Links 10/31/17

The Massively Friendly World of Competitive Giant Pumpkin Growing Atlas Obscura (Carla)

Crushingly Sad Photos of One of America’s Oldest Pet Cemeteries Vice

Surprising monkey study finds bad times do not cause group members to change behavior PhysOrg

The Return Of Deepwater Oil OilPrice

A surge of sites and apps are exhausting your CPU to mine cryptocurrency ars technica

A big bitcoin investor thinks it might go to 0, but he’s riding the rally anyway Wolf Richter (David L)

Algorithm can identify suicidal people using brain scans The Verge. This study is complete crap. 17 subjects and 17 controls. Way way too few to conclude anything. Plus despite calling them “subjects” and “controls” it’s well known that study subjects tend to show results that please the researchers. The researchers must have somehow screened for people with suicidal ideation. Those people must have inferred they were hoped to produce some result when told depressing words. Think they might have been able to work themselves into some sort of upset state, particularly when the instructions were to concentrate for 30 minutes???? It really offends me when stuff like this gets picked up by the MSM as if the findings were reliable.

North Korea Prepares City Evacuations, Blackout Drills as US Threat Increases Defend Democracy

Beijing warns US against trying to contain China’s rise Financial Times

Canadian Donald Trump is Coming Benjamin Studebaker (UserFriendly)

BUSINESS AND CONSUMER SURVEY RESULTS European Commission. Sentiment indicators of all sort meeting or beating highest levels since 2001.

France says taxes on US tech would ‘restore balance’ Financial Times


Bank of England believes Brexit could cost 75,000 finance jobs BBC

This could shake things up:

UK to push for more flexibility in Brexit talks Politico. Reported in NC comments section already, IIRC, by Colonel Smithers, who said Barnier had offered the UK three additional meetings before the December session but the UK had not taken him up on it.

Reverse cuts or backing for universal credit may collapse, says thinktank Guardian (JTM)

France Is Running Out of Butter for Its Croissants Bloomberg. Resilc: “Vermont is on standby by for a possible invasion by France.”


Spanish prosecutor accuses sacked Catalan leader of rebellion Reuters (Oregoncharles)

Spain’s top lawyer files rebellion charges against Catalan leaders Politico

Puigdemont to speak in Brussels amid asylum speculation Financial Times

Climate change could force more than a billion people to flee their homes, says major health report Independent

Adrift in Algiers: African migrants marooned in a new transit bottleneck Guardian. Resilc: “People flows just getting started with climate change and endless wars.”

New Cold War

Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users — internal document says Washington Post. This is the same Facebook that greatly overstates its number of readers:

It is remarkable that advertisers and investors have not come down harder on Facebook for the grotesque overstatement of its audience. As the report shows, every way you cut the data, Facebook claims to have considerably more viewers in every age group than exists in the population. For instance, Facebook’s “potential reach” for the 18-34 year old cohort in the US is 97 million, versus an actual population of a mere 75.3 million. That means Facebook says it can get ads in front of 34.2% more people in that age group than actually exists. A

Imperial Collapse Watch

Chicken Littles Insist U.S. Military Is Too Old, Too Small American Conservative (resilc)

Tillerson, Mattis Say Terror Wars Don’t Need Congress’s Approval Bloomberg

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

BlackBerry CEO Promises To Try To Break Customers’ Encryption If The US Gov’t Asks Him To TechDirt

Calgary police cellphone surveillance device must remain top secret, judge rules CBC

Manafort Indictment

Mueller’s Trump Collusion Road Map Signaled in Guilty Plea Bloomberg

Today’s Not a Good Day to Be George Papadopoulos on Twitter Wired (resilc)

Mueller’s Moves Signal Broad Scope Wall Street Journal

Manafort, Gates Get House Arrest After Not Guilty Pleas Bloomberg

George Papadopoulos’s Plea Deal Is Very, Very Bad News for Attorney General Jeff Sessions Intercept

Mueller strikes with first charges The Hill. FWIW, I happened to be up when the story broke and I clicked first on the WSJ news alerts. Comments were coming in fast and furious (I’d never seen anything like this) and they were overwhelmingly contemptuous, of the “So what does this have to do with Russia?” variety. Note that I have not seen anywhere near this level of Trump support at the WSJ recently. A lot of comments are regularly contemptuous of his antics, his relationship with Congress, his policy waffles. But my take is that the Rs increasingly see Russia scaremongering as Democrat conspiracy theory.

Here’s why Ukraine paid Manafort insane amounts of money VICE (resilc)

Mueller blindsides Congress’ Russia investigators Politico

The sudden fall of Washington’s ultimate powerbroker Politico. Lead story at this hour.

Trump Transition

The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative American Conservative. Resilc: “We have a junta running the executive branch, John Birchers in control of the judicial and Crips and Bloods the legislative side. What could go wrong?”

Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Go Away. She Should Embrace Her Role as Trump’s Nemesis. New Republic. That didn’t work out so well for Captain Ahab.

Google’s Dominance in Washington Faces a Reckoning Wall Street Journal

The Vanishing Pavilions: The Gutting of the Government and the Loss of Oral Tradition Richard Bookstaber

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Explains the Tax System in Beer Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc).

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Openly Criticizes DNC For Casting Out Progressives Real News Network. This is getting some traction.

Jeff Flake Considers Independent Senate Run in Arizona US News (furzy)

Prisons are important pieces in Ohio gerrymandering: Out of Line: Impact 2017 and Beyond, (Carla R)

Does NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Deserve the Second Term He’s Getting? Vice

Socialism or Amazonism Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report (resilc)

Autonomous robots gain foothold as private security guards McClatchy

Source tells WSJ that the FBI is investigating Whitefish Energy and its $300M Puerto Rico contract Boing Boing

The Fed Chair Should Be a ‘Principled Populist’ Paul McCulley, New York Times

Class Warfare

AFL-CIO calls for a break with “lesser of two evils” politics People’s World (David D)

The FBI Is Once Again Profiling Black Activists Because of Their Beliefs and Their Race Alternet

Inside a Homeless Encampment on the Brink of Eviction Vice

For NYT, Making the Democrats Safe for the Oligarchy Is Literally Job One FAIR

The Left embraces racism. The result could be ugly. Fabius Maximus (furzy)

Antidote du jour. Further proving how Russians are ruining the body politic, Margarita sent us this subversive image from Sputnik:

And, horrors, a second!

But not to worry, Tracie H shows we can find perfectly fine Thanksgiving images from safe US sources: “Juvenile Jumping Spider with iridescent green chelicerae watching me water plants (and, inadvertently, weeds) in the front yard.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.


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    1. Annotherone

      I suspect they’ve been taking lessons at “Very British Problems” – one of the few reasons I visit Twitter –

      1. Brian

        They left out “quite” As in, “I quite like that” which if context means anything is; “I don’t like that at all”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        William Safire called it ‘parrhesia.’ It’s not a biological condition.

        The list, it seems to me, is not really British, unless we have been completely taken over by Anglophiles.

      2. ChrisPacific

        “With all due respect” = I am about to say something that I think will anger or offend you, and I am attempting to preemptively take the sting out of it so that you won’t punch me (even if I appear to deserve it).

  1. Wukchumni

    Inside a Homeless Encampment on the Brink of Eviction Vice

    A few years ago a homeless encampment sprung up in Visalia on the very edge of suburbia, not more than a few hundred yards from homes…

    This was the same fertile ground that Dorothea Lange plumbed for photos of the homeless in the Great Depression~

    …back in the 30’s the train was the ‘jungle’s’ wheels, and now the shopping cart is their transport, not for them though-it’s for their stuff

    When I visited, there were about a dozen purloined carts scattered here and there-mostly full of nothing really, as one thing I seldom see in photos of homeless communities in the media is the utter squalor they live in, and this community of perhaps 50 people had the usual collection of tents, but with so much junk scattered everywhere, like imagine taking all your clothes and throwing them on the dirt in a pell mell fashion, or piles of junk of theirs often interspersed with trash, in a who can tell the difference kind of gig?

    The one bright shining light was a ‘compound’ that had 3 tents with one of them being where they slept, and the other 2 for their stuff, with a couple of mountain bikes parked near the tents, and it was remarkably orderly, but what really set it off, was the flagpole holding old glory aloft with a round metal stand at the bottom, in front of ‘their’ place.

    I figured they must’ve been foreclosed on recently, and still had decent quantities of pride left.

    Within a fortnight of visiting, the homeless camp was roused by the coppers in a get your stuff and get out of here fashion, and by the next day it was a ghost town, or as some might describe by the looks of it, an empty field.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      This scene is a commonplace in San Francisco, Oakland and every other community in the Bay Area. It’s disgraceful. And yes the squalor is appalling – a perfect, wretched metaphor for the decay of our society, our institutions, and our politicians.

      The one difference is the camps in my area don’t go away. They become more numerous and grow larger.

      1. Wukchumni

        The other 1%’ers…

        We’re reaching a breaking point in terms of these er ‘time-shares’, and so many are falling through the cracks of capitalism.

        The ‘good’ spots were taken long ago in FILO fashion, and now new poorineers are going after sloppy seventeenths. I hear how it is in the Bay Area and it must be so odd in a chiaroscuro financial fashion to see the have a lots living cheek by jowl to the have nots.

        How does that play out with homeowners, and it sounds like you’re defenseless to stop the incursion, no?

        The lucky ones not living rough are ensconced on family or friends driveways in a 5th wheel, trailer or RV, that’s not going on a road trip anytime soon.

      2. Ned

        Native San Franciscan here.
        I always ask “Where you from?” After twenty plus years of asking this question of people encountered living on the street and listening to their stories, never once have I found a homeless person who grew up in San Francisco. Maybe the distant suburbs, but not the actual city and county.

        They are, per my experience, voluntary travelers, migrants, legal and otherwise, people “reinventing themself”, “starting over”, looking for work who failed to make it and who stayed, who came checking out the Haight, or the Castro and its social hallucinations, or fled horrible weather as previously homeless people. The weather is better in L.A. and San Diego, but the tolerance is lower, so they come north to San Francisco.

        The billions spent on homeless services and the more tolerant atmosphere is an inducement to come and to stay. You can’t blame them for taking advantage of that.

        1. makedoanmend

          “… never once have I found a homeless person who grew up in San Francisco.”

          Makes one wonder where the native born San Francisco homeless go.

          1. Wukchumni

            One thing about the apartmentless* in California, is they all have bitchin’ tans on account of being outside a lot, hues that would make George Hamilton envious.

            * Let’s lower the bar on domicile potential

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Some people don’t like to be exposed to the sun.

              They use a parasol when outside, for whiter skin is deemed, to the ladies (or the oppressive men who exploit and brainwash them), attractive .

        2. Tim

          It’s the same reason there are so many homeless in Victoria and Vancouver BC. It’s the only place in Canada you won’t don’t die homeless in the winter.

          These mild weather locals are therefore correlated by being desirable to the entire spectrum of economic classes, but the most gaudy for simple reason that you either see the richest of the rich who can actually afford to live there along side those that can’t afford to live anywhere and therefore choose to stay in the best environment they can find.

          These are still very sweeping generalities. We still have far too many mentally ill folks on the streets and in jails, and the way the social contract has been broken with the millenials is cruelest to those with nobody around to fall back on.

          The only reason I carry cash anymore is to give it away to those in need.

        3. Laughingsong

          Um, don’t know your sample size, or perhaps it’s changed since I left, but at least in the 70s and 80s (think Reagon-Volcker Recession), plenty of homeless folks were native. I know, I was one of them. Some were definitely INvoluntary travelers having recently been f**ked out of the mental hospitals. As for staying: it’s seriously difficult to travel with no money. And as for the Castro or the Haight, they haven’t been magnets or the stuff of myth for literally decades.

          So I’m not certain I buy this. There of course has always been influx to CA because of weather and jobs- to those from outside the advertised salaries look great, until they see the cost of living.

          I was just there, for my 40th high school reunion. It’s quite a beautiful hellhole. Crowds on the streets, tailbacks on the roads, so different I couldn’t recognize much. Sad.

          1. kareninca

            All of the homeless people I know in Silicon Valley grew up here and don’t want to leave since it is home. Admittedly a small sample.

    2. Sutter Cane

      I just watched a restored version of John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE which I hadn’t seen for years, and had remembered as merely a fun and goofy action movie but not one of the director’s best.

      Contrary to my recollection, the opening 45 minutes are pretty downbeat and intense. I had totally forgotten about the destruction of the homeless camp at the beginning of the film. Torn from today’s headlines.

      Time has been kind to it, and it seems more relevant today than it did when released.

        1. paul

          Saw it when it came out and I never forgot it.
          Up there with robocop and starship troopers.
          Did everything the matrix did without the gloopy masonic/gnostic/riverdance overlay.

    3. RUKidding

      There’s loads of these homeless encampments around Sacramento, some notably along the American River, where Oprah sent Lisa Ling to film them in 2009. In 2017 – 8 years later – the encampments have only gotten larger and more prevalent. We’ve had well over a decade of “talking” and “hand wringing” and expensive trips to other cities to see what they’re doing to handle their homeless, and so far we’ve come up with a big fat old BUPKISS.

      Oh, except we citizens now get to pay for some billionaires newish Golden One basketball center. Too bad the homeless can’t sleep in there especially as – because of the newish Golden One center, a lot of downtown Sacramento skid row hotels are being gentrified and remodeled to house the wealthy when they come to Sacramento to… ??? see the Kings play basketball??

      The skid row hotels provided inadequate housing for some of the poor, but now even that’s gone.

      So the desparate pitch their tents wherever they can, which causes pollution problems. And now CA has a Hepatitis A epidemic because the homeless – ever growing in numbers (some posit that there are about 130,000 homeless in Sacramento alone) – have precious few places to go to the bathroom.

      And so the solution? Why more hand wringing and investigations and reports and NIMBYism. And so on it goes endlessly…. while the homeless sleep on the streets and in the public libraries and defecate wherever they can… and there’s a mini tent city in a teeny tiny wooded lot next to my city parking lot.

      When will solutions arrive? Trust me: I’m not holding my breath.

      But hey: all those newly inflicted high cost parking meters that blight my life will ensure that some billionaire gets his cut first. Awww, and then: let’s not forget that that poor poor billionaire needs him some tax cut. So I’d better be prepared to see my taxes increase. It’s only fair….

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve already seen my first homeless camp in the wilderness @ Deep Creek hot springs, which was kind of shocking-but truth be said, probably much safer than being in a city situation.

        It takes a more ambitious person to even consider it, but one could easily find a secluded area to camp near water where nobody would know you’re there, here.

        1. RUKidding

          Unfortunately the large amount of homeless citizens in the Sacramento area means that most of them are no longer invisible, much as most of the housed citizens would prefer them to be (invisible). The tent encampments just get larger, and there’s more of them in different places.

          The ONLY “solution” so far is to have the Police go in and tear them down, take away their stuff and tell them to “move along” or arrest them. That’s it. The end of the story. Sucks to be you, homeless. Good luck with that.

          Last year, the homeless staged a sort of camp in at City Hall for almost 2 months (I think, if memory serves) to call attention to their plight. Of course, nothing came of it. Many of them just got arrested, and no solutions were offered except to just STFU.

          There are few drinking fountains and even fewer public bathrooms in this city.

          It’s a travesty. And yes, because of the numbers, they’re now camping closer to some of the more upscale living areas. Those wealthier citizens just call the police and expect the homeless to be kicked out of their posh neighborhoods.

          But where should they go?

          I think a lot of people wish they would just up and die. Seriously. Well over a decade and absolutely NOTHING done. For shame.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Set up a school of hard knocks.

            Automatic admission of those in need or who seek (further) education in life.

            Then, the state is required to spend money (on a per student basis) on them.

            The problem is getting accreditation (“You are not teaching anything useful in life.”) from the Education Industrial Complex.

          2. JBird

            This native born San Franciscan has seen the homeless problem steadily increase since the 1980s only now it has gotten so horrific it can’t really be ignored. Kinda like cancer can be.

            I don’t remember, and from some conversations with others, don’t think this was a real problem until the early 1980s, maybe the very late 70s, so that’s around forty years. There have been plenty of screaming, protesting, and yes denying the seriousness of it all, but nothing seems to change. There is actually a fairly good labor market for job seekers, but even with pay starting at around $13, the pay just wont cover a room never mind an apartment.

            I am always amazed, I mean really amazed at the victim blaming by many. One could rent a whole house in the 60’s, maybe the early 70s on one or two people working minimum wage jobs. Granted, it might have been in some sketchy area, but in a hellhole. So it has gone from minimum wage, rent a house, certainly an apartment to having a full-time salaried job, and live in the streets, or have a sketchy apartment or couch.

            This is what makes me despair as this housing mess has been decades in growing, is easy to see, it’s not hidden really, and hasn’t been for years, but our beloved “liberal” and hell, back in the day conservative elites would have been seriously worried, and many would have been trying to solve rather than hide from it. Maybe the solutions would be wrong, but the effort would have been made.

            Well, sic transit gloria mundi.

      2. polecat

        Just wait till $@cto $occer rears it’s tax-payer ugly head !

        All to give the rich richies their due, at the expense of the none-participating plebs .. just like that monstrosity of a KING$dom hall .

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe Kings players can kneel to protest their Golden One architecture wonder???

        “Why can’t we let the homeless share our showers in this new center? Our billionaire owner has no soul.”

      4. Lord Koos

        Many homeless in Seattle are camping on the concrete under bridges in various spots. At one point there was a small tent city near one of the main exits into central Seattle, but that has been removed now. It was embarrassing to have it be one of the first things people would see after exiting interstate 90. I have no idea where the people went, but Seattle has a bad case of NIMBY when it comes to homeless encampments.

    1. ambrit

      Gotta see what the ‘game plan’ is. This might lend ‘academic and scientific’ support to some previously advanced ‘crowd control’ machine, or, horrors, a ‘Minority Report’ style “Precrime” system.
      As in Wonderland: “Sentence first- verdict afterwards.”
      My theory is that the flashing lights at Las Vegas casinos are programmed to drive the ‘gamblers’ un-sane. /s/

    2. Croatoan

      Actually, I see a lot of value in looking at the shooters brain. Postmortem brain studies are the only really way to get a better understanding of the brain. Data that show no results is just as valuable of data that does. And as they said in the article:

      “Are we ever going to know for certain what caused his brain to do that?” Appelbaum asked. “Probably not from a neuropathological examination, but it’s not unreasonable to ask and see whether it might contribute to our understanding of what occurred.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How about doing that with Greed research?

        “What was it in his brain that he wanted to be a billionaire?”

      2. paul

        Its not unreasonable to ask what they expect to find, regarding what occured, in a lump of well mapped cholesterol.

        Unless they can identify a particular, undiscovered structure or injury,and can connect that with other mass shooters brens, they are just bullshitting.
        Does anyone remember the great genome project?
        They never did find the ‘gay gene’.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          This has been done before so it isn’t an unreasonable request. The mass shooter who killed a bunch of people in Austin back in the 60s knew something was wrong and knowing he would likely be dead soon, requested an autopsy in one of the notes he left. The doctors did find something – turns out he had a brain tumor:

          1. paul

            And it what way was the tumor involved?
            Was it found to controlling his thoughts?
            Was it similar to other tumors found in killers?

            Why can’t we find a way to put these tumors in jail (while still respecting their hosts)?

    3. JTMcPhee

      Seemed to me that Paddock might have been in the grip of the complex-compound mental state called “amok” or “beramok” in the DSM:

      Running amok, sometimes referred to as simply amok or gone amok,[1] also spelled amuk, from the Malay language,[2] is “an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malay culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior”.[3] The syndrome of “Amok” is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR).[4] …

      In 1849 [sic], amok was officially classified as a psychiatric condition based on numerous reports and case studies that showed the majority of individuals who committed amok were, in some sense, mentally ill.[8] However, DSM-IV does now break amok down into two official categories; beramok and amok. Beramok is considered to be the more common of the two and is associated with the depression and sadness resulting from a loss and the subsequent brooding process. Loss includes, but is not limited to, the death of a spouse or loved one, divorce, loss of a job, money, power, etc. Beramok is associated with mental issues of severe depression or other mood disorders. Amok, the rarer form, is believed to stem from rage, insult, or a vendetta against a person, society, or object for a wide variety of reasons. Amok has been more closely associated with psychosis, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and delusions.[8]

      Given the many and seemingly increasing number of instances of individuals “lashing out” in deadly fashion, in so many different cultures and places, killing lots of their fellow humans before killing themselves or being ‘taken down” by police or “bystanders,” maybe the phenom warrants more study — though the phenom is hardly as useful to the Rulers’ narrative as ‘terrorism’ and so likely to remain a shadow notion.

      One wonders if the pokers and prodders who will be examining Paddock’s brain will find an “amok switch” or coding somewhere in the wiring… Given the relationship to the “berserker” phenomenon, where warriors work themselves into a killing frenzy and seemingly develop superhuman strength and the ability to keep fighting despite grievous and even mortal wounds, one would think that “our” Rulers and their “forces” would be all over this:

      Jonathan Shay makes an explicit connection between the berserker rage of soldiers and the hyperarousal of post-traumatic stress disorder.[32] In Achilles in Vietnam, he writes:

      If a soldier survives the berserk state, it imparts emotional deadness and vulnerability to explosive rage to his psychology and permanent hyperarousal to his physiology — hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. My clinical experience with Vietnam combat veterans prompts me to place the berserk state at the heart of their most severe psychological and psychophysiological injuries.[33]

      Of course, setting up on the 32nd floor and shooting down on a packed crowd ain’t exactly the same as Norse “bear shifters” hyped into a killing rage and wading into close combat with sword and axe… but then, we just loves our own American Heroes, the “shooters” who can kill a Wog from a mile away, with a .308 or .50-cal sniper bullet…

  2. dearieme

    Fab Max: “the Left’s abandonment of the principles that have guided America for centuries”

    Or since some time in the 1950s or 60s, perhaps.

      1. TheBeeman

        How is this teachers approach not racist and sexist?
        How is racism and sexism not “there” especially in institutions of higher learning?

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I really don’t understand the supposed liberals who latch on to identity politics like this professor. I’m guessing that to a person they would praise MLK until the cows came home but they seem to have forgotten his hope for a day when people would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

  3. Epynonymous

    110,000 without power north of Boston after windstorms.

    I’m effected. It’s probably better to have it happen before winter, but three days seems like a long time.

    Not earth shattering but it’s lame to have the day off and no regular internet. I didn’t notice but I hear the cell phone towers are chugging with everyone trying to use them at once.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Re Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Go Away. She Should Embrace Her Role as Trump’s Nemesis.
    In reading this, I was wondering why the push to line up all the opposition to Trump and to get them to get behind Hillary Clinton. If she was not thinking of running again in 2020, that would only serve to take all the oxygen out of the air for a serious contender against Trump in the campaigns for that year.
    The media would once again fall all over themselves to hear the words from Hillary at the cost of anyone campaigning against Trump. We saw effect this last year when TV networks refused to show Sanders but would show an empty podium where Trump was due to speak. I cannot be sure where this is all going but I suspect it to be a place in some rural swampy backwater where the locals have bad teeth and play banjos.

    1. johnnygl

      I struggle to imagine that she could build a party consensus like she did in 2016. There are too many others itching to take on trump. She had her shot and failed spectacularly.

      However, if it were another 1 vs. 1 of Clinton vs. Sanders again. I really like bernie’s odds.

      More likely we get 5-10 candidates and it looks like the 2016 repub primary with no one able to get more than a sizable plurality. Sanders can still win a contest like that.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Do you honestly believe that Bernie will ever again be allowed on a democrat presidential primary ballot?

        We need to “remember” what most never really knew–both political parties are “private” and each makes its own rules about available “choices.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The problem for the Dems I think is that if they overtly kept him away from the primaries, he would then be free to go for a third party run, and they would dread that more than anything. They can’t accuse him of being a spoiler if they don’t let him run in the primary.

          So I think Sanders has so far played his hand very carefully. Although I do suspect that the purging of Progressives is an attempt to force Sanders into doing or saying something that can be declared as ‘disloyal’.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sometimes, the mere threat of a third party will do the job. But one doesn’t have to rely solely on luck.

            And it can be useful in between elections.

          2. JohnnyGL

            Yes, Sanders indy run for prez is the nuclear option. He’d rather not have to use that.

            Dems wouldn’t opt for blocking him out of the party, as they need his voters. They’d be more likely to let him win nomination and either undermine him in the general election or fight him in congress after he won while still using him for fundraising.

            Dems have plenty of fall back options to make life difficult for sanders, blocking a presidential run isn’t needed.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The Art of Deal-making: bluff, if necessary, let the other guy(s) think you are putting everything on the table.

            2. Sutter Cane

              Dems wouldn’t opt for blocking him out of the party, as they need his voters. They’d be more likely to let him win nomination and either undermine him in the general election or fight him in congress after he won while still using him for fundraising.

              Dems have plenty of fall back options to make life difficult for sanders, blocking a presidential run isn’t needed.

              Not needed, and that would be the smart option, but I think you underestimate how hated Bernie’s ideas are by the party establishment. I think they would fight him with everything they’ve got.

        2. Bill

          Markos is still in there spreading moo doo…lol. Obviously not thinking the recent progressive purge in the DNC is a big deal where ‘unity’ is concerned.

          “The fact that Tom Perez has given Sanders a platform without Sanders genuinely agreeing to work toward ‘unity’ has made a mockery of the whole process and literally divided the party more than it was before the tour began. It has been a disaster,” said Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the influential liberal Daily Kos site. “Yes, Perez and company are clearly afraid of Sanders and his followers, but letting Sanders make a mockery of the party doesn’t exactly help it build in the long haul.”

          “He’s a constant reminder. He allows the healing that needs to take place to not take place,” said one longtime senior party official, who like others, remains too worried about appearing to oppose Sanders to speak on the record.

      2. Arizona Slim

        If Bernie Sanders chooses an, ahem, attractive VP like Tulsi Gabbard, he will do quite well among a part of the electorate that he needs to win.

          1. TK421

            I’ve heard of purity tests before, but this is ridiculous. You want to disqualify someone from being America’s VP because of their view on India’s prime minister?

            1. Grebo

              It’s more than that. She apparently is a supporter of Hindu nationalism, which is not as cuddly as it sounds and has attracted some dubious fellow-travellers in the past: Savitri Devi

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Russian interference conclusion-jumpers are setting themselves back by being too jumpy.

            And please, no one connected to the dossier. That one is looking more and more deserving of its own special prosecutor.

            1. Wukchumni

              “When playing Russian roulette the fact that the first shot got off safely is little comfort for the next.”~ Feynman

                1. Wukchumni

                  “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”~ Feynman

          3. HotFlash

            Yeah, the Modi thing bothers me. I would like to know more about that. Anybody knopw anything more about that? My DuckDuckGoing hasn’t turned up anything — maybe I’m doing it wrong.

    2. Vatch

      2018 precedes 2020. Let’s support good candidates for office in the primaries in 2018. Remember, the winners in 2018 will be superdelegates in 2020.

  5. el_tel

    re: encryption breaking

    I have got onto the agenda of an international health conference I am co-running at the weekend the issue of whether attendees are bothered that the US and UK can force them to reveal passwords on their electronic devices. (IIRC from NC, a US citizen when entering the US does not have to reveal anything about cloud storage but that is a pretty small “get out” all things considered and how data and the amount often required “immediately and not after some long download” by people like us require at international conferences).

    1. Charger01

      This will finally sink RIM (blackberry), as most blackberries are sold to gov’t agencies. If they’re openly claiming to be able to break their own encryption, then they’ve likely built in a backdoor….meaning their phones aren’t secure at all.

      1. el_tel

        I don’t disagree. But it’s interesting how many health researchers I see at conferences are already using iphones or Android. I suspect IT depts simply haven’t had the resources/”weight” to insist to senior administrators that people shouldn’t be using devices known already to be vulnerable. So this will simply be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

        Plus presentations etc can uploaded using dropbox for this conference. My thought was “hmmmm, those 2(?) security breaches”?! I quit dropbox a while ago.

        1. paul

          Why on earth health professionals should have anything to hide baffles me.
          If you are talking about personal privacy, that’s OK

          The work, as it always backstopped by government or private interests, should be open to all.

          Those conference centres don’t pay for themselves, the price is aggregated into the private and public health arrangements that people agree to.

  6. Pat

    Caught part of NY1’s Inside City Hall show and its roundtable on DeBlasio. For those outside NYC, NY1 is the Spectrum cable company all local television news station. The interesting part of this discussion was that One portion of the Panel wanted this to be about the corruption trial and the fall out. The other was busy pointing out that the people of NYC were more interested in pre K, street lights, stalled recovery of areas but hard by Sandy, etc. (High rents were not mentioned.) They even pointed out that journalists were being shouted out telling them to drop the corruption questions and ask about their issues.

    So of course the only article I see addressing his reelection on those terms is the Vice article linked.

    Corruption is a real problem in NY, but unfortunately our press is more about sensation and less about cause and system failure and the limited definition applied to it. And their owners benefit from the corruption leaving little will to do tell the deeper story.

    1. allan

      Besides the electricity, water is still a major problem.
      The official stats at say that it’s been restored to 81% of customers,
      but it depends on what your definition of “water” is.
      From a report about a Western NY woman who is down in PR trying to help her family:

      … Rosario Escher says clean, fresh water, is not easy to come by.

      “They get water, but I tell you, the water that comes, it’s like brown, so it’s not a water that you can drink.”…

      1. Wukchumni

        Dear Sir or Madam,

        No doubt you’ve heard of the catastrophe in Puerto Rico?

        In view of this development, I am trapped with large quantity of money-some $300 million of United States dollars that is in cash with my Wife who does not have the know-how to launder this money without any trace to our name and how to get the electricity running again. My situation is very desperate, as I cannot desert my profession at this point in my life with all that I have acquired.

        If you can assist me to legitimize these funds by paying into your designated account, I am ready to concede some percentage for your logistic and material involvement. Contact me for more details.

        Yours faithfully.

        Niger Ian

      2. cocomaan

        If you haven’t already, everyone who is at all worried about water security should buy themselves a life straw and put it someplace you’ll remember it. Easy to operate, easy to clean, extremely light, does the job really well. Steri-pens are also pretty good, but require batteries. In my daily backpack, I carry a life straw that I never intend to use, but have used on occasion.

        1. Wukchumni

          If you’re really serious, get a Katadyn Ceradyn drip filter for the house. It sits on the counter and can process 40,000 gallons of water over the lifetime of the filter. It can process 2 1/2 gallons in an hour, and has a 10 liter capacity. It’s been the filtering workhouse around the world in a Toyota Tacoma fashion-durable & reliable forever. About $300

          On the less serious side, Katadyn BeFree water filter is compact and you filter 6/10’s of a liter of water out of a compact bottle. About $40

          1. cocomaan

            Get sick and die, probably. You’ll likely need a really robust filter to get that stuff out, something like this that costs more than $20 and doesn’t fit in a purse. And even then, I wouldn’t be confident in it – those metals bind to the water, IIRC.

            That said, heavy metal contamination is probably less common in these situations than simply bacteria-ridden gross water.

  7. rjs

    i’ve been getting a little bent out of shape by the amount of oil & oil products we’ve been exporting…

    "the point that i want to make with these graphs is very simple; the entire increase in oil output that has resulted since the advent of widespread fracking has gone overseas, whether directly or as a downstream product; all the gains, if there are any, have accrued to the exploitation companies, the refiners, and the shippers; not one drop of oil has been added to the supply of US consumers..."

    US oil & oil products exports at a record high, wiping out a decade of US oil production gains (and then some)

    concluding with:

    oil production from US wells during the week ending October 20th was at 9,507,000 barrels per day, or about 4.1 million barrels per day more than our January 2010 baseline…our record gross exports of 7,663,000 barrels per day, on the other hand, were about 5.7 million barrels per day higher than January 2010 gross exports….so although this is only one week’s data, and likely an outlier, our gross exports of oil and products over time are now rising much faster than our field production of oil, the so-called fracking boom notwithstanding…that’s a pace which is clearly unsustainable, but seems destined to continue until such time as US prices rise to those of the rest of the world, which may take a severe domestic shortage to achieve…”

    1. rjs

      then yesterday, responding to a reuters article bemoaning the logistics problems our exporters were running into, i wrote:

      with total US crude production currently at 9.5 million barrels a day, if we export 3.5 million barrels a day, that leaves 6 million barrels a day for our own use….now, US refineries are typically using 16 to 17 million barrels per day of crude, so with those 3.5 million barrels of exports, we’ll have to import north of 10 million barrels per day to meet our needs…

      now, here’s the kicker…exports from the US are being sold benchmarked to the price of WTI, right now around $54 a barrel…but what we import is benchmarked to Brent at $60.50, or to the OPEC basket price, which closed last week at $57.54…so every barrel crude that we export ends up being replaced by more expensive foreign oil…where is the wisdom in that?

      1. JohnnyGL

        Thanks for the rather telling fact set. Seems like a good opportunity to bring out Lambert’s rulebook of neoliberalism to answer that last question.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      Quelle surprise. Obama’s excuse that the fossil fuels must be extracted to ensure US energy independence was hogwash. I saw that years ago the minute I started reading about all the pipelines to the coasts and the extraction facilities planned.

  8. Wukchumni

    “He also has long played the role of an eccentric K Street lobbyist with a penchant for daring ensembles and loafers to match. “He’s one of those guys who’d show up at an event and out of the corner of your eye — here comes Tony,” said veteran Democratic communicator Jim Manley.”

    So, I only first heard of Tony Podesta yesterday, thus I know nothing about him, but pray tell, what is a ‘daring ensemble’ for a man?

  9. diptherio

    Send that “Socialism or Amazonism” article to all the lefty podcasters and non-profits that have decided to shill for Amazon in the hopes of getting a few extra bucks. None of these people or organizations would even consider having WalMart as a sponsor, but hot-dam if they don’t jump at the opportunity to encourage all their listeners/supporters to shop at Amazon to support their good cause. “Make a purchase from Big Brother, Inc. and help ___name of lefty pundit/non-profit___ keep speaking truth to power! Make sure to really splurge!”

    America, land of endless hypocrisy.

      1. Ned

        Death by a thousand cuts.
        Split your Prime orders up so that many small items are shipped instead of one big order.
        They lose money on each package. And, not sure of exact numbers, Postal Service often makes money on those packages when they do the last mile to your mailbox.

        1. cnchal

          They lose money on each package.

          That’s what USPS is for. They lose a little with each delivery for Amazon, made up with by charging everyone else moar.

          Amazon wants to sell everything to everyone. At some point it all get’s spread too thin, and you end up with a no jam sandwich.

        2. xMidway

          Going out of your way to pump more CO2 into the atmosphere seems a high price for everyone to pay for the little bit of physiological satisfaction it might bring.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Society is always a couple of years behind the curve in figuring out who our most dangerous oligarchs are. By the time we’ve settled on a new villain, another is already on the march to replace them as top dog.

      Oligarchs are very good at keeping us guessing.

      Also, don’t lose sight of the class aspect….walmart is for poor people who need to wait in long lines at understaffed, messy stores…amazon is for time-constrained knowledge workers who think they’re bargain hunting.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What exasperates here, is that they are not just not perceived as an up-and-coming, or presently, dangerous oligarch, but as a good guy, with the good-cause propaganda.

        The rich want money.

        They want power.

        And then, they want you to worship them.

        They want youth-retaining blood transfusion.

        (That explains, for some people, why God created us…to worship Him).

        Thus, the whole divinity loop is complete.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Bitcoin hits the big league:

    CHICAGO, Oct. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it intends to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017, pending all relevant regulatory review periods.

    The new contract will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. Bitcoin futures will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

    Since November 2016, CME Group and Crypto Facilities Ltd. have calculated and published the BRR, which aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a calculation window into the U.S. Dollar price of one bitcoin as of 4:00 p.m. London time. The BRR is designed around the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken are the constituent exchanges that currently contribute the pricing data for calculating the BRR.

    All well ‘n good. But the introduction of new trading vehicles carries contrarian implications. Consider this blast from the past on June 21, 1999, with but nine months left (as we know now) in the Internet Bubble:

    Kevin N. Kalkhoven, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Uniphase Corporation, today rang the ceremonial bell to open trading in E-mini Nasdaq 100 Index futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

    “Uniphase is pleased to follow its inclusion last month in the Nasdaq 100 with the launch of the Merc’s important new vehicle for trading the index,” Kalkhoven said.

    “The nearly insatiable demand for bandwidth caused by the growth of the Internet has driven the rise of many companies, like Uniphase, on the Nasdaq 100. We are pleased that this new futures contract will allow even more investors to participate in this growth.”

    BTC OMG !!!

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Just to repeat, bitcoin is not quantum safe. Here’s a relevant article (from May 2017):

      Summary: 7×7 qubit array on a chip in 2017.

      In a recent commentary in Nature, Martinis and colleagues estimated that a 100-million-qubit system would be needed to factor a 2,000-bit number—a not-uncommon public key length—in one day.

      So, yes, we’re quite a bit away from breaking bitcoin, but we know the way. Consider how far we have come since the Selectron tube.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Let’s hope we break it before too many people go broke upon its being broken.

        It’s a forward looking case of ‘the sooner the end comes, the better.’

      2. Brian

        Oh Crypto where art thou; I have a theory and it is mine (liberally stolen from Monty Python)
        Now many financialists and banks are embracing the crypto currency wave after the government says no no no so loud as to wonder when the SEC steps in. Japan says yes yes, and I can only guess that the chain has been broken.
        Why would a government allow it if they can’t tax it and follow every transaction to be certain to get their cut?
        They wouldn’t now would they? The people that run the big machines have broken it and those people that work for Uncle Draghi and Sam have it sussed. Billions gone folks, or am I chasing a goose?

    2. a different chris

      >The new contract will be cash-settled

      Let us just marvel at the particular aspect of Bitcoin trading…

  11. FriarTuck

    Autonomous robots gain foothold as private security guards McClatchy

    Lambert’s crack yesterday about Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong looks more likely every day. How much longer until we have dog-things?

  12. Jim Haygood

    Con-con blows out back to its post-Internet Bubble level:

    The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 125.9 in October from an upwardly revised 120.6 in September. That’s the best reading since Dec. 2000.

    Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a reading of 121.3.

    Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Ed Yardeni’s monthly fundamental indicator, which uses con-con as one of its three components. The other two are industrial materials prices and the 4-week average of initial unemployment claims, inverted.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tillerson, Mattis Say Terror Wars Don’t Need Congress’s Approval Bloomberg

    The War On Nature is without a declaration or an approval from Congress.

    And each year, more new babies (honey, we need more disposable diapers) are created to further escalate the war.

    “We don’t have to tell the bees. They know we’re coming to get them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    1. Wukchumni

      We must trust the judgement of the Junta del Este, after all they have a lot of experience starting wars they can’t finish.

  14. JohnnyGL

    Re: Yves anecdote on WSJ comments section on Mueller indictments.

    The office Trumpers (I regularly chat with 4-5 of them) have been getting increasingly cynical for months about the Trump-Russia story. The skepticism really stepped up into open disdain with the story about the DNC-clinton camp funding the Steele dossier, recycling the UraniumOne story, and Manafort’s charges being completely unrelated to the election. These are suburban white-collar educated conservatives that dem consultants have wet dreams about. I’m in the northeast, but I doubt it varies much by region.

    These people hate the democrats and love the exposure of how out of touch and corrupt the Clintonites are. They are very much enjoying the splits on the dem side and the incompetence of the dem leadership and see them as more significant than any pro-trump/never-trump split (a split that I’m convinced only exists in DC).

    Here’s the kicker, one of these guys claimed he voted for Bernie in the primary just because he hates the clintons THAT much. This same guy thinks the wall is a joke and professes his love for Mitt Romney and Reagan with little prompting.

    The dem consultant class will NEVER get these voters. It’s not even close. Bernie’s actually got a small shot with them because he’s seen as being fairly clean on the corruption front and sincere in his views. Of course, these guys (and yes, they’re all guys) really think Bernie and his followers want to raise their taxes into the stratosphere.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Raise their taxes to the stratosphere…

      1. Tax wealth, not income (or not just income).
      2. Tax corporate wealth (that’s is, tax their valuations)
      3. That should lead to voluntary trust busting.

    2. Pat

      The FAIR article about the NY Times protecting the Dems in service to the oligarchy uses their graph of the 2016 election that shows where the voters were on the grid. They point out that the bottom left grid (socially liberal/economically conservative aka libertarian) is the quadrant with the least voter turn out and the one that the Democratic leadership seems to be aiming their message towards. Meanwhile the quadrant with the most variety of voters is the socially conservative/economically liberal quadrant. While I would put Sanders in the liberal/liberal quadrant the truth is that the voters who are most in play are those who see that the economic system is currently stacked against the majority of the country regardless of their societal ideals. While I don’t think it at all likely that your office Trumpers would have voted for Sanders in the general there was enough overlap in much of the economic content from Trump and Sanders I do believe that many of those voters would have been in play for Sanders and will be in play for any not clearly corrupt Democrat willing to buck the system and address its current faults.

      1. Mark P.

        I do believe that many of those voters would have been in play for Sanders and will be in play for any not clearly corrupt Democrat willing to buck the system and address its current faults.

        2020 is going to be a s**t storm. The majority of Americans who voted for Trump did it because he wasn’t Clinton, and they saw him as simply a big two-by-four they could pick up and swing against the heads of the US establishment.

        In 2020, whoever looks most likeliest to fulfill that same role — of being a metaphorical two-by-four — will go a long way. Much further than the establishment now wants to think, certainly.

        We’ve entered the phase of classic intra-elite competition that Peter Turchin points to as being characteristic, alongside elite overproduction and elite immiseration of the less well-off, of a falling empire.

        Seen in that light, elite efforts like the Mueller probe that are aimed at eliminating Trump may or may not come to full fruition. But the last president who got in a pissing match with the FBI was Richard Nixon, an infinitely smarter man than Trump, and Nixon lost. So I suspect that over time the establishment may succeed in deposing Trump. It’ll prove a totally Pyrrhic victory, because in doing so they’ll have exposed far more of the corruption they all engage in– see forex the hit to Tony Podesta reported today — and stirred up far more fury in the electorate than if they’d simply left Trump in place.

    3. TK421

      these guys really think Bernie and his followers want to raise their taxes into the stratosphere

      We do, hehe.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Actually, that kind of depends on who his co-workers are. I’m not all that gung-ho to tax “$400,000 a year working stiffs”. The real wealth extraction is occurring above their pay grade; they feel powerful if they get to just ‘manage’ part of the process, and they kid themselves mightily about how much they are winning in this game.

        Where his colleagues really fall on the scale, I don’t know. Possibly right where the Republican 115th Congress is going to hit hardest in the new tax bill, with the reductions in tax-free 401(k) contributions and state income tax deductions. Of course, even if his colleagues get totally reamed they won’t admit to having been screwed by their own side.

    4. Bill

      I read somewhere recently that the descendants of the mob went into the financial sector (hedge funds, P.E., Vulture Capital, currency manipulation) and it seems to me that Trump’s got that mob mentality–his solution is to get rid of any “problem” or “annoyance” that might crop up by getting rid of it. I recall he mentioned he could stand on 5th avenue and shoot somebody and nothing would happen to him. The military has the same solution–kick people off the planet if they get in the way. But this is being pretty much ignored by the Dems as well as repubs

  15. Fool

    Anyone else find it ironic that the story of Manafort’s money laundering of Ukrainian work via real estate deals was broken by Jared Kushner’s paper 6 years ago?

    1. m

      I remember during the Ukraine madness with dragon lady F the EU that all this Manafort stuff came out back then. Paid globs of money to lobby on behalf of the ousted leader that was going to take the Russian deal. Why are they going crazy now? And why isn’t anyone looking into the so called Clinton charity? Our government is just a joke, even before Trump. Gridlock!

  16. JEHR

    Re: Canadian Donald Trump is Coming
    Canada is not just a smaller, slower and less viable version of the US.

  17. Wukchumni

    Autonomous robots gain foothold as private security guards McClatchy

    Čapek cadence:

    Above the land,
    Across the sea,
    We’re everywhere,
    We need to be.
    We’re brothers of,
    AI special kind,
    A better band,
    You’ll never find.
    Band of brothers,
    That’s what we are,
    Fighting evil,
    Near and far.

    1. John

      An Autonomous robot fight song.

      When they start playing sports, the Autonomous robot band will play this loudly.

  18. Foppe

    From last week (I haven’t seen it mentioned):

    The New York City Board of Elections reportedly admitted violating election laws by purging 200,000 voters from its rolls before last year’s presidential primary.

    The board agreed with the activist group Common Cause to take steps to restore voter rights and prevent future illegal purges, a draft settlement obtained by WNYC said. The problem was worst in Brooklyn, where 117,000 voters were purged.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We will likely not hear from Hillary about the need to ‘re-do that primary election.”

      Just re-do the 2016 general election, I believe that’s her grievance.

      1. Vatch

        She should switch to playing video games. I suspect she would make great use of the save, pause, and replay functions.

  19. UserFriendly

    The Fed Chair Should Be a ‘Principled Populist’ Paul McCulley, New York Times

    Should have pointed out that is a conversation with Stephanie Kelton and McCulley

  20. Synoia

    Climate change could force more than a billion people to flee their homes,

    Hmm, bit of an underestimate, methodology should include low lying cities, and low lying sewage plants.

    The magnitude of this climate change, which is creeping to tipping point, where one can predict there will be an increasing number of individual events, for example Hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, until the occurrence of the individual events failures overwhelms our ability to respond and recover.

    The Puerto Rich hurricane destroyed infrastructure in about one week, that will take many months to repair about 50%.

    If we had one such magnitude event monthly on the globe, where would we be?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The rich might want to start hoarding private luxury submarines.

      At 100 feet or more below the hurricane water surface, everything should be relatively calm.

  21. Kim Kaufman

    “Mueller strikes with first charges The Hill. FWIW, I happened to be up when the story broke and I clicked first on the WSJ news alerts. Comments were coming in fast and furious (I’d never seen anything like this) and they were overwhelmingly contemptuous, of the “So what does this have to do with Russia?” variety. Note that I have not seen anywhere near this level of Trump support at the WSJ recently. A lot of comments are regularly contemptuous of his antics, his relationship with Congress, his policy waffles. But my take is that the Rs increasingly see Russia scaremongering as Democrat conspiracy theory.”

    Not positive but I think this is an organized campaign to make it appear so. Thus the ready-to-go WSJ negative commenters with the same message – but what about Hillary and the Dems? Podesta stepping down kind of mitigates that perhaps. Also, even Trump stopped tweeting with Papdopoulus revelation.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, I watch the Journal. This was a firestorm. And if Trump had any kind of organized comment campaigns, you’d see far more uniformity in the comments section across all important Trump topics, like his tax reform.

      The few Rs I speak to all reacted the same way.

  22. Elizabeth Burton

    This is the same Facebook that greatly overstates its number of readers…

    Facebook was caught out inflating the reach of their paid ads at least a year ago, maybe more. Apparently, they have paid “farms” to which ads are sent to make it appear the ads reached people who might actually want to buy a product. I’m guessing it’s a lot cheaper to just mess with the numbers.

  23. CanCyn

    Canadian Donald Trump is Coming Benjamin Studebaker (UserFriendly)

    We in Canada also suffer from the same blindness to the Liberals’ faults as Americans do to the faults of the Dems. When I compare Trudea to Obama, people smile and agree and name us lucky to have him. Sigh.
    Canada kind of had had a Trump moment with the horrible Rob Ford as mayor of Toronto but in spite of his world wide ‘renown’, and as embarassing as he was, I guess municipal politics don’t count.
    I live in hope that our NDP wakes up and tracks back left but the article is correct, Singh won’t take us there. His win was all about that wonderful distraction, identity politics, IMO.
    Any Canadians out there with ideas for who will be our Trump? I thought it was Kevin O Leary and was much relieved when he dropped out of the race for the Cons leadership.

    1. Altandmain

      No idea. I’m not optimistic though.

      Why on earth didn’t the NDP learn from the success of Bernie Sanders?

    2. JEHR

      I am hoping that the way that leaders are chosen by each party will help defeat any Trump that may appear in any of them. We Canadians do not vote directly for our PM; each party has to select its leader first, then the party that wins the election already has its leader. Here’s hoping that that will be what saves us. However, politics can be disappointing in so many other ways that I am sure there are many traps awaiting us yet.

  24. Kim Kaufman

    “Socialism or Amazonism Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report (resilc)”

    Ford’s conclusion:

    “That’s why, if you are anti-war, you must be anti-capitalist.”

    Isn’t the reason for China’s economic progress because they’ve moved to using capitalism as an economic system – while retaining Communism as a political system? While I usually agree with Ford, and his statement may be correct, it doesn’t seem to fit with the article. The US is in late stage capitalism, China in early stage capitalism.

  25. Oregoncharles

    “George Papadopoulos’s Plea Deal Is Very, Very Bad News for Attorney General Jeff Sessions Intercept”
    The comments are, well, entertaining; one of mine in there, too.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      THE BIGGEST NEWS of Mueller Monday — the rollout of a money-laundering indictment against Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser, Paul Manafort and campaign aide Rick Gates, and the unsealing of a false-statements plea deal by another campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos — may involve someone not named explicitly in either indictment: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

      That’s because Sessions has repeatedly testified to the Senate that he knows nothing about any collusion with the Russians. (Though in his most recent appearance, he categorized that narrowly by saying he did not “conspire with Russia or an agent of the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”)

      But the Papadopoulos plea shows that Sessions — then acting as Trump’s top foreign policy adviser — was in a March 31, 2016, meeting with Trump, at which Papadopoulos explained “he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.” It also shows that Papadopoulos kept a number of campaign officials in the loop on his efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, though they secretly determined that the meeting “should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal,” itself a sign the campaign was trying to hide its efforts to make nice with the Russians.

      Papadopoulos also learned, on April 26, that the Russians “have dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” A key part of Papadopoulos’s cooperation must pertain to what he told the Trump campaign about these emails. According to his complaint, he originally claimed he hadn’t told anyone on the campaign about the dirt on Clinton because he didn’t know if it was real. But as his plea makes clear, after being arrested, he “met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions.” There would be no reason for Papadopoulos to lie about the significance of the emails in January unless he did so to hide his discussions of them with the rest of the campaign.

      1. I stop here, because I am not sure if it is January 2017 or January 2016. Does January refer to the months those emails were composed and sent, or the month he talked with other people about the emails? Nothing earlier in the article mentions January. Do all readers know which January?

      2. Didn’t Sanders go to the Vatican after the New York primary? Did he meet with the Pope? Is it OK if an attempt was made to set up a meeting?

  26. D

    Makes one wonder where the native born San Francisco homeless go.

    indeed, makedoanmend (some trespass™ on Bart, and Caltrain tracks, and there’s that Golden Gate Bridge also, as they would rather die than be homeless). My experience, just south of San Francisco, is that most were born and raised here, or lived and worked here their entire adult life.

    The frequent, and not ‘subtle’ at all, flippant On Line responses to homelessness are mind boggling.

  27. D

    Sorry if this is a duplicate, but the AI had a spasm when I first posted the following, a few minutes ago, and immediately negated my post:

    Along with makedoanmend, I know you’re right, Laughing Song and kareninca, the San Francisco Bay Area Controllers, have been, and still are, chewing up and spitting out ;the only people who gave the area any humanity, and an actually caring and honest day’s labor.

  28. Procopius

    But my take is that the Rs increasingly see Russia scaremongering as Democrat conspiracy theory.

    Yes. Not only Rs. The enthusiasm for Russian scaremongering among Democrats is an indication, to me, that they have learned nothing and do not intend to propose policies that reflect the real interests/needs of people making less than $100,000 a year. Claiming that Facebook ads had a huge effect on the election simply does not reflect the way I use Facebook and think most other people do as well.

Comments are closed.