Links 11/3/17

Scientists confirm there’s a mysterious “void” in the Great Pyramid Ars Technica

When the Beatles Came to Rishikesh to Relax, Meditate and Write Some Classic Songs The Wire

How Lincoln’s embrace of embalming birthed the American funeral industry The Conversation

Farmers urged to bury their underpants to improve quality of their beef Daily Telegraph

11 barriers that prevent kids from playing outside Treehugger

In America’s sandwiches, the story of a nation The Conversation

The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks Guardian

Prince William warns that there are too many people in the world Daily Telegraph. No argument from me, but didn’t I read somewhere that the Duke and Duchess are now expecting twins– despite already begetting the obligatory heir and spare?

Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill MarketWatch


Spain issues arrest warrant for sacked Catalan president as eight of his ministers are jailed SCMP

Catalonia: a lawyer explains the charges brought against Carles Puigdemont The Conversation


Brexit: why are these lying bastards lying to us?

Fossil Fuel Lobbying means EU Pushes for ‘False Solutions’ at Climate Talks — Report DeSmogBlog UK

In Houston, Escalating Climate Costs Come Due in Harvey Recovery Climate Liability News

Connecting the Last Billion MIT Technology Review. Interesting– in spite of the puffery.

Trump Transition

Trump-Schumer rapport takes negative turn, again The Hill

Five things to watch for on Donald Trump’s first Asia trip SCMP

Trump: ‘We’ll see’ if Rex Tillerson lasts duration of term Politico

MADE IN THE U.S.D.A. Vanity Fair. Michael Lewis.

The Education of Betsy DeVos Politico

Twitter says Trump’s account ‘inadvertently deactivated’ by Twitter employee Reuters. Oops.

Trump on DOJ probing Clinton: ‘Hopefully they are doing something’ The Hill

Former Trump official loses White House nomination amid Russia investigation Independent

Republicans Stick With Big Corporate Tax Cuts in House Bill WSJ

North Korea

Treasury Blocks Chinese Bank From U.S. Financial System Over North Korea Ties WSJ

Americans on Pace for Record Year in Renouncing Citizenship WSJ. Trend largely driven by FATCA reporting requirements for expats.

Health Care

Trump administration strikes policy that supporters say helped lower drug prices Stat

U.S. states allege broad generic drug price-fixing collusion Reuters. EM: “Check out the laughable fines paid by the Heritage Pharmaceuticals price-fixers.”

What Did Bernie Sanders Learn in His Weekend in Canada? NYT (KC)

New Cold War

U.S. Prosecutors Consider Charging Russian Officials in DNC Hacking Case WSJ

Lawmakers demand tech companies censor journalists and conduct mass surveillance World Socialist Web Site

There Is a New Urgency to the Threat of Nuclear Annihilation TruthOut. Helen Caldicott book excerpt.

Manafort Indictment

Meet the Judge Presiding Over the Manafort and Gates Case Bloomberg

Podesta Group labors to remake itself after founder’s exit Politico

Manafort’s Dirty Deeds Are Business as Usual, but They Shouldn’t Be Truthdig

The Supreme Court Has An Ethics Problem Politico (johnny gl) Written by Elizabeth Warren and hosted from yesterday’s comments.

2016 Post Mortem

Elizabeth Warren says she believes the DNC rigged the 2016 Democratic primary Business Insider

How one word from Elizabeth Warren exposed the massive split in the Democratic Party CNN

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC Politico. Bombshell excerpt from Donna Brazile’s book.


After Balfour Jacobin

Balfour Declaration at 100: From Ramallah to Pretoria Al Jazeera

Everything wrong with Theresa May’s ridiculous assertion that we should feel proud of the Balfour Declaration Independent. Robert Fisk.

Neocons Push Dubious Paper To Allege Iran – Al-Qaeda Connection Moon of Alabama

A Prize from Fairyland LRB

U.S. asked French to broker Trump-Rouhani discussion, but Iranian president said no WaPo

Trump’s Weird Offer to Meet Rouhani American Conservative

Greatest threat to building peace in Iraq is not Isis – it’s Donald Trump picking a fight with Iran Independent. Third in a series from Andrew Cockburn.

Class Warfare

Elizabeth Warren Warns: Navient Deal A Danger To Student Loan Borrowers International Business Times David Sirota.

DNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shut Down After Vote to Unionize NYT

Santander targeted for unionisation in the US FT

World media chiefs call for EU inquiry into Maltese journalist’s murder Guardian

Antidote du Jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Wukchumni

    The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks Guardian
    I find it amazing the effort to get to non-radiated metals, fancy carving up a sunken ship as far as 250 feet down with an acetylene torch, and then bringing it up piece by piece, that’s a herculean task…

    …and I wouldn’t point the finger so much at the salvage crews doing the work, but rather at the end user for the metals

    The last WW2 veteran to have seen action, will pass away sometime in the 2030’s, and from that point on-it’s no longer living history, and as the years go by as far as shipwrecks are concerned, they’re fair game if enough time has transpired.

    They’re always finding & salvaging yet another Spanish galleon on the ocean floor somewhere, a warship full of all that glitters hopefully?

    The Mary Rose is another good example of a warship full of dead sailors that was brought up from the depths-and yes it was done in a tasteful way, and the SS Central America-perhaps one of the most valuable shipwrecks, was full of gold and dead bodies, when it sunk in 1857 with heavy loss of life. When it was salvaged in the 1980’s, the most amazing thing was it’s depth, about 8,000 feet down.

    1. The Rev Kev

      There is a major difference here that you are missing. Wrecks like the Mary Rose were done for archaeological reasons not for reasons of taste. We come across mentions of ship types in old records and for some we have no clue what they looked like or how they were built – that is, until we are lucky enough to find a centuries old wreck that gives us an example for that ship type. Each ship wreck can thus be a treasure trove of archaeological information on life in earlier times.
      We now have modern example of treasure hunters who do a smash and grab operation on an old galleon precisely for all that glitters. These WW2 wrecks are different though. They are actually war graves just like the USS Arizona. I was stupid enough to believe that all that ship pillaging was some low grade operation for the poorer people in that region but now it seems that a main reason is to retrieve pre-irradiated steel so the end user is actually first world countries – and no questions asked!
      Just in passing – it is not only modern steel that is irradiated. It is you, me, everyone that has traces of all those atomic bombs that were let off after WW2. We were actually stupid enough to irradiate our own planet.

      1. Wukchumni

        It was an odd treat for me to see WW2 leftovers in Europe in the early 1980’s, you would catch glimpses of pillboxes all over Sicily’s south coast as you drove, farmers using them for storage and whatnot. Palermo still had bombed out areas when I visited.

        I checked out a mountain concrete emplacement that would’ve housed 5 men and had a howitzer and machine guns aimed @ Italy, when on a hut to hut hiking trip in the French Alps

        Not so much war debris on the continent though. most everything had been turned into plowshares in the west, and evidence that anything had ever happened, scant.

        It’s a shame old historical ships are disappearing, but since the first diving bell was used in the 4th century BC, salvage has been going on steadily on sunken ships of all sorts, only now we have quite frankly amazing technology far surpassing the feeble efforts of the past.

        1. begob

          In 1589 cannon from one of the wrecks of the Spanish Armada in Ireland were salvaged by the army – the commander complained of the expense of “sustaining the divers with copious draughts of usequebaugh [whiskey]”.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Just in passing – it is not only modern steel that is irradiated. It is you, me, everyone that has traces of all those atomic bombs that were let off after WW2. We were actually stupid enough to irradiate our own planet.

        Its astonishing how pervasive radiation from atmospheric tests are. You can actually date groundwater anywhere in the world (i.e. the date when it was last rainwater) by measuring the tritium content. It maxed out around 1962 and has been in slow decline, but its still easily measurable.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      From what I’ve read about those ‘salvages’, there is little high tech about what they do. They are basically smash and grab operations – blasting or cutting out big chunks of metal and hauling them up with very heavy salvage plant. The result is a huge mess for relatively little gain (an even bigger mess if they release oil or explosive remains). There is a huge difference between this and a proper archaeological excavation, where due respect is given to human remains.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Yves always said Bitcoin is the same as “litigation futures”, starting at around 18:30 this SEC lawyer seems to agree, he struggles to see why Bitcoin itself should not be classified as a security. Hilarious:

      Having to exchange a suitability questionnaire and a prospectus before paying for a coffee with a Bitcoin would pretty much kill the idea “it’s the great new internet money”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        On the other hard, some Bitcoins were harder to harvest than others.

        In and of itself, that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Some diamonds, for example, are harder to mined. But the value of one, though, is not always related to the degree of difficulty involved, although we can equal worth to degree of difficulty if we want.

        So, it’s not money and not a security (each share is worth the same as another).

        It’s like gold or silver. You could mine a bigger or smaller nugget.

  2. ArkansasAngie

    It seems as if there is corruption everywhere you look.

    People taking advantage of narrow definitions of rules as a means to escape the broader sense of the word fraud.

    A “law and order guy/gal” would win in a landslide.

  3. fresno dan

    Twitter says Trump’s account ‘inadvertently deactivated’ by Twitter employee Reuters. Oops.

    The temporary deletion of the Trump account sparked a flood of criticism on Twitter itself. Reuters could not determine how many Twitter employees had the authority to delete accounts or tamper with them in other ways, such as by sending counterfeit Tweets.

    I wish there were some counterfeit tweets, e.g., Trump tweets:
    that he was gay and announcing his engagement to Putin but that he was not divorcing his current wife, cause he’s a polygamist too!…
    medicare for all!
    90 % tax rate on all wealth in excess of 1 billion dollars!

    Watching Hannity bend himself into a pretzel over that* would make it worthwhile
    * not the polygamy, silly – the high tax rate
    Watching Maddow support all Russian collusion related to gay couplings….

    1. Harrison

      I am frankly a little surprised that it took so long for something like this to happen. The customer service reps at all the social media companies can do this – and while it’s tracked, and horrible for business, so it’s likely to lead to an instant firing – the temptation for someone to do it to Mr. Trump must have been almost irresistible at times.

  4. JCC

    On “How one word from Elizabeth Warren exposed the massive split in the Democratic Party”, Ms. Warren is saying the right words, but her statement regarding Tom Perez is B.S. Tom Perez has already failed.

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      Elizabeth Warren made her choice long ago. She is overdue for a primary challenge from someone less craven.

      1. SpringTexan

        Nonsense. Elizabeth Warren has been threading the needle to be as effective as possible. She was aiming to influence Clinton to appoint actually good people rather than bad ones.

        Primarying someone like her is idiotic and self-defeating; she’s a champion of the people.

        Politics is about power, and to get power, you have to correctly discern friends as well as enemies. Warren is a friend.

        Neoliberals call us “purists” when we won’t support AWFUL people who are pseudo-Republicans (and there are a lot of them). And good for us. But if we won’t support actually excellent people, we can never win.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Lifelong masshole here,

          Liz Warren is, as far as I can tell from what little I know of her (books, interviews, etc) a decent human being. That’s clearly not true of large chunks of congress. I can’t point to any other MA politician of prominence that’s clearly better than she is.

          Berniecrats are mad because Warren isn’t as good as Bernie is on many issues and she isn’t as willing to flip the bird to the Dem Party.

          I’d argue Warren has carved out an effective role as a bridge from the Sandernista grassroots to pull the larger Democratic party reps in congress. Warren usually picks her spots (often after being pushed) to make a move in the direction that Sanders breaks the ground on.

          On Medicare for all it went like this from the perspective of the Dem consultant class….

          1) Bernie’s yapping about Medicare for all? It’s okay, he’s a crazy VT hippie. He’s a fad that will fade away.
          2) Polls show voters like this? Huh, well, they did crash HRC and Ossoff, but let’s keep ignoring for as long as possible.
          3) Warren’s on board with Bernie’s commie non-sense? Uh oh, she demonstrated the appropriate level of HRC worship during the campaign, and she yells at Russia enough to be a good Dem, this is getting harder to ignore.
          4) Oh crap, all 2020 hopefuls are signing on to Bernie’s Stalin-ist health-care plan? Now we’ve got ourselves a real headache. How are we supposed to fundraise with this? Let’s have Rattner run a pro-wall street editorial in NYT, that’ll straighten this out!!!

        2. witters

          And with Warren (and Sanders too) we can still have our “wars” and our exceptionalism! What’s not to like?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A ‘massive split in the Democratic Party,’ per CNN above.

        One senses the coming of a party civil war.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Wouldn’t it be great if we had a functioning Fifth Estate, that would have brought these events to light when they were happening, in plain sight and with many people decrying them, in 2015 and 2016 when it would have mattered.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One word – Yes.

      People can be right, for different reasons, and at different occasions, if not always (that perfection is for the exceptional few – most of us are just trying to avoid being wrong not as often).

      Trump publicly said it was rigged many months ago.

      He was way ahead of many Democrats on that one.

    3. JohnnyGL

      It’s clear she knows this. Her statement regarding Perez is an attempt to put pressure on him, directly. She called him out by name as nicely as you can.

      In beltway-speak she said, “Perez, you need to stop being an {family blog}-hole and fix this immediately”

  5. Deadl E Cheese

    My favorite thing about the DNC scandal are the usual liberal Democrat barnacles who have for years whined “we NEED that plutocrat sellout money to fight reactionaries! Sucking up to billionaires is the only way we can defend minorities, so shut up emoprogs” now suddenly have no answer as to why Obama and then Hillary completely mismanaged all that money.

    I’m interested in seeing how the donors react to the revelation that, contrary to what the well-heeled manager of the Washington Generals says, they don’t actually need that much Billionaire Sellout Money in order to prop up a credible party of liberal Minnesota Fats? I can understand giving the Democratic Party a billion dollars in order to keep the left down, but why spend a billion when you could just spend 50 million and get the same results?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve always assumed that corporate doners to the Dem see the waste of money a little like foreign business investors see a chunk of their investment going to bribery and corruption as simply the cost of doing business in certain environments. Their interest is not in seeing Dems in power, but in seeing the system propped up, and awkward voices silenced. Political contributions is small change to those people, one with an excellent rate of return.

      The question is of course where that money will go if it looks like the Dems start to crash and burn, leaving a political opening for genuine radicals.

      1. Bill

        when you say “genuine radicals”, you mean people opposed to the corporate donors’ selfish interests? They sound dangerous phrased that way–how else could we put that? Progressive used to be a wholesome concept, now I have no idea what people really mean when they use that word either. There is too much “evil” in conceptual history, IMO. We need to restore balance radically, that’s for sure.

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        The Democrat Party is scrambling for money—they’re fundraising has reached goal for most of the year, and the last quarter was no exception. Having snubbed their base, and now being unnecessary to their usual fat-cat sources because the GOP has everything under control, their only source of money are the diehard Democrat-supporting fatcats.

        It’s hard not to suspect that despite that lawsuit’s having been dismissed word of their arrogant “We don’t have to play by the rules” declaration has put off not just the people who donated to them thinking Bernie would get a share but other regular donors as well.

    2. diptherio

      The book excerpt from Donna Brazile is…weird. She discovers that Hillary’s campaign is acting unethically, that they’ve taken over the party and rigged the primaries. So what’s she do? Urge Bernie to “work as hard as he could to bring his supporters into the fold with Hillary, and to campaign with all the heart and hope he could muster.”…for the woman who just stabbed him in the back and is using the party as a money-laundering operation.

      So I’m calling BS. Sure, the agreement between Mook and Dacey is real, but Brazile’s outrage over it is not. If she was really as troubled and upset by these supposed revelations as she claims to be, why has she served as one of Hillary’s most vocal supporters until the day before yesterday? Something don’t add up. My guess is that this is just one more cynical ploy by one more cynical political operator. Of course, I could be wrong…

      1. JCC

        Donna Brazile has set herself up as another rat leaving a sinking ship… a typical politician that sees a parade and has, desperately, tried to jump in front of it.

        I’m glad she has told the story, but she has consigned herself to the junk heap. Nobody likes a tattle-tale, especially one that was fully on board with the tale for years.

      2. Deadl E Cheese

        If you’re plugged into the Democratic Party as a left-liberal, you’ll realize that Donna Brazile’s plea is honestly the least surprising thing about the whole mess.

        The post-1988 Democratic Party’s entire ethos to anyone to the left of Clinton is ‘I know it sucks but we have no choice. The reactionaries are just that bad.’ I’m sure you’re familiar with all of the apologies.

        “Bill Clinton was at the helm when the racial minority incarceration rate exceeded that of actual fascist states.”
        “Yes, but the reactionaries are so bad that we have no choice. They would’ve raised it even higher.”

        “Obama was responsible for deporting more people than anyone else in American history. Even Trump so far hasn’t exceeded his numbers.”
        “Something something recalculated definition of deportation, the point is that Obama is a winner and the reactionaries are so bad that we have no choice.”

        “The Democratic Party is astoundingly corrupt and all of these people making millions while in federal government and especially outside of it is suspicious. Especially in light of neoliberalism.”
        “Look, a little sellout money and a few Wall Street kickbacks is a small price to pay for having the best and brightest. The reactionaries are so bad that we have no choice.”

        I can’t read into her mind, but I am willing to take her at her word that (in her view) ignoring yet another crack in the pedestal of the Democratic Party was the price to pay for having a unified front to defeat reactionaries. I mean, it’s not that a rigged primary REALLY impacts the ability of Democrats to resist the Trump, so long as no one brings it up. Pointing out corruption can only hurt things in the short-term, and Trump is such a unique threat that they have no choice.

        1. Trying to Vote

          Well said, Deadl E Cheese. I got so sick of hearing this, election after election, that this year I voted Green.

        2. DJG

          + + +

          You are the aged Parmesan of cheeses!

          On point. Succinct. Helping us to distinguish the whiff of real parmesan from the whiff of corruption.

        3. fresno dan

          Deadl E Cheese
          November 3, 2017 at 9:06 am
          “The post-1988 Democratic Party’s entire ethos to anyone to the left of Clinton is ‘I know it sucks but we have no choice. The reactionaries are just that bad.’ I’m sure you’re familiar with all of the apologies.”

          From the Brazile Political article:
          So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt.
          I agree with you Deadl E Cheese. I was watching some morning MSNBC, and a couple of black commenters brought up the elephant….hmmmm…..make that donkey in the room. On second thought, make that jackas* in the room. If you look at the policies of Obama/Hillary, these people may be more beholden and enamored of big money policies than many repubs.
          And what may be the most ironic thing is that the republican primary system may be less manipulated and controlled by elites than the democrats. As much as I detest Trump, he certainly exposed how many republican “verities” are total bullsh*t.
          Whatever Brazile’s true motivations, in a way she is the democrats Trump. I think she reveals how much of American politics is consumed with thwarting the will of the majority and serving money, and all the rah rah about how the dems are for the little people is pure bunk.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt.

            Are we talking about bankruptcy level debt?

            Financially bankrupt and/or morally bankrupt?

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Like the current Hollywood/media scandals, it did not happen in a vacuum.

        Workers knew, but they had families to support.

        Stars knew, and some at least publicly regret for not coming forward sooner. Sure, the stars they had to make movies to expose racism and stop Trump. But at a cost of not coming forward.

        Sanders knew.

        Nothing is more important than telling the voters, your supporters the truth.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Are you saying we are a granfalloon, like the Communist Party or even the Progressive Party?

            Many believe so. At least in some books. And some even paint it on their cars.

            1. RWood

              Not intended as circular saw/firing squad.


              “Sanders knew.

              Nothing is more important than telling the voters, your supporters the truth.”

              Passe, but “truthiness” is abroad.

        1. fresno dan

          November 3, 2017 at 9:52 am
          FROM today’s posting:
          Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Donna Brazile’s DNC Bombshell – 11/03/2017 – Jerri-Lynn Scofield

          fresno dan
          November 3, 2017 at 7:59 am
          Tulsi Gabbard: “…but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time”
          Why does this remind me of Harvey Weinstein?
          its like Harvey Weinsteins all the way down….

      4. Darn

        She has a book to sell, and getting Sandernistas to buy a copy is better, judging by the polls, than just selling it to Clinton dead-enders.

        1. Procopius

          What, she thinks no one was paying attention? I saw at least half a dozen descriptions of Hillary’s scam and why it was harming the state and local parties, and exactly how it worked, last year before the convention. What’s the big deal? That people in the DNC didn’t know about it? Why didn’t she? I found one description from Daily Kos for October 2015, but it’s not clear from the excerpt that they understood the money was immediately being sent back to Hillary’s campaign.

    3. Darn

      It’s interesting that Brazile says she has seen the joint funraising agreement and that is says Clinton controlled the DNC’s money. I would like to see the contents leaked.

      Also, “The [Hillary Victory Fund] money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC … which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn [i.e. to Clinton]”. The part about the DNC taking most of the money back from the states was already published, do we know that the second step is true? That Clinton HQ then got the money from the DNC? In which case the responsibility for how it was (mis)spent in the general election is even closer to Clinton than the Clintonites on the DNC.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This is also significant:

        If the party has an incumbent candidate, as was the case with Clinton in 1996 or Obama in 2012, this kind of arrangement is seamless because the party already is under the control of the president. When you have an open contest without an incumbent and competitive primaries, the party comes under the candidate’s control only after the nominee is certain.

        A presidential nominee can be or not be the party leader.

        Some Chinese party chairmen also happen to be presidents, but not always.

        So, Hillary could have ‘received’ control of the party from Obama, or obtained it on her own, separated from the nomination campaign.

        If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead.

        Excerpt, as mentioned above, an incumbent has control of the party.

        That means, a fight against a corrupt incumbent IS NEVER FAIR.

        And that’s OK? Because that’s already built into the system?

      2. begob

        “I would like to see the contents leaked.”

        I wonder if Clinton set up a charge over Democrat assets, including intellectual property.

      3. Jeff W

        What I found fascinating about that is that, back in April, 2016, there was a bit of a brouhaha about Sanders not raising money to help down-ballot Democrats—the subtext being that he didn’t care about them—but, of course, Clinton was doing her part to help other Democrats.

        Now it turns out, if Donna Brazile’s account is correct, that the DNC siphoned off all but one-half of one percent of the money raised in state campaigns for the benefit of the Clinton campaign in a giant money-laundering scheme. What was said about Sanders might have been true but what was said about Clinton was false in the most self-serving way possible.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          We sail past terms like “a giant money-laundering scheme” with no actual remaining hope that outright criminal acts by the Versailles courtesans will ever be prosecuted.
          Just noting that it wasn’t always this way, we used to have something we called “the rule of law”. The Trump is 100% correct when he tweets that “the justice system is a laughing stock”.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit: why are these lying bastards lying to us?

    Interesting question, which the article doesn’t attempt to answer.

    Thus when, as we saw a few days ago, four senior representatives of the commercial aviation industry sit in front of the transport committee and blandly assure the MPs that they weren’t concerned about the effects of Brexit, it was a fair surmise that these people were deforming the truth. They were lying.

    I assume that one explanation (which seems favoured in comments btl on that article), is that they are terrified of scaring away bookings over the next 12 months, so they are simply faking a sang froid attitude. One can only assume they are not so calm in private. I wonder if it is possible for UK airlines to simply ‘reflag’ to avoid the issues, and they are maybe working on this in private? As an example, Norwegian Air International is registered in Dublin, precisely so it can take advantage of EU airline Freedom and Agreements.

    1. begob

      On the sang froid – Michael O’Leary of Ryanair was highly alarmist on the Brexit difficulties in an interview with Kirsty Wark in August. It’s on youtube. He also explained the requirements for majority UK ownership of a UK airline.

    2. Yoghurt

      Looking at the wikipedia article on British Airways, it seems that they merged with Iberian (Spanish) as International Airlines Group (IAG) and are already registered in Madrid Spain. So your EU reflag idea may already be a fact.

      1. Anonymous2

        UK politics now has become obsessed with sex scandals and the UK government appears to have indicated that it is not in a position to have substantive discussions with the EU at present. The line among some is that further discussion is pointless until the EU starts to make concessions to the UK.

        The whole situation appears to be a joke in bad taste.

  7. lyman alpha blob

    RE:Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill

    “Millennials now make up the largest generation in America, and we’re seeing some deeply worrisome trends,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the organization. “Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”

    But do they even know what it is?

    The survey, which was conducted by research and data firm YouGov, found that millennials are the least knowledgable generation on the subject, with 71% failing to identify the proper definition of communism.

    And then the article goes on to give no definition whatsoever. But we know the Russkies do it so it must be inherently evil right?

    I know we talk about it every day but it’s still hard to believe how much what are supposed to be major respected news outlets have fallen.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      The comments are even more edifying in this particular case. No one seems to be even looking out the window or thinking for that matter.

    2. Matt

      I wonder what YouGov had in mind as the “correct” definition of communism. Shouldn’t we be far more worried about the number of people who view Ronald Reagan as a hero?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Yeah – there’s seems to be some disconnect there huh? Makes me wonder how the questions were worded since supposedly 50% like the communism and 60% love them some Ronnie Raygun. Of course today’s right wingers probably consider Reagan a commie so maybe that explains it ;)

      2. JohnnyGL

        Yes, it’s a big problem that Reagan is a big hero and he’s a traitor that cut a deal with the Iranian Revolutionary government to keep the hostages until after he won the election in 1980.

        This strange, secret alliance popped up again when Reagan’s crew were found to be running guns to the Iranians during the Iran-Contra scandal, arguably the payback for playing ball earlier.

        On a side note, helping both sides to kill each other during the Iran-Iraq war was a disgusting policy, also. Don’t forget the CIA helped Saddam to aim his gas attacks on the Iranians.

    3. Andrew Watts

      “Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”

      It wasn’t always this way. The generation which grew up in the 1990s was unbelievable complacent and apolitical. It wasn’t ever cool to be a radical and/or a socialist back then, It took the ongoing quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan combined with the financial crisis to smack them out of their stupor. When my generation became the recipient of the injustices and corruption of the system they naturally sought alternatives.

      In many ways late capitalist America is the mirror image of the Soviet Union. Pravda whipped up hysteria about foreign plots and routinely engaged in whataboutism whenever their crimes were brought up. The concern trolling over the crimes of other countries isn’t overshadowed by the crimes committed by the West. The major difference between the two countries is that capitalist America tries to solve it’s socioeconomic problems through the use of the gulag.

      I know we talk about it every day but it’s still hard to believe how much what are supposed to be major respected news outlets have fallen.

      Those imperialist swine learned well from their totalitarian Soviet cousins. I mean, it’s just another failed institution. right?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The plebes are just catching up with their corporate overlords, who have had full-blown communism for years, look at the tens of billions that flow from the state to the “struggling” oil & gas industry, the communist diktats that protect big pharma profits, or the complete inaction by the anti-trust Politboro while a man named Bezos bankrupts entire swathes of small and medium-sized businesses. The state gifted $174 billion to Citigroup on the day when they could have purchased 100% of the Class A common stock for $4B. Of course a millennial would want a little redistribution of his/her own.

    4. begob

      I checked the URL to make sure the Millennial article wasn’t a parody – along the lines of: “Frank Underwood’s interns alarmingly reluctant to take it up the ass – they must be educated on the necessity of bringing lube to work.”

  8. Wukchumni

    Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill MarketWatch

    When the run of the millennials comes, I could see them embracing socialism, as we’re already prepping them for more austere times, vis a vis the sharing economy, even developed big businesses out of the idea.

    Communism was forced austerity, so it isn’t too far of a stretch, but you get the idea millennials have no idea the oppression that comes with it.

    But, as befits our Bizarro World cold war US-SU relationship-everything was diametrically opposed, and the Soviets traded in communism for capitalism, why not have the opposite happen here?

    1. j84ustin

      Most of my friends earn more than 100% of AMI, but most also have little savings, for various reasons. As a millennial, friends with almost exclusively millennials, I will say that I think you’re on to something. In fact, what most of my friends embrace is probably something along the lines of “boutique (semi-forced) austerity,” where as long as things aren’t too bad and we get to treat ourselves regularly (a flight abroad, a fancy meal, etc.) socialism without the authoritarianism might just be preferred.

      1. IsotopeC14

        The Democratic control of the means of production is not authoritarian. That’s just what the 1%, those that are the current authoritarians in control of the means of production want you to believe. They have everything to lose should they lose control.

        Check out professor Richard Wolff and his democracy at work channel on YouTube. It’s worth your time!

      2. Wukchumni

        Is owning physical stuff a burden to you?

        …and just how authoritarian would it have to get for your generation to resist?

          1. RWood

            Ward Churchill in early ’90s:
            ‘I keep hearing about “Well, about the cops, if this keeps up, we’re going to get a police state!” WHADDA MEAN, “If this keeps up [interrobang]!?” — how much will it take!?’

            And that’s not looking back 20, 25 yrs

    2. IsotopeC14

      Don’t you mean that predatory global capitalists forced (and still force) austerity on any socialism that tries to get into the economic sandbox?

      Gotta make sure people only know wage-slavery as freedom, that way they won’t try and poison the cocaine and caviar and first growth Bordeaux.

      1. Donovan Redmillan

        >> Don’t you mean that predatory global capitalists forced (and still force) austerity on any socialism that tries to get into the economic sandbox?

        Great question. One that is omitted by even the brightest observers. Particularly if you haven’t lived there and understood the sources of “austerity” (it had nothing to do with the neo-liberal austerity).

    3. mpalomar

      The US already does socialism, though mostly for corporations and bankers. It also does totalitarianism, how else explain slavery, genocide, the huge prison gulag, the media control, the patriot act, McCarthy and the house on unamerican activities, black listing, the wingtipped business party, Guantanamera, Guantana-Guantanemericaaaaa?

      As for commies being totalitarian; it wasn’t supposed to turn out the way, not according to Marx’s blueprint, the state having withered away and all. Do you think it inevitable? Maybe it doesn’t always jump the shark; for instance if perhaps the Rooskie commie experiment had occurred in an industrialized economy, not agrarian, or was not surrounded by imperial capitalist powers who just would not stand for any alternative models up and running and looking attractive to all the opiated wage slaves.

      On the other hand Bakunin’s problem with the First International and Marx was rather perspicacious, maybe it does always ends badly when you have less than perfect humans involved? Where do we get hold of some them perfect humans?

      1. Synoia

        What you believe is socialism, is fascism.

        Socialism is about the people controlling, and owning, the means of production. What you describe is the people being force to bail out industry which make poor decisions, instead of nationalizing the industries.

    4. Partless Poster

      What amazes me is all the right wingers claiming that “communism” killed millions of people,
      without ever looking at how many people capitalism has killed. Its such a ridiculous double standard. I’ve seen numbers as high as 40 million for how many the U.S. has killed since WW2
      but that’s never attributed to “capitalism” but anything the Russians or Chinese did was because of evil communism.
      As if a economic system kills all by itself with no people involved.

  9. KTN

    Re: Prince William warns that there are too many people in the world

    Surely the prince already eats only from the bottom of the food chain (vegan). Surely the prince scrupulously limits air travel, staff, and all manner of consumption, scrupulously aware that he enjoys such an enormous, muddying footprint due to nothing more than an accident of birth. Surely the prince is planning to convert the majority of his many real estate holdings to experimental organic agrarian communities supporting thousands of people living in harmony with the earth.

    More realistically, it is this kind of loose talk that gives people like Alex Jones license to imply that e.g. the Club of Rome is interested in exterminating broad swathes of the global population, through any number of proposed conspiracies, for instance whatever limited viral outbreak the media is flogging at any given time. If elite, for whom this is a legitimate concern, wish to achieve their environmental goals, they should spend more time recovering the term ‘sustainable,’ which covers things even conservatives are already in favor of (according to polls), namely decreased air and water pollution, increased conservation of natural landscapes, unpoisoned food and drinking water, access to recreational amenities such as unspoiled hunting and fishing, and others, and countering such speech by example and reasoned debate and engagement. Suggestions tantamount or equivalent to ‘It would be a good idea to get rid of some people’ are not reasoned debate and engagement.

    The problem is not even necessarily that there are too many people in the world. The problem may be that the world is reaching natural limits to GDP growth, which, to any rational person, were obviously never going to grow infinitely. At some point well before ‘infinity’ there would be nothing but a destroyed ecosphere and some paper money blowing in the desert wind. The problem may be the longstanding, fantasy-induced paradigm (the prepollution days of Adam Smith, and the ‘first 20% free’ environmental degradation of the industrial revolution) in which an inexplicably necessary economic ‘progress’ progressively and inexorably degrades the planet, according to the second law of thermodynamics (compare to yesterday’s Water Cooler, where the law is mentioned in connection to batteries which might charge slightly faster. Gee whiz! Are they really ‘worth’ the additional abandoned mine sites?) See Thomas Wessels’ ‘The Myth of Progress’ for what could be read as an argument (but may not be) for replacing economics departments with ‘ecologics’ departments.

    There can be little argument that decades of economic ‘growth’ have made millions of Americans little but sicker, poorer and more miserable.

    1. Laughingsong

      Reading between the lines, he may have meant that there are too many of the WRONG people in the world, making it harder for the right people to live as they deserve.

      1. a different chris

        I guess, but I don’t see any limits on the “right” people at all. OTOH, said people pretty much universally get there by being insanely paranoid, so maybe said limits only need to exist in their overcharged imaginations.

      2. Procopius

        Quite possibly, but, of course, he would be ignoring the problem that, without the wrong kind of people he wouldn’t have all the good things that allow him to live as he deserves. Who shined John Galt’s shoes?

    2. polecat

      Bu, bu, but if we just powered our collective 1st world life-$tyle$ with SOLAR !! … (without the neccessary commitments to have and do, with less) then everything would be right and good in the world …. ha !

      But for ‘progressional freedumb’ !!

    3. John k

      Best thing you can do is to have no kids. He’s up to four.
      What he meant was, ‘there’s too many of you. Thin your herd.’

      Granted, our herd is far too large, the proof being numbers will at some point rapidly decline to what a future world, with less carrying capacity than the present one, can sustain.

  10. The Rev Kev

    U.S. Prosecutors Consider Charging Russian Officials in DNC Hacking Case
    Yet more Kabuki theater from the US Justice Department. So they want to charge six Russians with hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers. Aren’t they the same computers that the Democrats refused to let the FBI examine forensically for, you know, actual evidence of hacking? Good luck with establishing a chain of evidence with that one.
    In any case, suppose that the Justice Department issues arrest warrants for those six Russians. How do they plan to enforce that one? I have read earlier that the Russian Constitution forbids Russian citizens being extradited to foreign jurisdictions so the Russians would have to change their constitution to make that happen. It is for this reason that if the Americans want some Russian, they wait til he is traveling overseas in some foreign country, have the locals arrest him, and then have them extradited back to the US.
    Could someone please tell the US political establishment too that this whole Russia-ate-my-homework thing is getting seriously old? If they haven’t found anything after a year of investigation except for the usual sort of stuff that all countries do to each other all the time, then maybe they should just give it a rest. Shouldn’t they be thinking of other stuff like, oh I don’t know, next year’s mid-terms? I believe that they have just a year now to get their act together for that one and the clock is ticking.

    1. Saddam Smith

      It shouldn’t, but it still amazes me that the issue of infinite economic growth is not THE central issue around which all discussion and decision making revolves. Everything else is rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

      Capitalism schmapitalism. We gotta get back to basics in a hurry.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      How else could this propaganda farce be resolved?

      Charge six Russians who can’t be arrested or brought to trial. Can you imagine actually having a “trial” which, presumably, would require the presentation of actual evidence? The whole thing has spun so out of control and the best mueller seems to be able to do is go after bit players for “crimes” so tangential that if rachel maddow didn’t exist to concoct and connect the dots she’d have to be invented.

      Yet another election cycle is almost on deck (Yay!!) and, as far as the public “knows,” one-third of the senate and all of the representatives will be elected via a seriously compromised system controlled by Putin.

      They’re going to have to wrap this up soon. Six no-names in a nefarious faraway land seems as expeditious a solution as any. I’m kind of surprised they couldn’t figure out a way to work North Korea into the mix.

      (Note: did not read the paywalled article.)

    3. polecat

      So Trump is musing as to the ‘longevity’ of his secretary of state’s current position within his cabinet … but not that of his so far laughably … or not, ineffective attorney general ??

      shakes head in disgust …

    4. knowbuddhau

      Annoying, isn’t it? No, wait. It’d be annoying as a plot twist in a TV show. It’s actually kinda disturbing. It’s one thing retrospectively say, that was propaganda. Watching it unfold in real-time, and worse, the dramatic effects utter bs is having, really creep me out.

      Before this, I was enjoying some rare time off, surfing some science sites.

      An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.

      While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.

      The AP’s reconstruction— based on a database of 19,000 malicious links recently shared by cybersecurity firm Secureworks—shows how the hackers worked their way around the Clinton campaign’s top-of-the-line digital security to steal chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016.

      It also helps explain how a Russian-linked [sic] intermediary could boast to a Trump policy adviser, a month later, that the Kremlin had “thousands of emails” worth of dirt on Clinton.

      I mean, I can’t even. “Disrupted” the contest (why not “election”?), the one it was known at the time, and now Brazille has confirmed, was rigged by Clinton and her campaign. Agencies have “concluded,” when it was a completely bogus “assessment,” not a national security estimate. Lambert covered it here. “An all-out blitz,” the response to which was to let CrowdStrike, not the USG, handle it.

      And of course the de rigeur linking of someone linked Trump to someone linked to the Russian language. I mean, gov’t.

      And that’s just the opening few paragraphs!

      What really creeps me out is where I found this: “Read more at:

      WTAF? It’s not stale, either. It’s dated today, 11/3/17. What’s crap like this doing on a science site?

      I know, I know, and it creeps me right out.

  11. Corbin Dallas

    The shuttering of Gothamist and DNAInfo are truly horrible, and should be especially alarming for the authors and readers of NC who prize independent reporters.

    Before Ricketts – billionaire trump supporter and general religious nut – bought it out, they had reported endlessly on super important local issues from Eric Garner’s murder to the post-9/11 security creep in NYC, to NYPD brutality in general, to spying on mosques, to all kinds of coverups from horrible slumlords and our local department of transportation which sought to cover up pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

    Ricketts is worth 2.1 billion – this was a direct response to unionization. A nuclear missile of class warfare, loud and clear.

    With their shuttering, and formerly Gawker and the Voice, there is no more good media in NYC. Blogs are dead with the twitter-ification and of everything, and the MSM is all trash, from Bret Stephens editorials to Daily Post outright KKK-ism. Sad, sad times.

    1. j84ustin

      DNAInfo Chicago was a great resource as to the daily happenings in neighborhoods outside of downtown. I visited the site daily. I’m disappointed it’s gone. Well, Ricketts made his point, didn’t he? Not sure it’s going to play out the way he hoped.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      Well, if anyone can lay hands on the money, the Austin American Statesman announced Cox Media is putting them on sale. To say I shudder at the the thought the Mercers will turn their attention from Breitbart to the local daily is an understatement.

  12. auskalo

    Javier Pérez Royo, professor of constitutional law who participated in the drafting of the Spanish Constitution, the Statute of Catalonia (later “brushed” by the Spanish parliament and unconstitutionalised by the constitutional tribunal of the Partido Popular) and the Statute of Andalusia, says the following:
    An outrageous lawsuit and judicial resolution
    A Attorney General who, according to the opinion of an overwhelming majority of the Congress of Deputies, has been disqualified with his conduct to exercise the proper function of the Attorney General’s Office; a judicial body, the National High Court, which lacks jurisdiction over the crimes of rebellion and sedition in accordance with the interpretation of the law of the Plenary Assembly of Magistrates that make it up; a behavior of the defendants that almost nobody in the scientific community considers
    There is nothing in the prosecutor’s complaint or the judge’s order that would allow them to be considered as acts of administration of justice. And what does not seem to be the administration of justice is not the administration of justice, for justice not only has to be done, but must also appear to be done.
    The prosecutor’s complaint and the judge’s order will go down in history as two infamous acts that should never have occurred.
    It is to be hoped and hoped that the National High Court Chamber, which will have to decide the appeals against the Court’s decision, will put an end to this shameful incident, which calls into question the exercise of the right to effective judicial protection. Otherwise, we would be faced with a much more serious problem, as it would be our entire system of administration of justice that would be compromised.
    If Judge Lamela’s order is confirmed, it will be difficult for us to continue to speak of Spain as a state governed by the rule of law.

    1. auskalo

      Thanks rWood.
      An end of paragraph got lost:
      some behaviors of the defendants that almost nobody in the scientific community considers fit into the criminal type of rebellion or sedition; some precautionary measures that nobody understands…

  13. allan

    So far, the press coverage of the GOP tax plan has been pretty terrible, ranging from `opinions are split’
    [literally in the headline of the current NYT story] to missing the forest for the trees [‘Tax plan caps property deduction at $10,000, puts new limit on mortgage deduction’ at USAToday].
    The coverage yesterday on NPR and PBS of the specifics of the plan was superficial.
    You have to wonder how much of this is due to the hollowing out of newsrooms and the emphasis on covering personality clashes rather than policy details. It’s much easier and cheaper to have a lightweight reporter who can pick up the phone and ask Douglas Holtz-Eakin for a sound byte than it is to have on staff a reporter with enough understanding of the tax code to read it him/herself.

    Anyway, I’m really pessimistic that this is going to get through with only minor modifications.
    There are enough blue-state House Republicans like Chris Collins and Tom Reed who will be more than happy
    to throw their constituents under the bus, knowing that the big donors will have their backs.
    And I have zero faith in the newly anointed holy trinity of Collins, Flake and McCain.

    1. allan

      Also too: there are many provisions in the bill beating up on higher education.
      A good summary is at Inside Higher Ed.

      One that stands out is the 1.4% wealth tax on endowments at institutions that have
      more than $100,000 per student in endowment.
      But that only applies to private universities, not public ones.
      Weirdly, almost all of the endowments that would be affected are in blue states,
      while two of the largest piggy banks, that could have been taxed but will not be because they are public,
      are at the University of Texas ($24 billion) and Texas A&M ($10 billion).
      Which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that House Ways and Means chair Kevin Brady is from Texas.

      To paraphrase Clausewitz, tax policy is continuation of the Civil War by other means.

    2. allan

      Doing the work that the MSM should be doing,
      putting the bill’s impacts all together in a visually compelling form,
      there is an excellent Google docs spreadsheet with excellent graphics,
      linked to by this @ernietedeschi Tweet.
      Pivot to video not required!

      Spoiler alert: come for the regressivity in 2018, stay for the hyper-regressivity in 2027.

      1. NYPaul

        “Doing the work that the MSM should be doing,” LOL, Ha, Ha, Ha

        I’m sorry, I know you were only joking.

        Yesterday, after the Donna Brazile bombshell was revealed, and, the internet lit up like the 4th. of July on steroids, not a single one of the three major network news programs (CBS, NBC, ABC) thought it newsworthy enough to even mention it on their broadcasts. Not a peep.

        During the primaries, and, then the election, it was TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP……24/7! When CBS, CEO, Leslie Moonves, was questioned about the incredibly disproportionate Trump coverage, he replied, “It May Not Be Good for America, but It’s Damn Good for CBS.”

        The election is over, but, the sell out continues. Now it’s “RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA,” every hour, every day. I don’t have a link at the moment, but, I read that the amount of money made by this sort of saturation coverage has returned unprecedented profits, and, has produced a nation of Russia Junkies……seriously. The Opioids tragedy is not the only addiction TPTB have blessed us with.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Where’s any reporting on the reported parts of the overall gaming (the Grand Bargain by other means) that would be gutting the funding for Medicaid and the shriveling of Medicare? The “conservatives” have something to say on the subject: “Reform Medicare, Don’t Cut Necessary Benefits,” :

      Conservatives have always advocated the idea of keeping the safety net intact, while reforming the big three entitlement programs: Medicare; Medicaid; and, Social Security. Reform is different from cutting programs. The left constantly accuses the right of advocating deep cuts to entitlement programs that benefit low income Americans. The correct position for conservatives is to advocate strong reform to attack waste, fraud and abuse without cutting essential services that people rely upon – especially the elderly.

      One plan that falls into the category of a “cut” and not a “reform” is a current plan to cut home health benefits provided under Medicare. Payments for Medicare’s home health benefit are poised to undergo the most substantial change in the last 17 years if implemented as proposed. If not withdrawn, these policy changes could spell big trouble for the 3.5 million American seniors who depend on home healthcare….

      Lots more in the article.

      Maybe the “issue” is that a lot of “conservative” profit-taking from the safety net wealth pile comes from ownership of home health care “providers,” a business that is undergoing the usual “consolidation” and crapification.

    4. jawbone

      I noticed recently that what I was seeing as trickle down economics was never being described with that term.

      Finally, today, on WNYC, I heard it, from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

      I thought it was pretty obvious that that’s what the R’s and Trump are doing.

      Also, a caller was so exasperated that she was nearly spitting nails reminded people that this is so typically Republican: When the R’s are in power they run up the debt, then, when D’s get in power they scream and cry about how the D’s are spendthrifts and wastrels, giving nice things to regular people! They must be stopped! Austerity! Cuts to SocSec and Medicare!! Oh, the horror of the debt!

  14. Jim Haygood

    This morning’s unemployment report came in hot at 4.1% — the lowest since Dec 2000 as the sun set on Bubble I.

    In the model of bond king Jeff Gundlach, the drop in the U rate pulled its 12-month moving average down (good) to 0.933, where a rise through 1.000 would be a recession warning and exceeding 1.015 confirms recession. Chart:

    Jeff Gundlach’s model sends the same message as Ed Yardeni’s fundamental indicator did yesterday: namely, that the US economy is rockin’ along pretty good.

    Bubble III is the health of the State.

    1. Jim Haygood

      & da beat goes on …

      What the numbahs say: The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing services index edged up to 60.1% from 59.8%, reaching the best level since Aug. 2005.

      Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a reading of 58.1%. Any reading above 50% indicates improvement.

      What happened [unintentional Hillary reference, yo]: The report was very strong, with production and new orders both above 62%. “Business is strong, driven by large upticks in business from clients in the retail industry. Seasonal surge is starting out stronger than in a normal year,” said one purchasing manager in the management of companies and support services field.

      Eventually the booming economy could become a problem for stocks, if it causes Fed chair Japewell to utter the dreaded O-word — overheating.

      But that’s a Spring 2018 problem, if it happens at all. For the current Nov-Jan period featuring the best seasonality of the year, everything still looks copacetic.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        They’ll keep the money printing burners on “11”, like the Youtube videos of people on ever-accelerating treadmills we can all just get 3 or 4 or 5 jobs to try and stay ahead of negative real rates and vaporizing purchasing power, money value receding ever faster, grab some kind of asset and you can run with the big boys, if you don’t the treadmill will just fling you out the back. Whee!

    2. Oregoncharles

      Unfortunately: “The unemployment rate may have dropped to its lowest in 17 years over October, but a sharp drop in the labor force participation rate suggests everything isn’t as rosy as Trump supporters may want to believe.

      A whopping 5.2 million employees dropped out of the labor market in October, according to Bloomberg. This is the largest decline since the rate started getting recorded in 1990, although it is unclear as to why the major drop occurred in the first place.”

  15. Craig H.

    11 barriers that prevent kids from playing outside

    They forgot poison oak. I didn’t have too much of a problem with it but my stepbrother and stepsister got creamed. My evil stepmother blamed me for leading them into the stuff on purpose when they kept getting it and I didn’t. I see people’s unleashed dogs running into it neck deep all the time and I wonder if they are smart enough to hose the dogs down before they pet them.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Poison oak can be a nasty experience that keeps on giving.

      If your clothes brush against it and then get washed, other clothing in that wash (depending on machine settings and detergent used) may pick up the oils.

      Worse scenario, people cut down brush (kids building a fort, adults clearing a lot, anyone?) and burn it, and inhale any of the smoke. Once again, those oils get into lungs and cause some serious health problems.

      Fun natural remedy story. The Chumash tribe in SoCal ate young poison oak leaves to build up a tolerance, very useful when dinner may have been scampering through the woods and had to be caught. They also used leaves to heal wounds.

    2. Wukchumni

      I am in the heart of poison oak country and have a live and let live feeling about it when encountered on the trail (or usually off-trail) and do my best to avoid it, and when I do get infected, Zenfal is my go-to relief. Just a couple dabs of cream applied to the offending areas & a shower, and agony over.

  16. Wukchumni

    Americans on Pace for Record Year in Renouncing Citizenship WSJ. Trend largely driven by FATCA reporting requirements for expats.

    In the amazing diary* of a German Jew written from 1933 to 1945, author Victor Klemperer often writes of Jewish friends in the pre ’39 days fleeing the fatherland to places far and wide, all subject to a ‘25% Reich Flight Tax’ on everything they owned, and said tax was often padded to more like 60%.

    Klemperer was a WW1 vet, a professor & author, and a critical thinker. A day by day horror show of how life went on in the 3rd Reich for a dozen years, in real time.

    * “I Will Bear Witness”

    1. Quentin

      Yes, Klemperer’s account of Nazi encroachment on his life, piece by piece, slowly, methodically, including his neighbor who found ways of appropriating bits of the Klemperers property. Extraordinary, culminating in a hallucinatory account of the firebombing of Dresden where they lived, except it was real, as they watched the city’s anguish from an overlooking hill. The third part about his life in the GDR (East Germany), however, is not worth the trouble. Victor Klemperer succeeded in surviving in anti-Jewish Nazi Germany because his wife was Christian, if I remember correctly.

      1. Wukchumni

        Victor Klemperer succeeded in surviving in anti-Jewish Nazi Germany because his wife was Christian, if I remember correctly.
        Yes, that was the reason he survived but only just barely, as he was next to be sent on a 1-way railroad trip, when the Dresden bombings took place, saving them on account of all the confusion of so many homeless all of the sudden, and he took off the yellow star and blended in.

        He’s not exactly a likable guy, both he and his wife are serial hypochondriacs, but you get over it and become rapt in the drama of a smart fellow trying to decipher propaganda by countering what he and his friends see & hear, and putting ink to paper promptly.

  17. nippersmom

    I see Brazile is still trotting out this much of the company line: as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested

    She also refers later in the excerpt to the emails as having been leaked, so I suspect even she doesn’t believe her own narrative in respect to the alleged Russian involvement.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A similar inconsistency warrants further examination (so we don’t fault an innocent person):

      1. I was shocked at the rigging.
      2. I was in on the rigging myself, when I gave those debate questions.

      We can only assume there is a good explanation for the inconsistency…innocent until etc…

      1. polecat

        Or, at the very least, a ‘postponement’ from some inadvertant poisoning, self-induced hanging, bathtub accident, or nailgun issue …..

  18. DJG

    The Conversation and the social history of sandwiches. Well, I learned about the unusual New England custom of chow mein sandwiches.

    I come from the P B and J belt. Proust had his madeleine, and I had peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, carried to the parochial school in a lunch box.

    There is a well-regarded pub near me that has updated the PBandJ to a grilled sandwich, served with house-made potato chips. It is almost (almost) gilding the lily.

  19. Carolinian

    Chris Hedges censored by Google News?

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges informed the WSWS Wednesday that his articles had ceased appearing on Google News. Hedges said the change occurred after the publication of his interview with the World Socialist Web Site in which he spoke out against Google’s censorship of left-wing sites.

    “Sometime after I gave that interview, they blacklisted me,” said Hedges. “If you go into Google News and type my name, there are six stories, none of which have anything to do with me.”

    1. JTMcPhee

      All this is creeping silencing feels kind of what a person in the grip of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a pretty horrific apparently auto-immune disease, feels — the tingling, the numbness in the lower extremities, the loss of function, creeping slowly upward and then inward from the fingers and hands, until the breathing muscles of the chest are affected.

      Unlike Guillain-Barre, from which most people recover over time, albeit often with residuals, the Google-Barred Syndrome is almost invariably fatal…

    2. xformbykr

      I don’t use any news feeds! I keep a list of ‘bookmark’ sites that I check every day for news. These sites furnish more reliable news than the tainted mainstream sites. My sites include ones for financial and political news. Fortunately Chris Hedges is linked by sites like “commondreams” and “truthout”. I don’t have a total echo chamber, though. I disagree with the viewpoints of a lot of stuff. For example, “commondreams” and “truthout” were not critical of Hillary. Paul Craig Roberts has a blind spot for Black people’s grievances. But I still get a lot out of reading these. To heck with google news.

      1. Carolinian

        RSS is still alive and kicking. You can curate your own web. On Linux I use a client called Akregator which is pretty good. That said, some sites no longer provide feeds while others will give you full text.

        As for Google, if they are indeed censoring then they are doing themselves more harm than good. They should fire their CEO who has already discredited himself with his ardent support for that democracy cheater HRC.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This is what stares us in the face:

      Face Book Inc.


      Google, or Alphabet. But which letters? What combination? CIA? DHS?

  20. DorothyT

    Re: “Made in the U.S.D.A.”

    Michael Lewis’s Vanity Fair article is as interesting and well researched as any of his books. From the sub-head: ” … the agency’s greatest problem is that even the people it helps most don’t know what it does.” In other words, Trump voters in small towns (less than 10,000 residents) give credit to their local bankers for providing them with loans, though they come from the USDA.

    A lengthy read but well worth it to read sketches of those unsung heroes who have made a difference in our lives, our health. And that is changing with this administration’s push towards what is called “free markets.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What we actually need to do is to strengthen it.

      Right now, USDA organic, from what I have read here, is, let’s just say, not as good as Oregon Tilth.

      Here, a private organiation is doing a better job than a public agency. So, we could use a little improvement.

      1. Ned

        How about those federal bank regulators?
        Just think how good food they certified would be? That gives one an idea of the coopting of the U.S.D.A. Here’s an example:

        Imagine our solar system–junk food is Pluto, Uranus is conventional factory food, Mars is U.S.D.A. organic. High quality organic food certified by Oregon Tilth and California Certified Organic Farmers is the Earth.

        Grow your own in good soil and you are on Venus.

        This scale is not just distance but also the volume of food sold equaling the area of the orbits.

  21. mini

    Lawmakers demand tech companies censor journalists and conduct mass surveillance World Socialist Web Site

    I keep wondering what happens if the source of all this had come a few short miles west. Russian operatives are ‘accused’ of paying for self defense classes that were open to the public and advertised to the less fortunate/more oppressed (depending which color you ascribe to), organizing a peaceful protest on trump tower, and buying some ad space on facebook. So, the argument is, they were doing leftist style things to move the wedge a little further left than right.

    If it’s someplace like…Germany doing these things during the election, does it become ‘The EU tries to raise US morality to EU standards’?

  22. dearieme

    The Supreme Court Has An Ethics Problem Politico (johnny gl) Written by a woman who wangled a job at Harvard by claiming to be a Red Indian.

    1. JohnnyGL

      That’s not true. She was already on Harvard’s staff when they started touting her as a Native American. It was mostly just cynical PR from Harvard. Granted, she didn’t oppose or push back. She claims there was a grandparent who took pride in being partially Native American.

  23. ryan

    Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill MarketWatch
    –This is just offensive! As a millennial, I am frankly appalled by Langois’s characterization of millennial preferences- nobody uses the word “chill” as anything other than a verb. Sloppy, especially coming from someone whose twitter handle is @slangwise

    1. Massinissa

      As a millennial myself, I don’t remember anyone using that word that way anymore. Wasn’t that a 90s/2000s thing? I think its out of date now. I’m not even sure if millennial hipster types use that word any more.

  24. L


    The Education of Betsy DeVos Politico

    This is an amazingly glossy piece. They seem to be going out of their way to emphasize how little DeVos can do but then they casually note this:

    Already since taking office, DeVos’ department has deregulated the for-profit college industry that was targeted by Obama for its abuses and lack of accountability; revised the rule for defrauded students to gain loan forgiveness; attempted to consolidate all student loans under one servicing company, a plan she later abandoned; and, most notably, rescinded the Obama-era guidance on Title IX as it pertained to sexual assault cases on campus.

    All of that in one year not counting her plans to radically reduce the department and her efforts to, as they put it: “preach the gospel of free-market education”

    Most notably absent from this piece, and I would argue from much of her perspective on these issues, is effectiveness. In every interview with her that I have read she talks about her goals but never assess whether her goals will actually work. She does not, for example, address the fact that Michigan schools fell lower in performance after implementing her school choice approach with many losing large sums of money. She does not explain what happens to the kids who cannot pick up and leave for a more expensive private school of the type she likes to highlight. She just … preaches her sermon, and expects everyone else to work it out.

    and to make her seem inoffensive even as they talk about her efforts to radically reduce the department, and casually note her “changes” to Obama Era rules

    What is missing

    1. flora

      “preach the gospel of free market education.”

      “Most notably absent from this piece, and I would argue from much of her perspective on these issues, is effectiveness. ”

      I agree, but arguing the importance of real world educational results with the gospel of free markets believers is like
      arguing the importance of teaching evolution theory in biology class
      with Creationists.

      (To their credit, the Creationists aren’t trying to loot the public school system, unlike the gospel of free markets high rollers.)

      1. flora

        Taibbi writing about the college loan scam:

        “America as a country has evolved in recent decades into a confederacy of widescale industrial scams. The biggest slices of our economic pie – sectors like health care, military production, banking, even commercial and residential real estate – have become crude income-redistribution schemes, often untethered from the market by subsidies or bailouts, with the richest companies benefiting from gamed or denuded regulatory systems that make profits almost as assured as taxes. Guaranteed-profit scams – that’s the last thing America makes with any level of consistent competence.”

        Now free marketers are working to also add public schools k-12 to the guaranteed-profit scams. K-12 student outcomes aren’t important to the scammers. Guaranteed-profit is.

  25. Wukchumni

    Last time we were in NZ, we stayed at a number of motels that had swimming pools with diving boards & slides, and some motels had trampolines, or both.

    5 of us went tandem paragliding and aside from signing a credit card slip, that was it as far as signatures go, no waivers, etc.

    Needless to say lawyers are a little lonely there…

    Whereas here, I dove off of motel diving boards into pools, and did a lot of other things that all went away rather suddenly when lawsuits became an issue in the 1980’s, and that variety of physical playground was taken away, out of fear.

    Parents letting their progeny loose into the outdoors is just another layer of worry, as the emphasis is on not what good can come out of it-but the downside.

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