Links 8/21/17

Eclipse mania! Millions of Americans sit in some of the ‘worst traffic jams in history’, flock to Burning Man-style festivals and fill camp grounds at 21 national parks ahead of TODAY’S once-in-a-lifetime celestial event Daily Mail

Preparing for the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse NASA. From 2016 but still useful.

Are Index Funds Evil? The Atlantic

Insider trading schemes using encrypted apps alarm FBI FT. Oh come on. Insider trading?! Why not RICO?

Supreme Court asked to nullify the Google trademark Ars Technica

Are your Google search results another kind of filter bubble? The answer seems to be: Kind of Nieman Labs

How secure is your car? Unpatchable flaw lets attackers disable safety features ZDNet


Fears on both sides of the Persian Gulf Le Monde Diplomatique

Saudi plane for Qatari pilgrims waits on Doha for landing rights: airline Reuters

Would-Be Reformer Saakashvili Cast Out of Ukraine Der Spiegel


UK to release tranche of Brexit position papers Reuters

Brexit Bulletin: Timetable Clash Bloombert

Majority of UK public backs Brexit ‘transition period’, poll finds Guardian

Hong Kong Property Investors Go Trophy Hunting in London Despite Brexit NYT


China’s Debt Swaps Surpass $100 Billion Bloomberg

Protesters turn out in force against jailing of Hong Kong activists South China Morning Post

China’s Evolving Economic Statecraft The Diplomat

North Korea

US-South Korea war games raise Pyongyang’s ire FT

How did Trump really end up clashing with North Korea? By pursuing two contradictory foreign policies at the same time Slavoj Zizek, The Independent (Re Silc).

War won’t give China any clear gain, only cause casualties, assesses govt Times of India

The Overlooked Heroes Who Lead Climbers Up Everest Wired

Malaysia’s Strange, Sinister Crunch Bloomberg. A little stale, accepts the loanable funds theory, still interestingly sketchy numbers.

The U.S. Spy Hub in the Heart of Australia The Intercept


Heather Heyer’s cousin: Racism will get worse unless we stop it now CNN. Well worth a read; much more interesting than the headline.

Charlottesville Was a Preview of the Future of the Republican Party Splinter News. I see the argument, but it strikes me as another way for Democrats to wait for demographics to do their work for them.

Far-right group claims victory after emerging from Quebec City parking garage CBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Neocons Are Pushing the USA and the Rest of the World Towards a Dangerous Crisis The Unz Review (CL). Fun stuff.

Senior officer on damaged ship to be relieved of command AP. The USS Fitzgerald.

10 missing after US Navy destroyer collides with merchant ship off Singapore ABC. Like the USS Fitzgerald, a destroyer, based in Yokosuka, in the 7th Fleet. “Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today.”

It’s Time to Found a New Republic Foreign Policy

Trade Traitors

Nafta Nations Say Quick Deal on Table as Inaugural Talks End Bloomberg

You’re Fired! – Why Not Negotiate a NAFTA Alternative? COHA (MT).

Trump Transition

Trump targets tax reform to reconnect with Republicans FT

Top Pentagon posts 74 percent vacant as Congress returns Defense News

The Trump administration just disbanded a federal advisory committee on climate change WaPo

No, Trump’s support hasn’t collapsed, but yes, he’s increasingly alone Los Angeles Times

A Deal Breaker for Trump’s Supporters? Nope. Not This Time, Either. NYT

American Prospect editor: I’m honored Bannon chose me for ‘self-immolation’ American Prospect

Trump Is Just Six Senate Votes Away From Impeachment Newsweek. “Just”?

Leading Democrat: Critics can’t conclude Trump is impaired Reuters. When you’ve lost Adam Schiff…

When neo-liberal masquerades as anti-establishment Bill Mitchell

Sawant to Help Launch New National People’s Party Seattle Weekly

Democrats in Disarry

Elizabeth Warren Showed How Democrats Can End Their Civil War Washington Monthly. I don’t want to be cranky about this, but if Warren had supported Sanders, she’d have had her pick of posts in the administration.

Back to the progressive future: It’s not too late to overcome the mistakes of the Clinton era Salon (DK).

Wrong Way Tampa Bay Times

White supremacists are embracing genetic testing – but they aren’t always that keen on the results The New Statesman

Montana’s Native American Reservations Reportedly Served as a ‘Dumping Grounds’ for Predatory Catholic Priests Reader Supported News (AF).

Class Warfare

The Moral Voice of Corporate America NYT. Wowsers.

From oligarchs to Soviets—and back again Real World Economics Review (MT).

Evidence of a Toxic Environment for Women in Economics NYT

More Jobs Lost As The Government Decides To Have Military Uniforms Made By Convicts Business Insider

Quiet Epidemic of Suicide Claims France’s Farmers NYT

Richard Florida Is Sorry Jacobin. Well, he ought to be.

Technological Dynamism and the Fall in Labor’s Share NBER (MT).

From Pariahs to the Privileged: On Keri Leigh Merritt’s “Masterless Men” Los Angeles Review of Books

Underpass Studio Workspace Bless This Stuff (Re Silc). More attractive than a shipping container, I suppose.

Game of Thrones: Death is the Enemy – season seven, episode six recap: what’s Tyrion up to? Plus epic, epic battles Telegraph

The Books We Don’t Understand NYRB

Comedians Pay Tribute to Jerry Lewis: “The French Were Right About Him All Along” Slate

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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