Links 6/22/18

Cocaine in rivers harming endangered eels, study finds Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

DNA results are in: Animal previously believed to be wolf-dog hybrid identified ABC7

Delta tightens regulations, adds pit bulls to list of banned service and support animals Fox

Kate Spade’s father dies night before designer’s funeral BBC. His poor wife….

Stonehenge Builders Used Pythagoras’ Theorem 2,000 Years Before He Was Born Tech Times

Bedrock in West Antarctica rising at surprisingly rapid rate (Kevin W)


American Military Aircraft Targeted By Lasers in Pacific Ocean, U.S. Officials Say Wall Street Journal

A CO2 shortage is causing a beer and meat crisis in Britain Quartz

North Korea

No sign of North Korea dismantling nuclear weapons programme, Mattis admits Guardian (furzy). All the US got was a T-shirt, um, an aspirational statement.

Laos stirs controversy with plan for fourth dam on Mekong Asia Times (Jim D)

Europe needs a fresh approach to climate strategy Bruegel. Illustrates how difficult it is to structure and sequence analysis and decision-making for complex matters…even assuming there’s the political will to do what needs to be done.


Airbus: ‘Catastrophic’ Brexit would threaten our future in the UK CNN

The Brexiteers are discovering that the UK already had the best model: EU membership New Statesman (Kevin W)

Ireland’s Brexit dividend Politico

New Cold War

Pity The Russophobe Journos Whom No One Believes Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

Russian Trolls Weigh In on Roseanne Barr and Donald Trump Jr. Wall Street Journal. UserFriendly: “Just shoot me.”


A Rare Look at Yemen’s War, Where Children Starve and Hospitals Are on Life-Support Intercept

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Tech Giants Under Fire For Facial Recognition SafeHaven

Revealed: Canada uses massive US anti-terrorist database at borders Guardian


Trump’s Order to End Immigrant Family Separation Sows Confusion Wall Street Journal

Fate of 2,300 separated children still unclear despite Trump’s executive order Guardian (furzy)

How US Policy in Honduras Set the Stage for Today’s Mass Migration Consortium News

There’s no immigration crisis, and these charts prove it Washington Post. Lambert:

I trust the material on wages as far as I can throw it. There’s a very long history of bosses hiring scabs with distinct ascriptive identities or indeed entire workforces (H1B). These guys think the bosses don’t know what they’re doing. I disagree.

They also don’t take into account the novel possibility that there’s no wage drop from immigration ***these days*** because wages are already at rock bottom because the power of management is so great (curious absence of wage inflation; Walmart wages below what it takes for labor to reproduce itself; threats to move plants rather than give rase. or allow unions). In this scenario, immigration’s role would be to keep wages as flat as they have been for 40 years, rather than to cause them to fall even further.

Melania wears ‘I really don’t care do u?’ coat on migrant visit BBC. Ouch.

House GOP leaders push immigration vote to next week The Hill

White House aide Miller targeted in backlash over family separations Politico

Tariff Tantrum

U.S. Weighs Resuming China Talks with Split on Trump’s Trade Team Bloomberg

“Die Amerikaner tun mir leid” Der Spiegel. Google Translate version. Subhead: The Beijing economist Mei Xinyu sees the blame on the Americans – and speaks of a possible “financial war” with unimaginable consequences.” Help me. They are threatening to dump Treasuries. They Fed will hoover them up. China will wind up with even more Treasuries if it keeps running trade surpluses. This bluster, however, does seem to rule out the thesis by PlutoniumKun that China could use a trade war to accelerate the restructuring of its own economy, in a Chinese version of what the Japanese used to call “foreign pressure”. But the flip side is enough people on Team Trump might not understand that the Chinese “dump Treasuries” threat is hollow, making that ultimatum effective.

EU tariffs on US goods come into force BBC

US trade with the EU, Germany in numbers DW

American whiskey makers face dreaded reality: Tariffs CBS (Kevin W)

The U.S.-China Trade War Is Great News For OPEC OilPrice

Trump Transition

Trump Hotels (Randy K). Someone in the Trump organization is gonna be in trouble for not having bought that URL….

Grassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after DOJ watchdog report Politico

Paul Manafort Ordered by Judge to Be Held Away From Other Prisoners Bloomberg

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Scaring The Democratic Establishment TYT (UserFriendly). Important and compelling.

Michelle Alexander Joins The New York Times Opinion Pages as Columnist New York Times. Author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigns over relationship with employee The Verge

Here’s The Wild Email Exchange Between Tesla’s Alleged ‘Saboteur’ And Elon Musk Jalopnik (Kevin W)

From UserFriendly. Also important, read the entire tweetstorm:

Guillotine Watch

Vandalized homes, spying, a knife and restraining orders: Inside a billionaire couple’s nightmarish divorce Mike Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Class Warfare

Workers of color are far more likely to be paid poverty-level wages than white workers Economic Policy Institute

Nikki Haley: ‘It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America’ – Washington Post. UserFriendly: “ROFL. Actual letters here.”

The Billionaire Class is Not Fit to Rule – Paul Jay Real News Network. A fundraising pitch, but very good regardless. And if you are flush, TRNN is a worthy cause.

The decline of America’s middle classes Financial Times

The man who was fired by a machine BBC

Antidote du jour. Jen Esten, who continues the Pleasant Lake tradition in the memory of Kittie Wilson, via Lawrence R:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Kevin

    Melania’s Coat:
    If I hear one more liberal pundit cry “Tone Deaf” I’m gonna puke. The tone is premeditated and deliberate.
    (and I can’t believe I’m writing about Melania’s idiotic coat…ugh)

    1. Whoa Molly!

      RE: Melania’s coat
      I too ignored the story at first, thinking it was idiotic.

      Then I realized that Melania is a *professional model*. This woman’s business is knowing how she looks, and the messages her clothing communicates. She’s extremely good at this business, world class apparently. Thus her (family blog) coat is actually news. Her message is probably even more contemptuous IMO than that other famous message, “let them eat cake.”

      1. windsock

        Hmm, wearing it after leaving a meeting to discuss the child immigrant situation, especially with the “do you?” addendum, is probably 8 layers of irony deep. And if so, good on her. She could easily be making the point to her own husband, knowing she is going to be photographed.

        Or not.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Here, we have the age-old dichotomy of actions vs. words.

          1. She attends and discusses the child migrant situation. She is acting and doing something. Trump signs an executive order.

          2. She wears a jacket that asks if you care.

        2. Amfortas the Hippie

          i know she’s rather garishly thin and all…but why did she need a coat at the border?
          it’s june.

          1. Bugs Bunny

            Constant high level of A/C. Being rich and famous in America means Las Vegas-type climate control.

    2. Eclair

      I recall a roughly similar event, a few decades ago, involving then VP Dick Cheney. It was at a memorial service, in Germany, perhaps at a former ‘death camp.’ All the world leaders were there, gathered in a solemn group, wearing somber black overcoats. Cheney stood out, garbed in what looked like a old duck-hunting jacket. A minor sartorial oversight? He maybe forgot to pack his formal diplomatic wear? Or a deliberate FU.

      1. Tom Moody

        R. Givhan, fashion columnist, Washington Post (2005):

        “The [commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz] was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen’s hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.

        “The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.

        “Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood. It is embroidered with his name. It reminded one of the way in which children’s clothes are inscribed with their names before they are sent away to camp. And indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults.

        “Like other attendees, the vice president was wearing a hat. But it was not a fedora or a Stetson or a fur hat or any kind of hat that one might wear to a memorial service as the representative of one’s country. Instead, it was a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words ‘Staff 2001.’ It was the kind of hat a conventioneer might find in a goodie bag.

        “It is also worth mentioning that Cheney was wearing hiking boots — thick, brown, lace-up ones. Did he think he was going to have to hike the 44 miles from Krakow — where he had made remarks earlier in the day — to Auschwitz?”

        1. jsn

          It’s probably the same J Peterman outfit he was wearing when he shot Harry Whittington in in the face in a hunting “accident”.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s like an abstracting painting here, and one can only guess what the artist had in mind.

          in that case, as in any case where an abstract painting asks you or demands you to make what you will of it, you are the artist, not the people who painted it, if you say, or assume, an art piece must communicate some story about the world.

          Here, my guess is that Cheney was saying ‘It’s a rough world we are here to remember.’

          1. polecat

            And to expand your last conjecture MLTPB : ‘And ya all better watch out .. I’ve got my bird shot, and I’m not afraid to use it ..

            … So don’t test me ! ‘

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Yup, everyone has his or her unique take on it…and being artstic in the process.

    3. Jim Haygood

      it’s actually a knockoff a design sold at Barney’s, with the original text reading “LOVE TRUMPS HATE”

      Nahhh … surely this is just a dyslexic rendering of TRUMP LOVES HATE.

      Lesson: don’t wear legible clothing.

      1. globalmisanthrope

        There are yard signs all over central Austin that say this, cheek and jowel with “Beto” signs and the “in this house we believe…” virtue-signalling, nausea-inducing scold.

        Pretty sure they mean Love Trump’s Hate…

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps virtue-signallers can be shamed or encouraged or cajoled into virtue-practicing or at least virtue-funding.

    4. The Rev Kev

      I would say that Melania can call it Mission Accomplished! Instead of people talking about crying children in a cage in the middle of nowhere, now everybody is talking about a goddamn 40 dollar jacket when normally someone like that would not wear anything less than 400 dollars. I call it ‘intense social debate’ successfully short-circuited.

      1. johnnygl

        At risk of sounding like a right wing troll…

        Melania hits the right notes to get libruls in media triggered and in a blinding rage over some clothes. Where’d she learn that tactic from??? It’s almost like the trumps are always on message as much as Jane and Bernie Sanders.

        The trump message is: “look over here and get outraged while we rob and steal for our friends and family”

        Sy Hersh commented that trump is crazy like a fox and knows exactly what he’s doing. He was on CNN and gently tried to tell don lemon that CNN was getting played and missing real stories. Lemon was having none of it.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        You cannot be seriously blaming this unfathomably juvenile, petty obsession with Melania’s jacket on her own cunning plan to divert attention from the carefully-crafted, relentlessly-hammered, beating-a-dead-horse “children in cages” narrative.

        It’s far more likely a desperate attempt to keep eyeballs focused anywhere BUT on articles that are as informative on the issue as the Consortium News link– How US Policy in Honduras Set the Stage for Today’s Mass Migration–above. Particularly the obama, clinton and kerry involvement in the current iteration of the crisis.

        1. Jean

          Gee, Thanks Hillary, along with Libya, what a preview of what your presidency would have been like.

          The Roots of the banana problem for America was when the Central American governments decided to expropriate the lands where they were grown–and pay exactly what the United Fruit Company claimed the land was worth when it came to paying taxes on it.

          Just like Valero is really Exxon rebranded, Chiquita is United Fruit rebranded.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            And here is hillary demonstrating pride in her accomplishments in Honduras (Emphasis mine.):

            In her own book, Hard Choices, Clinton describes how she helped prevent the democratically elected president from returning to office, even though this is what the rest of the hemisphere and the world, including United Nations, understandably demanded:

            “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico,” Clinton wrote. “We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

            (In case you have the paperback edition of the book from last year, the section on Honduras has been edited out. The above quote is from the original, hardcover edition.)


        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was hoping we transition from separated immigrant children into

          1. The homeless
          2. The separated homeless children in America.

          Instead, we get circuses…all fashion-oriented, and the lingering feeling that we have all been manipulated, used…

        3. John Merryman

          What is the primary distraction? Anytime children are being waved about, when there is minimal difference from before, it’s distraction.
          I’m thinking the Middle East, from the attack on the port in Yemen to the brewing war in southeast Syria. Where US special forces are on the front lines.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Children victims themselves, or of American adult victims of all kinds…or children victims of imperial adventures.

            Here, we hear only crickets, except on those occasions they serve a purpose.

      3. m

        Why are the kids being separated, shouldn’t they all be sent back as a family? Aren’t the parents being detained because they are are doing forced free labor for the private prisons? Can’t babysit your kids when you are working a sewing machine. Has been going on for years, but you will probably have to go to google search page 100 for anything dating prior to Trump taking office.

      1. Expat

        I think this was the case. It is inconceivable that she would accept to wear this message from him ((i.e. Donald telling the world to kiss his ass because he doesn’t care and they don’t really care). The White House would never let that happen…even Trump’s White House.

        I think Melania chose this to provoke Donald because of something he said to her when she publicly criticized him. The White House tried to spin it two or three ways.

        Trump supporters love the message because they see it as a straightforward “kill all the immigrants and their kids” message. Trump haters get rabid at the sight of this because they know that is what Trumpturds really think. Melania haters believe she thinks that. And so on.

        Melania is low-key. As someone pointed out, she was a professional “model” so this was deliberate. Again, based on her statements about the practice in question, I find it hard to believe it was to be taken literally and in the first degree.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          Trump supporters love the message because they see it as a straightforward “kill all the immigrants and their kids” message.

          Seriously? You truly believe Trump supporters want to “kill all immigrants and their kids”?

      2. Arizona Slim

        If the recent book, Fire and Fury, is to be believed, Melania was a very weepy and unhappy camper on Election Night 2016. That’s not the reaction of someone who’s looking forward to being First Lady.

        I’m guessing that she’s doing whatever she can to get out of the role — and leave an unhappy marriage at the same time. And ISTR reading that something like 70% of all American divorces are initiated by women.

        1. Romancing The Loan

          The First Lady trying to sabotage her husband’s presidency and get him removed from office because she hates it sure would make for a fun sitcom.

  2. LaRuse

    What a treasure trove of links today! Thank you!
    Re: #TrumpHotels – utterly brilliant. “You can check out any time you like . . .”
    Re: JacketGate. Did she wear it to show us how fast our attention can shift from the suffering children to a $40 coat? Did she wear it to give her husband the middle finger? Did she wear it to make sure the Die Hard Trumpsters know that her trip was a simple smokescreen? Does it matter? The only thing we can say for sure is that it was NOT grabbed randomly out of the closet as she ran out the door for her flight.

    1. Jim Haygood

      He’s lost it:

      Donald J. Trump

      Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!

      7:06 AM – Jun 22, 2018

      ‘R-r-r-red wave’ — ah ha ha ha!

      *cough* Amendment XXV *cough*

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Ireland’s Brexit dividend Politico

    This I think is one of the key ‘wildcards’ in the whole Brexit debate. It has fundamentally changed the politics of the island of Ireland.

    “A lot of educated, outward-looking, liberal-minded unionists would tend to favor remaining in the European Union,” said Dan O’Brien, chief economist of the Institute of International and European Affairs. “There are a chunk of unionists reconsidering [their options] in the context of Brexit.”

    Similarly, Northern Ireland was once the wealthiest and most industrialized part of the island. Today, its GDP per capita is less than half that of the south and east, according to Eurostat. The United Kingdom once looked like the economically sensible option, compared to the reckless romance of nationalism; with Brexit, now it is British politicians putting ideology above prudence.

    “Nationalism always had a big deficit around economic issues. Now with Brexit, a lot of business people — and that’s one thing that has shocked me with the people I deal with — now query whether remaining in the U.K. is the sensible option,” said McCann, the lecturer at Ulster University.

    The DUP’s short term tactical victories in London will come back to bite them – a significant chunk of middle class business Unionist opinion in Northern Ireland is horrified by Brexit and their association in peoples eyes with the sheer wierdness of the DUP. For the first time, reunification of Ireland actually seems a safer bet for many people than being tied to a post Brexit UK. It has also changed the calculations in the Republic – politicians have long been content to express pieties about a united Ireland, while in private viewing the prospect with horror. But with the growth of Sinn Fein (likely to have the decisive number of elected members to form a coalition after the next elections), this means that they may not be able to put it off.

    This will make the DUP even more determined to fight off an Irish Sea border. It would be the wedge for a sort of hybrid governance of Northern Ireland that would likely lead to a long term process of reunification. But May is being driven into a corner and may find she has no choice but the agree to the backstop, even if it means a minority government.

    1. Marlin

      Do you really think a sea border is more likely to result in the wish of NI people to unite with the republic than a land border? I would think the opposite. In case of a sea border, things will not drastically change. In case of land border, there is a significant likelihood, that violence will break out and a decision is forced.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The sea border would in reality cement the separateness of NI from the UK. Northern Ireland business would not want it changed as it would want to stay in the EU. Although it might take a long time, this would almost inevitably lead to at least some form of joint authority. This is precisely why the DUP fear it so much (and if they weren’t so ideologically blinded, they would have seen thats why Brexit is a disaster for them).

        1. Oregoncharles

          Let’s not forget that there would most likely also be a sea border of some sort between Ireland and the EU, at least if the EU is serious about their regulations.

          1. Marlin

            No, there wouldn’t be. NI would have to conform to all relevant regulations of the EU.

      2. SOMK

        Violence isn’t going to break out, let’s put that to bed, it’s a ludicrous suggestion, the situation is wildly different from the 60’s and 70’s, armed gangs on the street, communities under attack, when Haughey and his ilk were running guns and Jack Lynch briefly pondered invasion to defend Northern nationalists, we’re nowhere near that. Besides there have been no noises from any parimilataries AFAIK regarding renewing ‘the struggle’. At worst you’ll have a boon for smuggling, but even that is unlikely to foster much more violence. The sheer disruption to life a hard border will create will make a far better argument than anything that comes from the muzzle of a gun.

      3. a different chris

        The problem is that the EU bureaucratized everything, as is its wont, to the point where you can’t really get into the EU even in territories that have been in the EU for forever. It is so stupid. NI and Scotland have pretty clear separation points from Britain, as opposed to say poor Wales. They have been part of the EU forever. Why can’t NI and Scotland just go thru some quick process to become part of the EU.

        It is doubly stupid because the EU has decided that to keep countries in they would set up an idiotic cluster(family blog) of rules in order to get out. If, instead of hitting the Leavers with a stick they could instead have been able to offer a carrot to portions of a country that didn’t want to leave. And that would have ended things right quick. “City of London”, step on up. Scotland, step on up. NI, step on up. “Little Englanders” have no idea how quickly they would get the “little” part of their wish.

        But that’s always how authoritiarians do things. All stick. They do not understand anything else.

        1. Marlin

          Currently, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not separate countries from England and Wales, but part of the common United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Brexit means, that all regions of the UK will leave. I don’t really understand your argument.

        2. J Sterling

          I don’t think Spain for one would like the principle that the EU can rally regions within the nation-state to ally with them against the nation-state.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thats FF’s line, but I don’t see it gaining any traction. Varadkar’s handling of Brexit has been very popular, I’ve even been surprised to hear people I know from border counties who would normally spit at the mention of FG praise him. So FF have little option but to just snipe away and hope something goes wrong for him.

        1. Oregoncharles

          That would be when Britain crashes out and there’s suddenly an ugly hard border. Expensive, too, all that setting up customs booths – on both sides.

          1. Marlin

            Varadkar so far has reached the best possible thing diplomacy can do with respect to the border. He got the EU to demand no physical border infrastructure as a necessary condition for a deal with the UK. I would argue, that this is against the interests of 26 of the remaining 27 EU countries.
            Your comment seems to imply, that any other policy could avoid a hard border anywhere. But the reality is, that there has to be either a hard border in the Irish sea or on land between the republic and the north.

            1. beachcomber

              Marlin:- “But the reality is, that there has to be either a hard border in the Irish sea or on land between the republic and the north”.

              1) Whatever happens there’s going to be a hard border between the Republic and the UK once the UK leaves the EU.

              2) For so long as NI remains an integral part of the territory of the UK that “hard” border (whatever that turns-out to mean in practice) can’t physically be anywhere other than on dry land, between the north of Ireland and the south.

              3) The only way that might remain for avoiding that while keeping NI as part of the UK would (theoretically) be to invent some means for partially detaching it constitutionally (analogous to the position of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man which are “Crown Dependencies” whose populations have British citizenship but are not governed by the British parliament and so have no representation there) thus permitting the NI parliament to arrive independently at whatever relationship with the EU suits NI and which they can succeed in negotiating.
              (For instance, both the Channel Islands and IOM are in the EU customs union, and neither are in EFTA or EEC; there is an *internal UK* Customs-boundary in the English Channel between CI and the UK mainland (reflecting different tax-regimes on the two siders relating to eg VAT, duties on alcohol,etc)).

              4) The consequence would be that a similar *internal UK* Customs-border might have to come into effect in the Irish Sea as now exists in the English Channel.

              5) Whether NI being detached in that way from the rest of the UK could ever be sold to the unionist hard-liners and, if not, whether they would resist it by force of arms remain open questions. Personally I wouldn’t bet on it but I’m no expert.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Quite simply, some form of reunification is the only real solution to the border problem. That’s been clear for quite a while.

    3. ChrisPacific

      I had been wanting to speculate about this myself but had refrained as I am ignorant of Irish politics. From the outside it certainly looks as though NI has a clear path to remaining in the EU as an alternative to undergoing Brexit with the UK. As it becomes increasingly clear that Brexit is headed off a cliff, it’s hard not to wonder whether an EU alternative might start to look more and more attractive, whatever the history and challenges may be.

  4. zagonostra

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a ray of sunlight shining in in a very dark, decrepit, deceptive, should I say it, ok, deplorable, world that has become the Democratic Party.

    Those who choose vote for the incumbent are walking zoombies….

      1. jsn

        Zoombies: a fantastic coinage!

        They seem so smart, they’re so well educated, they are capable of following complex lines of reasoning and logic, there active aggressive and highly self confident, indeed meritocrats of the highest order, and yet can’t tell the Democrat party ate their brains!

    1. Scott

      I haven’t paid that much attention to the race, but when Ayanna Pressley announced she was challenging Michael Capanuo, it boiled down to “Vote for me because I’m a black woman and this is a majority minority district.” Things might have changed, but there did not appear to be much substantial differences at that time.

      1. M-S

        The thing is, not only does Pressley seem to be running on pure identity (unlike Ocasio-Cortez), she’s also targeting Mike Capuano, who’s a far, far cry from Joe Crowley. (Inter alia, he was one of the rare No votes on the Iraq AUMF. Besides being not a legacy politician, consistently doing his homework on policy issues, and so on — he may be another white dude who’s been around a while, but in this case he’s boring because he’s reliable.)

        I support Ocasio-Cortez wholeheartedly; I, along with a lot of other Massachusetts voters, wish Pressley would find somebody to run against who actually needed replacing. If she were elected it’s possible she wouldn’t be a step down from Capuano, but there’s no particular reason to think she’d be a step up, either. I’m glad she’s helping out with Ocasio-Cortez, but I also suspect she gains more from the association than O-C does. After all, O-C’s rapidly becoming a rock star, win or lose; Pressley’s not having anything like the same impact, and for good reason.

        1. Scott

          You mean someone like Stephen Lynch? His district is right next door, although I don’t know much about the demographics since the redistricting eight years ago.

          Incidentally, Massachusetts has appallingly gerrymanderd districts, but no one seems to care because they’re all Democrats.

          1. M-S

            I do indeed mean someone like Stephen Lynch. Someone so like him as to be identical, in fact.

    2. lupemax

      I really worry that the totally corrupt democrat party in NYS, and Cuomo, will totally corrupt the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaign…

      1. JohnnyGL

        There’s a reason NY has the 2nd lowest voter turnout behind Louisiana.

        NYC Board of Elections is probably going to have a lot of work to do purging, re-registering, moving locations, closing polling locations, etc.

        It takes a village to rig a primary….

          1. JohnnyGL



            No one locks ’em up like Louisiana….in a case of its own!!!

            Or has OK surged to take the top spot more recently?


  5. Jim Haygood

    Argentina joins the investable universe:

    Argentine stocks surged Thursday following the nation’s upgrade to emerging market status by index provider MSCI, providing a shot of confidence in the country’s financial markets after a recent currency rout rattled global investors.

    The MSCI Argentina rose 8%, erasing a week of losses. The peso edged higher against the U.S. dollar and Argentine bonds rose 1.7% in the JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified benchmark.

    The upgrade from a frontier country to an emerging market follows two years of reforms by market-friendly President Mauricio Macri and is expected to bring billions in investment to the country’s stocks.

    Years in isolation after its cram-down default kept Argentina in the same pariah status as Venezuela and Cuba today. Now it’s back under the tender tutelage of the IMFers … MSCI happy!

    1. johnnygl

      My god, it’s hard to think of a better example of how political financial markets are.

      Submit to IMF and get back into our special club where institutions by your stocks and bonds to keep you afloat while the looting proceeds apace….again…

    2. Lorenzo

      Years in isolation after its cram-down default kept Argentina in the same pariah status as Venezuela and Cuba today.

      and some of us wore it as a badge of honor. On many levels: moral, political, ideological, philosophical…

      The truth of the matter is in these days we’d be better left to our own devices, this coming from someone that’s not at all proud of his country nor nationalistic in pretty much any way. Not that that’s a realistic scenario, at least for the time being. Also knowing full well how much some Argies hate each other’s guts, and what terrible a-holes some are… but not me :D

  6. Steve H.

    > “Die Amerikaner tun mir leid”

    Mei Xinyu has the whiff of official hack in a Krugmanish way, but this nugget is indicative: “the export share of our gross domestic product has dropped to below 20 percent since the peak of the early 1990s. At the same time, the share of domestic consumption has grown strongly.”

    I don’t think the peasants are getting Shanghai penthouses, so they have a fat-tail looming too. I can’t believe any actual decisionmakers think dumping the treasuries is a good idea, but turning them into dollars could help fund domestic consumption. That can be turned into oil, or raw materials for factories, or lux goods for the penthouses. They’ve committed to Eurasian trade, and those dollars could be dumped to their west in the same way as the US dumped to them.

    My deep concern is if the PBOC starts converting treasuries to real estate. In my town, about 3% of our population is Chinese students. They have cash for high end sports cars and don’t live in the dorms. We have a downtown building boom, a senatorial aspirant for a mayor who’s chalking up favors, and local government loves them some increased tax income, but not so good for local residents, with a huge GINI coefficient and rising property taxes. Right now it all seems market based, but it seems like $3T could induce a lot of inequality, which means political instability, and more distressed properties. To Hoover up.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not sure how, or how much, Individuals or private corporations from China can invest in foreign real estate if they have been cracking down on corruption and sending money abroad.

      Will it be more likely they use that money to buy more rain forests in Ecuador or Bolivia?

      1. Steve H.

        That leads to the question of when. A keen and felt understanding of financial destabilization, and an investment in undercutting dollar hegemony, means the timing is based on when they feel they need to get rid of the dollars and get something. Ukraine owes dollars, what’ve they got?

        Ecuador and Bolivia, I’d say China is specifically looking at land routes that can be protected by armies. I think the fine tuning is, wherever they send those dollars will become destabilized as they undercut the dollar as world reserve currency. So it may be the placement of the dollars are a little taiqi push into the overextension of internal instabilites like inequality. Only the Fed is immune.

      2. Lord Koos

        I’m sure there are still lots of ways for the well-connected to get money out of the country.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Vandalized homes, spying, a knife and restraining orders: Inside a billionaire couple’s nightmarish divorce”: ‘Nor is it easy to find a moral in the story’.
    Ooh, ooh! I can find one. If one partner is 74 and the other is 68, don’t waste your remaining time doing stuff like this. Go out and party while you can. It’s not like they have all that much time left to them and certainly they can never spend all the money that they have between them in their remaining years.

    1. RUKidding

      How ’bout: some people have waay more money than brains… or commone sense… or ethics… or class… or good character… or….

      Seems like a pair of sociopaths with nothing better to with their time and filthy lucre & ill-gotten gains than to waste both in childish, obscene behavior.


  8. Bill Smith

    “Die Amerikaner tun mir leid” Der Spiegel. “They are threatening to dump Treasuries” “They Fed will hoover them up.”

    And I was hoping to buy them for pennies on the dollar!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I read the Russians did that and bought gold, but gold hasn’t gone anywhere (price-wise) recently.

      1. Christopher Fay

        Transitioning out of the dollar into something the U. S. doesn’t have. It’s like they’re toying with us in 3rd dimensional checkers.

      2. The Rev Kev

        For the Russians that would be good as it means that gold is still being sold cheap. They are, after all, buying for the long term just like the Chinese are. I just wonder how much of the gold they purchased on the open market was once originally stored in the bank vaults of the Ukraine, Libya and Iraq once upon a time.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Why would the Russians buy gold? They produce it. Or the government is just buying up Russian production.

          1. The Rev Kev

            They could be buying gold to remove it from the open market as well thus denying it to other countries. There has been an increase of demand the past few years as different counties such as Germany have repatriated their gold from the US back to their own countries. You know. In case something happens to it or if the SHTF the US balks at handing it back again. People say that gold is worthless these days but if so, why did France explicitly plan to steal Libya’s gold when they helped smash the place?

      3. bronco

        Buying Physical gold doesn’t affect its price. The price is pushed up and down in the futures markets by scammers and central banks. The manipulators are buying contracts on margin and dumping them at odd hours to move the tape. Then they might buy back after a drop they cause , lather rinse and repeat.

        Thats not just gold , its basically everything.

        If the wall street sleaze bags push the price down then buy physical. I picked up a little early in the week on ebay

  9. Brooklin Bridge

    No sign of North Korea dismantling nuclear weapons programme, Mattis admits -Guardian

    What did anyone expect? It’s the John Bolton theme song that NK won’t deliver anything. It’s the one two punch for Bolton’s version of, we came,they broke their promise, he died. Why suddenly are people like Larry Wilkerson parroting the same sentiment on TRN?

    It seems like succumbing to neoliberal dogma from the MSM, “If Trump is involved, focus on the failure, particularly the aspects of buffoonery and idiocy.” syndrome.

    Just a week ago, people (not the MSM of course, nor John Bolton) were talking about “a freeze for a freeze” being a highly acceptable diffusion to an otherwise nasty problem. Suddenly we insist on some tangible move by NK other than the continuation of non active testing and development?

    And as to people like Wilkerson suddenly complaining about the US giving prestige to NK without getting anything in return, what prestige? The prestige of meeting with the head of the most notorious, break every treaty, break every promise, depose every foreign leader at a whim, biggest liar country in the modern world? That’s prestige?

    If NK actually dismantles it’s ability to defend itself, Kim Jong-un is a dead man within months if not weeks. That’s quite a sacrifice for a leader who is no less a venal dictator than the one we have in the US, and it would also be throwing one’s life away for nothing since the only outcome of NK giving up it’s sovereignty is complete economic strip mining by the US and it’s financial hyenas, not to mention the loss of any form of government (even a really bad one) other than US empire puppets.

    Apologies for the tone of my rant – I assume I’m missing something.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that you have it spot on in your analysis and the only thing that you might have missed is the impatience to get Kim to disarm before the mid-terms so that Trump can go to the polls with a victory under his belt.

      1. Steve H.

        If 200 bodies come back from NK to the US, he’ll have done something no other president did. That will provide resolution to families who are mostly red-county and got called ‘deplorable’ by the Democratic Party.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Two hundred bodies came back? Good. That leaves only seven thousand, six hundred to go with about two thousand of them in the Korean Demilitarized Zone alone. I am afraid that the whole repatriation issue has mostly been a political football for decades now and Obama certainly never covered himself with glory here-

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Still, it’s not an easy task, as Steve H. said, something no other presidents did…not even Jimmy Carter, not even Rodman.

            We will see if Kim is coming to visit and what happens then.

    2. Expat

      Just because Trump is an embarrassment and an ignorant buffoon, it doesn’t necessarily detract from his office as the President of the United States. Whatever Trump’s motives or stupidity in meeting Kim, praising him non-stop,and elevating his status, this has bolstered Kim at home and abroad. It is seen as a sign that the US will treat NK as quasi-equals.

      So, as equals, Kim will now demand a bilateral reduction in nuclear weapons. Ten percent a month until they are gone on both sides. As ridiculous as that sounds, an objective observer would easily discern that the more dangerous party to these talks is the US. NK has not invaded any other country nor started a war. The US on the other hand….

      1. ambrit

        Well, there was that Police Action back in 1950 or so. Agreed that it was essentially a civil war, but, each side roped in its’ prospective partners before it quieted down.
        A formal peace treaty and reduction in outside forces will be good for both sides of this equation. A gradual rapprochement might give us a Federal Korea with nukes! Watch out China and Japan!
        You’ve got hundreds of years of “History” to account for.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        The office of the POTUS doesn’t need Trump to embody a treaty breaking, promise breaking, spiritually bankrupt, lying government office at least in so far as it’s inhabitants have made it so, historically right to the present. Ask Qaddafi, ask Saddam Hussein and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Lebanese. Ask the American Indians. Ask the poor. Ask the elderly. The office of US President represents respect and prestige like the Mafia represents reverence and morality. Precious little. Fear yes and loathing definitely, but prestige? Perhaps the sycophant variety.

        Even aside from my screed, I think this prestige thing is a red herring. I doubt anyone that matters such as China, or Russia, or Europe, is suddenly taking Kim Jong-un seriously as a world force, economically or otherwise, to be reckoned with on an equal footing any more than they were before his meeting with Trump. They may well give him a few points for being clever, but then look who it is he was supposedly more clever than.

        A far more credible source of prestige (in its sense of respect) would be his possession of working nuclear arms and delivery systems, which is really why everyone – including Trump – is taking him more seriously than in the past.

        1. Expat

          Power works in funny ways. Ask a junior congressman what his vote is worth. I bet you could swing him on most votes if you offered him a photo op with the President in the oval office. Lunch with the president gets him to change his view completely.

          Same goes for world leaders. The US, for better or for worse, sets tone and precedent in international affairs. Now that Trump has met with Kim and praised him more than anyone else including anyone in the States, it is permissible and advisable for other leaders to do the same. China can now meet and talk with Kim much more openly since they cannot be condemned by the US for doing so. Kim can go back to Korea and show his people and generals how he is an equal to the president of the US. If you think that means nothing, you don’t understand power or cults of power.

          Trump is an insecure idiot who seeks approval from the only ones who will give it to him, anyone who is morally or intellectually inferior. That list is short among world leaders so he cozies up to Duterte, Putin and Kim. Duterte is now untouchable. So, now is Kim.

          Of course, Trump just negated all that by calling NK a dangerous threat to America. I guess things changed over the past ten days and Kim is no longer his avowed BFF. I wonder how that will help in negotiating. How about not at all and will simply make Kim realize that Donald is full of shit and a liar. Oh, well. So much for peace in our time.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            All good points. And no, I don’t understand power probably because I’ve rarely been near it and when I have, I’ve been somewhat influenced by circumstances so as not to pay too much attention to the “currents” and influences you speak of. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist and your points are well taken.

            That said, I still find it hard to believe that power brokers in Europe, for example, are as impressed by the meeting with Trump (whom they generally loath) as they are by Kim Jong-un’s nukes and his newly acquired ability to deliver them. By the same measure, had Trump as POTUS met with Alexis Tsipras several years ago when Greece was negotiating for it’s life (economically), I very much doubt such a meeting with the POTUS would have substantially changed the scalping Greece got by the Troika and Merkel.

      3. David

        This is all very silly. I doubt if there’s a major international agreement in history that has been implemented that quickly, and this isn’t even an agreement, just a joint statement of principles and objectives. It was made very explicit that the summit was to be followed by a lot of detailed work, which hasn’t even started yet.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      When Colonel Wilkerson could have made a real-time difference by obstructing or preventing SecState Powell from delivering the Bullsh*t Speech at the U N , he didn’t step up to make any difference. Later, after the fact, he sought ex post facto respect by writing critical articles.

      I remember a couple of years ago one of Colonel Pat Lang’s commenters asking about such an article by Wilkerson which happened to be on the subject of a particular post-thread. I remember Colonel Lang writing in response: ” I do not care what Wilkerson thinks. He came late to the battle.”

    1. johnnygl

      Great phrase I got from this site….’that’s a feature, not a bug’

      Nah, but seriously, though….THE BABIES!??!!%#!!?

    2. Jean

      And American renters. Imagine the number of less desirable rentals, plus garages, sheds and other dwellings once available to poor Americans, now occupied by immigrants willing to live cheek to jowel. Slumlords rejoice.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        An American family with two partners and one kid can never, never, never outbid some group putting 10 or 15 in the same 2 bedroom apartment, or someone running an Airbnb.

        1. audrey jr

          I live in San Diego and am just 13 miles north of the U.S./Mexican border.
          My experience living in San Diego for a few years is that out of 150 apartment units in our complex fewer than 10 of these hold single families.
          The vast majority contain – and these are 1 and 2 bedroom units, mind you – anywhere from 8 to 10 folks per unit. I do not know how the rent gets paid – not that it is any of my business, anyway, but most of these folks do not appear to have employment as they are around the complex all day and night. But most are quiet and very nice and are good neighbors from my perspective.
          There are also two private homes quite near us and next door to one another which use American flags hung outside as indicators to the “undocumented” that theirs are “safe houses”.
          There is a whole lot of public drunkeness and drug taking going on in front of these homes and they are literally right next door to a public grade school.
          I can only assume the local police know about this activity and choose to ignore it.
          So, yeah, it is difficult to find an affordable place to rent around here and which contain single families.
          Can’t wait to move away from this place.

        2. Laughingsong

          Of course this is anecdotal but living “cheek by jowl” in small accommodation was very much a feature of my very white, very US-citizen early adulthood, as it was for my also white American housemates. 2 examples: a 1-bed above a store… The main couple had the bedroom, I and my boyfriend sectioned off the ” breakfast nook” such it was, one woman used blankets and nailed ropes for privacy in th main room, and one guy slept on a cot in a walk-in closet.

          Then another: a 2-bed house in San Francisco; this time I had a real bedroom, and another woman had the other. A (white Americans) intinerant construction worker had the dining room, and a guy lived in (of all places) the service porch where the washer and dryer were. While I was in that place, two different people occupied the basement: the first one (moved out soon after I got there) turned out to be a serial killer living under a pseudonym, the second was a recently divorced regional manager of UPI international, whose computer setup frequently took down the power for the house.

          This was the early 80s in San Francisco.

      2. JohnnyGL

        Don’t forget resource allocation at public schools, too.

        Hiring and teacher time allocated towards bi-lingual education means other programs don’t get those resources.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Both excellent links, than you.

      From the Politico link, “Yes, Immigration Hurts Workers”:

      What does it all add up to? The fiscal burden offsets the gain from the $50 billion immigration surplus, so it’s not too farfetched to conclude that immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all. Instead, it has changed how the pie is split, with the losers—the workers who compete with immigrants, many of those being low-skilled Americans—sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners. Those winners are primarily their employers. And the immigrants themselves come out ahead, too. Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.

      I wonder if Michelle Alexander will be commenting on this new-er Jim Crowe from her new position at the nyt.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        America should always welcome immigrants.

        The question is how many, at any given year, the country can embrace. You want to make sure the newcomers get all the attention and opportunities.

        In some ways, it’s similar to deciding how many new members you want in your family. You consider the existing members and the new ones, making sure both will do well…unless there is an emergency, of course.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        America should always welcome immigrants.

        The question is how many, at any given year, the country can embrace. You want to make sure the newcomers get all the attention and opportunities.

        In some ways, it’s similar to deciding how many new members you want in your family. You consider the existing members and the new ones, making sure both will do well…unless there is an emergency, of course.

        1. John k

          So there’s a limit.
          And major problems in other countries, granted we caused some.
          Given the above, there will be hordes frantic to get themselves, and or their kids, north of the border. To the extent they might pay others to smuggle their kids in.
          And why do they want to come? For some, lack of security where they come from. For most, their intent is to underbid our locals for low skilled work.
          I confess that I have hired some.

    4. a different chris

      Interestingly the Dems, who are all about identity issues, are so hot to tell you how they embrace immigrants.

      But there are people who would love to immigrate whose social views are, to say the least, retrograde. Women? Captial punishment? Religious tolerance? I got a whole MidEast full of people that would be happy to live in the US, and a lot of them look pretty good if you limit it just to educational achievement. Slide right into the upper middle class. Also, I suspect a lot of ISIS foot-soldiers would gladly have instead come here and worked doing whatever, rather than get shot at.

      But both groups would, I expect, have a good solid 18th century mindset as far as larger-group relationships go. That’s what the Dems want?

      Anyway, thought it should be looked at. I have no answers as usual.

      1. Lord Koos

        Many upper-class Dems and Republicans not only embrace immigrants, they employ them…

    5. marym

      Net immigration to the US 2007-2012 was 5,007,887 according to the World Bank (Link)
      Net immigration 2009-2014 from Mexico was negative (Link)

      Links to recent stories about immigration restrictions leading to low-skill worker shortages in Maryland, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, California despite, in some cases, employers offering better pay/benefits to attract non-recent-immigrants.

      We have an entire economic and political system devoted to ensuring that the income redistribution “winners” are primarily the owners, not the workers; and tons of work that needs to be done that isn’t getting done because of that system. Is it really so clear what exactly, or even approximately, would be the impact of further immigration restrictions?

      1. John k

        Post recession some Mexicans went home, replaced by copious Central Americans.
        Not every person that arrives and takes in-home low paid service jobs takes work from Americans. But those that work in commercial establishments do.
        Beyond that is gongestion and increased pressure on rental prices.
        What would be the benefit to our native unskilled workers of increased immigration?
        For the first time ever a leading party candidate spoke to and for them.

        1. Expat

          Those ranting against immigration because it costs jobs won’t do the jobs immigrants do. Will a bunch of out of work pipe fitters from West Virginia put on the MAGA hats and pick avocadoes for $5 an hour? Or work in meat processing plants for $7.50 an hour. Nope. And they won’t pick and move to California for those jobs anyway (CA is after all part of Comecon and the 3rd Circle of Hillary-Loving Hell).

          Aside from the hypocrisy of rejecting economic and political refugees that the US created, there is the reality that they are not stealing jobs. It’s just an easy target for right-wing politicians and ignorant voters.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Timing is key here, 2/10/2016 writing an article like that requires….


      More Michelle Alexanders are going to be needed if American DOS (descendants of slaves) are ever going to ‘overcome’ (defined however you like).

      1. bob mcmanus

        Read the Alexander article closely to the end to see some of the problems in building a anti-neoliberal coalition. She doesn’t endorse Sanders, although she is Sanders-positive, and advocates building a third party to oppose the Democrats.

        What Alexander does not do is criticize Barack Obama by name or refer much to any problems with the Obama administration. Much of the Clinton criticism looks back to the 1990’s. I will leave that to interpretation.

        Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report or Adolph Reed she is not.

  10. fresno dan

    A referral certainly is very serious and they will investigate the accusations if it’s serious enough,” retired FBI special agent and former national spokesman John Iannarelli told Fox News Thursday. “The accusations are a violation of FBI rules.”…

    Iannarelli told Fox News that Strzok’s forcible exit from the bureau was a “rare occurrence,” and that he has seen a number of FBI employees who were eventually terminated, but continued performing functions until OPR decisions were made.

    “To be escorted out of the building before the OPR investigation is completed and a decision is rendered is fairly extraordinary,” Iannarelli said.
    Not watching cable news that much, it strikes me that this is not being discussed – is that a fair assessment???
    Is Melania’s coat really more important than Strzok being escorted from the FBI building? Even if one wants to posit that the Trump administration is falsely accusing Strzok of nefarious goings on, it seems it should be discussed more than it has been.

  11. Craig H.

    I was sure the guillotine watch story was going to be Johnny Depp. If anybody wants to know about Johnny Depp from Rolling Stone it might save time to read a nip from the story.

    It’s estimated that Depp has made $650 million on films that netted $3.6 billion. Almost all of it is gone.

    When you are an addict it can go very low very quick. :(

      1. ambrit

        It is probably related to ‘chemicals’ found in ‘Flows of Funds’ that caused catastrophic mutations in Vampire Squid / Human hybrids.

        1. newcatty

          I am putting on my tin foil ( yes, of course, it’s actually aluminum now) beret snuggly on my silver head. It’s been “said” and revealed that the Vampire Squid Human/Hybrids are in league with the cold blooded Reptiles in Human clothing that have infested the Empire’s ruling classes. Though I feel its unfair to cast derision on earthly indigenous reptiles who have their place in the ecosystems. Maybe “new” Saint Patricks and Saint Patricias are here to vanquish the Snakes in the Garden.

    1. a different chris

      One actor, out of that whole production of multiple films, took like 1/5th of the money? But they can’t afford to pay (key grip, makeup, you name it) more I bet.

      The theory “you need a name to pull in the box office” makes sense if said name doesn’t then walk off with nearly all the profits, you know. That’s pretty basic capitalism that even I understand.

        1. ambrit

          In relation to the explosion in the numbers of panhandlers seen around here recently, I want a tee shirt that says: ” I’m Broke Too.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And the polite request is ‘Can I have that shirt off your back? I will use it as a pillow. It’s not like they house us like they house border crossers.”

            1. ambrit

              Ah, now that might work.
              I see numerous empty big boxx stores around in my travels. Why no one ponys up some tax breaks or write offs for the distressed owners to turn them into industrial scale homeless shelters, I don’t know. Really, I think I do know. Greed. Pure and simple.
              So, time to expropriate some empty bigg boxx stores and do a CCC style homeless shelter.
              No, let’s go all Dickensian on this. Set up those bigg boxx store homeless shelters as good old fashioned ‘Work Houses for the Poor.’ The denizens can make stuff, like flak jackets for our ‘Glorious Homeland Defense Troops.’ Bring some of those previously sent offshore jobs back. We can undercut foreign wages with ‘Work House Wages.’
              Set up the ‘Homeless Shelters’ next to the new Soylent Corporastion processing centres and, voila, instant synergy, along with Instant Neo-liberal Karma.
              The futures so great, ya gotta wear shades! (Like Rowdy Roddy Piper does in that John Carpenter documentary.)
              The knock on effects are limitless.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                The other, less Dickensian, idea is to house them in football stadiums wit the playing fields converted to organic gardens.

                Compared to big boxes, hot showers are already available there, though here in California, we probably have to have timers on them to limit water usage.

                “You should see my organic cabbage.”

  12. marym

    Great twitter thread on the Civilian Conservation Corps! Thank you.

    If we had a 21st century New New Deal to do all the work that needs to be done, there would surely be jobs at every level of skill and education.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, that Nathan Tankus knows his stuff. So I guess that it is much more a matter of ‘won’t’ rather than ‘can’t’ about doing this sort of stuff again.

  13. a different chris

    In todays “hahahah…uh, gulp” category we have this not-too-well-thought-out headline in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

    “Ex-Gov. Rendell announces ‘Citizenship Challenge’ for elementary kids”

    1. Big Tap

      Ed Rendell eh. He was one of the people responsible as well as the top leadership of the Democratic party for Pat Toomey’s reelection in 2016. I live in Pennsylvania and the Democrats had a good primary candidate in Joe Sestak who was more conservative than the eventual nominee Katie McGinty. She barely lost to Toomey in the general. Sestak had a better chance to win but he was not the parties choice so they sabotaged him.

  14. JEHR

    Want some good news for a change? Here is a follow-up article from icij (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) re Mossack Fonseca of the Panama Papers. The two owners spent some time in jail accused of running “a criminal organization.” The fury and anger of their clients is soothing to the ears.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Workers of color are far more likely to be paid poverty-level wages than white workers Economic Policy Institute

    Is it due to

    1. White privelege
    2. educational differences (I didn’t see it mentioned in the article…maybe I missed it)
    3. ability to speak the imperial tongue (does it hinder getting better jobs?)
    4. insidious loop of living in a poorer neighborhoods having fewer good paying jobs
    5. White privielege


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Going back to my SAT test taking days, my bet is on ‘all of the above.’

        From a 2015 BusinessInsider article (might have been linked here at the time):

        You’ve probably been given test-taking advice along the lines of “always guess the middle answer if you don’t know” or “avoid any answer that uses the words ‘never,’ ‘always,’ ‘all,’ or ‘none'” at some point in your life. However, according to Poundstone, this conventional wisdom doesn’t hold up against statistics. In fact, he found that the answers “none of the above” or “all of the above” were correct 52% of the time. Choosing one of these answers gives you a 90% improvement over random guessing, he says.

    1. Expat

      If I had a magic wand, I would turn every white American into a 19 year old black American for a month. Now, the problem with this little fantasy is I am not really sure it would change anyone’s mind. But at least a bunch of racists got treated very badly for a month.

  16. LS

    Re: Nikki Haley: ‘It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America’

    While Nikki Haley is full of it, I believe one thing she pointed out may be correct – the partisan nature of the report which should have been written quite some time ago. Sanders would do well to acknowledge how very much responsibility the Democratic Party has in the ever increasing poverty and slow and quick suicides. Certainly, for example, the causes of poverty in California (which was included in the report), the largest State economy in the United States, and the 5th largest economy in the world can’t be laid at Trump’s doorstep (that’s not at all to say he’s doing anything to alleviate it, and that he’s not aggressively adding to the misery).

    And, speaking of California, specifically Silicon Valley, Re: I trust the material on wages as far as I can throw it. There’s a very long history of bosses hiring scabs with distinct ascriptive identities or indeed entire workforces (H1B).

    H-1B visas are a Bipartisan/Corporate pitting of voting citizens against lower paid non voting citizens who rent and provide the twofer of higher profits and providing a minority of non renting Property Owners with a majority vote against a far larger, and exponentially increasing – as towering Apartment Homes built on, or neighboring: still active superfund sites; borderline (non National Priorities [NPL] sites) superfund sites; and Brown Fields – City Majority of apartment, home and condo renters.

    I don’t have the time or stomach to do the research, but I will bet that none of the Federal, State or Local Democratic Party Representative’s homes are in those predominantly Renter populated Zip Codes, where most of those horrid Techcampuses (I’m betting that Sergey and Larry, unlike new and longtime residents, were aware of the ‘problems’) are located and where one bedroom rents are averaging close to $3,000, with no requirements for potential toxins to be disclosed.

    It bleakly doesn’t surprise me that Renters, under capitalism, are the only investors in property who will never gain on their now outrageous ‘investments’ – are the only residents who are not required to be informed of known potential health hazards, and will be forever at threat of forced transience, no matter how much money they’ve invested in a roof over their heads. If any Third Party wants to make significant headway in this country, I suggest this housing issue be put first and utmost (including those who still own homes but can no longer afford the taxes on them). People need a stable roof over their head before they can get involved in any other issues outside of food to eat.

    1. pretzelattack

      food to eat or water to drink. control the country’s water supply, you can bring people to heel very quickly.
      meanwhile, profit.

  17. Oregoncharles

    “A CO2 shortage is causing a beer and meat crisis in Britain”

    Odd: I thought brewing produced its own CO2. (Carbonated drinks are another matter.) In fact, producing alcohol should be a major SOURCE of CO2.

    History: we visited Manitou Springs, CO on a family trip. The town is dotted with mineral springs, most of which are naturally carbonated. At least one exhibited a sign saying that it used to be used for bottling CO2 for use elsewhere. Natural carbonation does occur where there is underlying limestone. Not in Britain, I take it? The article doesn’t say why the plants are shut down, aside from “season” – a predictable event.

  18. Oregoncharles

    “Ireland’s Brexit dividend
    Momentum is gathering on both sides of the border for the reunification of the island.”

    Well, yes. That’s been the implication of much of our discussion of the Irish border. Nice to see it confirmed.

    My chief concern, and I assume everyone’s, would be bloodshed from the Unionists. Some are pretty fanatical. Might be a lot like the IRA in the Troubles, which no one wants to go back to.

    1. Synoia

      Whenever the English get close to answering the Irish question, the Irish change the question.

      That’s a joke. Sometimes.

      The border is the EU’s problem, not a British problem. I suspect the English would love to have the EU blamed for eliminating Northern Ireland, and solving “The Irish Problem.”

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Will the Euuu keep the British from exercising their penchant for meddling, or will a bunch of bureaucrats let things fester?

        How much should I worry that the US will keep the UK as, yet another, unsinkable aircraft carrier?

  19. hemeantwell

    Since no one else piped up: I love loons! Their call defines Canadian lakes! Thanks for the pic!

    1. JEHR

      That’s why Canadians call their dollar coin a “loonie” and the two-dollar coin a “toonie.”

      1. David

        The two-dollar coin is also known as a “moonie,” with “the Queen on the front and a bear behind.”

  20. John k

    China might sell treasuries… bluff might work, lots of people fear this.
    Actually this gives the holder a safe stream of income, lots of rich foreigners like them. But the safe stream should just benefit rich us residents, if justified at all.
    Why not ban sale to foreigners? That would stop China bs about selling what suddenly becomes more valuable.

  21. boz

    Man fired by machine?

    Not really – what you are seeing is decent systems access policies in action. Spot on to disable systems and physical access automatically unless specifically re-authorised.

    What has gone wrong here is poor JML (joiners/movers/leavers). The original line manager who got sacked (bad news) should have communicated that the guy was to be kept on. Either that or the receiving line manager didn’t check, or listen.

    The rigmarole they entered into does sugggest that management didn’t know who to go to in IT to sort it out (also bad news).

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that guy was smart in bailing out of that company. If they are so inflexible and the staff more willing to back the company – judging by his reception when he returned – then I would say that that company is doomed in the long haul. The next time the financial balloon goes up, I do not think that companies like that will be able to cope due to the inflexibility demonstrated in their procedures.

  22. ewmayer

    “Stonehenge Builders Used Pythagoras’ Theorem 2,000 Years Before He Was Born | Tech Times” – to be fair, Pythagoras’ key contribution was to *prove* said theorem, which as TT notes, was likely known to multiple ancient civilizations. (Pythagoras’ method of proof, described nicely in the Wikipedia entry on his eponymous theorem, is a lovely example of an entirely geometrical proof of a result which is nontrivial to prove using the usual abstract symbol-manipulation proving techniques. Anyone can literally cut some pieces of paper into the requisite squares and triangles and via some clever rearrangements of same, prove the theorem the same way Pythagoras did.)

    1. wilroncanada

      Or, in an old completely racist joke about aboriginal peoples:
      The squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      I did not read, but assumed it was a typical in-disciplinary lack of breadth. Proportionality works great until you get into extremes. So my opinion is proportionality works great.

      The title made me think of the derision that whiggish science gives to epicycles. Copernicus left a bunch of epicycles. If you could turn an orbit into circles, you could calculate it with a compass. There’s like 80 years between Kepler realizing ‘Whoa, Ellipses’ and math making the practical calculation of an ellipse relatively easy.

  23. audrey jr

    Thanks for that comment, LS.
    When recently polled by some big “D” political consultants just prior to the June primaries here in CA I listed affordable housing as my number one concern.
    Not trying to virtue signal here, at least not consciously, but as a member of the renter class this is a primary concern for me and my family as it impacts us directly.
    Recently had a bedbug inspection induced by the presence of the critters in the apartment next door.
    I do not have these creatures in residence, thank god, but I have yet to receive the legally required PCO inspection findings due to me as a resident of an inspected unit.
    Had a bit of a row with the resident manager as to my rights under CA law as to my right to receive said report.
    Manager lost that one as CA does require notification of inspection results to any unit so inspected.
    Like the Beastie Boys said, “You Gotta Fight for Your Right to…”
    That said, the meighbors with the bed bugs are truly some of the cleanest and nicest folks I have ever lived around. The critters just came home with them on one of their many overseas trips.

  24. Savita

    Hi. I’d like to share about a subject quite pertinent to NC mission statement, I feel. ‘Justice as a Service’. The example in question is called Airhelp.
    Airlines are legally obliged to compensate passangers if flights are delayed.
    At least in the EU – Eu Directive 261
    The first massive warning bell is learning how much of a silicon valley lineage Airhelp has. It’s hardcore DNA is all Sillicon VC toxicity. Many, many millions in VC funding which isn’t accounted for.

    Airhelp claims it is often difficult to persuade airlines to cough up the cash. So they volunteer to act as a go-between, promising a much smoother and more efficient compensation. Hence, what CEO Henrik Zillmer calls ‘Justice As a Service’
    And that concept fills me with unease, should it become widespread.

    Somehow, Airhelp gets copies of flight lists and passengers contact details (god knows how) and some months after the flight disruption, cold calls customers – and asks if they’d like compensation – just say yes and Airhelp will solve it for you.
    They promise only a 25% haircut
    A close relative suffered some serious trauma owing to her EU airlines stuff up. She had no idea compensation was even an option.
    Airhelp called 9 months later – she agreed to the service. At no point did Airhelp say it was just as simple to contact the airline herself, and request compensation using the readily available form on the airline website.
    Well Airhelp did offer a payment in a couple of weeks. It was 75% reduced from what was legally her entittlement!!
    And, strangely, offered in US dollars – when the compensation was provided by the airline in Euro. And my relative uses another (strong, popular) currency.
    Airhelp refuse to itemise their process. Refuse to answer emails. No telephone number even exists (for our country at least)
    Stay away from them! And, make sure your friends know that they can simply do it themselves and receive their full entitlement
    A cynical part of myself wonders if they actually have a private agreement with airlines. Return a percentage of the compensation right back to the airline.

  25. Oregoncharles

    “EU tariffs on US goods come into force BBC”

    It will be interesting to see how much effect on trade volumes these new tariffs actually have. There was lots of trade when tariffs were the norm. And production of many items is pretty inflexible – it takes years or decades to build factories, change over crops, etc.

Comments are closed.