t been hacks that are then prematurely attributed to the Russians (see example of the Macron hacks). Small mercies.

              3. darthbobber

                I think part of what’s helping labor now is that the influence of the red top tabloids is clearly past its peak and will now decline further with the passage of time. What’s the age cutoff for looking to the tabloids for your sports and scandal coverage?

          3. UserFriendly

            Labour could be in government now, if it hadn’t given away so many seats to the Tories by its aversion to making sensible deals with perceived rivals. Perhaps a strengthened Corbyn can lay the groundwork for a smarter approach next time around, which I hope will happen sooner rather than later.

            I thought so too until I dug into the results a bit. Every Tory pick up in Scotland Labour’s vote share went down or only went up slightly while the Tories went up by double digits and closer to 20% in most. WTF is up with Scotland? I was texting for momentum and Labour wasn’t really pushing in Scotland at all. Maybe they should have.


        2. Bugs Bunny

          I for one pray that this is an accurate prediction and that we’ve heard the last from Blair and his lot.

        3. clinical wasteman

          Indeed you have David. Apologies for forgetting to thank you along with PK in the Water Cooler thread.

      2. a different chris

        >Its the ideal springboard for Corbyn in four years time.

        Sorry, as is always obvious I am mostly ignorant of these things… so this doesn’t reset the 5-year clock?

        1. BruceK

          Yes, it does.

          But in Britain 5 year clock means ‘up to 5 year clock’. Sometimes it gets wound up early, like yesterday.

      3. Marco

        Hey PK great comments all around. Curious if you caught Simon Wren-Lewis’ summary today at MediaMacro? His style always seems a bit obtuse and suffers from a “pox on both houses” wrt PLP and Corbynists. But it’s great to see a “mainstream” Keynesian finally warming up to Corbyn.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Thanks Marco.

          I just had a read of Wren-Lewis. I think he sums it up pretty well. The Blairites were stupid in their fight against Corbyn, they should have at least pretended to be willing to give him a chance, but they nearly destroyed the party in their willingness to insult the membership. A bit like with the Democrats, fighting the left has become a reflex for those insiders, even to the point of damaging themselves.

          But the broader point though is I think that quite simple, the Overton Window is shifting rapidly leftwards. What was often overlooked was that the Conservative Manifesto was actually more left wing than some previous Labour ones – they obviously have done their focus group studies and they understand something is shifting. Corbyn is now a mainstream politician, with a 40% vote he can firmly say he is not an outlier. Thats a huge change from just a few years ago.

          The trick now is for the left to realise this and stop the populist right from stealing its clothes (as Marine Le Pen has tried to do).

      4. purplepencils

        Agreed. This is what I did not dare hope for. I think a Labour coalition would truly have been a coalition of chaos.

        I think it was the FT live blog that reported that “liberal Tories” may be preparing for a fight. Certainly, those who lost have spoken out quite critically. On the other hand, May has proven to be ruthless with her party — indeed, I’ve felt disgusted by her lack of respect for her own people even as she licks Trump’s dirty boots.

      5. vlade

        There’s no obvious hard-brexit contender that wouldn’t be a laughing stock I’d say (Boris, Davies).

        To your last para – but if there’s a hard, no-deal, Brexit disaster, Corbyn may get to pick the pieces, but it’s likely to be a poisoned chalice too (just not enough time).

        1. David

          It’s not even a coalition government – just a tactical alliance. Indeed, I don’t see how a formal coalition agreement would even be possible. The DUP are simply doing it to keep Labour out, and that’s not a long-term programme. I think we are looking at a deliciously protracted crucifixion, but one that will fall apart in anything from a couple of months to a couple of years, depending on how stupid the participants are.

      6. Roger Smith

        It is unfortunate that Brexit and populist socioeconomic ideas still have to be diametrically opposed for the left, especially in this case, but also on the broader national/globalism debate. As an outside viewer, I really want to see a positive turn for citizens under Corbyn’s Labour, but at the same time I feel this Labour might call for a new referendum (if that is even possible). I would also like to see the UK set a good example of what non-global/corporate oriented economy and trade could look like.

      7. Lambert Strether

        > The very best outcome for progressives was a weakened minority Conservative government facing into Brexit, rising inflation and a property market slowdown.

        Pass the popcorn.

    2. Procopius

      I’d say this is the best outcome for Labour. I believe the party that negotiates Brexit is going to become hugely reviled and unelectable for a generation.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      And here we go……ain’t the spin machine great?

      Meanwhile, the House passed a particularly nasty banking bill called the Choice Act…..

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks! That only verges on MSM when they big dogs are happy to at least quote Dershowitz when he is Trump bashing or Israel-promoting.

  4. Darn

    Boeing studies robo-planes. Reminds me of a bit from the story “Suvival” by John Wyndham: “Welcome to the first fully automated transatlantic flight. Please relax. Nothing can do wrong – go wrong – go wrong – go wrong…”

      1. VietnamVet

        Yes. Robo-planes negates the need to bring the pilot’s family along to the bolthole in New Zealand. One sign of the apocalypse will be the mass departure of private jets from the Hamptons.

  5. justanotherprogressive

    That “Reality” story is becoming more and more ridiculous… it was “made in Hollywood”……the creators of this story should have stopped when they were ahead…..

    1. MoiAussie

      What gives me pause is the extent to which the panopticon has vacuumed up her every action and utterance to use against her.

      1. Linda

        More poor judgment on her part to think she would have a private conversation on a phone from prison.

        I recall reading about expected private attorney – client conversations being recorded. Maybe that was Guantanamo.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Shes clearly a dope and is the victim of the hyseria media and will be a victim of the war on whistleblowers. The precedence has been set, and Trump isn’t the guy to undo this.

      1. Andrew Watts

        The little people will always suffer what they must. Meanwhile serious people, usually lawyers and/or politicians, will tell us that we live in a nation ruled by law.

    3. mirjonray

      She’s lucky they didn’t sick a government informant on her to teach her bomb-making techniques. Also think of all of the young men who are languishing in US prisons now who also had lots of social media fantasies about running away from home and joining ISIS/Taliban/Al Qaeda/Hezbollah etc.

      1. Andrew Watts

        I can’t remember what fake news outlet I read it in, but apparently our brave American defenders are busy opening up investigations into each other over that. Apparently they’ve run out of mentally ill people to prosecute.

        *edited/added* On social media.

    4. Andrew Watts

      Can we get better conspiracy theorists ’round here? Your deep state overlords are so careless that they don’t remove usb ports in computers connected to their super-duper top secret networks. The US military learned a valuable lesson about this in Afghanistan when some idiot plugged in a flash drive he/she had found in the parking lot. Foreign intelligence agencies could be using the NSA’s lax internal security and their toys to spy on the world. Which I find to be both enraging and hilarious.

      The fact she geolocated targets for the Air Force and fantasied about running away to Kurdistan (Gee, which one?) is pretty sweet. It’s not like she called in any air strikes via Twitter!

  6. jsn

    Global Peace Index:
    I find it puzzling that while Syria lands at 163, Afghanistan 162, Iraq 161, Somalia 159, Yemen 158 and Libya at 154, the US, who is at war in all these places only ranks 103.

    This chart is definitely being viewed through imperial colored lenses.

    1. MoiAussie

      It’s not about attitude, involvement, funding, facilitation, or responsibility. Just location.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That really makes Americans winning the Nobel Peace prize even more remarkable.

      It’s a longer journey for us.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Facebook wants to spy on people through their smartphone camera and analyse the emotions on their face The Sun (Chuck L). Another reason not to have smartphone.

    Taking a few other bio-measurements, it can get into the health care business. It’s quite profitable.

    “Time for your Viagra.”

    Maybe it can offer an app that can order just-in-time coffin for the user as well…

    “Never go to the next world without it.”

  8. Susan the other

    The border wall built out of anthracite and covered in solar panels? I think it’s a great idea. I hope it isn’t a spoof.

  9. Susan the other

    about 2 dimensional magnets… don’t get it… won’t those fields cancel each other out? like intersecting energy waves?

    1. MoiAussie

      Chromium triiodide is ferromagnetic in its bulk (3D) state. This means the magnetic dipoles of each molecule line up in the same direction, rather than cancel out. The surprising discovery here is that this is also true in a 2D monolayer one molecule thick, making this the first known monolayer material with intrinsic magnetism.

      In the case of a double layer of CrI3, the dipoles of each layer do cancel out as you suggest.

    2. kurtismayfield

      Magnetism is caused my movement, or spin, of charged objects. So if you have a material that the spin of one type of charged particle (say an electron) is in greater numbers than the spin of an oppositely charged particle (protons), you would get a material that is magnetic.

      Full disclosure, This is a guess I am not a physicist.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The gilded glut: falling demand hits luxury property market Financial Times. In New York, there’s a threatened crackdown on using real estate to launder money. That put a big dent in the super high end market.

    Better late than never.

    But a coordinated international response is needed; otherwise, it will just go to Vancouver or Toronto.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Cue the news stories about ‘beggar thy neighbor’, shades of the Depression, through ideological policy tools driving away those needed investments. Modern media balances blunt instruments with just enough refinement to say that they have innovated to keep pace.

  11. schultzzz

    RE: “The gilded glut: falling demand hits luxury property market”

    I keep hearing NC reporters saying “luxury housing is money laundering”

    I really want to believe it’s true, but so far it’s just a phrase to me.

    Is there an NC post which explains why you believe that, and how the scam supposedly works?

    I mean, a post written for those of us without a background in finance, or a PhD in economics?


  12. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “boxed in…the coffin cubicles of Hong Kong”—-seeing stuff like this reminds me that living in the US is not too bad. To quote the old song: “when I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep/ and I go to sleeeeeep… counting my blesssssings!”

    1. David Carl Grimes

      Re coffin cubicles. Maybe they should make cubicles like that here in the US for millennials or the homeless.

      HK has an artificial scarcity of land. The government auctions of very little land for development every year. There’s a lot of land in the New Territories. HK probably has one of the highest house price to income ratios in the world.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You’re being facetious of course [in your first paragraph]. US building codes demand light and ventilation in habitable rooms, and stipulate minimum room sizes and ceiling heights. Having a toilet and makeshift kitchen in the same small room [one of the photos] obviously wouldn’t fly either.

        Likely Hong Kong’s building code has similar provisions. But enforcement is a whole other issue. Evidently the densely-packed, lower-income areas of HK provide sufficient anonymity that apartment residents can build these coffin cages and not get ratted out by their neighbors.

        Overpopulated, unhealthy tenements like these were a big issue in New York City … a hundred years ago.

        1. RMO

          About ten years ago here in Vancouver I helped someone rip a bunch of tiny subdivided bunkbed/rooms out of a normal looking three floor condo near Granville Island. They were about the same size as what you see in the article though the bathrooms and kitchens were shared. The previous owner had divided up the interior rather crudely and then rented the tiny “rooms” out to as many people as could be squeezed in. It’s the only example of this I’ve personally seen but it can’t have been unique.

          1. Enquiring Mind

            College students may see off-campus housing divided up in similar ways. Older people knew the concept of an apartment living room. Current students only know that there is now a ‘slider room’ when they walk in the door. That room is accessed by sliding back a door to reveal a coffin-sized sleeping habitat, with some slim chance of room for a tiny desk. Landlords become adept at meeting demand by squeezing more revenue-generating space out of existing supply when new housing isn’t readily available. Rabbit warrens are somewhat comparable.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              In the future, students will be smaller.

              Humans will be smaller in general…adapt or perish.

        2. Marco

          I think the “micro-apartment” / “tiny house” aesthetic as purveyed on HGTV brings us dangerously close. I’m all for living simply especially for the growing 1 person household demographic but not until we are out of the asset inflation loop powered by FIRE.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I wonder if these cubicles were originally promoted as a cheap, sustainable alternative the way ‘tiny houses’ are today in the US.

      Some towns are setting up areas where these tiny houses are allowed and I can see them turning into slums to warehouse poor people pretty quickly. A step up from living in a tent I suppose, but not by a lot.

      1. jrs

        I think I’d rather live in a tent than those Hong Kong cubicles, weather permitting, less claustrophobic. Of course obviously I’d rather live in a RV, which is not an unheard of for the more fortunate homeless, an RV on a city street.

    3. Angie Neer

      But they all have COLOR TEE VEES! It’s their own irresponsible money management that makes them poor. /sarc

  13. Chauncey Gardiner

    Enjoyed the link to the Bloomberg article about the Trukiji fish market in Tokyo. Appears to be ultimate sushi, but it is rather a long way to travel.

    I had read about the bluefin tuna that was sold at the market for such an enormous sum several months ago, but had little idea of the market’s social and cultural significance to the Japanese. The video accompanying the Japanese pop song “Clean Bandit” linked in the Bloomberg post is disturbing in this regard, with its respective bookends at the beginning and end. With its American C&W vocalist voiceover, the linked version also seemed discordant with the underlying message.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Every year they set a new record price for an auctioned tuna. If you do the math, the price per ounce is astronomical and I’d wondered how they could possibly sell it at a profit. Used to work in the seafood industry and there is definitely a difference between an average bluefin and one of very high quality, especially the fatty toro cut. But not that much of a difference.

      When I asked about it, I was told that they don’t pay the price for the fish itself, but for the marketing opportunity it provides for the company with the winning bid to bring more customers in the door. I guess it works to spread the news – here we are talking about it from thousands of miles away.

      1. MoiAussie

        The Japanese govt are well aware that Japan’s massive consumption of pacific bluefin tuna will soon end, as stocks are crashing. But they are opposed to any real conservation measures that would decrease their rate of consumption. Abe is on record as saying that he doesn’t care if bluefin tuna ultimately disappears, provided the street price doesn’t go up during his tenure.

          1. different clue

            There are other fish to eat besides bluefin tuna. There are sardines. There is carp.
            Those two kinds of fish aren’t going extinct.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Yes and most supposed bluefin tuna ‘farms’ are atrocious and not farms at all by any reasonable definition of the word. They simply round up wild bluefins, pen them in nets and then fatten them up so they’re all in one place when it’s time to send divers in for the ‘harvest’.

          I did hear of one new type of tuna farm that sounded promising several years ago. Since tuna are pelagic fish that need to swim constantly, the idea was to raise them in large doughnut-shaped tanks so they could be moving forward all the time. The lights in the tank would fluctuate to match the natural daily and seasonal changes in an attempt to mimic what they’d experience in the wild. IIRC, they had collected some wild tuna to use as breeding stock and would then farm the fish from egg to adulthood. This seemed like a much better method but no idea whether it ever got off the ground.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            The problem with tuna, as with salmon, is that they are fish eaters. You can farm them, but to keep them growing you have to harvest vast amounts of other fish for food. Fish farming is only really sustainable when you have veggie fish, or filter feeders like mussels.

        2. different clue

          Perhaps there are forward-thinking Japanese bussiness people even now buying bluefin tuna and putting them into cryogenic ultra-super deep freeze. Perhaps their bussiness model is to wait for the bluefin tuna to go extinct and then they can sell shavings from their cryogenically-stored bluefin tuna carcasses for a thousand dollars a shaving.

          But that can only work if the bluefin tuna can be driven safely and irreversibly extinct. Perhaps the firm commitment of the Japanese government to driving the bluefin tuna extinct is indirect evidence of powerful Japanese bussinessmen cryogenically storing bluefin tuna with just exactly this bussiness strategy in mind.

      2. Uahsenaa

        Over-fishing is a real issue in Japan and not just for maguro, eels too are on the out, due in no small part to their being incredibly difficult to farm raise.

        But looking at things with a longer historical view, the consumption of ocean fish is relatively recent in Japan, at least among so many, within the last 150 years or so. In the late 19th century the Japanese adapted to an entirely new diet, so I imagine they will be able to do so again. No more kabayaki or tekka-don on the menu, but you’ll still be able to eat all the anago and amago you like, which, in my opinion, are both much tastier.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        The high prices are indeed mostly marketing and not just in Japan. I’ve a cousin who owns a restaurant in a small town in Ireland. A local fishing boat caught a massive bluefin as accidental by-catch. My cousin went out to the harbour when he heard about it and offered the fisherman a four figure sum for it.

        He said it was well worth it as it was featured in all the local papers, he had dozens of new customers come in, just curious about the tuna. Its very much the gift that keeps on giving – I was with my cousin in a restaurant in New York after a family event, and we went to a small local sushi place downtown. We were late, they were closing, and the sole waitress was visibly grumpy about serving a bunch of loud Irish so late. But my cousin pulled out his phone, showed the waitress (who turned out to be the owner) the photographs and clippings, and the next thing we knew the chef was out to look and they ended up sitting with us and giving us free drinks and select sushi all night. ‘The Restauranteurs Union’ at work according to my cousin.

    1. John k

      When sodbusters came to the Great Plains, there was six ft of top quality top soil, legacy of the glaciers. Now three ft. Washed into Gulf of Mexico.
      So far, so good…

      1. Lynne

        Just keep in mind that part of that is because those farmers followed “expert” advice–capillary action and all that BS. Then people don’t understand why the good ones left are leery of the latest fads. Meanwhile I know people who destroyed their land, got the Feds to pay them to tro to fix it, and then honest to god got conservation awards for it. They swan around lording it over those of us who never let our places get that bad, and we get lectured by the Feds about how those irresponsible ones should be our role models.

        The USDA/NRCS is beyond fixing

    2. different clue

      Soil is also oxidizing away. The bio-carbon in soil is being oxidized and entering the air above the farmland as carbon dioxide gas.

      Some of the soil loss in Iowa and elsewhere is straight-up oxidation of the soil carbon . . . going up in silent smoke.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Secession (euro style):

    Barcelona (AFP) – The leader of Spain’s Catalonia region, where a separatist movement is in full swing, on Friday announced an independence referendum for October 1 in defiance of Madrid which is firmly against such a vote.

    Speaking in Barcelona, Carles Puigdemont said the question would be: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic.”

    While Catalans are divided on the issue, with 48.5 percent against independence and 44.3 percent in favour according to the latest poll by the regional government, close to three-quarters support holding a referendum.

    In modern nation-state divorces, the irresolvable issue is “Who gets stuck with the debt?” Catalonia’s indebtedness gives it a weak hand in negotiating with Madrid.

    1. vidimi

      i read somewhere that the opposite is true, and that spain owes the debt. were catalunya to default on it, spain’s cr would plummet. thoughts?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Last year NC correspondent Don Quijones described Catalonia as “acutely cash-strapped,” with “grave liquidity problems” and a deep-junk credit rating.

        Lacking the backstop of Spain’s central government, it’s hard to see how Catalonia makes its way to independence without defaulting.

        As in the Brexit contretemps, Madrid (like Brussels) surely would send Catalonia a monstrous invoice. It might go unpaid, but meanwhile debt rating agencies would shriek in horror.

  15. Pat

    Interesting to watch the usual suspects take a very different view of Comey’s testimony than I do. Hell, different that Dershowitz does. Wandered over to Vox to find out that Yglesias and Klein have both weighed in. The View has them all cackling about how killer it was.

    My take from Comey: self serving bull shit that doesn’t really hold up. (Funnily enough my anti-Trump friend was “well that was a huge waste of time and money, not that they aren’t going to waste more.” As Lewandowski pointed out this morning on GMA (after being badgered by George more than I ever saw him badger anyone attached to Clinton or Obama) if Comey truly felt he was being asked to bury an investigation he had a legal obligation to point it out immediately to other Justice Department authorities. He even cited the damn law.

    Yup the smoke and mirrors and grift to lawyers and media will just keep happening.

  16. craazyboy

    Cheap DNA Testing Is Giving Some Insurers Even More Ways To Deny Coverage Techdirt (Dr. Kevin)

    Well, then. Eugenics is finally official!

    Monkey Dude can get insurance now.

  17. craazyboy

    Trump has now unleased a fresh bout of Comey name calling.

    I’m now edging toward the camp that Trump has finally gone Off The Edge Willie Wonkers Bonkers.

    He’s earning the Man-Boy moniker.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I am truly amazed that he didn’t tweet yesterday – I wonder if someone shut down his account just in case….

      Trump’s ego won’t let him do the smart thing and just let this nonstory go…..

      1. RUKidding

        I wondered about that, as well. But didn’t he and Ted Cruz go pray with some Evangelicals or something? To show Trump’s Evangelical bona fides?

        Maybe someone slipped the Cruzer a big wad of cashola to temporarily hide Trump’s phone or something.

        Trump really IS his own worst enemy. If he would STFU, he might actually be able to be useful. But there you go: appears that ain’t gonna happen.

        I’ve given Trump 5 months… to prove himself. As far as I’m concerned, for a sitting POTUS, that’s enough of a “chance” that his fervid fans insist we must all give him. Fair enough. Time’s up.

        1. witters

          Do you not appreciate the genius involved in setting Sunni regime against Sunni regime?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Man-Boy is like Miyamoto Musashi before he was tamed by the Zen master.

      It seems like the next 4 years (appx) will be wasted taking no advantage of how Trump could be influenced to do something positive.

      After all, he is more likely to embrace MMT than Sanders.

      1. craazyboy

        Poor Melania must be overwhelmed with the task.

        The only hope is if we can find the hidden Asian Karma Armpit Whisperers and get them to use their Yoga Lizard Brain Taming Technique on Trump.

        It may work, but it is a untested technique in recent history. Plenty of subjects, but the problem is getting them to agree they need it. It’s non-invasive – I believe that’s the problem. Poor choice of words. The ones that need it like invading things. They think non-invasive is when your balls get terrified and run up somewhere above the scrotum and permanently hide up there. Then you have a voice like an Asian boys choir singer, and have to work for free.

        But how to finance it? Emotional stability is not the same thing as bridge stability, and Congress will never put funding for it in the Highway Bill, even tho Disneyland Mara Lago does sound like a good idea(tourism).

        I think here is where MMT could step in with an experimental [mental! – hahaha] jobs program.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you remember from the Musashi trilogy, with Toshiro Mifune, the young, unruly Miyamoto was tied up around his waist and hung from a tree by the Zen master, as part of his education.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Meanwhile, Dodd-Frank is being gutted (not that it was that great), down the hall from the Comey hearings and on the same day, and McConnell is writing up a revised AHCA in a back room somewhere.

      It’s almost as if the [something-something-something]-Gate focus is a distraction that dovetails with the interests of the donor (hence the political) classes.

  18. Altandmain

    Re – that Bloomberg article

    What happened to Acer?

    Manufacturing is very, very important still. That’s why Japan, Germany, South Korea, Switzerland, the Nordic nations, and Taiwan (if you consider it a nation) do very well.

    It’s preposterous to think that items such as producer’s goods, NAND fabs, semiconductors, jet engines (increasingly made in Japan), and a few other high end goods are not made in the US.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe “preposterous” understates the danger in “outsourcing and off-shoring” almost/all(?) of the technologies and manufacturing which support our modern way of life. And narrow supply chains reaching across seven seas supported by ever smaller local inventories twines remarkable fragility into the slender threads of the web of support for our modern way of life.

      I recall the old World War II dramas I used to watch as kid. I remember the heroic bombing runs on the tv show “12 O’Clock High” seeking to wipe out German ball bearing factories with the rationale that without ball bearings the Germans would be unable to keep their Panzer tanks running. We moved all our “ball bearing” factories as well as our “ball bearing” making abilities to foreign lands.

      For want of a nail … and how many many nails cobble our way of life together?

    1. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, the Downtown location for Uber 101 classes has just announced that said classes have been cancelled until further notice. These classes are Uber training sessions for new drivers. And they’ve been held at this location for several years.

  19. Jason Boxman

    The Bloomberg article on factories strikes me as absurd. Efficiency at the expensive of all else. It completely ignores the narrative from Jane Jacobs’ Economy of Cities, where innovation happens because so much economic activity takes place in cities, very much including manufacturing.

    While there may be fewer factory jobs due to automation, I guarantee you there are even fewer R&D jobs to go around. But as always, the neoliberal solution is simply more education!

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      And more markets! Because we all know it was self-interested individual actors making individual decisions in non-gov’t influenced free markets that brought all the mfg to China.

  20. Cats

    Cats: I just read a similar book. Our community has CNR. We picked up a trap, captured two non-neutered males. (They kept attacking my chickens and peeing on the porches.) We have two cats, keep inside for the most part. The older cat walks on a leash or stays on a line. Once the elderly one passes away, we’ll put up a pet door and add a simple chicken wire enclosure on the back porch for the second. Already decided we won’t have any more cats, allergies, wandering, large amount of litter in the waste stream.

    After our large dog passed away, we decided to try an under 30lb dog. We found and under 15, less than the one cat). Easy to clean up after, travels well so no sitters. Benefits of a cat being small, yet fun to train.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Tucson also has TNR. And I live in a neighborhood that is overrun with feral cats. Things have peed on my doors to the point where the finish has been ruined. They defecate in my gardens. And they attack and kill birds. Lots of birds.

      I’ve tried all sorts of methods for keeping the ferals out, but NOTHING works.

      Methinks that TNR is nothing more than a ploy to raise more money for those misguided animal rights organizations. Meanwhile, the rest of us pay the prices.

      1. Cats

        Cats are destructive so we didn’t want them back in the neighborhood so we rejected tnr, trapped them ourselves and turned them over to the county shelter (if not adopted in x amount of time are euthanized). Pets are a business. We’ve always gotten shelter pets or given strays homes, but it just seems to bolster the used pet market and irresponsible humans (this latest batch was just another round by our neighbors who have dumped more than a dozen cats in their yard leaving the rest of the neighborhood to pay).

        Regulations allow to capture and turn over to the shelter but only on certain days and requires personal info and id to make sure people aren’t harassing neighbors by turning in their wandering cats.

        I support cats chipped, licensed and leashed just like dogs but our city/county is getting nowhere.

      2. Cats

        Roller bars work (extend fence taller, thread pvc onto wire and tighten), best if inside and outside. Easiest if owners are required to keep cats in. Enclosures, catios etc.

        For wild birds, keep undergrowth cleared near nests and feeders, have shrub trees the cats can’t climb (cats can’t climb metal panels either) and 1×2 or 2×2 wired area makes an effective safe zone that birds will use.

  21. Elizabeth Burton

    Another reason not to have smartphone.

    Oh, for heaven’s sake. This would only work if people have their lens turned on facing them constantly. Anyone that self-involved deserves being “surveilled.”

    1. Pat

      And you seem to have missed that cameras can be turned on in computers (and your smart phone/tablet is a computer) all without the user knowing it. And since most, if not all, phones come with a front and rear facing camera, they most certainly can then watch as you surf the web, read your email, check the map, buy your groceries or play silly games without you being self-involved and turning the camera on yourself.

  22. Vatch

    Why Amazon should keep prescription drugs off its voluminous shelves The Conversation (J-LS). Dear God, I had no idea this was under consideration. Gah.

    As we have learned over the past several years, Amazon warehouses are not temperature controlled. If the temperature in one of those warehouses gets to 100 Fahrenheit (about 38 Centigrade) or higher, I would imagine that some medications would spoil rather rapidly. Amazon probably claims that they have corrected this problem, but who would be gullible enough to believe them?

  23. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: Wilderness of Mirrors — For all the elegant writing and clever analogies in this link what stood out for me was this little explored nugget dropped haphazard in the middle of the piece:

    “For those, if there were any, who could tear themselves away from this media ping-pong match, the original distraction was from any serious attention to what the Trump administration intended to do or actually was doing on behalf of our security, our economy and our laws. And for whose benefit, we might ask ourselves, was that distraction?”

    1. Lambert Strether

      I filter out stories with headlines not in the indicative. Then I get rid of the speculation (“likely”, “probably,” “soon,” etc.). I also filter stories with headlines that read P, when they obviously should read “Person X claims P.”

      Then I filter the body of the story for qualifiers like “allegedly.” Then I throw away anything with anonymous sourcing, especially “officials.”

      After that, there’s virtually nothing left.

      Basically, I’m filtering for access journalism, as opposed to reporting. Of course, there might at some future date be reporting. There’s very little now.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Sorry — I intended no critique with my comment. The small section I quoted is what caught my eye. I quoted it since it seemed almost hidden.

        The analysis in the link is deep and beautifully written. I especially like the analogy of the wilderness of mirrors. I saved the top paragraph and the section of Elliot’s poem in a text file with the hope they might provide an inspiration for a piece for the glass coldworking class I’ll start next week. I have a large piece of broken mirror to work with. It’s a very old mirror I picked up at a garage sale many years ago. I believe the mirror has seen and holds many things which I might reveal if I can find the right inspiration.

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Yep, distraction, misdirection, obfuscation, illusion… it’s important that we keep our eye on legislative initiatives and actual policies rather than their magician shit-show. I too am wondering what is going on right now behind the curtain, although I suspect we already know for whose benefit.

  24. Jeff W

    The problem with the proposed new location for Tsukiji Market is not just the contaminated soil or the enormous price tag. From here:

    The group, named Tsukiji wo Mamore (Protect Tsukiji), has also pointed out that the allocated stall spaces for many fish merchants in Toyosu are too small to cut huge fish like tuna, and that the new market also won’t have enough room for transport trucks.

    If that’s the case, those are pretty fundamental—and really inexcusable—design flaws.

  25. craazyboy



    Just got back from flying my airplanes at noon and found a new pet friend – a Gecko! He climbed my patio screen door about chest high and has his legs spread wide, tail hanging down, and toenails hooked into the screen. Looks like he wants me to tickle his tummy. He’s been hanging there still as a fake plastic gecko all afternoon. I even slowly slid the door open and ran the fan out the door full blast a while, and he didn’t flinch. He’s only moved a few steps all afternoon.

    I’m thinking if I could make a fun play area, maybe I could get him to stop by more often. I’m thinking using a baking pan full of cool water and float some red pepper slices in it for food. He could splash around, take a drink, cool off, and have a bite to eat!

    That should be a fun way to beat the heat. (105)

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