Links 7/16/2017

‘I missed my nap for this’: 101-year-old sprinter breaks 100-meter dash record WaPo

Legal Arguments in “Monkey Selfie” Case Are Bananas at Hearing Hollywood Reporter

Andy Murray Interrupts Reporter’s Sexist Question To Stop Casual Sexism, And His Interview Goes Viral Bored Panda

Iran-born Maryam Mirzakhani remembered as ‘math genius’ Al Jazeera

Tales from the new Silk Road BBC


Beijing criticizes Indonesia renaming part of South China Sea CNN

The big China-US chasm, Beijing’s dirty little secret and other stories you may have missed SCMP

Risk profiles of China, Hong Kong keep on rising Asia Times

Chinese purchases of overseas ports top $20bn in past year FT

The million-dollar question in China’s relentless academic paper chase SCMP

Police State Watch

Outrageous Massachusetts Drug Bill Would Send You to Prison and Steal Your Car—No Drugs Needed AlterNet

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Can the Tech Giants Be Stopped? WSJ. Debated whether this fits better here, or under Class Warfare.

Don’t pin your hopes on Facebook, Google, and other massive tech companies to keep the internet a level playing field — here’s why Business Insider

Spam Calls: US Experiences Second Most Spam Calls In The World International Business Times, Would Ajit Pai please pick up the white courtesy ‘phone?  Why isn’t the FCC on this? Oh. I forgot– they spend all their time plotting the demise of net neutrality.

What’s Behind Exxon’s Latest Climate-Friendly Turn Bloomberg

United Wants to Sell Your Seat to Someone Else for More Money Bloomberg. This email is from United and we want to help you….


American Tech Companies Are So Afraid Of Offending Indians That They’re Censoring All Their Products Buzzfeed

Cheap domestic workers (even Bangladeshi) are fine. The problem is when they protest Compare Scroll’s coverage to the Grey Lady’s take immediately below.

At a Luxury Complex in India, the Maids and the Madams Go to War NYT

Class Warfare

Quit Your Job for a Better One? Not if You Live in Idaho NYT

Federal appeals court upholds Wisconsin ‘right to work’ law Jurist

The Redemption of Richard Florida American Conservative

As opioid overdoses exact a higher price, communities ponder who should be saved WaPo. Lambert: “The overt killing begins.”

The Meaning of Lula’s Conviction Jacobin

Two Californians (including a lawyer) jailed for running fake law firm

The C-word TLS

Exelon, Microsoft among latest donors to Obama Foundation Chicago Tribune

Health Care

McConnell defers vote on Senate health-care bill after McCain surgery WaPo

‘Medicare for All’ Isn’t Sounding So Crazy Anymore NYT (martha r)

Republicans use state payoffs to win votes for repeal bill Politico

The Cruelty and Fraudulence of Mitch McConnell’s Health Bill NYT. Okay, it’s Krugman. But note Lambert’s comment: “[H]e doesn’t even mention what is arguably the worst misfeature of McConnell’s bill — even worse than the pre-existing conditions malevolence — that being capping Medicaid expenditures at the rate of inflation.

Bad because health care inflation is greater than the general rate of inflation, so future cuts are in essence built in, which is even worse than ‘savage cuts’ now, assuming those cuts are one-time.

Still worse, Medicaid expenditures have never been capped, so McConnell will have made a huge systemic change. Since Krugman is silent on the Medicaid cap, I assume he — along with liberals in general, Krugman being a proxy for them — accepts it.”

Our Famously Free Press

Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons National Interest. Well, someone has to. Didn’t know where to file this– worth a read.

Russia Trumps Ecocide at the Petroleum Broadcasting System Counterpunch

New Bill Seeks to Make On-Camera White House Press Briefings the Law Hollywood Reporter

Kill Me Now

How Bill Clinton and George W. Bush got over their politics and became BFFs WaPo

Suppose the Trump show runs and runs The Economist. If you thought nothing could be worse than election 2016, stay tuned….


Brexit is a massive venture. There’s no way these changes will happen smoothly Guardian. This is no ordinary op-ed columnist, but Gus O’Donnell, former cabinet secretary and head of the civil service.

Meet the neighbors: EU citizens in the UK Politico

Fears Brexit deal breakdown would spell ‘catastrophe’ FT

Former civil service head warns Theresa May of Brexit chaos Guardian


Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’ NYT

New Cold War

Russiagate and the Magnitsky Affair, Linked Again Rolling Stone (Richard Smith). Matt Taibbi.

The New McCarthyism Is Destroying the Democratic Party Truthdig

Trump Transition

As Media Focuses on Russia Collusion, Trump Is Quietly Stacking the Labor Board with Union Busters In These Times

Trump’s Worst Collusion Isn’t With Russia — It’s With Corporations Foreign Policy in Focus


Trump may reverse decision on climate accord, France’s Macron says: JDD Reuters. Is this for real? Lost in translation? Empty Trump bombast? Time will tell…

Republican States Want the Trump White House to Stop Protecting Dreamers New Yorker

Governors steer clear of Trump Politico

TPP, the Trade Deal Trump Killed, Is Back in Talks Without U.S. NYT

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Tim

    In addition to

    “Suppose the Trump show runs and runs The Economist. If you thought nothing could be worse than election 2016, stay tuned….”

    You really need to spend time reading this one:

    Steven Rosenfeld is one of the few remaining at, who hasn’t lost his mind to Russiagate

    The thought of GOP keeping a lock on things all the way to 2031 should be unnerving not just to Democrats !

    1. UserFriendly

      He has the right idea that democrats should be working on stopping gerrymandering but he isn’t exactly the man with a plan either. In listing the states that have gerrymandered the most seats away he was way off. It should be TX, PE, NC, OH, GA, MI IN, FL, and VA. in that order. He has the right idea about getting governorships as the top priority but there is also plenty of reason to think that a national 6 or 7 point D wave would carry a bunch of legislative seats along with it. Also, he has a map of NC up when NC is one of a handful of states where the governor has no say in redistricting. And it is just false to assume that because a district was gerrymandered in 2010 that it’s demographics and voting patterns have not changed at all and it isn’t worth even competing in those districts for the 24 seats they need to take the house.

      If you are actually interested I put together a chart of races that make the best targets for undoing gerrymandering. Shaded green are top targets, yellow middle, black longshot. Current partisan breakdown is shown along with last year the last time that office is up before redistricting.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I couldn’t understand the chart. But you have WI as having new court-drawn districts (before 2018?) which is not going to happen.

      2. lambert strether

        The chart looks great, but I don’t understand the column headings, how it is sorted, or why it supports the implications you draw. Perhaps an extended caption?

        I know this sounds like an editor saying “I know you worked really hard on this,” which always causes my heart to sink, so I’m sorry. Nevertheless…

        1. UserFriendly

          I made it back in January, but yeah it was a mess. I cleaned it up and made it more intelligible.

          The rankings are based on number of CD’s that a win would influence as well as the chance of pulling it off. So there are some longshots that I might have given a high rating because they have a high bang for the buck and some seemingly easy races that don’t matter as much so are ranked lower.

          1. IowanX

            Actually, thanks for this. As a Virginian, I know the numbers, more or less. What I think your % of seats would have won = CD’s that Hillary won;…but I could be wrong on that. (and in VA, I’m not sure that Hillary support is a good metric for D’ support (Assuming the D’s ever again run as D’s).

            In short, IMO a properly functioning D Party *could* make a wave election…certainly enough to elect governors enough to calm stuff down.

            And yeah, that’s where the fight is, because our bench is so weak, but I DO see hopeful signs.

            If only we could fire the thugs in the DNC….

            1. UserFriendly

              It comes from in VA Dems running for congressional districts received 48.8% of the two party vote and therefore they should have gotten 48.8% of the 11 seats (5.4). But only actually got 4. It’s obviously not meant to be a perfect measure but it is a decent approximation.

      3. Tim


        But winning these Congressional seats, won’t undo the super majority the GOP has in the state parliaments, and these are the ones that will ultimately allow them to continue gerrymandering, if I understand the system correctly.

        I haven’t seen or heard any discussion in DNC circles on how to get back to the 50 state strategy.

        And the thought of blowing $30 mio dollars on Orsoff – instead of supporting local offices across the whole of U.S.A is just crazy

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “how to get back to the 50 state strategy.”

          A valueless and intellectually bankrupt party can’t run everywhere. A 50 state strategy requires motivated supporters all over working to win elections, not just merely have candidates. Until the Dems have a point to their existence beyond stifling the left through nostalgia, talk of strategy is largely a waste of time.

          The 50 state strategy is to hire a bunch of organizers to make phone calls, canvass, do data entry, and organize GOTV operations especially in areas which don’t have the money to fund their own operations or areas which are very blue but have many sympathetic non-voters who might flip the state. Why don’t the Democrats do this? Because they don’t want to. They want to be the party of a slightly more inconclusive country club, an Augusta National where rich women can be members too.

          1. Richard C Musser

            I think you hit the nail on the head in your final sentence. The issue isn’t so much expenditure of time, money or effort; In Wisconsin, for example, Obama declines not just to appear in support of local efforts, but (if memory serves) to even comment publicly on them. We have to be honest about the Clinton/DLC project of the last 35 years, to remake the party purely into a vehicle for personal ambition and graft. We aren’t invited anymore.

        2. UserFriendly

          The thing I posted is a table of upcoming state legislature elections (not parliament) when we will be electing the people who draw the maps.

          For me this isn’t an endorsement of a strategy, it’s just a puzzle I like to solve. Like a sudoku. What I am suggesting is the best path for them to gerrymander the house in their favor / limit GOP gerrymandering as much as possible. It goes without saying that they should really be putting in effort in every state that doesn’t have a commission drawing the maps to make sure that state legislative maps don’t get gerrymandered too. And yes a 50 state strategy on top of that would be best.

    2. Kokuanani

      I just went over there & posted a comment noting that he hadn’t mentioned the fact that Obama & Co. sat on their hands in 2010, doing NOTHING to get Dems elected at the state level. As a result, Repubs swept the legislatures & governorships and voilà, redistricting to their benefit.

      It’s apparently too uncomfortable for Clinton [Bill] and Obama supporters to examine how both guys’ actions [and inactions] contributed to bringing us Trump.

  2. Benedict@Large

    Over time, medical inflation has predictably outpaced general inflation by about 3% each year. In Medicaid, where provider options are already narrowed by price controls, not allowing these increases into Medicaid will quickly become catastrophic, and in fairly short order (say, 6-8 years, but I’m guessing) will make it impossible for the system to provide much of anything for the poor. This would be more than a case of making things difficult. It would effectively end Medicaid. (I’ve long said Krugman is a fraud when it comes to healthcare. His silence here should end any doubt of this. The Democratic mainstream has apparently decided to just let the poor die.)

    A second feature of this is that Medicaid has worked as well as it has because the providers who have decided to participate in that segment of the healthcare market have been able to transfer much of their losses over to their non-Medicaid business. As the gap between the two price groups widens, pressure to further increase non-Medicaid pricing will escalate.

    Healthcare pricing is somewhat like a balloon in this. Price pressure on one part of the balloon’s surface is merely spread across the rest of the balloon’s surface. A hospital, for example, is profitable only when all segments of its business average out to be profitable. This is why it’s so impossible for these institutions to explain how their individual services are priced. The individual services effectively have no starting price.

    All of this together will solve nothing. The problem (uncontrolled pricing) is just being kicked down the road, where most every Congress will have to deal with this again and again. Critics of price controls will continue to point to Medicaid as proof that price controls do not work, but this is nonsense. Price controls do not work when they are restricted to only a portion of the market. In these cases, the market, as it does today, simply shifts prices to the un- (or lesser-) controlled segments. Price controls have to be apply across the entire market, and until that is done, healthcare prices will continue to escalate beyond our means to pay for them. Every delay of this will bring us more and more needless deaths.

    1. Carla

      Hi, Benedict — thanks for this.

      I suggest what is left out of your analysis, though, is that we will never achieve effective price controls without comprehensive universal health care (probably single payer).

      While we’re in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic, the price of the injectable form of the antidote has ballooned (to use one of your words) grotesquely from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 for two doses.

      EINO: Everybody In, Nobody Out. Any effective control of prices will depend on it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From a Feb. 2017 Japan Times article:

        For decades, insurance coverage and prices have been set by Chuo Shakai Hoken Iryo Kyogi Kai (the Central Social Insurance Medical Council), better known as Chuikyo, set up under the health ministry. Made up mostly of industry representatives including the JMA, drug industry groups and insurers’ associations, Chuikyo reviews the prices for all medical procedures and drugs available in Japan every two years, and generally works to lower prices for older ones. The government wants to introduce a yearly review from fiscal 2018 to further rein in costs.

        But the downside of this long-running system is that, while the government controls the cost of medical goods and services, it doesn’t control the volume of services provided, Tsugawa said. This has fostered a culture in Japan of patients seeking more care than necessary because access is unlimited, he explained.

        I don’t know if access is really unlimited. How many people can spend 25 hours a day, 7 days a week visiting doctors? It’s not infinite, not unlimited.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Same thing in France if you also have a good mutual insurance. Who in the name of Pete wants to be at the doctor all the time? Such nonsense.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a little better problem than not having health care for a lot of people.

          2. Matt

            I really don’t understand this reasoning but its common from economists.

            “Now that I have dental and vision coverage, I’m going to get braces, glasses, contacts, root canals, dentures, and extractions! Because I can!!!”

            1. Toske

              It seems to come from the same place as the reasoning that the poor must want welfare purely to buy booze and not have to work, i.e. “because they can.” It’s not as though we’re in the midst of epidemic homelessness, malnutrition and structural unemployment in this country. /s

          3. Arcadia Mommy

            MLTPB – you are projecting your needs/uses of the medical care system. My in-laws and their siblings go to the doctor constantly, and they always demand (and get) elaborate additional treatments. Every little ailment is blown up to ridiculous proportions. We just got them through an ankle sprain, you would have thought the bone was sticking out of my MIL’s leg! It occurred to me that going to the doctor/PT/urgent care/ER is pretty much their social life (they get lot’s of attention and everyone is KTA).
            They have medicare (as you may have guessed). My MIL does not believe that anyone other than seniors deserve access to health care because “we haven’t worked enough to have earned the right to health care”.
            I do believe that health care is a right, however, we as a country need to acknowledge that most of the “treatment” that doctors give you is of little or no benefit, or is actually harmful.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              You point out two observations:

              1. People going to doctors constantly, demanding additional treatments.

              2 Doctors offering treatments of little or no beneficial value, and may in fact be harmful.

              Perhaps one reinforces the other.

              I believe some people are like those in #1. I don’t know how many are like those. If I implied no one was like that, which would be projecting, I apologize.

            2. HotFlash

              re KTA — can you please elucidate?

              1.) Kenneth Tator Associates
              2.) Keystone Trails Association
              3.) Kearney Tennis Association
              4.) Kenya Transporters Association
              5.) Katolička Tiskovna Agencija
              6.) something else?

              1. Richard Musser

                I’m kind of new here, and I must confess I’ve been bewildered by the legions of abbreviations on this site. I know we all like to save time, but unless what you’re abbreviating is well established common usage, I’ve always appreciated the convention writing it out in full, one time before the acronym.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          And how much chemical and surgical assault can one human body actually sustain before it resembles the rubble of Mosul after it was “saved” by humanitarian intervention?

        3. marym

          It would be interesting to track critiques of universal healthcare systems in other countries as to how the critics pick and choose which aspects of which systems are problematic.

          In his book The Healing of America T. R. Reid compares health systems in several countries. He characterizes Japan’s system as “prodigious consumption,” no waiting periods, wide choices in treatments, and lowest spending. At the time of his writing (2009) Japan was at the top of the list in life expectancy and health metrics.The downside in keeping costs low is low compensation rates for providers.

          This, of course, isn’t an insoluble problem if a country wants a somewhat different balance. In the US right now it’s highest costs; poor outcomes; in many cases (even for the “insured”), limited or non-existent choices for treatment; and extremely high salaries and profits for some.

          There are other alternatives, as all the countries which provide universal care, lower costs, and better outcomes continue to show, despite both inherent problems and neoliberal sabotage.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s not so much which aspects to criticize, but how valid.

            Access and therefore demand and volume of services are not unlimited.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Anecdotes abound. And nobody seems to have actual meaningful honest unbiased data that might actually frame “the problem” in a way that might point to real answers. Because all the important players have zero interest in providing actual health care. It’s all just “wallet biopsies” and manifold scams.

              “Welfare mothers” and “super-predators” and “deplorables” have been some pretty potent anecdotes. Too bad that as a species, the answer to “Can we… can we… can we all just get along?” is apparently “Look! Over there!”

          2. kareninca

            Japanese ultra high life expectancy rates are suspect. Note that the study you cite came out in 2009, and this was disclosed in 2010:


            “In another example of vital statistics being grossly distorted by a combination of poor record keeping and possibly people with a selfish agenda, it is being reported in the Guardian and elsewhere that possibly hundreds of thousands of people over age 100 in Japan are actually dead, but unreported. Investigations are now underway to determine how much of this problem is due to record keeping problems and how much to family members failing to report the deaths of their elderly relatives in order to continue to collect their pension benefits by fraudulent means.”

            1. marym

              I bring no special expertise to this topic – what I know is usually just about whatever is contained in a link or quote. I try to understand the sources and to consider their credibility and biases. It’s certainly possible that a book written in 2009 is out-of-date on some matters.

              A search on “Japanese life expectancy” turns up many more recent (~2015) references to longevity from sources including the WHO, OECD, and CIA Factbook; and references to whatsupwiththat as a climate change denial website.

              I checked this Guardian article from 2010. It’s very interesting, but hardly seems to be a major scandal. The “hundreds of thousands” references people who may have died decades ago, not current pension cheaters:

              The survey uncovered 234,354 centenarians who are listed as still alive but whose addresses could not be confirmed. Ministry officials suspected some deaths went unreported in the confusion that followed the end of the second world war, while other people may have lost touch with relatives or moved overseas without informing the authorities.
              According to the health ministry, the country has 40,399 centenarians with confirmed addresses, more than triple the number a decade ago. Japanese women can now expect to live an average of 86.4 years – the longest life expectancy in the world – while the average among men is 79.6 years.

              The government said the findings would have a minimal impact on longevity figures, which are based on census data collated during home visits. In addition, men over 98 and women over 103 are not factored into life expectancy calculations.

        4. jonhoops

          Is it the patients seeking more care, or the medical establishment pushing more volume since they can’t raise prices? Most people I know don’t seek out more care they usually just want to get better and then get on with living.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s what I was thinking.

            Who wants to spend 25 hours a day, 7 days week in doctors’ offices?

            1. kareninca

              “Who wants to spend 25 hours a day, 7 days week in doctors’ offices?”

              I know people who do. I have a friend who is 74 who demands and gets every test imaginable; it is her hobby. Months of complex and costly tests (including CT scans) have ultimately led her to reduce fatty and spicy foods; yes, it was all heartburn in that instance. Now she’s working on a new “problem”. I have another friend who is the same age who does the same, and who adds in surgeries that could be avoided. I have a relative who is 57 who is at all times in doctors’ offices – it is true that she has ailments but she does not need to be there all the time (but she is, and she likes to talk about her medical visits at length).

              I told my doctor (I just got my first real doctor at age 53, by chance; I wasn’t seeking one; I was happy with clinic doctors) last week that I preferred to avoid wasting medical resources. He told me that that attitude is very rare.

        5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          From the same article:

          Yusuke Tsugawa, a physician and research associate at Harvard University who specializes in health care economics, takes a different view of the Japanese system. He says the days Japan can boast low-cost, high-quality health care are over, pointing to the nation’s soaring medical spending in relation to its gross domestic product.

          One must be open-minded, but immediately, a couple of markers to focus one’s skeptical attention:

          1. It’s a perspective from an ornately credentialed elite.
          2. An elite who resides within an elite institution in no-Single-Payer America, not Japan. Perhaps the distance enhances clarify of vision, but I’m not sure.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Japan’s population is aging rather dramatically. That’s one thing driving increases.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder what the incentive is for a provider to participate in Medicaid if it’s a money losing proposition for it/him/her.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Wasn’t there a commenter here recently, in a discussion about dental care if I recall, who suggested that Medicaid providers are “forced” to bill for services not rendered, or render services that were not necessary in order to make a Medicaid practice “pay?”

        S/he self-identified as a dentist, and referred to such practices as “nonsense,” if I further recall.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It reads to me to be more than just ‘have decided to participate.’

          More like ‘were forced to participate.’

          Could be just my comprehension, and hopefully, someone will clarify.

      2. RaskenEssel

        Many doctors, speaking from the personal experiences of friends and acquaintances, a driven by a moral imperative to participate. There are sometimes other incentives than charity, but it is not exactly difficult to, and almost always much more profitable, to simply not participate.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It makes sense for those participating it, driven by a moral imperative, to walk away if the losses mount.

          When you read that they will charge more elsewhere, in order to deal with the same mounting losses, it seems those doctors are in the program for other reasons…unless, the needs/benefits in charging others more outweigh those of non-participation.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Guess what? Not everyone is motivated by money. My anecdotes include doctors who care about patients. And more docs who are money-driven. But both types exist. Despite the greed-driven system.

    3. andyb

      Why do heart bypasses in other countries cost 1/10th the amount in the US.? Why does setting a broken leg (with cast) get billed at $15k? I remember when lasik eye surgery was $10k for both eyes, and when the doctors started advertising, the price dropped to $299 per eye. Every doctor or hospital should post an operation price list, subject to unforeseen events. Perhaps with full transparency on prices, we can achieve health care premiums that are less than a monthly mortgage payment. Considering that new mortgage payments are estimated now at up to 50% of gross income for the Average American, how can premiums be affordable?

      1. kramer

        i started typing in google and got as far as “does insur” before google correctly guested the rest of my search. The answer according to wikipedia is that moste insurance policies will not cover lasik. This combined with the fact that lasik is optional for the patient, are the reasons the costs are so low. (and probably why the prices are advertised)

    4. DH

      The unexplained thing is why the US spends so much more than anybody else on healthcare given the myriad of alternative systems out there. You would think statistically that at least one of the other countries would have figured out how to be more inefficient and expensive than us, but that is not the case. Instead, we are the outlier that is difficult to explain using statistics.

      We spend more public money per capita than nearly every other country and we spend vastly more private money than anybody else. That means we have had the opportunity for control of public expenditures, especially on over-65 people and the benefits of private sector efficiency for the population under 65. People under 65 are largely covered by employer-provided insurance provided by our most brilliant business minds ensuring the most cost-effective services imaginable. Yet somehow that has not worked as we spend significantly more money on this relatively low risk group than other countries spend on their entire population, including high risk groups like the elderly and unemployable.

      So now we are looking to do semi-random incoherent changes to a very complex jury-rigged law in the hopes that somehow something will improve. It looks like it will be interesting, but not of much use.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        It is only unexplained by economists. The rest of us see rapacious corporations and executives and plenty of unconstrained greed throughout a health care system that in no way approximates, nor should it, fantastical notions of efficient private markets.

      2. HotFlash

        In my old home, a US town on the border with Canada, it was common to cross the bridge for lots of things — better library, better beach, better restaurants, better barbers, better doctors. In my family, we paid the dr’s bill by cash or cheque (same as US-side). I heard that there were some US-ians who had fraudulent Ontario medical cards, but I don’t really think it was that common, but then maybe I just hung out with a crowd of goody-goodies.

        Ahem, if there is ever any good thing, some people will try to steal it. Why are we getting our panties in a twist about possible medical over-use but banks can fraudulently repossess millions of homes and the worst that happens is a couple of mutters and a fist-shake? What else, let’s see, oh — fracking, air pollution, mountain-top removal, global warming, leaky animal waste lagoons, nionicinoids — oh, how I could go on!

        If some people use more medical services than absolutely necessary (and remember that hypochondria is a real aliment that needs treatment, too) I think we should just call it a cost of doing society.

        1. kareninca

          “If some people use more medical services than absolutely necessary (and remember that hypochondria is a real aliment that needs treatment, too) I think we should just call it a cost of doing society.”

          I tried to get a GP for my father-in-law through the Palo Alto Medical Foundation – the wait for a first appointment was five months (finally after many, many calls I pleaded enough to get someone to override the system since he is 92). My parents have friends in CT who cannot find a doctor who is taking new Medicare (not Medicaid!) patients; this is a problem in large swaths of CT. In a well-run society overuse is not a big deal; at the moment it can make a difference in who gets to get care and who doesn’t.

    5. Left in Wisconsin

      Very informative post. But this:

      Price controls do not work when they are restricted to only a portion of the market. In these cases, the market, as it does today, simply shifts prices to the un- (or lesser-) controlled segments.

      Please, there is no “the market” that (actively) does anything. Health care pricing is done by real individuals, mostly inside giant corporations or pseudo-corporate health care non-profits. There is nothing natural or inevitable or compensatory in some equilibrium sense about these pricing decisions.

      If we are going to reify markets, then there is only one aphorism that counts: “Whatever the market will bear.”

    6. lambert strether

      The Republicans keep using the phrase “glide path” for the Medicaid cuts, but what they really mean is a “controlled flight into terrain.”

      That’s not a bug, it’s a feature. And note the mysterious lack of Democrat focus; they focus on the “cuts” but not about how the system as a whole is about to be nuked. As bad as Parliamentary Labour. Maybe worse.

      1. ambrit

        I remember reading that the “controlled flight into terrain” as being a form of Pranging. “Poor Cyril. He pranged that ‘twitchy’ Brewster Buffalo last week.”
        Let us call it what it is; crashing and burning a thing so as to destroy it.
        Medicaid is being Pranged.

    7. Oregoncharles

      You’re actually further underlining the point that there is no real “market” in health care; There is actually an effective monopoly, or they wouldn’t be able to “spread their losses” as you describe. It isn’t “the market” doing that; it’s bureaucrats who know they can charge what they want.

  3. craazyboy

    “Legal Arguments in “Monkey Selfie” Case Are Bananas at Hearing Hollywood Reporter”

    Bea then rhetorically asked if the entirety of the Copyright Act must be considered — and broached the subject of whether Naruto could potentially have any illegitimate children. “Doesn’t the statute provide that the rights of the copyright will descend to children, legitimate or illegitimate?” Bea asked. “Are Naruto’s offspring ‘children’ as defined by the statute? Children to me, in the dictionary sense, are descendants of persons who leave them rights.”

    Monkey Dude points out monkey children are always illegitimate, simply because Monkey Law states, unequivocally, that monkey sovereignty is a right, applies to all “Individual Monkeys”, and also that all Monkeys, irregardless of race, creed, or color, have the right to print Fiat Currency.

    Monkey Dude says this is open and shut Law in Africa, and applies to all monkeys, no matter where they live. He says, “And that’s all I got to say about that.”

    1. craazyboy

      Also, This Law has been codified in the African International Constitution, codified in Morse Code, playable by Bongo Drums at request and on Holidays, and is enforceable at the Planned Parenthood Facility of your choice.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Yes: good news, as a matter of fact, and thanks for asking. I flew on the 27th to Hong Kong via Bangkok. On the 7th, by which time I’d moved onto Nha Trang, Vietnam, I received word that it had been found in Kolkata– at Indian customs, minus its tag (although the picture they sent me to ID the bag clearly showed a barcode, so I wondered why no one had bothered to scan that). The airline said they’d deliver it to me at my hotel. The next a.m. another airline called me to say they would deliver it to the local airport– 1.5 hrs one way from my hotel– and I had to pick it up. After much back and forth, I agreed to pay for a car the ticketing airline arranged to go pick my bag up (about $30), on that airline’s written assurance that I would be reimbursed for that expense.

      The bag finally arrived– completely trashed. This sturdy, brand new heavy cloth duffel bag, on its maiden voyage, was no longer usable. The contents, however– including my very precious notebooks– were intact! Hurrah! After several further email complaints to the airline (all ignored) and a further call to the chap in Kolkata who stayed with this and tracked down the bag, they’ve agreed to reimburse me for the costs of the bag– which I actually had a receipt for. The bag was brand new, and when I inspected it, I noticed that there was a price tag inside.

      I consider myself lucky– the only thing I was really concerned about was getting my notebooks back. And I did! I knew even at the time I did it that I never should have checked them– to do so was a momentary lapse, a consequence of flying at 2 a.m. and not thinking when I tossed them into the bag I intended to check. Glad I didn’t suffer for my stupidity.

      And the message for anyone else who gets caught out like this I think is to make a royal pain of oneself, and keep complaining, complaining, complaining– so that all concerned realize the only way to make the complaints stop is to find the bag.

      AMEX continued to be clueless– at one point, in the daily update of what their Global Premium Assist service had done that day, a rep reported that she’d called the airline’s main customer service number– but had not managed to get through. And then, when I asked this to be escalated to a supervisor– said supervisor– wait for this!– actually suggested that I pay for separate baggage insurance next time I fly. I pointedly asked why she was trying to upsell me a service when the AMEX service– Global Premium Assist that my Platinum card provides and that I had in place for this mishap– had so signally failed to produce anything and thought that calling a general customer service number and then giving up for the day when they didn’t get through, qualified to be called “Global Premium Assist.”

      1. DH

        Ask the airline if you can get the bag’s frequent flier points instead of yours. Bags frequently put on more miles and travel legs than their owners.

      2. Vatch

        Before this happens again, make copies of the notebooks. If they’re paper, photocopy them. If they’re notebook computers, back them up to separate digital media.

      3. Ook

        Time to change your Amex type. I have a plain old cashback Amex that does what it’s supposed to do, and a few months ago, all it took was a (polite) phone call for me to get my annual fee waived.

  4. Optimader

    “Trumps worst collusion isnt with Russia..”
    What cedible articlea starts with with a claim Trump is colluding with Russia?

    1. ambrit

      A Propaganda article that starts with an unsubstantiated claim presented as “fact.” That would include most articles concerning Trump recently.

    2. RenoDino

      Since collusion isn’t a legal concept that can send anyone to jail as far a I know, are they really calling him a collaborator or an accomplice? Proving that takes you to the hallowed ground of treason, by way of aid and comfort to the enemy. From there we get to a neck tie party. Is that the end point for the “winners” of this witch hunt? The backup plan seems to be nuclear war.

      This article lays it out nicely:
      The New McCarthyism Is Destroying the Democratic Party Truthdig

      Could have easily added “And the Country and the perhaps the World.”

  5. Juneau

    regarding the article on opioid overdoses:
    Lambert you are correct.

    There appears to be price gouging on Narcan intranasal. It runs maybe 150 dollars for 2 doses here in New York. (check it out on

    Versus the injectable Narc which is 1/5th the price (roughly 12 dollars for a prefilled injectable syringe).

    heinous. this is why I am skeptical about the big hearted efforts to provide tens of billions of dollars to these patients. suddenly the governments are in love with heroin addicts? something doesn’t smell right. still if they can cover the ridiculous price of intranasal narcan I am all for that.

    sorry for the length of the link

      1. Blennylips

        Careful there. & is a general keyword=parameter pair separator. UTM parameters are all tracking params. In my experience you can safely leave off from the first &utm to the end of the url. The c=dynamic_search could be meant for

        Death to all utm’s, at a minimum.

        1. lambert strether

          There doesn’t seem to be a general rule. I’ve tried to write a macro to strip the URL queries, but some sites use them to identify pages (a bad practice, but there it is).

          1. HBE

            You may leave off all of the URL starting at the question mark on any URL that contains a utm tag (that’s just custom parameters for Google analytics campaign segments).

            If it doesn’t have a utm tag after the question mark it is likely a necessary as that denotes a custom search field on the website.

    1. tempestteacup

      Heinous, obscene, immoral, evil – or the logical, ineluctable destination at the end of the tracks?*

      The heroin addicts going over in deindustrialised America are doing so thanks to the same ideological fanaticism to which the families who clustered in the upper floors of Grenfell Tower were also subjected. They are not economically productive enough to matter enough to protect or to save. By this point, their main value is in their death or as human risk-magnets around which private speculation, outsourced, corner-cut services and media misery pornographers can cluster like flies on the proverbial.

      I have, unfortunately, considerable experience of drugs in general and opiates in particular. What is described in the WaPo article is very much the thin end of the wedge. The wedge itself was inserted thick-end first courtesy of capitalism’s holistic approach to the piling of misery on top of misery. Economic blight, degraded education, cultivated inhumanity, and above all the near-constant mantra of worthlessness expressed about you by Very Important People at every turn.

      But we’re among friends here, so res ipsa loquitur: these people die because they don’t matter. The ones who matter the least will go first. Or, as with prisoners whose families are gouged for telephone cards, edible food and blankets, they will be allowed to kill themselves over and over provided someone cares enough to cover the nearly 8-fold increase in injectable Narcan within 2 years. Treatment, access to mental health services, methadone/suboxone maintenance, in-patient detox, will all be swallowed up by the purchase of drugs that keep people alive to take drugs to die to be brought back round to use drugs – a demented perversion of a very good song by Spacemen 3.

      I recall, in the last couple of years, some commentators remarking bitterly that state and federal governments would take an interest in the opioid crisis, since it affects mainly white people, as opposed to their response to the epidemic of CIA own-brand crack in the 80s. It appears that they underestimated late capitalism’s ability to solve problems by killing the source of the problem.

      * I accept the implications of this image. Why not? The orchestrated, systematised murder of your own people – to go with the same inflicted abroad – is not rendered less comparable to Hannah Arendt’s “crime to enable all other crimes” because it is more protracted and doesn’t take place in concentration camps but the decayed, skeletal remains of communities no longer judged meaningful by the logic of prevailing conditions.

    1. justanotherprogressive


      The first woman to win the Fields Medal – in 2014…..
      There are so many notable women in mathematics and yet Mizrakhani was the first – kind of makes me wonder why…….
      And why the highest award in Mathematics is only for people under 40…….

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At 40, it’s too young to die for anyone, with or without any ‘achievement’ in life.

      It’s more about us, and no one else, when we only notice ‘math geniuses,’ and not ‘compassion geniuses.’

      No university department of love (“I see, you have a BS in love.”), entire faculty devoted to preparing students for a BS degree in universal brotherhood/sisterhood.

      Without that, can we really expect a department of peace?

      1. Oregoncharles

        The college I went to had an (informal) major in free love. Does that count? (of course, it was the 60’s.)

  6. Carolinian


    It should be noted that support of the Magnitsky law was not unanimous in the Western business community. There are some who disputed Browder’s version of events, or were at least unsure enough about what had happened to hesitate.

    Like, duh.

    Here’s a fuller summary of the film following its one and only US showing.

    Whatever the truth it appears no effort was made by Congress–and Taibbi?–to seek a fuller explanation of the events. Which is to say it’s in accord with the shoot first, ask questions later attitude toward Russia in general.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Taibbi refers to Browder as an “american billionaire” twice in his article. Since Browder gave up his american citizenship in 1998, I’d euphemistically call that description “inaccurate.” It is generally accepted that he did this to avoid taxes.

      Hermitage Capital Management is a British investment fund, founded 2 years after he renounced his american citizenship. (Browder is the second profile, after Denise Rich.)

      So, a couple of thoughts. Why would congress (hello, john mccain) be so willing to settle a financial score with Russia on behalf of a tax evader who had rejected america some 14 years ago?

      And the Taibbi / Browder claims of financial “thuggery” are interesting in their timing. Yeltsin left the Russian presidency at the end of 1999. His neoliberal sellout of the Russian people is well documented. Putin succeeded him with the clear intention of ridding the country of predatory, western-inspired and Yeltsin-enabled oligarchs. It’s not unreasonable to believe that Browder was one of them.

      Your Consortium News link is, as usual, well written and well reasoned.

      1. Julia

        I found this Taibbi effort confusing, too — unlike most of his work, wherein I have previously found logical consistency as well as clear language that explains “the heart of the matter” for less sophisticated readers. This article lacks both. I don’t have a tinfoil hat, but I do have a waxed paper fedora at this point — and I immediately thought of Michael Hastings. And how some writers might be trying to avoid his fate.

        1. VietnamVet

          The Russian article is disappointing. Matt Taibbi was there. Donald Trump is Boris Yeltsin reincarnated. He could explain the similarity of the Russian Vodka and American Opioid Epidemics but doesn’t. There is a do not publish edict in force. Russia and the USA can annihilate each other but for some ungodly reasons the Democrats want more war and no one explains why. To me this hints that the cause is mob warfare between Nationalist and Globalist Oligarchs since the rule of law and sovereign nation states were trashed by Barrack Obama and Angela Merkel and their predecessors.

    1. Benedict@Large

      I suspect when those birds look at us, they probably think we’re pretty ugly too. And I’m pretty sure that when they look at their newly-hatched chicks, they think they are the most adorable little birds ever born.

      1. B1whois

        I meant that vultures are not an antidote to articles about vultures. Honestly the news from the US has become some pretty Grim stuff.
        I Live Now in a country that has true peace and true Freedom, Uruguay. So it’s becoming harder and harder to look at the collapse of Peace and Freedom in the northern hemisphere. At least my reality is much better! Still, I can’t seem to stop reading this site everyday.

        1. perpetualWAR

          It is pretty interesting living through the collapse of modern Rome. A slow slide into crapolcalypse.

        2. oh

          If you keep reading about your former place of domicile, you’ll probably counter the antidote (of living in a peaceful country)!

          I often think of moving to a country in South America but as long as I can’t take the country out of myself (reading about the vile acts in/of the US), I don;t know if moving will do any good.

          1. B1whois

            Good question. When I was doing my research I got most of my information from two sources. International Living the magazine and the CIA Factbook of all things. There is a Facebook group that is pretty useful to belong to. It is named the Uruguay Expat Community. The local paper is called El Pais, and it is in Spanish. I wish I had better news sources to recommend. I hereby invite the naked capitalism crew of writers to come and visit me!

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Travel to Uruguay can only mean one thing: more fundraisers. Soon, we’ll be bidding to name Lambert’s sofa.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Actually, it’s my armchair, comfortably located at 30,000ft.

                That said, if I should choose to reproduce my labor power by investigating expatriate options, that’s really none of your business, right?

            2. Carla

              @B1whois (nice handle, BTW) — how about starting a blog to communicate your own, first-hand experiences of Uruguay? I’ll bet many members of the Naked Capitalism commentariat would become regular visitors to such a blog.

              It is a lot of work of course ;-(

              1. neighbor7

                On the literary side, I have read Felisberto Hernández and Juan Carlos Onetti (in English).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To me, it’s a reminder that

      1. What is is, in nature…animals kill animals/plants, plants kill animals/plants, etc.

      2. We humans judge other animals all too often, and not enough of ourselves.

      3. Every animal (and perhaps every human) has its (or his/her) tender moments.

      4. A little vulturing is inherent in the world. But the whole order of things can not be 100% full of vultures. So, it’s like water – dangerous when we don’t enough, but also dangerous when there is too much – or oxygen, and a lot of other matters.

      5. Vulturing takes many different forms. If we conquer a country, militarily and culturally, so we can sell more Hollywood movies, that make American men more attractive to local women (after the cultural victory, remember) and American women more attractive to local men, that can be considered ‘vulturing’ of the death of the local culture.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To add to #3, it is like that Zen Koan, What is (the) Buddha.

        Answer: A dry sh*t stick.

    3. DH

      It is pretty clear that this is a photo of McConnell and Schumer discussing Administration staffing appointment hearings.

    4. Alex Morfesis

      Vultures are wonderful beautiful creatures that do not attack and only cleanup after something has already ceased…they are not the creatures the rentier financiers would like them to be…vulture investors destroy things to suck on the marrow…Vultures just hang around looking for things that already died…yes, on a very rare set of occasions when for some reason they are extremely malnourished they will attack small prey, but they have weak claws so…

      1. ekstase

        It’s interesting that we humans pick and choose which animals are nice. Almost always, on animal documentaries we are encouraged to root for one animal getting its prey, and not for the other one. Or for the “dominant” animal in a group, but not the lesser ones. Why do we do this? As I was saying to some people feeding their pet iguana, it’s a good thing we don’t empathize with insects.

    5. Oregoncharles

      We do get some anti-antidotes. And there’s thread of jokes about them up above.

      They’re good-looking, as vultures go.

    6. Richard Musser

      They are an antidote to having carcasses lying around! And they look about as good as I do…

  7. B1whois

    I love this sentence from “the C Word” article:

    The greed against which Sim rails is an abnormality that occurs in pockets.


  8. Scott

    Potential cuts to Medicaid are even worse than Lambert states. A significant portion of Medicaid goes to funding nursing homes for seniors. As the population ages, more people will be in nursing homes funded by Medicaid. Even if the costs for care increases at the rate of inflation (highly unlikely), this will make the future cuts harsher and harsher.

    It’s important to note that many of these people are firmly in the middle class and only apply and qualify for Medicaid at the end of their lives.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Especially, for those who are childless, involuntarily or voluntarily (because world human population), who need care when they are old, or, just because today’s economy is arranged to not only make mobility an option, but mandatory perhaps, and not only to another strange country or culture to subsist (one day, on the New Silk Road, perhaps, working as illegal migrants from America), but also to the big, shining tehcno-metropolises here.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        (Sorry, forgot to finish my comment).

        With such mobility, families are spread far and wide. And old people with children are no better than those without…most of the time (my 85 year old mother lives with me and my brother).

    2. Lambert Strether

      > A significant portion of Medicaid goes to funding nursing homes for seniors.

      I don’t see how the ice floes thing is gonna work if the ice floes are all calving icebergs that float out to sea.

      Oh, wait a minute, maybe that will work…

  9. Louis Fyne

    —The Redemption of Richard Florida —

    my assertion is that Florida’s “creative class” meme helped bring about Donald Trump. I’m not being hyperbolic.

    Florida’s urban ego-stroking hagiography that the future lies with an eco-system of urban cubicle-dwellers and their latte-slinging lifestyle helpers drove corporate, academic and DNC thinking re. advertising, marketing and strategic planning. Putting the final nail in the coffin in the bicoastal v. flyover country divide that’s been brewing for generations.

    Why do the Dems need Wisconsin when you got aspirational Northern Virginia and Atlanta voters!

    1. lambert strether

      > my assertion is that Florida’s “creative class” meme helped bring about Donald Trump. I’m not being hyperbolic.

      The meme and Florida absolutely did. “Creative class” was a key organizing principle members of the political class — at least the bloggers of that time — to throw in with Obama in 2008, based on class and cultural markers. I’m so old I remember when PBR was cool! And when Obama didn’t deliver on “hope and change,” we got MAGA.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            Hotflash — PBR definitely means Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in this context. This was celebrated as the go-to “ironic declasse'” brand of 2000s-era hipsters, and was notably quaffed by one Barack Obama on the campaign trail in the Spring of 2008, to the cooing delight of the Richard Floridas of the world. Believe me — I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the time, and there was the sense among some of the more foolish bobo elements that somehow this brand choice was of great and wider significance in the making of the gleaming new iAmerica that Obama would usher in.

            Needless to say, for all but the top 10%, things didn’t turn out that way.

  10. johnnygl

    Thanks for the tucker carlson link. Glad fox is treating him well for now. I suspect he’ll get treated like melissa harris-perry was at msnbc. She was kept on for the obama admin and the swiftly discarded by the end of his term.

    In any case he seems sincere and he’s an honorable guy for talking to glenn greenwald, ron paul, kucinich and the like. The fox crowd needs to hear this and i suspect they’ll respect carlson and his guests long into the future.

    Remember, trump won the nomination with fox kicking and screaming at him the whole time. The dogs won’t eat the dogfood, as lambert says.

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps Fox has changed somewhat with Ailes gone. I couldn’t say as I don’t have cable and never watch it. I have read that Murdoch’s sons, or more particularly their wives, dislike Trump intensely. But isn’t Carlson defending Trump?

      We do need at least one outlet that is willing to push back against the neocons–or even one show.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Err…”Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons National Interest. Well, someone has to. Didn’t know where to file this– worth a read.”

      I’d file it under “Kill me now”……..

      Tucker Carlson? Seriously? His biggest complaint about neoconservatism seems to be that his neoconservative friends don’t like the label……and apparently he thinks neoconservatism is only about foreign policy …….kind of like: “Oh look! Squirrel!”

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Well, I will agree that foreign policy is where neoconservatism has its roots, but like all ideologies, it has spread to economics too……

        2. montanamaven

          And here’s another one. This one has the actual exchanges between Carlson and Peters and Boots. Hilarious and devastating because of all the “childish” responses by the two neo-cons who contradict themselves about every other sentence. Also when Boots accuses Tucker of using sarcasm when he said that Boots was more suited for selling insurance, Tucker replies, “It’s not sarcasm, it’s contempt.” I have now put it on my “record series” list. I’m for any push back against imperialism and asking basic questions like “Why is an allliance with Russia against ISIS bad?” “And who would you replace Assad with?” The comments on Colonel Lang’s site are always good. And go to the You Tube site because there is another interview with Mark Steyn about the Trump Jr meeting that is hilarious.
          Must See NeoCon TV

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            I happened to see these interviews in real time, and they were unexpectedly entertaining to say the least.

            I too have set my DVR to series record. Credit where credit is due.

            1. Eureka Springs

              Oh my, Blog peeps I admire are now Tucker Carlson fans. I woke up today in bizarro world! Checking web addy bar to see if it says

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Just pondering on how inverted things are, “liberal Dems” are licking the jackboots of the CIA and foaming at the mouth for more war, and the likes of Carlson is presenting the opposing view and asking whether those are really clever things for us to be doing.

                  It’s a Klein bottle, and like a Klein bottle you never really get anywhere

              1. montanamaven

                Well I think many of us find ourselves at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and we are looking for anybody there who isn’t batsh*t crazy.

                b. just posted on Moon of Alabama another one of his uncanny photo posts that devastates the “Putin murders journalist” meme also meant to keep us at the ready for war with Russia. Hope Tucker reads it as that Ralph Peters character repeated the meme more than once in that interview. New Lies
                Murdering journalists is not as effective as murdering children and bombing hospitals, but my Democrat friends all have told me that’s one of the reasons we can’t talk to Russia. Sigh.

              2. montanamaven

                One more observation. On reading a Counterpunch article, I stumbled on another one called New Age Anarchism:Overcoming Liberalism’s Antipathy to Individual Freedom
                Then I pick up the WSJ “Review” section this morning and there is a review of a new book on Thoreau by Laura Dassow Walls. Thoreau’s message was “You are wasting your life trying to be like others.” He wrote “that attention to the natural environment confronted the root of all political evil”. ”
                By conceiving all living beings as interconnected, Thoreau was especially attuned to social injustice”, says the reviewer Randall Fuller, “but it is equally possible that, like most of us, he was a bundle of contradictions, a collection of competing impulses that responded to given situations less from philosophical systematizing than from the psychological requirements of the moment.”
                That’s what draws me to Jung and Thoreau and Orwell and Oscar Wilde and Greenwald and now Carlson. And Naked Capitalism. No coincidence that we have antidotes and plantidotes as this is our Wacky Walden. I crave smart people who think for themselves rather than wanting to fit in.

          2. Richard Musser

            I am coming at this with no prior knowledge of Tucker Carlson, and I was pretty effing impressed. Is he really that skilled a debater, or were his rivals as historically bad as they seemed?

      1. diptherio

        Just an observation, perhaps accurate, perhaps not: you’ve labeled yourself a “progressive,” Carlson is labeled a “conservative”: therefore, you find it difficult to admit when he’s right, as everybody knows that progressives and conservatives are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. You respond with “kill me now” instead of seeing an opening for building a broad-based coalition to actually change one of the major problems you and I and Carlson all have with things-as-they-are.

        Ending foreign military intervention would be a good thing, regardless of what’s going on domestically — there is no possible state of the world in which ending our military imperialism would be a negative. Therefore, we should be willing to work and support anyone who is pushing towards that goal, imnsho (insofar as they are working towards those goals). We will always be able to find plenty to argue about with each other, but if we can find ways to work together on the few things we agree on, we may have an easier time working through those other arguments, as we might end up seeing each other as complex human beings rather than simply as “the other.”

        Ending our mass slaughter of people around the globe is waaaay too important to let our black-and-white political thinking hinder us from accomplishing it. We should be (and I am) ecstatic to see our own views on this issue being given air time on “the other side’s” channel and propounded by one of their own. Now I’ve got two things to focus discussions with “conservatives” on: the evils of Wall Street, and of foreign intervention. That’s a good thing, in my book.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Quite right. Ideological labels are used to divide and conquer. Stirring up the ideological pot keeps everyone distracted from the elephant in the room — the takeover and looting of the US economy by an unaccountable military-intelligence complex.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Yes, and NC stands out as the most sustained, serious attempt I know of to do the exact opposite. That’s always the first thing I mention when people ask me why I’m so feverishly urging them to read it.

        2. Cujo359

          everybody knows that progressives and conservatives are at opposite ends of the political spectrum

          I’d have put “opposite ends” in quotes (as I just did ;)). Political labels like “progressive” and “conservative” are too broad, really. Even if there’s a generally accepted set of principles that one or the other of those categories of people believe in, there are going to be people in either camp who don’t believe in all of them.

          And yes, I don’t see anything wrong with cooperating with or quoting people from the “opposite end” on issues where we agree. It’s not like making a deal with the devil. If you know what your values are, you aren’t going to lose your soul.

          FTR, I don’t think justanotherprogressive is saying we’ll lose our souls if we think kindly of Carlson’s foreign policy views, but I’ve had enough discussions with so-called liberals and progressives that imply we could that I’m reliving them here.

        3. justanotherprogressive

          Thank you for your complex analysis…..but unfortunately, my beliefs are much simpler than that. Tucker Carlson is not my “friend” or someone I should support simply because he attacks my “enemy”. I just don’t like “false gods” repeating the popular meme to get our approval while stabbing us in the back…… seriously, do you really think Carlson is for our ending all of our involvement in the Middle East? Because that is what it would take to stop the slaughter…..nope, never heard him ever say that Middle Easterners should control their own countries – have you?

          Haven’t we had enough of that type of back-stabbing with Reagan, with the Clintons, with Obama, etc?

          OF COURSE, I am for the ending of mass slaughter across the world, but I am NOT for the neocons destroying lives in other ways… their love for government controlled supply side economics…..

          Amazes me that you all aren’t more supportive of Trump because I am sure he is nice to small children, and isn’t that something you all agree with?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Middle Easterners controlling their own countries…

            Thinking ahead, will there be an international Peace-and-Reconciliation committees, post imperial collapse?

            One for the Middle East.

            One for Africa.

            One for Latin America.

            One for Asia.

            One for Europe, even.

            Will they be kind to erstwhile imperial, banality-of-chaos, I-have-no-idea progressives, liberals, independents here?

            Will it be a peaceful transition?

            Or more like the Red Army finally reaching Berlin?

          2. Lambert Strether

            I think you’re confusing being “for” an idea with being “for” a person who expresses that idea.

            “Even a blind pig finds a truffle every so often.”

            1. witters

              Indeed. One can believe THAT what X said is, here, true or pertinent, without having to believe IN X.

      2. Oregoncharles

        It’s “neoliberalism” that’s about domestic policy. Funny how the two apparent opposites are so tightly linked.

      1. UserFriendly

        Shep Smith and Tucker Carlson both always struck me as too stupid to be intentionally evil. Like a nice naive kid that just got carried away in right wing crazy world because he honestly thinks it’s the right thing to do. As opposed to someone like O’Reilly who was just in it for the money.

    3. RenoDino

      “Neocon” is code for being in favor of Empire. We are so deep in the total world domination Empire racket, that without it we will pretty much cease to exist. It motivates and defines every aspect of our national character. It sure as hell is not some item on an a la carte menu.
      “I’ll have a little neocon sauce today with my Empire burger.” It is the one and only Something Burger of who we are and how we will be remembered.

      We would change our flag before we give up our Empire voluntarily. Empires are an all or nothing deal.
      You don’t get to have a little less. We have pissed off so many people and nations, who now have BIG scores to settle with us, that becoming England or Switzerland is not an option.

      Trump was on to something when he said the spoils of Empire are not being shared equally. He wants to put the hammer down and make more, not less demands, of our allies and enemies to give us what we want.

      Neocons have intellectualized and rationalized the notion of Empire to make it sound like a highly moral project of an Enlightened Society to bring democracy and prosperity to the rest of the world. Nobody but them believes this crap.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Today, after conversion to neoconservatism post-world-war-II, it’s to bring ‘democracy and prosperity’ to the world.

        Two thousand years ago, after the conversion on the road to Damascus, it was ‘good news and salvation.’

      2. Richard Musser

        “‘Neocon’ is code for being in favor of Empire.”
        A useful shorthand I think… though I don’t know if I can accept the concept of your post totally, probably because its pretty scary. Our empire is a relatively young thing historically; it’s funny how in America certain cults of observance, flag worship, reverence for soldiers, try to adopt the tone of being eternal and somehow organic to our national character, but are actually fairly recent adoptions.
        US citizens were not always so complicit in empire, I wonder how ingrained it has become in our character?

  11. roadrider

    Re: ‘Medicare for All’ Isn’t Sounding So Crazy Anymore
    Not as bad as I have come to expect from the NYT but still has problems.

    – Makes a major point of raising questions about costs but fails to ask 1) how are we going to keep paying for the current system (yeah, I know, let people go without coverage and die faster) and 2) how do we pay for bank bailouts, the Pentagon’s bottomless pit budget and un-ending foreign military adventurism that accomplishes little except to create additional justification for itself.

    – dismisses HR 676 as a “messaging bill”

    Also features inveterate Obamabot and ACA apologist Dean Baker who thinks the public option is a viable transition plan and spreads FUD about transition issues, which are real, without acknowledging that the issues associated with maintaining the current system are just as challenging (or more).

    1. johnnygl

      Agree with most of what you’ve said, but don’t be so hard on dean baker. He’s usually decent and seems pretty sincere. He was critical of obama plenty of times. I’ve no doubt that nyt selectively quoted him to give a critical spin.

      But, yes, as you state, this represents progress for nyt!

      1. roadrider

        I’ve no doubt that nyt selectively quoted him to give a critical spin.

        Ummm, no. I’ve heard Baker interviewed on RNN (sorry can’t find the link right now) and the NYT article is an accurate reflection of his antipathy to single payer and his favoring of the public option.

    2. ekstase

      I searched and searched the article for the evidence that people once thought Medicare for all was “crazy”, but it didn’t seem to be in there.

      But I did find some explanation for the about face of “The Times.” And that’s really all that matters:

      “While ‘single payer’ has become an effective political rallying cry, advocates still need to figure out what it would mean for one of the largest, most complex health care systems in the world.”
      Yes, why couldn’t those advocates see the large size of this country on their own? Silly!

      “Senator Sanders went out of his way to list all the tax hikes he’d use to pay for his 2016 proposal, including an
      across-the-board 2.2 percent income tax. But two prominent policy analysts said the plan would cost about twice as much as the senator claimed.”
      He should read more, and go out of his way less. Silly!

      ” while liberals have spent decades pining for single payer — ”
      Pining. Uh huh.

      Let’s maintain the status quo, and still have a fair society. Oh wait.

  12. justanotherprogressive

    Quit your job for a better one? Not in Idaho…..

    Idaho truly celebrates the mantra: “People must to pick themselves up by their own bootstraps”. It’s right up their with “America is the greatest country in the world” and waving the flag. But when people try to do just that ……yea…..

    The New York Times article was very well written, but there is a better story here in Idaho. A truly sharp investigative reporter would ask the question: “How much of the Idaho Legislature is a solely owned subsidiary of Melaleuca?” Ah, but then they would be sued by Frank Vandersloot (he loves to sue when he’s been “slighted” in the press) – can’t have that, can they?

    Yes, even Idaho has its billionaire…..

    1. jrs

      wow horrible, I though the article was just about “the job market is bad in Idaho, it’s hard to find another job”, maybe (I have no idea, it’s not that great most places) and it might take a long time, but keep at it. But no it’s illegal to find another job.

      That said I have come across scary employment contracts and they have scared me, but being that it’s California, I should probably just rest a bit easy on that score, I do know the state has my back to a larger degree than many (it does matter whether or not Republicans get elected to state government, a lot really)

      Of course we also really need a workers movement in this country badly, a labor movement really, but in it’s broadest outlines like the IWW not as narrow as some unions became.

  13. John Wright

    Re: the New York Times article titled “Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’ NYT”

    The Times “Readers’ Picks” appear to indicate that a portion of the Times readership is not buying the Times Propaganda.

    Here is the top ranked Readers’ Pick comment:

    ” Luis Mendoza San Francisco Bay Area”

    “Half way through the article I had to stop to post this quick comment, already knowing where the rest of the article is going with the narrative.”

    “It paints an illegal war of aggression by an imperial power led by what is essentially a megalomaniacal (corporatist) cabal, the U.S., in the most benevolent manner, while at the same time setting the (propaganda) stage to further demonize Iran.”

    “A lot has been said about American blood and treasure sacrificed in the war (of imperial aggression in Iraq). What’s never mentioned is that, one, rich people’s kids are hardly ever killed or maimed in these wars, and two, a huge percentage of the trillion dollars “spent” on the war went straight into the pockets of the military contractors who benefit from our constant state of war.”

    “Enough said (on my end). Now, I’ll finish reading the rest of the article… ”

    Imagine how a citizen of the USA would look at a foreign country that bombed the USA, killed family members, invaded the USA and attempted to install a friendly-to-that-foreign power government in the USA.

    It strains credibility that the invading foreign country would maintain much influence without a massive military presence.

    A more accurate title should have been, “After foreign military power leaves, Iranian influence in Iraq dominates as expected”

    There is hope, even the Times is running out of readers who accept their propaganda.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chinese purchases of overseas ports top $20bn in past year FT

    Is it possible to purchase from China the port of Shanghai??

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Can the Tech Giants Be Stopped? WSJ. Debated whether this fits better here, or under Class Warfare.

    Current and future wars are technology dependent.

    You stop those those tech giants, they claim*, Russian and Chinese tech giants will make America peg her currency to theirs one day, and we all have to produce underwear to earn enough to import oil and anything else we need…tea, porcelain, rare earth metals, Chinese movies, etc.

    *So they claim.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Beijing criticizes Indonesia renaming part of South China Sea CNN

    A case can be made that it be re-named “The Dutch East India Company Lake.”

    All the great pirate ships in that area were captained by men from Holland once upon a time.

  17. GF

    McConnell defers vote on Senate health-care bill after McCain surgery WaPo

    What this tells us is that there are 50 votes ready to pass the bill. Contact your Republican senators this week if you are opposed.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’m not so sure. For one thing, I wonder if McConnell had a heads-up from McCain and that’s why he pushed off the recess. For another, McConnell might be welcoming the respite to bribe address the concerns of more Senators.

      Adding, but yes, contact your Senators anyhow!

      1. craazyboy

        I don’t think McConnell and McCain are best buds, and John #1 wishes to stick John with the stinkball, and rub it in the voters faces again.

        Too bad he waited until after the election, and we already voted in McCain for another 6 years! Thankyou, to the genius boy and girl wonder(???) people at the DNC!

        But McConnell is a sharp cookie.

        1. UserFriendly

          The only question I have is just how much did McConnell convince Sheldon Adelson to pay Dean Heller for biting the bullet, voting for this, and losing his Senate seat.

  18. Terry Flynn

    re: China and publication of ‘proper’ research in ‘proper’ journals.

    Good to see the growing emphasis on publishing legitimate research in legitimate journals (though of course there is the whole other issue of whether a journal that requires you to pay for access to research mostly funded by taxpayers can be called legitimate).

    But I (and loads of my former colleagues in academia) have seen a marked shift in the last couple of years when it comes to the ‘fake’ journals that take anything. Once upon a time these were all China-based. Now there is a marked skew towards them being US based. (Of course, if you follow the chain of command/funding, some of the ‘western looking’ editorial boards do hide what is basically a Chinese journal.)

    However, most of what goes into my spam folder these days are requests from ‘upcoming’ American journals which contain, shall we say, research that looks rather questionable. Furthermore the algorithm and wording – latching onto a piece of work you’ve published, making the request look legitimate, with colloquialisms etc that strongly suggest a native English speaker, contribute to the perception that fewer and fewer of the dodgy journals are from China but in fact the USA. But their requests inevitably give them away. Amusing examples pop up daily in my Twitter feed from people. The rule of thumb is “if they need to ask, they’re not legitimate”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s hard to see China as the next sole world power, when they still send their brightest across the Pacific.

      It can be done, I suppose, if China is one day in a position to save a bunch of our smartest scientists from the conquering Red Army.

      Or we see more and more American scholars defecting to Beijing.

      But, we haven’t seen of either…yet.

    2. petal

      I’m glad you commented on this. Last year one of our lab members had a paper accepted to a journal and I was tasked with making the payment. I don’t think there had been any kind of review process, but that’s a story for another day. I went to the web site and it was very dodgy/old school(I think my personal web page in the 90s was more advanced/polished), the emails I received were in very bad English and from a Chinese person. All of it set off my alarm bells and I had a hunch it wasn’t legit. It was based in Wisconsin. Anyway, the lab member’s paper is published/journal edition comes out and her paper’s literally the only American(s) listed in the whole edition. Every other paper was authored by Chinese. These journals are setting up offices/addresses in the US in order to look legitimate. There was a column in Nature recently about sketchy/pay to play journals and I sent it around to the lab along with a list that had been forced down but a copy of which had been archived. Come to find out, that publishing company/journal was on the list.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How Bill Clinton and George W. Bush got over their politics and became BFFs WaPo

    It’s always a great achievement, when you’re new money, to be accepted by old money people.

    1. craazyman

      fukk I’m listening to some early Bruce Springsteen albums on — of course — Youtube!

      You can listen to the music and read along with the words. It’s like a coloring book. You can listen and color away, in your mind.

      It takes a true genius to tell the truth about things. The truth is so precise and so obvious. But because it’s obvious, that doesn’t mean telling it is at all easy. You have to see it and then you have to be lucky.

      But even a true genius sometimes only tells part of the truth. The truth, itself, seems to be infinite.And since the truth is infinite, then lies also are infinite. Because they are Infinity minus something dead = infnity. Even so, telling only part of the truth, and telling it well so everybody can see it, that’s a genius for you. Only a genius — or at least somebody very very good — can do that. It’s almost the same thing in math. It’s weird how that works!

      1. craazyboy

        Unfortunately, Truth has been blown away and now resides solely in the Truth Universe.

        I realized this as fact, again, yesterday when I visited South of the Border again.

        Had dinner at a nice family owned Mexican Restaurant. Went with Carne Asada, beans, rice, lettuce, homemade tortillas, fresh, still warm, tortilla chip and salsa, and a big, cool, Pina Colada drink. All for only $6.00 !!!

        Saw a “Take Your Pic” Donkey on the roadside and stopped to say Hi. He was just cute as as hell and really sweet. He just stared at me with big, brown loving eyes, and I petted is big, long nose, scratched around his ears and he showed his appreciation by giving a me hearty Donkey Grin and wagged his tail, vigorously.

        I asked his two companions what his name was and they said a 7 syllable Spanish first name that I couldn’t pronounce. So, I named him Donald Donkey. They laughed.

        I thought of the poor Asian donkey walked off a cliff by some a-holes. (on a gang plank, no less) Bet he had wide, round, white eyes for that! So sad.

        Payson got it good yesterday. It’s an Indian reservation sorta near the Grand Canyon. I thought Indians couldn’t swim, but according to this this article, they did try! They were in a “swimming hole” and a flash flood came and washed out the entire area. 7 swimmers were found dead, and three more listed as missing. But we know what that means. Hate to say it, but what dummies!

        Just when we finally got ’em all to shit indoors!

        We finally got some Monsoon rains these past few days! It knocked temps down to 75 in the AM and 80 in the PM. S. Cal weather at a tenth of the price. And you can drive places and get there too! Cool.

        In a world where Budweiser beer is made from rice, we shouldn’t be shocked at all at our conundrum.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We distinguish between Newtonian truth and quantum truth.

          With quantum truth, we don’t know if it’s yes or no (or, true or false), until we experience the act of opening the ‘What is in it for me’ box.

          If the experience feels good to us, its value is yes, or true.

          If it doesn’t feel good, then, no and false.

          1. craazyboy

            Yeah. This may sound really weird, but when driving home yesterday, I set my car A/C to 80 and the friggin’ heat turned up, fan on full blast. I yelped, “Holy Blast Furnace, craazyman!”

            Then I started thinking about it, since my bootlegged Buckethead CD was playing, and always makes me get Ponderous with the Mysteries of The Multi-Verses.

            Sure we have two state logic, like computers – they either work or they don’t! Everyone knows that.

            Crapification has hit innovation too. SV is sooo full of crap, it oozes out into their products. Then down yer throat they shove it – like a glued together 787, or a pharma death drug!

            But what we really need, but will never get, is 3 state logic. There should be a real number, 80, as a selection. This would be the exactly right precision to act as both an analog, or digital filter, and filter out bad values, keeping my A/C at exactly 80 degreez!

            This is brilliant engineering, if I don’t say so myself, but friggin’, money grubbin’ management will keebashee it in an eye blink to protect their phoney, BS profits!!!

            p.s. My brand new girlfriend in Mexico says, “Hello Americans. Piss off Yanks, you and your Donald “Donkey Manboy Trump!!”

            Her old Teddy Bear wore out and her old boyfriend bought her a brand new, life size, Trump Piñata she keeps in Mom’s attic.

            She’s feisty. Hot too, with big Mexican Boobs (but dumb – she’ll be the first to admit it), Big Brown Loving Eyes, and a very tight butt!

        2. craazyman

          Wow. That’s pretty daring, to go south of the border there. If I read the internet, it’s like the whole place around the borderline crawls with illegals, drug dealers, border patrol, murderers, theives, arsonists, pscyhopaths, torturers, debilitators, prevaricators, dissemblers, machine gunners, batterers, assaulters, kidnappers, ransomists, arsonists, pugilists, paganists, satanists, manslaughterers, womanslaughterers, hit-and-runners, gunners, muggers, thuggers, nasty buggers, six shooters, glockers, head knockers, clean-your-clockers, sink-your-boat-at-the-dockers, robbers, small-time-con-jobbers, big-time-bruisers, smash-your-head-if-you-snooze”rs”, too sick to be loozers, druggers and boozers, tatooed freaks, Inca-stone-cutter-rip the heart out sheiks, Mexican wackos, sniffin smackos, murderin and theivin wackos, kill you while you sneeze hack your shoulers off your backos with a knife, rape your wife, snuff your life like a candle flame, no such thing as fame, only someone else to blame, devil or god or dog, it’s all the same, kill you whether your healthy or lame, one look and you’re to blame, barbed wire cutters, completely nutters, traffickers, hackers, wackers, God and even Satan foresaken smackers, not-quite humans, crazy as the moon loonins —

          Other than that, it sounds like fun! I’m amazed you survived. Or is all that just an exaggeration? :-)

          1. craazyboy

            Ha! That is some scary prose!

            Luckily, for me, it’s just a narrative developed by [insert descriptives, etc… of Americans that may benefit from this narrative…]

            In reality, Mexico is quite boring. This is why they are so heavily preoccupied with sex, and the real trick is to find one that can do it lightly!

          2. craazyboy

            I just realized your description may now be true for the southern Texas border.

            Certainly Chicago.

  20. JCC

    I may have missed a previous link of this during this past week… if so, I apologize for wasting 1’s and 0’s, but there is an excellent interview at PeakProsperity with the Saker

    I think he very accurately describes the Neocons as extremely unpatriotic. He also has a few things to say about the failure of Trump regarding Russia, one of Trump’s few bright spots during the campaign which he very quickly abandoned once he was elected.

    I find it at least a little amazing how much Trump has turned out to be just like Obama in many ways regarding his abandonment of positions the positions that were key to getting him elected in the first place; health care, Russia, and the “swamp” being Trump’s three prime examples as opposed to Obama’s health care, Wall St. and the “swamp”.

    Is it just my attitude or does it seem more and more to matter less and less who is elected as President of the United States. War and exploitation of the citizenry are both prime policy stances that just get stronger as time goes on?

  21. Oregoncharles

    “Tales from the new Silk Road BBC”
    I recommend going through this one, not only because of the subject (a fairly light overview) but because of the intriguing format and beautiful pictures. I found the east end, where it starts, the more interesting, mainly because it’s less familiar. The story of the Uighur dancer performing in a “New Silk Road” musical production is rather heart-breaking.

    The format: just keep scrolling, and all will be revealed. The plan isn’t perfectly clear when you start. But it works very well; evidently an effort to capture the feel of a video presentation in a mostly-text presentation. The embedded videos are worth seeing, too.

  22. Daryl

    > In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage (R) has pushed to make overdose survivors pay for their Narcan. LePage also vetoed a bill to expand access to the medicine, but the legislature voted to override him.

    Insects disguised as humans.

  23. UserFriendly

    This guy Jimmy Dore interviewed who is running for NJ-4 looks like a great candidate. Definitely someone to keep an eye on especially if he can pull off a win in this district where the incumbent just won by 2:1

    1. Vatch

      I watched the beginning of that video, and I was impressed by what a complete creep Chris Christie is. “Creepy Chris Christie” has a nice alliterative ring to it. And Creepy Chris proved it again during the recent Fourth of July holiday. It astonishes me that voters elect politicians with such obvious personality disorders.

      It will be interesting to see how Jim Keady’s campaign progresses.

  24. Altandmain

    Study shows US has poorest health, widest health care gap between rich and poor

    We’re not doing so well in Canada either. I wonder why the UK is doing so well. Same with Australia? Something is very alarming.

    Bernie Sanders in Iowa

    Homelessness near Disneyland California

    Wages vs Wall Street

    Another one for class warfare.

  25. Oregoncharles

    Found in a sidebar to one of the Links. I was astonished at how emotional reading this was, even though I was never properly a hippy, never took psychedelics, and partook of pot only twice, when women gave it to me. He’s right: somehow, it pervaded the zeitgeist. And just as important: It’s been FIFTY YEARS. The hippies are approaching or past 70, the ones that survived. Any reunion involves a memorial, and some died very young. Peace and love are not risk-free.

    Maybe there’s a revival coming; we need it desperately. One thing the article reminds me of is the importance of music in the movement – all the movements in that period. It isn’t exactly missing now, but seems to me much less central. We need that back, too.

    1. ambrit

      I’m climbing out on a limb here but, I view gangsta rap and other forms of that genre as ‘revolutionary’ music. If one concedes that criminality is a form of revolutionary ‘action,’ since it directly opposes “genteel” conformity and the status quo, then gangsta is the soundtrack for the urban “underclass.” When the prevailing ideology views a group as ‘deplorable’ and deserving of ‘liquidation,’ (how sanitary a term,) that groups’ mere survival is revolutionary. I for one was initially dismissive of rap in general. Now I’m listening to the lyrics and trying to figure out what sort of life engenders such feelings. As with everything else, YMMV (Your Music Must Vibrate!)

  26. Loblolly

    Health care cost growth will exceed inflation as long as pricing is concealed.

    I don’t care if we get single payer, or a total free market but ignoring the fact that it’s eating our economy helps neither cause.

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