Links 7/26/2017

Russian cat adopts orphaned baby hedgehogs BBC

Woolly jumpers: rabbits ride on sheep to stay dry in flood Guardian

Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change From 1968-2017 (PDF) Energy and Policy Institute

Germany’s big banks profit from low interest rates FT

Offshore Financial Centers and The Five Largest Value Conduits in the World Corpnet (MT).

SEC concludes initial coin offerings are securities Francine McKenna, MarketWatch

Fact Check: Did Demonetisation Lead To A Shift Towards Financial Assets? Bloomberg

The Uber ride from hell: Horrified passenger films ‘intoxicated prostitute in the front seat performing **** *** on driver – and all company did was offer $10 credit’ Daily Mail. Classy! I wonder if this will affect the SoftBank play


As a British EU negotiator, I can tell you that Brexit is going to be far worse than anyone could have guessed Independent

Brexit woe: London’s still calling US bankers even as they prepare to flee Politico

Big Business Britain: How corporate lobbyists are dominating meetings with trade ministers (PDF) Corporate Europe Observatory (MT).

Government refuses to rule out lowering food standards to seal Brexit trade deals FarmingUK

Grenfell fire: Judge in second meeting with angry survivors BBC

Angela Merkel is forced to take centre stage FT

Why Germans Are So Ambivalent About Russia Handelsblatt

Rome facing water rationing as Italy suffers driest spring for 60 years Guardian

Tsipras and Varoufakis go public with spat Ekathimerini


China Prepares for a Crisis Along North Korea Border WSJ

For China’s Global Ambitions, ‘Iran Is at the Center of Everything’ NYT (Re Silc).

Chinese officials to enforce mainland laws in Hong Kong train station Reuters. Common factor between this and previous story is rail.

China and India torn between silk roads and cocked guns Asia Times (MF).

What happens when girls in one of the world’s largest slums start coding and building apps Quartz

Fukushima: robot images show massive deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel Guardian (Furzy Mouse).

Health Care

What’s next for the Senate Republicans’ effort to repeal Obamacare, in one flowchart Vox. The flowchart leaves out the conference committee, I’m not sure why. Conventional wisdom seems to be that whatever Trojan horse McConnell is constructing in the Senate with the “skinny bill” will be hauled into the conference committee, there to disgorge whatever McConnnell, Leader of many wiles, has had concealed there. House and Senate must then give the conference bill an up-or-down vote, which the flowchart also omits.

Don’t Be Fooled By This Senate Vote: The Road To Repealing Obamacare Is Just As Long As It Was Yesterday David Dayen, Ryan Grim The Intercept. “Yet the old dynamics that have made agreement elusive so far will remain. The more Capito and Portman can extract, the less attractive the bill becomes to the far right, and so on.”

GOP Hopes for Obamacare Repeal Rest on ‘Skinny’ Bill Roll Call. And whatever happens to the “skinny” bill in conference.

A “skinny repeal” of Obamacare could bring the US health-care system to “almost complete collapse” Quartz

* * *

FULL SPEECH: John McCain on key Senate healthcare vote The Hill

Cheers for McCain, then a speech like impassioned prophet WaPo. “The speech Tuesday received a standing ovation.”

The Senate Health-Care Vote and John McCain’s Tragic Contradictions The New Yorker

McCain Punditry Mini-Rant Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight. Lambert here: McCain should become the Poster Boy for neoliberal health care policy: He flies in on a private jet from a cancer operation he didn’t have to pay for, then casts a vote to deny health care to others, all the while decrying the process. “Maverick,” my sweet Aunt Fanny.

* * *

Here’s A National Single-Payer Health Care Plan That Would Work Jon Walker, ShadowProof. “The guiding political principles behind this plan are intended to make it politically viable by minimizing disruption, making the transition feel voluntary, and ensuring everyone outside the health care sector is noticeably better off (and at least not worse off).” Agree or disagree, a serious intervention from another small blog (yay!).

Universal Health Insurance? Why? Health Affairs

Mitch McConnell is breaking the Senate Vox. Story, on McConnell as amoral power seeker, is better than the headline.

The astounding procedural abuses of the Republican Congress The Week. The last days of the American Republic…

New Cold War

House passes Russia sanctions deal The Hill. 419-3.

Seven Observations About Jared Kushner’s Statement Foreign Policy. Interestingly, the voice from The Heart of The Blob treats Kushner more gently than John Helmer did.

How Jared Kushner Helped the Russians Get Inside Access to the Trump Campaign The New Yorker. Ryan Lizza retails the intelligence community’s perspective.


Trump Transition

Republicans circle wagons to protect Sessions from Trump McClatchy

Senate won’t let Trump make recess appointments CNN

The Age of Detesting Trump LRB. Very good.

Go Ahead, Psychiatrists: Diagnose Donald Trump Time. Updates Nooner’s famous “It would be irresponsible not to speculate” to “[I]t’s irresponsible to not at least have the conversation.” The liberal Democrat language is both mushier and less euphonious.

Chain restaurants: Where Trump supporters and detractors love to get into fights WaPo

Rick Perry Got Punked in a Fake Interview With Russian Pranksters Bloomberg

Michael Flynn Decides That A Famously Toxic Reputation Is Not A Barrier To Entry For Private Equity Consulting DealBreaker

Democrats in Disarray

Democrats’ ‘Better Deal’ Is Silent on Google, Facebook, and Amazon Bloomberg. As I immediately pointed out. Anyhow, does anybody believe Schumer would be offering even this weak tea if Ossoff had won?

Wasserman Schultz aide arrested trying to leave the country (!) Politico

Freedom Rider: Kamala Harris and America’s Oligarchs Black Agenda Report. The URL is more pointed: kamal_harris_new_obama. Seems like the oligarchs think they’ll need somebody to stand between them and the pitchforks a second time. I can’t think why.

Backers of another shot at a ‘Calexit’ ballot measure can now gather signatures Los Angeles Times. Sign: “United States Out Of California.”

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying The Hill (UserFriendly).

Roombas have been mapping your homes for years, and that data’s about to be sold to the highest bidder BGR

Class Warfare

Protesters Call for Boycott of B&H Photo After Company Ignores Workers’ Demands Hyperallergic. Hashtag: #BoycottBnH. I’m not sure how to boycott a mail-order business; if you don’t order, how do they know? Perhaps order a trivially small item, and use the chat form to tell B&H that you’re not ordering a large one? Readers? Here’s the B&H contact form. (I should disclose that I’ve ordered from B&H in the past, and gotten superb advice and timely delivery, so I have a personal reason to hope they get their union.)

The Boss Wants You Back in the Office WSJ

Maybe We’ve Been Thinking About the Productivity Slump All Wrong Neil Irwin, NYT

The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit The Hill

In America, you are what you eat The Economist

185 studies reveal men’s sperm count has plunged worldwide over the last 40 years Business Insider

Researchers examined the brains of 111 former NFL players. Only one didn’t have CTE. Idaho Statesman (Re Silc). CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Study: US is slipping toward measles being endemic once again Ars Technica

The digital native is a myth Nature

Can an electric shock help curb your spending? FT. Not The Onion!

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote, from Oz:

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. financial matters

    Trump seems to be solidifying his support enough to be taking on the deep state.

    He seems to be finally able to fulfill two campaign promises.

    One is to end the US sponsored support of terrorist groups fighting in Syria and agreeing to work with Russia to actually fight these groups. by Scott Ritter

    “”President Trump’s decision to terminate Timber Sycamore, and with it the Obama-era policy of “Assad must go,” when seen in this context, is the clearest expression to date of his desire to rein in the unsuccessful policies of the past. The president’s decision liberates the United States, which can now proceed in its fight against ISIS and Islamic extremism unencumbered by policies that do little to further American interests while empowering enemies. By working with Russia to focus on the defeat of ISIS, President Trump is positioning the United States to play an important role in helping shape a political solution to the Syrian problem that will bring peace to the people of Syria and the region.””

    The other is to take on the various criminal activities of the Clinton Foundation.

    Donald J. Trump‏

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!
    25 Jul 2017

    This somewhat typical judo like move has also put mainstreet media in the strange position of trying to defend Sessions.

    1. johnnygl

      If they can rehabilitate mass-murdering, war-criminal GW Bush, then why not a crusty old southern jim-crow sympathizer?

      Trump’s key is to find an AG thst is both competent and willing to go after the big fish. That’s a tough combo to find.

      I really hope he decimates amazon with a protracted anti-trust battle.

      1. marym

        Based on the links below:

        His quarrel with Amazon seems to be that it’s owned by the owner of a newspaper that’s critical of him. So he says something that seems more along the lines of …..nice monopoly you’ve got there…. He accuses Amazon of not paying taxes (though he wants to reduce corporate taxes) and not collecting taxes (which it does). So, criticizing the business model and tax compliance of Amazon to get at WaPo?

        Similarly his opposition to an AT&T/Time Warner merger seems directed against CNN.

        Not that I want to defend establishment media, but this doesn’t sound good.

        His anti-trust appointee seems less interested in constraining domestic monopolies, than protecting US companies from anti-monopoly international constraints.

        That the media and the #Resistance aren’t resisting Sessions is inexcusable, and dangerous, as much so as rehabilitating war criminals.

        1. JohnnyGL

          I believe you are correct regarding the reasons. Lots of times, powerful people do the right things for all the wrong reasons. And that’s fine by me!

          I’m hoping for a real Trump vs. establishment grudge match where both sides get hurt….badly.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If someone wants Single Payer so his sick aunt can finally afford some health care, who are we to judge him? “So, now you are for it!”

            “Why are you for big government? Do you work for the government? Conflict of interest much?”

            Fortunately, we don’t get that inquisitiveness every day, nor once a month…maybe once a year.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I think the White House (regardless of occupant) and the Congress (same) MUST win the war against Langeley.
              So if I have to cheer for an unhinged pussy-grabbing misanthrope, so be it.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s interesting to see every ulterior motif of every politician (progressive, green, liberal, conservative, libertarian, independent) listed every time.

          “I want to run for highest office, because I want to serve the country…and I will be the first from my (age, etc) group…good for the ego…foundation money.”

          “I want affordable health care…because a tragedy to my sister.” (What’s wrong with that? Nothing)

          “I want debt jubilee…because I owe my ex-wife money.” (Again, what’s wrong with that? Nothing)

          “I want to bail out banks…to save the economy. And my donors.”

          “I want a big spending government…to stimulate the economy. And more workers for me to supervise…maybe a promotion…to a colonel.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Also motive (I am easily distracted by fashion).

            In any case, Trump is so exceptional that he is the only one I can remember to have his interest checked (for conflict) for every action and inaction (done or expected to be done), from day one, or even weeks and months before day one.

    2. sleepy

      With Syria off the table, and Trump down in the dumps politically, I suspect that military action in and around the Korean peninsula might be his next best bet to show his presidentialness. Anyway, since North Korea seems to rear its head as an issue every month or so, I’m guessing it’s next up.

      1. epynonymous

        With respect, no way.

        There’s enough loaded and primed chemical weapons there to destroy any population center you could name.

        The fortifications are extreme. They pay-off is nothing resource wise.

        Reunification would destabilize the South, which is actually politically unstable by my read. (re: nokia, or whatever telecom, and their ex-president)

        I don’t have a good guess, but Iran isn’t it since Russias on the upswing.

        Maybe south east europe. It’s unstable, draws the allies back in, has muslims, and bugs russia/ baits russia-phobes.

        I’m not an expert on the area, and it’s sort of a quick gut feeling. Or pakistan. They’re near Russia, but I think Pakistan’s playing ball right now.

        It could be anywhere, the more I think, but NK is too toxic to do more than send each other sternnly worded letters.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama in one of his closing addresses proclaimed the U.S. military to be the most powerful on Earth. Take the Putin! Given what we spend, I would hope so.

          Reason doesn’t have to track every decision. The pivot fro Libya to Syria was based on expectations Russia would be happy as a clam to have us blow up their centuries old ally or hasn’t been watching an out of control bully since 2002 or longer and preparing for it.

          Look at Hillary. Evidence shows, she lost the election in areas hit particularly hard by the war effort. It took her to 2013 to even acknowledge she made a “mistake” over Iraq. Hillary and Obama are supposed to be smarter than Trump.

          I think there is a dangerous, childish perception the military is an invincible tool that can simply win or can just be deployed without fear of repercussion to great applause. Fareed Zakarias declared Trump became President the day he bombed Syria. Brian Williams got off on air over the beautiful bombs. Versailles is full of rotten, dangerous people. Don’t expect reason out of these people. Fear is the only thing they understand.

          1. Andrew Watts

            They probably thought Russia wouldn’t response in Georgia or Ukraine when it’s strategic interests were under threat. Hence all the surprise and outrage.

            Yeah, so not smarter than Trump.

        2. Procopius

          Just curious, but were you born after 1989, epynonymous? Like so many people recently you don’t seem to be taking the probable outcome of a nuclear war into account. I think it’s a mistake to ignore possession of nuclear technology. Does North Korea have nuclear warheads that can be delivered against Japan, South Korea, and China? Do you really want to find out the hard way? And even if they don’t, they have enough conventional weapons to devastate South Korea and severely damage Japan. If they really have large quantities of chemical weapons (not clear, because chemical and biological weapons are not really very effective) that could spread a lot of panic. As for Pakistan, we are pretty confident they have plenty of warheads that can be delivered all over India and China. I don’t think pushing them into a corner is a good idea, either.

          1. Terry Flynn

            I don’t necessarily disagree with your analysis of the facts. I just have something else to throw into the mix. During the cold war the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine was a fairly good explanation for why nuclear war wouldn’t happen. The trouble now is that there are countries/cultures for whom death does not hold the fear it did – I’m thinking in terms of if some ISIS-types got their hands on the nuclear buttons in Pakistan. From my (limited) knowledge of North Korea, I think MAD still holds, and that it’s unlikely to be the “flashpoint”.

            The other “flashpoint” that I think is worrying concerns the current situation in Jerusalem. If the hardliners in Israel continue to cause problems for Palestinians in getting to the Mosque, it worries me that some extremist might get access to a dirty bomb and take the view “if we can’t have it, neither will you”, and turn Jerusalem into a toxic wasteland for decades.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It’s not who’s to blame or how one tried, but looking back the Partition of India, where, it is estimated that 1-2 million died.

              The exercise of examining history, of looking back, of asking ‘would you still have done it knowing what you know today,’ is relevant today because it involves.

              1. people fighting for what they believe to be true or just.

              2. whether the believers would risk lives, and how many.

              3. the question of violence (that is, indirectly or directly, provoked or lead to) even when one is acting non-violently.

              We are faced with these over and over again, not just in India. And as you say, some people today do not fear casualties.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Sessions: How to go from uber racist vote suppressor to champion of the “rule of law” in 140 characters.

      Sessions should be thanking Trump for rehabilitating the unrehabilitatable.

      I hope there’s a pill for whiplash.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Don’t forget how he’s an advocate of federally sanctioned police theft via Civil Asset Forfeiture. Really, there’s so much to admire about the police in Mexico that we’d like to imitate them?

        And the decreased focus on Civil Rights, combined with the increased focus on possession of small amounts of marijuana.

        But have no fear, establishment Dems will STILL come to his defense!!! Take it away DiFi!!!!!

        Even among Democrats, Trump’s treatment of Sessions raised concerns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “What’s happening is just terrible. The attorney general did the right thing. The attorney general was nothing but loyal to Donald Trump. He took an oath of office to represent the Constitution, the law and the people.’’

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Sessions and Feinstein both hate Marijuana legalization and love mass incarceration, especially those private prisons. Two peas in a pod.

        2. Carla

          So your argument is, Sessions didn’t take an oath to represent the Constitution, the law and the people?

          Really, those of you who persist in believing that Trump EVER acts in a way that is not 100% self-interested are going to be very disappointed.

          You know, recognizing that Feinstein and the Clintons are enemies of the people does not require blinding oneself to the fact that Trump is, too.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > recognizing that Feinstein and the Clintons are enemies of the people does not require blinding oneself to the fact that Trump is, too

            Indeed not!

        3. feox

          “What’s happening is just terrible. The attorney general did the right thing. The attorney general was nothing but loyal to Donald Trump. He took an oath of office to represent the Constitution, the law and the people.’’

          Can you contradict that in anyway?

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Oops that forgotten and trampled document would indicate that perhaps a certain lady from Arkansas got over her skiis destroying subpoenaed evidence among many other things. Does that count?

        4. marym

          Trevor Timm: If Trump wants to fire Jeff Sessions, let him – it would be a gift to America

          ….viewing Sessions solely through the lens of the Russia investigation is an insult to the countless Americans who will suffer under Sessions’ extremist reign as attorney general.

          Think about all the abhorrent policies Sessions has already put into motion in his five short months at the helm. He has provided legal backing for Trump’s extreme immigrations policies. He has argued that authorities can keep grandparents apart from their family when enforcing Trump’s controversial travel ban. He is laying the groundwork to crack down on the millions of people who use recreational marijuana in states where it is now legal. He has planned a crackdown on leakers and whistleblowers, while also refusing to rule out prosecuting news organizations directly for doing their job.

          He plans on essentially dismantling the vital civil rights division at the justice department and giving local police officers a free hand to continue to discriminate against African Americans. He wants to reverse the Obama-era policy on mandatory minimum sentences and press for still longer terms, whose impact is so extreme they are rightly seen as racist. Sessions has rejected scientific findings about improving the forensic evidence process that has led to countless innocent people being thrown in prison. The list goes on.

        5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Feinstein is saying that because she can gain personally from that.

          Can we trust her due to that conflict of interest?

          Would it be a gift to the country for the people of California to fire Diane?

        6. Vatch

          Don’t forget how he’s an advocate of federally sanctioned police theft via Civil Asset Forfeiture.

          Yes, thank you for mentioning that. Some of us forget that the Fifth Amendment is about more than just protecting people from being required to testify against themselves:

          No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

  2. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: mccain

    Lambert here: McCain should become the Poster Boy for neoliberal health care policy: He flies in on a private jet from a cancer operation he didn’t have to pay for, then casts a vote to deny health care to others, all the while decrying the process. “Maverick,” my sweet Aunt Fanny.

    Not to mention that, as a result of his prominence and “value,” further medical treatment will be rendered without consideration of cost or possibility of “success” (which will be measured in a life extension of weeks or months.) The irony of employing extraordinary medical measures to keep a man, who so capriciously snuffs the lives of others, breathing for a few more minutes is mind-blowing. And all while his “employment” continues, at his own discretion and on the people’s dime, without regard for his ability to perform.

        1. John Wright

          I suspect McCain might be more self-aware than he lets on.

          He may have long realized that he has always been irresponsible and only survived and advanced in the military due to having a father and grandfather as US Navy Admirals.

          Most organizations don’t mess with the boss’s son, and I can’t see the US Navy as any different..

          Perhaps his self realization manifests itself in his well-known temper as he doesn’t see himself as any sort of military hero..

          McCain is a tragic figure in some ways, doubly tragic that he has any influence in the US political system.

          One can hope he doesn’t cause too much damage to the USA as he exits his earthy stage.

        2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          It is hard to know how long a gliablastoma has been present & it could have started from an early injury even if was only slight. Tumours operate on a number squared basis, as they enlarge the process accelerates. It could have started as benign & slow & if it is of the multiforme variety, like Goldman Sachs it’s tentacles would have wrapped themselves around everything in it’s vicinity, thus making it inoperable at a certain stage.

          Incidentally, I think it was here where I read that the above type of cancer (not in metastasis form) is due to radiation from phones, the one that is growing most in terms of frequency. If it is a grade three, it is the slow motion equivalent of a bullet to the head.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            How do cell phones explain the John McCain of the 1980’s? I know he played a part on tv, but he’s a vicious, greedy man. Like Shrub, I don’t think people can really believe hes so vile, so when he says “thank you” or “please” due to long term training, people latch onto it and praise McCain for not taking a dump on the furniture.

          2. Synoia

            Tumours operate on a number squared basis

            Based then on surface area, not volume? They are not dead inside, and have blood supplies.

            I suspect their growth is volume based, which would make the growth “number cubed,” or some factor between squared and cubed, limited by blood flow volume.

            I know little medical, but engineering? Much more.

            1. blennylips

              Cancer is not one disease.

              I don’t recall the details, but the growth rate might well be some fractal between area and volume and differ my tumor type.

              A beautiful exposition can be found in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”, mentioned once on NC back in 2014. Really a fantastic book.

              I had a type II meningioma removed back in ’09: a well encapsulated blob exactly between frontal lobes, probably growing slowly for a decade before swollen ankles(!) brought me into the doc’s office. Mine was operable and I had Cadillac insurance at the time. My mother died with the same type II (but not of), but hers was entwined about the optic nerve and inoperable.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        McCain has always been a classic bully, long before he started crashing air planes.

        The media with its innate need for attention loves to be dumped on by McCain. They loved Shrub for the same reason.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          I agree. This latest behavior, no matter how disgusting and hypocritical it is, isn’t out of character for John McCain……

      2. Vatch

        What little I’ve read on the subject emphasizes abnormalities in the amygdala, and that is mentioned in the article that you cite:

        Although this review has focused primarily on subregions of PFC [pre-frontal cortex], there are of course regions outside PFC that may play important roles in psychopathy as well. In particular, the amygdala has received considerable attention, with numerous studies associating psychopathy with abnormal size, shape, or activity of this subcortical structure

    1. hemeantwell

      It’s astonishing how Silver and the people he links all miss the brontosaurus in the room that Lambert pointed out. Are they on some kind of medication that prevents them from seeing the most incendiary forms of ruling class hypocrisy, instead focusing on relative quibbles? They could burn the guy down, and instead throw spitballs. Maybe it’s a first ripple of the wave of the idealized obituaries to come.

      1. Terry Flynn

        As soon as you get into the realm of cost-effectiveness – which this type of cancer treatment undoubtedly deserves evaluation of – you bring up the issue of Quality Adjusted Life Years gained per $ – which is anathema to the US establishment (and by extension the Liberal media).

        ‘Death panels’ immediately get rolled out as the argument against – despite the fact that’s a gross misinterpretation of how it works in countries like Canada/UK/Aus/NZ/mainland Europe. So it’s more a case of never ever questioning whether a treatment is ‘worth it’ compared to others. It’s very obvious in all health economics conferences. Whilst the issue of members of Congress getting treatment the population can’t get is a real issue, the dinosaur in the room here is the US-centric hatred of cost-effectiveness analysis.

        1. David

          From the UK,

          This was the situation with my sister who had breast cancer. The new and very expensive monoclonal antibody drug, Herceptin (14,000 pounds per infusion back in 2001) was withheld from her. We fought for months, in fact my wife had to ring the lab pretending to be her doctor, in order to finally get her results which proved she was a prime candidate for the drug. These results were deliberately withheld from us for months.

          After confronting her Consultant with these results, we finally managed to get her the drug, and initially the results were incredible, such that the doctors couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They had practically written her death certificate weeks before. She even managed to get out of her bed and to the gym to start trying to rebuild her strength.

          Sadly, it was too late, the cancer had spread too far whilst we were fighting for the treatment, and she only lived another couple of months. She wasn’t a baby, but 41 is no age and she deserved the best possible chance of survival.

          This experience left my wife and I (with 20 years NHS experience between us) feeling bitter and cheated, and hastened our departure from our employment in the NHS and the UK.

          If more people questioned their treatment and that of their loved ones, seek second opinions, or go private if they can afford to do so, rather than taking for gospel everything they are told in the NHS, they may well live longer healthier lives.

          The poster, I believe, now lives in New Zealand.

          Is this better than the US system?

          1. Terry Flynn

            I’m sorry to hear of that awful experience.

            A lot of the problems are ones I tried to address in my almost 20 years in health services research (in the UK and Australia) – mainly that the ‘thresholds’ used are often flawed for any of several reasons:

            * The ‘scores’ reflecting how bad a given set of health states are come from the general population, inevitably reflecting views of lots of uninformed people. (The classic criticism of this comes from the field of mental health: the general population generally rates severe pain as worse than severe depression, but the subgroup of people who have actually experienced both usually put them the other way round.) This automatically makes mental health interventions seem less cost-effective.

            * These scores typically come from a limited number of standardised health instruments – usually just one these days. This concentrates on just 5 aspects of individual health. All too often health effects have spillovers – to carers, the person themselves via more general quality of life effects, social care needs etc. To be fair, bodies like NICE to try to acknowledge this and ‘bend the rules’ when they know they’re evaluating a new intervention that is likely to do this – but the process by which they come to a conclusion, albeit transparent in terms of their report, raises questions over whether the interventions given this leeway were the ones resulting from “he who shouted loud enough” rather than a national process to decide on the criteria.

            * The uncertainty surrounding these scores it truly huge and not properly reflected in the economic evaluations. Thus the strength of evidence is actually a lot weaker than the published reports assume.

            * Subgroups may be vastly different – this might have been the case with your sister. Again, this comes down to the scores being out-of-date, collected in the wrong way, not reflecting subgroup differences etc.

            I personally have experience of challenging the ‘status quo’ for my treatments, when in Australia. I doubt I’d have had the chance to end up on the treatments that worked for me had I had to do so in the NHS. But the problem is although I’m on a medication that is over 50 years off patent, and which costs peanuts to provide, because the ‘market’ for it within the NHS is so small, only one company produces it and charges the NHS a fortune – a blatant market failure. A public ‘generic drug producer’ would compete my treatment cost from the current £1000+ per month to about £1 per month. Plus I will be accompanying my mother to see the surgeon who (under BUPA) did her two knee replacements – which have not given the benefits expected. I know full well that certain joint replacements are cheap but unproven and in some cases known not to be good….and inevitably the question I’ll be raising will be “what type did you use”?

            Unfortunately there are too many vested interests (not just in the UK, but other countries using similar ‘rules’) and I left academia because I realised I just couldn’t win the battle to improve these thresholds to better reflect the benefits to individual patients (which we now can value – unlike when the QALY was first introduced).

            I still wouldn’t go for the US system….but I’d argue that the Aussie system has some things the NHS could learn from.

              1. Terry Flynn

                You’re welcome. It seems (sadly) that too many of us have suffered from a system which, if tweaked and implemented properly, could improve population health a whole lot more than it does.

    2. RUKidding

      I don’t wish McCain ill, but I have absolutely nothing good to say to or about him. What a grandstanding, grudge-bearing, selfish, self-absorbed, sociopathic Grade A Jerk.

      McCain has endlessly demonstrated his grandstanding incompetency, the crowning glory of which was choosing that utterly incompetent, know-nothing, hack Grifter from the Tundra to be his running mate. When McCain lost to the Blah, he clearly was so pissed off that he’s done everything in his power – much like Trump – to destroy anything and everything that was accomplished by the Obama Admin.

      I’m no great lover of either Obama or the ACA, but the fact that this sh*t-heel can stride forth from his pampered existence – some of it at MY expense – and PRETEND that he’s all “Noble” ‘n stuff while voting to take away health insurance – while he gets platinum-plated health care at MY expense when he could well afford to pay for it, himself – from 30+ million citizens with nary a twinge??? Geez.

      Yeah, we ain’t gonna here Tundra Trash shrieking out in her nails-on-chalkboard voice about death panels now, are we?


      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > GAH!!!!!!!!

        I believe that the standing ovation for McCain’s display of integritude came from both parties.

        I’m willing to give a pass to a lot of behavior caused by the group dynamics of a small group of 100 people (“the world’s greatest deliberative body”). But not that. Just appalling.

    3. jsn

      It seems to me a strong Hippocratic argument could be made to deny further treatment to this SOB. Every day of life added for him is another day of voting for systemic deaths either abroad through his NeoCon positions or at home through his views on health care for Americans other than himself.

      If you take “first do no harm” seriously, I don’t see how you can treat this guy.

  3. Roger Smith

    DWS Geek Squad: “This is clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim,” Chris Gowen, Awan’s attorney, said in an email declaring his client’s innocence. ”

    Uh… what? This guy might need a better lawyer.

    1. Annoyed by Stupidity

      The real question the media should be asking is how Pakistani dual citizens apparently TS/SCI got clearance in the first place. From what I know of the national security realm (having had to get TS clearance in the Navy), dual citizenship would disqualify for said clearance. Even if they received Congressional intervention, the kind of background check for that clearance would have made their financial crimes apparent, which again should have disqualified them.

      This whole story reeks, and the fact that the MSM has avoided it like the plague over the past year adds to the stench. Pakistani ISI (their intelligence agency) are the ones who hid bin Laden from the US, support and supported the Taliban against the US, and on and on. The notion that Pakistani nationals (as they were still Pakistan passport holders) with this kind of access to sensitive intelligence that the House Intel committee reviews blows my mind. And to believe that the ISI wouldn’t have their hooks in them, or at least try to get them there is really discredits to the whole security clearance system. I mean, it’s fairly common knowledge that Mossad taps Israeli kids going to the Ivies as assets, to build relationships and intel on the future leaders of the US.

      And then to posit all of this as an identity politics witch hunt smacks of the same Clintonian hubris that surrounded the email saga. We really do live in strange times.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > right-wing media-driven prosecution

      Well, I deliberately didn’t link to the Daily Caller, but the story seems to have escaped from the right wing fever swamp and acquired more corroborative detail.

      It seems that DWS’s IT person had access to a lot of Congressional computers, not just DWS’s. I seem to remember that in the Greg “Would you measure for me?” Congressional page scandal, which Pelosi deep-sixed upon assuming the leadership in 2006, there was interesting material on Foley’s computer. So it would be irresponsible not to speculate…

  4. fresno dan

    The Age of Detesting Trump LRB. Very good.

    “…. – resembled the assurance given in the public media by intelligence leaders (and by Comey in particular while he was still FBI director) to the effect that it was flatly false that Obama had ever ordered a wiretap of Trump. Again, the point was technically true. But the apparent honesty of the assurance took advantage of a careless anachronism in Trump’s language: wiretaps ordered on individuals belong to the espionage of fifty years ago. Obama, of course, didn’t order a wiretap of Trump by name, but the Trump campaign, including Trump Tower facilities, was under NSA surveillance; that would have included Trump, and it would have included phones: Obama could know this by deduction even if he wasn’t directly informed.
    ……. We know, if we can bear to think it, that everyone is surveyed: that was the meaning of the Prism and XKeyscore programmes. Obama never renounced them, nor has Trump. They are there for use or abuse on the part of the executive branch.

    Trump’s good point about surveillance of himself and his campaign is lost because of Trump’s laser like focus on only himself. The idea that others could have been wronged by illegal surveillance seems beyond Trump’s capacity to comprehend – the “authorities” (police, prosecutors, etc.) are 100% right when arresting the poor, and 100% wrong when going after the rich (I have no doubt Trump engages in illegal financial stuff – which the FEDS can’t figure out for Trump’s career prior to the presidency??? – and if the Feds want to get him they can – but “supposedly” intelligence surveillance isn’t to be used for such purposes. The fact that it happened under the province of a “constitutional scholar” makes it (surveillance for political purposes) that which can never be spoken of)

    Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying The Hill (UserFriendly).

    1. Jess

      Hey, Dan, how goes it. I may be behind the times info-wise but last I remember you were about to become some kind of public advocate (for health care and/or social services, IIRC), the had some kind of accident and was semi laid-up for awhile. So, how goes it? (And glad to see you’re still commenting.)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Trump’s good point about surveillance of himself and his campaign is lost because of Trump’s laser like focus on only himself.

      And because Trump used the word “tapped,” so the process liberal types and the geeks and wonks went nuts. Surely it would be demented for the powerful not to assume that they could be “surveilled” — the word Trump should have used — at all times, and take precautions accordingly. I mean, that’s what golf courses are for: All that open space, far from devices (except for very high-end ones, of course).

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert, for the link to the Indy’s Brexit article.

    As friends and former colleagues involved with Brexit drift off for holiday, I have caught up with some. They echo what is said and, as I wrote last week, are staggered by the lack of coverage in a UK media far more concerned about, if not obsessed with, Trump, vide yesterday when Brexit got last minute mentions on the evening / night bulletins, but Trump, including live reporting from DC, was second or third.

    In the past week, I have come across law firms, IT consultancies and headhunters laying off staff as the City projects they supported are scaled back due to Brexit and its impact on business models, access to the single market etc. It’s drip, drip, but a sign of things to come. One can see an acceleration over 2018. Still, the US mid-terms will be far more exciting that Hard Brexit. One wonders what UK and US readers, in particular, make of the UK media’s inglorious role, inn particular.

  6. InsertNameHere

    “A Better Deal” sounds like “Lesser of Two Evils”, or “Not As Shitty” which has been their slogan all along. Why would it trend anywhere?

    As openly malevolent as the GOP is, the DNC seems like it’s run by thumbsucking toddlers paying five year olds for wisdom. How can one get a consultancy gig from this team of idiots? I can’t make Chucky a better human but I can make his slogans less offensive.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The simple explanation is this behavior is tolerated by stupid voters. Donna Brazille’s career should have simply disqualified her to work at the DNC at all this year much less becoming interim boss.

      The correct answer is the Democratic Wipeout in 1994 and the simultaneous end of the Kennedy generation (not only was there a Wipeout, but the Democratic party was culturally dominated by people who came in with JFK or around as veterans who bounced around before becoming politically prominent at the state and local level and winning federal office). The result was Bill was the only game in town. The Democrats in safe seats enjoyed association with the only “winner” in Team Blue, but the evidence is Clinton Inc is composed of largely talentless hacks who worship Bill and Hillary and protect their patronage relationship. When Shrub was around and the economy seemed better for more people, selling tax cuts for the wealthy or blaming the GOP was easier. We are on year 25 of the Clinton generation. They can’t say they are new to politics anymore.

      1. Synoia

        but the evidence is Clinton Inc is composed of largely talentless hacks who worship Bill and Hillary

        In some areas they demonstrate considerable skill and talent.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “Where else are they going to go?”
          Oops look, they went for an orange-haired TV showman.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Coming soon to Daily Kos:

      Don’t let good or decent or coherent be the enemy of better.

    3. Arizona Slim

      A better deal? Okay, how about 50 percent off the price of that barely used slogan?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s like the Wehrmacht’s southern thrust towards Baku – “We want the infrastructure there!”

          Sometimes you get trapped, and never make it out.

  7. Plenue

    From the end of the Fukushima article:

    “TEPCO spokesman Takahiro Kimoto said it would take time to analyse the debris in the images to figure out removal methods.”

    What possible removal methods could there be? It’s taken them more than half a decade to (possibly) even find significant amounts of the melted fuel. The most they can get is some footage from a distance because the radiation is so bad it fries even shielded robots.

    They keep saying it’ll take fifty years to fully decommission the site, but can they even be said to have meaningfully begun the decommissioning? It may take fifty years just for radiation levels to get low enough to start preliminary work inside the reactors.

  8. Livius Drusus

    Re: digital natives, this is just another example of tech hype missing the boat again. I find it telling that some Silicon Valley types are not on the tech in school bandwagon.


    Even Bill Gates didn’t allow his children to have cell phones until they turned 14.

    There are numerous studies showing the negative impact of too much screen time on educational outcomes, socialization and mental health. But the media, businesses and politicians have pushed the “tech savvy” line so much that people are falling for all of these educational fads even though there is ample evidence that these techniques are inferior to traditional teaching methods.

  9. temporal

    re: Digital native is a myth.

    As a person that has written a lot of code in Java, C and more than a smidgen of other languages I’d say the basis of my education was learning problem-solving as a kid. Taking things apart, building things and later working on cars and motorcycles taught me most of what I needed to know about programming. Active problem solving is built upon layers of experience.

    Like more than a few older programmers I strongly disagree with having electronics of any kind in the classroom. Learning in school is generally a discipline of translating written material into mental concepts on the basis of constant comparisons to previous learning. Just as watching TV news (because it requires passive comprehension) is worse than written news, watching television-like presentations is much worse than a physical textbook. Skimming and cross-checking multiple sources of information can be more difficult with electronic media, though a big, high-resolution screen certainly helps.

    Using a computer that cannot be repaired or explored does not teach the user anything about how it works or how to improve it. The core idea that texting, emailing and watching videos somehow rewires a brain that took a few million years of natural selection to evolve is ludicrous.

    1. anon

      “Using a computer that cannot be repaired or explored”

      … which just got me thinking: Maybe the real problem is that strong action wasn’t taken at the beginning of the personal computer “revolution” to ensure that both hardware and software would be open enough so they could be leveraged as learning experiences. That would have meant no software patents (an idea that my IP professor in 1981 thought was preposterous), _shorter_ time limits on both patent and copyright, and much stricter compulsory licensing. By all means let’s give creators working out of their garages or basements the means to secure the futures of their spouses and children: but at the same time prevent the plutocrats and their retainers from strangling education and innovation.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Maybe the real problem is that strong action wasn’t taken at the beginning of the personal computer “revolution” to ensure that both hardware and software would be open enough so they could be leveraged as learning experiences.

        Oh, but it was! The first Apples, through the Apple II (but not the +), included in the owners manual the complete source code to the beast along with the schematic. This started to disappear with the addition of floating point BASIC (the II+).

        On the business side, one had to be comfortable programming in 8080/Z80 assembler to get the CP/M OS to run on whatever newfangled hardware you had soldered together from a mail order kit.

        Fun times.

    2. zer0

      Completely agree.

      I’ve done some coding as well, mostly C/C++, Assembly, more root level stuff as I worked in Mechatronics for quite a while.

      I learned C, like everything else, from physical books.

      My parents, one American one European, were of the mindset that learning is best via old-school methods. I learned math from a Czech workbook every summer and weekend. It was 100% word problems. 100%. I think this was the basis for me being a decent coder: I was taught to visualize a problem and attack it with logic.

      Only in America do people think that screens or using a computer makes someone ‘smarter’. It’s part of the laziness of our culture. No one from China, a seriously competitive culture, would ever think that doing nothing makes you something.

      To make a long story short, real knowledge requires real dedication – TV will never impart real knowledge as it is passive. Computers will never impart knowledge – they are simply a tool to amass it. Digitizing classrooms will only yield poorer health/eyesight of students, who are already looking at phones 4-6 hours a day.

      Don’t be fooled – digitization will not change the reality that human being have been hardwired by millennia to be what they already are. We aren’t even a century into computing, so any notion that the next generations will be smarter is ludicrous – they will be the same…but probably have the worst eyesight of all of us.

    3. Ook

      The “digital native” thing is self-evident nonsense, but it is a catchy phrase. The phrase embeds the assumption that human evolution made a big jump with the creation of commercial platforms like Twitter.
      If there is some kind of civilizational divide, I’d say it was with the adoption of the telephone, automobile and airplane, which all more or less happened in one generation.
      Before the phone/automobile/plane, people would communicate and travel in the same way as the ancient Romans did, and at the same speed. Then suddenly you can cross the world in hours, and talk to anyone instantly.
      Somehow, the advent of Twitter and availability of passive entertainment in your pocket doesn’t strike me as being on the same magnitude.

      Not to mention that these platforms were invented by people who are not themselves “digital native” so the definition assumes Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are bumbling fools when it comes to computers.

  10. Lunker Walleye

    Wasserman Schultz arrested trying to leave the country

    This story originated from the investigation by George Webb who has 277 days worth of videos on youtube. Here is yesterday’s “Summary for Hillary’s Leakers, Hackers and Henchmen”.
    George has been asking about the Awan Brothers for a long time. Recently, Jason Goodman of Crowdsource the Truth has joined him, along with Trish Negron, who has written “The Accidental Journalist” at

    1. Lunker Walleye

      ha! left out a title word! Wasserman Schultz aide arrested trying to leave the country

    2. AnnieB

      Webb is an excellent name for his YouTube blog . It focuses on a variety of topics including the Awan brothers, who worked as IT assistants for the congressional Democrats. All the stories seem to be tangled up with each other. Very confusing when the viewer first encounters Webb. The summary link above is an excellent introduction to this very interesting story. Very little being reported by mainstream press.

      1. Lunker Walleye

        Thanks for a great description, AnnieB. It took a long while to figure out if I was watching a live action reality play or live reporting!

        1. AnnieB

          Live action investigative reporting is exactly what Webb is about, sometimes in combo with Jason Goodman’s crowdsourcing, and Trish Negron’s reporting. Very creative use of the media. There have been questions and skepticism about their accuracy, which they address very quickly. It would be a mistake for anyone to think this is some new kind of reality show. Seems to me they are trying hard for credibility. That’s hard sometimes because people are slow to accept a new transformation of an old paradigm.

          1. Lunker Walleye

            George Webb and Crowdsource the Truth are the most addictive and educational websites I have found on the internet outside of NC. Agree that they make corrections as soon as they realize a mistake. George, a quoter of Shakespeare, is extremely well-informed with a great sense of humor, though sometimes he gets into “close call” situations where one fears for his life. Jason adds a lot of intelligent commentary and has a broad knowledge base. Trish is brilliant and courageous.

  11. Darius

    Regarding Ryan Cooper’s column in the Week. I’m sure if the Democrats ever manage to find themselves holding all the marbles again they will hide behind the need for bipartisanship and lack of Republican cooperation as the excuse for not enacting Medicare for All and other benefits for the people. They always do, despite being completely shut out of any influence by the Republicans when they are in charge.

  12. Tertium Squid

    Issuers of distributed ledger or blockchain technology-based securities must register offers and sales of such securities unless a valid exemption applies.

    Can someone who knows parse this article? It sounds like this defeats the whole purpose of blockchain technology?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      There’s an important distinction to make: blockchain “native” assets, and blockchain “represented” assets.
      Bitcoin is an example of a blockchain native “asset”, where the asset is an integral part of the ledger itself. For “ICO’s” they purport that a business (or a bar of gold or some other real-world activity) can be represented by a token that is exchanged on, but not created by, the blockchain. These (as the SEC pointed out) are nothing more or less than securities since they meet all four so-called “Howey” tests. Non-native blockchain “assets” fail to answer a simple software question: how do you bind the data to the hash? In the case of Bitcoin the data IS the hash, but for everything else, whether it’s a bar of gold, a pile of currency, or a bunch of n00b developers in Latvia saying they will run some kind of business, there is no binding relationship between the data (1 bar of gold in the vault) and the hash (the encrypted keypair).

      While I’m here I’ll mention a common fallacy: that the number of Bitcoins that can ever be created is “fixed and immutable and built in to the protocol”. Nonsense. The Bitcoin code can be changed at any time, and would simply need to be validated by >50% of the computers maintaining the network (so-called “miners”). Right now >50% of miners are in mainland China, their operators are anonymous (one is known simply by the screen name “friedcat”), and they mostly operate with purloined electricity. Right now the electricity used to maintain the network exceeds the total electricity usage of Denmark.

  13. Jim Haygood

    From The Week link [that’s a pun, son] on “astounding procedural abuses”:

    Republicans went into a scheduled vote Tuesday without having any idea what was being voted on. There is no final text of a bill, no hearings of any kind, and, of course, no Congressional Budget Office score.

    Democrats have no reason to fear passing a bill through regular order, with the usual hearings, markups, and CBO scores. And they should restore traditional constitutional democracy, where both experts and the citizenry get a chance to weigh in — most importantly, allowing time for CBO analysis so people can know what is being voted on. By definition, of course, the opposition party would then get time to participate in floor debate.

    Whoa — Civics 101! All this, of course, is exactly what did NOT happen when the USA-Patriot Act was whooped through the Senate 98-1 on Oct 25, 2001 under Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) without any “regular order” of hearings, public input, or indeed any Senators having actually read it.

    The Week’s tendentious article illustrates the hypocrisy and rhetorical bankruptcy of “D party good; R party bad” as well as its mirror image “R party good; D party bad.” It’s all one sick, dysfunctional duopoly which should cast into the cleansing flames.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A lot of good people are caught in-between.

      They’ve worked out a nice balance of ‘once-a-month-(or year)-D-party-bad, and thrice-a-day-R-party-bad’ routine to deal with the duopoly reality.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      When I was growing up, and even when I was a young adult (Iran-Contra) Congressional hearings were a very big deal, and were often televised.

      Now the Congressional hearing seems to have atrophied. I would imagine even a ranking member could call one. If so, the Dems should start holding them.

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I would gladly chug a cleansing ale while watching the cleansing flames of the Bonfire of the Vanities, perhaps we can convince a chap named Nero to accompany with the dulcet strains of his violin

  14. justanotherprogressive

    re: Maybe weve been thinking about the productivity slump all wrong.

    Or: What happens when neoliberals try to a solve a neoliberal failure in a neoliberal way:

    To increase productivity, pay workers more so businesses will be encouraged to use more robots and lay more workers off…..

    Not a lot of compassion for workers in this article……

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Productivity is when a robot will work harder than you, because it doesn’t need to take a lunch break.

      Also when someone is offered a chance at permanent residency, for the same pay, or for less pay, he/she will work as hard, or even harder…because of the uncounted (indirectly non-monetary,…try buying or investing your way into this country) compensation (US green card).

    2. zer0

      Hahaha so true.

      Not to belabor the point, but in corporate America, the new normal is:
      1) Digitize/roboticize everything – fire everyone possible
      2) Suppress wages/work hours
      3) Suppress resistance (no more unions)
      4) Claim ‘not enough productivity’
      5) Claim ‘not enough skilled workers’
      6) Bitch to Congress to get more H1B1
      7) Merge/consolidate to monopolize
      8) Regulatory capture ad infinitum

  15. Jim Haygood

    Calexit demonstrates the unhappy result when a former federation, offering wide autonomy for the states, morphs into a micromanaging central government which dictates every aspect of state policy.

    For the forty years (1954-1994) when Democrats enjoyed uninterrupted partisan control of the House (and sometimes the Senate and presidency as well), Californians were content enough. Their governorship even swung Republican for long stretches under Ronald Reagan, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    But now, when what could be a thousand-year Republican Reich rules the fedgov, Cali wants out! No more is secession merely the treasonous resort of racists and slavers — it’s progressive! :-)

    Godspeed, Cali. Nothing would clip the wings of our megalomaniacal national security state like losing an eighth of its population (and revenue). We just have to make sure that Putin doesn’t hack the voting machines. /sarc

  16. Richard

    That poor dang Russian cat, with the graying beard, looks like a “sheep with secret sorrows” (channeling Bertie Wooster). Except they aren’t secret. “I am nursing pointy.little.bastards. I mean for the love of God….”

  17. gepay

    Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change From 1968-2017 Yes, utilities knew that man made CO2 was increasing CO2 in the atmosphere There was a “possibility” that this could affect the climate (by warming the atmosphere – but by how much?) but it is still not known by how much today or how much will cause bad outcomes.. Oh yes, computer models made by people who “believe” that man made CO2 will cause catastrophic climate change confirm their beliefs. Here for example is the problem with just one small area of models forecasting climate change: “Current climate models struggle to simulate the seasonal and regional variability seen in Antarctic sea ice. Most models have biases, even in basic features such as the size and spatial patterns of the annual cycle of Antarctic sea-ice growth and retreat, or the amount of heat input to the ice from the ocean. The models fail to simulate even gross changes2, such as those driven by tropical influences on regional winds9. Because ice and climate are closely coupled, even small errors multiply quickly.
    Features that need to be modelled more accurately include the belt of strong westerly winds that rings Antarctica, and the Amundsen Sea Low — a stormy area southwest of the Antarctic Peninsula. Models disagree, for example, on whether persistent westerly winds should increase or decrease sea-ice coverage around Antarctica. Simulations of clouds and precipitation are also inadequate. These cannot currently reproduce the correct amounts of snowfall or sea surface temperature of the Southern Ocean (the latter is widely overestimated by the models).
    Climate models must also include the mixing of waters by surface winds and the impact of waves on the formation and break-up of sea ice. Precipitation and meltwater from ice sheets and icebergs influence the vertical structure of the ocean and how it holds heat, which also affects the growth and decay of sea ice. Researchers need to develop models of the atmosphere–ocean–sea-ice environment at high spatial resolution.”
    Every area of computer modeling of climate has similar problems – most centered around resolution – as increasing resolution so that one can take geography the size of the GReat Lakes in consideration makes the outcomes too variable for agreement – the main greenhouse gas – water vapor and its nature of forming clouds modeling has even worse problems – Not to mention no one believes we have definitive knowledge of the ocean and its heat content.

    1. LarryB

      You do realize that uncertainty in the models increases our risk, don’t you. It’s certainly not a reason to ignore them.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Be serious, we might create a sustainable economy and stop destroying the biosphere and find out it was all for nothing. Then we’d look pretty stupid, hunh?

        /s jic

        1. gepay

          I heartily endorse such efforts. Projects that you don’t need to make man made CO2 into a pollutant or climate accomplish. But why bother. youall can’t even stop Monsanto GMO monoculture in the US or Brazilians from clearcutting rainforest and turning the area into GMO soyfields. Or even the use of atrazine pesticide or….

      2. gepay

        Computer models are useful for helping to understand how the climate works. They are not very useful for making predictions. Look up Freeman Dyson views on computer modeling and it its use to predict the future of the climate. Over a half a century of work on atmospheric computer models have made ones that are getting pretty good at one day forward predictions of the weather. Go past 5 days and they are junk. Computer models are maybe 50% in predicting ENSO (El Nino) which is like tossing a coin. The Earth’s climate is a robust chaotic system for which computer models are not very useful for making predictions, As in my comment above (about one small component of models) – the science is not settled unless you mean agreement that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and with everything else being equal, increasing its percentage in the atmosphere should make it warmer – all else is unsettled as you can see from my comment above. ONLY if you “believe” CO2 is a pollutant and the climate sensitivity to its forcing is known can you say ” uncertainty in the models increases our risk, don’t you? It’s certainly not a reason to ignore them.” I believed it in the 80’s until I saw an obvious, just propaganda, “documentary” about what was then called anthropogenic global warming. It made me wonder – why is this kind of alarmist crap needed? Then instead of just believing the so called experts I actually read about the science. The more I read, the more I became a skeptic similar to Judith Curry. Who along with Chris Landsea was an IPCC scientist on hurricanes. From his resignation letter: ” After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns…
        …It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an
        unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global
        warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible
        for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside
        of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very
        difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the
        assessment on hurricane activity. My view is that when people identify
        themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements
        far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the
        credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish
        our role in public policy….’ You should read its entirety yourself.

        1. blennylips

          The IPCC politicized? Image that! Next you’ll tell me water is wet…

          Ya got all the éminence grise climate scientists jockeying for this plum assignment — could you get a more conservative group? Now, imagine, they have to come to a consensus that will pass muster with the politicians running the excersize and is it any wonder that some of the predictions they made for 2100 were already exceeded by the time the reports were actually published.

          The one refrain I hear from scientists reporting on what is happening now: “Faster than expected” or some variant.

          Pull you head out of your theoretical fundament and look around! I suggest you take a look at the youtube channel Understanding Climate Change. In particular the series titled like the most recent: “Climate & Extreme Weather News #48 (July 24th to July 27th 2017)”. Look normal to you?

          Nothing theoretical about these reports.

          Another source reporting inconvenient facts?

          I expect to get flack over this one, but it is an excellent example of the scientific method in action:

          got’cher basic hypothesis:

          yer specific predictions:

          A. More fires and more explosions, especially along the coasts, but everywhere generally.
          B. Many more animal die-offs, of all kinds, and especially oceanic species.
          C. More multiples of people will be found dead in their homes, as if they’d dropped dead.
          D. More corpses found in low-lying areas, all over the world.
          E. More unusual vehicular accidents.
          F. Improved unemployment numbers as people die off.

          Then every day, lists of news stories that may validate the predictions (two days behind).

          It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future, as someone said.

          The future is here now and increasingly evenly distributed, as no one till now has said.

  18. Antifa

    So they finally built a robot tough enough to survive a few minutes longer inside the melted reactors. And it took pictures of some corium.

    I once called a contractor to do something about a creature that died in the wall of my basement. Guy comes and starts ripping off sheetrock, paneling, pulling out insulation, and finally drilling holes in the cinder block foundation for a little camera he had.

    After three hours of this he was able to locate the corpse. “It’s not a skunk!” he announced, but neither of us could do more than guess what it actually was. Bigger than a squirrel. Smaller than a bear. Freshly dead.

    “Probably poisoned,” the guy said, “Crawled into your block wall to die.” He didn’t see any safe way to get the critter out of there without making a serious hole in the foundation wall, so he advised that we close everything up, put a fan in the window, and wait for the smell to go away. This was the only practical solution.

    Taking pictures of what we already know is inside the wrecked reactors at Fukushima is not progress. It merely confirms that it’s Hammertime — “You can’t touch this.”

  19. Craig H.

    I finally googled soppressata. It’s salami. Good grief.

    The digital native piece is interesting. The other day I heard an educational pundit claim that the Silicon Valley executives keep their schools computer free up to age twelve or so and make their kids do the three R’s. Interesting if true but my a priori is .85 that it’s complete baloney.

    (If you are a digital native three R’s = Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic!)

    1. Harold

      I understand Waldorf ed is popular in Silicone Valley. Waldorf introduces reading in second grade (age 7). No tests or marks until high school. No computers or TV until high school. Lots of poetry, free play, movement activities, music, art. Two foreign languages from kindergarten on. Gardening, woodworking, knitting, mountain climbing. Curriculum = world mythology and religions. A year spent on Old Testament as literature. Also Indian fables, Greek & Scandinavian mythology. Egyptian Book of the Dead. Eightfold Path. Calligraphy.

        1. Harold

          At my daughter’s Waldorf kindergarten they helped make vegetable soup and bread every day. No Yoga, but they do a kind of sign-language movement called Eurythmy (not to be confused with Eurythmics).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If they could get kids to sit still for 20 minutes and meditate, that’d be great.

      1. neo-realist

        No Black History (anti-racism teaching of sorts)? Calisthenics? Baseball? Softball? Hockey?

        1. Harold

          Black history and dance certainly entered the curriculum, especially at assembly, where Martin Luther King’s entire letter from Birmingham Jail was read out loud. Softball, yes. Hockey no. Soccer yes. Very big on Lacrosse — they had a coach who had been an olympic player.

          Each Waldorf School is independently run, so I can’t speak for other schools, or even that one, now, since it has been quite a few years.

    2. CanCyn

      I believe that Yves has objected to generational characterizations in the past and I completely agree – esp with regard to the whole Digital Native myth… There is a range of computer/information technology aptitudes in any age group. I’m a librarian in a community college and believe me, while we have some students who can program, code and perhaps even build a computer, we have many more who know how to do little more than text, browse Snapchat and watch Youtube videos – blissfully unaware of the wonder of technology and the web, incl. sites like NC.
      The majority fall in a range in the middle with little to decent amounts of ITC – Information Technology Competence, as it is known to researchers in this area. They certainly believe in their own competence but the questions they ask at the library and IT help desks indicate otherwise. Simple to solve problems like saving files, downloading, printing, resetting passwords, using MS Word or Excel, the list is long….The joke about ICT is that students’ IT Confidence is much greater, in some cases, inversely proportional, to their IT Competence.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        In the 80s, I assumed there’d be a curve of more competence in computers, but no, and it’s because the interfaces are crap. Ask a group of young students ‘who wants to learn how to pick a lock’ and that should be pretty much everyone who will end up in the dabbling or more category. Smart enough to do it, and weird enough to not get exasperated at the futility. I recently moved to home linux, and I have a folder of 40+ links for tweaks that are absolutely vital to me being able to stand the setup at all. (!!Oh, where’s the screensaver?!!)

        My mom got a 4.0 when she went back for a BSN in her 50’s; she knows how to find the rules and use them no matter how dumb. Started off with a windows laptop, then she was getting happier with the Apple laptop and then an Ipad 3, until the flat look update. She eventually gave the Ipad to an aunt (who isn’t using it either–and she was connecting her sewing machine to the internet in the 90s). Her laptop is giving her certificate errors for one of her bookmarks, and no way to correct it in screen.

        She’s spoiled of course, when she grew up we had serious industrial design. Radios, TVs, toasters, automobiles didn’t need a manual to just start using them. The idea that after spending $$$, you then have to fix it to get it to work right, is strangely foreign to her.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > soppressata

      Probably Brook’s working class friend was rocked to the core by the concept that a salami hoagie could go for twenty bucks, more if you add a sprig of some garnish). That doesn’t seem to have occurred to Brooks…

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    185 studies reveal men’s sperm count has plunged worldwide over the last 40 years Business Insider

    Is that the price men have to pay to continue to exploit and suppress women in this male-chauvinists world?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      No, given patriarchy is a constant.

      What intrigues me is that here’s yet another chart where the curves go hinky at the start of the neoliberal era.

  21. Fool

    I’m not sure how to boycott a mail-order business; if you don’t order, how do they know? Perhaps order a trivially small item, and use the chat form to tell B&H that you’re not ordering a large one? Readers?

    A good chunk of B&H’s revenue is from supply contracts to governmental and educational buyers. (For instance, a procurement form on a university site would indicate that B&H is their vendor and exclusively display their products.) Ending these contracts until they negotiate in good faith is a start.

    On an individual consumer level, granted, it’s a tough sell. For some reason, the Satmar-Hassidic community essentially has a monopoly on grey market electronics (B&H’s biggest competitor, Adorama, is also owned by Satmars), so they can offer better prices than other retailers. That they’re also abusive, union-busting employers is a decision buyers will have to weigh.

    1. ginnie nyc

      Also, B&H has a very large, 2-story physical location in Manhattan that is always tremendously busy. The boycott, such as it might be, would be largely symbolic, I think, and visible protests by the union-to-be have been in front of the store around the corner from 34th Street, a major mercantile avenue.

      1. Fool

        Their union representative is the steelworkers, but they have NOT been in front of the store. But that is another can of worms.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Seven Observations About Jared Kushner’s Statement Foreign Policy. Interestingly, the voice from The Heart of The Blob treats Kushner more gently than John Helmer did.

    Seven observations, none about the permanent creatures of the Swamp.

    At least Helmer puts those critters in his article, in 3rd place, after the misspelling of Kushner’s ancestral hometown, and after the different amounts of time (less than 1 minute, between 10-15 mins, etc) Jared expended without properly observing the requisite diplomat protocol and etiquette.

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Would suggest this b&h thing should be plainly put on the doorstep of city hall…b&h is a store folks go out of their way to do business with…and for anyone who used to love the thrill of a hyper active department store, the physical store is a throwback with vacuum tubes and other contraptions designed to maximize space…

      Realistically, b&h could have been handed a pier and could have turned its operations into a go to event…

      But since it aint on wall street, why would city hall care…

      And all the stories miss a rather important detail…the warehouse is basically moving to philadelphia…how the us steel workers union is burping up that they don’t know how they might still deal with b&h…is it really too much for the union to drive just over the Delaware river less than ten miles from philly for a company that does well over 100 million per year in revenue…no wonder there are so few union shops…

      This is not some company moving to lilly white farm country looking to avoid minorities at all costs…

      Hey joey…put down that there philly cheese steak and lets hop across the franklin bridge…

  23. Altandmain

    Your Personal Consumption Choices Can’t Save the Planet: We Have to Confront Capitalism

    Wasserman Schultz staffer arrested trying to leave the country

    Sanders Showed Values Matter, But Democrats Continue to Focus on Tactics and Gimmicks

    Industry secrets for herbicide

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Save the planet.

      Sometimes, I want to go up to a Hollywood celebrity and say, You are only for clean air because you have money (so you don ‘t worry about H1B visa issue or being hungry like the Deplorables). Your only worry is to live past 100, so of course, you want clean air, as the only issue. That’s why you’re a Green. Opposing globalization is here, probably, and lower in priority.

      Then, I say to myself, why do I have to question what his/her motive is. He/She is for clean air.

      1. polecat

        That’s because ‘He/She’ can FLY AWAY, on a whim … to wherever the clean air happens to be !!

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    In America, you are what you eat The Economist

    Question 1 (on the college entrance exam in year 2120): What food was given to Americans in the 20th and 21st century for them to become zombies?

    Question 2: What food was given for the same to become automatic, slam-dunk, enslaved Democratic and Republican voters? Who won the Nobel prize for that breakthrough discovery?

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit The Hill

    Linear thinking vs. curvilinear thinking.

    One American in France is charming.

    A hundred is still manageable.

    One hundred thousand Americans in France, life there becomes frustrating for the natives (‘Learn some French!!!”)

    A straight line projection becomes disastrous.

    Back to the tax code topic at hand.

    The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit.

    Do we project that linearly to this: A simple, flat code will be hurt the wealthy most?

  26. Jim Haygood

    Another day, another presidential pounding on the supine form of Attorney General Ku Klux Jeff Sessions:

    Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got …. big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!
    9:52 AM – 26 Jul 2017

    Earth to Jeff: you’re [de facto] fired.

    Government as a live version of The Apprentice: it’s a smash hit! Although it would be nice to have some gripping car chase scenes and fiery explosions to spice up the melodrama …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump is making the presidency look not at all that powerful.

      No wannabee dictator can afford to look that weak.

    2. newcatty

      Brings to mind: “Does art imitate life or life imitate art”? Though the profound nature of the question is scewed when The Apprentice is considered to be any form of art. Ha, now, let us define what is art. I know it when I see, hear or touch it. I also donot let art curators or art historians tell me what is art. Only, if I happen to see it, too. Same with “critics” of any genre. I paid $30 for a gallery framed water color print found at a consignment store. It is hanging on my living room wall. My spouse and I think it is beautiful. Unusual…Turns out it is the work of a famous artist. I would have liked it, anyway.

      Trump, McCain, Schummer, Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz, Sessions, Feinstein, Çlintons, etc, all actors on the same stage sinking in the Swamp.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    As a British EU negotiator, I can tell you that Brexit is going to be far worse than anyone could have guessed Independent

    It’s a dilemma, repeated all the time in history:

    Liberty, exit or independence (monetary sovereignty maybe in some cases), or to avoid short term pain (or suffering, or the misfortunes, tragedies of the few versus the many).

    “With the many deaths now we know, looking back, would you still have done the same?”

  28. Jim Haygood

    Y’all think the US electoral college is bad? Check out Maduro Maff™:

    On Sunday, voters will be asked to select 545 delegates, with 173 chosen from sectors including students, pensioners and workers. The 364 delegates to be picked by region will be heavily skewed to rural areas more friendly to the socialist party; each municipality in Venezuela will be awarded a single delegate, regardless of population.

    “Rural Tachira state, with 826,000 registered voters, will have 31 constituents, while prosperous and educated Zulia, with three times that amount of voters, will have just 23,” Russ Dallen, managing partner at Caracas Capital, said in a report in June. “With only 20 percent support in the country, the Maduro regime was forced to come up with a way to turn that minority into a majority.”

    With the opposition boycotting the vote, the names voters will see on the ballot are all presumed Maduro supporters. On top of that, most are ciphers. “Only 25 of them are known politicians,” Oswaldo Ramirez, an analyst at Caracas-based consulting firm ORC Consultores, said in an interview. “If convened, it will be the beginning of the dismantling of democracy in Venezuela.”

    It’s like an electoral college with all of the delegates pledged to one party. Sounds legit …

    1. PKMKII

      Rules are rules? Ah, nah, it’s principle of the thing. Except when it’s your own country.

      Funny that in both cases, though, it’s a tilting of the hand to more heavily weight rural districts/states over urban areas. Global city vs. hinterlands showdown.

    2. Romancing The Loan

      Consultants and bankers are upset because only 25 of the candidates on the ballot are “known politicians”? Picking reps by municipality and interest sector doesn’t seem worse on its face than doing it directly by population so they’re going to have to do a little better to make me clutch my pearls at these dastardly socialists.

  29. Alex Morfesis

    Not to defend uber…but the daily mail got took by mister(miss) martino…retail worker ?? Well…if one charges to be an escort one might make that argument…but (miss) martino has a twitter account which suggests he not only does not like natural born females who prefer natural born males…he likes them even less if they are born with a built in tan…

    Was he upset because it was an act among consenting hetros ?? He apparently has been a rainbow shop performer who travels…where was
    ?he? driving to if he is not from chicago ?? Hotels on argyle ??
    Airbee ? Or couch surfing ??

    Again, not in any way defending uber…but there seems to be more to (miss) martino than is being presented…

    maybe he is friends with miloyian…

    Martino insisted
    ” posted the video because…”

    Well one does what one has to 2monetize social media and help your agent book you gigs….

    Are there any editors at the daily mail

    1. ForFawkesSakes

      The deliberate misgendering of Mr. Martino is out of line and I have come to expect much better from the commentariat of NC. You are one of my favorite commentators on this site to decipher/ read and your homophobic post today broke my heart.

      People of all stripes are opportunists. It has little to do with their sexual preference.

      1. alex morfesis

        well…was gonna let it pass…but…considering I have gone to gay bars to help my gay friends make their former boystuds jealous along the way, suspect my non hetro friends might find your reflection on what was a rather straight forward concept amusing…

        just because someone is non hetro does not magically make them not racist or perfect angels…

        and when society allows all parties to be called (family blog) without hiding behind some magic wizard of oz curtain of not wanting to appear to be insensitive…

        only then will we actually have a society where people are actually judged by the content of their character…

        if you bother looking at the complaining witnesses twitcher history…you will notice what is an apparent flaw in his character…

        just because he appears to claim to be perhaps latino does not mean he can not be racist…

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    For China’s Global Ambitions, ‘Iran Is at the Center of Everything’ NYT (Re Silc).

    Also Africa, I think.

    They are every hegemon’s easy picks…sorry, I mean if China doesn’t protect those countries, some other bad guys will take advantage of them.

    1. Synoia

      Good luck with Africa. It has a history of “Restless Natives.”

      When living in Africa, as an ex pat, the question of “Do I Stay or Do I Leave” is ever present.

      I left. Large cloud on horizon.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          I put the tape in the VCR in 1987, and it’s still hasn’t reached the end of that “seeing Africa” montage bit.

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Backers of another shot at a ‘Calexit’ ballot measure can now gather signatures Los Angeles Times. Sign: “United States Out Of California


    Can they do a combo ballot measure – Calexit & Single Payer?

    “Liberate those California sovereign money waiting to be spent into existence. Do not abort them.”

  32. Annotherone

    Re: In America, you are what you eat – The Economist.
    I couldn’t access the article, but managed to read the comment thread by copying article title into Google search box. I see that food (as well as class) snobbery is alive and doing well in the USA!
    I’m with commenter tjfob on sushi:
    “Sushi is a marker of educational attainment?…57% of people with higher education tried it for seconds?…I’m educated but I’ll stick with the 26%…I mean what does education have to do with your palate,er, I mean taste buds…”

    As Sir Terry Pratchett wrote in “Granny Ogg’s Cookbook”:
    ” Many people will put into their mouth something in a foreign language that they wouldn’t even feed to a dog in their native tongue.”
    “If some food wasn’t so expensive, no one would eat it.”

      1. Annotherone

        Thanks. We’re not big on hot dogs – husband has educated me in the ways of their manufacture! On the veggie front we buy Morning Star veggie burgers and veggie sausage patties – we’re not vegetarian, just not too keen on meat.

  33. PKMKII

    I mean what does education have to do with your palate,er, I mean taste buds

    There was an article a few days back, I think in the NYT, one of those “this is why Trump country hates us” articles, about bringing some flyover country pleb into some fancy Italian restaurant in Manhattan, and how all them fancy Italian words were all confusing for him and he couldn’t eat there because he just felt so confused, and this is why New Yorkers are elitist snobs.

    Except, you could take any Italian-American out of the most working-class section of south Brooklyn, salt of the earth people, show them the menu and not only would they know what every item was, they probably had half of it at their grandma’s supper last Sunday. It’s not about the food, it’s the ceremony, the pomp and circumstance.

    1. Annotherone

      Yes, it’s not about the food itself in many cases – I agree. In the instance you mention, the NYT must have very carefully handpicked the sample “flyover pleb” to be someone very inexperienced and from a real backwater. We live in small-town flyover country and have travelled a lot around neighbouring flyover states (eg Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri). It’s common to find Italian-run restaurants, and locals well-versed in their menu in even smallish towns around these states; occasionally a Greek restaurant turns up too, as well as the usual Chinese, Japanese and Thai. There’s no pomp and circumstance to be found, though. ;)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Probably a good thing they didn’t take the guy to a yoga studio and ask him to do downward facing dog.

  34. anon

    Jon Walker’s health insurance proposal sounds a lot like the resurrection of a public option. I read the article, along with the accompany detail, and it only reinforced by opinion that that train has left the station.

    And a good thing too. Neither a public option nor a “Medicare for All” are going to get most people the relief they need. The problem is that these solutions are still market based, like police services in some dystopian sci fi comic book, I no longer think that there’s any market based solution to the problem of universal health care delivery. The health care market has failed, it needs to be abandoned before more money, and lives, are wasted in it.

    Almost a decade after the ACA was passed patients in an ER still can’t find out what admission and treatment will cost them _before_ they sign a release. The prices of prescription drugs for patients under private insurance and Medicare continue climbing to the stratosphere. Fees, co-pays and deductibles — even for those under Medicare — grow every year, while drug company profits, health provider and insurance executive compensation eat away at the funds available to deliver care to patients.

    It’s time for a change. A major, generational, change. A shift away from profit seeking, market based approaches to a new paradigm. Maybe non-profit health care cooperatives or free health care centers 100% funded by the government that also get the benefit of seriously negotiated bulk pricing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. While I wouldn’t expect such a system to be up and running quickly, if people were sincere about it I’d hope it would be in place for my children and grandchildren to benefit within the next decade.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Dunno, seemed pretty detailed and to take into account political realities still in play. One example:

      Sections 6-7 – In general, the way cost sharing is currently used in the United States is confusing. Most people don’t understand how deductibles, co-pays, balanced billing, and coinsurance all interact. Most existing plans’ cost sharing structures are counterproductive, attempt to avoid paying people what they are owed, and are cruel to individuals who get sick.

      There is still a limited role for price signaling in health care to encourage sensible behavior, and it is used in several highly industrialized countries with universal health care systems. In general, you want people to try basic over-the-counter treatments before visiting a doctor, as well as going to their primary care doctors before seeing a specialist. Co-pays are easy to understand and a sufficient way to indicate to people that going to a primary care doctor is better than going straight to the ER, or that they should choose generic medicine over brand name. The goal is a cost-sharing system simple enough it can fit on the back of a business card.

      It is possible to create a system without any co-pays or other cost sharing structures, but that would increase costs and wasteful utilization. Even many of the most liberal European countries have some modest forms of cost sharing. The question for advocates should not just be, is the marginal help for individuals that comes from zero cost sharing worth the added overall cost, but is it worth the political cost of a larger price tag for the whole plan. This is a serious point of debate that advocates need to confront.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Too bad there aren’t any other countries in the world, ’cause then we could see how that question has been addressed.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          might have been good to read the article? or even from the excerpt in the comment above:

          “There is still a limited role for price signaling in health care to encourage sensible behavior, and it is used in several highly industrialized countries with universal health care systems…Even many of the most liberal European countries have some modest forms of cost sharing.”

          the article is suggesting doing away with premiums and deductibles and including modest copays. its whole focus is how to get buy-in from those who will oppose single payer.

          what’s your plan for that?

  35. Andrew Watts

    RE: Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying

    Fake news headline. There is a difference between improper and illegal. Anyway, the renewal of Section 702 is going to be fun on a bun considering this was probably the legal mechanism that would’ve been used to justify spying on Trump and/or his associates.

    For instance, the government admitted improperly searching the NSA’s foreign intercept data on multiple occasions, including one instance in which an analyst ran the same search query about an American “every work day” for a period between 2013 and 2014.

    I’m assuming that the American receiving that treatment is Edward Snowden. He should sue the US government for multiple violations of his civil rights. Who else could it be?

    1. Jen

      The employee’s ex significant other. If it were Snowden, they wouldn’t call it improper.

  36. cripes

    “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future”

    OMG, what idiot consultant claque came up with this POS?
    They might as well have appended “for basket of deplorable, blue collar, starving-wage losers who we’ll forget about as soon as they vote for TINA puke-democrats like us.”

    The execrable non-entity Tom Perez–who accomplished exactly nothing as Sec of LABOR–was simpering away on Tavis Smiley last night, going on and not-answering every softball thrown at him by repeating the stale Hillary-esque bromide about democrats “fighting” for this and “fighting” for that–but never accomplishing any of it. If he said “fighting” once, he said it a hundred times, often three or four times per sentence. Like a broken record. They must have locked him in a room and made him write it on a chalkboard until he collapsed.

    Eight years and not one single minimum-wage bill advanced from the Senate, House or that POS who snored his way through eight years playing president just to make $500,000 speeches at Goldman-Sachs.

    If I had forgotten why so many did vote for Trump, this certainly reminds me. It’s the transparent, condescending, disgusting, toadies that now occupy the DNC that makes blowing-everything-up preferable to one more second of of their Bull$hit.

    They will go down in flames again.

    Surely a couple more electoral debacles and the upstarts can clean the Pelosi/Shumer/Shultzes out and mount a challenge to the rule of billionaires. The voters are ready.

  37. Foy

    185 studies reveal men’s sperm count has plunged worldwide over the last 40 years Business Insider

    I think one of the causes of reduced fertility in men is WiFi and cellular radiation which has increased exponentially over those 40 years (mostly over the last 20). I’m probably going to sound like Chuck McGill from Better Call Saul all wrapped up in a foil mesh, but there’s lot of studies showing health risks esp to young developing bodies from EMR radiation.

    This presentation by an English emergency trauma surgeon, Dr Erica Mallory-Blythe (what a classic English name!) who has researched WiFi and Cellular EMR (electromagentic radiation ) for years says it’s a huge health risk and one of the major risks and outcomes is infertility. It’s one of the most eye opening presentations I’ve seen. She says it’s the next asbestos. She runs through oodles of studies that show health problems due to EMR. She has a clip where she shows healthy sperm followed by a clip of the same sperm subjected to 4 hours of cellular radiation. Lets just say they are no longer swimming very well. People getting cancers where they put their phones close to their bodies. Men who keep cell phones in their pocket for > 4 hours a day have around 50% of the sperm count of men who don’t.

    Other studies in the lab have shown organisms all going totally infertile within 5 generations when subject to Wifi/Cellular EMR. WiFi health standards are based on the 90th percentile of the military recruits (ie a man approx 100kg) not a 5yo with a much thinner skull and body. And the standards are now out of date based on updated science on EMR.

    She says the direction from UK Dept of Health is that “children and young people under the age of 16 should be encouraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only – but that virtually no one is aware of this direction, it is not promoted/advertised for obvious reasons. She says that insurers like Lloyds will not insure for loss/damage due to wifi/cellular radiation as they know what the studies show. CITA (The Wireless Association – an international association representing telecoms) said “I want to be very clear. Industry has not said once – once – that [RF/Microwave radiation] is safe (K Dane Snowden, Vice President, External and State Affairs).

    She gives lots of other evidence, as I said one of the most eye opening presentations I’ve seen. I have some friends who have worked on cellular towers for a long time who are now infertile. Not hard to guess what the likely cause is now.

    If you have young kids her presentation will make you think very seriously about that tablet sitting right there on their lap, right next to all those developmental organs. And females only get one set of eggs, once they’re gone they’re gone, so it’s not just the boys at risk…

    1. JTFaraday

      I think kids under the age of 17 or 18 should have a dumb phone to call their parents, (and others of their personal acquaintance). But isn’t the sperm count and other hormonal imbalance estrogens in the water?

Comments are closed.