Links 7/23/2017

Yellowstone Bears Eat 40,000 Moths a Day In August Yellowstone Park

Court blocks $18 billion British class action against MasterCard Reuters

German Carmakers Face Potential New Scandal Over Antitrust Issues NYT

Big Tobacco and right-wing US billionaires funding anti-regulation hardliners in the EU Corporate Europe Observatory (MT).

Why is neoliberalism back in Latin America? Al Jazeera

Lawmakers divided over a ban on Venezuelan oil amid fears of a Russian takeover McClatchy. “Takeover” of Citgo, in which Rosneft has a 49.9% stake, Citgo being a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

Tennessee jails have been shortening sentences for inmates who get vasectomies or birth control implants Business Insider

After protests, St. Louis to install air conditioning in sweltering jail Reuters

There’s a Marijuana Frenzy That Could End Very Badly in Canada Bloomberg



Israel said set to replace Temple Mount metal detectors with fenced access paths Times of Israel

UN, aid group: Cholera in Yemen to worsen in rainy season ABC

Iran unveils new missile production line Al Jazeera

How ISIS nearly stumbled on the ingredients for a ‘dirty bomb’ WaPo


Britain Wants To Keep Free Movement For UK Nationals Living In The EU But Not For EU Citizens In The UK Buzzfeed

BREXIT WARNING: Millionaire Remainers to launch party if Corbyn goes further left Express. “Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has reportedly held talks with a number of wealthy individuals including Hull City owner Dr Assem Allam, who donated £700,000 to Labour under Ed Miliband.”

Emmanuel Macron lays claim to the mantle of de Gaulle FT

Le Pen’s soul-searching: 5 key issues for her party Politico

Protecting the Cheaters: EU Regulators in Bed With German Auto Industry Regarding Diesel MishTalk (EM).

How Greece lost a great chance to break the chains from the European Financial Dictatorship the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens (ChrisSp).


In China, Silicon Valley Giants Confront New Walls NYT

China’s Hukou System Foreign Policy

Japan Captures More Photographs of Likely Melted Fukushima Fuel Bloomberg

Why India Must Go Beyond Loan Waivers to Free Farmers From Debt The Wire

Cheap 3D printed prosthetics could be game changer for Nepal The Star

New Cold War

John Brennan and Jim Clapper trash Trump for his relations with Putin, attacks on intelligence community. Politico. A torturer and a perjurer, respectively.

* * *

The Long-Delayed Jeff Sessions Reveal emptywheel

How our Intel Agencies Screwed us by Letting Sessions, Trumpies get away with Russia Scheme Juan Cole (Re Silc). Cole:

Me, I’m angry. I’m angry because the US intel community had this information in summer of 2016 and they’re only leaking it now. You mean they could have blown the whistle on the Trump gang over the Russian contacts and they didn’t bother? It is too late now

* * *

Trump Says He Has ‘Complete Power’ to Pardon NYT

Yes, Trump can legally pardon himself or his family. No, he shouldn’t (Jonathan Turley) and No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so (Larry Tribe) WaPo

How Will Trump’s Attack Dogs Affect Mueller’s Russia Investigation? Foreign Policy. From the heart of The Blob and a must-read.

Jill Stein looped into widening investigation of Russia and Trump Jr. connections The Hill

Jeb Bush calls out Republicans who criticized Obama over Russia, but have been silent on the Trump-Russia probe Business Insider

* * *

Congress Reaches Deal on Russia Sanctions, Setting Up Tough Choice for Trump NYT

Call for new Ukraine state serves Moscow’s goals FT

Big Oil warns new Russia sanctions could deal out US companies New Europe (MT).

This *Is* Normal. American Politics Have Always Been Terrible. Daily Beast

Trump Transition

Washington Outsiders Learn Hard Way That Swamp Is Alive And Well Bloomberg

That’s cold! Sean Spicer ‘stole a mini-fridge from White House junior staffers under the cover of darkness’ Daily Mail. Ouch!

Republicans embrace tax hike targeting Democratic states AP

Will Donald junior’s conduct jolt Republicans? The Economist

Democrats in Disarray

Could Kamala Harris revive the fractured Democratic party for the 2020 election? Guardian. “[R]eportedly wowing big Democratic donors at an event in the Hamptons this month…”

Tim Kaine: Democrats need to talk to the middle class USA Today

Bernie Sanders needs a protégé The Week

Bernie Sanders makes first move against a bill with bipartisan support that could increase fracking Mic (UserFriendly).

In Colorado Fracking Fight, Emails Show Constituents ‘Begging’ Lawmakers For Help International Business Times

Our Famously Free Press

Washington Post Shoots for Pulitzer in Fake News With Reporting on Disability CEPR

Health Care

Pence puts subtle squeeze on Portman over healthcare at Columbus fundraiser Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Portman sounds squishy.

CBO Finds Growing, Harmful Impact of Senate GOP Bill’s Medicaid Per Capita Cap Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

CBO: Under the latest Senate healthcare bill, deductibles could be more than some people earn Business Insider

Trump administration scraps Obamacare signup assistance in 18 cities CNBC

Message to Democrats: Get on Board With Medicare For All or Go Home Common Dreams

Medicare For All Is Coming, No Matter What They Say Richard Eskow, Moyers and Company

Thousands flock to free medical clinic, as Washington dithers on health care WaPo. Third World stuff.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Amazon may give app developers access to Alexa audio recordings The Verge. Yikes.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire The Intercept

America’s New $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier Is Still Far From Ready Jalopnik. Can’t launch or recover aircraft, planned to be F-35Cs….

How the Pentagon’s Handling of Munitions and Their Waste has Poisoned America ProPublica (GF).

Class Warfare

A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp 25iq (via Felix Salmon). “The first thing people who have control do is tilt the playing field. Maybe the majority of wealth is accumulated because of tilted playing fields. Not because of merit.”

Subversion of Social Movements by Adversarial Agents (PDF) International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. “Regardless of size, one fact about social movements is unchanging: their physical embodiment is always local. That is, social movements are the sum of the actions of individuals who are themselves in only one place—omnipresence is something that exists only in fantasy movies.”

A snapshot of the jobs malaise Axios (Re Silc).

Employers of Reddit, what jobs are you finding to be impossible to fill? Reddit/AskReddit

The ideology of “the market” Stumbling and Mumbling

The Class Renegade NYRB

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. nycTerrierist

      Same here.

      From that piece. Rinse and repeat!:

      “The ruling classes choose presidential candidates and we are expected to submissively accept and look forward to a Republican being out of office. Any questions about Harris or other anointed persons will be derided as the perfect being the enemy of the good or leftists spoiling the Democrats’ designs.

      We don’t know who will be the Democratic Party nominee in 2020. We can safely predict that this person won’t represent us. In fact this individual will be chosen precisely because he or she doesn’t represent us. We are in déjà vu all over again in a fake democracy.”

          1. CalypsoFacto

            I also interpreted Harris’ I see you as a warning, not a recognition of pain/suffering. I see what you’re doing is something yelled at a misbehaving child or pet, or when you call someone out on a trick.

            Had she wanted to signal that she and the party were interested in taking on working class issues the term used would have been We hear you, e.g. , We hear your concerns and want to address them.

            1. jrs

              they 5 Eyes do see you ..

              the generous interpretation is that something got lost in translation, like W, maybe she has foot in mouth disease. The only question is “is our children learning” or at any rate to understand the plight of those working hard to “put food on their families”. At least noone can accuse her of speaking eloquently.

      1. Adam Eran

        “I don’t care who people vote for as long as I can pick the candidates” — Boss Tweed

        1. screen screamer

          Exactly. Listening to Harris at some of these hearings was kind of exciting, but then I’ve read too much on her political aspirations. I don’t understand the big deal with the swoon factor at this point. She seems as damaged goods as anything that is out there presently.

      2. jrs

        one might choose to vote LOTE, if in a location where it even matters (if not, it’s 100% pointless) but enthusiasm is another matter.

      3. Procopius

        So who will we back? Tulsi Gabbard? Kirsten Gillibrand has co-sponsored the atrocious anti-BDS bill. I would have voted for her but this makes it hard. Tom Perez would have been good, based on his record as Labor Secretary, but his performance at the DNC has been horrible, purely for the Borg. Cory Booker would absolutely make me vote for a Republican, even Trump. So would Andres Cuomo. I don’t like or trust Kamala Harris. As another link headline put it, Bernie needs a protege.

    2. Emorej a Hong Kong

      The main logic I see in this early publicity for Harris’s potential candidacy is to send Joe Biden a message that any candidacy by him would merely split the anybody-but-Bernie vote.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m not sure. I think plenty of loathsome Dems see the White House as wide open including Kaine, Booker, Cuomo, Gillibrand (enemies of free speech are loathsome), and Harris.

        Kaine needs to get his pesky election out of the way which given Warner’s squeaker isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

        These rats could work together for the rat king in Hillary, a campaign marked by chaos, but against each other, they will fight.

        1. David

          My biggest worry had been “rat king” Hillary tooling up for 2020.

          Doesn’t feel like it now, though. If that was really “on” you’d know it by now. Also feel like one of the more ambitions tier-2 rats would have a go at her if she really was stupid enough to give this a try.

          Honestly would rather have Trump than Hillary or a tier-2 rat. Would vote for none of the preceding myself.

          At least with Trump you know his utter and complete incompetence would preclude anything bad from being accomplished domestically. Trump and the rats would obviously be all-in for permanent war so no difference there.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            With Trump, you get stories like ‘Trump And The Coming Fall of American Empire.’

        2. Vatch

          Regarding free speech and Sen. Gillibrand, she is a co-sponsor of S. 720, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize certain forms of speech about Israel. Clearly unconstitutional, so why co-sponsor it? She should withdraw her co-sponsorship.

          This is very disappointing, since she was one of the most reliable Senators for voting against Trump’s horrible nominations for cabinet level positions. I guess she’s pandering to Jewish voters in New York. Sad.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            She’s right in line with the credentialed class view of “free speech”, their forms of speech are the ones that are protected but nobody else’s. If you say something about transvestites, less-than-lily-white people, or post-Derrida deconstructionists that triggers them then it’s wrath and condemnation, especially if you’re on that historical bastion of free thought known as a college campus. Apparently that extends to the apartheid regimes like Israel that we support.

            1. Vatch

              For all you New York state residents, here’s her contact information. Let her staff politely know about the problems with S. 720; even if you’re angry, please try to keep your feelings under control. Otherwise, you could be dismissed as an anti-Semite, and opposition to this bill is unrelated to anti-Semitism.

              Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY)
              478 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
              (202) 224-4451

    3. justanotherprogressive

      Does it really matter who you vote or don’t vote for any more, other than how it makes you feel? I think this country is so far past the time when an elected person could make any difference.

      If Bernie Sanders had been our President, do you think he could have made a difference just because he said “the right words” to us?

      Sorry, but the power in this country is no longer in the hands of elected officials and it doesn’t really matter what the elected officials do. They can either “go along” and help their own bottom lines or be a “dissenter” and get knocked out of the way, or better yet, ignored…..

      1. Vatch

        You’re mostly correct, as numerous authors have proven (Thomas Ferguson, Benjamin Page, Martin Gilens, Lawrence Bartels, Mike Lofgren). But Sanders could have made a difference in one area: he would have nominated better cabinet level officials than Trump, Obama, or Bush II did. In some departments, such as Defense and State, this probably wouldn’t have made much difference, because of the “deep state” (sorry, I know some people here don’t like that phrase). But he would have made a huge difference at the EPA, the Interior, Education, Commerce (which includes NOAA), and HHS Departments. He might have made a difference in the Judiciary Department, too, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions is awful. Ditto for the Treasury Department, although the entrenched establishment would have limited what President Sanders could do there.

        President Sanders would have nominated a better Supreme Court justice than Neil Gorsuch, which could have reverberated for decades.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Do you seriously think that any Supreme Court justice that wasn’t in line with what the powers that be wanted would have stood a chance in the confirmation process?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            All cabinet picks would have to be acceptable to Schumer, and probably Pelosi.

          2. neo-realist

            The dems, as bad as they are for the economic interests of common people, would have selected far better supreme court justices on civil rights and abortion (knowing that abortion rights are dying a swift death in the red states) than a republican president.

          3. Vatch

            Neil Gorsuch is pretty bad. Yes, I seriously believe that a President Sanders would have chosen a better justice for the Supreme Court.

        2. Tooearly

          Exactly. And even a 1 or 2% difference turns out to be quite significant given the vast leverage of our governments

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If any of his picks threatens to destabilize the status quo, there will be fake news, and faults found or manufactured (in America or elsewhere).

          The corporate personhood people, for example, will not worship at his Supreme Court nominee altar.

          He will run into the same resisting elites, in many instances, which should offer valuable lessons for all future outsiders.

          Maybe the Military-Industrial complex interests will go easy (or easier) on him.

      2. jrs

        I think voting can make sense as a harm mitigation strategy, so can’t really fault anyone who strictly uses it that way without any delusions of the usual milquetoast candidates we get to vote for bringing on real change.

      3. Kurt Sperry

        A Sanders presidency would have been opposed in every way possible by the tiny elite who rule both the Dems and the Republicans, but it would have also provided a fantastic opportunity for average Americans to witness the direct subversion of their democracy, and exposed a lot of very obvious and overt ugliness that is currently concealed by an elite consensus that conspires to hide it from public view.

        Whether Sanders could or couldn’t “make a difference”, I have no doubt the panicked string of unforced errors by an establishment that has no institutional memory of having to play defense that his winning would have inevitably elicited would have made a huge difference, and exposed the American electorate to a lot of ugly truths that the media could no longer keep the lid on. Very “clarifying” as Lambert would phrase it.

      4. Whine Country

        “Does it really matter who you vote or don’t vote for any more?”

        You highlight the issue very clearly. The problem we are now trying to remedy began with Carter and in answer to your question, it very much does matter who we vote for. Had we not voted for Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump we may well be in a very different position now. The problem took many years to manifest and it will take many years to fix. The saying that a journey of a thousand miles… for better or worse. This is a sickness that has overcome too many of us because we have been predominately guided by the “I want my Maypo; I want it now” generation and can only envision simple quick solutions. We vote them in one at a time and we have to vote them out one at a time; and it will take a lot of time to fix this. The first thing to do is to turn to the next generation and, in some cases even younger, instead of the same old tired faces. They will be the ones with the energy to fix things – not like us Baby Boomers who pretended to have energy then sold out and became thoroughly corrupt.

        1. Pat

          I might give it to you for Reagan and Bush 1’s first election, although that could be wrong as well. Here’s the thing unless one hundred percent of America, including those running for office, stop voting you are left with the winner among the nominees.

          So let’s just start with 1992 – the nominees were Bush 1, Clinton and Perot. We had two of the three – would Perot have been better or just early Trump?

          1996 – Clinton and Dole. Dole better than Clinton? Who else?

          If that isn’t enough to make it clear, we are still working on the lesser of two evils and in rare instances three evils scenario. I don’t disagree with you about the voting thing. I do think people should vote. Unfortunately if the last three or so decades have taught me nothing it is that we need to figure out how to expel the lackeys, the corrupt, and the crazies before they get to national office meaning that we need to be massively better locally. Currently our system does exactly the opposite.

          (And yes I know despite all indications that it isn’t good enough sometimes the lesser of two evils really is lesser, as bad as Gore would have been I’m still not sure 9/11 would have happened and i’m pretty damn sure Iraq would have been avoided even if it had. Big a bright spot as that is, unfortunately I’m not sure anything else would have been better not even on climate issues considering party ownership.)

          1. Richard

            I agree with your assessment of most LOTR situations, Pat. Even if one accepts the premise, it is not as clear cut as proponents would have you believe, exactly which evil is the lesser. Our most recent presidential election highlights this rather dramatically.
            I do think we need to get away from the language and perspective that people “should vote”, not that it’s wrongheaded or doesn’t describe a world I’d like the live in, but because it pulls us into a very tired “blaming the victims” direction (though clearly you were not making such a point). We need to turn the conversation more to: what are the reasons people don’t vote. The 1% and 10% hate such conversations, because it tends to reflect very poorly on their democratic values. Let’s have those discussions (especially with friends and comrades who don’t regularly visit a site like this), and bring their BS values out in the sunshine!

    4. Kim Kaufman

      Thanks for link. Didn’t know Sonos was co-owner of One West Bank (along with Mnuchin). Makes more sense now why she didn’t go after bank and protect homeowners.

        1. subgenius

          Homeowners = orwellian doublespeak….

          Unless you mean the tbtf financials, or those with the power to eminent domain for personal gain.

    5. Ned

      When Kamala Harris, was allegedly the district attorney in San Francisco, illegal aliens that had committed multiple felonies were set free on some kind of work release training program and went on to kill other people.
      “The brutal and senseless murder last month of Tony Bologna and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, at the hands of Edwin Ramos, a native of El Salvador and known member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) street gang, was a reminder that inviting illegal activity can turn deadly. The Bolognas were on their way back from a family picnic when they inadvertently blocked Ramos’ car from making a left turn in the Excelsior district. When Bologna politely backed up to let the other car past, Ramos responded by opening fire and killing all three passengers. Ramos has been charged with three counts of murder, with the added penalty of street-gang involvement.

      Edwin Ramos was one of the youths who benefited from the city’s long-standing practice of shielding illegal immigrant juveniles who committed felonies from possible deportation, The Chronicle has learned. Apparently he gave authorities plenty of notice about his contempt for the law. He had previously been found guilty of two felonies as a juvenile – a gang-related assault on a Muni passenger and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman – according to authorities familiar with his background.”
      Harris refused to ask for the death penalty.

      Imagine Monica Lewinsky launching a political career from *that* act….
      That is how Kamala Harris got her start as the girlfriend of the loathsome Willie Brown, the absolutely corrupt apparatchik of the California Democratic Party establishment.

      What has she actually done? Other than fulfill at least four check-off boxes of diversity? Lots of words, few accomplishments. Look at her website. Platitudes and few accomplishments. If Harris is the best the Democrats can produce, it’s time to walk away from this charade of a political party and form a real progressive and Democratic Party.

      1. Procopius

        Yes, that’s pretty bad. Do you have any other examples? Any other cases? I confess I haven’t followed the link.

        1. JaobiteInTraining

          Not quite the impact as the above story, but a classic example of the tried-and-true politicians ‘whip up everyone into a pearl-clutching moral frenzy, set up a few patsies, then take them down at gunpoint and with great prosecutorial trumpets and flourishes to then bask in frenzied media attention during election years’

          And, though sex workers are at the bottom of most peoples list of ‘people to take seriously and give agency to’, Maggie McNeil is one lady you do NOT want to f*** with. She fights back with delicious verbiage.

          As a side note, if anyone is interested in seeing behind the veil of todays current ZOMG SEX TRAFFICKERS AND WHITE SLAVERS!!! moral panic-of-the-month, keep up to date on Maggie’s site….she is great.

    6. Oregoncharles

      So what WILL you do, besides crawl under a rock?

      Because it might be best to be working on your alternatives NOW.

  1. Livius Drusus

    Re: Alexa and other “smart home” devices seem somewhat pointless to me. They remind me of The Clapper. I have no need for a “smart house” especially one that might be snooping on me. I wonder, do people buy these gadgets because they really like them or because of their image as status symbols?

    1. Jomo

      My stepdaughter who has a new baby gets a lot of help from Alexa. When she has the baby in her arms she can verbally turn on lights, call people on the phone, set timers for food, etc. I can also see a lot of practical use for people with disabilities. I was so impressed, I bought two devices for half price on Primeday, one is portable and can be used outside around the property. I love music and this gives me access by spoken command to a lot of music I have not heard before and I don’t have to interrupt my physical activities to “change the station”. I wish this had been invented decades earlier so I would not have had to buy all those LPs, Cassette tapes, and digital music. Practical and worth the money. Never thought of them as “status symbols.” “Tell me a joke, Alexa” is also a great function. I don’t have it hooked to my phone contacts, but probably should in case I have to say, “Alexa, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” How much have people paid for that service alone?

      1. justanotherprogressive

        You make a good point. In some instances, Alexa is useful. But the “everyone has to have one” whether it is useful to them or not is the real problem. I, like Livius, don’t need a “smart house” and don’t want the baggage that comes with it, yet my kids decided I needed Alexa and got me one for Christmas. I haven’t even taken it out of the box…….

        I prefer to control the technology that is available and use only that technology that works for me instead of having it just because, as my kids say, “everyone has it now”……

        1. jrs

          a niche market, and even if it’s the mother market which may not seem that niche, people don’t have young kids for that long of their lifespan, and then any product tailored for that becomes hand me downs for a garage sale pretty much …

          It is pretty sad that a company making truly useful well made products like Sears Kenmore appliances, imagines it really gains that much from partnering with mostly useless stuff like Alexa.

          Probably should just resale the Alexa if you can’t return it :)

      2. Bunk McNulty

        It really is an amazing piece of technology, but the convenience it offers it does come at a cost not measured in dollars.

        I know, you have nothing to hide. I don’t either. But this stuff gives me the willies, even so. The way the world works these days, everything is for sale, and sooner or later the details of your daily existence will be bought by, then sold and re-sold, to the highest bidder. And you may not care, for good reasons. I’m not going to scold you or anyone else who is cool with this arrangement. Until, of course it becomes necessary to have one, because so many people will have them, and then we will have a shouting match about technological “evolution” and other such terms that claim technology is somehow a natural force, rather than the result of political and economic policies. Kidding, kidding, hey I’d like to cue up Miles and Trane whenever I wanted, too.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            But they’ve made it so easy for you to get your daily dose of propaganda! Aren’t you the least bit appreciative?

        1. Whine Country

          Yeah – it’s hard to quantify how much all this high tech and apps do to make our lives more productive. Personally, my back of the envelope calculations indicate that with time I save with the tech and apps, I have more time to wait on the phone (on hold) listening to elevator music and, my favorite, how much all those I contact value my business – then finally being connected to some foreign outpost to speak to someone struggling to communicate properly with me. I also have more time to think about worthless things like, now that most companies have turned their customer service departments into human robots – how long can it be before I will get to talk to a real robot. Have your robot contact my robot.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        I wonder where I was the day that turning on the lights became such a huge travail requiring such an “investment” to alleviate.

        1. jrs

          and it remains a TOTAL MYSTERY why people are not getting enough exercise anymore …

          not that that is much exercise, but that’s kind of the point, when you refuse to even move to turn on the light … wait why are we obese again?

          even arthritic people are often better served by keeping somewhat active than not, if people have knee arthritis and take walks they tend to recommend they do so rather than be sedentary, so it’s not necessarily better for the joints to avoid moderate activity.

        2. Procopius

          Can’t turn on the lights because holding a baby? My mind boggles. How did my grandparents manage in the decades before they had electricity on their farm? Many years ago a friend of mine gave me a Walkman he no longer used because he’d bought a newer “improved” one. Turns out I hardly ever used it. I like the internet a lot, but I don’t have either a camera or a microphone connected to my computer. What for? I have a camera that does not connect to the internet, not my cell phone. If there is really a photo opportunity I need to share with anyone I can use that, upload to my computer, and send by email. I don’t use Skype, there’s nobody left in the world I need/want to talk to long-distance. Guess I’m just a fossil.

          1. jrs

            kind of, companies and recruiters do interviews via Skype now sometimes, especially recruiters. So never use Skype for anything else maybe, but sometimes one needs to find a job pretty much.

      4. perpetualWAR

        “Tell me a joke, Alexa.”

        Answer: “I’m not really spying on you for the government. You are to laugh here.”

      5. perpetualWAR

        “Those who don’t protect privacy because they have nothing to hide, don’t protect freedom of speech because they have nothing to say.”

      6. Oregoncharles

        My mother, after 5 kids – mostly boys, fairly big and heavy – claimed that her left arm was not only bigger around but LONGER than her right. Why? Because she carried babies in it, as people always do – even left-handers, because the heartbeat is on the the left side.

        Then, of course, there is an endless array of packs, some designed to carry the baby on the front, where it is happier – unless you bend over.

        IOW: people got along without Alexa through billions of babies and at least half a million years.

        1. polecat

          But I’ll bet the right arm was stronger from smackin all you young’uns when ya got outta line ! ‘;]

      7. Propertius

        There’s no reason why a device that lets you turn on lights verbally, call people on the phone, or set timers needs to be connected to the internet and relay everything it hears to Jeff Bezos.

        1. subgenius

          Of course there is, how else do you sell data to security services, over-reaching egotistical mega corps, etc, if you don’t collect it?

        2. RUKidding

          Exactly. I don’t want to judge whether someone “should” or “should not” use this technology. I can certainly see it’s absolute usefulness especially for the disabled (of one sort or another).

          But I simply don’t see why it has to be connected to the Internet where anyone and everyone can spy on you and collect data yada yada.

          I am childless, but many friends and relatives had various types of baby monitors over the years. I could see the utility of such devices, but they weren’t connected to anything else.

          Bring on an “Alexa” that doesn’t need to be connected to the web, please. Jeff Bezos doesn’t need to track what I’m doing, thankyewverymuch.

          1. MoiAussie

            Ok, it’s connected to the internet because it wouldn’t work at all if it wasn’t. Just like similar functionality on smartphones. While there is plenty of hardware in the Alexa box, the key algorithms that guess what you might be saying and act upon it are in the cloud. It doesn’t have to be designed that way – it’s perfectly possible to do adequate standalone speech recognition, especially with training – but that’s the way it is designed, otherwise it wouldn’t be cheap enough/wouldn’t generate as much profit.

        3. Misterio

          If you’ve ever watched South Park, the idea reminds me a little of Mr. Mackey’s idea for a new transportation device. It worked great, was green, fast, safe, affordable and had a metal rod that went up your nethers for no operational reason. Mackey just thought that last part was a good idea.

    2. oh

      People think they’re status symbols but they don’t realize that they’re being snooped on or if they do, they don’t really care.

      1. Jomo

        We are only beginning with what these Alexa “smart speakers” can do. As the article states info from them is now being given to App developers. One side effect I have noticed already is that when Alexa is present every house is your house. When I babysit at my stepdaughter’s house and she is not there, I can verbally control the lights and the temperature and listen to “my music” all while holding the bottle and feeding the baby. Where this goes is too soon to tell, but it does make some things a lot more convenient.

        1. perpetualWAR

          “It’s convenient.”

          -TPTB take away cash
          -TPTB take away privacy
          -TPTB take away ……

        2. Procopius

          I’ve noticed that Thais are very intolerant of silence. Decades ago had one of my wife’s nephews “borrow” my boom box to take to the field with him because he wanted to listen to music while he worked. OK by me, I hardly ever used it anyway. I’m comfortable with both solitude and silence.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More broadly, backed by amply funded and superb brain research, they know every cerebral pathway to corrupt, to addle, to manipulate the consumer.

        It’s not really a fair fight.

        The government should have stepped in and called it a long time ago.

        1. jrs

          yea but even then, how should the government step in? Banning Alexa or banning advertising? Personally, I think they should ban advertising. Get to the root of the problem.

    3. meeps

      Why is a “smart house” a “networked” house but not one that can do anything intelligent for itself or its occupants? Like passively heat and cool its interior or exterior spaces? Perhaps reuse water multiple times to moderate temperature and humidity, or produce food, or flush a toilet? Might it be made from locally sourced materials that perform well and eventually biodegrade? How “smart” is the house that hardly any working class person can afford?

  2. MoiAussie

    Call for new Ukraine state serves Moscow’s goals (FT)

    FT’s one-sided Russia-bashing piece is today’s mustn’t read, unless you have developed a taste for NATO propaganda. It’s the usual made-up story about “russian occupying forces” and attempts to link the Malorossia plan direct to the Kremlin, despite Russia being clearly lukewarm about the whole idea.

    Anyone who has been following the conflict knows that for months it is Kiev that has been bringing up artillery, shelling civilians, and breaking the ceasefire. No mention of this here, however, but not surprising given the article is sourced out of Kiev.

    Far more thoughtful, if still not entirely balanced, is this piece:

    Little Russia, big dreams

    One obvious (probably deliberate) misunderstanding of the Malorossia proposal is that it is exactly that, a proposal. Contra WaPo, WSJ, the Torygraph and the rest, there has been no actual declaration of a new state. Only Xinhua and the Inquisitr got it right:

    Ukrainian separatist region declares plan to create new state (Xinhua)
    Project for a new state in Ukraine’s breakaway regions rejected by Russia (Inquisitr)

    This Tuesday, Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a breakaway territory of Ukraine, revealed his plans for the creation of a new country named Malorossiya, which means “Little Russia.” Although the proposal raised some attention from the international media, a spokesman from the Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov, stated that his country is committed to the Minsk Accords and does not subscribe to Zakharchenko’s initiative, BBC News reports.

    For details on the actual announcement, the best source is probably this:

    New Country to Replace Ukraine? The Malorossiyan Federation

    Here’s the key quote from the translated declaration:

    ‘We, representatives of the regions of the former “Ukraine”, propose to re-establish the state and to proclaim the state of MALOROSSIYA under historical background out of the former “Ukraine”.’

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Ukrainian dummkopf zakharchenko is giving the “Alexander” name bad vibrations…raz-putin is probably dancing a jig…although not quite capable of any major offensives, the russian military can certainly
      do what it is accused of…go into malorussia…but instead hand it back to the lunatic fools in kiev…it will make him look good with his sudden new buddies in eu who have reacted to even more dummkopf activities of our “glorious” us congress…

      My goodness…to the victors go the history books…squawking about old and neo black boots is all fine and good…but…

      Let us not imagine stalin did not like the german military…after ww1 the german “military” was not to exist in any real form…leading to the “truppenamt” which was the “secretish” german military high command…junkers, the aircraft company was allowed to set up military aircraft and munitions operations in “fili”…outside of moscow, and the german Luftwaffe was trained nearby at the Lipetsk Luftwaffe training facility…

      IN the ussr…

      it continued until September of 1933…

      Less than 3 years later, many trained on russian soil would be bombing helpless spanish civilians for the german condor league…

      And tovarich…mister bigshot youtube dictator fearless leader guy…you have maybe spanish language problem…or you perhaps like helping spanish late nite comedians…

      As “nova” was not a too bright name for a car…

      “Malo”-russia…malo means bad in spanish…enjoy getting made the wrong end of a long sequence of youtube comedy routines…

      designed for failure…

      But hey…alexander…at least your grandkids can tell their grandkids you ran a country for about two weeks…

  3. MoiAussie

    Subversion of Social Movements by Adversarial Agents

    Anyone serious about activism should give this a read, or better, add it to their library and share it around.
    Here’s a summary of the 13 methods use to subvert social movements.

    1) Suppress Information Flow
    2) Suppress Recruiting Efforts
    3) Reduce Recruiting Opportunities
    4) Develop Attractive Alternatives
    5) Tempt Members to Leave
    6) Reverse Recruiting Using Demoralizing Information
    7) Operationalize Secure/Faux Concessions
    8) Expertly Directed, Incessant Proactive Manipulation of Media
    9) Resource Depletion
    10) Stigmatization
    11) Divisive Disruption
    12) Intimidation
    13) Intrapsychic Wounding

    Know thy enemy!

    1. HotFlash

      Hmm, interesting. Is this your work or do you have a source? IOW, whom should I credit when I cite this.

      1. MoiAussie

        Not my work at all – it’s an article by Eric L. Nelson from 2012 in a journal. Full download above. See the second link in the Class Warfare section. I just did a summary.

    2. Mike

      Forgot one – planted leadership, which was used in a number of Socialist grouplets, and may have been the “Yippie” guiding hand.

      Been a guarantee since Cointelpro and its European variant, Gladio. I’m sure the methods have been refined and, in this political environment, are leaked and studied with the express intent of driving home the lesson; don’t even think it, ’cause we’ve tapped your brain. Of course, propaganda and its leaks are a sign of weakness, yes?

  4. PlutoniumKun

    China’s Hukou System Foreign Policy

    Interesting overview of the Hukou system, which is always widely misunderstood outside China, but the interviewee shows himself to be remarkably ignorant of cities outside China:

    Secondly, cities in China don’t have to be crowded – if you allow cities to grow naturally, not by policy preferences. Government just showers money onto some cities, so of course those cities will seem very attractive, so people go there, and it becomes very crowded. If you let cities grow by themselves, in a market fashion, where there is water, land, resources, a reason to grow cities, cities will grow. That’s a different kind of story. Chinese cities don’t have to be crowded. If they are crowded, price goes up, and people will leave. That’s called market mechanism. But in this case, resources are dictated by policies, therefore if they say Beijing has to be prosperous, so they put a lot of money into Beijing, making it very prosperous and attractive. But yet, Beijing cannot, hold so many people.

    Chinese cities can be appallingly dull and grim places, but the one of the big successes of the government is that it has kept general housing quality very high for the great majority of urban dwellers, despite the breakneck speed of development. China has relatively few of the shantytowns that characterise most countries at its level of development. The notion that somehow a market solution will deliver good cities is quite astonishingly naive. I hope his views aren’t widespread in the Chinese intelligentsia (although its possible that translation has altered the subtlety of what he is trying to express).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s like Japan’s koseki, which is why it was surprising to read that in Japan, they forgot to take off dead old people off in calculating the number of centenarians.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: the article about marihoochie in Canada—The US was tragically way behind the curve on this one. We have a few states, the Canadians will have the whole country. Sure to increase their tourism; I myself will visit them.

  6. David Carl Grimes

    Re: Employers of Reddit, what jobs are you finding to be impossible to fill? Reddit/AskReddit. Hilarious. Yes, there is a skills shortage… at the wage rate employers want. Seems like employers still have this recession mindset that they can get the labor they want for very cheap because many people were desperate to get a job or to hold on to their existing ones. It will take probably another year of economic growth to get them off that mindset.

    This is why I think this recovery still has legs because the benefits of trickle down economics have started to trickle down to the lower classes. Maybe we will see a 3% unemployment rate in the next few years.

    1. kurtismayfield

      If you read that thread you see a common theme.. most of the jobs pay less than $15 an hour. That is $31,200 if you are working full time. That *may* pay the bills in many parts of the country for a single person if you share living arrangements. If they don’t offer health insurance all bets are off.

      The costs has gone up for both businesses and individuals.. I don’t blame the small business owner for trying to get help in the cheap. There is a small business that I frequent in Massachusetts that always has a help wanted sign. I asked them what is the pay for the job, they said $9 per hour. I laughed at them. They said that they can’t afford to pay more. I said that no one can afford to work for that unless they are living with their parents. They shrugged. Rent, insurance, taxes etc would suck up that $1440 a month. Oh and I was making that my first job out of college 20 years ago, when health insurance costs were zero for me.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Which is why free education, mass transit, and single payer would be such huge boons. These terrible jobs would become more viable. Or to put it in terms idiot neoliberals would understand, America is not competitive with the rest of the world because neoliberals don’t invest in America.

        Uber (from the perspective of finding drivers) is only viable because the demands on hours and cost of transit isn’t worth $9 an hour. At that point, why not just deal drugs? Better hours. Tax free.

        1. ambrit

          Deal drugs better? Do you know how much a MD license costs to attain? Better go to the wholesale end and become a Pharma Rep. That only requires a Masters in ‘Sales and Marketing.’

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            But I think you need an element of self respect. One doesn’t need to love it. Street drug dealers can always have a code and not sell to kids. Big Pharma pushes to kids, and if they don’t they lose their jobs and have hideous debts from their time at “school.”

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It’s easy to see, around us, when C students in ‘school’ who are from rich families become A students in neoliberal life simply because of their inherited wealth.

              Less known or not known at all is, how, among the 99%, how the GPA correlates with success in neoliberal life.

              Does a 3.45 GPA student succeed 10% more than a 3.14 GPA student?

              1. Oregoncharles

                I couldn’t give you a link, but I remember studies saying there’s little correlation.

                Might be worth searching, if you really want to know.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  If it makes little difference between a B and a C, presumably it makes also little difference between a D and an F.

                  To deny a student his/her degree, with an F, when it makes little difference in this neoliberal credentialistic life, that is like denying him/her food and healthcare.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is America competitive or not competitive with China? Lot of people invest in China. Will including suicide prevention nets improve America’s competitiveness?

          And do American workers want to compete with H1B workers for work?

          Do we act just because it is right or just?

        3. kurtismayfield

          The health care industry will not allow the wholesale changes in the system needed to get the costs in line with the rest of the first world without a fight. They are becoming a virus on GDP and are slowly killing the host.

        4. perpetualWAR

          Why not deal drugs?

          The States are taking over those jobs too. Marijuana is now legal and TAXED heavily in many states.

    2. HBE

      Agreed the reddit thread is hilarious in a somewhat dark sort of way, for how true it is. The amount of self delusion on the employer side of things still amazes me, “we are going to pay an unlivable wage”, “why can’t we fill this position”. Hmm, I wonder.

      Also this comment caught my attention.

      Many of friends who graduated from Ivies had to take unpaid jobs in Manhattan for 6mo+ to get work in their fields. I assumed it was a quiet “are your parents rich” test. If you pass, you get the job – if you grew up poor, you’re out of luck.

      Meritocracy indeed.

      1. sid_finster

        If I were in the market for employees and had no scruples, I’d hire strivers rather than rich kids.

        Besides being hungrier, poor kids are more likely to need the job and less likely to know their rights or be in a position to demand them.

        1. Oregoncharles

          “No scruples”? Sounds more like social justice, except for “less likely to know their rights or be in a position to demand them.” If you hire them because they’re likely to be better employees and treat them fairly, you have no moral problem at all.

      2. Rory

        As an older guy who hasn’t been in the job market for many years, I found the Reddit thread about as eye opening as anything I can remember having read on NC.

        1. HBE

          Thank you, for taking the time to read it. As a millennial, the complete lack of understanding we (as a generation) often receive from most people over 40 (likely more appropriate to say established older workers and retirees) is extremely frustrating.

          We are the lowest paid generation in recent history, face greater pressures from inflation, have absolutely no safety net, and have to compete in an overpopulated global market where there is almost always someone ready to work for less.

          But we are somehow lazy and ungrateful, videogame addicted leeches, who should be happy to work for nothing in demeaning conditions. If economists, business owners, and many others are to be believed.

          1. TsWkr

            I work with a majority 50+ year olds in a state gov’t agency and catch a lot of grief for being so young (29) and hear a lot jokes at millenials’ expense. The funny thing is, the same people making the jokes (including my supervisor) are the ones I see cruising internet news, texting on their phones, showing up late, chit chatting idly while being unable to have a productive work-related conversation.

            That being said, I don’t want to get into generational warfare here. I’ve worked with capable and effective people of all ages and the competent older folks have generally never denigrated someone based on youth. It seems like it may be a combination of certain people projecting qualities onto the younger workers out of insecurity, or those who can think critically realizing that making broad generalities based on age is a waste of time.

          2. The Rev Kev

            As a younger baby-boomer may I say that the reason that your generation finds itself in such dire straits is that my generation climbed up ladders placed there by previous generations and then, after climbing them, pulled up the ladders behind us. An example is that here in Oz university was basically free which allowed a form of meritocracy to take place in education. It was basically an investment in the future human capital of this country.
            That has now changed and we are going full capitalist. Now we have HECS debt for university and escalating fees which means that our future leaders must come from a shallow pool of wealthier families who can pay their kids way in university. Based on the quality of our present leaders I am sometimes tempted to say that they may also be from the shallow end of the gene pool but that is another matter altogether.
            For what it is worth, it will be your generation that will be choosing the nursing homes for our generation so that is something to reflect on and remind your elders about.

            1. mpalomar

              Speak for yourself. My experience tells me that every generation has their sell outs and their solids who go down fighting.

              1. MoiAussie

                Absolutely. It wasn’t the boomer generation that sold out those who came after. It was those who propagated and bought into the toxic memes that “greed is good” and “there is no such thing as society” trumpeted by Reagan and Thatcher. It was those who thought tax cuts for the rich and the abolition of safety nets were good ideas. And then came the big lie, now universally accepted, that maximising shareholder return was the sole duty of corporations, and finally the absurd notions that corporations are people and money is speech.

                Blaming an entire generation for the ills of today is just retarded. Blame those who brought it about, and punish them by taking their ill-gotten gains from them and restoring a fair society that has compassion for all.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  I absolutely agree with all that you say here. The only thing is that this all happened on our watch. This is not generational warfare but a statement of facts. The Archdruid said of our generation that there was never a generation that inherited so much – and left so little.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Someone should forward a copy to Janet Yellen.

          Here in Australia the head of the central bank recently said “people should just be demanding higher wages”, he was lamenting the gargantuan levels of personal debt and of course the absolute nosebleed cost of rent, housing, and everything else, utilities, food. A Sydney house used to take 3X annual earnings, now it’s 12X. And this SOB had the unmitigated gall, having firmly put in place the free money policies that caused all of this destruction, to say if people needed more money they should just ask.

          Can we really withstand having the lifeblood of our economy managed by people with such a precarious grip on reality?

    1. Louis Fyne

      joon sounds more approachable than “low-cost airline domiciled in low-cost country using low-cost Ukrainian and Indianlabor” PLC.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Protecting the Cheaters: EU Regulators in Bed With German Auto Industry Regarding Diesel MishTalk (EM).

    I think Mish overstates the dependence of German companies on diesel. Its important for Germany, but certainly BMW and VW have hybrids and EV’s which are just as good as their main competitors. Arguably, the French are much more dependent on diesel (it was French companies that led the charge for small diesel engines back in the 1980’s) I suspect the determination of Germany to protect its industry from EU regulators (and what the Germans say tends to happen in the EU) is more a reflex action than something deeply considered. I think they are more worried about localised bans than EU or international action. As so often, its forgotten that strict regulations can help the more advanced companies. Sadly though VW has become to the EU what GM was to the US, at least in the eyes of politicians and regulators.

    1. DJG

      Interesting: I was trying to find a complete copy of Marianne Moore’s poem, The Pangolin, with its unique line breaks preserved. No such luck. So I wonder if it is poetry that will break the Internet. Which may not be so bad.

      In any case, the poem, The Pangolin, is worth reading. But you may have to go analogue: A book!

  8. Bunk McNulty

    Potential Gender Identity Story Of The Year?

    The Female Warlord Who Had C.I.A. Connections and Opium Routes (NY TImes)

    “She was born to royalty in British colonial Burma, but rejected that life to become a cross-dressing warlord whose C.I.A.-supplied army established opium trade routes across the Golden Triangle. By the time of her death, last week at 90, she had led hundreds of men, endured prison and torture, generated gossip for her relationship with a film actress and, finally, helped forge a truce between ethnic rebels and the government.”

  9. GeoVan

    Fall of American Empire.

    Too bad he held forth on reserve currency nonsense. He ended up sounding like David Stockman. I wish Jeremy would have called him out on this to see how much of his thesis depended on this nonsense. Can we make Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds required reading for journalists?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Nonsense in which direction? I read him as saying it’s one more arrow in our quiver that’s failing, like alphabet trade agreements and election manipulation.

      Look, what we’ve been able to do for the last 20 years is we send the world our brightly colored, our nicely printed paper, T-notes, and they give us oil and automobiles and computers and technology. We get real goods and they get brightly colored paper. Because of the position of the dollar. When the dollar is no longer the global reserve currency, the cost of goods in the United States is going to skyrocket.

      (The transcript changed from ‘tea notes’ to ‘T-notes’ when I went from mobile to screen. I think the first was better.)

      He’s nothing if not nuanced, just because the American Empire goes away, doesn’t mean you’re going to live in a world without dominant powers. Which would you prefer?

      Also, too, the rewards of empire make it hard to afford local talent. So the climbdown to do it at home is not an obvious path. For instance, what percentage of college grads can quietly and methodically install an ice maker in their fridge? (any generational cohort, I’m referring to elite training) Sure, print the money to do it here, but you get internet juicers. /smile

      Then there’s the possibility of the FIRE sector just exploding in place through sheer genius. What if there are just no corporations big enough to tax and lend to?

      1. Yves Smith

        Stockman does not understand MMT and thinks the US will someday go bankrupt.

        He also misses that from the onset of the Industrial Era, major nation states have sought aggressively to run trade surpluses. That entails getting some sort of currency back in exchange. And before you say gold is better than dollars, cheating (as in devaluations) occurred regularly on the gold standard. It wasn’t immutable, golbug myths to the contrary.

        Running sustained trade surpluses means you are effectively importing jobs from the trade deficit country. That enables you among other things (if you care to) to build a better manufacturing base and have higher skilled workers, which over time makes you the better military power.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I also think Stockman looks through glasses that were manufactured in TheBeforeTime, back then we had central bankers who would have viewed expanding their balance sheets to multi-trillion $ levels as a DefCon 1 catastrophic core breach failure of their mission and of capitalism itself. But apparently the painful lesson of the folly of command-style top-down Soviet central planning of an entire economy is lost on this latest crew of geniuses, so we all get to live in Bizarro-World, with the Russell 2000 at 92X earnings, time preference below zero (how does that work?), negative interest rates (can that even be called “money” any more?) and anything not nailed down subject to removal from the field of play by magicians who materialize mountains of money to buy up everything in sight. If price discovery ever returns we may be quite surprised at the signal it sends.
          Stockman does make the simple and excellent point that first comes Productivity, then comes Income, then comes Savings, and then comes Investment. It’s fun to skip straight to Step 4 but it’s hard to imagine that is somehow remotely sustainable.

  10. NotTimothyGeithner

    About Tim Kaine’s message about needing to talk to the middle class, wouldn’t the U.S. need a middle class?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      After eight years of democrat “talk,” you’d think kaine would get the message that whatever’s left of the “middle class” has heard enough.

      mr. kaine, see election of Trump and rejection of you and your lady friend.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Between Timmy’s appropriation of Papa John’s slogan and his attempt to rebrand “moderate suburban Republicans”, I wonder if he was always this stupid (he certainly wasn’t bright) or if age has simply caught up with him.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Appropriation of Papa John’s slogan indeed. Better this, better that. The only things he left out were better senators / representatives / legislators. Now that’s chitchat I’d listen to.

        2. Mo's Bike Shop

          Convergence? Remarkably similar products. Last choice in junk food, because you can just taste the bean-counting. Their black olives are really not appropriate for internal use.

      2. edmondo

        The Democrats define “middle class” as only having one Lexus in the driveway. Their other car is a Volvo.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The D party: The poor will always be with you.

          “And if there are not enough poor people, our neoliberal donors will help make more.”

  11. MartyH

    The Ideology of “The Market” Monopolization or cartelization power is the objective of the “market lover” … this struck me as a discussion of the neoliberal (capitalist) rejustification of monopoly in the name of “the Market”.

    1. Goyo Marquez

      Monopoly, is the profit maximizing position. If you control the toll bridge on the way to the market you control the whole market.

  12. Juneau

    A dear friend of mine refers to Sean Spicer as a cuddly Pangolin. As such the antidote seems very timely to me. Adorable.

  13. Louis Fyne

    that Reddit thread about labor ‘shortages’ is self-evident but probably news to the pundits or academics.

    talk about ‘labor shortages’ is fake news to justify lax migration policies and distract from stagnant wages

    1. ambrit

      Yep. Whenever I hear or read “labour shortage,” I prepend it with “cheap.” This has become almost automatic by now.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Do video game companies lower game prices if players refuse or can’t afford them?

        Do those video game companies hike salaries if candidates refuse to take less?

        It seems there is equilibrium with the former, but not the latter. Why?

        1. ambrit

          I’d guess that the former is an inelastic component of the game vending modality, while the latter is an elastic component. First, if no one wants a game at a set price, then the game producers either adapt their prices until sales improve, or go broke. Second, there are, now with more H1B visas helping, always cheaper tech serfs available. Both are cases of ‘Supply and Demand’ working sort of as basic capitalism describes.
          Globalization; The Race to the Bottom (Line.)

  14. edmondo

    Thousands flock to free medical clinic, as Washington dithers on health care

    The comments are far more enlightening than the story itself. I not only predict, but guarantee, that the Democrats will not win in 2020. They don’t want to associate with anyone who doesn’t have an MBA.

    1. ambrit

      Here in the North American Deep South (NADS), the Aspirational Dems have shot their wadd, so to speak. The old Democrat Party vision of a winning coalition of the Working Classes, Minorities, and Progressives is but a fading Wet Dream. Sort of like those pesky stains on that Little Blue Dress. The young woman who wore that dress and provided ‘services’ to randy ol Bill was an example of the meritocratic class that the present Dems seem to have pinned their hopes to. It didn’t work out as planned then. It’s not working out as planned now.

      1. jrs

        well the deep south actually of course turned against Dems long before that … Johnson said he lost the south for a generation but really it was permanent.

    2. petal

      Agreed. Just read through the comments. Yeah, there’s no way they will win in the near future-too busy looking down their noses at the people they need the most in order to win. The complete disdain is telling. The patients showing up understand and some of them nailed it right on the head but they are not listened to. Heaven forfend those stupid hillbillies might be right about something. This is also happening in blue states but you don’t really hear about it. In the 2000s I lived in a deep blue city in a deep blue state and one of the high school girls I coached was the daughter of parents who both worked FT. She was a good student, good kid, desperately needed glasses to see the blackboard but they couldn’t afford them. She was getting discouraged about school because of it. A little early investment like that would set her (and a lot of other kids) up for success in life. Pay a small amount now instead of a lot more later on-I don’t understand why this is such a difficult concept. I almost bought them for her but was warned off it because it crossed a line. This kind of thing (the healthcare fairs) has been going on for a while now. Nice of the WaPo commenters to conveniently ignore that. It drives me nuts to no end-I actually get angry about it. Easier to ignore it, bash people, and truly punish them than to actually think and possibly figure out and face they might’ve been wrong. Guess they use it to feel better about themselves and it gives them something to complain about because they have no other problems in their lives. It boggles. The answer is right in front of their noses and they refuse to see. It’s so simple.

    3. Eureka Springs

      Way past time to see this as losing for the top Dims and their owners. I’d much rather buy a powerball ticket than truly waste a dimes worth of time, effort, false hope, pure delusion, pretending that pooping party has any interest in representing the constitution, rule of law at the top, or the 90 percent.

      You don’t continuously double down on DLC/neoliberalism for at least forty years running all while losing thousand plus seats unless you want too.

      It’s a ‘party’ which never cared about your interests unless you already agreed with what they want. They really don’t even ask… just fear the other guys please. Like Frat parties… they will invite, abuse, then if you’re lucky let you in.

      The D’s are winning all the way to the bank. 90 million non voters and 50 million republican voters agree.

      Surely there’s a few rich suburbs who will keep the delusion alive just a little longer.

      1. jrs

        The rich suburbs are probably demographically more likely to vote R’s, but it does depend on the state etc.. But truly rich suburbs it’s probably true in the bluest of states that a bunch of rich people aren’t voting Dem anyway.

    1. MoiAussie

      A good read. But this

      We missed countless opportunities for easier, safer and cheaper relations with the Russians by consistently mistaking their disintegrating Potemkin Empire for an ascendant threat.

      seems naive, in that it wasn’t so much a case of mistaking, as one of deliberately overstating Soviet capabilities in order to build the US war machine, extend the hegemon, and justify the interventions.

      Sure, some were conned, but the ones putting out the message knew what they were doing.

      1. Olga

        I stumbled on this over-estimation (in the press I was led to believe never lied) in 1977, and had a question of whether they lied or were stupid (i.e., US media about Soviet superiority). It took 25 years and a story about Team B that finally explained it all (or most) – they did lie.

    2. Whine Country

      Some day people will realize that post WW2 we have not been able to defeat a single enemy militarily and only declare victory when we are losing, so we continue to consider the Russians as enemies. Congress gave up their Constitutional mandate to declare war and are now only useful to cooperate with the president to declare it’s over. You know…that war we never were in…it’s now, like over.

  15. jfleni

    RE: That’s cold! Sean Spicer ‘stole a mini-fridge from White House junior staffers under the cover of darkness’


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He makes people forget the real big guys, like Big Pharma, by acting like a street corner entrepreneur.

      1. ambrit

        I think that you just guaranteed him a couple of free vacations at the Jekyll Island Resort courtesy of Roche and Bayer.

    1. Optimader

      Haven’t read the piece, but curious why the word likely is inserted. Does that mean to imply there is any lack of certainty?

      1. MoiAussie

        There’s huge uncertainty about where in (or beneath) the reactor the nuclear fuel remnants are, and what state they are in. The fuzzy photo they captured is suggestive, but no more than that.

        1. ambrit

          TEPCO needs to recover a piece of what they think is some “coreium” and analyze the component materials. This congeries of deadly substances is a mix of fuel rods, reactor frame members, dampening rods, etc. etc., all melted together in a radioactive mass. The proportions of constituent materials will tell how close or far away from the central blob they are. The basic take away from this article is that no one knows how to isolate and contain this material using presently available, let alone imagined, technology. We just might have to live with a low level fission reaction going on in the ground under the Dai Ichi plant for thousands of years into the future.
          Look at what has had to be done at Chernobyl.
          Now, for fun, Chernobyl is way inland. A big exclusion zone is possible. Fukushima is on the coast of Japan. How does one “exclude” an ocean? (I can see how Fukushima can “exclude” most higher life forms from the surface of the Earth.)

              1. ambrit

                Yep. The Japanese might be subtle enough to know that Honshu is really “Monster Island.”
                I’d think that, with its’ “stomping grounds'” proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Dai-Ichimon is an aquatic beastie.
                As for ‘kinder’ kaiju, well, there is “Kami-Tepco!”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp 25iq (via Felix Salmon). “The first thing people who have control do is tilt the playing field. Maybe the majority of wealth is accumulated because of tilted playing fields. Not because of merit.”

    Competition is for serfs.

    And to really tilt the playing field, you need to take control of the government, with compliant politicians.

    The bigger the government, the more powerful you can tilt (with it).

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      In addition to compliant pols who are exempt from insider trading laws and a compliant Fed with its 8-plus years of zero interest rates, I feel it is also useful to consider the reported pervasive use of trading algorithms in financial markets now. In puzzling over the multiple causes of repeated market bubbles, it seems to me that auditing presently opaque algorithms will become a viable business in the future, although that will likely require legislation subsequent to another debacle similar to that of Autumn 2008.

  17. Optimader

    “…So the quid pro quo was that the FSB (Russian intelligence) and Russian white hat hackers working at least indirectly for the FSB would hack Clinton-related email accounts searching for dirt and would release the emails to the public, to help Trump win…”

    Consistent with this JCole piece filled with supposition, I am supposing JCole voted for HRC, yes?

    I still haven’t heard a clear explanation of:
    -How the content of, I gather cavalierly secured “dirty” email, could have lost a POTUS election for a viable candidate running against someone they serially characterized as a “not a serious candidate”??
    -What again was the “dirty” email that allegedly swung the vote? -Is it not a very presumptuous assumption that the “undecided voter” had not made up their minds long before any email was revealed?
    -Is there still the prevailing state of denial amongst HRC surrogates, like JCole, that the DNC didn’t doom the (D) parties POTUS chances when they “hacked” their own primaries to slate a polarizing loser, even against a weakerish opposition candidate ?
    -Did the HRC campaign operatives realize they were writing “dirty” email, or did they need outraged folk like JCole to frame it as such during a failing campaign while looking for scapegoats?
    -Does JCole have any evidence regarding the identity of the “hackers” he would like to reveal? He seems to know who is was based on the context of what he is claiming
    -Why should the USTreasury be an enforcer of subjective political issues like human rights. Isn’t the the turf for a UN program.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So, what we’re supposed to believe is that Trump and his family woke up one day and decided they were tired of their boring lives as billionaire movers and shakers in New York, Florida and Scotland. They decided they preferred an address at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and would conspire with Russian intelligence and Putin to make it happen.

      The “quid pro quo” they come up with is hacking dnc emails in the hope that they’ll find some “dirt” which they can then release to the public which will hopefully turn the voting public against clinton.

      None of this elicits more than a purported “Cut it out” from obama prior to the election, but becomes an existential democratic crisis once the heavily favored horse loses by a nose in November.

      All this risky electronic skullduggery while the low-hanging fruit of clinton foundation corruption is right out in the open and ripe for the pickin’. It was always a mystery that Trump didn’t hit the foundation hard and relentlessly–from Haiti to Charles Ortel’s analysis. The book Clinton Cash was a virtual opposition research manual.

      This whole email / hacking thing only makes some semblance of sense in retrospect, and with the benefit of an unexpected election result, unsubstantiated leaking, and furious, evidence-lite hypothesizing by a corrupt, subordinated, increasingly discredited media. And once respected social commenters like juan cole.

      1. Ted

        So, this statement from WaPo seems to sum it up. “’Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,’” said a Justice Department spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores.”

        Cole and other public Tenured commenters embarass themselves by buying into this narrative, which amounts to little else than a sustained gossip chain flamed by “current and former officials”. Likely the same ones. I think given reporting like this people like Cole need to spend a little more time educating themselves about how modern day political “journalism” works.

    2. Swamp Yankee

      I know and like Cole, but I think he’s seriously lost the plot with Trump’s election. Somewhere around January or February, he changed his line, which had been the eminently sensible, and I think accurate, notion that, yes, the Russians, like every other great power in history, tried in some fashion to influence internal affairs in this country during the election period; but that such intervention was not why Hillary lost, with Cole instead pointing to Clinton’s dreadful campaign.

      Then something seemed to change in the winter, with the line on the Russians being now, by implication, that they were somehow a critical part of the story.

      I suspect he has a lot of MSNBC on in the background. Seriously. I know other people of his age whose thinking right now is framed in substantial ways by MSNBC — even when they thoroughly disagree with it! Propaganda is a powerful thing.

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      Like any good serial narrative, the fridge logic outstrips the canon. If I have this right:

      Potential Clinton voters swung to Trump because they found out John Podesta can be a jerk, and the Hillary team plays hardball while engaging in office politics?

      I guess that once you’ve spent enough of your life looking for swing votes, everything looks like a swing vote.

  18. Mike

    The Trump/Russia thang is getting curioser and curioser… and brings up some frightening suppositions and what-ifs:

    1) Trump obviously knew the people he picked – and so did the intelligence community. Seems strange this has dragged on for so long, and stranger it had to be exposed AFTER the election. Almost as if this new info was “made up” to suit the purpose.

    2) Was Trump that stupid to not know that the neo-liberal establishment had their knives out for any detail of this caper, and did he think for one moment they would not “get him” with any smidge of it, even to the point of raking his family and friends over the coals? How could he continue in “business” after all this came out, unless he knew how corrupt the whole thing was and anticipated this reaction, with exoneration and future earnings intact?

    3) items above lead me to strongly suspect Trump was a strawman to set up the right wing of the Republican Party for a spanking (friend of Hillary?)… OR… this will lead to his personal elevation to Supreme Leader with the backing of his true believers. This requires some doing, but some might believe the US is ripe.

    Of course, maybe I’m only looking for the grist for a grind-able novel, but conspiracies do happen. Hoover wasn’t the only paranoid ever in government…

  19. Vatch

    Big Tobacco and right-wing US billionaires funding anti-regulation hardliners in the EU Corporate Europe Observatory (MT)

    Well, the Kochs and their allies have been so successful in the U.S., I guess they’re going for the same sort of success in Europe. Money is speech in the U.S. (not really, but that’s the law), and maybe that will soon be the law in Europe, too. I hope our friends in Europe pay close attention to what these organizations are doing.

          1. ambrit

            We can always be like Randy Ol Bill, (ROB) and not inhale. (That’s when I knew that he was an inveterate liar.)

    1. Show me the money!

      The EU politicians are most likely paying very much attention. Their salaries are astronomically high, they have no skills whatsoever useful outside of politics so their plan B is to get bought by corporations. Just a matter of time until it will appear in EU too

  20. Punxsutawney Phil

    I think its charming that the author of the Fall of American Empire book thinks the US government will be forced to slash military spending. Maybe after they’ve already slashed Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security into the ground.

    1. nycTerrierist


      “Employees will be chipped at the 32M inaugural “chip party” hosted at their headquarters in River Falls, WI on August, 1st 2017…”

      1. MoiAussie

        It’s not compulsory (yet). It will appeal to augmentation fanboys and those who are lazy or keep losing their keys and forgetting their passwords. Everyone else will pass.

        In a few years, those who have been chipped will face the unpleasant task of having them removed and replaced, because the company will have adopted a new “smart chip” system that is incompatible with current chips. This cycle will continue.

        At some stage, media will report in suitably horrified tones the story of the young CEO who bled to death in the parking lot after his hand was severed and used in the course of a carefully planned burglary of the company offices.

  21. Carey

    CalypsoFacto at 12:41 pm, thank you for that comment. I have been thinking about Harris’s use of “…see you”,
    and your take on it makes sense to me.

    Interesting times.

    1. flora

      I read the Sunday newpapers’ cartoons – the Sunday funnies – to catch the prevailing editorial political opinion in the country. An inexact measure, but for the last 12 months it’s proved fairly accurate, I think.

      Today this cartoon caught my eye:

      1. flora

        adding: This from a cartoonist who has been lambasted Trump since last year. The witch hunt has overplayed its hand.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


          Schume could be like a tsunami…it’s is just water receding, for the time being.

  22. Jess

    I’ll just leave this here.

    From the article on the $13 bil Gerald Ford aircraft carrier:

    “Of all the issues, the most obvious problem for the Ford is the current inability to launch fully loaded aircraft. For nearly 50 years, the Navy has relied on steam to power its catapults. Steam has proven reliable and efficient yet the Navy chose to replace the system, preferring to find a less maintenance intensive system. Less maintenance means fewer sailors needed to service the equipment which also means less cost to operate.

    Even President Trump dove into the debate when he demanded that the Navy keep “goddamned steam” instead of the new system he was shown while on board the Ford, although that claim raised some eyebrows too.”

    1. Vatch

      How difficult can it be? I’ve seen movies with aircraft carriers that can FLY! The Pentagon just needs to hire a bunch of special effects programmers and artists! :-)

  23. Oregoncharles

    A followup to “ Kevin Zeese, Counterpunch. Stein’s recount effort seemed sketchy at the time. As it turned out to be!” If you read Zeese’s article, you’ll recognize the names. Since Zeese chose to share some of the party’s dirty laundry, I though we should hear from some of the people directly involved. This is lifted from an email, so no link, but I trust the source:

    “From Andrea Mérida Cuéllar:

    I want to share Bruce A. Dixon’s nomination of me for national co-chair. The reason why is because he kicked my ass and called me to task, even though he supported/still supports my work.

    I can understand the hue and cry over Bruce’s recent article about the Green Party national meeting. I understand the sensitivity around “dirty laundry in public,” but I invite folks to reflect deeply on what he has said in his critique. Was he there? No. He didn’t have to be. He has been involved in this party long enough, and has encountered folks enough, to have called things out plainly and accurately.

    I would submit that being afraid of disinfecting sunlight is a liberal trait. As people of the left, Bruce and I understand comradely critique and calls to account. His call-out of me stung, but damn it, HE WAS 100 PERCENT CORRECT.

    If I am to learn and grown in my role, I need the continued critique of brilliant people like Bruce Dixon. I expect Ajamu Baraka to keep critiquing me, as well as my fellow GPCO co-chair Dave Bell…even my husband Jason Justice and even my papi, Jorge Merida.

    I invite folks to examine the sting of the critique, to try not to take it personally, and to LISTEN. We can grow from this. Let’s return to a culture of principled disagreement that is natural to our communities of color.

    His nomination follows.


    I’m nominating Andrea Merida Cuellar for steering committee. Here’s why.

    Andrea literally saved our party from the bad judgement of the Stein campaign which originally proposed that the party be the sponsor of the recount efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. If the Green Party had directly sponsored the recount effort, it would have potentially put its own core principles in jeopardy because a party sponsored effort would be able to accept large donations from the kinds of sources Greens have always abhorred, corporate philanthropists and one percenters.

    Thanks to the opposition of Andrea and others on the steering committee, the campaign was forced to sponsor the recount effort which was then legally limited to small donors. As it happened more than 150,000 small donors stepped up, adding significantly to the number of people likely in the future to donate to Green parties and campaigns.

    Obviously I don’t agree with her on every little thing, but I do believe Andrea is committed to helping transforming the GP into a mass based and internally democratic party of the left. She understands the importance of state and local parties making themselves sustainable by levying dues, she supported the eco-socialist plank in our platform, and she believes that the GP as an institution should be helping lead a new antiwar movement.

    Our party needs big thinkers, and if Andrea has the opportunity to double down she can be one of those.

    I do believe that the entire steering committee, my candidate included, along with the fundraising committee are at fault for not working as hard as they might to use Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, to raise money for the national party.

    Steering committee members and others on the national committee are also to be faulted for not promoting and creating a sensible ongoing conversation among members of the national committee about how the steering committee works, and other matters. These are only some of the problems facing our party at this time. We can only address these problems if we are unafraid to air our dirty laundry, if we do not fear to offer and accept principled criticism on how we are handling this thing, or failing to handle it.

    Our party needs a lot of help right now, and I am looking for people with energy and vision to work with. I think Andrea is one such person, and I do support her election to the steering committee.”

    I’ll ask my correspondent where she got it – probably from the GP website – but that will come later.

    1. Oregoncharles

      she says it’s on Cuellar’s Facebook page, I found Dixon’s nomination speech, but not Cuellar’s preface. But I am not a Facebook adept. Best I can do.

      Wasn’t there a recent link about Redneck Revolt? They had posted on it, about Philando Castile.

  24. ewmayer

    o “Could Kamala Harris revive the fractured Democratic party for the 2020 election? | Guardian. “[R]eportedly wowing big Democratic donors at an event in the Hamptons this month…”” — Or at least doing something that ends in “-owing” to those Big dollar Dem Donors. [From a Beavis & Butthead episode where B&B are expected to do some extracurricular showing-initiative project: Mr. Van Dreesen: “I want you guys to wow me.” Butthead: “Is that, like, legal on school property?”]

    o “Tim Kaine: Democrats need to talk to the middle class | USA Today” — Ooh, check out the evolution: They’ve gone from “we see them” to “we need to talk to them”, all in the space of a week. Progress! But will Timmah! Timmah! and the other prospective talkers-to – and I’m sure there will be no ‘down’ in between that ‘talking’ and ‘to’, right, Dems? – “wow them”, one wonders.

  25. Altandmain

    A few links, mostly focusing on Sanders:

    Russia Will Not Save You

    MEssage for Democrats.

    Faces of Poverty: Life at the Breaking Point

    Reading, PA, which has 41% of residents below the poverty line.

    The Democrats’ new slogan shows they learned nothing from Bernie Sanders’ campaign

    Help us Bernie Sanders, you’re our only hope: Why the beloved progressive should start a labor party

    Sanders keeping door open on 2020

    The Millennials are the American Earthquake | Millennials are skeptical of the market — and it’s making Wall Street nervous.

  26. McWatt

    Britain MasterCard;

    To paraphrase the master:

    You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. [gestures to people far below] Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those customers stopped moving, forever? If I offered you 2.75% of every transaction on the planet, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many customers you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax – the only way you can save money nowadays.

  27. LT

    Re: Kamala Harris

    The article makes a big deal about her Harris’ talking points on reducing in-carceration and women in prison.
    Then it quotes her in a speech saying one of the policies she’s proud of pushing, despite the outcry, is prosecuting parents for their kids’ truancy. The answer to an education issue is to make it a criminal issue. They can always find creative ways to criminalize the public to feed that “justice” system.

  28. ewmayer

    Summer Shakespeare-in-the-park, SF bay area IdPol-style: Went to ee “Hamlet” at our local park this evening; the /san Francisco Shakespeare festival troupe has been doing free shows there (plus several other bay area venues, 2-3 weekends each) every summer for over 20 years. Usually lighter fare, but not always. As in Shakespeare’s day – although IIRC back then it was invariably men playing the female roles – lots of gender bending in the supporting and same-actor-multiple-character roles, but not in the principals. Tonight we had an interesting such casting in several close-to-principal roles: The blathering-to-excess Polonius very funnily played by a woman, “his” fair daughter Ophelia played by a man. Said man’s voice was quite feminine, but the contrast with the five-o’clock shadow, the lantern jaw and the Adam’s apple was rather striking, shall we say. Lots of chattering questions by children to their parents when that bit of casting was revealed. To be fair, Ophelia’s “brother” Laertes was played by a rather attractive gal, so all’s fair in love, war and SF IdPol, I say.

    I met her in a club down in Elsino’
    Where you drink poison wine and it tastes just like it will keel-ya
    K I L L keel-ya
    She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
    I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Ophelia
    O P H E LYA Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia

    Well I’m not the world’s most physical Dane
    But when she squeezed me tight she nearly spilled my brain
    Oh my Phelia la-la-la Ophelia
    Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
    Why she talks like a woman but shaves like a man
    Oh my Phelia la-la-la Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia

    Well we drank champagne and fought all night
    I said get thee to a nunn’ry and outta my sight
    She picked me up and sat me on her knee
    And said antic prince won’t you come home with me
    Well I’m not the world’s most passionate guy
    But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Phelia

    La-la-la Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia
    Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia
    I pushed her away
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at her and she at me

    Well that’s the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my Phelia
    La-la-la Ophelia
    Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Phelia
    La-la-la Ophelia

    Well I left home just a week before
    And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
    But Phelia smiled and took me under her wing
    And said little prince I’m gonna make you a king

    Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man
    But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
    And so is Phelia
    La-la-la Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia
    Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia la-la-la Ophelia

  29. Plenue

    >Why is neoliberalism back in Latin America? Al Jazeera

    Because they didn’t eat the rich when they had the chance.

  30. ElViejito

    Has anybody else noticed that the article: How the Pentagon’s Handling of Munitions and Their Waste has Poisoned America ProPublica (GF). goes to the wrong URL?

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