Links 6/17/18

‘Tsunami from Heaven’: Austrian photographer creates stunning time-lapse of rainstorm (VIDEO) RT (The Rev Kev)

They wobble like jelly, they tap dance: Meet the unusual frogs of the Western Ghats The Hindu

Depression and suicide risk are side effects of more than 200 common drugs Vox

The Day the US Became an Empire Counterpunch. EM: “Happy 120th!”

Spain welcomes disputed Aquarius migrants BBC

Antarctica is melting faster than anyone thought, and we’re not ready for the sea level rise that’s coming Business Insider (David L)

Tourists and tech bring resilient Iceland back from the brink Guardian

Monticello Officially Recognizes the Rest of Thomas Jefferson’s Children AlterNet

Democrats in Disarray


Citibank Fined $100 Million for Manipulating Key Global Interest Rate Fortune (The Rev Kev)

Beautiful Game

Poets and Scoundrels of the Beautiful Game Jacobin

The Politics of Now LRB

From Russia with love, as Putin kicks off soft power Games Asia Times. Pepe Escobar


Brexit: necessary but not sufficient

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The secret information hidden in your hair The Conversation

This nation faces a DNA dilemma: Whether to notify people carrying cancer genes McClatchy

Hands off my data! 15 more default privacy settings you should change on your TV, cellphone plan, LinkedIn and more. WaPo

The Administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Keeps Monitoring Protesters ProPublica

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why Do Air Force Planes Need $10,000 Toilet Seat Covers? American Conservative

The Chomsky Challenge for Americans Truthdig



I spoke to Palestinians who still hold the keys to homes they fled decades ago – many are still determined to return Independent. Robert Fisk

Attacking Hodeidah is a deliberate act of cruelty by the Trump administration Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Class Warfare

The Brazilian Truckers’ Strike: How WhatsApp Is Changing the Rules of the Game TruthOut



Elon Musk’s Boring Company Provides Details Of Chicago O’Hare Express Service International Business Times

Replacing the NYC Subway System With Autonomous Cars Is a Terrible Idea Motherboard

Here’s everything AT&T now owns, apart from your soul BGR (The Rev Kev)

Death by a Thousand Cuts Jacobin

Tesla goes up in flames in video captured by actor Mary McCormack Guardian (J T McPhee)

The ‘Fight’ Phase of the Poor People’s Campaign Has Begun Truthdig

Health Care

Ask Your Pharmacist About Paying for Your Prescriptions in Cash Lifehacker. More health care bezzle.

Mother of epileptic 12-year-old demands Home Office be stripped of powers to regulate medicine after cannabis oil ‘ordeal’ Independent

NIH shuts down controversial $100M drinking study backed by Big Alcohol Ars Technica (Chuck L)


India Eyes Unexploited Coal Deposits in Indonesian Papua The Wire

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality: Maps Show Which States Are Fighting the FCC Repeal Inverse (The Rev Kev)

Trump Transition

Destroying the Family Unit – A Policy as American as Apple Pie Ghion Journal (User Friendly)

Column: Obama’s silky lie and FBI bias in the Clinton investigation Chicago Tribune. Someone gets it.

Banks take on Sessions over legalized pot Politico

The West Will Die So That Trump Can Win Foreign Policy

Trump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief The Hill

South Korea, U.S. to announce suspension of major military drills this week: Yonhap Reuters

Trump Ordered Troops to the Border, But They’re Doing Busywork Politico

Woman swallowed by giant python in Indonesia Guardian. mg: “An anti-antidote!”

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Quentin

    ‘Obama’s silky lie and FBI bias…’, appears in the Chicago Tribune which at this moment is not available in most of Europe, according my search, where I am actually. So much for much-touted freedom of information and the glorious WWW. If I were in a more complacent mood, I might find it amusing that Obama and Clinton are precisely the two covered by this information stoppage. Maybe Wikileaks can help me. My thoughts go out to Julian Assange, the psychological harassment…torture…being imposed on him principally by Theresa May and the UK government, not to mention the denial of health which he needs. Very disturbing, the whole sordid affair from the political leverage of indeterminate rape allegations as a means to vilify, destroy a person without formal charges apart from his jumping bail—-so die—to anything else that can be concocted .

    1. Ruud Jongeling

      No problem if you use a VPN. The availabilty is controlled by the parent company of the Chicago Tribune which decided to prohibited all connections from EU based IP adresses in order to prevent to having to adhere to the EU regulations concerning user privacy. Same with LA times. Funny also that webpages from a few US companies load instant if you use an EU ip-adress, but using an Us-ip-adress the same pages load up to 10 times slower.

    2. Lambert Strether

      The last sentence of the article:

      And the silky ones prosper, in Washington, and as they did for a time, at Versailles.

      Sort of amazing to see this trope make its way into the mainstream. (“Versailles” may have made its way into the mainstream as a partisan trope, but I doubt it will end there…)

  2. jackiebass

    If you want a real history lesson read The Chomsky Challenge For Americans. You don’t find this in main stream history books. It explains why our government is so hated around the world.

    1. cnchal

      It’s no wonder that most Americans are clueless about why “their” country is feared and hated the world over.

      That is giving the average American too much credit, as the cluelessness goes at least a few levels deeper. Most Americans think they are loved the world over, if they think about it at all. For most, the thinking is about bare day to day survival.

      What would be the half life of a candidate for President that had as a core campaign promise, cutting military and spydom spending at least in half? 500, 1000, or 10,000 heartbeats?

    2. Carolinian

      Are Americans or even their government hated around the world? The Europeans seem to like us well enough and even the Russians don’t seem to hate us despite the shabby way we return those sentiments. Vietnam which, as Paul Street points out was given the full genocide treatment, is now quite friendly to the US. American conquest of the pop culture space–movies, music–seems total. Perhaps the problem not so much that everyone hates us as that far too many countries want to be like us.

      But at least Street didn’t pull out that D.H. Lawrence “America has the soul of a killer” quote that Hedges used in Truthdig a couple of weeks ago. Here’s suggesting that there is no such thing as the “American soul.” Humans acting badly is a worldwide phenomenon and there is genocide not committed by Americans or even white people. Perversely the pre WW2 Japanese thought we were racist for trying to keep them from setting up an empire and exploiting colonies the way the white Europeans were doing.

      We don’t have to hate ourselves for being Americans. We do need–drastically–to change our behavior and that of our government.

      1. bronco

        the Japanese were correct in that instance. We viewed them as subhuman , kind of like the way the Germans thought Russians were subhuman .

        Of course the Japanese are hugely racist in the present as are the Chinese, but only America seems to be called out for being racist.

        Maybe its more nationalism than racism but really what is the difference?

      2. Expat

        America and Americans are not hated worldwide. There are, of course, many places where America is hated such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, the place formerly known as Somalia, etc. Americans are not necessarily liked anywhere, though.

        On the other hand, America and Americans have confused and frustrated people over the world. I travel extensively on business and typically talk about America with people I meet. They don’t understand how a country so rich and powerful can be so violent and uncaring. They don’t understand the gun culture or the willful ignorance. They are appalled by Trump and what he has dragged out into the daylight from America’s previously varnished culture. They want America to stop being so…well…American and perhaps respect something other than a white, male Christian with guns and a pickup.

        America is a dangerous nation. It was founded in blood and its trademark is violence and war. America has been at war with just about every country on the face of the earth and has perpetrated genocides at home and abroad. American soldiers were feared in Asia for their cruelty and racism. Even during WWII, when America was supposedly at its noble best, the Germans greatly feared fighting any elite divisions since capture was questionable. The US used terror and mass destruction as tactics, burning Dresden and dropping two bombs on Japan (Oh, yes, Americans will wring their hands and say, “We did not want to! We had no choice. It was that or lose one million men invading Japan. And we did not even know how dangerous these bombs were! Honestly! Really!”)

        Americans won’t hate themselves for being American, but I disagree with you that self-loathing is not needed. Americans don’t feel guilty about anything and consequently won’t change. Native Americans? Savages who were wasting the land God intended for White Christians! Blacks? If they were not inferior to Whites, they would never have been slaves in the first place and besides they sold each other to us! Asians? Sneaky, lying and always working too hard to just to show up decent White people; and they have weird religions so killing them pleases Jesus. Mexicans? Druggies, rapists and murderers who are obviously only good for mowing lawns and washing dishes.

        Sure, humans all over the world are bad. Asians kill Asians. Africans kill Africans. And so forth. But that does not exonerate Americans or make their hypocrisy somehow acceptable.

      3. SoldierSvejk

        In many countries people do distinguish between “the US govt.” and its people. In many such places, the US govt is indeed despised. It’d be naive to think otherwise, part. given the record of last 20 yrs – starting with the bombing of Yugoslavia. You really think the world has not noticed the willful destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, etc. – and all to what purpose?
        And to say that “far too many countries want to be like us” just echos the MSM narrative. Folks who get their view of US from Hollywood films have an elevated picture of the country; those who actually visited here – not so much. The Europeans, for example, cannot wrap their heads around the lack of a reasonable health care – even if they like the US otherwise. Do they want to be like us? Hardly…
        And if one were to listen to lectures of prof. John Marciano – the “killer” quote might not seem too outlandish. The country was built on extreme violence, and it seems this has remained in the collective subconsciousness. Hard to get around that… Today, the main US export to the rest of the world is violence (even pointless one – like predent-bombing of Syria).
        It’s not that Americans aren’t great people. In many ways, they are. But most are also clueless of their own history (never mind the world history) and so very easily brainwashed. In my many travels, I’ve not encountered people who are as brainwashed as (so many) Americans.

        1. Carolinian

          I’d submit that what people hate and resent is American power, not America itself, and rightly so.

          As for the country’s supposed killer nature please note that the vast majority of those killers came from Europe, a continent–historically–not exactly known for its lack of violence or bigotry.

          Plus as European social democrats strive to become ever more like American neoliberals it’s hard to argue for much in the way of differences. They do indeed want to be like us and that’s not good.

          My personal belief is that people are a lot more alike than they are different and the desire to chalk bad things up to national characteristics is evading the problem. A better analysis is needed.

          1. DJG

            Carolinian: It is typical of Americans that, gosh, everyone wants to be just like us. Either that is a national characteristic or it is bad analysis. But it certainly is common in the U S of A. And it isn’t common in, say, Portugal.

            There are distinct national styles, and in many countries, people’s experience filters through language. The number of words for “I” and “you” in Japanese point to a different conception about the world.

            And most cradle Catholics know the difference in style among Italian, Irish, and Polish branches of Catholicism, which have adapted to the history and pecularities of local culture. Likewise, Greek Orthodoxy, as opposed to, say, the Armenian church, which isn’t part of Orthodoxy.

            There are differences. People shouldn’t be persecuted over differences. And Americans shouldn’t go to Spain and tell Catalans all about how to speak “Spanish.” Let alone the Basque Country, where much of collective Basque experience is about their language, their form of Catholicism, and the feeling of being a permanent minority.

            Attention to difference may actually enrich your life, you know.

            1. Carolinian

              When did I say countries are all the same? What I am saying is that the D.H.Lawrence quote about “the American soul” is silly. Of course everyone is shaped by the circumstances and environment in which they grow up. My assertion is that to put someone from any country in those same circumstances and environment would likely produce the same result.

              And my comment about other countries falling under American influence was an expression of regret, not chauvinism. Many of us wish the Europeans would defy the US on questions of foreign policy or military intervention. When I visited Europe quite a long time ago there was much more independence from American influence and not much friendliness toward American tourists either. The French even had laws to protect their culture from excess American influence. These days if you watch a French movie the pop songs are likely to be in English and the content more influenced by Hollywood than the Nouvelle Vague.

          1. Carolinian

            Rick Steves has a book called Travel as a Political Act. One thing Americans are certainly guilty of is ignorance about the rest of the world. What information they do receive is often passed through a very biased media filter. So whatever one thinks of Steves’ rather milquetoast PBS travel program, he has to be admired for going to places like Cuba and Iran.

            1. JTMcPhee

              And when Americans travel, they tread so lightly on the faces of people in other countries. They don’t have a group reputation for being “ugly Americans,” raising their American English voices to somehow force the Wogs to understand their demands? Yah, just a bunch of stereotypes… Or they show up in the latest version of Imperial battle dress, with weapons and attitudes as they invade the lands of others, kick in doors, protect drug dealers and facilitate all kinds of other corruption and abuse… or with briefcases and tablets, to offer “deals”…

              1. Carolinian

                Isn’t “wog” a British term for their former charges? I doubt too many Americans make it to India. Churchill might have used it.

                And the passivity of ordinary Americans with regard to our military depredations should probably not be condemned too strongly by countries that actively participated. Would Bush have invaded Iraq without Tony Blair by his side? Maybe and maybe not. The destruction of Libya was probably a French idea from the beginning. It seems the US has no monopoly on shifty politicians.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If our government is hated around the world, if we are all collectively guilty, that is easily abused by bad guys menacing innocent children, men and women.

      We should all do our best, the best we can, but the idea of collective guilt should be re-examined.

  3. Tomonthebeach

    Obama’s silky lie.

    Gee, it looks like one assertion Trump made during his campaign has been validated; that “Crooked Hillary” is indeed crooked (news to anybody?) and that the Dem establishment within the administration was indeed out to get Trump.

    In a sea of Democrat lies amidst an ocean of Republican ones, it is difficult to attach any information value to this newly emerged factoid. It does suggest that our politics in the USA have been more corrupt and for far longer than we imagined.

    I hope that later this year, we the people vote our way toward correcting the situation, and start ridding ourselves of “bad actors on both sides,” as Trump has been known to say.

    1. Carla

      And since the corrupt political duopoly has a lock on the nomination process for every office in the land, just how do you think we will be able to vote our way out of this?

      I suggest you look to root causes and join those of us who are attempting to address them. A good place to start is by supporting HJR-48 as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution:

      It now has the support of 56 members of the House and we are working very hard to get companion legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate. The national group that champions HJR-48 is There are local affiliates in many cities across the country.

      1. Carla

        Very simply and briefly, HJR-48 has two parts:

        1. (1) the rights protected by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only (meaning: corporations are not people).

        2. The judiciary is prohibited from construing the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment (and therefore campaign spending can and must be regulated).

        More at the HJR-48 link above of course.

        1. tegnost

          Hey! Thanks for reminding me that congress can fix any legislation that bothers the judicial, pick a policy, make a decent law, problem solved. The one you highlight looks like it would be great.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Congress can also repeal Glass-Steagall, and give us the ACA and the PATRIOT Act, the latest “tax reform,” and a whole lot more.

            1. The Rev Kev

              A funny thing about the Glass-Steagall Act was that it was only about 50 pages long in total. Can you imagine how long it would be if it was rewritten by Congress these days?

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                Perhaps the growing ” restore Glass-Steagall” movement should adopt the very specific goal of getting legislation repealing the Repeal-Glass-Steagall law and saying that Glass-Steagall re-becomes the Law again, just as when it was first passed and signed, without any change whatsoever.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Pragmatically, all DCCC-backed candidates should be asked: “Do you intend to spend four hours a day on the phone servicing donors, as the agreement you signed with DCCC stipulates?”

        I agree that the legislation is good, but we also need to make the contributions of the donor class dirty, taboo, a source of shame.

        1. dcblogger

          Pragmatically, all DCCC-backed candidates should be asked: “Do you intend to spend four hours a day on the phone servicing donors, as the agreement you signed with DCCC stipulates?”

          so good it had to be repeated

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      No one with a functioning neuron believed, at the time, that the president of the united states communicated with his secretary of state, about matters of state, and using an alias, without even so much as an inkling that something janky was going on.

      A characteristic lack of journalistic rigor where obama actions were concerned as well as his “post-racial” sainthood dumped the issue down the memory hole. Or so his protectors thought.

      I’d argue that, for just enough of the voting public, it wound up being one more of those subliminal nails in clinton’s election night coffin.

      1. sd

        Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.

        That’s got to really sting. He’s in the White House, she’s not. All the excuses in the world won’t change that for just enough Americans, he was the lesser of two evils.

        1. flora

          “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
          Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
          Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
          Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

          ― Omar Khayyám

        2. Alex morfesis

          Trump was Not the lesser of two Evils….he was the better of two weasels…

          They are not running for nor are we voting for sainthood when electing/$electing a polecat or politician…

          Emperor d’$tracto is doing a fine job allowing his fellow hardingites strip mine the commonweal by using radio…I mean Twitter…

          to keep the mopery mesmerized and preoccupied with which bribe taking soccer player scored 8 or 9 times ..

          or which of the kowdasea-inz might use a presidential campaign to sell a new reality TV show…

          On this “congratulations you helped make a baby” day perhaps we in newromeagainistan can at least smile knowing most of the rest of the global mopery would love to have the opportunity to breath long enough to sqwauk as we omerikanz do…

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          He was the lesser of two evils to me.

          I knew that someone was going to be President. There was no way to prevent us from having a President. And it was going to be one of the Big Brand Name Two.

          So I voted for Trump, the lesser of the two evils. At least we don’t have to live through the real life movie . . . Return Of The Clinton: The Wrath Of Hill .

    3. Webstir

      The could be no greater justice than Trump & Hillary hot bunking in a shared 10×10 cell for the rest of their lives — with a camera inside live-streaming to the public.

        1. Octopii

          I think Obama was taken advantage of and made some bad decisions. I don’t know of any evidence he did anything illegal.

          1. JTFaraday

            Obama is weak. If there had been a different permanent government in office, Obama would have played his role differently.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Antarctica is melting faster than anyone thought, and we’re not ready for the sea level rise that’s coming”

    I happen to know my altitude above sea level so the bad news is that Brisbane is screwed and will be turned into an underwater park for divers. The good news is that the new beach will be right down the road from me so I’m alright, Jack!
    Seriously, I came across a website where you could pick different coastlines and then see what it would look like as the seas rose to whatever level you set it for. What I noticed most was that the sea level rise would not be uniform along the coastline but seemed to follow any creeks and rivers that emptied out to the sea. Those were the areas to watch.

    1. bwilli123

      Thanks. Please post the link if you can re-find it.
      There’s an animation of Tectonic movements (previous 240 million years and projected next 250 million) at the following.
      Interesting to watch the Indian Subcontinent slam into Asia 40 million years ago ( from about 3:15 in the video) I don’t know who was driving that bus but they really had their foot on the accelerator)
      In the future part of the vid I see also Australia takes a neat swerve around Indonesia before eventually colliding with China.
      It looks like Brizzie will be the new Shanghai :)

      1. The Rev Kev

        The original link no longer works but I have found a near identical site at which may be going off-line soon.
        You can set a location and then punch in different heights for sea levels. You should check it out before this vital tools just drops off the net.

        1. ambrit

          We too have noticed that the more public ‘friendly’ tools on the internet are either falling into oblivion or behind paywalls. Something is trying to ‘dumb down’ the public discourse. If one were to expand the ‘Conspiracy Theory’ theory to include Institutions, a designedly amorphous term, then ‘conspiracy’ does describe the state of play.

          1. CalypsoFacto

            It costs money to maintain and host web apps serving high traffic. Everything* is hosted on the platforms (aws/Amazon mostly) and without financial backing over time things will disappear without intentional archiving or maintenance. Some cases may be institutions intentionally denying the funds for political or other reasons but this is as much a problem of monopoly + trend towards platforming/corporatization of research and data + exponential increase in data/programming toolsets as anything else.

            How many of these tools are offline because they lost the budget for the researchers/data scientists’ salaries (thinking an intern could handle the technical work) and then couldn’t justify the infrastructure cost after a year or two?

            *: okay, most things

          1. ambrit

            The NOAA map is pure propaganda. I saw an early version of a sea level rise map associated with the department that went up to 205 foot above present datum. That’s one reason we moved this far inland after Hurricane Katrina. We’re on the maximum figured sea level rise shoreline.
            (Now, here’s hoping the New Madrid fault doesn’t fully unzip.)

            1. blennylips

              “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”

              — Box, George E. P.; Norman R. Draper (1987). Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces, p. 424, Wiley. ISBN 0471810339.


              Google is hiding where I recently read that the declining Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) will locally enhance US northeast sea level rise by quite a bit.

        2. Oregoncharles

          The highest sea level rise I’ve seen stated is about 200 ft. – 70 meters. Our house is at 220 feet. The river we’re on would be a brackish arm of the sea, as would at least half of the Willamette Valley. This is maybe 200 miles up 3 rivers – we’re on a tributary of the Willamette.

          Unfortunately, the resolution of the map deteriorates at the enlargement where I can see where our property is, but the whole area is a patchwork of blue. All the major Oregon cities would be at least partly under water, though they are hilly, so some areas would survive.

          The next question is: how long? And why are people still buying property in Miami Beach? Or any beach?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Last night I punched in New York as its the home for NC and it doesn’t fare too good. A rise of only a few meters and New York will have to look for a new place for its airport.

        2. ewmayer

          “Lord, here comes the flood
          We will say goodbye to flesh and blood
          If again the seas are silent
          in any still alive
          It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
          Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry.”
          — Peter Gabriel

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Where is Elon with promises for personal nuclear powered submarines and undersea cities?

        “Forget Mars. We have plenty of water here on Earth.”

        1. sd

          Um. The elevation of Hawthorne California is 72′ – and I am assuming his tunnels are underground – won’t they be prone to some serious flooding? Or is that when he launches his IPO for flying Teslas?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So, Hawthorne is going to be his Utopian underwater city?

            How’s he going to sell that without more details?

            1. ambrit

              When selling something, the fewer details, the better. Sell the dream. The things come along for the ride.

    2. rd

      Sea level rise is only a problem because we have a lot of fixed infrastructure along the coastline. It is not an environmental problem.

      Sea level rose an average of 1 m per year from 19,000 to 6,000 years ago for a total of 120 m of sea level rise. Ice dam breaks meant some centuries averaged 2.5 m of sea level rise, sometimes much of that was in only a couple of years (one of those is probably the origin of the Noah-Gilgamesh flood legend).

      Interestingly, things like coral reefs rebounded quite well during the period of this massive sea level rise.

    3. Susan the other

      If Business Insider is editorializing on the inevitability of a 200-ft sea level rise because the Antarctic glaciers and ice shelf/s are going to melt and there is nothing we are capable of doing that can stop it… then clearly we’ve got our work cut out for us. Everything at 200-ft will be the new coast line. And for 200 ft into the ocean from there will be the detritus of all the people who once lived there including nuclear power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants and stores of trash and toxics. These will all have to be moved inland to protect the new coastline and the estuaries and marshes. That’s a bigger job than evacuating 50 million people to higher ground (and putting them in multi-family housing which will also have to be built starting now). Where are all the voices demanding this? Talk about “infrastructure”.

    1. edmondo

      Of course it’s doable. Ross Perot did it twice in 4 years.

      The only way progressives will get a voice in the Democratic Party is by starting a different one.

      1. Lambert Strether

        He lost twice, too. And left no organization behind him.

        The only “third party” that took power in America was the Republican Party, after the Whigs were demolished and the Democrats split over slavery. And they took power amazingly fast. But party formation came after non-Slave Power citizen outrage over the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and not before. That suggests to me that:

        1) You need an galvanizing issue of national importance with a moral dimension (cue the “race orem> class” permathread in liberal circles, versus the “race and class” permathread in left circles).

        2) You need to destroy the former “second party” for the third party to win. IMNSHO, you need to work both from the inside and the outside to do that. (And if working from the inside ends up delivering universal concrete material benefits, is that so very bad?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A simple and relatively cheap solution the D’s is to get a new name.

          It’s done in the corporate world frequently.

          That’d be change (but not burdensome change for them).

          1. Oregoncharles

            Taking your joke much too seriously: if Oregon law is typical, name changing for a political party is very costly indeed. The Pacific Green Party did it once (from just “Pacific,” and it required a huge petition drive and nearly cost us our ballot line. We’ll never do it again.

            The law may be different for major parties or in other states, but it’s still not something the party can just dictate, as corporations do. And it would have to be don in all 50 states.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s surprising. It would suggest that a political party is more than a private corporation, as the D party claimed in 2016.

              1. Oregoncharles

                Legally, it’s a non-profit. Probably not actually a corporation; more of a club.

                The problem is that the government runs elections and makes the rules. So I’m talking about the requirements for ballot access, as well as some about how we operate. (For an example: we nominate at conventions. State law has specific requirements about publishing notice of those conventions.) If the Democrats changed their name, they would no longer have automatic ballot access and might be treated as a new party.

        2. edmondo

          The only “third party” that took power in America was the Republican Party, after the Whigs were demolished and the Democrats split over slavery.

          You don’t have to “take power” for your ideas to take hold. The Populist Party pioneered the concept of a graduated income tax, direct election of Senators, civil service reform, a working day of eight hours. These ideas were co-opted by the two parties and became reality even though I don’t remember there being a Populist president.

          The Bull Moose (Progressive) Party lost the election of 1912 but their ideas were picked up by one of the two parties. The proposals on the 1912 platform included restrictions on campaign finance contributions, a reduction of the tariff and the establishment of a social insurance system, an eight-hour workday and women’s suffrage.

          If Bernie wants to influence the Democratic Party all he needs to do is start getting 10 or 15 percent of the vote on election days. The party might lose but the ideas will be taken seriously because no political party can afford to pass up that number of votes.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I didn’t watch the youtube you referenced. I find the work of G. William Domhoff, a professor at UC Santa Cruz most convincing and in depth. His book “Who Rules America” is well worth the read. His writing style lacks some of the punch of C. Wright MIlls but Domhoff is most worthy successor to Mills. I clipped a paragraph relevant to your question from one of the webpages at Domhoff’s site at UCSC:
      The Class-Domination Theory of Power [by G. William Domhoff]
      A quote from the Section: The Power Elite and Government [near the middle of the webpage just below a Venn diagram of the Power Elite

      “The main reason the political system focuses on candidate selection to the relative exclusion of political education and policy formulation is that there can be only two main parties due to the structure of the government and the nature of the electoral rules. The fact that Americans select a president instead of a parliament, and elect legislators from “single-member” geographical areas (states for the Senate, districts for the House) leads to a two-party system because in these “winner-take-all” elections a vote for a third party is a vote for the person’s least desired choice. A vote for a very liberal party instead of the Democrats, for example, actually helps the Republicans. Under these rules, the most sensible strategy for both the Democrats and Republicans is to blur their policy differences in order to compete for the voters with middle-of-the-road policy views, or no policy views at all.”

    3. Oregoncharles

      Sigh. We’ve been over this ground before. Cutting to the chase: while there are real legal and, especially, psychological barriers to new parties, they would fall quickly if people were mad enough. I think this is what Lambert means by a “galvanizing issue”: a crisis that breaks people out of their habit patterns and brings out a lot of new energy. The Great Recession should have been, but wasn’t.

      The state of play: Party affiliation, the percentage of people who will admit to a pollster that they belong to one or the other, has fallen, since 2006, to about 30% each. “Independents,” everybody else, are a huge plurality at 40% or more (this is mostly Gallup). That’s enough to win hands down. So the “major” parties have actually already collapsed. Unfortunately, people still don’t vote that way; instead, they mostly just don’t vote, and why would they? They’ve observed that our democracy is fake. IOW, they aren’t made enough yet, and there’s a very real danger that we’ll proceed directly to “torches and pitchforks” when they are.

      Lambert: ” You need to destroy the former “second party” for the third party to win. IMNSHO, you need to work both from the inside and the outside to do that.” Technically, given the nature of plurality voting (which I don’t support), the first sentence isn’t true. Practically, it probably is, but how is 30% or less not “destroyed”? My opinion isn’t so humble, either, but history says that working “from the inside” merely strengthens the party apparatus – and drives it further to the right. That’s what has happened since Carter was president. IMNSHO, it’s a trap.

      1. flora

        my 2¢: as long as Citizens United and other unlimited campaign money decisions allow unlimited flows of dark money into political races, as long as unlimited distortions of what is a ‘community of interest’ in state gerrymandering is allowed, more parties won’t change the level of corruption in politics. Money is not speech. Money is money.

        Some gerrymandered districts defy all common sense about ‘community of interest’ boundaries. (And it’s how you get nation representation in Congress by the party that did not get the most state votes in a state like Pennsylvania, for example .) Politicians can ignore voters by gerrymandering districts into voter near irrelevancy.

        Fix those 2 things and a lot will improve, imo.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if the way that it works out is that $10 goes for the cost of the toilet seat cover while the other $9,990 goes to Pentagon slush funds. Not so unlikely that. The Pentagon apparently buys fuel for all branches of the military. It then sells that fuel to the Army, Navy & Air Force for a higher price than the purchase price. The difference is then pocketed by the Pentagon to fund projects that they want to do or other goodies with none of it having to go through any governmental overview.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        That is exactly the way it works.

        Before its coverage became the current watered down pro-corporate pabulum, the US news program 60 Minutes did genuine investigative reporting and was actually feared at least a little bit by the powers that be. Back in the 80s IIRC there was a scandal about the Pentagon wasting money by paying $5000 for toilet seats and $2000 for hammers or some such. A few years after that scandal broke, 60 Minutes had a segment where they interviewed one of the government officials in the know about such things, and I remember him saying that the Pentagon wasn’t so stupid as to pay anyone $5,000 for a toilet seat. It was simply that they could not admit on official documents what they actually spent the money on. So to the public it looked like blatant waste and mismanagement, but in reality the funds had gone to overthrow some small country or blow up some brown people.

        1. Brindle

          …”blow up some brown people”— 4th of July coming up and I’m sure most Americans won’t give the time of day to such a basic fact of the USA’s behavior around the world.

      2. Expat

        The official military budget is somewhere in excess of one trillion. There is the Congressional budget of some $700 billion plus the “exceptional” expenditures on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Additionally there is the black budget which is carved out of the rest of the budget (LOL, and you thought every dime voted for education went to education? ). But those are still official allocations.
        If the CIA wants new cattle prods or the NSA wants new, expensive bugs installed in Congress, that has to be paid for illegally. hence the $10k toilet seats or $5k screwdrivers. Essentially, the military and the DHS/NSA steal tens of billions of dollars to fund projects and activities that no one in elected government knows anything about!

        1. grayslady

          Essentially, the military and the DHS/NSA steal tens of billions of dollars to fund projects and activities that no one in elected government knows anything about!

          Or maybe they do know (from the NYT, December 16, 2017, regarding the secret UFO study):

          “None of the three senators wanted a public debate on the Senate floor about the funding for the program, Mr. Reid said. “This was so-called black money,” he said. “Stevens knows about it, Inouye knows about it. But that was it, and that’s how we wanted it.” Mr. Reid was referring to the Pentagon budget for classified programs.”

        2. Sid_finster

          And apparently even Congress is not allowed to know about the extent or specific purposes of the black budget.

          Go on, tell us again how we live in a constitutional republic, a republic of laws.

    1. perpetualWAR

      tegnost, so sad to hear that an INSTITUTION like Bernie Utz going out-of-business! Bought my bowler and top hat there. It is a sad day, indeed.

      BTW, there is life outside of Seattle. Very happily rehomed to the eastside of the mountains!

      1. tegnost

        that’s great to hear, lesser seattle may be gone but lesser washington is thriving just fine. For a nice outing check out the Roslyn farmers market, the greatest selection of peppers I’ve seen in a long time.

        1. pcraig

          Long live the spirit of Emmett Watson! (1918-2001) A true visionary. The following is from historylink dot org: “Watson’s favorite targets were the self-righteous guardians of public morality and “progress.” Playing on the name of an early group of tourism and growth boosters, Greater Seattle, Inc., he named himself press secretary of Lesser Seattle and delighted in skewering the business establishment’s grand schemes for development and “civic improvement.” And let me add this: (family blog the oligarchs, especially Bezos!)

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Roslyn has a farmer’s market now? Gentrification red flag! Back in the seventies, it was pretty much a ghost town and houses could be bought for under $5000. Nice cemetery too.

      2. Octopii

        Knew Seattle from 1992 to 2003. Sounds like that Seattle is gone now, I can’t even imagine. So where doe a pre-2000 Seattle lover go? Or a pre-2005 Denver lover? It is crazy all these neat places getting taken over and sanitized.

  5. Jim Haygood

    The entitlement quagmire — worse than we thought:

    Taken together, the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare are more than $50 trillion, according to the trustees’ projections. Unsettling as these estimates are, they are probably optimistic — for two reasons.

    Actuaries estimate that if productivity adjustments [i.e., payment reductions] for hospitals were set at 0.4% [rather than an aggressive 1% or more] and annual payment increases for physicians were based on actual measured input costs, then Medicare’s overall spending would be 11% higher in 2050 than what is forecast in the trustees’ report.

    The second reason is declining birth rates. In 2017, the total fertility rate (measured as total births per 1,000 women of childbearing age) was 1.76, down from 2.07 in 2008 and far below the population replacement level of 2.1. The birth rate fell in the aftermath of the deep recession of 2008 to 2009, but has not started to rise again.

    Social Security projections assume a long-term total fertility rate of 2.0. If, instead, the rate is 1.8, the financial hole for the program will be about 25% deeper than projected in the 2018 report. Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund deficit will also get worse with fewer births.

    As bad news on entitlements rolls in, the silence among the nation’s political leaders is deafening.

    Sure, the coming exhaustion of Social Security and Medicare trust funds can, and almost certainly will, be bailed out from the general budget. But if we’re already running a $1 trillion annual deficit now, to become $2 trillion or more after the next recession, piling on large permanent entitlement deficits will easily push it to $3 trillion … 15% of GDP.

    That’s deep in “distressed borrower” territory. Emboldened bond vigilantes will be galloping through our villages on their high horses, firing into the air and cracking their bull whips over our cowering heads.

    But it’s an exciting time to be alive with our front-row seats at a fast-approaching fiery train wreck.

    1. johnnygl

      Comrade Haygood sees federal debt and deficits…but really, we should look at the other side…private income and assets issued by the currency issuer, our federal government.

    2. larry

      Why should you be cowering? The so-called distressed borrower territory is only so because of the inability of the congress and the executive’s failure to understand how the national monetary system with a sovereign fiat currency operates. There is a financial issue for SS and Medicare because congress makes it so. The bond vigilantes can go galloping all they want. It doesn’t need to make any difference whatsoever, as their bluff can always, in principle, be called. Whether it will or not is an ideological matter and not an economic one.

    3. Watt4Bob

      Sure, the coming exhaustion of Social Security and Medicare trust funds can, and almost certainly will, be bailed out from the general budget.

      Which is, in the case of Social Security, not a bail-out at all, but simply paying back the $1.7 Trillion ‘borrowed‘ from SS funds since 1983 so as to allow tax-cuts for the wealthy.

      But then you knew that.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Actually, the total ‘borrowed‘ from SS funds is now approaching $3 Trillion.

        LBJ ‘borrowed‘ money to pay for the Viet Nam war, so as to avoid the rich paying their share.

        Reagan ‘borrowed’ so as to finance military/empire build up in the 1980s.

        And ‘W’ ‘borrowed‘ to finance never-ending war, so the 10% who benefit wouldn’t have to pay more taxes.

        Between 2013-2014 alone, those we elected to represent us ‘borrowed‘ $25 Billion, mostly to finance wars they promised would be paid for by oil, technically the property of countries we invaded, and of course the never-ending tax cuts for the wealthy.

        1. JEHR

          When a sovereign country “borrows” money, who does it borrow from? There is no need to borrow dollars in the US because the Fed can create whatever money it needs as long as it has the resources to back it up. The US has the resources.

          1. Watt4Bob

            Well that’s the whole point here isn’t it?

            In order to justify the privatization/theft of Social Security funds, you first have to create a crisis.

            All this talk of a looming crisis is simply tactical maneuvering on the part of those wish to steal from us.

        2. neo-realist

          For argument’s sake with people who support privatization or believe the fund will run out leaving seniors without SS, where is the information that one can refer to find out how those Presidents robbed the SS fund?

          1. Watt4Bob

            Learning the ‘truth’ about the situation as concerns SS is to wade through the most contested bit of real estate on the planet. It’s full of land mines, and machine gun nests operated by ruthless murderers.

            That said, there are a few places I’d recommend to do some reading;

            1. has a remarkably candid report (ignore their right/libertarian perspective for a moment) that I have no important arguments with as concerns the mechanisms by which the SS trust fund was merged with the national debt, while at the same time, all hope of paying that debt were simultaneously extinguished by tax cuts.

            2. There’s a guy over at Angry Bear Blog, who has spent at least a decade debunking the myth that SS is bankrupt and in need of saving/reform, he writes under the pseudonym Run75441. His posts on the subject have been consistent over time. You may have to dig, but it will be worth the effort.

            That’s a start.


          2. flora

            It’s a long history starting at least in the 80’s by raising the retirement age; then by miscalculation of the real inflation rate to hold down the reported Comsumer Price Index (CPI ) – see Greenspan’s ‘substitution’ theory – which is used to calculate SS cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payment increases; then by trying to substitute Chained CPI for CPI that reduces the CPI value even more and thus holding down COLA increases below inflation rate even more. Then there’s the 1980’s setting of untaxed amount of SS + other income at $25k and NOT indexing that amount to inflation. $25k in 1980 went a lot farther than $25k today.

            It’s all fiddling at the edges that don’t look like much in themselves, but like compound interest add up to a large sum over time.

            CPI calculations and COLAs also affect military retirement pay and military disability payments.

      2. Expat

        NC has already addressed this issue. There is no budget for SS or Medicare any more than there is a budget for defense or the DHS. Since Americans hate each other for some reason, they constantly try to destroy healthcare and education. Playing accounting games with SS and Medicare allows right-wing politicians to claim that communism is bankrupting America while hoping that cuts will kill off blacks and latinos. Perhaps that is too racist…maybe right-wing Americans are just clinically insane. I assure that the rest of the world really doesn’t understand.

        1. Watt4Bob

          NC has already addressed this issue.

          I hope you don’t mean to say that comments like JH’s don’t require push-back, because I’m of the opinion that the folks opposed to the truth, and who have our wealth in their sights, are tireless and dedicated to their aim, and so we too must push back no matter how repetitive the arguments seem.

          The ‘issue‘ has never been, and will never be addressed enough, until every person pushing ‘entitlement‘ reform is laughed off the stage.

      3. Olga

        Most should know that, for sure. The main concern, however, is that the “bailout’ will be structured as a privatisation – stealth or visible.

        1. Watt4Bob

          Yes, and that’s why we fight.

          That is why every effort to obfuscate the truth must be countered with the truth, no matter how tiresome it becomes.

      4. flora

        Which is, in the case of Social Security, not a bail-out at all, but simply paying back the $1.7 Trillion ‘borrowed‘ from SS funds since 1983 so as to allow tax-cuts for the wealthy.

        Bingo! Those who got that tax cut were supposed to pay it back in the future. That’s how they got the tax cut passed. The future is now. The tax cut beneficiaries have no intention of paying it back.

    4. Chauncey Gardiner

      Ah, despite the lack of any NC links today to a discussion about Social Security, we are treated to an opinion and link to Wall Street’s propaganda from MarketWatch. They and their fellow travelers in the One Percent really want to eliminate or privatize it, don’t they? Simply can’t have a successful government social program.

      In addition to the fact that Social Security is both fully funded and government spends money into existence, I have never heard anyone complain about a lack of bombs, recent reductions in the corporate tax rate, or all the direct and indirect government subsidies of favored entities. But, I do expect they’ll keep on keepin’ on with a variety of stratagems. Best not take that generational divide and conquer approach too far, though. Might result in some unforeseeable blowback.

    5. JTMcPhee

      Comrade Haygood once again delivers another sermon of dysinformation concerning Social Security (and by implication, other “entitlements”), taking his text in today’s dys-lesson from an OPINION piece in MarketWatch: “Aaaahhh!!!! $50 TRILLION IN UNFUNDED LIABILITIES!!!!” Maybe not?

      Here’s a simplified take on the economics and dynamics of Social Security, from of all places, Forbes, The Capitalist Tool ™: This guy says, surprise, SS works and continues to work just fine.

      With the exception, potentially, of the very REAL actual danger to SS and other social programs detested by neos, libertarians, and the Gilded Agers who so want to kill off the last vestiges of the New Deal. Because as the Forbes article points out, the existence and details of the SS structure are subject to “politics” and pure power as exercised by the Elites. And you can bet your bippy that the “Grand Bargain” is still a living, breathing monster, chained for the moment in a dark corner of the Imperial Capitol, but hungry, hungry, waiting the moment of its being loosed upon the Mopery…

      I suggest anyone concerned about Social Security go back and read all the various debunking posts, responding to JH’s repeated pitches, provided by those who are more interested in informing, rather than another round of beating a fugue on the libertarian drums. But repetition is the main ingredient in Bernays sauce, as I recall.

      1. oh

        The neo-liberal chants about Medicare and SS going broke continue but nary a word by these clowns about the trillions in deficit caused by offense defense expenditures, not to mention off balance sheet Federal Reserse bailouts of the banksters.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        And once again Comrade Haygood is not cautioned for making stuff up, even though “making stuff up” is said to be against the policies of this blog.

        Perhaps the entertainment value of his Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse has earned him an Eternal and Perpetual Indulgence from reprimand or even mention for “making stuff up”.

    6. Brian

      Why ignore the crime associated with the health care bezzle? The insurance companies write the law so congress doesn’t have to. When or if insurance and health care are separated forever, we will have a new metric. We will have ugly cars that protect more than provide status. We won’t allow repopulation of disaster areas with insurance coverage, which might just lead to measures preventing disasters where possible.
      It’s always (at least) about the two C’s, crime and congress. Now lets get on to crime by banks, their only business.

    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Never free money to the little people.

      If the government could find $1 trillion for Social Security and Medicare, people would ask, why not another trillion for Universal Basic Income, or free Medicare-for-All?

    8. Jeremy Grimm

      Maybe DoD can pipe a little of its slush funds over to the Social Security Administration to allay your fears related to the “entitlement quagmire”. The DoD doesn’t need to balance its books so what’s a few billions between friends, and they can keep the transfusion sly along with their more nefarious ventures.

      Since I was already at Domhoff’s website it was easy to grab the link to an interesting discussion about the origins of Social Security:
      How Corporate Moderates Created the Social Security Act (…And Then Tried to Undermine It Later) by G. William Domhoff

      You might find this clip from that webpage interesting along with the discussion in a section at the tail of the webpage “The aftermath until 2012”.
      “Perhaps future commentators on the New Deal should keep this point in mind [the failure to include employee contributions to the unemployment insurance fund] when “they praise Roosevelt for claiming that he insisted on contributions by workers ‘to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and unemployment benefits’ and thus ensure that ‘no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program'(Schlesinger 1958, pp. 308-309).”

    9. Oregoncharles

      Once again, Mr. Haygood is ignoring the reality that SS and Medicare are transfer programs, not insurance or even pension funds. They are funded by the “full faith and credit” of the US government, not a “trust fund.”

      And this is a significant error: “Sure, the coming exhaustion of Social Security and Medicare trust funds can, and almost certainly will, be bailed out from the general budget. ” No, payments FROM THE “TRUST FUND” come from the general fund. Where else would they come from? It’s money Congress “borrowed” from itself. That’s a crisis in itself; those payments become political. Once the “fund” is gone, SS & Medicare would have to be reduced to match revenue to the programs, UNLESS the ceiling on SS taxes is raised, thus providing a lot more revenue. The effect of pretending SS is a debt is to conceal the real solution.

  6. Heraclitus

    The evidence that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Heming’s children is not as good as alleged.

    First, the DNA test performed in 1998 was done by a retired pathologist, not someone with specific training in how to handle DNA. The modern protocols on custody, etc, were not followed. Even so it found Jefferson family DNA in only the one line of Sally Heming’s children, Eston’s. Presumably others didn’t have a direct male line to test. Except one. Descendants of Thomas, Sally’s first child, the one whom the newspapers claimed was Jefferson’s child back in the early eighteen hundreds, were also tested, and the results were negative for Jefferson family DNA.

    The writer, James Callendar, who had a grudge against Jefferson, for not naming him Postmaster of Richmond–also wrote calumnies against John Adams. He claimed that Adams was an hermaphrodite. The Sally Hemings story started with him. Somehow, we believe the Sally Hemings tale, but deny that John Adams was an hermaphrodite.

    Mr. Truescott also doesn’t mention that Randolph Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s brother, from whom he was so different in temperament, was known to fraternize with slaves, and fathered children with slaves on his own plantation, twenty miles away. He was also present at Eston Heming’s birth.

    1. JTMcPhee

      #metoo taken back through a time warp? We love our Founding Fathers and Rulers, but we sure love a scandal more. De Tocqueville, I recall, noticed this about America, way back when.

    2. marym

      No citations?

      From the Monticello website

      Brief account (Link)
      Thomas Jefferson Foundation Research Committee Report on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (Link)
      Minority Report (Link)
      Response to Minority Report (Link)

      Sally Hemings was Jefferson’s slave from infancy. She travelled with him to France and lived in his home. The room in which she lived (Link) was adjacent to his. Jefferson never denied paternity. He didn’t free Hemings during his life or when he died, but he freed the children. The children were light-skinned*, and a least two said to resemble him. Except for one disputed instance, Jefferson was at Monticello when the children would have been conceived.

      If he wasn’t the one, or the only one, raping her sufficiently frequently to produce 6 children, he condoned it in his own home, while he was present, and (per some of the alternate speculation) by his own relatives.

      Based on the brief amount of time I spent on the subject this morning, the full report and response to the minority report, reflecting what is described as the current historical and scientific consensus that Jefferson was the father, seem more compelling than the minority report.

      *As was Hemings – “her mixed-race mother, Betty, [was] part of his wife Martha’s inheritance of slaves from her father, John Wayles. Hemings was the youngest of six children Betty Hemings is thought to have had with Wayles.” (Link)

      1. Heraclitus

        Here is a skeptical piece from ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’. It is a review of the 2011 (actually 2001, then revised) report from the Scholar’s Commission. I think this is a different report than the Monticello Report, though it, confusingly enough, uses ‘Majority Report’ and ‘Minority Report’ in opposite senses from the Monticello Report.

        What I think is important is that many of the scholars had assumed for decades that Jefferson was the father of Sally Heming’s children, but after having spent a year examining the evidence, changed their minds.

        Here is another piece from the Claremont Review of books by one of the members of the Scholar’s Commission. He brings up the very interesting question of location. Were Thomas Jefferson’s quarters accessible to Sally Hemings in Paris, or at Monticello? He concludes: no. Not without being seen by others. It simply was not possible to carry on an affair for many years in those locations without detection.

        Many people make statements about Jefferson’s behavior that are factually untrue, i.e..that he never freed anyone outside the Hemings family; that Harriet Hemings was the only female slave he ever freed (there was another, which one of Sally Hemings grandchildren mentioned in a letter); that he never denied paternity of Sally Heming’s children (he did, to a neighbor, who recorded it in a letter). It’s almost as if researchers into this topic do not have access to the same information. A Wikipedia piece even mentions overseer Edmund Bacon’s noting that many people said Thomas Jefferson was Harriet Heming’s father, but not the rest of his comment on that occasion, i.e..that it was not Thomas Jefferson who was her father, but xx xx, whom he often saw leaving Sally Heming’s quarters early in the morning (the journalist who interviewed Bacon did not release the name).

        1. marym

          Thank you for the links.

          According to the first few comments, the book reviewed in the Chronicle was mostly a repeat of the 2001 study. According to the review “The descendants of Sally Hemings’ youngest son, Eston, however, are clearly related to the Jeffersons. The question is which “more than two dozen adult Jefferson men who were in Virginia at the time he was conceived” was Eston’s father.

          See voteforno6 June 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm below regarding the inability to determine “which” Jefferson. See my link to the location of Hemings’s room, and comment that Thomas Jefferson was at Monticello at the times when the children were conceived. What’s contained in my comments and cursory look at the Monticello website today represents the sum total of my “studies” of this topic, so I’m no expert in anything. I can only say that if he wasn’t the father, he would appear to have countenanced the relationship in this home for decades, a condemnation, in my opinion of slavery and of Jefferson as a slaveholder.

          As far as the Claremont Institute, it’s association with the person and/or ideas of persons including Clarence Thomas, Sharon Angle, Steve Bannon, and William Bennett leave me skeptical of their perspective.

          1. Heraclitus

            I responded to your post immediately above, but it somehow landed at the bottom of the page. Sorry about that. Please scroll down, however. I doubt there will be more posts on this thread, so it’ll be easy to find.

            Regarding Claremont and some of the folks you mentioned: I’ve followed Clarence Thomas since he was at the EEOC and believe he brings needed diversity of opinion to the Supreme Court.

            William Bennett delivered the first lecture I heard at the college from which I eventually graduated. It was on James Madison, a special interest of his. While I cannot defend him on some of the issues that have bedeviled him in life–except to say that they were also afflictions of some my ancestors–I will say unreservedly that I knew two of his graduate school classmates and close friends when I was in college, and I found them to be first rate in every respect. They were fine men, and I wish the world had more like them.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. It seems Mr. Callendar would be perfect for today’s world and could make a great living writing ‘dossiers’ on politicians.

      2. Randolph Jefferson fraternized with (female) slaves. Again, old is new again, and we see that today…Western males attracting young, impressionable females in Russia, Africa, Asia, Latin American, etc.

      1. Sid_finster

        “any [slaveholding] lady is able to tell who is the father of all the mulatto children in everybody’s household but her own. These she seems to think drop out of the sky…”

        Found somewhere. Source: a slaveholding woman’s diary, I think.

    4. Steve from CT

      Callander is not the source that is used to make the case for TJ’s fathering of Sally Hemings children. In fact, most historians have no confidence in his articles. His bias is well known. Citing his faults does not negate the case for Jefferson being the father.

      Jefferson’s brother as the father is also not persuasive. A good book on the case that Jefferson is the father was written by Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemings of Monticello: An American Family.

      Lucian Truscott is correct to salute the decision to refurbish the Sally Hemings quarters which is a clear recognition that Monticello supports Jefferson being the father. About time!

      1. Sid_finster

        The spin and finger-pointing to “exonerate” Jefferson is worthy of a cult member.

        Look, like every other slaveholder in the land, Jefferson at times abused his slaves in more ways than one. It is absurd to think he didn’t or wouldn’t, even if this is something we recoil in horror at today.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In view of the recent discussion about Einstein and this, it’s not clear cut when we can say, and when we should be more hesitant about saying, something (either to judge or to exonerate) about deeds from the past.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Not always abuse. Going by Sally Hemings’s portrait, if that was her, she was a beautiful woman and probably Thomas loved her so. It was only the mores at the time that stopped them having an official marriage. If they were living today, nobody would even care.

          1. marym

            What percentage of slaveowners who raped and impregnated their slaves do you estimate “loved them so”?

            Slavery was the “mores at the time” of the slaveowners. It was, of course, not the “mores at the time” of the slaves and the abolitionists. It wasn’t Sally Hemings’s “mores” since she negotiated for the freedom of any children she would have when she was just 16 and possibly already pregnant.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Sure there was a lot of rape going on and it was wrong but sex is not the be all and end all of people as people in earlier times knew. All I said was that sometimes, sometimes, there was also love as well. Human relations and sexual relations do not have sharp borders you know.
              I saw one example of how all these relationships came down to effect modern times. They had a bunch of dumb-a** white supremacists on TV getting the results of their DNA tests and they were not what they expected – not by a long shot – and the leader of this group was kicked out of it based on what was in his DNA test.
              You see a lot of communities separated on things like skin colour and the like but come nightfall there is a lot of nocturnal traffic going over those fences – both ways. As an example, in places like Kansas city a century ago, whites and blacks had their own zones but at night there was a lot of mingling under unspoken conventions for the purposes of drinking, gambling and sex. It’s just normal human relations adapting to prevailing social mores is all.

    5. voteforno6

      I think part of the problem was that, since Jefferson had no verified male descendants, they couldn’t say for certain that he was the father, but that someone from the Jefferson family was. This is due to limitations in the testing that was performed, if I recall correctly.

  7. Chauncey Gardiner

    So how do bank executives avoid prosecutions for market manipulation and concealment or misreporting as described in the link to the article about Citibank and other TBTFs and the Libor rate in, as well as the video clip above the article that described Wells Fargo’s customer account practices. Deterrence is key to reducing recidivist illegal behavior. Assessing bank holding companies a fine that is a fraction of the incremental revenues they derive from engaging in these practices has been shown to be an inadequate deterrent to preventing such behavior.

    Agree with the author of Sic Semper Tyrannis’ article from Harper, together his readers’ comments, that we desperately need restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act.

    1. diptherio

      As always, a “big” fine and no justice for the victims:

      The settlement also claims that Citi made millions of dollars in “unjust gains” in deals with governmental and non-profit entities by fixing the rate.

      Will those governmental and non-profit entities be cut in on the fine? Will they be made whole, including a decades worth of interest (or better yet, index-fund returns) on the money Citi stole from them? I won’t hold my breath.

      1. HotFlash

        As I understand it, the Libor rate is used to set the interest rates for every type of ‘consumer’ credit from mortgages to student loans. So many people have been hurt by this badly, even fatally, and a tiny fine (what’s it work out to, the annual of one senior exec?) going to the govt is all that happens?

  8. Watt4Bob

    I think it would be entirely appropriate, in light of the IG’s report exposing Obama’s ‘silky’ lying, that we all join in solidarity with the people of Chicago in opposing the building of Obama’s ridiculously ostentatious library on what is, and should remain the people’s commons (Jackson Park), and instead offer for that use, any one of the many Chicago Public School buildings recently closed by Obama’s BFF Rahm Emanuel as a more fitting and just location for the monument to his legacy.

    This offer should be made contingent on funding being immediately provided to turn the rest of the schools closed by Rahm into community centers providing health clinics, job centers, and housing for the homeless.

    Come on Chicago, let’s talk abut it.

    1. DJG

      Watt4Bob: There is more opposition here than one might determine from the mainstream press. Friends of the Park sent around a kind of analysis by the director that was quite pointed (for Chicago). The community groups in Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore aren’t all that positive: And community groups have a lot of weight in decisionmaking in Chicago.

      And the place isn’t even going to house paper archives. It is going to be a virtual display, with restaurant, and parking lot. The Presidential Arby’s.

      1. Watt4Bob

        There is more opposition here than one might determine from the mainstream press.

        There certainly is, and I couldn’t be more proud of my home town for their progress on organizing against the darkness, and all that in the face of intense shade thrown by the MSM.

      2. Lambert Strether

        So the Obama Presidential Library is a tourist destination… No doubt with some back rooms with big polished tables where deals can be cut.

        Do you know where the paper archives will be housed? Assuming they will be?

        1. DJG

          Lambert Strether: Best I can do:

          Right now, I guess that they are (hmmm, confusingly, hmmm) in Hoffman Estates and D.C. The originals somehow will remain in the National Archives, where they will oh-so-quickly be put on-line. If you believe that. Typical Obama: The man is terrified of any close approach.

          The burbling mid-article about Eisenhower Republican Obama being revolutionary is rich indeed. Avert thine eyes.

          Meanwhile, the Os and their Presidential Center + Arby’s staff will appear at meetings in Chicago to complain that they have to engage with pesky, pesky community groups.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Trouble in the heartland, comrades:

    Ohio is becoming a major warning sign for the GOP’s fortunes in the upcoming midterms—and beyond. The state backed Trump by a healthy 8-point margin in 2016, fueled by dramatic swings towards Republicans along the blue-collar eastern spine of the state. Trump’s winning margin in bellwether Ohio was nearly identical to his winning margin in ruby-red Texas.

    But the political movement in Ohio is headed in the opposite direction, even with Trump’s recent uptick in popularity. Trump’s job approval in the state is at 43 percent with 54 percent disapproving, according to a new Quinnipiac survey. Nearly half of respondents to a Suffolk University poll of Ohio voters said their midterm vote would be a check on the president, compared to 28 percent saying their vote would be to support Trump’s agenda.

    As goes Ohio, so goes the nation. Flake-o-nomics don’t pay.

    1. edmondo

      It’s not the Flake-o-nomics – it’s the lies. Remember when the Donald ran as a populist? Was going to drain the swamp? and end the wars? I’m not sure anyone actually believed him but we sure as hell knew what we were getting with Hillary.

      The people voted for Change (again). All we got was W in a fkn wig.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . I was voting in part to drive the Clintons out of politics and keep them out of politics. We have driven them out. But we will have to spend years keeping them out. We should probably focus on destroying Chelsea’s public life and career so that she never gets into politics to re-lucrativise the Clinton Foundation, among other things.

        Also, I was voting to keep Assad from losing power in Syria in order to prevent another Islamic Jihadistan from emerging. And so far it looks like we see Assad still in power and the Islamic Jihadistanis being defeated in stages in Syria and concentrated into Idlib province where they can all be exterminated ( literally) when Assad feels the time has come.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The poll was conducted from June 7 to June 12, before the meeting between Trump and Kim.

      Would that have made any difference?

      Also before the report by DOJ’s Inspector General.

    3. Lambert Strether

      So another “change vs. more of the same” election. As in 2008, 2010, 2012*, and 2016.

      NOTE * Romney being the change agent in 2012, hilariously. That didn’t work out.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “From Russia with love, as Putin kicks off soft power Games”

    I do not care about the political ins and outs of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. I disregard the US warnings to its peoples about going to Russia as well as the warnings to the British players about Russian ‘honey pots’. What I do care about is the fact that there is a massive street party over in Russia right now and I am not there for it-

    1. Lee

      I can’t get there either but I do take great satisfaction from the outcome of yesterday’s game and I particularly liked it when the announcer declared, “Iceland ties Argentina for a win!” Great game. What’s up with Messi?

      1. Lambert Strether

        Mexico beat Germany, 1-0.

        Looks like this is the World Cup for underdogs and optimists! So far….

        (Makes me think back to the wonderful Korean women’s curling team….)

    2. Olga

      Yes, shoulda invested in those vodka futures as soon as the winning bid was announced.
      And check out the picture of Brazilian in the metro!
      Plus, there is a rare clip of Putin speaking English (now, how many US presidents could speak at least three languages? And, it seems, he speaks French, too.)
      A taxi driver told that the vast Moscow blvds were washed with shampoo before the games…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not just Putin.

        There are more Russians who can speak English, percentage wise and maybe even the total number as well, than there are Americans who can speak Russian (Arizona Slim is trying to reverse that).

        That’s my guess.

        And that’s common in many places…China, Norway (a massive military against Russia underway with US soldiers involved), Nigeria, etc.

        It is probably not due to the inherent beauty of the language,…alone (or maybe not), but a consequence of cultural hegemony and imperial (direct and indirect) demands.

        1. JCC

          The fact that far more Russians are able to speak English than there are Brits or Americans that are able to speak Russian is just more proof of their clever (& evil) scheming. We all know their education is geared towards overwhelming the poor, gullible, God Fearing, too-innocent-for-our-own-good Western Govts that only want the best for Everyone Concerned.

          We just need to face the fact that we are no match for them, whether on the playing field or on the world stage.

          Getting away with the Ukraine Invasion? Trump? Brexit? And now throwing a Cool Party at the World Cup? Their cleverness knows no bounds. What dirty plan will they hatch, in English, next? How in God’s Name will we survive their all-encompassing Strategy of pushing us all ever closer towards the rule of Worldwide Evil?

          Their on-going, and seemingly never-ending, success is too frightening to comprehend… let alone take seriously.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Let’s use the pair – Russian and English – as an example.

            Russians study English (in various forms, American English, etc) for one or more of the following reasons:

            1. English as a language is among the top, exceptional ones in the world, so, Russians can’t resist learning it.

            2. To fight Americans, they need to study their language

            3. To get jobs in many places in the world, it’s a necessary skill

            4. American men and women are so attractive, that to hope to have chance at relationships with them, Russians must learn the language.

            I think #1 is rare.

            From the other side, for Americans, being to speak Russian in order to get work in many places in the world is not as critical (#3) .

            And for #2, it’s a draw, though, as you say, you never know. Those Russians are so desperate to defeat us, they will work harder.

            #4 may be just delusional.

            Similarly, we can to pair-comparison with various languages, and we are back to cultural hegemony and direct and indirect imperial demands.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Hands off my data! 15 more default privacy settings you should change on your TV, cellphone plan, LinkedIn and more. WaPo

    I get the distinct impression that changing the privacy settings on various websites and devices works much the same way as the ‘close door’ button on an elevator – pushing it gives you the illusion of control but doesn’t actually do anything.

    If they were still collecting it all and selling it anyway, how would we ever know?

    The only way to not be tracked on your cell phone or ‘smart TV’ is not to have a cell phone or smart TV.

    1. oh

      No need for cell phone or home internet connection. Use the public library or coffee shops. Spoof your mac address to keep google guessing.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “India Eyes Unexploited Coal Deposits in Indonesian Papua”

    A word on how Indonesian Papua got to be Indonesian-

    ‘Even after Indonesia’s independence in 1945, West Papua (here understood as the western half of the island of New Guinea) was retained by the Dutch for various reasons. However, Indonesia claimed all of the territory of the former Dutch East Indies, including the Dutch New Guinea holdings. Indonesia repeatedly launched military operations against West Papua in 1961 and 1962, but these failed. It was agreed through the New York Agreement in 1962 that the administration of West Papua would be temporarily transferred from the Netherlands to Indonesia and that by 1969 the UN should oversee a referendum of the West Papuan people, in which they would be given two choices: to remain part of Indonesia or to become an independent nation. This vote was referred to as the ‘Act of Free Choice’. However, the vote was in fact conducted by consensus decision-making, or consensus of elders, numbering slightly over 1,000. 1,000 of these men had been selected by the Indonesian military. This body was coerced at gunpoint into unanimously voting to remain part of Indonesia; the territory was named as the province of Irian Jaya, later Papua.’

    Yeah, so they stole it. They were feeling their oats at the time and were even trying to invade Malaysia ( at the time which brought in British, New Zealand and Australian troops to fight them in an off-the-books war.

  13. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to the article in The Hindu about the unique frogs of the Western Ghats, Jerri-Lynn. It must be an amazing place. Equally amazing and inspiring to me is the perseverance and work of wildlife filmmakers and photographers, brothers Vijay and Ajay Bedi. It is disheartening to read about the environmental degradation that is occurring worldwide and the related effects. It is only through publicity and efforts such as theirs that protection will be afforded such species that comprise the web of life.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Glad you enjoyed the link. I’ve visited the Western Ghats; alas, I’ve never seen any of the frogs. Next time I’ll know what to look out for.

  14. Craig H.

    > The Day the US Became an Empire

    He is off by over a hundred years. It happened when the Iroquois were kicked out of New York. 1784.

  15. timbers

    Everyday day I see headlines about this or that nation imposing tariffs. I’m no procedure queen but isn’t that suppose to go thru the WTO? Are trade agreements dead? Is NAFTA dying?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Maybe the thing called ‘trade’ itself might be dying — no sorrow there. “Trade” in most ways is a disease, that grows the tumors of looting and what we call “inequality,” and both facilitates and drives the consumption of the planet’s livable spaces. Fostered by corruption, powered by FIRE and the combustion of carbon fuels. Ships Chinese crap to the US and other “advanced nations” to be “consumed,” ships weapons and troops all over the world, to bring death and oppression and crushing of any nascent bits of popular democracy, self-rule, or motions toward autarky. “Trade” was what catalyzed and encouraged the imperial urges, the grasping by insatiable barons of “industry” and “commerce,” and the political-economic structures those barons built to serve their interests, the ones that are the monkeys on our mope backs. “Trade,” which includes the supposed necessity of what we call “growth” (the uncontrolled behavior that is the nature of cancers), and continual pressures to extract and dominate “natural resources” and human labor and “demand,” is the underlying reason for most wars.

      Of course the disease is well advanced, and most likely the patient will die from it, through an ugly process where the collision of greeds and and idiocies and dare one say the word, “limits,” that is already under way, runs its course. Don’t see what there might be in the way of a cure, either. Except if some of us mopes can learn to live small, in small bunches, and not repeat the idiocy.

      Meantime, the looters and elites will live out their very special lives, fully titillated yet frustrated that they can’t ever get “enough” of “more than enough.” And the rest of us? Including those of us who aspire to join the ranks, or at least those who would sign up to serve them…

      Oh, but we must have “trade,” otherwise how would we get pesticides and medicines and Ferraris and cluster bombs and F-35s from one place to another…?

      1. JBird

        Human beings have been trading for hundreds of thousands of years and probably when we were the previous species. :-)

        Nobody has everything that they need or at least can be better elsewhere. Even stone tools especially for making arrow and spearheads. Trading networks hundreds of miles long.

        I might be putting words in your mouth. If I do, please accept my apologies. I think you are opposed to the insanity of shipping cookies from China to Holland because it’s profitable to do so. Or destroying the bulk of American manufacturing by sending most of it to China and shipping the goods across the Pacific, not because the various American businesses were unprofitable, but because they could be more profitable than they already were.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “Profitability” only because no effective “regulation” in the sense of the biological analog of homeostasis. And most important, because no recognition (in the accounting sense) of externalities.

          Yes, exchanges are inevitable, have been forever. But the crapification and apotheosis of “trade,” the elevation of “supply chains” to some beatified status in human relations, stuff like that. Big Trade is a cancer, likely from my view of the world to be untreatable and incurable. Short of the death of the host, of course. And if Muskians have their way, soon to be exported to a solar system and galaxy near you—

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Yes! A majestic bird– even more beautiful in real life. Photos don’t really do it justice.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sports and national pride or patriotism (love or devotion to one’s country – or less love and less devotion to countries not one’s – and in this case, the suffering Germans take second place).

      I wonder if we protest the cup itself.

  16. DJG

    The Boring Company provides imaginary details about its imaginary project in Chicago: I don’t find any details. From Union Station to O’Hare (a logical route that would follow the Blue Line) is 16 miles. How long will this take? As long as Deep Tunnel (mega-system of storm drainage that took years, necessarily).

    Estimate of ridership? How many people go from O’Hare to the Loop each day? Wikipedia quotes daily ridership as 187,000, but the majority don’t go from O’Hare to the Loop.

    Schedule? Twenty-four hours a day?

    Stations? They posit one station at O’Hare. Ridership, then, is pretty much travelers. Geography excludes most workers at O’Hare.

    The whole thing is a load of gig-economy vapor. And what do they plan to do for the route? Sell mineral rights under the Blue Line? Run it under the Kennedy Expressway (90/94)? And when Chicago’s notoriously weird combination of solid clay or unstable sandy soil subsides?

    Sheesh. I’m worried: Compared to this buncombe, even the problematical John Kass, and he has plenty of problems as journalist, comes off as reasonable.

    1. oh

      I wonder what happens when the Musk-Rail stalls amid destinations? How do you bail out? The whole thing is a flim flam project. Where’s he gonna find the $1 billion (soon to become 10)? Another hit and run project that will suck public money for privateers.

      Supposedly, the bore (not to be confused with Musk) has been completed in the LA area. Is it following the 90/90 rule? (90% of the project takes 90% of the resources; the remaining 10% takes the other 90%)

  17. Olga

    This could be posted in Links –
    “Wealth of Nations forewarned us that the ‘principal architects’ of the political economy were ‘not the consumers … whose interest has been entirely neglected,’ but the wealthy ‘merchants and manufacturers’ whose interests have ‘been most peculiarly attended to.'”
    Peculiarly, indeed … Looks like Adam Smith told us all we need to know about capitalism.
    The article continues with a summary of Hamilton’s contribution to the wonderful world of plutarchy we all now enjoy…

  18. DJG

    I believe that Yves and Lambert posted the full report on the FBI, e-mail, Weiner, Loretta Lynch, meddling fandango.

    Wowsers, as we say. A little bias against Bernie Sanders?

    And there are Page and Strzok, the walking disasters who we, the taxpayers, gave a salary to.

    June 30, 2016: On June 30, 2016, Strzok sent the following text message
    to Page: “…Just left Bill…. He changed President to ‘another senior government
    official.’” Based on context, Strzok told us “Bill” referred to Priestap. Strzok
    My recollection is that the early Comey speech drafts included
    references to emails that Secretary Clinton had with President Obama
    and I think there was some conversation about, well do we want to be
    that specific? Is there some, out of deference to executive
    communications, do we want to do that? And I remember that
    discussion occurring. I remember the decision was made to take it
    out. I know I was not the person who did it.
    Strzok told us that he saw no indication that this decision was done “to curry favor
    or to influence anything.” Page told us that she could not remember the discussion
    referenced in this text message. We also discuss this change to Comey’s July 5
    statement in Chapter Six.
    July 24, 2016: On July 24, 2016, before the Russia investigation was
    formally opened, Page and Strzok exchanged numerous text messages in which
    they discuss U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph “Rudy” Contreras. Judge Contreras
    is also a current member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
    They discuss, among other things, Strzok hosting a social gathering and inviting
    Contreras. They also discuss whether Contreras would “have to recuse himself” on
    “espionage FISA” cases given “his friend oversees them.” We asked Strzok about
    this exchange and his relationship with Contreras. Strzok stated that he considered
    Contreras a friend and explained that they met years ago when their children
    attended the same elementary school.

  19. Lambert Strether


    From the article:

    . Crowley’s promise was noteworthy, as he is running on both the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party lines.

    WFP, I dunno….

    1. freedomny

      The debate was really good. She was very prepared – Joe, not so much. When he first started speaking and then mixed metaphors saying “meat and butter” I thought – this woman might actually win….

      1. jo6pac

        Sadly she never brings up the merchants of death and how to stop the endless wars. It is a start I guess.

      2. Massinissa

        “Meat and Butter”

        Maybe he got “bread and butter” and “chicken in every pot” confused. /s

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tourism and tech…Iceland.

    Not all good news there…

    Tech startups focused on increasing the sustainability of cod fishing at places like the Ocean Cluster, a hip startup hub in Reykjavik, could be one way forward, as could the bitcoin industry at the Verne Global data centre – although, having witnessed an economic collapse in a country where the banks were not regarded as too big to fail but, says Benediktsson, “too big to save”, the finance minister is wary about Iceland becoming an important centre for cryptocurrency mining

    And the problem with tourism is not just rental cars and drivers pulling over narrow roads to snap pictures. It’s back to the old question: Do you love the one you’re married to, or marry the one you love (in an imperfect world, that is)? Do you appreciate fully the beauty all around you, now, or do you have to fly half way around the world?

    1. Wukchumni

      “There’s been attempts to introduce a one-dollar coin, but the mint has bungled the attempt every time, and Americans are left with one-dollar notes as a result.”


      There was no bungling as far as the dollar coins were concerned, as most of them ended up in Ecuador where the U.S. Dollar is used as currency there.



      Each coin costs around 15 cents to make and somebody somewhere is booking 85 cents profit per coin, I wonder who?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The eighty five cents is profit on making the coin. But then the coin can be used ten thousand times to mediate economic exchanges between people without having to be physically melted and remade between every exchange.

        So the coin itself is a tool, like a wrench or a knife. I don’t expect a wrench-maker or a knife-maker to make a wrench or a knife for free. I expect them to expect to be paid for the wrenches or knives they make. I don’t expect them to be paid all over again every time I use a wrench or a knife, nor do they expect to be paid. And so it is with the physical object know as the “coin”. The physical maker of the physical coin object deserves to be paid for his/her work. And then we apply the product of that work thousands of times without ever having to repay the maker of the coin for the re-use and re-use and re-use of that particular coin. The physical coin itself only had to be made, sold and bought once.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The Dan Fixes Coin Ops guy missed a complaint about U.S. coins and really many of the coins in circulation today. They are ugly, have a cheap heft and feel, and they corrode horribly, especially pennies. Our quarters look and feel more like Chucky Cheese tokens than money. The new dollar coins are especially ugly and cheap. Some of the strikes on our coins leave such weak impressions it’s hard for my old eyes to see who or what is impressed on the coin.

  21. Wukchumni

    Greeting from the banana belt of Oregon, Brookings.

    It’s funny here, in that just before the border, there’s a liquor store in California that fashions itself the “8th wonder of the world” and attracts Oregonians in search of cheaper booze than the going rate in state, while on the other side of the border, the 1st thing that greets you as a Californian, is one of 7 marijuana stores in a town of 6,000.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The ‘Fight’ Phase of the Poor People’s Campaign Has Begun Truthdig

    One question I have is this: Are there, or how many people who are poor but don’t acknowledge that they are poor?

    And would that impact how many will come to identify with the movement?

  23. Wukchumni

    Wouldn’t a modern day equivalent of Mulberry Harbors as used in the post D-Day landings in France, alleviate the shipping dysfunction rising sea levels are sure to bring about?

    It’d be smart to start working on them, in lieu of throwing more money @ the MIC, which means nothing will happen. Please disregard this missive and sorry for taking your time.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Mulberry Harbors? You know, that is not a bad idea that. As sea levels rose, so would your harbour.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Depression and suicide risk…200 common drugs.

    More than a third of American adults are using medications that have the potential to increase their risk of depression, a study published this week in JAMA finds, and nearly a quarter use medications that have suicidal symptoms as side effects.

    More than 1/3 of American adults

    If we only look at American adults over 50, 60 or 70, etc, it’s likely to be more than 1/3, assuming younger people are healthier and less likely to be on medication.

    It just adds to the feeling that it’s a very dangerous world we live in, and when it comes to medical care, many people are seeking alternatives (some say non-traditional, but in fact, can be traditional, but not western).

      1. el_tel

        I don’t know about *single* meds but it’s fairly well known in the mental health community that certain med combinations can induce or exacerbate certain personality disorders (most notably mood disorders). These are typically more dangerous to the person themselves than others.

      2. blennylips

        > Wonder if there are any meds that increase homicidal feelings?

        There is a natural substance that comes close:

        Does lead poisoning actually cause more homicide?

        Here’s what we know: exposure to lead, particularly as a child, is proven to cause high impulsivity, heighted aggression, lower IQ and lower impulse control, as well as a resistance to being deterred by punishment (this has been shown in both animals and humans).

  25. Craig H.

    The guardian story on the python victim in Indonesia only has a head shot photo of the snake. No swollen belly. No photo of the partially digested victim. So it’s safe to click on. They measured the python corpse at 7m/23ft. Also if you scroll down they have a “you might also like” selection of the guardian’s all-time greatest snake stories. The most sensational headline which I may well go back and peruse later was the one that said over half of the latest 200 latest snake fatalities in Australia happened at home.

    Around here the one species of poisonous snake is very shy around humans and you more-or-less have to tease it to get bitten.

  26. UserFriendly

    Depression and suicide risk are side effects of more than 200 common drugs Vox

    Because this is an observational study and not an experimental study, the researchers stopped short of saying the medications caused the depression. To find that out, they’d need to do a follow-up study where they track people who start taking these medications over time and see if their risk of depression increases.

    You could have just stopped there. If I am slightly suicidal while on 4 of those drugs you should see me when I take the occasional month off.

  27. audrey jr

    If Obama cares so deeply for his fellow Americans why isn’t he building lots of affordable housing in Chicago instead of another useless “educational center” for the people who are being displaced by this cruel idea of a grift?

    1. Quentin

      ‘The whole sordid appropriation of public land for private glory is disgusting, isn’t it, Mr and Mrs Obama. Or am I wrong?’ They haven’t answered yet.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Not to them, its not. To them , it is their royal due as the least small measure of gratitude that should be bestowed upon them by their grateful subjects.

        And if the subjects really aren’t grateful, then it is up to those subjects to prove their ungratefulness by killing that project for real and making sure that the “first shovel” never ever gets turned.

    2. crittermom

      I’ve found his plans for this library disgusting from the start (& still believe that if he put pictures of all the families homes he let the banks steal on the ceiling, it would cave in).

      The sheer arrogance of it all makes me want to scream! What the hell will he put in there? Videos of all his lies to the people? A ‘salute’ to his Hellbent At Making Profits for the banks program (HAMP)?

      My disgust for him continues to grow. I already considered him one of the worst presidents evah.
      Will he be charging admission to enter this idol to himself?

  28. The Rev Kev

    “The West Will Die So That Trump Can Win”

    I hate to say it but maybe there might be something good coming out of the Trump Presidency and that is that how we run the world being put under question. NATO, for example, has been described as the military wing of the western powers so maybe now the Europeans will spend more time developing that Euro Army that they will have more control of and not have their troops being sent to the ends of the earth. Treaties like Nafta and the TPP will now be suspect as their introduction by the back door now leads to the election of people like Trump (Mark Blyth’s Trumpism). The G7 might now be degraded for a more inclusive G20. Other institutions may now also come under question like the WTO because of who really runs it. Call this all the delayed reverberations of the 2008 crisis.

  29. drumlin woodchuckles

    The “West” this article talks about is the International Free Trade Conspiracy and the Corporate Globalonial Plantation. That “West” SHOULD die, and killing it would be a historic achievement for President Trump.

    Bring back our NATO hostages ( “soldiers”) from Europe. Enough is enough.

  30. Heraclitus

    It is interesting that Eston is the Hemings son about whose conception there is controversy re: Jefferson’s whereabouts. I agree with you that it hurts the case for Jefferson’s innocence if he was in fact present at Monticello during all the times that Sally Hemings could have conceived. However, it appears to me that scholars have not addressed the question of whether Sally Hemings was at Monticello during those times when she conceived. Jefferson’s ownership of Monticello and his slaves occurred during the long but gradual decline in the viability of tobacco as a cash crop. As Tocqueville said, ‘the price of tobacco kept on dropping, but the cost of maintaining slaves remained constant’. Many slaves were hired out to other plantations and for town work in order to keep cash flowing. Was Sally ever hired out? What does Jefferson’s farm book say, if anything?

    I learned about a year ago that my fourth great uncle was Jefferson’s agent, lawyer, close friend and financial adviser during the last fifteen years of Jefferson’s life. He was executor of Jefferson’s estate, was one of two people present when Jefferson died, and he shrouded Jefferson’s body. My great grandfather was raised by this great uncle’s younger brother (his grandfather) who was clerk of court in Charlottesville, and he would have known his great uncle till age eighteen. While great-grandfather died thirty years before I was born, I know a lot about him. There was a deep formality in his manner, and this remained part of his character despite reduced circumstances post Civil War. I imagine this formality was a family trait, and was probably one of the things that his great uncle had in common with Jefferson, and that’s why they hit it off. (They were also third cousins, but as far as I know didn’t know each other until after Jefferson was President.)

    It’s hard for me to imagine people with such a sense of propriety having twenty year affairs with slaves. This is not to say that masters did not have their way with slaves on many plantations across the South, but while this was common, it was not universal. If you were to pick one master whom his associates would have thought least likely to do so, I think Jefferson would be strong in the running.

    I saw your link about the location of Sally Heming’s room. This info disagrees with several of the eyewitnesses mentioned in the links I gave above. I’m afraid straightening that out is beyond my scholarly abilities.

Comments are closed.