Links 9/9/17

Gigantic feline with ridiculously long legs is the tallest pet cat in the world Telegraph (Furzy Mouse).

Warmer winters and humans killed off Europe’s brown bears, researchers find Deutsche Welle

Iconic Monarch Butterflies Could Soon Be Extinct in North America’s West Science Alert

Massive Sunspots and Solar Flares: The Sun Has Gone Wrong and Scientists Don’t Know Why Newsweek

Issuing new loans against unrealised capital gains has created an Australian ‘house of cards’

The virtual currency boom echoes dotcom fever Izabella Kaminska, FT

Equifax faces legal storm over its handling of data breach FT

Equifax Screwed Up Its Data Breach From Nearly Every Angle New York Magazine

Equifax Data Breach is a 10 out of 10 Scandal TRNN

Equifax finally responds to swirling concerns over consumers’ legal rights WaPo

Equifax Lobbied To Kill Rule Protecting Victims Of Data Breaches David Sirota, International Business Times

North Korea

Why Kim Jong-Un wouldn’t be irrational to use a nuclear bomb first WaPo. Hoo boy.

China ‘shoots down incoming missiles’ during exercise over waters close to North Korea South China Morning Post

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea The New Yorker. Long read.

Dangerous Times: North Korea, China and the Threat of Nuclear War and Accident Counterpunch

Seven Steps to a Saner U.S. Policy Towards North Korea The American Conservative

Maritime noose around North Korea tightens Splash 247

China’s Racist Propaganda Rises to Fever Pitch Digital Chosun (TF). TF: “No idea if this is typical of the way they talk about each other. Certainly on the same elevated plane as the ‘freedom fries’ hilarity of pre-Iraq invasion USA.”

Japan’s Abandoned Hotels Are Being Reclaimed by Nature Atlas Obscura


China invests $9.1 billion in Rosneft as Glencore, Qatar cut stakes Reuters

One country, two systems The Economist . Pinyin and Chinese characters.

At least 60 dead, over 200 injured after magnitude-8.1 earthquake rocks Mexico ABC

Hurricane Alley

Irma a Top-End Cat 4 Storm, Now Less than Two Days from Florida Weather Underground

Some Miami residents stay put and brace for Hurricane Irma — including many who lack the money to flee LA Times

In post-Harvey Houston, extent of water contamination largely unknown Texas Tribune

How Hurricane Harvey Will Ripple Through the U.S. Economy WSJ

Investors in catastrophe bonds flee Irma fury FT

Hurricane Irma And Thinking About Future Climate Change Ian Welsh (MR). Ian sounds a cheerful note!

Trump Transition

Trump signs $15 billion Harvey aid package after Republicans booed top White House officials WaPo

Many GOP lawmakers from storm states refuse to back aid package McClatchy

Deconstructing the DACA Debate RealClearPolitics

Senate Appropriators Reject Trump Administration’s ‘Apparent Doctrine of Retreat’ Roll Call

Ryan’s already-shaky status with GOP colleagues takes another hit McClatchy. As it should; eight years in opposition, and this so-called policy wonk didn’t have a health care bill he could pass.

New report: The corporate attack on the movement for trade justice Corporate Europe Observatory (MT).

Imperial Collapse Watch

The road to torture: How the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” became legal after 9/11 Salon

F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out ‘like iPhone updates’ The Register. What could go wrong?

Spain’s constitutional court suspends Catalan independence bid France24 but Catalonia mayors sign decree approving independence vote, defying Spanish government EuroNews

French neo-colonialists return to Greece under ‘ideal’ conditions unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens (Furzy Mouse).

Democrats in Disarray

The top 15 possible 2020 Democratic nominees, ranked WaPo. #15: Zuckeberg; #1: Sanders. #2: Biden.

Joe Biden’s daughter says ex-VP considering 2020 run CNN

Bernie backers’ attacks on Democrats infuriate the party Politico (MR). Hitting a donkey with a 2×4 probably infuriates it too, but it’s the only way to get the donkey’s attention.

In response to the Democratic Party establishment’s recent attempts to divide the party and grassroots. Medium (MR).

Danny Fetonte’s DSA Resignation Letter Medium. For more on Fetonte see NC here and here.

Health Care

Baucus backs single-payer health system (!) Bozeman Daily Chronicle (ChiGal). Eesh. How’s Baucus gonna pass the Establishment Democrat purity test if he goes and does a thing like that?

Poll: Most Americans want to replace Obamacare with single-payer — including many Republicans WaPo

The ACA is Failing Because It Didn’t Account For Hospital Monopolies in Rural Areas The Intercept. Reading the article, it’s hospital monopolies, period.

Single-payer isn’t the only progressive option on health care Vox. “Universal coverage” vs. “single payer.”

The Case For Confronting Long-Term Opioid Use As A Hospital-Acquired Condition Health Affairs

Powerful painkiller use ‘doubled in 15 years’ BBC

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Crypto- Keepers Yasha Levine, The Baffler

#97 What Kind of Idiot Gets Phished? Gimlet (DK).

DolphinAttack: Researchers warn of supersonic voice command hacking SkyNews

Our Famously Free Press

Trust me, I’m lying Eurozine (MT).

U.S. Public Universities Are Falling Behind Bloomberg

Class Warfare

How the aristocracy preserved their power Guardian. “According to a 2010 report for Country Life, a third of Britain’s land still belongs to the aristocracy.”

We Need to Fight for All Undocumented Migrants, Not Just Dreamers The Nation

A tech critic on the sham populism of Silicon Valley Vox

Where the Digital Divide Is the Worst Governing

Terminal Slate. “How the airport came to embody our national psychosis.”

The Narrative of Fear and Insecurity Golem XIX

Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading Wired

Scientists Hatch Bold Plan to Save Planet From Supervolcano NBC News

Antidote du jour (via):

An eagle in Acadia National Park.

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.