Links 11/8/17

Dear patient readers,

Tech hiccups today impacted getting original posts done. So still behind on saying something re the latest Brexit developments. But the Government meltdown seems to be taking center stage for the moment.

At Least Eight Sheep in the World Can Recognize Barack Obama Motherboard (resilc)

Twitter doubles character count for all the verbose Financial Times

Something Is Wrong On the Internet Medium. John S writes:

This is a long article and hard to grasp, but basically, they are using algorithms to find as many ways as possible to exploit children’s dopamine production in order to generate youtube views. Churning out colorful videos with nursery rhymes and familiar characters that will appeal to kids, who will view them over and over, as kids do. With nonsensical titles cobbled together from whatever words are trending or popular, unsupervised kids just stream one after the other on youtube, and some of these videos end up with millions of views. They don’t have to be coherent or well-made or tell a story, they often seem like just random familiar images and characters strung together with crude computer animation.

Whether these are created by actual humans in third world sweatshops, or generated by bots, either way the videos come across as disturbing and “off” somehow, even when the content is harmless. On top of that, there is some obviously intentional troll content, seemingly created by 4chan types to dupe children into watching seriously messed-up images, that gets mixed in.

The article has a bit of moral panic about it but the author has definitely described something very weird and unhealthy.

Carbon nanofibres linked to mesothelioma Cosmos (furzy)

Trump warns Pyongyang: ‘Do not try us’ BBC


See this wee problem, which the original tweetstorm flags in a toned-down manner.

Wall Street warns Trump team of Brexit ‘point of no return’ Financial Times

Exclusive poll shows public has lost faith in Theresa May’s handling of Brexit negotiations Telegraph

Brexit, the four freedoms, and the indivisibility dogma VoxEU. This is a textbook example a lack of comprehension of what the Brexit negotiations are about. It’s interesting to see some Germans take this up, but economics education is dominated by US institutions, so there may be some bleedover acculturation. They are not about pragmatism. The EU, both the EU itself and the individual countries operate on a civil law system, which is much more legalistic and literal-minded than the UK/US common law system. The EU has tended to be even more so as to keep the EU functioning, as in sticking to the rules creates more certainty and some semblance of protection for smaller countries (as in the German-France dominance, which is baked in practically due to the distribution of votes, would be much greater otherwise). The “four freedoms” is a legal position that the EU holds as fundamental and therefore non-negotiable. The UK can whinge all day about how they don’t like it and think it is economically destructive. The EU has made clear that they are willing to take economic costs to preserve the EU. And if the parties were economically rational, which is the underlying position here, the UK never would have voted for Brexit in the first place.

UK Government Meltdown. The long-simmering leadership crisis, with May continuing as a dead woman walking way longer than most people though possible due to fundamental cleavages (no one wanting new elections, not enough support for either Johnson or Hammond, the two most powerful people after May) means the impact of wave of scandals is more destabilizing that it would normally be. As Richard Smith pointed out, “Interesting how the focus has now largely shifted from historic sexual abusiveness to current ministerial misconduct, without missing a beat.” He also noted that the fixation on the misbehavior is also displacement from dealing with the widening recognition that Brexit is a disaster, but no one has a clue how to back out, particularly in the face of Brexiters who seems to occupy a blocking position not unlike that of the NRA in the US (most Americans favor gun controls contrary to what you’d think reading the press).

Theresa May under pressure to sack Boris Johnson and Priti Patel over humiliating errors Independent

But maybe not: The secret to avoiding more resignations? Just keep adding disasters Guardian

And a cover up!

Or maybe not:


Catalan secessionist parties fail to agree on unity ticket for December vote Reuters

Puigdemont received in Brussels with chants of ‘president’ from Catalan mayors CBC

They won’t get rid of me, says Renzi Ansa


We’re not saying Uncle Sam has lost control on Twitter, but US Embassy in Riyadh just did a shout out for oatmeal The Register

Stratfor explains this week’s coup in Saudi Arabia Fabius Maximus (resilc)

Saudi Crackdown Targets Up to $800 Billion in Assets Wall Street Journal. More than 2 years of annual government spending, not that MbS would liquidate what he seized.

EXCLUSIVE -Saudi princes’ five star prison: Humiliation of Saudi royals as they are photographed sleeping on bare mattresses in luxury hotel after corruption arrests as Trump says they ‘have been milking their country for years!’ Daily Mail. Resilc: “So someday we can lock Trump up like that too?”

Syria to ratify the Paris agreement, leaving the US alone Politico

Russian Revolution

An Important Centennial Econospeak

Bolsheviks Seize Power Defend Democracy

New Cold War


Imperial Collapse Watch

What A U.S. Electric Grid Attack Looks Like OilPrice. I looked into EMP attacks after 9/11. They don’t require nuclear weapons. Funny this is a Topic of Concern now but not discussed then.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn Guardian. Kevin W: “No, not an Onion story.” Chuck L : “What could go wrong?”

Trump Transition

Trump’s H-1B Reform Is to Make Life Hell for Immigrants and Companies Bloomberg

The Case Of Wilbur Ross’ Phantom $2 Billion Forbes (Scott)

DNC Subpoenaed in ‘Dossier’ Lawsuit Foreign Policy (furzy)


Northam wins big in Virginia, thrilling Democrats The Hill. Brace yourself for the triumphalism.

Ed Gillespie Lost an Election. Then He Was Pulverized by Trump and His Allies. Daily Beast

Bill De Blasio Wins Decisive Re-Election as New York City Mayor Bloomberg. He’s a terrible mayor but the Republicans ran a virtual unknown.

Health Care

Maine just resoundingly became the first state to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative Washington Post (Kevin W)

When Everyone Has Health Care Democracy Journal. Carla: “Almost a month old, but still germane. Compares the Canadian system to Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal.”

How Doctors Are Getting Rich on Urine Tests for Opioid Patients Bloomberg (resilc)

Tax “Reform”

Multinationals Scurry to Defuse House Tax Bill’s ‘Atomic Bomb’ Bloomberg (UserFriendly). Funny, a tax expert I confer with knew this was coming, that said a lot of multinationals would be unhappy when they got a good look at the details.

A Quarter of Buyouts Could Be Hit by Carried Interest Proposal Bloomberg. This is fake reform. The PE guys will just change behavior.

Paradise Papers

Steve Bannon’s Populist Media Empire Is Funded with Offshore Cash | Vanity Fair (furzy). Headlines like this drive me nuts. The money comes from the Mercers. who are Americans, not furriners. They use offshore vehicles to lower their tax rate. Hello, most hedgie and private equity firms also use offshore vehicles. So they are upset to learn that there is gambling in Casablanca? And I’d like to see more than one soi-disant tax expert opine on the supposed novelty of the Mercer’s tax structure. Again, I am not saying I approve of this stuff; yours truly has been making noise about the carried interest loophole, “offshore,” and other tax gimmicks of the rich for a long time. What offends me is just about no one on the left took interest when various people made noise about it. So literally decades late, well after a massive wealth transfer has taken place, they get upset? That horse left the barn long ago and is now in the next state.

However, the Paradise Papers may have some immediate impact. From Politico’s daily European e-mail:

At a meeting of EU finance ministers Tuesday, the U.K., Malta and Luxembourg urged colleagues against imposing sanctions on countries placed on a so-called blacklist of tax havens, which is set to be signed off December 5. The EU has sent letters to roughly 50 countries and territories to warn them they risk being blacklisted as tax havens.


It’s the Guns. It’s Always Been the Guns. Nation (furzy)

After the Texas Mass Shooting, We Can’t Afford to Wage War on Science Any More Wired

Shell Gears Up For Peak Gasoline OilPrice

Disney backs down after US media boycott BBC

Sloan: ‘We will never again lose sight of what is most important – you, our customer’ Wells Fargo Stories (David D). Re the name of this feature, someone in the PR department has a subversive sense of humor and knows how to hoist Wells on its preening sense of self regard. Paging Elizabeth Warren. This is just vile. Merely compensating customers for money stolen is not adequate, particularly when done only under extreme duress. As many Congresscritters pointed out in the first round of Wells Fargo hearings, many customers suffered credit score damage (believe it or not, merely pulling credit reports often, or opening credit card accounts, even if not used, can lead to credit score downgrades because the assumption is that the customer is about to go on a borrowing binge). And what about the roughly 25,000 customers who had their cars repossessed as a result of Wells’ abusive conduct? Some may have lost their jobs as a result of being late to work or unable to get to work due to difficultly with/inability to line up other transportation arrangements.

Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies New Yorker (johnnygl). A must read, because this is amazing reporting.

David Boies: I Didn’t Betray The New York Times for Harvey Weinstein Daily Beast. Not very convincing.

A Chicken-Nugget Theory of Capitalism Nation (furzy). A crapification story.

Guillotine Watch

Jet-Set Debt Collectors Join a Lucrative Game: Hunting the Superrich Wall Street Journal. I was tempted to post on this, but it’s a long and engaging story of one protracted chase.

Class Warfare

The Moral Identity of Homo Economicus Project Syndicate (David L)

Silicon Valley’s ‘car people’ push homeless crisis to the brink New York Post (audrey jr)

Antidote du jour. From Mary L, in the story Beluga calf found on Cook Inlet beach gets critical care at Alaska SeaLife Center, in the Alaska Dispatch News:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. voteforno6

    Re: But maybe not: The secret to avoiding more resignations? Just keep adding disasters

    Thank you for that link. It’s just another reminder that, no matter how bad things are here in the U.S., they are so much worse in the U.K. The comments are also worth a read…no one does invective quite like the Brits, I think.

    1. Meher Baba Fan

      It wasnt mentioned in the piece. But what Boris Johnson had claimed, about the British woman in Iran, that inflammed the situation so terribly and drastically was ‘ she was teaching others journalism’

      fun note. The use of the word omnishambles in the introduction is a literal quote from Malcolm Tucker, Director of Communications and anti-hero in the BBC’s ‘The Thick Of It ‘ which I know you’ve all gone out of your way to see ;-)

      1. Lee

        I’d never heard of In the Thick of it. Looks interesting. Perhaps akin to In the Loop, which I found brilliantly funny.

        Further reading indicates a set of common writers, creators etc. So, yes, they are definitely akin.

      2. CalypsoFacto

        For a while now I’ve watched the growing disillusionment of the centrist/status quo dems I know, wondering how could this have been a surprise after Obama? Eventually I decided that a lot of these people had an idea of government based off The West Wing. Ponderously talking about big ideas and dispensing good government. Whereas I’d always presumed the browbeating and omnishambles and screaming vile profanity and pettiness of The Thick of It was closer to the mark.

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘No 10 knew on Aug 24 that Patel had met Bibi’

    It goes further than this, much further. Priti Patel went to visit an Israeli field hospital ( in the occupied Golan Heights – politically a big no, no – and discussed providing UK aid to help Israel’s efforts to treat wounded Syrians in the Golan Heights. This was during unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials. Forget that Israel is a rich country and is not eligible for aid and forget that this money would apparently come from the UK defense budget.
    This field hospital is not really there to treat ordinary wounded Syrians but is mainly there to treat Jihadist fighters. Not ‘moderate’ fighters but actual Jihadists, including al-Qaeda fighters. In fact, Israeli medical teams go into Syria to retrieve their wounded and bring them back into Israel. There are fotos extant of Israeli border guards having friendly chats with Jihadist fighters showing good relations between them. When these Jihadist are recovered, they are sent back into Syria to rejoin the fighting. It’s not enough that Israel are helping Jihadists but now they want the West to pay for it?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think there is a lot more about Patels activities we don’t know about. Apart from anything else, it must be said that Israel is a peculiar choice of holiday destination for a (presumably muslim(?)) British politician. I think there will be a lot more from this story to add to the omnishambles. I just checked Patel’s wiki page, I must admit I knew little about her – there is enough ‘neutral’ information there to strongly suggest she is a really nasty piece of work in many ways.

      I’m interested in what you say in the second paragraph about the Israeli field hospitals being used to patch up Jihadists. I wouldn’t be surprised if its true, but do you have any links to back up that claim?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, here are two using the search term – Israeli field hospitals jihadists – but there are very many others if you look-

        The Israelis help the Jihadists in other ways such as supplying weapons and munitions (found by the Syrian Army in captured supply dumps with Hebrew writing) and also with fire support. Israel says that any shell that lands in the Golan is the fault of the Syrians. Thus if the Jihadists are being attacked by the Syrian Army, they fire a mortar or two into waste lands in Gaza. The Israelis immediately say that this was the fault of the Syrians and then launch an attack on the Syrian forces that just happen to be attacking those very same Jihadists. Neat trick, eh? By the way, I agree with your assessment of Patel being a really nasty piece of work. She’d have a great time with Nikki Haley.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Thanks, that Jerusalem Post article is very enlightening. These days I keep finding out that no matter how cynical I get in my old age, I’m not nearly cynical enough.

      2. DJG

        PlutoniumKun: Her Wiki page gives her full name, and Patel is a caste name in India indicating a certain status. The stereotype is that a Patel runs a shop. Tends to be a Hindu name.

        So what she likely is engaged in is “the enemy of my enemy if my friend” diplomacy, which she is too dense to figure out is something that never works.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yeah, sorry you are right, I used to know a muslim family called Patel, but I think most are Hindu, and her family are Gujerati, who are usually Hindu.

          I wonder though if its really stupidity in her case (that was my first instinct). She seems to be not the usual Tory dimwit. Arrogance maybe, or something much deeper going on.

          1. David

            Yes, well, DFID has always had a reputation as a department in which strange things happen, and in my time was cordially disliked by much of the rest of Whitehall, so this isn’t entirely a surprise. DFID has always had its own private foreign policy, and a chunk of its “aid” budget over recent years has gone into the security area, on non-lethal projects. Mostly this is banal stuff like human rights training, drafting laws and funding NGOs, but supporting hospitals is not an incredible stretch from things I’ve seen in the past. Mind you, it’s a commentary on the chaos in the UK government that she didn’t at least tell other departments where she was going, and get permission to raise these issues.
            She’s actually from a Ugandan Asian family (those thrown out by Idi Amin in the 1970s) and so probably not that culturally Indian anyway. And yes, every second Indian shopkeeper in the UK is called Patel.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              But isn’t it claimed that even DFID officials didn’t know what she was doing? Or do you think that she was ‘encouraged’ by officials/insiders in some way to take this solo run, and has been hung out to dry by them?

              The more I think about this, the more I think it likely that there may have been something more sinister in the background going to lead her to this trip. It does seem that she has all sorts of connections with the sort of shadowy libertarian right groups that seem to have so much influence with some strands of the Tory party these days.

              My point about her religion is that it seems to me very odd for someone like her to choose Israel for a holiday. I know plenty of people who have gone to Israel for holidays, but without exception they’ve either been Christians doing the Holy Land sites, or people with Jewish/Israeli family connections. And of course there is the ‘visa stamp’ issue associated with visiting Israel, which puts off many curious travellers. I just think it sounds very unlikely.

              1. David

                With DFID, in my experience, most things are possible. Her officials would have needed to know where she was (if they were competent) but not necessarily, as you say, exactly what she was doing. But who actually arranged these meetings that the Independent story talks about? Normally it would be the Embassy, but there’s no mention of them, and the average Ambassador would have a heart attack at the idea of Ministers talking to local politicians without the Embassy in tow; I agree, something funny going on here. Israel is an odd place for a holiday, and, whilst the visa stamp problem can be circumvented (two passports for example) it would be an issue, especially for a Minister traveling privately.

              2. Alex

                You are misinformed. Israel does not stamp passports, it gives pieces of paper instead at the border control. And there are plenty of tourists that are neither Jewish not religious. This is based on my own observations – not sure anyone has gathered this kind of data

        2. dearieme

          ‘ “the enemy of my enemy if my friend” diplomacy, which she is too dense to figure out is something that never works’: it worked in WWII when we found ourselves allied with the vile Stalin.

          1. Darthbobber

            War isn’t precisely “diplomacy”, whatever Clausewitz might have said. And neither the Soviets nor the AngloAmericans deluded themselves into believing that having a commonenemy made them BFFs.

  3. Juneau

    Urine testing is one way to protect the provider against allegations of supporting diversion and overprescribing which has resulted in things like prison for a few docs. Even when the court confirms the doc didn’t know about the diversion (ref William Hurwitz MD).

    Some docs,I know for a fact, do not charge for testing and write it off. 5 bucks a cup is pretty cheap for good insurance against all kinds of badness.

    1. UserFriendly

      A. They shouldn’t be testing unless they inform you they are testing.
      B. Fentanyl does not show up on most tests so any junkie with a brain can just buy that instead of Heroin.

  4. David Carl Grimes

    With the victories of centrist (read corporate) Democrats last night, especially in Virginia, I don’t think Democrats like Schumer, Pelosi, and Perez would have learned their lesson – to be more inclusive of the more progressive Bernie wing of the party. I think this election will teach them that doubling down on their failed strategy of spewing nonsense and identity politics will carry them through in 2018 and beyond.

    1. Jason Boxman

      True enough. Although they would have certainly doubled down regardless. You can’t change strategy when you’re certainly it’s the correct approach, evidence be damned. But now it’s a stick they can beat the Left with, which clearly gives them perverse joy.

    2. Darthbobber

      There were quite a few Berniecrats and at least one DSAer among the new crop in the House of Delegates.

  5. HopeLB

    Obama should subcontract these sheep for his library! It would be quite a draw. And think what a kiddie attraction it could be (!) particularly if the children who fed the sheep first played musical “Hope and Change” chairs to determine which child gets to wear the Obama mask and feed the sheep with treats shaped into the words “Hope” and “Change” while the other children are left to stand around watching the sheep eat from Obama’s eloquent hand. As each chair was taken away a promise unkept could be announced followed by an explanation of how the R’s blocked it. What great fun! And they could have a human sized donation basket out. (Though, the irredeemable deplorables, if they even do visit because of the Cambridge sheep attraction, most likely won’t put anything in it.)

  6. timbers

    Silicon Valley’s ‘car people’ push homeless crisis to the brink New York Post (audrey jr)

    Things like this make me wonder why hasn’t there been a revolution to seize the wealth from the bailed out pampered above the law protected rich in this country?

    Car dweller: She said it makes more sense to stay in the camper near their jobs and try to save for a brighter future, even if a recent city crackdown chased them from their parking spot.

    “We still need to eat,” said Saldana, 51. “I still want to bring my kids, once in a while, to a movie, to eat out.”

    She cooks and serves food at two hotels in nearby Palo Alto, jobs that keep her going most days from 5 in the morning until 10 at night. Two of her sons, all in their 20s, work at a bakery and pay $700 toward the RV each month. They’re all very much aware of the economic disparity in Silicon Valley.

    “How about for us people who are serving these tech people?” Saldana said. “We don’t get the same paycheck that they do.”

    Car dweller: Ellen Tara James-Penney, a 54-year-old lecturer at San Jose State University, parks her old Volvo at one of those safe-haven churches, Grace Baptist Church, and eats in its dining hall. She is paid $28,000 a year to teach four English classes and is carrying $143,000 in student debt after earning two degrees.

    She grades papers and prepares lessons in the Volvo. At night, she leans back the driver’s seat and prepares for sleep, one of two dogs, Hank, by her side. Her husband, Jim, who is too tall for the car, sleeps outside in a tent cot with their other dog, Buddy.

    1. Charger01

      These anecdotes hit hard. Wealthiest nation on Earth and we condone this extreme divide. We’re going to be South Africa or Brazil, if this keeps up.

      1. RUKidding

        … going to be…

        Eh? I think we ARE NOW. We ARE a third world country NOW. No ifs ands or buts about it.

        When you see college professors (adjuncts) living in cars: do not pass Go, do not collect $100, we are there now.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          146 brand-new billionaires in the world in 2017 so far (for those who may not recall, a billion is a thousand million). Start now and count to a thousand…then revel for a moment in the awesome munificence of a system designed to harness all of the planet’s resources and wealth for the exclusive benefit of a handful of its occupants. Go Team B! You can do it! 200+ by Christmas!

      2. David May

        I remember visiting San Francisco in 1998. The one memory that sticks out above all others: a homeless woman washing clothes in a fountain. I was shocked by the poverty. I had seen poverty in the third world, but to see it in the World’s richest country was inconceivable. How could people be so cruel to their fellow citizens? Were they not ashamed of their treatment?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How much more for a lecturer of four STEM classes at San Jose State University?

      Still around $28,000 a year?

      Is that a problem of favoring STEM or one of underpaying all lecturers?

      1. l. brown

        Is that a problem of favoring STEM or one of underpaying all lecturers?

        My alma mater is SJSU. I don’t think her exploitive salary is indicative of favoring STEM or IT degrees. Rather is it the administration’s greed. They are vampires that feed off exploiting the students and teachers, all along thinking that it’s okay because, “Some people are worth more than others.”

        I grew up in San Jose and now live downtown. I barely scrape by. There are homeless people sleeping on neighborhood sidewalks, at freeway entrances and exit ramps, plus along miles and miles of sound walls that line the freeways. Recently, broken-down campers and RV’s have appeared in my neighborhood seeking harbor under the freeway overpass. Across from some new market rate apartments is a homeless camp. The people in the camp have leaned boards interspersed with dirty clothing against a chain linked fence to have some sense of privacy. Rolling into work in Santa Clara I am confronted with more of this relentless poverty. I work at a major corporation as contract labor and just outside the doors are more falling apart RVs and campers. This unrelenting poverty is jaw-droppingly juxtaposed by unlimited corporate and personal wealth; an ill-gotten wealth that drives the building of expensive new corporate campuses, shops, and unaffordable housing. The construction workers that build these things are exploited, imported from out of town, out of state, and out of country. Local construction workers with union wages find themselves bereft of jobs. A hundred years ago Santa Clara Valley was marketed as the “Valley of the Heart’s Delight.” Now, I think you’d have to shift through Charles Dickens or Upton Sinclair novels to find a phrase that more accurately captures the day’s exploitive zeitgeist.

        I think of that SJSU teacher, her husband, and two dogs, plus all the countless others I see each day. I don’t have extra money to give and volunteer jobs seem to only occur during working hours. I know that I must find a way to help. I also know that we have to reign in the corporations, Wall Street, the oligarchs and the mere wealthy, plus the politicians and officials they have bought. If we the citizens fail to do this, what I see every single day will be the fate of most citizens in our nation.

        1. Ned

          “The construction workers that build these things are exploited, imported from out of town, out of state, and out of country. Local construction workers with union wages find themselves bereft of jobs…”

          Wall Street is the main problem, but half a million illegals in the Bay Area per DHS certainly cause housing shortages. The people decrying homelessness encourage more “immigrant rights”, i.e. encourage more illegals in a never ending cycle of crisis which assures the problem will never be solved at the supply end of housing.

          Musk wants Tesla to employ low wage refugees to build his taxpayer subsidized cars.
          A union? Livable wages for Tesla workers? Perish the thought.

          1. Wukchumni

            Strangely enough though, one rarely sees homeless Hispanics in California. It’s mostly Caucasians.

            1. Ned

              From what I have seen around our neighborhood, Hispanics are willing to live four to a bedroom in what was once a middle class teenage girl’s abode, they share one bathroom with 8 or 16 other people and most of all they work–cheap.

              White and black Americans could do that as well. It’s called co-housing. But this lends only itself to people who cooperate and do not have personal foibles like drug addiction, smoking and a need to blast garbage music into their environs which our individualistic and spoiled generation suffers.

              All the job creation programs for African American youth pale before the Hispanic immigrant’s willingness to work-cheap. That is only in the recently arrived IMHO. The second generation share the same defects as the fourth, fifth and sixth generation Americans and are more likely to end up on the streets.

            2. Fiery Hunt

              Ohhh, don’t know about that…
              Lots of Latinos on the street in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito.
              See ’em every day; both on the streets and in the camps.

              1. Ned

                Inform them of the Promise Land;
                San Francisco.
                A much better homeless support structure–free city I.D., free health care, translations, housing, legal services, women’s shelters exclusively for Hispanic women, etc. Most of all, city officials who will fight to the political death to support that community.

                It’s the Gold Standard of homeless services in the Western World. That’s why so many go there.

              2. Wukchumni

                That’s interesting, I probably saw 100 or so homeless in SD a couple weeks ago, and not one Hispanic among them…

    3. Wukchumni

      It isn’t as if this situation is a Saline Valley gig, I see people living rough in vehicles of every sort all over the big cities in California. If you’re lucky, family or friends will let you occupy their driveway, if not, it’s beginning to get draconian.

      It’s pretty common in cities all over the state to have signs on streets that say “no parking from midnight to 5 am” but this is a new one, vehicles over 6 feet high are banned in some locales of his city, and the mayor is proud of it.

      “Mayor Ken Rosenberg is proud of the city’s response to the crisis — focusing not on penalties but on providing services. Yet he’s also worried that the peace won’t last as RVs crowd into bike lanes and over-taxed streets.

      Last week, Mountain View officials posted signs banning vehicles more than 6 feet high on some parts of the street where Saldana, Hernandez and others living in RVs were parked, saying they were creating a traffic hazard. The average RV is well over that height.

    4. edmondo

      $143,000 in debt after getting two degrees in English? Seriously?

      I’m all in on that “follow your dream” mantra but that makes absolutely no sense.

        1. Ned

          And Joe Biden led the charge in the senate to prevent student loans from being discharged in bankruptcy. The Senator From Delaware, where the credit banks that own the credit card companies are headquartered, of course the card companies themselves are H.Q.d in no usury cap South Dakota.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You haven’t been paying attention, clearly. Go read stories on student debt. The loans are designed to have the principal explode if you miss as little as a payment or two.

    5. Craig H.

      Last week, Mountain View officials posted signs banning vehicles more than 6 feet high on some parts of the street where Saldana, Hernandez and others living in RVs were parked, saying they were creating a traffic hazard.

      I think I know who gets to be the Ebeneezer Scrooge protagonist in the Christmas Carol 2017 update. There is some Salary Grade 11 official who works for the city of Mountain View who decided to crap on the boondockers. Merry Christmas you poop head.

  7. DJG

    Ronan Farrow’s article about Harvey Weinstein’s spies, New Yorker, is tightly written and highly detailed. Some “interesting” details>
    –Funny about Black Cube being dominated by Israelis. I thought that it was the Russians who knew how to insinuate themselves into U.S. society so seamlessly. The current scandal in the U.K. represents the same problem: The Israelis will do just about anything to their so-called allies to get what the Israeli elites want. And if you point that out, you’re an anti-Semite, of course.
    –Farrow lets that free lance off the hook. I kept wondering about that. Maybe Farrow is waiting to extract revenge later, but someone who is “writing” an article as a free lance based on information supplied by a bunch of spies is neither a free lance nor a journalist.
    –The number of women who spent time trying to undermine Rose McGowan is “interesting.” Power and money, there is too much of each in the U S of A, and we are seeing absolute corruption. Where’s Madeline Albright now?
    –Anthony Bourdain, of all people, makes an appearance mid-article.

    So what we see here is that Weinstein, like Trump, isn’t a complete outlier. They are symptoms of the rot, not the cause of the rot. And the whole article is paragraph after paragraph of descriptions of truly rotten people trying to set up women like McGowan and Sciorra and Argento who have legitimate grievances.

    1. Enrique Bermudez

      I’m far from a “food” person and only moderately know about Anthony Bourdain, but I seem to notice him appearing in odd/unusual/unexpected contexts every so often.

      I rather respect that – in an age of such predictible hyper-segmentation of almost every part of everything he is a Renaissance man of sorts.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        Look for a detailed interview with Bourdain. There’s a recent one out there. Comes across as a truly nasty piece of work but he’s got some grit to him for sure. Argento is unique and talented in her way and sort of well connected but naive and has poor judgment – she got heavily involved with the J.T. LeRoy thing making a movie of the fake memoir.

        Very sad, violent and abusive what Weinstein did to her. A sick evil man. I hope at least one of his crimes go to trial.

      2. ChrisPacific

        He has become more politicized through his work, in much the same way that Yves was. He travels very widely, has seen a lot of the world, and you get the sense that he’s started to notice some things:

        “A constant on my travels is nice, incredibly hospitable people, often very reasonable people. Unfortunately, another constant is that nice, reasonable people are being ground under the wheel.”

    2. Tom

      And don’t forget that Weinstein was a fixture in the Clinton and Democratic Party universe — donating money to the DNC and the Clinton Foundation, organizing fundraisers for Hillary’s doomed 2016 Presidential run and even contributing to Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

      Ole Harv couldn’t keep it in his pants but he sure could keep the money flowing, so I guess it all evened out.

    3. Wukchumni

      We’re in such interesting times, now with which hunts.

      The low hanging fruit (Weinstein, Spacey, et al) have been on the tree in plain sight for a long time and quite visible in that everybody in Hollywood seemed to know of their activities, and it’s oddly similar to the communist witch hunts of the late 40’s-early 50’s.

      It was common knowledge, that creative artistic people were drawn to the communist party in the 30’s & 40’s in droves, so squashing careers for the HUAC was like shooting fish in a barrel~

      But this is different, it’s not about a cause, it’s about causation and power-not necessarily in that order. How many more bad hombres will be exposed?

      1. audrey jr

        You mean the Ehud Barak who just got out of prison after being convicted on corruption charges? Do tell.
        Besides the CIA, nobody does dirty tricks better than Mossad.
        BiBi is up to his ears in corruption, too. Maybe that’s why he and MbS are trying harder than ever to start WWIII using Lebanon – as if those poor folk hadn’t been used enough in the last forty years – since Lebanon has “declared war on KSA.” They don’t even share a border!! But they do share a border with the other player in this big/little drama. And they want more land. And they “Goin’ to take that bank, we gon’ take it!” to paraphrase Warren Beatty’s Clyde Barrow.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe in the United States, once you join the company, you don’t ever leave.

      So, how many ex-Chinese, ex-Russia agents are in America today? Do we track them?

        1. Wukchumni

          Bibi is in no position to lecture anybody, and his true colors are on display…

          “As Shapiro warned at a recent conference sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League: “There is an idea that has some currency in certain circles around the Israeli government that says, ‘You know what, we can write off that segment of American Jewry because in a couple of generations their children or grandchildren will assimilate. So let’s focus on the Orthodox who are an important constituency but smaller. Let’s focus on Evangelicals, and we can sustain our support from the American public by focusing on those populations and writing off and being dismissive of Jewish progressives.’”

          1. The Rev Kev

            Wait, are you saying that most American Jews are regarded by sections of the Israeli government as – deplorables?

    5. fresno dan

      November 8, 2017 at 9:02 am
      speaking of spies….

      Another ethics specialist has broader issues with Boies’ conduct. He engaged intelligence operatives who were perpetrating frauds to collect information on alleged victims and others, and in some cases propagating misinformation. Regardless of whether the target of those operations included Boies’ own clients, that’s a line attorneys can’t cross, Washington University professor Kathleen Clark tells NBC, especially when it doesn’t involve any litigation:

      “Everybody knew….” Ethics, rules, laws – and yet somehow, the only thing that actually matters is how much money one has.

    6. Kurt Sperry

      From the taken-down cached version of the phony “Rueben Capitol Partners” website set up by the ex-Mossad spooks to trap McGowan, maybe as generic an example of boilerplate, neoliberal, BS, idpol word salad as you’ll ever see:

      “Reuben Capital Partners is an independent and private investment and wealth management firm.

      Originally established with a single-family focus, RCP swiftly expanded its portfolio and began offering investment services to co-investors and external clientele. Since RCP’s establishment, we have invested in both traditional and alternative assets, diversifying our portfolios to maximize the benefits for our clientele.

      We are one of the UK’s most prominent providers of investment management services to wealthy individuals, foundations and charities. Preferring to keep a low-profile and remain out of the public limelight, we are respected in our ability to quietly provide shrewd investment advice to individuals and groups that are engaged in progressive efforts on a cultural level.

      Our upcoming Women in Focus initiative is designed to bring more women into the business and investment fold. We took the decision to launch this initiative after recognizing the inherent imbalance in this field which clearly favours men over women. In our capacity as progressive investment leaders, we deem it critically important to elevate the role of women in this industry and are working towards a more inclusive agenda that empowers both women and girls.

      RCP’s partners have decades of experience in the investment and business industries. Endowed with a deep knowledge of financial markets and a network of contacts, we work seamlessly with our clientele to secure their futures while remaining committed to progressive ideals that will result in the more equal societies of the future.

      Quality and equality. This is what sets Reuben Capital Partners apart.

      RCP’s Women in Focus initiative is an exciting project that we are readying to kickstart. This initiative will not only focus on combating all forms of discrimination against women in the workplace, but also work towards promoting the inclusion of women in business – actively and at all levels.

      It is a well-known fact that women have less access to capital around the world. This is certainly the case in emerging markets and rings true in other industries around the world too. The scale of the issue is different depending on which country is brought into focus, but the fundamental issues are identical: women earn less, get promoted less, and are underappreciated in the workplace.

      We at RCP wholeheartedly believe in the effectiveness of investment strategies that are first filtered through a critical gender lens. We feel that progressive activism is the best way forward and can lead to realizable results in this fight for gender equality, which was the impetus behind our firm’s novel idea. Thus, we favour companies that are dedicated to promoting workplace equality and general upliftment and welfare of women and girls.

      RCP endeavors to regularly encourage and systematically engage with the companies in our portfolios to ensure that they provide full transparency regarding their policies on gender. We seek to instill the necessity of viewing investments through a gender-inclusive lens that will promote better societies by ensuring that women are granted access to their fair share of the pie.

      This will include creating new opportunities for women who have chosen to become entrepreneurs or executives so that they are in the best possible position to obtain capital, secure leadership roles, and have a greater influence over important business decisions.”

    7. Lee

      Since, as Larry David recently pointed out, a disproportionately high number of the perps named so far are Jewish, and I’m assuming, are moneyed supporters of Israel, a Mossad connection makes complete sense. I assume the current disproportionality will correct over time and as more names are drop-kicked to beyond the pale.

  8. allan

    The Hastert Rule: “In order to be allowed a vote on the floor of the House,
    any bill has to be supported by a majority of the majority”.

    The Ryan Rule: “In order to be allowed a vote on the floor of the House,
    any amendment has to be supported by me.”

    Ryan sets record for closing down debate in House [The Hill]

    Just what you would expect from an ideas-oriented policy wonk.

  9. b

    “EXCLUSIVE -Saudi princes’ five star prison: Humiliation of Saudi royals as they are photographed sleeping on bare mattresses in luxury hotel after corruption arrests as Trump says they ‘have been milking their country for years!’ Daily Mail. Resilc: “So someday we can lock Trump up like that too?””

    Not so. A video of that banquet room with the mattresses showed military guns in one corner. This was obviously were the guards were sleeping, not the super rich MbS is fleecing.

    1. Ned

      Imagine a roundup of Wells Fargo and other bank, corrupt hedge fund and criminal corporate CEOs.
      Where would they sleep under captivity in the U.S.?
      I suggest abandoned shopping malls as appropriate locations.

      Whetstones scrape, scrape, scrape across the blades and pitchfork points in the dreams of Americans.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Clueless in America:

    On their first full day of jury deliberations at the bribery trial of Senator Robert Menendez, a juror asked the judge a basic question: What is a senator?

    U.S. District Judge William Walls declined to answer the question, and he refused that juror’s request for a transcript of Monday’s closing argument by Menendez’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

    Walls told jurors that they should rely on their individual and collective memories to determine how to define a senator and what was in the transcript.

    Senators, seniors, sentinels: they all kinda blend together in mah troubled mind.

    Uh, what day is it?

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps he meant animal, vegetable or mineral?

      Here in SC we find our Senator Graham to be quite mysterious.

      1. Wukchumni

        Last year on May 3rd, Graham tweeted:

        “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed……and we will deserve it”

        And then a couple of times last month, Lindsey was out golfing with Trump…

    2. John k

      Tried by a jury of his peers…
      a senator is a person above the law… one step below a banker… three steps below god…

    3. Oregoncharles

      Jury abuse. At this point, juries have more power vs. the judge than they usually think. The jury in the OJ Simpson trial set a precedent: speed things up, or we force a mistrial. That is easy to do: just enough jurors announce that they’ve prejudged the case. They have to be dismissed, and the trial aborts. That makes the judge look bad.

      Or they threaten to simply acquit, unless they get the information they want.

      No one in their right mind would ever allow me on a jury – in any case, I’m now too old.

    1. kareninca

      Wow, that is quite a screed. It should definitely make it into the links. Katha Pollitt sure hates a lot of people. Among others:

      “Actually, Trump voters are not the only people I hate. I also hate Jill Stein voters and Gary Johnson voters and Bernie deadenders with their ridiculous delegates math and people with consciences so delicate they could not bring themselves to pull the lever for Hillary so they didn’t vote at all. I hate everyone who thought there was no “real” difference between the candidates because Hillary was a neoliberal and a faux feminist and Trump was not so bad. I hate people who spent the whole election season bashing Hillary in books and articles and Facebook posts and tweets, and then painfully, reluctantly dragged themselves out to vote for her, as if their one little, last-minute ballot cancelled out all the discouraging and dissuading they’d spent six months inflicting on people. I especially hate everyone who thought that electing a reactionary monster would be okay because it would—or could, or might, who can tell?—bring on the revolution. Looking at you, Susan Sarandon and Slavoj Zizek! You are idiots and my heart seethes with wrath against you.”

      I wouldn’t want her blood pressure reading.

      1. Darthbobber

        Wow. I’m guessing her budget for christmas cards is pretty low. The capacity for self-delusion seems nearly infinite for some.

  11. Wukchumni

    It’s the Guns. It’s Always Been the Guns. Nation (furzy)

    I guess the salient question is, how would the Republican constituency react to their politicians restricting hand cannons in a meaningful way?

    That’s the fear on the inside-looking out.

  12. Wukchumni

    Nice dolphin, reminds me of the 60’s tv one by the name of Flipper.

    And flipping is more associated with buying and selling a used home nowadays, but ‘to flip’ or ‘flipping’ is an old horse racing term that means a jockey would stick a finger down their throat to induce vomiting, in order to make their racing weight.

    “It may sound shocking to those outside the racing industry. But the basins installed at U.S. race tracks for vomiting, or “flipping” as it is known in the trade, is one of the more extreme dieting methods used by professional jockeys.”

  13. Sutter Cane

    The BBC covered questionable videos on kids youtube a few months ago, but didn’t really get across how WEIRD things have become:

    Kids being kids, they search for things they think are funny, like poo poo and pee pee, and things snowball pretty quickly from preschool toilet humor to borderline fetish videos.

    We decided as a society that child labor was unacceptable, but apparently exploiting children’s attention for youtube views is ok. Add in the AI and bots and you get the exploitation of children, now fully automated.

    That the videos being produced come across like nightmare fuel from something in a David Cronenberg movie just adds to the sense of unease.

          1. UserFriendly

            Yeah, that looks much more like parenting by TV for the modern age. The Youtube Poop I was talking about is a bit more creative and probably aimed at a slightly older age bracket.

  14. Kurt Sperry

    Re: Something Is Wrong On the Internet. Does anyone else remember a time perhaps ten years or so past when Google search result pages were frequently swamped with pages filled with gibberish, obviously machine-generated content? It lasted for maybe months or a year and then it seemed to have got sorted.

    1. Carolinian

      Google search does seem to have lost some of its famous “intuition.” Search phrases often now need careful choosing to get anything useful.

      Perhaps the search optimization industry has something to do with this as well as changes in the internet itself. The user base is not as wonky as it once was.

  15. Jim Haygood

    A new late-bubble trading vehicle: FANG+ futures. I thought this was from The Onion, but apparently it’s from the ICE exchange.

    The NYSE FANG+ index includes ten highly liquid stocks that represent the top innovators across today’s tech and internet/media companies.

    Facebook; Apple; Amazon; Netflix; Google; Alibaba; Baidu; NVIDIA; Tesla; Twitter

    As we’ve discussed before, new trading vehicles for cult stocks that have already experienced a parabolic run-up carry contrarian implications … though FANG+ could light the afterburners on the Terrific Ten for a little while.

    So let us stop talking falsely now
    The hour is getting late

    Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower

  16. A1

    The Fabius Maximus article is an interesting read as the Stratfor analysis is the status quo “all is good” analysis. I find Stratfor an example of fake news, as they claim they cutting through the fog of misinformation by presenting an analysis that is misinformation. An example is the glossing over the glossing over the Yemen war.

    1. VietnamVet

      Saudi Arabia is in trouble. Basically, one family of the ruling tribe decided to nationalize all the rest. One reason is the loss of oil income. The other one is incompetence. Yemen festers and Sunni Islam is about to be split apart in Syria and Iraq by Shiite militias. The only way to counter this is an alliance with their enemy Israel. In a weird way this is tied into the Oligarchs going wild in the USA. Mossad agents are hired out to do dirty work. Together, the Crown Prince and Bibi are working to get Donald Trump to fight a war with Iran that is not in the best interest of the American people.

  17. Jason Boxman

    That’s fantastic news on the H-1B front. These abuses have been going on since I began reading about them on Slashdot in 1999 and likely before. There are plenty of us that can do the work. With on-the-job training, I could certainly do some of these roles. Instead, I’m spending my free time learning JavaScript on my own using freeCodeCamp.

    It’s funny. I had a programming job in the early 2000s, but didn’t want to do it as a career at the time. Now it’s insanely different to get into the field. Oh well.

    1. JTee

      In the late ’90s/early ’00s I worked at a law firm with 6-7 lawyers in SF whose sole focus was churning out H-1B visas for tech workers in Silicon Valley. It was surprising to me at the time that there was enough business to support these Marin dwelling lawyers and a gaggle of young assistants. Looking back, maybe they were just small fry in this whole swindle against American workers.

  18. Wukchumni

    “The situation in Puerto Rico isn’t hypothetical. It’s American tragedy of enormous proportions here and now. It’s also a frightening window into what can go wrong in this Electric Century.”
    Years ago, I read contemporary newspaper accounts from all over the world from the 1859 Carrington Event, and as far as I can tell, the only electric device was the telegraph. Some telegraph operators reported that even after disconnecting their devices-they continued to run, others were shocked by merely touching them, while most telegraphs just simply stopped working.

    Of course you can’t compare the technology of then to now, but a EMP attack would be a very effective way to leave a country mostly intact, and the people wrecked, and as an added bonus-not one gun out there would be rendered useless by the attack, they’d all work perfectly.

    We would be a true ‘Gunocracy’ @ that point.

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “… U.S. Electric Grid Attack …”
    This is article echoes the recent past. The popular 2009 novel “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen presents a chilling picture of the aftermath of an EMP attack using nuclear weapons. EMP is a big seller for survivalist products.

    On the other hand there are contrary voices:
    “Renowned Physicists Cast Doubt on Gingrich’s Far-Fetched Scenario about EMP weapons”
    [ ] As I recall Gingrich wrote the preface to my copy of “One Second After” and is friends with Forstchen.

    Our sun could launch an “EMP attack” taking out the grid in a wide area. A solar coronal mass ejection similar to the Carrington Event of 1859 might do a lot more than fry telegraph lines — and it’s a matter of when not whether such an event might occur. “Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012”
    [ ]

    I’ve read — but can’t recall the source — that many of the large transformers in the grid backbone have manufacturing lead times of a couple of years and must be ordered from outside the country because we don’t make them here. I have no idea how many spares our power providers or government keep in inventory for spares.

    But as the OilPrice link suggests recent hurricanes should raise some questions about just how robust is our electric grid? and how ready and capable are those who would make repairs? The answers seem to vary by location.

    1. Wukchumni

      There must be hundreds of millions of fruit & nut trees here, and w/o electricity allowing the pumps to distribute water, they’d mostly be dead within a fortnight of an EMP attack. On the plus side though, there’d be a lot of firewood available.

    2. skippy

      Yes. The production of some of the bigger transformers etc require setting eng up from scratch, not to mention nesting materials and scrounging up labour.

      disheveled… did one for the Sydney Olympics due to terrorist fears as there was no spare laying around.

    3. Oregoncharles

      I read that about the transformers, too. How many spares? Nowhere near enough.

      I wonder if it would fry home solar power systems? They’d provide some security against the grid going down.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They have done that in South Korea.

      For sure in North Korea as well, if they were rich.

      Will it happen in China, at the scale, proportionally with the number arrested so far?

      Being historically minded, people there will recall the eunuch Heshen of the Qing Dynasty, whose:

      total property was ultimately estimated at around 1,100 million taels of silver, reputedly estimated to be an amount equivalent to the imperial revenue of the Qing government for 15 years.

      – Wikipedia

      Compare that with this from above:

      Saudi Crackdown Targets Up to $800 Billion in Assets Wall Street Journal. More than 2 years of annual government spending, not that MbS would liquidate what he seized.

    2. Ned

      Fan mattresses….
      What is the technical term for the board on which the head and body rests awaiting the fall of the guillotine blade?

  20. blennylips

    Two quick notes..

    Someone recently asked how to read a twitter thread. As a non-twitterati, I too find it confusing. Serendipitously, I just found a suitable tool:

    Read Twitter threads with ease
    Thread Reader helps you unroll a full Twitter thread on a dedicated beautifully designed page to allow an easy read of the whole story.

    Something Is Wrong On the Internet (obligatory xkcd was a bit unclear to me. This explainer adds quite a bit to the discussion:

    To use an entirely fictional example of what this means, let’s imagine that, following a popular Saturday Night Live sketch, millions of people begin Googling “Pokémon Go Ewan McGregor.” In the emerging YouTube media ecology that Bridle documents, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit would immediately make a Pokémon Go video featuring Ewan McGregor both to satisfy this peculiar cultural urge and to profit from the anticipated traffic.

  21. fresno dan

    Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn Guardian. Kevin W: “No, not an Onion story.” Chuck L : “What could go wrong?”

    OK, I’ll send them photos of myself nude, but I hope they have a barf bucket handy….
    “this should be sealed, and never, ever be seen by human, or inhuman, eyes again!”

  22. JTMcPhee

    Somewhere between “Imperial Collapse Watch” and “Syriaqistan” there’s this ever-growing tumor:

    A search through unclassified budget documents has revealed that the Pentagon has been secretly developing a long-range engagement weapon (LREW) that could replace or surpass the capabilities of the Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM. The discovery by Flight Global found that hidden away in an obscure budget line item for an Office of the Secretary of Defense account named “emerging capabilities technology development”, which is mostly reserved for small electronic warfare projects, had launched a a two-year engineering assessment of a new long-range engagement weapon (LREW) designed with the goal of “maintaining air dominance,” that when “successful, LREW will transition to multiple services.” An unclassified concept image of the potential LREW was also published last April, which showed a large, two-stage missile launched from an internal weapons bay of a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. From yesterday’s Defense Industry Daily yesterday, linking to this article in “Flight Global:”

    So you build a $100 million-a copy Advanced Strike Aircraft Fighter Interceptor Bread Delivery Wagon to carry a missile that is “shoot and forget” to within a hundred miles of the “enemy aircraft,” rather than putting it on a truck launcher and carrying it to the Battlespace (which would require buying a whole lot more of said weapon, which kind of duplicates other stuff already in inventory.) All so a hot shot Top Gun wetware “pilot” can pickle the missile off, in response to prompts from his largely autonomous real-time network-centric interoperable on-board and linked-in Avionics Package, hoping to stuff such missile up the exhaust hole of the Steed of some other Knight of the Air…

    Don’t these people have computer games to play with? Flight simulators are a whole lot more reliable and cheaper… But then that is not the nature of the Game, is it?

    The MICLooters don’t even really try to hide the Bezzle any more — “unclassified budget documents,” Egad!

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The US Navy had a 100 mile range air to air missile for decades – the AIM-54 Phoenix – it was in service from 1966 to 2004. Ironically enough, the only pilots to successfully use it in combat were the Iranians.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      It’s easy to forget that “practicality” has no further relevance to our foreign policy or the hardware that supports it, the actual goal these days is to maximize and optimize the transfer of dollars from global taxpayer’s pockets to the pockets of offshore arms manufacturer billionaires. By that yardstick these systems are runaway success stories.

  23. Ned

    Forget suing the Russian government for allegedly shooting down an airliner.
    Yesterday I saw an ad on a bar TV playing a ball game that made my jaw drop.

    “Are you a victim of Roundup?” A rather long and accurate description of the affects of the weed killer on the human body, pictures of bald women lying in hospital beds, sick kids etc.
    “If so contact XYZ law firm”…

    Think of the liability of Monsanto, the millions of those affected, right here in the good old USA.
    Here’s a list of the foods with the highest content of Roundup contamination:

    1. GF

      Thanks for sharing this article Ned. Roundup has a tendency to drift when spray is applied so it isn’t uncommon to find glyphosate (the active, harmful ingredient in Roundup) in organic foods grown near tradition chemical farms. With the USDA currently allowing 10,000 non-organic ingredients in their organic labeled foods, other harmful chemicals can also work their way into many products labeled organic. I look for the USDA organic label becoming meaningless in the near future. The latest on the list of non-organics coming is hydroponic fruits and veggies grown in chemical bath solutions with no soil at all.

      1. Ned

        Oregon Tilth and California Certified Organic Farms are becoming the only meaningful certifiers.
        You can now find both endorsements on products sold at Costco–at least in the North San Francisco Bay Area.

        I’ve heard that products vary by region and even by county in similar geographical areas.

  24. Pat

    Hmm why do I think the media (and usual suspects Democrats) are reading too much into Northam’s win.
    Virginia went to Clinton, and add just the libertarian party results to hers and you get Northam’s percentage. Gillepsie slighty increased Trump’s percentage think of it as adding voters from one of the other third parties. But the bigger story is that both governor nominees received more than half a million voted fewer than their Presidential counterparts.
    No, sorry WaPo this was not a clear rejection of Trumpism. But it is a clear example of how facile and shallow our press is.

    1. voteforno6

      More important, I think, were the results for the House of Delegates. The Democrats had a very good night, including replacing a real mouthbreather like Bob Marshall with a transgender person, and electing a Democratic Socialist like Lee Carter.

      1. Spring Texan

        This. The House of Delegates results are important, and was stunned they weren’t really mentioned in today’s links. Carter didn’t get much Dem Party support, and there were hideous red-baiting opposition things, and he isn’t supporting Big Energy like most Dems in Virginia, and he WON!!! The house results are really very pleasant and underplayed here.

        There are real reasons for rejoicing!

        And although I loathe the conclusions centrists will draw from the Northam win, it’s still better he won too. Centrists will ALWAYS find some reason to think those same things anyhow! Let them, but it was still a good night.

      2. Wukchumni

        Do you think perhaps the trangendered candidate triumphed as a backlash against fearless leader & religious coteries recent decisions against them?

        1. todde

          it’s amazing what the Democrats can do when Clinton isn’t on the ballot and sucking all the funds from the state democrat party apparatus.

          I like that better

    2. dcrane

      Yes, part of Virginia is just the extended DC metro area, i.e. especially Trump hostile. And the state must still be reeling from Charlottesville. It would have been a clearer message if it had happened in Georgia or NC. But a good day for Dems nonetheless.

      Trump’s approval in the Rasmussen national likely voter poll (which is more friendly to Republicans) hasn’t changed much since late March – 42%.

  25. brian

    Trump’s “Do not try us,” as odd as it and the man who said it, are, is a little better, in a way, than that famous Obama: “Don’t call my bluff!”

  26. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit, the four freedoms, and the indivisibility dogma VoxEU.

    Unless I’m missing something, this is quite a bizarre article, it seems a classic example of setting up a straw man to argue against it. Unless there is some wierd German to English translation issues, I’m not even sure the authors know what ‘indivisible’ means. The ‘four freedoms’ are simply agreed principles for the EU, part of the mission statement, if you like. To try to redefine them as some sort of commensurate economic problem, and then argue that there are some sort of trade-offs theoretically possible (did anyone seriously think otherwise?) makes no sense.

    I’m not a German speaker, so I can’t say much about the quality of German economic thought, but from what I have read in translation or second hand, its not particularly impressive, even by the standard of what passes for intellectual discussion in most mainstream economics circles. This would seen to confirm it.

  27. dearieme

    “The Case Of Wilbur Ross’ Phantom $2 Billion”

    I laughed and laughed: somehow very American.

    Does anyone else despise the dreadful little homilies that Forbes carries on its introductory web page?

  28. Wukchumni

    Sheriff responds to Oregon home after woman is heard screaming ‘help me’ – only to find it’s a pet parrot named Diego who was missing his owner

    Our neighbors have a parrot and the first time I ever heard it, was when I listened to what sounded like the intermittent horn on a large truck, when it’s put in reverse, and I asked my neighbor, “what is that!?”

    He told me nonchalantly:

    “…oh, it’s just Reggie backing up.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Was the parrot taught to scream ‘help me,’ in a relaxed atmosphere (the best way to learn), or did it pick that involuntarily (‘couldn’t help not to learn that phrase’ that sort of education) from repeated tense moments in the room?

      I think the police should investigate further. Maybe they can check to see if there was any smart appliances there that recorded anything …

  29. allan


    If you add up total votes across Virginia for the House of Delegates, Democrats beat GOP 53%-44%, but a 50/50 split for seats won seems likely.

    Giving new meaning to majority minority.

  30. D

    Re: Silicon Valley’s ‘car people’ push homeless crisis to the brink New York Post (audrey jr)

    Thanks much Audrey! When I saw your link yesterday and searched for an AP link which I could view easier, I ended up indirectly discovering that AP (the AP author for that piece – also titled: Silicon Valley’s homeless: Everyday workers in shadow of tech affluence, on the Mercury News site – was Janie Har, who lives in SF) has been doing an examination of the homeless crisis along the West Coast. series. The link they AP gives to access the articles is:

    Due to my shoestring internet access, that link doesn’t work for me. If anyone is in that same boat and is interested in reading more of the pieces, they can find some of them from what looks like the first piece, here:

    11/06/17 Homeless explosion on West Coast pushing cities to the brink

    and then linking to the Related Stories links on the sidebar.

    1. audrey jr

      Thanks, D. I am living in San Diego now and the homeless situation here is dire. We have an epidemic of Hepatitis A – so far twenty people have died and hundreds hospitalized – with no end in sight. And there are plenty of latino homeless here, too, you only have to go into the many canyon areas behind homes here and you will surely find them.
      Our state and local leaders say that they are trying to do something about this but there is little evidence of that.
      My biggest concern is public health. There is little inter-agency coordination going on here as regards this most important problem. The county public health agency is immunizing as many folk as possible but there are not enough nurses on the ground to make much difference as far as I can tell. Bleaching the city streets is not going to help in any appreciable way either other than making those who work downtown feel better about having to go to work there.
      I am going to get my boots on the ground and go down to the San Diego Rescue Mission and volunteer to do whatever they need to help those left behind by neoliberal economics.

  31. Oregoncharles

    ” displacement from dealing with the widening recognition that Brexit is a disaster, but no one has a clue how to back out, ”
    Hold another referendum?

    It struck me the other day that May’s fumbling (to put it mildly) might be a plan to f… up Brexit so thoroughly they have an excuse to back out. Assuming they’re capable of making a plan.

    Is all this leading up to another election? Might be the only real solution. Granted, dropping this mess in Corbyn’s lap wouldn’t be nice, but then politics aren’t.

  32. GF

    If this hasn’t been responded to yet, an answer would be appreciated:

    “At a meeting of EU finance ministers Tuesday, the U.K., Malta and Luxembourg urged colleagues against imposing sanctions on countries placed on a so-called blacklist of tax havens, which is set to be signed off December 5. The EU has sent letters to roughly 50 countries and territories to warn them they risk being blacklisted as tax havens.”

    Are US states on the list?

  33. kareninca

    I asked an IT friend of mine about the Medium article; he was already familiar with it, and with the topic. Here’s his take:

    “Yeah, this has been kicking around the blogosphere the last two or three
    This stuff kinda makes sense for really young kids: about 1/3 of it is
    chopping up recognizable movie/cartoon characters and putting them
    back together in ways that can be explained visually as “these don’t
    go together” or “these do go together”.

    Then there’s the 1/3 of it that is chan trolls doing horrible things
    to Peppa Pig and other beloved cartoon characters.

    And then shit gets weird, where the Joker shows up with his friends
    and waves his wand at sleeping Spiderman, Hulk, Elsa (I think), and
    Spider-Girl (maybe) and makes ’em all visibly pregnant. This doesn’t
    seem to stop ’em fighting, and then Doc sticks ’em (excepting Elsa I
    think) with a big hypodermic and that undoes the pregnancy.

    I am wondering what technology is involved in this, and whether and
    how we can use it to waken Dread Cthulhu before his breakfast is gone.”

    I’m glad I grew up before this was a viewing option.

  34. Synoia

    What A U.S. Electric Grid Attack Looks Like OilPrice. I looked into EMP attacks after 9/11. They don’t require nuclear weapons. Funny this is a Topic of Concern now but not discussed then.

    You only need some large wrenches, and an compressed air wrench driver to take down the grid.

    Or a chainsaw, at the local level.

Comments are closed.